America and West Indies: May 1697, 17-31

Pages 489-498

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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May 1697

May 17.
1,028. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices of England. On the documents received from Mr. Edward Richier and Governor Goddard respecting the difference between Governor Goddard and Mr. Isaac Richier we offer as follows. The Order in Council of 19 December, 1695, directed (1) that Mr. Richier on giving £2,000 security to abide by the King's decision on his case should be set at liberty, receive his goods again, and be permitted to appeal to the King in Council; (2) that Governor Goddard should appoint a Commission of six, three to be named by Mr. Richier, to examine witnesses and take evidence; (3) that Richier on giving the usual security should have liberty to appeal for all prosecutions in Bermuda. Governor Goddard has sent us copies of the bond and commission which he offered to Richier, of a minute of Council shewing why they refuse to release Richier from prison, and a general vindication of his conduct. On the other hand Richier has sent us copies of the bonds which he offered, and it is given as his excuse for not nominating three members of the Commission that the Governor has so far intimidated the inhabitants that he could not obtain three persons to act with impartiality in the matter. This is supported by several papers laid before us, many of which allege further acts of illegality against Governor Goddard. A summary of these is given. On the whole of which we would represent (1) That the difference between the bond offered by Governor Goddard to Richier from that tendered by Richier himself, is that Richier makes the restoration of his goods a condition of obligation while Goddard does not. Thus Richier would be bound in £2,000 to abide by the King's decision, while Goddard (who confesses that he has some of Richier's goods in his possession) would be left free; which is unreasonable. (2) As to the refusal to release Richier from prison we think that, apart from the illegality of the pretended outlawry and the fact that Richier's action in seizing Trott's ship has been upheld, such a refusal absolutely frustrates the benefit of appeal to the King and might obstruct the account which every Governor is bound to render to him. (3) We think that enquiry should be made into the complaints against Governor Goddard, but that it cannot be made in Bermuda while he continues as Governor there. (4) Nicholas Trott is the same man as was removed from the Government of the Bahamas for harbouring and protecting pirates. On the whole we recommend that Governor Goddard be recalled and a new Governor be sent out with orders to enforce the Order in Council of 19 December, 1695, to require the same security from Governor Goddard to abide by the King's decision and from Nicholas Trott likewise, also that directions be given for the prosecution of Nicholas Trott for the misdemeanours aforesaid. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Tankerville, Ph. Meadows, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 29. pp. 23–33.]
May 17. 1,029. Order of the Lords Justices of England in Council. Approving the report of the Council of Trade on the case of Isaac Richier (see preceding abstract), and ordering that Governor Goddard be recalled, that Nicholas Trott be obliged to come to England to answer to prosecutions for his misdemeanours, and that a clause be added to the instructions of the new Governor to enforce the remainder of the Council's recommendations. Signed, Rich. Colinge. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 5th, Read 7th June, 1697. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 3. No. 9; and 29. pp. 33–37.]
May 17. 1,030. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Vernon's letter of 14th inst. with a memorial of Lord Bellomont read (No. 1,022). A memorial from Mr. Brenton read (No. 1,027). The gentlemen interested in mines in New England having not lately enquired as to the resolutions arrived at thereon, the Secretary was ordered to send them the proposals and provisoes lately drawn up.
Representation as to Bermuda signed (No. 1,028), and, with that of the 24th as to Massachusetts, sent up to Council.
A body of instructions to the Governors of Colonies as to observance of the Acts of Trade considered, together with a presentment of the Commissioners of Customs of 11 May (No. 1,007). The Secretary received instructions for a letter to the Treasury thereon. (No. 1,036).
May 18. Lord Bellomont's memorial was considered and the heads of a representation thereon agreed upon.
May 19. The representation agreed to yesterday was signed (No. 1,033). The journals sent from Massachusetts were then considered.
May 20. Further consideration of the Massachusetts journals.
May 21. Mr. Vernon's letter, with a letter from the Governor and Company of Rhode Island was received (No. 1,037).
