America and West Indies: March 1695

Pages 434-452

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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March 1695

March 1. The three Bills read yesterday were read a second and third time. Messages interchanged with the Burgesses as to the records and as to clay for bricks. Surveyors nominated for six counties. Orders as to inspection of the Commissaries' records. Voted that the balance of the sum of 40 lbs. of tobacco for maintenance of ministers be reserved for building a church in Oxford. Resolutions as to ferries. The three engrossed Bills were passed, and the Assembly adjourned to the 8th of May. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 12. pp. 453–459.]
March 1. 1,694. Minutes of Council of Nevis. The elected members of the Assembly were sworn, and chose Charles Pym for their Speaker, who was approved. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVIII., pp. 291–292.]
March 1. 1,695. Minutes of Council of Barbados. The Assembly presented Nicholas Prideaux as Speaker, who said that the House would attend the Governor to-morrow as to the Bill of Excise. The Governor then asked the House to provide for paying for a brigantine hired for the Island's service. The Speaker answered that due provision would be made, and the House withdrew.
March 2. The Assembly reported that they had considered a fund of ninepence a head on negroes to pay for hiring the brigantine, and desired leave to adjourn, to which the Governor would not assent, requiring them to fulfil their promise to raise a fund. The Council then pressed the Governor not to let the Assembly adjourn until they had provided the said fund or definitely refused it, as it was too hard for the ship to be impressed until sufficient assurance had been given for payment for the same, the more so as the owners had already lost a sloop hired for the public service without a farthing of compensation. The Governor read the instruction as to Colonel Hallett and desired the Council's opinion whether thereby his suspension was continued or not, to which they gave their opinion in the affirmative. The Assembly brought up a Bill of Excise, which was read once. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., pp. 507–510; and Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 41–43.]
March 2. 1,696. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Register of documents received on 20 February.
The case of Elisha Yate and the East India Company heard. Agreed to recommend that both parties be heard by counsel. [Board of Trade. Journal, 7. pp. 407–409.]
March 4. 1,697. Minutes of Council of Barbados. A Bill for setting forth the brigantine Marygold for the service of the Island was received from the Assembly and passed. The Bill of Excise was read twice and referred to a Joint Committee. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., p. 511; and Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. p. 45.]
March 4. 1,698. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Order for £300 to be distributed among the distressed inhabitants of Withywood.
List of the widows who lost their husbands and had their houses burned in the French invasion. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 77. pp. 301–302.]
March 4. 1,699. Minutes of Council of Nevis. On the proposal of the Council the Assembly agreed that a levy be raised to defray the public charges of the Island. The Council agreed to the Assembly's proposals that a dinner be provided every day for the Governor and the gentlemen strangers with him during their stay, and that a list of slaves, with a separate column for dutiable slaves, be drawn up. The Assembly sent up an address of welcome to the Governor.
March 5. The Assembly agreed to the Council's proposals to address the King for the keeping of the French part of St. Christophers, but requested time to consider their proposals as to billeting the King's soldiers and drawing the former billeting order into an Act. The Council and Assembly agreed to appoint a Joint Committee to regulate all the Courts of the Island. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVIII., pp. 292–293.]
March 5. 1,700. Minutes of Council of Virginia. The Governor read the Queen's letter of 22nd August, appointing a quota of 250 men to be sent to the assistance of New York, if applied for, and asked the Council's advice thereon. Ordered that the latter be entered in the Council books, and that if the quota be applied for, ships, provisions and necessaries shall be provided for the men. Letter from Lords of the Treasury of 15 November, 1694, read; and ordered that the Collectors enquire for a suitable vessel and commander to check illegal trading, and receive proposals for manning and victualling her. Order for the Collectors to send in to the Council an account of all doubtful bonds. The Governor again signified to the Council his zeal for the encouragement of the College and clergy, and asked if there were anything relating thereto wherein he had been wanting or which he could now do; to which the Council unanimously replied that they were most sensible of his zeal and had nothing to propose but that he should continue his care and favour. Advised that a General Assembly be called on the 18 of April, and that one ship be permitted to sail for England to report the arrival of the fleet. Several letters read relating to the apprehensions of the Indians of an attack by foreign Indians; and it was advised that the Rangers be particularly diligent and careful in their duty. Order to summon the clerk and one churchwarden of Denbigh parish for shutting the minister out of the church.
On the report of Colonels William Byrd and Edward Hill of the ruinous state of the old fort near the state-house, it was resolved that the fort be demolished and the guns mounted for defence of the river. The Royal orders relating to the country having been read, a Committee was appointed to draw up a state of the country's present condition and circumstances for transmission to the Secretary of State. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 888–892.]
March 6. 1,701. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Order for payments. Elisha Cooke nominated one of the Justices of the Inferior Court of Judicature, William Peprel to be one of the Justices of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas, and Samuel Wheelwright to be Judge of Probate in the County of York; Jonathan Sparrow to be one of the Justices of the Inferior Court in Barnstable County; Jacob Green, Jonathan Prescott, Jonathan Hammond, William Clarke, Thomas Freeman and Nathaniel Paine were nominated Coroners. These appointments were all approved by the Lieutenant Governor. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXIV., pp. 503–504.]
