America and West Indies: April 1689

Pages 20-33

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


April 1689

April 1.
Hampton Court.
63. Order of the King in Council. Referring the petition of Alderman Edward Thompson for a patent to erect an office for registering servants sent to the Plantations, to Lords of Trade and Plantations for report. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. C., p. 64.]
April 2. 64. Minute of Council of Maryland. Letter from Colonel Darnall to the Council 28 March 1689, giving an account of his journey through the country and his success in restoring confidence. Letter from Edward Pye to the Council, 28 March, describing his actions in conciliating the Indians and restoring confidence among the people since the panic first began. Letter of the Council to Colonel Darnall (?) thanking him for his efforts, and telling him to trouble himself no more, unless some new distraction should come up. Copies of depositions and certificates as to the falsehood of the current rumours as to Indians. Letter from the Secretary of Virginia to Colonel Digges. The disturbances are dying down, but following your example we maintain patrols of horse. Copies of further letters pointing to the origin of the disturbances. Judicial business. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LIV. pp. 228–239.]
April 3.
St. Christophers.
65. Colonel Thomas Hill to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I have formerly informed you of the condition of the two companies in garrison here. The officers and soldiers have pressed me to petition you. We are making the best preparation we can for our defence, suspecting that the difficulty of the times may require it. The foundation of the fort being large there is a great deal of work for so few as we are to finish it. Even then we shall want guns of all sizes, carriages, ammunition, and a gunner and gunsmith or two. Several of the soldiers are too old and decrepit for duty and we are in great need of recruits, the French being at least two to our one and better armed. Every French ship that comes out here is obliged to bring ten buccaneer guns and sell them at cost price. The French General sailed on the 24th ult. for St. Eustatia, which was surrendered on the 28th. They have set a French garrison there. Mons. de St. Laurens, the late Commander-in-Chief on this Island, is lately dead. Signed. Tho. Hill. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 7 June 89. Read 25 June, 1689. Annexed,
65. I. Petition of the officers and soldiers of the independent companies at St. Christophers, to Lords of Trade and Plantations. In July next there will be due to us six years' pay, for want of which we have lived meanly; and the poor soldiers, not having credit with the merchants nor anything else to depend on, have suffered sore penury and indigence, so that several of them are ready to perish. We beg you to intercede on our behalf and cause some relief to be sent to us, without which it will be impossible for us to subsist, and to appoint conscientious persons to receive our pay that the charge of remitting it may not be unreasonable. Signed. Tho. Hill, Danl. Fogerty, Fran. Overton, Clement Cooke, and by ten soldiers. 1 p. Dated, St. Christophers, April 1, 1689. Endorsed. Recd. 7 June 89. [America and West Indies. 550. Nos. 3, 3 I., and (without enclosure), Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., pp. 412–413.]
April 12. 66. The Earl of Shrewsbury to the Lords of the Admiralty. Order for hiring two ketches manned and victualled for six months for immediate despatch to the West Indies. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. C. p. 41.]
April 12.
67. Henry Hordesnell to the Secretary of State for the Southern Province. Pray give enclosed to the Prince of Orange and let one of your messengers deliver the other enclosure. I say no more as I hope before long to wait upon you. Signed. Hen. Hordesnell. ½ p. [America and West Indies. 477. No. 5.]
April 12.
68. Henry Hordesnell to the Prince of Orange. Permit me humbly to congratulate you. I have been for two years in Bermuda and am about returning and I beg you to continue this inconsiderable employment to me : the country is pleased with me and I with it. The people hope you will relieve them with a new governor. I shall not complain of him, but the people are under great slavery through his avarice, which has not only destroyed trade but lost the customs in England £3000 per annum or little less. I served under you at the battle of Seneff and attended you at the seige of Grave; which I hope will excuse my boldness in addressing you. Signed. Hen. Hordesnell. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 14 Aug. 89. [America and West Indies. 477. No. 6.]
April 15.
69. Circular to the Governors of the Colonies. Reporting the King's intention to declare war against France, and ordering them to take the necessary measures for defence. A squadron will be sent to the West Indies. Signed. Shrewsbury. [Col. Entry Bks., Vol. C., p. 39. Vol. XXXII., pp. 164, 165. Vol. LXXXIII., pp. 244, 245. Vol. XLVII., pp. 394, 395. Vol. XVIII., pp. 213, 214.]
