America and West Indies: May 1699, 1-5

Pages 181-196

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.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


May 1699

May 1.
326. Edward Randolph to Council of Trade and Plantations. I left Carolina (of which I gave an account in my letter of March 16) on March 27 and arrived here on April 4. I waited on Governor Day soon after my landing. He made a severe complaint against Samuel Trott, the present Collector, and pressed me to turn him out forthwith. I find that the cause why the Governors successively imprison him is that, all them being traders, they could not carry on their designs unless they were secure in a Naval Officer and Collector. I have found no cause to suspend Mr. Trott.
These islands were from their first discovery under the direction of a company, as Carolina. They sent them a Governor from England or sometimes appointed one upon the place. The inhabitants finding their Governors to exercise great severity upon them, taking from them their estates without judges or jury, prayed Charles II. to be taken under the immediate government of the Crown. Upon full proof, their Charter was vacated and the King appointed Sir Robert Robinson Governor, and gave him an honourable maintenance, but not content, [he] tried all ways by sea or otherwise to get an estate. He made his own officers; Richard Ashworth, his cook-maid's brother, was his Naval Officer, Sir Robert traded in his name, and though Mr. Trott was Collector by deputation from the Custom-house, yet Sir Robert turned him out and imprisoned him for his pleasure and made Thomas Burton, a stranger of no estate, Collector, saying the Commissioners of Customs have no power to appoint an officer when the King has sent his Governor. Mr. Richier succeeded him. He built a sloop with the King's timber, and sold half to Devereux, a Scotchman, and for the grace of the matter gave him the title of Colonel with a commission to apprehend all sea-rovers. I found by the Collector's books in Maryland that Devereux took 80 hogsheads of tobacco aboard and carried it to Glascow, whence he imported a great cargo of Scotch manufacture. Mr. Trott seized and prosecuted vessel and loading, having the plainest evidence against her, but Richier prevailed with the judge—of his own appointment—to clear them and to give costs and damages against Mr. Trott. He is imprisoned about half a year. Groves, a broken merchant, was put in his place, and Capt. Hall of H.M.S. Rebecca ordered not to assist the collector. This occasioned his removal, and Col. Goddard succeeded him in his government and way of trade, which he could not well drive on so long as Mr. Trott was collector. He made his nephew Brooks Naval Officer, and displaced Trott by his nonsensical and arbitrary warrant, and placed him in his office. Brooks was made Secretary also; he traded to Curacao for him. Contrary to H.M. Instructions about choosing the Members of his Council etc. from "not necessitous people or much in debt," he made Gilbert Nelson, who confessed he owed £13,000 in London, and a man of no faith, to be of his Council and Chief Judge. Uneasy at this the inhabitants intended to prosecute him before H.M. in Council, but hearing he was out of the Government, applied to Governor Day for redress. He at first smoothed the matter till he had wheedled them out of £300. He promised those whom he had vexatiously and most unjustly oppressed that he would see they should have the benefit of the law against him, and encouraged Trott to bring his action against him for £500 for false imprisonment and against Nellson for refusing to grant a writ of Habeas Corpus. He cast Nellson and had judgment against him for £500. He had arrested Goddard by the Governor's allowance, but granted an injunction out of Chancery to stop all proceedings. He would suffer no-man to arrest him for their just debts, but guarded him till he was got aboard. Col. Goddard has made Stephen Crow, formerly his groom, his sheriff. He had a great deal of the public money and papers in his hands. He gave no security for his office, he was not to be arrested; but is gone to England, so that their creditors are left without hopes of recovering their debts, and because they endeavoured to get their own, he with the former Governor have by their interest at Court obtained a credit against the oppressed inhabitants, who are all looked upon to be rogues. Governor Day after he had made sure of his £300, turned out Capt. Walker, Col. Anthony White and Capt. Harford from the Council, continued Nelson and Outerbridge, and chose John Brooks, a broken scrivener in London, who came over a covenant servant about two years ago, who are true to his interest, right or wrong. Nelson declared in Council that the Governor could make a decree in Chancery without the assent of any of the Council, who are masters in Chancery also. 'Tis pleasant to see him keep one Daniel Smith (who, being in a vessel ready to founder, was saved by Avery and acquitted at Providence) a close prisoner, and make Outerbridge one of his Council, who was part owner of the Amity Thomas, Tue (Tew) master, and was at charge to set her out to the Red Sea. He received about £540 left by Tue in Boston for his share. Smith has petitioned to be sent to England or tried here, but he has land worth 4 or £500, and Nelson and his Sheriff must first bleed him well. I have little conversation with him [Day] but find him a man loden with pride and vanity; more fit for a Bashaw than a Governor.