March 7. 1,702. Minutes of Council of New York. Mr. Pinhorne's accounts for repairs at the port referred to the auditors for examination. Colonel Andrew Hamilton's memorial as to a Post Office read, and postponed to a fuller Council. Petitions for lands granted to William Beeckman and Merck Dusackoy. On the petition of Laurence and Francis Wessells to carry away oyster-shells from the lands lately granted to Jarvis Marshall and William Welch, the two latter were directed to attend next Council-day. The Governor communicated certain papers from Onandaga as to the resolute attitude of the Five Nations against the French, when it was resolved to send a copy to the Governor at Boston. Order for £50 to be allowed towards the support of a post office for one year from Michaelmas last. Orders for sundry payments. On a hearing of a case in error the judgement of the Supreme Court was affirmed. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 11–13.]
March 7.
1,703. Order of the King in Council. Referring a memorial from the Agents for the Leeward Islands to Lords of Trade and Plantations for report. Signed, William Blathwayt. ½ p. Endorsed, Read 8 Mar. 94–5. Annexed,
1,703. I. Memorial of the Agents for the Leeward Islands to the King. We are much alarmed at the advices from France of preparations of ships of war and land forces to be sent to the West Indies in order to attack the Leeward Islands, which are not guarded at sea except by one ship of war, much out of repair. Moreover no recruits have been sent to the Regiment in those Islands for some years past, though greatly wanting: and the inhabitants, being much wasted by mortality and by the several expeditions against the French, are so weak in defensible men able to bear arms that they will be in great danger of being destroyed if attacked by the enemy, to the ruin of many hundreds of families there settled, of the Trade and Navigation of this kingdom, and of your Majesty's revenue. We beg that you will order some ships of war and land-forces to be sent to the Leeward Islands. Signed, Bastian Bayer, Rd. Cary, Jeff. Jeffreys, Joseph Martyn. Copy, 1 p. Endorsed, Read 8 Mar., 94–5. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 4, Nos. 50, 50I.; and 44. pp. 194–196.]
March 8. 1,704. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Memorial of the Agents of the Leeward Islands read (see preceding abstract). Agreed to recommend the despatch of two ships and two hundred more men, and that the Governor of Barbados be directed to send assistance.
Draft of a circular warrant to several of the Colonies read and approved.
Register of documents received on 9th March. [Board of Trade. Journal, 7. pp. 409–412.]
March 8. 1,705. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. On the memorial of the Agents of the Leeward Islands referred by Order in Council of 7 March we would represent that on 27 September last it was ordered that £800 should be paid out of the arrears of Holt's Regiment to enable the officers to raise recruits, that on our further representations on the 20th November and 14th December it was ordered that £1,400 should be paid to the officers out of their arrears to enable them to raise and clothe two hundred recruits, and that a fifth-rate frigate should be sent to relieve H.M.S. Chester, which last order was duly communicated to the Admiralty. We now recommend not only that the £1,400 be paid as aforesaid but that 200 recruits and two ships of strength be also sent forthwith to the Leeward Islands for their defence, and that the Governor of Barbados be ordered to send troops and a man-of-war to the Leeward Islands if they be attacked by the French. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 44. pp. 196–198.]
March 8.
1,706. John Povey to William Bridgeman. Enquiring when the frigate appointed for the Leeward Islands will be ready to sail. Draft. ¼ p. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 4. No. 52.]
March 8. 1,707. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Order for payment of a salary. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 77. p. 303.]
March 9. 1,708. Certificate of the money paid to Captain Weems's Company of Foot from 3 May, 1694, to 25 Jan., 1695. Total, £747 9s. 4½d. Signed, Mord. Abbott. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New York, 6. No. 2.]
March 9. 1,709. Similar certificate for Captain Hide's Company of Foot between the same dates. Total, £617 11s. 8d. [Board of Trade. New York, 6. No. 3.]
March 11.
1,710. John Povey to William Bridges. Directing him to attend the meeting of the Lords of Trade and Plantations on the 12th and to warn Major Garth and the officers of Governor Russell's Regiment to attend also. Draft. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 4. No. 53.]
March 11.
1,711. John Povey to Colonel Henry Holt. Directing him to attend the meeting of the Lords of Trade and Plantations on the 12th inst. Draft. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 4. No. 54.]
March 11. 1,712. Minutes of Council of Nevis. Address to the King and Queen read, setting forth the past history of St. Christophers and praying that at the peace it may be kept wholly for England. Address approved. A joint committee was appointed to examine the Treasurer's accounts.
March 12. Petition of Eliza Rawson, for a grant of land, allowed. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVIII., pp. 293–294.]
March 12. 1,713. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Captain Delaval and several other officers of Colonel Holt's Regiment attended, and in answer to questions said that there were, eight months ago, upwards of four hundred effective men in the regiment. Mr. Povey being sent to Colonel Holt gave the same account, adding that they hoped to get two hundred men in six months. The officers were then ordered to consult Colonel Holt and to return an account in writing how many men they believed to be now effective and how soon they will undertake to raise four hundred men.
Mr. Everet was called in and was directed to furnish extracts from the examinations taken against particular persons now employed in the King's yards. [Board of Trade. Journal, 8. pp. 1–2.]
March 12. 1,714. Memorial to Colonel Henry Holt. By the last information from the Leeward Islands I believe I may say positively that the Regiment there has four hundred men. If the King be pleased to send four hundred men more I will do all my endeavours to raise them, but I do not believe it possible to do so in less than six months. In the handwriting of John Povey. Signed, H. Holt. ½ p. Endorsed, Read 12 Mar. 94–5. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 4. No. 55.]
March 13. 1,715. John Povey to William Lowndes. The Lords of Trade desire the report of the Lords of the Treasury as to the proposal to reimburse the sum of £765 out of the revenue from quit-rents in Virginia (see No. 1,686). Draft. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 5. No. 69.]
