America and West Indies: December 1695

Pages 622-635

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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December 1695

Dec. 2. 2,174. Minutes of Council of New York. On intelligence from New England of a design of 1,500 men from Canada upon Albany, the Council advised that it was impossible at this season to transport men up the river to Albany, and that the Government of Connecticut should be summoned to send their quota thither forthwith, since they can take their provisions with them, also that the inhabitants of Ulster and Duchess Counties be warned to be in readiness. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. p. 78.]
Dec. 2. 2,175. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Colonel Hallett's case heard, and decision agreed to. [Board of Trade. Journal, 8. pp. 151–152.]
Dec. 2. 2,176. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. On the appeal of John Hallett it is agreed to recommend that he be restored to Council, and that the fine of £350 upon him be remitted, as also the forfeiture of his recognisances in £2,000, his punishment appearing too severe for an accidental quarrel. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. pp. 208–210.]
[Dec. 2.] 2,177. Order for attendance of Malatia Holder at the Committee of Trade and Plantations on 2 December, on the business of the appeal of John Hallett. Draft. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 118.]
Dec. 2.
2,178. Governor Sir William Beeston to Lords of Trade and Plantations. My last was by Commodore Wilmot, since which we have news from New York that he and Captain Lance died about Cuba, that the Winchester was unfortunately lost in the Gulf of Florida, and that the rest were designed for Virginia to refresh and recruit, having lost many men by the sickness that they brought thither. I formerly recommended to you Mr. James Banister for one of the Council, but the ships that those letters went in were never heard of, so I repeat the recommendation. Mr. Brodrick, the Attorney-General, goes to England in the Ruby, and when he is gone there will be five wanting in the Council, and, as I have before informed you, the country is growing so thin of gentlemen of parts and abilities to serve in that and other important offices that I cannot find such as I could wish to fill them. I therefore recommend as the best that I can think of James Banister, Thomas Ayscough, Richard Dawkins, Edward Broughton and Josiah Heathcote, to be added to the Council. I have acquainted you since the death of Mr. Bernard that if I die the country will fall into uneasiness unless there be a dormant commission for a Lieutenant-Governor. In this I can recommend no one more proper than Colonel Beckford, who has done good service at his own charge in the last descent on Hispaniola, and is a very loyal gentleman and a faithful asserter of the King's interest, which some too much juggle with here, as the Attorney General can declare to you. I beg to refer you to him in any matter relating to this Island. Although many of the seamen died and the soldiers are reduced by sickness to less than 180 private centinels, the country is again in very good health; but there has happened in the Grand Court last week so great an indignity to the King's honour and authority, carried on (as I am sensible) by the countenance of those that ought to have done otherwise, that I have turned out the Provost-Marshal and would alter the Commission of the Court were there a fitting person to whom to entrust it. Mr. Brodrick, who was concerned in the matter for the King, can declare the whole of it to you, and I can only say that unless the King send us a Chief Justice, with orders to enlarge his salary to £500 a year, I do not expect that the King or the country will find much justice here. The orders sent me by the King and the Admiralty, not to meddle with the King's ships here, have proved very prejudicial, and I have had great trouble with the Captain of the Hampshire thereby. Part thereof will be seen in the Minutes of the Council which I now transmit; and by pressing men as they please they will ruin the trade and country instead of protecting it. The Assembly is to meet to-morrow according to prorogation, but will adjourn again for some time because the fleet is going away, in the despatch whereof most are concerned. I intend to try them once more to pass the bill for the revenue which was prepared, and read in the House, and made indefinite with some considerable additions; but a thwarting party there opposed it. If they will not proceed on that, I know nothing they have to do worth the time, for making of many useless Bills only creates troubles and charges among the people. Signed, Wm. Beeston. Holograph. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 16 Mar. 1695–6. Read 11 April, '96. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 7. No. 96; and 54. pp. 65–88.]
Dec. 2. 2,179. Minutes of General Assembly at Massachusetts. Bill to prohibit exportation of grain read a second time and amended. The matter of the petition of the inhabitants of the east end of Watertown was debated.
