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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A preliminary word must be said respecting the references to the original documents at the foot of each abstract in the present volume. The Colonial Records were originally distributed into two series, namely America and West Indies and Board of Trade. Up to the year 1688 these two were redistributed into two different series, denominated Colonial Papers and Colonial Entry Books. Owing, however, to the multitude of references in extant literature to the documents as originally classified, it has been thought best, from 1689 onward, to preserve the old division into Board of Trade and America and West Indies. Upon what principle that division was made it is impossible at this distance of time to say. Frequently a document and its duplicate will be found in different series, while subjects of precisely the same nature find a place now in the one and now in the other. There is abundant evidence of red-tape without the slightest indication of order or system; so it is probable that no principle whatever underlay the arrangement. Be that as it may, it is in the interest of students that this division is retained.
The Revolution of 1688.
The present volume is one of exceptional interest, showing as it does the reaction of the English Revolution of 1688 upon the Colonies, a subject which has never received the study that it deserves. Of the Revolution in England itself there appears little trace in the Colonial Records. The Prince of Orange on the 12th of January 1689 issues a Circular to all the Colonies to continue all officers in their places, though for what reason is not stated (8); and it is not until the 19th of February that the Council of Government orders the proclamation of King William and Queen Mary, and that the King repeats his former order (20–22). Meanwhile the Committee of Trade and Plantations had been nominated on the 16th; and it is interesting to observe in it the name of Thomas, Lord Fauconberg (17), the son-in-law of Cromwell, who had made himself acceptable already at the Courts of the Lord Protector, of King Charles II. and of King James II. Barbados seems to have been the Colony first reached by the Prince of Orange's letter, on the 7th of March (43); but it was by no means the first to move in the Revolution. There was a vast deal to be done in way of sending out Governors, arms and ships in view of a certain war with France (60, 69, 102), while the very routes of the despatch vessels required to be carefully thought out (76–81); but there was one community in particular which, whether the King fancied it or not, importuned for immediate attention.
That community, it need hardly be said, was New England. Before the King had even been proclaimed, there came a letter from a New England Agent at the Hague (11) setting forth that the late King, though cast in a trial at Westminster Hall, had taken away the Colonial Charters by stratagem; while a few days later (16) two prominent New Englanders, Increase Mather, the Congregational Minister, and Sir William Phips, of whom we shall see more, likewise represented that the Charter had been taken away by illegal and arbitrary proceedings and prayed that it should be restored. Both statements were untrue, for the Charter of Massachusetts had been vacated with perfect legality and for very good reasons, as the Committee of Trade and Plantations soon discovered; but none the less, the King was speedily advised to grant a new charter, to send a new Governor in place of Sir Edmund Andros, and meanwhile to despatch two Commissioners with orders that no money should be raised in New England by authority of the Governor and Council only (28, 37).
Good work of Sir Edmund Andros.
Meanwhile from the beginning of the year 1689 Boston had been full of rumours of the landing of the Prince of Orange; but the Governor. Sir Edmund Andros, was fully occupied in the reduction of the Indians, who had been stirred up to hostility by the French. Though no longer a young man, for he had been page to the Queen of Bohemia. Andros at the head of a handful of men pushed on through forest and swamp and snow upon the Indian fastnesses, and reduced the savages to such straits that, but for the despatch to them of a supply of arms and ammunition by certain merchants of Boston (152, 740) they would have been brought to abject submission. As it was they were severely punished; and Andros after establishing a line of garrisons to keep them in awe, returned to Boston in the third week of March. Few men had done such excellent work for the security of New England.
Revolution in Boston.
On the morning of the 18th of April Andros received reports of a riot in Charlestown, which the Sheriff assured him were false. About two hours later Captain George of H.M.S. Rose came ashore and was at once seized by the populace; and the mob then assembled in arms, drew up a revolutionary manifesto, and installed Simon Bradstreet, the last Governor under the late charter, as their president. Andros on hearing of the tumult retired to the fort, which was soon surrounded by armed men; and since he refused to give orders for it to be surrendered, Edward Randolph was bidden, with a pistol at his head, to inform the garrison that it was the Governor's order that they should deliver up the fort. Thus this stronghold passed into the hands of the revolutionists, while Andros and with him his principal officers were made prisoners. It appears that one of the most useful instruments in the hands of the revolutionists was the carpenter of H.M.S. Rose, who had joined them, apparently, for ambitious ends of his own (196, 261, 261 I–IV.).
Old Charter Government restored.
Thus the revolution was accomplished. A Committee of Safety was set up which took over the administration for the time being, and on the 24th of May the old Charter Government was formally reestablished (261v.). Rhode Island and New Plymouth had taken the same step on the first news of the rising in Boston (99, 183) and the example was speedily followed by Connecticut. A manifesto set forth the ostensible grounds of the revolution, and reports were assiduously spread that Andros had designed to bring in the French, to set fire to the town, and so forth; for a movement of this kind must necessarily feed upon lies; but Edward Randolph, with his usual malicious clearness of insight, discovered the true reasons of discontent in the restraint imposed by the Acts of Trade and Navigation on commerce, on privateering and on traffic with pirates (152). Indeed in 1689, as afterwards in 1775, the people of New England were by no means whole-hearted against English rule, and there was a fierce war of pamphlets over the proceedings (129, 133–135, 180) one of which documents, extremely moderate in tone, set forth with perfect truth that there was no occasion for any violence whatever (181). However the party of violence, having won an easy triumph, lost no time in reporting its great deeds to King William and in asking for restoration of the old charter (138, 182).
Removal of the frontier garrisons.
