The Letters of William Freeman, London Merchant, 1678-1685. Originally published by London, 2002.
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Freeman's Letters, 1683: nos 327-343
327. [p. 463] Henry Carpenter [Nevis]
London, September 13, 1683
Worthy Freinde, Sir,
I have yours before mee of the 23th of Aprill, for w.ch I returne you my harty thanks, & for the acco.tt of our affaires you are pleased to give mee. As to the houses, Mr. Helmes hath made mee a proposall for them, with w.ch I am content. Only I desire one of the negro coopers w.ch belongs to mee at the rate apraised, in case wee have any want at our plant. But otherwise am content hee shall goe with the rest, accordinge to the apraisem.t. It should bee greate sattisfaccion to have the accompts relateinge to that concerne adjusted, both of proffitt & loss, that I might see whether my 12 yeares concerne (in that greate concearne by w.ch the world judges I have gott many thous.d pounds) would amount to anythinge or nothing. For heitherto I am not sensible of 100£ from it. & If Mr. Helmes has drawne more then you, I am to this very instant an apsoelute stranger to it, beinge to this day without any acco.tt. Neither can I beleeve it has been applyed to any use of myne. Although I am assured of his justice and never doubted in the least, yet I am soe sensible that, through neglect, those that hee hath imployed hath soe wronged mee. And I beleeve him alsoe that I never hath had my just dew from my other concernes, much les have drawne from that. For I never have rec.d anythinge since my departure from thence but what have come upon our acco. in thirds, & what of that to doe with the Royall Comp. busines. If soe, other men hath had the advantage of it. But that I canot supose, knoweinge what returnes we have had. Neither have any other concerne there but the settlem.t of a plaintation. W.ch will bee very easy for mee to prove the defrayeinge that charge out of other concerns, without drawinge from the Royall Comp. concern. Therefore, I desire the adjustm.t of the acco.tt & whatever is dew to my quarter part that it may bee forthwith ship mee as in justice it ought. For what acco. are dependinge betwixt Mr. Rob.t & you, you must adjust them betwixt yourselves. & If hee apeares a deb.r, hee is a man suffitiently responsible to make you sattisfaccion. For that ought not to retard anythinge of my right. And whenever Mr. Helmes comes to an adjustment of accompts betwixt him and I, if anythinge appeares dew to him, I will imeadietly pay him, either here or there. Its but reason I should have justice donne mee betwixt you both for what relates to my concerne. & Therefore, I now expres it, as either of you would in the like case. I am sure neither of you can complaine against mee for want of acco.tt or anythinge elce that of right belongs to you. & Truly I expected, when you had soe adjusted acco.tt, I ought to have had it as well from you as from Mr. Helmes, for its what I have soe longe & often desired, that noe man can blame mee now for presinge for it, after 12 yeares beinge concerned & now dismist of the busines. Therefore, pray lett me mention this thinge noe more. But I intreat it may be donn. ...
328. [p. 464] William Berwick [Montserrat]
London, September 13, 1683
I have rec.d severall of yours that gives an acco.tt of Bramlyes proceedings w.ch I shall say little to att present, but refer it to time, when p.rhaps I may finde as much justice as other men, and p.rplex his thoughts as much as he thought to doe mine. Butt the magott mistakes, for I doe not soe much as trouble my thoughts about it, nor will I take the paines to overlooke his acco.tt untill I am sure of a time when they may be corected with justice.
I writt you sometime since that I had disposed of my halfe part of that plant. to my bro. Baxter, and that I had artickled with him to continue you dueringe the time of my contract. But since hee hath understood of those deccissions & differences, hee thinkes it rather his interest to refer the manadgem.t of it to Bramley himselfe, for whome hee expects to finde more justice then I have don. I wish hee may, but very much doubt it.
However, to give him sattisfaccion in that p.rticular, I have released him of that artickle, & accordingly I writt you that it was my desire you should goe downe to Nevis & spend the residue of the time of your covenants with Mr. Robert Helmes in the assistinge him in the settlinge and drawinge out of accompts, w.ch I presume may bee more agreeable to your inclinations and that you will injoye more sattisfaccion with him then you have had with that k. Bramley. I allsoe desire you to send a parfect acco.tt of what you have transacted & a full charge of all things. & The horse that you bought might as well have been spared, consideringe how things stoode there. As soone as I receive your acco.tt, whatever is dew to you upon acco.tt of wages or anythinge elce shall bee dewly paide. But I finde by your last you desire to bee acquitted the next yeare, w.ch you may doe as you finde most agreeable to your advantage. But if you expect your wages to run on, you must imeadietly upon rec.t of this repaire to Nevis, as I now directed. For on M.tserratt I have now nothinge to doe for you. As to the small summe you desire mee to disburse for you, I should readily doe it, ware it twice soe much. But truly I have had such usage from those parts where the greatest part of my estate lyes that I have not wherewithall to pay my debts unles I sell my small estate here, w.ch I am not willinge to doe to turne it into one there. & Therefore, I am not in a condision to advance any mony. But whatever is your dew accordinge to Artickles shall be punctually parformed & dewly p.d you, as longe as you continue in my servis. ...
329. George Liddell [Montserrat]
London, September 13, 1683
I have rec.d two of yours, viz. of the 23th of Aprill & that by Clayton with this yeares rent, w.ch is sattisfactory, though I have hard noethinge at all of its qualification. But assure you the last was such trash that it could not bare the name of sugars. & This I must affirme – if you send a thousand dispossitions, Ile beleeve my one eyes before them all. Besides you have it under the hands of 3 other honest men & may have there oathes to it when you please. Nor was there one cask of marchantable muscovada sugars in the whole 264. But it is not small matters shall occation any difference betwixt you & I. Neither is there anythinge in reason that you can aske that I shall deny. I ever had & allwayes shall retaine a true respect for you w.ch I hope you doe not question. But indeed I was a little concerned att your expression in your letter to my bro. Baxter that was I had made the hardest bargain for you that ever was made in that kinde. I should have thought soe had they been for myselfe, for the 4,000 lbs. sugar p.r head it was your one propossition. [p. 465] And had you paid for them in mony att 18£ p.r head, I am sure its 40s p.r head les then ever it was knowne that choyce negros was sold for, either in Barbadoes, the Leward Islands or Jamaica. How your interlopers coming then might alter thinges with you, I know not, but noe man can foresee those things. But had I occation, I should be glad any p.rson should help me to a p.rsell on the same tearmes. & You canot but owne that they are cheper att 18£ p.r head, beinge the very choyce, then the whole p.rcell was att 13£ a head. & What you could desire more, I canot tell. Had you desired them by lott, as hee had them, I might have had them att the same price hee p.d; but beinge your desire to have choyse, I agreed soe, & am sure you had the better bargin. I had no other benifitt by it then to become bound for the paym.t, w.ch I redily did & will at any time doe that or anythinge elce in my power to doe you a kindenes. But when I doe for the best, you must not finde fault. Pray make punctuall complyance in all p.rticulars accordinge to my contract, for my bro. will expect full p.rformance from mee, in regarde hee will bee a greate looser by that of negros as they are sould.
One thinge more hee desired mee to signifye to you, w.ch was my contract for the dispossition of them w.th my coz. Bedingfeild & for Mr. Berwicke as he agreed with mee. That was that thay should draw noe comision but upon returnes and then 10 p.r c.t but noe other charges whatever than what you should actually pay, and thats the highest comission thats generally given on negros. Now he tells mee you have drawne comission upon the sales, which must not bee. He allsoe intreates mee to desire you to hasten his returnes what possibly you can.
