America and West Indies
May 1729, 11-20

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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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369-387

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'America and West Indies: May 1729, 11-20', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 36: 1728-1729 (1937), pp. 369-387. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72469 Date accessed: 02 October 2014.


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Contents

May 1729, 11-20

May 13.
Whitehall.
701. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Enclose following to be laid before the King. Autograph signatures. 1 p. Enclosed,
701. i. Same to the King. Submit following draughts of general instructions and those which relate particularly to the Acts of Trade. Continue :—Your Majesty having now been graciously pleased to allow Capt. Rogers to call an Assembly in those Islands, and effectually to establish a civil judicature there, we have thought it for your Majesty's service to add to the few Instructions formerly given to your Governor of those Islands, such others as to us. seem necessary upon this occasion, and which your Majesty has already been pleas'd to approve in the Instructions to your Majesty's other Governors in America. In the 1st Instruction we have added the names of John White and James Jenner, Mr. Ferral and Mr. Frazer two of the Council there being dead. We have likewise added the following Instructions, for which we beg leave to lay before your Majesty our reasons, vizt., By your Majesty's commission to Capt. Rogers, he is directed to summon and call General Assemblies of the Freeholders and Planters; But as there may not be at present a sufficient number of Freeholders and Planters in those places impower'd to return members, we have inserted the XIth Instruction whereby Capt. Rogers will be impower'd to admit of the most substantial inhabitants being return'd in the room of such freeholders and planters, until there shall be a sufficient number of freeholders and planters to serve in such General Assembly. We have inserted the XIIth Instruction impowering your Majesty's Governor to appoint the Clerk of the Assembly in order to prevent in these islands disputes which have formerly happen'd in others of your Majesty's Plantations concerning the appointment of this officer; and that your Majesty's Governor may have a more just and perfect account of all the transactions of that House, for your Majesty's information. We have likewise added the 43rd—50th Instructions, directing the manner of proceedings with respect to the Habeas Corpus Act of this Kingdom, which are the same as those your Majesty has approved of to your Governor of Barbados and Virginia. Annexed,
701. ii. H.M. Instructions to Woodes Rogers, "Captain General and Governor in Chief in and over our Bahama Islands, in America and of the garrisons there," etc. St. James's. As described in preceding. [C.O. 24, 1. pp. 124–188; and (covering letter only) 28, 12. No. 101.]
May 14.702. Col. Horsey to the Duke of Newcastle. Encloses following etc. Signed, S. Horsey. 1 p. Enclosed,
702. i. Case of Col. Samuel Horsey. After serving H.M. above 20 years, in 1722 he resigned his post of Lt. Col. of H.M. Fourth troop of Horse Guards upon the promise of the Government of S. Carolina whenever a new Governour should be appointed. In this assurance he applyed himself to the knowledge of the affairs of the Province for several years. He was the first proposer of the surrender of Carolina to H.M., and procured a petition to be signed by six of the Lords Proprietors to the King for that purpose. After which he did by the mediation of the Earl of Westmoreland negotiate and settle the terms of the said surrender. He has been at great pains and expence in carrying on and effecting this agreement which is allowed to be a very beneficial one to the publick, and is now a Trustee named in the Act of Parliament for executing the same etc. Prays to be appointed H.M. Governor of S. Carolina. N.B.—If Mr. Hutchison makes application in favour of another under the merit of being a Proprietor, it must be observed, he was not so much as a nominal one when the first petition to the King was signed and but a meere nominal one afterwards, being only in trust for Mr. John Cotton of Westminster, etc. He was the occasion of many difficulties, which obstructed the agreemt. for some time etc. 1 ½ pp. [C.O. 5, 383. Nos. 38, 38 i.]
May 14.
Westminster.
703. H.M. Commission for Thomas Diggs to be Lieut. Governor of Montserrat. Countersigned, Holles Newcastle. Copy. [C.O. 324, 36. pp. 113, 114; and 324, 49. ff. 58, 59.]
May 14.
Whitehall.
704. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Reply to 21st April. We have discoursed with Col. Dunbar, and as we find the chief matter contained [in the papers referred] is the want of a sloop, without which he represents it impossible to compleat the survey [of Nova Scotia] etc., enclose copy of their following report to the Lords of the Committee of the Council upon matters relating to Nova Scotia. Autograph signatures. 2 pp. Enclosed,
704. i. Copy of No. 705.
704. ii. Report upon Nova Scotia, Sept. 8, 1721. [C.O. 5, 4. Nos. 35, 35 i, ii; and (without enclosures) 218, 2. pp. 140, 141.]
May 14.
Whitehall.
