America and West Indies: December 1703, 11-20

Pages 872-891

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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December 1703, 11-20

Dec. 11.
1383. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of Nottingham. Having recd. a letter from Mr. Moor, H.M. Advocate General of Pennsylvania, that Providence, the chief of the Bahama Islands, has been burnt and destroyed by the French and Spaniards, and the people all put to the sword or carryed off, which danger we have always been apprehensive of, and frequently represented, and what would in its consequence be very prejudicial to our Trade and Navigation, we send a copy of the said letter to your Lordship to be laid before H.M. And whereas it does not appear that the enemy after having destroyed the place are as yet settled there, we have reason to think they are gone to the Havana to prepare things necessary for their future settlement upon this and other the Bahama Islands, which will endanger all our ships in their passage thrô the Gulph of Florida. Signed, Weymouth, Ph. Meadows, Robt. Cecill, Wm. Blathwayt, Jon. Pollexfen, Mat. Prior. P.S.—We have reason to fear the same attempt upon Carolina, unless speedy care be taken therein. 1 p. Enclosed,
1383. i. Copy of Letter from Mr. Moore referred to in preceding. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 3. Nos. 9, 9.i.; and 5, 1290. pp. 401, 402.
Dec. 13.
1384. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Col. Thomas and Mr. Cary attending, said they should have 20 or 30 merchant-ships ready to go out with the convoy they had desired; as for ships to remain as guards to the Leeward Islands, they thought there could not be less than one 4th rate and 3 smal frigats between 30 and 40 guns; but upon their Lordships representing to them the difficulty of obtaining so many, they said they would be thankful for one fourth-rate and two sixth rates. Mr. Bridges represented that the Barbadoes merchants were all of opinion that if there was to be but one convoy in the year, it was necessary it should consist of two fourths, one fifth and one sixth rate men of war; but upon further discourse with their Lordships, he consented to abate one; so their Lordships agreed to report to H.R.H. one fourth and two fifth rates as necessary. He added that the time of the said convoy's return might be fixed for June 1st.
Letter from Mr. Lowndes, Dec. 10, read; and Mr. Cox's brother attending and offering some things in excuse of his brother's conduct therein referred to, and praying for a favourable Report, he was desired to procure a copy of the first presentment of the Commissioners of the Customs to the Lord High Treasurer, upon which his brother had been dismissed from his place; as also to bring Mr. Patric Mien to the Board.
Dec. 14. Memorial from the New York merchants read.
Sir B. Gracedieu etc. presented a memorial relating to guardships for Jamaica, which was read.
Report to H.R.H. relating to convoys agreed upon.
Dec. 15. Letter to Mr. Lowndes ordered and sent.
Above Report signed and sent in a letter to Mr. Burchet. [C.O. 391, 16. pp. 320–324; and 391, 97. pp. 777–785.]
Dec. 13.
1385. Minutes of Council of the Massachusetts Bay. Paper sent up by the Representatives immediately before their riseing, after a message sent them to come up in order to a Prorogation, read. As to the articles [see Minutes of Council in Assembly, Dec. 2] referring to the fortifications of Castle Island and Casco, they were referred to Col. Romer to answer. Thomas Povey, Commander of the Castle, said that there being now a conveniency of lodging for ye Chaplain, he is resident; and care is taken to restrain the selling of strong drink, and when any is found, it's taken away. As to reducing the garrison, H.E. said he would make the charge as easy for the Province as might be consistent with H.M. honour and the safety of the place. As to the desisting of a winter's march, he ordered the intimation of a General Council on 23rd to advise of that matter, and in the meantime would write to the Colonel and principal officers of the Militia for their opinion, and to see if any number of voluntiers will offer for that service upon the last proposal of the General Assembly for encouragement. As to Major Cutler and Major Turfrey, at the first setting of a Court Martial inquiry should be made. Thomas Povey said that Battisse is kept in the same place where he has always been, and that there was a soldier of the garrison he thought fit to be appointed armourer.
H.E. acquainted the Council that offer had been made him from Connecticot of marching the friend Mohegin Indians under the conduct of proper English officers into the Eastern parts, and to live there all the summer upon the encouragement proposed by the Assembly, and being allowed subsistance. Advised that they be improved accordingly.
Various salaries paid.
50l. paid to Lt. Col. John March for the brave defence which by his conduct was made of H.M. Fort at Casco Bay when lately attackt by the French and Indians, and in consideration of the wounds and damage that he then received.
10l. paid to Joseph Beane, and 5l. to Thomas Hapgood of Marlborough, as souldiers wounded in H.M. service, for smart money.
2l. paid to Samuel Marion for several years' beating a drum at the publishing Laws and Proclamations.
18l. 6s. paid to Joseph Allen for printing credit Bills.
Warrant issued to impower the Treasurer to issue 10,000l. credit bills according to the resolve of the Representatives.
5l. paid to John Fisher for inspecting the Indians at Natick, Aug.-Nov.
12l. 10s. paid to Thomas Fitch, Upholder, for furniture for the chamber of Col. Povey at Castle Island.
167l. 18s. 6d. paid to Lt. Col. Partridge for wages etc. of souldiers employed in H.M. service within the county of Hampshire, and parties sent out after the enemy and billeting of soldiers sent from Conecticot etc. [C.O. 5, 789. pp. 549–552.]
Dec. 13. 1386. Journal of Assembly of New Jersey. Bill for ascertaining Representatives' fees, with amendments of the Council, considered, and ordered to lay upon the table for ye perusal of the Members.
Address to H.M. "rendring her our most hearty thanks for her great care and goodnes in taking us under her immediate administration," ordered to be prepared.
