America and West Indies: July 1689, 22-31

Pages 100-113

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 13, 1689-1692. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1901.

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July 1689

July 22.
279. Order of the King in Council. For the office of Ordnance to report whether forty long culverins can be spared for Barbados. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VIII., pp. 148, 149.]
July 22.
Charles Fort,
St. Christopher.
280. Colonel Thomas Hill to John Netheway. I have received yours by Lieutenant William Battery, who arrived safe at the fort half an hour before day. The fleet attacked us on Thursday, 18th inst., by sea, shot nine hundred and seventy odd cannon and killed us a turkey, a dog and three horses. That was all the mischief they did us that day. To-day they fired half a score bombs at us, several of which fell into the fort but to less effect than the cannon. I suppose they are now trying to throw up a trench of circumvallation round the fort on the land side, and will bring their mortars nearer. Here follow details about the ships. Copy. 1¼ pp. On the next page, An account of the bombs fired into Charles fort, July 22 and 23; and of the trifling damage that they did. 1 p. The whole endorsed. Recd. from Mr. Netheway, 22 Oct., 1689. [America and West Indies. 550. No. 21.]
July 22. 281. Deposition of Pieter Godfree and another. That in April last they heard the Minister, Mr. Innes, in discourse of Canada and the Romish religion, commend Canada and several Jesuits. He said that the Jesuits were good people, that he believed in the doctrine of purgatory, that the Catholic Romish religion was the best religion, that all that left it were heretics, that the common people should not be allowed the Scripture and that auricular confession was a necessity. Sworn before Gerard Beckman. Copy. ½ p.
Duplicate of the foregoing. Endorsed. Recd. 10 April, 1690. [America and West Indies. 578. Nos. 33, 33A.]
July 22. 282. Petition of John Riggs, servant to Sir Edmund Andros, to the King. Sir Edmund Andros, the Governor of New England, behaved himself with all moderation in the Government. He is and always was a Protestant, having been brought up as page to the Queen of Bohemia, and would readily have obeyed your orders had he received them. He now begs that he may be released from his present close confinement, where he is denied writing materials and any other convenience, and that he may be sent home to answer for any charges brought against him. 1 p. Inscribed. Read in Council, July, 22 1689. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 18.]
[July 22.] 283. Petition of John Trefry, on behalf of his brother Thomas, to the King. In 1685 when Lord Bath raised his regiment in Cornwall Thomas Trefry was made ensign, and was afterwards sent lieutenant with a detachment of the regiment to New England. He has since been imprisoned in a tumultuous manner by the people and now lies in confinement. I beg that he may be released or sent home to answer for his conduct. 1 p. Inscribed. Read in Council, July 22, '89. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 19.]
[July.] 284. Petition of Sarah Randolph. For the release of her husband Edward Randolph, now a prisoner in Boston, or for orders for him to be sent home for trial. He is and always was a Protestant and has served the Crown for thirty years. 1 p. [Ibid. No. 20.]
July 23.
Gaol; Boston.
285. Edward Randolph to Lords of Trade and Plantations. We have no news whether Mr. Mather has so far gained favour with the Court as to obtain the grant of a new charter or the confirmation of the old one. Certain it is that upon presumption of one or the other they keep Sir Edmund Andros, myself and several others in close confinement, and at last charge us with the breach of a capital law made by the General Court when they set up for a commonwealth, as appears by the minutes of a convocation of representatives from several towns. The people having dared to proceed to such heights, what are we to expect, when the Agents return laden with favours, but a trial according to their laws? Or if the King direct other methods for governing the country, their guilt and their fear of deserved punishment is such that they will massacre us and throw off their allegiance to the Crown. One of their ministers lately declared in public that they accounted themselves the King's nominal, not real, subjects. I hope that you have received my former letters, and are aware that this Colony is in danger of ruin by popular rage, or of being made a prey to Indians and French, and that the King has sent a sufficient force to quiet these disorders and reduce the country to a firm dependence on the Crown. There is no government and no law. Customs, Excise, and Acts of Navigation are cried down. All things are carried on by a furious rabble animated by the ministers, some of whom, and notably young Mather, were the chief promoters of the rebellion. They have infected the other Colonies of New England and sent their agitators to New York. During this commotion the Eastern Indians daily alarm our out towns. Four considerable towns are wholly destroyed, the fishery lost, the forts built by Sir Edmund Andros burnt down, about fifty persons lately killed or taken, and much plunder taken. The distressed people, having lost their houses and cattle in the other towns, have petitioned the Governor and Council for soldiers to defend their remaining towns in the province of Maine, but can obtain no suitable relief. The country has no officers fit for such a service, nor can they raise men or money for the war, the people not being satisfied that they have power to raise either, so that in a very short time all the eastern country, of great importance to the Crown, will be abandoned to the ravages of the heathen. Signed. Ed. Randolph. Holograph. 1¼ pp. Duplicate. Endorsed. Original delivered 6 Nov. 1689. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 21.]
