America and West Indies: June 1696

Pages 8-27

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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June 1696

June 1.
18. John Usher to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I last night received yours of 13 March, and congratulate you on the happy discovery of the wicked and traitorous design against the King's life. I am hastening to New Hampshire to communicate to the inhabitants what I have received from you, and shall take care that thanksgiving be given to Almighty God for so great a blessing as the King's deliverance. The province itself remains in the same state as I reported in November last, the great complaint and cry being only for provision, for the supply of which I take all the care that I can. I shall always serve the King with life and fortune, and pray for his protection. Signed, John Usher. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 20 Aug. Read 28 Aug., 1696. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 11.]
June 2. 19. Minutes of General Assembly of Massachusetts. Letter from the Privy Council as to the discovery of the plot against the King read and laid before the Representatives. The Committee on expiring Acts recommended that they be renewed to the 29th of June, 1697, and that the Act to prohibit exportation of grain be continued to the end of next session. A Bill to that effect was ordered to be drawn. A Bill passed by the Representatives to approve the Treasurer's accounts was received and agreed to. On the petition of the select men of Boston an Act was passed to establish fairs and markets in the town, and sent down for concurrence.
June 3. Act to continue expiring Acts read a first time. Report of the Committee as to preventing exportation of coin received, and a Bill ordered to be prepared. Report of the Committee as to prosecution of the war received and sent to the Representatives.
June 4. An additional Act to the Act as to coin was read. Order for stay of execution levied upon John Dexter by the Treasurer for money which he had not been authorised to collect.
June 5. Committees appointed to consider petitions, and to confer with a Committee of the Representatives as to a Bill to erect markets in Boston. Bill to continue expiring Acts read a second time, amended, and sent to the Representatives. The report of the Committee on the prosecution of the war was received, with the Representatives' vote thereon.
June 6. Bill to continue expiring Acts again read and ordered to be engrossed. Order for payment of £16 to the select men of Hadley for wolves destroyed. [Board of Trade. New England, 48. pp. 43–48.]
June 2. 20. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. Message from the Assembly as to the Courts Act, insisting that the Secretary and Marshal should give security, and that Councillors should be debarred from pleading. The Governor answered that he quite agreed as to the security, and was willing to pass a separate Act for the purpose. Message from the Assembly that they would be ready to consider a bill for quartering the soldiers, on the calling of a General Assembly.
June 3. The Assembly proposed the renewal of the old Act for billeting soldiers, and asked for the Governor and another Councillor to join a Committee of the whole Assembly to regulate the Act for Courts. The Governor concurred. Acts for the Secretary and Marshal to give security, and for billeting soldiers passed. The Governor approved the Assembly's choice of a site for the gaol. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 172–173.]
June 4. 21. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. On news of the late conspiracy against the King, ordered that the appointed oaths be administered to all males over eighteen years of age. William Browne nominated a Justice of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas in Essex County, and Stephen Sewall nominated a Notary Public. Order for payment of £6 15s. 0d. to George Monk, taverner, of Boston, for the entertainment of the Lieutenant-Governor, Council and other gentlemen on the day of convening the Assembly. Order for a Commission of the Peace to be made out to three or more of the most sufficient inhabitants of Port Royal. [Board of Trade. New England. 49. pp. 28–29.]
June 5.
Navy Office.
22. Commissioners of the Navy to Lords of the Treasury. We have directed the officers of the dockyard at Deptford to receive the naval stores imported by Sir Stephen Evans and Sir Henry Ashurst from New England, and have directed the survey of the same not only by our own officers but by three of the most considerable shipwrights in the river, who, in a report of the 3rd inst., think the timber and tree-nails too infirm to be used for the King's ships, but give a better character of the other stores, as their report annexed will show. Signed, D. Lyddall, Sam. Pett, Tho. Willshaw, J. Sotherne, R. Haddock. Copy. 1 p. Annexed,
22. I. Receipt for timber and tree-nails delivered at Deptford dockyard, from New England, 25 May, 1695. Signed, H. Hosier, J. Fownes. Copy. 1 p.
22. II. A second receipt for rosin, pitch, tar and ash-rafters received at the same time from the same ship. Signed, H. Hosier, J. Fownes. Deptford, 25 May, 1695.
22. III. Report of the Surveyors of the stores sent from New England to the Navy Board. We have examined these stores, and find, on trial of many of the planks and knees, that the wood in general is of very tender and "frow" substance mingled with red veins and subject to many worm-holes, which are signs of decay. The arms of the knees, at the crotch or bending where the greatest strength is required, are for the most part so much across the grain that they look as if a small strain would break them asunder. The tree-nails are less useful by what we expected in proportion for that service than the others; so that we can by no means approve of them as fitting to be used in the King's ships. The ashrafters for oars, the pitch, rosin and tar we think will be serviceable for the Navy, though the tar has been found of too hot a temper for the ropemakers. Signed, D. Furzer, F. Harding, S. Miller, A. Castle, J. Castle, E. Snelgrove. Copy. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. Nos. 12, 12 I.–III.]
June 8. 23. Minutes of General Assembly of Massachusetts. Order for refund to John Dexter of a small sum overcharged against himself by error. Bill as to executions on executors for the debts of testators and intestates read a first time and debated.
June 9. Votes in concurrence with the Representatives for payment for the paving about Boston Town-house, for grant of 500 acres of land to Samuel and Hannah Sewall, and for an action of Samuel Gibson to be reheard. Bill to continue expiring Acts again read and enacted. Bill for levying executions on executors read a second time. Order for certain justices and select men of Bristol and Duke's County to attend and answer the charges of denying a jury, raising money on people without their consent, and refusing an appeal. The appeal of Joseph Richardson also granted in concurrence with a vote of the Representatives.
June 10. A Committee appointed to consider the petition of the inhabitants of the West side of the River Springfield for settlement of a ministry among them. Bill for a market in Boston received from the Representatives and read a first time.
