America and West Indies: November 1703, 22-25

Pages 824-836

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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November 1703, 22-25

Nov. 22. 1289. John Bridger's Answer to the observations of the Navy Board upon his accounts. Aug. 14 and Nov. 22 [see Dec. 9, 1703]. Signed, J. Bridger. 6½ pp. [C.O. 5, 863. No. 61.]
Nov. 22.
1290. Order of the House of Lords to the Council of Trade and Plantations, to lay before this House an acct. of the state of Trade, since last Session. Signed, Math. Johnson. Cl. Parl. [C.O. 412, 549. p. 57; and 389, 18. p. 48.]
Nov. 22.
Prize Office.
1291. Commissioners of Prizes to the Lord High Treasurer. Offering the case of the Neptune [see Nov. 26], now arrived in the Port of London, to his Lordship's consideration. Signed, Edw. Brereton, R. Yard, Ant. Duncomb, Alex. Pendarvis, John Anstis, Wm. Gosselin. Subscribed, Mr. Blathwayt to examine this matter and report how it may be remedied. Endorsed, Recd. Read Dec. 2, 1703. 1 p.
1291. i. Case of the Neptune, with the opinion of J. Cooke and Wm. Oldys that the Commissioners of Prizes should put an officer on board her, and that a monition be forthwith taken out of the Admiralty Court against her. D.D. Commons, Nov. 19, 1703. 2½ pp. [C.O. 323, 5. Nos. 26, 26.i.]
[Nov. 22.] 1292. Memorandum of Memorial from the Pennsylvania Company relating to Convoys. (Withdrawn Dec. 7 and another brought Dec. 10, q. v.) ¼ p. [C.O. 5, 1262. No. 57; and 5, 1048. No. 69.]
[Nov. 22.] 1293. Merchants trading to Virginia and Maryland to the Council of Trade and Plantations. They having set out a large fleet this year, which together with those in the country and Western Ports will make up the valuablest and largest fleet that hath at any time been in those Plantations. and have only the Dreadnought and a small fifth-rate frigot for their convoy, which gives us much concernment. We had two others for Guinia aided the Fleet outwards for 200 leagues. And whereas there was usually one or more men of war that lay as Gard ships in the country to prevent any surprisal, as not long since happened by a pirate, the country is now left wholly naked by the recalling the Southampton. We therefore humbly represent to your Lordships the necessity of three men of war to be sent as soon as may be to Virginia to be there in March at furthest in order to convoy the fleet thence in safety home, it being what we had formerly allowed us for a fleet of lesser consequence, and that a man of war might be ordered as a gardship to the country as formerly, and that some crewsers may be sent out to meet our Fleet howerly expected home. Pray that such additional convoys may be dispatched in time, and that advices may be given to Virginia by the Admiralty concerning them, yt. ye fleet yt. depend on them may accordingly be dispatched without delay. Signed, Micajah Perry and 22 other signatures. Endorsed, Recd. Read Nov. 22, 1703. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1313. No. 34; and 5, 1360. pp. 436, 437.]
Nov. 22.
1294. Wm. Popple to Josiah Burchet. In answer to your letter of 13th, the Council of Trade and Plantations are discoursing with the several merchants trading to H.M. Plantations concerning convoys. Refers to preceding request and presses for some cruizers to meet the 50 sail, daily expected, in the Soundings etc. [C.O. 324, 8. pp. 381, 382.]
Nov. 22.
1295. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Order of the House of Lords (Nov. 22) read. Directions given for preparing a report accordingly.
Virginia and Maryland traders laid memorials about convoys before the Board. New England and New York traders expressed their requirements and promised to put them in writing.
Mr. Byfield laid the memorial of the Pennsylvania Company before the Board. Letter to Mr. Burchet ordered.
Nov. 23. Agents and traders of Barbados and Leeward Islands offered their thoughts relating to convoys, but not having concerted ye same, they promised to advise together and lay before their Lordships their opinions in writing.
Mr. Borret ordered to attend.
Representation upon foreign coins signed, and what was formerly under consideration upon the same subject, cancelled.
Letter from Jamaica, relating to Kingston, read. Letter to Mr. Burchet ordered, to pray an answer from the Prince's Council upon the Kingston Act, their Lordships being prest to make a report thereupon to H.M. and to the House of Lords.
