America and West Indies: June 1703, 22-30

Pages 512-525

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 21, 1702-1703. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1913.

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June 1703, 22-30

June 22.
842. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of Nottingham. Since H.M. happy accession to the Crown, new Instructions have been sent to all the Governours in the West Indies, except to Jamaica, which Instructions differ from those given in the late reign, as well in relation to the oaths that are to be taken by all in office, as to the discipline of the Navy, lately resolved on by H.M. in Councill. New instructions with proper alterations were drawn for Jamaica, intended for my Lord Peterborough; but his Lordship not going and no other Governour having been since appointed, the Lieutenant Governour of Jamaica can only act by the former Instructions; upon which consideration we are humbly of opinion, that the Instructions drawn up for my Lord Peterborough, and remitted to your Lordship, may be past under the Seal and sent to the present Lieutenant Governour, which we humbly submit to H.M. pleasure. Signed, Dartmouth, Robt. Cecill, Ph. Meadows, John Pollexfen, Mat. Prior. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 45. No. 48; and 138, 10. pp. 478, 479.]
June 22.
843. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Ordered that the Secretary do inclose to the Governor of Barbadoes the letter for the Lieut. Gov. of Bermuda and a duplicate of the last letter to him.
Proposals made by Mr. Penn read. Ordered that he have notice to attend on Wednesday in the morning.
Petition of Rowland Tryon read and a report to H.M. prepared.
Letter to Lord Nottingham relating to Col. Handasyd's Instructions, signed.
June 23. Representation on Mr. Tryon's petition signed.
Acts of Maryland, 1692, together with Sir Thomas Trevor's report on them, Oct., 1699, considered. Their Lordships observing that a revision of the Laws of that Province had been made by the Assembly in July, 1699, wherein several former Laws were continued, and others altered, and that by the repealing one Act therein contained, An Act ascertaining the Laws of this Province, these first abovementioned do remain in force notwithstanding that divers of them had been left out of the Collection of those revised; but their Lordships having nothing before them explaining what may have been the reasons for that omission, nor what proceedings have been further made in Maryland in relation to the body of the Laws of that Province since the repealing of the foresaid Act; and further considering that many doubts may thereby arise whether some of these first above-mentioned are fit to be confirmed or no; ordered that a state of what relates to the collection or revision of the Laws of Maryland be laid before the Board for their further consideration. [C.O. 391, 16. pp. 162–165; and 391, 97. pp. 461–466.]
June 22. 844. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. Resolved, that the fees of barristers be in proportion to those of attorneys.
2,000l. voted as a present to H.E., who then acquainted the House with H.M. Instructions restraining him from receiving any presents from the public.
Supplemental Bill to an Act concerning the General Sessions sent down with amendments, which were agreed to.
Resolved, that all lawyers, who cannot think it safe to take the oath prescribed, shall be at liberty to practise in all causes wherein they have been already retained, without taking it.
Robert Stewart was granted leave to practice.
Ordered that Thomas Reynoldson, vintner, do accommodate the French prisoners that are under his charge, for a fortnight longer at the public expense.
Ordered, that Capt. Mills continue in command of the Larke. [C.O. 31, 7. pp. 76–81.]
June 23.
845. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Queen. In obedience to your Majesty's commands, we have considered the petition of Coll. Walter Hamilton. Quote the recommendation of Gov. Codrington etc. He appears to us to be well qualified to serve your Majesty as Lieutenant-Governour of St. Christophers, in case your Majesty may please to honour him with that Commission. Signed, Dartmouth, Robt. Cecil, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, Mat. Prior. [C.O. 153, 8. pp. 199, 200.]
June 23.
846. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. The Governor acquainted the Board that the occasion of calling them together was upon the Admiral sending orders on Sunday last to impress men at Port Royal and Kingston without any application made to him for leave, or to any civil magistrate. An enquiry was ordered to be made into the matter. [C.O. 140, 6. p. 145.]
June 23.
847. Minutes of Council of Maryland. H.M. Order in Council confirming the Act for the establishment of religious worship read, and ordered to be published in all the churches.
Letter of the Council of Trade and Plantations, Jan. 26, read relating to the sailing of ships. His Honour, the President, acquainted the Board that, pursuant thereto he had ordered the officers of the Customs not to clear any ship until further orders.
