America and West Indies: April 1737, 1-15

Pages 99-111

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 43, 1737. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1963.

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April 1737, 1-15

April 1. 194 Francis Fane to Council of Trade and Plantations. By an Act passed in Carolina in the time of the Lords Proprietors relating to biennial and other assemblies and regulating elections and members, I observe that there is a power given to the assembly of this colony to meet without the consent of the Crown. The charter to the Lords Proprietors does not warrant this proceeding. The power of calling of parliaments is admitted to be an inherent privilege in the Crown, and I believe this is the first instance that such an attempt has been made to deprive the Crown of it. I think you should show your disapprobation of a law which in so high a degree encroaches upon the prerogative of the Crown. But I must observe to you, if the facts are true which are stated in the memorial of Mr. Smyth the Chief Justice, I think it cannot be considered as an Act in force, not having received a due confirmation agreeable to the rules settled by the Lords Proprietors themselves. Signed. 1¼ pp. Endorsed, Reed. 7 April, Read 19 April 1737. [C.O. 5, 365, fos. 202–203d.]
April 1.
Palace Court.
195 Minutes of meeting of Trustees for Georgia. Received, receipt from the bank for 1000l. paid in by Sir Jacob Des Bouverie at the last board for providing servants for Georgia. Read, letter from Lieut.-Governor Thomas Broughton of 7 February 1736/7. [See No. 59.] Read, letter from William Jefferis of 26 March 1737. [See No. 180.] Resolved, that copies of the said letters be immediately laid before the Duke of Newcastle and that Lord Tyrconnel, Mr. Oglethorpe, Mr. White and Thomas Archer be desired to deliver the same. Resolved, that the following laws be prepared for Georgia, vizt. for the taking of Indian evidence; for regulating credit and suing for debts; for regulating the watch and the militia; against the use of gold and silver in apparel and furniture in Georgia and for preventing extravagance and luxury; to oblige ships clearing out of the Savannah and Altamaha to pay 1 lb. of pistol powder per ton for port duty. Mr. Holland, Thomas Tower, Mr. Eyre, Henry Archer and any other of the Trustees who will attend to be a committee for preparing the same. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 687, pp. 8–9; abstract of minute relating to Broughton's letter in C.O. 5, 654, fos.. 91–92d.]
April 1.
Palace Court.
196 Minutes of Common Council of Georgia. A representation of James Oglethorpe in favour of Hugh Mackay, setting forth his many services at St. Andrew's and St. George's, being considered; resolved, that the thanks of the Trustees and 100l. be given to Mr. Mackay. 3½ pp. [C.O. 5, 690, pp. 62–65.]
April 1. 197 Memorial of George Thomas and others to Council of Trade and Plantations, concerning the proposals of the Court of France on trade in America. The edict of 1727 was an infraction of the treaty of 1686 and the justice of that edict does not seem to have been made out. We apprehend the French Court desires to prevent all illicit trade, which in our opinion will be beneficial to both nations. The means proposed is that all vessels coming within a league of the shores of the other nation shall be seized with the exception that French and English ships returning to Europe shall not be seized. We apprehend this exception is not extensive enough: ships bound from Europe and from or to Africa should be included in it. We propose to add 'or three English miles' after the word 'league'; and the substitution of 'sailing' for 'cruising'. The wording of the articles have material differences: they ought to be reciprocal.
The next article proposes the seizure of ships from New England and the English islands in America for coming within a league of French shores, the nature of their loading to be a proof of a design to trade. We submit that intention to trade cannot be discovered from loading, and we propose that proof should be by some overt act proved by credible witnesses; that the overt act should be specified in the libel or information; that all evidence should be in writing and form part of the record; that appeals be allowed to the mother-country on proper security given; and that provision be made for the discharge of ships before trial on proper security given. Care should be taken to prevent masters or crew being imprisoned or fined. We propose that vessels of each nation should give security to the proper customs officers for due delivery of their cargoes and not to carry on illicit trade; and that captains of H.M.'s ships should be given express orders to prevent illicit trade.
As to the articles specifying at which French ports English ships may drop anchor, we think the principal ports of Grenada and Marie Galante should be specified. Uninhabited islands or islands claimed by both English and French should not be included in the convention. Any restrictions concerning St. Domingo would be impracticable because all ships from Jamaica to Europe or North America and those from North America to Jamaica go through the windward passage and sail within a league of that and other islands. If these stipulations are agreed to, we propose that no French ship shall drop anchor except at the following ports: in Barbados, Carlisle Bay and Speights Bay; Antigua, Willoughby Bay and St. John's; Montserrat, Plymouth; Nevis, Charlestown; St. Christopher's, Basse Terre and Old Road; Jamaica, Port Royal, Port Antonio and Bluefields. These regulations may contribute in some degree to prevent illicit trade, but this can never be effectually stopped without preventing trade in ports of other nations, especially St. Eustatius. We therefore propose a law to be made by each nation prohibiting the importation into the colonies of one the products of the colonies of the other. We submit that all vessels taken since 1727 in violation of the treaty of 1686 should be restored by each side. We submit that any convention of this sort should be temporary and that the treaty of 1686 should be expressly continued in force in all articles except those contrary to this convention. Signed, George Thomas, J. Spooner, R. Coope, John Yeamans, John Sharpe. PS. We propose that the article by which English ships driven by necessity into the prescribed French ports shall not be seized provided they show sufficient reason for their stopping and that their cargoes do not appear to be for the French colonies should be deleted. We propose that such ships should be under no other restriction than to stay no longer than necessary and to carry on no trade. 5 pp. Endorsed, Recd., Read 1 April 1737. [C.O. 152, 22, fos. 337–340d.]
