America and West Indies: April 1697, 1-10

Pages 433-442

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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April 1697

April 1. Commissioner St. Lo's letter of 28 March read (No. 871).
Mr. Usticke's letter of 29 March and its enclosure read (No. 872). Order for a copy of Mr. Davie's letter to be sent to the Admiralty, and directions given for a reply to Mr. Usticke.
Letter to the Duke of Shrewsbury as to emigrants for Jamaica signed (No. 886). [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 52–55.]
April 1.
885. William Popple to Edward Randolph. Since you are returning to America, the Council of Trade, being sensible of your great knowledge and experience in all matters relating to the advantage of the Plantations, desire you from time to time to give an account of whatsoever you shall judge proper for their knowledge. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. p. 138.]
April 1.
886. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Shrewsbury. The following report (see next abstract) was to have been presented to the King this afternoon, if a Council had been held. Since a speedy decision is necessary, please lay it before the King for his orders. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 56. p. 85.]
April 1.
887. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. We have before represented to you the want of inhabitants in Jamaica. We are now informed by the Agents of the Island that Mr. Jeffery Yellowton has prevailed with sixty or eighty laborious tradesmen to be transported thither, provided they may have their passage and provisions at your charge in one of the men-of-war bound thither. We recommend that these men may be so transported, provided that it does not delay the sailing of the ship. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 56. p. 86.]
April 2.
888. John Whitrow to William Popple. By last post one of the Council of Trade informed me that the Newfoundland convoy would sail very speedily, and that one man-of-war would go before to collect the outward-bound ships from the Western ports at Plymouth, there to await the coming of the rest, if they were not already gone thither. Our ships have been ready for some time and only await a convoy to Plymouth, since it is very dangerous for them to sail alone, many ships having been lately surprised in their passage thither. It seems very long before our ships are gone, for it is high time that they were on their way to Newfoundland. Signed, John Whitrow, jun. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd., Read 5 April, 1697. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 69.]
April 3. 889. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Two merchant ships were hired to go out with the frigates against the French ships lying off the island. Orders for payments on account of military and naval services. Proclamation that seamen freely going on board the ships shall receive reward and competent provision if they be wounded or disabled. Order for seventy of the King's soldiers to be put on board the ships. Order as to hiring and victualling of sloops for the island's service, and for payment of £10 table-money to the King's captains. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 200–201.]
April 3.
890. Duke of Shrewsbury to Council of Trade and Plantations. Your memorial of 1st inst., respecting the tradesmen to be sent to Jamaica, has by the King's command been sent to the Admiralty with orders to comply with what is desired as far as they possibly can, and give the necessary directions accordingly. Signed, Shrewsbury. ¼ p. Endorsed, Recd., Read 5 April, 1697. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 52; and 56. p. 87.]
April 3. 891. Earl of Bellomont to William Popple. I have perused and examined the three commissions sent to me, and find nothing to except against but that in the commission for New York one power possessed by Colonel Fletcher is left out, viz. that of suspending Patent Officers in case of misbehaviour. If this clause be omitted after deliberation, I submit to the Council's decision, otherwise I think I might as well be trusted with it as Colonel Fletcher, though I hope I shall always be cautious in the exercise of it. If the clause be inserted in the New York commission, the same reason will hold good for the other commissions. I see no reason why Patent Officers should be exempted from the Governor's power of suspension any more than Councillors; and it may happen that it may be more needed in the case of a Patent Officer, for, supposing that such a one is accountant to the King and be proved guilty of embezzling the revenue, what can be more criminal or better deserving of suspension? I put this case only by way of supposition. Pray move the Council to make my commission for New Hampshire part of that for Massachusetts or for New York, which I presume may be done by a distinct clause in either commission. I venture to think that my powers may be well enough expressed in such a clause, and I am sure that my charge will be thereby abridged; but I acquiesce in all things in the Council's pleasure. I intend to wait on the Council with a memorial between this and next Wednesday, and I hope that in the meantime I may have copy of my instructions, that I may insert any suggestions arising therefrom in the said memorial. Signed, Bellomont. 1½ pp. Inscribed, Recd., Read 5 April, 1697. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 80.]
