America and West Indies: April 1695

Pages 452-466

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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April 1695

April 1. 1,757. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Further evidence was taken as to the alleged embezzlement of stores at Woolwich Dockyard. [Board of Trade. Journal, 8. pp. 13–15.]
April 2.
1,758. Governor Russell to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Governor Codrington writes me that he lately sent a flag of truce to Martinique concerning prisoners taken by French privateers, but that Count de Blenac would not allow the party to land nor send any prisoners to them, but sent the flag away without answer, pretending that his flag of truce was lately ill-treated at Barbados. However the party understood from a French gentleman who came on board them that they had three frigates fitting out there, it is supposed, to intercept the Barbados fleet. Governor Codrington therefore sent me the Chester to convoy the fleet out of danger. He further tells me that the French have nineteen privateers, great and small, in these parts, besides their three men-of-war. I am trying to man the Bristol and have put on her as many of my soldiers as they want, but I fear they will hardly get seamen enough to man her. Seamen are much wanted in these parts, and but for the arrival of the Chester we durst not have let the homeward bound ships go, or they must inevitably fall into the enemies' hands. The wind being southerly I hope that our fleet may pass some leagues to windward of the place where the enemy is supposed to cruise. If you will send a convoy to be here about the middle of February, they will find a fleet here ready to sail for England. This fleet would have been ready at that time, but that our crop was backward and that we have had little wind to grind the sugar. The next fleet from hence will sail about the middle of June, and should get into soundings by the beginning of August. Pray let men-of-war be cruising for them in soundings at that time, and I shall send what force I have to convoy them out of danger. We are in great want of naval stores. We have supplied the Chester with an anchor, cable and sails, without which she could not keep the sea, though we are in great want ourselves. Signed, F. Russell. Postscript. Had the Jamaica fleet touched here, our fleet might have gone out with them to Deseada, and have been safe; but now we are apprehensive of danger to them. 1¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 10 June. Read 12 June, '95. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 87; and 44. pp. 139–140.]
April 2. 1,759. Minutes of Council of New York. A petition against Widow Pawling's patent for land was referred to a committee for report. Petition of Jasper Nisseput for a windmill in New York granted, provided he grind for the Governor's family an amount not exceeding four bushels weekly and pay five shillings annual quit-rent. Memorial of Widow Gretie Ahm granted; and ordered that her other two half islands be inserted in the patent. Warrants for payment of salaries. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 20–21.]
April 2. 1,760. Minutes of Council of New York in Assembly. Yesterday's votes of the Representatives were read, also an address from them to be adjourned until they have the perusal of the muster-rolls. This latter demand the Council thought was improper, since there was no need for the House to see the muster-rolls before they raised supplies. The Governor sent the following message in reply. I have acquainted you with the urgent need of a supply for defence of the frontiers. I am as solicitous as any member of you for the ease and prosperity of the Colony. I know its strength and capacity and what contributes to its weakness and grief. I shall always be ready to expose my life for its safety, so I think it my duty to remind you that a supply for guard of the frontiers is the most momentous matter that can come before you. I desire to know what I may expect, so that if money cannot be raised to pay the men I have or shall procure, I may draw such detachments of men and officers from the militia as may be necessary. I have also to inform you in reply to your address for adjournment that the perusal of the muster-rolls cannot affect your proceeding to the business of supply.
April 3. Yesterday's votes of the Representatives were read, when the Governor finding them running into mistaken notions as to surplusage of taxes, sent the following message. I must inform you, to prevent mistakes, that whatever public money is raised is immediately as such vested in Their Majesties and must be disposed of according to the Royal Letters Patent. The surplusage of the taxes is wholly uncertain; they not being received, there are always insolvencies. Till the men and officers are paid, and incidents (which ever prove more than is expected) are defrayed, no reasonable guess can be made what it will amount to. By probable computation I do not think there will be any surplusage, but rather a want of money. If there should be any surplusage I promise that it shall be applied only to the use for which it is raised. I wish to ease the Colony in every way, but I cannot think £1,000 sufficient for your service. Last year the charge for defence of the frontier was £4,000 and the inhabitants were detached. On enquiry I find that the taxes have never been nearly so grievous as the detachments. I judge therefore that the province, being eased from detachments, might frankly give £4,000 this year, it being wholly for its own preservation. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 671–675.]
April 4. 1,761. Minutes of Council of New York. The dispute as to the boundaries of Newtown and adjacent towns was considered, when, the matter not being cognizable by the Council, except by consent of both parties, the disputants were left to their remedy at common law. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. p. 21.]
