America and West Indies: March 1699, 1-10

Pages 82-101

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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March 1699

March 1.)
136. Hudson Bay Company to the King. We humbly pray that your Majesty will be graciously pleased to protect your petitioners in their rights and properties and command your Commissioners now ready to meet the French Commissioners not to depart from your Majesty's sovereign right to Hudson's Bay inherent in your Imperial Crown, nor from the rights and properties of your subjects the petitioners. Signed, Step. Evance, R. Nicholas, John Nicholson, John Bromwell, Will. Trumbull, Governor; Samuel Clarke, Deputy Governor; John Pery. No date. 1 p. [America and West Indies. Hudson's Bay, 539. No. 10.]
March 1. 137. Hudson's Bay Company to the Lords Commissioners (Earls of Pembroke, Bridgewater, Portland and Tankerville and Mr. Secretary Vernon) appointed to treat with the French (Count Tallard, M. Darbos and M. Davegou). The Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson Bay being ready to make out the title of the Imperial Crown of England to all the places claimed in Hudson's Bay, wish to know whether the French, if that is established, will pretend to no other advantage of concessions in the Treaty of Ryswick, but admit the controversy is at end. They premise that in submitting his title to be examined, His Majesty does not submit it to arbitration or yield to a possible obstinacy of the French. The Company desires to reserve all right and claim of propriety they may have, but, if the French Commissioners can prove a better right, the Company will quit their claims provided the French will undertake to do the like mutatis mutandis. Signed, Saml. Clarke, Dep. Governor. [America and West Indies. Hudson's Bay, 539. No. 8.]
March 1.
138. Col. Quary to Council of Trade and Plantations. This is the fourth time I have had to trouble you, every week producing new matter which I think myself obliged to represent very faithfully. I was in hopes that before this I should have received your orders and directions, the want of which makes this Government to all the extremes of opposing and affronting the King's law and authority, nor can they forbear scurrilous reflections on his sacred person, too, as appears by the enclosed depositions, by reason of which I was forced to hold a Court of Admiralty 40 miles from this place. I enclose copies of the proceedings. I might as well have stayed at home, since no obedience is paid to the orders and decrees of the Court. The whole Government are concerned in exposing and possessing the people that all the acting and proceeding of the Admiralty is arbitrary and illegal, so that there is no obedience paid to it. Amongst other matters determined in that Court one was a prize brought in during the war. It was never condemned, but the ship lost and almost all the goods embezzled. Part of what goods was left was in Governor Markham's hands and some in the Sheriff's. The ship was adjudged lawful prize, and the Court ordered this to be sold and paid into the hands of a person who produced a commission from the Commissioners of Prizes, but the Governor refuses to deliver without an order from Mr. Penn and ordered the Sheriff to do likewise. His example hath such influence on all others that they will not give any obedience to any orders of the Court. Let me remind you of the steps they have taken in opposing and affronting the King's laws, authority and person. They made a law purposely to destroy the power of the Court of Admiralty, but that mortal blow could not reach that Court without first wounding an Act of Parliament. It is true they dressed their pernicious Act with fair pretences of serving the King, but only to hide that wicked cause of destroying the power of the Admiralty which they very well knew would be fatal to their beloved illegal trade. The Act lies before your Lordships, whose wisdom will easily look through their cobweb pretences and discover their cloven foot. Next they threatened and discouraged me and the rest of the officers from executing the powers of the Commission and, failing, by virtue of a warrant from a Justice of the Peace, one Anthony Morris, a Quaker [they] forcibly entered into the King's store and took out the goods that were seized by the King's Collector as prohibited and imported contrary to law, and delivered them to the person who illegally imported them. They even brought an action against the Marshal of the Court for detaining their goods; he expects daily an execution against him and to be thrown into gaol. Next they affronted His Sacred Majesty in open Court, all the Justices sitting, the particulars of which barbarous disloyalty and horrid impudence I refer to the enclosed depositions and will send 20 more of them if you desire. Next they said in open Council, by the mouth of Mr. David Lloyd, a Quaker (the same person that affronted the King in open Court), that all those who encouraged the setting up of a Court of Admiralty were greater enemies to the liberties and properties of the people than those that set up ship-money in King Charles the First's time. Next they endeavoured to persuade all others from submitting to the Admiralty Courts, and now have set up a Court of Admiralty of their own. I have here sent you a copy of the warrant by which they have arrested a ship and proceeded against her at their last sessions. Their Justices endeavoured all they could to persuade the Grand Jury to present all the officers of the Court of Admiralty as enemies to the Governor and Friends, as they call themselves, assuring the Jury that if they would present them that the Court would take effectual course with them. I am sure they would have fined us all to our ruin, and though they have missed their aim now, they will find some other way to effect their malicious purpose unless you very speedily interpose your authority and protect us. I am already out of pocket in executing the powers of the King's Commission at least £30, and have not received the value of 6d. directly or indirectly. I dare not take a penny [in] fees, though there be a [scale?] of fees settled in New York, for should I take any without a law to warrant me they would immediately present me at their sessions and fine me to my ruin. All the King's Governments in America and the Proprietors, except this very place, pay respect to the Commission of the Admiralty and justify them in the due execution of all the powers of their Commissions. In the province of Maryland, Governor Nicholson hath so effectually settled the Court of Admiralty that all matters relating to the Act of Trade and Navigation are fixed and judged in that Court to the great satisfaction of all persons. It is no small addition to our hardships that His Excellency is now a greater distance from us, who was the only person we could apply ourselves to for advice, without whose favour and protection the King's interest had been extirpated and sunk here long since. Amongst other seizures made here by the King's Collector was a sloop, seized as not navigated according to law. The merchant, one Moorehead, a Scotch trader, petitioned that the sloop lay at great demurrage and that some of the goods were perishable, and therefore prayed there might be a special warrant granted, and that he would give security to answer the value of the appraisement in case the sloop was condemned at the next Court of Admiralty. Petition was granted and security taken (copy enclosed). The sloop was condemned (copy of proceedings enclosed). Moorehead came into Court and said that he appealed home to the High Court of Admiralty. I told him that before his appeal could be entered there must be good security given not only for what the sloop was appraised at, which was not a quarter of his value, but also for all damage and cost of Court. He refused, but a week after came to my house and told me he was ready to give security and desired that his appeal might be entered. I replied that I could do nothing without the Register and the other officers of the Court, and that if he would come in the afternoon and bring security I would summon the officers and make a Court, but he never came. I cannot put his bond in suit, there being no person in this country that will prosecute for the King, though David Lloyd acts as the King's Attorney-General, signs himself so and takes all the fees, yet refuses to put in suit anything for the King. I humbly beg your Lordships' direction in this case. I have with much difficulty persuaded the officers to continue in the execution of their respective places till I can hear from you. They are very apprehensive this Government will by one means or other ruin them. If they should be forced to lay down it will be impossible to get any person here to accept of them, which is what this Government are at. Copy. Signed, Robt. Quary. Endorsed, Recd. May 1, Read May 16, 1699. 5 pp. Enclosed,
138. I. Copy of bond given by John Moorehead for the sloop Jacob of Albany, Francis Bassett, master, seized by John Bewley, Collector, for illegal trading. Signed by above and James Coutts, J. Moore.
