America and West Indies: December 1696, 1-10

Pages 231-248

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 15, 1696-1697. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1904.

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December 1696

Dec. 1. Bill for Assize of Bread read again, voted to be engrossed and sent down to the Representatives. Bill against murder of bastards returned from the Representatives with concurrence, and the Bill against conjuration and witchcraft also returned, with non-concurrence. Vote of the Representatives, as to sending an Agent and an Address to the King to ask for supplies and for restoration of ancient privileges debated, and returned for explanation.
Dec. 2. The private bill as to John Moore's estate voted to be engrossed and sent down to the Representatives. Voted in concurrence with the Representatives that £50 of their arrears of rates be remitted to the town of Dunstable, and that a pension of £5 a year be paid to Abraham Cock, a soldier who has lost an arm in the King's service, and that £50 be allowed to Captain Anthony Checkley for his services as Attorney-General. Bill for Assize of bread returned from the Representatives with concurrence. Bill against murder of bastards passed and enacted. Order for granting a new precinct for support of the ministry in Springfield voted, and sent to the Representatives for concurrence.
Dec. 3. Bill for Assize of Bread passed and enacted. Bill against high treason again read, engrossed, and sent down to the Representatives. A Bill from the Representatives as to sending an Agent and an Address to the King to ask for supplies, restoration of ancient privileges and further additions of power, was read and negatived.
Dec. 4. Three Councillors were sent to the Representatives on the business of despatching an express to England, who returned to report that the Representatives refused further consideration of the former vote sent down by the Council. The order as to the ministry at Springfield returned from the Representatives with concurrence.
Dec. 5. Bill against high treason returned from the Representatives with concurrence. A Committee appointed to join with a Committee of the Representatives to consider what is necessary to be done in respect to the inhabitants of Port Royal and of other parts of Nova Scotia. Address to the King drawn up and voted. Petition of inhabitants of Wells for remission of rates due from them and for assistance from the troops there quartered in repair of their fortifications, read and granted. [Board of Trade. New England, 48. pp.95–101.]
Dec. 1. 440. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Orders as to the guarding of the French prisoners, and for a convoy for the ships bound to North America. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. p.168.]
Dec. 1.
441. The Mayor of Dartmouth to Council of Trade and Plantations. Our proposals as to Newfoundland are already drawn up and sent to our burgesses Sir Joseph Herne, Knt., and William Hayne, Esquire, to whom I have signified your pleasure therein. Signed, Thomas Floud. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 4 Dec., 1696. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 10.]
Dec. 1.
442. The Mayor of Plymouth to William Popple. I have received yours of 28th November. (See No. 432.) I shall convene the merchants and others interested in Newfoundland as soon as possible and lay their opinions before you. Signed, John Munyon. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 4 Dec., 1696. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 11.]
Dec. 1.
443. William Lowndes to William Popple. Forwarding the presentment of the Commissioners of Customs of 16 November with its enclosures, to be laid before the Council of Trade. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 2 Dec., Read 4 Dec., 1696. [America and West Indies, 601. No. 35; and Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. p.5.]
Dec. 1.
444. Capt. St. Lo., R. N., to William Popple. Enclosing receipts for the packets for Barbados and Jamaica. Signed, G. St. Lo.¼ p. Attached,
444. I., II. The receipts referred to, signed by the masters of the ships. Scraps. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. Nos. 20, 20I., II.]
Dec. 2.
445. William Popple to the Secretary of the Admiralty. The despatches of the Council of Trade were sent to Plymouth a week ago for the advice-boat appointed to sail from thence. The Council of Trade desires to know whether you have yet news of her sailing, and when the two men-of-war appointed to sail to Virginia will be ready. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. p.88.]
Dec. 2.
446. Secretary of the Admiralty to William Popple. We have news that the advice-boat was ready to sail from Plymouth by the first opportunity of wind and weather, but not yet that she has sailed. The ships for Virginia will be ready in a fortnight if not hindered by want of provisions. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 2 Dec., 1696. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 21.]
Dec. 2.
447. William Bridges to William Popple. I enclose an abstract of the list of stores desired by the Counsel and Assembly of Barbados, which I think may be necessary to be sent by next fleet. Pray tell the Council of Trade that the fifteenth on uncaptured vessels is claimed by the Governors of Barbados as Vice-Admirals. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. and read 2 Dec., 1696. Annexed,
447. I. List of stores of war required for Barbados. 1½ pp. Endorsed: Read 6 Dec., 1696. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. Nos. 21, 21I.]
Dec. 2.
448. J. Tucker to William Popple. The envoy of Brandenburg is pressing for an answer to his memorial. (See No. 382.) Pray put the Council of Trade in mind of it. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 2 Dec., 1696. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 19.]
Dec. 2.
