BHO

House of Lords Journal Volume 18: 17 December 1707

Pages 365-392

Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 18, 1705-1709. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

Citation:
Page 365
Page 366
Page 367
Page 368
Page 369
Page 370
Page 371
Page 372
Page 373
Page 374
Page 375
Page 376
Page 377
Page 378
Page 379
Page 380
Page 381
Page 382
Page 383
Page 384
Page 385
Page 386
Page 387
Page 388
Page 389
Page 390
Page 391
Page 392

In this section

DIE Mercurii, 17 Decembris.

Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales præsentes fuerunt:

Arch. Cantuar.
Epus. Dunel. & D. Crewe.
Epus. Sarum.
Epus. Lich. & Cov.
Epus. Bangor.
Epus. Landaven.
Ds. Cancellarius.
Comes Godolphin, Thesaurarius.
Dux Newcastle, C. P. S.
Dux Devonshire, Senescallus.
Dux Graston.
Dux Northumberland.
Dux Bolton.
Dux Marlborough.
Dux Queensberry.
Dux Montrosse.
Dux Roxburghe.
March. Dorchester.
March. Tweeddale.
March. Lothian.
Comes Derby.
Comes Bridgewater.
Comes Rivers.
Comes Stamford.
Comes Sunderland.
Comes Scarsdale.
Comes Essex.
Comes Feversham.
Comes Radnor.
Comes Nottingham.
Comes Rochester.
Comes Portland.
Comes Scarbrough.
Comes Bradford.
Comes Orford.
Comes Jersey.
Comes Grantham.
Comes Greenwich.
Comes Wharton.
Comes Poulett.
Comes Cholmondeley.
Comes Bindon.
Comes Mar.
Comes Loudoun.
Comes Wemyss.
Comes Leven.
Comes Seafield.
Comes Roseberie.
Comes I'lay.
Viscount Townshend.
Ds. Lawarr.
Ds. d' Berkeley.
Ds. Mohun.
Ds. Byron.
Ds. Rockingham.
Ds. Cornwallis.
Ds. Craven.
Ds. Guilford.
Ds. Weston.
Ds. Herbert.
Ds. Sommers.
Ds. Halifax.
Ds. Conway.
Ds. Hervey.

PRAYERS.

Freman's Bill.

Hodie 2a vice lecta est Billa, intituled, "An Act for vesting in Ralph Freman the Younger, Esquire, and his Heirs, divers Manors and Lands in the County of Essex, comprised in his Marriage Settlement; he having settled other Manors and Lands, in the County of Hertford, of greater Value, to like Uses, in Lieu thereof."

Ordered, That the Consideration of the said Bill, be committed to the Lords following; (videlicet,)

Dux Devenshire, Senescallus.
Dux Bolton.
Dux Queensberry.
Dux Roxburghe.
March. Dorchester.
March. Lothian.
Comes Derby.
Comes Bridgewater.
Comes Rivers.
Comes Stamford.
Comes Sunderland.
Comes Scarsdale.
Comes Essex.
Comes Feversham.
Comes Radnor.
Comes Nottingham.
Comes Rochester.
Comes Scarbrough.
Comes Orford.
Comes Jersey.
Comes Greenwich.
Comes Mar.
Comes Loudoun.
Comes Wemyss.
Comes Leven.
Comes Seafield.
Comes Roseberie.
Viscount Townshend.
Arch. Cant.
Epus. Sarum.
Epus. Lich. & Cov.
Epus. Bangor.
Epus. Landaven.
Ds. Lawarr.
Ds. d' Berkeley.
Ds. Mohun.
Ds. Byron.
Ds. Rockingham.
Ds. Cornwallis.
Ds. Craven.
Ds. Guilford.
Ds. Weston.
Ds. Herbert.
Ds. Sommers.
Ds. Halifax.
Ds. Conway.
Ds. Hervey.

Their Lordships, or any Five of them; to meet on Thursday the Eighth Day of January next, at Ten a Clock in the Forenoon, in the Prince's Lodgings near the House of Peers; and to adjourn as they please.

Warner & al. versus Hawes & al. Leave to bring in an Appeal.

Upon reading the Petition of Anne Warner Widow, Anne Warner Spinster, Elizabeth Warner, and Edmund Warner, Four Children of the said Anne Warner, and Grandchildren of Nathaniel Hawes, late Treasurer of Christ-church Hospital, deceased; praying Leave to bring in an Appeal from One Point of the Decree in the Petition mentioned:

It is Ordered, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Petitioners have hereby Leave to bring in an Appeal, according to the Prayer of their Petition.

Markes' Petition, referred to Judges.

Upon reading the Petition of Mary Markes Widow, Relict and Executrix of the last Will and Testament of Richard Markes Esquire her late Husband deceased, and Richard Markes Eldest Son and Heir of the said Richard Markes deceased, for and in Behalf of themselves and of the other Children, and of several Creditors of the said Richard Markes deceased; praying Leave to bring in a Bill, for vesting the Manor of Westbury, with the Rights, Members, and Appurtenances thereof, in Trustees, to sell the same; and, with the Money raised by such Sale, in the First Place, to pay Debts; and that the Residue of the said Money may be applied and apportioned to and for the Benefit of the Petitioners; and all the Children of the said Richard Marks deceased, in full Discharge of their whole Legacies, in such Proportion and Manner as shall be just:

It is Ordered, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Consideration of the said Petition shall be, and is hereby, referred to Mr. Baron Price and Mr. Justice Dormer; who are forthwith to summon all Parties that are to be concerned in the Bill; and, after hearing them, to report to the House the State of the Case, with their Opinion thereupon, under their Hands; and whether all Persons concerned in the Consequences of the Bill have signed the Petition; as also that the Judges, having perused the Bill, do sign the same.

Two Acts passed in Scotland, to repeal, Bill.

Hodie 2a vice lecta est Billa, intituled, "An Act for repealing and declaring the Determination of Two Acts passed in the Parliament of Scotland; the one, intituled, "Act for the Security of the Kingdom;" the other, "Act anent Peace and War."

Ordered, That the said Bill be committed to a Committee of the whole House, To-morrow.

Land Tax Bill.

Hodie 2a vice lecta est Billa, intituled, "An Act for granting an Aid to Her Majesty, to be raised by a Land Tax in Great Britain, for the Service of the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eight."

Ordered, That the said Bill be committed to a Committee of the whole House, To-morrow.

Report upon the Petition of the Merchants of London, complaining of Losses for Want of Cruizers and Convoys.

The Duke of Bolton, from the Lords Committees appointed to consider the Petition of several Merchants, on Behalf of themselves and others, Traders of the City of London; and to hear the Petitioners as to the Matters contained in their Petition; made the following Report.

Which was read by the Clerk, and is as follows; (videlicet,)

"The House having been pleased, by Order of the Nineteenth of November last, to refer to this Committee, the Petition of several Merchants presented to the House, on Behalf of themselves and others, Traders of the City of London, whereby they complain of great Losses, by the ill-timing of Convoys, and for Want of Cruizers, so that they durst no longer engage the Remainder of their Estates to carry on their several Trades, unless immediate Care were taken to remedy these Two main Causes of their Misfortunes; and having directed the Committee to hear the Petitioners, and to make a Report to the House: Their Lordships have accordingly heard many of the said Petitioners, upon their Oaths; and have caused them to put their several Depositions in Writing, and to sign the same; which Depositions their Lordships have annexed hereunto, and desire the same may be taken as Part of this their Report.

"Their Lordships observing, that the Complaints of the Petitioners naturally fell under several Heads; for the greater Ease of the House, have endeavoured, in their Report, to reduce the Evidence to the following Method; always referring, as they proceed, to the Depositions themselves.

"One Thing complained of was, the Insufficiency of Convoys appointed for the Merchants; whereby their Ships had, from Time to Time, become a Prey to the superior Force of the Enemy.

"A Second Point was, the Merchants suffered great Discouragement by their being forced to wait long for Convoys, even after the Time promised and prefixed for their sailing; whereby the Charge of Seamens Wages and Victuals, Demurrage of Shipping, Damage of Goods, and Loss of Markets, made Trading insupportable.

"A Third Ground of Complaint was, the untimely and unseasonable sailing of Convoys, whereby Trade (to The West Indies especially) was in a Manner ruined.

"A Fourth was, the great Want of Cruizers in The Channel and Soundings.

"A Fifth Complaint was, concerning the arbitrary Proceedings of the Captains of the Queen's Ships of War, in impressing Seamen out of the Merchant Ships in The West Indies, as also upon their Return into the Ports of Great Britain, to the endangering of many, and Loss of several, Ships.

"In order to make out the First Head of their Complaint, relating to the Insufficiency of Convoys, they gave the following Instances:

"1. First, in June 1706, a Fleet of Merchant Ships, under Convoy of The Gosport Man of War, bound for The West Indies, were attacked in The Soundings; and The Gosport and Eight or Nine of the Merchant Ships were taken.

"2dly, The Lisbon Fleet, under Convoy of The Swiftsure and Warspright, were attacked in March 1706 / 7, and about Fourteen Merchant Ships taken in, The Soundings."

"3dly, The Newfoundland Fleet, under Convoy of The Falkland and Medway's Prize, were attacked in April, and some of them taken.

"4thly, The Coasting Convoy was attacked in April, off The Land's End.

"5thly, The Convoy from The Downs, consisting of The Hampton Court, The Royal Oake, and The Grafton, sailed the First of May last, and the next Day were attacked in The Channel; and The Hampton Court and The Grafton, and about Twenty Merchant Ships, were taken by the Dunkirk Squadron.

"6thly, A Sixth Instance was, that of the Russia Ships Outward-bound this Year, which were attacked by the Dunkirk Squadron, and Sixteen of them taken.

"As to these several Instances, their Lordships refer to the Deposition of Mr. William Wood, marked (A.)

"And further, in respect to the Russia Fleet, Mr. Dawson informed their Lordships, "That, on the 29th of April, the Governor and a Committee of the Moscovia Company attended the Prince's Council, to know what Convoy was appointed to conduct their Ships to Archangel. They were told, "Their Convoy should be One Fourth and Two Fifth Rate Ships." Upon their representing their Fears of Danger from the Dunkirk Squadron, it was told them, from the Board, "They need not be under any Apprehension on that Score, for the Dunkirk Squadron was gone Westward;" which proved true; for, on the Thursday following, The Hampton Court, Grafton, and Royal Oak, sailed out of The Downs, with the Ships under their Convoy; and the next Day, being the Second of May, fell in with the Dunkirk Squadron."

"To shew the Losses and Disappointments that have lately happened to the Fleets of the Moscovia Company, Mr. Dawson acquainted their Lordships with the Substance of a Petition lately presented by the Moscovia Company to the Prince's Council; and, upon his Oath, informed their Lordships of many Facts, in order to make good what was contained in that Petition: But those Facts being not particularly set down in his Deposition delivered to their Lordships, and signed by him, no Notice is taken of them in this Report; but the Committee only refer to what is contained in his Deposition, in Writing, signed by him, and marked (N.)"

"The Merchants also desired, that Notice might be taken of The Gazette of the 8th of May last.

"7thly. The Merchants instanced in the Convoy which went with the King of Portugal's Horses, and many other Merchant Ships, which was attacked the 10th of October last, by the Dunkirk and Brest Squadrons joined together, who burnt One of our Men of War, and took Three others, with about Thirty of our Merchant Ships.

"To shew this, the Merchants produced The Gazette of the 3d of November 1707.

"These several Convoys having been thus attacked in The Soundings and Channel in less than a Year and Half, the Merchants insisted, was a convincing Proof of their Insufficiency.

"For this, the Committee refer to Mr. Torriano's Deposition, marked (O.)

"The Second Head of Complaint was, of the great Discouragement and Prejudice to Trade, by the Merchants being under a Necessity of waiting so long for Convoys; whereby their Charges were exceedingly increased, great Damages happened to their Cargoes, and their Markets were lost.

"They said, "If any of their Ships happened to escape the Enemy, in their Return Home, their Losses were much heightened by their long lying for a Convoy to the River; which, though very much and long complained of, yet seldom met with any Redress.

"One Instance of the Damages arising by the Delay of Convoys was, that several of our Merchants had Orders, in July 1704, for buying great Quantities of Corn for the King of Portugal's Use, and had Assignments on the Treasury here for 100,000 Pieces of Eight; accordingly a great Quantity of Corn was bought in July and August, and frequent Applications made to the Prince's Council for Convoy, and they promised from Time to Time to take Care of it; but the Convoy did not sail from Portsmouth till the 6th of February following, near Seven Months after they had Orders, and by this Delay their Corn was in a very bad Condition.

"The Merchants had an Order from the King of Portugal to the same Purpose the Year before; but then they had worse Success in getting their Corn convoyed to Portugal: And by these Disappointments, the Portugal Court was discouraged in sending Orders for more Corn from hence, not only by reason of the great Disappointment as to Time, but by the spoiling of the Corn, whereby our Corn was brought under great Disrepute; and they now supply themselves from Holland; and thereby the Dutch not only reap the Advantage thereof, but, as the Corn comes chiefly to them from The Baltic Seas, it is a great Advantage to their Trade and Navigation.

"The 25th of March 1707, a Fleet sailed for Portugall; but there was then a Prospect given, that there should soon go another Convoy. This encouraged the Shipping of great Quantities of Corn and Woollen Manufactures; and the Heat of the Weather coming on, pressing Applications were made for that Convoy, but without Success.

"The 10th of August the grand Fleet sailed from Portsmouth, but took no Merchant Ships under their Convoy.

"The Merchants, having countinued petitioning till about the latter End of September, then told the Prince's Council, in plain Terms, "That if they did not grant a Convoy immediately, the Goods aboard their Ships would inevitably perish in Port."

"At that Time they promised The Norfolk and Warspright. The Merchants prayed a small Ship might be added, to see their Ships safe along the Coasts of Portugal. But that was denied; and the Prince's Council told them, "The Warspright had Orders to that Purpose."

"The Merchants acquainted them, "That so large a Ship, at that Season, durst not venture so near the Shore as was necessary to protect the Trade from Privateers lying near the Shore;" and did also represent the Danger to which the main Fleet of Merchant Ships bound for Lisbon would be exposed, if they proceeded with a single Man of War: But this was not regarded. So the Merchants were forced to submit, having some Chance for saving their Cargoes if they proceeded, whereas they had none, if they continued longer in Port; for not only their Corn would be spoiled, but all their Woollen Manufactures were in Danger of decaying, by the heating of their Corn, as had been often experienced.

"Soon after, a Report came, that a French Squadron was cruizing in The Channel, and an Embargo thereupon was laid on that Fleet. The Portugal Merchants drew up a Remonstrance, representing the great Hardships they had suffered; but it happened, at the same Time when their Remonstrance was presented to the Prince's Council, News came, that some Dutch Homeward-bound West India Ships meeting with contrary Winds in The Channel, had been taken for French, and were then put into Portsmouth. Upon this, the Merchants pressed they might proceed without Delay, the Cause of the Embargo being removed. But the Board seemed displeased with their Remonstrance, and told them, "The Embargo had been laid by the Prince, and could not be taken off without his Direction; and that, his Highness being then at Newmarkett, it must take up Time before such an Order could be sent; but, if they would stay a Week longer, The Exeter should be added to the Convoy; and The Nassau, if she could get up in Time." To which several of the Merchants did agree, and were obliged by the Board to sign a Paper to that Purpose.

"This Fleet sailed the 18th of October, with The Norfolke, Warspright, and Exeter; but The Nassau did not join; which, the Merchants said, was only for Want of necessary Orders, for the Fleet was not under Sail till Three a Clock in the Afternoon, and The Nassau came to Spithead before Night. By reason of the Insufficiency of this Convoy, several Ships were taken out of the Fleet near Portland; and afterwards, the Fleet meeting with bad Weather in The Bay of Biscay, The Warspright and Exeter came back disabled; whereas the Merchant Ships (except some few which had fallen foul upon each other) proceeded to Lisbon, with The Norfolke only; but several more Ships were lost out of the Fleet, by the Weakness of the Convoy; and Two Men of War out of Three being disabled, and forced to return, they thought it reasonable to conclude it could not be without some considerable Defects in the Ships when they went out.

"For this, their Lordships refer to the Deposition of Mr. Jacob Henckell, marked (C.)

"Another Instance insisted upon was, That great Number of Merchant Ships having gotten into Portsmouth, from Jamaica, Virginia, New England, Antegoa, Lisbon, and other Parts, in December 1706, as also many Coasters; all these were detained there, for Want of Convoy to The Downs, from that Time to the Four and Twentieth of April following, being between Four and Five Months, although frequent Applicacations were made to the Prince's Council for Convoy to The Downes, from the Masters there, and the Owners at London, and many Promises given; and yet, during that Time, many of Her Majesty's Ships lay there in Harbour, and several Men of War passed by that Place; particularly, The Suffolk and Bristol Men of War passed by from Plimouth, without calling for the Merchant Ships which lay there.

"Sir Thomas Hardy, with the East India Ships, and other Ships from Ireland, passed by without calling in.

"When these Merchant Ships came into Portsmouth, The Southampton lay ready fitted at Spithead, and continued there Two Months at least; and The Anglesea lay there a considerable Time ready fitted.

"During this Time several Frigates sailed from Portsmouth, and cruized up as far as Dungeness, within Seven Leagues of The Downes; but, for Want of Orders, took no Ships with them.

"Whilst these Ships lay there for Want of Convoy, there were at Spithead the following Men of War, many of which lay there a considerable Time.

