America and West Indies
May 1735, 16-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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1953

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428-443

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'America and West Indies: May 1735, 16-31', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 41: 1734-1735 (1953), pp. 428-443. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72784 Date accessed: 19 September 2014.


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May 1735, 16-31

May 16.
St. James's.
565. Order of King in Council. Approving of reports of Committee upon petition of Lord Baltimore and Richard Penn, and ordering that the consideration of said petitions and the representation of the Council of Trade thereupon be adjourned untill the end of Michaelmas term next, that the said John, Thomas and Richard Penn may have an opportunity to proceed in a Court of Equity to obtain relief upon the articles intested upon by them etc. After the expiration of the said time either party is to be at liberty to apply to the Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs as the nature of the case may require etc. Signed, W. Sharpe. Endorsed, Recd. 31st May, Read 12th June, 1735. 2½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1268. ff. 154–155 v.]
May 16.
St. James's.
566. Order of King in Council. Approving draft of Instructions to Governor Lee. Signed, W. Sharpe. Endorsed, Recd. 31st May, Read 12th June, 1735. 1 p. [C.O. 194, 9. ff. 272, 275 v.]
May 16.
St. James's.
567. Order of King in Council. Approving draft of Commission for Governor Lee. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 194, 9. ff. 273, 274 v.]
May 18.
1725 (fn. 1)
568. Mr. West to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Has no objection to eight acts of the Massachusetts Bay, passed in 1723, but upon an act in addition to etc. an act etc. for preventing of trespasses, observes that "this act introduces a strange kind of wages of law, by the single oath of either plaintiff or dependant in cases of trespasse, and as it manifestly tends to the encrease of perjury and is a practice not known to the Law of England, I am of opinion it is not proper to bee pass'd into law." Signed, Richd. West. Endorsed, Recd. 29th May, 1725, Read 28th Nov., 1735. Mem.—The act here objected to, is expired, but a new one passed in 1726 perpetual has the same clause etc. Neither of these acts have been presented to the Crown for confirmation, so may be repd. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 878. ff. 79, 79 v., 80 v.]
May 19.
1725 (fn. 2)
569. Same to Same. Reports upon 37 Acts of the Massachusetts Bay passed in the years 1715–1718, to which he has no objection. But on the Act passed in 1715 for holding a Superior Court of Judicature etc. for the county of New Hampshire, he observes, "that the power of erecting Courts of Judicature is the unalterable prerogative of the Crown, and therefore this establishment by the Assembly of New England cannot be valid, any otherwise than as it is conformable to their Charter, which is the source of all their power. By the Charter etc. the Generall Assembly are impowered not to establish courts generally, but to erect and constitute judicatories and courts to be held in the name of the King etc. It is true that the act to which it referrs, 11 Wm. 3, is in the same manner, and that act is said to be confirmed. But with submission to your Lordshipps I imagine it to have been an oversight that it was so, since it may be made a question upon the words of the act (which when confirm'd may perhaps dispute authority with the Charter) whether they are obliged to hold their Courts in the King's name or not, since there is no provision for that purpose. I doubt not but their judicial proceedings do run in the King's name but yet there seems to be a kind of industry to avoid naming the King even upon those occasions where there is a kind of legall necessity that they should; As in this Act, where the directing of Courts generally to be held, is not a pursuance of that authority, I before mention'd to bee granted by the Charter. Tho' I do not object directly to the passing of this act, yet I thought it proper to submitt this observation to your Lordshipps," etc. Signed, Richd. West. Endorsed, Recd. 29th May, 1725, Read Nov. 28, 1735. Mem.—It does not appear that these acts were ever presented to the Crown for confirmation, and consequently may be repealed yet, if thought adviseable. To be considered. 4 pp. [C.O. 5, 878. ff. 74–75 v., 76 v.]
May 20.
1725 (fn. 3)
570. Mr. West to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reports upon act of the Massachusetts Bay, 1718, for the ease of prisoners for debt, that this act is expired, but observes that it expressly enacts "that the whole penalty of the bond prescribed, without Chancery shall bee to the use of the assignee of it. I beleive there never was a law of this kind before, wherein there is an exclusion of equity in expresse words, and as equity cannot take place but when from the circumstances of the case it is reasonable so to do, a clause of this kind must alwaies be absurd." Signed, Richd. West. Endorsed, Recd. 29th May, 1725, Read 9th Dec, 1735. 1¾ pp. [C.0. 5, 878. ff. 98, 98 v., 107 v.]
May 23.
St. James's.
571. H.M. Warrant appointing James Wright, Remembrancer, Clerk of the Pleas and Estreats of the Court of Exchequer, S. Carolina. Countersigned, Holles Newcastle. Copy. [C.O. 324, 36. pp. 505, 506.]
May 24.
Whitehall.
