America and West Indies: May 1689, 1-15

Pages 34-39

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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May 1689

May 1.
99. Declaration of the Assembly of Rhode Island. That they assume the Government on the base of the former charter, not doubting but that it will be confirmed, the Colony being a small one and distinct from the other Colonies. They pray that any complaints by ill affected persons to the supreme Government in England may not be listened to. Signed. Walter Clarke, John Greene, Walter Newberry. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., pp. 109, 110.]
May 1. 100. William Blathwayt to Mr. Bowles. The Lords of Trade wish to know what is come of the two hired despatch boats. (See No. 81.) [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. C., p. 43.]
May 2. 101. Order of the King in Council. That, in consideration of a report of the Lords of Trade and Plantations of 26 April, the Lords consult with the Commissioners of the Admiralty as to sending a squadron of ships to the West Indies. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXII., pp. 172, 173.]
May 2.
102. Order of the King in Council. Report of Lords of Trade and Plantations dated 26 April 1689. We have taken into consideration the present state of the Plantations with reference to the war with France. It would be of great prejudice to the French to disturb their fishery on the Banks of Newfoundland and the passage of the fishing ships to and from the West Indes. It would be well to send a squadron or at least a strong convoy to disturb the French forts and settlements on the Island also, and to fortify St. John's Harbour as a refuge for British ships and inhabitants during the war. We recommend also the settlement of such a Government in New England, New York and the Jerseys as, upon the recall of Sir Edmund Andros, will enable the people not only to oppose the French with their united forces but to carry on other operations; otherwise the French may easily possess themselves of that dominion. We propose also the speedy despatch of a Governor to Bermuda, and of arms and stores with him. The Caribbee Islands also must be remembered, especially the Leeward Islands. Montserrat is chiefly inhabited by Irish papists, and half of St. Christophers is possessed by the French, who are more numerous and in better condition of defence than the English. Men, arms and ammunition should be sent to succour them and to save our sugar trade. The northern part of Hispaniola, the Islands of Ash, Petit Guavos, and Tortugas are inhabited by the French and harbour many privateers. A squadron should be sent to the West Indies forthwith. This we conceive to be absolutely necessary, for the party superior at sea in those parts will probably prevail on land. Lastly we recommend such orders to the Proprietary provinces of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Carolina as will secure your interest and their defence.
Ordered, that the Lords of Trade consult with the Admiralty as to the sending of ships to the West Indies; and that they further consider as to arms and ammunition for St. Christophers, submit names of fit persons to be Governors of Colonies, and measures for the security of the Colonies both royal and proprietary in America. Signed. Cha. Montague. 2½ pp. Endorsed. [America and West Indies. 601. No. 1, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. C., p. 45–47.]
May 3. 103. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. The Lieutenant Governor summoned the Assembly for their concurrence in proclaiming King William and Queen Mary, which was carried nem. con. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XIV., p. 180.]
May 3. 104. Declaration of the freeholders of Suffolk, Long Island. Having read the declaration published at Boston on 18 April, we, having like them at Boston groaned under arbitary power, think it our bounden duty to use all lawful endeavours to secure the forts at Albany, New York, and elsewhere, pending further orders from the English Parliament; to secure those persons who have extorted from us under the said arbitary power, believing that therein we do nothing less than what is our duty to God. Added below. May 10th. Captains Howell, Wheeler and Platt gone down to demand that the fort shall be put into the hands of persons whom the country can trust. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 29 Aug., 1689. Printed in New York Documents III., 577. [America and West Indies. 578. No. 3.]
May 3.
Navy Office.
105. Commissioners of the Navy to William Blathwayt. The two ketches received their despatches on 23 April and sailed 24th. We hope that by this time they are clear of the Channel. Signed, R. Haddock, John Berry, J. Lanthorne. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. C., p. 43.]
May 4. P. Bowles to William Blathwayt. Forwarding the preceding letter. [Ibid. p. 43.]
May 4. 106. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. The Commissioners of the Admiralty presented a list of ships hired to serve as men of war in the West Indies. The Lords agreed to advise that a regiment, arms and a fleet be despatched to the Leeward Islands and that the two companies at St. Christophers be disbanded. They agreed also on several names to be submitted to the King as Governors for Jamaica, Barbados, the Leeward Islands and Virginia. The petition of Philip Ludwell with the grievances was read and referred. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CIX., pp. 212–214.]
May 4. 107. List of merchant-ships taken up by the Navy Board to serve as men of war in the West Indies. Twelve ships in all. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol C., p. 48, and Vol. XLVII., p. 400.]
