Bermuda, Jan-Jun 1839, Despatches : Sir Stephen Remnant Chapman (items 1-17) and Sir William Reid (35 onwards) : Correspondence; Report; Proclamation; Newspaper clipping; Index Jan-Jun 1839.

Marlborough, Wiltshire : Adam Matthew Digital, 2022.
1 online resource.


Colonial Caribbean: Module 2
Jan-Jun 1839.
Summary note
  • Despatches from Sir Stephen Remnant Chapman (items 1-17) and Sir William Reid (35 onwards), successive governors of Bermuda. Described at item level. CO 37/100/1. Governor's quarterly service certificate. Unnumbered, folios 5-6. 01/01/1839. CO 37/100/2. Quarterly report of officers in execution of their duties until 31 December 1838. No. 1, folios 7-8. 01/01/1839. CO 37/100/3. Forwards a list of the Members of Council showing dates of appointment and other offices held. Listed are Thomas Butterfield, Robert Kennedy, Henry G Hunt, Augustus Harvey, Richard J Tucker, Francis Albouy, S A Smith, and W B Smith. No. 2, folios 9-12. 01/01/1839. CO 37/100/4. Acknowledges the receipt of despatches received during the half year ending 31 December 1838. No. 3, folios 13-14. 01/01/1839. CO 37/100/5. Forwards a letter from the Colonial Secretary expressing doubts of the governor's legal authority to continue administering the government without a new commission, due to the death of the King. Encloses reports of the Law Officers on the matter. In response to a circular of 1 September and despatch No. 86 of 19 October. No. 4, folios 15-39. 02/01/1839. CO 37/100/6. Responds to a despatch concerning the governor's not being relieved [recalled] in the winter. No. 5, folios 40-41. 03/01/1838. CO 37/100/7. Considers it essential that foreign ships should be prohibited from approaching the fortress at Ireland Island. Encloses copies of letters to the senior naval officer on the subject. No. 6, folios 42-51. 15/02/1839. CO 37/100/8. Reports that there is no colonial hospital. In response to a circular despatch of 30 November. No. 7, folios 52-53. 02/03/1839. CO 37/100/9. Quarterly certificate of the governor's service. Unnumbered, folios 54-55. 01/04/1839. CO 37/100/10. Quarterly report of officers in execution of their duties. Listed are Governor Major General Sir S R Chapman, Chief Justice Thomas Butterfield, Colonial Secretary Robert Kennedy, Attorney General J H Darrell, and Archdeacon A E Spencer. No. 8, folios 56-59. 01/04/1839. CO 37/100/11. Forwards an inventory of public furniture in the government houses [not included in volume]. No. 9, folios 58-59. 02/04/1839. CO 37/100/12. Forwards the Blue Book for 1838 [not included in volume]. Encloses the Blue Book report. No. 10, folios 60-69. 03/04/1839. CO 37/100/13. Reports the arrival of Governor Reid and his assumption of the government. No. 11, folios 70-71. 12/04/1839. CO 37/100/14. Certificate of the governor's service from 1 to 12 April. Unnumbered, folios 72-73. 12/04/1839. CO 37/100/15. Certificate of officers in execution of their duties. Listed are Governor Major General Sir S R Chapman, Chief Justice Thomas Butterfield, Colonial Secretary Robert Kennedy, Attorney General J H Darrell, and Archdeacon A E Spencer. No. 12, folios 74-75. 12/04/1839. CO 37/100/16. Reports his arrival in Portsmouth. Unnumbered, folio 76. 29/06/1839. CO 37/100/17. Requests his passage money. Unnumbered, folios 78-79. 10/08/1839. CO 37/100/18. Refers to the Blue Books for the office of deputy colonial secretary, appointed and paid £200 per year by the secretary. Considers this an irregularity. Unnumbered, folios 84-87 Governor Lieutenant Colonel Sir William Reid. 01/01/1839. CO 37/100/19. Bermuda as a Naval Depot: recommends asking the Ordnance for a general plan of the islands and the minutes of the Admiralty and Ordnance Boards conference held in November 1826 relative to making Bermuda a cruising station during wars. Unnumbered, folios 88-90. 19/01/1839. CO 37/100/20. Defence of Bermuda: explains that the Americans look with 'painful interest' at Bermuda as it is at the centre of their coast and is owned by another country. Notes that the militia laws had expired and suggests a scheme for giving the inhabitants arms training so that they would be ready to defend the island. Encloses a plan of the island by Lieutenant Nelson showing the outline of the reefs. Unnumbered, folios 92-100. 19/01/1839. CO 37/100/21. Military command: requests the brevet rank of colonel instead of the local rank. Unnumbered, folios 103-104. 