The mere overthrow of King James's Government in Boston would have been no great matter, had not the Revolutionary Government in its insane jealousy and fear of the small English garrison, proceeded next to cancel the whole of Andros's excellent military dispositions for the repression of the Indians. This was an act of folly so extreme that it is difficult to distinguish it from deliberate wickedness. It was easy to find mutinous and discontented soldiers, who would bring forward accusations sufficient as a pretext for the imprisonment of their officers; and a specimen of such charges will be found in Nos. 207, 208, which is incidentally curious as showing the antiquity of "tying up by the thumbs," and "picketting," as military punishments. The most formidable garrison was at Pemaquid, where the regular officers were arbitrarily removed and imprisoned by the Revolutionary Government; though the people of the settlement doubting their own power to defend themselves against the Indians, insisted on keeping one Lieutenant Weems with them (286 I., 316). The results of this suicidal policy were soon felt. The Indians swept down upon the defenceless frontier with fire and sword during July and August, and the whole of Andros's posts, together with many settlements, were destroyed, and the inhabitants slaughtered or carried away into captivity (242, 285, 306, 310, 316, 336, 407).
Helplessness of the Provisional Government.
Amid all this scene of desolation the Revolutionary Government remained paralysed. It was in fact powerless. The ostensible rulers, to their credit, tried to lighten the confinement of one of their prisoners, Joseph Dudley, but were fain to ask him not to show himself for fear of the mob (286 II.–IX., 310). "Every man is a Governor," wrote one correspondent from Boston (311). Andros learning with distress of the danger not of Massachusetts only, but of adjacent provinces, contrived to escape and on the 3rd of August reached Rhode Island, but was promptly delivered up and brought back to Boston (407) where he, together with Randolph and another, was abominably treated (522). The mob in fact was King, and the whole country was demoralised. Meanwhile news of what was going forward had reached England, and on the 30th of July (309) the King wrote orders to Massachusetts for Andros and his fellow prisoners to be sent home forthwith. Another letter a fortnight later directed that the Captain of H.M.S. Rose should also be released and the ship sent to sea, the two messages being made more palatable by the confirmation of the Revolutionary Government for the time being (332, 340). This last document the Government at once published, with a feigned title and seal according to Randolph's account, and proceeded under its authority to levy large sums of money. Funds were certainly wanted in view of the danger from invasion of French and Indians; and not the less, for that some of the inhabitants had declined to pay taxes (485, 709), while there were ominous signs of general discontent (741, 743).
Having detained their prisoners for several weeks after the receipt of the order to send them to England, the leaders at Boston at last shipped them off, despatching however also instructions to their Agents to press for restoration of their original charter (739). In April 1690 the Agents brought forward the charges, under colour of which they had imprisoned Andros and his colleagues. Serious and even vile as these charges were, the Agents dared not as much as put their names to them, for, though they had been at pains to suborn evidence in support of the worst of them (338), they knew them one and all to be false. Andros and the rest drew up their defence, but since the charges were unsupported the Committee of Trade and Plantations dismissed them without further ado (828, 844, 846). Though Boston was a city of Saints, and one of Andros's accusers, Mather, was a minister of the Gospel, it seems that not one of them had ever heard of the ninth commandment. Andros then drew up his own account, in very temperate language, of the Revolution in general (901) and of the cancelling of his military dispositions in particular (912), to which latter the Agents returned an answer (913), which in the light of other documents in the present volume, can only be described as a tissue of misrepresentations.
Naval expedition against Quebec.
Meanwhile, in face of the active hostility both of French and Indians, the position in Massachusetts had become so serious that the Provisional Government determined upon an attack upon Quebec, so as to cut off the fountain of trouble at the head. The expedition, made up of seven armed vessels and a total force of about seven hundred men, under command of Sir William Phips, sailed first against Port Royal in Acadia in April 1690, which fell an easy prey. A journal of the expedition (914), with the entries, "We cut down the cross, rifled the church, pulled down the altar and broke their images. Kept gathering plunder all day," sufficiently indicates the spirit in which the operations were conducted. The expedition then returned to Boston, and a plan was arranged with other of the Northern Colonies for an advance upon Quebec with some 2,000 men by land, while Sir William Phips with about the same number sailed against it by sea. Accordingly in August Phips started with thirty-two ships for the St. Lawrence, and after groping his way with great difficulty up the river, sent a summons, carefully drawn up by the four Congregational ministers with the army, to the French commandant to surrender. This having been rejected with huge contempt, a part of the force was disembarked, while the ships opened a furious fire upon the rocks. Finally after a short skirmish and a few nights ashore, orders were given for reembarkation; whereupon there appears to have been a panic-stricken rush to the ships, in the course of which five fieldguns were left behind. The losses in killed and wounded were slight, but over 400 men died from bad food and bad accommodation, and about five hundred more were lost in vessels which never returned. Bad management had as much to do with the disaster as bad luck; but young Mr. Mather, we are told, accounted for everything by the fact that a little chapel of the Church of England was still permitted to stand in Boston. Sir William Phips's own account of the affair (1417) is very ludicrous to read in conjunction with the other stories from both sides (1282, 1313, 1314, 1239). The expedition by land, for reasons to be presently explained, was unable to advance further than Lake George.
The New Charter.
Complaints against the usurpers at Boston meanwhile became more violent (883, 884, 899), but the Provisional Government was more helpless than ever. Fruitless negotiations were opened with the Indians (1472), but little attempt was made to defend the country. Large sums were levied by taxation, but no one could tell what became of the money. The truth was that the dominant faction was staking all on the recovery of their former charter, and could find no energy to spare for any other object. In January 1691 the Agents brought forward their first propositions for the New Charter, which was practically for the Old Charter, with increased territory and increased powers (1276). But the Committee of Trade and Plantations was not unmindful of the lessons of past years, and the Agents were obliged to give way on point after point, until finally it was agreed that both Governor and Deputy Governor should be appointed by the Crown, and the Council elected by the Lower House subject to the Governor's approval (1574, 1606, 1631, 1650, 1669, 1670, 1806). The Charter was finally passed on the 7th of October, the Council was nominated according to the suggestion of the Agents, and Sir William Phips was appointed to be the first Governor under the New Charter (1772, 1806). The Agents tried hard to annex Nova Scotia, New Hampshire and Maine, and succeeded in obtaining New Plymouth and Maine. But New Hampshire was claimed by a former grantee, Samuel Allen, and with success. Sir William Phips also endeavoured to obtain liberty of coinage (1893) and with singular audacity put himself forward, in the face of his egregious failure before Quebec, as the leader of a new expedition against Canada (1600, 1601). He succeeded so far that he obtained a commission at least as commander-in-chief of all the forces in the New England provinces (1916). The results of this commission will be seen in the next volume.
