America and West Indies: April 1699, 17-20

Pages 148-160

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 17.
April 18.
Mr. Benjamin Harrison excused his absence on the 15th on the grounds of illness. The Attorney General presented an oath to be taken by members of the Council as judges of the General Court, and the Council disliking the distinction it seemed to draw in the proceedings of the General Court between the Common Law and Chancery, another oath was agreed upon for the meantime requiring them generally to do justice. Further settlement of the question referred to the General Assembly. A new Commission of the Peace ordered for Kent County, Capt. Thomas Bray, John Lewis, Nicholas Morriweather and George Keeling being added to the list. Capt. John Aldred of H.M.S. Essex prize, allowed 10 barrels of powder from the gunner at James City, to be repaid out of his supply from England if it arrives before he sails or, if it does not, a certificate to the Ordnance Office to be given by him. Proclamation ordered (signed April 18th) that no Navigation Bond shall be put in suit within eighteen months next coming, and requiring all who have such bonds to provide certificates as required by the Acts of Trade and Navigation for the discharge thereof. Richard Johnson was sworn of the Council. In accordance with the directions of the Lords Justices concerning Capt. Kidd of the Adventure galley, an order for his apprehension was sent to the sheriffs of the several counties to be communicated by them to the Commanders in Chief, Collectors and Naval Officers. Warrant ordered according to the Lords Justices' warrant of Nov. 15, 1698, allowing Col. Byrd, H.M. Auditor General, 2,955l. 9s. 3½ d. out of the quit-rents for expenses defrayed by him. Capt. Aldred complaining of his seamen deserting, a proclamation was ordered for their apprehension. All Collectors and Naval Officers required to warn all masters of ships not to receive any strange seamen without certificates. Capt. Aldred allowed a pilot, he providing for the payment thereof. Ordnance and gunners' stores saved from H.M.S. Swift ordered to be kept and sent home by the first man-of-war as requested by the Commissioners of Ordnance. Petition of Bertram Servants complaining of a forcible entry into some of his land in Elizabeth City County by Robert Beverley referred to the Attorney General. Ordered that the Auditor prepare a statement of the Public Accounts. Richard Lee was sworn of the Council. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 53. pp. 229–237.]
April 17. 266. Hudson's Bay Company to the Lords Commissioners. Answer to the French pretentions to Fort Bourbon. We deny the French to be the first discoverers and settlers of that place. The French bringing their pretended right no higher than 1682, and their being dispossessed in 1684 we shall show what sort of possession that was. Mr. Radisson, said to have made this settlement for the French at Port Nelson, 1682, was many years before in England, settled and married an English wife, Sir John Kerk's daughter, was in the interest and service of the English upon private adventures before as well as after the incorporation of the Hudson Bay Company. In 1667 when Prince Rupert and other nobles set out two ships, Radisson went in the Eagle, Capt. Stannard commander, and in that voyage the name of Rupert's River was given. Again 1668, and again 1669, in this voyage Radisson directed his course to Port Nelson and cast anchor before it, and went on shore with one Baley, designed Governor for the English, fixed the King of England's arms there and left some goods for trading. In 1671 three ships were set out from London by the Hudson Bay Company then incorporated, and Mr. Radisson in one of them in the Company's service settled Moose River, went to Port Nelson, left some goods there and wintered at Rupert's River. In 1673, upon some difference with the Hudson Bay Company Mr. Radisson returned into France, and is there persuaded to go to Canada again. There he formed several designs of going on some French private expeditions into Hudson Bay, which the Governor, M. Frontenac, would by no means permit as declaring it would break the union between the two kings. But at last Radisson was secretly set out with two ships by one La Chaney (a private merchant of Canada) and other private persons without the Governor's knowledge or orders from any powers, and in Aug. 1682 arrived at a river to them unknown but being in the