America and West Indies
January 1734, 1-20


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'America and West Indies: January 1734, 1-20', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 41: 1734-1735 (1953), pp. 1-9. URL: Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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January 1734, 1-20

Jan. 6.
1. Governor Lord Howe to the Council of Trade and Plantations. When first I arrived here I gave orders for accounts to be sent me in of the state of the militia and fortifications, as also of the number of all the inhabitants in this Island, all which I propos'd to have transmitted to your Lordships in one packett, but the members of H.M. Council here, from the report they have lately receiv'd from England of the likelihood of a war with France having desir'd me to apply by the first opportunity to H.M., that in case that report shou'd be true, he wou'd be graciously pleas'd to send us immediately a squadron of men-of-war to protect the Island and supply us with a sufficient number of cannon and small arms for it's defence, I thought it my duty to send your Lordships the accounts I had of the state of the fortifications (tho I have not receiv'd those of the militia and numbers of the inhabitants) that your Lordships might see by them the defenceless condition this Island is now in and the necessity there is for such application; your Lordships will observe in St. Michael's and Oistin's Division the guns are in much the best condition, but even those all the gunners assure me are not able to stand three rounds of shot; as to the militia, by the officers, of whom there are but very few in Commission of any sort of character or distinction and by the badness of their arms (a great many indeed having nothing but sticks instead of firelocks and not one bayonet belonging to all the Regiments) I can't help thinking it has hardly been look't into or thought off these many years, but as I intend very soon to give orders for a General Review I hope to be able in a short time to give your Lordships a better account of it; The terrible prospect of having no crops this year by the excessive drought, the number of people continually running off (notwithstanding I take all the care I can to prevent it) and the miserable condition and poverty of the Island in general makes it absolutely impossible for them at this present time to provide for the expence of putting themselves in any tolerable posture of defence. The French are now very strong at Martinique both in men and shipping, that I don't doubt upon the first notice they have of war being declar'd they will immediately attack this Island, and indeed I am told it is commonly talk'd of amongst them, because, if they can only get possession of it, the Leeward Islands must fall into their hands of course, however if they should attempt it, as H.M. has done me the honour to intrust me with the government, I shall not easily give it up but will defend it to the last, but if H.M. wou'd be graciously pleas'd to give orders for sending immediately a squadron of men-of-war to protect the trade and for the defence of the Island about one hundred great guns and four thousand swords and firelocks with bayonetts (which two last there is the most pressing occasion for) I shou'd not be at all apprehensive of giving H.M. a very good account of any enemies that durst attack us. It is by the advice and at the request of the Members of Council I take the liberty to apply for this quantity of arms and indeed it is also my own opinion. By all the enquirys I can make we shall have full need at least for that number. As the loss of this Colony (which I am afraid it will be almost impossible to prevent without this assistance) wou'd be of the most dangerous consequence to the trade of Great Brittain, I hope this request won't be thought too unreasonable; if it is granted I don't doubt we shall be able to defend our selves against all attacks and preserve the Island. Signed, Howe. Endorsed, Recd. 5th, Read 7th March, 1733/4. 2 large pp. Enclosed,
1. i. Inventory of guns and ammunition in the forts and batteries of the Windward Division. 2¼ large pp.
1. ii. Inventory of guns and ammunition in St. Michael's Division. If large pp.
1. iii. Report of Committee appointed to inspect the Magazine at St. Anne's Castle. Copy. 2 large pp.
1. iv. Inventory of guns and ammunition in the forts and batteries in Reed's Bay Division. 2 pp.
1. v. Similar inventory for Speight's Bay Division. 2 large pp.
1. vi. Report upon the 13 pieces of ordnance and stores of the Train of Artillery at Pilgrim. Dec. 21, 1733. All very much out of repair. 1 p.
1. vii. Inventory of guns and ammunition in and wanting in the forts and batteries in Hole Division. 1 p. Nos. i-vii endorsed as covering letter. [C.O. 28, 24. ff. 9, 9 v., 10 v., 11 v.–13, 14–15 v., 16 v., 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 v.; and (abstract) 28, 40. ff. 154–156 v.]
Jan. 6.
2. Governor Lord Howe to the Duke of Newcastle. Repeats preceding covering letter, concluding, "I have also the honour to inclose to your Grace the Grand Jury's Address to His Majesty." Signed, Howe. Endorsed, R. 11th March. 2½ pp. Enclosed,
2. i. Duplicate of preceding enclosures Nos. i-vii.