April 3. 892. The Solicitor General to Council of Trade and Plantations. With reference to the laws of New York referred to me by Mr. Popple's letter of 28 December last, I have considered the said laws and report as follows. Here follows a complete list of the Acts with a short paragraph describing the purport of each. I conceive all these Acts to be agreeable to law and not prejudicial to the Royal prerogative, with the following exception. That for declaring the rights and privileges of the inhabitants of New York, declares the rights of the Representatives are to be freedom from arrest during the Assembly except in cases of treason and felony. I suggest that breach of the peace should also be excepted. In the Act to restrain pirates the statute of Henry VIII. is wrongly quoted. There are also two private Acts as to which I can give no opinion, having no one to give me satisfaction as to the truth of the matters therein suggested. Signed, Jo. Hawles. 7 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 7 April, 1697. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 16; and 52. pp. 95–111.]
April 4.
893. Richard Usticke to William Popple. Yours of 1st inst. has been communicated to the merchants, who are mighty concerned at intelligence of thirty ships of force being gone to Newfoundland from France. Notwithstanding their vast charge in equipping ships, getting letters of marque, etc., I fear they will hardly adventure that way this year, the more so since they are informed that the Crown is still at Plymouth, and is not yet victualled for her own company. They believe that if the French fortify Newfoundland it can hardly be recovered, so they fear that most considerable trade and nursery for seamen is quite lost. However Mr. Davie (being unwilling after such expense to keep all at home) would adventure one ship of 24 guns with the grand fleet, if any goes, and would be glad to know in what English port it will rendezvous. Signed, Richd. Usticke. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 7, Read 8 April, 1697. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 70.]
April 5. 894. Memorial of merchants and others concerned in New England to Council of Trade and Plantations. New England having been depopulated, brought into a miserable condition by the war, and unable without succour from England to resist the growing power of France, we support the following measures as absolutely necessary to hearten the people, secure the trade and prevent the total loss of the Colonies. A Governor should be sent out with a thousand men, well provided with arms and ammunition, over and above those already at New York. Also there should be sent out sixty cannon (many of those in the forts being defective) with ammunition for them and for those already in the forts, four frigates (a third-rate, a fifth-rate, and two fourth-rates) and a fire-ship, besides the small frigates already on the station, which are too weak to deal with the men-of-war lately sent by the French King. In the winter, when the frigates are generally laid up because they cannot cruise, some of them should be employed to convoy ships to the West Indies. A great many inhabitants of New England have been pressed on board men-of-war from ships arriving from thence, whereby their families have been brought to great distress and the country's trade almost stopped for want of seamen. Care should be taken for the protection of those seamen in England and for their return to the Colonies. Many seamen have also deserted from men-of-war and other ships to Rhode Island, where they have been protected and have gone on piratical voyages. Care should be taken to prevent this practice. Certain persons have lately petitioned for a charter for working copper-mines in New England. Their petition was rejected in King James's time and in the present reign, but they are again endeavouring, under pretext of supplying naval stores, searching for copper and establishing a fishery, to monopolise the whole trade of New England to the ruin of the country and people. No charter should be granted until the merchants and Assembly of New England have had the opportunity of giving their reasons against it. Convoys have lately been appointed for mast-ships only and not for others, though of much greater value and importance to the Crown; they should be chargeable with the protection of other ships to or from New England. New England, New York and other Colonies should be united, and no duty or imports paid upon goods or merchandise passing from one Colony to another. Finally, we think it would be much for the honour of the Crown and for the interest, trade and security of all the plantations in America if Canada, the fountain of all the miseries of New England, were reduced. Fifty-nine signatures. Large sheet. Endorsed, Recd., Read 5 April, 1697. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 81; and 36. pp. 149–151.]
April 5. 895. Earl of Bellomont to William Popple. The enclosed memorial contains every suggestion that I can think of. I will wait on the Council on Wednesday or Thursday morning to know how they approve of it. Colonel Fletcher's Agents tell me that it is absolutely necessary to send recruits to complete the four hundred men in the King's pay in New York, as also that their pay should for the future be made English pay, which would be a means to prevent them from deserting, as the Agents say that they now do. If the King agree as to the pay, then the chaplain, surgeon and gunners will be deprived of the pay which they now receive; part is supplied out of the difference of exchange between New York and English money. Pray propose to the Council how the chaplain, surgeon and gunners shall be maintained. Signed, Bellomont. 1 p. Enclosed,
895. I. Memorial of the Earl of Bellomont to Council of Trade and Plantations. I shall not trouble you with any requests for supplies of ships, men and stores of war, as I understand that these matters have already been represented to you by the merchants and by the Agents for the Colonies. Pray move the King for a good fourth-rate ship to transport me and my family, and for the transport of my goods in another ship. I hear that H.M.S. Fowey is ordered immediately to New York to relieve the Richmond. Pray move that she may be stopped in order to be joined by the other ships appointed for me, for my greater security. I beg you to propose to the King such a salary as you think suitable to the dignity of the Governments and to the support of the necessary charge. 1½ pp. The whole endorsed, Recd. 6th, Read 7th April, 1697. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. Nos. 82, 82I.]