Dec. 3. Votes in concurrence with the Representatives for passing the accounts of James Taylor, Treasurer. Voted that the inhabitants of the west end of Watertown form a distinct precinct for support of Divine Worship.
Dec. 4. A bill to enable an action to be reviewed at the next Superior Court at Plymouth read and ordered to be engrossed. A proposal sent up by the Representatives for the settlement of Watertown was debated and negatived.
Dec. 5. Order for a bill, to enable the review of an action tried at the last Superior Court at Boston, to be prepared. Several other petitions considered.
Dec. 6. The bill for review of an action at Plymouth enacted. Voted in concurrence with the Representatives that the Treasurer no longer withhold payment of the money due to John Phillips, though the latter shall still be held obliged to make good out of his own estate any old arrears during the time of his Treasurership. A bill sent up from the Representatives for suppression of drunkenness was negatived. A bill additional to the Act for regulating the House of Representatives was received from them and read. A private bill as to review of a legal decision in Boston read first time.
Dec. 7. A bill from the Representatives to forbid exportation of current coin was read. A private bill for review of a decision of the Courts was read a second time and ordered to be engrossed. [Board of Trade. New England, 48. pp. 9–14.]
Dec. 4. 2,180. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. On petition of Mary Stebbins a divorce was granted from her husband, Samuel Stebbins, on account of his adultery and desertion. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. p. 5.]
Dec. 4. 2,181. Minutes of Council of New York. On the petition of the inhabitants who wish to build near the blockhouse, it was ordered that they may have liberty to build where they have erected a platform for six or eight guns on the water-side near the block-house, at their own expense. Petition of Charles Janse and seven others to purchase land, granted conditionally. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. p. 78.]
Dec. 4. 2,182. Extract from Minutes of Council of Jamaica. The Assembly attending, the Governor recommended to them, for the satisfaction of Colonel Lillingston and encouragement of soldiers, to make an Act for quartering such soldiers as should come, since Colonel Lillingston was going to England to raise recruits. The House presently brought up an unanimous resolution to provide by a law for the reception and accommodation of the said soldiers. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 11 April, '96. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 7. No. 97.]
Dec. 4. 2,183. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Orders for sundry payments. (And see preceding abstract.) [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 79. p. 1.]
Dec. 5. 2,184. John Povey to William Bridgeman. Desiring the Admiralty to direct the Navy Board to inspect the accounts of the hired ships England and Coronation, and report what is due for them from the King. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. pp. 242–243.]
Dec. 5. 2,185. Minutes of Council of Virgina. The Council met on the 4th but adjourned to the 5th for want of a quorum. Daniel Parke sworn in as Collector for lower James River district, in place of John Lear, deceased.
Dec. 6. James Preston sworn as Clerk Extraordinary of the Council, the Clerk being absent through illness. The question of throwing open the land in Pamunkey Neck and South of the Blackwater to settlement was postponed to the 11th inst. for a fuller Council. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 53. pp. 3–9.]
Dec. 6. 2,186. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Draft report on Colonel Hallett's case approved. The Admiralty's report as to the frigates Coronation and England read, and further information required of the Navy Board. [Board of Trade. Journal, 8. p. 152.]
