Freeman's Letters, 1684: nos 344-369

Pages 360-386

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

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Freeman's Letters, 1684: nos 344-369

344. Lucas Jacobson [St. Eustatius]

London, January 7, 1683/4
On the 1st Instant I rec.d a letter from Mr. John Duncker bareinge date the 11th of Sept from Caraco, wherein hee adviseth of his being 1/4 p.t concerned in a p.rcell of sugar you consigned mee in June 1681. The nett proceeds thereof amounts to 409£ 15s. & Accordingly desires mee to remitt his 1/4 part of the said mony to Mr. Mathias Ten Bruck, marchant in Amsterdam., for want of your order, I canot doe, in regard you never advised me of his being concerned therein, nor sent me any order for the payment of the s.d Doncker or his or any mony. Wherefore I intreat you, if any such summe dew to him, or that you would have me pay him, any mony upon your or any other p.rson by his order, that you will favor mee with a line from you by the first oppertunity, signifyinge your pleasure therein. & Whatever you are pleased to order, it shall be complyed with all punctuallity. In the intrem, I hope the s.d Duncker may bee noe sufferer in his concern nor that you will not impute anythinge to my neglect, in regard I am wholey a stranger to the concern & never had any order from you aboute it. ...

345. [p. 488] George Liddell [Montserrat]

London, January 7, 1683/4
My Very Good Friend,
... I shall now give answer to yours of the 12th of Sept. I reced two dayes since relateinge to your plant. concern, to which I gave answer in my former letters to you. Viz. that I was not inclined to sell it for sugar, nor am I att the price you propose for mony, viz. 500£, for in my judgem.t the offer I made you was extreame lowe. But since you thought it not soe, I am content to hold it, with this assurance that I have refused 700£ for it from another hand, but will never dispose of it without your knowleidge. & Whenever I doe, if you will give within 100£ of what any other man shall offer for it, none shall have it from you. & This depend upon. You have my word for it. & I am confident you have stood in your one light in refuseinge my offers. The last yeares rent produced 50£ very neere my part; the former two yeares would have cleared 125£ each, had the sugar been accordinge to covenants. For I now freely acquit you as to my part & doe assure you that had it been any other p.rson would not have remitted a peny. For the law would possitively have compeld you to the paym.t of it. But you shall never finde me strickt with you, espetially as longe as you breake not the freindship on your part. I hope you are assured of it on my part & shall allwayes upon occation cordially finde it. You have already an assurance that non shall buy my part of the plant. from you. & I still say if after the next paym.t of rent, you will att any time betwixt that and Xmas day insureinge, viz. the 1st of May when this yeares paym.t is dew & Xmas Next Followinge, propose to accept my pr.position, and pay me 300£ downe & 6 p.r c.t ready for the rest till p.d, I say my part shall still bee yours. & Had you taken my offer att first, the rent had neere p.d the purchas by this. Consider it well & you will find it a modest proposition. & You very well knowe it not above halfe what it cost mee.

P.rhaps you may say I have had proffitts from it, & att that rate any man may say his estate stands him in noethinge when the rents hath reimburst him his purchas mony, without any consideration to any intrest he ran to loss or damadge. Accordinge to the Philosophers Bramley's way of knowinge of the advantages I have [p. 489] made by his partnershipp, the estate have now p.d for itselfe & there stands me in nothing. But his philosophers might have told him att the same time that I came not into an estate for nothinge, but paid dearly for it, though I was soe greate a foole as to bringe a knave into an estate with noethinge. & Soe by his blockheaded pollitiques hee thinkes to worke me out of it for noethinge. But his k.craft may deceive him att longe run, as much as it hath don me. If the next yeare you accept my proposition ( I shall leave to your consideration) & consigne your sugar to me, the comision shall cost you nothinge for its disposall, in recompence of your kindenes to mee, or any other kindenes I can doe you. I suppose you may alsoe buy Mr. Helmes his part, I advise you to & make the best tearmes you can with him. & When your estate is intire, you will have the sattisfaccion of it. I assure you were I there tomorow would give you after the same rate for your part; & if you incline to purchas, refuse not this offer. For all things here lookes now in a settled condicion. Soe that I shall not hereafter be inclyned to sell, neither am I now, but to answer your desire, and had rather you would refuse then accept what I have proposed, you may consider. But unles you accept, you must not hold me obleidged to stand hereafter to this pr.position.

My brother Baxter is extreme pressinge upon mee & expects damadges for your non-compliance. The huricane season was noe reason for your breach of contract, since you noe orders to the contrary, & hee takes it the worse in regard the Master told him you had shipt a quantity of sugar on this ship. Besides, although you complained of the price, you canot but be sensible yours ware cheaper then the whole ladinge, consideringe the choyce you had; & to my knowleidge hee hath paid every peny for the whole p.rcell, is above 1,400£ & not yet rec.d one. Hee tells mee hee expects the complyance from me according to contract, which I am bound to & hope you will not let me suffer any damadge thereby. Had they been bought for myselfe, I could have don not otherwise. How they proove I cannot tell. But I will give the same mony tomorow for the like p.rcell for my Nevis plant., or would for twice as many for my M.tsarratt plant., ware it not for the discord betwixt us, I am sure is not occationed on my part. ...

346. William Berwick [Montserrat]

London, January 7, 1683/4
... By all you may p.rceive I have not layd downe the cudgills as you signifye in of the 27th Sept. ( came to hand two dayes since). Neither have you any reason to make discounts upon the strange and unaturall starts (as you call them) in this affaire. For I have never started nor been startled att anythinge, but have on the contrary persued all thinges in vindication of my right vigorious yet not p.rhaps soe rashly as to ruin my estate. I tooke such measures as I thought might in some respects quallifye the heate of their rigor, & give me some releife towards the carriage on their chargable suite, as I have allready found it in the begininge, haveinge to doe with a powerfull adversary, that I myselfe have alwayes appeared in the defence of you may supose made the difficulty far greater to me then otherwise. It might have been neither, had I been unkinde to you in anythinge, as you have intimated to my brother Baxter. For noe man in the world that was soe greate a stranger to you as I was could have been less credulous of any scandelous reports that reflected upon you then I was, tho confirmed by many [p. 490] hands, even to that degree that your freind Mr. Bawden, after his soe many yeares experience of you, was in a greate measure convinsed of the truth of those reports. & I thinke upon a dew consideration you have noe reason to intimate anythinge of that nature to me, consideringe you yourselfe one to have left my concerne upon the hopes of a better, if had happened to your advantage, I should never have been against. Yet it was fit my concern should not bee absoelutely left before I had notice thereof. Nor had I at that time any from you of any discord that was likely to hapen for your lines seemingly tended to the contrary. & You see all the seeminge pretensions thereof hath been upon your accompt, tho I knowe better. I thanke God I am noe such foole they have endeavored to make me. But the measures I tooke was to lay them open, that I might plainely make proofe of such as pr.tended freindship to me, whether it was reall or not, for there was noe way but to put it to the test. For to bee undon by a seeminge freind, I had rather choose it from a puplique enemy, & then know how to make my defence.

This puts me in minde of your kindenes to Coll. Powell, for Bramly charges in his sent my brother Baxter made up to the 24th of June 4,247 lbs. sugar sent him by you, and in the same makes him Deb.r 5,280 lbs. sugar for the leng without any discompt on that It seemes you are very kinde to those that have soe zealously persued the raise of my intrest in obleidgeinge them. I am sure you never had any order from me soe to doe. Therefore, pray see that I am not damnified thereby. But take care to bee reimbursed by Coll. Powell or his fr.d Bramly. ...

347. Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, January 7, 1683/4
... Pray hasten an issue of all things, in wee hope you will now finde noe obstruction, that p.rnitious & fraudilent Act at St. Xtophers, as alsoe the Act of Extent at Antigua, beinge repealed. & If you have any such or the like att Nevis would alsoe have been repealed had any p.rson sent copies thereof home. But if there be any such in force, am apt to beleeve the Gen.ll for his owne reputation will prevaile with the Assembly to make them voyd without troublinge the Kinge & Councell further with them. & If at any time you finde any fraud or neglect in the Marshalls in the execution of theire offices, make puplique protests against them for all damadges. & Doe not be freightened. But make use of all legall & lawfull meanes for the speedy recovery of our just debts, & wherein the authority may obstruct, take notice of it without caution; I meane by justifyinge such officers as may bee wantinge in the dew execution of theire offices. For it will bee high time to stirr when men are in soe probable a way of beinge undon, & can have noe remedy or recourse of law to assist them, but on the contrary all divises that can be thought of or imagined made use of to defraude them. For certainely all men must see how spetious so ever the pretences may bee that the late Acts that have been past theire are Acts of Fraud, only they intitle them Acts for the Speedy Paym.t of Debts, yet they are Acts Against Payment of Debts & soe designed.

I supose the Abraham (if well) may bee with you before this. Pray let her lade wholely att St. Xtopher's, & wee will from time to time take care to suply you with tunidge, hopeinge you will use the utmost rigor the law will afford as well at that island as all other for the speedy recovery of our debts. ...

[p. 490] I pray you to write to Mr. Berwick privetly to take an of all the members of the Counsell of M.tserratt & the Assembly, there names, & how many reputed Romanists amongst them, whether they are or any of them have ever rec.d the Sacram.ts, taken the Oath of Allegience & Supremisy, as the Act requires. But keepe this to yourselfe. It may stand mee in greate stead in my tryall with Bramly for ought I know. I intend to make noe other use of it. Pray omit it not.

