America and West Indies: January 1696

Pages 635-644

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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January 1696

Jan. 2.
2,225. Lords of the Treasury to the King. As to Robert Livingston's claim to be allowed interest on the sums advanced by him to the public, we think it equitable that it should be paid to him; and recommend that in lieu of £868 10s., New York money, interest on £1,670, he be paid the corresponding value of £668 sterling by the Paymaster General here, but that the interest on the other sums be paid in New York out of the revenue. We recommend also that he be allowed a salary of £100 a year for life as Agent with the Indians, and we have no objection to his being confirmed in his former offices at Albany. Signed, Godolphin, Ste. Fox, J. Smith. 2 pp. Endorsed, Read 16 Jan., 1695–6. [Board of Trade. New York, 6. No. 33; and 48. pp. 237–240.]
Jan. 2.
2,226. The King to Governor Sir Edmund Andros. Directing him to apply the £500 voted by the Assembly of Virginia for assistance to New York to that object, upon demand of the Governor of New York, and stating that the payment shall be instead of the quota or any other assistance to be given by the Colony for that purpose. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 36. pp. 301–302.]
Jan. 2. 2,227. The King to Governor Nicholson. Directing him to apply the £200 voted by the Assembly of Maryland to the assistance of New York, and accepting the same in lieu of the appointed quota of men. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 8. pp. 209–210.]
Jan. 2. 2,228. The King to Governor Fletcher. Directing him to accept the sums of £500 and £200 respectively from Virginia and Maryland in lieu of their quotas of men for defence of New York, which these provinces have declared themselves unable to furnish. [Board of Trade. New York, 48. pp. 254–256.]
Jan. 4.
2,229. Order of the King in Council. Referring a petition of Sir Thomas Laurence as to land-grants in Maryland, and Lord Baltimore's answer thereto, to the Attorney General, who shall hear both parties and report. Signed, Rich. Colinge. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 8. p. 210.]
Jan. 4. 2,230. Order of the King in Council. Repealing the Act of Maryland for service of Almighty God, on the ground of its establishing the Great Charter as law within the province, also the Additional Act thereto, and an Act for erecting free-schools, since perpetual succession of trustees, who shall be the sole visitors of the school, is provided for, without reserving a power to the King. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 8. pp. 211–212.]
Jan. 4.
2,231. Order of the King in Council. That Colonel Thomas Hill receive leave to return to England from St. Christophers for six months. Signed, Rich. Colinge. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 44. p. 230.]
Jan. 7. 2,232. Minutes of Council of Barbados. On the petition of Ralph Lane the executors of George Hannay were ordered to attend next Council. The Governor informed the Assembly that the condition of the soldiers of his regiment was very bad, as many had been refused quarters. He himself had enlisted them at his own charge at the rate of about fifteen pence a day, and, being unable to bear the expense any longer, recommended to them to provide for the quartering of the soldiers, not only those now in the Island but those expected from the Leeward Islands, which will relieve the militia of the burden of guard duties.
Jan. 8. The Assembly reporting that they had not finished their business, the Council adjourned till to-morrow.
Jan. 9. The Assembly had no quorum, so adjourned till the 14th. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 78–81.]
Jan. 8. 2,233. Memorial of Sir Thomas Laurence. In compliance with an Order in Council of 4th inst., I represent as follows. In January, 1689, the King's Collector at Patuxent, John Payne, was murdered. In April, 1691, John Woodcock, George Mason, and William Burley were tried and found guilty thereof. Woodcock was executed, but the others were reprieved by the Council of Maryland until the arrival of Colonel Copley, who continued the reprieve, and promised to represent their case for the King's pardon, but, as he failed to send the record of the trial to England, this was not effected. In October, 1694, the Assembly represented to Governor Nicholson that the prisoners had cost the country nearly 100,000 lbs. of tobacco, and that Woodcock had confessed that he alone was guilty of the fact, the others being only present on the yacht when the murder was committed. At the Assembly's request, therefore, Governor Nicholson recommended the petition of Burley and Mason for pardon. Signed, Thomas Laurence. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 557. No. 1.]