572. Order of Committee of Privy Council. Approving representation of the Council of Trade and Plantations that the Act of St. Christophers, 1732, for continuing the duties of gunpowder etc. is proper for H.M. disallowance. Continues:—But the Committee observing that by the 23rd Article of the Instructions given to the Governor of the Leeward Islands, he is directed not to pass any law for laying duties upon British shipping or by which the trade or navigation of this Kingdom may be any ways affected; and observing further that an additional Instruction was judged necessary to be lately transmitted to the said Governor, to empower him to give his assent to an act for continuing a powder duty etc. in Antigua, the Committee doth therefore hereby order that the Lords Commissioners for Trade do consider whether it may not be necessary in the present cases, to transmitt an Instruction of the like nature with regard to the island of St. Christophers. In that case, they are to prepare a draught of an Instruction to empower the Governor to pass an act for continuing the said duties in St. Christophers, taking care that the same be not liable to the objections contained in the representation of the said Lords Commissioners etc. Signed, W. Sharpe. Endorsed, Recd. 31st May, Read 13th June, 1735. l⅓ pp. [C.O. 152, 21. ff. 38, 38 v., 41 v.]
May 24.
Whitehall.
573. Order of Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs. Referring following to the Council of Trade and Plantations for their report. Signed, W. Sharpe. Endorsed, Recd. 12th June, 1735, Read 15th Jan., 1735/6. 1 p. Enclosed,
573. i. Petition of Samuel Storke and Peter van Brugh Livingston. Abstract. One of petitioners, an inhabitant and native of H.M. Colony of New York has made it his study to cultivate a friendly correspondence with the powerfull Nations of Indians. He is become familiar with their tempers and has ingratiated himself so much in their favour as to be incouraged to venture a settlement on back frontiers of that Province. There is a tract of land in the country of Albany and New York of about six miles in length and six miles in breadth, upon the banks of the Mohawks River commonly called by the natives Tionondague, not the property of any private person nor any considerable plantation settled near. [v. 10th Feb., 1735/6.] Petitioners are desirous of making an improvement there, by settling some of H.M. poor and indigent subjects, which will not only be a great security by strengthening the frontier of that Province agst. the incroachments of the French but also secure the furr trade, which of late years in a great measure for want of that has been declining. Pray for a grant of such lands under such quit-rent etc. as H.M. shall think fit. Signed, Saml. Storke, Peter V. B. Livingston. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1058. ff. 15, 16, 18 v.]
[May 24.]574. Petition of Samuel Storke and Peter van Brugh Livingston for grant of land in the County of Albany with map. Copy. Recd, and read Feb. 10, 1735/6. As to this v. May 24, 1735, and Oct. 9th, 1734, where petition is given. [C.O. 5, 1058. ff. 21, 21 v. Map in M.P.G. 600.]
May 24.
Whitehall.
575. Order of Committee of Council. Referring following to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Signed, W. Sharpe. Endorsed, Recd, (from Mr. Rutherford) 4th, Read 12th June, 1735. 1 p. Enclosed,
575. i. Petition of Thomas Rutherfoord to the King. Petitioner purchased a grant of 12,000 acres in S. Carolina, dated 25th Oct., 1726, which grant is one of those mentioned by the Lords Proprietors in a return they made to an Order of Committee to lay before their Lordships the grants made by them since 1713, in which they have the words (vizt.), Four Baronys consisting of 12,000 acres each were granted to Mr. Tho. Loundes and three other persons etc. Petitioner's grant and those abovementioned have a warranty in them from the late Lords Proprietors, to which H.M. as purchaser succeeds. The Lords Proprietors, in order to make the grants more marketable to Mr. Loundes, the person petitioner claims under, did upon Loundes petitioning them promise to give him upon surrendering the grants not then run out other grants for lesser quantitys not exceeding in the whole the quantity of land so formerly granted. But H.M. purchase of the Carolinas was sett on foot before such new grants were made. A certificate of which promise of the late Lords Proprietors is lodged in H.M. Office for Trade and Plantations etc. Prays for H.M. directions to the Surveyor General of S. Carolina to run out the 12,000 acres mentioned in such tracts as petition shall think meet, but not in Purrysburgh or within the six miles round the townships directed to be set out by H.M. etc. Signed, Thos. Rutherfoord. Copy. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 364. ff. 40, 41, 41 v., 43 v.]
May 25.
North Carolina.
