America and West Indies: March 1693, 16-31

Pages 53-70

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

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March 1693

March 16. Report of the Committee of Grievances further considered. The House presented the address of yesterday to the Governor and reported the Governor's compliance therewith. A proposal to address their Majesties for a grant from the quit-rents towards support of the clergy was rejected. Resolved to request a Conference with the Council as to outrages committed by strange Indians. Order for a bill to prevent all trade with Indians in pork unless it be proved that such pork was the property of the Indian town and the swine marked as such. Bills to continue the Defence Act, to suspend the Ports Act, and to amend the 7th Act of 1686, read a first time.
March 17. Messages from the Governor, giving the substance of the royal intentions to grant Virginia free trade with the Indians, and suggesting a Conference to settle as to revision of the laws. Message to the Governor announcing the appointment of conferrers. Resolved that justices of the peace, being unpaid, should be exempted from attending musters, if they be not militia officers. Report of the Committee of Propositions further considered. Order for a bill to amend the settling of the first day of General Courts for the public convenience. The progress of the Conference with the Council was reported. Order for a bill to amend the Act to encourage the erection of mills. On Peter Heyman's petition it was resolved to encourage the erection of a post office. Business of the Northumberland election deferred till to-morrow.
March 18. The question of postal charges referred to the Committee of Propositions. The conferrers reported that the Council, while unwilling to join the Burgesses in a joint Committee for revision of the laws, would keep a standing Committee which would be ready to give assistance when applied to. The election for Northumberland was then considered, and it was resolved that the present members were not duly elected, but that John Downing and William Jones were duly elected. A new writ requested for election of a member for King and Queen's County, the sheriff having died suddenly. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXV., pp. 956–973.]
March 14. 189. Minutes of General Assembly of Virginia. Address from the Burgesses undertaking to renew the Defence Act and asking as to the Royal instructions concerning free trade with Indians.
March 16. The Burgesses attended with their address as to revision of the laws. Answer to the address concerning free trade with Indians. Message to the Burgesses proposing a conference as to the revision of the laws.
March 17. Conferrers appointed. Message from the Burgesses accepting the suggestion of a conference. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXV., pp. 901–905.]
March 16. 190. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Richard Lee was sworn of the Council.
March 17. Order that the Piscattaway Indians be not molested in crossing the Potomac river. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 795–796.]
March 13. 191. Minutes of General Assembly of Massachusetts. The King's letter of 11 October, 1692, ordering assistance to be given to New York, read. Order for reducing the bounds of Little Compton.
March 14. Captains Nathaniel Stanley and William Whiting from Connecticut were heard as to the proposals of that Government for giving assistance in the prosecution of the war. Message to the Representatives urging speedy settlement of the regulation of the assessment.
March 15. The gentlemen from Connecticut were again heard, and offered proposals in writing. Bill for regulation of the assessment received and detailed.
March 16. Bill for settling a tax of £30,000 read and debated.
March 17. The same bill was passed, also a bill for payment of the Commissioners for the tax. Joseph Curtis appointed Sheriff of York County. Assembly dissolved. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXIV., pp. 385–388.]
March 14.
192. Governor Sir William Phips to Lieutenant Governor Usher. I have already written to you to deliver up several deserters from H.M.S. Nonsuch, who have taken refuge in your Government, and have given orders to the military officers to seize them; but I understand that you refuse to deliver them and on the contrary protect them. I thought you would have seen your first error in rescuing the men when seized by the purser and that you would at my request have remembered your duty and delivered them up; but it is now evident that you have no sense of duty, since you protect deserters and help them in their evil doings. For I am advised that you warned them not to leave your Government, lest they should be arrested. I now call upon you in their Majesties' name to deliver up these deserters, as you will answer the contrary. I am sorry that you force me to remind you of your duty in this manner. Copy. ¾ p. Endorsed. Recd. 24 May. [Board of Trade. New England, 6. No. 39.]
March 15. 193. The Agents for Barbados to Lords of Trade and Plantations. The people of Barbados have presented an address for a regiment to be stationed there during the war, and that when any of the regiments shall be sent home, such men as volunteer to stay there may be allowed to stay. We have now further to represent that during this war several French prizes have been condemned in Barbados, but as there are no instructions to the Governor from what fund the expense of maintaining prisoners shall be defrayed, such prisoners are kept at the Island's expense until exchanged. We beg you to move the King for orders on these two points. Signed. Wm. Bridges, Ed. Littleton. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 15 March. Read 1 May, 1693. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 9; and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VIII., pp. 337, 338.]
March 16.
194. Minutes of the Council of War in the West Indies. A letter from Governor Codrington being read, it was resolved that the leeward part of Martinique be maintained as the place of rendezvous, instead of Mariegalante, as proposed by Governor Codrington, first because there is no good water at Mariegalante, and secondly because it is doubtful whether the fleet could weather Dominica in sailing thither. Order for the embarkation of Foulke's, Lloyds' and Salter's regiments at Bridgetown on the 22nd inst., and of Goodwyn's and Boteler's at Holetown and Speightstown on the 23rd, for which Sir F. Wheler will please give the necessary orders to the transports, and for the whole fleet to sail two or three days later sending forward a light frigate to meet the Leeward Islands forces. Ordered further that 200 muskets and ammunition be sent forthwith to Governor Codrington, who shall be desired to give information of the time when he will embark and to send ships to view the principal ports of Guadeloupe, and report as to the shipping therein. Order for hire of eighteen transports, the masters of which shall take their orders from Sir F. Wheler. Committee appointed to consider what further is necessary for the expedition. Colonel Foulke reported that Commissary General Fotherby had paid away the King's money without his orders. Resolved that Mr. Fotherby had no legal right to do so and that he has been guilty of a misdemeanour. Ordered that he bring his letters of credit to next Council. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., pp. 314, 318.]