Ordered that the Secretary signify to Vice-Admiral Whetstone to attend on Friday.
Order of Council, Nov. 18, about prizes read, and transmitted to the Governours of Barbadoes, the Leeward Islands and Jamaica.
Nov. 24. Mr. Borrett attending, a list was given him of the Acts in Mr. Attorney and Solicitor General's hands, upon which he was desired to attend them and procure the dispatch of their opinion.
Letter from Mr. Burchet (Nov. 23) read, and notice was immediately given thereof by letter to Mr. Perry that he may acquaint the other merchants concerned.
Letter from Mr. Burchet (Nov. 23) signifying that the Prince's Council had appointed to hear Vice-Admiral Graydon and Capt. Whetston again this morning, in order to report their opinion upon the Kingston Act, read.
Mr. Broughton desiring a copy of that article in the Lord Vaughan's Instructions for the Government of Jamaica relating to Patent Officers, ordered yt. it be given him.
Letter from Capt. Lilly read. Letter to the Board of Ordnance ordered (Nov. 25).
Upon further consideration of the Order of Council (Nov. 18) relating to prizes, letter to Mr. Burchet ordered (Nov. 25).
Letters to the Governors of Barbados, Leeward Islands and Jamaica signed.
Letter to Lt. Governor of Bermuda agreed upon.
Draught of a Commission to Privateers, and Instructions relating thereunto, laid before the Board. Copies ordered to be made, to be transmitted to the Governors of Plantations. [C.O. 391, 16. pp. 282–292; and 391, 97. pp. 715–725.]
Nov. 22. 1296. Minutes of Council in Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay. Proclamation for a General Thanksgiving on Dec. 9, was read and advised.
New Bill relating to Appeals was read three times, passed and sent down.
Report of the Committee upon the accompts of John Usher (March) was again read and anew voted an acceptance, and sent down for concurrence.
Bill in addition to the Act relating to sureties in mean process in civil actions, sent up, was read a first time.
The engrossed bill relating to executors, passed in the House of Representatives, was read and concurr'd to be enacted.
Nov. 23. Bill relating to Appeals read and passed, and sent with other Bills passed at this Court to H.E. for his consent.
Bill for supply of the Treasury by emitting 10,000l. of the Bills of Credit, 5,000l. thereof in new Bills to be imprinted, and 5,000l. more to issue forth again out of ye Treasury and ye impost and excise, and the next tax to be granted to be a Fund for the said Bills, and appointing a new Committee for ye imprinting and signing the same, read. The Council sent down the following vote with the Bill: They are of opinion that the supply is necessary, and that an equivalent sum ought to be granted as a fund for the same, and that the former Committee be employed in the further imprinting of them, that the Bills may be all of a sort.
Written message from the Representatives read, for reducing ye garrison at ye Castle to 30 till March 15, "which they apprehend a number sufficient, and shall not allow pay or subsistance to any more."
H.E. summoned the House to attend, and observed that he had seen the resolve of the House for granting a sum to Constantine Phips, for service done and to assist him in further serving as Agent; Mr. Phips is a Gentleman he knows very well and has a respect for, but he cannot be an Agent for this Province, having had no Commission or Warrant so to be since his arrival with H.M. Commission for the Government. He is of opinion it is advisable to have two persons in England to represent this Province, that if one be absent, the other may attend; the fees would be the same and the gratifications is discretionary; that they be appointed by the General Assembly, and have H.E. warrant. As to the House's motion to desire to see the copys of his Letters, he made no such promiss, but, if they would make one step towards complying with H.M. commands referring to Pemaquid, by granting any sum of money towards that work, they should see what representation he would make thereof, and H.M. answer thereto, which might be expected by May, before one shovel of mortar were laid. As to reducing the garrison at the Castle, he is Captain General of this Province, and the rayseing or disbanding of forces, guards and garrisons lay with him, as he shall judge necessary for H.M. service, but he is and will be as provident and careful of the country's money as possible.
Message sent up that the House adhered to their Bill referring to a supply of the Treasury. The Bill was returned, with a message to move the House to a reconsideration thereof.
Bill sent up, of supplement to ye Acts referring to the Poor, read a first time.
