America and West Indies: January 1692

Pages 583-596

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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January 1692

Jan. 1. 1,979. Roger Jones to Peter Perry. If the Government of Virginia insist on their duty on skins, and nothing is done on our behalf by the English Government, order all our skins to be packed in hogsheads and keep them till further orders. The Commissioners of Customs have drawn up a very favourable report, so that we can draw out our goods. Besides, they have decided that no law is in force in the Colony for more than a year without the Royal Assent being then known, so that presumably all goods shipped after the expiration of a year from the date of the law will be exempt. However, use your own judgment. I am not for contending with any Government where there is any pretence of regularity, though I would not lose my rights as a free English subject. Beaver is miserably low at 5s. and Cub not above 2s. 3d. per lb. Otter, unless very large and black, will not fetch above 4s. to 6s., not indeed the price of good racoon, unless large and in prime. Tobacco also is miserably low. See that no more is sent. Signed. Roger Jones. 1 p. Certificate added below to the genuineness of Roger Jones's hand. Signed. Pr. Perry, 7 July, 1692. 1¼ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 6 Sept., 1692. Read 19 Sept., 1692. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 79.]
Jan. 3.
1,980. Warrant for the payment of £1,747 14s. 0d. to Governor Benjamin Fletcher, for pay due to the two companies at New York. Copy. ½ p. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. No. 73.]
Jan. 5. 1,981. Presentment of the Commissioners of Customs. By an order of 28 February, 1689–90, the Commissioners of the four and a half per cent. duty were ordered to pay over the proceeds of that duty for the payment of the Duke of Bolton's regiment. We are credibly informed that the King has lost much and that the soldiers are great losers by this arrangement. Sugar and other commodities subject to this duty lie in warehouse for months together for want of freight; and Major Nott, who is just returned, tells us that for the paying of the regiment the arrangement is prejudiced and inconvenient, that it would be better if the goods were sent home and the money for it sent out, and that of £7,000 expected for the goods not above £2,000 had been paid in eighteen months. Again the commission of 7 per cent. charged by General Codrington's agent for converting the goods into money, amounts to a considerable sum. We recommend that the goods be sent home and the proceeds sent out in light pieces-of-eight. Signed. G. Boothe, Jo. Werden, Robert Southwell, J. Warde. 2 pp. Endorsed. Read 25 and 28 Jan., 1691–2. [America and West Indies. 551. No. 49; and Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 44. pp. 6–8.]
Jan. 7.
1,982. Warrant for the use of the Great Seal of Massachusetts. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., p. 395, 396.]
Jan. 7.
1,983. The Secretary of Virginia to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Advising despatch of duplicates of the proceedings of the Council and Assembly. Signed. William Cole. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 5 Apr. 1692. America and West Indies. 637. No. 80.]
Jan. 7.
1,984. Order of the King in Council. Referring the petition of Jacob Leisler, the younger, to Lords of Trade and Plantations for report. Signed. Cha. Montague. 1 p. Annexed,
1,984. I. Petition of Jacob Leisler to the King. A long statement complaining that his father and Jacob Milborne were unjustly executed, and begging for the relief of the six reprieved accomplices whose estates are confiscated. Copy. 3 pp. The whole endorsed. Read at the Committee. 11 Jan. 1691–2, and 11 March 1691–2. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. Nos. 74, 74 I. Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXIX., pp. 376–382.]
Jan. 7. 1,985. Order of the King in Council. For the payment of £248, lately received from Maryland as one half of the two shilling duty and Port duties, to the Receiver General of Customs. Copy. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 556. No. 14; and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LII., p. 228.]
Jan. 7. 1,986. Warrant for the use of the Great Seal of Maryland. Countersigned. Nottingham. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 8. pp. 39, 40.]
Jan. 8. 1,987. Commander in Chief and Council of New York to the Earl of Nottingham. Since our last we have taken effectual care for the peace of the Province, and have prevailed with the Assembly to raise 150 men for Albany. Our applications to Virginia, Maryland and New England for help have been in vain. They have no regard to the King's service, but pursue their disorderly affections to a licentious trade, against the law, and by their neglect suffer the French and Indians to make daily incursions. Unless their Majesties take care to protect, that great country and people will be ruined. If you could reunite to us the Jerseys and Connecticut, we should be strong enough to defend ourselves and make incursions upon the French; but, as we are, we are not able to leave the border. The late disorders have so harassed the people that they cannot find the money for the security of the place. On the other hand an annexation to Boston, as in the last reign, would be of still greater injury to us. Signed. Rich. Ingoldsby, Fredryck Flypse, S. v. Cortlandt, N. Bayard, G. Minielle, Chid. Brooke, W. Nicolls. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 27 Feb. 1691–2. Printed in New York Documents III., 812. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. No. 75.]
