America and West Indies: August 1699, 21-25

Pages 395-412

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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August 1699

Aug. 21. 726. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor the Earl of Bellomont. We have received your letters of Dec. 12 and May 29. and have written to you Feb. 2 and June 26, sending duplicates. We are a little surprised that we have no account from you of the receipt of any of our letters but that of Feb. 2. In order to show you what use we have made of all the information you have given us in our letters we send you copies of our Representations and Orders in Council resulting on those subjects (enumerated, Oct. 19, 25, 27, 1698; Nov. 3, 1698; Feb. 4. 1699; May 2, March 9, March 16, Dec. 21, 1698; Jan. 5, 1669; Aug. 11). We made no order at all upon the merchants' memorial, March 10. We have made several memorials upon the French claims and encroachments for the use of the Commissioners appointed to treat with the French Commissioners who were here this last winter. Till all those matters be finally determined we desire your Lordship to have still your eyes upon the practices of the French and to give us information. As to Perth-Amboy, the Proprietors of East New Jersey, thinking they might have some advantage by complaining of your seizure of the Hester petitioned his Majesty upon that subject (March 9). Whilst we had the matter under consideration the Proprietors laid before us other memorials in which they offered some conditions in order to compromise the dispute, but such as we did noways think it for His Majesty's service to accept of. Therefore in our representation of April 18 we made use of their proposal of a trial about the Port of Perth-Amboy by bringing their right of Government into the same question—a matter in which they are very tender as being sensible of the weakness of their title, and we therefore thought it best to join both together. Hereupon, after long delays and after having in vain endeavoured in the name of the Proprietors of West New Jersey (who are for the most part the same persons) to draw us into a snare, by desiring our opinions for the approbation of Mr. Hamilton to be Governor of West New Jersey, that so our allowance of the one might have been an argument for the other, because their title to both is one and the same; they have in the end laid before us certain proposals for the surrender of East New Jersey, but we have not yet thoroughly considered them. However, there appearing to us several obvious exceptions against what they propose, and great difficulties in settling the matter to their satisfaction and without prejudice to His Majesty's right and to the interest of the Province of New York, we are apt to think that business may hang yet some time longer in suspense. We send a copy of their proposals and desire your observations thereupon, how far any of them will be advantageous or disadvantageous to the Province of New York. In the meantime we can offer no other rule for your conduct towards those provinces than what His Majesty has already given you.
With reference to your question about sending home pirates (July 1, 1698), especially when you have not evidence sufficient to convict them, we expect shortly some Order of the Lords Justices in Council upon our representation of Aug. 10. In your letter of July 7, 1698 you desire to know whether the Act against privateers and pirates now in force at New York be esteemed sufficient, or that you should endeavour to get another more conformable to the Jamaica Act. We should have been glad that you had informed us how the Act now in force has been observed, and with what effect, as we desired by the queries enclosed in our letter Aug. 26, 1697. We do not find the difference between the Acts to be very great. If you find any defects and can procure another to strengthen that now in force you will do well. Mr. Livingston's case mentioned in your letter, June 28, 1698, has not lately been sollicited here, and therefore we let it rest, supposing it may have been finished at New York.
The reduction of the forces at New York takes away the reason offered in your letter of Sept. 21, 1698, from the consideration of the charge you might be at in sending for recruits from hence, for representing that you and the other captains may be paid for full companies, because it is supposed that by the reduction of each company to half the former number, there will be men now there. And as for the deduction of the 30 per cent. we can add nothing to what we writ you Nov. 12, 1697, but that, having several times since deliberated upon it as a hardship that we wish might be remedied, we have not found any possibility of obtaining our desire. As to the recalling of the two men-of-war from New York, you will already have seen the effect of our representation.
We observe that you write about the factious disposition of the French and the sollicitation made by 33 of them at one time to be endenized, in which we cannot but think your cautions rightly grounded, but can give you no rule, as no resolution has been taken upon our Representation relating to Arnold Nodin. We have sent a copy of your letter, Nov. 7, 1698, about the revenue of New York to the Treasury. We do not find in Col. Fletcher's commission any power given him to grant an extravagant charter like that to the town of West Chester (Nov. 12, 1698). If the charter contains a power of life and death by interpretation of any expression in it, that power is absolutely contrary to the article in his instructions, which is the same in yours, forbidding him to erect any Court or office of judicature not before erected or established without His Majesty's special order. Therefore we desire you to inform us what inconveniences arise from the Charter. As for the disorders in New Hampshire (Dec. 14, 1698) we are very sensible that they have been great and that there have been faults on both sides, long before Mr. Allen's arrival there, which may perhaps have given occasion to those that he has committed since; wherefore, before we can either represent anything further or give you further advice, we must expect your report on what we writ you Aug. 26, 1697.
As to the want of an able Judge and some other learned lawyers (Dec. 15, May 29) we have taken the method you proposed. As the evident obstacle against sending over such persons does lie in the want of sufficient encouragements for them, the surest way to obtain what you desire will be by proposing what encouragement may be depended upon by them.
We are very glad to understand the success you have had in vacating some of the extravagant grants of land made by Col. Fletcher and hope you will have the like success in your endeavours to vacate the rest of them. What you hint also (May 29) about Naval Stores from New York is very acceptable to us, and we long for the arrival of that letter which you say treats wholly upon that subject. In your circular letter to the Justices of the Peace, we think you would do better, instead of the first words, "His Majesty's Council and myself have thought it better," to use the stile that "You with the advice of H.M. Council." We send copies of a representation (July 13) and order about stores for New York, but know not what has been done thereupon.