March 16. 195. Minutes of Council of New York. A committee appointed to prepare the business for next session of Assembly. Order for the City authorities to inspect the packing of flour for the West Indies to prevent fraud. Order for patents for land to Colonel Willett and Daniel Shotwell.
March 17. Agreed to send Mr. Mahew at Martin's Vineyard the Council's report on Sir W. Phip's letter and the printed Charter, to tell him that the matter is laid before their Majesties, and to instruct him to do nothing by Sir W. Phip's authority unless forced. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., pp. 401, 402.]
March 17. 196. Minutes of Council of Nevis. Colonel Samuel Gardner sworn in Lieutenant-Governor, and John Palmer sworn in as Councillor and as Secretary. The Assembly agreed to an Act to impress such arms as are wanting for the coming expedition. Order for the records of the Secretary's office to be delivered to John Palmer. The Council agreed with the Assembly to draw up a memorial setting forth the weakness and danger of the Island while the forces are to windward, and that the Lieutenant-Governor should request Sir Francis Wheler to send some ships to cruise to leeward. Act for pressing arms agreed to. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVIII., pp. 273–4.]
March 18.
Great Island.
197. The Secretary of New Hampshire to Governor Sir William Phips. Your letter of 14th was laid before us by the Lieutenant-Governor. The men whom you describe as deserters have shewn us their legal discharge from the King's service, and as they are British subjects they ought to be protected. As to your instructions to the military officers to arrest them, we know of no person invested with authority to do so except those named in the King's Commission of Government for this province. As to the Lieutenant-Governor's duty, he has proceeded with honour and justice in this matter, making the law his rule to walk by. There are many imprudent things in your letter, which had better have been omitted. Signed. Tho. Davis. Copy. ½ p. [Board of Trade. New England, 6. No. 39.]
March 20.
198. Governor Sir William Phips to Lords of the Treasury. I have duly received your order for supplying the West Indian squadron with provisions or with credit for obtaining the same, on application of the Commanders. I shall take care that all shall be prepared to give the said Commanders every assistance. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 24 May, 1693. [Board of Trade. New England, 6. No. 40.]
March 20. 199. Minutes of Council of New York. Resolved to instruct the farmers of Ulster County to join their forces if they discover any small party of Indians, and if they find a large party to retire all of them to Kingston with their cattle and goods. Resolved also that the towns in Ulster and Duchess County do fortify themselves. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., pp. 402, 403.]
March 20.
200. Minutes of Council of War of the West Indies. The Committee presented its report as to what was further needful for the expedition. Resolved that the printed Articles of War for the King's forces abroad be the articles for the present expedition. Order for an appointment of an officer in each regiment to take charge of the plunder, to whom all plunder shall be brought, under penalties, and who shall be responsible for the same. Further orders as to the plunder, and rewards of the Army and the Fleet. Resolved that one sutler be allowed to go with each regiment; that each regiment provide itself with three horses or asses; that provisions be lent to the two Barbados regiments; that the stores in the victualling ships be weighed and checked; that eight sloops be impressed for the expedition; that if Martinique be taken or when the forces quit that Island, the Barbados regiments shall be permitted to return home; that provisions be shipped on board the transports; and that the troops embark two days later than formerly appointed. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., pp. 318–323.]
March 20. 201. Journal of House of Burgesses of Virginia. The Committee of Propositions brought up several bills. Order for the house to be called over to-morrow at ten o'clock. A conference with the Council reported as to the means of preventing outrages by strange Indians. Bills to encourage erection of fulling mills, concerning the marking of Indian hogs, for the advancement of coins, and for settling lands south of James River and Pamunkey Neck, read a first time. Report of the Committee of grievances further considered. The Council to be asked as to the service of the rangers, and how much of the money voted for them remains unexpended, and as to recovery of ammunition lent to Maryland. A Committee for revision of the laws appointed, and a further conference with the Council on the subject requested.
March 21. The Committee reported as to the Post Office and the building of a County Prison. Bills to suspend the Ports Act, and to continue the Defence Act, read a second time. Bill to amend Act 7 of 1686 rejected. Bills as to marking Indian hogs, to encourage erection of fulling-mills, to settle lands south of James River, and for advancement of coins read a second time. Message from the Governor asking the Burgesses to repeat one of their verbal messages in writing; which was done. The question whether the erection of a County prison was necessary was rejected. Order for a bill to regulate postal charges. Bill for advancement of coins amended. Bill to ascertain price of a permit read first time.
March 22. The progress of the conference as to revision of laws was reported. Bills to suspend the Ports Act read a third time and passed, also the bill to continue the Defence Act. Bills to alter the first day of the General Court and for a Post Office read a first time. Bills for marking Indians' hogs, to encourage erection of fulling mills, for settlement of certain lands, and for advancement of coins read a third time and passed.
March 23. The Bills passed yesterday were sent up to the Council. Bills to ascertain the price of a permit, to alter the first day of a General Court, and to erect a Post Office read a second time. Reports of Committee of Grievances considered.