Jan. 10. 2,234. Report of the Governors of the Post Office to Lords of Trade and Plantations. We have considered the Act for encouraging a Post Office to be established in Boston, and we find that in many particulars it supersedes the Patent granted to Thomas Neale on the 17th February, 1691, for twenty-one years to erect post offices in America. The Act will also be prejudicial to the office of Postmaster-General, in whose patent are included all the King's dominions and the revenue of the Post Office of England. For in the said grant it is specified that the person to be employed for the collecting and despatching of letters in any of the parts therein shall be deputed by the Postmaster-General, and that Mr. Neale's books and papers shall be open to inspection by persons appointed by the Treasury, and the books themselves produced within the twentieth year, so to ascertain the proceeds of the post. The Patent also provides for repeal of the grant by Order in Council, if convenient. The English inland post is also therein excepted, and Mr. Neale is obliged to pay the masters of ships for bringing all letters from those parts to England. At the end of three years Mr. Neale is also obliged to transmit to the Treasury a true account, on oath, of the profits and of the expenses, and after that time an annual account of the profits and payments. In pursuance of that grant the Postmaster-General gave, on the recommendation of Mr. Neale, a deputation for North America for one and twenty years, if the Patent continued so long, subject to the conditions of the Patent and to certain other provisions which are set forth in the deputation. Now the Act of Massachusetts appears to appoint Andrew Hamilton Postmaster-General of those Colonies, independent of the Postmaster-General of England and not subject to the Patent, from which we apprehend that the following inconveniences may follow: (1) No account can be taken of the profits and charges of the office, so that at the expiration of Mr. Neale's term the value cannot be ascertained, nor whether it be well or ill managed to the benefit or inconvenience of the people in those parts; nor during the term does Andrew Hamilton seem to be accountable to Mr. Neale, who under the Patent is to receive the profits. (2) Not being obliged to use his best endeavours to collect letters from these parts for England, the port whereof is under the Patent to be paid to the Post Office here, he may take upon him to authorise or direct masters of ships from those parts to deliver the letters to the persons to whom they are directed, whereby the port of such letters will be lost to the Post Office in England. (3) There is a clause enacting that all letters in the King's service shall pass free. This may be very prejudicial to the revenue, since several persons may take it upon them to endorse on their letters "For His Majesty's Service," which really have no relation to it, and likewise to cover the letters of other persons who are not employed by the Government, nor concerned in public affairs. There are also many defects in the Act. Thus, it is not appointed where the port of letters shall be paid, nor that the officers employed in the office shall take the oath before entering on their duties. By the Act, again, all persons are prohibited from providing posters with horses, yet by the Act the Postmaster is not obliged to provide horses; which is unreasonable. Nor are the rates of riding post settled. The Act makes no provision empowering anyone to appoint a Governor of the Post Office in those parts, in the event of Andrew Hamilton's death within three years. Now, since the establishment of a regular and settled post is of great advantage and convenience, and since this may be most effectually done by an Act of the Legislature of New England, we suggest that an Act be drafted by the King's Counsel, agreeable to the Letters Patent of 17 February, 1691, and remedying the defects to which we have referred. Signed, R. Cotton, Tho. Frankland. 7 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 10 July, Read 31 Jan, 1695. Mr. Attorney's report read 21 Feb., 1695. Recd. 3 Feb., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 6.]
Jan. 10. 2,235. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. On the Acts of Massachusetts passed in 1693 and 1694, it was agreed to recommend thirty-seven for confirmation, and that the remainder be dealt with as follows:— (1) The additional Acts for establishing Courts to be repealed, since the Act to which they are additional has been already repealed.(2) The Act for regulation of the Chancery to be represented to the King as conflicting with the provisions of the Act for establishing Courts, and as conflicting with the Charter in limitation of the right of appeal to the King in Council to personal actions only; and therefore to be recommended for repeal.(3) The supplementary Act to several Acts to be repealed, since one clause refers to the Act for establishing Courts, which has been already repealed.(4) The additional Act to the Act for setting forth general privileges to be repealed, the Act to which it is additional having been already repealed.(5) The Post Office Act to be repealed, and a new Act drafted, with a clause to guard Mr. Neale's patent, and the draft sent out to Massachusetts for enactment. 7 pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 4.]
[Jan. 10.] 2,236. List of the Acts of Massachusetts passed in 1693 and 1694, shewing which have been approved and which disallowed. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Memorials on which the reports of 4 November and 10 December, 1696, were made. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 5.]
Jan. 13.