latitude of Port Nelson resolved to go in, found an English ship there, whose company were building an house, saw another ship coming in belonging to the Hudson Bay Company, of London, which had brought a Governor to settle a factory in that port. Radisson and the French with him took the English ship, the Company's Governor and men, and carried them to Canada, where he found M. La Barr, Governor in the room of M. de F[r]ontenac, who ordered him forthwith to release the English ship, and La Chaney to give satisfaction to the English for some goods disposed of by Radisson, but was never performed. This was the expedition in 1682 and the first time that ever French men or French vessels sailed into Hudson Bay. They were dispossessed of this unjust acquisition two years after. For complaint being immediately made by the Company, Radisson, as soon as he returned into France in 1683, found the effects of it by the many memorials given in against him at the French Court by the several public ministers of the King of England. The action was disowned by his most Christian Majesty and satisfaction promised which was directed by a great minister in France in this manner, that Radisson should go for London and ship himself on board the Company's ships to go to Port Nelson and withdraw the French whom he had left there, restore the effects to the English, and the Court of France nor Canada should ever pretend any right to the Bay of Hudson. Accordingly Radisson came to London, presented himself to King Charles and the Duke of York, then Governor of the Company, by their recommendation is reconciled to the Company, and goes with only two ships in the Company's service, Capt. Bond and Capt. Outlaw, commanders, arrived at Port Nelson, where the Sieur Chavert, whom Radisson had left there, and the rest of the men came over to him and complied with the justice to be done to the English, who afterward took service in the Hudson Bay Company, and brought into England and restored to the Company about 12,000 beavor skins and other furs (short of 60,000 beavors as the French suggest), the greatest part of which were traded with English goods taken from them in the expedition before. This we conceive is a full answer to the French paper. Whereas they talk of injuries and dispossessing in a time of peace, they were the first aggressors, and begun a private and piratical war. [America and West Indies. Hudson's Bay, 539. No. 8. pp. 13–16.]
April 17.
New York.
267. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Knowing how much value you set upon furnishing naval stores from these Colonies, I have been thoughtful about that matter of late and the more so because I do not find that design is carried on with that vigour in New Hampshire that I could wish. I will suppose the purveyors honest, but find the charge will be so extravagant that I question whether it will not be a total discouragement to the prosecution of that design. Having overcome in great measure the trouble and opposition of the unruly people here by patience and moderation, I hope to be at liberty shortly to transport myself to Boston and very quickly after to New Hampshire and to give you a faithful account of that and other affairs relating to my other Governments.
I sent for M. Bernon, a French marchand, and an honest, sincere man, whom I was acquainted with in England, he being extremely well recommended to me by my Lord Gallway and several other French gentlemen, and having lived some years at Boston, and there made a good quantity of pitch, tar, rozen and turpentine. He says the King can best be supplied with these stores from this province, because there grows an infinite number of pines in Long, alias Nassau, Island, and on both sides of Hudson's River, and between Albany and Schenectady, and there will be a water carriage which will mightily conduce to their cheapness. Then I would have the soldiers employed to work at making them at full English pay, which is 8d. per day, and an addition of 4d. per day to encourage them; 1s. per day, under which it will be impossible to keep 'em in tolerable cloathes and diet, and if they be not enabled to live more comfortably than at present they will always be deserting as they do now. The work is not laborious, all that they have to do is to tap the trees and then receive the liquor in vessels. M. Bernon says that a man that works with intelligence will make five tons of stores in a year, making pitch, rozen, and turpentine all summer and in winter tar only. 