America and West Indies: February 1693, 2-15

Pages 13-26

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 14, 1693-1696. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1903.

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February 1693

Feb. 2. 46. Minutes of Council of New York. Petitions considered. Order for payment to the Governor of £130, being the expenses of his own and his family's passage from England. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., p. 370; and p. 392.]
Feb. 2. 47. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Proclamation for a day of thanksgiving approved. Report on John Usher's accounts referred for further consideration. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXIV., pp. 216–217.]
Feb. 2.
48. The King to Sir William Phips. We have fitted out a squadron of twelve ships with 1,000 good soldiers on board and directed it to sail from the West Indies so as to reach New England by the end of May or middle of June at latest. There they will refit, and take with them such reinforcement of men and ships as New England shall appoint, sufficient to attack the French with success in Canada. You will therefore urge the Assembly of Massachusetts to have all things ready, for if the present opportunity be lost through delay, it may never come again. We have also sent Thomas Cox to explain to you our further intentions; and you will consult with Governor Fletcher as to the measures most desirable to be taken. Countersigned. Nottingham. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., pp. 454–458.]
Feb. 2.
49. Order of the King in Council. That copy of the petition of Elizabeth Salenave be sent to Governor Codrington, with instructions that, if her statements be found true, he shall give orders for the confirmation of her inheritance and the restoration of her goods to her. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 44. pp. 115, 116.]
Feb. 2.
50. Order of the King in Council. For a commission and instructions to be prepared for Captain John Goddard as Governor of Bermuda. Signed. John Nicholas. ¼ p. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 2. No. 8; and 28, p. 46.]
Feb. 4.
51. Governor Richier to Lords of Trade and Plantations. The mortal fever which destroyed so many in the West Indies got among us in June last, killing in three months 767 persons, white and black, of whom 127 only were slaves. There remain but 610 fit to bear arms, and all the Council are dead except Richard Peniston, William Pitt, Thomas Foster, Samuel Trott and Charles Walker. The mortality has not begotten a better disposition in the remaining inhabitants to obedience and loyalty. I am forced to suffer many affronts to the King's rights and authority lest by failing to punish the offenders the King's power should be absolutely despised. An oath is of no account here, except so far as it serves the interest of the swearer. I have not the means to encourage by rewards, nor can I possibly punish offenders, for I know but of two, the sheriff being one, who have inclination and courage enough to serve the King. I should not trouble you about so small a place except that its importance requires a better settlement of the Government than I can yet effect. I beg you to call attention to my former representations as to its defencelessness and its unprofitableness in its present state. These Islands lie almost in the middle of the King's dominions in America, so many ships to and from the Colonies pass by Bermuda, as also ships bound for Jamaica and Southward to England. Virginia ships also pass close by in going to and from England. All knowing merchants and mariners who put in here conclude that if Bermuda were in an enemy's hand the American trade would be in great measure destroyed in time of war. The shelves and rocks are our chief defence. Of our 610 men few could make use of their arms on occasion. The forts are but slenderly guarded and may easily be surprised; and if the castle and the harbour which it commands were taken, the whole country would fall an easy prey to the enemy. One company of soldiers could defend the castle and the opposite fort, and guard the magazine in the town against surprise. But more strength is needed to prevent an enemy from landing, which can be done in boats in several places. Soldiers in the King's pay would obey commands and set an example to the inhabitants, who seeing the King's regard for them would recognise to whom their duty and allegiance is due. If you think it not worth while to send a company to defend the Islands, there can be little profit from them owing to the increasing sterility of the soil and the epidemic idleness of the inhabitants. The only produce of profit to the King's revenue is tobacco, and this year there is not enough to load a vessel of thirty tons. I have filled up the vacancies in the Council by appointing Henry Fifield, Thomas Walmsley, William Outerbridge, Patrick Downing and Thomas Harford, as the men most fitting from character and estate. Signed. I. Richier. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 19 Aug., 1693. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 2. No. 9; and 21. pp. 88–91.]
Feb. 4.
