America and West Indies: March 1697, 26-31

Pages 415-433

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


March 1697

March 26.
859. Governor Codrington to Council of Trade and Plantations. Since my last of 7 October, I have received yours of 23 November. It is the business of the Secretary to send home the minutes of the Councils of the Islands, and to my knowledge he sent them all home by H.M.S. Hastings. He is preparing them since that time for transmission by next convoy, and he has my orders to send them and the other returns every six months. But the Treasurer's accounts, never have been asked for before, cause some difficulty to those concerned, though the Treasurers have promised to have them ready by next convoy. I send herewith a list of the Councils in the Islands, which at present is pretty complete in Antigua only. We have two gentlemen who rarely attend business, being ancient and sickly. John Palmer and Colonel Holt being members of all the Councils, the one presides at Nevis, and the other's quarters are there, so that they are not esteemed Councillors here or at Montserrat, except when they may occasionally visit them. Antigua therefore will want a new Councillor sworn, a full Council being often wanting through sickness or other impediments. Upon your advice of the French designs upon these parts, I took every measure for placing these Islands in the best posture of defence against any attack, and have caused our arms and stores to be reviewed, and our posts and entrenchments to be renewed. I find a generous inclination in all our inhabitants to defend the King's interest here vigorously, but I must observe that by the several expeditions which we have made during this war, the constant guarding and the visitation of sickness which has raged among us from the beginning of the war, we are much weakened in men; and although our soldiers have held out indifferent well, yet I find that by sickness and the enticing of some by merchant-ships, we are in want of eighty or one hundred recruits, which number would make the King's regiment complete. The fourth-rate and fifth-rate frigates, which are designed for this Government, will be of great service if they be good sailers, otherwise the enemy's privateers will little regard them. Hitherto we have pretty well defended our coast and trade by the help of the frigates now here, and of two or three privateers who were encouraged by me to fit out in this island and have met with some success. But of late the provisions on the men-of-war are failing, and they have been visited with some mortality, both the Commanders and several of the men being dead. No supplies from the Victualling Office nor victualling ships have yet arrived in this Government, so that for the last six weeks our two men-of-war have been in a manner useless. However, I have now furnished them with some men and with a month's provisions, and they are going to sea. It is high time, for Mons. D'Amblemont, the new General of the French, is lately arrived at Martinique with three small men-of-war and some merchantmen, some of which are fitting out as privateers, till their homeward cargoes shall be ready, and cruising in these waters. Two of them only yesterday chased a Guinea ship worth £5,000 into one of these harbours, pursuing her to within a league of the shore. I doubt not that if some of our men-of-war come up with them they will take or sink them or drive them off the coast. Until these French ships lately arrived here, we were in some measure quiet; and by a flag of truce, which I sent to exchange prisoners, I learn that this is all the naval force that they expect from France this year.
Pursuant to your orders I shall desist from any formal settlement of the French part of St. Christophers, and shall make no alteration of the tenure of English subjects by altering the 4½ per cent. duty. Indeed, I never intended anything like it in any of the other islands, only offering for consideration whether in a new settlement, such as that of St. Christophers, a quit-rent might not be an acceptable equivalent for that duty; and by my instructions the people are given leave to offer an equivalent. Such settlement as has been made on the French part of St. Christophers since we took it was not done without the King's permission; and finding that such settlement would strengthen the Islands by attracting fresh people hither, I did all in my power to gain such addition of strength. Since it is your command, I shall desist from it, though I must observe that the restoration of that part of the Island to the French will not only make the English part in some measure invaluable, but will be a very great discouragement to the other islands by setting so powerful a neighbour in their bosom, and as near to us on this island as Guadeloupe to windward. However I have said so much of the advantage of keeping St. Christophers entire to the English, that I shall trouble you no more than to press for your friendship that if possible it may be kept to the King at the peace. Upon view of our stores I find no ammunition, it being four or five years since the King sent us any powder. What we have is small in quantity and not very good, being by time grown very ordinary in spite of our utmost care to preserve it. I beg you therefore to intercede with the King for a supply of four hundred barrels of powder for the four islands. Part of it should be pistol-powder for our small-arms, which we most depend upon. Also the new fort of this Island, being nearly finished, will want at least thirty pieces of ordnance, which please procure for us, with carriages, springs, ladles and all such appendages, for though our island affords timber to make such things, yet we are so scarce of carpenters and smiths that there is long delay and vast charge before they can be obtained, and when done they are often improper for service owing to the ignorance of the workmen. Signed, Ch. Codrington. 2 pp. A short abstract is attached. Endorsed, Recd. 18th, Read 24th June, 1697. Annexed,
859. I. Lists of the Councils of the Leeward Islands, 1 May, 1697. ANTIGUA. John Yeamans, Rowland Williams, Francis Carlisle (superannuated), John Fry (superannuated), John Hamilton, Edward Byam, Sam. Martin, Thomas Duncombe, John Palmer, Henry Holt. MONTSERRAT. Anthony Hodges (superannuated), Edw. Parsons, William Fox, Anthony Hodges (jun.), Major Lee, Rich. Clayton, John Irish, John Davis, John Palmer, Henry Holt. NEVIS. Michael Smith, Walter Symonds, Daniel Smith, William Burt, John Smargin, James Thynne, Richd. Abbott, John Palmer, Henry Holt. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. Nos. 42, 42I.; and 45. pp. 75–81.]
March 26. 860. Journal of House of Delegates of Maryland. By the Council's request a Committee was appointed to inspect the public buildings. Adjourned to 6 a.m. to-morrow.
