Freeman's Letters, 1682: nos 252-279

Pages 250-280

The Letters of William Freeman, London Merchant, 1678-1685. Originally published by London, 2002.

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Freeman's Letters, 1682: nos 252-279

252. [p. 332] Richard Pickford & Company [Madeira]

London, January 10, 1681/2
The foregoeing are coppyes of our last, since which we have receivd yours of the 3d 9.ber. In which we take notice you had ordered your freinds in Lisboa to vallew themselves upon us for 800$ in your favor, though in your former you desired us to remitt but 3 or 400$. However, in conformety to your desires, we have given Mr. Jacob orders to accept your bills for 500$ more, besides the aforesaid 300$ remitted to your freinds, which makes up the 800$ you require. This we have done in complyance on our parts because we will not give you the least reason of complaint, though we think you press to hard upon us. However, anything that you require shal be donne, rather then we will give you occation to say you suffer in the least by our correspondency. & For the future, we desire you to consider well the purpose of the foregoeing lines; & if you judg our correspondency worthy your acceptance on such tearmes as we have proposed, then we shall continue itt. But on the contrary, if you accept not thereof, we shall desist from giveing you further trouble, only in the drawing of our ballance. Wherfore your assistance thereunto is requested by first, as also your adjustment of our acco.tts. A coppy of the last we sent you goes heerinclosed. To which ball.s is added the 500$ which is [p. 333] we make the ballance now is 1,401$ 617rs., besides what the creditt of these goods may bee that we want the Acco.tts of Sales, of which we hope may be as much more besides what was seized upon. However, what it appeares to be upon the adjustment of the wil be satisfactory to us. This goes now by Mr. John Durell, Comander of the shipp Katherin of Poole, which we have hyred, & given orders to the Master to take on board one hundred fifty pipes of wine from you. That we intreat you to loade of the very best the island affords & also to take care that that cask may be stanch & good. & We further intreat you to give the shipp all possible dispatch, for by Charter Party she is oblidged to stay there but 10 dayes, unless upon demoridg att 3£ sterl. p.r day. Wherfore we once more intreat your dispatch. God sending her a fayre winde, she may be with you some time in February, which may be a small time before you advised us to send; but we hope that will not be to your pr.judice but may be to our advantage. We have now sent you credditts for 750 milrs., we hope you will think suffitient, considering what you have drawn upon us. However, we shall not refuse to awnswer anything you shall require in reason for; as upon the drawing of our ballance when the is once stated, these bills will make 2,050$ upon the ladeing 300 pipes of wine. Which be pleased to consider of, & consigne 80 pipes to Mr. Tho. Westcott in St. Xtophers and 70 pipes to Mr. Rob.t Helmes in Nevis or in his absence to Mr. W.m Helmes & Richard Watts for acco. of ourselves & Mr. Robert Helmes in thirds.

Wee have ordered the loadeing of a barrell of hoopes on bord this shipp at Poole where shee now is, if they can be procured, & have ordered Mr. W.m Orchard, merch.t, our freinde there, to consigne them yourselfe. If any comis. upon them, we desire you to dispose of them for our most advantage since you have forbid us ladeing any more upon your owne acco.t.

We have laden on bord the shipp [blank], whereof [blank] is Master, twelve ps. of cottons. God sending them safe to your hands, wee desire you to dispose of them to our most advantage we hope long before this come to hand. You have had the sentance of our goods from Lisboa where your freinde rec.d 10$-from Mr. Jacob according to order. ...

253. Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, January 3, 1681/2
I have writt at large by severall late convayances relateing to all concerns & by contrary windes the outward bound shipps have been so long wind bound that 3 or 4 of the last I writt by are still in port. Soe that I have little now to trouble you with only to acquaint you that I have hyred the shipp Katherin of Poole, John Durell, Master, by convayance this goes, upon my owne, my brother Baxter & your in thirds to Madera, Nevis & the Leward Islands, & back to Londo. at 5£ 10s p.r tun, Nevis tunidge, to load any cask as you shall thinke fitt; & upon her have 10 working dayes att Madera & 70 more at Nevis, all to be soe accompt.d but Sundays & to begin & run on from the first day of the shipps arivall at Nevis; & if her stay should hapen to bee longer att Madera, as many dayes more as shee shall expend there to bee allowed out of the 70 days at Nevis, & wee to pay all port charges at any of the islands, Nevis excepted, where wee are only to pay 2/3rds & the owners 1/3. This is the substance of the Charter Party & wee have ordered Mr. Pickford to load 150 pipes of wine upon our acco.tts in 1/3rds & to consign 70 pipes thereof [p. 334] to yourselfe to be landed at Nevis, & that other 80 pipes to Tho. Westcott on St. Xtophers. & As soon as the ship hath discharged the 70 wine pipes, our order to the Master is to sayle to St. Kitts & discharge the other 80. Wee have also ordered a p.rcell of paveing stones to bee laden (as likewise some hoops to bee procured), an of you will receive from Mr. William Orchard of Poole. The paveing stones I judge very convenient for cureing howses or storehowses to save the molasses & if you judge convenient may convert part thereof to our owne uses. I refer to your discretion. & Since neither your wife nor sister hath thought fitt to goe over, I thinke if the dwelling howse you have built ware converted into a cureing howse, it would not bee much amiss, since I aprehend your stay there will not be very long & great dwelling howses rather contract a charge then any other servis to plant.s where the propriators are not upon them. I refer to your consideration.

Wee have ordered this shipp, after discharged her outward bound ladeing, to returne to Nevis & there to load or follow such orders as you shall give for her reladeing, & intreate you to load upon her what possible you can upon our owne acco.tts. For we resolve to make insurance upon her home 1,500£ upon our acco.tts in 1/3ds & 500£ more I will make upon our plant. sugars. Therefore, pray govern yourselfe accordingly in the loadeing of her. & In my opinion, you may suspend the letting of freight upon her till the latter end. I presume shee may bring from thence about 70 tunns & not more if such large tunidge as wee expect. ...

254. [p. 336] Captain William Berwick [Montserrat]

London, December 30, 1681
This day I had letters that brought mee advise of my kinsman John Bedingfield arivall in England which I feare may bee a great disapointment in the measures I had taken for the ladeing Mr. Wood home, you being there altogeather a stranger. Yet I hope by your prudent manidgment affaires will be soe charged on that I may not sufferr thereby. And for your assistance therein, I have now hereinclosed sent a letter to my servant Rich.d Watts resident on Nevis to goe up & spend a month or two at M.tsarratt to forward the shipps dispatch, hee being better acquainted there then you are. However, my sole relyance is upon yourselfe. But in case of mortality, God forbid, I desire you to seale up all such papers as ware directed to yourselfe & Mr. John Bedingfeild, that letter only excepted to Mr. Bramley & yourselves, & direct them to the s.d Rich.d Watts, to whome I have sent you my letter open that you may see what I have ordered him to doe.

I have likewise rec.d a very fayre & civill letter from Mr. Bramley giveing me an of a hurycane they have had there, hee saith hath donn us very considerable damadge in our canes to the vallew of 50,000 lbs. sugar which I doubt may bee some obstruction to the ladeing of the shipp. (fn. 1) Att I desire you at your arivall to take into consideration & manidge affaires as in your prudence shall seeme meet & use what meanes you can to cary on thinges fairly with Mr. Bramley, alwayes endeavoringe to win him by plausable arguments & good words to doe, as you shall see most conduceinge to my advantage, if possible you finde such arguments will doe. I have alsoe rec.d a letter from Mr. W.m Fox, wherein hee uses seemeing excuses & arguments to further delay the paym.t of my debt, alleadgeing great damadge they have rec.d upon their plant. by this late hurycane. My answer thereunto I herewith send you open alsoe & pray you to press him to a due complyance. & If fayre meanes will not doe, acquaint him you have orders from mee to prosecute the law against him, for hee hath been most unkinde, nay I may say unjust, in detaineinge my effects thus long, soe much to my prejudice. But I hope hee will bee wrought upon by faire meanes. ...

255. [p. 337] Richard Watts [Nevis]

London, December 30, 1681
... Acquaint Mr. Robert Helmes of the occation of my callinge you of from Nevis for (a little time) & make what dispatch you can at M.tsarrat to returne to him againe. But before your returne, be sure to put things in such a method that I may not bee injured in the shipps proceedings. & Acquaint Mr. Helmes that, if hee findes any absolute necessitie in our affaires, to call up W.m Hearne till you returne that hee should doe it. & Alsoe desire an order from Mr. Helmes for the loadeinge all such sugars as wee may have upon M.tsarrat upon our owne accompts. be sure to put on bord rather then any other you may obtaine from Mr. Carpenter & Mr. Helmes to theire agent in M.tsarratt upon the Comp. concern for the loadeing such sugars as you may have occation to lett to freight. Which may bee noe diskindness to that concern & a great kindness to mee in case freight should not offer & that I should bee disapointed [p. 338] of my owne concern. & Therefore, make this as my request to them both in this case. kindness I hope they will not refuse to doe mee, for the noyse of the late hurycane makes me fear a disapointment. Thus desireing your care in the execution of all these my orders, I further that you will be assistant to Mr. W.m Berwicke in the stateing of the last made up at the plant. with Mr. Bramley. ...

In case of Rich.d Watts his death or absence, my order is that W.m Hearne should execute these my orders in the same manner as I have directed Rich.d Watts.

256. [p. 339] William Fox [Montserrat]

London, December 30, 1681
... I take notice of what you mention touching a debt Mr. Liddell requires of 9,515 lbs. sugar dew from mee, I can make appeare to be a false demand, by the acco.tts under his owne hand that there is not one pound dew from me nor any concern of mine. & Under what pr.tence he requires it, I cannot imagin. Therfore, I desire you not to concerne yourself with any concern of mine with him. But let him know I will enquire into the pr.sence of my cousin Beddingfeild who as yet I have just seen & noe more & with him will make cleer any claime or pr.tence he can shew me for itt, & by my next wil give him my awnswear thereunto. All storehowses acco.tts I have ballanced by their acco.tts under their owne hands, 3 yeares since, by my dews from my cooperidg, which I am well satisfyed they never renderd me the half of my dew. & As to the list of debts we sold Mr. Liddell, I can make appeare, by my owne & my bro. Baxter's testimony upon oath, neither I nor noe interest of mine was indebted upon that list not one pound of suger, nor my name mentiond in itt, unless in the title, as will appear under his own hand. But the cheef debt in that list was dew from the estate of John Beddingfeild's father deceased, all the rest dribbling ballances. Noe man can beleeve me soe senceless to sell a list of debts of 16,000 lbs. sugar for 8,200 lbs. if I had owed 9,500 lbs. myself, nor can I apprehend what Mr. Liddell meanes by makeing such a claime from mee. I shall heerafter write him about it myself. ...

257. [p. 341] Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, January 15, 1681/2
By this convayance you will receive 25 barr.lls of beefe, 6 barr.lls of porke, one caske of butter & some candles that I have ordered Mr. Rich.d Seay of Watterford to load for the use of our plant. I have writt you at large by sev.ll convayances to I refer you, haveing noething to add till I here from you. Its now neer 5 mo. since the date of the last I receivd from you. I hope your cozen W.m Helmes may bee well, but wee now begin to think his stay very long. ...

