America and West Indies: June 1704, 1-10

Pages 157-164

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 22, 1704-1705. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1916.

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June 1704, 1-10

[June 1.] 366. Mr. Hyde to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Provost Marshal General of Jamaica, he prays the assistance of the Board in the recovery of his dues from his deputies there. Signed, Edward Hyde. Endorsed, Recd. Read June 1, 1704. ¾ p. [C.O. 137, 6. No. 49.]
June 2.
367. Sir C. Hedges to the Council of Trade and Plantations. H.M. desires your opinion which way a premium for encouraging merchants to begin a trade for pitch, tarr etc., may be advanced with the least burthen to the Publick, the raising of the duty on the Suedes or other Forrainers being a dangerous experiment at this time, when it is so difficult to gett any Navall Stores. Signed, C. Hedges. Endorsed, Recd. Read. June 9, 1704. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 863. No. 97; and 5, 911. p. 338.]
June 3/14.
368. Governor Sir Wm. Mathew to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I am proceeded thus far on my voyage and continue it on to-morrow, no accident has hapened since wee left Sir Cloudesly Shovell etc. Signed, Wil. Mathew. Endorsed, Recd. Read Oct. 3, 1704. Holograph. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 5. No. 72; and 153, 9. p. 41.]
June 3.
369. Mr. Secretary Hedges to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Enclosing abstract from letter from one come lately from St. Malo, where he has observed that intelligencies from letters taken upon H.M. subjects who are made prisoners and brought from the West Indies may be of dangerous consequence to H.M. Plantations. It is H.M. pleasure that you should think of a remedy for that inconvenience, and what may fitly be done to prevent letters from the West Indies from falling into the enemies' hands. Signed, C. Hedges. Endorsed, Recd. Read June 9. 1 p. Enclosed,
369. i. Abstract from letter referred to in preceding. ¾ p. [C.O. 323, 5. Nos. 52, 52.i.; and 324, 8. pp. 451–453.]
June 6.
On board H.M.S. Dreadnought in Linhaven near Cape Henry.
370. Governor Nicholson to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I have received enclosed letter from Mr. Moor etc. [See May 23.] Inclosed is a list of the fleet, being those that have received sailing Instructions from the Commodore, but I believe there may be more, for some masters neglect to take sailing orders. By the Commanders that are come down from Maryland, I have an account that there are 8 or 9 of their ships left behind. The Commanders are very much concerned that the two men of war designed as an additional convoy are not come in etc. Signed, Fr. Nicholson. Endorsed, Recd. 9, Read 23, Aug. 1704. 1 p. Enclosed,
370. i. List of ships under convoy from Virginia to England. June 1, 1704. Totals, Ships, 127, Burthen, 21,797 (tons), guns 938, men 1985. 2 large pp.
370. ii. Line of Battle of above fleet. Endorsed, Recd. Aug. 9, 1704. 1 p.
370. iii. Sailing Instructions of above fleet. Same endorsement. 1 p.
370. iv. Another copy of No. ii with slight variations. [C.O. 5, 1314. Nos. 22, 22.i-iv; and (without enclosures) 5, 1361. pp. 16–19.]
June 7. 371. Dr. Blair to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In compliance with your Lordships' directions I give some instances of those things which were more generally charged against Governor Nicholson. (1) Acting without advice of Council in matters of the greatest moment. I find 3 Naval Officers nominated by him since I came last upon the Council, all without advice of Council, Hancock Custis, Gawin Corbin and Major Arthur Allen; Capt. Nath. Harrison being removed to make way for the latter, without fault alledg'd or advice of Council. Refers to warrants said in the Council Book to be signed by the Governor in Council, but they were not read to the Council. Examples of Justices of Peace, Sheriffs, Militia Officers etc. turned out by the Governor without advice of Council were Col. Nasworthy, Dr. Luke Havill, Major Thomas Swan, and Capt. Henry Jenkins of the Court of Nanzemond; John Walker, Sherriff of King and Queen County, and Daniel Sullivan, John Taylor and Robert Beverley, Clerks. That the practice was otherwise formerly may be seen by the Minutes of Council. Examples of nomination of Agents for the Country paid out of the Revenue without advice of Council are, Mr. Thrale, and Mr. Wright. Many Proclamations, for instance one concerning land on Pamunkey Neck, were published without advice of Council. The Governor also countermanded on his own authority an order by himself and Council throwing open the Blackwater land.