705. Council of Trade and Plantations to Committee of Privy Council. We have reconsidered our report, referred back to us 19th April etc. Continue :—Whereupon we have been attended by Colo. Dunbar: we have likewise discours'd with Mr. Coram, a person well acquainted with this part of America, and who has been engaged in several proposals for settlements there; as also with Mr. Hintze, who was formerly employ'd in transporting several families from the Palatinate to Ireland; and we find that the Irish families now in New England cannot without much difficulty transport themselves so far as Annapolis, or Canco, having stocks of cattle to remove with them, but are desirous of settling to the eastward of Kennebeck, which is not far distant from the place where they are at present; As to the Palatine families, they are willing to be at the charge of transporting themselves, provided they may have lands assigned them between the Rivers of Kennebeck and St. Croix, upon the same terms with H.M. subjects. And if H.M. shall think it for his service to have any other Palatines settled near Annapolis, and Canco, Mr. Hintze can procure what number shall be thought proper, provided H.M. will please to pay the charge of transporting them thither. We have ever been of opinion, that it was necessary for H.M. service, that all possible encouragement should be given to induce people to settle in Nova Scotia, and have proposed several methods for that purpose in our report of 7th June, 1727; It were to be wished that the Irish and Palatine families could be induced to settle near Annapolis and Canço, but since that cannot be, we would submit to your Lordships, whether it may not be proper for the publick to be at some expence for settling one hundred or more poor Palatine families in those parts. Mr. Hintze com putes the charge of transporting 100 Palatine families, consisting of four persons each, to what part of Nova Scotia H.M. shall please to direct, would amount to £1,600: But as he is not capable of undertaking a work of this nature without some support, he hopes he may be allowed for himself and two other Palatines to assist him 20s. per diem for four months, which will amount to £120. We are of opinion, the advantage of this settlement will more than compensate the charge thereof, and we beg leave to refer to our said report for the proper means of defraying that expence. As to the Irish families already in New England, and the Palatines who are willing to transport themselves, and make a settlement at their own expence between the Rivers Kennebeck and St. Croix; we are of opinion that no time should be lost in setting out proper lots of ground for them, according to their own proposals, lest any delay should occasion their going to some other place, and prove the loss of so many planters in the western parts of Nova Scotia. We likewise propose that land be also set out for such other people as have already petitioned H.M. and His late Royal Father in this behalf, if they are willing to settle there upon the same terms proposed for the Irish and Palatines. If H.M. shall be graciously pleased to approve thereof, we take leave to propose that the tract of land, extending from the River Kenebeck to the River St. Croix, be separated from the Government of Nova Scotia, and erected into a new Province by the name of Georgia, and that a distinct Governt. be established there. As the settlement of this country will in great measure be owing to the care of Colo. Dunbar, and as he has offered his service to be Governor of this Colony without any salary, until H.M. shall be pleased to think him deserving of it, we take leave to recommend him as a person qualify'd to be Governor there, during H.M. pleasure. It will be necessary, upon this occasion that Colo. Dunbar, or the person whom H.M. shall think fit to appoint to inspect this new settlement, should have a power given to him of granting lands to such as are willing to settle there, upon condition of paying one penny sterling per acre per annum quit rent to H.M., after the first three years, and upon obliging themselves and their heirs to submit to any further imposition not exceeding one penny more per acre for the maintenance of their Governor and the support of H.M. Government in this Province, which Colo. Dunbar apprehends they will very willingly agree to. The quit rents being thus made payable after the first three years, the grantees will naturally be obliged to cultivate their lands, in order to be able to pay the rent, nor will they desire more land than they can cultivate; and if your Lorsps. should approve of this proposal, we shall then prepare such Instructions as may be necessary for Colo. Dunbar's conduct upon this occasion. But previous to the granting any land in this new Province to private persons, we are of opinion that Colo. Dunbar should be directed to set apart a sufficient quantity of woodland, for the service of H.M. Navy, not amounting to less than 100,000 acres, near to navigable rivers, in which no person should presume to cut any tree, without the Surveyor's licence. This will be just one half of the quantity of wood-lands proposed formerly by us to be reserved in the whole Province of Nova Scotia, of which this new Government is near a moiety. And that the Surveyor Genl. may be the better able to do his duty in this and all other particulars, it will be absolutely necessary that a small sloop should attend him, along the coast, and up the rivers and creeks of Nova Scotia, where there are neither known fords, ferries, nor practicable access without such a conveyance. There was a small sloop built some years since in Nova Scotia, for the protection of the Fishery and survey of the coast, which now lyes there unemploy'd; we would therefore propose that this said sloop may be now refitted for this service. [C.O. 5, 916. pp. 192–197; and 218, 2. pp. 130–139.]
May 14.
Whitehall.
706. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Draw attention to discrepancies between the Revenue Act of Jamaica and the draft formerly prepared and Govr. Hunter's Instructions, as pointed out by the Attorney and Solicitor General (v. March 25). Continue :—But upon the whole considering that the people of Jamaica have already been for a considerable time in a state of anarchy for want of laws; that Major Genl. Hunter was not strictly confin'd by your Majty's. Instruction to get a law pass'd in the same words with the draught, provided the substance of the Act was agreeable thereto, and that we conceive this Act may answer the same end; we most humbly submit whether your Majty. may be graciously pleased to allow the same etc. The Revenue to be raised by this Act is computed £8,371 12s. 6d. pr. ann., and exclusive of the charge of the two Independant Companies is something more than was propos'd to be raised in that Island by the draught of the bill. At the same time that they pass'd this Revenue Act they pass'd another, to oblige the several inhabitants to provide themselves with a sufficient number of white people or pay certain sums of money etc., and applying the same to several uses, and for repairing the wall of Port Royal. By which Act provision is made for the two Independant Companies for one year. Major General Hunter by his Instructions was empowered to give his assent to a separate Act for this purpose and to endeavour to get the subsistance established for the two Independant Companies for such time as your Majty. shall think it necessary for the security of Jamaica to continue them there; But in case he could not prevail with the Assembly to grant the subsistance after this manner, then to use his best endeavours that the said subsistance be granted for a term certain of as many years as he could obtain. But the Assembly not being willing to provide for these Companies in any other manner than from year to year, Genl. Hunter gave his assent to the aforesaid Act whereby they are provided for, for one year, and they have since pass'd another Act to the like effect for this year's service in Febry. last, the former being now expired, which being come but very lately to our hands, we have not yet had time to consider thereof. By the Act pass'd at Jamaica in 1728 for a tax by the poll and on trades and applying the same to several uses etc., the people have given to Major General Hunter £6000 current money to enable him to support the honour and dignity of your Majesty's Government during his residence there; and have imposed a tax to pay the said sum. Quote his Instructions, forbidding him to accept presents from the Assembly but allowing him to accept an addition to his salary if made by the first Assembly and within a year after his arrival etc. Continue :—Genl. Hunter by giving his assent to this Act, has not so much regarded the letter of his Instructions, as the design of them, judging that an allowance received at once, instead of an additional salary would render him as independant of the Assembly as an annual allowance settled for the time of his continuance in that Government, being thereby precluded from receiving any further sum without manifest breach of your Majesty's Instructions. This Act certainly is not agreeable to the letter of your Majesty's Instructions, but as the intention of them may be answered by it, we would humbly submit, whether your Majesty may not be graciously pleased to give your Royal assent thereto. [C.O. 138, 17. pp. 261–269.]
May 14.
Whitehall.
707. Order of Committee of Privy Council. Referring following to the Council of Trade and Plantations for their report. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd. 26th, Read 27th May, 1729. ¾ p. Enclosed,
707. i—iii. Duplicates of Nos. 647, 648, 649 i. [C.O. 5, 870. ff. 240, 241, 242–243, 244, 244v., 246v.]
May 14.
Whitehall.
708. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Committee of the Privy Council. Reply to 30th April. In our humble opinion a Commission to some person appointed to attend the Lord Vere with proper Instructions may serve instead of a Commission to his Lordship. We have therefore prepared draughts of a Commission and Instructions to such person etc., whereby he will be oblig'd to take the advice of Lord Vere, and to execute such matters as his Lordship shall propose to him in writing for H.M. service. Amongst the Instructions to the Governour, we have inserted some relating to the observation of the Acts of Trade and Navigation, which however will prove of small effect till H.M. shall be pleased to erect a Court of Admiralty or some other property jurisdiction in Newfoundland impowered to take cognizance of offences against these Acts and to determine upon seizures made in pursuance of them. We have likewise prepared the draught of such Instructions as we thought might be proper to be given to the Lord Vere etc. For many years pass'd this Board have annually sent to the Lords of the Admiralty certain Heads of Enquiry to be given to the Commodore of the Newfoundland convoy, in relation to the trade and fishery of that place, from whose answers we have constantly been inform'd of the state thereof. We have now made these Heads of Inquiry part of his Lordship's Instructions, and have added such others as we thought might be of service upon this occasion. As the Law now stands upon the Newfoundland Act all robberies, murders, felonies and other capital crimes committed there, are to be try'd in any county in this Kingdom, but this provision has hitherto proved ineffectual, because such offenders have seldom been sent home and when they have for want of evidence they have been acquitted. Wherefore we have annexed an Instruction to the Governour directing him to send home all such offenders together with the proper evidence against them, till such time as some other method shall be established for tryal of these offences in the country, which may perhaps be thought necessary so soon as the Island shall have been put under better regulations, and some person skilled in the Laws may hereafter be annually sent thither for this purpose, with H.M. Commission for Oyer and Terminer. In a draught of this Commission we have inserted a clause revoking so much of Colo. Philipps Commission as relates to the Government of Placentia being of opinion with your Lordships that it is adviseable to separate this Government from that of Nova Scotia; and if your Lordships please the company of Col. Philipps regiment now at Placentia may be relieved by an Independant one; For we are still entirely of opinion that a Garrison should be continued there, not only for maintaining H.M. right of possession, too apt to be encroached upon by our neighbours, but likewise for the protection of the Fishery in time of war. Annexed,