576. Governor Johnston to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I hope your Lordships will forgive me for not giving your Board at this time a full information of all the particulars requir'd by my Instructions, as I design to send none but very exact accounts. It will require more time than I have yet spent in this province to satisfy my self in several points which I design to offer to your Lordships' consideration. The Journals of both Houses of Assembly are now preparing in order to have copies transmitted according to my Instructions. I shall at the same time send a copy of our laws with remarks upon them. But what demands the most immediate attention is the affair of H.M. Quitrents and the proceedings thereupon in the last Assembly. I have always look'd upon this as a matter of the greatest moment, and as this country pays no other acknowledgement to the Crown of Great Brittain, and would even defraud H.M. of that if they were not very narrowly watched, I very early last sessions gott a bill brought into the Lower House for procuring H.M. a rent roll and the more regular payment of his quitrents. Your Lordships have no doubt heard of what they call blank patents in this country (of which I have sent a true state along with this) there are very near half a million of acres held by these patents in this province which pay but 6d. or 1s. per 100 acres rent instead of 4s. [?] proclamation money, the people concern'd in these patents tryed all manner of arts to gett a clause in this bill to confirm their grants, but as I thought it would vastly diminish H.M. revenue, and hurt a number of private persons in their property, and as I had reason to believe that besides the great quantities of land which are held by them already they might have numbers of them lying dormant by them to produce upon occasion, I would never consent to it, for which reason they loaded the bill with so many clauses prejudicial to H.M. revenue, that the Council thought fitt to reject it. I shall send by next conveyance a copy of the bill as brought into the House, and another copy of it as clogg'd by their artifices. Immediately after this in order to convince the people that H.M. just revenues did not depend upon any acts of their Assembly as some of them had the assurance to give out, I issued a Proclamation ordering all H.M. tennants to pay the arrears of their Quitrents (for none has been paid since H.M. purchase) to the Receiver General, and being inform'd that this occasion'd a general murmur I took care to putt the Militia in such hands as to prevent the King's officers from being insulted in collecting of his rents. I have now the pleasure to inform your Lordships that there now appears a general submission to these orders and I am confident I shall be able to give a good account of the arrears and make them glad to offer of them selves such an act as will do justice to H.M. against next sessions. As the proprietors of these blank patents have troubled your Board with a representation in their favour, I must in duty to H.M. declare unto your Lordships that after a very wise and impartial enquiry I can see no reason to confirm one of them, and that in justice every patent issued since the land office was shut up, was a cheat from the beginning and ought to be declar'd nill and void, and as they have promis'd to submitt to your Lordships' opinion without repining I must acquaint you that if your Lordships make any the least concession or distinction there will be no end of their quibbling, and this matter won't be determined for years to come, whereas if you think proper to condemn all patents issued on any pretence whatsoever since the land office was shutt up by the Lords Proprietors and oblige them to take out new patents from the Crown, it is no hardship to them, it will much encrease the only revenue the Crown has here, and it will finish the affair at once. I must once more putt your Lordships in mind that these patents take place in the County of Bath only, which how'er contains three parts of four of the whole province. I have according to my Instructions erected a Court of Exchequer in this province and the Attorney General has begun to vacate some of the most grossly fraudulent of these patents, but I shall take care that nothing shall be finally determin'd in that Court untill I have the honour of your Lordships' directions. Commissioners from this province and South Carolina have mett and adjusted the boundaries betwixt the two provinces, which has hitherto very much perplex'd both Governments. They have actually begun to run the line and are to proceed next autumn, I shall send all the papers relating to this affair by next opportunity, and hope as it is now finish'd your Lordships won't hearken to any solicitations from our neighbours, who I hear design since Mr. Johnson's death to procure a new instruction more in their favour than the last, in order to have a pretence for receding from an agreement made by their own Commissrs. fully empowr'd by themselves. There are at present three vacant places in H.M. Council, one occasional by the death of John Baptista Ash Esqr., as for James Stallard and Richard Eyems whose names I find in my instructions I can't find that there ever was such persons in this province. I recommend unto your Lordships any three of the following gentlemen to supply their places, William Forbes, James Innes, Esq's., Thomas Wardroper, Surveyor General of lands, Samuel Woodward, Samuel Johnston Esqr. Before I conclude I beg leave to represent to your Lordships that it would contribute very much to H.M. service if I could recieve your commands about these patents before November next when our next Assembly meets, for there wants little else to terminate all disputes about land. Signed, Gab. Johnston. Endorsed, Recd. 2nd Aug., Read 3rd Sept., 1735. Holograph. 2½ pp. Enclosed,