138. II. Affidavit of Robert Webb, Marshal of the Court of Admiralty. At a Court of Common Pleas, Sept. 9 and 10, 1698, in Philadelphia, my Attorney, Mr. John Moore, on producing my Commission was stopped by one David Lloyd, a Quaker, Attorney-General (as alleged) who scurrilously said: "What hast thou got there, John? A fine Baby! Dost think we are afraid of a Baby" (pointing at the King's effigies in the beginning) "and a Pinn, Box?" (the Great Seal). He said it was no King's Commission and could prove it, and holding it up in his hand scoffingly exposed it to the laughter of the people. Signed, Robt. Webb, Marshal.
138. III. Affidavit of Sam. Holt to the same effect.
138. IV. Copy of a warrant to attach the ship Wm. Galley so that the master and owners may appear at the County Court, Philadelphia. Signed, Anthony Morris.
138. V. Copy of proceedings of the Court of Admiralty at Newcastle, Pennsylvania, Nov. 10, 11, 12, 1698. 6 pp. Attested by Sam. Weaver, Deputy Registrar. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 3. Nos. 16, 16 I.–V.; and (without enclosures) 25. pp. 426–431.]
March 1. 139. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Some of the papers referred to in Lord Bellomont's letter of Oct. 21 read.
March 2. Progress made with report on Col. Fletcher's case.
Letter ordered to Mr. Secretary Vernon proposing that in the letter now under consideration of the English and French Commissioners to be writ to Lord Bellomont and the Governor of Canada, a clause be inserted requiring them to forbear from any acts of hostility by sea as well as land.
Mr. Lucas informed that a report would be made upon his memorial as soon as convenient.
March 3. Bearer of a petition that Capt. John Sutton be recommended to be of the Council of Barbados informed that there is at present no vacancy.
Letter to Mr. Vernon ordered yesterday signed.
Five papers lately left by Col. Fletcher read and returned.
Letter from Mr. Sansom, Feb. 21, with enclosed copy of the report made by the Commissioners of the Customs to the Lords of the Treasury relating to Perth Amboy read. Letter ordered to enquire what the Lords of the Treasury think fit to do. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 403–406; and 96. Nos. 37, 38, 39.]
March 2.
Fort William
140. Minutes of Council of New York. Petition of Dirk Jansen Hooghlandt referred to a committee. Col. Isaac Arnold commissionated, with a salary of £50, to seize prohibited goods, etc. in the County of Suffolk, Island Nassau. John Townsend appointed surveyor and searcher of H.M. Customs at Oyster Bay, Huntingdon, and Musketoe Cave on the Island Nassau, where great quantities of goods are run. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 193–194.]
March 2. 141. Minutes of Council of New York in Assembly. Mr. Gabriell Ludlow, Clerk of the Assembly, took the oaths appointed, and the Assembly was adjourned for want of members. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. p. 741.]
March 2.
142. Governor Grey to Council of Trade. As I never, since my arrival here, have been wanting of informing your Lordships of the circumstances in this part of the world that are any ways conducing to His Majesty's interest, so I cannot omit of laying hold of this opportunity to acquaint your Lordships, how necessary it is at this juncture to have a stronger force, I mean of ships, to preserve the West India trade, since frequent instances are shown of the barbarity of the pirates that infest and disturb the commerce of these seas. There is but one small frigate allotted for the guard of this island, a heavy sailer, and in case of necessity, in my opinion, would be but of little service; two are absolutely necessary for the security of our trade, the consequence of which your Lordships are too good judges of, for which reason I don't doubt but it will be represented in its true light to the King, whose Customs will be considerably advanced by it. One should be of between 40 and 50 guns, and the other of 20 or 30, that your ships in the road may be safe, while one of 'em is continually cruising upon the pirates. I insist the more upon this, because I have lately received orders from Mr. Secretary Vernon to use all the endeavours I can to suppress 'em, which I can never be able to do, without such an assistance as I have already mentioned, for which reasons I don't doubt but your Lordships will use your interest with the King that our necessities may be considered, which will be a great obligation upon this island and, my Lords, to your Lordships' most humble servant. Signed, R. Grey. Endorsed, Recd. 8th, Read 10th May, 1699. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 77; and 44. pp. 262, 263.]
March 3.
143. Same to the same. I omitted to acquaint your Lordships with the death of Mr. Gibbs, one of the members of the Council; the number now is twelve, which is complete according to my instructions, but in case any other should die, or go off the island and stay so long as to incapacitate him from being any longer a Councillor, I must recommend to your Lordships William Wheeler, Esquire, as a person every way capable of serving His Majesty's interest here, having one of the best estates in the island, and a warmth of zeal to employ it on so good an occasion. He has been of the Assembly for some time and always has given proofs of his loyalty to the King and obedience to his Governors, and in writing this I do him but justice, and I hope no encouragement will be given to any applications that may be made at home in case of the death of any of the Council here, since by that means I shall be deprived of the right of recommending one upon a vacancy I am empowered to do by my instruction. Signed, R. Grey. Endorsed, Recd. 8th, Read 10th May, 1699. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 78; and 44. pp. 264, 265.]
