America and West Indies: July 1699, 21-25

Pages 357-366

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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July 1699

July 21.
670. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices. We enclose draughts of Col. Codrington's instructions and a copy of another particular draught of instructions, prepared some while since for the Governors of Plantations in pursuance of several Laws relating to Trade and Navigation, for his direction. Signed, Stamford, Lexington, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 45. p. 389.]
July 21.
671. William Thornburgh to William Popple. I send you a sample of our Carolina Rice, that the Council of Trade may see what a staple the Province may be capable of furnishing Europe withal. The grocers assure me it's better than any foreign rice. We expect Capt. Man daily from Carolina. On his arrival their Lordships shall have a sample of pitch and tar and a particular account of the supply thereof. Signed, Wm. Thornburgh. Endorsed, Recd. July 21. Read July 25, 1699. ¾ p. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 3. No. 25.]
July 21.
672. Gov. Cranston to the Council of Trade and Plantations. We have received your letter of May 3. We are not a little surprised at the proceeding of Francis Brinley in his groundless petition. He says he had no notice and did not appear as defendant, but there are extant near 20 articles he sent to the Court in bar to action. Some time before he actually appeared in Court. He had 10 days according to the law of the colony before execution was granted to enter a rehearing, which he neglected, not owning the Court's jurisdiction. For us to admit of a trial 4 years after execution was granted was contrary to law. There was never any appeal desired by Brinley of this Government; neither was there any other person ever denied an appeal to His Majesty. But we believe in the case of small actions like this, which does not exceed £20, it will be a great prejudice to the poor subject to be liable to be appealed against. We beg you to state what value appeals shall be granted upon. We hear from Lord Bellomont of his Commission to enquire into the alleged irregularities here, which we take as a most bountiful favour, that we can have liberty to answer for ourselves, and clear ourselves of any artful or irregular action. We acknowledge receipt of instructions about Capt. Kidd and a Naval Officer. We have none but collectors here. Signed, Samuel Cranston. Endorsed, Recd. Sept. 29. Read Oct. 3, 1699. 3 pp. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 4. No. 9; and 26. pp. 105–111.]
July 21. 673. Minutes of Council of Maryland in Assembly. Bills for limiting officers' fees, for the administration of Justice in Probate of Wills, read and passed. Bill for punishing privateers amended and passed. Seven Bills assented to and returned to the House. Bill for regulating the Militia amended. A Bill, for the benefit of the King's subjects where the laws of this Province are defective, rejected as repugnant to the laws of England. Bill for speedy trials of criminals read and passed. Eight Bills assented to and sent to the House. Bills, relating to servants and slaves, and imposing a fine on Major Dorsey and the Sheriffs of Cecil and Talbot Counties, read and passed with amendment.
Upon enquiry, the House was informed that the fund for building the Church was lodged in the late Governor's hands.
Public Thanksgiving appointed on Aug. 17 that the State House was not burned.
The Governor remarked upon the omission, in the revising of the laws, of that dealing with the reporters of false news. The House replied that the law because of its great latitude made it very liable to be abused. They pressed for its repeal, which was assented to. The Catalogue of the Laws was brought up and a message from the House proposing to present £250 to the Governor, but not till the Fall.
On consideration of the Catalogue of Laws, the Board proposed to the House to make an exception, to the Act in favour of the natives, in the case of Mr. Robert Fenley, who had constantly attended his Majesty's service in Ireland and Flanders from the beginning to the end of the late wars and come here with his Excellency, as also Mr. Robert Blakiston, that they might by some public ordinance or otherwise be allowed to hold any employment they should be found capable of. The proposal of the House to apply all the money in the Bank to defray the public levy was discountenanced, in the present uncertainty of the Indian designs, and it was advised that £800 should be kept for any emergency.
The Journal of the Committee of Accounts was brought up.
July 22. The House assented to the Board's proposal of an exception to the Act for the encouragement of learning and advancement of the natives, but insisted upon applying the money in hand to defray the public levy; as for a fund, "a fund is never lacking so long as we have willing hearts." The Board, after commenting upon the House's refusal of almost all their proposals, especially of the Bill for marriages, agreed, on condition that the money proposed for H.E. should be paid immediately and that power should be left with the Governor and Council to raise money or tobacco in case of any emergency.