March 27. Public buildings approved. Committees appointed. Several proposals from the Governor laid before the House, viz. (1) the disturbance caused by certain Indians deserting their forts and retiring to the mountains, apparently owing to the late murder of a negro-boy; (2) the better regulation of the militia; (3) amendment of the law as to sheriffs; (4) the lessening of the expenses of the Commissioners of County Courts; (5) as to commissions of the peace; (6) to secure all letters brought in or carried out by ships; (7) to confirm the titles of land on which churches and chapels are built. Hereon it was resolved as follows: (1) The question was deferred till Major William Barton should arrive. (2) Was referred to the Committee of Laws. (3) A Bill to be brought in to redress the public credit. (4) This question is already sufficiently settled. (5) Referred to the Committee of Laws. (6) A Bill to be introduced to prevent the interception of letters. (7) A Bill to be introduced accordingly. Committee of Grievances appointed.
May 28. Message to the Council. Our clerk has been arrested under the Governor's warrant, we know not for what reason. We conceive this to be a great breach of privilege. Answer of the Council. We did not know that the arrested man was your clerk. He is arrested for perjury. Resolved that this answer is satisfactory.
May 29. Petition of William Sharp read. Resolved that he has been illegally treated. The Committee of Grievances brought up their report, and it was resolved thereupon to bring in two bills. Philip Clarke, Chairman of the Committee of Laws, also brought up a report adverse to the Governor's fifth proposal. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 15. pp. 145–151.]
May 26. 861. Minutes of Council of Maryland in Assembly. It was decided first to view the public buildings; and the agreements with the workmen, etc., were sent down to the Delegates.
May 27. Two delegates attended to say that they awaited the Governor's pleasure, and presented a new member to be sworn. The Assembly approved of the public buildings. The proposals to be laid before the House were considered and sent down. Resolutions of the Assembly in reply. Interchange of messages with the Delegates as to their Clerk. Several new proposals were considered. Two letters from Mr. Povey respecting coins read. Governor Fletcher's letter of 8 February, and the Council of Trade's of 25 September, sent to the Delegates. Question of the fees of the Registrar in Chancery referred to the Delegates. It is remarked that the Clerk of the Delegates should not sign himself Clerk of Assembly, nor close his journal by writing that the House prorogued itself, and that the Delegates have no power as such to administer an oath.
May 29. Proposals as to the State-house, arms and ammunition and navigation bonds, considered. Message from the Delegates that masters of ships would not give new powder for the old country powder, and could not be compelled to do so. Message from the Delegates condemning any proposal to empower the Governor to appoint the justices of the peace by warrant under his hand. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 14. pp. 159–172.]
March 27.
862. Governor Nicholson to Council of Trade and Plantations. I have received yours of 25 September, 1696, and shall endeavour to answer your questions. The appointment of your Lordships as Commissioners of Trade and Plantations has given great satisfaction in the province and to myself in particular. First I give a brief account of this province before the Revolution. While Lord Baltimore resided here all things were pretty quiet, but on his departure he left the Government in the hands of the Council, the principal of which were papists. They had generally the places of profit and trust; and there were Quakers in the Assembly and other places of Government. The Church government was in the hands of Jesuits and priests, and their chief residence was within two miles of St. Maries, where they had a good brick chapel, and five or six wooden ones in other parts of the country. Of priests and Jesuits there are commonly six or seven in the country, and they have several good plantations to live upon; but I suppose they have allowances from England and other places and from the people of their persuasion in the Colony. The Quakers are also dispersed all over the country, but are more numerous and have more places of worship. There were seldom above three or four clergymen of the Church of England resident in the country, and they were maintained only by voluntary contributions, by which also their places of worship were built. Sabbath-breaking, cursing, swearing and profane talking, whoring and drinking (especially the last) were much practised; some of the men having two wives and some of the women two husbands; and such sins were seldom punished. Five schools there were, and those very mean ones either for master or house; but the Jesuits had some, especially one brick one at St. Maries. After Lord Baltimore's departure the Courts of Justice were very dilatory, and though people were fined by law and became sureties for one another, as also for strangers in Navigation bonds and other matters, yet the fines were seldom collected or the bonds seldom put in suit. I suppose the Jesuits and priests were willing to have a very loose Government both in Church and State, that they might bring the people to be Atheists in order to make them Papists; wherein they would have met with no great opposition, for the country was first seated by but an indifferent set of people.
Between the time of Lord Baltimore's Government and Governor Copley's arrival, things were very unsettled and the Government very loose. The public debts grew great and others also, especially those to Lord Baltimore on account of quit-rents. While Governor Copley lived the debts were not paid, nor during Sir Edmund Andros's Government, though there is an annual charge for the support of the Council, Burgesses, Rangers, Justices and County Courts, paid in tobacco and levied per poll; hence when I arrived I found the country much in debt and ill-settled alike in church, civil and military government. But I have endeavoured to model them, as my letters and the public records will shew. Duplicates of these and several other papers are transmitted by this fleet. An account of the parishes is sent herewith. In Governor Copley's time a law was passed for establishing the Church of England, which was disallowed by the King. Another is now sent, and the Journals of Assembly will show how great were my difficulties with it. When I came I found few of the churches built according to the former Act of Assembly, but I hope that they will be finished this year, and then we shall want clergymen and a commissary, for whose maintenance an Act is now sent to you. The Bishop of London has promised to send an able Commissary and some good clergymen, as also a schoolmaster for the free schools, for the establishment of which an Act was passed, but was disallowed by the King. A supplicatory Act for Free Schools is now sent to you, wherein the King is begged to appoint what more trustees and governors he thinks fit. As to the conversion of the Indians I think that the likeliest way of getting them to live among us and learn our language, as also of putting a stop to Papists and Quakers and bringing them over to the reformed religion, besides making the present Protestants better men, will be by directing free-schools where both English and Indians shall be bred up scholars and fitted for the Royal College in Virginia, the accounts of which will, I hope, be shortly delivered to Sir Edmund Andros. It is some charge to the King to supply these parts with ministers and schoolmasters, for he allows £20 to each of them for their transportation, without which few would be able to come. There is often, and now especially, great want of good clergymen and schoolmasters in these parts, and I will not venture to answer for some of their abilities, lives and conversations. I hope by next fleet to report that a good church and school are nearly finished in this place.