(2) Instances given of the Governor signing papers in Council without having communicated them. (5) Altering the minutes etc. e.g. May 9, 1699, concerning a proclamation about the Blackwater lands, quite contrary to the unanimous opinion of the Council. No notice is taken that the Council refused Mr. Thrale for Agent. Mr. Wallace's answer, which he gave in writing, is not there set down, but another very different from it. My Lord Cornbury's receipt for the 900l. bills is ordered to be put upon the Council Book, but nowhere appears; if it had, it would have been seen that my Lord Cornbury was not to make use of them, unless the Queen should first allow the Governor the money out of the Quitrents of Virginia etc. (6) His encroaching on the liberties of the Upper House of Assembly, is instanced by his continually presiding in that House, by sending answers of his own to the messages of the Burgesses to the Council; and browbeating and threatening members with ruin and cutting of their throats, if they vote not as he would have them; e.g. Col. Lightfoot, not to mention the Speaker and six or seven clerks in 1700. (7) Obstructing the course of Law. Instance the case of John Danzy. He grossly abused him, upbraiding him with his country, for he was a German naturalized, and threw out his business in passion without asking any advice of the rest of the Court. Case of Capt. James Bray. The Governor pleaded against him from the Bench, and flew into great heats and passions. In case between Swan and Wilson, he did so grossly abuse Benj. Harrison, Counsel for Swan, that everybody cried shame of it etc. (8) The Sherriff to whom orders was given about packing a Grand Jury was Henry Tyler; one of the persons struck out was John Walker; the fine I mention to have been remitted was to Major Waller. The Naval Officer's place was given to Major Allen Foreman taken from Capt. Nath. Harrison. (9) Instances of arbitrary commands to attend him: Mr. Wallace, and Major Swan; Col. Ludwell and myself have been very often sent for only to be scolded at and abused. (10) Calling Courts to enquire into the lives of such men as he intends to expose or ruin, when there is no accusation or accuser. Instances: a Court called at Kiquotan against Capt. Moody and Mr. Wallace, and another at Nanzemond against Major Swan, a third at King and Queen against Capt. Walker. (11) Arbitrary and illegal proceedings with relation to H.M. Attorneys. The ordinary Attorney who refused his commands as illegal was Mr. Benj. Harrison; the Attorney that undertook them was Samuel Selden; the Attorney whom the Governor took by the collar was Bartholomew Fowler. (12) Instances of his committing men to custody in his rage without any complaint or complainant; Capt. George Marable, whom he committed to the custody of the Sherriff of James City, made him give 500l. bail to answer it at the next General Court, because he refused to part with his lease; Mr. Mathews and Mr. Mackie, whom he emprisoned among pyrats in the Common Gaol, because they had been on board of Capt. Baylyff's ship, who sailed for England before the rest of the ships, who carryed ye Governor's acct. of the taking a pirate in that country. (13) Sundry cases of detaining and opening private letters. (15) Dispensing with the Law. He pardoned Anne Tandy, condemned for the murther of a bastard child, etc. Signed, James Blair.Endorsed, Recd. Read June 7, 1704. 5 large pp. double columns. [C.O. 5, 1314. No. 23.]
June 7. 372. Affidavit of Robert Beverley. Gives particular instances, partly as preceding, in support of his affidavit concerning the maladministration of Governor Nicholson. Signed, R. Beverley. 3 pp. [C.O. 5. 1314. No. 24.]
[June 7.] 373. Abstract of letters from Mr. Jackson, Minister at Newfoundland, showing the uncertainty of his salary and suggesting how it may be better paid. Endorsed, Communicated to the Board by the Bishop of London. Recd. Read June 7, 1704. 2 pp. [C.O. 194, 3. No. 23.]
