America and West Indies: April 1699, 11-15

Pages 131-148

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 17, 1699 and Addenda 1621-1698. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1908.

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April 1699

April 11. 16l., a Match Coat, a pair of pumps, a pair of stockings and a blanket allowed to Arnout the Interpreter, who went to the Onnondages with Capts. Bleeker and Schuyler.
Survey of land ordered on the petition of William Hallet.
12 and 13.
38l paid to Jan Baptist for several journeys to Onnondage. 5l. 12s. paid to Richard Plaistead, doorkeeper to the last Assembly. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 218–221.]
April 11. 245. Minutes of Council of New York in Assembly. Instructions to Capt. Johannes Bleeker and Capt. John Schuyler, messengers to the Indians, approved. Bill for establishing Courts of Judicature sent up and read the first time.
The Governor communicated his instructions that a law be passed about the value of estates to qualify Jurors, about facilitating the conversion of negroes and Indians, and the building of public workhouses. Sent down to the Representatives, to whom the building of a handsome, well-contrived Town-house and a good gaol was recommended.
Preparation of a Bill for the regulating of elections recommended.
April 12. The Indemnifying Bill was brought up amended, and sent down to be engrossed.
April 13. Clause added to the Instructions of Captns. Bleeker and Schuyler, that if the French or French Indians should make any insult upon our Indians, they would do well to resist force with force, and that H. E. will assist them as far as he is able. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 763–766.]
April 11. 246. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Speedy payment of the apprehenders of Bradish ordered. Treasurer's account of sales of peltry approved. Select-men, and Simon Stone, Joseph Sherman and Mr. Justice Johnson of Watertown heard. Warrants for choosing officers declared irregular and Stone and others pretending to be Town Officers directed not to disturb the peace of the town by acting as such; Mr. Justice Johnson admonished to be better advised for the future. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. p. 203.]
April 12.
247. William Stoughton to Mr. Secretary Vernon. The affairs of New York necessarily detaining Lord Bellomont, so that he has not yet had an opportunity of visiting this part of his government obliges me to give your Honour the trouble of these lines, by your Honour's hand humbly to represent unto His Sacred Majesty the state of this His Majesty's Province. Enjoying the advantages of the happy peace, and freedom from the vexations, molestations and incursions of the bloody savages who broke forth into rebellion, and for many years continued to make depredations upon the out-towns and Plantations, killing and captivating of His Majesty's subjects as they could find opportunity, the said Indians deprived of the assistance of France have submitted, whereby His Majesty's subjects are encouraged to hope that they may have some respite to recover themselves out of their poverty and suffering whereunto they have been plunged by so tedious and wasting a war, and to that end are applying themselves with utmost industry for the resettlement of their desolated Plantations and improvement of the Fishery. Some hundreds having their sole dependence upon the said Fishery, and would be driven into pinching want should they be interrupted therein by the French, whose unjust and groundless pretensions lately made unto the sole right and privilege of the same on the high seas off and about the Coast of Nova Scotia or Accadie, including Cape Sables, has put them in fear, and moved the Government to make their humble addresses unto His Majesty on that occasion, as also relating to the challenge of the French to extend their bounds farther westward, unto Kennebeck River, I pray your Honour's favour therein, a speedy setting aside and removing of those unreasonable demands of the French will much conduce to the preservation of His Majesty's interests and good settlement of this his province.
About March 19 arrived at the east end of Long Island the ship or hakeboat Adventure of London, burthen about 350 tons with 22 guns, Thomas Gulleck late commander, which sailed from Gravesend, March 16, 1698, bound to the Island of Borneo in India, upon an interloping trade, being set forth by Capt. Henry Tate and Capt. Hammond, who keep a brewhouse in Thames Street, Mr. Samuel Shepard and the Heathcotts, merchants in London, and having proceeded so far onwards of her voyage as Polonais, there stopped to water; and the said commander with several of the officers, mariners and some passengers being on shore and the boats gone on board with water, the rest of the ship's company combined and conspired together to leave them and run away with the ship and lading, Sept. 17. They cut the cable and brought the ship to sail, offering the yaule to some of the company that refused to join with them in the piracy to transport them to the shore. Several went off in her to the island; the surgeon's mate and two other youths they forced to stay. The chief mate also with the boatswain and armourer not consenting in the villainous act but unwilling to go on shore at the Island, they gave the long boat unto them with necessary provisions, etc., three days after, being then about 20 leagues from the land, in which they went off from the ship. The remainder of the company on board, being 25 or 26, made choice of one Joseph Bradish, the boatswain's mate, to be their commander, whom they preferred for his skill in navigation, and directed their course for Maurisias, where they fitted the ship, took in some fresh provisions and two young gentlemen named