Reply to Lord Cornbury's letter (see June 15) agreed upon:—
"This Province having formerly been at great charge on the like occasion of remitting moneys to your Government, our Assembly have resolved that the money voted should be paid by the Treasurer to such person as should be sent from your Government, who might give a receipt therefore, which by our former letter we intimated to your Lordship, and assure you that when your Lordship shall be pleased to send for the same, it will be readily paid," etc.
The following Representation of the Clergy of the Province read and referred to the Assembly:—(1) That catalogues of parochial Libraries be taken and sent to the Council. (2) Whether the Sheriff can by the Act of Assembly demand sallery for collecting the 40lb. of tobacco per poll, and from whom. (3) How necessaries for the communion ought to be provided, and whether according to the Act of Queen Elizabeth, the Churchwardens of our respective parishes are not to take for the same, and how to be raised. (4) That Church Officers be obliged to subscribe their assent and consent of the Common Prayer and 39 articles. (5) That no unbaptized person be admitted into any office of trust in the Government. (6) That the Dissenters, especially the Quakers, do not conforme to the Act of Tolleration as confirmed by the Act of Religion, in divers particulars, first in not subscribing such declaration and profession as is provided by that law, secondly in not registering their meeting-houses in the several County Courts. (7) Recommend the passing of an additional Act concerning religion, wherein some penalty may be inflicted on such as professing themselves Protestants, never attend the public worship of God. (8) That the Quakers and Papists be restrayned from seducing H.M. Protestant subjects. Signed, Ro. Keith, Robt. Owen, John Sharpe, Jno. Edwards, Gabri. Demmilliane, Wm. Tibbs, Jos. Colbatch, Jno. White, Benja. Nobbs. Tho. Cockshutt, Henry Hall, Thomas Howell.
The President acquainted the Board of his being informed of several considerable quantities of rumme clandestinely brought from Pennsilvania over the head of the Bay into this Province, for prevention whereof he proposes that the Naval Officer be instructed to depute some person in Elk and Bohemiah River.
Upon petition of George Muschamp and George Plater, praying the application of the Board to the Council of Trade and Plantations that their respective salaries may be paid them out of the 3d. per hhd. allotted for the purchasing arms, this Board do not think fit to make any such application, the said duty being given to the country for so good an use.
Upon application of Sir Thomas Laurence, Secretary, ordered that Col. Henry Darnall, Lord Baltemore's Agent, do bring into the Secretary's Office what pattents are made out and remayning in his custody, to be recorded in the Secretary's Office, according to His late Majesty's Order in Council. [C.O. 5, 745. pp. 31–34.]
June 24.
848. William Popple to Governor Sir B. Granville. The Council of Trade and Plantations having not yet received any letter from you since your departure from hence, nor having at present any new matter to communicate to you relating to the Government of Barbados, they have ordered me in sending forwards the inclosed duplicate of their last, which was of the 27th May, to recommend the conveyance of this further letter for the Lieut. Governor of Bermuda to your care, in like manner as they did their former. [C.O. 29, 8. pp. 315, 316.]
June 25.
849. Extract of a letter from William Burt to Mr. Dummer. As for the time of stay at each place, I perceive all people are agreed it's sufficient, except this place, which if it was made equal with Antigoa, it would be an advantage to the inhabitants; here's as much trade as they have there and will require as much time to corrispond, tho' in a little time if our coast is not better guarded with some ships, we shall have little occasion of corrispondence, for since the Fleet went to Jamaica, the French from Martinico and Guardaloupe have fitted out 18 sail of privateers chiefly man'd by their mean planters that would otherwise starve. They are so thick amongst these Islands, that we can't sail from Island to Island but with more hazard than between England and this place; hardly a vessel in 3 escapes. About 3 weeks past a ship called the Rubey from London and Ireland bound to this place with 1,200 barrels of beef and other goods was taken; about 14 days past one Bennett from Bristol, bound here, was also taken; eight days past two ships and a brigantine loaden with provision and lumber from New England bound to Antegoa taken by a sloop in an hour's time, and several other vessels that we have not yet a particular account of, so that everything is risen to extravagant prices, staves and boards at 14l. a thousand, no cask to put sugar in or vessels to carry it away, which makes it of no value amongst us, freight at 14s. a hundred. Here are some vessels laden with sugar and durst not stir for fear of the privateers. About 14 days past a privateer cut a brigantine out of the Road at St. Christopher's laden with sugar ready to sail belonging to one Richard Clayton, done at seaven of the clock in the morning, you may guess how sawcey they are grown. One 4th rate, one 5th, two sixth would secure our trade and starve them. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 184, 1. No. 1.]