[July 23.] 286. Enclosures sent by the same ship with the preceding letter.
286. I. Minutes of the Council of Safety at Boston, 20 April, 1689. Order for Edward Ting, Captain Thomas Savage, and others, now abroad in the army to Eastern, forthwith to dismiss Major Brockholes, Macgregory, Lockhart, Lieutenant Weems, Captain Manning, and Ensign Smith from their present command in the Army, send them to Boston, and take the command into their own hands, reserving as many men as they think necessary and dismissing the rest. Copy. ½ p. Endorsed. Recd. 4 November, 1689.
286. II. Resolution of the Council of Safety at Boston. That Sir Edmund Andros, having received and executed illegal commissions, Edward Randolph having endeavoured the subversion of the Government, and Joseph Dudley, having done the like, have violated a capital law of the Colony and are therefore not bailable. 28 June, 1689. Copy. Endorsed. Recd. 2 November, 1689.
286. III. Bond of Joseph Dudley in £10,000 to continue in his house at Roxbury (except for the public worship of God) till further order. 13 July, 1689. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed as the preceding.
286. IV. Order of the Council of Safety, for a day of fasting and humiliation. 13 July, 1689. 1 p. With marginal notes by Edward Randolph. Endorsed as the preceding.
286. V. Simon Bradstreet to Joseph Dudley. The tumult in the town is so great and sudden that no reason will be heard or regarded, so I am obliged to entreat you, for the safety of yourself and family and welfare of the State, to yield quietly to the present stress. Signed, S. Bradstreet. Copy by Edward Randolph. Scrap. Endorsed as the preceding.
286. VI. Order for Joseph Dudley to continue in his house. 13 July, 1689. Note of Randolph in the margin. Neither Bradstreet nor Addington would sign this for fear of being sent to gaol for it. Scraps. Endorsed as the preceding.
286. VII. Warrant for levying a fine of £5 on Francis Marsden for refusing to serve against the Indians on being pressed. Copy. Scrap. Undated. Endorsed as the preceding.
286. VIII. Order for committing Henry Deering to custody for heading a riot on 13 July. Boston, 15 July, 1689. Scrap. Endorsed as the preceding.
286. IX. Simon Bradstreet to Joseph Dudley. Boston, 16 July, 1589. Asking him to return to prison till the fury of the people is abated. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed as the preceding. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 21, 21, I–IX.]
July 23.
287. William Jephson to William Blathwayt. Forwarding a minute from the Commissioners of Customs. Signed. Will Jephson. ¼ p. Endorsed. Recd. 23 July, 89.
287. I. Minute of Commissioners of Customs. Thirty small barrels of powder are lying in a ship at Portsmouth together with other goods from Holland for Boston. Shall the powder be suffered to proceed, as we do not know in what condition the Government of New England now stands? ½ p. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. Nos. 22–22 I.]
July 23.
288. Nicholas Bayard to Francis Nicholson. Leisler's crimes and insolencies are no way diminished since your departure. As you will see by the enclosed journal, the Council together with the Mayor and Common council tried to preserve the revenue for the King's service; but Leisler, finding that the securing of the revenue would be prejudicial to his private interests, was so inflamed against the civil government and particularly against myself, that he attempted to massacre me at the hands of his drunken crew, and compelled me to escape here for safety. Since my departure I hear that Nathaniel Gold and James Fitch have arrived from Connecticut and by many false and foolish flatterings have commended Leister's proceedings, and that this faction, in contempt of the King's proclamation for continuance of officers in their posts, have taken the Government upon themselves. They have formed a company of soldiers with Leisler for captain, William Churcher the mason for lieutenant, and Stoll the drummer for ensign; they have also proclaimed that the taking of the fort is solely for the King's service, and that no persons had any reason to leave New York, though I and others were daily threatened with massacre and imprisonment. Our care for the securing of the revenue seems to have alarmed them. De la Noy, one of the Committee men, has now assumed charge of the Custom House. Leisler and his faction have made great efforts to overthrow the civil government in other parts also by sending messengers here and elsewhere, but the people have resolved to adhere to the existing government pursuant to the King's proclamation. There is little trade here nor has been for the past three years, so there is great poverty, which must continue until Canada be reduced to other terms. The Sachems of the Five Nations have told us that they intend to be revenged on Canada. We have news that about nine hundred Indians have already gone thither, and that three hundred more are going. They will undoubtedly destroy the harvest, which will reduce Canada to great extremity unless relieved by France. The inhabitants of Albany are still much inclined for some exploit, either for trade with the farther Indians or to revenge themselves on the French for their losses by letters of marque. In case of a war with France, they would be eager to share in the subduing of Canada, which would be very profitable for England. We have no letters yet from Europe, which makes Leisler and his crew the more insolent. They have few substantial men among them; the rest are poor ignorant folks who let themselves be lectured by about twenty or thirty drunken sots. Yet their party begins to decline, and many more would withdraw from them were they not afraid. West writes me that all continues the same at Boston, only the Government is moved to the Castle and the Governor to the prison. I shall stay here till orders arrive from the King. Signed. N. Bayard. 4 pp. Inscribed. Read 23 Oct., 1689. Printed in New York Documents, III. 598. The journal alluded to is printed, ibid. p. 599. [America and West Indies. 578. No. 34.]