All our sugars yet unsold & is a very dull comodity by means of the extreame frost contrary to all expectation of. ...

348. William Helme [Nevis]

London, January 11, 1683/4
Haveing hard nothinge form you this twelve months last past relateing to my bro. Helmes concerne in the cargo of the & c. I consigned unto you three yeares & a halfe since on your owne & his accompt. The Accompt of Sayles thereof you returned to him dated the 8th day of July 1681 with greate incouridgement that you would send him the major part of the the proceeds that crop, is now two yeares & a halfe since, yet never to this day returned one pound thereof, but doubtles whatever you may pr.tend to the contrary have imployed the same greatly to your one advantage & must owne that to bee the foundations from whence you have raised your estate. For whatever you may alleadge, you canot justly pretend to any other stocke before that, your brother haveinge possitively denyed to me that you had any from him. & As to your alligation of beinge concerned with T. W. in a cargo, from whence you pretend your foundation, I say T. W. can noe more pretend to any advantage by trade dureinge the time of his beeinge my servant then you can, hee never haveing had any license to trade from mee other then to dispose of that small p.rcell of goods & to returne the same. Whatever hee hath done otherwise is expresly contrary to his indenturs & ought & is accomptable to me for the same. Therefore, what you pretend to was out of his power to doe without defraudinge me. I should not have troubled myselfe nor you by instancing things in this nature or kinde, ware it not to prompt you to doe my bro. justice, who you must consider is a younge man comeinge into the world, as you say you are, and therefore ought to improove his small stock, in yours of the 8th of July 1681 you promised to contribute to as much as in your power. But how farr you have complyed therewith I refer to you to judge that in upwards of 2½ yeares after have not sent him one hhd. of sugar in returne. I pray God you may not meete with the like dealinge yourselfe, as hee & I more particularly have had from you. & Yet with this you are not sattisfyed neither, but revile & complaine of unkindeneses you have rec.d from mee, although I am in a greate measure by my intended kindeneses to you, from whence (ware you not ungratefull) you must owne to owe all you are now Master of. Yet when I found myselfe upon the brinke of danger & would not pr.ceed further to my absoelute ruin, but withheald my hand & desired to have justice don mee by your brother & to receive my dew from him as hee had don in all things from mee, accordinge to the covenants betwixt us, this was called unkindenes to you instantly, though in fact I had nothinge to doe with you other then the reputations I had endeavored to give you as his bro. to promote your fortunes. Yet canot I have any sattisfaction of my estate under his manidgement by meanes (as is alleadged by him) of your indirect deling by him, you may beleive hath not a little perplexed mee & might very well occation my writeing of angry lines as you call them, was to noe other ender then to receive my dew. I would fayne have you answer mee one question & consider it right: have I ever reped any advantage or proffitt by ever beinge concerned or haveinge to doe with you or any of your relations or any freinds of mine? If you can make it out, I will freely give it you for your paines. & On the contrary, have I not endeavored to advance you in all things I could, till you begun to throw durt in my face, in recompence, by your hufinge, sliteinge lines, & can justly make it appeare that I am now ten thous.d pounds the worse for beeinge concerned with you & your freinds? I say nothinge but what I can easily make app.r. & Now, I leave you to judge where the obligations lyes.

But to returne to my former subject. Since you have been soe unkinde to my bro. contrary to your promise as to make him noe returne of his small stock nor take noe care [p. 492] aboute it, hee hee [sic] hath now impowered Mr. Ph. Edwards by his Letter of Attorny to call you to an & receive the same, unles you will please to doe him that justice to ship it home yourselfe & consigne the same to my bro. Baxter. if you sattisfie Mr. Edwards in, it will be suffitient. ... Doe as you would bee don by. Doe not plead to Christianity but act like one, tho. this is but common morality. ...

349. [p. 494] William Helme [Nevis]

London, February 18, 1683/4
I rec'd yours of the 7th of November Last Past, wherein you desire mee to appoynt some p.rson to devide those debts contracted for the concern betwixt you & my brother, all things remaininge (as you say) in the same condition, seemes not a lettle after soe many years. (fn. 1) If you have manadged all other your concerns att the same rate, its to bee doubted things are not soe well with you as hath been supposed. However in answer to this p.rticular, my bro. Henry, whose concern it is, hath sent a power to Mr. Phillip Edwards to adjust those accompts with you, & to receive his proportion of all such debts as are standinge out & the proceeds of what may have been rec.d by you. In all I hope you will discharge that trust that becomes an honest man. Therefore, I shall not trouble myselfe to send the accompt, because in soe doeinge it will bee needles.

As to the scurilous part of your letter, I shall trouble myselfe to give noe answer to, but have sent the originall to your bro. (under whose cover this goes) & is the most compitent judge of the truth of it. & I shall only make this infoerance upon it – that allthough your brother is a person I had allwayes a respect for & tooke pleasure in his conversation, yet that hath not been equivolent to the disattisfaction that I have reaped by beinge concerned with him & you, which hath only consisted of trouble without proffit, occationed only through neglects (what other tearme to give it I knowe not), on yours or both your parts (I know not which), not mine. & This, if you consider ritely, you knowe to bee grounded soe much upon truth that it would have deserved modester lines. Mythinks it is suffitient that I have suffered soe much in my estate. The other part might very well have been forbourn, but I p.rceive hectoringe is now become a mode in that part of the world & the thing called honesty in derision. When men come to aske their just rights, they are to bee reproched with scurilous lines. That part of Christianity I refer you to judge of. ...

350. [p. 495] Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, February 18, 1683/4
I have yours of the 8th & 12th of November before mee, with a copies of those by Nicholls, I have already given answer to in two former letters & accepted of your halfe part of the plant. the tearmes proposed by you to pay there in sugar, more for my brothers sake then my owne, who I intend speedily over, beinge a younge man out of imployment & I thinke growne very soberly inclined. I intend hee shall have the whole plant. on the same tearmes, allowing mee intreast for my mony, not doubtinge but it was honestly appraised by you to the full vallew as you mention. On what elce relates to that p.rticular, I refer you to my former letters, & now shall give answer to the two last.

I take notice you are now settleinge & drawinge out accompts for mee. I doubt not to beinge injured by you, though the longe delayinge of accompts is certainely a greate disattisfacton & an undoubted injury to any man, because its fitt a man should knowe what his intrest is, by he ought to govern himselfe & take his measurs accordingly. For I allready finde my estate in those parts will not amount to halfe what I did really beleeve it to bee, takeinge my measurs from the common advantages that other men hath made by way of trade. But insteed of that, I finde come of with greate loss., had I been sensible of sooner, I had in time withheld my hand & prevented great part of that loss that hath since hapened. Thus much in answer to that p.rticular.

I am glad of the greate prospect of the inshewinge crop & hope it will in summe measure shorten our debts that there may bee hopes of drawinge our busines to some conclusion, att longe run. & I hope you will have an eye upon our St. Xtophers concern above any other, beinge as I supose the greatest. by the by occations mee to hint to you to doe equall justice to all our concernes on all that island, beinge distinkt interests. occations mee to hint this to you is that Tho. Westcott now writes mee this 5 tuns last shipt by him was intended for my p.rticular by the proceeds of some coopers sent him, but Bills of Ladeinge taken for our acco.tts in 1/3ds by you. This I write not to you that I would have you take any notice of it to him, but desire the contrary, beinge content its soe ordered. But againe you must consider my interest in that concern is the largest, & my bro. Baxter the next, our adventures beinge greater then yours. & Although our expres orders to him was to sell for noethinge but pr.sent payment, yet our goods is all disposed of & doubtles the greatest part for ready payment, yet noe returns made but a triffle, but all on in 1/3ds. makes mee desire that equall justice may bee don to each concern & noe other. Thus much as to that p.rticular.

What you hint as to Mr. Edwards I am noewayes ingaged to, nor never was other then as I recomended him to you as an assistant, upon you often importuneinge mee to that effect, & I thought him to bee a fitt man. I send you my letter to him open to shew you the contrary, pray peruse, seale & del. For I desire to act noethinge but what may bee publique, & refer all things there to your prudcent manadgm.t. I approve of your opinion that it will be best continuinge Mr. Westcott in that imployment hee is is [sic] in, for this crop at lest & afterwards, les you have just cause to the contrary. Yet have an eye over him soe as to spur him forward, [p. 496] for hee wants it to much & is to much given to write fallises. Yet it will bee better to overlooke some faults then to bee to rash. But pray let him not want spurs & Ile endeavor hee shall not want freight. But if any such thinge should hapen, rather doe you want at Nevis then them on the adjacent Islands, who its to bee doubted will bee glad of the occation.

Your wife resolves speedily upon her voyadge, is a greater wonder to mee you should soe press it, since you say you intend your stay soe short. But to that p.rticular I have little to say. You know best your reasons for it.

The 200£ I have made your Deb.r for the howses, & shall accordinge to your order deliver my bro. Baxter a Bill of Sale for them as soone as it can bee drawne.

I p.rceive the sloope Affrica is lost. Pray let mee receive an of her from first to last. I never yet had any since the first cost.