449. The Mayor of Bristol to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I am desired by the merchants interested in Newfoundland to send you the enclosed proposals, which they assure me are drawn up without any sort of partiality or self-interest, the Bay of Bulls being a place where no trade is driven from this city, but a harbour which they think most convenient for a man-of-war to ride in for security of the general trade. Signed, John Hine. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 4 Dec., 1696. Enclosed,
449. I. Proposals offered for the better security of the trade to Newfoundland. Eight men-of-war and two fire ships should be sent there in April with orders to lie at the Bay of Bulls, which lies in the middle of our general trade and from which they may best go to the relief of any place in danger, though the wind should be easterly and blow on the land, because there is room to turn out and no danger in the way; whereas if they should lie at St. John's they cannot get out with an easterly or southerly wind, nor scarce with a northerly if the sea runs high, so that they cannot go at all times to the relief of any harbour that may be in danger. But if the Government please to make fortifications on the shore besides men-of-war, we then conceive Ferryland, Harbour de Grace and St. John's to be the properest places to fortify, because they are the fittest by nature. The trade of this city lies at Harbour de Grace and the places adjacent, where the inhabitants are more numerous than anywhere else in the land, St. John's excepted. Eighteen signatures. ¾ p.[Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. Nos. 12, 12I.; and (enclosure only) 25. pp.44–45.]
Dec. 2.
450. The Mayor of Weymouth to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The persons of this town interested in Newfoundland have agreed to some proposals as to the recovery and security of that trade, which are herewith enclosed. I have desired Mr. Arthur Shallet, merchant of London and a considerable trader to those parts, to attend you. Signed, Geo. Lisle. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 4 Dec., 1696. Annexed,
450. I. Proposals for the encouragement and security of the Newfoundland trade. (1) That a sufficient convoy may be appointed to sail with the fishing-ships at the beginning of March. (2) That the men of these ships may be protected from impressment during their voyages, the contrary having proved very prejudicial to the adventurers. (3) That all sorts of provisions and materials for the fishery may be exported without paying custom as formerly. (4) That a good convoy may be ready to sail with the latter fleet about the beginning of June, for their sailing so late as they have for several years last past has been much to the prejudice of the merchants, and that the convoy may be of sufficient strength to secure the country during the summer, and that land-fortifications may be erected for the security of the several harbours. ½ p. Endorsed as the covering letter. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. Nos. 13, 13I.; and (enclosure only) 25. p.44.]
Dec. 2. 451. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Order for the Secretary to enquire as to the advice-boats from the West Indies, and the men-of-war for Virginia, and for letters to be drawn up to the Governors of the Colonies as to the quota for New York, and the order against harbouring deserters. Sir William Beeston's letter of 22 July, to the Duke of Shrewsbury was read, also an abstract received from the Barbados Agents of the military stores most urgently required.
Dec. 3. Mr. Bridgeman's letter as to the advice-boats and the men-of-war for Virginia was read, also a letter from Sir W. Beeston to the Duke of Shrewsbury of 18 September. The representation as to Jamaica, Barbados, and the Leeward Islands was signed.
Dec. 4. A letter from Mr. Lowndes with a presentment of the Customs as to illegal trade in the Colonies was read. Mr. Penn, Colonel Winthrop, and others concerned in the chartered and proprietary Colonies attended, again desiring copy of the representation as to Attorneys-General in the Colonies, or at least of the information on which it was based, in order to vindicate themselves against Mr. Randolph's calumnies. They were told that the point at issue was whether the King had the right to appoint such officers in the Proprietary Colonies or not, and that nothing would be done until they had been heard. The Attorney-General was ordered to hasten his report on that subject. On the information of the New York Agents, orders were sent for the five Indians at Plymouth to be brought to London and kindly used. The merchants of Newfoundland brought up a fresh memorial. (See No. 463.) The question of Nieu Tortolen was considered, and a representation to the King thereupon agreed on. [Board of Trade. Journal, 9. pp.257–262.]
Dec. 3. 452. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. We have received letters from Barbados, dated July, August, and September, all of which set forth the ill state of the fortifications, the weakness of the late Governor Russell's regiment and of the want of recruits and of stores. We submit a list of stores to be sent to them. Hitherto the Island has provided itself with stores, but it is now represented to us that they cannot now do so without your assistance, owing to the expense of their several expeditions against the French. We recommend also that an engineer under orders for the Leeward Islands may be sent first to Barbados, and also that a master-gunner be sent there. To put an end to the complaints as to pressing of seamen we recommend that a sufficient number of supernumerary seamen for the King's ships may be sent out on the men-of-war, and if necessary on the merchant-ships, which will accept their labour as payment for their passage. We recommend also that the sole power of impressment be vested in the Governor and Council. Lastly, we recommend that another Governor be appointed to Barbados as soon as possible, and that arrangements may be made for proper devolution of a Governor's powers of Vice-Admiralty in case of his death. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Tankerville, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. Here follows a list of the stores of war to be sent out, considerably less in quantity than was requested by the Island. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44A. pp.36–39.]
Dec. 3. 453. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Having intelligence of a squadron fitting out in France against the West Indies, we must represent that your important possessions there cannot defend themselves unless you fit out likewise a squadron of sufficient strength to divert the French from any considerable expedition against either your own or the Spanish possessions. Otherwise the Spanish Flota and the British Islands in the West Indies will be open to the immediate attack of the French this winter, which is the best season for such expeditions in that warm climate. Nor have we less ground to fear that upon their return to Europe in the spring they may execute their designs upon the Colonies on the Coast of North America, and even possess themselves of some and ruin the others. They have lately invaded New York and New England, and demolished a fort which was New England's chief defence. There is also danger that they will attempt that part of Newfoundland which was not destroyed last year, and hinder the re-settlement of the other by intercepting provisions and other necessaries, while they may even fortify the harbours there so as to drive us from that ancient and profitable trade. Besides all these inducements for fitting out a squadron, we would point out that without such a squadron the numerous fleets shortly about to sail for the Colonies will be greatly endangered, while their detention here and their being hindered from carrying supplies to the Colonies and bringing back produce will be of the greatest prejudice. Signed, Bridgewater, Tankerville, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. pp.89–90.]
