America and West Indies: March 1697, 6-10

Pages 392-395

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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March 1697

March 6.
781. William Bridgeman to William Popple. In reply to yours of 4th, with a memorial from the Agents of the Leeward Islands, three men-of-war will be ready in a very few days to convoy the trade to the West Indies. If the Lords of the Treasury think that the service of the Leeward Islands is the most pressing, two of the ships will be ordered to proceed to and attend those Islands accordingly. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman, ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 8 March, 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 39; and 34. p. 120.]
March 7.
782. The Mayor of Dartmouth to William Popple. The merchants (who have ships ready to sail to Newfoundland) desire to acquaint you that unless the convoy for Newfoundland departs within a fortnight their designs will be lost, to their detriment, the usual time for their sailing being fully come. Pray inform the Council of Trade. Signed, Thomas Floud, Mayor. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 11 March, 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 52.]
March 8. 783. Petition of Jeffrey Wellowton [sic, should be Yellowton] to Council of Trade and Plantations. I propose to raise at my own charge two hundred and fifty men of divers professions, as carpenters, bricklayers, smiths, etc., for Jamaica. Since these men will be very serviceable and the cost great, I beg that they may be transported and maintained at the King's charge until their arrival in Jamaica, and that such encouragement and consideration as you may think fit may be allowed to me. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 8 March, 1696–7. Attached,
783. I. Opinion of the Jamaica Agents on the above petition. These men would be most valuable. Handicraftsmen are so scarce that we give carpenters, bricklayers and smiths from five to ten shillings a day and their victuals, and caulkers and ship's-carpenters ten and fifteen shillings a day. They will be valuable too as farmers, though all the work must be performed by negroes, and every planter will be glad to employ them as overseers and in the nature of guards to their negroes. Signed, Gilbert Heathcote, Bartho. Gracedieu. Scrap. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 48, 48I.; and 56. p. 79.]
[March 8.] 784. Petition of Merchants of Bideford trading to Newfoundland to Council of Trade and Plantations. Having several ships bound to Newfoundland on a fishing voyage, we beg that a convoy may be ordered for them at Milford. The season being far advanced, the ships must sail early in order to have time to build boats and stages, which have been destroyed by the French. Signed, John Davie, Tho. Power, John Buck, G. Buck, and by fourteen others. ½ p. Endorsed, Delivered by Mr. Blathwayt, 8 March, 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 53.]
March 8.
785. J. Tucker to William Popple. Mr. Secretary Trumbull orders me to acquaint you that the King has ordered that half of the ships and soldiers for Newfoundland shall be despatched thither immediately, and the rest follow soon after. Your Board will therefore prepare instructions for the commanders of the squadron and forces to be presented to the King with all expedition. Signed, J. Tucker. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 9 March, 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 54; and 25. p. 54.]
March 8.
786. Council of Trade and Plantations to Secretary Trumbull. The merchants trading to Newfoundland have information that the French are certainly fitting out four capital ships of war, two frigates, a flyboat carrying materials for forts, etc., and several merchantmen for Newfoundland. This was communicated to the Admiralty. The merchants have now shewn us another letter of intelligence of 5th inst., saying that the French have six men-of-war, and a flyboat with materials, which will be ready to sail in fourteen days. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. p. 92.]
March 8. 787. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Bridgeman's letter of 6th inst. read (No. 781). Ordered therefore that the merchants or agents of the West Indian Islands attend on Wednesday next.
Mr. Merret acquainted the Council that the Bonadventure was ready for the convoy to Newfoundland, and that the Crown would be ready as soon as victualled. He also produced a letter of information as to the French preparations, the contents of which were at once communicated to Sir William Trumbull. A petition from the merchants of Bideford was presented (No. 784), and order was given to the Secretary to write a reply (No. 788).
Mr. Overton attended to report consideration of Mr. Livingston's papers, and was ordered to attend this day sennight.
Mr. Wellowton (? Yellowton) presented a petition (No. 783) but on discussion was willing to defer his proposal till next year. He was meanwhile referred to the Jamaica Agents.
The gentlemen interested in the company for working copper mines in New England attended, when their proposals were returned to them for amendment.
March 9. Order for the papers on the dispute between the Hudson's Bay Company and Mons. de la Forest to be recovered from the Privy Council.