The first hint of the expiration of our Artickles was given by yourselfe, from whence I might reasonably infer you intended noe further continuation of them. & Therefore, I thought it proper for mee to take notice of what relates to my p.rticular, as it may bee for you that relates to yours. I neither doe nor ever did desire other then equall things might bee don betwixt us &, accordinge to the old proverb, even rekoninge makes longe freinds. This gives mee occation to take notice to you of a passagge in your last p.rticular letter to my bro. Baxter, savors somethings of a former to him in the like kinde that I then tooke notice of & had a greate compliment from you in answer thereunto seemed otherwise, but I thinke its non-explained. Viz. I p.rceive by this your letter to him you seeme to complaine for want of an & alleadge that as the sugars goes consigned to him you allow him a comision upon them & accordingly expect an from him or words to that effect. I confes I ought not to take notice of other mens letters, yet in this case am obleidged. For, in the first place, you never yet to my knowleidge either rec.d or expected an that ever yet hard of from any other p.rson then myselfe; nor was it ever disliked or contradicted, as you seemeingly pretended till now, & I thinke it had been proper for you to have taken notice of it first to mee & have sent your order to the contrary first to mee, since you well knew I allwayes heald it betwixt us & therefore could not reasonably expect it from another hand. It was not soe very longe since you had your Accompts Currant from mee, & still as your wife found oppertunityes by herselfe & freinds to place your money out for you, who you impowred & intrusted soe to doe. I hope shee never wanted what was in my hands at an howers warninge to answer your end. & If any lay unmade use of, it was but as most men make use of a goldsmith to pay & receive for them & keepe it till theire occations calls for it. I have all wayes don soe myselfe, & its what is generally don by most men. & For your I had sent it you without callinge for, but that I delayd it till your wifes goeinge what her occations might call for. Neither could I have given you an of the proceeds of one penyworth of all the sugars this yare, you take notice of came to a good market but will not prove soe good as expected those p.r the Abraham & your kinsman Helmes his ship ware sold sometime since. But by reason of my haveinge been lately in the contry, hee & I have not yet adjusted the accompt. & If hee hath rec.d the mony for them, its very lately. All the rest ware unsold till aboute ten dayes since & not yet all weighed of. Soe that before goods is sold, you can expect noe of them. They are sold to divers p.rsons att different prices: the greatest part at 22s 6d p.r c.t, some at 22s 9d some at 23s & some at 23s 3d. Wee kept them in hopes of a better market. But this hard winter put a stop to all trade. Soe that we as well as other men have been deceived in our expectations. By your wife you shall have an; & when shee hath drawne what mony her occations requires – 250£ shee had last weeke – I will adjust it. & What is then in my hands, because I may have an occation & will not be unprovided for Sir W.m Stapleton, I will allow you 5 p.r c.t intrest for it as longe as I keepe it, though dead in goldsmiths hands for that purpose. Because hee shall not have that to say that I have made use of his mony. & In this I hope you will receive noe injury. & By your next I desire you to bee plaine & signifye to mee who it is you expect an from that two men may not bee bee [sic] liable. It is a matter of indifferancy to mee who you consigne to, but I would not give myselfe the trouble of holdinge accompts for what doth not concern mee untill the effects of goods is rec.d, is commonly 3 or 4 months after sold, [p. 497] sometimes longer & sometimes sooner, but very seldom men cant vallew themselves. ... Now give mee leave to aske you if its reasonable for mee to aske an accompt of you after ten yeares. For that is sattisfactory to one man, you may beleeve, is noe les to another. Doe as you would bee don by. Plaine delings is best.

... As for the purchis I have made, after I can draw of from my troublesome affaires in that part of the world, I promise myselfe some retirem.t (& to bee hapy in your company hereafter). But till then, I canot hope for it. Its a plesant place but cost mee to deare, yet pleases mee at an exterordinary rate, viz. above 25 yeares purchas, a rate that noe man would give but a f. But I am content, can I get but my little home to pay for it that is abroade. Could I meete with anythinge that I thought might please you, I shall not slip it. But land is now exterordinary deare & titles difficult. That unles I meet with somethinge that I thinke very good & will not medle that I have don don [sic] for myselfe, I would not have adventured for another. For noe man can blame mee in that, bee it deare or cheape.

... Sir Natha.ll Johnson, a very worthy man & perticular freinde of mine, is goeinge Gen.ll of the Leward Islands since Sir W.m Stapleton hath desired his quit.g. By what I p.rceive my good freinde Crisp & some such others hath been the greatest occation of difference that hath hapened betwixt Sir W.m Stapleton & myselfe. I confes noething that ever yet hapened to mee gave mee soe greate a trouble as such unxpected [sic] unkindeneses from him that I thought the best freinde I had in the world. ...

351. Captain Thomas Hill, Deputy Governor [St. Christopher]

London, February 19, 1683/4
... I am sorry to here Sir W.m Stapleton hath been ill. I take notece of the discourse you have had with him & the expresions of kindnes he used towards mee. & Now, I call God to wittnes hee was the last man in the world that ever I thought of haveinge any differance with, but was soe far from the thoughts of it that I knew not one man in the world that I had soe greate & reall a freindship for & would to have given testimony of it upon any occation have [p. 498] laid downe all I had in the world & my life to boote to have don him any servis. ... Since hee fell soe violently upon mee, I have apeared a publique enemy in defence of my owne right. & If hee bee not come away, all this you may informe him, if you please. & Its like our meetinge may beget a better understandinge & upon dew consideration hee will finde who hath been his freinds & who his foes. In all my transactions of my life, noethinge ever went soe neere me or gave me soe greate a concern.

I thanke you for the intimation you give me relateinge to Crisp & Ph. Pym, but would desire you not to concerne yourselfe on my behalfe in anythinge of that nature. For hee is a k. & thought the other a man that had more witt then to take notice of such a frothy fellews discourse, whose tongue runs as the magott workes & buisies himselfe with everybodyes busines. It ware more reputation for him to pay poore tradesmen for theire goods hee caried him, who perhaps wants it whilst hee flutters & makes a noyse. Lett C. P. see this & the other, if you think fitt.

... I was informed that Mr. Plat put in for the govrnem.t. Sir John Kn.t as I have hard was recomended to the K. by some Peers, & had the Kings promise for it, but I found him very indifferent in the matter. I was afterwards tould my Lady Russell had a promise for Sir James. But neither of these are the men, but Sir Natha.ll Johnson, who is a man of greate worth & reputation & as well quallified for the comande as any gent. I know in England. Hee is my very p.rticular freinde & you need not doubt his kindnes upon all occations as far as my intrest will reach. ...

[p. 499i] If the Gen.ll is soe kinde to you you [sic] as to give the choyse of the Goverments, I thinke Antigua had been your best choyse, before the late order. But since that I beleeve to keepe your comp. & that Governm.t will be best. As to your mony, Coll. Nethwey hath it, & I doubt not but its well placed. What I proposed was in kindnes to you & out of noe end to searve myselfe. I intreat you to be kinde to my intrest towards the speedy recovery of my debt, for I am quite tired out with repeateinge things. I doubt Tom Westcott is faulty. Pray admonish him, & assure him things will fall heavy upon him in case he does not discharge his duty. The new Act you mention will in noe measure answer the end of the march.ts, for they doe not sell theire goods to receive p.rhaps the same in specia 4 or 5 years after, or to take land for it. They canot send that home to theire imployers. But such goods or lands ought to be sold at publique sales, for the sattisfaction of the C.r, either in mony or sugar, accordinge to the lawes of Englande. At best, the other is but a fraud. The lawes ought to bee dewly executed, without favoringe one p.rty more then other. You may say then the planters will be ruined. Are they not raised by there creditt & should the credittors bee ruined to raise them? Put things in an equall ball. & consider how longe they can subsist without trade. ...

352. Thomas Westcott [St. Christopher]

London, February 31, 1683/4
I have rec.d both yours of the 10th of November & 2d of December. In the 1st, I take notice you intended mee five tuns of sugar on Capt. Maples on accompt of the, but was then disapointed. In the second, I observe you have laden the same on Capt. Helmes, which I shall accordingly make insurance upon. I alsoe observe you had rec.d mine of the 14th Sept., as you say, with teares & seemingly confes your eror & promise amendment for the time to come. I hope you intend, as you say, some proofes thereof – would give some sattisfaccon. & I say now, as I alwayes said before, that what I sent to you was more oute of reall kindnes to you, then any hopes of exterordinary advantage to my sattisfaccon. Yet when I say I intended you a kindenes in it, I did not designe to ruin myselfe, nor send my mony abroade without an expectation of its returninge w.thout some advantage, I see little hopes of. Yet had you don your endeavors justly, I should have been content with suckes, whatever it had been. But you canot imagin that I soe ignorantly blinde as not to see where & when I am abused. Yet small faults might might [sic] have been overlookt & p.rhaps soe may greate ones, if you will yet make it your busines to retrive what can be retrived. & In soe doeing, you may expect a further continuation of my kindenes to you, & a freind to stand by you when occation searves. I confes an acknowleidgm.t in some measure may make amends for a fault, provided the like is not comitted, & may bee better past over then when p.rsisted in with stubornes.

