Description of the Religious Situation in 'Leeward and Caribbee Islands'.

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Description of the Religious Situation in 'Leeward and Caribbee Islands'.

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Undated abstract and other papers by Francis Le Jau describing religious situation in Leeward and Caribbee Islands.

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Undated

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Lambeth SPG 17 286-92

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An Abstract of Dr L' Jau’s
Papers relating to the State of
Religion in the Caribbee Islands
&c.

An Abstract of Dr Le Jau’s Papers relating to the Condic[i]on of the Clergy, &
other Material things in the Leeward Caribbee Islands Offer’d to the Considerac[i]on of the Society & propaganda fide &c.
 
Dr Le Jau of Trinity Colledge Dublin, being sickly & thinking a warmer Climate might be more agreeable to his health printed from the Bishop of London a Licture to the Caribbee Islands, He Landed in Monntserrat March 1699/1700 where he found one Minister only to serve the Cure of 4 p[ar]ishes. Nevis & Antegoa being sickly places this Gov[erno]r appointed the Dr to the windward side of St Christophers & to the Cure of 3 p[ar]ishes he refer’d his Maintenance to the Inh[ab]itants, They gave him a house built w[i]th wild Canes & Thatcht but never finish’d, they p[ro]mis’d to allow him to the value of 60£ Sterling p[er] ann[um] but did not p[er]form, every thing there p[ar]ticularly cloathing is 3 times as dear as in Eng[lan]d, He lived & his Family lived there 18 months at his own Charge, & paid his Passage thither, so that if it were not for the help of 2 or 3 Friends at that place, he must have p[er]ished thro’ want: He was thereupon obliged to leave the place & his great Discouragm[en]t was to see Clergymen have their Cure for want of Maintenance & if they dye & have Children they are reduced to misery ----- Coll[onel] Codrington the Gov[erno]r was his great
Friend & did what he could to relieve him ----- What he conceives to be the p[ro]per Encouragm[en]t for Ministers to go over &c is, that their Maintenance may not be p[re]carious & at the mercy of the People, for then, they may do their Duty without fear of disoblidging 'em. ----- He observes that the Negroes
are generally sensible & well disposed to learn, but it is the Barbarity of their Masters w[hi]ch makes ‘em Stubborn, not only in not allowing them Victuals or Cloaths but usually beating 'em & that their com[m]on Crime is Stealing Victuals to satisfy Nature. The greatest favour to Negroes is their working on Sundays
for their own Maintenance ---- If a Minister p[ro]poses the Negroes should be Instructed in the Xtian faith have Necessarys &c the Planters are angry & answer it would consume their Profit. the Dr had 2000 negroes in his p[ar]ishes w[hi]ch is too much for one Minister to instruct. He observes that the French Papists before they were drove out of the Island, allowed 5 or 6 ministers to a less Number of Negroes who were baptiz’d & married in their Churches, kept Sundays \& holy days/ had their allowance appointed every week a forehand, met at Churches, had Officers to hear & redress their aggrievances, & that their Clergymen had their Maintenance ascertain’d ------ The Planters object that Baptism makes Negroes free but the Dr knows they don’t believe it, because they have Negroes that come from the French & Spaniards that are baptiz’d & he rather thinks the true reason is because the Planters would be obliged to look upon 'em as Christian Brethren, & use ‘em w[i]th humanity ----- He p[ro]posed as a Thing of p[ro]fit to England & Charity to the Negroes, that the Planters should be obliged to ‘em give ‘em yearly some yards of Bays cloth in the rainy season, w[hi]ch would be little Charge to the Planters----
The Dr is wiling to be employ’d in the service of these poor Souls, in any part of the English Plantac[i]ons on the Continent 
 

The Dr informs that in that part of St Christophers w[hi]ch is English, there are 6 p[ar]ishes 3 on the Leeward & 3 on the Windward side, that one Mr Burshall a good man is Minister of the 3 on the Leeward side, the 3 on the Windward, are the same, that the Dr serv’d where he was 3 years & ½, the inh[ab]itants of w[hi]ch 3 p[ar]is last p[ar]ishes used to meet together in one Church but falling out about sitting in the Church, sep[ar]ated. there are 6 p[ar]ishes in the French p[ar]t of the Island, 3 at one end 3 at the other, the Island is Oval, the 2 ends are French, the middle English ---- In Nevis 3 hours sail from St/Christophers there are 5 p[ar]ishes & 3 Ministers, one of ‘em is y\e/ Chaplain of Col[onel] Witham’s Regim[en]t a good sort of man[.]
In Antegou there are 5 or 6 p[ar]ishes, there were 4 ministers, but the Dr is informed there are but 2 now ---- In Mountserrat they have 3 p[ar]ishes, 2 united in one, but at p[re]sent no minster ---- The Ministers Sallarys at present by an Act made there is 16000 lbs of Sugar yearly but the Sugar
rise or fall ---- As to the Number of Churches, In St Christophers on the Leeward side there is