52. Governor Richier to the Earl of Nottingham. I enclose copy of a letter that I have written to the Lords of Trade and Plantations from whom I have received no commands since my arrival. I beg you not to let the government of these Islands be subject to the directing of a fanatic scrivener. If you think them of sufficient importance I hope that you will send forces sufficient for their defence. Signed. I. Richier. Holograph. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 477. No. 49.]
Feb. 6. 53. Instrument of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina conveying the right of granting land in Carolina to Governor Philip Ludwell, or in case of his death or absence to James Colleton, or in case of Colleton's death or absence to Thomas Smith, or in case of Smith's death or absence to Paul Grimball. Signed. Craven, Ashley, John Archdale for Thomas Archdale, Tho. Amy, P. Colleton. Form of indenture for grants of land. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXII., pp. 210–213.]
Feb. 6. 54. Rules and instructions for granting land in Carolina. Two counties, Craven County and Berkeley County, have been laid out in blocks of 12,000 acres. Five hundred acres are to be set apart on any navigable river for a town, the site to be as high up the river as the biggest ship can reach. The squares containing this 500 acres is to be called a Colony, and two squares backward from the river, with the two squares behind them, making six squares in all, are to be a precinct, within which, and within the three squares on the opposite side of the river, proprietors may have not more than 800 acres, and other dignitaries from 200 to 600 acres. Ferries are to be established. Any of the squares chosen by a proprietor shall be a seignory. Holders of 6,000 acres and upwards may have river-frontage equal to the depth of their blocks, holders of less than 6,000 acres are to have river-frontage in different proportions. Fifty acres may be granted for each white servant imported. Here follow forms of grant and indenture. Signed as the preceding. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXII., pp. 213–219.]
Feb. 7. 55. Petition of Joshua van Belle to the Lord President. Petitioner has a suit to avoid paying insurance of the ship St. Jago de la Victoria, and desires to have a copy of the memorial of the Governor and Council of Jamaica, reversing the condemnation of the ship. 1 p. In the margin. Order of Lord President Carmarthen to the Clerk of Council to supply copy of the memorial. Signed. Carmarthen, P. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 7. No. 2.]
Feb. 7. 56. Commission to Thomos Povey to be Clerk of the Naval Office of Jamaica. Countersigned. Nottingham. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 53. pp. 137, 138.]
Feb. 7. 57. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Order for a day of general thanksgiving for restoration of the healthiness of the Island. A special despatch vessel hired for £250 to carry letters to England and back. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., pp. 398–400.]
Feb. 8.
58. Proclamation for a day of thanksgiving for deliverance of the Island from the late contagious sickness. Copy. ½ p. Endorsed. Recd. 25 March, 1693. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 1.]
Feb. 8. Barbados. 59. The Attorney General of Barbados to the Attorney General of England. By Governor Kendall's order I have sent you a very exact account of Colonel Hallett's case both in the Court of Exchequer and the Court of Errors here, from which he has appealed to their Majesties in Council. In this business we have used the common methods of this place, which we endeavour to bring as near to those of England as the constitution of the place and people will admit, and I am witness that this cause has been carried on with all the gentleness imaginable. If it should be alleged by any of Colonel Hallett's friends that the forfeiture much exceeds the offence, then I say that Hallett has only himself to blame, by putting himself beyond the reach of mercy through his resolute defence and justification of his crimes. He was advised by his friends to take another course, but he thought fit to do otherwise. The money is now paid to the King's Receiver and becomes part of the revenue, so that we have done with Colonel Hallett here, and doubt not that our action will be approved in England. His Excellency desires you to attend the case in Council and to take all measures to secure confirmation of the judgment. Signed. Ro. Hooper. 1¼ pp. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 2.]
Feb. 8. 60. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Draft Commission for Lieutenant-Governor Goddard considered, and, with omission of the clauses as to the powers of Admiralty, approved. Governor Richier's request for stores ordered to be sent to the Board of Ordnance.
Governor Fletcher's letter reporting his arrival and an address from the Council and Assembly of New York read. Order for the Attorney-General to examine the Charter of Connecticut and the grants of New Jersey to ascertain the powers of government reserved to the King therein. Agreed to recommend that a first rate frigate be despatched for defence of New York and that the arrears of the two foot companies there be paid. [Board of Trade. Journal, 7. pp. 161–165.]