The next thinge I take notice of is that you have not thought good to accept of my proposall touchinge the purchas of my part of the plant., haveinge now noe mony in England. & For anythinge elce, I am not willinge to dispose of it. But I will keepe it another yeare to see whether you are inclyned, knowinge it to bee more worth then what I offer it to you. I thanke you handely for the trouble you have taken upon you for those small things I consigned you for the plant. use. And you will take the trouble upon you to dispose of such thinges as they have not want of. ...
I thanke you kindely for your proffer of timber. & If you are as well stockt with either seader or locost, if you will cutt mee out a good tree or two in plank of 10 foote long or upwards, noe matter how narrow, provided they are not less then 10 or 12 inches, but some of them must bee 15 foote & halfe longe, & send them me by some ship or other that I shall direct to take them in, or get Mr. Helmes to send them home to mee, you will obleidge me in it. Pray if you have any seader, let me have some of that, because my coz. Bedingefeild will send me some locust. I am abuildinge & would willingly wenscott 2 or 3 roomes of those sorts of woods. ...
330. [p. 466] Richard Seay [Waterford]
London, October 22, 1683
This serves only to desire you to prepare twenty fower barrells of verry choyce beefe, six barrells of the best porke, 1 lb. of very good candles & one hundred & halfe of of [sic] the very best butter in three firkins, in redines to put on bord Mr. Clayton shipp and consigne the same to Mr. Rob.t Helmes in Nevis for our joynt acco.tt beinge for the use of our plant. Wherefore pray take a spetiall care that it may be very good, well packt & well saved, & the caske stance & well twigd. As soone as you can give me an acco.tt of its cost, I will remitt you payment. You need not trouble yourselfe to write me aboute it. But when you write my bro. Baxt.r, signify a word or 2 in your letter to him about it, w.ch will be suffitient. ...
331. Robert Helme [Nevis]
London, October 7, 1683
... Upon the receipt of your letters that gave an accompt of that fraudilent Act made at St. Xtophers (a coppy whereof was sent me p.r Tho. Wescott), I consulted the marchants tradeinge to those islands and shewed them the ill consequenses it would bee attended w.th (w.ch they have been too sensible of as well as myselfe). Yet some of them ware harde to bee p.rswaded to seeke redres, but att length ware prevailed with to petition His Ma.tie, who was gratiously pleased to apoint a reference & day of heareinge before [p. 467] the Lords of the Comitty of Foreigne Trade & Plant.s. That was yesterday. & Upon that debate, I founde by the whole sence of the Board it was allowed to be an Act of Fraud only, as I have before stiled. & Allthough they determined noethinge last night, it beinge late before the busines was harde, yet you may depende upon it that Act is dam.d to all intents & purposes. And because I am forced now to breife, before I begin on any other subject, I will conclude this in relation to our owne concerns that hath reference to this St. Kitts Act. Viz. I hope you have perused my last request to you in relation to the settlem.t of our acco.tts with Thomas Westcott and others upon that island. That beinge done, its my request that the first thinge you goe upon is to get all our deb.ts under order of court or judgm.t; that as soone as you receive an acco.tt that this Act is repaled (which you need not doubt but our next will bringe you), that you forthwith cause the utmost rigor of the lawes to be put in execution for the speedy recovery of our debts without favor to any person whatsoever. For it will be good ridinge the forehorse, all men here beinge insensed. & Therefore, loose noe time. I knowe Thomas Hill will doe you all the favor and assistance he can. & Thus much I tell you: the burthn of this amiss Act had layne upon him as his Act, had not I defended it by vertue of his owne letter, wherein hee accused himselfe from beinge anywayes concerned therein.
The next thinge is, I must tell you, that you are extreamly short in makeinge compl.ts without sendinge proofes to ground them on, as in the hardship you alledge of Cleavelands. You should have sent a copye of the Act attested w.th an acco.tt of the whole proceedinges upon oath, & then you might have been releeved from that apression alsoe. W.ch omitt not to doe by first & all other p.nitious Acts & proceedings on any the Islands wherein you think yourselves agreived, & Ile indeavor to finde releife. But bee shure your proofes are as authentickque as possible. The same thinge omitt not to doe relateinge to our negros w.ch you say the Generall hath soe arbitrarily taken from us (w.ch I have great reason to beleave, haveinge suffitienly felt the weight of his arbitrary hand). Yet that way of opression shall never silence mee as it hath donn to other men. For I know full well its quite contrary to His Ma.ties intents, as well as to his lawes, that any of his good subjects should lye under the opression of any arbitrary power. & If you have laboured under, it 'twas your fault that you have not seeked redres. Where I shall conclude with this subject, only to let you knowe it would be necessary for all those p.rsons you mention, whose negrose ware in like maner taken from them as yours, to seeke the like redres as you doe.
The next thinge I come to is relateinge to my M.tserratt concerne, wherein I must pray your utmost assistance and advise wherein it may bee wantinge there. I formerly write you I had disposed it to my brother Baxter, as I had indeed contracted with him for it. But hee & I, haveinge greate confidence in each others words, had delayed the executeinge the deeds; & this accompt cominge unexpectedly of the divission, whereby must accrue such greate damadges, I thought it unjust to tye him up to such a bargin. Therefore, have acquitted him untill some devission bee of those there unjust proceedinges. In order to w.ch I tooke advise of Counsell (as before I had don & given the Gen.ll an account). But I perceive that had noe preivilence other then to animate him to greater injustice, beleeveinge himselfe (as I suppose subject to noe lawes of England but rather above them, as I perceive the manner of his proceedinge). After takeinge advise, I proceeded to pettition His Ma.tie & Counsell. Yesterday was allsoe appointed for heireinge to the matter of fact laid downe by my Counsell Fowle & Blacke, as the proceedings ware this arbitrary dominion suffitiently prooved in this case. Yet, notwithstandeinge, the Lords had a true sense of the injustice don mee, would not proceed to sentance (as he did) before both perties ware hard, as indeed I could not expect they should follow his example, justice beinge theire rule. W.ch is equally distributed by that Hono.ble Board to all His Ma.ties subjects. & To bee shorte upon the whole matter, they were pleased to order that an appeale should be granted mee & time given the Gen.ll & Capt. Bramley to answer my comp.lt before His Ma.tie & Councell (where they will not finde Mountserratt lawes). In the intrem, the Councell, to prevent further damadges that may accrue to me by means of there illegall proceedings, ware pleased to order that a letter of caution should bee writt from that bord to the Gen.ll to take care that justice may bee don mee to prevent further damadges that may hapen to accrue to himselfe by meanes thereof, or words to this effect was the sence of the bord; & that a coppye of my petition w.th the order of Councell should be sent him & Bramley w.th such heads as my Councell should thinke fitt to draw up against them as a charge aga.t there proceedings, [p. 468] that soe they may give answer accordingely. & Next Tusday, beinge the 13th Instant, is appointed for the seigneinge this order. When by the new oppertunity that offers after I shall sende it forward.
