America and West Indies: March 1707, 1-15

Pages 387-395

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 23, 1706-1708. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1916.

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March 1707, 1-15

March 1. 789. The Queen to Governor Crowe. Warrant for the admission of John Holder into the Council of Barbados. Countersigned, Sunderland. [C.O. 5, 210. p. 22.]
March 3. 790. Sir H. Ashhurst to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In the Quakers' petition [Jan. 27], they have falsly recited the powers in the Charter of Connecticott. There is not one President of any laws sent over to the Queen or her Predecessors since the said Grant, to confirm or disallow any Laws made in that Colony. They give some scraps of Laws, without mentioning what went before or followed after what they object against. There are not above seven Quakers in that Colony. Prays for delay, till an answer be received from that Government. Endorsed, Recd. Read March 3, 1706/7. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 1263. No. 138.]
March 3.
791. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of Sunderland. Enclose following.
791. i. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Queen. Recommend W. Hilton and J. Smith for the Council of New Hampshire. [C.O. 5, 912. pp. 318, 319.]
March 6. 792. Governor Seymour to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Acknowledges letter of Feb. 4, 1706, which if it had sooner come to hand, might have been done by the last fleet from Virginia and Maryland. It was by a great chance I got severall of my letters by the Greenwich, Capt. Jesson, for they were left in a punch-house at Kiquotan in Virginia for near 6 weeks, and by accident a gentleman of this Province happening to be down there, to take leave of his friends bound for England in the Fleet, which sayl'd not before Sept. 17, saw them and brought them up to me, with many other pacquets from the merchants in England relating to the trade here, which otherwise might have layne untill this time. Att present I have only been able to acquaint the Gentlemen of H.M. Councill with your Lordshipps' letter, and upon perusal of the report and H.M. Order to re-enact a Law for the further suspending the prosecution of Romish Priests etc. (incurring the penalties of the Act of Assembly here) until H.M. pleasure signifyed therein, the Councill did advise, that whereas at this time the planters are very busye getting in their cropps of tobacco, and the season of the year very late, and that in regarde the Law now in force for such suspension will not determine untill next year, when there will be a necessity to meet the Assembly early in the spring, that then those H.M. royal commands be layed before them to be answered by reenacting such Laws as H.M. has been graciously pleased to direct. At which time also I shall, God willing, take their advice as to the Quakers contributing to the charge of the Militia, and that other important matter of itinerant Justices, towards which the Councill and myselfe have only essay'd to forme some schemes, tho not so correct as to render them worthy of being presented to your Lordshipps. Your Lordshipps are pleased to inquire by what authority I consented to the selling of two criminals, to Barbadoes. As to Benjamine Celie, he was an outlyer and associate of Richard Clarke, who for felony and treason stood outlaw'd by Act of Assembly of this Province, and having been taken and comitted to gaole, as both principall and accessary in Clarke's treasons and felony, to witt, coining of money current here by H.M. royal Proclamation, and riding armed in terror of the good people, assulting the Constable in the execution of his office, by the assistance of Humphrey Hernaman, who confest he gave him a file, gott of his irons, and one Dennis Macartee a burglar's, and above all the irons of one Nicholas a French Indian christned by a Romish Priest, who was taken and comitted for carrying away and scalping an English man and woman on the frontiers of Potomeck, and had actually the poor man's knife and pounch found upon him, the said Benjamin Celie broke the prison, whereby all the prisoners wholy escaped, but himself was happily retaken, and upon a fair tryall convicted, and had judgment to dye: upon which the Assembly then sitting prayed he might be transported to Barbadoes; and for as much as the publique were at the charge of his imprisonment and prosecution, and that there is an Act of Assembly directing how the country shall be reimbursed the expence of such criminall fees, to witt, by their servitude, H.M. Councill advised that Celie should be sold for any terme not exceeding 7 years, in order to reimburse the Province of the charge they had been at upon