There was in the magazine when he arrived about 40 barrels of powder. He has squandered away a great part of it by his unnecessary salutes. He commanded his Captain of the Castle to salute him with 7 guns whenever he crossed the harbour, etc. Col. White remonstrated and pointed out the danger of running short, whereupon the Governor sought all occasions to make him an example for his sauciness. The last sessions of Assembly depositions were taken that proved Nelson guilty of bribery as a judge. The Governor hearing of it adjourned them. At their next meeting having more evidence intended to have him prosecuted the next Court of Assizes, but the Governor prorogued them and would force the Assembly papers out of their hands. Some time after it was contrived by Nelson and one Crane (not worth a groat) the sheriff, that Col. White must be charged with speaking ill words against the Government. The Governor grants his warrant to Crane to fetch him before him and break open his doors if he could not readily find him. Crane with five or six men broke open the doors: and next Sunday the Governor issued the enclosed proclamation. White rendered himself and the Governor committed him to gaol by his own warrant: he was forced to serve Nelson with a writ of Habeas Corpus. Nelson by the Governor's directions would accept no bail unless Mr. Dickenson; Col. White's son-in-law, would be one of the securities, on purpose to prevent his going to England to represent their arbitrary proceedings. Col. White having given security, the sheriff demanded twenty pieces of eight for his fee, two pieces are his due by law, and kept him above 48 hours without meat or drink, and threatened to keep him in prison till he was paid, but would not let him have a copy of the Governor's warrant, neither would Nelson, the Chief Judge, take his deposition that Crane had refused him a copy.
These Governors are the aggressors upon H.M. subjects, who, if they complain, are represented to be the opposers of H.M. Government. Sir Robt. Robinson caused the vessels fitted out to the wreck to stay three weeks or a month at great charge in the harbors, till they had given him security to let him have a large share at their return; and then sent men on board who would not let them have their parts after they had paid H.M. tenths and what they were obliged to let him have. Mr. Richier erected a Court-Martial in time of peace, and charged some of the chief inhabitants with treason and would have hanged them. Col. Goddard made his confidents, though not worth a farthing, his prime ministers and officers of trust. They squeezed the poor inhabitants, but gave no security for their places, and run away with their money.
The present want of ammunition may prove the loss of this country; if the French should surprise it, it will ruin utterly the whole trade of England to and from the Sugar Plantations. Ships homeward bound must get into Lat. 29 before they meet with a westerly wind. The French with a small fleet of nimble vessels will take them all, and putting a strong garrison into St. Augustine not tenable by the Spaniards, they will have a good harbour to receive vessels of 30 or 40 guns, and so shut the English out of all their West India trade. I cannot send depositions, for the Governor will not let any be taken till he has consulted upon it. I am obliged to stay here till I can get a passage to Providence. I am indisposed, not finding agreeable diet or drink. I have not been accustomed to rum. Signed, Ed. Randolph. Please to excuse the writing, the matter is too true. Endorsed, Recd. June 10. Read July 4, 1699. Copy. 3½ pp., with abstract 2 pp. Enclosed,
326. I. Copy of Sir Robt. Robinson's warrant to William Jones to imprison Samuel Trott. 1 small p. Endorsed, Read July 4, 1699.
326. II. Copy of Governor Isaac Richier's order to Capt. Hall not to assist Trott, the Collector. 1 p. Same endorsement.
326. III. Copy of Col. Goddard's appointment of Thomas Brooke, Collector. 1 p. Same endorsement.
326. IV. Copy of Proclamation for the arrest of Col. White. 1 p. Same endorsement.
326. V. Copy of warrant for imprisonment of Col. White. April 18, 1699. 1 p. Same endorsement.
326. VI. Certificate that Col. Anthony White was sworn a member of Council. Aug. 17, 1698. Signed, Charles Minors, Secretary. ½ p. Same endorsement. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 3. Nos. 35, 35I.–35VI.; and (without enclosures) 29. pp. 149–159.]
May 1. 327. Minutes of Council of New York in Assembly. Bill for settling the estate of Jacob Milburne read the second time and committed. The discharge of the Government's debts recommended to the consideration of the House of Representatives. The Attorney General declared that the Council in Assembly had power to determine causes of Law and Equity. Committee appointed to draw up a scheme of fees for the Collector and Naval Officer.
May 2. The scheme was approved. The Milburne Bill was read a third time and passed. Upon consideration of the address of the House of Representatives with the petitions of Jacob Leisler, Gerbrant Claese and Robert and Anne Evernden, it was resolved that this House intermeddles not where matters have not been tried in Courts of Law or Equity.
May 3. Col. Abraham Depeyster's complaint about the Fortune recommended to the House of Representatives.
May 4. Bills for defraying the debts of the Government; for preventing frauds and embezzlement of drift whales, &c.; for preventing trespasses; and for granting £1,500 to the Governor and £500 to John Nanfan, L.G., sent up, read the first and second time and committed.
Mr. Livingston's petition referred to the Assembly. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 787–792.]
May 2.
328. Mr. Secretary Vernon to Council of Trade and Plantations. The four companies at New York being reduced to about half their established number and there being no provision made for recruiting them to their full complement of 100 men each, His Majesty hath thought fit to establish them at 200 men, viz., the said four companies to consist of 50 men each. I enclose papers from Sir Lambert Blackwell about the fish trade in the Mediterranean and the answer of the Admiralty to your representation about adding another frigate to attend Barbadoes. Signed, Ja. Vernon. [Board of Trade. Trade Papers, 14. pp. 255–257; and New York, 53. p. 296.]
