America and West Indies
March 173, 16-31

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Cecil Headlam (editor) Arthur Percival Newton (introduction)

Year published

1938

Pages

68-80

Annotate

Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'America and West Indies: March 173, 16-31', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 38: 1731 (1938), pp. 68-80. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72567 Date accessed: 22 November 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

March 1731, 16-31

March 17.
Jamca.
92. Governor Hunter to the [? Duke of Newcastle]. Since my last, a copie of which is inclos'd, the several companys of two regiments have been sent to their respve. quarters where it was judg'd they might be of most use, and barracks built, where there are not finisht they are quarter'd by the parish'oners. The private men are generally in good health and condition, but of the officers, Major Brandreth, and Captn. Moloy of Coll. Hayes, and Capt. Ballenden and Lieut. Sutton of Coll. Cope's regiment are dead. That the service may not suffer, upon application from the commanding officers, etc., I have order'd out commissions etc., detailed. Continues:—The officers are preferr'd according to their seniority and service, and I hope H.M. will confirm their commissions, There are absent three Captains and 7 subalterns. Our countrey party, consisting of about 180 men were march'd from their place of rendezvous before the regiments arriv'd. They had the luck to surprize the chiefe negro setlement in the neighbourhood of Port Antonio gott into the town with the loss of two men and a few wounded the negro's set fire to that part of their town next to the mountains and fled thither under the cover of the smoak. Our party did not pursue but kept in the town three days and on the fourth burnt it consisting of a hundred and six houses, and retir'd to Port Antonio: I have order'd them immediately back thither, if the officer finds them in good heart and willing, if otherwise, to disband them: for they left it contrary to my orders and have not taken one pris'ner. By the advice of the Council and at the desire of the most substantial merchts. and inhabitants, I have dissolv'd the Genll. Assembly, issu'd writts for calling a new one, and our elections begin to-morrow. If the gentlemen who desir'd the dissolution will exert themselves we may hope for a better, but it can not well be worse: men of desperate fortunes who want protection, and some of desperate principles who want confusion will ever be the most active and industrious to gett in but I hope the people's eyes are opened etc. Will write by Capt. Dent, who is to depart soon etc. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, R. May 18th. Holograph. 2 2/3 pp. [C.O. 137, 53. ff. 328–329v.]
March 17.
Whitehall.
93. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses for his opinion in point of law, seven Acts of the Massachusets Bay passed in 1730. [C.O. 5, 916. pp. 404, 405.]
March 19.94. Memorial of loss and damage (£475) sustained by Abraham Van Vleck, Jacobus and Jesse Kiersted of New York, owners of the Two Brothers sloop and part of her cargo of provisions, taken near Carolina on 22nd Aug., 1727, by two Spanish privateers. Affirmation, signed, Jo. Belch of London, Druggist. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Recd, (from Joseph Belch) 19th April, 1732).
94. i.–vii. Depositions relating to foregoing. Copies. 6 pp. [C.O. 388, 93. Nos. 21, 21 i–vii.]
March 20.
Jamca.
95. Governor Hunter to the [? Duke of Newcastle]. Refers to letter of 17th. Continues:—Coll. Hays dy'd last night at Port Royal: I most humbly intreat and hope for your Grace's recommendation to H.M. for the command of that Regiment. I think I am the only Genii. Officer in actual service without one, and if a great deale of additional trouble and expens can add any weight to my clame I assure your Graec I have both etc. Will write by a ship of war which will sayle soon etc. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, R. 14th May. Holograph. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 53. ff. 330, 331v.]
March 22.
St. James's.
96. H.M. Warrant appointing James St. John, Surveyor of lands in S. Carolina, and Inspector of Quit Rents and North and South Carolina, at 100l. per ann. Proclamation money of Carolina, during pleasure. Countersigned, R. Walpole, Wm. Clayton, Wm. Yonge. Copy. [C.O. 324, 49. ff. 65–67.]
March 22.97. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Has no objection to five of the acts of Jamaica submitted to him, but as to the sixth, for the better regulating slaves etc., refers to the objections stated in enclosed memorial, and concludes: Considering the circumstances of this family and the hardships they must necessarily lye under in case this act passes into a law: there ought at least to have been a particular exception of them out of the act. But as that has not been provided for I must submit it to your Lordships' consideration whether this act ought to be confirmed. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. 30th March, Read 6th July, 1731. 1¼ pp. Enclosed,
97. i. The case of Francis Williams, v. 30th June, 1731. 3¼ pp. [C.O. 137, 19. ff. 31–33v, 34v.]