April 1.
198 Council of Trade and Plantations to Committee of Privy Council. We have had under consideration your order of 19 March last and the various papers relating to the present distressed state of Jamaica. [See No. 156.] As the agent for Jamaica who attended us upon this subject has offered nothing to us in addition to what is contained in these papers, we can only give you our opinion upon the several matters therein mentioned. The first grievance complained of is the rebel negroes, and we are very sensible how much the safety of the island depends upon their reduction. But from the reasons assigned in the president's letter to the Duke of Newcastle we fear they never will be effectually reduced by H.M.'s troops now there, nor by the parties sent out against them, for want of the barracks proposed to be erected in several parts of the island where some of H.M.'s troops might be posted for the defence of the island and to prevent the negroes belonging to the several plantations from deserting to those in rebellion; and likewise for want of the roads being opened throughout the island. But this work, although it might be expected the necessity and usefulness thereof would have sufficiently recommended it, has hitherto gone on but slowly; and as we conceive that the want of proper implements for opening of roads and building of barracks may in great measure be the reason why this work has been so much retarded, we remind you of our report upon this subject dated 12 June 1735 where these implements and the several sorts of them are particularly specified.
We observe the president has proposed the forming a regiment of 200 negro slaves, that H.M. should purchase their freedom, and that they should be put under a British establishment with regard to pay. By such a regiment the president has expressed some hopes of being able to reduce the rebels. But, although we may be of opinion with the president that negroes inured to the heat of the climate may be better able to bear the fatigues attending any expedition through the woods, yet we can by no means give our opinion in favour of such a proposition, because, should this black regiment be inclined to favour those of their own colour they would prove a party of much more dangerous consequence than those in the mountains. How little confidence may be placed in any negroes and how little they ought to be trusted with arms appears too plainly from the late rebellion in Antigua, where those were chiefly concerned who had the greatest share of trust and confidence from their masters.
The charge that has attended the people of Jamaica for many years past in fitting out and maintaining of parties against the rebel slaves has been very great and burthensome, and we believe their misfortunes may be increased by the restrictions laid upon one and the low price of the other part of their principal commodities in this kingdom, the only mart allowed for the vent of them. While the law passed last year for laying a duty upon the retailers of spirituous liquors and for licensing the retailers thereof subsists, and unless a liberty be given under proper restrictions to the sugar-colonies to export their sugar to foreign markets without touching first in England as proposed in our report of 24 July 1724, we do not see what can be done to relieve the people of Jamaica in these particulars. Annexed hereto is an extract of so much of our said report as relates to the sugar-trade.
We have considered the copy of the president's letter to the Duke of Newcastle relating to the disputes that have happened between him and four of the councillors of Jamaica who have withdrawn themselves from the said council during the administration of Mr. Gregory; and as we cannot look on this conduct of the councillors in withdrawing their assistance from the council and thereby obstructing public affairs but as a mark of their great disregard to the public welfare, we think them not proper persons to be continued councillors in that island, and therefore we should have immediately proposed to H.M. the appointing others in their room but that as we imagine H.M. may soon send a governor to that island we submit it to you whether it may not be more proper to wait till a governor is appointed. Entry. Signatories, Fitzwalter, M. Bladen, O. Bridgeman, A. Croft, R. Plumer. 5 pp. [C.O. 138, 18, pp. 102–106.]
April 4.
Palace Court.
199 Minutes of meeting of Trustees for Georgia. Ordered, that copy of the resolution appointing a committee for preparing laws for Georgia [see No 195] be given to Mr. Holland. I p [C.O. 5, 687, p. 10.]
April 4.
200 Alured Popple to Charles Carkesse asking for return of draft of instructions usually given to governors of Plantations with the observations of the Commissioners of Customs thereon. Entry. 1 p. [C.O. 324, 12, p. 229.]
April 4.