576. i. Same to Same. Governor Johnston to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The case of the blank patents in North Carolina fairly stated in behalf of His Majesty. Abstract. It is confessed on all sides that many years before 1724 the Land Office for the County of Bath and the Governor and Council by frequently repeated orders from the Lords Proprietors were deprived of all power of granting lands and absolutely discharged from selling any in the said county unless by order from their Board in London, upon the payment of £20 sterl. per 1000 acres there. This prohibition was never removed until the Crown's purchase. That it was universally known to all the inhabitants appears from what follows. For in 1724 it was a general complaint through the Province that the Lords Proprietors had absolutely discharged the sale of lands in the County of Bath except upon terms that could not be complied with, and that this prohibition greatly hindered the settlement of the country. The Lower House of Assembly did upon this address the Council to interced with the Lords Proprietors to withdraw this order, which the Council did, and upon a second address ventured to make a regulation by which people were allowed after a survey to set down and cultivate tracts of land in the County of Bath and pay 3s. per 100 acres, such persons to have the preference in the purchase of such lands whenever their Lordships should permit their lands to he sold. Even this regulation was to continue in force only until the Proprietors' pleasure should be known. Evidently, then, the prohibition did exist and was universally known, and ignorance cannot be pleaded etc. This regulation of the Council was very prudent and just, and if it had been adhered to would have prevented all the confusions that have since happened. But, instead, some leading men in the Province, and officers of the Lds. Proprietors combined together and by a long train of artifices and threats prevailed upon the weakness and necessities of Sir Richard Everard (tho' it was never pretended that he had any more power than his predecessors to grant land) to sign patents along with the Council upon various pretences etc. These patents were drawn up in form and signed and sealed, with the persons' names, the number of acres, the description of the boundaries and the sums paid for them left in blank, and remained so in the Secretary's Office, from whence they were issued, disposed of, and filled up, just as the Proprietors' officers thought fit. I have seen some of them myself in private persons' hands entirely blank and have been audibly informed that bundles of them at a time have been hawked about the country. Thus they besides being issued by persons who were universally known to have no power to grant them; (1) they were issued in blank, as above; (2) they were not preceded by regular surveys returned into the Secretary's Office; (3) the dates of many have been filled up since H.M. purchase took place; (4) the original records from whence they are supposed to be extracted plainly evince them to be fraudulent, for upon inspection it appears that many of the patents of the date 1725, 1726 and 1727 are there placed after patents of 1729, 1730; and this not in one or two places but in many, though the pages of the book are regularly marked etc. The bad consequences attending the confirmation of those patents ought to be considered, of which I mention only two at present. (1) The opportunity it gives people of possessing what quantities of land they please and of claiming what persons' lands they think proper, as the number of acres and dates have been and perhaps are still entirely in their own power, for there is no knowing what number of them may still remain not filled up. (2) The possessors of some of these patents have persuaded some of the Crown's tenants in the other county to give up their old tenures, of 2s. per 100 acres and take out these new patents at 6d. and 1s. pr. 100 acres as if they had sworn the destruction of the late Lords Proprietors' now the Crown['s] [? Receiver]. One of the principle reasons why H.M. purchased this province was that his subjects might possess land without any purchase upon paying an easie quit rent. But if people may merely by filling up a blank piece of paper call what lands they please their own, they may easily oblige strangers to buy of them, and so entirely frustrate H.M. gracious intention, if one may of what is future by what is past. The only appearance of argument I have heard in favour of such of these patents as are dated before Jan. 1727 etc. is the clause in the Act of the two Provinces:—Except all such lands etc. as have been at any time before 1st Jan., 1727, granted or conveyed by or comprized in any grants, deeds, instruments or conveyances under the common seal of the said Lords Proprietors either in England or the provinces aforesaid. This in the opinion of the possessors of these patents ratifys all their patents prior to that date. But I can never be of opinion that: this Act in any part of it ever intended, to conferm any grants, deed, instruments and conveyances which were originally null and void, and which they might date whenever they pleased, especially when it is declared in the very next clause that this exception shall not extend to, nor include, any forfeited grants nor any rents, services, signiories or rights of escheat reserved upon or incedent to any such grants.— After seriously considering the premises, and attentively perusing my 39 Instruction wch. condemns most of them, and others of my Instructions H.M. service will not allow me as yet to publish and which includes all of 'em, I did by and with the advice and consent of H.M. Council, erect a Court of Exchequer and afterwards issue a Proclamation by which I declared my intention of ordering the Attorney General to vacate all these patents and at the same time to allow innocent and fair purchasers the liberty of surrendering these patents to me, and taking out new ones according to H.M. Instructions, upon which the gentlemen principally concerned in these patents did represent unto me that they conceived I understood my Instructions in too rigorous a sence, and if they could be heard at your Ldps.' Board they might meet with more indulgence. I readily consented to their request and have sent their memorial along with this representation, which as a faithfull and sworn servant of the Crown I thought it my duty to lay before your Lp. etc. Signed, Gab. Johnston. Endorsed as covering letter. 3 ⅓ large pp.
576. ii. Journal of Assembly, N. Carolina, Edenton, Nov. 6–13th, 1734. Printed, N.C. Col. Rec. III. 634–643. Same endorsement. 10pp. [C.O.5, 294. ff. 195–198 v., 199 v.–205 v.]
May 26.
Betmuda.