2. ii. Address of the Grand Jury of Barbados to the King. Dec. 13, 1733. Return thanks for H.M. assent to act for encouragement of the trade of Sugar Islands, reduced as it was almost to the lowest ebb. "The seasonable passing of that law, when the inhabitants, especially those of this place, began to despair of being able to support their plantations, has revived our drooping hearts, and gives us reason to hope for further relief, as soon as the condition and circumstances of our case, with regard to foreign Colonys, come to be fairly represented to your Majesty, and fully considered by your Parliament, and that we shall be then allow'd no less extensive a vent for sugar, our staple commodity, than those our neighbouring rivals; whereby 'tis presum'd this island may likewise be render'd still more beneficial to its Mother country etc. Express appreciation of Lord Howe's administration, and regret that it was not in their power to make a provision and settlement suitable to his merit, which is every day more conspicuous. If H.M. had left the choice of a Governor to themselves, they could not have been more happy in that respect etc. Signed, Nicholas Wilcox, Nathl. Holder and 15 others. 2 pp. [C.O. 28, 45. ff. 287– 289, 289 v., 291 v., 292, 293, 294 v., 295, 296 v., 297, 298, 298 v., 300 v., 301, 302, 302 v.]
Jan. 7.
Lincoln's Inn.
3. Mr. Attorney General to Mr. Popple. Sr, The Charter which you sent us referrs to another which is prior, and which it will be necessary for us to see. We likewise desire to have a copy of the Fundamental Constitutions of the late Lords Proprietors, for at present it does not appear to us by any thing that we can find in the Charter which you sent us, by what authority those constitutions were made, nor how far they are at present in force. When the First Charter, and a copy of these Constitutions are sent to us, there shall be no delay on our part. Signed, J. Willes. Endorsed, Recd., Read 7th Jan., 173 ¾. Holograph. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 294. ff. 82, 83 v.]
Jan. 8.4. Memorandum of letter [from Mr. Popple] to Mr. Attorney General with a copy of the first charter to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina in order to obtain his and Mr. Solicitor's opinion concerning the Laws of North Carolina. [C.O. 5, 323. f. 108.]
Jan. 10.
5. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses, for his opinion in point of law, Act of S. Carolina, 1733, for the prevention of suits and disturbances to H.M. Judges and Magistrates on account of the Habeas Corpus Act. [C.O. 5, 401. p. 78.]
Jan. 10.
St. James's.
6. Order of King in Council. Approving following. Signed, W. Sharpe. Annexed,
6. i. H.M. Additional Instruction to Governor Belcher. 11th Jan., 1733/4. Empowers him to give his assent to the Act of the Massachusetts Bay for granting the sum of £3000 for the support of H.M. Governor, upon consideration that " you have hitherto strictly adhered to Our Instructions in refusing to accept any sum of money whatsoever from the Assembly upon terms; and also taking notice of your behaviour in the said Assembly in the year 1732, where you asserted the rights of Our Crown and endeavoured to dissuade them from pursuing the undutifull and pernicious measures they were then engaged in etc. Signed, G.R. Copy. [C.O. 324, 36. pp. 430–432; and (without enclosure, endorsed, Recd. 1st, Read 20th June, 1734) 5, 876. ff. 62, 63 v.]
Jan. 10.
St. James's.
7. Order of King in Council. Confirming Act of St. Christopher, 1722, to enable Andrew and Peter Audain etc. Signed, W. Sharpe. Endorsed, Recd. 1st, Read 20th June, 1734. 1½ pp. [C.O. 152, 20. ff. 98, 101 v.]
Jan. 10.
St. James's.
8. Order of King in Council. Repealing Act of the Massachusetts Bay, 1731, in addition to an act for ascertaining the number and regulating the House of Representatives, in accordance with reports of Council of Trade and Committee of Privy Council, who have received the opinion of H.M. late Attorney and Solicitor General thereupon, and heard Counsel upon the petition of Francis Wilks, Agent for the Massachusetts Bay, in support of the said act. The Committee reported that the reason for passing this Act, as set forth in the Preamble of it is, that by an Act made or passed in the 13th year of his late Majesty King George entituled An Act for enlarging the pay of the members of the Great and General Court or Assembly of this Province, the first clause in the Act for ascertaining the number and regulating the House of Representatives, made in the 4th year of King William and Queen Mary, enjoyning each town within this Province having forty familys to send a person to represent them in the Generall Court was repealed and made null and void, and that no provision is made by law to oblige any town to send a representative which may be found inconvenient etc. The above mentioned Act which repealed the first clause in the said Act of King William and Queen Mary appears to this Committee to have been only a temporary law and to be now expired, and upon the expiration thereof it is their Lordships' opinion the said first Clause in the Act of King William and Queen Mary did revive again and is now in force. As this entirely destroyes the reason given for this new Act, their Lordships humbly propose that your Majesty would be pleased to signifie your disallowance of the said new Act. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 2¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 876. ff. 60–61 v.]