The Anglesea,
Southampton,
Swiftsure,
Warspright,
Severne,
Portland,
Ruby,
Feversham,
August,
Nassau,
Reserve,
Dover,
Ramillies,
Sun Prize,
Two Fifth Rates,
and The Albemarle.

"Some of these (it was hoped, during the Westerly Winds, which were very frequent) might have been ordered to have seen these Ships, being about Fifty or Sixty Sail, to The Downes, which was so near, about Sixteen Hours Sail.

"All this while the Merchants lay at great Charges, besides the Damage to their Cargoes, and the Loss of many of their Voyages for the following Season.

"About the 16th of February, The Ruby and Feversham, appointed as Convoy for them, gave sailing Orders; but they were again countermanded, and The Ruby went into the Dock to clean.

"Afterwards, upon further Importunity, The August was ordered to join The Ruby and Feversham; but, instead of going for The Downs, they went first to fetch the Coasters from Topsham, and then came to call for the Ships at Portsmouth.

"As to these Particulars, their Lordships refer to the Depositions of Mr. Benjamine Way, Mr. Samuel Jones, and Mr. James Whitchurch, marked (B.); and to the Deposition of Captain George Tapson, marked (D.)

"About the Beginning of October 1706, Mr. Coward and Mr. Jones let several Ships to Freight to the Commissioners of the Victualing-office, for the Queen's Service, directly to Jamaica, being told the Convoy waited for them; they were bound by Charter-party to be at The Nore the 15th of November following, on Penalty of losing Five Shillings per Ton Freight.

"Their Ships were ready, and the Wind was fair; but they were detained for the Convoy, and carried from Place to Place, from The Downs to Portsmouth, thence to Plimouth, thence to Ireland, thence to Barbadoes and Antegoa, staying at each Place; so that they arrived not at Jamaica till the 3d of June last, to the Ruin of their Voyage and their Ships, of which they just then had an Account that they are lately come back to Ireland.

"Mr. Coward, the 11th of February last, let to Freight to the Commissioners of Victualing, in the Queen's Service, for Lisbon, The Walthamstow Galley; and (as he was bound by Charter-party under the same Penalty) was ready by the First of March last, but was detained till the End of August before he sailed from England.

"Captain Kerr appointed all the Ships at Jamaica to be ready to sail the First of August last; but then he made them wait till the 26th of August, and after, with his Convoy, left them all when at Sea.

"For these Particulars, their Lordships refer to the Depositions of Mr. William Coward, marked (K.)

"Mr. Palmer, in 1705, had a Part in a Frigate called The Ruby, laden with Corn and Bale Goods for Lisbon, and, in Company with many others, was convoyed from The Downs to Portsmouth by The Lichfield Prize; but, for Want of Orders, she could not see them at Plimouth, about Twelve Hours Sail further, where they might have joined Sir Cloudesly Shovell's Fleet, bound for Portugal. Upon this, the Merchants sent many Petitions to the Prince's Council, which, together with the Answers (being direct Refusals), are inserted in his Deposition. Mr. Palmer in Person afterwards, in the Name of the several Merchants, attended the Prince's Council; and represented, "That, without speedy Relief, all the Corn aboard the Ships would be spoiled." But the Answer was, "That no Convoy could be granted." And at last, by a violent Storm, the 10th of August, about Twenty Sail of these were cast away; and amongst them The Ruby, worth at least £.7000.

"For this, their Lordships refer to the Deposition of Mr. Thomas Palmer, marked (F.).

"For a further Evidence, the Merchants produced to their Lordships The Gazette of the 8th of May 1707, and shewed the Paragraph from Ostend, in which are these Words: "A Fleet of Merchant Ships, which lay Five Months in The Downs, consisting of 55 Sail, arrived at Ostend this Evening, to the great Advantage and Satisfaction of this Place." This, the Merchants observed, was a great Delay for so short a Passage, and must extremely prejudice the Flanders Trade, which the Parliament thought fit to encourage, by passing an Act the last Session for repealing the Prohibition of importing Lace.

"A Third Ground of the Merchants Complaint was, That, by the untimely and unseasonable Proceeding of Convoys, especially to The West Indies, they were very great Sufferers upon many Accounts.

"By arriving there at an improper Time, in the hot, sultry, and rainy Seasons, a great Mortality is occasioned among the Seamen; which proves a Loss of their Voyages, for Want of Hands to bring Home their Ships, or puts them to vast Charges to purchase Men there.

"The same Cause obliges the Traders to The West Indies to return in the Winter-time, when they commonly meet with stormy and foggy Weather; which is often the Occasion of their Separation from their Convoy; who, being well manned, and crowding all the Sail they can, outsail the Merchant Ships (being, for the Reasons aforesaid) generally but weakly manned; and so are left in Distress to the Mercy of the Enemy or the Seas, for Want of a little Conduct in the Convoys, in shortening Sails, and taking Care of them.

"An Instance of this was alledged in the Fleet now missing from Jamaica, which came under the Convoy of Captain Kerr, with Three Men of War, The Breda, The Sunderland, and The Experiment, and a Fire Ship; One of which, The Sunderland, came alone to Portsmouth, The Breda and the Fireship to Plimouth, and The Experiment afterwards to Spithead; but not One Merchant-man, except a small Ship to Bristol.

"The Merchants observed, "That if the Convoy had fired Guns, at tacking in the Night, or used any other reasonable Care, they could hardly have lost a whole Fleet of above Twenty Sail."

"They observed also, "That the Convoy were all come to Portsmouth or Plimouth; and yet Mr. Kerr himself had wrote from Plimouth, that, in case of Separation, the Rendezvous was to have been in Ireland."

"The Jamaica Merchants complain, "That they had long lain under great Discouragements.

"That, about October 1705, they applied themselves to the Prince's Council, complaining of the many Losses in their Fleet the preceding Year, which had to a great Degree disabled them from sending another that Year; but that however, depending upon the then repeated Assurances that they should have a sufficient Convoy to depart early, and more particularly upon an Order sent from that Board to the Jamaica Coffee-house, "that the Merchants should get their Ships ready to depart by the Twentieth of January at furthest;" they had prevailed with sundry Persons to let their Ships go to Jamaica. Accordingly Ships were fitted out with great Expedition, and Men hired at extravagant Wages; but, after all those fair Promises, their Ships thus fitted lay almost Two Months beyond the Time prefixed, for Want of a Convoy.

"The 21st of March, the Merchants (as Men in Despair) reciting the former Assurances given them, petitioned his Royal Highness, "That their Ships might depart with the First Squadron bound out of the Channel; adding, that if that Fleet should miscarry by their late going out and return, they desponded of getting Ships to carry on the Trade the succeeding Year."

"Howbeit, that Fleet was detained till the Beginning of May; and the ill Success too well answered the Merchants Apprehensions; for the greatest Part of the Fleet, being separated from their Convoy in their Return, were lost.

"That, by these and many other Hardships, the Jamaica Trade is brought to so low a State, that whereas at the Beginning of the War their Fleets Home have consisted of 30 or 40 Sail; when they were lately informed by the Prince's Council that a sufficient Convoy should be ready to depart with their Fleet in a proper Time, they were obliged to acquaint the Board, that they had now but Two Ships in loading."

"They also said, "That, without some speedy Remedy, they should be quite disabled to make any further Efforts to carry on the hopeful Trade begun to The Spanish West Indies; upon Account whereof, more Woollen and other English Manufactures were shipped to Jamaica for that Trade, than had been in several Years before."

"As to the above mentioned Particulars, their Lordships refer to the Depositions of Mr. Benjamin Way, Mr. Samuel Jones, and Mr. James Whitchurch, marked (B.)

"In respect to the Virginia Trade; in October 1705, some Ships sailed from Virginia, under Convoy of The Woolwich and Advice, who were ordered to stay there till reinforced from England; and the Merchants were then promised, "that The Greenwich and The Hazardous should sail with the First fair Wind in January following;" but those Ships did not sail till May 1706. This Delay was the Cause they did not reach Virginia till August, at which Time the greatest Part of the Fleet had been Sixteen Months in their Voyage. By this Length of the Voyage, their whole Freight was expended, in Wages, Victuals, and other incident Charges.

"2dly, The Ships lying there almost Two whole Summers, several of their Bottoms were perished by the Worm (which in those Parts always eats in the Summer Months).

"3dly, To compleat their Misfortune, they were forced to make a Winter Passage Home; and, by the Badness of the Weather, &c. Sixteen or more Ships were sunk or foundered in the Sea, and about Eight Thousand Hogsheads of Tobacco lost; other Ships, with above Two Thousand Hogsheads of Tobacco more, were taken, and carried into France; and divers of the Ships were forced back to America; and since, returning without Convoy, are lost, and not heard of.

"The Particulars of these Losses are annexed to the Depositions given in by the Merchants; and thereby it is alledged, that the Public Revenue has suffered above One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Pounds, besides the very great Loss to the particular Persons concerned.

"It having been the last Winter represented by the Commissioners for Trade, "That it was necessary a Convoy should go to Virginia in the Spring, to fetch the Ships which should be there, and that they should stay there Twenty Days after their Arrival, to collect them the better together;" a great Body of Ships, which had taken Stores, &c. for Lisbon, upon Her Majesty's Account, were thereby encouraged to go from thence to Virginia, and many other Ships went from London directly; but most of these remained in Virginia in September last, expecting this Convoy, and will now be obliged to come Home without Convoy in the Winter Season; for though, the last Spring, Her Majesty in Council ordered a Convoy to be ready in August to go for Virginia, yet they still remain at Portsmouth; by this, the Virginia Ships will be forced to lie all Summer in Virginia, and come Home again in the Winter: And thereby not only the Merchants Losses and Damages will be very great, and the Revenue suffer much; but there is aboard this Fleet far greater Quantities of the Woollen Manufacture for the Winter Cloathing of that Country, than has been usually sent to those Parts, which now cannot arrive till the Winter be over, and the Market past; and Necessity will justify those People for undertaking our Manufactures, which many of them have already fallen into; the ill Consequences of which the Merchants submitted to the Consideration of their Lordships.

"They also said, "That for some Years past there had been no Frigate appointed to take Care of the Virginia Coast; for Want of which, many Ships had been taken, going in and coming out, by the French Privateers."

"For these Particulars relating to the Virginia Trade, their Lordships refer to the Depositions of Mr. Micaiah Perry, Mr. John Hyde, Mr. Richard Perry, and Mr. Thomas Corbin, marked (L.)

"These Merchants prayed their Lordships to use some Means, that the Coasts of Virginia may be guarded, proper Convoys appointed, and the Merchants have due Notice thereof; and that then they might neither be delayed nor diverted; and that the Admiral's Protection might stand good, till the Ships were arrived in the proper Ports of Discharge.

"A Fourth Head of the Merchants Complaint was, the great Want of Cruizers in The Channel and Soundings.

"Mr. John Wood informed their Lordships, "That, in the Space of Sixteen Months last past, he had been concerned as Owner and Freighter of several Ships, that loaded Corn, in the Port of Shoreham, in Sussex, for Holland and Lisbon.

"That, in September 1706, he loaded several Hundred Quarters of Wheat on board The Union Friggot, being first bound to Portsmouth, and thence with Convoy for Lisbon.

"The Union Friggot was ready to sail for Portsmouth in October 1706; but the Coast was so infested by Privateers, that she could not, without apparent Danger, proceed to Portsmouth, though only Eight or Ten Leagues distant; thereupon he, and other Owners in like Circumstances, made frequent Application to the Prince's Council, for a Man of War to convoy those Ships; but they from Time to Time delayed to order any Ship to call at Shoreham." He said, "That, upon One Application, the Prince's Council told them, "That they had only some Third Rate Men of War, too large to lie on that Coast, except a Frigate of about 26 Guns, which, Admiral Mitchell said, they might have; but Admiral Churchill said, "If she was sent, she would certainly be taken." At last, Mr. Wood, despairing of Assistance, after having waited Six Months (the Ship lying at great Charges, and having on board a perishing Commodity) notwithstanding the apparent Hazard, directed the Ship should sail for Portsmouth; but they were soon chased by Three Privateers, and thereupon got under the Guns of Bright Helmston; but found little Protection there, the Guns being not in Order, and there being no Powder to charge them; but Night coming on, and the Weather bad, and the Privateers standing off to Sea, The Union Friggot, by the Favour of the Night, weighed, and stood for The Downes, and, by the Dawning of the Day, was got up with Beachyhead; but there fell in with several Privateers, who chased her under the Guns of Hastings, where then lay a Tender to a Man of War, with about 100 impressed Men, which durst not stir out, either for The Downes or Portsmouth, for Fear of the French Privateers, very numerous on the Coast, and almost constantly cruizing between Beachy-head and Shoreham, without Interruption from our Men of War. Some Days after, a Convoy coming from the Westward with some Ships, The Union Friggot joined them, and got into The Downes.

"The same Mr. Wood, in the Months of April, May, and June last, was concerned in several other Ships, freighted with Corn in the same Port of Shoreham, for Lisbon and Holland; but then also he did not dare suffer his Ships to stir out, the Coast continuing still infested with French Privateers. There was also at that Time, in the same Harbour, a Vessel laden with Timber for the Use of the Navy, which was said to have lain there 12 or 13 Months, for Want of Convoy to Portsmouth. At last, upon frequent Applications to the Prince's Council, a Convoy was sent, and the Ships went out; but, soon after they had joined, the Convoy run away, and left the Ships, upon a Report that the Dunkirk Squadron was upon the Coast; and the Ships were pursued by Privateers, and with great Difficulty got to Portsmouth.

"The Privateers continuing to insest the Coast as much as ever, Mr. Wood refused to be further concerned from the Port of Shoreham, and has not heard of any Corn exported since that Time from that Harbour; which is is a great Impoverishment to the Country thereabout, the Price of Corn being there 20 or 25 per Cent. cheaper than at other Places which lie nearer Portsmouth."

"As to these Particulars, their Lordships refer to the Solemn Affirmation of Mr. John Wood, marked (E.)

"Mr. Thomas Palmer deposed, "That, within Three Years, he has lost to the Enemy, in The Channel and Soundings, a large Part in Three Running Galleys outward bound to The Streights; and in Six Weeks Time has lost as much coming Home, as would have paid Her Majesty some Thousand Pounds Custom."

"The Pilgrim Gally, laden with Fish, was taken in The Soundings by Three large Privateers.

"The Providence Galley, laden with our Manufactory, and some Fish, Lead, and Tin, bound to The Streights, worth near Ten Thousand Pounds, was taken off of Dungeness, some few Hours Sail from The Downs, by Three or Four large Dunkirkers.

"The Mead Galley and Fly Galley, going out in March last, in Company of The London Galley, they were chased off of Beachy-head by Three Privateers, who took the Two First; The London narrowly escaping, as he was informed from Plimouth by the Master, who informed him, in the same Letter, "That a Neutral Ship, put in there, had been boarded above a Dozen Times in One Day by French Privateers."

"The 13th of the same March, several Merchants made a Remonstrance of their Losses to the Prince's Council; who told them, "They were not to expect Convoy for their Running Galleys." They replied, "They did not; but desired Cruisers might be appointed for The Channel and Soundings, the Running Galleys being now the Vessels which chiefly carried on Trade; and that, if some better Care were not taken, even the Men of War would be in Danger in The Channel." The Merchants were directed to leave their Remonstrance, that it might be looked into at a full Board; but it had no Effect. The same Vessel, The London, going out in Company of The Handyside and Fleet Galley, The London was taken, and the Handyside blown up, in a Fight off of The Lizard, and The Fleet Gally only escaped.

"The Antelope Galley, laden with Lead, Tar, and Stock-fish, for The Streights, was chased off of Beachyhead, by The Lyme and Gosport Men of War, under Dutch Colours. The Master, taking them to be Enemies, made the best of his Way for Hestings: Then the Men of War hoisted English Colours; but the Master, not trusting to Colours, unfortunately ran the Galley ashore.

"This Accident cost above £.100. to get her into Rye, and above Twice as much since, upon the Account of Loss of Time, she being detained there by the Swarms of Privateers, as appears by several of the Master's Letters, of the Dates following:

"The 15th of October, there were Two Privateers and a Snow off that Harbour.

"The 17th, Two Privateers off that Harbour.

"The 22d, Two Ships of 30 Guns within Three Miles of the Harbour.

"The 24th, Four French Men of War at Anchor within Sight of the Town.

"The 28th, a Fleet passed by, with which the Master would have joined; but could not, because there lay Three French Privateers between them and him, and Seven more in Sight.

"The 30th, a Dutch Dogger was chased in there by Seven Privateers.

"The 5th of November, a Sloop came into that Harbour, which had been taken and ransomed coming from Lisbon, and afterwards boarded and plundered by several French Privateers in The Channel. The Master of the Sloop gave an Account, "That Three Privateers were lying off the Isle of Wight, Three off of Beachy, and Five or Six others off of Rye."

"The 8th of November, Six Sail of French Ships and a Sloop lay in Sight of Rye; and the Sloop was come within a Mile of the Harbour, right in the Channel.

"The 15th, a Gentleman that rode along the Coast saw Fourbin's Squadron, and several Privateers, cruizing off of Beachy.

"The 17th, another Master saw Eight Sail of French Ships off The Downs, who were sending their Scouts very frequently, to observe what was a doing."

"For these Particulars, their Lordships refer to the Deposition of Mr. Thomas Palmer, marked F.; who desired to submit it to Consideration, if there be a Possibility of carrying on Trade under such difficult Circumstances.