We shall be glad to hear, now that you are in New England, whether you can there procure, or propound unto us any proper methods whereby we may procure some part of the stock of the Corporation for evangelising Indians, to be employed towards the instruction of the Five Nations (Jan. 5th and July 1st, 1698). Meanwhile let us know how that stock is employed. We desire a list of the present Council of New York, and of names of persons to fill up vacancies and their characters. Signed, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, Jno. Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. New York, 53. pp. 322–337; and 44 A., No. 31. (18 pp.) Rough draft.]
Aug. 21.
727. Governor Grey to Council of Trade and Plantations. I received your packet of June 26 on the 10th instant. At the next meeting of the Council and Assembly I shall communicate your Lordships' letter to them, and will by the first ships that depart hence give you a particular account how all the patent places are held and managed here. I have found great inconveniences arise from the Patentees not officiating in their persons. Since the arrival of H.M.S. Speedwell, Capt. Barker, commander, she has been constantly employed in cruising (these parts being very much infested with pirates), and I am well satisfied his Majesty's interest has suffered more since my accession to the Government for want of another ship of force than would have built a good fifth-rate; and I must offer this to your Lordships in favour of the Captain, that were the ship as fit for his Majesty's service, I should never desire to change. But I will not further insist, but will submit to such directions as I receive.
The enclosed paper relating to the ship Adventure clandestinely carried away from the island Nayas in East India, with a list of the names and description of the persons who went off with her, I shall strictly enquire into, and, if any such vessel or persons come within my province, I shall proceed as your Lordships have directed me. As requested I shall at the first opportunity send a list with the names of such persons whom I think best qualified for his Majesty's service to act as Councillors here. Mr. Bond, the first member of the Council, died the beginning of this month, so now there remains but eleven upon the place. The ship being just upon her departure I have not time to answer all the particulars contained in your letters. As to the petition of Mr. John Tucker and others, I shall give all convenient dispatch. I will acquaint the Assembly at their next sitting that the Act to declare and ascertain the rights and powers of the General Assembly is by his Majesty's command repealed and declared void. I return your Lordships thanks for your favourable report to his Majesty on account of the present made me by the country and likewise the settling of £500 a year for a habitation, which I hope your Lordships will not impute to any desire of my own, but what they frankly of themselves gave, by reason that at my arrival there was no habitation either built or hired, fit for a Governor to live in, and the only reason for not observing that part of my instructions, which relate to the building of a convenient house for a Governor and other public matters, was that I found the island very much in debt, not anyways occasioned by ill husbandry, but by the great and apparent losses they sustained during the war, and the vast expenses they were at for the defence of the Island, and supplying the same by taking off all the servants that were brought hither in merchant ships after the rate of £18 sterling a head, which the inhabitants were obliged to receive to make good the great mortality here, without which they could not have subsisted.
The forts, which are many, are now very much out of repair, which is the first thing to be considered, and, notwithstanding the present poverty of this island, I find the inhabitants very willing to have them put in such order as shall be thought most for His Majesty's service. If the peace continue and we have good crops, I hope in a year or two we shall find ways and means to get out of debt, and then with submission to your Lordships' better judgments, I believe it will be the most proper time to propose that a house be built for the Governor, but if your Lordships will have me offer it sooner, I shall most readily comply.
The representation your Lordships have been pleased to send relating to Tobago must ever be acknowledged as a great favour done this island, for in my opinion the settling of that place will be instrumental to the ruin of this. Signed, R. Grey. Endorsed, Recd. Oct. 31, Read Nov. 3, 1699. Four large pp. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 8. No. 22; and 44 A. pp. 351–354.]
Aug. 21. 728. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letter to Lord Bellomont signed by those present and ordered to be sent to Sir Philip Meadows at Epsom to sign.
Secretary ordered to write to Col. Quary that representations have been made upon his letters.
Letter from Mr. Randolph, Aug. 2 last, read.
Certificate from Mr. Richard Cary relating to runaway negroes in the Leeward Islands and other papers thereon considered.
Aug. 22. Letter to Col. Quary approved.
Memorial of Robert and Catherine Richardson read. Letter to Governor Grey on the subject ordered.
Letter from Governor Blakiston, Maryland, May 20, read. Answer considered.
Mr. Yard and Mr. Haman, one of the Lord Chancellor's gentlemen, asking the opinion of the Board about the draft of a Patent for the Secretary's place at Barbados, were informed that the words in Sir Thomas Laurence's old patent and Mr. Laurence's present patent, Sept. 20, 1698, were very proper.
Aug. 23. Directions for an answer to Col. Blakiston's letter given. Opinion of the Solicitor and Attorney General again demanded about the English ship at Venice from the West Indies.
Letter from Lord Jersey, saying that the papers relating to Sta. Lucia were not to be found in his office, read.
Copy of Mr. Baber's Patent for the places of Secretary and Commissary of the stores in Jamaica read. [Board of Trade. Journal, 12. pp. 149–154; and 96. Nos. 131–133.]
Aug. 22.
729. William Popple to Robert Quary. The Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations have received many letters from you. They have not been hasty in answering because it was necessary to take His Majesty's or the Lords Justices' directions. This obliged them to hear Mr. Penn several times in order to their report. They have laid a representation before their Excellencies and did expect to have received their orders thereupon before Mr. Penn's departure and then to have writ you themselves. But there has not been a Council for some weeks and Mr. Penn is gone before any orders are given. I am to give you this account that you may not wonder at your not receiving letters from the Board, who as soon as their Excellencies' resolution is signified to them, will not fail to signify unto you what is necessary. [Sent forward by the Canterbury Merchant.] [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 26. pp. 80, 81.]