201 Order of Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs referring the following to Council of Trade and Plantations. Signed, Temple Stanyan Seal. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 7 April, Read 21 April 1737. Enclosed,
201. i. Petition of divers of H.M.'s subjects for a tract of land in Nova Scotia and a charter of incorporation. The petitioners are mostly artisans belonging to the building business, every branch of which is now so overstocked that great numbers of all sorts are out of employment several months of the year, amongst them the petitioners. By settling in Nova Scotia they would help to defend the more southerly colonies, secure the fishery, and enlarge the fur trade. They pray for: free passage for themselves and families to Nova Scotia; a royal charter incorporating them by the name of mayor, aldermen, sheriff, recorder, capital and common burgesses; liberty to make their own laws not being inconsistent with those of England; the privilege when the people are numerous of choosing their own representatives; a township of 14 miles square at a rent paid by the corporation to the Crown of 4s. a year, New England money, per 100 acres to begin ten years after each grant. They further propose grants of 200 acres to each member at a rent payable to the corporation of 20s. a year, New England money, to begin after ten years; no grants of more than 200 acres a man and none to persons under 21; voting rights and service as officer or on juries to be confined to those who have occupied 200 acres for at least one year; the surplus of rents payable to the corporation over the rents payable to the Crown to be used for the maintenance of a clergyman of the Church of England and a schoolmaster. The petitioners pray for tools and building materials, and that a proper person be sent over to Nova Scotia to manage the whole affair. Signed, Joshua Sacheverell, carpenter in Bedfordbury near Covent Garden, and by 73 other carpenters, 7 smiths, 5 bricklayers and 8 other persons, chiefly of London. 12 pp. Endorsed, as covering letter. [C.O. 217, 7, fos. 215–222d.]
April 4.
202 Same, referring the enclosed to Council of Trade and Plantations. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Seal. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd., Read 5 April 1737. Enclosed,
202. i. Representation of John, Thomas and Richard Perm, sons of William Penn, late proprietor of Pennsylvania, to the King for royal approbation of George Thomas as deputy or lieut.-governor of Pennsylvania and the counties of Newcastle, Kent and Sussex in the room of Patrick Gordon, deceased. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1268, fos. 270–273d.]
203 George Thomas to Council of Trade and Plantations submitting the names of James Douglas of London, merchant, and William Dunbarr of London, merchant, to be sureties for his observation of the Acts of Trade in case he should be thought proper to be deputy governor of Pennsylvania and the three Lower Counties. Signed. 1 small p. Endorsed, Recd. 5 April, Read 6 April 1737. [CO. 5, 1268, fos. 275–276d.]
April 6.
204 Daniel M'Lachlan to James Oglethorpe. To satisfy the Trustees that I have not amused them with any idle scheme I am resolved to settle these 100 men in Georgia who are in a capacity to transport and maintain themselves without being obliged to the Trustees for anything else than land. I beg no favour beyond approbation. I know that when the Trustees are satisfied they will reward me. If they take no notice of this proposal we shall settle in Carolina or some other part of America than Georgia. These people will set out by 1 August and where ever they plant themselves the rest of the clans will follow. Signed, 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 639, fos. 198–199.]
April 6.
205 Duke of Newcastle to Lieut.-Governor Thomas Broughton. I have received your letter of 6 February enclosing copy of one from Commodore Dent to you with an account of the supposed design of the Spaniards to make a descent upon Georgia. H.M. had before received notice from Mr. Dent of the reasons he had to suspect that an attempt of this nature might be designed and the King ordered the proper directions to be sent immediately to Mr. Keene thereupon; so that H.M. hopes that, even though there should have been foundation for these advices, orders will have been sent from Spain upon the instances that will have been made by Mr. Keene to countermand the execution of it. And H.M. thinks it possible that the governor of St. Augustine may in consequence of the agreement made between him and Mr. Oglethorpe in October last have suspended the execution of any orders he may have received for giving any disturbance to H.M.'s subjects in those parts.
However, as it is right to be upon your guard against all events H.M. very much approves the precautions you have taken for the defence of the province in which you preside and of Georgia. But the King was sorry to find that you had taken any step that might look like an encouragement to the Creek Indians to fall upon the Spaniards which they may possibly interpret as an act of hostility begun on the part of H.M.'s subjects and think thereby to justify any violence they may afterwards commit. As H.M. hopes that nothing will have been attempted by the Spaniards in violation of the peace subsisting between the two nations, the King would have you in that case send immediate directions to the agents you may have employed amongst the Creek Indians and any other nations of the Indians that may be under the influence of the English to use their utmost endeavours to keep everything quiet there; and it is H.M.'s pleasure that an effectual stop be put to any acts of hostility that may have been begun against the Spaniards and that you carefully avoid beginning any hostilities whatever or taking any step or measure that may be interpreted by the Spaniards as an act of hostility begun on the part of H.M.'s subjects. It is however H.M.'s pleasure that you should take all necessary measures for the defence of H.M.'s colonies and subjects and in case any open and manifest attack is made upon any part of H.M.'s dominions in the West Indies you will then do everything in your power in the defence of them and to oppose in the most effectual manner the success of any such attempt. Draft. 3½ pp. [C.O. 5, 388, fos. 159–161d; entry in C.O. 324, 37, pp. 49–51.]
April 6.
206 Order of Committee of Privy Council for Plantation Affairs referring report on petition of Murray Crymble and James Huey [see Cal. S.P. Col., 1735–36, No. 465] back to Council of Trade and Plantations for further proposals concerning the manner and time of settlement and for consideration of the reservation of mineral rights to the Crown. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Seal. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 6 April, Read 7 April 1737. [C.O. 5, 295, fos. 78d, 81, 81d.]