March 3. 144. Petition of Robert [sic] South and Benjamin Dry, citizens and merchants of London, trading with Barbados, to the Council of Trade and Plantations, requesting that Captain John Sutton, a native and inhabitant of that island, may be appointed to the Council of Barbados. Signed. Hen. South, Benjamin Dry. Endorsed, Recd. Read March 3, 1698/9. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 79.]
March 3.
145. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. John Walley ordered to forward goods for trade with the Indians at Merry Meeting, Kennebeck River, early in the spring, according to the agreement made by Col. Phillips. The profit on the transaction to accrue to the benefit of the province. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 195–196.]
March 3.
146. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Vernon. You having been pleased to acquaint us that some propositions have been made for writing to the Earl of Bellomont and the French Governor of Canada in order to prevent any hostilities between the French and us and our Five Nations of Indians, we mind you of the disturbance given by the French to our fishing ships upon the Eastern Coasts of New England and Nova Scotia, according to the memorials in our letter of Dec. 29, and propose that some expressions should be inserted in the letters to be writ, whereby both sides may be required to forbear from any acts of hostility by sea as well as land. Signed, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. New England, 37. p. 134.]
March 3.
St John's.
147. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. It was agreed that provision should be made for those soldiers of Col. Holt's regiment who were sick or incapacitated. Ensign Hume was allowed 1s. 6d. a day for his mother's maintenance, and Lieut. Thornton 2s. 3d. a day more for his wife and children. The petitions of Blanch Bowls, widow, for a confirmation of a grant of land belonging to her late husband, in North Sound, and that of William Watters for a grant of waste land in New Division, were granted. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 299–302.]
March 3.
148. William Popple to William Lownds, enquiring what the Lords of the Treasury think fit to be done in regard to the claim of the Proprietors of East New Jersey to a port at Perth Amboy. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. p. 349.]
March 4.
149. William Burt to Council of Trade and Plantations. Since our last there are two men, which belonged to the sloops we then mentioned that were taken by the Spaniards at Crabb Island, who escaped in an English brigantine from Carthagine, and believing it necessary [I] have taken their depositions, enclosed. In the same brigantine several more Englishmen belonging to a ship called the Merchant's Goodwill of London, Capt. Thomas Pyles, master, being a permission ship and bound from Guinea to Carthagine [which] was there seized by the Spaniards, which so soon as I understood [I] sent for two of the men and examined them and enclose their depositions. They credibly inform me that the Scotch got on very vigorous in their new settlement, having made a very strong fortification on the Spaniards' Golden Island in the Bay of Durin (Darien) and that several thousand Indians has joined with them. Signed, Wm. Burt, March 4, 1698/9. Endorsed, Recd. May 11, Read May 15, 1699. 2 pp. Enclosed,
149. I. Deposition of Benjamin Hiron, seaman. On Sept. 10 the sloop Friendship, master Robert Jones, to which deponent then belonged, being at anchor, together with another sloop of the same name belonging to Captain Philip Brome, also of this island, in the harbour of Portofare on the south side of Crabb Island, about fifty Spaniards well-armed came there in two Spanish launches and surprised the said sloops and carried them with deponent, three Englishmen and four negro slaves, all belonging to the sloops, to Porto Rico and there burned the sloops and made deponent and his comrades captives, putting them on board a leaky ship of 20 odd guns, which with two other ships, one of fifty-five guns and the other of forty odd guns all well-manned and bound from Porto Rico to Laver de Cruze, and there they were kept in severe bondage, being forced to pump both day and night for almost five months. Deponent and another escaped by swimming ashore at Carthagine, and hid four days and four nights without food till the Spanish fleet proceeded on its voyage, when they swam on board an English brigantine and so got their freedom. The men and launches which took the sloops both belonged to the Spanish ships. Copy. 2 pp. Sworn before William Burt, Feb. 28, 1698/9.
149. II. Deposition of Jonathan Meldrum, seaman of the sloop Friendship, Henry Hodge, master. Similar to preceding. Copy. 2 pp.
149. III. Deposition of John Chapman and John Neill, chief mate and gunner of the Merchant's Goodwill of London. Their ship was bound from Guinea to Carthagene and arrived on Sept. 27. There they delivered their negroes into the custody of a Portuguese merchant according to orders, but were refused their clearance for England, and on Dec. 25 the Spanish Admiral, who was there with three men-of-war, a Dutch prize and several English captives, came on board and ordered their rudder to be unhung, in endeavouring to do which they wronged their sternpost, also unhung their foresail and unrigged their foreyard, carrying them on shore. The day following the Governor of Carthagene came on board, took away all their small arms, locked up their great cabin, powder room and hatches, and ordered the captain, two mates and doctor to go ashore, and kept them there two days and two nights at their own charge, and then the Governor delivered them the keys, telling them they might go aboard again if they would. Some few days after the Governor ordered their powder, provision, with some iron bars and two suites of sails to be brought ashore, which was accordingly done. What was the real occasion of their hard usage, they know not. Public report informed them at first that it was because the Spanish King was sick and that the French and Spaniards were to join together against the English; afterwards, that it was because the Scotch was landed on their Golden Island in the Gulph of Darin, by virtue of a commission from the King of England, and that the deponents and their comrades would be kept prisoners till they heard from Spain. But by their captain's consent they privately escaped thence in an English brigantine, who rode there under Dutch colours bound for Jamaica, but put them ashore on the Island of St. Christopher's. Copy. Sworn before Wm. Burt. March 2, 1698/9. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6. Nos. 6, 6 I.–III.; and 45. pp. 360–361.]