March 24. Order for enquiry into the authority under which Colonel Henry Whiteing has acted as Treasurer. Conferrers having reported the result of the Conference with the Council, the House disagreed with the Council's proposal to enter on the revision of the laws this session, and referred the question of revision to a committee. The three bills which were read a second time yesterday were read a third time, passed and sent to Council. Message from the Governor asking for particulars as to the powder lent to Maryland. Further reports of the Committee of Public Claims considered. The Committee on the revision of the laws submitted an address to the Governor, asking that the work of revising the laws might go on after Session. Address to the Governor stating that the powder lent to Maryland was spared on condition that it should be repaid. Order for members absent without leave to be taken into the custody of the Marshal. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXV., pp. 973–985.]
March 20. 202. Minutes of General Assembly of Virginia. A new writ was issued for election of a burgess for King and Queen County.
March 21. Two verbal messages from the Burgesses as to the Rangers and as to ammunition lent to Maryland not being understood were sent up again in writing. Conferrers appointed to meet the Burgesses on the question of outrages committed by strange Indians.
March 22. New writ for King and Queen County election issued, on account of the sheriff's death. Order to the Auditor to report as to the service of the Rangers, and the funds remaining to pay them.
March 23. Six bills received from the Burgesses. Report of the conferrers as to the revision of the laws; on which the Council decided that its own proposal, for the laws to be revised during the present session, is preferable to that of the Burgesses.
March 24. The accounts of the Rangers and a message as to the ammunition lent to Maryland, sent down to the Burgesses. Further enquiry as to the sufferers by the outrage of strange Indians ordered. The six bills received from the Burgesses were read a second time. Three more bills were received from the Burgesses.
March 25. The bills for defence and for suspension of the Ports Act were further considered. Messages from the Burgesses as to the powder lent to Maryland; and a further message refusing to agree with the Council as to the revision of the laws. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXV., pp. 906–915.]
March 21. 203. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Forms of patents for land examined, and an alteration therein ordered, to stop the exemption of planters from paying quit-rents for the first seven years.
March 23. The complaints against Mr. James Boisseau heard; and it was ordered that he continue to be minister of St. Peter's parish, King's and Queen's County.
March 25. Order for induction of Mr. Jacob Ware as minister of St. Peter's parish, New Kent County. Order for a messenger to be appointed to the Council with salary of £25 a year. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 796–799.]
March 22.
204. Minutes of the Council of War in the West Indies. Orders for all the men to be sworn by the Muster-master when mustered; for pilots to be impressed and for payment to the surgeons for care of sick men on the transports. It being represented that there were many Irish in the Barbados regiments who might be Roman Catholics, Lieut.-Colonel Hamilton and Colonel Salter spoke of their good behaviour in the Leeward Islands, and it was resolved that they could be trusted and should be employed, Colonel Foulke alone dissenting. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., pp. 323–325.]
March 22.
205. The Secretary of New Hampshire to William Blathwayt. Forwarding copies of correspondence with Sir William Phips, in connection with the case of Captain Short. Signed. Tho. Davis. ½ p. Annexed,
205. I. Governor Usher to [the Council of Massachusetts?] 13 March, 1694. I have received a letter from Sir William Phips, asking for the arrest of alleged deserters from H.M.S. Monarch. The letter was laid before Council who decided that those who could shew discharges should be protected. Copies of the discharges of these are enclosed to you, and I know of no more. One Matthew Cary on the 5th inst. seized some men by force of arms, without warrant. He is fled from justice, and as he is said to be within your government, I must ask for him to be secured and delivered to me. Copy.
Here follow copies of Sir William Phips's letter to John Usher of 14 March, and of the reply of the Council of New Hampshire of 18 March. (See Nos. 192, 197.) [Board of Trade. New Hampshire, 1. Nos. 21, 21 I.]
March 22.
206. Earl of Nottingham to Lords of Trade and Plantations. The King has appointed Colonel Francis Russell to be Governor of Barbados, and Colonel Kendall to be Governor of Jamaica. You will prepare Commissions and Instructions for them. Signed. Nottingham. ½ p. Endorsed. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 7. No. 4; and 53. p. 139; and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VIII., p. 379.]
March 22.
207. Lieutenant-Governor Sir William Beeston to Earl of Nottingham. I arrived here on the 9th. The Island is in a ruinous condition and the people have been very sickly, but health is perfectly recovered, and our arrival has put new life into them. On my way down I called at St. Domingo to save the time and expense of sending a ship up again and then writ the President and received his answer. I enclose copies of both letters [missing]. How I shall do for landsmen, when he sends me his desires to join him (sic) I know not, for the earthquakes, sickness and desertion have left the country very bare of men, but I will assist with both the King's ships and what force else I can raise. The Mordaunt is on the coast of Porto Bello where the Spaniards have inhumanly cut off Captain Tristan and all his company of about fourteen persons belonging to this Island. The President wrote to the Council here to excuse himself, and I have returned him an answer, of which I enclose copy. Tristan was undoubtedly trading on the coast, but whether that be cause enough for them to murder him and all his men in cold blood I leave to your Lordship. They pretend for their excuse that he was a Frenchman, but he has been a British subject and an inhabitant of Jamaica for many years, and his people were all English. I shall report more fully when the Mordaunt returns. The sloop that takes this has orders to return speedily as possible; I beg that she may not be stopped nor her men, who are inhabitants here, taken from her. I have no authority to condemn prizes, and to let men take ships and plunder them at sea is to give them too much latitude. I spoke to you about this before I left England and foresaw the trouble that it would cause, but the Admiralty insisted on taking that clause out of the commission, and yet gave me no authority about it nor about the King's ships which want money for various necessaries. Without authority I cannot get the merchants to advance the money. I shall write more at length by next ship. Signed. Wm. Beeston. 1½ pp. Endorsed. R. 27 May, '93. Enclosed,
207. I. The President of Panama to the Council of Jamaica. 16–26 January, 1693. Ever since peace was made between the two Crowns of Spain and England I have endeavoured to preserve it, never doubting that the Government of Jamaica would do the like. But recently a sloop has come from Jamaica manned by Frenchmen under Captain Tristan, with merchandise to trade on these coasts. I am surprised that you should have permitted this breach of the treaty. These men though bidden by the Lieutenant-General of Porto Bello to come to him would not do so, and he, understanding that they were French, seized the ship. The men resisted and were all killed. I cannot omit to point out to you the danger to which the arrival of such vessels, especially manned with Frenchmen, exposes me. Translation. 1 p.