June 11. Voted in concurrence with the Representatives that £25 be allowed for encouragement of a Post Office for the ensuing year. Committee appointed to confer with a Committee of the Representatives as to redress for the complaints of the towns of Enfield and Suffield owing to the molestations and claims of Connecticut, and also as to redress for masters of families who are impressed for the King's ships. Bill for a market in Boston read again and ordered to be engrossed. Order for payment of a soldier, whose debentures and orders there-upon have been lost.
June 12. Voted in concurrence with the Representatives that £30 be paid to Major Charles Frost, and £40 to the maintenance of the ministry at the garrisons of Deerfield and Dunstall. The appeal of Samuel Gibson was heard.
June 13. The Report of the Committee appointed to enquire as to the grievances of Enfield and Suffield and the hardships of impressed men was read, recommending that a duplicate of a former letter asserting the claims of Massachusetts be written to Connecticut, that assurance be given to Enfield and Suffield of support in maintaining their rights, and that the Governor interpose his authority to regulate impressment. Voted accordingly. Bill for a market in Boston again read. Proposals as to prosecution of the war received from the Representatives, and deferred for further consideration. [Board of Trade. New England, 48. pp. 48–56.]
June 9. 24. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Sundry accounts passed. An address praying that the fees in the public offices may be regulated was read, with a copy of complaints of extortion of exorbitant fees. Mr. Cranfield, against whom as chief Custom-house officer some of these complaints were directed, made answer to them, which answer was considered sufficient. The Governor, however, directed the table of authorised fees to be hung up in all the offices. On a petition of ships' masters to be allowed to sail, it was ordered that all the ships for Europe shall sail together, when the Play, prize, returns from Antigua.
June 10. The Judges of the Court of Common Pleas attended and made their defence against the complaints against them, which the Council unanimously decided was insufficient, and directed that they should be removed and new Judges appointed. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 100–103.]
June 10.
New York.
25. Governor Fletcher to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Since my last I have received an answer from the Governor of Pennsylvania to my application for assistance, and the draft of a Bill, of which copies are sent herewith. You will see that the people have as little regard for their proprietor, Mr. Penn, as for the King's service, and are endeavouring to erect a new model of Government of their own invention and by their own authority. The town of Philadelphia in fourteen years' time is become nearly equal to the city of New York in trade and riches. The hardships of this province in defence of the frontiers and the debauching of our people had driven many of them thither to enjoy their ease, and there being no duty upon trade in that Colony it is a discouragement to the trade of this province, whose inhabitants are left solely to bear the burden of the war, while they of Pennsylvania grow by our hardships and derive all their protection from our forces. The Council and present Assembly of this province are willing to act to their power for the preservation of it, their greatest discouragement lying in the inequality of their circumstances with their neighbours of Pennsylvania, the Jerseys and Connecticut, who are all free from duty and were formerly part of the province. I found two Frenchmen in the companies that came last from England, Roman Catholics. I now send them back to be exchanged or otherwise disposed of. Our agents, Mr. Brooke and Mr. Nicolls, are taken into France and have lost all their papers and instructions. I have now transmitted copies, if they are come to England. I just now received an answer from Connecticut to my applications for assistance, of which copies are transmitted. You will see that nothing is to be got from them but words. I asked them last winter for a company at their own charge, leaving them to nominate their officers, which they evaded. I have since desired only sixty men for one year to fill up the companies. I offered £3 levy money, arms, ammunition, victuals and pay. Their Assembly now offer fifty-eight men and two officers for four months unless they see fit to recall them earlier, provided I send into their country the arms and provisions and perform all that I offered, with pay for their officers. This would be very expensive, and cannot be performed, as I have no fund to pay the officers and other charges. I have no encouragement to believe them, having met with so many evasions and disappointments. I have recruited the companies and shall do my best with the forces at my disposal, but I still think 500 men the least number sufficient for security of the frontier. Several Quakers in New York, from pretence of tenderness of conscience and aversion to the carnal weapon, will not sign the Association nor take an oath. I have ordered them to be released. I have sent a list of reputed papists in New York. They are all disarmed and bound to give bond for good behaviour or be confined in prison. Signed, Ben. Fletcher. 3 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 26 Aug., 1696. Read 28th. Answd. 25 Sept. [Board of Trade. New York, 6. No. 43; and 52. pp. 6–8.]
26. Governor Fletcher to Lords of Trade and Plantations. The desertion from the companies and recruits sent last from England was encouraged by the great wages given to labourers in the neighbouring Colonies, where the people protected and concealed them, pretending charity lest they should be put to death. There-upon I issued a proclamation promising pardon to such deserters as should return to their garrisons within a certain time, and assured the Governor of Connecticut that such as he sent back or returned voluntarily should be pardoned. Several were returned and some came back of themselves. On the 10th of January last at Senectady, the advanced garrison of this province towards the French and their Indians, the whole guard deserted in the night and marched off with their arms. Lieutenant Bickford, the officer who commanded there, pursued them about twenty miles, killed some and made all the rest prisoners, who being tried by court-martial were all condemned to die. One of them suffered, but the rest being very penitent and men very scarce in the country, I, on the petition of the men and officers, granted them mercy, of which I hope the King will approve. The Lieutenant's letter and all the papers to do with the proceedings are transmitted herewith. Signed, Ben. Fletcher. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 26 Aug. 1696. Read 28th. Answd. 25 Sept. 1696. [Board of Trade. New York, 6. No. 44; and 52, p. 9.]
[June 10.] 27. A collection of papers transmitted together with the two foregoing despatches.
