America and West Indies: April 1697 21-30

Pages 454-473

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 21. George Williamson having given in all the entries of lands taken by him on the South side of the Blackwater, was ordered to attend and shew his authority and instructions for doing the same. The report of the Trustees of the College being laid before the Council, it was resolved that nothing remained to be added thereto. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 53. pp. 59–61.]
April 22. 955. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Orders for payment of £5 for express messengers, of £20 to the Commissioners to Rhode Island and Connecticut, and of £30, being his salary, to James Maxwell, messenger of the Council. Leave granted to John Arnold and James Thornbury to build houses in Boston. John Appleton was appointed Justice of the peace for Essex County. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 84–86.]
April 22.
956. Governor Sir Edmund Andros to Council of Trade and Plantations. I have received yours of 24 September. I send by H.M.S. Greenwich the proceedings of the Council and Assembly, the Acts then passed, and the Auditor's account of revenue. No laws were made since April, 1695, until September last. I send answers to your queries as particular as the shortness of the time will permit. I send also the names of the Council. Colonel Johnson is the same as Richard Johnson of my former list, and hath long been represented as a fit person; and Colonel Charles Scarburgh is of a good family and estate, and a noted man in former Assemblies, though not sooner known to me. Some of the former list are removed or dead, but I have supplied the number with others of the principal inhabitants of note in the country. Signed, E. Andros. 1¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 21 June; Read, 7 July, 1697. Enclosed,
956. I. Answers of Sir Edmund Andros to the Queries sent by the Council of Trade and Plantations. (1) As to population, "No estimate hath ever been of the men, women "and children, but only of the titheable or taxable "persons, who are all men above sixteen years of age, "and all white women working in the ground, and "slaves of all sorts black above twelve years old if born "in the Colony and fourteen if imported, and were last "year 19,566." (2) As to increase or decrease of population, "From the year 1692 to the year 1696 "they have been much above 19,000 and never came to "20,000 titheables." (3) The Militia consists of forty troops of horse, in all 2,020 men, and eighty-three companies of foot, amounting to 6,278 men—in all 8,299 men. (4) As to the employment of the population, all generally are employed in planting tobacco., Some few of late, from want of goods from England, have forced particular persons to go upon the manufactures of linen and woollen, tanning and making of shoes, chiefly for their own use, but inconsiderable. Some few are employed in making tar and pitch. (5) The commodities exported to England, besides tobacco, are skins, furs, and pipe-staves. (6) As to the trade with other places than England, pork, beef, corn, pipe-staves, and a small quantity of tobacco are exported to New York, Barbados and the islands and New England. The imports from thence are rum, sugar, molasses and Madeira wine, also salt from the Bahamas; but seldom any European commodities, for which good and legal cocquets must be produced. (7) As to increase or decrease of trade, there has been little difference of late years. (8) As to present and proposed methods of preventing illegal trade, there are officers of Customs in the several rivers, a frigate from England and a vessel ordered to cruise. It is recommended either to have many waiters in each river, or, what would be more effectual, to appoint particular places for loading and unloading. (9) As to the working of the Ports Act of 1691, that Act was suspended by the Assembly in March, 1693, until the King's pleasure should be known, and on the arrival of the King's commands was signified by proclamation (sic). It still stands so suspended, being found inconvenient and having several clauses and impositions tacked to it. (10) One or more ports in each district, with encouragement for the loading and unloading of goods, is recommended in view of the insufficiency of the Act. This will be a great means of preventing illegal trade. (11) As to shipping, there are few ships of any great burthen belonging to the province, and not many seafaring men, who when once settled become planters. (12) As to the description of vessels built, there are ships, brigantines and sloops, their number not yet ascertained. (13) As to naval stores, masts and timber may be had, but with difficulty, labour being dear; the quality is thought to be not so good as in New England. Pitch and tar are frequently and easily made. Rosin and hemp may be and have been made, but in no quantity. Endeavour has been made for saltpetre, but without effect. (14) As to manufactures, there are none so long as we are supplied from England, except inconsiderable tanning and shoemaking. (15) As to the Indians in the province, there are on the eastern shore nine small nations, containing not a hundred bowmen fit for war. On James River there are four nations, 160; on York River three nations, about 50; on Rappahannock River two nations, about 40; on Potomac River one nation, about 12. They are tributaries and in good correspondence and friendship. There are several other nations from one to four hundred miles distant, with which the inhabitants are in trade and friendship. (16) No endeavours to convert the Indians to Christianity have ever been heard of. (17) As to settlement of the Indians among the Colonists, most of the above natives live within or near the inhabitants, but in towns by themselves. Several can speak English, but are or can be of little use by any means yet known. (18) As to the Indians said to have appeared at the head of James River in 1695, it is not known who they were, but they are suspected to have been Northern Indians, who often go four or five hundred miles from home. All the harm they did was murdering a poor man, and little or none else since the war. (19) As to the number of our Rangers, a lieutenant and eleven soldiers are appointed at the head of each of the four great rivers. They are to scout and range on the borders and out-parts, and upon discovery of any enemy to give notice to the next officer. (20) No Indians are joined with these Rangers, the last Assembly thinking it useless; and they are not included in the Act. (21) As to the progress of the College, see report of the Trustees attached. Signed, E. Andros. 4 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 21 June, Read, 20 Aug. 1697.
