America and West Indies
September 1734, 11-15


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'America and West Indies: September 1734, 11-15', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 41: 1734-1735 (1953), pp. 199-242. URL: Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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September 1734, 11-15

Sept. 11.
306. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lt. Governor Armstrong. Acknowledge letters etc. of 29th Oct., 10th and 20th Nov., 1733. and 10th May last relating to the state of Nova Scotia, to the fishery at Canso, and to the encroachment attempted by your neighbours the French, upon all which subjects, we have frequently offered our opinion to H.M., and doubt not but in time, proper measures will be taken for doing what may be judged necessary on those heads. But in the mean while as there are some particulars in your letters which require our more immediate answer we shall send our opinion upon the several points therein contain'd as they occur to us following their respective dates and 1st we observe that in your letter of the 29th of October you propose that Canso should be fortified, and declare your opinion that the annual duties arising from the trade of that place will far exceed the expence. The consequence this place is of, to the trade of this Kingdom, inclines us very readily to give ear to any proposal, for rendering the same capable of defence and therefore we desire you will be more explicit in your next as to this particular affair, that from the state of the duties you mention, which we desire you will send us we may be enabled to judge the better of your proposal. We are sorry to find by your letters, that the Indians begin to be uneasy, and that the reason assigned is their not having received the presents formerly sent for them by his late Majesty. We are surpriz'd never to have heard any complaint upon this subject before this time; however we shall take all possible care to examine into it, and will also recommend to H.M. the necessity of sending some annual presents in order to keep the Indians attach'd to our interest. We have considered what you propose with regard to establishing truck houses in order to prevent the Indians being imposed on by the in private traders: But altho' this proposal may have a very good effect, yet we think it should be postpon'd, till there are inhabitants enough in your province to compose an Assembly and to bear the expence of it, that by your assistance with the advice and consent of the Council and Assembly they may if thought proper be regulated under proper cautions. We have likewise considered what you write in relation to the Seignors claiming land in Nova Scotia and having laid a state of that matter before the Lords of the Committee of H.M. Privy Council, with our opinion thereon, we send you a copy thereof inclosed for your information and guidance. This will in great measure answer what you have wrote about the French titles to land in Nova Scotia. Such of them as remained in that Province at the Treaty of Utrecht have thereby a right to keep what they were legally possessed of before that time, owning allegiance to the Crown of Great Britain and conforming themselves to the Government of the Province; but such of them as went to France leaving behind them what they then enjoyed and are since returned can have no right to any land but what they shall hold from the King under the annual quit rent to be paid by H.M. subjects settling in that Province. We have considered your reasons for the reduction of the quit rents, but until you shall receive orders different from those you now have you must punctually follow your Instructions. We find by your letter of the 10th of May last, that you have receiv'd from some of the French inhabitants the quit rent due to the Crown from them; and therefore until H.M. shall have appointed a General Receiver for your Province, you must take care to send constant accounts of what you shall receive, to Mr. Walpole, H.M. Auditor General of the Plantation Revenue, as well as to this Board. We take notice of your recommending to us some allowance for travelling charges to the Surveyor; but this recommendation would have been more proper to the Treasury, and probably upon his application by some of his friends here to the Treasury fortified by your certificate of the service and the number of days he has been employed therein, some allowance may be obtaind for him, wherein we wish him success. We thank you for the draught of Annapolis River which you lately sent us; and shall be glad to receive from you any draughts or surveys which you shall be able to procure. We have considered those Minutes of Council to which you refer us for your reasons for suspending Mr. Winniet from his seat in the Council but as the account of that transaction seems not to us to be so very explicit as to enable us to form any judgement upon it, we shall only remind you that you must wholly consider yourself as a civil magistrate when you sit in Council, where, by the Constitution of the Plantations, full liberty of debate, assent, or dissent, is allowed to every Councillor and it may perhaps be adviseable not to be too nice or extreme in the infancy of a Colony in observing upon the behaviour of Councillors, unless some very extraordinary conduct in them should absolutely require it. And where there are so few civil inhabitants, one would not part too lightly with one of them out of the Council. So we bid you heartily farewell etc. [C.O. 218, 2. pp. 299–304.]
Sept. 11.
307. Lord Harrington to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following, "which has been put into my hands by the Duke of Newcastle. You will find by it that the Danes have actually began their new settlement upon the Island of Sta. Cruz, and as both by your report to the King, and letter to me of the 27th June, 1733, you referr'd yourselves to a fuller examination which you proposed to make, of H.M. title thereto, the King has been pleased to command me to send this letter to you, that if anything new has occurred to you upon this subject, you may lay it before H.M., and that the King may be enabled in pursuance thereof, to give such further Instructions, as may be suitable to the present situation of this affair, to his Minister at the Court of Denmark. Signed, Harrington. Endorsed, Recd., Read 12th Sept., 1734. 1¼ pp. Enclosed,
307. i. Mr. Coope to the Duke of Newcastle. I have this morning received a letter from Governor Mathew in which is the following paragraph of a letter to that gentleman from Spanish Town dated the 3rd June, 1734. "On Thursday last, at St. Thomas's, arrived a large ship for settling Sta. Cruz, one Motte is appointed Governor (formerly Governor of St. Thomas). They have brought a Minister, 60 soldiers, several sorts of tradesmen and some familys. She is deep laden with provisions, they expect another ship with 100 familys more. Govt. Motte being afraid your Excellcy. will hinder the settlement of it, has sent up a sloop to the French Genl. for a man-of-war to protect him." I apprehend this settlement if it goes forward) will weaken the Sugar Colonies of white people, which are already too few, as it will certainly drain them of their debtors and poor setlers, will be usefull to ye French for their privateers, intelligence and provisions in case of a rupture, and is designed by them to answer these purposes. There is a great fondness between ye French and Danes in those parts, the latter were the other day assisted by the former with two sloops full of men to reduce their rebellious negroes at St. John's, which they effected etc. Signed, Ri. Coope. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 20. ff. 135–136, 138 v.]
Sept. 12.
308. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lord Harrington. Reply to preceding. Continue: Upon the best enquiries we have hitherto been able to make, nothing new has occur'd upon this subject, save that there now appears to be some doubt, whether the French abandon'd this island in 1671 or 1691; and we have some reason to apprehend, that this abandoning, or dereliction, upon which we chiefly found our title, did not take place till the last of these periods, which would make a considerable alteration in the state of the title to this island, for if the French were actually in possession of it, with a regular succession of Governors, as they pretend, from 1645 to 1691, they will probably value themselves in this dispute, both upon the Treaty of Breda in 1667, and that of Neutrality between the French and us in 1686. In this case our title, by what we have hitherto been able to collect, must entirely depend upon the dereliction, which is a pretty nice point, wherein the civilians only are the proper judges; and it might be of dangerous consequence, till we know what the French may have to offer in their defence upon this subject, to put the issue of this affair upon the head of dereliction only, tho' it be certain that ever since the French remov'd, by order of their Court from this Island, and demolished their fortifications, several of H.M. subjects have been settled there, and found their account in cutting fustick, and other wood. Under these circumstances, your Lordship will easily perceive that the matter is not yet ripe enough for a new report to be laid before H.M. that it may be adviseable, before we decide upon a point of this consequence, to wait for further information from the West Indies; we shall write to the Govrs, of Barbados and the Leeward Islands for that purpose; and as H.M. subjects in those parts are very much concern'd in the issue of this question, they will undoubtedly furnish us with the best materials they can collect, for the support of H.M. title, with respect to the several periods of time, when any European Nation possess'd this Island, and to the times and manner of their leaving it. It is not to be doubted, that this is a very valuable island, and if it should be settled by the Danes, it is possible all the evils apprehended by Mr. Coope might ensue from thence, in time of war with the French. But these evils would certainly happen in a greater degree, if it were to be possess'd by the French; if therefore it could possibly be prevented, it would be of great service, that Santa Cruz should be possess'd by neither of those Nations. It is certain, H.M. subjects have been settled in this island ever since the French deserted it. But it is also true, that the French have of late contested H.M. right to it. Yet as the title to this, and several other islands in those parts, has for some time been the subject of debate between the two Nations, not yet decided, though several offices may have pass'd thereupon between H.M. Ministers and those of the French Court; it is a matter of some surprize that the French should make an actual sale of this island to the Danes, and much more so, that the Court of Denmark, living in such good correspondence with , H.M., should give their consent to the purchase and settlement of an Island, claimed by the Crown of Great Britain. We shall therefore humbly submit to H.M. great wisdom, what instructions may be proper to be given upon this subject to his Ambassador at Paris, as well as to H.M. Minister at the Court of Denmark. What we have further to add upon this occasion is, that before we received your Lordship's letter, we had under our consideration one from H.M. Governor of the Leeward Islands, relating to this Danish settlement, and we take leave to inclose an extract thereof to your Lordship, that you may lay the same before H.M. for his royal pleasure thereupon. In this extract, your Lordship will be pleased to observe, that there is also mention of a settlement made by the Danes at St. John's one of the Virgin Charibbee Islands, which does most incontestably belong to H.M., and which settlement the Govr. of the Leeward Islands is, by his Instructions, a copy whereof we inclose, expressly forbid to allow of; whatever therefore may be thought adviseable to the Island of Santa Cruz still under debate, we are humbly of opinion, that H.M. Governor of the Leeward Islands should be directed to dislodge the Danes from that of St. John, if they do not, within a reasonable time to be fixed for that purpose, remove themselves, their slaves and effects from thence, for this island has in it one of the best harbours in the West Indies, and is also very valuable in many other respects. Autograph signatures. 5 pp. Enclosed,
308. i. Extract of letter from Gov. Mathew to Board of Trade. 19th March, 1734.
308. ii. Copy of 87th Article of Govr. Mathew's Instructions, 1733. [C.O. 152, 40. Nos. 39, 39. i., ii; and (without enclosures) 153, 15. pp. 260–265.]
Sept. 13.
309. Mr. Popple to Governor Philipps. Enquires in what manner the presents to the Indians were disposed of (v. 11th Sept.) [C.O. 218, 2. p. 305.]
Sept. 13.
310. Governor Lord Howe to the Duke of Newcastle. Encloses duplicates of his last. Signed, Howe. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 45. f. 325.]
Sept. 14.
311. Lt. Governor Gooch to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Last night I received your Lordships' commands etc. of the 30th May last, for transmitting to your Lordships my opinion what further may be necessary to encourage the inhabitants of these parts to apply their industry to the cultivation of naval stores of all kinds, and likewise of such other products as may be proper for the soil of these colonys, not interfering with the trade or product of Great Britain. In answer to which I humbly offer my opinion that the advancing the premiums on hemp, pitch, tarr and other naval stores to the same or near the rates allowed by the Act of Parliament made in the reign of Queen Anne may be a proper encouragement to the people here to apply themselves to those manufactures, and to the British merchants to deal in those commoditys; the length of the voyage which enhaunces the freight will always lay the Plantations under a disadvantage in the charge of importing such commoditys, especially so bulky an one as hemp, into Great Britain; and nothing but national encouragement can enable them to furnish the British market at the same rates with the Northern Nations, whose navigation is much shorter. As the people of this Colony are now very profitably employ'd in the making tobacco, it will hardly be worth their while to apply themselves to any other thing with which they are less acquainted, nor ought they to be tempted to forsake it. But, as there are here many tracts of land that cannot be applied to the production of tobacco, and are fitt for hemp, flax, pitch, tarr, turpentine &c. there might on proper encouragements be large quantitys of these commoditys exported hence, without lessening our exports of tobacco: and more particularly as there is now a large country beginning to be peopled on the western side of our great Mountains, very proper for hemp, flax and such like commoditys, the inhabitants whereof will in a few years be able to raise great quantitys, if they knew the easiest way of dressing it; but all those who have hitherto attempted the making of hemp, being destitute of proper engines for breaking it, and of workmen to make them, have been discouraged by the difficulty and length of time required, and found it more for their interest to turn their slaves to tobacco which they understood, than employ them in what they knew so little of; therefore I must think, it would be no unprofitable expence, if to each Government on the Continent there should be sent models of the best engines used in Europe for the more easy dressing and manufacturing this commodity. Then as to iron, a principal part of naval stores, and as such imported in great quantities from Sweden, Russia and Spain, it will be worth considering, whether the British Plantations which have sufficient of that kind to supply their Mother Country ought not to be encouraged by all possible means to turn their industry that way, since whatever they furnish Great Britain with is paid for in British manufactures, without straining the coin of the Nation, or subjecting that trade to be interrupted upon any rupture with the Northern Crowns. What I have offered, your Lordships will be pleased to understand as meant only of Virginia, since I don't pretend to know the nature of the soil and other circumstances of the neighbouring Provinces; tho' by what I can learn, they are all of them capable of producing naval stores of some sort or another. As to the other point upon which your Lordships required my opinion, I answer, that the soil of these parts is fitt for all manner of grain and fruits which are usually propagated in Great Britain, and besides, the soil here is productive of rice, if that was a commodity worth encreasing; and silk, no doubt, if we had hands enow, might be made here in good plenty, as is clear from the experiments made by some, who for an amusement have kept silkworms. How far the commoditys of other countrys lying under the same latitude might be cultivated here, such as raisins, olives, coffee and the several sorts of druggs brought from the Levant, has not yet been tryed. But there is, my Lords, one part of the trade and product of country which lies under a very great discouragement. I mean our provisions of beef, pork and fish, for tho' these be as good in their several kinds as any in America, yet it is very difficult to cure them as they ought to be with the salt brought from Cape Verd or the West Indies, which is found to be of too corroding a nature: besides, the interruptions given by the Spaniards to the gathering of salt at Tortuga, Truxello and even the Bahama Islands is such, that the season for curing those commoditys is often over before any salt can be had; which is a sensible hardship both on the merchants and inhabitants, that your Lordships will give me leave to say, it would be a just and necessary relief to this Colony, and the Southern Provinces, if the same liberty of importing salt from Portugal, which has been lately granted to New England, Pensilvania, the Jerseys and New York were extended to us. We should not then have our vessels exposed to the depredations of the Spanish Guard de Cost for a commodity far less useful than the salt of Portugal. As point of time would admit of no delay, and a ship just ready for sailing, I gave this answer a quicker dispatch than otherwise I should have done, but upon inquiry I find nothing omitted, so I hope it will prove to your Lordships' satisfaction etc. Signed, William Gooch. Endorsed, Recd. 3rd Dec, 1734, Read 13th Aug., 1735. "Duplicate more explicite than the origl." 4 pp. [C.O. 5, 1323. ff. 143, 145–146v., 148v. (with abstract).]
