America and West Indies: June 1695, 1-14

Pages 495-513

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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June 1695

June 1.
1,866. Clerk of the House of Burgesses of Virginia to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Advising despatch of the journal of the Burgesses at the General Assembly opened on 18 April. Signed, Peter Beverley. ¼ p. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 5. No. 71.]
June 1.
1,867. The same to the Duke of Shrewsbury. Forwarding a copy of the journal of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, from 18 April to 18 May, 1695. Signed, Peter Beverley. ¼ p. Annexed,
1,867. I. Journal of the House of Burgesses of Virginia—from 18 April to 18 May, 1695. 66 pp. [America and West Indies. 638. Nos. 23, 23 I.]
June 3. 1,868. Minutes of Council of Nevis. James Thynne sworn of the Council. The Council proposed that the levy should be speedily got in, and on the Assembly's motion the Treasurer was sent for to show why his accounts are not ready. The Assembly rejected the Council's proposal for an Act to prevent the boarding of ships by any person (except the Custom-house officer) before the master has reported his arrival to the Government. Agreed that an account of the stock of powder be furnished, and that the Act as to foreign coin be amended. Certain petitions read and dealt with. The Acts for a levy and for a present to the Governor were read and passed. Agreed to appoint John Parry to be Treasurer, provided he be compelled to reside in the Island. A joint committee appointed to draw up a bill to amend the Act for foreign coin. Order for suits as to legacies to be heard in the Courts according to established practice. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVIII., pp. 297–298.]
June 4. 1,869. Minutes of Council of Virginia. The entries in the minutes as to Mr. Blair's suspension were ordered to be amended, being incorrect. Warrants for salaries of officials signed. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 905–907.]
June 4.
1,870. Governor Sir Edmund Andros to Lords of Trade and Plantations. A General Assembly met on the 18th of April when I acquainted them that I had received the King's orders on several particulars, and recommended the consideration of suitable supplies for the assistance of New York, the ascertaining of a competent maintenance for each minister in money or current value in tobacco, and a further encouragement in perfecting the College. In answer the House of Burgesses excused their refusal to give a supply for New York by their poverty and the necessary cost of defending their own frontiers, which they apprehended could not be secured by the forces at New York; but at last £500 was assigned by Act for the service, if necessary, out of an impost on liquors. This, upon advice, I have not refused lest it might obstruct in time to come. As to the ascertaining of the maintenance to ministers, the Burgesses could not be prevailed with to increase the quantity. The question of the College they postponed to an occasion when the country may be in a better condition, the present fund not being exhausted. I have recommended the furthering of that work to the trustees, to whom I have ever given all encouragement and despatch. The Assembly have laid a levy on tobacco for the payment of thirty-six additional soldiers and officers raised last summer on the occasion of strange Indians on the frontiers; and for the future defence and safety of the country they have offered a bill for establishing soldiers to range at the heads of the great rivers and for raising more as there shall be occasion, which passed into an Act for eighteen months. For lessening the levy by poll, which I recommended, an impost of fourpence per gallon is laid on all liquors imported, to continue in force till 31 October, 1696. I have ordered a small vessel to cruise for illegal traders, and shall take care for the assistance of New York the best I can, as commanded by the Queen; but forasmuch as the £500 given by the Assembly on liquors is little towards that charge and the revenue appropriated for the support of that Government is in arrear I beg your favour to Their Majesties out of the quit-rents (sic) or otherwise as you think fit. The Assembly's business being done I prorogued it until the 31st of October. All is very well and quiet here except Mr. Commissary Blair, who, notwithstanding all endeavours, was not to be satisfied; and his comport before the whole Council was such that they represented him as unfit to sit at that board. I therefore suspended him from the Council till further orders. This goes by Captain Crow of H.M.S. Norwich, commander with the merchant-ships bound for London. Signed, E. Andros. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 1 Aug. Read, 7 Aug., 1695. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 5. No. 72; and 36. pp. 292–294].
June 4.
1,871. Governor Sir Edmund Andros to the Duke of Shrewsbury. I communicated to the Council the Queen's orders as to sending a quota of men to New York on the application of the Governor, and I shall do my best to fulfil them. On the meeting of the Assembly on the 18th of April I recommended to the Burgesses suitable supplies for the assistance of New York, and was answered by excuses for not doing it; but afterwards, upon a conference with the Council, the sum of £500 was appropriated for that service out of the impost on liquors, which I was advised not to refuse but to accept as an earnest of better in future. I must mention that the revenue of the two shillings per hogshead and other duties appropriated for the service of the Government often falls short of the necessary established charge, and the present impost on liquors is not likely to be considerable. The country affords nothing else for support of the public charge except tobacco, which can only be collected once a year, and if had must be converted here into money, or payments abroad for any service lie under the difficulty of undervaluing the current price of tobacco in the country. If the tobacco be shipped it is liable to the charge of clearing here, to the hazard of the voyage, to payment of duty and to an uncertain market, and, if all be well, the time will be long before the proceeds can be applied to answer the intent. All men fit for soldiers here are planters of tobacco, everyone of whom lives in the country and makes from one to two thousand pounds of tobacco, or upwards, annually. Thus, apart from the advantage [sic, the meaning is loss of advantage] to the planter, merchants and shipping, every man taken out of the country means a loss of ten or fifteen pounds duty per annum to Their Majesties. Having orders to provide a small vessel to cruise for discovery of illegal traders I was advised not to enforce the charge thereof in the Assembly, as not likely to be obtained. The Burgesses wholly excused themselves for not ascertaining the Ministers' Allowance, as recommended, and could not be prevailed with for an allowance by the poll nor for augmenting the former quantity of tobacco. Having acquainted the Assembly with Their Majesties' commands as to the College, I received for answer that the question would be referred to future Assemblies, and that they doubted not that those Assemblies would be always well inclined to the same before the present fund was expended. I have recommended to the Trustees the furthering of that work, and have given them every encouragement in my power. The Assembly have passed Acts for Rangers at the heads of the rivers and for a duty on imported liquors (see preceding abstract). I prorogued them till the 31st of October. Your letter of 30 November as to the Northern Neck I caused to be read and entered in the Council Books. I must assure you that Lord Fairfax's agents, being negligent of their business, in order to colour their failures became insolent there without cause, and that the respect towards their employers procured them as easy censure as their offence would admit. I am exceedingly concerned to tell you that Mr. Commissary Blair, President of the College and one of the Council, could not be obliged by all endeavours, nor would contain himself within bounds. I passed over his restless comport till the whole Council declared him unfit to act at the board, when I thought it my duty to suspend him. Having made it my constant care to give all furtherance in all matters relating to the Church and College, I do not yet hear of any neglect or omission on my part. Signed, E. Andros. Two closely written pages. Endorsed, R., 1 Aug., 1695. [America and West Indies. 638. No. 24.]
