America and West Indies
August 1708, 1-13

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor)

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1922

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56-64

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'America and West Indies: August 1708, 1-13', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 24: 1708-1709 (1922), pp. 56-64. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=73785 Date accessed: 22 August 2014.


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August 1708, 1-13

Aug. 2.
Jamaica.
68. Governor Handasyd to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I am now favoured with your Lordships' of Aprill 15, the duplicate of which I received by the last packett. I gave a short account in my last of the misbehaviour of the two Captains of the men of war that were with Mr. Wager when he engaged the Galleons, since which they have been brought to a triall and are broke, which in my opinion is a very favourable sentence; but what the evidences made out against them I am a stranger to, any otherwise than by common vogue. I am informed that Monsr. Du Cass sailed from the Havanna July 4 or 5, with the fflota and merchant ships richly laden, under convoy of 9 men of war, which are but indifferently man'd, consisting in all of 50 sail; I hope our British ffleet will meet with them before they get to their designed port. The Vice-Admirall of Galleons, and the Spanish merchant ships are still at Carthagene, and, 'tis said, will not sail this year. Some trading sloops came from the Spanish coast 5 or 6 days ago; and there are now going out to Porto Bell 10 or 12 sloops under convoy of 2 men of warr, with the manufactures of great Britain, and the prize goods lately brought in here. Our men of war, which I gave your Lops. an account of in my last, were sent to Porto Rico, in hopes to intercept some Spanish and French ships that were arrived there from France and Old spain, are returned without meeting with them, they being gone before so far to Leeward, that they were out of their reach. I am very uneasy to think of the misfortunes that will attend our men of war here, if there is not care taken to send supplys of men, since the last Act of Parliament has deprived them of all other means of having any here. They want now 300 men, and every day men are dying, besides other accidents that happen, as desertion. All the help I am able to give them is to spare them men out of H.M. Regiment under my command, which I shall constantly do as long as I have a man, since it is still for the good of H.M. service, and I hope your Lops. will approve of it.
P.S. This should have been sent by the Dunkirk's prize but she did not sail, as was expected. Signed, Tho. Handasyd. Endorsed, Recd. 18th, Read 19th April, 1709. Holograph. 2 pp. [C.O. 137, 8. No. 37; and 138, 12. pp. 391–393].
Aug. 2.
London.
69. Mr. Dummer to Mr. Popple. Gives sailings of the Antego packet-boat, 120 days out and home. Account of Commodore Wager's engagement, May 28. It began a litle before sunsett. An hour after, the Spanish Admirall, El Conde de Cassa, Allegra, Commander blew up, and but 10 or 12 men saved; the Rear Admirall was taken by the Commodore, being a ship of 54 brass gunns, very richly laden. Sunday, May 30th, ye Vice-Admirall was chased among the rocks of Cartagena. June 5th one of the capitall galleons was put on shoar on the litle brow on the coast, and was fired by the Spanyards. There are very great complaints against privateering on the coast, which will infallibly destroy all our correspondence with the Spanish West Indies. Signed, E. Dummer. Endorsed, Recd. Read Aug. 3, 1708. 1 p. [C.O. 323, 6. No. 68].
Aug 3.
New York.
70. Mr. Heathcote to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers to his proposals concerning Naval Stores. What in the first place I aimed at was, to have diverted the Americans from goeing on with their linen and wollen manufactorys, and to have turned their thoughts on such things as might be benefitial to Great Brittan, they are allready so far advanced in their manufactorys that ¾ of ye linen and wollen the[y] use, is made amongst em, espetially the courser sort, and if some speedy effectuall ways are not found to putt a stop to it, they will carry it on a great deal further, etc. I could have furnished the Crown with all the light friggatts that would have been wanted for this coast and the West Indies, and that without putting the Crown to a new penny charge, etc. etc. Set out, New York Docs. V. pp. 63, 64. Signed, Caleb Heathcote Endorsed, Recd. 6th., Read 17th Dec., 1708. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1049. No. 98; and 5, 1121. pp. 356, 357].
Aug. 4.
Whitehall.
71. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Boyle. Capt. Vetch, who has lived many years at New York, and at Boston in New England, and is well acquainted with the settlements and strength of the French on the Northern Continent of America, having delivered in to the Earl of Sunderland. as also to us, a proposal for destroying the French settlements in those parts, which, when done, will be of great benefit to this Kingdom, both in relation to its trade and the security of our Plantations on the Continent, as is fully set forth in the said proposal, we have the same now under consideration, in order to a report to H.M. But the said Vetch having acquainted us that he intends to take the opportunity of the Lord Lovelace's going to New York, to return to his family there, unless it be thought necessary that he stay longer in this Kingdom, in order to his better explaining his meaning in the several parts of his proposal, and to his answering any questions or objections that may arise thereupon, we have directed him, in the absence of my Lord Sunderland, to attend you with a copy of his said proposal; and are of opinion that, if the same be approved, it will be necessary the said Vetch do stay here for the purposes aforesaid, and therefore we desire you will receive H.M. pleasure as to his going to New York, etc. Autograph Signatures. 2 pp. Enclosed,
71. i. Copy of Capt. Vetch's Proposal for driving the French out of Canada. (Cf. July 27.) 15½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1084. Nos. 37, 37.i.; and (without enclosure) 324, 9. pp. 249, 250.]
Aug. 4.
Bermuda.
72. Lt. Governor Bennett to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Acknowledges letter of March 25, received Aug. 1. I also on July 29 had your Lordps.' of April 30, (being duplicate, the originall not yet come to hand), inclosed by Mr. Jones to his Attorney Mr. Daffey, whom I have told I shall be always ready upon refusall, to advise Mr. Jones his tenants to pay him their rent, and to performe everything required of me by your Lordps.' letter. In it is mentioned that the late Lords Commissioners wrote to me Aug. 30, 1705, incerting that it was reasonable Mr. Jones his deputys here should enjoy one moiety of the fees and perquisites of his places, dureing his absence. Which letter I never recd., perhaps it was inclosed to Capt. Jones to deliver me (he being att that time here) and his reason for not soe doeing might be to carry on the designe of makeing me accomptable for the whole, ffor I have been often told, since he went for England he has said (before his departure) I was £500 in his debt, and doubted not to make me pay it. I hope my packet of Feb. 10, as also the duplicate thereof, etc. are arrived. If soe, I doubt not but your Lordps are convinced both as to my innocency and injurys, and that justice will be done me with reparation for the latter. Col. White and Capt. Tucker sailed from hence in the sloop Lyon, Captain Edgley Commander, on June 29, being bound for Bristol. Mr. Castleman, in return to my constant civility to him whilst here, has wrote a most base and reflecting letter, dated in April last, to one Doctor Starr, which he has shown to severall, and amongst the rest to Col. Trimingham, of H.M. Council: the contents of which are (leaving out the scurility), that he intended to exhibite articles against me for detaining his ship, which was the occasion of her being lost, he narrowly escapeing with his life, (and to confirm his mean and ungenerous designes and proceedings) he desires the Doctor and Capt. Nelson to send to him what complaints they have against me, that he may annex them to his, and that what letters they write to be soe worded as proper to lay before the Board. My Lords, I did not stop him nor his ship one moment, nor acted any thing that he seemed to take amiss, and the day he sail'd, he came by six in the morning to take his leave, and returned me thanks for my great civilities to him, which again (after being cast away) he acknowledged by his letter dated from Philadelphia, May 17, 1705, a copy of which my brother has, and will be produced when your Lordps. pleases to desire it. What I pray of your Lordps. is, that if Mr. Castleman or any one else should exhibite complaints or articles against me, I may have a copy of them, and if I can't justify myself, I shall willingly submitt to my fate. Signed, Ben. Bennett. Endorsed, Recd. 14th, Read 17th Dec., 1708. Holograph. 3 pp. [C.O. 37, 8. No. 75; and 38, 6. pp. 438–441.]
Aug. 4.
Bermuda.
73. Same to same. The duplicate of your Lordps. of April 15 (the original not yet come to hand) concerning the trade to Africa, I recd. on Aug. 2, and the 3rd being Council day, I had that speedy opportunity of qualifying myself to answer what is required therein:
(1) No negroes, either on the Royal African Company's acct. or separate traders, have been imported into these Islands directly from Africa since June 24, 1698 to Dec. 25, 1707.