Dec. 7. 2,187. Edward Randolph to the Commissioners of Customs. I enclose a paper of suggestions for preventing the illegal traffic between the tobacco-plantations and Scotland, which will be effective if embodied in the Act for regulating abuses in the Plantation trade, and if the Commanders of the King's ships be ordered to assist the officers of the Customs. I now lay before you an account of the present state of the North American Colonies in relation to a Scotch Act lately passed under pretence of erecting an East India Company in that Kingdom. Herein they engage themselves with great sums of money in an American trade, which has for many years been carried on by Scotchmen under pretence of being persons born within the King's allegiance, and although by Act of 14 Car. II. only English, Irish and subjects in the Plantations are to be accounted English, yet they come from Scotland under the notion of super-cargoes and merchants, and seldom fail of counterfeit masters. On pages 4 and 5 of the Act they have liberty to plant Colonies, etc. in places not inhabited, and to conclude treaties of peace and commerce with the Governors and Proprietors, paying only to the King out of Scotland the yearly acknowledgment of one hogshead of tobacco. And although they forbid all other Scots but those of the Company to touch on any plantations which they shall acquire, on pain of confiscation, yet they allow all such Scots to trade in tobacco and sugar elsewhere (that is, among the English), they paying for what they bring home such duties as are established in Scotland. Thus they project to let themselves into the trade of the King's plantations, and probably they meditate either the purchase of a settlement in one of the three lower counties on the shore of Delaware, as being no part of Mr. Penn's land, or in one or more islands near the Continent, by which expedient they might in a short time make a staple not only of all sorts of European manufactures, but even of the enumerated Plantation commodities, even as it is already practised with great abuse at Curaçoa. I therefore propose:—(1) That the south part of Carolina and all the Bahama Islands be put under the King's immediate authority. (2) That North Carolina be annexed and put under the Governor of Virginia to prevent the shipping of the tobacco grown in the southern parts of that territory from the inlets of Currahtuck and Roanoake. (3) That the three lower counties of Delaware be annexed to Maryland, which will prevent the shipping of tobacco and importing of European goods by Appaquimine River in Delaware Bay. (4) That West Jersey be annexed to Pennsylvania and an active Governor appointed who will uphold the laws of trade, for as things now hang the charge of maintaining sufficient customs-officers, boats, etc., cannot be defrayed for £800 a year, and the illegal trade cannot be checked but by great charge or a regular Government. (5) That East Jersey be annexed to New York, for the like reasons. (6) That Rhode Island be joined to the King's Government of Massachusetts. (7) That no person be allowed to alienate any Island, plantation, etc., to any Scotch Agent or other foreigner, under penalty of high treason, the whole tract from 32° to 44° being annexed to the Crown of England. If any Proprietary or Charter Colony refuses to accept the King's Government under the proposed annexations in this time of danger, they should be obliged to accept and maintain the officers needful to preserve the trade to England.
Here follows "An account of several things whereby illegal trade is encouraged in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania." This will be found abstracted in its later and more complete form, though with little real difference, under date of 17 August, 1696. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. C., pp. 352–365.]
Dec. 9. 2,188. Minutes of Council of Barbados. The writs for election of new members of the Assembly were returned. Names of the members:—
Dec. 10. Thomas Meyrick St. Peter's.
John Baylie St. Peter's.
George Peers St. Michael's.
William Wheeler St. Michael's.
John Broome St. Lucy's.
Thomas Maycock St. Lucy's.
William Cleland St. Andrew's.
William Dottin St. Andrew's.
Robert Bishop Christchurch.
Thomas Maxwell Christchurch.
Abel Alleyne St. James's.
Samuel Barwick St. James's.
William Allonby St. Thomas.
Jonathan Downes St. Thomas.
James Colleton St. John's.
William Leslie St. John's.
[Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 73–74.]
Dec. 9. 2,189. Minutes of General Assembly of Massachusetts. Bill to prohibit exportation of coin read a second time and debated. Bill for suppression of unlicensed houses read a first time.
Dec. 10. A bill sent up by the Representatives for grant of £60 to Isaac Addington, for his constant labour and charge, was agreed to, and payment was ordered. Bill for suppression of unlicensed houses read a second time and amended. Bill to continue the Acts relating to the prosecution of the war read twice and ordered to be engrossed. Bill as to grants made by the late Colony of New Plymouth sent down to the Representatives for concurrence.
Dec. 11. Bill for suppression of unlicensed houses read a second time and ordered to be engrossed. Bill to continue the Acts relating to the prosecution of the war passed and enacted. Voted in concurrence with the Representatives for £50 and a pension of £5 a year to be paid to Nathaniel Hall. Bill for an additional tax of £2,008 received from the Representatives and debated.
Dec. 12. The Speaker of the Representatives being absent through illness, the election of a new Speaker was ordered. Bills for taking affidavits out of Court, and for suppression of unlicensed houses, also a private bill for review of a legal action, were again read and enacted. Order for the seizure of a scandalous pamphlet by Thomas Maule and for Maule himself to be brought before the Council to answer for the same.
