America and West Indies
June 1721, 17-30

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor)

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1933

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346-361

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'America and West Indies: June 1721, 17-30', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 32: 1720-1721 (1933), pp. 346-361. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=74119 Date accessed: 02 October 2014.


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Contents

June 1721, 17-30

June 17.
St. James's.
532. H.M. Warrant for admitting Henry Tucker, John Jennings and Richard Jennings to the Council of Bermuda in the room of Michael Burrows, Benjamin Hinson and John Peasley, decd. Countersigned, Carteret. Copy. [C.O. 324, 34. p. 58.]
June 18.
New York.
533. Governor Burnet to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Acknowledges letter of 28th Dec. Continues: I was very glad to have your Lordships' approbation of my continuing the same Assembly of New York. I have found the good effects of it, of which I have given particular accounts formerly and as they are now sitting I hope I shall find them in the same dispositions, of which I have no doubt. I wish I could say the same thing of the Assembly of New Jersey who have sat about four months to no manner of purpose they began with refusing to sit at all and desired to be desolved for that they were not a legal Assembly I at last perswaded them to meet but to no effect, but to shew that they would not serve either the Government or the country which after four months patience obliged me to desolve them etc. I will send your Lordships, the printed Speeches etc. during that sitting which contain the full History of it (v. Aug. 1st.) and make some proposals concerning them etc. I will make it my business to inform myself as directed by your Lordships concerning the state of the Palatines and that I shall do best when I go up to Albany near to which they are settled and this I propose to do in the fall of the year etc. I have received no commands from your Lordships since Dec. last, the Greyhound man of war being not arrived. P.S.—Tho' I have not yet a perfect account of the methods lately tryed to seduce the Sinnekees into the french interest, I am certainly inform'd that they have agreed to recieve Priests among them from the French which I look upon as a new cause of complaint against them and a breach of Treaty whereby they are required (Treaty of Utrecht Art. 15) not to molest the five Nations this besides their continuing to fortify at Niagara shew how much they take advantage of the unsettled state of the limits between the Crowns. Encloses Naval officer's accounts etc. Signed, W. Burnet. Endorsed, Recd. 1st, Read 2nd Aug. 1721. 3¾ pp. (Duplicate, of which the original never came to hand). [C.O. 5, 1052. ff. 164, 165–166v., 169v. (with abstract)].
June 18.
New York.
534. Governor Burnet to Lord Townshend. I reckon it a great happiness to depend so much on your Lordship, from whom I have received great favours so many years ago and by whose encouragement, I first turn'd my thoughts from the Church to publick business. I shall never forget the pleasure I had at the Hague, in being admitted so often to wait on your Lordship and with so much freedom. It has given me great uneasiness that I had not always the same opportunitys in England etc. etc. Asks for his assistance in obtaining H.M. approbation in Council of Act of New York, "by which a duty is raised of 2 p.c. on European goods imported here in order to fortify the frontier, which is very naked, and would be of no security in case of a rupture with the french. They are indeed here and all over the Continent undermining us all they can by instigating their Indians to spoil our out-plantations and lately by sending priests among our Indians of the five Nations to draw them from us etc.: they are too at this time fortifying at Niagara, which has been long ago deemed to belong to our Indians and included in their submission of their whole country to the Crown of Great Britain. While the limits are unsettled the French loose no time to make all possible encroachments, and I hope your Lordship approves my earnestness to prevent them, for which end I did upon my first arrival obtain the Act I have recommended to be confirmed etc. Signed, W. Burnet. A duplicate, sent on 28th June. 2½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1092. No. 18.]
June 19.
Anapolis Royall.
535. Governor Philips to the Council of Trade and Plantations. It being a misfortune allmost inseperable from men in stations to be exposed to the detraction of the wicked and malitious, be theire actions never so just and unblameable, I have (within few days past) discover'd this to have been my fate, by haveing had recourse to a letter booke of one Washington Lieutenant to the Ordnance, (the most scandalous wretch upon the earth) who has (from time to time) entertain'd that Board at mine and the Officers expence of this Garrison in a most false, insolent and infamous manner. Encloses following and asks for their Lordships' protection. Signed, R. Philipps. Endorsed, Recd. 8th, Read 13th Sept., 1721. 2 pp. Enclosed,
535. i. (a) John Washington to Thomas Tickell, Deputy Secretary of State. Annapolis Royall, Oct. 22, 1719. Encloses following correspondence for his consideration.