July 25.
New York.
289. Depositions of Charles Lodowyck. That he heard Lieutenant-Governor Nicholson say that the people of New York were a conquered people and could not expect the same rights as English people, wherefore the Prince might lawfully govern them by his own will. Copy. ½ p. Sworn before Gerard Beckman. [America and West Indies. 578. No. 35.]
July 25.
290. Declaration of the reasons and motives for appearing in arms on behalf of the Protestant subjects of Maryland. The plots, contrivances and subscriptions carried on and extorted by Lord Baltimore and his officers, and the particulars of our grievances being shrouded from observation, we publish the following reasons for our appearance in arms. Lord Baltimore holds Maryland by charter of King Charles I. to his farther Cecilius. In the charter, allegiance is reserved to the Crown of England, but the very name and owning of that sovereign power is sometimes crime enough to gain the frowns of our superiors and to render us suspected of disaffection. The ill usage and affronts to the King's revenue-officers, the ill-treatment of Mr. Badcock and the murder of Mr. Rousby prove this. The President lately laid it down that fidelity to the Lord Proprietor was allegiance, and that to deny the one is to deny the other; but in that oath of fidelity, which is imposed under threats of banishment, there is not a word about allegiance to the King. By the charter, churches and chapels should be built for the service of the Church of England, but all are turned to popish worship; the chief officers of Government are papists; and the most fertile lands set apart for the Protestant ministry are escheat and forfeited. The power to enact laws is another branch of Lord Baltimore's authority; but when according to usage four representatives were elected and sent up, only two were picked out of each four and sent up to the Convention, whereby the greatest levy yet known was imposed on the inhabitants. Next Session the two remaining members were admitted, when some of our best laws were enacted, but the Assembly was soon after dissolved by Lord Baltimore, and the laws disallowed by him though assented to by his deputy in his absence, so that the Courts of Judicature often have to decide not what is the law but what is his Lordship's wish. Then another Assembly was called of two members only for each country, and several laws were enacted with his Lordship's consent, but that for the encouragement of trade and erecting of towns was suspended by him and practically abrogated. Thus our liberties are threatened, and we are at the mercy of his lordship's pleasure. Again, even existing laws are enforced or not according to the good liking of our Governors. For instance one law enacts that orphan children should be disposed of to persons of the religion of their dead parents, but notwithstanding this children of Protestant parents have been committed to papists; and one young woman was recently forced away from her husband by order in Council and committed to the custody of a papist to be brought up in that religion. On the contrary laws in favour of his Lordship are rigidly enforced. To these grievances must be added excessive officers' fees, and that too under execution, directly in face of the law; excessive imposts in vessels without assent of the Assembly, as provided in the charter; excessive fees from vessels built in Maryland contrary to act of Assembly; frequent pressing of men, boats, etc. in time of peace, the seizure and confinement of Protestants without reason or warrant; outrages upon Protestants by papists, connived at by the papist authorities. To all this we submitted in patience, hoping for deliverance on the accession of King William, but to our consternation we find ourselves surrounded by strong endeavours of Lord Baltimore to defeat that deliverance. Papists still use every means to divert the allegiance of the inhabitants from King William; and prayers are constantly offered for the success of the popish arms in Ireland, thus involving us in treason. King William's rights are questioned and his character aspersed. We are every day threatened with loss of life or estate; we have strong suspicion of a design to betray us to the Northern Indians who in 1681 were conducted into the heart of the province by French Jesuits, and there are constant endeavours to set us quarrelling among ourselves and with Virginia. We therefore abjure our allegiance to the proprietor and take up arms for King William. We order that a full Assembly be called, which shall represent our condition to the King; and we promise that no harm shall be done to any peaceable persons or to any that do not oppose us, and that all provisions shall be paid for and all soldiers punctually paid. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol., LII., pp. 125–139.]