April 15. 70. Circular to the same effect, but with slightly altered wording, to the Proprietary Colonies of Carolina, Pennsylvania and Maryland. [Ibid., Vol. C., p. 40. Vol. LII. pp. 115, 116.]
April 15. 71. Lords of the Admiralty to the Earl of Shrewsbury. Reporting the hiring of two ketches pursuant to his orders of the 12th. Signed. J. Lowther, Carbery, Will. Sacheverell, Tho. Lee, M. Wharton. [Col. Entry Book. Vol. C., p. 41.]
[April.] 72. Table of particulars to be taken care of in case of war with France, embargo on ships, impressment of seamen, general reprisals, warning to foreign possessions etc. Draft. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Plantations General. 2. No. 1.]
April 16. 73. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. Act as to actions of ejectment read and passed. The Governor recommending consideration of the debts of the country, the Assembly ordered an Act to be drawn empowering the Committee to inspect the old arrears. Order for absent members to be fined.
April 17. Vote for recovery of arrears carried, and for imposition of a tax negatived. Order for the expenses of the daily sitting to be borne in proportion by every member, absent ones to pay as well as present. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., pp. 178–180.]
April 17. 74. Colonel Hender Molesworth to the Earl of Shrewsbury. Considering the circumstances in which the King's late orders have placed me, and that I have been confined by sickness ever since, I am obliged to address myself to you in writing. Jamaica is close to Tortudos, Petit Guavos, and the Isle of Ash, where French privateers abound and can reach it in two days. The safety of Port Royal depends much on the vigilance of the officers of the place and the commanders of the forts. This latter trust was given by the late Sir Thomas Lynch to Lieut.-Colonel Peter Beckford, who was well qualified; and when the Duke of Albemarle displaced this officer he did him the justice to declare that he turned him out for no fault but to make a way for another. Colonel Beckford thereupon resigned, returned to England and has remained there ever since. A little later on the Duke displaced all the officers of Beckford's regiment and put indigent persons in their place; and since his death the President and Council have entrusted the command of the fortifications of the regiment to a person of no interest or reputation, to the general dissatisfaction of the inhabitants and the hazard of the Island. The King having declared his pleasure that all former officers, civil and military, should be restored, and Beckford being about to return to Jamaica, I propose not only that he should carry with him effectual orders for his reinstatement in his former command but also a commission under the sign manual for the same. The condition of affairs at Jamaica seems to require it for securing the Island from sudden attack by the French, who say that there never was a better time to take it when so many pitiful fellows are in command. Signed. Hder. Molesworth. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Read at the Committee. May 4, 1689. [America and West Indies. Vol. 540. No. 4, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol., XXXII., pp. 166–169.]
April 18.
75. Order of the King in Council. That Lord Shrewsbury after consulting those most greatly interested in New York, New England and the Jerseys submit the names of a Governor and Lieutenant-Governor. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., p. 81.]
April 19. 76. Earl of Shrewsbury to Governor Sir Robert Robinson. I enclose notice of the King's declaration of war against France. You will send on the vessel with all speed to Virginia. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XVIII., p. 215.]
April 19. 77. Earl of Shrewsbury to Lord Howard of Effingham. I enclose notice of the declaration of war with France. You will despatch the vessel that bears it forthwith to Maryland. Signed. Shrewsbury. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIII. p. 246.]
April 19. 78. Earl of Shrewsbury to Lord Baltimore. I enclose the King's announcement of war with France. You will hasten the messenger with all speed to Carolina. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LII., p. 116.]
April 19. 79. Earl of Shrewsbury to Governor Sir Nathaniel Johnson. Enclosing the letter announcing the declaration of war, and ordering the master of the vessel that bears it to be despatched without delay to Jamaica. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., p. 398.]
April 19. 80. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Order for a former embargo on ships to be removed, and that they be permitted to sail on the 20th of May; such few ships as remain being permitted to sail when ready. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 314–315.]
April 20. 81. Earl of Shrewsbury to Lords of the Admiralty. One of the two hired ketches will go direct to Bermuda and thence to Virginia, and Maryland where she will be discharged; the other will go direct to Barbados, thence to Nevis, thence to Jamaica and thence to Carolina. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. C., p. 42.]