Aug. 22.
730. Order of Lords Justices in Council, approving the representation of the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations with a draught of instructions for Governor Codrington. Signed, Edward Southwell. Endorsed, Recd. Aug. 26, Read Sept. 5, 1699. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6. No. 37; and 45. pp. 402, 403.]
Aug. 22.
731. Earl of Jersey to Council of Trade and Plantations.
In answer to your letter of the 16th of this month, search has been made in my office for the papers you mention relating to the Island of Sta. Lucia, but none of them can be found there, which makes me conclude these matters were all transacted and entered in the books of the Committee of the Council, which had then under their care the management of the affairs of the Plantations. Signed, Jersey. Endorsed, Recd. Read Aug. 23. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 8. No. 14; and 44 A. p. 321.]
Aug. 22.
732. Order of the Lords Justices in Council, referring the petition of Richard Bate to the Commissioners of Trade and Plantations to examine and report thereon. Signed, Edward Southwell. Endorsed, Recd. Read Aug. 31, 1699. Enclosed,
732. I. Petition of Richard Bate. Dr. De la Rouze purchased a plantation and negroes in Barbados, and obtained a grant of confirmation for the same from Lord Willoughby of Parham in 1666. In 1667 he left all his estate to the petitioner's father. The petitioner for payment of his father's debts and raising of younger children's portions has lately contracted for sale of the said estate to one Mr. Gascoigne, and had proceeded to a sale thereof, had not one Williams and one Bowles induced the Attorney General there to sue the petitioner there for the estate on pretence that the said Dr. de la Rouze, being an alien, the same is escheated to the King. The petitioner prays that a noli prosequi may be entered to the said suit. Copy. Signed, Edward Southwell. 2 pp. Enclosed,
732. II. Affidavit of William Hart, of the Inner Temple, Esq., lately Secretary to Mr. Grey in Barbados, to the effect that Richard Bate and his father had been peaceably possessed of the Plantation Delarouze for 30 odd years. Mr. Richard Bowles, the escheator, has been very troublesome to several gentlemen in the island. Copy. 2 pp. Signed, Edward Southwell. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 8. Nos. 15, 15 I., 15 II.; and (without enclosures), 44A. pp. 322, 323.]
Aug. 22.
733. Order of Lords Justices in Council, approving the estimate of the Ordnance office for Stores for New York, £472 to be paid out of the Revenue of New York. The flock beds cost £2 each and the sheets 10s. a pair. Signed, Edward Southwell. Endorsed, Recd. Aug. 26, Read Sept. 5, 1699. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New York, 8 A., No. 39; and 53. pp. 340, 341.]
Aug. 22.
734. Order of Lords Justices in Council, referring the appeal of Isaac Richier to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Signed, Edward Southwell. Endorsed, Recd. Oct. 23. Read, Oct. 25, 1699. ½ p. Enclosed,
734. I. Petition of Isaac Richier, relating to his appeal from two actions in Bermudas, praying that Nicholas Trott may give security to pay costs etc. and that a day may be appointed for hearing the cause. Copy. 1½ pp.
735. Duplicates of above. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 3. Nos. 45, 45 I., 46; and 29. pp. 228–230.]
Aug. 22. 736. Minutes of Council of Montserrat. A negro belonging to the Hon. Col. Thomas Delavall (Lt. Governor), convicted of burning a house belonging to his master, condemned to death. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. p. 545.]
Aug. 23. 737. Copy of John Baber's Patent for the places of Secretary and Commissary of the Stores of Jamaica. Endorsed, Recd. Aug. 17, Read Aug. 23, 1699. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 129.]
Aug. 23. 738. Minutes of Council of New York. £588 19s. 0½ d. paid to Col. Abraham Depeyster on account of his payments for the Fortune. Mr. Secretary Vernon's letters, Nov. 23 and 26, 1698, about seizing Kidd's goods etc. read. Sherif of Queen's County ordered to seize Gillam. Leave was granted to William Paterson to bring his baggage on shore. Petition of Granada, a Spaniard, read. Capt. R. Drummond ordered to appear. Petition of Tho. Worden, read. Thomas Parmyter ordered to appear.
Richard Veizy ordered to be discharged from the Scotch ship. The difference in an account between Allete Doornes and George Sydenham referred to a Committee. Order of Council, Dec. 26, 1695, repealing the Habeas Corpus Act at Massachusetts Bay (1692), communicated to the Board.
Aug. 25. Cornelius Quick committed for landing goods on the Island Nassau from Kidd's sloop.
Aug. 26. Proclamation ordered for seizing Edward Buckmaster, a pirate that broke prison last night. John Tuthill (see July 31) was examined. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 273–276.]
Aug. 24.