March 24.
Whitehall.
98. Order of Committee of Council. Referring following to the Council of Trade and Plantations for their report. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd., Read 25th March, 1731. 1 p. Enclosed,
98. i. Petition of Sr. Joseph Eyles, Jonathan Perrie, John Drummond and Thomas Watts, in behalf of themselves and several other merchants and traders of the City of London, to the King. There is a certain tract of land in New York containing 62,000 acres, commonly called the ' Equivalent land' because the same was formerly taken from the Colony of Connecticut, in lieu of the like quantity yielded to that Colony by the Province of New York upon the settling of their respective boundarys, which tract of land is scituate between the antient easterly bounds of New York upon the main land, and the present westerly bounds of Connecticut, bounded towards the north by the south line of the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay at about twenty miles distance from Hudsons River etc. The said tract hath never yet been granted to any person by the Crown, but if the same were duly settled and improved under a grant thereof from your Majesty, it might be rendered greatly advantagious to this Kingdom in the production of hemp, pitch, tarr, and other kinds of naval stores, and is well scituated for cultivating a furr trade with the Indian Nations in that neighbourhood. Propose to settle it with 100 persons within 7 years and more as they find encouragement, and to pay 2s. 6d. per 100 acres, the same quitrent as is reserved in all grants of lands in New York. Pray for H.M. grant etc. Signed, Joseph Eyles, Jona. Perrie, John Drummond, Tho. Watts. Copy. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1055. ff. 149, 150, 150v., 152v.]
March 24.99. Thomas Lowndes to Mr. Popple. Abstract. Excuses himself for giving trouble, having only been able to peruse the Act of S. Carolina for settling Courts of Justice that day etc. Cf. 6th Oct., 1730. Requests that directions may be given, in relation to the clause requiring security for the Provost Marshall, agreeable to the Board's intentions expressed that day etc. Cf. Journal of B. of T. Signed, Tho. Lowndes. Endorsed, Recd. Read 26th March, 1731. Addressed. 1 2/3 pp. [C.O. 5, 362. ff. 14, 14v., 15v.]
March 25.100. Petty Expences of the Board of Trade, Christmas 1730—Lady day, 1731. (v. Journal). 6 pp. [C.O. 388, 80, Nos. 1–4.]
March 26.
Whitehall.
101. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Commissioners of H.M. Treasury. Request payment of Office expences and Officers' Salaries for quarter ending Lady Day. Account annexed. [C.O. 389, 37. pp. 323, 324.]
March 26.
Charles
Town.
102. Governor Johnson to the Council of Trade and Plantations. By this conveyance, I have at the desire of the Council and Assembly, transmitted to his Grace the Duke of Newcastle, their humble address to his Majesty. The Assembly are fallen upon business and am in great hopes I have brought them to a disposition to settle the distracted affairs of the Province, but nothing is yet brought to maturity, so as to transmit to your Lordships. The Assembly insist upon the priviledge of appointing their own Clerk ; I apprehend it is H.M. Prerogative to appoint that and all officers, and I insisted upon it with them ; but they plead custom, and having always been allowed that priviledge, both in the Proprietors and Mr. Nicholson's time, and given instances of Barbados and other Colonies in America, having the same ; at last I told them I would dispence with their doing it for the present, till H.M. pleasure should be signifyed to me thereupon. I therefore beg to be particularly instructed on this head. Signed, Robt. Johnson. Endorsed, Recd. 1st June, 1731. 1 2/3 pp. [C.O. 5, 362. ff. 37, 37v., 400.; and (abstract) 36 ; and 5, 406. pp. 27, 28.]
March 26.
Charles
Town.
103. Same to the Duke of Newcastle. Duplicate of preceding, with addition of P.S. I am in hopes Mr. Fury's affair will be done. Signed, Robt. Johnson. Endorsed, R. May 24. 2 pp. Enclosed,
103. i. Address of Assembly of South Carolina to the King. March 1st, 1730. Return thanks for appointment of Governor Johnson, whose ability and good will have gained him the hearts of all H.M. good subjects etc. Return thanks for H.M. remission of the arrears of quit-rents, the continuance of the present bills of credit, and "for that unspeakable benefit and liberty of enlargeing our currency in proportion to our trade: which has dissipated all our fears, releiv'd us under all our necessities, and given us a most ample prospect of being made perfectly easy, and happy, under H.E. administration." Signed, John Lloyd, Speaker; and 30 members of Assembly. 1 large p.