329. Memorandum of above letter. Recd. May 3. Read May 4, 1699. ½ p. [Board of Trade. New York, 8A. No. 27.]
May 2. 330. Memorandum of above letter. Endorsed, Recd. May 3rd, Read 4th May, 1699. Enclosed,
April 27. 330. I. Extract of a letter (Ap. 27) from the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to Mr. Secretary Vernon. As to what is desired by the Governor of Barbados and proposed by the Lords of the Council of Trade, viz. the sending two fifth rates to attend on that island, we desire that you will represent to his Majesty that at this time the greater part of the ships in pay are abroad and that in our humble opinion one ship of the fifth rate is sufficient for the service of the said island. And so soon as it can conveniently be done the ship that is now there shall be relieved by one reputed a better sailer. Same endorsement. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. Nos. 87, 87 I.; and 44. p. 256.]
May 2. 331. Petition of Captain John Poyntz to the Council of Trade and Plantations that he may be heard in Council before a report is made about the settlement of Tobago. The Petitioner claims to hold a grant from the Duke of Courland for the greater part of the island, and to have developed the planting and settling of the island in spite of heavy losses during the late war. Sir William Waller and his associates have no title or interest in the island. Signed, John Poyntz. Endorsed, Read May 10, 1699. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 88; and 44, p. 261.]
May 2.
332. Edward Randolph to William Popple. I have written to the Board. There have been successively four Governors here who have been very careful to oppress the inhabitants. I only find one good thing done by any of them—the passing of the Act for Habeas Corpus by Col. Goddard, but he had 300l. for it and was the first that broke it. I beg their Lordships will give no credit to what he or Governor Day writes till they have heard some of the chief upon the place. Signed, E. Randolph. Endorsed, Recd. June 10. Read July 4, 1699. Holograph, 1 p. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 3. No. 36; and 29. pp. 159, 160.]
May 2. 333. Wm. Thornburgh to William Popple. At a Board of the Lords Proprietors of the Bahama Islands held last night I laid before their Lordships your letter with the enclosed complaint of the Dutch Ambassador. They ordered a copy to be delivered to Mr. Trott, and that he appear at the Board on Monday the 8th and deliver his answer in writing. A copy will be transmitted to you. Signed, Wm. Thornburgh. Endorsed, Recd. Read May 3, 1699. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 3. No. 12.]
May 2. 334. Minutes of Council of Virginia. His Majesty having been pleased to cause a new seal to be made for his Colony and Dominion, the old seals ordered to be brought and publicly broken. The Governor communicated a letter from the Hon. Thomas Harvey, Dep. Governor of North Carolina, March 16, 1698(9), announcing that he had appointed Daniell Akehurst and Capt. Henderson Walker to wait upon him with their Charter in order to settling the bounds between the two Governments. Messrs. Akehurst and Walker had arrived in James City. It was resolved that before any proceedings were entered into with them, it was first necessary to enquire how they were empowered to treat and whether their Governor was approved by His Majesty and had taken the oaths appointed. And in order to exhibit the Governor's Letters Patents they were desired to attend the Council Chamber that afternoon. A proclamation ordered forbidding all correspondence with the Scotch in the West Indies. The minutes entered in a different hand were announced to be done by Mr. William Beverley. The Governor showed his Commission to the Commissioners from North Carolina, and they produced theirs from Mr. Harvey. They said that Mr. Harvey was not approved by the King as the Act directed, whereupon the Council, considering that he could not therefore give sufficient power to any persons to act under him in that affair, resolved not to proceed with it, but that the Government of Carolina be desired to procure instructions from England for settling the boundaries, and that Commissioners be desired to have the Charter of the Proprietors of North Carolina recorded in Virginia, to which they consented. A letter to the Deputy Governor of North Carolina, acquainting him with these proceedings and the reasons for them, ordered.
May 3. Charles Scarborough was sworn a member. Aaron Whitsun, master of the Integrity, complaining of injuries done him by Peter Hayman, Collector and Naval Officer, and John Hanley complaining of injuries done to him by Sampson Dorrell, were referred to trial at Common Law. John Hanley claiming £44 17s. for a platform constructed by him at Tindall's Point under an agreement with Sir Edmund Andros, Edmund Jennings and Matthew Page were ordered to view the platform and report to Mr. Auditor Byrd, who was ordered to adjust Hanley's account. The claim of Richard Dunbar, Gunner at Tindal's Point, referred to the Auditor. George Turner's petition for lands in New Kent County lodged in the Secretary's office. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 53. pp. 240–245.]
May 2. 335. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letters from Mr. Weaver read. The papers he required ordered to be given him.
Order of Council, Ap. 27, about Col. Codrington's Commission read, and an Instruction ordered accordingly.
