America and West Indies
January 1728, 1-15

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor) Arthur Percival Newton (introduction)

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1937

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1-12

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'America and West Indies: January 1728, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 36: 1728-1729 (1937), pp. 1-12. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72440 Date accessed: 21 October 2014.


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January 1728, 1-15

[? Jan.]1. Considerations upon the importation of negroes into Jamaica, in reply to the Planters residing in Great Britain, who are endeavouring that Governor Hunter may not be instructed not to pass any Act imposing duties on negroes imported or exported. Abstract:—Such duties would lessen the importation of negroes into Jamaica, and therefore lessen the produce of the island. The necessity of the island does not require such a duty, for the very same persons have assured Governor Hunter and others that the estimate of the revenue annexed to the bills transmitted from Jamaica will answer the whole expense of the Government, exclusive of the additional pay to the two Independent Companies etc. A tax on negroes in the island would be more equitable and advantageous, if more money is needed etc. Without signature or endorsement. 3½ pp. [C. O. 137, 53. ff. 22–23v.]
[Jan. ?]2. Duke of Montagu to [?the Duke of Newcastle.] As I know I may allwaise depend on your friendship I beg you will shew it me in the afaire which the enclosed copy of a petition I intend to present to the King (v. C.S.P. 1728. Jan. 23) will informe you of, and which I beg you will read with atention, and for that reason I have taken the liberty to send it you into the countery thinking you woud have more leasure from busines there then in town; I shall refer the whole matter to the petition except one thing wch I must explaine to you; When the news caime that the French had obliged my Collony to abandon St. Lucia, and that I was solisiting about that afaire, Ld. Townshend proposed to me to speake to Mr. Poins, about a pretention sume relations of his, the two Mr. Manlys of the Custome House, one Mr. Code, Mr. Knight, and sume others have to the Island of Tabago, and that if I coud agree matters with them I migte have that island to settle, but I was then still in hopes of getting Sta. Lucia againe, and declined doeing any thing in relation to Tabago. Sence that you know the transactions between Mr. D'Estree and me about St. Lucia, which the King and all of ye aprovd of and were so kind to give Mr. Walpole instructions about; But now I am convinced Mr. d'Estree tryfles with me, so that I have quite given over the thoughts of that afaire; but as I have still a great many cannon and other stores in the West Indies which I can never dispose of but by a new setlement, I have agreed with Mr. Manly, Code, Knight etc. the parties concernd in the pre- tensions on Tobago, and if I can get a grant of the island they and I together will undertake to settle it; now what I desire I think cannot be refus'd me, I onely desire to have one island given me to settle insted of two islands which are myne, and which the King and all of you are willing I shoud settle, if it coud be braught about, etc. Continues:—May be it may be objected etc., that Mr. Worsley has instructions to settle it, to which I answer, that he had those instructions att the tyme Ld. Townshend offerd me the island; and as to the settling the island, the giving him those instructions shews the Govern- ment thaught it proper the island shoud be settled, but as yet he has done nothing towards it, and I can demonstrate he never can; may be I may be allso told, I am in the wrong as to my selfe, to have a minde againe to undertake such an afaire, but that is my busines, and if I am in the wrong so much the worse for me; In short this is the onely thing I have asked sence the King came to the Throne, and I think it a sort of a thing, that I must think my selfe very hardly used if it is refus'd me, but I entierly relye upon you to be my frend in it, and I know you will do your best for me. And this favour I beg that I may not be kept in insertaintis about it, but that if I must not have it I may be told so at once. But if I am to have it, I beg, as the Board of Trade have allredy represented to the King, that the settling Tobago woud be very benefistial, that I may not be refer'd to them, which woud be quite onnesesary and woud take up a great of tyme, and give me a great deale of onnesesary trouble, but that the afaire may be referd directly to the Atourney Generall, he passed my Sta. Lucia patent, and he may copy it over againe word for word for this, for it needs onely putting in the name of one Island insted of an other. I beg you will consider the petition well, I will mentaine every article in it to be true. I intend to send Ld. Townshend and Sir Robert copys of the petition to-morrow. I depend upon you to be my frend and advocate, and I intend to waite on you Wednesday morning to know my fate, for I hope by that tyme you will have settled it with your brother Ministers, and not only till then but for ever, I am and shall be your obedient servant, Signed, Montagu. Without date or endorsement. Holograph. 5 pp. Enclosed, (conjecturally),
2. i. Petition of the Duke of Montagu to the King. Copy of C.S.P. Jan. 23, 1728. q.v., with quotations from Instructions of Governors of Barbados, 1721 and 1722. 5 pp.