Charles Seymore and John Power, who being on a voyage for India in a ship under the command of one Capt. Pye, were unhappily left behind on the said island. From Maurisias they came about Cape Bon Esperance, and in short time after made a sharing of the money on board, which was contained in nine chests stowed in the breadroom, and set forth three or four and twenty single shares, besides the Captain's, which was two shares and a half, weighing out the money. Some received 1,500, others 1,600 dollars for a single share. They afterwards made a second sharing of broadcloths, serges, stuffs and other goods on board. They stopped at the Island of Ascension, took some turtle and fresh provisions in there, and then directed their course for this Continent and arrived as aforesaid at Long Island, where Capt. Bradish went on shore, carried the most of his money and jewels with him, committed them to the custody of a gentleman on the island, sent a pilot on board to remove the ship and bring her to an island called Gardner's Island, but, the wind not favouring them, ran over to Block Island within Rhode Island Government, whence they sent two of the company to Rhode Island to buy a sloop, but the Government there, having notice that a ship was hovering about those parts suspected to be a pirate, seized the two men and detained them, the intelligence whereof being carried to the ship and some sloops being descried coming from the island towards the ship, the company, fearing that they were manned out from thence to seize them, forthwith came to sail and stood off to seaward. The sloops following them came up with them, and being informed what the sloops were, permitted them to come on board and bought one of them and hired another to transport them and their money, allowing the sloopmen to take what they pleased out of the ship, and having put their moneys on board the sloops, sank the ship and got on shore, some in one place, some in another, landing at farmhouses, where they provided themselves of horses and scattered into divers parts of the country, the Captain and some others with him coming into this Province. Upon the first intelligence whereof a Proclamation was issued and hue and crys sent through the Province and into the neighbouring Government to pursue and seize all such of them as could be found, with their treasure. The Captain with ten more of the company are apprehended and in custody here in order to a trial, who upon examination severally confessed the particulars before recited, and a considerable quantity of money to the value of near 3,000l. with several goods and merchandize taken out of the ship are seized. Seven or eight more are apprehended within Connecticut Government, and pursuit is making after the rest. The Justices of the Peace and other officers in their respective stations have been very vigorous in the prosecution of these villains and the people in general have a just resentment and abhorrence of such vile actions, and the Government here will be very zealous in the discountenancing and punishing of all such criminals. Signed, Wm. Stoughton. Endorsed, Rd. July 15. 3¼ pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 9. No. 58 A.]
April 12.
248. William Popple to Mr. Burchett. The Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations desire you at present to send by the convoy for Newfoundland the like Heads of Enquiry as were given unto the last according to your own proposal, and to let them know whether there be not some other convoy intended for Newfoundland in May or June next as usual, that they may against that time prepare whatever they shall find further necessary and that you would inform them of the names and force of the convoys intended thither either now or then. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. p. 282.]
April 12. 249. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letter from Mr. Burchett, Ap. 8, read: instructions given for reply. Mr. Hutcheson, formerly agent for the late Col. Codrington, attended and doubted not Col. Codrington would refer himself entirely to the Board as Mr. Lucas had done, but would speak to him about it. Col. Handaside acquainted the Board with some hardships that the officers and soldiers, left with him by Col. Gibson in Newfoundland, lay under, and promised a more exact memorial in writing. The clause about "soldiers in pay" in Col. Codrington's Commission was altered in accordance with Mr. Attorney and Solicitor General's advice.
April 13. Representation on Col. Codrington's Commission ordered.
Letters from Col. Winthrop, Governor of Connecticut, Oct. 27, with Laws of that Colony read. Letter in answer prepared.
Attorney and Solicitor General asked for the despatch of their opinion on the Laws of Pennsylvania in their hands.
Mr. Burchett's reply to yesterday's letter about convoy read.
Order of Council about denization, Nov. 3, read.
Order of Council, March 16, relating to Col. Fletcher, read.
Orders of Council, Ap. 6, relating to Newfoundland, read. Letter ordered to the Earl of Romney and Mr. Burchet. Mr. Thurston, named by Col. Handaside as a person proper to be agent for the Company left at Newfoundland, ordered to attend.
Memorial from the Proprietors of East New Jersey, Ap. 3, read. Reply ordered to Mr. Dockwray that their Lordships intend to offer to His Majesty in Council on Thursday that a trial at Bar be had in Westminster Hall on a feigned issue, according to the proposal of the Proprietors in the end of their late petition, whereby their claim to a Port at Perth Amboy, together with the right of government of the Province of East New Jersey, upon which that claim is grounded, may receive a judicial determination. Copy of their grant ordered to be taken. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 435–439; and 96. Nos. 58 and 59.]
April 13.
New York.
250. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to the Council of Trade and Plantations. By perusing the papers I send with this letter you will be informed particularly of our Indian affairs. In the Message to the Five Nations you will find that the Commissioners, who are all the Magistrates of Albany, notify to the Five Nations of Indians the death of the Count de Frontenac, Governor of Canada, and expostulate with them for having sent to treat with the Governor of Canada about the release of some prisoners contrary to their promise to me when I had the conference with them at Albany. (See Calendar, 1698.) The next enclosure is the proposition of two Indian Sachems, whereof Decanissore is one, a brave fighting fellow that has done the French much mischief, and they have mightily endeavoured to debauch him from us, but in vain. His errand mightily alarms the Magistrates of Albany, which produces a consultation among 'em and their request to three of their body to go to the Indian Castles and dissuade our Indians from going or sending to treat with the Governor of Canada for the delivering of some few of our Indians that are prisoners. I enclose a copy of that request, of Col. Schuyler's letter giving me an account of a message from our Indians by John Baptist who was sent to 'em from Albany, and the result of that message, three minutes of Council and five minutes relating to a conference between the Council and House of Representatives about the preparing instructions for our Messengers to the Five Nations and the said instructions. The foregoing papers contain everything that has been transacted between the Indians and me since I last writ, and it is easy to perceive by them that the Indians are very much disturbed and terrified by the French, from two reasons chiefly:—their own decrease in number and strength, from near 3,500 men that they were at the beginning of the war to about 1,100 now, and the slender appearance we make on the frontier in the poorness of our forts and weakness of our garrisons makes us contemptible in their eyes, whereas the French at Canada allure 'em chiefly by the good figure they make, and several good forts of stone and especially Cadaraque fort which Col. Fletcher neglected two years together to demolish when the French had deserted it, that fort lying so on the skirts of our Indians as to incommode them extremely in the time of war. So that upon the whole matter it is apprehended by the most knowing people here that we shall entirely lose the Five Nations, unless an effectual and speedy course be taken to retrieve their affection, which course must be, with submission, the building good stone forts at Albany and Schenectade, which may be done in both places for 8 or £9,000 according to Col. Romer's computation, and by keeping good garrisons there. I am so strongly persuaded your Lordships will be convinced by that cogent argument, necessity, and will send me orders for building those forts, that I intend very speedily to order the raising of stone for making the walls and for burning lime, and though our treasury is very poor and much indebted, I will pinch money any manner of way from other uses rather than this so necessary work shall be delayed. The providing for it will be some encouragement to our Indians and likewise to our own people, who think that if we lose our Indians they shall be undone, and the province will be lost; and indeed I am of their mind. I have spent much thought how to find out and settle a trade with new Indians, for which end I have discoursed several people here, and Mr. Livingston among others, and his memorial on that subject goes herewith. I should be glad we could bring that trade to New York with the Indians he proposes; it would be for the advantage of this province, and somewhat for my credit too, but as 'tis the interest of England I chiefly meditate, I reckon I should abuse your Lordships if I did not freely own to you that Carolina lies infinitely more commodious for a trade with those nations of Indians which are called the Shateras, Twichtwicht and Dowaganhas Indians, and a world of other nations, which some of our Indians at Albany told me were as numerous as the sands on the sea-shore. 'Tis, if I mistake not, in the county of the Dowaganhas that the French have built a Fort under the conduct of M. de Tonti, where they keep a garrison of 30 men, but with that little fort and garrison, by the help of their missionaries and the trade thither from Canada, they make a shift to manage a very profitable trade with those nations. 'Tis not agreeable to reason that we from this province can so conveniently trade with those Indians as the people of Carolina may, we having 700 miles to go, and they not above 100 or 150. They can afford English goods as cheap as we, and either of us much cheaper than the French. I should advise your Lordships' directing the Governor of Carolina to apply himself industriously to open a trade with those Indians. Here is a gentleman now in this town who was a few years since among them, with some other English; he tells me they were very fond of trading for English commodities. What they [the French] cannot do by enticement, I mean debauching them away to go and live in Canada, they destroy clandestinely by their Indians in hunting, they directing, as I am told, their Indians when they meet 'em to knock 'em on the head, by which means ours must soon be totally destroyed. Therefore it is that I propose the finding out now in time of peace a trade with those remote Nations. Surely the French will not pretend to the propriety of that vast country, or, if they should, would England truckle to 'em. I have been so free with Col. Nicholson and Col. Blakiston, Governors of Virginia and Maryland, as to put them in mind of opening a trade with the Indians that lie at the back of those countries; perhaps they may think me impertinent to pretend to advise them. Some people at Albany are jealous that Mr. Dellius, the Dutch minister there, betrayed us when he went with Col. Schuyler to notify the peace to the Governor of Canada, and I confess I am not free from a jealousy myself, when I consider how extraordinary desirous he was to be sent, and that the Governor sent afterwards to four of the Five Nations to offer them peace, but excluded the Nation of Mohacks, which was a surprising thing to all people here and never known to be done by the French before. That man is capable of any mischief whatsoever. I acquainted you after by return from Albany of his circumventing the Mohacks and what impudent lies he told me before the magistrates of Albany. Since that, my Lieut.-Governor being sent by me to Albany to watch the French, who threatened to make an incursion on our Indians, he endeavoured to make a breach between him and me, and invented an untruth to put my Lieut.-Governor out with some honest men at Albany, whom he had a pique to, as my Lieut.