H.E. summoned the Representatives to attend, and signed the Bill for regulating the purchasing of land from the Indians. He directed the Clerk to enter into the Journal of the House H.M. Orders about Governors' presents (April 20). He then Addressed the Council and Assembly:—The season of the year being so far advanced makes it absolutely necessary to put an end to this sessions for ye present. I could have wished we could have dispatcht ye several Bills before us, but ye matters contained in them were of so great moment, ye difficulties so many, and the time so short, that it was impossible to finish what I so much desired. However, this benefit I hope we shall receive from this sessions, that, being acquainted with the nature of those difficultys, we shall come prepared in the spring to remove them, that such good laws as may effectually settle ye rights of ye General Proprietors and fully secure every man's estate may be provided, these being points which will most conduce to ye peace and welfare of this Colony. I earnestly recommend it to you to employ your thoughts seriously to find out ye most effectual ways to attain those desirable ends, and to think of what other Laws may be necessary for ye good Government of this Province, in wch. you shall always find me ready to consent to all such things as shall be for ye good of the whole. Then H.E. adjourned the Assembly to May 18 at Burlington. [C.O. 5, 1019. pp. 488–490.]
[Dec. 14.] 1387. Sir B. Gracedieu and others to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The last advices we have from Jamaica do represent the great danger they apprehend themselves in from ye French and Spaniards, and request their friends here to petition H.M. for 10 or 12 men of war to be a guard for the Island. There is advice from Plimouth by an English doctor that was taken prisoner in the West Indies and carried to Martinico, who was coming from thence to Old France in a ship that was forced into Plimouth, that before he left Martinico there was arrived six French men of war with several other ships, which we fear are to joyn ye quotas of French and Spaniards, wch. they write from Jamaica they had advice were appointed to invade the Island by ye first convenient opportunity. Signed, Bartho. Gracedieu, Edmund Edlyne, James Whitchurch. Endorsed, Recd. Read Dec. 14, 1703. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 6. No. 31; and 138, 11. pp. 89, 90.]
Dec. 14. 1388. Merchants trading to New Yorke to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Return thanks for the particular regard your Lordships incline to take for the security of the trade to and from the province of New York, which has of late mett with vast losses, occasioned chiefly by the want and disappointments of convoys. We humbly offer our opinion how the like losses may be prevented for the future. For the convoy of those ships that are now bound from hence thither, a fourth rate man of war to be ready by the middle of Feb. next will be sufficient. And if your Lordships will vouchsafe to let such man of war convoy the ships from thence back again, we believe the middle of July will be a proper time to sail from New Yorke, thô we conceive it would be better to leave this point to the Governor and Councill there, who being on the spott can direct therein what is most conducive to H.M. interest, and the security and conveniency of the Merchants. As for ships of warr to guard the Port and coast of New Yorke, less than two fifth rates will not be sufficient; by reason it lys alltogether on New Yorke to guard and secure the coasts southward as far as the Capes of Dellaware, and eastward as far as Block, and Road Island. And if only one man of warr be imployed in that service, the enemy's privateers may commit a great deal of spoile one way, whilst the man of warr cruizes the other. If two frigats are there, one of them might be spar'd to convoy such vessells as frequently carry provisions to the Carribbee and other Islands, so far in the main ocean as that they are free from danger on the coast. And in winter time (during which ships of war are not absolutely necessary to remain there) one of these friggats might be spared to convoy vessells with provisions to the said islands as should then be ready and bound thither, and returne back with them early in the spring. And by these measures we humbly conceive the navigation of New York, as well for England as for the West Indies, would in a great measure be secured. 14 Signatures. Endorsed, Recd. Read Dec. 14, 1703. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1048. No. 70; and 5, 1120. pp. 27–29.]
Dec. 15.
1389. W. Popple to Josiah Burchet. Encloses Report of the Council of Trade and Plantations relating to Convoys to be laid before H.R.H. [See Nov. 13.] Annexed,
1389. i. Ships of war desired for the Plantations.
Plantations. Convoys Frigates. Time of sailing. Time of return. Guard ships.
N. England 2 Feb. 20. June 15, 1704 2 Frigats, which in the winter may convoy the Trade to the Southern Islands.
1 Sep. 1. Dec. 1, 1704.
New York 1 fourth rate Feb. 15 July 15, 1704 2 fifth rate.
Virginia and Maryland 3 fourth rates to joyn the 2 already there Jan. 10 April 30, 1704 1 of these to remain.
Carolina 1 sixth rate Jan. 1 The Merchts, ships to return with the Virginia Convoy The same ship to remain there.
Barbadoes 2 fourth rates Feb. 1. June 1, 1704. 2 small Frigats and 1 fourth rate.
1 fifth
1 sixth
Leeward Islands 3 Feb. 1 To stay 60 days 1 fourth rate and 2 sixth rate.
Jamaica 4 Jan. 1. June 1, 1704. 10 or 12 Frigats.
Newfoundland 2 or more for the South Channel 1 for the North Channel Jan. 1 At ye usual times.