April 4. 1,762. Minutes of Council of New York in Assembly. The Governor observing that the Assembly still refused to raise more than £1,000 to secure the frontier, laid the muster-rolls before the Council and appointed a committee to state the accounts of the four companies and to find out what surplusage there is. The Council asked the Governor to send no more messages to the Assembly until he had seen the bill which they are now framing.
April 5. The Committee on examination of the muster-rolls and other necessary charges reported that, with all arrears of taxes in the Receiver's hands and disbursed again to their proper uses, there will be no surplusage, but a sum of £1,023 wanting to pay for the force now on the frontiers and their incidental expenses up to 1 May next. The report was then given to the Councillors of the Joint Committee for communication to the Representatives on that Committee.
April 5. The Councillors of the Joint Committee reported that in their conference with ten members of the Assembly they had laid before them the whole report prepared yesterday, and that they had given Peter Delanoy the original muster-rolls to prove that the abstract was correct. The Representatives however alleged that the scheme of the taxes was the balance of accounts and not accounts themselves, and that though they believe there is a voucher for every article which has passed the Council, they cannot credit the Council. They said also that if the Governor appoint more officers than they make provision for, and detain the fusiliers longer in service, he may pay them himself. The Council explained that the reasons for detaining the men were, that, at the time of relief, there came intelligence that the enemy was marching against Albany, and that the detached men were slow, some being a month or six weeks after the term prescribed by the Act; and there being daily need to send parties to range the woods and defend out-farms, the Governor was sole judge of the number of officers required, and they ought to be paid. The Assembly's Bill for raising £1,000 for supply of the frontiers for six months was then read, and condemned as insufficient. It was also objected that the preamble was improper, and that the provision made at the end of the Bill to attempt to cut off the Governor's power of detaching men was repugnant to the Royal Letters Patent. It was then moved for consideration that the Governor issue orders for collecting detachments for the defence of the frontier, setting forth how the Assembly had defeated his efforts to ease the country thereof.
April 6. The Governor asked the Council to consider well if there were any choice left to him but to publish the reasons for rejection of the Assembly's Bill and to proceed to order detachments of militia for the frontier. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 675–679.]
April 4.
1,763. Governor Sir William Beeston to Lords of Trade and Plantations. We have by an accidental ship the news of Queen Mary's death, upon which I ordered all expressions of sorrow which we were capable of. Pray inform me whether all public instruments which bear her name are voided by her death. I have prorogued the Assembly which was called in her name, to avoid any mistakes herein. We have lost Mr. Samuel Bernard, who held a dormant commission as Lieutenant-Governor. He was Chief Justice and one of the Council, and will be greatly missed not only in public but private affairs, being a man of great veracity and integrity. I scarce know whom to recommend for the dormant commission, so thin are we of men of ability and parts; but Colonel Peter Beckford and Colonel Nicholas Lawes, both of them Councillors, are worthy, honest men. If I should die and there should be no such commission, ten or twelve of the Council, being of equal authority, will hardly agree, and thus the King's service may suffer much prejudice. Colonel Beckford having gone to sea in the Hampshire and Mr. Bernard being then sick, there were but six of the Council left, and many of them living twenty-five or thirty miles from St. Jago, so I called Captain Brodrick from the Assembly and swore him of the Council. I hear that the Privy Seal is passed for him to be a Councillor, but I have not received it. The Jews in this place have usually been taxed in the lump, and assessors appointed among themselves to raise the sum, but they being a people without any Governor or government cannot endure to be taxed by their equals, and there are consequently great quarrels and contentions among them. To obviate this they have applied to me to recommend their case to the Assembly, which I have accordingly done, but whether they will grant their desire I am uncertain, because the English think that the Jews eat out their trade. The Jews have therefore desired me to lay their case before you, and to ask that, as they are sworn and obedient subjects, they may be used as such, and that in future they may be taxed in the seven parishes wherein they dwell, by the English officers, their neighbours, or others, like the rest of the King's subjects here. We have no news of the fleet yet, but a report that the French are coming from Rochelle in considerable strength has alarmed people here lest they should arrive first. If this should be the case, it will doubtless be fatal to this Island. Otherwise Jamaica is in a very healthy and, considering the number of people, in a very good condition. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 54. pp. 21–33.]
April 5.
1,764. J. Burchett to William Blathwayt. Asking for the number of soldiers that are to be sent to Barbados, the Admiralty having received directions to victual them. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 88.]