June 25. 850. William Popple to Sir Simon Harcourt, Solicitor General. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire you to return the Book of Laws of Maryland past in July, 1699, and to give them your opinion in point of Law upon four parcels of Acts of the Bermuda Islands here enclosed, enumerated etc. [C.O. 38, 5. pp. 397–400.]
June 25.
851. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Upon consideration of the state of the Maryland Laws, ordered that the Secretary do send to Mr. Sollicitor General for the volume entituled Laws made in July. 1699, now in his hands, in order to their Lordships considering more particularly the Act ascertaining the Laws of that Province, together with the proceedings made thereupon.
Ordered that the Acts of the Bermuda Islands, lately read at the Board, be sent to Mr. Sollicitor General for his opinion thereupon in point of Law.
Upon consideration of the draft of a Report concerning the rates of foreign coin in the Plantations, their Lordships gave directions for some alterations to be made therein.
Ordered that a draught of Instructions be prepared for Lt. Gov. Handasyd to the [same] effect as those prepared some time since for the Earl of Peterborough, when his Lordship was intended to have been Governor in Chief of that Island. [C.O. 391, 16. pp. 166, 167; and 391, 97. pp. 469, 470.]
June 28. 852. Journal of Assembly of Jamaica. Thomas Bryan, attending in custody of the Messenger, his excuses were admitted. and he was discharged on paying his fees.
See Minutes of Council in Assembly June 17 and 29.
Upon the Governor's reply to the answer of the House (June 17), Resolved, that the House have done their duty in relation to the quartering the soldiers and providing for the recruits, and being willing to go forward with the business that lies before the House, are content to pass by that matter without any further debate.
Ordered that the Commissioners at Kingston attend the House to-morrow.
Committees appointed to bring in Bills, for the better collecting H.M. Quit-rents, for encouraging privateers and preventing damages in the Plantations.
Voted, that the fund for encouraging the importation of white servants be laid on the additional duty. [C.O. 140, 7. pp. 42, 43.]
June 29.
853. William Popple to Mr. Attorney General. Upon receipt of a letter from Governor Nicholson, signifying that an Attorney General is much wanted for H.M. service in that Province, the Council of Trade and Plantations desire you to nominate to them some fit person whom they may recommend to H.M. for that employment. [C.O. 5, 1360. p. 396.]
June 29.
854. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. The Book of Maryland Acts past in 1699 being received back from Mr. Sollicitor General, the Act for ascertaining the Laws of that Province, together with the proceedings made thereupon by this Board, were read. Ordered that Col. Blakiston and Col. Seymour have notice to attend the Board on Friday.
Upon consideration of Col. Nicholson's letter, March 13, ordered that the Secretary write to Mr. Attorney General as preceding.
The Collection of the Laws of New Hampshire, received from Col. Dudley (July 23, 1702) were laid before the Board, and some entrance made into the consideration thereof.
June 30. Laws of New Hampshire further considered. [C.O. 391, 16. pp. 167–169; and 391, 97. pp. 473–477.]
June 29. 855. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. A letter was written to Admiral Graydon upon occasion of his impressing men without leave (see June 23), inclosing a list of them, with depositions, and praying for their immediate discharge. "You may alledge that several of them are seafaring men, but how can an Island of so great extent as this exist subsist, hold correspondence with the several parts or the planters' goods be carried to market without such men, and besides they are the most necessary and useful men for the safety and defence of an Island," etc., etc.
A letter from King William, April 14, 1701, relating to the Commission for trying pirates was entered in the Council Book. [C.O. 140, 6. pp. 146–148.]
June 29. 856. Minutes of Council in Assembly of Jamaica. Message from the House desiring to know what is become of the Bill appointing Commissioners to enquire into the raising of money in Port Royal.