The Governor acknowledged the present proposed to him by the House and drew attention to his poor accommodation at Annapolis, not equal to that of a Common Constable in England, "besides the slender conveniences of life are not to be had but at much dearer rates than elsewhere. I never was yet in the meanest of His Majesty's Governments abroad but there is a house always provided for his Governor. If you advise my stay here, I hope you will in some measure support it."
Bill for ascertaining the laws of this Province read. Bill for appointing persons to treat with workmen for building a Church at Annapolis read and amended.
Resolve of the House, that Capt. Richard Hill should with all convenient speed build a Prison, assented to.
The Governor recommended a yearly allowance to the Hon. William Blathwayt, Auditor General of the Plantations, but the House begged to be excused. The Board was informed that the House agreed to pay the Governor's present immediately. They considered that power was already given to the Governor, by the Acts for regulating the Militia and securing the frontiers, to raise money and concert measures in an emergency. The Board replied that they assented, if the House would declare on their Journal that the Committee appointed in the latter Act, with the Governor and Council, might have power on emergency to draw out money from the Public Treasury and that the Treasurer should answer the same if in their hands. With this the House concurred.
An allowance to the Transcriber of the Laws was recommended and £120 agreed to. The Board proposed that the House should appoint some person near at hand to draw orders on the Treasurers for money granted this session. Capt. Richard Hill, Samuel Young and John Worthington and Major John Hammond were appointed.
Seven Bills were sent up and assented to. A Bill for the payment of the Public Levy was read, sent down, and assented to by the House and Board. It was advised that the Assembly be prorogued from three months to three months and that at present they be prorogued till the last Tuesday in October next. The Board assented to the ordinance about Mr. Fenley and Mr. Blakiston.
The Governor acquainted the House through the Attorney General that he intended to finish this Session. The House attended and presented the Bills passed during the Session, which the Governor enacted. Then the Assembly was prorogued until Oct. 28. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 14. pp. 475–490.]
July 21. 674. Journal of House of Delegates of Maryland. Bill for levying a fine on Major Dorsey read the first time. Bills for settling officers' fees, and for the administration of Justice etc. read the second time. Resolved that the Clerk of the Council and the Clerk of the House of Delegates should have for fee of every private bill 100 lbs. of tobacco each. Ten Bills sent up. Resolved that every man servant after the expiration of his servitude should be allowed one good gun.
The Committee of Elections reported an undue management of an election in St. Mary's County, which they desired might be further enquired into the next General Assembly.
Six bills read a third time and sent up. Bills for levying fines on Major Dorsey and for servants and slaves read a second time. Put to the vote if the clause for the cutting off the nose or ears of negroes shall be left out or not, and carried in the affirmative.
Bill for ascertaining the laws of this Province read a first time.
(And see preceding abstract.)
July 22. Two Bills read a second time and sent up. Three Bills read the third time and assented to.
The House replied to the Governor's complaints about his accommodations:—
The scarcity of provisions is general, everyone having much ado to provide for himself. The province has been but lately received into His Majesty's immediate protection and therefore may be excused if not so well provided with a house for a governor as those who from the beginning were so. It was referred to H.E.'s own discretion to live at Annapolis or elsewhere.
Seven Bills read a third time and assented to.
A Bill for the payment of the public charges of the province read three times and assented to.
Address to the King about Navigation Bonds delivered to Mr. Michael Miller, who undertook to have it presented to His Majesty.
Address of humble thanks to the King for sending Nathaniel Blakiston as Governor, drawn up, and signed; Thomas Smithson, Speaker; Tho. Tench, Charles Hutchins, John Addison, John Courts, Tho. Brook, James Frisby, Robert Smith, John Hamond, Tho. Tasker, Francis Jenkins. The House was prorogued till Oct. 28. (And see preceding abstract.) [Board of Trade. Maryland, 15. pp. 457–477.]