27. I. Lieutenant Abraham Bickford to Governor Fletcher. Senectady. March, 1696. On the 10th of January about midnight the whole guard except one deserted. The others to the number of sixteen broke through the north-west blockhouse next the water's side, and drew the charges of the great guns. About two o'clock in the morning I went to visit the guard, but finding none sent express to Colonel Ingoldsby and pursued them myself with ten inhabitants and eleven soldiers, but was forced to leave the serjeant with seven red-coats in the woods, they not being able to march as the expedition required. There was a little snow, and as the deserters kept a path all night I followed on their tracks, but as soon as it was day they left the path and steered by the sun. About four o'clock in the afternoon I came up with them, being within two pikes' length before I discovered myself. I commanded them to lay down their arms. They returned no answer but with presented muskets. We having the advantage of being presented at them made the first fire, with which two or three fell. The rest immediately fired briskly on us and we on them for a considerable time, during which I still called on them to lay down their arms and that there was another party near them. But they still held out firing till seven of them lay on the ground, and then the rest surrendered. Five are dead, and the other two not yet recovered of their wounds. I had my party sworn by Colonel Ingoldsby's order before Capt. Sanders Glenn, justice of the peace, to satisfy you of what I said to the deserters both before and during the action, and enclose copy of the depositions. My men were so advantageously posted that, God be thanked, none were shot or wounded. We have a strong and regular fort here built by the inhabitants, with foot-works and a stone magazine, fit for the garrison. There has been no news from the enemy this winter. Copy. 1¼ pp.
27. II. Sworn statement of the men with Lieutenant Bickford as to his calling on the deserters to surrender before he fired. Senectady. 14 March, 1696. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 26 Aug. 1696. Read 1st Sept.
27. III. Minutes of a Court Martial held on the deserters, on 21st April, 1696, Colonel Richard Ingoldsby, President, two captains and five lieutenants members. The whole were found guilty and sentenced to be shot. Copy. 5 pp. Endorsed as No. II.
27. IV. Governor Fletcher to Governor Treat of Connecticut. 20 April, 1696. Our frontiers being much weakened by death and desertion, I have prevailed with the Assembly to provide pay for 120 men, being the quota assigned to your Colony by the Royal mandate. Yet to make all things easy, I desire you to send sixty men to Albany, who shall be furnished with the King's arms and ammunition, victuals, lodging and pay, and remain in the service one year from their arrival at Albany. They shall have £3 a man in their hands on their arrival, and if you think fit that they, or some of them, should be relieved in a lesser time by others, it shall be granted, provided that every man relieved before his year is out return thirty shillings of his advance-money to the man who relieves him. I should like them to be got thither some time in May next. It will be a great advantage to the youth of Connecticut to be taught the use of arms after the modern way of the King's army. When these return they will be able to instruct the others. Your compliance herein will be fairly represented to the King and acknowledged by myself. Copy. 1 p.
27. V. Governor and Council of Connecticut to Governor Fletcher. Hartford, 22 May, 1696. Yours of 20 April and 11 May are before us. We acknowledge that our loyalty to the King's interest obliges us to our utmost to prevent any damage that may happen thereunto, so we have concluded to send a Captain and Lieutenant with fifty-eight men to Albany to join your forces and the quotas of the other Colonies. We shall commissionate one captain and lieutenant to lead our men to Albany and receive your orders, you, according to your letter, finding arms, ammunition and provisions. We desire that you will order these arms, ammunition and provisions to be sent to Milford in readiness for the soldiers to march with, and at the place where our soldiers receive them we shall order them to be returned. Our General Assembly has agreed that the men shall be with you for defence of Albany until the 31st of October next, unless we be invaded meanwhile and want them at home. We shall raise our officers and men as soon as we receive your compliance herewith. Signed, Eleazar Kimberly, Secretary. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed as No. II.
27. VI. Secretary of New York to Governor Treat. 26 May, 1696. The Governor has submitted your letter of 22nd to the Council, who finding it to be no answer, but an evasion, have bidden me to acquaint you thereof, and that they are sorry you should so forget your duty as to trifle with the King's interest and your own preservation at a time when more than ordinary affection to the King is required from his subjects. The Governor's letter is plain and free from mystery. He expects the like answer from you, and that you will order the men to march to Albany, where he will fulfil the agreement which he has proposed. He will find them officers; his commission for the militia of your Colony is not repealed, so the power of appointing officers is lodged in him. Signed, David Jamison. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed as No. II.
27. VII. Governor and Council of Connecticut to Governor Fletcher. Hartford, 30 May, 1696. Your letter of 26th has been read in Council, whereby we understand your dissatisfaction at the General Court's letter of the 22nd, which we conceive to proceed from want of charitable and right understanding thereof. Their intent was to send a rational and plain answer to your former letter, such as might attest their loyalty to the King's interest and orders, and, as far as might be, comply with your own proposals. You said you would furnish our men with arms, so it seemed rational to the General Court that the arms should be conveyed to some convenient place, that our men might march with them for their defence through the woods, where you cannot but expect that they may be alarmed on their way. Also it seemed most for the King's interest that our soldiers should have officers from among ourselves, for we hope we have men fitted to command against such enemies as infest our frontiers in these parts, and if our soldiers have officers whom they know and love they will be more free to attend the service and more forward and courageous against the enemy. This is so reasonable a thing that we doubt not the King would approve it and would grant our soldiers such encouragement. If you do not concede this to us you will find our soldiers very unwilling to march to Albany. On their arrival there they were ordered to attend your further orders, which we conceive to be rational on our parts. We do not desire to elude or be mysterious in our letters, neither do we say your commission is repealed; yet we know it is restrained, and we therefore desire your Council to be charitable towards those who sincerely intend the King's service and the defence of good subjects according to our power, and we depend on you for arms, ammunition, provisions and pay. You may remember that in your former letter you appointed us to order a captain, two lieutenants, two drummers, etc., for one company which you desired us to send to Albany, which makes us a little startled at your present statement that you will find our soldiers officers. You do not mention that you have summoned quotas from any of the neighbouring Colonies which are ready to join us, as we expected. If you do not accept our proposals we leave it to your further consideration. Signed, Eleazar Kimberly. Copy. 1½ pp.
