America and West Indies: April 1693, 18-30

Pages 86-95

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

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April 1693

April 18. 277. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Draft commission for Governor Kendall considered, and decision taken as to the Admiralty clauses. Governor Russell's draft commission also read and, with a new clause as to martial law, approved. [Board of Trade. Journal, 7. pp. 179–180.]
April 18. 278. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. That the King's attention be called to two clauses, as to the power to erect Admiralty Courts, which are inserted in Governor Kendall's and Governor Russell's Commissions, but omitted from Sir William Beeston's, and to take his pleasure as to their passing the Great Seal. Copy. 1 p. [Board of Trade, Jamaica, 7. No. 9; and 53. p. 139.]
April 13.
279. Order of the Queen in Council. Referring the petition of William Lovell and others to Lords of Trade and Plantations for report. Signed. Wm. Bridgeman. ½ p. Annexed,
279. I. Petition of William Lovell and others to the King and Queen. Asking that certain goods wrongfully taken from their ship Fortune may be restored and the ship itself, which is under detention in Virginia, may be released. Copy. 1¼ pp. The whole endorsed. Recd. 1 May, 1693. [America and West Indies. 638. Nos. 10, 10 I.; and (order only), Board of Trade. Virginia, 36. p. 234.]
April 19. 280. Minutes of Council of New York. On intelligence that the Indians threatened to attack the English to avenge the blood of Leisler, Frederick Phillips and Stephen Van Cortlandt were directed to send for the Sachems and examine the matter.
April 20. Orders for sundry small payments. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., pp. 416, 417.]
April 20.
St. Pierre,
281. Minutes of the Council of War in the West Indies. On the question whether St. Pierre should be closely besieged, or whether to retire with the forces on board ship and consider further, the President (Sir F. Wheler) moved that every member (26 in all) should give in his opinion in writing, which was done as follows: Colonel Goodwyn.—I am for retiring; the enemy appears to be in superior strength; great part of our force is composed of Irish, whom we cannot trust; in three days since our landing we have lost 800 killed, wounded and sick, and cannot produce above 3,000 men, the suspected men included; the roads are impassable; if repulsed we cannot make good our retreat. Lieutenant Colonel Colt.—I am for attack; we have driven in one strong post with a small party and may risk somewhat. Major Abrahall.—I am for burning and destroying all we can, but not for attacking the fort; for we have 800 men dead or disabled and cannot trust the Irish. Colonel Holt.—I am for withdrawal, owing to the enemy's strength and our own weakness. The Irish may have behaved well in St. Kitts, but they are always drinking health to King James. Lieutenant Colonel Lillingston.—I am for retiring. Our forces are weak; we cannot hold the town if we take it, and retreat in case of mishap would be very hazardous. I think we should burn and destroy all that we can. Captain Lilly, Chief Engineer.—The fort is unassailable without heavy guns, which we can only land under fire of the enemy's batteries, and then, owing to the steepness of the country, cannot move to a suitable position. Even if the fort be breached, an assault will be very hazardous, the enemy being as strong as we. Sir Francis Wheler.—I am for opening trenches and mounting large ship's guns and mortars, the fleet meanwhile standing close in to batter the town. The rest of the officers are for withdrawal for one or other of the reasons quoted. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., pp. 338–352.]
April 20. 282. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Order for payment of £54 to Mr. Addington, and for the Treasurer to accept all debentures drawn on him by the War Committee. Order for prosecuting certain bonds and recognisances given in by John Usher, for which he has taken credit in his accounts. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXIV., pp. 232–233.]
April 20.
283. Captain Short, R.N., to Mr. Sotherne. I have written you an account of Sir William Phip's treatment of me. Here follows a rambling restatement, extremely ill-spelt, of the principal grounds of his complaint, as given in his letters of March 29 and April 24, Nos. 225, 293. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. at the Committee. 15 Jan. 1693–4.
Duplicate of the foregoing, with same endorsement. [Board of Trade. New England, 6. Nos. 54, 55.]
April 20.