Bills, for dividing the parish of St. Elizabeth; to prevent the incursions of the enemy on the sea-coast; to make valid the will of Antho. Wood: and to confirm an agreement between Olivia Reid, Widow, and Nathaniel Browne and Anna Petronella, his wife; were read the first time. [C.O. 140, 6. p. 496.]
June 30.
Newport on Rhoad Island.
857. Governor and Company of Rhoad Island and Providence Plantations to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Acknowledge letters of Sept. 15, and Nov. 11, 1702.
Refer to Address to H.M. transmitted to the Earl of Nottingham, desiring a remission of their Quota for New York. In obedience to H.M. directions we did appoint a day for public Thanksgiving, wch. was religiously kept and observed with the greatest solemnity as wee was capable of, and at the evening of said day, rejoysing with eluminations and fireing of guns. Wee are not ignorant of the many complaints and informations that are made against us, in order to render us obnoctious and contemtible to your Lordships thereby to incence your Lordships against us to eclips us of those gratious previledges wch. through the Blessing of God and the goodness and clemency of H.M. and her Royal predecessors we have and do injoy. Our humble request is therefore unto your Lordships that your Charity may be so far extended towards us as not to harbour or give credit to such informations and complaints so as to pass any determination against us till we can be heard to make our lawfull defence. We should be forever obliged, if you would favor us with the knowledge of such things as hath been suggested and represented against us, that wee might make preparation for our just defence etc. By order of the Governor and Company of Rhoad Island etc., West Clarke, Secretary. Endorsed, Recd. Dec. 9, 1703, Read March 28, 1704. 2 pp. Enclosed,
857. i. Abstract of preceding. 1 p.
857. ii. Copy of Proclamation for a Day of Thanksgivingg "for the great Mercys and Blessings of God in protecting H.M. and good subjects against the publick Enemy." etc. [C.O. 5, 1262. Nos. 34, 34.i., ii.; and (without enclosures) 5, 1290. pp. 481–484.]
June 30.
858. Col. Quary and others to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Wee thought it our duty to acquaint your Lordships that, on the death of Col. Hamilton, the Government of the Province of Pennsylvania did devolve in the Councill (consisting of eight Quakers and two others) or any five of them, by vertue of a Commission left by Mr. Penn, a copy of which wee have here inclosed, they did immediately take on them to execute the power of Government without taking notice of the Commissioners appointed under the Great Seale of England to qualify all such as shall take on them the Government of the Province, at last they were pleased to summon us, and accordingly wee appeared at their Councill Board yesterday, the Dedimus lay on the table, which they had by force kept from us ever since it came into the country, and found ways to answer their own turne without making use of the Commissioners; of which injustice we have formerly complained to your Lordship[s]. We desired to have the Dedimus put into our hands, that wee might pay all obedience to it, some of us never having seen it before, which they refused to do; after much time spent on this debate, they were pleased at last to let us have it, about halfe an hour's time to peruse it, which accordingly wee did, and then told them that in obedience to those Letters Patent under the Great Seale of England, requiring and empowering us to administer the oath therein contained for the due observation of the several Acts of Parliament therein mentioned, that wee were ready to doe our duty, and did hope that they would doe theirs by quallifying themselvs as the Law directed; they told us that they could not or would not take the oath, to which wee replyed that it was not in our power to make any alterations since nothing was left to discretion, the very words of the oath being sett down at the foot of the Dedimus, that wee were required to administer. After much time spent, not worth entertaining your Lordships with, wee took our leave of them, what they will doe know not, they have adjourned all their Courts for a considerable time, so that there is a full stop to the course of justice and very much ruins trade, there being severall vessells to be registred which for want of being quallifyed they can not doe, and yet notwithstanding all this, that they can no ways answer the end of Government, they are resolv'd with ye Dogg in the manger. Nor do they in the least doubt but that Mr. Penn's interest will find means to dispense with all obligations of Law in their favour. Your Lordships will find that Mr. Penn hath worded his Commission according to his usual talent of cunning, he gives them all the power of Government for the three Lower Counties that is granted to him by his Letters Patent, which hee very well knows is nothing, they being not so much as mentioned, so that those Countys are without the least couler of Government, which obliges us to mind your Lordships, that some speedy care ought to be taken for the government and protection of that country, especially now in time of warr, that being ye frontier to the sea and very much exposed; besides the incouragement and preservation of this place, is of much greater advantage to the Crown than the Province of Pennsylvania. All the tobacco that is shipp'd off from this Bay is all produced out of the three Lower Counties, and with encouragement in a little time it will be of great value to H.M. revenue. Signed, Robert Quary, J. Moore, Richd. Halliwell, Jasper Yeates. Endorsed, Recd. 5th, Read 8th Oct., 1703. Addressed. Sealed. Penny-Post Mark. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1262. No. 32; and 5, 1290. pp. 367–371.]