'Tis easy then to compute what the charge will be to the King. The soldiers' pay, ordinary and extraordinary, will be 7s. per week (which would be to other labourers 18s., if they could be had which is not possible here). At the rate of five ton per annum, the charge of making will come to £3 12s. 10d. I allow for casks, at 2s. 6d. per barrel, £1 per ton. For freight to New York and management, £1 5s. 0d. Freight to England 40s. per ton. All which articles amount to £7 17s. 10d. per ton sterling money, if you have the stores from hence; from N. Hampshire it will cost just thrice as much, unless the King will keep soldiers there to work, which will not be proper, because there are not provisions to be had there for 'em, and because they would be out of the center, and consequently not properly placed for a security to the provinces. If our computations are just, and if one man will make 5 tons per annum, the thing I most doubt, then we shall be able to furnish the King with naval stores quarter part cheaper than he has 'em now from the northern Crowns. From the London paper called the Marchand's Weekly Remembrancer, I find the price of Stockholm pitch is £16 per last, a last is a ton and a half. I will not get a shilling by all this myself; the charge for management only represents £200 per annum, New York money, to M. Bernon and 2s. 6d. per day to each lieutenant, a lieutenant to each 100 soldiers to keep 'em at their work. You will doubt perhaps the cheapness of freight to England, the present rate being from £4 to £6 per ton. But I oblige myself to make it good, if some owners and masters I have talked with here know their own minds. I have known two or three ships wait five months in this port for a freight, and at last go for England half and sometimes three-quarters laden, and they rarely wait less than three months for their lading, which is the reason of dearness of freight of goods. Whereas if I be commanded by your Lordships to proceed with this undertaking, I will always have a sufficient stock of these stores in readiness here at York, that every ship shall have her lading in three or four days' time. Quickness of returns will bring down the price of freight to what I have said, and the whole management shall be carried on without trifling or tricks. We can make up the loadings with principal knee timber for the king's ships, which I understand is pretty scarce in England and fells for £6 or £7 per ton. If you approve of this scheme, be pleased to inform me from the Custom House what quantity of these stores is imported yearly into England. M. Bernon guessed the King's Navy would consume 1,000 tons and the nation of England 6,000 tons.
I understand there are as good pines for masts of ships, on the land—full as big as Devonshire—granted to Mr. Dellius by Col. Fletcher, as any in N. Hampshire, and a great number. They may be floated on the river all the way to York with little charge. In that grant there is no reservation of quit rent to the Crown, except one racoon's skin per annum, nor the liberty of cutting a tree or building a fort, yet there is the best place for a fert in all this province;—on the side of the long lake called Corlaer's Lake, or Iroquois, because that land is the most advanced towards Canada. Mr. Dellius has lately had 90 masts for ships floated down to within a few miles of York on Hudson's River and proposes great profit to himself, but I hope, before this Assembly is broke up, I shall secure that and his other grant which the Mohacks complained of. I am told the timber which grows in that part of the country is firmer and more substantial than that which grows in N. Hampshire, and the reason that's assigned for it is the winter's being much more cold in N. Hampshire than in this province, and 'tis observed, the more to the southwards of this continent, the better is the timber.
I shall hereafter recommend that some sort of order and established rules may be settled for the distribution of those remote lands among the officers and soldiers, each to have such a proportion of land after so many years' service, reserving on each lot a quit-rent to the Crown and making them unalienable to any besides the King, otherwise the soldiers will soon embezzle the lands assigned 'em. If this course had been taken twenty years ago, the frontier towards Canada had by this time been so well peopled that they would be able to make a stand against the French and their Indians.