(b) Same to Michael Richards, Surveyor General, and the Board of Ordnance, and Major Lawrence Armstrong at Canso. Oct. 22, 1719—May 9, 1721. Complains that the officers of the Garrison are all linked together to oppress the persons belonging to the Office of Ordnance and to reduce the Train to the reglement of the Regiment etc. They are all merchants, from the highest to the lowest and pay their people in rum, molasses and tobacco at their own prices etc. Details of Ordnance stores accounts. Endorsed as preceding. 14½ pp.
535. ii. Governor Philipps to the Board of Ordnance. Annapolis Royall, 18th June, 1721. Replies to preceding. Signed, R. Philipps. Same endorsement. 10½ pp.
535. iii. Lt. Governor Doucett and the Officers of the Garrison to the Board of Ordnance. Reply to the false, malitious and incoherent charges" of No. i. Signed, John Doucett and 10 others. Annapolis Royal, 13th June, 1721. Same endorsement. Copy. 20¾ pp.
535. iv. Address of Council of Nova Scotia to Governor Philipps. Express horror and amazement at Lt. Washington's charges. Washington is known to be a most notorious lyar, and so abominably obsceen and profane in his ordinary conversation that he is unfit for humane society, his word and honour no one can rely on, spending most of his time in sutling houses, continually drunk etc. Praise the Governor's unwearied zeal in promoting everything that might tend to the honour and interest of H.M. and the Brittish Nation and to the settlement of this Province. His justice and moderation have been conspicuous, particularly to the French inhabitants, in whose favour he has ventured to exceed your Instructions, but always acted with the advice of the Council, with the greatest circumspection and caution, etc. Signed, by all the members of H.M. Council. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. 3 pp.
535. v. Affidavits by Lt. Martin Groundman, Capt. John Blower, Serjant Alexander Watts, Lt. Governor Doucett, Christopher Aldridge, Capt. Joseph Bennett, Charles Toole, Joseph Toule, William Parr, Benjamin Weston, Griffeth Jones, Thomas Dobbin, William Johnson, John Bradstreet, William Winniett, as to Mr. Washington's letter-book, and in reply to his charges. June, 1721. Same endorsement. 6¾ pp. [C.O. 217, 4. ff. 2, 2v., 3 v., 4, 5–12, 14–20, 21–31, 32–34, 35–38.]
June 20.
Whitehall.
536. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lord Carteret. Enclose following.
536. i. Draught of H.M. Commission to George Phenney to be Captain General and Governor in Chief of the Bahama Islands, and revoking that of Woodes Rogers. Draft of Instructions to same. The same verbatim as those of Governor Rogers, Nov. 21, 1717. [C.O. 24, 1. pp. 55, 56.]
June 20.
Whitehall.
537. Mr. Popple to Mr. Lowndes. Encloses Mr. Harrison's letter (v. June 10th) to be laid before the Lords Commrs. of the Treasury. Concludes: As there is no law to prevent the carrying of oar from the Plantations, the Lords Commrs. of Trade think that this practice may be of such consequence to H.M. Revenue, that it do's deserve to be consider'd in Parliament, in order to be prevented by some Act to be pass'd for that purpose. [C.O. 5, 996. pp. 105, 106.]
June 21.
Whitehall.
538. Bryan Wheelock, Acting Secretary to the Council of Trade and Plantations, to David Humphreys. Reply to 14th June. Friday at 10 of the clock is appointed for reconsidering the Act of Barbados referred to and hearing the S.P.G. [C.O. 29, 14. pp. 120, 121.]
June 21.539. Extent and Inquisition taken thereupon, for a debt of £700 sterl. due from some merchants in Antigua to Mr. Benja. Blundell, junr., late Receiver General for Leicestershire. Endorsed, Recd. 5th, Read 11th July, 1721. Copy. Latin. 1 large p. [C.O. 152, 13. ff. 257, 257v.]
June 21.540. Similar extent and inquisition for a debt of £250 due from a merchant in S. Carolina. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. Latin. 1 large p. [C.O. 5, 358. ff. 84, 84v.]