Nov. 24. Last-named bill read a second time and concurred to be engrossed.
Petition of Andrew Belcher read and sent down. [C.O. 5, 789. pp. 891–893.]
Nov. 22. 1297. Journal of Assembly of New Jersey. Bill to secure the Proprietors in their rights to the soil of the Province, with the quit-rents according to the conveyances made by the Duke of York, read a first time.
The Settling of a Revenue was considered. Resolved, that a tax be raised for defraying the necessary charge of ye Governmt. and support of ye dignity thereof.
Bills ordered to be prepared for regulating elections, and for settling the allowance of Assemblymen.
Nov. 23. Bills regulating the purchasing of lands from the Indians, and ascertaining Representatives' fees, read the first time.
1,000l. granted to H.M., her heirs, and successors for defraying the necessary charge of this Govmt. and supporting the dignity of it.
Resolved, that 300l. be raised for paying the Representatives' fees and incidental charges of the House.
Bill for settling the estates of all Proprietors and purchasers of land within New Jersey read a second time and amended.
Nov. 24. Motion, that the boundarys of the counties of the Eastern Division be ascertained this Session, negatived.
Resolved, that the Bill for regulating elections be brought in this Session.
Bill for regulating the purchasing of lands from the Indians was read the second time and amended.
Bill for ascertaining the Representatives' fees read a second time and amended.
Bill for confirming estates etc. read a third time and sent up.
Petition of Richd. Dell, concerning the repair of the highways and bridges from Amboy Ferry to Burlington, read. [C.O. 5, 1019. pp. 482–484.]
Nov. 23.
Admiralty Office.
1298. J. Burchett to Wm. Popple. In answer to yours of yesterday, there are cruizers ordered out for protecting the homeward bound trade, not only into the Soundings, but off of Cape Clear. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. Read Nov. 24, 1703. ½ p. [C.O. 323, 5. No. 30; and 324, 8. p. 288.]
Nov. 23.
1299. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Queen. Having had under consideration the different rates at which foreign coins do pass in your Majesty's Plantations in America, with the inconveniences thereof, and more especially a complaint transmitted to us by Coll. Blakiston at the request of the Assembly of Maryland, representing that the advancing the rates of coin in the neighbouring Plantations, and especially in Pennsylvania (where they are much higher than in other places) is the occasion of drawing their coin from them; we humbly represent, that this liberty taken in any of your Majesty's Plantations, to alter the rates of their coins as often as they think fit, does encourage an indirect practice of drawing the money from one Plantation to another, to the undermining of each other's trade; which cannot be otherwise remedied than by reducing of all foreign coins to the same rate in all your Majesty's Dominions in America. And whereas peices of Eight, Sevil, Pillar, and Mexico are now currant in the Massachusets Bay at the rate of 6s. per peice by virtue of an Act past there, which was confirmed by his late Majesty, and therefore cannot be altered but by an Act to be passed in the same manner, we humbly offer that your Majesty would be pleased to issue your Royall Proclamation to be published throughout all the Plantations (as well under Proprietors and Charters as in those governed by your Majesty's immediate Commission) directing that from and after Sept. 29, 1704, no Sevill, Pillar, or Mexico peices of Eight, thô' of the full weight of 17½ pennyweight shall be received taken or paid in any of your Majesty's said Plantations above the rate of six shillings per peice, for the discharge of any contracts or bargains to be made after the said Sept. 29, 1704. The halves, quarters and other lesser peices of the same coin (of due weight) to be reckoned also in the same proportion; and that as for the peices of Eight of Peru, dollars, and all other foreign species of silver coin, whether of the same or baser alloy, the currency thereof after Sept. 29, 1704, stand regulated according to their weight and fineness in proportion to the foresaid rate limited for the peices of Eight of Sevil, Pillar and Mexico, so that no fforeign silver coin of any sort be permitted to exceed the same proportion upon any account whatsoever. Signed, Weymouth, Dartmouth, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Mat. Prior. [C.O. 324, 8. pp. 282–284.]
Nov. 23. 1300. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Adjourned, there being only four members present.
Nov. 24. Tho. Merrick and Robert Johnstoun were approved as Securities for C. Thomas, Treasurer, who, with Robert Stillingfleet, Comptroller of the Excise, took the oaths appointed.