Therefore, take care & doe not follow the example of others who p.rhaps hereafter may repent theire follyes when to late. Therefore, I advise you to begin early, I should not have admonished you to soe often had it not been out of reall kindnes. & Therefore, I doe now again order & desire you to delay noe time, but persue our orders formerly sent you with the greatest vigor & prosecute all our debters whatsoever without any respect to p.rsons the greatest rigor for the speedy recovery of our debts in which I have your Governers promise now & in severall former letters to be assitinge in all things relateinge to our concerne as far as justice will p.rmitt. & All those Acts that before obstructed are now made voyd, soe that there is noe coller or pr.tence to the contrary. Therefore, I say, goe on with vigor & resolutions & as I see the effects you may expect the same kindnes from mee as ever you had upon all accompts.

[p. 499ii] Neither need you feare to have any competitors, if you doe your busines as you ought to, but all past faults may bee overlookte. By all which you may p.rceive theire is noethinge but freindship intended as longe as you desearve it. Therefore, it lyes in your owne brest, & hope you will act accordingly. ...

353. Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, March 18, 1683/4
This accompanyes my sister, your wife, who in obedience to your comands exposeth herselfe to a very unesesary troble in my opinion. & Indeed, I have used all the arguments I could to diswad her from it. But she is your wife & you are the properest judge, tho. I believe noethinge but the comands of a husband could have indused her to travell. & Indeed, I think it great imprudence in you to importune her, if you designe in reallyty to make your stay soe short, as you have signified to mee in your letters. For by what I apprehend you designe your stay there noe longer then the next Springe and I am sure noe busines can occation it longer if you follow it dilligently. For all such debts as canot be recovered by that time, & after soe many years past, must certainly be irecoverable. ... I send you the w.ts of the sugars p.r Estes fr. Antigua. P.r you will see the wast a full third part, & prove soe bad & the caske soe small that had they been sold themselves they should have yeelded just noethinge att all. They brought downe the price of the p.rcell very much. Would by by [sic] themselves have sould not for above 20s p.r c.t, the fr.t & charges beinge deducted, what would that have cleared about £150 for 31,981 lbs. sugar n.t.

[p. 500] charges is nere 40 thous.d pounds of sugar, is 7s 6d p.r c.t. And soe next yeare posibly may not yeaild halfe that mony. Soe that unles you take more care to send that is good & in large cask, well fild, throw it away. Never trouble yourselfe to send it home. Tho you doe receive some in small caske, you may repack such and fill up others, or elce when fr.t is deare they will not pay fr.t. ...

354. [p. 502] Thomas Westcott [St. Christopher]

London, April 8, 1684
Capt. Helmes is now discharged, but the sugars soe disorderly marked and such confusion that noebody knowes what to make of it. Of my 20 tuns, there is but 16 to bee found of that make, nor the quantity of nor other markes right, some of one marke & some of another, & some of sev.ll markes. Not one number comes out right. The sugar extreame bad & many of the caske, insteed of beinge fild with sugars, halfe fild with sugar canes. They fall soe short in there w.ts that its impossible that quantity of sugar menconned in that Invoice could ever bee put in the caske. Soe that in fine it must bee a cheate, for noe man could ever doe things in such disorder & confusion that had the least sence of honesty or care. You had as good send us noethinge att all as to doe things thus carelesly. But as I said before I cannot atribute it to carelesnes only, but certainely there must bee a designe of fraud. For noe man in the world that hath but comon sence can doe things in such confusion & bee soe heedles in takeinge w.ts as that thay shall not make out halfe theire w.ts unles there were some other abuse in it. ... [p. 503] And therefore wee have now sent our possitive orders to Mr. Rob.t Helmes to call you to a strickt and take our concerns out of your hands & to put it into such hands as wee may expect more justice from. I am sure I desearved better things att your hands, and none but the most ungratefull fellow in the world would have used a master soe that had rec.d such kindnes from. As to all the debts you have contracted for our goods in halves, you must certainely expect to pay yourselfe, since you had our possitive orders to sell for nothinge but ready paym.t. Therefore, wee have ordered Mr. Helmes to accept of noe one debt upon that, nor noethinge but sugar. All you might have prevented had you but used your dilligence. I shall not trouble myselfe to write you againe, but hope Mr. Helmes will not fayle to execute these our orders, that soe wee may att longe run receive somethinge and not be cheated out of all we have. You must expect noe favor, nor to here further from me unles your justice prompts me to it. For I have quite tyrd my patience with expectations yet see noe hopes of amendment. I have referd all things for ther future to my bro. Helmes from whence I hope in a very little time to receive some more sattisfactory of our estate in your hands then heitherto wee have had. & What happens to your disadvantage thanke yourselfe for and learne hereafter to be more just then abuse & defraud your best freinds. ...

355. Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, April 8, 1684
... I have seen what you writ to my bro. Baxter of the 26 Jan.ry via Bristoll. I canot but admire att Tho. Westcotts and W. Hearne disappoyntm.t in loadinge noethinge on Crispe. ... Yet now it seemes not a cask. Certainely, never noe men met with such a p.rcell of corispondents. I have now write them both and, you see, sharply anough to Westcott. Make what use of it you please. But the intent is to fryten him into better complyance. But if that will not doe, make better use of it otherwise, & doe justice to each and loose noe more time. Never came any sugars soe confusedly to any man as ours comes and with such extravigant loss by one meanes & the other that we make not halfe of it that other men doe. I wish I could see an end of these vexatious acco.tts and know my loss. ...

356. Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, June 3, 1684
... I love to be aboveboard everybody, as nere as I can; will doe nothing that ever I shall be ashamed to own or publish & could wish all men were as plaine me as I am & have ben them. If it had ben soe, I had now ben eased of many troubles that I am involved in. I shall breake of this discource & now come to business.

I perceive you are surprised of my acceptance att your proposall aboute the plant., is noe more I expeckted you would be, although by your severall letters from time to time to me you continually prest for my answer thereunto, alwaies pretending far more inclynable to sell then to buy, all I beleived noe other then a copie of your countenance (as I know find in reallyty it was, I was resolved to make a proofe of w.thout any end or further designe) that in reallyty, to be plaine, I neither did nor doe esteeme better then a snare laid for me, beleiving you had an oppertunity to take advantadg of my present disgust the Goverment for I have to much cause as you cannot be sencible. & Now lett me tell you, although I know the plantation & utinsells to be better worth then half as much more mony then your pretended faire appraisment, yet before I doe proceed any furthur, I doe freely acquitt you of the [p. 505] bargaine & am content it should remaine as before. So there needs say your designe in that p.rticular may justly give me occation to suspeckt I have had the like measure in all other your transactions for you ought as well to have taken notice of your own part of my letter as the other was my earnest request, after soe many times before repeated to you, that I might have an acco. of the cost & charges of the plantation & other acco. hath ben the onely reason of my disgust & for want of made me soe inclynable to part my intrest (yet not soe as to give it away). But noe answer is given to that p.rticular, nor noe notice taken of it. But I am still w.thout them. But on the contrary here are appraisors put to vallew my estate w.thout my privity or consent under pretence to give me an acco. of its vallew, but the crop upon the ground worth half the estate not thought of nor many other p.rticulars mentioned that was then forgott. Yet this was a pretended apraism.t for my goverm.t in the sale, indeede was a very friendly one. But an acco. of its cost & charges had ben to me a much better goverment. Yet this short discourse was intended longe enough for me to have ben concluded by in soe larg a bargaine. But the foole had more witt to be taken in such a trap & it had ben but just for a man to have ben taken in his own snare. Your requests to my bro. Baxter to treate & conclude for you, I referr the truth of to him. I am sure he disownes it to me. Therefore, that might have ben spared. In short, I desire nothing but faire dealing that I may not be ingled out of what I have left by your bro. & others who have good part allready of what I had you could not but be privy & consenting to; otherwise, it had not ben in his power, if your bro. hath the title to the land or any part of it. I am but dealt in that as in other things. Much good may doe him that & the rest I have ben cheated out off it will prosper accordingly. But I suppose you doe not intend I should pay for the fine howse you have built upon his land & other larg expences you have contracted for your own p.rticular accomodation. I wonder after soe many yeares I was never worthy to know of this upstart titell till now to the hand. I own I had it from other hands though kept as a secrett from me till now. & I allsoe heare it from other hands that your brother & you had agreed the point before & now the combination discovers itself. Mythinkes you should thinke it enough to permitt me to be wronged in intres & not to reflect upon me soe grocely as you have, not onely in my open letter but in your bro. Baxter ten times more. For, if I have write anything that displeaseth you, take it for an answer to that. is the onely return I have for my kindeness that is satisfaction sufficient to me. Yet have I not patience to read such scurilous, reflecting lynes w.thout some more then ordinary passion p.rhapps have provoked me to say more then otherwice I should have done. I writt you formerly who you expeckted an acco. from. If you consign to my bro. Baxter, as you signefy to him (though quite [p. 506] the contrary), then you ought to have it from him & not from me. I have hetherto held it & shall till I heare from you. lett be as soone as you can. Please yourself & you will pleace me in that p.rticular. But sence you alwaies required it from me for soe many yeares past it was but reasonable for you to have signefyed your desires therein to me. I desire nothing but my owne, as everybody elce shall have from me. ...