-Governor's certificate will show, and which he found out Mr. Dellius had forged in prejudice to those men. He has for several years kept a correspondence with the Jesuits at Canada, which gave people a jealousy he was popishly affected. In Capt. Leisler's time there was a letter intercepted from a French Jesuit at Canada to a Jesuit that was on a mission to our Five Nations; the messenger had an instruction wherein some papers were mentioned: and Capt. Leisler thinking it for the King's service to have a sight of those papers, and the letter and instruction together leading him to believe Mr. Dellius was privy to that matter and knew where the papers were, sent to him at Albany to come to him here at New York. Mr. Dellius fled and was absent till Leisler was made a prisoner by Col. Slaughter, and then he had the courage to appear and contribute all he could, with Bayard and Nichols, to bring Leisler and Milburn to their unfortunate end. This letter of the Jesuits I was very curious to see, but could not get a sight of it. It was found at last in the Secretary's office and I send a copy of it. His Dutch name is Dell, as in the letter, but it seems in the schools in Holland it is the custom to make the names Latin, at least of those that are bred Divines. He is a most proud, wicked man, and so contentious that he has divided the people at Albany into factions and parties, who would otherwise have been all united. A man of his own party, that is of the contrary party to Leisler, and a dweller at Albany, owned to me that Dellius kept up divisions among the people there, and that it were happy if he were out of the province. I am told the Assembly intend, for the scandal of his life and his fraud to the Mohack Indians, to expel him the province. He has, as I formerly wrote to your Lordships, a personal hatred to the King; and has spoke very reproachfully of his Majesty. Till my going to Albany he would never pray for King William (and that made the quarrel between Capt. Leisler and him), but because he would be safe his manner was always in the pulpit to pray for the Crown of England. Another instance of his wickedness comes within my knowledge. The present Mayor of Albany and two or three other honest men of that town were much pecked at by Dellius and persecuted, insomuch as he threatened to excommunicate them, whereupon they forsook his Church. The Mayor coming here to York told me this, but I persuaded him at his return to be reconciled to Dellius, and, since there was no other Minister, to go and hear him preach. Accordingly he employed one to reconcile him, but Dellius sent him word 'twas in vain to seek a reconciliation, and so refused absolutely. I can prove by the oaths of very credible persons several immoralities of his life, as drunkenness and the like. I should not have been so particular about him in this letter, but that I understand there are letters newly come to this town from Bayard in England, wherein he makes the faction here believe that his complaints against me have been very favourably heard by your Lordships, that Col. Fletcher upon a hearing before your Board, in answer to the accusations I sent over against him, was cleared and that there would be an order sent to me to cancel the bond of £10,000 which he and his securities entered into; that there was a petition to your Lordships against me signed by a great number of marchands in London, and that a minister was sent by the Classis at Amsterdam to complain of me for my ill-usage of Mr. Dellius. This news has much heartened the factious people here, and they hope the interest of the Classis of Divines will ruin my interest at Court, and Mr. Vesey, the Minister here, has told me he has been urged very much by the angry people here to complain home of my design of vacating Col. Fletcher's lease to the Church here of the Governor's demesne called the King's Farm, and by other hands I am told they propose to raise a storm against me upon this very account, and to imbroil me with the Bishop of London, and they argue thus —Sir Edmund Andros for quarrelling with Dr. Blair in Virginia brought the resentment of the Bishop of London and the Church (they say) on his head, which is the reason he has lost his Government, and by the same rule they would get me recalled by making this a Church quarrel. Col. Fletcher would never part with this farm during his own government, until November, '97, that he heard for certain I had the King's Commission, and then he makes this lease to the Church and antedates it in August; so that his kindness to the Church was to be at his successor's cost, not at his own. Besides Mr. Attorney-General assures me that, in Col. Dongan's time, he to make his court to K. James desires this farm might be appropriated to the maintenance of a Jesuit school; but K. James (bigot though he was) refused, saying he would not have his Governors deprived of their conveniences. As to Mr. Bayard's complaint against me, when I know what it is, I do not doubt to answer it to your Lordships' satisfaction in all points. As to the petition of some marchands in London, I must believe there is something personal in their prejudice to me. I know there is a sort of men called Jacobites that hate me for several reasons, and one is, because I don't love them. I did not imagine that the suppressing of piracy here and checking unlawful trade would render me odious to the marchands in London. Signed, Bellomont. Endorsed, Recd. Aug. 31st. Read Sept. 6, Dec. 8, 1699. 5 pp. Holograph. Enclosed,
250. I. Abstract of above letter. 1¼ pp.
250. II. Copy of a message from the Commissioners for Indian affairs to the Five Nations. At the City Hall of Albany, Dec. 26, 1698. Present, Hend. Hanse, Mayor; Jan Janse Bleeker, Recorder; the Aldermen and Sheriff; Major Dirk Wessels; Capt. J. Weems; convened at the request of Col. Peter Schuyler and Robt. Livingstone, two of the Commissioners for Indian affairs, approved of a message announcing the death of Governor Frontenac, and enquiring whether it be true that some of the Five Nations have sent a messenger to the Governor of Canada with belts of wampum to treat with him. 1¾ pp. Endorsed, Recd. Aug. 31, Read. Sept. 6, 1699.
250. III. Copy of propositions of two Indian Sachems about their having been to Canada and the design to send messengers thither, Feb. 3, 1699. Dekanissore, a Sachem of Onnondage, said, "A certain Indian of our Castle called Cohensiowanne applied himself to us and said since it was peace he was inclined to go and see his father at Canada. It was debated among the Sachems whether he should carry a belt of wampum with him, but they decided, why should we send any belts to the French, since it is expressly forbid by our Great Brother, Corlaer, H. E. the Earl of Bellomont, to have any correspondence with them? and so no belts were sent." But later, he said, it was decided to send three messengers with three belts of wampum and four French prisoners to treat with the French for the restoration of their prisoners, etc. Whereupon John Baptist, the interpreter, was despatched with all speed to stop those messengers. Carondowanne, a Sachem of Oneyde, seeing everybody so much displeased, said that he and many more with him were always of opinion that this method of sending to Canada would be very displeasing.
Feb. 5 and 6. Further examination of Dekanissore and the French prisoners. Signed, Robt. Livingstone, Secretary for the Indian Affairs. Endorsed as preceding. 6 pp.
250. IV. Magistrates of Albany to Col. Schuyler, instructing him, Hend. Hanse and Major Dirk Wessels to go to Onnondage and dissuade the Indians from going to Canada. Feb. 4, 1699. Copy. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 2¼ pp.
250. V. Col. Schuyler to the Earl of Bellomont, enclosing John Baptist's account of negotiations with the Indian messengers who have been at Canada. Albany, March 29, 1699. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Aug. 31, Read Sept. 7, 1699.
250. VI. Account of the negotiations of the Indian Messengers with the Governor of Canada. March 21, 1699. Copy. Signed, John Baptist. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. Aug. 31. Read Sept. 7, 1699.
