12
volume), of Treasury papers located at the North Carolina state archives on Jones Street in Raleigh. The four cleared
vessels are as follows:
1. Sloop Tryall 1703 July 30 cleared Lower District of Virginia, Port Roanoke volume
2. Sloop Pamlico Adventure 1704 April 12, carrying 30 tons in ballast, (same vessel and same owner first
Known admiralty case in North Carolina, see section on admiralty law)
3. Sloop Thomas 1712 April 22 carrying 74 barrels of pork, one cask of lard
4. Brig Martha 1712 May 9 cargo unknown.
The above three sloops and one brig were commanded by or owned respectively by the following: 1) Master Joseph Ming,
Who lived in Bath County with his wife and children, 2) Capt Levi Truewhitt, who was a Bath Town Clerk, 3) Master
Nicholas Thomas Jones, who owned a Bath Town Lot, and 4) Capt. Henry Montfort, skippering the brig for owner
Governor Daniel who had a plantation on Bath’s plantation row.
In the late 1600’s settlers were arriving in the new County of Bath, Pamtecough Precinct (today Beaufort County) under
the rule of the Lords Proprietors. The 1663 Carolina Colony charter to eight Lords Proprietors (overseers) granted a huge
swath of land extending from the Virginia border down to North Florida and westward to the Mississippi past the frontier
of Tennessee and southwest including the Gulf Coast west of Florida. The Carolina land grant was given as a reward to
King Charles II’s generals and aristocratic supporters, in thanks for restoring him to the throne; its boundaries were
revised in 1665. The proprietors were absentee landlords and overseers and their interests were variously passed on as
inheritances or sold. The chief Lord Proprietor and most powerful was called a Palatine. Coincidence or not the Pamtico
settlement became known as Bath several years before its 1705 town charter, to give honor to the Earl of Bath whose
Longleat statuary still sits in front of Bath’s St. Thomas church. Confusingly for researchers and genealogists in
correspondence and legal recordings about land and maritime interests, early 18th century Bath colonists still signed using
both Pamlico Pamtico and Bath interchangeably some years after the Earl of Bath, whose county seat was Longleat, was
named new Palatine in 1697.
Three of the first named Carolina counties were very large in area and covered the coastal coast from Virginia to Cape
Fear, extending from the Outer Banks’ barrier islands and inlets from ocean to the Piedmont, to Hillsborough’s
Occaneechi Trail and what is now Caswell County. The old early 18th century counties named after three English Lords
Proprietors are now extinct: Bath, Albemarle, and Clarendon although the old Craven county appeared for some time in
South Carolina and is in use today. Like all pre-revolutionary British colonies, provincial customs officials were
assigned districts and charged with submitting vessel, crew and cargo reports and also submitting taxes collected for the
London main customs house on the Thames River. Port and customs officials as well as British naval officers were
charged with inspecting sailing vessels and enforcing trade and shipping regulation for all maritime commerce in and out
of Carolina province. Port customs duties included inspecting vessel registration, vessels, crew, cargo bills of lading,
dredging channels and maintaining channel buoy markers but…most importantly collecting customs duties and taxes.
Customs districts were established in all British colonies including the America colonies, Bahamas, Bermuda and the
West Indies, and Nova Scotia which some say should have been the fourteenth American colony. This author does not
know how many customs districts existed in 1715, but by 1770 according to …. in North America there were 42.
Colonies with less coast line like Massachusetts or Delaware might have only one customs district compared to North
Carolina by `1770 with five.
In the days of Carolina trading posts and frontier settlements, when there were no towns yet per se in the whole northern
half of the Carolina province, Bath Towne of Bath County was a small settlement community with only a few houses
along the north banks of the Pamlico River. Bath was originally known as Pamticough, or Pamtico, named like many new
settlements and rivers after a local Indian tribe. Bath’s first few inhabitants built homes along the safe peninsula formed
by its twin creeks, today known as Bath and Back creeks but then known as Town and Adams creeks. Residents of Bath
began signing correspondence with the name BathTowne instead of Pamtico some years before the town was incorporated
in 1705. Sarah Depuis, a French Huguenot widow who at one time owned Depee’s or Depuis’ plantation outside Bath,
wrote a letter to the Bishop of Chichester addressed from Pamtico asking for clergy as early as 1701. John Lawson laid
out lots for sale as shown on a town plan dated 1709 and by the time of Reverend Urmston’s missionary visits Urmston
wrote to London’s Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts of only ten or twelve built houses in Bath.
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