America and West Indies: July 1689, 11-20

Pages 82-100

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

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July 1689

July 11.
244. Order of the King in Council. Referring the petition of Ralph Lane to Lords of Trade and Plantations for report. Signed. Rich. Colinge. ½ p. Annexed,
244. I. Petition of Ralph Lane to the King. I have been detained in prison, in Barbados, for over twenty months, and still continue there among felons and slaves by order of Lieutenant-Governor Stede, who refuses me appeal to your Majesty or copies of the records of the Court of Justice. I beg that I may be allowed to appeal, that my case may be laid before you, and that I may have liberty to collect evidence in this Island and to prosecute my case in person.
244. II. State of the case of Ralph Lane. One large page. [America and West Indies 456, Nos. 11, 11. I. II., and (order only) Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VIII., p. 133.]
[July 11.] 245. Reasons offered, to prove that the imprisonment of Ralph Lane by Lieutenant Governor Stede was for no other cause than his appeal to the King. 1. Lane being a planter is not liable to arrest or imprisonment in any civil case. 2. In a criminal matter the Governor should have brought him to trial long ago. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 456. No. 12.]
[July 11.] 246. The illegal proceedings of Lieutenant Governor Stede against Ralph Lane. In denying his appeal to the King, prosecuting him for his petition to appeal, and in other points. Seven heads in all. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 456. No. 13.]
July 11. 247. Statement of the passage between Admiral Hewetson and the Rev. Mr. Bowerman. John Bowerman, in his prayer before sermon on board the Lion, used the words, "Compose their differences, remove their jealousies, and unite their hearts," for which he was cited before the Admiral and two captains, and reprehended. The chaplain pleaded that the words conformed to the Word of God, and that he knew of no reason why they should give offence; for which speech he was commanded before the mast; but went down to his study, where he locked the door, and with some tears condoled his own misfortunes. Captain Curtis, who was disbanded some three weeks before, knocked at the door, which being opened he said, "Mr. Bowerman, you shall never want. We'll set up for ourselves one of these days." The chaplain reported these words to the Admiral, and then ensued the passage as to praying for King James. At Tobago the Admiral received the news of King William's accession, but ordered the chaplain still to pray for King James, which he daily did, not daring to the contrary. On arrival at Barbados the chaplain again applied for instructions to the Admiral, but was again bidden to pray for King James; and when he preached ashore the Admiral said that he believed the Governor had precipitated himself, and that the prayer should still be for King James. Sworn before Edwyn Stede, 11 July, 1689. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 456. No. 14.]
July 11. 248. Copy of the foregoing. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 13 Aug., 1689. [America and West Indies. 456. No. 15.]
July 11.
249. Order of the King in Council. That the Duke of Schomberg provide certain powder and ammunition (specified) for the use of the Colony of Jamaica. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXII., p. 206].
July 11. 250. Order of the King in Council. Permitting Robert Ayleway to appoint a deputy as Auditor-General in Virginia. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 36. p.]
July 11. 251. William Blathwayt to Mr. Shales. Enquiring how soon the Duke of Bolton's regiment will be shipped for the West Indies. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. C., p. 63, and Vol. XLVII., p. 411.]
July 11. 252. Estimate of cost of powder and ammunition to be furnished to the Colony of Jamaica. Total £2,810. Signed. Cha. Middelton, T. Gardiner, Tho. Townsend. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 6. No. 9, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXII., pp. 208, 209.]
July 11.
Charles Fort,
St. Christopher.
253. The Governor and inhabitants of St. Christophers to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Begging the presentation of enclosed remonstrance to the King, and for intercession with him to send speedy succour, as the Island is in a deplorable condition. Signed by Tho. Hill and six others. ½ p.
253. I. Petition of the aforesaid to the King and Queen. The Irish have revolted and under the protection of the French have destroyed property to the value of £150,000. Signed as the letter. 11 July, 1689. Large sheet.
253. II. A short remonstrance of the sufferings of the poor people of St. Christophers. This is practically a repetition of No. 237 II. with the additional fact that the Irish have set up a red flag with four white balls and J.R. thereon, and threaten to kill all who will not declare themselves for King James. Signed and dated as the covering letter. 1½ pp. All three documents endorsed. Recd. 23 Aug. 1689. [America and West Indies. 550. Nos. 17, 17 I. II., and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., pp. 426, 427, pp. 431, 432, and pp. 438–40.]
July 13. 254. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Draft commission to Colonel Kendall read and approved. [Col. Entry Book, Vol. CIX., p. 237.]
July 14. 255. Council and Assembly of Antigua to Lords of Trade and Plantations. On the 4th inst. we received a letter recited in the enclosed resolution made by us, and a letter in French, with translation, from Count de Blenac to Sir Nathaniel Johnson. We have no time in these moments of danger for lingering debates, but we do not wish you to think us disunited or divided, and we respectfully refer you to our enclosed resolution. Sixteen signatures. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 16 Sept., 1689. Read 18th.
255. I. Minutes of a meeting of the Council and Assembly of Antigua, July 14, 1689. A letter from the Council and Assembly of Nevis of 27 June was read, to the following effect. We have received from the Governor of Saba the original of enclosed copy of a letter from Count de Blenac to Sir Nathaniel Johnson, which was taken in a French sloop. We deemed it of such high importance that we have sent Colonel Codrington to you with it. We think it absolutely necessary to set aside and secure Sir Nathaniel Johnson as Governor, and can think of no one fitter than Colonel Codrington to fill his place till the King send a successor. What measures you will take herein we leave to your management, only asking you to inform us at once if anything of moment should happen.