Sept. 14.312. Same to Mr. Popple. Acknowledges receipt of duplicate of letter of 3rd July, 1733, "but the original I never received" etc. Will obey instructions relating to private acts. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1323. ff. 144, 147 v.]
Sept, 14.
313. Governor Mathew to the Duke of Newcastle. The Dutch and French our next neighbours have concluded a Treaty of Neutrality for the islands of St. Martins and St. Bartholomew, that infallibly, in case of a war, cutts off all communication between Montserat, Nevis and St. Christophers and Great Britain and Ireland, for ships bound hence thither. Encloses copy, "sent to me by the Dutch Governour of St. Eustatia, upon my sending to him for it" etc. Has sent his observations thereupon to the Agent etc. Signed, William Mathew. Holograph. 1p. Enclosed.
313. i. Treaty of Neutrality of the island of St. Martin. Articles: (i) In case of war against France and Holland the French and Dutch inhabitants shall remain neutral and render each other mutual aid against insults of an enemy etc. (ii) The French and Dutch inhabitants shall each have two vessels with commissions to transport munitions of war and provisions, (iii) Vessels of either nation going to the said island to carry provisions and munitions of war to the inhabitants, shall not meet with any let or hindrance etc. (iv) No one of any nation whatsoever shall in time of war send to the said island any negro or other effects to preserve them from the enemy, unless they be people who retire thither to settle with their families etc. (v) The same Neutrality shall be observed by the inhabitants of St. Bartholomew etc. 14th July (n.s.), 1734. Signed, Bochart de Champigny, Nicolas Salomon. Copy. French. 2 pp. [C.O. 152, 40. Nos. 38, 38. i].
Sept. 14.
314. Governor Mathew to Mr. Popple. Aug. 31st. I have the honour of their Lordships' the Commissrs. for Trade and Plantations orders in your two letters of the 30th May and 3rd July. I shall punctually transmitt with every private act for the future the certificate their Lordships require. Some people here absolutely refuse making returns of their familys' servants and slaves, I have however fram'd the best state I can of the condition of these Islands and inclose it, desiring you will please to lay it before their Lordships. Continues:—I cannot find out what private act I shou'd have sent a certificate with. The Act for naturalizing Vessadys was not of my passing, and I suppose President Smith sent the original, there only remain the Act to regulate Mr. Smith's fees, and Mr. Yeamans' Agent Act, are not these publick Acts, are there any property's or premisses in these acts to require publication? Pray explain their Ldps.' intentions. I enclose a duplicate of mine to their Ldps. of 29th July which please to lay before them if the orriginal miscarryd. I now send under care of Capt. Toome (and have wrote to Mr. Breholt to send it to you) a box containing the following papers vizt: the duplicate Act for repairing the cisterns on Monks Hill. Duplicate Minutes of Council of Montserrat to 25th June, 1734. Duplicate Minutes of Assembly of Montserrat to 25th Apl.. 1734. Duplicate Minutes of Nevis to 25 June, 1734. and now Minutes of the Council of Nevis to 25th June, 1734. I have kept this to this tenth Sept. in hopes to get the sevll. lists etc. in order to compleat a state I have drawn by H.M. Instructions, and now in obedience to their Lordships' order, of the Sevll. Islands of this Government. But I am still disapointed of the lists of inhabitants in Nevis and Montserrat, but I dare delay no longer and therefore I send it, in this box with the above mention'd papers, and those articles are blank. I shall send you how to fill them up when I can, but as I have mention'd what their militia is, and what numbers they were about five years ago, I hope these blanks will not be of moment, to prevent their Lordships making the state of these Islands they are called upon for, against the meeting of the Parliamt. I am sorry 'tis so long, but I have try'd to omitt nothing that cou'd be of information to their Lordships, I hope it will meet their approbation, it has kept me imploy'd and at hard work ever since I receiv'd yours for it. Sept. 14. Herewith I send by Capt. Clements (and I write to Mr. Breholt to procure and send it to you) a box containing a duplicate of ye state of these Islands, in wch. I have only as yet been able to fill up the blank of No. of negros in Nevis vizt. 6330, and I have rectifyd the article of Rhode Island as to the application of the penaltys. The Presidt, of Nevis writes me that many there cannot be persuaded to give any lists. I send too in the same box duplicate of the Minutes of the Council of Nevis to 25 June, 1734. Signed, William Mathew. Endorsed, Recd. 28th Nov., 1734, Read 1st Jan. 1735. 2 pp. Enclosed,
314. i. Duplicate Mathew to Board of Trade, July 29.
314. ii. A State of H.M. Leeward Carribee Islands in America. 31st Aug., 1734. etc. v preceding. Continues: Each island must be spoken to by itself. In the conclusion I shall aim at giving a summary for the whole. I shall begin with the windwardmost Island, Antigua. Antigua is the largest Island of this Government, suppos'd to contain about seventy two thousand acres of land, but great part of this (on the South side) is mountainous and barren, or but fit for pasture, provisions or cotton. There cannot be of the whole above fifty thousand acres manurable for canes, for there are but 58,342 acres return'd upon oath to pay the land tax. This quantity is, it is true, under manure in some measure, but want of negroes occasion'd these acres to be not wholly improv'd, for by the last return there were upon it but twenty four thousand four hundred and eight, and consequently the produce in proportion abates, whence the exportation also must be less, and H.M. revenue so farr from encreasing rather lessen's. This observation as well concerns the other three sugar Islands as this, I shall therefore not repeat it to your Lordships when I come to speak of each of them. Another reason for the small produce from this Island is a blast that destroys the canes in a most extraordinary manner, and which has encreas'd within five years last past surprizingly, it is spreading down very fast among the other three sugar Islands of this Government, gaining ground even upon the provisions, both roots and vegetables above ground; for this no remedy has yet been found. 'Tis a publick calamity the Almighty Power that permitts it to afflict us can only releive us from. The exports from this Island the last year 1733 were as follows, vizt. Brown Sugar 12,010 hhds. 5102 terces. 3811 blls. 2nd White Sugar, 10 hhds. 4 terces. 20 blls. Cotton wool, 418 baggs. 786 pockets. Black ginger, 725 bags. 195 blls. Rum, 50 buts, 4161 hhds. 3374 terces, 631 blls. Melass, 121 hhds. 115 terces. 10 blls. This is call'd a ¾ cropp, tho' I rather think it commune a yearly produce, this year will not produce the same quantity by a quarter part, from the blast and such weather as that the canes by their produce seem throughout to be tainted and to have no sugar in them. The year 1728 is deem'd a year of great cropp and then the exports were but as follows, vizt. Brown Sugar, 12,351 hhds. 8252 terces. 4099 blls. Second White Sugar, 6 hhds. 14 terces. Cotton wool, 352 bags. 842 pockets. Black Ginger, 639 baggs. Rum, 65 butts. 2785 hhds. 1893 terces. 718 blls. Melass, 416 hhds. 285 terces. 15 blls. For next year the weather promises to wish, but still the blast spreads as much as ever. The imports to this Islands have year after year for the last ten much dwindled. So too they have throughout the Government; the discouragements the planters have mett with from the low price of sugars have most effectively cur'd them of their former generous ways of living. The merchants too after launching in credit among us, what their consignments had afore put them in a capacity of lending, have been so frightned to find themselves so much at stake upon two or three bad cropps, no vent at home, or but little for what was made, and a narrow standing between two precipices, breaking debtors on one side, and a threatned warr on the other, these put together have out of necessity to some, and discretion to others, brought among us an oeconomy that calls for fewer supplies from home for our pleasures, than heretofore, and this year indeed we have almost wanted necessarys for our familys or estates. So many ships design'd to load here were engag'd to go with corn up the Mediterranean in their way hither, for the sake of good freight, that but few came directly to give opportunities for our having the European supplys, as in other years. Give me leave, my Lords, sometimes to talk as a planter as well as in my post of Governor, I still shall retain the candour that becomes me in both stations, as well as the regard I owe to your Lordships, these sett me above saying willingly or knowingly what on this subject I ought not. By the best informations I can get, these following are the particulars of imports into this Island for the year 1733. Flower, 9080 blls. Bread, 539 hhds. 9 terces. 1181 blls. Beef, 135 terces. 7696 blls. Pork. 1616 blls. 609 half blls. Butter, 3948 ferk. Herrings, 3172 blls. Madeira Wine, 1025 pipes, 9 hhds. 2 qr. cask. Negros, 761. Feet of board planks and joists. 1,629,941. Staves and heading, 1,287,270. Shingles, 1,323,850. Hoops, 321,225. The calculations I offer for that year are the only latest ones I can, the present year being not yet run out. Our cropps begin with the year, and can hardly be said to end (that is as to shipping our whole of those cropps) but with the year. This import is shorter by ⅓ on the article of flower than for four years afore, the articles of bread, beef, pork, butter, herrings, wine and lumber are pretty much as the four preceeding years. But the import of negroes which is the trade of most value and concern to the Colony for this year and the preceeding (when but 527 were imported) is fallen to almost nothing. In 1729 two thousand eight hundred eighty eight negroes were imported, and 1730 two thousand two hundred twenty eight were imported. The Standing expence of sallary's and all (including the settlement made on me) is about four thousand eight hundred and fifty pounds this currency p. aim. for which there is a land tax by an old law that produces three hundred and fifty pounds p. ann. and an Excise on liquors that produces about thirteen hundred pounds p. ann. more. For the rest provision is made by yearly taxes. The strength of this Island is owing to its natural scituation, as well as to what the inhabitants with helps from the Mother nation has been able to provide. Your Lordships have none of you ever seen these Islands, I wish the descriptions I am going to give you of them may be so well made, as to satisfy your enquirys about them. I am going to speak from what I have not learnt from others, but from what I have seen, and under the apprehensions of a warr. I have taken some pains of late to know the scituations of these Islands, especially with regard to all the landing places on them. I have tryed too to mend the printed mapps I have seen of them, and I beg leave to help my describing them with such copys of draughts which I think I have pretty much improv'd on the old ones, I mean as to the sea coasts of three of these Islands only. From Reyerson's Point (the N.W. point of the Island) quite away to the N. East point call'd Indian Town Point, there is no probable danger of an enemy's attempt to invade this Island, all that sea coast is so cover'd with shoals, and so 'tis on further southerly to Flatt Point. Good pilots indeed may attempt bringing in a sloop to steal off negroes by night and away, and that in the late warrs has been done, and from such there is danger, especially on Long Island where is a sugar work and about a hundred slaves, on Guana Island and almost all along that coast. To prevent which, in case of alarm, a militia company has its post at Hogvarges, and at High Point is a dismounted six pounder, which will serve to alarm the Island at least. Upon Barnacle Point is one of this country forts or batterys with seven pieces of cannon to seaward on it, vizt. two eighteen pounders, one twelve pounder, three six pounders and a four pounder, all well mounted, and a gunner and four montrosses have the care of it. But 'tis open to the landward. This commands the Channell into Parham Harbour, and 'twill keep privateers from cutting shipping out of it, which I never heard was attempted. Upon the point to eastward of the going in to Mercers Creek is an old guard house, and a four pounder there dismounted. On a high point to the westward are two old gunns, four pounders dismounted, and good for nothing, and in case of alarm a Militia Company meets over against Goat Island. The guard house is to keep a look out at, and never was by its scituation fitt for anything else. Between Flatt Point and Pigg Point, is a very fine bay or rather harbour but a good pilot must show the way into it. The channel is to the southward of Green Island, and in this bay is my Lord's Cove, a most excellent little harbour and careening place, an enemy landing here meets with a very difficult country, that a good officer well seconded might easily dispute with them, before they get into the body of the Island. And here give me leave, my Lords, to observe, that tho' there be a Militia troop of horse in this Island of about one hundred and sixty, and tho' they are but militia and so few, yet these difficult parts of the Island are not so unpassable for horse, as to take from us the advantage of them against foot, and such only must be expected to invade us. On Pigg Point is a guard house now in ruin, as all these guard houses (or rather look outs) are, here is an old three pounder dismounted. The enemy may land in many places from thence to Hudson's Point, but the country is as difficult as that to norward of it; in Halfmoon Bay is an old four pounder dismounted. If the entrance into Willoughby Bay were less difficult, I shou'd much apprehend they wou'd land at the limekilns at the bottom of that bay, on alarms two Militia Company's rendezvous here; at this landing begins a low level country, a vale that extends quite through the Island from east to west, northerly, to Runaway and Dickenson's Bays, and here is no advantage of ground, not a single spot where a lesser number can show a front, an enemy wou'd not find space enough vastly to outstretch both to right and left, here in this vale is the foible of Antigua for an enemy once landed. In the bay on the north side is a fort or rather battery on which are five pieces of cannon, three of them eight pounders, a five pounder and a three pounder under the care of a gunner and four montrosses. From thence going round the south part of the Island is the Momora, a good bay for landing, and an enemy once landed may extend themselves into a large savanna, but the outlets from it into the body of the Island are all very difficult and very easily defended, and they might be kept from marauding, nor can they land here, if the Island be timely alarm'd, without being expos'd to the fire of small arms both on their right and left, from eminences that command this landing. There are two fine twelve pounders lye very near the entrance into this little bay (which is very narrow) and these mounted at that entrance might protect it, if our numbers wou'd allow of guards