27. VIII. Governor Fletcher to Governor Walter Clarke of Rhode Island. 24 April, 1696. I have frequently applied to your Colony for the quota of assistance assigned to you by the Royal mandate, forty-eight men, but so far have not obtained one man nor assistance of any kind. The copies of the answers sent to me I sent to be laid before the King, and hearing of your coming to the Government I was apt to expect more dutiful compliance with the Royal commands. To make things easy I desire you to send forty-eight men, or such number of them as you can get, at your charge to New York. I will provide arms, ammunition, victuals, lodging and pay, and they shall remain on the frontier one year. They shall have £3 a man paid into their hands on arrival. If possible let them be here at the end of May or beginning of June. It will be an advantage to your youth to learn the use of their arms after the modern way of the King's army. Copy. 1 p.
27. IX. Governor Clarke to Governor Fletcher. Newport, Rhode Island. 14 May, 1696. Your letter was laid before the General Assembly on the 6th inst. You say you have applied for forty-eight men for defence of the frontier, that you have never obtained one, and that our answers have been sent home to be laid before the King. Since those letters are before him we are ready to submit to the King's decision, believing that he requires no impossibilities from his subjects. In proof thereof we note in the late Queen's orders that if the Governor or Commander-in-Chief draw off any forces in the time of invasion, he should not leave the Colony unprovided from whence the forces are drawn. We are not unwilling but ready to serve the King with our persons and estates, but several of our towns, forming a considerable part of the Colony, are detained from us by Massachusetts, which incapacitates us. If we part with our men it may be not only the overthrow of this Colony, but may endanger the rest of the Colonies, for the following reasons. First, we have three inlets where no forts can be erected to annoy an enemy lying near, four miles fronting upon the ocean. Also in moderate seas an enemy may land in almost any part of the Government, so that our greatest security consists in suitable numbers of force to watch their motions at the several suspected places, so that we find our all, if attacked, is too little for the defence of our frontier, which lies in as much danger as that of any Colony. I hope you need not question that, as we have formerly always had good correspondence with New York, we wish to continue it.
Since writing the above a privateer from Jamaica has come in with a small prize. Copy. 2 pp. Endorsed as No. II.
27. X. Governor Fletcher to Governor William Markham of Pennsylvania. 29 April, 1696. Requiring of him the quota of men for his province, and asking when they will be ready. Copy. ½ p. Endorsed as No. II.
27. XI. Governor Markham to Governor Fletcher. Philadelphia. 26 May, 1696. I wish that I could send you a satisfactory answer. The Assembly drew up the enclosed Bill, which if I would not pass they were resolved to raise no money, and if I would pass they had provided to raise £200 for New York. It is true that the Proprietor has granted them a large charter, which on his restoration to the Government I tried to put in execution again. I issued out writs to form a Provincial Council and Assembly, as they call it, and when they met and had performed the usual ceremonies, they thought the charter granted by the Proprietor too short, and this a fit time to get a larger, and therefore unanimously declared the old one void. I tried to convince them, but in all the three weeks of their sitting they could not be moved from their first design. I never was for the Proprietor's form of government and doubted if he had power to grant many things in it; but I know very well it was forced from him by friends who unless they received all that they demanded would not have settled the country. Since they refused the old charter, thereby releasing the Proprietor from his obligation to them, I had no reason to bind him again, and that faster than he had bound himself before. They would not allow that they were a General Assembly according to the writs that called them, according to the Proprietor's charter, but by a strange kind of logic disputed that they were not qualified to make laws without this or some other Bill like this to qualify them for it. As if the passing of this Bill were not an act of legislation. As my assistant would not consent that I should call an Assembly after the manner of other Governments I thought it best to avoid contention and to refer the question to the Proprietor himself for his directions. Till these come no Assembly can be called here. So much in answer to your demand of our quota. Copy. 2½ pp. Endorsed as No. II.
27. XII. Order of Governor Fletcher for return of a list of Roman Catholics in the City of New York. 13 June, 1696. Inscribed. A list of the said Catholics, ten in all, certified by the Mayor. 1 p. Indorsed as No. II. [Board of Trade. New York, 6. Nos. 44, 44 I.–XII.]
June 10.
Navy Office.
28. Commissioners of the Navy to Lords of the Treasury. We have received a paper of charges for the Naval stores imported by Sir H. Ashurst and Sir Stephen Evans, and gave order for making out an imprest for satisfying those gentlemen. On comparing the invoice with the stores received we find some articles wanting and others in excess. We observe that the invoice showing the first cost of the goods and expenses of importation amounts to £3,006, which with £55 from Customs makes £3,061. But the invoice is not signed, nor is there any voucher for the payment of that money abroad nor for insurance and other charges, though Sir Henry Ashurst this morning affirmed to us that the account of this invoice is the very same that he had from New England. We must also observe that if this £3,006 was defrayed by those gentlemen in New England, the difference between that and this country's money is as 125 there to 100 English, which will reduce the account to £601. This and the want of vouchers according to the method pursued in this office, are the reasons for our requesting from you further directions. Signed, R. Haddock, D. Lyddall, J. Pett, J. Sotherne, Tho. Willshaw. Copy. 1¼ pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 13.]
June 11. 29. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Order for proclamation for three Indians of Barnstaple County, who have been convicted and sentenced for offences by them committed, to surrender themselves within fifteen days on pain of being treated as enemies. Order for payment of thirty-eight shillings for subsistence and custody of twenty seamen impressed for the King's service. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 29–30.]
June 11. 30. Minutes of Council of Nevis. Orders for the trenches to be repaired and for victuals to be provided for the recruits of Russell's regiment going to Barbados. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. p. 350.]