This letter with its enclosures being considered, as also Sir Nathaniel Johnson's justification of himself, the Council and Assembly think there is no sufficient ground for the censure of Nevis, being fully satisfied that the Governor never entertained so base a thought as the delivery of these Islands to Count de Blenac. His former conduct shows him incapable of such an act, and we think we have received as great satisfaction as is possible, that Sir Nathaniel Johnson's letter contained nothing to warrant such an answer as that of the Count de Blenac. We are satisfied also of the good affection of Dr. Bourgeois to the Protestant cause, who has given us an account of the Governor's letter to Count de Blenac. His Excellency having also voluntarily taken an oath of fidelity to the defence of these Islands we conceive that we have as little justice as authority to remove him from the Government, and refuse to join in the opinion and resolution of Nevis, from which we hope that it will be easily diverted. But considering the known worth and courage of Colonel Codrington we think it would be well if the Governor would voluntarily retire from the Government and commmit the charge of it to him. Fifteen signatures. 3½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 16 Sept., 1689.
255. II. Copy of a letter from Count de Blenac to Sir Nathaniel Johnson. I thank you for your letter expressing your satisfaction at what has passed here in the matter on which you wrote to me. Be sure of my good offices. Your letter shall be carried by the same hand as bears the letters of the King my master, and I shall beg that the answer may be brought back by the same channel. I beg that the letter may be in French or there can be no secrecy, for I must give your translation to people who keep no secrets. I have not seen Dr. Bourgeois, though I should be most happy to receive him. I have charged M. de Salnave to confide to you my opinions, and he assures me that he has secret ways and certain. You know that the King of England has gone to Ireland in French vessels and that we are going to open the ball with 400,000 men, a matter to terrify the generations to come. Besides this armament every steeple in France maintains a soldier for the King at its own expense, a foot-man or a light horseman according to the means of the parish. The State of France will tell you how many steeples there are, and you will judge of the number of men. The Militia is commanded by the most considerable gentlemen of the provinces. Those of my own county are commanded by my nephew, and people of the best quality command companies. I am waiting for a squadron from France to join our privateers. Some are already come, and all will be here in a fortnight. I know you will be interested in this news as it is the King your master who causes all this movement in France. The King my master, does me the favour to refer to me in everything, knowing my zeal for his service. I am as confident of your good intentions as of my own. Dated Fort Royal, Martinique, 23 May, 1689. French. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 16 Sept. 1689.
255. III. Translation of the preceding. 2 pp. Same endorsement.
255. IV. Another translation. Endorsed. Read at the Committee, 10 Aug., 1689.
255. V. Count de Blenac to [Sir Nathaniel Johnson ?] Martinique, 27 March, 1689. I am confident that Monsieur L'Intendant, to whom all the matters on which you have written to me have been referred, will give you every satisfaction, and you may rely on my good offices for all that depends on myself. Signed. Blenac. French. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. from the Council and Assembly of Antigua, 16 Sept., 1689.
255. VI. Deposition of Esay Bourgeois. That the Governor shewed him a commission impowering him to treat with French Commissioners in case of disputes, and said that he had appointed the Lieutenant-Governor and Council of St. Christophers to treat under it, being very anxious for the preservation of the Treaty of Neutrality; that on news of Count de Blenac's design against St. Eustatia, Sir Nathaniel asked deponent to go to discourse with the Count as to the Treaty of Neutrality and endeavour to discover his intentions; that Sir Nathaniel subsequently employed deponent to write a letter for him to the Count in French, some prejudice to an English subject having been caused by misinterpretation of a former letter of his, which letter, so far as he can remember it, consisted of thanks to the Count, a request to forward a packet to France, an expression of a desire to maintain friendly correspondence, and a recommendation of the deponent; that this letter together with another addressed to King James was given to deponent by the Governor, who subsequently gave him discretionary instructions as to his discourses with Count de Blenac; that he afterwards went to Martinique and delivered the letters to M. de Salnave for transmission to the Count. Sworn before Christopher Codrington, 15 July 1689. 4 pp. Endorsed as the preceding. [America and West Indies. 550. Nos. 18, 18 I–VI. and (without enclosures) Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43. pp. 155, 156.]
July 15.
256. Governor Sir Nathaniel Johnson to Lords of Trade and Plantations. In mine of 17th ult. I reported to you the danger of St. Christophers, and my measures to protect it, while the Attorney General's of the 27th gave you further information. About the 14th or 15th ult. a French shallop was taken by a Dutch privateer, and several letters were taken from her, among them a letter from Count de Blenac to me. The whole of the letters were sent to the Deputy-Governor of Nevis, except that addressed to me, which came not till some time after. The other letters were found to be of no importance, but Count de Blenac's was communicated by the Deputy-Governor to the Council of Assembly of Nevis, and was esteemed sufficient evidence to believe me guilty of a design to betray these Islands to the French. It had been but just for those gentlemen to have sent at once a copy of the letter to me, and the original to the Council and Assembly of this Island, and meanwhile to have suspended their judgment until they had heard my justification. But instead of this the letter was at once made public in Nevis, with all the comments to my disadvantage which malice could contrive, and a shallop was privately despatched to this Island with copies of the same, but not to me nor to the Council and Assembly, with the design, as I believe, to blacken my character here, as at Nevis, before I could defend myself; but the gentlemen here had too much honour to make unworthy use of the same. The Council and Assembly of Nevis then came to the resolution which will reach you with this packet (see No. 255 I.), and this without so much as acquainting me with their allegations against me or giving me an opportunity of answering the same, a treatment which I never used to them nor to the meanest person in this Government. It might have been considered whether this letter were not a contrivance to create jealousy and division, which would plainly be of advantage to the French, or whether it might not be a counterfeit, or whether the privateer which captured the letter might not have framed this instead, a suspicion which might have found foundation in the fact that it did not reach Nevis till along after the other letters. And whatever the objections to their conjectures, I am sure there were many more against the probability of so base a design in me, which with inconsiderate rashness they have believed and turned against the reputation of one who for some time was their Captain-General. I bless God, no action of mine could have prepared them for so dishonourable a thought of me as they have now founded on a few dubious expressions in the letter. I trust, therefore, that the representation of these gentlemen in this affair have no weight with you. On the 4th inst., the Council and Assembly of Antigua considered the letter addressed to them from Nevis, and having heard my justification dissented from the views therein expressed.