Now, what I am to request of you is that you will not be wantinge to ayd & assist Mr. Berwicke in the procureinge authentique proofs, not only attested by the notary there but alsoe by some wittnes that may come home here to make proofe thereof, if possible; but if not, the wittnesses thereto be sworne before some Justice of Pease with his test to the same, & the Notary or Secretary of the Islands alsoe to lett sev.l of them bee drawne & sent by severall ships & one of each recorded in the Secretarys office. Your owne dispossition relateinge to the Gen.lls order to you to get a writ of possession drawne & all other circomstance you have laide downe in your letter of the [blank] will bee very meteriall, viz. Bramly beinge att the Gen.lls house. & Pray lett it bee as full as possible. But I suppose Mr. Berwick will bee my most meteriall evidence. Therefore, I shall write to him to come home. But nevertheles in case of mortality, pray take his depositions as full as possible he is able to give them of all the dayes, whole transactions & proceedings from first to last, & send by severall ships as before, w.th his oath to his memoriall of demands sent mee, & all othere things. I canot now give you soe full an acco.tt of all things that will bee required to make proofes as by my next I shall, haveinge not as yet taken my Councells directions. W.ch I will forthwith doe & send with the order, as likewise desire to know of the Lords what proofs will bee required. As soone as Mr. Berwickes depositions are taken, if he be with you, its my request he shoulde goe up to Mountseratt & gett Mr. Liddle, Capt. Hodges, Mr. Read, Mr. Fox or any other my freinds that he can best prevaile with, to inspect Mr. Bramleys proceedings upon the plant.: whether he imploys the slaves, horses & c. about any buildinge or any other worke that is not realy tendinge to the advantage of the plant.; what workemen, laborers or others that hee imploys aboute any such workes; & all things elce that may anywayes tend to my damadge by meanes of this divissions. All these things I desire you will alsoe zealously recomende to some of your most p.rticular freindes there to inspect carefully, soe as that they may give evidence of the same when occation shall require.
I take p.rticular notice of what you mention relateinge to the certificate the Gen.ll desired from you. I hope you are not att this time a day soe weake as to be drawne into such snares, but that on the contrary you will use your utmost endeavors with all such march.ts or traders as you have any influence upon, that in case any such certificates are desired, as I am sure there will, that they will not only decline settinge there hands to such certificates but alsoe draw up the true state of all the greviances they labor under att pr.sent or have heretofore don. & Give the same under there hands & send them home to mee. W.ch will be the only means they can use to releive them from that arbitrary opression they lye under as you have signified to mee. & For ought I knowe, if this bee not donn, they may repent it when to late. For all things in this nature are now inquired into; & if men will resolve to get through with it, they may be asured of releife or, on the contrary, in all probability, they must expect theire oppressions to bee greater then ever. For you may reasonable supose that if he weathers this point, it will bee in veine hereafter ever to offer to strike att his arbitrary power.
For my owne part I am resolved to goe thorow with my one busines, though now all his freinds are laboringe to silence things. But that will not doe. The Lords have a true sence & presentment of my case & many others. Soe that things of that nature will not bee stifled, as formerly they have been. I have not now time to inlarge further then to desire you not only to incouridge Mr. Berwick in the p.rformance of all these things my desires but alsoe to consult and instruct him in all meteriall poynts, soe that all things may bee effectualy prooved when it comes to a hereinge. I am sure we had better suffer that way then the other, for that can be but for a little time; or if the contrary should hapen, I had much rather be undon then live under such oppressions. But I thinke this is the only meanes to pr.serve my intrest from ruin. ...
332. [p. 469] Captain John Bramley [Montserrat]
London, November 8, 1683
I rec.d yours by the hands of Mr. Ben. Williams, wherein you desire me to pay the ballance of your acco.tt, w.ch you supose to be about 80£ to him, & then you say you will doe me justice in answeringe my comands. In answer thereunto I say that if it shall appear that I am indebted to you any such summe or a greater, when an acco.tt is truly stated betwixt us, I will not only pay you your money but intrest for it alsoe, as I hope on the contrary you will doe the like by mee, if it shall appeare that you are in my debt. I desire nothinge but that an acco.tt may be honestly stated betwixt us, & that I may receive my dew. W.ch is all I ever expected from you, but never yet could obteyned it. For I can neither get accompts nor anythinge elce from my estate, but an acco.tt of an illegall division. Yet Capt. Bramley continued in the possession of the whole. But that I shall not trouble myselfe to argue att this distance, since His Ma.tie & the Lords of His Most Honorable Pryvy Counsell have ordered Sir William Stapleton & Capt. Bramley to answer it before them, when the legallity of there proceedings will appeare. & I must tell you for any wast, spoyles or damadges you have or shall comitt by meanes of this division, or any elce that you shall transact contrary to your Artickles, you must expect to be accomptable for or Sir W.m Stapleton, as the Lords will more perticularly signifye to him. For you are out in both your law & polliticks. & Sir W. Stapleton will finde men here that p.rhapes will be able to dispute poynts of law w.th him. I never grounded anythinge upon my owne opinion, but upon the best advise of Counsell this place afforded. & If they mistake the lawes, I must submitt; but otherwise I doubt not but right will be don mee. & Whereas Capt. Bramley suposeth me indebted to him about 80£, I supose hee may bee indebted to mee two or 3 thousand pounds for the sugars of my part of the plant. This next yeare I shall order mony & goods proper; & Capt. Bramley may refuse to permitt either to be made use of as he hath don formerly, but suply all things himselfe, charg.g mee a trebble rate for it if he pleseth. Since Capt. Bramley hath the absolute comande for my estate & I have noethinge to doe with it, I must content myselfe to submit all things to his will & pleasure, but I hope time will afforde me releife. In the intrem, I must rest myselfe content. For allthough I had contracted with my brother Baxter for this estate, yet I have released him, since it was not resonable for him to purchas an estate that was to be rent in peeces. Soe that I am still your partner, or not, as the law shall try. ...
333. William Berwick [Montserrat]
London, November 7, 1683
I have severall of yours wherein you give me an accompt of all the proceedings relateinge to my plant. in M.tserratt, w.ch, I sometime since writt you, I had sold to my brother Baxter, & then writt you that it was my desire & order that you should goe downe to Nevis & reside with Mr. R. H. where I thought you might reape more sattisfaccion then you had att M.tserratt, knoewinge you had been there suffitiently abused. This I confes I did in hopes Bramley might have been more just to another man then mee, since I found I could by noe other way finde any redres of those my just complaints there, that soe my estate might not bee ruined whilst I was complayninge for releife, as I well knew I could expect noe other, & therefore thought fitt to make use of these meenes to preserve it. & It seemes these nor noe other could preserve mee from ruin where a Governor was bent upon it, & to that intent did not only fall to divideinge illegally without ever hereinge mee but still continued him in possession of the whole. For the afores.d reasons I did forbare giveinge answer to your letters untill my cause came to be hard before the King & Councell [p. 470] & yesterday being a day appointed for the purpose, my hereinge come up. ...
Now, what will be necessary for me to doe is forthwith to get all my proofes in a readiness. & Therefore I desire you imeadietly to goe up to M.tserratt & take Mr. Liddell, Capt. Hodges, Mr. Fox, Mr. Read, Mr. Cone, or any other freindes I have theire that will be soe kinde & that you can confide in, to view the the plant. & take an acco.tt how the servants & slaves are imployed whether about building or any other worke that is not really tendinge to the advantage of the plant., what workemen are imployed upon it, & consequently the charges of provitions & c. that may bee attended therewith, as neere as you can guess. Request those that goe with you to make such perticular inspection as that they may be able to give an acco.tt thereof upon oath when thereunto required. Then consider well of all those passages w.ch in your severall letters you have given me an acco.tt of that anywayes relates to the proceedings, as likewise Bramleys deniall of anythinge meteriall. & Drawe them up as full & authentique as possible you can, with a copie of those demands you made of the Governer w.ch you have allready sent mee. & Make oath to them all before Capt. Hodges or some other Justice of Peace. & Lett him attest it under his hande, as likewise the Secretary or Notary of the Islands. & Get all the proofes of any other p.rson or p.rsons that possible you can. Be sure omitt not his caneinge you upon the plant., turninge you off, not sufferinge you to take an acco.tt of the sugars & c. Note the disposall of the goods, refuseinge to give you acco.tts as you have write, & all other meteriall poynts, the Generall orders for the callinge a spetial court, his avadeinge to come to tryall & slipinge of the island. In the meanetime, to proove who drew the writt, I meane pen.d it, as you say hee did, & many other things that I shall recite out of your letters that att present will not p.rmitt: his refusall to suffer you to bee concerned in any the plant. affaires, your dissenteinge from the buildinge a windmill; and pullinge downe the cattle mill & the damadge that hath acrued to the plant. thereby; how useles the windemill hath been; what time as neere as you can that worke tooke up of the slaves & the charges thereof, as well of workmen, labor, provition & c. as neere as you can. Call the overseere upon his oath to give his testimony of all these such other necessary workes, & get att least three certificates of all these proceedings drawne up & signed authentiquely & sent by sev.l ships as soone as possible you can, least miscareidge should hapen.