708. i. H.M. Commission to Henry Osborn, Commander of H.M.S. Squirrel, to be "Governor and Commander in Chief in and over our Island of Newfoundland, Our fort and garrison at Placentia and all other forts and garrisons erected or to be erected in that island." Revoke such part of letters patent as appointed Richard Philips Governor of Placentia, having "since thought it necessary for our service that Newfoundland, Placentia, and all other the forts, islands and places thereunto belonging should be under the Government of one and the same person, and that a person should be appointed there to prevent the great irregularities, outrages, rapes, felonies, murders and other heinous offences which are frequently committed in our Island of Newfoundland, especially during the winter season, by wicked people, for want of proper persons legally authoriz'd to restrain and punish such offenders" etc. Gives power to administer the oaths mentioned in the Act for the further security of H.M. person, and "to constitute and appoint Justices of the Peace, with other necessary officers and ministers for the better administration of Justice and keeping the peace and quiet of the Island, which Justices of the Peace so authoriz'd may and shall hold and keep general Quarter Sessions of the Peace in such places as you shall appoint, according to the custom of this part of Great Britain called England etc., provided you nor they do anything by virtue of this Commission etc. contrary or repugnant to the Act for encouraging the trade to Newfoundland, nor any way obstruct the powers thereby given and granted to the Admirals of Harbours or Captains of our ships of war" etc. [Note in margin: 24th May a box was sent by the Lord Vere Beauclerk in which was eleven sets of Shaw's Practical Justice of the Peace 2 vol. each, impressed on the covers in gold letters for Placentia, St. Johns, Carbonier, Bay of Bulls, St. Maries, Trepassy, Ferryland, Bay de Verds, Trinity Bay, Bonavista, Old Parlekin, together with 13 printed Acts to encourage the trade to Newfoundland and one bundle of the Acts relating to the Trade and Navigation of this Kingdom etc.] All such Justices and their inferior officers to be strictly enjoined to be aiding and assisting to the Commodore or Commanders of our ships in putting in execution the Act to encourage the trade to Newfoundland etc., after taking the oaths aforesaid. The Governor is empowered to appoint Court Houses with a prison adjoining thereto. All officers, civil and military, and other inhabitants to be aiding and abetting him in the execution of his Commission. In case of his death, William Coalsea, first Lieutenant of H.M.S. Oxford is to take upon him the administration etc. Signed, Caroline, Queen and Guardian of the Realm etc. Westminster, 31st May, 1729.
708. ii. H.M. Instructions to Governor Osborn. (i) You are to repair forthwith to Newfoundland, call together the principal inhabitants and publish your Commission, (ii) In accordance with the Act to encourage the trade to Newfoundland, to take care that all persons guilty of robberies, murders, felonies and all other capital crimes be sent over to this Kingdom with witnesses etc. (iii) You shall strictly enjoin the garrison of Placentia not to concern themselves in the Fishery there, nor interrupt the fishermen in the curing of their fish, nor to take up for themselves any beaches, stages, or cook-rooms, upon any pretence whatever, on pain of highest displeasure, (iv) You are particularly to prevent the engrossing of commodities, as tending to the prejudice of the Fishery and the persons employ'd therein, (v) To transmit to us and our Commissioners for Trade and Board of Ordnance, etc. accounts of arms and stores at Placentia, and of the state of the fort etc. in detail, (vi) You shall use your best endeavours to have all such draughts or maps of Newfoundland or any of the bays etc. thereof as you can obtain carefully revised, and thereby procure one or more good and correct map of the same, with the exactest description thereof that can be obtained and transmit the same unto us, and to our Commissioners for Trade etc. (vii) Whereas complaint has been made of masters of ships and others carrying on a clandestine trade amongst the fishing ships from Great Britain with others from our Colonies and Plantations in America contrary to the Act of Charles II for the encouragement of trade, you shall use your utmost endeavour for the due observance of the said Act. (viii) To permit a liberty of conscience to all persons (except Papists), so they be contented with a quiet and peaceable enjoyment of the same, not giving offence or scandal to the Government, (ix) To cause the laws against blasphemy, profaneness, adultery, fornication, polygamy, incest, prophanation of the Lord's Day, swearing and drunkenness to be vigorously executed etc., by presentment upon oath to the Justices of the Peace in their Sessions by their Constables or other inferior officers of the several Harbours at proper times of the year to be appointed for that purpose. And for the further discouragement of vice and encouragement of virtue and good living, you are not to admit any person to act as a Justice of the Peace in the island whose ill fame or conversation may occasion scandal, especially you shall take care that the Lord's Day be devoutly and duly observed, that the Book of Common Prayer as by Law established be read each Sunday and Holiday and the Blessed Sacrament administered according to the rites of the Church of England in all such chapels or publick places of worship as are already settled there, (x) And if any orthodox Minister there shall appear to give scandal either by his doctrine or manners or shall preach or administer the holy Sacraments in any Orthodox Church or Chappel, without being in due orders, you shall give account thereof to the Lord Bishop of London, (xi) To take especial care that a table of marriages established by the cannons of the Church of England be hung up in every orthodox Church or Chappell and duly observed, (xii) If anything shall happen which may be of advantage or security to our said Island which is not herein or by your Commission provided for, We do hereby allow you to take order for the present therein, giving to us by one of Our principal Secretaries of State and to Our Commissioners for Trade etc. speedy notice thereof, that so you may receive our ratification thereof, if We shall approve the same, provided that you do not allow anything to be done contrary to the true intent and meaning of the Act to encourage the Trade to Newfoundland nor contrary to any of the laws and statutes of this Our realm, (xiii) To send accounts to the Secretary of State and Board of Trade of all your proceedings and the affairs etc. of the Island, (xiv) To execute all such matters as Lord Vere Beauclerk, Commodore of the Convoy for the preservation of the Trade and Fishery, shall propose to you for that purpose etc.