Feb. 8. 61. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. That a list of the stores of war needed for Bermuda be sent to Sir H. Goodrick, Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance, with a request for a list of the stores of war sent to Bermuda in 1689 and for his opinion as to the furnishing of the stores now asked for. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 28. p. 84.]
Feb. 8. 62. William Blathwayt to the Attorney General. Asking him to examine the Charter of Connecticut, and the grants of New Jersey, East and West, and report as to the King's powers therein. ½ p. [Board of Trade. New York, 5. No. 3; and 48. p. 10.]
Feb. 8. 63. Minutes of General Assembly of Massachusetts. The Representatives reported the choice of Nehemiah Jewett as temporary Speaker. The Governor recommended to the Representatives to supply money for payment of soldiers and for other emergencies. John Usher attended with his accounts.
Feb. 9. Bill for regulation of cornfields, cattle and fences read and debated. Order for the clearing of Jeremiah Toy's ship.
Feb. 10. Bill for regulation of cornfields again debated. Conference with the Representatives as to a supply of money.
Feb. 11. Bill to encourage the killing of wolves read and debated. Daniel Wilcox and Henry Head brought before Council for high misdemeanours and committed to custody. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., pp. 375–377.]
Feb. 9.
64. Order of the King in Council. Approving the draft Commission prepared for Captain John Goddard to be Governor of Jamaica. Signed. John Nicholas. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 28. pp. 49, 50.]
Feb. 9. 65. Sir H. Goodrick to John Povey. I cannot attend the Council to-day, my health being worse; but the stores from Bermuda are undoubtedly needed and, excepting the powder, are of small importance. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 28. p. 85.]
Feb. 9. 66. Order of the King in Council. That the Officers of Ordnance shall despatch stores of ammunition [list given] to Bermuda. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 28. pp. 85, 86.]
Feb. 9.
67. Order of the King in Council. Referring to Lords of Trade and Plantations a petition of Lord Baltimore, praying for the King's positive orders to Governor Copley to receive the port duties or anchorage money as formerly, according to the royal orders already issued on that behalf. Copy. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 556. No. 15.]
Feb. 9.
68. Order of the King in Council. Referring the petition of Richard and Killian Van Rensselaer to Lords of Trade and Plantation for report. Signed. John Nicholas. ½ p. Annexed,
68. I. Petition of Richard and Killian Van Rensselaer to the King. For orders to be given to Governor Fletcher to restore them to possession of Rensselaerswyck. Copy. ½ p.
68. II. Warrant of James, Duke of York. For the issue of patents from the New York Government to the petitioners for Rensselaerswyck. Copy. 1½ p. The whole endorsed. Recd. same day. [Board of Trade. New York, 5. Nos. 4, 4 I., II.; and (order only) 48, p. 191.]
Feb. 9. 69. Minutes of Council of New York. Report of the audit of Peter Delanoy's accounts read and approved. Committee appointed to report on the address of the Mayor and Corporation of New York for confirmation of their charter and for additional privileges. Orders for sundry payments.
Feb. 10. Captain Clarke having returned from Boston, the letters of Sir W. Phips and Gouverneur, as well as Captain Clarke's own narrative were read. Captain Clarke further reported that Gouverneur and Sir W. Phips were certainly together and that Gouverneur was expected to go to England shortly, to represent the party of malcontents, by Sir W. Phips's encouragement. The Council desired to address their Majesties on the subject and appointed members to draw up an address. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., pp. 370–372; and pp. 382–394.]
Feb. 10.