[June 4.] 1,872. Copy of Minutes of Council of Virginia from 18 July, 1694, to 4 June, 1695. 26 pp. Endorsed, R., 26 Aug., 1696. [America and West Indies. 638. No. 25.]
June 4. 1,873. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Governor Fletcher's letter of 19 November read. Agreed to recommend the payment for the presents requested by him for the Indians, and to defer consideration of the rest of the letter.
Minute as to the laws of Massachusetts. (See next abstract.) [Board of Trade. Journal, 8. pp. 37–46.]
June 4. 1,874. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. On the Acts of Massachusetts passed in 1692, the Lords agree to recommend thirty-eight of them for confirmation; but that the remainder be repealed, namely:—The Act for continuing local laws; since the laws to be continued are not particularly specified. The Act for erecting a Naval office, since it gives powers to the Naval officer which are vested by Act of 25 Car. II. in an officer to be appointed by the Commissioners of Customs. The Act for incorporating Harvard College, since it reserves no power to the King to appoint a visitor, which power should be reserved to the King and to the Governor. An Act setting forth general privileges, which conflicts with the laws of England. An Act for quieting possession and settling titles, since no provision is made for saving the King's right. An Act for the equal distribution of insolvent estates, since it gives no preference to debts due to the Crown; also an Act making lands and tenants liable to payment of debts, for the same reason. An Act for establishing forms of writs for election of representatives, since it alters the qualifications of freeholders as laid down in the charter.
The following Acts are left to the decision of the Lords Justices for confirmation or repeal. An Act for punishing capital offenders; since it makes witchcraft and blasphemy punishable with death, but contains no article relating to punishment for treason to such as counterfeit the great seal of England or of the Colony, and inflicts the like punishment for unpremeditated murder as for poison or other devilish practice. The Act for establishing Courts of Justice, since it restricts the power of appeal to the King in Council, which is laid down in the charter. The Act for securing the liberty of the subject, since the writ of habeas corpus is required to be granted in criminal matters as laid down by statute of 31 Car. II., which has not yet been allowed to pass in any other Colony and was designedly omitted from the charter. [Board of Trade. New England, 35. pp. 187–194.]
June 4. 1,875. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. To recommend that the list of presents for Indians submitted by Governor Fletcher with his letter of 19 November, 1694, may be paid for and sent to him. [Board of Trade. New York, 48. pp. 202–203.]
June 6.
1,876. Order of the Lords Justices of England in Council. Referring the petition of the Agents of New England to Lords of Trade and Plantations for report.
Petition of Sir Henry Ashurst and Constantine Phips to the Lords Justices. Sir William Phips is dead, so we beg that a new Governor may be appointed and hastened to Massachusetts, and that New Hampshire may be annexed to Massachusetts açcording to the unanimous desire expressed by the Council and Representatives of New Hampshire. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., pp. 267–268.]
June 6. 1,877. Order of the Lords Justices of England in Council. For the payment of £200 to Mr. Gilbert Heathcote, to provide the presents recommended by Governor Fletcher for the Indians. Signed, John Nicholas. [Board of Trade. New York, 48. pp. 203–204.]
June 6. 1,878. Memorial of the Agents for the Leeward Islands to Lords of Trade and Plantations. In reply to your enquiries, we consider Major Thomas Delavall very fit and well-qualified to be Lieutenant-Governor of Montserrat, as he has been for some years in command in the Leeward Islands. [Delavall was of Holt's Regiment.] Signed, Bastian Bayer, Joseph Martyn, Rd. Cary. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 6 June, Read 4 July, 1695. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands. 4. No. 62.]
June 7. 1,879. The Attorney General to Lords of Trade and Plantations. The objections to the private Act of Jamaica alluded to in Mr. Blathwayt's letter of 15 February have been withdrawn by agreement, and I see no objection to this nor to any other of the Acts except that to prevent engrossing and forestalling and to prohibit the export of provisions, arms and ammunition. Therein there is a clause relating to the Naval Officer, as if he were to be put in by the Governor, which I conceive to be opposed to the Act of 25 Car. II. The Act is also objected to as prejudicial to importers. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 54. pp. 37–38.]
[June 10.] 1,880. Index of papers relating to Virginia, from 13 November, 1691 (with a few papers of earlier date), to 10 June, 1695. 5 pp. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 5. No. 74.]
June 10.
1,881. Secretary of Virginia to Lords of Trade and Plantations. The Royal commands as to assistance to New York and the appointment of a quota were proposed to the Assembly, who represented that the circumstances of the country would not admit a greater assistance than £500. Upon inspection of the present revenue in this Government there is found to be not sufficient to pay its contingent charges, much less that of the assistance commanded; nor is there any probability of its being better supplied during the war, the number of our merchant-ships and trade being much lessened. I beg leave also to offer to you that it is conceived that the dependence of this country on New York is not so immediate as has been presumably represented to Their Majesties, so as to require such supplies nor our assistance of such service, considering how great a loss the want of two hundred men's labour in this country will be to the Crown, besides the weakening of this country if an attack should be made. In compliance with the orders of the Lords of the Treasury, a sloop of forty tons with ten men has been fitted out for the detection of illegal traders, the men to be paid by Their Majesties' revenue, none being here procurable to act on any other fund. The Royal commands as to the Church and College have been duly regarded, how mistaken soever Mr. Blair has been in his unjust aspersions on the Government, from which the clergy, even without application, have had all imaginable encouragement. I send the orders of Council and journals of the last Assembly. Signed, R. Wormeley. 1¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 1 Aug. Read 7 Aug., 1695. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 5. No. 73; and 36. pp. 294–295].