250. VII. Copies of Minutes of Council, and of Council and Assembly of New York, April 5th, 6th, 7th and 11th, 1699, relating to Indian affairs. Resolved, that Johannes Bleeker and Capt. John Schuyler, with Arnout Cornelise Viele and Jan Baptist van Epe as interpreters, go to the meeting of the Indians at Onnondage with instructions. Endorsed, Recd. Aug. 31. Read Sept. 7, 1699. 3 pp.
250. VIII. Copy of Instructions to Capt. John Schuyler and Capt. John Bleaker. You are to acquaint the Sachems of the Five Nations that their treating with the French is very ill taken by H. E., and to dissuade them from like ill practices in the future, insinuating to them the ancient Covenant Chain so often renewed at Albany and particularly last summer. Various arguments against their truckling to the French. Endorsed as preceding. 4¼ pp.
250. IX. Memorial of Robert Livingstone of Albany to Governor Lord Bellomont. The trade here, formerly very considerable, is palpably gone to decay, owing to the French instigation of the far Indians to be in a continual war with our Five Nations, and threatening them that if they should hunt on the other side of the lake they would be destroyed by the French Indians. To remedy this I propose the conclusion of a general peace between the Dowaganhaes, Twichtwichs, Ottawawaes and other far Indians, to be obtained by sending 200 Christian inhabitants born in this country, who understand the woods, joined with 3 or 400 Indians of the Five Nations, taking such prisoners as they have and presents with them, and in their going to make a fort at a place called Wawyachtenok, where a party of Christians are to be left. The far Nations will undoubtedly receive them, notwithstanding the French are there and have a pretended sort of possession by laying a Jesuit and some few men in a small fort (for wherever a Frenchman hath once set his foot, he claims a right and title to the country). A peace once ratified and hatchets buried, when they see the plenty and cheapness of goods at Albany; they will be encouraged to bring all their trade thither, of all which the French deprive us by their frivolous pretence of subduing those Five Nations and converting them to the Christian faith by their priests, when in reality it is nothing but to seize a trade, which our slothfulness and negligence hath given them the occasion of. April 12, 1699. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. 2½ pp.
250. X. Certificate of Lt. Gov. of New York. When I was a Albany, Sept. and Oct., 1698, Mr. Dellius informed me that it was made criminal by some to acknowledge me Lieutenant Governor of New York, but only as the servant of Lord Bellomont. Signed, John Nanfan, Dec. 14, 1698. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed as preceding.
250. XI. Copy of a letter to Father Millet, a Jesuit, mentioning Mr. Dellius, "Dominus Dell, Minister Albanensis, vir honestissimus et nobis amicus," etc. Kebec, May 6, 1690. Copy. 1 p. Latin. Endorsed as preceding. [Board of Trade. New York, 8 A. Nos. 21, 21 I.–XI.; and 53. pp. 342–353; and 45. pp. 37, 38.]
April 13.
251. William Popple to Sir Thomas Trevor and Sir John Hawles. The Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations have commanded me to desire that they may have either of your opinions upon the Laws of Pennsylvania which I sent you Jan. 7, 1698, with what speed you can, because much time is already elapsed. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. p. 399.]
April 13.
252. J. Burchett to Mr. Popple. The Mary galley, a fifth rate, is already sailed towards Newfoundland; the Hampshire, a ship of the fourth rate now at the Nore is ready and I believe will proceed in a few days, by which ship the Heads of Enquiry shall be sent, as was the last year. Another ship of the sixth rate, Deal Castle, is intended to follow on this service, and it's probable she will not set forward before the middle of May, if so soon, so that if any additional enquiries are to be sent by her, you will please to order their being got ready by that time. The fourth rate goes with the Trade up the streights, the fifth rate with what shall be bound to Lisbon, Oporto, etc., and the sixth rate comes directly for England with the sack ships. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. Read April 13, 1699. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 134; and 25. p. 283.]
April 13. 253. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Mr. Secretary Vernon's letter in relation to the Scotch being settled in America was read and ordered to be published immediately by beat of drum and read in all the Churches and afterwards put up in the public places of the four towns in the island. Two proclamations, one to restrain lawyers from demanding exorbitant fees and the other against Regulators and Forestallers, ordered to be published. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. p. 391.]
April 14.
254. Governor Sir William Beeston to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I have received yours of Feb. 2, with His Majesty's instructions about the Laws of Trade and the Book of Acts relating thereto. I received the same some months since from the Lords Justices, and then put that business into the best method I could and gave an account thereof to the Commissioners of Customs and having heard no more from them hope they are satisfied. I have published a proclamation forbidding any Trade or Correspondency in any kind with the Scotch at Darien, and heartily wish I had leave to send vessels to bring away such of them as are willing to remove, for they begin to want provisions and necessaries, and that will make them start and it will be much better they were here to strengthen this country than to go amongst the French or Dutch where they will be lost to His Majesty or his service. I transmitted several papers by the Chatham and have written often for directions about the soldiers in pay, what to do with them, now their subsistence money grows out, but have not yet had the favour to receive any notice about either. There is subsistence but for one muster more, and I hope I have been a good husband to make it last so long. The money in the Commissary's hand would subsist them six months longer if I had order to employ it that way. I have proposed to the Assembly that since their Body of Laws for 21 years grow towards an expiration, that if they will pass the Revenue Bill as it was made in my Lord Duke's time undeterminate, that I will consent to pass their Body of Laws so too, which I think may make a certainty to His Majesty's Revenue and remove all the scruples that have been made about that Bill. This startled them at first and an adverse party in the house were strongly against passing the Revenue perpetual. But the Council has had a conference with them about it and some seem to come over, and that they may have time to consider of it, have desired a recess, which I have granted them to the 2nd May, at which time I hope to find them in an inclinable temper to do it. Signed, Wm. Beeston. Endorsed, Recd. June 29, Read Sept. 5, 1699. By the Providence, Captain Shadwell. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 112; and 56. pp. 354–356.]