This I hope will be a satisfactory apology to you for my retiring from this Government. I promised you before that as an Englishman, a Protestant, a man of honour and a soldier, I could not desert this charge in such time of danger till I could find some fit person to whom to entrust it; and this promise I meant to keep. I shall ever pray for the Protestant religion and the welfare of England, and I shall never cease to think it my duty to defend the English interest at home and in the Colonies, under any form of Government, against foreign enemies. Such may be the disposition of Providence and such it is at present as to compel my conscience to ask for release from all public employment and for liberty to retreat to a poor but contented state of life. I design as speedily as possible to move to Carolina, where I have a small settlement, and to spend some time in the improvement of it for the support of myself and family. I design to commit the Government to Colonel Christopher Codrington, a gentleman of great estate here and in Barbados, much beloved by the inhabitants and suggested for the office by them. I hope that the people will be happy under his prudent conduct of affairs, and will enjoy unity among themselves. I aimed always at their safety and happiness, but, since I can no longer contribute thereto, God forbid that even for the greatest advantage to myself I should be the instrument for dividing them and thereby making them an easier conquest to the French. That would give too fatal a proof that the villainous design so unjustly charged against me was true. I trust therefore that any misfortunes that may happen to these Colonies by my departure will not be laid by you to my charge, but to theirs whose rashness and indiscretion forced me to retire.
I must now ask you to do me that justice which was denied me by the people of Nevis. I am charged with a design to betray these Islands to the French. I shall show how improbable it is that I should entertain such a design, and how slender is the foundation on which this calumny rests. There is a proverb Nemo repente fuit turpissimus, and I appeal to all who know me whether my past life has been such as to prepare me for such a wickedness as this. I know that my character sounds but ill from my own pen, but I must beg leave to say that I have never yet prostituted my honour and reputation, though I have not wanted as great temptations as any gentleman of my circumstances in England. Could I in some instances have been induced to break a promise to a prince or to betray the trust of private persons, I could have had such sums as would form a far greater reward than a Kingdom would be for perpetrating such a crime as I have been charged withal. I have also been unjustly taxed with being a Roman Catholic; and some might believe that the erroneous principles of that religion would have reconciled me to the evil design aforesaid. I have always owned myself a Protestant and never during the late indulgence went, as out of curiosity so many Protestants did, to hear Mass. Since I came here I do not remember that any Roman Catholic priest has been in my company above three or four times, and then always in public. I frequently received the Sacrament in England and here, and I have been a constant attender at public worship, and have taken the oaths and tests by which our disbelief in the Romish faith is declared. I do not know what more I can say to prove that I am a Protestant. If the contrary is to be believed on such slender grounds, no man once accused can ever be cleared. If the grant of this Government to me by King James prove me a Roman Catholic, there must be many other good Protestants in the same case; and if the liberties enjoyed by the Papists here conclude me to be of their number, there are many, whom you nowise suspect, who will be equally obnoxious to censure. I do not believe that such slight motives will have weight with you, but knowing that I have malicious enemies I will add this much more. If I be a Roman Catholic why did I not publicly profess it when it might have been to my interest and advantage? Under King Charles II. there might be good reason for such dissimulation in Papists in my office, but I know not what was to be gained under King James, unless a private be a better means than a public profession of it to encourage others by example thereto. I was promised this Government by King Charles, but after his death met with many demurs in obtaining it, and when I did obtain it lost many of the advantages enjoyed by my predecessor. Some of your Lordships may know that Sir Eneas Macpherson, who was lately coming to these parts as Deputy-Governor of Nevis, was designed for higher preferment. It is not likely, therefore, that I am a Roman Catholic or was believed to be such at Court. I will promise to prove that if I could have been prevailed with to change my religion I need not have come to the West Indies for employment. Whether, therefore, my religion or my principles be considered, I submit that it is highly improbable that I should have conceived of so dishonourable a design as that imputed to me, with no prospect of reward but ruin to myself and family.
The improbability again is heightened by the consideration that if I wished to effect such a thing, it was morally impossible for me to do so. Were I in a garrison and in command of mercenary soldiers the betrayal of it to the enemy would be easily done; but how I could deliver up four Islands unless they wished it, is not imaginable. In the perfecting of such a design a confederacy of great numbers must be assumed, but the most malicious of my enemies makes no allegation of that kind. There is no evidence against me that I can hear of except Blenac's letter, and it is not to be credited that the course of my actions would not have given other intimation, and I am sure it is not to be believed that I should have taken every step to obstruct my own design, as I have reported to you in describing my measures of defence. Again, on the 24th of May I wrote to you that I wished to retire, and this I wrote by the first possible opportunity, acquainting the Council and Assembly that I had done so, for I have always been plain and ingenous with them. I also took a voluntary oath faithfully to discharge my trust in maintaining these Islands against all enemies, and if any object that such an oath was only a blind, it would be hard for them to explain why I should have stuck at other oaths which would have served my purpose much better. The suspicions of me at Nevis gave me the best opportunity that I ever had to divide these Islands and weaken them for defence, but I bless God for that I have been far from so devilish a temper, and have done my best for them with all sincerity. Unless I be presumed a person of no honour, religion or integrity, a person who loves mischief for its own sake, and would do the greatest villainy for the desirable rewards of infamy and disgrace, a person, too, of so little sense as to attempt the impossible by means just contradictory to the supposed end, I cannot be thought capable of this design.
