America and West Indies: September 1689

Pages 5-12

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Addenda For 1688-1696. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1969.

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September 1689

[Sept.] 12. Peter Seyer to Lord Baltimore containing a detailed narrative of the events of the rebellion since Sayer's last letter sent by Johnson and including an account of the meeting of the Assembly at St. Mary's on 26 Aug. Signed Peter Sayer. 3½ pp. Inscribed: Recd. from Lord Baltimore 31 Dec. 1689. Printed in Archives of Maryland, Vol.8, pp.158–162. [C.O. 5/718 ff.46–47]
Sept. 2
St. Mary's
13. Proclamation of the Assembly of Maryland concerning Capt. Hill. Capt. Richard Hill of Anne Arundel County and others have insinuated that great charges are likely to fall on the inhabitants of the county by the convening of the Assembly and have tried to obstruct the election of representatives. They have imputed this attempted obstruction to the inhabitants themselves, as appears from a letter read in the Assembly and recorded in its journal. All who denounce these wicked designs shall be pardoned. The sole desire of the Assembly is to settle the government of the province with as little cost as possible; this appears from the fact that this year's public levy is the lowest, it is believed, that any Assembly has yet prouduced, viz. 25 lb. of tobacco per head, although it 'hath advanced the one moiety at least by means of the refractory omission' of Anne Arundel county, for the representatives of which the House has waited in vain. We therefore maintain our convention and legal proceedings therein against all persons who hereafter shall disobey the King, and declare them rebels and traitors. Copy. 1 large sheet. Endorsed: Recd. from Lord Baltimore 31 Dec. 1689. Printed in Archives of Maryland, Vol.13, pp.237–238. [C.O. 5/718 f.15]
Sept. 4
St. Mary's
14. Address of the representatives of the Protestants of Maryland to the King. Duplicate of No.8. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed: Recd. 31 Dec. 1689. Printed in Archives of Maryland, Vol.13, pp. 239–240. [C.O.5/718 f.17]
Sept. 4 15. Report of the Committee of Secrecy appointed by the Assembly of Maryland. The late papist governors have conspired to betray the Protestants to the French, Northern and other Indians and there is still eminent danger herefrom; they have obstructed the meeting of the late Assembly lest their designs should be made known; they have denied the right of the King and Queen to the Crown. Further evidence is in the custody of the Committee. Copy authenticated by John Skipper, Clerk. ½ p. Endorsed: Report of the Committee of Safety. Printed in Archives of Maryland, Vol.13, p.240. [C.O. 5/718 f.18]
Sept. 4 16. Ordinances of the Assembly of Maryland for regulating civil and military offices and other matters. All military and civil officers (named with names of offices) in St. Mary's, Kent, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Baltimore, Talbot, Somerset, Dorchester and Cecil Counties and all civil officers in the City of St. Mary's are empowered to exercise their offices in the manner before customary, and the military officers to suppress all insurrections and invasions and to put their offices into commission. The justices, commissioners and clerks are to be summoned by the sheriffs to the next county court and are there to be sworn as formerly customary, except that the title of the King and Queen shall be substituted for that of Lord Baltimore. Naval officers (named) are appointed for the encouragement of trade and the dispatch of shipping. Civil officers are empowered to take probate of wills, to grant letters of administration and to keep a record thereof. All matters in the courts undetermined are to be proceeded with. The provincial court is to continue as before and its records are to be committed to the custody of Mr. John Llewellin and an assistant. Temporary laws of the province to continue in force. Kenelm Chesildyn, Capt. John Coode, Nehemiah Blakiston, Col. Henry Jowles, Gilbert Clarke, John Addison, John Court, or any four of them with William Taylard, their clerk, to form a Committee for the assessment of the public levy to meet at Charles Town in Charles County on Monday 7 October for that purpose, when the sheriffs are to bring in their lists of taxables. Nothing herein shall be deemed to continue the title of Lord Baltimore. There shall be raised 10000 lb. (sic) of tobacco, to be paid, in the proportion of 4000 lb. to Capt. Coode, 3000 lb. to Col. Jowles and 1000 lb. to Col. Warren, as a gratuity from the House for the soldiers late in arms under their command; the thanks of the House likewise to be sent, especially to Capt. Coode, Mr. Blakiston and Col. Jowles and others therein more particularly concerned. Signed on behalf of the Assembly by John Llewellin, clerk. Authenticated copy. 8½ pp. Endorsed: Recd. from the Earl of Shrewsbury 31 Dec. 1689. Printed in Archives of Maryland, Vol.13, pp.241–247. [C.O. 5/718 ff. 19–28]
Sept. 12
Patuxent River