If your Lordships send me orders before winter I believe I would provide stores enough for the King's Navy if I had the four Companies recruited, but then how would England be furnished, as it should be from hence, so that that trade might not be precarious, as it must be if our nation must be beholding to the Northern Crowns for it? I propose a plan answering the two greatest ends that can be thought of, viz: the defence of this and all the rest of the Colonies and the furnishing his Majesty and the Nation of England with Naval stores. I propose the immediate sending over and constant keeping of 1,000 men in the King's pay in this province to manufacture the stores. Their pay will be no charge to the King, as I have shown. There are not 100 labouring men possibly to be had in this province at 3s. per day. Their labour is performed mostly by negroes, and the others have trades or keep sloops by which they can earn much more. As to the necessity of keeping 1,000 soldiers constantly in pay in this province, there is the example of the French, who to secure Canada, which is a small spot of country in comparison with all H.M. Colonies on this Continent, keep thirty companies or 1,500 men constantly in pay. Then they are said to have as many Indians at command as we, and of the warlike Indians which they have debauched from us. The French, too, have some substantial forts and several small ones. Between Montreal and Quebec, which is 60 leagues, they are said to have 8 or 9, and though they be small they favour extremely the peopling of that country; and I conceive that to be the chief end of the building those forts, for a desert country as all America is, being covered with thick high woods, is frightful to people unless there be forts to protect 'em. There ought, in my opinion, to be a good fort of stone at the extreme end of the land granted to Mr. Dellius, which your Lordships will judge best of by looking at the map formerly sent by Lieut. Hunt; and another such fort in the Onondages' country, which is the centre of our Five Nations. I am told there is a very convenient place for it upon the same river which runs through the Mohacks' country and comes to Schenectade, and 'tis the more convenient because it lies opposite to the French Fort called Cadaracque, which I formerly acquainted your Lordships was such a terror to the Indians. A fort there would cover all our Indians and keep them firm to us. The remoteness of it is the worst circumstance that attends it: still the French have a fort in the Dowaganhas country, one of the Western Nations, that cannot be less distant from Canada than 700 miles, built there by M. de Tonti. 'Tis an easy matter to discern what the French have in view; when our Five Nations are destroyed, which they must necessarily be in a few years, if we must have our hands tied up, and submit to their sinister artifices, then will they engage those numerous Western Nations against us, with whom they are now making an interest by their Jesuits and other missionaries and by training and emboldening them to fight. Formerly 100 of our Indians would have made 1,000 of 'em run, and now 'tis the French have taught 'em to fear ours so little as that they will venture to fight 'em upon the square. The French are now fortifying Quebec, an engineer being lately sent thither from France, yet I hear that place was strong before. Without doubt the French King sets a great value upon Canada, and takes such measures as will quickly extend his dominions here further than is consistent with the interest of England. I will give one or two more reasons for augmenting our forces here. This province by its situation in the centre of the other Colonies challenges a preference to all the rest and ought to be looked on as the Capital Province or the Citadel to all the others, for [secure] but this and you secure all the English Colonies, not only against the French, but also against any insurrections or rebellions against the Crown of England, [if] any such should happen, which God forbid. 1,000 men regular troops here and a fourth-rate man-of-war at Boston and a fifth-rate here at N. York would secure all the English Plantations on this Continent firm in their allegiance to the Crown as long as the world lasts. And I am of opinion whenever another [war] happens with France the French might easily be driven out of Canada. If this design of the Naval Stores goes on, 'twill employ double the number of ships that it now does from England to Norway, because of the distance, and so long as the commodities are as cheap or cheaper than now they are, 'twill be for the advantage of England that there be more ships employed. There will be one objection. M. Bernon computes 7,000 tons will be needed and 1,000 men can make but 5,000. But to make the full complement of stores, I answer that the people in the country who are unfit for hard labour will without doubt in a short time learn the way to earn their bread at this easy work and, if I may believe M. Bernon, the women and children of ten years old and upwards will be able to make good earnings at it. But rather than require more soldiers from England (for I confess I grudge with our parting with people out of England) I should advise the sending for negroes to Guinea, which I understand are bought there and brought hither all charges borne for £10 a piece New York money, and I can clothe and feed 'em very comfortably for 9d. a day sterling money. If it were practicable for the King to be the merchant and pleasing to the nation, there would be a profit of at least 50 per cent. made of the goods sent over hither and to the other Plantations for defraying the charge of making and providing the stores, for I propose that English goods, especially woollen cloaths shall maintain this undertaking. At that rate we should still undersell the present market at Boston at least 20 and that of this town above 40 per cent.