739. Governor Sir William Beeston to Council of Trade and Plantations. My last I writ June 24th which I hope is long since laid before you. The Scotch are quite removed from Callidonia, most of them dead and the rest in so lamentable a condition that deserves great compassion, one of the ships being now here and in great want. I have now received commands from His Majesty to disband the Company of Foot was here and they are disbanded accordingly and set themselves to employments in the country on which they live very well. The country has this year held hitherto very healthy, only the seamen on Rear-Admiral Benbow's ship die very fast, to supply which he impresses not only from the merchant ships but also our people of the country and exercises his authority as if there were no other here, which I believe Mr. Heathcote and the merchants will lay before you, because it again undoes the settlement of our island, causes our people to run away from us and will keep others from coming to us with necessaries and spoils the trade. I hear Mr. Lloyd has troubled you again with his envious complaints against me. I know not what they are and therefore cannot now answer to them, but doubt not but, being the effects of his ambition and great ingratitude to me, who raised him to all he is, they may easily be contradicted, and I doubt not in your Lordships' justice, that you should credit one single envious man, who has not one that I hear of to second his complaint, before the unanimous representation of the whole country. Signed, Wm. Beeston. Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 22. Read Dec. 5, 1699. [Board of Trade, Jamaica, 8. No. 130; and 56. pp. 406–408.]
Aug. 24.
740. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to the Council of Trade and Plantations. My removal from N. York is not to exempt me from giving you accounts of that Province, my L.G. relying upon me for that performance. I formerly writ your Lordships that I with the Council had reversed a judgment given by Col. Fletcher and the Council against Widow Wandall in favour of one Alsop, it appearing to us that she was wrongfully ejected out of the estate left her by her husband Thomas Wandall. I send you the papers on the case, for I hear Alsop intends to appeal. While I staid at York, neither Alsop nor his Counsel sued for an appeal to England. I know not by what infatuation the Lt. Governor and Council have now refused it to them, which indeed was a very wrong step, but I hope you will excuse my L.G., who was as I understand misled by H.M. Council. One would think Mr. Graham, who now sits at the board as a member of H.M. Council and is besides H.M. only sworn Counsel at law in that province, should have known better than to advise the refusing it upon this foolish notion, that the judgment of Col. Fletcher being reversed by me and the Council during the session of Assembly, we were then a Court of Judicature and our jurisdiction superior to that of the Governor and Council at other times. The refusal of an appeal to H.M. in Council in any case where the value appealed for is £300 or upwards, as the King's Letters Patents direct, seems to me the thing in the world most derogatory to the prerogative of the Crown in this Province, and may prove of ill consequence should it be practised, but so long as I am entrusted with these provinces by the grace of God there shall be as little done to hurt the dependence they have and ought to have on the Crown as possible. I have writ to rebuke my L.G. for that slip and to give Alsop immediate notice he shall have liberty to bring his appeal. To let you see how unruly and lawless people are and what necessity there is that the public Justice be settled on a better foot, about a month ago, after Widow Wandall was restored to the possession of her husband's estate by a writ of possession, Alsop brings above thirty men in the night upon her ground and cut and carried away eight acres of corn.
Piracy does and will prevail in the province of N. York, unless three things be done out of hand:—good Judges and an honest, able Attorney General from England; a man-of-war commanded by an honest, stout captain, and pay and recruits for the four companies. Capt. Giles Shelley has so flushed 'em at N. York with Arabian gold and E. India goods, that they set the Government at defiance. My L.G. is under great discouragement; he would punish Shelley if he could, but he has not a man to advise with; those that are honest are not capable, and those that are capable, and whose duty it is, are false and corrupt. When any seizures are made and that they are brought to trial, the King is sure to be cast, the informations being always lame, as Mr. Hungerford, the collector, and Mr. Parmiter, the naval officer, have often complained to me. Everything is wrong for want of honesty (chiefly) in the officers of justice, and your orders to suppress unlawful trade can never be complied with, if you will not afford me the means. Had there been a man-of-war at York, Shelley and his pirates in all probability had been taken, and £50,000 in money belonging to them; and for want of a man-of-war I could not attempt anything against a great ship that hovered off this coast five or six days together, about the time I secured Capt. Kidd, supposed to be one Maze, a pirate, who is said to have brought £300,000 from the Red Sea, and who, 'tis believed here, would have come into this place could he have hoped to make his terms, but hearing how it fared with Kidd, he bore away, and 'tis said he is gone to Providence. I have had a letter from Col. Markham, Governor of Pennsylvania, wherein he writes that he has two of Kidd's men in goal. I have writ to him to keep 'me in gaol till he receives orders from the King how to dispose of them. I hear he has seized a good deal of money with them, but he says not a word of that. Mr. Basse, the Governor of the Jerzeys, has also got some pirates with a good store of money at Burlington in W. Jerzey. I hear they were of Kidd's men too. The Governor of Maryland, I hear, has also seized pirates and their money. All these were brought from Madagascar by Shelley and were a good many of 'em Kidd's men, that forsook him and went on board the Mocha frigate. If it be intended those men and their money shall be secured in the same manner Kidd and his men that came hither were, and their effects, then it will be proper that orders be sent accordingly. Otherwise the forenamed Governors will keep the money and the pirates will escape. I send papers concerning these pirates. Upon the first news of Shelley's arrival at York, I advised with one Mr. Newton, a lawyer, and reputed the best that's in this country. He was positive that by 28 Hen. VIII. Shelley and his men might be committed to prison without bail or mainprise and so I ordered my L.G. to commit 'em, who called a Council, and Mr. Graham, after being equally positive in the morning, changed his opinion and influenced the Council, so that Shelley is upon bail only and his ship's crew untouched. My L.G. makes a scurvy reflection of what he supposes might have been a prevailing argument with Mr. Graham, to have been Mr. Graham in the afternoon against Mr. Graham in the morning.