As to your owne testimony, the reason that I desire it that is in case of mortallity. For it is my desire & order that you come home to give your p.rsonall apperance to attest all things. But lest you should meet with any obstructions by the authority in gettinge such proofes as may bee necessary from other persons, I will move the Lords the next Tuesday for an order from them to require all such p.rsons to give testimony. & Be sure you are not short in your examinations. Yet consider to take none but such as may be meteriall & breviate them as much as you can. But be not short in the matter of fact. I allsoe desire you to require Mr. W.m Fox to give his testimony upon oath dureinge the time of his beinge my attorny whether I did not desire him to object against his accompts, & whether hee did not, & whether Bramley did not refuse to p.rmitt him to cleare my halfe part of the debts dew from the plant. & to suply my part of the charges & c. of the same, when I sent mony & goods to the said Fox for that purpose. Bee as full in gettinge his testiemony to that effect as you can.
[p. 471] I am sure I have sev.l letters under his hand to prove it & one very lately when I charged him very truly with the contrary. I desire you to get Mr. Liddell's testimony allsoe to that & many other things dureing the time that he was my attorny, w.ch, upon recolection of past passages, I am sure he can give very meteriall evidence.
I allsoe desire you to take a copye of the pattent for our land out of the records of the Secretaryes Office & get the same attested. & Pray let mee know what tittle the Gen.ll hath made Bramley of that land bought of him in No.br Last, whether it is by vertue of a grant from Lord Willougby or by vertue of his Seale from the Kinge. I presume by sherchinge the records, a copye of the Gen.lls grant to Bramley will shew it. Bramley saith the pattent is in my name as well as his, & I supose hath charged me in accompt for the same, though I knew nothinge of the purchas. However, he haveinge charged mee for it, I supose canot refuse me a sight of the pattent & a copie thereof. These & all othere things necessary I would have you advise & consult Mr. Helmes about & get his testimony that soe noe proofes may bee wantinge. For I am forced at pres.t to be breife for want of time, but hereafter will be more large.
I would have sent you those goods you desired for your owne acco.tt, but that I could resolve upon nothinge untill this hereinge was over att Councell, and then I did supose your proofes here would be wantinge. Soe that of necessity I must have been forced to call you home. ...
334. General Sir William Stapleton [Montserrat]
London, November 8, 1683
I rec.d your adviseinge of a bill you had drawne upon me payable to Mr. Mathewes for one hundered & od pounds. The bill is for 180£, w.ch is paid. I allsoe take notice of the charge you mention of 500 & od pounds, w.ch you say I must rectifye. But that is your mistake, not mine. I can justifie that charge & all others that I have made. But if you comitt mistakes amongst yourselves, I am not bound to rectifie all such erors; but such as concerns me, I shall. & If I have made any charge that I canot prove, its but reasonable I should allow thereof. Nor shall I ever refuse to doe it, though, in the intrem, you are not sparinge to make reflections upon me reight or wronge, as in your letter to Sir Ben. Bathurst you charged me for haveinge charged you in acco.t for your Ladyes passiges. Yet, att the same time, you might have taken notice you had creditt in acco.tt for the same againe & the reason why it was not p.d, w.ch you have had sev.ll times had att large from mee. The afforesaid reasons & many others occations mee to desire you to desist drawinge any more upon mee before you come home, w.ch I understand will be very sudenly. Soe that then an acco.tt may bee stated justly betwixt us & that I may bee discharged. For where soe many objections are dayly made, its not reasonable for me to pay money, unles I can be discharged from accomptinge for it againe, as I have sev.l times allredy don. Your money hath alwaies layne ready for you ever since I had your order. & I have often desired Coll. Cotters to receive it, as I supose he hath signified to you. & Alltho I have run the hazard of it, as was well knowne was very great not longe since, yet its knowne to both Coll. Cotter and Mr. Trant, as I have lately shewed him, that I make noe other use of it then to keep it in a redines to answer your comandes, when I can legally be discharged from it. Yet some of it as you call yours must be by my Lord Keepers decree before I part with it, as your brother, for instance. For alltho I was contented to have submitted to anythinge in a manner rather then to have made any breach of freindship on my part, yet I finde it high time for now to looke aboute mee, who when I see noethinge will sattisfye but my owne ruin, when my estate shall right or wronge bee taken from me & rent in peeces & ruined, & the product thereof kept from mee without any manner of acco.tt given, & a man to justifye himselfe in the act by authority is hearde the begetting of of [sic] it, I refer to better judges to determine, viz. the K. & Councell. These & other reasons puts me upon defendinge myselfe from ruin if I can; yet not that I will be gillty of any unjust act, but be answerable for anythinge that can be justly layd to my charge. As to the 200£ you mention to have stope, if that be dew, the whole is. Soe that I will have all or none. & Those thinges you seemes to charge me with, I can legally discharge myselfe from, or elce will answer anythinge that can be laid to my charge therein or in any other p.rticular. But I confes I shall quickly be in an ill condicion to pay my debts if my whole estate is kept from me as of late yeares it hath been, viz. by Acts made, all my deb.rs are defended from payment of there just debts & men kept in possesion of my estate without rendreinge any accompts. Ware this case your owne, I doubt not but you would beleive it as hard measure. As I have had many [p. 472] a long journy & broke many a nights sleepe to searve you, as its well knowne, & now am forced to doe the like to retrive my estate from ruin & the littel I have otherwise to expend in defence of my right. All these things cominge from a person I had alwayes the greatest hon.r & vallew for makes the burthen more uneasy. ...
Yo.r sons are both well. There shall be noe care wantinge of them.
Mr. Helmes writes me you have sent for one of our negro men from our plant. & kepe him in your owne. What the meaneinge thereof is I know not. You may as well send for all as one.
335. Thomas Westcott [St. Christopher]
London, November 10, 1683
Yesterday I rec.d yo.rs by Capt. Nicholas with severall accompts. But consideringe the length of time you have taken for the drawinge them, mythinks thay might have been more large. For I must tell you wee expect other accompts then these. For you must have either disposed our goods at a greate undervallew or given them away or elce its impossible but that they should have produced very much much more. For we know our goods ware as good as well bought as other mens; yet doe they not produce by halfe what other men hath. This can bee noe small eror but a very great one, some how or other, for the generall charge for w.ch you give creditt. But for eight hundred & od thousand pounds of sugar, the amountant of the cost and charges of that cargo of goods was 3 thousand pounds besides those goods that remaines unsold. & Other men from the product of the like summ have had neere double the produce, to our owne knowleidge. Besides our other accompts comes out as short. Wherefore its our desire Mr. Helmes should inspect your bookes, & that accompts att large may be drawne out. For we approv not of these accompt. This gives us just cause to beleive that you have don as W. H. did by us that off transport or sell our goods for your one acco.tt & give us the creditt for them what you please. Truely, att this rate, wee are likely to have very lame accompts.
