America and West Indies: October 1699, 11-14

Pages 458-463

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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October 1699

Oct. 11. 854. Agents of Barbados to Council of Trade and Plantations. In answer to your enquiry of the 5th inst., as to the effect of the clause in the late Act for settling the Trade of Africa, which clause provides that no Governor, Deputy-Governor or Judge shall be a factor or agent for the sale or disposal of negroes, we are of opinion that this provision is highly convenient to the people. For when men in great authority are factors they are apt to make use of their powers to promote the advantage of their employers. As a matter of experience, when factors or agents of the African Company in Barbados have been members of the Council there, and one was Lieut. Governor—the condition of those who had dealings with them—in effect the whole island—was made much worse and gave rise to complaints, which, we believe, was one reason for the Parliament's passing the said clause. Signed, Edward Littleton, William Bridges, Mel. Holder. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. Read Oct. 11, 1699. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 8. No. 20; and 44A. pp. 342–344.]
Oct. 11.
855. Mr. Yard to Mr. Popple. The Lords Justices direct the Council of Trade and Plantations to report upon Dr. Daniel Cox's claim to the Province of Carolana, which he desires to colonise, claiming that the grant of Charles I. to Sir Robt. Heath is vested in him. Signed, R. Yard. Endorsed, Recd. Read Oct. 12, 1699. 1¼ p. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 4. No. 13; and 26. p. 122.]
Oct. 12.
856. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Grey. Since our letters of June 26, 27, we have received yours of June 6 and 29 and July 20, together with the Naval Officer's Accounts and some Journals and Laws delivered to us by Mr. Hart. We thought the matter of the French settling upon Sta. Lucia, mentioned in your second letter, of such consequence that we laid before the Lords Justices a representation setting forth His Majesty's title to that island, antecedent to any pretence made by the French, and the great importance of maintaining His Majesty's right accordingly. The Naval Accounts have the same defect as those received formerly. They are writ upon sheets starched together into such a length and breadth that they can scarce be opened without tearing, and besides the total sums, which is the thing everyone would look upon, are neither added up, nor, as they are set down part in words, part in figures, is it possible to add them up without setting down every sum over again. Our Secretary wrote concerning this to the Naval Officer, May 19, 1698. We send a copy of that letter that you may give it to him. As to your request for two ships of war we refer you to our letter of June 26. Your care in sending out the ship you have to cruise is very well, and the advice you give us of such intelligence as you receive is a thing necessary to be continued. But as for Kidd, whose name you mention, we have now a full account of his having been seized by the Earl of Bellomont in New England, and having also received advice from the Leeward Islands of his having been in their neighbourhood, with an information given by one Peter Smith, a Dutchman of St. Thomas, about some of his proceedings, in which mention is made of one William Burk, an Irishman (though the same person, it seems to us, in papers received from the Earl of Bellomont is called Burt) who sailed from St. Thomas to Barbados with some considerable quantity of goods bought of said Kidd, or received from him, we send you here enclosed a copy of the said information, that you may cause strict enquiry to be made after the said Burke or Burt and the goods brought to Barbados by him and such prosecution thereupon made as the law directs.
There having been lately two private cases about estates in Barbados referred to our consideration—Colleton's and Bate's—we have recommended them, and the Lords Justices have made orders accordingly. We enclose copies. We desire you to send us the form of writs used in the calling of your General Assemblies. We desire your care in causing the enclosed letters for Bermuda to be sent by the first convenient opportunity. Signed, Lexington, Ph. Meadows, John Pollexfen, John Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44A. pp. 344–349.]
Oct. 12.
857. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Sir William Beeston. Since ours of June 26 we have received yours of Ap. 14 and June 24 and 29, but we had also before that several other of your letters, the receipt whereof we have not mentioned. None have miscarried. We have nothing at present to add about Patent Places. The consideration of the Acts of the Island cannot be dispatched so soon as they come to our hands, because it is requisite to have the opinion of H.M. Attorney or Solicitor General upon them in point of law, and that is sooner or later done according to the care of the Agents in attending them. And when we have reported our opinion, it is likewise the business of the Agents to take out such orders of Council as His Majesty is pleased to make thereupon. We long since reported upon those of 1694, 1695, 1696; those of 1698 are now before us; but those of 1699 are not yet returned to us from the Attorney General. We can answer nothing to what you write about them till we come to consider them. It is a defect in your transcripts of the Acts that there is nothing either in the title or subscription which marks either the time of the Assembly sitting or when they were passed. We also desire you to transmit more than just the two copies of your Acts directed by your Instructions, as it happens sometimes that we are left without a copy. Part of one Act (appropriating the additional duty to the Revenue etc.) was torn, and a duplicate was ordered to be sent (Jan. 5) by order of Council of which we enclose you a copy. We have not been unmindful of what relates to the French settlement upon the Isle de Vache, which you mention in your letter of July, 1698. The substance of your letters of Oct. 13, Dec. 5 and Jan. 20 relating to H.M. ships of war and to the conduct of the French and Spaniards towards us in those parts has also been represented. But the remedy of such evils as require application to other Courts being a work of time, concerning which we can give no directions but as we receive them, we can only desire you to continue giving us information of all such occurrences, that they may be made use of for H.M. service as occasion offers. We are very sensible of what you write about the want of people in that island and the necessity of great care that servants may be sent over thither, but that being a matter in which we have, upon many occasions, done what was proper for us, we must leave the rest to Agents or others concerned in private interest to look after it. And in like manner what you write about the want of an able Physician is a thing that they ought to take care of. We answer nothing about the soldiers because we are informed that orders have long since been given you for the disbanding of them. In your letter of July 28, 1698, you write that by the going off of four Councillors H.M. Council at Jamaica was grown thin and desire that Mr. Charles Sadler may be made of H.M. Council as the only person you could then recommend. This is not regular. For by your Instructions you ought to have sent a list of twelve persons, whom you judge most fit among the inhabitants, with their characters, by which it may be easy to distinguish their different merits and give the preference to whom it belongs. For want hereof we have not proposed any supply of the vacancies in that Council. But nevertheless we have made some enquiry after the fitness of persons and having got such information as we could here, we send you here enclosed a list of some names that have been proposed and desire your opinion of these and the characters of others to make up the complete list of twelve. In answer to what you write, Dec. 5, about the brigantine, whereof one John Edwards was master, sailing from Jamaica, which had been taken by a vessel fitted out from Providence in the Bahama Islands, with the Governor, Capt. Webb's, commission, we enclose copies of Capt. Webb's letters of Dec. 19, Feb. 7 and 18 on the subject. He is now returning to England, so that if what he advises to have been done be not satisfactory you may take such further care in the matter as you conceive necessary and proper. What you write (Feb. 8), about the Spaniards harbouring and refusing to restore your runaway negroes, seems to us a matter of great importance and, having something of the like complaint before us from other places, we should be glad to contribute our endeavours to prevent any such inconvenience for the future, and therefore desire you to inform us what has formerly been the practice in those parts on both sides in the like cases, and to add such things as you think may be fitly proposed for a mutual regulation between the Crowns of England and Spain. As to the difficulty mentioned in your letter (July 28th, 1698) relating to the Acts of Trade we refer you to the Instructions sent you upon that subject. Your care about building of store-houses was very well, and we are glad to observe what progress you have made therein and in rebuilding and enlarging Fort Charles. What you write in your letter of Dec. 5 about an inconvenience arising to Jamaica from the clause in the Act for settling the trade to Africa, providing that no Governor, Deputy Governor or Judge shall be a factor or agent for the sale or disposal of negroes is a thing which cannot be remedied but by some other Act of Parliament, and as some other Plantations do think it no inconvenience, but rather an advantage to them, that causes a difficulty which we do not well see through. But having the matter now under consideration we shall write you further about it in due time. Signed, Lexington, Phil. Meadows, John Pollexfen, John Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 56. pp. 369–380.]
Oct. 12. 858. Sir Thomas Trevor and Sir John Hawles to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Pursuant to your directions of the 3rd inst., we have prepared a draught of a warrant for bringing hither the persons committed for piracy in H.M. Plantations in order to their trial. Signed, Tho. Trevor. Jo. Hawles. ½ p.
859. Draft of warrant referred to above. Endorsed, Recd. Read Oct, 16, 1699. ¾ p. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 5. Nos. 25, 26; and 35. pp. 79–81.]
Oct. 12.
