America and West Indies: September 1703, 1-10

Pages 662-681

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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September 1703, 1-10

Sept. 1. 1065. Minutes of Council of Barbados. H.E. communicated to the Board a report (1) from Charles Buckworth, Judge of the Vice-Admiralty, Aug. 28, together with (2) the Attorney and Solicitor General's opinion thereon;—(1) There having been lately brought into Carlile Bay by Capt. Wm. Pead and Capt. John Halsy a sloop, Charles the Second, of which Capt. Manuel Manasses Gilligan hath taken his oath that he is sole owner, and most part of the cargo, and one William Francis Andrews is supposed to be Master at the time of the caption of the said sloop, which with her cargo and appurtenances is by me condemned in the Court of Admiralty as lawful prize for unlawful trading with the Queen's enemies, I thought it my duty to represent to your Excellency's consideration that the abovesaid Gilligan is a naturalborn subject of the Queen of England, but hath since taken his oath of fidelity to the King of Denmark and the Royal West India Company of St. Thomas, and hath a pass from the Governor of St. Thomas to go with the said sloop to the neighbouring Islands about his lawful occasions for six months. Now he, not having any liberty granted by the said Governor so to doe, hath of his own inclination and will unlawfully traded with the Queen's enemies upon the Maine Continent of America, and having transported himself into this Island, in order to justify such his unlawful trade, I doe, with submission, declare that he being now in H.M. Dominions ought to be secured there till H.M. pleasure be known, or at least to give sufficient security to appear and deliver up himself to be tried. And for the supposed Master, Andrews, and the rest of the Queen's subjects concerned in the said unlawful trade and now in this Island, and not having any pretention of their having sworn loyalty to any prince but H.M. of England, are at least liable to be proceeded against in the same manner. Signed, Cha. Buckworth. (2) Upon the above Report, recommended by H.E. for our consideration, we [? think it will] conduce to H.M. interest to have a true state of this case drawn up and transmitted to H.M. with all convenient speed, in order to receive her Royal pleasure therein, and that in the meantime Gilligan and Andrews and all other H.M. natural-born subjects belonging to the Charles the Second be either secured, or give good security not to depart this Island until H.M. pleasure be signified herein etc. H.E. and this Board having seriously considered the foregoing, ordered that Charles Buckworth doe forthwith issue his warrant to apprehend the said persons and that he take such security as H.E. shall approve of for their forthcoming when commanded, and in case they refuse to give such security, that then he commit them to gaol. [C.O. 31, 8. pp. 64–67.]
Sept. 1.
St. Jago de la Vega.
1066. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Ordered that the planck brought down from Hispaniola by the Englishmen lately escaped thence in the sloop called the Catharine be valued and the money they shall be so valued at be immediately paid to the said men.
Ordered that a shed be built over the new carriages to be made out of the said planck for H.M. gunns in the parade to preserve them from the sunn and weather.
342l. 12s. 8d. paid to Lt. Gov. Handasyd for a quarter's salary according to the old allowance ending Sept. 4 and for the new addition appointed by H.M. April 20.
9l. 13s. 10d. paid to the Lt. Gov. for money paid by him for bricklayers' work, buckets, etc. for the well at the Queen's house.
94l. 16s. paid to Capt. Francis Hislop on account of salary and rent of a storehouse, as Capt. of H.M. traine of artillery. [C.O. 140, 6. pp. 175, 176; and 189, 190, where the date is given erroneously as Sept. 31.]
Sept. 1.
1067. Minutes of Council in Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay. H.E. summoned the Assembly to attend and addressed them:—When I prorogued this Assembly I did not intend to have troubled you until the ordinary time of your session in October, but the sudden eruption of the Eastern Indians has made it necessary for me to see you, and to let you know the present state of the Province and your affairs. I am not sorry for the pains and cost I have taken in the two last interviews with those Indians, if possible to have kept them in obedience, notwithstanding the infraction they have now made upon us, because I am well assured that H.M. will be satisfied that we are not the aggressors, but that all this breach of faith is on their parts by the instigation of the French Missionarys amongst them, who attended them in the late mischiefs. And I hope yourselves and all H.M. good subjects will with the better courage and freedom support the service and charge of the war, when no possible methods of justice and friendship can oblige them to obedience, which they have so often promised and repeated. I am not sensible to have neglected one hour in the service for the security of the Frontiers, notwithstanding their sudden and secret falling upon the whole Province of Mayn at once at the distance of 50 miles. The Garrisons at Wells, Saco, Blackpoint and Casco were so well appointed as to hold their own, and the two last were relieved in four days time and I have now upwards of 400 men in the Province of Mayn, which I doubt must be increased, which has brought up the present forces to 900, the list whereof shall be laid before you. I am very sensible what great charge this must necessarily bring upon the Province, but I hope none of H.M. subjects will doubt of our duty to support our frontiers, or of our prudence to keep the war as far off as we can. I have earnestly moved H.M. Governments of Connecticot and Rhode Island for a quota of men from thence, which yet I doubt of, but that must not abate but be added to what is already on foot, if I can obtain it. The present care before you is to rayse what is necessary for the subsistance and payment of the forces, a good number of small arms, cloths, and shoes must be soon sent to them, and I shall take care that there be Commissarys in the several parts, who shall answer for everything that is put into their hands, for whom you will provide salaries as they deserve, and I desire you to do what is proper therein that the best and fittest man may be induc'd to serve. I have also to communicate to you H.M. most gracious letter referring to the support of the Governments, wherein you will see H.M. just expectation from you, and I have good reason to hope that, while we have so many particular favours from H.M., you will do your duty and shew your obedience in this and all other Her royal commands, as you tender the protection of the Crown. I am well assured the management of this Government in the distant parts of it do's at all times demand all possible application, in which by the help of God I shall not fayle, and therefore justly expect the support H.M. has commanded. I am sensible your presents and service will be wanting in the several parts to which you belong, and therefore desire you will apply yourselves wholly to the publick affairs that this Session may not be long.
Mr. Speaker desired a copy of H.E. Speech, which was given him, and the House dismist to their business.