June 10. 1,882. The same to the Duke of Shrewsbury. An exact copy of the preceding letter. Endorsed, R. 1 Aug., 95. [America and West Indies. 638. No. 26.]
June 11. 1,883. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Daniel Parke sworn of the Council. Order for an embargo on all ships for Europe after the sailing of the convoys with the fleet. Order to suspend the disbandment of additional Rangers, strange Indians having been lately seen at the head of James River, until the 30th inst. when, if no more Indians appear in the interim, they shall be disbanded. Ralph Wormeley produced his commission from the King as Secretary, which was ordered to be recorded. The King's grant of wrecks to the Duke of Schomberg was read and recorded. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 53. pp. 1–2.]
June 11. 1,884. Minutes of Council of Barbados. The case of the election of an unqualified person to the vestry of St. Joseph's was referred to the law officers. The Assembly brought up a bill to empower the freeholders of St. John's to choose a vestry. The Governor recommended to them to make such additional allowance to the soldiers as would enable them to live, adding that if he had not maintained them with his own money and credit they would have starved. He also signified to them the want of stores for the King's frigates and asked that they might be supplied.
June 12. A dispute with the vestry of St. Michael's as to inequality of the levy was decided against the vestry. The law-officers brought up their opinion that the vestry of St. Joseph's was legally elected, which was approved by the Council. The Assembly brought up bills for an additional allowance to the soldiers and for providing a residence for the Governor, also an address for limiting the press of seamen. The Governor recommended to the Assembly to give credit to the King for supplying H.M. ships Bristol and Play.
June 13. The Assèmbly brought up an answer refusing to find credit for the supply of the King's frigates, as a bad precedent. The Governor said that he had written to England and that no doubt money or a supply would come, and though the precedent might be bad it could not on such an emergency be avoided. It was agreed that the Council and Assembly should not sit together to discuss the matter. The bills brought up yesterday were read and amended. The members then reported that they had decided that anyone who advanced the money or supply for providing the King's ships should be secured by an Act of the Island, and that a bill to that effect was before the Assembly. The Assembly then presented an address that 8 per cent. might be given to anyone who advanced the £700 for the frigates, which was read and passed. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 49–52.]
June 12. 1,885. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Petition of the Agents for Massachusetts read (see No. 1876), and a copy ordered to be sent to Mr. Allen.
Petition of Nicholas Trott read (see No. 1886) and both parties ordered to give notice when they will be ready to be heard.
Governor Fletcher's letter of 19 November last again read. Ordered that the Proprietors of East New Jersey attend to answer his complaint as to the law prohibiting the export of pipe-staves etc. to New York.
Governor Russell's letters of 18, 24 and 30 November and of 2 April read. Ordered that extracts from the same relating to naval matters be sent to the Admiralty. [Board of Trade. Journal, 8. pp. 47–50.]
June 12. 1,886. Petition of Nicholas Trott, jun., on behalf of Governor John Goddard of Bermuda and Governor Nicholas Trott of the Bahamas, to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I was authorised to prosecute Isaac Richier in twenty-nine articles exhibited against him. I gave him copies of the articles and notice of the affidavits sworn against him, whereof he might if he pleased have had copies from my office. The Governor also offered to him that he might nominate any two or three persons in his own behalf who, with the like number nominated by the Governor, should examine witnesses etc. on Richier's behalf. Richier refused these offers. I therefore embarked with all the necessary evidence to continue the prosecution before you, but was captured on the 4th of May by two French privateers in Bantry Bay, at which time most of my documents were lost. I except duplicates to reach me shortly and beg that any further proceedings may be delayed until their arrival. 1 p. Inscribed, Read, 12 June, 1695. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 2. No. 22.]
[June 12.] 1,887. Copy of a bond for £1,000 offered by Isaac Richier to Governor Goddard to answer any claims decided against him before the King in Council, if Governor Goddard will restore to him his goods. 1¼ pp. Inscribed, This is a true copy of a bond delivered to Governor Goddard on the 2nd of May, 1695, which he gave me back, declaring that he would not accept it, and that no one in the Island but myself durst have delivered it to him. Signed, George Dew. Endorsed, Recd. 12 June, 1693. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 2. No. 23.]
June 13. 1,888. John Povey to William Bridgeman. Forwarding extracts from Governor Russell's letters of 18, 24 and 30 March and 2 April, relating to men-of-war and convoys, for the information of the Admiralty. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. p. 141.]
June 13.