284. Governor Sir William Phips to the Lieutenant-Governor and Council of New Hampshire. Myself and Council have become very sensible of the great expense incurred for defence of Their Majesties' subjects and interest. You have had a principal share in the advantage hereof but have contributed nothing towards defraying the charge, which has fallen wholly on Massachusetts. In 1689 your people petitioned us to receive them under our government and protection, promising submission and payment of a proportionable part of the expense, and on these conditions they were accepted and protected. You are therefore requested to choose one or more Commissioners to meet ours for the adjustment of the accounts of the war, to settle your proportion of the expense, and to agree on arrangements for the future. Certified copy. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 20 Dec. '92. [Board of Trade. New England, 6. No.56.]
April 20. 285. Petition of merchants and planters concerned in Jamaica to the Queen. Knowing Sir William Beeston's qualifications for the Government of Jamaica, we earnestly besought him to undertake it, he being wholly averse to it, as having settled here with his family, and living at ease with a comfortable estate. The fortifications being destroyed by the earthquake and no revenue being obtainable to repair them, it was prayed that his salary should be £1,000 a year only, even for which he must wait till there be peace or the Island be settled. We hear that a Commission is passing for another Governor of Jamaica, which will not only ruin our expectations from Sir William Beeston, but burden the Island with a further charge of £2,000 for the Governor's salary. We beg that Sir William may be continued in the Government, and that no one else be sent there till advice of the state of the Island be received. 22 signatories. Copy. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 20 April, 1693. Nothing. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 7. No. 10.]
April 20.
Navy Office.
286. Commissioners of the Navy to Lords of the Treasury. Sir John Fleet and other merchants concerned have produced to us Lord Inchiquin's certificate as to the pressing and good service of the ship Joseph. The charge is £1,147, which, the treasury of Jamaica being empty, Lord Inchiquin begged the Admiralty to discharge. This is the petitioner's case; what the Admiralty will say to it we do not know; but according to our reckoning the charge for the ship should be £762. As no wages to seamen are mentioned in petitioner's account, we presume that they were paid by the Island, and we think that the rest of the account should be too. Signed. J. Russell, E. Dummer, Ch. Aberginy(?), D. Lyddell, J. Plett. 3 pp. Endorsed. My Lords recommend that enquiry be made whether this has not been paid in Jamaica. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 7. No. 11.]
April 20. 287. Minutes of Council of Virginia. John Childs sworn messenger of the Council. On reading copy of a deposition from Maryland, a warrant for the arrest of William and Elizabeth Digges was ordered.
April 21. On the application of the Governor of New York, it was resolved to send £600 as a contribution to the defence of that province.
April 22. Colonel William Digges was examined as to his knowledge of a plot to restore King James to the throne, and was bound over, with his wife, in £1,000 to appear before the next General Court. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 800–803.]
April 22. 288. Minutes of Council of New York. The Governor gave his final instructions before leaving for Pennsylvania. Order for further audit of Governor Sloughter's accounts, the widow being still unsatisfied. The farmer of the excise of New York City approved. The Governor thanked the Council for their readiness, during his absence, to advance money from their private coffers, for the public service. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., pp. 417–418.]
April 22.
New York.
289. Governor Fletcher to the Earl of Nottingham. I received my Commission for the Government of Pennsylvania on the 6th. I am just starting for that province, but I find by some prints that there is a separate and dissenting party among them. I have sent some of their fiery books to Mr. Blathwayt. I send the Minutes of Council and Assembly accounts of revenue and taxes, list of civil and military offices, an address from for Connecticut and other documents. We too frequently lose one ship in two sent hence for Europe. Since my coming one ship reckoned worth £10,000 was snapped up by the French, and we hear of two from England lost, one of them carrying my instructions. I am much concerned for the losses of others as well as for the want of light to myself. I shall report by first opportunity as to Pennsylvania. Signed. Ben. Fletcher. 2 pp. Holograph. Endorsed. R. June 8, '93. Abstracted in Board of Trade. New York, 48. p. 46. Annexed,
289. I. Report of a Committee of Council on the needful repairs for Fort William Henry. Estimated cost, £1,985. Signed, N. Bayard, S. v. Cortlandt. Dated 5 April, 1693.
289. II. Report of Chidley Brooke as to trade and revenue. The produce of the revenue for the half-year ended 25 December last is £1,883. No increase can be hoped for during the present war, nor can a revenue, settled for two years only, be much improved. List of shipping is enclosed. No way can be found to prevent the Jerseys from trading with the Indians to our prejudice, except by annexing them to this province. Pennsylvania and Connecticut by not enforcing the Navigation Acts deprive us of much of our trade. Signed. Chid. Brooke. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 3 June, 1693.