May 4. 108. Lords of the Admiralty to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Eight of the hired ships could accommodate at least seven hundred landsmen. Signed, Carbery, Tho. Lee, M. Chicheley. [Vol. C. p. 48 and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., p. 401.]
May 4. 109. Persons recommended by the Lords of Trade to be Governors of Plantations: for Jamaica, Lord Colchester, Colonel Molesworth; For Barbados, Sir H. Belasyse, Sir P. Colleton, Mr. Ralph Gray; for Leeward Islands, Sir H. Belasyse, Lieut. Colonel Gypson; for Virginia, Lord Howard of Effingham. Rough draft, in William Blathwayt's handwriting. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 601. No. 2.]
May 4. 110. William Blathwayt to Lord Howard of Effingham. Forwarding the petition of Philip Ludwell (see No. 62) for his reply. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIII., p. 259.]
May 6. 111. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Agreed to recommend that Sir James Leslie's regiment of foot be sent to the West Indies. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CIX., p. 215.]
May 6. 112. The King to the President and Council of Jamaica. Restoring Colonel Peter Beckford to the command of the fortifications of Port Royal. Countersigned. Shrewsbury. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXII., pp. 173, 171.]
May 6.
113. Order of the King in Council. Approving the recommendation of the Lords of Trade and Plantations to despatch a regiment of foot of seven hundred and eighty men to St. Christophers, together with a large quantity of stores, and that H.M.S. Dunkirk and seven hired ships be prepared for transport of the same; also that the two companies now at St. Christophers be disbanded and drafted into the regiment aforesaid. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., pp. 401–404.]
May 10.
114. Governor Sir Robert Robinson to the Lords of the Admiralty. We have heard no news since last November, nothing but the Prince of Orange's letter of last January, so that all things stand as formerly pending arrival of further orders. We have sent but one vessel homeward since I came, until the vessel which bears this, and which will also take home Chief Justice Hordesnell. I did not think when I asked for a lawyer that I should have a Chancellor and a Lord Chief Justice sent to me, for such things he has arrogated in these pitiful Islands. What his religion is, the people at home, in Ireland and in Tangier know best, for he never used our church. We have no news of the war in Europe, so I think it would be safer to send us thirty barrels of powder and a hundred more arms, with a sixth-rate frigate and fifty soldiers. My stay here can be only a disadvantage to me, being bound to this pitiful little place away from my family, which cannot live here with me. It is so sterile that only an indigent man is fit for it. Since I came here I have not had a house, but have been forced to seek lodgings from place to place and, for air, to build a small cabin at my own expense. I lose £100 a year by the whale-fishing and land, and the people keep the small treasure from the Treasurer, so that I am certain of nothing for our security. My salary in England is not paid. I beg you to procure it for me and to see that a small estate which I have at home is not ruined during my absence. You would hardly believe that Hordesnell raised a faction here and confused the Government, but now in a short time I hope to get all in order. I wish a good Protestant had the Government, for some have been almost persuaded to turn their coats. Signed. Robt. Robinson. As to the papers Hordesnell left behind, I have been petitioned by many for a Court of a Chancery to relieve distressed people. I shall do so, being empowered to it by my instructions; and in future we want no more lawyers or Chief Justices. I beg again for leave to return home in order to regain my health and look at my affairs. We have had no law suits for many months, nor do we want them, They cost the people more in one year than for the previous forty years, and now they settle things among themselves, which they find is easier. I must try to get at the public slaves and the moiety that is left unpaid, which last I could not get at while Hordesnell was here. Signed. Robt. Robinson. The whole, 2½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. January '89. [America and West Indies. 477. No. 8, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XVIII., pp. 225–229.]
May 10. 115. Governor Sir Robert Robinson to [Lord Preston ?]. A repetition of the preceding letter as far as the first signature. 2 pp. [America and West Indies. 477. No. 9.]
May 13. 116. Memorial of the Hudson's Bay Company to the King. 1. For Commissions under the royal sign manual and signet as in King James's last year, and for Letters of Marque against the French. 2. Such Commissions to empower the Governor to enter into league with the Indians, and to make offensive and defensive alliance with them. 3. For particular commission to two of the Company's Captains just about to sail, to attack French ships and depute others to do so. 4. For liberty to beat drums to recruit seamen for this voyage. Signed. Edward Dering, Dep. Governor. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Hudson's Bay, 1. pp. 241–242.]
