America and West Indies: July 1699, 6-10

Pages 327-340

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.


July 1699

July 6. Committee appointed to consider the elections and privileges of the new members, reported that Mr. John Worthington had been duly elected for Ann Arundel County. The oaths were administered to him and he subscribed the test and association. A treasurer's account was ordered to be inspected, and a mistake rectified.
The concern of the Free School left to the care of the governors and visitors. Additions made to the Bill for ascertaining the bounds of land. Bill for transferring to Major William Whittington the debts due from officers of Somerset County read the first time. Col. Robt. Quarye abated a duty paid on rum imported and lost in the ice. Major Dorsey sentenced to pay a fine of £200.
And see preceding abstract.
July 7. The House determined not to reduce Major Dorsey's fine. Bill to empower Benjamin Williams to sell the land of Joseph Williams, deceased, to pay his debts, read a first time.
And see preceding abstract.
[Board of Trade. Maryland, 15. pp. 404–413.]
July 6.
599. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices. On consideration of Mr. Randolph's letters of May 1st and 22nd, and of Governor Day's letter of May 18, we consider Mr. Randolph's imprisonment illegal and a great hindrance to H.M. service, and propose that your Excellencies order Mr. Day to take care that Randolph be immediately discharged and be permitted to pursue the business of his commission. Signed, Stamford, Lexington, Ph. Meadow, Jno. Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 29. pp. 176–178.]
July 6.
600. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices. In obedience to your order of June 29 we lay before your Excellencies the draught of a letter to the Governor of Barbadoes, together with a draught of a circular letter to the other Governors of Plantations, omitting East and West New Jerseys because of the depending doubt about the Proprietors' claim to the right of Government. Signed, Stamford, Lexington, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Locke, Abr. Hill. Annexed,
600. I. Draught of a circular letter to the Governors of H.M. Plantations. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 35. pp. 58–61.]
July 6. 601. Draft of a circular letter from the Lords Justices to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, prepared by the Council of Trade and Plantations. Notwithstanding the instructions which have been constantly given to the Governors of all H.M. Plantations in America for preventing the carrying on of illegal trade in their respective Governments, and notwithstanding the more particular body of instructions that have been lately given for the same purpose in pursuance of several laws relating to the Trade and Navigation of this Kingdom, yet several complaints having been made of encouragement given to illegal trade in some of them, connivance at it in others, in some places of obstructions and opposition made to the officers of H.M. Customs, and in others, most particularly in the Proprieties and Charter Governments, of great opposition to the establishment of those Courts of Admiralty which His Majesty has thought fit to be there erected, and to the officers of the said Courts in the performance of their offices, we taking the said matters into consideration and being sensible of the mischievous tendency thereof, not only with respect to H.M. Revenue, but also to the interest of this kingdom and even of the Plantations themselves, have thought fit to require all the respective Governors or Commanders-in-Chief of H.M. Plantations in America to be very observant of the forementioned instructions, and do hereby more particularly require you to be very careful in causing the Acts of Trade and Navigation to be duly put in execution within H.M. dominions under your Government, and that in order thereunto you fail not to give constant protection and all due encouragement, not only to the officers of H.M. Customs but to those also of the Admiralties, which his Majesty has thought fit to be there erected in the discharge and execution of their respective duties, as you will answer to the contrary.
The same letter, mutatis mutandis, written to
The Lords Proprietors of the Bahama Islands.
Mr. Penn, Proprietor and Governor of Pennsylvania.
The Governor and Company of Connecticut.
The Governor and Company of Rhode Island.
[Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. pp. 469–471.]
July 6. 602. Same letter, mutatis mutandis, to the Earl of Bellomont, Governor of New York, Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire. [Board of Trade. New York, 53. pp. 304–305; and New England, 37. pp. 153–155.]
July 6. 603. Same to Sir W. Beeston, Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 56. pp. 344–346.]
July 6. 604. Same to Samuel Day, Governor of Bermuda. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 29. pp. 178–179.]
