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the Spaniards from the Havanah design'd to attack the Country. Upon which the Time of meeting of the New Assembly being not yet come) he was oblig'd to call his Council and such of the new-elected Members as could be got together, and inform'd them of the Advice he had receiv'd ; and he desir'd they would consider of the ill Conditions the Fortifications were in, and the Necessity there was immediately to repair them ; which he propos'd to do by Voluntary Subscription, until the Assembly could provide for the doing it: And to shew an Example himself, he subscribed 5001. (to such Extremity the Dissolving the former Assembly reduced the Province.) Those of the Assembly made Answer, They thought the Income of their Duties were sufficient for that Service. The Governor objected, That the Law was Repeal'd by the Proprietors. To which Answer was again made, That the Publick Receiver was orderd to sue any Man that refused to pay as that Law directed ; for they did not nor would look on their Repeal as any thing. Mr. Trott told them, If any Action was brought into his Courts (for so he always call’d them) on that Act, he would give Judgment for the Defendant. At this Meeting hot Arguments arose among them, and they broke up without doing any thing, chusing rather to hazard the Loss of the Country to the Spaniards, than submit to acknowledge a Right in the Proprietors of Repealing their Laws.
The Governor was likewise oblig'd by this Advice he had receiv'd of the Spaniards Intentions, to call the Field-Officers of the Militia together, to give them Orders to review the Regiments, and settle a Rendezvous, in case of the Spaniards attempting to land in any part of the Country. Which Orders they seem'd to receive as usual, and muster'd the Regiments upon the Day prefix'd; but had an Association prepar'd; and when together, got all the People to Sign it almost to a Man ; and so the whole Province was at once brought into a Confederacy against the Lords Proprietors, unknown to the Governor."
In this Assembly Mr. Skene was elected a Member; who being one of those remov'd from the Council by the Proprietors; went in amongst the rest, full of Resentment against them, and having been for many Years Secretary to the Island of Barbas does, was look'd upon as a Man that understood Publick. Affairs very well; and several others of the best Understanding had frequently private Meetings, in which they resolv'd to have po more to do with the Proprietors. And they were the more en Courag'd to throw off their Authority, by a Vote that had passed in the House of Peers some Years before, That the Lords Pros prietors had forfeited their Charter: And an Address their
Lordships made to her then Majesty Queen Anne, whereio they desired she would be pleased to order her Attorney-General to Prosecute the same, to assume the Government of the Country to herself. Besides, they had been told by their then Agents, That when Her Majesty was desired to send them Relief in their Indian War, and the Government was expected, if she did so, that my Lord Carteret was so good, as publickly to declare to the then Lords of the Trade, He should be willing (as to his own particular) to give up the Government, rather than they should want that Relief. And the Time seena'd to be now coming, by the Attack threatned by the Spaniards, when they should more than ever want the Assistance of the Crown; and therefore they were resolv'd to remove the former Objection, and put themselves under His Majesty's immédiate Protection.,
The first Notice that the Governor had of the Certainty of this and of their being come to a fix'd Resolution, was by a Joint-Letter from Mr. Skene, Col. Logan, and Major Blakeway, in these words :
TE doubt not but you have heard of the whole Pro
vince entering into an Association to stand by their
Rights and Privileges, and to get rid of the Oppres“ sion and Arbitrary Dealings of the Lords Proprietors: And 66 as we always bore you the greatest Deference and Respect “ imaginable, we take this Opportunity to let you know, that a “ Committee of the Peoples Representatives were last Night
appointed to wait on you this Morning to acquaint you, That " they are come to a Resolution, To have no Regard to the “ Lords Officers, nor their Administration ; And withal, To beg " that your Honour would hold the Reins of Government for “the King, 'till His Majesty's Pleasure be known.