Order of Council of Ap. 27 about constituting Mr. Chilton Attorney General in Barbadoes read.
Three Orders of Council of April 27 concerning Newfoundland read and ordered to be communicated to Mr. Thurston.
Col. Codrington and Mr. Lucas attended. Mr. Lucas declared that finding it is the opinion of their Lordships that the letter to Admiral Nevil concerning the late Col. Codrington is writ in an unfit and undecent stile, he acknowledged his error in having used divers passionate expressions reflecting upon the honour of the said Governor.
Col. Codrington promised in the future to live with him in all manner of fairness and friendship, and signed, sealed and delivered to him a warrant to two persons to acknowledge satisfaction upon the judgment obtained against him, as also a general release.
Order of Council of Ap. 27 re Rhode Island read and a letter to the Governor ordered accordingly.
May 3. Letter from the Victuallers' Office read and answered.
Letter from Mr. Thornburgh promising Mr. Trott's reply read.
Representation according to the petition of Edward Jones for the places of Secretary and Provost Marshal in the Bermuda Islands ordered.
May 4. Letter to the Government of Rhode Island signed.
Letter from Mr. Secretary Vernon, May 2, read and enquiry as to the establishment of the forces at New York ordered to be made of Mr. Weaver.
Representations about Mr. Edward Jones and Mr. Lucas signed.
May 5. Col. Codrington's Instructions considered.
Order of Council about Pirates on the coast of Africa read.
Mr. Cole, Mr. Merret and others to whom the matter of the Duke of Tuscany's prohibition of ill-conditioned fish into his dominions had been referred by the Board attended and said that they had not heard of any complaints made in the streights of the ill-curing of Newfoundland fish, but think that if there have been any fault of that kind, it has happened not from the quality of the salt but from the negligence of the men, who, through haste of finishing their voyages and getting first to a market, do sometimes take their fish out of the press-pile and ship it away before it be put into the dry-pile, where it ought to lie three or four days. They believed that the Duke of Tuscany's proclamation may have rather proceeded from the ill quality of herrings than of New-foundland fish, and named Mr. Edward Gold, Mr. Charles Ball, Mr. Charles Henshaw as persons proper to inform the Board in that matter. They and Mr. Lockely were desired to attend the Board on Tuesday.
The Secretary ordered to write to the Attorney General for a speedy dispatch of his report on the Barbadoes' Acts or to send them for a particular occasion, to be returned to him.
Col. Codrington's Instructions considered. [Board of Trade. Journal, 12. pp. 21–30; and 96. Nos. 70–73.]
May 2. 336. Journal of General Assembly of Virginia. The Burgesses having chosen a Speaker prayed leave to present him. Being ordered to attend they presented Mr. Robert Carter, who was approved, and claimed the privileges of the House, which were granted. The Governor delivered his speech, referring to the day of public rejoicing on May Day at the Peace, which they had solemnised at the Royal College of William and Mary, and then reading his Commission. He gave some of the Lords Justices' instructions to the Speaker and a letter from the Council of Trade about an Act being passed concerning privateers and pirates. He recommended the speedy building of a larger and more convenient House in the place of that burnt the last fall, and the amendment of the law about the militia. He announced that he would send for their consideration several letters, etc., he had received concerning the Rangers, the Indians and their trade, and recommended to them the Lords Justices' instructions about restraining immorality.
May 3. Upon a message from the Burgesses, a copy of H.E.'s speech was sent to them, with instructions from the Lords Justices. [Cal. 1698, No. 819.]
May 4 & 5. The grievances of the inhabitants of the upper parts of York County were read and referred to the Burgesses, as also the consideration of the equal regulation and division of counties and parishes. The Burgesses applied for several new writs. A Committee of both Houses was appointed to settle the controversies arising from claims to lands in Pomunkey Neck and on the south side of the Blackwater Swamp, and to consider the most proper means to settle the Northern and Southern bounds of the Colony. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 52. pp. 75–83.]
May 2. 337. Journal of House of Burgesses of Virginia. Mr. Robert Carter chosen Speaker. (See preceding abstract.) The Clerk's commission was read and he was ordered to receive the Records of the House, which he did. A Committee for Elections and Privileges—Mr. John Custis, chairman, Messrs. Barrett, Ransone, Corbin, Coltson—appointed, and Mr. Miles Cary, junr., appointed Clerk. The Committee to examine returns upon Elections. Richard Morris, John Remington, Wm. Drew and John Hixfor appointed Doorkeepers. The Orders of the last House were read, approved and continued. Ordered, that the House be called over as often as thought convenient and members wanting in their duty be liable to the censure of the House. Ordered, that fifteen members with the Speaker be a sufficient number to adjourn. Commission appointing John Chiles King's Messenger to attend the House of Burgesses read.
May 3.
May 4.
May 5.