April 7. 207 Alured Popple to Francis Fane enclosing three Acts passed in Jamaica in November 1736 for his opinion in point of law, vizt. Acts to prevent carrying off of soldiers, servants or slaves and for the better regulation of servants; to repeal Act for ease of inhabitants of parish of St. James; for regulating pilots. Entry. 1½ pp. [C.O. 138, 18, pp. 107–8.]
[April 7.] 208 Murray Crymble to Council of Trade and Plantations. Being informed that the Committee of Privy Council has referred to their lordships the question of royal mineral rights in the lands designed for Swiss settlement in North Carolina and for consideration of new proposals, he and his associates are ready to submit to a reservation to the Crown of one-fifth part of all gold and silver ore and one-tenth part of the ore of all other mines and minerals. They cannot give any more precise proposals about the manner and time of settlement than those already offered. Even if they could declare themselves more particularly on the times of embarkation it would be to their prejudice to have conditions to that effect in their grant. As proof of their intention to settle the whole of the lands petitioned for, they do not desire to make any benefit until the whole has been surveyed; this will cost about 5000l. which they hope will be looked upon as security for completing the settlement. Signed. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd., Read 7 April 1737. [C.O. 5, 295, fos. 79–80d.]
[April (fn. n1) ] 209 Memorandum by [James Oglethorpe] for [Duke of Newcastle]. Your grace desired me to set down what I thought was necessary to be done on the present conjuncture. (1) By the advices you have received it appears that the people of Carolina suspect that the Spaniard's armament at Havana is designed against them and Georgia and that they will be attacked from thence by sea. (2) That it is certain the Spaniards are augmenting their garrison at Augustine with a regular regiment and that by that augmentation the Spaniards will be able to march a body of 500 foot, 50 horse and 2000 Indians and leave 400 men in the garrison, and 200 is sufficient to defend that fort. (3) That they are upon the same continent with Carolina and can march to Charleston by land which the ships cannot prevent. (4) That the French have a body of 2500 regular troops in the Louisian and can march from their advance fort called Albanus in 20 days by land to Charleston. (5) That the people of Charleston have encouraged the Indians to fall in upon the Floridas which are the Spanish subjects and thereby break the agreement by me made with the governor of Augustine and by being aggressors will justify the Spaniards in making reprisals and in all violences which they shall thereupon commit. (6) That both the French and Spaniards cannot fall into Carolina without marching through Georgia.
If the Spaniards should not at present attack, yet as this alarm shows the weakness of Carolina which would be lost if attacked with the forces given out you think it proper to put it into such a condition as not to be in danger upon every sudden attempt; for doing which I think what was proposed by the Board of Trade in 1722 will be the only effectual method, vizt. that H.M. would order them to have regiments there. But as that expense might be thought too great, to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th foregoing articles I propose: (1) That one regiment of 700 men be raised for that service to be posted in such a manner as to be easily drawn together and at the same time to cover the country, that the commissions be immediately granted out. To the 1st foregoing article I propose: (2) that one 20-gun ship be stationed at Charleston, one at Port Royal and one at Frederica in Georgia to assist the sloop, which man-of-war should also be employed in the survey. To the 5th and 6th foregoing articles I propose: (3) That orders be sent to the lieut.-governor of Carolina to reprimand him for inciting the Creek Indians to attack the Spaniards and to forbid him intermeddling either with the Creeks or Cherokees or any other Indians belonging to the province of Georgia. Endorsed, Mr. Oglethorpe's Paper, April 1737. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 654, fos. 101102d.]
[April 7.] 210 Observations on this paper. [No. 209.] (1) It does not seem probable that the Spaniards will in time of peace or indeed at any time attack Carolina; not by sea, because no ship bigger than 20 guns can go into their harbour (fn. n2) ; not by land, because it is a great way to march and through a desolate country or very near it. If Georgia has encroached upon them, or they think they have, they may endeavour to recover that; but without provocation or without a prospect of gaining anything, it seems very unlikely that the Spaniards should begin a war in those parts. (2) The Spaniards are fortifying themselves at St. Augustine, being perhaps more afraid of us than we are of them, or at least as much; and as for the Indians, it is supposed that as many at least may be had on our side as theirs if that should be found necessary. (3) Being upon the same continent they may it is true march from St. Augustine to Charleston but if they should miscarry how will they get back again 50 or 60 leagues through an enemy's country? (4) It cannot be supposed that the French, when peace is so well established at home, will join the Spaniards and make such long marches through the woods to make war upon the English plantations. However, the stronger our plantations are the safer they will be. (5) The Florida Indians seem to be out of the way of doing any injury to Carolina. Therefore what reason can be given why the Carolina people should encourage any Indians to fall upon Florida? The Indians have often war with one another which perhaps may be sometimes encouraged by Christians for private advantages in trade etc. (6) The French and Spaniards are at a great distance from one another and it is thought do not agree so well together as to join forces but that the Spaniards are rather jealous of the French encroaching upon them and would prevent it if they could.