207. II. Sir William Beeston to the President of Panama. I have seen your letter of 26 January to the Council defending those who cut off Captain Tristan and his company. What his business was on the coast, I know not, but he and all his men were British subjects, and therefore even if they were trading I conceive that the utmost required by the Articles of Peace is the seizure of themselves and the condemnation of their goods. But to cut them all off in cold blood on pretence of friendship (you must pardon me for saying it) was sanguinary, and contrary to the good agreement between the two Crowns. Nevertheless, being anxious to preserve a good agreement, I shall only represent the case as I find it to the Secretary of State; but I beg you to be more tender lest you exasperate British subjects beyond my power to restrain them. Still, let not this accident terrify your men from coming hither in that allowed concert of the Assiento, for they shall receive civil treatment so long as they make no infraction of the peace. Copy. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 540. Nos. 29, 29 I, II.]
March 22. 208. Minutes of Council of New York. William Pinhorne nominated second judge of the Supreme Court with salary of £100 a year.
March 23. Order for sundry small payments. Resolved that if a printer settle in New York for printing of Acts etc. he shall have £40 per annum besides private business. Order that the pieces-of-eight shall pass for more or less value according to their weight, if Peru at the rate of 4d. per dwt., if other pieces at the rate of 4½ d. per dwt. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., pp. 403, 404.]
March 23.
209. Lieutenant-Governor Sir William Beeston to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I arrived here on the 9th, took the oaths and swore in the Council. The Island is in a very mean condition. The earthquake, sickness and desertion of discontented people have carried off so many as to leave the Island very thin of people. The public and private buildings are all down, and the whole country is a melancholy prospect. Part of Fort Charles was left standing and is almost repaired again, and a battery near it called Morgan Line has also something preserved, so that between the two there are nearly fifty guns mounted. But there is little of Port Royal left, being now a perfect island of about twenty-five acres, and too small to hold the trade and people. President White and the Council therefore very deliberately resolved on the building of a new tower in the main at Leganie, and gave the people all encouragement to settle there, which they did. Nevertheless, after the death of President White, the Council having different interests aimed at different ends, some pretending for Port Royal, others for other places that interested them, and took away the public officers which they had before settled among them. Thus at my arrival I found the people at a stand and no provision made for the reception of themselves or of any that should come to them; but since I arrived they have made me an address about it, of which I enclose a copy, shewing the advantages of the place and their desire to be there, on which I have visited place and people and promised them all encouragement. With this they seem to be satisfied, and will go on with their buildings, but they seem not to be fully pleased unless I remove all the public officers to them from Port Royal, which I cannot yet grant; for what fortifications remain are all there, and I cannot so discourage the people as to make them leave there unguarded. But I am in hopes that the trade will fall into the new town, being a place of safety and pleasure, and very fit for it; and that just so many may be encouraged to remain at Port Royal as shall suffice to man and defend Fort Charles. If you approve this I hope you will signify your approbation, which will much encourage the people to go on. The King's House at Port Royal is, like the land, all under water and past recovery; that at St. Jago has been repaired somewhat against my coming, and I am now living there, but it has neither kitchen, outhouses nor enclosures, and there is no money in the Treasury, but on the contrary a large debt. Everything is very dear, the sickness and calamities having terrified those who used to bring provisions from New England and North America from coming near us; but now, blessed be God, the country is returned to its usual health, and the people that are left appear to wake out of a lethargy, and begin to build their houses and sugar works. I hope by God's blessing and with your favour that the Island will recover again, but it will be a work of time and a great expense, and how the loss and want of people is to be repaired during this time of war I cannot see, since so few come to us from England. I have sent a proclamation to Petit Guavos, Coriza and some of the North American Colonies to invite all that have deserted to return. I enclose a copy of it.