258. Captain John Bramley [Montserrat]

London, January 15, 1681/2
I have ordered Mr. Richard Seay of Watterford to load on bord this shipp 25 barr.lls of beefe, 6 barr.ll of porke & sume butter & candles for your owne & my joynt acco.t for the use of our plant. All other things that I suposed might be wanting I have lately sent & writ you at large. ...

259. [p. 343] William Helme [Commander of the Africa] (fn. 2)

London, January 19, 1681/2
I have seen yours of the 12th Instant adviseinge of the sad misfortune that hath befallen your shipp, for which I am hartily sory. I understand by you there is 4 hhds. of the suger saved belonging to myselfe & comp. I desire you make the most you can of &, if any more preserved, to doe the like by it alsoe; & when disposed of, pray send me an of the proceeds thereof, as alsoe of the charges & the markes whether HF or H-F. If you could get it transported to Bristoll, it would yeeld a much better price than 15 p.r c.t. As you mention, if you can, doe soe desire Mr. John Knight or Mr. John Cary to pay the charges of it & dispose of it for mee or, if you dispose of it yourselfe, returne the proceeds thereof to mee. I doubt not my brother Baxter cannot get the insurance made you desire nor is there yet any news of the ship. I pray God send you better suckses in that adventure. The turbulent whether wee have had all this winter & many losses that by meanes thereof hath hapned discouridgeth all men from writing pollicies. All your freinds here are well & send you theire kinde respects & are hartily sory for your disaster, but praise God for your owne deliverance. ...

260. [General Sir William Stapleton [Montserrat]]

London, January 1681/2
Honored Sir,
I have rec.d yours of the 17th October by Capt. Helmes who lost his shipp goods upon the coast of Wales by stres of weather, having two months before lost all his masts at sea.

I take notice you desire to have your distinct from mee, Exchequor concern not being intermixt with your other concerns. I have endeavored to do [p. 344] it according to the best of my understandinge. But whether it bee don right as you would have it or not, I know not. For I conceive noe person soe fitt to distinguish as yourselfe. & If there bee any eror in this I have drawne out, you may rectifie it by my gen.ll with I herewith alsoe send you & draw it out as you would have it & send it to mee & I will signe it. I have showne both the accompts to Coll. Cotter & Mr. Trant who are of opinion I have don it according to your desire. By two of the last shipps that went out, I sent you my from first to last. The ball.s then dew to you as I made it was 3,074£ 8d. Since I have p.d 317£ 8s 6d. Soe that the ballance as I now make it is 2,756£ 12s 2d. Both acco.tts you have herewith. In I know of noe eror comitted to your prejudice but that I have given you creditt therein in my owne wronge 346£ 12s 6d, is as justly dew to mee as any others articale in the accompt. Which if you doe not thinke fitt to order mee the paym.t of it, I am content to loose it. As to any other your objections, if upon examination thereof I have don anythinge to your prejudice that I have not your order for, I will make it good. & Therefore, I have in sev.ll former letters desired you to appoint some freinde here to examine such artickles as you are dissatisfied in, that soe I may give you all dew satisfaction to your owne content, is my reall desire. & That being donn I desire you will be pleased to give me a full discharge for 24,372£ 10d, I send you hereinclosed. & Desire you will be pleased to signe & seale it & if you please to lett it bee witnessed by Mr. Helmes & Mr. Carpenter & any other p.rson you think fitt. & Send the same to Mr. Trant to bee del. mee upon adjustment & paym.t of the ballance of your, I presume Coll. Cotter will draw upon mee for before that is returned or, if hee doth not, whatever shall remaine in my hands dew to you to ball. upon the advisment of the & part of your discharge. I will give my obligation to you I will put in the hands of Mr. Trant untill you shall please to order me to make paym.t of the same to any p.rson as you shall thinke fitt to appoint to receive it. This I hope will bee to your satisfaction. And indeed the sume being very greate & the of long standing, I thinke it but reasonable that I should be discharged in case of mortality. On either side there might be difficulty in the makeing it up & advisment of it by other hands; besides oftentimes executors are so tedious & troublesome people to deale with. Wherefore I humbly intreate you not to delay the advisment of it, as beinge a thinge absolutely necessary to be donn. Capt. Crisps bill is not yett paid but will be paid this month. Jemy & Billy are both very well, are lately gon from my house to schoole, the hollidayes being over. You may be confident I shall take all the care of them I can, & as much as I would of my owne if I had them. I as much admire you have not rec.d any from mee as you doe that you have not, since I have writt you by soe many convayances. As soone as any pay is rec.d, you shall not fayle to have an thereof from –

I have an at larg from Mr. Helmes of the dismall effects of the huricane, by I am halfe undon, as hee informs mee. I intreate you to show him what favor you can in the recovery of our debts. I have been very ill dealt with in my concerns of all the concern that I have had in trade in those islands this 7 yeares, is ever since I came from thence myselfe. I am to this day out of pocket above 4,000£ sterl. to my owne p.rticuler part; and if I ware to ad to that the comon intrest England, it would mount to halfe as much once more, besides all adventures. Pray give what countenance you can to Mr. Helmes in this affaire. You may be sure its not without greate cause that I intimate this.

261. [p. 345] Anthony Henthorne [Chester]

London, January 26, 1681/2
This day I rec.d yours of the 23th by I perceive you are in a maner convinced that all the mistake or erors in the accompt betwixt us are on your owne part & that my is just. Of I desire you not to fayle to give mee your possitive answer p.r next when I shall by your next after desire your obligation for the ballance for. Although I doe not harbor soe ill an opinion of you to thinke they ware wilfull mistakes, yet it cost mee abundance of trouble to cleer them. & In case of mortality on my part, I am confident noe other p.rson would have been able to have cleared those points I could not myselfe doe without great difficulty & trouble. & To avoid such occations for the future, I finde it will be absolutely necessary to take obligations & soe to adjust constantly every 3 months. ...

I take notice you doe agree to thos proposalls I made you for a shipp loadeing of suger this next yeare on the same tearmes Mr. Bawden hath contracted with Mr. Cleveland & Danoes for. is as followeth. Viz., Mr. Bawden is to deliver the s.d sugers ashore at the towne of Leverpoole at twenty five shillings p.r c.t, allowing for tare one hundred & a quarter p.r butt, three quarters $ pr hhd., 2 & 14 lbs. p.r tearce, & 1 q.r 14 lbs. p.r barrell, the cask such as accustomary from those islands, viz. Nevis,, St. Xtophers & c. & They to pay the s.d bond in Lond. fower months after delivery of the s.d goods. & For what part of the s.d paym.t is not punctualy p.d at the time, thay to allow him intrest for the same untill p.d. This I have from Mr. Bawden of theire contract. Now I perceive you desire a shipp not exceed 50 tunns. & Had your answer come in time, I cold have fitted you accordingly. But that Charter P.ty is now otherwise signed & the shipp gon from hence, soe that its to late for her. Neither dare I contract for the freightment of any other shipp since I have had an of the dismall effects of to huricanes that hath destroyed in all the Leward Islands at least 2/3 of this yeares crop, will doubles advance the price of sugers this yeare very considerably when the effects of it comes to be sold. & Yet because I will not fall from what I have proposed (being inclinable to continue our corispondency with you, though I am confid.t according to this proposall we shall have great consignments this yeare[),] I have now by this post sent our orders to Mr. W.m Clayton, Master of our owne shipp the Adventure that still lyes wind bounde in the Downes, to return with her homeward bound loading of sugers to you to the port of Leverpoole affores.d, although the shipp is bigger by 15 or twenty tun then you propose of that tunidge. Yet considering its two houses of you concerned, the quantity will not be much; & besides that, its probable we may not be able to accomplish the full loading of her without letting out sume upon freight to others. Soe that you shall be oblidged to non but our owne sugars or such others as by Bills of Loadeing shall be consigned to myselfe & my brother Baxter or either of us will come from our particuler freinde & in probility may bee of the growth of their own plant. sugars, which may bee much better then our owne. By your next, send me your [p. 346] freinds names & I will have a contract drawne betwixt us and send you to signe. The shipp will be gon as soon as the winde comes about. I have given p.rticular orders for the shiping the best sugars they possible can. ...

262. [p. 347] [Unknown Addressee, Leeward Islands]

London, January 28, 1681/2
Dear Sir,
This searves to advise you that I have by Capt. Lister, who is well arived, rec.d a letter from Mr. Ja. Combes with a Bill of Loadeing for five tuns of sugar for your, I shall endeavor to dispose of for your most advantage. But our market at present is very lowe, occationed by the greate gluts of sugars that hath arived from all parts the latter part of this yeare, hath not only extreamely beaten downe the prise but also occationed worse paym.t for that comodity then ever I knew. I am not yet p.d for sugars sold 4 mo. since, whereas we formerly could alwayes depend upon our paym.t in a mo. or to at furthest. Your suger must be very good to fetch 23s p.r c.t at this time & canot be expected to fetch more unles very exterordinary. Ther may be some prospects of its riseing in March or April, but I question whether worth keepeing soe long, the charges of warehouse roome & wastidge by long lying being considered. Indeed, I alwayes hold it best to take the market price & have alwayes found it soe considering all things. But in this affaire I crave your advis. shall accordingly follow. ...

263. [p. 348] Thomas Westcott [St. Christopher]

London, March 3, 1681/2
Yours of the 6th & 13th of December are both come to hand with others from Mr. Helme by the same convayance, wherein he sends us a list of debts amounting to 584,544 lbs. suger that he transferd over to you to receive for your at your first goeing downe to St. Xtofers, as allsoe a list of goods sent you from Nevis to dispose of. with charges will amount to neere £3,500 sterl. more. All till now wee ware never acquainted with, only about 1,200 lbs. worth of the goods s.d Helmes made mention of in a former letter to us. This with the concernes we have cons.d you from hence swells our concern on that island under your care beyond what wee could ever expect or imagine & gives us now, wee are acquainted therewith, cause to complaine of your complyance & alsoe to put you in minde that wee thinke you have been very much to blame to continue pressing for further suplyes without taking care to make us a dew returne of thos effects already in your hands. Which, you may assure yourselfe, if wee had been sensible thereof, it had stopt our hands from sending those greate quantityes of goods wee have lately don, which was only in pure kindness to you to put you in a credible & good imploym.t & this our kindnes to you. Wee hope you will take such care to discharge with a sutable return which you canot but be sensible you have been greatly wanting in. Indeed, we may say, insoemuch that noe man of sence or reason but would have had it soe for under his considaration as to have discouredged rather then have incouridged for greater aditions still, what you meant by it we canot imagin, unles you intend that wee shall be layd in a gaole for our kindenes to you. You must beleeve wee doe not feed upon the ayre. & Indeed, wee have scarce any other substance now left us. By meanes of perpetual sending out & receiveing nothinge in returne the last yeare, wee could not reasonably have expected less then 200 tuns of suger but rec.d but 70. A greate disproportion. & Truly, by what we now can gather by yours, little is to be expected. This pray take this into consideration & make us such dew returns with speed that wee may have noe further cause of compl.ts. & For what goods you have or may have of ours unsold, take care to dispose of them to such as are good & punctuall paymenters & that will make dew complyance in a reasonable time, viz. in 6 or 8 mo. after sold, or otherwise keep our goods by you, espetialy such as are not perishable. For its not our desire to contract greater debts but to call in our concern that is standing out. & Truly, if you considered your owne intrest, yould doe it for your owne sake & not keepe all you have depending upon such an uncertaine bottome. If you were truly sensible what streights we are driven to for want of a dew return, you will not take this amiss, but rather study how to suport your principalls, as I hope you will that have soe much studyed to advance you. Take these lines, though abruptly writt, seriously into your consideration & way them well. And then I hope you will answer them effectualy with returns sutable. Wee have often prest you to dismiss our dewly & send us. pray omitt not at furthest every 6 mo. to doe begining at midsumer next & then and dewly after an or list of such goods of ours as remaines in your hands unsold every 6 mo. For want of these things being don wee never knew or could understand what our intrest was or in whose hands it lay.

