THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF TRINIDAD
Publication No. 295.
Sir Ralph Woodford to Earl Bathurst: Regarding matters oJ general
interest to Trinidad.
Source :-Red House, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad Duplicate
Published by the courtesy of His Excellency the Governor.
No. 28. SOUTH NAPARIMA,
9th May, 1814.
The arrival of the Feby Leeward Island Mail has just put
me in possession of Your Lordship's Orders Nos. 24 and 25
of the 29th March.
I shall give directions for the payment of the late Oidor's
Salary to the ist June, 1813.
I have continued the same Salary to the Chief Judge
and placed him on the Establishment of the Colony from the
date of his Commission which I hope Your Lordship will
approve and it is but Justice to observe that his Salary even
with the Estimated Amount of his fees, are together but ill
calculated to bear the Expenses of living respectably in this
I am happy in receiving His Ro)al Highness's Approbation
of the Proclamation drawn up under the Order in Council
for raising a more adequate Revenue in this Island. As in
the course of the next month the duties are to be paid into
the Treasury, I shall shortly be enabled to report the result
to Your Lordship, and I then shall have the honor to submit
such alterations as a more intimate acquaintance with the
Colony and its Inhabitants gradually teach me.
I am however desirous of no longer deferring to entreat
Your Lordship's Instructions upon the subject of the
Extraordinary and Miscellaneous Expenditure which must
hereafter form a considerable branch of the Colonial Accounts.
The continued illness of the Treasurer and the necessity
of forming some more distinct and general plan for his Accounts
have hitherto prevented my sending home the Receipt and
Expenditure as Ordered by my Instructions.
The fixed Salaries of the Officers of the Government
are of course only to be regulated by His Royal Highness's
Command and Your Lordship's Orders -but I feel at a loss
for some guide in the Miscellaneous Expenditure by which
I may feel assured of approval of Objects undertaken, or
Expenses to be Incurred, which the funds of the Colony
must Supply, as without that assurance no Public Work
could be entered upon with satisfaction to myself, or security
to the parties engaged in its Creation, or interested in its
It must be the first Object to pay the debts of the Colony,
and to provide for its immediate wants, but these are so
extensive and of so various a nature in a new Island, involving
at the same time so many small items of Expense that I deem
it but prudent to solicit Your Lordship's Instructions as to
the Propriety of this Expenditure, that I may not involve
myself or the Colony in Works which may not be approved
by His Majesty's Government, or thought to be as necessary
by my Successors, as by myself.
Your Lordship's despatches have found me engaged in
a little town by which I was desirous to make myself better
acquainted with the principal Quarters of the Island nearest to
the Port-of-Spain-I have visited the Coast from Carapichaima
to this quarter which is reckoned the finest in the Island.
I have found the Inhabitants well disposed in every
respect, having paid great attention to the Roads, particularly
in the Quarter of North Naparima where the Commandant
Mr. Mitchell has notwithstanding many French and Coloured
Proprietors residing in it, who are generally averse to such
Public labor, engaged them to make as fine Roads as far as
their Estates are in Cultivation as can be desired-
The Means of Shipping which a Wharf would afford to
these two quarters, the considerable quantity of sugar they
raise is strongly impressed upon my attention, and I have
not thought it improper to encourage the idea of tf.rming
one at a more favorable period of the Colonial Revenue,
or when it may be better in the power of the Mother Country
to assist the Island.
I am happy to say that the Vessels which sailed from here
to join the Convoy at St. Thomas's under the care of the
Echo Brig of War, exceeded by many the first Fleet of any
former years. And it is still more satisfactory to me to have
ascertained that the Quality of the Sugar manufactured has
been generally good and creditable to the Colony.
I shall not fail to communicate to the Militia Your Lord-
ship's Commands and I have every reason to hope that in
duly appreciating the liberality of His Majesty's Government
they will in future not be obliged to renew the application
which Your Lordship has now been pleased favorably to
consider and for which I beg to express my humble
acknowledgements to Your Lordship.
I have the honor to be,
Your Lordship's Obedient
And faithful Servant.