70. Governor Kendall to [the Lord President]. After the gracious assurances which I received on the 1st of September that we might expect a strong squadron of ships with a considerable strength of land-forces in the following October, and now that we are come to the 10th of February without news of them and without the arrival of a single ship from Europe for four months—you will believe that I cannot easily guess the cause of this unfortunate disappointment. The most rational conjecture I can make is that the dreadful news brought to England by the ships that sailed some time ago, has frightened all mankind away from us. It is a sad but real truth that I have now lived almost three years in the region of death, and that two thirds of those that have arrived, together with one half of the inhabitants, have since my being here paid their tribute to the Sovereign Prince of Terrors. But since it has pleased Almighty God to stay His afflicting hand and we have true reason to turn our humiliations into a day of thanksgiving I thought it would be well to send an express with the news that this Island is in a perfect state of health and in a very flourishing condition. The late distemper has been severely fatal to the regiments raised for an expedition against the French, having swept away Sir Timothy Thornhill, Lieut. Col. Read, besides inferior officers and no inconsiderable number of soldiers. I have repaired the breaches as well as I could, and the men that remain are good and very well disciplined. The raising and keeping of these men, together with the transport-ships, which have been taken up ever since October, has been a very great charge to this country; but what seems to be most grievous to the inhabitants is the thought of parting with any of their men for this intended expedition, considering the late mortality and the apprehension of what the slaves may attempt in their absence. Being satisfied that these are no idle fears I have thought it my duty to lay the case before you. The loss of Sir Timothy Thornhill is not only a great misfortune to this Island but to all English subjects in the West Indies, he being a brave and active gentleman. He died extremely in debt and has left his lady, with whom he had a considerable fortune, in a lamentable condition. If the King would bestow the £1,000 presented to Sir Timothy by this Island, on his widow, it would be a great charity and a prince-like consideration of her husband's merits. Though the French are much stronger than we are at sea, yet with the Diamond, frigate, and the Wild, prize, I have protected all our merchant ships and our commerce with North America. We have lost only two sloops, which were foolhardy enough to sail without convoy. I have laid out about £1,000 on keeping the two ships in repair, for which I have drawn bills in England. The Norwich, stationed at the Leeward Islands, was blown away from her anchors at St. Christophers seventeen weeks ago, and as she has never been heard of since we fear the worst for her. The bearer is under contract to wait twenty days for your orders before he returns. Signed. J. Kendall. Holograph. 2 pp. Endorsed. R. 27 March, '93.
Duplicate of the foregoing, dated 13 Feb. Unsigned. [America and West Indies, 456. Nos. 41, 42.]
Feb. 10. 71. Governor Kendall to the Lords of Trade and Plantations. A transcript of the foregoing letter of same date, as far as the account of the loss of H.M.S. Norwich, from which point the letter proceeds as follows:—Having since Colonel Stede's departure for England taken upon me the receipt of the casual revenue, I think it my duty to give you the following account of Colonel Hallett. Though bound over to take his trial next Grand Sessions and mean-while to be of good behaviour, he had nevertheless the insolence to beat and wound one of my servants, without any provocation, before the meeting of the Sessions. His recognizances were therefore estreated in the Court of Exchequer, but he made an appeal in error to myself in Council, having hopes of better success, since his brother-in-law and son-in-law are both of the Council. Nevertheless he lost his case, but being still dissatisfied he petitioned to me for leave to appeal to their Majesties in Council, which I granted on his depositing £2,000, as I am directed in my instructions. I beg you to recommend this case to the Attorney-General, whose care therein will do a great deal of right to the royal affairs here and will discourage such litigious persons in future. Hallett has an ill opinion of his cause, for he had the impudence to offer me £300 to favour his case in the Council. It was with difficulty, I fear, that I mastered my feelings. Signed. J. Kendall. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 24 March. Read 1 May, '93. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 3; and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VIII., pp. 331–335.]
Feb. 10. 72. Abstract of the foregoing letter. 1½ pp. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 4.]
Feb. 10. 73. Statement of the case of John Hallett by himself. Setting forth that his original quarrel with the Governor arose from his unwillingness to give up his land for the fortifications without compensation, that the Governor's resolution to bind him over to take his trial was sudden and unwarranted, and that the assault, for which his recognizances were estreated, was in defence of a woman at his house against a drunken fellow. The whole. 7 pp. Copy. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 5.]
Feb. 10. 74. Certificate of the boatswain and carpenter of H.M.S. Nonsuch, that Captain Short refused to sign their expense of stores unless they first certified that the ship was endangered by riding at Pemaquid, and that if they ever signed anything to that effect it was in ignorance. Copy. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New England, 6. No. 25.]
