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Excerpt from Papers of Thomas Pitt, earl of Londonderry

Papers – Excerpt from Papers of Thomas Pitt

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Papers of Thomas Pitt, earl of Londerry:


I was acquainted with the project Of settling the Bahama Islands, it was proposed to me by Capt. Wood Rogers, and I believe by him to Adam Codonell, Charles Dominique, Wm. Chetwynd , Esq. Samuel Buck, and James Gohier merchants and undertaken by us in or about 1717. A lease was granted to us for our use by the Lord Proprietors Of the said Islands for 21 years at 50 pounds for the first 7 years, EIOO for the next seven years & €200 per annum for the last 7 years, with a power to the best of my remembrance to grant 2 leases for 1000 years for any grant on all the lands reserving a quitrent I think Of one penny per annum per Hand, and at or about the time Of giving this lease by the Lord Proprietors they did surrender as I am informed, the sovereignty to the Crown, in consequence of which the Crown did nominate and appoint a Governor and sent an independent Company to be there, and did also send two or three men Of wares to assist in making good the settlement, and the before mentioned gentlemen did diligently carry on the undertaking to about April or May 1720 & did disburse or expend in making good the settlement the best part of 20000 to that time. When finding the undertaking too great for tis natural to believe that you will meet with great opposition. When I am in England as far as my vote can go either in council or Parliament I shall certainly be for doing justice and giving encouragement to an undertaking which I did and do still think a very useful and advantageous to the public. I am ever with great truth my good Lord your most affectionate brother and humble servant. Pray consider whether you had not best make as good a bargain as you can with the South Sea Company and resign your interest to them; the great opposition you will meet with will probably come from that quarter and you are as well as I able to judge whether you can grapple with them. This is a thought of my own and perhaps a very idle one but I have reason to believe the SSea will endeavour by some means or other to get that thing into their hands.


From: Larry Neal, "I Am Not Master of Events": The Speculations of John Law and Lord Londonderry in the Mississippi and South Sea Bubbles (Yale University Press, 2012), 99-100.

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