Now, as to the second branch of my defence. The only evidence founded against me in the letter and translation from Count de Blenac as to which my accusers ask— (1) What transaction will that have been at Martinique, to which I was stedfast, except the wicked design aforesaid? (2) What other occasion could I have had to write a letter to the Court of France? (3) Why should the Count ask me to write in French except to conceal something prejudicial to the English? (4) Why must the Count's sentiments be entrusted only to the sure and secret ways of conveyance? (5) How comes the Count to write me a full account of all the French plans? Now, whether the inferences drawn from the letter be rational or not is not concern of mine; for I am accountable only for my own actions, not for those of another man. My enemies cannot tax any action or writing of mine to import what they charge me withal, but I cannot hinder others from writing what they please, and if a man can be ruined thereby there is no security against the malice or mistakes of others. Whether the Count wrote to the effect of the enclosed copy I know not, for the gentlemen have not sent the original, but if he did and the construction thereof be as is by some apprehended, then he had no just ground given him by me. Such things have frequently occurred, sometimes by accident sometimes by design, and I think that it is far more probable that one of these two reasons is the true explanation of this letter than that I should entertain this wickedness. The letter of mine to which Count de Blenac's is an answer, far from being to the prejudice of these Islands, was designed for their benefit, which together with some further points. I shall now prove. Last February I wrote to Count de Blenac a letter in favour of one Clayton of St. Christophers, whose sloop had been seized by the French on suspicion of trading with them. The Count's answer (see No. 255 v.) sufficiently shows that I wrote no more to him. About the 10th of April I wrote him another letter by one Dr. Bourgeois, of St. Christophers, whom I employed to translate it into French. Its purport will be seen from his deposition (see No. 255 VI.). Dr. Bourgeois is a gentleman who was held a Protestant, and for the sake of his religion was naturalised an Englishman. You will see how good his reputation is, in the Council's letter, so that there is no ground for doubting the truth of the deposition. The first part of my letter returns him my thanks for liberating Clayton, as in common civility bound, and the last referred him to Dr. Bourgeois for the preservation of a good understanding between the two nations. Considering the hazard of St. Christophers in case of war I was anxious to secure, if possible, the conservation of the Treaty of Neutrality, for which negotiations, as you will remember, I had a special commission. When the Count was at St. Christophers, I again approached this matter, and chose the same emissary, directing him to obey the advice of the Lieutenant Governor and Council, thinking that he was well qualified by his knowledge of the French language and manners. Could I have done the Island better service than this?
What was further contained in my letter was a request to the Count to forward my letter to King James, I having heard that he was in France, the contents whereof expressed concern for His Majesty's misfortunes, the sense which I still retained of my duty and allegiance to him, my desire to hear from him and my hopes for his prosperity. Before God, there was no more in the letter than this. I shall only add that my letter to King James was written some weeks before I had received any account of the present alteration of the Government or any letter from his present Majesty. Now as to the five false inferences drawn from Count de Blenac's letter. You will see from the deposition that I thank him for the kindness shewn to Clayton; to which the prior part of his letter plainly refers, for he expresses his satisfaction that I am content with what he has done, and his readiness to oblige me in future, which is very different from the inference of my enemies, that I was steadfast to some grand design then in agitation between us. The second inference vanishes, though the gentlemen of Nevis had not patience to examine, for my letter to France was addressed to no Frenchman, but to one whom we all believed at that time to be our lawful sovereign; and the contents cannot rationally be supposed to refer to any correspondence between Count de Blenac and me. As to the fifth inference, my own intentions appear in my letter to the Count, and the Count explains his own reasons for imparting to me the affairs of France. The third and fourth inferences are more reasonable; but though I may communicate every letter of importance that I write to Count de Blenac to my Council, it does not follow that every young fellow in Martinique who speaks English should be made privy to the same. And though the Count does desire secrecy, it does not follow that there was any design between us; the most that can be concluded is that the Count had some design in his fancy which needed a secrecy, to which he believed that I might be ready to agree. I cannot tell if this be so or not, but I am sure that whatever his fancies and apprehensions, I cannot be held liable to censure for them. I defy my enemies to prove that I have done anything of that kind; and I point to the deposition to prove that I have done nothing, as far as a negative can be proved. And now what more can I say in vindication of myself, for if any man be accused without any probabilities, be can only answer that there are none, and when pretences are alleged he can but clear them? I confess that I am lucky in being so little master of French as to be obliged to employ another to write it for me, else I could not have given so satisfactory an account of myself. I may add that beyond the letters now produced I have had no correspondence with Count de Blenac, and you will see that nothing of any further correspondence, but rather the contrary, is to be gathered from them. I have no doubt that it will be represented that I have not taken the oath of allegiance as directed in your letter of 19 February; but none here were empowered to administer it to me. It cannot seem strange that doubts and scruples in this matter should occur to me in this remote part of the world, where I have not the advantage of discoursing with learned and knowing men to unriddle what I have hitherto apprehended to be the general voice of Church and State. I beg you not to cite anything to my prejudice after what I have said as to the obligations under which I conceive myself to be as an Englishman and a Protestant, and the fact that I have taken a voluntary oath. In a few days I shall sail for Carolina, where the least intimation from you shall command my attendance in England if necessary; and if you are satisfied of my innocence in this particular, I hope that you will intercede for the payment of the sum due to me from the Exchequer. Within a few weeks three years' salary will be due, which will fall far short of retrieving my losses in these parts, and without which my numerous family will be reduced to great hardships and straits. I beg your pardon for the length of this letter, and I hope you will believe that I wish with all sincerity the prosperity of the Protestant religion, and the honour of my native country. Signed. N. Johnson. 22 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 16 Sept., 1689. Read 18 Sept., '89. [America and West Indies. 550. No. 19, and Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43. pp. 119–147.]