Petitions concerning the undue elections of Mr. Fowler, Burgess for James City and Mr. Anthony Armistead for Elizabeth City, referred to the Committee for Elections. (And see preceding abstract under date.) Resolutions passed upon the reports of the Committee of Elections. Applications for new writs ordered. A Committee for Public Claims (Mr. Cary, secretary), and a Committee for Propositions and Grievances (Mr. Bartholomew Fowler, secretary) appointed. All such claims and grievances to be brought in to the House by May 11th. The Clerks of the Committees ordered to take the Oaths appointed before entering into their offices. (And see preceding abstract.) Grievances of various counties were read and referred to Committee. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 52. pp. 348–370.]
May 2. 338. Mr. Secretary Vernon to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I enclose copies of letters and papers from Sir Lambert Blackwell, relating to the prejudice like to befall our fish trade in the Mediterranean, if more care be not taken to carry fish thither better salted and cured.
Memorandum of above letters. Recd. May 3, Read May 4, 1699. Enclosed,
338. I. Sir Lambert Blackwell, H.M. Envoy at Florence, to Mr. Secretary Vernon. I enclose the Duke of Mantua's reply to my letter which accuses receipt of that from His Majesty. Last week was published here by order of the Great Duke a proclamation which proves very prejudicial to the sale of all English salt fish. The Factory made their complaints to me and I have procured the best interpretation of it in favour of the English. Signed, Lambt. Blackwell, Leghorn. Ap. 13, 1699. 1¼ pp. Same endorsement. Enclosed,
338. II. Translation of the Duke of Tuscany's Proclamation prohibiting the sale of ill-conditioned fish in his Dominions, on pain of fines, confiscation and corporal punishment. 1½ pp. Same endorsement.
338. III. Translation of a letter from the Governor of Leghorn to Sir Lambert Blackwell, Ap. 13, 1699.
The order of the Great Duke is not directed against the English merchants but to the preservation of his subjects' health by prohibiting the sale of any ill-conditioned salt fish. 1¼ pp. Same endorsement. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. Nos. 144, 144 I.–III.; and 25. pp. 308–310.]
May 3.
339. William Popple to Victuallers of the Navy. There is no objection to what you propose in your letter of April 29. It is not necessary to send provisions for the ten recruits because it is probable the number of soldiers will be diminished at least so many either by death or desertions. The ten men in their passage may very well be victualled with the seamen as you propose. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. p. 307.]
May 3.
St. Christo-
340. Lt.-Gov. James Norton to Council of Trade and Plantations. As I was not upon the island at the time the French Ambassador pretends some spoils to have been done by His Majesty's subjects upon the French part of the island after their having notice of the conclusion of peace, I am obliged to refer your Lordships to the reply of His Majesty's Council here (No. 282). I enclose a petition to His Most Sacred Majesty with a memorandum of the want of stores for this island. Since my coming here to my government there has been no manner of spoils or depredations upon the French part. Signed, James Norton. Endorsed, Recd. June 26. Read Sept. 21, 1699. Enclosed,
340. I. Petition of the L.-G., Council and Assembly of St. Christopher's to the King. We, your Majesty's most dutiful, loyal and obedient subjects, return our sincere and hearty thanks to Almighty God for the blessings of a glorious peace established by your Majesty's most sublime wisdom and courage, the happy influence whereof we now enjoy, etc. And whereas your Majesty hath been graciously pleased to send a regiment of soldiers under the command of Col. Francis Collingwood to these your Majesty's islands, thereby giving a full and clear demonstration of your Majesty's tender regard for our safety, it inspires us with a boldness humbly to present the necessities the late war has reduced us to; having expended a great part of that remnant we preserved from the hands of the enemy in opposing their attempts and designs, who daily watched to deprive your Majesty of your just right in this island by our destruction. We therefore in all humility implore your Most Sacred Majesty's clemency in granting us your royal concessions for the suspension of your Majesty's duties of the four and half per cent. and the enumerated for a few years, whereby we may be enabled to recover a competency for the support of our families; and the liberty of humbly presenting to your Majesty's consideration a memorial of those wants of stores which our present extremities renders us uncapable of furnishing ourselves with for your Majesty's fortifications. Signed, James Norton, William Willett, Henry Burrell, Mich. Lambert, John Garnett (Council); Jed. Hutchinson (Speaker); Saml. Creek, Panton, Jon. Pogson, Thomas Bisse, Rowland Davis, Bastian Branch, James Biskett, John Moorhous (Assembly). Copy. Endorsed, Recd. June 26, Read Sept. 21, 1699. 2¾ pp.
340. II. Memorandum of wants of (military) stores. 1 p. Endorsed as above. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6. Nos. 18, 18 I.–II.; and 45. pp. 403–404, 409.]
May 3.
341. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Governor and Company of H.M. Colony of Rhoad Island and Providence Plantation. We enclose H.M. order of April 27, on our representation relating to the petition of Francis Brinley. His Majesty expects your speedy and punctual obedience. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Tankerville, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. p. 413.]
