Freeman's Letters, 1679: nos 58-82

The Letters of William Freeman, London Merchant, 1678-1685.

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'Freeman's Letters, 1679: nos 58-82', in The Letters of William Freeman, London Merchant, 1678-1685, (London, 2002) pp. 57-79. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/london-record-soc/vol36/pp57-79 [accessed 24 April 2024]

In this section

Freeman's Letters, 1679: nos 58-82

58. [p. 57] John Bramley [Montserrat]

London, January 7, 1678/9
This searves only to advise of the receipt of yours with 188 baggs ginger at most above 12s p.r c.t. Thats not worth diging out of the grounde.

I have written at large to my attorny Mr. W.m Fox in order to the settlement of my concerns in the plant.n and have taken order for my halfe part of suplying the same and for the payment of such debts as remaine undischarged on my part. As to what I have writt, it doth not proceed from any instigation of my attornys but your owne actings. Therefore shall say little more, this being only to acknowledge the recipt of ginger and to desire you to take order for the payment of my mony debt, and for what I have been in disburse for things sent out p.r your orders. That when I have sold the ginger I shall send you an account of.

I am inclinable to dispose of my part of the plant.n. If you finde yourselfe in a condiccon to purchase, you shall have the refuse of it before any other p.rson, notwithstanding what hath past. But I will first see it cleare of all incumbrances, and will have the paym.t in mony ready downe or goods. On any other tearmes I shall not dispose. And when you finde yourselfe in condiccon, lett me know your inclination. Till then I will be soe sivell to you as not to make an offer of it to any other p.rson. ...

59. William Fox [Montserrat]

London, January 7, 1678/9
Sir,
I have writt you at large by severall convayances. This now searves only for covert of the inclosed Bill of Ladeing and Invoice for those things you gave order for in your last. The amountant of the cost and charges of the same is 31£ 02s 06d. The things are some what dearer then ordinary, being bought of the best for your owne us.

I have sold your barrell of indico for 2/6 p.r pounde. I kindly thanke you for your kinde offer of your plant. but I am more inclinable to sell then buy, and if Mr. Bramley ware in a condition to make me present paym.t, I would make him a proposall of it. But I will not sell to be p.d out of its owne produce.

Sir, I intreat you to follow my former directions in settling my plant. acco.tt and paying of all debts, and future disbursments with ready mony as I have desired, and to imploy some p.rson that will be carefull in the manadgm.t on my part (that I may have justice donn mee). The trouble of which is more then I can desire from you. But your eye over them will be a singular favor. And assure yourselfe that wherein I am capable none shall be more ready then.

Pray, lett me here from you by all oppertunityes. And be mindefull whenever you have any sugars of mine in a readines to gett it transported to Nevis, according to my former request.

60. Captain Nicholas Meade [St. Christopher]

London, January 7, 1678/9
Sir,
This searves only to advise you of the receip.t of yours of the 8th August with 18 hhds. sugar for acco.tt of Coll. Roger Osborne, and 2 hhds. for your owne acco.tt, both which I have disposed of at 21s 6d p.r c.t, the buyer to pay the custome and other petty charges. Thats as good as 2s p.r c.t more: which was the utmost this market would afford, the sugars being but ordinary. I have newly wayed them of and have given 2 mo. time for payment. The proceeds of your owne 2 hhds. shall be sent you in such goods as desired by first oppertunity. I have sent Coll. Osborne an acco.tt of his 18 hhds. sugar. Wherein you can searve, you may comand.

61. [p. 58] Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, January 18, 1678/9
I now begin to thinke it longe since I rec.d any from you. And haveing given answere to yours by Abraham Terry and others lately departed from hence, have now little to write, only to lett you kow that all freinds here are in good health, and all concerns relateing to our particulars well, though the people generally throughout the kingdome under greate dissattisfaccons, as by the votes of the last sessions you will finde that I have sent the General, which he will not refuse to give you the p.rusall of. The Parliment being prorogued till the 4th of the next month, all things remaine silent as to the plott, though the Kinge and Councell make it theire dayly buisnes to search into the bottome of it, and every day produceth new evidences of its confermation. I presume the Articles of Impeachm.t against the Lord Treasurer was the occations of the Parliments prorogation, the Kinge being resolved to justifie him. The Generall can alsoe shew you his impeachment.

Herewith, I send you a councell's opinion of Procter's will, and if you can gett all the p.rties or theire successors to joyne it will doe well. (fn. 1) But if they or any of them have sold their intrests, and given releases, which may appeare, its not meteriall. I would have you by all meanes purcheas it if possible, but not before the younge man is of age, his seale beinge of noe vallidity till then.

Abraham Terry sayled 8 dayes since out of the Downes and for ought I know had been there till now, had not Sir John Berry in a manner forced him out. He prooves a very idle fellow, and hath put us to at least 200£ extravigent charges and loss of time in the voyages made, the shipp now setting to sea though but her 3d voyage and a new shipp came to 500£. Thats more then an ordinary freight would have made. Pray marke his stepps there, if he treads not very upright, shall out.

The shipp lay ready to sayle 5 weeks with a fayre winde all the time before shee did. And after her being cleared at Greavesend for tenn dayes sent her downe with a pilot and went himselfe to deale by land. And shee there sometime before him with a faire winde as could blow. And as Sir John Berry now informes me, when he came into the Downes homeward bound, he lay ashore 4 or 5 dayes, and the all the time in greate perill of being driven on shore.

Hereinclosed you have a Bill of Ladeinge for 4 thousands hoopes and a 100 bundles packt staves, on bord Capt. Hare, every man ladeing his owne part, noe freight offeringe, which is to our advantage. Wee had alsoe the benefitt of about 11£ more laden by us for other mens acco.tt, which is our 1/8 part with what laden on our owne acco.tt.

My sister Baxter is lately delivered of a daughter, and wants you for a godfather. (fn. 2) I shall not ad further (untill I receive some from you) then to assure you I am –

In the convayance of the plantation of John Procter, deceased, in Nevis, Procter John Moore, Rob. Moore, Ann Moore, and Elizabeth Moore or their representatives ought to joyne, and alsoe Joyce Procter his wife. But if any of them have released or sold their intrests to the others, the deeds are released, being delivered to the purcheaser; they need not joyne or be made p.rties to the convayance.

[p. 59] See alsoe that there be made discharges from Nicholas, W.m and Edward Proctor of theire legacyes of sugar.

January 15th. A copie of Mr. Goodings, Councell at Law, his openion.

62. [p. 60] Henry Carpenter [Nevis]

London, January 26, 1678/9
Sir,
This comes by Humphery Polegreen in a small ketch who being bound out and, freight offeringe, was willing to take a small matter in his way rather then goe empty, by which meanes I p.rswaded to fill up with hoopes at 20s p.r thousand, at which rate indeed they ware not worth histeing over his shipp side. (fn. 3) Inclosed you have a Bill of Ladeing for 120 bundles containing six thousand of long midling hoopes. And in the same Bill of Ladeing is contained 148 bundles of packt cask that are for Mr. Helmes and my joynt acco.tt. The hoopes are on acco.tt of our commission negros. And p.r next shall send as many as will compleate the 20 thousand you gave order, when I hope to buy the hoops cheaper, they being at pr.sent scarce and deare. But must never expect to light of soe cheape a freight againe.

Since my last I have p.d your cozen Cooper 34£ 08s 03d. The Generall or Mr. Helmes will comunicate to you the votes of the Parliment, which will informe you the state of affaires of this kingdome, that is at pr.sent bad anough, and much to be feared will be worse, the Parlim.t being disolved. This, with my sarvis to yourselfe and Lady, is what offers, save that I omitted to lett you knowe that the factor that went upon the Betty hath informed against you. And Mr. Helmes pretending your information against them of the negros stolen by them to be ground upon noe other acco.tt than that they would not sell you the s.d negros at your price, and that you treated for them and would have bought them. And although the Comp. hath a better opinion of you then to give credit to the information of such rascalls, yett it behooves you to act cautiously and be very circumpect how you deale or treate with those kinde of people, and not to give the least countenance to them upon such account, as I am confident you have not. ...