103. ii. Address of the Lt. Governor and Council of S. Carolina to the King. Return thanks for H.M. taking the Province under his protection and appointing Mr. Johnson, Governor, with whose great abilities and good inclinations they are well acquainted etc. Signed, Fra. Yonge and 9 others. 1 large p. [C.O. 5, 388. ff. 33, 33v, 34v; (covering letter only); and (without covering letter) 5, 383. ff. 268, 269.]
March 26.
Whitehall.
104. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. In reply to March 10th, recommend that Mr. Ayscough be restored to his place and antient rank in the Council of Jamaica upon the first vacancy, he now intending to return, and having behaved with commendable zeal when the Government devolved upon him etc. (Set out, A.P.C. III. p. 312.) [C.O. 138, 17. pp. 308–310.]
March 27.105. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Has no objection to 8 acts of the Massachusets Bay, 1730. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. 30th March, 1731, Read 16th Jan., 1733/4. N.B. These Acts were not referred by Order in Council. 1¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 876. ff. 2, 2v., 5v.]
March 27.
Barbadoes.
106. Governor Worsley to the Duke of Newcastle. As I conceive no words can represent the state of this Island, and the conduct of the present General Assembly so clearly, and justly, as their own votes, I have the honour of transmitting them herewith to your Grace, from the first meeting of the present General Assembly, to the 19th instant inclusive: this last day of their meeting they passed a petition to H.M. upon the subject matter of the report of the Committee appointed to prepare a representation of their grievances, which report is set down at large in their foregoing Minutes of the 15th of the last month, but as to their petition I have not seen a copy of it. The report setts forth the former petition made to H.M. against me by the Assembly in 1728, which they now repeat again under pretence that they did not know that that petition had been preferred to H.M., but they are informed, that it was transmitted to Great Britain in order to be preferred, but miscarryed for want of proper Agents to sollicite the same. I was very much surprised on reading these votes for I thought, it was notoriously known, that it was not only preferr'd, but was order'd by H.M. to be heard by the Lords for Trade etc. together with my answer, and accordingly was heard, and the petition dismissed: but I suppose this repetition of what they could not prove is to be imposed upon the world, as an undoubted proof of the truth of it. I can't help being amazed at their bold assertion in relation to the conduct of the Gentlemen of H.M. Council here, who, they say, "far from making the laws of the land, and the good of their country the rule of their conduct, have acted of late, as if they looked upon themselves indispensibly obliged to concurr with H.E., in every attempt of his upon our liberties, and properties;" and in their foregoing votes of the 15th of January last, they treat them as incendiaries. But whoever considers the conduct of the Assembly for these three last years in relation to the tax granted to H.M. for supporting the honour and dignity of the Government, as well as by their own votes would be apt to think that they accused the Council of what they were guilty themselves. In their address to me they say that if any deficiencies have happen'd in the collecting the tax, the same "have proceeded from the miserable poverty of the people, who thereby are forced to defend themselves against the rigorous prosecutions, they are daily threatened with" etc. (v. C.S.P. 27th Nov., 1730), and perhaps they may construe any prosecution upon this head, as attempts upon their libertys, and properties; so that had H.M. Attorney General here prosecuted every one for H.M. tax who had not paid nor had given in the number of his negro's to his representative or who had not been returned by him a defaulter (for against these the Treasurer by the law is not impower'd to issue his warrant within four months after the time of payment, nor are these persons after the said time discharged of the duty, but only those against whom the law empowers the Treasurer to issue his warrants, which has already been represented to H.M. in the address of the Council) they might have called it a rigorous prosecution, which would be a very absurd construction of the law, as if any one's neglect, or refusal to deliver in the list of his negro's as by the law he is obliged cou'd exempt him from the duty, upon the whole I am most humbly of opinion that if an order was sent to H.M. Attorney General here to sue every body who had not paid their tax for these two last years, and against whom the Treasurer is not empower'd by the law to issue his warrants for the same, after a convenient limited time was allowed them for the payment thereof, I am satisfied the