June 21.541. Copy of the extent and inquisition taken thereupon for a debt of £1925 sterling due from Messrs. Palmer and Balston, merchants in New England, to Benja. Blundell jr., etc. Signed, Geo. Wilson, Soll. to the Commrs. for Taxes. Endorsed, Recd. (from the Agents for Taxes) 5th, Read 11th July, 1721. 1 large p. [C.O. 5, 868. ff. 62, 62v.]
June 21.542. Extent and inquisition taken thereupon, for a debt of £500 due from some merchants in Barbados to Benjamin Blundell, jr., etc. Endorsed, Recd. 5th, Read 11th July, 1721. Latin. Copy. 1 large p. [C.O. 28, 17. ff. 154, 154v.]
June 21.
Custom ho., London.
543. Mr. Carkesse to Mr. Popple. Desires copies of proceedings at Barbados relating to a ship which lately put in there, bound from the East Indies to Ostend. Signed, Cha. Carkesse. Endorsed, Recd. 21st, Read 22nd June, 1721. Addressed. ¾ p. [C.O. 28, 17. ff. 144, 145v.]
June 22.
Whitehall.
544. Mr. Popple to Mr. Carkesse. Reply to preceding. No account has been received of any proceedings at Barbados relating to such ship etc. [C.O. 29, 14. pp. 121, 122.]
June 22.545. Petition of Lewis Piers and Cecilia his wife to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Prays for report upon petition referred to them about 3 years ago for confirmation of certain premisses in Montserratt. Petitioners are reduced to great poverty etc. Signed, Lew. Piers, Cecilia Piers. Endorsed, Recd. Read 22nd June, 1721. ¾ p. [C.O. 152, 13. ff. 52, 53v.]
June 23.546. Mr. Bobin to [? Lord Carteret]. I pray your honour to send my request to the Treasury, according to your promise, in order that, having received some money, I may be able to work at some great affair known only by myself. Signed, Isaac Bobin. French. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 387. No. 26.]
[June 23.]547. Advis Important [?by Isaac Bobin]. Important Notice. Unless the South Sea Company take care to manage the trade to New Spain as it ought to be, it will be their utter ruin etc. I will explain myself and bring proof for the same. By a Frenchman and in same hand as preceding. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 387. No. 27.]
June 23.
London.
548. Governor Hart to Lord Carteret. I have endeavour'd to get the best information I cou'd, how the French part of St. Christophers, may be made most valuable to the Crown, and advantagious to Great Britain, and be most speedily and effectually peopled, so as to be an additional security, not only to that, but to the other Leeward Islands, and in obedience to yor. Lordships commands etc. suggests (i) An exact survey and estimate of value of said lands to be made immediately, since the present possessors pay no acknowledgment to the Crown and hold by no other title than that of a letter from the Secretary of State that they should not be disturbed till H.M. pleasure be known. Continues: As they hold these lands by so precarious a foot, they make the most of it for the present, tho' they thereby very much impoverish the soil, which in a little time will greatly diminish the value thereof; and are so far from making improvements, as would fix and establish them there, they are now on the wing, and always will be, till they have a certain estate in the lands. It is agreed by all persons whom I have discours'd, that it will be hardly possible to find purchasers for these lands, there being little money in the Islands, and few of the inhabitants have any considerable funds here. Proposes grants of leases, with a preference to present possessors etc. Continues: The number of the inhabitants of these Islands are much decreased, and the number of the French in the neighbouring Islands are vastly increased etc. Signed, Jo. Hart. 3 pp. [C.O. 152, 42. No. 115].
June 24.549. Petty Expenses, and Stationer's and Postage Account of the Board of Trade, Lady Day to Midsummer, 1721. (v. B.T. Journal). [C.O. 388, 78. ff. 4, 5, 10, 11, 18.]
June 24.
Whitehall.
