During the period covered by this volume, returns
came to hand from the several Plantations in reply to
the series of queries addressed to them by the Board of
Trade in 1708. These replies furnish valuable information as to the numbers and increase of inhabitants; kinds
of produce and manufactures; fisheries and shipbuilding; ships and illegal trade; movements of ships and
the volume and channels of trade between one Colony
and another. Returns are given, too, of Patent Offices,
and of the number of negro slaves imported and required
by the several Plantations.
The Expedition against Canada and Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.
The most important incident with which the documents
included in this volume are concerned, is the abortive
preparation for a campaign in America. It aimed at the
reduction of Canada, Nova Scotia, and, possibly, of Newfoundland. Marlborough was determined to pursue the
plan of William III. and to carry on the war in Flanders.
But, since 1707, it had been a plank in the policy of the
Tories to change the seat of war to Spain and to call
attention to the feebleness of Naval action in the West
We now find, in the summer of 1708, the Whig Ministers, Boyle and Sunderland, taking up Capt. Vetch's
proposal for driving the French out of Canada (60,
The idea of an expedition against Quebec had, of
course, long been in the air. Proposals to that end had
repeatedly been made from the Colonies, as we have seen
in previous volumes of this Calendar. The demand
came with greatest insistence from New England. For
New Hampshire and the Massachusetts Bay were the
greatest sufferers on the Continent from the neighbourhood of the French and their Indian allies (19, 60, 533 i.,
Rewards for Scalps.
Great indignation, too, had been aroused by the action
of the French in paying a reward of £5 to their Indians
for the head of every English subject brought in by
them, "which the savages cannot challenge without
shewing the scalps."
Governor Dudley explains that he had himself set a
price of £100 upon the heads of rebel Indians, who after
forty years allegiance, had broken out and murdered
several families of settlers at the beginning of this war,—"a very far different case from . . . . their treatment of
Christians." He threatened reprisals, and his action
was confirmed at home. But neither his expostulations
nor threats of reprisal had any effect upon the French
Governors (19, 30, 533 i., p. 238).
New York also suffered, but was, on the whole, less
affected by the neighbourhood of the French (60). For
the agreement made by Lord Cornbury with the Governor of Canada for keeping the Five Nations and
French Indians neutral, threw the burden of defence
upon New England. The Council and Assembly of
the Massachusetts Bay again sent a protest against this
agreement (533 i.)
The Agent of New Hampshire complains, that it had
cost the lives of a thousand settlers and the devastation
of their plantations, besides the expense of £100,000 (19,
p. 328). Meanwhile benefit accrued to the "handlers"
at Albany, who traded with the French (617).
Demand for the Expedition from the Colonies.
But the New Englanders beheld the fertile Eastern
Country abandoned, and their fur trade lost, whilst the
privateers from Port Royal ruined their fishery on the
coast and paralysed their seaborne trade with the sugar
Islands (p. 49). Again and again, in a phrase calculated
to appeal to Ministers at home, Port Royal is described
as a regular den of privateers,—an American Dunkirk
(533 i., etc.) Another reason for reducing Nova Scotia
was urged. Coal mines of great value were known to
be there. Fireing in New England was growing scarce
and dear, "soe dear ytt. will be forced to burn coales"
(260, 663). The time for an offensive against the French
seemed ripe. They were scattered and not numerous.
Their numbers indeed were estimated at less than 5000
(217). But an attack by them upon Maine was dreaded,
and this might best be countered by the English taking
the offensive (60). The Five Nations were ready for
the war-path, and, if allowed, would soon extirpate or
reclaim the Eastern Indians (533 i.).
Col. Vetch's Proposal.
It was in these circumstances that Col. Vetch came
forward with an elaborate report upon the French in
Canada and a proposal for an Expedition against them.
His Memorial, entitled Canada Survey'd, was presented
to Ministers in July 1708 (60, 71). In the absence of
Lord Sunderland abroad, it was taken in hand by Mr.
Secretary Boyle. Vetch was requested to stay in England, in order to expound his proposals more fully (71,
85, 89). Canada Survey'd, with its explanatory supplement, is a remarkable document (60, 196). Not only
does it review the whole case for expelling the French
from America, and summarize the strength and condition
of their forces and defences, but it also outlines the plan
of campaign which was presently adopted.
The dependence of the West Indian Islands upon the
produce of the Continent is pointed out (p. 47). As to
the cost of the Expedition it is suggested that the saving
that would result from the mere cessation of the damages
inflicted by the French and their Indians, and of the
necessity for continual defence, would pay for the outlay
in six months (p. 42). The plan of campaign proposed
was a combined naval and military movement directed
simultaneously against Quebec and Montreal (p. 50).
In Dec., upon Sunderland's return, the Council of Trade
reported favourably upon the scheme, so far as it lay
within their province (221 i.). Three months later a
decision had been taken, and Col. Vetch's Instructions
were signed (March 1st, 1709. No. 387).
He was ordered to sail immediately for New York.
Upon his arrival he was to communicate the plan of the
Expedition to the Governors concerned in it. New York,
New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania were to furnish contingents amounting in all to 1500 men. These
were to be provided with arms and ammunition from
H.M. magazines at New York, and to be disposed into
four battalions, with which the four regular companies at
New York were to be incorporated. Officers were detached from England to train and command them.
These troops were to be ready to march from Albany, in
conjunction with the Five Nations and River Indians,
by the middle of May. A depot of provisions was to
be organised at Wood Creek. Meantime, the Governors of New England and Rhode Island were to raise
1200 men, and to prepare transports, pilots and supplies.
They were to be ready to embark by the middle of May,
and to await the arrival of the Fleet from England,
which would bring them arms and ammunition.
Such other preparations as might be deemed necessary were to be undertaken if unanimously agreed upon
by Col. Vetch, the Governors concerned, and Col.
Nicholson, who had offered himself as a volunteer on the
Expedition. Volunteers in the Plantations were to be
encouraged (387, 388). In order to stimulate the enthusiasm of the Colonists, they were to be assured that
the Governments which contributed towards the reduction of Canada, should have a preference with regard
both to the soil and the trade of that country, when reduced (p. 232). Instructions in detail and to the same
effect were sent to the several Governors after Vetch
had sailed (475–478). It is stated therein that "H.M.
is now fitting out her Commander in cheif of the said
expedition with a squadron of ships, and five regiments
of the regular troops, who are to be at Boston by the
middle of May." That was on April 28th (p. 284).
The Commander in Chief referred to was General Whetham (492). Sealed Orders were prepared for him.
They were only to be opened if, upon his arrival at Boston, it was decided at a Council of war that the Expedition against Canada was impracticable. In that case,
he was to attempt the reduction of Newfoundland (497,
498). In America, expectation ran high.
At the end of June Col. Francis Nicholson and Col.
Vetch reported that nothing could prevent the success
of the campaign except the too late arrival of the Fleet.
They had reached Boston on April 28th. There, as in
Rhode Island and Connecticut, the project was received
with enthusiasm, and preparations were at once begun in
accordance with the plan of campaign (604). Three
regiments, raised in the Massachusetts Bay, were uniformed, armed and drilled so effectively that Col. Vetch
considered them equal to most regiments in the service
(666). From Boston, Vetch and Nicholson proceeded to
Rhode Island and Connecticut, and thence to New York.
The view that "New York was the only Colony which
threw itself into the attempt with hearty enthusiasm"
(Doyle, The Middle Colonies. p. 345) is not borne out by
the reports now published (602–605, 617). The several
Governors and the Council and Assembly of New York
appointed Nicholson Commander in Chief, with Col.
Schuyler as second in command (p. 403). On May 26th
a force marched out to Wood Creek and began to construct a depot and to build boats and canoes there (666).
On leaving New York, Vetch and Nicholson visited New
Jersey. There the Assembly, being composed largely
of Quakers, refused to contribute their quota of men.
They also at first refused, but afterwards passed, acts
for £3000, for the present service and expedition against
Canada, and for the encouragement of volunteers. These
Acts were only passed with great difficulty, all the
Quakers in the House of Representatives voting against
them (617). Pennsylvania refused to contribute either
men or money (580).
The possibility of the refusal of Quotas had not been
unforeseen (497). It was, however, hoped to make up
the deficit by raising more Indians. But the opportunity
was taken to urge the exclusion of all Quakers from
Government (p. 405. No. 605).
Non-arrival of the Fleet.
At the beginning of July Nicholson and the acting Lt.
Governor of New York, Col. Ingoldesby, proceeded to
meet the Indians at Albany "whither all the forces are
gon up" (629). A month went by, and still there was
no sign of the Fleet. All hope of a surprise disapeared. For Col. Nicholson waiting impatiently with
his contingent at the Lake side, ready to embark for
Montreal in canoes and specially-constructed flat-bottomed boats, had a skirmish with the French and Indians
At last, on Oct. 11th, a man of war arrived bringing
letters dated 27th July, which announced that the expedition had been abandoned. The high hopes of the
Colonists were dashed. But there was still a chance
that all their trouble and the heavy expense of their
preparations—estimated at £100,000 apart from the cost
of dislocated trade and a three months' embargo on shipping—might not have been wholly in vain.
Attack on Port Royal proposed.