March 13. 1,716. Minutes of Council of New York. The Governor acquainted the Council of intelligence from the frontiers that the French intended to re-settle Cadaraqui, and that all reports agreed to confirm it. He represented the danger that must ensue if the French should gain over or subdue the Five Nations; and the Council agreed unanimously to send assistance to the Indians. The Governor then proposed to send three hundred fusiliers to the Onandaga Country, and, a Committee having computed the cost, two members were appointed to borrow £200 at 10 per cent. for immediate expenses.
March 14. The two members reported that they had obtained £100 at eight per cent. and £118 from Mr. Gabriel Minivelle for six months without interest. The members gave their personal security for repayment. Resolved that Major Peter Schuyler take the money with him to Albany and consult with Colonel Ingoldsby as to the disposal thereof, unless the alarm of the French prove false, when he will keep the money by him. Patent for him issued to Daniel Stillwell. Jarvis Marshall and William Welsh declared themselves ready to defend themselves against the claim of Laurence and Francis Wessels in a court of law, and the Council decided that only such oyster-shells as had been raked and sifted before the date of the patent should be removed. Memorial of Dirck Vanderburgh that the municipal authorities ought to help him in impressing boats to bring material for building the chapel of the fort. Order for a warrant to Gabriel Miniveile for the sum advanced by him to Government. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 13–16.]
March 14. 1,717. Royal Warrant for the Seal of King William and Queen Mary to be used in New York, pending the preparation of a new seal by King William only. Countersigned, John Trenchard. [Board of Trade. New York, 48. p. 193.]
The same for New England. [Board of Trade. New England, 35. p. 180.]
The same for Jamaica. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 54. p. 13.]
The same for Barbados. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. pp. 93–94.]
The same for the Leeward Islands, [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 44. pp. 206–207.]
March 14. 1,718. Memorial of William Bridges to the King. Hearing that a fifth-rate frigate is about to sail to the Leeward Islands, and with her a vessel with naval stores for Barbados, I beg to represent that a great part of Russell's regiment, raised for Barbados, is still in England for want of transport, which, if you order, may go with the frigate. To this end it will be necessary (1) That a protection be granted for one ship at least, and an order issued for as many men as convenient to be carried on the frigate and store-ship. (2) That money be ordered for the clothes, which are ready for delivery. (3) That the Victualling Commissions be ordered to ship at least two months' provisions for the officers and soldiers. The Governor has represented how urgent is his need of these men. Copy. 1¼ pp. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 77.]
March 14.
1,719. Order of the King in Council. For orders to be despatched to the Governor of Barbados to send assistance of ships of war and land-forces to the Leeward Islands on receiving news from Governor Codrington of any menace or attack. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. pp. 91 and 94.]
March 14.
1,720. Order of the King in Council. For the remainder of Governor Russell's regiment to be transported direct to the Leeward Islands, and that the Admiralty grant protection for the transports and victual them for two months. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. pp. 92–93; and Leeward Islands, 44. pp. 199–200.]
March 14.
1,721. Order of the King in Council. Referring the petition of Richard Holder and another, for leave to appeal against the condemnation of their ships, to Lords of Trade and Plantations for report. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. p. 204.]
Memorandum of the above. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 76.]
March 14. 1,722. Minutes of Council of Nevis. The Assembly sent up a request for an answer to their question whether the Governor meant to reside in Nevis, Antigua or St. Kitts. The Governor answered that he promised to be with them as much as his duty would allow, and believed that for the future he would be chiefly at Nevis and St. Kitts.
March 15. On the Assembly's proposal the Council agreed that the Marshal should collect all sugars due to the treasury, and that Mr. Tho. Sault be summoned to answer for marrying two people contrary to the canons of the church. George Littman was sworn deputy-marshal. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVIII., pp. 294–295.]
March 17. 1,723. Memorial of William Bridges to the King. On my memorial of 14th inst. you were pleased to order that Russell's regiment should be transported to the Leeward Islands for two months. I am informed that the ship with naval stores has but twenty-five tons of naval stores, the rest of her loading being merchants' goods consigned to Barbados, so that the owners are unwilling for her to go to the Leeward Islands. Also the persons concerned in the ships for which the protection was granted refuse to fit her out for the Leeward Islands, since it may take a month or six weeks to beat from the Leewards up to Barbados with a laden ship. Besides the expense of transporting men to the Leeward Islands (which will be saved in sending them direct to Barbados) shipping for the Leeward Islands cannot be obtained in time for the day when the frigate sails. If you will order the frigate to convoy the men safe to Barbados it will not take her forty hours out of her course; but, if not, there is a ship of thirty-four guns to be had which, with the store-ship, may take the men to Barbados, the frigate convoying them only as far as they sail her course. Copy. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 78.]
March 17.
1,724. Order of the King in Council. Referring the petition of Isaac Richier to Lords of Trade and Plantations for report. Signed, William Blathwayt. ¼ p. Annexed,
1,724. I. Petition of Isaac Richier to the King in Council. By your letter of 15 March, 1694, you ordered that I should be set at liberty to come to England, that all my goods should be restored to me, and that all facilities should be afforded me for examining witnesses and taking depositions. This letter was presented to Governor Goddard on the 31st of August, but has not been obeyed by him, for he still keeps me a prisoner (though at large), detaining my goods, forbids my debtors to pay me their debts, and, to prevent me from obtaining any depositions, has turned out of the Council and the Commission of Peace all persons who had any respect for me, appointing in their place such as will execute his arbitrary will. I can obtain no oaths to be taken in my behalf, no relief, and no justice; but all the ill treatment of me is still continued. If you will order impartial persons to examine the matter I doubt not to establish the loyalty and integrity of my character, and I beg that this may be done. Copy. 1½ pp. The whole endorsed, Read 17 May; Read and heard 4 Oct., 1695. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 2. Nos. 21, 21 I.]
