America and West Indies
July 1731, 6-10

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor) Arthur Percival Newton (introduction)

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1938

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161-174

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'America and West Indies: July 1731, 6-10', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 38: 1731 (1938), pp. 161-174. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72575 Date accessed: 24 October 2014.


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July 1731, 6-10

July 6.
Whitehall.
277. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Belcher. Acknowledge letters etc. of 5th and 10th Dec. 1730, 13th and 25th Jan., 1st March, 5th and 26th April 1731, etc. Continue: If you have not heard from us, in return thereto, it has been because till yor. last letters we did entertain some hopes, that the Assembly might have been prevailed on, to comply with H.M. Instructions relating to your salary. But since you now tell us, in your two last letters, that you have no prospect of that kind, since you have neither come home yourself, nor deputed any person according to your Instruction, to lay an acct. of this matter before H.M., we shall take an oppertunity of doing it ourselves, and as soon as we shall know H.M. pleasure thereon, you may expect to hear again from us; In ye mean time we must acquaint you; that we have reported our opinion upon ye bill consented to by the Council and Assembly for settling yor. salary, which we can by no means think a compliance, either with the letter or intent of H.M. Instruction. In answer to that part of your last letter, wherein you mention the petition, or memorial from the House of Representatives to H.M. against three of his Royal Instructions to you; we must observe that the people have an undoubted right of addressing the Crown directly without any prior application to ye Governor, if they think fit to take that method, tho', the more decent way would be to desire their Governor to transmit their Address. We observe what you have wrote in your justification, against what you suppose must have been insinuated against you by Colo. Dunbar; but we are of opinion, that he had sufficient grounds for his apprehensions, and he would have been wanting in his duty, if he had not sent us such informations as he had receiv'd upon that subject. We thought it would be for H.M. service, that this gentleman should be appointed his Lt, Governor of New Hampshire, to encrease his authority as Surveyor of ye Woods, and upon our recommendation, H.M. has been pleased to appoint him accordingly. But we presume he will always pay you that regard that is due to his superior officer, and we doubt not but you will treat him as a gentleman that bears H.M. Commission as Lt. Governor. We have considered the New Hampshire bill for emitting 6000l. in bills of credit etc., but we can by no means advise H.M. to allow you to pass any such bill, as it must in consequence lower the credit of the Province, whereby their trade must greatly suffer; however that we may be the better able to judge of ye state of ye Province with respect to their paper currency, we desire you will send us an acct. of ye paper money now current there; and what fund there is for sinking the same? How it has been apply'd and what discount their bills are now lyable to? We observe what you write concerning ye Council of New Hampshire, but it will be time enough to consider of ye persons you propose, when we shall be informed whose vacancies you propose they should supply. In your letter of 25th Jan. you mention seven gentlemen of whom you say the Council consists; but you do not inform us, whether ye others who were named in yor. Instructions are dead, or whether they decline acting. We therefore desire you will send us a more perfect acct. etc. [C.O. 5, 916. pp. 410–421.]
July 6.
Whitehall.
278. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. An act was lately pass'd in your Majesty's Colony of Virginia for continuing part of an act for laying a duty on liquors with some alterations and amendments. This act continues the duty of 3d. per gall, on wine, rum, brandy and other distilled spirits imported into that Colony, laid by a former law for 5 years ending the 10th of the last month, for three years longer. But there is an additional clause, which provides that only one half of the said duty of 3d. per gallion shall for the future be levied upon any liquors imported by ships wholly and solely belonging to the inhabitants of Virigina. Against this clause we have received objections from several merchts. engaged in the trade of Virginia, and as it appears to be a very partial stipulation in favour of the inhabitants of that Colony, manifestly design'd to encourage their Trade and Navigation in opposition and to the detriment of ye shipping and commerce of Great Britain, we therefore humbly beg leave to lay the same before your Majesty for your disapprobation. [C.O. 5, 1366. pp. 75, 76.]
July 7.
Whitehall.