For the Commanders of the Expeditionary forces were
instructed to consider whether, with the resources at their
disposal, an attack upon Nova Scotia and Port Royal
might not still be feasible (794). A Council of War
was therefore held, attended by Cols. Nicholson, Vetch
and Moody—who had arrived from Newfoundland—the
Governors and some of the Members of Council and
Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut, Rhode
Island and New Hampshire.
and abandoned.; The Navy in the West Indies.
After considering Col. Moody's report upon Newfoundland, it was unanimously decided to defer any
attempt against the French there, or for the recovery of
the Bahama Islands, until the spring, but to proceed
forthwith against Port Royal. The Government of New
York and the Jerseys, however, would take no part in
the project. And the Navy flatly refused to help. The
Commanders of H.M. ships pleaded orders from the Admiralty, some to sail for Newfoundland, and some for
New Providence (794, 794 i.–xii., 798, 803, 806). As their
aid was vital, there was nothing for it but to abandon
all action, and seek consolation in the hope of a renewed
attempt in the spring. With this end in view, it was
decided to maintain the forts which had been erected at
Wood Creek with so much labour and expense, and to
send home Representatives from each Government and
the Five Nations to urge a renewal of the Expedition.
Col. Nicholson was the first to sail, commissioned to
press the cause and present Addresses to that effect
(794, 794 i.–xii., 797, 798, 803, 806, 922 ii.). In any future
Expedition, it was significantly suggested that the ships
of war should be obliged to obey the orders of the Commanders in Chief of the Expedition, or at least the decisions of a Council of War, of which the Commanders
of ships should be members (798). Vetch in his explanatory supplement had already called attention to the
necessity of a careful adjustment of the commands by
sea and land, "the want of which hath often occasioned
the miscariage of the undertaking" (196). The feeble
administration of the Navy, it will be remembered, was
one of the points of attack by the Opposition at home.
In the West Indies we have seen frequent examples of
the want of fighting spirit. Rear Admiral Wager had
recently repeated the bitter experience of Benbow.
The list of the Spanish galleons and their convoy—fourteen sail of ships, including three men of war, two
sloops and a brigantine—engaged by Wager, is given
(56 ii., 135). The Captains of the two men of war accompanying him left him to fight them almost singlehanded.
The Spaniards trading with the English on the Spanish Main laughed at these two ships of 60 and 50 guns
who dared not attack their Vice Admiral of 64 guns, but
kept at a safe distance ahead or astern of him (p. 38).
Officers Court martialled.
Wager, like Benbow, courtmartialled his cowardly
subordinates and broke them—a very favourable sentence, in Governor Handasyd's opinion (68, 135). For
the rest of the year the Naval Squadron stationed at
Jamaica, and privateers commissioned from thence, were
engaged in watching for the Spanish galleons at Cartagena, Vera Cruz, Porto Rico and the Havana, hoping
to pounce upon them should they venture to put to sea
under French or Spanish convoy, but hoping in vain
(56, 68, 451, 542, 649).
Two Minor Engagements.
Apart from numerous captures of merchantmen and
packets on either side, two minor naval engagements are
mentioned. That of H.M.S. Portland off Porto Bello
ended successfully in the recapture of H.M.S. Coventry
with 400,000 pieces of eight on board (451, 483, 542, 679,
872). Adventure was less fortunate. Giving chase to
Valeur off the Leeward Islands, she caught a tartar.
When she had lost 117 in killed and wounded, and her
officers had been put out of action, the remainder of the
crew surrendered to the Frenchmen (487, 529 iii., iv.)
The Naval Forces were helped by privatcers in their
task of scouring the seas. These were reported to have
done much damage to French traders among the West
Indies and in the South Seas (720, 720 i.). But there
was another side to the picture. Privateers had increased in numbers owing to the encouragement of the
recent Act of Parliament. But for this more profitable
calling sailors were tempted to desert men of war and
merchantmen alike (301, 445, 445 i.).
Shortage of Sailors.; H.M. Ships manned by soldiers.
Desertion and sickness thinned the crews of the
Squadron at Jamaica to such an extent that ships could
not put to sea unless one fifth of their men were supplied
from the Regiment stationed there. Governor Handasyd complains again and again that his men "are
fatigued out of their lives." Their losses in action, too,
were heavy (56, 68, 174, 542, 649).
Question of Pressing.
To meet the deficiency of sailors, outgoing ships were
dispatched with supernumerary crews. But the Admiralty pointed out that the recent Act for the encouragement of trade to America deprived naval officers of the
power of impressing men for H.M. service, even in the
greatest necessity. They therefore instructed the Captains of men of war in the West Indies to leave their
stations the moment their complement was so far reduced, that there remained but men enough to carry them
home. The plight of unguarded Colonies was left out
of account (96, 376). The clause in the Act referred to
was interpreted by Governors of Plantations as applying
to civil magistrates also. The Council of Trade and the
Law Officers of the Crown held otherwise. But in view
of the doubt felt, the whole question was referred for decision to the Secretary of State (68, 96, 248, 376, 621, 621
i., ii., 747, 747 i.–v., 753).
Privateers and Pirates.
There were other objections to privateers. For there
was always a danger lest privateersmen might turn pirates. It was not only that Peace would throw them out
of employment and "leave to the world a brood of
pyrates to infest it" (301, 785, 908). But there was also
a present temptation to capture a fellow countryman and
"sink him without trace" (445, 445 i.).
Governor Handasyd, indeed, reports an ominous increase in pirates off the Spanish coast. Strangely
enough, they represented themselves as being so strongly
pro-ally in their sympathies that they refused to be
tempted by French or Spanish offers. Nothing but an
English pardon would satisfy them (785).
The Pirates at Madagascar.
A curious proposal was made concerning the notorious
nest of pirates at Madagascar. First we have memorials
from the Marquis of Carmarthen urging the suppression
of the pirates there, and a resolution of the House of
Commons to that effect (557 i., 908, 908 i.–vi.). It was
practically impossible to apply force. The application of
former schemes for securing their surrender upon promise of pardon had been mismanaged. It was therefore
now proposed to appoint some responsible persons to negotiate with them as trustees for their lives and property.
This plan was also pressed by Lord Morton and others,
and backed by the "wives and relations of pirates and
buckaneers of Madagascar and elsewhere" who asked
for a general pardon and good guarantees "that their
riches may be secured to them on their return home" (620
Who sups with the devil, should use a long spoon.
Lord Carmarthen gave warning of a rival expedition
under the camouflaged command of the old pirate, Capt.
Breholt. The ostensible purpose of it was to recover
wrecked treasure. In this adventure he had engaged
the support of Lord Fairfax, Lord Rivers and others.
But his real object was to get out to sea and then sail for
Madagascar "upon a Scotch pardon for the pyrats there"
Privateers and Spanish Trade.
Another grievance against the privateers finds frequent expression. Their indiscriminate action off the
Spanish main brought to a standstill that correspondence
with the Spanish West Indies and trade from Jamaica
and elsewhere with the subjects of King Charles III.
upon the coast, which it was the policy of England to
encourage (53, 60, 68, 69, 87, 174 ii., 649).
The Assiento Trade.; Passes for Spanish ships.
The advantages of a proposal by a merchant of New
Spain to settle the Assiento trade in Barbados were
recognised. But it was pointed out that it would be
contrary to the Acts of Navigation to grant his request
for passes for Spanish ships to import bullion thither in
return for cargoes of slaves. For negroes, it had been
decided in 1689, were merchandize within the meaning
of the Act (134, 134 i., 170, 177, 226 i.). Other suggestions for the granting of passes for Spanish vessels to
trade in the West Indies were similarly rejected (305,
372, 406, 449, 463). But a Spanish ship with a pass is
reported at Newfoundland (p. 167).
Export of Grain to Portugal vetoed.
So, too, permission was refused to the Portuguese
to purchase wheat and flour in America for their army.
For though this would have been a means of helping
a member of the Grand Alliance, yet it was feared that
their competition might cause a shortage of supplies for
the Sugar Islands (761, 779).
Naval Stores.; Preservation of Mast-trees.; The Massa-chusetts Bay Charter.
The problems of developing the production of naval
stores in the Colonies, and of preventing the destruction
of forest trees suitable for providing the Navy with
masts, continued to exercise the representatives of the
Crown on both sides of the Atlantic. The Council of
Trade invited suggestions from Lord Lovelace and the
Governors of New York and New England (17, 20 i.,
429, 430). Under pressure from the Surveyor of H.M.
Woods, Governor Dudley persuaded the Assembly of
New Hampshire to pass a law for the preservation of
white pines. But he could not induce the Assembly of
the Massachusetts Bay to follow suit. The bill was
drawn in the very words of their Charter; but "they
would not enact their Charter into a Law" (30, 33, 914 i.
etc.). Sunderland took occasion to remark that, as the
matter was sufficiently provided for in the Charter, it
would have been better not to give the Assembly an opportunity of refusing to enact it by a law (670). The
Council of Trade rejected the claim of the Assembly
that they were not bound by a clause in their Charter,
"for if that Charter do bind, and is as a law to H.M. in
relation to their rights and priviledges, it does also bind
and is as a law to the inhabitants of that Colony" (292).
In these circumstances, the Council of Trade proposed
a new Act of Parliament to supplement the Act for encouraging the importation of Naval Stores from America
(914 i., ii.).
Peace Negotiations.; British Claims.