I can think of no further charge that will attend the provision of stores here at New York except the building a good storehouse, which may be done for about £1,000 this money. There will also be required a Clerk of the Stores for whom I propose a salary of £100 per annum this money (= £70 English) and the Clerk's Assistant at £80 (= £56). Then there would be about a dozen men constantly employed in laying in and delivering the stores, which work I could have performed by soldiers with a small addition of pay. Two things are necessary for this great and useful design, first, the vacating all the extravagant grants of land, which are eleven or twelve in number, all except two or three granted by Col. Fletcher, comprehending full ¾ parts of this Province, which was the most destructive course he could possibly have taken for the interest of the Crown and peopling the Province. Besides he has singled out a worthless sort of people for his grantees and generally so disaffected to His Majesty that I wish I could except four of the twelve that are not so. Second, the giving the King a liberty by Act of Parliament in England or of Assembly here of using pines or other sorts of trees for making all the fore-mentioned sorts of stores on the estates of all persons in this province without exception, and reserving to him alone the use of all such trees as are fit for masts of ships and of all such oaks and other timber whether straight or crooked as will be proper to be used for building H.M. ships of war.
I much question whether I shall be able to get an Act passed in this Assembly to break all the forementioned extravagant grants of land. The parties concerned are jealous of my design and are endeavouring to prepossess the Members of Assembly with a thousand apprehensions about it, but as the grantees are men that are generally much hated, I hope I may prevail to get a Bill passed for the breaking part of the grants this session, and will try to break the rest next, and will nicely observe all the rules and conditions contained in the Lords Justices' letter of Nov. 10. By my proposal I do not mean that the present or future proprietors of lands should be restrained from cutting timber for their own use, and even for sale, but that all trees above such a scantling as shall be hereafter agreed on shall be reserved to the King under a severe penalty. Signed, Bellomont. P.S.—4th May, 1699. I send a letter newly received from Mr. Bridger, one of the Purveyors of Naval stores at Piscataqua, that you may observe this good design goes on heavily there. Endorsed, Recd. Aug. 31, Read Sept. 7, Dec. 8, 1699. 8 closely written pages. Holograph. Enclosed,
267. I. Abstract of preceding letter. 3¼ pp.
267. II. J. Bridger and Tho. Holland to Lord Bellomont. I procured an Act of Assembly at Boston in June last for a guard to attend our affairs, but of the guard of twelve men allowed us we now have five only, of which four have no ammunition, the fifth neither gun nor ammunition, and all want provisions. Signed, J. Bridger, Tho. Holland. Piscataqua, Ap. 21, 1699. Copy. Endorsed as preceding. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New York, 8 A. Nos. 22, 22I.–II.; and 53. pp. 354–369; and (abstract) 45. pp. 38–42.]
April 17.
268. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letter from Mr. Burchet re Newfoundland read. Answer prepared. Col. Handaside recommended the hardships of soldiers in Newfoundland with regard to arrears. Letter upon that subject to Lord Ranelagh ordered. Answer prepared to Mr. Secretary Vernon's letter about Turkey Passes, and to Mr. Grey's proposal that two ships attend H.M. service at Barbadoes.
April 18. Letter to Lord Ranelagh signed and that to Mr. Burchet agreed upon.
Letter to the Government of Connecticut in pursuance of H.M. Order in Council ordered to be written when John and Nicolas Hallam produce the Order.
Representations upon Col. Codrington's Commission and the petition of the Proprietors of East New Jersey signed.
Letter to Mr. Secretary Vernon signed.
The Secretary ordered to acquaint Mr. Lowndes that Mr. Thurston has been recommended for the Newfoundland business.
April 19. Mr. Edward Chilton's petition read and referred for further consideration.
The Order of Council re John and Nicolas Hallam read and letter ordered accordingly.
Mr. Dockwra's objection to the representation re East New Jersey read. The Secretary ordered to acquaint him that it was already finished, but that the words "upon which their said claim is grounded" have been omitted. [Board of Trade. Journal, 12. pp. 3–7; and 96. Nos. 61, 62, 63.]