I enclose a list of the Council. Several of the inhabitants are not qualified to serve the King in any employment, which makes it difficult to supply it with good men, but I have given the names of some. I also give the number of taxables in the country for 1694, 1695 and 1696. It has never been the custom here to distinguish the taxables into freemen, servants and negroes, so I can give you no particulars, but I intend to have them so distinguished, and to obtain also, if I can, the number of Papists and Quakers. I give an account of the Indians resident among us, and of some late orders issued about them. We have had no further treaty with the Senecas, Susquehannahs and Shawanoes since my last, but expect to hear further of them this May. Mr. Edward Boothby, who was appointed to go to Pennsylvania about the Indians, has not yet made a return, I believe owing to illness. The foreign Indians mentioned in a certain address of the Burgesses to myself and Council, are men of the Five Nations, who are under the Government of New York, and are those who pass southward to the Southern plantations. Their strength is not known, nor where they lie exactly, but it is supposed West of North from us. The Indians who come from the Southward are supposed to inhabit the Ohio river, which runs into the Bay of Mexico. We know them as the Wittowees, Twistwees and naked Indians, but they are called by various names both by Indians and English. They are supposed to lie West of Southward of us. Sometimes they come down by the falls of Potomac and Susquehannah Rivers, between which places we keep two officers and eight troopers for ranging. Copies of orders concerning them are annexed.
The reason why the inhabitants leave this province is, I think, the encouragement which they receive from the Carolinas, the Jerseys and above all from Pennsylvania, which is so nigh that it is easy to remove thither. There handicraft tradesmen have encouragement where they endeavour to set up woollen manufactures, and there is great encouragement for illegal traders and privateers, or rather pirates, which causes many men to run from the King's ships, especially from the Virginia and Maryland convoys and also from the merchant ships. This is one reason why they are long in loading, especially this year, for I have accounts that over one hundred seamen have left this fleet. Captain Charles Wager, the Commodore, and Captain Josiah Daniel of H.M.S. Prince of Orange, can give you full information about a privateer and the runaway seamen. In a petition of the merchant-ships' masters to the Commodore for his longer stay, one reason given is the running away of the seamen owing to the encouragement given in Pennsylvania, which petition was published in the Provincial and County Courts, and was generally subscribed to. I send a copy of it together with several depositions concerning a privateer called Day, also further depositions of Mr. Charles Hemsley concerning six runaway seamen, and a declaration of my own concerning the harbouring of privateers and runaway seamen in Pennsylvania, which was approved by the Justices of the Provincial and County Courts. I send also copies of two proclamations, one concerning the seamen being encouraged by the people of Pennsylvania to go thither, the other enumerating the false pretences upon which people are enticed away and warning people not to believe them. There is also a copy of a paper concerning privateers and illegal trade, the latter part written by Mr. Robert Quarry, whom I have proposed for the Council here. I fear that unless some course be taken to prevent the harbouring of privateers and runaway seamen in these parts, that when the next merchant fleet arrives it will be much delayed in its loading, even if some ships be not forced to stay owing to the running away of the seamen.
This province being long, full of creeks and rivers, and but thinly peopled towards the frontiers of Pennsylvania, I think it almost impossible to prevent seamen from running thither, and the King has no naval force in the province to prevent them, so I am in great hopes that, upon your representation, his Majesty may send us a small vessel to cruise by turns in this and Delaware Bay. I shall then hope to put some stop to the privateers and pirates, for last summer, though the three men-of-war of the convoy and the St. Albans, prize, were all there, yet the privateer Day sailed up to within a few miles of this place, landed with ten or twelve men and alarmed all that part. He did little mischief, though when he ran out of Delaware Bay he plundered some of the inhabitants. The bay being wide and the men-of-war but newly arrived, he contrived to evade them in the night. But unless there be some naval force to secure this whole bay, it is morally impossible to secure it otherwise. Every river and creek are harbours, and most people have landing-places at their plantations. To make tenable forts would cost a great deal of money—I reckon that one good one would cost £4,000—and it would secure only one river, if that, while to keep it in repair would be more chargeable than in England, for all buildings decay sooner here. To make wooden platforms or batteries (as they here call them) would be so much money thrown away, for I have seen some of this foolish sort of fortifications spoiled before they were finished. Again, such fortifications may be a danger as encouraging not only an enemy, who can easily seize them, but also rebellion, when they can be mastered at little hazard. But a naval force, if it include a fire-ship, or at any rate materials for making fire-ships, will I think hinder illegal traders, keep the country in awe, and protect us from pirates.