April 6. 1,765. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. The Acts of Massachusetts for 1692 were further considered, and it was agreed to recommend the disallowance of the Acts for quieting possessions, for equal distribution of insolvent estates, and for punishing capital offences.
Further evidence was taken as to corrupt practices in the dockyards. [Board of Trade. Journal, 8. pp. 16, 18.]
April 6.
1,766. John Povey to J. Burchett. The men that were to have been transported to Barbados are now intended for the Leeward Islands. Major Garth, the officer in command, will attend the Admiralty to report the numbers to be transported. Draft. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 89.]
April 6. 1,767. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. The Deputy-Governor desired from the Assembly an answer to his second message respecting the completion of the fortifications on Monkshill. The Assembly answered that the question had been again carried in the negative. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 135–136.]
April 8. 1,768. Minutes of Council of New York. Colonel Ingoldsby's letter was read, whereupon the Council advised that kettles, dishes, etc., must be provided at the expense of Government for the newly arrived recruits. The Governor reported that some of the principal Sachems of the Five Nations were come from Onandaga to treat with him. The Council were of opinion that they must be clothed and must receive presents. The Indian Messengers then came in, thanked the Governor for his late help of men and ammunition and said that they daily saw more clearly the falsehood of the French Count de Frontenac. The Governor returned a suitable reply, shewed them the belt which he had prepared to send them if the last alarm had not proved false, and gave it to them as a remembrance. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 21–22.]
April 8. 1,769. Minutes of Council of New York in Assembly. The Council brought up its report and advice for rejection of the supply of £1,000 voted by the Assembly, on the grounds (1) that the preamble asserts that the King has granted supply to the province and especially for defence of Albany, whereas no certain service has been appointed for the forces, but that has been left to the Governor's discretion. (2.) That the bill gives certain surplusages of taxes which do not exist, whereas the least sum computed to be wanting is £1,300, as has been pointed out to the Committee of Assembly. (3.) That £1,000 will not raise and maintain 100 men for more than three months, at forty shillings levy-money and pay of twelvepence a day, whereas the state of the frontier and the need for reassuring the Indians call for a greater rather than a less force than has heretofore been provided. (4.) That the last clause restraining the Governor from making detachments of the militia is inadmissible, as divesting him of his authority over the militia. If the Governor chooses to assure the Assembly that he will guard the frontier without detachments, if enabled to do, his word and honour ought to be accepted. If the objectionable matter, above referred to, be expunged from the bill, it is the Council's opinion that the supply of £1,000 may be accepted. The report having been approved by the Governor a copy was sent to the Assembly.
April 9. Message from the Governor to the Assembly. Yesterday I sent you the Council's reasons for rejecting your bill. If you will enable me to provide for the safety and ease of the province I will give all fitting assurance that (by God's help) I will secure the frontier without making detachments. But if you insist on with-holding the necessary supplies I shall be compelled to burden the province by drawing out part of the militia to defend the frontier. The grievance will then lie at your door, for it cannot truthfully be ascribed to me. You have sat a great while, considering how little you have done for the public service. The 1st of May draws near, when, without immediate care, the frontiers will be left naked. The enemy have been already there, and, when they know our weakness, will undoubtedly take their measures accordingly. I beg therefore to know your ultimate resolve, so that, if you will not assist me in preserving the Province, I may take such methods as are possible to me under the Royal Letters Patent. Message ends. The Assembly desired to know what particulars in the bill were inconsistent with truth and with the trust reposed in the Governor. The Governor in reply referred them to the report of the Council already in their hands.
April 10. The Governor sent a further message to the Assembly, as follows. In reply to your question yesterday I referred you to the report of the Council. You positively asserted what you now make a supposition—a surplusage where there is none. A thousand pounds will not answer the end that I proposed. I can never pass a bill to divest myself of the military command entrusted to me by the King. I have done my best to help the province and to ease it from detachments, and I have good prospect of giving it ease and security unless you persist in defeating my good intentions. You have no reason for the least conjecture that I should intend this Province not to contribute money to its own defence. Detachments being removed, the burdened is lightened. Message ends. The answer of the Assembly to the foregoing message was read, and was found to contain nothing but an evasion from proceeding to business. The Governor thereupon sent them another message as follows. I find much time spent in questions and answers without any regard to your duty to the King and the Province. It is a faint argument and unbecoming the wisdom of a province to say "a muster-master informs us," when the accounts and muster-rolls have been laid before you, shewing not only that there is no surplusage, but on the contrary that £1,000 will not answer the indispensable charges of the late year. I therefore again recommend to you my previous messages, and the approaching need for relief of the forces on the frontier on the 1st of May. The ill-consequences, blood and devastation that must ensue I must wash my hands of. They will lie at your door if you will not contribute to your security, and I shall expect you to be witnesses of my endeavours and shall appeal to the King as the only judge of the matter. Message ends. The Council advised that the Assembly should not be adjourned, prorogued nor dissolved as yet.