Feb. 11. 75. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. The Report of the Solicitor General on the Charter of Connecticut and grant of New Jersey read. Resolved to send a circular to the Colonies bidding them give assistance to New York when called upon; and other orders given.
Sir Thomas Laurence's petition read, and orders given for the Acts respecting his office to be examined, and for himself to be admitted to his office on giving the usual security. Address of the Council of Maryland as to the suspension of Mr. Frisby read, and copy ordered to be sent to Mr. Frisby.
Petition of William Talbot, for the post of Escheator of the Leeward Islands, read and rejected. [Board of Trade. Journal, 7. pp. 165–167.]
Feb. 11. 76. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. To recommend that letters be sent to Connecticut and Rhode Island bidding them give help to New York if required; that a Commission be given to the Governor of New York to command the Militia of Connecticut, and that Joseph Dudley and William Pinhorne be removed from the Council unless they reside within the province of New York. [Board of Trade. New York, 48. p. 12.]
Feb. 11. 77. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. To-morrow the letters may be sent to Connecticut and Rhode Island, as to the other Colonies in North America, ordering them to assist New York. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., p. 420.]
Feb. 13. 78. The Solicitor General to Lords of Trade and Plantations. As to Connecticut and East and West Jersey I am of opinion that in virtue of prerogative and sovereignty the King may appoint Governors with such powers to raise men and furnish provisions for the necessary defence of subjects or of neighbour Colonies as he may think fit. I conceive that the proprietor of New York may assign his propriety in New Jersey (which is part of New York) to others, but cannot thereby sever New Jersey from New York so as to cease to be a part thereof, dependent on the government thereof and liable to contribute men and provisions for its defence. Signed. Tho. Trevor. 1¼ pp. [Board of Trade. New York 5, No. 5; and 48, p. 11.]
Feb. 13.
79. Thomas Dobbins to the Lords of the Admiralty. The Governor has suspended Captain Short, and put me in command in his place. I am the person who carried the King ashore from his barge at Torbay, and obtained a warrant as gunner of the Nonsuch. Both officers and men seem very well satisfied at Captain Short's removal, as he was constantly confining his officers and beating and tyrannising over his men, so much so that the officers threatened to lay down their warrants and the men to desert. He is of so morose a temper that in his drunkenness he has grossly abused many loyal subjects. Signed. Thomas Dobbins, late gunner. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 15 Jan., 1693–4. [Board of Trade. New England, 6. No. 26.]
Feb. 13. 80. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Order for pressing two vessels for heaving down H.M.S. Guernsey. Two persons summoned to appear before next Council. Order for two English prisoners to be claimed from Petit Guavos. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 77. p. 240.]
Feb. 13. 81. Extract from Minutes of Council of New York. Setting forth that in the Council's opinion Massachusetts has no right to Martin's Vineyard. Copy. 2 pp.
Duplicate of the above. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 579. Nos. 25, 26.]
Feb. 13. 82. Minutes of Council of New York. Letter from Major Ingoldsby read reporting the arrival of 350 French and 200 Indians within twelve leagues of Senectady. Resolved to despatch 300 men from the City Regiment and others adjacent by water to Kingston, to order Colonel Beckman to secure all the horses in Ulster to carry the detachment to Albany, and to apprise Major Ingoldsby at once that reinforcements are on the way and that the Governor will accompany them. The Governor laid a letter from Sir William Phips and a printed copy of the New England charter before the Council, and asked for their opinion as to Martin's Vineyard.
Feb. 14. The Governor announced the receipt of a second letter from Major Ingoldsby, confirming his former report that the French and Indians had taken the first and second castles of the Maquas, and remained there in despair of being able to get back, the ice being broken up on the rivers. The Governor announced his intention of going to Albany, and Colonel Bayard's offer to go with him was accepted. Order for sloops to be prepared immediately, and for certain money payments in connection with the journey.
Feb. 15. Ordered that a letter be sent to the neighbouring Colonies to report the news of yesterday, to announce that the Governor had already embarked with 200 men for Albany leaving 150 men to follow to-day, and to appeal to them to contribute something to the expenses. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., pp. 372–374; and pp. 394–397.]