a further account of matters relating to the Clergy employ’d in her Maj[es]ties Leeward Caribbee Islands
 
What number of Parishes and Clergymen.
 
In St Christophers in that part which properly is English there are six Parishes viz. three on the Leeward side named The Parish of Trinity palmetto point, that of St Annes near the Old road and that of Sandy Point town. to officiate in them they have one Minister called Mr Daniel Burchall a Gentleman of very Edifying Life and Conversation. he was very well pay’d for his attending the two first parishes, but he complaind very much the Inhabitants of sandy point had used him very ill. Observe these three parishes pay’d as if they had been but one.

On the Windward side there are likewise three parishes viz. St Mary Cayonn. Christchurch Nicholatown & St John Capstan I was settled three years & half upon that side and attended them as one, but they fell out among themselves upon pretence of not having convenient seats in the Church which was common to all for a time; the parishioners of Capstan never would build a Church when they broke society with the other, nor never came to any church; a church was built in cayon a twelve months before my coming away & no other parishioners would come there but those of cayonn. a little before I left them they had agreed between the two parishes of Nicholatown and Cayon to have the divine service by turns, but matters were still very much unsettled relating to my payment from Cayonn which discouraged me from staying among them. I hear they have gott a young clergyman in my room since This time twelve month or six, when I was Informed they had none att all. I came away In May last was two years.

In the French Part of that Island which was taken from them in the beginning of this warr there was likewise six parishes viz. three on one end of the Island and three up on the opposite end, for that Island is of an oval figure, the two ends of it are called the French ground and the whole middle is English. The whole Island is 34 miles round. Sandy soyl.

In Nevis which is about three hours sail distant from St Christophers. there are five parishes, viz. Charlestown. St thomas Lowland. windward side. Gingerland, and another up in the mountains there are three ministers upon that Island viz. the Chaplain of Coll[onel] Williams Regim[en]t in Charlestown & good sort of man that came from Ireland, one Mr Powell in St thomas Lowland and one Mr Rogerson in another parish but I hear his parishioners did not agree with him about building the church so that he layd down his presentation but I am not sure of it.

In Antigua there are five or six parishes. I remember the names of St/Johns parish, old road. willoughby bay & Falmouth the two others I cannot name. there was four Ministers when I went there 3 months before my coming away. to wit Mr Field an Ingenious young man at St Johns & two others unknown to me and one Mr Smyth who keepsat Coll[onel] Codringtons but I am Informed there are now but two ministers that officiate In that Island.

In Mountserrat they have three parishes. viz. Plymouth & Kinsale united in one: the windward & the northward parishes they have no minister now, Mr Cruckshangs being returned here. and an Elderly gentleman who attended Plymouth parish having been brought away by accident to England where I hear he now is, but intends to return.

Ministers Salleryes

When I came to that Government it was commonly reported that by an old law ministers were to receive 16000 lbs of sugar yearly for their sallery. 4000 lbs for doing clarks duty if they pleased and 2000 for keeping the Register but the price of the sugar being raised just upon my coming they would pay us in money tho the agreement with some of the clergy had been made in sugar. Coll. Codrington made an Act to regulate our payment to 135£ of the currant money in the country, which could not make answer to above 50£ sterling. But My lord of London did us the Justice to stop the passing of the act Whether because of the smallness of the sallery or also because they assumed to themselves in those countries in the authority of Judges over the clergy. Since my coming away they have made another act allowing to Clergymen 16000 lbsof sugar & no more let the sugar raise or fall.