his account. In June following, Humphry Hernaman had his tryall, and confessing the fact, saying his mistress Rachel Freeborne, Richard Clark's mother, had persuaded him to give Celie the file, had judgment to be imprisoned during H.M. pleasure. To prevent the charge of which imprisonment, the Councill and myself considering that in case H.M. should pardon him the imprisonment, yet by the Act of Assembly he was lyable to make satisfaction to the country for the charge thereof, advised that, as he had been guilty of aiding Celie to break prison, he should be likewise sent along with him and sold for the same terme, in order to reimburse the charge of his prosecution and imprisonment, which was considerable, he having been convicted on two other indictments in the Provincial Court. If I have not acted so regularly as I should herein, I assure your Lordshipps it has been altogether out of mercy and compassion, in favour to life and liberty, both of them being young men, and not of any sinister end. I understand Sir Thomas Laurence, H.M. Secretary of this Province, who upon his going hence assured me of his friendship and service, and whom I thought I had obliged not only by my civility to his person but true reguarde for his interest, as to his office, and comiseration of his unhappy circumstances, has very unworthily represented me to some of your Lordshipps, and other noble persons, and therefore because I would not lye under the imputation of an ill-natured person, I begg your Lordshipps will excuse the trouble of the inclosed Representation from the Councill here, who having been upon the spott are best sencible how well or ill I have deserved from that Gentleman. I have lately received H.M. commands in favour of the merchants whose shipps were intended for this country to load with Tobacco, but might not happen to gett ready to save the Greenwich's convoy, that I should suffer them to sayle as they could be ready unless another convoy should offer in some convenient time, which I shall take due care to complye with. That I may not be thought negligent of the least of your Lordshipps' commands, I presume to acquaint you I had sooner answered your recommendation in favour of Mr. Dummer and the pacquet-boats, but that I thought it advisable to see how farr the Assembly would contribute to promote so good a designe, and therefore referred it untill their next meeting, tho I cannot adventure to say with any greate expectations, considering how backward I found them in settling posts. I received a letter from Sir C. Hedges, May 16, confirming the welcome news of the glorious victory etc., whereupon wee had a solemne day of thanksgiving sett aparte, and renewed our rejoycing on that happy occasion in the best manner wee were capable; by which all H.M. good subjects here were made sencible of the great success which it has pleased Allmighty God to bless H.M. and the Confederates; But having no comerce with Jamaica, or the Spanish Settlements, am not able to acquaint them therewith. But when ever I have any opportunity, your Lordshipps may be assured of my ready obedience. P.S.—I expected this letter would have saluted you by the convoy to the mast-fleet, of which Col. Quary gave me some hopes, but his expectations and myne too were frustrated by their speedy departure. Very lately I have an account that Benjamin Celie is returned to our neighbouring Province of Pennsilvania, and have reason to believe Hernaman may be there too. Signed, Jo. Seymour. Endorsed, Recd. June 30, Read July 2, 1707. 6 pp. Enclosed,
792. i. Representation of the Council of Maryland in answer the Governor. (1) He has insinuated to sundry nobl personages in England that H.E. hath put man difficultys upon him, obliging him to give an unreason able security to William Bladen for the payment of Taylor's Bill with interest equal to the principal. H.E. interposition in this matter was altogether in his favour etc. (2) His complaint that H.E. and the Council had put Bladen, an Attorney retayned against him, into possession of all his fees and perquisites of office, is only a colourable pretence of hardship etc. Deny and refute other charges, etc. See Minutes of Council Signed, Jno. Hammond, Edwd. Lloyd, Wm. Holland James Sanders, Thomas Tench, Robert Smith, Will Coursey. Endorsed as preceding. 4 pp.
792. ii. Deposition of Mr. Bladen in support of preceding Signed, Wm. Bladen. Endorsed as preceding. 3 pp.
792. iii. Certificate of Mr. Bordley that he finds no record of any order relating to Sir. T. Lawrence's or Mr. Carroll's claims to the perquisites of the Land Office since H.E. arrival. Signed, J. Bordley, Clk. Sec. Office. Endorse as preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 716. Nos. 28, 28.i.–iii. and (without enclosures) 5, 726. pp. 446–453.]
March 8.