March 18.
1,275. Governor Russell to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Last Saturday arrived a ship with the melancholy news of the Queen's death, which has filled all men's hearts with sorrow; and nothing could have prevented it from overflowing save our own zeal to stand by the King; as we shall more fully set forth when the next fleet sails. The master of the ship tells us that most of the Jamaica ships were blown from their anchors at Madeira. Some of them, he thinks, returned, but he supposes that most of them held on, though he saw some of them since leaving the Island. He says that when they sailed from Plymouth his was the only ship bound to this port, and that the Jamaica ships had orders not to touch here but only to see this ship safely here, which was of great consequence to this Island and to the King's service. For we are perpetually plagued with French privateers of all sorts, any one of which would have taken her. But for their capture of the provisionships these privateers could not be victualled. So, since the difference between their making Deseada and this is but fifty odd leagues and there is always a fair wind for them south of the tropic, I hope you will see that touching here cannot make two days' alteration in the voyage. We daily expect two Guinea ships, one bound to Barbados and the other to Jamaica. Ships bound from Guinea to Jamaica seldom or never fail to touch here first, and many ships bound from this Island to England would go down to Jamaica when convoys go thither and carry orders for any of the King's ships there to sail for England. And though a ship must be a good one that can beat up from Jamaica hither in two months, and some merchant-ships are so leewardly that they could never do it, yet the voyage from Barbados to Jamaica is never reckoned at more than six or seven days, the trade-wind always blowing fair and the current running to leeward. So I believe that it would be for the King's service for the Jamaica fleet to touch here, whether they make any stay or not. Signed, F. Russell. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 10 June. Abstract read, 12 June, 1696. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 79; and 48. pp. 132–134.]
March 19. 1,726. Minutes of Council of Barbados. The joint Committee on the Excise Bill brought it up amended, and it was ordered for third reading on the 23rd. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., p. 511; and Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. p. 45.]
March 20.
1,727. Governor Sir Edmund Andros to Sir John Trenchard. On the 2nd inst. I received the Queen's commands of 22nd August for assistance of New York. I have communicated them to the Council and taken order for effecting the same, and have issued writs for an Assembly to sit on the 18th of April. I hope that they may contribute to that charge, and that I may be able to send you a good account thereof by the return fleet. Signed, E. Andros. [America and West Indies. 638. No. 19.]
March 20. 1,728. John Povey to William Bridgeman. Desiring to know the name of the store-ship appointed for Barbados, how many men of Russell's regiment may be sent out in her and in the Hastings, frigate, and whether any naval stores have lately been sent there for H.M. ship Chester. Draft. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 80.]
March 20.
1,729. William Bridgeman to John Povey. H.M.S. Hastings, which is to go to the Leeward Islands, can carry no soldiers or stores. If any vessel be hired to carry naval stores to "the Berbadoes" it is by direction of the Navy Board, and the Admiralty cannot inform you whether any soldiers can be put on board of her, nor in what manner they propose to send stores to the Chester. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 4. No. 56.]
March 20. 1,730. Minutes of Council of Nevis. In answer to a complaint of the Assembly, the Governor promised that in future no patent for land should be granted before there be an office opened and the land ascertained to be the King's, and that Assemblies should always be duly and properly elected. The Council agreed to the Assembly's proposal to raise 491,466 lbs. of sugar by a levy of 80 lbs. per poll in all, but rejected a proposal for an Act for representatives to be elected every year in ten days elapsed, and for every freehold to have a vote, as against the King's prerogative. A petition for compensation for a horse pressed for a military expedition was referred to the Assembly, and by them granted. Several petitions considered. The Council agreed to the Assembly's proposal for a present of 100,000 lbs. of sugar to the Governors. On the question of billeting the soldiers the Assembly refused to consent to an Act, but agreed to a new order, to which the Council assented. Copy of the said order, dated 3rd June, 1695.
March 21. Joint committees appointed to draw up an Act for the present to the Governor, and to examine the Treasurer's accounts. The Council, on the Assembly's proposal, agreed that as soon as the King's soldiers were settled in their quarters it should be forbidden to any of them to keep taverns or tippling-houses. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVIII., pp. 295–297.]
March 21. 1,731. Minutes of Council of New York. Orders for certain payments. The petition of Peter Hellebrandt against the patent for land desired by George and Thomas Hall referred to three gentlemen for report. Order for an agreement to be made for building the chapel in the fort. An abstract of the debts of the Government received and referred to the Treasurer or the Receiver-General. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 16–17.]
March 21. 1,732. Minutes of Council of New York in Assembly. There being not a full house the Governor adjourned to the 23rd. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. p. 669.]
March 22. 1,733. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. William Brodrick sworn of the Council. Edmund Edlyn, Deputy-Receiver General, was for the present refused permission to put in Thomas Smith to act in his place. Usher Tyrrell's petition to be discharged from a bond for negroes escheated to the King was refused. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 77. p. 303.]
March 23. 1,734. John Povey to William Lowndes. The Lords of Trade expect on the 1st April the report of the Lords of the Treasury as to the proposal to repay a certain debt in the Revenue of Virginia from the quit-rents. Abstract of the proposal is enclosed. Draft. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 5. No. 70.]
