America and West Indies
December 1731, 21-31


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Cecil Headlam (editor) Arthur Percival Newton (introduction)

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'America and West Indies: December 1731, 21-31', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 38: 1731 (1938), pp. 387-403. URL: Date accessed: 30 October 2014.


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December 1731, 21-31

Dec. 21.
566. Mr. Popple to John Scrope. By order of my Lords Commissioners, I transmitted to Mr. Burchett to be laid before the Lords of the Admiralty, the exemplification of a case tried and heard the 9th of May, 1730, before Mr. Byfeild, Judge of the Court of Admiralty at Boston, as also the act of appeal thereupon to the High Court of Admiralty in this Kingdom, with the desire of my Lords Commissioners that the Lords of the Admiralty would give directions for prosecuting the said appeal, which is the more necessary since by accounts from New England great waste and abuses continue still to be committed in H.M. woods in those parts. Encloses their reply, to be laid before the Lords of the Treasury, "and the rather, since the Lords of the Admiralty are of opinion, that the prosecution of the appeal ought properly to be carried on by direction of the Lords of the Treasury." [C.O. 5, 917. pp. 286, 287.]
Dec. 22.
567. Lt. Governor Gooch to the Council of Trade and Plantations. On the 14th instant I had the honour of your Lordships' of the 27th of May last, and by the same conveyance H.M. approbation of your Lordships report on the Act for improving the staple of tobacco etc. Had H.M. pleasure been signified sooner, I should have been better enabled, than I now am, to have given your Lordships assurance of the successful execution of that law: but the uncertainty the people have layn under, the reports spread by persons interested against it, as if it was [? not] at all to take place, or to continue only this year, and the late arrival of the scales and weights, for want of which the Inspectors have stood still, hath retarded in a great measure that progress which otherwise by this time might have been made in passing the tobacco: so that it will scarce be possible for this law to shew itself in all the advantages and conveniencies this year which were designed by it, and which I make no doubt will be clearly seen, let gainsayers object what they please, upon a further tryal. However, thus much I am satisfied will be fully demonstrated, that by the care of the Inspectors the market at home will be furnished with much better tobacco than hath been sent hence at any time heretofore; and indeed such a regulation of the trade could never have been more seasonably put in practice than at present; for notwithstanding the prospect there was the last summer of a fine crop, it has happened through the inconveniency of the weather in the autumn, that a great deal of tobacco hath suffered in the airing, so as to be altogether unfit for exportation; and yet all this trash and unmerchantable tobacco would most certainly have gone home to the ruin of the trade had not this law prevented it, and the markets home and abroad would have been cram'd with unsaleable tobacco. Under this misfortune, lest the quantity should be too much reduced, I thought myself obliged, for H.M. interest, to give orders to the Inspectors not to execute their duty too rigorously, but to pass tobacco though it was only indifferent, provided it was well handled, and clean and honestly packed in the hogshead etc. Does not blame the Board for the delay in confirming the Act etc. Though it cannot be fully tested now this year, hopes that it will answer the chief points intended and the rest later. Shows how it differs from the Agent's Law of 1713, with which they seemed to think it was much the same. Replies to Mr. Popple's letter of 10th Aug. (=? June):—"I know of no laws subsisting in this Colony that can in any manner affect the trade etc. of G.B. except the Act passed the last session of Assembly for encouraging the linnen manufacture." Refers to his former explanation of it. Continues: As I have not heard of any great progress made in that manufacture, nor of any one person that hath received the bounty given thereby, for it was not to take place until the Royal approbation was signified, I am of opinion it will very little affect the manufacture of G.B., and if tobacco increases in value, all that scheme will fail of itself, and is of so little consequence to this Colony, that very few will be concerned if it is repealed. As to trade carried on, it is well know[n] my Lords, that our chief and almost sole dependance is on tobacco, and that the people of this country are not of an enterprizing disposition to run into new projects of trade. So that I can with truth assure your Lordships that there is not any trade carried here which is any way, prohibited by the statutes of Great Britain. And I may venture to say as to manufactures sett up, that there are none that deserve that name, except the pitiful shift which some poor folks make to provide themselves with cloathing of a sort of coarse cloth made of wool and cotton and some linsey wolsey, where they are unable to purchase better by their labour in tobacco. But for a more particular account of these matters refers to the representation by H.M. Council the 5th last moneth. Has received H.M. order for repealing the act continuing the duty on liquors, and has issued a proclamation accordingly. Continues: But I cannot conceal from your Lordships the resentment of the people here against the merchants who were concerned in petitioning against this act. They complain that Virginia alone of all H.M. Plantations is