17. Paul Bertrand to the Bishop of London, quoting a letter from Michael Taney, Sheriff of Calvert County, and Richard Smith, junior, now in prison, dated Charles Town, Charles County, 10 Sept. 1689, as follows: We feel increasingly sure that the reports of a conspiracy with the Papists and Indians are only circulated to further the malicious designs of certain persons; because we will not comply with their humour we are confined to prison; here we are prepared to remain, for our fidelity to the Crown and to Lord Baltimore prevents us from submitting to any other authority. My wife, Barbara Smith, has gone to England to present a petition. Please ask the Bishop of London to assist her. Quotation ends. I will give you an account of recent events in explanation of the imprisonment of these men. On 26 July there appeared the long meditated design of certain persons to rise against the established government of the province. Their first attempt was apparently averted by Col. Henry Darnall. A rumour ran through the province in a flash on 24 March that the Northern Indians and those of this province were cooperating with the Papists to destroy the Protestants. This caused great confusion. I and my family moved to a general house of refuge about 4 or 5 miles from my own. The rumour was found to be false and the refugees withdrew; since then the deputy-governors have employed persons to go about in the woods to investigate the affair and these have consistently reported that there are no traces of Indians; this has satisfied us of the groundless character of this first disturbance. Furthermore a London merchant, Jarret Sly, has written to Kenelm Chesildyn of St. Mary's County dissuading him from pressing forward the design against the Papists; the handwriting is testified to by Col. William Diggs, a deputy governor and a Protestant. It is thus clear that the events of the last weeks are the result of that which has long been pondered upon. On 26 July a party of malcontents under John Coode, formerly an Anglican minister and for several years a captain of militia, Nehemiah Blakiston, a collector on the Potomac River, Mr. Camel, Humphrey Warren and Richard Clouds marched towards St. Mary's and, increasing their force, camped on 27 July about 100 strong before the house occupied by Diggs and his 80 men, and obliged them to surrender the garrison, arms and registers. Since then their force has increased more and more. On 1 August they caused 800 men under Ninian Beal and 2 large cannon in Richard Brightwell's charge to move upon Mattapany Sewall, the residence of Lord Baltimore, which is used by 4 or 5 deputy governors as a garrison and which serves as an asylum for serveral families who assist the government. Amongst these were Richard Smith and his wife who surrendered. Since then the malcontents have been in control and have given the title of general to Coode, who has ordered each county in the King's name to elect 4 burgesses to an assembly which met on 22 August. Our own county has been divided in opinion, but the more contemptible section prevailed and chose Henry Jowles, Ninian Beal, Henry Mitchell and James Keetch. All of these formerly served under Coode as colonel, major, captain and ensign respectively. On 25 August soldiers were sent to take the most persistent opponents of the election, viz. Mr. Taney, then at my church, and R. Smith. They have been kept close prisoners, and though the assembly dispersed on 5 or 6 Sept., they have not been released but have been removed from St. Mary's to the custody of the sheriff of Charles County. Their detention has been due to their refusal to give a bond of 25 l. to appear when required. I hope that the King will soon signify his pleasure as to the future government. The Papists are being turned out, the assembly has enacted that nothing shall henceforth be done in Lord Baltimore's name, and new sheriffs and judges are being appointed. On 10 Sept. they proclaimed the King. Signed P. Bertrand. Holograph. French. 3½ pp. Endorsed: Recd. 16 Dec. 1689. Printed in Archives of Maryland, Vol.8, pp.114–118. [C.O. 5/718 ff.40–43]
Sept. 14
Charles Town,
Charles County
18. Michael Taney to Mrs. Barbara Smith recounting events since last July in explanation of his imprisonment. This account refers to his attempt to persuade the people and Col. Jowles in particular, to keep the peace, to his expedition with Mr. Marsham to Mattapany and its surrender, to the seizure of magazines all over the country, to the election of an assembly, to the dispute between him as sheriff of Calvert County and Col. Jowles, to his preparation with others of a memorial embodying the reasons for refusing to choose representatives, to his arrest at his own house on 25 August 1689 by James Bigger and six others, to his detention at the house of Philip Lynes, to his arraignment before the assembly on 3 Sept. with Mr. Smith and Mr. Butler, and to their eventual consignment to the custody of Gilbert Clarke, who had been made sheriff of Charles County. Signed Mich. Taney. Holograph. 1 closely written sheet. Endorsed: Memorandum Sept. 14 1689. 'Capt. Coode mustered all the men of St. Mary's County at Choptico and did then and there order that all Protestants, servants and freemen, should appear there at Choptico that day fortnight with provision for a march into Anne Arundel County and those that were provided arms to bring them with them and those that were not should there be furnished with the country arms'. Recd. 16 Dec. 1689. Printed in Archives of Maryland, Vol.8, pp.118–121. [C.O. 5/718 f.50]