July 22.
675. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to the Council of Trade and Plantations. A fit of the gout that seized me on the sea prevented my sending two letters which I had almost finished. In one of these I expressed my humble acknowledgement of your commendation of my poor services. In the last ship that went hence to London I writ five several letters to your Lordships; I hope you will excuse their length, but I am forced to be my own secretary and have not time nor health for to write foul drafts and so contract the matter. The letter which bears date April 17, though it be long, will not, I presume be unwelcome, because I demonstrate therein that England can be best supplied with naval stores from New York. I find upon discourse with Mr. Bridger, the purveyor, who is now here, that at the dear rates he pays for labour in N. Hampshire, the stores will cost very near 2/3 parts more than they will be afforded according to my scheme. I have not writ about it to the Lords of the Admiralty or Commissioners of the Navy, for I have had no encouragement to hold a correspondence with those Boards. Several papers relating to Five Nations of Indians I designed for your Lordships by this conveyance, but could not get them fairly transcribed. In the meantime I can tell you, the French Governor, M. de Calliere, having lately set at liberty those Indians of ours he had prisoners at Montreal, it has put our Five Nations into good humour; several Sachems, to the number of forty or fifty men were lately at Albany, were much made of and went home very well pleased and declared they would not think of going over to the French. To please 'em and keep 'em steddy to us, I sent 'em word I hoped to prevail with the King to order a Fort to be built in the Onnondages' country, where a garrison should be kept to cover 'em from the inroads of the French garrison of Cadaracque Fort (which is a great terror and disturbance to them), and they have laid hold on my promise and desired I will perform with them; but I would not have them know the small capacity I am in of doing it; for without money 'tis impossible to build forts.
There are about 30 pirates come lately into the east end of Nassau Island and have a great deal of money with them, but so cherished are they by the inhabitants that not a man of them is taken up. Several of them, I hear, came with Shelley from Madagascar. Mr. Hackshaw, one of the marchands in London that petitioned against me, is one of the owners of Shelley's ship, and Mr. de Lancey, a Frenchman at New York, is another. I hear, too, that Capt. Kidd dropped some pirates in that island. They write from New York that Arabian gold is in great plenty there, and, indeed, till there be a good Judge or two and an honest, active Attorney General to prosecute for the King, all my labour to suppress piracy will signify even just nothing. When Fred. Phillips's ship and the other two come from Madagascar, which are expected every day, N. York will abound with gold. 'Tis the most beneficial trade, that to Madagascar with the pirates, that ever was heard of, and I believe there's more got that way than by turning pirates and robbing. I am told this Shelley sold rum, which cost but 2s. per gallon at N. York, for 50s. and £3 per gallon at Madagascar, and a pipe of Madeira wine, which cost him £19 at N. York he sold there for £300. Strong liquors and gunpowder and ball are the commodities that go off there to best advantage, and those four ships last summer carried thither great quantities of those things. I enclose copies of my letters to the Lords of the Treasury, Oct. 27, '98 and Nov. 14, '98, which were omitted from my letter of May 15. There goes with this conveyance my letter which bears date May 13, which my indisposition hindered me from finishing. I send six month's' minutes of Council and the transcripts of laws enacted this last Session of Assembly of N. York. The Act which breaks some of Fletcher's extravagant grants of land has much enraged the grantees against me, but I little value that. Mr. Dellius is gone to England to complain and try to hinder the King's approving that Act which breaks his and some few other grants. The angry people of N. York have made a purse of £500 for him and those of Albany £200, not that he had need of it, for by his penury, he has got a good deal of money of his own. He has carried home, I mean to England, certificates of his piety and good life under the hands of the angry people, and I am told there are counter-certificates signing by the Leslie party with four times the number of hands to 'em. If a great lyar, incendiary and proud person make up the character of piety, then Mr. Dellius may pass for a Saint. I told you what impudent lies he told me in the face of all the magistrates, when I sent you the conferences I had with the Mohack Indians at Albany. I since sent my L.G.'s certificate along with my letter of Ap. 13. to show how wickedly Dellius went about to divide my L.G. from me, and make him join with himself and party against me. The first Sunday after my going to Albany some of the honest Dutch, that accompanied me from N. York, complained to me that he prayed not for the King. I reproved him and his excuse was it was Sacrament day and not customary on those days to pray for anybody in the Dutch Churches. I could not believe him then, nor do I yet; but it was a blundering, lying excuse, like the man that made it. He was one day