RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
LevelFile
Alt Ref NoFP XIX
TitleVOLUME XIX: General Correspondence
Date1681-1749
DescriptionLEEWARD ISLANDS
1. Act for the support of the ministry in the island of Nevis, passed by Governor Sir William Stapleton and the council and assembly, June 14, 1681. Ministers to receive 16,000 lb. of sugar a year and clerks to receive 2,000 lb.
2-5. Act for establishing parishes and providing for the support of the ministry in Antigua, July 1, 1692. Provides for annual election of twelve vestrymen, who shall choose two wardens. Vestries empowered to impose taxes for the building of churches and the support of the ministry. Wardens to provide a register. Ministers, who must produce testimonials of ordination in accordance with the laws of the Church of England, to be paid 16,000 lb. sugar a year. Confirms act of 1681 dividing the island and smaller adjacent islands into four parishes, St. Paul's, St. Peter's, St. John's, and St. Mary's. Signed by Christopher Codrington and John Lucas (Speaker). Copy attested by J. W. Irish.
6-7. Bishop Compton to Colonel Douglas, Governor of the Leewards, Fulham, Apr. 19, 1711. Asks him to secure payment from the wardens of St. Paul's, Nevis, of the balance due for books purchased for their parish library, and to see that the escheated estate of --- Osborn becomes a glebe for St. Mary's, Antigua.
8-9. Subscription for the erection of a church building in St. Philip's, Antigua, Jan. 17, 1712/13, with names of subscribers and amounts pledged.
10-11. Agreement of vestry of (St. Philip's) Parish, Antigua, Aug. 29, 1713, with George Bullen to build a church on land donated by John King.
12-13. John Willett to Bishop Robinson, St. Christophers, May 12, 1714. On the basis of some relationship to the bishop and a recommendation from Lady Wood, he asks the bishop's influence to secure his appointment as one of the commissioners to deal with the French lands in the island, if any such commissioners are in fact appointed.
14-15. James Cruikshank to Bishop Robinson, Mountseratt, July 31, 1714. Asks the bishop to secure confirmation of a pension of £100 which Bishop Compton had almost secured for him in consideration of his services in the islands since 1693 and his returning to rebuild the churches after the invasion. He would also like to be named a commissioner to survey the Roman Catholic properties in the French part of the island.
16. Affidavit of Baldwin Johnson before William Grear [Gear], J.P., Antigua, Aug. 16, 1714. Asserts that at an election of vestrymen of St. Philip's parish at the house of Edward Cooke, he heard Thomas Skerret, a Roman Catholic, say that he would have made Johnson a vestryman, if he had not supported the building of a church in the centre of the parish.
17. Affidavit of John Teatte before William Grear [Gear], J.P., Aug. 16, 1714. Testifies that Thomas Skerret offered to contribute £20 towards the building of a church if it was in the centre of St. Philip's parish, but later refused to contribute when the vestry decided to build on the land donated by John King in the centre of the parish. Testifies further that he heard Skerret say that this was done on purpose to prevent the building of any church.
18-19. Da. Bethune to Bishop Robinson, Montseratt, Sept. 7, 1715. Asks assistance for his parish which was damaged by the French in the invasion of 1712. He went to London to seek aid from Bishop Compton, but arrived just before his death and Robinson was delayed so long by public business in Utrecht that Bethune was unable to await his return.
20-21. W. Hamilton to Bishop Robinson, Nevis, Apr. 18, 1716. Mentions some clerical appointments and says that he has secured passage of an act, requested by the bishop, for finishing a church in Antigua.
22-23. William Livingston to William Cary, Antigua, May 14, 1716. Opponents of church building have sent petitions to the bishop and the King since the assembly has passed an act requiring its completion. Livingston supports the building.
24. William Cary to --- Shute, Bristol, July 3, 1716. Encloses two letters from Livingston, one of which is probably (22-23), and summarizes the controversy. One vestry in St. Philip's, Antigua, ordered the erection of a church and the wardens contracted with a builder for it, but Skerret, a Roman Catholic, persuaded the poorer parishioners that it would be too much of a burden, and they elected an opposition vestry, which voted to discontinue the project, though it was half completed. As the wardens were bound to the contractor, they petitioned the legislature for an act to enforce the completion of the building.
25-26. Wardens and sundry parishioners of St. Philip's and other parishes to Bishop Robinson. Undated, but relation to foregoing documents places it in 1715 or 1716. Ask his support to enforce completion of church building.
27-28. Draft summary of the case, probably made by Bishop Robinson or his secretary, though it refers to him in third person. Indicates that Governor Yeaman refused to sign one act passed by the assembly to enforce the completion of the building and that the bishop has Catalogueded another act. Undated, but relation to other documents places it in 1715 or 1716.
29-31. Act requiring the vestry of St. Philip's to fulfil its contract for erecting a church. Undated. May be act referred to in (20-21) or (27-28).