1,889. Order of the Lords Justices of England in Council. Referring Sir Thomas Laurence's answer to certain charges against him to Lords of Trade and Plantations for report. Signed, John Nicholas. ¼ p. Annexed,
1,889 I. Answer of Sir Thomas Laurence to the charges sent against him by the Governor and Council of Maryland on 11 April, 1693. (1.) In reply to the first article, I deny disobedience to the order of the Governor and Council. It is on record that I moved the Council for orders as to preparing seals for the County Courts of Maryland, and I can prove that I at once applied myself to get them made. The scarcity of workmen and the neglect of my clerk delayed the work, but the seals have long since been finished and distributed. (2.) As to the second charge, I was sworn Secretary when Colonel Nicholson was admitted Lieutenant-General, but no security was required of me, and it is on record that I was ordered to proceed to my duty without giving security. I have never extorted unjust fees from the County Clerks, nor taken more from them than the tenth of their profits as allowed in my commission. I did once accept a fee of fifty shillings from a Clerk on his appointment, but only once; and I think it unjust that I should not be allowed a fee on commissions to my clerks. (3.) As to the third charge, it is strange that a man's claim of what he apprehends to be his right should be accounted a crime, especially as Governor Copley made exactly the same claim in respect of his own place. But the Governor and Council not only denied my claim that the Clerks should be accountable to the Secretary for the profits of the Provincial Courts but handed those profits to Mr. Llewellin as Public Notary and to Mr. Taylard as Chief Clerk. (4.) The fourth charge is sufficiently answered by the King's Order in Council of 2 March, 1693–4. (5.) As to the fifth charge I submit, that, having given £1,000 security for the sufficiency of my clerks, I have the right to displace them on just grounds. Of ten that I paid I displaced but three, namely, John Llewellin, the most profligate person in the Colony and since arrested for neglect of duty and removing the records. One person to whom I gave a place was Colonel Henry Jowles who in the time of the revolution had done good service in keeping the peace, and another was a gentleman who came out with me and had also done good service in the room of a drunken and negligent officer. (6.) I offer the testimonial of the Mayor and Aldermen of St. Maries in refutation of the sixth charge, and (7) the seventh charge is disposed of by the Minutes of Council and by two affidavits. (8.) As to the eighth charge I never removed any records but the book of laws, which I wished to study and at once returned when ordered. (9.) As to the ninth charge, I never embezzled records, and the whole accusation is founded on the fact that Colonel Nicholson required a copy of the Journals of Assembly, which was his right. (10.) The tenth charge is absolutely false, for the agreement between William Taylard and myself was never perfected and never observed. (11.) As to the eleventh charge the Secretary of Maryland was also notary public, till Governor Copley, resolving to ruin the Secretary's office, created John Llewellin, notary public. (12.) The twelfth and thirteenth charges concern the proceedings of Governor Copley and Colonel Blakiston on the condemnation of the ship Margaret, which were cried out upon by the whole country as most unjust and dishonourable. They are sufficiently refuted by the protest and affidavit of the merchant concerned. Signed, Thomas Laurence. 8 pp. The whole endorsed, Recd. 17 June; Read 4 July, 1695. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 2. Nos. 113, 113I, and (without enclosure) 8. p. 184.]
June 13. 1,890. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Orders for payment of salary due to the late Samuel Bernard. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 77. p. 306.]
June 13. 1,891. Minutes of Council for New York. Order for the forts at Half Moon and Canestagione now deserted, to be refitted for the reception of the quotas expected from the neighbouring colonies. A request from Captain Peter Matthews for platters, etc., for the grenadier-companies referred to two Councillors, to enquire what articles are still useful in the barracks and to supply what is wanting. Order for payment of £180 to Colonel van Cortlandt for £132 transmitted by him to England for soliciting the affairs of the Government. Order for prosecution of certain persons who had refused to pay the additional duty imposed by law. A committee appointed to examine the petition of the merchants as to the landing and shipping of goods. Resolved that the King's thirds cannot be remitted on the condemnation of the ship Orange. Patent for land in Staten Island granted to John Vincent and Company. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 35–37.]
June 13.
New York.
1,892. Peter Delanoy to ?. Your interest in this country may make news acceptable. We are in the common calamity of war as you are but want the blessing of a free government and our ancient liberties, the enjoyment of which makes the war easy to you. I remember that you said of our present Governor, when he was sent here, that he was a necessitous man who would consider his private fortune more than the public benefit. We find you a true prophet, and wish you could foretell our deliverance as well as you did our oppressions from this arbitrary man. At his first arrival he insinuated into the inhabitants his great interest and credit at Whitehall, which would baffle any complaints against his administration; and this backed by the grandeur of a coach and six horses (a pomp this place was as little used to as himself) struck a terror into the people which prepared them for the pack-saddle he has laid on them. To recount all his arts of squeezing money out of the public and private purses would make a volume instead of a letter, so I shall mention only a few of his stratagems. The Assembly, as is usual to a new Governor, made him a compliment and gave him a penny in the pound of the inhabitants' estates. The assessors used the method formerly practised in such cases, but the Governor thinking the sum not sufficient (though it amounted to £600) accused them of partiality and threatened them with gaol for not assessing high enough. He takes particular delight in having presents made to him, declaring that he looks upon them as marks of esteem, and he keeps a catalogue of such persons as show that good manners as most worthy of his favour. This knack has found employment for our silversmiths and furnished him with more plate than all our former Governors ever received. Such clowns as do not practice this good breeding fall under his frowns or a haughty glance of the eye at least, if they don't feel the weight of his hands. One would think the soldiers but a poor game for so great a man to prey upon, yet they feel their share of his hungry avarice. I was lately told by one of the Council at Albany that he takes ten shillings per cent. out of their subsistence-money, and, if the furnishers of that money by reason of the rise of provisions cannot subsist them for fivepence a day, they are ordered to raise it to fivepence halfpenny, that his ten shillings may be secured. Some officers he makes his favourites, who pimp to his frauds on the public. He has made the Lieutenant of his own Company of Grenadiers at New York a Captain of Fusiliers at Albany, and permits the Lieutenant of the Grenadiers at Albany to go master of a ship to Jamaica or elsewhere, enjoying his pay meanwhile, in which doubtless His Excellency "goes a snack." He made one Hancock, a profligate fellow, sheriff of New York, and though that varlet stabbed a poor Frenchman in prison without provocation, yet he was continued in his office till his villanies became too scandalous even for the Governor's patronage. He very often makes his progress to Connecticut, Pennsylvania and other places, and his table is maintained at the charge of the province without any abatement of the salary allowed him for that purpose. His arrogance towards other governors has been