June 12. 31. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Order that all payments excepting the salaries of the Governor, Chief Justice and Captains of forts (which shall have precedence) shall be paid in order of date. Orders for payments for hire of ships for the King's service. Orders for sundry payments. The Receiver-General returned his accounts, which were examined and entered in full on the Council-book. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 79, pp. 6–9.]
June 11. 32. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Captain John Battaile of the militia in Potomac and the ferryman on the river were summoned to answer for refusing to forward an express with news of a murder by the Indians. The Governor laid before a Council a list of surveyors, received from Mr. Blair, President of the College. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 53. p. 24.]
June 12
33. Governor Nicholson to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I have received yours of 10 March and 17 May, and pursuant to orders have ordered a day of thanksgiving for the deliverance of the King from the design against his life. I was very unfortunate that the Assembly broke up only a few days before your commands arrived, in that I could not sign an address to the King nor enter into an Association with them (though I transmit herewith our address of congratulation to the King), but the Assembly is to meet (God willing) on the 1st of July, and I am not without hopes of sending it by this fleet, or, if not, by the ship which brought your order. I think it best that they should be first done by the General Assembly of the country, for since I have known these parts I have observed that what they have done in this nature hath a mighty influence over the whole. But I design (God willing) that the Provincial and County Courts shall sign them, and the militia too. I have received the King's orders of the 2nd of January as to New York, and I have made the head of it public, thinking that it was for his service. I doubt not that when the Assembly meets they will acknowledge the King's great grace and favour in the affair. Signed, Fr. Nicholson. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 26 Aug. 1696. Read, 28th. Answd. 25 Sept. 1696. Enclosed,
33. I. Address of the Council and Burgesses of Maryland to the King. Congratulating him on his successes in war and on his safe return from Flanders. Signed, Fr. Nicholson, and by seven of the Council; Kenelm Cheseldyn, Speaker, and by thirty-nine Burgesses. Large sheet. Endorsed, Recd. 26 Aug. 1696. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. Nos. 3, 3.I; and (without enclosures) 9. pp. 3–4.]
June 12. 34. Duplicate of the foregoing despatch. Endorsed, R. 26 Aug. '96. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 4.]
June 12.
35. Governor Nicholson to the Duke of Shrewsbury. I send the Journals of Council and Assembly, and other papers. We have had little rain in the lower parts of the province, and I have an account that it is so in most parts of Virginia, so if it please God that it continues there will be a scarcity of corn, provision and tobacco, but when the London fleet arrives, I hope it will cheer up people's spirits, bringing us news of the King's perfect health, and of his entire victories over the enemy by land and sea. Signed, Fr. Nicholson. ½ p. Endorsed, R. 26 Aug. [America and West Indies. 557. No. 12.]
[June 12.] 36. List of the enclosures sent in the same packet with the foregoing letter. Signed, Fr. Nicholson. ½ p. [America and West Indies. 557. No. 13.]
June 13. 37. Minutes of Council of Virginia. On the representation of Captain Harry Beverley, it was ordered that the sloop commanded by him be paid off and discharged from the King's service, and that another vessel be hired in her stead. Order for the Surveyors to bring a list of their fees to the next Council. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 53. p. 25.]
June 15. 38. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Order for publication of the King's proclamation of 23 April for apprehending the conspirators against his person. Mr. Secretary Wormeley being disabled by frequent affliction of gout asked leave to appoint Edmund Jenings to be his deputy, who was approved and sworn in. Warrants for salaries and other expenses Signed. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 53. pp. 25–27.]
[June 15.] 39. Duplicate copy of the Minutes of Council of Virginia from 16 April to 15 June, 1696. [America and West Indies, 638, No. 30.]
June 15.
40. Governor Sir William Beeston to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Since my last of April, asking for the appointment of more Councillors, the Assembly has met but could not proceed to business for want of a quorum in the Council. There were seven remaining, yet by reason of indisposition in some and distant residence of others the number could not be made up on all occasions, so that I was obliged to call up Thomas Ayscough and Richard Dawkins, whom I have already recommended and now beg may be confirmed. I should not have done it could the service have been carried on without such addition, for Colonel Knight (who is one of the Council) commands the fort and regiment at Port Royal, and I dare not take him from thence in these dangerous times, lest the place should be attempted or surprised in his absence. The pirates that ran away with one of Don Arturo Oburn's ships from Corunna have been in the Red Sea and gotten great wealth, up to £300,000, it is reported. They are arrived with it at Providence and have sent privately to me to try if they could prevail with me to pardon them and let them come hither; and in order to it I was told that it should be worth to me a great gun (£20,000), but that could not tempt me from my duty. I have written more at large hereon to the Duke of Shrewsbury. The Assembly has passed an Act for the quartering of the soldiers that are here and may be sent hither, also an Act for the governing of negroes, which I hope will be confirmed. They are providing two or three bills more, which I hope will be finished in eight or ten days, and then the Session will end. One of the bills is, by my persuasion, to appropriate the additional duty on wines and negroes (which was designed to encourage people to come hither, and to pay their passages) to the revenue. This revenue, by the management that I have used, in spite of its late indebtedness, the expenses caused by the war, and the small income owing to want of trade, will by this assistance be, I hope, quite out of debt in six months. Nevertheless I cannot persuade the Assembly to make a new bill for the revenue. The chief reason that they give is that they are unwilling to have it perpetual and hope that you will not lay the bill now in England before the King, as it was passed by an unduly-elected Assembly. I represented to them that the said bill had lain for some years not presented to the King because an equivalent was expected. In answer they say that if they must have fetters they would rather have them put on by others than by themselves, so that it seems to me that there will not be a settled establishment of the King's revenue here till you lay the bill aforesaid before the King for confirmation. Signed, Wm. Beeston. Holograph. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Read 5 Nov., 1696. Answd. 23 Nov., 1696. A short abstract is attached. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 6; and 56. pp. 22–24.]