117. A list of individual Commissions and Letters of Marque asked for in the foregoing memorial. [Ibid. p. 245.]
118. A further list of Commissions required. [Ibid. pp. 249–251.]
119. Copy of a Commission from King James II. to Captain George Geyer, in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company. Countersigned, Sunderland. 30 May, 1688.
Copy of another Commission to Captain Andrew Hamilton. Same date.
Copy of another Commission to Captain John Marsh. Same date.
Draft of a Letter of Marque granted by King William and Queen Mary to Captain Leonard Edgcombe of the Company's service. [Board of Trade. Hudson's Bay, 1. pp. 259–272.]
May 14. 120. Reasons offered for sending Colonel Hender Molesworth Governor to Jamaica. 1. Such is the King's direction of 22 February last. 2. It is desired by all the merchants and planters concerned in Jamaica. 3. He is a man of interest and estate in the Island. 4. He is esteemed by the inhabitants, as is shown by the fact that seventeen men came forward to be his security when that hardship was put on him by the Duke of Albemarle. 5. He proved his fitness in his three years of successful government. 6. His knowledge of the people makes him better qualified than a stranger to select good officers. 7. A popular Governor is wanted after the arbitrary rule of the Duke of Albemarle. 8. The trade with Spain, which was ruined and destroyed in the Duke's time, can only be retrieved by Colonel Molesworth. 9. He knows the interests of the French and Spaniards in the West Indies, which will be of great advantage at the present time. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. from the E. of Shrewsbury 14 May, 1687. Read 16 May, 1689. [America and West Indies. 540. No. 5.]
May 15.
New York.
121. The Lieutenant Governor and others of New York to Lords of Trade and Plantations. We have heard various reports about momentous changes in Europe but know nothing for certain. Meanwhile the enclosed summons and declaration will show you upon what pretence some of the inhabitants of Boston and places adjacent have overthrown the Government, set up for themselves, imprisoned Sir Edmund Andros with several of his Council and officers in close custody, disbanded the militia and, as is reported, encourage the rabble to further insolencies. Rhode Island and Connecticut have followed their steps and, as is reported, have also chosen themselves new Governors; and only this part of the dominion remains in peace awaiting further orders, and would so continue were not the seed of sedition already blown into the province. In Suffolk County, at the east end of Long Island, the magistrates and military officers were first put out and replaced by others of the people's choice. Queen's County and West Chester followed in their steps; and not content with that, under pretext of zeal for the safety of this city and fort against French aggression, great part of their militia have taken up arms. They are now at Jamaica, within fourteen miles of us, in order if they can to master the fort and plunder (as is feared) the city, or at least such citizens as they can expose to the rabble. Several of them with the assistance of some disaffected and restless spirits have tried to stir up the city to sedition and rebellion. So far we have foiled them, but cannot tell how long we may be able to so do. But now a new alarm has come from Albany of attack by Indians, stirred up as we suppose by libellous statements from Boston that Sir Edmund Andros had joined with the French to cut the Indians off. It is certain that the Governor of Canada will do all he can to encourage these suspicions, and to gain our Indians, which would be the ruin of all the English settlements in the Continent. We shall not therefore be wanting to remove these suspicions and to hold the Five Nations to ourselves. There is also an alarm of war with France, which has led us to resolve to refortify the city, the former fortifications having been allowed to fall to ruin if they have not been actually demolished; but we were at a loss how to raise the money. At this very juncture several merchants began to dispute payment of customs-duties as illegally established, so seeing that it was not possible to stop them or to put the revenue on the same foot we convened all the officers, civil and military, and with their consent ordered the proceeds of customs and excise to be devoted to repair of the fortifications. The Collector; Mathew Plowman, has been repeatedly called on since the 25th March to produce his accounts, and since he has delayed to obey our orders we thought it safer to take from him and to secure in the fort what moneys he had, which are sealed up by himself in a chest. The auditors are now busy with the accounts. In all these troubles we have been deprived of the assistance of all other members of Council so that all the burden has fallen upon us. We have written to Sir Edmund Andros since his confinement, and also to Simon Bradstreet and Wait Winthrop at Boston, but have received no answer. The course of justice is suspended, for the judges are imprisoned at Boston. It has been very fatal to this city and province to be annexed to Boston; indeed, if continued it would have been our ruin, but for the present we omit further enlargement on this subject. Signed. Fr. Nicholson, Fredaryck Flypse, S. V. Cortlandt, N. Bayard. 4 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 6 July, 1689. Read 16 July and 29th. Printed in New York Documents III., 574. [America and West Indies. 578. No. 4, and Col. Entry Bks., Vol. LXII., pp. 81–84, and Vol. LXIX., pp. 187–191.]