Dec. 3.
454. Order of the King in Council. That in future commissions of Vice-Admiralty to Governors in the Colonies shall be so made out that, in case of a Governor's death his powers of Vice-Admiralty shall devolve upon his successor. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 18 Dec., 1696. Read, 19th. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 22; and 34. p.92.]
Dec. 3.
455. Order of the King in Council. On the complaints of the Governments of Barbados and Jamaica of impressment by the Captains of the King's ships, ordered that the sole power of impressing seamen in the Colonies be entrusted to the Governor, to whom Captains of King's ships shall make application when in want of men, when the said Governors shall see that the ships are furnished with men accordingly. Copy. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 18 Dec., 1696. Read, 19th. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 23; and 34. pp.93–94.]
Dec. 3.
456. Order of the King in Council. On a representation from the Council of Trade complaining of the encouragement offered to piracy by the entertainment of pirates by the Proprietary Colonies, it was ordered that the Proprietors be acquainted therewith and required to take care that such entertainment shall cease in future, under the severest penalties. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 15th, Read 16th Dec., 1696. [America and West Indies. 601. No. 36; and Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. pp.14–15.]
Dec. 3.
457. Order of the King in Council. For the engineer at present under orders for the Leeward Islands to go first to Barbados, to give directions as to the defences of the Island, and go thence to the Leeward Islands, passing backwards and forwards as required; also that a master-gunner be sent to Barbados. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 18 Dec., read 19 Dec., 1696. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 22; and 44A. p.40.]
Dec. 3. 458. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. We have lately received letters from Sir William Beeston of 22 and 23 July and 7 August. The contents are here set forth at length. We would recommend that people willing to go to Jamaica and producing certificates of their inability to pay their passage shall receive a free passage on board the men-of-war, that supernumerary seamen may also be sent out in the men-of-war to complete the crews of those already in the station, that the sole power of impressment be vested in the Governor and Council, that five tradesmen wrongfully impressed at Jamaica may be discharged, and that a naval agent be appointed in Jamaica and the crews supplied with fresh provisions. Signed, J. Bridgewater, R. Tankerville, P. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 56. pp.53–57.]
Dec. 3.
459. Order of the King in Council. Referring the representation of the Council of Trade of same date to Lords of the Admiralty for report. Draft. 3 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 18 Dec. Read 19 Dec., 1696. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 32; and 56. pp.62–63.]
Dec. 3.
460. Order of the King in Council. That William Jasper, Thomas Fant, Thomas Farr, Joseph Moore and Thomas Ward, who were irregularly pressed by Captain Kenny, of H.M.S. Swan, be discharged, paid off and sent back in a man-of-war to Jamaica. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 18 Dec. Read 19 Dec., 1696. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 33. pp.61–62.]
[Dec. 3.] 461. A collection of depositions relating to the men mentioned in the preceding order.
461. I. Affidavit of Joseph Moore, taken 20 Sept., 1696. To the effect that he was impressed at Port Royal in H.M.S. Swan, kept in irons for fourteen nights, and brought to England and turned ashore at Deptford, sick and destitute, without certificate for payment of his wages. 1 p.
461. II. Affidavit of Thomas Ward, aged fifty, late an overseer in Jamaica. To the same effect. 1 p.
461. III. Affidavit of Joseph Moore, Oct. 6, 1696. That Fant, Farr and Jasper had also been impressed at Port Royal and desired their discharge from H.M.S. Swan. ½ p.[Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. Nos. 33I.–III.]
Dec. 3. 462. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Order for payment of £30 to Major Charles Frost for military services in York County. Leave granted to Thomas Child to erect a small tenement near his dwelling-house in Boston. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp.58–59.]
Dec. 4.
463. Memorial of the traders to Newfoundland in London to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The fishery of Newfoundland is a very beneficial trade to the nation as well as for the breeding of seamen as for the riches gained by the vast quantities of fish taken by poor men's labour, which being carried to Spain, Portugal, Italy and (until the French possessed themselves of the trade) to France, there was imported oil, wine, sugar and other goods which paid great customs to the Crown. Between two and three hundred ships are employed in the trade, which yearly carry out from fifteen hundred or two thousand landmen or boys, who in two or three voyages become seamen. The French esteem this trade so much that they have given it the greatest encouragement. Particularly, in the strictest embargos of this war, ships have had liberty to sail thither. Also their great fishery on the bank and in harbours has lately bred men more seamen than we, and not only so but they have used all endeavours to discourage us and beat us out of that trade. Last season in particular they sent such a strength of ships and men that they ruined a third part of our harbours and took and destroyed about thirty sail of our ships and cargos, burned the houses, stages, boats, etc., of the planters and gave them their ships to carry them home, hoping to extirpate us from the trade. To prevent this we beg that a competent number of ships of war may be sent away as early in the spring as the 1st of March next to defend and secure our fishery and, as opportunity serves, to disturb the French in their fishery. We beg also for protection for the fishermen as well as for the seamen of our fishing ships to sail with the said squadron, that another convoy may sail on 1st June with the sack-ships that go to fetch the fish and carry it to markets, that about the 20th of September one or more of the men-of-war may convoy the ships bound to Cadiz and to the Straits as high as Leghorn, another convoy guarding those bound to Portugal and a third those bound to Bilbao, and that the residue bring the ships bound to England with oil, fish and passengers. We beg also that measures be taken for the security of the trade and of the harbours as well in the winter as in the summer. Thirteen signatures. 1 p. Dated apparently 5 December; but endorsed, delivered to the Board and read 4 Dec., 1696. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 14; and 25. pp.45–47.]