32-33. Vestry of St. Philip's to Bishop Robinson. Undated, but protesting passage of act referred to in (20-21). Say that they already had a church and chapel of ease at opposite ends of the parish before the building of the central church was proposed.
34-35. Bishop Robinson to (Governor Hamilton). Somerset-house, May 31, 1717. As the attorney-general is absent from London, he has taken the advice of his chancellor on the dispute of --- Field with his parishioners concerning the election of wardens. Bishop and chancellor agree that the dispute is not within the governor's jurisdiction as ordinary, as it is not one of the matters specifically excluded from the bishop's jurisdiction, and that it is not in the bishop's jurisdiction, because it would be improper for him to act where the laws of the colony 'are express'. As the law of the colony specifies the manner in which wardens are to be elected, they hold that the case lies within the governor's jurisdiction as executive officer of the colony.
36-37. Charles Porter to Bishop Robinson, Antigua, Sept. 20, 1717. Complains that his salary is not paid. Refers to Field as the bishop's commissary.
38-39. Governor William Hamilton to Bishop Robinson, St. Christophers, Mar. 14, 1717/18. Field has gone home on a year's leave, granted by the governor, subject to extension by the bishop. As the governor has not heard from him, he asks the bishop to remind him of his duty and, if he does not intend to return, to send someone else.
40-41. Governor Hamilton to Bishop Robinson, Antigua, July 18, 1718. Porter has gone to Barbadoes after being involved in scandal in the Leewards. Reference is made to some unspecified advice concerning William Wye.
42-43. Governor Hamilton to Bishop Robinson, Antigua, July 15, 1719. Mentions a number of clerical changes. Governor has heard nothing of Wye. Parishioners of St. John's are growing restive at Field's long absence, as the curate he left is unsatisfactory.
44-45. John Anderson to Francis Astry, Basseterre, St. Christophers, July 17, 1719. He has been appointed by Governor Hamilton probationally to Trinity Parish, St. Christophers, and is also paid by voluntary subscription to officiate in Basseterre.
46-47. Copy of (42-43) with postscript dated July 23, 1719, urging the bishop to put pressure on Field to return or resign.
48-49. James Field to Bishop Robinson, Windsor, Oct, 5, 1719. He left the Leewards because Governor Hamilton would not support him in upholding the rights of the clergy. Having served some years in the Army, Navy, and colonies, he thinks that he should be rewarded with a benefice in England. If not, he should at least be allowed to live there quietly, supplying his parish with a curate. If the curate is unworthy, another can be sent.
50-51. James Field to Thomas Mangey, Windsor, Oct. 9, 1719. States terms of employment of his curate.
52-53. Governor Hamilton to Bishop Robinson, Nevis, Mar. 19, 1720. Reports death of Phillips Johnson and praises Anderson.
54-55. John Anderson to (Francis Astry?). Basseterre, July 15, 1720. In spite of somewhat precarious support, he has fared fairly well because of the kindness of some of his parishioners, especially his warden, who handles his business affairs for him.
56-57. James Field to Thomas Mangey, Windsor, Oct. 3, 1720. Shocked by what Mangey has told him of the character of his curate, Metcalf, he undertakes to send another, but still refuses to go out again himself.
58-59. Bishop Robinson to Governor Hamilton, Jan. 5, 1720(1). (draft.) In a previous letter he stated that serious charges had been brought against Metcalf by the Bishop of Dublin and had ordered him dismissed. He is now sending --- Thomas to replace him, as Field is still 'detained' in England.
60-61. John Anderson to (Francis Astry?), Basseterre, Apr. 22, 1721. His wife has died. He continues to meet with encouragement in Basseterre though other ministers had been discouraged there and left.
62-63. List of parishes and ministers in the Leeward Islands, 1722. Damaged.
64-76. Copy of records of baptisms, marriages, and burials from register of St. George's, Nevis, 1716-23. By Henry Pope, Rector. Some entries duplicated.
77-88. Act for regulating vestries in St. Christophers. Passed council, Feb. 19, 1722(3), assembly, Mar. 9, 1722/3. Signed by John Hart, Governor. Provides for annual election of six vestrymen and two wardens with power to levy ecclesiastical taxes. Clergy to receive a minimum of 16,000 lb. of sugar, more if the vestry sees fit. Also £25 currency or sugar equivalent as house allowance, if there is no rectory. St. George's, Basseterre, erected into a parish in addition to those already existing.
89-94. Copy of (77-88).
95-96. Henry Pope to Bishop Robinson, St. George's, Nevis, Apr. 13, 1723. Refers to having sent (64-76), or a copy thereof. Is sending another copy by Richard Morgan, former schoolmaster at Nevis, who also conveys a box of fruit trees.
97. Henry Pope to --- ('Revd. Sir'), St. George's, Nevis, June 12, 1723. Because of ill health and insufficient support, he plans to return to England next year.