endeavouring to suborn Henry, a Christian preaching Indian, to swear against two or three of the magistrates at Albany that are not in his favour. The Indian told 'em, and cried out with horror and amazement, Good God, what does Mr. Dellius mean by teaching us to lie and yet pretend to save our souls? This happened last summer. Dellius has now carried over with him a certificate under the hands of four Justices of the Peace at Albany of a confession made by Henry and some other Christian Indians; but the other magistrates hearing of it, about a dousin of them examined them. Enclosed. My L.G. cited Dellius and those Indians to appear before himself and the Council at N. York, but he absconded to the Jarzies and embarked for England. His hopes are to stir up the Classis of Divines at Amsterdam and those that reside in London to take his part. Then he thinks he has a fine friend of the Bishop of London, by the means of Col. Fletcher, and I hear Mr. Vesey, the English Minister at N. York, has writ large encomiums of him to the Bishop. My L.G. writes to me that Vesey has left me out of his prayers as Governor and prays for Dellius by name, both in the Common Prayer and afterwards in the pulpit. This is such an insolence as I must desire your Lordships will join with me to have this man deprived; for it cannot be thought I will ever go to Church while that fellow continues minister there. What is personal to myself I can forgive, but for him to pray publicly for Dellius and his return to his flock, when he stands deprived by the Act of Assembly, is such an arraignment of the Justice of the Province, that there's an end of Government if such an insolence be suffered to pass unpunished. To show how strangely disingenuous this man's carriage has been to me, he sent me word by Mr. Graham, that the angry party led him such a life for preaching peace, charity and reconciliation, though he himself meddled not with parties, that he should be forced to quit the town. Vesey confessed to my L.G. that he had obligations to Col. Fletcher, yet he could not but own he was an ill man, and gave the following reason. After I had superseded Col. Fletcher, he went and read prayers at his house, praying for him as a private person, and leaving out the titles of Governor. Upon which Fletcher, with great passion, bade him begone out of his house and never come near him more, for he would have no more to say to him or his prayers. Vesey's father lives near this town, and is a most violent Jacobite. The indictment, for he was tried and sentenced to stand in the pillory for uttering desperate words against His Majesty, is worth your Lordships' reading. I desire your Lordships will prevail with my Lord of London to send over a good moderate Divine of the Church of England to supply the cure of N. York in the room of Mr. Vesey, for I take the honour of the Government to be concerned in the displacing of that man. If he be not turned out, and Dellius kept out, so as that the Act of Assembly be maintained at home, there will be no business for me at N. York, nor indeed for any honest Governor; for the people there being so headstrong and tumultuous already, how much more will they be so, if their party receive countenance from the Government in England?
If your Lordships mean I shall go on to break the rest of the extravagant grants of land by Col. Fletcher or other Governors, by Act of Assembly, I shall stand in need of a peremptory order from the King so to do, which will animate the House of Representatives, that sometimes have not courage to go through with a business of that kind, unless they see they shall be supported by the Government of England. The Lords Justices' letter of Nov. 10 last is with me, a sufficient authority to proceed, but I know that orders renewed from Court are more forcible with the people I have to deal with. If I may not proceed, I shall become a humble petitioner that the Act for breaking Dellius' two grants etc. may be rejected, for I should reckon it a great injustice to break some grants and spare others no less extravagant. Col. Peter Schuyler, Mr. Ranslear, Mr. Livingston, Col. Beeckman, Frederick Phillips and his son Adolphus, Col. Courtlandt and Col. Smith have vast tracts not less than 20 miles square. Col. Courtlandt has two of those great grants; Col. Smith's runs fifty miles in length on Nassau Island, and there is an infinite number of goodly pines for pitch, tar and rozin as M. Bernon assures me. He has got besides the beach for 40 miles together, having arbitrarily and by strong hand, being supported by Col. Fletcher and being Chief Justice of the Province, a place of great awe as well as authority, forced the inhabitants of Southampton to take a poor £10 for the greatest part of the said beach, which is not a valuable consideration in law, for Col. Smith himself owned to me that that beach was very profitable to him for whale fishing and that one year he cleared £500 by whales taken there. I confess I cannot have a good opinion of Col. Smith: he knows what pressing orders I have to suppress piracy, and if he were honest and did his duty, there would not a pirate dare to show his head in the East End of Nassau Island. He is so seated towards that end of the island that he could disturb and seize them as he pleased, and yet that end is at present their rendezvous and sanctuary. Col. Smith is under a double obligation, being both Chief Justice and Judge of the Admiralty Court.