Jan. 8. 1,988. The same to William Blathwayt. We have raised 150 men for Albany, most of whom are there, the river being frozen before those of the Eastern parts could come. Fourteen or fifteen are left behind, but we hope that the strength is sufficient. Our neighbours of New England have on all occasions shewn themselves adverse to anything for the King's service, especially Connecticut, who denied us liberty to raise 100 men for the security of Albany, though we promised to pay them. Their confusions are so great that the French daily gain upon them, having lately retaken Port Royal and destroyed several people at Piscataqua. We are so weighted that we cannot bear the charge, and unless relieved by enlargement of our bounds, we shall sink under the burden. Our neighbours traffic direct with France in defiance of the Navigation Acts. This letter is little more than a repetition of the preceding. Signed as the preceding. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Read 26 Feb. Printed in New York Documents III., 813. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. No. 76; and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXIX., pp. 309, 310.]
Jan. 8. 1,989. Minutes of Council of New York. Letters to Lord Nottingham and Mr. Blathwayt Signed. Order for a patent for land to be granted to Edward Antill. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., pp. 294, 295.]
Jan. 11. 1,990. Minutes of Council of New York. Order for payment for clothing and provisions. On the news of alarm at Albany owing to loss of Indians and want of funds, ordered that £130 be at once spent in presents for the Five Nations and £25 more for presents to the relatives of the slain Indians. Johannes Van Burgh's case concluded. Order for payment of £5 to John Perry for his travelling expenses to Virginia. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., pp. 295, 296.]
Jan. 11. 1,991. Commander-in-Chief and Council of New York to Earl of Nottingham. A duplicate of the letter of 8 January (No. 1,987). Endorsed. Recd. 6 Sept., 1692. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. No. 77.]
Jan. 11. 1,992. The same to William Blathwayt. A duplicate of the letter of 8 January. (No. 1,988.) Endorsed as the preceding. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. No. 78.]
Jan. 11. 1,993. Governor Codrington to Lords of Trade and Plantations. On the 18th ult., the Jersey, cruising off Guadeloupe, met a French man-of-war of forty-four guns and a smaller vessel of sixteen. They boarded her one on each side and in less than a quarter of an hour she hauled down the English flag. This shameful account was brought by three of the men, who escaped in the pinnace to Montserrat. On the night of the 21st I sent a sloop to Barbados, and next day another sloop, to report this, that they might not be trepanned by the Jersey in case the French should at once fit her out. I also summoned the squadron here at once, having intelligence that some men-of-war were arrived from France at Martinique and three from St. Domingo, and not knowing how soon they might attack us. On the 28th H.M.S. Hampshire arrived with her main topmast sprung. On Saturday, 2nd January, one of my sloops returned from Barbados, and on the 3rd the Assistance and St. Paul arrived with letters from Captain Arthur that he would follow with the Mary as soon as he had repaired damages sustained in a recent engagement with a seventy-gun ship. The Antelope was to attend Barbados. Governor Kendall's letters told me that he could only learn of five King's ships at Martinique; he also acquainted me that the Assistance had taken a fly-boat of 700 tons, with ninety sailors, twenty soldiers and a large quantity of naval stores. A prize brought in by one of our privateers reported that ten men-of-war and troops were daily expected at Martinique, and that we should be attacked on their arrival. On this intelligence I decided to send a flag of truce, by the return or detention of which we might learn more of their designs, so on Friday, 1st January, I sent away Mr. Warner, one of the Council, who has executed his instructions prudently and discreetly. On Monday the 4th I sent the Hampshire round to the rest of the Leeward Islands with positive orders to the Lieutenant-Governors to encamp all their men, make what preparations they could against the attack and await further orders. I sent Colonel Holt to take up his post at Montserrat, and I have instructed Colonel Hill, if any considerable fleet should appear off Basseterre, to fire the town and every building in the Island, so as to deprive the enemy of all shelter, and then retire to the fort. The Hampshire has orders to return at once, having received a new topmast at St. Christophers. On that same 4th of January I held a council of war, wherein we decided on an encampment, the retreat of our women and other matters; and at the time of this writing I am actually encamped. I reported my measures to Governor Kendall, and gave Captain Arthur positive orders to bring up the Mary and the Antelope, which I expect hourly.