860. Council of Trade and Plantations to the President and Council of Nevis. We have received yours of July 7. As to the information you send therein given by Peter Smith concerning Henry Bolton's dealings with Captain Kidd, the latter has been seized by the Earl of Bellomont in New England and many informations there taken concerning him. We understand from his Lordship Bolton was a merchant of Antego (which we wonder you should not observe to us upon Smith's information), and that his Lordship had thereupon writ to the L.G. of Antego to look after him and seize any effects that may be found to have been lately in the possession of Kidd. This being a thing of great importance, that not only pirates but all their abettors and favourers should receive all possible discouragement in all His Majesty's Plantations, and His Majesty having several times given directions about it, concerning which we also writ to you, we cannot but again remind you thereof, that strict enquiry may be made after the said Bolton and the goods brought by him into any of His Majesty's Leeward Islands, and such prosecution thereupon made, either as for illegal trade, piracy, or any other crime as the law directs. The want of ammunition and stores of war for the island of St. Christopher's, which you mention having been laid before the Lords Justices by address from the L.G. and Assembly of that island, is now under consideration of the Board of Ordnance. In answer to what you writ about the Governor of St. Thomas's setting up the Danish flag in Crab Island we can add nothing to the instruction which His Majesty thought fit to give Col. Codrington, deceased, Dec. 5, 1694, of which we send you a copy. We desire you to send us the form of writs used in the calling of your General Assemblies. Signed, Lexington, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, John Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 45. pp. 414–417.]
Oct. 12.
861. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Secretary Vernon communicated to the Board Sir Wm. Beeston's letter to himself, Jamaica, June 23, and Mr. Randolph's letter, Bermuda, May 17, and two letters from Isaac Adderly, master of the Dolphin, all concerning the seizure of that sloop.
Resolved, to hear Mr. Mears, one of the owners, before considering the letters.
Mr. Cary said that in K. Charles II's reign all stores of war had been sent from the Ordnance Office to the Leeward Islands, and the Islands had not bought any.
Letter from Mr. Yard, Oct. 11, read.
Copy of the clause in the Governor of Virginia's Instructions about appeals granted to Mr. Chilton.
Letters to Sir W. Beeston, Governor Grey and the President and Council of Nevis signed. Duplicates of the late letters to Bermuda ordered to be enclosed to Mr. Grey.
Oct. 13. Letter from Col. Codrington about the fortifications in the Leeward Islands read.
Ordered that Dr. Cox lay his title to the Province of Carolana before the Board.
Col. Nicholson's letter, July 1, further considered. [Board of Trade. Journal, 12. pp. 212–214; and 96. Nos. 160, 161.]
Oct. 13. 862. Memorandum of Gov. Codrington's Instructions about Trade. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 45. p. 490.]
Oct. 13. 863. Governor Codrington to Mr. Popple. I send your Lordships herewith my Commission; my instructions are not yet delivered me, and I'm told will be returned to the Board before they are perfected. Mr. Cary has been with me and informed me of their Lordships' demands and his answer. Since he made use of my name I shall lay hold of this occasion to offer to their Lordships' consideration, what I had before designed by a particular memorial. I cannot believe their Lordships would have depended on any account he could have given them himself or have picked up from others. The observations of men who never designed to inform themselves exactly, and who, if they had, want the qualitys necessary for such an inquiry, must be certainly too lose and general to answer their Lordships' intentions. If their Lordships shall think fit to direct me in this, I shall give them a very just and very particular answer as to the number of our forts, their situation, and the artillery they are provided with, and I believe I may without vanity pretend to understand this busnes better than anyone either on the Exchange or in the Islands, but as I shall neither have leisure nor patience for drawing, and besides am not very good at it, I would humbly propose to their Lordships that a good engineer should be sent with me that might be able to give their Lordships accurate draughts not only of our forts but of the harbours, points of land, landing-places etc. where 'twould be necessary to have other fortifications. The French have lately sent one of their chief engineers to their Colonies, I suppose for this very end. When I was last in the Indys, which was in the expedition against Martinique, I viewed, I believe, all the Forts in our islands, except Montserrat, and can only tell their Lordships in general, that they are but poor little platforms and ill provided with artillery. The best we have is on the English part of St. Kit's. There is at Nevis a very good Deodard ('tis the term used for it in the island), or retreat in the mountains for their women, children, old men and negroes, and they have been at a vast charge in Antegoa to make one there, but have left the same unfinisht, both by reason of the great charge which would yet continue for some time, and because, as some have told me, the cisterns they made there after a great expence had proved leaky and, as they apprehend, I know not well for what reason, woud still do soe in spight of all remedys. After all I am not well satisfied whether those Deodards are more useful or pernicious, for though they are intended a retreat for such as cannot fight, they woud probably tempt such to run thither who are able and who ought to fight. Signed, Chr. Codrington. Endorsed, Recd. Read Oct. 13, 1699. 3 pp. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6. No. 40; and 45. pp. 417–420.]
Oct. 14. 864. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Nevis. A pipe of Madera wine, an ox and fresh provisions, to the value of £60 in all, ordered to be presented to Rear Admiral Benbow now in this road. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 509, 510.]