1389. ii. The Council of Trade and Plantations to H.R.H. Prince George of Denmark. In pursuance of your Royal Highness's desire, we humbly offer, that it necessarily required some time to send to and discourse with the several merchants and persons concerned in the trade of H.M. Plantations. Summarise reports of merchants trading to New England and New York (Dec. 8, 14), Virginia and Maryland (Nov. 22), Carolina (Dec. 10), Barbados (Dec. 8), Leeward Islands (Nov. 26), Jamaica (Nov. 27), Newfoundland (Nov. 29). Continues: In our discourse with the several Merchants we have endeavoured all we can to persuade them to be satisfyed with the least number of ships for the respective services; but we find them so discouraged by the losses they have lately sustained that many of them seem resolved to desist from trade unless they may be secured by a competent number of convoys and guard ships. To which we have only to add what we have formerly represented to H.M. that besides the convoys to and from England and the respective Plantations, there being a great intercourse of Trade between the Northern and Southern Colonies as well for provisions as returns for the same, two convoys in the year may be appointed for that Trade, of two ships each at the least; the first convoy to be appointed to sail from England in Feb., so as to be ready at New York or other neighbouring Plantation within the month of April, to convoy the shipping of those Plantations, which shall be ready to sail at that time to the Southward; and the latter convoy to sail from the same parts by Dec. 1 every year, which may be made up of such guard-ships as shall be appointed for New Yorke, those ships as we formerly have reported being useless there in the winter season; and that the times when each of these convoys shall be appointed to sail be signified to the several Governours of the Northern Plantations to be by them made known to whom it may concern; that the shipping may accordingly be ready to meet them in their passage to the Southward, the Commodores having in their sailings regard thereunto, which we judge very necessary for H.M. Service, for that by want of such convoys H.M. Islands are in a great measure rendred destitute of provisions, and the French who are not furnished from Europe thereby largely supplyed, we having certain information that 70 ships belonging to H.M. subjects, most of them laden with provisions, have been in the space of 12 months last past carried into Martinico. And whereas we have often represented upon complaints from the Plantations of the irregular and disorderly pressing of seamen, and particularly at Jamaica, whereby those Plantations were not only deprived of their necessary subsistance and trade by frightning away the people, but will become desolate by the terrifying of others from settling there, which obliges them to resort to the Proprieties, to the great prejudice of H.M. interest and indangering of those Plantations in this time of war, we repeat that, for preventing the necessity which is alledged for pressing of seamen for the navigating H.M. Ships of Warr in cases of exigency, supernumerary seamen, or at least the highest complement may be sent on board those ships designed for those services, and especially to Jamaica, and that for the better preserving the health of the seamen they may be constantly supplyed with fresh provisions while in the Plantations, which may be easily procured from the Northern Colonies by such timely directions as may be given in that behalf. Reports of Merchants annexed. Signed, Weymouth, Dartmouth, Robt. Cecill, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Mat. Prior. [C.O. 324, 8. pp. 293–308.]
Dec. 16.
1390. Council of Trade and Plantations to the House of Lords. Report on Trade since Nov. 7, 1702, and the transactions of the Board therein, and concerning the Government of the Plantations etc. See Nov. 22, and House of Lords MSS., New Series, vol. v. pp. 311–332. Signed, Weymouth, Dartmouth, Robt. Cecill, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Mat. Prior. [C.O. 412, 549. pp. 69–169; and 389, 18. pp. 60–154.]
Dec. 16.
1391. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Cox of Southwark, and Mr. Mein, Surveyor General of the Customs in H.M. Southern Plantations in America, attending, letters from Mr. Lowndes, Mr. Savage and Mr. Mein were read. Their Lordships acquainted them with several passages in the minutes of the Council of Barbadoes relating to Flaggs of Truce from Martinico, and represented the inconveniencies that may arise thereby. Upon which Mr. Mein replied that the sending and receiving such flags of truce has been long complained of, but nevertheless constantly practised in that Island; and that both in Barbadoes and Martinico those that came along with such Flaggs of Truce do usually on both sides come on shoar without staying for leave. He believes Mr. Cox was innocent in the business of the Flagg of Truce for which he has been blamed, and that there was never any quantity of French wines (not 50 hhds.) brought to Barbadoes in that manner. Their Lordships desired him to lay before them in writing his observations in relation to Flaggs of Truce, and an abstract of his Surveys in relation to Trade in all the Southern Plantations, with whatever he may judge fit to be done for its encouragement, which he promised to do. Directions were given for an answer to Mr. Lowndes' letter, Dec. 10.
Report to the House of Lords upon the Trade of the Kingdom signed, and ordered to be sent to the Earl of Nottingham for H.M. pleasure therein.
Dec. 17. Letter to Mr. Lowndes agreed upon and sent.
Order of Council, Nov. 18, and other papers relating to Prizes considered.
Ordered that Mr. Wharters attend on Monday.
Ordered that Mr. Attorney General be desired to dispatch his answer to what was writ to him Dec. 2, relating to Rhode Island, and that in order thereunto the copy of the Charter of that Colony, as bound up in the books of this Office, be communicated to him.
Letter from Mr. Sansom laid before the Board.
Dec. 18. Order of Council, Dec. 17, relating to a Bill lately transmitted from Ireland for the encouragement of hempen and flaxen manufactures, read. Letter to Mr. Lowndes ordered, desiring an account of what quantities of East India Linnen of all sorts, and of what value, have been shipt off from London and the outports to the Plantations in 1702, and of European linnen of all sorts in like manner. [C.O. 391, 16. pp. 325–330; and 391, 97. pp. 789–797.]
Dec. 17.
1392. William Popple to Wm. Lowndes. In reply to yours of Dec. 10. the Council of Trade and Plantations acquaint you that they transmitted to the Commissioners of the Customs the informations concerning Mr. Cox, in regard that he was an officer under their inspection, but did not give any opinion that he should be removed from his employment. Their Lordships have heard Mr. Mein and understand by him, that it has been a frequent practice at Barbadoes to suffer persons coming with a flag of truce to land in the same manner as was done on the occasion for wch. Mr. Cox was questioned. They have nothing to object against his being restored, but are of opinion that this practice is of evill consequence, and are therefore preparing a report to H.M., that for the future no persons be allowed to come on shoar under the shelter of a flag of truce without previous leave obtained from the Governour and inspection made by the proper officers that such ships bring no French commodities. [C.O. 29, 8. pp. 367, 368.]
Dec. 17. 1393. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. The Governor acquainted the Board that he had intellegence of French friggotts now lately come to Hispaniola from France with six merchant ships since our last advices, and required the opinion of the Board whether it would be best to continue our friggotts in their stations already appointed about the Island, or order them together; the Council unanimously advised that they should all join to windward and there cruize together off the Eastward end of the Island till further intellegence, least being singly attacket they may be overpowered, which may prove of fatal consequence; and they advised that whereas the sloop St. Anthonio is found very unfitt for service, a good sayling sloop, capable to carry six gunns att least, bee imprest to relieve her. Ordered accordingly. [C.O. 140, 6. pp. 201; and 209, 210.]
Dec. 18.
New York.