April 14.
255. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Col. Codrington attending without desired the Secretary to acquaint their Lordships that having understood from Mr. Hutchinson that Mr. Lucas had submitted the differences between them to the determination of this Board he was also ready to do the same.
Letter to Lord Romney re Newfoundland signed.
Letters to Mr. Dockwra re East New Jersey and Mr. Burchett re Newfoundland agreed to.
Mr. Thurston expressing his willingness to transact the business of the Company established at Newfoundland, ordered, that copies of papers relating to its establishment be given to him that he may with Col. Handaside's assistance prepare a memorial of what may be necessary for them. [Board of Trade. Journal, 12. pp. 1, 2; and 96. No. 60.]
April 14. 256. William Popple to Mr. Dockwra. The Council of Trade and Plantations command me to acquaint you that they intend to offer to his Majesty in Council on Tuesday next that a trial be had at the Bar in Westminster Hall upon a feigned issue, whereby the claim of the Proprietors of East New Jersey may receive a judicial determination. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. pp. 399, 400.]
April 14.
257. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of Romney, Master General of Ordnance. In accordance with the Orders in Council on our representation of March 30, we desire information from the Office of Ordnance as to the progress being made in providing the materials therein specified. Signed, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. pp. 287, 288.]
April 14.
258. William Popple to Mr. Burchett, requesting similar information from the Admiralty. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. pp. 288, 289.]
April 14. 259. J. Burchett to Mr. Popple. Reply to preceding. His Majesty's order dated 6th instant was brought to this office no sooner than yesterday. My Lords of the Admiralty will give the necessary orders to the Commissioners for Victualling to send a quantity of provisions to Newfoundland to serve the soldiers there until the ensuing year, but it is necessary they should be first informed of the number of soldiers, and that as soon as may be, that the opportunity of its being carried by the Hampshire may not be lost; by which ship the ten recruits may also be transported, and therefore I must desire you will please to let me know where those ten men now are and at what place and how soon they can be most conveniently taken on board, the ship being now at the Buoy of the Nore. My Lords will likewise give the necessary orders to the Commander of the Convoy to take care that the seamen be assisting on the works of the fortifications at Newfoundland, as far as the same may be done without prejudice to the sea service, but as for the said Commander's being directed to dispose of the provisions, which he shall find there, at a public sale for the use of the soldiers, their Lordships desire to be first informed in what manner the product of the said provisions is to be applied to the soldiers' use, and how, and to whom and in what method the Commander is to be accountable for the same, it being a thing that has not been usually practised in the Navy, and their Lordships do submit it to the consideration of the Lords of the Council for Trade whether the officer commanding the soldiers at Newfoundland is not the most proper person to dispose of the old provisions. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. April 15, read April 17, 1699. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 135; and 25. pp. 289, 290.]
April 14. 260. Sir Thomas Trevor, Attorney General, to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In obedience to your Lordships' order of reference, I have considered the Acts passed in the General Assembly of Barbados, mentioned in the annexed list, and as to the first, "the same being to give authority to the General Assembly there to enquire into grievances and other breaches of the Laws and to punish affronts and contempts done to the said Assembly in such manner as is used in the House of Commons in England," I cannot tell how far it may be convenient or not to entrust such a power with that Assembly, and therefore I submit the consideration thereof to your Lordships' great wisdom. But I see no difficulty in passing the other Acts mentioned in the said list. Signed, Tho. Trevor. Endorsed, Recd. April 28, Read May 8, 1699. 1 p. Enclosed,
260. I. List of Acts (referred to above) passed in Barbados Aug. 9th—Sept. 27th, 1698.
(1) An Act to declare and ascertain the rights and powers of the General Assembly of this Island. Aug. 9, '98.
(2) An Act to settle £500 per annum on his Excellency for his habitation. Aug. 16, 1698.
(3) An Act for £2,000 for his Excellency's charges of his voyage, towards the better support for the Government. Sept. 7, 1698.
(4) An Act concerning the General Sessions. Sept. 7, 1698.
(5) An Act for the printing the Laws of the Island of Barbados contained in the ensuing volume. Sept. 7, 1698.
(6) An Act to revive and continue an Act for laying an Imposition on Wines and other strong liquors imported this Island. Sept. 27, 1698.
(Act (1) is marked disapprove, Acts (3) and (5) approve, and Act (6) expired, in the margin, apparently by the Attorney General.) [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. Nos. 86, 86–I.; and 44. pp. 257, 258.]
April 14. 261. Minutes of Council of New York in Assembly. Bills for restraining and punishing privateers and pirates, repealing an Act entitled an Act for regulating damages done in the time of the late disorders, and for regulating Jurors, sent up and read the first time.
Anthony Blunt and Jonathan Bennet committed to the custody of the Serjeant at Arms, being suspected of bringing goods ashore from the Adventure.
Thomas Rothburn committed to the custody of the Serjeant at Arms until he find security not to depart this province without leave from the House.
April 15. Samuel Burt gave an account of the sinking of the Adventure. He and Capt. Ebenezer Willson, who farmed the excise of the Island Nassau, ordered to give an account thereof.