As to sending regiments to Georgia or Carolina I can give no opinion. There is at present one 20-gun ship at Carolina and a sloop and now one 20-gun ship more fitting for that station, which is more than comes to their share of the 10,000 men allowed by Parliament. There is one 20-gun ship at Virginia, one 20-gun ship at New York and one 20-gun ship at New England, all which are ordered to join if any attack should be made upon Georgia or any other part of the continent. 3 small pp. Endorsed, Observations upon Mr. Oglethorpe's paper. Recd, from Sir Charles Wager, 7 April 1737. [C.O. 5, 654, fos. 105–106d.]
April 9.
New York.
211 Lieut.-Governor George Clarke to Duke of Newcastle. Last fall I received a letter from M. Beauharnais, Governor of Canada, complaining of the lieutenant posted at Oswego, to which I returned answer 26 October, hoping that that would give him full satisfaction. I likewise wrote to the lieutenant at Oswego about it. But M. Beauharnais, not having received my letter, wrote to me again 15 November on the same subject. Copies of all these letters are enclosed. M. Beauharnais has shut up all intercourse between us and Oswego so that I have not heard from that officer, but the season of the year now approaching to relieve that garrison I shall upon his return examine into that business.
Upon the notice that I received the beginning of March from the governor of South Carolina that the Spaniards were preparing to make a descent from Havana on that province and Georgia, I again issued an order, as I did last summer, forbidding the collector to clear any vessel for Augustine and a proclamation prohibiting all H.M.'s subjects to send to or give the Spaniards any succours of any kind. Capt. Norris of H.M.S. Tartar stationed here, having applied to me for thirty seamen to enable him to go to Georgia for the defence of that place, I issued an order in council to the mayor to cause that number of seamen to be impressed. The mayor issued his orders to the constables to apprehend all deserters and vagrants, more than that he could not legally do. But that failing of getting the number of men that Capt. Norris asked for, he again applied to me in council; but the council, being of opinion that I could not legally issue any further warrant, would not advise me to do it. I recommended to the captain to beat up for volunteers, but he has not. He complains that the masters of merchant-ships entice the sailors from the King's ships but it is said that the captains themselves encourage their men to go in the winter season in merchantmen because they find their account in it, and the men having higher wages do not think of returning. Our latest accounts from Carolina, which are private letters, give us cause to think that no descent was or is intended and the enclosed examination of a master of a vessel confirms it. Signed. 3 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 4 July. Enclosed,
211. i. M. Beauharnais, Governor of Canada, to Lieut.-Governor Clarke, Quebec, 20 August 1736, complaining against the English commandant at Oswego (Chouaguen) for firing on a French party in July last, and demanding the punishment of this officer. French. Copy. 3 pp.
211. ii. Lieutenant-Governor Clarke to M. Beauharnais, in reply to preceding; New York, 26 October 1736. I will enquire into the incident and take such course with the officer as shall be agreeable to justice. Nor will it derogate from this profession to complain to you of the practices too much used by your people to seduce the Six Nations and to draw them from their allegiance to the Crown of Great Britain. I am persuaded you will discountenance such practices. Copy. 1 small p.
211. iii. Lieut.-Governor Clarke to Capt. Congreve; New York, 1 November 1736. I am sorry to hear so many complaints of your conduct at Oswego. I hoped for better things, but am now in fear, if some better care be not taken, that the garrison will all desert or perish for want of provision, of which I am told there is no manner of economy. It behoves you to be very circumspect, and I earnestly recommend you to keep good discipline and to take care of the provision and of the security of the house and garrison. M. Beauharnais complained to me of your commanding a French canoe ashore which was passing by, I assured him I would enquire into it and I hope you will be able to acquit yourself of what he lays to your charge. I desire you will be very vigilant and guard carefully against all surprises of the Indians or others. Capt. Dick will convey this to you, to whom you ought to give an account of your garrison by all opportunities as he is the commanding officer on the frontiers. Copy. 1 small p.
211. iv. M. Beauharnais to Lieut.-Governor Clarke; Quebec, 15 November 1736. A corporal and a soldier, deserters from Oswego, have confirmed what I wrote to you. The corporal was one of the party sent to pursue the French canoe; they were ordered to fire if they could not come up with it. French. Copy. 1 small p.
211. v. Affidavit of Abraham Kipp of New York, mariner, taken at New York, 5 April 1737. Deponent was at St. Augustine from 24 February last to last Saturday week. Within less than twelve months two companies of soldiers have arrived there from Havana; he believes the total force to be now about 400. The castle commands the town; it has about 20 guns on the seaward side. At the back of the town is a battery of about 6 guns. He heard of no Spanish design to attack Carolina or Georgia. While he was there a new governor arrived. Deponent saw what he took to be gunpowder and other war-like stores being unloaded. He believes the total number of the inhabitants of St. Augustine to be about 400 men, women and children, exclusive of military. Witnessed, Frederick Morris, deputy clerk of council. Copy, attested 16 April 1737 by Frederick Morris. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1094, fos. 18–29d.]