279. Order of Committee of Privy Council. Agreeing to report of the Council of Trade and Plantations 11th May, and ordering that they prepare an additional Instruction for Lt. Gov. Pitt, to recommend in H.M. name to the Assembly of Bermuda, that they pay him an adequate salary, not exceeding 100l., in lieu of licences formerly granted by him for whale fishing. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd., from Mr. Noden, 13th Augt., Read 23rd Nov., 1731. l ¼ pp. [C.O. 37, 12. ff. 73, 73v., 74v.]
July 7.
Wednesday
morning.
280. Lt. Genl. Mathew to Mr. Popple. I am still confind with the gout, and therefore am not able this morning to attend their Lordships' commands. Endorsed, Recd., Read 7th July, 1731. Holograph. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 19. ff. 54, 57v.]
July 7.
Whitehall.
281. Order of Committee of Privy Council. Referring following to the Council of Trade and Plantations to hear the petitioners thereupon and report what they think proper to be done etc. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. 17th, Read 20th July, 1731. ¾ p. Enclosed,
281. i. Petition of Merchants trading to Jamaica to the King. Pray for repeal of act of Jamaica laying a duty upon negroes imported and exported "to the great dis- couragement not only of your petitioners carrying on their trade but also to the better settlement of that island as well as to the commerce and navigation of Great Britain." Pray that the Governor may be restrained from passing any act of Assembly laying any such duty for the future. Signed, Hum. Morice and 16 others. Copy. 1 2/3 pp. [C.O. 137, 19. ff. 63, 64, ]
July 7.
Whitehall.
282. Order of Committee of Privy Council. Referring following, as above. Signed and endorsed as above covering letter. Enclosed,
282. i. Petition of the Master Wardens Assistants and Commonalty of the Society of Merchants Adventurers within the City of Bristoll to the King. Pray for repeal of act and directions to Governor as above. "The discouraging the importation of negroes into Jamaica will not lessen the raising of the productions of that island, but also the trade from thence with the Spaniards, as it must necessarily occasion a less number of negroes being sent to Jamaica since the day of importation is paid or secured to be paid before any sale is made thereof, or any certainty that negroes will be sold but at such prices as the planter shall think fitt to give with which if the importer be not satisfied the charge of keeping them will soon eat out the value and if he sells them to be sent to the Spanish coast he has another duty to pay on exporta- tion which great dutys will not only lessen our exportation to Africa, but the employment of our Navigation as well as prevent the better settlement of our colonys and consequently be destructive to the general interest of the Nation." Copy. 1 ¾ pp. [C.O. 137, 19. ff. 67, 68, 68v., 70v.]
July 7.
Whitehall.
283. Order of Committee of Privy Council. Referring following as above. Same signature and endorsement. 1 p. Enclosed,
283. i. Petition of the merchants and owners of ships of and in the Port of Liverpoole trading to Jamaica to the King. Pray for repeal of Jamaica act as above. Signed, Geo. Tyrer, Mayor, Saml. Ogden and 38 others. 2 pp. [C.O. 137, 19. ff. 71, 72, 72v., 76v.]
July 7.
Whitehall.
284. Order of Committee of Privy Council. Referring following to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd., Read 22nd July, 1731. 1 p. Enclosed,
284. i. Petition of Richard Partridge to the King. Petitioner "humbly prays thou wouldst please to direct to be layd before thee for thy Royal assent by the Lords Commissioners for Trade etc. Six Acts of New Jersey which have been submitted to them" etc. (v. 4th March, 1729, 10th Jan., 1730 etc.) Marginal notes as to proceedings upon above Acts. 1 ½ pp. [C.O. 5, 972. ff. 221, 222, 222v., 224v.]
July 7.
Whitehall.