577. Lt. Governor Pitt to Mr. Delafaye. I have inclosed the notes and Acts of Assembly which are intituled as follows, an Act to prevent vexatious suits and for limiting the time of returning executions, issued on judgments obtain'd at the Court of Common Pleas etc., an Act for the renewing the Act intituled an Act to prevent any person or persons whatsoever in these Islands from making or keeping any nett or netts etc., an Act for raising a sum of money for payment of the publick debts of these Islands, which desire you will lay before his Grace, etc. Signed, John Pitt. Endorsed, R. 5th July. 1 p. [C.O. 37, 29. No. 19.]
May 26.
Winsburgh.
578. Lt. Governor Gooch to the Duke of Newcastle. On the 20th instant I had the honour of your Grace's letter of the 24th of February, with the copy of the Spanish Ambassador's Memorial, and take this first oppertunity by H.M. Ship Winchelsea, now order'd home from this station, to give your Grace the best information I can of the facts suggested in the memorial. As this Colony is seperated from all the Dominions of the Crown of Spain, by a tract of lands of many hundred miles extent, so we have no manner of commerce with them by sea: if therefore any of the subjects of the Crown of Spain, have at any time come into this country, it hath been either as captives taken by foreign Indians, or by ships of warr or privateers in time of warr; and if on either of these occasions they have been sold here, they must have been slaves before, because our laws forbid the keeping anyone a slave, who was before a freeman in any Christian country whatsoever: and I have known many instances even of negros sett at liberty by our courts of judicature, upon proof of their being so in the country from whence they came. During the warr between his late Majesty and the King of Spain, I am told, a privateer of Jamaica, about the year 1719, brought into Virginia a Spanish prize, wherein were several mulattos and Indians, said to be Spanish slaves, but I cannot learn that above two of them were sold here, the people scrupling to buy any that they were not well assured were slaves before the capture (so the privateer went to New York) and probably one of those two might be the same mentioned in the memorial to have been seen at Hampton by Don Francois Lopez in April, 1733, for to that port the privateer brought his prize: and if any proof can be made that those two Indians were free amongst the Spaniards, the owners of them will be obliged to sett at liberty; but if no such proof can be made, it will be thought reasonable by your Grace that the persons who bought them should be reimbursed, if H.M. shall think fitt to order all slaves taken from the Spaniards during the warr to be restored. But herein, I hope your Grace will pardon me, I am humbly of opinion some distinction ought to be made of Indians taken in warr by other Indians, not under the obedience of either Crown, and purchased from the captors, since the right of the conqueror is freely transferr'd by the purchase: and this case frequently happening amongst the Indian nations bordering on Florida and the Bay of Mexico, it seems agreeable to the law of nature and of nations, that such captives should be considered after they are sold, as if they were still in the captor's possession, from whom they could not be reclaimed without some previous stipulation. About the time mentioned in the memorial Capt. Aubin of H.M. Ship Deal Castle arrived at Hampton; he had been, as I afterwards heard, for I did not see him, by order of the Admiral who commanded in the West Indies, down as low as Campeachy after an English vessel the Spaniards had taken and carried thither; and the treatment he mett with from the Governour was such as forced him, upon making reprisals for his Lieutnt. whom he sent ashore to demand the ship was kept with his crew as prisoners, and he could gett no other answer: meeting afterwards with a Spanish ship from Old Spain, he took her, and not being able to beat up to windward was coming through the Gulph, where he mett a violent storm, lost his prize, and was himself forced in hither, where he stayed two days. On his departure, three Spaniards were found that he left in this country; they came to me and told me their case, that they were passengers on board the ship thus taken, going from Old to New Spain, one a phisitian, another an apothecary and the third a surgeon, they said they were put ashore; but I am inclined to believe that upon leave given them to land and refresh themselves, they concealed themselves till the man of warr sailed, for I can't suppose the Captain would have turned them adrift without acquainting me with it; however, my Lord, I took great care of them, I ordered them to be subsisted at the public charge during their stay here, and see it done; and when they desired to be gone, which was in about six weeks, I gave them money in their pockets, my passport and recommendation, and from So. Carolina I received from them a letter of thanks for my civilities to them. Some others of that nation found on board a ship trading hither, that was betaken and brought in here had the like treatment and were sent home by the way of Jamaica, tho they had taken several of our vessels in sight of our Capes, and in time of peace, they pretending that they thought warr had been declared. Th is, my lord Duke, is all I know, or have been informed of any Spaniards or their ships being in this Colony. I am now to give your Grace an account of a very melancholly accident which hath lately happened in a ship bound hither, the Haswel of London, Christopher Brooks master, belonging to Messrs. Haswel & Brooks merchants there: this ship in her passage touched at Madeira; about two or three days after her departure the crew mutinied and murder'd the Master and both his mates in a most barbarous manner; the boatswain who was the ringleader took on him the command of the ship, and sailed to the Island of Mariacallanta; where a gentleman, who was passenger in the ship, and luckily understanding French was employed by them as their interpreter, found means to discover their villany by slipping a paper into the hands of the Governour, who immediately seized the men and ship, and sent her with her crew to Martinico, where they were tryed, the boatswain and another man to be broke on the wheel, three others were sentenced to be hanged, which was executed as they justly deserved, the rest were cleared. But what I apprehend my Lord to be an injury to the owners and freighters is, that the ship and cargoe consisting of upwards of an hundred pipes of Madeira wine are also condemned and sold at a very inconsiderable rate, and one third of the price adjudged for salvage, and the rest only allowed to the owners, provided they claim it within a year. Had the Governour of Martinico sent notice to Barbados, which he might have done in 24 hours time, the ship and cargoe might have been preserved entire for the benefit of those interested therein; and the owners would have had the advantage of the freight of tobacco from hence (for their correspondent at Barbados would have sent the ship hither) which of itself would have been of more value to them than the price they are like to receive for the ship, and seems to be more consonant to that friendship subsisting between the two Crowns; especially, as this might have been done with little trouble and expence, considering the small distance between the French and British Islands. But this I submit to your Grace, how farr it is agreeable to the Treatys of Commerce between the two nations, with this remark, that had such a misfortune befallen a French vessel, and the like discovery been made in Virginia, or any other of H.M. Dominions, the whole would have been secured for the persons claiming the property, until H.M. pleasure was known. Signed, William Gooch. Holograph. 3½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1337. ff. 175–176 v.]