63. [p. 62] General William Stapleton [Montserrat]

[London, January 26, 1678/9]
Sir,
Its now the 26 January. The foregoeing lines is a copie of mine by Abraham Terry. Since which I writt you some uncopied lines by Mr. William Winter with the Kings greate seale and your Ladies pendents. A copie of the same I sent you p.r via Bristoll, wherein I gave you an acco.tt of the heareing of the Dutch Agent Wachtendunk had before the Lords of the Councell touching the Tobago negros, where wee made the best defence wee could for you, which was only to gett the buisnes delayed for sometime, to make better proofe, those affidavits and other proofs I had being of noe validity in law. (fn. 4) I alsoe sent you Sir Richard Loyd, the Kings Advocates, opinion, that the King would have noe legall title to them, which is the opinion of all lawyers. Soe that you will be compelled to make restitution and therefore Sir Richard Loyd advised me before the time given by the Lords for makeing of further proofe on your behalfe be expired that I should make the best composition I could for them. In order thereunto, Coll. Bayer and myselfe have given a metting to the Dutch Agent Wachtendunk (who required me to put in 1,500£ security for you that the negros should be forthcomeing according to the order of the Lords, when the next tryall should be had). And upon futher discourseing the matter with him, I proposed to give him five hundred pounds for the 42 negros in your possesion, suposeing you had the one halfe of them, togeather with those sold Sir James Russell. The paym.t for which is in my hands. Which is 3/4 of the number of 82. And for the rest, if the Capt. had sold them, he was to be accomptable; but if they or any of them or the proceeds therof was in your hands, then to be accomptable for it. Mr. Wachtendunk seemed pleased with this my proposition, when I layd downe to him the charges you had been at and your sivilities to their nation showne from time to time, and alsoe alledged what further proofs I was confident you could make. And gave me this answere that he would acquaint his masters the States with it, and lay downe the reasons to them, and as soone as he could receive an answere from them I should here further from him. But this proposition I have made with this proviso – that it should be with your approbation, or otherwise of noe force. Therefore I now intreate you by very first to send me your orders whether you allow of this proposition or, in case they should not, to give me your orders how much further I may advance. Which pray lett be possitive and full, that I may know how to transact this concerne. And send them by two or three shipps in case of miscaridge. And I thinke if I can make this composition proposed, it will be much to your advantage. The negros sold Sir James Russell amounting to neere the whole payment, soe that you will have the one halfe for 38£ besides what other charges you have been at. And if composition be not made, I am fully sattisfyed you will be compelled to restore them. The Privy Seale only gives you the Kings right and title to them, which is the opinion of all, that the King can make noe title to them. Coll. Bayer hath writt you more fully to this p.rticular.

The Parlim.t is disolved and writts out to call a new Parlim.t the 6th March. (fn. 5) In the intrem, people under greate feares and dissattisfaccion by reason of the plott that appears more fowle then ever I did imagin it would, and greate discontents in the kingdome. I pray God all things may end in peace.

I presume you will receive an acco.tt from Capt. Crispe of the affaire he came upon. The French Kinge will not rattifie your peace, soe that you must stand upon your owne defence and make preparations accordingly. For its verily beleeved we canot continue many a yeares in amity with them.

I expected to have given you an acco.tt by this of the receipt of your last yeares pay, but have been put of from day to day, and hitherto have received nothinge. But I thinke I canot be delayed much longer. Jemy and Randall are both in health. ...

64. [p. 63] Colonel Phillip Warner [Antigua]

London, January 30, 1678/9
This accompanies the ketch Christopher, Rob. Bennet, Comander, hyred by Coll. Bayer and Comp. who have speared me 7 tunns freight for you on the same tearmes they have taken the whole. And for your government in ladeing the same I hearewith send you a copie of the contract I have signed to them. Your p.rformance therein I doubt not. And whereas you will finde it specified in the s.d contract that you are oblidged to lade some tobacco, yett you are oblidged to noe certaine quantity. Soe that if you lade but one bundle, the contract is made good. Nor indeed would I have you lade more of that comodity for it will turne to noe acco.tt at this markett.

Sir, in my last I gave you an acco.tt that I had rec.d from Mr. James Hurd of Plim.h 81£ 17s 10d on your acco.tt, being the proceeds of your sugar as he informed me. A more p.rticular acco.tt you will receive from himselfe. I presume what you sent for London came to a better markett. I shall, when Coll. Bayer takes another vessell, take 8 tunns freight more for you. That will make the 15 tunns desired upon two shipps. By reason I could not procure it upon 3 shipps as you directed. But because your adventure upon each will be something more than you intend, you may insure. And if you thinke covenient soe to doe, lett me receive your orders timely relateing to that p.rticular that shall be dewly complyed with for Nevis. I refer you to Coll. Bayer, who tells me he will give you an acco.tt of all transactions here, by which you will see the distractions in this part of the worlde. I shall not trouble you further then to assure you I am –

Whareas Mr. James Bush, Mr. Rowland, St. John and Bastiaen Bayer have hired and taken to freight the ketch called the Christopher, Rob. Bennet, Master, to goe to Antigua, and there after her arivall to stay sixty dayes, to take in her loading of sugar at 5£ tunn and tobacco at 8£ p.r tunn, as may more at large appeare in the Charter Party. And whereas they have lett unto me for Coll. Phillip Warner of Antigua in the s.d ketch seaven tunns to freight att Antigua by the s.d Coll. Warner, at the same rate and on the same conditions, as the s.d Bush, St. John, and Bayer have the same by the s.d Charter Party. Doe here oblidge myselfe promise and ingage that the s.d seaven tunn shall be dewly loaded and put on bord by the s.d Coll. Warner in sugar and tobacco, within the tearme and time of the above s.d sixty dayes and that he shall take Bills of Loadeing for the same to pay freight according to Charter Party, which freight I doe futher by these presents oblidge and ingage myselfe, heires, executors to pay or cause to be p.d after the arivall of the ketch here in the port of London, and the landing of her loading out of the same unto the s.d Bush, St. John, and Bayer, their heyres or assignes, or either of them, for the s.d seaven tunn of sugar and tobacco, fully and dewly according to the s.d Charter Party. ... In wittnes whereof, I have hereunto sett my hand, in London, this 25th day of January 1678/9.

65. [p. 64] William Helme & Thomas Westcott [Nevis]

London, February 12, 1678/9
This searves to advise you that wee have laden on bord the shipp Unity, Arthure Hare, Comander, a cargo of drye goods for acco.tt in thirds of ourselves and Mr. Rob. Helmes amounting to the summe of 1,125£ 07s 01d, as p.r the inclosed Invoice appeares. The Bill of Ladeing for the same goes alsoe inclosed. God sending them safe to your hands, you will finde them a p.rcell of the most fashonable goods thats worne here, and as good of the sorts as ever was bought, and are exterordinary cheape bought, which you mast observe in your sales and make your prices accordingly. Wee designed more hatts, a p.rcell of soape, and some other things that could not be had timely, but you may expect them to follow very sudently. Whatever goods you want for sortmens from time to time, advise for, that soe you may have a shopp constantly furnished of the best of all sorts of goods that are vendable. And wee hope your care will be to hasten us good accounts and speedy returnes that must give us incouridgment. French linens are not to be had, but at unreasonable rates. Which hath occationed us to suspend the sending of any at pr.sent, but shall in a little time give you a suply of those comodityes. Wee now thinke it longe till wee heare from you, haveing had none since September Last. Wee desire you to cull over your Invoice carefully and advise if all things right. ...