H.M. Letter of April 8, directed to the Governour and Council for setting a fixt allowance upon the Governor, etc., was presented by H.E. and read at the Board. Bill for discontinuing the Superior Court of Judicature in Hampshire and York Counties during the present troubles with the Indians, read a first time.
Sept. 2. The above Bill was read a second time, amended, passed to be engrossed and sent down for concurrence.
Bill relating to executors and administrators was brought in and read a first time.
Message sent up from the Representatives to return thanks to H.E. for his early care of the frontiers, and to desire that he would forthwith rayse such further force as with those now in the service may form a suitable army to pursue the Indians to their headquarters, if it may be.
H.M. letter of April 8 was sent down to the Representatives.
Resolved that H.E. be desired again in the most pressing manner to urge the Governments of Connecticott and Rhode Island to send a quota of men.
Sept. 3. The above vote was returned from the Representatives with their concurrence.
Message sent up to move H.E. whether it may not be proper to form an expedition to Port Royal, if voluntiers offer, at the same time that any army is sent up into the country.
Message sent to the Representatives to propose an establishment for a Commissary General and two sub-commissarys for the forces.
Vote of the Representatives for granting a tax of 11,492l., according to the rules for the last tax, to be paid in grain and provisions in the several towns at certain stated prices, sent up and read. Message sent down to represent to the House the impracticableness thereof, and the loss and damage that would necessarily ensue to the Province thereby.
Sept. 4. The Representatives sent up their vote again, insisting thereupon, which was again read and sent down with a Committee to confer with them. [C.O. 5, 789. pp. 868–871.]
Sept. 2.
1068. E. Dummer to the Earl of Nottingham. I think it my duty to represent to your Lopp. the Generall Fact (or one year's experience) of holding correspondence with the Islands in the West Indies by four vessels. Repeats record of the ships' voyages, averaging about 100 days out and home. In my original proposition I allowed 95 days besides the time allotted to be spent at each Island, so it appeareth that every boat hath performed their course in less time both winter and summer than I allowed. It is represented from all the Islands to augment the time of stay a little beyond what it is. I know not whether your Lordshipp will think fit to do it. Proposes to stay 24 hours more at Barbados, 18 at Antegoa, 12 at Montserat, 12 at Nevis, 12 at St. Christophers, and 5 days and nights more at Jamaica. I am of opinion that the addition of this 8¼ days, to make the whole 19½ among the Islands, will not be detrimental to the speed required of them, provided your Lordshipp shall give orders that the Masters of these vessels shall deliver the Mail on board upon firing a gun to the Chief Officer residing at the Port where he shall arrive, and that they shall not be obliged to carry the mails or other packets 8 or 10 miles into the country, and to attend especially at Jamaica two or three times at the Governor's remote residence for orders, by which means he cannot attend the cleaning and watering of his vessel, nor keep his men together, nor despatch the most necessary affairs for his voyage home, and that no Capt. be commanded to go out of his way or stay longer at any of the Islands than the allotted time. I beg that these things be positive, for they are forbidden to carry out or bring home any goods whatever, but only passengers, because they shall lye under no temptation on that score. There was nothing I took more care to inculcate into the minds of these Masters than that they should make all possible dispatch, and avoid both friends and enemys at sea, by default of which all the loss has happened, and altho' the last boat be come safe to port, nevertheless the Captain having assaulted, taken and exchanged men with the enemy, hath acted contrary to his orders, therefore I have dismissed him, and supplyed another in his room etc. (Well done, written in margin.) Signed, E. Dummer. Endorsed, Recd. Sept. 2, 1703. Addressed. Sealed. 1¾ pp. Enclosed,
1068. i. Copy of Instructions of the Captains of the MailPackets to the West Indies. Article 10 permits the Captains to carry passengers from one Island to another, at tariffs ranging from 2l. 10s. from Barbados to Antegoa, 3l. from Barbados to Jamaica, 4l. from the Leeward Islands to Jamaica, and 12 pounds from any of the Islands home to England. 3 pp. [C.O. 318, 3. Nos. 18, 18. i.]
Sept. 2.
1069. William Popple to Sir Edward Northey. The Council of Trade and Plantations having received from the Lt. Governor of Jamaica an Act declaring Kingston the Chief Seat of Trade, etc., and some gentlemen lately arrived from Jamaica having attended the Lords of the Committee, who meet in the Earl of Nottingham's Chambers, upon which his Lordship has desired the Lords Commissioners for Trade to take the same into consideration and to report their opinion thereon as soon as possible in regard of the necessity that some speedy resolution be taken therein, I am directed by such of the Commissioners as are present in town to send the said Act to you, and to desire your opinion thereupon in point of Law with all the speed you can, that some other Members of this Board, who are now absent, but near at hand, may be summoned to meet and deliberate upon their report without too great delay. Sir Gilbert Heathcote etc. will attend you about this matter. [C.O. 138, 11. pp. 30, 31.]
Sept. 2.
1070. Minutes of Council in Assembly of New Hampshire. Message sent to the House from Lt. Gov. Partridge that, for want of a full Council, he adjourned the House till to-morrow.
Sept. 3. H.M. Letter, April 20, read before the Council, the Assembly attending.
Letter from the Council of Trade, April 20, read.
Joint Committee appointed to examine into the Treasurer's account. Ordered that the 60 men under Capt. James Davis, being out on scouting at the head of the Rivers, be disbanded.
Sept. 4. Message sent down with a vote relating to the impressing of 18 men to make up the number twenty men at H.M. Fort, as also for the impressing of 60 men to secure the frontiers.
2l. paid to Patience Alkins for half a year's rent from May 17—Nov. 17, 1702, for the Assembly and Council's sitting.
Vote sent up that the Lieut. Governor is desired to order such a number of men as he thinks convenient to scout at the head of the frontier towns or other service for 14 days, in such manner as he thinks most convenient for safety, either by parcells or in a body, and that each man find himself provisions, arms and ammunition from their first going forth till their return.
Message sent up from the Representatives that they were still considering H.M. Letter of April 20.
