THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF TRINIDAD
Publication No 456.
4 Memorial from the Principal English Mortgagees of the Island
of Tobago addressed to Lord Carmarthen, Secretary of State
to His Majesty, for Foreign .Affairs.
Source:-Paris. Archives Nationales.
State Papers Colonial. C 10. E 3.
Published by the courtesy of the Minister
of the Colonies. Paris.
Translated from the French.
16th July 1786.
To the Right Honourable
The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
This Memorial of the Principal English Mortgagees
of the Island of Tobago: Humbly sheweth,
That by Article 7 of the Treaty of Paris, it is a-
greed that the English subjects in the Island of Tob.
ago will be ruled by English Laws in regard to lands
and all contingent rights.
That Your Memorialists have believed until the
present that their interests, as Mortgagees on the se-
curity of land in that Island, was preserved in its en-
And that the High Contracting Parties had under-
stood that the application of this Article was not only
limited to those persons who had obtained the lands in
possession by purchase, and who,at the moment the Is-
land was ceded, became necessarily the faithful sub-
jects of His Very Christian Majesty; but that this Ar-
ticle extended also to all English subjects who had
made advances on these lands in Tobago;
And that these interests should be preserved con-
formably with English Laws as though they had contin-
ued to live under the English King and in the Peace
of His Dominion.
By that Law, as it was and still is, anyone ad-
vancing money on property on the condition of an an-
nual payment, can, should this be in default, evict the
mortgagor and recover the property by an action in a
Court of Equity; and claim either to sell the property
or to be put into possession thereof.
And Your Memorialists beg the permission of Your
Lordship to represent to him that they are informed
that, by a letter from the Marquis de Castries to the
Governor of Tobago and by the interpretation placed
upon it by the said Governor and Ordonnateur of the
Island, no subject of His Britannic Majesty living in
his jurisdiction and in his dominions, will, in future
have permission to bring any action or process of law
in a Court of Equity to obtain absolute possession or
to recover monies due upon lands in that Island.
This permission will be refused, even to anyone
who has advanced monies upon the land before the Ces-
sion of this Island.
In consequence, Your Memorialists find themselves
entirely dependent on the good faith of those debtors
and they are prevented from employing any coercive
action to obtain their money.
Your Memorialists believe that the decision of the
Governor and Ordonnateur, founded on this letter, is
opposed to the obvious principles of justice and equi-
ty and is also a manifest infraction of Article 7 of the
Treaty of Paris by which the King of France was put
in possession of the sovereignty of this Island.
Your Memorialists throw themselves at the foot of
the Throne and implore His Majesty's protection and
they hope that Your Lordship will be their Mediator
with His Majesty and that he will be pleased to instruct
His Ambassador to the Court of France, to represent
their case and to make every effort to obtain from His
Very Christain Majesty, an Edict to be registered as
the Law in the Island of Tobago, by which Your Mem-
orialists will have the right, in the future, to pursue
such course of Law and Equity as is provided in the
Laws of England in order to recover the sums of money
advanced on mortgage on any lands whatever in the Is-
And also that if they choose not to take coercive
proceedings to recover, they shall be allowed the right
themselves to name the Commissary or Receiver of the
interest, profits, etc.
John A Bucker. Louis Chauvet & Co.
W Todd. Ph Carpenter.
Straf Canning. B & T Boddington & Co.
Wm Manning. Marler Stewart & Co.
Rich Neave. B Sercold & Jackson.
Wm Snell & Co. Wm Daling.