12 S.X.MAY is, 1922.] NOTES AND QUERIES. 363 Spannish wormes," and beg the planters to return specimens of their first year's trial of silk-producing. The owners declare : It cannott be denyed but that the wrongs done unto vs by our Tennants in those Islands hath soe discouraged the most of vs that wee were ready to give over the Plantacon. They commend Gov. Woodhouse's admini- stration of an oath " to p*vent their devices." This seems to have met with small favour, and in the protest the Rev. Mr. Stirke and the Rev. Mr. Bernard had joined. The owners say, " In truth we could wish you had proceeded in a more milder manner w th them both," as ministers are very valuable to the community and other ministers will not go out unless they expect good treat- ment. The Earl of Warwick has long known Mr. Bernard and pleads in his behalf. Mr. Stirke complains that he has not received any of his last year's salary of 5401bs. of tobacco and is in great want. Certain private individuals ask for cedar-trees to be cut from their own lands and the Governor is asked to investigate the matter of the Widow Jacob's goods, which were landed on the island but seem to have been lost and for which she has not received restitution (Lefroy, op. cit., i., pp. 357-61). Another letter to Gov. Woodhouse, dated March 21, 1625/6, contains this item : Thirdlie the 9 ounces of Ambergreece found floating within the bounds of Mr Etheridge his land, we suppose it to be in the nature of a wracke and that according to our lawes the one moyetie of the fynders pte wch is one quarter of the whole belongs to Mr Etheridge the other moyetie thereof belonging to the Oompanie we have receaued. This letter is printed by Lefroy, ' Me- morials,' i., pp. 372-78, who gives 10 names , of the signers and then says, " and 12 more names." Was Etherege's name one ? A letter from the Bermuda Company " To the Inhabitants and Planters of the Somer Islands," London, Sept. 20, 1626, announces the sending of Capt. Phillip Bell, Esq., as Governor and successor to Capt. Woodhouse. This letter cautions against excessive planting of tobacco, as some other employment " in short tyme may be of more profitt and better repu- tacon." It urges the planting of mulberry - trees and aniseed, and protests against the sending of poor tobacco, as Virginia or Spanish tobacco is, much of it, better than that from the Somers Islands. The com- plaint is made that the tenants are not dealing fairly with the owners, the former putting so many charges on the owners that the latter's profit is entirely eaten up. The owners refuse to stand for servants' wages but will pay their share of the levy on the marketable crop for the mainten- ance of the King's Castle. This letter is signed by 14 members. Fifth in the list is " Georg Etheridg " (ibid., i., pp. 397-99). A part of the difficulty came from the imposition of 9d. a pound by the Crown through the establishment of a royal monopoly of tobacco by 1625. It was impossible for the settlers to pay this and make a profit. Some suffered arrest for debt (Scott, op. cit., ii., p. 291). The company appealed to Parliament, which appealed to Charles I., stating that this imposition was six times greater than that due according to the charter. Aside from this, the island was in a prosperous way by 1629, increasing in population and live stock (ibid., ii., p. 292). According to the lawsuit early referred to, the oldest son of George Etherege, the shareholder, was in Bermuda in 1628. The following extract from the Bermuda records, "At a Council [in Bermuda], 20 Decem., 1630," indicates that he was still there, was called Capt. George Etherege and had probably become resident on his father's property. In a contraversy betweene Thomas Jennings on the one part, and M r George Etheridg on the other parte. We whose names are herevnder written being Deputed to decide the same differ- ence, by order from the Bight Worll Capt Roger Wood Esquier Goumor and Capt general! of the Somer Islands wth consent of both parties, doe conclude agree and Arbitrate in maner ffollowing. Imps on condition that Capt Jennings do absolutely leaue the Land that hee lately had in occupation in Pagett's Tribe into the hands of the said George Etheridg : in recompence thereof the said George Etheridg is to pay vnto the said Capt Jennings ffor his seuerall Laboures and buildings The particular sommes of To- bacco ffollowing : ffor ffilling 3 acres of Land at 24 Ib. tobac per aker . . . . . . 72 Ibs. ffor 150 ffoote of Tobacco Housing newly built 72 ffor building 2 roomes and turning a paire of stayers . . . . . . 64 ffor rebuilding a kitchen freely given . . ffor newe buildinge Storehouse at the water side . . . . . . ..15 ffor paleing of a garden . . . . . . 4 ffor a Locke and a key for the dwelling House . . . . . . . . 8 ffor setting a Table, Bench and Dresser in (he kitchen . . . . . . 4 ffor a Locke on the kitchen dore . . . . 4 ffor making a greate water Trough . . 20 ffor making 2 Hog troughes . . . . 4
Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/445
This page needs to be proofread.