550. Lord Carteret to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following for their report. Signed, Carteret. Endorsed, Recd. Read 27th June, 1721. ¾ p. Enclosed,
550. i. Memorial of Governor John Lord Belhaven to the King. The appointments for the Governor of Barbados have not been equall to the expences. Therefore the Assembly have made frequent presents to their Governors who have been obliged to accept the same, tho' contrary to their Instructions. Memoralist determineing strictly to observe your Majesty's Royall orders, and to accept of no such presents, yet being desireous to maintain a port suitable to the employ and the inhabitants being the only judges what shall be necessary for that purpose etc. Prays H.M. to insert it in his Instructions that the Assembly may be permitted by an Act or Acts to settle on him what they shall judge proper in lieu of presents for supporting the dignity of said Governor during his continuance etc. ¾ p. [C.O. 28, 17. ff. 148, 149, 151v.]
1721. June 28.
New York.
551. Governor Burnet to [? Charles Delafaye]. Your Brother Riggs was speakeing to me(n) very earnestly about bedding for the men, it being necessary to preserve them from starving of cold etc. Signed, W. Burnet. Endorsed, R. Aug. Holograph. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1092. No. 19.]
June 30.
Whitehall.
552. Mr. Popple to Mr. Attorney and Solicitor General. Asks for opinion whether Delaware River or any part thereof, or the Islands therein lying are by the (enclosed) clauses in their Charters conveyed to either New Jersey or Pennsylvania, "or whether the right thereunto doth still remain in the Crown." [C.O. 5, 1293. p. 237.]
June 30.
Whitehall.
553. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lord Carteret. Enclose following to be laid before H.M. Autograph signatures. 1 p. Enclosed,
553. i. Same to the King. Representation upon Memorial of Governor Lord Belhaven upon presents from the Assembly (v. 24th June). Quote Representation of 1701. v. C.S.P. 1701. No. 383, "which report was read in Council but nothing ordered thereupon. But upon a further Representation (v. C.S.P. 1702. No. 349), Her late Majesty was pleased to make additions to the salarys of several Governors and expressly to forbid their receiving of any presents whatever. The addition made upon that occasion to the salary of the Govr. of Barbados was £800 pr. annum to make the said salary of the Govr. of Barbados was £800 pr. annum to make the said salary £2000, as is particularly recited by 110th and 11th Instructions, whereby the Governors of Barbados are at present debar'd from receiving any presents except only for a house or rent for the same not exceeding £300 pr. annum sterling to be settled at the first session of Assembly, after such Governor's arrival, and so to continue during the whole time of his Government; we must thereon observe that notwithstanding the aforesaid Instructions the Assemblys of Barbados and of some other Plantations have made presents to their Governors, which is certainly a pernicious practice, and ought upon all occasions to be discountenanced how true soever the usual pretence for such presents may have been, that the particular salarys of some Govrs. have not been sufficient for their support. But if the present salary of the Governor of Barbados should not be thought adequate to his necessary expences, and sufficient to support the dignity of his office, as the chief intention of the aforemention'd Instructions has been to prevent Governors from being dependent upon the Assemblys, we have no objection to any addition, the Assembly of Barbados may make to my Lord Belhaven's salary upon his arrival there, provided the same be settled upon his Lordship for the whole time of his continuance there as Governor in such manner as particularly provided in the case of house rent which stands at present excepted out of his Instructions. And we are of opinion it would be greatly for your Majesty's service that the said additional salary should be likewise settled upon all succeeding Governors of Barbados, provided the same can be obtain'd." Autograph signatures. 4¾ pp. [C.O. 28, 39. Nos. 8, 8 i.; and 29, 14. pp. 123–128.]