of great detriment to this province and has retarded relief which would otherwise have been given in extremity. Sir William Phips and he maintained a paper war among themselves and exchanged scurrilous letters, which on enquiry I find wholly due to our Governor's haughtiness. Of his remarkable cruelty I give you the following proof. In February, 1692–3, when the French burned the Maquas' castles, he sailed to Albany, 144 miles, in two days and from thence to Senectady, when he sent his men to Major Schuyler, who commanded the party in the woods. The French were beaten before their men reached him, but the Governor, not to lose the glory of the expedition, had all the forces at Albany drawn up and the great guns fired to receive him. The Mayor and Aldermen were ordered to make him a present and an address of thanks for his speedy coming and noble exploits. The poor people were ready with an address but pleaded poverty against making a present. The Indians, who are a very discerning people, saw through the man and complimented him with the name of "Great Swift Arrow." He construed it as referring to the swiftness of his expedition, but as I am since informed they intended it as a droll upon the vain glory of the man, being a sarcastical pun upon his name of Fletcher. However, puffed up with the Albany address and the Indian compliment he returns to New York, where his tools present him with another address and a gold cup worth £120, which they took up at interest and owe at this day. This is the expedition and these are the addresses which he caused to be printed to spread abroad his glorious achievements. Poverty is no protection against power, as the Albany men found out at his next visit. For being unable to wheedle them out of a present, he used his authority to get one, in this manner. He ordered two of the principal gates of Albany to be shut, alleging the danger of the war, and several poor traders who had purposely built their houses near those gates expressly for the Indian trade, and would have been ruined had they continued shut, raised a contribution of fifty or sixty of their best furs. Thereupon the apprehension of danger was removed, and at the request of the Mayor and Aldermen the gates were opened again. This I learned from one of the contributors to the present. I had almost forgot another useful piece of policy to get money. We have a parcel of pirates, called the Red Sea men, in these parts, who get great booty of Arabian gold. The Governor encourages them since they make due acknowledgment. One captain gave him a ship which he sold for £800, and every man of the crew a present of Arabian gold. Another was openly caressed in the coach and six and presented with a gold watch to engage him to make New York his post at his return; and he retaliated the kindness with a present of jewels.
These things are bad enough in any officer, particularly in a Governor, but that is of much less malignity than his base and insolent behaviour to the Assembly. If any Act be desired of the people he sells it them as dear as he can, and if they will not rise to his price they must go without. The people of Esopus to obtain the passing of an Act were forced to pay several hundred pounds, and the undertakers for the money, being puzzled how otherwise to raise it, jumbled it with the public tax and made it so heavy as almost to cause a mutiny. The Assemblies have voted money even beyond the ability of the country, some of it being appropriated to pay off particular public debts. Part of this had been diverted to other uses, and the Assembly desired an account of it, to vindicate themselves and to trace the misemployment of the money. The Governor looked on this as an intolerable piece of sauciness, browbeat them, threatened them and finally punished them with a dissolution. To make the new Assembly agreeable to his humour, he used as many sinister tricks as were ever complained of in England. He made seamen and soldiers freemen of New York to give them votes, threatened those inhabitants who inclined to the old Assembly with impressment and service in the man-of-war, which lies in the road half manned all the year round, in order to terrify the seamen. At last he swore he would shoot through the head any man who durst vote for the old Assembly. Thus he gained his point, for the people in terror of being impressed would not stay in the field and left him to choose whom he would. The Assembly of Pennsylvania received little better usage from him while he was there. He quarrelled with them for refusing him a halfpenny per pound out of the tax of a penny per pound, which they raised for carrying on the war. He was so stiff that he wearied out the obstinacy of the Friends and carried his point.
In short nobody lives tolerably under him except those who submit to be his creatures, such as the judges and other officers dependent on him. His accounts were indeed passed by Council, but for such jobs only his own creatures are summoned, who dare not oppose him. You will wonder to hear after this that this man's bell rings twice a-day for prayers and that he shews great affection of piety; but this makes him only more ridiculous, not even respected. We are a sort of downright blundering people who measure men's piety more by their practice than their ostentation. All that I have said could be proved, but the people dread his great influence at Court lest a miscarriage should lead him to more barbarous usage of them and force them to leave the province, as hundreds have done since his arrival. If one of the neighbouring Governors were commissioned to take the people's grievances on oath I will undertake that they will pay his expenses and prove such things against the man as will prove to the Lords of Trade that he is a very unfit restorer of the English liberties. You will easily guess that we desire his removal, by gentle recall or by disgrace we are not solicitors, so we be rid of him. I wish the King would put a General Governor over New England, New York and the Jerseys, so as the Assemblies, Courts and Laws of the respective provinces might be left separate. For our laws and manner of trade differ much, and the distances between us would make it uneasy if the rest of the provinces resort to anyone for common justice. But a union under one Governor would be very convenient, particularly in time of war, and would be a terror to the French in Canada, who assume boldness purely from our divisions and the piques that are too common among the several Governors, of which the French do not want constant intelligence. Such an army under a General-Governor would be a means of making easy conquest of Canada, would make the King Emperor of North America, secure the whole fur-trade to England, and defray its whole charge from the booty to be found there. I do not say this at a venture. The English in these Colonies out-number the French in Canada by twenty to one; and what might not be effected by such a force united against so small a body? Yet this handful of French are continual thorns in our sides, which is wholly owing to our separate government. Many gentlemen have asked me to write this to you, and to beg your advice and assistance for our deliverance, which will be a charitable and generous act to the whole province. Signed, P. Delanoy. Eight closely written pages. Endorsed, Delivered to the Board by Mr. Penn, 11 December, 1696. [Board of Trade. New York. 6. No. 7.]
June 14. 1,893. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Letter from the Duke of Shrewsbury read, announcing the appointment of the Earl of Bellomont to be Governor of Massachusetts. Order for his commission and instructions to be prepared. The Agents for Massachusetts and Mr. Allen attending, it was agreed that the case between them should be heard at the next meeting. The laws of Massachusetts passed in 1693 and 1694 were referred to the Attorney-General.
Colonel Holt's memorial read (see next abstract) and referred to the Treasury.
The Proprietors of East New Jersey attending said that they knew nothing of the Act prohibiting certain exports to New York, but would write to their Governor about it. [Board of Trade. Journal 8. pp. 51–53.]