Mr. Jeremiah Basse presented a memorial from the Proprietors of the Jerseys, nominating him as Governor. Agreed to recommend the nomination to the Lords Justices. The King's letters to the said Proprietors concerning the Acts of Trade were then delivered to him.
The letters received from New Hampshire were considered.
On the approach of the holidays the Council adjourned to the 31st. [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 110–116.]
May 18.
1,031. William Popple to Mr. Bulfinch. Forwarding copy of certain proposals and provisoes, to which the Council of Trade desires an answer from the gentlemen who desire a patent for working copper-mines in New England and bringing naval stores from thence. [Board of Trade. New England, 36. p. 194.]
May 18. 1,032. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Richard Turner appointed Solicitor-General, and Samuel Smith Master in Chancery. Bills to disable judges from pleading, for repealing the duty on shipping and to revive the duty on excise, read a third time and passed. On the Act in favour of Quakers, the Council was of opinion that the intent of the Act does not admit them to the privilege of executors without an oath, unless they could produce some precedent from England. Bill for a Committee of Accounts read thrice and passed. Bill concerning the powder-duty read once and referred to a Committee. The Assembly's memorial for payment of £2 a month to Mr. Robert Chapman, and of £100 to George Payne for many and good services passed. Order for payments for subsistence of French prisoners. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 217–218.]
May 18.
1,033. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices of England. With reference to Lord Bellomont's memorial (see No. 1,022) we have in our representation of 14 May already dealt with the matter of sending stores of war to Massachusetts. As to recruits for the forces in New York we have already answered in our representation of 11 May; but we are not capacitated to offer an opinion as to the drafting of recruits from the regiments in Ireland. As to the pay of the troops, though the deduction of 30 per cent. has been represented as a hardship to them and owing to the dearness of provisions appears really to be so, we do not presume to propose any alteration of the King's former orders; but we think that the payment of the arrears of off-reckonings and subsistence to them, on Lord Bellomont's arrival, would be a suitable and profitable encouragement to them. We have nothing to object against Captain Nanfan's appointment to be Lieutenant-Governor of New York nor to his exchange of companies with one of the captains there, provided it be by mutual consent. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Tankerville, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. New England, 36. pp. 197–198.]
May 20. 1,034. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. William Brodrick's patent for the office of Attorney-General was read, and he was sworn in to that office. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 79. p. 67.]
May 20. 1,035. Minutes of Council of Montserrat. Jasper Scheurman was fined £100, current money, for drawing his sword on Colonel Hodges, and was bound over to good behaviour. Two Acts, for raising a levy and for a present of 60,000 lbs. of sugar to the Lieutenant-Governor, were passed. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. p. 524.]
May 20.
1,036. William Popple to William Lowndes, Secretary of the Treasury. I return the draft instructions prepared for the Governors of the Colonies (see No. 1,007). The Council of Trade desire the Treasury to know that they had already prepared a general instruction for the purpose, conformable to the address of the House of Lords and little different from the last clause of the draft instructions. Some of them have been sent to the Colonies, and the rest lie ready to be transmitted; but the Council of Trade think none the less that the draft instructions may be very useful to the end intended, and proper to be despatched accordingly as the Lords of the Treasury think fit. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. pp. 166–167.]
[May 20.] 1,037. Governor of Rhode Island to the King. We, the Governor and Company of Rhode Island, congratulate you on your happy deliverance from the detestable plot of assassination, and thank you for the appointment of the Council of Trade. We have received their letters of 20 April, 1696, and have endeavoured to place ourselves in a posture of defence, but our Colony is small by reason that several of our towns are at present withheld from us by Massachusetts, and that we being in the midst of the Colonies are a frontier to the rest, being bounded by the Ocean about forty miles. Hence all our strength of defence is little enough to preserve us from the attempts of the French, so that we cannot send assistance to other Colonies, however they may misrepresent us to the contrary. We have always received protection from former Kings, being a people of different religious persuasions from the former united Colonies; and we beg that we may be heard before judgment be given against us in any case. Signed, Walter Clarke. Postscript. We have received Mr. Blathwayt's letter as to the Association, which has been with alacrity subscribed. There are no dissenters from true loyalty in Rhode Island. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. from Mr. Vernon, 20th, Read, 21st May, 1697. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 106; and 36. pp. 199–200.]