May 26.
Bermuda.
579. Lt. Governor Pitt to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I received the favour of your Lordships' letter dated the twenty third of October last, relating to the publick accounts of these Islands which shall take due care to observe. I did my selfe the honour some time past to acquaint your Lordships that there was three vacances in the Council and thought proper to recommend to your Lordships the following gentlemen as men of integrity and substance, John Darrell, Richard Hunt and Samuel Spofferth Esqrs. I now do my selfe the honour to inclose to your Lordships the Treasurer's Accounts etc., November, 1732–1734, with the Acts and votes of Assembly, which are entituled as follows An Act to prevent vexatious suits, and for limitting the time of returning executions issued on judgments obtained at the Court of Common Pleas etc., an Act for the renewing the Act etc. to prevent any person or persons whatsoever in these Islands from making or keeping any nett or netts etc; An Act for raising a sum of money for payment of the publick debts of these Islands. Also an answer to your Lordships' Queries. I am with great respect, etc. Signed, John Pitt. Endorsed, Recd. 24th, Read 31st July, 1735. 1p. Enclosed,
579. i. Capt. Pitt's Answers to Queries from the Council of Trade etc. (1) The chief trade of these Islands consists in shipping by which the inhabitants industriously supply the British Northern Collonies with salt and from these Colonies carry all sorts of provisions lumber etc., to the British and Dutch Islands in America. There belongs to this Island about sixty sail of vessells, the largest one hundred tons the least about twenty tons. These vessells yearly employ about two hundred white men and 150 negroes slaves as sailors and on the success of their navigation chiefly depends the support of H.M. subjects in these Islands. Seldom diminish the number of shipping for on sale or misfortune of losing any of them it's supplyed by building new ones; they build near sixteen sloops communibusannis, and so the number of sailors are much the same. (2) These Islands have imported one year with another from Great Britain about £10,000, sterling consisting chiefly of linnens of all sorts from baghollands down to oznabrigs, woolens of all sorts, broadcloaths, kerseys, duroys, druggets, sagathys, salloons, half thicks, blankets, rugs, coverlids, Norwich stuffs, callimancoes, stockins for men and women, and hatts. Also sundry East India goods as calhcoes of severall sorts, silks of sundry kinds, pepper, spices etc., all sorts of brassery ware and iron ware, considerable quantities for building houses and their vessells as well as habberdashery of sundry sorts with cordage and sail duck, these goods are chiefly imported from London, Bristol or Liverpool. (3) The chief trade to forreign plantations are when our sloops to the northward meet with a freight to Curacoa or St. Eustatia or when they load Indian corn from the Northern Colonies and carry there sometimes directly from this with onions, ducks and live cattle, in return whereof they bring sugars, rum, molasses, cocoa and cask, the produce of forreign Colonies, whereon a large duty being laid by the late Act of Parliament greatly prevents the importation. There is no trade from this to any part of Europe but to Great Britain except to Madeira for wine. (4) The Collector of H.M. Customs here has a searcher whose duty is to inspect and search every vessell coming to these Islands and the Acts of Trade are on all occasions strictly put in force, so that all possible care is taken to prevent frauds or collusive trade. (5) The natural produce are cedar trees, palmetto trees and some quarries of which they build and slate their houses, it's of such a soft quality that they saw it and hew it with axes, looks like congealed sand, observed the longer it stands the more hard it is, of the cedar trees they build their sloops which are esteemed the best in America for sailing and duration, of the palmetto tree leaf they lately manufactured a platting for womens hatts which proved of great use to the poor, of this commodity they some years agoe shipp'd so much to Great Britain that has produced from eight to ten thousand pounds sterlg. but the price is so much fallen of late that it's esteemed not worth the labour of making, whereby the poorer sort of inhabitants are reduced to great extremity. We may add to the improved produce onions, cabages, lemons, oranges and potatoes often sent to the other Colonies, some Indian corn for the use of the inhabitants, live cattle, plenty of ducks, turkeys and severall other sorts of poultry carryed to the Islands and sometimes produces good profit, but the whole produce is not sufficient to maintain the inhabitants; for their breadkind they depend on Virginia Maryland Philidelphia and New York from whence they bring Indian corn, bread and flower. Add thereto the whale fishery of great benefit so well as plenty of other fish for the inhabitants' supply. (6) Mines, None. (7) The produce in shipping, platt, cabage, onions, live cattle, poultry and whale oil for sale was lately computed at £10,000 this money, or £7,500, sterling p. annum, but the platt trade intirely failing the annual produce is greatly reduced. (8) About 5,000 whites