The victories of Marlborough and the exhaustion of
France compelled the Grand Monarque to open negotiations for Peace in the spring of 1709. The Council of
Trade accordingly received instructions to state the English claims to places which were at that moment in the
hands of the French, or which had been captured by
either side during the war (512). They lost no time in
consulting the Agents of the Colonies and preparing the
British case (516, 517, 519, 520). From all sides came
suggestions and demands. The Hudson's Bay Company
had already prepared and circulated their case for reparations and restorations (500, 522, 523).
Jamaican merchants demanded the removal of the
French altogether from America,—from the Continent
as well as from Martinique and Guadeloupe. But especially the new French settlements on Hispaniola, were
instanced as "a sad and grievous thorne in the side of
Jamaica" (540). The English title to Dominica, Tobago, St. Vincent and Sta. Lucia was stated (539). The
retention of the whole of St. Kitts was insisted upon
(546, 547). The damage suffered by Newfoundland and
the English claim to that island and fishery were tabulated (548). From Carolina it was urged that the
French must be compelled to relinquish their new settlements on the Mississippi. Above all, the demand for
the restoration of Nova Scotia and Port Royal was reiterated (533 i. etc.). These and all other claims and titles
of the British in America and the West Indies were enuntiated in a long and careful report by the Board of Trade
at the beginning of June (554 i.).
Provision for Settlement of German Protestant Refugees.
At the beginning of this period estimates were being
prepared for transporting to New York Protestants from
the Palatinate who had already sought refuge in England
(1). The stream of refugees increased in volume.
They arrived sickly, destitute and infirm, "without stock
or manufacture" to contribute to the wealth of the country (527, 553). Provision was made for their support
by the Treasury until a decision should be reached as to
their future (495, 504, 527, 551, 561, 680). A Committee
was appointed to lodge and relieve them (536–538). Lists
of them are recorded (495 ii., 551, 592). Overcrowding
produced sickness, and the Board of Trade suggested
that a stop should be put to the flow of immigrants until
those who had arrived could be disposed of (553).
Several schemes were put forward for employing
them. Sunderland suggested that they might be settled
in England. Proposals were made to that effect by the
Marquis of Kent (485, 570 ii.). The Societies of Mines
Royal offered to employ them in the silver and copper
mines of Merionethshire and Snowdonia (526, 552 i.,
595). The Lords Proprietors of Carolina made a grant
of lands for a settlement of "poor Palatines" (687, 719).
An offer was made to plant 200 families in Jamaica (657
i.). The Council of Trade, after carefully canvassing
the latter proposal, reported in favour of it (704). As
an alternative, they called attention to the suitability of
the waste lands upon Hudson River. There the immigrants might promote the fur trade and turn to the
production of naval stores, whilst by following the example of the French and intermarrying with the Indians,
they would prove "a barrier between H.M. subjects
and the French" (217, 705). Or the vine-dressers
amongst them might cultivate the wild vines in Virginia and elsewhere, and lay the foundation of a new and
profitable trade (p. 457). Viticulture was, indeed, already being attempted in Pennsylvania, and in Virginia
by Mr. Beverley, "whose vineyards and wine all persons
are talking of in Virginia" (932).
Settlement in New York.
When Col. Hunter was appointed Governor of New
York, he took up the suggestion of settling 3000 Palatines in that Colony with a view to the production of
naval stores. A formal contract was drawn up, binding
them to attend to that work, in order to prevent their
being decoyed into the neighbouring Provincial Governments (881, 882, 885, 891 i., 915–918). Orders were
sent to the President and Council of New York to provide
for them upon their arrival. It was distinctly stated that
"the expence of it will be answered from hence" (842 i.).
Swiss Refugees settled in Virginia.
Provision was also made for the settlement in Virginia
of a colony of Protestant Refugees from Switzerland
(601 i., ii., 639, 652, 697, 724).
The Negro Trade and The Royal African Company.
In response to orders from the House of Commons,
the Council of Trade made two reports upon the state
of the African trade (316, 331, 910, 913). The approaching expiration of the Act of 1697 raised the question of
the renewal of the monopoly of the Royal African Company. The supply of negroes was a matter of the first
importance to all but the Northern Plantations. The
"separate traders", who had paid an ad valorem duty of
10 p.c. to the Company, had kept them well supplied,
when they would otherwise have been short, and by increasing supplies had kept down prices. They therefore regarded with dismay the Company's demand for
an exclusive trade. Grant them that, and, by restricting
supplies, they will raise the price to £50 a head and ruin
the Island. So the planters and merchants of Jamaica
The Company, on the other hand, argued that the
competition of the separate traders in purchasing supplies in Africa was responsible for sending up the prices.
The 10 p.c. received from the separate traders had not
sufficed to meet the charges of maintaining forts etc. to
which they were bound (331). The returns from the
Plantations, in reply to their enquiries of the preceding
year, enabled the Board of Trade to state the numbers
and prices of negroes imported into each Colony by the
Company and the traders, and the numbers required by
each. They showed that the trade to the Plantations
had been so far neglected by the Company, that, but for
the separate traders, the supply of slaves would have
been quite inadequate to maintain the production of
sugar and tobacco (331, 913).
Stores of War.
Whilst requests for supplies of stores of war continued
to be sent home, Governors were strictly directed to
make annual returns of the expenditure of arms and
Communications remained as bad as ever. The need
of packet-boats for the Continent is emphasised (pp.
Patent Offices and Deputies.
The Council of Trade made yet another effort to check
the growing evil of granting patent offices in the Plantations to patentees who stayed at home and executed them
by Deputy. They very pointedly called the attention of
the Secretary of State to the Order in Council of 1699
(15). But the evil went on unchecked (153, 296). Returns of Patent Offices were sent in from the several
Plantations. One of the disadvantages of the system
is indicated by Governor Parke:—"Tis true if they do
not do their duty, I may suspend the Deputies, but then
I disoblige their patrons in Great Britain" etc. (p. 5).
The Tobacco Trade.
The war with France and Spain and troubles in Sweden, Poland and Russia had caused a great depression
in the tobacco trade. The planters of Virginia and
Maryland especially suffered acutely from the low price
of tobacco and the lost markets. They were forced to
abandon the planting of tobacco and turned to the manufacture of linen, woollens, and leather. This, in the eyes
of the English Government, was always forbidden fruit.
To restore the tobacco market the export of that com
modity to France was therefore set free, and consumption in the Navy stimulated (216, 216 i., 249, 295, 296 etc.)
Irish Trade with the French.
There are some indications of a trade carried on between Ireland and the French, Spanish and West Indies
(166, 186, 209, 305, 831 ii., p. 5 etc.).
Potash in America.
Application was made and recommended for a patent
to work potash in America (27, 28, 43).
The Act of Union.
The Act of Union, published and welcomed in the
several Colonies, necessitated the issue of new Seals for
each (16, 40, 815).
The Council of Trade. Salaries owing.
A copy of a Privy Seal for the establishment of the
Commissioners and Officers of the Board of Trade occurs (350). Salaries were still owing for the period
from Michaelmas 1700 to March 1702, and were claimed
from the Commissioners for stating arrears due from
King William. In June 1709, they were also five quarters in arrear (144, 613).
Report to Parliament. Request for decisions.; Order for a Quorum to remain in Town.
The Board took the opportunity of an expected demand for a report upon their work to Parliament to press
Mr. Secretary Sunderland for belated decisions upon
some of their Representations (294). That Minister returned the compliment some months later by instructing
the Secretary to summon absent members back to town.
Important business was being delayed by their absence,
and the Board was ordered to see to it that sufficient
members to form a quorum were always available (759,
Secretary's House: The Old Palace of Whitehall.
The Board proposed that the little white house adjoining to their Office should be assigned to the Secretary
of the Commission. This, it was suggested, would aid
the dispatch of business and be a security for their papers
in case of fire. The details given offer an interesting
sidelight upon the history of the old Royal palace of
Whitehall after the fire of 1698 and its desertion by the
Court for St. James'. They are not referred to in
Canon Shephard's History of the Palace.
§ 2 THE AMERICAN COLONIES.
(For reference to general reports see § 1. p. 1.)
The Massachusetts Bay. Act for preserving woods rejected.
The refusal of the Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay
to pass a bill for the preservation of mast trees and its
relation to their Charter is referred to above (p. xiv.)
The Assembly and Governor Dudley.
In the same session they presented a list of very trivial
grievances to the Governor and Council; they granted
the Governor the miserable sum of £200 for his support;
and, refusing to join with him and the Council in an
Address to the Queen, secretly despatched one of their
own. It was signed by 22 of their Members only (33,
33 i.–iv.). Dudley remarks, "The value of my Office
will make nobody fond of it; but I am not willing to be
by such methods bubled out of an honourable post;
wherein I have served H.M. faithfully with all diligence
and acceptance of the people" (p. 32).
Defence of the frontiers.
From New Hampshire came addresses in his favour,
repudiating the suggestions of some malcontents against
him, and praising both his civil administration, and his
pains for the defence of the frontiers (65 ii.–vi.). He
was, indeed, able to report that, owing to the precautions
he had taken, only one raid from Canada had been made,
and that that had been successfully repelled (pp. 240,
241). In the course of a return to the queries of the
Board of Trade referred to above, he gives a sketch
of the calls upon the time of a Governor of New England (391). But the burden of this defence of the
frontiers lay heavily upon the Colony. Taxes were
seven times higher in Massachusetts than in any other
Colony. Though trade was good, and the population
steadily increasing, the poorer people were tempted to
move across a boundary which was indicated only by
marked trees to colonies, like Connecticut, which were
less affected by the war. Dudley urges that the charge
of the war should be made equal upon all Governments
(p. 235). To ease the situation and to provide means
of paying for English woollen goods, he recommends
the building up of a lumber and ship-building trade.