April 5. 896. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Lord Bellomont's letter of 3rd inst. to the Secretary read (No. 891). The Secretary was directed to answer that the Council was ready to meet his wishes, and desired him to draw up a clause joining the commission for New Hampshire to one of the others.
Four letters from the Governor of New York of 23 November and 15 December, received and read.
Mr. John Whitrow's letter of 2nd inst. read (No. 888). Mr. Cary desiring that H.M.S. Crown might be directed to stay longer than had been proposed at Waterford, was directed to speak with Mr. Hammond. Order for payment of £6 for two maps of Newfoundland.
Order for copies of certain of Mr. Penn's papers to be made.
The gentlemen interested in the trade of New England attended and presented a memorial (No. 894), to which they added many things in discourse, insisting chiefly on the need for a reformation of the Government of Rhode Island, which was a nest of pirates.
The Duke of Shrewsbury's letter of 3rd inst. as to sending tradesmen to Jamaica read (No. 890). Order for the contents to be communicated to Mr. Gilbert Heathcote.
Order for the Secretary to write to Mr. Micaiah-Perry as to the Virginia fleet and ask for his suggestions. [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 56–59.]
April 6.
897. William Bridgeman to William Popple. The men-of-war designed for Newfoundland are all at Spithead, ready to proceed. Pray inform the Council of Trade. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. ¼ p. Endorsed, Recd., Read 7 April, 1697. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 71; and 25. p. 104.]
April 6.
898. William Popple to Gilbert Heathcote. Upon the perusal of yours of 30 March a representation to the King was immediately prepared, dated 1 April (No. 887). The Duke of Shrewsbury answers that the King has given orders to the Admiralty to comply as far as possible with the recommendation for the transport of the tradesmen for Jamaica on board one of the men-of-war. What more may be needful is remitted to your care. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 56. pp. 87–88.]
April 7. 899. Draft of a clause for the prevention of stock-jobbing, to be inserted in the charter of the Company for working coppermines in New England. 1 p. Endorsed, Presented by Dr. Cox, Colonel Lidgett, etc. Recd., Read 7 April, 1697. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 83.]
April 7. 900. Memorial of the Virginia merchants to Council of Trade and Plantations. By our advices we have reason to think that our fleet from Virginia and Maryland sailed at the end of February and so may be daily expected. At the end of February we informed the Admiralty that we had received such advices and prayed that a squadron might be sent to meet them for their safety; since which we have learned (by letters from France as also from masters of ships and others lately come from thence) that there is a great equipment of ships in France to intercept our fleet. We have represented this to the King and to the Admiralty, who promised to send out ships as soon as possible, though want of provisions has prevented it from being done sooner. We beg your further interposition on our behalf, that the ships may be hastened and may be ordered to cruise until they meet with our fleet and bring them in safely. Signed, Micaiah Perry, and by seven others. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. and Read, 7 April, 1697. Attached,
900. I. Extract from a letter from France, 24 March, 1697. Feeling sure that you and your friends are interested in the fleet expected from Virginia, I think fit to advise you that a squadron is fitting out in our ports to intercept it. The recent capture of two small vessels from thence, which had a considerable sum of money on board, has encouraged the fitting out of these ships. Therefore take your measures. You may depend upon this information, for I have it from a good source. Memo. The two brigantines here mentioned had a considerable parcel of the gold that was taken by Every and his crew on board. French, with an English translation below. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. and Read 7 April, 1697. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. Nos. 14, 14I.; and 37. pp. 31, 32.]
April 7.
901. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Shrewsbury. We have received a memorial from the merchants trading to Virginia and Maryland (see No. 900), which we beg you to lay before the King. The Virginia and Maryland fleet according to the best information consists of near 150 vessels, whereof about fifty are of between four and five hundred tons, loaded with from seventy to eighty thousand hogsheads of tobacco. This will give the King £200,000 in customs, and to the country a much greater profit by exportation. Please point out to the King that the squadron sent to guard this fleet will be of equal security to the West Indies and Canary fleet. Signed, Tankerville, Phil. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 37. p. 33.]
April 7.
902. William Popple to the Secretaries of the Admiralty. With reference to Mr. Bridgeman's letter of yesterday, the Council of Trade desire to know how many men-of-war are ready at Spithead, their names, and how many land-forces they can conveniently carry. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. p. 104.]
April 7.