2. ii. Memorandum relating to the following.
2. iii. Extract of Representation of Board of Trade, 15th Feb., 1721, as to inserting the island of Tobago in the Commission of the Governor of Barbados, v. C.S.P. 1721.
2. iv. Extract of Representation of Board of Trade 2nd June, 1709, relating to British title to Tobago, v. C.S.P. under that date.
2. v. Memorandum relating to Tobago. Tobago, not being setled, is upon the same foot as all other islands belonging to the Crown in America, which the Governors have a power to grant out, derived from their Instructions, not from the Treasury. The Governor of Barbados could therefore grant Tobago to the Duke of Montagu without such a grant passing the Treasury etc. No date or endorsement. 1 2/3 pp. [C.O. 285, 2. Nos. 4, 4, i–v.]
Jan. 1.
Whitehall.
3. Duke of Newcastle to the Council of Trade and Planta- tions. H.M. having been pleased to appoint the Rt. Honble. the Earl of Londonderry to be Governor of the Leeward Islands in America, in the room of John Hart, Esq., you are to prepare draughts of his Commission and Instructions etc. Signed, Holles Newcastle. Endorsed, Recd. Read 2nd Jan., 1727/8. ¾ p. [C.O. 152, 16. ff. 54, 55v.]
Jan. 4.
New York
in America.
4. Mr. Bradley to the Duke of Newcastle. An Act passed here in Nov. last for preventing prosecutions by informations other than such as the Governor shall order in Council; which being a manifest infringemt. on H.M. prerogative, was very much against the inclination of the Govr. and Council; who, not- withstanding, were oblig'd at last, to consent to it, or loose the money bill relateing to Oswego, wch. passed at the same time; for some members of the Assembly, and several of their friends, being affected by prosecutions of this kind, wch. were order'd by the Supream Court, for crimes of no trivial or inferiour nature; the leading men in the Assembly were determined not to consent to that money bill, unless this Act passed; having, as it is generally believed, form'd a designe, not only to screen themselves and friends by this law, from these and all other prosecutions of this sort, tho' never so just or necessary (wch. seem to be almost the only means H.M. has to check that levelling spirit that too plainly appears among the generallity of the people of these countrys) but also to break in upon, and weaken H.M. Prerogative and interest here, by attempting to take away that remedy, wch. the Common Law gives H.M. of prosecuting by information, without the leave of any of H.M. subjects etc., and to make all the officers of the Crown entirely dependant on the Assembly; who, by having the sole power of granting money, are able thus to influence even the Govr. and Council to consent to such bills, which they would otherwise reject. Prays his Grace to recommend the Lds. of Trade the speedy consideration of enclosed memorial against this Act; the Assembly having limited it to three years only, with such politick view as in the memorial is mentioned. Signed, Richd. Bradley. 2 pp. Enclosed,
4. i. Memorial by Same to the Council of Trade and Planta- tions against the above-mentioned Act of New York. Repeats parts of preceding and following. The Assembly rejected the amendments by which the Council thought they would prevent the ill tendency of the bill exposed by the Memorial. v. No. ii. In many cases prosecutions may be necessary where they may be very inconvenient for the Governor and Council to order, as where they may affect leading men of the Assembly or their friends etc. Prosecutions by informations seem to be the only means H.M. has to ascertaine his just rights to fines for misdemeanours, where a jury will not present, wch. has often been the case in this country, tho' the evidence has been as full and strong as could be wish'd for etc. The limiting of this Act to three years, seems also to be done with a designe, to get it the more readily con- firmed, or at least that it may escape being repealed at home, it having been a common practice, as I am inform'd, for the Assembly's here, when they had