restrained from raising dutys for defraying its necessary expences and charges: that the duty on negros was repealed some years ago, purely for the sake of the merchants: that now the duty on rum is also abolished, whilst a law is now and has been subsisting for divers years in the neighbouring Province laying the like dutys on negros and liquors, and with the same exemption as to the country vessels without any opposition; and think it hard that the Proprietary Governments and those of far less value to the Crown should be more favoured than this Colony. But I hope, my Lords, if this act is renewed the next Session, which I propose shal be in June (by that time we shal have proved our tobacco law), without the exemption for which it was repealed, your Lordships will be pleased to interpose your interest to support it, seeing these dutys are absolutely necessary for the service of the Government, the expence whereof can no otherwise be supported than by a further duty on tobacco, which would be much more exceptionable. I am now to inform your Lordships of the death of Colo. Bray, who was to have succeeded Colo. Page in the Council. I hope your Lordships will now recommend Mr. Armstead in his room ; and if your Lordships have any thoughts of Mr. Tayloe, for whom I find interest is made, he may be the next; But if your Lordships are again engaged, in this, as in all other cases, I chearfully submit to your Lordships' pleasure. I cannot conclude this letter without expressing the satisfaction I received in finding my correspondence agreable to your Lordships. I never had the least doubt but in all things relating to the public service I should receive your commands as soon as your Lordships could be finally determined or judged it necessary, and as I have laid it down to a rule to myself never to omitt any oppertunity of acquainting your Lordships with every occurrence here proper for your Lordsps. knowledge, so I have carefully avoided things useless and impertinent etc. Gives list of following, fit to supply vacancies in Council, in accordance with his VIth Instruction:—Henry Armistead, John Tayloe, Thomas Lee, Francis Willis, Henry Fitzhugh, Thomas Jones, Nicholas Meriwether, Armistead Churchill, Robert Carter, John Lewis, William Bassett, Phillip Lightfoot. Signed, William Gooch. Endorsed, Recd., Read 3rd Feb., 1731/2. Holograph. 3¾ large pp. [C.O. 5, 1322. ff. 218–220v., 221v. (with abstract).]
Dec. 22.
568. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Committee of the Privy Council. Reply to reference of 14th Dec. We think the western boundary of this new Charter may extend as far as that described in the antient patents granted by King Charles II to the late Lords Proprietors of Carolina, whereby that province was allowed to extend westward in a direct line as far as the South Seas. With respect to the islands upon the Eastern shore, from the Continent, we think this new Charter may include such as lie opposite to and within twenty leagues of the coast between the rivers Savanah and Alatamaha, which are not already inhabited or settled by any authority deriv'd from the Crown, and as to the quantity of land to be granted to each person who shall settle within the limits of this Charter, we are humbly of opinion that the Proprietors should be restrain'd from granting above five hundred acres to any one person. [C.O. 5, 401. pp. 23, 24.]
Dec. 22.
569. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. We have lately received a memorial from the Agent for your Majesty's Island of St. Xtophers, setting forth the weak and defenceless condition of that island which is lately renderd much worse by the destruction of the principal magazine by lightning, wherein were deposited the greatest part of the arms and ammunition of the island, which by this unfortunate accident are become unserviceable, that the distance betwixt this island and the French colonies is so small, that in case of a rupture with France, St. Xtophers might be subject to an invasion, and considering the French are much superior in number to your Majesty's subjects in that part of America there is reason to fear that in the present naked and defenceless condition of this island the Colony would not be able to make any considerable defence, and as the Legislature of that island, are repairing and putting in order the several forts and fortifications with all possible expedition humbly praying that your Majesty would be graciously pleased to order them to be supplied with 16 cannon for Brimstone Hill, 8 of which to be twelve pounders and the other 8 nine pounders, five other cannon for French Figg Tree Fort, 3 of which to be nine pounders and the other 2 twelve pounders, 12 other cannon for Fort Londonderry, 6 of which to be twelve pounders and the other 6 eighteen pounders, with carriages, rammers, spunges, ladles and all other things proper for the same, as likewise 500 small arms, with bayonets fix'd to them and 200 barrells of powder. Upon this occasion we have discours'd with Lt. Gen. Mathew etc., and considering the importance of this Colony to Great Britain and the danger it might be subject to in case of a rupture betwixt your Majesty and the most Christian King, we take leave humbly to propose that your Majesty would be graciously pleased to grant this request. Lt. Gen. Mathew having informed us, that there are several pieces of old unserviceable cannon now on that island and the other Leeward Islands, we beg leave to submit to your Majesty whether it may not be expedient that some of your Majesty's ships of war attending that station should be directed upon their return home, to bring away the said old cannon to be deliver'd to your Majesty's Office of Ordnance here. [C.O. 153, 15. pp. 122–124.]