in these remote parts of the Island. The land thence is all high clifts. Canoes might land in the night in Indian Creek to steal, but that's all. Next to this is English Harbour, where H.M. ships of warr careen, and is an excellent safe one in the most violent storms. Here is full room for ten or twelve men of warr or more of any rate, store-houses too are provided, for which many materials have been sent hither from the Commissioners of H.M. Navy, and here the sea stores are laid up, and careening places close to the shore as to a wharf, and many more such careening places may be made in this harbour. The inhabitants of this Island have been at near six hundred pounds expence, (this currency), at compleating this wharf, and erecting these storehouses, and for the defence of it, have laid out a thousand pounds or more of this money in building, in a very wrong place, a fort as sadly contriv'd, and with six eighteen and three twelve pounders well mounted in it, but that it might hold gunns enough, they have made merlons between the embrasures farr from cannon proof, as being not quite six foot in length nor as thick, nor is there seven foot from touch hole to touch hole of each gunn: 'tis pitty they chuse allways to do these things (as they give the money) under their own direction, and of men that never saw a fort, rather than trouble a Governour that has. A gunner and two montrosses only are allow'd at this fort; at the wharf are well mounted three fine twelve pounder gunns, and the platform for them is now repairing, and these may be of eminent service. That nothing might be wanted to engage H.M. ships of war to careen here, very lately, at the Island's ex pence, have been built, two very large and very fine water cisterns, at no less charge than three thousand pounds this currency. From thence westward 'tis all vast, high clift to Falmouth Harbour. An enemy landing here might not be apprehended, if the officer that commands them well know the country thereabouts. There is a very pretty little fort advances into this harbour, on which are well mounted five eighteen pounders, one twelve pounder, three nine pounders, and one eight pounder, all good gunns, and a gunner and five montrosses maintain'd for it, and when on shore an enemy will be expos'd to the fire of the Monk's Hill fortress, and rather to that of the battery under it, call'd Codrington's Battery, where are two twelve pounders, one eight pounder, and two five pounders, but at present all five are dismounted, and one of them hardly fitt for service, and to the fire of small arms all along the steep sides of the hills. Besides from hence there is no marching into the Island, but through a very difficult country that must cost them great numbers of men, nor is there any booty on all this south side of the Island from Willoughby Bay to Carlisle Road, nor a plantation on the sea shore, but all there is for pastures or provisions. At Carlisle Point and so on to Johnson's Point westward are severall landings, but the whole sea coast is cover'd, within a quarter of a mile of the shore, with high hills parallel to the shore, and these hills are unpassable for an enemy. But even to discourage their landing to steal negroes there is a five pounder (tho' dismounted and a bad gunn) to alarm the country at Rendezvous Bay. In Carlisle or Old Road Bay, is a fort or battery on which are three twelve pounders, four nine pounders, and a five pounder. Seven of them are mounted and good gunns, the eighth is a bad one, and for these is maintain'd a gunner and four montrosses, and there are two twelve pounders, good gunns but dismounted, in Cade's Bay. At Johnson's Point and from thence quite to the N.W. point of the Island and so eastward to Reyerson's point, are many good landings, especially Bermudian Valley, Blubber Valley, and Musketo Cove. At Johnson's Point are two four pounders mounted and good gunns, and one too at Pern's Point. An enemy might destroy two or three plantations in Bermudian Valley, but all within these plantations is mountainous, and therefore difficult to force thence into the heart of the Island. In fine Island Harbour they may land and make what progress they please, from the scituation of the Island which is very favourable for them, and leads them at the end of about two miles to the town of St. Johns. To prevent it there is a battery at Fullerton Point in that harbour, but there is but one six pounder on it, and a four pounder dismounted a little beyond it, northerly in the valley at Hawk's Nest. From the Hawk's Bill to Deep Bay there are severall good landing places, but all under high hills, and dangerous for an enemy, who landed will find himself expos'd to the fire of small arms from those heights, and there is no marching over them, or through the defiles between them, if but meant to be defended. At Gally Bay is one good gunn mounted, a five pounder. The landing in Deep Bay is to an enemy's wish, and the bottom of it is within two hundred toise (over land) of the entrance into St. John's Harbour, but between are flashes and a salt pond, bounded at East end, with hills, that are its only strength, but it lyes too open and too inviting to an enemy. Round Ship's Stern is the going into St. John's Harbour. On the south side at Cripplegate are seven fine eighteen pounders, four of them mounted and three dismounted, and there they have been about thirty years, but no battery or platform ever yet made for them. I push'd heartily for one since I came, but the news of warr was coold, and I spoke too late, and to no purpose. These are intended to protect shipping that lye in the open road, between them and Wallington's Rock, and may be of vast service for that purpose. The barr going into the harbour, and the harbour too within it, grows shallow daily, and the largest merchant men that load here, are forc'd to go over this barr, and so lye expos'd to privateers in the open road, whilst they are compleating the last of their loading. Shipping have been carry'd off out of this road by the enemy, notwithstanding the fire of James Fort, which commands the mouth of the harbour and the barr, on the north end of which it stands, on a point steep to seaward, but the shipping are forc'd to ride too farr from it. In this fort are two twenty pounders, three nine pounders, two eight pounders, five six pounders, one four pounder, and a three pounder mounted, and as to their carriages fitt for service, but nine of them are but indifferent gunns, and partly honeycomb'd, which wou'd make it dangerous loading and firing them quick. Yet as they are to cover shipping, such quick firing is the service they ought to be fitt for, or for nothing but salutes. At this fort are a gunner and six montrosses. This fort is wall'd round, 'tis a little irregular square, of no strength to landward, a meer ridout. I many years ago laid out a small horn work to cover it, but it has had nothing done to it yett. The shore thence to Cook's Point is mostly fair landing, but James Fort, cover'd with the horn work I mention'd, to the north of it, the flashes to the east, and Fort Hamilton at the north end of the first bay, wou'd provide so farr against that danger. In Fort Hamilton (another badly scituated fort, built in the same or a worse stile) are three twelve pounders and two five pounders, four of these are mounted and fitt for service, and the fifth, that is dismounted, is a good gunn. Just beyond it is Runaway Bay, where in my humble opinion, the greatest danger is of an enemy's landing to invade the Island, the country behind it is that long run of level low land, a vale that reaches to Willoughby Bay, as I mention'd above. If Fort Hamilton had been better placed, and as well laid out as the worst fort in Europe, a long salt pond within land leaving but a very narrow margin between it and the sea shore landing, and a small battery to be rais'd on Pelican Poiut, these wou'd remedy and provide against this danger. From Pelican Point to Cook's Point, runs a line or entrenchment, now much out of repair, with three irregular ravelines, one at each end, and one in the center; and two curtines between them, this is the only piece of work in the Island that has anything of the ingineer or souldier in it, and on these ravelins are two eight pounders, one six pounder, six five pounders, and a two pounder. But all dismounted and one more eight pounder good for nothing, and not worth mounting. At the northernmost ravelin (which is at the north end of this call'd Dickenson's Bay), the land begins again to grow mountainous, and safe from an enemy's marching through it, and on the first rising are two two pounders, but dismounted; from thence the first landing is Soldier's Gutt, but no man of service wou'd attempt it. 'Tis a meer narrow sinus between high rocky hills, nor wou'd it be safe landing in Parker's Bay, which joins to my first station in describing the round of this Island, vizt. Reyerson's Point. I spoke much of cannon mounted or dismounted. I must observe that throughout the government, the people here have generally mounted their cannon for their batterys on high wheels like field carriages, and been at a vast unnecessary expence, not knowing, I suppose, that they wou'd be better on trucks, for that an enemy shou'd never see anything but the muzle of a gunn, least a ball taking these high wheels or any part of the carriage, dismount it. Thus farr, my Lords, I have described the shores of this Island, and whilst I have obey'd your Lordships' last orders, I at the same time, as to this and the other Islands, comply with my duty enjoin'd to me by H.M. eighty fourth Instruction, as well as what I am ordered by the 71st, 80th, 82nd, 93rd and 99th Instruction. What remains of fortification on this Island is the fortress on Monk's Hill, a retreat for women and children, and for ourselves when we can keep the field no longer, a cover for our best effects, a disapointment to the enemy that come for plunder chiefly, and where H.M. sovereignty of this Island must be preserv'd to the last extremity. This fortress, my Lords, is built on a most ill shaped piece of ground, the summit of a hill, not quite out of command of two others, that lye easterly, and west southerly from it, and the Antigua engineer has so well follow'd the irregular shape of the hill, that the fort is as ill shap'd, and has as little artificial meaning for defence, as ever was contriv'd. However, 'twas so much the darling of the Island, that no summes have been spair'd to make it what it is. There are very high walls, very well built, quite round it. As for lines of defence Razantes or fichantes, no such thing was ever thought of or intended by the director of this work. These well built high walls on a very steep hill (except on the west end) take in about ten acres of ground, and in it is one good magazine to hold three hundred barrells of powder, an arsenal for small arms, in which there are four hundred and four musketts, and seven hundred and fourteen bayonetts in good order, and thirty nine with two bayonets out of repair. Twou'd hold as many more if better dispos'd. An old leaky magazine and another that is untight at the foundation, and a large store house, on which there is now a new roof putting on. For a garrison there is a guard bed the whole length of a guard room one and twenty foot long, and no more, with a little place adjoining that will hold a couple of Serjeants. There are seven water cisterns, not one of them arch'd, in very bad order, but going to be repair'd, and the gunner and officer of the guard live in houses built, by their predecessors, at their own expence. This is now the chief arsenal of the Island, I have crouded thither all the powder I cou'd, and there is now in the magazine about 14,700 weight of powder, and on the esplanade about two thousand cannon ball, two hundred and three bomb shells, and a mortar, but not of a size with all the shells, and three hundred and sixty hand granade shells. In the gunner's care is a small quantity of cartridge paper, and gunner's stores, about three thousand five hundred musquet flints, and a small gunn; a larger I am sending thither from another fort in the Island, and the following cannon, one thirty pounder, one twenty four pounder, two twenty pounders, four eighteen pounders, six twelve pounders, three eight pounders, six six pounders, eight five pounders, two four pounders, in all thirty three pieces of cannon, of which thirty are mounted. And the Treasury of the Island pays sallarys to a gunner and nine montrosses for this fortress. There are besides at the severall other batterys on forts in this Island, about fifteen hundred weight of powder, and one thousand four hundred and fifty six cannon shott, and now we receive five thousand three hundred and seventy cannon shott more from the Office of Ordnance. It was many years the favorite publick work of this Island, and the summ's expended on it have been immense, in proportion to the size of the inhabitants' purses; it has been thought, in money and negro labour, to have cost, at times, not less than fifty thousand pounds sterling. But they grow cooler now in their opinions of it and are very backward in adding a little to the expence, to justify the rest they have been at. I am pressing them constantly (but in vain) to provide it with covering for a garrison, as barracks etc. I have urged that shelter from the weapons of an enemy and none from inclemency of the weather may do for twice twenty four hours, but the immense expense they have been at for the first must be lost, for want of a trifle laid out for the latter. This was intended to be a safe retreat for women and children. Can such as these hold out expos'd to two rainy nights? I alledg'd too, that such barracks in time of peace, or till an enemy was actually landed, might receive the detachment of H.M. regiment station'd in this Island, keep them from punch houses, consequently healthy, keep them to discipline, so better able too to defend the Island. But they will not do it as yet, I must own the expence of the cisterns at English Harbour this year, has lain very hard upon the Island, with so bad a cropp to support it. But what makes me most uneasy, some talk slitingly of it and nothing will please those, but the Don Quixotisms of cutting four times our number to pieces at a landing, or in a pitched battle. Give me leave, my Lords, to tell you my sentiments in opposition to these gentlemen, and for maintaining Monk's Hill fortress, bad as it is, whilst our little army in the field, keeps between the enemy and this fortress (the access to which is naturally with great advantage to be disputed with them) here the booty the enemy chiefly want, may be kept from them, I mean our negroes, for keeping the heads of negro familys or their children here, the parents will not so readily run into an enemy. It surprizes me that Barbados has no inland fortification, but setts their all at stake on disputing their landing with an enemy, and this with militia only, no regular troops. My Lords, we have within our memories a most flagrant example of the consequences from loosing the sovereignty of an Island, but for a few days or a week or two, when the French invaded St. Christophers in 1706, they march'd round the Island at pleasure, and where they wou'd, the inhabitants kept their Charles Fort and Brimstone Hill, the British colours still flew there, and of the negroes but a very few wou'd desert their masters, so that out of eight or nine