I have endeavoured to hinder illegal trade, but have met with great difficulties, especially in the Courts and the Assembly I enclose a copy of an address to the King about the navigation bonds and a paper from the Committee of Grievances, with two others. They complain of the security required, because I had ordered the Collectors not to accept such poor securities as formerly. The oath is that masters and others who take an account of ships shall give an account on oath of the number of hogsheads and great quantity of bulk tobacco, paying no duty for them, which I think is a fair step to their running tobacco when in England (sic). A great means to check illegal trading and secure the King's Customs would be the appointing of a few certain places for all ships to load and unload at. When I was Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia I tried to bring them to it by degrees by making a law for Ports. People in these parts have been so used to live separately that it is very difficult to bring them at once to cohabit, especially by restraint. In this province I have tried to make an essay of ports and cohabitation, at this place and at the port of Williamstadt on the eastern shore, which are the places where trade naturally was. I have ordered the Pennsylvanians who trade at the head of the bay to come to these places, there being several good cart-roads between the two countries, especially one between Bohemia river in this province and Opoquiminy Creek, which runs into Delaware Bay a few miles below Newcastle. The land-carriage being only about eight or ten miles, they carry boats and shallops of eight or ten tons in sleighs or in great carts. Illegal trade is much practised that way, especially in carrying tobaccos into Delaware, from whence many hundred hogsheads are taken to Scotland and other places. I believe that it will be found, if examination be made, that the Acts of Trade and Navigation are oftener broken than kept there, especially the late Act. The papers enclosed will show you what measures I have taken.
The bounds between Maryland and Pennsylvania are very uncertain, especially in the three lower counties in the territory of Newcastle. In King James's time there was a dispute between Lord Baltimore and Mr. Penn, and I have seen copy of an Order in Council to divide the provinces, but I do not find that the line was ever run. Several of Pennsylvania have tried to encroach upon Maryland, but I shall not be wanting to defend the King's right. I believe it would be for the welfare not only of the King's interest but of both provinces if the boundaries were settled, but I propose that they should not be adjusted until enquiry has been made in these parts, for then the upper part of the bay might be well seated, and be a check to the Pennsylvanians. Then the inhabitants and ships trading from Pennsylvania, who are now furnished with flour, bread and beer from that province, might be supplied by our settlers, the place being very proper for making those commodities, provided no one man were allowed to take up above two or three hundred acres at most. Some persons have taken up great quantities of land both in Virginia and Maryland, of whom few or none are able to improve it all, and this is one great reason why young English Colonists and freed servants leave these Colonies and go either Southward or Northward; for they are naturally ambitious to be landlords, not tenants. Unless I am much mistaken there is little land to be taken up either in Virginia or Maryland except it be several miles beyond any of the inhabitants. Those distant and straggling plantations, where there is often not above one or two men, sometimes tempt the Indians to murder and plunder, while they are on their hunting expeditions or going to or returning from them.
I send a list of Navigation bonds, twenty-eight in all, for which judgments are obtained, a list of 115 on which no certificates are produced, another of 19 for which no certificates are produced and in which declarations are drawn, a fourth list of six for which neither principals nor securities are to be found, and a fifth list of sixty for which legal certificates have been produced. I beg for your orders as to what shall be done concerning the bonds upon which judgment has been or may be obtained, for I have ordered the Crown lawyers to prosecute those that can give no good reason for the suspension of their prosecution. But at the earnest request of the Council, Burgesses and principal inhabitants I suspended the execution of the forfeited bonds until the King's pleasure should be known. If the judgments had been executed I do not know that the King would have got £500 by them; the officers would have been obliged to execute them with vigour, and I did not know what effect it might have had. If the King will grant the petition of the Burgesses (and I must own what they suggest therein to be true), I propose that some of them shall be made examples, especially those who have been illegal traders within these two or three years. Presently after my arrival I gave notice of my intention to prosecute illegal traders, and had it recorded in the Provincial Court, so that they cannot contend that they had no warning. But I observe that in those parts the people begin to pretend custom and to claim that it is common law, which, if it be not timely prevented, may be prejudicial to the King's interest. For if they be allowed the benefit of their old customs, it will be vain for me to prosecute illegal traders or forfeited bonds, or to endeavour to model the country either in church or state.
I would humbly propose that the King should grant an Act of pardon to this province. It has only lately been taken under his immediate Government. The former Government was very loose, and may have been guilty of crimes which they generally pretend were not from disobedience to the laws but from not being used to them. They therefore hope that the King will forgive them. Two women are under sentence of death. I send abstracts of their condemnations, for they are thought fit subjects for the Royal mercy. I send the Collectors' and Naval Officers' list of ships. As the Assembly is not sitting this month and the passage of the bay is very difficult, I could not have them sworn before myself and Council. George Layfield, Collector of Pocomoke, sent me word that sickness had prevented him from sending his list; but these lists will show you the increase and decrease of our trade, mostly depending on the plenty and scarcity of tobacco. During the coldness of late years the production visibly decreaseth, for a great many good planters do not make 2,000lbs. of tobacco a year for a man, whereas formerly 4,000lbs. was considered an ordinary crop. This winter has been the longest known in the memory of man, for it began in the middle of November, and there is little sign of spring yet. It was very uncertain weather, several frosts and snows, one of which was the greatest that has been known. These extraordinary accidents make the planter conclude that he will be obliged at least to leave off planting tobacco or at least give up more of his time to the providing for his family, by reason that his stocks, etc., must be better provided with fodder, etc., for formerly they took little care of them. This long winter is supposed to have spoiled or very much damaged a great deal of the tobacco, and is a great hindrance to the ensuing crop.