April 20. 82. Governor Sir Nathaniel Johnson to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I have received yours of 4 May. I shall inform you by my next of the French Protestants who desire to settle here. I have also received the commission to settle with the French Commissioners the difficulties that shall arise here. I beg your decision as to the matter submitted by me in my despatch of 2 June last and the representations of the Attorney General, which I shall need for the settlement of many matters in dispute. There are not above six or seven families in that part of the Island now. When I know your sentiments and M. Colbert's as to the construction of the treaty of Breda I shall know better what judgment to make of their titles. The chief points are three. 1.—Does the treaty amount to denizenation of all the French who purchased land in English quarters, and if so to what extent? 2.—Is a Frenchman who purchased from A the lands of B entitled to hold the land against B, until B (who never sold) repay the money which the Frenchman gave to A? 3.—Is the Englishman bound to repay the purchase value mentioned in his bill of sale to the Frenchman or only the real value which he received? These points have already been passed on from authority to authority until they reached the two Kings, so that I earnestly desire instructions. So far nothing has been done in the matter of Crispe and Mathews, but the Attorney General will now proceed with all expedition in the King's behalf. As to Colonel Powell's proposals referred to me by Order in Council of 15 Feb. 1688, I think that payment of the forteers is very reasonable, but I conceive that the matter calls for no particular orders from you. The enforcement of the Militia Act of Jamaica would be undoubtedly valuable. As to Colonel Powell's fourth proposal, I think that the repeal of the Act therein mentioned would free the Island from the taxes thereby imposed and fall very heavily on individuals, whose slaves might be executed for a public example. Again if runaway slaves be freed from the penalty, the practice of running away would be so much encouraged as to countervail any advantages from saving the expense of compensation for slaves executed. Indeed as matters now stand there are not five runaway slaves in the Island, as I have ordered such strict pursuit of them that they have been killed or brought in. The whole question as well as that of the Militia Act is now under consideration of the Council and Assembly.
I have forwarded your letter as to the present made by Nevis to Sir James Russell, and have since received a letter from them for the King's decision. I hope by this time a frigate is on its way to us to preserve us from pilfering pickeroons. Two sloops of this Island have lately fallen into such hands, one of them, my own property, with a cargo worth £300. The hurricane season is now over without any extraordinary storms, but we have suffered much from drought. All the Islands complain of dearth, but none so much as this. Salt provisions are the support of most of the planters, and even those are hardly to be bought; the poor are in great extremity, and unless the weather soon changes we shall be in a deplorable condition. We had a few showers lately, but till then it cost the daily labour of near twenty slaves to supply me and my family with water from ponds eight miles distant. I have also lost a daughter, who had married only a few months ago, of the bloody flux. My secretary has also died of the same sickness and fifteen of my slaves, so that my house has been like a hospital. Signed. N. Johnson. 5½ p. So far this is a duplicate of a letter written 22 October 1688, of which the original was lost.
Postscript.—20th April 1689. I have mislaid my copy of the letter from Nevis, and the ship that carried the original was lost; but, as far as I remember, the points urged as to the gift to Sir J. Russell were as follows: That the donation was never drawn up into an Act, and that the consent for passing such an Act was obtained from the Assembly only, other formalities being delayed till the royal assent were obtained. In any case they conceive that the King, whether he disallow the Act or not, has no title to the sugar presented. They confess their fault in not following the royal instructions, but plead the money that they have spent on their own defence. 1½ pp. The whole endorsed. Recd. 27 July 1689. [America and West Indies. 550. No. 4; and Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43, pp. 75–87.]
April 20.