Dec. 13. Bill for a payment to Henry Derring received from the Representatives and agreed to. Bill for a tax debated and deferred to a fuller Council. Bill to prohibit exportation of grain read, amended and ordered to be engrossed. A bill appointing the 16th of January to be a day of public thanksgiving passed. Order for a Committee to enquire into complaints of certain Indians of encroachment by Samuel Gookin and Samuel How upon their lands.
Dec. 14. Bill to prohibit exportation of grain again read, and enacted. Order for an abatement of £200 out of the £284 assessed upon the town of Suffield in consideration of the interruption caused to them by Connecticut's claim to the township. Order for publication of the laws passed this session. The General Assembly was then adjourned to 26 February next. [Board of Trade. New England, 48. pp. 14–20.]
Dec. 11. 2,190. The Attorney-General to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I see no objection to the three Acts for the service of Almighty God and for the erecting of free schools in Maryland, except that the original Act for the service of Almighty God contains words which seem to establish the Great Charter of England to be the law in Maryland, and I know not how far this will agree with the constitution and other laws of the Province or with the Royal Prerogative. Signed, Tho. Trevor. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 8. p. 208.]
Dec. 11–12. 2,191. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Adjourned on both days for a fuller Council.
Dec. 13. On the question of throwing open the land in Pamunkey Neck and the South of the Blackwater to be taken up, it was ordered that the present restrictions continue until the 20th April and no longer. Order for the Indian interpreters of those districts to attend on 12 February next with an account of the number of Indians that there are and of the lands that they hold in those parts, also that the surveyors attend at the same time, and that care be taken for glebes to be ascertained to the parishes not yet provided in those parts. Letter from New York with a copy of the Maquas' propositions deferred for consideration until February. Proposals for construction of the platforms for the guns at York and James City referred to Colonel Edmund Jenings and Colonel Daniel Parke. Order for a full and particular account to be sent in of the alleged seizure and abduction of the sheriff of Princess Anne County when on Crow Island by some persons pretending authority from Carolina. [Board of Trade. Virgina, 53. pp. 10–11.]
Dec. 12. 2,192. Minutes of Council of New York. The report on John Lawrence's petition referred to the town of Flushing for their reply. Nicholas Bayard's quit-rents for his land above Senectady reduced, and the land erected into a manor by the name of Kingsfield. A letter from Governor Nicholson read. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. p. 79.]
Dec. 12.
2,193. Governor Codrington to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Since my last of 16 July, nothing extraordinary has occurred except that our enemies are increased, and their privateers become so numerous that I fear an attack is designed upon one of the Islands; for by my last intelligence they expect three men-of-war from France, and Count de Blenac has at this time called in all the privateers as if to join with the men-of-war on their arrival in an attack. This has obliged me for two months to fit out two swift vessels at the Island's charge, one a large sloop of seventy men, the other a caravel of eight guns and eighty men to learn the certainty of the enemy's designs and give me timely notice, and also to drive from our coast the privateers which daily harass our men with continual duty and take most of the small vessels bound hither. H.M.S. Hastings, the frigate now here, has come out so ill-fitted (and she is at best, I am told, a dull sailor) that since her arrival she has been on the careen and caulking that she may cruise. She has been here ten weeks and has not yet got to sea, but is going out this week, and I hope with her and our two vessels we may be able to drive the privateers from our coasts; but should the Hastings meet with one of the French fourth-rate men-of-war, I fear she would go near to be lost, being too small to fight any of the French frigates of that rate. Being informed that the King's frigates in New England are laid up and unable to cruise there during the winter, I venture to suggest that if, instead of being laid up, they were ordered to come here in the winter (which I presume would be little more costly to the King) they would be of great service not only in defending these Islands but in conveying vessels to and from North America. These ships together with those appointed for these Islands and for Barbados would not only defend us, but enable us, with the help of Russell's Regiment from Barbados, to drive the French from every Island in these parts except Martinique. I beg you to intercede with the King to appoint us at least one fourth-rate and two sixth-rate frigates as a standing guard here; nothing less will secure our trade. There are prospects of a great crop of sugar, and the Islands will want only ships to carry it home securely. St. Christophers is a very flourishing Island and would considerably increase the strength of this Government had I the King's leave to settle it, there being many considerable settlers from the Northern Colonies that daily wait to see when they may have encouragement to remove and settle there. The Government would thereby be made so strong that in a little time we should have no need to fear the French, that Island being of itself worth all the Islands of the Government if thoroughly settled, while it would bring the King considerable revenue. If however the French be allowed to settle there again, it is so near Nevis that the inhabitants there will always be uneasy and insecure, and I believe would be inclined to move to Montserrat. Signed, Chr. Codrington. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 23 Mar. 95–6. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 4. No. 67; and 44. pp. 232–235.]