Dec. 4.
464. Council of Trade to Secretary Trumbull. Desiring that certain Indians, brought as French prisoners from Hudson's Bay, be sent to London, and that they be very kindly used. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. p.91.]
Dec. 4.
465. William Popple to the Attorney-General. Desiring an answer to his enquiry as to the King's power to erect Admiralty Courts in the Proprietary Colonies. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. p.13.]
Dec. 4.
Inner Temple.
466. The Attorney-General to William Popple. On perusal of the charters of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Carolina, the Bahama Islands and East and West Jersey I find nothing therein to restrain the King's power to erect Courts of Admiralty in those Colonies, so I am of opinion that he may direct the Commissioners of Admiralty to issue commissions for exercising Admiralty jurisdiction and for the appointment of officers in them the same. Signed, Tho. Trevor. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 5th, Read 7th Dec., 1696. [America and West Indies. 601. No. 37; and Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. p.14.]
Dec. 4. 467. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Governor Russell's instructions relating to powers of Vice-Admiralty referred to the law officers for their opinion. Thomas Sadleir appointed Chief Baron of the Exchequer. The Assembly desired a General Conference as to the bill concerning trade, and brought up bills to settle the militia, to establish Agents, and an additional bill for quartering soldiers.
Dec. 5. Order that the President and any two members, or any three members in the President's absence, may sit to hear and consider petitions. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp.169–170.]
Dec. 5.
468. Mr. Tucker to William Popple. The King has ordered Mons. de la Forest, late Governor of York Fort in Hudson's Bay, to be heard touching the alleged breach of articles between himself and Captain William Allen upon the surrender of that fort; and Mr. Secretary desires that it may be heard at the Council of Trade on Monday next. Pray give notice to Mons. de la Forest and the Governor and Company of Hudson's Bay to attend. Signed, J. Tucker. ½ p. Endorsed, Read 7 Dec., 1696. [Board of Trade. Hudson's Bay, 2. No. 1; and 3. p.1.]
Dec. 7. 469. Receipt for a copy of the Order in Council of 5 November, 1696, for disallowance of two Acts of Massachusetts. Signed, Hen. Ashurst.¼ p.[Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 43; and 36. p.69.]
[Dec. 7.] 470. Memorial presented by the Agents for Jamaica. We would ask that the King should grant 1,500 soldiers; that the Governments of Carolina, Pennsylvania, etc., be strictly forbidden to entertain pirates; that the King will send out a squadron equal to that of the French to encourage the merchants to send ships and necessaries, there being at present a stop to both; that the men-of-war be ordered not to bring off debtors, nor to impress freehold inhabitants nor seafaring men from the provision-ships from North America; and that supernumerary men be sent yearly to recruit the crews of the men-of-war. ½ p. Endorsed, Given in 7th Dec., 1696. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 34.]
Dec. 7. 471. Petition of Gabriel de la Forest, late Governor of Fort Bourbon, Hudson's Bay, to the King. I am a subject of the most Christian King. About the year 1694 Mons. de Bourville was sent Commander-in-Chief on an expedition to Hudson's Bay and pursuant to instructions attacked Fort York, then in possession of the English, which was surrendered to him on a capitulation, which was punctually observed. The fort was then re-named Fort Bourbon, and I was made Governor and remained there in quiet possession for nearly two years until the end of August last. Then Captain Allen came with H.M.S. Bonadventure and four other ships and attacked the fort, when, being forced by want of provisions, I surrendered on a capitulation, of which copy is annexed. I and my garrison, according to capitulation, were put on board the Bonadventure with several goods and merchandises which, by the terms of the capitulation, were to be carried with us to Placentia, in Newfoundland. I also asked Captain Allen to allow the two guns to be put on the Bonadventure, as agreed by the articles. But Captain Allen, contrary to the laws of Nations and of arms, has violated the capitulation not only by refusing to carry away the two guns and by seizing and detaining our goods, but by cruel and barbarous treatment of us in transporting us several hundred leagues from Placentia, and exposing us to all the perils of the sea in a small bark among the ice, from whence it was next to impossible to have escaped. I beg for restitution of our arms and goods, and that I and my garrison may be sent to France as soon as possible. Signed, G. de la Forest. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. and read 7 Dec., 1696. Annexed,
471. I. Captain William Allen to Governor de la Forest. H.M.S. Bonadventure, 28 Aug., 1696. Summoning him to surrender Fort Bourbon on good quarter, since he is come with ships, men and artillery enough to surround it on all sides, and has driven M. de Bourville from the bay. Copy. ½ p.