83. Sir Nathaniel Johnson to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I enclose five Acts lately passed in this Island for the royal assent. In that for establishing courts there are several things which in my opinion might have been more advantageously framed, but the Assembly thought differently, so I assented to it as it is. If you recommend it for temporary confirmation the inhabitants will have meanwhile the benefit of some rules for their judicial proceedings, and may amend it, as experience teaches them, when it is renewed. I have formerly reported to you the inconvenience of the said judicial proceedings and the uncertainty of our customs, and it would be greatly to the benefit of the Leeward Islands if some English Counsel would draw up an Act to settle the matter. It would be accepted as coming with your recommendation, and the task would not be difficult, for I have given you full material, and there are many in London who could supply such further information as is wanting. With such a foundation it would be easy for the inhabitants to add superstructure from time to time as required. I have received no answer from you to my letter of 20 February respecting the settlement of Crab Island, so refrained from encouraging that settlement. Indeed having no man of war I was not in a position to give any assistance and did my best to dissuade settlers, but the extremity of want induced several parties to hazard the risk, and there are now a hundred and fifty men besides women, children and slaves there, who have chosen one Pellet for their captain and leader. The four depositions enclosed and the letter from the Deputy Governor of Anguilla will tell you the disaster that has since befallen them. Other depositions will give you your information as to the continued injury done to us in these parts by the Spaniards. This damage is a great discouragement to these Islands, and could be prevented by a single frigate cruising among them. But if the inhabitants were allowed to retaliate they would want no man of war to protect them from the Spaniards. And truly since we do our best to suppress our pirates, it is hard that the Spanish Governors should not do the like for theirs, instead of which they encourage them. Our captured vessels are taken into their ports and sold. The ships taken at Crab Island were brought to Porto Rico and most of the people disposed of as slaves to Hispaniola. I have written to the Governors of both to protest, but have received no answer, nor expect to receive one. However strict the King of Spain's orders as to pirates, they are of little profit to us since they are not respected by his Governors. In fact we have no protection against them but in force, as witness their attacks on Anguilla and Crab Island. The latter indeed was not under the King's protection except as far as the settlers were British subjects, but the former has been settled by us for years and the Deputy Governor named in my own and my predecessor's commissions. The settlers made a good defence, for they are not above seventy or eighty fighting men, of which the Deputy Governor could not collect above twenty; but with them, though he speaks modestly enough of the affair, he cleared the Island of over a hundred and fifty attackers. Those of Crab Island were inexperienced men and conducted by a villainous coward, which occasioned their disaster, yet the enemy compassed their design by treachery such as honest heathens, Pagans or Mahometans, would have been ashamed to practise. But nothing better is to be expected of the Spanish in the West Indies, for however brave their ancestors may have been, they have degenerated into a dastardly and mongrel herd of mulattos, mustees and other spurious mixtures, and are now certainly become the very scum of mankind. You had an account before of the treatment of Captain St. Loe at Porto Rico. I suppose you have heard how the Scipio, African, with all aboard of her were used by the same people. The ship was bound from Barbados to London, but was taken by the Spaniards and the people sold as slaves. She was so long missing that she was thought to have foundered. I daresay that many of our ships have foundered in the same way.
I must remind you of the distressed condition of the soldiers at St. Christophers, which I have so often brought before you. Some have already perished from want, and others will do so unless speedily relieved. They are almost on daily duty and so unable to earn a penny for their support, yet their pay is six years in arrear. I cannot but say that my heart bleeds for them, though I cannot relieve them except by bringing their case before you. If anything could increase their misery it is that the French soldiers, their neighbours in the Island, live in plenty, while they perish for want of bread. If ever they are needed, such treatment cannot but abate their true English valour and resolution. I enclose a list of names of people who desire to be naturalised and to settle among us. I have encouraged them to live among us till their denizenations arrive from England. I have empowered the Lieutenant-Governor and Council of St. Christophers to treat, as often as necessary, with the French Commissioners, but there has been no negotiation yet, for want of instructions, which I have reported to you. The Attorney-General has taken process against Mr. Crispe, but his answer has not yet been received. Your instructions as to his case and that of Mathews will be wanted before the matter can be decided. The weather has lately improved, which gives us a comfortable prospect for next year, though we still suffer from the effects of the drought, and our scarcity is much increased by want of our usual supplies from Ireland, the magazine on which these Islands principally depend. Beef and pork are double and triple the price that they were two or three months ago. My own misfortunes still continue. I have lost another near relative and fourteen more slaves, and have been very ill myself. I have been a great sufferer by coming to these parts, where my expenses and losses far outbalance my gains, and I have no satisfaction except in the thought that I do my duty. We have had frequent alarms, and our news from Europe has been so various and imperfect that we knew not well whom to fear as enemies or to affect as friends, until the last accounts told us that our only danger was from the French. Meanwhile I repaired the fortifications and inspected the arms, with which last we are