What Churches & how many

In St Christophers on the Leeward side there is a good handsome new Church of timber at palmett point. an old church near the old road in bad condition. none att sandy point but the timber was ready for it in my time. the French Protestants have an honest minister called Mr Marsal who makes hard shifts to live with his family they have a little Church. On the windward side there are two small buildings of wild canes and thatchd that serve for churches. In the French ground there are two stately churches built with stones att each end of the Island

in the 3 other Islands they have churches of timber & boards some of which are decent enough chiefly in mounstserrat ------ & the town churches in antegoa & nevin

Number of Inhabitants
In St Christophers we could muster six hundred \fighting/ men in the beginning of this war. on the Leeward side there may be 150 familyes. on the windward side not much above 60. there are perhaps as many \English/ familyes in all the French ground.

In antegoa, nevis and mountserrat they are more numerous because those places were more safe. Nevis could muster 1200 men able to fight, antegoa 900. mountserrat 500. I speak In my own Judgement.

Number of Communicants
I had generally in my three Parishes 15 communicants and once I had 22. I heard they had very few of them [in] the other places

Schools
The Schoolmasters I knew were obliged to leave of teaching for want of encouragement

Number of Negroes
In St Christopher I had about 2000 in my parishes. & there is 4000 of them on the Leeward side. in nevis and Antigua ther are more and in mountserrat near as many. so that in that government it may be Conjectured there are 30000 negroes.

I heard that in barbadoes there was above 40000 negroes.

there are two other islands belonging to the Government of the Leeward Caribbee Isalnds; Anguilla and Spanish Town. in the first there was a minister in my time In the other there was none, they are but indifferent places for trade, the chief commodity is cotton in these two Islands. & little or no Sugar.

Some matters relating to the condition of the clergy employ’d in the Leeward Caribbee Islands.
Humbly offered to the Consideration of the Religious society Establish’d for propagation the Gospel in her Maj[es]ties Colonies in America

having been obliged by reason on the badness of my health to go from Ireland to a warmer Country I was Licensed about six years ago for the Caribbee Islands by the Present Lord Primate of Ireland his Grace, my by a commission from My lord of London, with a promise to receive The Kings bounty money to bear my charges. I Landed in Mountserrat in March 1699/1700 and there I found onely one minister employd in the service of the four Parishes of that Island Mr Cruckshangs by name, who told me how I must prepare to suffer great hardships from the unkindness of the people to their Ministers. Nevis and Antigua being sickly places att that time I had no inclination to settle upon any of them In the weakly condition I was. Coll. Fox Leut[enan]t General of that Government in Coll[one]l Codringtons absence was pleasd to send me to the windward side of St Christopher as the healthiest place, and gave me change over three Parishes as united in one: there I lived three years and a half of thereabouts my agreement with the Inhabitants was such as they pleasd having referred it to them, they gave me a house after the country fashion, built with wild canes and thatchd but never was finishd. What sallery they did allow me which was to be payd quarterly might amount to near 60£ Sterl. in a place where every thing, chiefly cloathing cost three times as dear as in England. but had I been payd according to our agreement I would have taken pains with patience and never would have come away. but it has been hard upon me that I should maintain me and my family att my own charges for about 18 months, and payd for my passage Never having received any thing from the King or the Society. so that had it not been for the charitable help I received from 2 or 3 friends there I must have perishd with want, and when I came away, I left a considerable part of my \the/ fruits of my labours behind which I know not whether shall ever be payd. the great occasion of my being discouraged was to see several clergymen obliged to leave their calling for not being able to live thereby. and when clergymen dye & leave children after them these orphans are reduced to a shamefull misery. I need not tell any particulars but when I am commanded.

I am in Justice bound to declare that Coll. Codrington did what he could to see me relieved, so as to hold an Extraordinary court in chancery upon my account. the debt was owned, they promised payment but I never had it. Nor were his Excellencys orders in my behalf ever Executed.

What I humbly conceive should be the only true encouragement for Ministers to go & settle in that part of the world, is that they may not be left to the mercy of the people as to their maintenance for then a Minister might do his duty without fear of disoblidgeing them. I can find no reason of this hard usage but that Generally speaking it is an Indifferent matter to them whether they have any ministers or no Chiefly upon the account of their payment.