It also very much retarded the fleets' loading. I enclose copies of several proceedings therein, in one of which your good offices are entreated to obtain a particular convoy for this province. I send duplicates of a letter from the Council and Burgesses to the late Committee of Trade, and of an Address and Association of the General Assembly, which Association has been signed by the provincial justices, the grand jury, and the officers and non-commissioned officers of the Militia. I beg that these may be presented to the King, as I hear that the originals were lost owing to the captain of the ship that carried them. I beg your pardon for the length of this letter; what it wants in style is made up in the sincerity and truth of it. Signed, Fr. Nicholson. 10 closely written pp. Endorsed, Recd. 21 June, Read 7 July 1697. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 16; and 9. pp. 51–68.]
[March 27.] 863. Abstract of the preceding letter from Governor Nicholson to the Council of Trade. 1½ pp. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 17.]
March 27. 864. A collection of documents forwarded with Governor Nicholson's letter of 27 March, 1697.
864. I. Account of the parishes of Maryland with the names of the vestry and the number of taxables in each of them, and the name of the parish-minister where there is such a one.
ST. MARY'S COUNTY. William and Mary parish. 532 taxables
King and Queen parish 473 "
CALVERT COUNTY. Christchurch parish. 537 "
All Saints parish. 507 "
St. Paul's parish. 500 "
All Faith's parish. 278 "
CHARLES COUNTY. William and Mary parish. 258 "
Port Tobacco parish. 298 "
Nanjemy parish. 175 "
Piscattaway parish. "
ANN ARUNDEL COUNTY. Herring Creek parish. 507 "
South River parish. 460 "
Middle Neck parish. 374 "
Broad Neck parish. 223 "
BALTIMORE COUNTY. Potapsco (or St. Paul's) parish. 218 "
St. John's parish. 128 "
St. Jesye's parish. 137 "
CECIL COUNTY. South Sassafras parish. 350 "
North Sassafras parish. 321 "
KENT COUNTY. Kent Island parish. 146 "
St. Paul's parish. 534 "
TALBOT COUNTY. St. Paul's parish. 606 "
Oxford Town parish. 453 "
St. Michael's parish. 485 "
DORCHESTER COUNTY. Great Choptank parish. 407 "
Dorchester parish. 221 "
SOMERSET COUNTY. Somerset parish. 304 "
Coventry parish. 369 "
Stepney parish. 362 "
Snow Hill parish. 353 "
Each parish has a vestry of six men, whose names are given in full. The whole, 7 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 21 June, Read 15 Oct., 1697. This document is entered entire in Board of Trade. Maryland 9. pp. 150–158.
864. II. A list of several officers of Maryland, with information as to the Indians.
List of the Council of Maryland:—Sir Thomas Laurence, Bart., Secretary, Colonel Henry Jowles, Colonel George Robotham, Colonel Nicholas Greenberry, Thomas Tench, Colonel Charles Hutchins, Colonel David Brown, Colonel John Addison, Colonel John Courts, Thomas Brooke, James Frisby, Edward Randolph.
Justices of the Provincial Court:—
Robert Smith Quorum. Richard Hill Justices.
Henry Lowe Thomas Tasker
Philip Clarke, dismissed by order of the Council Philip Hoskins
Thomas Staley
St. Leger Codd Robert King
John Hammond John Pollard
Edward Jones
William Hatton
Here follow, Lists of the Justices, Sheriffs and Coroners for the various Counties.
A list of the Burgesses for the various Counties, both past and present, who have sat during Governor Nicholson's Government, with the reasons for the withdrawal of such as have gone out. Against this list is written in Governor Nicholson's hand, "The Sheriff's being a place of profit, is given to those who have done his Majesty service in the House and to encourage others to do the like."
An account of the number of taxables in each County in the years 1694, 1695 and 1696. For the most part the Counties show a slight increase excepting Calvert and Talbot, which show a decided decrease. The aggregate numbers are for 1694, 9,847; for 1695, 10,390; for 1696, 10,381.
An account of the nations of Indians residing in Maryland and under treaty with the Government, viz:—
The Emperor of the Nanticokes, which nation consists of ten towns; exact numbers unknown.
The King of Pocomoke. Exact number of towns unknown.
The Emperor of Piscattaway, including the Choptico and Mattawoman Indians, reckoned not to exceed eighty or ninety in number.
The Pamunkey Indians are also subject to this last.
Note inserted by Governor Nicholson. "The Eastern Shore Indians remove very often into Virginia and Pennsylvania, so that it is almost impossible to ascertain their numbers. But the Indians in these parts decrease very much, partly owing to small-pox, 'but the great cause of all is their being so devilishly given to drink.'"
Copies of certain transactions respecting Indians in the General Assembly, namely as to an offer of a treaty by the Senecas, Susquehannahs and Shawanoes, and as to encroachments by Delaware Indians from Pennsylvania.
A further list of the officers of Government, viz., Attorney-General, George Plater, Solicitor-General, William Dent; King's Counsel, Robert Goldsburrough. Commissioners of the Court of Chancery, Henry Jowles, Kenelm Cheseldyn, Edward Dorsey; Registrar, John Freeman. Judges of Admiralty, George Robotham, Nicholas Greenberry. Collectors, George Plater, George Muschamp, George Layfield. Naval Officers, Samuel Watkins, Henry Denton, John Tomson, Thomas Collier, William Dent, Robert King. Riding Surveyors of Customs, Henry Collier, Daniel Peirce. Recommended for vacancies in Council, Robert Quarry ("if he came to live here"), Henry Lowe, John Hammond and John Tasker, of the Provincial Court ("for if Chief Justice Robert Smith be removed, I do not know how to fill his place"), Edward Dorsey, William Frisby, Francis Jinkins, William Hatton, Thomas Smith. Inscribed, Recd. 21 June, Read 13 Aug., 1697. The whole, 10½ pp. Entered in Board of Trade. Maryland, 9. pp. 74–87.