W. F. cannot but take notice that, now neare a yeare & halfe after he consighned you a p.rcell of canvis & dowles for his owne proper, you should writ him it never came to your hands. The goods was cons.d you, & neithe.r W.m Helmes nor Dendy; & if they did not del. it, the Master was lyable. Pray give me a better of this affaire. I doe not send you goods with intention never to receive a further of them. ...

264. [p. 349] Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, March 2, 1681/2
I have rece.d both yours of the 11th of November & 17th December, withe the list of goods transmitted to St. Christophers to Mr. Westcotte, with charges amounts to neere 3,500£, & likewise a list of debts transmitted to him out of your Nevis bookes, amounting to neer six hundred thousand pounds of suger more. All that I can say in answer thereunto is that I am sory that wee have been thus long kept in ignorance of our concerns, where or how it lay. hath been the only occations that hath run mee in greater preminincions then I was aware of or could foresee. For Ile assure had I been made sinsible of this greate concern upon that island, I should have withheld my hands from sending £1,500 I have don this yeare. Which I did upon noe but to obleidge him I had given a promise of my assistance to, not in the least suspecting I had soe much need of his as I now finde, for I never was informed by any letters from thence or by yourselfe when here of more then a list of two hun.d & od thous.d pounds of suger dew on that island & about twelve hundred worth of goods sent downe there. & The returnes we rec.d from thence was as much as could be expected from such a concern. All that I shall say is that I have soe long laboured for with paines, care & industry. & That estate that I thought I had acquired therby, I finde is like to issue in a p.rcell of insalvant deb.r. & For want of care & by mismanidgm.t of my concern, I finde myselfe in a very faire way to be ruind. Had I had those reasonable accompts that every man knowes ought to have been given & that in dew time, I could have foreseen what I now finde will hapen & in a greate measure have prevented what its now to late to doe. I must confes I never had comitted the charge & conduct of my estate to a p.rcell of young guidy headed conceited boyes had not I beleived the eye of an industrous carefull partner had been over them. I hope you will with what expedicon you can endeavor to retreive what may be retreived & bring our buisnes to some issue that we may at last know what we are like to recover, if anythinge, & that neith.r your concern in the Royall Comp. affaire nor none other will hinder you from the settlem.t of our owne concern. For I only desire to know what I may trust to at last that I may take measures accordingly & not live up in my expence after the rate of an estate & in the end have nothinge to maintaine it. Therefore, pray hasten all to mee with a list of all such debts as are dew to our concern & an of all such as are very salvant, such as are doubtfull & what realy bad. & Pray use all possible meanes for a speedy recovery thereof that soe a period may be put thereunto at last. Your wife is very well, but much troubled shee heres not from you. I think shee hath omitted noe oppertunity of writing to you. ...

265. [p. 353] Thomas Westcott [St. Christopher]

London, March 11, 1681/2
Hereinclosed you have the copie of our last to you. Since which wee have made up accompts of what goods wee have from time to time consigned you and have aded thereunto the cost & charges of all such good as have been sent downe to you from Nevis accordinge to the accompt wee have rec.d from thence. To which wee have add the list debts you acknowledg W.m Helme transmitted over to you out of our Nevis books to receive for our at your first goeing downe amounting to 584,544 lbs. suger. That is now 3 yeares since, & wee hope ware all recovered debts. All which being aded together amounts to 11,660£ 5s 0d sterl. being for in equall thirds of Mr. Rob.t Helms & ourselves. An of the same you have heareinclosed. Wee have likewis given your Currant Cr. for all such sugars as from time to time you have laden for our in equall thirds, we finde to be 774,103 lbs. sug.r, as appeares by the inclosed is in mony at 12s 6d p.r c.t 4,838£ 3s 10½d. Now, haveing made your sugar Currant Debt.r for the affores.d list of debts of 584,544 lbs. sugar as the proceeds of 100 pipes of wine cons.d you p.r the ships Abraham & Unity, according to the Accompt of Sales rendred us p.r yourself, wee finde theire amountant to bee 170,001 lbs. suger; as likewise for the proceeds of a cargo of provitions (cons.d you p.r the Abraham) of which part thereof then remained unsold in your hands, by your of Sales we finde to bee 120,690 lbs. suger. Which s.d sumes being aded togeather amounts to 875,235 lbs. suger. Soe that takeing only these three sumes & makeing your Currant Dr. for the same & haveing given the s.d Cr. for the full of all that ever wee have rec.d from you, & we find the ballance dew to us upon this to be 101,132 lbs. suger, besides all which you have rec.d of ours to the vallew of 6191£ 7½s 6½d sterl. in goods consigned you at sev.ll times, as appeares by the p.rticulars hereinclosed. Of all wee never have rec.d any of Sales from you as yett, though we have constantly prest you to the sending thereof in all our letters. These of Sales being dewly dismist & made up & aded to the above ballance of your suger Currant, we conceive & hope we have not less then two millions of suger dew to us of the concerns in your hands. amounts to in mony 2,500£ sterl., a far greter sume then wee ever expected or imagined to have had upon that island that is lyable & insident to so many casualties & accidents of war upon all occations & this preeminacy wee have run ourselves into, unknowne to us, for want of haveing our acco.tts dewly dismist as they ought to have been, and as all other men hath. Otherwise, assure yourselfe wee never had had soe great a concern upon that island, unles wee had rec.d greater incouridgm.t by returns then we have hitherto found hath been made since wee have been made truly sensible what our concern is. The want of knowledge in dew time wee feare wee shall have cause to repent when p.rhaps it may bee to late to retrieve it. However, we now have thought fitt to consider of takeing such measures as wee hope by your good & prudent manidgment, care & industry may in some measure answer our expectations. & Wee hope in a short time may be a meanes of drawin of the greatest part of our effects. will not only inable us but alsoe give us greate incouridgem.t to begin & cary on further & greater concern with you then we have hitherto don. & If you dewly consider your one intrest, you will observe & follow our proscriptions with all speed, care & dilligence, & make it your sole buisnes to gather in our effects, since you know you draw noe comision upon sales of goods, but all upon the returns. & Indeed, wee thought this would bee the only meanes to pres you to a speedy returne of our concerns, & was the only motive that induced us to make that again. pray consider well & waigh both all your one intrest & ours which, in this respect, you see upon dew consideration are equally linkt togeather.

Now the method wee have considered of which wee possitively order & desire you to proceed upon & forthwith observe & follow to doe without any loss of time upon any accompt whatsoever unles in the prosicution of our in getting in our effects dureing the expres time & loadeing of the same is, first, to settle all your books of accompts, & then draw out all our Accompts of Sales or an abstract thereof as they stand in your books, & then make up and advise our Accompt Currant in equall thirds betwixt Mr. Robert Helmes & ourselves, then proceed to the drawing out & advism.t of all planters & others who stande upon your bookes. This, keeping W.m Hearne or any other bookeskeeper close and constantly at your bookes, without takeing them of upon any other buisness, will soone bee effected, and haveing thus setled all in your bookes, and made up & advised them with all other men, you are forthwith to give Mr. Robert Helmes notice thereof. & Then the next thing we require to bee don is to take obligations of all such persons who are to our in thirds. A forme of the s.d obligtions wee desire should be taken wee herewith send you. pray be punctuall in the observeance of. & If possible you can omitt not to take such obligation of all such persons whatsoever who are in debted to us, none will refuse to give when you acquaint them with the reason thereof, that is that we required of you that it should be don in order to the advisment & makeing up of an with Mr. Rob.t Helmes [p. 354] of all our concerns before his comeing of the islands, we now conceive will be in a short time. & Such as doe refuse (if any) to give such obligations, it is our order that you forthwith bring actions them to bring them under judgment. & All such persons as you have under order of court & judgm.t, by noe meanes doe not alter that by taking a new bond for theire debt either before or since. The reason of our taking the obligations in this forme, viz. in our owne names, is because its most proper it should be soe donn, for should the obligations be taken in your one name, that would make you become lyable to the paym.t of all such debts yourselfe in stricktnes of law, p.rhaps you might nott have considered of. & Therefore, we sent you this forme now. This being donn & all things thus setled betwixt you & our deb.ts ( pray omitt not forthwith to accomplish without any loss or delay of time), then wee desire you to make up & advise our Currant with Mr. Helmes in thirds, & draw out an exact list of all such persons as are our for the ballance thereof with the respective sumes thay stand indebted. & Then it is our further order that you signe, seale, & deliver to him for his & our use such an obligation as wee have likewis herewith sent to him as an acknowledgedm.t that you have in your hands such obligations & acco.tts as amounts to the ball.s of our Currant. & Then we have ordered him the s.d Robert Helmes to give you a Letter of Attorny that a full & ample power to receive all the said debts to & for our use & And all things being thus setled, it is our order & desire that you forthwith proceed to use all meanes possible for the speedy recovery of all such our debts. & It is our further order to you to loade the same on bord any good shipp or shipps bound from the isl.d of St. Xtophers to Londo. & consigne the same to Mr. W.m Baxter for our acco.tts as fast as you can recover & receive the same. Or, in case it should hapen, at any time when you have any sugars or other goods redy to loade for our acco.tts, that there should not be shipps or vessells at the island of St. Xtophers in ladeing but for the port of Londo., in such case it is our order & desire that you transport such goods as you have in a readiness of ours to load to the island of Nevis or any other the Leward Islands where fright is to be procured and had for the port of London. & For all such goods as you shall loade of towards satisfaction & payment of our affores.d, wee doe allow you to draw ten p.r c.t comission upon the same, persuant to our former agreemn.t with you, as well the upon the list of transferd from Nevis to you to receive as any other (though upon that list you could not expect to draw more then 5 p.r c.t, in regard the sales was not made by you but this we doe allow of for your incouridgm.t), but not to make any other charge for storidge or upon any other whatsoever; but for custome, caskes & c., you are to charge what you actualy pay & noe more, as likewis for bote hyre or any other such charge you may hapen to be in disburse. & This method wee have now proscribed wee earnestly intreate yo to persue with all speed & diligence, useing your utmost care & indeavors for the speedy getting in of our debts, as soone as all things are thus settled, without shewing favour or respect to any person. For wee greately suspect & feare a warr with France, though wee hope it may not hapen till the next Springe. By time wee hope by your industry you will recover in and loade of the greatest part of our effects. & Indeed, you have greate reason to follow it close, not only for the sake of your owne advantage but alsoe for your reputation. For should any miscaridge in that kinde hapen, you are the only person we can impute it to, for not discharginge your duty in the trust wee reposed in you, viz. in not rendring us such as you ought to have don from time to time. By meanes wherof wee should have been sensible of what concern wee had in your hands. The want thereof hath occationed us to make such additions as wee never intended nor thought of. ...