It is our order as formerly that you forthwith prosecute all other our debters without shewinge favor to any. That Act of Fraud you have mentioned is dam.d here by the courts. All wherefore be sure to shew the makers of it such favor as they desearved. It concerns you to take care to get in our debts in halves with expedicion. For assure yourselfe, if any bad ones, they are on your owne accompt. You had our orders possitive not to sell our goods but for ready payment, yet is all our goods sould & wee can get noe paym.t for them. Could I see that you acted your part, I should not be thus tart with you. But it concernes mee to be soe when I see that by neglect or frauds, I knowe not w.ch, I am like to be undon. But one of them I am sure it must bee. I hope you will be as good as your word to ship me of my coppers by next, as you have severall times signified you would, as likewise what you can on our accompt in halves. & Upon the cargo acco. wherein your bro. was concerned, of w.ch I doe not knowe of one hhd. you have yet shipt, I wonder you doe not yet send us a list of the remaines of goods. Such as will not sell may bee proper perhaps for some of our plantations & may spare mee money in sendinge over such. I admire att the lowe sales of canvis & dowles. I finde Capt. Crisp is largely indebted to us, notw.thstandinge his complements to me of lendinge you sugar to ship in favor of me. Pray shew noe respect nor favor to any p.rson whatsoever, but use all imaginable meanes to hasten the speedy recovery of our debts. & Ship us noe more of your terces but large hhds. Rather ship the caske then send us such that turnes to noe accompt att all. I am sure Capt. Hill will doe you all just favors imaginable in order to the speedy recovery of our just debts. ...
336. [p. 474] Captain William Clayton [Commander of the Adventure]
London, November 12, 1683
I write you lately breifely, for otherwise of late I have not had time to writte. This searves only to wish you a good voyage, and withall to give you some few instructions. That is that whatsoever you doe you may not dispose of any of your cargoe but for ready payment & on noe other tearmes whatever. For my part, I had rather they should perish then contract debts. & Pray omitt not to gett in the full proceeds of your last yeares voyage & bringe with you. & If it shall hapen that you canot dispose of all your goods for a ready payment in a reasonable time, then such goods as you have undisposed of you are to leave in the hands of Mr. Ph. Edwards of Nevis & of Mr. William Hearne of St. Christophers as you shall judge the market most proper, takeinge under theire hands for the same as beinge left on acco.tt of Mr. W.m Baxter and yourselfe without any mention of my name, with the same restructions of orders to sell for noethinge but present payment. & Soe let the acknowleidgem.t run that you make of them & let them make returns to W.m Baxter. Now, its our further desire to have our full 3/4 part of the ship laden upon our owne acco.tts. Soe if that if the proceeds of the gen.ll cargo shall not hapen to amount to it, then it is our order in such case that sometime before you depart, viz. about a month, when you may give neere guess what you shall bee able to doe upon the gen.ll acco.tt of the cargo & the last yeares remaines that what you finde may fall short of our 3/4 parts, that you make Mr. Liddell, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Robert Helmes, Mr. William Hearn or Mr. Tho. Westcott acquainted theirewith, that someone or other of them may not fayle to make good the tunidge that may bee wantinge on our parts. To all w.ch p.rsons wee shall send our orders for the compleateing the same. For wee resolve to have our full proportions. Therefore, be carefull to lett noe freight nor many more then your quarter part amount to w.ch you can calculate, knowinge the burthen of your ship. & This you are not to deviate from. For wee resolve to make insurance accordingely as we did the last voyage to our greate loss, w.ch for the furture must bee prevented.
Wee will endeavor if possible to contract for your next years loadeinge with Mr. Henthorne or some of that country sugar bakers, and will send you our orders accordingly. If the market gives any reasonable incouridgement, dispose most of your wines att Barbadose. But allthough it is a low price, put of some. I beeleive St. Kitts will bee your best market for beefe, but try all. I would not by any meanes have you discover to any p.rson whatever I am concerned with you. It may proove prejuditiall. Omitt not to get mee what ceader & locost you can, & get Mr. Helmes to get transportation for it for London as hee can on such shipps or masters as hee hath influence upon, though its on severall shipps. & Bringe mee what you can yourselfe and lett the peeces bee 16 foote longe. ...
337. [p. 475] Captain John Bramley [Montserrat]
London, November 29, 1683
I have rec.d yours by the hands of Mr. Ben. Williams wherein you desire me to pay the ballance of your accompt to him w.ch you supose to bee about 80£ & then you you [sic] will answer all my reasonable demands. In answer thereunto I say that if it shall appeare that I am indebted to you any such summe or a greter, when an accompt is truly stated betwixt us, I will not only pay you your mony but intrest for it alsoe, as I hope on the contrary you will doe the like by me if it shall apeare that you are in my debt. I desire nothinge more but an acco.tt may be honestly stated betweene us & that you may receive your dew & I mine. W.ch is all I ever yet desired though never could obteine it, & then the old proverb you mention shall be fullfilled. I stand more upon my honor than ever to have it called in question by you or any other man justly & am ready to justify it whenever it shall be questioned. And I hope a little time may bringe us togeather when it will apeare whether you have trusted me or I you. I think that may be made out upon record; otherwise Capt. Bramley had not now been in the condicion he is or in a capassity to have comanded my estate for soe many yeares as he hath don. Whatever that you have ordered under my hand, I shall never disowne; tho., I must tell you, necessity hath sometimes impeld to condisend and give under my hand what otherwise I sh.d not have don. For when I found my estate to be soe att another mans disposall that I could receive noething fr. it & that I was voyd of releife, I thought it necessary for me to use what meanes I could to pr.serve such part of it as might be pr.served, tho. my endeavors that way proved altogeather fruiteles. Soe that I am now to acquainte you that I am still yoar partner or not, as the law shall trye, tho. indeed my p.rtnorship availles very little when another man comands the whole w.thout accomptinge for anythige as you have don. But these things I shall not trouble myselfe to dispute at this distance, since His Ma.tys and the Lords of His Most Honorable Privy Councell have thought fitt to grant me an appeale, where the legallity of all your proceedings will apeare.
Only thus far I will pr.sume to tell you that for all wasts & spoyles you shall comit & whatever damadges thay may ascertaine by meanes of your illegall division or transactions contrary to Artickles, you must expect to accompt for. I doe not undertake to state cases nor to argue poynts of law but will endeavour to get such assistance as my poore purse will inable me, w.ch Capt. Bra. hath pritty well helpt to dreane for me, tho. in some of his letters hee hath been pleased to tell me hee hath made an estate for mee. But I thinke I first paid for it suffitiently, as may appeare under his one hands. & Alltho. hee may have raised an estate out of mine, yet I never yet could finde a way to raise one by his ingenuity that he soe much vallews himselfe upon, unles the late fabricks hee erected in the soil or windmill in the ayre produce it. I shall not agrivate these things of this nature that are well knowne to everybody, but will endeavor to doe right to Capt. Bram. and myselfe as neere as I can & wherein I may err shall refer myselfe to the determination of better judges. In the intrem, I thinke it necessary to acquaint you that, since you have by forse expeld my attorny W.m Berwick from the execution of my concerne on my part of the plant., I have desired Mr. George Liddell to receive my part of the product & ship home for mee, or such part thereoff as you shall thinke fitt to allow me & alsoe to suply & disburse what necessary may be wantinge on my part. For to constitute an attorny will be needles untill I knowe whether I have power suffitiently to doe it or not. Neither doe I desire to send men to feed amongst slaves upon cassada whilst other men kepes a table att my charge, as they would have it. But I thinke it reasonable for every man to maintaine his owne family, and soe ought Capt. Bramly. For I asure you, as I have sev.ll times writt you, I will allow of nothinge that you shall transact contrary to Artickles. Therefore, goe on as you please; a day of reconinge may come. I have sent Mr. Liddell some mony & goods such as you have thought fitt to mention to suply my part; but how much longer I canot tell, since I can receive nothinge from from the plant. nor not soe much as acco.tt. I supose I need not tell you that the Lords of the Councell by His Ma.tys directions have thought fitt to order you to apeare or apoynt an attorny to answer my suite by way of appeale. ...