Sir William Phips assumes the Government.
During the same summer of 1691 a small party of adventurers from Boston had gone to Port Royal for their own purposes and had one and all been captured by the French (1857, 1875). What their intentions may have been is a little obscure, but they were not regarded by their enemies as honourable; and it is significant that in the account of this raid there comes out evidence, apparently true, that Boston merchants had been supplying the Indians with food and ammunition ever since the war began. It may therefore be judged that the news of the alteration of the Charter, though a bitter disappointment to the dominant faction, was not unwelcome to many good men, though the appointment of Sir William Phips was not reassuring to those who desired peace and quiet. He arrived at Boston in May 1692, but was unable to get his commission read before the Sabbath was upon him, and obliged him to put off the further reading until Monday, lest he should infringe the Lord's day (2283). His first business was eminently of a spiritual kind, namely an outbreak of witchcraft, which he left to a Court of Law for a time, until the accusation of several ministers and other prominent persons of the congregation warned him to take it into his own hands (2283, 2551). We catch a glimpse of the man in a different light, however, in his favourable reception of a revolutionist of New York (2548), in his quarrel with the New York Government over the Island of Martha's Vineyard (2580), and in a wrangle with John Usher, late a fellow prisoner of Sir Edmund Andros but now Deputy Governor of New Hampshire (2563, 2569, 2586), all of which incidents will be seen in the next volume to lead to important results.
At this point therefore we leave New England, there being nothing further to concern us in Rhode Island and Connecticut except a bitter complaint against the dominant faction in the latter Colony (2477). The story of the Revolution, though from the nature of the case unclean, is highly instructive, and throws a vivid light on the subsequent revolution of 1774, at which time an account of it, not including many of the facts herein set forth, was published for the popular guidance. Indeed if Phips had succeeded in his expedition against Quebec I have little doubt that New England would have stood out for its old charters or for independence, for the people were not afraid to say that the Crown had nothing to do with them (336).
New York. The Revolution
Passing next to New York we find that the violent action at Boston produced even worse results than in New England itself. The contagion of riot shewed itself first among certain disorderly spirits in Long Island, who marched against the fort at New York with the ostensible object of securing it for the King. The Deputy-Governor and Council took what measures they could, but the rioters were speedily joined by the train-bands of the city; and the whole mob of armed men, under the command of a Walloon named Jacob Leisler, seized the fort on the 31st of May, and took the Government into their own hands on behalf of King William and Queen Mary. The Council thereupon gave up the game and sent the Lieutenant-Governor home with all speed to beg for assistance (104, 121, 122, 159–163, 171–175, 187, 241).
Leisler usurps the Government.
The rioters, for it is ridiculous to dignify such a rabble with the name of revolutionists, thereupon issued a manifesto of their intention to guard the Protestant religion (which was not threatened), appointed a Committee of Safety (217, 352) with Leisler at its head, and proclaimed King William and Queen Mary. Herein they were abetted by the Colony of Connecticut, represented by two pious gentlemen who allowed themselves to be deceived by manifest lies against the Lieutenant-Governor and Council (190, 205, 211, 217). They then reported to England the mischief that they had done as though it were a very eminent service (221) and therewith entered upon a reign of plunder, violence and terror, which was destined to last for two whole years. Of course, one of the first things to be done was to collect false affidavits against the powers that had been; and there was no difficulty in making the supply answer to the demand (190, 281, 289, 416). But when it came to administration, apart from plunder and violence, the ignorance and folly of Leisler and his followers soon brought them into difficulties. In truth Leisler himself seems to have been a tool, while the really moving spirit in the anarchy was one Jacob Milborne. Unfortunately one of the officials had been foolish enough to give them possession of the public money (332), which enabled the Committee of Safety to carry on business for a time with comparative ease, while the hope of speedy aid from England determined even those who suffered most to await their deliverance in patience.
Leisler's position strengthened.
Unfortunately though the Lieutenant-Governor, Nicholson, had lost no time in reporting the state of affairs at Whitehall, the authorities had given him orders as to assumption of the government which, in his absence from the Colony, were of little value (307). The King's letter was taken from the messenger by Leisler, who construed it as confirming his provisional rule, proclaimed the King and Queen anew, and assumed to himself the titles of Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-Chief (630, 637). He had already been cunning enough to send home an emissary, Joost Stoll, to give his version of affairs to Whitehall (567, 568); and he now supplemented this by further lying letters addressed to Bishop Burnet, whom for some reason he selected as the recipient of his wild and illiterate dispatches (690). Thus, to the consternation of the party of order, this gang of ruffians was more firmly installed than ever in authority over the province. "Never was such a pack of ignorant, scandalous, malicious, false, impudent, impertinent rascals herded together out of hell," is the comment of one indignant citizen (720).
Difficulties with the Indians.