To make the Country secure against incursions from Port
Royal and Canada, he suggests the planting of a Colony
of Scots in Nova Scotia (391). In the autumn of 1708
the Council and Assembly addressed the Crown to the
same effect. They emphasise the drain the war has
made upon their resources. Massachusetts and New
Hampshire are the frontiers against the French and
Indians, but the Neutrality agreement made by Lord
Cornbury deprives them of the aid of the Mohawks and
other Indians. Further they urge the reduction of Nova
Scotia and Port Royal, which is as another Dunkirk for
privateers preying upon their commerce. They complain
of the barbarity of the French in setting a price upon
the scalps of English subjects (533 i. and see supra p.
The Canada Expedition.
For the rest, the energies of the Governor and the
Colonists were largely absorbed in the preparations for
the Expedition against Canada (v. § 1).
New Hampshire, Report by George Vaughan.
George Vaughan, sent home, despite the protests of
Lt. Governor Usher, as Agent by the Assembly, reported upon the condition and defences of New Hampshire (2, 2 i., ii., 19). The poverty of the country, the
decay of trade and credit, and the aggression of the
French Indians were advanced as reasons for the sending of a garrison, guardship and stores of war from
home, and for the rooting out of "those two nests of
French, Canada and Port Royal, settled on ye backs of
Allen's title; Appeal.; Grant of Stores of War etc.
Protest is made against the French reward for scalps
(§ 1), and Lord Cornbury's Neutrality agreement, which
is held responsible for the murder of 1000 English settlers and the devastation of frontier towns and plantations
(19, 65 ii.). Governor Dudley backed these requests,
praising the people of this "small and poor frontier
Province" as being "very much distinguished from some
others by their loyalty and good obedience, and inferior
to none for their diligence and industry." He urges
the settlement of the Allen controversy (392). An appeal in this case was still depending before the Privy
Council (58, 65 iii., 185). Stores of war were ordered
to be sent and a grant made for finishing Fort William
and Mary. The Governor was directed to exhort the
inhabitants to maintain a sufficient guard for it, and
to take care that the powder duty was regularly paid
in kind (54, 185, 332).
Frontier attack repelled.
In Aug. 1708 Lt. Governor Usher was sent into the
Province upon news of a design by the French and Indians from Canada to attack the frontiers. He found
the people "very secure and remiss," did his best to put
them on the alert, and had the satisfaction of repulsing
the, enemy, but not of being paid his expenses (260,
Act for preserving Woods.
The passing of an Act for preserving H.M. woods
is referred to above, § 1. p. xiv.
New York. A question of Constitutional procedure.
Reference is again made to a point in constitutional
procedure raised by some Members of the Assembly
of New York when it was summoned to meet by a proclamation signed by Lord Cornbury whilst in New Jersey.
They maintained that an Order signed in one Province
could not be of force in another (pp. 14, 15). The
ruling of the Council of Trade on this subject has already been given in the previous volume (Pref. p.
The difficulty he experienced in getting the Assembly
to pass an act for settling the Militia, led Cornbury to
suggest that the Militia of all Governments in America
should be regulated by an Act of Parliament. Till that
was done, he declared, the Militia would never be in a
satisfactory condition (p. 13).
The Bolting Act and its consequences.
In the course of a review of the resources and conditions of the Province, Cornbury attributes the decrease
of trade during the last decade to the Bolting Act, and
the refusal of the Assembly to renew the protective
duty of 10 p.c. The operation of this Act he traces in
a curious passage (pp. 9, 10).
Cornbury on County and City Members.
He proposes its repeal, and calls attention to the opposing interests of County and City Members. "County
Members don't care what becomes of the City provided
they have goods cheap." Since the County members,
who predominated in the Assembly, had laid full half of
the taxation upon the City, he suggests that it would be
fair, and would solve the difficulty of renewing the protective Acts, if the number of the representatives for
the City were raised so as to equal that of all the rest of
the Province (pp. 10, 11).
The Five Nations.; Conference at Albany.
Reference has already been made to the objections
taken to the neutrality agreement concluded by Cornbury with the French in Canada regarding the Five
Nations of Indians. In June, 1708, Cornbury was summoned to Albany to hold a Conference with them (p.
14). Only two Sachems attended, and the visit would
have been fruitless but for the opening up of trade with
some of the Far Nations. Cornbury again represented
the necessity of a present to the Five Nations, without
which he feared we should lose them before the ensuing
year, and again he urged an attack upon Canada (107).
The Assembly had plainly showed their opinion of the
Governor's trustworthiness by refusing to vote any such
present unless they were first provided with a schedule
of prices (107). Cornbury was complaining that he
had been without letters for over a year when, as we
have seen in the previous volume, he was recalled.
Lord Cornbury succeeded by Lord Lovelace.
Meantime, Lord Lovelace, appointed to succeed him,
was receiving his Instructions. Amongst them was one
for re-granting in smaller lots the lands resumed by the
Act for vacating extravagant grants. Reservation was
to be made in the patents of timber suitable for use in
the Navy, and the Governor was directed to procure an
Act for the preservation of the woods (20 i.).
Arrival of Lovelace.
Lovelace arrived in December, after a terrible voyage
lasting over nine weeks in the most bitter weather (252).
He was warmly welcomed, and made a good impression.
Any change from Cornbury must indeed have been
popular with the majority of the settlers. One of the
new Governor's first acts was to restore Byerley, who
had fled from the persecution of Cornbury (405). He
at once found himself obliged to finance the German
Protestant Refugees who had been sent over with him
But he never shook off the effects of a chill contracted
during that winter voyage. He died on the 6th of May,
1709, and two of his sons also succumbed (571, 617, 621).
The Commission of Col. Ingoldesby as Lt. Governor
of New York had been revoked, as is recorded in the previous volume of this Calendar. But he had received
no official intimation of the fact. Upon Lord Lovelace's death, he therefore assumed the administration of
New York and New Jersey (578, 621, 711, 712, 738). He
lost no time in making hay whilst the sun shone.
Act for regulating fees.
The eagerness of the Assembly to establish their control not only of taxation but also of expenditure had not
been lessened by their experience of Lord Cornbury.
They now produced an Act for regulating fees so restrictive in its provisions that it caused lawyers to decline to practice and reduced all officers of state to penury. Ingoldesby passed it because, as he says, the Assembly "seemed to be very fond of it," and he wished
to humour them, seeing that the question of the part the
Province was to play in the Canada Expedition then lay
before them (p. 412). Protests were entered against it,
and the Act repealed, instructions being given to the
new Governor to reconsider the officers' fees, and, with
the Council, to prepare a new bill if need be (768, 769,
879, 901, 903, 924 ii., 929).
Revenue Act. Appropriation clauses.
The Revenue Act having expired, the Assembly, when
they came to renew it, following the example of New
Jersey, insisted upon appropriating what was voted for
the support of the Government. The effect foreshadowed by Ingoldesby was that "those officers that
are now the Queen's will soon become the creatures and
servants of the people." The reason for the Assembly's
insistence is significant: "It's true there has been of
late years some ill management with respect to the
Revenue and the expences of the Government, whereby
a considerable debt has been contracted." Meanwhile
the status of officers was as precarious as their fees were
inadequate (621, 888).
Ingoldesby's Commission revoked.
In spite of his wise words, Ingoldesby appears to
have done his best to follow in the footsteps of Lord
Cornbury. Lady Lovelace's arrival with a tale of his
high-handed treatment of her as the bearer of the late
Governor's papers was followed by a new order revoking his Commission (711, 712, 714).
Robert Hunter appointed Governor.
Robert Hunter, who had been appointed Governor of
Virginia, had been taken prisoner and carried into France
(137, 295). Happily he was now chosen to succeed Lord
Lovelace (721, v. § 1).
By his Instructions (924 i.) Dr. Staats and Robert
Walters were restored to the Council, William Peartree
being removed for employing deserters from H.M.
ships. His conduct and that of the Mayor of New
York, a fellow-sinner, was to be enquired into (924 i.,
Act for ascertaining rates of foreign coins ignored.; Act for regulating coin repealed.
In New York, as in New Jersey and other Plantations,
the Act for ascertaining the rates of foreign coins remained practically a dead letter. It was so far publickly ignored that the Assemblies of New York and New
Jersey would not pass any "bill for money, but to be
paid at the value it was before the said Act" (p. 414).
The Governor, Council and Assembly of New York,
indeed, addressed the Queen on the subject, and declared that the Province would be ruined if the Act were
put in force (157 i.). They therefore passed an Act
of their own fixing coin at the old rates. This Act
was repealed (399). The Council of Trade pointed out
that in passing it Lord Cornbury had acted in direct
contradiction of his Instructions (375). Several other
currency acts were repealed or held over for consideration for reasons given (879, 901).
The sea-going trade of the Province was much harassed by privateers. Confidence was to some extent
restored by the activity of H.M.S. Triton's prize (p. 14).