very ill furnished. To amend this I know of no system better than that of the French, to make every ship carry a proportion of small arms to her burden and sell them to the Treasurer for their prime cost in England. I have kept constant guards for the past four months and trained the companies. Nevis and Montserrat are so well fortified by nature as to be easily defensible against invasion, but here we must rely on force, and our only advantage will be in ambuscades, for which I have already had several paths cut. We have also been at work on an inland fort, which we hope to complete in six weeks, as a security for our women, children, slaves, and cattle against the Indians, for the French constantly bring these heathen allies with them. In this Island there are about 1000 fighting men, in Nevis 1400, in Montserrat about 900, in St. Christophers but 600 including the two companies. I hear that the French in St. Christophers are over 1500, but I do not know their numbers elsewhere. I am in no apprehension except for St. Christophers, which can hardly be held in event of war till ships arrive from England. The French are on the same ground and triple the number of the English; we can hardly spare reinforcements from the other Islands, and there would be great risk in sending them when we have no frigate in these waters. What security the Treaty of Neutrality will give us we know not. The French seem inclined to observe it, but we cannot say what orders may reach them from Europe. You have probably heard of the capture of St. Eustatia by Count de Blenac and a force of 1200 men. The inhabitants on his landing took refuge in the fort, which surrendered without any attack at the first summons, though on very poor terms. The French have left a garrison there, and I believe mean to fortify it, which will be easy as there are only two landing places, one of them already secured by a good fort. A month before it was taken I offered the Governor to accept his surrender of it to England, as was done in my predecessor's time, to secure it from the French; but he sent me an answer which imported greater strength in the Island and greater courage in himself than has since appeared. Signed. N. Johnson. 9 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 27 July 1689. Annexed,
83. I. Deposition of Manning Rogers. On the 23rd December last, two Spanish ships arrived at Crab Island from which a boat came ashore with a white flag and three men, who went directly to Captain Pellet and told him they were come to see whether the inhabitants were French or English; for if they were French it was at their peril, but if they were English they should not be molested. They invited Pellet on board and swore on the crucifix that if he came he should not be hurt, but that if he refused they would destroy them all. Captain Pellet refused to go, saying that they were English, and that if attacked they would defend the Island to the death. The men went back to the ships, warped them closer in shore and fired at the English. Captain Pellet ordered the men to lie down, and the Spaniards opened a hot fire. Deponent went to Pellet, who was lying down behind a barricade with his eyes shut, and asked him that they might fight, but he would not; and at last many of the men, seeing that he would not fight, withdrew to secure themselves. They then saw Pellet fly a flag of truce, whereupon one of his officers ran to knock him down with the butt of his musket. Pellet dodged the blow and asked which of them would fight and they all said they would; but there were then not twenty men left that would fight, so the flag of truce was again hoisted, and deponent concealed himself in the woods till the Spaniards were gone. Sworn, 8 Jan., 1688/9. 2 pp. Endorsed. Read 27 July, 1689.
83. II. Deposition of Peter Simonds, confirming the preceding deposition. After the hoisting of the flag of truce the Spaniards came ashore to demand the delivery of their arms and sent for Pellet on board their ship. They were told also to bring their wives, children and slaves, which some of them did. Sworn 8 Jan., 1688/9. 2½ pp. Endorsed as the preceding.
83. III. Deposition of Edward Noy. Arriving at Crab Island on 27 December, he for a long time found no one there, but at last found Peter Simonds, who told him that the Island was cut off by the Spaniards and the inhabitants carried away. About forty or fifty persons, black and white, were left, whom deponent transported to Anguilla and St. Thomas. On same sheet. Deposition of John Price, as to Pellet's refusal to fight. Sworn 8 January 1688. 1½ pp. Endorsed as the preceding.
83. IV. Deposition of John Hilton. As to the capture of his sloop by Spaniards off Porto Rico, and detention of some of his crew as slaves. Sworn 28 March 1689. Endorsed as the preceding.
83. v. Deputy-Governor Howell to Sir Nathaniel Johnson. Anguilla, 31 December 1688. On the 21st our Island was attacked by "a sort of people under the notion of Spaniards," but there were with them English, Irish, French, Turks, mulattos, negroes and others. It was said that Captain Bear was with them, but this I cannot tell. They landed in a spot where there were few inhabitants, took a man and a woman and forced them to pilot them to a place called the Road, where about two hours before daylight they took some prisoners and wounded two men, who broke through them and escaped. One of them then caught hold of a woman, called her by her name and asked the way to my house, and, while he held her, a negro shot her with two carbine bullets in the belly. I have the woman now in care, and I hope out of danger. All this passed about four miles from my house. About eight in the morning I met them with a small party, whereupon they retreated and re-imbarked, leaving what prisoners they had on shore, together with ten French prisoners, taken by them in sundry places, whom we sent to St. Martins. One of them who understood Spanish told me he heard the captain say he was going to Porto Rico for new men and then to destroy Crab Island, giving no quarter to any. What we want in these parts is a frigate. The people told me they robbed them of about £1500 value. There were two ships, one of twenty-six the other of sixteen guns, and about two hundred and fifty men. Our men are so few that we dare trust no visitors, which is a great expense of powder. Pray send me a barrel for my guns. If they come again I hope to give them a warm welcome. Signed. Abra. Howell. 1½ pp. Endorsed as the preceding.