Jan. 11.
9. Lord Harrington to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Having laid before the King the inclosed petition etc., I am commanded to signify H.M. pleasure that you do report your opinion what may be proper for H.M. to do therein etc. Signed, Harrington. Mem. a petition of the like nature was referred to this Board by an order of the Committee of Council 30th Jan., and a copy of the Board's report thereon, 6th March, was enclosed in a letter to my Lord President etc. Endorsed, Recd, (from Mr. Robinson) April 23, Read May 1st, 1734. 1 p. Enclosed,
9. i. Petition of John da Costa of London, merchant, on behalf of himself and others to the King. There is a large tract of land on the Continent of America bordering on the sea and above 400 miles from any Europeansettlement, in the possession of the original natives, who were never attempted to be conquered by any of the Powers of Europe. Asks for a grant empowering them to take possession of any countrys whatsoever in America as yet unfrequented by H.M. subjects, nor in the possession of any Christian Prince etc. Signed, John da Costa. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 389, 37. ff. 99, 100, 100 v., 102 v.]
Jan. 16.10. Assembly of New Hampshire to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Have lately addressed the King and remonstrated the great difficulties of the Province relating to bills of credit, think it their duty to address the Board also etc. Continue:— In the time of the long and destructive Indian warr, togeather with the raising, subsisting and paying our quotas of men in several expeditions against the French at Nova Scotia and Canada, involv'd this little Province in a great debt, which by reason of its poverty and great scarceity of silver money [it] could noways discharge but by an emission of paper bill[s of] credit, for the repayment of which acts were passed to bring it into the Treasury (to be burnt) yearly, and as much was laid upon every yeare as the inhabitants with great difficulty were able to raise by a tax on their poles and estates and for the support of the Government and other necessary charges for safety and defence were necessitated to remit severall years taxes after it was brought in and protracted the payment thereof to the yeare 1742, to which period there is as much to be paid annually as in all probability the inhabitants will be able to pay, and the Province is now indebted a considerable sume yet to be raised which can be don by no other method but by a tax upon the poles and estates by a further emission of bills of credit, which would be cherefully and readily voted if it might be repaid after the expiration of the yeare 1742, for which funds are alredy provided. But our Governor acquaints us he is forbid by H.M. Instructions to assent to any act, but that it must be charged on the intervening years between this and that period of 1742, which would be in effect making a law to imprison the greatest part of H.M. good subjects in this Province, for they are alredy loaded with as much or more than they'l be able to pay within that time, and besides the debt now due, there will yearly be occasion for the annual support of the Goverment, which in all probability will amount to a great sume; the fort at the entrance of Piscataqua river which is the only security and safety of this Province is very much out of repaire and wholly destitute of powder which is absolutely necessary for its defence, and there is no other way to repaire and supply it, here being no revenue ariseing but what is already appropriated towards paying the Governor's salary, and that not sufficient to pay it neither etc. Pray the Board to recommend their distressed case to H.M. "(and especially if a warr should ensue which seems to be impending, that this H.M. poor Province may not be destitute of necessaries for its defence) that H.M. would be gratiously pleased to give our Govornor leave to assent to such acts as may relieve our necessitous circumstances, hat the Generall Assembly may be permitted to emitt such a sume in bills of credit as would raise a revenue sufficient for the honour and support of the Government, the safety and defence of H.M. subjects of this Province, who have always chearefully paid a dutyfull regard to H.M. Instructions which wee depend will always recommend us his royall favor. Such an emission of bills of credit let out for a limitted time on improved land security would revive our languishing trade almost lost for want of a medium to carry it on, and the interest ariseing with a moderate tax on the poles and estates would defray the charges of the Goverment., For want of which this Province that is more imediatly under H.M. Goverment wee fear will be necessitated to be borrowers and tributarys to our neighbouring Goverments for their paper currency, there being no other in all the Goverments of New England, some of which emitt great sums without restraint, the revenue ariseing defrays all their public charges and increases their flourishing trade. Signed, by order of the House of Representatives, James Jeffry, Clerk of the Assembly, Andrew Wiggin, J. Rindge, Theodore Atkinson. Endorsed, Recd, (from Capt. Tomlinson), Read 23rd May, 1734. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 876. ff. 34, 34 v., 46 v.]