July 6. 605. Same to F. Nicholson, Governor of Virginia. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 37. pp. 335–336.]
July 6. 606. Same to the President and Council of Nevis. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 45. pp. 376–377.]
July 6. 607. Same to Nathaniel Blakiston, Governor of Maryland. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 9. pp. 383–384.]
July 6. 608. Same to Ralph Grey, Governor of Barbados, with the following additional paragraph:—
But having been particularly informed of the good services of this kind done by you in countenancing and protecting Mr. Wm. Sharp, Commissioner and Collector of H.M. Customs at Bridge Town in Barbados, and other officers of the Customs there against the vexations and discouragements given them in the discharge of their trust by some turbulent men, as we approve of your conduct in that matter, so we the more confidently expect your continuance of the same according to what we have now required of you. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44A. pp. 311, 312; and 65. pp. 474, 475.]
July 6. 609. Memorial of the Agent for New York to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The forts and garrisons are in great want of 20 pieces of cannon, 6 mortars, and a good number of bombs, 100 barrels of gunpowder, a suitable quantity of balls, and 200 beds for sentinels. A frigate now ordered for a guardship may safely convey these stores to New York. Signed, T. Weaver. Endorsed, Recd. Read July 6, 1699. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New York, 8A. No. 34; and 53. p. 303.]
July 6.
610. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices. We think the undertaking mentioned in the petition of Sir Stephen Evance, etc. (No. 535 I.) tends to the benefit of this kingdom and recommend that instructions be given as desired. Signed, Stamford, Lexington, Ph. Meadows, Jon. Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 56. pp. 342,343.]
July 6. 611. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Richard Syle, Master of the sloop Assurance, from Bristol, and Peter Leech, Master of the brigantine Endeavor, from New England, examined concerning a ship that pursued and fired on them. Offer of Capt. Collin Hunter, H.M.S. Dolphin, in the absence of H.M.S. Speedwell on her cruize, to seize and bring in a pirate upon this coast communicated. Letter to thank him and acquaint him that orders were given for a commission to be granted to Capt. William Mill to command the brigantine Seaflower with thirty effective men to seize the pirate ship, ordered. Commission to Capt. Mill ordered, with instructions to bring the pirate into the Port of the Bridge or to return to port if he do not meet, see or hear of her in six days. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 432, 433.]
July 6.
612. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Representation upon the New England Address about Appeals ordered.
Representation and draughts of circular letters to the Governors of Plantations about protecting and encouraging officers of the Customs and Admiralty signed and sent to the Council Board.
Representation upon Mr. Randolph's imprisonment at Bermuda signed and sent.
Representation upon the petition of Sir Stephen Evance signed and sent.
Upon Mr. Weaver's presenting a memorial for stores of war to be sent to New York, the Engineer's report to Lord Bellomont and particulars of stores previously sent ordered to be laid before the Board.
Letter from Mr. Yarde about an English ship arrived at Venice from the West Indies, etc., read.
July 7. Laws of Pennsylvania received from Mr. Penn with Mr. Solicitor's report upon them. Resolved to take them into consideration at the first opportunity.
Copies of papers relating to the denial of appeals by the Courts of Massachusets Bay to Mr. Brenton ordered to be taken.
Ordered that Mr. Attorney be desired to return the Laws of Bermuda that a list may be taken of them and returned for his opinion.
Letter to Mr. Attorney and Solicitor General for their opinion about the ship arrived at Venice from Honduras ordered.
Memorial from Col. Codrington about negroes in the Leeward Islands running away to the French, read. Copies of papers relating thereto (Feb. 5) ordered to be sent to him. [Board of Trade. Journal, 12. pp. 113–117; and 96. Nos. 105–106.]
July 6.
613. Bevis Hill to Wm. Popple, acknowledging receipt of packets sent to him June 28. Signed, Bevis Hill. Endorsed, Recd. July 7,1699. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 5. No. 19.]
July 7. 614. Memorandum of above. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 35. p. 62.]
