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of their legal jurisdiction in such an arbitrary manner that it was not unaptly styled the Barbados Star-chamber. This occasioned many complaints against the Governor, the result of which was an order from the Lords Justices in council, dated 12th October 1720, in which they declare "that the proper jurisdiction of the court, held before the Governor and Council of Barbados, in matters cognizable in any of the courts of common law, is only to correct the errors and grievances arising in the proceedings of the said court, and not to proceed originally in any causes except upon petitions in matter of equity1."

Another case occurred about this time, which, for its cruelty and the illegal proceedings connected with it, stands fortunately single in the history of Barbados. Mr. Bernard Cook, a native of Hanover, had come to Barbados to establish his right to an estate which was in possession of Mr. Frere, a nephew of Governor Lowther. During some altercations which occurred between Cook and the Governor, the latter was accused by Cook of having threatened him with his revenge. An opportunity occurred soon after. Cook was accused of having reflected in conversation on the modesty of the wife of Robert Warren and the wife of Samuel Adams, upon which the husbands determined to prosecute him. A quarter-sessions was called, over which Guy Ball presided, assisted by Francis Bond, Thomas Maycock, jun., Robert Bishop, George Barry, John Fercherson, Stephen Thomas and W. Kirkham; and though Cook was never convicted of the offence, nor could be prosecuted criminally for it, the justices sentenced him to pay to each of the plaintiffs one hundred pounds' fine before he left court, or to receive thirty-nine lashes for each offence. Mr. Cook did not pay the fine, and was publicly whipped by the common whipper of slaves, in open court in the presence of the justices. Mr. Cook petitioned the King on this flagrant act of injustice, and the petition having been referred by order in council of the 22nd March 1719 to the Lords of the Committee for hearing appeals, a commission was instituted for investigating this complaint in Barbados. On the 29th December ensuing the Lords of the Committee reported to his Majesty," that the accusation against Robert Lowther, Esq. had not been substantiated; but that the justices of the peace had proceeded against the petitioner Cook without any crime alleged, for that scandalous words spoken of private persons are no grounds for criminal prosecutions; that the justices have taken upon them to try the matter of fact without a jury, and to deny the petitioner liberty to traverse and remove the proceeding to the grand sessions of the island; in fine, that the justices present in court at the time have proceeded illegally, and have given two sentences which were arbitrary and cruel." In consequence the King in council ordered that the justices present at the trial should be removed from the

1 Caribbeana, vol. i. p. 394.

commission of the peace, and that Guy Ball and Francis Bond, being of his Majesty's council there, should likewise be removed from these posts'. The Governor was ultimately recalled, and desired to appear before the Lords Justices to answer the various complaints preferred against him. On his departure he appointed Mr. John Frere his nephew as president, and removed from the Board Mr. Cox and Mr. Salter, who were senior members, in order to make room for his relative.

The several allegations against Lowther were considered established, and the Lords Justices directed him to be taken into custody, and ordered that he should be prosecuted for high crimes and misdemeanours. The prosecution was however protracted, and George the First dying in the interim, Lowther received the benefit of the act of grace which was proclaimed at the accession of George the Second.

Sir Charles Cox had presented a memorial complaining of the suspension of his brother as President of the Council in Barbados. The Lords Justices issued an order for the restoration of Cox and Salter, and commanding Frere to deliver up the government into the hands of Cox; and upon Frere's refusal, he was ordered to England to answer for his conduct. There he died of smallpox.

Mr. Cox now assumed the government with an iron hand. Several suspensions and dismissals took place, and the island was anew split into factions. During Mr. Cox's administration, the Duke of Portland, who had been appointed Governor of Jamaica, arrived with his Duchess in Carlisle Bay. The animosity of political opponents was forgotten for awhile, and both parties united in showing every hospitality to their noble guests. The Legislature by an order on the Treasury defrayed the expenses of these festivities, which amounted to eight hundred and ten pounds.

The government had appointed Lord Irwin to the governorship of Barbados, but he died of smallpox before he set out from London; Lord Belhaven, who was next appointed, took his passage on board the Royal Anne galley which was lost near the Lizard Point. After this Sir Orlando Bridgeman was appointed, but did not avail himself of his commission, and the government was ultimately conferred upon Colonel Henry Worsley, who arrived in Carlisle Bay on the 22nd of January 1722.

The Governor was permitted by his instructions to accept of a salary from the Legislature: it was therefore his policy to keep it secret that he was empowered to inquire into the conduct of President Cox: until his salary was fixed, he conducted himself with so much policy that both parties considered him their friend, and the Assembly offered him the large sum of six thousand pounds sterling per annum, which was to be

1 Caribbeana, vol. i. p. 342.

defrayed from a capitation-tax of two shillings and sixpence upon each


Mr. Cox was now brought to a formal trial, the result of which was that he was convicted of having acted arbitrarily, corruptly and illegally, and in consequence the Governor not only removed him from the Council, but also declared him incapable of ever resuming a seat at that Board. Having been denied the benefit of an appeal, Cox went to North America, where he passed the remainder of his life. This sentence was pronounced by the candid and impartial part of the community to be severe and undeserved, and this circumstance did not contribute to appease the contending parties.

The commerce of Barbados, burdened by restrictions and duties, felt the more severely the consequences of the low prices of their produce, and the heavy impost with which they had taxed themselves for the Governor's salary pressed alike severely upon all classes. The inhabitants of Barbados therefore seized the opportunity at the death of George the First to declare that, Colonel Worsley not having received a new commission from the successor to the throne, the Act of settlement had expired.