New Jersey.; Lt. Governor Ingoldesby.; Commission revoked.
The advent of Lord Lovelace was as welcome in New
Jersey as New York. He opened an Assembly there
upon March 3rd, and his Instructions to enquire into their
differences with the Governor and Council were gratefully acknowledged in an Address to the Queen as an
instance of H.M. justice and good will (64, 440). Lewis
Morris had once more been restored to the Council (4,
105). But when Ingoldesby, as Lt. Governor, took up
the administration he promptly suspended him from
the Council again, in accordance with the desires of the
party which had supported Lord Cornbury (578, 819
xiii., 924 i.). Before his Commission was revoked in
October (814), he had, at the expense of Lady Lovelace,
accepted the salary which had been voted to the late
Quota for Canada Expedition.
In return for this salary he gave a free hand to the
anti-Proprietary party in the Assembly. The action of
the Assembly with regard to the Quota for the Canada
Expedition has already been described (§ 1).
Governor Hunter's Instructions.; The new Council.
Hunter, the new Governor, received special instructions to enquire into the "heats and animosities between
the Council and Assembly," and to endeavour to reconcile them. If he was unsuccessful in his attempts, he
was to report upon the whole matter for H.M. further
pleasure therein (921, 924 i.). With this end in view
the composition of his Council was the subject of careful
consideration. In spite of the protests of the London
Proprietors (819, 876), it was decided to retain those
Members against whom complaint was made as "disturbers of the people" and supporters of Lord Cornbury
to the prejudice of the Proprietors, and a Council was
chosen which was intended to hold the balance between
the opposing parties (921).
Act for regulating Slaves.
The Act of 1704 for regulating slaves was repealed on
the grounds that it inflicted inhuman penalties upon
negroes (778, 792).
Accounts of 1704–1706.
A statement of accounts of the Province, 1704–1706,
was submitted by Mr. Fauconnier to Lord Lovelace (847,
Pennsylvania; Penn and the Three Lower Counties.
Penn's Declaration with regard to the title to the
Three Lower Counties is given (12, 12 i.).
Refusal of Quota to Canada Expedition.; The Assembly's claims and W. Penn.
We have seen (§ 1) that the Assembly of Pennsylvania refused on religious grounds, and in spite of the
recommendation of the Lt.-Governor and Council, to
raise money directly or indirectly for the expedition
against Canada, or to take any measures for the defence
of their own coasts (580). The extreme claims of the
Assembly against which Lt. Governor Evans had declaimed (Pref. to previous vol. p. xxxv.), are sketched
by Col. Quary (888). The Secretary of the Province
went home on purpose to urge Penn to resign the Government, for things had "now come to that pass that
in the opinion of all, the Proprietors must of necessity
be forc'd to surrender this Governmt. into the Queen's
Acts repealed.; Order in Council as to submission and re-enactment of Acts.
The Council of Trade reported upon a collection of
Laws passed by Lt. Governor Evans in 1705. Half a
dozen of these were repealed as being unreasonable or
repugnant to the laws of England (717, 790). At the
same time the Board drew attention to the awkward
provision of the Charter by which the Proprietor was
allowed five years in which to lay his Laws before the
Crown, and the Crown only six months to consider and
decide upon laws however many, when at length submitted. They also recommended the passing of an Act
of Allegiance (pp. 460, 461). An Order in Council was
accordingly made by which Mr. Penn was recommended
to endeavour to get such an Act passed, and to submit all Acts for H.M. approbation "as soon as conveniently may be." A general order was added, that in the
case of an Act disallowed upon account of some clause
or clauses, but otherwise desirable, notice should be
given to the Government of the Plantation concerned, so
that the Assembly might re-enact it, if desired (791).
Bounds of Pennsylvania and Maryland.
The long-disputed boundaries of Pennsylvania gave
rise to tension on the borders of Maryland and that Province (p. 252). Lord Baltimore and Mr. Penn were
pressed by the Board of Trade to come to an agreement
on that subject (115, 256).
Lord Baltimore petitioned that the Order of Nov. 7,
1685, might be revoked, alleging that it had been dishonestly obtained by Penn (289, 289 i.–iii.). But upon
a counter-petition from Penn, this application was dismissed (334, 521, 596).
Maryland; The Assembly.; A new Election.
The Assembly of Maryland met on 27th Sept. They
refused to pass a law against the dissemination of false
news, prepared by the Governor and Council and aimed
at the Roman Catholics and Jacobites (290). Ignoring
the business laid before them by Governor Seymour,
they busied themselves about the legality of a Charter
he had granted to Annapolis, and "ran into heats and
divisions." Seymour therefore dissolved them. But
most of the Delegates were returned at the new election
(Nov. 29). The New Assembly were as stubborn as
the old in resisting the claims of the Secretary, Sir T.
Laurence; they contented themselves by addressing the
Crown on that subject and the guage of hogsheads
(290, 410). They revived the Militia Act and the Act
for limiting officers' fees only to the end of the next
Sessions, "being very anxious to render those who are
dependent on the Government as mean as may be."
They would not provide for the itinerant Justices, for
reasons given by Seymour (410). The effects of the
Act for the advancement of natives, referred to in the
previous volume (Pref. p. xli.), are reiterated here (p.
250). To this Act, to the Roman Catholics, and to the
ambition and large jurisdiction of the County Court
Justices, Seymour attributes the difficulties of his Government (p. 250).
Acts for relief of debtors.
Two Acts were passed which were intended to relieve
planters suffering from the effects of the depression in
the tobacco trade. That for the relief of debtors was
denounced as injurious to European merchants as well
as to inhabitants of Maryland, and as calculated to dry
up the fountain of credit, "whereby the trade of that
Province will greatly suffer." It was therefore repealed
(290, 745, 773, 795).
for ascertaining damages on Bills of Exchange; and for erecting ports and towns repealed.
Similarly, an Act for lessening damages on protested
bills of exchange, and the Act for establishing ports and
towns were repealed, as unjust to creditors and merchants (745, 880, 904, 905).
Roman Catholics and the Pretender.
Seymour took a census of the Roman Catholics in the
Province (131 iii.). He observes that they were hoping
for the success of the Pretender, of whose attempt they
had information long before those not in the secret (131).
Death of Governor Seymour.
He died on 30th July, 1709, after a long illness (707).
Col. Quary's Report.
Col. Quary, in a letter dated four months later, attributes the divisions of the Province to the ill-conduct of
the Governor. He gives a summary of events following
upon his death. He describes how he urged the President and Council not to make a Sessions, but to await
the arrival of a new Governor. They, however, struck a
bargain with the Assembly, and proceeded to pass several Acts (888).
Rhode Island; Illegal trade.
Rhode Island gained credit for its readiness to take its
share in the Canada Expedition. But it retained its
bad name as an emporium for illegal trade: "Tis a place
where all roguerys are committed, and great quantitys
of goods from Portugall are landed there, and so convey'd to severall parts" (268).
Acts to be printed.
In the course of a reply to the queries of the Board
of Trade, it is noted that the Acts of the Colony are about
to be printed (230).
Virginia; Col. Hunter a prisoner in France.; Earl of Orkney, Governor.; Drought and Distemper.; A general Fast.
When the new Governor, Col. Robert Hunter, at last
set sail for Virginia, he was captured by a French privateer and carried prisoner to France (Aug. 1707).
Grants out of the Quit-rents were made on account of
his salary and loss of equipment (137, 295). Exchanged
at length for the French Bishop of Quebec, he was appointed Governor of New York upon his return to England (121). The Commission of the Earl of Orkney as
Governor of Virginia was once more renewed (897, 926).
Whilst awaiting the advent of a Lt. Governor, the country continued to be efficiently administered by the President of the Council, Edmund Jenings. In the autumn
of 1709 he was able to report that the country was in
perfect peace and quiet, in spite of a prolonged drought
which had involved a shortage and necessitated an embargo upon the exportation of grain. A general Fast
was appointed in the spring, for intercession on account
of a "dangerous pestilential distemper, which continues
to rage to the great consternation of all" (137, 765, 765
Reversion to old method of granting lands.
Amongst the Instructions prepared for Governor Hunter, was one directing him to revert to the old method
of granting lands (285, 297, 346 i.). This was in accordance with the representation of the Council of Virginia
(765, p. 161).
Act for settling towns and ports repealed.
So far the views of the Colonists were considered. But
the Act for settling towns and ports was repealed, when
the Commissioners of Customs reported that it might
lead to the development of woollen and other manufactures and distract the planters from growing tobacco
(661, 883, 906).
Mr. Robert Beverley's experiments in viticulture upon
the highlands of Virginia were the subject of great interest in the country (932).
Swiss Protestant Refugees.
An allotment of lands was ordered for the settlement
of Swiss Protestant Refugees on Potomac River (601,
652, 697, 724).
Privateers and Guardships.
The trade of Virginia suffered severely from enemy
privateers. Almost every small vessel, inward or out
ward bound, was intercepted. One merchantman was
even chased from his anchors at the mouth of York
River. The shoal waters at the mouths of the rivers
enabled privateer sloops of light draught to operate
within the Capes and in sight, but out of gun-shot, of
H.M. ships of war, which were too bulky to follow them
(pp. 96, 162). In response to urgent appeals, and in
spite of the many pressing calls upon the Navy, the Admiralty ordered a sloop to be bought in New England,
which would be able to defend the shallow seas in combination with a regular guardship (254, 421, 608, 668).