April 11. Yesterday's votes of the Assembly were read. In reply to their denial that the muster-rolls were tendered to them, three members of the Committee declared that they did tender an abstract of the muster-rolls, which had been compared with the originals in Council, and put the originals into Peter Delanoy's hands that he might compare them likewise for the satisfaction of the House. On the advice of the Council orders were issued for calling the field-officers of the province together; and on the representation by the Governor of the unprofitable proceedings of the Assembly, the Council advised that it be dissolved.
April 12. With the concurrence of the Council the Governor summoned the Assembly in the hope that a speech might have some influence with them. The House attending accordingly, the Governor said that he had sent for them to use his utmost endeavour to remove those misunderstandings which seemed to have caused a stagnation of business, and passing in review all the passages of the Assembly used many pregnant and persuasive arguments for their leaving causeless contention and providing for the safety of the province. The Assembly having returned to their house, the Council thanked the Governor for his speech and bore witness to his integrity and zeal for the welfare of the province.
April 13. Yesterday's votes of the Assembly being read, which showed that they continued to deny any further supply, the Governor asked the Council's opinion what was to be done. He also laid before them a petition submitted to the Assembly by the churchwardens and a resolution of the Assembly thereupon, namely, that the Assembly has power to call a dissenting minister from the Church of England and to compel all persons to contribute towards his maintenance; also another petition presented to the House by two fusiliers who have deserted from the frontiers, and the Assembly's reference thereof to the Governor for payment of the said deserters. The Council thought that no good was to be expected from the Assembly since there were persons among them endeavouring to embroil the province in disorder, and advised that it be prorogued till the 23rd inst., being the day fixed for the meeting of the field-officers. The Assembly was accordingly summoned, when the Governor made them the following speech. You have given your opinions and interpretation of an Act providing for a ministry in this city and two adjacent counties, and you say that under it the churchwardens and vestry-men may call a minister dissenting from the Church of England and raise the money for his maintenance. I must tell you that there is no Protestant Church except the Church of England which admits of such officers as churchwardens and vestry-men. It is out of your province to explain a law which you did not make: it is for the judges to interpret the law. You have also received a petition from two fusiliers which you referred to me to be paid, though they did not see fit to shew themselves. I am informed who they are and that they have deserted, for which the penalty in time of war is death. I should rather have expected you to have sent them to me to receive their deserts. Let all or any of you shew me an officer who has discharged a man without his full pay, and I will make an example of him; or shew me any man in the province who is not paid. You have sat a long time to burden the country with a charge of £10 a day besides other expenses, without regard to your duty to the King and the country, but spending the whole time in contention for superior right of Government. The supply which you pretend to give is no supply at all. If a man gives me £1,000 and obliges me to pay £2,000, he gives me nothing. You now desire to print your votes. Mr. Speaker knows that at the opening of the session (if I may call it one) I said that they might be printed de die in diem; but it was never asked before. I am as sensible of the burden of detachments as you can be, and have done more to lighten it. I know that it is an oppression which falls wholly upon the poor. Most of you are sheltered by commissions either as justices or militia-officers, but you know you must contribute some proportion to the taxes. The gentlemen of the Council are rivetted among you here. They have paid down their stakes, they have as much interest in the country as you—yea, more than all of you—and they are as unwilling to bring a yoke upon their posterity as you are. I can name two of them who pay more taxes in a year than all of you pay. It seems strange that you will not trust them, but make doubts and scruples where there is no ground for it, in things which you confess that you do not understand. There never was a man among you, except Peter Delanoy, who pretends to understand an account, and there is not a farthing of public money disposed of but by advice of the Council, and there are good vouchers for it, such as I believe Mr. Delanoy would be glad to have for his accounts which are now before the Lords of the Treasury. I have taken many measures to ease the province from detachments, and have solicited not only the neighbouring provinces but also Their Majesties, who have ordered forces hither at my disposal; but as all is like to be defeated by your neglect I am ready to appeal to Their Majesties and have a safe conscience to appeal to a higher King for the integrity of my endeavours for the good of this province. Had you acted like men, it was your business, if you found me out of my duty, first to provide for the safety of the province and then to have drawn up your accusations against me, which I should have been careful to transmit to Their Majesties. But since I find you resolved not to raise supplies, you are prorogued to the 23rd of April. Memo. The Assembly was dissolved by proclamation before the 23rd. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 679–692.]