"Captain Winter came in The King William Galley, the 14th of March last, from Gibraltar, in Company of The Pearle, The Hanover, and The Lodington Galleys; and near The Streights Mouth, they joined The Sea-horse and The Sunderland.

"The 31th of March, they were pursued by Four Sail, but escaped them by tacking in the Night.

"Upon the 9th of April, they had Sight of Beachyhead; and soon after, Five Sail of Privateers, lying under the Land, bore down upon them, who all made the best of their Way; but The Lodington and The Sunderland were taken, and The Hanover and King William were pursued within Two Leagues of Dover Castle; and the Privateers would have followed them into the Road, had they not seen a great Ship a-head of them, standing in for that Place.

"And though the Enemies cruize in such great Numbers, that it was very hard for any English Ships bound Homeward to escape; yet Captain Winter said, "He did not not see One English Cruizer throughout his whole Voyage."

"Their Lordships refer to the Deposition of Mr. Nehemiah Winter, marked (G.)

Mr. William Wood, in order to satisfy their Lordships that few or no Cruizers have been employed, gave an Account of many Ships taken and attacked at sundry Times, some within a few Hours Sail of the River of Thames; (videlicet,)

"Off Beachy, or Dungeness, in December 1706.
Dove Galley,
Phænix,
Mary Galley,
Betty Galley,
taken in Company of the Pearle Galley,
Lewis,
Greyhound,
which escaped.
"Off Plimouth, in December or January.
Volant,
Hurdis,
George,
Berkeley Gally,
taken together. Tuscan and Page, escaped.
"Off Dungeness, in January.
"Trumball Gally taken, with 15,000 Pieces of Eight on Board.
"Off Dungeness, in March.
Mead Galley,
Fly Galley,
taken. The London at that Time escaped.
"Off Beachy-head, in March.
Anne Gally,
Eagle,
taken. Phænix,
Mary,
Neptune,
Hooker,
escaped.
"In April 1707.
Sunderland,
Lodington,
taken in Company of the Sea-horse,
Pearl Galley,
Hanover,
King William,
which escaped.

"In the Year 1704, few or no Ships arrived safe, for Want of proper Cruizers. The Jamaica Traders lost 14 Ships in The Soundings and Channel.

"Sir George Bing and Admiral Jenings, in January 1704 / 5, were at Sea cruizing till the October following, during which Time the English Ships were protected, and Twenty Sail of the Enemy's Privateers and Merchant Ships were taken; but from that Time, till October or November 1706, very few Ships were cruizing.

"Then Sir Thomas Hardy sailed with Five Men of War, which all returned in Five or Six Weeks, and soon after sailed for Ireland, and returned to The Downs in February or March; since which Time the Merchants have had no Knowledge of any Ships cruizing, till September 1707.

"Mr. Wood told their Lordships, "That the Account he gave was the best he was able to procure, of the Number of Cruizers employed, and the Time they have been in Service, since October 1705."

"For all which Matters, their Lordships desire to refer to the Deposition of Mr. William Wood, marked (A.)

"Thomas Pipon, Commander of The Elizabeth Gally, said, "That, being bound for London from Faro, he had Sight of Beachy the 22d of November last; there he spied Three Sail to the Eastward of him, and stood from them; but soon after, seeing Three more near his Wake, and having tried their sailing, and finding he could by no Means escape, he being so encompassed, he ran his Ship on Shore at East-bourne, on the Coast of Sussex, in Hopes of some Assistance; but Two of the Privateers came and anchored within Pistol-shot of the Ship, and, by firing, forced the Ship's Company to get on Shore, after the best Defence they could make, having first endeavoured to disable the Ship, and put Fire to some of the Sails; but the Enemy were so near, that they soon extinguished the Fire, and, by the Help of the rising Water, got off The Elizabeth Galley, and carried her away."

"Mr. Pipon said, "That, while he stayed at Eastbourn, which was Two Days, he saw Six or Seven Privateers cruizing off and on, several very near the Shore; and was informed, by the People of the Place, that, for Four or Five Weeks past, they had seen French Privateers almost every Day, sometimes to the Number of 16, but mostly 8 or 10 of them, and some of good Force."

"He said, " By reason of their great Numbers, and cruizing in the Narrow of The Channel, it is very difficult for any Ships to avoid falling into their Hands, especially since there are no good Harbours or Forts to succour them nigh that Place; and the Enemy's Harbours of Dunkirk and Calais are so near, and so few English Cruizers in The Channel to intercept the said Privateers and their Prizes, which makes the Ships Companies to be altogether for running on Shore, to save their Liberties."

"Their Lordships desire to refer to the Deposition of Captain Thomas Pipon, marked (H.) as to those Matters.

"Captain George Guillaume told their Lordships, That, in his last Voyage from St. Ubes to London, in the Ketch Concord, on Sunday the 16th of November last, he was forced, by contrary Winds, into Falmouth Harbour; the next Day he saw Three French Privateers take a Dutch Ship within Three Miles of Pendennis Castle.

"On Thursday he left Falmouth; and on Friday he saw Two Vessels, which chased him into Fresh-water Bay, in the Isle of Wight; but Night coming on, and the Weather very Black, he escaped betwixt the Land and the Ships.

"On Saturday the 22d, he made Beachy-head, and as soon as it was Day saw a French Privateer under his Lee, and soon after saw Two at his Stern, and Three more at his Lee, and Two more a-breast of him; which made him resolve to run his Vessel on Shore, being very near Land.

"Upon this, the Privateers put up English Colours, which made him forbear for some Time to run his Ship ashore; but One of them putting all his Sails out, and coming upon him, he grounded his Vessel, and disabled her all he could, that they might not carry her off, and then went ashore, at a Place called Pevensey, and went to the Town, and got some Assistance.

"The Privateer came to an Anchor, and fired upon them, and the Shot went above Half a Mile into the Country." He said, " If they had had any great Guns, they might have saved their Vessel, for it was above Five Hours before the Privateer had her afloat.

"The Two following Days (which was the Time he stayed there) he saw from the Shore Six Privateers."

"He affirmed, "That, in his whole Passage, he did not see any English Men of War."

"Their Lordships refer to the Deposition of the said George Guillaume, marked (I.)

" The Merchants gave an Account of the vast Advantage of the Mediterranian Trade, which, for a considerable Time, had been carried on with great Success by nimble Galleys, without putting the Government to the Charge of Convoys.

"Mr. Gould informed, " That, besides the Turky Trade, and Trade from several other Places in The Mediterranian, the Customs of Leghorne, Venice, and Genoa, did amount to about £.300,000 Sterling per Annum; and an Account was also given in by him in particular, of the very great Annual Exports to Leghorne alone, consisting of our Manufactures, Goods of our native Growth, and other Merchandizes, which Trade had continued for many Years, while our Channel was better guarded; but of late it is in a Manner quite interrupted, for Want of Cruizers in The Channel and Soundings, and many rich Ships taken there; he mentioned in particular The Mazareene Galley from Turkey, worth above £.80,000, taken in The Soundings; The Mediterranian Galley from Zant, taken off Beachy-head; The St. George Galley, taken in The Channell; The Royal Anne Galley, taken in The Channel, where she had made Boards for about Fifteen Days together, without seeing any One Cruizer to help her; The Trumball Galley, rich in Money, taken near The Downes." He said, "He declined naming more, though he could mention several others; the rather, because some of them are included in the great List of Merchants Losses given in to their Lordships, consisting of near 1160 Ships; but, in order to shew the Difference when any Care was taken for Cruizers, he produced a List to their Lordships of 91 Sail of Galleys bound from Leghorne, which arrived safe, without Convoys, from September 1703, to October 1704, whilst there was some Cruizers employed."

"He said, "That Foreigners did reproach our Nation, for their great Neglect of the Merchant Ships; and to this Purpose, he produced Two Letters from his Correspondents at Leghorne; One dated the 12th of September, in which, after taking Notice of the Loss of the Russia Ships, it follows, "Seeing the Enemy fall in with so many of our Convoys, we begin to suspect there may be some Traitors among us;" and in another Letter, in which (amongst other Things) it is said, "They had received a lamentable Account of the Lisbon-Horse Convoy; by which they observed, there had been strange Management in our Maritime Affairs, seeing we can suffer so much so near Home." He also produced another Letter from Plimouth, dated the 18th of November last, wherein it was said, "That the French Privateers are so bold, as to cruize in our very Mouth; about Four Days since, Two of them chased a Dutch-man, from Mountsbay, into our very Harbour, within Pentee, where there was a sharp Dispute, and some Score of Guns fired; there was at that Time, between the Island and Main, the Three Welch Convoys; but neither of them stirred, having no Orders; however, the Dutchman saved his Ship. But this is enough, and too much, on so melancholy a Subject."

"As to these Matters, their Lordships refer to the Depositions of Mr. Edward Gould, hereunto annexed, marked (M.)

"Mr. William Coward said, "He believed that the List of Eleven Hundred and odd Sail of Merchants Ships lost, given in to their Lordships, was very far short of the whole Number."

"For this, their Lordships refer to his Deposition, marked (K.)

"As to the Fifth Head of the Merchants Complaints, concerning their hard Usage, in having their Men impressed out of their Ships in The West Indies, as also upon their Return Home, by the Captains of the Queen's Ships, to the very great Loss and Danger of their Ships and Merchandize; several Instances were laid before their Lordships.

"The Gold Friggot, Josiah Dowell Master, arrived in Jamaica, in September 1703; and whilst he went to wait on the Governor, Captain Douglas, of The Norwich, impressed Five of his best Seamen.

"The Master waited on the Captain, and shewed his Protection; but Douglas told the Master, "He had 25 Seamen; and his Orders from the Admiralty was to press every Fifth Man:" And though the Master acquainted him, "That some of his Men were sick, and that he really wanted Men to sail his Ship Home;" yet he could only prevail but for One Seaman; the Captain telling him, "If he would, he could take away all his Men:" And threatened to stop his Ship, unless he would pay him the Wages of the Seamen he had so impressed.

"Upon Dowell's Arrival at Plimouth, his Seamen were again impressed.

"This impressing of the Seamen, and the extraordinary Charges occasioned thereby, and the Delays of the Ship, amounted to near a Thousand Pounds Loss to the Owner and Merchants in that Voyage.

"In a Second Voyage to Jamaica, in Nov'r 1705, by the same Ship, Daniel Bright Master, several of his Men were impressed, and the Master forced to hire others, at an extravagant Rate, and to take French Prisoners on Board, to help to sail his Ship Home: And upon his Arrival at Plimouth, the 5th of April 1706, all his Men, except his Two Mates, the Carpenter, Steward, and Two Boys, were impressed and taken from him by one Saunders, a Midshipman belonging to The Orford, and other Press-gangs; so that his Ship lay in Danger, and he could not have brought her to London, but by the Help of a Dutch Man of War, who furnished him with Ten Men, after he was refused by all the Queen's Men of War, to whom he applied in every Place where he came, though in vain.

"In July 1704, The Roundburst Galley, John Sampson Master, arrived in Jamaica, where Captain Bois, in The Nonsuch Man of War, pressed Five of his Seamen, whereby he was disabled (though fully loaden) to sail in Company of a Ship of good Force, which then sailed for London; and with great Difficulty, and after long Delay (with much Damage and Danger to the Ship in the mean Time), the Master got Four Seamen more; Two of his own Five before pressed from him, for which Two he was forced to give to Captain Bois a Pipe of Wine, charged at £. 25.: But the Ship, proving leaky by long lying, was lost in her Passage Home, in the Gulph of Florida; which Loss, in the Ship and Goods, was computed to amount to £.2500. to the Owner Mr. Coward, besides the Losses of several other Merchants.

"The Somerset Friggot, John Wicksteed Master, arrived at Barbadoes, in April or May 1705, where several of his Men were impressed; and returning to Plimouth, the 9th of August 1705, Captain Johnson, of The Valeur Man of War, impressed Five of his best Seamen; and the next Night, in a violent Storm, the Ship and Cargo was lost: Which Loss, in Ship and Goods, was computed at £. 2000. to the Owner Mr. Coward, besides the Losses of other Merchants.

"The Walthamstow Galley, Peter Roberts Master, arriving from Barbadoes about the same Time, though he had several of his Men impressed at Barbadoes, and only Nine Men and Two Boys left with himself on Board; yet Captain Roach, of The Fox, impressed Three of his best Men, his Boatswain being One, although the Master told him how weak he was, and that he had but One Anchor on Board. Captain Roach said to him, "If he was saucy, he would take him, with all his Ship's Company, aboard, and whip the Master at the Geers." Captain Roach sent him Three Italians, who could speak no English; and they, the next Night, in the Storm, ran away with the Ship's Boat, which was staved; and the Ship ran on Shore, and so continued about Thirteen Days, to her Damage of £. 4 or 500.; besides the great Prejudice to the Merchants Goods: Upon which Account, the Master protested at Plimouth; and the Protestation was delivered to their Lordships, and is laid before the House.

"As to the Particulars under this Head, their Lordships refer to the annexed Deposition of Mr. William Coward, marked (K.)

"Their Lordships do likewise acquaint your Lordships, That there has been offered to them an Information of Mr. Benjamine Way; in which he represents, in Behalf of himself and other Owners and Freighters of The London Galley, "That the said Galley sailed from Jamaica the latter End of February last, bound for London, under Convoy of Her Majesty's Ship Northumberland, Captain Roffey Commander, with whom they kept Company till the 7th of March; but there having been Seven Men impressed from her before the left Jamaica, and being forced to take French Prisoners on Board, and to hire what other Men she could, at excessive Wages, to help to sail the Galley Home, and crowding all the Sail they could, to avoid being left by the Convoy, the Galley suffered such Damage in her Masts, as disabled her to keep Company; and being weakly manned, and in great Distress, they fired Guns, and made Signals; but being left by their Convoy, the Ship and Cargo perished, to the Loss of many Thousand Pounds."

"As to this Complaint, their Lordships present to the House the Depositions of Mr. Benjamin Way, together with the Owners Petition to the Lord High Admiral, and what was done thereupon, marked (P.)

"The Merchants made the following Observations to their Lordships, from the Evidence given before them, "That the Prince's Council were fully informed of the great Number of the Enemy's Privateers; that the Nation had lost the Exportation of Corn for the King of Portugal's Stores, by the Delays of the Convoys; and the Portuguese Army is now furnished by the Dutch with Corn from The Baltick; and the Advantage, designed by Act of Parliament to the Land-owner, by giving a Bounty of Five Shillings the Quarter upon Exportation, is in a Manner disappointed; especially since, for Want of Cruizers, the Running Gallies are in a Manner quite discouraged.

"That the Prince's Council were so sensible of the swarming of Privateers on the Coasts, that they declined sending One of Her Majesty's Ships of 26 Guns, lest she should be taken.

"And that, from Tuesday the 29th of April 1707, when Mr Dawson was told, by the Prince's Council, "That they had Notice the Dunkirk Squadron was gone Westward," to Thursday the First of May, when The Hampton Court, Royal Oake, and Graston, with the Merchant Ships under their Convoy, sailed out of The Downes, there was Time enough to have sent Orders, not only by Express, but by the ordinary Post, to have stopt the sailing of that Convoy.

"For these Observations, as also for several Particulars on most of the other Heads, their Lordships refer to the Deposition of Mr. Nathaniel Torriano, marked (O.)

"Their Lordships do also herewith present to your Lordships the great List of Ships lost, which the Merchants did lay before them, consisting of Eleven Hundred and Forty-six.

"Their Lordships do also beg Leave to inform your Lordships, that the Method used by them, in taking the Examinations of the several Merchants, was, That, after they had signed their several Depositions, their Lordships required them to depose, "That all that was contained in their Papers respectively, which was said to be of their own Knowledge, was true; and what was mentioned therein, as heard by them, or received in Writing from any other Person, they believed to be true."

"Their Lordships have also received an Information of a high Nature against Captain William Kerr, who lately commanded the Queen's Ships at Jamaica, upon the Oath of Mr. Thomas Wood. But the House having been pleased (since the appointing of this Committee) to make an Address to Her Majesty, "That Captain Kerr should attend the House as soon as he was come to Town;" their Lordships thought it their Duty to do nothing further in relation to that Matter; but only to lay before the House the said Information, and also a Paper which they had received from the Council of Trade, in relation to the same Complaint.

"Their Lordships do humbly inform your Lordships, that several Papers have been laid before them, from the Lord High Admiral; which are these that follow:

"An Account when the Lisbon Fleet was ready to sail from Spithead, and the Names of the Ships of War that were their Convoy under Captain Edwards."

"An Account of what Ships were at Spithead when Captain Edwards sailed."

"Instructions to Sir William Whetstone."

"Reasons why The Northumberland, Pembroke, Bristol, and Garland, did not join the Convoy to the Lisbon Fleet."

"An Account what Ships, with Naval Stores and Provisions, designed for the Fleet under Sir Cloudesley Shovell, were in The Downes the 13th of May last."

"An Account of the Orders and Instructions given to the Commander in Chief of the Convoy, which sailed in May last, and was attacked by the Enemy, when The Hampton Court and Graston were taken."

"These Papers their Lordships do think it most proper to present to your Lordships; the House having been pleased (since the appointing of this Committee), to order many other Papers to be laid before the House by the Lord High Admiral, that so all the said Papers from the Lord High Admiral may be before the House together, for your Lordships Consideration."