June 30.554. Address of Assembly of New York to Governor Burnet. It is with some concern we appear before you on an affair which we flattered ourselves had long since been set in so just a light before her late Majestie and Ministers by former Assemblies of this Province as would render any attempt fruitless to relay that burthen on this Colony which we thought had been effectually removed by the direction of our superiors and which even the person himself who was said to have been most concerned in the profit, thought too heavy and unreasonable to impose. We find by a letter from the Rt. Hon. the Commrs. of H.M. Treasury to the Treasurer of this Colony, that those right Honourable persons are of opinion that the neglecting, or refusing to account with the Auditor General will be looked upon as a contempt of H.M. authority. How farr artfull representations from hence have prevailed, we have from this but too much reason to suspect, but we humbly hope when their Lordps. are truly informed how that matter stands they will abate of the severity of their sentiments and give such directions as are suitable to H.M. goodness and, we hope, favourable inclinations to a people, who by repeated instances have shewn they have nothing more at heart than to approve themselves his faithfull subjects. We are so farr from desiring that H.M. or his Ministers should be unacquainted with the state of his Revenue here that we think no one thing would be of greater service to this Province than H.M. being truly and thoroughly informed of the dispositions of every penny of it. Had that been justly done by all the Governors of this Province, we have great reason to beleive we should not have laboured under that great load of debt which was too manifestly owing to the extraordinary misapplication and squandering of the publick money, and we are bold to say her late Majesty's indulgence in admitting us a Treasurer of our own, made it practicable to retrieve the publick credit, which must otherwise have been dispaired of, unless the Crown by an excess of Royal munificence had replenished a Treasury imprudently emptyed by those instructed here with the management of it. Among the many extravagancys of those times one was the allowing a fee or salary to the Auditor General of 5 p.c. upon the whole amount of H.M. Revenue in this Province. We venture to call this extravagant, first, because such a salary in this Province was not allowed him by H.M. Commission, secondly, because he himself disapproved of it; that such a salary never was allowed or intended by H.M. to be allowed him out of his Revenue in this Province, we humbly conceive, appears by the Commission itself, for, by that, there is only the salary of £500 yearly given as a reward for the auditing all H.M. Plantations in America, which salary is appointed to be paid out of H.M. revenues in Virginia, Berbados, Leeward Islands and Jamaica etc. (quoted), and not one word of any allowance made him out of H.M. revenue in New York, and by what authority he could take to himself a twentieth part of H.M. Revenue here, when H.M. had given no such direction, we are yet to seek. We have indeed heard it was taken as a quantum meruit but that could not be; for the £500 was what the Crown thought to be a sufficient reward, and we do not find, by that Commission, any authority given to that officer to proportion what part of H.M. revenue shall be paid himself out of the revenue arising in the several Plantations, not named in that Commission, that being, in our humble opinion, a power lodged solely in the Crown and not to be done by any subject whatsoever without express and particular directions under the great Seal. It is true the disposition of the publick mony here as we suppose in other places was in the Governor by and with the advice and consent of the Council, and some of those Governors here depending more on the favour and interest of the then Auditor General, than on their own good behaviour, for their continuance, might prevail upon a timed and pusillanimous Council to consent to such a lavish disposition of the publick mony. This we suppose gave rise to the demanding of it as a fee or perquisite, tho' we do not find it ever was allowed by the Treasury, and whether ever it was received by himself, there is some reason to doubt, for in the observation made (as we suppose by the then Auditor) on the accompts of New York 1703 and 1704, among many extravagant charges taken notice of in those accounts, this of the 5 p.c. is one, and 'tis noted by way of memorandum that Mr. Blathwayt conceiving his salary as Auditor and Surveyor General too large at 5 p.c. upon the ordinary and extraordinary levyes, he is contented with the sum of £150 sterling pr. annum and the allowance to him and his deputy to be stated with an advance of current money accordingly. It is confessed by Mr. Blathwayt's own observation on the accounts of this Province that there was a charge of 5 p.c. on the extraordinary levys. It is evident that this was an extraordinary imposition, not within the meaning of the Commission, or nature of the thing to be accounted with the Auditor General, and was a mistake, so obvious, that the Lord Treasurer could not fail of observing if the accounts were shewn him in a true light. There had been from 1691 to 1703 inclusive extraordinary levys to the value of £22,698, over and above the common annual revenue, this at 5 p.c. to the Auditor is almost £100 pr. annum for which he had no manner of right or pretence but things of this kind were easily complyed with here by