March 4. 150. Hudson's Bay Company to the Lords Commissioners. Deduction of the right and title of the Crown of England to all the straits, bays, seas, rivers, lakes, creeks, islands, shores, lands, territories and places whatsoever within Hudson's Straits and Hudson's Bay and of the right and propriety of the Hudson Bay Company derived by letters patents of incorporation, and after grant of all the premisses from King Charles II. 1670. Hudson Bay, with all that belongs thereto within Hudson's Straits, was first discovered by Sir Sebastian Cabott, Grand Pilot to King Hen. VII., who gave English names to several places in the Bay, 1497. Sir Martin Forbisher, who in Queen Elizabeth's time made three voyages to the Bay in 1576, 1577 and 1578, and Capt. Davis, in 1585, 1587 and 1588, both gave English names to several places there. In 1610 Henry Hudson, an Englishman, sailed into the Straits and Bay from him called Hudson's Straits and Hudson's Bay, and keeps that denomination to this day in all the authentic maps in the world and even in the maps of the best geographers of France. Hudson stayed a whole winter there, took possession thereof in the name of the King of England, traded with the savages and gave names to several other parts of the Straits and Bay. In 1612, Sir Thomas Button pursued the discovery and possession of Hudson. He sailed into the Straits and Bay with two ships and particularly into Port Nelson, where he wintered and buried the commander of his ship, in memory of whom he gave it the name of Port Nelson, and called that particular bay Button's Bay, as it is still called in the maps, and took possession thereof in the name of King James I., and gave several other English names to several other places in the Bay, erecting a cross there, declaring thereon the right of the Crown of England. In 1631, Capt. Luke Fox by command of King Charles I. made a voyage to Hudson's Bay, and amongst other places entered Port Nelson, and finding there the cross erected by Sir Thomas Button with the inscription defaced and almost worn out, he erected it again with a new inscription declaring the right and possession of his then Majesty Charles, named the adjacent country New North Wales and published a journal of his voyage. Note.—The troubles and civil wars which soon after broke out in England might be one principal cause why those voyages were not prosecuted, yet all that while those places lay neglected by the commerce of any European nation, the French not in the least pretending to have then visited them, nor will they say that ever any French vessel sailed Hudson Bay till very lately. After the Restoration of Charles II. trade beginning to revive, some noble and public-spirited Englishmen not unmindful of the discovery and right of the Crown of England to those parts in America (and to Canada itself, which in due time will be insisted on) designed at their own charge to adventure the establishing of a regular and constant trade to Hudson Bay and settle Forts and Factories there upon the coast, whereby to invite the Indian Nations, who lived like savages many hundred leagues up in the country, down to their factories for a constant and yearly intercourse of trade, which was never attempted by such settlements to reside in an inhospitable country before the aforesaid English Adventurers undertook the same. After a long time of consultation and necessary preparations, one Zachary Gilham, 1667, was provided of a ship and goods in London, sailed through Hudson's Straits to the bottom of the Bay, settled a trade and built a fort there, which he called Charles' Fort, on a river he named Rupert's River, in honour to Prince Rupert, who was pleased to be concerned with and was one of those Adventurers, in which place the Hudson Bay Company continued a trade and have there a factory to this day. In 1669 another voyage was undertaken by the same Adventurers, and one Captain Newland was sent, who entered Port Nelson, settled there and anew declared the right and title of His Majesty to that river and the countries adjacent and then fixed up His Majesty's arms as a mark of his sovereignty. After the charge of these voyages and the experience of these settlements, that a great trade might be brought to England by beaver, furs and other commodities, Charles II., 1670, granted by his Royal Letters Patents to incorporate the Adventurers and to his Highness Prince Rupert, the Duke of Albemarle, Earl of Craven, Lord Arlington, Lord Ashley and others and their successors for ever the sole trade to Hudson Bay, with all the lands and territories, to be reckoned as one of His Majesty's Plantations and Colonies in America, by the name of Rupert's Lands, and constituted them the true and absolute Lords and Proprietors of the same to have hold, possess and enjoy the same for ever as of His Majesty's manor of East Greenwich in free and common soccage. In the same year, 1670, the Company so incorporated sent out one Charles Baley as Governor of their factories and settlements in the Bay, with whom M. Fontenac, then Governor of Canada, by letter of Oct. 8, 1673, entertained a good correspondence, not in the least complaining in several years of any pretended injury done to the French by the Company's settling a trade and building forts at the bottom of the Bay. In 1672, Charles Bayly sent a ship, the Employ, from the bottom of the Bay to Port Nelson to settle a trade there with the natives, as in 1680 did also Capt. Draper the Albemarle. But after above 15 years' labour and charge, continual voyages, factories and settlements and the trade with the natives established to some degree of hoping to reimburse their charge, the French began now to be jealous of this new and growing trade and thought it worth their while to study some pretence to invade and rob the company or at least to share the benefit with them. Wherefore in 1682, when the English Company was building a fort and settling a trade at Port Nelson, the French having formed a private piratical expedition at Quebec by confederacy of one La Chanay and other private persons, came suddenly with two ships into the river of Port Nelson and with a stronger force surprised the Company's men, dispossessed them of their settlement, carried them prisoners to Canada and pretended to settle a trade there themselves. This was the first time the French sailed a vessel in Hudson Bay since the beginning of the world. Let them prove otherwise, if they can. And it was an unjustifiable, piratical expedition, for which the authors were prosecuted by frequent memorials from here at the Court of France. It was disowned by His Most Christian Majesty and satisfaction promised. Now as the French seldom want assurance for their pretentions or claim to anything for their advantage, so they never fail of artifice or force when they can to back them, and when by violence, rapine, and murther they have got themselves into an unjust possession, then to expostulate all by Treaty as if they were upon an even foot with the right possessor, and get it revitted by concessions. Thus they seconded this injurious invasion and assault, and a year or two after took another ship of the Company's, one Edward Humes, commander, with the goods and carried away the men prisoners and for above a year fed them with bread and water. But in 1686 they formed a greater design and went a considerable force over land from Canada to the bottom of the Bay; by force or treachery surprised and took all the Company's factories there, their ammunition stores and goods to a very great value, and murthered many of His Majesty's subjects, all in a time of peace. Upon these repeated injuries the Company complained several times in 1687 and several memorials were presented at the French Court by the Public Ministers there, Lord Preston, Sir William Trumbull and Mr. Skelton. At last His Most Christian Majesty was willing to appoint Commissioners to meet at London, and Mons. Bonrepos was sent over to be joined with M. Barillon, the French Ambassador, in that affair. For the issue of the conference we refer to the originals in the Paper Office, but in that reign, so advantageous to the French interest, they did not gain one inch from the rights of the Imperial Crown of England nor from the property of the Company. The Company put in a fresh memorial and petition at the accession of his present Majesty, who made the Company's sufferings one of his grounds for a declaration of war against the French. Signed, Saml. Clark. Dep. Gov. [America and West Indies. Hudson's Bay, 539. No. 8 pp. 3–8; and No. 11. 6 large pp.]