Dec. 22.570. Lt. Genl. Mathew to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to request for report upon Mr. Beake's petition, 16th Dec. I can with all truth averr that even all those [asked for] will be but a very bare supply to be placed in the room of what in that island are honey-comb'd and not to be us'd on service but with utmost danger to the gunners, and these only to be mounted on the several batterys on the shore, to cover the shipping tho' in time of peace from pirates, as they are most immediately necessary on these platforms. A much greater number must be sent, if your Lordships think fitt to have the island fortifications well supply'd with cannon as mention'd in the Memorial etc. Thinks the memorialist has greatly mistaken where they are most wanted. But the Governor, as being on the spot, will always be the best judge etc. The English carriages sent from hence rot so very soon in those islands, that the expence of them is vastly exceeding the service they have ever been of there, where those made of lignum vitæ or mastick are the only carriages do last. And 'twill be a very expensive method of sending carriages for the sake of the ironwork only, nor is ironwork of old carriages wanting on the island. And this I venture to say to your Lordships, tho' I was outvoted on the same article in Antigua. The rammers etc. and other gunners' stores necessary for such a train should go with it. But the powder and small arms should be sent thither with utmost speed. There being as I well know but a very short supply of powder left, not even sufficient for the platforms on the shores that cover the shipping, and the militia are very poorly arm'd. And with these it is necessary to send at least 10,000 best musquet flints etc. The state of the forts etc. is much the same as by the accounts transmitted before I left those islands etc. Suggests that H.M. ships, when relieved, should bring back the old unserviceable cannon to H.M. Foundery here etc. Signed, William Mathew. Endorsed, Recd. Read 22nd Dec., 1731. 2¾ pp. [C.O. 152, 19. ff. 88–89v.]
Dec. 23.571. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Report upon Acts of St. Kitts for settling estates and titles, 1712, and for the general quiet of the inhabitants, 1719. Has been attended by Counsel on both sides. The Act of 1712 is now in force tho' not confirmed; in the Act of 1719 there is a clause suspending its execution till H.M. pleasure was known. Continues: The last act seems to be free from all Sir E. Northcy's objections, except that material one upon which the opposition to these acts chiefly arises etc. The clause in the first act upon which the question arises recites that, "Whereas many Irish subjects of the English Crown did contrary to their allegiance go into open rebellion, assist the French to subdue the English part of this island and remained with them in profest hostility against their natural Prince, now nothing was more reasonable and consonant to the practice of all nations than that their persons should have been forthwith attainted and their estates confiscated etc., which however for want of a civil administration of the Government of this island for many years after the reconquest of the same was not done in such forme as by law is required their lands notwithstanding for better settling and strengthning this island which otherwise was very weak, were given and granted by the then Chief Governour with consent of the Council of this island under the Great Seale of these islands to severall people who by their industry have much improved the same and strengthend this island thereby. To the end therefore that the good subjects may be encouraged and a brand of infamy set upon trechery, perfidy and rebellion, it is declared and enacted that all the lands and plantations in the English quarters of any French man or woman who quitted and deserted the same upon our relating this island and went off with the other French subjects and dyed or yet survive in the dominions of the French King, as well as all the lands of any Irish or other natural subjects of Great Britaine who at the time aforesaid appeared in rebellion and received the protection of the French were justly forfeited to and legally vested in their late most sacred Majesties, their heirs and successors notwithstanding any deficiencys or want of proceedings heretofore neglected for the more regular and formall confiscation of the same, all which this present law shall be deemed and construed to answer and supply. And it is further declared and enacted that the several aforesaid grants of such lands or hereditaments under the Great Seale of these islands shall be and be adjudged firm and valid in law and the severall patentees shall have thereby a good and indefeazible title to the same in fee simple and that as well all persons who have so forfeited and lost their tenures and estates as their heirs and assigns shall be utterly barred to claime the same to all intents and purposes whatsoever. This act to be duely pleaded in barr or given in evidence to a jury upon the tryall of any such right.