a mind to obtaine laws agt. the inclination of this Government, to limit them to some short time, dureing which they stand in force if they are not repeal'd, and so answer their designe as well as if they had been confirm'd; and upon their expiration to use them as precedents for laws of the same nature, of a longer duration. Gives instances to show that the prosecu- tions by informations have not been on trivial matters. Two have been for intrusions on H.M. lands; another was brought by order of the Supreme Court against the Justices of Albany for the insufficiency of their gaol, and the like against the Corporation of the City of New York etc., and two others against an Assembly man and several Justices for administering to several assessors of the publick rates an oath of the said Justices' own devising, very different from the form they were by law required to administer; with an intent, as many of the freeholders there complain to ease the sd. Justices and their friends, and lay the burthen on others. Another was brought by order of the Government for a notorious riot, if not rebellion, found by an inquisition taken thereof etc. These were the prosecutions the Assembly were offended at, because they affected some of them, and their friends, and others being still liable for prosecutions for offences far from trivial etc. Concludes: As I cannot get any salary allow'd me, nor my fees, or any recompense for my time and labour, so necessarily employed in these, and many other prosecutions of the Government and Courts ordering, against forgers of the bills of credit and many other felons, for all wch. above £800 is due to me of wch. I cannot get one penny etc., asks to be allowed £150 pr. annum from home, as his pre- decessors were. Signed, Richd. Bradley. New York, 4th Jan., 1727. 4 pp.
4. ii. Memorial by the Attorney General of New York to the Governor and Council, 14th Nov., 1727. Reports against the bill for preventing prosecutions by informations, submitted to him, as contrary to the Common Law and H.M. Prerogative. The preamble misrepresents matters of fact in stating that such prosecutions have been for trivial matters. Instances given. It would be most unjust to quash informations without first paying the Attorney General the costs already due on such prosecutions. The second enacting clause that the Attorney General shall not prosecute for any misdemeanour by information without an order from the Governor signed in Council is directly repugnant to the Common Law. The King cannot be obliged to ask the leave of any of his subjects whether he shall prosecute, or how or where, etc. Signed, R. Bradley. Copy. 2½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1092. Nos. 64, 64 i, 58.]
Jan. 4.
New York
in America.
5. Mr. Bradley to Mr. Popple. Encloses above memorial to be laid before the Board etc. Continues:—I hope their Ldps. will be pleased to observe that tho' the Assembly should not obtaine the Royal assent to the Act agt. informations; yet if it be not rejected, it will answer their intent full well; the Act being but for three years; and I doubt not but their Ldps. will from their former experience of the Assembly's of this country and the present disposition they seem to be in; plainly perceive that they aim at [? no les]s than being independ- ent on the Kingdome of Great Britaine as fast as they can; which too evidently appears by most of their schemes and actions that relate to the Publick; and therefore seems to me, to require the greater zeal and courage in a Govr. to obviate, altho' it should not happen to consist with his own private interest; which, from what I have hitherto observed, seems to have been almost the only thing intended; let the consequence be what it will as to anything else etc. Signed, Richd. Bradley. Endorsed, Recd. 27th Feb., Read 1st May, 1728. 1½ pp. Edge torn. Enclosed,
5. i, ii. Duplicates of Encl. Nos. i, ii. preceding.
5. iii. Duplicate of Dec. 21, 1727. Encl. iii Minutes. [C.O. 5, 1054. ff. 258, 258v., 259v., 263–274v.]
Jan. 4.
Barbados.
