352 | From John Robinson

    Boston 9th: May 1765—

    May it please your Excellency

    Having arrived at Swansey on Thursday the 11th: day of April last in Company with Capt. Antrobus & some of his Officers with an Armed Force in order to recover the Sloop Polly and Molosses she was loaded with, and which had been stolen out of the said Vessell by Persons unknown and having accidentally met Mr. Ezra Richmond and Mr. Jerathmael Bowers two Justices of the Peace1 the following Information2 was preferrd to them by Capt. Antrobus, and his Mate Mr Morgan, and myself.

    To Ezra Richmond and Jerathmael Bowers Esqrs. Justices of the peace in and for the County of Bristol in the Province of Massachusets Bay

    We John Robinson Collector of his Majestys Customs in and for the Port of Rhode Island and Charles Antrobus Esqr: Capt. of his Majestys Ship Maidstone Stationed in the said Port and also an Officer of his Majestys Customs Do hereby Inform you that on Saturday last We Seized to his Majestys use a certain Sloop called the Polly Timothy Dogget Master lately arrived from Surrinam in the River Taunton, and then lying in the said River at Dighton in the County of Bristol and Province of Massachusets Bay aforesaid, and within the Port of Rhode Island, and also then & there seized the Overplus of the Cargo that was not reported at his Majestys Custom House at Rhode Island aforesaid being between 50 and 60 Casks of Molosses, the number whereof reported being 63 Casks; and which said Overplus, these Informants verily believes was intended to be smuggled and his Majesty defrauded of his revenue

    And these Informants further say, that the next day after making the said Seizure, they left the same in the Custody and under the care of Nicholas Lechmere Searcher & Landwaiter of his Majestys Customs in and for the said Port of Rhode Island and Daniel Gutridge Servant of the said Collector. And these Informants further say that on Sunday night last (as they have been Informed and verily believe) the said seized Molosses was taken & Carried off by Persons unknown to them while the said Mr. Lechmere and Daniel Guteridge were refreshing themselves on shore, within One Hundred yards of the Vessell, and since, the said Vessel has been run aground, and has had her Sails and Riggin Carried off, and her Bottom bored, so that it may not be brought down the River. And James Morgan Mate of the said Ship Maidstone further Informes the said Justices, that he was Yesterday on board the said Vessell and found the same empty and in the condition above described. And of all the above particulars these Informants are ready to make Oath to the best of their knowledge. And they crave the Aid and Assistance of the above Majestrates, as well to discover the above goods as the Persons concerned in the above Affair so as to recover the Possession of the said Goods and Secure the Persons aforesaid, and particularly they pray a Warrant to Search the House and Stores of Job Smith and all other suspected places, the said Smith being the Importer of the Molosses.

    John Robinson

    Chas. Antrobus

    Jas. Morgan

    In a little time after Mr Richmond acquainted Capt. Antrobus and myself that Mr.  Bowers would give us their determination upon the Affair. accordingly he came and acquainted us, that they wou’d not give the Assistance or Warrant required in Regard that they tho’t it the Business of the Superior Court.3

    On Saturday following I apply’d verbally to Justice White, Justice Fales, & Justice Williams for their Warrant to Search the Stores of Job Smith, whereas he was the Importer, and from the Information I had received, I suspected the Molosses was Lodged, but which Warrant they severally refused to grant in the Presence of Lieutenant Baines of the Maidstone: so that said Smiths Stores were not Search’d for twenty four hours after, when by the Assistance given by Justice Leonard4 I procured an Admission into them And I think it proper to Observe that he shewed great readiness and Zeal in the Service.

    I have thought it proper to acquaint your Excellency with these circumstances, and I have the Honor to be.

    Your Excellencys Most Obedient and most humble Servant

    John Robinson

    To His Excellency Govr Bernard

    L, RLbC Temple Papers, 1762-1768: Taunton, 311-312.