864. III. Copies of several documents relating to privateers and runaway seamen.
Orders of Governor Nicholson to Captain Josias Daniel, H.M.S. Prince of Orange, and other of his officers to go by land to attack a privateer now lying in Delaware Bay. Dated, 13 October, 1696. Journal of Lieutenants William Ockman and Isaac Young, of H.M.S. Prince of Orange, on their voyage from Annapolis to Philadelphia. They embarked in a sloop at Annapolis on 14 October, went round by sea to French town on Elk River, where they landed, seized Captain Day, a privateer, and most of his officers, who were ashore at Newcastle, and then going on board his ship found that he had a commission from Governor Markham of Pennsylvania. However they placed the vessel in possession of Major Danielson, who presently came ashore and desired them to lay down their arms, as he feared the men might damage the town. The officers agreed, provided Danielson would produce the arms if asked for, for the people of the town had made the men drunk. The people showed great hostility, and Major Danielson said that if he had known of their coming he would have prevented their entering the town. Shortly afterwards one of the officers went to Philadelphia, where Governor Markham at first threatened to arrest him and the whole of his party, but became milder on seeing his commissions and orders. From information obtained in Philadelphia there was reason to believe that Day was countenanced by Governor Markham. On the officer's return to Newcastle, Danielson told him that eight of his men had run away.
Here follow further depositions, going to prove that John Day was a pirate; three letters from Francis Jones of Philadelphia to Governor Nicholson, together with further depositions to the same effect, also testifying to the seduction of seamen by Day, and to the protection given to runaway seamen by the Governor and Magistrates; a minute of the Maryland Council, 14 December, 1696, recommending that a report of these matters be sent home and that the opinion of the Grand Jury and County Courts should meanwhile be obtained thereon; three proclamations against the enticing away of inhabitants and the harbouring of runaway seamen; orders to the rangers to arrest any travellers without foreign passes; and a letter reporting the prevalence of illicit trade between Carolina and St. Thomas, West Indies. The whole, 33 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 21 June, Read 15 Oct., 1697.
864. IV. Copies of documents concerning the question of forfeited bonds.
Address of the House of Burgesses to the King. Praying him to save many of the merchants from ruin. Many of the ships formerly trading to Maryland did not give bond, but the masters persuaded the said merchants to become their securities that they should observe the Acts of Trade. The masters ungratefully and dishonestly neglected their promise, and judgment is now given against their securities. We believe most of these men to have been innocently seduced, and that they had no design of advantage to themselves.
Minute of the Committee of Grievances, 13 May, 1696, pointing out that the strictness of taking security from ships' masters is driving trade away. Message of the House of Burgesses, asking the Governor to represent this to the Commissioners of Customs.
Extracts of a message from the Burgesses to the Governor and Council, asking them to join in an address to the King for relief of several persons under penal navigation bonds.
Several orders of the Governor of Maryland in Council, respecting the strict enforcement of the Acts of Trade and Navigation; reports of the law-officers of Maryland as to the Act for regulating the Plantation Trade, and returns of the sheriffs upon the Governor's order respecting that Act. The whole, 9 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 21 June, Read 16 Aug., 1697.
864. V. A collection of lists of Navigation Bonds, 28 for which judgment has been obtained; 115 for which no certificates are produced; 19 for which no certificates are produced and on which declarations are drawn; 6 of which neither principals nor securities can be found; 60 for which legal certificates have been produced. The whole, 6 large sheets.
864. VI. Copies of several minutes of Council of General Assembly of Maryland, October, 1695, and March, May and July, 1696, respecting the maintenance of the Rangers, 3 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 21 June; Read 15 Oct., 1697.
864. VII. Records of the trial and condemnation of two women in Maryland, the one for murdering her bastard child, the other for murdering a negro boy. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 21 June, Read 16 Aug., 1697.
864. VIII. Copies of several documents respecting the unreadiness of the Maryland fleet to sail.
Petition of the merchant-captains to Commodore Charles Wager, asking for longer time to load the fleet, owing to the backwardness of the crop, the lack of seamen, owing to the desertion of many, and the encouragement given to such deserters in Pennsylvania.
Endorsement of the petition by the Justices of the Provincial Court, 4 December, 1696, by the Council, 11 December, 1696, and by the sheriffs and others in the counties, 19 March, 1697.
Copies of the minutes of Council of Maryland, 18, 19 and 21 February, 1697, concerning the delaying of the homeward-bound fleet, and the expediency of establishing a Maryland convoy apart from Virginia. 11 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 21 June, Read 16 Aug., 1697.
864. IX. Addresses of the Council and Burgesses of Maryland to the King. Congratulations on his good health and the success of his arms. Copy. 2 pp. Endorsed. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. Nos. 17 I.–IX.]
March 27. 865. Memorandum of the receipt of an account of ships entered and cleared in Maryland from 1689 to 1696, enclosed in Governor Nicholson's letter of 27 March. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 18.]
[March 27.] 866. Memorandum of the names of the persons proposed by Governor Nicholson to fill vacancies in the Council of Maryland. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 19.]
March 27.
867. The Mayor of Exeter to William Popple. In reply to yours of 16th it is presumed that all our ships from Spain or Portugal are already sailed for Newfoundland, and all now bound for Lixª are under their convoy, and as we believe might sail from Plymouth last Thursday. The public news informs us that a strong French squadron is departing by the 10th of April, so we beg that our designed convoy for retaking Newfoundland may be forthwith despatched, our fishing ships being ready manned and victualled to attend their coming down. The merchants desire to know for certain when they will come, and that one of the convoys may be ordered to call at our bar for such ships as are ready. Signed, Chr. Bale. ¾ p. Endorsed, Recd., Read, 29 March, 1697. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 67.]