Receivers of the Revenue intirely at the Governour's disposal, and it is not unworthy observation that the Receiver General's salary for receiving and paying all this money came to about £260 pr. annum and the Auditor for looking over the accounts received a salary not much short if not in some years exceeding. If that officer had received that salary from the date of his Commission till that time, or for any years before 1703, (as there is no great doubt of its being charged in the former accompts of this Province), he must have known it to have been too large before that time, all this renders it suspected either that the accounts were not transmitted to him with that article and then it was pocketted here, or that he did not shew them to the Lord Treasurer, as fearing his disallowance, it being an act of uncommon generosity for a man to lessen his own yearly salary when he might have kept it. How that matter was we don't presume to determine, but we cannot yet be persuaded to believe, that when the King thinks £150 sterl. a sufficient proportion to be paid to the Auditor General out of his revenues in Berbados, which we are told amount to 16 to £18,000 yearly, that the Ld. Treasurer will be of opinion, that either 5 p.c. which has amounted to betwixt 2 or £300 a year (and if extraordinary levys were to be accompted for some years past would amount to more than £600) or £150 sterl. per annum is a reasonable proportion to be deducted out of the Revenue of this Province, which by all the methods wee have been yet able to take has not come to above £4000 pr. annum one year with another, which makes our quota to the Auditor under £40 pr. annum. We are humbly of opinion, that the Treasurer's refusing to account with the Auditor General (if so he did) could not proceed from any intention of the Treasurer to hinder H.M., or his Ministers from a knowledge of the disposal of his Revenue here, he being of the Council could not be ignorant that no Act could be passed here for raising or levying of any money whereby the same should not be made lyable to be accounted for to H.M. or his Ministers. And by your Excellencys Instructions and those given to Brigadier Hunter fair books of accounts being to be kept of all receits and payments and these transmitted to the Commrs. of the Treasury or the Lord High Treasurer, or board of Trade, and the Treasurer having been always ready and willing to account with the Governour when and as often as he pleased, those accounts if sent home by the Governour according to the directions given him, neither H.M. or his Ministers could be ignorant of the state of the Revenue here, but as certainly informed of it, as if those accounts were transmitted by the Auditor General and layd before the Commrs. of the Treasury etc. It was before the Treasurer received their Lordps.' order to account that he refused (if so he did) with the Deputy Auditor, and as soon as their Lordps. signifyed their pleasure, he readily promised to pay an obedience to their commands, but we humbly hope such accounting (whenever it is) will not load H.M. revenue here, with a debt of 5 p.c. or £150 pr. annum, when it appears, by the Auditor's Commission, there is no foundation for the demands of a sum so disproportionable to our circumstances. It is equal to the Treasurer with whom he accounts, and his duty to account with such person as H.M. will please to authorize for that purpose, and his declining to account with the Deputy Auditor was because he was apprehensive of a charge of five per cent upon the whole amount of the Revenue, and perhaps upon the extraordinary levyes, which would have risen to so great a sum as he thought would not have been justifyable for him to pay without particular directions from his superiors, who he believed was not informed of that matter, and we humbly hope the Rt. Hon. the Commrs. of the Treasury will no longer look upon that as a contempt of H.M. authority, which was purely done to prevent what, we hope, those right Honourable persons will think too great a deduction from his revenue. How hearty and ready this Assembly has been to support H.M. Government is not unknown to your Excellency, nor with what difficultys funds are found out for that purpose. There are few branches of our imports, except European goods, but what are loaded as much as the trade will bear, and notwithstanding all the precautions we have been capable of using to prevent a debt, the revenue is as yet insufficient to pay officers and discharge the necessary incidents of the Government. What then must be the consequence if the deadweight of 5 per cent on the whole revenue for several years passed be added. We could heartily wish it was in our power without ruining the trade and inhabitants of this Province, to make H.M. revenue ample enough not only for the handsom support of his Government here, but to enable him to extend his Royal bounty to such persons as he thought fit objects of it, but how unable we are to do this, your Excellency too well knows, as we beleive you do, that if 5 p.c. or £150 stcrl. yearly arrearages, or even yearly salary for the time to come, be paid that it will be impossible to pay the officers of the Government their salarys, which we hope will be sufficient reason to prevail upon the Rt. Hon. the Lord Treasurer to disallow such demand. Signed, Rt. Livingston, Speaker. Copy of later date, cf. April 26, 1722. 6 pp. [C.O. 5, 1085. No. 39.]
June 30.
Whitehall.
555. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lord Carteret. Enclose following to be laid before H.M.