In the second act there is the same clause. But then there is the following provisoe which does I apprehend in some measure qualifye the severity of the clause:—Provided nevertheless that such rebells and traitors and their heirs pretending title to any lands, tenements or hereditaments in this island so forfeited as aforesaid (having first obtained lycence from your most sacred Majesty under your privy seale for that purpose) shall and may within two years after the date of this act and at no time after prosecute such their claim or pretence of right in any Court of Record in the said island and if any such person or persons who shall recover the same shall forthwith upon such recovery pay to the person or persons against whom he or they shall so recover or their assigns such sume or sumes of money as was or were paid by him or them his or their ancestors or predecessors or other person or persons whose heir or heirs he or they is or are or whose estate he or they have to the Crown or otherwise whatsoever for the said lands, tenements or hereditaments and also the full value of all meliorations and improvements made thereon, and likewise release and discharge the defendant or defendants in such action or actions their heirs executors and administrators of and from all rights and pretentions to the mean profitts of such lands, tenements and hereditaments, otherwise such person and persons so recovering shall be and hereby is and are utterly barred and forever foreclosed of and from all or any right, title, claime or pretence whatsoever in law or equity of in or to the said lands tenements or hereditaments, the said recovery or any judgment given in the said Courts in favour of such claimer or receiver notwithstanding. And upon non-payment of the said moneys and releasing the said damages and mean profitts according to the tenor of this act such judgment and judgments so given for the said person or persons so recovering such lands etc. is and are hereby declared to be null void and of no effect. By the clause in the Act of 1712 your Lordships will be pleased to observe that the estates of the persons within the description of it are declared to be forfeited and their estates confiscated to the Crown and the several grants that had been made of their estates under the Great Seale of this island declared to be valid. In the clause in the act of 1718 there is no difference with regard to this particular matter but in the provisoe which gives the naturall born subjects a liberty with H.M. lycence within two years after the date of this act (and which I humbly apprehend must commence from the confirmation of the act) to prosecute their right in any Court of Record and if they should recover to make satisfaction to the persons against whom they recovered for all moneys that had been paid to the Crown and for improvements etc. What is insisted on by the persons who oppose the confirmation of these acts is that they claime an estate in the English quarter that one Andrew Bodkin was seized of in fee, and dyed about 1689 etc. Claim stated as Nov. 23 supra. Continues: Every part of this case is agreed by the persons who are endeavouring to support these acts, except [that] they insist Bodkin was actually in rebellion and went away with the French after the Revolution. I have no evidence before me of that fact, but must observe that the petitioners need not be under any apprehention of Boid's recovering possession notwithstanding the act of 1712 is in force unless Bodkin was actually in rebellion for I apprehend it lyes upon Boyd before he can recover in ejectment to prove that charge and therefore I am inclined to think the charge against Bodkin is true or your Lordshipps would not have heard of this application. But the chief question that will be for the consideration of your Lordshipps etc., is whether it will be expedient for the Crown to confirm either of these acts whereby the estates of the subjects of the Crown are forfeited and confiscated without a legall conviction. It is insisted on in opposition to these acts that this is an attempt of a most extraordinary and unusuall nature. That it is unjust as it strips people of their possessions without a formall and legal conviction. That it is contrary to reason and the practice of the Parliament of England. That it has not been common in the Parliament to proceed in this manner I must agree; But we have a few instances of such proceedings particularly in the case of the Duke of Monmouth and the Regicides some of whom were by Act of Parliament actually attainted and their estates confiscated after they were dead. That this is unjust will in my opinion a good deale depend upon the circumstances of the times when this happend and therefore I apprehend in the consideration of this question it will be necessary to consider the state of this island upon the Revolution. St. Christophers was then in the possession of both the Crowns of England and France, France in the possession of one part of the island, England of the other. And upon breaking out of the warr, France espousing the quarrel of King James many of the English subjects being Roman Catholicks went over to the French and as much as they could transferr'd their allegiance to the Crown of France and they were upon all occasions afterwards treated as prisoners of warr if taken and not as rebells or deserters. This being the case these people were esteemed and ought to be so, as persons that had quitted their allegiance to the Crown of England and thereby relinquish'd the priviledge of a subject and had forfeited all right to the protection of the laws of their country which they were endeavouring to destroy; besides by the confusion and disorder of warr all civil administration was suspended. And it was impossible, if it had been thought proper, to proceed according to the common forms of Justice etc. I can't help thinking as these persons