The invasion of the Indians and French made the situation terribly serious. Albany, the chief stronghold on the frontier, had refused to accept the rule of Leisler, Robert Livingstone and other good men who were there being anxious only to keep external enemies at bay. The destruction already wrought on the borders of New England had induced Connecticut to send troops for the garrison of Albany; but Leisler, furious that his authority should have been rejected by the centre of the Indian trade, at the beginning of 1691 sent emissaries to Connecticut urging them to withdraw their men. The Government of Connecticut refusing to ally themselves with him, Leisler sent them an insolent message declaring them to be abettors of rebels, and actually despatched armed men under Milborne to Albany to reduce it to his obedience by force (2760, 2763, 776, 780). In this dilemma Livingstone wrote urgently to Massachusetts, saying that he was ready for the sake of peace to make over Albany to Leisler's troops, but entreating that some check should be placed on his violence or that all would be lost. He further suggested, evidently as much to unite the jarring factions as to injure the French, an attack upon Quebec (2764, 2766).
Mischief wrought by Leisler.
Meanwhile the mischief wrought by Leisler's interference soon bore fruit. By the carelessness of his partisans the gates of Senectady were left open, and the place was taken and destroyed by the French and Indians with frightful slaughter (783, 796, 807, 836). Leisler on his side complained bitterly of the slackness of New England in furnishing troops, and of other obstructions (805), but it is evident that his ignorance, folly and brutality constituted far the most formidable difficulty with which the Colonists had to cope. His commissioners quarrelled with every one, British soldiers, Colonial troops and Indians alike (836, 875). In May however the provinces of New England and New York contrived to agree as to the contingents that should be furnished for the joint expedition against Quebec (865) and the old alliance with the Five Nations against France was renewed (869). There was, however, great difficulty both in New York and Boston in obtaining men and provisions, which were only gathered at last by the most arbitrary methods (886); while Leisler's obstinacy in insisting that Milborne should command the forces by land threatened ruin to the whole project (878). Fortunately the New England provinces stood out for the appointment of Colonel Winthrop, who accordingly assumed the command (929). In July he moved up to Albany and thence made his way slowly inland to Lake George, where the whole expedition came to an end owing to want of transport. Winthrop returning to Albany was met there by Leisler, who with his usual violence imprisoned him; whereupon the Indians promptly released Winthrop, and gave Leisler so broad a hint that they had scalping knives ready for his own head that he abstained from further outrage and returned to New York (1282, 1127). So ended the land-expedition to Quebec, even more disastrously than Phips's attack by sea.
Revolution ended by Governor Sloughter
Meanwhile, after a full year's delay, the authorities at Whitehall were at last about to put New York out of her misery. Colonel Henry Sloughter had been appointed Governor, and a small body of troops had been collected to sail with him, so at length in December 1690 he put to sea, with orders to go to Bermuda on the way. There he arrived on the 11th of January, but was detained by damage to his ships for several weeks before he could proceed on his voyage, though urgent letters reached him from New York to hasten his arrival (1484 I.–III.). The troops under Major Ingoldsby reached New York by the end of January, but Leisler denied them admission to the fort, and actually opened fire upon them in the town. At length after a long passage Governor Sloughter arrived on the 19th of March, 1691, and Leisler after refusing three summonses to surrender, consented at last to send out his chief advisers De la Noy and Milborne to negotiate. They were at once seized, and Leisler having no brains of his own, and seeing that Sloughter was about to attack, surrendered the fort on the following day (1347, 1348, 1373, 1387, 1463–1465). The ringleaders were tried, and Leisler and Milborne were executed; but the memory of the sufferings which they had endured at the hands of these two ruffians so strongly embittered the feelings of those who had resisted them, that it was long before the resentment between the two factions died out. (2460). Nothing indeed is more surprising than the craven readiness with which the people of New York bent themselves to the yoke of so paltry a tyranny.
Expedition against the French.
Sloughter's first business was to endeavour to unite the Colonies for resistance to the French, and to conciliate the Five Nations. The former was a hopeless task, his appeals being invariably answered in a selfish spirit, as shewn by the answer of Rhode Island (1457). The Indians, though greatly indignant that the Southern as well as the Northern Colonies did not throw in their lot against the common enemy, renewed their protestations of friendship and promised to furnish warriors for the field (1531, 1532, 1552–1555, 1562). This having been done in May and June, Sloughter anticipated a French invasion by sending an expedition under Major Pieter Schuyler against the French posts at Chambly, which accomplished its work, as Schuyler's journal shows, with great success (1684). Sloughter then sent a second circular to the neighbouring Colonies to invite their assistance (1638), to which with the exception of Virginia (which sent £100) one and all returned an answer of excuse (1593, 1647, 1673, 1681, 1708). It was the old story. The provinces were too much engrossed with their own affairs and jealousies to work together for the common weal.
Death of Sloughter. Apathy of the Colonies.
Before these answers could be received Governor Sloughter died suddenly on the 23rd of July; and the Council of New York, despairing of obtaining help from its neighbours, wrote home to urge annexation of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and the Jerseys, so as to enable the unhappy province to bear more easily the burden of defence of the frontier (1671, 1691, 1987, 1988). Before the winter of 1691 was well come, there came news of a great disaster to a party of Maqua Indians, which had been cut to pieces by the French—a serious loss in itself, and the more serious for the discouragement which it gave to the Indians generally (1968). Again it was necessary to call them together and confirm them in their wavering allegiance, which was the more difficult since their reproaches against the apathy of the Southern Colonies were unanswerable (2242, 2243, 2257); and the appeals to England for the King to order all the provinces to contribute to the general defence became more urgent (2247, 2256, 2285). Finally in August 1692, a new Governor, Benjamin Fletcher, arrived in New York, to find the whole province in poverty, confusion and despair (2459, 2460).
Arrival of Governor Fletcher.
His work for the Colony falls without the scope of the present volume, but it is noteworthy that he was entrusted with powers to command the militia of New Jersey, and to assume the Government also of Pennsylvania (2296). This latter function brought upon him a natural protest from William Penn, whose indignation was extreme (2667, 2668). But the matter is one which finds its inception only in the present volume.