66. [p. 65] Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, February 13, 1678/9
Sir,
This comes by Capt. Hare by whome I have already writt you, suposeing he could be neere at Nevis by this time. But he according to custome hath lingered away the time in expectation of makeing freight, as all shipps doth that have those hopes, though I thinke he nor none of them doe hardly make halfe soe much as bares theire charges dureing the time they stay for it. But nevertheles this hath given me the oppertunity of giveing you a few more lines, though I have little to add only to lett you know wee are all well and are in great expectation of hereing the like good newse from yourselfe that would now bee very welcome, it being soe long since wee had the oppertunity of it, none haveing come to hand since yours of the 20 Sept. That we supose may be occationed by the long easterly windes that have blowne that hath kept out all shipps this two months. Soe they will be the more welcome when they come.
This may alsoe advise you that my bro. Baxter and selfe, haveing designed about a mo. hence a small vessell for Madera and to returne to Leverpoole, had intended to lade upon her a cargo of dry goods. And takeing into consideration the greate danger of the Turks that way that have leatly taken neere 50 sayle of our marchants shipps that wee have already had an acco.tt of, and Capt. Hare not being gon, wee hastened on bord him the s.d goods designed, except some few p.rticulars that wee could not gett in a readines that wee shall hereafter send by the vessell designed for Madera, unles wee meet with some other good oppertunity that offers direct, and have consigned the same to your bro. William Helmes and Tho. Wastcott for acco.tt of ourselves and yourselfe, in thirds as formerly. The Bill of Ladeing and Invoice have inclosed to them. The amountant of the cost and charges of s.d goods is 1,125£ 07s 01d, as appeares by s.d Invoice. And dare be bold to say they are a p.rcell of as good goods and as cheape bought as ever went out of England. Which you must advise them to have regard to in theire sales. And if any fault be, they are to fine and to good for the place, which if you finde there be not a sutable vent for such goods, lett them advise what sortments are not proper that wee may hereafter forbare sending such rich comodityes. And since you have desired wee should continue a shopp of dry goods for a reteale trade, wee resolve to keepe it constanly soe suplyed with all kinde of sortments that wee would not be outdon by any. (fn. 6) And in order thereunto pray give your directions to them to advise us from time to time of all things that may be proper for that purpose and of such sortm.ts that may be sutable still to the comodities that lies upon hand.

Mr. Lester is not yett gon out of Ireland but lyes ready laden with 600 barrells of beefe wayting the oppertunity of a faire winde. And by Capt. Lawrance, when please God he arives, have 600 more ly.g ready and p.d for. Soe that they may expect constanly suplyes of beefe, wines, and all sorts of dry goods, as much as they can finde a vent for.

Wee desire that Lister and all other shipps futerly of our owne, or hired vessells, that returnes for London, you may speare freight upon them and lade the greatest part of our effects upon such vessells as wee shall order for Leverpoole, where wee shall fine an advantage in the market and shall order three or 4 vessells yearely for that port, as long as wee finde that advantage to continue. Our market for sug.r hath continued lower this season then ever I knew it, by which meanes wee shall bee loosers by keepeing that p.rcell of sugar that came on Terry. And indeed I thinke, to take one time with the other, the first markett is alwayes best.

[p. 66] Pray fayle not to advise the younge men to give timely advise always of what quantity they lade upon any vessell for our acco.tt and as neere as they can to be punctuall according to theire advises. The same lett them doe for what they lade at any time from our plant. or on our j.a. or for what may be laden on my proper acco.tt from my plant. in Mountsaratt. That direct them to be mindfull of according to the instructions I have given them. I put you in minde of those things, in regard I expect you will be comeing of soone after the receipt of this. ...

67. General William Stapleton [Montserrat]

London, February 13, 1678/9
Sir,
These are a copie of what I writt you by Hum. Polegreene. This now comes by Arthur Hare, and is cheifely to advise you that I have only as yett rec.d 500£ of your last yeares pay and sallery which I expected the whole of before this. But the late distractions occations payments upon all publique acco.tts to come but slowly. Yet I am of opinion I canot be much longer out of it, the paym.t being made by the Kinge, and it lies wholy upon the delitorynes of the new farmers of the harth duty that are put to it to raise theire advance mony, all people being now cautious of publique concernes. And should I complaine, I find I should have but little redres. Soe that I must be forced to waite with patience for a little time, though I doe not lett slipp a day wherein I am not at them for it.

All things is silent at pr.sent. The greate expectations are of the meeting of the new Parlim.t. In the interem, the Kinge of France and the Emperor have rattified theire peace, as alsoe the Spaniard and Dutch. Soe that there is now in a manner a generall peace, and yett the French keeps up all his forces and is prapareing a good fleet for the sea, which gives us reason to feare he hat some designe upon us. Yett if please God wee are but unanimous at home, I thinke wee need not much dread him. Its said he is prapareing another fleete for the West Indies.

Yesterday 3 of the murtherers of Sir Edmund Bury Godfrey had there tryall and was condemned, and it appeares the murther was don in Somerset Howse, and the murtherers sett aworke by the preists and Jesuits who fled before the discovery. None of the Lords yett tryed, nor will not untill the Parliam.t sitts. ...

68. Anthony Henthorne [Liverpool]

London, February 13, 1678/9
Sir,
I rec.d yours of the 8th complaineing of the quallity of the sugar, for which am sory and more aspetialy that you should have the ill lucke to take the worst of the p.r cell that was intended to be the best. None that bought the rest hath made the least complaint, neither of the small nor greate caske. Nor did wee sell any of the p.r cell under 24s p.r c.t and good part of it being the last wee sold of it at 24s 3d p.r c.t. Soe that our charges and adventure being considered, we might have sold it here as well to the full. Nor can wee at any time when wee sell a p.r cell tell how it may spend. We can only judge of its quallity by the draughts. That, if you deare credit us in, wee never used any art to advance them since wee sold a cask, but alwayes sold them justly

[p. 67] and honestly as they came to us. And should we make a practice of makeing abatm.t, wee should never know how wee sold. And I assure you of 12 or 15 thousand pounds worth sold this yeare, we have not abated a peny nor had the least complaint save from yourselfe. But nevertheles wee have taken the same into consideration and have resolved to make you an abatem.t of tenn pounds. That I hope will make you amends upon the small cask, they being the least of the p.r cell. But withall wee must tell you: you may not expect to make this as a president; for whatever price we agree upon hereafter, you must expect to pay without rebates, however they proove, good or bad, it beinge not practicable here to come to rebates after a comodity is sold, it being at the choyce of the buyer to take or leave when a price is made. I shall not insist futher upon this subject, only to lett you know that the 3 lb. wt short you mention is in the hhd. no. 17 that by your acco.tt wayed 7 lb. 2.2 which wayed here 10 lb. 2.2, as we can make appeare by two oaths. Soe that it must have been plundered or damnified. That you ought to have abated out of the freight, or must make the Master pay it. You know by our agreem.t you ware to stand to the weights here, which you may be confident ware just as wee send them.

Yesterday, we rec.d letters from Nevis of the 5th Xber by way of Bristoll that sayled in comp. with a ketch freighted by ourselves for this port. Wherein wee have the lamentation of a bad market from our corispondent there, who tells us that impossibilities canot be complyed with, they haveing not, nor could procure, sugar on freight or otherwise to lade the shipp we ordered for Leverpoole, it being a season wherein none is made and abundance of shipps there. Soe that they are forced to keepe her 20 dayes upon demaridge and to let out the freight upon her for London at 4£ p.r tunn. Which disapointment wee are more concerned at than the loss, beleeveing you may have been in expectation of her. But nevertheles wee will indeavor to suply you with a p.r cell, if possible may be don without great loss to ourselves. And in order thereunto we designe (if it may be with your aprobation to give us 26s p.r c.t for the sugar) to hire the afores.d ketch, whereon we have about 20 tunns on our owne acco.tts; the rest being about 20 or 30 tunns more we will buy of the concerne here. That I supose we shall not gett under 24s 6d p.r c.t and as soone as shee arives (that we may now dayly expect) to send her about to you, though the advantage you give us I doubt will not pay our exterordinary charge and bare the insurance. But withall I must tell you that you may have noe cause of future complaint if the sugar should not answere your expectations, that she tooke in most of her ladeing at St. Xtophers, there being noe sugar on Nevis, and St. Xtophers sugars sometimes proove exterordinary good and sometimes as bad. How this lott may fall, wee know not. To this p.rticular, pray give us your possitive answere by the very next post, for under the afores.d price of 26s p.r c.t we canot send it about, and we are howerly in expectation of the vessell that hath been 10 weekes at sea. And if we canot agree with this vessell, we will hire another vessell, and put the sugar on bord and send it about with all expedition. To this effect I have alsoe writt Mr. Danvers. You need not question any disapointm.t of Terrys comeing, it being in the crop time. Another vessell wee shall order you that wee now designe to hire. ...