March 27.
868. Extract from a letter from Sir William Beeston to William Blathwayt. The advice that we had of Pointis's fleet from our hills was a mistake. Our sloop that watches his fleet saw the whole twenty-six sail at anchor at Cape Tiburon on the 19th inst. and after sending me notice sailed back again to watch them, but on reaching Tiburon on the 24th found them all gone. We conclude therefore that they are gone to Porto Bello, from whence the Admiral of the galleons has written to ask me for more intelligence. I have sent his sloop back to him with all haste in the hope that she may arrive in time to enable them to place themselves in a posture of defence, for they had done little when she came away. We were as well prepared for them as we were able. The ships of war, posted to the best advantage, and the six fire ships by them, lay ready at the entrance of the harbour; and the ships, Fort Charles, and the lines on shore could have brought about two hundred guns to bear on them. If they had attempted the fort I am in hopes that our fire-ships, if successful, might have destroyed them, or at least we should have galled them that they would have had little stomach to have attempted a landing on the main island. But it is best that we have missed them, for our men are but few, and we cannot well spare them; but how now to pay the charge it has cost us I cannot see by any means, for owing to our being so constantly harassed by them there is no trade and therefore little revenue. To call an Assembly to raise the money will be to little purpose, for since no ships come to bring us supplies or take away our produce, this will be an excuse to them to refuse raising anything. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd., Read, 7 June, 1697. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 47; and 56. pp. 106–107.]
March 27. 869. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. James Bannister summoned to attend next Council and be sworn of the Council. Orders for discharge of all the fire-ships excepting two, for the accounts of the late preparations to be audited, for the provisions that have been taken up to remain in the Commissary's hands for one month longer, for the King's arms and money to be brought in by those to whom they have been given, for a proclamation to regulate the sale of provisions, for the embargo on shipping to be removed, for an abstract of the debts and credit of the revenue to be prepared, for the payment of workmen employed during the late preparations, for £150 of the King's bounty-money to be distributed among the poor people to Windward, and for martial law to cease in a week. Order for payment of a quarter's salary to the Governor, and of half a year's salary to the gunner, and for the Court-house to be fitted up. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 79. pp. 59–63.]
March 27. 870. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Another sloop hired to cruise for discovery of the enemy. A draft answer to the officer in the French flag of truce was read and approved. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 199–200.]
March 28.
871. Captain St. Lo, R.N., to William Popple. I forward the receipt for the packet for Lieutenant-Governor Stoughton. The ship sailed to-day in company with one of the King's hired ships, which I hope will ensure her getting safe out of the channel. The Captain has orders to sink the dispatches rather than let them fall into the enemy's hands. Signed, G. St. Lo. 1 p. Enclosed,
871. I. Receipt of John Bavincott, master mariner, for a packet addressed to Lieutenant-Governor Stoughton. Scrap. The whole endorsed, Recd. 31 March. Read, 1 April, 1697. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. Nos. 79, 79 I.]
March 28.
872. Richard Usticke to Council of Trade and Plantations. I enclose a petition from the merchants, also a letter from Mr. Davie, our most eminent merchant here, complaining of the hardship done to him in impressing one of his men. Signed, Richard Usticke. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 31 March, Read 1 April, 1697. Enclosed,
872. I. Petition of merchants of Bideford trading to Newfoundland to Council of Trade and Plantations. We have several ships awaiting the arrival at Milford of H.M.S. Crown, which is charged to convoy them to Waterford and thence to Newfoundland. We hear that the French are sending out a considerable squadron of land-forces to keep Newfoundland from us, being designed to sail at the beginning of April. We beg that the ships and forces from England designed to retake Newfoundland and to secure our ships may be departing before our fishing-ships sail from Waterford. The season is far advanced, and if our fishing-ships arrive at Newfoundland before the men-of-war, they may fall a prey to the French. Nineteen signatures. 1 p. Endorsed, Read 1 April, 1697.
872. II. John Davie to Richard Usticke, Bideford, 28 March, 1697. On my petition to the Admiralty that the seamen and others belonging to any ships fitting out for Newfoundland might not be impressed, the Secretary, Mr. Bridgeman, wrote to me that there was a general order against impressing such men. Yet, though I showed this order to Mr. John Power, he yesterday pressed a man belonging to one of the ships bound to Newfoundland, a fellow who was never at sea. If it be allowed that our men are liable to be impressed there is no hope of getting men to send on the voyage. Please acquaint the Council of Trade hereof and obtain relief. Signed, John Davie. ¾ p. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. Nos. 68, 68 I., II.]
March 29.
873. John Sansom to William Popple. After perusal of yours of 23rd inst. (No. 844) the Commissioners of Customs are disposed to restore to John Graves his commission, if the Council of Trade has no objection. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. p. 61.]
March 29. 874. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Order for a letter to be written to Mr. Randolph (see No. 885).
Mr. Sansom's letter of this day read (No. 873), and Mr. Bulkley and Mr. Graves both being present, the former's complaints were heard, and the Secretary was directed to write to Mr. Sansom thereupon (No. 877). Captain Webb attended and produced a minute of the Privy Council of 25th inst. (No. 855), which he desired to be printed in the Gazette. The Secretary was directed to give thereof to Mr. Yard, and acquainted Captain Webb of the article in the address of the House of Lords that he might acquaint the Proprietors of the Bahamas thereof.
The draft circular in conformity with the address was considered, and the Secretary directed to ask the Attorney General for the form of a bond.