956. II. The Trustees of the College in Virginia to Sir Edmund Andros. In reply to your letter of 24 March we certify as follows. We have carried on the building of two sides of the designed square of the College (which was all we judged we had money to go through with) and have brought up the walls to the roof, which we hope in a short time will be finished, Colonel Ludwell having promised to shingle it upon credit. We transmit the accounts of our expenses, by which it will appear that we have spent £170 8s. 2¼d. more than we have yet received, which sum has been advanced by some of our number. We also send the accounts of the revenue of the penny per pound granted by the King's Charter, and of the skins and furs granted by Act of Assembly; by which it will appear that there accrues to the College the sum of £537 15s. 3¾d. over and above what has defrayed the President's and Masters' salaries; which sum we have applied towards the building of the College. The rule we have followed in settling the penny per pound with the several Collections of Virginia and Maryland is that approved by the Commissioners of Customs in their letters of 24 April, 1694, and 4 January, 1695, viz., to allow the Collectors twenty per cent. of the revenue and reserve the remainder to the College. To the end that the Collectors' accounts may be duly examined, we have ordered the Rector for the time being, the Treasurer and the President, or any one of them with two more of the Governors (not being Collectors) to inspect the said accounts and send them, duly sworn, together with the list of ships, to the Commissioners of Customs, which their Honours expect from us instead of from a Controller, which office they have let fall, saving the profits thereof to the College. In Maryland Governor Nicholson takes care to have the College-accounts audited and sworn before himself and Council, and transmits them to us, together with the list of ships. We have likewise settled the office of Surveyor-General, and exhibited to the Governor a list of surveyors for the particular counties; but their settlements have not been made long enough to bring in any revenue to the College, though we expect they will do about Christmas next. We are beginning to lease out the 10,000 acres of land on the Blackwater Swamp, granted by the King to the College; but on the other 10,000 acres in Pamunkey Neck our claim was stopped, owing to a dispute with some pretenders, and the survey is not yet finished, though we hope that it will be in a little time. We have founded a Grammar-school which is well furnished with a good schoolmaster, usher and writing-master, in which the scholars make great proficiency in their studies to the general satisfaction of their parents and guardians. The building and furnishing of the College being almost at a stop for want of money, we have desired Mr. President Blair to go to England to procure what he can towards finishing it. Signed, Steph. Fonace, Rector, Fr. Nicholson, Wm. Byrd, James Blair, Cha. Scarburgh, Jas. Smith, Benj. Harrison, Miles Cary, Wm. Randolph, Matthew Page. Copy. 2 pp. Endorsed as the preceding.
956. III. Accounts of the receipts and expenditure on account of the College in Virginia. The receipts from donations, including the Royal Gift, amount to £3,180 18s. 4d., the expenditure amounts to £3,889 1s. 10d. The College Revenue from the duties allotted to it and the sale of land amounts to £852 6s. 9¾d., against which are expenses amounting to £314 11s. 6d. The balance of the revenue account, £537 15s. 3d., being carried to the credit of the building fund leaves a debit balance of £170 8s. 2¼d. It appears from the accounts that bricks cost 14s. per thousand; and that £45 2s. 0d. was expended on the College-seal; that "a horse and some small "necessaries" cost £4 12s. 6d.; and that "three cart-"horses, one feather bed and some necessary tools for "the use of the College" cost £39 17s. 5d. The items are so much confused that little information is to be drawn from these accounts. 4 pp. Endorsed as the preceding.
956. IV. List of the Council of Virginia, 20 April, 1696. Ralph Wormeley, Richard Lee, William Byrd, Christopher Wormeley, Edward Hill, Edmund Jenings, Henry Hartwell (removed to England), James Blair and Daniel Parke (both "intended for England"), Richard Johnson, Charles Scarburgh, John Lightfoot. Signed, E. Andros. ½ p. Endorsed as the preceding.
956. V. Names of persons to supply vacancies in the Council, John Armistead, Lawrence Smith, William Randolph, Dudley Diggs, Robert Carter, John Custis, Matthew Page, Lancelot Bathurst, William Tayloe, Peter Beverley, Lewis Burrell, Benjamin Harrison, sen. Signed, E. Andros. 1 p. Endorsed as the preceding. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. Nos. 16, 16 I.–V.; and 37. pp. 35–36 (covering letter), pp. 40–45 (enclosure No. I.), pp. 54–59 (enclosures II., IV., V.]
[April 22.] 957. Account of the receipts and expenditure of £1,000, ordered to be raised by Act of the Assembly of New York, to pay the expenses of the Agents' voyage, etc., to England. Received, £997 16s. 0d. Expended, voyage to Boston, and necessaries for voyage to England, £41 13s. 3d. Lost in Spanish money to the French, £280 18s. 9d. Expended in France, and getting licence by the way of Jersey, £163 sterling or £208 13s. Od. Lost on the first bill of exchange, £2 14s. 5d. Lost by bank-bills, £40 16s. 0d. New York money. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 22 April, 1697. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 18.]
April 22.
958. The King to the Governors and Companies of Connecticut and Rhode Island. Notwithstanding the laws for prevention of frauds in the Plantation-trade, it is evident that great abuses have been and continue to be practised, which must needs arise either from the insolvency of the persons admitted for security or from the remissness of Governors, past and present, who ought to take care that those who give bond shall be prosecuted in case of non-performance. If we shall be hereafter informed of failure in the observance of the laws within your provinces by any wilful fault or neglect on your part, we shall look upon it as an infraction of the laws, tending to the forfeiture of your charters. Countersigned, Shrewsbury. [Board of Trade. New England, 36. pp. 159–160.]
April 22. 959. The King to the Governors of Virginia, Maryland, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Barbados and Bermuda. To the same effect as the preceding, only making the penalty to the respective Governors the loss of their place and such further marks of displeasure as shall be judged reasonable. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. pp. 140–141.]
April 22.
960. The King to the Proprietors of East and West New Jersey. To the same effect as the preceding, with a warning that any further complaint of wilful failure to enforce these Acts will be treated as deserving marks of the highest displeasure. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. pp. 69–70.]
April 22.
961. The King to William Penn, Proprietor of Pennsylvania. To the same effect as the preceding, with a warning that further wilful failure to enforce the Acts of Trade and Navigation may lead to the forfeiture of his Patent. Letter to the Proprietors of Carolina to the same effect. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. pp. 70–72.]