July 6 & 7. 615. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. The figure of a trepezum chosen for the platform to be built on Mangrove Point at Parham Harbour. The Assembly represented that sickness having usually been brought by H.M. ships, and H.M.S. Queenborough being newly arrived with the distemper on board, Capt. Billingsley be requested to take her to English Harbour to careen her and not to allow any of his men to leave that spot. Capt. Billingsley informed the Governor and Council that he had not a sick man on board, and that he had used every means to make his ship healthy by constantly washing her and the ballast. Payment for stores and building the platform ordered. The Assembly objected to paying for some sick sailors. As no answer had been received from Nevis about the Act for naturalising aliens, sent there to pass the Seal of the Islands, it was decided to send the Act without the seal to the agent, with a particular recommendation from the Council and Assembly. Bill for ascertaining to what executors are entitled and the amendment of the Militia Act recommended to a Committee of the Assembly. Richard Buckeridge ordered to fulfil his agreement with John Chamberlain and teach him the art of a merchant. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 310–314.]
July 7.
616. President and Council of Nevis to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Walter Symonds, Esq., Member of the Council, has died, and there being but five remaining, in order that public affairs might not suffer for want of a quorum, we have appointed William Butler, Esq., one of the Council, a gentleman of a good interest and behaviour. One Peter Smith, a Dutchman of good note and an inhabitant of the island of St. Thomas, gives an account that when the Scotch ships touched at said island in their way to Leeward, the Governor, John Lawrence, not knowing but they intended to settle at Crabb Island, immediately dispatched two of his Council with some others of the inhabitants to that island, with orders to set up the Danish flag, which they did, but finding the Scotch's designs were not for that place returned to St. Thomas. We received a letter from the Governor of His Majesty's part of the island of St. Christopher's laying down the ill state of the said island for want of ammunition and other stores in case of another war. We are not in a condition to give them any assistance of those necessaries they want, having received no supplies from His Majesty this five years past. The French are vigorous on their new settlement on said island, having two men-of-war with soldiers arrived there some few days since. We shall be able by the next to give your Lordships a further accompt. Signed, Wm. Burt, Jno. Smargin, Richd. Abbott, Mich. Smith, Wm. Butler, Dan Smith. Endorsed, Recd. Aug. 30, Read Aug. 31, 1699. 3 pp. Enclosed,
616. I. Information of Mr. Peter Smith, a Dutchman, of St. Thomas. When Captain Kidd on his way to Leeward anchored off the harbour of St. Thomas, he writ ashore to the Governor, desiring leave to come into the harbour and that the Governor would protect him, upon which the Governor ordered Smith to go immediately on board Kidd and to demand of him upon what account he was, if upon an honest one he might come in, and if otherwise to go away. Kidd replied he believed the Governor would immediately dispatch a sloop up to Nevis to give an account of his being there, and said he would be gone, and was desirous to buy a sloop, but Smith would not sell him one. Then Kidd desired him to supply him with the value of two hundred pounds in provisions and other necessaries, and that he would give him for it a sloop-load of bales of muslin and other goods. But Smith refusing to do it, went ashore, and Kidd, after staying forty-eight hours, went to an island called Moona, between Porto Rico and Hyspaniola, but by the way met with one Hen. Bolton with a large sloop, who went with Kidd to Moona and Kidd employed him to go with his sloop to Coriaco, to buy him provisions and other necessaries, which Bolton did, and returned with it to Kidd. After which, Kidd bought Bolton's sloop off him for three thousand pieces of eight, and loaded the sloop with the finest goods he had and went with the sloop to New York, leaving Hen. Bolton in possession of the ship and remaining part of the goods. But before he went, he sold to one William Burke, an Irishman, one hundred and twenty or thirty bales of muslin, which muslin Burke carried to St. Thomas, and one Vanbell of that island assisted him to land it privately in the night and put it into said Vanbell's house, and the Governor of St. Thomas being informed of it, he immediately seized it all and the vessel that imported it, and said Burke left in the Governor's hands five thousand pieces of eight security for the vessel and went away with her to Barbados. Soon after there arrived at St. Thomas a Cariaco sloop that had been with Kidd and had on board a great quantity of saultpeter and about twelve bales of goods which was also seized by the Governor, John Lawrence. The ship Kidd had was a Moorish built ship, thirty odd guns, and about thirty men and some few negroes. Bolton, it is said, acts as Attorney to Kidd until he returns from New York.