Yesterday, 10th, Mr. Warner returned from Martinique. He arrived there the 3rd, left it the 5th, and was five days getting back owing to calms. I wrote to Mons. Guittaud, who is Commander-in-Chief since the last General's death, for any prisoners that he might have, and he returned all but those taken by the men-of-war, which were already disposed of. At Martinique Mr. Warner saw several seamen of the Jersey who told him that nothing was in order when the French ships engaged them. The yards were not slung, which a few shots soon discovered, and when they were boarded the captain cried quarter and ran down into the steerage. The first Lieutenant had his leg and head shattered; the second lieutenant and master, both very good men, were killed; the gunner took up the sword, and the first use he made of it was to give the Captain a slash over the face by which he is still disabled. The gunner maintained the fight for a quarter of an hour but was overpowered. Thus a King's ship is lost by the cowardice and carelessness of a villain. His men, Mr. Warner says, are so enraged that they vow they will tear him to pieces if they catch him in English ground. The name of this worthy captain is Bomsted. He was promoted to his command by Captain Wright, to the regret of the whole squadron. Captain Wickham asked for the ship and I supported him, but he refused, so for this as for so many misfortunes we are obliged to that worthy flag-man. He came out Captain of the St. Paul, for which post he was absolutely unfit. But the most melancholy of Mr. Warner's news has yet to be told. He counted sixteen men-of-war, all well found and manned, in Cul-de-sac and St. Pierre. He went aboard them and learned their names and all about them, also that they expect four more ships, one of ninety guns among them, with a new General. While he was there a large ship came in with stores, three mortars and eighteen hundred buccaneer guns. Further there are 500 soldiers arrived from France and 600 from St. Domingo, most of them the men whom we sent thither. During his stay five ships came in with men from Guadeloupe, and their open discourse was that they intended to attack our Islands. Still they let my flag of truce return, though before we attacked Guadeloupe I detained one of theirs for a month; and from this I fear that they think their force irresistible. Mr. Warner heard some of them, who did not know that he understood French, say that the 7th was the day appointed to sail; so they may be here any hour. On receiving this news I at once sent a sloop to Barbados, ordering that if our daily-expected squadron be arrived there, it should instantly be despatched here and followed by every privateer and merchant ship that could be fitted out, and appealing to Governor Kendall for assistance. I also sent round to the rest of the Leeward Islands repeating my former orders and informing them that I have certain accounts (though in truth they are very uncertain) that seven frigates and four hundred recruits were expected every minute, to be shortly followed by ten more and a considerable land-force under Sir Francis Wheeler. It is a great misfortune that the enemy has got the start of us, and that there has been so much delay in sending us the squadron. The expense to the King will be the same as if it had started a month sooner; and yet that little delay may be fatal to us, for the authority of French commanders and the unity of command both by land and sea will make their movements vastly more speedy than ourselves. Our command is divided, and we cannot command, but beg, pray, entreat and beseech our people to secure themselves by the destruction of their enemies. I have written to you before on this subject, and of the project of destroying the whole of the French settlements in the West Indies; and I have done my best for the Islands. Whatever the issue of the present cloud therefore, I can comfort myself that no neglect of mine is accountable for it. I had some other particulars to write to you but the present hurry will not permit it. I enclose Mr. Warner's list of the French fleet. Signed. Chr. Codrington. 8 pp. Endorsed. Abstract read 7 Sept., 1692. Enclosed,
1,993. I. List of the ships fitted for immediate service at Fort Royal, Martinique. One of 64 guns; one of 56; one of 52; four of 48; two of 46; one of forty; two of 36; two fire ships; two "Cravates," and sundry small craft. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 551. Nos. 50, 50 I., and (without enclosure) Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 44. pp. 34–42.]
Jan. 11. 1,994. Duplicate of the foregoing letter and enclosure. [America and West Indies. 551. Nos. 51, 51 I.]
Jan. 11. 1,995. Abstract of the foregoing letter. 2½ pp. [America and West Indies. 551. No. 51A.]