April 17. 269. Minutes of Council of New York in Assembly. Samuel Burt and Captain Ebenezer Willson refused to give an account of the excise of Long Island, and were committed to the custody of the Serjeant-at-Arms. A Bill was ordered for committing them to prison until they should discover what had been required of them.
April 18
and 19.
This Bill was read the first and second time.
Bills for regulating Jurors, repealing an Act regulating damages, and for punishing privateers read the third time and passed. The Committee demanded a longer time to consider the Bill for the establishment of Courts.
April 20. Petition of inhabitants of Queen Street and others read and referred to the Assembly.
April 21.
April 22.
Bill for committing Burt and Willson passed and sent down. Their petition put off till next Council day, as the House was now sitting in the quality of the Upper House of Assembly. The Bill was assented to by H.E., being returned passed from the Assembly. Burt and Willson appeared, gave the account desired; and were discharged.
Bills for preventing abuses daily committed by negro slaves and Indians; for regulating an Act of Assembly intituled an Act for suppressing Intestates' estates and regulating the probate of wills, and granting letters of administration; and for preventing vexatious suits sent up and read the first time. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 772–780.]
April 18. 270. John and Nicolas Hallam to Council of Trade and Plantations. We beg you to signify to the Governor and Company of Connecticut the Order in Council upon your report in our case. Nicolas Hallam is bound to New England within three or four days and will safely deliver your letter. Signed, John Hallam, Nicolas Hallam. Endorsed, Recd. Read, April 18, 1699. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 9. No. 6.]
April 18.
271. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. We present herewith the draft of a commission for Governor Codrington and in accordance with the advice of your Majesty's Attorney and Solicitor General have omitted the words "insurrection" and "as also upon soldiers in pay" which occur in former commissions.
We suggest that instructions be sent to the several Governors in whose commissions these words do stand, that they do forbear to put the same in execution, which in time of peace may be supplied by the Legislative power in the General Assemblies of the several Plantations. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jo. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 45. pp. 353, 354.]
April 18. 272. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. We have considered the petition of the Proprietors of East-New-Jersey with what they have further offered to us upon the subject and finding no reason to alter our former opinion represented to their Excellencies the Lords Justices Oct. 27, 1697, that the granting them the privilege of a Port at Perth Amboy would be extremely prejudicial to your Majesty's Province of New York, but observing that in the close of their petition they pray that in case your Majesty should not permit them the free use of that port upon the terms by them proposed, your Majesty would be pleased, for their vindication against the clamours of the inhabitants of East New Jersey upon this occasion, to direct your Attorney General to consent to a trial at Bar in Westminster Hall upon a feigned issue, we offer that such a trial be had, whereby the Proprietors' claim to the Port together with the right of Government of the Province, upon which the same is grounded, may receive a judicial determination. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Philip Meadow(s), Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. pp. 400, 401.]
April 18.
273. William Popple to John Burchett. In reply to yours of the 14th, the company of soldiers left at Newfoundland amounted to 61 men. The ten recruits are not yet ready but will be ready to go by the last convoy mentioned in your letter of the 13th by which it will be time enough to send the provisions. The reason of my Lords' proposal that the provisions remaining there may be sold and accounted for by the Commander in Chief of the convoys is that there is no officer established upon the place higher than a lieutenant, and because the Commander was last year appointed by H.M. commission to command also in chief and inspect all things during his stay there at land. On learning who is intended for Commodore this year my Lords will desire Mr. Secretary Vernon to procure H.M. like commission. By accounting for the produce of those provisions and applying it to the use of the soldiers, is meant no more than accounting for it to the Lords of the Treasury that they may apply it accordingly to the account of the proper funds. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. Read April 21, 1699. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 137; and 25. pp. 291, 292.]
April 18.
274. Wm. Popple to William Lownds. In accordance with H.M. Order in Council, April 6, the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, judging it necessary that some person be appointed to take care of the business relating to the Company established at Newfoundland as Agent, and Col. Handaside who formed that Company having recommended Mr. John Thurston, acquaint you therewith, that upon giving the usual security, Mr. Thurston may be employed by the Rt. Hon. the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, in order to the necessary dispatches, if their Lordships think fit. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. pp. 292, 293.]
