America and West Indies: April 1699, 21-25

Pages 160-170

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 21.
284. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Vernon. Capt. Leake being now ready to sail, we desire you would please to procure his Majesty's royal signature to the enclosed draft of a Commission for him to command in chief at land during his stay at Newfoundland, it being the same as was granted to Capt. Norris upon the like occasion. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. p. 296.]
April 21.
285. William Popple to John Burchett. The Council of Trade have written to Mr. Secretary Vernon to procure a commission for Capt. Leake like Capt. Norris' of last year. They have no objection to the provisions being sent in whole or part by the Hampshire and think that if provisions be sent this year for 61 men it may be sufficient. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. p. 295.]
April 21.
286. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Petition relating to the settlement of Tobago read, and petitioners ordered to lay before the Board the contract and articles mentioned in their petition with any other papers they have relating to the Duke of Courland's title to that island. Mr. Chilton attending with others assured the Board there has been no other Attorney-General of Barbadoes constituted by H.M. Commission since Sir Thomas Mongomery. Mr. Hooper was put in by Col. Kendall, and continued since to supply the vacancy till His Majesty please to appoint one.
Mr. Eccleston desiring, in behalf of the Quakers of Maryland, a copy of the Act passed there, July 1696, entitled, An Act for the service of Almighty God and the establishment of the Protestant Religion, ordered, that a copy be given him.
Letter from Mr. Burchet read, and a letter was forthwith signed requesting Mr. Secretary Vernon to procure a Commission to Captain Andrew Leake.
The Secretary ordered to reply to Mr. Burchet about the provisions for the soldiers at Newfoundland.
Order of Council of Feb. 23 re Rhode Island read; representation ordered to be prepared to the same effect as that upon the petition of the Hallams relating to Connecticut.
Representation relating to pirates on the coast of Africa ordered.
Governor Blakiston's letter, Maryland, Jan. 29, read. [Board of Trade. Journal, 12. pp. 7–10; and 96. No. 64.]
April 22. 287. Ordnance Office to Council of Trade and Plantations. In reply to your letter of 14th my Lord Romney sends you a copy of our report on H.M. Order in Council of the 6th. Signed, C. Musgrave, Ja. Lowther, Wm. Boulter, Jo. Charlton, H. Goodricke. Endorsed, Recd. April 25, Read April 26, 1699. Enclosed,
287. I. We cannot conceive there could be any just reason for the gunners' complaints, we having by their one (own) appointment paid their wives here their full pay to Aug. 31 last, and we doubt not but their wives supplied them from time to time with necessaries, etc., and that which induces us the rather to believe this, because we never had any intimation from the gunners to the contrary. But we think we cannot justify the payment of them any longer without a particular assignment of moneys from the Treasury for that service, no provision being made by Parliament. We cannot but approve of the building barracks for defending the soldiers against the injuries of the winter seasons, and have made the annexed estimate of the charge, which amounts to 2,312l. 5s. 2d. In pursuance of an Order of Council March 31, 1698, we consulted our engineer who had been at Newfoundland and did then lay before his Majesty an estimate of what we thought was necessary to be done for erecting of new and finishing the old fortifications in St. John's harbour, the charge whereof amounted to 1,075l. 17s. 2d., the doing of which we judged would be of great service, but nothing of this nature can be performed by this office without particular assignments of money from the Treasury.
287. II. Estimate of materials, freight and workmanship in building barracks for three officers and fifty-six soldiers at Newfoundland. Total, 2,312l. 5s. 2d. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. Nos. 138, 138 I.–II.; and (without estimate) 25. pp. 297, 298.]
April 22.
St. John's.
288. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. The Assembly affirmed that it was high time the money supplied by them to Col. Holt's regiment to furnish them with cloathes was recovered by the Treasurer from Capt. John Perrie. With reference to the guarding of the island which they said the officers could not do owing to the sickness of the men, the Assembly replied that two of the companies ought to repair to the seven places of guard to windward, four soldiers and a serjeant or corporal on each guard, and be relieved weekly, the other company to be distributed on the several forts and platforms in the room of the Montroses. Many gross abuses having been committed by the soldiers in their quarters, the Assembly desire the attention of Col. Collingwood to them, and also some assurance of payment of the sums reserved in the Act of billeting for quarters thereby allowed. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 302–303.]
April 24. 289. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Writs ordered for summoning the Assembly, May 31. £300 paid to John Walley on account of provisions for the garrison. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 204, 205.]
April 24.
290. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Governor and Company of H.M. Colony of Connecticut. We send you H.M. Order in Council, March 9, upon our representation relating to the petitions of John and Nicolas Hallam, together with copies of the petitions. You are to take notice that his Majesty expects your speedy and punctual obedience as you will answer to the contrary. Signed, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill.
291. Same to same. We have received a letter from Col. Winthrop, dated Oct. 27 last, together with a copy of the Laws by which he says his Majesty's subjects in that Colony were then governed; and were glad further to observe in his letter that the General Assembly were then upon revising them in order to some amendments and enlargements with design to transmit them to us in that more perfect form. We expect them to be transmitted to us without delay and in authentic form, under the public seal of the Colony with the attestation of the governor and other proper officers. Signed, as preceding. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. pp. 409, 410.]
April 24. 292. T. Weaver to Mr. Popple. I am leaving England and believe it proper to lodge several papers in your hands belonging to the Earl of Bellomont, which I desire you will communicate to their Lordships as affairs may require. Enclosed,
292. I. Memorandum of Papers communicated by Mr. Weaver. Articles against Capt. Evans.
(1) Deposition of Robert Wright about Capt. Evans' cruelty to John Alston, a pirate, and about his releasing him from on board the Richmond for a sum of money.
(2) Deposition of John Alston.
(3) Deposition of Derrick Claes De Witt concerning Capt. Evans' and his crew's behaviour at an election of Assembly for Ulster County, 1695.
(4) Deposition of Humphrey Davenport on the same subject.
(5) Deposition of Thomas Nox, a Constable in the County of Ulster, of the short warning given him for summoning the freeholders to an election of Assembly-men in 1695 and of Capt. Evans and his crew voting there.
(6) Deposition of Justice Wincoop as to the latter point.
(7) Deposition of Hendrick Hendricks, a Constable in the County of Ulster, as to the former point.
(8) Letter from a gentleman of the City of New York concerning the troubles which happened in that province in the time of the late happy Revolution.
(9) Loyalty Vindicated, being an answer to a late false, seditious and scandalous pamphlet (8). Endorsed, April 27, 1699. 2 pp.
292. II. Printed copy of pamphlet entitled as above (8). 24 pp. small quarto. Printed by William Bradford at the Sign of the Bible in New York, 1698. Gives a version of the Leisler affair, 1689. Endorsed, Recd. from Mr. Weaver, April 27, 1699.
292. III. Printed copy of pamphlet entitled as above (9). 28 pp. small quarto, including copy of an Act for reversing the attainder of Jacob Leisler and others. (4 pp). Printed at Boston by B. Green and J. Allen, 1698. Defence of Capt. Leisler and the Protestant cause. Endorsed as preceding. [Board of Trade. New York, 8 A. Nos. 24, 24 I.–II. (without covering letter); and 53. pp. 294–296 (without printed pamphlets).]
April 24.
293. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Minutes of Council of Maryland read. Complaint of the Dutch Ambassador against Mr. Trott, late Governor of the Bahama Islands, read, and a copy of it ordered to be sent to the Agent for the Lords Proprietors and a speedy answer desired.
Letters to the Governor and Company of Connecticut signed.
April 25. Mr. Thurston, agent for the Company of soldiers at Newfoundland, attended and received instructions about their provisions and pay.
Representations upon the petition of Francis Brinley of Rhode Island and upon Pirates on the coast of Africa, signed.
Remonstrance of the General Assembly of Antigua (No. 297), read and thereupon some directions relating to Col. Codrington's instructions were given. Secretary ordered to write to the Clerk of Council, Secretary, and Clerk of General Assembly there, when Col. Codrington repairs to the Government of the Leeward Islands, to transmit constantly the minutes and proceedings in the business under their charge.
Mr. Chilton showing that Sir Thomas Mongomery's patent for the place of Attorney-General in Barbardoes was only during pleasure, and stating that the Earl of Tankerville had no objection on Mr. Grey's account, representation ordered recommending him to that post.
April 26. Mr. Lloyd's caveat against Sir William Beeston's present read. He was informed with regard to his design to print a journal of proceedings in Jamaica in the time of the French invasion, that it would be more proper to offer what he thought fit to the Board in writing than to appeal to the public in print.
Letter from the Ordnance Office (Ap. 22) read and answered. Mr. Lucas and Col. Codrington summoned to attend the Board on Friday. [Board of Trade. Journal, 12. pp. 11–16; and 96. Nos. 65, 66, 67.]
April 24.