There are two vacancies in the Council for which I recommend Fulke Rose and Henry Low, who are men of integrity, ability and estate. I see too plainly that if I should die, the country will fall back into the same unsettled condition as was produced by the diversity of interests of ten or twelve men; so I would beg for a dormant Commission for one of them to take my place, and would recommend Mr. Samuel Bernard, the Chief Justice, to hold it. The Council are of opinion that an Assembly is absolutely necessary for the quieting and settling of all things, and I have issued writs for one to meet on the 4th of May. The French often threaten us from Hispaniola, knowing our weakness, while their small vessels cruise on our coasts and take our small trading ships. To prevent this we much want two fast-sailing, small fifth-rate frigates, which would be able to follow them in shoal water, where bigger ships dare not venture. But I have no authority to condemn prizes if taken, which will discourage men to go and seek them. If on the other hand they have liberty to dispose of ships without account, ill men may take advantage of it to plunder the King's friends. I beg for your orders herein. The officers are so much reduced by the late calamity that many deputies of patentees will not act without taking the whole profits of their offices. I cannot prevent it, for the whole of the business would be neglected else. I do not know how the patentees in England will like it, but I cannot help it. The fleet will sail under convoy of H.M.S. Guernsey about the 10th of May. Signed. Wm. Beeston. 2 closely written pages. Endorsed. Recd. 27 May. Read 12 and 15 June, 93. Enclosed,
209. I. Address of certain inhabitants of Jamaica to Lieutenant-Governor Sir William Beeston. Being driven from Port Royal by the earthquake we settled at Kingston, as invited and encouraged by the President and Council; they and all disinterested persons thinking it the best site on every account. After the town had been surveyed and marked out, a plan thereof drawn and all other matters settled, we removed thither at great expense, and considering our many difficulties and discouragements made good progress. We hope that the unhealthiness of the place will not be objected to, as it is well known that the late sickness was as universal a judgment as the earthquake. Now the sickness has ceased we may hope for a continuance of health, a wholesome soil, sound air and plenty of good water. Again such of us as escaped, by miracle, from the destruction of Port Royal cannot endure the least thought of settling on that fatal spot. The miserable remains of that place are nothing near capable of receiving us and our effects that are now here, much less those that we are daily expecting from England. Again many of us have received instructions from our principals in England not again to trust their estates to so dangerous a foundation. We beg you therefore to establish in their Majesties' name what was so judiciously begun by the Council, and is now so far advanced that it wants nothing but your favour and encouragement. We ask you to order all ships to unload at Kingston and all officers to reside there, with such other directions you shall judge best. Copy. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 27 May, 1693.
209. II. Proclamation of Sir William Beeston to recall to Jamaica all English subjects who have deserted the Island, promising them all encouragement. Dated 14 March, 1693. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 27 May, 1693. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 7. Nos. 5,5 I., II.; and (without enclosures) 53. pp. 147–152.]
March 23. 210. Abstract of the foregoing despatch of Sir William Beeston. 2½ pp. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 7. No. 6.]
March 23. 211. Petition of merchants and planters concerned with Jamaica to the King. Sir William Beeston's zeal has made him surmount all the difficulties of earthquake and sickness in Jamaica and proceed cheerfully to the service of Government. We should be discouraged from resettling our interests in the Island, but for our confidence in his ability; but we have now freely adventured our estates in the task. Sir William is greatly beloved in the Island, and his departure put him to great expense. We hear that another person is under consideration to go out as Governor, which though it would leave Sir William Beeston Lieutenant-Governor, would deprive him of all salary and power. We beg therefore that he may be continued in the government, at least until the Island is resettled. Thirty-six signatories. Copy. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 23 March 92–3. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 7. No. 7.]
[Mar. 23.] 212. Considerations offered as to the state of Jamaica. The revenue of the Island consists of the quit-rents and the duty on wines. The first charge on these is for fortifications, the next for the Governor's salary of £2,000. Since the earthquake the revenue is much diminished, and the whole of the fortifications require to be reconstructed. It is submitted that it would be better to keep Sir William Beeston as Lieutenant-Governor at £1,000 a year. 1 p. Undated. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 7. No. 7A.]
March 23. 213. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Thomas Neale's patent for the post office read, also a memorial from Andrew Hamilton as to the rates to be charged on letters. John Foster and Peter Sergeant appointed to discuss the matter with Mr. Hamilton and to report. Order for Nathaniel Williams, Sampson Stoddard and Joseph Parsons to audit the accounts of the Commissaries for War. Order for payment of £29 to Benjamin Harris for printing the laws. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXIV., pp. 224–226.]
214. Extract from a letter from Boston. The settlement of the militia has proceeded very slowly. In several counties there is no field officer above the rank of Major; in some no commissioned officer at all. Sir William Phips figured so well as Lord Lieutenant of Connecticut and Rhode Island that he sent a set of Commissions to Colonel Sanford, with a demand (as it is said) of £50 for his clerk for writing them. The Assembly of Rhode Island then met and issued a proclamation saying that they had never yet seen Sir W. Phip's commissions, and that the persons he had appointed were enemies to the country, and calling upon the people to obey officers of their own appointing. Connecticut also refused to appoint officers of Sir William's nomination, and the Assembly let him know that they would abide by former arrangements until the King's pleasure were known. In the business of Courts seven months lapsed before any were held, and now there is nothing but an Admiralty Court wherein the Governor once sat as judge himself and in another case put in certain deputy-vice-admirals who condemned ten or twelve thousand pounds without recollecting any rights of the Crown. The witchcraft at Salem went on vigorously during the summer, and twenty were executed and a hundred more restrained, until at last members of Council and Justice were accused; and now every one is acquitted. Sir William and Council have given the College a charter, with power to receive gifts and confer degrees. They are proceeding to create Mather a doctor of divinity, which by some misunderstanding is to be obstructed. The deputies too are so displeased since Cooke's arrival that they will allow him no salary unless he be resident, and would have another man chosen. Sir William's salary is in much the same state. The deputies voted him £500 per annum, and he huffed it, so they have got their vote again and only given him an order for £500 gratuity, alleging that there is no revenue except per annum. The Assessment must amount to £30,000 this year, a sum very fit to be managed by an able general for the reduction of Quebec. Sir William gives out that he is sending Captain Short home. The poor Captain has been a cripple in his right hand ever since he came, owing to a wound. Sir William took a prize from him, and Short dared not displease him by demanding his own. Since that, Short says he has borrowed his men from time to time and now made such a demand as would have dismantled the ship, so he refused him. The Governor abused him and struck him, Short struck him back with his left hand and tripped over a gun as he stepped back, whereupon the Governor beat him lustily and committed him. A quarrel of much more importance is between Phips and Governor Fletcher. He threatened Fletcher's messenger and Fletcher himself, praising Leisler and so forth. It is useless to tell all. Ex ungue leonem. Little news of the Indians, though lately they took a sloop at Pemaquid. Since I began this Sir William has made his pilgrimage to Rhode Island and read his Commission, and received for answer that if the province had any more to say when the Assembly met, the Governor would write to Sir William. Sir William has reprieved eight more persons condemned for witchcraft. Sir E. Andros and Mr. Usher have great trouble in getting their accounts settled. Copy. 3½ pp. Endorsed. 1692–3. [Board of Trade. New England, 6. No. 41.]