March 6.
St. George's.
151. Minutes of Council of Bermuda. Isaac Cholwell, master of the ketch James, bound for London with logwood and driven in here, ordered to give security of £1,000 for his landing his cargo in some of His Majesty's dominions. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 39. p. 10.]
March 6. 152. Copy of a Bill now depending in the House of Commons, that judgment and decrees hereafter to be obtained in H.M. Courts of Law and Equity in England may be executed in the English Plantations and Colonies in America. Endorsed, Recd. Read March 6, 1698/9. 21 pp. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 5. No. 7; and 35. p. 32.]
March 6. 153. John Hallam and Nicholas to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In answer to your enquiry whether the will mentioned in their petition was ever controverted or judgment given as to the insanity of John Liveen, the will was proved in common form only, but that Liveen was non compos mentis and imposed on in his last sickness will appear by affidavits of two of the witnesses themselves and by those of Edward Palms and Elizabeth Way. Petitioners have often applied to the Courts in Connecticut that they might controvert the will and have leave to prove the insanity of the testator, but were always denied and refused. Signed, John Hallam, Nicolas Hallam. Endorsed, Recd. Read March 6, 1698/9. 3 pp. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 2. No. 53.]
March 6. 154. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Representations upon the memorial of John and Nicholas Hallam, and upon a petition of Edward Palms and John Hallam relating to the ship Liveen, which they set forth to have been forcibly taken from them, ordered.
Copy of a Bill now under consideration in the House of Commons, "That Judgements and Decrees hereafter to be obtained in His Majesty's Court of Law and Equity in England may be executed in the English Plantations and Colonies in America," read.
Draft of instructions to Lord Bellomont about Rhode Island considered.
March 7. Report on Col. Fletcher's case considered.
The Old Book of Hudson's Bay Entries ordered to be lent to Mr. Vernon if desired, and a receipt to be taken.
Memorandum.—The French names of our Five Nations of Indians dependent on the Government of New York are Agnies (Maquas); Isonontouans (Senecas); Ononantagues (Onandagas); Oneides (Oneidas); Goyougauans (Cayougas).
Mr. Lucas consented to refer the differences between him and Col. Codrington to the Lord Lucas. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 406–408; and 96. Nos. 40, 41.]
March 8. 155. Minutes of Council of Montserrat. The further quartering of Col. Collingwood's regiment, plus 23 men incorporated out of Col. Holt's late regiment, recommended to the Assembly. Major John Scott appointed Treasurer, receiving 3 per cent. as salary. Capt. John Bramely appointed to be Captain and Commander of all the Forts in the island, which are much out of order. His salary referred to the Assembly. An Act for determining the sitting and regulating the election of Assemblies and an Act investing Capt. Frye in 102,627 pounds of sugar, arrears due to the Public Stock, and enabling him to collect them, were read and assented to. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. p. 541.]
March 9. 156. Minutes of Council of Montserrat. Anthony Ravell admitted Surveyor. An Act for raising a levy of 130 pounds of sugar per head, and the assessments of the several merchants, doctors and factors was read and assented to. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. p. 542.]
March 9.
157. Order of King in Council. For the purposes mentioned in the representation of the Council of Trade, Jan. 10, His Majesty in Council is pleased to order that one ship of war of the 6th rate be appointed for Virginia, and one of the 6th rate for Maryland, one of the 6th rate for New York, and one of the 5th rate for New England, to be changed and relieved yearly, and that especial care be taken that they be good sailers and that such orders and instructions be constantly given to the commanders of ships of war attending His Majesty's Plantations as by the said representation is proposed. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 5. No. 8; and 35. pp. 32, 33.]
March 9. 158. John Lucas to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In compliance with your proposal of having all matters now before you on my petition accommodated, and that Col. Codrington's son and I should refer them all to the Right Hon. the Lord Lucas, and that I should lay before you what I propose in order of such an accommodation, I propose (1) That your Lordships would be pleased to interpose with His Majesty to remit the fine of £100; (2) Col. Codrington and John Lucas to give one another a general release and undertake to observe an honourable, just, due and agreeable behaviour towards each other in the future. Endorsed, Recd. Read March 9, 1698/9. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6. No. 7; and 45. p. 328.]
March 9. 159. Edward Palms and John Hallams to Council of Trade and Plantations. Memorial in support of their petition. Endorsed, Recd. Read March 9. Copy. 4 pp. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 2. No. 55.]
March 9.
160. Council of Trade to the King. Representation upon the petitions of John and Nicholas Hallam and Edward Palmes and John Hallam (Feb. 23). With regard to these complaints of the obstruction of justice in the Colony of Connecticut, we humbly conceive Your Majesty may fitly require the Government and Company of the Colony to take care that no such obstruction be allowed, but that all cases upon differences between man and man about private rights be fairly heard and judged in the proper methods of the Courts established in that colony, and that if any persons think themselves aggrieved by sentences there given, they may be allowed to appeal unto Your Majesty in Council, and that the copies of records and other proceedings in all such cases be transmitted hither in order to a final hearing, it being the inherent right of Your Majesty to receive and determine appeals from all Your Majesty's subjects in America. Signed, Tankerville, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. pp. 355, 356.]
March 9.
161. Order of King in Council, approving the representation of the Council of Trade of same date relating to John and Nicholas Hallam, and instructing the Council to signify His Majesty's pleasure to the Governor and Council of Connecticut accordingly. Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. Read April 19, 1699. Copy. 4 pp. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 3. No. 8; and 25. pp. 403, 404.]