289. III. Duplicate of the preceding.
289. IV. List of the Council of New York, with a brief description against the name of each. Richard Townley and William Pinhorne have been suspended for non-residence. The chief assistance in the Council is given by the members belonging to New York City, who however are so much taken up by private business, that it is frequently difficult to make up a quorum. I suggest Abraham Depeyster and Charles Lodowyck to fill any vacancies. Signed. Ben. Fletcher. 1 p.
289. V. List of salaried officials with their salaries, amounting in all to £1,738; of the city officers of New York and Albany; of the justices of the peace and of the Courts of the province. 4 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 8 June, 1693.
289. VI. Duplicate of the preceding. Endorsed. Recd. 8 Sept., 1693.
289. VII. State of the militia in New York Province.
New York City. 8 companies of foot and one troop of horse, in all 477 men. Colonel Abraham Depeyster.
Queen's County. 9 companies of foot, and one troop of horse, 580 men. Colonel Thomas Willett.
Suffolk County. 9 companies of foot, 553 men. Colonel John Young.
King's County. 6 companies of foot; one troop of horse. 319 men. Colonel S. van Cortlandt.
Albany County. 5 companies of foot; one troop of dragoons. 359 men. Major Peter Schuyler.
Ulster and Duchess County. 4 companies of foot; one troop of dragoons. 277 men. Lieutenant-Colonel Beeckman.
West Chester County. 6 companies of foot. 283 men. Colonel Caleb Heathcote.
Richmond County. Two companies of foot. 104 men. Captain Andrew Cannon.
Total: 2 troops of horse, 2 troops of dragoons, 41 companies of foot. 2,932 men. Signed. Ben Fletcher. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 8 June, 1693.
289. VIII. Report of the Council of New York on the accounts of Peter Delanoy. The general conclusion is that Delanoy is indebted £2,884 to the Crown. Signed. Ben. Fletcher, and by nine members of Council. Long sheet. Endorsed. Recd. 8 June, 1692. [Board of Trade. New York, 5. Nos. 12, 12 I.–VIII.]
April 22. 290. List of stores wanting in Fort William Henry, New York. 10 cannon, 100 barrels of powder, 120 carbines with accoutrements for dragoons, and other smaller matters. Signed. Ben Fletcher. 2 pp. Endorsed. Read 15 June and 27 Dec. 1693. [Board of Trade. New York, 5. No. 13.]
April 22. 291. Governor Fletcher to Earl of Nottingham. I have appointed Mr. Robert Wharton to be second lieutenant in my company, in the room of Mr. George Bradshaw deceased. I beg for a commission for him dated 4 November, 1692. Signed. Ben Fletcher. Holograph. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 579. No. 33.
April 22. 292. Abstracts of Governor Fletcher's letters to William Blathwayt of 14 February, 8 March and 22 April. The last named letter contained, apparently, nothing that had not been said in other letters. 1½ pp. [Board of Trade. New York, 5. No. 14.]
April 24.
293. Captain Richard Short, R.N., to the Admiralty. I have told you of my ill usage by Sir William Phips, though for no breach of orders, as the accompanying affidavits will shew. He offered me language and affronts which I thought I ought not to take, holding the King's Commission. I am an old servant in the Navy, having entered it in 1678 as lieutenant; and I hold good certificates from Sir Cloudesley Shovel and others. Sir William Phips would give no reason for promoting the gunner over the lieutenant, nor for tyrannically sending others to prison. He thought to have wearied me out, and sent his emissaries daily to me in gaol to make me submit to his base dealings, but I would not. He allowed no friend to come near me, no letters to be given to me, no evidence to be sworn for me. On the 1st of March he ordered me on board a merchantship, Jeremiah Toy, master, and gave him a warrant for my transportation to England, and on the 10th or 11th we arrived at Piscataqua. About the 28th Sir William Phips arrived with about fourteen armed men and went into a dirty little ale-house under pretence of reading his commission. Five or six carpenters came to him, but no gentleman would go near him, he carried himself so dirty. On the 29th he asked Mr. Toy for the warrant he had given him, to observe the date, promising on his honour to return it, instead of which he tore off his name and seal and threw it on the ground. He then went on board Toy's ship, I being ashore not well, broke open my cabin, and carried off my chest with all my clothes, money, papers, certificates, affidavits, journals and other matters which he knew that I had kept to vindicate myself before the Lords of Trade and Plantations. A baser action was never done; it is termed piracy or robbery. Some of the gentlemen of the country, wiser than Governor Phips, told him that he could prove no matter of fact against me. He answered that as he had begun, he would end it, if it cost him half his estate. The Governor