357. Thomas Westcott [St. Christopher]

London, June 18, 1684
Wee have rec.d yours with the, as alsoe an of what goods remaines unsold for of ourselves in comp. with you and your bro. But we take notice in the inventory there is some canvis and dowlis, whereas there was noe such goods in that charge. And therefore wee conceive those goods belongs to the charges in halves betwixt myselfe and my bro. Baxter that went by the same ship, if they were not part of those goods you bought of Mr. Helmes, which you must examine and doe each right. Wee have sett of the prises of all those goods that remaines unsold and have added 10 p.r c.t for freight, custome, commission, and all other charges, which is the least that it amounts to, and finde the whole amountant thereof to be 634£ 16s 9d. And because wee are willinge to finish all acco.tts, if you and Will Hearne thinks fitt to take these acco.tts, allowing us 20 p.r c.t proffitt upon them, to pay us here in England, allowinge you 12 mo. time for theire payment, wee are content you or he or both of you should have them. That as I remember is the same tearmes you agreed with Mr. Ro. Helmes for his 1/4 part. But if you make not the payment punctually at the time, you must afterwards allow us 6 p.r c.t p.r anno intrest for such time as it shall be unpaid. And on the same tearmes wee will send you a sortment of 2 or 300£ worth of goods more, if you thinke fitt to order them, to helpe you part of these goods to this proposition. Lett us receive your answer by first. And if you accept not of it, then doe your indeavours to sell them to some responsible p.rson, giveing 6 mo. time for theire payment, but noe more, takeinge good security for theire payment; or if you canot, wee will order them some other way.

Wee take notice you have very often repeated to us that Mr. Helmes calls upon you for payment of his part of those goods. To which wee answer you ought to make him payment. The debt is dew from yourselfe and bro., not from us, or at least but a trifle. For in the £650 worth of goods, as I remember it was, wee were concerned 2/3 parts 433£ 6s 8d; and wee are concerned 3/4 parts, viz. my particular halfe and bro. Baxters 1/4; soe that our 3/4 parts is 487£ 10s. Soe that wee are indebted upon that 57£ 3s 4d, which wee doe now order you to pay him in sugar there, according to agreement. The rest for your 1/4 part being 162£ 10s, you are to make him good. Wee have nothing to doe with the payment of that, which belongs to your owne and brothers part. You may pay him in mony or sugars as you please, it concernes not us. ...

[p. 507] Sir W.m Stapleton writs the K. and Councell that 10 p.r c.t is allowed for intrest for forbarance, and formerly merchants have made it theire buisness to exact far greater extorsions. Whatever intrest you have or may receive, wee expect you should make the same good to us or for any mony of ours that you have disposed at 10 p.r c.t as, wee have been informed, is practicable with you & others, the same ought to be made good to our acco.tts. Wee hope you will discharge a good conscience & deale honnestly by us in all things.

Pray hasten the speedy recovery of our debts, and ship it to us, and for what I am concerned in this cargo, because you ship not the goods home as it was sent out and I am the 1/2 concerned and my bro. Baxter but 1/4 you must ship 2/3 for my & 1/3 for his, or soe much p.rticularly to mee as may make good my part. For what concernes yourselfe and your brother 1/4, you may doe as you please. ...

358. Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, June 16, 1684
... This now serves to advise you that wee sold the sugars p.r Jones and Crisp at 22s 6d p.r c.t. But they proove soe very bade that wee must be forced to make an abatm.t upon them. The hhds. from our plant. I sould at 23s 6d p.r c.t and the tearces at 25s p.r. That prooves very good. But by reason of the hhds. proveing very bad, must alsoe abate on that p.rcell. If you could make all as good as those tearces, it will prove much to our advantage. I would faine have you make a tryall of claying, browne sugars falls apace and I doubt will be very low. I doubt not but with dilligence most of our debts, as well with you as at St. Kits, may be recovered this crop. Which pray use your indeavors to doe that wee may put an end to that troublesome concerne which quite tires my patience. This ship by which this goes wee have hyred to load at St. Kits. But if they canot compleate her loadinge there, I hope you will make good what may be wantinge. I am informed freight is very scarce with you. But wee will take care to supply our concerne, soe that I hope there may be noe obstruction. ...

359. [p. 508] George Liddell [Montserrat]

London, July 4, 1684
Kinde Freinde,
I have rec.d of the 6th of May adviseinge of Mr. Berwicks being you and his takeing proofes for mee will now come to late for the pres.t. But was a very greate prejudice I had them not in time two dayes since the Councell apointed for a day of hereing, haveing sometime since had the Gen.lls answer & Bramleys petision. I might have put of the hereing to a further time untill my proofes had some but was unwilling [p. 509] knoweing the merits of my cause. And I thinke everybody that heard it was soe far convinced that the shame they preetended to bespatter mee with returned wholy upon themselves. And I gained every poynt that I could desire, the partition being absolutely made voyd as illegall and contrary to Artickles. An order is ordered to bee drawne up & sent to the Go.rnor to open the courts & here my cause in order to the adjustm.t of all acco.tts according to the tenure of my Artickles; &, in case of any hardships granted, to force him to here in England in any court of law or equity. This is the results of the Councell in short. & Truly, my damadges expect to be made mee good either by Sir W.m Stapleton or Bramly. One of them shall pay it. I shall now have the order for the Governors better governm.t hereafter where partitions may bee made to act according to law, all their proceed. in this case being ireguler. There could have been a partition but lawyer Bramley was one in his law, as well as in his postisicks this bout. And ware I not so great a lover of my owne quiet, he would bee the first that might have reason to repent it. Yet, nevertheles, after all his injustice & provocation, if he will doe those things that are anywayes just, I will rather sit downe with considerable loss then give myselfe further disturbance. For notwithstandinge all there false alligatione, I desire nothing but my owne, which if hee gives mee peaceably, I shall not disturbe him in anythinge. But on the contrary if he still p.rsists, he may repent it. For whatever the charge & troble may bee, I will my dew. Power of a Govern.r shall never frighten mee out of my right. You may discourse him fairely as to the carying on things for the time to come, but admitt of nothing contrary to Artickles. Whatever he doth otherwise, by noe meanes doe not consent to. I will not troble myselfe to write to. Doe not consent to, I will, the order of Councell. ...

360. [p. 510] Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, August 2, 1684
[p. 511] ... I leave you to judge how I am used by that p.rnitious young gent. your brother who, after haveinge kept my goods soe many years in his hands, att last consignes them to Benjamine Williams to dispose of, pretendinge hee supposeth me to bee in the contry, as if I was not a man capable to dispose of my owne without payinge comision to other men, where I am upon the place myselfe. Sertainly noe man never met with knaves as I have. And those as I may justly say have had there beinge from mee, I hope they will meet there reward hereafter. ...

361. [p. 514] General Sir William Stapleton [Montserrat]

London, August 6, 1684
I have sometime past rec.d yours of the 29th January, I did forbeare to give answer to for some reasons. As to the artickles you make mencion of in your of 500 & od pounds, I supose you are convinced of the justice of itt, and that the error is in your clark & therefore shall say noe more as to that p.rticular. As to what you mention relateinge to your Ladyes passages I have sev.l times given you answers soe fully to that, I thinke it needles to repiete them and am sure you canot impartially lay anythinge to my charge, altho. you have sev.ll times loaded me charges on that Neither could you have been discharged from that accion, as its well knowne, unles I had paid the passages of 14 or 15 people did not relate to your Ladyes family. I am sure you would never have allowed itt. That was there demand for they brought theire accion; it was for 20 od pounds as you sugest. For that was twenty times tendred by me before. Therefore, you have noe reason to think your name was brought in question for that or to refear me fickle. Others can give you better sattisfaccion as to that p.rticular then I can.

If you please to give yourselfe the trouble as to your drawinge upon mee, I thinke noe man can blame mee for not acceptinge w.thout a legall discharge, since nothinge but my ruin will suffice, as I have heard from many hands you have declared & suffitiently felt it in some p.rticulars. Otherwise, I could never I have given the least creditt to it, as I am sure they did not, though precautioned thereof att least 3 or 4 yeares past. How I have desarved this usage w.thout your shewing mee the least cause for it, I appeale to God, the world & your owne consience to testifye. & Now I doe before God & the world declare that thought you the best freind I had in the world, & that I had not a penny in the world nor a drop of blod in my body but what I would have sacryfysed to have served you, before you fell thus violently upon mee to ruin mee. Therefore, whatever I offered ought not to bee taken for a compliment, since att the same time I made those offers I was ready to p.rforme them in deeds as well as in words, as I suppose you may have been informed. I would not have given you the trouble of an answer to this p.rticular, but to testifye the breach of freindship was not on my part. Nor did I ever to my knowledge act or doe anythinge that might occation it. If I had, you had don the part of a freind first to have lett me known itt that I might have knowne what it was I stood accused of before you had taken those measurs, which you could not be sensible was tendinge to my ruin as much as could bee in the single p.rticular. I shall breake of further entringe upon it till I come to that subject. But as you say in answer to what I writ (that your brothers debt, when you have it from mee, it must bee by my Lord Keepers decree), I still say. For as I have saide before, since I finde you have determined to ruin mee if you can, I will defend myselfe as longe as I can from itt. Otherwise, that sum or a greater, if I had never seen a penny of it, should never have created any difference.

But now I will undertake to argue the justnes of my demand, first, how came Redm.d Stapleton to possess Edmonds estate. Your owne letter to me will shew that you had given your bro. Redm.d your brother Edmonds estate conditionally that he should pay his debts, [p. 515] of you had ordered myne to bee the first. Now, how could you give your bro. estate to a third bro. without makeinge yourselfe lyable to the payments of his debts or how can hee possess his estate w.thout payinge his debts? Yet am I not paid anythinge but a small triffle after soe many yeares. Lett him ship mee sugars such as is good as I proposed att a price per pound & I am content yett to take it soe upon my adventure or pay you mony, as hee or you please. But this concerns you to see itt p.rformed. For noe courte or law of equity can discharge you till that is done. Now, I argue the reason of the thinge with you why you should take my estate & give itt to another man.