April 9.
New York.
212 Same to Council of Trade and Plantations, acknowledging letters of 22 October and 9 December last. The assembly are now sitting, but I cannot as yet make any judgment of what they will do. I enclose my speech, with the council's address and the addresses of some of the counties which in the late times were the most disaffected as a testimony that my endeavours have had some success. I have the misfortune however to suffer extremely under the deficiencies of the revenue, not having yet received one penny from the treasury and being obliged to support the honour and dignity of the government out of my own private fortune and credit. But I assure you that no distresses shall ever make me give up H.M.'s just authority which perhaps may be attacked especially in the point of erecting courts of equity. I have endeavoured previously to their sitting to direct them from such thoughts by inciting them to think of raising hemp and iron which will be of solid and lasting service to them. I published a scheme for that purpose and recommended those things to them in my speech. It is approved out of the house; what they will think of it within time must resolve me. I am sorry that I cannot acquaint you that my proposals for settling foreign Protestants have been yet attended with success. They have been sent to Amsterdam, translated into High Dutch, and dispersed in several parts of Germany, and I still hope they will in time attain the end proposed.
I received a letter from M. Beauharnais [etc. as in No. 211]. I received notice of Spanish preparations for a descent on Carolina and Georgia [etc. as in No. 211]. Whilst this was in agitation vessels arrived in several ports from Carolina giving an account that if any descent had been intended it was now laid aside; and though this intelligence came only in private letters yet so much credit is given to it that Capt. Norris, I am told, does not intend to sail, and the Boston station ship which he ordered hither to join him lies here too. I have taken the examination of the master of a vessel lately arrived from Augustine which will give you some account of the present state of that place. I will in all things to the utmost of my powers exert myself for H.M.'s service in this business. Capt. Norris applied to me in council; I advised with the council, and having done so I must be concluded by their advice. The town was alarmed at the rumour of a press. Capt. Norris, I am told, said to one of the aldermen that he would not impress a man and that I could not, though he had applied to me. Perhaps he wished to see us again in a flame, I may venture to say, for it was obvious that he has all along given too much countenance to the faction; but he will not be able to raise another. Signed. 4 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 27 June, Read 7 September 1737. Enclosed,
212. i. New York Gazette, No. 591, 1–8 March 1736/7, containing address to lieut.-governor of the gentlemen and freeholders of the County of Richmond. Printed. 4 pp.
212. ii. Appendix to New York Gazette, No. 594, containing a similar address of the inhabitants and freeholders of the County of Albany. Printed. 2 pp.
212. iii. New York Gazette, No. 595, 28 March - 4 April 1737, containing proclamation by Lieut.-Governor Clarke proroguing the assembly, and an address to the lieut.-governor of the freeholders of the County of Westchester. Printed. 4 pp.
212. iv. Speech of Lieut.-Governor Clarke to assembly of New York, 5 April 1737. Printed. 3 pp.
212. v. Address of thanks to Lieut.-Governor Clarke by the council of New York, with his reply. Printed. 3 pp.
212. vi. M. Beauharnais, Governor of Canada, to Lieut.-Governor Clarke; Quebec, 20 August 1736. French. Copy, of No. 211 i. above. 1½ pp.
212. vii. Lieut.-Governor Clarke to M. Beauharnais; New York, 26 October 1736. Copy, of No. 211 ii. above. 1 p.
212. viii. M. Beauharnais to Lieut.-Governor Clarke; Quebec, 15 November 1736. French. Copy, of No. 211 iv. above. 1 p.
212. ix. Lieut.-Governor Clarke to Capt. Congreve; New York, 1 November 1736. Copy, of No. 211 iii. above. 1 small p.
212 x. Affidavit of Abraham Kipp, sworn at New York, 5 April 1737. Copy, of No. 211 v. above. 1½ pp. All enclosures endorsed, Recd. 27 June 1737. [CO. 5, 1059, fos. 3–23d, 26, 26d.]
April 13.
213 Letter from Alured Popple. In answer to the Duke of Newcastle's question in your letter of this day's date, the Council of Trade and plantations have sent no direction to Governor Mathew relating to complaints made against him by the court of France and the Dutch; these complaints being made to H.M. and referred to them by the Duke to whom they enclosed their representations thereon, their lordships did not conceive themselves at liberty to send any directions to Governor Mathew as the whole affair was under H.M.'s consideration. You likewise ask whether Mr. Mathew has sent any account of his conduct; if in this question you include what at first gave ground to these complaints, the Montserrat Act under which some of the vessels and their cargoes were pretended to have been condemned, Governor Mathew in a letter to me says he passed the Act to prevent illicit trade carried on between the French and the New England and Rhode Island men. This letter I received in September last and it is the only one received in this office till 24th of last month upon the subject of this Act wherein Mr. Mathew expresses his concern for having given his assent to it without inserting the suspending clause. This is in answer to one written him by the Board 8 October last wherein they declared their surprise at his giving his assent to an Act of so extraordinary a nature without the said clause. But their lordships have received no letter from him giving any account of his conduct or the reasons that induced him to take the several steps complained of by the French and Dutch ministers. Signed. 2½ small pp. [C.O. 152, 40, fos. 300–301d.]