471. II. Captain Allen to Governor de la Forest. H.M.S. Seaford, 20 Aug., 1696. I agree to all your articles but two. (1) I cannot carry you to Newfoundland in our ships as we are to stay in the bay all the winter, but to shew you that I desire no bloodshed I will spare you a small bomb-vessel to go whither you will, and will provide her with victuals and necessaries. (2) I cannot let you have all the beaver, etc., as I presume the greater part of it has been bought with British effects. Copy. ½ p.
471. III. Captain Allen to Governor de la Forest, 30 August, 1696. Since you say the vessel is too small I will give you a man-of-war to transport you and your effects, as you desire, provided you surrender by six o'clock to-morrow morning. ½ p.
471. IV. Articles of Capitulation for the surrender of Fort Bourbon, late Fort York, 31 August, 1696. The terms are for the garrison to march out with the honours of war, taking their two guns with them, and be transported in a proper ship to Placentia, together with the furs and other goods traded this year. Copy. 1 p. A schedule of the furs, etc., is attached. The whole endorsed, Recd. and read 7 Dec., 1696. [Board of Trade. Hudson's Bay, 2. Nos. 2, 2I.–IV.; and 3. pp.2–8.]
Dec. 7. 472. Proposals offered by the merchants of Exeter trading to Newfoundland. (1) We think it unavoidably necessary for eight or ten men-of-war to sail direct from England to Newfoundland at the beginning of February, or the middle at farthest, and that with them should go at least one entire regiment of foot-soldiers; whereby we may hope not only to re-take the harbours of which the French have lately deprived us, but to secure them from future attempts and to defeat the French in their own fishery by assaulting their plantation of Placentia before they can be reinforced. (2) We conceive that during the war it will be necessary to establish a Governor in Newfoundland for the safety of the place and security of English subjects trading thither. The French have sufficiently taught us this experience this year by their discipline under a government, when we were all in confusion without a head. (3) After the reduction of these territories it will be necessary to fortify the harbours of St. John's, Ferryland and Placentia, being the principal places for fishing and for security of ships. (4) We beg that a convoy be appointed to depart in January with the ships bound for Ireland to take in provisions for the subsistence of the inhabitants of Newfoundland, also other convoys to go with the ships bound for Lisbon and Cadiz to take in salt for the fishery and so to depart with them for Newfoundland; for should the fishing-ships arrive there and have no supply of salt, their voyages will be totally lost. ¾ p. Endorsed, Recd. 7 Dec., 1696. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 15.]
Dec. 7. 473. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. The Attorney-General's opinion as to the King's power to erect Admiralty Courts in the Colonies was read (see No. 466). The merchants of Newfoundland attending desired a speedy resolution upon the business, and stated their opinion as to the convoys required. Several letters from the Mayors of the West Country ports were read (see Nos. 441, 442, 449, 450).
Mons. de la Forest and several members of the Hudson's Bay Company attended, when the petition of the former was read. The Company denied all knowledge of the Articles of Capitulation and asked for further time to prepare their defence, which was granted. Messrs. John Heathcote, Brodrick and Lowe, of Jamaica, presented a short memorial as to the state of the Island, and dwelt on the danger that now threatened it. Governor Fletcher's letters of 22 August and 17 September read.
Dec. 8. A letter from the Secretary of Connecticut of 2 September was read, also Mr. Usher's letters of 30 September and 8 October. Order for Mr. Samuel Allen to attend to-morrow and, if possible, bring Capt. Shadrach Walton with him. Mr. Isaac Addington's letter of 22 September read.
Dec. 9. Order for a representation as to Newfoundland to be drawn up (see No. 482). The Jamaica Agents reported that the people in the Island were so much alarmed at the French preparations that they were moving all their goods on board ship. They were directed to attend again to-morrow. Memorial of Mr. Randolph read (see No. 480), on which it was ordered that the solicitor for the Proprietary Colonies have notice to attend on Friday next. The New York Agents delivered in several papers. Mr. Usher's letters of 30 September and 5 October were read.
Dec. 10. The Jamaica Agents again represented the danger and depopulation of the Island, and were recommended to prepare a scheme to encourage poor and unemployed persons to remove thither. Representations as to Nieu Tortolen, Bermuda, convoys and the laws of Massachusetts were signed. Mr. Newton attended and confirmed the intelligence of the siege of Saco Fort. The Secretary reported the receipt of Mr. Penn's letter of the 9th inst.
Dec. 11. A standing order issued that all appeals from the Plantations shall be heard in Privy Council. Order for Mr. William Partridge to attend on Wednesday next, also that several witnesses named by Mons. de le Forest attend on Monday. The Representatives of the Proprietary Colonies, being acquainted with the Attorney-General's opinion as to the King's power to establish Admiralty Courts, desired to be heard by counsel against it, which was granted. Mr. Penn, being left alone, renewed his protest against certain Acts of Maryland (see No. 478). As a Proprietor of East New Jersey he complained that Governor Fletcher compelled ships arriving there with goods from England to pay New York duties; but was answered that Governor Fletcher had instructions to do so. As to the quotas, he conceived that the matter would be best settled by deputies from each province meeting in a common Assembly, and promised to draw up a scheme on the subject. He then placed in the Board's hands a letter to himself, dated 13 June, 1695, with the signature erased, containing several complaints against Governor Fletcher, and in discourse suggested similar complaints against Governor Nicholson. Ordered that letters be written to him and to Colonel Winthrop requiring them to state in writing the particular complaints against those persons.