and 4,000 blacks. (9) The inhabitants of late have rather decreased by moving their familys to South and North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland but not to any great number. (10) Militia, about six hundred besides officers. (11) The King's Castle 29 guns mounted. Paget's Fort 14 ditto. Smiths Fort 7 ditto. Pembrooke Fort 8 ditto. Southampton Fort 6 dos. Tuckers and Sandys Forts 6 dos. These are all placed on the sea coast with regular platforms except the King's Castle wherein are severall battlements well contrived and elevated one above the other and so fortified naturally that on occasion would serve for a safe retreat, besides which there is on the Island of St. George's where the town is, severall out batteries with two or three pieces of cannon in each situate near the Bays to hinder any invasion by boats and a battery of nine guns in the town of St. George open to the harbor chiefly used in Salutes and publick days, as p. the order of the Governor etc. All these fortifications have lately had a thorough repair at the great charge and expence of the inhabitants but in great want of powder and all other ammunition, having no supply since his late Majesty King William of Blessed memory, heartily desire your application for a supply; the Forts are of no use in case of warr without powder and the inhabitants have been much oppressed in taxes in the repairing so they are not able to supply powder. They are at an annual expence of a guard at the Castle and Paget's Fort from whence they make proper signals when any vessells appear from Sea; in time of war care has been always taken of giving proper alarms in case of any suspected invasion. (12) These are small islands dropt in the sea distant from North Carolina (which is the nighest land) 170leagues. (13)Effect of French Settlements; None in time of peace but in case of warr we may be in danger if the fortifications be not regularly supplyed. (14) The Revenue consists of the duties following. A tax on all liquors imported amounting one year with another to £600 this money. Tonnage or powder money £45 p. ann. Rents of publick lands £120 p. ann. all which are appropriated for defraying the contingent charges of Government and keeping in repair the publick buildings. (15) The number of acres of land in each tribe or parish are details given: Total 11,542 acres. They are all cultivated and improved to the best advantage; no quit rents ever paid for any of the sd. lands. (16) The chief and ordinary expence of the Government is the sallary of the Governor, repair of his house and other conveniencys, repairs of Sessions house, prison and the bridges, the Councellours' attendance on publick business, the Secretary and Clerk of the Council, the entertainment of the Judges of Assize, Attorney General, Clerk of Assembly, Provost Marshall, the guards to Castle and Forts, flags and pendants to the same, the Minister's sallary, Storekeeper's sallary, Captains in each fort for their care in keeping them in good order, gunners' sallarys, with the Governor's firewood and cellarage amounts annually near £800 this currency. (17) The establishment civil consists of twelve councilours appointed by H.M. who together with the Governor holds Councils once a month and Chancery Courts as occasion requires; a General Assembly consisting of thirty six members etc. A Committee of Council and Assembly audites and passes all publick accounts of Government. There is next, the Court of Assize, Common pleas, King's bench, Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol delivery consisting of one Chief Judge and two assisting Judges who hold the said Courts once every six months, from whose sentence appeals to Governor and Council as Court of Chancery are admitted and allowed, and from them appeals home to H.M. in Council. 2dly a Chief Barron and two assistant Barrons of Exchequer, a Judge and Assistant Judge of Admiralty, from whose sentence no appeal but directly to Great Britain. Justices of Peace to each parish or tribe who regularly hold the Quarter Sessions and proceed conformable to the statutes of Great Britain, a Coroner chose and elected by the voice and vote of the inhabitants. The Secretary and Provost Marshall holds by Patent from the Crown, both offices invested in one person. Collector of H.M. Customs by order of the Lords of the Treasury appointed by warrant from the Commissrs. of Customs in London. A Naval office which has hitherto been annexed to the Governor, and the person appointed is approved by the Commissioners as above, a Treasurer or Treasurers of the different taxes appointed by Govr., Council and Assembly, as also Collector of Powder money and rent of publick lands. Military establishments, H.M. Independent Company consisting of forty nine private men, the command whereof has hitherto been annexed to the Government and at the expence of H.M. A regiment of the Militia for fort service consisting of nine companys circa 600 private men, one Colo., one Lieut. Colo., one Major, nine Captains, nine Lieuts. and nine ensigns. As also a troop of horse consisting of 80 private troopers, a Colo, Lieut Colo, Major, Capt., Lieut and two brigadeers. Besides there is a Capt. and Lieut, to each Castle and Fort. Signed, John Pitt. Endorsed, Recd. 24th July, 1735.7⅓ pp.