I have observed as to the Negroes they are most of them sensible & well disposed to Learn, it is the barbarous usage from their Masters that render them stubborn, few of them allowing to these poor Creatures either victuals or cloaths or rest but blows and that most cruelly whereas the most common crime they are guilty of is that of Stealing victuals without which they cannot live.

the greatest favour granted to negroes is that of working On Sundays \upon/ a bit of land for their maintainance. but the case of the new Negroes is most deplorable for being helpless to themselves for a good while and having little or nothing allowed to them

If a minister should propose they must be Instructed In the christian faith the planters are angry att it. if he said they should have necessaryes allowed to them, they answer it would consume their profit I must here take notice that in my parish I had 2000 negroes & to Instruct them one minister is not sufficient. the French Papists who Inhabited a part of that Island before we drove them out in the beginning of this warr had five or six of their clergymen allowd for a less number of negroes who were all baptised & marryd in their churches, kept Sundays and holydays without working and had their allowance prescribed from their masters every week before hand. and met att church by themselves att certain times and had severall officers & magistrates among the chief inhabitants authorised to hear their complaints & do them Justice

as to their clergymen the people has nothing to do with their maintenance but to pay their proportion appointed by laws made att Court & printed

It is commonly objected by the planters that were my parishioners, for I don’t pretend to give any account of others; that baptism that baptism Would make negroes free, but I know they don’t believe it because of their negroes now in their possession \which/ came from the French or Spaniards & consequently are baptised yet they don’t look upon them as free.

But In my Judgment the true Reason is that if they were baptised by us they would think themselves obliged to look upon them as brothers in Christ and use them with humanity, whereas as they are they think them to be no men & to take away their life with cruel beating is no murther, in short they use them worse than their beasts.

I have one thing to propose which may be of a considerable profit to the nation and a work of great charity, which is to oblidge every Planter to afford some yards of bayse to each negroe at least once a year in the rainy season and the number of negroes in her Majesties dominions exceeding 3 hundred thousands it would turn to a good account to the publick & little-charges to the masters.

As for me I like so well to be employd in the service of these poor souls that when I am Commanded I am ready to go any where either in Virginia, Maryland, Pensilvania or Carolina and do there what good I am capable of, begging onely the favour that I may be sent to such a place where I may receive more comfort than in the Islands.
 
humbly Presented to the Religious society For the propagation of the Gospell by their most devoted humble servant
Francis Le Jau of Trin[ity] Colledge
Dublin DD.

Dr Le Jau’s Papr relating Dr L Jau’s Papr
to the Caribbee Leeward Islands

Transcription and MS

An Abstract of Dr L' Jau’s
Papers relating to the State of
Religion in the Caribbee Islands
&c.

An Abstract of Dr Le Jau’s Papers relating to the Condic[i]on of the Clergy, &
other Material things in the Leeward Caribbee Islands Offer’d to the Considerac[i]on of the Society & propaganda fide &c.
 
Dr Le Jau of Trinity Colledge Dublin, being sickly & thinking a warmer Climate might be more agreeable to his health printed from the Bishop of London a Licture to the Caribbee Islands, He Landed in Monntserrat March 1699/1700 where he found one Minister only to serve the Cure of 4 p[ar]ishes. Nevis & Antegoa being sickly places this Gov[erno]r appointed the Dr to the windward side of St Christophers & to the Cure of 3 p[ar]ishes he refer’d his Maintenance to the Inh[ab]itants, They gave him a house built w[i]th wild Canes & Thatcht but never finish’d, they p[ro]mis’d to allow him to the value of 60£ Sterling p[er] ann[um] but did not p[er]form, every thing there p[ar]ticularly cloathing is 3 times as dear as in Eng[lan]d, He lived & his Family lived there 18 months at his own Charge, & paid his Passage thither, so that if it were not for the help of 2 or 3 Friends at that place, he must have p[er]ished thro’ want: He was thereupon obliged to leave the place & his great Discouragm[en]t was to see Clergymen have their Cure for want of Maintenance & if they dye & have Children they are reduced to misery ----- Coll[onel] Codrington the Gov[erno]r was his great
Friend & did what he could to relieve him ----- What he conceives to be the p[ro]per Encouragm[en]t for Ministers to go over &c is, that their Maintenance may not be p[re]carious & at the mercy of the People, for then, they may do their Duty without fear of disoblidging 'em. ----- He observes that the Negroes
are generally sensible & well disposed to learn, but it is the Barbarity of their Masters w[hi]ch makes ‘em Stubborn, not only in not allowing them Victuals or Cloaths but usually beating 'em & that their com[m]on Crime is Stealing Victuals to satisfy Nature. The greatest favour to Negroes is their working on Sundays
for their own Maintenance ---- If a Minister p[ro]poses the Negroes should be Instructed in the Xtian faith have Necessarys &c the Planters are angry & answer it would consume their Profit. the Dr had 2000 negroes in his p[ar]ishes w[hi]ch is too much for one Minister to instruct. He observes that the French Papists before they were drove out of the Island, allowed 5 or 6 ministers to a less Number of Negroes who were baptiz’d & married in their Churches, kept Sundays \& holy days/ had their allowance appointed every week a forehand, met at Churches, had Officers to hear & redress their aggrievances, & that their Clergymen had their Maintenance ascertain’d ------ The Planters object that Baptism makes Negroes free but the Dr knows they don’t believe it, because they have Negroes that come from the French & Spaniards that are baptiz’d & he rather thinks the true reason is because the Planters would be obliged to look upon 'em as Christian Brethren, & use ‘em w[i]th humanity ----- He p[ro]posed as a Thing of p[ro]fit to England & Charity to the Negroes, that the Planters should be obliged to ‘em give ‘em yearly some yards of Bays cloth in the rainy season, w[hi]ch would be little Charge to the Planters----
The Dr is wiling to be employ’d in the service of these poor Souls, in any part of the English Plantac[i]ons on the Continent 
 