338. [p. 477] Robert Helme [Nevis]
London, November 29, 1683
By my last I gave you to understand that Nicholls [p. 478] was arrived but had not then time not soe much as to read your letters & therefor could returne noe answer thereunto, which I now shall doe. By that ship alsoe we rec'ved sev.l accompts from Tho. Westcott w.ch I p.rceive by the date ware all drawne ever since the 25th day of March Last, but the reason they ware not then sent is to blame. For certeinly such accompts were never seen. The cheate is to vissible: hee must have either given away our goods or sold them for halfe as much more at least. Therefore, it concerns both us & you to inspect those accompts & not to suffer ourselfes to bee thus abused as hitherto wee have been by all people wee have had to doe w.th. I could wish you had followed my directions sooner & compeld him to what hee hath now don, soe that by this time wee might have had a better understandinge of thngs & soe setteled our concernes as that wee might have had a prospect of recoveringe or dew, w.ch for ought I p.rceive is far from us still. But however, since it is noe otherwise, wee must now endeavor to make the best of a bad markett & all with the best prudance we can to retrive what may be retrived. & This must be manidged with discretion & not rashly lest we run into a greater inconvenience. Therefore, things must bee fairely carried on untill our intrest is first secured accordinge to those accompts we have rec.d. I presume you continued your resolutions of makeinge a settlement of this concerne when you ware upon the Islands, as you write us you would, & that you rec.d from him the like accompts as he sent us, & accordingly divided the debts belonginge to each intrest, & have rec.d a list of the same, & have taken bills or judgem.ts for all such debts from the credittors or an authentique assignation of them from Thomas Westcott as pr.perly belonginge to our intrest. If these things are not allredy don, pray get it don forthwith, by faire meanes if possible, alleadginge you intende not to alter anythinge of the concerne (as indeed I would not have to doe att p.rsent, but what it is only in order to the speedy recovery of our debts). & Soe get all people that are soe indebted to us under judgment & execution forthwith, without any further delay, and get in what possible you can of our effects. To w.ch ende we will never bee without a ship there, that you may be shipinge it home to us constantly. & The same care you take for our acco.tt in thirds & the methods for settlinge it, wee desire you to doe for our acco.tt in halves or p.rticular in takeinge the same measures for the secureinge all things that relates thereunto, for w.ch you have an authentique power from us. I know Thomas Hill will bee aydinge & assistinge to you in all things. Our Nevis list of debts is not soe much as taken notice of in his Acco.tt Curr.t, nor caried soe much of to our creditt, though all the goods that he hath laden is charged to accompt. & I supose the greatest part of those debts are sattisfyed before now, into w.ch you must alsoe inspect & settle that affaire, if you have not already don it. & By the next ships you shall have the invoyces of all such goods as we have from time to time consigned him hither upon our accompts in thirds, in halves & for my p.rticular. For what he hath rec.d from you there, you knowe best what it is. And then you have all these accompts required from him & my p.rticular Acco.t of Sales att large of all such charges to whom sold or how disposed of, as the same is entred in his bookes. W.ch if hee meanes or hath acted honestly, he will not refuse neither to produce his bookes; but if he doth refuse, must compell him thereunto.
Will. Herne, if you make it your busines to inquire into it, is best able to informe you what his transactions hath been & how he hath manidged. But that you must worke soe discreetly with him att a distance as you finde his temper & inclynations worke. Soe that the other may not come to the knoweleidge or understandinge of it. The relation he hath to my bro. Baxter must bee the cheifest meanes to introduce him. He must needs knowe how hee hath transacted, & wherein he may have abused us. & When you can get an acco. in p.rticular, you must then set som p.rson to worke to draw out the s.d acco.tt into species to see whether they answer the invoyces. You must take paynes and trouble about these things, or elce wee must content ourselves to be cheated. And take care you give him noe generall release. But if possible things can bee don fairely, let it bee soe, or otherwise suspend the execution of these thinges till the latter part of the yeare. & In the meanetime draw in & secure all our debts possible on that island & doe what you can...on [p. 479] the others, for it will be noe time to falle to wranglinge untill such part of our estate is secured that we can secure. W.ch by noe meanes omit not to doe forthwith upon that & all other Islands.
... Its our desire this ship Abra., as soone as she arrives with you, that the Master should sell what wines or hoopes he can for present payment & receive the proceeds abord his ship; or if he canot sell a quantity, to land 30 or 40 pips as you shall judge conv.t with Mr. Edwards for him to dispose, but on noe other tearmes but for ready payment. & Take in what sugar you or hee hath lyinge in readines to load forthwith & to proceed to St. Kitts with the ship & dispose what he can there for ready payment. Dureinge his stay, the rest to bee put in the hands of W.m Herne with the same instructions of orders. & Pray let Thomas Westcott & W.m Hearn dispatch him as soone as possible. Could wee have sold the ship, we had not sett her out. Let them let noe freight upon her, but load her wholely upon our owne or some one of our concerns. & If you thinke fitt to put anythinge on board her from the Windward Islands, you may. The wines is cheifely the proceeds of those goods formerly by Rivet, otherwise had not sent them but to draw of that old busines. Pray assist the Master in makeinge caske at the best hand for our sugar & in the sale of whats on bord him. & Let him rather sell cheap for ready payment then leeve behind him. We supose this will prove a plentifull yeare for sugars & will furnish you with freight accordingely. ...
339. William Berwick [Montserrat]
London, November 29, 1683
... Pray get Mr. Fox & Mr. Liddells affidavits as full as you can as to things dureinge the time of there beeinge my attorny: whether Bramly did not frequently buy & sell & dispose without theire consent or advisinge with them; disposed of the product as he himselfe pleased; & when he had contracted debts, would not suffer my attorny Mr. W.m Fox to pay of my part of the debts with ready mony w.ch I sent for that purpose, viz. to supply the same with such necesarys as I alsoe sent, but bought att his one will & pleasure, & my goods & mony I was compeld to dispose of otherwise, & pay such rates for goods as he was pleased to charge & my part of the product kept by him & soe imployd to my greate damadge, though I have sev.l times demanded by him that a stocke might be put in according to Artickles to suply the same & sent to my said attorny to object & disallow of his accompts & other transactions yet never could bee redrest; or whether att any time hee would permitt him to advise or asert in buyinge or disposinge, but reserved all the power & comand absoelutely to himselfe & give such accompts as hee pleased & when he pleasd, & when he thought fitt to send mee a small p.rcell of sugar I should have it; & whether he did not write to my attorny Mr. Fox to comence an action against him. For these & other his undew practises contrary to law & those Artickles betwixt us, pray intreat Mr. Fox to give his evidence to these things & any other that he knowes of as fully as hee can. For if he doth not volluntarily doe it, I must examine him upon interogatoryes, for w.ch I thought to have sent the Lords order now. But it seemes that must com properly from my Lord Keeper who thought it not fitt untill Sir W.m Stapleton & Bramly hath returned there answer. & Then he tells me I shall have a comission to examine wittnesses to bringe the cause on to a tryall, accordinge to the custome of the law, [p. 480] it beinge otherwis impracticable. You will finde by the records who are wittnises to the bonds & Artickles. If any of them are livinge, get theire affidavits thereunto; & such as are dead, get affidavits to prove they are dead. Get it attested by the Justice of Peace or the Secretary of the island. I will write to Mr. Fox & Mr. Liddell, as soone as I have time to peruse there letters, to abstract such things as may bee meteriall for mee. In the intrem, desire Mr. Fox to p.ruse my letters to him & his answer thereunto, w.ch doubtles hee kapt copyes of, w.ch will refresh his memory as to many past passiges. & What he volentarily doth in this kinde will be more freindly then upon examination. Since my power given you is of soe little force that the government thought fitt to impower another p.rson to act for mee without my knowleidge, it will be needles for mee to desire you to troble yourselfe to transact therein any then to take the best accompt of things you can & to settle all things in the best method & order you can in order to the cominge to a faire tryall with them, & to imbarq. yourselfe for London after you have soe settled all things to give your testimony here. But first be sure you omit noethinge that may bee meteriall proofe for mee & by the next ship I will send you an abstract of what memoriall out of Mr. Foxes letters to mee & what I requested of him, in case hee should hapen to omit anythinge which may slip his memory. I supose you may get other proofes besides his, but [be] not rash or overhasty in things but take time & all with moderation & discretion. In the meanetime, before you come away, enter another authentique protest, protested as before, as my attorny against anythinge that Capt. Bramly may transact contrary to Artickles.