1,996. Governor Codrington to the King. Humble thanks for the Government of the Leeward Islands and for assurances of favour. I have reported all to the Lords of Trade and Plantations, and shall not presume to desire my expenses to be discharged from the English Exchequer, which is now so hard pressed. Expressions of devotion. Signed. Chr. Codrington. 2 pp. Endorsed. R. January, 1691–2. [America and West Indies. 551. No. 52.]
Jan. 11. 1,997. Privy Seal granting to John Palmer the office of Secretary to the Leeward Islands. Signed. Pigott. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 44. p. 11.]
Jan. 11. 1,998. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Resolution taken as to recommending the despatch of a ship of war to the coast of New England. Petition of Mr. Offley for the monopoly of making pitch and tar in North America considered. Recommended that the petition be granted, provided that it be not to the exclusion of others.
Mr. Samuel Allen was heard. Agreed to recommend his appointment as Governor of New Hampshire.
Petition of Sir John Molesworth read and resolution taken.
Agreed to lay the Act of Barbados for a present to Governor Kendall before the King. [Board of Trade. Journal, 7. pp. 77–79.]
Jan. 11. 1,999. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Recommending, in view of the recapture of Port Royal and the capture of several merchant vessels by the French, that a fourth-rate frigate be immediately sent to protect the coast of New England. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., pp. 402, 403.]
Jan. 11. 2,000. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Recommending a grant to Thomas Offley for making of pitch, tar, &c., in North America, so it be not to the exclusion of others. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. C., p. 255.]
[Jan.] 2,001. Petition of Thomas Offley to Lords of Trade and Plantations. The words "so as not to be to the exclusion of others," nullifies the effect of the grant. I desire not to exclude inhabitants from manufacture, but only sole right to find out and take materials on the Crown lands in North America. I beg for amendment of these words. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 2. No. 11.]
[Jan.] 2,002. Memorandum of Thomas Offley. That the King has the right to grant the sole right of taking and using materials for pitch and tar in Pemaquid and Maine. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 2. No. 12.]
Jan. 11. 2,003. Petition of John Grey and others to Lords of Trade and Plantations. For dismissal of the appeal of Sir J. Witham's executors against them or for appointment of a peremptory day for hearing the case. ½ p. Endorsed. Read at the Committee Jan. 11, 1691–2. Board of Trade. Barbados, 4. No. 73.]
Jan. 11.
2,004. Order of Lords of Trade and Plantations. That the appeal of the executors of Sir John Witham be heard on the 18th inst. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VIII., p. 275.]
[Jan. 11.] 2,005. Petition of Samuel Allen to Lords of Trade and Plantations. That he may be appointed Governor and John Usher Lieutenant-Governor of New Hampshire. 1 p. Endorsed. Read 11 Jan., 1691–2. [Board of Trade. New Hampshire. No. 11; and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., p. 181.]
Jan. 11. 2,006. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. To recommend the appointment of Samuel Allen and John Usher as Governor and Lieutenant-Governor of New Hampshire. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., p. 182.]
Jan. 11. 2,007. Memorandum of Lords of Trade and Plantations. On the petition of Sir John Molesworth (see No. 1,966) the Lord President is desired to recommend that a Privy Seal be issued to order the vacation of Colonel Hender Molesworth's recognisance. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 53. pp. 26, 27.]
Jan. 14.
2,008. Order of the King in Council. For the immediate despatch of a fourth-rate frigate to the coast of New England. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., pp. 403, 404.]
Jan. 14. 2,009. Receipt for the seal of Maryland, for delivery to Governor Copley. Signed. Cha. Abington. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 2. No. 69.]
Jan. 14. 2,010. The King to Governor Codrington. Ordering him to deliver up St. Eustatia to the Dutch. Countersigned. Nottingham. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 44. p. 5.]
Jan. 16. 2,011. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Order for continuing all officers in their places despite the death of Lord Inchiquin. Warrants for the appointment of Samuel Bernard, John Towers, Nicholas Lawes, Andrew Orgill, Francis Blackmore and Charles Knight to the Council. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 77. pp. 115–118.]
Jan. 18. 2,012. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. The executors of Sir John Witham and Mr. John Grey attended. Agreed to recommend the reversal of the judgement given in favour of Sir J. Witham.
The complaint of the Government of Virginia against Captain Purvis of H.M.S. Wolf to be referred to the Admiralty. [Board of Trade. Journal, 7. pp. 80, 81.]
[Jan.] 2,013. Petition of Sir Timothy Thornhill to Lords of Trade and Plantations. For appointment of a time for trying his charges against Governor Codrington, exhibited some time since. ½ p. Undated. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 4. No. 6.]