555. i. Same to the King. Representation upon Memorial (quoted) of the Copartners for settling the Bahama Islands (v. 19th April, 1721). This Board has upon many occasions represented to your Majesty as well as to your Royal predecessors the great importance of these Islands, and how highly necessary it was to the trade of these Kingdoms, that the same should be effectually settled, their situation being such as makes them capable of protecting the ships of your Majty's subjects, and of intercepting those of their West Indian neighbours in case of a rupture. The expence the petitioners have already been at, etc., amounts to upwards of £100,000 (v. 19th April), and tho' they have been once formerly attack'd by an invasion from New Spain, and at other times by great numbers of pirates whom upon their arrival they dislodg'd from thence, they have hitherto made a shift to maintain your Majty's dominion there, and they humbly hope they shall be able to do so for the future provided your Majesty be graciously inclin'd to grant them such further assistance as may encourage planters to settle there; Wherefore we humbly take leave conformable to several former reports to move your Majesty that you would be pleas'd to allow them another Independant Company of 100 men with proper officers to be maintain'd there at your Majesty's charge upon the same foot with the other company already in garrison etc.; and for some few years to allow such a salary for the Governor there as to your Majesty shall seem most convenient, till this new Settlement shall be in condition, as in all probability it shortly will if duly encouraged, to bear its own expences. For this end the Copartners are desirous your Majesty should grant them your Royal Charter of Incorporation without which they apprehend it will be impossible for them to proceed etc. Reasons given (v. 19th April). Continue: To which we shall have no objection, provided the same be sufficiently guarded and secur'd from stock jobbing; and those other inconveniencies which have too frequently taken rise from the misapplication of several former Charters of Incorporation to other Companies. Having therefore further discours'd with the Copartners upon this subject, we find that they will very readily submit to the proper restrictions for this purpose. They are willing that their capital stock shall not at any time exceed £500,000, and that no other dividends shall be made to the Proprietors but such as do really and bonâ fide arise from the profits of the Company, excepting dividends in land only for Plantations, according to the powers given them by the Lords Proprietors of those Islands. That no transfers shall be made of their stock for the first twelve months after the date of their Charter, nor any afterwards by any person whatsoever that shall not have been six months in possession of their stock. That their Charter be confin'd to the term of 30 years; that none of your Majesty's subjects be excluded from trading to the Bahama Islands during that time; that during the continuance of the said term they shall oblige themselves communibus annis to imploy 1000 ton of shipping. Upon which conditions and restrictions we are humbly of opinion it may be for your Majesty's service if you are so pleas'd to grant the said Copartners a Charter, provided that no powers of Govt. relating to the said Islands be thereby given them, but that the entire dominion of the said Islands do in all respects absolutely remain in your Majesty and your Royal Successors. [C.O. 24, 1. pp. 58–64; and 23, 12. No. 79.]
June 30.
St. James's.
556. H.M. Warrant appointing Philip Livingston Town Clerk, Clerk of the Peace and Clerk of the Common Pleas in the county and city of Albany, and Secretary or Agent for the Government of New York to the Indians, with a salary of £100 sterling to be paid out of H.M. Revenue of New York. Countersigned, Carteret. Copy. [C.O. 324, 34. pp. 71, 72.]
June 30.
Antigua.
557. Governor Hamilton to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses Act to impose a duty on sugar, mollasses, rum, cotton, and ginger of the produce or manufacture of the French King's Colonies imported into this Island, etc. The Surveyor General of H.M. Customs has laid before myself and Council a Memorial against passing the said bill into a law, which has been considered of and answered by the Council etc. Refers to enclosures. Besides the reasons contained in the said answer and the preamble etc., I crave leave to inform your Lordships how and in what manner this clandestine trade is carried on, how the King is defrauded of His customs, and the impossibility of preventing of it unless this law meets with the Royal sanction. Your Lordships upon observing the map of Antigua will see how many creeks, bays and roads there are, several of which are distant from any settlements, by reason the barrenness of the soil will not allow of them, and 'tis in these remote places they carry on this trade. Upon their coming to anchor here, and notice given to their correspondents, they immediately hire the sugar droging vessels, these they employ to unload their sloops, and shift the sugar into English cask, bring them into harbour, as if they brought them from other ports of the Island, and take out cockets for them at the Custom House, and ship them as our own produce for Great Britain, 'tis true they pay the 4½ p.c. here, but