98-99. Henry Pope to Bishop Robinson, St. George's, Nevis, June 12, 1723. Evidently still ignorant of the bishop's death, he refers to a recommendation of the bishop's to Governor Hart to give him a second preferment in the island. The governor would do so but fears a rebuff, as the people are opposed to pluralities. The wardens and vestry of St. John's recently refused to accept the appointment of Robert Robertson, because he is the incumbent of St. Paul's. Unless pluralities are allowed, there is no possibility of preferment, for the stipends are all the same and the perquisites differ only slightly. He asks permission to return in hope of some small preferment in England.
100. Licence issued by John Davis, President, to David Burchall, minister of St. John's, Capister, St. Christophers, to marry Thomas Dawson to Elizabeth Okes. Countersigned by John Esdaile, Clerk Ordinary. Feb. 8, 1723/4.
101. Similar licence for the marriage of Louis Duplesis to Mary Deschamp, Feb. 9, 1723/4.
102-3. John Anderson to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, May 14, 1724. He did not receive the bishop's queries until April 18, and has transmitted his answers to commissary Field. Acknowledges kindness of Governor Hart, complains of inadequate stipends and lack of pious books. He suggests a special form of service be authorized for the hurricane season. He had some previous acquaintance with the bishop when he taught school in Lambeth.
104-5. James Cruikshank to Bishop Gibson, Montserrat, May 22, 1724. Is sending answers to the queries. Regrets lack of regular spiritual discipline in the colonies.
106-7. Robert Robertson to James Field, Nevis, May 26, 1724. Encloses answers to queries from Henry Pope and himself. Cradock Wells, rector of St. Thomas', has sent his to Field already. The only act concerning religion which is regarded as surely in force, having been confirmed in England, is that of 1681 (1), a copy of which he encloses. There are five parishes in the island: St. Paul's, or Charlestown; St. Thomas', or Lowland; St. James', or Windward; St. George's, or Gingerland; and St. John's, or Fig-tree. St. James' has been vacant since the death of --- Johnson in 1719. Its rectory has been destroyed and the church is in ruinous condition. Pope is planning to return to England because of ill health. William Smith, the last rector of St. John's, returned to England in 1721, having received some preferment from Bishop Gibson, then Bishop of Lincoln. The late Colonel Daniel Smith, lieutenant-governor of the island, benefited the parish in various ways. He believes, from former experience, that the governors will support any measures for the promotion of religion, but he is afraid that they may meet with resistance from the people.
108-9. Henry Pope to Bishop Gibson, Nevis, May 20, 1724. Encloses an abstract of his parochial acts and reports having sent his answers to the queries to Field.
110. Thomas Winder to Bishop Gibson, Taxall, June 1, 1724. He will sail (for Nevis, cf. 114-15) as soon as he can obtain passage. Reports death of --- Barrett, a young clergyman, sent to the plantations, who returned to his home in this area after a narrow escape from drowning on the way over.
111. Thomas Allen to James Field, Montserratt, June 2, 1724. Encloses his answers to the queries and those of Cruikshank, the only other clergyman on the island. Cannot say what laws they are relating to religion as all records were destroyed in the French invasion of 1712, but the clergy receive £130 per annum, paid in sugar, which is believed to be authorized by a law confirmed in England.
112-13. David Bethune to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, June 24, 1724. Suggests that lands formerly held by the French clergy be appropriated to the Church for glebes. Asks licence to return to England for a year.
114-15. Thomas Winder to Bishop Gibson, Taxall, July 23, 1724. Barret left some books that had been donated for use of a minister in the plantations. Winder asks that they be transferred to him to take with him to Nevis.
116-20. Answers to Bishop Gibson's queries. See Introduction (p. xxiii) for questions to which numbered answers refer. A number of answers were evidently lost, either in transmission or later, as several of those referred to in the foregoing letters do not appear (cf. 141).
116. Thomas Allen, St. Anthony's, Montserratt: 1. Twelve years. 2. Formerly served St. Peter's and St. George's. 3. Yes. 4. Seven years. 5. Yes. 6. Six miles, 102 families, sixty-eight of whom are Protestant, the rest Roman Catholic. 7. Nothing done for Negroes. 8. Twice a Sunday, most Protestants attend. 9. Three times a year. 15-20 communicants. 10. During Lent. 11. There is no warden or vestry and only such service books as he provides himself. 12. £60-80, paid in sugar. 13 and 14. No house or glebe. 15. No. 16. No. 17. No.
117. James Cruikshank, St. George's, and St. Peter's, Montserrat: 1. Thirty years. 2. No, except for occasional supply. 3. Yes. 4. Thirty years. 5. Yes. 6. St. George's: 16 miles, seventeen Protestant and thirty-four Roman Catholic families; St. Peter's, twenty Protestant families and one Roman Catholic. 7. Nothing done for Negroes. 8. Every Sunday, few of the richer sort attend. 9. Three times a year. 8-12 communicants. 10. May to August. 11. No wardens, no Bible or service book, belonging to the church. 12. £80, paid in sugar. 13 and 14. No house, no glebe. 15. Two cures, as indicated. 16. No. 17. No.