266. [p. 355] Thomas Westcott [St. Christopher]

London, March 11, 1681/2
Wee have by this convayance writt you at large touching the settlem.t of all affaires relateing to our concern in 1/3ds with Mr. Robert Helmes under your care & manidgement upon the island of St. Xtophers. A method for the same wee have consulted & sent you for your better governm.t therein. Now wee have likewise considered that wee have severall other distinct concerns under your care & manidgement wherein Mr. Robert Helmes is not at all concerned. An of all which you have hereinclosed. & Because we have desired a settlement of all our concerns in 1/3ds, it will also be as absolutely necessary that there should be a settlement of all our distinct concerns, that the one intrest may not be injured by the other.

& Therefore, it is our desire & order to you that before you begin to proceed upon the settlem.t of that affaire that you doe forthwith call over all the goods you have in your hands unsold of ours or wherein wee are anywayes intrested, whether dry goods, provitions, wines, brandy, or any other goods of what kind or quallity so ever, & take an exact thereof & to what intrest they doe belonge, setting of the prices of the same as you finde them charged in the Invoices to thay doe belong. & By the very first shipp, send us an thereof & a duplicate by the next ofter, still reserveing in your hand a copie. Haveing finished these, then proceed to the examination of your bookes & draw out the acco.tts of what sold of the respective cargoes alsoe. send us with the former. Then, as strickly and as neere as you can, informe yourselfe by your bookes the respective persons to whome such good was sold, & wh.t you may have [p. 356] rec.d upon our from the sev.ll persons so plaine told. As for what you finde, as soone as you can, estimate the same that is correc.d. Wee desire you to draw out a list of debts in the same manner & forme as you doe that in comp. with Mr. Rob.t Helmes.

& For such debts as belongs to the of dry goods wherein your brother & yourselfe is concerned 1/4 part, take obligations for in the name of William Freeman & Comp., your bro. John Westcott & Mr. W.m Baxter have agreed shall be soe don here. A forme of the s.d obligations you have herewith. & For what goods you have already rec.d in part of payment of s.d goods, pray make a return of as fast as you can, consigning the same to Mr. W.m Baxter & Comp. & draw us all the Currant of what goods sold, & what laden of, & send us. ...

Itt is our further desire that all such goods as you rec.d for the joynt of W.m Freeman & W.m Baxter, viz. the provitions, dry goods & liquors by Terry, the lumber by the ketch whereof Ro. Randall is Mr., & the provitions by the shipp Ri.d & Samuel, Thomas Clark, Master, that you draw us out the of what sold with the list of debts thereunto belonging & an Curr.t of what rec.d & all things relateing thereunto, viz. a list of all such goods as remaines thereof undisposed, in the same method & manner as wee have proscribed for the above s.d cargoes in comp. & Take obligations in this maner as we have sent you a forme of, viz. in the name of W.m Freeman & W.m Baxter. Wee hyre you have been very punctuall in the observance of our orders in the sale of our goods p.r Terry & all since, of which wee expect a dew complyance from you, viz. to Cr. none but such as you know to be very responsible good men & such as would make punctuall paym.t in 6 or nine month after sale at furthest. & For whatever goods, provitions, liquors & c. you may now have in your hands of ours undisposed of, we doe now give you our possitive order to not to dispose thereof upon creditt to any but such persons whose paym.t, you may depend up in three or six months at furthest after sale; & to such person & for such paym.t wee are content you should rather abate of the prices that other men sell for then to make long debts. & What goods you canot soe dispose of for ready paym.t or to such persons as beforementioned, it is our order that you keepe the same by you till you can or untill you shall receive our further orders about them. For indeed by your contracting such long debts & not makeing us answerable returns of our effects, you have reduced us to greate streights, insoemuch that we shall not be able to proceed to the caryinge on a further trade till inabled by our returns. You will finde by the sev.ll that we are out above ten thousands pounds sterl. principall mony, of W.m Freeman is the most concerned to his perticular. ...

267. Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, March 11, 1681/2
When you receive the list of debts from T.W., pray, if you finde any bad or doubtfull debt, be very circumspect to see the same was contracted with our goods. & If you finde such was not, doe not accept such debts in part of ours. Neither let any such as you accept be broaght in the list of any other our concerns, unles you finde the same was contracted with our goods. Tho. Westcott adviseth our concern will be very much prejudiced in the getting in our debts for want of a sloope. Pray rather then let it anywayes suffer by that meanes, let him have the Africa sloop at such times as there may be occation. Mr. Carpenter canot deny us to have the use of her one month, he haveing her another, or otherwise you paying the same rate he doth. Let none of our concern want her assistance as long as we are concerned in her. That was the only intent & end of my concern in her.

We have rec.d 2 imperfect acco.tts from your bro., the one of the brandy by Clayton the last voyage disposed of p.r him, & the other of 60 pipes wine p.r the Abraham, but noe charge at all upon the debt of neither Let us have an of whatever sold of Claytons cargoes, & what remaines unsold send a list of all such goods.

268. [p. 357] George Liddell [Montserrat]

London, March 14, 1681/2
Since my last to you I have examined all your accompts relateing to my own p.rticuler. & Whereas in yours of the 8th of November Last you claime a debte dew from me of nine thousand, five hundred & od pounds of suger, I finde, on the contrary, that I am not your deb.r but a creditter two thous.d, two hundred forty eight pounds of sugar, as appears by your I have sent herewith, is drawne from the gen.ll I have under your owne hand to make it appeare. ... Pray omitt not to send me Mr. Bramleys of perticulars of the 2,202 lbs. sugar charged in your as paid him, for I shall not allow of that artickle unles I know wherefore it is. I have at last found the list of debts you sent us that wee sold you. The sugar you intended for sattisfaccion thereof I presume you will here noe more of. Therefore, you must make provition to p.rform your contract. I have even had neighbours faire with you, for most of the sugars I had left out of Hazelwood was lost in Mr. Helmes, miscaridge I can impute to nothinge but Mr. Rob.t Helmes. By meanes I have suffered a loss & disapointment both. If Mr. W.m Berwick be arived & you can doe him any kindnes in my behalfe, you will obleidge mee. My brother Baxter & cozen John Beddingfeild is in treaty with an interloper now bound out for his shipp loadeing of negros. If my brother Baxter proceed, I will contract with him for as many negros as you have desired mee to doe for you at the price you proposed to give mee, price I presume hee will not refuse to take. I hope you have advised all the plant.s with Mr. Helmes before this & that you have sent them to mee. ...

269. [p. 358] [General Sir William Stapleton [Montserrat]]

London, March 17, 1681/2
Honored Sir,
I have omitted giveing answer to yours by Capt. Helmes came to hand notwithstanding the miscaridge of the shipp, by reason of an infirmity I have had in my eyes for above to months past – a hott rume, with I have been almost blinde, that alsoe very much indisposed mee in body. I thanke God I am now pretty well recovered but not soe well but that it is very troublesome. As soone as I can conveniantly, I will seperate the according to the best of my understanding & send it you as you desire it. I hope you have rec.d the I last sent you & that it will please you. If it doth not, I shall submitt to anythinge you desire.

Capt. Cotter parted from thence about six weekes since. I p.d him before hee went 250£ upon your & I thought he had intended to have rec.d all your mony. But hee desired it might remaine in my hands till he came into Irel.d, when he designed to draw from thence upon me for it, if he can meete with a conveniency thereof layinge it out for you. I told him he might not only draw for that sume of yours but for as much more as I am capable of answeringe, if hee finde anything offers to your advantage. Which you may assure yourselfe I shall most readyly answer.

I know not what Mr. Grant hath don in the affaire of your pay, haveing not seen him lately nor bin able to follow it myselfe, by reason of my indisposition, I hope you will excuse.

Jemy & Billy are both very well & would learn apace if you thought fitt to restrain that liberty your Lady left order Jemy should have. Of he is to sensible & doth not make that improvement in his learnige that otherwise he would have don, being a very forward, witty child & ready to take anything presently. This I refer to your consideration.

The Kinge, His Royall Highnes, & all the court are att Newmarket, soe that the towne at present is baron of news. Ill acts of hostility are used between the French & Spaniards in Flanders & Luxemburgh closly beeseged by the French. The Prince of Parma hath positively orders for the King of Spaine to releive & in order thereunto hath drawne al theire forces togeather, though to little purpose. The French, haveing drawne a far greter army to oppose them, the Spanards doe pres the States very hard for theire yolla of 8,000 men, as they have done the like at our court. But the Kinge hath refused them & I beleeve the Dutch observe our mention & will not stir unles they ware assured of our assistance, the present concomitance of affaires here will not admitt of. But wee canot keep longe out unles wee resolve to give the French all Flanders. The Princes of the Empire are alsoe divided & the Emperor likely to be diverted by the Hungarians. Soe that all things seemingly concurs to make the French an absolute monarch & that must contribute to it is our disention among ourselves. ...

If Capt. Powell be arived, pray give him my servis. He will make a very good Go.rnor for one of the isl.ds. I wish the rest was noe worse provided. I feare it will not be long before there will be occation for good men, espetialy good officers, which will be the only meanes w. preserve those poore bottomes.

I have rec.d of my brother Baxter 366£ 17s 6d for the neate proceeds of your 40 hhds. of suger, that I have caryed to the creditt of your

270. [p. 359] Captain John Bramley [Montserrat]

London, April 13, 1682
... Severall former letters sent mee via one by Capt. Hazelwood ... never came to my hands. ... & Therefore, I desire you to send a duplicate thereof or at least of its contents that most men make theire rule. For its noe strange thinge that a letter should miscary that coms soe far over sea. I must confess I should have given you a hint that you are generally wanting in that particular sooner had not I knowne that it was not proper for mee soe to doe, consideringe it might have deserved a repremand from a man of a better understandinge then I can pretend to. But upon this occation I take liberty of doeing it. ...