[Jan. 18.] 2,014. Petition of Sir Timothy Thornhill to the King. A recapitulation of the narrative and complaints made against Governor Codrington in his "True state of the case" of July 2, 1691 (see No. 1,613). Prays the King's orders for justice to be done him. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 18 Jan., 1691–2. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 4. No. 7; and 44. pp. 12–14.]
Jan. 18. 2,015. Summons for Captain Simon Rowe, R.N., to attend the meeting of the Lords of Trade and Plantations on the 25th inst. Draft. ½ p. [Board of Trade. New England, 6. No. 1.]
Jan. 19. 2,016. William Blathwayt to Mr. Sotherne. Forwarding copy of the complaint of the Council of Virginia against Captain Purvis (see No. 1,680) for consideration of the Admiralty. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 36. p. 104.]
Jan. 19. 2,017. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Patrick Mein sworn of the Council. The Governor acquainted the Assembly that he had sent a sloop to reconnoitre the Cul de Sac and St. Pierre, Martinique; also that General Codrington had sent for all the men-of-war to Leeward. He mentioned the necessity for hiring two or three ships to keep away the enemy's small craft, and reminded them that the Excise Act was near expired and that further strength of labourers would be needed to finish the entrenchments. Order for sundry payments. The Assembly brought up an Act for Excise, an Act to amend the Act for raising labour for fortifications, and an Act concerning William Thorpe, which were passed. A Bill to reimburse Richard Salter was considered. Proclamations, requiring all seamen to repair to their ships (23 January); and offering a reward to people who bring in skulking seamen. (28 January.) [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., pp. 236–241.]
Jan. 21.
2,018. Order of the King in Council. For the preparation of Commissions to Samuel Allen and John Usher as Governor and Lieutenant-Governor of New Hampshire. Signed. Cha. Montague. [Board of Trade. New Hampshire, 1. No. 12; and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., pp. 182, 183.]
Jan. 21.
2,019. Order of the King in Council. That the Lords of Trade and Plantations take care that a Privy Seal be passed, vacating the late Hender Molesworth's recognizance (see No. 2,007). [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 53. pp. 27, 28.]
Jan. 21. 2,020. Order of the King in Council. Report of Lords of Trade and Plantations, recommending the reversal of the judgment given in Barbados in 1684 in favour of Sir John Witham against John Grey. Ordered accordingly. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VIII., pp. 276, 277.]
Jan. 21. 2,021. Order of the King in Council. Report of Lords of Trade and Plantations, recommending the allowance of the present voted by the Assembly of Barbados to Governor Kendall. Ordered accordingly. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VIII., pp. 277, 278.]
2,022. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. The Council inspected the fortifications. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 77. p. 119.]
Jan. 23. 2,023. William Blathwayt to Lord Howard of Effingham. Desiring his attendance at the Committee of Trade and Plantations on the 1st prox. Draft. ½ p. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 81.]
Jan. 23. 2,024. Minutes of the Council of War of Barbados. Resolved that no men can be spared from hence for the Leeward Islands, but that Captain Wrenn be ordered to sail thither with the merchant vessels for the Leeward Islands and Jamaica, and take his orders from General Codrington. If the French Fleet be not to Leeward, Captain Wrenn is to unite his fleet and follow them. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., pp. 273, 274.]
Jan. 25. 2,025. Minutes of the Council of War at Barbados. In view of the presence of a French Fleet to north-east, ordered that the merchant-vessels be taken up as men-of-war and four sloops, the whole to be joined to Captain Ralph Wrenn's squadron of five men-of-war, and that they be despatched to engage the French fleet, if Captain Wrenn judge himself strong enough. Orders of the Council to Captain Wrenn. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., pp. 274–277.]
Jan. 25. 2,026. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. A presentment of the Commissioners of Customs read (see No. 1,981). Resolved to lay it before the King.
Petition of Sir Timothy Thornhill, Mr. Crispe and Mr. Thorn against Governor Codrington read. Copies to be sent to Governor Codrington for his report. [Board of Trade. Journal, 7. pp. 81, 82.]
Jan. 25.
2,027. Order of Lords of Trade and Plantations. That copies of Sir Timothy Thornhill's charges against Governor Codrington be delivered to the Agents for Leeward Islands. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 44. p. 30.]