The several Affidavits and Papers mentioned in the said Report, and to which the same refers, were read, and are as follow; (videlicet,)

"(A.) The Hardships and Discouragements to Trade, and Losses to the Merchants, have not been few; for the Want of good and sufficient Convoys, or such as would defend our Ships from those of the Enemy, who have, for some Time past, been in Numbers at Sea, as will appear by the following Particulars of their being taken or attacked:

"1st, In June 1706, a Fleet of Merchant Ships, under Convoy of The Gosport, bound for The West Indies; the Man of War and Eight or Nine of the Merchant Ships taken.

"2d, The (fn. 1) Liz a. Fleet, under Convoy of The Swistsure and Warspright, were attacked in March 1706 / 7, and about 14 Merchant Ships taken.

"3d, The Newfoundland Fleet, in April, under Convoy of The Falkland and Medway Prize, were attacked.

"4. The Coasting Convoy attacked in April, off The Land's End.

"5. The Convoy from The Downes was likewise attacked in April: The Graston and Hampton Court, with about Twenty Merchantmen, taken by the Dunkirk Squadron.

"6. The Russia Fleet, Outward-bound, were attacked by the Dunkirk Squadron, 16 taken; an Account whereof is laid before the Prince's Council. Besides the Losses for Want of sufficient Convoys (considering the Strength of the Brest and Dunkirke Squadron), our Enemies have made it their Business of late Years, with Numbers of their Privateers, to prey on our Trade; whereby very heavy and great Losses have fallen on the Traders, chiefly for Want of Cruizers being constantly employed in proper Stations.

"That few or none have been employed, will appear by the following Account of Ships taken and attacked at sundry Times, when in Company, and some within few Hours Sail of the River of Thames, being the best Information they could gather of the Cruizers, and the Time they have been on Service.

"Ships taken and attacked; (videlicet,)
"Off Beachy-head, or Dungeness, in Decemb'r 1706.
Dove Galley,
Phænix,
Mary Galley,
Betty Galley,
taken in Company of the Pearl Galley,
Lewis,
Greyhound,
which escaped.
"Off Plimouth, in December or January.
Volant,
Hurdis,
George,
Berkely Galley,
taken together. Tuscan and Page, escaped.
"The Trumbal Galley, taken in January off Dungeness, with 15,000 Pieces of 8 / 8; on Board.
"Off Dungeness, in March.
Mead Galley,
Fly Galley,
taken. The London escaped.
" Off Beachy Head, in March.
Anne Galley,
Eagle Galley,
taken. Phænix,
Mary,
Neptune,
Hooker,
escaped.
"In April 1706 / 7.
Sunderland,
"Lodington,
taken in Company of the Sea-Horse,
Pearle Galley,
Hanover,
King William,
which escaped.
" Off The Lizard, in March.
"Handeside,
London,
taken. The Fleete Galley escaped.

"In the Year 1704, for Want of fit Cruizers, few or no Ships arrived safe. The Jamaica Traders lost 14 Sail of Homeward-bound Ships in The Channel and Soundings; and the Barbados Men more, that were separated from their Convoys.

" In January 1704 / 5, Sir George Bing and Admiral Jennings went to Sea, and cruized till October following; during which Time our Ships were protected, and above Twenty Sail of the Enemy's Privateers and Merchant Ships were taken.

"From October 1705, find that very few Ships were cruizing till October or November 1706, when Sir Thomas Hardy sailed with The Kent, Swallow, August, Nonsuch, and Worcester: Some soon returned, and sailed again; and the whole Number returned into Plimouth in a Month or Six Weeks; and in some Time after sailed for Ireland, and returned to The Downes in February or March; so that have no Notice that any Ships were cruizing until September 1707.

"The foregoing is the Observations I have made of the Want we have had of Cruizers; and also the best Account I could gather of the Number employed, and the Time they have been on Service, especially since October 1705.

"Wm. Wood."

"(B.) The Hardships and Discouragements Trade hath laboured under, during this War, have been very great; occasioned by the frequent and long Delay of Ships lying to wait for Convoy after the Time promised and prefixed for their sailing; whereby the Charge for Wages, Stores, and Provisions, hath been almost doubled: But, besides this Mischief, common to other Trades, that to Jamaica hath been attended with this further Calamity, that, the Ships being kept here beyond the appointed and proper Season, they arrive there in a sickly Time, and return in the Winter; and, being left or separated from their Convoys, the greatest Part of them perish by the Enemy and bad Weather.

"To prevent these Mischiefs, we have for several Years successively made Application to the Admiralty Board; and, being almost discouraged, we did, with great Earnestness, about October or November 1705, apply to the Prince's Council, acquainting them, " That the great Losses and Damages in our Fleet the preceding Year had disabled us from sending another that Year: However, having repeated Assurances, and depending thereon, that we should have a sufficient Convoy to depart early; and more partiticularly, on an Order sent from the Admiralty Board to the Jamaica Coffee-house, "that the Merchants should get their Ships ready to depart by the 20th January at the furthest;" we did prevail on sundry Persons to let their Ships go to Jamaica, in Dependance of their sailing out and returning Home early, with good Convoy. Accordingly they were fitted out with great Expedition, and Men hired at extravagant Wages; but so it was, after all those fair Promises, the Ships thus fitted lay above Two Months waiting for a Convoy; till at length, on the 21st March, as Men in Despair, we petitioned his Royal Highness, reciting the former Promises and Assurances; and humbly prayed, "That the Ships ready might immediately depart with the First Squadron bound out of Channel;" adding, "That if that Fleet should unhappily miscarry, by their late going and returning, we despaired of getting Ships to carry on that Trade the succeeding Year:" However, that Fleet was detained till the Beginning of May; and the ill Success too well answered our Fears; the greater Part of them, in their Return, separated from their Convoy, and were lost.

"Now indeed, by the Prince's Council, we are informed, "That a sufficient Convoy would be ready to depart with our Fleet, in a proper Time:" But, in Return, we were forced to acquaint the Board, "That we had but Two Ships in loading;" such a sad Condition we are brought unto, by the unhappy Management of our ill-timed, delayed, and negligent Convoys: By the ill Conduct whereof, we suffer every Way, and in every Place; as, first, by lying here at great Charge, several Months after the appointed Time; then we arrive at Jamaica at an improper, sickly Season; and Part of our Men lost by Death, a greater Part pressed away by our Convoys; and our Ships, thus disabled, do return in the Winter, the Convoys being well-handed, croud too much Sail; our weakly-manned Merchant Ships, endeavouring to keep them Company, and coming by any Accident, are left in Distress, to the Mercy of the Enemy or Seas; others of them, left by out-sailing; and for Want of a little Care, or shortening Sail: A sad Instance whereof we have in the Fleet now missing from Jamaica, who came then under Convoy of Commodore Kerr, with Three Men of War and a Fire-ship; One of which, The Sunderland, first came to Portsmouth alone, as did after Mr. Kerr, with The Breda and Fire-ship, alone to Plimouth, and The Experiment to Spithead; but not One Merchant-man, save a small Ship to Bristol. Had the Convoy fired Guns at tacking in the Night, and used due Care, it is not likely they could have lost all the Fleet, being about 20 Sail; but their Mismanagement is too evident, they being all come to Portsmouth or Plimouth, though Mr. Kerr himself writes from the latter, "That the Rendezvous, in case of Separation, was appointed in Ireland."

"If any of our Ships, happening to escape the Enemy, get into any of the Out-ports, our Losses are there heightened, by their long lying for a Convoy to the River; which, though constantly complained of, meets little Redress. Some of our Ships, with many others, got into Portsmouth last Year; and though many Petitions and Applications were made, and frequent Promises obtained, and some Men of War lay then in Harbour, others cruized up as far as Dungeness, within Seven Leagues of The Downes; but, for Want of Orders, would take no Ship with them: That they lay there above Five Months, to the Ruin of our Ships and Voyages, for Want of Convoy to The Downes, but about 16 Hours Sail; though Admiral Whetstone, and other Ships of War, passed by from Plimouth to the Eastward in the mean Time.

"These are some few of the many Hardships we have long struggled withal; but at last are brought to so low a State, that whereas, at the Beginning of the War, our Fleets Home consisted of 30 or 40 Sail, we are now reduced to Two single Ships, to make our Outward-bound Fleet for this Season. The heavy Losses we feel, and others we justly fear, will, without some speedy Remedy, quite disable us to make further Efforts to carry on that hopeful Trade, so zealously begun to The Spanish West Indies last Year; when, on the Encouragement of promised Protection (though miserably disappointed therein), more Woollen and other Manufactures were shipped to Jamaica, and thence for that Trade, than in several Years before.

1st December 1707.

"Samuel Jones.

Benj. Way.

James Whitchurch."

"(C.) In July 1704, myself and Partner, with another Merchant here, had an Order from Lisbon, to buy a considerable Quantity of Corn for the King of Portugal's Use; and an Assignment upon the Treasury here, for a Hundred Thousand Pieces of Eight, in Part of Payment. I applied myself to my Lord Treasurer for the Money; but, as it was then scarce, his Lordship promised to pay it very speedily; and at the same Time desired, "That the King of Portugal's necessary Occasions might not suffer by the Money not being immediately paid; but to make Use of our Credit in the mean Time."

"Accordingly a large Quantity was bought in July and August, and frequent Applications made to the Admiralty for Convoy, acquainting them with the Necessity thereof: They did promise, from Time to Time, to take Care of it; but it was so unaccountably delayed, that the Convoy did not sail from Portsmouth till the 6th of February following, which was near Seven Months since we had those Orders.

"January before, the Wind was very fair the greatest Part of the Month, which plainly shews, that the Fleet was not detained thereby; but that they did not sail till they were actually ready.

"Having had the Year before such another Order with worse Success, I presume they have been thereby discouraged to write for any more from hence, not only by reason of the general Disappointment as to the Time; but also by losing of Ships, breaking of Insurers, and receiving such Corn as comes to them at last in a very bad Condition, by which Means they have sent for Supplies from other Parts."

"I find this confirmed by my Advices from Lisbon; and particularly by a Letter from thence, dated 12 March 1707, N. S. in which my Correspondent writes, "That the Dutch Fleet was then come in; and that a great Quantity of their Loading of Corn had been bought by his Brother in Amsterdam, for the Use of the Portugal Army;" so that, by the great and repeated Disappointments of Convoys here, the Dutch reap the Advantage; and as the Corn comes chiefly to them from the Baltick Seas, they do thereby deprive us of our Trade and Navigation.

"Another Argument of my Complaint is, the hard Usage we met with last Year, in relation to Convoys. The 25th March 1707, a Fleet sailed for Portugal. There was a Prospect that another Convoy would soon follow, so that great Quantities of Corn and Woollen Manufactures were shipped. The Heat of Weather coming on, Application was made that a Convoy might be granted; but without Success. The 10th August following, the grand Fleet sailed from Portsmouth; but did not take any Merchant Ships under their Convoy. We continued petitioning till about the latter End of September, when we were forced to tell the Admiralty Board, in plain Terms, "That, if they did not forthwith grant a Convoy, the Goods aboard the Ships would inevitably perish in Port."

"We were then promised The Norfolke and Warspright only; and we praying then for a small Ship to be added, to see the Ships safe along the Coast of Portugal; yet it was denied; they telling us, "That The Warspright had Orders to that Purpose." We argued the ill Consequences of that Resolution, so large a Ship not daring to venture so near the Shore, especially at that Season, to protect the Trade from the Privateers that might lie under the Shore; and, on the other Hand, the Danger the main Fleet would be exposed to, to proceed for Lisbon with One single Man of War; but all this was not regarded, and we were forced to consent, having a Chance of saving the Cargoes if they went, which we had not if they continued in Port; the Woollen Manufactures being also in great Danger of decaying, by the Heat of the Corn, as it has often proved.

"Quickly after, a Report came, that a French Squadron was cruizing in The Channel, and thereupon an Embargo was laid on the said Fleet. The Admiralty Board demanded of the Portugal Merchants, "What they would have done?" But, as they had been told before, that they could not have a sufficient Convoy, they could not make any Proposals; but a Remonstrance was drawn up, relating the very great Hardships we suffered.

"When the Remonstrance was presented, News came from Portsmouth, that some Dutch Homeward-bound West India Ships were come in there, meeting with contrary Winds in The Channel, were taken for French. As the Board seemed displeased with the said Remonstrance, telling us, "That we were not sent for to that Purpose:" We then desired, "That, since the Cause of the Embargo was removed, the Fleet might proceed without Delay." It was replied, "That, as the Embargo had been laid by the Prince, it could not be taken off without his Direction; and his Highness being then at Newmarket, it would take up some Time before such an Order could be sent; but if we would stay a Week longer, then The Exeter should be added to the Convoy; and The Nassau, if she could get up in Time." To which several of us agreed, and, by the Importunity of the Board, were obliged to sign a Paper to that Purpose.

"The 18th October the Fleet sailed, with The Norfolke, Warspright, and Exeter; but The Nassau did not join, which must have been for Want of necessary Orders; for the Fleet was under Sail at Three a Clock Afternoon, and The Nassau came to Spithead before Night.

"By the Insufficiency of the Convoy, several Ships were taken out of the Fleet near Portland; and meeting afterwards with bad Weather in The Bay of Biscay, The Warspright and Exeter came back disabled; when very few or none of the Merchant Ships did, except some few that had fallen foul of each other: But Two Men of War returning out of Three, there must have been some considerable Defect. The Fleet having then no other Convoy but The Norfolke, who went through for Lisbon, several more Ships were lost out of that Fleet.

London, 5 December, 1707.

"Jacob Henckell."

(D.) "A short Case of several Merchant Ships, arrived within the Isle of Wight, from Jamaica, Virginia, New England, Lisbon, Antegoa, and other Parts, in the Month of December 1706, and sailed thence the 24th April following, being Four Months and odd Days; although frequent Applications were made from the Commanders there, and from the Owners:

"During which Time the Suffolke and Bristol Men of War passed by the Isle of Wight, from Plimouth, without calling in for the Merchant Ships that lay within the Isle of Wight.

"Sir Thomas Hardy, with the East India Ships, and other Ships from Ireland, passed by likewise, without calling in.

"The Southampton lay ready fitted at Spithead when the Ships came in, and lay there Two Months at least; and The Anglesea lay there a considerable Time, ready fitted.

"The Ruby and Feversham, appointed as Convoy, gave Sailing Orders about the 16th February; but was countermanded again, and The Ruby went into the Dock to clean.

"Then fresh Application was made for Convoy; and The August ordered to join The Ruby and Feversham: But, instead of coming directly for The Downes, they went to fetch the Coasters from Topsham, and then to call for the Ships at Portsmouth; during which Time the Wind was fair several Times, and those Opportunities lost.

"Note, That several Frigates sailed from Portsmouth, to cruize Eastward; but would take no Ships under their Convoy to The Downes.

"The Charges, lying there so long, was very considerable; besides the Loss of many of their Voyages the following Season, and Damage to their Cargoes. During the Time the Merchant Ships lay there for Convoy, there were at Spithcad the following Men of War, some of which lay there a considerable Time:

"The Anglesey,
Southampton,
Swiftsure,
Warspright,
Severne,
Portland,
Ruby,
Feversham,
August,
Nassau,
Reserve,
Dover,
Ramelties,
Sun Prize,
and Two Fifth Rates.
and Albemarle:

"Some of which might, 'twas hoped, during the Westerly Winds, which were very frequent, have been ordered to convoy the Merchant Ships to The Downes, which is about Thirty Leagues Distance. The Merchant Ships and Coasters, that lay there for Want of Convoy, near about Fifty or Sixty Sail.

"Geo. Tapson."

(E.) "John Woods, of London, Merchant, doth, upon his solemn Affirmation, declare, That, in the Space of Sixteen Months last past, he hath been concerned as Owner and Freighter of several Ships, that loaded Corn at the Port of Shoreham, in Sussex, for Holland and Lisbon; and that, in or about the Month of September 1706, he, the said Affirmant, loaded several Hundred Quarters of Wheat on board the Ship Union Friggot, Burthen about Three Hundred and Eighty Tons, being first bound to Portsmouth, and from thence with Convoy for Lisbon. The said Ship Union Friggot was ready to sail for Portsmouth in Octob'r One Thousand Seven Hundred and Six; but, the Coast being so much infested with Privateers, could not (without apparent Danger) proceed for Portsmouth, though but about Eight or Ten Leagues distant; upon which, he and others, Owners of the said Ship, made frequent Application to the Admiralty, for a Man of War to convoy the said Ship to Portsmouth; but they delayed, from Time to Time, in ordering any Ship to call at the said Port of Shoreham: And that, particularly at one Time, upon Application made to them, they told us, "They had only some Third Rate Men of War at Spithead (which were too large to lie on that Coast), except a small Frigate of about Twenty-six Guns; which, Admiral Mitchell told us, we might have;" but Admiral Churchill replied, "That, if they sent her, the would certainly be taken." So, despairing of any Assistance from the Admiralty, and our Ship lying at great Charges, and having on Board a perishing Commodity, we gave our Master Orders to proceed for Portsmouth, without waiting any longer for Convoy (though the Hazard appeared very great). Accordingly, after having laid ready to go to Sea for about Six Months (though but about Eight or Ten Leagues distant from Portsmouth), he failed out of the said Harbour, intending for Portsmouth; but, soon after he got out of the Harbour, was chased by Three Sail of large Privateers, who endeavoured to cut him off the Shore; but, perceiving their Design, he tacked, and stood in under the Guns of Brighthelmstone; but had very little Protection from them, their Guns not being in any Order, and had no Powder to charge them: But, Night coming on, and bad Weather, the Privateers being on a Lee-shore, and imbayed, stood off to Sea; and, by Favour of the Night, our Ship weighed, and stood for The Downes; and by the Dawning of the Day was got up with Beachy-head, where he fell in with several Privateers, who chased him in under the Guns of Hastings, where then laid a Tender to a Man of War, with about a Hundred impressed Men, who did not dare to stir out, either for The Downes or Portsmouth, for Fear of the French Privateers, which were numerous on the Coast, almost constantly cruizing, between Beachy-head and Shoreham, without any Interruption from our Men of War (as I was credibly informed); but in a few Days after, there coming by a Convoy from the Westward with a Fleet of Ships, our Ship with the Tender stood off to Sea, and joined them, and got safe into The Downes.