118. Henry Pope, St. George's, Nevis: 1. Eight years. 2. No. 3. Yes. 4. Eight years. 5. Yes. 6. Eight miles, seventy-three families. 7. Nothing done for Negroes. 8. Every Sunday and some festivals. 50-70 attend on Sundays, few on other days. 9. Four times a year; 12-20 communicants. 10. No regular catechizing. 11. Church adequately furnished, but the building is in ruinous condition. 12. £60-70. 13. House and small glebe. 14. House recently built; responsibility for repair not determined. 15. No. 16. No public school, but Richard Morgan teaches a few youths in the church. 17. No.
119-20. Simon Smith, no present parish, but formerly of Falmouth Parish, Antigua, to which his answers apply: 1. He has been in the plantations thirty years. 2. Part of this time he was a naval chaplain. He was stationed in New York from 1695-1701, and ministered in the city, though without regular induction. 3. Yes. 4. Presented to Falmouth Parish in 1701. 5. While serving that parish, he resided with Governor Codrington. 6. Five miles long, forty-two families. 7. Nothing done for Negroes. 8. Twice every Sunday. Most of parish attended. 9. Thrice a year to about fourteen communicants. 10. No regular catechizing. 11. Yes. 12. About £80. 13 and 14. No house or glebe. 15. No. 16. No. 17. No.
121-2. 'Abstract' of a letter from Walter Thomas, minister in St. Christophers, to an unnamed correspondent, Jan. 8, 1724/5. Urges that some of the French lands be appropriated for a school.
123. Archibald Cockburn to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, Mar. 10, 1724/5. Speaks of having answered the bishop's queries.
124-5. John Anderson to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, Sept. 25, 1725. As the people at Basseterre have decided that they want two services on Sunday, they have agreed to raise 10,000 lb. of sugar by voluntary subscription to provide an assistant to Anderson, and he will contribute an additional 6,000 lb. to bring the salary up to the legal amount. He asks the bishop to select someone for the post.
126-7. James Cruikshank to Bishop Gibson, Mountserat, Jan. 2, 1726. He had hopes of obtaining preferment in England in the time of Queen Anne and Bishop Compton, but failed. As Field has returned to England, he asks the bishop to recommend him to the governor for appointment to Field's parish.
128-9. Robert Robertson to Bishop Gibson, St. Paul's, Nevis, Feb. 7, 1725/6. Also applies for Field's parish. Field's death is regarded as imminent.
130-1. Duplicate of (128-9).
132-3. James Field to Bishop Gibson, Windsor, Mar. 20, 1726. He is going to Bath, as he finds the air of Windsor too sharp. He recommends Birchall as his successor as commissary.
134-7. Simon Smith to Bishop Gibson, St. John's, Antigua, Apr. 5, 1726. Gives some account of his work in New York and of a dispute concerning the payment of his salary in Falmouth Parish. Desires to succeed Field in St. John's.
138-40. John Anderson to Bishop Gibson, Basseterre, St. Christophers, Aug. 15, 1726. The portion of the island, formerly French, ceded to Great Britain at the Treaty of Utrecht, has never been divided into parishes, except for Basseterre, and its erection is temporary, as the law terminates it when the French lands are sold. The lands formerly held by religious orders and colleges could provide endowments for parishes to be erected in the area, but commissioners for the sale of those lands have arrived from England, and he cannot find that there is any intention to use any part of the proceeds for religious purposes. He is not pressing his request for a curate, as the prevalence of religious indifference makes him doubt that the people will pay their pledges.
141. James Field to Bishop Gibson, Windsor, Sept. 28, 1726. Encloses some answers to queries. He had some from answers in Antigua, but cannot find them. Allen has removed from Montserrat to Falmouth Parish, Antigua, leaving Cruikshank the only minister on Montserrat.
142-5. John Anderson to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, Oct. 4, 1726. A copy of (138-40) with minor variations.
146-7. (James Field) to Bishop Gibson, Windsor, Nov. 17. 1726. Unsigned and possibly incomplete, but shown to be from Field by handwriting and content. He has lost most of his blood through some accident, and thinks it was barbarous of Bishop Robinson to force him to return to Antigua when he was in poor health and had supplied his parish with a curate. Having lost the answers from Antigua, he endeavours to summarize the situation there. One of the clergy, Knox, 'a proud, impudent Scott', refused to answer the bishop's queries, questioning his jurisdiction. Antigua has five parishes, lately increased to six. Field was rector of St. John's. Thomas Saunders is rector of St. Peter's, Thomas Allen of St. Paul's, James Knox of St. Mary's, and Samuel Orr of St. Philip's. St. George's, lately formed by a division of St. Peter's, is without a minister. Most of the churches are of stone and well built, except St. Philip's, which has a mean building, meanly furnished. St. John's is building a new church. Every parish, except St. Philip's, has a glebe.