May 20.
1,038. Order of the Lords Justices of England in Council. Referring the petition of Captain William Holman to Council of Trade and Plantations for report. Signed, Rich. Colinge. ½ p. Annexed,
1,038. I. Petition of William Holman to the Lords Justices in Council. In August, 1694, I was very instrumental in preserving the harbour of Ferryland in Newfoundland, and eight or nine ships within it, from two French men-of-war. To do so I built four forts and mounted thirty guns, which cost me altogether £495. On my informing the Admiralty hereof they gave me a medal and chain, but advised me to apply to the King in Council for reinbursement of any debt. I beg that the Council of Trade may report what is fit to be done for my relief. Copy. 1 p.
1,038. II. William Holman's account for expenses incurred in the defence of Ferryland in 1694. Dated, 17 July, 1696. The largest items are £105 for 15 barrels of gunpowder, £150 for 3 quintals of fish spoiled. The last item is for "one hogshead of sherry wine, 20 gallons of brandy, and a barrel of strong beer which I gave the men to encourage them in time of fight." Total £495 14s. 9d. 1 p. The whole endorsed, Read 7 June, 1697. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. Nos. 78, 78 I., II.; and 25. pp. 116–118.]
[May 20.] 1,039. A collection of further papers relating to William Holman.
1,039. I. Order of the Lords Justices of England in Council, 6 July, 1695. Referring a petition of Holman to the Lords of Trade and Plantations for report. Endorsed, Recd. 30 July. Read 7 Aug., 1695.
1,039. II. Petition of William Holman to the Lords Justices. Almost identical with that given in preceding abstract, No. I. Copy. 1 p.
1,039. III. Narrative of Charles Desborough, 18 May, 1695. Setting forth how Holman fortified Ferryland, brought the inhabitants back to defend it by threatening to take their fish and burn their houses, and beat off two French men-of-war. 1¼ pp.
1,039. IV. A further deposition, giving no new details, of Holman's defence of Ferryland. 1¼ pp.
1,039. V. Deposition of Edward Davis, mariner, in confirmation of the foregoing accounts. It appears that Holman was Captain of the William and Mary, letter of marque of sixteen guns; that three of these guns were lost when transferring back from the shore to the ship after the French had retired; and that Holman also lost the profit which he might have made by fishing when he defended Ferryland. 1½ pp.
1,039. VI. Account of William Holman's expenses at the defence of Ferryland. Total, £463. This is in less detail than the account in preceding abstract No. II. ¼ p. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. Nos. 78 III.–VIII.]
May 20. 1,040. William Thornburgh to William Popple. I have laid your letter of 6 May (No. 1,000) before the Proprietors of Carolina and the Bahamas, who are ready to pay all obedience to the King's commands. They have always made it an instruction to the Governors to observe the Acts of Trade and Navigation and will now express it as the King's orders. But since the late Act of Parliament has vested the approbation of their Governors in the King, it cannot be expected that they should give security for the behaviour of persons so constituted, nor are they aware that it is required of them by any Act of Parliament. Signed, Wm. Thornburgh. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 22 May. Read, 7 June, 1697. [America and West Indies, 601. No. 46; and Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. p. 80.]
May 21. 1,041. Memorial of the Proprietors of East and West New Jersey to the Council of Trade. Requesting the royal confirmation of Jeremiah Basse to be Governor of the said provinces. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. p. 77.]
May 26. 1,042. Journal of General Assembly of Massachusetts. Letters from the Council of Trade read, including that respecting the expedition to Newfoundland. The Representatives were sworn, sixty members in all (full list given), and Penn Townsend, senior member for Boston, approved as Speaker.