We have had news here by three several posts from Philadelphia and N. York of a fight between the Essex prize, a frigate of 16 guns and 70 men and a pirate ship of 26 guns and about 150 men supposed to be Hynde of N. York. The fight lasted four hours and the frigate having lost 40 men was forced to bear away. We have had two or three ships belonging to this place robbed off Newfoundland by a pirate ship of good force and that within these 5 or 6 weeks. They told these ships that they designed for the Red Sea. If I had a 4th-rate ship here and a 5th-rate at N. York I would undertake to secure all the coast from Pescataqua to the southernmost point of Carolina from pirates, especially if the Captains were honest fighting fellows, for I would keep them constantly cruizing all the season of the year that ships can live on this coast. A 4th-rate would terrify the pirates exceedingly; many of their ships are a match for a 5th-rate.
I desire to be directed by your Lordships may I not lawfully require bonds of all the ships that go from hence and N. York on trading voyages, that they shall not go to Madagascar nor elsewhere where pirates frequent? I know 'tis a thing sometimes practised to take the Governor's pass for one port and sail to another, and that trick was served me last summer at N. York by Baldridge and Taylor, who fitted out a brigantine and took my pass for Antegoa, but I was told their design was for Madagascar or Guinea. When the briganteen was at sea, whether with or without the privity of the owners I cannot tell, she turned pirate and went to Newfoundland and robbed ships. Kidd told me when I examined him in Council that Baldridge was the occasion of the insurrection of natives in St. Mary's near Madagascar and the death of the pirates there. For having inveigled a great number of the natives on board ship he carried and sold them for slaves to a French Island called Mascarine, or Mascaron: which treachery the natives on the island revenged on those pirates by cutting their throats.
I did intend to winter at N. York, for I have little to do here at Boston; and I have done all the service I was able at N. Hampshire, but I am so discouraged from going thither to be affronted and have the King's authority trampled upon, that after my return from Rhode Island, whither I am going ten days hence, I intend to return and stay here till I receive your Lordship's orders, as to the Naval Stores, etc. I have writ to my L.G. to prorogue the Assembly to the 10th of next April.
The Naval Officer at N. York writes to me that the Revenue Acts drawn and passed this last session are so very lame and insufficient that the merchants take advantage and import goods that are contraband, and by that means and the corruption of the officers, the Revenue dwindles very much.
The methods I promised (Ap. 17) to propose for encouraging the soldiers not to desert, as they now do every day, and to work, which they are very unapt to do, is that the lands granted to Mr. Dellius, etc., should be distributed among the officers and soldiers, each private centinel after 7 years service to have 40 acres of land to him and his heirs and liberty to quit the service; reserving to the Crown a quit-rent of half-a-crown for every 100 acres, as the Lords Justices directed Nov. 10, 1698; to every corporal and drummer 50 acres; to every serjeant 60; to every lieutenant 200; and to every captain 400. These lands to be unalienable by the soldiers to all persons except the King; for should they have the liberty to sell, they are generally so very idle and drunken that they would part with their land for a gallon of rum. By this means the country will by degrees be peopled and the frontier towards Canada strengthened. Had this method been practiced 20 years ago, there had been this day 1,000 families on the land granted to Dellius, which would have been a force sufficient to make a stand against all the French of Canada and their Indians, had they a fort at the extreme end of the land granted to Delius. If the rest of the extravagant grants of land are to be broke, I believe it must be done by Act of Parliament in England, for I am a little jealous I shall not have strength enough in the Assembly of N. York. The members are landed men and when their own interest comes to be touched, 'tis more than probable they will flinch. I would have all such as have lands already to pay a quit-rent of half-a-crown English out of every 100 acres, unless they be under covenants already to pay the Crown a greater quit-rent, as I understand some few are obliged to pay 4s. per 100 acres or a bushel of wheat and that by one of the first Governors. I would have a clause in the Act that no man should be allowed to hold above 1,000 acres, which will mightily reduce our Palatines, Smith, Livingston, and Phillips's, father and son, and six or seven more. Every acre costs £4 10s. to clear from woods, or £4,500 per 1,000 acres, which is more than most of those grantees are either able or willing to expend. So that 'tis plain those vast grants have proceeded as well from a sordid covetousness of the grantees, as from the treachery and corruption of some certain Governors. In my humble opinion there is an equity for the Crown that such rules should be established, for in the late Duke of York's time he gave a positive instruction that half-a-crown should be charged on every 100 acres at the least, and I think there was a law among those that were called the Duke's laws directing it should be so. For another reason it were best these regulations were settled by Act of Parliament in England, because the parties concerned would more willingly submit to the authority of it. Without this is done 'twould be in vain to go about to provide Naval Stores in the province, for the King has not the power to cut on those lands a tree for any use whatever. If Parliament will encourage the provision of Naval Stores—the most valuable and useful thing in the world for England—there will be a necessity of giving the King the sole right of all the woods, reserving to the inhabitants the liberty only of houseboot, fireboot, hedgeboot and ploughboot. And a barbarous custom must be forbid under a severe penalty; in the dry times the people burn the woods to clear the land, and often where a man has a design to clear but 10 acres the fire shall continue 20 times as much. The present proprietors must not be allowed to choose where their 1,000 acres shall be set out to them, for that would spoil this whole design; as for example Fred. Phillips and his son and most of those grantees have their lands lying on Hudson's River; the river it is that makes the land valuable; they would take the lands that lie to the river, and that which lies backward from the river will be worth no man's acceptance, and will be waste as long as the world stands. I should humbly propose that Commissioners from England be appointed for setting out those and all other lands in that province, or that the Governor, L.G., Collector, Secretary and Surveyor General for the time being (the Surveyor General always to be one) or any three of them be entrusted to do it. Some part of the land up Hudson's River being mountainous and of little value, it were proper to do as was done by the Irish Act of Settlement, whereby all the lands were divided into profitable and unprofitable, the latter being free from quit-rent.