April 9. 1,770. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Further enquiry into the corrupt practices at the dockyards, which was continued on April 19th. [Board of Trade. Journal, 8. pp. 19–22.]
April 10. 1,771. Minutes of Council of Nevis. Agreed that the joint Committee which drew the Act for the present to the Governor shall also draw the Act for the levy. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVIII., p. 297.]
April 11. 1,772. Minutes of Council of New York. Warrant for payment of £25 to Colonel Andrew Hamilton towards the expenses of the Post-Office. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. p. 23.]
April 12.
1,773. Lords Proprietors of Carolina to Secretary Paul Grimball. Your letter to Sir Peter Colleton of 10 April, 1694, stating your receipts from quit-rents to amount to £73 6s. 7d., and for land sold to £277 3s. 0d., is but now before us. You will pay the quit-rents to the Governor for the time being for support of the Government. The money received for sale of land you will send home by the best opportunity, giving us timely advice of the same. We are pleased to hear of the flourishing condition of the country. Signed, Craven, Bathe, Ashley, Wm. Thornburgh for Sir John Colleton, Tho. Amy. [Board of Trade. Carolina, 4. p. 25.]
April 12. 1,774. Lords Proprietors of the Bahamas to Governor Nicholas Trott. We are well pleased to hear of your safe arrival in the Islands and that by your prudent management you have reduced the inhabitants to a contented condition which encourages new persons to come and settle among you. You did well to send us your queries with the answers from the Council, which enabled us the better to answer Mr. Graves's complaints. You mentioned a hardship upon persons who had lost their patents when the Spaniards destroyed the Island. You ought to certify their case particularly, describing their land and their right to it as declared upon oath, and transmit the certificates to us. We approve your design of building a city called Nassau and shall be ready to grant it any privileges that you may reasonably propose, but that should be done by charter from us. As to the first Act, for containing a model of the city of Nassau, etc., it seems so worded that our consent may do injustice to many owners of land, who would thereby be deprived of their inheritance, and to ourselves by giving away our quit-rents; there being no clause either in that or in your next Act, entitled an Act to establish what quantity of lands shall be allowed, etc., that in any way secures them to us. We therefore disallow them. The third Act, for the plantations taken up, etc., tends to deprive such persons of their rights who do not lay claim before the 21st of March, 1691, being (as the Act says) so specified in our instructions. After examination of the instructions we find no article that can be so construed and therefore dissent to the Act. The last Act, to make void all patents for land granted, etc., is not intelligible to us, and is therefore disallowed. As to what you write of the three pirates under sentence of death, we dare not give such encouragement to piracy as to pardon them, having so lately had complaints of that nature, but since their crime was not accompanied by any aggravating circumstances and did not extend to murder, and since you may have heard further matter on the other side we leave the case to your discretion and confirm your pardon if you think fit. You were very right not to consent to the bill for taking away the King's Customs and our tenths of salt, since that would have been contrary to your instructions; but you must be very careful that your officers do not discourage trade by exacting unreasonable fees. We note your report that our revenues amount to over £800 annually, but have not had time to examine your own and Colonel Jones's accounts. We observe that you intimate Colonel Jones's to be very imperfect, and we doubt not that you will remit us our profits as you receive them. We have never heard question of our rights to Turks' Islands and the Caucasses, and we doubt not we may reap what profit we can from them with safety. We send you copy of Mr. Graves's complaints, for your reply. He has been with us and discoursed us about the Acts. When we asked him what should induce you to believe we should be willing to part with our quit-rents, he said it was a quære. Signed, Craven, Bathe, Ashley, Wm. Thornburgh for Sir John Colleton. [Board of Trade. Carolina, 4. p. 26.]
April 13. 1,775. Minutes of Council of Barbados. George Payne was sworn Deputy Secretary. The Assembly attending, the Governor recommended to them (1) consideration of the King's letter as to the clergy, (2) the discharge of debts for the passages and other expenses for the soldiers, (3) a bill offering a reward of ten shillings to anyone who shall bring in a seaman to the King's frigates, (4) to take care for a vessel to bring prisoners from Martinique. George Hannay's petition for money expended on sick prisoners was referred to the Assembly. The Assembly brought up its reply, as follows. We beg you to take up a vessel for the prisoners and we undertake to satisfy the charges; and we will bring in a bill to offer a reward for seamen. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 48–49.]