May 27. Nathaniel Byfield, John Appleton, John Otis and Samuel Partrigg, representatives, brought up the names of the twenty eight elected Councillors (full list given) who were approved by the Lieutenant-Governor. His Honour then communicated to the Representatives the letters from the Council of Trade, and the appointment of Lord Bellomont to be Governor, further acquainting them that the report of the Commissioners sent to Rhode Island and Connecticut, as also a correspondence between himself and Governor Fletcher respecting the Skachkook Indians, should be laid before them. Committee appointed to prepare a bill for putting the militia in a posture of war.
May 28. Committee appointed to consider of the letters received from England. Order for preparation of bills to give succour to the neighbouring Colonies and for revival of the duty on wines. Militia bill read and debated.
May 29. Harvard College Incorporation bill read and amended. Order for a letter to be written to Connecticut for the assistance of fifty or sixty effective men. Adjourned to 31st. [Board of Trade. New England, 48. pp. 143–149.]
May 27. 1,043. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Order for adjustment of the accounts for repair of the Castle and for fitting out the Province galley for the King's service, and for payment of the sums due thereupon. Orders for payment of £6 to Lieutenant-Colonel John Hathorne for expenses in the expenditure to St. John's River, of £100 towards the funeral expenses of the late Governor Bradstreet, and of £25 on account of postal services. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 90–93.]
May 27.
1,044. Order of the Lords Justices of England in Council. Approving the following report of the Lords of the Admiralty, and directing them to give the necessary orders. Memo. The representation concerning fortifications and warlike stores was referred to the Ordnance. ½ p. Over page,
The Admiralty to Council of Trade and Plantations, 27 May, 1697. We see no objection to the employment of another fourth-rate frigate on the coast of New England, and we shall give the necessary directions to the Captain of the Deptford which is appointed to carry Lord Bellomont to his Government. Copies. The whole, 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 18 June, 1697. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 107; and 36. pp. 208–209.]
May 27. 1,045. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Two of the Collectors appeared and swore to their accounts. Order for arrest of William Taylard for perjury (pp. 262–263).
May 28. The letter of the Council of Trade of 25 September, was read, whereupon it was ordered that the militia officers send in lists of their troops; that the constables while making their lists of the taxables, make a list also of the women and children, negroes and servants, separating the free from the unfree; that the sheriffs report as to the number of ships built in the country; and order was given for the Justices to see that the Act for better clearing of the roads be enforced. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. 252–255.]
May 29.
1,046. J. Tucker to William Popple. Mr. Secretary Trumbull desires to know if, between the Treaty of Breda in 1667 and the beginning of the present war, our affairs in America have received any essential alteration, and, if they have, what those alterations are. This requiring some haste, Mr. Secretary desires that you will lay it before the Board at their next meeting, and that they will consider it with all convenient speed, and that as soon as may be afterwards they will let him know the state of things in America from the beginning of the war to this time, with as much exactness as possible, these matters being in order to settle a treaty of commerce with France. Signed, J. Tucker. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 30 May. Read, 7 June. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 52; and 34. p. 167.]
May 29. 1,047. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Stephen Towse sworn Clerk of the Council. Orders for payments for repairs of buildings, for £50 compensation to Captain John Hanger for losses sustained from the French while he was absent in pursuit of rebellious negroes. Order for payment of £60 as half-a-year's salary to Chief Justice Richard Lloyd and for payment of Thomas Nicholls, late Clerk of Council. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 79. pp. 67–69.]
May 31. 1,048. Journal of General Assembly of Massachusetts. Harvard College bill voted and sent down to the Representatives. Militia bill read and debated. Bill for assisting neighbouring Colonies returned by the Representatives as agreed to, and ordered to be engrossed. Militia bill read and sent down. Bill for new Excise duties read. The Representatives' proposals as to prosecution of the war read and committed. Order as to settling the ministry of Watertown agreed to by the Representatives.