Return ordered to be made of persons neglecting or refusing to take the oaths in accordance with H.E.'s recent warrants. [C.O. 31, 8. pp. 150–152.]
Nov. 23. 1301. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. The members present being but 14 adjourned till to-morrow.
Nov. 24. The members present being but 13, adjourned till Jan. 4. [C.O. 31, 7. pp. 142, 143.]
Nov. 23.
1302. Minutes of Council of the Massachusetts Bay. Com missioners appointed for a trial at Salem (see Nov. 16).
Ordered that the Treasurer deliver the public stock of salt-peter to Andrew Belcher and Samuel Legg, and that they agree with Walter Everden, powder-maker, to repair the decayed powder, and make so much new as the peter will afford. [C.O. 5, 789. p. 546.]
[Nov. 24.] 1303. Draught of a Commission granted here to Privateers, and of Instructions relating thereto. Endorsed, Procured from Doctors Commons, Nov. 24, 1703. 12½ pp. [C.O. 323, 5. No. 29.]
Nov. 24. 1304. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Codrington. We have no letter from you since ours of Oct. 28.
The Packet boat by which you promised us a full account of all the affairs of your Government being arrived, as likewise Col. Thomas, with the Act of Assembly and your Deputation, impowering him to set forth the state of the Leeward Islands, wee are surprized that wee have not received the promised account by either of these conveyances, and are the more concerned thereat for that we have been commanded to lay the affair of Guardaloupe before H.M. As wee told you in our last that we had already represented how much the Leeward Islands are infested by French privateers to the end that ships may be appointed for their protection, we are now doing it more fully, and shall in due time acquaint you with the success. Wee send you here inclosed the copy of an Order of Councill relating to shares of prizes taken in the Plantations. To which that we may be able to give a satisfactory answer wee desire you to send us an account of the number lading and value of the prizes that have been brought into your Government, what methods have been observed in the tryall and distribution of such prizes, and what care has already or may further be taken for securing to H.M. and H.R.H. their respective parts and shares thereof. Signed, Weymouth, Dartmouth, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Mat. Prior. [C.O. 153, 8. pp. 223–225.]
Nov. 24.
1305. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Sir B. Granville. Since ours of Oct. 28, we have received letters from you dated Aug. 8 and Sep. 3. Upon the receipt of the first of them relating to the pay of the gunners and your ingagement to Mr. Cox, we immediately transmitted a copy thereof to the Treasury for the Lord Treasurer's effectual directions therein. We have also transmitted an extract of that part of your second letter, which relates to Captain Hayes, to the Board of Ordnance from whom you will receive directions therein. What you have done in relation to flags of truce, and your watchfulness to prevent the inconveniences which may arise thereby, and by illegal trade with St. Thomas, gives us great satisfaction: and we doubt not of your continuance to exert your endeavours in those and all other matters for H.M. service. What you write of the many losses by French Privateers that have happen'd in the neighborhood of the Leeward Islands, is confirmed to us from other hands, and more particularly by an Agent sent from thence on purpose. We have already represented something of that matter to H.M., and are now doing it more fully in such a manner as we hope may be effectual for their relief. We are still in expectation of the particular Report which you promise us, relating to the fortifications, stores of warr, Militia etc, which since the sickness is abated, we hope you will speedily finish. We send you here inclosed the copy of an Order of Councill relating to H.M., the Lord High Admiral's, and the captors' share of prizes, to which that we may be inabled to give a satisfactory answer, we desire you to send us an account of the number, lading and value of the prizes that have been brought into your Government, what methods have been observed in the tryall and distribution of such prizes, and what care has already or may further be taken for securing to H.M. and to H.R.H. their respective parts and shares thereof. Signed, Weymouth, Dartmouth, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Mat. Prior. [C.O. 29, 8. pp. 349–351.]
Nov. 24.