The next thinge I take notice of is that you are troubled when you here of a letter from mee, though it relates to your own concerne. I am very sorry my lines should be soe unwellcome to you, & you may beleeve am alsoe as much troubled that you should give me occation to write such lines soe contrary to my inclinations. assure yourselfe I take noe pleasure in & to lett you knowe that I doe not ground them upon my owne opinion, barely knowing my judgement is to weke to cope with a man of your understandinge. I have therefore thought fitt to advise with men more learned whose judgements I am sure noe man in England will object against, viz. Sir Francis Pemberton, the present Lord Cheife Justice of England, & Sir W.m Jones, the Kings late Attorny Gen.ll, who are esteemed by most men of the long robe the two most famous lawyers of that kingdome. & The mony I have bestowed that way hath been purely to avoid differences betwixt you & myselfe, & likewise to prevent on my part, I know men of better parts then I can pretend to are apt to run themselves into in matters that relate to theire owne concern intrest, being often apt to blinde men. The two affores.d gent. have had the perusall of our Artickles both the first and second part, and as neere as I can I have observed what they dictated to mee in my objections against your accompts. accordinge to your desire I send you hereinclosed that soe you may bee acquainted with them, as alsoe my reasons for all such my objections. if the two affores.d gent. are not mistaken in theire points of law, I am sure they are all just ones. The decision thereof I shall never refer to men at a distance where I am not present, nor p.rhaps none for mee that will undertake [p. 360] a trouble in this kinde to make appeare the justness of them. And therefore I will take a more convenient time & place to dispute that, or elce content myselfe as I am without giveing myselfe the trouble of makeing a noyse to noe purpose.

You say it is difficult to answer objections in acco.tts in the years 78 & 79, & therefore I ought to have made them sooner. But you never take notice of objections I made against precedent to these, to you never gave mee a word in answer, as I supose beleeveing them not worthy your trouble. & For mee to make objections against things as that distance to which I never could obtaine any answer, I thinke it as unnecessary for mee to trouble my thoughts continually with the makeinge such objections, I should not now have donn had not you required it from mee. You say you have added noe buildings but one roome & a porch to the dwelling hous, & if that bee a breach of Artickles, I shewed you the way by building the first roome. But you doe not consider that the first Artickle, ware the onely ones then betwixt us gave mee power to lay out 8,000 lbs. sugar. & If you can proove whatever was don to that roome by my directions amounted to that sume, I will be bound to forfeit the whole penalty of my bonds. Next, you doe not consider that our last Artickles was made to prevent the inconveniencies that might attend each other by those evills that might insue by meanes of the power the former Artickles gave each other. & Therefore, it was thought fitt by us both to reduce the former summe to a lesser summe of one thous.d pounds of sugar. Next, you doe not consider that, when I built that roome, I had not a hole to put my head in, but was forced to content myselfe with a lodginge p.rhaps now you would not thinke good anough for the meanest of your slaves & then you thought this roome to good to entertaine us both, but now it is not fitt for your reception alone. Neither doe I thinke it was soe. I have not that mean opinion of you that you had of mee; but, if you will have better, you must bee att the charge of it. Its not fitt I should for your accomodation. I doe not desire you to bare any charge I am att for my owne accomodition. Yett p.rhaps if you had acquainted mee with your designe & desired my approbation thereunto, I should not have denyed my consent to that or anythinge elce that in reason you could have desired. But for you to lay out & dispose of my estate purely for your owne accomodation without the least prospect of advantage to mee att your owne will & pleasure without soe much as askinge my consent or leave, I neither can or will ever allow of; for every pound of sugar breach of Artickles you proove on my part, I will pay you 10£ for. ...

As to the charge you are att in keepeing of servants for your owne family service, you say doe little elce but the plant. service, it is contrary to the presidents of other men in the licke cases. I shall only give this for answer to that, that I am to be guided by noe mans presidents in such cases, but by my Artickles only. & Whatsoever they doe obleidge mee to, I will performe to a title on my part, & expect the same on your part. & If you are at any unnecessary charge upon that, you must not expect thanks from mee, for that I doe not knowe of nor desire from you. As to the trifle of salt provitions you mention upon yo.r family, its not worth answeringe, nor many other things that I have given answer to. I have only don to make you sensible that I understand what is my right, & that I will stand upon every punctilio thereof, when any man undertakes to demand them as his dew from mee.

As to your accompts of cooperidge, when I receive it, I doubt not but it will be to my satisfaction, for I can expect but my dew. You say you doe knowe what I meane by my teachinge Bando, his servis haveing suffitiently recompenced that. But when you give that for answer, you omitt to call to minde that, when I tooke him of the plant., it was with your consent. & I will give my oath I never desired him nor understood it otherwise then by way of excha. & accordingly left a farr abler slave in prospect in his roome. Now, if you did not consent to this exchange, what reason had you to receive my slave to worke in his place & steed, whilst hee was learning his trad. Or have you ever given mee creditt for the labour of the s.d slave dureing all the s.d time, as you charged mee with the labor of your relacions slaves. Or what reason had I to pay the workeman for teachinge him his trade & cloth him all the time of his learninge at my owne proper charge as I am charged for it, if hee ware a plant. slave. Or why did not you demand him as a plant. slave in those 4 or 5 yeares you mention (but you are not out in that calculation, as well as in many other things, for it was but betwixt 2 & 3 yeares). If you had, you may assure yourselfe I should never have imployed him a day to my p.rticuler if I had beleeved him a plant. slave. But when you made this excha., you knew him lame & unfitt for the plant. servis, & afterwards found him a tradesman fit for your servis. & For my neglect of not takeing a Bill of Sale under hand & seale from you to teach me witt, you have produced an old title now recovered, though originally you can produce noe such title to him as you required. I thought mens words in such cases ough to be taken but to returne your owne words upon you, you have tought mee the way to make a new clame to my 10 p.r c.t interest. For you ware mistaken in your law & rhetorick when by good words & fayre promisses you

{Turn over to the next April 13th. (fn. 3) }

271. [p. 361] Richard Seay [Waterford]

London, March 27, 1681/2
... I canot but admire at the extravigant charge you bringe in for the serv.ts victualing at 3s 6p p.r weeke in that cheape country, when I should keepe them here for 2s 6d & to take soe many boyes contrary to our orders. Neither can I finde your ever writt of more then 7 & now bring in eleaven. Had you p.d the fellow for procuration & sett them imeadietly at liberty, you had don us a kindnes, wee should have ordered had wee knowne the charge they had. But at as soone as I return, will remitt you your ballance. ...

272. [p. 364] [Unknown Correspondent, probably John Bramley]

[London, n.d.]
... I knew you then ever I had sence & the meanes, especially as the [p. 365] island was noe stranger to the knowledge thereof. & I doe asure you when I can suply myselfe on the best tearmes from hence, I never shall desire to have one of them made of. For I can demonstrate more loss by them then the charge of the cost of hoopes according to theire true intrinsique vallew to be sent from hence but thereafter of my finding fault with that artickle was that I was charged at a deare rate for them & that I could not be p.rmitted to supply my part with what necessary for it & alsoe that I am charged for neere twice the number I ought to be. This is the greatest reason of that objection.

Neither shall I insist upon such nicities as to require an of every hoope or staff, when I am permitted to suply myselfe on the best tearmes. But for mee to pay 1¼ lb. p.r hoope, is 500 lbs. sugar p.r thous.d, there being six score to the hundred, & to have neere halfe of them wasted, makes it neere 3,000 lbs. sug.r p.r thous.d. For sume I dare undertake to suply you with neere six thous.d of hoops. I doe not understand it. The same reason I have to object against all the artickles in your For had you putt in a stock according to Artickles, I am very confident that the 1/3 p.t of the sugers that hath been paid for necessaryes bought there would have payed it with the like and as good from hence & other places. Yet you ware not only wantinge in the p.rformance thereof on your owne part but alsoe refused mee to suply my part, & to pay my own proportion of those debts you had contracted by meanes thereof. Therefore the mony & goods I sent for that only purpos was otherwise applyed, as I have under my attornys hand to proove, to my greate damadge. If this be not breach of Artickles, I doe not understand what is.

As to the charge of 1,500 lbs. sugar for Coll. Stapleton, I do not pretend to soe good a memory. But that I may as well mistake in that as many other things. For I doe not cary every artickle in in my head. Neither had I then time to looke over the plant. acco.tts. since I have donn & finde that I charged the plant. for that sume. But what I desired as to that p.rticulers was that my bookes att Nevis & M.tsarratt might bee inquired into wheth.r Coll. Stapleton hath not Cr. in his for the s.d artickles. If hee hath not, I must make it good, & will allow it out of the debt dew from him to mee. My bookes relateing to all my concerns transacted there is still in the isl.d. & For mee to make up without bookes I doe not pretend to, unless such as I have drawne from them. You need not give yourselfe any trouble in this paticular. I shall desire Mr. Rob.t Helmes to doe it. As to the sugar that I complained of its quality, it is your mistake, not mine. For I can proove when I writ that it was worse by 12d p.r c.t then any in parcell in the ship & soe was the former p.rcells I complained of. I never writt you anythinge in that kinde or any other, but what I will undertake to proove. & That as to the loss of w.t of our plant. sugars from Nevis, I will proove by the Invoices & whats here is wasted not near sometimes then 2 or 3 p.r c.t, sometimes 4 or 5 p.r c.t, & the most that ever I had where noe damage hapened not exceeding 10 p.r c.t, though you may be satisfied I never compl.d neither of nor qualety when you shipt joyntly, nor never had reason to complaine of the quallity as when you shipt mine p.rticularly. I inquire not how you dispos.d of your part, but what I require is to have my dew & noe more. & That I expect & will insist upon. You may dispose of your owne as you please. Its not fitt for mee to inquire after that further the performance of your Artickles on your part oblidgeth. I am not unsensible that you have been long since capable of performinge, though you have not, to my great damage. There is neither bords, plankes, nor scarce anythinge elce that you have bought there, but might have been suplyed from hence, & should had I knowne such they had been wanting & then I should never have complained of what I now doe & without suffitient reason for it.

Thus haveing now fully answered yours, all that I have to say is that I shall not insist upon the rigor of things past but pass them by in case you desire it. & To that end, I have given my cozon John Bedingfeild & Mr. W.m Berwick orders to compose all things, in case you allow of some p.rticular objections, are such as I will never remitt nor pass by, though the amountant there of is not greate, nor what I much vallew. But of justnes thereof is what I insist upon, as indeed I might as justly in all other objections I have made & shall in case you doe not acept of such my proposal, [p. 366] in order to an amicable composition. if you thinke fitt to doe, I have sent you a gen.ll discharge relateing to all & desire the same from you, that soe for the time to come there may be a right understandinge. If not, things must reamaine as they are. I hope you canot take anything amiss that I write relateing to my buisness, as this wholy tends to. And if I have comitted any erors, I shall crave your pardon & make a sutable reperation. But if, on the contrary, I have required nothinge but what hereafter may appeare to be my dew, I hope it may pass blameless. ...

273. [p. 368] William Helme [Nevis]

London, April 14, 1682
I have rec.d your joynt & p.rticular letter of the 17th January. The first is a very rough stylle with seeminge threts, you might forbare to such that heitherto hath been unacquainted with the putting up things in that kinde. However, I shall pass that by, & now come to give answer to your particular letter to mee, is something smoother & relates p.rticularly to my owne affaire.