1394. Governor Lord Cornbury to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Being just now returned from New Jersey and finding a ship about to sail, these few lines are to acquaint you that the Assembly of New Jersey have sat four weeks and some days, they had prepared some Bills, but the season has been soe severe that I was forced to adjourn them till May next, at which time I shall meet them at Burlington, I hope they will then prepare such Bills as will be agreable to H.M. commands in my Instructions, which I shall endeavour punctually to observe; if this ship stays any little time longer, I shall send your Lordshipps an account of all our proceedings in New Jersey, which is now preparing. Refers to enclosure. Signed, Cornbury. Endorsed, Recd. Read May 2, 1704. Holograph. 1 p. Enclosed,
1394. i. Memorandum of Acct. of Revenue of New York, July 31—Sept. 29, 1703. ¼ p. [C.O. 5, 1048. Nos. 71, 71. i.; and 5, 1120. pp. 102, 103.]
Dec. 18.
1395. Robert Livingston to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Pursuant to your Lordships' commands, Petitioner addressed himself to my Lord of London for missionaries to be sent among the Indians for their conversion, who advised him to apply to the Society for Propogating the Gospell in forreign Parts. He pray'd them to send six Ministers, that is, one to each of the five Nations, and one to the River Indians, and that each Minister might have a couple of youths who would soon learn the language, and be able to minister to them, and that there might be houses built for the Ministers and a chappel at each castle, stockadoed round, which by computation may cost 60l. or 70 a peice, and that said Ministers might be furnished yearly with some small presents to the value of 10l. to give to the Indians, and that the minister of Albany might be considered for ye Pains he has taken with the said Indians. The Society have found out two very good men for that purpose; 100l. sterling per annum, will be allowed to each of them, and 20l. a peice towards buying utensills for them; but Petitioner is directed by the Archbishop, and the rest of the Society to acquaint your Lordships, that thô they think it absolutely necessary for their better accomodation, that there should be smal houses built for them among the Indians, and that they should each of them have a servant to attend them, yet the Society, which has already made such large efforts with an income so very small, entirely precarious and voluntary, do beg your Lordships to lay the matter before H.M. since this affair is partly civill, and regards the State so far at least as the said Missionaries may contribute to secure those wavering people to the interests of the Crown of England and keep them from falling off to the neighbouring French of Canada. Your Lordships are therefore humbly pray'd that you will be pleased to represent it so to H.M., who, no doubt, when she is well informed will contribute the remainder and whatever else will be needfull for the accomplishing so good a work. Signed, Robt. Livingston. Endorsed, Recd. Dec. 18, 1703. Read Feb. 25, 170¾. Holograph. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1048. No. 73; and 5, 1120. pp. 82–84.]
Dec. 18.
1396. J. Plaisted to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Acknowledges their Lordships' favour in their directions to Gov. Dudley to order his support in the office of Deputy Surveyor of H.M. Forests. I have carefully prevented any waste. Capt. Eason is now loaden with very fair masts. Col. Dudley has been all this year since the troubles with the Indians broke out so careful as to lodge one or two foot companies with me to secure my labourers and teams, without which the buisnesse would have been lost, and the same care I hope for this winter from him, that I may be ready for the returne of the ships in the spring. Signed, J. Plaisted. Endorsed, Recd. April 29, Read May 23, 1704. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 863. No. 65; and 5, 911. pp. 326, 327.]
Dec. 18.
1397. William Popple, jr., to W. Lowndes. H.M. having referred to the consideration of the Council of Trade and Plantations a Bill lately transmitted from Ireland for encouraging the hempen and flaxen manufactures, and their Lordships being pressed to make a report thereupon with all speed, desire accounts of East India Linnen and of European linnen of all sorts shipped to the Plantations, 1702. [C.O. 389, 18. pp. 155, 156; and 412, 549. p. 170.]
Dec. 19.
1398. Governor Dudley to the Council of Trade and Plantations. This is by H.M.S. Centurion that brings home Eason, one of the Mast men, the other mast ship that came in company with her is not yet heard of, and was the only ship of that fleet of 12 that is not safely arrived. I communicated H.M. Letters, relating to Pemaquid and Governours' salaries, to the Assembly, Oct. 27, and for a moneth's time used all possible methods and arguments with them on H.M. and their owne behalfe, but find it impossible to move this sort of men that love not the Crowne and Government of England to any manner of obedience etc. So farre they have strengthened themselves by turning out foure or five loyall Gentlemen the last election of the Council, that after all the Council's former votes for the rebuilding of Pemaquid, I could not obtain their vote at this Session, which might have shewed theyr obedience, although without the Representatives' grant of the money, it would have done nothing. And alike is theyr resolution in the buisness of salaryes, they will not set a salary for one year for theyr Governour nor any else, nor for the Judges, but at the year's end give them 50l. each; insomuch that Mr. Addington, the Chief Justice, hath layd downe, and one other hath solicited me to leave his place also, and then I shall obtain no consent of the Council for the putting in of such as for estate or loyalty are any wayes fitted for that station, which all comes to pass by the People's election of the Council, who have truly in all parts of the countrey left out the best men out of the Council, whose consent must be had in the appoyntment of Judges, Justices and other civil officers. In this buisness of Pemaquid the Representatives beare themselves upon an Address they privately sent home to excuse the rebuilding thereof without any advice or knowledge of the Governour, or publique application to the Council, which during this Session I was advised of and demanded copies of the said Addresse, and laboured to make them sensible how absurd it was for them to suppose privately to doe theyr businesse without the Council, when they were but part of the Assembly, and without shewing that Addresse to the Governour, to whom H.M. had given her gracious commands in that matter, but all seems to be nothing with them. If your Lordships judge it irregular for them so to addresse without the other part of the General Court and the knowledge of the Governour, and should see meet to signifie it, it might be a service, and take them off from expectation of serving themselves, and putting a slight upon H.M. Government, of whose just rights I will not abate the least poynt to save my life, it being so very necessary to watch to support it amongst a people that would destroy it if possible. I am in the same posture with the Indians as when I wrote last. I have about 600 men upon the frontiers and have made two marches with about 500, but their distance is such that our provision is spent before we can get to their head-quarters; the forces were out 12 daies each time and necessarily carried all their provisions in theyr snap-sacks, being unpassable for horses, and so were forced to return before they could come up to Pegwackit (which is one of the 3 forts they now reside at, the other two being Amasconty and Norrigawague, set down in the enclosed reformed map), saving in theyr second expedition they surprized 11 or 12 whom they destroyed, and I am now getting snow-shoes and sleads to pass upon the ice for a winter's expedition, which hath been alwaies accounted best, although the Representatives, contrary to all expectation, sent up theyr vote the evening they were prorogued to pray there might be no winter's expedition, but to disband the forces, which I can by no means admitt of, however the use they will make of that vote shall be to acquitt themselves of any disappointment in a winter's march. and to except to the charge as a grievance in the Spring Session. However they have dealt with me or Lieut. Governour to refuse us any just support, I have been as thrifty in their expence and as careful not to have uselesse forces raised as if I had been to pay it all myselfe, and alwaies have had the advice of my officers in the part and acquainted the Council to their satisfaction at all times what I was doing, and truly if a House of Representatives in these parts could possibly be knowne to your Lordships, theyr skill and temper and methods, there would be no manner of need at any time to apologise for their dissatisfaction.