The Dr informs that in that part of St Christophers w[hi]ch is English, there are 6 p[ar]ishes 3 on the Leeward & 3 on the Windward side, that one Mr Burshall a good man is Minister of the 3 on the Leeward side, the 3 on the Windward, are the same, that the Dr serv’d where he was 3 years & ½, the inh[ab]itants of w[hi]ch 3 p[ar]is last p[ar]ishes used to meet together in one Church but falling out about sitting in the Church, sep[ar]ated. there are 6 p[ar]ishes in the French p[ar]t of the Island, 3 at one end 3 at the other, the Island is Oval, the 2 ends are French, the middle English ---- In Nevis 3 hours sail from St/Christophers there are 5 p[ar]ishes & 3 Ministers, one of ‘em is y\e/ Chaplain of Col[onel] Witham’s Regim[en]t a good sort of man[.]
In Antegou there are 5 or 6 p[ar]ishes, there were 4 ministers, but the Dr is informed there are but 2 now ---- In Mountserrat they have 3 p[ar]ishes, 2 united in one, but at p[re]sent no minster ---- The Ministers Sallarys at present by an Act made there is 16000 lbs of Sugar yearly but the Sugar
rise or fall ---- As to the Number of Churches, In St Christophers on the Leeward side there is

a further account of matters relating to the Clergy employ’d in her Maj[es]ties Leeward Caribbee Islands
 
What number of Parishes and Clergymen.
 
In St Christophers in that part which properly is English there are six Parishes viz. three on the Leeward side named The Parish of Trinity palmetto point, that of St Annes near the Old road and that of Sandy Point town. to officiate in them they have one Minister called Mr Daniel Burchall a Gentleman of very Edifying Life and Conversation. he was very well pay’d for his attending the two first parishes, but he complaind very much the Inhabitants of sandy point had used him very ill. Observe these three parishes pay’d as if they had been but one.

On the Windward side there are likewise three parishes viz. St Mary Cayonn. Christchurch Nicholatown & St John Capstan I was settled three years & half upon that side and attended them as one, but they fell out among themselves upon pretence of not having convenient seats in the Church which was common to all for a time; the parishioners of Capstan never would build a Church when they broke society with the other, nor never came to any church; a church was built in cayon a twelve months before my coming away & no other parishioners would come there but those of cayonn. a little before I left them they had agreed between the two parishes of Nicholatown and Cayon to have the divine service by turns, but matters were still very much unsettled relating to my payment from Cayonn which discouraged me from staying among them. I hear they have gott a young clergyman in my room since This time twelve month or six, when I was Informed they had none att all. I came away In May last was two years.

In the French Part of that Island which was taken from them in the beginning of this warr there was likewise six parishes viz. three on one end of the Island and three up on the opposite end, for that Island is of an oval figure, the two ends of it are called the French ground and the whole middle is English. The whole Island is 34 miles round. Sandy soyl.