"In the Months of April, May, and June last, I was concerned in several other Ships, freighted with Corn, in the said Port of Shoreham, for Lisbon and Holland, who did not dare stir out for Portsmouth, the Coast continuing still to be infested with French Privateers. There was also in the said Harbour of Shoreham a Vessel laden with Timber for the Use of the Navy, which, I was informed, laid there Thirteen or Fourteen Months, for Want of Convoy for Portsmouth; and, upon frequent Application made to the Admiralty, they did at last grant a Convoy, which came off the Harbour; and accordingly the Ships went out, and joined them; but, soon after they had joined them, the said Convoy ran away, and left the Ships to shift for themselves (as I was informed from Edw'd Friend, One of the Masters of the said Merchantmen, called The Marleborough), upon a Report that the Dunkirk Squadron was on the Coast. The said Ships were soon after chased by a Privateer (as the said Master also informed me); but all the Ships with Difficulty escaped, and got safe to Portsmouth: Upon which Discouragement, I, hearing the Coast remains still infested with Privateers, have not since been concerned from the said Port; nor have not heard of any Corn exported from the said Port, by any Person, since the Time aforesaid; which is a very great Impoverishment to the Country thereabouts, the Price of Corn (as I am informed) being Twenty or Twenty-five per Centum cheaper there than at any other Ports Twenty Miles distant, Westward from the said Port of Shoreham, which lie near Portsmouth.

Dec'r the 2d, 1707.

"Jn°. Woods."

(F.) "Your Lordships humble Petitioner, who, amongst many others, is commanded to lay before your Lordships the Misfortunes that hath of late Years attended our decaying Trade, first presumes to acquaint this Right Honourable Committee, That, within these Three Years, I have lost to the Enemy, in The Channel and Soundings, a large Part in Three Running Galleys, outward-bound to The Streights; and as much coming Home, in Six Weeks Time, as would have paid Her Majesty some Thousands of Pounds Custom. I had likewise One Quarter Part, in 1705, of a Frigate named The (fn. 2) Raby, laden partly with Corn, and the rest with Bale Goods, bound, in Company with many others, for Lisbon, who was convoyed from The Downes to Portsmouth by Her Majesty's Ship The Lichfield Prize; who, for Want of Orders, could not see them about Twelve Hours Sail further, to Plimouth, where they would have joined Sir Cloudesly Shovell's Fleet, then bound to Portugal; which occasioned the sundry Masters of those unfortunate Merchant-men often to petition the Prince's Council, directly per Post; One whereof was dated the 12th July 1705, to which here annexed I present the Copy, from the Admiralty, of Mr. Burchett's Answer; which I can't forbear observing to be very hard, foras much as, in all Probability, it could not be much above Forty-eight Hours for the West India Convoy to have seen them safe at their Port. This Answer from the Honourable Board not satisfying the Desire of these poor Captains, who wished to end the large running Expence to their Owners, and acquit themselves honestly towards their Freighters, again petitioned the Admiralty, the 28th July 1705, Copy whereof I likewise presume to offer to your Lordships Perusal. Few Days after that Date, I went to beg their speedy Relief, to prevent the inevitable Loss of our Ships and Cargoes, by affording them a Convoy, as well to prevent the Dangers of their lying longer in Port, as the spoiling our Corn; to which I was positively answered, "None could be granted:" The dismal Consequences thereof was felt by a violent Storm the 10th of August, which cast away about Twenty Sail, amongst whom was this Ship, not worth less than Seven Thousand Pounds.

"One of the abovesaid Runners, called The Pilgrim Galley, laden with Fish, was taken in The Soundings by Three large Privateers. Another, called The Providence Galley, off Dungeness, few Hours Sail from The Downes, by Three or Four large Dunkirkers: This was laden with our Manufactory, some Fish, and the Product of Lead and Tin, bound to The Streights, worth near Ten Thousand Pounds. The Third, named The London Galley, who, going out in March last, in Company of The Mead Gally and another, was chased off Beachy-head by Three Privateers, who took his Two Companions. My Master from Plimouth advising me of his narrow Escape, and of a Neutral Vessel being likewise put in there, that had been boarded above a Dozen Times One Day by different Privateers, I thought our Misfortunes were like to increase, unless some Remonstrance was made to the Admiralty Board of our Danger, which was agreed upon by several Merchants; who accordingly underwrote the same, and was presented by me the 13th of same Month; to which I was answered, "We must not expect Convoys for our Running Galleys:" To which I replied, "That we did not desire it; but that they would appoint Cruizers in The Channel, who would protect those Ships, the chief Vessels that carries our Treasures from Nation to Nation, at the least Expence to the Government; but, if they did not take speedy Care, even their Men of War would be in Danger." I was directed to leave my Letter, with the Remonstrance, that they might look into it at a full Board; which accordingly I did. What Effect it had, I was not made sensible of; for some Vessel going out, in Company of Two others, (videlicet,) The Fleet and The Handyside Galleys, she was taken, and the latter blown up by a Fight off The Lizard with several French Privateers, and only The Fleet Gally escaped.

"Another I am now deeply concerned in, called The Antelope Gally, laden about Two Months ago with Lead, Tar, and Stock-fish, bound up The Streights, off of Beachy-head was chased by The Lyme and Gosport Men of War, under Dutch Colours. The Master of this Vessel, taking of them to be Enemies, made the best of his Way for Hastings, under English Colours: The above Men of War lowered their Dutch Colours, and hoisted English, and fired Shot at this Galley; who, not trusting to Colours, and to avoid being taken, was caused unfortunately to run his Ship ashore. After which, the Commanders sent their Boats; and the Lieutenant, instead of helping the Master, said, "He was not sorry for it, but would serve any body the same, that would not come to them;" which we Owners forbid all Masters to do in War-time. This Accident cost above £. 100. to get her into Rye, and there above Double as much since in Loss of Time; being detained, by Letters of the Master, of the 15th Oct. by Two Privateers and a Snow off that Harbour.

"17th D°. Then Two Privateers, in High Water Time, off the Harbour.

"22d D°. Two Ships of 30 Guns, within Three Miles of said Harbour.

"24th D°. Four French Men of War at Anchor within Sight of that Town.

"28th D°. A Fleet passed by, which he would have joined; but there lay Three French Privateers betwixt them and him, and Seven in Sight, some off the Harbour, and some to the Westward.

"30th D°. A Dutch Dogger chased in there by Seven Sail, and narrowly escaped.

"5th Nov. Arrived there a Sloop from Lisbon, taken and ransomed: Reports since, "That he hath been boarded and plundered by several Privateers in The Channel." He gives an Account of Three Privateers lying off The Wight, Three off Beachy; and the Day he came in here, he saw Five or Six others off this Place.

"8th D°. There are just now in Sight Six Sail of French, and a Sloop, Three lying under Fair. Lee, the other Three off The Ness; and the Sloop is come to an Anchor within a Mile off the Harbour, right in the Channel where we must go: So every body advises me not to go, without I have a Mind to give her away; for there was seen last Night several Flashfires off their Harbour.

"15th D°. A Gentleman, that had rode along the Coast, saw on Thursday, cruising off Beachy, Monsieur Fourbin's Squadron, consisting of Six Men of War and several Privateers. The Information he gave me, by other Circumstances, was right; they having taken out the Fish of a Hasting Curr, who was bound for Portsmouth, and caused another to run ashore. This Day Seven or Eight, with Two Snows, which I am fearful may be the Squadron, put away to the Leeward, Wind W. S. W.

"17th D°. Another Master writes me, from The Downes, "There was then off Eight Sail of tall Ships, which, by his Spying Glass, he made to be French, who was sending their Scouts very frequently to observe what was doing."

"I most humbly leave it to the Consideration of this Right Honourable Committee, to judge if there remains almost a Possibility to carry on Trade, the Support of our Nation, under these difficult Circumstances.

The 5th Dec'r, 1707.

"Thomas Palmer."

"Mr. Burchett's Answer to the sundry Captains Petition, 12th July.

"Gentlemen,

"In Answer to yours of the 12th Instant, I am commanded by his Royal Highness to acquaint you, That the West India Ships cannot be ordered to take Care of you to Lisbon; neither is there any other Prospect of a Convoy thither, at present.

"J. Burchett."

"Copy of another Petition from same Captains, 28th D°.

"To his Royal Highness Prince George of Denmark, Lord High Admiral of Engl'd, and to the Right Honourable the Council of his Royal Highness.

"The most humble Petitions of the several Masters of Vessels, whose Names are here undersubscribed, for and on the Behalf of themselves and divers others, to the Number of Twenty Sail;

"Humbly sheweth,

"That the Petitioners did lately presume, with all Humility, to send a Petition to your Royal Highness, beseeching that a Convoy may be appointed them to Lisbon, to which they are now bound, and laden with Corn; in Answer to which, you was pleased to direct Her Majesty's Ship Experiment to take your Petitioners (fn. 3) Ships under his Care, as far as he went that Way; for which your Petitioners, as in great Duty they ought to render your Royal Highness and the Right Honourable the Council most humble and hearty Thanks. But for that your Petitioners, with Submission, do most humbly conceive that Concession will not effectually do for their Safety, Her Majesty's Ship not being permitted to go to make the Land for them:

"1705, Portsmouth, 28th July;

They do therefore most humbly beg and implore your Royal Highness, and the Right Honourable the Council, That you would be graciously pleased to order Her Majesty's Ship The Experiment to make the Land for them, and then to lie off, and see them in, before they leave your Petitioners; or else they will all be inevitably exposed to great Danger from the Enemy. Your Petitioners would not have troubled you now for a Convoy, in case Her Majesty's Ship The Lichfield Prize, that brought them hither, would have went directly with them to Plimouth, to have saved the last Convoy; but that Ship, having no Orders to go thither, refused it. Your Petitioners are all laden with Corn, the Preservation of which calls for a speedy Voyage, which they humbly beg your Royal Highness to think of; and they shall, as in great Duty bound, for ever pray.

John Harryngton.
Samuel Riccards.
J. Bamen.
James Hutcheson.
Robert Harbotnett.
William Oliver.
John Jessop.
Tho. Summersett.

(G.) "Remarks on a Passage from Gibraltar to London, in the Ship King William Galley, from Leghorne; (videlicet,)

"March 14th, 1706 / 7, we sailed from Gibraltar, in Company of The Pearle, The Hanover, The Lodington. The same Day, in The Streights Mouth, met and joined The Seahorse and Sunderland: We spoke with each other, and resolved to keep Company.

"March the 31st, in the Lat. of 47d. 09m. betwixt 3 and 4 a Clock in the Afternoon, saw Four Sail bearing betwixt the S°. and S. S. W. about Three Leagues Distance, on our Lee Quarter, standing after us. At Four of the Clock we perceived that Two of them gained of us: At 6 of the Clock, we in Company spake with each other, and agreed to tack the other Way at Eight of the Clock, in order to avoid them; for we supposed them to be Men of War, or large Privateers. Accordingly we tacked, and saw them no more.

"April the 9th, at Five a Clock in the Morning, being foggy Weather, had Sight of Beachy-head, bearing N. E. by E. and E. N. E. Distance about Three Leagues. At ½ an Hour after 5, had Sight of Five Sail of Ships bearing N. Distance about 4 Miles, lying under the Land with a small Sail, the Wind at N. by W. a fresh Gale: Seed Five Sail of Ships, in very little Time bore down on us; and, by reason of the Fog, appeared to us large Ships, as I suppose they did the same to all of our Company, all of us making the best of our Way from them. But we soon perceived what they were; for by Seven of the Clock they took The Lodington, and by Nine took The Sunderland: At Eleven The Seahorse bore more to Leeward, and Two of them bore away after her; then Three of them after us and The Hanover. At 12, One of them came within Shot of us: The Hanover and we then being within Call one of the other, we both fired at him. The Hanover bore more to Leeward; the said Privateer bore after him, and engaged him: I still kept the Wind; and the Two Privateers upon our Weather Quarter, one about a Shot, the other about a Shot and Half, Length from us. Then I cut our Ship's Gunwall down to the Deck in several Places, in Hopes thereby to get from them, which had the desired Effect; after which, they did not gain upon us. They continued their Chace after us, till we were within Two Leagues of Dover Castle: Then we had Sight of a great Ship a head of us, standing in for Dover Road; which, when the Privateer saw her, left off their Chace; otherwise believe they would have followed us into the Road. The said great Ship was a Sweed. At Six in the Evening came to an Anchor in Dover Road, the Wind at N. N. E.; then saw The Pearle standing with Follstone, and anchored there at Seven of the Clock. And I always looked on those that chased us to be Enemies, not having observed any Thing in the Course of the said Voyage that appeared to me to be an English Cruizer, which was to my great Admiration: And I conceive nothing is so discouraging nor disadvantageous to the Nation, than Want of Cruizers in The Channel and the Mouth thereof, when the Enemies cruize there in such great Numbers, that it's very difficult for Ships bound Home to escape them; of which I have had sufficient Reason to believe.

London, the 8th Dec'r, 1707.

"Nehe. Winter."

"1707, Nov'r 22d.

(H.) "Tho. Pipon, Commander The Elizabeth Galley of London, loaded in Faro in Portugal, bound for London.

"In making the best of our Way to get to our desired Port, the Morning we had Sight of Beachy, the Wind N. Westerly, about 10 of the Clock said Morning, we spied Three Sail to the Eastward of us. After having made them, (fn. 4) to apprehend they might be Privateers, though about Six Miles off, we stood from them; but soon after we saw Three more, which was near our Wake. After having tried our Sailing with them, saw we could not get to Windward of them; and the First 3 seen laid to Leeward of us, that we could by no Means escape falling in their Hands, as they so encompassed us; which caused us to run said Ship on Shore, in a Place called East-bourne, on the Coast of Sussex, in Hopes of, being on our Coast, we might find Assistance, either by the People of the Place, or any Great Guns, which might (fn. 4) desended said Ship against the Enemy, if any; but there being none, Two of said Privateers came to Anchor within Pistol-shot of the Ship, and, by their firing on said Ship, forced the Ship's Company to get on Shore in the Boat, after the Defence they could make, and having disabled the Ship by cutting of the Gears and other Things, also put some Fire to some of the Sails; but the Enemy was so near us, and soon on Board, (fn. 4) whom extinguished all; and by the Help of the Water rising, as it was then, they haled her off, and carried her with them.

"The 23th and 24th following, that I was at Eastbourne, I saw 6 and 7 of them cruising off and on, some very near the Shore, shewing often different Colours.

"By Report of most People of that Place, they have been seen off there this 4 or 5 Weeks past, 'most every Day, sometimes to the Number of 16; but generally 8 or 10 of them; and judge to be Ships from 30 to 20 and 12 Guns; which, by their Number, and cruizing in the Narrow of The Channel, it's very difficult for any Ship of a small Defence to avoid falling amongst them, and be at their Command, as there is no good Harbours nor Forts to succour them near that Place; and it being so near the Enemy's Harbours (Dunkirk and Calais, &c.), that there is no Hopes of re-buying or ransoming Ships from them, without it be to more than the real Value; which causes Ship's Company to be altogether for saving their Liberty on Shore, when they can, to avoid a long Imprisonment in France, seeing so few of our English Cruizers in The Channel to intercept said Privateers and their Prizes, which cause a great Loss to Merchants, as also to Sea-faring Men.

2d December, 1707.

"Tho. Pipon."

(I.) "In my Homeward Voyage from St. Ubal to London, in the Ketch Concord, George Guillaume Master.

"1707, Nov'r 16th. Sunday, 16th of Nov'r, by contrary Winds, I came into Falmouth Harbour, at Nine a Clock in the Morning.

"17th, Monday, at Eight in the Morning, we did see Three French Privateers, from 16 to 20 Guns, which did take a Dutchman within Three Miles of Pendennis Castle.

"Thursday, 20th D°. at Four in the Afternoon, I came out of Falmouth, having the Wind at West N. West.

21th, Friday, at Ten in the Morning, I made Portland: It was very foggy, the Wind N. W. At Three in the Afternoon the Weather cleared up; and then I did see Two Vessels, which chased me close into the Bay called Fresh-water Bay, upon the Coast of the Isle of Wight; but, Night coming, and the Weather proving very black, I escaped between the Land and said Ships.

"22th, Saturday, at Five in the Morning, I made Beachy-head; at Six I was a-breast of it: At Seven, as soon as Day, I saw first One Privateer under my Lee, and then I luffed up, the Wind being N. W. for the Land; and then I saw Two at my Stern, 3 at my Lee, and 2 a-breast of me, they being 7; which made me resolve to run my Vessel on Shore. But those at my Stern seeing I was very near the Land, they tacked, and hawled up their Main and Fore Sail, and put English Colours. When I saw it, I would not run ashore, but stopped to see what they would do: But, One Hour afterwards, One of those astern did put all his Sails out, and came upon me; and then I grounded my Vessel. At Ten a Clock, the Tide having ebbed 3 Hours, or Half Ebb, before I did go on Shore, I disabled my Vessel, by cutting the Main-stay; 2 Anchors I cut, because they should not tow her off. I did cut some of her Rigging; and then went on Shore at a Place called Pevensey, on the Coast of Sussex, where there came several Men to see me, but none had Arms, and my Vessel was within Half-musket Shot from the Beach; therefore I did go to the Village, at Pevensey, to get Assistance, in which they were very forward to come; and after we had ex changed several Shots from those on Board The Ketch, the Privateer came to an Anchor, and fired her Cannon upon us, which Shot went above One Half Mile in the Country. Had there been any great Guns, only One or Two, we might have saved our Vessel, for it was above Five Hours before it was afloat.