had abandon'd their possessions and gone into the service of an alien enemy it was highly prudent in the Government to dispose of their estates as well for the security of the island as for a reward to those persons who had signalized themselves in the defence of it. It was a long course of years, 1689 to 1712, before any attempt at confirming these persons in the estates of those that had gone into the service of a foreign enemy was made etc., and there was oppourtunity enough for the originall possessors to claime their estates if they had been really innocent of the charge of rebellion. It has been usuall in many of our plantations where there has been a change of property by rebellion or otherwise to pass laws after a possession of a great number of years to quiet the possessors without any private view but only for the generall quiet and ease of the country. This law of 1712 in my humble opinion seems to be past entirely upon that foot and if the originall possessors had really abandon'd their estates and gone into the service of an enemy to their country and had such a length of time to exert their right to them if they thought fitt, I think tho' there was no legal conviction the act is so farr from being unjust that it was necessary. What the political consequences may be of repealing the act of 1712 without confirming the act of 1718 is exceeding proper for your Lordshipps' consideration for as I am informed the greatest part of the estates of St. Christophers depend upon the titles given them by this act and the utmost confusion will follow unless one of the acts is confirm'd; Besides opening a door for Papists and the descendants of rebells which must greatly disturb the peace and tranquility of this island as well as the felicity of H.M. faithfull and loyall subjects. And I beg leave to observe that this is attempted to be done by a person who does not deserve any extraordinary countenance; for he is now in the possession of the estate of his ancestor and obtained the possession of it since the passing of the act of 1712. How it can now be a barr to him as it was not then I can't imagine: It is said indeed the act was not looked upon to be in force when he recover'd judgment in ejectment. That may be the case, but I beg leave to say it is highly improbable because it is very well known that all acts passed the Legislature in this island are immediately in force and continue so till they are repealed by the Crown, unless there is a clause suspending the execution of them till H.M. pleasure is known thereon, which is not in the act of 1712. Upon the whole I think it may be proper for your Lordshipps to advise H.M. to confirme either the Act of 1712 or of 1718, and in my humble opinion rather the Act of 1718. Because the objections of Sir Edward Northey are all obviated in the last act except that to the forfeiting clause and in that too it is less lyable to objection because of the liberty that is given with H.M. lycence to the heirs of the forfeiting persons to prosecute their claime within two years after the date of the act which must be construed to commence from the confirmation of the act, and as it is left in H.M. breast to determine who is so worthy of such a favour. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. 23rd Dec. 1731, Read 5th Jan., 1731/2. 10½ pp. [C.O. 152, 19. ff. 92–97, 103v.]
Dec. 23.
St. James's,
572. Order of King in Council. Approving representation of Council of Trade and Plantations, and ordering that the Independent Company be sent back to Bermuda etc. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd. 15th Aug., Read 7th Sept., 1732. 1⅓ pp. [C.O. 37, 12. ff. 97, 97v., 98v.]
Dec. 23.
St. James's.
573. Order of King in Council. Approving draught of Instruction to the Lt. Governor of Bermuda to recommend to the Assembly the raising an adequate salary in lieu of granting whale-fishing licences etc. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 2¼ pp. [C.O. 37, 12. ff. 99–100v.; and 324, 36. pp. 294–296.]
Dec. 23.
St. James's.
574. Order of King in Council. Approving enclosed estimate and ordering that the said stores "be sent to Antigua as soon as conveniently may be, and that the expence thereof be made an article in the next estimate that shall be prepared by the Board of Ordnance to be laid before the Parliament" etc. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 1½ pp. Enclosed,
574. i. Estimate by the Board of Ordnance of cost of stores of War for the fort and English Harbour at Antegoa. Total £980 15s. 1½ pp. [C.O. 152, 19. ff. 127–128v., 130v.]
Dec. 23.
575. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. John Yeaman Esq. one of your Majesty's Council of Antigua, has signified to us that he is determined not to return to that island these three years, and is very willing his name should be left out of the said Council etc. Recommend that John Duer be appointed. [C.O. 153, 15. p. 124.]
Dec. 23.
St. James's.
576. Order of King in Council. Referring to the Council of Trade and Plantations for their report, four acts of the Massachusetts Bay, 1731, "delivered into the hands of the Clerk of the Council in waiting" by the Agent of the Colony. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd. 3rd, Read 5th Jan., 1731/2. 1 p. Enclosed,
576. i. Acts of the Massachusetts Bay, (i) for the better regulating swine, (ii) for the better curing and culling of fish, (iii) for encouraging the killing of wild cats, (iv)for assessing taxes of £6818; of £20 on the town of Weston for not sending a representative; of £4109 6s. paid the Representatives for the year 1730–1731; and £1000 for the payment of the Council for the same period. Printed. Certified true copy by, J. Willard. Signed, J. Belcher. 14 pp. [C.O. 5, 874. ff. 9, 10, 12–18v., 19v.]
Dec. 25.577. Petty expences of the Board of Trade, Michaelmas to Christmas, 1731. (v. Journal). 5 pp. [C.O. 388, 80. Nos. 13–16.]