March 23. 1,735. Minutes of Council of New York in Assembly. The Speaker and Assembly attending, the Governor spoke as follows. I have frequently told you that my coming here was no choice of my own, but since I came I have done my best for the ease and safety of the province. The burden of detachments has been almost insupportable. I have endeavoured to lighten it by supplies from England which the King has graciously sent. That the full complement is not yet arrived must be ascribed to Providence and not to want of his Majesty's condescension. In disposing of the public money for defence of the frontier I have not fingered a farthing myself, but have distributed all by the advice of the Council, submitting not only the most minute accounts but also the muster-rolls for your examination. Had my care and diligence met with suitable reception and confidence I doubt not that the Colony would have gained the security and ease which I have striven to obtain for it; and I am sorry that I must charge whatever is deficient on the wilfulness and neglect of others. I will not enlarge on this with anything harsh, however true. The chief matters you are summoned for are the defence of the frontier and of our Indians. You cannot be ignorant that money is wanting to pay the garrisons of Albany and Senectady. Other places must be satisfied upon the nearer approach of the French to Cadaraqui. I lay before you the last accounts from those parts. If speedy care be not taken for relief and assistance for these Indians their loss will prove ours. The other matter for you is the debts of the Government, caused by the unforeseen accidents of a time of war. I hope that as I have not been wanting in good husbandry, so you will do your duty for the preservation of the rights and lives of the King's subjects, and that those who have trusted the credit of the Government may be justly and speedily paid. I beg you to despatch those urgent affairs as their absolute necessity and the season of the year requires. Speech ends. In reply to a message from the Governor, Peter Delanoy and Major Howell came with an answer that the Representatives had nothing to offer that day and requested a copy of the speech. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 669–671.]
March 23. 1,736. Minutes of Council of Barbados. The Excise Bill as amended was read a third time and passed. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., p. 512; and Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. p. 46.]
March 23. 1,737. List of Seven Acts passed in Barbados from 1 November, 1694, to 23 March, 1695. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. p. 192.]
March 23.
1,738. Governor Russell to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I send the Acts passed since my arrival and now give an account of the matter mentioned in my instructions. As I have already reported I swore in the Council at my coming. There were absent from this Island of the Council Sir Peter Colleton, Sir Edwyn Stede, Richard Howell, Sir Robert Davers, John Hothersall, and Samuel Crispe, and Thomas Walrond had died. Since then Mr. Whetstone is dead, and we are informed that Mr. Hothersall and Mr. Crispe are dead in England. Mr. Mein is gone to Jamaica. Colonel Kendall is going for England and several members say that they will go next year. My instructions contained a clause as to sending home depositions etc. as to Colonel Hallett, which Mr. Whetstone assured me was already done. I apprehended that I was directed to swear him in Council, but several of the Council judged that it would be better for him to absent himself till your pleasure was known. For possible vacancies in Council I recommend the reinstatement of Robert Bishop, a very gallant, honest gentleman and very loyal to the King; Jonathan Langley, a near relation of my own, of extraordinary parts and bearing; Richard Scott, a man well-beloved and of good estate; John Boteler, of very good estate; Mr. Benjamin Cryer, minister of St. Philip's, a gentleman of good life, great learning, great knowledge of the laws and a good preacher; Thomas Merrick, Thomas Maycock both very honest, gallant gentleman of good estate; Samuel Barwick, a gentleman very well versed in the law and of good estate; James Coates, a very considerable merchant; Richard Elliott, who is the like of Mr. Coates; Randall Vawdry, minister of St. Michael's, of like character with Mr. Cryer. So many of the Council are dead, absent or detained by their own business, that it often happens that I cannot make a Council, even for matters of the greatest importance, so I beg that you will add to the board the gentlemen above mentioned. The great mortality here and the difficulty of writing to you during this war makes me the more pressing, as I must otherwise either add to the Council myself, which I should be sorry to do without your approbation, or business must come to a stop. I have had no cause yet to suspend any of the Council, and hope I never shall. My next instruction relates to sending home the Acts of the Colony. Those lately passed I have already sent home; but to certify the authenticity of the rest would require such examination of patents, commissions etc. as would occupy the judges and law-officers some years, and the Council twelve months, even if it should do no other business. Yet the penalties against me if I do not send these laws within three months are very severe. All laws of England are in force here, and I shall suffer none repugnant to them to pass, though this Council has vigorously endeavoured it. I beg that you will alter my instructions in this particular, for they are impossible of performance. All money raised since my coming has been applied to the use of the Assembly, and none shall be applied otherwise than as directed by my instructions, though I have been so unfortunate as to meet with an Assembly which has made it its constant endeavour to encroach on the royal prerogative. The next instruction relates to presents given me by the Assembly, which I have observed, and to the provision for the Lieutenant Governor's salary in case of my absence, which case has not arisen. I shall certainly observe the instruction forbidding my absence without leave; but I must observe that the Island is troubled not only with a very pestilential distemper, which has swept away some hundreds, but with another distemper, which is catching. This latter we call the dry belly-ache. It deprives those whom it seizes of the use of their limbs, and the only cure for it is to go immediately to a cold climate. If it be not taken at once, but allowed to hang upon any one for but a little time, it is absolutely incurable, and the party remains a cripple for life. In this emergency I ask for permission to leave the Island if my health should require it, and I also ask leave to appoint a deputy in case of my death until the King's pleasure be known. The eldest Councillor who has formerly succeeded in such occasion is very old and infirm, and in a state of war it is necessary to choose one who would take care that the King's affairs, both civil and military, shall suffer as little as possible by my death. The next instructions, as to the transmission of accounts and the disposal of money by my warrant only, have been and shall be observed. But the Assembly is not content with its power to examine the accounts and has pressed vigorously that no money shall be disposed of without their approbation, and that the Treasurer shall be accountable to them, paying no money but from their Clerk. They laboured so much in this point that I had great difficulty in removing it. Had it passed the consequences would have been most dangerous, for on invasion of an enemy or other modern emergency no money could have been disposed of till an Assembly had been called and consulted, and an order obtained from their Clerk. Moreover the public credit of the Island is so very bad that no one will trust it. My next instruction laid down that no duty upon liquors should be made for less than a year. I was forced to pass a short Bill for the continuance of the former Act of Excise, the Assembly not having finished the new Bill till the last moment when the former Act expired. The Bill that they then brought up was so logged with contradictions that the Council threw it out on the second reading. I sent the Assembly a copy of my instructions and told them that I could pass no Bill contrary thereto, but still they would do it; so I was forced to pass the short Bill above mentioned. They tried the same again, but I told them that they should not adjourn till they had finished the Bill according to the Royal Instructions, and the fear of catching the pestilential distemper by lying in town has, I think, been the most persuasive argument to the passing of the Act which I now transmit. Passing over the four next instructions, which I have faithfully observed, I come to that which is for securing every man's life or goods from being taken away except by established laws. This present Assembly have tried hard to pass a law vesting in themselves the power of trying cases of the highest nature without a jury, of levying fines, and of inflicting penalties, to which, being opposed to the laws of England, I shall never consent. I hear that the Assembly have sent home complaints against me for not passing such a Bill, and say that they would never have given me a present had they thought that I would have rejected the Bill, and that this present shall be the last.