In the 1st clause, viz. touchinge the return of those goods I sent you for your owne & my bro. Henryes acco.tts, hes disalowing of, I have taken to my owne I take notice you write you could not make any return of them unless out of other mens proceeds. is what I shall never desire you to doe. For I assure you I shall never covet to injure any other mans concern to advantage my owne, & therefore expect non of that return till its dew to mee, & refer it wholy to your owne breast to doe mee right in that particular. & As to the calculation of time, if I am out in it, its generall eror in most men. For all men make there calculations from the time of theire dispursm.t & soe I made mine. I shall not offer, at division of that small intrest, not doubting in the least your justnes if it ware much more considerable. Neither would I refuse to assist you with such a sume as that to doe you any kindeness, if I ware in a condistion. But as things now stand with me, I stand more in want of your assistance then you can of mine, though I desire it in nothinge but my dew & what is properly my own. & Necessity will make men speake plane. Therefore, haveing dewly considered the cause from whence it proceeds, you have noe reason to call mine angry or unkinde lines, for I assure you I am soe far from retaineing the least prejudice or ill will to you that where you have a peny, I wish it ware pound. & If it ware in my power, would gladly contribute towards it. But when I have run out my whole stock in expectation of advanceing it, & finde none prospect of doeing that, nor scarce hopes of ever seeing the principall, & want wherewithall to suply my occations after soe many yeares hard labor care & industry & [p. 369] layinge such designes, that I beleeve I may say noe man hath layd better, it will put any man upon inquiry, & p.rhaps may occation hard thoughts, to. Thus much in answer to that perticular. If you approve not of the proposition I made you touchinge the comission of this pr.cell of goods, by doeing the like for you here, I doe allow you to draw your full comissions there & I shall doe it here.

I take notice of what you mention as to the buyinge the revercon of the plant., by you might have gained 100£ sterl. (fn. 4)

As to that, I supose what you did was by your brothers order who had layd the ground work for it. & Therefore, you must have been guilty both of injustice & ingratitude to soe good a brother to have betrayed a trust that was reposed in you, I take you for a man of better principalls than to doe. But as to any advantage that may accrue to mee by that plant., I expect none but the concern I have in it was to grattifie your brothers inclinations, being contrary to my owne, I haveing before had to much experience from a plant. to hope for any advantage from the settlem.t of. More, I have how been neere 8 yeeres concerned in that plant.; & if you or your brother (to both I make this proposall) will lay me downe the cost of it with comon intrest from the respective times of disbursment, & give mee but 100£ for my 8 yeares advantures of that concern, would not pay a Hackny clerke for the trouble I have had in it, I doe propose & will make good this sale to either of you before ever I have seen one relateing to the charge of it. & Further, if you or your brother will doe the like in all that I have been concerned with you in trade this 7 yeares, I will make you the like proposall & make it good. I refer to your consideration. Only such goods as I have run exterordinary advanture in shall be only rated at such a price as the like might have been bought for here in Lond., is as reasonable as can be desired. & Now I leave you to judge of my proffites that have taken soe many yeares, paines & trouble & run soe many & great advantures. For all I aske not one penny, but comon intrest for my mony. ...

274. General Sir William Stapleton [Montserrat]

[London,] April 15, 1682
... I have drawne out your seperat according to the best of my understanding. & If it be not according to your likeinge, please to order one to draw from it there, with such amendments as there should be in it, & send it mee, & I will signe it in order to your discharg. Relateing to the Exchequer concern, as you are pleased to signifie, I have alsoe sent your generall accompt p.rfected to this day, as it stands in my bookes. If any erors or amendm.ts ought to be in that, be pleased to signifie your pleasure therein, & it shall be donn, that soe nothinge may be wantinge on my part to give you full satisfaccion in that or anythinge elce that I am capable of. I have been with Mr. Trant who informes me that he hath rec.d one yeares pay & selery for the rest of your arreares withe the Lords of the Treasury. doubtles will not be to speedy accomplisht since all things now begines to settle her againe, God grant to continue. For all the transactions this 3 yeares past looke like nothinge but the new receiveing of the old rebellion & disinabled the King both at home & abroad, was the reason of your long areares. Noe fault of mine, Ile assure you. However, I am well plesed it will come at last, & doubt not but this yeares pay will fully answer all your objections to my former If not, I will rather submit to anythinge then give you [p. 370] you the least seemeing cause of my resentinge anythinge that hath been transacted p.r mee. When you sent your power to Mr. Trant, you then signified to mee that you would not offer to take the recept of the two yeares payment of my hands, which I had taken soe much trouble about and alsoe bee att greater expence in followinge, as I have been at for 3 yeares togeathere & not only spent my time & mony here in towne in giveing constant attendance, but alsoe made many journies to Windsor & Hamton Court about it whenever occation did require. was more the ordinary expensive to mee. But Mr. Trant, by virtue of your letter power, haveing rec.d the mony, takes not the least notice of what you write me relateinge to those 2 yeares pay, but expects the whole benefitt of my labour therin & the proffitts of itt, without giveing mee any allowance towardes my charges, as you knowe. I allwayes writt you it would be unreasonable that any other p.rson should reape the benefitt of my labor about that 2 yeares pay, besides for mee to bare the sole expence I was at therein would be more unreasonable. This I refer to your consideration, & desire your answer. Its well knowne to all p.rsons here I never omitted giveing attendance constant as the affaire required to this present time, only att such time that I was indisposed and not able. Indeed, I desired Mr. Trant to give mee what assistance hee could in it, because the concern might be promoted by all wayes & meanes whatsoever, as I know his intrest to be great upon of the farmes, but never thought it was intended to cut mee of that I have soe dearly earned. If you please to write a line to Mr. Trant about it, as allsoe to signifie your pleasure therein to mee, I shall submitt to anythinge may bee judged reasonable.

I had a letter yesterday from Coll. Cotter, wherein hee tells mee hee hath been confined to his chamber ever since hee came into Ireland by the old wound in his back, but that hee is now pretty well recovered & will endeavor that possible hee can to finde a good conveniency for you. But as yet hath drawne noe mony upon mee. Whenever he does, it shall not fayle of punctuall complyance. I pray, now the yeares pay is rec.d, be pleased to signifie your pleasure to mee as to Coll. Mathews & Capt. Pogsons mony.

Jemy & Billy are both very well & extreamly improved. They are both with mee & Randoll allsoe, being hollyday time, who is growen a sollid young man & will in a little time be fitt for the university, if you soe designe him. Billy is growne a sweet natured, sober child and takes his learning mightily. Hee now inclines to learn to writte, I will order. They all learn to dance. Soe that theire Masters bills of schooling swell something high. Yet I hope all will com within the compas of 50£ p.r yeare each. But if should a little exceed, you must excuse mee, for they only have such things as is necessary for them. ...

His R. Highnes is very well at St. James & I trust not now but all things will doe well at home, since things abroad is soe well composed that theire will be noe pres. occation for calling a Parlim.t, where all the fanaticks loves war.

275. [p. 371] General Sir William Stapleton [Montserrat]

London, June 14, 1682
Att my returne from Scotland where I was one that waited up. the Duke & had the good fortune to escape from on bord the Gloucester, the p.rticulars of sad accident I shall not trouble you with repetitions of, not doubting but you have had at large before this will come to hand, further then to assure you there was not less then 250 men lost, amongst was severall p.rsons of honor & gent. of worth, which I alsoe presume you have had an of. (fn. 5) And therefore shall trouble you noe further then to give an of the receipt of both yours of the 25th March & 7th of April.

As to the first, I shall observe your order relateing to the nurse for the time to come. But the former you mention (relateing to that p.rticular never came to hand), I shall alsoe observe your comands as to your velvet cote & breeches p.r the first. And as to your second, I take greate pleasure and satisfaccion in the hopes it gives me of the honor I may promis myselfe of kissing your hands in England, I long to see & am soe well assured of your friendshipp that noe article of acco.t nor other occations [p. 372] whatsoever can ever create the least misunderstanding betwixt us when wee come togeather, p.rhaps some buisy people may have endevored at a distance. All those things I have allready submitted to your owne pleasure in two former letters I have writt you. & You may assure yourselfe that as far as my poore life or fortune is capable of serveing you, both is att your owne disposall. And what gave me the occation of sometimes hinting things that might be unpleaseing was sometimes your lines that seemed to have noe vallew for the true hon.r and freindshipp I allwayes retained for you. Of I defie the world ever to tax mee with the contrary, either in thought, word or deed, I hope I shall live to manifest to you.

As to the concern of your brothers you are pleased to mencion, he may take his owne time. Indeed, what made me soe pressing upon that was the greate apprehensions I had of a suden warr insueing and by the ill dealeings I have had from others. My whole estate in a manner lyes there, soe that, should any accident hapned amongst those small isl.ds, I am to begin the world agine. I have not heard lately from Coll. Cotter, nor hath he drawn any mony upon me, but his Lady tells me shee dayly expects him. Soe that whether he hath bought any concern for you or not I can give you noe But assure you its a very difficult thing to lay out mony in Engl.d well. How it is in Irel.d I knowe not. Your sons, God be praised, are both very well, but Billy was about 10 dayes since very ill of a feaver, which gave me noe small concern. I caryed my doctor & had your Ladyes appothycary and others as the occation required. & Blesed be God he is now very well recovered. & You may assure yourselfe noe care is wanting as far as in me lyes nor shall not. ...

276. [p. 373] Thomas Westcott [St. Christopher]

London, July 18, 1682
I have rec.d yours of the 7th of April & 11th of May. In the first I take notice that you say I must require an of the canvis and dowles I cons.d you of Clayton, hee haveing never delivered it you. Nor, for ought I perceive, you have never troubled yourselfe about it. A pretty answer to be returned an imployer when at the same time the Master is with you who another man would have thought it your duty to have cald him to an accompt for goods that was consigned you. These are pretty satisfactory acco.tts to render a man 2 yeares after the thinge is transacted, but is very like the rest of your acco.tts & transactions. A man may sometimes reasonably expect answer of his letters and those things donn that is required, but I never could yet get either. But insteed of giveing answers to what you ought to doe, you fill up your papers with what you have nothinge to doe with, viz. of Claytons disposall of the servants, who is abler to give an accompt of his transactions then I perceive you can of yours, or elce certainely you would have given more sattisfactory answers, or elce you fill them up with flamsend storyes, pretending to be but 1/6th part concerned in the purchase of 80 negros & at the same time is concerned 1/3 part in 140. And all the proceeds of our goods take to make present payment for them, when at the same time who have not a peny of our effects returned us, but our shipps lyinge there upon demoridge and like to come dead freighted. A hopefull way to cary on and incouridge a trade! But by these fallicies & pretences have I been soe long deluded that I am in a fayre way to be undon.