Sept. 20 19. Richard Hill to Lord Baltimore. I deplore the mischiefs that have deprived me and others of our former happiness and the enjoyment of our rights and liberties. Some restless spirits here contrived our ruin and your own. Your deputies have been deposed, their commissions invalidated and the whole government unsettled. Some here have taken up arms in the cause of those people. These we could have easily subdued as they were but few; but for various reasons we were induced to endure what could only be prevented by making matters worse. Hitherto no blood has been spilt, though we fear that it may unless you can contrive some means to prevent it. Signed Richd. Hill. Holograph. 1 p. Endorsed: Per Col. Henry Darnall. Recd. 29 Sept. 1689. Fragment of seal en placard. Printed in Archives of Maryland, Vol.8, pp.122–123. [C.O. 5/718 ff.34–35]
Sept. 22 20. John Coode to the Earl of Shrewsbury. I have received the King's commands through Capt. Gillam. Every care had already been taken before Gillam's arrival to defend the province against the French by taking up arms against our late Papist governors in defence of the Protestant religion, which we thought would be undermined by the encouragement the Papists receive from the French. Our motives appear in a declaration and in addresses from the officers in arms and from an address from the whole province in Assembly. We have an agent at Albany, New York, who informs us of the French proceedings in Canada. He has given us an account of some Indian spies sent into this province. I have ordered that all officers shall make necessary preparations for defence and that no ships shall hereafter sail hence unless in fleets and under the King's command. It is fortunate that your letter did not come sooner as it might have fallen into the hands of the late governors who have always favoured the French and have declared for King James. They might have taken advantage of it to the prejudice of His Majesty, especially as they have orders from the late King James `to the contrary' (as appears from the enclosure). In this affair it is noteworthy that in the meantime Col. Dongan, Governor of New York, has sent orders as from King James to this province and to Virginia to raise money for defence against the French. This I understand was complied with in Virginia but disobeyed here. Signed Jno Coode. Holograph. 1½ p. Inscribed: Recd. from Lord Shrewsbury 7 Feb. 1689. Printed in Archives of Maryland, Vol.8, pp.123–124. [C.O. 5/718 f.58]
Sept. 25
St. Mary's
21. Charles Carroll to Lord Baltimore. I believe you have already heard either from Capt. Burnham or from Johnson of the recent rebellion instigated by Coode, Jowles, Blakiston, Chesildyn, Parson, Thurling and others. Your charter has been declared forfeit as appears by their declaration. They have given commissions to sheriffs and justices of their own stamp, excluding from office all Roman Catholics (contrary to the Assembly's Act) and all Protestants who refuse to join with them. They threaten to hang anyone who supports your rights. By irregular means they have elected an Assembly, in which they have laid down the method of their future conduct. This is at present a secret but I understand that you will soon receive a copy of their Journal. Unless some redress is provided we shall be reduced to misery for our cattle are killed and our horses pressed daily. If the King thinks that you or any deputy-governor has incurred the forfeiture of the charter, a quo warranto enquiry is the proper procedure. The bearer can provide further information, for he like myself has been involved in the calamity. An Act of indemnity with a few exceptions would be the best means of securing obedience again, though the leaders say that if the King's orders do not please them they will disobey them. Signed Charles Carroll. Holograph. 1½ p. Endorsed: Recd. 29 Sept. 1689. Seal en placard. Printed in Archives of Maryland, Vol.8, pp.124–126. [C.O. 5/718 ff.36–37]
Sept. 27 22. Richard Johns to Samuel Groom. I could not write before because letters are liable to be opened. We daily hope for `the forward ships' but more especially for some orders from the King. A ketch has brought letters for this government and some private letters, but all is kept hushed. If you or John Tayler sent anything by it I have not received it. `The long sword in the rabble's hands is our masters'. Col. Darnall and Richard Smith's wife are coming in this ship and I refer you to them for information. The King's commands would be gladly received and a general submission would ensure. When the ship arrives I hope you will send the goods ordered or at least what is most needed. Signed Richd. Johns. Holograph. Postscript: Edward Talbot is dead. 1 p. Endorsed: Recd. from Lord Baltimore 31 Dec. 1689. To Samuel Groom, merchant, in London, per Capt. Everet in the Thomas Susanna. `Mr. Johns the person the Assembly directed a letter to and call him a person of good credit and repute'. Printed in Archives of Maryland, Vol.8, pp.126–127. [C.O. 5/718 ff.44–45]