H.E. summoned the Assembly to attend and prorogued them till Sept. 21st. [C.O. 5, 789. pp. 333–335.]
Sept. 3. 1071. Minutes of a Council of War of sea and land officers held on board H.M.S. Boyne in St. Mary's Bay, Newfoundland. Upon reading H.M. Instructions to Brigadier Colenbine and H.R.H. Instructions to Vice-Admiral Graydon, and upon mature consideration of (1) the ill state of the ships with respect to their hulls, masts, badness of sails, standing and running rigging, anchors, and cables, all being in very sadd circumstances; (2) the seamen being very few in number, and even those so sickly and weake that they are not fit to endure any fatigue ashore, and scarce able to worke the shipps at sea, with the help of the soldiers now aboard; (3) the provisions at short allowance, and that very badd, having been long in the West Indies, and drinking water which with the coldness of the clymate coming directly out of the other benumbs their limbs, and flings them into fluxes and scurveys; (4) the winter's approaching very fast, having had very badd weather on this coast for 28 days past, wch. together with the aforementioned disadvantages gives us little prospect of making any considerable efforts on the enemy, but rather to use our endeavour to secure them for a good passage home to England, especially the great ships, who are most of them disabled by stormy weather, having been sent abroad not fitted out for these countreys; (5) by the account sent by Brigadier Colenbine of the condition of Placentia relating to the fortifications in '93, and manner of attacking it. The number of 2,000 men were then proposed. (6) The five regiments here are reduced to 1,305. The New England forces which were to have been 500 are but two companys; were at first but 70 both, and now but 25, the whole very weak and sickly. (7) By the best account we have of Placentia the enemy are not inferiour in number to these forces and better able to bear the fatigue and rigour of these parts, and the present season being so farr spent for these weake men to make a formall seige or make that dispatch requisite, according to the account of the severall and particular avenues and defilées rendring the access so difficult, not only by the streightness and distance where there is paths, the height and steepness of other parts, but to be of a spongeous and moorish nature. And the stores are wanting of planke and other materialls to supply such difficulties in getting up the guns to the battery, that the weakness of the forces with requisite necessaries for encamping that are wanting, their tents being worne out. (8) This season of the year which falls out contrary to expectation is the unfittest for such attempts, coming out of a hott country, and the French being at their full strenght, having all the assistance that can be expected from the Letters of Mart and Fishing ships, which can now best supply them with men, provisions and ammunition upon any occasion, together with the power of the Governor, who has them under his absolute command. It is therefore the unanimous opinion that to make any attempt on Placentia with the ships and forces at this time of the year, under the present circumstances, is altogether impracticable, and hath no probability of success, but more likely to be a dishonour to H.M. armes. Signed, Jo. Graydon, Will. Whetstone, Hov. Walker, Sam. Vincent, Tho. Lyell, J. Hartnoll, G. Walron, Jona. Span, H. Mitchell, Tho. Mitchell, E. Rumsey, Tho. Mathews, W. Fairborne, S. Bourne, -Tho. Campion; and Jam. Rivers, Charles Wills, Hen. Frankland, Phinees Bowles, Wm. Wrightman, F. Colenbine, John Symonds, John Hanaway. Subscribed, I agree with the rest of the Gentlemen of this consultation, M. Richards. Copy. 3 pp. [C.O. 194, 22. No. 7.]
Sept. 3.
1072. Governor Sir Bevill Granville to William Popple. Enclosing the following. This is the third packet which is come since my being here, and by every one I have sent letters to their Lordships and duplicates by the Coventry frigat, which with the merchant ships under her convoy sailed hence, Aug. 10. Signed, Bevill Granville. Endorsed, Recd. Read Nov. 17, 1703. Holograph. 1 p. Enclosed,
1072. i. Governor Sir B. Granville to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The pacquet boat which sail'd from England August 2 and arrived here the first instant brought me your Lordships' letter bearing date July 28. I have had my health so very ill till within these few days as to be unfitt for much businesse. I am now recovered and shall make an end the next week of visiting the fortifications, ordnance, stores of war and Militia; after which I shall make that particular report to your Lordships, you command me: in the meantime tho' the fortifications are defective, what I find by information to be weakest is the Militia, great numbers of servants are lately become free and gone off the Island, none brought in, the sicknesse (which begins to abate) has destroy'd abundance, and very many were listed and carryed away by the Regiments when here. In what relates to the fortifications I shall make use of Captain Hayes, a gentleman who served the last warr in Flanders and applyed himself, as he assures me, to that part of the Service, having been employed on several occasions under Monsieur Cohorn: if upon tryall I find him answer the account he gives of himself, or the character he has from his friends, I shall then recommend him to your Lordships for his establishment as Engineer in the room of Captain Sherrard, deceased. I was sensible that the Flaggs of Truce gave opportunity for illegal trade and correspondence, which amongst others, as I mentioned to your Lordships in my last, was the reason I did not confirm the Cartell with Martinico: but it is the Danish Island of St. Thomas which in time of war ever has, and is the staple for all sort of indirect and illegall trade and commerce; I shall be very watchfull to prevent it and doe all things that become me to answer your Lordships' expectations and my duty. By the Master of an English vessell taken in June last prisoner to Martinico and since made his escape I am informed that 90 English prizes have been brought in there since the war, that they have at this time 28 Privateers at sea, who are very strongly mann'd having amongst 'em 3,000 men. He tells me farthur that they are lading at Martinique ten sail of merchant ships for Europe which will be ready to depart in 15 days, they go without convoy. Inclos'd is the receipt of the Masters of vessells to whom your Lordships' letters for Bermuda were delivered. I have none unsent, but that for Mr. Bennet which came in this last pacquet. I am informed by severall from Bermuda, that Mr. Larkin is not there but that he went from thence several months past: they can't tell me to what place. Signed, Bevill Granville. Holograph. 4 pp.
1072. ii. Copy of receipts of Masters of vessels for pacquets of H.M. Letters directed to the Governor of Bermudas. 1 p.