By one of the Acts now sent there is a present of £1,500, N. York money, made to me and £500 to my L.G. The house of Representatives would have presented me with £2,000, but I refused so great a sum, because none of the Governors before me had above £1,500. I hope your Lordships will procure the King's leave and that as soon as conveniently may be. The House sent up a Bill for settling a dissenting Ministry in that Province, but it being contrary to H.M. instructions, and besides having been credibly informed that some of those ministers do hold strange erroneous opinions in matters of faith and doctrines, I rejected it. I must entreat you to recommend Mr. George Tollet to His Majesty to be Secretary of the Province in the room of Mr. Clarkson, the present Secretary, who is so very weak a man and uncapable of business, that he never was thought fit to be of H.M. Council. I have forbore all this time in pure charity, but I am so tired out with business and he so perfectly useless to me, that I must again request you to let me have the assistance of a man of sense and business. Everybody knows that a Secretary of a Province ought to sit in Council, and that he ought to be very honest as well as able, and being so qualified he is, as it were, the Governor's right hand. I believe Mr. Tollet is known to most of your Lordships. He was Secretary to the Commissioners of accounts and they valued him as a jewel, he is an excellent Mathematician and no man in England a readier accountant; he is a very honest man, very judicious and of great application in business. I am not certain he will come over, but if he will, I know no man more capable of serving the King. He would canvass the accounts of the Province from time to time, and now that there will be lands to be distributed, he would survey 'em nicely well. If Mr. Tollet will accept the Secretary's place, I hope you will give him all reasonable encouragement, I mean £200 or £300 to be procured for him from the Treasury to pay for his Commission and bear his charges to N. York. All the while I was at N. York, I was perpetually in business from five in the morning to ten at night (except dining time) and that which gave me the greatest trouble was the answering letters from the English and French Governors, which I was by every post or by ships obliged to do, and that with my own hand, for I had nobody to help me. There are three Lieutenancies now vacant in the four companies at N. York. I do not, as others have done, prefer my valet de chambre and servants to these posts, but I am sending to England to get an able master-gunner or two for the forts at York and Albany and a good surveyor put into those posts.
I am next Thursday to go to N. Hampshire, to take that government upon me, where I propose staying about three weeks, and will, if my health will allow it, visit the very utmost bounds of the King's territory to the east, adjoining upon Accadie, which the French have unfortunately got from the Crown, thanks to good King Charles I. 'Tis called St. George's River, and lies about 25 leagues eastward of Piscataqua. At my return hither I shall make but a week's stay and then go to Rhode Island, to enquire into misdemeanours alleged to have been committed by the Government there. Signed, Bellomont. Since my leaving York, Mr. Clarkson, the present Secretary, struck Mr. Parmiter, the Naval Officer, a blow in the face just by my L.G.'s chamber door within H.M. house and fort, which is no less an insolence than if he had struck him within Whitehall. Holograph. Endorsed, Recd. Sept. 20. Read Jan. 5, 1699/1700. 7¼ pp. Annexed,
675. I. Abstract of above. 2 pp.
675. II. Duplicate of preceding letter. 8¼ pp. (with abstract). Rotten with salt water. Enclosed,
675. III. Copy of Lord Bellomont's letter to the Treasury, Oct. 27, 1698. Mr. Clements, who was to have come with me as my Secretary, disappointed me at the last moment, and now I am forced to make one general letter. Mr. Weaver will lay before you my letter of Oct. 21. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Sept. 20, 1699.