April 18.
275. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Vernon. We agree with Mr. Grey, and have often represented to His Majesty, that heavy sailers are most unfit for those parts. And as to the two ships desired by him to be constantly attending there, we have already offered to His Majesty our opinion that one good fifth rate be appointed for that service to be annually relieved by another, which has accordingly been ordered, and do now believe that if another of 25 guns be likewise sent to make up the number desired, it will at this time, in respect of the many pirates frequenting those parts, be of great service to trade. Signed, Phil. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. p. 249.]
April 18.
276. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of Ranelagh, Paymaster General. We desire to know the state and reasonableness of the claims, made by the officers and soldiers now at Newfoundland, of their arrears since the disbanding of the regiment. Signed, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. p. 293.]
April 18. 277. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Ordered that the writ of error betwixt Baily and Baily be argued peremptorily next Council day. Mr. Agnew was called and asked if he would undertake the building of the mole upon the same proposals Mr. Popple will. He declined. Leave was given to Capt. Collin Hunter, commander of H.M.S. Dolphin, to land some wines for the easier careening his ship; the Assembly concurring with the proviso that the wines when landed should be put under the care of the Treasurer who is to see that they are reshipped. Mr. Lane's papers read and laid by till James Hannay, Esq., gives in his answer next Council day. The Assembly agreed to his Excellency's proposal that the Keeper of the Magazine should deliver 20 barrels of powder to Capt. Barker, Commander of H.M.S. Speedwell, for His Majesty's service, to be repaid when the store-ship arrives.
April 19. Upon a motion that several negroes were run away with, a proclamation was ordered to enforce the laws about the watch. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 391–393.]
April 18. 278. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. New names:— Lt. Col. Richard Downes, William Terrill, Robert Harrison. The Supplemental Act for the Provision of Servants was read twice. The Assembly waited on his Excellency and Council who recommended to them the matter of powder for H.M.S. Speedwell (see preceding abstract), the question of donations for the use of a free school, the proposals of Magnus Popple and a joint-committee of the two Houses to consider them, a speedy statement of the Public Accounts and Revenues, the payment by some means of the old Agents' salaries. The Assembly then returned and rejected the petition of Alexander Forrester that he might be paid a yearly rent for his house which had for many years past been used as a common gaol. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 405–407.]
April 19. 279. Proprietors of East New Jersey to Council of Trade and Plantations. The proposal to have a trial at bar of their claim to a port was intended by the Proprietors only as a last resort to justify themselves against the clamours of the inhabitants. Their principal desire is to avoid all controversy with His Majesty and to remove the objection made by New York, and therefore they pray you to lay before His Majesty their memorials upon this occasion. They made no offer to try their Right of Government in such feigned issue and are advised their right to a port doth not depend upon their right of Government, and the Law having prescribed a proper method of trying the right to Royal Franchises claimed by subjects, the Proprietors conceive they cannot without injustice to themselves and the inhabitants of that country submit their right of Government to be part of such an issue. Nor can the omission of it be any prejudice to His Majesty, since if the right of a Port should depend upon the right of Government, His Majesty will have the benefit of that point in evidence at the trial, as much as if it were part of the issue itself. Signed (on behalf of the Proprietors), Wm. Dockwra, Secr. and Regr. Endorsed, Recd. Read Ap. 19, 1699. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 3. No. 7; and 25. pp. 401, 402.]
April 19. 280. Minutes of Council of New York. Memorials of Ducie Hungerford and John Evetts read and referred for consideration.
6l. paid to John Merrey for intercepting a letter from Broadish, the Pirate, to Col. Peirson.
April 22. The ship Hester having been sold to Col. Abraham Depeyster for 315l., the balance, after deducting expenses for seizing and condemning her, ordered to be paid to the Master, Richard Wyse, for wages due to him and the crew before seizure. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 221–223.]