July 15. 257. Archibald Hutcheson to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I enclose a duplicate of my former letter, so far as I remember it, and have no more to add. Signed. Arch. Hutcheson. ½ p. Endorsed. Recd. 16 Sept., 1686. [America and West Indies. 550. No. 20, and Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43. p. 148.]
July 15.
258. Order of the King in Council. That Thomas Daniell be admitted to appeal to the Governor in Council against the sentence passed in Jamaica against the ship St. Jago de la Victoria, with further liberty to appeal to the King in Council. The King's share of the ship and the ship itself are to be made over to Daniell. Draft with corrections. 1 p. [America and West Indies. Vol. 540. No. 11; and Col. Entry Bk. Vol. XXXII., p. 314.]
July 15. 259. Order of the King in Council. Referring the petition of the Royal African Company, as to the fraudulent Act of the Jamaica Assembly for fixing the value of pieces-of-eight at six shillings, to Lords of Trade and Plantations for examination and report. Signed. Rich. Colinge. ½ p. Attached,
I. The petition aforesaid; setting forth that the planters of Jamaica are indebted £90,000 to the African Company, and that the Act raising pieces-of-eight to six shillings will defraud them of one fifth of their debt. Copy. ½ p. Endorsed. Recd. 19 July, '89. Read 16 Oct., 1689. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 6. Nos. 10, 10-I., and Col. Entry Book, Vol. XXXII., p. 228 and p. 274.]
July 16. 260. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Riggs delivered letters from New England and New York and the declaration of the inhabitants of Boston. Agreed to lay them before the King, as well as Mr. Riggs's account of matters in writing. [Col. Entry Book, Vol. CIX., p. 238.]
July 16. 261. Narrative of the proceedings at Boston upon the inhabitants seizing the Government. On the 18th of April, 1689, about eight o'clock in the morning, Governor Sir Edmund Andros, hearing that some numbers of men were gathering together at Charlestown, sent for the sheriff, who assured him that the report was false. About two hours later Captain George, of one of the King's frigates, coming on shore was seized by the inhabitants. He asked their authority, and they shewed him a sword and said that was their authority. By the time this reached the Governor's ears there were at least a thousand people in arms, seizing and carrying to prison all whom they suspected to oppose or disapprove their designs. About noon they called a Council, made Bradstreet, formerly Governor, president, and then drew up a paper explaining why they took up arms. At the same time armed men encompassed the fort in great numbers, forcing the out-guards to retire. Hereupon the Governor, by the advice of such gentlemen as had retired to him in the fort, went out to ask the meaning of of their tumultuous arming and was presented with a paper by one of them, who said he was sent by the Council to demand and receive the fort, saying also that the Council desired to speak with the Governor for the appeasing of the people. The Governor replied that he knew of no Council, nor had any one power to convene one without his order, and so retired to the gentlemen in the fort, who advised him to go down to the town-house where the pretended Council was assembled. No sooner was he come than those with him were seized and sent away to prison, not being permitted to enter with the Governor, who demanded the reason of their meeting and of the tumultuous arming in the town. He was answered by one, that now was the time for them to look to themselves; that they must and would have the Government in their own hands, and that he was their prisoner. By this time there were at least five thousand men in arms in the town, most of them being drawn up by the fort, which they demanded. There were only two commission officers and the main guard, in all fourteen men, in it; and the mob threatened to storm it and put them to the sword if they did not surrender it. Their threats not prevailing they sent to the Council, who sent to the Governor (who was prisoner under a strong guard in Mr. Usher's house) to give orders for the surrender of it. The Governor replied that he marvelled at their assurance at asking by of him, since they had made him prisoner, and said he would sooner die than give any such order. Finding they could not prevail with him they took Mr. Randolph, and clapping a pistol to his head threatened to shoot him if he did not go with them to the fort and acquaint them in it that it was the Governor's wish and direction that they should deliver up the fort. This message Mr. Randolph was forced to deliver, when the garrison, considering that the Governor was prisoner and that they could not man a fifth part of the fort, agreed to surrender it on condition that they should have their liberty. The people then wanted the Castle, which stands about a league from the town, and having been refused surrender of the garrison forced Mr. Randolph to deliver the same false message from the Governor. But the Castle would not obey, suspecting the violence used to Mr. Randolph. The people then applied to the Governor again for his orders to surrender the Castle, and he gave them his former answer. They replied that they would have it, let it cost what it would, and that if he could not order its delivery they would expose him first