July 25.
291. Order of the King in Council. On reading the petitions of Sir Edmund Andros and others seized and imprisoned by some people in Boston, it is ordered that he and all others so imprisoned be sent to England by the first ship, to answer before the King to what may be objected against them, that they be civilly used in their passage and safely conveyed to the King's presence. Letters are to be prepared to those at present administering the Government to that effect. Signed. Will. Blathwayt. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., p. 107.]
July 25. 292. Commission for Colonel Hender Molesworth to be Governor of Jamaica. The powers of Vice-Admiralty are much extended, but without jurisdiction over the King's ships, though the Governor may suspend a captain of a King's ship for disobedience or negligent execution of written orders. Offences committed by officers or men of the Royal Navy ashore may be tried by the laws of the Colony. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXII., pp. 186–202.]
July 25. 293. Sir Francis Watson to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Little has happened since my last. We are in a good position of defence and awaiting further instructions. Two small Jamaica sloops of about eighteen men putting into Hispaniola met a Spanish barque pursued by a Frenchman and took her into their protection. The French vessel coming up to them with arms ready, they put all their men into one sloop and prepared for defence, when the French seeing their number threw down their arms and permitted the English to come aboard. They confessed that they had a commission to take the English, but none being found the men were put on shore and the ship brought in here. Signed. F. Watson. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 28 Oct., 1789.
Duplicate of foregoing. Endorsed. Recd. 4 Jan., 1689–90. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 6. Nos. 12, 13, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXII., pp. 320 and 330.]
July 25.
294. Order of the King in Council. Referring the petition of Ralph Knight to Lords of Trade and Plantations for report. Signed. John Nicholas. ½ p. Annexed,
294. I. Petition of Ralph Knight to the King. In July last an Assembly, which is in the nature of a Parliament, was called under the Duke of Albemarle, under which several acts were passed, including one for making the revenue perpetual, and an address as to the proceedings of the Royal African Company. With these I was entrusted in September last, but found on my arrival that the late King was just about his departure. I therefore delayed to present them pending further instructions from those that sent me, but now beg permission to present them and to be granted a hearing. Copy. 1½ p. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 6. Nos. 14, 14 I. and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXII., pp. 296–298.]
[July 26.] 295. Address of the Council and Assembly of Jamaica to the King James II. We think it our duty to make known to you the state of this Island by the late Governors and the usage of the factors of the Royal African Company towards the planters. Though some thousands of negroes have been imported by the Company into this Island, pursuant to the instructions of King Charles, within the past six years, yet few of these have fallen to the planters' share; the factors, of whom Colonel Molesworth was one, grasping all into their own hand by countenancing none but their own creatures. Before the Assiento was settled here the royal frigates were employed in convoying shiploads of the choicest negroes to the Spaniards. After it was settled, the negroes were picked to suit the Spaniards, the factors and their particular friends still reaping all the benefit, the Dutch factors for the Assiento allowing these gentlemen 35 per cent.; and now it is feared that the Dutch have quite taken the whole trade from us. Lists were published of the sharers in the 35 per cent., as though it were a public concern, but most of them were favourites or servants of the factors, and the most eminent merchants get but small sums. Thus foreigners get the best of the negroes, and we only the refuse at £22 a head.
Again, when planters have gone on board to buy negroes, their ready money has been refused because it was not pieces-of-eight. The factors have received several thousand pounds for interest, and sometimes the interest has exceeded the principal. When planters have agreed with masters of ships for their freight and commission, the factors have threatened not to load sugar on their ships and have forced them to forego the bargain. An act provides that two planters shall always be joined to two merchants for the equal lotting of the negroes, but they have always appointed their own creatures to this time. The Duke of Albemarle demanded from the factors of the African Company a list of the debts due from the planters, that it might be seen whether the Island was indebted for such vast sums as the Company represented. Colonel Molesworth promised a perfect list in a few days, and on a second demand Captain Ruding also promised the same. His Grace reminded him of the promise but was answered that the list could not be furnished without the Company's orders. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that it is not the planters but the factors' favourites who are the debtors. Heretofore the Company's factors used to ship home their debts in produce of the Island, but now that the factors have fallen into a private way of trade this is no longer done. In one parish it is well known that not £2,000 is due to the Company, yet it can easily be shewn that £4,000 has been lost by buying refuse negroes of Jews and beggarly sub-brokers, who buy sick negroes at £8 or £10 a head; so that scarce a third of the negroes bought by the planters from the Company are now alive.
