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Randolph, Edward to William Blathwayt

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05758.01 Author/Creator: Randolph, Edward Place Written: Charles Town, South Carolina Type: Letter signed Date: 22 March 1699 Pagination: 3 p. : address : docket ; 33.7 x 22 cm.

Summary of Content: Reports that Cutler, an adventurer, is in Charleston seeking information on mines of precious metals in the province. Cutler claims he has a commission from the king to search for mines, but Randolph doubts that Cutler has a commission and that there are such mines. Encloses a letter from James Moore giving his thoughts about precious metals in the province. At the time this letter was written, Randolph was Surveyor General of His Majesty's Customs in America and Blathwayt was Surveyor and Auditor General of Royal Revenue in the Colonies.

Background Information: Printed in "Records in the British Public Record Office Relating to South Carlonia, 1698-1700." (Columbia, SC: Crowson-Stone Printing Company, 1946): cor/1287 p. 433-445. The transcript published there reads "I do therefore ...humbly enclose a copy thereof to Mr. Blathwayt in case any should miscarry Trusting your Lordship now will" instead of " . . . to the Earl of Bridgewater, in case any should miscarry. How farr your Lordsp. now will please to communicate." See GLC 5308.02 for the enclosed letter by James Moore. Edward Randolph (1632-1703) was surveyor general of customs in colonial America. In 1684 he worked for the Privy Council for Trade and Plantations and recommended that the Lords of Trade take legal action against the 1629 charter of Massachusetts, ending fifty-four years of independent Puritan government. He remained in Massachusetts and accrued many positions, including deputy auditor to William Blathwayt. During the Glorious Revolution, he was imprisoned by Massachusetts officials and sent back to England to be tried. He was exonerated and made surveyor general of customs for all provinces and colonies in America in 1691. In that position, he traveled throughout the colonies and made many enemies as he used his auditing powers. His experiences led him to recommend the laws that became the last of the seventeenth century Navigation Acts in 1696 and he was tasked with setting up admiralty courts to enforce the law. He traveled throughout the colonies from 1697 to 1699 as the surveyor general, returning to England in 1700. He supported the Reunification Bill that would have bought the colonies under a uniform relationship to the crown, but the leaders of Pennsylvania and Maryland successfully opposed the centralization. William Blathwayt (or Blathwayte) (1649?-1717) was a civil servant and politician who established the War Office as a department of the British Government and played an important part in administering the colonies of North America. In the early 1670s, Blathwayt became a clerk to the Privy Council, a highly influential body which advised the King. He was considered "as a very fit person" to be assistant to the secretary of the council, becoming heavily involved in the administration of the colonies. In 1680 he became the first auditor-general of royal revenues in America and after 1685 became the secretary of the Privy Council's committee on trade and foreign plantations - in effect, colonial under-secretary. It was in this capacity that he became a key figure in American affairs. He was responsible for establishing the charter of the Crown colony of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, the predecessor of the state of Massachusetts. He did much to encourage trade in America and the Caribbean, promoting the slave trade and benefitting considerably from gifts and bribes received in connection with his office. From 1692-1702, Blathwayt served as the Secretary of State to King William III. He became a Whig Member of Parliament for Bath in 1693 (a post which he retained until 1710) and built a large mansion house for himself at Dyrham Park near Bristol. James Moore was the British colonial governor of South Carolina between 1700 and 1703.See More