1072. iii. Abstract of above letter. 1½ pp. [C.O. 28, 6. Nos. 106, 106.i.–iii.; and (without Nos. ii. and iii.) 29, 8. pp. 343–346.]
Sept. 3.
1073. Minutes of Council of the Massachusetts Bay. 35s. 2d. paid to Capt. Edward Sergeant of Newbury for ferriage of souldiers and posts in 1702.
Licence granted to John Barret to erect a timber dwelling-house, with a lean-to, on his land fronting on the alley leading from the sign of the Salutation at the north end of Boston, provided that he slate or tile the roof.
12l. 16s. paid to Capt. Josiah Chapin of Mendon for the charge of carpenters and others to erect fortifications at Oxford and Hassanamisco, and in looking after the Nipmug Indians. [C.O. 5, 789. p. 535.]
Sept. 6.
At the house of Captain Thomas Jenour in the town of St. George's.
1074. Minutes of Council of Bermuda. Upon reading a clause of H.M. Instructions of Nov. 6, 1702, about proceeding upon the Commission granted for trying of pirates in these parts, it is the opinion of this Board that the said Instructions are sufficient authority to proceed in all matters relating to pirates according to the Commission in that behalf already received from his late Majesty. A Court of Admiralty was appointed to be holden on Tuesday next come five weeks at this place for tryal of the several persons in H.M. Prison on a charge of piracy.
Ordered that Mr. John Kendall be paid his salary appointed for Ministers of St. George's in proportion for the time of his last arrival from Carolina to the arrival of Mr. Thomas Holland and that a testimonial be prepared for him.
Ordered that the Assembly meet this day come month and precepts be issued out.
Capt. Brook's Commission for Collector read, and he took the oaths accordingly.
Now at this Board was exhibited by Thomas Burton on behalf of Martha Johnstown alias Outerbridg, Widow, and William Outerbridg, jr., a petition about an Order from his late Majesty, but Petitioners having left the said Order at home, the matter was referred to the next Court of Chancery. [C.O. 40, 2. p. 56.]
Sept. 6. 1075. Minutes of Council in Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay. Bill sent up for discontinuing Courts in Hampshire and York during the present troubles with the Indians read and concurred with.
Message sent up that the Representatives desired that the consideration of H.M. letter referring to stating a salary for the Governour might be deferred to another Session, many members being absent.
Accounts of Andrew Belcher, Commissary General, referred to a Committee.
Proposals sent up from the Representatives for the encouraging of the prosecution of the Indian enemy and rebels read; agreed that they be digested into a Bill.
Sept. 7. A written message was sent up from the Representatives, that this House have considered H.M. letter of April 20, but forasmuch as the members of four entire counties and several other towns are prevented attending by reason of the troubles with the Indians and otherwise, do apprehend it their duty to defer further consideration until a fuller house shall appear.
Bill to encourage the prosecution of the Indian enemy and rebels, sent up was read a first and second time and passed to be engrossed.
Petition of Capt. Thomas Waffe for an abatement of half his last year's excise, he holding his license but about 10 weeks, sent up with the order of the Representatives accordingly, was granted.
Vote sent up from the Representatives that a day of solemn fasting and prayer be speedily appointed and observed throughout this Province.
Proclamation drawn up appointing Thursday, 22nd inst. accordingly.
Vote of Representatives for granting a tax of 11, 492l., with alterations, was again sent up.
A Bill relating to the forces that are or shall be employed in H.M. service was brought in. [C.O. 5, 789. pp. 871, 872.]
Sept. 8. 1076. Minutes of Council in Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay. Andrew Belcher was chosen Commissary General.
Pursuant to a former Order of this Court, the Justices of the Superior Court reported the method of their proceeding upon appeal from judgments given on nonsuits or abatements, which was read.
Bill to encourage the prosecution of the Indian enemy passed, and H.E. signed his consent thereto.
Bill for granting unto H.M. a tax upon polls and estates, passed in the House of Representatives, was read and passed to be engrossed. Bill, sent up, relating to the forces was read a first and second time and passed to be engrossed.
Sept. 9. The two last bills were read a third time and passed.
Order sent down, was concurred by the Representatives, that all hearings set to this Present Session, are adjourned and continued to the same day in the next Session of this Court, and others not set to a certain day, be continued at large.
Order sent down was concurred by the Representatives, that every Master of any ship arriving from foreign parts, shall deliver in all his letters to the Post Office at the Port of discharge, or shall deliver them at any other place where he happens first to arrive, the Post Master demanding the same, in which case they shall be forthwith expressed to the Post Office in Boston. And all Masters shall be paid by the Post Master a halfpenny a letter for every and so many letters as he shall put into the Office, and the Post Master shall be paid and receive the accustomed rates and prices now paid for letters by him delivered out.
H.E. signed the several Acts passed, and ordered that they be sealed and published.
H.E. summoned the Representatives to attend, and observed to them the good acceptance which they had expresst of what had been already done relating to the war, and of the preparations now making and the supply they had cheerfully granted for the support thereof, and desired them to steady the people in their several countys against any terrifying fears of the enemy. And then intimated, that on advisement with the Council he had determined to prorogue this Court to Wednesday, Oct. 27. [C.O. 5, 789. pp. 872–874.]
Sept. 9. 1077. William Popple to Governor Codrington. H.M. absence at the Bath occasioning a little recess in the sitting of the Council of Trade and Plantations and this being the day appointed for sending letters by the West India Packet boat, I find myself obliged to send you the inclosed duplicate of their last letter, since which they have not received any further from you. And whereas an Order of Council has been lately past for repealing an Act of the General Assembly held at Nevis in December, 1702. for the better securing and confirming the Titles of Land in that Island, I judge it also requisite to send you the said Order here inclosed that the same may be accordingly observed; and H.M. having further directed that their Lordships do acquaint you with the reason offered by them for this repeal, I send you likewise a copy of their Repn. on that subject in which you will find the same explained. [C.O. 153, 8. p. 210.]