1306. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lt.-Gov. Handasyd. Since our letter of Oct. 28, whereof you have a duplicate here inclosed, we have received yours of Oct. 5th and 6th. It is with great concern the (that) we find the heats in the Assembly continue so high as you represent them; and are more particularly apprehensive lest the Revenue Bill which you have given us to expect would be past for 21 years should be thereby clog'd or made not fitt to receive H.M. approbation. We desire you to use your endeavours with the Assembly that the Acts may be separate; for what we find in their minutes of Sept. 15 and 16 about inserting a clause for confirming their former Laws, gives us some suspicion of irregularity. We must therefore repeat to you that it is directly contrary to your Instructions to permit different matters to be joyned together in one and the same Bill. And you ought to have explained in your letter what you conceive to be intended by them in an affair of so great consequence. We wish your prorogueing of them as you write, for two days, may tend to bring them to a better temper when they meet next. We have received a letter from Captain Lilly, wherein he writes that he has transmitted a survey and plan of the channel and avenues between Port Royal and Kingston to the Master General of the Ordnance, in which he has performed his duty; but we expected that you should also have transmitted the same to us; the Acts relating to Port Royal and Kingston being under our consideration. This we have told you already as a standing rule in all things under your conduct, and we desire you accordingly to observe it. The Report upon those Acts has taken up a considerable part of our time; and we hope speedily to send you H.M. resolution upon them. We are laying before the Admiralty your complaint of the want of sailors in the Men of War that attended that Island. We desire you will not fail to send us the accounts you promise of the tryal and condemnation of the ships which you mention to have been taken on the Spanish coast, and to have been brought in by a Privateer: the rather because of an Order of Council, whereof we send you here inclosed a copy relating to shares of prizes, to which that we may be enabled to give a satisfactory answer, we desire you to send us an account of the number, lading, and value of the prizes, that have bin brought into your Government, what methods have been observed in the tryal and distribution of such prizes; and what care has already or may further be taken for securing to H.M. and H.R.H. their respective parts and shares thereof. Signed, Weymouth, Dartmouth, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Mat. Prior. P.S. As to your delivering of arms to the Militia, as they desire of you, we think it very necessary that they be armed, and hope you will be able to prevail with them to pay for them. [C.O. 138, 11. pp. 79–82.]
Nov. 25.
St. James's.
1307. Order of Queen in Council. The Lords of the whole Council are hereby appointed a Committee to meet on Nov. 29 to examine the proceedings of Vice-Admiral Graydon in his passage to the West Indies and for his pressing men there; at which time one of the Council of H.R.H. is to attend and bring with him a copy of the Orders given to Vice-Admirall Graydon, and the Council of Trade and Plantations are to transmit all papers relating to pressing at Jamaica, one or more of them being then to attend the Committee. Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. Read Nov. 29, 1703. ¾ p. [C.O. 137, 6. No. 20; and 138, 11. p. 88.]
Nov. 25.
1308. Wm. Popple to Josiah Burchet. Refers to Order of Nov. 18. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire you to inform them what the extent of the Lord High Admiral's dues and share of prizes are, and how the same are to be answered, or what else may relate to the better recovery of them. [C.O. 324, 8. p. 287.]
Nov. 25.
1309. Wm. Popple to the Commissioners of Prizes. Similar enquiry as to the extent of H.M. dues upon prizes taken in the Plantations. [C.O. 324, 8. pp. 288, 289.]
Nov. 25.
1310. William Popple to Alexander Skene. Yours of Aug. 9 has been laid before the Council of Trade and Plantations, and a sample of the ruled paper you desire has been given to Mr. Holder, one of the Agents, that they may procure and send you such quantities as may be necessary. [C.O. 29, 8. p. 353.]
Nov. 25.
1311. William Popple to Governor Sir Bevill Granville. Acknowledges letter of Sept. 3, and refers to enclosure for the Lt. Gov. of Bermuda. [C.O. 29, 8. p. 352.]
Nov. 25.
1312. Wm. Popple to Lt. Gov. Bennet. Refers to following, and assures him of his respects. [C.O. 38, 5. p. 452.]
Nov. 25.