is so full of malice that he knows not what lies to invent against me and other people in the country, especially the Church of England men, which go by the name of Jacobites. Sir William Phips has put in a commander who will condescend to his private interest and tends upon him like a boy. I understand that Sir William contrives to set some of my officers against me. I had writ home about some before the quarrel. Sir William Phips has ordered Mr. Toy not to carry me home, but as it is out of his Government he has no power here, and Captain Fairfax of H.M.S. Conception and my best friends here advise me to make the best of my way to England, which I shall do by the first ship that I can, to set forth the inhuman treatment of me before the Lords of the Admiralty. I beg your pardon for writing so much, but my abuses have been great. I have had a lame hand almost all the voyage. A piece of steel which lodged in my hand nine months since has much tormented me, so that I thought I should never have the use of it. The Governor refused to admit my officers to me in prison, to set some things to rights. 1 p. Annexed,
293. I. Copies of depositions of John Hams, mariner, and Joseph Short as to the assault made by Sir William Phips on Captain Short. 1½ pp.
Copy of the foregoing. Endorsed. Recd. July, 1693. [Board of Trade. New England, 6. Nos. 57, 57I., and 58.]
[April 24.] 294. Abstract of the foregoing letter and of Captain Fairfax's letter of 29 March, 1693. (See No. 224.) 6¼ pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 6. No. 59.]
April 24. 295. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Proclamation forbidding the imprisonment of men by the captains of King's ships without the Governor's warrant. Order for purchase of a sloop for the King's service, that she be victualled and manned, and that she be commanded, together with one other sloop, by the youngest lieutenant of H.M.S. Mordaunt. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 77. pp. 247–248.]
April 25.
off Dominica.
296. Minutes of Council of War in the West Indies. The question of an attack on Guadeloupe was put, when it was carried in the negative, and the Island troops were ordered back to Barbados and the Leeward Islands. The opinions of the various officers are given in full. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., pp. 352–362.]
April 26. 297. Minutes of Council of New York. The Governor left for Pennsylvania on the 24th. Order for payment of the four fusilier companies, and for letters to be written to four counties urging the payment of former taxes. Order for the sloops for Albany to be prepared, and for the fusiliers to embark as soon as they come to town. Order prohibiting the export of grain from Albany until the wants of the garrison have first been supplied. Madame Sloughter allowed to nominate two auditors for her late husband's accounts.
April 27. Letters to the Counties for collection of taxes, and to the Indians to explain the Governor's absence, approved. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., pp. 418–420.]
April 26. 298. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Order for appointment of properly qualified surveyors to Accomack and Nancymond Counties.
April 27. James Mings appeared and was examined; and, since the matter of Pamunkey Neck is before the King, it was agreed to take no action till the arrival of next fleet. Order for arrest of William Anderson for carrying Edward Randolph forcibly away to Maryland.
April 29. Complaint of Wicocomoco Indians against Captain John Smith heard, and John Smith ordered not to molest them. Address of the burgesses as to revision of laws to be referred to next General Assembly. Order for the Court of Richmond County to explain their conduct in turning out the vestry of Farnham parish, and that all concerned have notice to attend Council. On complaint of the Government of Maryland against Colonel Fitzhugh, it was ordered that he be required to take the oaths, and give security to answer all charges against him at the next General Court. Proclamation for a day of humiliation ordered. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 803–806.]
April 27.
299. Order of the Queen in Council. On reading a report from the Admiralty, that the Governors of Jamaica and Barbados will receive full powers to erect Admiralty Courts in the Commissions which they will receive from the Admiralty, the whole matter was referred to the Lords of Trade and Plantations for report. Signed. Wm. Bridgeman. 1 p. Endorsed. Read 1st and 3rd May, 1693. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 7. No. 12; and 53, p. 140.]
April 27.
at Dominica.
300. Minutes of the Council of War in the West Indies. Resolved to leave three months provisions for Lloyd's regiment. Other arrangements on the break up of the expedition. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., p. 363.]
April 28.