Sept. 9. 1078. Governor Lord Cornbury to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Your Lordshipps' letters of January 26, 1702/3, February 22. 1702/3. March 25, 1703, April 7, 1703, and April 29, 1703, all came to my hands July 29 last by Mr. Clarke, who at the same time delivered me my Commissions and Instructions for this Province, and for that of Nova Cæsarea or New Jersey. On the next day I published my Commission for the Government of this Province, in the usual manner, after which I took all the oathes required and subscribed the Test and Abjuration, then I administered the same to all the Gentlemen of the Councill who were then in town. I have likewise sent directions to administer the oathes to all persons in any offices in the severall countrys in this Province. And on August 10 I left this Province to goe into Nova Cæsarea or New Jersey. I have given your Lordships in another letter a particular account of all proceedings in that Province, so shall say no more of it in this; I am now going to Albany to meet the Indians, who, contrary to their promise to me the last year, have received two Priests at the Onondagos Castles. I have sent Col. Schuyler thither to try if he can prevail with the Indians to send the Priests away, I hope he will be returned by the time I get thither. I shall not stay above ten days there, because the Assembly of this Province is to sit here upon Oct. 5. I hope I shall prevail with them to give a fund for a stronger detachment than last year. We have an account of some preparations the French are making in Canada, perticularly several large boats, which we supose to be intended for the carrying men from Quebec to Montreal, in order to be ready to attempt something upon our frontiers this winter. I intreat your Lordshipps to believe that nothing shall be wanting on my part to secure this country from any attempt of the enemy; tho' really the little security we have of the Indians makes the people who live upon the frontiers very uneasy. I wish we had more regular forces, we should then be better able to defend the country, to annoy the French, and to keep the Indians in awe. In my letter of June 30 I acquainted you that I had kept spies abroad ever since the beginning of May; by some of which I had intelligence of a party of French and Indians, who designed to make some atempt to the eastward of New England, of which I gave Coll. Dudley notice; he has since found my intelligence true; for by the last post from Boston I received a letter from Coll. Dudley, by which he tells me that a party of French and Indians had surprised a place called Wells, where he had posted four score men. After that the enemy went to surprise a Fort called Casco, where there was twenty men; but they defended themselves soe well that they killed severall of the enemy and kept the place; your Lordships are pleased in your letter of April 29 to say that you are preparing letters to be sent to the several Plantations relating to the quota to be furnished by them for the assistance of New York. I wish they may be more obedient to H.M. than they were the last time, but I am afraid you will find they will not till they are compelled, either by some Act of the Parliament of England, or by such other method as the Queen will please to make use of, perticularly Connecticut and Rhode Island, from whence I am fully satisfyed we shall not have one farthing from them as long as they can help it, they hate anybody that owns any subjection to the Queen, that our people find every day, for if any of our merchants of this place goes to sue for a just debt in the Courts of Connecticutt, to be sure he shall have noe right, if his suite is against one of that Collony; the next thing your Lordships mention is that you are expecting an answer from me upon your directions for my examining the Acts of Assembly of which you were pleased to send me the titles in your letter of Jan. 26 last. I hope yet, before these ships goe, to send your Lordshipps a satisfactory answer to that matter, and the only reason why I do not send it with this letter is because all the Gentlemen of the Councill have not yet declared their opinions. Some of them are very nearly concerned in some of those Acts, as you will perceive by the account I shall send of them, in which I shall be carefull to send very perticular answers as your Lordships require; I humbly thank your Lordships for the increase of my salary. I shall not fail of acquainting the Assembly, as soon as they meet, with H.M. orders for prohibiting any presents being made to Gouvernours for the time to come. And I intreat you to believe that I will punctually observe H.M. commands in that matter, for I doe assure you I will not take any present from any person whatsoever. As for the Courts of Justice, which your Lordships mention in the last paragraph of your letter, I do assure you that in all causes that have come before me in Councill I have always given them the best dispatch possible, and I am sure there has never been any delay, unless it were at the request of the parties themselves, or at the desire of some of the Gentlemen of the Councill, but that has not been for above three or four days; indeed I have heard that the proceedings in the Supreame Court here have been dillatory, but I can assure your Lordshipps since the Queen was pleased to appoint Dr. Bridges to be Chief Justice here, he has applied himself with great dilligence to the reforming that abuse. I will not fail to send your Lordships as soon as possible the account you require relating to the causes depending in the Courts here. I had sent it now, had not this been the time of the Circuit, so that people being out of towne I cannot get so perfect an account as I ought, and am desirous to send to you, however if I cannot get it ready to send by this, I will be sure to send it by the next conveyance. In your Lordshipps' letter of April 7 I received a copy of your Report to the Queen, for which I return your Lordshipps thanks, and for the care you are pleased to take of this Province. I will use all the endeavours I can with the Assembly to make provision in the best manner for the defence of the Province. I will take care that for the future the accounts of the Revenue shall be transmitted quarterly, if there is any conveyance ready, and if not, by the first conveyance that shall offer. As for the Countess of Bellomont's accounts, I have layd them before the Councill: but finding them very deficient, we have refer'd them to three able accountants, whom we have appointed to meet my Lady Bellomont's agents, to see if they together can adjust it, in order to lay it before the Councill, that we may be able to make such a Report as may be proper to lay before your Lordshipps, which I hope will be to your satisfaction; as for the receipt of any publick money, I shall most certainly observe the advice you give me. I will send an answer to Mr. Champante's paper by the next conveyance. I have likewise received your Lordshipps' letter with Mr. Attorney General's opinions enclosed, as to that relating to Bayard and Hutchins, I can only say that I was told that Bayard had brought his action against one or two of his Jury and one of his Judges, but I did not think it proper for me to stop any man's private action, espetially when there was no application made to me by the other side. As to Mr. Attorney General's opinion relating to Graves and Prideux, I can only say that Mr. Champanté does not state that case fairly in his Memorial. I supose the partys themselves have made that appear before this time; therefore I shall trouble your Lordshipps no farther upon that matter now, only to inform you what effect those opinions have had here, and that is thus, those opinions are transcribed and dispersed among those who are called here by the name of the black party, some of which will never be reconciled to an English Government, nor to an English Gouvernor, unlesse they can find one who will betray the English laws and interest to the Dutch; these persons as soon as they get these copies, turn them into Dutch and read them to the ordinary people, and tell them that the proceedings of Captain Nanfan and Mr. Atwood are approved of at home, and confirmed by the Reports of the Attorney General in England; and this has hapned within these four days past; therefore I desire when you are pleased to send Mr. Attorney General's opinion that I may likewise have the case as it is stated to him, that I may be able to lay the truth before your Lordshipps. As soon as I return from Albany I will give you an account how I find matters there, and will use my utmost endeavours to keep all things in the posture they ought to be; I herewith send the Acts of Assembly past the last spring, but no conveyance offering till now, I could not send them sooner.