6. Majority of Assembly of Barbados to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Enclose their petition to the King. Continue: Wee should not have thus abruptly addressed your Lordshipps, but the Island is now without any Agents, and your Lordshipps' vigilance and zeale to protect and promote the interest of all H.M. Colonyes so well known that wee flatter ourselves your Lordshipps will have the goodness to pardon our presumption, and make such a representation of our con- dition to H.M. as our moveing circumstances stand in need of. It will probably seem very strange to your Lordshipps that a Colony, which has now for five years been seemingly so well satisfied with a Governour, should now complain of grievances of the nature set forth in our petition; But the truth is wee were tired out with contentions, and willing to suffer a great deal rather than be troublesome, till at length wee have the mortification to see our country brought to the very brink of ruin. Our fortifications, platforms and breast-works are now so ruinous that £100,000 will not put them in the condition they were formerly in; But if they were in order, wee have no ammunition to defend them, so that in case of an attack, wee must surrender to any invader. Our magazine has generally had in it from 800 to 1000 barrels of good powder; But now there are not above 87; and of those, about 40 have lately, upon the occasion of our attempt to enquire into the condition of the Magazine, been bought by H.E.'s Secretary from the Deputy Provost Marshall in a clandestine manner at 50s. by the barrell (being the refuge of a pyratical cargo sold here), H.E. having made a personal contract with the late store-keeper for his Secretary to farm his office at £300 current money per annum rent. This deficiency must have been occasioned by the Secretary accepting money instead of powder contrary to the law, or selling it etc. Our Governor, with apparent intent to prevent our inquiring into and representing this and several other grievances, has adjourned and prorogued the Assembly from time to time, and wee have no prospect of being suffered to sitt any more on business etc. Wee therefore pray your Lord- shipps to pardon our directing some Gentlemen in London to attend your Lordshipps on this occasion. Wee have omitted in our petition the particulars of H.E.'s partial proceedings in the Court of Chancery; instances whereof are but too many to be therein inserted, and the rather, because the parties injured are ready, on any enquiry, to exhibit articles against him touching his arbitrary granting and refusing injunctions, occasional and suddain adjournments of the Court, and his even ordering bills to be taken off the files without the concurrence or assent of the Council, but on the contrary refusing to take their opinion touching the same etc. Wee are not insensible but that endeavours have lately been industriously used among us here to procure an Address in December last from the late Grand Jury returned out of three parishes only and pickt to represent our Island as the happiest of H.M. West Indian Colony's under the present administration; and wee shall not trouble your Lordshipps with a repetition of the usual methods taken to procure such in the Plantations, nor of the common practices, by which impositions of this nature have sometimes been successfull: But my Lords, If wee, in conjunction with the rest of our fellow-members, the Representatives of the People, who were present when lately wee addressed H.E. on the occasion he then afforded us (v. Minutes), may be presumed to know our own and the People's circumstances better than persons meanly cull'd out to obtrude on strangers to the affairs and condition of this Island such fulsome performances for truths in favour of our Governour and his Judge, an active Agent on that and other his occasions, etc. Signed, Hen. Peers, Edmund Sutton, Thos. Maycock, jun., Tho. Spencer, Robt. Yeamans, W. Gibbons, James Bruce, Edward Brace, Saml. Maynard, Jn. Cobham, Jno. Bignall, Gel. McMahon, John Walcott, J. Fercharson. Endorsed, Recd. 24th, Read 27th Feb., 1727/8. Addressed. 3 pp. Enclosed,
6. i. Petition of the Majority of the Assembly of Barbados to the King. Jan. 4, 1727(8). Petitioners in their legislative capacity lately had the pleasing satisfaction of expressing their firm loyalty etc. in their Address of congratulation etc. They cannot now without the utmost regret and deepest sorrow find themselves in their private capacity under the necessity of approach- ing the same august Presence with complaints against H.E. Henry Worsley etc., but the impending ruin of this Colony, which can only be prevented by your Majesty's speedy interposition, constrains them etc. In 1722, when the Governour took the administration upon him and for many years before the Gentlemen of this Island having been harrast with partys and divisions, in hopes to put an end to the same, and to obtain the redress of several grievances, were wrought upon to submitt to a settlement of £6000 sterl. per annum on him etc., a settlement