2,237. Order of the Privy Council. That the memorial of Edward Randolph and the presentment of the Commissioners of Customs thereon be referred to the Lords of the Treasury, that the Commissioners of Customs attend on the 17th to report article by article on the said memorial, and that Edward Randolph attend likewise. Annexed,
Presentment of the Commissioners of Customs. We have already acquainted you with the complaints of the merchants trading to Virginia and Maryland, that their trade is in a great measure ruined by many Scotch ships trading thence directly with Scotland without paying duty, and have recommended to you that vessels should be employed to cruise for prevention of this illegal trade. Mr. Randolph since his arrival has laid before us his observations and a list of ships which he has discovered to be trading illegally. We lay his memorial before you (see No. 2,187), and being apprehensive that this traffic may be increased, under colour of a law lately passed in Scotland for a joint stock to Africa and the Indies, we beg that the matter may be laid before the King in Council that means may be taken to remedy this growing danger to the Plantation trade. Signed, J. Ward, Walter Yonge, Robert Southwell, Samuel Clark. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. C., pp. 348–352.]
Jan. 14. 2,238. The King to Lieutenant-Governor Thomas Hill. Granting him leave to return to England from St. Christophers and to remain there for six months, after taking care that his place be effectually supplied during his absence. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 44. p. 231.]
Jan. 14. 2,239. Minutes of Council of Barbados. The Assembly not having finished its business, the Council adjourned.
Jan. 15. Petition of two masters of ships to be allowed to sail, rejected. Bill for an additional allowance for the soldiers of the Governor's regiment, brought up and read a first time. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. p. 81.]
Jan. 15. 2,240. The King to Governor Russell. Appointing Thomas Merricke (or Meyrick) to be of the Council of Barbados. Countersigned, Shrewsbury. Copy. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. and read, 7 Sept. 1697. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 1.]
Jan. 16.
2,241. Order of the King in Council. Confirming Robert Livingston in his former offices and appointing him a salary of £100 a year as Agent with the Five Nations. [Board of Trade. New York, 48. pp. 241–242.]
Jan. 16. 2,242. Order of the King in Council. For the payment of the interest claimed by Robert Livingston in accordance with the report of the Lords of the Treasury of 2 January (see No. 2,225). [Board of Trade. New York, 48. pp. 245–247]
Jan. 17.
2,243. Commissioners of Customs to the Privy Council. With reference to your order of 13th inst. we report as follows:—One of Mr. Randolph's memorials is in two parts, the one setting forth under eleven heads the means by which the Acts of Trade are violated, and the other suggesting remedies for the same. On our first perusal of these heads we saw the necessity for obtaining a new Act, and the draft of such an Act is already in the hands of the Attorney General. But some of Mr. Randolph's remedies appear to be within reach of the Royal Authority, as for instance in the case of the encouragement of privateers by Governors. We conceive that the King can order all his Governors, and the Proprietors also, to give no privileges to privateers unless they first give security in £1,000 for good behaviour. But we understand from Mr. Randolph that what are here called privateers are in reality freebooters, who ought to be wholly suppressed. Again, as to the complaint of general partiality of Courts and juries, we think the King has power to erect Courts of Exchequer in the Colonies, and to appoint officers thereto with proper powers. Meanwhile we have written amply to all the Governors and to all our officers in those parts to excite their care and vigilance in the execution of the Acts of Trade and with particular reference to the Act lately passed in Scotland.
As to the Scotch Acts, Mr. Randolph disposes his remedies under seven heads. We think that he has well considered the situation of all the respective parts and how all the rivers and headlands might best fall under the inspection of particular Governments. But we are not informed as to the powers and privileges granted to the Proprietors, so must leave this question to you; only thus far, we conceive that all Proprietors of the soil are so much tied up to the dominion of the Crown of England that they ought to defend the same at the peril of their lives, and may not alienate a foot to the Scotch or to any but subjects of England under the English penalties. And since the Acts of Trade extend to all territory without distinction, it is at least reasonable that the Proprietors' Governors should be sworn to the observation of those Acts. As to Mr. Randolph's concluding remarks, we think that the King's officers will best do their duties when wholly independent of all Proprietors for their salary and subsistence, and as things now stand we see a necessity to have many new officers such as may by fit rewards be made not liable to the temptation or connivance of which others have been guilty. We agree as to the proposal for orders to be given to the commanders of the King's ships to help our officers. Signed, Robt. Southwell, Robt. Clayton, Ja. Chadwick, J. Ward, Walter Younge, C. Godolphin, Sam. Clerk. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. C., pp. 365–371.]
Jan. 18. 2,244. Warrant for the appointment of Charles Chaplin to the Council of Jamaica. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 54. p. 53.]