thousand, the French of all sorts hardly carry'd off twelve hundred. But in Nevis where they kept no hold, but capitulated and surrender'd, there the negroes seeing their masters in the power of the enemy thought it high time to make terms for themselves, and the French carry'd off four thousand out of about six thousand that were there. This alone, my Lords, shou'd sufficiently perswade maintaining an inland fortification. Besides here is a retreat for wives and children, and with them we save our little plate &c. if nothing else, I pray your Lordships will permitt me to add. Our warm climate will not allow of hasty marches with our foot, an enemy will hover in their ships from bay to bay for a day or two to fatigue us. But our landing places are many. If we cou'd tumble in their way at landing, their first debarkation may happen to be of regular troops, and the number equall at least to all in the Island, of this Government, they attack. What are we to do? I allow they land even under one of these batterys, that the gunners are expert and that they drownd and kill fifty or a hundred, and that instead of landing twelve hundred they then land but eleven hundred men. Here are but a handfull of regular troops, all the rest is militia, nine in ten of whom never saw an enemy. If we attack these and our militia don't stick to their duty, but give away (for these hundred and fifty soldiers I hope they will not) this will be a very bad beginning to flush 'em, my life for it, they will shift for themselves, and will never see an enemy again. With humble submission, if the opportunity was fair and advantagious, with the soldiers (for whom we must press horses) with the troop of horse, and it may be with one hundred of the militia foot well chosen, and mounted, and with these the same number of our faithfullest and boldest negroes (all except the negroes being mounted) these will come fresh and fitt for service, where an enemy shall think to land, here they may dismount. An enemy then will see by the countenances of the inhabitants, they are not to have something for nothing, but as for the rest of the militia, they must be farr behind, and gain heart by degrees, what can be expected from a parcell of servants that have nothing at stake and are neither very fond of the country, their masters, or their own condition? We must first secure our inland fortification. When they have gain'd their landing, we must continually hover round 'em, with our little troop of horse, to keep the negroes from running into them, we must familiarize our militia with seeing them, flush them with two or three successfull partizan expeditions, worry the enemy night and day with all the advantages the terrain naturally gives us, and then it might be hop'd, and this in few days after their landing, that the inhabitants might be able to give me work enough to do, make them sufficiently weary of tarrying among us, and spoil their hopes of much plunder, and have but little stomach ever to come again. I will venture to foretell that the Governour that putts his all at stake to dispute an enemy's landing, with such a raw unwilling militia only, without regular troops, and make such a total push his first essay, will lose his Island. 'Tis not to be done, but by getting to the beach fresh, and with some regular troops at least, and that too where the terrain lays you, just before their landing, somewhat under cover from the fire of such small vessells, as to be sure with their cannon (if not their small arms) will come close into the shore to cover their landing. It only remains to tell your Lordships what strength we have to defend these batterys and forts. The whole number of inhabitants on Antigua are this year, 1734, vizt.: men, 1242: women, 1336: children, 1194: slaves, 24,408. In 1729 the list was. Men, 1337: women, 1096: children, 1655: slaves, 22,611. Besides these, there are five companys of H.M. regiment station'd here, which may on their present establishment with officers, amount to about one hundred and fifty effectives. A troop of militia horse of one hundred and seventy men, a Militia regiment of foot consisting of two hundred and eighty five men, and a second militia regiment of foot, four hundred seventy seven men, a third militia regiment of foot, two hundred forty four men, and gunners and montrosses forty seven. The shipping in our harbours cannot be defended by the ten or twelve men on board each, but must wait their safety from the shore, from these I shall hope to form a battalion of about four hundred men and from among our negroes, we certainly may arm a thousand sturdy faithfull fellows, that with a little encouragement, will I know do eminent service. But this is a dangerous experiment for thereafter, however it must be done, so that in the whole, if I shou'd not be able to gett the rest of the King's regiment up, nor any succours from the other Islands, nor from the ships of warr, yet I promise myself to have of all sorts two thousand seven hundred seventy and three men, of these by the disposition I have made, I allow four hundred and eighty men for the garrison of Monk's Hill, and I must keep the field with the remaining two thousand two hundred ninety three men. And here, my Lords, give me leave to observe that a West India troop of horse is mostly gentlemen, pretty tollerably arm'd, and accoutred, but many of them poorly mounted, on little horses of about fourteen hands high, that know nothing or very little of marching or wheeling, if they will stand fire. I have done with the state of Antigua and have made many remarks that suit the other Islands, therefore shall have less to say of them, I have only to add, that in case of service, I have better hopes from the inhabitants of this Island, than from those of the other three. The Militia officers have taken more pleasure in discipline, they are getting the Militia better arm'd, and give bettter examples to their men, than I can gett them to do in the other Islands.
Montserrat. The next Island is Montserrat, the least of the four chief Islands. It cannot be suppos'd to contain above thirty thousand acres of land, of which near two thirds is barren, mountain, and precipiece; nature has provided greatly for its defence; as to its produce it is stinted for want of negroes, and suffers in every point as Antigua does, for there are but six thousand one hundred and seventy six negroes upon it, that is an encrease of but three hundred twenty one negroes in four years last past. The blast too has began upon it, and is gaining ground. The exports from this Island the last year 1733 were as follows, vizt.: Brown Sugar, 2299 hhds. 1586 trs. 72 blls, 311 kkns: Cotton wool, 113 bgs, 82 pockets: Rum, 308 hhds. 53 trs., 17 blls.; Molasses, 342 hhds, 7 trs., 6 blls: Piemento, 5 hhds. 1 trs.: Indico, 1 bll. 4 ferks: Lime juice, 6 hhds. 1 bll. This is a tollerable crop. The year 1728 the produces was as follows, vizt.: Brown Sugar, 3381 hhds, 1137 trs, 189 blls, 145 kkns: Cotton wool, 68 bags, 1 pocket: Rum, 109 hhds, 48 trs. 50 blls.: Molasses, 174 hhds, 54 trs, 7 blls: Piemento, 1 hhd, 2 trs, 9 blls.: Indico, 9 blls, 31 ferks: Lime juice, 17 hhds, 25 blls: and this was reckon'd a great crop. The imports to this Island have decreas'd in negroes, which is the article of most value, as those to all the Islands of this Government have, for the reasons I gave in the article of Antigua. By compairing the imports of 1728 and 1733, as hereafter specified, the proportion of that decrease is to be computed. The imports in 1728 were as follows, vizt. Negroes, 1162: Beef, 45 trs. 2157 blls: Pork 150 blls. 66½ blls: Butter 468 ferk: Herrings, 265 blls: Feet of lumber, 583,300: Flower, 531 blls: Bread, 4 trs, 38 blls: fish, 119 hhds, 4 blls: Oyle, 21 blls: Horses, 91.: Mackrell, 53 blls: Candles, 193 boxes. But in 1733, the imports were as follows, vizt. Negroes, 90: Beef, 158 trs, 1848 blls: Pork, 329 blls, 91½ blls: Butter, 638 ferk: Herrings, 555 blls: Feet of lumber, 786,375: Flour, 100 blls: Bread, 5 trs: Fish, 45 hhds. 121 blls: Oyle, 33 blls: Horses, 133: Mackrell, 86 blls: Candles, 149 boxes. The shore of this Island is to be landed on no where but on the west side at the South end. (p. 155 v.) At Roaches Bay, there is a little landing place and good anchoridge, but from thence quite to the town of Plymouth above the shore, the land trenches down a steep slope from very high hills, and consequently the enemy that lands there must be under the greatest disadvantages, expos'd to the fire from above, and a very fatiguing march up these steep declivity's. There is indeed a possibility of landing further eastward, at Palmeto Point, but the Do'sd'âne is just above it, so that an enemy once ashore, must gladly reimbark again. At this point are two small three pounders dismounted. Between Roaches Bay and Kingsale, at Reeds point is a six pounder dismounted, at Gibbon's Inch another. At Kingsale there is a battery allmost close to the water's edge. There are four old six pounders now dismounted at this battery, these were rather to protect vessells in the road, than to prevent a landing, the High clift running immediately behind it, would stop an enemy, tho' ashore. From Plymouth to Bramsby's Point is the only fair landing for an enemy on the whole island. At Plymouth is a fort like the Antigua forts, it is more properly a battery, without merlons, and just wall'd in next the land to lock up the fort at night, but this is only to cover the shipping at sea, an eminence on the shore looks into it, at not fifty yards distance. There are in it two twelve and four six pounders, old and honeycomb'd but mounted on good new carriages. They serve for salutes, two six pounders and two three pounders dismounted, their trunnions broke off, here is what they call the magazine, and the only thing of the name in the whole Island. 'Tis an old square wall'd building, abo't ten foot square, and roof'd with boards and shingles. They have in it about eighteen hundred weight of powder, and thirty three keggs of musquet ball, a very few rammers, spunges, ladles and worms, and about one hundred and fifty unsizable cannon shott near it. The shore to Bramsbey's Point is low, and so is the country behind it, but heretofore, a little above the beach, have been made some poor entrenchments that may (and I believe will) be renew'd, in a better shape, to oppose an enemy at their landing. But the Islanders must first see a danger near. On Bramsbey's Point are two nine pounders, and a six pounder, old and dismounted, and five more six pounders without trunnions. At Old Road is a very good bay for landing, but the country immediately rises into very steep hills, and an enemy cannot make any progress this way if but a very little opposition be made. There are here the ruins of an old battery, well plac'd in the draught, but now in a most ruinous plight, and on it, two twenty four or rather thirty pounders dismounted, and spik'd, five twelve pounders with their trunnions broken off, and about thirty six great shott. The shore quite to Carr's Bay, and so to the Great Bluff, and Pelican Point, has severall good bays for landing, but above them all is a most dificult mountainous country. At Carr's Bay are two six pounders mounted. From Pelican Point quite South easterly, the shore is full of shoals, a steep beech and no landing. At the South east end between two gullys of a most stupendious depth, is the Do'sd'âne, the last retreat of the inhabitants, and by nature impregnable, or with very little help might be made so. This is of large extent, and might shelter the inhabitants of all colours with their effects and most of their cattle &c. for a longer time than 'twou'd be worth an enemy's while to keep on shore, but this must be a last retreat only. For if they do not defend the whole Island, an enemy might ravage it, burn the canes, buildings, and make such waste as that the inhabitants, leaving the D'osd'Ane, when the enemy is gone, wou'd find themselves reduc'd to a famine, for themselves and slaves, and little able to rebuild their houses, windmills and other plantation buildings. Your Lordships find by this description, what these people have been reduc'd to by the French, when they invaded the Island during the cessation of arms, that proceeded the Treaty of Utrecht. 'Twas they broke off the trunnions and spik'd up the gunns. The beginning of this year, when our English news threatn'd us dayly with a warr, I offer'd to lend them four twelve pounders, eight nine pounders, and eight six pounders with shott in proportion. These are gunns I had under my care at St, Christophers, remaining of his Grace the Duke of Montagu's expedition to Sta. Lucia, and they have now of these the eight nine pounders and eight six pounders, with a hundred twelve pounder, two hundred nine pounder, and two hundred six pounder round shott, and sixty cross bar shott for twelve pounders, sixty for nine pounders, and one hundred for six pounders; the Captain of H.M. ship of warr I came over in has promis'd to bring them from St. Christophers the four twelve pounders. These are to be return'd at his Grace's order, unless H.M. will be graciously pleas'd to buy them of his Grace and bestow them on the Island. This might, I humbly conceive, be much cheaper and more readily done, than if they were sent out upon freight. The poor people of this Island (and indeed they have been very poor since the French as above mention'd destroy'd great part of their Island, carrying off a very many of their slaves, and doing great wast) they have endeavour'd mounting these gunns, and I had engag'd the Capt. of H.M. ship of warr on this station to cutt them and bring them from Sta. Cruz timber for these carriages, and I hope to get them compleated soon, or by Christmas. But the expence is very heavy upon them. This little rocky island is mostly inhabited by Irish Roman Catholicks, who demean themselves peaceably and with all good neighbourhood with the Protestants, and wou'd I really believe as heartily defend the Island as can be desired. The strength for their defence consists of a Militia troop of horse of fifty four troopers, and four officers, and a Militia regiment of foot of three hundred fifty nine men officers included. The whole number of inhabitants this year 1734 is as follows:—Men—, Women—, Children—, Slaves 6176. In 1729 the lists were Men 294, Women 284, Children 475, Slaves 5855. There is a company of Brigdr. Jones's regiment station'd here, and in time of peace they keep in the fort at Plymouth Town, as a little guard. But in case of warr I intend bringing that Company to Antigua. Montserrat will not be lost for the want of this one company of between twenty and thirty men. but these men in case of danger may better come to their relief with the other five at Antigua, and in the meanwhile, learn there those evolutions, with the other five company's, in battalion, that cannot be taught to such small numbers. I intend too to remove, for the same reason the one Company at Nevis to join the three now at St. Christophers. From St. Christophers they may with great ease be thrown ashore with the other three on Nevis, and the six too from Antigua, and these in reality will be the only two body's I can certainly depend upon to go with me where the enemy shall be, and better service may certainly be hop'd for from them, than if they were, as they now are, weak en'd by two single company's being on two different Islands, and there of little or no use for defence.