In Nevis which is about three hours sail distant from St Christophers. there are five parishes, viz. Charlestown. St thomas Lowland. windward side. Gingerland, and another up in the mountains there are three ministers upon that Island viz. the Chaplain of Coll[onel] Williams Regim[en]t in Charlestown & good sort of man that came from Ireland, one Mr Powell in St thomas Lowland and one Mr Rogerson in another parish but I hear his parishioners did not agree with him about building the church so that he layd down his presentation but I am not sure of it.

In Antigua there are five or six parishes. I remember the names of St/Johns parish, old road. willoughby bay & Falmouth the two others I cannot name. there was four Ministers when I went there 3 months before my coming away. to wit Mr Field an Ingenious young man at St Johns & two others unknown to me and one Mr Smyth who keepsat Coll[onel] Codringtons but I am Informed there are now but two ministers that officiate In that Island.

In Mountserrat they have three parishes. viz. Plymouth & Kinsale united in one: the windward & the northward parishes they have no minister now, Mr Cruckshangs being returned here. and an Elderly gentleman who attended Plymouth parish having been brought away by accident to England where I hear he now is, but intends to return.

Ministers Salleryes

When I came to that Government it was commonly reported that by an old law ministers were to receive 16000 lbs of sugar yearly for their sallery. 4000 lbs for doing clarks duty if they pleased and 2000 for keeping the Register but the price of the sugar being raised just upon my coming they would pay us in money tho the agreement with some of the clergy had been made in sugar. Coll. Codrington made an Act to regulate our payment to 135£ of the currant money in the country, which could not make answer to above 50£ sterling. But My lord of London did us the Justice to stop the passing of the act Whether because of the smallness of the sallery or also because they assumed to themselves in those countries in the authority of Judges over the clergy. Since my coming away they have made another act allowing to Clergymen 16000 lbsof sugar & no more let the sugar raise or fall.

What Churches & how many

In St Christophers on the Leeward side there is a good handsome new Church of timber at palmett point. an old church near the old road in bad condition. none att sandy point but the timber was ready for it in my time. the French Protestants have an honest minister called Mr Marsal who makes hard shifts to live with his family they have a little Church. On the windward side there are two small buildings of wild canes and thatchd that serve for churches. In the French ground there are two stately churches built with stones att each end of the Island

in the 3 other Islands they have churches of timber & boards some of which are decent enough chiefly in mounstserrat ------ & the town churches in antegoa & nevin

Number of Inhabitants
In St Christophers we could muster six hundred \fighting/ men in the beginning of this war. on the Leeward side there may be 150 familyes. on the windward side not much above 60. there are perhaps as many \English/ familyes in all the French ground.

In antegoa, nevis and mountserrat they are more numerous because those places were more safe. Nevis could muster 1200 men able to fight, antegoa 900. mountserrat 500. I speak In my own Judgement.

Number of Communicants
I had generally in my three Parishes 15 communicants and once I had 22. I heard they had very few of them [in] the other places

Schools
The Schoolmasters I knew were obliged to leave of teaching for want of encouragement

Number of Negroes
In St Christopher I had about 2000 in my parishes. & there is 4000 of them on the Leeward side. in nevis and Antigua ther are more and in mountserrat near as many. so that in that government it may be Conjectured there are 30000 negroes.

I heard that in barbadoes there was above 40000 negroes.

there are two other islands belonging to the Government of the Leeward Caribbee Isalnds; Anguilla and Spanish Town. in the first there was a minister in my time In the other there was none, they are but indifferent places for trade, the chief commodity is cotton in these two Islands. & little or no Sugar.

Some matters relating to the condition of the clergy employ’d in the Leeward Caribbee Islands.
Humbly offered to the Consideration of the Religious society Establish’d for propagation the Gospel in her Maj[es]ties Colonies in America