It is now near nine months since the Duke's happy arrival, and we have had but one small ship from the African Company, and we know not when to expect another. In St. Jago del Castillo's answer to Don Nicholas Porcio in the Court of Chancery here it will be seen that sundry sums were paid in 1684–1685 to the Governor, Captains of frigates, and the factors of the Company. Sir Thomas Lynch in fact voided King Charles's grant that negroes should be delivered to us at £17 a head; and thus it is that several planter's have been ruined and forced to leave the Island. We beg therefore a repetition of King Charles's order that we may be provided with good negroes at reasonable rates. We would ask you to consider the difference to trade and the customs if all the negroes that died on the planters' hands in the past six years had lived and worked. At a moderate computation a full third of the net proceeds of our produce passes into the Royal Exchequer. At the foot. Oath of Ralph Knight that he was present when the Address was voted, and was commissioned to bear it. Sworn 12 July, 1689. Signed, Ralph Knight. Large sheet. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 6. No. 15, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXII., pp. 287–296.]
[July 26.] 296. Petition of inhabitants of Jamaica to the King. Roger Elletson, Chief Justice of Jamaica, by his evil advice and under colour of his office, has committed many arbitrary and illegal acts, as set forth in the annexed heads of complaint, and has now under shelter of martial law, grievously and needlessly imposed on us, come to England. We beg that he may be apprehended and sent back to Jamaica for trial. Forty two signatures. Double sheet. Endorsed. Recd. 26 July, 1689. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 6. No. 16.]
[July 26.] 297. Articles exhibited against Roger Elletson. 1. He told the Grand Jury they should be ruled with rods of iron. 2. He impiously told a particular person that he would bruise the serpent's head be it never so subtle. 3. He took excessive bails in cases not criminal. 4. He required the like bail in criminal causes when no prosecutor appeared and no evidence was offered. 5. He caused trials of the elections for the Assembly to be prosecuted before him and his associates in the Supreme Court, as also actions for words spoken in the Assembly. 6. He imposed grievous and excessive fines. 7. He caused a man to be twice severely burnt in the hand for one felony. 8. He caused one of his own slaves to be cut off in cold blood and his body to be burned, without mentioning the King's name or any manner of trial. 9. He violated the freedom of elections and menaced freeholders with imprisonment by colour of his office and sending and directing his private letters for the King's service to bring in troopers. 10. He instituted a special court for trial of the ship St. Jago de la Victoria. 11–12. He was guilty of various irregularities in course of the trial. 13. He sat in the Admiralty Court, though no judge in it, to influence its decision in another case. 14. He violated justice by the partiality of the fines imposed. 15. He granted warrants against the goods and persons of people not named in the warrant. 16. He gave public and private encouragement to common informers. 17. He arrested a servant illegally to gain evidence against his master. 18. He said, on receiving the royal order that the laws made since the Duke of Albemarle's death, that God damn him, he would justify them. 19. He gave judgment in an indictment of slander spoken against himself and imposed a fine of £300. 20. He advised and procured Sir Francis Watson to assume the title of Governor. 21. He advised Sir Francis Watson to neglect the King's orders, and to proclaim martial law so as to have the militia always in arms to support their own wrongdoing. 22. His conduct as Chief Justice has been illegal and tyrannical. 3½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 26 July, 1689. Attached,
297. I. Extract from Minutes of a Council of War at Jamaica, 28 May, 1689. Complaint was made against Smith Kelly, Provost Marshal, by Roger Elletson, Chief Justice, for that Kelly, hearing that Elletson was about to go to England, warned the captain of the ship not to carry him, to the dishonour of the said Elletson who has not yet resigned the post of Chief Justice. Order for Kelly's appearance on the 30th to answer for his conduct. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed as the preceding.
297. II. Sir Francis Watson's style of Governor of Jamaica, to which he had no right. Scrap. Endorsed as the preceding. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 6. Nos. 17, 17 I., II.]
[July 26.] 298. Memorial of the merchants trading to Jamaica. The French are at present very near and powerful enemies to Jamaica, as they can sail there in twenty-four hours from Petit Guavos or Tortugas, which are but thirty leagues away. The Island itself is long and the plantations being on the sea and far from one another are liable to be spoiled and burned by French pirates, and all vessels bound thither must pass by French ports, as also by Point Anthony in Cuba on their return voyage, where French pirates will constantly lie in wait for them. We beg therefore for three frigates, good sailers, to ply to windward, one to secure the plantations on the seaboard, one to lie off Capa Altavoca for ships bound to the Island, and one to convoy homeward bound ships to the Gulf of Florida. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. from Col. Beckford, 26 July, 1689. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 6. No. 18.]