Full Transcript: Charles Town in South Carolina Mar: 22d
May it please yr Lordsp
About the 10th. of January past One Cutler came from London heither with his wife, he gave out ...that he had a Commission from his Majty. to Search for Mines in this Province. His wife has brought over with her a stock, & keeps a Milliners Shop in this Town, He Expects One Grien to follow him equally concerned with him (as he Sayes) in the search for Mines, but neither he nor Green have been formerly in this Province, I hear from an intimate friend of Cutlers that his Dependance is wholly upon One Edward Loughton (whose wives sister Cutler Married in London) And One David Maybanck, (another Relation by Marriage) to assist him, they have no knowledge of mines, further then what they have heard from Indian Traders who live in the Savanore Town discourse, That there are Mines about that place, as his commonly said there are in other places in this Province, That which is talked of is 30 or 40 Miles down the Savanore River, taken up when the River is dry, good for little or nothing.
Loughton & Maybancks are both house Carpenters, & have lived above 16 years in this Town, they were in London not long agoe, tis probable they might infused notions of Mines into Cutler & Green, That they knew where there were Mines, & easily to be found, if they could gett a Commisso. from His Majty. to search, And Some Persons of Quality to countenance them & Money to bear their charges, They returned about 5 years after, Now whether they are Joyned with Cutler & Green is best known to yr Lordsp: -
Cutler talks of going to the Savanore Town, about 120 Miles from hence with Loughton & Maybancks to Speake with the Indian Traders, he promises great Matters, to those who inform him of Mines, he has lately discoursed that Yr Lordsp. the Earl of Pembrook, & Mr. Blathwayt are principally concerned, that yr Lordsps have gott them a Commission to pay their passage & traveling Charges -
My Lord
I did enquire of a Gent: liveing in this Country what Proffitt has arisen to his Majty. by the 4th. part of Gold & Silver Mines in this Province, Or whether they have given Encouragemt to any Persons to discover them, & work them, I hear of none
Some time after upon a Report that I was going to England, he sent me a Letter a Copy whereof I humbly inclosed to yr Lordsp. which I intended to show to the Chancellour of the Exchequer, if I went home, or to transmitt [inserted: it] to yr Lordsp, by the next shipping, But since I find that [2] Yr Lordsp. The Earl of Pembrook, to whom I have the Honr. to be known ande Mr. Blathwayt are all Engaged, in the Same designs, to promote the Lasting benefits of his Majty. & his Kingdomes I doe therefore humbly inclose a Copy thereof to The Earl of Bridgewater, in case any should miscarry, How farr your Lordsp now will please to communicate this to the Chancellour of the Exchequer I humbly submitt to Yr Lordsps.
Mr. James Moore (who sent me the Letter) is a Gent of a Good Estate in this Country, He is Secry: of the Province, & a Deputy to Sr. John Colleton One of the Lords Propts: He told me when we first discoursed of Mines That if he were impowred by His Majty. And had good Encouragemt. for himself & his Friend, he would forthwith upon receipt thereof take with him 50 Whitemen, And 100 of the Chirakais Indians to be his Guard That he had a Negro Smith, He desired me to be Secured against the Lords Propty. claime, to have all Matters so accommodated, that they might not seize upon the produce of his own Cost & Labour, bestowed upon his Majts. 4th. part, Whereas their Lordsps. have ¾ ths to set men to work upon for themselves, That he can imploy his Estate, & Slaves to greater proffitt, As to his Own Share which may arise to him from the Mines he wholly submitts that to His Majty. & to yr Lordsps. considering he is at all the Charge of the discovering & opening them.
My Lord
As this is a Matter of great Import to the Crown if it succeed, so if it doe not, it will prove an Utter ruin to Mr. Moore, if the Lords Propty. know that he hath neglected their Lordsps. & made his Proposalls in the first place to yr Lordsps. he will certainly be a double Looser for besides his great Charge & travell to discover the Mines, The Lords Proprs will upon the first Notice turn him out of the Councill, & take from his office of Secry: And Engage the Governr. & Councill against him, to the destruction of himself & Numerous family and at last force him to Leave the Country as has been formerly practised upon Menn of good Estates in this Province
Yr Lordsps. may please for yr Further Sattisfaction of Mr. Moore quality to be informed of Mr. Wm. Thornbury, now One of the Lords propty. and his agent in London (but of that tenderly): As to any Share for myself, tis his kindness to mention it. I have been for many years alwaies ready to serve the Crown. If yr Lordsps. please to command I will attend at Whitehall, I am very Sensible it will be very necessary in many respects, In the mean time I humbly pray for the recovering [3] of my health, that I may have leave to make my residence in Carolina in Winter time, to avoid the Extreamity of cold in Virginia, Maryland and those other Northern Plantations, And that I may have another vessell that draws much Lesse water than the Swift advice Boat, lost by the Carelessness of the Commander in Virginia Last Winter, with Liberty to have an able Coaster, well acquainted with the Dangerous Flats, & sands upon all the Shoars from this Place to N: England, where his Majty. service will very often require me. The Loss of that Vess.ll makes my Passage teadious, Dangerous & troublesome, I shall thereby be freed from the Hurricanes in the Extreamity of hott Weather, in these parts of America

all which is humbly submitted

by Ed Randolph: S:G: .

[address leaf]
The Honrl Mr. Blathwayt
22 March 1699
From Mr Randolph
Post office Bristole June 27 1699 Recd & gave
a [illegible] to Capt Skeech and forwarded P Your Honl
for this Letter - Your Honl
Most Humble &
Obedient Servant
Hell: Pine

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People: Randolph, Edmund

Historical Era: Colonization and Settlement, 1585-1763

Subjects: Frontiers and ExplorationMiningGeography and Natural History

Sub Era:

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