Turning next to the Southern Colonies, we find that Maryland, the property of a Roman Catholic peer, was naturally that which was most strongly agitated by the Protestant Revolution. Late in the previous year there had been signs of trouble, but these had disappeared, and an Act had actually been passed for an annual day of thanksgiving for ever for the birth of the Prince of Wales, or as we now call him, the Old Pretender (9). As early as March, however, rumours of the Revolution were rife, and in March certain unscrupulous men tried, not wholly without success, to set the whole province in uproar by a false report that the Papists had betrayed the whole country to the Indians (56). The disturbances were quickly put down without serious difficulty (64), but in July the Protestants issued a manifesto to justify their appearance in arms (290), the leading Roman Catholics fled to Virginia, and a revolutionary Government was established under the leadership of John Coode, an old enemy to the proprietor. Addresses from Protestants to the King soon began to pour in, and the murder of the King's Collector by one of the party obnoxious to Coode made an excuse for a great demonstration against Lord Baltimore's adherents (405, 406, 566, 644, 707, 785, 787). Nothing very serious came of it however, and the Royal answer to the addresses, dated 1 February, 1690 (752) was of a soothing and conciliatory nature, ordering due respect to be paid to the rights of the proprietor.
This was not at all to the taste of the Revolutionary Committee, which, by the arbitrary violence usual in such bodies, had already made enemies of a part of the population (975, 1204) and seems to have interested itself chiefly in the collection of Lord Baltimore's revenues. Accordingly Coode and another were sent to England to bring the usual charges against Lord Baltimore and his adherents (986, 1206). These the Committee of Trade and Plantations decided to refer to a new Governor, Lionel Copley, who was sent out to the province as the first representative of the Sovereign in Maryland. The Committee also, with a precision which must have seemed cruel to Coode and his fellow-revolutionists, demanded of them an account of the revenue which they had received (1278).
The course of the wrangle between Lord Baltimore and the Assembly of Maryland may be traced in the index; nor is there more worth noticing in the present volume than the fact that Governor Copley became early embroiled in a quarrel with the Secretary, who like him had been appointed by the Crown, and still more with Edward Randolph who, now as ever, was indefatigable in enforcing the Acts of Trade and Navigation, hitherto much neglected in Maryland (2295, 2370, 2706). The course of these disputes however is but begun in the present volume, not coming to a head until 1693. Here then we leave Maryland, for the first time under a Royal Governor.
VIRGINIA Peace maintained
In Virginia as in Maryland there was an effort to create disturbance by rumours of a Papist plot against the Protestants, but the wise measures of the Council checked the attempt, and the arrival of the orders to proclaim King William and Queen Mary speedily restored order and quiet (92, 93). Lord Howard of Effingham was on his way home at the time, where that turbulent spirit Philip Ludwell was lying in wait with an armful of accusations against him, which required to be duly rebutted (447, 490). There was at first some idea of sending Lord Howard back to his former post, but it was ultimately decided to transfer Francis Nicholson from New York to Virginia, where he arrived on the 16th of May 1690.
Founding of a College.
Under his wise and tactful direction Virginia seems to have lived in great peace, and to have devoted itself chiefly to the establishment of a College on York River, which in consideration of the Royal bounty was named King William's and Queen Mary's College. Full particulars as to this institution may be gathered from the index, under the head of Virginia. Beyond this, a dispute with the incorrigible Philip Ludwell, who had been appointed Lord Culpeper's agent for the property of Northern Neck, and also Governor of North Carolina, seems to have been one of Nicholson's principal distractions (1023); though the invasion of the French and Indians was in all provinces the haunting danger. A curious journal of the journey of a messenger from Virginia to Boston on this business of invasion will be found at No. 1164 VII., which throws a curious light on the methods of the Boston Government. With the appointment of Sir Edmund Andros to the Government of Virginia, and his arrival at Jamestown the interest in the province comes, in the present volume, to an end.
In Carolina the few documents before us deal almost exclusively with the insurrection of the people against the rule of Governor Seth Sothell in 1688, whom the Proprictors, after appointing Philip Ludwell to enquire into the matter, summoned home to answer the charges against him (611, 1488, 1496). Ludwell was then appointed Governor and Commander in Chief of Carolina (1885, 1888), and after his appointment there is little interest in the documents in the present volume. The province seems to have been little moved by the Revolution, for King William and Queen Mary were at once proclaimed on the order of the Proprietors; though it is noteworthy that the chief of these Proprietors was Lord Craven, Colonel of the Coldstream Guards, who had offered to King James to defend Whitehall even while the Dutch battalions were moving down upon St. James's Park.
From the Continent I turn to the Islands, of which the Bahamas may be dismissed with the simple notice that a new Governor, Cadwallader Jones, was appointed by the Proprietors, with instructions to rule by a Council and Assembly (554, 555).
In Bermuda the earlier documents are concerned chiefly with the defencelessness of the Islands and the wrangles of the Governor, Sir Robert Robinson, with the Chief Justice, Henry Hordesnell, who had served under King William in the Low Countries (68), and with his Council (30, 32, 114, 471). The new Sovereigns, however, were proclaimed apparently amid little excitement; and stores and munitions were obtained from a passing ship (472), which sufficed for defence until the arrival of stores from the Tower (999). The quarrels with the Council, however, continued unceasingly, as was the rule in Bermuda (794, 945), until in January 1691 a new Governor, Isaac Richier, arrived in the same ship with Governor Sloughter, to relieve Robinson (1484). Richier's report on the Islands was much the same as that of all his predecessors (1484, 1485), and it is hardly necessary to add that in a few months he was quarrelling with his Council and Assembly as heartily as any of them (1843). Then followed the usual list of accusations of oppression against Richier, with such specific charges of disloyalty, that the Committee of Trade and Plantations at the close of 1692, judged it necessary to look to the security of Bermuda (2636, 2700, 2701). At this point the meagre history of Bermuda from 1689 to 1692 comes to a close.