having been obliged by reason on the badness of my health to go from Ireland to a warmer Country I was Licensed about six years ago for the Caribbee Islands by the Present Lord Primate of Ireland his Grace, my by a commission from My lord of London, with a promise to receive The Kings bounty money to bear my charges. I Landed in Mountserrat in March 1699/1700 and there I found onely one minister employd in the service of the four Parishes of that Island Mr Cruckshangs by name, who told me how I must prepare to suffer great hardships from the unkindness of the people to their Ministers. Nevis and Antigua being sickly places att that time I had no inclination to settle upon any of them In the weakly condition I was. Coll. Fox Leut[enan]t General of that Government in Coll[one]l Codringtons absence was pleasd to send me to the windward side of St Christopher as the healthiest place, and gave me change over three Parishes as united in one: there I lived three years and a half of thereabouts my agreement with the Inhabitants was such as they pleasd having referred it to them, they gave me a house after the country fashion, built with wild canes and thatchd but never was finishd. What sallery they did allow me which was to be payd quarterly might amount to near 60£ Sterl. in a place where every thing, chiefly cloathing cost three times as dear as in England. but had I been payd according to our agreement I would have taken pains with patience and never would have come away. but it has been hard upon me that I should maintain me and my family att my own charges for about 18 months, and payd for my passage Never having received any thing from the King or the Society. so that had it not been for the charitable help I received from 2 or 3 friends there I must have perishd with want, and when I came away, I left a considerable part of my \the/ fruits of my labours behind which I know not whether shall ever be payd. the great occasion of my being discouraged was to see several clergymen obliged to leave their calling for not being able to live thereby. and when clergymen dye & leave children after them these orphans are reduced to a shamefull misery. I need not tell any particulars but when I am commanded.

I am in Justice bound to declare that Coll. Codrington did what he could to see me relieved, so as to hold an Extraordinary court in chancery upon my account. the debt was owned, they promised payment but I never had it. Nor were his Excellencys orders in my behalf ever Executed.

What I humbly conceive should be the only true encouragement for Ministers to go & settle in that part of the world, is that they may not be left to the mercy of the people as to their maintenance for then a Minister might do his duty without fear of disoblidgeing them. I can find no reason of this hard usage but that Generally speaking it is an Indifferent matter to them whether they have any ministers or no Chiefly upon the account of their payment.

I have observed as to the Negroes they are most of them sensible & well disposed to Learn, it is the barbarous usage from their Masters that render them stubborn, few of them allowing to these poor Creatures either victuals or cloaths or rest but blows and that most cruelly whereas the most common crime they are guilty of is that of Stealing victuals without which they cannot live.

the greatest favour granted to negroes is that of working On Sundays \upon/ a bit of land for their maintainance. but the case of the new Negroes is most deplorable for being helpless to themselves for a good while and having little or nothing allowed to them

If a minister should propose they must be Instructed In the christian faith the planters are angry att it. if he said they should have necessaryes allowed to them, they answer it would consume their profit I must here take notice that in my parish I had 2000 negroes & to Instruct them one minister is not sufficient. the French Papists who Inhabited a part of that Island before we drove them out in the beginning of this warr had five or six of their clergymen allowd for a less number of negroes who were all baptised & marryd in their churches, kept Sundays and holydays without working and had their allowance prescribed from their masters every week before hand. and met att church by themselves att certain times and had severall officers & magistrates among the chief inhabitants authorised to hear their complaints & do them Justice

as to their clergymen the people has nothing to do with their maintenance but to pay their proportion appointed by laws made att Court & printed

It is commonly objected by the planters that were my parishioners, for I don’t pretend to give any account of others; that baptism that baptism Would make negroes free, but I know they don’t believe it because of their negroes now in their possession \which/ came from the French or Spaniards & consequently are baptised yet they don’t look upon them as free.

But In my Judgment the true Reason is that if they were baptised by us they would think themselves obliged to look upon them as brothers in Christ and use them with humanity, whereas as they are they think them to be no men & to take away their life with cruel beating is no murther, in short they use them worse than their beasts.

I have one thing to propose which may be of a considerable profit to the nation and a work of great charity, which is to oblidge every Planter to afford some yards of bayse to each negroe at least once a year in the rainy season and the number of negroes in her Majesties dominions exceeding 3 hundred thousands it would turn to a good account to the publick & little-charges to the masters.

As for me I like so well to be employd in the service of these poor souls that when I am Commanded I am ready to go any where either in Virginia, Maryland, Pensilvania or Carolina and do there what good I am capable of, begging onely the favour that I may be sent to such a place where I may receive more comfort than in the Islands.
 
humbly Presented to the Religious society For the propagation of the Gospell by their most devoted humble servant
Francis Le Jau of Trin[ity] Colledge
Dublin DD.

Dr Le Jau’s Papr relating Dr L Jau’s Papr
to the Caribbee Leeward Islands

Part of Collection

Citation

“Description of the Religious Situation in 'Leeward and Caribbee Islands'.,” USPG Online Exhibition , accessed October 19, 2021, http://emlo-portal.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/exhibition/uspg/items/show/67.

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