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Majesty's Ordnance. They are now entirely in decay, and the cannons lie on the leeward coast perfectly useless, partly buried in the sand and mud. Whatever may be their present condition, in the time of danger the extent and strength of these fortifications no doubt prevented attacks, as, notwithstanding its importance, Barbados was never invaded by a foreign enemy. It capitulated to Sir George Ayscue, the leader of the forces of the Commonwealth, on the 17th of January 1652, after a siege of three months' duration.
This island forms the head-quarters of her Majesty's forces in the Windward and Leeward Islands. The effective force distributed among the islands amounts, with artillery and engineers, to about four thousand men, under the command of a Lieutenant-General residing in Barbados. The residence appropriated for his accommodation in Bridgetown is spacious and commodious, and is styled, since the Sovereign is of the female line, the Queen's House.
The troops stationed in the island are principally garrisoned in St. Anne's, and the buildings connected with this military establishment, which are the property of the Ordnance Department, are very extensive and commodious. The citadel, as already observed, was commenced under Sir Bevil Granville, and was much improved in after years: it contains several excellent magazines stored with ammunition for the whole command, and an armoury with several thousand stands of arms.
In connection with the Fort are a line of signal stations which extend over the island: they consist of Charles's Fort, one near Queen's House, Highgate, Gunhill, Moncreiffe, Cotton Tower, Granade Hall, and Dover Fort, and are conducted by artillerymen. To the stations at Gunhill and Moncreiffe are attached barracks, which are chiefly used as convalescent stations for the troops. By means of these effective stations communications are conveyed by signals all over the island, as well for military purposes and alarms, as for the summoning of her Majesty's Council, commercial intelligence, &c. The expenses are mostly borne by the Ordnance Department, with the exception of an annual grant of £80 2s. 6d. from the colony. Quite recently however the Ordnance Department have demanded a proportionate increase of the colonial contribution, as the colony reaps the benefit of the signal posts at Cotton Tower, Granade Hall, and Dover Fort exclusively, which otherwise would be discontinued.
There are no pecuniary allowances whatever granted to the Queen's troops garrisoned in Barbados, nor do they receive any rations, quarters or other advantages which form a charge on the colony, if the small amount for repair of the signal stations and the barrack-room at Gunhill and Moncreiffe be excepted. The military works at St. Anne's are kept up entirely at the expense of the Ordnance Department.
The expenditure incurred by Great Britain for the military protection
of the island, and in aid of the civil establishment, amounted in 1841 to £84,179 12s.; in 1842 to £83,999 11s. 6d.; in 1843 to £88,434 8s. ld.; in 1844 to £74,292 2s. 9d.; in 1845 to £74,314 9s. 9d.
The sums which Great Britain has contributed towards the maintenance of the civil establishment, and which are included in the above statement, have since varied from £14,000 to £15,000 annually. This comprises the Governor's salary, of £4000 sterling, pecuniary aid granted towards the ecclesiastical and judicial departments, in aid of schools, and some contingent expenditure. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel has annually contributed in aid of the ecclesiastical and educational establishment, sums from £800 to £1500. The pecuniary assistance, and the parliamentary grant in aid of schools, have since ceased, as I have already had occasion to observe.
The past and present state of the Island.—It has been frequently asserted of late years that the trade and agriculture of the colony, contrasted with the state it presented towards the close of the seventeenth century, has much decreased and its importance declined. But the truth is, that Barbados presents upon an average of five years (from 1841 to 1845), a larger amount of shipping, of imports and exports, and revenue, than it did during the much-vaunted times when it was considered to have reached the zenith of its prosperity. The author has already dwelt upon the exaggerated accounts of its population given by Ligon and Oldmixon if we therefore discard these accounts from our minds, and adopt the official reports to the Lords Commissioners of Trade, we shall find that the Colony has steadily advanced.