301. Lieutenant-Governor Sir William Beeston to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Since my last the Falcon is returned with a prize of about 100 tons taken off Hispaniola, and I have ordered her back to that coast to look for more. My Commission of Admiralty, being different from that formerly issued, gives scruple to people here to undertake the condemnation of prizes, though the opinion of our lawyers is that the Commission I had for that purpose from Doctors' Commons is sufficient. However it is absolutely necessary for the Royal service that they pass a legal judication, to which end I have appointed Richard Lloyd, Esq., to be sole judge of Admiralty, and, to strengthen his authority, have granted him a Commission under the Great Seal, which I take to be effectual. Nevertheless I beg for your approbation and further directions herein. The French have recently landed parties out of small vessels in two or three parts of the Island where the people are thin, and have carried away forty negroes from one place, killed two men in another, and done other mischief. I sent the Mordaunt after them, but to no effect, she being too large to follow these small vessels near the shore. We therefore want much two small frigates, good sailers of sixteen to twenty guns, to secure the coasts from inroads of these small privateers. I am now encouraging small vessels of this Island to go out as private men-of-war, but the country is so weakened of men by the earthquake, sickness and former discouragements that it will be hard to raise any number; and those that can be prevailed on expect nothing to be taken from them, so that I am obliged to promise them Their Majesties' tenths for their encouragement and to lend them money to buy provisions. I beg your approval hereof, as I am in hopes that it may call back many of our discontented seamen who have gone to other Colonies and even to the French at Hispaniola. Signed. Wm. Beeston. 1¼ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 27 Feb., 1693–4. Read 5 March, 93–4. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 7. No. 13; and 53, pp. 168, 169.]
April 28.
302. Lieutenant-Governor Sir William Beeston to the Earl of Nottingham. My letter to the President of Panama has not yet gone forward, owing to the return of the Mordaunt from Porto Bello with 100,000 pieces-of-eight for the Assiento. She brings no further account than that Tristan and all his men were cut off and their ship and all they had with them seized. I have had no letter yet from the President of St. Domingo, but the Falcon has returned from St. Domingo with a prize. I find it absolutely necessary for these prizes to be legally condemned and have taken measures accordingly. I beg also for particular directions as to Their Majesties' ships which are too far from Sir Francis Wheler to receive his orders. We hear that our forces are on the attack of Martinique, but know not of their success. If they prevail and send the French to Hispaniola, as has formerly been done, it may prove fatal to this Island. They have landed twice within the past fourteen days on our north coast, killing and plundering. I sent the Mordaunt after them, but we want a couple of smaller vessels to follow them into shoal water. It is our thinness in numbers that makes the French so bold. Their intelligence also is so sure that they could tell our people, before I arrived, that I was coming and that I was coming only with the old dumb Falcon. I have sent some fire-arms overland to the north side of the Island to strengthen them, and when the Assembly meets I shall propose to them to fit out two small sloops against these French privateers. One is already hired and another about to be bought; but unless I can incline the Assembly to raise money for the service I doubt if we shall be able to support it, for the Treasury is empty. Signed. Wm. Beeston. 1½ pp. [America and West Indies. 540. No. 30.]
April 28.
303. William Blathwayt to the Secretary of the Admiralty. Desiring the attendance of some of the Commissioners of the Admiralty at the meeting of the Board of Trade and Plantations on 1 May, when the question of the powers of Admiralty to be given to Governors Kendall and Russell will be considered. Draft. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 2. No. 45.]
April 28. 304. William Blathwayt to Governor Russell and Mr. Bridges. Desiring their attendance on the 1st of May, for the purpose given in the preceding abstract. Draft. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 2. No. 46.]
April 28. 305. William Blathwayt to Sir Charles Hedges. Desiring his attendance on the 1st May for the same purpose. [Board of Trade, Plantations General, 2. No. 47.]
April 29.
306. Proclamation of the Government of Virginia. For a day of fasting and humiliation, on account of an epidemic of measles. Copy. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 23 Mar. '94.
Duplicate copy of the above. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 5. Nos. 16, 17; and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., p. 773.]
April 30. 307. Minutes of Council of New York. Letters to the Governor from Albany were opened, which gave account of the murder of an Englishman by a skulking party of the enemy. The letters were sent on to Pennsylvania. Instructions sent to Major Schuyler to let no men wander about on their private affairs without a sufficient escort. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., pp. 420, 421.]