I forgot to acquaint you that the King had but one piece of ground in the City of N. York, where there was a battery of cannon and a strong blockhouse which defended both the town and river on the east side, and that ground Col. Fletcher granted away to the late knavish sheriff of N. York, Ebenezer Wilson, and that in the very heat of the war. Wilson sold it for £550 to persons that have since built on it, and 'tis said that Fletcher had the greatest part of the money. The £550 ought to be brought as a charge against Fletcher in his account to the King, and in justice Wilson ought not to escape altogether. The battery and blockhouse were a better security to the town than the Fort is, for the cannon lay level with the water and pointed horizontally, whereas all the guns in the Fort lie about 40 foot above high water mark and so are capable of little execution. I have employed two men, one whereof is an able shipwright, to survey all the woods on Dellius' late grant and in the likely parts of that province. I send the minute of Council relating to the seizing of some few bales of E. India goods conveyed into Nassau Island and Connecticut Island from on board Kidd's sloop; also the convening four Justices of the Peace from Albany, friends of Dellius, who had privately at his house suborned two or three of the Maques Indians that are Christians to make a lying declaration in his favour; also the thanks of the Mohack or Maques Indians for our vacating Mr. Dellius' grant of their land.
Mr. Livingston acquaints me that some Frenchmen from Canada and some of our own people bring great quantities of French silks and other goods to Albany from Canada which they convey to N. York. I can no more prevent that trade than I could their sending several horses and mares from Albany last winter to Canada. Till justice be well settled, people will be lawless. I send all the papers containing the transactions with our Five Nations of Indians since those I last sent. The last, dated July 12, contains an insinuation by a Canada Indian to our Indians of a correspondence between the Governor of Canada and me designed to ruin our Indians; the folly and villainy of which I believe will meet with little credit with you. 'Tis so foolish an artifice that I cannot think the Governor of Canada capable of being the author: I rather suspect the Popish Missionaries.
Within this moneth there are two great ships come from Caledonia to N. York of 70 guns each. That settlement is quite destroyed; 700 of their people died, before these came away, of a contagious sickness. These two ships lost above 300 people in their voyage by that sickness; several other ships came out with them, which they fear are lost in a hurricane they met with at sea, which mightily shattered these in their masts and rigging. The want of fresh provisions they assign to be the cause of that sickness. The natives, they say, were very kind and promised to shew 'em some rich mines of gold. They believe the French will possess themselves of their fort, which they say will easily be made impregnable. We have advice from Nevis that the Scotch recruits passed by that Island for Caledonia. I have ordered my L.G. to let these ships have no more provisions than will carry them to Scotland. Signed, Bellomont. P.S.—I send the Minute of Council May 25th, received since writing this letter. I am almost persuaded 1,000 souldiers will make pitch and tar enough to serve the King's Navy and all England, if 7 or 8,000 tons yearly will suffice. I sent M. de Calliere, the present governor of Canada, the French King's letter directed to the Count de Frontenac enclosed to me by Mr. Secretary Vernon. 'Tis near a month since I received his answer to the letter I then writ to him. Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 22. Read Jan. 9, 1699/1700;. Holograph, 8½ pp. Enclosed,
740. I. Abstract of preceding letter. 4 pp.
740. II. Copy of the will of Thomas Wandall, Jan. 12, 1688. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 22, 1699.
740. III. Copy of the declaration of Theophilus Phillips, who drew Wandall's will upon his deathbed, as to the intention of the deceased. The words "goods and chattles" were intended to devise all his estate real and personal to his wife. 1 p. Same endorsement.
740. IV. Copy of an affidavit of Jonathan Hazard about Wandall's will. ¾ p. Same endorsement.
740. V. Copy of an affidavit of Benjamin Seavern about Wandall's will. ¾ p. Same endorsement.
740. VI. Copy of an affidavit of John Lawrence, about Wandall's will. ¾ p. Same endorsement.
740. VII. Copy of an affidavit of Thomas Codrington, about Wandall's will. ¾ p. Same endorsement.
740. VIII. Copy of an affidavit of Johannes Lowerson, about Wandall's will. 1 p. Same endorsement.
740. IX. Copy of an affidavit of Johannes Lowerson, about Wandall's will. ¾ p. Same endorsement.
740. X. Copy of an affidavit of Susannah Elliot about Wandall's will. ½ p. Same endorsement.
740. XI. Copy of Examination of Edward Buckmaster by the Hon. John Nanfan, L.G., June 6, 1699. The first land they made after leaving New York in the Adventure galley, Capt. William Kidd, commander, was the island Maderas, whence they went directly to Madagascar where they stayed about a month to victual and careen. They sailed thence to the islands of Johanna and Mahola, where they stayed two months, and thence along the shore of Magellena in the Red Sea. They took a ship on the coast of Malabar that had a French pass and a French Master and shared out of her four bales of calico each man. He left Capt. Kidd, May 31, 1698, and he and other pirates came home on the Nassau, Giles Shelley, master, paying 100 pieces of eight for his passage, which was the common rate. 2 pp. Same endorsement.