The Jamaica merchants attended respecting the design to send emigrants to Jamaica and were desired to put the same into writing. Orders as to the laws of the Colonies now in the hands of the law officers. [Board of Trade. Journal, 9. pp. 263–278.]
Dec. 7. 474. Minutes of General Assembly of Massachusetts. Proposal for further strengthening of the Castle on Castle Island debated. A vote to that effect and for enlarging the salaries of the officers at the Castle was brought up from the Representatives and read.
Dec. 8. Act against high treason passed and enacted. Conference with the Representatives as to payment of the troops employed in the late expedition. The votes of the Representatives as to the Castle were again read. Votes for grant of £15 to Colonel Bartholomew Gidney, and of £30 to Lieutenant-Colonel Hathorne, commanders in the late expedition, were sent down to the Representatives.
Dec. 9. The votes for grants to Colonels Gidney and Hathorne were returned from the Representatives with non-concurrence. Additional bill to the Act as to nuisances, read, engrossed and sent down to the Representatives. Voted in concurrence with the Representatives that a Committee be appointed to examine the petition of Peter Ayre, that £10 be granted to Major James Convers for his services in negotiations with the Indians and equipping of troops, for confirmation of certain disputed land to Samuel Gookin and Samuel How, and for abatement of arrears due to the Treasury by John Hoyt, who was lately murdered by Indians, leaving little or no estate.
Dec. 10. Private bill as to John Moore's estate, passed and enacted, also the additional bill to the Act as to nuisances. Vote in concurrence with the Representatives for passing the Treasurer's Accounts. Order for a new bill to be prepared for incorporation of Harvard College.
Dec. 11. A declaration containing several articles of confession, an appointment for a day of public fast, and a proposal for a proclamation to excite officers to their duty, were received from the Representatives and negatived. Order for a public fast, to be held on the 14th of January, sent down for concurrence. Report as to the state of Port Royal read. Grant of £7 11s. 0d. voted to Captain Samuel Partrigg towards the expense of a special Court of oyer and terminer, lately held.
Dec. 12. Proposals from the Representatives that bills be prepared as follows, to appropriate all fines in each County to the public service within it, for the public sale of insolvent estates, for regulation of Winisimet ferry, and as to escapes from prison. Order for stating of the accounts of the forces and seamen read. [Board of Trade. New England, 48. pp. 102–108.]
Dec. 8. 475. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Thomas Tench, on reporting that he had hopes of finishing the business of Colonel Copley's accounts to-morrow, was told that he would then be re-admitted to his seat in Council.
Dec. 9. Colonel Addison received a commission to act as Chancellor, Colonel Jowles being absent through lameness (p. 183).
Dec. 10. Order for continuing the officers and men added to the party of rangers on the Potomac, and for the party to remain together all the winter. The Governor presented them with ten dollars to drink the King's health.
Dec. 11. Letter from the Governor of New York read and ordered to be entered in the Council book; but it was conceived unnecessary to send an answer. Mr. Plater produced bills for £300 received from Sir Edmund Andros and was ordered to remit the same to England, as also the accounts of revenue and shipping. Referred to the law-officers, whether £150 paid to Colonel Nicholas Greenberry as President of the Council was legally paid to him, and whether the Act of Assembly confirming the proceeding in any way validates it (pp. 191–192).
Dec. 12. Colonel Addison was commissioned and sworn as Chancellor. The justices and lawyers, on being consulted, reported that it would be much more convenient that the Courts of Governor and Council and of Chancery should not sit until the end of the Provincial Court. Ordered that those Courts sit in future on the day after the rising of the Provincial Court. The case of John Coode having been referred to the King's Counsel, they reported that he had been prosecuted for recovery of £439 due from him to the King as Receiver of Potomac district, and also for blasphemous language; but that before execution could be done Coode had removed himself and all his goods into Virginia. They advised, therefore, that the Governor of Virginia be asked to arrest him and return him to the Government of Maryland. The Justices of the Provincial Court concurred herein (pp. 185–188). Order for payments for repair of arms. The petition of William Dent for salary as Solicitor-General was read, and the Governor was asked to recommend his petition to the King and Council in England (pp. 199–200). [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. as cited.]
Dec. 9. 476. Minutes of Council of Barbados. The Council agreed to the Assembly's Amendments to the Bill for decision of Elections. Order for a guard to be kept on the gaol. A member was sent up to discourse the French Captain as to his desire to be removed to another quarter. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 170–171.]
Dec. 9.
477. Earl of Macclesfield to Council of Trade and Plantations. Recommending Mr. Corker as a fit person to act as Attorney-General for Virginia and the adjoining plantations, and asking their assistance towards obtaining for him that office. Signed, Maclesfield.¼ p. Endorsed, Recd. 28th, read 30th Dec., 1696. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 10.]