19/01/1839. CO 37/100/22. Defence of Bermuda: recommends that the civil workman in the dockyard be given arms training. Encloses a draft of an additional clause for the Mutiny Act providing for the measure. Unnumbered, folios 105-112. 24/01/1839. CO 37/100/23. Defence of Bermuda: considers that Bermuda's position made it necessary to keep the garrison on the 'war establishment'. Explains that the selection of the site for the barrack on the main island was of great importance. Unnumbered, folios 113-114. 06/02/1839. CO 37/100/24. Reports that the spirit of his proposal for enlisting for limited service had not been clearly understood at the Horse Guards. Unnumbered, folio 115. 06/02/1839. CO 37/100/25. Reports that the commissioner's house in the centre of the keep, about to be given over to the Ordnance by the Admiralty, was the best place for a barrack. Unnumbered, folios 116-119. 07/02/1839. CO 37/100/26. Reports the strength of the garrison should be increased without delay. With reference to Governor Chapman's despatch to the Horse Guards on 4 December 18389 recommending an increase of the garrison and showing how the Americans might attack Bermuda. Unnumbered, folios 120-123. 07/02/1839. CO 37/100/27. Reports the Ordnance Board should informed that the storehouses for the Ordnance were not yet begun. Adds that it was essential for the Ordnance and Commissariat stores to be within the fortifications. Unnumbered, folios 124-127. 08/02/1839. CO 37/100/28. States that he requires authority to consult with the admiral concerning gunboats for the island's defence. Unnumbered, folios 128-131. 11/02/1839. CO 37/100/29. Recommends an application to the Ordnance for the number of men required to defend each fort. Unnumbered, folios 134-137. 12/02/1839. CO 37/100/30. Reports that there would be 60 infantry and 40 artillery and sappers recruits. Adds that an application should be made to the Ordnance for clothing for the latter. Unnumbered, folios 138-139. 15/02/1839. CO 37/100/31. Reports that an application should be made to the commander in chief for clothing for the 60 infantry recruits. Unnumbered, folios 140-142. 15/02/1839. CO 37/100/32. Reports that the recruits would be enlisted for service in Bermuda only and were liable to be called on when required after being trained or discharged. Unnumbered, folios 143-144. 15/02/1839. CO 37/100/33. Recommends that an application be made to the Ordnance to send out light arms. Unnumbered, folios 145-148. 15/02/1839. CO 37/100/34. Reports that the military command would remain with the lieutenant colonel of the 30th Regiment. Unnumbered, folios 149-150. 16/02/1839. CO 37/100/35. Reports that he is about to depart for Bermuda on board the Barlow. Unnumbered, folios 151-152. 19/02/1839. CO 37/100/36. Reports his arrival and assumption of the government. No. 13, folios 153-154. 13/04/1839. CO 37/100/37. Reports that Commander Douglas had assembled his squadron in Bermuda and was in communication with Mr Fox on the disputed boundary between Maine in the United States and New Brunswick in Canada. Refers to his views concerning the security of the colony and states that they were correct. No. 14, folios 155-156. 21/04/1839. CO 37/100/38. Reports the death of the Reverend John Lough and the consequent promotion of Reverend Richard T Tucker and Reverend J G Murray. No. 15, folios 157-160. 22/04/1839. CO 37/100/39. Acknowledges the receipt of circulars of 12 and 19 January stating that the new barrack regulations and Mr Montgomery Martin's statistics had been sent out. No. 16, folios 161-164. 21/04/1839. CO 37/100/40. Forwards and comments on a letter from Colonial Secretary Kennedy with a copy of his original commission of 7 May 1808 from which he considers himself entitled to act by deputy. Also encloses a letter from Attorney General John Harvey Darrell. No. 17, folios 165-180. 21/04/1839. CO 37/100/41. Reports that the February mail had not arrived. Unnumbered, folios 181-183. 21/04/1839. CO 37/100/42. Forwards a copy of his letter to the commander of the forces urging the need to regularly garrison all defensible posts. No. 18, folios 183-186. 23/04/1839. CO 37/100/43. Recommends the appointment of two master gunners to take charge of the stores. No. 19, folios 187-190. 30/04/1839. CO 37/100/44.