country would be soon quiet, for the people are daily expecting it, and say if this be the King's tax, and we ought to pay, how comes it that there is not an order to oblige us to pay. In my letter of 16th Jan. etc., I mentioned an expedient I could have wished the Assembly would have come into, not that H.M. tax could not have been recover'd by due course of law, but out of tenderness to the inhabitants of this Island, for if H.M. Attorney General here was to sue in the Exchequer every body that had not paid his tax the expense of such a prosecution would fall heavy especially on the poor people. Another insinuation in the report is, that Mr. Webster holds the office of Secretary under Francis Whitworth Esq. in trust for me, and therefore I had recommended to the Assembly the fragment of what was due to him, your Grace knows that what I did upon this head was in obedience to H.M. orders in Council, not only for what was due to my Lord Micklethwait and Mr. Whitworth, which was from April 1714 to 1st March, 1726, but also for the future for what ever shall become due to the Secretary for such services as shall be performed by him for the publick. But your Grace will observe by their votes of 19th instant how differently they act in favour of their own officers, they there pass a petition to me unanimously for the payment of 242l. 6s. 7d. for their Clerke, tho' by their Minutes of the 4th Nov., 1729, his salary is settled for the said year at 150l. and 50l. for publishing the votes in the four towns of this Island. By the same annual proportion there should be due to the Clerks of the Council from March, 1714 to 26th March, 1729, 3878l. 0s. 4d., tho' their accounts come to but 2823l. 16s. 9d. besides 300l., which was paid to Mr. Lenoir a former Deputy Secretary, which would make the whole sum 3123l. 16s. 9d. The report further sets forth, that of all their grievances, that of the encrease of the French trade and power is the greatest, and that it will be proper forthwith to prepare an humble address to his most Gracious Majesty for redress therein, and that accordingly a petition had been presented, but, they say, they know too, that that petition had been opposed at the Board of Trade by me and that my Agent Mr. Sharpe was now opposeing the same; what I have wrote I thought it was my duty to do, I stated the facts truly, and because Mr. Sharpe transacts my affairs in England, is he to act for nobody else that will employ him ? And as it is notoriously known that he is employed by one of the Northern Colonys, a jealous mind might imagine, that this is mentioned to make me odious to the inhabitants. As the Assembly, and they who oppose the payment of H.M. tax have entertained of late great hopes of Mr. Othniel Haggats being a Counsellor, tho' I could say much upon that head, I need only refer your Grace to their own votes by which your Grace will see the part that Gentleman has acted. I dont know any two Gentlemen in the Island, that have been more zealous against the payment of the King's tax, than Mr. Ashley, and he etc. The Guarda da Costa of Martinico about a month since went into the Carnache, a port in Sta. Lucia, where vessells generally resort to carry on a clandestine trade with the French inhabitants of Martinico, and meeting with a great many English vessells, he seized them all, as soon as I was informed of it, I wrote to the Governor of Martinico, that he would restore them, but I have not yet his answer; however there is a report, that they were condemn'd in the Admiralty Court there, from whence they had appealed to the Governour and Council. I must observe upon this head that some time before this accident happen'd a French Guarda da Costa went in there, and one of the English vessells that were there, fired at her, and lodged a shot in her bow, upon which he return'd to Martinico to make his complaint, and the next day a French man of war was sent thither, but not finding the vessell, which had fired at the Guarda da Costa, he returned without injuring any that were there etc. Encloses duplicate of Excise Act and Minutes of Council and Assembly and of Committee of Publick accounts etc. Signed, Henry Worsley. 7 pp. [C.O. 28, 45. ff. 179–182v.]
March 27.
Barbadoes.
107. Governor Worsley to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Duplicate of preceding, mutatis mutandis. Signed, Henry Worsley. Endorsed, Recd., Read 20th May, 1731. 7 pp. Enclosed,
107. i. Minutes of Committee of Publick Accounts, 10th Jan.—12th March, 1731. Same endorsement. 31 pp.
107. iiiv. Treasurer's account of excise and imports of new negroes, 27th Nov. 1728—27th May, 1730. With a state of the Publick Debts, 19th Jan., 1722–1729. Sworn by, Burch Hothersall, Treasurer, 25th Nov., 1730. The whole endorsed as preceding. 40 large pp. [C.O. 28, 22. ff. 1–11v., 13v, 14, 15–20, 21–23v., 24v.–40v., 41v.–47, 48v.; and (enclosure i only) 28, 40. No. 13.]
March 29.
Whitehall.
108. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Committee of the Privy Council. Reply to order of 24th inst. Agree to proposal of petitioners, Sir Joseph Eyles etc., for a grant of 62,000 acres in New York known as the Equivalent land at a quit-rent of 2s. 6d. per hundred, on condition that 3 in every 50 acres are cultivated within 7 years etc. (Set out, A.P.C. III.) p. 314, q.v. [C.O. 5, 1125. pp. 156–158.]
March 30.
Whitehall.
109. Order of Committee of Council. H.M. in Council having referred to the Committee the representation of the Lords Commissioners for Trade etc. of 9th Feb., proposing the Governor and Surveyor of the Woods in Nova Scotia be empowered to grant lands as there described, the Committee approving of, order the Board of Trade to prepare Instructions for them accordingly. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. 3rd, Read 6th April, 1731. 1 p. [C.O. 217, 6. ff. 29, 33v.]
March 30.110. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In reply to Queries of Jan. 12th, is of opinion (i) that the powers given to the Fishing Admirals and the civil magistrates are entirely distinct; The Fishing Admirals have no powers but what arise from the Act of the 10th and 11th of K. William III and those confined to the fishing, and the Justices can no more interfere with them in regard to such powers, than the fishing Admirals can interfere with the Justices in the powers given them by their commission. (ii) That the former have no power to send warrants to the constables or commit to prison or the stocks. They are indeed by said Act directed to see that law put in execution, but there is no power to be given by that law to levy penalties or inflict punishments. The want of it, is certainly a defect etc. Thinks the Fishing Admirals are subordinate to the Justices in everything but what relates to their fishing authority. (iii) "I apprehend that all the statute laws made here previous to H.M. subjects settling in Newfoundland are in force there: it being a settlement in an infidel country: and as to the laws passed here subsequent to the settlement, I take it they will not extend to this country unless it is particularly mentioned. (iv) I do not think the Governour himself can act as Justice of the Peace, for I observe the power from His Majestie is only to appoint fit persons for the administration of Justice." Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. 30th March, 1731, Read 9th March, 1731/2. 2 pp. Enclosed,
110. i. Copy of Governor Osborn's Commission.
110. ii. Copy of Governor Osborn's Commission to Justice of the Peace. [C.O. 194, 9. ff. 140–148, 149v.]
March 30.
Whitehall.
111. Mr. Popple to Mr. Burchett. In reply to 4th Feb., encloses Heads of Enquiry for Capts. Clinton and Waterhouse. [C.O. 195, 7. p. 256.]
[March
30].
112. Petition of Jacob Stauber, John Ocks, Ezekiel Harlan and Thomas Gould to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Stauber and Harlan have lived upwards of 20 years in Pennsilvania following husbandry of which they have a perfect understanding. Stauber lately took a journey into [? Virgin]ia on purpose to make a search after some uninhabited land behind the mountains of that Province, which are above 30 miles over, and but one place fit for a road. After he had passed these mountains with much pains, great difficulty and hazard of life, without any company or seeing any Indians in all his travels, he spent three months time to view the soyl and situation of the land lying westward to the said mountains towards Missisipy river, which land he found to be good pasture ground fitt for planting of vineyards on the side of the mountains, and a very good soyle for hemp, flax, and all sorts of grain, a proper climate [? to prod]uce silk and a good prospect to make salt petre and potash. Your Lordships are doubtless fully perswaded that it will be a great importance to the Crown and interest of the Nation that these Dominions may be enlarged beyond the mountains to the West for the following considerations:—If it is neglected to extend the bounds of Great Britain beyond the mountains to the west, it is probable that the French in a short time may take possession thereof. In settling a colony beyond these mountains extending as [? far] as the river of Missisipy, the French settlements of Missisipy and Canada would thereby be prevented to join together, as their intention is, which will be of great prejudice to this Kingdom. The strength of the subjects of this Kingdom in America would be considerably encreased by carrying over a great number of Germans and Swiss Protestants who will be chiefly such as can provide for themselves at [? their own]n charge, which are also reputed to be a good Militia. This colony would be obliged to apply themselves chiefly by reason of the distant land carriage upon such productions as are very much desired in this Kingdom, vizt., hemp, flax, silk, potash, salt petre, with other valuable commodities in which the Germans and Swissers are particularly skilled in (except the silk), the expectation of which commodities from other colonies [? has been] hitherto not answered, it would also considerably augment our trade by consuming a good quantity of the manufacture of this Kingdom, and employ m[?uch ship]ping etc. Pray the Board to recommend the Government to grant them a joint patent of a free grant of a tract of land to begin at the Double Top Mountain by Hawks Bill Creek including the mountains through which the road is to be made, to go thence northwards in a line to the border of Pensilvania and behind the same, to make the whole breadth 200 miles, thence in a straight line to the Missisipy etc. Petitioners undertake the settlement of this colony without any charge to the Government, which hitherto no person has attempted to undertake etc. Will make a road 30 miles long through the mountains, and for security against the Indians will purchase the land and friendship of them with considerable presents etc. "Being so far separated from Virginia, by the mountains 'tis humbly desired that it may be a separate Colony and Government under the [? na]me of Georgia. Stauber, who has employed much time and expences in searching out this land and making a voyage hither, prays for a speedy decision, intending to go without delay to Germany and Switzerland to get people to go with them to Virginia etc. Endorsed, Recd., Read 30th March, 1731. 1 large p. Torn. [C.O. 5, 1322. ff. 101, 101v.]