Dec. 13. 2,194. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Draft report on Mr. Richier's case read, also Edward Richier's petition (No. 2,196) and decision taken. Samuel Hubbard's appeal heard and dismissed.
A memorial from Edward Randolph as to convoys from Virginia and Maryland referred to the Admiralty.
A private Act of Jamaica respecting Thomas Ballard's estate was referred to the Attorney General.
Nicholas Trott's proposals (see No. 2,129) read; agreed to await Governor Goddard's report as to public lands in Bermuda. [Board of Trade. Journal, 8. pp. 153–156.]
Dec. 13. 2,195. John Povey to the Attorney General. Forwarding a copy of a private Act of Jamaica concerning the estate of Thomas Ballard, for his opinion. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 54. p. 50.]
Dec. 13. 2,196. Petition of Edward Richier, on behalf of Isaac Richier, to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I hear that Governor Goddard designs to move you that my brother be obliged to give not only a very large security, before he has his goods again, but also for costs. Governor Goddard has no claim against my brother except for half-salary from the date of his commission. I hope that no great security will be required of him for this, and none at all for costs till the case be heard. I have reason to believe that Messrs. Goddard and Trott do all they can to hinder my brother from retiring to England, by causeless actions as well as malicious accusations. I beg that in all actions in which my brother may appeal to you, the other parties as well as himself be compelled to give security for damages and costs. 1 p. Endorsed, 13 Dec. '95. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 2. No. 33.]
[Dec. 13.] 2,197. A collection of papers relating to the appeal of Samuel Hubbard.
Record of the Court of Common Pleas held at St. George's, Bermuda, 13 February, 1693. 1 p. Appeal of the defendant against the judgment. 1½ pp. Sundry depositions and certificates. 4 pp. Samuel Hubbard's plea and demurrer against the defendant's appeal against him, and judgment of the Governor and Council of Bermuda in Hubbard's disfavour. 4 pp. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 2. No. 34.]
[Dec. 13.] 2,198. Memorial of Edward Randolph to Lords of Trade and Plantations. The King's ships of war, sent annually to convoy the merchant-ships to Virginia and Maryland, anchor on their arrival at Old Point Comfort and there wait until the return of the fleet to England. This anchorage is about eighty leagues distant from some of the harbours and creeks where ships load in Maryland, and not one of the ships-of-war is sent to that Province to assist the masters in their loading in case the sailors fall sick or run away, which is now much practised. The sailors go these long voyages to avoid being pressed into the King's service at home; some get ashore and are harboured and concealed by the planters in the country, but far the greater number (in expectation of much higher wages) are encouraged and entertained in Philadelphia, where they ship themselves either aboard the privateers for shares, or upon vessels trading illegally to South Carolina or Curaçoa, whereby the King loses yearly the services of many able sailors, who seldom return to England, and the homeward-bound ships are weakly manned and unable to defend themselves against the enemy, nor can the masters comply with their bonds to bring the men back to England. Near one hundred sailors ran away last year from the ships loading tobacco in Maryland and Pennsylvania, which with the sailors' sickness and the extraordinary frost and snow so obstructed the masters in their loading that twenty-five vessels, carrying seven or eight hundred hogsheads, were left by the convoy to shift for themselves and might have been lost had not Governor Nicholson stopped them until all were laden, and made one of them commodore for the voyage. Great differences often arise between the masters and their men, and sometimes mutinies among the sailors not to be composed by the Chief Magistrate, which might easily be suppressed if a man-of-war were stationed in Patuxent River (where the ships are cleared) and ordered to remain there until all the ships from the remoter parts of the bay come thither and are ready to join the Virginia fleet.