June 30. 859. Duplicate of preceding. [C.O. 5, 1262. No. 32.i.]
June 30.
New York.
860. Governor Lord Cornbury to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers to a letter, not received, dispatched by a small sloop bound for Bristol, June 1st. I did then acquaint your Lordshipp that Col. Nicholson had been here, at his going from hence I perceived that one of his chief reasons of his coming at that time was the refusal that the Assembly of Virginia had given him of raising the Quota of money. So Col. Nicholson came to this place, and finding the condition of this Province much worse than he would have believed it, he gave me three Bills of Exchange of 900l. each upon Mr. Perry and Lane, and told me he would advise them of it. I received the Bills, but withall told him that I would send them over to my Agent, Mr. Thrale, with directions to lay them before your Lordshipps, and that I would make it my request to you that the Queen might be moved to allow the said summe out of her quit-rents of Virginia, of which Col. Nicholson hath a great summe now in bank in his hands. If H.M. is not pleased to allow of what is proposed, I have ordered Mr. Thrale to cancel the Bills in presence of Mr. Perry and Lane. I have writ to all the neighbouring Colonys who were appointed by his late Majesty to furnish their Quota. The Assembly of Maryland have consented to raise 300l., whereas their quota is 650l.; the Province of Pensylvania have absolutely refused to raise anything; the Province of Connecticott have acknowledged the receipt of my letter, and say that an Assembly has been called upon the subject thereof, but are come to a resolution not to raise any money till they have applyed to the Queen and received H.M. answer; the Governor of Rhode Island has likewise sent me an answer to mine, his letter is full of protestations of loyalty and fidelity to the Crowne, but no money, their pretence is, that they shall be at very great charges in fortfying their Island, tho' at the same time everybody that knows that place is sencible that [it] is not possible to fortify it, without laying out ten times more than the Island is worth, because it is easy for any body to land in every part of it. Thus your Lordshipps may see how little help we are like to have from our neighbours upon this Continent with respect to money. I am afraid if we should be obliged to call upon them for their Quota of men, we should have as unwelcome answers as we had about the money. I am well satisfyed that this vast Continent, which might be made very usefull to England, if right measures were taken, will never be so till all the Proprietary and Charter Governments are brought under the Crowne.
The General Assembly did last fall give the summe of 1,800l. for the maintaining of 150 fuzaliers and 30 men as scouts with their proper officers for a certain time limited in the Act, this service hath been performed, which hath kept us so quiet that no attempts has been made by the French or their Indians on our side all the last winter. I have kept spies abroad ever since the beginning of May and shall continue to do so all this summer, by which means I hope to be informed of any designe the French may have against these parts. Two of these spies came in about a month agoe and acquainted me, that a party of French and some Indians were preparing to go upon an expedition against the Eastern parts of New England. I immediately wrote to Colonel Dudley to acquaint him with it, upon which he went to the Eastward, to put things in the best posture of defence he can; I have two more of those spies come in some few days agoe, who inform me that there has been a very great mortality against the people of Canada occasioned by the small-pox, which has carryed off some hundreds of people; and that the French of Canada were in great apprehentions about five weeks agoe, having heard that a squadron of English men of warr was to come into the River of St. Lawrence, upon which they drew all their strength downe to Quebeck, so that if we had had force sufficient, it would have been very easy to have destroyed Montreall, they have since been informed that the squadron they had heard of was gone to the West Indies, so their people are returned to their habitations about Montreall, and other places thereabouts. I am still of opinion that it is