Jan. 25. 2,028. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. The rendezvous of the regiments to windward and leeward appointed.
Jan. 26. Orders that any field officer or majority of officers may hold a regimental Court-Martial, and that in alarm of invasion the President shall give general orders.
Jan. 27. The Attorney-General gave it as his opinion that the President and Council may issue private commissions. Orders for a meeting of field officers and for a new line to be built behind the Church at Port Royal. Order for a clause in all officers' commissions that they shall obey their superior officer of the regiment of foot in their precincts.
Jan. 28. Two letters to the Lords of Trade and to Lord Sidney signed. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 77. pp. 120–131.]
Jan. 26. 2,029. Earl of Nottingham to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Directing the preparation of a Commission and instructions for Colonel Benjamin Fletcher, appointed Governor of New York. Signed. Nottingham. Holograph. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. No. 79; and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXIX., p. 321.]
Jan. 27. 2,030. Depositions of Robert Mason and others. As to a brigantine of Captain Dongan's plying between Rochelle and New England in the service of King James. 2 pp. Sworn 27 Jan. 1692. [America and West Indies. 551. No. 53.]
Jan. 27. 2,031. Affidavits of Robert Tufton Mason and three others, as to illicit trade carried on direct between France and New England by a ship armed by Colonel Dongan and Samuel Shrimpton. Sworn before the Lieutenant-Governor and Council of Virginia. 27 January, 1691–2. Copies. 3½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 18 July, 1692. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. No. 80.]
Jan. 27. 2,032. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Order for delivery of the Council Records to William Edwards. Questions as to escheats, as to employment of ships from Maryland, and as to quitrents postponed. Writs for an Assembly on 1st April signed. Sworn evidence as to ships sailing direct from New England to France. The masters of ships who gave it promised to impart it to Mr. Blathwayt on their arrival in England. Resolved in view of the defenceless condition of the Colony to ask the King to send us a fireship in lieu of arms, and to beg the confirmation of the Act for ports, as people are beginning to build about the appointed ports. Orders as to despatch of shipping; and the Lieutenant-Governor requested to repeat the orders to the Government of Maryland. Captain Finch given his orders as to stopping ships. Resolved to represent to the King the suffering of the Colony through want of supplies of clothing, and the injury to the revenue from want of ships. The Act for suppression of swearing ordered to be published once in three months in every parish church. Order for the sheriffs to report as to the meetings of persons who have not lawful authority to do so, giving the names of preachers and teachers. Order for a proclamation as to certifying accounts of county or parish-levies. Order for all commanders to enforce the law on all who have formerly been listed soldiers to provide themselves with arms, those who have not been enlisted being exempt till arrival of next fleet. Order for smiths to fix all arms brought to them, keeping an account of the same that they may be paid. Resolved to beg the King to take measures to put down privateers commissioned in the Bahamas, which are troublesome to vessels sailing to load salt, and to relieve the Colony from the present excessive dearness of salt.
Jan. 28. The examination of the six captured Indians read. Ordered that if the Nanzattico Indians shall give satisfaction for the injuries done by them, the Indians shall be discharged; but if they refuse, the said Indians shall be sent down to James City. The Lieutenant-Governor requested to write to New York on the subject. Order that the rangers continue ranging, and that if any Indians in future bring any news of alarm they shall be detained in custody until it be ascertained whether the news be true or false. Resolved to beg the King, in view of the distance between the residences of Councillors, to appoint sufficient Councillors in one Neck to make a quorum. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 625–640.]
Jan. 28. 2,033. Minutes of Council of New York. Order for payment of fifty-six shillings for diet and lodging of a sick soldier of the garrison. A committee appointed to examine the repairs necessary for the Customs house. Order for Leisler's widow to be warned to provide herself with lodgings against May next. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., pp. 296, 297.]