[June 7.] 374. Copy of proceedings of the Governor and Council of the Massachusetts Bay upon a petition relating to the Act for the settlement and support of Ministers, and an account of the distraining for a town rate therefor upon William Vesey etc. [See Minutes of Council of the Massachusetts Bay Oct. 21st, 28th, 1703.] Endorsed, Communicated to the Board by the Bp. of London. 4 pp. [C.O. 5, 863. No. 100.]
June 8.
375. A. Skene to W. Popple. Encloses duplicates and Naval Officers' Accts. I have not heard anything from Mr. Holder of the paper, of which I am in great want etc. Signed, A. Skene. Endorsed, Recd. Read Nov. 13, 1704. Addressed. Postmark. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 7. No. 34; and 29, 9. p. 86.]
June 9.
376. W. Popple to J. Burchett. Mr. Jackson, the Minister at Newfoundland, having complained of the treatment he had met with from the former officers and soldiers, and even from some of the inhabitants there, the Council of Trade and Plantations desire you to move H.R.H. Council that the Commodore may have an Instruction that he give all encouragement to the said Minister, and that he give directions to the officers, soldiers and inhabitants to live amicably with him, that he be not abused as formerly he has been. Enquires when the Newfoundland convoy and Virginia guardship will sail. [C.O. 195, 3. p. 331.]
June 9. 377. Mr. Thurston to Mr. Popple. The convoy for Newfoundland is expected in the Downs to-day, and to proceed on her voyage. If this be the case I fear no money will be remitted this year, though ordered last Tuesday by the Lord High Treasurer etc. The provisions and cloaths are on board, and the money in lieu of malt and hops ready to be sent. Signed, J. Thurston. Endorsed, Recd. Read June 9, 1704. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 194, 3. No. 24; and 195, 3. p. 333.]
June 9.
Admiralty Office.
378. Josiah Burchett to William Popple. In answer to preceding, H.R.H. will give orders to the Commander in Cheif of H.M. ships at Newfoundland, to give encouragement to Mr. Jackson the Minister there, according as is desired in your said letter, which orders will be sent by the Coventry now in the Downes, she being under orders to sayle from thence to Newfound Land and to call at the Westerne Ports as she gose out of the Channell, if there be any ships there bound her way. The Strombolo is fitting out at Deptford in order to proceed to Virginia, but 'tis uncertaine yet when she wilbe ready. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. Read June 12, 1704. Addressed, 1 p. [C.O. 194, 3. No. 25; and 195, 3. p. 332.]
[June 10.] 379. Mr. Byerley's Journal of transactions relating to the seizure of the Eagle galley, not taken notice of in the Acts of the Court of Admiralty, New York. On March 22 I made a seizure of the Eagle galley, Capt. John Davison, Commander, and had H.E.'s approval, it appearing that there was no proof that great part of Europian goods imported were shipped in England; that divers other Europian goods were not directly brought from England hither but were shipped from the Madera Islands; that several pipes of Canary wines, Europian produce, were imported in breach of the Act of 15 Charles II; that the ship was navigated with 42 sailors though but 30 reported, 10 whereof were Scotch non-residents in England, 7 Dutch and 1 Spaniard, in the whole 18 forreiners, whereas there ought to be by all the Laws of Trade at least three fourths of the mariners English; her master could not produce any certificate to prove that the ship was registered in England or elsewhere, and had not given in a true invoice of her loading to the Naval Officer, but had concealed divers French and Europian goods to the value of about 700l. On the 24th, having intelligence that Col. Wenham, one of H.M. Council, and the merchant to whom the galley and her cargo was consigned, designed to petition H.E. in Council concerning the said seizure, I waited on H.E. with some proposals in case security should be offered for the ship and cargo;—that Col. Wenham should give very good security besides his own for the goods, that he keep a true account of the goods imported, sell them to the best advantage, account for them upon oath if required, pay the money arising thereby to the Collector, if the ship and goods be condemned, and that if he desired to proceed on any voyage, with the ship, that a true value be put on her and her rigging, and another obligation be given for the same if condemned. I offered to attend in Council, but H.E. said he only intended to hear what Col. Wenham had to offer, but would give no directions till he had discourst me about itt. Betwixt 2 and 3 o'clock Col. Wenham brought me an order in my Lord's own hand to take the seizure off all the goods, except the Canary wines and the ship, for which Col. Wenham must give security. I waited on H.E. to offer my reasons why the seizure ought not to be taken off, seeing that the master had violated most of the Acts of Trade. H.E. told me that he was the only judge of that, that he understood the Laws of Trade as well as any Lawyer in the Province; that he was my Governor, his orders were positive, and if I disobeyed them, itt should be att my perill etc. I accordingly obeyed. March 27. Having had further intelligence of several particular breaches, I put in an Information into the Court of Admiralty and presented a memorial to H.E. He asked to see my Instructions, and said they consisted generly of the Laws of Trade