148-9. Simon Smith to Bishop Gibson, St. John's, Antigua, May 5, 1727. Having heard that the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel proposes to start a college in Bermuda, he writes to say that he thinks it the least suitable place in America, as there are few Indians or Negroes to be instructed there. He recommends South Carolina as the best location.
150-1. Francis Degrand to Bishop Gibson, London, Oct. 8, 1727. (Latin). Degrand is pastor of a French church in St. Christophers using the Anglican rite.
152-3. William Husband to Bishop Gibson, Ashby de la Zouch, Nov. 22, 1727, A testimonial to his brother who is seeking a licence for Antigua.
154-5. Charles Cholmondely to Bishop Gibson, Nov. 25, 1727. A testimonial to Husband, who has been his parish minister and domestic chaplain for six years, since his ordination to the diaconate.
156-7. Lord Londonderry to Bishop Gibson, Nov. 25, 1727. (Signature damaged.) A testimonial to Husband.
158-9. Samuel (Bradford, Bishop of) Rochester to Bishop Gibson, Manchester, Nov. 29, 1727. He has no personal knowledge of Husband, who served under his predecessor, but he has heard nothing against him.
160. Cradock Wells to Bishop Gibson, Aug. 25, 1727. There are five parishes in Nevis, only one of which is filled. The other four could be conveniently formed into two pairs, each served by a single minister.
161. John Clarke to --- Newman, Cornhill, Feb. 4, 1728. Encloses an unnamed book and some letters for the bishop's consideration.
162-5. John Anderson to Bishop Gibson, Basseterre, St. Christophers, Mar. 18, 1727/8. Complains that, though the former French part is half of the island, only three parishes have been set up there, as against six in the English half, and the funds set apart for their support are inadequate. Anderson has been turned out of his parish of Basseterre by acting-governor Mathew for excommunicating a parishioner who had deserted his wife and was living in open adultery. The parish has been given to Walter Thomas, formerly curate to Field on Antigua, who already has two parishes on St. Christophers.
166-7. John Estridge to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, Apr. 13, 1728. Asks his aid in securing the publication of a book on an unspecified subject. Names Daniel Alford as his agent in London.
168-9. Governor Lord Londonderry to Bishop Gibson, Antigua, Sept. 30, 1728. Clergy in Antigua are well paid. He estimates the value of their livings at £200 currency, plus perquisites which, in the largest, St. John's, bring the total to about £300. Field left St. John's in the care of Allen, whose parish is five miles away, and Allen has now gone to England. Husband, whose parish is also five miles distant, officiates in the afternoon every other Sunday, but this is of little use, as few people attend afternoon services, because of the heat. He will investigate conditions in the French part of St. Christophers when he visits that island. Simon Smith is dead. Governor seeks a licence for Charles Louis de Villette, a French minister who speaks English well and has been tutor to the governor's younger brother, as well as chaplain to Earl Wanhope. This letter will be delivered by Sir George Walters.
170-1. John Anderson to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, Nov. 26, 1728. Accuses Thomas of encouraging immorality by condoning scandalous misconduct in prominent persons.
172-3. John Anderson to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, Dec. 1, 1728. Recommends Thomas Moss, a graduate of the University of Dublin, for orders. He has deferred making a formal complaint to the governor of his deprivation until the governor has dealt with the initial business of his administration, but implies that he has complained to the Board of Trade as well as the bishop.
174. List of parishes in the Leeward Islands, with salaries and names of incumbents, Dec. 1, 1728.
175-6. John Lister to Bishop Gibson, London, Dec. 25, 1728. In spite of having been refused a licence by the bishop, for unspecified reasons, he is sailing for the plantations. Notation says for the Leewards.
177-80. John Anderson to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, Jan. 14, 1728/9. A copy of (162-5) which he fears has miscarried.
181-2. Henry Husband to Bishop Gibson, Antigua, Apr. 10, 1729. Acknowledges appointment as commissary. He has visited the islands and sent a report which does not appear in the present collection, though (174) may have been part of it. Most of the churches are in repair, but he recommends building a new one at Willoughby Bay. St. John's is being rebuilt and the external structure is completed. There are no charges against the present clergy. Orr, who is deceased, was subject to some scandal, and Allen, who has returned to England, was charged with swearing and gaming. Too many of the clergy neglect catechizing, not receiving much encouragement from the parents, although it is greatly needed as there is a shortage of schools in the islands. There is also a shortage of books, and he solicits some from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Letter will be delivered by --- Martin, speaker of the assembly.
183. Recent changes in the parochial situation, Apr. 10, 1729. Accompanying (181-2). Husband is at St. John's, which has raised his stipend to £250, but supplies St. George's, pending the arrival of Villette. St. Paul's is vacant, pending Allen's return, or the appointment of a successor. St. George's, Basseterre, is in dispute between Thomas and Anderson, but Thomas is at present in possession.
184-7. John Anderson to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, Apr. 28, 1729. As Colonel Butler, his correspondent in England, has refused to act from fear of offending Mathew, and as he fears that some of his letters to the bishop may have miscarried or been stolen, he reviews the whole history of his service at Basseterre and his deprivation.