Dec. 29.578. Mr. Leheup to Mr. Popple. Encloses following to be laid before the Board. Signed, Peter Leheup. Endorsed, Recd. 1st Jan., Read 2nd Feb., 1731/2. Addressed. ½ p. Enclosed,
578. i. A Reply humbly offered on behalf of the Island of Barbadoes to the observations on their petition and to the Address of the Northern Colonies. To the Council of Trade and Plantations. It is needless to enter into a disputetion whether the Sugar Islands, or the Northern Colonies are of most advantage to Great Britain, since nothing is desired by the Sugar Islands that can weaken the Northern Colonies, or make them less usefull to Great Britain; were it really the case that one or other must be abandoned, there is no doubt but that those islands would be preferably supported that yeild sugar and such other commodities only as cannot be produced in Great Britain, rather than those Colonies that build ships, and produce bread, meat and wood in all which they interfere with the vent of the same things from Great Britain. But the advantage to the Sugar Islands, by the prohibition prayed for, is infinitely greater than the prejudice the Northern Colonies can possibly suffer by it, as almost all the produce of the Sugar Islands consists in sugar, rum and melasses, and therefore their whole being depends upon the vent thereof; which can't be said of the Northern Colonies as to so much of those commodities that they import from forreign parts; Besides which the Sugar Islands propose by this prohibition to distress the French sugar planters in the vent of their commodities and thereby to make their sugar come dearer to market which would be of great advantage to the trade of Great Britain. It is admitted by the Northern Colonies that they receive from the foreign islands money, indico, cotton wooll etc. and therefore a prohibition of importing foreign sugar, rum and melasses cannot, as they would have it beleived, put a stop to the vent of their produce to foreigners or the clearing their land. The Northern Colonies complain of any restraint being intended to be put upon their trade, when at the same time they, and not the Sugar Islands, are permitted to send and receive ships directly to and from all parts of Europe. Would not the Northern Colonies justly complain if the Sugar Islands were supplyed with lumber and provisions from foreigners; and does not the same reason hold against the Northern Colonies being supplyed from foreigners with sugar rum and melasses? The same argument lyes also against the monopoly in the case of furnishing lumber and provisions as the other. The monopoly of the Sugar Islands is always industriously made a main argument against the prohibition desired, when both reason and experience shew the weakness of it. There are many Sugar Islands distant from one another and consisting all of numbers of planters independent of each other, and therefore any combination is much more impracticable among them than it is among the tobacco planters or our farmers or manufacturers at home where a combination never takes place ; after the prohibition is obtained, the case as to the monopoly of sugar will be the same as now, it being admitted on all hands that little or no sugar hath been lately imported from the foreign colonies into the Northern, and the prohibition of sugar is only necessary, because that when the foreigners are not allowed to interfere with us in rum and melasses they would if permitted certainly do it with their sugar. Notwithstanding therefore that the Sugar Islands have so farr had the monopoly or sole vending of sugar, yet they have been so farr from putting their own price upon it that it hath every year fallen in price, and is now so low as that severall plantations are abandoned and the rest run in debt every day. If the Sugar Islands reap any advantage, by this prohibition, in the sale of their rum, they will be able to afford their sugar so much the cheaper ; and an advance in the price of rum in New England will be the means of saving many of our own people in America as well as Indians from dying by the excessive use of it. Severall quarrels with the Indians have arisen from their immoderate drinking of rum ; and it is apparent by all the laws passed in America restraining the sale of rum to the Indians that the peltry trade etc. would be better carried on without it. Should the New England men entice British sailors by the cheapness of rum to winter among them rather than old England, that would be no reason for Great Britain to encourage it when their whole navigation is so largely carried on without any rum at all. The Sugar Islands however can make rum enough for all the Northern Colonies, and as they take lumber and provisions ready prepared from the Northern Colonies, it is but reasonable that they should take in return from our Sugar Islands their melasses distilled into rum, especially since every Sugar Plantation hath a still house already erected for that purpose. The Northern Colonies pretend that a prohibition will oblige the French to make rum themselves when they must know that ever since the French have been allowed a vent for it among them they have made rum, and sent some as well as melasses to New England; so that a prohibition of taking their rum as well as sugar and melasses can be no encouragement to their making or venting it. There can be no likelyhood that the Sugar Planters, as alledged, will diminish their quantity of sugar to increase that of melasses, since sugar is much the most valuable ; It is much more natural to suppose that as great part of Jamaica lyes uncultivated, and many extended estates lye also uncultivated in the rest of the islands some encouragement to the vent of sugar, rum and melasses will contribute to the better improvement of our lands. On the other hand, if the Northern Colonies show what a loss they are at for answers when they alledge, that the Sugar Islands are greatly mistaken in saying this trade with the French Colonies is contrary to the Treaty in 1686 because the King's Instructions have declared it otherwise ; whereas it is only declared in those Instructions that that trade is not against law which must have been admitted by the Sugar Islands when they applyed for such a law ; But it is apparently so directly forbid by that Treaty that France may at any time by virtue thereof seize any ships of ours trading to their Colonies without England's having any right to reclaim them, and England may seize their ships in like manner. There is also no foundation for saying that the prohibiting the importation of foreign sugar, melasses and rum into Barbadoes hath been the reason of the Planters' present misfortunes, since the disadvantage to the planters was the same or rather greater when they were imported into Barbadoes as when they are imported into the Northern Colonies ; and there is not one instance to be produced, besides this of sugar, rum and melasses, where Great Britain permits those commodities that can be sufficiently produced or manufactured in their Colonies or Great Britain to be imported there or here from foreign parts ; and it is humbly hoped that such an additional hardship on the Sugar Islands in their present circumstances will be immediately removed, since otherwise their ruin must inevitably follow. 52/3 pp. [C.O. 28, 22. ff. 144, 145–147v., 149v.]