to the shot that might come from it. Their threats not prevailing, they added that they would put all his adherents to the sword. Next day, considering that the Castle could not hold out for long, that no relief was to be expected from nearer than England, that most of the soldiers were distributed to Eastward in small garrisons, that the Captain of the man-of-war as well as the Governor was a prisoner, and that the people were very riotous and likely to execute their threats, several gentlemen went down as indifferent persons to the Castle and prevailed with the Commander to surrender it, which was accordingly done upon faithful promise of its liberty. But no sooner was the garrison come up the town than all were imprisoned and still continue so. The Governor with two others is a close prisoner in the fort, being denied the service of his own cook to dress his meat, nor suffered to speak to any one except before two witnesses. Mr. Dudley and Mr. Randolph are in the common gaol; the Judges, Attorney-General and some commissioned officers are prisoners in the Castle. 2½ pp. Annexed,
261. I. Declaration of the merchants, inhabitants and gentlemen of Boston. April 18, 1669. 1. More than ten years have passed since the discovery of the Popish plot, a matter in which New England of all countries could not be unconcerned. 2. To get us into reach of the desolation prepared for us, our charter was vacated, the accomplishment thereof being hastened by the undesired solicitations and slanderous accusations of a man who for his malice and falsehood is well known to us. The charter was proceeded against in hardly a pretence of law, and condemned before we had time to appear in our defence. Then a President and Council were set over us, without any liberty for an Assembly as in other Colonies, by a Commission from the King. 3. This Commission was illegal in form, but we made no resistance thereto, for we were assured of the King's kindly intentions, in hindrance of which measures were immediately taken to spoil our trade. 4. Then came Sir Edmund Andros with a still more arbitrary commission, and several companies of redcoats to enforce it. 5. Thus every trouble was taken to load preferment on men who were strangers to and haters of the government. We were squeezed by a crew of abject persons from New York, the tools of the adversary at our right hand, who extorted extravagant fees without any rule. 6. It was now plainly affirmed by some in open Council and others in private that the people of Now England were all slaves. People who objected to be rated without an Assemply have been heavily fined, and packed juries have been a common thing. 7. Conscientious men were not allowed to serve on juries because they desired to be sworn with an uplifted hand. 8. Then flaws were discovered in our titles to land contrary to past grants and to prescriptive rights; and the Governor caused the land of particular men to be measured out for grant to his favourites. 9. All the Council were not engaged in these transactions, but the Governor with five or six did all. Mr. Mather journeyed to England to obtain softening of this hard measure, and the King more than once or twice promised him a certain Magna Charta of redress, but it never came. 10. To add to this there is the burden of a Indian war, and a large number of our brethren are now under Popish commanders for the same. 11. In all this we did nothing, but cried only to our God. We have been quiet hitherto, but now that the Lord has prospered the undertaking of the Prince of Orange, we think we shall follow such an example. We therefore seize the vile persons who oppressed us. Printed sheet. 3¼ large pp.
261. II. Duplicate of the foregoing Manuscript.
261. III. Inhabitants of Boston to Governor Sir Edmund Andros. April 18, 1689. "Ourselves as well as many others the "inhabitants of this town and places adjacent, being "surprised with the people's sudden taking to arms, in the "prior motion whereof we were wholly ignorant," do now call upon you to surrender the Government and fortifications. We promise all security from violence to yourself, your officers, and your men; but if the people be opposed we are sure that they will take the fortifications by storm. Signed. William Stoughton, Thomas Danforth, Simon Bradstreet, John Richards, Elisha Cook, Isaac Addington, John Foster, Peter Serjeant, David Waterhouse, Adam Winthrop, John Nelson, Wait Winthrop, Samuel Shrimpton, William Brown, Barthol. Gidney. Printed broadsheet: black letter.
261. IV. Declaration of the Convention of Massachusetts. 24 May, 1689. Encouraged by divine Providence we resolve to venture our lives and estates for the reviving and maintaining of our rights and privileges. We, therefore, decide to settle a Government according to our ancient Patent, and appoint Simon Bradstreet Governor, and Thomas Danforth Deputy-Governor. Unanimously voted by the Representatives. Printed broadsheet in two columns. 1 p.
261. V. Answer of the Governor, Deputy-Governor, and Assistants to the above, accepting the Government. Signed. Simon Bradstreet, Tho. Danforth, Nat. Saltonstall, James Russel, Peter Tilton, Samuel Appleton, Robert Pike, John Richards, Elisha Cook, William Johnson, John Hathorn, Isaac Addington, John Smith. Broadsheet. Printed. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. Nos. 17, 17, I–IV., and Col. Entry Book., Vol. LXII., pp. 85–106.]
July 16.