793. Governor Handasyd to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Acknowledges letter of Nov. 12, and Dec. 13 1706, etc. As to your Lops. taking notice that the several Governors. of H.M. Plantations do enclose their letters for you board to their respective Agents in London, etc., I can answer for myselfe that whatever letters I have writt to your board have been directed immediately to your Lops., and not put under covert to any private person. I heartily thank your Lopps for the care you have taken in relation to our recruits, and must still begg the favour of you to interceed for me with the Gentlemen Comptrollers of the Army, who I think deal harder by my Regiment than I ever knew done to any, they not allowing the dead men's pay for the recruiting of my Regiment as other Regiments have. The objections they make to it seem chiefly to be because I have not according to the rest of the arms mustered compleat. My Lords, I take my case to be quit different, we being so far distant from England, have not a opportunity of sending over officers to raise recruits, the have so many hazards to run, besides that in raising them, for no man will list to come to Jamaica, so that there is no way can think of to recruit my Regiment but by draughts out of others, and in case I should muster my Regiment compleat, H.M. and her Generalls might reasonably believe I have 800 men when I have but 500 men to defend the Island, by which means the Island may be lost if any attempt should be made by the enemy, and I loose my honour, which I value above all the world. And for these weighty reasons I have never admitted one man to be mustered but what was alive and upon the spott, and did always beleive the dead men's pay was safer in H.M. Treasure to pay for such recruits as were sent me than in any man's hands that I could employ. My Agent tells me that the twopences for every dead man must be stopt out of the Captain's subsistance or arrears, altho every recruit that is sent must have cloathes bought for him, as well as these that are actually in the Regiment; if so, I must acquaint your Lops. that they had better send so many black Boxes for every Captain to strangle himselfe according to the custom of the Ottoman Government, ffor it is as much as they are able to do to support themselves like Gentlemen with H.M. pay, and the allowance of the country, without any such severitys being put upon them; and since it cannot be supposed that I had any other designe in not mustering compleat, but that H.M. and the Generall Officers should know the true state of my Regiment, I hope neither myselfe nor the Gentlemen under my command will be sufferers thereby. Your Lorps.' favour in getting my officers an order for a draught of 300 men out of other Regiments, and that they may be paid for out of the dead men's pay, and be allowed for them as H.M. shall think fitt, I earnestly request, for fear any attempt should be made against the Island, we having advice of a French Fleet in the West Indies, all line of battle ships. The Captain of the packettboat gives an account that on Jan. 19 he saw 18 sail of large ships in the latitude of 37, 200 leagues West from the Lizard, steering to the South Westward, one of which had a Flagg on the main top masthead, which we suppose to be the Fleet now in these parts, and by advice from the Spaniards is commanded by Monsr. du Casse. If their designe is against this place they shall find that we will not part with the honour of H.M., and the welfare of Old England, while we are able to hold a sword in our hands, and I doubt not but care will be taken to send speedy succours. The Spanish Galleons are in so bad condition that there cannot above six of them leave the West Indies, very few Spanish merchants will venture their mony in them, and the pretended King has not much to receive. Here has been lately a great alteration made in the Spanish Governments, those Governors who were supposed to be in the interest of King Charles are turned out, and their places supply'd by others in the French interest. Sir John Jennings sailed for England Feb. 25, three days before the packett boat arrived. The reception he met with from the Spaniards was very cold, as he will fully inform your Lorps. on his arrivall, they having lately received news from Old Spain of great success the Duke of Anjou's arms had over those of King Charles. Our Assembly, after sitting 5 months and some days, was prorogued, and upon their prorogation was dissolved, that their creditors might have an opportunity of recovering their just debts, but the chief reason was their pretending to have power to adjourn themselves for weeks or months as they thought fitt without leave from me, which never was before known in these parts, and thinking it an entrenchment on H.M. Royall prerogative, did therefore shew my resentments by dissolving them, which I hope will be approved of. I do not know what methods to take with the next Assembly, unless H.M. will lay Her commands on them not to tack severall Bills together, for notwithstanding my shewing them H.M. orders to me not to pass any Laws of an extraordinary nature, yet, to the Quartering Act for this year they have tack'd severall other Laws that I should never have pass'd but to preserve the soldiers from starving, and they have often refused any conference with the Councill on them, calling it a Mony Bill (tho in my opinion it is not properly so) which your Lorps. will see by the Minutes of the Council. One Bill which they called an Explanatory Act, the Councill rejected, another they called Fee Bill I rejected till H.M. pleasure is known, there being sufficient Laws made for 21 years for regulating all Fees of Offices, but their reason is that the proffitts should be so small that no English man shall be able to hold any office, that they may get all into the hands of the Creoles, tho not many of them are qualified for such imployments, but will be able to support them by their estates till they have an opportunity of altering the Laws to their own advantage. The Grand Court is now sitting and has brought before it near 900 causes, which number exceeds a third part of the white people in the Island, H.M. Forces excepted, by which the ill temper of the people is plainly seen. The squadron of men-of-warr under Commadore Kerr is in health, as is the Island in generall, but very thin of people. Our trade with the Spaniards is very dull, as well for the want of goods, as on account of the noise of a French Fleet being in these parts. I send the Acts of the last Assembly with the Minutes of the Councill and Assembly. I have a certain account that the Galleons cannot be in a readiness to sail in less than six months etc. Signed, Tho. Handasyd. P.S.—I did endeavour to have a state made of the Fee Act, but find I cannot have time. One observation I shall make, that where it has been since the settling of the Island 5l. for every naturalization, they have reduced it to nothing, and likewise every pardon; For every Act they pass, the Queen is to pay out of the Treasury 20s., tho they would not admitt any man to take an oath relating to the payment of his QuittRent, which would have been a great advantage to the Treasury, yet they are willing to take all they can from it. There is not any mony in the Treasury, nor has myselfe nor any officer, that is paid out of it, received a penny these twelve months, it being a great part of their policy to make H.M. believe they are very poor. Endorsed, Recd. 24th, Read 29th April, 1707. 5 pp. [C.O. 137, 7. No. 42; and 138, 12. pp. 79–83.]