"23d November, Sunday, all the Day we did see them, only Six.

"24th, Monday, all this Day we did see them between Beachy-head and The Ness.

"25th, Tuesday, I came away for London by Land.

"In my Passage, I did not see any of our English Men of War.

"One of my Anchors the French did weigh it, there being a Buoy-rope, and a Buoy upon it; but the other having none, they could not have it; but it came dry at Low-water, and it was brought on Shore, and the Lord of the Manor seized on it, and (fn. 5) send me Word that it did all belong unto him; and therefore I could not get any Thing of what I thought by all Reason was mine.

2d Dec. 1707.

"George Guillaume."

(K.) "To the Right Honourable their Lordships of the Honourable Committee of the House of Lords.

"The Representation of William Coward, of the great Losses by himself and others, Merchants, sustained by the ill Management of the Admiralty; the tyrannical, barbarous, arbitrary Proceedings of the Captains of the Queen's Ships of War in The West Indies, particularly Jamaica; as also at Return of Ships into Ports of Great Britain; impressing away our Seamen, to the Loss of our Ships and Merchandize, destructive to Trade and Navigation.

"My Lords,

"That the Management of our Admiralty may be regulated, Captains of the Queen's Ships of War their Power, impressing our Seamen, insulting our Commanders, taken from them: This, and all Things else relating thereto, humbly submitted to your Lordships great Wisdom, to concert such Measures, that the Queen's Subjects may trade securely, and be thereby enabled to pay their Customs and Taxes with great Chearfulness.

"My Lords,

"What I shall offer in this Paper is contained under Three Heads:

"1st. Our Delay of Convoys, both at Home and Abroad.

"2dly. Want of Cruizers in our own Channel and Soundings.

"3dly. Our barbarous Treatment Abroad and at our Return Home, by Captains of the Queen's Ships of War impressing our Seamen.

"The Management of our Admiralty for Years past hath been with Delays as to our Convoys, from Month to Month, beyond the Time of their Appointment, to our exceeding great Loss and Damage, in going late to our Ports in The West Indies, and so returning Winter Ships, and many thereby in Storms lost: More particularly,

"I do hereby declare, That, about the Beginning of October 1706, Samuel Jones and myself let to Freight several Ships to the Commissioners of the Victualingoffice, to carry Provisions in the Queen's Service directly to Jamaica, bound by Charter-party to be at The Nore by the 15th November following, under Penalty of losing Five Shillings per Ton Freight on any Neglect therein. The Ships was ready accordingly; but, notwithstanding this Contract, and they told the Convoys waited for them, contrary thereto, the Ships was detained for the Convoy, though a fair Wind, and carried from Place to Place, from The Downes to Portsmouth, thence to Plimouth, thence to Ireland, and detained there till 17th March 1706, thence to Barbadoes, Antego, St. Christopher's, laying at each Place, so that arrived not at Jamaica till about the 3d of June, whereby our Voyage is ruined, and our Ships have only the Advice of the Arrival of in Ireland. And I further declare, That as several others did, in February last, let to Freight to the Commissioners of the Victualing-office; so I also, the Eleventh Day of the same Month, let to Freight for Lisbon, in the Queen's Service, The Walthamstow Galley, Peter Roberts Master, to be by Charter-party at The Nore by the First of March following, under Penalty of the Loss of Five Shillings per Ton in the Freight on any Neglect therein; notwithstanding, was detained till the latter End of August before sailed clear from England. Thus it is at Home.

"In Jamaica, Captain Kerr, as Letters advice, appointed to sail thence the First of August; Ships ready, and they wait for that Convoy till 26th August; and the whole Convoy, Three Ships of War and a Fireship, leaves all the Merchant Ships.

"As to Want of Cruizers in our Channel and Soundings, there is a List of Eleven Hundred and odd Sail taken, and given in to the House of Commons; to which refer; only believe that is far short of the Whole; particularly, myself lost The Devonshire Galley near The Land's End of England from Barbadoes, wherein my Loss was about £.800.

"The barbarous Treatment our Commanders meet with, from Captains, &c. of the Queen's Ships of War, I give some few Instances of many, as followeth:

"The Gould Friggot, about 250 Tons, Josiah Dowell Master, arriving in Jamaica, September 25, 1703, going to wait on the Governor; while absent, Captain Duglos, in The Norwich, sent his Lieutenant, and impressed Five of the best of his Seamen. Josiah Dowell the next Day waited on Captain Duglos, and shewed him his Protection. The said Duglos told him, "He had 25 Seamen, and his Orders from the Admiralty was, to press One out of every Fifth Man." The said Dowell acquainted him, "Some of his Men was sick, and he must be forced to hire Men to unload his Ship;" but this would not prevail. Some Time after, the Lieutenant came aboard, and told Dowel, " Captain Duglos sent him to demand the Seamens Wages that were impressed:" Which he refusing to pay; the Lieutenant threatened "he would stop his Ship; and that, if he would, he could take away all his Men." After this, Josiah Dowell applied himself again to Captain Duglos; told him, "he wanted his Seamen to sail his Ship, and was afraid he must lay at Jamaica for Want of Men; telling him, Men demanded 25 and £.30. per Man for their Run Home;" but he could prevail for no more than One Seaman: This Ac count Josiah Dowell for Substance gives me under his Hand: Arriving at Plimouth, his Seamen was impressed again. This impressing my Seamen at Jamaica and England, with the Delay of my Ship, and extraordinary Charges, and not loaden according to Agreement, from the Discouragement of Want of Hands to sail my Ship, was, as I compute, near a Thousand Pounds Loss to me in the Voyage.

In a Second Voyage, by the same Ship, Daniel Bright Master, in Jamaica, November 1705, had several of his Men impressed, which forced him to hire at an extravagant Rate on the Run Home; and to sail the said Ship, to take aboard French Prisoners. After all this Hardship, arriving at Plimouth April 5th 1706, Daniel Bright writes these Lines; "Since arrived here, have been barbarously used by Mr. Saunders, a Midshipman belonging to The Orford, with other Press-gangs, hath taken all my Men, and have left none aboard in their Room; they have spared only my Two Mates, Carpenter, Steward, and Two Boys; that your Ship now lies in Danger, &c." Further writes, "that at Plimouth, Portsmouth, nor The Downes, though he applied himself to the Queen's Men of War, he could get no Men to help sail his Ship for London; but got Ten Men from a Dutch Man of War from Plimouth to Gravesend, whose Civility he rewarded, preserving the said Gould Frigot; which Charge to me was very considerable."

The Roundburst Galley, about 240 Tons, John Sampson Master, arrived in Jamaica about July 1704: Five of his Seamen was impressed, I believe all aboard The Nonsuch Man of War, Captain Boys. This was such a Damage to the Ship, as to me appears that the Master, though fully and richly loaden, could not sail in Company with another Ship of Force that safe arrived at London (though had his Orders to sail as soon as so loaded, Convoy not presenting); being detained, soon after died, to my great Loss: in his Room, Henry Norman, Chief Mate, became Master; great Confusion was aboard among the Men; but, through Persuasion, a Convoy offering to see them The Windward Passage, they put to Sea; but before clear of the Island of Jamaica, the upper Works of the Ship, by long lying, proving a little leaky, the Seamen would not keep the Sea, but forced the Master to put into Port Morant, and declared, "they would not go to Sea without more Seamen." Upon which, the Master dispatches away the Boatswain, Joseph Wilkinson, to my Factor Mr. Nicholas Loft, to see to get more Men (which was a very great Charge to me); which with great Difficulty and Charge Four was procured; Two of my own Five that was impressed Captain Boys let me have; for which Mr. Lost charges a Pipe of Wine, Twenty-five Pounds, given Captain Boys: After these Men was carried from Port Royal to Port Morant, my Ship put to Sea, and in her Passage was lost in The Gulph of Florida; which Loss to me, in Ship and Goods, I compute to be about Two Thousand Five Hundred Pounds, besides the Loss of several Merchants in her Loading. Had my Seamen not been impressed, my Ship might have sailed, as the Master's Orders was, and arrived as another Ship did from the same Port.

"The Somersett Friggot, about 250 Tons, John Wickstead Master, about the latter End of April, or Beginning of May, 1705, arriving at Barbadoes, lost several of his Men there; arriving from thence at Plimouth, August 9th 1705, by Captain Johnson of The Valieur Man of War, had Five of his best Seamen impressed, and none returned in their Room; and August the 10th, the next Night, in a violent Storm, the said Ship and Cargoe was lost: Compute my Ship and Goods near Two Thousand Pounds Loss to myself, besides other Merchants Loss in their Goods.

"The Walthamstow Galley, Peter Roberts Master, arriving from Barbados the same Time, notwithstanding what Men had been impressed at Barbadoes, and his Hands aboard but few, as Nine Men and Two Boys with himself, and but One Anchor aboard, Captain Roach, of The Fox, impressed Three of his best Men and the Boatswain; the Master requesting he would not take away his Seamen, telling him, "he had but One Anchor aboard; and it were a great Damage, or the like, to take away his Men." The said Captain Roach told him, "That, if he was sawcy, he would take him and all his Ship's Company, and carry them aboard his Ship, and would whip him, the said Master, at the Geers." The said Captain Roach sent only Three Italians, in the Room of Three Men impressed, that could not speak English; that, on the 10th August, in the Night, when the violent Storm increased, the Three Italians ran away with the Ship's Boat, which was thereby staved, and the Ship run a-shore) and laid a-shore as per Letter, about Thirteen Days, as I remember); and compute the Damage to myself about Four or Five Hundred Pounds, besides Damage to the Goods of Merchants. The Master Peter Roberts protesting at Plimouth; and having that by me, to shew your Lordships, if required; refer thereto.

December 2d, 1707.

"Wm. Coward."

(L.) "To the Right Honourable the Lords Committees appointed to take into Consideration the Petition of several Merchants, &c.

"In Obedience to your Lordships Order of the 5th of December, we humbly represent,

"That, in May 1705, sailed from The Downes for Virginia a Fleet of Merchants Ships, about 60 Sail, under the Convoy of The Kingston and Faulkland.

"These Two Men of War was to leave the said Ships in Virginia, and bring back such as were then ready, from Virginia, which they did.

"In October 1705, there sailed a small Body of Ships for Virginia, under the Convoy of The Woolwich and Advice, who were ordered to stay there until reinforced from England with others, which we were promised should sail the First fair Wind in January following; (videlicet,) The Greenwich and Hazardous; but they sailed not from England till May 1706; by which Delay, they made it August before they reached Virginia; at which Time greatest Part of the Fleet had been near 16 Months in their Voyage before the Men of War arrived there to bring them Home, by which they lost their whole Freight, it being expended in Wages, Victuals, and other incident Charges, by the Length of the Voyage.

"This was not the only Evil that accrued; for, by their lying there almost Two Summers, the Worm, which always eats in the Summer Months in those Parts, had very much prejudiced many of their Bottoms; and, to complete the Misfortune, they were forced to make a Winter Passage Home, between the Middle of September to the Middle of November, which, by the Badness of the Weather, &c. Sixteen or more Ships foundered, and sunk in the Sea, and about 8000 Hogsheads of Tobacco with them; and besides several taken, with above 2000 Hogsheads more, and carried to France; sundry others forced back to America; and since returning without Convoy, several were lost belonging to the Port of London, and not heard of, as by a Schedule annexed: By this Loss, the Public Revenue suffered more than £. 150,000, besides the Loss to the Private concerned, which was very great.

"The Lords Commissioners for Trade, last Winter, represented, "That it was necessary that a Convoy should go in the Spring to Virginia, to fetch such Ships as should be there, and to stay Twenty Days after their Arrival, the better to collect them together." There was then a great Body of Ships, which had taken Stores, &c. for Account of Her Majesty for Lisbon, and went thence to Virginia, and others from London directly; many of which, in September last, remained under Embargo in Virginia, expecting these Ships of War, and will now be obliged to come Home in the Winter Season without Convoy.

"For some Years past, no Frigate hath been appointed to take Care of that Coast; for Want of which, many Ships have been taken by the French, going in and coming out.

"In last Spring, Her Majesty, in Council, ordered a Convoy to be ready in August for Virginia; who yet remain at Portsmouth, by which we shall be forced to lie all the Summer in Virginia, and come Home again in the Winter, whereby, it is doubted, our Loss and Damage will be great, as well as the Revenue suffer much; and there being greater Quantities of the Coarse Woollen Manufactures of this Kingdom on Board this Fleet, for the Winter Cloathing of that Country, than hath been usually sent to those Parts, which now cannot arrive till their Winter is over, will put those People on Manufactures, which many there, by Necessity, have already fallen into; the Consequences of which is submitted to your Lordships.

"We therefore humbly offer to your Lordships,

"That the Coast of Virginia may be guarded.

"That proper Convoys may be appointed; and no Way delayed or diverted, on any Pretence or Application whatsoever (the Merchants having due Notice.)

"That the Protections of his Royal Highness may stand in Force, till such Time as the Ships are secured in the proper Ports of their Discharge.

December 8th, 1707.

"Micajah Perry,
John Hyde,
Richard Perry,
Tho. Corbin."

A List of Merchant Ships, that were taken or foundered in their Homeward-bound Passage from Virginia, under Convoy of Her Majesty's Ships Greenwich, Hazardous, Woolwich, and Advice, Anno 1706, belonging to the Port of London.

"Foundered, or not heard of.
"Ships Names. Masters Names. Burthen.
Richard and Sarab, Edmond Forrest, 750 Hogsheads.
Anne, Anthony Piper, 400
Young Mary, Stephen Robins, 500
Jona, and Mary, Tho. Carpenter, 800
Panther, Tho. Cleeves, 600
Gloucester, Edw'd Ellis, 780
Cuthbert and Spranger, John Lost, 520
Mary, John Brooks, 730
Robert and Samuel, Luke Knott, 650
Exeter Merchant, John Wilcox, 550
Tho. Riddle, 400
George Pinke, John Watts, 250
Dublin Merchant, Bromley, 300
Gosport Merchant, Richard Newton, 400
Mocjack Adventurer, 80
Gloster Brigantine, 80
Clifter, 100
York Merchant Sloop, 87
7,977 Hogsheads of Tobacco.
Taken.
Ships Names. Masters Names. Burthen.
Richard and Margaret, Daniel Watts, 600 Hogsheads.
Constant Abigal, John Vanbrugh, 100
Sarah and Mary, Tho. Richardson, 730
Eliza. and Mary, Tho. Stringer, 600
2030

Mercurii, 7 die Aprilis, 1708.

Hitherto examined by us,
Sunderland.
Herbert.
Somers.
Halifax.

"(M.) A List of the Names of what Ships have entered at the Custom-house at London, bound from Leghorne, from September 30th, 1703, to September 30th 1704, both inclusive.