May 3. 342. Board of Ordnance to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In answer to yours of April 26 we have laid before the Treasury the particulars relating to Newfoundland, and desired their directions if they shall think the money appropriated by Parliament may be made use of for that service. Care is taken for stopping 6d. per diem out of the pay of each gunner there belonging to this office from Aug. 31 last for provisions. Signed, C. Musgrave, Ja. Lowther, Wm. Boulter, Jo. Charltonil. Endorsed, Recd. May 6. Read May 10, 1699. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 143; and 25. p. 311.]
May 3.
New York.
343. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to Council of Trade and Plantations. I presume you will have a full account from Boston of a parcel of pirates lately taken there, with their ringleader, Joseph Bradish, born at Cambridge near Boston. They ran away with the Adventure, and sank her between Nassau and Block Island. I had no notice till a week after that and could have done nothing towards seizing the ship or men without a man-of-war, which the Lords of the Admiralty seem to think these provinces unworthy of. I send depositions concerning the pirate ship. The bag of jewels mentioned in Peirson's deposition were opened before myself and the Council, where I had ordered a Jew in this town to be present, he understanding jewels well. At first sight we thought there had been £10,000 worth, but we soon found they were counterfeit. I seized three men in this town who I had noticed were come from Block Island and had concealed some of those pirates' money, and I secured them here till I gave the Governor of Rhode Island notice where the money was concealed, which I hear he has since secured, Block Island being in his government. That money I understand is near £1,000. Ten or eleven of the pirates are seized at New London by Col. Winthrop, Gov. of Connecticut, and £1,800 in money. At Boston they have taken 15 or 16 and 5 or £6,000. The Governor of Rhode Island is said to have seized another parcel of money, so that there may be in the whole near £10,000 secured for the owners in England, who, I hear, are Sir Joseph Herne, Mr. Sheppard, and Mr. Heathcote. What I have received from Peirson is lodged with Col. Courtland the Collector, and shall be forthcoming to the owners upon your Lordships' order or such other authority as I can be secure in. Lt.-Col. Peirson came frankly and voluntarily to me and owned Bradish had been at his house and left some bags of money with him and a bag of jewels. He has a fair character and is a man of substance and member of the present Assembly. I frightened him by telling him he would stand in need of the King's mercy, for that by the Statute 28 of Henry VIII. he was equally guilty with Bradish. I hope your Lordships will obtain the King's leave for me to pardon him, which I will not do without your leave, though you write (Oct. 25) that I have a power by my commission to pardon pirates. I assure you I do not intercede for him upon the score of a reward. Five or six of the men that ran away with this ship under Bradish are some of Col. Fletcher's pirates that went out with Tew and other pirates commissioned by Fletcher. Two or three of 'em have wives in this town and were actually, as I have been informed, in town. I laid out for 'em, but they are too well befriended to be given up to justice and I am apt to believe they are still here. I send the deposition of Daniel Scrogham about a pirate ship at Saltertudos that robbed several ships there, and the memorial of John Clotworthy, master of a sloop that came hither from Jamaica. Hyne the Pyrat he informs of is a bloody villain, has murthered several men, and will give no quarter, they say, to Spaniards that he takes. He belongs to this town, his wife and family now here. He was master's mate of the Fortune, which I seized at my first coming here, which had been also commissioned by Col. Fletcher. About three weeks since there came a ship within Sandy Hook, the mouth of this port, and lay at an anchor three days. The Custom House Officer sailed by her in a sloop and hailed her, asking whither she was bound; she answered to the Port of New York, but she never came hither, so that she is supposed to have been a pirate. She was of about 150 ton. We may be insulted here and the trade destroyed, if we cannot be allowed a ship of war. 'Tis reported here that several ships belonging to this and the other colonies to the number of four and twenty are taken by the Spaniards in the bay of Campechi, whither they went to take in logwood. 'Tis also said the Spaniards are provoked to it by the Scotch late settlement on Golden Island near Darien.
I formerly gave your Lordships to understand the badness of the forts of Albany and Schenectade. The Governor at Albany has sent me word the platforms are so rotten that he dare not fire a gun, and indeed those forts are so scandalous that I cannot give a low enough idea of them. They look more like pounds to impound cattle than forts. In my letter by Lt. Hunt I made bold to advise that the money Col. Fletcher should be found indebted to the King (which I was then and still am of opinion would upon a fair account prove to be 10 or £12,000 sterling) might be applied to the building of good stone forts at Albany and Schenectade and repairing this fort at New York, which will cost at least £1,000 more. 'Tis wonderful to me how Col. Fletcher could pretend to apply the greatest part of the 30 per cent. to the repairs of this fort and the Governor's House, when I found everything out of repair when I superseded him. The palisades of this fort are quite decayed, and a third part of them destroyed and wanting; one of the bastions cracked through, which will fall if not speedily rebuilt; the parapet gone to decay and must be renewed. The palisades, 'tis computed, will cost £600 at least, to be well done, and the bastion £200, and the parapet £200. The roof of the house too is out of repair, so that it rains in, and the lowest floor is decayed and rotten, so that I believe the repair of the house will cost near £200 more. The old part of the house is a comfortable, convenient dwelling enough and might have contented a Governor of much better quality than Col. Fletcher, and the new building will cost first and last about £5,000 N. York mony, so that 'tis plain here is so much mony consecrated to his vanity. Where all this mony will be got to build and repair forts I cannot tell, unless Fletcher be made to refund. The Assembly here I am almost certain will not be brought to raise it, for I cannot prevail with 'em by any means to consent to such an additional duty as will pay the debts of the Government, which amount to upwards of £5,000.