69. [p. 69] William Calhoun [St. Christopher]

London, February 14, 1678/9
Worthy Friend, Sir,
This day I rec.d a copie of yours of the 4th Xber with an adition of the 6th. But Mr. Revett is not yett arived, neither the Hannah and Elizabeth, though I aprehend noe danger of neither, the winds haveing been easterly for neere 3 mo. past. That not a ship hath cume in from any p.rt of the world till within this day or two. Yett now I am goeing about makeing the insurance you desire on both, if can gett it don, which p.rhaps they may scruple in regard the shipps have been soe long at sea. We have not a farthing insured upon Mr. Rivett, nor doe I designe to make any. Herewith I send you an acco.tt of the tankerd and those other things omitted, which was forgetfulnes I did it not sooner. Your sugar at Leverpoole I sold at 25s 6d pr c.t, but canot send you an Acco.tt of the Sales thereof, in regard the tobb. acco.tt lyes still unsold, and I doubt will not much more then pay halfe. Its charge 2d p.r pounde is the most hath been yett paide for it. I could wish Mr. Helmes had sent Mr. Rivett to Leverpoole, in regard he could not send Lawrance. I must be forced when Rivett arives to send him about in conformity with my contract, but you shall be sure when please God he arives to have the topp of this market price for what you have on bord without any further adventure. And could I have been certaine you would have borne that adventure upon your owne acco.tt, you should have had the same advantage wee have. That indeed will amount to litle or nothing now in regard of the charge wee shall be at now in sending her about, which I judge wee shall not now gett the freight under 12d p.r c.t. And by our contract they are to give us 18d p.r c.t beyond this market price, as I formerly advised you. Soe we shall not have 6d p.r c.t for our adventure. That will but barely pay the insurance if we make any. If at any time you load anythinge upon any of our shipps bound to that port, you shall be sure of the benifit of our contract, that is 18d p.r c.t which will rise considerably. But then the Bills of Ladeing must runn in my name. This pray keepe to yourselfe, and make advantage of it as you judge convenient.

In my former I gave answere to yours touchinge our haveing the benifit of more freight on Archer than you had. Which was that wee did not load above the quantity of our owne halfe part. And for what you wanted of loadeinge your owne 1/2 part, that shipp went soe much dead freighted which you know was noe advantage to us. And indeed the reason that we ware anythinge concerned therein was that I could not gett a vessell soe small as your quantity of goods required, and I thought it could not be your advantage to send a shipp emty at 7£ p.r tunn, though it hapned that shee made a good freight home. Yett noe man could be sure of that. She might as well have come at 4£ or 4£ 10s p.r tunn as shipps doe now for ought we know. And for shipps that once goe there upon freight, will never goe againe, the tunidge is soe unreasonable large that they generaly come of with loss. I could wish that it ware brought to a regulation. As to the freight of your hundred barrells upon Terry, I charged you but 40s p.r tunn, for which I had much adoe to p.rswade my bro. Baxter to, in regard wee ware at that time proffered 50s p.r tunn to have taken in some upon freight for Mr. White, which wee refused, because wee ware not willing to spoyle our owne market. And indeed had it not been to you, wee should not have speared it for twice the freight. In that I thinke you will not judge I was unkinde to you in.

Your freinde Mr. Crisp hath given you an acco.tt of all newse, which I gave him copies of for that purpose. Otherwise had donn it myself.

I cannot call him my freinde, for he hath wrought all meanes possible to worke himselfe into the factory of the Royall Comp. at St. Xtophers, and I presume had a further designe, and thereby indeavered to put by Helmes and Mr. Carpenter, by his p.rswasions of greate advantage that would accrue thereby to the Comp. But his pollicy would not take, and indeed I thinke hee hath spent more mony that way and upon another designe had had upon the 4 1/2 p.r c.t than in the countreys service. For that he came upon, I had effected to his hand as far as it lay on our part. But the French will not rattifie the agreem.t. How long things may stand well betwixt our nation and them God knowes, but all things seem to be doubtfull. Pray take noe notice of what I have writt you touchinge Crisp. I knew him myselfe before. I have nothing further, hopeing I may be hapy in you comp. this summer. But as a freinde, lett me advise you to bring of what you can, for I thinke it prudence not to trust an estate upon St. Xtophers, after you came thence yourselfe. ...

To one silver tankerd, w.tt 25 oz., at 5s 8d p.r oz. is 7:01:08
To 5 ps. Hollands duck, att 46s p.r peece -- - 11:10:00
To 1 quoile of rope, w.tt 1–29–24, at 27s 6d pr c.t 02:09:03
To crocus to pack the cloth in -- - 00:02:00
To a bill of store, bote hire, wharfidge, portridg --- 00:07:00
To freight and primadge ----- 00:10:06
22:00:05
To commission att 2 1/2 p.r c.t ----- 00:11:00
Summe is 22£ 11s 05d

70. Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, February 14, 1678/9
Sir,
This day I rec.d yours of the 3d Xber p.r via Bristoll with duplicates of yours of the 2d by Mr. Rivett who is not yet arived, but hope it may not be long are he doth. When please God he arives, we must hire the ketch and by what freight sugar comes upon her and send her about to Leverpoole in conformity of our contract, in regard you could not send Lawrance there. I could wish you had kept Lawrance or him upon demuridge and laded the one of them and lett out the other wholy to freight. It would have been much to our advantage, since wee ware under a contract to the refinors of Leverpoole. But since its now otherwise ordered, shall say noe more. But desire you futurely rather to suffer that way than alter the designe, for this is 2d time we have disapointed them. And we had much rather you should let the whole freight of such vessells as comes for London out and lade our owne concernes that way. But I am of opinion Giles Lawrance was unwilling to goe to that port. And by that meanes you might be p.rswaded. As to the dayes of demuridge on him, wee are under noe Charter Party to the rest of the owners and therefore you need not question paying any.

Pray advise what bills of mine you have p.d or taken up, by reason the Generall ordered me to cary the 400£ bill for the fort to his acco.tt, which I have done. If he hath otherwise ordered since, lett me know it.

I know of noe future occations there will be of drawing upon you, the Gen.ll haveing ordered the pay as I receive it not to be sent out. But if I should at any time draw up. you, I shall take that course for paym.t as you direct.

I am sory you have not had one oppertunity of stocking Sweepers plant. with negros, for land without slaves is a dead stock. Pray omitt noe oppertunity of doeing it and that very well. Had I knowne your minde before, you should have [p. 71] had us of 1/8 for that purpose, and for what the clearing of our debt with the Comp. alsoe. By first good oppertunity I shall make some provition for that purpose. And if noe oppertunity offers suden, pray make up and settle the acco.tt and I will consigne the mony to Mr. Carpenter and yourselfe for paym.t of whatever we are indebted. That you may assure him.

Pray lett me know wherein the coppers are not sarvisable. If it be only theire thinnes, they are never the worse, as long as the bottomes are good; though if they had been made for our owne use, they should have been thicker. But ware made for sale and was on bord before I rec.d advise and had not time to gett another set made to send by the shipp, and you writ as if there would be a speedy want of them. Let me know the defect. If in the workeman, he shall alow for it.

I wonder you should be surprised at the amountant of the Invoice sent by Lawrance, when I presume the Inventory they sent you had seen and was by your probation. That would have amounted to 1,000£ more had wee sent the full of it. If you finde them negligent or defective in the manadgem.t of our concernes, let us know it that we may take masures accordingly. Our this yeares adventure will be exterordinary large, and if you thinke fitt may slacken the next yeare our hands. How things may stand as to peace or warr, noe man is able to make any masure, but we have cause anough to suspect the French, they haveing made a generall peace.