Jan. 17.
St. Christophers.
11. Governor Mat hew to the Duke of Newcastle. Immediately after my arrival, I had the honour of giving your Grace an account that I had obeyed your commands as to Lord Ducie's son here. I have since been unable, thro' a violent fit of sickness, to send your Grace any account of the condition I found this Government in. The apprehensions everyone here is in of a warr, makes them look back with regret at the time that has been lost in preparing for a better defence, and the low condition of our estates, before the last provision in Parliament for our releif, has very much lessend our numbers, and made us but little capable of great expence in fortifying ourselves, but I now hope we shall do our utmost to regain that time, and as I am restor'd to health, no pains shall be wanting on my side. Our numbers to be made up, by providing servants from England to fill up our Plantations, is a buisness of time, and I can hope but little from it. But if before the danger, H.M. will please to order His Regiment here to be filled up to the English establishment and thoroughly recruited, not with new recruits, but draughts from other regiments, this would be an immediate help, towards our safety. The station ships at Barbadoes last warr were mostly two fifty and one forty-gun ship, and for the Leeward Islands but one forty-gun ship. We hope H.M. will think these four islands more valuable to his revenue, as they really are, than that one island, and order us at least three such ships for our protection. And as these and the Barbadoes convoys might easily join, I should think ourselves not only safe from anything might be attempted from Guadeloup and Martenica, but certainly if Lord Howe from Barbadoes were to act in concert with me, with such a squadron and our own little force we might even distress them, notwithstanding their great numbers etc. Has written to Mr. Richard Coope, Agent for this island, to apply for the helps we stand in great need of etc. Continues:—This island and Antigua had two years ago supplys of Ordnance and stores of warr, but I assure your Grace the magasines (tho' those stores are entire) are not sufficiently furnish'd for our defence, etc. Prays his Grace to obtain them of H.M. for these islands etc. Continues: Whenever H.M. shall think fitt to extend His Dominions here, and procure a ballance against the French for strengthning his sugar colonys, I will pray leave to assure him, from the accompts I have been many years getting of that island, I could answer for making the conquest of Puerto Rico both a cheap and secure expedition etc. P.S. Mr. Cooper has my full directions, not onely as to the stores wanting, and why, to lay before your Grace, but also to pray our Militia, when on actual service, may be encouraged with H.M. pay or bounty, and leave to roll with H.M. regiment here, on an actual invasion or an expedition against the enemy. Signed, William Mathew. Endorsed, R. 21 March. Holograph. 4 pp. Enclosed,
11. i. List of ordnance and stores of war wanting for the Leeward Islands. Includes, 20 light field pieces, 3000 hand granades, 20,000 musquet flints, 2000 swords, 30 five-inch cohorns, 2000 shells for ditto, 1000 shot for six pounders, and 1000 ball for field pieces, 5 ton musquet ball, tents, spades, barrows etc. l½ pp. [C.O. 152, 44. ff. 17, 18, 19, 20–21 v.; and (abstract) 23, 23 v.]
Jan. 17.12. Abstract of letter from Governor Mathew. [C.O. 28, 40. ff. 157, 157 v.]
Jan. 17.
St. Christophers.