March 9. 162. Draft of Instructions to Governor the Earl of Bellomont to enquire into the misdemeanours of Rhode Island, with a list of persons to be consulted and of questions to be put to Walter Clarke, the late Governor, John Green, Deputy Governor, John Easton, late Governor, Samuel Cranston, Governor, and Peleg Sanford.
162. I. Representation of Council of Trade laying the above before the King. Signed, Tankerville, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jon. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. pp. 357–372.]
March 9.
163. Order of King in Council, approving the draft of instructions to Lord Bellomont about Rhode Island. Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. Read March 27, 1699. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 2. No. 56; and 25. p. 378.]
March 9.
164. Order of King in Council. Referring petition of the Proprietors of East New Jersey, concerning the port of Perth Amboy, to the Council of Trade and ordering the Attorney and Solicitor General to attend the Council at the examination of it. Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. Read March 13, 1698/9. Enclosed,
March 9. 164. I. Petition of the above. Lord Bellomont last November commanded thirty or forty armed men to seize the Hester in the harbour of Perth Amboy and to carry her up to New York, where His Excellency caused an information to be filed in order to her condemnation for not entering and clearing at that port. He justifies his action by H.M. Order in Council, Nov. 25, 1697, in confirmation of a report of the Council of Trade which was grounded upon several misinformations of matters of fact. Of these the Proprietors had no notice till they were published in America. Petitioners are advised by eminent counsel that they have an undoubted right of entering and clearing ships immediately at East Jersey, and if they are deprived of a common benefit of a port, enjoyed by all other English Colonies, that fertile country will be deserted by the inhabitants and return to a wilderness, and petitioners' estates there, which have cost them great sums of money to purchase and improve, will be totally lost. To obviate all objections that can reasonably be entertained by the inhabitants of New York against a port in New Jersey, petitioners will oblige themselves to procure an Act of Assembly of that province for imposing the same duties upon goods to be imported into and exported from East Jersey as are or from time to time shall be payable for the goods of New York, and to be applied to the like uses as the Customs of that port. Petitioners pray for the free use of the port of Perth Amboy upon this condition, or that, for their vindication against the clamours of the inhabitants of East Jersey, the Attorney General may be directed to consent to a trial at bar in Westminster Hall upon a feigned issue, whereby petitioners' claim may receive judicial determination. Signed, Wm. Dockwra, John Burnett (for Robt. Burnett), Wm. Bingly (for myself and Anthony Sharpe), Tho. Cooper, Tho. Barker, Joseph Ormston, Gilbert Molleson (and for Robert Barclay), Tho. Lane, Peter Sonmans, Walter Benthall (for himself and Tho. Harte), J. Lofting, E. Richier. True copy. Signed, John Povey. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 2. Nos. 57, 57 I.; and 25. pp. 373–376.]
March 9. 165. Summary of the French pretensions upon Port Bourbon, called by the English Nelson. They made the first settlement there and were dispossessed by the English in time of peace. In 1682 Dezgrozilliers and Radisson, French subjects, fitted out two small vessels and sailing into the mouth of the rivers Bourbon and Ste. Therèze, about 150 leagues from the English settlement at the bottom of the Bay, they built a fort and left a garrison under the command of the Sieur Chevart (son of Desgrozilliers). In 1684 Radisson went to London, was engaged in the Company's interest, returned with five ships, surprised and plundered the French Fort, carrying off 60,000 beavers to London. [America and West Indies. Hudson's Bay, 539. No. 8. pp. 9 and 12.]
March 9.
166. Order of King in Council. In accordance with the representation of the Council of Trade on the memorial of the Agents of Jamaica, the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty are to see that instructions are given from time to time to the commanders of His Majesty's ships in those parts to observe the laws of the Plantations with regard to carrying off any indebted inhabitant without his having his ticket. Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. March, Read April 3, 1699. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 111; and 56. p. 312; and Plantations General, 5. No. 9; and 35. pp. 37, 38.]
March 9.
167. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. The Lords Justices in Council having ordered us, upon our representation of Oct. 19 last, to hear Col. Fletcher upon the complaints which had been made against him, we digested into distinct heads the substance of what more particularly related to him in that representation (see Cal. 1698, 904, 1007), with some further particulars that had afterwards occurred to us. We delivered the same to him and he answered them in writing (Cal. 1698, 1077) and desired to be heard by his Counsel. We accordingly heard Mr. Attorney General against him and Counsel in his defence.
Case of the ship Jacob. Charges 1, 2, 3. The evidence consists chiefly of the depositions of Samuel Burgess and Edward Taylor (Cal. 1698, 473, II., 473, III.), one of which is direct and positive, as well with relation to the treaty with Col. Fletcher beforehand as to the presenting the ship to him afterwards. Col. Fletcher denies the treaty beforehand. The Minutes of the Council of New York, April 7, 1693, prove the fact that the pirate crew were allowed the benefit of an Act to which they were not entitled, but Col. Fletcher denies, and Colonel Bayard and Mr. Chidley Brook, then of the Council but since removed and now in England, deny also, that he influenced the Council in their deliberations upon that matter. The third charge Col. Fletcher acknowledges. Our opinion is that his proceedings, although with the consent of the Council, were contrary to his duty and an encouragement to piracy.
Protections to pirates. Charges 4, 5, 6. Col. Fletcher admits that protections were granted and that gratuities might be paid to his servant, but not to known pirates and without his receiving any benefit. But the depositions of Samuel Staats and Thomas Lewis and the admission of Col. Bayard that Col. Fletcher told him that upon application for protections the persons concerned might make what presents they liked, confirm the charge. There does not appear to us any ground to believe that any security at all was ever taken when granting protections, and Col. Fletcher admits no prosecutions were ever made of any such persons under what suspicion soever they lay. The sixth article is grounded on the deposition of John Wick. We are humbly of opinion that, in granting such protections in the manner aforesaid, Col. Fletcher gave great encouragement to pirates, and neglected his duty in not causing such persons to be prosecuted.
The protection of Edward Coats. Charge 7. We have no other evidence than the words of Coats, and it is not clear to us by the depositions whether he spoke them with relation to his piracies in the Jacob or some other afterwards.