Dec. 9.
478. William Penn to William Popple. "Esteemed friend," Two laws are passed in Maryland, one laying ten per cent. on all English goods coming to Pennsylvania through that province by any Maryland or Virginia ships that go hence for the tobacco, to the great detriment of our province and discouragement of our trade from hence and goods from thence hither—a new and unneighbourly if not unjust treatment. The other law lays a high duty upon our beers imported in that province, which we think churlish and destroying a good correspondence between the King's subjects in both provinces; for if we should refuse them provisions for their ships bound to England with tobacco, they must lie in their rivers for want of them. I therefore pray that no such laws pass the Committee in order to a confirmation, till we are heard in our exception to the said and like laws. Signed, Wm. Penn. Holograph. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 19 Dec., 1696. [America and West Indies. 599. No. 28.]
Dec. 9.
479. The Mayor of Poole to Council of Trade and Plantations. In reply to Mr. Popple's letter of 28 November I have enclosed the proposals of the merchants of the town interested in Newfoundland to Mr. Solomon Merrit, to whom they have given orders to attend you. Signed, Tho. Hyde. ½ p. Endorsed, Rec. and read 14 Dec., 1696. Annexed,
479. I. Proposals of the merchants and others of Poole, interested in Newfoundland. (1) We think it absolutely necessary that eight men-of-war sail from England direct to Newfoundland by the middle of February at latest, with a competent number of land forces, for the recapture of the harbours lately taken by the French, for their better preservation in future, and also for attack on the French plantations before they are reinforced. (2) We propose a Governor as very necessary to be constantly at Newfoundland during the war for the better security of the country and inhabitants, having sufficient experience that discipline under a Government has been a great advantage to the French, and the want of it a great loss to us. (3) We propose that St. John's and Ferryland (when reduced) be fortified, being the principal places of fishing and security of ships. (4) A convoy should be ready in January next to sail with the ships bound for Ireland to take in provisions for the inhabitants of Newfoundland, and another convoy for the ships that sail to Spain and Portugal for salt, the want of which would overthrow the fishing-ships and planters' voyages. (5) For the security of the fishing, harbours and inhabitants to northward of St. John's, viz., from St. John's to Cape Bonavista, a competent number of men-of-war (four at least would be necessary) should be appointed to cruise between these places throughout the fishing-season and until the ships are ready to sail. (6) Sufficient convoys should be appointed for the ships homeward bound with train-oil, wet fish, and passengers. During the absence of the shipping the Governor, for the better preservation of the settlements, should depute one of the chief inhabitants in every harbour to govern that harbour, according to instructions which shall be issued by that Governor. It is also necessary that this Governor should have been acquainted with the constitutions of the Colony. For the security of the north part as well as the south during the winter Carbonere and Bonavista should be fortified, the number of inhabitants and the trade being as great there as in other parts of the Island. Signed, Tho. Hyde, Mayor, and by twenty-six others. 1¼ pp. Endorsed as the covering letter. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. Nos. 16, 16I.]
[Dec. 9.] 480. Memorial of Edward Randolph to the Council of Trade. Learning that my memorial as regards the Government of the Proprieties has been submitted to you, and being anxious to return to the Colonies, where my presence is absolutely necessary for enforcement of the Acts of Trade and of the Scotch Act, I am attending you with proofs of the statements in my memorial, in order that my despatches may be completed, and that I may embark without delay. Signed, Ed. Randolph. Holograph. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. and read 9 Dec., 1696. [America and West Indies. 601. No. 38.]
Dec. 10. 481. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. On the petition of Richard Bart for a divorce, a warrant was issued for the parties to appear on the 24th inst. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. p. 59.]
Dec. 10.
482. Order of the King in Council. Referring a representation from the Council of Trade, as to convoy for the Newfoundland saltships, to the Admiralty for report. Copy. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 18 June, 1697. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 17; and 25. p. 120.]
Dec. 10.