Feb. 13. 83. Minutes of General Assembly of Massachusetts. Bill for explaining and altering several Acts passed last Session, read.
Feb. 14. Bills to encourage the killing of wolves, for the regulation of seamen, and for registering births and deaths, read.
Feb. 15. Bill for registration of births and deaths, and for altering certain Acts of last Session, read. John Usher's accounts sent to the Secretary's office to be copied.
Feb. 16. Bill for explaining and altering former Acts again read and debated. Bills to grant £100 to Increase Mather and to abate eighteenpence in the pound to such as shall forthwith pay the full of their assessments, read.
Feb. 17. Bills for registering births and deaths, and for altering former Acts, read and passed.
Feb. 18. Bill for continuing several duties of impost and excise, read and passed. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXIV., pp. 377–379.]
Feb. 14.
New York.
84. Governor Fletcher to [William Blathwayt]. The papers that I enclose will, I fear, take more time than you can spare for perusal. They will shew you that I have a very ill neighbour. While I am labouring to heal the wounds caused by the outrages of Leisler, Sir William Phips has been acting as the attested copies of documents herewith sent will shew. These papers shew his principles. He has also seized Martin's Vineyard, which has always been part of this Government and is named neither in the Charter of Massachusetts nor in his Commission. All the people there hold their lands under the seal of this province and have contributed to our charge for the defence of Albany. Yet I must not levy war against him, though provoked by his unmannerly letter to meet him there; I could cheerfully do so, but hope to see him when we may do so without prejudice to the King's service. I must ask for your favour not only to this province at large but for the two companies here, which are under great discouragement. Four would be too few to answer the service. There are no returns of money since my coming. £1,120 is put down to Colonel Sloughter of which I can get no account; and men grow old and die here as fast as in Europe. I think that it would be well to send two companies more while the war lasts, or at any rate recruits to make the present companies up to 200 men. I find the Council here men of the best parts, quality and estate in the province. I cannot name six to fill vacancies, as my instructions bid me. Sir William Phips calls them King James's Council, but I find them all zealous for their Majesties' service and ready on all occasions to advance money from their private purses for the same. Colonel Van Cortlandt and Mr. Brooke have lately shown their regard for you in a debate in Council. I had no account of that matter until Mr. Brooke told me that it had formerly been contested. I ordered the debate to be renewed, and spoke my sentiments. It is utterly impossible for this poor decayed province to defend itself without help from our neighbours. Our trade is quite lost and our charge very great. The neighbouring Colonies acknowledge no Government from the Crown but harbour our deserters and rob us of our trade by imposing no duties and ignoring the Acts of Trade and Navigation. I shall not say a word of that jargon in New England nor of that machine their Governor, but shall beg you to read the enclosed papers. An express is just come from Albany saying that the French and Indians are marching on Senectady, which calls me to attend that service. It is a curse on these occasions to attend wind and water, but we cannot march by land. Mr. Graham is a very useful man, and deserves some mark of the Royal favour. Connecticut would add more strength to us than the Jerseys and Pennsylvania. Signed. Ben. Fletcher. 2¼ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 3 June, 1693. Duplicate. [Board of Trade. New York, 5. No. 6; and 48. pp. 21, 22; abstracted ibid. pp. 46, 47.]
[Feb. 14.] 85. Enclosures forwarded with the foregoing letter.
85. I. Copy of Governor Fletcher's letter of 6 January, to Sir William Phips. (See No. 40 I.) 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 19 July, 1693.
85. II. Copy of Abraham Gouverneur's letter of 12 Oct. 1692. Dutch.
85. III. Copy of Abraham Gouverneur's letter to Governor Fletcher of 20 Jan. 1693. (See No. 27.) Endorsed as the preceding.
85. IV. Copy of Sir W. Phips's letter to Governor Fletcher of 27 January, 1693. (See No. 40 III.) 1½ pp. Endorsed as the preceding.
85. V., VI. Copy of Captain Clarke's narrative of his mission to Boston. (See No. 40 I.) 5 pp. Endorsed as No. I. A second copy. 3½ pp.