When the Scotch ships touched at St. Thomas in their way to Leeward, the Governor of St. Thomas not knowing but they intended to settle at Crabb Island, immediately dispatched a vessel with some of the inhabitants of St. Thomas to Crabb Island, with orders to put up the Danish flag, which they did, and not finding the Scotch came there they returned to St. Thomas. Endorsed, Recd. Aug. 30. Read Aug. 31, 1699. 1½ pp.
616. II. President and Council of Nevis to James Vernon, enclosing copy of Peter Smith's information. Endorsed, R. 30. Aug. '99. 1 p.
616. III. Duplicates of preceding. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6. Nos. 31, 31 I.–V.; and 45. pp. 397–402.]
July 7.
617. Wm. Burt to James Vernon. John Taylder appointed to disband Col. Holt's regiment died lately at St. Christopher's before he had quite finished all his business. As I am empowered by the instructions of the Lords Justices in case of his death, I shall take that imploy upon me. He left £2,000 of which at least six or seven hundred will be taken up to finish what's yet undone. Signed, Wm. Burt. Endorsed, R. 30 Aug. '99. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6. Nos. 31 A, and 31 A. I, duplicate.]
July 7. 618. Copies of papers received from Mr. Brenton relating to two cases about seizures wherein the Courts of the Massachusets Bay had denied him an appeal to His Majesty. Endorsed, Recd. July 7, 1699. 17 pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 9. No. 61.]
July 7. 619. William Popple to the Attorney and Solicitor General. The Council of Trade and Plantations having under consideration the account of an English ship, which came lately from Honduras in the W. Indies (being no part of H.M. Plantations) to Venice, with a cargo of loggwood, which she there unladed and was about to relade there with goods proper for a trade to the Coast of Guinea, in order, as is supposed, to buy negroes, and carry them to some parts in the W. Indies, and so manage an indirect trade without touching in England either out or home, their Lordships desire to know whether there be any law against such a trade, and what can be done with such a ship or cargo or the master thereof, whenever they may happen to be met with. [Board of Trade. Trade Papers, 14. pp. 308, 309.]
July 7.
620. Wm. Popple to Sir Thomas Trevor, asking for the return of Acts of Assembly of Bermuda, 1690–1694. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 29. p. 180.]
July 8.
621. Governor Lord Bellomont to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I have the misfortune to be ill of the gout at a time when I have a great deal of business to exercise both my head and my hand. It will not be unwelcome to your Lordships to tell you that I secured Capt. Kid last Thursday in the gaol of this town with five or six of his men. He had been hovering on the coast towards New York for more than a fortnight, and sent to one Mr. Emot to come from New York to him at a place called Oyster Bay in Nassau Island. He brought Emot from thence to Rhoad Island and there landed him, sending him hither to me with an offer of his coming into this part provided I would pardon him. I was a little puzzled how to manage a treaty of that kind with Emot, a cunning Jacobite, a fast friend of Fletcher's and my avowed enemy. When he proposed my pardoning Kid, I told him it was true the King had allowed me a power to pardon pirates, but that I was so tender of using it, because I would bring no stain on my reputation, that I had set myself a rule never to pardon piracy without the King's express leave and command. Emot told me that Kid has left the great Moorish ship he took in India (which I have since found went by the name of the Quidah Merchant) in a creek on the coast of Hispaniola, with goods to the value of £30,000: that he had bought a sloop, in which he was come before to make his terms; that he had brought in the sloop with him several bales of East India goods, three score pound weight of gold in dust and in ingots, about a hundred weight in silver and several other things which he believed would sell for about £10,000. Emot also told me that Kid was very innocent, and would make it appear that his men forced him, locking him up in the cabin of the Adventure galley, while they robbed two or three ships, and he could prove this by many witnesses. I answered Emot that if Kid could make that appear he might safely come into this port and I would undertake to get him the King's pardon. I writ a letter to Capt. Kid, inviting him to come in and that I would procure a pardon for him provided he were as innocent as Mr. Emot said he was. I sent my letter to him by one Mr. Campbell of this town and a Scotch as well as Kid and his acquaintance. Within three or four days Campbell returned to me with a letter from Kid full of protestations of his innocence and informing me of his design of coming with his sloop into this port. I must not forget to