Those goods you ordered (as soone as wee see what they are) for Phill. South shall be sent p.r first, though I never intended to send a dropp of beere more. Wee can take noe greater care then wee have in the comodity. The 70£ for the last 20 t.s wee received and the proceeds thereof must be returned the brewer. Nor shall we hereafter get any brewer to undertake on the like termes.

About a mo. hence or 6 weekes wee will order a small vessell for Madera that must returne for Leverpoole, and must hire a vessell for Ireland to take in the 600 barr.lls beefe that ware designed to Capt. Lawrance to sett him out for Leverpoole againe.

Your freinde Jo. Crisp would faine have made himselfe your bro. factor for St. Xtopher. An acco.tt of which I have given you and Mr. Carpenter in a joynt letter to you. ...

71. Henry Carpenter & Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, February 14, 1678/9
Sirs,
I have writt you both by Capt. Hare, by whome this is intended alsoe if it reach him in the Downes, and is principally to advise you that your freinde Capt. Crisp hath used his best indeavors to suplant you of the factory of the Royall Comp. on St. Xtophers. And by an underhand intrest he had made with some of the members of the Comittee had almost p.rswaded them that it was in the intrest of the Comp. to sett up a factory on that island apart, and consequently the same presedent would have been made use of for the rest. His pretences ware you ware not soe capable of searving the Comp. on the island of St. Xtophers as himselfe, in regard you ware not soe well acquainted with the inhabitants, and alsoe that he had a greate power in the island as being one of the Councell, the Kings Escheat, and Secretary of the Islands. That caryed a greate sway and comand amongst the people, and alsoe had a greate power in oposition of interlopers that might probaly come to that place. These and many other pretences he had to insinuate himselfe, by which meanes he obtained a heareing, p.rticularly from the comittee, of which my freinds gave me notice. And when I came to discourse them upon the buisnes, I did not speare to tell them what Crisp was [p. 72] and p.rticularly of his old cheate he had like to put upon us by Gazon and quickly broke the neck of his designe. He alsoe attempted to farme St. Xtophers of Coll. Strode and the 4 1/2 men or elce to have got the collection of it, but Coll. Strode told me hee knew him to well to have anythinge to doe with him: he would faine be at something. (fn. 7) Which I presume was his ende of comeing more than the servise of the countrey. For I know but little he hath donn them unles in spending theire mony. For what buisnes was donn on our part, I had don to his hand. I shall not insist further upon this subject, but thought fitt to give you this breife acco.tt to lett you know what he aymed at after his profest freindship, in requitall of the kinde recomendation you had given of him. Pray be very circumspect and prudent in the manadgem.t of the Comp. concernes for they have a very good opinin of all your actings. ...

72. [p. 75] Daniel Danvers [Liverpool]

London, February 22, 1678/9
Sir,
I have rec.d yours of 18 and take notice of its contents. In my last I gave you an acco.tt of the accident that had hapned to the ketch, but when please God she arives shall send her or the goods about, if wee can procure freight on any reasonable tearmes. In the intrem, wee thought fitt to advise you that we have upon a shipp now arived about 12 tunns sug.r whereof there is about 5 tunns in pipes and small caske, the rest in hhds. & c. Those smaller caske we supose to be St. Xtopher sug.rs, yett drawes the best. How they may proove in workeing I know not. But to say the truth all thats come are but indeferintly cullored, as the sug.rs that arive are alwaise at this season of the yeare. Now, Sir, if you please to order us, we will send you about this 12 tunns sugar by the first conveniency that offers, provided we can procure freight on any vessell at 20s p.r tunn, to say Nevis tunnidge, or if we are forced to give more that you will pay the surplus of it, for if we should give more, our adventure being considered, we shall be loosers out of pocket. And soe we will send them about at 26s p.r c.t, our market being at 24s 6d p.r c.t or thereaboutes. To this pray lett us receive your speedy answere, because we will not expose it to sale untill we here from you. And in truth the sug.r is not our owne, but consigned by a p.rson in Nevis to us, which we must make good the market price for. Pray by your next lett me receive an order touching the 40£ bill, and the acco.tt of the tobacco and ginger. ...

73. [p. 76] Daniel Danvers [Liverpool]

London, March 4, 1678/9
Sir,
Hereinclosed you have an acco.tt of 7 punch., 8 pipes, 1 hhd., 1 tearce, and 13 barrells of sugar laden on bord the Increase, Richard Warbick, Master, belonging to your towne. That is all we have yett on shore. There is 7 tunns more not yett landed. If can gett it in time, will put it on bord this vessell; if not, shall on the first that goes. The pipes and barrells we supose to be St. Xtophers sugars; the punch. and all that is not yet as here, we judge to be Nevis by the caske. I hop they will proove well. They promise by theire draughts as good as any that comes in the shipp. Our ketch is not yet arived, nor the Olive Branch. As soone as either of them doth, will send you about 20 or 25 or 30 tunns sugar on the same tearmes, if you please, by the first conveniency that offers. To which pray send us your possitive order p.r next, which shall be complyed with. We have allowed you for teares of the pipes 3 ctg. 7 lbs. and 1 ctg. 4 lbs. upon the barrells, which you may take them at if you please. (fn. 8) Or if you will when they are empty, you may tare them and we will stand to what they tare, they being not sizeable caske. But lett us know which you will doe by next. Your 40£ bill is rec.d and I herewith send you an acco.tt as it stands. The Abraham was well arived at the Madera, and sayled from there about the 14th February. Soe that we hope she may be now neere her port of discharge at Nevis (and God send her well). I doubt not but she may be with you about June. This is the needfull. Only to lett you know the Swan is here, but the ginger not yett landed. ...

74. Robert Helme [Nevis]

[London, March 7, 1678/9]
Sir,
... This now comes by the Wheele of Fortune, John Beere, Master, a ship hired by Coll. Bayer to lade at Antigua upon whome have laden a small cargo of goods amounting to [blank] consigned Mr. John Spreen of Antigua, Coll. Bayers corispondent there, whome I have desired Coll. Bayer to write to, to take the goods on shore and to keepe them in his storehowse untill he receives your order to send them downe. And I would have you send a bote on purpose for them, and one of our servants to come downe with them. You may remember I had a p.rcell of goods run away with. And therefor pray take care that the like thinge may not happen. In the trunke no. 1 is 1,000 ps. 8/8 for our joynt acco.tt, the cost of which with insurance is 228£ 14s, the w.t 816 oz. I rather chose to send them by this oppertunity than by our ship by way of Madera that will be ready to sayle in tenn dayes. I will lade there a 140 pipes of wine p.r her. Shall alsoe send 10 tunns of beere, and some cases and & c. Noe man that rights good Brunswick to be had. Did I know what these other things ware you ordered for Tho. South, should also be sent. I shall send you 100 ps. 8/8 more p.r the first ship that goes direct, the way of Madera being very hazerdos. I pray God Rivett be well. Wee have 450£ insured upon her. Could gett noe more under writt. Our ship that wee have now hired for Madera must by contract returne to Leverpoole. I judge she may cary about 50 tuns Nevis tunidge. We have been under a greate disapointm.t by your not sending Lawrance or some other there. Are now forsed to buy sugar and send it about to them; whereas if ours had gon there, we had made a considerable advantage. And now we know not how to doe for freight for 600 barrells of beefe we had bought to lade Lawrance out againe. I formerly writt you to be mindfull to call on Vickers to send a p.rcell of goods he had rec.d on my father's acco.tt that he hath by his owne acknowledgem.t rec.d neere three years since and hath promised severall times to lade it, but as yett hath fayled. (fn. 9) If he comply not, pray complaine to the Generall or Coll. Mathew, for he deales very unhansomely in not sending it.

I herewith send you the Kings Speech, by which you will see the Duke of Yorke is comanded out of the land, and is gon for Flanders, which the Kinge had done to sattisfie the people, in generall being very factiously inclined. ...