It cannot be denied that a great diminution has taken place in the number of white inhabitants, who formerly composed a considerable part of the population; but it remains to be proved that this is any serious loss in a political point of view, as long as they are replaced by a sober and well-conducted population of the coloured race. The majority of the whites consisted of a class sui generis: too proud to earn their livelihood by manual labour, they were too poor to carry on the cultivation of the staple articles on their own account; they became "squadders" upon the land, which might otherwise have been used for the production of sugar.
The official report of Sir Richard Dutton affords us the means of judging of the importance of Barbados in 1683-84. There were 358 sugar-works in operation, and the quantity of useful land was estimated at 89,306 acres. The shipping which visited the island in the course of a year amounted to 338 vessels, of 25,774 tons aggregate burthen. The imports and exports are not mentioned, but the shipping gives us data by which to form an estimate of them.
Let us now compare this account with the present agricultural, commercial and financial resources of Barbados. The number of sugar-estates
in 1846 amounted to 491, with 506 windmills and one steam-engine; the produce of sugar and molasses amounted upon an average of five years (1841 to 1845), to 21,051 hogsheads, 1500 tierces, and 930 barrels of sugar, and 4720 puncheons of molasses; the number of ships which entered the port of Bridgetown upon an average during that period, were 835 of 88,917 tons manned by 6413 seamen. The value of the exports upon a similar average amounted to £685,630 6s. sterling; the imports upon an average of three years1 to £624,636 10s. sterling; the revenue upon an average of five years to £76,852 9s. sterling, and the expenditure to £62,376 15s.
The author of the 'Short History of Barbados,' of which the second edition was published in 1768, says that the exported produce of the island, taking an average of the preceding ten years, amounted to 22,320 hogsheads of sugar (of twelve to sixteen hundred-weight), 14,430 hogsheads of rum, 102 hogsheads of molasses, 4670 packages of ginger, and 600 bales of cotton2. I have no specified return upon a ten years' average for the other staple articles, but the quantity of sugar exported upon an average from 1836 to 1845 amounts to 24,480 heavy hogsheads.
Oldmixon, quoting from Tryon, says, that during its greatest prosperity the island exported 30,000 hogsheads of sugar, and the trade employed at that time 400 ships of 60,000 tons burthen manned by about 2000 seamen. The hogsheads of sugar were of only twelve hundred-weight at that time, which would give 36,000,000 pounds of sugar; 24,480 hogsheads merely at sixteen hundred-weight, give more than 39,000,000 pounds of sugar as an annual average produce for the last ten years; and we know that a great number of these hogsheads weigh as much as 1800 to 1900 lbs.
It is evident from these remarks that the amount of produce has not diminished; but it is another point whether the plantations prove as remunerative as they were formerly; and it is unfortunately but too evident that this is not the case; the agriculturist indeed can only with great exertion and all possible economy earn a moderate return from the capital he employs in the cultivation of the soil.
Previously the value of British goods was not included in the annual amount of imports; this has only taken place since 1843.
A Short History of Barbados from its first discovery and settlement to the present time. Second edition, London, 1768, p. 122.
Historical Sketch of the chief Features of the Administration and Foundation of Laws, from the time of the Proprietary Government to our own. THE author of the 'Memoirs of the first Settlement of Barbados' expressly states, that the Earl of Carlisle gave a commission to Charles Wolferstone to act as governor over the settlement which under his auspices a company of merchants proposed to effect in Barbados. This commission, which bore date the 29th of March 1628, was granted by virtue of a patent which the Earl had received from the King on the 2nd of June 1627, and which empowered Wolferstone to execute justice, decide controversies, keep his Majesty's peace, and punish offenders according to the nature of their several offences, and according to the law of England'. Mr. John Swann was directed by the company of merchants who undertook to form this settlement, to be appointed Lieutenant-Governor, and a convenient number of other persons, not exceeding twenty, were to be chosen by Wolferstone as his Council; with which instructions he complied. Sir William Tufton, who succeeded Wolferstone, held a session on the 23rd of February, and by the advice of his Council he made several laws and divided the island into six parishes3. Captain Henry Hawley superseded Sir William Tufton, and at the first session on the 5th of July 1630 confirmed the former laws. In a subsequent session he ordered, with the advice of his Council, that the courts of grand session should be held annually on Twelfth-day, Easter Monday, the first of August, and the first day of November4.