June 15. 41. Minutes of General Assembly of Massachusetts. Bill for a market in Boston again read and enacted. John Walley, Commissioner of Imposts, etc., made oath to his accounts. The Representatives sent down their vote on the complaint of Samuel Gibson, that he should be allowed re-trial of his case; which was read in Council and not concurred with. A similar vote as to the complaint of Joseph Richardson was also read and not concurred with,
June 16. Voted in concurrence with the Representatives that John Walley's accounts be passed, that the Treasurer's salary be paid, that £50 be paid to Increase Mather, and that a draught of a letter to Connecticut as to boundaries be approved. A bill for a tax of £6,344 was received from the Representatives and read. Order, for encouragement to prosecute the French and Indian enemy, that if any suitable person offer to command a company and raise that company he and his men shall receive £50 for every Indian man, and £25 for every Indian woman or child, male or female, under fourteen years of age, taken or brought in prisoner. The scalps of all Indians slain must be produced. Ammunition, provisions and pay will be given so long as the men continue on service, but pay shall cease on their return to any village or garrison, for the length of their stay. Maimed or wounded men will receive allowance for cure and pensions. On the frontiers the same allowance will be made to any town that moves to the relief of another town, if they have pursued the enemy further than they can expect to return within twenty-tour hours; otherwise wages will be withheld. This order to continue in force for six months. Bill against piracy read a first time. Petition of Elisha Cooke, John Wiswall and John Floyd, for review of an adverse judgment as to certain lands, granted.
June 17. Bill against piracy and bill for the tax again read, engrossed and enacted. Voted in concurrence with the Representatives that £300 be paid to the Lieutenant-Governor for his service of last year, that there be a conference as to the cases of Samuel Gibson and Joseph Richardson, and that payment be made to Henry Dering and Thomas Newton for work done for the Representatives. James Taylor took the oath as Treasurer. John Walley chosen Commissioner of Impost. Two votes for relief of constables. The Assembly was adjourned to the 16th of September. [Board of Trade, New England, 48. pp. 56–64.]
June 17. 42. Minutes of Council of Nevis. H.M.S. Hastings having brought in three prizes it was ordered that a sloop be impressed to convey the prisoners to the Governor. Order for a gun to be sent to the Lieutenant-Governor's house to use for alarms. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. p. 350.]
June 17. 43. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. On the Governor's proposal the Assembly approved the provision of victuals for the soldiers of Russell's Regiment. Orders for certain payments. With the Governor's consent the date of the Act for the Secretary and Marshal to give security was altered. Certificate of the Governor, as to the capture of certain Indians for which a reward is claimed, sent down to the Assembly. The Governor then sent down to complain of certain words spoken in the Assembly about the said certificate, to which the Assembly answered that to be called to account for words spoken in the House was a breach of privilege. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 173–175.]
June 17. 44. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. On the application of Mr. John Usher leave was granted for a ketch to go to Menis for a cargo of wheat. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. p. 31.]
June 17.
45. Lords Proprietors of Carolina to Governor John Archdale. We have received yours of 30 October and 22 November. You will find in our last an expedient agreeable to that which you mention for satisfying Berkeley County. You may also add two members to Colleton County, but the rights of Craven County must be continued. You say that the Assembly would undertake to pay our debts, amounting to £1,700, to Moreton, Colleton and Smith, that they will build a fort, and that they will pass an Act to secure our quit-rents. On these conditions we will discharge the arrears of quit-rents, and empower you to assent to an Act for the purpose. We hear from your son-in-law (your own letters having been thrown overboard in passage for fear of a French privateer) that you are sending him £500 for land sold in specie, and £500 more in commodities, which we approve. We daily expect the arrival of your son. Signed, Craven, Bath, Ashley, William Thornburgh for Sir John Colleton, Tho. Amy. [Board of Trade. Carolina, 4. p. 32.]
June 18.
46. Order of the Lords Justices of England in Council. Referring the petition of William Bowtell and Thomas Wenbourne, merchants, to the Council of Trade and Plantations for report. Signed, John Nicholas. ½ p. Annexed,
46. I. Petition of William Bowtell and Thomas Wenbourne. Seth Sothell, late Governor of Carolina, was indebted to us in the sum of £296 and £148, as we can prove by bonds under his hand. Sothell died in Virginia, leaving as sole executrix his widow, who married John Lear and is since also dead, leaving all Sothell's personal estate to the said Lear. This Lear refuses to pay Sothell's debts, and by the arbitrary and illegal method set up by the Governor and Council of Virginia neither Lear nor any other of the said Council are compellable to pay either their own just debts nor those which they owe as executors. For in 1680 they settled a rule in the General Court (where they sit as judges without having taken any oaths as such) that none of the Council shall be liable to any action whatever for any matter or reason whatever, the reason being that it is inconsistent with their honour, so that it is at their own discretion whether they will answer to any action. This method being observed (as hitherto it has been by all of the Council) all persons who have any concerns in their lands must suffer greatly, for as no process in law can touch their persons, so neither shall it affect their estates. We beg for your Excellencies' order that John Lear may not be protected by any such contrivance, but that we may have the same remedy against him as though he were not of the Council. 1 p. The whole endorsed. Read, July 13, 1696. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. Nos. 1, 1I.; and 37. pp. 1–3.]
June 19. 47. Memorial of William Bridges to the Lords Justices of England. Begging on behalf of Governor Russell for permission for him to accept a present lately made him by the Assembly of Barbados. Signed, Wm. Bridges. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 10 July, 1696. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 3, and 44A. p.1.]
June 19.