Nevis. I am distress'd for want of a draught of Nevis, I will endeavour to describe that Island, however, to your Lordships, in the best manner I can. I formerly saw a printed sketch of that Island, but know not where to find it now. And I never yet on the spott have attempted drawing one. This Island is suppos'd to be twenty four miles in circumference, it is bigger than Montserrat, and as it is as one large very high mountain in the center gradually sloping down on two sides of the Island (which is near triangular) to the sea shore, so it has more manurable land upon it, is capable and does make much more sugar than Mont serrat. I believe there is now twenty thousand acres of land in manure upon this Island, which tho' prodi giously rocky and stony, yet the earth between these stones is mostly rich, and does not wear out and grow barren as the soil of Antigua or St. Christopher does. There are but 6330 negroes upon it, and 'tis pitty there seems no great likelyhood upon any encourage ment in trade of that number en creasing. The people of this Island strangely differ from all their neighbours in particular ways of thinking, which they hold very fast by, and 'twere to be wish'd they wou'd not. And they receive most precedents or advice, from the rest of mankind, so unkindly as if they were intended insults offer'd to their understandings. That the Island, from being the seat of trade of the four, is no longer so, but the Virgin Nevis (as having never been attempted by an enemy) yet was lost in the most ignominious man ner, and is now fallen into great decay, and very few inhabitants are on it, and these give themselves so little concern for what the next warr may produce against them (except keeping the one fort they have in toller able order) nor do, or will do anything for their own defence, much less for improvement, of their estates, that it makes me down right angry with them. For, my Lords, this is all literally true, and I am heartily sorry for it. I cannot even get a tollerable law from them for disciplining the very few there is of them, much less for arming them. Yet nature has given them an Island easy enough to be improv'd, and as easy to be defended. How can they answer the neglect of it? Here the blast too is getting among the canes apace. The exports from this Island the last year 1733 were as follows: vizt.:—Brown Sugar. 5,691 hhds; Melasses. 20,655 gallons; Rum, 760 gall; Lime juice, 100 gallons; Cotton wool, 639 pound. This is a usual crop. The produce in the year 1728 was as follows, vizt.:—Brown Sugar, 5,551 hhds.; Melasses, 72,864 gallons; Rum, 737 gallons; Cotton wool, 7278 pounds. The decrease of imports I accounted for in the article for Antigua. As to its natural defence, I am to inform your Lordships, that the three sides of this Island are to the north east, south east, and west nearest, all the shore to the north east is inaccessible from a ridge of rocks that cover it, at about half a mile or a lesser distance from the shore, except at a little decay'd town, on the north side of the Island, of three of four houses call'd Newcastle, where is a small channell for sloops to come in under a pilot's care. The south east side is almost as inaccessible, but there are two or three little gaps or landing places, but such as ten men might defend against ten times as many, and at one of these this Island was surpris'd by the French and taken. At these are little poor batteries and on them the following gunns vizt. At Soldiers Gutt is a dismounted six pounder. At Salt Pond Gutt is a dismounted six pounder. At Long Point Fort are two nine pounders and a six pounder dis mounted. At Galdings Bay Fort there are one or two unserviceable old gunns. Beyond Long Point, at a little more than half a mile distance, westward, is the chief fortress of this Island, call'd Charles Fort. It stands on the South west point of the Island. The road for the shipping is under the cannon of this fort, and the town (call'd Charles Town) is in the bottom of this bay easterly from it. The north point of this bay is call'd Black Rock. The shipping ride safest here of any open road in the four islands. The Island covers them from south east, easterly to the north east, where the narrows open at north, between this Island and St. Christophers, which are not above a league over. Charles Fort was laid out on a larger plan than the forts usually are in these Islands. I imagine the whole circumference to contain near six acres, it is commmenced by an eminence within half musquett shott of it. To landward on two sides 'tis an old ruinous rampart and ditch, the other two sides are to seaward and are well fac'd with stone, the platforms well pav'd, and a low parapet wall, but no merlons. There are in it the following cannon. Three thirty six pounders, two thirty two pounders, five thirty pounders, two eighteen pounders, four twelve pounders, one eight pounder, two six pounders, alt these are well mounted, and for these they have about twelve hundred and sixty round cannon shott, sixty chain and thirty six cross barr shott. But for this battery, and for all the other batterys in this Island, as well as for the Militia, there is in the magazine but fifty four and a half blls. of powder, and four thousand one hundred and sixty weight of musquett ball, a very small quantity of match, and a few gunner's stores, seventeen for all arms in tollerable order, and forty nine spoilt for want of care. This fort is under a Master Gunner, and twelve montrosses, and the company of Brigr. Jones's regiment station'd in this Island, keep a small guard there. At the town are two twelve pounders mounted, but the touch holes are stop'd, they must be new drill'd. At Black Rock Fort, the north easterly point of the bay, is another battery to cover this road. This fort is only an open battery, but lies low almost to the water's edge and therefore the fire from it at an enemy's ships, bids fairer for execution. Here are the following cannon pretty well mounted, vizt. One thirty six pounder, one two and thirty pounder, two twenty four pounders, and one fifteen pounder. And there are here besides two fifteen pounders and a twelve pounder dismounted. From Black Rock quite to Round Hill, which is the north west point of this Island, is almost a continued bay, and a fine sandy beech, where is landing for an enemy almost anywhere, and it extends at least six miles. To cover this there have been lines thrown up for the whole length, a good ditch and rampart, and it was by this intrenchment (which may be easily repair'd) well to be defended; at distances were something like platt bastions, fac'd with mason's work, and merlons on the parapetts, cannon too mounted on them, to scour the curtins between them. These they call forts, where this line begins near Black Rock at a pond call'd Black Rock Pond there is a twelve pounder mounted. Pursuing this line you come to the first of these platt bastions call'd Queen Anne's Fort, but no cannon is on it. On the same line farther on it, norward, is Old Road Fort, another such, and in it is a twelve pounder mounted. Then is Cotton Tree Fort, but no cannon on it, and beyond it Cole's Point Fort, where is a dismounted gun, bury'd in the earth of the rampart. At Morton's Bay is a fort on the same line or entrenchments and a twelve pounder is mounted in it. At Cade's Bay beyond it, is an old unserviceable nine pounder, at Musquets Point Fort, is a twelve pounder, and eight pounder and a six pounder all three dismounted, and at Round Hill Bay Battery, are two six pounders, but not fitt for service. There is a hill in this Island call'd Saddle Hill, that is inaccessible by nature, or with very little art might be made so, and a very safe retreat for all the inhabitants and most of their effects, if an enemy should drive them to it. Had they kept this when the French took the Island, they had not probably lost a quarter as many negroes, as they did, as I observ'd before. There was some years ago a summe rais'd and apply'd for fortifying this hill, but they have spent the money and the hill is as 'twas. This Island when Sr. William Stapleton was Chief Governour of these Islands, is said to have had three thousand effective men on it. But now their whole number is but poor three hundred twenty two and these form'd into what shou'd be a militia troop of horse of sixty (fire officers included), and a militia regiment of two hundred fifty seven men, and these mostly without arms, and quite without discipline, nor will they by a law, as at Antigua, have any. Even Montserrat has almost a hundred men more on it. The following is a list of all the inyabitants on this Island, vizt.: Men—, Women—, children—, Slaves 6330. In 1729 there were on this Island, Men, 373, Women, 390, Children, 533, Slaves, 5646. A Company of Brigr. Jones's regiment does centinal duty in Charles Fort. I mention'd to your Lordships in the article of Montserratt my intention, in case of a warr, to remove this company to St. Christophers. The established certain yearly expence of this Island, including the £300 p. annum settled on me is but £739 this currency.
