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had learnt a hard lesson by admitted duty-free into Engtheir early misfortunes in Vir- land. This rested on a reading ginia, and in the Caribbees they of some ambiguous clauses in avoided a repetition of the old the patent. But no sooner mistakes. Jean Baptiste du was order restored than the Tertre, a French priest and earl obtained an explanatory historian, who spent many years warrant making it clear that in the West Indies, records that the exemption was solely for every party of English emi- his own benefit : the planters grants came out well supplied were to pay the usual duties, with equipment and foodstuffs and he was to pocket them to carry them over the period instead of handing them on to of establishment. Rapid ex- the state. Then followed the pansion was therefore possible imposition of taxes for the without strain upon the re- governor's salary, for fortificasources of existing settlers, and tions and guards against Carib there was a minimum of hunger raids, and for the endowment and hardship. The French, on of the clergy, as well as the the other hand, he says, neg. quit-rents payable to the prolected these precautions and prietor. The planters found suffered terribly in consequence. under this system that all their As an instance of their careless- labours yielded them a bare ness he relates that on one occa- subsistence, the cream of the sion thirty sick men were dis- profits going to the capitalists embarked from a French ship of London, who regulated prices and left all night on the beach as they chose. Ere many years without attention. In the morn- had elapsed the less fortunate ing only their bones were found : had fallen into debt and mortthe land-crabs had torn them gaged their holdings to the in pieces and devoured them. merchants, who gradually be
Warner kept a firm hand came the absentee owners of upon his colonists, always with much of the land. But Warner an eye to what, unknown to at this period was ruthlessly on them, lay ahead. As soon as the side of authority, working Carlisle's patent was issued in hand in glove with the earl for 1627 Ralph Merrifield came the advancement of their comover to proclaim it, and he and mon fortunes. Warner had to exert themselves Meanwhile the Barbados afto make the new authority fair went forward. Sir William real. There was much grumb- Courteen may or may not have ling among the planters, who been conscious of the plot had imagined themselves to be against his interest; but he freeholders, and now found acted at first as though he had that they had to take their nothing to fear. In the spring lands on lease from the earl. of 1626 he despatched John They were pacified by a promise Powell with a ship to occupy that their tobacco would be the island. But war was in
progress with Spain, Powell Barbados, Trinidad, Tobago, captured a rich prize, and he and Fonseca, alias St Berreturned with her without reach- nard's. The last-named was a ing Barbados. Early in 1627 vaguely reported island, which Powell sailed again with his turned out to have no existson John and his brother Henry. ence in fact. Pembroke may This time they arrived at the have intended to take a personal island and established their interest in Trinidad and Tobago, colony. They found Barbados but concerning Barbados he deficient in useful plants, but himself avowed that he allowed Henry Powell went on to his name to be used only as a Guiana, where he traded with cloak for that of his friend the Dutch on the Essequibo Courteen, who was to be the and obtained various roots and real proprietor. seeds, together with a party Carlisle, prompted by Warner of Indians to act as labourers. and the merchants, had no inThe Powell brothers then re- tention of relinquishing his turned to England, leaving the claim upon Barbados. He had, younger John Powell in com- in fact, already allotted 10,000 mand of the settlement.
acres of its soil to his creditors, It was whilst they were still and he meant to exploit the absent that the Earl of Carlisle remainder for his own benefit. obtained his proprietary grant. He therefore exerted his inIt conveyed the whole of the fluence with the king, and obCaribbee Islands, and also men tained, in April 1628, a second tioned them severally by name, grant, which very explicitly with the former confusion of indicated both Barbados and spelling between Barbados and Barbuda as his property. The Barbuda. We hear of no pro- easy-going incompetence of test from Courteen. He may Charles I. would be amusing if have reasoned that as he was it had not entailed so serious in possession of Barbados it an injustice to his subjects : was not for him to raise the within the space of six weeks question; and it was also
and it was also he had granted Barbados to arguable that since his island two different persons without contained no Caribs it was not any explanation or investigaone of the Caribbees. Never- tion of the circumstances. No theless he thought it expedient doubt the details were to look for a noble patron, of ranged by subordinates, but rank equal to that of Carlisle. the king was responsible for He chose for the purpose the his word. One cannot imagine Lord Chamberlain, Philip Her- a Tudor sovereign placing himbert, Earl of Montgomery, and self in such a position and afterwards of Pembroke. In being so entirely unconscious February 1628, Charles I. issued of his humiliation as Charles letters patent, creating this afterwards appeared to be. nobleman Lord Proprietor of The Carlisle party were satis
fied with obtaining the king's dispute, and the Lord Keeper signature as a warrant for their Coventry was appointed to conproceedings; they were pre- duct an investigation. Thomas pared to seize Barbados with Warner, the originator of the out further invoking his assist- plot, was an indispensable witance. In April 1628 they de- ness, and he was called home spatched Captain Charles Wol- to assist. Although other issues verston with an armed force were raised, the action really and a friendly letter from Car- turned upon the meaning of lisle to the younger John Powell. Warner's original commission In this letter the earl recog- of 1625, and whether the island nised Powell as governor and named in it had been Barbados craved admission for his men, or Barbuda, for it was agreed promising to requite any civility that Warner's rights were now that might be shown to them. incorporated in the Carlisle Powell, without instructions patent. Warner's evidence carfrom his own principals, did not ried the day. He asserted that feel justified in excluding the he had always intended to newcomers. They therefore claim Barbados, and he prolanded, and began an inde- duced the witnesses to whom pendent plantation of their he had been careful to speak own. Within three months to that effect at the time. Wolverston undermined Pow- Coventry therefore reported ell's authority, and then sud- that the Carlisle claim predenly produced a commission vailed, and the king confirmed of his own to act as governor. the decision (April 1629). It Powell attempted resistance, remained to carry it into effect, but was disarmed and im for shortly afterwards Henry prisoned ; and Barbados was Powell came home with Wolin the hands of Carlisle, or verston as his prisoner. Carrather of Carlisle's mercantile lisle at once secured the latter's creditors. News of these pro- release, although he did not ceedings reached England at employ him again. Instead he the close of 1628. The Cour- sent out Captain Henry Hawley teen interest at once prepared with a great ship well armed. a counterstroke. In January
In January Hawley enticed Governor 1629, Captain Henry Powell Powell on board, chained him sailed with a new expedition, to the mast, and recovered the landed on the island, arrested island without firing a shot. Wolverston, and restored his This was final, for Courteen nephew's authority. Then in gave up the contest, and Barthe summer he returned to bados remained in the possesEngland, bringing Wolverston sion of Carlisle.