483. Order of the King in Council. Referring a representation and other papers from the Lieutenant-Governor and Council of Massachusetts to the Council of Trade for consideration. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 12 Dec. 1696. Read 14th. Annexed,
483. I. Address of the Lieutenant-Governor and Council of Massachusetts to the King. We thank you for your princely care and feel emboldened to lay before you our despairing condition. For a long time past we have languished under a wasting war, whereby our estates have been much exhausted and many among us captured or destroyed. The enemy are reinforced by Indians drawn from the remoter parts of this Continent, by large supplies of arms and stores and by ships of greater force than formerly, whereby they have been enabled to make great impressions on us this summer through the capture of H.M.S. Newport by the men-of-war, and of the fort of Pemaquid by a land-force of near two hundred Frenchmen with mortars and cannon. The French interest is greatly advanced and your Majesty's interest is languishing. The places from which you have been supplied with naval stores are in danger to be seized, and our trade both north and south is greatly decayed. The charge of war has lain heavy on this province, Connecticut having contributed little and Rhode Island and New Hampshire nothing at all to the support of your interest, but having drawn a considerable charge on us for their defence. We therefore implore your royal aid, humbly praying that the several governments may be jointly concerned in the prosecution of the war and in supporting the charge thereof; that Port Royal and St. John's in Acadia or Nova Scotia may be settled by the erection of a regular fortification, with all necessary stores of war and a suitable garrison of soldiers at the charge of your Majesty's exchequer, which, it is apprehended, will be a greater bridle on the enemy than Pemaquid could be; that a suitable supply of warlike stores may be despatched hither for our forts and garrisons; that the two frigates here may be reinforced by one or more ships of greater strength to guard the coasts and the navigation (the French ships of war that have visited these parts in this year exceeding what has formerly been in number both of guns and of men) and that one of the frigates may convoy our vessels going to the West Indies to load salt for the fishery, being the chief staple of this country, since the seamen of the frigate will thereby be better secured to you, and the charge not augmented; that the seamen impressed for your service here may be paid when the ships are laid up for the winter, many of them having wives and children that depend upon the profits of their labour for subsistence, which would be a great encouragement to the seamen and a great relief to your subjects, also that a clerk of the cheque be appointed to muster the seamen of your ships from time to time, whereby the grievance of continuous and needless impresses will be redressed; that you will take into consideration the reduction of Canada, the unhappy fountain from which issue all our miseries, whereby the honour and revenue of the Crown will be increased, the Northern Indians will be entirely gained, and the interests and trade both of the Northern and Southern Plantations revived and secured. Thus in humble dependence on your favourable answer for the rescuing of a languishing province and preserving alive a people entirely devoted to your service, we prostrate ourselves at your feet. Signatures lost, but given in the Entry Book as, Wm. Stoughton; Penn Townsend, Speaker. Large sheet. Dated, 24 September, 1696. The whole endorsed, Recd. 12th, read 14th, 1696. Attached, a memorandum stating that Governor Fletcher's letter of 22 August, 1696, Lieutenant-Governor Stoughton's of 24 September, 1696, and the narration of the taking of Pemaquid fort, were also sent with this Order in Council. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. Nos. 44, 44I.; and 36. pp. 93–96.]
Dec. 10.
484. Order of the King in Council. For the disallowance of the following Acts passed in Massachusetts in 1693 and 1694; Additional Act for establishing Courts, Additional Act to several laws, further Additional Act to the Act for establishing Courts, Additional Act for setting forth general privileges, Act for regulating the Chancery. The reasons for disallowance are set forth as in the Minute of the Lords of Trade and Plantations of 10 January, 1696. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. Copy. 2 pp. Endorsed, The original given to Sir H. Ashurst. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 45; and 36. pp. 97–99.]
Dec. 10. 485. Lords of Trade and Plantations to the King. Report on the laws of Massachusetts, whereon the preceding Order in Council was founded. [Board of Trade. New England, 36. pp. 75–78.]
Dec. 10
486. Order of the King in Council. That the Council of Trade send the memorial of the envoy of Brandenburg to the Governor of the Leeward Islands, with orders as proposed in their representation. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 18 Dec. 1696, read 19th. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 20; and 45. p. 37.]
Dec. 10. 487. The Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. The preparations made by the French, which seem to be for the West Indies, oblige us to represent to you the very great importance of the Bermuda Islands, the situation of which is so much in the way of traders to America that if these Islands were ever possessed by the French they might be turned to the entire destruction of our West Indian trade. Though the natural strength of the Islands, environed as they are with rocks, is a great security to them, we have reason to apprehend that, as regards forts, stores, etc., they are not in such a condition of defence as is necessary. We beg that some skilful person may be sent thither to survey the place and direct the planters as to their better defence, and to bring back a full report. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Tankerville, Ph. Meadows, Will. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 29. pp. 5–6.]
Dec. 10.
488. Order of the King in Council. For an engineer to be sent to Bermuda as recommended in preceding abstract. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 18 Dec. Read 19 Dec. 1696. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 3. No. 3; and 29. pp. 6–7.]
Dec. 10. 489. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Recommending for confirmation six Acts of Montserrat and ten Acts of the General Assembly of the Leeward Islands. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 45. pp. 34–36.]
Dec. 10. 490. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Queen. On the memorial of the Envoy of Brandenburg (see No. 382) we would represent that though the Island of Nieu-Ter-Tholen be of much value, yet the facilities which it possesses for smuggling and for defrauding the Customs are such that it is important (so far as consists with justice) to discourage the planting and inhabiting of it. As to the justice of the present demand, there is no evidence that Sir William Stapleton took over the Island in trust, and we have reason to believe that he took it by conquest in 1672. We therefore recommend that the memorial and its enclosures be sent to Governor Codrington for his report. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Tankerville, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 45. pp. 30–31.]
Dec. 10. 491. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. We have not yet received answers from the out-ports that may enable us yet to report upon the whole business of Newfoundland. Meanwhile the merchants of Bristol, Barnstaple and Bideford have applied to us for one fourth-rate or two fifth-rate frigates to be ready at Milford at the beginning of next month to convoy their ships to Portugal, there to lade salt, and from thence to Newfoundland. They insist that unless they have such a convoy for their ships to lade salt (which is absolutely necessary for the fishery), they will not undertake to go upon the trade this year. We beg you to order the convoy that they desire, that trade being of such importance to your service. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Tankerville, Ph. Meadows, William Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade, Newfoundland, 25. pp. 47–48.]