Grant of Commissions to Tew, Glover and Hoare. Charge 8. Col. Fletcher pleads that this was done with full approbation of the Council, and denies that he knew of their intentions to sail for the Indies and the Red Sea, and on the contrary affirms that Tew made open vows never to go thither again. The Earl of Bellomont writes us that their intention of sailing thither is owned by the common speech of all men in the Province to have been a thing then publicly known.
Col. Fletcher's intimacy with the pirate Tew. Charge 9. Col. Fletcher offers in extenuation that this intimacy proceeded only from the pleasantness of his conversation and the information he thereby received about things observed by Tew in his voyages, together with his desire to reclaim Tew from an ill habit that he had got of swearing. In order to which he gave him a book, and, to gain the more upon him, also a gun of some value, in return whereof he received a present from him, which was a curiosity and in value not much.
Commission of Thomas Moston. Charge 10. Col. Fletcher acknowledges he granted the commission upon the desire of several merchants who had hired the ship to fetch negroes from Madagascar, but denies he knew she was an unfree bottom. The Earl of Bellomont states that she was known to all men to have been a former Dutch privateer, and that the cargo she took in publicly at New York was goods proper for pirates. In her charter party of affreightment she was hired to lade other goods as well as negroes. Her seizure and confiscation for illegal trade on her return also support the charge.
Taking insolvent securities. Charge 11. The evidence with relation to the bonds given to Tew and Hoar consists in the affidavits of Thomas Wenham, Joseph Smith, William Sharpass and Lancaster Symms (Cal. 1698, 473, xiii.–xvi.). Col. Fletcher throws the blame of the insufficiency of the securities and the tampering with the bonds on his servant Honan, whom he says he has retained in his service that he may be forthcoming. Our opinion on Charges 8, 9, 10, 11, is that, though it do not appear to us that Col. Fletcher knew that the persons to whom he granted the forementioned commissions intended to go upon piracy, yet greater caution ought to have been used by him and sufficient security taken by the proper officers.
Connivance at illegal trade. Charge 12. The proofs consist of accounts and computations of the possibility of revenue. Since we drew up the articles and delivered them to Col. Fletcher, Lord Bellomont has sent further papers and promised others, so that we cannot lay before Your Majesty a perfect state of that matter.
Exorbitant Grants. Articles 13 and 14. Col. Fletcher replies that he did not make any grants of land without the advice and consent of the Council; the Surveyor was negligent and the Attorney-General ought to be accountable for any faults in the grants; the purchase of the Mohacques' (Maquas') land was fairly made. In reply, we are informed the Attorney-General was not consulted and was discharged by Col. Fletcher from attending the Council. The omission to make surveys might proceed from the extent and nature of the grants, of which we have had an instance from Captain Evans, late commander of Your Majesty's ship Richmond, who being produced by Col. Fletcher to give us information concerning a grant made unto him (which we find to be reckoned about 40 miles by 20, though some others are much greater) assured us the survey was begun but could not have been perfected in six months. Whereupon we humbly offer to Your Majesty that though it was left to Col. Fletcher by his instructions to make as large purchases of land as he could from the Indians for a small value, yet his large grants to single persons without due caution for improvement was not for Your Majesty's service nor did it tend to the settlement of those parts, for which reason their Excellencies the Lords Justices were pleased, upon our forementioned representation about the state of the Province of New York, to give directions to the Earl of Bellomont that he should put in practice "all methods whatsoever allowed by law for the breaking and annulling those exorbitant, irregular and unconditional grants."
Miserable condition of the Forces. Charge 15. Col. Fletcher admits having received the perquisite of 10s. per annum from the Victuallers for the Forces, for each private soldier, but only for those raised in the country and not for those sent over by your Majesty. As to the false muster-rolls deposed by Lieut. Bulkeley, Col. Fletcher represents that he was at Albany when the muster was made at New York, and that it was certified by one of the Council there. And concerning Bulkeley, Col. Bayard has affirmed that he hath been guilty of thieving, is infamous and ought not to be credited. We think the muster-roll ought to be re-examined by the Commissary-General of the Musters here, in order to be certified over by him to the Paymaster-General of the Forces, that payment may be made accordingly.
Neglect of the fortifications. Charge 16. Col. Fletcher represents that the fortifications on the frontiers being of wood are subject to moulder and decay. Concerning the neglect of demolishing the Fort of Cadaraquy, we are satisfied, by what Col. Fletcher has represented to us, that, owing to the distance of the place, about 400 miles from that colony, and the difficulties of the way thither, through woods, morasses, and other inconveniences in that uncultivated country, it was scarce possible to have marched thither with the force and instruments necessary.
Illegal letter of denization. Charge 17. This article was not formed upon any information from the Earl of Bellomont, but occasioned by an order from the Lords Justices in Council in October upon which we made a separate report. We therefore only offer Col. Fletcher's defence, that he only granted letters of denization in the accustomed form and that the Attorney General who drew them must be answerable for any defect in them.
Neglect of notifying the Peace to the Governor of Canada. Charge 18. Col. Fletcher reports that he had no authentic notice of the Peace himself, but that, having occasionally received some advice thereof from New England, he did send notice of what he heard to the Commander of Mont Real, the garrison next bordering to New York, for the prevention of any further hostilities.
This being the state of the whole matter we are most humbly of opinion that Your Majesty would be pleased thereupon to refer the same to the Attorney General, to consider and report what further proceedings may be had upon any of the foresaid articles wherewith Col. Fletcher has been charged. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Tankerville, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. New York, 53. pp. 262–282; and (rough draft) 44A. No. 29.]
March 9. 168. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Memorial of Edward Palmes and John Hallam about the ship Liveen read and representation thereon Signed.
Representation accompanying draft of instructions to Lord Bellomont about Rhode Island Signed.
Representation upon Col. Fletcher's case Signed.
Mr. Lucas presented proposals for accommodating the differences between him and Col. Codrington. Ordered to attend on Tuesday morning.