tell your Lordships that Campbell brought three or four small jewels to my wife, which I was to know nothing of, but she came quickly and discovered them to me and asked me whether she should keep them, which I advised her to do for the present, for I reflected that my showing an over-nicety might do hurt, before I had made a full discovery what goods and treasure were in the sloop. All this whole matter, even to my writing my letter to Kid was transacted with the privity and advice of the Council. Kid landed here this day seven night; and I would not so much as speak with him but before witnesses. I thought he looked very guilty and to make me believe so he and his friend Livingston (who posted hither from Albany upon news of Capt. Kid's design of coming hither) and Campbell aforesaid began to juggle together and imbezle some of the cargo; besides Kid did strangely trifle with me and the Council three or four times that we had him under examination. Mr. Livingston also came to me on a perremtory manner and demanded up his bond, and the articles which he sealed to me upon Kid's expedition, and told me that Kid swore all the oaths in the world that unless I did immediately indemnify Mr. Livingston by giving up his securities he would never bring in that great ship and cargo, but that he would take care to satisfy Mr. Livingston himself out of that cargo. I thought this was such an impertinence in both Kid and Livingston that it was time for me to look about me and to secure Kid. I had notice that he designed my wife a thousand pound in gold dust and ingots last Thursday, but I spoiled his compliment by ordering him to be arrested and committed that day, showing the Council my orders from Court for that purpose. Two gentlemen of the Council, two merchants and the Collector have the charge of all the cargoes, and they are preparing inventories of everything which shall be sent to your Lordships by the next ship. I delivered up to those five persons the jewels that Kid sent by Campbell to my wife, and that at the Council Board. If I had kept Mr. Secretary Vernon's orders for seizing and securing Kid and his associates with all their effects with less secrecy, I had never got him to come in, for his countrymen, Mr. Graham and Livingston would have been sure to caution him to shift for himself, and would have been well paid for their pains. I received the Lords Justices' orders about Kid, and likewise Mr. Vernon's about three months before my leaving New York, but I never discovered them to anybody, and when I heard people say that the neighbouring Governors had orders from Court to seize him, I laught as if I believed no such thing. I wish they may not let him escape here, as they have Bradish, a notorious pirate. About a fortnight ago Bradish and another pirate got out of the gaol of this town and escaped with the consent of the gaoler, as there is great reason to believe. As the law stands in this country a pirate cannot be punished with death. Therefore I desire to receive orders what to do with Bradish's crew and also with Kid and those men of his I have taken. Since my leaving New York one of the four ships has come in that went from thence to Madagascar last summer and of which I informed you, and has brought 60 pirates and a vast deal of treasure. I hear that everyone of the pirates paid £50 for his passage, and the owners I am told have cleared £30,000 by this voyage. 'Tis observable that Mr. Hackshaw, one of the marchants that petitioned against me to your Lordships and Stephen Delancy, a hot-headed, sawey Frenchman and Mr. Hackshaw's correspondent, are the chief owners of this ship. I hear there were 200 pirates at Madagascar when this ship came away, who intended to take their passage in Fred Phillips' ship and the other two belonging to New York. A great ship has been seen off this coast any time this week; 'tis supposed to be one Maise a pirate, who has brought a vast deal of wealth from the Red Seas. There is a sloop also at Rhoad Island which is said to be a pirate. I hear the men go ashore there in the daytime and return to the sloop at night and spend their gold very liberally. We can do nothing towards the taking these ships for want of a man-of-war I am manning out a ship to go in quest of the Quidah Merchant. By some papers which we seized with Kid and by his own confession we have found out where the ship lies, and according to his own account of the cargo, we compute her to be worth £70,000. The ship that carries this is just upon sailing and will not be persuaded to stay any longer, so that I cannot send the inventories of the goods brought in by Kid; nor the informations we have taken about him from his own men till next opportunity. Signed, Bellomont. Endorsed, Recd. Read Aug. 31, 1699. Copy. 6 pp. Annexed,
621. I. Abstract of above letter. 2½ pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 9. Nos. 62, 62–I.; and (without abstract) 37. pp. 169–174.]