P.S.—All the packets I sent directly from hence I have receipts for, and always enjoin the person to whom I deliver them, to sink them in case of danger. But those I send either by the way of Boston or Philadelphia I cannot answer for. Signed, Cornbury. Endorsed, Recd. Dec. 9, 1703, Read Feb. 22, 170¾. Holograph. 5 pp. Annexed,
1078. i. Abstract of preceding. 1¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 1048. Nos. 66, 66.i.; and (without abstract) 5, 1120. pp. 70–77; and (abstract only) 1000, 5. pp. 1, 2.]
Sept. [9].
New York.
1079. Governor Lord Cornbury to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Having left New York in order to goe into New Jersey on Aug. 10, I arrived at Amboy on the 11th and that day published my Commission, having been met by several of the Gentlemen of the Councill and some of the Proprietors; the next day I proceeded to Burlington, where I arrived on the 13th afternoon, it being between fifty and sixty miles from Perth Amboy. I immediately published my Commission there, and would have had a Councill that night, but some of the Gentlemen of the Council were ill with riding, it being a very hot day, but the next morning I called a Council, where there appeared ten of the thirteen, of which the Council was to be composed, in pursuance of H.M. Instructions to me; Mr. Hunlock and Mr. Leonard being dead before I received H.M. Commission and Instructions for that Government, and Mr. Andrew Bowne was not able to travell soe farr. After I had taken the oaths and subscribed the test and abjuration, I administred the same to as many of the Gentlemen of the Councill as were willing to take them, that is, Mr. Morris, Mr. Reuell, Mr. Pinhorne, Mr. Walker, Mr. Leeds Mr. Sandford, and Col. Quary; but Mr. Fennings, Mr. Davenport and Mr. Deacon, being Quakers, said they cou'd not take an oath, and claim'd the benefit of the Act of Parliament; this begot some debate among the other Gentlemen of the Council, one of them saying that he was of opinion that the Act was not intended to ease the Quakers any further than only in cases where they were to be witnesses in Courts of Judicature, where their Declaration was to be sufficient, but he said he did not believe it was ever intended they should be by that Act entituled to hold any employment in Government; he further said, that the Act by which the abjuration-oath was enacted had no exception in it, and that that Act having been passed long after the Act by which the Quakers were eased, and no exception for them in it, he thought they ought to take that oath, the Quakers insisted not only upon the Act of 7th and 8th of the late King, but likewise said they knew I had Instructions to admit them into any offices or employments which they should be found capable of (by this I found that the information I had formerly had was true, that Mr. Morris had brought a copy [of] my Instructions with him, when he came from England). I found that in the 49th paragraph I am commanded to administer, or cause to be administered the oaths therein mentioned to the Members and Officers of Councill and Assembly, and to all Judges, Justices, and all other persons that hold any office or place of trust or profit in the said Province, and without which I am not to admit any person whatsoever into any publick office; this I thought was very plain against the Quakers, but they desiring me to look farther, I found the 52nd paragraph (for the admission of Quakers upon their signing the Declaration of Allegiance together with a solemn Declaration for the true discharge of their respective trusts); whereupon I told the Gentlemen of the Council that I thought it very plain by that paragraph that it was the Queen's pleasure they should be admitted to sit and vote in Councill, signing the Declaration, which they did, and were admitted. They likewise signed the Declaration in a roll by themselves, only altering the word (swear) to the word (declare), thus that matter stands now, but I intreat your directions what I must doe for the future; I must needs say that whoever it is that has informed H.M. and your Lordshipps that the number of Inhabitants fit to serve the Queen would be but small without admitting the Quakers, either did not [know] the country or else were not willing to own the truth they know, for it will appear by the accounts I hope to send shortly of the number of the inhabitants that the Quakers are much less in number then those that are not Quakers; however, that they might not say, or think, that I had any prejudice to them as Quakers, I have put severall of them into the Commission of the Peace, if they approve themselves good subjects to the Queen, I have noe more to require of them. I hear since I came from thence that they doe not like the setling the Militia, which I have begun and hope to perfect in a short time, I mean the Quakers who would have noe Militia at all, but the rest of the people are very well pleased that they are like to be put into a condition to defend themselves, which they have not been yet. At Burlington the first thing we proceeded upon was to settle some Courts, and in order to it, I asked the Gentlemen of the Councill what Courts they had had under their Proprietary Government; they said that their Courts were never very regularly setled, but such as they were it was under this Regulation, first they had a Court for determining all causes under 40s., and that was by any one Justice, and if either of the partys did not like the judgment of that Justice, he was at liberty to have a tryall by a Jury, paying the charges of the first suit, which I think was to render the benefitt intended by the settling those Courts in effectuall; the next Court they had was a quarterly Court, where the Justices of the Peace determined all causes under 10l.; then they had a Court which they called the Court of Common Right, where all Causes both criminall and civill were heard and determined, and to this Court [la]y an appeale from the quarterly Courts. This Court of Common [Right] consisted of the Governor and Councill, and if any man thought [himself] aggrieved by the sentence of the Court of Common Right, then [he mig]ht appeal to the Governor in Councill, which was apealing [from] to the same persons. I told them I thought a Court for determining all causes under 40s. might be very usefull, but I thought it ought not to be [in ?] the power of one Justice of Peace alone, but rather three, and [tha]t the judgment ought to be definitive; this they approved