The Castle is to a very small matter finished, and foure times as bigge as it was before, and demands a force proportionable, and yet the Representatives have made it a greivance to have any more soldiers lodged there than when it was but a quarter so bigge, however I shall doe therein what is necessary and doubt not of your Lordships' acceptance of my service therein, although some of them have been so rude as to say, if I employ more men there, I may pay them myself, which I am humbly of opinion will perfectly take away H.M. power to command the service of her people in the Plantation, which as my duty I shall alwaies assert. I have in H.M. service for the sea only the Gospir, Capt. Smith, a sixth rate, which when the spring comes will by no meanes be a security to this large coast of 100 leagues, and next adjoyning the French. If H.M. shall please to make a descent upon Port Royall with some ships of warr directly from England, without first going to the West Indies, where they usually loose halfe theyr number and all their health, before they come northward, it would in all probability be effectuall to remove that nest of pyrates so near us. In New Hampshire, which bears the proportion truly but of the 11th part to this of the Massachusetts, they have dutifully granted 500l. to begin the reform of theyr fortification on great Island, and Col. Romer is there taking order, although little can be done till the Spring, and in the buisnesse of a salary for the Governour, considering them to lye so near the enemy, and having been often wasted by them, they have granted only a salary during the present Commission of 160l. per annum, which is as much as they can well doe in peace, and lesse than which I beleive they will at no time offer whilst they remain a Province. I was willing to accept that vote, being equall to 1,600l. for this Province, and for the limitation of time, being able to get no farther at this time, especially it being so much beyond what this Province would be brought to. They have also made an Act to require every man in the Province by 50 at a time by himselfe or a sufficient hired man to take turns for 10 daies at a time, and so circularly as often to be repeated as the time requires without pay, without which they could never have held out, saving alwaies to H.M. or her Governour the just right to command as many more at all times as shall be judged necessary. If H.M. would favour that Province with the arms and stores mentioned in your Lordships' memorial on theyr behalfe early in the Spring, it would put life into that Province, and distinguish and reward their obedience. In the affair of Mr. Allen, H.M. commands shall be strictly obeyed on my part, and I have given him notice that when he pleaseth to have any triall at law, I will be present, and see that the verdicts, if not for him positively, be speciall, and that all Patents and papers that he shall offer be specially found, although I may have some difficulty with the Judges, but your Lordships will remember H.M. Instruction limited me, at my coming hither, not to remove any Judge or Sheriff without a fault etc., which truly I have no cause for, and the Province is so thin of men of any capacity, that I know not where to supply any vacancy that may happen.
In this present warr with the Eastern Indians, this Province doth wholly cover both Road Island and Connecticot, to whom I have made all possible application for a quota of men. I can obtain nothing, but on the contrary Road Island doth hide and cover all manner of deserters from hence both for the service of the sea and land, and although I am here at 2,200l. per moneth charge, the Colony of Road Island have not had a tax of one penny in the pound this seaven year, which makes H.M. subjects of this Province very uneasy under theyr charge and service in the field, while other of H.M. subjects sleep in security, and smile at our losses and charges which are an equall service to themselves. Signed, J. Dudley. Endorsed, Recd. April 29, Read May 2, 1704. 4 pp. Enclosed,
1398. i. Abstract of preceding. 2½ pp.
1398. ii. Memorandum of Act of New Hampshire relating to the Inhabitants doing military service in equal proportion, and for raising money for a stock of provisions to be in each town ready for a march against the enemy. ¼ p. [C.O. 5, 863. Nos. 66, 66.i., ii.; and (without enclosures) 5, 911. pp. 241–251.]
Dec. 19. 1399. Governor Dudley to [? the Earl of Nottingham]. Duplicate of preceding, with the following addition:—One further disadvantage I have by it that many of H.M. subjects of this Province do daily remove from hence into those Colonies where they may have lands to setle and be quitt of the taxes and services here. The two foot companyes, Capt. Laramore and Walton, are arrived from Newfoundland, and I took care to muster what remained of them. Laramore scap't best and brought home 30 men. I have signed their muster-rolls, with all exactness, both as to the time of their shipping and landing here. I have not presumed to set their pay, not knowing what H.M. pleasure will be therein, because though they were raised as foot companyes, what service they did was at sea, being severall moneths aboard the Fleet for a cruise. Mr. James Campbell will waite on your Lordship with the muster-rolls and the method of their payment, whether as Foot or marriners, is humbly submitted to your Lordship. I have so far given them a Reputation with some merchants here, as to obtain something for their releife after a yeares absence, having had nothing abroad more than their subsistence, and I humbly pray your Lordship's favour for them, which will encourage the like service for the future. Signed, J. Dudley. Endorsed, R. April 28. 4 pp. [C.O. 5, 863. No. 66. A.]
Dec. 20.
Amboy in East Jersey.