March 11.
794. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Handasyd. Acknowledge letters of Oct. 25, Nov. 19 and Dec. 27, 1706. We approve of what you writ to the Spanish Governors upon the attempt made by the French upon Nevis and St. Christophers of the designs of the French in those parts; and we doubt not, by what you write, but it will be of service to H.M. and the King of Spain. We are glad you are satisfy'd to continue at Jamaica till H.M. shall think fit to relieve your Regiment, and we assure ourselves that your continuing there (considering your knowledge of the people and your zeal for H.M. service) will be of advantage to that Island. We have laid before H.M. by a Secretary of State what you have writ us about the want of recruits for your Regiment, and of men for Commadore Kerr's squadron, so that you may expect to hear of H.M. pleasure upon those particulars. You will have percieved by our letter of Dec. 13, that the Act to provide an additional subsistance etc. has been repeal'd, and in that you will also conclude that your behaviour with relation to the Scotch and other foreigners has been approv'd. And as to Scotch men, that distinction will now cease, by an Act pass'd here for an entire union of the two Kingdoms. We think you are much in the right to refuse the passing the three Acts you mention Nov. 19, 1706, as derogatory to H.M. royal prerogative, and we have only to advise you to continue to be watchfull upon all occasions, that you do not give your assent to any Acts, which may in any wise interfere with H.M. prerogative, or may be prejudicial to H.M. service and the good of the Island. We have recommended Mr. Ayscough and Mr. Stewart to H.M., to be of the Council etc. We hope by your present management the Assembly will be brought to a better temper than hitherto they have been, and that they will shew their duty to H.M. by granting the officers and souldiers such quarters as may be proper, that they may not be expos'd to the ruin of their health for the want thereof. [C.O. 138, 12. pp. 66–69.]
March 11.
795. Council of Trade and Plantations to Col. Sharp, President of the Council of Barbados. Acknowledge letter of Nov. 28. We observe what you write of your intentions to swear Mr. Raynes Bate of the Councill in the room of Mr. Merrick deceased. But as we have been informed that he is an Agent of the African Company, we send you a clause of the Act to settle the trade to Africa, whereby you will perceive that all Factors, Agents etc. for the said Company are prohibited from being Judges in the Plantations, under the penalty of 500l. And whereas Counsellors in Barbadoes are Judges in cases of Equity and Error, you should have taken care that nothing be done therein contrary to Law. As you have been without doubt inform'd of the death of Sir B. Granville, and of H.M. having appointed Mitford Crow, Esq. to succeed him in that Government. We expect his arrival with you before this letter, so that you are then to assist him in H.M. Councill for the better carrying on H.M. service under the present difficulties, especially those relating to paper money, which you own to be so destructive of trade and of the credit of the Island. [C.O. 29, 10. pp. 400, 401.]
March 11.
796. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Parke. Acknowledge letters of Oct. 5, and 31, and Dec. 9. We have laid before H.M. your want of stores and a man of war, and your account of the sickness at Nevis; upon all which you may expect directions, when any determination is had thereupon. In the meantime, you will have perceived by our letter of Dec. 19, what care has been taken in providing and sending stores of war for the Islands under your Government. We think it will be for H.M. service that you move the respective Assemblies to settle a salary upon an Attorney General, out of levies to be raised in each respective Island. And we take notice that neither the Attorney General or Sollicitor General of Barbados have any salary from hence. We informed you Dec. 13, that we had represented to H.M. our opinion that Col. Hamilton be confirmed Lieut. Governor of Nevis, and Col. Lambert, Lieut. Governor of St. Christophers, according to your desire; but as yet no determination has been had thereupon, Col. Smith being likewise a candidate for Nevis. We have sent to the Attorney General what you writ us upon Mr. Pogson's killing Col. Johnson, for his opinion what H.M. may fitly do in that matter, we being sensible of the barbarity of that murder, and as soon as we receive the same, we shall lay it before H.M. Your putting Major Panton and Mr. Willet into the Councill of St. Christophers is not pursuant to your Instructions, for you are required thereby not to admit any into the Councill, till it happen that there be less than 7 residing upon the Island; and as it appears by our lists (a copy whereof is here inclosed) there were 10 Counsellors when these two persons were appointed, which ought not to have been done. We desire therefore that your Instructions may be your guidance in all future occasions of the like nature. The article of your Instructions which requires you to send over a list of the names of 6 persons to supply vacancies that may happen in the respective Councills, is to be understood that you are to send the names of 6 persons whom you shall esteem the best qualifyed for that trust. So that we cannot conceive any difficulty in your complying therewith, and therefore we shall expect the said list accordingly. And whereas you say you would have turned out the Justices that were of Mr. Pogson's Jury, and Pogson too, we may acquaint you that you have power to displace Justices, if you see cause, transmitting to us your reasons for so doing, as you will find in your Instructions. P.S.—Having under our consideration the Acts passed at Antigoa and St. Christophers for your house rent, we conceive that, as well in respect of some faults in the drawing, as for that the summs thereby given are too great, those Acts are not proper for H.M. approbation. By the Antegoa Act (as it is penn'd) you may continue to claim the summe thereby given, in case it should happen that you reside upon that Island, tho you cease to be Governor, and the St. Christopher's Act being made for the time of your Government, you may also claim the sugar given therein, tho' you do not actually reside upon that Island. As to the summe, you may take notice that the Governor of Barbados has but 300l. sterling per annum allow'd for house rent, and we expect that a proportionable allowance be your measure. [C.O. 153, 9. pp. 463–467.]
March 13.
797. Mr. Dummer to Mr. Popple. Sailings of the King William packet-boat. Out and home, Liverpool to Barbados and Plymouth, 112 days. Nothing extraordinary comes from thence, saving a generall opinion that the Spanish galleons will not stir from Cartagena till better advices from Old Spain or orders from King Philip, whom they declare to owne; that there hath been no silver brought from Lima to Panama, nor no goods from Cartagena to Porto Bello; that the galleons are unrigg'd, laid up, and would not be ready in 8 months, whensoever they went about it. Sir John Jennings and Commodore Kerr were upon the coast of Cartagena, when the packet-boat came away (i.e. Jan. 30). Signed, E. Dummer. Endorsed, Recd. March 15, 1706/7. 1 p. [C.O. 323, 6. No. 29.]
March 13.
798. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of Sunderland. Enclose following to be laid before H.M. Annexed,
798. i. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Queen. Upon Lord Cornbury's proposal, recommend that William Lawrence be removed from the Council of New York, and that Col. Wm. Peartree be appointed in his stead. [C.O. 5, 1121. pp. 16, 17.]
March 14. 799. W. Popple to Sir John Cook, Advocate General. Encloses extracts from Governor Dudley's letter relating to drift whales (Feb. 1), and the Justices invading the Admiralty in those parts. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire your opinion what may be done therein as soon as possible, their Lordships designing to write to him by the ships now upon their departure for America. [C.O. 5, 912. pp. 319, 320.]
March 15.
Victualling Office.
800. Commissioners of the Victualling Office to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Enclose following. Signed, Tho. Colby, Ken. Edisbury, Tho. Bere, Tho. Reynolde. Endorsed, Recd. Read March 18, 1707. 1p. Enclosed,
800. i. Extract of letter from Major Lloyd to the Commissioners of the Victualling Office, Newfoundland, Nov. 18, 1706. I found that Lt. Moody had disposed of the bread, which the pursers had reckoned not fit for the service, to the inhabitants in the time of their extremity, for which they paid him at the rate of 40s. per cwt. and for the 11,000 and odd hundreds of meal at the rate of 16s. per bushel, so that he has left none of the bread nor meal, tho his bills were answered by your Board in England, by his pretending to have bought bread here to make good the same, which I do assure you he did not, but says he had 6,000 weight of bread in the harbour, which the French burnt, Jan. 21, 1704/5, whereas he drew his bills on you Oct., 1704, etc. 1½ pp. [C.O. 194, 4. Nos. 23, 23.i.; and 195, 4. pp. 377–379.]