903. J. Burchett to William Popple. The ships at Spithead ready to proceed to Newfoundland are the Monk, Lion, Guernsey and Portland, fourth rates; the Lyme, Mary, galley, Suffolk and Hunter (fire-ships), fifth rates; Seahorse and Dunwich, sixth rates; Comet and Blunt, bombs; the Etna fire-ship is ordered from Plymouth to Spithead. My Lords believe they can carry between seven and eight hundred soldiers, and they think that a paper concerning their distribution has been given to Mr. Blathwayt. Signed, J. Burchett. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 8 April, 1697. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 72; and 25. p. 105.]
April 7. 904. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Bridgeman's letter of yesterday as to the Newfoundland squadron read (No. 897). Orders for the Secretary's reply (No. 902). Mr. Mandit suggesting that 500 men, who had been expelled from Newfoundland, would be very serviceable in retaking it, the Council informed him that they had considered the subject, but would gladly hear one whom he recommended to them as possessing further information.
The Acts of New York were received back from the Solicitor General.
The Virginia merchants presented a memorial, on which the Council immediately wrote a letter to the Duke of Shrewsbury (Nos. 900, 901).
Lord Bellomont's memorial of 5th inst. read (No. 895). The Secretary was directed to inform him that it was important to settle the drafts of the commissions as soon as possible, and that he was desired to offer his opinions as to the question of his salary in New York and Massachusetts.
The gentlemen interested in mines in New England brought up the draft of a clause against stock-jobbing, and one of them produced specimens of pure native copper from his pocket, while another said that he had seen copper-ore melted and purified in New England.
April 8. Mr. Burchett's letter of yesterday read (No. 903). Order for advice thereof and of Colonel Gibsone's departure to be sent to all the outports. Mr. Usticke's letter of 4th inst. read (No. 893). Order for it to be answered as above expressed. Colonel Gibsone came to take leave, when the Council communicated the aforesaid letter to him, and wished him success.
Orders given for the Secretary to write to the Attorney-General as to bonds to be given by Proprietors of Plantations (No. 908).
Letter of this day from Lord Bellomont read, and a representation drawn and signed thereupon (Nos. 909, 910).
On the application of the New York Agents, the Secretary was ordered to write to the Admiralty about a passage for the two Indians to New York.
April 9. The Duke of Shrewsbury's letter of yesterday as to the memorial of the Virginia merchants read (No. 905).
Order for the Secretary to write again to Mr. Thornburgh as to the business of the Bahamas, and threaten to report the Proprietors to the King unless they answer.
Draft bond for the Proprietors of Plantations received from the Attorney-General.
Mr. Nicoll presented the two Mohawk Indians to the Council.
Order for a letter to be written to the Secretaries of the Admiralty as to the Newfoundland convoys (No. 907). [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 57–67.]
April 8.
Hyde Park.
905. The Duke of Shrewsbury to Council of Trade and Plantations. I have acquainted the King with your letter of the 7th and the memorial of the Virginia merchants (see Nos. 900, 901), and by his command have sent them to the Admiralty and recommended the matter to their care, though the King has no doubt that they have already ordered out a squadron to secure the Virginia trade. Signed, Shrewsbury. ¼ p. Endorsed, Recd. 8 April, Read 9 April, 1697. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 15; and 37. p. 34.]
[April 8.] 906. Distribution of the land forces in the fleet bound to Newfoundland, thirteen ships in all, of which three carry 100 men, two 90 men, two 50 men and six 30 men apiece. Total, 760 men. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 8 April, 1697. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 73.]
April 8.
907. William Popple to the Mayors of Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth, Dartmouth, Weymouth, Poole, Bideford, and Barnstaple. The squadron designed for Newfoundland is actually at Spithead, and Colonel Gibsone is gone down to Portsmouth to embark and to sail by first fair wind. H.M.S. Crown will, I hope, be at Milford in time enough to follow after. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. p. 106.]
April 8.
908. William Popple to the Attorney-General. Asking that the form of bond asked for in his letter of 30 March (No. 878) may be despatched, as also the Acts of Massachusetts sent to him for his opinion. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. p. 64.]
April 8. 909. Earl of Bellomont to William Popple. I return the copies of the three commissions, and have nothing to suggest except that the clause empowering me to suspend Patent Officers should be inserted in the body of the commission rather than in the instructions. The matter seems to me to belong rather to a commission than instructions, and there is a precedent in Colonel Fletcher's commission. If the Council agrees, the clause may be ready to be laid before the King in Council this evening, and I am very desirous that the King may see that something is doing towards my despatches. I am willing to submit to the Council's pleasure as to the Governments of Massachusetts and New Hampshire being put into one commission. To-morrow I will give the Council my thoughts on my draft instructions for New York. Signed, Bellomont. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 8 April, 1697. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 84.]