1400. Col. Quary to the Council of Trade and Plantations. My last was from Virginia. I was obliged to hasten from thence in order to attend on my Lord Cornbury at the sitting of the Assembly in Amboy, Nov. 8, where I have continued ever since. The Eastern Division hath been a long time in the hands of a very few Scotch, the head of which party is now Col. Morris, the whole number of them are not at most above 20, and yet they have always, by the advantage of a Scotch Governor, carry'd it with a high hand against the rest of the inhabitants, thô more than a thousand in number, and the greatest part of them men of substance and sense: the hardships they have received from this small number of Scotch, have so prejudiced the whole country against them, that it is impossible to reconcile it (it must be a work of time). This great prejudice hath been now again improved on the occasion of the last election of Members to serve in the present Assembly. There appeared in the field on the Scotch interest but 42 persons (and a great part of them came from New York and Long Island) who were qualify'd to vote. Whereas on behalf of the Country there appeared betwixt 3 and 400 men qualify'd, and had they thought it necessary could have brought several hundred more. But notwithstanding this vast odds, yet the Scotch having by a false representation to H.E. prevailed with him to appoint one of their number to be made High Sheriff, he did, contrary to all law, reason, justice or president, return the choice of the 42 electors against the choice of more than 300. I will not entertain your Lordships with the particulars of the carrying on of this unjust election. First by delay of time, they thought to tire out the Country by detaining them so long in a place where there was not any accomodation for such number of people, at that time of the year, several hundreds of substantial housekeepers being forced to lye out of doors in that bitter weather; when that would not do, he multiply'd tricks upon tricks, till at last barefaced, he made the return contrary to the choice of the Country. The state of the Western Division hath always been betwixt the Quakers and others, thô the Quakers' are the far less in number, yett they have always had the Government in their hands, especially since Col. Hamilton joyn'd intirely with them. Their greatest number is in Burlington County, but in the other three counties of that division they are but very inconsiderable; however by their usual application and diligence, with the advantage of H.M. Instructions for the choice of ten members to be chosen in each Division, whereas had the election been in each county, they could not have carry'd it but in Burlington County only, they had influenced abundance of the inhabitants, insinuating that unless they chose Quakers, that tythes, the Militia, and great taxes, would be established by the Assembly. This had the effect they expected, and the Quakers were chosen (most of them Proprietors). When these two parties met in Assembly, having concerted all matters beforehand, they soon let the world know what they aim'd at; the first week was taken up in Petitions about the false returns, of which the House of Assembly was sole judge, at last a day was appointed to hear the County by their Council. But they were obliged to produce but 20 witnesses, at the time fix'd they did appear, but were then told, that they had heard several witnesses upon account and behalf of Mr. Gourdon (the High Sheriff) and were fully satisfy'd that he had done his duty, and therefore was resolved they would not hear any witnesses against him, but were fully satisfy'd with the return of Members which he had made, and so did discharge the Country and their Councill, without giving them a hearing. This treatment had like to set ye Country in an uproar, had they not been in hopes of relief from H.E. Justice, the improvement and management of which was by my Lord committed to me, having gain'd a very great esteem from them by my appearing warmly on their behalf. I hinted to them that the most effectual way of prevailing with my Lord to lay these Quakers and Scotch aside, must be by good assurance to be given, that in case a new election should be made, that they should make such a choice as should effectually answer all the ends of Government (which they promised to do), and that they would give double the value that this Assembly did give, and settle it as a Revenue for support of Government. I desired them to make choice of one or two men in each township, and impower them to discourse me upon the matter, and oblige themselves to stand by what they should promise on their behalf, which accordingly they did. I gave my Lord an account from time to time of every step I took, and did nothing without his approbation. However, my Lord having so good an opportunity of trying both parties, was resolv'd to see what the present Assembly would do, and like a prudent Governor encouraged their going on to business, very well knowing that he had it always in his power to lay them aside whenever he found that they did not answer the end of Government which was expected from them; the first thing they did, or rather was done to their hands, was a Bill entituled, An Act for securing the Rights and Titles of the Proprietors, and also for securing ye Rights and Titles of the People. I may truly say, that there was never more villany and injustice couched in any one Bill, then was in this. For to shew that they would be no respectors of persons, they were pleased to begin with H.M., and did by asserting the bounds of the Province, take from her a great part of the Province of New York, no less then all Stratton Island, this they give and confirm to the Proprietors and their heirs for ever, notwithstanding the Queen hath been in actual possession of it above 40 years past, without their pretending and claiming any title to it at all. The step that they took next was to defraud the Queen of the reserved rent in the first Deed from the Crown, which is twenty nobles, and all the arrears, which is above 40 years, and amounts to above 270l. sterling. When they had done this, notwithstanding the Proprietors had resigned up the Government, yet the Assembly were pleased to take from H.M. and give to themselves all royaltys whatsoever, under which general terms are concluded many parts of Government. And when there was no more injustice they could do the Queen, they proceed then to take from more than 500 inhabitants at once, their just rights, that they have been possess'd of for above 30 years past, by taking away from the persons several large tracts of land which they held by pryor Grants than what the Proprietors derive from my Lord Berkly and Sir George Carteret. For before the Duke of York convey'd to them, he gave a power to one Col. Nicholls to settle these parts, which accordingly he did, and granted several tracts of land, and by his order they purchas'd the Indians' rights from them. This title this Bill destroys at once, without any regard to so many people concern'd therein by sale, transferring, mortgage, dowry and otherwise, which hath one way or other engaged the inhabitants of the whole Province; and should this Bill pass, would ruine and involve them all in confusion. Besides, they have destroyed even their own Grant to several, and changed their rent and tenure. But that which seems the most extravagant in these that pretend themselves to be Proprietors, that they should go about to cheat so many of their own brethren, as by this Bill they have done. In the first place, they have destroy'd the joint tenancy by which all the Proprietors jointly hold, and have destroy'd that tenure without giving their brethren leave to be heard for themselves. Then they take their property from them and