The next instruction as to which I have to say anything is that as to the arming of the inhabitants for defence. I have not yet had time to see all the regiments, but shall do so as soon as possible. I fear that I shall be forced to make a sad complaint to you on that subject, as also on the great want of white servants, whom the planters do not provide and the sickness has very much thinned. There is no encouragement given to white servants when their time is expired, for they have only about forty shillings given to them for all their services, and no other inducement to stay in the Island. The other Colonies offer so much encouragement that servants leave Barbados as soon as their term is ended. I dare say that there are hundreds of white servants in the Island who have been out of their time for many years, and who have never a bit of fresh meat bestowed on them nor a dram of rum. They are domineered over and used like dogs, and this in time will undoubtedly drive away all the commonalty of the white people and leave the Island in a deplorable condition, to be murdered by negroes or vanquished by an enemy, unless some means be taken to prevent it. Nor can we depend upon these people to fight for defence of the Island when, let who will be master, they cannot be more miserable than their countrymen and fellow-subjects make them here. The best way to avert these misfortunes would I think be for the King to order a law to be passed, offering such rewards to white servants at the end of their time as to persuade them not only to come over but continue in the Island. But unless it be done by the King's letter I am sure that the people will never do it for themselves. Another method might be to give all the commonalty who have two acres of land or four shillings a year freehold votes to elect members to the Assembly, and these people would sometimes give the poor miserable creatures a little rum and fresh provisions and such things as would be of nourishment to them and make their lives more comfortable, in the hopes of getting their votes. And by the law of the country the Assembly is elected every year. These two things would, I think, be instrumental in keeping white people on the Island, and unless all honest methods be taken for them the result be as I have said above. The instruction as to martial law I shall readily observe. That as to the numbers of the population I hope to comply with shortly. I give a short list of our arms, which I am sure you will think a very slender stock. We are constantly supplied with powder by ships coming in, but shot we can only obtain from England, and I have written for some by this fleet. But I beg that there may be sent to us six mortars and some bombs, for I am apprehensive lest the French fleet should come and bombard this town and burn the shipping, which in my opinion could easily be done. We are also in great want of a fire-master. Supplied with these things we could do a great deal of mischief to an enemy's fleet. But if the French should come here meanwhile, nothing that lies in me shall be wanting for defence of the country.
As to the remaining instructions, I hope to send you a return of births and deaths shortly. I have already sent home one return of shipping. So far I have taken all possible care to provide convoys, though several ships stole away from here one night without my privity or consent, leaving behind the convoy that I had appointed for them. No proposal has yet been made to me for exchanging the four and a half per cent. duty. I have duly observed the instructions as to the clergy, but I must acquaint you that there are three vacancies in the Island, which I hope may be speedily filled. I have pressed the allowance of sufficient stipends for Ministers upon the Assembly, but I am sorry to say that the present Assembly has shewn great backwardness in promoting anything for the interest of the King or the Island. I almost despair of having their consent to any law by which the public interest would be any ways improved. I can think of no remedy, except that the King should send a letter to ask for an explanation. As to the hanging of a table of marriages, established by the Church of England, in every church, I have hopes that the Assembly may pass a law for observance of the table. As to the Royal African Company, negroes were never at such high and extravagant rates as at present, since the Island was planted. If the Company has not due returns of its money, as it expected, it is not for want of the buyers' ready payment, but because their Agents have understood too well the advantage of ten per cent. (which is the interest of this country) to part with the Company's money too soon. I have endeavoured to encourage the trade in negroes with Spain, having procured the repeal of an Act which seemed to be the greatest obstacle thereto. I hope in time to give you a good account of this affair. As to the strength of my neighbours, I have not been here long enough to give you a satisfactory account, but Governor Codrington writes me that the French have twelve privateers in these parts. We are but in ill-posture to receive such a force, having only H.M. ships Bristol and Play (prize) and a small brigantine, which with some difficulty I persuaded the country to buy. These are so ill-manned, owing to the sickness, that but one can be fitted out at a time for want of hands. I am apprehensive that these privateers, which used to ply in the Channel, may attempt some of the King's plantations here, and make a considerable addition to the strength of our enemies. I doubt not of your care herein. As to the conversion of negroes to Christianity, I apprehend that the keeping of Christian holy days will be the great obstacle, most of the planters thinking Sundays too much to be spared from work. As to giving assistance to other British plantations in distress, I wish we were in sufficiently good posture of defence ourselves to be able to do so. I shall not fail to do my best, if needed. As to the repair of the prison, I hope to have it performed with all possible speed. With regard to the erection of a house for the Governor, proposals for the King's or the Governor's interest in the Island have been so coldly received that I had no encouragement to recommend this. How could I believe that they would build a house for me when they would not even provide a house for me to move into when fourteen out of sixteen of my family were seized with this pestilential distemper? As to new products suitable for cultivation in the Island, I believe that pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and most spices would thrive there. Could we have plants brought here, it would be of prodigious advantage. The rest of my instructions have been carefully observed. Finally I beg that, as I have no training in the law, the Attorney and Solicitor-General may be allowed to sit in the Council Chamber, so that I may be able to consult them at all times, as is done in Jamaica. Mr. Lane's case was examined by two of the Council, chosen by himself, whose report I have sent home. Unsigned. 12½ pp. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 81; and 44. pp. 152–178.]