579. ii. Treasurer's Account of Revenue from Liquor tax, Bermuda, Nov. 1732–1734. Total, £915 2s. 11d. Expenditure, £919 3s. 2 ½d. Audited by Committee of Council, Nov. 6, 1734. Sworn to by, Nathaniel Bullafield, Collector of the Liquor tax. Copy, certified by Richard Tucker, Depty. Sec. Endorsed as preceding. 11 pp. [C.O. 37, 12, ff. 171, 172–175 v., 176 v., 177 v., 178 v.–183 v., 184 v.]
May 29.
Whitehall.
580. Duke of Newcastle to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following. Copies of such papers therein mentioned as are in their Office are to be laid before the House next session. Signed, Holies Newcastle. Endorsed, Recd. 3rd, Read 10th June, 1735. ¾ p. Enclosed,
580. i. Address of the House of Commons, 19th May, 1735, that H.M. will be graciously pleased to give directions to the proper officer or officers to prepare copies, in order to be laid before this House next session, of the representations, memorials or petitions made to His late or present Majesty, or to his principal Secretaries of State, Commissioners of the Admiralty or for Trade and Plantations etc. since 25th March, 1725, which have not already been laid before this House, relating to any losses sustained by H.M. subjects by depredations committed by the Spaniards in Europe or America; together with copies or extracts of any letters from any of the British Governors in America, consuls in Europe, or any Commanders in Chief or Captains of H.M. ships of war, to the same; and also copies of extracts of all letters written and instructions given by the Secretaries of State, or Commissioners of the Admiralty etc. to any of the Governours of the British Plantations or any Commanders in Chief or Captains of H.M. ships of war, which have not already been laid before this House, relating to the said losses etc. Copy.1 ½ pp. [C.O. 323, 10. ff. 23, 24, 24 v., 26 v.]
May 29.581. Duke of Newcastle to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following. Copies of the several papers etc. desired are to be laid before the House next session etc. Signed, Holies Newcastle. Endorsed, Recd. 3rd, Read 10th June, 1735. 1 p. Enclosed,
581. i. Address of the House of Commons, May 9, 1735, that an account may be prepared, in order to be laid before this House the next Session of Parliament, of the amount of the money which has been raised in the Islands of Jamaica and Barbados, and in the Leeward Islands, by any duties or impositions on the importation or exportation of negroes, wines, or any other goods or merchandize, or by any other taxes payable by, or collected upon, the inhabitants of the said Islands, for ten years last past, distinguishing each year and each Island.
581. ii. Address of the House of Commons, 12th May, 1735, that copies be laid before the House the next Session of Parliament of the several Representations of the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations to his late or present Majesty and of the letters written or other representations made by them to the principal Secretaries of State, since the twenty fifth day of March 1715, relating to the State and condition of any of the British Colonies in America, or in relation to their trade and commerce, and of the danger the said Colonies have been or are apprehended to be in from the growing power of the French in America. Also an account of what Laws were in force in any of H.M. Colonics in America on the 25th day of March 1731, and what Laws have been since passed in any of them, by which any duties or impositions are laid on the trade or shipping of this Kingdom, distinguishing the Colonies, and of what steps have been taken, and the proceedings which have been had by the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations for H.M. disapprobation of any of the said laws, and of which of them, distinguishing for what terms of years such laws were passed, and which of them have had H.M. disapprobation; and also of what steps have been taken or orders and directions given, since the said twenty fifth day of March, to any, and which of the Governors of the said Colonies and Plantations, relating to any laws which have had H.M. disapprobation, and to the giving their assent to any law laying any duties or impositions on the trade and shipping of this Kingdom for the future. Also an account of what duties or impositions are now payable by any Act or Acts of Assembly in any of the British Colonies and Plantations in America on the importation and exportation of negroes, wines, or other kind of liquors, or on any goods, wares or merchandise and shipping, distinguishing each duty or imposition, and each Colony and Plantation. 3 ½ pp. [C.O. 323, 10. ff. 17, 18–20, 22 v.; and (enclosures only) 5, 5. ff. 126, 126 v., 128.]

Footnotes

1 See Introduction.
2 See Introduction.
3 See Introduction.