March 10. Papers annexed to the memorials of John and Nicholas Hallam and Edward Palmes and John Hallam ordered to be returned.
Memorial of Henry Adderley etc. read. Notice ordered to be given them that witnesses they desire to have examined may make affidavits before a Master in Chancery according to the usual method of this Board. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 408–410; and 96. Nos. 42 and 43.]
March 10. 169. Memorial from several merchants trading to New York to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In pursuance of our previous memorial and your Lordships' order, Feb. 21, we have endeavoured to obtain Signed accounts of their complaints from merchants lately come from New York, but they fear they may injure themselves by appearing officious in such matters. We lay before you what particulars we can of the causes for the said discontents, and hope for your assistance to compel witnesses to come in to testify. (1) Lord Bellomont treats a parcel of the meaner sort of people who were the accomplices of Jacob Leisler as though they had done nothing but what was meritorious. Now upon the news of His present Majesty's first landing in England, the then Lieut. Governor, Francis Nicholson, and Council, being Protestants, suspended the Papists then in office, and there being but three of the Council resident at New York, who were men that most usually acted and had been of the Council many years, and are all of Dutch birth and of the Dutch Church, they called together the Justices of Peace and Magistrates of the Province, who met and were styled the Convention for that Province, and the matters of government [were] managed by the major vote of that Convention. The Council and Convention took great pains to defend the Province against the French, and to keep the Indians of the Five Nations from being seduced by the French at Canada from the English interest. They wrote to the Secretary of State in England for orders, and it was most apparent that they would upon the first opportunity most willingly submit to His Majesty. But one Jacob Leisler, a kind of a French Walloon by birth, a person of a mean rank and estate, having formerly been but a private sentinel in New York, had a mind to set himself up for a Governor, refused to pay the Customs on some wine he had lately imported; told the common people they were under no government, gave them a great quantity of wine, promised eighteen pence a day to everyone that would list themselves soldiers under him, and so got them to own him for a Governor. He seized on the fort at New York and the public moneys, and kept himself in this usurped power for about 20 months. He closely and cruelly imprisoned many of the principal inhabitants for no other reason than because they had goods and money for himself and his rabble to plunder. He did indeed first get the proclamation of Their Majesties King William and Queen Mary and proclaimed them, to prevent others who were ready and desirous to do it, and to put some colour upon what he had done, or make some atonement for the insolences and barbarity committed by him and his accomplices. But on General Slaughter's arrival with Their Majesties' commission he rebelliously kept the fort against him for some time. Afterwards, when he was indicted for the treasons, murthers and robberies by him and his rabble committed, he denied the jurisdiction of the Court that sat by virtue of a commission from Their Majesties, refused to plead and was sentenced to death. We have affidavits and proofs ready to show that it was out of no loyalty to his present Majesty or the Protestant cause, but solely out of a desire for plunder that he and his loose rabble acted their tragedy. We humbly submit to your Lordships whether it be fit such men should be encouraged by being set in office. Some time after the Lord Bellomont acceded to office the bones of Leisler, which were about eight years before buried in a vault he had built himself, were taken up and laid publicly in state for about three weeks, and afterwards re-buried in the Dutch Church, against the consent of those who had the custody and care of it, with great pomp and solemnity, being attended with about a hundred men in arms and about nine hundred more of his rabble. Most of the principal inhabitants who had before suffered so severely withdrew in terror and secured their effects as well as they could during the time this mob was so up. (2) The Governor has displaced most of the Council, Sheriffs and Justices of the Peace and put in their places mean, ignorant people, mostly of Leisler's party. (3) He endeavoured also to get an Assembly composed of the rabble that joined Leisler in his said enormous practices, but (4) on his first accession the General Assembly called consisted chiefly of men opposed to that party, who, however, wished to bury all in oblivion and brought in a Bill that no murder, homicide, imprisonment, robbery, &c., committed during Leisler's usurpation should be brought into question. The Governor, however, would not admit the members who carried up the Bill and suddenly dissolved the Assembly. (5) The Earl has arbitrarily and illegally imprisoned several persons and threatened to treat others likewise unless they would take a general oath to answer all questions he should propose to them. (6) The Earl has stopped several ships after they were cleared, to the great loss of their owners, without reason assigned. Particularly, the New York Merchant, Commander Tho. Jeffers, for about three weeks. (7) He has granted commissions for life and death without the advice and consent of the Council. (8) By his private warrant he put one Miles Forster out of his house and land and gave possession of them to Leisler's son; an arbitrary and illegal act. (9) He has ordered the entering and altering of Minutes of Council without their advice and consent (10) and contrary to their expressed desire appointed Mr. Weaver agent, who is a stranger to the affairs of the Province, having only been here with his Lordship and then been busy on behalf of the Leisler faction. (11) He is said to abet a party in the Dutch Church that oppose the admittance of a minister chosen by the elders and deacons, and (12) has given great discouragement to the English Church by publicly calling their minister a sycophant, hypocrite and dissembler to God Almighty, and forbidding the tenant of the King's Farm to pay him rent. (13) He used reproachful language to Mr. Dellius, the Minister of the Dutch Church at Albany, saying he deserved to be pilloried because he would not surrender his patent of the Maquas' land, which he only took in trust for the Maquas. Through the discountenance of the Governor, Mr. Dellius is about to leave the place, which will be a very great prejudice to the English interest among those Indians. As to the imputation of piracy made by the Governor against the inhabitants, they abhor anything of that kind as much as anybody. Some witnesses of these matters, viz., Philip French, Jacob Mayze, and Benjamin Aske are about to take ship. We pray your Lordships' speedy order to stop them and to summons others, Col. Nicholas Bayard, Captain John Evans, Chidley Brooks, William Jeneway, Thomas Jeffers, Samuel Bradford and others we shall name to your Secretary to appear before you and give testimony. Signed, J. Lofting, Wm. Sheppard, Nath. Rous, Hen. Adderley, B. Hackshaw, Gerard van Heythuysen, John Blackall, Wm. H. Cornelisen. Endorsed, Recd. Read March 10, 1698/9. 17 pp. [Board of Trade. New York, 8A. No. 15; and 53. p. 283.]