48. Governor Sir William Beeston to William Blathwayt. I have little to say since my last, except that the Assembly is drawing to a conclusion, and that the laws passed shall be sent by next opportunity. I cannot persuade them to renew the bill for the revenue, so, for a certainty to the King, it would not be amiss to recommend the bill that you have already for the royal assent. We have nothing from England but the Russell, galley, which brought no letters but an uncertain account of a design against the King's person, and a designed invasion from France. We have heard more from Curaçoa, namely, that all is detected and over, but I fear it because we have no ship from England, though the fleet from thence has been long expected. We want all necessaries, and ships to carry away our produce, so that if this war hold on much longer these Colonies must come to nothing. No people come in, many die, some get away from fear, others because they are in debt, and many are pressed into the King's ships, which also frightens others away, so by many ways we decrease, which disheartens those that have interest and makes them talk of removing. The King's ships are in an ill condition from want of recruits of stores, provisions, necessaries, and also of officers and seamen; so that they are of great expense to the King, and by their wants hindered of being of much use to the country. There is now a French man-of-war on the north side of the Island, reported to be of fifty guns, and I am obliged to send both of ours after her lest she should baffle any one of them, undermanned and unprovided as they are. I have sent a sloop to Hispaniola in hopes of getting provisions, from whence we may learn what ships are there that have lately reached them, and what is their design. We hear nothing about the Assiento, whether it be again disposed of or to whom, nor have I had the good fortune to have a word as to the money due from Porcio to the merchants here, about which I wrote to you some time ago. If there were any countenance about it, it would now be paid, for the Bishop of Panama, who is now President there, has put Porcio in prison because he was endeavouring to get privately away. The Assembly have passed Acts for quartering the soldiers, and for governing of negroes, which I hope may be liked in England as they are of great moment to the safety of the country. I mightily want commands to fill the Council, for want of which business is much obstructed. Signed, Wm. Beeston. Holograph. 1½ pp. A short abstract is attached. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 7; and 56. pp. 24–26.]
June 19. 49. Minutes of Council of Barbados. A private bill as to Philip Kirton's land was considered and postponed. A conference was appointed on the bill to encourage importation of Christian servants. Edward Cranfield's commission as Deputy-Auditor recorded. Colonel Salter appointed Treasurer. The Conferrers brought up their report on the bill as to white servants. Orders for certain payments. The Assembly desired to amend the additional bill for supply of the soldiers.
June 20. Message of the Assembly proposing an amendment to the bill as to white servants, to the effect that the Militia Act should not be strictly enforced in the dearth of white servants; to which the Governor answered that he could not consent, though he was willing to make all possible allowances. Bill for the subsistence of the officers of Russell's Regiment received. Addresses of the Assembly as to the ship Frank Russell received, also two resolutions as to trial of certain rebellious negroes, as to continuing the lease of Fontabelle, as to granting medals to certain officers and a reward to certain seamen and as to repair of the fortifications. Bill as to white servants read thrice and passed. The grant of medals and rewards agreed to. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 104–107.]
[June 23.] 50. Memorandum of the cannon taken in the Expedition to Hispaniola. There were taken at Cap Francois 33 cannon, of which we had 17 and the Spaniards 16, besides 1,000 shot to each of us. The cannon taken at Port-de-paix were 107 great and small and 3,662 great shot, of which we and the Spaniards each took 53 guns and 1,831 shot; but we also took 8 guns, of which the Spaniards had no share. I was informed by two French gentlemen that in the fort and castle the French abandoned 700 barrels of powder, naval stores to the value of £1,500, three months' provisions for six hundred men, and money, plate, etc., worth £14,000, all of which, with £3,000 worth of indigo at Cap Francois, was taken by the sea-officers, who searched all boats that came off to the fleet. The Spanish General's letter will show how the sea-officers behaved. Signed, Luke Lillingston. Here follows a list of ordnance landed at Jamaica. 1½ pp. Inscribed, Delivered, 23 June, 1696. [America and West Indies. 540. No. 50.]
June 23.
51. Clerk of Assembly of Virginia to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Forwarding the Journals of the House of Burgesses during the session begun 23 April, 1696. Signed, Peter Beverley. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 26 Aug., 1696. Read, 28th. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 2; and 37. p. 3.]
June 23. 52. Clerk of Assembly of Virginia to the Duke of Shrewsbury. Advising despatch of the Journals of the House of Burgesses from 23 April to 1 May, 1696, and of a duplicate of the same. Signed, Peter Beverley. Two letters. Each ½ p. Both endorsed, R. 26 Aug., 1696. [America and West Indies. 638. Nos. 31,32.]
June 25. 53. Petition of the Clergy to the Governor of Virginia, at a general meeting held at James City. In answer to your speech recommending the settling of the clergy's salaries the Burgesses, instead of remedying so crying an evil, represented the circumstances of the clergy as needing no redress, as if the clergy were contented with their present provisions, and all information to the contrary had proceeded only from those who were avariciously inclined. We beg, with all respect to the House, to be allowed to represent our circumstances and to speak our minds, who best know whether we are satisfied or not. We are obliged to receive our salaries in tobacco at twelve shillings the hundred. We cannot but look upon it as a great grievance when no persons but ourselves are obliged to take tobacco at so high a rate. As you are aware, the King's quit-rents are not sold for so much as half that price. As to our perquisites we have none except for marriages and a few funeral sermons, which, upon a computation of the perquisites of the generality of the parishes, do not amount communibus annis to 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, and that in several parishes that have glebes they are detained from the minister's possession. When they are allowed to the ministers they are so destitute of houses, orchards and other conveniences that they are no way fitting for his commodious reception and accommodation, and are, one with another, not worth above forty or fifty shillings per annum. Further—which is as grievous as all the rest—we hold these mean livings so precariously that (not being inducted) we are at all times liable to be turned out at the vestry's pleasure, without any canonical objection alleged or proved against us. We must therefore unanimously own that the circumstances of the clergy in Virginia are most deplorable and that the representation which was made to the King in that sense was a good service to the Church and pursuant to the desires of the clergy at their general meeting in 1690. We beg therefore that since the Burgesses have shewn so much averseness to the relief of the clergy you will make favourable representation of our sad circumstances to the King and intercede with him for our relief as he shall think best. Signed, James Blair, Commissary, and by fifteen others. Copy. 2½ pp. [America and West Indies. 638. No. 33.]