Anthony Blunt and Jonathan Bennet released on giving security.
Three Bills read yesterday read the second time and committed.
The Indemnifying Bill, returned engrossed, passed. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 766–772.]
April 15.
262. Governor Day to Council of Trade and Plantations. Begins as (No. 235). In pursuance of my instructions, I recommend for Councillors Samuel Sherlock, Capt. Benjamin Wainwright, Major Wm. Tucker, Joseph Darrel, John Gilbert, and Benj. Hinson, as loyal and honest men. I convened the Assembly on Oct 31, and I enclose the answer they returned to the several matters I gave them in charge, and the indefinite Acts passed after many sittings, for I find the people here rather inclined to their private interest and to animosities than to a public general good and welfare, being especially instigated thereto by the evil and dangerous counsel and insinuation of several busy, unquiet and dissatisfied persons, who by their being much related and having the faculty of words, do overrule and carry all elections and either encourage or scare at their pleasures, insomuch that when the Representatives assemble together several malicious and libellous papers are foisted in with purpose to direct their proceeds and consultations for gratifying their private humours. The managers of the House are guided by the directions of factious and discontented persons, particularly by Anthony White, Charles Walker, Capt. Thomas Harford and John Dickenson, who live about the heart of the country at a place called the Flatts in Smith's Tribe, where they have their meetings, so that they have a transcendency and influence over the commonalty of the people, whom they manage without respect to the honour and authority of the King. They take upon them to be judges and interpreters of His Majesty's instructions, and represent their Governors, especially at their first coming, either to be arbitrary and illegal or to be made a Nose of Wax and used accordingly. Where they can't scare they will persuade the innocent, misled people from their bounden allegiance. Since my arrival they have even declared in my presence that they will have a Bermudian Governor, otherwise they shall never live easy or well, and that to effect it they have sent to England one thousand pounds, and doubt not but that will do. I hope all this will move your Lordships to disfranchise the transgressing persons. I gave in a memorial to the Assembly about the Regicides' lands but cannot get any satisfactory account from them, their interests being so linkt together, that they will not make any discovery, nor produce their titles. There are several shares of land here and slaves which of right belong to His Majesty, and I therefore move your Lordships to issue a writ of melius inquirendo or other Commission to do His Majesty justice. I recommend as fit persons Gilbert Nelson, John Brook, and Roger Crane, who are livers here, not natives, from whom impartial justice must not be expected in this case. The country is much in debt and their stock low, there being but £244 14s. in the Treasury and the public castle, forts and fortifications are much out of repair, and no house for a Governor here built, but cannot persuade the Assembly to pass an Act for raising money for our occasion otherwise than on liquors, and no vessel hath brought in any since my arrival, nor will they set a reasonable value on money; they make such a practice of clipping and diminishing their money that I cannot get such an Act to pass. I send you the several species of money and the weight and how much they abase it. I have taken a particular care for the apprehending Pirates and Sea Robbers and have gotten an Act to pass against them, etc. as No. 235. I have appointed a Naval Officer as instructed under a bond of £1,000 with good security for his faithful performance. I have established several Courts of Judicature, and appointed the most knowing and skilful persons I could be informed of judges and officers, but it would be much conducent to His Majesty's service if a person learned in the law were here resident in the station of Chief Justice, the people here being much inclined to law suits, there being at an Assizes lately no less than nine actions against the late governor for matters done in the administration of his government. I send an account of the stores in the castle and forts and of the public lands now enjoyed, as belonging to His Majesty, the governor and other officers in these islands, and also of what slaves ought and by the constitution of these islands have belonged to the respective officers, and to what number they are now reduced, insomuch that I have none for my necessary accommodation, but only aged and impotent slaves and children. What I have occasion for I am forced to hire, as do the rest of the officers, who have none. I have erected a Court of Exchequer to make discovery of public lands and slaves concealed. I send you the number of inhabitants here and a copy of the return of the dedimus potestatem by which I took the oaths of Government, etc. In order to enable Col. Goddard and Mr. Richier to settle their affairs and embark on the Sun prize for England (No. 235). I appointed several meetings with them together. After they had interchangeably entered into bonds each to the other in 2,000l., Col. Goddard restored to Mr. Richier several goods and things in specie or value heretofore taken from him. Mr. Richier said he had no other demands to make of Col. Goddard here. I have offered them commissions for examining witnesses on the differences between them and particularly to Mr. Richier I have granted upon his request my warrant, Feb. 13, for taking his evidences in the country and another, March 23, for bringing them to town and taking their examination before me. He brought them to town but utterly refused to have them examined by me. There is here one castle and five forts which might be of great use for the defence of these islands, if we had here an engineer or skilful gunner. In case of any foreign invasion these islands would be much exposed, for although they are much environed by Nature, yet many strangers by frequent coming have gained the knowledge of our channels. They bring in their vessels by day and night without pilots. A competent number of experienced soldiers fit to mount and relieve the castle and forts would conduce to their safety. Signed, Sam. Day. Endorsed, Brought by Mr. Robt. Halsted, who lodges at the Crown and Dial, a goldsmith's in Fleet Street. 4 closely written pp., with abstract of foregoing on p. 5. Enclosed,
262. I. Duplicate of above, dated May 2. Endorsed, Recd. June 10–14, Read July 3, 1699.
262. II. Return of the dedimus potestatem by which Mr. Day took the oaths (powers given to Samuel Trott, Nicholas Trott, Matthew Newman and Roger Crane). 4 strips.