708. iii. H.M. Instructions to Commodore Lord Vere Beauclerk. May, 1729. The usual Heads of Enquiry, Articles I—L. From Article XXIV, the Query, who administers Justice there in the winter? is omitted, Article L, as to Garrison at Placentia being concerned in the Fishery, is omitted, and Article LII (April 21, 1725). Cf. C.S.P. March 31st, 1724, and April 21, 1725. [C.O. 195, 7. pp. 176–238.]
May 16.
st. James's.
709. H.M. Warrant appointing Thomas Hayward Clerk of the Markets of Barbados in the room of Alexander Burnet etc. Countersigned, Holles Newcastle. Copy. [C.O. 324, 36. pp. 111, 112; and 324, 50. pp. 23, 24.]
May 16.
Clarges
Street.
710. Col. Dunbar to Mr. Popple. About the end of next week I shall go on board, and since the oppertunity of makeing the settlement proposed is for this time layd aside, which may never offer againe upon the same termes etc., Repeats request for order for 40 men as guard (cf. 17th March), "in such manner as I may be at liberty to putt them on board and carry them to any part of Nova Scotia, for I am determined either to buy or hire a sloop at my own expence that the duty of my imployment may be performed to the full, and I will afterwards depend on their Lordships' recommendation to be repayd it" etc. Requests copies of the Act for preservation of the woods as soon as printed etc. Continues :—I cannot help expressing my concerne at the assureances I have wrote to the poor people in New England that I should prevail to gett them settled where they desire, and I was so zealous in provideing for them that I have actually contracted for 60 tonn of Irish beef to be sent for their winter's provision, and I have packed up here £400 worth of axes, hatchets, saws, crows, handskrews etc., and a quantity of nails for clearing ground and building houses, and I was treating for a large parcel of course druggets etc. I hope it will not be totally layd aside in pique to me, and to shew how little expectation I had of any private view to myself, lett any other be appointed and I will give him my best assistance etc. P.S. Some New England agents who attended ye Council yesterday and heard of my success the night before, have boasted of the disappointment as many of 'em have lately taken possession of great tracts where I proposed to fix the Irish families. Signed, David Dunbar. Endorsed, Recd. Read 16th May, 1729. 3 pp. [C.O. 217, 5. ff 112–113v.]
May 16.
Whitehall.
711. Mr. Popple to Col. Dunbar. Reply to preceding. The hurry of business occasioned by the King's being just upon his going has occasion'd my Lords Rept. to be deferred for the present: As there is reason to hope that the consideration of this matter will soon be resumed, you will receive the proper directions when you are in America. As to the 40 men to assist you, the necessary orders are to be given in another Office etc. I heartily wish you a good voyage. [C.O. 218, 2. p. 142.]
May 16.
Whitehall.
712. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to 6th May. I am humbly of opinion that there are no words in the original charter of the Bahama Islands by K. Charles II which will carry a grant of Admiralty jurisdiction and the rights and perquisites thereunto belonging to the Lords Proprietors etc. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. 17th, Read 22nd May, 1729. 1 p. [C.O. 23, 2. ff. 190, 191v.]
May 16.
Whitehall.
713. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor the Earl of Londonderry. Acknowledge letters etc. of 30th Sept., 30th Nov., 26th Dec. and 16th and 30th Jan. Continue :—We take this opportunity of congratulating your Lordship upon your safe arrival in your Government, where we have no reason to doubt, but that by your prudent management your Lordship's administration will be attended with great ease to yourself and prosperity to the people. We have again upon this occasion; read the several letters from Lt. Genl. Mathew, which have not yet been answered, and shall take notice to your Lordship of such parts of them as may be proper for your Lordship's information etc. By your Lordship's Instructions you are directed to transmit to us the several accounts of publick occurrances which the proper officers are for this purpose to lay before you: But as we observe the difficulty Mr. Mathew has had with Mr. Smith, Secretary to the Leeward Islands upon this subject, we desire your Lordship will acquaint him that his delays for the future in furnishing your Lordship with the proper accounts to be transmitted hither, may occasion our representing his conduct to his Majesty. Your Lordship will herewith receive a list of those publick papers which ought to have been sent to this Office, but are not yet received, and therefore we desire, your Lordship will give the necessary orders for transmitting of them. We have received the Act pass'd at Antigua 2nd March, 1727/8 for laying a duty of powder and mony on all vessels trading to or from this island etc., and we find it free from those objections to which that thereby repealed was lyable. In your Lordship's letter of 30th Nov. last, you take notice of your having appointed Mr. Smith a Councillor in St. Christopher's, upon your having found the number of the Council of that island, under seven, etc., but you omitted sending us a list of the present Councillors, and where they are. We must therefore desire your Lordship to transmit this list by the first opportunity, that we may be able to judge how the Council became so reduced. We have laid before H.M. for his royal confirmation, the acts passed at Nevis, Antigua and St. Christophers, for settling upon your Lordship an additional salary, but as the merchts. have petitioned H.M. against these acts, they are referred back again to us to hear the merchts. by their Council etc. We have considered the acts passed at St. Christophers Dec, 1727 for regulating vestries and erecting into parishes those parts formerly belonging to the French etc. and to enable the several parts formerly belonging to the French to choose and send Representatives to serve in the Assemblies etc. As to the first, your Lordship observes very well, that the bounds of the parishes ought to have been described by particular possessions and not by geometrical lines, which few people are capable of apprehending, and therefore we think your Lordship will do very well to endeavour to get this act repealed by another, whereby the bounds of the several parishes may be described in a more intelligible way, and the inconveniencies complained of, prevented for the future. As to the other act, we should immediately have laid the same before H.M., for his disapprobation, if it had not been out of compassion to the inhabitants who by the repeal of the act, and of the several laws made by this new Assembly, might have been involved in very great difficulties; But you will find by the observations our Secretary will send you, what our thoughts of this act are; however we shall let it lye by, in hopes your Lordship may procure another to be pass'd not lyable to the same objections, but if that be not done within a reasonable time, we shall then be obliged to report for the repeal of this law. We have read the several letters from Mr. Estridge and Mr. Phipps, inclosed in your Lordship's of 16th Jan. etc. Altho' Mr. Phipps might have been first named by Gov. Park etc., yet as Mr. Estridge was first appointed by the Crown, and for this reason, has constantly been placed first in the Instructions to Genl. Douglas, Genl. Hamilton, Col. Hart, and to your Lordship, we cannot advise H.M. to make any alteration with respect thereto. We shall be glad to receive a further account from your Lordship of the late intended insurrection of the negroes at Antigua. Subjoined,
713. i. List of publick papers wanting in the Plantation Office, which ought to have been transmitted by the Commanders in Chief of the Leeward Islands: Antigua, Minutes of Council, 2nd Oct., 1725—16th June, 1727. Minutes of Council and Assembly both, since 17th Aug., 1728. Nevis, Minutes of Council, 7th Nov. 1723—1st June, 1727, and since 16th Sept., 1728. Minutes of Assembly from the end of General Hamilton's government to 20th Nov., 1727, and since 28th Oct., 1728. St. Kitts, Minutes of Council, 16th June, 1722—10th Sept., 1724, and 5th March, 1726—29th May, 1727, and since 5th Sept., 1728. All the Minutes of Assembly from the end of General Hamilton's government to 5th June, 1727, and of the Assembly held in 1728. Montserrat, Minutes of Council, 7th Sept. 1724—4th March 1727, and since 26th Feb. 1728. All the Minutes of Assembly from the end of Genl. Hamilton's government to 16th May, 1729. Wanting from all the Islands: (Some of these have been received from particular times, but no continued series, so as to form any report to the Crown upon 'em, as is now required by H.M.):—The Treasurer of each Island's account of receipts and payments; account from the parish registers of births and burials; naval officers' accounts of imports and exports, with separate accounts of negroes and liquors imported; all for the last 8 years. Account of present stores of war and fortifications; of the courts, officers, deputies and fees of each office; of the present state of each island, with the improvements that are or may be made therein, and the wants and defects thereof. [C.O. 153, 15. pp. 1–8; and (extract only, relating to Councillors, ¾ p.) 152, 43. f. 47.]
May 17.
Whitehall.