July 8. 622. Minutes of Council of New York. Answer to the Schaakhook Indians going to settle on the Lake of Canada approved. They are to be invited to return, and their creditors are forbidden to molest them. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 259, 260.]
July 8. 623. Minutes of Council of Maryland in Assembly. The Bill for ascertaining the bounds of lands was sent up; the Council proposed delaying it till next Assembly, in which time it might be communicated to the Justices of the County Court. Three Bills sent up, one, a saving to my Lord Baltimore's land, was rejected, it not being thought fit further to indulge his Lordship than other His Majesty's good subjects of this Province. Report of Committee regulating the Chancery, approved by the House submitted by the Council:—(1) His Majesty by his commission having enjoined His Excellency to be keeper of the seal, he is thereby Chancellor, and that, by virtue of a former law, is a particular and distinct Court; the Governor and Council for hearing of writs of error and appeals from the Provincial Court is another distinct Court, so that the Governor and Council will be one and the same Judges in both Courts. (2) By the former law, if any person, upon the Chancellor's decree or determination of any matter, thought himself aggrieved, he should pray the Governor and Council for a reviving and rehearsing the same, so that they are still the same Judges. To prevent such inconveniency we recommend the passing of some law or presenting of some means as thought fit. To this the Governor and Council replied, advising that the Governor must, according to instructions, hear Chancery causes. For his assistance two of the Council should be joined with him, and for hearing of appeals a full quorum, not less than five, of the Council. If it be doubted any inconveniency may arise by this method the new law may be made for once temporary, till time and experience show whether it deserves to be continued.
A conference between the two Houses arranged concerning the Bill for ascertaining the bounds of Lands. The distribution of arms and powder approved. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 14. pp. 450–454.]
July 8. 624. Journal of House of Delegates of Maryland. Bills-read a second time and sent up. Report of Committee for regulating the Chancery considered; difficulties and inconveniences suggested and submitted to the Governor and Council.
The House disagreed with the proposal of the Council to delay the Bill for ascertaining bounds of land, and desired them to join in a Committee.
Surplus gunpowder ordered to be sold at 55s. per barrel.
Ordered that Mr. Jacob Moreland carry the conveyance of the land at the Cool Springs at the house of Mr. John Dent and summon two of the nearest Justices of St. Mary's to take the acknowledgment of Mr. Dent and his wife.
Journal of the Committee of Aggrievances read. Sheriff's accounts and sheriff's charges, ships being obliged to make double entries, the expense of taking out writs and that real estates are not liable to debts. The sheriff, Col. Wm. Pierce, was ordered to state his accounts, refund, and be fined 1,000 lbs. of tobacco. And see preceding abstract. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 15. pp. 413–419.]
July 10. 625. T. Weaver to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Col. Romar may be presumed to be still in America. The stores required by Lord Bellomont are those specified in my letter July 6. Col. Ingoldsby can give a particular account of the forts at Albany, where I never was. I suppose the guns desired were for those forts or for what were thought requisite to be new made, for that the fort at New York had guns sufficient. I know that at my leaving New York the soldiers wanted beds, and there was but a small quantity of powder and musket ball. Signed, T. Weaver. Endorsed, Recd. Read July 10, 1699. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New York, 8A. No. 35; and 53 pp. 306, 307.]
July 10.