A raid by privateers.
Emboldened by the success which had hitherto attended them in the Virginian Rivers, French privateers
were reported to be preparing a raid in force in the
spring of 1709. Successful dispositions of the Fleet had
driven them from the Channel and English coasts.
They now sought the least well-defended shores of
America. The moment selected was when the men of
war had returned home as convoy of the merchant fleet.
There was great consternation in Virginia. Such measures of defence as were possible in the absence of a naval
force were taken by Col. Jenings.
The Militia and watches were organised on land, and
a brigantine commissioned.
These preparations sufficed to damp the ardour of the
privateers, who turned away to plunder the coast towns
of the neighbours on either side (421, 571).
Pressure was put upon the Tuscoruro Indians, suspected of a murder in the previous year, by the prohibition of trade with them. The Saponies, returning
from a migration to the West, were taken under the
protection of the Dominion and settled upon Maherine
River (p. 97).
Virginia and Carolina: Boundary Commission.
Commissioners were ordered to be appointed, and to
be paid out of H.M. Revenue, for settling the longdisputed boundary question with Carolina (285, 297, 434,
Another serious difference had arisen over the treatment of Virginian Indian traders by that neighbouring Colony. A duty, stated by the one side to be small
and by the other to be prohibitive, was laid by the Government of Carolina upon skins exported from that prov
ince. This was applied to goods in transit to Virginia
in the course of trade with the Southern and Western
Indians. It was from this profitable trade that the
greater part of the revenues of the College of William
and Mary were derived. With those Indians Virginia
had traded "before the name of Carolina was known."
To enforce payment of the duty, some skins belonging
to Virginian traders were seized. It was suggested by
the Virginians that Carolina aimed at engrossing the fur
trade. The Council of Trade reported that it ought
to be left open to Virginia (216, 216 i., ii., 682, 716, 750,
Quakers and Commotions in North Carolina.
"Great commotions" are reported from North Carolina, where, it is said, the Quakers had set the country
in a flame and everybody but themselves in arms (p. 98).
In the course of their replies to the queries of
the Board, the Government of Carolina describe their
relations with the neighbouring Indians, and also the fortifications of Charlestown. They ask to be supplied
with guns and ammunition, "which is all we want to
make Carolina impregnable" (739).
Projected attack by French and Spaniards.
Warning was sent from Bermuda of a projected attack by French and Spaniards from Vera Cruz (411,
411 i., ii.).
Nairne's report.; Indian Slave Trade.
A survey of the relations between Carolina and the
French at Mobile, and of the Indians on either side was
communicated to the Secretary of State by Thomas
Nairne (622). The writer proposed the settlement of a
new Colony near the Mississippi. In a curious passage
he refers to the high prices given to friend Indians by
English traders for Indian slaves, and observes "Some
think it both serves to lessen their numbers before the
French can arm them, and it is a more effectuall way of
civilising and instructing, then all the efforts used by
the French missionaries" (p. 422).
Nairne was a severe critic of the Governor, Sir Nathaniel Johnson. His administration he regarded as
destructive of the welfare of the Colony. He soon had
to suffer for his opposition. Abuses in this Indian Slave
trade, in which the Governor was suspected of having a
share, led to the passing of an Act intended to rectify
them. By this Act Nairne was appointed as an itinerant magistrate to do justice as between the Indians and
traders. "This was a peice of magistracy exposed me
at once to the hatred of the Governor and traders." He
was clapped into gaol on a trumped up charge, and refused bail (662).
Charges against Governor Johnson.
Johnson is accused of arbitrary management of the
Law, and also of having granted a commission as privateer to a well-known pirate (662, 831 ii.).
Illegal trade with Portugal is reported (257, 268, 284).
Col. Edward Tynte, Governor.
In the mean time Col. Edward Tynte had been appointed Governor. Amongst his instructions was one in
which he was particularly directed to protect the Indians
and to cultivate their friendship (424).
§ 3 THE WEST INDIES.
(See also preceding Sections).
The Bahama Islands were practically derelict. American traders found their passage to the Gulf of Florida
and the Continent generally was menaced by the threatened settlement of Spaniards there. They petitioned
that those Islands might be resumed to the Crown and
New Providence fortified (270 i.). At present, the few
remaining inhabitants were exposed to raids by French
and Spanish privateers, some of whom tortured men and
women alike with the most frightful cruelty in order to
force them to reveal their hidden property (176 i., 270 i.,
448, 472). The Council of Trade once more called the
attention of Ministers to the neglect of the Proprietors
and repeated the arguments for resuming the Islands to
the Crown. In the mean time they urged the dispatch
of a Military Governor with a Royal Commission and a
Company of Foot, to prevent them falling into the hands
of the enemy, and to repair the Fort (340, 344). Orders
were presently sent to the Governors of New England,
New York and Virginia "to use their best endeavours to
recover" the Islands from the enemy, and to use H.M.
ships upon their coast for that purpose (658. v. supra.
Barbados. Crowe's misgovernment.
Ignoring such warnings as the reprimand for his dispensing Mr. Holder from the judgment passed against
him by an Act of the Legislature (88, and cf. Pref. to
previous vol. p. xlvii.), Mitford Crowe continued his
career of arbitrary and corrupt government. In August,
1708 three Members of the Council of Barbados—William
Sharpe, Alexander Walker and the Rev. Samuel Beresford—presented to him in Council a detailed protest
against his irregular procedure in the Courts and his
general misgovernment (126, 126 i.). Crowe waited till
the packet had sailed, and then suspended them (156,
He suspends the Three Councillors.
To charges so serious he made no haste to reply, but
contented himself with dispatching an Address of the
Assembly in his favour—an Address, the three Councillors complain, passed without investigation upon an
imperfect abstract of their representation (96 i., 126, 141
Reply to their charges.; The Three Councillors restored.
Over two months elapsed before he dispatched his
defence (180, 180 ii–viii.). Meantime, the Council of
Trade had censured his delay, and an immediate answer,
with depositions on either side, had been ordered (210,
224 i., 248, 267). But whilst the hearing of the case
brought against the Governor was thus delayed, his suspension of the Three Councillors was promptly revoked.
Their procedure had been correct and their language
careful. It would be an evil precedent if, merely for
making a complaint, Councillors were to be suspended,
"for thereby the Governor will be left without any sort
of cheque in the administration of Government" (352 i.,
Crowe and The Assembly
In their Address (96 i., 141 iii.), the Assembly had
enumerated certain grievances arising out of the maladministration of Sir B. Granville, upon whom they
threw the blame for the difficulties still felt from the issue
of the paper money. Crowe was ordered to attend to
these grievances (248). But the faction in the Assembly which had at first intended to oppose him, had by this
time resolved to make use of him as their tool. His assumption of the dispensing power had given them a
hold over him (126 i., 156). Contrary to the Instructions which forbade Governors to accept any presents,
Crowe had already received several votes of money "£500
for furnishing his cellars," and so forth (248, 583 xi., 895).
A New Paper Act.
A new method was now devised for evading this Instruction (156). The Three Councillors had protested
against the introduction of a new Paper Act, which, as
they alleged, was about to be proposed, to the utter
ruin of the country (p. 85). The Assembly had denied
that any such thing was contemplated (p. 99). Yet almost immediately afterwards a bill for a new issue of
paper money was brought in. The Three Councillors
pointed out that this was simply a device intended to enrich the Governor, Treasurer and others in the secret at
the expence of the taxpayer and the credit of the country (156). The inhabitants of Bridgetown protested
against the bill.
But it was passed none the less; and the protestants
were rewarded by being taxed four times more heavily
than ever before (583 xiii.). The Assembly then expired, but in order to secure their re-election, the Representatives took care not to vote the sums needed for
carrying on the Government of the Country (396).
Delay in restoring the Councillors.
The new Assembly met in May, 1709, and passed an
Address protesting against the Order for restoring the
Three Councillors (502, 513 iv.). Crowe delayed obeying the Order. There were several causes, in which
he was himself concerned, which awaited determination
in Council. There were votes for presents to himself,
and for carrying on the campaign against the Three,
which had to be passed before they were admitted.
An address in their favour, presented by Col. Christopher Codrington, was therefore received with an outburst
of "scurrilous Billingsgate language" (p. 229), and
Crowe wrote to the Council of Trade that he dared not
re-admit them, for fear of a riot (513). But he lost no
time in turning out 15 Justices of the Peace, without the
consent of the Council and contrary to an Act passed by
himself. They were those to whom the Three Councillors might have been expected to apply for the taking
of depositions in support of their complaints against him
Crowe reprimanded.; Bribery and Corruption.
He was twice sternly called to order and bidden to
obey the Queen's commands (618, 677). He was involved in many lawsuits in connection with his wife's
property, and was accused of sitting as Judge in his own
cases, and of arbitrary and corrupt interference with the
process of the law when prompted by bribes offered to
himself or his wife (583 xiv. ff).
The Judge to whom Crowe had referred his own case
was removed (651, 664, 681). In spite of the rebuke
of the Council of Trade, he exacted from the Naval
Officer yet another payment on account of his office, and
was said to have permitted a sloop to sail which was
under seizure for illegal trade (583 ii.).