285. Order of Committee of Privy Council. Referring following to the Council of Trade and Plantations for report their opinion on those parts which complain of the 16th and 30th articles of the Governor's Instructions. Signed Ja. Vernon and endorsed as preceding. (fn. 1) 1 p. Enclosed,
285. i. Address of the House of Representatives of the Massachusetts Bay to the King. We your Majesty's most loyall and dutifull subjects, having full confidence in your Majesty's paternal care and tenderness, humbly beg leave to lay open to your wise and com- passionate consideration the difficultys and distresses your Majesty's subjects in this Province labour under by reason of certain Instructions given your Majesty's Governor, more particularly your Majty. sixteenth Instruction directing the Governor to consent to the emission of 30,000l. only in bills of credit to be called in so suddenly that no more than that sum should pass at one and the same time, which Instruction if complyed with would render it next to impossible to support the Government here, inasmuch as every year for about eleven years to come is loaded with great and heavy debts to be paid for the discharge of such sums as have been expended in the late charge- able and distressing Indian warr in defence of your Majesty's territorys and dutiful subjects here, and could not possibly be defrayed in the respective years wherein such debts were contracted, and while the Province is struggling to discharge the former debts should they be prohibited the emission of any bills to pay the standing charge of the Province, and the laying the funds for drawing them in on any of those years that are as yet burthened with no debt they must necessarily pay about 50,000l. pr. ann., a thing impracticable, especially after a few years when the bills of credit will be mainly called in, which are the only currency whereby publick or private debts can be discharged. Whereas if the Government was permitted to emitt bills of credit to be laid on some future unincumbred years, to pay such part of the annuall charge of the Province as the Government are not at present able to defray besides the old debts, they would in about eleven years intirely discharge the old debts and have only some smaller sums to pay for some part of the standing charge of the Province during the eleven years aforesaid, which in some few years further by the blessing of God on the industry of your subjects here might be discharged and this Province become free from debt. And your Majesty's loyall and dutiful subjects are the more apprehensive of difficulty by this Instruction, because H.E. the Govr. in obedience to your Majesty's commands, and for the good and safety of the Province has directed a survey of your Majesty's forts and garrisons, here, which are very much run to dispare [sic], the necessary reparations whereof, it is supposed may cost 20 or 30,000l. This House are also under great concern that they are not able in faithfulness to the rights and privileges of your people here to comply with your Majesty's 27th Instruction directing the settlement of a salary on the Governor for the time being by reason (as we humbly conceive) that the frame and constitution of our Government would thereby be very much altered if not subverted and our circum- stances be farr different from those of English subjects; there would be no ballance of power in the severall branches of the Legislature, the House of Repre- sentatives would depend on the Governor for many things of the greatest consequence to them and the interest and safety of the people they represent, while no obligation in those points will lie on the Governor. This notwithstanding your Majesty's loyal subjects are willing and desirous to grant from time to time an ample and honourable support to your Majesty's Governors suitable to the dignity of their station, and accordingly soon after his Excellency's arrival a grant of 3000l. past the House of Repre- sentatives, but was non-concurr'd by your Majesty's Council, after which an act past making a further offer for H.E.'s ample and honourable support, and being concurred by the Council was laid before H.E. for his consent, the which he refused by reason of your Majesty's Instruction, and at the opening the present session the aforesaid Instruction being again recommended by the Governor, has rendered the severall attempts of this Court for H.E.'s support without the settlement of a sallary ineffectuall. Your Majesty's good subjects of this Province are also under great difficultys on account of your Majesty's 30th Instruction, whereby as it is understood and proposed to be practised on, the Treasury of this Province is taken from the care of the House of Repre- sentatives and all the money therein subjected to the will and pleasure of the Governor and Councill, without possibility of redress how unjustly soever the money in the Treasury may be misapply ed, this the House of Representatives cannot but humbly apprehend to be against common right and equity; that those who grant and whose constituents pay all the publick money should neither see the accounts whereby the Province becomes indebted to prevent misapplications or unjust paymts. of the money nor when it is mis- applied or wasted be in any way of obtaining relict; for the direction in the Instruction as to a future inquiry may serve to give us a more full sence and clearer view of the loss and wast of the publick money, and thereby increase our sorrow and distress, but neither affords nor points at any sort of remedy, the House of Repre- sentatives cannot impeach such as shall misapply the money in the Treasury, according to the ancient and well-known practice of the Honoble. House of Commons before the Right Honoble. the Lords Spiritual and Temporal etc. But the only methods that seem by this Instruction to be left the House of Representatives, are either to supply the Treasury with money as long as the people they represent have any, let their money be never so much imbezzelled, or otherwise to refuse all supply and leave the Treasury empty which would be in effect to dismantle all the forts and garrisons leave the Government defenceless, and put an end to all safety. As to which severall Instructions your Majesty's most dutyful subjects humbly implore your Majesty's favour and compassion that the Government here may be permitted to go on in a way that is practicable, in paying what they are in arrears, and to support your Majesty's Governor suitable to the dignity of your Majesty's commission, and in order thereunto, most humbly beg that your Majesty would be graciously pleased to grant your royall order of leave to your present Governor to accept of what has been or may be offered him from time to time, for his ample and honourable support when he shall deem it to be so, and that there may be the usuall securitys allowed as to the money in the Treasury. Signed, In the name and behalf of the House of Representatives, April 22nd, 1731, John Quincy, Spkr. Copy. 5 ¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 873. ff. 42, 43–45v., 47v.]