I would therefore propose: (1) That one of the outward-bound convoy-ships may be stationed in Patuxent River. (2) That the Governors of Virginia and Maryland be directed to make a law enjoining a severe penalty on all that entice or harbour runaway seamen. (3) That orders be sent to the Governor of Pennsylvania and the three lower counties in Delaware Bay to apprehend all seamen entering that Government by land or water from Virginia or Maryland and deliver them to one of the Council, to be dealt with as deserters from the King's ships. Again, it is a common practice of masters and owners of merchant-ships to hire at extraordinary wages the sailors in the King's ships in the Colonies (as for example in New England), whereby those ships are incapacitated to perform their service, and the King's captains are compelled to press men from vessels trading to and from those plantations. I would therefore propose that a fine should be imposed upon such masters or owners as are found guilty of this practice, half of the fine to go to the King and the other half to the informer; and that the King's captains be directed not to press men from the merchant vessels without first giving notice to the Governor of his reasons and of the number of men required to make up his complement. Signed, Ed. Randolph. 2 pp. Inscribed in Randolph's hand, Referred to the Lords of the Admiralty. 13 December. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 2. No. 87.]
Dec. 13. 2,199. Minutes of Council of Barbados. On the Governor's motion the Council agreed to send a flag of truce to Martinique about exchange of prisoners. The Council agreed also to the Governor's cruising orders for the men-of-war. The disputes as to the election of Assemblymen for St. Philip's and St. James's were heard, and decided in favour of William Fortescue and William Holder, who were accordingly sworn. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 74–75.]
Dec. 14. 2,200. Minutes of Council of New York. A letter from Governor Treat of Connecticut read, promising endeavours but desiring assistance in provisions and ammunition from New York. The Council was of opinion that Connecticut could provide the men herself, and had no intention of sending assistance; the Governor, however, expressed his willingness to supply ammunition from the King's stores. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. p. 79.]
Dec. 15. 2,201. Memorandum. The warrant appointing William Brodrick to be of the Council of Jamaica was signed this day. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 54. p. 35.]
Dec. 17. 2,202. Commissioners of Customs to Lords of the Treasury. The Massachusetts Act for coasting vessels which permits certain of the enumerated commodities to be transported from port to port and place to place within the province (provided that they do not exceed a certain quantity) without entering, clearing or certifying, on pretence of supplying the inhabitants, is contrary to the practice of other Colonies and to the Acts of Trade and Navigation. Mr. Brenton tells us that more than 100 sloops and small craft are employed in the coasting trade at Boston, which would be able to discharge, within the limited quantities, the cargoes of any foreign ships; as is already much practised. We think therefore that the Act should not be confirmed. The Act to restrain exportation of hides we see no objection to. Signed, Robt. Southwell, Robt. Clayton, John Ward, Walter Younge, Sam. Clarke. [Board of Trade. New England, 35. pp.206–209.]
Dec. 17. 2,203. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Certain accounts were passed. Robert Bishop was approved as Speaker, and the officers of the Assembly were sworn.
Dec. 18. The memorial for the Agents was sent down to the Assembly. A joint Committee appointed to draw up Addresses to the King and to the Lords of Trade. The Assembly brought up a bill for the appointment of Agents and of their salaries.
A petition as to the charge against John Holder received and order made thereon. The bill as to the Agents returned to the Assembly with amendments, which were agreed to, and the bill was passed. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 76–78.]