[July.] 299. A short account of the late state of affairs in Jamaica. The Island suffered much towards the end of King James's reign from the contrivance of wicked councillors and judges, who turned all the most considerable people of the Island out of places of trust and put in persons of the meanest rank and no reputation. A Popish priest, Thomas Churchill, was constantly consulted, and the King's House at Port Royal appointed for him to say mass in. Freedom of election was violated. Matters only cognizable in the assembly were prosecuted in the Grand Court; excessive bail, fines and imprisonment were imposed; protection was given to debtors, the Provost Marshal was turned out and two bankrupts in succession put in his place. People were threatened in open court to be ruled with rods of iron, whereby the wealthiest of the people were driven from the Island. Colonel Molesworth was appointed by the late King to set matters right, but he being now dead, an experienced successor to him is begged for. In a different hand. The person most desired is Colonel Peter Beckford, or Colonel William Beeston, or Samuel Bernard, Esq. Note. This is a copy of the paper delivered to Lord Delamere, subscribed by over eighty merchants, planters and traders concerned with Jamaica. 1¼ pp. Endorsed. [America and West Indies. Vol. 540. No. 12.]
July 26. 300. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Discussion as to Newfoundland. Agreed that their Majesties be proclaimed there. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CIX., p. 241.]
July 27. 301. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. The officers of Ordnance presented a draft of a fort for Newfoundland, but said that the materials could not be collected in time to build it this season. Agreed to move the King to send an engineer to Newfoundland. Memorandum of documents sent and received. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CIX., pp. 242–244.]
July 29. 302. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Draft instructions for the convoy to Newfoundland read and approved. The King's pleasure to be taken as to the penalty for masters of ships who desert their convoys. Captain Nicholson's letter of 15 May considered (see No. 121). The Lords agreed as to their reply (see No. 304). The Earl of Stirling was heard as to his claim to Long Island. State of his case to be laid before the Committee. Agreed as to a letter to be sent to New England (see No. 309). [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CIX., pp. 244–246.]
July 29. 303. William Blathwayt to Commissioners of the Admiralty. Desiring them to provide freight for the transport of Colonel Kendall and household to Barbados. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VIII., p. 151.]
July 29. 304. Lords of the Privy Council to Lieutenant-Governor Francis Nicholson. Charging him, with the assistance of the principal freeholders and inhabitants, to proclaim King William and Queen Mary. Signed. Carmarthen, P., Halifax, C.P.S., Oxford, Macclesfield, Dorset, Bath, Lumley, Newport, R. Howard, H. Powle, R. Hampden. Copy of the proclamation. Printed in New York Documents III., 606. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXIX., pp. 192–193.]
[July 29.] 305. Names of the persons imprisoned with Sir E. Andros. Joseph Dudley, Judge Palmer, Mr. Randolph, Lt. Col. Lydcott, Lt. Col. Macgregor, Capt. George, Major Brockholes, Mr. Graham, Mr. West, Captain Trefry, Sheriff James Sherlock, Captain Manning, Mr. Justice Bullivant, Mr. Justice Foxcroft, Captain White, Captain Ravenscroft, Ensign Pipon, Dr. Roberts, Mr. Farewell, Mr. Jameson, Mr. Kane, Mr. Brodbent, Mr. Larkin, Mr. Cuttler. Scrap. Endorsed. Recd. 29 July, '89. from Mr. Randolph. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 24, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., p. 143.]
July 29.