188-9. Lord Londonderry to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, June 8, 1729. As clergymen are deterred from coming to the islands from fear of the heat and high cost of living, he offers some comments on both. Some new-comers succumb to the climate, but he thinks this is because of excessive use of rum. He holds that the climate is healthy for persons of moderate habits. Though the heat of the sun is intense, there is always a breeze. The cost of living he holds to be moderate. Fresh meat is about twice the London price and poultry about equal to it, but fish is cheap and salt and pickled beef (from Ireland), flour (from Philadelphia), and wine (from Madeira) are reasonable. Negroes are less expensive than white servants. He believes that the clergy are fairly well provided for.
190-1. John Lister to Bishop Gibson, Antigua, Aug. 16, 1729. Reports death of Husband, and asks to succeed him as commissary. Refers to some controversy in which he was involved at Windsor. It was apparently political in character, for he protests his loyalty to the royal family. The governor is ill and Lister has suffered from fever about half the time since his arrival.
192-7. John Anderson to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, Apr. 2,1730. A long attack on Mathew.
198-9. John Tittle to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, Apr. 10, 1730. (Damaged.) He was appointed to St. Thomas', Nevis, but, as that parish is without a church building and the people do not seem very desirous of having a minister, he is seeking another appointment, though there are, at present, as many clergymen as livings in the island and more are expected.
200-1. John Tittle to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, June 7, 1730. Accompanying a gift of pineapples.
202-3. John Merae to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, Aug. 20, 1730. Having been presented by lieutenant-governor Mathew to two parishes, at different times, he asks the bishop's ruling on his right to hold both, and also on his right to claim his salary in the second, which is in the French part of St. Christophers, though some of the vestry would withhold it until the church is completed. Mathew is again acting governor because of the death of Lord Londonderry.
204-5. Extracts from vestry minutes of St. Paul's, Cabecca Terre and St. Thomas', Middle Island, Nov. 27, 1730, and earlier dates, made by Merae and enclosed with (202-3). Last entry is a repeal of previous resolutions concerning him and a resolution not to pay any minister until the church is completed. Other resolutions, from both parishes, alter his compensation in various ways. He accuses Thomas Butler of being the chief mover against him.
206-7. John Merae to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, Feb. 13, 1730/1. Reviews the case as earlier letters may have miscarried.
208-9. John Merae to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, Feb. 3, 1731/2. He has decided to relinquish his claim to St. Paul's rather than become involved in a long dispute.
210-13. James Knox to Bishop Gibson, St. John's, Antigua, Apr. 18, 1732. He has received a letter from the bishop saying that he has been appointed commissary, but never received the actual commission. Probably it was carried to one of the other islands. Though the Leewards are under one governor, each island has a separate lieutenant-governor and legislature. The basic salary of 16,000 lb. sugar is still the legal requirement, but it has been raised to £200 currency by voluntary action of the vestries in Antigua and St. Christophers. This is worth £130 sterling at the official exchange rate, but is usually paid in produce, so that its actual worth is only about £100 sterling. All ministers have a house and small glebe, or house allowance. Perquisites are trifling, except in St. John's, Antigua, and Basseterre, St. Christophers, where they make the livings worth £250 and £200 sterling, respectively. There is no induction. Presentation by the governor is supposed to give title, but there is usually a formal reception of the minister by the vestry. Nothing is done for the conversion of the Negroes.
214-15. Charles Rose to Bishop Gibson, Antigua, Nov. 6, 1732. Hearing of a vacancy in the Leewards, he came here from Barbados and was presented to St. Peter's, Parham, Antigua by Governor Michael Smith. The vestry refused to receive him, on the plea of a prior commitment to --- Ford, who was expected from England. Governor Smith sent the vestry a letter saying that their rejection of his presentation was a defiance of the King, and Rose is now uneasily settled in the parish, but is resolved to teach school as his salary is inadequate.
216-19. James Knox to Bishop Gibson, Antigua, Apr. 12, 1733. His health requires him to visit England, so he asks the bishop to ordain Francis Byam, son of Governor Byam of Antigua, to serve as his curate and to authorize his return, informing Governor Mathew of the fact. John Douglas, recently arrived, has been appointed to St. George's, Antigua, by acting-governor, Michael Smith, who is regularly president of the council of Nevis.
220. --- to Bishop Gibson, Mountserat, Sept. 5, 1733. Urges the bishop to send some clergy as there is only one minister in the island and he is so aged that he can scarcely perform the service. Though unsigned, the letter was probably not meant to be anonymous, as the writer refers to himself as presiding over the island in the absence of Thomas Diggs, the lieutenant-governor, who is in London.
221-2. James Knox to (Governor Mathew), Dec. 8, 1733. Written under the influence of strong emotion on the morning following the death of his wife.