March 24.
215. Minutes of the Council of War in the West Indies. Order for two more transports to be hired. Resolved that the Masterapothecary and his mates be admitted to share in the plunder. Mr. Fotherby's petition to be admitted likewise was deferred to a Council to be held at Martinique, when it will be easier to judge whether his service entitles him thereto. Order for Mr. Fotherby to give account of the money that he has received or spent in Barbados, and that, if his health do not permit him to accompany the expedition, he shall propose a fitting person to take his place; also that he leave none of the King's stores behind him, but send them all with the fleet. Order for Lieutenant Powell to send back to Madeira a negro and a Portuguese whom he had taken from that Island, paying their passage and restoring to them any money that he has taken from them. Resolved that transports containing any lumbering goods shall not discharge them, the Council promising to indemnify them if such cargo be damaged. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., pp. 326–329.]
March 25.
216. Governor Sir William Phips to the Earl of Nottingham. I have received the Queen's letter of 11 October, 1692, and despatched letters accordingly to the Governors of New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia for speedy agreement as to a quota to be furnished for defence of New York. I shall do my best for the safety of neighbouring Colonies. New Hampshire cannot be supported except from hence, and a force of 120 men, which has been for some months in that province, is still continued there. I hope shortly to report any further measures as to New York. Signed. William Phips. 1 p. Endorsed. R. May 24, '93.
Duplicate of the foregoing. [America and West Indies. 561. Nos. 32, 33.]
March 25. 217. Minutes of Council of New York. Order for a patent for land to Hester Browne. Ordered that a new coin, known as dog-dollars, pass current as 5s. 6d. apiece. Committee appointed to audit Robert Livingstone's accounts. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., p. 404.]
March 27.
218. The Governor of Pennsylvania to Governor Fletcher. "Govr, the account from thee of your successes against the French and Indians, their complices, I do thankfully acknowledge to have received." My congratulations. As to the burthen and hard circumstances of New York in this undertaking, we are more ready to believe than to give you relief herein. We may and do commiserate you, but supply you at this juncture we cannot. Our representatives here have not thought fit to concur in the raising of money either for the expenses of government or the help of our neighbours since the proprietor's absence. I will consult the Council, but I expect little of it. "Thus far I am serious and plain with thee; but by way of a Rehearsal transposed I might comically represent unto thee my personal difficulties and domestic circumstance under this station, and so request thy candid consideration and kindness towards me, whom a Government hath burthened but not relieved. I hope and unfeignedly desire a sudden superscdeas as to my present place, and a quietus herein would be welcome unto me." Signed, Tho. Lloyd. Holograph. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 3 June, '93, from Colonel Fletcher. [Board of Trade. New York, 5. No. 9.]
March 27.
219. Minutes of the Council of War in the West Indies. Order for £120 to be paid for 12 asses, to carry ammunition; for the sick men to be left behind and for seven shillings a week to be paid for their maintenance; for Edmund Allen to take over the duties of Mr. Fotherby, disabled by sickness; for the sealing up of all unexpended treasure for the expedition in a box; and for the taking up of money on such terms as can be obtained. On Mr. Fotherby's refusal to sign bills of exchange, as ordered, it was resolved that he be committed to a ketch as a close prisoner, in custody of a serjeant and two files of musketeers. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., pp. 329–333.]
March 27. 220. Journal of House of Burgesses of Virginia. Committee of the whole house on the book of claims. The allowances to officers of the house were settled. Colonel Henry Whiteing's commission as Treasurer examined, and a bill to appoint a Treasurer ordered.
March 28. Resolution for exempting liquors imported for the Governor's use from duty sent to Council. Bill to appoint Henry Whiteing Treasurer read twice and committed.
March 29. Bill to appoint the Treasurer read a third time and sent up to Council.
March 30. John White appointed a door-keeper. The bills for defence, for suspending the Ports Act and for marking Indian hogs, returned by the Council. The question of a bill to define qualifications of jurors deferred to next session. The three bills sent down by the Council agreed to as received from them; also the bills to encourage erection of fulling mills and to ascertain the price of coasting cockets. Bill to continue the Rangers read a first time.
March 31. Thanks voted to Mr. William Cole for his care in distribution of the sum allowed for the Colony's affairs in London. Bill to continue the Rangers read a second and third time and passed. The resolution as to exempting the Governor's liquors from duty was returned from Council not agreed to. A conference requested with the Council as to its amendments to the bill for settling lands south of James River. Bills for advancement of coins and for appointment of a Treasurer returned form Council not agreed to, and a conference with the Council desired as to them and also as to the Post Office bill. Conferrers appointed. The Council's amendments to the bills for suspending the Ports Act and to ascertain the price of cockets agreed to.
April 1. The Conference reported that the Council adhered to their amendments to the bill for settlement of lands, and could not agree to the bills for appointing a Treasurer and for advancement of coins. the amendments to the Post Office bill were settled by compromise. The Rangers bill received from Council and agreed to; the book of claims also received and one amendment not agreed to. Bill for raising a public levy read the first time. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXV., pp. 986–996.]