262. Lieutenant Governor Stede to the Earl of Shrewsbury. Every thing remains as it was when I last wrote. The people are loyal and quiet; but a certain account of Their Majesties' good success would hearten us not a little. Two or three days since I received from the Governor of St. Christophers the unwelcome news of disturbances there. The bloody Papists and Irish assembled suddenly, and declaring themselves for King James, kill, burn, and destroy all that belongs to the Protestant interest. The Governor and the loyal people have been forced to retire to their fort for safety and leave their houses and works to the bloody popish Irish rebels. The French are not exactly at the head of the rebellion, but there are several French mulattos, mustees, and negroes with the Irish, and all of them receive help from the French. For those rebels will not stand a fight with the Protestants, but retire into French ground where the English do not like to follow them, for fear of beginning a war with France. When the English ask the French to deliver them up, the French answer that they only allow them to remain for protection in point of religion, as the English have heretofore received the French Protestants. There is, however, no parallel, for the French Protestants had never rebelled against their King nor done any harm to their fellow subjects, but these arguments have no weight with the French. This behaviour seems to me like a breach of peace on the part of the French. They force the English to keep within the fort instead of pursuing the Irish as they otherwise would do, lest when they sally out they should leave not men enough in the fort to defend it against the traitorous assaults of the French. The Governor having appealed to me for help, I ordered three hundred men to be raised here at once and to be sent to St. Christophers under command of Sir Timothy Thornhill, a very fit person for the service. If need be I shall send further reinforcements to save the Leeward Islands. If I knew at this moment that I might make war on the French I would undertake to reduce the whole of the French Islands to the King's obedience. I am well informed that at present they have no considerable force by land or sea and no store of provisions against a siege of their forts; but they are expecting supplies and men. In my last I gave you an account of the ships here under Captain Hewetson, who wears the union flag under pretence of a commission from the late King. But he cannot or will not produce the commission, and has anchored all this time out of range of the forts, though I have often ordered him to the contrary. This and the want of a naval force is the only reason why he has not been forced to strike the flag. At his first coming he behaved himself very civilly, and for this reason, and for the names of the noble and worthy persons whom he declared to be partners in his venture, I passed by many things which I should otherwise have taken notice of. But I cannot pass over his cruelty to his men at sea and his quarrels ashore, though I continued to do my part by encouraging the voyage and compelling the seaman to go on board, which they would not otherwise have done, by reason of his cruelty. I shall not trouble you with any account of his irregularities, but I assume that I have done my best for a venture in which, as Hewetson now tells me, you have a considerable interest. He told me first that King James and his Queen, the Duchesses of Ports-mouth and Massareene, Lord Rochester, Lord Falkland, and others were interested, but since then he alters the names to suit his purpose, and tells me that King William and yourself held shares. He was much astonished at his first coming to learn that we had lately proclaimed King William and Queen Mary, but after a time began to acknowledge their Majesties himself, though with great hypocrisy: for his chaplain being about to preach in a parish church on the second Sunday after his arrival, he forbade him to pray for King William and Queen Mary, but for King James and his Queen. The poor parson complied as far as he durst, for fear of being punished by me, and to avoid punishment on both sides prayed for the King and Queen only, without giving names. Being asked afterwards why he did so, he confessed his orders from Captain Hewetson, and added that on board ships, by the captains orders, he prayed still for King James. He goes home by this ship, and will give you a full account (see No. 247).
Another matter made Hewetson take offence at me. One of his ships blew up in the harbour, and seventy men on board her perished, every one. The people came to the scene in boats, and embezzled valuable goods, whereupon I issued a proclamation forbidding such proceedings, and ordering all their embezzled goods to be restored, and appointed a small committee to examine the matter. I thought that this was as much as I could do in favour to Captain Hewetson, but he complained that the offenders had not not been immediately chastised. But another matter was that he challenged an ancient gentleman of the Council for saying that he had told his chaplain to pray for King James, threatening that that if he did not fight him, he would cut off his nose next time he met him. To stop this I ordered him on board his ship and not to return ashore without my leave, which I should readily have given him on his promising not to pursue the General. But he has thought fit rather to remain on board, complaining bitterly of me on that account, and also because I would not allow one Curtis, one of his men, to be hurried on board ship until his grievous complaints against the Captain had been heard. He says that I have spoiled his voyage, and threatens me with the displeasure of the adventurers. Lately he told me that he had seen an Act declaring King William and Queen Mary to be sovereigns of England, and that he had communicated it to his men; which seemed to me strange, considering that he had been here for six weeks. I therefore called upon him to take the oaths, and added that I expected him to conform to the rule forbidding papists to bear any command within my government; for he had brought several papist officers and servants from Ireland. He refused, however, to come ashore and take the oaths or to let his officers come ashore to do so, adding words which reflected on the Council. Signed. Edwyn Stede. P.S. I must add that one of Hewetson's seamen, a lusty fellow of twenty-one, who had among others subscribed a petition to me, asking relief from Hewetson's cruelty, was tied up to the capstan bar and one of the officers ordered to whip him to death, Hewetson standing by with his broadsword drawn and threatening the executioner. After a time the poor fellow's body was all bloody and raw as a piece of beef, and the executioner, who had not escaped without three or four cuts in his head for not being severe enough, was allowed to let him go. However the victim was then confined to a place in the ship on one biscuit and water for every twenty-four hours, but being transferred to the ship that blew up, perished with her, being alive, though little more, at the time. 5pp. [America and West Indies. 456. No. 16, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VIII., pp. 119–132.]
July 17.
263. Lords of the Admiralty to Lords of Trade and Plantations. We have not yet received the King's pleasure as to the instructions to the West Indian squadron. We do not know if a particular number of ships is to be assigned to Jamaica or whether it is to be left to the Commander's discretion. We beg instructions. Signed. Tho. Lee, M. Chicheley, J. Lowther. ½p. Endorsed. Read 18 July, 1689. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 6. No. 11.]
[July 17.] 264. Commission of Colonel James Kendall to be Governor of Barbados. Powers are given to transport forces to other English Islands or to the attack of French Islands, also powers to suspend captains of the Royal Navy who are disobedient or negligent of orders. St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Dominica and the rest of the British Islands to windward of Guadeloupe are included in the Commission, and power to appoint deputy-governors to them is given, but not to appoint a deputy-governor in Barbados. Countersigned. Shrewsbury. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VIII., pp. 64–67.]