75. General William Stapleton [Montserrat]

[London,] March 10, 1678/9
Sir,
Since the writeing of the within lines here hath hapned an unexpected change, which strangly surprised most people. The Kinge hath comanded his brother the Duke out of the kingdome, who is gonn for Flanders, in whome you have lost the best freinde you had in the kingdome. The rott runs higher than could have been imagined, and I am of opinion that all the Lords (now prisoners in the Tower) will be found guilty. The mindes of the peaple generally disturbed, and extreamely vigorous in prosecution of all Roman Catholicks. And I am of opinion the Kinge will throw himselfe wholy upon the Parlm.t for the further search and [p. 78] persecution of all that shall be found concerned in the plott and will not speare to put the most rigorous laws in execution against all of the Romish Church. I hope when you are truly informed of the villony of this design against the Kings p.rson, and the subverting of the governm.t, you will not scruple to take any oaths that shall be tendered to you upon that acco.tt. I have herewith sent you the Kings Speech and Lord Chancellors also. But the Kinge and the Howse canot yet agree upon a Speaker, which disagreem.t in the signing looks ill. You shall by all oppertunityes here from me and have the proceedings of the Howse sent you, which is the most ample acco.tt I can give you in releation to the plott and all other publique news. As to your p.rticular concernes, I shall give you an acco.tt at large of as occation requires. The Dutch Agent hath now power from the States to treate for the Tobago negros, and Coll. Bayer and myselfe will make the best composition we can for you, for if we doe not compound it, I am assured you must restore them. Yet whatever composition I make shall be with your probation; otherwise to be voyde.

I have since my last rec.d 500£ more towerds your last yeares paym.t. Thats all I can yet gett. There is not yet a day passes since the first of January that I have not been calling upon them for it and, indeede, have gained the displeasure of some of my freinds concerned amongst them, by my earnest pressing them for it.

I have comunicated your letter to Capt. Crisp who now resolves speedily for France, to try what may be donn there in the affaire, for here was al things donn as you writt. You had the orders by the dogger that was sent before his arivall, but I dout the French K. will doe nothing in it. And when all is don, you must stand upon your owne bottome.

Jemy is very well and sends you and his mother his duty. He learnes as much as a child of his yeares is capable of, viz. to reade, dance, and speake French. Randoll is also well and doth the like. The next weeke I will have them both home for a weeke, and would oftner ware it not for the looseing of theire learneing, but they are with as good a wo. as lives, which I am extreamely well sattisfied in. ...

76. William Helme & Company [Nevis]

[London, March 10, 1678/9]
Itts now the 10th March. Since the foregoeing, have rec.d severall of yours, dated in No.br and X.ber, in all which we take notice you are very short in your advise. In the last, you say you had disposed of all our wines by Rivett, yett send noe Acco.tt of Sales nor make the least mention at what rates you sold for, as you doe not at any time in any kinde of goods, which is a greate omittion, espetially in provitions and wines. Pray hereafter be more large in your advises and heasten Acco.tts of Sales to us of all cargoes as soone as disposed. Our suplyes have been very large, and we hope our returnes will be answerable. This now comes by the Wheele of Fortune, John Beere, Master, on whome have laden to the vallew of 135£ 16s 11d in some comod.tys thate ware wanting by Capt. Hare. And by next you shall have some silke stocking cases & c. that ware wantinge in that cargoe by Capt. Hare; for coppers, stills, & c., wee shall forbare sending more, untill we receive something in returne from you. We had sent these goods by a ship we have now hired for Madera, to sayle about 10 dayes hence, and will lade a 140 pipes of wine, but the danger of the Turkes being soe greate made us rather have to send them direct. & As the danger of gathering in wines is now greate, I hope you will find the sales to be answerable. This ship we have now hired may bringe about 50 tunns, and must returne for Leverpoole. Therefore make provition to lade her. We have an acco.tt from Madera of Capt. Terrys safe arivall there, and doubt not by this he may be well with you.

In case of Mr. Helmes absence upon my letter to him, take care to send one to Antigua to bring downe the goods with care.

Pray observe to lade none of my sugar from my plant. in Mountsaratt on noe bottome whatsoever that may stay long in any of the rodes than the latter end of June, nor from that time untill Sept. is past. Please to write a line to Mr. Fox to the same affect and lett him know that I make it my request to him soe to doe. ...

77. Henry Carpenter & Robert Helme [Nevis]

[London, March 10, 1678/9]
Gentlemen,
Its now the 10th of March. And, since the foregoeing, have rec.d yours of the [blank] Xber, wherein I take notice you say you have lost your credit with Mr. Steed for my non paym.t of 61£ 5s, upon which acco.tt your credit can be noe wise conserved, for I would not pay it where it would not be rec.d. I gave you an acco.tt that I had made a tender of it to the Whole Comittee as well as to the Treasurer, whose answere was they had noe such orders from Mr. Steed, and therfore could not receive it. And wherein your C.r was questionable, in that I know not. Mr. Steed hath since sent orders about it, and I have p.d it and caryed it to acco.tt, as Mr. Carpenter hath directed.

I have comunicated the contents of your letter to the Comittee touching the want of negroes, who have, as they tell me, ordered a full suply for the next yeare. I am sory you dealt not for the freight negros. But haveing to doe with a rogue, it could not be avoyded. Futurely you must indeavor to buy them to keepe them out of the hands of others, though you gett little by them. For they, once falling into the way of it, will take that advantage wholy out of your hands. ...

78. [p. 81] Colonel Abednego Mathew [St. Christopher]

London, March 19, 1678/9
Sir,
Yesterday, yours of 6th January and 23th Xber came both to hand, and I shall forward the inclosed as desired. Your kinsman Fraine I have not yett seen nor heard of. Therefore, can give you noe acco.tt whether he be in London or not. I hope you have ere this received all those things you formerly gave order for. But the cases ware but 18 inches. That I judged large anough for a watter mill, ours at Mountsaratt being noe bigger. But since you desire a larger sett, they shall be sent you with gudgions and wedges – answerable, but first, after I can gett them made, as alsoe the Norway deales. ...

Here is nothing of news stiring yett, but greate expectations what the Howse will doe. That have yet proceeded upon nothinge since theire election, but the swareing of the Members. And as soone as that is donn, they will doubtles fall roundly to worke, and hope will suply the defects of the late Parlim.t. My Lord Treasurer hath layd downe and is made a marquis, but that will not doe his buisnes. The Howse being resolved to call him to an acco.tt and its believed he will fly; his advise to His Ma.tie was doubtles the occation of the Dukes departure. The Prince is made Lord High Admirall and 5 Comissioners are in nomination to manidge the Treasury, but who they will be is not yett knowne.

I have received 1,000£ in part of your last yeares pay, and the Generalls sallery and hope shall in a little time receive the rest, if these changes doe not obstruct. I am hartily sory for the mischance hath hapned to your Lady. I doubt not but her coach is with you by this time. I have nothing elce to add but with my owne and wives servises to yourselfe and good Lady. I conclud but never from being –

I have since the writeing of the above line gott a sett of cases of 22 inches. There are none longer made with gudions, wedges, brasses & c. And have sent them by this shipp Tho. and Sarah, Tim. Tiddeman, Master. An acco.tt of the cost you have herewith. The shipp being at Dover, I could not gett the deals sent downe, otherwise you should have had them alsoe. ...

79. [p. 82] Robert Helme [Nevis]

[London, March 19, 1678/9]
Sir,
Wee are now at the 19th March. And yesterdayes post brough mee your severall letters by Capt. Butler. But as yett have noe news of Mr. Rivett. I take notice of the contents of your severall letters, and finde your inclinations doe not bend home this yeare, which will give my sister Sarah some trouble in regard you have for 2 or 3 yeares past broke your promises with her. And inded I would have had you come home, though your stay had been short, to have complyed with your promise in effectinge your ingagement, shee haveing now staid several yeares. Although I noe wise doubt your reall intentions of p.rformance, you well know wee are all mortall, and should there happen any such thinge (which God forbid), shee would be a greate sufferer in her fortunes. That ought to be taken into consideration, though she takes not the least notice of any such thinge, but is well content with all things, which is her good temper. I shall say noe more to that p.rticular but refer it to your owne consideration. And assure yourselfe that none shall be more welcome to mee whenever you come than yourselfe.