The next thinge you are pleased to take notice off is that if you come to forse mee to itt, it must bee for another gues sume then I am aware off. That is what I suspeckt. For when a man have declared himselfe to be bent upon my ruin, I have reason to beeleive what you now say, that it shall bee for another gues sume yet not greater then I am aware of (for it canott bee but for the whole sume) & that I suppose you intend & that will not att all startle me, for I can prove my discharges as well as you can your charges. But in such cases of differences, where yourselfe gives mee this timely caution, I aske you if it concernes nott me to take care to prevent such evills as I foresee are drawinge upon mee & can you blame mee for not payinge mony before I can be discharged? Yett I have taken care your intrest shall in noe sorte suffer on my, as I suppose Mr. Trant hath alredy advised you I knew not of this opertunity till this day &, the warninge beeinge soe shorte, I could not send your accounts. But by next will certainely doe it. & If any further difference, it shall not be upon my But you must remember to accept in your hands from the soldiers my sallary for the 2 years pay, & for Sir Cornewall Bradshaws alsoe, for hee hath prefered in bill against you, Capt. Geordges & myselfe in the Exchequer. I have not yett put in my answer but will consult Mr. Trant aboute it. But he will certainly recover. Hee hath made severall demands of mee. I allwaies putt him off to Mr. Trant, & desired him to write himselfe to you, hee hath, as he saith, severall times done, but you would never vouchsafe an answer & therefore saith will bee noe longer putt off. You would doe well to give order for its payment to pr.vent further trouble. For I canot foresee any way in justice to avoad his payment. For hee hath don his duty in all respeckts. But this p.rhaps you may take from me as beeinge my owne case. Therefore, I will say noe more but refer it to your owne consideration. My answer I will suspend puttinge in as longe as I can &, if possible, till your answer comes. For I suppose the Bill will bee with you longe before this. For upwards of 2 mo. sence I was searved with a supoena & then or aboute that time I suppose it was sent you allsoe. I thought fitt to signifye this to you that you may come by noe prejudice in the stateinge your with the 2 Comp., whose dew its to pay him as well as myselfe.

As to the claymors of mee & my abettors, as you tearme that relateinge to my estate beinge kepte from mee & the Ackts proveinge equally false, I should have been glad to have heard itt, for then I should have my right with less trouble. But noethinge hitherto I have asserted hath proved soe, though your new favourite Bramly with a greate many plausible storyes & lyes in the pettition endeavored to asperse me, hopeinge thereby to be beleived. But I thanke God I am better knowne & doe scorn to assert anythinge that I canot make good proofe off, though you are soe credulous of mee as to give soe much creditt to what hee saith as to make yourselfe his advocate & to affirme all his transactions to bee just. I wish you ware as good a judge of his accion & had the same cause for your convincement as I have had & then you would bee of another opinyon.

[p. 516] Yett should I not wish you soe much hurt did you not take it upon you to defend him in all things, as I have before tould you, to my ruin as farr as in you lyes, both in my estate & reputation, is as neere to mee as yours can bee to you, though the last shall bee the last thinge I will part with next my life. & Now, consider with yourselfe how you are able to prove mee a murderer or an adulterer &, in case you care not, what damadges will lye against you in court for giveinge in such a charge before that Board as you have done. & After all what occations you have had to asperse mee as you have endeavored (though to noe purpose), is it because I seeke my dew from a man that unjustly detaines it from mee? I am sure that I can assigne noe other just reason for it. All other are but bare sugestions without good or reason. brings mee to give answer to the latter part of your letter, wherein you tax mee with caballinge & threaten yourselfe by some of your agents to cutt my throate & corect my insolences. I thake God I never was yet soe insolent to have my throate cutt, nor ever was I afraid of it in any lawful cause. God hath given mee the hart of a man as well as or men, & as long as I live will never be afraid to assert my right though I was sure to have my throat cutt for it. & This I hope I may take the liberty to answer without beinge represented a murtherer when I am thus threatened. As to your charge mee of caballinge to confer with my Counsell and wittnes in my owne case, if you call that caballinge, I am guilty of it or anythinge elce tendinge to the merits of my cause, for as law & justice will bare mee out.

And to testifye to you that I have been cleare and aboveboard in all my proceedings, I will hint to you some small things to shew you that I am neither guilty of caballinge nor that mallitious man you represented mee for. Its not long since some p.rsons came to mee to informe against you & desired mee to joyne with them, supposeinge mee to bee suffitiently disquitted. I will give you an of the charges wherein I thinke I approve myselfe a freind and not a greate enemy you take mee to bee, but the p.rson I gave my word never to take notice of otherwise. I would have given you of them allsoe, but I will never breake my faith, the charges are as foll. Viz. that the 2,000£ you have rec.d from His Majesty for the erectinge forts you have not applyed to that use, but to your owne p.rticular advantage; 500£ thereof you have rec.d as a gift from the island of Antegua and tooke the Islands discharge for the same; this they offerd to bringe good proofe upon oath for, would have laine as a charge you in the Exchequor; besides, should a warr happen and any miscaridge happen on that island, I know not how farr that charge might lay you. The 2d charge is that you have rec.d the pay for the 2 Companys, whereas there is not 40 effectuall men, besides your owne & your officers servants, residents in your plant.s & some other planters of the Islands that fills up the muster rolls; this they offered allsoe to bringe proofe upon oath for. The 3d, that you rec.d pay for 2 Capt.s, whereas there is but one for 2 yeares, Capt. Cotter beinge only nominall; & that you put the pay in your owne pockett. The 4th, that you had sould on the island of Antigua greate quantityes of the Kinges land and rec.d very considerable sumes of mony for the same, you had convers.d to your owne privatt use without ever accountinge to the Kinge for the same. The 5th, that you dureinge the time of your governm.t escheated severall considerable estates for His Ma.tys use, but never accompted for the same, besides negrose rec.d from the other Islands unlawfully, advantages made by the seale; & many other things to tedious to repeate; all would a been proved upon oath.

[p. 517] By all you may p.rceive you have enemyes as well as other men. And I doe thinke, after all your unkind usage to mee, I doe not act like an enemy in giveinge you an information of these passiges nor in rejectinge them. Now, I say, consider those that have been your true freinds and doe not abuse them. I am sure I was never noe otherwise untill you forced mee to bee soe, to retrive my estate or att least such part thereof as I can. Nor have I ever ackted to your prejudice in anythinge except in that p.rticular could not be avoyded, sence you made yourselfe not only a party but an advocate alsoe for a man that, if you knew his acktings as well as I doe, you would say hee was the greatest k. in the world. I am sure I have reason to say soe notwithstandinge all his false alligations.

I am now 4 yeares without any att except 1/2 yeares sent my bro. Baxter & 2 yeares & 1/2 without any one penny of the product but 36 hhds. sugar. Nor doe I to this day knowe of one pound sugar more shipt. The last I had from thence was that hee s.d there was sugars. But hee would not ship mee any till hee had confer.d with you. Now judge whether you make yourselfe a party mee, & where I must expect my damadges. I shall write you some lynes perticularly to this affaire in hopes of obteaninge my right without further trouble or charge. & I am confid.t upon dew consideration you will allow mee to bee the injured man, and that whatever I have transacted hath not been out of any designed prejudice to you but to doe myselfe right. & In the pr.sence of God, I now declare you ware the onely man I had a trew vallew & respect for above all others in the world, untill you sought my ruin for what reason I never yett could tell nor cannot imagin, but would bee glad to know my crime.

This I have said now is without flatery, for you and I are att to greate a distance to court frendship (but p.rhaps I am more soe in reallity then a greate many pr.tenders to it). I desire you to p.ruse the inclosed in is the Kings order. & I doubt not upon serious consideration you will consider of the injuryes I have rec.d and doe mee right, is all I ever expected or desired, though I am sure I must bee the looser suffitiently. ...

362. General Sir William Stapleton [Montserrat]

London, August 7, 1684
Hereinclosed is His Ma.tys order to you makeinge void the write of partition of my plantation, as alsoe that courts might bee held from time to time, that soe I may compell Bramly to a just accordinge to law & the Artickles betwixt us. Yet I canot but take notice of one expression in the s.d order I thinke necesary to take notice of by way of caution to pr.vent future trouble and inconveniencyes that might hapen to arise by meanes thereof. That is, you may please to take notice that in the report from the Lords to His Ma.ty that it is said the p.rtition is made voyd as not beinge in legall forme seemes to imply that the partition might bee. As soone as I read the order, I applyed myselfe to Mr. Blathwaite and desired a sight of the minutes, haveing heard my Lord Keeper, the suepreame judge of all His Ma.tys dominions in cases of this nature, publikely in the hearinge of all p.rsons [p. 518] there reprove the Attourny Gen.ll for urginge that partition were legal as beinge contrary to the Artickles betwixt us, wherein there was a pr.vition made against survivorship & therefore noe p.rtition could bee unles by a joynt consent. And entringe further upon the debate, he alsoe tould him it was allegall not only as beinge contrary to Artickles only as alsoe in not beinge in legall forme. This was publikely said in the heareinge of all p.rsons there, and the portion declared by the Lords in gen.ll illegall & not in legall forme. But the illegall was raced out, by whome I know not, but goes by whom. The Clarke of the Concill declares it was not done by him, but that hee had soe entred it as the sence of the Lords. But the report was otherwise drawne up & alsoe an order was ordered to bee drawne up to direct how pertitions ought to bee made where they might elegally bee made ( you have here incloced). Now, I say, I thought it convenient to signifye this to you to prevent misunderstandinge & further damages for to a partition I will never consent to, without none can legally bee made, as you have allready had it under two of my Councills hands. But you should now have had it under all other hands but that they are out of towne. Yett, I thinke it needles, since my Lord Keeper have soe publikly declayred it. And therefore I hope you will not proceed to doe mee any further injury. If you doe, the damadges will ly against you. For I now declare my disent against all such proceedings I hope now you are fully evinc.d is contrary to law & as you have declared. ...