BARBADOS. Efforts of the Catholics.
Turning now to windward we find Barbados agitated very early in 1689 by the arrival of a French fleet at Martinique, and by the discovery that two prominent persons, Sir Thomas Montgomerie and Mr. Willoughby Chamberlayne, were in treasonable correspondence with the French Governor and with certain priests in that Island. The two were at once arrested and, though there are a vast number of documents concerned with them, they may be dismissed as two foolish men, who were unlucky enough to embrace Papistry, for their own ends, precisely at the moment when, had they been Papists, they should have turned Protestant. However they served one useful purpose, by enabling Licutenant-Governor Stede to shew immense zeal for King William and Queen Mary, and thus to cancel the effect of his previous effusive protestations of loyalty to King James (3, 14, 15, 26, 33, 34, 35, 155, 157).
Proclamation of King William and Queen Mary.
The Prince of Orange's letter was received on the 7th of March and at once answered in a becoming spirit (43, 47). King William and Queen Mary were duly proclaimed, and loyal addresses were duly forwarded (103, 141). The clergy alone refused their acquiescence and stood aside as non-jurors, so that for two or three Sundays there was neither service nor sermon, until Stede "with fitting admonitions and other proper and gentle means" prevailed upon them to lay aside their mistaken sentiments (155). Stede, who understood the art of self-advertisement, was careful to send him an account of the festivities at the proclamation—how the regiments of horse and foot "were generously dined, with brave stalled oxen, delicate young hogs and sheep, with plenty of the best Madeira wine," not very wholesome fare in latitude 170 North, in the month of May. But Stede knew his duties as a Governor and the ruling passion of the ladies in the West Indies, so did not end the day without a ball in the evening, "excellently well danced," and a "sumptuous banquet," which is a very important part of a ball, "with the rarest wines and other pleasant liquors fit for ladies and such occasions." "The noble stately and nowise ordinary sort of proclaiming their Majesties would have a little surprised you, had you been there." . . . ."A good place was reserved for the clergy, but only one came." Infatuated men!
Help sent to Leeward Islands.
But Stede shewed himself an efficient Governor in other ways than festivities, for on receiving an appeal from the Leeward Islands for help against the French, he sent at once three hundred men under Sir Timothy Thornhill, whose fortunes shall presently be traced. Indeed the story of Barbados is so much bound up with that of the operations to Leeward that it will be better to state the two or three points of direct interest in the Island and pass at once to the scene of fighting.
Monmouth rebels, and the militia.
First there must be noticed the appointment of Colonel James Kendall to be Governor in July 1689, and his arrival on the 12th May 1690 (229, 968). A second curious point was that though the King desired to release the exiled victims of Monmouth's rebellion forthwith, it was found impossible to do so without violation of the local law and bringing great hardship on the masters who had bought them. Ultimately therefore the matter was compromised in a manner which can hardly have been satisfactory to the exiles (228, 1193 and see Index, Monmouth rebels). The dearth of "white servants" made the release of these poor men more difficult, since no recruits were obtainable for the militia (1034); and it is noteworthy, as indicating the early tendency to throw the burden of Colonial defence wholly on the Mother Country, that in 1692 Barbados was driven to ask for a garrison of regular troops (2449). Nor was the request unreasonable, for the application had not reached England before the Island was dismayed at the discovery of an extensive conspiracy for a general rising of the negroes. The sentence on the ringleaders shews the system of terror which was employed to avert such risings (2599 I.), and that not in Barbados only but throughout the West Indies.
LEEWARD ISLANDS. Their perilous condition.
I turn now to Leeward Islands, the group of British possessions which was the first to feel the stress of the war with France. The year 1689 opened with attacks of Spanish pirates upon Crab Island, which they took, and upon Anguilla, from which they were gallantly repulsed by a little body of twenty men under Deputy-Governor Howell (4, 83). But it appears that even earlier than this reports had reached the Governor, Sir Nathaniel Johnson, of the landing of the Prince of Orange; on which he wrote to a friend that he would be more useful to King James in England than in Antigua (88). Before further intelligence could reach him, the outbreak of war between France and Holland was brought home to him by the capture of the Dutch Islands of St. Eustatia and Saba at the end of March (57, 58). If war should follow between France and England the handful of British soldiers in the Leeward Islands was weak both in numbers and in quality of men, besides which their pay was six years in arrear (65). Johnson, however, whatever his political opinions, took stock of the defensive powers of the Islands and made his plans accordingly (83); but, apparently at some time in May, he received the news of King William's accession, and though a Protestant asked leave in manly terms to resign, as being a loyal subject of King James (143). He continued to do his best for his Government irrespective of sovereigns, though in the confusion of the time men were already suspicious of him (193). His situation was very perilous, for the French in the Islands were ready to attack in superior force, and the peril was increased by a general revolt, at the instigation of the French, of all the Irish "white servants" in St. Christophers and Montserrat, who ravaged and plundered in all directions. The suspicion against the Governor increased. A perfectly innocent letter to the Governor at Martinique was construed as treachery, and though the Council at Antigua retained sufficient sense and justice to acquit him entirely of so black a crime, they recommended him to retire voluntarily from his office (200, 203, 212, 215, 237, 255).
Codrington succeeds Johnson a Governor.
Resign accordingly he did, making over his duties to Christopher Codrington, better known in England as the founder of the library of All Souls College, Oxford, than for certain exploits which shall presently be narrated. Before leaving, however, Johnson drew up his defence, one of the most manly, straightforward, and dignified documents which I have encountered in these records (256). Amid all the craven changes of that mean and pitiful time this man remained honest and patriotic, faithful to him whom he judged to be his lawful King, yet never unfaithful to his country. He retired to Carolina, and it is with regret that we part with him.