I alsoe take notice of what you write as to my discharge from the Comp. imploym.t, which I never ment otherwise than to stand as a security for you. But my intent was, if you came home, to gett the whole thinge conferd upon you, without my being nominated at all. And, in such case, I had been noe wise oblidged to have gonn over, in case of mortality, which now I hold myselfe oblidged to doe. In any such case, to adjust accounts, whereas, on the contrary, only should stand as a security for your just actings. But as to that p.rticular take your owne time. I am well sattisfied.

This now comes by the shipp Tho. and Sarah, Tim. Tiddeman, Comander, whome wee have hired, and ordered to lade at Madera 140 pipes of wine or as many as shee can take in, and have put on bord her 10 tunns beere (that wee have taken the best order wee can for its goodnes, but canot gett it warrented), setting cases with gudgions, [blank], brasses, wedges & c., amountinge to as p.r the Inv.o [blank] appeares, and have consigned it unto W.m Helmes and Comp., as the wine is alsoe ordered. The shipp by Charter Party is to returne to Leverpoole, and its our desire she should be laden with our owne effects, though you keepe her something longer. But wee would not have her run the hazerd of the hurycane season or any part of it, if possible it can be avoyded. Wee shall insure upon her homewards to the full vallew of what wee judge her whole ladeing may amount unto. Wherefore wee hope shee may be laden wholy upon our owne accounts, that wee judge will not exceed 50 tunns of sugar or very little more. Wee herewith send you a copie of the Charter Party, by which you will finde that we are oblidged to a second freight from Ireland that shall be in any comodities as you shall direct that proper to be laden from that port or Leverpoole. I am sory wee ingaged soe much in the Irish trade this yeare. That futurely shall be a caution to us not to exeed 700 barrells a yeare upon two vessells. Itt was a trade I never was covetous of – only you advised it was absolutely necessarie to doe something that way. Wee are in great expectations to here of the suckses of the Batchellor ketch. ...

80. [p. 83] General William Stapleton [Montserrat]

[London, March 20, 1678/9]
Sir,
Wee are now at the 20th March, and this searves to advis you that yesterday Coll. Bayer and myselfe had a meetinge with the Dutch Agent Wachtendunk concerning the Tobago negros. And, after debateing the matter with much dificulty, wee came to this conclusion: that you should pay him 675£ for 72 of the negros that are in your possesion, with those sold Sir James Russell and others, which you are to have a full power from him to receive into your custody. Soe that you may either take the negros or the payment for them which you thinke fitt. For Haddocks sale, it signifies nothinge. These ware the very lowest tearmes we could bring him to, and indeed the man is a very civill p.rson. Otherwise, wee could not have donn soe well with him. And now you have a good title to them. I hope you will not thinke it an ill bargin. The mony I must pay next weeke. I would have delayed it untill I have your answere, but this Agent being goeing for Holland and a very civill p.rson and one that Coll. Bayer hath a greate influence upon, thought it more convenient to make it up with him than to have to do with a stranger that doubtles wee could not have had soe good tearmes from. For the 10 negros that ware sold by Haddock as you advise, he hath received the paym.t for, he hath sent you a power to take into your custody alsoe. And I have ingaged to him that as many of them as you can finde when you have gott them into your possesion, that you shall pay him after the same rate for them, or returne him the proceeds. And have alsoe promised that you will use the best of your indeavor to doe him right in it, for the damadge must fall upon the buyers if they have paid Haddock for them, for he could make noe legall sale of them. I hope this composition will please you. And I assure you, had it been for myselfe, I could have donn noe more. Pray send me by first your allowance for the paym.t of the 675£ – I meane your approbation. I have received yours of the 6th January, and have delivered the inclosed to the Lords. Jemy and Randoll are both well. I have them now at home with me for a fortnight, because my wife will be in the country at Easter. They are both improved as much as you can imagine. The Howse hath donn nothinge yett but swareing of the Members. Nor noe other news offers worth troubling you with. ...

81. [p. 84] Richard Pickford & Company [Madeira]

London, March 20, 1678/9
Sirs,
Wee have rec.d yours of 19th Xber, 10th and 14th February, adviseing of the arivall of the Abraham and that you would lade the 50 pipes of wine upon her as wee desired, for which wee returne you thankefullnes.

Wee take notice in yours of the 14th that you have furnished us out of your owne capitall, and that futurely you designe to imploy your owne stock for your owne accounts by sending 5 or 600 pipes yearely abroad on your owne acco.tts, to which p.rticular we returne you this answere: that wee thinke it very reasonable for every man to imploy his owne stock as he thinke fitt for his most advantage, and that wee never did designe you should advance any part of it for us further than is usuall with all men that holds a corrspondency to doe. And wee have alwayes been carefull from time to time in sending you such comidityes, and the full quantities that you have advised for from this port. And since you first signified that you ware in disburs for us, have been very speareing in giveing you orders for ladeing, desireing rather to have had our monyes lyeing in your hands than that you should be in disburs for us. And if wee have taken wronge measures, it hath been ocationed by the dulnes of your market, and not our over forwardnes, which wee are sory for and shall futurely indeavor to prevent giveing you occation of complaint in that kind (if possible). For its noewayes pleaseinge to us to here your complaints. Yet as long as wee continue a corrispondency, wee hope you will be content to suply our orders as other men doth. But on the contrary if comissions be burthensome or troublesome to you, if you please to signifie soe much to us, wee will desist from giveing you any further trouble in our buisnes only to make up and ballance accounts. Though your just dealeings hath incouridged us to deale with you rather than others, yett would not doe it to your disadvantage.

Mr. Rob. Helmes being intended this summer for London, wee have thought fitt to give you notice of it, that you may not consigne your wines to him, in case you send any to Nevis upon your owne aco.tts as you intend. Nor wee desire you may not to our servant W.m Helmes and Tho. Wastcott, whome wee have possitively forbid acceptinge any comissions from any p.rsons, in regard they have more buisnes from us then they can well manadge. And wee know they would not be able to give that satisfaction to others that might reasonably be expected from them.

Sirs, this now comes by the Tho. and Sarah, Tim. Tiddeman, Comander, a shipp that wee have hired for Madera and Nevis, and have laden upon her to the vallew of [blank] in goods from hence that goes consigned unto yourselves for our acco.tts, as by the inclosed Invoice and Bill of Ladeing appeares. Have alsoe ordered her to touch at Falmo. and take in 50 quarters of wheate that wee have ordered Mr. Tho. Enys to lade and consigne you alsoe. Wee know not whether a greate quantity would vend, and wheate is alsoe pretty deare. It will with charges amount to neere 5s a bush.ll Winchester measure. Wee have only sent you 4 thousand hoops in regard wee sent you some by Terry, and they are soe extreame deare here that wee judge they will turne to noe acco.tt.

God sending this shipp to arive in safety, its our request you will lade upon her 70 pipes of the very best wine on our acco.tts as formerly and consigne them unto Mr. W.m Helmes and Tho Wastcott, merchants in Nevis. Whereof pray lett part be in quarter cask, and pray see the caske are very good. And give the shipp all possible dispatch, by reason it will be late in the yeare and the time of hurrycanes will draw on.

Wee herewith send you our bills on Mr. William Baxter of Lisboa for 400 milrs. payable 2 mo. after sight, and desire you when our goods arive you will dispose them for our most advantage, as wee noewayes doubt.

Wee alsoe desire you to open the boxes of hatts before you take them on shore, and see whether they are made proper for your market. If they proove otherwise, pray send them with the shipp to Nevis.

Wee are sory our pipe staves doe not finde vent. Wee had a good acco.tt of some sent Matthew De Gamma, which incouridged us to send them to you. If they will not sell to advanteage, in case you can lade them of without paying any duty upon them, as wee doubt not, pray put them on bord this our shipp, or as many of them as shee can take in, after you have put the 70 pipes of wine on bord, and that shee hath 70 pipes more on bord that wee have ordered to be laden p.r Matthew De Gamma. And consigne them to W.m Helmes and Comp. in Nevis for our accounts.