Dec. 29.
St. James's.
579. H.M. Additional Instruction to Governor Pitt, concerning substitute for whale-licences, as ordered 23rd Dec. supra q.v. Copy. Signed, G. R. [C.O. 324, 36. ff. 297, 298.]
Dec. 29.
New York.
580. President Rip Van Dam to the Duke of Newcastle. Nothing of moment has happened since his letter of 2nd Nov. The Province is yet in as peaceable a condition as it was at the decease of Colo. Montgomerie etc. This ship being (by reason the hard weather setting in, forced to sail for Bristol sooner then it was designed) is the reason I could not now send duplicates of the papers sent in Nov. etc. Signed, Rip Van Dam. Endorsed, R. 6th Feb. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1093. f. 223, 224v.]
Dec. 29.
New York.
581. Same to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers to letter of 2nd Nov. Continues: The Province continues quiet altho' still mightily afflicted with the small pox etc. Printed, N.Y. Col. Doc. V. p. 930. Signed, Rip Van Dam. Endorsed, Recd. Read 3rd Feb., 1731/2. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1055. ff. 229, 230v.]
Dec. 29.
New York.
582. Same to Mr. Popple. Encloses a printed book of the laws of Connecticut sent to him by Governor Joseph Talcot in reply to his request (cf. 29th Oct.). Has had no answer from the Governor of Rhoad Island. Signed and endorsed as preceding. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1055. ff. 231, 232v.]
Dec. 30.
583. Mr. Scrope to Mr. Popple. Encloses following. The Lords Commissioners of H.M. Treasury desire the opinion of the Board what is fit to be done therein etc. Signed, J. Scrope. Endorsed, Recd. 31st Dec, 1731, Read 22nd Feb., 1731/2. Addressed, ¾ p. Enclosed,
583. i. Petition of Robert Cary, merchant, in behalf of Col. Spotswood, to the Lords Commissioners of H.M. Treasury. Col. Spotswood did in 1722 at the unanimous request of the Assembly of Virginia undertake a journey upwards of 1200 miles to treat with the Indians at Albany and Conestogoe. Experience has shewn the advantages arising from the treaty he made etc. At his return, he had the thankful acknowledgement of the Governor and Council. To perform this service he was at £1600 expence, and has received £1000 only. Upon his application to the Governor and Council for the remainder, they declared it proper to wait for directions from Great Britain, before they came to any determination etc. Prays for their Lordships' Order for payment of the money remaining due out of the revenue of 2s. pr. hhd. Proofs have been transmitted to the Council of Trade and Plantations etc. 29th Dec, 1731. 1 p.
583. ii. Copy of Minutes of Council of Virginia, 9th July, 1730, referred to in preceding, 1½ pp. [C.O., 5, 1322. ff. 222, 223, 224, 224v., 226v., 227v.]
Dec. 31.
584. Capt. Waterhous to Mr. Popple. Encloses following replies relating to the management of the Fishery at Canço. Continues which occur'd to me the same as last year, wth. some difference rather for the worse. The loss of six scooners, the bad spring, and not merchant ships enough to carry off the fish which occasion'd 6000 quintals of merchandable fish to be carry'd to New England, besides a larger quantity of refuge fish than has been known for some years past, so that the exportation of merchandable fish fell short this year etc. But the want of proper fortifications discourages people to settle there, their properties not being secur'd to them in case of a rupture wth. the Indians which we were apprehensive of this year, which put us all upon our guard, occasion'd by notions imbib'd into those deluded people by the French, insomuch that they seem'd extreamly shy. I asked them the reason, and was answer'd, that the English would kill them: when I clear'd that point they went away well satisfy'd, but they are intirely manag'd by the French, with their annual presents, Priest-craft, and some odd notions of the English breaking with the French. They have began new fortifications at Louisburgh on the hills that overlook the harbour, but the fortifications at St. Peters are wholly laid aside, etc. Signed, Tho. Waterhous. Endorsed, Recd. 3rd Jan., 1731/2, Read 6th March, 1732/3. 1 p. Enclosed,
584. i. Answers to the Heads of Enquiry relating to the Fishery and Trade at Canso. To same effect as those returned 22nd Jan. 1731. v. C.S.P. under date. Signed, Tho. Waterhouse. Endorsed as preceding. 2¾ pp.
