To the Honble William Gooch esqr: his Majesties Leiutenant Governor and Commander in Chief of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia
We, Masters and Commanders of the British Ships and Vessells loading in the Lower District of James River, or obliged to Enter and Clear in that District, for puting out or takeing on Board any Part of our Loading having been informed, of a petition presented to your Honuor, by the owners of Vessells in Norfolk Princess Ann and Nansemond Countys, for obtaining a Set of Custom House Officers to be setteled at Norfolk Town, on Elizabeth river. to Enter and clear all vessels that desire or think convenient to go there, Wee therefore Beg leave to joyn with them thinking it necessary and convenient for most part of our Ships, for some reason Which we humbly beg leave to Lay before you.
Upon our arrival in James River, Wee your Honbl. "[illegible]" have little or no Business, at Hampton only to Enter our Vessels, but for most part are all either obliged, or incline to goo to Norfolk, for provisions, "[illegible]" Lumber &c. Which is a double Trouble and Loss of time, Besides being obliged to ride in a Dangerous Pond, and Deep Water, Whereas if you Honr: Thought fitt to have officers at Norfolk Wee could ride in four or five Fathom Waters in the Mouth of Elizabeth River.
Wee who load in Nancemond River have often been delayed Some Days by Stopping our vessels to goe a Shore to Enter when we Came in with a fair Wind to Sail to our Loading Place from whence we have not above. Twenty Miles by Land to Norfolk.
As Wee all Load on the South side of James River in the Lower District, Wee humbly pray Your Honor to take it into consideration, and "[illegible]" the"[illegible]" as your "[illegible]" Wisdom thinks fitt
Norfolk May 1735
May it please yr: Honr: Wee are your Honours most Obedeent & most humble Servts:
John Lute Saml Spitman Saml Bowman Hugh Crawford "[illegible]" Colin Dunlop John Lyon Robert Hall John Turner Thos Wells Saml Barnes Geo "[illegible]" David Swigle John Jennings