June 2. The Speaker and Representatives attended for a conference on the proposals for prosecuting the war. Harvard College bill agreed to by the Representatives and ordered to be engrossed. An order as to the division of lands in the town of Sandwich was concurred in by the Representatives.
June 3. Bill to succour neighbouring provinces passed into an Act. New proposals from the Representatives for the prosecution of the war agreed to.
June 4. Sundry votes of the Representatives for small payments and a vote for approving the Treasurer's accounts were agreed to. John Taylor re-elected Treasurer. Bill for limiting the friendly Indians and prosecuting the enemy received from the Representatives and read. Harvard College bill passed into an Act.
June 5. Excise bill and bill for prosecuting the enemy read a second time. Militia bill received back from the Representatives, with some additions, and agreed to. [Board of Trade. New England, 48. pp. 149–155.]
May 31. 1,049. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Petition of William Sharp upon a judgment against him was read; his case to be referred to the law officers for report, during which a letter from the Commissioners of Customs was read, directing that Sharp's prosecution should be pursued.
June 1. The Registrar in Chancery reported that Sharp had taken out a writ of error in his business (pp. 255–257). Certain of the Collectors and Naval officers were sworn to their accounts. Letter from the Commissioners of Customs read respecting illegal trade (pp. 263–264).
June 2. Two more Naval officers sworn to their accounts. A letter from the President of Barbados read, reporting the arrival of Admiral Nevill, and ordered to be published. Order for lists of tithables and of fines to be made out for a new commissioner of the peace to be issued, and for a question as to the Ordinances of the Assembly to be referred to the law officers (pp. 264–266).
June 3. A second petition of William Sharp, to be allowed to purchase a new writ of error was read. Further proceedings relating thereto (pp. 257–260). Order for delivery of arms to the Rangers (p. 266).
June 4. Certain of the naval officers came and swore to their accounts. Messengers appointed to go to the Indians (pp. 267, 268). [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. as cited.]
May 31. 1,050. Journal of House of Delegates of Maryland. The proposals sent down by the Governor and Council were considered and the following resolutions passed:—(1) As to the excessive expense of Somerset County Court, resolved to address the Governor to reduce the numbers of the Commission in that County, and direct the Justices to choose richer men for constables. (2) As to whether Colonel Talbot ever reimbursed the county his prison fees, we find that he did. (3) As to making a law to prevent seamen, negroes and servants running away, resolved to refer this to the Committee of Laws. (4) As to making a law to lay an imposition on imported wooden wares, and upon sugar and molasses imported by strangers, resolved that such a law would be inconvenient. (5) As to better regulation of the law about constables taking the lists of taxables, resolved that the law needs no amendment. (6) As to a law to compel all persons to ascertain the bounds of their lands, resolved to defer the question to next Assembly. (7) As to an address to the King to lay down the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania, resolved that the Committee of Laws prepare such an address. (8) As to enquiry of the reasons that prevented most of the ships this year from sailing earlier, resolved that the reason is that the masters and merchants held their goods at too dear a price and asked excessive rates of freight, and that the House approves the action of the Council therein. (9) As to a law to appoint auditors, resolved that the several Courts of law appoint them, and that their fees be ascertained by the justices when the bills of costs are taxed. (10) As to a law to confirm officers of judicature in their places, and to oblige Collectors and Naval officers to furnish accounts and returns, resolved that the Committee of Laws prepare such a law. (11) As to finishing the ditch and other repairs adjoining it, resolved that John Hammond and Edward Dorsey see to the work, and that the Treasurer pay them 8,000lbs. of tobacco for the same. (12) We assent as to the proportioning of the levy this sessions and as to the adjustment of accounts. (13) As to the proposal concerning the issue of commissions in Chancery, we cite what is the practice in England. (14) As to establishing a market and fair to be kept in the town, resolved that the act for advancing the port of Annapolis sufficiently provides for this. (15) As to devoting the arms-fund to purchase of books, etc., now that the country is sufficiently provided with arms, resolved to defer the question to next Assembly. (16) As to more equal division and re-naming of parishes, we think the present bounds satisfactory. (17) As to addressing the King to send a cruiser, we see no occasion to put him to the expense of one. (18) As to rewarding and reimbursing Mr. Bray for his trouble and expenses concerning the library, resolved that a letter be written to him. (19) As to establishing a ferry between this and Kent Island, resolved that the expense would be too burdensome to the country. (20) As to the public buildings left unfinished through the absconding of the bricklayer, resolved to defer the question till enquiry can be made. (21) The letters from Mr. Povey, Colonel Andrew Hamilton and Governor Fletcher lie before the House for consideration. (22) John Freeman's petition to the House for settlement of his fees as Registrar in Chancery is rejected. (23) As to sending out an exploring party, resolved that the expense will be burdensome to the country. (24) As to the additional conveniences to the State-house, resolved that it is very proper that they be executed, and orders have been given accordingly. (25) Resolved that it will be very convenient that the arms be ordered from England.