no difficult matter to drive the French out of Canada, and that by the methods I proposed Sept. 29 last. I am more than ever of opinion that ye charge of yt. expedition would soon be reimbursed not only by the customes of the peltry trade, but likewise by saving considerable summes of money that are yearley layd out in presents for the Indians to keep them firme to us, without which it is not to be done. In October last I received a letter from my Lord Nottingham directing me to order the Jersey to convoy some vessells of provisions to the West Indies, which were to be provided by Col. Quary; it is true (some ice having appeared in the River) the shipp was layd up for all winter in a plaice called Kipps Bay, which is the usual place for any of the Queen's shipps to lay up in, in winter for fear of the ice, which drives down here in winter with great fury; however, in obedience to his Lordshipp's commands, I sent for Mr. Rogers, who by being first Lieutenant came to the command of the ship upon the death of Capt. Stapleton. I told what orders I had received, and directed him to make all the hast he could to fit the ship for sailing, as soon as I should hear from Col. Quary that his vessels were ready; two days after that, Col. Quary came to town, Mr. Rogers waited upon him and told him how inconvenient it would be to fitt out the ship at that time of the year, so Col. Quary desired me that the ship might be ready by March 28, that being the time that Mr. Rogers had promised to be ready, I promised Col. Quary I would take all the care I could, and accordingly I told Mr. Rogers he must take care to have the Jersey ready to sail by March 28 at farthest, wind and weather permitting, he promised me he would, and on Jan. 12 I gave him a press warrant to press seamen at ye east end of Long Island and in other parts of this Province, being willing to spare this City as much as possible, because it had suffered so much by the sickness last summer; he complained at that time that he want 40 men of his complement, and indeed I doe not wonder at it, for he used his men so ill, that none would stay with him, but those that could not help it, he sent a Lieutenant out with the warrant I gave him, having hired a sloop for that purpose for a month, but instead of returning in a month, he stayed out near two and brought but sixteen men with him, during which time, by the negligence of the said Mr. Rogers several men deserted from the ship, so that he has had from this place upwards of fourescore men. I prest him every day to saile, but he still pretended he wanted men, till at last I was informed by one of the officers of the ship, that they had had their complement above three weeks, then I commanded him to saile immediately, but he was detained by contrary winds at Sandy-hook about eight days, that gentleman has not behaved himself well here, and really if there is not some care taken to put the Captain's of the Queen's ships under some regulations, and that the Governors of these Provinces may be informed how to proceed with them, they will often create great inconveniencys in these parts, for they look upon themselves to be under no command and so do what they please. The General Assembly of this Province have met according to the adjournment, and have past several Acts, and attempted several others, which I did not think proper to consent to, the Acts are transcribed to send to your Lordshipps, I shall send them by the next ship, and shall then give you an account of those I rejected, and of some other proceedings. I herewith send two Addresses to H.M., which I intreat your Lordshipps will please to lay before the Queen; I likewise send two Quarterly Accounts. I take the liberty to send your Lordshipps the Laws of Connecticot and with them a Booke writ by one Mr. Buckley, who is an inhabitant of Connecticott, by that you will be informed of the methods of proceeding in that Colony, I did intend likewise to have sent you the Laws of Pensylvania and Rhode Island, but I have not yet received them, I hope I may get them by the time the next ship sailes. Signed, Cornbury. Endorsed, Recd. Dec. 9, 1703. Read Feb. 21, 170¾. 5 pp. Enclosed,
860. i. Abstract of preceding. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1048. Nos. 60, 60.i.; and (without abstract) 5, 1120. pp. 55–64.]
June 30.
New York.