& I have now write to & desired Mr. Liddell to act for mee, though I have not given him any Letter of Attorny. & Whatever he shall think fitt to contract on my behalfe, I shall allow of. But desire him, whatever he does, to consent to noethinge but what may be of an absoelute necessity & for the advantage of the plantation & the same to pay ready mony for & suply all things on my part att the best hand, & to receive such sugars as other goods as Capt. Bramlye will suffer him & shipp home for mee by first ship or shipps accordinge to my former instructions.
See what you can ship before you come away. & Pray be very carefull in all things. & You shall finde that whatever you have or shall transact for me shall not be returned with ingratitude, as some ill people would endevor to p.rswade you. Pray returne my harty thankefullnes to Capt. Newgood & Capt. Read for what they have been in soe kinde in as to act for mee. If I have time to writte them, will doe it myselfe, but feare I shall not. ...
340. [p. 481] Robert Helme [Nevis]
London, November 30, 1683
Since my last to you I have perused your letter wherein you make mee a proposition, either to by my part of the plant. in p.rtnorship betwixt us or to sell your part thereof to mee. You have alsoe sent me an apraisment of the full vallew of the same as it hath been apraised by 4 very honest gent. as I take them to bee, & doubteles thay have alsoe therein, accordinge to the best of there understandings. Indeed, the propossition you make is soe faire, equall & just that I can in noe sort object against it. Only I conceive theire may bee many small things belongeinge to the plantation & some of vallew that are not inventoryed but might bee considered in the vallewation of the land. For I take the intent of your proposition that all things whatsoever that did anywayes appertaine or belonge to the plantation or plantations equally in p.rtnorship betwixt us to be comprehend. in this apraysment & soe for right belongs to the purchisor.
Now haveinge well considered your proposition and findinge by the expres words of your letter that all things is soe equally vallewed that you rather incline to sell then buy & haveinge alsoe discoursed your wife about it whose inclinations I finde lends absoelutely towards makeinge sale & is alltogeather averse against your purchasinge, fearinge it may bee a meanes to continue you in those parts where shee hath noe inclination to aboad – these & other reasons induceth mee to accept of your proffer. The most prencipall one is that I have a brother that is a yongue man & a voyd of any imployment, w.ch may bee imputed to his former extravigances, of w.ch I thinke hee is now absolutely reclaimed & I hope hath repented of his past follyes (or elce is a great cheate, for in all aperance hee seemes to doe soe) and is very soberly inclyned in all respects, soe that I have been prevaled upon by his faire promises to doe somethinge for him, though hee hath not only spent his owne fortune but mee some mony alsoe. Yet I hope hee may doe well & not proove soe ungratefull as some have don. I say this reason hath principally indused mee to accept of your proposition of sellinge & I to become the buyer in these tearmes you have proposed. And accordingly I have given your acco.tt creditt for fifty guineyes, & will pay you the moyety of five hundred forty-three thousand, eight hundred forty-two pounds of sugar, w.ch is two hundred seventy-one thousand, seaven hundred forty-one pounds for your halfe part of the said plant. & all things thereunto anywayes apertaineinge or belonginge, accordinge to the true intent & meaninge of your proposition. W.ch I refer to your owne brest to doe me right in it, knowinge your principalls soe just that your consience will admit you to doe noe otherwise than what was realy intended by you to have belonged to his purchas & had you been the purchiser. & This I mention to you, not only because I conceive as I have said before and know there must be many small necessaryes belonginge to a plant. & small stock that is not mentioned in the inventory, but because I finde by an inventory you left with mee when you went out of England last, w.ch you brought home with you, that there are severall p.rticulars oppertaineinge to the plant. not mentioned in that inventory: viz., there are 6 negros in p.rtnorship with Mr. Henry Carpenter; & a plant. full of canes; three negros belonginge to the storehouses upon acco.tt of our joynt intrest, besides 5 mentioned in p.rtnorship with Mr. Carpentor, 4 of w.ch are inventoried amongst the storehouses sold you & noe more; a storehouse bought of Mr. W.m Whittny; many more horses, mules, mares & asses then therein is contained. & Say all these things I refer to your owne consience to deale justly by mee in, as I am asured you will. & For the paym.t I am content to make it you in sugar in the same manner you have proposed, viz. as fast as our intrest is shipt of upon our marches. acco.ble in 1/3ds, two thirds parts thereof to be on your acco.tt & adventure, that is my 1/3 p.t to be towards your sattisfaccion & payment, & alsoe all the sugar that is laden frome the plant. to be shipt for your perticular acco.tt untill you are paid the afforesaid summe of 271,741 lbs. sugar & you to receive the full halfe pt of all the product & proffitt, untill Chris.tide Next insueinge & to an equall proposition of all the charges & expences to that time. & I doe alsoe agree that you shall the accomodation of the howse & c. to live upon the plant. for 2 yeares. Or had you desired it for a much longer time, you may be confident I should not have refused or a greater matter. I doe not much doubt but that you will bee as good as a husband for mee upon it as you would have been for yourselfe & act as much for my advantage untill my brother comes over & w.ch I designe shall be very sedenly and instruct him for the best when he shall arrive. I alsoe intreat you to advise what may be wantinge for a constant suply thereof. I have already ordered provitions suffitient from Ireland, w.ch was ordered upon our joynt accompt but now shall goe upon my p.rticular. I will alsoe order some mony & some other [p. 482] necessaryes. & If anythinge may be wantinge that may require a greater stocke to supply then I have now made provition for, that there may bee a necessity of buying before I can furnish from hence, I intreate you to give me soe much creditt as to suply it with ready mony to pay for the same, or elce draw of soe much upon my acco.tt in 1/3ds as the same may amount unto, w.ch you please. And when the ship that my bro. Baxter hath hyred for New England for our acco.tt in 1/3ds returns from thence, pray draw of my 1/3 part in horses as they come by lot. Or otherwise, if you will doe mee the favor, let mee save of the best that are fittest for my purpose and let them be vallewed accordingely by honest indifferent persons & put put upon the plant. for my acco.tt. I shall take noe care to imploy any p.rson to looke affter it untill my brother comes over, in regard of the proposition you have made to live upon it. & I doubt not your care & freindship to mee in that perticular. & Pray be soe kinde as to let me knowe all things that is or may bee wantinge for a constand of a yearely suply that I may suply it from hence in the best tearmes or take such other measures for the doeinge it as may conduce most to my advantage. For I intend to have all the product shipt me home & to suply all by goods or money from hence. To w.ch end pray give me the best advise you can and promise myselfe this purchis may bee a means of seeinge you sooner then otherwise I could have hope for. Pray send mee such convayances as may bee good in law. I would have had them drawne & sent you over to signe & seale could I have given proper directions, but that I could not.