Dec. 19. 2,204. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. Message from the Governor desiring the Assembly to raise funds for discharge of all present debts, and for defraying probable charges. In reply to requests of the Assembly the Governor granted a protection for the seamen on board the country-vessel, and agreed to the purchase of a boat for her and to the pressing of a carpenter and men for her. Bill for laying a tax on the tonnage of trading vessels sent up by the Assembly and refused by the Governor as mischievous if enacted by one Island only. The Assembly thereupon begged for the speedy meeting of a General Council and Assembly at Antigua. Orders for sundry payments. Bill for a tax of 500,000 lbs. of sugar passed. Two orders in Chancery issued. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 153–155.]
Dec. 19. 2,205. Minutes of Council of New York. The Commission of oyer and terminer for Ulster County was deferred, on the petition of the Justices. Thomas Garton removed from the post of Judge of common pleas in that County and Henry Beeckman appointed in his place. A man belonging to the H.M.S. Richmond having died under the hands of a pretender to chirurgery, it was agreed that an officer should be appointed to examine all that practise chirurgery, and Captain George Lockhart was recommended for the post. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. p. 80.]
Dec. 19. 2,206. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Thomas Hobby, master of a ship from Barbados, was bound over to take his trial next sessions for violating the quarantine regulations. Thomas Maule was bound over to take his trial for publishing a pamphlet containing many wicked lies and scandals upon private persons and the Government, as well as doctrines subversive of the Christian faith. Permission granted to Benjamin Emons to erect a small wooden edifice adjoining his house, and the like to Joseph Buckley. Order for payment of £6 to Duncan Campbell for postal services. Order for payment of £50 to Nathaniel Hall for medical services to the garrison at Pemaquid, and of a pension of £5 a year to him for wounds. Order for payment of £60 to Isaac Addington, of the allowance of five shillings a day to the justices of the several Courts of Sessions, and of £1,000 to the Commissioners of War for the subsisting of the forces in the King's pay in the province. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 5–9.]
Dec. 19. 2,207. Duke of Shrewsbury to the Clerk of Council in Waiting. The King having appointed a Commission for Trade and Plantations thinks it unnecessary that the Committee for that purpose should meet for the present. Signed, Shrewsbury. Holograph. ¼ p. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 2. No. 88.]
Dec. 19.
2,208. Order of the King in Council. For the appeal of Richard Holder to be admitted, and for all facilities to be granted to him to collect evidence. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. p. 207.]
Dec. 19.
2,209. Order of the King in Council. That Isaac Richier, after giving £2,000 security to abide by the King's decision in his case, be forthwith set at liberty and his estate restored to him, also that he be permitted to appeal to the King in Council and to answer to the charges against him, and that a commission be issued to three persons named by him and three named by Governor Goddard to examine witnesses and take depositions as to the matter in dispute between them. Copy, transmitted from Bermuda. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Bermunda, 2. No. 35.]
Dec. 21. 2,210. The Attorney-General to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I see no objection to the private Act of Jamaica respecting the estate of George Ivy. Signed, Thomas Trevor. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 54. pp. 46–47.]
Dec. 21. 2,211. The Attorney-General to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I do not see any objection to the omission of a clause to save the King's rights, or for payment of his quit-rents in the Act of Jamaica concerning Thomas Ballard's estate. Signed, Thomas Trevor. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 54. pp. 50–51.]
Dec. 24.
2,212. William Lowndes to John Povey. Enclosing report of the Commissioners of Customs, on the Act passed in Jamaica for prevention of engrossing and forestalling. Annexed,
Commissioners of Customs to Lords of the Treasury. 17 December, 1695. After consultation with the merchants trading to Jamaica, who have put their objections into writing, we think there is good cause to suspend the passing of the Jamaica Act to prevent engrossing and forestalling. Signed, Robert Clayton, Robert Southwell, J. Warde, Walter Younge, Samuel Clarke. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 54. pp. 38–40.]
Dec. 26.
2,213. Order of the King in Council. Confirming sixteen Acts of Jamaica, not including that against engrossing and forestalling. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 54. pp. 42–44.]
Dec. 26.
2,214. Order of the King in Council. Disallowing the Act of Jamaica to prevent engrossing and forestalling. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 54. p. 45.]