Sirs, Pray by first send us our acco.tts of what goods sold and what remained unsold that wee may the better judge of our concernes with you. ...

82. [p. 85] Captain Matthew De Gamma [Madeira]

London, March 10, 1678/9
Sir,
Wee have received severall letters from Mr. Pickford, adviseing of the arivall of Abr. Terry with you, but doe much wonder wee have not a line from you in answere to what wee writt you by him touching your confirmation of the contract wee writt you had made with Mr. Rowland Hill for 200 pipes of wine to be delivered us this yeare at 14 milrs. p.r pipe, cleare on bord of all charges, and the paym.t to be made halfe in goods to be delived you in Madera, accountinge 350 milrs. for each hundred pound sterl. disbursed by us here upon the cost and charges of s.d goods; the other halfe paym.t to be made you here in mony sterl., at the same rate of 350 milrs. for each hundred pound. Which wee ware to invest for you into any goods you should order to be sent you for Lis.a if you should desire it. But our contract not being signed before the decease of s.d Hill, it would not be bindeing. But nevertheless wee gave you an acco.tt of it by Capt. Terry, and in conformyty thereunto wee sent you by s.d Terry in such goods as you had given orders for to the vallew of 307£ 07s 9d sterl. towards paym.t of the 400£ which by contract wee ware to pay you in Madera. And desire your further orders how wee should dispose of the other 400£ for the moyety that by contract wee ware to pay here. Now wee have since rec.d yours to Rowland Hill, wherein wee take notice you had given him orders to sell us 200 pipes of wine at 13 milrs. p.r pipe, which wee might justly have taken the advantage of, in ragard our contract was not signed. But haveing past our words, wee looke upon ourselves as much oblidged as if the contract had been signed, unles you are free to remitt us the 200 milrs., which wee referr wholy to yourselfe to deale by us as you please in that p.rticular. Only thus much wee doe assure you, that you will finde our goods as good as can be bought, and cheaper by 10 p.r cent than most men doth usually buy for. By meanes of paying all ready mony, and takeing that care wee doe in buying them for you, which wee hope you will take into consideration, and loade us of the very best wines that can be bought, according to our contract. And if you are not pleased to remitt us the 200 milrs., wee doe at least expect you should allow us the commission that you ware to pay Mr. Rowland Hill upon the contract of sale for these 200 pipes, which Maddam Hill sent to us about to desire to know our contract that shee might charge you for the summe. But wee gave her this answere, that in regard the contract was not signed, there could be noe comission dew to her husband. And for the propositions wee had made to you to deliver us 200 pipes this yeare, that if you did accept it, the commissions was dew to ourselves. For that wee had nothing under hand that could binde you to stand to that agreem.t unles you would of your own accord.

Now, Sir, wee desire you, since it hath pleased God to take away our freind Rowland Hills, to treate with noe p.rson but ourselves. And what wee agree upon shall be punctualy p.rformed on our parts, as wee doe noe wise doubte the same on yours. And if you please to make us your lowest propositions, how you will deliver us 200 of the very best pipes of wine this next insueing yeare, lett us here from you timely, and wee will give answere. Thereunto, pray lett your very lowest price to us, and please to consider that you are to pay noe commission, which you are to consider in the price. And make your proposalls plaine, viz. to pay you one-halfe in goods as wee now doe in Madera at 350 milrs. for each 100£ sterl. laid out here, and the other halfe to be p.d you here in mony in Lond. or to be invested for you into any goods to be sent for you to Lisboa, upon your owne acco.tt and adventure without our drawing any commission upon the same. For wee are not willing to oblidge ourselves to make any part of the paym.t in Lisboa.

Since our last to you wee have received a letter from your freinde Antonio Soarez Consciencia, wherin hee complaines of the goodnes of the baies formerly sent him. What reason he had to complaine you may judge by the comodities wee have sent yourselfe, which wee assure you the like care wee have taken in buying what was sent him. And if they came by any damadge by the ratts eateing them on bord the shipp, wee could not helpe that. Wee had much rather pay our mony to any other p.rson and lett them buy the goods. For you may be confident wee never charged a peny more than bona fida [p. 86] was paid as ready mony for any goods sent you or him, nor shall not. And I am confident that if you compare our goods with other mens, you will finde them better bought by 10 p.r cent than usuall.

On the 22 January, wee writt Antonio Soaraz Consciencia p.r the shipp Samuell and Mary, W.m Bowry, Comander, and by her sent him 30 p.s of the best made black Colchester bayes wee could buy, amounting to 148£ 05s 07d, being in full paym.t of the 200 pipes laden in the last yeare, and the over plus towards the paym.t of this yeares 200£. And desire to here from him or you by first what you will have the residue invested into, or to whome you will order the mony to be p.d, which shall be p.rformed with all punctuality.

Sir, this now comes by the shipp Tho. and Sarah, Timothy Tiddeman, Comander, whome wee have freighted to Madera and Nevis, on whome wee have laden you in such goods as you formerly directed to the vallew of [blank]. Bill of Ladeing and Invoice of the cost of the same you have hereinclosed. And God sending the ship to arive with you in safety, itts our request that you will lade abord s.d ship for our acco.tts 70 pipes of the very best wine, and be sure the caske be substainciall good cask. Wee alsoe intreate you to give the shipp all possible dispatch that shee may be the first at the market, for wee have advise of severall others bound that way. And please to consigne them to W.m Helmes and Tho. Wastcott in Nevis. You advised for some impearlists to be sent you, answerable to the patrones you had sent. (fn. 10) But Mr. Hill haveing lost the patrones, wee could not finde any sorts of stuffs by that name, nor knew not what they ware, which was the reason you have none of that comodity.

Pray send us an acco.tt of our pipe staves and all other your disbursm.ts, that wee may adjust our acco.tt with you. And if possible you can gett that and your letters translated there, send them to us in English. ...

Footnotes

  • 1. John Proctor of Nevis died about 1664. He and his wife Joyce had at least three sons (Edward, Nicholas and William) and at least one daughter who married Robert Moore. The Moores had two sons (Proctor John and Robert) and two daughters (Ann and Elizabeth). Proctor's lands in Nevis were divided among the two Moore grandsons; legacies from their crops were granted to the three brothers and four grandchildren. John Proctor Moore leased them to William Freeman and Robert Helme in June 1680, and sold them to William Helme the following February. Conveyance, February 19, 1680/81, Box O, Bundle 5, Pinney Papers (Domestic), Bristol University Library.
  • 2. Jemima Hearne, wife of William Baxter.
  • 3. Referring to the St. George.
  • 4. The hearing was held on December 16. Johan Van Wachtendonck was Commissary for the United Provinces' States General. Calendar of State Papers (Colonial Series), 1677–1680 (London, 1896), nos. 848, 863, 953, 955, 956. The "negros" were black slaves taken from Tobago by Captain Haddock, brought to Montserrat, and sold to William Stapleton.
  • 5. Dissolution on January 24 ended the "Cavalier" Parliament. David Ogg, England in the Reign of Charles II, vol. 2 (Oxford, 1934), p. 578.
  • 6. William Freeman, Robert Helme, Thomas Westcott and William Helme were jointly involved in a Nevis dry goods store.
  • 7. Colonel John Strode. Calendar of State Papers (Colonial Series), 1677–1680, nos. 1023, 1034, 1647.
  • 8. A tare is a deduction from gross weight that allows for variations in individual receptacles.
  • 9. John Vickers, Treasurer and Councillor of St. Christopher. Calendar of State Papers (Colonial Series), 1677–1680 and Calendar of State Papers (Colonial Series), 1681–1685.
  • 10. Impearlist; probably Imperial: Either a fine quality gingham with colored warp and filling stripes, produced in Belgium; a lightweight figured cotton fabric from India; or a fine, closely woven worsted serge produced in France. Patron: A bleached, figured French table linen of fine quality. Wingate, ed., Fairchild's Dictionary, pp. 292–93, 423.