sion of Carlisle. For Sir Wilwith him in irons.
liam Courteen this was the Before this result was known beginning of the end. He had the two earls appealed to the lost £10,000 in Barbados, and king for a settlement of the shortly afterwards a still greater
venture in the East Indies also separate privateering cruises. miscarried. He died bankrupt He had made a bad mistake, and ruined in 1636.
for the Spanish fleet was then Warner reaped the harvest on its way across the ocean. of his audacity. In September In September 1629 Don Fad1629, Charles I. knighted him rique appeared suddenly off at Hampton Court, and a week Nevis. The leaders of the little later the Earl of Carlisle granted colony, taken by surprise, athim a commission to be Gover- tempted to put up a defence, nor of St Christopher for life but their indentured servants with despotic powers, an office refused to fight. Shouting subsequently extended to the “Liberty! Joyful liberty!” Lieutenant-Generalship of all they threw away their arms the Caribbean colonies. So in and dispersed. The planters a few years the dream of 1624 had perforce to surrender, their was on the way to coming houses were burnt and their true.
crops destroyed, and the But in the moment of triumph Spaniards passed on to repeat serious news arrived to dash the exploit at St Christopher. the victors' exultation. Spain There the defence was stronger, , had awoke to the threat which and some warning had been the new settlements implied to given by boats escaping from her whole position in the West Nevis. The colonists dug enIndies; and Don Fadrique de trenchments at the landingToledo, the commander of the places, and for a week Don outward-bound plate fleet, had Fadrique was checked, conreceived orders to extirpate the tenting himself with taking the Leeward colonies on his way. shipping in the roads. Among The English were quite un- his prisoners was Captain Hawsuspecting, but Richelieu in ley, just arrived from his sucFrance had gained wind of the cessful last seizure of Barbados. plan through his spies. He At length a Spanish force landed accordingly despatched an at the Grande Anse in the armed squadron to protect the southern French quarter, and French interest in St Chris- routed the French and English topher. This force on its arrival who opposed them. The deattacked the English colony on fence then collapsed in panic account of its encroachments and mutual accusations of upon the French quarters, and cowardice. Edward Warner forced the acting governor, surrendered with most of his Edward Warner, son of Sir men, although a considerable Thomas, to withdraw into his number took refuge in the hills proper boundaries. Then the and waited for the storm to French admiral, choosing to pass. A French privateer, one believe that the Spanish peril of the dispersed squadron, apwas illusory, allowed his squad peared at Sandy Point and ron to break up and go off on took off d'Esnambuc and some
of the French ; the remainder although for several months gave themselves up to the there was great scarcity and Spaniards. Don Fadrique be
Don Fadrique be- some starvation. The French haved with humanity. He colony had hitherto been much offered the prisoners the choice weaker than the English, but of service with him or a free the disaster of 1629 had repassage home in the captured moved this disparity, and hencevessels, taking a few hostages forward the two nations lived for the return of the latter to on more equal terms—in a state Spain. Several hundreds of of armed and vigilant peace. the English in this way re- Beyond an occasional raid and gained their native land, al- a mobilisation of forces there though they suffered great pri- was, however, no actual breach vations on the voyage. The between them until the AngloSpaniards, having destroyed all French War of 1666. visible property, then departed, Proprietary government beleaving the islands tenanted came fully developed after only by the fugitives whom 1630. The earl's patent, bethey had been unable to catch. sides making him Lord ProThe total loss of life had been prietor, created him Captainvery small. After the Spaniards General of the Caribbees. This, had gone the remnant of Eng- as the colonists found, was no lishmen-not more than a quar- empty title, for the military ter of the original population rank carried with it the right -resumed possession of their of enforcing martial law at its devastated fields, whilst d'Es- owner's pleasure ; and Sir nambuc landed again and re- Thomas Warner, as Lieutenantoccupied the French area. The General, availed himself fully Leeward colonies had received of the privilege. His governa damaging but not a mortal ment was thoroughly autocratic, blow.
his only assistants being a Sir Thomas Warner was in council whose members he apEngland enjoying his newly pointed and dismissed at his won honours when the news own discretion.
There was, arrived. It was not at first in the early years certainly, known that any Englishmen no semblance of a representawere left in the two islands, but tive assembly—the first menCarlisle and his associates acted tion of such a body occurs only without hesitation to retrieve after Warner's death. He, with the disaster. Early in 1630 the earl's support, maintained Warner sailed for St Chris- the system of taxation already topher with a strong expedi- outlined, enforcing it by such tion, and with him went An- punishments as the burning of thony Hilton, whose mission delinquents' houses, branding, was to re-establish Nevis. Be- whipping, pillorying, and death. tween them they soon had their No doubt he had a rough crew colonies in hand once more, to handle, but one cannot help