Sunday, 8 December 2013

30 April 1813

Antigua April 30, 1813


    On my arrival here on Wednesday, I had just time to forward you by the Fleet two Bills of Exchange for £100 drawn by Thos Allman on Alexd Worswick, the other for £300 Sterling drawn by Edward Thompson on the Commissioners for the Transport Service, duplicates of which you have here with; also a duplicate of Blacks Bill for £150 the first of which was sent in Feby. Since I have been here I have received yours of the 15th March, I should have written to you more frequently, but not being able to send you any Bills has been the only reason, I have done every thing in my power to get paid, the not able to effect it has I assure you given me a good deal of uneasiness, I am now promised more Bills this day, but am uncertain if I shall succeed; from Barbuda I could sell many things, but the difficulty of getting the money is beyond everything, and what a person in England can have no idea of; the greater part of my comings since I have been in this Country is now due to me, as far as lay in my power I have always endeavoured to pay you your Balances, & put what money was out standing to my own account, & could I have now raised the money by any means your Accounts should have been fully paid, but which I am sorry to say it is not in my power to do. For want of payment I have been obliged to curtail the sales from Barbuda, we have a great plenty of stock on the Island, Inclosed is Letter I received from Black with the last Bill for £300 by which you will receive I have done what I could to get payment from them, he still owes me about £100 Sterling & Holleran between 3 & 4 Hundred, the last part of his letter I shall not attend to, as I am so soon to leave this Country; nor have I been at all anxious to dispose of any thing from the Island, nor shall I until your determination respecting the supplies to the Navy is known, you may supply many Cattle & sheep but not sufficient when many ships are here, but what may be wanting you can as well procure as the present Contractors upon this head I will make a point of seeing you immediately on my arrival in England, and will get every information in the meantime. Your boat has been so much engaged carrying Sugar etc from your Estates, that she has not been able to go to Barbuda but once since Christmas, & that to get a new mast put in, & for 15 oxen for your Estates, the other which was driven onshore in the October Gale is now there, & is undergoing a thorough repair which will not be finished these two months, of course the sales this year have been trifling.  Your Letter of the 5th Jany I have also received but not so soon as I ought the one of the 7th reached me a Packet sooner, as soon as I received the Protest for Mr Rawlins Bill I went myself to St Kitt’s & have seen Mr R. who has promised to have the Bill paid by the sailing of the June Packet, he says that Mr Paynes failure has embarrassed him in consequence of which he shall not have Funds to meet the Bill until that time, I took advice on the occasion & was recommended that I remain till then, as I could not receive it sooner in a course of Law, then left the Protest with a Gentleman of St Kitt’s who will if its not paid by the appointed time commence a suit against him for its recovery, I had advised Mr Rawlins of the Protest for non acceptance immediately on its coming out. Since you first mentioned the Turtle shell not a bit has been disposed of in this Island, but has been sent to Mr Trattle, if I recollect aright I sent you Mr Trattles account of the sales of the first quantity shipped, the shell of last year would have gone in this Fleet had I not been detained so long at sea, a turtle has 13 pieces of shell which weighs from two to three pounds according on the size, we have not caught one as yet this season, July & August are the best months; the first that is caught shall be sent directly to you, there is now a ship here for Bristol by which I hope to be able to send it. The sheep of Barbuda are very small, taking a drive generally they will not average more than six or eight & twenty pounds, nor are they in their wild state ever very fat, good Mutton will at Antigua sell readily at 2/9 but that is very different from the Barbuda sheep, I have tried them every way, some time since I endeavoured to sell some at public auction, & sent over an Hundred for that purpose, but could get rid of of very few as they would not fetch 5$ I was therefore obliged to let Black & Holleran have them at that price, when I first went on the Island they were sold at a Currency per pound alive which did not bring 40/-I then sold them @ 40/6, & afterwards @45/- the other part of your letter I shall be much better able to explain when I have the pleasure of seeing you in England. As you are aware to the Balance due me on the Wreck Account being brought into the Island Accounts I have omitted it in the present, and shall place it against the money received for the oppossum which will still leave a balance due me on that scene of about 30£a statement of which you shall have by the next Packet, when I trust I shall send you the Balance due on the Barbuda Accounts to Christmas, the balance now due is £398: 14: 53/4 in my account current you will observe to accounts changed one of £49. 10 for three Asses which were sent there by Mr Athill, & to my knowledge have never before been paid for; they have now increased considerably; the other is an old Account contracted before I went on the Island, I paid it by the consent & advice of Mr Martin; it agrees with your own Books. You have also the Estates account the balance favouring Barbuda is £1395: 13: 2. We have been very dry for some time before I left the Island on Sunday I had ordered Hay to be given to the Cattle in the Enclosures, but I think on Monday we must have had a good rain I was becalmed with in a few miles all the day, & it appeared to rain hard on the land for three or four Hours. I remain
your Most Obedient Humble
(signed) John James

Per Geo Hibbert Capt Head
I have shipped for you six Green Turtle.

Reference: Gloucestershire Records Office, Microfilm no.351, Section no.6, D1610 C24
Accessed through Simon Fraser University library

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