675. IV. Copy of Lord Bellomont's letter to the Treasury, Nov. 14, 1698. I am forced to make one set of letters serve for your Lordships and the rest of the Ministers. Refers to his letters Nov. 7th and 8th, 1698. 1 p. Endorsed as preceding.
675. V. Examination of Hendrick and other Christian Maquaes Indians as to his conversation with Mr. Dellius on his leaving Albany. 5½ pp. Same endorsement.
675. VI. Duplicate of preceding. 4½ pp. torn.
675. VII. Copy of the indictment of William Vesey, Minister of New York, Boston, Ap. 27, 1697, for saying that King James was his Royal Prince and he did not know how this King came to the Crown. Fined £10 and sentenced to stand in the pillory in the market place in Boston for one hour. 2 pp. Same endorsement.
675. VIII. Memorandum of Minutes of Council of New York, Oct 4—Dec. 14, '98. ½ page.
675. IX. Memorandum of Minutes of Council of New York, Jan. 5—March 31, 1699. ½ page.
675. X. Memorandum of Acts of Assembly of New York, March 2—May 16, 1699. ½ p. [Board of Trade. New York, 8A. Nos. 38, 38 I.–X.; and 53. pp. 441–464 (with enclosures III. and IV.); and(abstract of letter with some marginal comments), 45. pp. 55–59.]
July 22. 676. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Nevis. The Assembly asked for a writ for a new election for the North West division, which was granted. The Assembly refused to decide to continue the billeting of the soldiers till they were a full house.
July 24. On being invited to continue the soldiers in their quarters, the Assembly replied that they would not consent to do so, until the Acts they had begun were finished and those made March 25, 1699, were renewed, published, transcribed and sent to England, and the public accounts settled by a Committee.
It was agreed to ship 12 hhds. of sugar to pay Mr. Cary, the Agent for the Island. A Joint Committee was appointed to draw up the Act for billeting soldiers and what Acts may be necessary, and to adjust the public accounts. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 501–504.]
July 24.
Charles Town.
677. Governor Blake to Mr. Secretary Vernon. I issued a proclamation in obedience to H.M. commands conveyed in your letter that none should assist the Scotch. In obedience to H.M. commands, I have offered Capt. Harris all his effects which came into my hands, and that if the Marshall of the Admiralty did embezzle any of his goods, if he bring an action, I will see that justice is done. By a vessel that came to anchor off this bar yesterday I have advice that the Scotch settlement is broken up, and that he spoke with one of their ships homeward bound that gave him this account. They are almost all dead by sickness and want of provisions, having had no supplies since their first settlement. Signed, Joseph Blake. [America and West Indies. South Carolina, 620. No. 2.] .
July 25 678. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts Bay. Provisions for the Castle, for Fort Mary at Saco and the Province galley ordered. Household plate returned to Kidd's wife, and wearing apparel to him and his company. Samuel Wood, Master of the sloop that imported Kidd and Company, discharged. Charles Seymour and John Power, detained to witness against Bradish, discharged. Ordered that the Attorney General enquire into the escape of Bradish and Witherly, and prosecute Caleb Ray, who is removed from the precincts of the gaol. Government of Harvard College continued in the gentlemen of the late Corporation till further orders. Several Justices and Commissioners took the oath. H.E. announced his going to New Hampshire on July 27. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 228–230.]
July 25.
679. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letter from Mr. Thornburgh with a sample of Carolina rice laid before the Board.
Laws of Bermuda ordered to be sent to the Attorney General for his opinion.
Letter from Mr. Addington, Boston, May 5, read and papers enclosed laid before the Board. Acts of Massachusets Bay therein mentioned ordered to be sent to the Solicitor General.
Mr. Sansom's letter about Vanbelle's petition read. Representation ordered.