223-4. Governor William Mathew to Bishop Gibson, Nevis, Dec. 21, 1733. Encloses (221-2). Knox's mind has become completely disordered. After he attempted to drown himself, the governor granted a commission of lunacy. If the parish becomes vacant, he proposes to appoint Byam to it. --- Hibbert who came over just before Mathew, has died. --- Bernonville has been appointed to St. Philip's, Willoughby Bay, Antigua. --- Langley of St. Christophers has absconded because of debt.
225-6. (Robert Davidson) to --- Stehelin, St. Christophers, Sept. 20, 1734. (Name of writer has been torn off, but is given in notation.) As the parish in Montserrat for which he was intended had already been filled, he is supplying the parish in St. Christophers abandoned by Langley at half pay until Governor Mathew gets a ruling from the attorney-general that he can regard it as vacant and present Davidson to it. People of the islands are friendly and hospitable, but indifferent to religion. Unitarian and Deistic views are held by many.
227-8. John Langley to Bishop Gibson, St. Eustatius, Oct. 1, 1734. Asks his aid in returning to England.
229-30. John Dumeny to --- Stehelin, St. Christophers, Mar. 15, 1734/5. He has one of the best parishes in the islands which, with perquisites and income from tutoring, gives him a total income of about £300 a year. He finds the climate agreeable, in spite of the heat. Davidson talks of returning unless he receives presentation. This will be regrettable, as he is a good man, and they need good clergy in the islands. Many of the older clergy are ignorant and some of them are scandalous.
231-6. Will of John Anderson, Clerk, of St. Christophers, July 3, 1735. Leaves his estate in the island to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, subject to a number of relatively small bequests (which he expects to be covered by a capital of £6,000) to relatives and the Episcopal clergy and charities in Scotland.
237-8. Governor William Mathew to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, Sept. 22, 1735. William Simpson, a supposed convert from Roman Catholicism whom Mathew presented to a parish in Nevis on the recommendation of the bishop, died recently, professing himself still a Roman Catholic. He has no complaint against the other clergy, except that Anderson has not been in his own or any other church to officiate or attend service for two years.
See Gibson 2.ff.83-4.
239-42. John Anderson to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, Oct. 4, 1735. Though he had had to abandon his suit for the parish of Basseterre, due to opposition of Governor Mathew, he has had such success as a planter that he has accumulated a considerable estate which he proposes to leave to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (cf. 231-6).
243-4. Meeting of a committee of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, Jan. 27, 1736(7). Agree to report to the society that the Reverend Mr. Tittle has made the best bid for Anderson's estate.
245-6. Governor William Mathew to Bishop Gibson, Antigua, Feb. 5, 1738/9. Francis Byam has been named commissary on the governor's recommendation.
247-8. Francis Byam to Bishop Gibson, Antigua, June 4, 1739. Acknowledges receipt of commission. As it is the hurricane season, he is unable to visit the islands to give a full report. James Berry, who was brought from Dublin on the recommendation of the Archbishop of Dublin, has been presented by Governor Mathew to St. George's, Antigua, on condition that he apply to the bishop for a licence. He has behaved himself well and won general respect. Byam asks the bishop to use his influence to secure the confirmation of an interim appointment to the council given him by Governor Mathew.
249-50. J. Tittle to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, Oct. 3, 1739. Asks the bishop to intervene with the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel to prevent --- Coleman from turning him out of his half of an estate (presumably Anderson's) which they are supposed to share jointly under some agreement in which the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel is involved and with which Mr. Paris is familiar.
251. Receipt of Ferdinand John Paris, Dec. 5, 1740, for £50 paid to him by the bishop on behalf of Tittle, by order drawn on Charles Pryme and Anthony Hodges.
252-3. Ferdinand John Paris to John Tittle, Surrey St., London, Dec. 12, 1740. The bishop, in giving him the above £50, seemed annoyed at his not having proceeded in Tittle's case, but this was because Tittle had not paid him the fees already due and he was unwilling to grant him further credit. £50 will not suffice to push the action, and he recommends an accommodation with Coleman, who has an excellent reputation in London and whose complaint is that Tittle acts in the management of the estate without consulting his attorney.
254. Receipt signed by Ferdinand John Paris, Mar. 14, 1740/1, for £21 from John Tittle by bill on Arthur Heywood.
255-6. J. Tittle to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, Apr. 30, 1741. He is being prosecuted for non-residence in his parish, because his agreement with Coleman requires him to live on the estate which he manages, though he says that the plantation on which he resides is only seven miles from his parish church.
257-8. Ferdinand John Paris to John Tittle, Surrey St., London, May 22, 1741. He holds that he is still not fully paid what Tittle owes him, even if the bill referred to in (254) which is drawn on someone in Liverpool, where he has no correspondents, can be paid. He is unwilling to go forward with the case until someone in London undertakes to see him paid. (Copy by Tittle.)
259-60. Account dated St. Christophers, July 15, 1741, showing total payments of £160. 1s. 0d. from John Tittle to Ferdinando John Paris.