St. Christophers. I am come now, my Lords, to describe the Island of St. Christophers. This island is second, at least, in this Government to Antigua, very little inferiour to it, in some articles superiour. Antigua has good harbours, more manurable land, more negroes, better built. St. Christophers no harbours, but the land much more kindly for sugars, manur'd acre for acre, with great ease, even with near two thirds of the number of negroes, has rivers of fresh water therefore the vast expence of cisterns not quite as necessary here as at Antigua where there is none, for the better sort of inhabitants for drinking without them, and is much better fortified by art and is equally so by nature. I imagine the whole Island may contain about fifty thousand acres of land, though most people think it contains much more. But there runs for a length of at least twelve miles, through the middle of it a long chain of unmanurable mountains, that take up much above a third of the body of the Island, and at the east end call'd the Salt Ponds, are about three thousand acres of mountains, and barren lands, the best of them only fit for provisions. By an actual survey there is not in the Island quite twenty five thousand acres of sugar plantation. And 'tis pretty extraordinary that tho 'twas all in woods, when divided by Sr. Thomas Warner and Monsr. D'Esnambuc, who 'tis said both settled it in one day, dividing it between them then, and this cou'd not have been done by a real survey, yet we now find the proportions so exact, that the difference of sugar plantation between the English part and the French, barely exceeds two hundred acres. The whole of these Islands is certainly as healthy as any part of Europe. But we here think Montserrat and this Island healthyer than Nevis or Antigua. From an observation of my own, of some years, I have found that of the militia of St. Christophers (and they are the most irregular and most mortal of the two sexes) there dy'd but, in the proportion of one in five and thirty in fifteen months. The improvement of this Island within twenty years past is very extra ordinary. And to its own glory, it must be said to be owing to its own fertility. This alone has enabled the planters, who have no more industry than their neigh bours, to purchase the French part at a high price, and to settle with negroes etc., these purchases. Still have they at great expence supported the publick charges and the Government as well as fortifyed one part of the Island, cheerfully too, and at one time the Militia knew their duty as well as Antigua. But 'tis not so now, nor has been for ten years past. They have been taught that military discipline is tyrranny and the common stipulations for party elections have been that they should have no discipline at all, strange preposterous sacrificing a country to satisfye ill nature! If the planter here is still in debt from the purchases and improvements he has made, still the known value of the land procur'd him the credit, and he may every day find purchasers for his bargain, that will ridd him of his creditor. There are negroes yet wanting, and the Island wants some further improvements, but this want of negroes, will arise rather from the lands growing poorer, consequently more to be tended and manur'd, than from want of strength to put more of it than is at present in culture. There are now seventeen thousand and thirty five slaves on this Island, an encrease of near five and twenty hundred in five years. Antigua has encreas'd its number but eighteen hundred in the same time. But in 1717 there were but seven thousand and nine hundred seventy three negroes on St. Christophers. The blast I am told has begun within this year past to get into some few plantations and 'tis greatly fear'd is spreading. The exports from this Island the last year 1733 were as follows, vizt.: Brown Sugar, 16,869 tierces; Rum, 26,222 gallons; Melasses, 240,088 gallons; Cotton, 8,888 pounds. This is a very great crop, for the tierces of sugar at St. Christophers rather exceed in weight the Antigua hogsheads. In the year 1728 the exports from this Island were but as follows, vizt. Brown Sugar, 12,562 tierces; Rum, 2111 gallons; Melasses, 143,800 gallons; Cotton, 3600 pounds. By this your Lordships see how this Island is improv'd, for this last was a very good cropp, as the Island then was settled. As to the imports I cannot observe no other way's on them then I did in relation to Antigua. But I cannot be as particular in them, as I was on those in the article of Antigua, for I now find by enquiry no regular accounts in the Customs House there have been kept, till of late (since the beginning of 1733) of the imports. So that I can neither have the whole for that year, nor for this, as this is not yet expir'd, Nor are the imports mention'd for all the other Islands, but only the articles of most concern, and I find in the return from St. Christophers the article of wine omitted, which I have not time now to send for. But that import hardly vary's from year to year in either of the Islands. Montserrat expends a proportion to what is expended in Antigua and St. Christophers. But Nevis is very moderate in that article. The current expences of this Island (including the settlement made on me in addition to my sallary for here after), except the charge on the fortifications which are building, amounts yearly to about sixteen hundred pounds that Island's currency. A law has already provided for my settlement vizt. eight hundred pounds p. ann. the remaining £800 p. ann. is provided for by yearly levies. This is a vast disproportion from the expences of Antigua. But at that Island they pay constantly about six hundred and fifty pounds a year to the Treasurer. At St. Christophers only five p. cent when they raise a levy, and they are sometimes four or five years without one. And at Antigua the gunners' and montrosses' wages amount to nine hundred pounds a year, here so few montrosses are allow'd that those wages in St. Christophers do not at present exceed two hundred and fifty pounds a year, but I will struggle hard with them to allow ten montrosses for the Hill, and ten for Charles Fort, and I hope to obtain it. Since my coming to the Cheif Government the Assembly have refus'd nothing I have propos'd to them for the good of the Island. A former law laying a duty on negroes, for one year, and the revenue on the Powder Act, and duty on liquors imported, are apply'd to compleating the fortifications, and with the help of labour from one plantation the negroes (as usual) it is sufficient for that purpose. Hereto I add a mapp of this Island, to explain to your Lordships the discription I am going to give you of it. But I am forc'd, in this mapp, to give in the two French quarters of this Island, the old French names, where new English names have not been given. At Deep Bay Town on the north west of the Island is an inlett for small vessells to go in and anchor, before the town, where they lye in smooth water, the surge of the sea being broke by the rocks call'd Hogstyes that lye without this little anchoring place. On a point a little to the westward but to keep an enemy from coming in at this inlett are three old guns mounted. A little to the south east of this town towards the old French frontier, within land, is a little fort or redout, but quite gone to ruin, and now of no use, the rampart and ditch, which remains not quite fill'd up, show such a little fort had been there. From thence eastward quite to St. Antonio's Hill there hardly is any landing for an enemy, the whole coast is protected by ledges of rocks, and there is allmost always a very great sea tumbling in over them. The inhabitants it's true watch fair days and now and then get their sugars off at Half Moon Bay, and Red Flagg Bay, but the sloop that is to carry them round to the shipping on the south side of the Island anchors without these breakers, and on the wind freshning northerly rides in great danger; for this reason they often lose their voyage, and are forc'd to return for want of a calm, but never lye there the night. Severall have been lost in these attempts. Yet a French privateer was bold enough in the last warr, to lye off and on in a moonshine night, whilst her perigua went ashore, at Charles Gutt, and stole off a few negroes from the adjoining plantation, and might have done more mischief, but their hearts fail'd, and they ran off in such confusion, that they left three or four of their crew behind them. St. Antonio's Hill must have been a name the Spaniards had given it before the English settled here. Herrera says the right name of Antigua was Sta. Maria La Antigua from the great Church at Seville. There is a hill on the north side of that Island near Reyerson's Point, call'd still Sta. Maria's Hill, by the inhabitants without their knowing why. From St. Antonio's Hill quite round the Island, south and westerly so northerly to Deep Bay, an enemy may land almost everywhere. Neither in Cockle Shell Bay nor in Major's Bay is there any cannon to prevent them, or 'till we come westerly, to the Mornes. All this quarter is call'd the Salt Ponds, and is in a manner cut off from the rest of the Island, by the narrow isthmus at Fryers Bay. and then next by St. Timothy's Hill, which is very high, difficult to pass over even on foot, and fills up quite the Isthmus there from sea to sea, and as all this is poor land, very little of it fitt for canes, so there are very few settlers to give the care of cannon to; for the same reason there are none at Bugg's hole, the Grand Goulet, White House Bay, or Fryer's Bay, all excellent landing for an enemy. But it must be impracticable for them (if landed any where here, and the Island alarm'd) to march into the Island westward, over St. Timothy's Hill, if but twenty men there to defend it. Yet the English landed there in Fryer's Bay in 1690 to retake this Island, marched over this hill, and carry'd their point, and the hill then had its name from Sir Timothy Thornhill one of the commanders. At Bugg's hole in the late warr little French privateer sloops us'd to hide, and intercept vessells going between Basseterre Road and the Road at Charles Town Nevis. The landing at Frigate Bay is quite open to an enemy. There is no cannon here or anything to hinder them, but I intend to mount some there as soon as I return thither. When I came first, as Lieutenant Govern our of this Island, I found none mounted in either French quarter, not even at Basseterre Town. At the Monies (the French patois word in these parts for little hills) was an old French battery without merlons, that lyes to windward of the shipping riding in Basseterre Road, this has been in a pretty good manner repaired and a little magazine built in it. There is a mound of earth at the back of it, that might be improv'd to keep an enemy (landing in Frigate Bay) out of it. But tis farr from the town, no large guard can be aforded to be kept there, and such an addition might cover an enemy and their booty to make good their going off, after an invasion or after even an insult only in that quarter. Here are mounted, but the carriages are out of repair, three old French eighteen pounders, not very good gunns, one of them wants new drilling, and two good three pounders. From thence to within half a quarter of a mile to the eastward of Basseterre Town, and so quite before the town, and to the westward to Bluff Point is a low fine bay and good landing. In the town a small magazine is built, and near it remains an old French battery, which is now the only cover from the town for the shipping. This is without merlons, on it are mounted an old French eighteen pounder, three good six pounders, and dismounted there are one good six pounder and four good four pounders, and just by it is this little magazine, arch'd and bombproof, in which is about two thousand weight of powder. Let me, my Lords, tell you that merlons have been pull'd down, in this Government, men of high spirits averring they only encourag'd cowards among us, and yet I believe it possible even here, for vessells to come close in, and beat the gunners with the fire of small arms out of these open batterys, or it may be with their cannon loaded with cartouch shott. To the eastward of Basseterre Town, at the distance of little more than musquet shott, is a fort that was christned Fort Londonderry, when his Lordship of that title came hither Governour. The ditch round it, and the earth thrown out of it. to make its rampart, are both to be compleated with great ease, 'tis seated low, the ground loose and on the sides that lye on the sea shore, 'tis a meer sand, I never propose finishing this fort but with sodd, the foundation nor the inhabitants at this time not clear of debt from their late purchases, cannot allow of a faceing of mason's work, or at least but of two or three foot above the ditch. I intend besides to sink the ditch under water, a fond de cuve, and to carry round the bottom of the rampart or escarp, a single if not a double range of palisades. Fortifying this fort has been long litigated in the Courts of Legislature of this Island. The members of that part of the Island, where Charles Fort and Brimstone Hill is near compleated for their safety, were mighty well satisfy'd with the provision made for them, and allways outvoted doing anything for their brethren of t'other end of the Island, that had heartily and expensively work'd for them. At last this narrow way of thinking was and is now pretty well gain'd upon, and I hope to see Basseterre very soon as well taken care of as Sandy Point. For trade and every other reason it more deserves it. Whilst this matter was under tryall, I was desired to give my opinion on this fortification, which I did, and I gave as well as I cou'd answers to the objections made against fortifying it, which are part of the Minutes of both Council and Assembly of those days. And since, both those houses have resolv'd to support the expence of fortifying it. It was but an irregular work, and yet the ground wou'd have permitted its being laid out with more regard to rules for fortifying. It had two bastions and three curtins with the faces and flanks of two other bastions to landward. The lines of defence were mostly fichantes, but these were but short. To seaward, was a long curtin or line, on which was at its center a sort of platform, or bastion camus, and before it something like a ravelin was thrown up in the land and on the beach, but low enough to be under the fire of this bastion camus. The irregular faces of these bastions were from twenty four to thirty toise in length, the flanks from nine to eleven, and the curtins from forty to forty five toise. The whole side of the exterior polygon next the sea was one hundred and twenty six toise long. Since H.M. (upon a favourable report from your Lordships) bestow'd stores of warr and ordnance upon this Island (about three years ago) and the intention of putting this fort in a posture of defence obtain'd (as with much to do it did about that time) there have been carry'd thither (to be put in service hereafter) four eighteen pounders, two twelve pounders, and two six pounders. The eighteen and twelve pounders are all good gunns, except that one of the twelve pounders must have its touch hole open'd by a drill, they are all mounted on the English carriages that came out with them. The two six pounders are good gunns, but are got no farther as yet into the fort, than into the ditch, and there I found them when I came out. When I go to that Island next, and can in earnest sett about fortifying this fort, these and more cannon shall be plac'd, as they shou'd be in it. Then too will be remov'd hither the nine cannon now on the battery as above mention'd at Basseterre Town. If H.M. wou'd please to bestow on that Island, five twelve pounders, one nine pounder, and eight six pounders, five cannon and the shott belonging to them (all these remaining at St. Christophers besides the twenty sent to the Island of Montserrat, and which were of his Grace the Duke of Montagu, left of his deroute at Sta. Lucia) this fort will then be sufficiently