British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

very clear and grave reasons, His Majesty's Government will not authorize the abolition of a body to which the people at large are greatly attached, and which they not without reason regard as the constitutional guardian of some important popular privileges. . . .


11
TRINIDAD: LORD GODERICH TO GOVERNOR GRANT, 27 May 18301

. . . You are aware that the expenditure of Trinidad has been represented to be inordinately large in comparison with that of some colonies having legislative assemblies, and that it has been a recent subject of remonstrance on the part of the inhabitants. Unquestionably one of the principal advantages of a popular representation consists in the check which it imposes upon the expenditure of public money; and His Majesty's confidential servants in refusing this form of government to the colony of Trinidad, as under the existing circumstances of its society they have been compelled to do, have felt it to be peculiarly their duty to supply by their own strict revision of the expenditure, assisted by yourself and the Council of Government, such control as shall satisfy the reasonable expectations of the colonists. . . .


12
LEEWARD ISLANDS. GOVERNOR HUGH ELLIOT TO LORD LIVERPOOL, 21 November 18102

Antigua.

. . . I have subjoined extracts of two letters, the first from Mr. Cottle, president of the Council at Nevis: the second from Mr. Wilson, one of the senior members of the Council at St. Christopher's, both corroborating the general expression of dissatisfaction in those islands with the state of their governments. Upon these I beg leave to confine myself to remark, that I do not apprehend the defects

____________________
1
C.O. 296/10, p. 50.
2
Parl. Papers, 1810-11 (204), vol. xi, p. 365. Hugh Elliot was Governor of the Leewards from 1810 to 1814. Lord Liverpool, in a dispatch dated 20 September 1810, had required Elliot to send home the papers relating to the case of Edward Huggins of Nevis, who had had a number of his slaves very severely flogged in the market-place of Charlestown and in the presence of five magistrates who did not interfere. It had been stated in an affidavit that one of these slaves (a man) had received 365 lashes and another (a woman) 291 lashes. Liverpool, whose dispatch had been prompted by information given to him by James Stephen (the elder) in a letter dated 23 August 1810 (C.O. 152/96), ordered the dismissal of those magistrates who had been witnesses. Though the Assembly of Nevis resolved that Huggins had been 'guilty of barbarity altogether unprecedented in this island', he was acquitted by the Court, while the printer of the St. Christopher Gazette was successfully prosecuted by Huggins for libel.

-99-

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