April 22.
962. Order of the King in Council. Referring a petition of Anne, Duchess of Hamilton, to Council of Trade and Plantations for report. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 23 April, 1697. Enclosed,
962. I. Petition of Anne, Duchess of Hamilton, to the King. In virtue of an ancient grant to my father James, Duke of Hamilton, I am entitled to the tract of land known as the Narragansett Country in America. He was prevented from settling it by the rebellion, and lost his life for the cause of King Charles I.; and while I was still very young, several persons entered in possession of much of the said land without any title from me, and have never paid any quit-rent. I beg for your order that I may be established in my right to the said land, and that the inhabitants pay me such quit-rents as you think just, and that the unoccupied lands may be put into my possession. 1 p.
962. II. The Case of the Duchess of Hamilton. On 3 November, 1620, King James. I. incorporated the Great Council of Plymouth for the settlement of New England. On 22 April, 1635, the said Great Council sold the County of New Cambridge, otherwise the Narragansett Country, to James, Duke of Hamilton. In 1636, the Duke sent over agents to survey the land, but his intentions were stopped by the Civil War, and he himself lost his life. Meanwhile several persons from adjacent Colonies settled themselves on this land. In 1664 the late Duke and present Duchess of Hamilton claimed this land by petition to King Charles II., who referred the matter to the Commissioners then appointed to settle the affairs of New England, who in 1666 made an evasive report that the Indian Sachems of the Country had surrendered themselves to the protection of the King, and that the Commissioner had accordingly appointed Justices to govern it till the King's pleasure should be known. Though no mention was made of my claim, the King issued a proclamation to forbid irregular settlements in the Narragansett Country. In 1682 the King appointed three persons to report as to the titles of the various claimants to the Narragansett Country, and the late Duke of Hamilton appointed Edward Randolph to lay his title before them. He was too late to do so before the Commissioners had finished their report, and they made no definite report on the claim subsequently. In 1687 Sir Edmund Andros received a commission to make further enquiry as to the propriety of the Narragansett Country, who reported that the settlers on the Country were intruders and that their grants were obtained by surprise, and by false suggestions of prior grants. I had, however, no notice of this commission, so could not lay my title before Sir Edmund Andros.
Memo. On 29 April, 1697, the Earl of Arran delivered another copy of this case, with one paragraph altered as follows: On Mr. Randolph's application the Commission of 1682 issued an additional report in 1683, saying that they had read the claim of the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton and sent a copy of the deeds to the Governor and Council of Connecticut, who returned an answer thereto. 3 large pages.
962. III. Duplicate of No. II. without the concluding memorandum. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. Nos. 94, 94 I.–III.; and 36. pp. 160–166.]
April 23.
963. William Popple to Major-General Winthrop. Forwarding copy of the Duchess of Hamilton's petition (see preceding abstract) with the King's order thereon, that he may give the reasons of the Governor and Company of Connecticut why the petition should not be granted. [Board of Trade. New England, 36. p. 167.]
April 23.
964. William Popple to Jahleel Brenton. The Council of Trade hearing of your concernment in Rhode Island and knowing of no agent for the Province here, send you the enclosed copy of the Duchess of Hamilton's petition to state the reasons of the Governor and Company of Rhode Island against the granting of the same. [Board of Trade. New England, 36. p. 167.]
April 23. 965. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Edmund Jenings presented the drafts of letters for England, but, Commissioner Blair being absent, they were put off till to-morrow.
April 24. The above letters were read, approved and signed, Mr. Blair being present. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 53. pp. 61–62.]
April 24.
966. The Council of Virginia to Council of Trade and Plantations. Our thanks for the King's commands and for your letter. The country is in peace and happiness, and we are very sensible of the King's favour in his commands for suspending the sending of the quota of men to New York, and charging the account of the revenue of quit-rents for £765 to New York and other services, and £655 to the Treasurer of the Ordnance for stores supplied to this Colony. On receipt of your letter of 13 February, 1696, respecting a law lately made in Scotland, and of 15 April last, with an Act lately passed in England to regulate abuses in the plantation-trade, the Governor sent copies thereof to the officers of the Customs, and issued a proclamation to cause all laws for the encouragement of navigation to be made public, and to require obedience to the same. The Governor took the prescribed oaths in the Council on the 4th of March, and on the 21st of April all Naval officers were ordered to attend and be sworn. On the Acts being read Commissary Blair of his own motion declared himself a native of Scotland, and desired the Council's opinion whether by a clause in the said Act he was not disabled from sitting as a judge in the General Court. The Governor referred the question to the Council, who decided that a native of Scotland in the Council of Virginia comes within the Act. On the notice of French preparations against America, given in your letter of 20 April, the Governor signified the same to the officers of militia and made proclamation to the inhabitants of the King's care for them. On the 24th of September the Assembly met, according to the Governor's summons. The Acts and Journals are transmitted to you, together with the Burgesses' answer to an address presented by the clergy to the Governor, which answer we recommend to your favourable consideration. As to the clergy's complaint that it is grievous to them to receive their salaries in tobacco at twelve shillings per hundred, we could observe that when that law was made it was in favour of the clergy, that a long time afterwards it continued of higher value and now in some parts of the country is not inferior, and where it is less is to the greater loss of the planter. The Governor recommended the circumstances of the clergy to the Assembly for the better advancing of their salaries and maintenance, and upon the revisal of the whole body of laws in 1693 a bill passed for the allowance of 16,000lbs. of tobacco, which being never thought to be passed without the whole of the laws, and the King's orders not meeting with such success as might justly be expected by the said revisal, the Assembly was dissolved. In the last Assembly, on the Governor's further recommendation of the clergy and the Council's great endeavours, an Act is passed for an allowance of 16,000lbs. of tobacco per annum, which the House of Burgesses thought a sufficient maintenance, since it exceeds most of their own circumstances and those of the country in general. We apprehend therefore that that part of the clergy's address is effectually answered. Their perquisites are set by law and far larger than allowed in England. As to their glebes being detained from them, it is their own fault if they have not the full advantages of them, for they are settled to them by law, and the Governor has never delayed to assist them on all occasions and has taken care to have glebes provided where new parishes are set out or lands to be taken up. As to their holding their livings precariously, not being inducted, the Governor in his first year inducted upon presentation as many ministers as were inducted since Sir William Berkeley's Government, and never heard of any desired. But this Government never deems it for the interest of the clergy to compel inductions, nor does any minister ever desire induction without presentation of the vestry, nor do we think it for the King's service to have such innovations, without which the clergy heretofore have been well contented. Since we have had the honour to be in this station we never knew nor heard of clergy more respected and countenanced, nor more readily assisted and redressed on all occasions. On reviewing the state of the revenue of two shillings per hogshead we find a considerable debt thereon, and the annual income insufficient to discharge the allowed salaries and contingent charges. The debt is increased by the King's orders as to New York, and as to fitting out a cruising vessel, and by necessary charges for great guns and platforms. Signed, Rich. Johnson, John Lightfoot, Edw. Hill, E. Jenings, Rich. Lee, William Byrd, Cr. Wormeley, Cha. Scarburgh. 4 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 21 June, Read, 20 Aug., 1697. Enclosed,