of, soe it is settled till the Assembly meets, when I will use my best endeavours to prevail with them to settle it by an Act. Then I told them I thought the Courts which sate quarterly in the Province of New York were more regular then theirs, for there the quarterly Courts are held each County by a Judge of the Common Pleas and four Justices' Assistants, whereof three make a Quorum, and the Judge of the Common Pleas, or the first Assistant Justice always to be one, and this they likewise approved of, and those Courts are soe setled by an Ordinance of the Governor and Council, till your Lordshipps shall be pleased to direct otherwise. I have appointed Sheriffs and Justices of the Peace throughout the whole Province; and as I desired the Gentlemen of the Councill to give me the names of such persons as they thought proper to be put into the Commissions of the Peace, and Militia, soe I indeavoured to choose out such among them as, by the best information I could get, were the most likely men to join with me in endeavouring to reconcile the differences that have caused soe much disorder in that Province, and which I am afraid will not be presently brought to passe, however I doe assure your Lordshipps nothing shall be wanting in my endeavours to perfect that work. I have already recommended that matter to the Councill, and shall likewise doe soe to the Generall Assembly, as soon as they meet, which will be Nov. 9, at Perth Amboy. When first I acquainted the Council that the Queen had by her Instructions commanded me to call a Generall Assembly with all convenient speed, they were extreamly pleased with it, but there arose some debate about the method of issuing the writts, because some of them said the writts ought to issue under the great seale of the Province, and there being noe great seale yet come, that could not be, some were of opinion the Proprietors' seale of West Jersey should be made use of, others were for that of East Jersey, at last it was resolved that I should issue the writts for this time under my own seale, reciting the power the Queen has been pleased to grant to me under the great seale of England, this was the only expedient could be thought of to have an Assembly which they were not willing to stay for till the seale should come. I hope I have not done amisse in this matter, it was not of my own head alone I did it, and it was intended for the service of the Queen and the Country. I have quite setled the Militia of the Western Division, and I have begun to settle that of the Eastern Division likewise. There is noe fortification in all the Province, noe stores nor ammunition, nor noe publick store-house, nor soe much as a house for a Gouvernor to reside in; I hope the Assembly will provide for that; as soon as anything occurrs relating to that Province, I will acquaint your Lordshipps with it. Signed, Cornbury. P.S.—Just as I was going to seale up this letter, I am informed the people in New Jersey are much disturbed at the limitation prescribed in the qualifications of persons fit to choose and be chosen for the Assembly, and indeed it will happen that some very good men will not be chosen because the(y) have not 1,000 acres of land, though perhaps they have six times that vallue in money. Endorsed, Recd. Dec. 9, 1703, Recd March 27, 1704. Holograph. 5 pp. Edges torn. Annexed,
1079. i. Abstract of preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 970. Nos. 12, 12.i.; and (without abstract) 994 A. pp. 135–144.]
Sept. 9.
1080. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Orders of Council, Aug. 12, read.
Letter from Lt. Governor Handasyd, May 23, read, and enclosures laid before the Board.
Duplicate of a letter from Col. Handasyd, May 30, read; but no duplicate of the papers therein mentioned having been therewith transmitted, the same are yet wanting.
Letters from Col. Handasyd, July 5 and 7, read, and enclosures laid before the Board.
Letter from Governor Sir Beville Granville, June 16, read.
Copies of letters writ by the Secretary to the respective Governors of Jamaica, Barbadoes and the Leeward Islands, Aug. 26, read.
Letter from Lord Nottingham, Aug. 27, read, and the letters writ by the Secretary thereupon approved of. [C.O. 391, 16. pp. 203–206; and 391, 97. pp. 569–571.]
Sept. 9.
1081. Minutes of Council of the Massachusetts Bay. 4l. 0s. 6d. paid to Col. Daniel Peirce for expresses on H.M. service.
11l. paid to Major General Thomas Parry to complete his expenses in a journey to Piscataqua.
59s. paid to Col. Charles Hobby for expenses on 12 troopers and 30 souldiers from Hingham and Weymouth on H.M. service.
839l. 2s. 2d. paid to Andrew Belcher, Commissary General, for supplies to the garrisons and the Province galley.
Upon a Representation of a difference among the inhabitants of Lancaster about the manner of rayseing their minister's maintenance, ordered that for the present year they raise it upon the improved lands and other ratable estate within the Town, according to the rule set for the Province tax. [C.O. 5, 789. pp. 536, 537.]
Sept. 10. 1082. (i) Freeholders, Widows and Orphans, late inhabitants of Port Royal to the Queen. Those interested in Kingston have obtained with all the secrecy imaginable, two Acts, to prevent the resettling of Port Royal and to invest H.M. in land, which tend to the utter ruin of petitioners and the subvertion of property etc. Petitioners petitioned to be heard before the passing of the same by the Council, which was not only denied, but petitioners threatened to be confined. Signed, Pe. Beckford, Hu. Totterdell, Noah Delaunay and 150 others. 2 pp.
(ii) Merchants, Masters of ships etc. of Bristol concerned in Jamaica. Port Royal hath always been and still is the most safe and commodious harbour for shipping and seat of trade, but the Town was by negligence burnt down Jan. 9, since which laws are passed there obliging ships to unlade and merchants to reside at Kingston only, which by former experience hath been found inconvenient for trade and incommodious to the inhabitants. We are humbly of opinion that maintaining Port Royall and your Majesty's Fortifications thereon is of absolute necessity for a defence of that Island and the deserting or dismantling thereof would expose the harbour and thereby the whole Island to the utmost danger of surprize by an enemy, and that Port Royal for the safety of shipping and health of its inhabitants doth far excel any other harbour or town in that Island. 69 signatures. Endorsed, Recd. 14th, Read Sept. 16, 1703. 1 p.