July 9.286. J. Belcher, jr., to the Duke of Newcastle. On behalf of his father petitions for further Instructions relating to his salary, there being no hope that the Assembly will go beyond their bill of 28th Oct. last etc. Signed, J. Belcher. 1 ¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 898. No. 88.]
July 10.
Boston.
287. Governor Belcher to the same. Since his letter of 12th June, has heard from Col. Dunbar that he has received H.M. Commission to be Lt. Governor of N.H., and quickly intended thither. Continues: — Whereupon I gave orders to the President of H.M. Council there, that upon his arrival he should summon the Council, and have his Commission publisht with the usuall solemnity, and with all possible respect to H.M., which was accordingly done, and Collo. Dunbar thank'd me therefor. Soon after which the Assembly sat att the time to which I had prorogu'd it, on the special business of the disputed boundaries betwixt the Massachusetts and Newhamshire, and my orders to the President of the Councill (before Collo. Dunbar's arrival) were to go upon no other affair att that time, and in case any vote was agreed to by the Councill and Representatives, to send it hither to me, to approve and sign. Upon this, my Lord Duke, the Lt. Governor wrote me word he had litterally executed my orders, and wou'd untill he had the words of his Commission viz. in case of the Capri. Generall's death or absence explained to him from home. To which etc. I wrote him, that the King in his royall instruction does not call my being in the Massachusetts an absence from Newhamshire, and that former Lt. Governours of New Hampshire had acted by the order of the Governour-in- Chief, altho' he was in the Massachusetts, and this my Lord Duke is certainly fact, and I think to be supported with the greatest justice and reason. If while the Captn. Generall and Governour-in-Chief is but 60 miles from New Hampshire, his Lieutenant shall presume to interfere with or dispute his orders, it must certainly lead to great confusion in the King's Govern- ment by weakning the authority of his Governour and thereby lessning the King's honour. I therefore hope with great deference to your Grace that no applications of my Lt. Governour will prevail to debarr me of any part of the power and honour which H.M. has in his great grace and favour conferr'd upon me, and which my predecessors have enjoy'd. I have not, my Lord Duke, been arriv'd from great Brittain quite eleven months, and I have made three journeys to H.M. province of New Hamshire and am going thither again in a few weeks, by which your Grace will see I do everything in my power for H.M. honour and service there. Nor have I receiv'd from that Government half so much as was the charge of my Commission, and in the Massachusetts your Grace is sensible I have not receiv'd one farthing, tho' I have been and am att a great expence etc. Repeats the request that Col. Dunbar may not be countenanced in his attempts to subvert his authority etc. Signed, J. Belcher. Endorsed, R. Sept. 15th. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 898. No. 89.]
[July 10].288. Memorial on behalf of Governor Belcher, praying that he may be allowed to sign the bill or vote of Oct. last (v. April 26th), and to receive his support in that manner or in such other best manner as he can bring the Assembly to give it etc. In similar circumstances Lord Bellamont and Col. Dudley were allowed to take their salary in the manner the Assembly would give it etc. Endorsed, R. with Govr. Belcher's of April 26th. 1 ¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 898. No. 85.]
July 10.
Virginia.