83. VI. The same to the same. Anguilla, 6 January 1688/9. I must acquaint you with the sad fate of Crab Island. Had it been manfully lost it would not have given so much trouble to their friends, who grieve over the dishonour to the nation. There were men enough to defend it, but God gave them not the hearts. Mr. Edward Noy, the bearer, has done his best to save them who were left and carry them to other islands. I beg you to be kind to him. The Spaniards are reckoned to have carried off two hundred and fifty persons, of all ages. Pray send me a barrel or two of powder. It is want of supplies that causes these disasters. Signed. Abra. Howell. 1 p. Endorsed as the preceding.
83. VII. A list of persons in St. Christophers who desire letters of denizenation, twenty-seven in all. 1 p. Endorsed as the preceding. [America and West Indies. 550. Nos. 5, 5 I–VII., and (without enclosures). Board of Trade. Leeward Islands. 43. pp. 89–106.]
April 20. 84. Petition of Henry Fifield to the King. For confirmation of the office of Provost Marshal General of Bermuda. At foot. Order of the King referring the petition to Lords of Trade and Plantations for report. Signed. Shrewsbury. Hampton Court, 20 April 1689. The whole 1 p. Inscribed. Read May 4, 89. [America and West Indies. 477. No. 7.]
April 22.
85. Sir Francis Watson to Lords of Trade and Plantations. My last letter left on the 15th March by the fleet that conveyed home the duchess and the duke's corpse, under convoy of H.M.S. Assistance. Mr. Stephen Lynch went home in this frigate without a ticket, as required by law, and leaving no attorney behind him to answer to the old complaints of the French. Complaints will soon be made as to some Indians taken out of a vessel belonging to them by ships that pretended to be on voyage to the wreck. The Indians were sent to Port Royal in a sloop, from which Mr. Lynch took them, sold some of them up and down the Island as slaves, and left an attorney to sell the rest. This will exasperate not only the French but the whole Indian nation about Boca Drago, which though great friends with the English are a warlike people and not subject to the Spaniard. For these reasons I have secured part of the Indians and given orders to take the rest as they can be found, pending your instructions. The duchess was much concerned that Mr. Lynch should go aboard a frigate in which she hoped to have sailed with the duke's dead body, and spoke to Captain Wright about it; but Mr. Lynch said he was the King's immediate servant and threatened Captain Wright if he refused him. Captain Wright said, I am told, that he would as soon obey Lynch's orders as mine, though I had told him to carry no one without a ticket; but Lynch's presence must be inacceptable to the duchess, for he gave much trouble to the duke while he lived. He has stirred up irreconcilable enmity with the French, and his inconsiderate management has done nothing towards the repression of pirates, for not one would come in after his severity and his threats. Over a thousand men are now engaged in piracy in various quarters. Lynch's oppressive behaviour crippled the execution of the duke's commission; and I beg your attention to the subject, for the privateers may combine in despair and fall upon this Island.
Captain Spragge is returned from Hispaniola with a letter from the President, copy of which is enclosed. You will see what kindness we can expect from the Spaniards, for they treated Captain Spragge very uncivilly, denied him permission to buy any refreshment and handed him a letter at the end of a stick. The Biscayan's outrages by licence of the King of Spain have already been reported to you. As soon as the Drake comes in I shall send her to cruise to windward of Port Morant. I have done my best for the defence by fortification and drilling the inhabitants. I must press you to fill up the Council, which is now diminished by the departure of Colonel George Needham. The French have taken St. Eustatia, putting the inhabitants ashore at Nevis. A number under Laurens have left Petit Guavos after a wreck, as they give out. Signed. F. Watson. 3 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 12 Oct. 1689. Annexed,
85. I. The Governor of St. Domingo to Sir Francis Watson. St. Domingo, 4/14 April, 1689. I have received your letter by Captain Spragge, asking for the restitution of prisoners. I am sorry that I have no prisoners capable of being sent to you as you require. There are some prisoners taken by the Biscayan squadron at Vieque Island near Porto Rico, who had been there six months and had begun to settle it, and there are English among them, but they can show no commission, so are violators of the peace. They have therefore been placed in my custody until the King's orders can be received. As soon as the order comes for their release they shall be delivered to you. I am sorry that I am thus bound to refuse your request. Every care shall be taken of the prisoners meanwhile. Signed. Andres de Reslus (?) Translation. 1 p. Endorsed as the preceding.