Dec. 26.
2,215. Order of the King in Council. Confirming the private Acts of Jamaica concerning the estates of George Ivy and Thomas Ballard. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 54. pp. 47–48 and 51–52.]
Dec. 26. 2,216. Order of the King in Council. Disallowing the Acts of Massachusetts for coasting vessels and for restraining the export of hides. [Board of Trade. New England 35. pp. 209–210.]
Dec. 26. 2,217. Representation of George Kast to the King in Council. For several years past Spanish vessels have traded and do still trade openly in Jamaica, contrary to the Acts of Navigation and the Treaty of Madrid. The planters suffering thereby several times endeavoured to inform the Lords of Trade thereof, in order to be relieved of such an abuse, alleging that the factors of the Royal African Company picked out the best negroes imported to that Island for sale to the Spaniards, and sold to the planters only the refuse, who either died on their hands or were little able to do the work required of them, which is one reason why the Island is not better settled. In answer the Company, being informed by its factors that the planters could not pay so large a price nor in ready money as the Spaniards, said that it would be well to look through the figures in regard of the Acts and the Treaty aforesaid. This reason has prevailed owing to the interest of the Company with the Court against inexperienced men far from home. Great complaints were also made by the planters that the Spaniards, construing the Treaty strictly, seize and condemn vessels on very slight pretences, and barbarously ill-treat the sailors, so that some die in prison and others are sent to the mines and heard of no more. Now, to the end that the planters may be supplied with negroes, it is submitted whether the planters should not be provided first, as it stands to reason that, the greater the products of the Island, the greater will be the profit to the King's Customs, whereas though by the sale of negroes to the Spaniards the money does come to the country, yet it remains in the Company's hands. If the Acts and the Treaty are to be winked at, then the Company should import negroes sufficient for both planters and Spaniards. To make trade with Spain profitable to all in Jamaica and not to the Company only, it is to be observed that the Spaniards who come to Jamaica are employed by authority, and their duty is to prevent foreign nations trading on the Spanish coast, so to avoid being seized in Jamaica they trade only with those who can protect them. Here then is the point, the Spaniards come to Jamaica to buy negroes at first hand, but will not suffer our vessels upon their coasts. But, when hindered, the same persons privately suffer and trade with our vessels, with this difference, that they are bound to give fifty or a hundred per cent. more than if they fetched them from Jamaica. Thus more money comes to the people of the Kingdom at large, navigation and trade are encouraged, and the sailors, being employed, are kept from privateering. The Governor and Council approving this project caused a Spanish vessel to be seized and condemned in the Court of Admiralty. Many of our vessels richly laden thereupon went to the Spanish coast; and things answered expectations. None of our vessels were seized, and never was more money brought into Jamaica than in the nine months of the Duke of Albemarle's government. After the Duke's death Kast himself had goods worth £5,000 seized and disposed of without any trial, and was preparing to come to England for justice when he was seized by the Provost Marshal and imprisoned for two years. At his trial the Attorney General said that he had nothing against him, though he had before represented that Kast was kept confined at the King's suit. Copy. 3 pp. Endorsed, R. 26 Dec. 1695. [America and West Indies. 540. No. 45.]
Dec. 26.
2,218. Invoice of charges for goods shipped to New York as presents for the Indians. The presents consist of blue cloth, lace, clothing, vermilion, knives, kettles, arms and ammunition to the value of £200. 1 p. Endorsed, Mr. Gilbert Heathcote's accounts of the presents sent to the Five Nations. Recd. 18 Sept. 1696. [Board of Trade. New York, 6. No. 31.]
Dec. 26.
2,219. Lords of Trade and Plantations to the Governor and Council of Massachusetts. Recounting the reasons for the disallowance of certain laws of Massachusetts, in the terms of the minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations of 4 June (see No. 1,874). Signed, Romney, Godolphin, Will. Trumbull, J. Somers, C.S., Shrewsbury, Pembroke, C.P.S., Bolton, J. Bridgewater, W. Bridgeman. [Board of Trade. New England, 35. pp. 200–205.]