85. VII. A third copy with copies of enclosures, Nos. I. and II.
85. VIII., IX. Minute of the Council of New York, 15 February 1693. Having read a letter from Sir W. Phips of 2nd January and the Charter of Massachusetts, we are of opinion that Massachusetts has no claim to Martin's Vineyard nor to any other Island to westward of Nantucket. Copy. 1½ pp. Endorsed as the preceding.
Copy of the above. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New York, 5. Nos. 6 I.–VIII.]
Feb. 14.
New York.
86. Governor Fletcher to the Earl of Nottingham. I gave you an account of my arrival. Three weeks later I went up to the frontiers and put them in such a posture that nothing but cowardice, laziness or sleep itself can expose those places to the enemy. At my return the Assembly met and was cheerful beyond their ability in raising money for the public defence. My great business was to accommodate the differences occasioned by the arbitrary violence of Leisler. All things seemed to be calm beyond my hopes. Those who had renounced the Church and sacraments repaired cheerfully to both, and nothing of the former heat and rancour appeared, until suddenly all was in a flame again owing to a letter written by one of the condemned men who was released by the Queen's order. This man as soon as he was at liberty repaired to Boston and became the favourite of Sir William Phips. He quotes the following words from Sir William Phips, "Your counsel in England is chosen Parliament-man and your cause will then be sufficiently inspected, and there will be satisfaction for estates and I hope for blood too. For if what Governor Leisler and you did was ill, how do their Majesties sit on the throne?" I have sent the correspondence on the subject to Mr. Blathwayt, from which you will see that these men, having tasted the royal mercy, are now blown up to an expectation of revenge and reward by Sir William Phips, just at a time when all seemed satisfied with the mildness of the Government. Such of the party as were capable of it had been put into the commissions of the peace and militia. Sir William Phips has also violently seized on a part of this Government called Martin's Vineyard, whereby he has obtained the supplies that they were sending up to us for the common defence, and which we greatly need. It is very evident to me that this single Colony cannot support the present charge, while the neighbouring Colonies, under no Government or expense, harbour all who desert from us to avoid the burthen. Some of the best people of Connecticut have written to me desiring to become members of this province; and the joining of it to New York would be a greater advantage than the Jerseys and Pennsylvania could bring. The Council here, whom Sir W. Phips endeavours to criminate as attached to King James, are zealous for their Majesties' service, the ablest men in parts and estates in the province, and always ready to advance money for the public good. Those who constantly attend are three Englishmen, three Dutchmen and a Frenchman. Signed. Ben. Fletcher. Holograph. 3 pp. Endorsed. R. July 18, '93.
Duplicate of the foregoing. America and West Indies. 579. Nos. 27, 28.]
Feb. 14.
87. Report of the defects of H.M.S. Conception. Estimated cost of making them good, £400. 1 p. Copy. [Board of Trade. New England, 6. No. 27.]
Feb. 15.
88. Governor Sir William Phips to the Earl of Nottingham. I have been obliged to suspend Captain Richard Short from the command of H.M.S. Nonsuch and have appointed Thomas Dobbins, late gunner of the said ship, in his room. I did not appoint the lieutenant, according to custom, as I thought him unfit for the station; for when in sight of two Dutch men-of-war, which we met in the Channel on our voyage out from England, he pressed the captain to bear away and run his ship ashore to save their lives, fearing that they were French ships. Captain Dobbins is the most fit man in the ship for the command, being a sober and diligent office. He is the same person that carried the King from the barge to the shore, when he arrived at Torbay; and it was the King's commendation of him that gained him a warrant for being gunner. I was sorry to be obliged to make this alteration, but the fault was Captain Short's. First, before going on shore after my arrival here, I told Captain Short to be particularly careful to keep his men on board, as they would be wanted for immediate service; but he would not, and so lost great numbers by desertion. Then when I gave him my written order to cruise he could not obey it for want of men, whereupon he pressed men ashore without my warrant, which he might have had if he had desired it, and in pressing used such violence as greatly to disturb the country, for he beat and abused two Assemblymen, as enclosed depositions will prove. Secondly, in September, 1692, I went to Pemaquid in a sloop kept in pay by this country, and left orders to Captain Short to follow me immediately; instead of which