Jan. 21. 2,245. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Petition for a drawback on imported wines granted. The business of Ralph Lane was further considered, when he was assured that he should have full liberty to prosecute his action against George Hannay's executors. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. p. 82.]
Jan. 23. 2,246. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Agreed to lay Governor Russell's letter of 2 July last, reporting his difficulties in supplying the King's ships, before the King in Council, with the minute of 7 August thereon. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. p. 239.]
Jan. 27. 2,247. Royal warrant for the confirmation of Robert Livingston in his former offices, and for the grant of £100 a year to him as Agent with the Indians. Copy. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. New York, 6. No. 34; and 48. pp. 242–244.]
Jan. 28. 2,248. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Order for sundry payments. Order for Nicholas Lawes to be released from his bond concerning certain escheated land. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 79. pp. 1, 2.]
Jan. 28. 2,249. Minutes of Lords of Trade and Plantations. On the report of the Commissioners of Customs of 17 January (see No. 2,243) the Lords await the answer of the Judge of Admiralty on the question of the privileges granted by Governors to privateers. The question of erecting Courts of Exchequer in the Colonies has been referred to the Attorney General. On the question of putting the country granted to Proprietors under the King's immediate authority, the Lords desire to know the King's pleasure if they may examine the charters and discourse with the Proprietors as to the execution of the Acts of Trade and Navigation. It is recommended that a circular letter shall be sent to the Governors requiring them to observe strictly the orders given by the Commissioners of Customs; and that Commanders of the King's ships going to the Colonies receive instructions from the Commissioners of Customs to assist their officers. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. C., pp. 371–373.]
Jan. 28. 2,250. Order of the Privy Council. Referring an extract from the report of the Commissioners of Customs of 17 January to Sir Charles Hedges, Judge of Admiralty, for report. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. C., p. 373.]
Jan. 28. 2,251. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Petitions of several masters of ships, for liberty to sail, considered. Resolved that the fleet shall sail as soon as the convoy is ready. Orders for certain payments. Bill for an additional supply to the soldiers read a second time, and returned to the Assembly with amendments. An order of the Lords Justices in Council as to the appeal of Hugh Dunn was handed in and recorded. The Assembly brought back the Bill for additional supply to the soldiers, and begged the Governor that seamen might not be pressed and harassed as heretofore.
Jan. 29. Bill for additional supply to the soldiers passed. The Assembly also brought up several addresses and memorials, and a Bill for a present of £2,000 to the Governor. The address to the Governor thanked him for the patience which he had shewn in sharing the misfortunes of the Island, and for his care and forethought for the country. The Memorial sets forth that the decay of the Island's trade proceeds from the pressing and ill-using of the seamen, and other great abuses of the press, that the King's ships never come out fully manned, and that as remedy for the same masters of ships on their arrival be required to state on oath the number of men that they brought out, and to register them, whereupon Commanders of the King's ships shall apply to the Governor for men when they go out for a cruise, which men shall be restored to their proper ships when the cruise is over. A proclamation to give effect to this recommendation was issued on the 1st of February. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 83–90.]
Jan. 29. 2,252. Royal warrant for the payment of £668, due to Robert Livingston, for interest, from the English Treasury. [Board of Trade. New York, 48. p. 250.]
Jan. 29. 2,253. The King to Governor Codrington. We have resolved to reduce Colonel Holt's regiment to five companies of 100 private men besides officers, whereby several officers are become reformed. For these we have appointed an allowance of five shillings a day to each captain, half a crown to each lieutenant, and two shillings to each ensign, until they be otherwise provided for through vacancies in the regiment. You will fill all vacancies from these reformed officers, with the knowledge and advice of Colonel Holt if present in the Islands. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 44. pp. 226–227 and 228–229.]
Jan. 29. 2,254. Act of Barbados, to present Governor Russell with £2,000. Copy. 1¼ pp. Endorsed. Recd. and read, 5 Aug. 1696. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 2; and 44A. pp. 3–4.]
Jan. 29.