Finally he was recalled, to answer these complaints
before the Queen in Council (694, 696, 764), as well as a
serious double charge of indecent assault and abuse of
his powers as Governor preferred against him by John
Sober (653, 700, 723).
Presents of citron-water.
There are several references to the dispatch of dozens
of citron water as presents to England (124, 248, p. 100.
cf. 183, 487).
Act for appointing Agents repealed.
The Act for appointing Agents was repealed (861).
The reasons are given in a careful report by the Council
of Trade (837), together with a history of the claim of the
Assembly to the right of nominating agents to solicite
their affairs in England, exclusive of the Governor and
Council. If that claim were admitted, they contend, it
would create "jealousies and divisions in the several
parts of the Legislature," whilst the Governor and Council would be led to appoint distinct agencies of their own—a system which would result in inevitable confusion.
The Governor had done wrong in passing such an Act
Complaints were made of encroachments upon the
rights and perquisites of patent offices by several new
laws (326). Directions were given for the repeal of the
Acts complained of, and the Governor was instructed to
protect the place-holders (568, 582). The Assembly replied, claiming an ancient right and privilege, and declaring that the appointment of all Marshals by the
Provost Marshal General led to extortion and abuse
The Secretary dismissed, and restored.
Another holder of a patent office, Alexander Skene,
the Secretary, was convicted of bribery and extortion
and dismissed from his post (29, 97). But he promptly
petitioned for, and was granted a rehearing of his case
(140). Some extenuating circumstances were now admitted, and he was restored, on the assumption that he
had been punished enough and had learned his lesson
Lists of Baptisms, Burials and Causes.
Long lists of baptisms, burials and causes in the
Courts are indicated (96 ii., iii.).
Dominica, St. Vincent, Sta. Lucia and Tobago.
Dominica was included in the Government of Barbados. From that island came an Indian chieftain to
visit the Governor. The English title to the Island, as
well as to St. Vincent, Sta. Lucia, and Tobago, was
stated. The allegiance of those islands, Crowe declared,
was firm; but they are described as nests of cannibals
and runaway negroes, whose cruelties were encouraged
by the French (396, 539, 554 i., 709).
Bermuda; Changed economical condition.
Bermuda had an uneventful year. But a petition for
the removal of the restriction of loading and unloading
vessels to St. George's, points to the changed economical circumstances of the Island. The virginal richness
of the soil having been exhausted, tobacco could no
longer be grown, and the industry of the place turned to
the production and export of salt, cabbages and onions
(231, 231 iv.).
The case of the Secretary.
The feud between the Governor and the Secretary,
Edward Jones, continued. A petition for the removal of
the latter was referred for consideration (231, 231 iii.,
643 etc.). The Governor complained that his correspondence was intercepted and tampered with (389).
An epidemic at Jamaica.
Jamaica suffered much from an epidemic, the symptoms of which are described (227, 649, 912).
Councillors not to be Factors of the African Company.
In accordance with the Act for settling the trade to
Africa, directions were sent for the removal of such
Councillors as refused to resign their agencies for the
African Company (444, 453, 466, 912 etc.).
The Governor and Escheats, etc.; Suspends Totterdale.; The Assembly.
Governor Handasyd received a reprimand for his
management of lands escheated to the Crown, in the
form of an Additional Instruction (67 i.). He complains of several other checks from home. But after he
had suspended the firebrand Totterdale who was playing the popular part of opposing the authority of the
Crown, he was able to announce that he was now on
better terms with the Assembly than at any previous
time during his Government (451, p. 102). They voted
some arrears and revenue, and renewed the Quartering
Handasyd applies to be relieved.
For himself, and for his regiment, he again repeatedly
applied to be relieved. According to the promise held
out by Royal Proclamation, the relief of the Regiment
was already four years overdue. It had suffered severely from sickness and fatigue, as well as from losses
in action. For the lack of sailors in the Naval Squadron
compelled the ships of war as we have said above, to rely
upon soldiers for a third part of their complement (227,
339, 451, 542, 912).
Rumours of attack by the French.; Defence.
There were several reports that an attack by the
French was imminent (171, 227). With the Regiment
thus depleted and three out of the five men of war left
by Admiral Wager, when he sailed, practically useless for
want of crews, the Island was in a somewhat parlous
state of defence (720). Handasyd saw to the repair of
the fortifications, and began a new line for guns at Port
Trade with the Spaniards.
Attempts to trade with the Spaniards on the coast were
persevered in, but without much success. The Spaniards said they had no money with which to buy British
manufactures (542 etc.), and the action of the Jamaican
privateers, referred to above, who did not distinguish
between French and Spanish ships, did much to check
commercial intercourse (100). The Council of Trade
urged the Governor to see that the clause in the Act for
the encouragement of trade to America, whereby provision was made for trading with the Spaniards, was
enforced. Further legislation was contemplated with
that object in view (100, 111, 474).
A rich convoy.
Trade and privateering together brought riches to
Jamaica. We read of a convoy sailing with £200,000
sterling in bullion on board (142).
Act for quieting possessions repealed.
The Act for further quieting of possessions was repealed, with an intimation that if an amended Act were
passed it would receive the Royal assent (834, 858).
Leeward Islands. A General Assembly contemplated.
Writing from the Leeward Islands at the beginning
of this period Governor Parke explains that he cannot
call a General Assembly of the Four Islands until he has
a man of war at his disposal (5). But in Nov. 1709, in
order to avoid the impasse with Antigua and the claim
of the Assembly of that Island to the negative voice, he
announces his intention of summoning a General Assembly to make laws for the whole Government (873).
Leeward Island. Governor Parke and the Assembly of Antigua.
Whilst in Barbados the Governor sided with the Assembly against the Council, in Antigua the Assembly
entered upon a quarrel with the Governor and Council.
According to Parke, Col. Codrington is the villain of the
piece. Stimulated by him and his party, the Assembly
brought in a bill of privileges, by which they claimed to
act as a Court of Judicature, and to fine and imprison
anybody who reflected upon their House. They also denied the Crown the right of the negative voice. This they
claimed for their Speaker. They offered to give the
Governor a handsome present and his house rent if he
would pass the laws they desired, and sacrifice the
Queen's Prerogative. Otherwise, he would receive nothing. "None of these Governments give something
for nothing" he observes, and urges that, to secure their
independence, Governors should be paid a fixed and
sufficient salary by the Crown and receive nothing from
the inhabitants (5, 117, 117 i.). As for the Assembly,
he offered them all the privileges of the House of Commons, "but they are for the privileges of the Lords, and
the Queen's Prerogative too" (487).
Codrington's Party.; Their intrigues and bribery.; Complaints against Parke.
Parke suggests some of the motives which actuated
Codrington and his party, and explains the dilemma in
which it was intended to place him (116, 117). They
were determined, he says, to get him removed from the
Government; and so much, indeed, is evident. His
chief offence, he says, in their eyes was that he upheld
the Royal Prerogative and put down illegal trade (pp.
105, 106, 137). Also, as a champion of the smallholders
against the large landowners, he has brought a wasps'
nest about his ears (182). Certainly, the charges
brought against him show extreme vindictiveness and
are frequently frivolous and ill-founded.
First series of Charges against Parke; He is cleared and commended.
Upon the first batch of complaints against Parke, the
Council of Trade accepted his explanations and the
Addresses of the Lt. Governors and Councils of Antigua
and St. Kitts in his favour. They found not only that
he had completely cleared himself, but also that he deserved commendation for his zeal for H.M. service and
his great care for the good and security of the Islands
under his Government (91, 116, 116 i.–ii., 193, 194 ii.,
Second and Third Series.; Nature of the charges.
A few weeks later, March, 1709, a whole series of complaints against him were secretly brought home by Mr.
Nivine (443 i.–iii., 459 i., 465 i., 484). They taxed him
with tyrannous and corrupt maladministration. The
charges were got together in a clandestine manner by
Codrington's party, and signatures obtained to them in
the most reprehensible fashion. Both the Governor
and Council were kept in ignorance of their nature (116
i., ii., pp. 76, 104)
For Parke's reply in detail, and that of the Council
on his behalf, we must turn to Nos. 532, 589 i., 597 i.
He asked leave to return home and answer the charges in
person (488, 597). Some of them, even after they had
been combed and edited by Codrington, would appear
to have been frivolous or malicious misrepresentations.
But they bear witness to the heated feelings of the people
(532). Parke says that the principle of his opponents
was to throw enough dirt in the hope that some would
stick, but that they did not really rely upon their articles. In Antigua a riot was organised in the hopes of
making his position intolerable (Nos. 183, 487, p. 107).
Presents sent Home.
For home consumption, £5000 was subscribed "to
bribe me out" (pp. 105, 106), besides "a vast quantity of
citron water." In fact, Col. Codrington had bought
up all the citron water in Barbados, and Parke himself
had difficulty in obtaining any when, in his turn, he
wished to make a present to Mr. Secretary Boyle! (183,
This money and these presents were subscribed by
people like Codrington, Hodges, the Lieutenant Governor of Montserrat, Chester and others, who had good
reasons for getting rid of him. Codrington, whose patron
was Lord Peterborough, whilst Parke's was Marlborough (852), wanted the Government for himself; he
objected to Parke's enquiries into his title to Barbuda;
and feared his making him refund monies due for prizes
taken under his administration (116).