626. Gov. Sir William Beeston to Mr. Secretary Vernon. I have written to your Honour by this ship already, but she has delayed longer than was expected. By one of our vessels that arrived yesterday from the Spanish Coast I am advised that the Scotch have wholly deserted their settlement at Callidonia, and are gone from thence about 17 days since, but whither we cannot hear nor guess unless they are gone to disperse themselves amongst the Northern Plantations, for they have not provision to carry them to Scotland. What should induce them to so sudden a remove is also uncertain. It's true the Spaniards had called the Barliavento Fleet to Cartagena, and they with the ships that carried that Governor thither and all other they could pick up were preparing to carry a considerable strength against the Scotch, so that whether the apprehension of that force or the proclamation I put out here, which hindered them from all manner of supplies from hence, by which they were almost starved, was the cause of their remove, is yet uncertain. But that they are gone, the master of the vessel tells me that he met three canoes at the Barues, that came from Callidonia, and had three Spaniards on them who had been prisoners with the Scotch and freed by them when they sailed, and also that those canoes were laden with iron crows, shot and other iron tools the Scotch left behind them, which seems to indicate that they went away in haste. Sir, we have just now a report that the King of Spain is dead. Signed, Wm. Beeston. Endorsed, Recd. Read Sept. 15, 1699. Received from Mr. Yard. Copy. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 125; and 56. pp. 359, 360.]
July 10.
627. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of Jersey. We enclose extracts of letters from Mr. Day and Mr. Randolph about one Daniel Smith imprisoned in Bermuda for piracy. Signed, Stamford, Lexington, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 29. pp. 180, 181.]
July 10. 628. Col Codrington to Council of Trade and Plantations, in answer to the French claim for runaway negroes, which was referred to him by the Council, July 7. In fact there was no such stipulation as the French pretend to; in right there could be none such; the negroes became the property of the conquerors, were fairly divided between the fleet and army and sold off to Barbados, Jamaica, the Northern Plantations, the Leeward Islands and some probably to the Spaniards themselves. There was no such treaty because there needed none such. Our demand is founded on the Law of Nations. We are at peace with the French and the negroes are as much our property as our cattle, etc. The consequence is evident. The pretence of religion is idle. Christianity does not alter the condition of men nor destroy the right of tenure by which slaves are held. This is incontestable in the Civil Law and the French practise is in consequence of it. They baptise all their slaves (I dare not say they make them Christians) who yet continue as much slaves as those in the English colonies. To their instance, I say the English General was in the wrong just as the French General is now, and no doubt but the Chief Governors on both sides would prefer this method, nay, underhand encourage the practice for their own advantage to the prejudice of the proprietors, but it ought to be asked, was this done by direction from our Court? Did the French demand satisfaction from our Ministers, and was the point settled by approving the English General's conduct? When some negroes got off from Tobago on board Capt. Haddock, upon demand made by the Dutch they were restored. This was by direction from Sir Wm. Stapleton, who, 'tis probable, had as good dispositions to do justice to the French as to the Dutch. Concerning free negroes, credat Judœus Apella, but with respect to Mons. Auger, we will suppose all the free negroes in the French colonies were got together upon some very extraordinary occasion, I say then no injury is done to the French nor have they a right to demand them. But I allow a very barbarous injury is done to the negroes themselves, who without dispute shall be restored to their freedom, and suffered to dispose of themselves, and then, according to their inclinations they might stay amongst us or return to the French. The French pretend they could alledge several other reasons, but these they have produced are as good as those in reserve, 'tis credible, and an addition of pleas never strengthen a title. As to the point of property, that I suppose is very plain, and for the plus forte consideration which obliges the French in conscience to keep our negroes, that would be equally binding, though there were a particular treaty to the contrary, because no treaty can oblige men to act contrary to their consciences. Suppose, My Lords, five hundred or a thousand or ten thousand negroes should get off Barbados to Martineque and applying themselves to the Monks would undoubtedly admit them to baptism, and the negroes would of course be good Roman Catholicks, the French might then say, though they could not keep our negroes as slaves, yet they were obliged to protect them as men and Christians desiring to live as good Roman Catholicks, and who, if restored to the English, would not be allowed the practice of that religion. After this the negroes in pure gratitude might be persuaded to resign their freedom and become slaves to the French. Your Lordships see the ill consequences, which 'tis humbly hoped your Lordships' representation and the firmness of our Ministers will prevent. Signed, Chr. Codrington. Endorsed, Recd. Read July 10. 5 pp. quarto. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6, No. 32; and 45. pp. 379–382.]