294. James Vernon to the Council of Trade and Plantations. His Majesty commands me to send you the enclosed complaint of the Dutch Ambassador in the name of the States General against Mr. Trot, Governor of New Providence; which His Majesty would have your Lordships consider, and, if you have received any information of this matter, that you lay before him a state of the case with your opinion what may be fit to be done towards repairing the injury complained of. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Enclosed,
294. I. Complaint of Dutch Ambassador. Upon March 17, 1695, N.S., the ship Juffrow Geertruÿd, belonging to the States of Holland, commanded by Capt. Dirck Lofreÿs, Gerard Loman being lieutenant, both having H.M. commission, was cast away near the Bahamas, with 73 or 74 thousand pieces of eight on board her and a great quantity of merchandize. Sixty-five of the ship's crew saved themselves in the pinnace and a long boat, and got to New Providence 17 days after, having saved only their clothes and arms and some of them a little money. On their arrival Governor Nicholas Trott seized on their arms, and after he had an account of their misfortunes, he caused a sloop to be fitted out and sent to the vessel, not suffering any of the castaway men to go to her, except one Frenchman who went for a pilot. The men then desired their arms might be returned and to depart the place, which he refused, but tendered them their fuzees, provided they would pay him 12 pieces of eight for each, which they refusing to do, he kept them. They much urged their necessity to depart the island, having but little money and provisions, told him they were honest men and no pirates, and that they had their Majesties the King and Queen of England's commission, which Governor Trott saw and allowed of, but bid them not trouble or molest him about their going away, for he would keep them there, Trott saying, "I have another way to deal with you notwithstanding your commission, I will make you know I am King of Providence." Some time after, the vessel he sent arrived from the wrecked ship whence they took up thirty-three thousand pieces of eight besides merchandize, which Trott shared to himself and his gang, but gave not one real to any of the ship's crew. The distressed men applied themselves again for leave to go off, which he refused, unless they paid 40 pieces of eight a man, being 60 in number, and 20 pieces of eight each for 5 boys, and likewise one piece of eight each for his ticket, but 10 Spaniards who were of their company he let go free. Gerard Loman, the lieutenant, and 15 men went on board a vessel bound for Rhode Island, five of the fifteen had not paid to Trott their forty pieces of eight and other fees, for which he sent after them and took the vessel and made the whole company prisoners and so kept them till the said five persons had paid their forty pieces of eight a man and also ten more each. He made prize of the vessel, and seized her in order to condemnation. Endorsed, Recd. Read April 24, 1699. Copy. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. pp. 406–408; and (without covering letter) 3. No. 10; and (without enclosure) Trade Papers, 14. pp. 247–248.]
April 25.
295. William Popple to Mr. Thornburgh. I am to request you to lay the complaint of the Dutch Ambassador (No. 294 i.) before the Lords Proprietors of the Bahama Islands, and to desire them to enable the Council of Trade to give such an answer as his Majesty requires from them. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. p. 408; and North Carolina, 4. pp. 71, 72.]
April 25.
296. Mr. Popple to Mr. Bevis Hill, enclosing letters to be forwarded by different ships to the Governor and Company of Connecticut. Signed, Wm. Popple. Annexed,
296. I. Receipts for above letters from masters of ships, forwarded by Mr. Bevis Hill. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 3. Nos. 24, 24 I.]
April 25.
Nov. 29.
297. General Assembly of Antigua to Council of Trade and Plantations. In ours of Aug. 12, 1698, we gave some account of His Majesty's Leeward Islands in general and of this island in particular. We now offer some further considerations. (1) It has been no small dissatisfaction to the inhabitants of this island that they have all along laboured under difficulties in regard to the validity or invalidity of their laws, arising from the uncertainty of their being transmitted for confirmation in the limited time of three months. The care of sending the laws home being vested solely in the Government has sometimes been the cause of their lying dormant till grown obsolete. When the Governor's assent has been gained, after much intercession and trouble, to such laws as are in themselves wholesome and for the common good of the people, if they in any way thwart his private interest, or the advantage of his favourites, 'tis wholly in his power, by not duly sending them for approbation, to destroy their force at will. We pray that in succeeding Commissions for this Government, His Majesty may be moved either to leave out the limitation of three months for transmitting our Laws, or to grant the Speaker of the Assembly for the time being authority also to send them home, with duplicates under the public seal, and that the entry of such transmission in the Assembly Book may be a sufficient proof of the validity of a law till His Majesty's pleasure be known. (2) There is another growing evil, which unless prevented, may prove a slight to the King's authority and no small abridgement of the privileges granted to his people. The minutes of the Council and Assembly are commanded to be transmitted every six months to your Lordships for due inspection, that nothing may be transacted or pass between His Majesty's Governors and his people in this distant colony but what may fully come to His Majesty's knowledge, to the end that nothing may be admitted to touch his royal prerogative or the liberty of his subjects. Yet have we good reason to think that the said minutes have not been duly sent, and that when transmitted, they have been very imperfect, several passages, not agreeing with the judgment of the Governor or Commander-in-chief being wholly left out, thereby deceiving the King and preventing the people's grievances being known. We pray that the Speaker of the Assembly for the time being