& Therefore, I think now high time to looke about and inquire for some more sattisfactory acco.tts. Its now full 16 mo.s since Mr. Helmes went out of England, by whome we writte you possitively to adjust all our acco.tts forthwith in 1/3ds & to send us Acco.tts of Sales of what sould, and a list of all such goods as did remaine in your hands. The same thinge have wee required in ten sev.ll letters at least since. But all the answer we could ever yet get is whan your leisure will, it shall be don, and when that leisure time will be God knowes. For I now begin never to expect it. Then, insteed of makeing us returns of our effects for such goods as wee consigned you, which wee gave you strickt orders not to dispose of to any person but for ready paym.t or such whose payment you would yourselfe answer for in 6 mo. att furthest after the sale, & on these & noe other termes to dispose of our goods to any person whatsoever after haveing disposed of our goods, and wee accordingly expected and ordered the returnes to be made us, then you come to tell us, instead of makeing such returnes, that wee cannot expect returnes for our goods that came so lately to your hands till you had first don justice to other concerns that you are soe much behinde hand with. But assure yourselfe these answers will noe longer pass with us. For if you have observed our orders, wee expect payment accordingly; or if you have not observed our orders, you must make good the effects to us, will be a meanes hereafter to teach you how to follow orders & to give your principalls such accompts as they ought to have: How often have wee writt to you and possitively ordered you every 6 months at furthest to make up the acco.tts & send us of all such goods as ware sould, & allsoe to take an exact inventory of all such goods as remainde in your hands unsold at such times and send us. But this we could never yet get don, although I have kept my owne servant with you without the least consideration for it to assist you, who is capable anough to doe my owne buisnes. Yet, at the same time, in kindness to you, I allow you comissions for the doeing it and yett can get noe acco.tts from you, though I kept a servant there to noe other end & purpose. You doe well to put me in minde of his time being neere expired & that now I ought to thinke of giveing him some incouridgement. Methinks you that have reaped the benefitt of his services should study a way in recompence to give him an imployment, for you take care to keepe me in a condition not fitt for that or to feinde myselfe bread for all you ever I have been labouringe for many yeares to gett togeather to promote you & others I have comitted to your care. Which I finde hath been only soe to squander itt away that I am never likely to see it againe. & Yet you have not the least sence to take notice to give me the least sattisfactory answer in anythinge that I require should be don. I have soe often repeated these things to you that I am quite tyred with writteing it. Pray give me noe further trouble of writeing you on this subject. But let all such Acco.tts of Sales be sent us with our Acco.tts [p. 374] Curr.t & lists of debts. And lett obligations be taken as we have formerly directed. & Lett a list of all such goods be forthwith sent us as remaines unsould. And apply yourselfe to the getting in our debts. Here will speedily goe from hence Capt. Hill who goes Deputy Gov.nor of your island, who I am confident he will doe you all favour and justice towards the recovery of our just debts. I have alsoe writt to the Gen.ll to the same effect, who you may make aplication to upon occation. And when all this is don & our returns made us, wee can never hope to see our owne mony againe, for sugars of Nevis are now worth but 19s & 20s p.r c.t, and I verily beleeve the next yeare will not reach above 17 or 18s. You may judge of the hopes of proffitt wee are like to make by our ...

277. Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, July 18, 1682
I have rec.d sev.ll of yours, viz. of the 26th March, 27th April, & 5th & 7th of May – all which gives an of the sad effects of the hurycanes & the greate droughts that hath hapned since, which will occation the prolonginge our debts that are allready of soe long standinge that I now begin to dispayre of ever seeinge anythinge from them. And since patience will be the onely remedy, I shall sitt downe & endevour to content myselfe therewith. & The greatest concern that I have upon mee is the greate trouble you have upon you, I am to sensible of, as you canot but bee of our greate loss by the disapointments we have mett with, which in the greatest measure hath been purely by mismanidgem.t & neglects on that side of the water. And now whatever of our debts & effects may bee recovered, whenever it comes, will come to nothing. Soe that wee have not been only kept out of our goods, but in the end shall loose our principall. For notwithstanding the destruction of the hurycanes in those islands, by meanes whereof soe little sugars comes from thence, yet the vast gluts that comes from other parts hath soe lowred that com. that there is no probable hopes but in a yeare or two more it will scarce be worth bringinge home. The 20 hhds. from our plant. after keepeing them a greate while in the way house, when could get noebody that would looke upon them, I sould Mr. Fleete att 20s 6d p.r c.t, & the 20 hhds. upon our partable acco.tts in 1/3ds att 20s p.r c.t. After my bro. Baxter had tryed all the brokers in towne, was glad of that price. & 66 hhds. from my Mountsarratt plant., was the best that came this yeare for England from those islands, I had much adoe to gett 21s 6d p.r c.t for them. None of the 3 parcells yett fully wayed of, nor doe I beleeve shall be p.d for them this 4 mo. ...

I take notice the loss wee likely to receive by the freighting of that shipp which was contracted for before the advise of the hurycane & on the cheapest tearmes that ever you knew and indeed after the dismalist storme that ever was before knowne. Noe man [p. 375] could ever supose that out of the greater affects who have there such a ship could ever have come without a loadeing. I still say no better remedy then patience, yet notwithstanding the insurance I did really intend to make upon the ship in hopes of a return unknowable, I have not yet insured one peny upon her, nor doe I designe it. But you may see sometimes men may goe to fast as well as to slow. For your wife was much concerned I had not insured for you on the Thomas & Sarah, though you gave not the least word of advice soe to doe, nor that you intended to load anythinge upon her when you gave advise of her arivall at Antigua. & Although I made 500£ insurance upon her upon my owne acco.tts, yet it was upon, soe that I rec.d but 110£, was not neare the vallew of my loss. Nor could I make the insurance any other way, not knowinge for want of advice whether I should have a peny upon her, and then I had throwne away soe much mony. though I can answer to myselfe yet I canot to other men, espetially after haveinge been blamed for the same thinge the yeare before by yourselfe.

I observe you have noe assistance from Richard Watts, which is what I never designed or intended but that hee should spend his whole time about our concerns in the bookes. he might very well have donn in the storehowse & yet have sould a few barrells of beefe for ready paym.t as I ordered, & noe otherwise, in case the Master could not dispose of them. & The greatest end I had in sendinge them was because the shipp should not goe deadfreighted. Yet I perceive hee hath not only declyned all other buisness on that pretence & taken a storehowse to himselfe, but hath alsoe contrary to my orders made debts in the country of them, which if any insalvant ones hee must assuredly pay for. I never designed to make an addition to my debts. My ordering him up to Mountserratt with the ship to help give her a dispatch was what I could not avoyd, since Mr. Berwick was altogeather a stranger & had noe assistance. You have hereinclosed my letter to him, which, if hee refuseth to observe, I hope the Govern.r upon your compl. would doe me that justice to make him serve out his time in a goall. But I hope you will alsoe take care that those effects which are contracted of mine and yet standing out that hee takes dew care for the recovery of them. I have lately rec.d a letter from Ph. Edwards, who tells me he is resolved to accept of anything we will doe for him, who I thinke will be a very fitt person to assist you. & If he continues his resolution, I shall be content to comit the care of what remaines at your comeinge of to him &, during the time of your stay, to allow him what you judge conveniant as an assistant.

I give you thanks for your kindeness offer of makeinge use of your mony, but I assure you I will never doe it unles upon the same that another man would to pay interest for it. & On that, I shall never scruple it of, when I have an occation. For I never desire to use any mans stock but my owne, & therefore have desired your wife to speake to your freinds to put out what mony you have in my hands, allwaies shall lye ready for her call. & If I can finde any safe opertunity of doeinge it, shall give her my utmost assistance, as she knowes I have hitherto don it. ...

I have rec.d 2 letters from your brother, the first of the 17th of January, wherein I perceive he persists in his injustice & folly & beleeve me to bee as easy a foole as he hath endeavored to make mee by his fallecyes, which I can to planely proove upon him. In this letter, he assures me that if he should shipp any of the effects of the coppers, still and cases I sent from hence the 6th of Sept. in the yeare 1680 & that ware landed with him the latter end of the next month foll., viz. Octo.r or in the begining of November att furthest, as will appeare by there owne letters of advise of the arrivall of the s.d ketch, that it must be other mens effects. For that to the writing of this letter he had not rec.d one pounde of the proceeds of that cargoe though all sould or the greatest part thereof in a short time after, as will appeare by his owne letters. And if anybody can perswade mee that, out of 120 od thous.d of sugars debts contracted with such com. as coppers, stills & cases that makes the best of debts, that in 15 mo. one pound should not be rec.d, they may as well p.rswade mee out of my name. But in this how manifestly hee gives himselfe the lye is to plaine. For this is the first stocke that ever he can pretend to. And yett, in sev.ll former letters long before the date of this, pretends to an estate, builds howses, & acknowledges to have traded considerably and haveing acquired an estate to himselfe, [p. 376] & pretends the foundation to come from an intrest in a concern with Tho. Westcott, which he was soe kinde to invest him with. To proove how false this is I have under Tho. Westcott's hand to proove the contrary. Therefore, it concerns you to inspect these affaires, who is the person I expect justice from. & Then to culler the business he tells me if hee had any such overreach designes, he could have gained 100£ by a bargain he bought of the revercion of our plant. without orders, yet was soe tyde to our interest as to give it us. I confes if I had gott an estate by his good service & manidgm.t of our concerns, I might overlooke these things; but, since I am likely to loose an estate by it, I will not be soe bubled. ...

I ordered Abra. Terry to land 5,000 staves at my plant. att Mountsarat & desired you might take the like quantities for your owne & my Baxter acco.tts out of that cargo, & dispose joyntly betwixt you. But I find by Terryes letter he hath omitted to doe it. Wherefore I intreate the same thinge may be don or, if you have disposed them soe that you have not soe great a quantity to spare, pray let 2 or 3,000£ be sent as you can spare them to Mr. Berwick, & take a conveniant time to doe it when any shipp or vessell goes up that the freight may be saved. ...

278. Captain William Berwick [Montserrat]

London, July 28, 1682
I have rec.d yours of the 1st of May intimateing your safe arivall at Mountserratt. Which am very glad and thanke you for the large you have given mee of my concerns comitted to your care. Which is more sattisfactory then all the advises and accompts I have rec.d this 8 yeares. The 32 hhds. of sugar by Gold I have rec.d (as likewise the former 34 hhds.), which you did very well in permittinge them to bee laden, in regard the freight was before contracted. And for the reason you give, in all probability the earlyness of the markett would have sufficiently recompensed all other disapoyntm.ts. But this yeare it hath hapned otherwise. For notwithstandinge the destruction att the Leward Ilands, such vast quantities came in from Barbados and Jamaica that there is not want for them, nor can a man scarce get them of at any rate. & Had the same [p. 377] sugars arived that time 12 mo. before, it would have yeilded 26s p.r c.t. That now I had much a doe to gett sell of at 21s 6d p.r c.t, after tryinge all the brokers & sugars bakers in town, and its to be feared will the next yeare bee a greater fall. Soe that what that commo. will in little time come to, you may judge. Indeed, the plant.s makes more then the world is capable of vendinge. The caskes are very large, which method pray continue, allthough some time scruble may be made at takeing them in. Yett a small adition to the ordinary fr.t at such times will pass them & att other times, when sugars are scarce & fr.t plenty, will pass with and somethinge considerable is alsoe saved in the chareges here. Those sugars fild out of the cooler into the caske, with exterordinary care taken in the fillinge & purginge them, will proove best. But care must bee alwayes taken of that. I could have sould these sugars at 22s p.r c.t, if I would have allowed punchon tares, which they generally insisted upon by reason of the extraordinary largeness of the caske; but I rather chose to take 21s 6d p.r c.t; which amounts to the same by the quarter of a £ being added to the tare of each caske, & that would have been a very sad president for the future,

I am very well pleased that you have been soe prudent in your caryinge on thinges soe fairely & amicably with Capt. Bramley, as its allwayes my desire you should, provided you suffer nothinge to be donn or transacted to my prejudence, as I knowe you have discretion anough to take care of that. & Above all things be carefull to make noe breach of Artickles on my part, but consider well our Artickles & make that your rule to walke by. & In case any matters of dispute should rise betwixte you, through occation of any considerable breach of Artickles on Mr. Bramlies part, that you shall not thinke reasonable to condisend to on my part, and that the same may bee to my prejudice, I desire you to enter downe the same in writeing & make a publique protest at the Secretaries Office against all such proceedings, & let the same be recorded & leave the decission thereof to me. But of this I hope there may be noe occation, yet have reason to suspect it by what you write of Bramlyes haveing admitted you to the inspection of the concern, as if he thinks I have not as good a right thereunto as himselfe. But all these things I can pass by, provided I suffer no other waies.