714. Mr. Popple to the Same. Objections to the Act enabling the former French parts to choose Representatives etc. (v. preceding). By this act, any person qualified as is thereby directed, has a right of electing or being elected to serve in the Assembly, whether he be a freeholder, or not. Altho' this may be agreeable to the tenour of your Lordship's Commission, whereby freeholders and planters, may indifferently elect and be elected, yet my Lords Commissrs. are of opinion that the common custom of the island ought to be the rule in this case, and that the act ought to be fram'd accordingly. By this act, denizens have a right of being elected. My Lords are of opinion, that this priviledge ought only to be allowed to such as are naturaliz'd, unless any inconvenience be apprehended from the want of a sufficient number of freeholders. By the same act all the King's officers are excluded from serving in Assemblies, or concerning themselves therein, under severe penalties. As my Lords do not see any reason for this severity, they will not agree to any act with the like clause. Besides the objections aforementioned, the King's prerogative is so much restrained thereby, that there ought to have been inserted therein a clause for suspending the execution thereof, till H.M. pleasure could have been declared thereon ; and your Lordship will please to observe, that the passing any act of this nature, without such a clause, will be contrary to your Lordship's instructions. [C.O. 153, 15. pp. 8–10.]
May 19
Whitehall.
715. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses for his opinion in point of law six Acts passed at Jamaica Febry. last. [C.O. 138, 17. pp. 270, 271.]
May 19.
Whitehall.
716. Same to Mr. Burchett. Reply to May 2 and 10. The usual Heads of Inquiry are now laid before H.M. in order to be given as Instructions from H.M. to the Commadore. My Lords Commissioners having prepared certain queries (enclosed) in relation to the Fishery at Canco desire that the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty will please to give them as Instructions to Capt. Weller etc. Annexed,
716. i. Heads of Enquiry relating to the Fishery and Trade of Canco in Nova Scotia and parts adjacent etc., for Capt. Weller, H.M.S. Rose, appointed to guard the Fishery at Canco. You are to give all due encouragement and protection to the trade and fishery there and to transmit the fullest account you can to the Lords Commrs. for Trade etc. as likewise distinct answers to the following queries vizt. (i) Whether the inhabitants are possess'd of any stages, cookrooms etc. or of any trainfats; if so, by what title? Or whether they are left at large for fishing ships? (ii) Whether any persons do presume to expunge, cut out, deface or alter the mark of any boats or trainfats of other persons and convert them to their own use or remove the same from the places where they were left by the owners, (iii) Whether any aliens or strangers not residing in the Kingdom of Great Britain or Ireland, do resort to Nova Scotia or to the Islands adjacent thereunto and take bait or use any sort of trade or fishing whatsoever in those parts? (iv) Whether the said inhabitants are wholly supplied with sail-cloth, netts and tackle for their fishery? and with woollen, linnen, leather and other manufactures for their use and wear from this Kingdom? Or whether they are furnish'd with any of the aforesaid necessaries from the Plantations or from any foreign country whatsoever? (v) What wages do the said inhabitants allow to their servants for carrying on the Fishery? and in what manner do they pay them? (vi) How much does the charge of fitting out and maintaining one of their fishing boats for the whole season amount to? (vii) Whether the inhabitants have any other employment in the fishing season for their servants than taking and curing of fish? Whether they are dilligent therein? How many men they allow to each of their fishing boats? Whether they can afford their fish as cheap as the fishing ships, and the by-boats, or what difference is made between the price of the one and the other? (viii) In what manner they employ themselves and their servants after the fishing season is over, and during the winter? Whether they are industrious in providing and making necessaries for their next fishing season, or mispend their time in debaucheries and excesses? (ix) Whether the houses, etc. of the inhabitants are at such a distance from the waterside as not to hinder or obstruct the fishermen in making their flakes, or in drying and curing their fish? (x) How many flakes are allowed to each fishing boat, and of what length? Whether they are extended in length according to the custom used in Newfoundland from the shore up into the land? Or whether any of the inhabitants or fishermen extend their flakes along the shore or possess a larger front to the water side, according to the number of their boats than was formerly allowed at Newfoundland in that case, (xi) Whether the fishing ships that proceed directly from this Kingdom to Nova Scotia are victualed here and provided with all other necessaries of British product and manufacture for the whole voyage? Or whether the masters or freighters do not furnish themselves with provisions that are brought from the Plantations or other parts to Nova Scotia? (xii) Whether any of the fishing ships follow the old laudable custom of allowing their ships companies shares of what they make in the voyage, instead of wages, and in such case, how much doth the charge of fitting out and maintaining a ship of 100 tuns with 50 men and 10 boats amount to for the whole voyage? (xiii) How many taverns or publick houses in Nova Scotia or at least in the harbour of Canceau? Are they kept only by the inhabitants, or by the by-boat keepers and the people of New England also? Do they trust the fishermen upon their own credit or do the masters of the ships and of the by boats permit them to trust their crews; and deduct the same out of their