On the 11th of April 1631, Governor Hawley chose a new Council, consisting of the same individuals as the former, with the exception of Anthony Marbury, who was replaced by Mr. William Dotting. With the concurrence of the Council he formed the Court of Common Pleas, which were appointed to be held monthly at the Justices' houses, and the jurisdiction of which was restricted to all matters not exceeding five hundred pounds of tobacco or cotton; from the decision of this court there was an appeal to the Governor's court, but finable if without a cause. The island was divided into four precincts, and to every Justice there
1 Memoirs of the first Settlement, p. 9, et seq.
2 The names of the members who composed the Council, were Mr. Samuel Andrews, Capt. Talbot, Mr. Thomas Peers, Mr. Richard Leonard, Capt. Robert Hall, Capt. Anthony Marbury, Capt. Henry Brown, Capt. Heywood, Capt. Thomas Gibbes, Capt. Daniel Fletcher and Capt. William Birch.
3 See ante, p. 92.
4 Memoirs of the first Settlement, p. 16.
were appointed four assistants1. In 1636, Captain Richard Peers appears as President of a new Council elected by Hawley. On the 21st of July in that year the monthly courts were reduced to two precincts, and the Justices were directed to take cognizance of all matters not exceeding one thousand pounds of tobacco or cotton. It was also resolved in Council that Negroes and Indians, who were brought to the island to be sold, should serve for life unless a contract was previously made to the contrary.
Oldmixon states that Sir Henry Hunks was the first Governor sent to Barbados with a regular commission. Sir Henry assumed the government in 1640, and resigned in 1641, appointing Captain Philip Bell, who had been Governor of Providence, his Lieutenant-Governor. The Earl of Carlisle was so well satisfied with his administration, that he appointed him in 1645 Governor-in-chief of the island during pleasure, with full power "to act all the authorities" of the Earl's patent: this commission was given him in consequence of his judicious conduct as Lieut.-Governor3.
It was during his government that a constitutional system was established in Barbados. Assisted by his Council, which consisted of ten persons, he divided the island into eleven parishes, and constituted a General Assembly, composed of two representatives from each parish, elected by a majority of freeholders. For the better administration of justice, the island was again divided into four precincts. The fees of public officers were regulated by law, and an Act was passed to raise forty cotton a head on all the inhabitants for the proprietary4.
It is considered that many acts inserted in Rawlins's Collection of Laws as formerly in force, and which have no dates affixed to them, were framed during the administration of Governor Bells.
It is not the author's wish to forestall historical events which belong to a different section of this work; he will therefore only state here that Francis Lord Willoughby of Parham arrived in Barbados on the 7th of May 1650 as Lieutenant-General and Chief Governor of the whole province of Carliola. He summoned an Assembly, and they passed an Act acknowledging his Majesty's right to the sovereignty of the island, and that of the Earl of Carlisle, derived from his Majesty and transferred to Lord Willoughby, and "also the unanimous profession of the true religion in this island, and imposing condign punishment upon the opposers thereof".
It appears the title Esquire was at that time given to the Justices; the assistants were merely styled Mr. The precincts were,-1, from the Windward Point to Mangrove Bridge; 2, from Mangrove Bridge to Mr. Saltonstall's; 3, from Mr. Saltonstall's to Leeward Point; 4, the windward side of the island.
* Oldmixon's British Empire in America, vol. ii. p. 7. This historian is mistaken, as Wolferstone, Tufton and Hawley before Hunks, arrived with commissions which were granted by the Earl of Carlisle by virtue of his patent.
Memoir of Barbados, p. 22.
Oldmixon, vol. ii. p. 8.
'Memoir of Barbados, p. 22.
6 In the list of laws that have been enacted from the settlement of the island, &c., as enumerated by Richard Hall, the last Act passed by Philip Bell which bears date