2,255. Lords Proprietors of Carolina to Governor John Archdale and the Council and Deputies of South Carolina. We have your letter of 20 August, also one from the Governor wherein he takes notice of the condemnation of a French sloop sailed by French denizened Protestants, and also a complaint of great injustice done in the condemnation of a former sloop, when Colonel Bull sat as judge, and Edward Bellinger as Attorney General for that time. It is alleged that the Court would not allow of the King's denizenation and that the Attorney General questioned the King's authority of denizing. You ought to make particular enquiry into this matter, so that if you do not care to punish those who despise the King's authority we may be enabled to do it here. We find that some of the managers of this trial signed the unreasonable address against the French, which was enclosed in your letter, and doubt not but that the people are misled by those who, from desire to cover their injustice, incite the people to fall upon the French with you. We cannot approve of your expedient not to grant a summons to Craven County to be represented in your Assembly as formerly; for it is a just protest against any laws you make, if a county has no representative and gives too much countenance to an address, wherein an authority to grant privileges to French Protestants is questioned. We have advised upon it and are satisfied that we have a right to grant such privileges, and we require you to give them support. If the Assembly will not cause summonses to be issued for choosing delegates for Craven County, you will dissolve it and call another. If it be thought expedient to grant five deputies more to Berkeley County, as being more numerous in inhabitants, and to bring the whole number up to twenty-five, we shall readily consent to it. We find no such power in Colonel Ludwell's instructions as you mention for leaving Craven County out from being summoned to the Assembly. Signed, Craven, Bath, Ashley, Wm. Thornburgh for Sir John Colleton, Tho. Amy. [Board of Trade. Carolina, 4. p. 30.]
Jan. 29.
2,256. Lords Proprietors of Carolina to Governor Archdale. We approve of your respiting judgment on the vessel that was condemned for straining the Act of Navigation, by reason of a negro servant who was cook. We think that you ought to discourage this practice where, for the lucre of particular men (such as the Governor and informer who have two thirds), an Act of Parliament is strained to deprive honest men of their ship and goods. We hope that you will take care to preserve the town, not only from the seas but also by fortification. Signed, Craven, Bath, Ashley, Wm. Thornburgh for Sir John Colleton, Tho. Amy. Postscript. We have been obliged to advance £120 for various expenses, so we must press you to send home the proceeds of lands sold. Lord Carteret is dead, and his propriety descends to his son, an infant. [Board of Trade. Carolina, 4. p. 30.]
Jan. 29. 2,257. Lords Proprietors of the Bahamas to Governor Nicholas Trott. Approving of his building a fort, and of his decision in the matter of a wreck. Signed, Craven, Bath, Ashley, William Thornburgh for Sir John Colleton. [Board of Trade. Carolina, 4. p. 31.]
Jan. 30. 2,258. Royal warrant for the payment of interest to Robert Livingston on sums advanced by him, from the revenue of New York. [Board of Trade. New York, 48. pp. 248–249.]
Jan. 31. 2,259. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Governor Russell's letters of 10 April, 2 July, and 8 October read. Agreed to lay the question of Naval stores before the King.
Governor Codrington's letters of 16 and 18 July read. Order for Colonel Holt to attend next meeting.
Sir William Beeston's letters of 21 July and 24 August read.
A report from the General Post Office as to the Post Office Act in Massachusetts was referred to the Attorney General. The memorial of the Agents of Massachusetts for military stores considered and referred to the Office of Ordnance. [Board of Trade. Journal, 8. pp. 157–160.]
Jan. 31.
2,260. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Agreed to lay before the King Sir William Beeston's suggestion as to sending men to Jamaica, in his letter of 24 August. (See No. 2,026.)
Memo.—No order was made by the King and Council hereon. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 54. p. 60.]
Jan. 31. 2,261. Edward Randolph to Lords of Trade and Plantations. In papers now before you I have represented the mischief arising to the Revenue of the Crown by direct trading between Scotland and the Colonies. During my stay in the Colonies I noticed that masters of vessels met with great difficulty in loading their tobacco, through the desertion of their seamen or the pressing of them by the Captains of the King's ships, so that the Colony might have lost twenty-five vessels last year by privateers. I laid proposals for remedy hereof (see No. 2,187), which on the 13th of December last were referred to the Admiralty for their report. As the matter is of great importance I beg that the Admiralty may report accordingly. Signed, Edw. Randolph. Holograph. ¾ p. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 2. No. 89.]
Jan. 31. 2,262. John Povey to the Attorney General. Forwarding the report of the Governors of the Post Office on the Post Office Act of Massachusetts, and draft of a new Act for his opinion. (See No. 2,234.) ½ p. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 7.]
Jan. 31. 2,263. Copy of a draft Act for establishing a Post Office in Massachusetts. 13 pp. Endorsed, Presented in Council with the report of the Governors of the Post Office. 31 Jan., 1695–6. Recd. Feb. 3, 1696–7. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 8.]