April 13. 1,776. Minutes of Council of New York. Two Indian messengers were brought in, whom the Governor presented with red coats laced with silver, and other clothing besides ammunition. He then bade them hold firm to the covenant chain and not listen to the French; whereupon one of them, after thanking him, asked his advice if they should send their young men against Canada. The Governor bade them fight on, and telling them that an English prisoner had lately been taken near Albany bade them bring a prisoner from Canada in his room. The Indians promised to prosecute the war. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 23–24.]
April 15. 1,777. Minutes of Council of New York. Order for the money due to the fusiliers to be computed and for payment of £200 towards their wages to be made immediately. The Attorney General reported that since the prorogation Colonel Pierson had ordered the votes of the Assembly to be printed. Ordered that the printer deliver up the books and papers given him by Colonel Pierson to the Attorney General, who will report to the Governor and Council if it be convenient to permit them to be printed. Petition of John Low and others for confirmation of a grant of land in Haarlem referred to the Attorney General.
April 16. The Governor representing that the Assembly had refused a supply for the defence of the frontier, professing great unwillingness also to oppress the country with detachments, the Council was unanimously of opinion that the burden of such detachments should be lightened as far as possible, and advised that money be taken up at interest to answer the present necessity upon the credit of Government, for levying one hundred volunteers to be employed on the frontiers for one year, allowing forty shillings levy-money and twelve pence a day to each man. Order for the £218 borrowed for the expedition to Onandaga to be applied to this purpose. The accounts of the four companies were referred to three members for audit. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 24–25.]
April 15. 1,778. Minutes of Council of Virginia. The Governor announced that they were met to hold a General Council and Assembly, and desired consideration of what was necessary to be done.
On report of the death of Queen Mary, it was resolved to take no notice until the fact had been announced by the Privy Council. The clerk and churchwardens of Denbigh were furnished with copy of the complaint against them of shutting the minister out of the Church, and were ordered to answer it on Friday next. George Hudson, clerk, under reprehension for coming into the country without the Bishop of London's licence, attended. Mr. Commissary Blair acquainted the Governor that Mr. Hudson's ordination was good, and that enough had been done to make him sensible of his error, but the Council resolved that he be further restrained from his ministerial practices in the Colony.
April 17. The Council, being informed by the Governor that Philip Ludwell, late one of the Council and reputed Governor of Carolina, had been elected burgess for James City, resolved that he should not be obstructed in that station. The Governor announced the heads of his speech to the Burgesses, viz., the furnishing of the quota to New York, vessels to cruise for prevention of illegal trade, ministers' salaries and allowances, the encouragement of the College, the continuance of rangers on the rivers, and the easing of the levy by poll by an impost on imported liquors. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 892, 894.]
April 17.
1,779. Governor Sir William Beeston to [Sir John Trenchard?]. We have no certainty yet of the fleet being come, but a vessel of this place arrived yesterday from Curaçoa with the following account. On Monday the 8th inst. a Bermuda ship came into Curaçoa, the master whereof reported that three weeks before (about the 8th of March) he fell in with our fleet to windward of Deseada, and going on board one of the men-of-war was told that they had put into Madeira for wine and stores but were no sooner at anchor than they had been driven away by a storm which drove them from the road. They then sailed straight and were sixteen sail together. Where they should be ever since I cannot guess, unless at Hispaniola prosecuting the design, but then I wonder I should not hear from them nor that they have not sent over the passengers and letters. Nor have I heard from Colonel Beckford, whom I sent seven weeks since to concert with the President of St. Domingo that his forces might be ready against the arrival of our fleet and thereby no time be lost. After that I ordered him to cruise in the Hampshire towards the eastern end of Hispaniola to meet the fleet and endeavour to incline them to fall on their design before they come down hither, which will save much time and charges. But I hope to hear from them in a day or two. We have by an uncertain way heard of the death of Queen Mary, whose loss we have expressed with such solemnity as the Island is capable of, such as "all our cannon minute-time and the generality in mourning," but as we have no public notice thereof, nothing is yet altered in the style or any public instruments. The country continues in perfect health and quiet within, and I hope the arrival of the fleet will secure us from abroad. Signed, Wm. Beeston. Holograph. 1 p. Endorsed, 1 July, '95. [America and West Indies. 540. No. 37.]