966. I. Address of the Clergy of Virginia to the Governor, 25 June, 1696. In answer to the part of your speech relating to the King's letter for settling the salaries of the clergy, the House instead of remedying the evil gave such a representation of the circumstances of the clergy as if for the most part they needed no redress, but were well contented, and as if all information to the contrary proceeded only from such as were too avariciously inclined. We beg to represent to you our true condition. We are obliged to receive our salaries in tobacco at twelve shillings per hundred. We cannot but look on this as a great grievance, since no other persons are obliged to take tobacco at so high a rate. The King's quit-rents, which consist of the same sort of tobacco, are not sold for so much as half that price. As to our considerable perquisites, we have now no perquisites except for marriages and a few funeral sermons. By computation of the perquisites of the generality of our parishes we find that, one with another, they do not amount to above five pounds a year. As to our glebes, so ornamentally described by the Burgesses, we aver that in many parishes there are no glebes at all, that in several parishes which have glebes they are detained from the minister's possession, and that where it is otherwise the glebes are so destitute of houses, orchards and other conveniences that they are in no way fitting for his accommodation, and, one with another, are not worth above forty or fifty shillings a year. Also, which is as grievous as the rest, we hold these mean livings so precariously that (not being inducted) we are at all times liable to be turned out of them at the vestry's pleasure without any canonical objections either alleged or proved against us. So that we must unanimously own that the circumstances of the clergy of this country are most deplorable, and that the representation, which was made thereof to the King as such, was a good service to this church and pursuant to the earnest desires of the clergy at the general meeting in the year 1690. We therefore humbly pray that, since the House of Burgesses has shewn so much averseness to the relief of the clergy, your Excellency would make a favourable representation of our sad circumstances to the King, and intercede that the same may be relieved. Signed, James Blair, Commissary, and by fifteen more. Copy. 2 pp. Endorsed as the preceding.
966. II. Address of the House of Burgesses to the Governor of Virginia. On the address to you signed by sixteen of the clergy, we think ourselves obliged in vindication of our House to lay before you our sense of the several heads thereof. Their complaint concerning their salaries is without cause, since, without regard to paying their tobacco at twelve shillings per hundred, we know that in a great many parishes, or at least a great many ministers from several small parishes, they receive from 16,000lbs. to 20,000lbs. of tobacco every year, even some of those who have signed the address. Where it is not so, we conceive that the allowance made by the ancient law for a minister's maintenance makes their condition equal to that of a gentleman who has twelve or fourteen servants of his own. Clergy, heretofore as eminent for learning and life as these, lived plentifully and raised their fortunes out of that allowance, without complaint, so we cannot but conclude that they were generally content; and we are very sensible that the present clergy's condition is in all respects as good as the former, and themselves as much valued and countenanced, especially those whose lives and conversations merit it. We cannot therefore see how their circumstances are as deplorable as they represent and endeavour to make them. It must be confessed that tobacco is not of equal value every year, but it must be also observed that the clergy's state keeps equal pace with that of the planters and that their yearly maintenance is suitable to the fortune of him that pays it. This year some of the clergy have had from sixteen to twenty shillings a hundred for their tobacco. Next, as to their assertion that their perquisites do not exceed five pounds a year. They never have less than 500lbs. of tobacco and cask for a funeral sermon and sometimes 1,000lbs. For every marriage licence the law gives them twenty shillings or 200lbs. of tobacco; for every marriage by banns 50lbs. of tobacco; and if the marriage be at a private house they get 100lbs. at least. From all which we compute their annual perquisites at 2,000lbs. at least and in very many parishes at 4,000lbs. Next as to their glebes, there are many and considerable glebes of far greater value than they set down, and if there be any parishes without a glebe there is a law to direct the providing of one; and we are sensible that such care has lately been taken to redress their complaints that they have no reason to fear wanting long what they have legal right to. As to detention of glebes from ministers, we cannot apprehend that it is so, unless they mean in one parish where the minister committed great waste while he had it, and the next, though entertained to preach but once a fortnight, would have leased to him. As to holding their livings at the pleasure of the vestries, we must say on behalf of the people of Virginia that they value and esteem a minister of good life and conversation and are not addicted to disagree with their ministers, but rather to use every means to encourage them. We could give many instances of this for every one where a minister has been turned by their vestries, though there are several examples of inducted ministers leaving their parishes at their pleasure. No minister can be hopeless of an induction, for several parishes, upon experience of their minister's qualifications, have given them a presentation according to law. It is but reasonable that a parish should be well satisfied in such affairs, nor do we think that a good man will expect to be irremovable unless he gives satisfaction, nor that a blameless one will fear removal. We therefore declare the clergy's complaint to be without just cause, and though the present Assembly, out of a dutiful regard for the King's command, have advanced the former allowance of the clergy to 16,000lbs., yet we think that the last House of Burgesses had a due regard to the circumstances of that time, and are wronged by the charge of averseness to the relief of the clergy. We do not doubt that you will favour the country with a true representation of the affair. Signed, Robert Carter, Speaker. 3 pp. Endorsed as the preceding. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. Nos. 17, 17 I., II.; and 37. pp. 46–48 (covering letter), and 59–69 (enclosures).]