Pray bee very punctuall in the keepinge and adjustinge all acco.tts from time to time, & settlinge them betwixt you. & Lett them bee made up & sent me dewly every 6 mo. with an exact which you are first to take of all the stocke & inventory and send mee and afterwards an every 6 mo. of all the increace and decreace of the same. & Keepe as neere as you can to those instructions already given you.

I take notice of what you write as to the potts & dripps and damage of goods. As to the first, Mr. Bramlyes derections was not for the largest sort but for a sise less, and accordingly I agreed with the potter at a sugar bakers, one Mr. Eires by name, his house, who first recomended this man to mee. And theire I showed him the patorn of the sort in his presents, and agreed for them, and ordered him to make them and put them aboard, as alwayes did before for all the parcells that ever I sent without ever seeing them. And never haveing any compl.t before of any I had sent, I had the less reason to suspect it now. Yet I tooke more care of this parcell then any former in sending my man downe on board the shipp & seeinge them stowed. & If the potter sent not the same sort I agreed for, he is a greate knave. Which I accordinge to the description you give of them is to true. & The more reason I have to beleeve it is because hee is one of Mr. Bramlyes one perswasion: I meane a fanaticke. As to the charge he complaines of hoopinge them, I never heard of any shipt without, it being to preserve them from breakinge. & If any of them hapened to come by that disaster, I subpose that might bee by meanes of the bad wether you had, is impossible to prevent in such brittle ware. For the damadge that hapned to the blew linnen or any other goods, it must proceed from ship damadge, for its very comon to pack shoose and course linens togeather, yet never saw nor heard of any damadge thereby. But his complaint is in generall of everythinge, not onely those things. The serv.ts he saith are percel of boyes. You have write mee nothinge of that, and you well knowe the charge I often gave the Master to take in non but lusty younge men. But in fine I am noewayes oblidged to be Mr. Bramlyes factor for nothinge, and to receive his scourilous letters in answer for my paines, which he never durst doe when within my reach. And if he meanes not his manners in his stile & scandelous reproches behind my back, he shall soon heere from one that shall make him give an of it. If not, distance of places betwixt him & I shall protectt him.

However, doe you minde nothing but the caryinge on the concern as equally & fairly as you can, without giveing [p. 378] the least occation of difference in my part. And as I have said before, let the Artickles be your rule. & If hee makes any breaches on his part, follow my derections afforesaid. Hee shall finde I am not to be huft nor hectored out of my right. And, allthough p.rhaps if I owne as greate an opinion of my owne understandings as he is, I might pretend to bee as good a judge of the Artickles as himselfe; but because I will comitt noe erors on my part, I have taken the opinion of the ablest lawyers of England upon them, and will keepe to theire instructions as neare as I can as I hope you will to mine. And then I am sure there will be noe breach on my part. I desire you to consider well from time to time what may be neefull & wanteinge for the suply of the plant. & advise for it early, rather more then less of anything. & If Mr. Bramlye will not joyne with you in the sendinge for such things joyntly, then advise for what may be needfull for my p.rticuler, persuant to the instructions I have given you. After you have rec.d Mr. Bramleys accounts to the time of your comeing over, then every 6 mo. make up the acco.tts & signe to each other for the time to come (without restrospection to any former, unles you have any cause to object against his acco.tts by means of any breaches of Artickles, which may hapen on his part. On mine I hope you will take care there may be none.

I have writte to Capt. Powell a letter of thanks for his civility offered to you on my behalfe, & I am confident, if you feinde any occation of makeing aplycation to him, hee will be allwayes ready to assist you in anythinge to doe mee right. I may press Mr. Fox to the payment of my debt; & if good words will not doe, you must take some other remedy as the law affords. For its most unreasonable in him to keepe mee soe many years out of it, wherein I doe not only loose the intrest of my mony but whereas sugars was then worth 24 or 25s p.r c.t when I receive it perhaps it may not be worth above 17s. Soe that in fine I shall loos halfe my principall by my forberance. Lay downe this reason & pres it hard & lett him knowe the injury I perceive by his keepinge me soe long out. Had I lent him 100£ or 2 or 3 to have don him a kindenes, I should have rec.d my mony againe without loss.

I have received a letter from the Gen.ll wherein he requests my forbearance of his debt till the nex crop. Soe that what remaines unpaid, I would not have you make any further demand of till the next yeare.

I ordered Abraham, Terry, to land 5,000 staves for my use with you. But I finde by his letter hee hath not don it, in regard he was informed you had noe want. Yet nevertheless I have writte to Mr. Robert Helmes to subply you with the s.d quantity, you may take care to preserve untill my occations requires them & make them up in piles, you may serve by driveinge piles in the ground and nayling timbers or bords over them. & Keepe them for my own proper use, unless Mr. Bramley will allow you a pound of sugar p.r staff for the halfe of them. I never found he charged much less then a pound and halfe p.r staffe to my, viz. 14£ & neere 1/4 more for sloope hyre. I have desired Mr. Rob.t Helmes to waite some conv.t time to send them up by a ship or vessell where hee can get them freight fee or upon easy tearmes caryed up.

I have att present omitted to give answer to Bramleys scurilous letters of same reason I have, but he shall in dew time have it to the purpose in such a manner that will not please him. I would not have you comunicate this letter to him, but to make use of its contents as occations may require. I have writt you another letter relateinge to a parcell of negros I have contracted for the use of the plant., the contents of you may comunicate to him. & Observe to follow such directions as I have given in relation to the takeing his obligation, in regard I am doubtfull there will be more hazard [p. 379] in loadeing them then formerly, the General haveing been lately reprimanded for the incouridging interlopers. Which keepe to yourselfe but be sure to be the more prudent in the manadgement when shee arrives & before. Keep it private to yourselfe, not giveing out that you expect any such ship. I have prevayled with my brother Baxter, who bought the whole ship, having spared my cozen Bedingfeilde halfe for his owne use, to joyne you with my cozen Bedingfeilde in the dispossition of the halfe, & have promised him you shall charge noe more then accordinge to my contract for comissions & c. & The caske you must make large and provide them on the cheapest tearmes you can possible. & Be sure to trust none but such whose payment will be good and speedy, though you sell them the cheper. For a quick returne is the life of trade. For want of I am many thousands pounds the worse for what I have traded for since I came from thence. & For that reason have wholy left it of & never will be concerned Cr. more in trade as long as I live. But when I receive your proposalls, will doe anythinge I can for you, & will recomend to you all my freinds. When you send any letters, send them under a cover to my bro. Baxter, by reason I shall be seldom in towne. & Having left all buisnes to him, they will come safer to mee.

Mr. Bramleys make me a proposition of renting my halfe part the plant. att 50,000 lbs. sugars p.r an., since he thinks that the utmost vallew of it. I have proposed the same thinge to him; or if hee will make me a proposal, either to buy or sell, such a one as he will stand to, I will doe either with him. To & some other perticulars of his letter I have given him answer. & Therefore, I desire you to give me a full and exact of all the stock & all utinsells belonginge to it, with houseinge & c. & the quality thereof, that soe I may be fully sattisfied in the true vallew thereof & thereby better able to judge his propositions. But of all these things you need take noe further notice then that its my orders to have a parfect of all things upon you or belonginge to the plant., & with all give me your opinion as neare as you can of the true vallew of the plant. and what in probability the cleare produce p.r anno may be, giveing allowance for casualties & accidents. Be as plaine & full in your advice as to all these perticulars as possible you can. ...

279. [p. 380] Anthony Henthorne (Chester)

London, July 22, 1682
... I take notice of w.t you write as to sugars and your prices thereof, in a great measure is to true. ... As to the prices of sugars here, Barbados is sold from 18s 6p to 21s as in goodness, Nevis from 20s to 22s 6d & 23s as in goodness, but for the most part about 21s p.r c.t, being generally exterordinary bad this yeare, the worst that ever was seen, occationed by the great hurycane & exterordanary droughts since, soe much that scarce any sugars hath [p. 381] been made in all the Leward Islands this yeare nor will not. Yet the prices here are soe lowe, by reason there hath been noe exportation all this yeare occationed from a new rupture of warr is likely to breake out here between H. & Flanders with the French which puts all that part of the world to a stand. I have at pres.t noe sugars by me, but expect about 3 weekes hence about 40 tuns. 20 tuns thereof will be choyse good from my owne plantation that I doubt will prove like them – that is bad anough. & Therefore, I can expect for it but such a price as it may deserve according to its quality, p.rhaps not above 21s p.r c.t or may be 21s 6d or 22s as it may deserve. If you can have any of it at a market price when it arives, you shall, & to deliver it here, but then you must pay pres.t mony, as we sell for here, or a low intrest for it. Or if you are not willing to run the adventure of it about yourselfe, allowinge me 8s p.r & more, is about 3 p.r c.t, & I will run the adventure for you. ...

When Capt. Clayton first arrived att Mountseratt, he might have had what freight he wanted. But meeting his ordered for Leverpoole, could gett non to ship for that part. And since you have againe ordered him for London, the freight he then might have had is since taken by other, soe will want of his loadeinge.


  • 1. On the hurricane, see the note on Thomas Jeffery's inset map of Nevis, on Anthony Ravell's map of "St. Christophers or St. Kitts" (London, 1775).
  • 2. Either an uncle or first-cousin of the merchants Robert and William Helme.
  • 3. There is no such continuation or letter in the letterbook. Perhaps it was continued on the missing manuscript pages 363–364, which have been torn out of the letterbook, or perhaps it is the undesignated portions on pages 367–368.
  • 4. Proctor's Plantation in Nevis, which was purchased in 1675.
  • 5. Evelyn, Diary, vol. 4, pp. 282, 432. Freeman returned to London on May 30.