and that he understood them as well as anybody. I told him I could not see how to avoid trying the ship in the Court of Admiralty. He answered that he being Governor would not permit any Court to sit but when he appointed itt. I told him that having put in an information against the ship and goods I was become accountable for them to the Queen, soe I thought it my obligation to make a second seisure. He told me that if I did, he would order it to be taken off. March 29. I went with my officers to Col. Wenham's and made a second seisure on all the goods imported in the Eagle galley, and sent for Carts to remove them to the Custom house; but H.E. summoned me to attend him at the Fort, and whilst I was gone Col. Wenham turned my officers out of his house. I found my Lord in very great heat against me, and told me he would acquaint the Queen that I refused to obey his orders, and sent me an order in writing by Col. Wenham to take off the seisure. I answered that I could not comply, unless Col. Wenham gave in security for all the goods, that if condemned, he would be accountable for their produce. March 29. Col. Wenham showed me H.E. Capt. Tottle, Mr. Anderson, Capt. Corbett and Capt. Lurting to make a valuation of the Canary wines, the Eagle and her tackle. April 3. I waited on Roger Mompesson, Judge of the Admiralty Court, arrived from Philadelphia, to know when he would hold a Court. He answered he would consult my Lord. April 6. I had notice that an advertisement was put up in the public Coffee-house that several sorts of Europian goods imported in the Eagle were to be sold at publick vandue. April 8. The Judge appointed to hold a Court of Admiralty in the City Hall at 4 p.m., when Counsel argued, and at last the Court admitted Sir Jeffery Jefferys Deft. Col. Thomas Wenham stipulated in 30l. to pay what costs the Court should award. April 14. The Court upon affidavit made by Capt. John Davison that they had several material evidences in England to make their defence, desired time to produce them, upon which the Court allowed them 12 months' time, giving in sufficient security for the Canary wines, ship, guns and tackle, and appointed Capt. Tottle and Mr. Anderson to appraise the same. I waited on H.E. and informed him that the Europian dry goods were still unadjudged, and desired that there might be sufficient security given in for them, if they should be condemned. He told me he had adjudged them himself and taken the security he thought fit. I represented that by the several Acts of Parliament I was invested with a third part of the forfeiture, if the ship should be condemned, and that no security appeared to me for my part; he told me it was sufficient he had told me had taken security, that he did not think it convenient to let me know what it was, or how it was, that I had opposed his orders and carried the matter as far as I could, but I should know he was my Governor. In the afternoon the Court sat and agreed on the form of the Bond, which Col. Wenham and Col. Peter Schuyler signed.April 15. Then we moved for a Commission to examine witnesses on interrogatories, which was allowed us by the Court to Mathew Ling and Capt. Cholwell, Commissioners, and John Tuder Examiner. April 19. Mr. Tuder, Register of the Admiralty Court, brought me the record of the proceedings in this tryall, in the latter part of which the Judge orders the seizure to be taken off the Canary wines, ship etc., so I sent my officers on board to take off the seizure, and search the ship if any goods remained on board, where they found a trunk with French lustrings and allamods, which were not mentioned in the report gave into ye Navall Officer by ye Master, tho' inserted in the entry Col. Wenham made in the Custom House, valued in 362l. 3s. 5d., and a bale of strouds which had been opened on board, which according to my order they brought to the Custom House. I acquainted H.E. therewith; he told me that the Council was to sit that day (April 20), and when they were up he would consult Mr. Attorney General. April 21. H.E. told me those were prize goods taken from the enemy and brought into England by Capt. Richard Eaton, and sold at a public sale in the Custom House, and there was a certificate of it from the Collector in London, so ordered me to deliver up all the goods I had in my possession, which I did. April 25. I went to the Register of the Court of Admiralty for the Commission granted by the Court to examine witnesses. He told me H.E. was not satisfied that the Judge. of the Admiralty had any power to depute any person to administer an oath, or any other person in the Province but himself, and that he would think of it before he would grant it should be sealed. April 28. I went to ye Register again for the Commission, and he told me had represented to H.E. that the witnesses I had to examine were most of them seafaring men, and might be gon out of the Province, if it was not despatcht speedily, that his Lordship should answer he cared not if they did goe, and since he was soe prest to it, he would consider whether he would doe it, or noe. May 10. I again required the Commission of the Register, and he told me that H.E. would not permit it should be sealed. He always keeps the Seal of the Admiralty in his possession, soe nothing can be done without his free consent. Signed, Thom. Byerley. 10¾ pp. Enclosed,
379. i. Proceedings at a Court of Admiralty, New York, April 8th, in the case of the Eagle [see preceding]. 9 pp. [C.O. 5, 1084. Nos. 22, 22.i.]