so very extravagant and so much more than what the country could afford that the inhabitants could never have long supported themselves under the same, but which howsoever they chearfully submitted to for several years. And yet notwithstanding the Island has been so farr from reaping any advantage from their said indiscreet generosity that the publick good has been intirely neg- lected; and no measures taken to redress the greivances of the Island, But His Excellency and his creatures have thereby been the better enabled and the more at leisure to oppress the inhabitants. The Militia has been totally neglected, the forts, breast-works and batterys are gone to ruin, the publick stores are imbezled and wasted, and all persons in office under H.E. bussied in nothing but how to raise fortunes from the ruins of the people by inventing new fees and perquisites, and increasing the former fees and emoluments of their several offices etc. The Freeholders, rowssed at last with a just sense of their danger, did on the election of the present Assembly in July make choice of petitioners and others to enquire into and procure redress of some of their most crying grievances, which when the Assembly were sitting about, with all the calmness and moderation imaginable and with due deference and regard to his Excellency, he sought all occasions to exasperate, maletreat, insult and abuse the Assembly, who however resolved to overlook all indignitys for the good of their country, and the said Governor finding that he could not provoke the Assembly to return the ill treatment they mett with from him did on 5th Oct., command them to adjourn for four weeks and though upon the application of the Assembly (who humbly represented to him that several bills and other affairs of great consequence were then depending before the House, and therefore prayed the adjournment might not be for so long a time) he was pleased to shorten the adjournment by the space of two days only, yet before the time of their meeting came he prorogued them to the 9th Dec. and from thence to 20th Feb. (to which time they now stand prorogued) in order thereby to prevent any inquiry into or representation of his male-adminis- tration untill he may procure the renewall of his Commission etc. The greivances the Island now labours under and the male administration of the Governour will appear from many instances, par- ticularly, (i) He has never reviewed the Militia or any of the forts or fortifications (Needham's Fort only excepted, which is scituated a short mile from his house) and has suffered several of the Regiments to be without officers ever since his arrivall, and on the common exercising days such of the Militia as do meet have not been exercised for years together, although lists have been called and fines exacted from those who did not send their full complement of men to exercise, if they were such as had the misfortune to be under the Governour's or officers' displeasure. (ii) He has permitted the powder to be imbezled and wasted and money to be accepted in lieu thereof, so that instead of 800 barrells, which was wont to be the usual quantity in the Grand Magazine, there are now no more than 87, and that which makes this charge the more heinous and heavy is, that the custody of the magazine has been notoriously these four year past in the hands of one of H.E.'s domesticks, William Webster, Deputy Publick Secretary etc., and also H.E.'s Secretary and Principall agent, on whom he has moreover bestowed the following places, Major of the Guards, Master in Chancery, Captain and Chief Gunner of the Principall fortifications, Surveyor General and Captain of the Magazine Guarde etc. The offices of Storekeeper and publick Secretary are incompatible to be held by the same person etc., the Secretary being the only cheque and Comptroller of the Store- keeper. In case of warr there is no possibility of purchasing in this or other your Majesty's West India Colonys powder sufficient for the defence. (iii) The Governour has encouraged and countenanced several of the Officers of the Island, and particularly the Deputy Secretary and Deputy Provost Marshall in taking exorbitant and illegal fees to the great opp- ressing and impoverishing of the inhabitants, who have hitherto complained thereof in vain. These grievances are the more unsupportable from the dismall appre- hensions we must lye under in case of a warr, the forts and other fortifications having gone to ruin, the breastworks and batterys being broken down, the great guns dismounted and without carriages, warlike stores of all kinds being wholly wanted, and the inhabitants unable to bear the necessary charge of buying powder and repairing the fortifications unless timely relieved by your Majesty etc. Signed, Hen. Peers, Thos. Maycock, junr., Tho. Spencer, Rt. Yeamans,W. Gibbons, James Bruce, Gel. McMahon, Saml. Maynard, Jno. Cobham, Edward Brace, Jno. Bignall, John Walcott, J. Fercharson. 1 large folded p. [C.O. 28, 19. ff. 97–98v., 101, 101v.; and (duplicate of enclosure) 28, 39. No. 42.]
Jan. 4.
Whitehall.
7. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Com- missioners of the Treasury. By our letters of 22nd Feb. and 31st May last we acquainted your Lordships that one of the partition walls of our Office was in a very ruinous condition. This wall is now grown so much worse, and the cracks so much wider, that we think it is in immediate danger of falling etc. Request that it may be rebuilt. [C.O. 389, 37. pp. 284, 285.]
Jan. 9.
New York
in America.
8. Mr. Bradley to the Duke of Newcastle. Asks to be appointed to vacancy in the Council of New York caused by the death of Mr. Barbarie. Signed, Richd. Bradley. Endorsed, R. 28th Feb. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1092. No. 65.]
Jan. 9.
Whitehall.
9. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses, for his opinion in point of law, Excise Act, of the Massachusetts Bay, 1726, and a printed collection of 16 Acts of the same, 1727. [C.O. 5, 916. pp. 55–58.]
Jan. 9.
Whitehall.
10. Same to Same. Encloses, for his opinion in point of law, Act of Nevis, 1727, for raising a poll-tax on negroes and other slaves etc. [C.O. 153, 14. pp. 275, 276.]
Jan. 9.
Whitehall.
11. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Enclose following to be laid before the King. Annexed,
11. i. Same to the King. Submit following.
11. ii. Draught of Commission for Thomas Earl of London- derry to be Governor of the Leeward Islands, and revoking that of John Hart. [C.O. 153, 14. pp. 275–306.]
Jan. 9.12. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Report upon Act of St. Kitts against covenous and fraudulent conveyances and for a publick Registry. Considers it "a wise and prudent law calculated for the general benefit of the Island" etc., but agrees with Mr. Smith's objections as to the damage it would inflict upon the Secretary's office (v. 6th Oct., 1727.) Proposes therefore that, since this law is of such consequence to the property of the island, that the Legislature there be recommended to compensate him for the loss he would sustain by it etc. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd 9th, Read 10th Jan., 1727/8. 2½ pp. [C.O. 152, 16. ff. 120–121.]
Jan. 9.
Marlboro'
Street.
13. Col. Hart, late Govr., to Mr. Popple. Proposes to attend the Board when the Register Act of St. Kitts is considered. Signed, Jo. Hart. Endorsed, Recd. 9th, Read 10th Jan., 1727/8.. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 16. ff. 122, 123v.]
Jan. 10.
St. James's.
14. Copy of Commission of Governor the Earl of London- derry. [C.O. 5, 194. ff. 5–27.]
Jan. 10.
St. James's.
15. Order of King in Council. Approving draft of Com- mission for Governor the Earl of Londonderry. Signed, Robert Hales. Endorsed, Recd. 29th, Read 30th April, 1728. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 16. ff. 336, 337v.]
Jan. 10.
St. James's.
16. Order of King in Council. Approving draft of Com- mission for Governor the Earl of Londonderry. Signed, Robert Hales. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 194. ff. 1, 1v.]
Jan. 11.17. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Has no objection to Act of St. Kitts submitted 14th Sept., 1727, to subject all produce etc. of the late French part exported, to the 4½ p.c. duties etc. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. 17th Jan., 1727/8, Read 5th June, 1729. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 17. ff. 67, 68v.]
Jan. 11.18. Mr. Dunbar to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Observations upon the office of Surveyor of H.M. Woods in America and the survey and intended partition and settlement of Nova Scotia. Abstract. He needs deputies and a guard against hostile Indians. To obviate disagreements with the Surveyor of lands, proposes that the two offices be combined in one person. As fellers of trees are scarce and their wages excessive, some supernumerary carpenters should be sent out from the King's yards and saw-mills erected etc. Signed, David Dunbar. Endorsed, Recd., Read 23rd Jan., 1727/8. Holograph. 2 pp. [C.O. 323, 8. No. 82.]
Jan. 11
Mincing
Lane.
19. Mr. Humphrey Morice to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Testifies to the integrity of Mr. Willett etc.(v.Oct. 22, 1727) Signed, Hum. Morice. Endorsed, Recd. 11th, Read 26th Jan., 1727/8. 1 p.[C.O.152, 16. ff. 124, 125v.]