261-2. J. Tittle to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, July 16, 1741. Encloses (259-60). He maintains that Paris has received sufficient fees and still delays his action. He also complains of various actions by Coleman.
263-4. Francis Byam to Bishop Gibson, Antigua, Sept. 26, 1741. Concerned to learn that the bishop has not received any letters from him though he has sent several. One was a list of the clergy. Another contained an account of case of John Clark, a clergyman who refused to accept any regular benefice, but intruded in various parishes to baptize and perform other offices, and who performed a clandestine marriage in Nevis. As he slighted Byam's admonition and he did not know how to proceed against him, since he had no parish, he sent affidavits in the case to the bishop. Clark has since left the islands. Byam fears that letters are often opened on shipboard out of curiosity or malice, and will henceforth send his letters to the bishop under cover to his brother-in-law.
265-6. J. Tittle to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, Oct. 3, 1741. Encloses (257-8) and renews his contention that he has paid Paris sufficiently and that Paris neglects his case.
267-8. Governor William Mathew to Bishop Gibson, Antigua, May 28, 1742. Admits to having presented two clergymen without licence from the bishop. One was Berry (cf. 247-8). The other was an unnamed clergyman who came only with a recommendation from the Bishop of Salisbury (cf. 271-2). He has appointed Robert Davidson to the parish of St. Paul's, Falmouth, Antigua, vacated by the resignation of --- Wilson. Davidson resigned St. Paul's, Cabeccaterre, St. Christophers, to which the governor had appointed him, on the return of Langley, who had succeeded in reaching some arrangement with his creditors. A list of all the clergy in the islands is included.
269-70. Copy of (267-8).
271-2. William Mathew to Bishop Gibson, Antigua, June 2, 1742. Encloses copy of previous letter (267-8 or 269-70). The bishop whose recommendation is mentioned was Hoadley. If Mathew's recollection is correct, he was bishop of Salisbury at the time (1723-4).
273-4. J. Tittle to Bishop Gibson, St. Christophers, July 10, 1742. Acknowledges receipt of a letter enclosing two which he forwarded to the governor and Commissary Byam. Thanks the bishop for unspecified favours.
275-6. Francis Byam to Bishop Gibson, Antigua, June 16, 1744. Acknowledges some tracts of the bishop's which he has distributed. He is concerned with the growth of Roman Catholicism in the islands. He does not think that they make many converts, except by marriage, but they say mass publicly in Montserrat and privately in Antigua and he thinks that they are shown too much indulgence. No Protestant dissenters have any meeting houses in the islands. Some Presbyterians attend his church and there are a few isolated Quakers. Deists have some representation but have not grown very strong. Byam seeks permission to visit England to put his sons in school and, perhaps, to seek preferment there.
277. Walter Thomas to Robert Brigstock, St. Christophers, Mar. 4, 1744/5. He will allow a clergyman who will serve the parishes of St. George's and St. Peter's, the salary of the latter (£160) plus the perquisites of both parishes (estimated at 200 pistoles a year) while retaining the salary of St. George's (£225, currency).
278-9. Francis Byam to Bishop Gibson, St. John's, Antigua, Oct. 12, 1748. He was unable to wait on the bishop before returning from England, as he received a letter which made an immediate return imperative. He refers to an act against Roman Catholics, passed in the islands, but not presented for confirmation before he left England. They are growing in numbers and wealth. He encloses a list of clergy, but is not sure that it is altogether correct for Montserrat or Nevis. There are some clergy without the bishop's licence and he asks advice concerning them.
280. Francis Byam to Bishop Sherlock, St. John's, Antigua, June 14, 1749. Asks to be continued as commissary, or, if the rumour is correct that suffragans are to be appointed for America, to be considered for that post. He had started proceedings against an unnamed clergyman for performing clandestine marriages, but has discontinued them on the assumption that his authority expired with Bishop Gibson's death.
281-2. Robert Robertson to Bishop Sherlock, Nevis, May 3, 1749. Refers to some writings of the bishop's and recommends some of his own.
283-4. Charles Rose to Bishop Sherlock, Antigua, July 20, 1749. He has been rector of St. Peter's Church, Antigua, since 1732 and is a graduate of King's College, Aberdeen, from which he has a degree of LL.D. He says that he alone stemmed the tide of Deism in the island and that he would have become commissary if Bishop Gibson had survived. He lists the clergy of the island and mentions the recent arrival of Alexander Grant and Robert Moncrief. Grant was a dissenting teacher in the island whom Rose persuaded to seek Anglican orders. He has gone to Tortola until there is a vacancy in the Leewards.
285-6. Charles Rose to Bishop Sherlock, Antigua, Nov. 24, 1749. Opposes the ordination of John King, who may be recommended by former Governor George Thomas of Pennsylvania and others who are his relatives. Rose accuses him of being a Deist in his views and dissolute in his manners.
CustodialHistoryAlso cited as FP 19
CopiesMicrofilm: Lambeth Palace Library MS Film 761

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