April 18. 1,780. Minutes of Council of New York. Accounts for fuel and other expenses for the fort referred to two members for examination. Petition of Henry Rensselaer as to the condemnation of the barquentine Orange deferred for consideration by a fuller Council. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 25–26.]
April 18. 1,781. Minutes of General Assembly of Virginia. William Byrd and Edmund Jenings authorised to swear in the Burgesses.
April 19. The Burgesses attended the Governor in the Court house and, having chosen Philip Ludwell their Speaker, returned, when the Governor made the following speech. I have received the Royal commands to furnish a quota of men to New York if requested, and must ask you to consider of supplies for the same. The Lords of the Treasury enjoin the fitting out of suitable vessels to check illegal traders. I have also the Royal orders to propose to you the assignment of a competent salary for ministers, for the encouragement of the clergy, and the giving suitable support and encouragement to the College. I have been obliged to appoint additional rangers on the James and Potomac Rivers and must ask you to ascertain their pay. Lastly I recommend to you the substitution of an impost on imported liquors for a part of the levy by poll.
April 20. Copy of the Governor's speech was sent down to the Burgesses. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXV., pp. 1167–1170.]
April 18. 1,782. Journal of House of Burgesses of Virginia. The Burgesses present were sworn and adjourned.
April 19. Having attended the Governor the Burgesses, after the nomination of six several members, elected Philip Ludwell to be Speaker. The House again attended the Governor and heard his speech. Committee of elections and privileges appointed.
April 20. Copy of the Governor's speech received. Return of the members elected. No burgess returned for the College, as only the President and one master attended the election. Orders of the House read. Committees of public claims and of grievances appointed. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXV., pp. 1219–1225.]
April 19. 1,783. Minutes of Council of Virginia. On the Governor's asking the question, it was advised that he make his speech to the Burgesses after and not before the choosing of a Speaker. The Council, on hearing the speech, advised that nothing further of service could be added to it. On consideration of many indecent reflections reiterated and asserted with passion by Mr. Blair in Council, but known to be contrary to fact, it was resolved that he ought not to sit further at the Council till further directions are received. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 894–895.]
April 22. 1,784. Journal of House of Burgesses of Virginia. The house was called over, when several members were found to be absent. William Drummond's appointment by the Governor to be messenger read, and himself admitted to the place. The House went into Committee on the Governor's speech. Resolved to address the Governor for the Royal orders to which he refers, and that his speech be referred to the Committee of Grievances. Claims and grievances considered.
April 23. Address to the Governor for copy of the Royal instructions referred to in his speech; to which the Governor replied by sending four letters, which were read and referred to the Committee of Grievances. Claims and grievances considered.
April 24. Claims and grievances considered, also the report of the Committee on several propositions; whereon it was agreed, among many other matters, that no debate nor proceeding be had on the question of export of tobacco in bulk. A great number of propositions were dealt with, and it was resolved, among other matters, that bills be prepared to empower justices to sign commissions of probate and administration and to ascertain the tare of tobacco-hogsheads.
April 25. Further consideration of the report of the Committee of Grievances.
April 26. Further consideration of the same. Resolved to address the Governor in reply to his speech as soon as the Committee of Grievances shall have reported thereon.
April 27. Bills for fixing a place for York County Court and to empower justices to sign commissions of probates read a first time. Certain resolutions of the Committee of Grievances on the Governor's speech was read. Order for bills to be prepared for better defence of the country, and for levying a duty of two shillings a gallon on imported liquors. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXV., pp. 1225–1237.]
April 23. 1,785. Minutes of General Assembly of Virginia. Address of the Burgesses for the Royal Instructions referred to in the Governor's speech. Order for four letters to be sent to them.
April 25. Two petitions for payments referred to the House of Burgesses. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXV., pp. 1171–1172.]
April 22. 1,786. Minutes of Council of New York. On the advice of the Council the Governor ordered a proclamation for dissolving the Assembly.
April 23. At a meeting of the field-officers of the whole province, ten being present, the Governor laid before them the present circumstances of the Colony, left without supply for defence of the frontiers, and having caused the clause of his commission to be read which relates to his command of the militia, desired their opinion as to the best and safest method of securing the frontiers.