Common Gaol,
306. Edward Randolph to Francis Nicholson. On the 24th, we had advice of six men killed out of nineteen while going to secure their cattle on the west side of the Kennebec river. On the 28th we heard that ten had been killed and four wounded at Saco and four or five houses burnt. They were intended to send men to join with the men of Newichewannock, who had certain advice where the Indians were; but the Indians shot down four men, which alarmed the garrison, who ran out in great haste, saw the Indians at a distance, and followed them to a swamp in great disorder and out of breath to see who should get the first sum of £8 set on the head of every Indian taken in fight. But the Indians killed six more and wounded others, and took about twenty arms, they never making a stand. [This sentence is so hastily and unintelligibly written that it is not clear whether the Indians killed the English, or the English the Indians.] I expect to have such news two or three times a week so long as they stay in the out-towns. They have left Saco with the corn and cattle at the mercy of the Indians. It is a question whether this Government will take any care to preserve these parts, as they are outside the Colony; the representatives decline to do so wholly. The 25th was kept as a fast by the enclosed order. Mr. Bradstreet recommended Allen and Moody to exhort their flock to obedience to the present Government, but they took no notiee of him. Allen's text was Ezra, chapter ix., last three verses, and he showed great dissatisfaction that the people suffered their children to marry persons out of their pale. Moody encouraged them to stand to the liberty whereto they are called, and gave God thanks that He had restored their judges as of old. They are in great want of Mr. Mather and their charter. He told them some had petitioned the King for a governor from England, but he said his curse was upon them and they would not prosper. They make very sure of continuing the Government to themselves and will not accept anything less than their old Government, resolving to stand it out to the last man. They have now got the militia in their hands and take more care to oppress all that are not of their party than to preserve the distressed people from the Indians. Mark Emerson, and two men, one of your company and one of the Governor's, were killed at the Kennebec. A sloop is lately returned from Penobscot with intelligence of several men of war and merchant-ships at Quebec, and that the Governor there had announced to him the declaration of war with France. The French will not lie still when they hear of the confusion here and how all is charged upon Sir Edmund Andros. I know not how this country can be preserved from utter destruction through these internal dissensions, unless the King send a good force to restore order. Letters and commissions unless backed by force will rather encourage the factions than the honest party. I expect the French will attach Piscataqua and make themselves masters of that and Salem, if not of Boston, for we can do nothing to oppose them. Signed. Ed. Randolph. Holograph. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. from Capt. Nicholson, 8 Nov. 89. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 23.]
July 30.
307. The King to Captain Francis Nicholson. Having received from you and other inhabitants of New York the assurance of your dutiful submission, we hereby authorise and empower you to take upon you the Government, calling the principal freeholders to give assistance in such numbers as you think fit. Signed. Nottingham. Printed in New York Documents, III., 606. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXIX., pp. 194–195.]
July 30. 308. A copy of the foregoing, headed " A copy of his Majesty's letter, to the best of my remembrance." 2 pp. Exact in words, but the date given as July 20. 2 pp. [America and West Indies, 578. No. 36.]
July 30.
309. The King to the Revolutionary Government of Massachusetts. Ordering that Sir Edmund Andros and his fellow prisoners be sent home, pursuant to order in Council of 25th inst. (see No. 291.) Signed. Nottingham. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., p. 108.]
July 30. 310. Copy of a letter from Boston. The Indians went on with their work of destruction unchecked; and the whole of the Eastern country was like to be laid waste, when a press came out. Some questioned their pay, some the authority for the press, and few or none went. The rulers differ much among themselves. On the 13th Mr. Dudley gave £10,000 bond to remain prisoner in his own house. About midnight of Saturday a rabble of two or three hundred broke open the house and brought him to town; the keeper would not take him without orders, so they confined him in a house. On the 15th they gathered again, broke the windows of the house and entering by force searched for him but found him not. The heat has been intense for eight days together, and many have fallen suddenly dead. On the 16th Mr. Dudley returned to the prison, there being no stilling of the people otherwise. ¾ p. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 25.]
July 31.
311. Extract of a letter from Boston. We have much division among us. Every man is a Governor. They hope daily for Mather to arrive with a charter. Since the withdrawal of the army the Indians have done great mischief to Eastward, and no men will go to fight them. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 26.]
July 31.