April 24.
967. The Council of Virginia to the Duke of Shrewsbury. Our hearty thanks to the King for suspending the sending of our quota of men to New York. The Governor having assurance that money was sent instead of quotas of men from other Colonies remitted to New York £1,000 (New York money) out of the revenue of two shillings per hogshead, of which £500 was given by the Assembly and has since been allowed by the King for that service. The said revenue is in debt, since for some years its proceeds have not sufficed to pay the established salaries and contingent charges of the Government, besides the necessary advances for New York and the cost of fitting out a vessel to cruise and the charges for great guns and other incidents. We have received the King's orders as to the charges upon the revenue from quit-rents and payments to the Treasurer of the Ordnance. Mr. Blair on producing the Royal commands was re-admitted to the Council, and Mr. John Lightfoot has also been sworn thereof. Due orders were given on receipt of the Privy Council's letters for enforcement of the Acts of Trade and for providing against an attack of the French. The late Assembly passed a law to increase the allowance to the clergy to 16,000lbs. of tobacco. This is thought sufficient here, and after full consideration of the clergy's address to the Governor we think they have nothing more that calls for redress. A humble address and association of the Burgesses is now sent, by Mr. William Byrd and Mr. John Povey. Signed, Edw. Hill, E. Jenings, Rich. Lee, William Byrd, Rich. Johnson, John Lightfoot, Cha. Scarburgh, Cr. Wormeley. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 21 June, Read 23 Aug. 1697. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 18; and 35. pp. 70–74.]
April 24.
968. Secretary of the Admiralty to William Popple. Yours of 12th inst. has been laid before the Admiralty. Enclosed is an order to the captain of the Fowey to transport several persons to New York. She is at present going to Holland with the King, but is ordered to return to the Downs and proceed on her voyage. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 26 April, 1697. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 19; and 52. p. 114.]
April 26. 969. Minutes of Council of Montserrat. Two Acts, to prevent the engrossing of merchandise, and to forbid the transport of cassava-bread and privateering, were read and passed. Order for the names of all whites and blacks, from sixty to sixteen years old, to be taken, in order to raise a levy. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. p. 523.]
April 26.
Hyde Park
970. Duke of Shrewsbury to Council of Trade and Plantations. The King has appointed Mr. Ralph Grey, brother to the Earl of Tankerville, to be Governor of Barbados, and desires you to prepare his Commission and Instructions. The King would have you take care that the Governors whom he has appointed for any part of the West Indies be immediately despatched thither. Signed, Shrewsbury. Holograph. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 29 April, 1697. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 30; and 44. p. 59.]
April 26. 971. Memorandum of the Attorney-General's report on the Acts of Maryland of 1695 and 1696, read 26 April, 1697. Scrap. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 20.]
April 26. 972. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Bridgeman's letter of 24th inst. as to a passage for the two Indians read. Ordered that the order therein enclosed be sent to Mr. Nicoll.
Order for a copy of the address of the House of Lords to be given to Mr. Randolph.
Copy of the Duchess of Hamilton's case concerning the Narragansett Country was given to Major-General Winthrop.
The laws of Maryland were considered.
April 27. The Commissioners for inspecting naval stores in New England asked for an order that guards might be furnished to them while so employed, but were referred to one of the Secretaries of State.
April 29. The Duke of Shrewsbury's letter of 26th inst. read reporting the appointment of Mr. Grey to be Governor of Barbados.
April 30. The Secretary was ordered to request of Lord Arran copies of certain papers mentioned in the Duchess of Hamilton's case. Major-General Winthrop presented a memorial (No. 985) relating to her claim, whereupon the Council gave him copy of a new clause inserted by Lord Arran, showing that her case had been submitted to the Governor and Council of Connecticut; but he persisted in craving time and alleging his want of orders on the subject. The Secretary was directed to write again to Mr. Brenton on the subject.
Mr. Peter Paggan attended, though not authorised to act as agent for Maryland, and said that none of its laws had been confirmed since 1692. The Secretary was directed to write to Mr. Povey hereon.
Mr. Edward Richier gave further information as to the detention of his brother in Bermuda and begged the Council to give consideration to that business. [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 84–92.]
April 27.
973. Governor Sir Edmund Andros to the Duke of Shrewsbury. The Council has prepared answers to the letters received from the Privy Council and to an address made to me by the clergy, which are sent by this conveyance. An Address and Association passed by the Assembly at their last meeting will be presented to you by Mr. Byrd and Mr. Povey. The Assembly will meet again on the 29th. I was much concerned at a quarrel which happened on 27 February last at a meeting of the College, between Governor Nicholson of Maryland and Colonel Parke. As soon as I heard of it (which was two days after) and had learned more particularly of it from Mr. Blair in the Council I confined Colonel Parke and sent one of the Council to be with Governor Nicholson to prevent ill consequences. The Governor stayed some days longer in these parts and then went back to Maryland, but in a fortnight's time returned hither again, as he uses frequently, being in the King's charter of the College. He has remained in these parts ever since. I am advised from home that I am reflected upon as an obstructor of the Royal commands for the church and college. I know not the cause, nor have I ever been wanting in my duty, though it is not possible for me to please Commissary Blair, who, as he lately told me, intends for England. Soon afterwards he declared himself in Council to be a Scotchman, and wished to know how far a clause in the recent Act against illegal traders affected him as a Judge in the General Court. The Council unanimously decided that he came within the Act. I beg that I may not be blamed unheard. Colonel Parke has also asked leave to go to England. Signed, E. Andros. 2¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 21 June, Read 23 Aug. 1697. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 19; and 37. pp. 75–78.]