March 23.
1,739. Governor Russell to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I have received your orders as to the seizure of the ship Charles the Second. She has not yet arrived here nor, so far as I know, at any of the adjacent Islands. I have communicated your order to the captain of the man-of-war whom I have sent to convoy merchant ships to Salt Tortudas. Signed, F. Russell. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 26 June, '95, from Colonel Kendall. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 82; and 44. p. 179.]
March 24.
1,740. Governor Russell to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Last night a sloop came in from Bermuda and reported that in latitude 20° she met H.M. ships Winchester and Firebrand with five ships under their convoy, which had been separated by stress of weather from the rest of the fleet. There was sickness on board of them. Yesterday a suspicious sail appeared close to Carlisle Bay, and I have sent the brigantine after her. The Tiger is here, manned and ready to sail with the merchant fleet to England at the beginning of next week. I did not like to send her out as she has the Admiralty's orders to come home, and if she had been damaged in action we might not have been able to repair her here. Having not seamen enough to man more than one ship we have borrowed men from the Tiger, and put them, together with twenty soldiers of my regiment, upon the Bristol to look after this strange ship. If the Jamaica fleet had touched here they would certainly have snapped her, and I must point out again that it may sometimes be very advantageous for the Jamaica fleet to touch here. Making this Island is as good to them as making Deseada, and there cannot be three days' difference in the whole voyage. Some-times we have ships that would go on with them to Jamaica, if they knew of convoys from there to England. Signed, F. Russell.
Postscript. The Bristol and brigantine are returned, having met with nothing. I sent the brigantine lately down to Martinique to spy what force the French have there. I send a list of the officers that died here. Six of them have died in the Bristol and Play, and a great many of the men. The Bristol is now here, in great want of men. The Play is gone to Salt Tortudas with a convoy, including two very good merchant ships, so that I dare say that fleet is safe. If it were lost it would almost starve this Island, for so many ships have been taken that we have had little provisions from England. These ships carry salt to New England, and by that way we are supplied with provisions. She is commanded by Captain Jackson, late midshipman in the Bristol. He is a man of very good understanding, so I doubt not his care of the fleet, as he has given such proof of his courage both by sea and land that I will answer for his not losing the King's ship for fear of broken bones. His Lieutenant is an extraordinary good man. I have got merchants to trust the Tiger for victualling and refitting for her voyage. Thus I have done my best to support the misfortunes brought upon the ships by the sickness. Signed, F. Russell. Postscript. March 30. The brigantine is come in from Martinique. She saw six merchantmen in Fort Royal and eight sail besides. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 10 June, '95. Abstract read, 12 June. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 83; and 44. pp. 135–138.]
March 26. 1,741. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. A letter from the Governor-in-Chief as to the completion of the works on Monkshill was read by the Deputy-Governor to the Assembly, but the Assembly again refused to carry on the work. The Deputy-Governor sent a message pressing them earnestly to re-consider their decision, as the desertion of the fortifications might be fatal to the Island. The Deputy-Governor asked the Assembly to authorise payment for hire of a sloop to carry intelligence of French designs at Martinique to the Governor. The Assembly sent up the bonds to be signed by the Marshal and Secretary, pursuant to the Act for establishing Courts; but the Secretary refused to sign them, as he held his place by patent and received his instructions from the Lords of Trade. Order for the auditing of Captain Garrett Powell's accounts. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 133–135.]
March 26.
1,742. Depositions of James Watkins, and another, purser and gunner of the sloop Owner's Content, hired for the King's service. As to an indecisive engagement fought on 10 November, 1694, off Martinique, with a vessel which carried Dutch colours. 1 p. Over page, Minute by Governor Russell forwarding the above to Lords of Trade and Plantations. ¼ p. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 84.]
March 26. 1,743. Minutes of Council of New York. On information from an escaped convict from Algiers that his companions, for whom a fund had been raised, were escaped, dead or had renounced Christianity, it was ordered that an exact account of the said fund be prepared, that it may be turned to some pious use.
March 27. Patent for land granted to the widow Pawling. Petition of Dirck Jansen Hooglandt referred to two Councillors for report.
March 29. Patent for land granted to the widow Cornelius. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 19–20.]