supply'd. St. Christophers must do the rest. It will and can. To the westward of this road half cannon shott from the shipping at Parson's or Bluff Point, is an old earth-ruin of a small French fort, and battery, just below it, from whence this Bluff Point was by them call'd La Pointe du vieux Fort. There are two eighteen pounders, and six twelve pounders well mounted, and a twelve pounder dismounted, strangely plac'd, ready at hand for an enemy (with haling them about a mile) to beat down Fort Londonderry with them. These too must be carry'd and mounted in that fort, when 'tis ready to receive them, and gunns of a much less calibre mounted there in their stead. Here are besides one six pounder and two four pounders dismounted. From this point to Palmeto Point there are severall good landing places as at Gillon's Gutt and others. But these might be easily disputed with an enemy. And, my Lords, give me leave to observe, as to the better possibility of meeting an enemy with the few regular troops and militia in the Island at his landing in St. Christophers than at Antigua. That many years ago I overcame the aversions people here generally were in to an intent I had of forming a militia troop of dragoons. Just to see many of the Foot at their meetings come to the Parade on horse back, it immediately occur'd to me why they might not do duty on horse back, that is foot militia but mounted on their own horses. On an invasion I was allways determin'd to press as many horses as I cou'd to mount the soldiers, and as many as I cou'd of the best of the militia. Else there was no sending an enemy from bay to bay. Why then shou'd not these men rather ride their own horses, and take care of them themselves than have them press'd for soldiers, that it may be wou'd not be as carefull of them? I therefore resolv'd to form a troop of dragoons with these men, and these their horses. These men too by their low degree were not to be admitted into the troop of horse, what bad things were then said of me I have forgot, but at last, I carry'd my point, and besides the troop of horse, part of the militia of St. Christophers, your Lordships will find when I come to speak of the details of the militia of this Island, that there is in St. Christophers a troop of dragoons. I have long push'd for one on the same reasons in Antigua, but in vain. At Palmeto Point is a good battery, and on it four nine pounders, two six pounders and a four pounder, all good gunns, but the carriages very much out of repair, and the rest dismounted, and just by it are four small old gunns without trunions; the gunner here has about two hundred weight of powder in his care. Here was thirty years ago a good town and a good trade. But since the English have drove the French off the Island, it has been no longer a frontier town towards them, and is therefore now quite decay'd and gone. The shore from hence westward to Queen Anne's Fort, and so to Old Road Town, has many landings, but the country rises steep above the shore, and in many places 'tis a high clift, a landing here will not be attempted. The English ventur'd it at the point to eastward of Queen Anne's Fort, whilst the French were possess'd of the whole Island, but with such unfortunate success, a disapointment and loss, that the point has ever since been call'd. Bloody Point. At Queen Anne's Fort there are three twenty pounders, two of them mounted, the third dismounted, and three good six pounders, but these are dismounted. There is also a four pounder dismounted, and without trunnions, and two dismounted three pounders. This battery is laid out with two faces and two flanks. One fire is intended to cover the shipping lying at Old Road from being cutt out by the enemy. The other is like this, and the gunns mounted here are to clear the little bay adjoining it to the eastward. The whole is well laid out, and well intended, fac'd too with a low rampart wall of good mason's work, but without merlons to cover the gunners. At Old Road there are to eastward of the town, two batterys, one at the water's edge in the form of a salient angle, and another a little above it on an eminence, that begins a very steep slope to the top of almost inaccessible mountains. The lower battery has no merlons, the upper battery has. In the lower battery are seven good six pounders, well mounted, very little out of repair. On the upper battery are four good six pounders well mounted, another six pounder well mounted, but the gunn a bad one, a good three pounder dismounted, and just below the battery on the clift, is a very old iron twelve pounder, and within the enclosure of this battery is a very good little magazine arch'd, bomb proof and about six hundred weight of powder in it. Immediately to westward of Old Road Town are many landing places and levels for some distance behind them, or easy ascents to the Plantation houses, but no cannon but at Godwin Gutt, and there only two old dismounted four pounders. Thence to Halfway Tree Bay, is good landing well known to and try'd by an enemy in the last and King William's warr. There is much danger at Halfway Tree Bay least an enemy land there in the night, either to surprise Brimstone Hill, or cutt off its communication from the inhabitants retiring into it. If erecting a battery there wou'd do, it shou'd be done, but all the shore for miles is such, all can be done is keeping good patroles there in the night, to prevent being surpris'd with such an attempt. Brimstone Hill rising here with almost a continu'd precipice or clift, at a very small distance from the beech, covers the shore (tho' very accessible) its whole length to Charles Fort. Charles Fort was intended for a pentagone, the capital point of one of its bastions (which never has been yet laid out, but I am now finishing it) is to seaward close to the shore, (but on an eminence) as are the two curtins and opposite flanks, and faces, of the two bastions to eastward and westward of it. It has a large dry ditch and of a good depth. The bastions are very small, the whole exterior polygon of this fort does not enclose much above three acres. Next the sea are many fine cannon that protect the shore almost from Halfway Tree or Phipps's Bay to Fort Hamilton at Sandy Point Town, and between this fort and Sandy Point Town the shipping lie. Brimstone Hill being now fortify'd this fort (that formerly in 1689 held out a bombardment and a six weeks' seige, and lies close under the hill) has lost a great deal of its merit. At the Land Port, which is in the center of the curtain opposite to the sea bastion, the ground rises very high from the fort, which is here almost wholly under the horrizon. I intend to cover this gate with a ravelin that shall take in this high ground, and whose sallient angle advancing pretty near to the foot of Brimstone Hill, will greatly facilitate maintaining a communication between the hill and this fort. Consequently with the sea. In this fort is a well, but the water is brackish, and unwholesome for mankind, tho' good for horses and cattle. Just without it is a well of good water, and that inclos'd with a little mound, and the path is through the ditch to it. In the fort too is a small cistern, a house of two rooms, one of which serves for a little arsenal, in which are thirty one small arms, in but indifferent order, a good stone kitchen, two large ovens, a small guard room, a small prison for the soldiers, two rooms for the gunner, and a pretty large magazine arch'd, to be bomb proof as all the magazines in this Island are. The cannon in this fort are one twenty four pounder, three eighteen pounders, two twelve pounders, three nine pounders, one six pounder, and four four pounders, all well mounted and good gunns, and four eighteen pounders, twelve twelve pounders, five nine pounders, one six pounder and five four pounders, good gunns but the carriages out of repair, and some of them dismounted, and besides one twelve pounder, one six pounder and three four pounders, but these guns are ordinary fitt only for salutes. In this fort are seven thousand cannon shott of all sizes, except that there is but about one hundred six pounder shott and none less. There is also thirty six double headed shott for the eighteen twelve and nine pounders. Here too are a sufficiency of gunner's stores, as rammers, ladles, worms &c., a ginn compleat, and in the magazine, three thousand two hundred weight of powder. From this fort to Sandy Point Town westward, the distance is a mile, on the sea shore at this town is Fort Hamilton, a little battery to cover the shipping in the Road, on which are three good six pounders well mounted, and two more such gunns almost dismounted. In this little fort is an old arch'd magazine, and in it about six hundred weight of powder. And the gunner at this battery (as well as the gunners at the severall other batterys) is tollerably well supply'd with gunner's stores. At the distance of a mile, little beyond this town, is the old French frontier line, where they had a little fort close to that line, and on the sea shore the ramparts, and ditch of this fort are still easy to be repair'd, but ought rather to be levell'd. except what shou'd remain of a battery to seaward, and where are now to cover the shipping in Sandy Point Road, the following cannon, vizt. two twelve pounders, three nine pounders, good gunns and well mounted, a fourth good twelve pounder dismounted, an old six pounder, and two three pounders old guns dismounted, and not worth mounting. But these twelve pounders and nine pounders must be remov'd, they lie too fair to be us'd against Charles Fort. From hence quite round the west end of the Island, call'd French Cabecaterre Quarter to Deep Bay, where I begin this description, the whole shore is good landing and neither fort nor battery to prevent it, for the space of near ten miles. But shipping never anchor off any part of this shore and therefore want no protection here. It remains now, my Lords, that I give your Lordships an account of H.M. fortress on Brimstone Hill. The summit of this hill, as laid out within the fortification is about forty three acres. It is fortify'd by two lines of works, well built of stone that enclose the whole, where accessible. The two intervalls between these works are. inaccessible. These two works are, one on all the north side of the hill, the other encloses all the south side, great part of the east and about half the west side. The works on the north side are pretty well finish'd, with their merlons and parapets, so are the east and west sides of the other work, but the parapet on the south side is still to be built. The very irregular shape of the hill is mend'd where it cou'd be done, and on the north side the horrizon is entirely preserv'd and there is a small horn work, and a redan's in form of a tenaille, and these join'd by four irregular lines, but with lines and angles of defence within rule. On the south side are two whole and two half bastions join'd by three curtins, and these as regular as cou'd be, but the west side is below the horrizon of all the rest, but no part of the hill is left without the other works, that can command it. On and for this hill are the following cannon vizt.: two eighteen pounders on good carriages, but the gunns are old and hardly fitt for service, five good twelve pounders, one of them a brass cannon, these are mounted. Two nine pounders, but one of them well mounted, three brass six pounders well mounted, five good iron six pounders mounted, three do. the carriages decay'd, one do. dismounted, and one do. an old bad gunn. Four good four pounders well mounted and seven good four pounders mounted on carriages that want repair, eight good three pounders, but the touch holes of three of them must be new drill'd, being stop'd, and a long drake, a one pounder, well mounted. And very lately are brought to the foot of the hill to be carry'd up and soon mounted on it, eight good twelve and eight good nine pounders for which there are good carriages. There is a very good new magazine on the hill, finish'd very lately and in it sixteen thousand weight of powder, and both houses of Legislature have agreed immediately to build another, and an arsenal. There is a small guard room and a large oven built. Two large water cisterns with good platforms, and there now is building a barrack for a garrison, that is to be arch'd, and to be one hundred and fifty foot long. Two more such are intended to be built here, and these are as well to shelter women and children in case of a bombardment, and such a barrack I should have mention'd will be built at Charles Fort. The following stores of warr are besides under the gunner's care on the hill, vizt. thirty two keggs musquet ball, six thousand flints, six hundred firelocks with bayonetts, and cartouch boxes, two hundred more without bayonetts or cartouch boxes. 28 piggs of lead, a ginn compleat, and many small gunner's stores. The greatest distress will be want of water. It is intended in a low part of the hill to sink a well, with hopes at about seventy five fathom to find good water, fitt at least for negroes, cattle and horses. The whole number of inhabitants in St. Christophers are, Men 1115; Women, 1118; Children, 1648; Slaves 17,335. In this year 1734. In the beginning of 1717 there were but 799 men in the Island, and by the lists taken in 1729, the numbers were as follows, vizt. Men, 1117; Women, 994; Children, 1586; and Slaves, 14,663. Out of these men of those that are not disabled or superanuated, the militia is formed into a troop of Militia horse of two hundred forty five (officers included), a militia troop of dragoons of eighty nine (officers included), a militia regiment of foot of three hundred forty and three men. Here are station'd three companys of Brigar. Jones's regiment that with their officers may be about ninety effectives, and these numbers in case of an invasion will be very probably to be increas'd with saylors and arm'd negroes, in proportion to the computations I have mention'd to your Lordships for Antigua. I can give your Lordships but imperfect and very generall accots. of the other three Islands of this Government, that are somehow settled, vizt. Anguilla, Spanish Town and Tortola. These are not sugar islands, at least not for exportation, what they chiefly produce is cotton and provisions. H.M. has neither cannon nor stores of warr in these Islands. Anguilla has not about a hundred effective men on it, above sixty have within a very few years left this Island, and gone to settle on St. Martins, where they are become Dutch, and on Sta. Cruz, to cutt timber, where they are turning Danes. Spanish Town has about eighty, and Tortola about the same number of men on it. But these two Islands have suffer'd as has Anguilla, and all the other Islands, as well as Barbados, from this spirit of becoming renegade Dutch or Danes. I am now, my Lords, to close this long narrative with obeying what remains of your orders. Which is to lay before your Lordships, my opinion what may be farther necessary for the encouragement of the trade and for the security of H.M. Leeward Carribbee Islands. And as your Lordships call upon me for that upon my opinion alone, which cannot be a recital of facts, as this state hitherto has been, give me leave to give this caracteristick of my obedience herein to your Lordships' commands, that what I shall say shall be strictly meant to the best of my judgement, for H.M. service, the welfare of his subjects here, and for their real safety. I have very lately transmitted home to the Agent for this Island, a petition for obtaining leave that we may carry directly to foreign ports our clay'd sugars, and other produce, as the French of the sugar Islands, by the French King's edicts are permitted from time to time to do. By the accots. of exports of clay'd sugars herein specify'd, this seems to intend benefits for the present to Barbados, and for this Government not till hereafter, when this being obtain'd it shall encourage the planter going to the expence of claying sugars here. I have seen the French King's regulations on this side, I wish these obtain'd