June 14. 1,894. Memorial of Colonel Henry Holt to the King. The regiment formerly commanded by Colonel Godfrey Lloyd and now by myself has been for five years abroad in a very unhealthy climate, and has suffered much not only by the enemy at St. Christophers, St. Eustatius, Mariegalante, Guadeloupe, Martinique and (as occasion required) in manning the ships of war, but also by the pestilential diseases of the country, and great want of food and other necessaries, whereby three fourths of the Regiment have perished, and the officers have been put to the charge of recruiting it twice over. The Regiment is ordered to be cleared to the 1st of April, 1693, but out of these clearings there have been deducted all charges for provisions which they had on sea or on land, the money expended in raising recruits and transporting them from England, the hospital charges for the sick and wounded, and the rent of houses hired in the Leeward Islands for the Regiment's stores, all of which being charged at very extraordinary rates (as the accounts will show) amounts to upwards of £11,000, besides the deduction of poundage not only for the money paid in England and expended for the aforesaid charges, but also for the money paid in the West Indies, and yet no allowance made for the difference (which is considerable) between the value thereof and that of money sterling. By reason of the said extraordinary charges the money actually received and now to be received is not sufficient to satisfy the bare pay due to the commissioned officers to the 1st of April, 1693. From that time the regiment is wholly in arrear, being now two years, and all the officers are thereby reduced to great hardships. Near a third of the Regiment is quartered in St. Christophers, where there are few inhabitants, and by reason thereof and of the dearness of provisions in these parts the expense of subsisting them is double the allowance of it, besides the charge of subsisting the remainder of the Regiment in the other Islands. The soldiers in five years' time have only received a year's pay at fourpence per diem, and are now two years in arrears of clothing. By these discouragements many have deserted, and some who have got back to England have given such a report of their usage as makes it very difficult to raise recruits for that service. On the whole few regiments in your Majesty's service have been greater sufferers, and yet none have had greater hardships put upon them in all respects. Your Majesty is therefore besought to take the state of the Regiment into consideration, and of your compassion to give effectual orders that the said extraordinary charges may be moderated and the regiment used therein as the other regiments of the army are and have been; also that the regiment may receive its subsistence from 1 April, 1693, to this time, and so for the future from time to time with the rest of the army in the same establishment. Thereby the officers will be enabled in some measure to discharge their own debts, and those which they have contracted on their soldiers' accounts, which otherwise they cannot do. Without your gracious relief they cannot well hope to make their soldiers useful on any future occasions or be able to prevent the ill-consequences of desertion, which they have already in some measure experienced.
You have been pleased to grant me a commission for the Regiment; I beg that I may hold it under the same circumstances as Colonel Lloyd and that my commission may bear date from the day of his death. I have done duty as Colonel ever since the Regiment left England, and have suffered great hardships by wounds, as also by the loss of almost all I had through several severe accidents of war. One closely written page. Endorsed, Read 14 June, '95. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 4. No. 63.]
[June.] 1,895. Memorial of Colonel Henry Holt to the King. A great part of this memorial reproduces, in identical language with the preceding, the hardships of his regiment, and adds the following statements. The men having received neither subsistence nor clothing from the 1st of April, 1693, to the 1st of May, 1695, their officers have been obliged to run greatly into debt to support them, and from being so long in arrear they have lost their credit; for the last accounts from them shew that the privates had neither shoes, stockings nor clothes, while the officers themselves were in very needful circumstances. Since the 1st of May the Regiment has been reduced from thirteen companies of 780 men to five companies of 500 men. By the last musters the Regiment is nearly complete according to the new establishment, but by your order two hundred recruits have been raised for it, which will be sufficient to recruit it and to raise an additional company of 100 men, if you think fit so to order it. I am now ordered to prepare to return to the Leeward Islands. On my arrival both officers and soldiers will expect their arrears, and if after so long soliciting they should be disappointed, it will be impossible to prevent the hardships to which the debts which they have contracted will subject them. I beg therefore that the Regiment may be cleared to the 1st of May and that I may be enabled to carry with me clothing and provisions, which are not to be bought in these parts but at treble rates.
Here follows copy of a separate memorial of the same to the same. You have been pleased to allow the reformed [retired] officers half-pay while they continue with the Regiment. These being many cannot hope to find many vacancies in a single regiment. I beg that you will give leave to such as are so inclined to return to Europe and let them attend your service there until you can otherwise provide for them. Copy. 2½ pp. Undated. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 4. No. 64.]
June 14.