289. Lt. Governor Gooch to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers to enclosed public papers and former letter relating to the dispute with the Agent of Lord Fairfax concerning the bounds of the Northern Neck etc. (v. C.S.P. June 29, 1729). Continues: Since which the people in this Dominion as well as many strangers from Pensilvania have discovered a strong inclination to extend our settlements on the western side of the great mountains, and on the River Cohongaroonton, under grants from this Government to hold their lands of the Crown, to which they urge too that land doth of right belong, as lying beyound any part of those rivers called Rappahannock or Potomack etc.: On the other hand the Proprietor's Agent insists that not only the main stream, which forms those rivers, but all other rivers and streams which communicate therewith, by what names soever they are known, and the lands encom- passed thereby are within the limits of his grant. Notwith- standing which, I have hitherto according to the advice of the Council allowed such as have applied for grants of those lands to seat thereon with promise of patents so soon as they bring the number of people they propose to settle that frontier; judging that the Proprietor's charter can't have so large a construction as is pretended, and being sensible how much it is for H.M. interest to encourage such settlements, since by that means we may in a few years get possession of the Lakes, and be in a condition to prevent the French surrounding us by their settle- ments. Until this matter is adjusted with Ld. Fairfax, I shal, as much as in me lieth, prevent every uneasiness that might interrupt our present purpose, hoping if it is not likely to meet with a speedy determination, that your Lordships will advise me in what manner I shal proceed in the disposal of those lands and in the protection of the people who take grants under the Crown, from the encroachment of the Proprietor's Agent. It is some time since I informed your Lordships how necessary it is to secure the mouth of James River by a fort or at least a substantial battery; and at the same time I wrote to the Board of Ordinance for some cannon and other stores, to which letter I sent a duplicate, but have received no answer; and now that I am putting in order the other batterys, which are become ruinous, I should be glad not only to receive your Lordships' sentiments thereon, but to be supplied also with ordnance and stores suitable to such a work, and doubt not your Lordships' representation to that Board will procure what is necessary, about a dozen of six and thirty pounders and four eighteen pounders with strong carriages etc., and a sufficient quantity of shot, and then I shal send home the old guns upon that ruined battery, which are no longer fit for service, with above thirty pieces of cannon which I took out of Rappahannock River where they had been about three-score years etc. Our stores of powder are become very small, for 'tis now a great many years since any was sent in, and some of that which remains is decayed and unfit for service. I hope by your Lordships' favour to receive a speedy supply, being very desirous to provide against the insults of pirates, which we have reason to expect from the usual enerease of that kind of vermin in times of peace, and to secure us against the insurrection of our slaves, the enemy I do assure your Lordships we have great reason to be apprehensive of. Your Lordships will observe from the Council Journal what preparations are made towards putting in execution the Act for amending the staple of tobacco etc., it is now two moneths since Commissioners were appointed to direct the building of the warehouses, and almost as long since we made choice of Inspectors, in which all immaginable care has been taken with regard to the skill and integrity of the persons and the ability of their securitys. It was absolutely necessary to enter so early on the building the warehouses, because of the length of time requisite for finishing so great a work, and the advantage of the summer for erecting the wharfs, which could not be so well carried out in an uncertain season; however I deferr'd this until point of time would admit of no delay and then boldly entered upon it through various dis- couraging reports, being satisfied that no substantial objection could be made against the law. But notwithstanding the assurance I have always entertained that your Lordships would not suffer a law to miscarry which is so well calculated to do justice to the Crown in all its revenue, to establish a fair and honest measure of dealing between man and man, to encourage the adventures of the fair trader, to raise a sinking trade, and when once we are well fixed in it, to give a more easy and quick dispatch to the ships sent hither on freight, it is with great concern that I am obliged to represent to your Lordships, that the suspense under which this law has layn, has afforded an oppertunity to the masters of ships and others to propagate divers storys, sometimes as if a repeal was certainly to be expected, and at other times, and what is now