[p. 520] Just now I rec.d a letter from Mr. Rob.t Helmes, wherein hee tells mee Mr. Person was loadinge 24 hhds. sugar rec.d from Coll. Stapleton on one Parker for mee. I suppose hee intends itt towards payment of his brother debt. If soe, I wonder hee will order Parsons to ship it, and not doe it himselfe. For Parsons is a man I never had to doe in my life. And by what I understand the last sugar he shipt from him was changed by him & dirt ship insteed thereof. And if it ware then done, the same thinge may bee very well be don againe. You will doe well to signifye soe much to him. Hee canot bee without servants of his owne that may doe that as well as Parsons. Its now greate trouble to ship of a few hhds. of sugar for my part; if I would take it upon mee, I know noebody there to doe it. I only hint this to you to prevent injuryes.

Your childern [sic] were both very well last weeke. I went to see them. Lett who will have the charge of them, I will see they want for nothinge, as I hope they have not heitherto. Billy is troubled with a rume in his eyes. I had him leeched about 3 mo. since for the evill, after hee was much better. I hope it will ware off. You shall have your acco.tts by next. Had I knowne of this oppertunity in time, you should have had them now. ...

363. Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, August 9, 1684
... Mr. Antho. Ethericke haveinge advised mee of a small estate neare Poole in Dorsetsheire of about three thousand pownds vallew that was to bee sold and tellinge mee alsoe that hee had rec.d some letters from you desiring his advice and assistance when any such things should offer, I promised him to come into Dorsetsheire to take a veiw of the same with him &, if hee judged it a thing fitt for you, to proceed to a purchas). In order thereunto, I proceeded soe far as Salsbury. But before I gott there, my hores faild mee, soe that I was forced to hire others by the way, but could gett them noe further then Salsbury. And I came there, I understood Mr. Etherick was gon further in the west. The assizes beinge just over, I could not gett horses att Salsbury, neither for love nor mony, to follow him, soe was forced to returne att London with lame horses, made my journy unpleasent and uneasy. I have since write to him to make inspection into it, this beinge about 14 dayes since. I desire your derections & possitive orders how to proceed in this or any other thinge in this kinde by first, and I will doe you all the service I can. But if you thinke of comeinge home suddenly, it will bee best pleasinge yourselfe. However, pray lett mee know your resolutions.

This day I rec.d your of the 21th of Aprill and 10th of June. Your directions I shall follow as to makeing & insurance and send you an from time to time of the proceeds of what goods you send as soone as the acco.tts are made up. But offen time they lye longe unsold, as I doubt they must now, for such a glut of sugars are come in that there is not vent. The price is come downe very low. Pray endeavor what possible to shipp the forpart of the yeare, is the best and quickest markett. I beleive ordinary sugars will not yeild above 18 or 19s p.r c.t now, but good will sell better. Pray endeavor what you can to send good from our plant. and possible you can make a tryall of clayinge.

Pray, if possible, settle our affaire att St. Kitts. They play the jack with us basely. Here is 6 terces of sugar now on board the Abra., which wee expected had been laden on acco.t of the coles. But Vickers produceth a Bill of Loading for them being loaden p.r Crisp for his proper acco. Soe that out of 56 tuns there 6 tuns and a [p. 521] hhd. on freight, besides Westcotts concern, tho. they pretend to have sugars enough of by them to load another ship. Now bill come fore the coles. Acquaint Mr. Edwards with it, and lett him take care to send it with intrest. I admire that none will follow orders. Pray doe not lett them jackes att St. Kitts play the rogue soe with us. They doe vex and perplex mee that I know not what I write, occations my writeing tart, as you say; sometimes when I am vext, I canot help it. If there is noe other way for it, pray take the concernes out of there hands. For to be thus putt of from yeare to yeare & to be played the jack with p.rpetually is to be indured [sic] out of upwards of 2 millions of sugar. ... Mr. Edwards, I finde, makes as many breaches of orders as others, att my bro. Baxter is very angry, for its an easy matter to follo. orders. If hee canot sell, hee can keep by him. I will write him about itt. If he expects any imployment from him, hee must follow orders. & Notw.thstanding those strickt orders given him, hee doth not rec.e the product of his goods. ...

364. [p. 522] William Hearne [St. Christopher]

London, August 12, 1684
I rec.d yours by the Abraham with 13 hhds. and 9 tearces of sugar p.r the Abra. for our accomts in 1/3ds. But I doe admire you should ship noe more on that ship nor anything on Clayton, who had orders not only to take in the proceeds of what hee left with you the last yeare but allsoe what more hee might want to compleate your brothers and my part of the said ships loadinge, either from you or Mr. Westcott. Yett hee lett out part of my proportion on freight, alleadginge neither of you would supply him. Nay, hee writes us that you pretended an order from us to load the produce of those goods hee left in your hands the last yeare on the Abraham & therefore would not put it on board him. I am sure thats notoriously false. You must not expect that I will have trickes putt upon mee alwayes. I have paid to deare for my experience. And therefore assure yourselfe if you think to putt those trickes upon mee, you will finde yourselfe mistaken. Your estate shall certainly make it good. You pretend to have 12 tuns a sugar by you to ship on the next ship which you say will ball. all our acco.tts. But that I canot imagin since you had disposed of 40 pipes of the wine p.r the Abraham must amount to more then that sume. Your orders are possitive; and, if you make any breach, you must expect where it will fall. ...

365. [p. 523] William Fox [Montserrat]

London, August 12, 1684
My Most Kinde Friend, Sir,
... I should bee glad to searve you in the Marshall and Secretaryes places, not att all doubtinge but that it would bee of greate service to the poore inhabitants in gen.ll. But the thing lyes wholy in Capt. Cotter, from whom it must bee taken if from any p.rson. I will write to him about itt. But I beleive hee hath soe greate a kindnes for the p.rson that have it that it will be hard to remove them. But if the contry desires to take itt, shewinge him those reasons you mentions, viz. opression, that may bee a greate argument to inclyne him. Yett, if any such opression there be upon a petition or complaint here from the contry, shewing lawfull reasons for it, it will doubtles bee redresed. Bramlyes intilligence is good. For by what I understand Sir Nathaniell Johnson goes not over untill Sir W.m Stapleton comes home. I concerne myselfe not who is Governor, nor doe I soe much as inquire after itt, but had rather a freind should have itt then a stranger. But I assure you Sir John Knight had the Kings promise for itt befor Sir Natha.ll Johnson, as hee told me. However, it hapened to the contrary. But the sceans of court affaires are very changeable. Whosoever hath itt, I expect nothinge but my right and that I hope I may by some meanes or other atteaine to. And I assure you I will never desist untill I have itt. Bramly must not thinke by his insinuations allwayes to prevaile. ...

366. [p. 526] George Liddell [Montserrat]

London, August 12, 1684
Kinde Freinde,
I should have been glad to have rec.d a line from you by severall ship that have arrived lately from M.tsarratt how affaires goes theire, espetially what I may expect on Parker from my plant. I write you in my last that the pertition was made voyd and courts ordered to bee heald to compell Bramly to an accompt accordinge to law and the Artickles betwixt us; and in case of any faylure of justice there, accordinge to law, an appeale is granted mee by His Ma.tyes and an order to examine wittnesses in order to the proceedinge to a tryall here. My councell is now drawinge up instructions in order to it, but I would very fayne see Berwicke before I send them. He hath done very ill by mee in not comeinge home to give his testimony in dew season which might have proved very prejuditiall. And indeed the want of profe was the only reason that its first referred to a tryall there; otherwise, it had been granted mee imedietly here. But haveinge noe profes of anythinge, I could not except itt upon bare alligations. But I supose the Governor for his owne sake will take care to doe mee right that I may have noe further cause of complaint.

My bro. Baxter threatens every day to bring an accion against mee for your negrose. Hee takes noe notice of your beinge concerned but lookes upon mee as beinge the contractor. He saith hee will have the price made good for his sugars as they yeilded when your paym.t been dew, the first payment the same price as Mr. Mortimor sold yours for on the ship you shipt on when his first payment been dew, hee saith you might have shipt for him as well as for yourselfe or Mr. Mortimor. Hee allsoe saith will have intrest from his mony from those times. I know not what to doe in it, but hee is certainly a greate looser by that ship of negros, and noe returnes make him very angry. Pray, George, make him the most speedy returne you can for my sake, becaus it was att my request hee was concerned, you haveinge intended to have imployd its little in the affaire. And now he blames me for advisinge him to the contrary, saying that you doe not take care to gett in his effects. I intreate you to doe what you can possibly in it.