  • Reports that seven gunboats would be ready shortly, one of which was the steam tug used for towing ships of war through the reefs. Explains that the tug was very old and only 30 horsepower. Recommends a more efficient tug, which would also be of much value to commerce, if a fair scale of charges was established. No. 20, folios 191-193. 30/04/1839. CO 37/100/45. Reports that the commandant of engineers is of the opinion that it would take fifteen years to complete the fortifications. Explains that using convict labour was the best way to complete the work and that the
  • supply of such labour should be greatly increased. Adds that the superintendence of convicts was not properly arranged. No. 21, folios 195-200. 02/05/1839. CO 37/100/46. Reports that 32 and 24 pounders [guns] had been supplied for Fort St Catherine in place of the 8 and 10 inch guns as first designed. No. 22, folios 201-204. 09/05/1839. CO 37/100/47. Forwards a printed copy of the conditions for enlistment for recruits in Bermuda which begins: 'boys from fourteen years of age and upwards, and young men of good character, and able-bodied, will be enlisted without distinction of colour.'. No. 23, folios 205-208. 10/05/1839. CO 37/100/48. Forwards a letter addressed to Vice Admiral Sir Thomas Harvey stating that convicts should not be taken from public works to labour for private purposes. No. 24, folios 210-214. 10/05/1839. CO 37/100/49. Reports that fourteen military convicts would be transported to England on the Boadecia. No. 25, folios 216-217. 10/05/1839. CO 37/100/50. Gives a detailed explanation of the system established for enlisting and training young men to arms. Proposes attaching a portion of the new recruits to the artillery and sappers and miners. No. 26, folios 218-224. 14/05/1839. CO 37/100/51. Recommends converting the naval commissioner's house, in the keep, into a barrack. Comments on its connection with the defence of the dockyard. No. 27, folios 225-228. 14/05/1839. CO 37/100/52. Forwards a list of the military convicts transported by the Boadecia [list not included in volume]. No. 28, folios 229-230. 14/05/1839. CO 37/100/53. Acknowledges the receipt of a circular dated 20 February 1839. Unnumbered, folios 231-232. 14/05/1839. CO 37/100/54. Forwards correspondence concerning the establishment of a telegraph on Ireland Island. Explains that the naval signal post might be suitable for the purpose, with the assistance of three soldiers at 6d per day each. No. 29, folios 233-242. 15/05/1839. CO 37/100/55. Reports granting Archdeacon Spencer leave of absence in view of a letter from the Bishop of Nova Scotia. Explains it was granted reluctantly as Archdeacon Spencer had only returned from leave in November. No. 30, folios 243-249. 17/05/1839. CO 37/100/56. Reports placing some of the artillerymen in the unoccupied naval commissioner's house due to a lack of barrack accommodation. No. 31, folios 253-258. 20/05/1839. CO 37/100/57. Recommends proceeding with the construction of the proposed military prison and allowing the commanding royal engineer to choose the site. Adds that all buildings should be constructed in a way that contributed to the strength of fortifications. No. 32, folios 259-262. 20/05/1839. CO 37/100/58. Forwards a resolution of thanks from the Agricultural Society to the British government for assistance provided. No. 33, folios 263-266. 22/05/1839. CO 37/100/59. Acknowledges the receipt of despatches. No. 34, folios 267-268. 