April 24. The field-officers gave their advice, for detaching one hundred fusiliers from the several regiments to Albany, to be commanded by a field officer, captain and ensign, for three months. The field-officers engaged their personal security upon the credit of the Assembly for their respective quotas, Lieutenant-Colonel Pierson and Major Matthew Howell, both of Suffolk County and of the late Assembly, refusing. The Governor ordered the report of the field-officers to be presented, also the clause of his commission concerning the command of the militia. The Governor acquainted the Council that some of the members of the late Assembly made it their business to misinform the people that the accounts and muster-rolls were never laid before them nor tendered for their perusal, whereon, since this tends much to disturbance, he desired their opinion. Advised that those Councillors who were of the Committee when the accounts and muster-rolls were tendered to the Committee of Assembly do publish their knowledge of the matter and cause it to be printed for the satisfaction of the common people. The Governor caused to be read a discourse held by Colonel Caleb Heathcote to the militia of Westchester to bring them to a right understanding of the Governor's proceedings with the late Assembly and their bad return, and having thanked Colonel Heathcote for the same ordered it to be printed and published.
April 25. Fresh auditors appointed to examine the accounts for expenditure on the fort. Order for sundry payments on account of that expenditure. Some of the Council produced their declaration against the false reports respecting accounts and muster-rolls, which was read and approved. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 26–29.]
April 26. 1,787. Depositions of William Cooper, 26 April, and of Benjamin Joyce, 18 April, as to the time of discharge of the ships England and Coronation, hired for the King's service. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 90.]
April 26. 1,788. Minutes of Council of Virginia. The resolution of the Council of 19th inst. was read to Mr. Blair. The Governor then reminded him of his reflections on the Government, when the Governor, on application of the Churchwardens, had appointed a qualified minister to preach during Mr. Blair's illness and with his leave in James City Church, the Governor promising to pay him out of his own purse. Mr. Blair then said that neither the Governor nor the King had authority to appoint a minister to preach, and that it might be of as ill consequence as in King James's time; also the ministers need not have produced their orders to the Governor, it being sufficient if they shewed them to himself; also that he, Blair, could once have served the clergy in Colonel Nicholson's time, but that the present Governor was so cautious that he knew not how to discourse him. The Council supporting all these assertions and Mr. Blair shewing no reason for his unjust reflections nor even extenuating them, the Governor declared him suspended from the Council. [Col Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 895–897.]
April 27. 1,789. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Sir Thomas Laurence, Secretary of Maryland, presented such papers as he had saved from the enemy when he was captured by the French. [Board of Trade. Journal, 8. p. 23.]
April 29. 1,790. Journal of House of Burgesses of Virginia. Order for ten members to be taken into custody for their default in attending the House; and that leave of absence be given to no member in future except upon extraordinary occasion. Committee appointed to draw up an address in reply to the Governor's speech. The case of the ten members in custody was considered and their excuses heard, whereupon they were discharged, paying their fees. Bill to enlarge the bounds of Princess Anne County read a first time.
April 30. The Address in reply to the Governor's speech was read and approved as follows. As to the sending of a quota to the help of New York, our poverty and the heavy expense of providing men for our own frontier make us incapable of assisting New York, either with men or money. This Colony in its greatest necessities has always borne its own charges without assistance, and is consequently much impoverished. The Indians seem likely to infest and injure us more than heretofore, and it will be no protection to us to send our men to New York. Since we are anxious to testify our readiness to obey Their Majesties' orders on all occasions we beg you to join us in an address to them setting forth the state of the country, and so to secure us a favourable acceptance for our proceedings. As to fitting out vessels against illegal traders, we doubt not that your care will be to the Royal satisfaction. As to the appointment of competent salaries for Ministers, we think, after due consideration, that with their glebes and perquisites most if not all of the Ministers are in as good a condition in point of livelihood as a gentleman who is well seated and has twelve or fourteen servants. We think that they are sufficiently provided for, and where they are frugal men they have increased their fortunes. As to the College, we can testify to your zeal for advancing and encouraging it, but we think that future Assemblies will always provide for it when necessary, and that the existing funds and endowments are sufficient for the present. As to the increase of the rangers, we thank you for your care and vigilance, and we shall provide for the additional men in a Bill for future defence of the country, which will continue the former Act in that behalf until 31 October 1696. Lastly we have prepared a bill for an impost on imported liquors. Address ends. Bill to fix a place for York County Court rejected. Bills to empower justices to sign commissions of probate read a second time with amendments. Bill to fix the bounds of Princess Anne County also read a second time. Further consideration of the report of the Committee of Grievances. Resolved to address the Governor that it be forbidden to any person to take up more than 400 acres of the land south of the Blackwater, when it is thrown open.