Your children are both well. And if you will take my advise, put your doughter to a boardinge skoole for to or 3 yeares; tho it may cost you dearer, yet the guirle will have the advantage of it. If you incline to itt, I will take care of her for you, and provide a very good place where she shall be carefully looked after and well educated. Send you answer to this perticular and you may be sure I will doe for you as if it were my owne. Your boy will doe well anough with Mr. Westcott for sometime, but hereafter will doe better abroade alsoe. I advise you for your owne sake and your chilldrens good. Pray lett me here from you some lines. And if att your leisure you can send me some ceder timber of the best, doe; it will doe as well for my use in large peeces of timber, if only squard as in plankes. But lett them bee cut to as good length as you can. If you can put any on board Haynes in the Abraham, he will take care of them. But put them on bord as for my bro. Baxter who hath ordered him to take them in for him, he now haveinge bought mine & Mr. Helmes part of the ship. The older the timber, the better, provided its sound and not shaken. ...

367. [p. 527] Robert Helme [Nevis]

Henly, August 30, 1684
... I have ordered 500£ to bee insured upon my owne acco.t on all adventurs, and have desired him, as soone as he receives any advise from you, to insure to the full vallew of what you load as your owne Supposeinge hee canot bee longe without advise from you and the shipp beinge newly arrived, I concerne there canot yett bee any danger on the 20 hhds. p.r Clayton, Mr. Edwards haveinge advised mee thereof insured 200£ upon the Abraham. You had nothinge insured; for want of advise alsoe, that mony was saved to you. But pray advise from time to time. Otherwise, noe man knowes not what to doe. For from Westcott nor any other have wee a line at any time. Sugars att pr.sent are soe greate a drugge there is not vent for them.

My bro. Baxter hath bought the ship Abraham intirely. Shee was vallewed att 250£ p.r the appraisors, but hee allows 300£ for her. I have sold him your part but condicconly, viz. if you aprove not of that price, then you are to continew your part and receive 6£ p.r tunn fright for the voyage out and home, is the utmost fright hath been given of late yett what I thinke you will bee noe gainer by the voyage.

My bro. Baxter is very angry you ship soe much of Robisons fr.t on our joynt acco.t from our plant. Wherefore pray futurely rather [p. 528] lett out what you cant canot load and load our goods on other bottoms. Still, give mee advise. I hope you will this yeare make thorow settlem.t of all our concernes that wee may see you the next yeare. ...

The Abra. cargo of shugars was sold to Mr. Fleete at 21s p.r c.t but not yett weighed off. They sell now at 18, 19, & 20s p.r c.t. I beleve what more we have comes this yeare must ly by a long time. Pray, whatever you doe, endeavor to ship early in the yeare, for the latter part of the yeare comes more shugar then there is vent for. Pray, what you make att our plantation, either clay them or send them in the fynest muscovado you can make by ours.

368. Thomas Westcott [St. Christopher]

London, August 12, 1684
[p. 529] ... In answer to what you write of the p.rson I formerly proposed to you, that canot now bee. Shee is dispised of. I should be glad it ware in my power to doe you any kindnes in that way; and doe assure you if you take things into consideration to doe mee right, none shall endeavore to searve you in that or any other respect more then myselfe to the utmost of my power. And I shall still retaine as much kindnes for you as ever I had and endeavor all things tendeinge to your promotion. And if my advise may prevaile with you, I would p.rswade you to leave of playinge the foole and stick close to your busines, make a settlement of all your concernes, use the utmost rigor to recover what posible you can and, as soone as you have settled things in a good meathod, to come for England. And you need not doubt but Ile assit you with a good match. And in other things tendinge to your advantage, if you will bee governed and follow my advise, shall not tend anywayes to your prejudice, but soe settle things as you may give sattisfaccion to those you are concerned with. Which you may quickly doe, if you bend your thoughts and resolutions that way. And I am sure the Governor will for my sake assist you in it, if you will make your appligation to him, in my name. This now is my advise, which if you doe not follow in all respects, never hope for any further kindnes from mee. For you still see I am will. to assist and stand by you, if you please. Soe that if anythinge hapens to the contrary, its still your owne faulte, not mine. For I assure you I wish you well, and what I write that may seeme otherwise I am provoked to either by your folly or injustice, I know not which. ...

369. [p. 530] Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, October 15, 1684
[p. 531] This day I rec.d yours of the 15th & 20 of August with your long letter without date in answer to mine, which am sory should give such a sensible resentment as to discompose you, it being a letter of passion without consideration, chiefley proceeding from the ill usage I have had in all my interest there, which you canot but be to sensible of. Yett upon dew considerasion, whatever you intended, I know not. (But the long experience I have had of your justice induceth mee to beleeve you had noe ill designe or intent to doe mee wronge.] But noe man liveing that should come to judge of it, & to p.ruse your letters relateing to that concern and the measures you tooke in the appraisement & c. with the circomstances, viz., that attended it, but I am sure would have sensured you as much as I did. And I say the uttermost vallew you proposed takeing it, either in money or sugars (as you will finde) was not above £1,500, which I am sure is not more then the true vallew of the stock upon the ground. You canot but remember the proposition in money with the 50 guinyes as it was appraised did not amount to that summe & the sugars, if soe taken, was to bee paid out of the first sugars that came home of the product of the plant. & on the in 1/3ds. Soe that whats laden from the plantation might produce more then 10s p.r cent. I am sure that what came on the other would have fallen short of. & Againe by that time a rattification or confirmation could have been made. I say, takeing it from that time, which could not have been sooner then July that the crop then would have been made & by that time 12 mo. after barring accidents, I make noe doubt but will pay the purchase money proposed. Soe that in fact the proposition you made, if you dewly take it into consideration (as I doubt you have not done by your seeming to say you will still make it good), you will finde to bee but one yeares vallew for the estate. God forbid I should take you upon such disadvantages. And this now I have s.d is to convince you that what I writ was not without reason altogeather, though agrivated by passion. Neither was there any exception but one ps. of canes that might grind about 40,000 lbs. sugar. That you and I had severall discourses touching the purchase of the s.d plant. & the orders you had left with your bro. aboute it is truth, & that I rec.d a letter from him vindicating his owne honnesty & bringing in that p.t of his transaction as a justification thereof. Which upon a more serious perusell I doe not finde binding in law or equity other then it may bee amicans by preferring a Bill in Chancery against him to make a covenant betwixt him and the divell which I resolve to doe if hee refuse to confirme. And then I finde that I did intimate something of this matter to you, but canot finde by any letter, either from you or any other, nor can I remember any passiges since about it that I tooke it for granted it had been past over by him. But I confesses I aem soe exasperated the the [sic] villiny and knavery of that rogue that when I come to make use of his name, I canot doe it whiout passion. Hee was certainley not your fathers son but one put upon him or changed at nurse. The villaine is now growne to to [sic] that heith of roguery that I am not bee trusted with my owne goods. But Ben. Williams is constituted to dispose of it, feareing least (as I suppose he supposeth) that [p. 532] I should run away with my owne. But I will see the dog hanged before I will be made such a buffoon on by such an inconsiderable rascall. And therfore I doe begg your pardon if I doe not pay your bill of £300, for I will not doe it unlesse I can attach it. But if any damage shall hapen to accrue to you thereby, I will make it good. I am glad the Letter of Attorney was not prooved, & I hope you will bee carfull not to discharge him on my, for I am sure noe law can compell you to doe it. Therefore, pray bee carfull you doe not doe it. Excuse these passionate lines, and assure yourselfe that whatever hath past, I have not the least heard thought of you, nor never will, nor shall never anythinge hapen betwixt us as to our concern or otherwise but what yourselfe shall bee judge of, nor had I ever the least thought, but that you have stood my friend in all things to your power, which I shall ever owne and thinkefully returne. & Now I tell you that which exasperated mee to write that letter & make use of that expression that seemed like a combination was that, at the same time W.H. (I canot call him your bro.) had the impudance to write mee that I made it my buisness to sett brothers by the eares, you write my bro. Baxter and mee of endeavouring to part a man & wife. Which were both such od expressions and comeinge togeather that I must tell you that I looked upon it noe other then a combination to abuse mee. Soe pray lett all things bee past by and noe more thought of. ...

The most I have been yett proffered for our plant. sugars p.r Robitson & c. is 19s p.r c.t. The hhds. prooves soe ordinary; the tearces good, for which I have been proffered 23s. But all yett lyes unsold. My bro. Baxter and I goe on selling our other sugars at 18, 19, & 20s pr. c.t. But now the glutt soe great, there is noe vent. You must finde a way to clay, or elce in a little time they will not bee worth bringing home. Heasten your crop the forward part of the yeare and follow it close and ship off what you can early as possible, though to great loss in yeilding of the canes. Be sure to follow this advise, for if the crop prooves from all parts accordingly, as in all probibility it will, what comes after June will finde noe vent at all. Therefor, what you canot accomplish to ship off on bottomes that may depart by the latter end of Aprill, you must finde out a way by claying or otherwise to turne into a good midling sort of white, which will turne best to accompt. If you want anythinge for that use, order it as soone as you can with full directions, either potts or ought elce. My bro. and I will endeavour to send a man that understands it. ...


  • 1. William Helme was planning to leave the Leewards.