Mr. Nelson attended on the question of the English title to Port Royal in Nova Scotia, and promised to put his information into writing.
Mr. Blathwayt acquainting the Council of the King's resolve that the whole of the Newfoundland fleet should sail together, the Council immediately wrote to Sir William Trumbull upon the matter of victualling the forces (No. 875). The Mayor of Exeter's letter of 27th received (No. 867), and an answer to it deferred.
The New York Agents reported that they could get no money from the Commissioners of Sick and Wounded for their Indians, and asked the Council for a recommendation to admit them to a sight of the ships at Chatham, since they were shewing them the most remarkable sights of the city. The Secretary accordingly drew up a paper for them. [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 49–52.]
March 29.
875. Council of Trade and Plantations to Secretary Trumbull. We have received the King's orders that all the men-of-war for Newfoundland shall sail together. We must point out that at present, upon the supposition of the squadron's being divided, the victuallers have been ordered to supply but three months' provisions for the 450 foot soldiers and 60 artillerymen in the transports, and that it was intended to send nine months' provisions by the last ships of the squadron to serve that number of men so many months longer, for probably at least that number will be left at Newfoundland for the winter. We beg you to represent to the King the need of sending a further supply of provisions with the squadron, or later on with a sufficient convoy, which latter we conceive will be more expensive and more hazardous. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. pp. 103–104.]
March 30. 876. Gilbert Heathcote to William Popple. The bearer, Mr. Yellowton, would gladly send sixty or eighty of his men in the Chatham, man-of-war, to Jamaica. They are tradesmen, and would be valuable to the island by their trades as well as by their help, so it were to be wished that their free passages could be secured in the man-of-war. He will send them himself to the Downs. Signed, Gilbert Heathcote. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd., Read, 31 March, 1697. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 51; and 56. p. 85.]
March 30.
877. William Popple to John Sansom. With reference to yours of 29th inst. (No. 873), the Council of Trade having enquired in some measure into Thomas Bulkley's allegations against John Graves, have received no such proof of them as to disqualify Mr. Graves from holding the place to which the Commissioners of Customs had appointed him. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. p. 63.]
March 30.
878. William Popple to the Attorney General. The House of Lords has addressed the King to ask that the Proprietors of the Colonies to which he does not nominate a Governor, may be required to give security that the Governors appointed by them shall obey all royal instructions respecting the Acts of Trade and Navigation. Please draw up a form of bond for such security. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. pp. 62–63.]
March 30.
879. Clerk of House of Burgesses of Virginia to Council of Trade and Plantations. Forwarding the journal of the House of Burgesses during the session begun 24 September, 1696, and duplicate of the journal for the session begun 23 April, 1695. Noted in the margin, "I suppose it should be 1696. W.P." ¼ p. Endorsed, Recd. 21 June, Read 20 Aug., 1697.
Duplicate of the foregoing, addressed to the Duke of Shrewsbury. Endorsed, Recd. 21 June, Read 23 Aug., 1697. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. Nos. 12, 13.]
March 30.
880. Governor Nicholson to the Duke of Shrewsbury. I thank you for your gracious letter of 14 January, 1696. I hope I may never do anything to make you withdraw your protection from me. I send copies of several papers, and Colonel Quarry, who bears this, can give you full information as to privateers and illegal trade. If you have a mind for any rarities from these parts, as plants, seeds, etc., I shall think it an honour to send them. Signed, Fr. Nicholson. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 558. No. 2.]
March 30. 881. Journal of General Assembly of Massachusetts. Votes for payment of £1 13s. 0d., for entertainment of a Committee of the General Assembly, of £15 18s. 0d. to Elizabeth Stover, of £30 a year to Captain Ephraim Savage as one Commissioner of Debentures, and of £70 a year to Major John Walley as a second Commissioner and also Commissioner for War, agreed to. Committee sanctioned to examine the accounts of the prison-keeper in Boston. Captain William Bassett's petition on behalf of the town of Sandwich referred to the Assembly to be held in May.
March 31. Voted in concurrence with the Representatives that the Treasury give credit for certain unendorsed bills, and that applications be made to Connecticut and Rhode Island for men, money and provisions for the war, and that £65 13s. be allowed to Major Benjamin Church for his service with the forces last summer. Order for reprinting certain Acts for suppression of vice, sent down to the Representatives and concurred with. Votes for a few small payments received from the Representatives, and agreed to. The Lieutenant-Governor then dissolved the Assembly. [Board of Trade. New England, 48. pp. 132–138.]
March 31. 882. Minutes of Council of Virginia. The Governor put off the Council, there being a meeting of the College this day. The Sheriff of James City was appointed to attend next General Court, with his officers. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 53. p. 57.]
March 31. 883. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Ordered that as soon as H.M. ship Colchester shall arrive from the Leeward Islands, from which her speedy despatch has been promised, the fleet of merchantmen may depart under convoy of the King's frigates, and are hereby directed to be ready. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. p. 200.]
March 31. 884. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Gilbert Heathcote's letter of yesterday read (No. 876). Order for a representation to be drawn accordingly.
Mr. Bulkley presenting another petition similar to the last, he was informed that he must seek redress against Mr. Graves by legal process, but that on other matters a letter should be written to quicken the Proprietors of the Bahamas in answering the question put to them. Mr. Graves presented a paper as to the present state of the Bahamas, which was read.
Lord Bellomont's Commission as Governor of New Hampshire agreed upon, and a copy ordered to be sent to him, with an intimation that none of his Commissions should be laid before the King until he should move about them, but that they had better be passed as soon as possible.