312. Lieutenant-General Christopher Codrington to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Sir Nathaniel Johnson sailed for South Carolina on the 25th, having commissioned me Lieutenant-General of the Leeward Islands. On the 25th June the Irish Papists in St. Christophers threw off all authority and marched into French territory. Several French joined them, but though they took part in the subsequent ravages of the Irish the French authorities pretended to know nothing of it and declared that they gave the Irish protection on the score of religion. This shewed that they were preparing for more open hostility though not yet in readiness for it, so most of the women, children and goods of the English were sent to Nevis; and the Lieutenant-Governor and the men, increased by a few from Nevis to four hundred and fifty, retired into the fort, a shallop being despatched to Barbados to ask for help. On the 18th inst. an express from Montserrat reported the appearance of a French fleet of eighteen sail, steering for St. Christophers. A shallop from Nevis confirmed this and added that the Leeward side of English St. Christopher's, hitherto untouched, was all in a flame, On this the Governor wrote to Barbados for a thousand men and such ships as could be spared. On the 20th a shallop came from Barbados with provisions and ammunition and an account that three or four hundred men might shortly be expected, but that our last letters had not reached them. The shallop made her way safely to Nevis with her stores and left for Barbados with the intelligence brought to us from Leeward. You will see that the enemy's artillery have done little harm to the fort so far. The wall of the fort is so strongly built and backed by so vast a thickness of earth that there is no danger of a breach from their guns and if the enemy try mining they will find an entry no easy matter, so good is the spirit of the garrison. What I fear most is that it may be reduced by constant alarms and a great scarcity of powder, which prevents them from using their great guns so liberally as they otherwise might. I shall sail for Nevis tomorrow with what ships we have and shall try to distract the enemy from the fort by feigned attacks, gain the garrison a little breathing time and if possible get some provisions and ammunition to them. I have two good sailing shallops of my own, each of which I shall man with sixty men and employ in the King's service during the war. I hope they will soon furnish us with some French prisoners to give us information. In my absence I commit the Government to Colonel Rowland Williams, a loyal and experienced man, and have instructed him to despatch the forces from Barbados to Nevis directly on their arrival, with three hundred men more from home, which will be a sufficient number to retaliate on the French the injuries we have received at St. Christophers.
If two ships, which we are informed are at Barbados, be sent down, I hope with the assistance of our vessels here to give a very satisfactory account of the French fleet now before Antigua and St. Christophers. If these do not come, we can hope for nothing at sea and shall have great difficulty in landing men enough to attack our enemies. If it should happen, which God avert, that our fort fall into their hands, then there are not only four or five hundred men lost to us but a thousand or twelve hundred French liberated to invade our other Islands, the dire experience of which we have felt before. On the other hand if the scale turn in our favour, the danger from the French force is not only at an end, but they will find it difficult to hold their other Islands. When the event is of so great consequence nothing must be left undone to turn the scale the right way. So much for St. Christophers. In Nevis the forts and batteries are all in good order, the people united and about sixteen hundred men ready for defence, though poorly equipped with arms and ammunition. In Antigua we have disarmed all our Irish Papists, about three hundred in all, and confined them to their respective plantations. About a thousand men remain, for whom we have ill provision of arms and ammunition. In a few days we shall have finished all our breastworks and ambuscade-paths, and in a fortnight an inland fortification (though we hope to have no occasion for it) for the defence of our women and children against the Indians. I can give only a melancholy account of Montserrat. The English are scarce three hundred, and the Irish Papists upwards of eight hundred, men who have of late been very turbulent and rebellious. There are now about sixteen of them prisoners in this Island, whom I shall take to Nevis to be secured till they can be brought to trial. I then hope to go to Montserrat to examine the matter thoroughly that justice may be done on them. By the help of some men from hence the Irish at Montserrat were all disarmed a fortnight ago, and orders given to prevent them from assembling in any great numbers in future. It was indeed debated whether the disarming of them was prudent, as the English are so few, in case of attack by the French, but after the experience of St. Christophers we preferred to trust the defence of the Island to the few English and their slaves than rely on their doubtful fidelity. We are in daily expectation of a fleet from Europe to secure us from French invasion.
And here give me leave to point out to you the discouragement under which we lie for want of protection. Only two companies are maintained from the Exchequer, and they might have starved for more than six years past for any pay that they have received, nor have we for three years past had so much as a frigate to protect us from pilfering pickerooners. You know how late our aids from Europe came in the last French war, when these Islands (Nevis excepted) were ruined and destroyed; and though St. Christophers be saved as yet, you can judge of the sufferings of the inhabitants. You know that we are remote though not unprofitable appendages to the Crown, and that we contribute as much and as heartily to enrich the royal coffers as any English subjects, and earn our bread with sufficient difficulty, whatever may be said at home. We submit that these things entitle us to protection, which we hope for the future to enjoy, though heretofore, to our dire experience, we have been too much neglected and forgot. I hope the speedy arrival of a fleet will turn our mourning into joy, in fact without it we shall be exposed to the Egyptian task of making bricks without straw and shall run much greater hazard than you could have us exposed to. I hope also there will arrive some well qualified person to assume the Government, which a sense of my own unworthiness made me very unwilling to accept. I know the difficulties of the task, but being importuned to take it on me and nominated by the late Governor, I was unwilling that the Colonies should suffer from division at a time of so much peril. Signed. Chr. Codrington. 5 ½pp. Endorsed. Recd. 1 Nov. Read 9 Nov., 1689. [America and West Indies. 550. No. 22, and Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43. pp. 158–170.]
July. 313. Details of the freight for goods and servants allowed to former Governors on going to the West Indies. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Plantations, General, 2. No. 2.]