June 10.
380. Lt. Governor Bennett to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Repeats part of letter of April 20. I again transmit the old Liquor Act with the Assembly's Depositions relating thereunto. I have not received any letters since those of July 28, and if any commands have been sent via Barbados, they are still there, for we have not had one vessell that came directly from thence above these six months, which is the reason my letters have not been sent. I am told Capt. Nelson has or will complain of my denying him writts of error, and about writts of scire facias, (and to ease your Lordships from being troubled with what may not happen) I have sent my brother a full state of both cases, with copies of the writts, who will readily attend your Lordships when sent for. Jan. 11 and Aprill 20, I transmitted copys of the tryals of Capt. Pulleyn's men. I again enclose copys of the condemnation and sale of the St. Lawrence the Victorious, which I have likewise transmitted to the Admiralty. Having received an account that the dispute is over relating to the pretentions of the Wreck Patentees to the French ship that was cast away on the sholes of these Islands, I intended to send your Lordships an account of every peice of rigging that was saved, and what quantity of logwood was taken up by Divers, But expecting my Secretary's arrival every day from England, I thought it convenient to delay it, he taking an account of what was brought on shoar, therefore can best swear to the Inventory. Herewith are also transmitted what Acts have been made by the present Assembly with their Journals, and copys are preparing of the Journals of former Assemblys. By the Master of a vessell that came from Exuma, I have an account that the Granville, Capt. Holden Commander, was on May 4 rakeing salt there, and a French privateer sloop came into the Road under English colours, the ship fired at her and brought her too, but immediatly she fill'd her sailes again, and hoisting English colours stood for the ship, and upon boarding (after some small resistance) took her. The ship had 16 guns and 50 men, the privateer had but 4 guns and 60 men: this ship was fitted out from England in order to look for wrecks about the Bahama Islands, but being disappointed in that project, went to Exuma to take in salt, thereby to make a saving voyage. Not knowing att present what further to acquaint your Lordships of, and the Captain of the ship that brings this pressing for liberty to sail, I was goeing to make up my pacquet, when a sloop arriv'd from Barbados and brought me yours of Nov. 25, every particular in which I will answer (and hope to satisfaction) by the pacquet-boat via Barbados, but with great concerne I can't omitt observing I still suffer in your Lordships' opinions. In it was enclosed H.M. Order of Councill relating to H.M. the Lord High Admirall's and the Captors' shares of prizes, in obedience to which I have (as I did Aprill 20) transmitted an account of the vessell taken by Capt. Ball, etc. Signed, Ben. Bennett. Endorsed, Recd. Read July 18, 1704. Holograph. 3 pp. Enclosed,
380. i. Copy of the condemnation of the French prize, the St. Lawrence the Victorious, Bermuda, Dec. 28, 1703. Endorsed as preceding. 2½ pp. [C.O. 37, 6. Nos. 17, 17.i.; and (without enclosure) 38, 6. pp. 48–53.]
June 10. 381. Memorandum of Letter from Mr. Sansom about duties on pitch and tarr etc. ¼ p. [C.O. 323, 5. No. 57.]