262. III. Copy of preceding. Endorsed, Recd. June 10, 1699.
262. IV. Account of the inhabitants of the Bermuda Islands. (Jan. 1, 1699.) Endorsed, as above.
White. Men. Women. Children. Able to
Jan. '98—
Jan. '99.
1 St. George's Parish 190 239 851 180 34 27
2 Hamilton Tribe 70 78 173 65 7 27
3 Smith's Tribe 67 89 140 65 8 2
4 Devon Tribe 56 92 145 56 8 4
5 Pembroke Tribe 87 135 177 75 22 5
6 Pagitt's Tribe 78 96 149 73 12 3
7 Warwick Tribe 93 87 246 91 9 1
8 Southton Tribe 101 115 216 97 19 3
9 Somerset or
Sandy's Tribe
61 119 165 62 13 2
—— —— —— —— —— ——
Totals 803 1050 1762 724 132 47
—— —— —— —— —— ——
1 St. George's Parish 87 102 155 82 12
2 Hamilton Tribe 52 72 129 52 1
3 Smith's Tribe 62 75 114 60 4
4 Devon Tribe 54 68 99 54 2
5 Pembroke Tribe 63 74 85 57 9
6 Pagitt's Tribe 76 73 86 57 1
7 Warwick Tribe 41 54 123 38 5
8 Southton Tribe 64 73 144 62 3
9 Somerset or
Sandy's Tribe
67 58 97 67 4
—— —— —— —— —— ——
Totals 566 649 1032 529 41
—— —— —— —— —— ——
Examined, Charles Minors, Sec.
262. V. Copies of several proceedings in the Court of Chancery of Bermudas; Martha Johnstown and Thomas Outerbridge, complainants, and William Place, defendant. 16 large closely written pp. Endorsed, as above.
262. VI. Answer of the Assembly to matters given them in charge by Mr. Day. (1) The proposed duty of one penny per pound on all tobacco exported has never been practicable here and is repugnant to the interest of the Planters and the Island. We propose, instead, to defray the expenses of Government by a better and more facile way, an imposition on liquors imported. (2) The prison and fortifications shall be considered and repaired according to former custom. (3) As we have no Christian servants transported hither we have no need for a law to restrain inhuman severities towards them. (4) We have long endeavoured to convert our negroes and slaves to Christianity, but find that the better they are instructed in religion, the farther they are from conversion thereto. (5) We have more employment than we can get done on good payment, and therefore have no need of raising stocks nor building workhouses to employ the poor. (6) We intend to offer a bill for the restraint of pirates at a convenient time. Copy. John Kidgell, Clerk of the Assembly. 3 pp. Endorsed, as above.
262. VII. Account of Stores and Arms in the Castle, Southampton Fort, Queen's Fort, West Side Fort, Port Royal Fort, the Magazine in St. George's and Smith's Fort. 4 pp. Endorsed, as above.
262. VIII. An Account of the Public Lands and Slaves held by the Governor and officers, 3 pp. Endorsed, as above. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 3. Nos. 33, 33 I.–VIII.; and 29. pp. 138–148; and 39. pp. 6, 7.]
April 15. 263. Victuallers of the Navy to the Treasury. As soon as it shall be ascertained what the number of the men is, including the ten men now to be sent, and that we receive orders for the lading provisions for them, it shall be effected and then we shall make an account of the cost of such provisions and apply for money for the same. We did formerly send malt and mills to grind it and coppers for brewing of beer, which we hope remain there and so there will no need beer to be sent, but malt and hops proportionable to the number of men. It will also be necessary that when we receive orders for victualling these men, it may be inserted in the order whether they shall be victualled at whole allowance for the year or at short allowance, which is what hath usually been allowed to soldiers, and for the ten men that are to be sent what allowance of victuals shall be made them for their passage to Newfoundland at whole or short allowance. Endorsed, Recd. Read, Ap. 28, 1699. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 136; and, 25. p. 300.]
April 15. 264. Extract of a letter from M. de Pontchartrain to M. le Comte de Tallard. Messieurs D'Amblimont and Robert write that the English Commissioners have handed over to them the French part of St. Christopher's according to the treaty of Ryswick, but have refused to give up the houses occupied by the French before the war in the English part or to enter into any negotiation touching this question. They assert that they have exhausted their powers. It is timely to ask for powers to be given to Mr. Codrington to renew with M. D'Amblimont the treaties made in 1655 and 1671 between the Governors of St. Christopher's to establish communication between the two nations. Messieurs D'Amblimont and Robert also write that they found all the houses and shops ruined and demolished, wells spoiled and filled, reservoirs burst, sugar canes eaten by cattle or burnt, all within six or seven months, and that they have been informed that the Governors gave the French houses to individuals on condition that they destroyed them and carried off the débris. The damage done to the houses alone is estimated at 135,000 livres. They demand the execution of the treaties and that instructions should be given to M. de Codrington to compel the individuals who have done this shameful damage or who have made a profit out of it to indemnify the French proprietors or at least to replace at their own expense the materials they have removed. Endorsed, Brought to the Board by the Earl of Jersey and Read May 24, 1699. French. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6. No. 13; and 45. pp. 363, 364.]
April 15. 265. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Only three members of the Council being in town the General Court was adjourned till the 17th. Several petitions being preferred for grants of deserted lands and the petitioners producing negro rights to take them up, a rule was made, according to the royal instructions, that no land be granted to any others than H.M. Christian subjects coming to reside here.