April 27. 974. Record of the trial of William Vescy, at Boston, apparently for neglecting to keep a day of thanksgiving for the discovery of the plot to assassinate the King. Sentence, a fine of £10, and to stand in the pillory one hour. 2 pp. Much damaged. [America and West Indies. 579. No. 43.]
April 27. 975. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Proclamation issued offering a reward for apprehension of several seamen, deserted from Admiral Nevill's ships. Order for caulking the French flag-of-truce ship, and for payment for sundry small services. Order for discharge of two hired sloops.
April 29. Consideration of a petition, as to the King's right to certain prizes, was deferred until the fleet should have gone. Further orders as to the discharge and paying off of hired sloops. Order for the delivery of victuals to H.M. Ship Newcastle. Order for the payment of £2,000 to the executors of the late Governor Russell, the Assembly having voted him that sum in 1695, and the same having been approved by the Lords Justices. Order for H.M.S. Bideford to convoy the outward fleet clear of the latitude of Deseada, and so up into this latitude, and then to return forthwith. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 210–212.]
April 29. 976. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Order for payment of £12 for a horse for one of the Commissioners to Rhode Island and Connecticut. Letter from Colonel Fletcher of 19 April read, respecting the execution of two Indians in Hampshire. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 86–87.]
April 29. 977. Journal of House of Burgesses of Virginia. It being an adjourned Assembly the Governor sent a message that he was ready to receive anything that the house had to offer. A new member was sworn. Address to the Governor. We so thoroughly debated and resolved upon the matters brought before us in your speech and other grievances and propositions at our last meeting, that, having no new business to enter upon, we are of opinion that you may grant us a further recess. The Governor consented to an adjournment until the 21st of October. Adjourned accordingly. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 52. pp. 282–286.]
April 29.
978. President and Council of Barbados to Council of Trade and Plantations. March 3. In obedience to the King's orders not a ship has sailed hence for Europe since September, because until very lately a fleet of any consideration could not be made up, nor could they and the men-of-war be manned at the same time for their convoy. Yours of 23 November arrived here on 26 January, and the packets for the Leeward Islands were at once forwarded. You will receive herewith the Journal of the Council and the laws passed by the Assembly during the six months ending 7 February last, but we cannot yet send the accounts of the Treasury, as the Committee of Accounts and the Treasurer have not yet been able to adjust them. The Assembly has raised over £20,000 in money and labour during the last eight months, which has been employed in our better defence and in furnishing the magazines with small arms and the forts with cannon. The country is resolved to spare no cost nor labour to uphold the King's honour and interest there, and though the island has suffered by great losses, interruptions of trade and high taxes, yet all seem cheerful under the last, seeing their money laid out for their preservation. The three men-of-war which are to accompany the merchant-ships hither will, we hope, in great measure secure our trade, especially if one be a fourth-rate, and the other two rowing sixth-rates. Such ships are best fitted to deal with the enemy that most infests us, being chiefly nimble rowing privateers, of sixty to eighty men, so that the greater ships can very rarely come up with them; and if two such galleys are not with the fourth-rate now coming, we beg that such may be sent hereafter. Pray also favour our Agents, especially in their application for great ordnance and military stores, without which we cannot defend this place as we would wish, for such things are not to be purchased here. Pray also support their application that a sufficient credit, or order upon the King's casual revenue here, may be appointed to supply the King's ships with the necessaries which they require, for the merchants will not accept bills drawn on the Navy Board, and hence the ships are sometimes unable to go to sea or do any service. We forward a list of the persons best qualified to fill vacancies in the Council, which now consists of fourteen resident here. We send home by this fleet the greater part of sixty-nine French prisoners, who were taken in a privateer captured by H.M.S. Newcastle.
29 April. The fleet of merchantmen was appointed to sail a very few days after the foregoing was written, but before the day came for their departure there were seen first four and then six of the enemy's ships for several days upon these coasts. We therefore thought it unsafe to venture them out, but ordered H.M. ships Newcastle and Virgin (prize) together with two of the best merchant-ships here and two sloops, well manned and fitted for twenty-four days' cruise, to fight them or chase them away. Our ships, however, returned to port on the 27th inst., not having had the good fortune to meet with the enemy. On the 17th arrived the squadron under Vice-Admiral Nevill and Rear-Admiral Mees, and on the 26th the Gosport and four Dutch men-of-war joined them here. They are now leaving the island for the prosecution of their designs in these seas, taking with them the Newcastle and the Virgin, and leaving the Bideford here. They will convoy our merchant-ships as far as Deseada, so that we hope they will have a safe passage clear of these islands. We moved the Vice-Admiral for a stronger guard for our trade than the Bideford, which is a bad-sailing fifth-rate. We are informed that three French men-of-war lately arrived at Martinique with Mons. d'Amblemont, their Governor, which will greatly hazard the provision-ships now expected in, as well as the London fleet in which our military stores are embarked. The Admiral was unwilling to weaken his squadron by leaving any other ship, yet condescended that two fourth-rates and a fire-ship should pass by the side of Martinique and attempt the capture or destruction of the men-of-war there. We are most grateful to you for your care for this island, in obtaining for us stores, an engineer and a gunner. Both shall receive every encouragement from us. The gunner is now with us, but Mr. Edwards, the engineer, is not yet arrived, having taken his passage in a merchant-ship. We send you an account of the present stores in the magazine; and the Act concerning the powder-duty will be found among those now transmitted. The King's orders as to pirates shall be strictly obeyed if ever any come here, but in our remembrance they have never made this a sheltering place, the law being so severe that they dare not come within reach of it. Signed, Fran. Bond, Presdt., John Gibbes, Geo. Andrews, John Farmer, Pat. Mein, Tob. Frere. 3 pp. A short abstract is attached. Endorsed, Recd. 5th, Read 6th July, 1697. Enclosed,
978. I. List of persons qualified to fill vacancies in the Council of Barbados. Nicholas Prideaux, James Colleton, Richard Scott, Abel Alleyne, Richard Walter, Richard Forstall, John Egginton, Robert Hooper, Thomas Maxwell, John Cousens, Alexander Walker, Thomas Duboys. Scrap. Inscribed, Memo. 31 Aug., '97. The Earl of Bridgewater acquainted the Board that the Bishop of London had spoke to him of Sam. Husband as a fit person to be made a Councillor. Endorsed, Recd. 5, Read 6 July, 1698.