(2) About 36 years agoe, a small ship (her name nor Capt's. remembred), went from hence to Callebar on the coast of Guiny, and brought back 125 negroes, near half of whom were disposed off here (but att what prices I cannot learn); the rest were reshipt for Carolina and Virginia. Also abt. 25 years since, another ship went from hence to Callebar, comanded by one Capt. Stone (her name not remembred) and brought back abt. 90 slaves: But most of them was carry'd to North Carolina, Virginia, and places on the Continent, and there disposed off, but att what rates can't be inform'd. And the way this plantation has been supplyed with negroes hath been from Barbados.
(3) Not one vessell is employed to goe from this place to the coast of Africa, either on the Company's acct. or separate trade. I shall carefully observe your Lordps.' commands in transmitting half-yearly accts. of negroes, by whom imported, and att what rates sold, if any vessells arrive here from the coast of Guiny: And as for not haveing given an account according to my Instructions of the number of negroes these Islands are yearly supplyed with, I answer; that since my arrivall, I have not heard of any negroes being imported to be sold; this Country for several years haveing been (by their great increase) over stockt, which has occasioned many of them to be sent to the Southerne plantations, and Northern parts of America, and there disposed of. Signed, Ben. Bennett. Endorsed as preceding. Holograph. 3 pp. [C.O. 37, 8. No. 76; and 38, 6. pp. 441–443.]
Aug. 4.
Bermuda.
74. Lt. Governor Bennett to Mr. Popple. Refers to Castleman etc. as in No. 72. Signed and endorsed as preceding. Holograph. 2 pp. [C.O. 37, 8. No. 77; and 38, 6. p. 444.]
Aug. 4.
Bermuda.
75. Lt. Governor Bennett to Mr. Popple. Refers to former letters. I have now none to answer. etc. Signed and endorsed as preceding. Holograph. 1 p. [C.O. 37, 8. No. 78; and 38, 6. p. 445.]
Aug 4
Whitehall.
76. Mr. Secretary Boyle to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following for their report to H.M. Signed, H. Boyle. Endorsed, Recd. 4th, Read 9th Aug., 1708. 1 p. Enclosed,
76. i. Extract of letter from Col. Jones, Antigua, March 9, 1707/8. q.v. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 7. Nos. 51, 51.i.; and 153, 10. pp. 186, 187.]
Aug. 4.
Whitehall.
77. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governors of Plantations. Circular letter requiring annual accounts of Stores of War to be sent in pursuance of Order of July 25, 1708, upon pain of H.M. highest displeasure. [C.O. 5, 1362. pp. 298–300; and 324, 9. pp. 250–252; and 5, 727. pp. 51–53.]
Aug. 4.
Whitehall.
78. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Boyle. Communicate news contained in Governor Handasyd's letter of June 17. 1½ pp. [C.O. 138, 12. p. 312; and 318, 3. No. 35.]
Aug. 7.
Boston.
79. Governor Dudley to Mr. Popple. Acknowledges receipt of letters of May 7, 1707 etc. With all solemnity the Union was published at Boston, and a few days after at Portsmouth in New Hampshire, and H.M. commands read in Council, etc. It is a very great accident if this letter come safe. Signed, J. Dudley. P.S. Here are two ships runners this comes in one and my letters to their Lordships of the same date are in the other that one may arrive, tho I hope for both. Endorsed, Recd. Oct. 30, Read Nov. 10, 1708. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 865. No. 1; and 5, 913. pp. 24–26.]
Aug. 8.
Windsor.
80. Lord High Admiral to the Queen. Having received very pressing applications from the merchants tradeing to Jamaica, Barbadoes, Leeward Islands, Virginia and Portugal, that a squadron of H.M. ships may be sent into the Soundings for security of their trade from the squadron gone to sea under Monsieur Du Gue, and ten or eleven ships having been appointed to convoy the Queen of Portugal to Lisbon, I humbly propose that the remainder of the 26 ships under the command of Sir George Byng be forthwith ordered into the Soundings, for the security of the Trades coming home, in regard their convoys are very weak, and that the merchant ships expected from Jamaica have no convoy at all. Signed, George. 1½ pp. [S.P. Naval, 7. under date.]