June 25. 54. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. William Popple appointed Secretary. Order for an error in the Commission to be corrected. Agreed that the Council meet every Monday at 4 p.m. and every Wednesday and Friday at 10 a.m. The Secretary was ordered to desire Sir Christopher Wren to hasten the fitting of the rooms designed for it. [Board of Trade. Journal, 9. p. 7.]
June 25. 55. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Order for the justices to see that the oaths appointed in lieu of those of allegiance and supremacy be administered to all persons that have not taken them.
June 26. Order for payment of £20 to Thomas Barrow as a retaining fee to be the King's Counsel in all matters concerning the King's revenue. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 79. p. 10.]
June 26.
[New Jersey.]
56. Governor Hamilton to Governor Fletcher. I formerly acquainted you that I had set some young men who had been at Albany to invite others. They now inform me that Captain Matthews is so much in their good graces that if he came down he is the likeliest man to prevail. I could have him first find out Matthew Moore of Woodbridge, who was of his company. He knows the temper of the young men and can best assist. They must be soothed with it, for asserting the power of the Commission will make them all run the province. I am really ashamed and grieved that they are so awkward. They still object the exemption or non-compliance of the neighbouring Colonies, nor will this ever be remedied unless the support of the frontiers reaches all North America. As it is, the remoter Colonies are so many asylums. Signed, And. Hamilton. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 23 June, 1697. Read 9 April, 1698. [Board of Trade. New York, 6. No. 45.]
June 27.
57. Governor Sir Edmund Andros to Lords of Trade and Plantations. On the 12th of May I received yours of the 10th of March, with the joyful news of the discovery of the design against the King, and his Majesty's proclamations since. I immediately summoned the Council, when a day of public thanksgiving was appointed. We have also passed an address to the King and entered into an Association. The day of thanksgiving was solemnised with the greatest expressions of joy that this country is capable of. All the militia were in arms; and all the officers, civil and military, with the principal inhabitants have addressed and entered into an Association to the King. I have received the King's orders to suspend the sending of the quota; before which I had taken measures for sending it, but upon advice that other Colonies were sending not men but money for raising men in New York, I deferred sending them and sent instead £1,000 New York money. This exceeds the £500 given by the Assembly, and the revenue (being in debt) is not sufficient to meet this as well as the established and necessary charges of Government. The London fleet is not arrived; there is little exportation of tobacco; last crop was small, and next crop is not likely to be better. I beg your favour to the King, in such manner as you think fit, for the said debt. The Assembly met in April according to prorogation, but being alarmed with apprehensions of small-pox, presently prayed for a recess and could not be prevailed with to enter on business. I therefore prorogued them till October next. Signed, E. Andros. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 26th, read 28th August. Answered, 24 Sept., 1696. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 3; and 37. pp. 3–5.]
June 27.
58. Governor Sir Edmund Andros to William Blathwayt. I received yours of 14th March on the 12th of May, at once despatched the good news of the King's preservation to all parts of the Colony and forwarded the packets to the other Colonies. I send the public papers and accounts, and have prayed the favour of the Lords for the debt of the Colony. I particularly hope for favour from yourself, to whom all the accounts are transmitted, for even though the London fleet may soon arrive I see no prospect that the revenue can clear the debt and meet the ordinary charges of Government. I cannot express the joy at the King's preservation, upon which addresses and associations from all parts have been sent for his Majesty's acceptance. Colonel Wormeley, the Secretary, being mostly indisposed, has appointed Colonel Edmond Jenings to officiate in his stead. I have admitted him, and he desires to be recommended to your favour. I also beg you favour to Colonels Johnson and Charles Scarburgh, lately admitted to the Council, the latter upon the death of Colonel John Lear. His successor in the Collector's place in Lower James River is Colonel Daniel Parke. Signed, E. Andros. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Read 17 Sept., 1696. Answered 24th. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 4; and 37. pp. 11–12.]
June 27.
59. Governor Sir Edmund Andros to the Duke of Shrewsbury. This letter is, with little difference of language, to the same purport as that of same date to the Council of Trade and Plantations (No. 57) with the addition of the appointments to the Council and the Secretaryship reported in the letter to William Blathwayt (see preceding abstract) and of the following paragraph. Mr. Commissary Blair having convened the clergy to James City gave me at their parting an address, of which I forward copy (see No. 53), complaining of the House of Burgesses for their disregard of the King's directions on their account. The Council desired and held a conference with the Burgesses on this matter, but could not prevail with them to do more, and I was advised that I could not enforce it otherwise. I have desired Mr. Blair to let me know what glebes are wanting, detained or destitute of houses and conveniences for the ministers' accommodation, and if I can induct ministers without presentation of vestry or patron, that I may not be wanting to do what lies in my power. Signed, E. Andros. 2½ pp. Endorsed, R. 26 Aug. [America and West Indies. 638. No. 34.]
June 29. 60. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Order for enquiry to be made of the Navy Board as to the Naval stores imported from abroad, with the rates and conditions of payment, during the past thirty years. Sir Christopher Wren was ordered to attend next meeting. [Board of Trade. Journal, 9. p.8.]
June 29. 61. Minutes of Council of Barbados. A Committee to correspond with the Agents was proposed, but there being no quorum of the Assembly, the Council adjourned. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. p. 107.]
June 29. 62. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Order for purchase of provisions for three hundred men for five months, on an expedition against the French and Indians, and that £1,500 be advanced by the Treasurer for the purpose. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 31–32.]
June 30. 63. Minutes of Council of Nevis. Copy of a letter from the Governor giving warning of a suspected attack, and ordering all soldiers to be brought to their duty, all officers to sign the Association, and that care be taken to quarter the soldiers well. Several petitions were considered. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 350–352.]