be empowered to send duplicates of the Minutes of the Assembly as the occasion shall require. (3) It sometimes proves an obstruction to justice, that the judges or assistants of any of the Courts of Common Pleas are also of the Council, since the same persons holding jurisdiction of any cause or matter in an inferior court are not proper judges to review the same in a superior, but unless the Counsellors are thus allowed to be judges of their own errors, they will be so few, that the remaining part will not consist of a number sufficient to proceed to any business whatever. We pray that this may be remedied, as also that pleading lawyers may not be of the Council. (4) Among the many pressures the inhabitants of this island frequently lie under, that of the King's officers collecting the 4½ per cent. custom is none of the smallest. Merely to propagate their own interest they find fault with that part of the country's product which is from time to time tendered by traders and planters for the Custom of what they export, though commonly the choice of the whole parcel to be shipped, on which the said Custom becomes due, to no other end but that the shipper should pay the same in money, which he is often compelled to do at the rate of two, three and very often four shillings per cent. above the common price. Thus the tax is raised from 4½ to 6 per cent., and the overplush, tumbling into the private purse of a customer, he is able by being master of so much money, to purchase ordinary sugars and other the country's growth at a shilling or two in the hundred below the current rates. To remedy this and in regard of the distant living of the planters from the Custom-house, we pray that an order may be given to the collectors to receive the Custom not only at the town of St. John's, but also at the town of Parham, the latter being as commodious for one part of the inhabitants as the former is for the other part. Customs are paid at the several towns in Barbados in this fashion. We also pray that, if the ships through badness of weather or other accidents cannot forthwith carry so much of the growth of the country to either of the said towns as may be sufficient to satisfy the 4½ per cent. of what intends to export, that the Customer be obliged to accept as much money from the shipper as may fully equal the value of such duty or custom, and eighteen-pence or two shillings in the hundred more than such value, according to the price then governing, to secure the said duty, till the shipper can bring the same in specie to one of the two towns before mentioned; for the effecting which payment the space of thirty days be allowed the shipper, and we pray when at any time the goodness of the specie be disputed by the Customer, that it may be in the power of any Justice of the Peace of this Island to appoint by warrant under his hand three known honest men to judge of the merchantableness of such specie, their return, or any two of them agreeing, made on the back of the warrant to put a full period to all differences. We suffer another intolerable hardship from the Collectors. After the duty has been paid and the cockett duly taken out of the office, the goods mentioned in the cockett are not allowed to be shipped off from any of the convenient shipping places which God Almighty has been pleased to benefit us with, except by a permit at the charge of three shillings limited to a few days, which, through badness of weather and other accidents the shippers have frequently been forced to renew so often that the charge amounts to more than the whole custom to the King. If the shipper presumes on his lawful dockett alone to ship cargoes, they are seized and allowed to rot till the trial is held at the time the officers think fit; it may be in three, six or eight months, which to our sorrow has not been discountenanced by the chief authority amongst us. The shipper thus becomes liable for not fulfilling his contract, loses the cargo which lies rotting, and though cleared by the Court has to pay the costs of the suit. Another grievance is that on all goods imported from England or Ireland, though a vessel may bring 500 small parcels belonging to as many several people, very many of the Planters of late years sending for their own necessaries, before being admitted to land the same, a permit for each individual with a forward charge of three shillings is imposed on us on pretence of securing the King's Customs, by inspecting the goods and comparing them with the cocketts taken out of His Majesty's Custom-house in Europe, which money, when thus unjustly forced from us, we can truly say we never knew one example of such inspection, though are of opinion such officers are ex officio obliged constantly to make such enquiry without any charge to the subject. We hope His Majesty will order that all cocketts taken out of the Custom-house of this island shall be deemed a sufficient licence to bring any the growth of the same according to the quantity therein specified from any bay, harbour, creek or other convenient shipping place belonging thereto to either of the towns of St. John's or Parham, and that no permit be granted on any score whatever except for bringing by water a hogshead or other quantity of sugar to pay His Majesty's Customs as occasion shall require, and that also gratis. And if any perishable goods happen to be seized, that the customer shall be obliged to deliver the same to the owner on receiving security of double the value, the goodness of the security to be adjudged by any two Justices of the Peace. And to prevent damage through delay, that all actions and informations for seizures shall be brought in any of the Courts of Common Pleas or General or Quarter Sessions of this island, and there finally determined in three months or else the bonds of security to be void. And that if the seizure be found to have been unlawful, the defendant shall pay no cost and charge of Court. And, in case of there being no Courts to try the seizures within the three months, that the Governor and Council for the time being be invested with full power and authority to determine the said cause in the time mentioned. Signed, George Gamble, Speaker. Endorsed, Recd. from Mr. Cary, March 28, 1699, Read April 25, 1699. 8 large closely written pages including brief abstract. Enclosed,
May 19.