Jan. 28. 2,034. The President and Council of Jamaica to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Lord Inchiquin died on the 10th inst. and we have assumed the government. On inspecting the fortifications we find that Fort Charles has thirty-eight guns mounted, eight of them unfit for service, the walls out of repair owing to the shortness of the guns and some of the carriages decayed. Fort James has twenty-six guns mounted, some of the carriages decayed, the walls and platforms out of repair. The many calibres of the guns in the two forts will prove inconvenient in time of service. Fort Rupert is in good order, though some repairs are necessary; twenty-two guns mounted. Fort Morgan has twenty-six guns mounted; five of the carriages decayed, but all else in good order. Fort Carlisle is in good condition; fourteen guns originally mounted, but three lately removed to Leeward. This fort has proved of less value than was expected. Fort Walker has eighteen guns mounted and is in good repair. The stores have been much diminished by furnishing the King's ships, and there is little powder and few small arms, most of which are useless. The fort at Point Morant is in a ruinous state. The Guernsey is gone to Havannah and the Swan to Porto Bello. The officers tell us that they want stores of all kinds, as well as careening and refitting. Lord Inchiquin turned the Leeward and North side regiments into independent companies; but owing to constant disputes as to seniority and the want of a superior officer we have formed them again into regiments. Every regiment has its post assigned in case of alarm. We intend to repair the forts at once and to build a new fort of eight guns to the sea. We beg that we may be furnished with ordnance and ammunition. The Secretary has taken over the records of probate of wills, etc., as it is inconvenient that duties of such trust should be separated from the office. We have issued commissions for privateers, for our seafaring men leave us and seek them elsewhere. To increase our numbers we beg that a free pardon may be granted to privateers abroad, to encourage them to return hither.
Notwithstanding your instructions as to freedom of debate, we found ourselves under such restraint that we could not act according to the King's expectations when his instructions require our advice and consent. Not a member has been suspended (we wish we could say as much of freedom of debate) but we are told by common fame and threatening speeches that several of our members are misrepresented to the King as misbehaving at the Council Board. We submit the expediency of issuing the following instruction on probation, viz., that no Councillor may be suspended or discharged except by the King's immediate order unless by advice of a full Council. We know of no other expedient which can make us free Councillors instead of flatterers. We beg too that if a Governor judge us unfit for the King's or his own service we may be discharged at once. It is better to endure that with patience than be put to the trouble of vindicating ourselves. Moreover, a suspended Councillor cannot enter the Assembly. The Jews eat us and our children out of all trade, the reasons for naturalising them not having been observed; for there has been no regard had to their settling and planting as the law intended and directed. We did not want them at Port Royal, a place populous and strong without them; and though told that the whole country lay open to them they have made Port Royal their Goshen, and will do nothing but trade. When the Assembly tries to tax them more heavily than Christians, who are subject to public duties from which they are exempt, they contrive to evade it by special favours. This is a great and growing evil, and had we not warning from other Colonies we should see our streets filled and the ships hither crowded with them. This means taking our children's bread and giving it to Jews. We believe that it could be avoided by giving a little more confidence to the Council. We beg that the Governor's residence may be fixed at St. Jago de la Vega, which is the most convenient place. Signed. John White, John Bourden, Pe. Beckford, Pe. Heywood, Sam. Bernard, John Towers, Nich. Lawes, Andr. Orgill, Fra. Blackmore. The construction of this letter is frequently so involved as to be wintelligible. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 53. pp. 29–36; and 77. pp. 123–126.]
[Jan.] 2,035. Account of the calling, proceedings and dissolution of the last Assembly of Jamaica. In June the Governor called an Assembly which considered the irregularities and illegal proceedings of the last Assembly of the Duke of Albemarle, the violence, the exorbitant fines and other matters already condemned by the Lords of Trade and Plantations. They then drew up a bill to declare the Assembly illegal and to void all their Acts. They also raised a bill for fitting out two sloops for the defence of the coast, and for compensating those who had suffered from the depredations of the French. They also brought in another bill, according to the Royal instructions, for raising £800 a year for solicitation of the Island's affairs in England, and another bill for an impost on exported negroes and provisions. This last never reached the Council, though Lord Inchiquin knew of it. The other bill did, and was read a first time, but Lord Inchiquin had often declared that he would never pass bills to vacate the Duke of Albemarle's Acts, or for soliciting the Island's affairs, because he was not named in it, and because, as he said, it was to solicit against him, from which we infer that if he had nominated them he would have chosen men to solicit against us. The Assembly having sat about seven weeks sent up a message to the Governor and Council reminding them of the bills before them, as they wished them hastened, having