Gelasius MacMahon, who during the administration of Mr. Cox was committed to prison for his contemptuous deportment, availed himself of the existing discontent, and being joined by Robert Warren, clerk to the General Assembly, they used every endeavour to impress the correctness of the popular opinion that the Act of settlement had expired, and the majority of the inhabitants refused in consequence to pay their taxes, or even to give in returns of their slaves. The vestry of Saint Michael doubting their authority to assess the inhabitants of Bridgetown, four of the vestry-men applied for the opinion of Mr. Blenman, then AttorneyGeneral, who pronounced that the Act had not expired. Governor Worsley presented a memorial to the throne, which was referred to the Attorney and Solicitor General of Great Britain, who gave it as their opinion that Mr. Worsley was fully entitled to his levy. His Majesty was consequently pleased to direct, "that in case the arrears of the said tax were not paid on or before the 1st day of July following (1733), his Majesty's AttorneyGeneral of Barbados do cause proper law-suits to be commenced against all persons liable to pay any such arrears, and do take the most effectual methods for the speedy recovery and application thereof," &c.1 Before this peremptory order arrived, Colonel Worsley, tired with the contention of parties and the difficulties of his administration, resigned the government and returned to England, on the 21st of September 1731.

' Caribbeana, vol. i. p. 88. The opinions of Mr. Blenman, Attorney-General of Barbados, and of the Attorney and Solicitor General of Great Britain, are given at large at pp. 40, 43, in the first volume of the Caribbeana, and those of some other lawyers in the appendix to the second volume.

The administration now devolved upon Samuel Barwick, President of the Council. He met the Legislature on the 7th of November 1731, and alluding to several public measures which he considered necessary, he concluded by assuring both Houses of his readiness to give his assistance to any measure which should be proposed for the real welfare of their country; and as they were equally interested in such a step, he recommended above all a perfect union among themselves. These pleasing hopes were not fulfilled; the Council presented a respectful answer to this address, but the House of Assembly, directed by the advice of their Speaker, Mr. Henry Peers, dispensed even with the common civility of addressing the chair, nor would they consent to make any provisions for Mr. Barwick's support during his administration.

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The House of Assembly, in framing a new excise-bill, claimed the unconstitutional control over the public disbursements, which by his late Majesty's order in council had been peremptorily denied them three years before the Council therefore rejected the bill when it was sent up for their concurrence. Mr. Barwick discovered meanwhile that malversation of the public property was about being practised, and that some orders given to Mr. Cox when administering the government for entertaining the Duke of Portland were to be paid a second time1. As some members of the House of Assembly were implicated in the affair, this exposition provoked the ire of the House, and Mr. Barwick was threatened with


The Assembly for the despatch of public business had adjourned de die in diem; they refused to pass an excise-bill, and the President having been given to understand that they purposed proceeding to other business, sent the provost-marshal to adjourn the House to a future day, the President intending to dissolve the Assembly by proclamation before they were to re-assemble. The members were informed of Mr. Barwick's resolution, and to avoid their adjournment they assembled privately in the store of Othniel Haggat, a member of Council, and continued their illegal sittings until they were discovered and adjourned by the President's order. The House was soon afterwards dissolved, and writs for a new election were issued.

The writs for the election of representatives were returned to the President in Council on the 13th of December 1732. On account of his ill-health, Mr. Barwick received the members in his own house at Lancaster Plantation. He concluded his speech with the following words: "As for my own part, I will only say, that whilst I have life, which in

1 See Caribbeana, vol. i. p. 23, and the appendix to the second volume, p. 355. According to a note at page 358, a Committee of Council was appointed to report on this subject, but the arrival of Lord Howe in the interval opening a new scene of politics, the affair was dropped and compromised.

all appearance cannot be long, I shall cheerfully employ it in doing everything that I can be persuaded in my judgement will tend to promote the honour of his most sacred Majesty, and the true interest of this his colony, to which I am prompted by all just considerations that can possibly influence any man in my situation1." Mr. Barwick died on the 1st of January ensuing, in his sixty-third year of age, and was buried in St. James's Church. The 'Caribbeana' says of him,-"This gentleman, how exceptionable soever his private character may have been, was certainly as free from imputation in the public one of Commander-in-chief of Barbados as any of his predecessors; and it is to be wished that all that come after him may be no less so." Upon his demise the administration devolved by his Majesty's instructions upon James Dotin, as eldest member of the Council. He appears to have been in greater favour with the House of Assembly than his predecessor; they voted him one hundred pounds for his reception at Pilgrim, and a present of five hundred pounds for his accommodation during his residence there3. He was speedily superseded by the arrival of the Right Honourable Scroop, Lord Viscount Howe, who had been appointed Governor to the colony.


1 Caribbeana, vol. i.

LORD HOWE met the Council and Assembly at Pilgrim on the 17th of April 1733. In the speech which he delivered, he regretted that the arrangement of his private affairs had taken up a much greater time than he expected, but even during that delay he had endeavoured to make himself useful by representing the many hardships and disadvantages which the trade of the island laboured under, and in soliciting a speedy redress of their grievances. He assured them that several resolutions in their favour had already been agreed to by the Government, and that he had no doubt that effectual relief would follow. Although it had been customary with former Governors to issue writs for a new election on their arrival, he dispensed with this, observing that he had full confidence in the House as then constituted. The gracious speech of Lord Howe made a powerful impression on the Poyer's History, p. 270.

2 Ibid. p. 7.




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