297. I. An Act for the settlement of the Custom or Duty of four and a half per cent. Whereas by reason of the late war several of His Majesty of Britain's territories on this side the Tropick became subject through conquest to the French King, and amongst others this island of Antigua was subdued by Monsieur De La Barr, Lt. General by sea and land to the said French King, being assisted by the canibal Indians, by means whereof all the lands within this island became forfeited unto His Majesty, as by an Act of this country bearing a date April 10 last may more at large appear, Know ye that for and in consideration of new grants and confirmation of our said lands under the great seal appointed for Barbados and the rest of the Carribbee islands by His Excellency William Lord Willoughby of Parham, we do give and grant to His Majesty, his heirs and successors for ever, by and with the advice, consent and authority of the Council and Assembly of this island that an impost or custom be from and after the publication hereof raised upon the native commodities of this island, viz.: four and a half per cent. in specie to be paid to the King upon all commodities of the growth or production of this island shipped off from the same, under penalty of forfeiting one moiety to the King and one to the informer. Signed, W. Willoughby. Copy taken out of the records in the Secretary's office of Antigua, certified, Walter Quarme, Dep. Sec. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6. Nos. 16, 16 I.]
April 25.
298. Hudson's Bay Company to the Lords Commissioners. The French Commissioners have not delivered in their full claim and pretences at the same time as our ample deduction of right and title, as promised. Though we gave a positive answer to that irregular demand of the French on that simple point of Port Nelson in submission to that Honble. person who required the same, yet by the directions of the Treaty of Peace, providing for the appointment of Commissioners to determine the rights and pretension which either King hath to the places situate in Hudson Bay, we conceive that we are not obliged to follow the French by pieces and particular steps, but again insist that they may exhibit their full title and claim as we have been obliged to do and then we are ready to join issue with them. [America and West Indies. Hudson's Bay, 539. No. 8. pp. 16–18.]
April 25.
299. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. We have considered the petition of Francis Brinley (Feb. 23), but finding nothing therein whereby we might be enabled to form an opinion upon the right of the case, we recommend that, for preventing the like obstruction of Justice, the Governor and Company of your Majesty's colony of Rhode Island be required to take care that the petitioner be allowed to appeal to your Majesty from the judgment already given, and further that all persons whatsoever who may think themselves aggrieved by sentences given in the Courts of that colony be likewise allowed to appeal unto your Majesty in Council. And that authentic copies of records and other proceedings in all such cases be transmitted hither in order to a final hearing and determination thereof. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Tankerville, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. pp. 410, 411.]
April 25. 300. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. As to the proposals of the Royal African Company (March 30), the measures suggested in (1) and (4) have long since been directed. We think that one fifth-rate frigate should be appointed to cruize as proposed (2), and it would be well if another could be spared to cruize as proposed (3). Signed, J. Bridgewater, Tankerville, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 35. pp. 38, 39.]
April 25. 301. Copy of the Docquett in the Signet Office book, August, 1686, for a grant to Thomas Montgomerie of the office of Attorney General in Barbados.
Copy attested by George Wooddeson, of the Signet Office, and produced to the Board of Trade by Edward Chilton. Endorsed, Recd. Read 25 April, 1699. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 85.]
April 25. 302. Minutes of Council of New York. Thomas Palmer, Controller of H.M. Customs, summoned and confronted with Matthew Clerkson, Secretary of the Province, who declared he had heard him say he wondered that the Mayor and Mr. Lewis, being merchants, should lay such a clog on trade as the revenue. Corroborated by Andrias Gravenreadt. Palmer suspended from his office.
April 26. Petition of Garret van Trift referred to the Mayor and Aldermen for their opinion.
April 27. Col. Dongan's accounts ordered to be audited by a Committee.
Execution granted against Valentine Cruger, surviving partner of Francis Tyrens.
Inventory of Bradish's jewels. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 223–226.]
April 25. 303. Minutes of Council of New York in Assembly. Three Bills (Ap. 22) read the second time and committed.