April 13. 214 Petition of John Rindge to Council of Trade and Plantations. The opinion of the Attorney- and Solicitor-General on the boundary question between Massachusetts and New Hampshire dated 18 March 1734/5 is proper to be laid before the intended commission. Petitioner prays for an attested copy of this report. Signed, for the petitioner, Ferdinand John Paris. 1 small p. Endorsed, Recd. 13 April, Read 19 April 1737. [C.O. 5, 879, fos. 134, 134d, 137, 137d.]
April 14.
Palace Court.
215 Minutes of meeting of Trustees for Georgia. Received, receipt from the bank for 2l. 2s. paid in by Rogers Holland being the benefaction of a gentleman for the religious uses of the colony. Resolved, that Mr. Paris wait on the Council of Trade and Plantations and desire them to appoint a day for hearing the complaint of the Trustees against the assembly of South Carolina for passing an ordinance which obstructs the execution of the Act for maintaining peace with the Indians in Georgia. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 687, p. 11.]
April 15.
216 Charles Carkesse to Alured Popple. I have laid before the Commissioners your letters of 4 November and 24 December last transmitting drafts of general instructions for the governors in the plantations, and they having considered them direct me to return the same with such observations as have occurred to them which are inserted against each article as you desire. They desire that all directions to the governors so far as relates to the duty of the Naval Officer may run thus, vizt. "the governor or person appointed for that purpose" and when patents are granted by the crown to the Naval Officer as in Barbados and the Leeward Islands, Jamaica and Carolina, that the governor be directed "to see the Naval Officer does what is required".
Enclosed is a list of the Collectors in the Plantations with their respective districts, and the Commissioners desire the Naval Officers may be appointed at such places only where there is a Collector for the reasons mentioned against the 2nd article of the governors' instructions.
The Commissioners being informed that the officers of the Customs meet with frequent opposition in putting in execution the Act of 6 Geo. II for encouraging the trade to the sugar colonies, I am also directed to send you copy of an instruction they desire may be given to the governors in the Plantations to be assisting to the officers of the Customs in putting the said Act in execution. [Note in another hand: This was made an article and added next the 12th article of the instructions relating to trade etc. given to the governors of Virginia, New York etc.] Signed. PS. When the instructions are perfected please favour me with a copy as they are given to the governors. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 18 April, Read 18 May 1737. Enclosed,
216. i. List of Collectors of Customs in the Plantations, 1½ pp. Endorsed, as covering letter.
216. ii. Blank specimen of Naval Officer's list of shipping. 2 pp. Endorsed, as covering letter.
216. iii. Draft of instructions concerning Acts of Trade to be given to governors in America with observations of the Commissioners of Customs thereon. 49 pp. Endorsed, as covering letter. [C.O. 323, 10, fos. 72–104d.]
April 15.
New Providence.
217 Governor Richard Fitzwilliam to Council of Trade and Plantations. Having lately received from my agent unattested copies of a complaint from chaloner Jackson to you and of depositions of Florentius Cox, John Yerworth and William Vittry, setting forth many enormities said to be committed by me in this government, which I have not hitherto received any directions from you to answer, I think in justice to my character I ought not to defer saying something to you in my own vindication lest I should suffer in your private opinion. I already stand accused to H.M. of many particulars alleged against me by the complainant and as I am directed by the Committee of Privy Council for Plantation Affairs to answer to them I presume it is unnecessary to take up your time concerning them. But as to those things mentioned in the complaint before you which were not set forth in that before the Committee, I have transmitted my answer to my agent to be laid before you whereby I doubt not you will be convinced of the injuries and insults I have received from the complainant. I should have acquainted you and the Commissioners of Customs (to whom he has long since complained and who are reasonably to be supposed to be good judges whether their officer met with proper encouragement and protection) of them before this were it not in respect to one of your number to whom he is related. But as I claim no merit on account of the kindness I showed him before his ill treatment of me and for my charity to his wife and child whom he left in a starving condition when he fled from hence at the instigation of John Colebrooke who has been so often mentioned at your board by my predecessor Mr. Rogers and me, I expect no favour on that score. I depend on your known justice. I have only to entreat you to suspend having an ill opinion of my behaviour till it is proved my conduct deserves it.