agreed by all, that it is only to continue during one crop and then to be annulled: by this means many people who intended to build vessels for the more speedy lading of their ships have been discouraged, which I doubt not was the principal aim of those reports, and will in some measure have their effect in retarding the dispatch of the ships this next year, who I fear on this very account will not get their lading so soon as otherwise they would have done. But notwithstanding these artifices practiced here by those who are by this law restrained from pilfering and running tobacco, I hope the advantages of it will be found, tho' perhaps not such as I should have expected, had I gone on without opposition, and no handle given to work upon the apprehensions of the people. And lest the same game should be played over again, and the people still kept under the like fears to the obstructing the good effects of this law, I humbly intreat your Lordships to obtain H.M. royal approbation of it for the time it is to continue, which I am perswaded will add so great force to the measures projected thereby, as will clearly demonstrate its usefulness both to the encrease of the Customs, the advancing the value and goodness of the staple of this country, and the great ease and benefit of all traders. I have this one truth to add which will not be denied by any one that goes from hence, that the common planters are so far from being discouraged by the supposed charges and hardships pretended to be imposed on them by this law, that there never was known so great a crop of tobacco on the ground as at present, the planters exerting their utmost industry, which I hope will put to silence the false reasonings of those who suggest imaginary fears of its lessening the importation and consequently the revenue, when 'tis plain from experience that the people of Virginia can never be diverted from making tobacco but only by the lowness of its price. Whilst I was writting what is above, I recd, advice of a petition prepared by the merchants of London and Bristol trading to America, and designed to be presented to the Parliament for an act to be passed, prohibiting and makeing void all laws passed in the Plantations laying dutys which may affect the trade or shipping of Great Britain; that lands in America may be lyable to the payments of debts; and appeals allowed for any sum exceeding 100l. When I considered, my Lords, how long and happily the British subjects have traded to America and acquired great riches under the ancient establishment made in these parts by the Crown, sett forth in the Royal Charters and Instructions, without seeking to abridge the people of the Plantations of their birth- right as Englishmen, or limiting the Crown in the methods of Government, I must confess I was somewhat startled, for which reason I cannot forbear laying before your Lordships my thoughts on this extraordinary attempt of the merchants, tho' what I shal offer will be undigested, having had little leisure to discourse of it. As to laws affecting trade etc., 'tis no easy matter to guess how far they design this shall extend. Neither of the duties by which the Government is supported, and thereby British trade and shipping encouraged and protected, can be set aside without weakening it, etc. Continues: There seems to be a farther view in this scheme, for if no dutys or fees are to be established here to affect their trade, then there can be no regulation of the tobacco trade, no penaltys on lading bulk tobacco, and pillaging or changing the freighters' hogsheads, and our late act for amending the staple of tobacco must fall in course: and indeed I suspect the petition is by a side wind levelled at that act, for the act carrys too clear a countenance of justice and honesty to be attacked openly by itself. But above this, such a petition is, with submission, a great disrespect to the King whose instructions and orders to His Governors are no more to be relied on, though always fully complied with as far as the nature of the subject matter would admit. Besides H.M. has it always in his power to make void any act inconsistent with the interest of the British subject etc. Continues: The proposal of making of lands lyable to the payment of debts is not treating the people in the Plantations as if they were English subjects: lands here are held by the same tenure as in England, and are now lyable to the payment of debts in the same manner as lands in England are, and the British merchant may as easily come at them after judgment obtained in the Courts of America, as any man here can do, or as if the lands lay in England on suits brought there. Common justice requires that legal remedys should be reciprocal, and whenever a law shall pass in England making real estates subject to debts in any other manner than now they are, the Plantations will no doubt be very easie under such a petition. But whilst the people here have no method to recover their demands out of the lands of the merchant, and are too remote to be admitted to the benefit of the Commission of Bankruptcy sued out against insolvent merchants, it would be