St. Kitts captured by the French.
On the 25th of July therefore Codrington took command of the Leeward Islands, for the defence of which Johnson had sent messages to Barbados for help. But on the 18th a French fleet had already appeared before St. Kitts and opened fire on Fort Charles. It is true that with 970 shots they succeeded in killing only a turkey, a dog and three horses (280), but with eight hundred Irish against three hundred English in Montserrat, Codrington's task was already sufficiently difficult. In simple but indignant terms he pointed to the fact that the two English Companies had received no pay for six years, and that for three years there had not been so much as a frigate in the station; but having accepted the command he did not shrink from the responsibility (312). Barbados, as has been said, readily promised assistance, but, before it could arrive, Fort Charles had fallen after a gallant defence simply from want of ammunition, and St. Christophers passed wholly into the hands of the French (345, 348, 367). The arrival of Sir Timothy Thornhill's regiment from Barbados in August, however, secured Antigua, and the French having taken Anguilla abandoned further operations owing to the hurricane-season (444).
Inhumanity of Nevis.
Nevertheless Codrington had trouble enough with the internal administration of the Islands, which were as jealous of each other as the American provinces and perhaps even more brutal. The people of Nevis seized the opportunity to plunder the unfortunate refugees from St. Christophers, and the Council and Assembly opposed every action of the Governor, actually giving themselves (as was the way in the Islands) the airs and graces of an independent state (p. 177). It is curious to find Codrington recommending that the Islands should send representatives to the British Parliament to bring home to them their dependence on the Crown. Certainly the inhabitants of the Leeward Islands do not show to advantage during this war, any more than during the war of 1778–1782 (548).
Codrington's raids on French Islands.
Meanwhile Codrington's appointment had been confirmed in England (414), and through the close of 1689 and the spring of 1690 great preparations went forward for sending a fleet and troops to Codrington's assistance, under the command of Captain Wright of the Royal Navy (625, 626, 651, 660–662). Codrington in December 1689 sent an armed merchantman and the Barbados troops to make raids on Mariegalante and St. Bartholomews with fair success; but a similar raid upon St. Martins nearly proved disastrous, the troops being for a time in great danger of being cut off from their retreat by a French squadron (771, 779, 789). In February 1690 Codrington received the alarming news that the French were again in force at Martinique both by land and sea, while there was still no sign of the British fleet; and, more discouraging still, an application to Barbados for further help met with no very encouraging reply (789). The next trouble was a violent earthquake in April, which did much damage; and when the long expected fleet at length arrived at Barbados in May, the arms were found to be bad and the ammunition worse, while the newly-raised British regiment, the Duke of Bolton's, which from the colour of its clothing was known often as the Blue Regiment, had but half its complement of men (927).
Recapture of St. Kitts.
However on the 6th of June Codrington sailed from Antigua to Nevis, where the whole force naval and military made rendezvous on the 10th, and on the 19th sailed for Frigate Bay. There a portion of the troops were landed, who making their way over the mountains by a very difficult path came upon the French entrenchments in rear and quickly mastered them. The landing in Basseterre Road being thus secured, the remainder of the troops were disembarked, and an advance was made to westward where Codrington promptly occupied Brimstone Hill—a great name in the wars of the West Indies—which commanded Charles Fort, and by the 16th of July forced the French to surrender. He then shipped off the French inhabitants to Hispaniola, being determined, as he said, that St. Kitts should be an English Island in future. The operations were evidently most skilfully planned and executed, and are not unworthy of study by military men (977, 988, 1004, 1034 I.). Sir Timothy Thornhill was then detached to recapture St. Eustatius, which fell after four days' siege, and the troops then returned to St. Christophers during the hurricane season (1036).
Codrington's troubles with the troops.
The losses by sickness, however, had been very great, and, as the British fleet was under orders to return home, Codrington was in despair at the thought of losing supremacy at sea, upon which, as he well knew, all success in his operations must depend (1101). Then came the usual difficulties with an undisciplined army, in which the officers of the Colonial troops quarrelled violently with Codrington over the division of the spoil, and every Colonel complained that his own regiment was neglected and illused. The quarrels that grew out of all this, and the false charges that were brought against Codrington in consequence thereof may be traced in the index under Codrington's name. Codrington's own account of the affair is worth reading as the story of an honest man struggling with overwhelming difficulties. Once again he recommended that the Islands should be represented in the English Parliament, and further that their militia should be subjected by Act of the Parliament to the same discipline, in time of war, at British soldiers in the King's pay (1212).
Naval operations. Admiral Wright's misconduct
The West Indian squadron being under orders to return to England at the end of 1690, there was something like panic in the Leeward Islands, since the naval force of the French remained still uninjured (1284, 1376). Happily before Admiral Wright had left Barbados he received directions to remain in the West Indies; and Codrington at once organised a fresh expedition against the French Islands, hoping by the capture of Martinique to obtain possession of Guadeloupe and Mariegalante without a struggle (1382). Governor Kendall at Barbados worked zealously for the common cause but found Wright singularly backward to seek an opportunity against the French fleet at Martinique (1384). Finally the British squadron sailed to Antigua, and Codrington having by great exertions collected every possible man for the attack on the French Islands, a detachment sailed on the 21st of March for Mariegalante, whither the Governor with the main body followed them on the 1st of April. After some skirmishing the Island was "totally destroyed and dispeopled"; and then a Council of War, overruling Codrington, decided to proceed next to Guadeloupe. There accordingly the troops landed on the 21st, and, after several little engagements skilfully fought, found themselves before the principal fortifications of Basseterre. So strong did these defences appear to be, that in view of the risk that the French might send relief from Martinique, it was resolved on the 1st of May to apply to Barbados for reinforcements (1557). Meanwhile Codrington prepared his batteries, which opened fire on the 5th; and all was going well, though heavy rain caused much sickness among the troops, when news came of the arrival of a French fleet of twelve sail. Wright at once recalled the seamen on board his ships, and prepared to sail in pursuit of the French. On this a Council of War resolved, in spite of Codrington's protests, to abandon the attack on Guadeloupe by land, lest the troops should be cut off. Codrington in vain applied to Wright for a ship to cover the invasion; the Admiral would not listen; and the contention soon grew so hot as to lead to much ill feeling between them. This was increased during the next few days by Wright's evident avoidance of an action, wherein he might, in the opinion of all present, have destroyed the French ships and secured the safety of the British Islands. Codrington did not know whether to ascribe his behaviour to cowardice or to disaffection, but it seems certain that Wright let slip a great opportunity. Finally Wright returned to Barbados on the 30th of May, keeping his squadron there inactive for over a fortnight, until compelled by Governor Kendall to send out cruisers. Thus the whole of Codrington's painful preparations were wasted; and in wrath and bitterness of heart he wrote home to beg that in future the command by land and by sea might be placed in the same hand (1617, 1621).