June 1. The Committee of Grievances presented a report recommending an address to the Governor to enlarge the jurisdiction of the County Courts in all personal actions. Bills as to County Court Houses, to add to the Act for recovery of small debts, and for naturalisation of Stephen Francis and George Slacombe read a first time. Leave for a bill to restrain vexatious appeals granted. Message from the Governor asking the House to meet the Council in conference on Indian affairs. The House went up accordingly and heard various reports on the subject. The House agreed with the Governor that the Indians at the head of the Bay should come down to next Provincial Court. Further reports as to the Indians heard, and a Committee of eleven appointed to draw up proposals for a treaty with them.
June 2. Bill as to County Courthouses committed. Bill as to small debts read a second time. On the Governor's proposal, resolved that a bill be prepared to compel the justices of the Provincial and County Courts to read and confirm the previous day's minutes every morning at the beginning of every Court. At the Governor's summons the House again joined the Council upon Indian affairs, when the Committee presented a report, containing their proposals as to the measures to be taken for conciliating the Indians, which were approved. Resolved that the Committee go forthwith to the Piscattaway and Acokick Indians upon a treaty. The proposals were then sent up to the Governor, who said that the Choptico and Nanticoke Indians need not be summoned, as he hoped to visit them himself in the summer. Order for messengers to be sent to warn the Indians at the head of the bay and to summon them to next Provincial Court, and for distribution of ten grenades, ten fusils and two spades to each of the captains of the Rangers. The House then resumed.
June 3. The bills as to small debts and County Courthouses were read a third time and passed. Mrs. Herman's private bill read a first time. Message to the Governor that leave of absence had been granted to the members appointed to treat with the Indians.
June 4. Mrs. Herman's private bill passed. On the Governor's proposal, resolved to prepare a bill to appoint two persons in each county near the Indians to settle disputes between them and the English.
June 5. The question of Colonel Talbot's fees referred to the Committee of Laws. Bill empowering vestries to purchase lands for churches read a second time. Mrs. Herman's private bill read a third time and passed. Resolved to address the Council of Trade for a separate convoy for Maryland. The Committee of Laws reported in favour of the Governor's proposals to amend the Militia Act, but added that the present time, owing to Indian disturbances, was unfavourable for altering the present law, and proposed that the suggested amendments be sent to every County, that the people might instruct their delegates thereupon. Resolved to approve the report and send it to the Council. Bills as to executions for public officers' fees, and as to the State-house read a first time, and that for purchase of lands, etc., read a second time and sent up to Council. Bill for reformation of jeofails read a first time. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 15. pp. 151–173.]
May 31. 1,051. Minutes of Council of Maryland in Assembly. The Burgesses' answers to the Governor's proposals were received. In answer to the remark as to the Clerk of the Delegates signing as Clerk of Assembly, it was said that he should sign as Clerk of the Delegates in future. The Council assented to the additional conveniences for the State-house. Petitions for payments referred to the Burgesses.