March 27. 221. Minutes of General Assembly of Virginia. Bills to fix the price of cockets, to alter the first day of the General Court and for a Post Office read a first time. Other bills deferred till to-morrow. The book of public claims received from the burgesses.
March 28. Bill for marking Indians' hogs agreed to; bill for advancement of coins rejected. Other bills deferred for further consideration. Resolution to exempt the Governor's liquors from duty received.
March 29. Bill to suspend the Ports Act (with amendments), bill for defence (with amendments), bill for marking hogs (without amendments) returned to the Burgesses, also the bill as to coasting cockets, with amendments. Bill for a Treasurer read a first time.
March 30. Bill as to fulling-mills returned to the Burgesses agreed to. Bill for a Post Office amended. Bills for settlement of lands, and to alter the first day for General Courts not agreed to.
March 31. The bills rejected by Council were returned to the Burgesses. Post Office Bill returned with amendments. Resolution as to exemption of the Governor's liquors from duty not agreed to. Message from the Burgesses as to the Council's amendments to certain of the bills; and a conference agreed to.
April 1. Reports of the Conferrerrs as to the various bills. The book of claims and the bill for Rangers returned to the Burgesses with amendments; the former of which were not accepted but the latter agreed to. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXV., pp. 915–932.]
March 28. 222. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Montserrat. Order for the Commander-in-Chief to billet the men on duty for defence of the Island, being one third of the entire force. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVIII., p. 314.]
March 28.
223. Certificate of the Lieutenant-Governor that Captain William Mead was a member of Council of St. Christophers, that he commanded a company of foot when the French took the Island, and that he acquitted himself well in both stations. Signed. Tho. Hill. ½ p. Endorsed. Rec. 2 Nov., '93. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 4. No. 11.]
March 29.
224. Captain Fairfax, R.N., to the Admiralty. The severe usage with which Captain Short has met from the Governor obliges me, as a brother officer, to write on his behalf. Captain Short in the fall of the year was from some private pique (as is supposed) ordered to lie up with H.M.S. Nonsuch at Pemaquid. I sounded the place with him, and found that it was impossible for him to winter there without certain ruin to the ship from touching the ground or the ice. This was the general opinion of the masters here and of his own officers, who were about to protest against it; but the Governor on further consideration laid her up at Boston, and requested Captain Short to send thirty men in country sloops with stores to Pemaquid, which the men voluntarily did, rather than hazard a King's ship. Since then some friends of the Governor having occasion to man a merchantman for a short voyage asked Captain Short to spare them some men while his ship was laid up, which he declined to do until they influenced the Governor to request him, saying that the voyage was short and would be a kindness to his men as well as to them, and promising never to thwart him with it. The ship sailed, and then the Governor ordered him to send four more men with the sloop Mary for Pemaquid, and 36 more for other service. Captain Short refused, for the men were unwilling and those that had already sailed were not yet returned. On this the Governor flew into a passion and gave him the lie, calling him lubber, rascal, etc. and laid him over the pate. Captain Short returned the blow with his left hand (his right hand being lame) but the Governor got him down and beat him most severely, breaking his head. He then went on board the ship and dispossessed him, putting the gunner in command and obliging the officers by threats to obey him. He then made out a mittimus and confined Captain Short to the common, nasty gaol, under such severe restraints, to my knowledge, as were more fit for the worst of villains than for a gentleman holding the King's Commission, barring him all help from friends or servants. Captain Short being much indisposed by ill lodging and the extreme cold, I waited, at his request, with two other gentlemen of considerable estates on the Governor, asking that he might be enlarged on their bail. The Governor refused, saying that Captain Short was lucky not to be laid in a dungeon in irons; and he also refused, though frequently requested by the most eminent gentlemen and merchants of the place, to give him some warmer lodging. I then went to the judge for a habeas corpus, which he was inclined to grant, when the Governor suddenly removed him to Castle Island, about a league from the town, where he is again deprived of any opportunity of settling his business or preparing his defence. The Governor said that he should be sent away in a day or two, which is now near two months since. I am well assured that Captain Short has behaved himself with great civility to Sir William Phips both during his passage and since then on shore, but has never met with other return than hard usage, though wanting not for large promises. I remember that when I first came to the country it was common report that Sir William Phips had threatened him with his cane. I have never seen Captain Short guilty of neglect of duty or breach of orders, though I am told that the Governor lays breach of orders to his charge. When we were lying at Pemaquid to cover the building of the fort the pilots gave us a written certificate that we could not safely stir from thence at that season of the year with less than nine days' provisions, and we had not so much left. Had we stayed we should have taken an unanswerable risk both of ships and men. This usage of the Governor has encouraged the people to uncivil behaviour, which cannot be excepted by the civillest deportment imaginable. Signed. Robert Fairfax. Copy. 2½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. July, 1693. From my Lord Falkland.
Another copy of the above. Endorsed. Recd. at the Committee 15 Jan., 1693–4. [Board of Trade. New England, 6. Nos. 42, 43.]