Resettlement of St. Kitts.
No sooner was this work done than Codrington found a heavy task in the elaboration of a scheme for the resettlement of St. Christophers, a matter on which there was much difference of opinion; some urging that the Island should be left desolate till the end of the war, while Codrington urged that resettlement should be taken in hand at once. His reports (1756 I., II.) are well worth reading, since they show remarkable insight into the true nature alike of the strategic and the economical situation in the West Indies. "All turns upon the mastery of the sea. If we have it, our Islands are safe, however thinly peopled; if the French have it we cannot after the recent mortality [for sickness had raged for two years in the Leeward Islands] raise men enough in all the Islands to hold one of them." It was ignorance of this truth which led to all our reverses in the West Indies in 1781–1782.
A new fleet promised.
The year 1692 was one of less activity, for all operations were in abeyance pending the arrival of a new fleet with fresh troops under Sir Francis Wheeler. The treacherous betrayal of an English frigate to the French, and the dexterous escape of a weak English squadron from an overwhelming force of the French, are the only incidents worth remarking (1993, 2110). Codrington was fully employed with repelling the attacks of his own discontented officers (1613–1616, 2401) and with the general work of administration, till Wheeler's squadron should arrive for the final expulsion, as was hoped, of the French from the West Indies (2360). Here then we must take leave of him for the present; but it is to be hoped that, looking to the abundant material contained in the present volume alone, some competent writer may undertake an account of the work, both administrative and military, of Christopher Codrington. His figure is by far the most remarkable and commanding in our Colonial History during the Seventeenth Century.
JAMAICA. The Revolution peacefully accomplished.
Lastly I turn (according to West Indian phraseology) to the leeward division of the Caribbean Archipelago, where France had her headquarters in Hispaniola and England in Jamaica. Jamaica was still seething in the unrest caused by the foolish rule of the Duke of Albemarle; and it is remarkable that one of the first actions of the new King in the Colonies was to reiterate King James's orders for the cancelling of the whole of the Duke of Albemarle's proceedings (29). The Government for the time being was in the hands of the senior member of Council, Sir Francis Watson, who favoured the faction which had wrought so much mischief under Albemarle, and was not inclined to part with power. After a year, however, he was gently displaced by the action of his Council (758, 873), and to all intent the Revolution was little felt in Jamaica.
Lord Inchiquin appointed Governor.
Abundance of complaints and representations had meanwhile poured into Whitehall (54, 55, 59), on consideration of which it was wisely decided to appoint Hender Molesworth, a local magnate who had already administered the Government, to be Governor (120, 198). Molesworth, however, died before his instructions were complete, and the oyal choice then fell upon William O'Brien, Earl of Inchiquin (413) who arrived in the Island at the end of May 1690 (980). He found great animosity among the contending factions, liable to be blown up at any moment into an "unquencionable flame"; and he was soon embarked in as hot a controversy as any of his predecessors with his Council and Assembly (1698). His reign however was short, for he died on the 10th of January 1692, and the criticisms that followed on his decease were not favourable (2034, 2035). "No Governor had ever so much money in so short a time, nor strove so earnestly to get it" (2183). But the planters of Jamaica were never easy to please.
Six months later there came a frightful calamity, which shook the eternal spirit of faction for a time out of their minds. On the 7th of June there was a great earthquake which in ten minutes threw down every solid building on the Island. "Two thirds of Port Royal were swallowed up by the sea, all the forts and fortifications demolished, and great part of its inhabitants miserably knocked on the head or drowned." H.M.S. Swan was wrecked, and nearly all the cannon of the forts submerged, while a party of French marauders seized the moment to land and plunder. It is to the credit of the planters that in the midst of the general desolation they closed at once with the human enemy and defeated him, while busied at the same time with the foundation of a new capital and with the far more difficult work of reorganising a demoralised population (2522). In England the Committee of Trade and Plantations early took counsel with William Beeston, a leading merchant of Jamaica, as to the measures most expedient for the safety and restoration of the Island (2398); and we shall see in the next volume how the whole burden of the task was laid on this same Beeston, and how nobly he bore it.
At this point therefore the present volume ends, with order at last restored in the American provinces, and every West Indian Island waiting in anxious expectation of the Great English Armament that was to drive the French from the Antilles. The whole story is one of war and tumult; and, with the exception of the proceedings of the mob in Boston, the chief interest of the volume lies in the naval and military operations. To the military student the very full accounts of the invasion of St. Christophers and Guadeloupe contain much that is of value, while the details of naval and military preparation contain very striking evidence of the general disorganisation of the administrative machinery in England. On the whole it is matter for regret that, with such material to his hand, Lord Macaulay should have written his history of the English Revolution of 1688 with so little reference to its effect on the British beyond sea.
J. W. FORTESCUE.