March 26. 1,744. Minutes of Council of New York in Assembly. Message from the Representatives asking for a joint Committee to confer as to the defence of the frontiers. Chidley Brooke, William Nicholls and Colonels Heathcote, Minivelle and van Cortlandt were appointed.
March 27. The Committee appointed to meet the Committee of Representatives reported that they had pointed out the necessity for securing the frontier, and that supply for 200 men for six months at least would be wanted.
March 29. In reply to a message the Representatives said that they had nothing to offer to the Council. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 671–672.]
March 27.
1,745. Lords Proprietors of Carolina to Governor John Archdale. We have received yours from Madeira. We hope to find hereafter the good effects of Carolina becoming a place of refuge from arbitrary government in other places. We cannot consent to your proposal for disposing of land, with the quit-rents, at twenty or more years' purchase, for we cannot see how our interests are as well secured as by a constant quit-rent, nor do we think that our refusal thereof will discourage purchase and settlement of land. We are sending you your commission and instructions. Signed, Craven, Bathe, Ashley, Wm. Thornburgh for Sir John Colleton. [Board of Trade. Carolina, 4. p. 25.]
March 27.
1,746. Edward Cranfield to Sir John Trenchard. I do not know if my former letters came to your hand, having had no line from anyone in your office. When I last wrote, on 15th December, the sickness very much raged here, but (God be thanked) is now so much abated that very few die of it. Of late very many of our small vessels that trade to and from this Island have been picked up by privateers from Martinique, which outsail our men-of-war. Two sixth-rate frigates, if good sailors, would be better for this service; I presume the Governor will ask for them. He has done all he can by sending out the men-of-war with a sloop and brigantine as often as they could be manned, which has often been prevented by the great mortality of seamen. He has also frequently recommended to the Assembly to raise a fund for defence of the Island in case of attack, and to pay the debts due to the expedition to Martinique and due to poor artificers and labouring men. But all persuasion is rendered ineffectual by some ill men in the Assembly, as the Governor will inform you at length. We are much oppressed by the melancholy news of the Queen's death. I have taken the boldness to send you a small cask of sweetmeats and a few bottles of citron-water. Signed, Edw. Cranfield. 1½ pp. Endorsed, R., 29 May, '95. [America and West Indies. 456. No.59.]
March 27.
1,747. Richard Cary to John Povey. I have informed the rest of the Agents of what you write, who think it some hardship upon them to get ships now after they have been once put by, and the Barbados Agents have twice tried to procure them and have not been able to do it. However, our duty and zeal obliges us to embrace all opportunities to serve the Leeward Islands; and we are ready to endeavour to procure sufficient shipping to carry the soldiers to the Leeward Islands without pestering them, if my Lords please to order us to do it. We ask for eighty or one hundred English seamen to be allowed to man the ships, and twenty shillings a head for every soldier, for there must be water-cask provided, and other small disbursements on board for their accommodation, and that sufficient provision of victuals, bedding, beer and other necessaries be put on board for them. That being granted, we do not doubt of procuring shipping which will carry the soldiers well and not pester them by putting too many on one ship, which may create sickness and distemper in hot weather on so long a voyage. Signed, Rd. Cary. Holograph. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 27 Mar., '95. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 4. No. 57.]
March 27. 1,748. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Letter from the Agents of the Leeward Islands read (see preceding abstract). The Agents being called in undertook to persuade the owners of the transport-ships to forego the demand of twenty shillings per head, for freight of the men, and the Lords agreed to make their declaration accordingly.
Mr. Everet appeared, and several witnesses were examined as to the alleged embezzlement of timber and stores at Woolwich dockyard. [Board of Trade. Journal, 8. pp. 2–9.]
March 27. 1,749. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Agreed to represent to the King the proposal of the Agents of the Leeward Islands to procure shipping for transport of Russell's Regiment to those Islands, free of freight-charges, if eighty English seamen be granted to them. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 44. p. 200.]
March 28.
1,750. Order of the King in Council. That protections be granted for eighty seamen for such shipping as the Agents for the Leeward Islands shall take up for the transporting of Russell's Regiment, free of freight-charges, and that the victuals and other necessaries for the men be supplied to them. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 44. pp. 201–202.]
March 28.
1,751. Order of the King in Council. That the ships for transporting the soldiers to the Leeward Islands have leave to sail despite the embargo. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 44. p. 202.]
March 28. 1,752. Order of the King in Council. For bedding to be supplied for the soldiers under orders to sail to the Leeward Islands. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 44. p. 203.]
March 28. 1,753. Clerk of Assembly of Barbados to William Blathwayt. Forwarding the Journal of Assembly from 11 July, 1693, to 12 December, 1694. Signed, G. Payne. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 85.]
March 29. 1,754. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. The Attorney-General attended to report upon the laws of Massachusetts passed in 1692. The Lords agreed to recommend that the two Acts for the continuance of local laws, the Act for erecting a Naval Office and the Act for incorporating Harvard College be disallowed, and that the Attorney-General prepare a new clause to the Act last named. Agreed also to recommend the disallowance of the Act setting forth general privileges, as repugnant to the laws of England. [Board of Trade. Journal, 8. pp. 10–12.]
March 29. 1,755. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Order for the payment of a salary. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 77. pp. 303–304.]
March. 1,756. Draft of an establishment of a Regiment of five companies of Fusiliers for Barbados, each company to consist of a captain, 2 lieutenants, 3 corporals, 3 serjeants, 2 drummers, 100 privates; also for a single company of the same strength for Jamaica; also for four companies of the same strength for New York. The rates of pay are the same as in England. Total cost for one year, £17,517. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 86.]