[March.] 225. Captain Richard Short, R.N., to the Admiralty. I have given account of my proceedings until my last voyage to Pemaquid, where I lay with H.M.S. Conception until we had but five days' provisions left. On arriving at Boston we could get provisions only from hand to mouth, and in October I was ordered to Pemaquid again, though, on the risk being pointed out, I was allowed to lay up at Boston. I supplied thirty men for two sloops going with stores to Pemaquid, though I had lost my best bower anchor and great part of the cable on the former voyage, the Governor being then on board and so advising the pilot that he nearly lost the ship. Since then he has taken a grudge against me for asking for anchor and cable and for conveniences for sick men, and also for giving him an item of his generosity to me who took him and his retinue first to New England and then to eastward, giving up to them my cabin and finding them their table at great cost and charge, though I was then in danger of losing my right hand. For speaking about these things he has several times abused me and threatened to break my head, and on the 4th of January he knocked me down and as I lay broke my head, which is very generous of a gentleman, I being sick for many days before and lame in my right hand. Afterwards he sends me to prison among witches, villains, negroes and murderers, where I lay for seventeen days in an open cold room in the worst of weather, so sick that I was like to die. He would suffer none of my friends to come near me, though most people in the town railed against him for this inhumanity and though the merchants offered sufficient bail. Afterwards he moved me to Castle Island, where I now am. On the 4th January he appointed the Gunner, Thomas Dobbins, to be captain of the ship, over the head of the lieutenant, though an ancient man and an old lieutenant, whereas Dobbins can hardly write his name and has never been in any engagement. I am not the first of the King's Captains to be abused in New England, Captain John Wybourn was set upon in the street and barbarously treated. Captain John George was falsely calumniated and imprisoned, so also was Captain George St. Lo, who hardly dared venture ashore without a guard, so likewise Captain Moule; and Sir Robert Robinson can tell you how I was abused when I asked for an anchor and cable. Captain Fairfax too is daily threatened to have his head broken. I have made it my whole care to do my duty and observe all lawful orders, yet cannot be free from the fate that all other of the King's Commanders have suffered. 1½ pp. Unsigned. Endorsed. Recd. 15 Jan., 1693–4.
Copy of the foregoing. 3¼ pp. Endorsed. Recd. from my lord Falkland. July, 1693. [Board of Trade. New England, 6. Nos. 44, 45.]
March 29. 226. Minutes of a Court Martial held at Albany. Major Richard Ingoldsby was President. John Suddeck, private, of Major Ingoldsby's Company, was charged with desertion. The defence was that the prisoner wished to get back to England to his wife, since he had been enlisted for three years only and had served for longer than that time. He was found guilty and sentenced to be hanged. Certified copy. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 26 Sept., 1693. [Board of Trade. New York, 5. No. 10.]
March 29.
227. James Blair to [Earl of Nottingham?]. Thinking the public peace of the Colony wherein my lot is cast to be endangered by Colonel Nicholson's temper I wrote to Mr. Blathwayt about it, who communicated the letter to you; and accordingly I find that Colonel Nicholson is stopped. I think this much better than to send him to Virginia, unless some care had been taken first to modify his mind by bettering his circumstances; but I hasten to add that I know nothing worse against him than I have written, and that I do not believe he has any design of exciting any commotion. He has not written a line to Virginia but sends formal messages of service to his friends, desiring them not to write to him. This does not look like a man who would work against the Government. The only ground of my fear about him was that he was exceedingly angry that any one should be set over his head in Virginia, where he thought that his behaviour had earned him the government if it fell vacant, and especially Sir Edmund Andros, against whom he has a particular pique on account of some earlier dealings with him. In short I thought that if these two as Governor and Lieutenant-Governor would divide the Colony into two parties, and if Nicholson's party proved the bigger it could not be foreseen how far a mien so soured and discontented might go, even though he might wish to keep the people peaceable. I find him very apprehensive himself of the difficulty of his circumstances between the love of the people and the jealousy of the Government. I write thus minutely to shew that though Nicholson is discontented he is no enemy to the Government, and I doubt not that you are sufficiently sensible of his care and integrity while he held the Government of Virginia to think him worthy of a like post in another Colony or of a better salary if he be continued in his present office. I should be sorry if what I formerly wrote should give a worse character of him than is true and just, or should hinder encouragement or reward to one who deserves it as well as any Governor that ever was in America. Signed. James Blair. 3 pp. [America and West Indies. 638. No. 8.]
March 30. 228. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Agreed to recommend to the General Assembly the acceptance of Mr. Andrew Hamilton's proposed rates of postage, viz. letters from beyond sea, 4d. per packet, and if delivered at the parties' houses after forty eight hours' lying at the Post Office 1d. in addition; to or from Rhode Island to Boston, 6d. per single letter; to or from Connecticut (by the post-road) 9d.; to or from New York 12d.; to or from the Jersies or Pennsylvania 15d.; to or from Virginia and Maryland 24d.; to or from Salem, 3d., and the towns eastward of Salem 4d.; to or from Piscataqua 6d. All further letters to go free, and the post to pass all ferries free of charge. Report on John Usher's accounts to be confirmed. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXIV., pp. 226–228.]
March 30. 229. Minutes of Council of New York. Letters to the Governor from the King and from Sir William Phips read, and an answer to the latter ordered. Audit of the accounts of Governor Sloughter as to £1,120 grant to him, returned. Copy to be furnished to Madam Sloughter if desired. Orders for payments. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., p. 405.]
March 30. 230. Order of the King in Council. Referring the petition of Lord Mayor, Sir John Fleet, and others to Lords of the Treasury for report. Signed. Wm. Bridgeman. Below, Minute of the Secretary to the Treasury, 3 April, 1693. Referring the same to the Commissioners of Customs. Signed. Hen. Guy. Enclosed,
230. I. Petition of Sir John Fleet and others to the King. For payment of the hire of the ship Joseph, which was impressed by Lord Inchiquin, and did good service against the French. Copy. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 7. Nos. 8, 8 I.]
231. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. That the King be moved to send a fifth-rate frigate to guard the coast of New York, and to order payment of the arrears due to the two New York Companies. [Board of Trade. New York, 48. p. 15.]