There are a p.rcell of goods I conceive in the hands of Thomas Westcott unsold w.ch doe belonge to the joynt intrest of myselfe & brother Baxter, w.ch we have rather thought fitt to be withdrawne then to let them goe, suposeinge it may bee some hindrance to him from other busines tendinge to the recovery of our debts. My halfe part thereof I desire you to receive from him & such part thereof as are any way proper for a plant. use & that is or may be hereafter be wantinge, I desire you to keepe & lay by for that use; & such other goods that are not pr.per for that purpose, pray dispose of to some other p.rson on the best tearmes you can for ready paym.t. Perhaps Will Hearne may buy them. If soe, either take his applygations or bills for payment there, w.ch likes him best. If I can but see there cost & charges for them, I shall be well content. What slaves the ship brings from New England, I alsoe desire that there may bee a saleable quantitye of my proportion withdrawne, as many as may searve the plant. use two or 3 yeares. If never a negro cooper belonginge to the plant., I desire that I may have one of the 4 belonginge to the storehowses & formerly I mentioned; or if not, to get mee one tought the trade that belongs to the plant. If you are not content to pay 200£ for the storehowses, as I proposed, I am content to take the paym.t in the first sugar shipt, as you then proposed. Please yourselfe in it & you will please mee. Pray endevor to withdraw our concerns as fast as possible.
& Indeed, I hope this purchas may be some means to forward them and to hasten there returns, for your wife & I am both of opinion your inclynations ware tendinge to an absoelute settlem.t there, w.ch is very contrary to her & mine alsoe, for I should be glad to have you nerer. & If I can p.rswade her to the contrary, she shall desist from goeinge over. For I am of opinion your stay will now be short & that there may bee noe occation to make it longer then one yeare more, & it will be halfe a yeare before shee can reasonably be with you. & To be tost up & downe for one halfe a yeare will be very, very troblesome to her.
I hope my bro. & Mr. Edwards by your good advise and directions may be able to doe our busines, for he is sober & injenious anough & understands all sorts of acco.tt & arithmaticks very well & is a very good mathmatition, as good as most men that hath soe little of the practickall p.t. This I am told by those that are a greate masters of it. & He follows his story close, which is some hopes of amendment. This I say [p. 483] in his behalfe, not to amend him but in hopes that he may bee capable of doing us some servis when hee comes that may be a means to hasten your return. & Although I will never concern myselfe more in trade, yet I will contribute any other way to Mr. Edwards advantage that I can to incouridge him, w.ch you may let him knowe. For I doubt not but that hee hath proved a very good assistant to you & an honest man. Otherwise, I should be worry that I have recomended him to you. ...
341. Thomas Westcott [St. Christopher]
London, November 30, 1683
I have rec.d yours by Capt. Nicholls w.th sev.ll accompts. & Indeed, the reasons they have been soe longe a cominge is to vissible, for certainely such accompts was never seen before. & Therefore I canot blame you that you ware ashamed to send them, for I p.rceive by the date of those accompts they ware drawne out in March Last, yet could not be sent till Sept. I am sure it was not for want of convayances, nor could those accompts bee three yeares drawinge out that might very well have been all comprehended in one sheet of paper. Nor can they bee juist, for there must certainely bee some very greate mistake in them or you must have given away our goods. For we canot beleive you could be soe ignorant as to sell our goods that ware as good & as well bought as any mens whatsoever for little more then halfe what other men sells for, & you contract all in debts to. For whereas other men gen.lly makes onley the foote of there Invoyces sugars to come out att 6£ p.r c.t, ours comes not oute att 10£ p.r c.t, w.ch if had been all returned by the same bottome the goods went upon would never have produced our first cost, & yet other men can neere double theire money. Pray examine your bookes & rectifye the mistakes where you find it, & let us have accompts drawn out at large as they ought to bee. For we doe not take one line for an acco.tt suffitient for 4 or 5,000£ worth of goods. Adjust these things with Mr. Helmes & hasten us speedily returns; & doe not thinke to fop us of with a list of debts for payment, but receive them in and ship us. I am sure that of neere 800,000 lbs. sugar debts you make us returnes suteable or elce you must expect to pay all such damadges as we may sustaine thereby. & Doe not learne to play the knave, for in that you will play the foole. Wee knowe you doe not want good advisors. But those wil proove ill ones, if you doe not follow my advice. That you may have not abstraction in the gettinge in our debts, I have desired my bro. Helmes to receive my halfe part of what goods remaines unsould & to apply them to my plant. use. & W.m Herne is to receive my brother Baxters part & send us honest accompts of what disposed and follow your busines close in getting in our debts. The Act you soe much complained of is now repealed. Therefore, you are left voyd of all excuses, though doubtles you will not want new ones, but I would not have you thinke to trifle with us any longer. If you doe, wee shall take new meanes but use the utmost rigor with all our debters & get in our effects. ...
342. [p. 484] Phillip Edwards [Nevis]
London, November 30, 1683
I have rec.d severall of yours to my greate sattisfaccion, & very much the more because those p.rsons concerned with me to whome I recomended you are very well sattisfied with your transactions. & Although the incouridgment you have hitherto had hath been small, yet I hope hereafter it may be greater, as they shall finde the advantage of your industry & honesty. For you canot but be sensible how greately wee have been abused in our intrest by those that have been the manidgers of it, w.ch hath not only discouridged but also disinabled us from any further adventures, or at least some part of it. & Then as my brother Baxters findes incouridgments, you may expect a more plentifull suply w.ch I will labour to inclyne him to as a p.rson that resolves to continue trade. For my owne part I have apsoelutely give it of, or elce I finde it would soone have given of me. For by the vexations & knavish dealings I met with, I found myselfe in a faire way to be ruined had I continued it longer, & therefore thought it high time to take resoelutions to the contrary. Soe that I have now altered all my measures in that kinde and resolved to content myselfe with that little I have when I can get it in. But, however, let not that at all discouridge you, for I will finde you a freinde to imploy you, if you can give any incouridgement, & assure you I will bee a freinde to you & searve you in anythinge as you shall finde. & I hope Mr. Helmes will joyne in somethinge that will tend to your advantage hereafter.
343. [p. 486] Captain Thomas Hill, Deputy Governor [St. Christopher]
London, December 9, 1683
Ever since my last to you I have been in the contry, soe that as yet I have not settled your affaire with my bro. Baxter. But that you may be sattisfyed there is noe neglect in me to your prejudice, I have soe far prevailed w.th my bro. Baxter as to allowinge 5 p.r c.t intrest for your mony, untill I can finde an oppertunity to place it it out for you upon some security, you may be sure that noe care shall be wanteinge in mee wherein I may be servisable to you, but will cordially discharge my trust in all acts of freindship to you as occation shall offer. & I doubt not but I may rely upon yours alsoe in w.ch I have taken the liberty to be an intruder alredy in my requests to you to assist Mr. Helmes in case of any occation of difference with Thomas Westcott, w.ch I hope his justice will pr.sent. However, a some few severe repremands from you to him may be greate inducemente thereunto. I alsoe further intreate you not to be wantinge in the administration of your justice wherein it may be required towards the speedy recovery of our debts from such credittors as is legally indebted to us. To which ende I have desired both Mr. Helmes & Thomas Westcott to make applygation to you as there affaire shall require. ...
I wrote you in my last your Act was repealed, and should you consente to any other such it will bee a greate reflection upon you.