740. XII. Examination of Otto van Toyle by the L.G., June 14, 1699, who sailed with Hoar the pirate to Madagascar and returned on the Nassau, like Buckmaster (xi). The Dutch are so strong in the East Indies that they can fit out 100 sail at any time. There are above 170 privateers at St. Maries, who have fortified themselves there with palisades and great guns. 1½ pp. Same endorsement.
740. XIII. Copy of a letter from John Nanfan, L.G. of New York, to Lord Bellomont. June 5, 1699. Gives account of his proceedings upon notice of Shelley's arrival. Concludes, Kidd I am apt to believe is still in the West Indies; from Nevis a Master of a sloop tells me that the Queenborough, 5th-rate, is ordered after him, and two men-of-war from Jamaica. He will be a purchase worth seeking, for Livingstone assures me that he has on board in bullion near half a million sterling. Encloses copy of letter from Gov. Bass. 1½ pp. Same endorsement.
740. XIV. Copy of a letter from Gov. Bass to the L.G. of New York, Burlington, May 30, 1699. About Shelley's arrival with pirates and £50,000 on board. ½ p. Same endorsement.
740. XV. Copy of the Minutes of Council of New York, June 5, 1699, upon the information about Shelley. ½ p. Same endorsement.
740. XVI. Copy of the Minutes of the Council of New York, July 5, 1699. Same endorsement.
740. XVII. Copy of Minutes of Council of New York, July 20, 1699. Carsten Luerse, and Hendrick Vanderheal, mariners of this city, declared that they had received into their sloop from Capt. Kidd's sloop under Gardiner's Island four bales and four chests. Two of these bales were delivered at Oyster Bay, one to Justice White and the other to Dr. Cooper; the rest were put on shore in Connecticut, near Stanford. High Sheriff of Queen's County, Nassau Island, ordered to seize the goods at the houses of White and Cooper; Luerse and Vanderheal ordered to go to Connecticut and bring down the other goods to the Customhouse, on promise of indemnity. Johannes Schuyler, Wessel ten Brook, Killian van Ranslaer, and Hendrick van Renslaer, Justices of Albany, suspended for suborning some Maquaes Indians to make a false declaration in favour of Mr. Dellius. Thanks of the Maquasse Indians for the restoration of their lands formerly granted to Mr. Dellius. 2½ pp. Same endorsement.
740. XVIII. Memorandum of copy of entries of all ships inward and outward cleared at New York, June 8, 1698—March 25, 1699.
740. XIX. Copy of an affidavit by Paroculus Parmyter about Mr. Clarkson, Secretary, striking him in the face in the Governor's house, June 14, 1699, for giving information against some East India goods lately seized. ¾ p. Same endorsement.
740. XX. Copy of Lord Bellomont's Instructions to Capt. John Nanfan, Lt.-Governor of New York. 2¼ pp. Same endorsement.
740. XXI. Copy of Minute of Council of New York refusing an appeal to Antill, on behalf of Alsop. ¾ p. Same endorsement.
740. XXII. Copy of a letter from the Governor of Canada, Aug. 6, 1699, to Lord Bellomont, about orders he had received to forbear hostilities till the boundaries be agreed. "I am sending back two Iroquois prisoners." Signed, Le Cher de Calliere. ¾ p. French. Same endorsement.
740. XXIII. Copy of the Journal of Johannes Glen and Nicholas Bleeker of their transactions with the Onnondage Indians, about some of their people having been at Canada, March 20—April 21, 1699. 4½ pp. Same endorsement.
740. XXIV. Copy of the Journal of Arnout the Interpreter about his transactions with the Onnondage Indians, April—May 7, 1699. Translated out of the Dutch. 4½ pp. Same endorsement.
740. XXV. Copy of the report of Capt. John Schuyler and Capt. John Bleeker about their conference with the Indians at Onnondage Castle. Similar to preceding. 1½ pp. Same endorsement.
740. XXVI. Copy of a letter from Capts. Schuÿler and Bleeker to Lord Bellomont. Albany, May 14, 1699. We send Aernout Viele with a canoe and two men to bring your Excellency this letter from the Five Nations. 1 p. Same endorsement.
740. XXVII. Answer of the Five Nations to His Excellency's Propositions. May 9, 1699, Onnondage. Dekanissore was Speaker. Brother Corlaer, it shall be as you have proposed, but you hurt us deadly, for when our agents were at Canada our prisoners were loose, but now we don't go for Canada, they are secured again. Our prisoners have not all been returned. But by your order no messenger of ours shall go to Canada, as we intended. The five French prisoners we brought are still in Albany. Brother Corlaer, we thought that you were master, yet the Governor of Canada keeps our prisoners, and we also see that he keeps the kettle of wrath a-boiling. You strike us if you do not overset that kettle of wrath. You have told us to resist force by force. Then let us have ammunition and arms with all speed. You say that we should suffer no Jesuits in the country, because this Government cannot suffer it, but if we are desirous to be instructed in the Christian Religion, this Government will take care to provide fit persons. We say, when all things are well in order in all the country, then we'll consider together about it. You say that we are King's subjects, then let us have assistance if the French molest us. Let the goods be cheap, and let us have great bags of powder; then we shall see our Brother Corlaer loves us. This day 14 night we'll be in the General Assembly in Albany, and desire our brother to be there to treat about our prisoners. According to the interpretation of Aernout Viele and John Baptist van Eps. Signed, Joannis Schuÿler, Joannis Bleecker. 2 pp. Same endorsement.