584. ii. Heads of Enquiry. 30th March, 1731. Copy. 3 pp.
584. iii. Scheme of the Fishery of Canso, 1731. British sack ships, 12, 1015 tons, 108 men; ships from America, 5, =162 tons, 27 men. Quintals of fish made by the inhabitants, 40,000; carried to foreign markets 24,270 ; price of fish; 40s. New England money. Inhabitants, exclusive of garrison, 40: fishermen who stayed all last winter, 40. Signed, Tho. Waterhous. 1 p. [C.O. 217, 6. ff. 159, 160–163v., 164v.]
585. Naval Office Returns of vessels entering and clearing New York, 1731–1738. [C.O. 5. 1225.]
[? 1731].586. Petition of Governor Belcher to the King. Petitioner hath lately received accotts. from New England that Col. Dunbar hath made settlements on lands lying between the River Sagadahock and the Gulph of St. Lawrence, which lands your Majesty's Province of the Massachusets Bay apprehend to be part of the lands of that Province by the Charter of King William and Q. Mary, quoted. Prays for H.M. Instructions how to conduct himself in this affair, and that Col. Dunbar may in the meantime be directed to withdraw etc. till the right be fully settled. Signed, Jonathan Belcher. Without date. l2/3 pp. [C.O. 5, 752. No. 45.]
?1731.587. Mr. Danvers to the Duke of Newcastle. Recommends Col. Spencer Phipps residing at Boston in New England, son of Sir Wm. Phipps, as Lt. Governor in the room of Col. Wm. Tailer deed. Signed, Jos. Danvers. Tailer was still living on 21st Jan. 1731. Addressed. Undated. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 10. No. 188.]
[1731].588. Case of Governor Rogers relating to John Colebrooke. In Dec. 28 Capt. Rogers was appointed Governor of the Bahama Islands and Mr. Colebrooke having proposed going over to settle a house for trade thither, a partnership was concluded on between him and Mr. Whetstone Rogers, son to Governor Rogers etc. Messrs. John White and Jacob Jarrold were recommended to the Governor's confidence by Colebrooke and sailed with him, the first was nominated one of the Council, and the latter went over as the Governor's Secretary etc. The Governor appointed White Chief Justice and Jarrold Judge of the Vice-Admiralty Court etc. Mr. Colebrooke was chosen Speaker of the Assembly, and soon after the post of Treasurer being vacant Colebrooke applied to the Governor for a grant thereof, who not complying therewith it's presumed was the first occasion of his dissatisfaction, etc. Describes proceedings as June 10 etc. Mr. Colebrooke insisted on appealing from his sentence (June 10. No. ii) to H.M. in Council imediatly urging that the Governor was predetermind and therefore he would not appeal to him, which form that Mr. Colebrooke might have no cause of complaint, the Governor dispens'd with, and granted to him his appeal to H.M. and at the same time releas'd him from his confinement, on his having entered into recog- nizances to remain on the island and abide by the sentence if confirmed, after which Mr. Colebrooke by sinister means prevailed on part of the Jury to sign a recantation declaring the verdict to be extorted from them and prevail'd on one of them to goe home with Mr. Jarrold etc., who also procur'd other complaints sign'd by such of the Assembly whom Mr. Colebrooke had before influenc'd to oppose the repair of the fortifications and join with him in his invectives against the Governor, which Mr. Jarrold in conjunction with Mr. White are proposing to exhibit against Governor Rogers. No date or signature. 3¾ pp. [C.O. 23, 14. ff. 223–224v.]
[1731].589. Abstract of letters to and from Governor Hunter and Col. Hayes 1730 and 1731 relating to the sending of the two regiments. In Mr. Delafaye's hand. 9 pp. [C.O. 137, 53. ff. 441–445.]
[1731].590. List of Lieutenant-Governors of the Plantations, 1689–1731. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 12. ff. 75–76.]
591. Corrected drafts of letters and representations from the Council of Trade and Plantations relating to Massachusetts Bay. [C.O. 5, 897.]
592. 1731–1753. [C.O. 326, 22.]
593. Index to Correspondence, Barbados. [C.O. 326, 35.]
594. Corrected drafts of Representations by the Council of Trade and Plantations concerning South Carolina. [C.O. 5, 381.]
1731.595. Correspondence of Commandants of Essequibo with the Directors of the Dutch West India Company. [C.O. 116, 26.]