Mr. Tucker's letter of 8th inst. as to the expedition to Newfoundland.
Upon suggestion that some of the public newspapers sometimes contain useful information, it was ordered that one of each sort be taken for the use of the Council.
March 10. Mr. Bulkley and Mr. Graves attended and gave in papers, which were read and laid by for further consideration.
Mr. Cary alone of the West India merchants attended. The Council therefore directed the Secretary to write immediately to Mr. Bridgeman (No. 791). Mr. Heathcote attending late was directed to come again to-morrow.
March 11. A letter from the Mayor of Dartmouth as to Newfoundland was read (No. 782). Captain Walsh, formerly in the Hudson's Bay Company's service, applied for employment in the Newfoundland expedition and was referred to Colonel Gibsone.
The Agents for Barbados and the Leeward Islands attended and wished to alter the arrangements as to the convoys; but the Council, not thinking fit to recede from their former representation, communicated to them Mr. Bridgeman's letter of 6th inst., with the answer to it of 10th inst. and left them to petition to the King.
The gentlemen interested in mines in New England attended and gave in the draft of a clause to be inserted in their charter, which was reserved for further consideration.
March 12. Mr. Burchett's letter of 11th inst. read. Mr. Blathwayt informed the Council that the King had referred the petition of the West India merchants concerning convoys to the Admiralty.
Mr. Blathwayt also announced that the opposition to the private Act of Jamaica as to Sir Francis Watson's estate had been withdrawn. The Lords then ordered the Act to be looked out.
March 13. The private Act of Jamaica was received and a representation ordered to be prepared, recommending it for confirmation.
Letter from the Merchants of Poole of 10th inst. read (No. 790); but the answer to this and to the letter from Dartmouth of 7th inst. was deferred until the King's pleasure as to the sailing of the merchant-ships should be known. Colonel Gibsone attended and his instructions were read to him. The Council resolved to write to the Governor of Massachusetts to give him credit, and to move that the Treasury be approached on this matter.
Mr. Edward Richier attended, and produced two witnesses to speak as to the harsh treatment of his brother by Governor Goddard. He was directed to take the affidavits of his witnesses before a Master-in-Chancery and bring them with all his other papers to the Secretary.
Mr. Nicoll, Agent for New York, attended and was directed to bring up an estimate of the probable expense on account of the two Indians lately brought up to town. [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 17–27.]
March 9.
788. William Popple to Richard Usticke. A petition from the Bideford merchants has been laid before the Council by Mr. Blathwayt. I have to inform you that an expedition is speedily to sail to recover Newfoundland, and that convoys are intended for the fishing ships bound thither. Do the merchants desire that the convoy for their fishing ships should be at Milford, and do they yet desire one for their salt-ships? [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. p. 93.]
March 9. 789. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Order for hire of a sloop to cruise about Martinique roads, that the two men-of-war cruise to report as to the truth of the intelligence that a French fleet has arrived at Martinique, and that the fleet be delayed until their return. Order for fitting out an armed sloop, for providing the Virgin (prize) with rum, sugar and lime-juice, and for payment for the entertainment of a French officer.
March 10. An account for disbursements on the fortifications was referred to two members for examination. Act for the quartering of soldiers read as amended, and the amendments approved. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 197–198.]
March 10.
790. The Mayor and Merchants of Poole to Council of Trade and Plantations. We must remind you that the time for sending our fishing ships to Newfoundland is now, and must beg you to represent that not only will the land be in danger of being wholly lost unless the forces and men-of-war speedily depart, but that the overthrow of the fishery will be endangered if the convoys be delayed, as greater time must be taken to build boats and stages than formerly. Signed, Tho. Hyde, mayor, and by fifteen others. 1p. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 13 March, 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 55.]
March 10.
791. William Popple to William Bridgeman. The Council of Trade has considered your letter of the 6th inst., to which I am to reply that by an Order in Council of 22 October (upon the representation of the Council of Trade) the King ordered that seven ships of war—viz., two for the Leeward Islands, three for Barbados and two for Jamaica—should convoy the West India trade and should all keep company as far as their way lies together, for their better security. This was accordingly intimated to the merchants, who depending thereon have had many of their ships ready to sail for over two months past, and suffer great prejudice through the delay, which the Council hopes may be removed by a speedy despatch of the other convoys, according to the King's former order. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. pp. 120–121.]