" The great Value the whole Country express for your Ho“ nour's Person, make them desirous of having no body but “ your Self to Govern them: And as you must be convinc'd " that no Persons can be more passionately desirous of your “ Government than our selves, we hope you will not take amiss " ady Advice given by faithful and affectionate Friends; and " therefore we take the Liberty to tell you freely, That we are 6 of Opinion, that your Honour, may take the Government upon “.you, upon the Offer of the People, for the KING; and re" present to the Proprietors, That rather than the whole Coup“ try should be in Confusion and want a Governing Power, you * held it for their Lordships ; tho' you were oblig'd to comply “ with the Province, who were unanimously of Opinion they " would have no Proprietors Government. Sunt un
“ We could wish for a longer and better Opportunity to ex“.plain this Affair to you ; but it is impossible, for the Gen“ tlemen will be with you in two Hours at the farthest. We “ heartily wish your Honour the utmost Success, let it go which “ way it will; but beg Leave to observe, That your Compliance, “ will be not only the greatest Satisfaction imaginable to the “ Province in general, but in particular to,
Your most Obedient, &c.
28th Nov. 1719.
Sign’d A. Skene.
The Governor being at his Plantation about four Miles off when he receiv'd this Letter, he came immediately to Town, and summon’d such of his Council as he could get together, who were Mr. Izard, Judge Trott, Mr. Hart, Mr. Delaconsiliere, Col. Bull, Mr. Butler, and Mr. Jacob Satur, and acquainted them with what he had heard, and that he had met in the Town Mr. Skene and Mr. Berrisford, who told him, that those who had designed to wait on him as above related, had chang'd their Minds, and were dispers’d and gone to their respective Hornes. Upon all which he desir'd the Council's Opinions what was proper to be done; who unanimously advis'd him, That considering they had alter'd their Resolution of waiting on the Governor, no further Notice should be taken of their Proceedings, until such time as they should meet as an Assembly, and the Matter should be reviv'd. ..
This I have mention'd more particularly, to shew, that if Mr. Johnson did not act in a more vigorous Manner, on the first Notice he had of the Designs of the People, it was owing to the Advice of bis Council, who he was resolv'd to be guided by, tho' contrary to his own Opinion, especially by Mr. Trott, in whose Favour the Proprietors had shewn themselves so partial. 3 Before and after this, the Gentlemen that were chosen to be of the Assembly had many private Meetings in the Country ; their Association was form’d, as before mention'd, and almost every body in the whole Province did sign it, except some few who inore immediately belong'd to the Proprietors : In it they promis'd and agreed to stand by and support whatsoever should
be done by their Representatives then newly chosen, in disengaging the Country from the Yoke and Burthen they labour'd under from the Proprietors, and putting the Province under the Government of His Majesty. Tato
Having thus previously fortified themselves by the Consent of the People, they met according to the Tenor of their Writs, about the 10th of December, 1719; and the Governor sending them a Message as usual, that he was ready, with the Council, to receive them, and to order them to chuse the Speaker; they came in a Body, and Mr. Middleton deliver'd himself in the following Manner:
cortado 120 May it please your Honour, “ Tam order'd by the Representatives of the People here pre“ sent to tell you, that according to your Honours Order, " we are come to wait upon you ; I am further order'd to ac“ quaint you, that we own your Honour as our Governour, you “ being approv’d by the King; and as there was once in this Pro“ vince a legal Council, Representing the Proprietors as their " Deputies; which Constitution being now alter'd, we do not look “ upon the Gentlemen present to be a Legal Council ; so I am “ order’d to tell you, That the Representatives of the People “ do disown them as such, and will not act with them on any Account. tutt vid Sood. Wrote Milano
silber gods end no violab This Speech was deliver'd in Writing, at the Governor's Desire, and sign’d by Mr. Middleton, as President, and Twentytwo more of the Assembly. They had (I suppose, before they came to the Governor) in their own House, come to the following Resolutions, viz. annoiade to do adesioada sotto i radi
M sdi bio, vide982 A VIGO 1990 blood 90s “ That the several Laws hereafter mention'd, and pretended " to be Repeal'd, are still in Force within this Province, and “ could not be Repeal'd, or made Void or Null, but by the “ General Assembly of this Province ; and that all Publick Of“ ficers, and others, are to have due Regard to the same accord" ingly.
i t yo vininggalaiminga (a) An Act intituled, An Act for Declaring the Rights of the House of Commons for the Time being, to Nominate a Publick Receiver. 'Isten and to bilo 2