1 Levant Gally, Mathew Thomas, 1703, September 30
2 King William Gally, Wm. Gibbs, October 20
3 Terra Nova Merchant, Daniel Slade, 22
4 Golden Star, John White, 22
5 Queen, Edward Slater, November 15
6 Queen Anne, Stephen Buxton, 16
7 Faulcon, Richard Stratton, 16
8 Dove, John Bickford, 23
9 Tuscan Gally, Thomas Pannwell, December 9
10 Eagle Gally, Wm. Underwood, 22
11 Mediterranian Gally, John Bacon, February 8
12 Faulcon Gally, Robert Slowly, 14
13 Golden Lyon, John Hartnoll, 15
14 Antelope, Wm. Deacon, 1704, April 15
15 Seahorse, Samuel Jones, 20
16 Rising Eagle, Leonard Moucher, May 31
17 Norton Gally, Robert Wall, 31
18 Littleton Gally, John Lowther, 31
19 Levant Gally, Mathew Thomas, June 13
20 Queen, Edward Slather, 13
21 George, Richard Arding, 13
22 Biscay Merchant, Edward Rudder, 14
23 Severne Gally, John Thomas, 14
24 Aylmer Friggot, Phillip Gammon, 14
25 Sarah, Mathew Hutchings, 14
26 Popley Friggot, John Penington, 16
27 Verity, Samuel Clerke, 16
28 Martha, Ambrose Lawrence, 16
29 Dorothy, Quintin Hambleton, 17
30 Thomas and Samuel, Leonard Bower, 1704, June 19
31 Glover Gally, George Wells, 19
32 Mead Gally, John Tanner, 19
33 Eagle Gally, Isaac Street, 19
34 John and Lawrence, Wm. Ragget, July 12
35 Queen Anne, Stephen Buxton, August 8
36 Tuscan Galley, Thomas Pannwell, 8
37 Jacob Gally, John Clarvett, 8
38 Portugal Merchant, Thomas Cowch, 10
39 Marseilles Merchant, Geo. Pitts, 30
"Continued from October 1st 1704, inclusive.
40 Oriana, William Oulder, October 3
41 Dove, James Newton, 3
42 St. Michael, Thomas Culliford, 4
43 Providence, John Keeler, 4
44 Sea Horse, Samuel Jones, 26
45 Antelope, William Deacon, 27
46 Faulcon Gally, Robert Slowly, November 16
47 Swallow Gally, John Werry, December 8
48 Volant Gally, John Pitts, 8
49 Blossom Gally, Robert Williams, January 9
50 Tuscan Gally, Thomas Pannwell, 9
51 Pembroke Gally, John Denn, 9
52 Rumbo Gally, John Hayes, 9
53 Norton Gally, John Wall, 9
54 Pearl Gally, Thomas Thompson, February 12
55 London Gally, Bartol. Browne, 13
56 Houblon Gally, Quintin Hambleton, 13
57 Queen Gally, Edward Slater, 13
58 Golden Star, John Christmas, 13
59 Rising Eagle, Leonard Moucher, 14
60 Russel Gally, John Holman, 14
61 Elizabeth and Catherine, John Hely, 1704, February 15
62 Leonora Gally, Tho. Hodges, 28
63 Greyhound, Richard Stratton, March 6
64 Levant Gally, Mathew Thomas, 1705, April 13
65 Crispin, Ezekiel Nicholls, 14
66 Augustus Gally, Sam'l Everton, 24
67 Jacob Gally, John Clarvett, 24
68 Real Gally, Nathan'l Long, 24
69 Admiralty Gally, Robert Delbrydg, 24
70 Neptune Gally, John Bickford, 24
71 John and Lawrence, William Raggett, May 5
72 Rye Galley, James Brooke, 7
73 Royal Consort, James Crispin, 8
74 Mediterranian Gally, John Bacon, June 12
75 Blackmore Gally, Andrew Elton, 12
76 Tercera Gally, Mathew Steekdale, 12
77 Envious Galley, Francis Whiteroe, 12
78 Fleet Galley, Edw'd Fleete, 12
79 Volant Gally, John Pitt, 12
80 Banstead Gally, George Morris, 18
81 Cornwall Gally, Arnold Wintle, 27
82 Bembow, Richard How, July 2
83 European, Peter Wale, 3
84 Jubilee, Thomas Maysmore, 4
85 Tyger, John Ruston, 4
86 Betty, Nehemiah Wotton, 5
87 Swallow Gally, John Werry, 27
88 Faulcon Gally, Robert Slowly, August 3
89 Tuscan Gally, Thomas Pannwell, 9
90 Little Swallow, John Evans, 14
91 Norton Gally, John Wall, September 4
"Edw'd Gould."

"The Substance of what was, on the 2d of December, 1707, deposed before the Committee of the House of Lords, by Edward Gould, of London, Merchant.

"That, Two Sessions ago, it had been proved before the Honourable the House of Commons, That, besides the Turkey Trade, and the Trade from several other Places in The Mediterranean, the Customs of Leghorne, Venice, and Genoua, did amount to about Three Hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling per Annum.

"That the Annual Exports of Leghorne alone consisted of about 200,000 Pieces of Woollen Manufactory, of several Sorts.

"20,000 Great Pigs of Lead of all Sorts.

"3000 Barrels of Tin.

"5000 Bags of Pepper, besides great Quantities of Calicoes, &c.

"4000 Packs of Russia Hides, in Exchange of our Woollen Manufactories and Tobacco sold in Russia.

"3000 Packs of British Tanned Leather and Calves Skins.

"30,000 Barrels of Herrings, taken near Yarmouth, Lastoff, Dover, and in Bristol Channel and Wales, and North Britain.

"6000 Hogsheads of Pilchards, taken near Cornwall.

"26,000 Quintals of Newfoundland Fish, which Trade is a Nursery to Seamen.

"2500 Barrels of Salmon, of Great Britain and Ireland.

"10,000 Dozen of Woollen and Worsted Stockings.

"2000 Hogsheads of Plantation Sugars.

"1000 Tun of Logwood and Braziletta-wood, besides vast Quantities of other East and West India Goods.

"That the Mediterranian Trade in general was, in the Reigns of the late King William and Queen Mary, and since, in our present reigning Glorious Queen Anne, whilst our Channel was better guarded (till of late) carried on in nimble Gallies, with very great Success, without putting the Government to any Charge of Convoys.

"And in particular the Livorno Trade alone, as per a List of Names in my Hands, to lay before your Lordships, of what Ships entered at the Customhouse at London, bound from Leghorne, from September 1703 to September 30th 1704, continued from October 1704, inclusive, amount to no less than Ninety-one Sail of Gallies, arrived safe without Convoy, when the Narrow Seas were better guarded.

"That many rich Ships have been taken in our Channel of late Years. For Instance:

"The Mazareen Gally, from Turkey, worth about Eighty Thousand Pounds Sterling, was taken near Scilly.

The Mediterranian Gally, from Zant, was taken off Beachy-head.

"The St. George Gally and Royal Anne Galley were both taken in The Channel, where the latter had made Boards for about 15 Days together, without seeing any Cruizers to help her.

"The Trumball Galley, rich in Money, &c. was taken near The Downes, or near The Queen's Chamber.

"And, my Lords, without troubling your Honours with the rest of the Names of the Ships (contained in the grand List of 1160), which have been taken in The Channel, crave Leave, with humble Submission, that as I have read to your Honours the Paragraghs of the Italian Letters, reflecting on the Multitude of the Captures taken (with and without Convoy), and of our single Ships and Gallies returning Home from The Mediterranian and all other Parts of the World, and of their being taken entering the Doors of our own Home;

"That I may read a Paragraph of a Letter from Plimouth, dated the 18th November 1707, as follows:

"I have nothing of News to write. We hear nothing of the Cruizing Squadron since they went out; but the French Privateers are so bold as to cruize in our very Mouth; and about Four Days since, Two of them chased a Dutchman from Mountsbay into our very Harbour within Pentee, where there was a sharp Dispute, and some Scores of Guns fired. There was then between the Island and Main the Three Welch Convoys; but neither of them stirred, having no Orders; however, the Dutchman preserved the Ship. But it is enough, and too much, on so melancholy a Subject; and therefore I conclude, &c.

"My Lords, this Paragraph, with Submission, is worth your Consideration; and, by all which appears to your Honours, whether the Mediterranian Trade deserves Protection and Encouragement, and how much Reason (even Strangers) think the Merchants of London have, to complain for Want of Cruizers in The Channel?

"May it please your Honours, with most profound Respect, I am,

"Your Honours most dutiful,

"Most obedient, and most humble Servant,

London, the 8 Dec'r 1707.

"Edward Gould."

"The Observations of Edward Gould Merchant, in relation to our ill Successes at Sea.

"Before I deliver in my Narrative (of what I said to your Lordships on Tuesday last, the Second of this present Month of December 1707) to this Honourable Committee; I crave Leave to prove the Ground of my affirming, that, by the original Constitution of these Parts, this Kingdom of Great Britain, called England, hath established the Customs for the Defence and Support of the Merchants Trade; and I prove it by an Act of Parliament, made A° 12° Caroli Secundi Regis, intituled, "A Subsidy granted to the King, of Tonnage and Poundage, and other Sums of Money, payable upon Merchandize exported and imported;" the End and Design of granting which Subsidy is expressed in the Beginning, as follows:

"The Commons in Parliament assembled, reposing Trust and Considence in Your Majesty, in and for the guarding and defending of the Seas, against all Persons intending, or that shall intend, the Disturbance of Your said Commons in the Intercourse of Trade, and the invading of this Your Realm; for the better defraying the necessary Expence thereof, which cannot otherwise be effected without great Charge to Your Majesty, &c.

"So that, my Lords, by this Preamble to the Act, it appears, the true Intent and Meaning thereof is, for the Defence of Trade, One of the chief Bulwarks of this Nation of Great Britain. How it hath been pursued of late, your Lordships may judge; to whom we the deplorable suffering Merchants do appeal, and depend on for Redress; confiding, by the just Measures your Lordships take in examining into the Causes of our Disasters, that you will provide for our future Safety.

"The Misery and Greatness of our Losses do not only appear by the melancholy List of Ships taken in a few late Years, occasioned by Want of Protection of Cruizers, &c. (which is evident by our Proofs); but are as manifest as the Sun at Noon-day to your Lordships Knowledge, as well as the whole Kingdom; so that, were it not to comply with the Forms of Justice, the Merchants might have excused troubling the Houses of Lords and Commons with their Petitions, and proving their Allegations, as we hope we have done to your Lordships entire Satisfaction.

"The Book of Selden's, called Mare Clausum, hath been verified of late in a contrary Sense; for, instead of maintaining the Sovereignty of the British and Narrow Seas, to the Glory and Reputation of the Government, it hath been prostituted to the French Men of War and Privateers, that have preyed at Pleasure on our Men of War and Merchant Ships, which have been locked and shut out of our Ports by them in these Home Seas, to the Merchants unspeakable Loss, and England's great Dishonour. And, my Lords, you may please to remember, I acquainted your Lordships with Reflections in my Letters, from our Neutral Friends, which I have collected since I was here; (videlicet,)

"From Livorno, the 12th September 1707.

"The Affairs of the Allies, this Campaign, have gone very untowardly, and in particular of our Nation. We have this Day Advice from Holland, that Fourbin had taken and destroyed 16 or 17 of our Russia Convoy. When we found that the News of his having been encountred by Whetstone vanished, we all along since dreaded that he would give us some Blow.

"Seeing the Enemies fall in with so many of our Convoys, we begin to suspect there may be some Traitors amongst us."

"Livorno, the 14th November 1707.

"SIR,

"We have received yours of the 30th September; whereby we observe, what you advise concerning the Squadron of French Men of War, that it was thought were designed for New Spain, to accompany the Galleons; how, that One came from Carthagena says, there was no News of them; so it was suspected they were gone to take Possession of Lima, which pray God avert; for, if they should do that, it is to be doubted, they would not only ruin Spain, but all Europe; and very probably they may be gone thither, seeing they know the Way so well by their constant Trade thither for several Years past.

"We have a lamentable Account of The (fn. 6) Lixa Horse Convoy, &c. that have been met with; by which we observe, there has been strange Management in our Maritime Affairs, that we must suffer so much, and so near Home."

"If what be written, my Lords, in this Paper, should give your Lordships any the least Displeasure; I hope, you will pardon the Well-meaning of a suffering Merchant, who, for his Apology, pleads, that Losers may have Leave to speak, and would not be wanting in his Duty to the Government, in giving Warning of the Danger of the Loss and Ruin of our Trade, if we are not encouraged and protected in it. And we the Merchants do hope, your Lordships will, according to your accustomed Wisdom and Goodness, save us from sinking into Despair, although disheartened at present; and, by your prudent Counsels, retrieve the Honour and Glory of Great Britain, that is now sullied by our Misfortunes.

"And we shall ever pray for (fn. 7) your Lordships Prosperity.

"Edward Gould."

(N.) "William Dawsonne, of London, Merchant, having been this Day sworn at the Bar of the Honourable the House of Lords, faith,

"That he, as a Committee-man of the Muscovia Company, being summoned to attend their Governor to the Admiralty-board, on Tuesday the 29th of April last, in the Forenoon, to know what Convoy was appointed to conduct their Ships to Arch-Angel; they were told, "One Fourth and Two Fifth Rates would be their Convoy." And when the Committee represented their Fears of Danger from the Dunkirk Squadron, they were told from the Board, "They need be under no Apprehension on that Score, for the Dunkirk Squadron were gone to the Westward." On Thursday, The Hampton Court, Graston, and Royal Oake, &c. failed out of The Downes and fell in with the Dunkirk Squadron on Friday the 2d of May.

"And being interrogated, "If he could give their Lordships any Account of the Losses and Disappointments that have lately happened to the Fleets of the Muscovia Company;" he further faith,

"That the said Company did, on Wednesday last, the 26th of November, lay before the Council, at the Admiralty Board, an humble Representation of their Case, in Substance as follows.

"That this Honourable Board having been acquainted, "That the large Fleet, designed for Arch-Angel last Year, laden with great Quantities of the Manufactures and other Product of this Kingdom, and intended back with Naval Stores, as well for the public as the common Service of the Trade, was, to the great Detriment both of Merchants and Owners, wholly prevented in their Voyage, occasioned, as they conceive, by Sir Edw'd Whitaker's not proceeding, as was proposed, to the Latitude of 63 Degrees."

"They had Hopes, after such a Miscarriage, so much to their Loss, they should not have had fresh Cause of Complaint this Year; which they humbly conceive they have, for the following Reasons; (videlicet,)

"1st, That they are informed, Admiral Whetstone, off of Aberdeen, by a Frigate sent in there, had Intelligence, That 7 or 8 of the Enemy's Ships of War were ahead of him."

"2. That, when the Wind was very fair, the Fleet, consisting of near 80 Sail of Merchants Ships, to proceed on their Voyage in the direct Way, he, to the general Surprize of all the Masters, without any Consultation that they know of, altered his Course, and carried them between the Isles of Orkney and Shotland, subject to very uncertain Tides and Currents: And though, by good Fortune, none of the Men of War or Merchants Ships miscarried; yet, by the Account of several of the Masters, their Ships were in great Danger of running upon the Island of Fulow, and were only happily saved by the sudden clearing up of a Fog.

"3. That he left the Fleet, soon after he was passed Shotland, in the Latitude of 61 Degrees and an Half; though, as they were informed, his Orders were, to proceed to the Latitude of 63; and it is presumed further, if there was apparent Danger from the Enemy.

"4. That, if Admiral Whetstone had proceeded the fair Way, with his Fourteen Men of War, it is the Opinion of the Masters of the Merchant Men, he had fallen in with the French, and destroyed them; whereby the great Losses sustained at and off Kildine (not to mention what afterwards happened to the late Lisbon Convoy) had been prevented; and in this they are confirmed, by the Account the Master of The Herbert Gally gave to his Owners, upon his Arrival at Yarmouth, the 17th of June last, (videlicet,) "That, on the Tenth of the same Month, he saw off of Shotland Seven French Men of War, One of which, of 50 Guns, got within a Mile of him."

"5. That, whilst the Fleet, in their Return Home, lay in Shotland, a Dogger was sent out for Intelligence, who discovered 6 Ships, and made as near to them as he could, not to be surprized; but, for Want, as they conceive, of previous concerted Signals, they made none, although the said Company had humbly desired it; because, in a former Voyage, for Want thereof, the Cruizers detached to strengthen the then Convoy, were taken for Enemies, and in the Consternation a great many Ships separated, many whereof were either taken or lost.

"6. That the Misrepresentation of their Loss off of Kildine, in The Gazette of the 14th of August last, from the Admiralty-office, was very prejudicial to them, with respect to their Insurance; and they cannot but think it was very hard Usage, after the great Misfortune that befel them; And as it is said to come from a very good Hand, they are ready to confront him, to shew the Ignorance, Malice, and Falsity of that Advice.

"The Truth of which Charge was endeavoured to be made good, by the said Wm. Dawsonne, before this Honourable Committee, to whom the whole is humbly submitted.

Westm'r Dec. 2d, 1707.

"Wm. Dawsonne."

(O.) "In Obedience to your Lordships Commands, I humbly presume to lay before you an Account of the several Ways, by which, I apprehend, our exceeding great Losses have be fallen us; which I have collected from the Accounts that will be given in to your Lordships, by the several Gentlemen whose Names are in the Margin; and find, that our Misfortunes have arisen,

"First, From the Insufficiency of Convoys that have been appointed for us, whereby our Ships have become a Prey to the superior Force of the Enemy; which will appear from the following Instances.