1,896. Governor Nicholson to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I send a duplicate of my last, having heard that Sir Thomas Laurence was taken by the French on his way to England, but I hope that before this he has returned and given you a full account of all affairs. I now send the Journals of Council and Assembly, and the laws made since my arrival, which I hope are for the glory of God, for the King's service and for the good of the province. Since my arrival I have several times visited the province and done my best to settle civil and ecclesiastical matters, for notwithstanding a law made in Governor Copley's time for laying out of parishes, building of churches, maintaining of ministers, etc., I found not much done therein. I have proceeded as far as the circumstances of the Colony would permit. As to the Courts of Judicature I have endeavoured to put into them able, rich and honest men (except in the way of illegal trade), as likewise in all other offices. The militia was in a very bad posture both for officers, discipline and arms (the poverty of a great many rendering them incapable of furnishing themselves with them) and ammunition. I have taken some pains about it and shall (God willing) continue to do so. I found the country very much in debt, even from the Revolution, and in divisions which caused great heats and animosities; but I have used all possible means to reconcile them, and hope in God it is very nigh, if not altogether done. Several of the ablest men in this country for parts and estates are Quakers, some are papists, others disaffected Protestants, but I hope that most are now become firm to the King's government, even the Romanists themselves. It pleased God that last winter was very long and severe, which caused the loss of half or more of the stocks of the inhabitants, both here and in Virginia, which are a great part of the riches of these countries. There was great scarcity of Indian corn, several families being destitute for some months, but now (thanks be to God) there is great prospect of a very plentiful year for corn and tobacco. Of the latter there will be between two and three thousand hogsheads left here, and still more in Virginia, for they had not as many ships as we. I beg that a good number of ships may be permitted to come to these parts, for when few come the goods are very dear and tobaccos cheap, and so left in the country, which are in danger of being spoiled, especially Aronoco. The merchants and buyers care not if there was not half so much tobacco made in the country, or the like quantity spoiled, so they could but get the other half into England, which they may sell for more than if all went. They use all means to discourage the planters from making great crops by writing and telling them that but few ships will come and little quantity of goods, and that tobaccos are cheap in England. These things are more particularly done by the merchants that come from the out-ports, and the forerunners of the London fleet. This commonly happens in the depth of winter, when the planters are in greatest want of clothing, etc., and this amuses them and makes them uneasy and loth to apply themselves to planting as vigorously as they would. But the merchants make their own market by such bad news, which is very often false. I send all the good news about the country in order to have it made public, which I find that some of the great ones here (as in Virginia) endeavour to obstruct, it being their particular interest to do so, for which and for several other reasons I often visit the country that I may keep up their drooping spirits and encourage them in planting, assuring them of the King' intentions for their good and welfare. I would also propose that the ships should be here in January, or if possible earlier, for, the winter being a time of much leisure, the people have opportunity of stripping and cutting their tobaccos, whereby the King loses near a quarter of his customs. If ships do not come from England to fetch the tobacco and bring good quantity of linen, woollen, working-tools and other necessaries it may put the people upon clothing themselves, for if but a quarter of them should employ themselves in so doing they may furnish at least half these two countries, they being capable of affording all materials for the purpose, as is Pennsylvania, where a great many Germans and others do it, and as in South Carolina, where the French and others do the same. But if a sufficient number of ships come with suitable cargoes then the plantations will mind nothing but planting and leave off their other projects, which I hope never to see, for the King's revenue will be diminished, the consumption of English manufactures lessened and the trade impaired. By an accident of fire last winter the best house in St. Maries, wherein were lodged seven barrels (part of His Majesty's gift) of powder, was unhappily blown up, and about a hundred muskets were also burned and spoiled. I have hired a ship and commander, as directed by order in Council of 9 August last, to cruise for suppression of illegal trade. I enclose copy of the commander's bond and commission. I intend with all convenient expedition to go to Pennsylvania to hire a like vessel there and to inform myself of their illegal trade, which I am very sensible is great. But I propose that a Court of Exchequer, with an able judge appointed by the King, may be ordered both here and in Pennsylvania and Virginia, for I have already found by experience that it is a difficult thing to get judges and juries to try and condemn illegal traders. I would also ask that the King would appoint the Officers of the Court of Vice-Admiralty in Pennsylvania, for you very well know that some sort of illegal traders are to be tried in that Court. I send several accounts and lists by Mr. Edward Randolph. Signed, Fr. Nicholson. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Rd. 26 Aug. '95. Annexed,
1,896. I. Commission to Captain Thomas Meech to cruise for suppression of illegal trade. Copy ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 26 Aug. 1695.
1,896. II. Copy of Captain Meech's bond in £3,000 for faithful performance of his duties. 1 p. Endorsed as the preceding. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 2. Nos. 114, 114I., II.; and (without enclosures) 8. pp. 195–200.]
June 14.
1,897. Governor Nicholson to the Duke of Shrewsbury. I send a duplicate of my last, fearing that it may have miscarried owing to the capture of Sir Thomas Laurence by the French. He has full instructions to give you an account of affairs here, and I hope that he is long ago arrived safe in London. Enclosed is copy of an address about naval stores, and I shall be very ready to obey your orders about them, here or in any other province, for it is a great pity that the King and people of England, who want them, should have so little benefit from the vast quantities which these countries afford. I would propose that the King's frigates coming to these parts might have carpenters and boatswains qualified to judge rightly of the particulars mentioned in the address, and to see if they will do for the King's use or not. If carpenters and boatswains be not capable judges, other persons better qualified might be sent out for the purpose. I send copy of Mr. Penn's commissions for the government of his country, and I have an account that the inhabitants are not very easy under it, especially in the three lower counties, Newcastle being the chief place; for they allege that Newcastle and its territories are not named in his commissions, so they see no reason why they should be governed by an etc. The Quakers are now divided into two factions, which make great heat and animosities among them, and I understand that Mr. Penn has wholly espoused one of them which (I suppose) he thought most prevalent; but he may chance to be mistaken for all his politics. I thought it my duty to report this, as also how the illegal trade is managed there, which unless speedily prevented may be prejudicial to the King's revenue. They send tobacco to Scotland (having many Scotchmen living and trading among them) and to other unlawful places in Europe, as also to Curaçoa and Surinam, whither they cunningly convey their tobacco in casks, with flour or bread at each end. They contrive to be there when the Dutch Europe fleet comes, that they may have their goods, which are sold as cheap in Pennsylvania as in Holland. Pirates have been leaving that country of late, who, coming from the Red Sea bring in £1,000 or £1,500 a man. From thence they set out again, and easily entice seamen to leave the ships in these