Everybody who was implicated in illegal trade with
Guadeloupe and Curacao was ready to pay heavily to
get rid of a Governor who took pains to prevent it. By
such trade "old Codrington got all his estate" (pp. 105,
106); Hodges and Chester were deeply concerned in it;
whilst Col. Johnson, the late Lt. Governor of Antigua,
had openly suffered it. As for stopping it, that was not
easy for a Governor left without privateers and often
without a man of war (192, 193, 487).
It is to be observed that one of the charges against
Parke himself is that he traded with the French and with
Curacao by means of flags of truce. His own account
of those transactions is not convincing (p. 77).
He sent home addresses which he claimed proved
that three out of the four Islands esteemed him a good
Governor, and was able to assert that in all his public
transactions he had had the support of the Councils
Complaints from St. Kitt's.
Complaints, however, against his exactions and unbridled behaviour came also from St. Kitts (625, 626).
Replies called for.
Upon the whole matter, replies and evidence by both
sides were ordered (630).
H.M. Regiment in the Leeward Islands.
One of Parke's enemies was the Colonel of the Regiment stationed in the Leeward Islands. Parke complained of his absenteeism, and that of the officers, and of
the neglect of the soldiers' clothing and pay. The Council of Trade represented the necessity of their return to
duty. The Islanders, though very anxious for their
protection, refused to pay for their quartering (5, 191,
Attempt to assassinate Parke.; Act for establishing Courts repealed.
Nivine's complaints were to be heard on Sept. 26th,
1709 (730). But before that date arrived, an attempt
was made to assassinate Parke in Antigua. Disappointment caused by the delay through Nivine being
carried prisoner into France had already led to an attempt to shoot the Governor in the previous year. Disappointment on hearing that Parke was to have liberty
to answer the charges brought against him, led now to
another attempt. A runaway negro was put up to shoot
him from behind a hedge at night. His horse, starting at the flash of the gun, saved his life. The bullet
pierced his arm. The negro and the principal conspirators were spirited off the Island (741, 852). Whatever Parke's faults of conduct and temper may have
been—and his correspondence reveals him as arrogant,
hot-headed, high-handed and unrestrained in speech—several incidents show that he had to deal with a violent
and unruly population. In view of the crime which
was shortly to occur, it has to be remembered that Lt.
Governor Johnson also was murdered, and his murderer
went unhanged. The Provost Marshal was forced to
fight several duels before he could perform his duty
unmolested. The Chief Justice himself is described as
no lawyer, but one who had murdered an unarmed man
and been pardoned by Codrington. "There never was
any inhabitant that ever I heard of brought in guilty
of murther"; says Parke, "There was a merchant once
they did bring in guilty, the reason they gave, he had
sold his goods too dear" (150, 182, pp. 310, 311, 387). The
unwillingness of the inhabitants to convict any of their
fellow-planters for crime or debt was, in fact, according
to Parke, one of the chief causes of the trouble between
him and them. An instance of this was the murder by
Chester of one Sawyer, who met with the fate of Mr.
Bardell. Chester was acquitted by a packed jury.
Parke's interference on this occasion was made the
grounds of one of the articles exhibited against him
(p. 310). Another grievance, he declares, was his holding of Courts. The Islanders' idea of justice was that
nobody outside of the Island must be allowed to recover
a debt (p. 107). Their law for establishing Courts was
skilfully adapted to this end. Parke's vigorous criticism of this Act was endorsed by the Attorney General,
and the Act was repealed (25, 84, 99, 182, 250, 264, 269, p.
Elections of Representatives; Antigua.
The rejection of the bill for ascertaining the elections
of Representatives was approved by the Council of
Trade; but in reference to the case of an Assemblyman
whom Governor Parke had refused to swear on the
ground that he was not a freeholder, the Board observed that the Assembly was the proper judge of the
qualifications of its own members, and that, where
there was no law to direct in any particular case, it would
be safest for him "to follow the antient custom of the
Minutes of Council and Assembly.
The blame for delay in sending home the Minutes
of Council, Parke throws upon the shoulders of the
Secretaries of the several Islands (pp. 3, 5, 311, 368).
One of these was the Deputy of Sir Charles Hedges.
Parke has some pertinent observations on the inconvenience of Patent Offices (v. supra). As for the Minutes
of the Assembly of Antigua, not only were they very
irregularly kept, but the Assembly refused to allow
copies to be supplied to the Governor (487).
Nevis; attempts at a Moratorium.
In Nevis, the planters finding themselves in desperate
straits after the raid and hurricane, endeavoured to adopt
desperate remedies. They brought in a bill for establishing a moratorium and shutting up the Courts of
Law for three years. Governor Parke refused to pass
it, and was commended by the Council of Trade for so
doing (187, 188, 209).
The grant in aid of Nevis and St. Kitts.
To relieve the distress of the sufferers from the raid
and hurricane at Nevis and St. Kitts a grant of provisions and building materials was despatched from
home. Strict directions were given for securing an
equal distribution of this bounty, and reference made to
the suspicion that there had been embezzlement of some
of the former grant of provisions (127, 130).
Retention of French Part of St. Kitts urged.; The Hostages from Nevis.
In view of the Peace Negotiations, the importance of
retaining that part of St. Kitts which had been captured
from the French was strongly urged. Attention was
also called to the unhappy fate of the hostages taken
from St. Kitts by Iberville (534, 546, 547, 554 i.).
St. Eustatia captured by French.
In Nov. 1709, news came of the capture of St. Eustatia by some French privateers, when an attack upon
the Leeward Islands seemed probable (865, 873).
Newfoundland: Custom House Office appointed.
A Custom House Officer for Newfoundland was appointed in Aug. 1708, in the hopes of preventing illegal
trade when a Court of Admiralty should be established
Complaints against Major Lloyd.
Some complaints were lodged against Major Lloyd.
He was charged with hiring soldiers out to work and
robbing them of their pay, and of treating the inhabitants like slaves. The Commodore, however, upon enquiry found that these complaints were not justified (158,
158 i.–xx., 223, 911 ix.).
Major Lloyd on the security of St. Johns.
After the departure of the fishing fleet and convoy,
Major Lloyd reported, Nov. 1708, that about 700 inhabitants were going to pass the winter under the protection of the forts in St. Johns. He had strengthened
the forces under his command by enlisting some soldiers
on the spot. Placentia was reported to be weak, and
weakly garrisoned. So good was the position, that no
danger from the French was to be apprehended. "If
the enemy hurt us this year, I'le allow ye fault to be
laid to my charge" (152, 158, 195, 195 ii., 859 iv., 890 ii.,
Capture of St. Johns.; Lloyd's responsibility.
Five weeks later St. Johns was surprised and captured
by a force of 160 Frenchmen from Placentia under the
command of M. St. Ovide de Brouillan (Dec. 21st,
1708). Lloyd was carried as prisoner of war to Placentia
(345). The first account of the affair reached Whitehall at the beginning of February (348). It definitely
suggested treachery on the part of Major Lloyd. Detailed accounts arrived later (890 ii.–ix., 911 ix.). They
establish the negligence of Lloyd, if not his cowardice
and treason. In a cryptic letter he suggests treachery
elsewhere (890 ix.).
Attacks upon Ferryland and the Isle of Boys repulsed.
Attacks upon Ferryland and the Isle of Boys were successfully resisted by the inhabitants (859 i., 890 ii.).
Defences of St. Johns demolished.
The French demolished the Castle and Old Fort at
St. Johns, and removed the guns. The inhabitants were
held to ransom by Brouillan, and hostages taken to
Placentia. Their treatment is described (859 i., 890 ii.–iv.).
Reports upon the Fishery.; Old Fort rebuilt.
Commodore Mitchell made his report upon the Fishery in 1708 (223 i.–xv.). Owing to the capture of St.
Johns, no full report was to be expected in 1709 (567).
But Commodore Taylor sent in a report which shows
that the number of quintals of fish made fell from
135, 934 to 90, 364 (859 ii., 223 iv., 890 iii.). He persuaded
the inhabitants of St. Johns, Quidi Vidi and Petty Harbour to rebuild their winter houses in the Old Fort, which
he reconstructed with the aid of sailors from H.M.S.
Litchfield and Rye and the fishing ships, mounting eight
guns upon it (859 i., 922). This was done in response
to a petition from the Fishing Admirals (890 vii.). He
also left a store of provisions against the winter.
John Collins appointed Governor by the Commodore.
Before leaving, Commodore Taylor commissioned
John Collins to act as Governor in his absence, and other
officers to act as Governors in the several harbours. They
were all first chosen by the inhabitants themselves (756,
859 i., 911 xv.).
Expedition to reduce Newfoundland.; Col. Moody's report.
The reduction of Newfoundland was part of the plan
laid for the Expedition which came to naught, and is
referred to supra § 1. Col. Moody, who had been sent
out to St. Johns with stores of arms and provisions,
put the case of Newfoundland before the Council of
War at Rehoboth (602–4, 794 i., 922 i., ii.). He reported
that he had settled about 900 men with their families
upon the islands about St. Johns, and prevailed with
them to abide there for the winter. But they expressed
their intention of abandoning the country unless a strong
fort and garrison were established to protect them and
their trade (922).
The British claim.
The British claim to Newfoundland is given at length