978. II. List of stores, brought into and expended from the magazine at Barbados, during 1696, showing the balance left in the magazine and forts. 2 pp. Endorsed as No. I.
978. III. List of forty-three French prisoners sent home with the fleet, 30 April, 1697. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 5, Read 7 July, 1698. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. Nos. 31, I.–III.; and (without enclosure No. III.) 44. pp. 64–73.]
April 29. 979. Petition of Ralph Lane to Council of Trade and Plantations. I omitted to tell you in my last address that after the death of George Hannay I was released from gaol, and since December, 1695, have been allowed to live at my own house, though under that restraint that I am liable upon any humour to be confined again in the common gaol. This is such an awe to me that I have not ventured to seek for proofs of the wrongs that I have sustained. I sent a petition to Governor Russell for copies of the papers which £1 required, but no answer was returned, and I am told that if I make another attempt to attend you, James Hannay will confine me with severity in the loathsome common gaol. I am therefore obliged to remove my grievances to the royal determination. Proceeds to set forth the said grievances, arising out of litigation, at great length. Signed, Ralph Lane. 3 large pages. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 32.]
April 29. 980. Petition of Ralph Lane to the King. Since the death of Governor Russell, the Government of Barbados has fallen into the hands of those who labour to refuse me the justice which your Orders in Council have directed. I beg that my appeal to your Majesty in Council may not be dissolved, but that I may be permitted to bring my grievances before you. Signed, Ralph Lane. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 21 July, Read 5 Aug. 1697. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 33.]
April 29.
981. William Popple to the Earl of Bellomont. Giving him notice of the King's desire that the Governors appointed for any part of the West Indies (sic) shall immediately be despatched thither, in order that all matters preliminary to his departure may be hastened. [Board of Trade. New England, 36. p. 168.]
April 30.
982. Clerk of House of Burgesses of Virginia to Council of Trade and Plantations. Forwarding an account of the proceedings of the Assembly on 29 April, with a duplicate of the former journal. Signed, Peter Beverley.
Duplicate of the above addressed to the Duke of Shrewsbury. Both copies endorsed, Recd. 21 June, Read 23 Aug., 1697. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. Nos. 20, 21.]
April 30. 983. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. James Bannister sworn of the Council. Permission granted to the master of a Dutch ship to sell some goods saved from the wreck thereof. Three accounts relating to the fitting out of a fire-ship and a sloop ordered to be allowed in the account current of the King's revenue, the sum amounting to £320. Order fixing the tariff for expresses sent by the Marshal. Order for all claims for provisions or labour supplied during the late alarm to be sent in. Orders for certain payments and for audit of the accounts of the revenue. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 79. pp. 63–67.]
April 30.
984. William Lowndes to William Popple. I have laid before the Lords of the Treasury your letter with the form of the bond and the address of the House of Lords, and by their direction have sent them to the Commissioners of Customs for report. Signed, Wm. Lowndes. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 1st, Read 3 May, 1697. [America and West Indies. 601. No. 44; and Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. p. 73.]
April 30. 985. Memorial of Major-General Winthrop to Council of Trade and Plantations. With reference to the Duchess of Hamilton's petition (see No. 962) I submit that her claim concerns a great number of people in New England who as yet have no notice thereof, and that all the deeds that serve to make out the title of the persons in possession are in New England. I have no instructions in the matter nor directions to appear for any of the persons concerned, but I hope that notice will be sent and a convenient time allowed before any determination be had. Signed, J. Winthrop. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd., Read 30 April, 1697. [Board of Trade. New York, 8. No. 95; and 36. p. 168.]
April 30. 986. Jahleel Brenton to Council of Trade and Plantations. I cannot offer the reasons of Rhode Island against the Duchess of Hamilton's petition, of which copy has been sent to me, having no authority to act for the Colony in any way. I beg that a copy of the petition may be sent to the Governor and Company of Rhode Island. Signed, Jahleel Brenton. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd., Read 3 May, 1697. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 96; and p. 169.]