July 10.
629. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Col. Codrington's answer about runaway negroes read. Consideration deferred till Mr. Cary's memorial on the subject be received.
Representation upon warlike stores for New York ordered.
Upon consideration of the new Trade Tariff between France and Holland, a letter to the Earl of Jersey ordered desiring copies of the other tariffs therein mentioned.
List of persons fit to fill up the Councils of the Leeward Islands ordered to be sent to Mr. Cary for his criticism.
July 11. Two letters to the Earl of Jersey relating to Trade Tariffs and Daniel Smith's imprisonment at Bermuda, signed and sent.
July 13. Representations upon the New England Address about Appeals and about warlike stores for New York, signed and sent. [Board of Trade. Journal, 12. pp. 118–122; and 96. Nos. 107, 108, 110.]
July 10. 630. Minutes of Council of Maryland in Assembly Regulation of Commissions of the Peace considered. Rober Mason, Treasurer of the Western Shore, sworn. Conference about the bounds of lands held and the Bill approved. The Board concurred in the fine imposed on Col. William Peirce, High Sheriff of Cecil County.
The House was summoned to send members to treat with the Indians, lately residing with the Emperor of Piscataway, whose presence was announced.
July 11. Amerciaments assigned to the Clerk of the Council for drawing militia commissions.
Resolutions of the House granting Mrs. Mary Feilder £20 and selling the officers' tobacco for 6 shillings per cwt. sent up. The Indians attending said the Emperor of Piscataway knew of their coming: they intended to sit down among us and believed the Emperor intended to come in, for the Indians understood that a new Governor was come and they hoped for good news. Lt.-Col. Smallwood stated that these Indians were part of those whom Governor Nicholson obliged to live under the Emperor and that now 20 of the men were come in.
The Indians were told that those of them which were come in would be reputed friends, but those that refuse, enemies. They were to inform the Emperor that if he would come in with his Indians and sit down quietly, H.E. would ratify the articles of peace with them.
The Indians complained of their cornfield fences being pulled down, and that, when they killed any deer near an Englishman's land, the English threatened to beat them. Squire Tom, they said, was with the Emperor.
Col. Smallwood was ordered to go to George Jackson's store and buy a present for the two chiefest of the Indians. A message was sent to the House of Delegates that the intentions of the Piscataway Acwkid Indians were not clear, whether they would come in quietly or persist in their disturbances. A Committee was proposed to concert measures to prevent or deal with any such disturbance on the frontier that may arise during the recess.
The petition of Philip Lynes for payment of 52,109lbs. of tobacco said to be due to him, recommended to the House. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 14. pp. 454–458.]
July 10. 631. Journal of House of Delegates of Maryland. Mrs. Vansweringen's petition praying an Act to pass to sell the land of Samuel Withers and John Lewellin, deceased, to pay their debts, referred for consideration.
Bills for transferring some officers' debts, and empowering Benjamin Williams to sell the land of his brother William, deceased, read a third time.
Resolved that the Committee of laws draw up an address to His Majesty praying the relief of several inhabitants from judgments due upon Navigation Bonds. Sentence of Col. Peirce sent up.
The House acquiesced in the Board's opinion about the Chancery.
Mrs. Mary Fielder allowed £20 to transport herself and children back to England.
Major James Smallwood ordered to take care for the entertainment at the public expense of the Indians coming up to Annapolis.
Bill for ascertaining the bounds of land brought in.
Robert Mason allowed to buy arrears of taxes due from several public officers, on the Western Shore, at six shillings per cwt., upon bond given.
The Committee of Grievances reported on Col. Wm. Peirce's account.
And see preceding abstract.