then H.M. is defrauded of the alien duty at home and of a great part of the enumarated duty upon sugars shipt to North America, which is a manifest fraud, and a deminution of the Revenue. I cannot pretend to lay any charge against the Custom House Officers for neglect of their duty, because I am convinced as this fraud is carried on 'tis impossible they can come up with them without it be by meer accident, several instances of which I have known, when informations have been given, but all have proved ineffectual, for, the Custom house boat can no sooner put to sea but they have notice from their friends, and thereupon they immediately weigh and to sea and keep out till some signals are made that all is secure, by which your Lordships may perceive that 'tis impossible to prevent this pernicious trade, unless it be by such an Act as this now sent, or by allowing the Custom House a sloop or two to clear our coasts. I shall not say anything of the hardships the industrious planter suffers by this trade, because the Council in their answer have set that matter forth fully, but assure your Lordships that I am very apprehensive that unless there is a speedy stop put to it, that in the end it may prove our ruin. The French as I am very well informed, particularly at Guardeloupe, an Island in sight of this, and which you may fetch over upon a stretch, are daily carrying on new settlements and greatly encrease in their number of inhabitants. Your Lordships must be sensible of the difficulties in carrying on new settlements, especially when a great tract of land is to be setled, and that that cannot be done without supplies, and these supplies as negroes, provisions, horses, and all manner of lumber, (and without which they could not carry on their settlements) this trade gives them, (it being usual for the vessels that carry these things to the french to clear for Barbados and the Leeward Islands) the natural consequence of this trade is, and the inconvenience of which we may find when 'tis too late, in case a war should break out, that we have enabled a neighbouring Island to go on with their settlements who in retalliation will endeavour to take ours from us. Another great inconvenience is, that the French (those that use the trade) are as good pilots as our selves, and can run into the most difficult places at any time of the night, so 'tis easy to imagine, what the consequence of making them acquainted with our coasts will be, in case they have the first newes of a war etc. By this Act, the Custom House Officers are required to take an oath for the due execution of the said law, which the Surveyor General has refused, as you will per ceive by the inclosed minute, to which I refer and hope your Lordships will favour me with an answer whether the Legislative authority has not a power to impose such an oath. Signed, W. Hamilton. Endorsed, Recd. 15th, Read 16th Aug. 1721. 3 pp. Enclosed,
557. i. Memorial of Charles Dunbar, Surveyor of H.M. Customs of Barbados and the Leeward Islands, to the Governor and Council of Antigua. Protests against against the bill proposed for laying such heavy imposts upon produce of the French Islands as prejudicial to trade, being in effect prohibition, and to the navigation of the Island and of Great Britain, and reducing the Revenue by reducing the amount imported into England. A fifth part of the duties now proposed might prove beneficial etc. Copy. 3 pp.
557. ii. H.M. Commissioners of Customs to Mr. Dunbar. Custom House, London. 16th March, 1719. If any new commoditys shall be raised or manufactures begun within any of the Islands in your district, or if any Acts are passed, which relate to trade or navigation, or which you apprehend are prejudiciall thereto, or to the Revenue etc., you are to give us notice etc. Signed, M. Dudley, and three others. Copy. 1 p.
557. iii. Governor and Council of Antigua to Charles Dunbar. 26th June, 1721. Reply to No. 1. Goods have been rendered scarce and prices high by this exportation to the French Islands. This trade strengthens the French and thereby exposes the valuable Colony of Antigua to the utmost danger in case of war. The importation of French goods has lessened the value of ours and caused many of the inhabitants to desert the Island. Often when the poor have been almost starving a monopolizing French trader has engrossed a whole cargo of provision and transported it in a clandestine manner to Martinique etc. The British market by being glutted with French sugars has kept ours at so low an ebb that the planters can hardly support themselves. It will be more prejudicial to the Revenue if this Colony sinks etc. We think it absolutely necessary to pass the Act etc. Signed, by command of the Council, Gilbt. Fleming, D. Clerk Councill. Copy. 2½ pp. Nos. i.–iii. endorsed as covering letter.
557. iv. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua, 26th June, 1721. Mr. Dunbar, on behalf of the Officers of the Customs, being called upon to take the oath prescribed by the Act laying a duty on French sugars imported, the time for which had expired, desired to be excused from taking any oaths having relation to their offices or to observe any instructions but such as they shall receive from the Lords of the Treasury and Commissioners of the Customs. Signed and endorsed as preceding. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 14. ff. 7–13, 14v, 15, 16v.]