several more bills dependent thereon. Whereon Lord Inchiquin in some passion told the Council not to receive the message, as it was an affront to them. The Council not concurring, he immediately sent for the Assembly and dissolved them, which we believe from his speech that he had resolved on beforehand. He gives us his reason for the dissolution that the Assembly designed to leave the King without a revenue, and we presume that he repeated as much to your Lordships. It was a great mistake, for the voiding of the Acts of the Duke of Albemarle's Assembly would have revived the former Act granting revenue for twenty-one years, thirteen of which are unexpired, and a clause to this effect was actually added as an amendment to the Vacating Bill, only Lord Inchiquin would not let the Assembly sit to read it again. Moreover at the time of the dissolution the Assembly had passed a bill for revenue to their Majesties for their lives and the life of the survivor of them. It is true that the Duke's bill made the revenue perpetual, but then it appropriated fines and forfeitures to the use of the country, thus depriving their Majesties of the power to release their subjects from arbitrary and unjust fines, and encroaching on the prerogative of mercy. The reason for Lord Inchiquin's refusal to pass the bill for a tax on exported negroes is clear enough, for though we gave him £2,000 out of it, yet he had that much without us from the Spaniard. The truth is that most of the imported negroes and abundance of provisions, being exported by the Assiento and under their umbrage, the planters cannot carry on their plantations, however profitable the export trade, without three thousand negroes annually for their own sole use. Again the ships of war sent for our defence have been constantly employed in convoying the Assiento's ships, though in the meanwhile our coasts are exposed to the depredations of the French to the ruin of small settlers and poorer people. Lord Inchiquin speaks as though the country would discourage trade. Yet it is notorious that there never were so many merchants in the Council and Assembly. But they were not for the planters to be despised and subservient to the traders, nor for the idle to be made the receptacle for the general to seek wreck in (sic). Too much allowance has been made in this direction, which dispeoples the Island and may encourage the French to attack us. We have no doubt that the King will give orders that will encourage planting as well as trading; for last year planters and merchants alike subscribed £1,200 voluntarily to fit out sloops for the King's service. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 53. pp. 37–42; and 77. pp. 128–131.]
Jan. 28. 2,036. President and Council of Jamaica to Viscount Sydney. We have surveyed the fortifications, settled the militia, and granted commissions to privateers. The Secretary now officiates in the whole office, which under the late Governor was divided. We beg that a free pardon may be granted to those who have deserted from the Island. The remainder repeats the substance of the letter to the Lords of Trade. No. 2,034. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 77. pp. 127–128.]
Jan. 28. 2,037. Minutes of two meetings of the Council of War at Barbados. At a meeting held at Fontabelle, 25 November, 1691. Present, the Governor, Major-General Sir Timothy Thornhill and eight Colonels. The posts of the various regiments on an alarm were fixed, and orders given for patrolling the coast. The articles of war for the government of the Militia were approved. Copy of the articles, forty-two in all.
At a meeting of the same, 28 January, 1692. Additional articles were approved, including one compelling all men except the Council from fifteen years of age to serve. Copy. The whole. 12 pp. [America and West Indies. 456. No. 36; and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., pp. 249–268.]
Jan. 28.
2,038. Order of the King in Council. On the report of the Commissioners of Customs of 5 January. (see No. 1,981.) Ordered that the goods received for the four and a half per cent. duty be sent to England and sold as heretofore for defrayal of the expenses of the West Indian Islands or of the pay of Bolton's regiment and Colonel Hill's company of foot. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 44. pp. 9–10.]
Jan. 29. 2,039. Affidavit of Jacob Brittain and Robert Berry. That when Edward Davies and his confederates came on board H.M.S. Dumbarton they said nothing about the proclamation, but denied that they were pirates, though the negro, Peter Cloise, often said that they had been pirates for years. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 82.]
January. 2,040. An account received from Major Joseph Crisp of French ships at Martinique in the middle of December, 1691. Twelve ships in all, eight of from forty to sixty guns. Two French frigates sailed from the harbour on 7 January, 1692. ½ p. Endorsed. Recd. from Colonel Kendall 4 April, 1692. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 4. No. 74.]
Jan. 2,041. Petition of Thomas Offley and James Bucknall to Lord of Trade and Plantations. Begging them to recommend the granting of their patent according to the Solicitor-General's report, without excluding the inhabitants from preparing such quantities of pitch, tar, etc. as they require for their own use. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 2. No. 13.]
[Jan.] 2,042. Minutes of Lords of Trade and Plantations. That the Lord President represent to the King that under the arrangement proposed by the Admiralty for convoys to and from America, the coast will be left for a time without a guard; also that the Archangel is not in fit condition for convoy-duty. Rough draft with corrections. 1 p. Endorsed. Jan. 1691–2. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. No. 81.]