85. II. Bill drawn by a pirate, Philip Demesoile, upon Stephen Lynch for three hundred pieces of eight taken from him, and given to Robert Tapley in payment for provisions plundered from him. Copy. ½ p. Endorsed as the preceding. [Board of Trade. Jamaica. 6. Nos. 4, 4, I, II] and (without enclosures.) Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXII., pp. 316–319.]
April 23.
86. Edward Cranfield to the Earl of Middleton. Presenting his service on hearing that Lord Middleton is entrusted with the care of the Plantations. Signed. Edw. Cranfield. ½ p. [America and West Indies. 456. No. 3.]
April 24. 87. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Order for a Committee to decide the bounds between Surrey County and Charles City County. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 315, 316.]
April 25.
88. Governor Sir Nathaniel Johnson to ? "Dear Sam," My last was in December, when on hearing of the landing of the Prince of Orange I wrote you a letter for the King, saying that I might be more useful to him in England than here. If you could not get it delivered in England I hope you did in France, whither I hear that the King is retreated. I have heard nothing since either from England or Ireland, to my great trouble and wonderment that you should stop ships which I knew were ready to sail. I have written to the King again under cover to the French General, and enclose you a duplicate if you can find a secure hand to deliver it, for I fear that the French General's packet may miscarry now that France and Holland are actually at war. I hope that this piece of service will not be prejudicial to you, for I speak only of my loyalty and duty to my Prince, whom I shall live and die in just defence of. I am no Roman Catholic, but I think the Church of England teaches me the doctrine of non-resistance. I have kept the country here a long time on duty, the French General having fitted out eighteen well-manned vessels, which kept me on my guard; but what his design was is now manifest, for he has taken the two Dutch Islands of St. Eustatia and Saba without much resistance. Both the Islands are very strong by nature. The French General and I have exchanged civil messages, but I think it better not to trust him and am still for fortifying these Islands. It is hard that we have no men-of-war, but God send better news than I have yet heard. The Country Acts are now ready, and an order that you shall be their solicitor, but they are too bulky to send by this ship. I long for news. Signed. N. Johnson. 1½ pp. [America and West Indies. 550. No. 6.]
April 25.
89. Order of the King in Council. Referring petition of the Hudson's Bay Company to Lords of Trade and Plantations for report. Signed. Rich. Coling. Annexed,
Petition of the Hudson's Bay Company to the King. Recounting the history of the Company, the injuries inflicted by the French, particularly in 1686 when the French destroyed the Company's forts, the artifices of the French Company to evade making satisfaction, and the insolence of the French on the spot, who threaten to take New York and New England shortly; and begging the King to obtain for them satisfaction. 1½ pp. [Board of Trade. Hudson's Bay 1. pp. 233–235.]
April 26. 90. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. The Lords agreed to recommend the following points to the King, viz. to send ships to disturb the French fisheries and settlements in Newfoundland; to settle a new Governor in New England, New York and the Jerseys, to enable the Colonies not only to defend themselves but to take the offensive; to send a Governor and arms to Bermuda; to send a squadron for the protection of the Leeward Islands and Jamaica; and to direct the proprietary Governments of America to be put in a state of defence. Alderman Thompson's petition for the office of registering servants to the Plantations read and referred to the merchants of those parts. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CIX., pp. 208–211.]
April 26. 91. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Colonel Richard Lee added to the Council. Order for arrest of the ringleaders who spread the false reports as to an intended massacre of Protestants, and for their conveyance on board H.M.S. Deptford until they can with safety be committed to gaol to be tried at the next General Court. Order for Captain George Mason, who is suspected of encouraging riotous behaviour, to be removed from the Commission of the Peace. Order for ammunition to be ordered from England. Order for proclamation of King William and Queen Mary. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 316–323.]