for the English on those terms may be as beneficial, as 'tis here imagin'd. I have but these objections to it. One is that it seems to me a too inconsiderable advantage to be very sollicitous for. The other is that I cannot conceive how the planter can correspond hence directly to Spain &c. Or how will he know when the markett will be better there than in London? or by what time will claying sugars be so improv'd and so common in these Islands, that we may send whole vessell loads of it to these foreign ports. It was proposed to me and I recommended it to the Legislature here, and so throughout the Government, and I cannot say but better reasons may be given for obtaining this petition than I am master of. But what I think concerns us more, is bringing to effect the act given the last Sessions but one, of the last Parliament, for relief of these colony's. The intentions of that Act, I am now convinc'd, want a last support, and without such 'tis dayly eluded. I own I thought, and said, otherways at home. I find my Lords, that permitting the importation of French molasses, with even duty's almost equal to a prohibition, as by that Law, will not and does not avail us. A vessell at sea or even coming into a Roads full of such melass, is under no penalty. If they land the melass they will pay the duty. If they don't land it, what then? There they lie, where is the crime? Then where the penaltys? so they driblet it out at dark nights on board vessells bound for the Northern Colony's, or even on shore, and are so well befriended by some of the inhabitants of low degree, as to run but little risque of a seizure. This I now am thoroughly convinc'd of the truth of. But they have a better escape yet, and I am greatly misinform'd in to the northward of their dayly practice. Thus much I know, that at St. Eustacia, I suppose for New England, New York, &c. vessells load by dozens dayly with French melasses, as ever, for what use? for what other port? what quantity's they carry from Surinam I know not. Rhode Island chuse their Governour themselves I believe annually. Something of the sort I believe is done in Connecticut. These are privilledges they hold by charters, and they fail not to improve lustily upon. The Act of Parliament setts a very high duty on melasses, to discourage the importation, or on failure gives a third to the Governour, t'other third to the informer, and H.M. third to bear ye expence of prosecution. When a vessell arrives with melasses, the owners immediately inform, for this they take as informers one third, the Governour by law must have another, but he is their creature so thus get the whole, in some small, if any, composition with him, a promiss it may be to chuse him again next year. Thus the melasses comes all ashore at noon day actually without duty or penalty. Some petty charges only excepted. A total prohibition I humbly believe is the only remedy, and the only service can be done us in this case. Remitting all duty's or giving us greater premiums on exportation wou'd be doing more. But I dare not ask it, of those that best know what, and when to give. The farther security of these Islands I think can be intended only under these heads. First, adding more art to our natural strengths of scituations. Secondly, providing more men, Thirdly, these better disciplined and arm'd, and Fourthly, having a larger quota of all weapons offensive and defensive. The first article we must provide ourselves here, by working hard to finish the fortifications we have begun, repairing those we had formerly finish'd, and adding new ones where wanted. For adding to our numbers there are laws provided, but these laws had penalty's on the breach of them. These laws too have never been obey'd, nor the penalty put in suit. Hence long arrears have accumulated, from mole hills they have become monstrous mountains, from easy memorials to every one of their duty, they are grown to the size of burdens, now too heavy to be born. And putting these laws in force for the time to come, and overlooking the time past, is a dispensing power not wisely to be executed, or a proper precedent. Besides these laws hitherto procure such unwilling, worthless, idle vagabonds, as from whom but little service can be hop'd for, on military emergencys. Most of these serve for term of years, without wages, poorly cladd, hard fedd, a worse state here than of a common soldier, if possible. Are these the men that are to die in our defence? My Lords, we must have a recruit of a better sort, or better none at all; and this too we ourselves by suitable laws must provide. But these laws are not yet made, nor can I take upon me to say how soon they will. It depends pretty much on the danger coming nearer and then so tedious a remedy may want time to operate. I know no immediate remedy, but H.M. bestowing upon us more regular troops ashore, well disciplin'd, not raw men, for these at their first coming are but little better than the servants I describ'd in the last article. Next, or before this, is a number of station ships of warr. These kept in good motion will safely forward homewards our own produce, and intercept the homeward bound ships that go home from the enemy. But they can do more. Let them lie in wait, and cutt off the provisions and necessarys that these French Islands Martinica and Guardeloup are provided with from Europe. This will distress them to a great degree, and the French plantations must fail, their over grown numbers must starve ashore, or go to planting provisions only, or dispos'd as they can else where. And then too one shall have but little reason to apprehend invasions from them. The want of these provisions among them in their plantations will heartily spoil and disable them from fitting out even a privateer sloop or two, to molest our navigation. This must distress them almost to a famine. They can have no trade, and the English Colonys, few as our numbers are, still dayly will improve, and that with security. Better discipling our Militia here is again a duty of our own. I have been solliciting the use of bayonetts almost twenty years, in vain. The weapon was frightfull, not to be born with. Antigua this year has by a law provided them, I sent this law to the other three Islands. My hopes of success in Montserrat and Nevis are hardly alive, but in St. Christopher 'tis quite over with me. The bill at its third reading was thrown out of the Council there, by the votes of the President, and the military gentlemen at that Board. I did not expect it from these gentlemen especially. There are laws for arming our militia better, but I find, without helps from H.M., and without a large quota of weapons defensive and offensive, from his bounty, we shall be in great danger. At Antigua abundance of arms are bringing dayly. The gentlemen there send for them, I hear of nothing of the sort in the other three Islands. I apply'd to his Grace the Duke of Newcastle and your Lordships in the beginning of this year, to obtain such supplys for us. I pray leave to explain on the severall articles I then ask'd, and then I have done. As we must in Antigua and St. Christophers, not only defend our posts of Monks Hill, Brimstone Hill, and Charles Fort, but also keep the field, with what shall remain from those garrisons, or the enemy else will march the Island over, and at will destroy all our canes, and buildings, carry off our copper stills, destroy our cattle, that they can neither eat nor carry off. We must therefore even with our small numbers, be continually near 'em, watching every faux pas of their's to be among them, taking all advantages of the country, and its seituation, and as this cannot be done, but that we must expect at times, the enemy confiding in their numbers, will attack us. Therefore I have made severall depositions even for coming to an engagement with them, and to help our numbers, I have ask'd for field pieces to be dispos'd of, as shall be most expedient, rather for defence than offence. I mean that with them I wou'd fill up our intervals in the first line, as well as on the right, and left, and these to be loaded with musquet ball only. From these once well pointed, I shou'd expect good execution, at least as good as from the fire of our militia. And as the French are impetuous enough in their first attacks, least they break in upon our raw militia, before they are used to fire, and to their noise, I have ask'd a few Chevaux de frise to cover our front, we can make more by them. And that we may, as need may be, entrench ourselves, or if beseig'd repair our breaches. I have ask'd for a small quota of spades, shovells, pickaxes, iron crows (rocky soils we have everywhere) and wheel barrows, and if we find ourselves well entrench'd near an enemy, and he avoid attacking us, we may with these field pieces, by cannonading him with great shott, force him either to engage us at this disadvantage, or retire farther from us with loss. The powder I have ask'd for, I appeal to your Lordships, from the stores we have in each Island, how much 'tis wanting, and humbly submitt to your Lordships whether Antigua with its fortress of Monks Hill, or St. Christophers with Charles Fort, Brimstone Hill and Fort Londonderry (when finish'd) can be defended against an enemy once landed (if especially they keep but fourteen days ashore, much less if obstinately they will beseige any of these fortresses) with so little powder as we now have. Besides we must protect those that trade with us, and the open Roads at St. Johns in Antigua, at Montserrat, Nevis, and three in St. Christophers these are to be protected with heavy cannon, and the service of them compounds a great quantity of powder. Add to all this the requisites for our field pieces, and the quantity's that must be expended by our small arms. I pray leave to say that their ought never in case of a warr to be fewer than four hundred barrells of powder in Antigua, at least that quantity in St. Christophers, sixty barrels in Montserrat, and eighty in Nevis. What I have asked will not compleat what at present is in these Islands, to this quota by eighty barrels, and out of this, a small quantity must be sent to Anquilla, Spanish Town, and Tortola. Sometimes too we have been forc'd to supply H.M. ships of warr, till they cou'd get supply's from home. I wou'd only alter that demand from pistol powder, and rather ask the whole to be cannon powder, as we have sufficient of the other sort. I have been very moderate in the quantity of musquet ball I have ask'd for, because much old lead may be pick'd up in the Plantations to supply the rest. A large quantity will be to be expended by the field pieces. The flints we shall be really distress'd for, I have not ask'd for above four for each firelock, even including what little store we have. I mean for saylors and slaves, besides the soldiers and militia. When we come to service, each man having a firelock will not be sufficient, tho' even that (notwithstanding laws made for that purpose) is not so. In Montserrat and Nevis they want arms for half their militia. At Antigua the militia are in want of arms, more so in St. Christophers. But in case of a warr and an enemy near, great part of this will be supply'd from spare arms most gentlemen have in their houses in these two Islands, in Antigua especially. But for saylors and many of the slaves, they must be supply'd out of the little numbers we have in our arsenals, and all will hardly give a firelock to everyone. But for the accidents of service, pieces broke, burst, locks spoilt, for all this, can five hundred small arms be an over provision for new supply's throughout all the Islands? The Militia Law of Antigua has provided swords, yet few or none have any. But in Montserrat, Nevis and St. Christophers, sometimes there are militia laws, sometimes none. We are but a few in comparrison of those that are to attack us. Let's mend our numbers by arming thoroughly those we have, we must not depend on our fire only. There the enemy have us greatly at advantage from their greater numbers. The bayonett fix'd is a favourite weapon. But this chiefly where there is horse. No horse can or will be brought hither. Our service too must be mostly by surprise, in the night, all manner of partizan service. Here I prefer the short old Roman sword, even to the bayonett fix'd to the firelock, and shou'd certainly think best on these services that the men shou'd sling their firelocks and draw their swords. For the same reason our horse will be of poor service to us with their carbines, whilst they do service as horse, and therefore I beg four hundred light horsemen's swords, which with the few that at present we have, may be sufficient. The cartouch boxes are sadly wanted, to be sure we ought to provide these ourselves, but for the saylors we must have a little store by us, and these are trivial as to the expence. Twou'd be pitty the Islands shou'd be in danger, or the service of but ten men shou'd be lost, for want of as many cartouch boxes. But we have very many in these Islands that in spight even of all Militia Laws (where there are any) will not provide, much less where there are none, and I humbly conceive H.M. must not lose His Islands from the want of duty, or through the perverseness of any of His subjects in them. This regiment here must all be granadier service, and I have therefore ask'd for a small quota of granades. We may have a breach to dispute with an enemy, and then they will be sufficiently wanted. Sometimes too we have been forc'd to drive away an impudent privateer, insulting us in our very Roads, and on these emergency's of immediately fitting out a vessell or two to send after them, these granades are of great service, at boarding especially. We are distress'd to the last degree for want of six pounder shott. In St. Christophers there are hardly a hundred in the whole Island. We want them too at Nevis, and Montserrat, I therefore ask'd them. They are dayly in use to bring a vessell too with, and these small gunns do that service better than larger, as it husband's our powder. The cochorus divided in the severall Islands will be but a few in each. I don't promise any other service from them, but insulting the enemy with a few shells every night to tease them, keep them awake, and fatigue them, it may be blow up their powder. The iron trucks we want for our dismounted cannon, the rest of the carriage we can provide, and sending carriages from home does us but little service, H.M. is at great expence, and they rot here or warp and split with the heat of the sun presently. Our timber here is more lasting and much fitter. The last article I am to account for is asking for tents for our Militia. If we keep the field we must encamp, and we must too be cover'd from the weather, suffering the militia to break into small numbers to seek shelter in the severall plantations, is an infallible way for hardly ever getting them together again, especially in time of need, when many will find excuses good or bad to be out of the way. This must be fatal. There is no keeping the field without encamping, we must else crowd into our garrisons and leave our estates to the enemy. This is so long, I will not add to it with any tedious apology, other than that I have endeavour'd, with the best judgment I have, to say all and no more than what might give your Lordships a full and true state of these Islands in obedience to your commands. I pray your Lordships' indulgence to a man that exerts his utmost (bad as 'tis) to do his duty in the station H.M. has been pleas'd to honour him with. Signed, William Mat hew. Endorsed, Recd. 28th Nov., 1734, Read 1st. Jan., 1734/5 33¼ closely written pp.
314. iiiv. Maps of Antigua, Montserrat, St. Christophers. (Transferred to M.P.G. 190–192.) [C.O. 152, 20. ff. 142–143 v., 145 v., 146, 149–154, 155–157, 158–163, 164–166, 167 v.]
Sept. 15.
315. Governor Lord Howe to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses duplicates of letter etc. of 31st Aug. Signed, Howe. Endorsed, Recd. 14th Nov., 1734, Read 16th July, 1735. Holograph. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 24. ff. 109, 112 v.]