(iii) Petition of Peter Beckford, senr., Charles Knights, Charles Sadler, Charles Chaplin, John Walters, and Francis Rose, six of the Council of Jamaica, and Thomas Sutton, John Ellis, senr., John Ellis, junr., Francis Bragg, Thomas Brain, Thomas Cox, William Axtell, Hugh Totterdall, Wm. Needham, Robert Needham, Thomas Freeman, and Richard Banks, twelve of the Assembly, and 239 others, to H.M. After the Great Earthquake in 1692, some persons taking advantage thereof and having houses and land at or near Kingston about six miles from Port Royall and designing to advance their own interests and destroy Port Royal, did purchase land and sett out streets, markets and other public places at Kingston, and obtained an Act of Assembly to make Kingston a parish with the same priviledges and immunities as Port Royal; but the owners of Port Royal did notwithstanding rebuild that town (which stands most healthy and convenient and advantagious for shipping and trade) and disappointed the unjust designs of the said persons. Since the burning of Port Royal, the said persons have most unjustly obtained two Acts, by one of which it is enacted that the owners of land on Port Royal shall have so many square feet at Kingston as they had on Port Royal to be allotted to them by Commissioners, and that the public offices and market should not be kept at Port Royal, nor any wine or liquor sold there. And by the preamble of the other, it is insinuated that Port Royal was not a place tenable against an enemy, or to be succoured from the Maine, and of no defence, for that ships of war might pass through the Channell into the Harbour without damage from the Port, and that altho' after the earthquake people were necessitated to live at Kingston (which was for that purpose made a parish with the priviledges of Port Royal) yet by reason of the Fort, priviledges and some buildings remaining at Port Royal people returned back and lived there and almost dispeopled Kingston, and therefore that Port Royal should be no more a town etc. The first of the said Acts was clandestinely begun within two days after the fire and very unfairly obtained by promises made to several persons (to stop their clamour and opposition) that there should be raised 10,000l. for the poorest of the sufferers and lands allotted to them in the best places at Kingston etc., and when the Bill came up to the Council, great endeavour and artifices were used to get a majority, and those who protested and dissented did desire that the same might be entred, and liberty to shew their reasons, but it was several times refused. And one of the Council demanded to see anyone who dared to be against the Bill. And in the middle of the debate in a free Conference between three of the Council (of whom two were for Kingston and one for Port Royal) and twelve or more of the Assembly, it was proposed to put it to the vote, whether the Bill should pass, which being opposed by the Councellor who was against the Bill, yet was carried by vote and averred to be Parliamentary, and a question afterwards put, whether Kingston was not the properest seat of trade for the whole Island, and carried in the affirmative, which was the foundation of that Act, against which some of the sufferers petitioned the Governor and Council and were threatened to be imprisoned for the same. Kingston is a very unhealthy place and the worst in Jamaica and very inconvenient for trade and shipping, for if Port Royal, which lies at the mouth of the channel, should not be rebuilt, all the ships, harbour and port of Kingston would be exposed to an enemy, and there is no place fit to build forts unless Musketo Point, which is a point of land betwixt the sea of the harbour, and a stinking, standing lake of water, and has not ground enough in breadth to build a fortification, and so spungy that a pike may be run up to the butt-head in the firmest part thereof, and no water within five miles nor inhabitants within 3 miles, nor people enough within 7 miles to man it. And if Port Royal be not rebuilt, an enemy may without any loss possess Kingston Harbour and by boats and sloops land men where they please, east or west of Kingston, and within two hours get windward and burn the ships at Kingston and land men and march to the town, and not come near any fortifications, or may, as soon as the land breeze comes, sail up the channel and destroy all the ships and town of Kingston, and may at all times with a very few ships lie in Port Royal Harbour and block up and keep in all the ships at Kingston, where the Fresh water is very unwholesom, and the town commanded almost all round by an higher ground, and to secure it against an enemy a line of 14 miles must be drawn, which will cost more than Jamaica is able to pay, and require ten times as many men as are there to defend it, and is situated between a great swamp or morass of standing, stinking water and the Rising Sun, and the Trade Winds blow noisome smells from the ships, swamps and mangroves, and continual clouds of dust that the inhabitants cannot endure their houses nor walk in the streets, and soon after the building of Kingston and the Earthquake, a multitude of people dyed there, and many saved themselves by removing to Port Royal, tho' there was not then near houses sufficient to receive them, and 'tis the worst place for shipping sloops or other vessels to fit or careene, load or unload, or gett in or out. And Admiral Benbow (who was prejudiced against Port Royall and the Commanders there) did remove his ships from Port Royall to careen at Kingston, but finding the same impracticable and workmen not able to work above half the time, as they do at Port Royall, and that if a strong breeze had hapned (as sometimes it does for 3 months together), the workmen could not work at all, he was forced against his will to bring back his ships to Port Royal. Port Royall hath cost the inhabitants a vast sum of money to make a strong wall before it, which is an extraordinary fortification, and the ships lye leeward to the East and Trade winds, and the wall stands without a crack or breach against six months' violent winds of late. And tho' a ship or two of an enemy may, with great difficulty get into the harbour by the South channell a mile from the Port, yett a small platform att a little charge may be built upon the side of Salt Pond Hill, and manned from Spanish Town, which would sink any such ships, and in time of war all our ships in Port Royal are haled in a line close to the harbour side, so that the enemy coming from Windward falls to Leeward of our ships, and lyes obnoxious to our fireships, which are always kept for that purpose. Nor was it possible for an enemy, tho' masters at sea, to take Port Royal without landing a sufficient force to conquer the whole Island. For should that have been attempted, the enemy would certainly have lost all their ships and men. And Port Royal was and is the only fortified place, and the like could not be made for 100,000l., and is the most healthy place in the Island etc. Since those unreasonable Acts passed, several hundred of the ablest seafaring men and traders have left the Island, rather than settle at so unhealthy and inconvenient a place as Kingston; and it's to be feared that many more will do the like etc. Pray that the aforesaid Acts may not be continued. Subscribed,
(iv) H.M. is pleased to referr the above petitions to the Council of Trade for their opinion. Signed, C. Hedges. Bath, Sept. 10, 1703. The whole, 1½ large pp. [C.O. 137, 6. Nos. 3, 3.i.–iii.]