April 27.
James' City,
92. Nicholas Spencer to William Blathwayt. The Revolution in England had such an effect here that for some time peace and quiet were doubtful, unruly and disordely spirits laying hold of the motion of affairs, and that under pretext of religion. On these false glosses they betook themselves to arms, particularly at the heads of the Potomac and Rappahannock, from the groundless imagination that the Papists in Maryland, few compared to the Protestants there and in Virginia, had conspired with the Seneca Indians to cut off all Protestants. This was taken from the declaration of an Indian, and though groundless took so good belief, being improved by some evil members who desire to fish in disturbed waters, that the inhabitants of the North drew themselves together for defence, and were ready to fly in the face of the Government. Matters were very pressingly leading to a rebellion, but, thank God, speedy care and timely remedies quieted them down again. Suspecting the reality of the Indian's information I ordered him to be secured, not doubting but by re-examination to discover the certainty of the designed forgery; but the notorious persons who set the Indian to work prevented a detection of their villainy by privately destroying him. The party sent to apprehend him weakly entrusted him to West and Harris, who offered to bring him in; and he has since been discovered murdered in the woods by West, who had best reason to know where to find him. He and others are to answer for their part in the matter. Lord Effingham will have arrived in London to give you full information as to this Colony, so I say no more, except that if French men-of-war should attack us, we are very short of ammunition. Pray procure us a supply. Since the above was written the orders for proclaiming King William and Queen Mary have arrived. Signed. Nicho. Spencer. 2½ pp. Endorsed. Rec d.28 June 1689. [America and West Indies. 636. No. 7.]
April 29.
James' City,
93. Nicholas Spencer to Lords of Board and Plantations. No sooner had the news of the changes in England arrived than it was in the mouths of all the mobile that there was no king in England and so no Government here. Then a rumour was spread of a plot of Papists against Protestants, which but for the timely measures of the Council would have brought about disturbances fatal to both. New rumours succeeded to that, and it was feared that the difficulties of maintaining order would have remained insuperable until we received the news of the happy accession of the Prince and Princess of Orange, which has been widely and solemnly proclaimed to remove the former cause of tumult, viz. that there being no King in England, there was no Government here. Signed. Nicho. Spencer. 2½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 28 June 89.
Duplicate of foregoing. Endorsed. Recd. 25 Aug. [America and West Indies. 636. Nos. 8, 9, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIII., pp. 3, 4.]
Apr. 29. 94. Memorandum of Lords of Trade and Plantations. To represent to the King the danger of the Leeward Islands and the necessity of sending ships and men thither at once. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVIII. p. 399.]
Apr. 30. 95. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Order for Edward Davies and his accomplices to be released on giving security for good behaviour, and to be allowed to go to England; also that £30 be allowed them from their goods for the voyage. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 323–329.]
Apr. 29. 96. Extract of a letter from Bristol, New England, to Mr. Mather and others. On the 18th inst. the people of Boston rose and seized Captain George of H.M.S. Rose. Thereupon Captain Hill brought six or seven of the ancient magistrates to the Councilhouse, while the people imprisoned Sir Edmund Andros's officers. About eleven o'clock they read a declaration, and summoned Sir Edmund to surrender himself and the fort. By three o'clock there were twenty companies in arms, and about fifteen hundred men at Charlestown, half-a-mile from Boston. Information then came that a boat was sent from the frigate to the Governor with arms, but the boat was seized. Mr. John Nelson then demanded the fort, and summoned the Governor before the Council, who that night was committed to a private house and next day to the fort. Four more were committed to the Castle under Mr. Fairweather. Mr. Dudley, who was in the country, was seized by twelve young men and brought to Boston. On Friday Sir Edmund tried to escape, passed two of the guards, and then was stopped. 1½ pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 2.]
Apr. 30. 97. Pass for John Perry to go from Boston to Hartford. Signed, Is. Addington. Copy certified by S. van Cortlandt. 16 May, 1689. Scrap. [America and West Indies. 578. No. 2.]
Apr. 30. 98. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Order for Captain Simon Rowe to be summoned to answer an action against him by Edward Davies and his accomplices, and for the depositions to be taken. Ordered also that unless the Lieutenant Governor arrive by 31 May they shall be permitted to go to England. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 341–347.]