861. Governor Lord Cornbury to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I think myself obliged always to give your Lordships an account of this Province, both with respect to its owne circumstances and with respect to the neighbouring Provinces, by some of which we suffer very much; and first as to the Fortifications of this Province. Since my letter of Sept. 24, I have begun a stone Fort at Albany, upon wch. I have laid out the remainder of the 200l. wch. Mr. Romer had received from Capt. Nanfan, and have provided materials to the value of 500l. more currant money of this Province, for which summe I had drawn a Bill upon the Treasury according to the directions formerly sent to my Lord Bellomont (wch. Bill is since come back protested), and I am now going this summer to lay out the 500l. sterling, wch. I received of my Lady Bellomont just before her departure from hence, and wch. had been sent to my Lord Bellomont by the late King to be applied towards the building a Fort at Onondage, and that is all the money I have yet received towards the carrying on that necessary worck, and without which this Province can never be safe, as long as the French are possest of Canada; I have by the advice of H.M. Councill for this Province repaired as well as possible ye stockaded Fort at Schennectady and built three new stockaded Forts, one att the half moone, an other att Nestagione, and another at Schachook, wch. is the chief habitation of the River Indians, these three last have cost almost 80l. this country money; there is an other to be built at a place called Saractoga, wch. is the northermost settlement we have, there are but few families there yett, and those will desert their habitations, if they are not protected, and the charge will be but small, and will give great satisfaction to the Indians. There is lately come to this place one Laurence Hidding, a Dutch man, an Inhabitant of this city, who last year was taken by the French before the warr was declared, on board a sloop belonging to this port, and going to the West Indies this man makes oath that being carried a prisoner into the Havana, he heard M. d'Hiberville say that in his return home from Meschasippi he had been at New York, and had sounded all the parts of the port, and was able to carry any ship in without the help of a Pilot, that he had acquainted the King his Master with it, and had undertaken to destroy this place, if he might have four fourth-rate Frigatts and two Bomb ketches. I had proposed to the Assembly to consider of raising a summe sufficient for the erecting two stone batteries at a place called ye Narrows, where the sea is not quite a mile Broad, no ship can come to this city without coming to that place, consequently that well deffended, this port is safe. The Assembly were so sensible of this truth, that they have passed an Act for granting to H.M. 1,500l. towards that purpose. I had laid before them an estimate which amounted to 2,025l., current money; I doe believe yt they would have been prevailed wth. to have given ye whole summe desired at once, had ye Province been in a condition to raise it, but realy they are not. The money that is granted shall be laid out forthwith to ye uses for wch. it was given. I hope to gett one of the Batteries up this summer.
I send you an inventory of such stores as we have remaining in the Fort here, by wch. you will see in how ill a condition we are to undertake anything against an enemy. I hope by your representations we shall be supplied from England, for really if any occasion should happen that might require the speedy arming two or three hundred men, it is impossible for us to do it. I have sent directions for Mr. Thrale to send us swords, for we have none, the Militia is brought into some method. I have seen the Regiment of Foot of this City, and the troop of horse, and have ordered the severall Captains to draw out the severall companys to exercise, wch. they have done, the Militia of the County of Albany are in very good order, that of Ulster begins to come into order again, that of King's County and that of Queen's County are beginning likewise to handle their arms again. Suffolk County, Richmond County and West Chester County, I have not yett seen, but intend, God willing, to see them all this summer, and then shall be able to give your Lopps. a full account of this Province with relation to the Militia. I did intend to have sent you by this conveyance an account of the number of the inhabitants of this Province, butt the Sheriffs have been so backward in their duty, that I have yett but five countys, so I still want five countys, but am promised I shall have them in four days time, so I shall send them to your Lordps. by an other ship, wch. will saile in ten days. In the meantime I herewith send you a list of all the officers of the Civill Government, and of the militia of this Province.