[Aug. 10.]81. Col. Lloyd to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Since I had the honour to wait on your Lordships last, I recd. a letter from Brigadier Genll. Handasyde, who tells me he has put a stop to the intended escheat of my Negroes, but advises me to take such methods as may prevent any accidents in case of alteration of Governmt. I, and those whose Estate I possesse, have been 37 years in quiet possession, nor doe I yet know any defect in my title; but because there are sometimes extraordinary proceedings in those remote countrys, I humbly desire that your Lordships will represent the matter to H.M., soe as there may be an order to the Governors to doe what my Agents in that country shall desire ad corroborandum titulum as was donne in Mr. Whitchurch his case. Signed, Richd. Lloyd. Endorsed, Recd. Read Aug. 10, 1708. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 8. No. 15; and 138, 12. p. 313.]
Aug. 10.
Whitehall.
82. Mr. Secretary Boyle to Governor Lord Lovelace. You are to pass a grant of glebe-land not exceeding 500 acres for the subsistance of Joshua de Kocherthall, etc. Set out, New York Docs. III. 328. Signed, H. Boyle. [C.O. 5, 210. p. 112.]
Aug. 10.
Whitehall.
83. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Board of Ordnance. Enclose copy of account of Stores of War at Barbadoes. Cf. May 18, 1708. [C.O. 29, 11. p. 287.]
Aug. 11.
Whitehall.
84. Mr. Popple to Mr. Solicitor General. The Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations having occasion to consult you upon two Acts past in the Leeward Islands, they have commanded me to send you the state of the case as follows, vizt.:—The 8th Feb. 170¾, an Act was past by the Generall Assembly of Antego, for establishing Courts, etc. The 22nd June, 1705, an Act was past by a General Assembly of all the Leeward Islands at Nevis, whereby the aforesaid Act is enacted to be in force throughout all the said Islands. Dec. 12th, 1705 the forementioned Act past at Antego was repealed by the Queen: that past by the General Assembly of all the Islands at Nevis not being then transmitted over for H.M. pleasure. Upon which they desire your opinion, whether the Queen's repeal of the Antego Act does not supercede and make void the Act past at Nevis; and whether the said Nevis Act does not remain in force till there be a particular and express repeal thereof by the Queen. [C.O. 153, 10. pp. 188, 189.]
Aug. 11.
Whitehall.
85. Mr. Secretary Boyle to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to Aug. 4. H.M. is not duly informed whether Capt. Vetch's proposal be of such use as to deserve incouragement. You are to report your opinion, in order to H.M. declaring her further pleasure, etc. Signed, H. Boyle. Endorsed, Recd. 11th, Read 13th Aug. 1708. 1 p. [C.O. 323, 6. No. 69; and 324, 9. p. 253.]
Aug 11.
Whitehall.
86. Mr. Popple to Mr. Burchett. Encloses copies of affidavits relating to Capt. Fane, to be laid before H.R.H., the Lord High Admiral. See May 18, 1708. [C.O. 29, 11. p. 288.]
Aug. 13.
Whitehall.
87. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Handasyd. Acknowledge letters of May 19 and June 17. The information we had in relation to the privateers who had committed irregularities on the Spanish coast was not from Commodore Kerr, and besides you might have perceived by what we writ July 31, 1707, that it was not a report lightly taken up, for we told you that we had it from very good hands. We are not a little surprized at what you write about transmitting the Minutes of the Assembly according to H.M. Instructions, all H.M former Governors of Jamaica, as well as those of the other Plantations, constantly doing it. But seeing you find such difficulty in complying with that part of H.M. commands, we think it needfull that you inform yourself of the grounds and reasons why a thing, designed only for the good and benefit of the Island, should meet with any obstruction or opposition, and if you find that no reason is offer'd against it, and that it appears only to be humour and obstinacy, you are to return to us the names of such obstinate opposers, and in the meantime you are to take notice and to acquaint whomever it may concern, that H.M. does require and expect that her orders in this particular shall be punctualy complyed with. As for prizes you will see by ye Act for the encouragement of the trade to America, that that matter is now otherwise regulated; however, it will be necessary that when any prizes are taken, either by H.M. ships of war or by the Jamaica privateers, that you give us as particular an account thereof as may be for H.M. information. And upon this occasion we cannot but rejoice with you for Commodore Wagger's good success. And we doubt not from the good character we have of him but he will be able to give a good account of the ships that are in the Havana with Mr. du Casse. We are very sorry to perceive the Spanish trade is so dull but if care be taken that the privateers be kept within just bounds, as is provided by the last mentioned Act, we doubt not but that trade will increase and flourish again. We expect the account of the Pattent Officers you promise. As to the copy of the Proclamation which you have sent us, we can by no means approve thereof, for in one place it is said, "and as an encouragement to all such as shall discover any such lands so held upon orders or otherwise without patent as aforesaid, whereof the possessor or proprietor shall neglect our bounty hereby offered; we do hereby promise that we will grant such patents of land so conceal'd to such discoverer" etc., which is contrary to H.M. Instructions, for by the said Instructions you are not to make grants of forfeited lands or escheats, till H.M. pleasure be known therein. As you will perceive by H.M. Order in Councill of May 26. And you will more particularly understand H.M. pleasure in these matters when you shall receive an additional Instruction, now lying before H.M. for her Royall signature, upon the Petition of divers merchants in relation to your proceedings against their lands and negroes. We writ you at large in our forementioned letter of June 25 in relation to the Members of the Councill, being Factors to the African Company, whereto we now refer you. We also acquainted you in our foresaid letter, that H.M. had been pleased to appoint Mr. Peck of the Councill in the room of Col. Sadler deceased, and therefore when Col. Low and Col. Long shall arrive, there will be 11 Counsellors upon ye Island; and we shall take the first opportunity to offer another person to H.M. to make the number of Counsellors compleat. [C.O. 138, 12. pp. 314–317.]
Aug. 13.
Whitehall.
88. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Crowe. Acknowledge letter of May 18. As to what you write touching the repeal of the Act about the Governor's holding General Sessions, and to the new one past and transmitted hither, we shall take the said Acts into consideration at a convenient time, and lay the same before H.M., and so soon as H.M. shall have declared her pleasure thereupon, we shall signify the same to you. Before we sent you our opinion upon your suspension of the Law mentioned in our letter of Jan. 29 last, in relation to Mr. John Holder, we had read and maturely considered that part of the Minutes of Council and Assembly which you sent us touching that matter, and are therefore very much surprized at your saying, that if we had perused the Minutes of Councill at a Court of Grievances, we should have seen that you had no share in suspending the execution against Holder. We admit, that writs of error or appeals from inferior Courts brought before you in Councill, or other matters cognizable in Council, the same being determined by a majority, do become the acts of that Board, for which you are not personally answerable; but for the reasons sent you, June 25, we take Holder's case to be of another nature, and are still of opinion that the suspending of execution upon the judgment passed against him by an Act of the Legislature, is a matter no ways cognizable before you in Councill, or releivable by any other authority than of the Legislature, by which the said Law was first made. We must observe to you, that among the Acts of Assembly last transmitted to us, we find one (relating to the late repealed Paper Act) wherein there is a clause to compel Holder to account for a summe of money, therein mentioned in like manner and under the like penalties and forfeitures as are contained in that former Clause, for his refunding the 5 per cent., while that Law (so lately passed and by a new Assembly) was depending, he had a good opportunity of applying for relief against the hardships complained of in the refunding Clause, but we presume he had no hopes of relief, tho' from a new Assembly, since we do not find from the Minutes of Councill or of Assembly, that any step has been made therein; and by this our observation, you will find that we have perused the papers last sent us. We shall expect the list you promise us of all the Patent Officers, and the value of their places, by the first conveyance, as also the copies of the Publick Accounts, together with those of the Revenue. We shall consider what you write in relation to Counsellors, and give you notice of what shall be done therein. We have layd before H.R.H. the affidavits etc., against Capt. Fane. You ought yourself to have transmitted them to H.R.H. as well as to us. We are glad to hear that H.M.S. Greenwich, in her cruizing, has met with and taken a French prize. You will do well to send us the best account you can of all prizes that shall be taken from time to time. You say that in the new Commission of the Peace, we shall find there are none but men of the best estates. You would have done well to have incerted in the list of their names, to which you referr, their qualifications, for the bare list of them gives us no information. [C.O. 29, 11. pp. 289–293.]