I intend pursuant to the orders of the Lords Justices (Nov. 10, '98) to endeavour to break the two excessive grants of land to Mr. Dellius, by Act of Assembly, and also Mr. Bayard's of 40 miles long, which comprehends part of the Mohacks land, and whereof they also complained to me at Albany, and also to break Capt. Evans's and the lease of the King's Farm to the Church and King's Garden to Col. Heathcote, all granted by Col. Fletcher most impudently and corruptly. These I believe I shall prevail to get a bill to pass for the breaking of, and I will have a clause or clauses to stand in the bill to disable me and all succeeding Governors from alienating or lessening the demesne of the King's Governor for the time being. When this is done and the before-mentioned grants are vacated there will remain these following extravagant grants, viz.: Col. Smith's, which Mr. Graham, the Attorney-General, assures me is 50 miles long and the whole breadth of Nassau Island, most of it granted by Col. Fletcher; Mr. Fred. Phillips' and his son Adolphus Phillips', two great tracts of land to Col. Courtland, one whereof is 20 miles square, as I am told, and the other not much less; Col. Beeckman's grant, Col. Peter Schuÿler's, Mr. Livingston's and Mr. Renslaer's; all which comprise, I verily believe, full ¾ parts of this province, and are one with another, the two leases aforesaid excepted, 20 miles square by the nearest computation I can make; so that I appeal to your Lordships what care has been taken by Col. Fletcher of the interests of the Crown and this province. Neither do I find there is £5 per annum quit-rent reserved to the Crown upon all these vast grants put together, which is an insufferable fraud in Col. Fletcher. I observe in that clause of my Commission, which empowers my granting of lands and directs the reservation of a quit-rent, the words are [for what yearly quit-rent you shall think fit]; now the words, "you shall think fit," are very extensive words, and if I be a knave, I will fob the Crown off with a Racoon skin per annum out of 900,000 acres of land, and will [think fit] to compound with the grantee for a good fine to myself. These last-mentioned grants I have neither time nor strength to break at this time, but if you will send over a good Judge or two and a smart, active Attorney-General, I will God willing be back hither from Boston the latter end of this summer and will then have a session of Assembly, and will break all these extravagant grants and will settle such a scheme by Act of Assembly as shall tie up my own hands and those of all succeeding Governors, and all that whole matter shall be under such limitations and reservations as the Lords Justices have ordered. I beseech your Lordships to consider that in obeying your orders in vacating these grants—for I esteem them yours, since they were grounded on your representation—and all your other orders which tend to a reform of all abuses in this province, I draw on myself the most virulent odium of all parties concerned, which will multiply the clamours and complaints of theirs and the Marchands' Agents in London. Therefore I must beg your protection. I acquainted your Lordships formerly that the factions, marchands and others in this town had agreed in their Cabal that they would use a stratagem to get me recalled, which was this, they would write home by all opportunities to their agents in England to teize (tease) the ministers with complaints, that importunity might serve instead of argument. I was yesterday again informed the angry people here have sent a petition to their agent in England against me for disturbing their trade and several trivial articles not worth the naming to your Lordships, and that 'tis an agreed, resolved thing among 'em to multiply complaints against me by all conveyances to England.
I made no alteration in the Commissions of the Peace or the Militia of the Provinces till the middle of this last winter, that I might try by all means to make those men whom Col. Fletcher left in power and office tractable to Government. But I found the more indulgent I was, the more insolent they and their party grew, and they began to interpret my moderation to be fear. Yet did I not make a total remove of them, but blended the parties, giving the balance a little to the Leisler side, as in justice and prudence I thought I was obliged to do, for the King's service; the angry party declaring openly against continuing the Revenue to the King, but the Leislerites warmly for it, who have been as good as their words. The country were very uneasy under the authority of Fletcher's officers, and I was mightily importuned to change them. As an instance of the people's aversion to their late officers, on Nov. 4 last I had the City Regiment drawn out among other respects to the King's Birthday. The regiment consisted that day but of 200 men, besides officers, and on the 13th of last Feb., the anniversary of the King's being proclaimed King, I had the Regiment drawn out under the new officers and they were then 500 men. I also have had 'em out on the 11th of Apr., the day of H.M. coronation. The officers I treat at my own charge, but the soldiers at the King's. I do not find Col. Fletcher left me a precedent for this, but I think it a useful piece of ceremony, because it helps to affect the people to the King and puts 'em in mind of their duty to him; for before they had no idea of anything greater upon earth than Col. Fletcher, and he seemed to be of that mind himself. Signed, Bellomont. Endorsed, Recd. Sept. 20, Read Dec. 8, 1699. 5 pp. Enclosed,
343. I. Abstract of preceding letter. ¼ p.
343. II. Abstract of preceding letter. 1¾ pp.
343. III. Deposition of Simon Bonan, a Jew, about the Adventure at Nassau Island. March 30, 1699. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Sept. 20, 1699.