Now, my Lords, that I may rightly inform you of the misfortunes we labour under, with relation to the neighbouring Provinces, I must begin with Connecticutt, and first I must observe the coast of Connecticut is opposite to two third of Long Island, by wch. mean they fill all yt part of ye Island wth. European goods, cheaper then our Merchants can, because ours pay dutys and those of Connecticut payes none, nor will they be subject to ye laws of trade, nor to ye Acts of Navigation, by wch. mean there has for some time been no trade between ye City of New York and ye East End of Long Island, from whence the greatest quantity of whale oyle comes, and indeed ye people of ye East end of Long Island are not very willing to be persuaded to believe that they belong to this Province, they are full of ye New England principles, they choose rather to trade with ye People of Boston, Connecticut and Rhode Island, than with ye People of New York. I hope in a short time I shall bring them to a better temper, but in the meantime the trade of this city suffers very much, and other very great inconveniency we labour under is with respect to our soldiers, seamen and servants, both white and black. If a soldier of the Garrison or a seaman from any of the Queen's ships of warr has a mind to desert, it is but going into Connecticut and he is safe, and if an officer is sent after ye deserter and finds him there, ye first is protected and the officer affronted and abused, and of this there are severall instances to be given, and particularly when Capt. Mathews was sent after two deserters wch. he found att Stamford in a house, and sending to Major Solich for his assistance to secure them, he being a J.P. in that country, the Major came to the house and kept Mathews in a roome while the souldiers made their escapes, and thus it is on all occasions, att Rhode Island it is ye same. Several men belonging to the Jersey deserted and went to Rhode Island, and some to the East end of Long Island. One of the lieutenants was sent in a small sloop to try if he could gett any of them. I gave him a warrant to press those he should find att ye East end of Long Island, and I gave him a letter to ye Governor of Rhode Island to intreat him to assist the lieutenant in getting any of the men yt had deserted from any of ye Queen's ships, and particularly from the Jersey. The Lieut. went and did gett some men att ye East end of Long Island, but when he came to Rhode Island, he went to the Governor and delivered him my letter, who att first told him yt. he would do anything to serve ye Queen yt. lay in his power, but yt. he knew of no such men there. Ye Lieutenant told him yt. att his landing he had seen severall yt. he knew to be deserters, and had entered themselves on Board a Privateer that was then fitting out from yt. Port, ye Governor told he was very sorry it was so, but since they had entred themselves he would not disoblige his neighbours, and in short dismist him without letting him have one man tho' att ye sametime there was then above thirty deserters from ye Queen's ships there, these are ye only two Provinces we suffer by to the Eastward of us, in New England Coll. Dudley and Coll. Povey have been very carefull in stoping all deserters yt. goe yt. waye, and within this fortnight they have seized six soldiers who had deserted from Albany this spring, on ye other side to ye Westward of us, we had ye same ill accidents attended us till ye Government of New Jersey was surrendered to ye Queen, for it was but crossing Hudsons river and they were in jersey as safe as could be, but that is now att an end, so yt. if our deserters will go yt. waye, they must either go into Pensilvania or Carolina, for if they go into Maryland or Virginia, we are sure of having them.
These Provinces will never be so usefull to England as they may be till they are brought under the Queen's immediate Government, then ye rule will be the same, and the severall governments upon this vast Continent will be able to assist each other as ye Queen shall please to command. I thinck likewise it would be of great use if ye coin that is current in this part of ye world was put upon ye same foot in all these colonys, many inconveniencies happen for want of such a regulation, and particularly to this Province, for example a piece of eight weighing seventeen penywheight goes for 6s. 9d. in this place, but at Philadelphia for 7s. 6d.; so that no heavy money is to [be] found here. I am persuaded ye neighbouring colonies wch. by H.M. command ought to contribute towards ye fortifying ye northern frontieres of this Colony will never be brought to do it, unless some effectual way may be found to compell them to it, whether your Lordships will thinck a short Act of Parliament to be passed in England may be a proper way, I shall submit to your better judgements, but I cannot help to accquaint your Lopps. yt. all these colonys are possessed wth. an opinion that their Genll. Assembleys ought to have all ye same powers yt. a House of Commons of England has, nay in this Province, where I must do them the justice to say there are very many good men among the English Inhabitants of this place, many among ye French and some among ye Dutch, yett there were some people who did endeavour to prevaile wth. ye Assembly to offer at some things wch. would have been great encroachments upon ye Prerogative of the Crown, but they soon desisted, and proceeded upon ye matters before them. Signed, Cornbury. Endorsed, Recd. Dec. 9, 1703. Read Feb. 21, 170¾. 2½ pp. Enclosed,
861. i. Abstract of preceding. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1048. Nos. 59, 59.i.; and (without abstract) 5, 1120. pp. 44–54.]
June 30. 862. Journal of Assembly of Jamaica. Bill for regulating Elections, read the first time, and recommitted, and read again. [C.O. 140, 7. p. 43.]
June 30. 863. Minutes of Council in Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay. The Lieut.-Governor (Thomas Povey) received an express from H.E., dated at Casco Bay, June 27, intimating that he is necessarily detained there, the Indians not coming in so soon as he expected, and that he wanted the assistance of the Gentlemen of the Council and the Speaker of the Representatives, and could not dismiss them at present; directing his Honour to send for the Representatives and to intimate to them to proceed to the settlement of the apportioning of the tax granted October last, and that he hoped to see them in 10 days. H.E. communicated the above message to the House. [C.O. 5, 789. pp. 834, 835.]