March 30.
Whitehall.
113. Mr. Popple to Mr. Burchett. Encloses Heads of Enquiry which the Admiralty are desired to give as Instructions to Capt. Waterhouse of H.M.S. Winchelsea appointed to guard the Fishery at Canso. Annexed,
113. i. Heads of Enquiry for Capt. Waterhouse. You are to give all due encouragement and protection to the trade and fishery at Canso, and transmit the fullest account you can get thereof etc., as likewise distinct answers to the following queries, (i) Whether the inhabitants are possessed of any stages, cook-rooms 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 they were left in by the owners? (iii) By what people is the Fishery carried on? And whether any strangers or aliens do resort to Nova Scotia or 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, nets and tackle for their fishery, and with woollen, linnen, leather and other manufactures, for their use and wear, from this Kingdom? Or from the Plantations or any foreign country? (v) What wages do the inhabitants allow to their servants for carrying on the Fishery? And in what manner do they pay them? (vi) How much the charge of fitting out and maintaining one of their fishing boats, for the whole season amounts to? (vii) What number of inhabitants are settled near the coast where the Fishery is carried on? What share have they in the Fishery? And how they employ themselves during the remainder of the year? (viii) Whether the houses, buildings and inclosures of the inhabitants are at such a distance from the water side as not to hinder or obstruct the fishermen in making their flakes, or in drying and curing their fish? (ix) 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 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? (x) Whether the fishing ships that proceed directly from this Kingdom to Nova Scotia are victualled here and provided with all other necessaries of British product and manufacture for the whole voyage? Or whether the masters of freighters do not furnish themselves with provisions that are brought from the Plantations or other parts to Nova Scotia? (xi) Whether any of the fishing ships pursue or follow the old laudable custom of allowing their ships' company shares of what they make in the voyage instead of wages, and in such case how much doth the change of fitting out and maintaining a ship of one hundred with fifty men and ten boats amount to for the whole voyage? (xii) How many taverns or publick houses for entertainment may there be kept in Nova Scotia or at least in the harbour of Canso? Are they kept only by the inhabitants or by the people of New England? Also do they trust the fishermen upon their own credit or do the masters of the ships 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 run so far in debt, that they are forced to remain as servants to the inhabitants, and at last constrain'd to betake themselves to New England? (xiii) Whether the inhabitants do not usually trust their own servants employ'd in the Fishery with rum and other stores to a greater value than their wages amount to? And whether they are not generally paid in the manner as in the foregoing article? (xiv) Whether the New England traders do still continue to entice and carry thither numbers of handicraft men, seamen and fishermen? And whether any of the inhabitants do favour or assist them therein. Continues:—And whereas H.M. Consuls and the merchants residing in Portugal, Spain and Italy unanimously complain, that by reason of the ill curing of fish for some years past the consumption thereof is considerably lessen'd and that the trade will be lost 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 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 esteemed in the several places for which it is carried for sale. And further upon this occasion you are very particularly to inquire into their manner and method of taking and curing their fish, what quantity of salt they allow for curing 100 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 are most to be blamed? And in short from whence these complaints arise? And what methods are to be taken to prevent or rectify whatsoever is amiss? You are also to enquire into the present state of the French Fishery at Can so 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. And to send the best account you can of their strength number and trade. You are farther to enquire whether any of the Officers of the garrison at Canso 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 person whatsoever or hire out the soldiers to fish. Annexed,
113. ii. Scheme of the Fishery at Canso for 1731. [C.O. 218, 2. pp. 237–246.]