respective wages, hire or shares, in order to satisfy the said tavern keepers? Are not the poor seamen hereby tempted to spend the greatest part or the full amount of their wages, and frequently to run so far in debt, that they are forced to remain as servants to the inhabitants, and at last constrained to betake themselves to New England? (xiv) Whether the inhabitants do not usually trust their own servants employed in the fishery with rum and other stores to a greater value than their wages amount to? And whether they are not generally paid as in the foregoing article? (xv) How much do the by boatmen and the inhabitants allow to the masters of the fishing ships for the passage of their servants both out and home? In what manner do the said inhabitants pay the masters of the fishing ships for the same and for the several necessaries they supply them with? And whether a considerable part of these debts is not secured by suffering their seamen to run in debt to the inhabitants? (xvi) Whether this method of trusting the fishermen is not the occasion of many thefts and disorders? Are they not by their debaucheries often withdrawn from and render'd unfit for their labour to the great discouragement and obstruction of the Fishery? (xvii) Whether the masters of the fishing ships and by boats do not connive at or encourage their men to remain in the land that they may save the charge of carrying them home? What number of men do stay behind yearly, and particularly last year? (xviii) Whether the New England traders do still continue to entice and carry thither numbers of handycraft men, seamen and fishermen? And whether any of the inhabitants do favour or assist them therein? (xix) And whereas H.M. Consuls and the merchants residing in Portugal, Spain and Italy unanimously complain that by reason of the ill curing of the fish for some years past the consumption thereof is considerably lessen'd, and that the trade will be losst if effectual care be not taken to reform the same, you are therefore to use your best endeavours that the masters of the fishing ships the by-boatkeepers and inhabitants do take the greatest care in curing their fish with good salt and with a sufficient quantity, and in preparing, husbanding and ordering the same, that the credit thereof may be again recovered, and that it may be well receiv'd and esteem'd in the several places to which it is carry'd for sale. And further you are upon this occasion very particularly to inquire into their manner and method of taking and curing their fish, what quantity of salt they allow for the curing every hundred quintals, whether they are guilty of any abuse in the ordering thereof. Whether the fish taken at a distance from the land by their small vessels is not prejudiced before it is brought on shore? Whether the inhabitants or the fishing ships or the by-boat-keepers are most to be blamed? And in short, from whence these complaints arise and what methods are to be taken to prevent or rectify what- soever is amiss? (xx) You are to inquire into the present state of the French Fishery at Canceau and Cape Breton. What number of ships, boats and men they employ therein? Whether they do not encourage Irish Papists who are disaffected to our present happy Establishment, and what number of such may now be among the French? (xxi) Whether any of the Officers of the Garrison at Canceau are concerned directly or indirectly by themselves or others in the Fishery? Or whether they take upon them to dispose of fishing rooms, beaches, stages etc. to any persons whatsoever, or hire out the soldiers to fish?
716. ii. Scheme of Fishery at Canco. Similar to usual scheme of return required from Newfoundland. [C.O. 218, 2. pp. 143–155.]
May 19.
Whitehall.
717. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses for his opinion in point of law, act of Antigua, 1728, to supply the defects of the act for constituting a court of Chancery etc. [C.O. 153, 15. pp. 10, 11.]
May 20.
Whitehall.
718. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Finding by the journals of Virginia that the Council of that Colony had ordered £300 sterling and the Assembly £500 current mony to be given to Lt. Govr. Gooch, we wrote to him, 7th May, 1728, wherein we expressed our disapproval of his receiving presents, contrary to his Instructions. In answer to this letter, he has acquainted us, that other Govrs. of Virginia have usually receiv'd the like presents upon their arrival, and that he had reason to hope the same indulgence would be allowed to him. We therefore thought ourselves obliged to lay this matter before your Grace, that H.M. pleasure may be known thereupon. [C.O. 5, 1366. pp. 18, 19.]
May 20.
Whitehall.
719. Same to Same. We have lately considered a letter from Lt. Govr. Gooch (copy enclosed), in relation to the difficulty he is under in forming a rent roll for the two new counties of Spotsylvania and Brunswick, now that the time is expir'd for which his late Majesty was pleas'd to exempt the inhabitants of those Counties from the payment of quit-rents. Your Grace will perceive that this difficulty proceeds from a Minute of Council in Virginia, whereby the Officers of the revenue were ordred not to demand either the rights or quit-rents for lands granted in the said counties, least the acceptance of such payments should be construed an allowance of some large grants which were made before his late Majesty's intentions were known. As the settling these counties appears to be of very great consequence for H.M. service, we beg your Grace will please to take the first opportunity of knowing H.M. pleasure thereupon. [C.O. 5, 1366. pp. 19, 20.]
May 20.
Whitehall.
720. Mr. Popple to Mr. Carkesse. Encloses extract of Memorial from Mayor of Poole (Feb. 12th) complaining that a duty is now demanded for oil made at Newfoundland, and an extract of the Newfoundland Act declaring such oil free of duties. Enquires for what reason the officers of the Customs now make this demand. [C.O. 195, 7. p. 240.]