April. 987. Proposals of William Penn to the Committee of the House of Lords "to prevent foul trade in the Plantations and illegal trade with Scotland, etc." That all masters and commanders give £2,000 security (or such sum as is thought fit) in the said Plantations for the just performing the Act of Navigation. That every commander do in the said Plantations give a true content of the ships loading according to the law which obliges the same to be done in England. Here follows a model declaration of a vessel's content. That such content, as above, be made tripartite, all sworn to and signed by the commander, and certified and signed by the collector. Of these contents, one shall be delivered to the commander, by which he shall be obliged to enter his ship in England; one shall be sent to the Commissioners of Customs in London, who shall keep a just account of the same in a book and shall give no certificate of discharge, but that the same be noted under such certificate in the said book; one shall remain and be entered in a book in the Plantation, with the security given for the just discharge of the ship. All commanders shall be obliged within some convenient time to cause a certificate to be produced to the Government of the Plantation by the Commissioners of Customs in London or other port of his discharge, that he has made a legal discharge of his ship's lading in England; which certificate shall be entered in the book as a discharge of his securities; otherwise the said securities shall be sued for the same, and the collector shall be obliged, under some fitting penalty, to sue for the same. To remove all excuses that may be made of ships wanting securities in such Plantations, such commanders may, by a just letter of credit from their merchants and owners, obtain such in any plantation; which letters of credit shall become obligatory on the persons so giving them, in case of fraud, with double damages. By these means it will be hard for any person ever to run into irregular trade in the Colonies, which now is daily practised. To prevent all false certificates, a severe penalty should be laid on all who produce them. For the better security against false certificates the Commissioners of Customs shall by all ships send to the Governments of the Plantations a list of all certificates by them given, which will with great ease detect the fraudulent trader. The certificates should be printed upon paper with a knot or flourish and cut indenture-wise and numbered; and each Plantation should have a number suitable to that of the ships which they yearly load. A book may be kept in the port showing what numbered certificate are (sic) sent to each place, and what numbered certificate each ship carries, by which the officers in the Plantations may examine them. The cruisers now allowed in the rivers of Maryland and Virginia should be continued with further encouragement to detect ships from any place but directly from England. Good encouragement should be given to any seamen that shall discover any ship to enter herself in the Plantations, except as aforesaid; the same both for cruising and encouragement to be understood in any of the King's Colonies in America.
Further proposals of William Penn. That the inhabitants of the Colonies may be encouraged to improve trade and be upon a better understanding among themselves I suggest as follows: No province shall obstruct by any custom or duty the passage of any ships or goods from England through it that are consigned to another province; for this plainly incommodates the people and puts them upon shifting for themselves without the need of such goods, and in so far prevents the consumption of English manufactures, to the hurt of trade and navigation and in violation of the law of England. Trade should be free of the growth of the provinces, as it is in England from county to county, where the laws of Navigation forbid it not; this will cure and prevent animosities, and the industrious will not be punished for their diligence by the idle. One province shall not protect the runaways of another, be it for crimes or debts, but justice shall be done according to the constitution of the several provinces. Lastly, the people should be under a stricter discipline in their manners, yet cherished and kindly as well as justly used by their respective magistrates.
Queries upon the foregoing proposals. (1) What misunderstandings have been among the inhabitants in any of the Colonies, and in which of them, whereby trade has been discouraged? (2) How or wherein has one province obstructed with duties the passage of ships or goods coming from England through it and consigned to another Colony? (3) What is meant by a "freedom of trade of the growth of the province"? And what by "from County to County"?
William Penn's answer to the foregoing queries. (1, 2) East Jersey is a distinct Government, yet ships bound thither have been forced to New York, and a custom exacted, to the great discouragement of trade, for where one ship has been sent to that province because of that force, two have been hindered that would otherwise have been employed to that Province. Next, this custom has been exacted from such ships by laws made in New York without consent of the inhabitants of New Jersey, as if New York had a representative of Jersey in that Assembly, though none of the members of it were parties to such an Act of Assembly, which is a disposition of property that is very irregular and no ways English, and vexes the inhabitants of East Jersey. Still more does it vex those of West Jersey, which lies quite in another river and bay, and about a hundred miles from that leading to New York. What is still more tortious and unwarrantable is that the Governor and Assembly of Maryland have put a custom of ten per cent. upon all English goods that are consigned to Pennsylvania in the fleet bound hence to Maryland for tobacco, to the great discouragement of trade as well as injustice to the King's subjects in Pennsylvania. For hereby we are destitute of supplies and denied the benefit of the King's highways, which in the charter of that Province the King has provided for himself and his subjects. Were the goods sold in Maryland the pretence were more allowable, but they are conveyed to Pennsylvania without opening, and the impost is ten per cent., which is not only without precedent but indefensible by law. Again, fourpence, if not nine-pence, a gallon is laid upon all liquors that are carried from Pennsylvania into Maryland, and this is so rigorously executed that passengers for England, who come that way from Pennsylvania with the fleet at its return, must pay for what they bring for their passage only, their chests are rifled in the search of drink, and of some ten shillings is demanded and of none less than half-a-crown—"things never heard of in America, and a severity that cannot but breed bad blood between the people of those provinces, and which is prayed may be redressed and that with the first." If the people of Pennsylvania should deny those of Maryland requisite provisions to supply the ships bound home with tobacco, in retaliation, the consequence would not be well. The reason at bottom for the conduct of Maryland was our making a law against tobacco being brought into Delaware from Maryland—"the thing we have of late been so much troubled about here at home, which it is our interest to forbid, as well as otherwise our safety, and I believe agreeable with the Commissioners of Customs' desire." (3) By a free trade from one colony to another, as here from one county to another, of the growth of the provinces, I mean that whatever is not made to pay custom to the King by the Acts of Navigation may be sold without paying any custom, be it of the growth of the provinces or English goods. Provisions have ever gone free from one colony to another, so have English commodities, one province being sometimes better stored than another. But this I leave to the Commissioners of Customs. The first point only is of such moment that if care be not taken to prevent such unneighbourly doings, trade must suffer and the King's subjects live ill towards one another. Pray communicate this to the Board and quicken the remedy. Signed, Wm. Penn. Copy. The whole, 8½ pages. Endorsed, Mr. Penn's proposals. Recd. from himself, April, 1697. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 50.]
April. 988. List of several papers relating to the Plantation Trade, delivered by William Penn to the House of Lords. 2 pp. Endorsed, delivered to the Board by the Earl of Bridgewater, April, 1697. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 51.]