give it to a few of themselves, who have pick'd and cull'd all the choice and best of the land throughout the whole Province, all which by this Act they take care to settle and secure to themselves and their heirs for ever, without being accountable any ways to any of the rest, who to this day have not one acre run out for them, but must take up the barren land, or none, which is not worth a penny, whilst the rest have from 20 to 50 or 60,000 acres apiece of the choicest and best land, worth a vast summ of money; a few of the topping Proprietors in England are taken care for by these here, but the major part left to shift for themselves. A comment on this Bill would fill a volume. The major part of the House of Assembly are Proprietors, where they sit and make Acts for themselves, to which they are Parties; and when they are past that House, then the Bills are sent to H.E. and Council, which do at present consist of above ⅓rd of Proprietors. It's thought very hard by the Country that these gentlemen should thus be allow'd to be both Judges and Parties, and fill up the Assembly and Council too. I have often heard of Acts made to mend and strengthen defective Titles, but very seldom heard of Acts made to ruine and destroy men's Titles. After the first reading of this Bill, it was committed, and took up three weeks of our time; for the more we considered of it, the more and greater difficulty still arose, till at last H.E. saw an absolute necessity of laying it aside. The Proprietors in the Assembly thought to have gained their point by tacking the Money-Bill to it, they would not part with that Bill out of their House, till they could see the issue of their beloved Bill. But at last up it came, attended with another Bill to reinforce a Money-Bill made in Col. Hamilton's time, which set the country together by the ears and in arms. There was about 6 or 700l. unpaid of this old Bill, which they had now again by a new Act reinforced. In consequence of which would have been to put the country again in confusion, the reinforcing this Act past by a Government that was not qualifyed according to Law, would be construed as a confirmation of what was done contrary to Law, but H.E. knew better things than to give them that handle, for after a great bustle about this old Bill new vampt, H.E. found an easy way to lay it aside without noise, and then comes on the stage the Money-Bill so long expected. At the first opening of the Assembly, my Lord acquainted them with H.M. Instructions about raising a fund by way of Revenue for defraying the necessary charges of the Government. But when we came to examine the nature of this Bill, we found that they had only taken care for one year, and that but very indifferently too. If they had but got their own business done, they did not care whether the country did sink or swim for the future. Beside it was the most unequal tax that ever was laid on a country. For there are a great number of men in this Province besides the Proprietors, who have gotten great estates by stock-jobbing land; whose business is to buy all the good land in the Province, and parcel it out again to a vast advantage. These men improve no land, but are masters of all the money in the country; these contribute nothing towards the support of Government; but all that lyes on the poor industrious farmers or free holder of 100 or 50 acres of improved land (as it is call'd), whereas perhaps the heart of this land is worn out and good for nothing, but to be turned out for pasture; yet he must pay for his lands, and also for his horse, cow, sheep, servants, and what other stock he hath, when these great number of rich men pay nothing, thô they have more than a hundred times the estate of those that support the charge of Government, several of these men have from 10,000 to 60,000 acres a man, and perhaps worth more than 20s. p. acre ready money. This injustice they shelter under an injunction recommended by the Proprietors to H.M. under a false gloss. I hope your Lordships will please to make an enquiry into this abuse, which you will find confirmed by the whole country. I am obliged to turn again to the Money-Bill, and observe to your Lordships, that thô this Assembly of Proprietors could not afford to give to H.M. 1,000l., which is not much more than 600l. sterling, and that but for one year, yet they had taken care to give themselves 1,400l. to defray their own charges, and reimburse themselves old debts due in Col. Hamilton's time, all which was to come into these very men's own purses, by all which your Lordships may guess what sort of men H.E. my Lord Cornbury had to deal with. I am sure he knew them better than they know themselves, and managed them accordingly; there hath no Act passt, but a short Act to prevent buying lands from the Indians without a license from the Government, the allowing of which is of very ill consequence, and therefore cannot be too much discouraged. But could wish that the Act did not look back above 20 years, about which time Laws were made to prevent that Evill. But the looking back from the very first, will, I fear, have an ill effect, however, that single Act will I hope have a review of the next Sessions. My Lord hath thought fit to adjourn the Assembly till May next. I hope that Adjournment will by my Lord's conduct end in dissolution, which will be the most effectual means to settle this Province on a just and sure foundation; the people will thereby enjoy the benefit of H.M. grace and favor in a free election, which will engage them for ever to H.M. interest, and make them chearfully contribute to the support of the Government, and hazard their lives for and in defence of H.M. right, Crown and dignity, especially when they shall find themselves freed by H.E. good Government over them from the tyranny of their old task-masters; the truth of which I am very well assured will be demonstrated in a very few months. I should not so positively assert these matters to your Lordships had I not a sure foundation for what I say; all which I have fully laid before H.E. These very men who have so notoriously shewn their dishonest and unjust principalls in this their Bill of Property against the Queen, their fellow-Proprietors and the whole Country; yet they are pleased to pretend conscience of giving H.M. her due Titles, and therefore to avoid it, sent up the Money-Bill without any preamble at all to it; from the effects of such men's consciences, I pray God preserve the Queen, her Government and all good men. I have not yet had time to get the copy of the several Bills, but H.E. promises to send them to your Lordships this opportunity, and the Secretary hath promised mee the same. Signed, Robt. Quary. Endorsed, Recd. 1st, Read 9th May, 1704. 9 pp. [C.O. 5, 970. No. 14; and 5, 994.a. pp. 146–163.]
Dec. 20.
1401. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Warters, Solicitor for the rights and perquisites of the Admiralty, attending, their Lordships desired to know what particular complaints had been received from any of the Plantations relating to Prizes brought in there. He named Bermuda for one, but promised to draw up a particular account. As to the dues of the Lord High Admiral, he said that what merchant ships not commissioned are taken by men of war, the Admiral has no share thereof; that whatever ship carrying a commission is taken, the Admiral has the 1/10th thereof; that a non-commissioned ship taking any enemy, the Admiral has the whole; and he promised to lay before the Board a copy of an Order of Council Declaratory of all the Admiral's rights. Their Lordships then considering the Memorial of the Commissioners of Prizes, Nov. 22, relating to the Neptune condemned in Barbadoes, and finding some obscurity in the sense thereof, gave directions for a letter to them.