he delayed starting for four or five days and then stopped at Piscataqua on the way, whereby I lost the opportunity of surprising several French and Indians in some small islands near Pemaquid, and after waiting several days longer than I had intended I was forced to return to Boston. Nor, though the wind was favourable, did Captain Short appear until some days after my departure. Thirdly, soon after I reached Boston I received a report, which seemed likely to be true, that three French men-of-war were arrived on the coast. I sent written orders to Captains Short and Fairfax of H.M. ships Nonsuch and Conception, then lying at Pemaquid, to be in readiness, and directed them positively to fight the French ships if they met them, and otherwise not to leave the harbour but to stay and secure the fort. Notwithstanding this they both came to Boston, deserting the fort, which being unfinished to seaward would have been taken if attacked. They pretended that they were in want of provisions, but if so it was through their own fault, for I told them to send their pursers if they wanted any; but they did not send them because they needed the pretence. Fourthly, the officers of the Nonsuch tell me that Captain Short has, in his drunken humours and at other times, been very wasteful of the King's stores; that he has beaten and confined some of the officers and abused them all, without reason; and that he has driven many men to desertion by his cruelty. Fifthly, in November last, I sent Captain Short my written order to go to Pemaquid, but he desired that the ship might be laid on shore at Boston, and voluntarily offered to supply a sloop with men, ammunition, and provisions to ply between Boston and Pemaquid during the winter as necessity might require. I consented; but, after I had ordered the ship to be laid up, on the second time when there was occasion to send to Pemaquid, Captain Short refused to send his men, though at the same time he suffered many of them to go to other quarters in merchant-ships, taking a reward of £20 a man out of their wages. I checked him, and threatened to deal with him according to his deserts, but he disdained to bear any reproof, gave me provoking language in public before several persons, and drawing near me shook his cane at me. This insolence provoked me to strike him a smart blow, which lit on the brim of his hat and on his shoulder, which I designed to warn him to keep his distance. Immediately he returned the blow and continued striking my head and body with his cane until I threw him on the ground. He rose, twice laid his hand on his sword, and then again assaulted me with his cane until I made him incapable of striking any more. He was free from drink, but he had the night before used threats against me. I suspended him the same day, and have sent him home. I have shewn all manner of respect to the King's captains and have tried to make their station easy and comfortable to them, but they have taken advantage of this to intrude upon my patience and take counsel with my enemies. I shall pass by in silence what only concerns myself, but so long as I am in my present station I cannot overlook neglect of duty. Signed. Wm. Phips. 3 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 24 May, 1693. Enclosed,
88. I. The Warrant officers of H.M.S. Nonsuch to the Lords of the Admiralty. Boston. 20 February, 1693. Captain Short has been suspended by Governor Sir William Phips, for misbehaviour. Our duty obliges us to give you the following further information. Captain Short is given to drunken habits, which makes him tyrannical both afloat and ashore. He has imprisoned most of his officers and driven many men to desertion by his cruelty, insomuch that we had determined to lay down our warrants rather than continue in such bondage. The Governor, however, has suspended him and appointed Thomas Dobbins in his stead, whom we hope you will confirm. Signed by the master, boatswain, purser, cook and gunner. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed. R. May 24, '93.
88. II. Deposition of Captain John March and another, as to Captain Short's assault on Sir William Phips. 1 p. Endorsed as the preceding. [America and West Indies. 561. Nos. 19, 19I., II.]
89. Duplicate of the letter and enclosures given in preceding abstract. [America and West Indies. 561. Nos. 20, 20I., II.]
Feb. 15. 90. Affidavit of Edwyn Stede. As to the good service of Sir Timothy Thornhill at St. Christopher's, St. Eustatia and elsewhere during Governor Codrington's operations, and the expense to which Sir Timothy was subjected thereby. Signed. Edwyn Stede. 1½ pp. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 6.]
[Feb.] 91. Statement of the case of Sir Timothy Thornhill, in contraversion of the objections raised by Sir Peter Colleton and Sir Robert Davers against the confirmation of the Act of Barbados to grant Sir Timothy £1,000. 4½ pp. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 7.]