343. IV. Deposition of Capt. Samuel Mulford, of East Hampton, Nassau Island. On March 20 Lt.-Col. Henry Peirson of Sagaponnock, Nassau Island, brought Bradish off from the Adventure, and Josiah Topping, of Sagaponnock told him that Bradish and Peirson went to that place together with a wallet of about the bulk of 1,000 pounds in silver. March 30, 1699. Copy. 1¾ pp. Endorsed as preceding.
343. V. Deposition of Cornelius Schellinx about the Adventure. Dated and endorsed as preceding. Copy. 1½ pp.
343. VI. Deposition of Lt.-Col Henry Peirson about the money and jewels Joseph Bradish left in his hands. April 11, 1689. Copy. 1½ pp. Endorsed as preceding.
343. VII. Account of the money left with Peirson. 1 p. Endorsed as preceding.
343. VIII. Inventory of the jewels left with Peirson. 1½ pp. Endorsed as preceding.
343. IX. Proclamation for the apprehension of Joseph Broadish and his crew. Signed, Bellomont. April 9, 1699. 1 p. Copy. Printed by William Bradford. Endorsed as preceding.
343. X. Deposition of Daniel Scrogham, master of the sloop, Samuel and Susannah, about a pirate that robbed several ships at Salt-Tertudos. April 12, 1699. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed as preceding.
343. XI. Deposition of John Clatworthy, master of the sloop Mary, about a bark belonging to Boston that had been robbed at Salt-Tertudos with 18 other ships by one Hine of New York, a pirate. May 1, 1699. Copy. ½ p. Endorsed as preceding. [Board of Trade. New York, 8A. Nos. 26, 26 I.–XI.; and 53. pp. 390–402; and (abstract) 45. pp. 45–48.]
May 4.
344. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. We are of opinion that your Majesty may be graciously pleased to remit unto Mr. John Lucas his fine of £100. Mr. Lucas has come to England in accordance with our representation to the Lords Justices. The occasion of his fine arose from some heats and animosities during the government of Col. Codrington, deceased. Mr. Lucas has made such acknowledgements of his disrespectful behaviour as that his son, Governor Codrington, has voluntarily discharged him from the judgment of £2,000. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 45. pp. 358, 359.]
May 4.
345. William Popple to Thomas Weaver. What advices have you about the present number of effectual men in the four Companies at New York? May it be reckoned that they now consist of 200 men complete in the whole or no? [Board of Trade. New York, 53. p. 297.]
May 4.
346. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. We recommend Mr. Edward Jones to be both Secretary and Provost Marshal of the Bermuda Islands. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 29. pp. 130, 131.]
May 4. 347. Minutes of Council of New York. A scire facias ordered against the manucaptors in the case of Depeyster and Cruger. Petition of Duncan Campbell read.
May 5. Four pounds ordered to be paid to Lt. John Riggs for expenses. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 226, 227.]
May 4. 348. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Richard Dunbar praying to be discharged, the account of his stores ordered to be examined. Audit of public accounts ordered for June 20, and thereafter quarterly. H.M. instructions concerning the establishment of a Court of Exchequer referred to Mr. Auditor for his opinion; those concerning the Secretary's Office to Mr. Secretary; and those for the improvement of the country to Richard Lee, William Byrd, Charles Scarburgh and Benjamin Harrison. Proceedings of the Council read.
May 5. Ordnance stores saved from the Swift ordered to be sent home as directed by the Ordnance Office, the rest of the stores to be sold. The ship Integrity having been condemned in the Court of Admiralty for a breach of the Acts of Trade, the master, Aaron Whitson, was given liberty to purchase her at the appraisement made when he appealed; he letting fall the prosecution of the appeal. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 53. pp. 246–248.]
May 5.
349. Henry Adderley to William Popple. In reply to yours of March 10, the merchants trading to New York are afraid to fall under the lash of the Government there if they officiously make affidavits of their knowledge of the present state of New York before a Master in Chancery unless duly summoned to it by authority. Signed, Hen. Adderley. ¾ p. Endorsed, Recd. May 6, Read May 10, 1699. [Board of Trade. New York, 8 A. No. 28.]
May 5. 350. Minutes of Council of New York in Assembly. A new Bill about drift whales ordered. The three other Bills sent up May 4 read the third time and passed. List of the Custom-house Officers' fees sent to the Representatives. Bill for settling and supporting ministers read the first time. Bills for regulating the fences in Ulster; continuing the Act for encouraging the Post Office two years longer; and for regulating the election of Representatives, sent up.
The Representatives replied that they had no power to make the Fortune free, but proposed that Col. Depeyster be permitted to load some lumber and navigate her to some other port where she might be lawfully sold.