Order of Council relating to the exportation of Irish linen directly from Ireland to the Plantations, read and some progress was made in that matter. Ordered that the Secretary write to Mr. Johnson, Clerk of the House of Lords for a copy of the Address of the Lords to the late King, about 1698, relating to the linnen manufacture of Ireland.
Letter to Mr. Joddrell, Clerk of the House of Commons, ordered for a copy of the Address of the Commons to his late Majesty on the same subject.
The above Address was received and read.
Dec. 21. Report of the Board to the House of Lords, Dec. 16, having been laid before H.M. and returned to this Board by the Earl of Nottingham, the Lord Viscount Weymouth was pleased to charge himself with the delivery thereof to the House of Lords.
Dec. 22. Above Address of the Commons received and read.
Order of Council, Nov. 11, on the petition of the Officers at Jamaica, read. Letter to Lord Nottingham ordered (see Dec. 23).
Order of Council, Nov. 11, repealing an Act of Jamaica, read and ordered to be transmitted to the Lieut. Governor of Jamaica.
Order of Council, Nov. 11, relating to impressing seamen read. Letter to Mr. Burchet ordered.
Order of Council, Nov. 11, relating to the disorders in Jamaica, read, and letter ordered to be prepared accordingly.
It being observed that the confirmation of the Jamaica Laws by King Charles II for 21 years from Nov. 1, 1683, in which Collection of Laws is included an Act for raising a Public Revenue, will expire Nov. 1st next, their Lordships resolved to take that matter into consideration, and make a full Representation relating to the Revenue Act in the first opportunity.
Dec. 23. Representation upon the exportation of linnen from Ireland to the Plantations signed.
Letter to Lord Nottingham signed, and the draught of a letter from H.M. to the Lt. Gov. and Council of Jamaica, was enclosed.
Sir B. Gracedieu and Mr. Way desired their Lordships to report upon the Kingston Act, alledging the great inconvenience of delaying the resettlement of Port Royal, as particularly that several ships (amongst which the Eagle galley and Florence frigate were named) had refused to go up to Kingston to lade there and thereby had forced the merchants to bring their goods to Port Royal, wch. had caused an extraordinary charge to those concerned, and did amount to about 400l. in the last Fleet arrived from thence. Whereupon their Lordships promised to take that Report into consideration forthwith.
Proposal from Mr. Mason, Nov. 29, read. [C.O. 391, 16. pp. 330–340; and 391, 97. pp. 801–814.]
Dec. 20. 1402. Minutes of Council of Barbados. H.E. acquainted the Council that the reason he called them this day was to consider what should be done with Capt. Manasses [Gilligan], and others, who were committed for High Treason and discharged at the last Court of Oyer and Terminer, notwithstanding their case was sent home to H.M. and her pleasure not known therein. Proceedings at the said Grand Sessions, Dec. 14–17, at length, [when Capt. Gilligan, Wm. Andrewes and Stephen Morris petitioned to be tried, and H.M. Counsel urged that their petitions etc. should be held over till next Court, that H.M. pleasure might be known to H.E. and Council. The Court by 18 votes to 4 decided that they be indicted this Court, "and thereupon the prisoners, no evidences appearing to prove the matter contained in the said indictments, were quitted, etc."].
H.E. and Council demanded of the Attorney and Solicitor General what course by Law might be taken for the securing of them till H.M. pleasure be known therein.
The Hon. John Farmer, Member of Council, was granted leave to go to England for his health.
Notwithstanding H.E. has signed clearances for several vessels, ordered that none sail out of this Rhoad till H.E.'s further orders.
Dec. 21. The Attorney and Solicitor General delivered their reply. According to our former opinion, we conceive that the offences with which Gilligan etc. are charged cannot amount to High Treason, the Statute of 3 and 4 Wm. and Mary against corresponding with their Majesties' enemies being temporary and expired; even if they had, they could not legally have been determined in this Island without a special Commission from H.M., 35 Hen. VIII (the offence not having been committed in the Island); but if treason had been committed in this Island, then we conceive here is sufficient power in your Commission and Instructions to try it … We conceive that their acquittal is a discharge of the indictment, and that if there be any matter to be charged against them, there ought to be full, direct and positive proof taken thereof before they may be committed de novo, and that such evidences ought to be bound over to give their testimonyes at their trials, as well as a proper person bound over to prosecute, or the said parties may be committed for High Crimes and Misdemeanours, and tried if the same can be effectually proved against them, but not otherwise, etc. In further reply to H.E., they said that he could not lawfully, as the case then stood, commit Gilligan etc. Ordered that all the Judges meet and consult of proper methods to secure them till H.M. pleasure be known, the Attorney and Solicitor General to attend with evidence. [C.O. 31, 8. pp. 154–166.]
Dec. 20.
1403. Minutes of Council of the Massachusetts Bay. H.E. acquainted the Council with a proposal of James Robe to enterprize the surprizal of some of the Eastern Indians now in enmity, on pretence with a private trade with them, and communicated the Instructions for him and Capt. Larrabe who was to accompany him with 20 souldiers of the garrison at Casco and assist in the design, which was approved.
2l. 10s. 6d. paid to Col. John Phillips for expenses of himself and Lt. Col. Tyng in visiting the frontiers of Middlesex with orders from H.E. in Nov.
28l. 8s. 1½d. paid to Peter Sergeant in full of interest of 484l. which the Province was indebted to him for 60½ barrrels of gunpowder.
7l. 14s. 10d. paid to John Leverett for journeys to Natick and Puncapong and oversight of the Friend Indians.
894l. 10s. paid to Capt. Cyprian Southack, Province galley, for his own and company's wages, April 14—Nov. 20, 1703.
1,500l. advanced to Andrew Belcher for supply of public stores.
Ordered that all transports employed in the public service, until Dec. 2 past, be paid for deckt vessels 6s. per tun and open vessels 4s. per tun by the month, owners bearing whole charge of fitting and the risque; the pay of a master of a deckt transport to be 4l. per month, of a mate 40s. etc. [C.O. 5, 789. pp. 552, 553.]