1313. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lt. Gov. Bennet. Duplicates having been regularly sent you of all our letters, we have now only to acknowledge the receipt of yours of Aug. 9 last, together with your answer to Mr. Larkin's letter of Aug. 19, 1702. Upon which we at present observe to you, that tho' in the Commission you send us the date of the day and month be left blank, yet the year vizt. 1701 is expressed, and the reign, vizt. that of King William; so that such Commissions must have been given in time of peace; which we take to be contrary to your Instructions, and without example, unless in the time of your predecessor Mr. Day, whose irregularities we well hoped you would not have imitated. The next remark we are obliged to make is, that your Commissions ought not to have been given in an undetermined sence against pirates and the Queen's enemies at large, but upon information of some especiall occasion that required them. All Commissions of War ought to express the particular enemies against whom they are designed. The clause also of visiting suspected ships, may give to Privateers an oportunity of committing great irregularities, and even of turning pirates themselves instead of pursuing others. The number of Commissions which you have given out seems ill proportioned to the smallness of the Islands under your Government, you will think yourself obliged therefore to send us an authentick list of such Commissions as you have given out, with the day and year in which, and the persons to whom, each Commission was given. We further send you here inclosed the copy of an Order of Councill relating to H.M., the Lord High Admiral's, and the captor's shares of prizes, to which that we may be enabled to give a satisfactory answer, we desire you to send us a particular account of the number, lading and value of the prizes that have been brought into your Government, what methods have been observed in the tryal and distribution of such prizes, and what care has already or may further be taken for securing to H.M. and H.R.H. their respective shares thereof. We further observe to you, that you need not spend the publick powder in salutes to Privateers, or upon any such slight occasions; that honour being to be reserved to H.M. ships of war. Your papers as they relate particularly to Mr. Larkin's behaviour to you, are under our examination and shall be judged impartially. Signed, Weymouth, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Mat. Prior. [C.O. 38, 5. pp. 453–456.]
Nov. 25.
1314. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Board of Ordnance. Having understood from Captain Lilly, the Engineer now at Jamaica, that he had sent to your office a plan of the channel and avenues, with the exact soundings between Kingston and Port Royal in Jamaica, and having now under our consideration the Acts of the Assembly of that Island, relating to the settling of the seat of trade at one of those places, we desire you to communicate the same to us for our information. And having likewise understood from the Lieutenant Governour that the smiths and other artificers which ought to take care of their arms are most of them dead or sick, and that the Militia of the Island are almost without arms fitt for service, we desire you to inform us what stores of ordnance and arms have been sent thither these 18 months last past, and what directions have been given for the disposal of them. Signed, Weymouth, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, Mat. Prior. [C.O. 138, 11. pp. 82, 83.]
Nov. 25.
1315. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letter to Mr. Perry ordered, for an account of the tobacco imported, and to Mr. Sansom for an account of tobacco and sugar imported in 12 months last past.
Mr. Merret, accompanied with several other Newfoundland merchants, acquainted the Board that their Fishery in Newfoundland this year had been but smal, not above 40 ships nor above 300 by boats imployed in that whole trade, and but 19 ships arrived at Lisbon. They promised to lay their proposals relating to convoys before the Board in writing.
Ordered that the Secretary write to the Commissioners for Prizes (Nov. 25).
Letter to the Ordnance Office (Nov. 25) signed and sent.
Letter from Mr. Roop, Oct. 10, read.
Letter to Lt. Gov. Bennet signed, and ordered to be enclosed as formerly to the Governor of Barbados.
Nov. 26. Traders with the Leeward Islands laid before the Board a Memorial relating to convoys which was read.
Vice-Admiral Whetston attending, said that Port Royal is more fit for business than Kingston, and men of war may careen there more easily, and all things be done there with greater expedition and less charge. More work may be done there in 4 hours than at Kingstone in a day, the sea-breezes making the Harbour of Kingstone very rough. It would require at least 24 hours to get up thither. Kingston is more subject to rains by reason of the nearness of the mountains that lye behind it. Port Royal indeed is not so secure at present as Kingston may be made to be. It is not difficult for 4 or 5 men of war to go into that harbour. If an enemy had it, they might easily cut it off from any communication with the rest of the Island, and deprive them both of wood and water. The Fort is not well built, the South Point especially, which may be annoyed by an enemy from among the Keys, and cannot bring any guns to bear upon them. But this may be easily remedied by rebuilding that Angle, and turning it into a half-moon, so that it may be made more secure than Kingston can. One of the Keys may be secured by a Fort, taking in the whole ground, and make a security to the whole Island. The French, if they had it, would quickly make it impregnable. If a ship were sunk in the Channell between Port Royal and Kingston, whatsoever ships were in Kingston Harbour wou'd be blocked up. At Musketo Point, there is no foundation for building upon without piles. The properest place for a fortification for the further security of Kingston would be upon the Coral Rock opposite to ye Salt Ponds. The Western Channel is not good, and he does not believe an enemy will ever attack ye country, either through that or the South Channel. Notwithstanding the Act, the people were very much inclined to settle at Port Royal, many having died at Kingston, whereupon others were come back to Port Royal and had set up divers sheds on the sides of the old walls, which were yet standing, but had not built any regular houses, when he came from thence. [C.O. 391, 16. pp. 292–297; and 391, 97. pp. 727–733.]