When you come to consider my situation here among a people long distracted by feuds and animosities created among them by the contrivance of Colebrooke and that it is with infinite difficulty I have prevailed upon proper persons to serve as judges in the courts or execute the little offices of government by reason of the trifling profits annexed to them, you will be of opinion I have regulated this government beyond what could be reasonably expected and brought the inhabitants to a greater unanimity in my favour than could possibly be expected; and if they may be allowed to be proper judges of the good or ill treatment they have received from me surely their own sentiments set forth in the council and assembly journals attested by sworn officers and in an address from the grand jury inserted in the former, 26 November 1735, cannot but have weight with you. I refer to my letters of 4 December 1733 (a few days after I landed here and before I could have any personal resentment) and 22 December 1735 about Colebrooke (long before complaints were preferred against me). I observe the complainant to you endeavours to induce you to believe that the persons appointed by me to the little offices of the government are corrupt, dishonest people, and seems particularly to reflect on me for having appointed Mr. Scott, the secretary of these islands, chief justice: this gentleman was recommended to me in England as a man of extreme good character, which indeed by his behaviour here he appears to have deserved for I believe nobody ever executed the offices he enjoys so much to the good liking of the inhabitants; and though they may seem to you too many to be vested in one man yet it is a thing that cannot be avoided, because in the first place there is no other man in the country any way capable of executing the office of chief justice that would accept the same by reason it is a troublesome employment without salary and scarce any profit attending it, and in the next the profits of the other employments he holds do not in the whole amount to above 100l. sterling a year out of which he pays a clerk thirty, so that were it not that I give him and his clerk their board in my house he could not live upon his income here, which indeed both he and I imagined before I left England would have been at least 200l. a year or I could not have prevailed upon him to have come with me.
We have been for some little time past under apprehensions of an invasion from the Spaniards whereof I have acquainted the Duke of Newcastle to whom I transmitted some depositions made before me by people lately come from Havana concerning the same. I have had no further confirmation thereof and hope there is no such design on foot; at least I am obliged to induce the inhabitants to think there is not because many of them were so much alarmed thereby that they talked of removing themselves and families to some place of greater security.
Herewith are transmitted copies of three short laws passed by the assembly which met immediately after I had received the information of the intended invasion aforementioned, the purport whereof will be fully explained by their titles: an Act to prevent vexatious, tedious and troublesome lawsuits for trivial and small debts, an Act confirming certain indentures or articles of agreement dated 7 September 1736 between the governor and council and James Scott for a house for the governor, an Act for settling and regulating the militia. You will also receive duplicate of my letter of 12 November last, council journals from Michaelmas to Lady Day last and lists of shipping for the same time, treasurer's accounts from midsummer to Christmas last, and journals of council and of lower house in the late assembly.
Whatever deposition Colebrooke may have made before you concerning the complaint of Jackson has not been transmitted me; consequently it cannot be expected I could be particular in any proofs to confute whatever he has alleged against me. Signed. PS. I have sworn into the council Peter Moore in the room of William Hall deceased, there being then no more than six members of the council within this government. Observing it alleged in the complaint against me to you that the trade of this place is much diminished since my arrival here, I sent for the Custom house books and counted how many vessels cleared out here the last three years of Mr. Rogers's government and the first three of mine and find (notwithstanding we have made little or no salt these two last years and the great number of inhabitants lost the first years I came here by sickness) they differ but one in number; our import and export these last three years greatly exceed in value what had been imported and exported here the whole time of Mr. Rogers's government. 4 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 12 September, Read 21 September 1737. Enclosed,
217. i. Account of duty inwards imposed by Act of assembly in the Bahama islands, Christmas 1735–midsummer 1736. 11 ships. Total of duty, 82l. 3s. 7½ d.
Account of same outwards for same period. 17 ships. Total of duty, 62l. 7s.
Account of taxes per poll and lots of land in Nassau imposed by Act of assembly in the Bahama islands, for same period. 131 masters of families [names given]; total of taxables, 340. Yield of taxes, 58l. 3s. 7½ d.
Account of contingent charges for same period, 24l. 17s. 7d.
Account of H.M.'s revenue in the Bahamas for same period. Receipts, 269l. 12s. 5d. including balance of last account 66l. 18s. 2d. Disbursements, 103l. 17s. 4d. Balance remaining 165l. 15s. 0½ d. Signed, William Stewart, Receiver-General and Treasurer. The accounts were examined, passed in council and sworn to by William Stewart. Signed, Richard Fitzwilliam, 13 July 1736. 6 pp.
217. ii. Account of duty inwards imposed by Act of Assembly in the Bahama islands, midsummer-Christmas 1736. 11 ships. Total of duty, 85l. 6s. 3d.
Account of same outwards for same period. 26 ships. Total of duty, 88l. 12s. 0½ d.
Account of arrears of taxes, fines and forfeitures for same period. Total, 22l. 9s. 10½ d.
Account of contingent charges for same period. Total 67l. 0s. 3d.
Account of H.M.'s revenues in the Bahamas for same period. Receipts, 362l. 3s. 2d. including balance of last account, 165l. 15s. 0½ d. Disbursements, 145l. 5s. 2½d. Balance remaining, 216l. 18s. Signed, and certified as preceding, 9 March 1736/7. 6 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 12 September, 1737. [C.O. 23, 4, fos. 3–12d.]


  • n1. See following document.
  • n2. Underlined in MS.