April 20.
281. Order of King in Council, approving the draft of the Commission for Col. Christopher Codrington with the exception of the proposed alteration. The new Commission, like former Commissions to the Governors of the Leeward Carribbee Islands, is to contain the words, "To execute martial law in time of invasion, insurrection or war, as also upon soldiers in pay." Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. April 26, Read April 27, 1699. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6. No. 14; and 45. pp. 355, 356.]
April 20.
St. Christopher's.
282. Council of St. Christopher's to Council of Trade and Plantations. The Lieutenant Governer, Col. James Norton, has communicated to us your letter of Feb. 27, requiring an account of some spoils the French Ambassador pretends to have been done by His Majesty's subjects upon the territories of the French after having notice of the conclusion of the peace. Col. Norton himself was absent at that time. The pretentions of the French are very untrue. Some part of a ruinous town which the French themselves had set on fire, when His Majesty's forces, that reduced this island, were marching into it, and which, being deserted by them, was extinguished by the said forces after the major part thereof was burnt, and so saved from being quite laid in ashes, several of which houses that were preserved from that fire decayed and went to ruin during the time of a long war and served for nothing but fuel, and some other houses near their church where our Court of Guard was posted were pulled down after the French privateers had surprised the said ruinous town and that Guard, since they were a covert for their approaches and to prevent a second attempt of the same kind. Before any certain knowledge of peace the small remnant thereof was pulled down by the inhabitants according to an order from the late General Christopher Codrington to the then Military Deputy Governor, Major John McArthur of this place, that therewith they might build themselves houses in lieu of what the French had perfidiously destroyed of theirs contrary to the Articles of Neutrality agreed upon by both Crowns. This was done before the proclamation of peace; after the peace was known no spoil or waste was committed by any permission, so that if any such thing was done, 'twas done without any authority and not known, and might be as well by negroes as white men. It is unreasonable of them to expect that His Majesty's subjects should spend their time and money in watching and guarding their parts of the island after being withdrawn. And it is unreasonable of them to complain of our pulling down a few shattered houses to put in the places of three of our towns, churches and good houses with sugar-works in the country, which they burnt down before they had declared war to us. Since the handing over of the French parts of the island according to the Treaty of Ryswick, the French have made several large demands, a copy of which we now send, understanding the same hath already been dispatched from the Government of Nevis, in whose hands the chief power of these Leeward Islands is at present lodged. We had hoped to send a copy of the answers and remarks made to them, but they have been sent by the aforesaid chief Government and we have no copy. But forasmuch as this island being inhabited by two nations, some misunderstandings may happen arising from the liberties and customs of each other, it was thought convenient for regulating the same in former reigns to have Commissioners of three or four persons of each nation authorised and appointed to examine into and determine such national matters. We leave it to your Lordships' consideration how convenient and necessary some such Commission may be to preserve good union and to prevent troubling your Lordships and the Court with frivolous complaints that may be without any great difficulty moderated and determined here. Signed, W. M. Willett, Hen. Burrell, Mich. Lambert, John Garnett. Endorsed, Recd. June 26, 1699. 3 pp. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6. No. 15; and 45. pp. 405–408.]
April 20.
283. J. Burchett to Mr. Popple. In answer to yours of 18th inst., Capt. Leake, Commander of H.M.S. Hampshire, is appointed to command in chief at Newfoundland, who is the next ship that will sail. As for sending the provisions for the soldiers by the last ship, she will not be able to carry the same, in regard she is but a sixth rate. Please move the Council of Trade to consider whether it may not be more convenient to send all or part thereof by the Hampshire. And I desire you will let me know whether provisions are to be sent for 61 men only or for them and the ten recruits that are now going, it being not known here whether any of the said 61 men are dead or whether, when these recruits arrive and the sixty one men are entire, the whole number are to be kept up. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. p. 294.]