[July 19.] 265. Proposals of Colonel Kendall—1. Care should be taken to appoint the fittest persons at the head of the Council, as the senior member succeeds to the Government in case of the Governor's death or absence. 2. The Governor should be empowered to appoint a deputy. In the margin. Done. 3. Two hundred soldiers would be of great service at this time. In the margin. Nothing. 4. Forty whole culverins are needed and have been asked for. 5. Instructions are needed as to supply of ships in case of failure of supplies from England. In the margin. To be referred to the Admiralty. 6. The frigates appointed for Barbados should be good sailers in order to be able to beat back to their station if sent to Leeward. In the margin. To be referred to the Admiralty. 7. Freight and a passage for the Governor in a frigate is desired. In the margin. What former Governors have had. 8. The Governor's salary is usually paid in England out of the four and a half per cent. duty, which is sent here in produce. If paid in the same commodities in Barbados, with the allowance of ten per cent. which is usually made for exchange in time of peace, the King will avoid the risks of importation in time of war and will save the costs of freight and waste, while the Governor will be delivered from disappointment by any interruptions of the importation through accidents. In the margin. To be paid there without the ten per cent. 2¼ pp. Endorsed. Read 19 July, '89. [America and West Indies. 456. No. 17, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VIII., pp. 78, 79.]
[July.] 266. Colonel Kendall to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I think it would be well for the Governor's salary to be paid in produce in the Island for the following reasons: 1. It was always so paid in time of war to Francis, Lord Willoughby in 1665–1666, and to William Lord Willoughby in 1672–1673. 2. I take the Governor's entertainment to be about one fourth of the revenue. In time of war, freight is dear, risk is great, and the loss on sugar while waiting for convenience of shipping very considerable. 3. The produce of the island is worth much less on the spot in time of war than in time of peace. Muscovado in peace is worth 12s. 6d. a cwt., but in war not above 8s. 4. In time of peace, money in England is ten per cent. better worth than money in Barbados and must be much more in time of war. Thus if the King have £1,200 in Barbados it is his interest to pay it to the Governor there, for he cannot return it here without paying ten per cent. for exchange, which reduces the £1,200 to £1,080. If he chooses to pay the Governor in England, he plainly loses the amount of the exchange. It may be a disadvantage to the Governor to take the risk and expense of sending home his produce, but if it be assured that he spends his salary in the Island, the objection is removed. And though, if paid at the rate of nine shillings per cwt. of muscovado, that sum would not be worth so much in time of war as eight shillings paid in England, yet the Governor being saved the expense of keeping a solicitor to receive and remit his money, and the risks of interruption in time of war, would, I conceive, be better content to receive it in Barbados quarterly. Holograph. Undated. 2 pp. [America and West Indies. 456. No. 18.]
[July 19.] 267. Abstract of Colonel Kendall's proposal as to payment of his salary in Barbados. Draft. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 4. No. 9A.]
[July 19.] 268. A list of the Council of Barbados (see Sept. 19). The names of Richard Harwood and John Reid are struck out, with the words "a suspected papist," against them. 1 p. Endorsed. Read at Committee. July 19, 1689. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 4. No. 9.]
July 19. 269. William Blathwayt to the Commissioners of the Admiralty. Enclosing extract from Colonel Kendall's proposals as to his passage to Barbados (see No. 265). [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VIII., p. 147.]
July 19. 270. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Order for the Treasury to give information as to the travelling allowances of former Governors to Jamaica and Barbados. Names of the persons proposed as Governors for New York, Leeward Islands and Bermuda. Colonel Kendall's proposed Council for Barbados approved. Agreed that he try Sir T. Montgomerie and Mr Chamberlayne and examine into the petition of Ralph Lane. The law officers' report as to repeals in Virginia read. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CIX., pp 239–240.]
July 19. 271. List of persons proposed to the King for Governors. For New York, Colonel Slingsby or Colonel Sankey; for Leeward Islands, Colonel Sankey or Colonel Codrington; for Bermuda, Mr. Rowland Place to be Lieutenant-Governor. Draft. 1 p. Endorsed. 19 July, 1689. [America and West Indies. 601. No. 7.]
July 19. 272. Duplicate of the preceding. [Ibid. No. 8.]
July 19. 273. A further list including the above names, and some of those in the list of 3 July (see No. 224). [Ibid. No. 9.]
July 19. 274. Final list submitted to the King, including all the candidates named in previous lists. The following Governors were appointed: Lord Howard of Effingham to be Governor of Virginia; Colonel Molesworth (since dead) to be Governor of Jamaica; Colonel Kendall to be Governor of Barbados; Colonel Sankey to be Governor of the Leeward Islands; Colonel Hill Lieutenant-Governor of Nevis; Mr. Place Lieutenant-Governor of Bermuda. The names of Mr. Sloughter and Captain Nicholson were submitted for New York. 2 pp. [America and West Indies. 601. No. 10.]
July 19.
275. Lords of Trade and Plantations to Commissioners of Ordnance. Asking for information as to the readiness of the stores ordered to be sent to Jamaica, Bermuda and Newfoundland. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. C., pp. 59, 60.]
July 20. 276. Estimate of charge of guns, ammunition and stores to be sent to Bermuda. Total £564. Signed. Cha. Myddleton, T. Gardiner, Tho. Townsend. 2½ pp. [America and West Indies. 477. No. 12, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XVIII., pp. 223–225.]
July 20. 277. List of the same articles but without prices given. 2½ pp. [America and West Indies. 477. No. 13.]
July 20.
Office of
278. Commissioners of Ordnance to Lords of Trade and Plantations. We have received your orders for stores and arms for the Colonies. We beg that the Lords of the Treasury may be moved to supply us with the necessary funds, or that we may obtain indemnity in case of delay in such supply. Signed. Goodricke, Th. Gardiner, Ch. Myddelton, Tho. Townsend. In the margin. Estimate for guns, etc., for Bermuda £564 8s. 9d.; for materials, etc., for a fort at St. John's, Newfoundland, £3,300; for stores for Jamaica £2,810 6s. 9¼d.; for freight for the above £300. Total £6,374 15s. 6¼d. [America and West Indies. 601. No. 11, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. C., p. 61.]