April 8.
910. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Submitting draft commissions to Lord Bellomont as Governor of New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and as Commander-in-Chief also of all the forces in Connecticut, Rhode Island and the Jerseys. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. New England, 36. p. 152.]
April 8.
911. Order of the King in Council. Approving the draft Commissions of Lord Bellomont, as in preceding abstract. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 19 April, 1697. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 85; and 36. p. 158.]
April 8.
912. Order of the King in Council. On the petition of Gilbert Heathcote, praying the royal assent to two Bills concerning the estates of William Truxton and John Childermas, the said bills are referred to the Council of Trade for report. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 14 April, 1697. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 53; and 56. p. 91.]
April 8. 913. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. On the petition of John Usher, the custody and management of his insane brother's estate was entrusted to him, on condition that he present accounts thereof to the Council. Order for payment of £10 to Richard Honnywell, disabled by wounds received in the service of the Colony. Order for the Treasurer to accept and pay all notes or debentures, to the value of £2,000, drawn upon him by the Commissioners for war and provisions. Order appointing a fast day, and that John Danforth preach to the General Assembly on the last Wednesday in May next. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 79–81.]
April 9. 914. The Attorney-General to Council of Trade and Plantations. I have perused twenty Acts of the Assembly of Maryland (list given) which have been submitted to me. I find nothing to object to therein, except that the Act for Appeals and for regulating writs of error confines appeals to the King in Council to cases in which £300 or more is in question, which ought not to be, unless this is agreeable to their charter. It should be considered also how far the Act for impost on certain exports may affect the King's customs, as also the duty of 10 per cent. on English goods re-exported. There are also two Acts to revive expiring Acts, on which I can form no judgement, not having the expiring Acts before me. I have also examined nine Acts (list given) passed in Jamaica between March and August, 1695, and find nothing to object except that in two private Bills there is no clause to save the rights of strangers, nor in one of them a clause to save the King's rights, as there should be. Signed, Tho. Trevor. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Read 26 April, 1697. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 54; and (so far as relates to Jamaica) 56. pp. 92–93.]
April 9. 915. The Attorney-General to William Popple. Forwarding the form of bond required in his letter of 30 March (No. 878). Signed, Tho. Trevor. ¼ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 9 April, 1697. Enclosed,
915. I. Form of bond to oblige Proprietors of Plantations to cause their Deputy-Governors to obey the King's orders as to the Acts of Trade. 1½ pp. [America and West Indies. 601. No. 43, 43 I.; and Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. pp. 65–66.]
April 9. 916. Earl of Bellomont to William Popple. Among my instructions as Governor of New York is one which might be reasonable if I were Governor of New York only, but which (as I am also to be Governor of New England and New Hampshire) would be a manifest hardship to me. I mean that which obliges me to give half my salary and perquisites to my Lieutenant-Governor during my absence from New York. The Council will, I think, grant that this would be unreasonable in my case, for my duty may call me sometimes into the other provinces, and it is hard that I should suffer for doing my duty. As to the salary, I should content myself with the salaries that other Governors had, and particularly Sir Edmund Andros, who was the last that held the three Governments to which I am now appointed. What Sir Edmund's salary was, I must leave to the Council's enquiry. Mr. Nicoll, one of the New York Agents, tells me that a new Great Seal is wanted, the old one bearing the effigies both of the King and of the late Queen. I am apt to believe that new seals will be wanting also in New England and in New Hampshire, since the latter is to be a distinct Government. Signed, Bellomont. Endorsed, Read, 12 April, 1697. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 86.]
April 9.
917. William Popple to the Secretaries of the Admiralty. The Mayors of the western ports have been informed of the readiness of the squadron at Spithead. Let me remind you of what I wrote on 16th ult. about a frigate to call at Topsham and Dartmouth and take on the ships that are ready to Plymouth, which will be the squadron's last rendezvous. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. pp. 106–107.]
April 10.
918. J. Burchett to William Popple. In reply to yours of the 9th, two ships of the Newfoundland squadron have orders to fetch the ships from Poole and Weymouth to Spithead, and those from Topsham and Dartmouth to Plymouth, where the squadron will call for them. They sailed for this purpose from Spithead on the 8th inst. Signed, J. Burchett. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd., Read, 12 April, 1697. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 74; and 25. p. 107.]