Nov. 25. 1316. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. The Governor communicated a letter from Governor Sit B. Granville giving an acct. of a fleet arrived at Martineco. The Board unanimously advised that the best way to know the motions of ye Enemy was to get a prisoner from Hispaniola. Ordered that Capt. Coleby, a privateer who was going out, goe with all expedition to that coast, and there use his utmost endeavour to take a French prisoner and deliver him to some magistrate in this Island in order to his being sent with all speed to this town to be examined.
The Govr. communicated to the Board a letter from the Lord Nottingham, Sept. 14, 1703 (q.v.). The Board thereupon unanimously advised that a sloop should be hired, and that the Governor should send his order to the Comodore to cause all the Spanish prisoners in H.M. ships to be sent to Port Charles, in order to their being sent away with a Flag of Truce to demand our prisoners; and that Letters pursuant to his Lordship's directions be sent to ye Governors of St. Domingo, Carthagena, Porto Bello, and the Havana. Ordered accordingly.
Ordered that H.M. stores of Ordnance and ye store house att Kingston be delivered to Thos. Bell pursuant to an Order from the Board of Ordnance.
194l. 5s. 6d. paid to the officers and gunners of H.M. Fortifications, and 19l. 15s. 4½d. paid to Major Hen. Peirs for petty expences there; also 3l. 10s. 7½d. [C.O. 140, 6. pp. 183–188; and 194–198.]
Nov. 25. 1317. Minutes of Council in Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay. Bill relating to appeals read with amendments, and voted to be anew drawn accordingly.
On the petition of Andrew Belcher, on behalf of the owners of the John of Exon., lately cast away on the rocks lying of Pemberton Island and her lading lost, all but 14 pipes of wine, duties remitted as recommended by the Representatives.
Nov. 26. Bill in addition to the Act for punishing mutiny or desertion was read twice and passed to be engrossed and sent down.
Resolve of the Representatives sent up was read:—Whereas this Court at their Session in March granted 500l. for fortifying Castle Island, to be improved for finishing those works which are most necessary to be done for the present defence of the same, particularly the platforms and carriages to be done in the first place; and, in July, 700l. for discharging the debts already contracted in fortifying the said Island, and for the finishing the works, according to the computation of Col. Romer; and whereas both sums are almost expended, the platforms and carriages are not yet made, particularly the South East platform on the hill slighted and almost broken up, which seems to be of great consequence, and the platform in the south-east bastion of the old works not laid, altho' we were promised the first 500l. should be improved for that end, noe necessary lodgings provided for the souldiers; but instead, a new boat and a house for entertaining it are built to the expense of many pounds, being none of those things enumerated in the computation foresaid, but very unnecessary, the Castle being before sufficiently provided with boats; Resolved, that the neglect of the finishing the works aforesaid, and the application of the money to other and unnecessary uses is a grievance.
Resolve of the Representatives sent up and concurred: Considering the extraordinary impoverishing circumstances the Town of Brookfield is under by means of the present war, Resolved that 20l. be paid out of ye publick Treasury towards ye support of ye Ministry there for ye year currt.
Bill relating to Appeals with amendments sent down, was returned with a message that the House adhered to their engrossed Bill.
Resolve of the Representatives for more Bills of Credit, sent down with the proposal, to alter the word levied to granted, and that three of the former Committee might be continued to sign the new Bills, as also to ascertain the pay of H.E. the Governor as Commander of ye Castle.
Message sent up to inquire after the Bill for establishing of officers and souldiers pay. H.E. intimated to the Messengers, it was an imperfect establishment, but so far as it extended it should be observed as a rule.
Bill directing how Debentures shall be granted for souldiers' and seamen's pay, passed by the Representatives, was read.