"Proved by the Persons following:
Mr. Wm. Wood.
1st, In June 1706, a Fleet of Ships, under Convoy of The Gosport, bound for The West Indies, were attacked in The Soundings; and the Man of War and 8 or 9 of the Merchant Ships taken.
2dly, The Lisbon Fleet, or Store Ships, under Convoy of The Swiftsure and Warspright, were attacked in March 1706 / 7, and about 14 Merchant Ships taken, in The Soundings.
3dly, The Newfoundland Fleet was attacked in April, under Convoy of The Faulkland and Medway's Prize, and some of them taken.
Gazette of Thursday, the 8th of May, 1707. 4thly, The Hampton Court, Royal Oake, and Grafton, failed out of The Downes the 1st of May last; and the next Day was attacked in The Channel; and The Hampton Court and Grafton, with about 20 Merchant Ships, were taken by the Dunkirk Squadron.
M. Dawson. 5thly, The Russia Ships, outward bound this Year, were likewise attacked by the Dunkirke Squadron, and 16 taken; a particular Account whereof has been laid before the Prince's Council.
Gazette of 3d November, 1707. 6thly, The Convoy, with the King of Portugal's Horses and other Merchant Ships, attacked the 10th of October last, by The Dunkirke and Brest Squadrons joined together; who burnt One of the War, and took 3 others, with about 30 Merchant Ships.
"Which, being Six several Convoys that have been attacked in The Soundings and Channel in less than a Year and a Half, manifestly shewed their Insufficiency.
"Secondly, From the long Delays of Convoys, which has been extremely prejudicial to the Owners of those Ships that have been detained for Want thereof, by the great Expence of Seamens Wages, Victuals, Damage of the Goods, and Loss of the Market.
Mr. Way.
Mr. Whitechurch.
1st, The Jamaica Merchants were appointed to get their Ships ready to depart the 20th January 1705 / 6; but the Convoy, notwithstanding Application made, did not fail till the May following, which was the wrong Season of the Year.
Captain Jones.
Mr. Jacob Henckell.
2dly, The Lisbon Merchants had a Promise of another Convoy soon after 25th March 1706; but none failed, notwithstanding frequent Application made to the Admiralty, till the 18th October following; by which long Delay, the Woollen Manufactory, that were in the same Ships, were subject to Spoil by the Heat of the Corn.
Captain Topsham.
Mr. Way.
3dly, There was a great Number of Merchant Ships and Coasters detained at Portsmouth between 4 and 5 Months, for Want of Convoys to The Downes, notwithstanding divers Applications by Petitions from thence, and from the Merchants concerned here; in which Time many of Her Majesty's Ships were at Portsmouth; some of which, it's humbly presumed, might have been ordered to see those Ships to The Downes, which is not above 16 Hours Sail with a fair Wind, which would have been a great Service to Trade.
"Thirdly, From the untimely Departure of Convoys to The West Indies, whereby the following Misfortunes have happened.
Mr. Way.
Mr. Whitechurch.
Captain Jones.
1st, They generally arrive there in the hot, sultry, and rainy Seasons, which are almost always sickly, and frequently occasions a Mortality amongst the Seamen; the Consequence of which is, either the total Loss of their Voyages (those of their Men which survive not being enough to bring Home their Ships); or else they are put to vast Charges, to buy Men to come Home with, rather than stay there all the Year; or,
2dly, They are dispatched thence towards the End of the Summer, which causes their coming Home in the Winter Season, when they most commonly meet with stormy, hazy, and foggy Weather, which often is the Occasion of their Separation, of which many Instances might be given; but it will suffice to give One, which is, that of the Jamaica Ships lately departed thence, under Convoy of Commodore Kerr, with Two other Men of War and a Fire-ship; which Men of War and Fire-ship are all arrived; but there is yet no Account of the Arrival of more than Two in England, and 3 or 4 in Ireland, that we know of; the rest, 'tis feared, will run great Danger of being picked up by the French Privateers.
"Fourthly, From the great Want of Cruizers in The Soundings and Channel, whereby not only very many of the Ships, which have been separated from their Convoys in bad Weather, have been liable to be taken by the French; but our Running Gallies also have shared the same Fate, some few Instances whereof are as follows.
Mr. Wood. 1st, From Mr. Wm Wood's Deposition, 'tis to be observed, that, from October 1705, very few Ships were cruizing, till October or November 1706; when Sir Thomas Hardy failed again, and the whole Number returned into Plimouth in some few Weeks, and failed for Ireland, and returned to The Downes in March; so that we have no Notice but of few Ships cruizing from that Time, until September 1707.
Mr. Wood. 2dly, The great Want of Cruizers in The Channel and Soundings will appear by the following Ships taken and attacked in those Stations, though many of them in Company together.
Off Beachy-head, or Dungeness, in December, 1706.
Dove Gally,
Phoenix,
Mary Gally,
Betty Gally,
taken in Company of the Pearl Gally,
Lewis,
Greyhound,
which escaped.
"Mr. Wood. Off Plimouth, in December or January.
Volant,
Hurdis,
George,
taken together. Tuscan,
Page,
escaped.
Off Dungeness, in January.
Trumball Gally, with about 15,000 Pieces of Eight aboard.
Off Beachy-head, in March.
Mr. Tho. Palmer. Mead Gally,
Fly Gally,
taken. The London escaped.
Off Beachy-head, in April.
"Captain Neh. Winter. Sunderland,
Lodington,
taken in Company of the Seahorse,
Pearle Gally,
Hanover,
King William,
which escaped.
In March.
Mr. Wm. Wood. Anne Gally,
Eagle Gally,
taken. Mary,
Neptune,
Hooker,
escaped:
Off Lizard, in March.
Mr. Tho. Palmer. London, taken.
Handyside, blown up.
Fleet Gally, escaped.
Captain Pipon.
Captain Guillaume.
Mr. John Woods.
Mr. Tho. Palmer.
Thirdly, The Want of a sufficient Number of Cruizers will further appear, from the Deposition of the Masters; who have declared before your Lordships, That they were forced ashore by the great Number of Privateers which chased them on all Sides in The Channel, and that they met no English Man of War in their Voyages; as well as by Mr. John Wood's Affirmation, and the Letters mentioned in Mr. Palmer's Deposition.
"Next, I shall lay before your Lordships the following general Observations.
Mr. Thomas Palmer.
Mr. John Woods.
1st, That the Prince's Council have been informed of the Enemy's infesting our Channel and Coast in great Numbers, and particularly how our Ships were attacked off Beachy-head and Dungeness, and in The Channel; requesting, by Application in Person and Writing, that Care might be taken.
Mr. Jacob Honckell. 2dly, That, although in The Gazette of the 20th of January 1703, Notice was there given, "That Her Majesty had resolved to appoint Convoys, from Time to Time, for such Merchant Ships as shall carry Corn for Lisbon;" yet Her Majesty's good Intentions have not been obeyed, as may appear by the Deposition of Mr. Jacob Henckell, whereby your Lordships will see, that the Nation has lost the Exportation of Corn for the King of Portugal's Stores, by the Delays of the Convoys for that Place; the Exportation of which Commodity is esteemed so beneficial to the Lands of Great Britain, that a Bounty of Five Shillings per Quarter is allowed for exporting it. This Misfortune is the more sensible, by reason the Danger of sending it in Running Ships is every Day heightened, by the Want of Cruizers, to clear The Channell and Soundings of that Multitude of Privateers that swarm there; and the Portuguese Army has been since furnished with Baltick Corn from the Dutch.
Mr. John Woods. 3dly, From Mr. John Wood's Affirmation, it appears, that the Prince's Council were so sensible of the great Numbers of Privateers infesting the Coasts, from Portsmouth to The Downes, that he was told at that Board, "They durst not send One of Her Majesty's Ships of 26 Guns, lying at Portsmouth, to Shoreham (which is but about 8 or 10 Leagues) for Fear of her being taken; at the same Time, that he was also told, there were Third Rate Men of War at Portsmouth, which, had they not lain in Port, might have dispelled the Privateers, if not taken them.
Mr. Dawsonne. 4thly, The last Thing I shall observe is, That from Tuesday the 29th April 1707, when Mr. Dawsonne was told at the Admiralty, that they had Notice of the Dunkirk Squadron's being gone Westward; to Thursday the 1st May, when The Hampton Court, Royal Oake, and Grafton, with the Merchant Ships under their Convoy, failed out of The Downes; there was not only Time enough to have sent Orders by Express to stop the failing of that Convoy, but even by the ordinary Post, which goes every Day in the Week, Sundays excepted.

"All which is humbly submitted to your Lordships; whose Wisdom and Goodness will apply such a Remedy as our Misfortunes require.

My Lords,

"Your Lordships most obedient,

"Humble Servant,

5th Dec. 1707.

"Nathanael Torriano."

(P.) "The humble Representation of Benj a. Way and others, Owners and Freighters of the Ship London Gally;

"Sheweth,

"That the said Ship, Abraham Battell Master, being loaden with Sugar, Logwood, Indigo, Cocoa, and other Commodities, did, about the latter End of February last, sail from Jamaica, with other Merchant Ships, under Convoy of Her Majesty's Ship The Northumberland, Captain Roffey Commander, bound for London, with whom she kept Company till about the 7th March; but then crowding much Sail, to avoid being left by the Convoy, she suffered such Damage in her Masts, as disabled her to keep Company. And having Seven Men impressed from her in Jamaica, the Master was forced to take French Prisoners on Board, to help sail her Home, and hire what other Men could be got at very excessive Wages; by this Means being weakly manned, they were in great Distress, and fired Guns, and made Signals; but, being left by their Convoy, the Ship and Cargo were all lost: Of which having complained in a Petition to his Royal Highness, presented to his Council, we received some Letters as Answer to our Complaints, which (though our Losses amounts to many Thousand Pounds) are therein called unreasonable: The Copies whereof, as also of our Petition to his Royal Highness, we have hereunto annexed; humbly hoping for proper Relief from your Lordships Justice, and entirely submitting our otherwise remediless Case to your Lordships Determination.

"Your Lordships

"Most obedient Servants,

"BenjA. Way.

John Burridge, Junior."

"To his Royal Highness Prince George of Denmark, Lord High Admiral of Great Britain, &c.

"The humble Representation of Benjamin Way, of London, Merchant, and others, Owners of The London Gally;

"Sheweth,

"That, about August or September, 1706, attending your Highness's Council, and praying some Convoy might be appointed for the Ships expected from Jamaica about March or April following; they were pleased to inform us, "That we might expect a very considerable Convoy to sail thence about Christmas or January." Pursuant to which kind Intimation, we immediately writ to our Agents there, "That if our Ship London Gally, of about One Hundred and Seventy Tuns, arrived, as we expected, from Guinea, with a Cargo of Negroes, Elephants Teeth, and Gold, they should with utmost Expedition get her fitted and reladen, to wait for that Convoy, which they found much the more difficult to effect, she having Seven Men pressed from her after Arrival; however, pursuant to our Orders, they hired Men, to get her sitted, and fully laden with Sugar, Logwood, Indigo, Cocoa, and other Commodities; and Sir John Jennings' Squadron arriving there, that she might not lose that promising Prospect of Safety, they hired several Seamen to bring her Home, at very extravagant Wages; (videlicet,) £.10, 12, 14, and 15, a Month. Half of which they were also obliged to pay beforehand; but however, to our great Charge, being thus fitted and manned, she did sail from Jamaica, in Company with other Merchant Ships, about the latter End of February, under Convoy of The Northumberland, Captain Roffey Commander, bound for England; with whom she kept Company until the 7th March, when the Man of War being far ahead, and Abraham Battell the Master crowding much Sail to keep Company with the Convoy, his Main-top Mast came by the Board; and being thereby in Distress, he fired Guns, and made the Signal appointed, which was observed on Board the Man of War, but no Regard had thereto; but our Ship, in this Distress, left by her Convoy, and lost, to our very great Damage; which, we humbly conceive, is a very great Failure of the Captain's Duty to Her Majesty and the Nation, as well as a very great Damage and Injury to us, which is therefore complained of by."

"By Sir John Jennings Knight, Rear Admiral of the Blue Squadron of Her Majesty's Fleet.

"Whereas, by the great Sickness that has happened on Board Her Majesty's Ship under your Command, she is become unserviceable to proceed on the present Expedition I am now going upon, by the great Number of your Men being put ashore upon The Keyes, for the Recovery of their Health:

"You are hereby directed, as soon as you shall find your Men recover, to get them aboard again, and to keep your Ship in a constant Readiness to sail for England; and, upon my sending a Ship to Jamaica, you shall receive Men and further, Orders for your proceeding directly for England, giving Notice to the Merchants that you are to take under your Convoy all such Merchant Ships as shall be in a Readiness to sail with you; and whilst you shall remain here at The Keyes, you are to take under your Command The Assistance, Swan, and St. Antonio Sloop, giving the Two former all the Assistance you possibly can, in their being fitted and careened: And whereas I have ordered The Swan, as soon as she can be got ready for the Sea, to proceed to her former Station, you are to permit her to put the said Orders in Execution; and in case any Vessels shall arrive, from New York, New England, or any other Ports, laden with Provisions, you are to give Mr. Gyde the Agent Victualer timely Notice of the same, he being ordered by me to buy all the Provisions he possibly can, for the Use of my Squadron, and that of Commodore Kerr's: For which this shall be your Warrant.

"Dated on Board The Devonshire, off The Keyes at Port Royall, this 15th January, 1706 / 7.

"J. Jennings.

"To Captain Kerr. Roffey, of Her Majesty's Ship Northumberland."

"By Sir John Jennings Knight, Rear Admiral of the Blue Squadron of Her Majesty's Fleet.

"You are hereby directed, with the First Opportunity of Wind and Weather, to sail with Her Majesty's Ship The Northumberland under your Command, and join me as soon as possible you can in Blewfield's Bay; and in case The Mary, Roebuck, and Faulcon are now there, or shall arrive off The Keyes before you sail, you are to take the said Three Ships under your Command till you arrive with me. the Captains thereof being directed to follow your Orders: And whereas I think it necessary that The Dunkirk's Prize should attend you down here, you are likewise to take her under your Command, to sail in Company with you here; and in case she should be out cruizing, then you are hereby empowered to hire a Sloop, to attend your Ship to this Place, as likewise for the better Conveniency of the Store-keeper of the Navy and Agent Victualer, for their sending Stores and Provisions for the Ships here with me.

"And in case there should be any Merchants Ships now ready loaden bound for England, and that can be ready to sail with you in Forty-eight Hours after the Receipt of these my Orders; you are to stay so long, to give them safer Convoy to me; otherwise to acquaint them, if they can join me here by the Twentieth Instant, that I shall order them Convoy for England. For which this shall be your Warrant.

"Dated on Board The Devonshire, in Blewfields Bay, this 12th February, 1706 / 7.

"J. Jennings.

"To Captain Kerrell Roffey, of Her Majesty's Ship Northumberland."

"SIR,

"In Obedience to his Royal Highness's Commands of the Twentieth Instant, I have enclosed Copies of the Orders I received from Sir John Jennings, relating to the Merchant Ships when at Jamaica; and according to the First, I gave sailing Instructions to those Masters that said they were ready to sail; and according to the Second, I made the usual Signal to acquaint them of my sailing; and on the 22d of February 1706 / 7 I sailed, and on the 23d joined Sir John at Blewfields, who then commanded. I am very certain that the Ship complained of sailed not with me from The Keyes; for Mr. Lott their Factor told me, "That, unless I spared them some Men, she could not sail with me;" and because I did not, they humbly conceive it a very great Failure in my Duty to Her Majesty and theirselves. She might be One of the Three that joined us the Day we sailed from Blewfields, for aught I know; but I must pray Leave to conceive with them, that I am no Ways answerable for the Folly or Neglect either of their Master or Factor. I have writ to Sir John Jennings, and have enclosed a Copy of the Complaint, who can inform his Royal Highness better of the Names of those Ships that joined us off Blewfields, he having the Command.

"I am,

"Your Honour's

"Most humble Servant,

K. Roffey.

Northumberland, in The Downes, November 23d, 1707.

"A Copy.

"Mr. Burchett, Secretary to his Royal Highness."

November 24th, 1707.

"SIR,

"I have yours of the 22d, with the enclosed Petition, as a Complaint from the Merchants against Captain Roffey, who had my Orders to bring such Merchant Ships as were ready to sail from Port Royal in Jamaica, and join me in Blewfields Bay. Upon his Arrival there with me, I made the Signal for all the Masters of the Merchant Ships, in order to my Captain's giving them sailing Instructions; which, as I well remember, was about Five in all that came on Board, they being bound to Carolina, Virginia, Pensilvania, and New England; and am certain the Master of the Ship they mention never came on Board me for Orders of sailing.

"I particularly remember, when we were shot near the Gulph, and were to double Cape Bonna, and several dangerous Shoals that lie Eight or Nine Leagues from it into Sea, that a Vessel in the Close of the Evening made a Signal of Distress. Captain Roffey of The Northumberland bore down to her, to know his Want; which was, that her Foremast was much sprung in the Partners, and that they could not keep the Sea; but that they must bear away (the Wind being then Northerly) for The Cammannas; and by the Information of a Master of another Galley, that sailed Four Days after me, and joined me in the Gulph, he told me, "That he saw the aforesaid Vessel lying in Safety at the Islands of Camannas." Had I brought to, and laid by for her with the whole Squadron, I should have been in great Danger of being lost upon the Shoals, as likewise of starving, if I had not gained my Passage through the Gulph as I did: This is Matter of Fact, as well as I can remember, relating to these Merchants Complaints; and that their Ship did not lose a Main-top Mast, as they alledge. Captain Roffey of The Northumberland, and Captain Morris of The Monk, had both of them my Orders to take particular Care of the Merchant-men: And, for their Justification, I am obliged to acquaint his Royal Highness and Council, that both of them performed their Duty exactly well; and I dare believe, if the said Galley (they mention) had been well masted, she had got well to England, if they had such a Ship bound hither. And I cannot but wonder at the Merchants, that they should think I should run into imminent Danger of losing Twelve Men of War, and Three or Four Thousand Men's Lives, in order to save One disabled Ship.

"This is all the Answer I can at present make to their unreasonable Complaint.

"I am,

"SIR,

"Your most humble Servant,

"J. Jennings.

" (A Copy.)

"Mr. Burchett, Secretary to his Royal Highness."

It is Ordered, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Report made this Day from the Lords Committees appointed to consider of the Petition of several Merchants, on Behalf of themselves and others, Traders of the City of London, shall lie on the Table, to be perused by the Lords; and that the House shall be put into a Committee again, on Saturday next, at Twelve a Clock, to consider further of the State of the Nation, in relation to the Fleet and the Trade of the Kingdom; and that the Papers delivered from the Secretaries of State and the Admiralty shall be then considered.

Copy of the Report, Affidavits and Papers to be sent to the L. High Admiral.

It is Ordered, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That a Copy of the Report made this Day, from the Lords Committees appointed to consider of the Petition of several Merchants, on Behalf of themselves and others, Traders of the City of London; and the Affidavits and Papers to which the Report refers, shall be sent to the Lord High Admiral.

Adjourn.

Dominus Cancellarius declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque ad et in diem Jovis, decimum octavum diem instantis Decembris, hora undecima Auroræ, Dominis sic decernentibus.

Footnotes

  • 1. Antea Lisbon; vide p. 366. b.
  • 2. Antea Ruby, vide p. 368, b.
  • 3. Origin. Ship.
  • 4. Sic.
  • 5. Sic.
  • 6. Sic; antea Lisbon: vide p. 366. b. 367. a. and 374. b. where it occurs Liza.
  • 7. Bis in Originali.