13. Governor Mathew to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I pray your Lordships will permitt my enclosing a duplicate of the last letter I wrote to your Board, and with it a duplicate list of the six persons I would presume to recommend to your Lordships to fill up vacancys in H.M. Council at Antigua, and a like number for Nevis, and to this I have now added such a list for this Island and for Montserat. I now transmitt to your Lordships' Secretary a duplicate of the Antigua Act of Settlement on me with duplicate Minutes of the Council and Assembly of that Island, as mentioned in my former. And with these I now send Minutes of the Council of Montserat from 10 Janry. 1732/3 to the 11 Decr. 1733. And two Acts of that Island viz. an Act for selling flower, bisquet, corn and oats by weight. An Act for raising a levy or poll tax and for assessing the houses in the town of Plymouth in the Island of Montserat. Neither of these Acts being of an unusual nature, the first being such a one as has been long in force in Antigua and St. Christophers, and the other in the usual forms of all other levy Acts of that Island, I can add nothing of new observation on them to your Lordships. The hurricane not leaving a church in the whole Island standing, the Levy Act is chiefly to build one at the town at least. Wavell Smith Esqr. not resigning the offices as enjoyn'd him by H.M. order in Council, I have not admitted him to his seat in the Council of this Island. These Islands are greatly alarmd at the accompts sent hither of the dangers of an approaching warr. And I am sorry to tell your Lordships, I find the number of inhabitants very low, little or no discipline in any of them but Antigua, great numbers in the Militia without arms, and the magazines (notwithstanding the late supplys to Antigua and this Island) fan from sufficiently stor'd for a defence. I am now restor'd to my health after sickness and nothing of deligence or care shall be wanting in me to remedy these evils, as fan as I am able. But, my Lords, we want helps from H.M., and I have presumd to lay our wants before his Grace the Duke of Newcastle praying his intercession, as I now do your Lordships' for obtaining them in case of a wan. And a list of the ordnance and stores of wan now wanting, besides what are in our magasines here, I pray leave to enclose herewith. The recruiting the regiments in these Islands, not with new recruits but draughts from other regiments, is our only immediate expedient to add to our numbers. Providing by laws now subsisting or new ones for servants to be brought from home will be I fear too late, tho that must be done too. But station ships are to be our chief protection, as well as the only way to annoy our enemys. Barbadoes in time of wan always had two fifty and a forty-gun ship. And these four Islands but a forty-gun ship. It is well known to your Lordships, how much more valuable these four are to H.M. Revenue and the Mother Country than that Island can be and from thence I presume to pray for at least the same number of ships on this Station; these six well employ'd must not only cut off all trade between the French Islands and Europe and distress them ashore even to starving them for want of the European supplys of provisions, but render them incapable to victual out a single privateer to molest our trade, much less an armament to insult our Islands. And such an expedition from France will then require a larger squadron of ships of warr, then I hope they will ever be able to spare, or the plunder they would be able to carry off quit scores for. I should even hope, if Lord Howe could prevail with the inhabitants of Barbadoes to join and act heartily in concert with us, to make them more uneasy in their settlements, notwithstanding their overgrown numbers, than they could H.M. subjects in Barbadoes and these Islands. I would not trespass too much on your Lordships and have therefore sent Mr. Cooper Agent for this Island full instructions what applications to make and have given him the best reasons I can to support what I direct his asking for us. I pray your Lordships' protection and countenance to him for our sakes. Signed, William Mathew. Endorsed, Recd. Read 21st March, 1733/4 Holograph. 3¾ pp. Enclosed,
13. i. Duplicate of No. 11 encl. i. [C.O. 152, 20. ff. 7–8 v., 9 v.–l0, 13 v.]
Jan. 18.14. Mr. Sharpe to Mr. Popple. In accordance with Lord Howe's directions, recommends John Gallop for the Council ofBarbados, in the room of Mr. John Pilgrim who "dyed here in London about three weeks since.'' Signed, Jno. Sharpe. Endorsed, Recd. Read 18th Jan., 1733/4. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 24. ff. 1, 2 v.]
Jan. 19.15. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Report upon Act of S. Carolina for the prevention of suits and disturbances to H.M. Judges and Magistrates on account of the Habeas Corpus Act etc. Continues: Which I beg leave to observe to your Lordships is a suspention of the Habeas Corpus Act in this Colony, and an indempnification with a retrospect to persons who have acted in an illegalle and arbitrary manner, and in violation of the liberty of the subject. The Habeas Corpus Act has always been considered as the great barrier of the liberty of the subject in this Kingdom. For by that Law if any person is committed to prison for an offence that's bailable by law, he has a right to pray H.M. Writt of Habeas Corpus returnable before the Chancellor, Chief Justices or Judges of either Bench, and by a law of this Province before the Governour, Chief Justice or two Justices, commanding the officer in whose custody the person is to bring him with the cause of his committment before them to examine for what cause he is committed, that he may be either discharged, bailed or remanded back. This law has sometimes been suspended in this country, but it has been in the time of open rebellion or the certain apprehension of it or when the Government itself has been in the most imminent danger; what necessity there was of suspending it in this Colony do's not appear to me. But I beg leave to observe that in the Preamble of this Bill, which is a most extraordinary one, it is said, that persons demand this writt, altho' they are not legally entituled thereto, which is a very strong reason in my opinion against suspending the Act, for if that is the fact there can be no necessity for it, Justice takeing it's usuall course. But I apprehend the design of the suspension is to oppress and injure H.M. subjects without any just cause as appears to me to and skreen themselves from the resentments of the injured who feel the weight of their power, and therefore I am of opinion that this law ought to be repealed. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. 21st, Read 22nd Jan. 1733/4. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 363. ff. 16, 16 v., 17 v.]