hard to lay so unequal a burden on them alone, which in a few years must prove the ruin of the Plantation, or else sett them upon supplying themselves wth. manufactures of their own without being beholden to their Mother-country under such hard terms; but it seems the petitioners only look to present interest without regarding what the consequence may be in future generations. The last thing proposed as to appeals for 100l. value or upwards is no less unreasonable, as it would be attended with the most fatal consequences to the Plantation, as will appear from what frequently happens etc.; — A planter consigns 10 hhds. of tobacco to his merchant in London, desiring him to sell them and out of the produce to send him such and such goods. The merchant sends the goods, and with them an account of sales of the tobacco; the next year more tobacco is consigned and more goods are sent for, and then comes an account current wherein the planter has credit for his first tobacco consigned, and so the correspondence continues for three or four years; at last the merchant sends the planter a letter telling him that the tobacconist to whom he sold four or five hogsheads of his first consigned tobacco is broke, that the money is lost, and the planter must repay it; and for that money and some other small debt making in all 100l. he is sued. In this case, though no Court or Jury can possibly charge the planter with this loss after three years time, when it is proved that the merchant never sells without ready money, or on six months credit at most, and therefore the merchant must have given farther credit on his own accot. and risque, and thereupon there is a verdict here for the planter: yet if the bill now petitioned for passes, there is an appeal, and the poor planter knowing no man in England to whom he can entrust the defences there, and considering the charge he must be at of at least 70l., or 80 on the tryal in England, will find it more for his interest to pay what is unjustly charged him than to defend himself at such an expence. Many more instances may be given as I am told of the like hardships in the matter of accots. which the planters here must submit to, if appeals be allowed for so small a sum etc., for a voyage from America to England and four or five moneths attendance there for the hearing of an appeal is no trifling expence. So that I humbly conceive the sum already limited by H.M. Instructions is much more reasonable etc. Continues: If what the petitioners propose, tended any way to the interest of the British trade, to the securing the dependency of the Plantations to the Crown, or to the con- sumption of the British manufactures, I should be far from objecting against them; But 'tis plain to me they must have a quite contrary effect in all these particulars, seeing they aim at depriving the Plantations of the means of supporting the respective Governments and providing for their necessary defence in time of danger, tend to alienate the affections of the people from their Mother-Country, and to compel them to fall on other means to subsist and cloath their familys than by British manufactures, and in short the whole project is so very unreasonable, that the best thing I can say of the gentlemen concerned in the petition is, that they know not what they ask. I have still one thing more to lay before your Lordships which shal be done by the hands of our Agent, in order to have the opinion of the Attorney and Sollicitor General, whether slaves, Christians or not, convicted in the Plantations of such crimes as by the laws of England are within the benefit of clergy, are entitled to the priviledge of the statutes of England concerning Clergy etc. Signed, William Gooch. Endorsed, Recd. 4th Oct., 1731, Read 18th Jan., 173 ½. Holograph. 6 ¼ pp. Enclosed,
289. i. Account of H.M. revenues of 2s. pr. hhd. in Virginia 25th Oct., 1730 –25th April, 1731. Totals: Balance brought forward, 9380l. 18s. 8 ¼d.; Receipts, 588l. 11s. 6 ½d.; Expenditure: — 1685l. 10s. 11d. Signed, John Grymes, Recr. Genl., John Blain, Depty. Audr., William Gooch. 6th May, 1731. 2 pp.
289. ii. Same from 25th April — 25th Oct., 1730. Totals: Balance brought forward, 7835l. 19s. 2d. Receipts, 3,592l. 4s. l ¾d.; Expenditure, 2047l. 4s. 7 ½d. Signed, as preceding. 2 pp. The whole endorsed, Recd. 4th Oct., 1731.
289. iii. Account of H.M. Revenue of Quit-rents 25th April, 1730 –1731. Totals (including balance brought forward, 4600l. 14s. 3 ½d.): 7541l. 4s. 8 ½d. 2 ¾ pp.
289. iv. Same for 25th April, 1728. By balance, brought forward, 1852l. 0s. 9 ¾d. By expenditure, 1852l. 0s. 9 ¾d. The whole, signed and endorsed as No. i.
289. v. Proclamations by Lt. Governor Gooch (a) 28th Oct., 1730, proroguing the Assembly till 20th May. (b) 28th Oct., 1730, for preventing unlawful meetings and combinations of negroes etc. (c) 6th May, 1731, for proroguing the Assembly till 24th June, and (d) 10th June, 1731, till 18th Nov. Williamsburgh. Signed, William Gooch. Endorsed, Recd. 4th Oct., 1731. Copies. 2 large pp. [C.O. 5, 1322. ff. 200–204v., 205v.–212, 213, 213v. (with abstract).]

Footnotes

1 i.e. Recd., Read July 22, 1731.