740. XXVIII. Duplicate of preceding, with slight variations of interpretation. 4 pp. Same endorsement.
740. XXIX. Copy of Instructions given to the Mayor of Albany and Ryer Schermerhoorn for their journey to the Maquaase, May 19, 1699. 2½ pp. Same endorsement.
740. XXX. Minutes of Council of New York, June 7, 1699, approving the Instructions about the Indian affairs. ¾ p. Same endorsement.
740. XXXI. Copy of a letter to Mr. Livingston enclosing instructions about Indian affairs, June 8, 1699. 1¼ pp. Same endorsement.
740. XXXII. Copy of Instructions from the Lt.-Gov. of New York to the Commissioners for Indian affairs about hindering the Indians going to Canada. The reprimand administered by the Commissioners to the Indians for sending to Canada, warning them against the French, and giving them 200lbs. of powder and lead equivalent. June 12, 1699. Reply of the Indians. June 13. We had no other design but to get back our prisoners. In return for a present of 10 beavers, the Indians were given 10 kegs of rum and five rolls of tobacco and bags for the powder and a conference was arranged between five Sachems and Col. Schuyler, Hendrick Hanse, Capt. James Weemes, Major Dirk Wessels and Robert Livingston. It was agreed that, since the two Onnondages at Canada are no longer prisoners, but only waiting in hopes of the Five Nations coming there to redeem them and make a separate treaty with the French, a couple of trusty Indians be sent in a canoe with goods to trade in Canada and bring back the two Onnondages. The path from the Five Nations to Canada to be kept shut otherwise, since the French continually strove to delude and debauch them. June 14. The Indians communicated a report about the designs of the French against the Five Nations. They complained of the dearness of goods "and since our beaver is so cheap, we desire that the great king who lives over the great water may be addressed that the people of England do make their hats of beaver and not of sheep's wool." June 15. The French prisoners at Albany were set at liberty. June 16. The Indians proposed that as it was peace, private Indians might be allowed to go and see their relations at Canada, though the path was shut. Granted. They mentioned the promise of a Fort to be built and ministers of the Christian religion to be sent them. 23 pp. Same endorsement.
740. XXXIII. Information of Jean Rosie, about the French threatening to invade the Five Nations. June 19, 1699. 4½ pp. Same endorsement.
740. XXXIV. Copy of a letter from Col. Schuÿler, Albany, June 30, to the L.G. of New York. The Shack-hoek Indians are proposing to settle at Winoosbeek in the Lake near Canada. Unless speedily prevented they will be so many enemies the more. 1 p. Same endorsement.
740. XXXV. Copy of a proposal of the Shack-hoek Indians to settle at Winoosbeek. Reply of the Commissioners at Albany forbidding them. 5½ pp. Same endorsement.
740. XXXVI. Copy of a letter from the L.G. of New York to Col. Schuÿler approving of the reply of the Commissioners. July 8, 1699. ¾ p. Same endorsement.
740. XXXVII. Copy of a letter from the L.G. of New York to the Governor of Canada, demanding the surrender of some prisoners. 2 pp. Same endorsement.
740. XXXVIII. Copy of Instructions for those who were sent with the foregoing letter to Canada. 2¾ pp. Same endorsement.
740. XXXIX. Copy of an information given by a French Indian to the Onnondages, insinuating that Lord Bellomont and the Governor of Canada held correspondence for ruining the Five Nations. July 12, 1699. Sent to Albany by a Sachem. Reply of the Commissioners. 1½ pp. Same endorsement. [Board of Trade. New York, 8A. Nos. 40, 40I.–XXXIX.; and (without enclosures) 54. pp. 1–31; and (abstract with marginal comments) 45. pp. 59–67.]
Aug. 24.
Charles Town.
741. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Nevis. It was decided to order six hhds. (sugar) worth of stores from home; to choose a place in the country for storing part of the powder, and, since 7/8 ths of the small arms were reported out of repair, and by the late Act ships trading here were to pay arms as well as powder, so that the supply would rapidly increase, to write home to Richard Cary to procure an armourer to live in the Fort at an annual salary. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 508–509.]
Aug. 24.
742. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts Bay. The Province galley was ordered to transport Col. Romar to survey the eastern parts of the Province as far as St. George's River. Payment ordered for her provisions. Warrants issued for allowances made by the General Assembly. Report of the Commissioners in favour of Thomas Hinckley's petition read. A Council summoned for Sept. 7. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 231–234.]
Aug. 25.
H.M. Yard,
743. Henry Greenhill to William Popple at the Plantation Office, Whitehall. Your pacquett for R. Quarry is put on board the Canterbury, Capt. Hen. Weagene. Signed, Henry Greenhill. Endorsed, Recd. Aug. 26, 1699. ¾ p. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 4. No. 1.]
Aug. 25. 744. Leonard Compere to Council of Trade and Plantations Repeats in substance petition of June 6, and prays that an Act obliging patentees to residence lately passed by the General Assembly of Jamaica may not be confirmed. Endorsed, Recd. Aug. 25, Read Oct. 6, 1699. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 131.]
Aug. 25. 745. Minutes of Council of New Hampshire. Various officers took the oaths. Peter Coffin, a councillor, deposed that three years since, when he was coming from H.M. Council at Newcastle, Shadrach Walton reviled him, and threatened to break his head. Theodore Attkinson signed a deposition about the Hopewell. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 541, 542.]