24/05/1839. CO 37/100/60. Forwards and comments on correspondence with the naval storekeeper concerning the use of the commissioner's house as a barrack. No. 35, folios 269-278. 27/05/1839. CO 37/100/61. Forwards a copy of the governor's speech given at the opening of the Legislature on 21 May. Reports that the militia laws were temporary and had expired, and adds that he did not intend to make a hasty decision about them. Recommends giving encouragement to the Agricultural Society as well as efforts for extending education and practical instruction for various trades. No. 36, folios 279-282. 30/05/1839. CO 37/100/62. Reports that it was unlikely that the Legislative Council would grant financial assistance for the steamship mail service. Explains that four fifths of the letters that arrived were for government and franked. States that Britain should bear the expense of the mail service. No. 37, folios 284-291. 21/05/1839. CO 37/100/63. Asks to be sent copies of some missing despatches and the rules and regulations for the colonies. Unnumbered, folios 292-298. 05/06/1839. CO 37/100/64. Recommends the confirmation of the Act for additional gaol regulations and that the Act for the employment of male prisoners on public works should be allowed to expire. No. 38, folios 299-311. 18/06/1839. Correspondence from offices and individuals is not and correspondents and subjects are as follows: Offices: Admiralty (conveyance of regiment from Gibraltar to Bermuda, conveyance of despatch to Sir S Chapman, lighthouses, grant of Vice Admiralty Commissions, warrant granting Colonel Reid powers as governor) -- Commander-in-Chief (governor's refusal to have detachment sent to Nova Scotia, objectionability of retaining military convicts on hulks) -- Home Office (military convict should be sent to England) -- Law Officers (military convict should be sent to England, Jean Godard's case) -- Board of Ordnance (convict labour, Ordnance Lands Act) -- Treasury (Archdeacon Spencer's leave, Mr Smith's application, Revenue and Customs Establishment Acts, lighthouses, relief of emigrants in wrecked ship) -- Prison Discipline Society (defects in Jail Regulation Act). Individuals: Thomas Butterfield, Judge (requests same salary as his predecessor) -- R H Bare (Sir Andrew Leith Hay's debt to him) -- J Bunbury, Colonel (applies for appointment as governor) -- F Chapman (enquiry about his brother Sir Stephen Chapman's alleged recall from Bermuda) -- Cox and Company (the governor's salary certificate) -- Sir Andrew Leith Hay (passage in a ship of war, applies for an aide de camp, passage allowance) -- James Hooke (application for the post of Lieutenant Governor) -- John N Harvey (Customs appointment for his son) -- Lieutenant Colonel Reid (non-compliance of regulations respecting government furniture) -- Aubrey G Spencer, Archdeacon of Bermuda (requests restoration to the Council, letters for the mail, education of emancipated slaves, requests extension of leave, reports plan to return to Bermuda, requests to be transferred) -- James Stewart (claims of Solicitor General Duncan Stewart) -- E J Sydney (Sir A L Hay's debts) -- John Wray (enquires about Sir A L Hay's sailing date, states that Sir S Chapman is not dead) -- Reverend R W Whitford (Archdeacon Spencer).
  • AMDigital Reference:CO 37/100.
  • CO 37.
Original version
Reproduction of: Bermuda, Jan-Jun 1839, Despatches : Sir Stephen Remnant Chapman (items 1-17) and Sir William Reid (35 onwards), Jan-Jun 1839.
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The National Archives, UK
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