parts, which is very prejudicial to trade. I fear one or two ships will be left behind in this province by reason of their men running away, though I have used all possible means to prevent them, but the country is so open, that it is almost impossible to hinder them. I do not doubt that at least a hundred men have run thither from the Virginia and Maryland fleet, for they are now building twelve or fourteen sloops, brigantines and other vessels in order to manage their trade. They have erected a bank of £20,000 wherein most of the people in the country are concerned, even the tradesmen (several of these last are Germans employed in linen and woollen manufacture, etc, and they expect more, which will be very prejudicial to England) and farmers, who put in their grain. So if this project go on, their illegal trade will necessarily flourish, for, the generality of the people being concerned, there will be no judges or juries to try and condemn illegal traders. Those that have not a share in the bank will not be able to live there long, the design of those that have being to monopolise trade. The government being now in their own hands, they may promote it by laws of their own making. Pennsylvania by such means has drawn many families, but especially young men, from Virginia and Maryland, where land is difficult to obtain owing to the great tracts which single persons have taken up and will not part with at reasonable rates. Thus as our people increase they are in a manner necessitated to look out for new country, and a great many going to see Pennsylvania from here have got so great a name that I fear they may learn their ways and make the people leave off planting tobacco, or at least run it thither, where they see that trade is very loose. To prevent these things I would suggest that a small frigate should attend Pennsylvania to look after illegal traders and pirates, and that an able Collector should be sent out from England, as also an able judge to sit in a Court of Exchequer, to be erected for the trial of illegal traders. Such Captain, Collector and Judge must not be suffered to trade nor to be concerned in the country more than is absolutely necessary, lest their private interest should oversway their duty, as I have experimentally found in those parts. I do not understand that Mr. Penn is Vice-admiral of Pennsylvania, Newcastle and territories, so if the King would appoint some other person, it would be better, because under the Acts of Trade and Navigation some vessels are to be tried in the Admiralty Court. There has been lately with me one Mr. Archdale, a Quaker, who was going Governor to both Carolinas, his son being one of the proprietors. I hear that in Carolina they go much upon trade and manufacture, especially the French that are there. Their trade is very loose, and pirates come thither from the Red Sea. There being a great deal of space, vast flocks of cattle and little winter, these things encourage people to move thither from these parts, so that I think it will be as necessary to look after Carolina as Pennsylvania. The New Englanders also carry tobacco from these parts to their own country and take care to enter it there that they may save the bond which they gave here to do so; but the ship goes off by stealth to Newfoundland and makes a great hand of it there. I lately heard from Lieutenant-Governor Stoughton that there had been five privateers on their coast, which had taken several vessels, but I hear since (and hope it is true) that the biggest of the privateers had been taken by one of the King's frigates. I have heard that Captain Weems's and Captain Hide's Companies have arrived at Boston, with the man-of-war and the mast-ships. From New York I hear that their Indians intended to attack Canada, which I hope is true. With much ado I got our Assembly to lay threepence more upon the hogshead in case Governor Fletcher should send hither for assistance. By the best information I can get, the French at present have no design of bending their main force against any of these countries but design to seat themselves to Southward of us and secure all the Indians on their side from Canada to the Bay of Mexico, for some of their people go frequently thither from Canada. I am told that Mons. Lasalle was the first that found his way from Canada to the Bay of Mexico, for after passing the lakes of Canada he fell in with a mighty great river which emptied itself into the Bay. He went to France and procured three or four ships to settle the river, but by some accident they were lost, and only he, his brother and a few others escaped. I have not heard that any attempt has since been made to settle by shipping, and I hope they will never be able to do it, for if they should, and gain the Indians at the back of us, it may be of fatal consequence to most of these countries. To prevent this danger I would propose that those of Jamaica and "Bohemott" [? Bahama] Islands (being the nighest to that great river) and the Spaniards should endeavour to hinder the French from seating there by sea, and that people from these southern provinces may settle and get up trading-places among the Indians at the back of us, and so keep the French from doing so, or at least the Indians from joining the French against us. I hear from England that a law was proposed that no tobacco should be bulked. Certainly great quantities of it are prejudicial both to the revenue and to the fair traders, but I think a total prohibition may very much lessen the quantity by discouraging the north and west country vessels from coming first and bringing their country commodities, which are very suitable for the planters; which reasons may force them (if they shall not be furnished from other parts) to leave off planting tobacco that they may clothe themselves. Some counties of this province and Virginia do so almost already, because few ships come to bring them goods or to buy their tobaccos, and, according to the saying, "Necessity hath no law and is the mother of invention." If one fourth of the people of Virginia (where they are going upon cotton, while our people are obtaining seed from them and learning to plant it) and if Maryland should go upon trade and manufactures (and the countries are as proper for it as Pennsylvania and Carolina) they may supply the better half with their commodities. And if the officers and seamen be not allowed to take bulk-tobacco it will be difficult to have them come to these parts, for it is a very slavish voyage. I have sent the Journals of Council and Assembly. Signed, Fr. Nicholson. Three closely written pages. Annexed,
1,897. I. Commission of William Penn to William Markham to be Governor of Pennsylvania during his own unavoidable absence. Dated, 24 November, 1694.
Commission of the same to John Goodson and Samuel Carpenter appointing them Assistants to William Markham. Same date. Copies. 1¼ pp.
1,897. II. Address of the Council and House of Burgesses of Maryland to the Lords of Trade and Plantations. In reply to your questions as to the naval stores that can be produced in this Colony for the King's navy, this Colony may yield great quantities of hemp, flax, pitch, tar, masts, yards, and all other materials for shipping. But as we have not yet had any certain market for such commodities we have not generally applied ourselves to procuring them. If it be acceptable to the King to have his navy supplied from his dominions in America, this province may be very serviceable therein, if you will give us one year's notice to prepare and propose to us such methods of dealing and payment, and such prices as may encourage us to employ our servants to that purpose. Signed, E. Randolph, Thomas Tench, John Addison, John Courts, Tho. Brooke, Dep. Sec., James Frisby, Henry Jowles, Keeper, Geo. Robotham, Nich. Greenberry, Robert Smith, Speaker. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 25 Sept. Read 30 Oct. 95. [America and West Indies. 556. Nos. 18, 18 I., II.]
June 14.
1,898. Governor Nicholson to Secretary Trenchard. I have an account that Sir Thomas Laurence, Secretary of this province, was captured by the French on his voyage to England, so I suppose that all that I sent to you by him has miscarried. But I hope that long before this he has waited on you, as I desired him, to give you full and just account of our own and our neighbours' affairs, having full instructions from me to that end. I send by this opportunity the Journals of Council and Assembly and the laws, and I have written a full account of all matters, so shall not repeat it here. Signed, Fr. Nicholson, 1 p. Endorsed, R. 28 Sept. 95. Duplicate. [America and West Indies. 556. No. 19.]