America and West Indies: June 1707, 7-10

Pages 446-473

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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June 1707, 7-10

June 7.
New York.
963. Governor Lord Cornbury to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In my letter of Nov. 18, 1706, I did acquaint your Lordshipps that the Assemby of New Jersey, which was to have met at Amboy on Oct. 24, did not sit by reason of the Speaker's indisposition and the absence of severall of the Members who did not think fit to attend their duty, and that I had adjourned the Assembly to meet at Burlington March 12, 170 6/7, and that after that, I had resolved to dissolve that Assembly, which I did, and issued writs for the chusing a new Assembly according to the directions contain'd in H.M. additionall Instruction, they were to meet on March 25 at Burlington, but all the Members did not get together till April 5, on which day I directed them to chuse a Speaker, whom they presented to me on April 7, their choice fell upon Samuell Jennings, a Quaker, who had been a Member of the Councill, and but the last fall had desir'd to be dismiss'd from the Councill for the reasons I then acquainted your Lordshipps with, but now it appeared very plainly that the true reason why he desired to be dismiss'd from the Councill was that he might be chosen into the Assembly, where he knew he could oppose the Queen's service more effectually then he could doe in the Councill, I was once of opinion that I ought not to admit a man to be Speaker of the Assembly, who had refus'd to continue to serve the Queen in the station H.M. had been pleased to put him, but having communicated my thoughts to some of the Councill, and particularly to Coll. Quary, they told me they did not like the man, but they were of opinion that if I did reject him, the House would make use of that as a handle to refuse the doing anything, that therefore they could wish I would allow their choice, that they might have noe excuse, upon this I did allow the choice they had made of Jennings to be Speaker, and in my Speech I acquainted them what I thought necessary to be done (enclosed). The Assembly met, and instead of proceeding upon the matters I had proposed to them, or upon any other thing that might have been of use to the country, they set up a Committee of Grievances, and spent a whole month in finding out grievances which noebody in the Province had heard of before; what those were your Lordshipps will perceive by the enclosed paper, which is a true copy of the Remonstrance they deliver'd to me, and the answer I made to it, and which I did not deliver to them till I had imparted it to the Gentlemen of the Councill, who all approved of it, except Mr. Deacon, who is a Quaker; and now I beg leave to disgresse a little to acquaint you with the behaviour of Mr. Lewis Morris, your Lordshipps were pleased to command me to restore Mr. Morris to his place in the Councill upon his submission, in answer to which I did acquaint you that as soon as Mr. Morris should doe the one I would immediately doe the other, but he has been soe farr from making the least submission that he has never come near me since I received your Lordshipps' commands, but among his friends he has bragged that he could take his place in the Councill when he pleased, but that he did not vallue that, and indeed since it appears what his intent was, for he has got himself chosen of the Assembly, and Morris and the Quaker, Samuel Jennings, are the two men that have hindred the Assembly from setling a Revenue, or from doing anything else this last Sessions. Mr. Morris is the man that drew the Remonstrance, he is the man that mov'd the severall heads in the House, and that caused all the resolutions of the House to be entred in the Journalls nemine contradicente, when some Members were absent, and others who were present dissented, as severall of them have told me. In the beginning of the Assembly when they agreed to find out grievances to amuse the ignorant people, and squander away the time, the House resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House to seek after grievances, or rather to receive the heads of imaginary grievances, the produce of Mr. Morrisses peevish brain, the first step they made was to order their Clerk to withdraw, he told them he could not doe it without a breach of his oath, that he was an Officer appointed by the Gouvernment, and under an oath to attend the service of the House at all times. Mr. Morris told him that he was the servant of the House, and that the House might doe what they pleased with their servants, he told Mr. Morris that he was a servant to the Queen, as well as to the House, and that the ordering him to withdraw looked as if he had something to say that he was not willing the Gouvernor should know, upon this they would not suffer the Clerk to take the Minutes, but appointed one of their own Members to act as Clerk, hearing of this, I sent for the House, and told them in a short speech how irregularly they had proceeded, and advised them to take into consideration those things I had recommended to them, in a few days after they addressed to me for another Clerk, complaining against Mr. Anderson, who was then their Clerk, for the answer he had given Mr. Morris, which they pretended was given to the House, Mr. Anderson was made Clerk to the Assembly upon the recommendation of severall of the Councill, and severall of the Members of the first Assembly, even some of those who now are so angry with him, he is an honest, sober man, and a good Christian, and has behaved himself with unspotted fidelity and unwearied dilligence and care in his place, neverthelesse because I would [le]ave those Gentlemen without any excuse for their not dispatching the matters before them, I did remove Mr. Anderson, and I put in one Mr. Pinhorn, son to one of the Gentlemen of the Councill, and one against whom they can have noe objection that I know of, neverthelesse they would not suffer him to serve as Clerk to the Committee of the whole House, but made one of their own Members act as Clerk, which can be for noe other reason but because they would not have me know that they were doing, they proceeded in the same manner that they had done before, and thinking they had found out something to accuse me of, they sent for severall persons in custody of their Sergent at Arms, and examined them upon oath, hoping to prove that a certain sum of money was raised privately, and given to me to procure the dissolution of the first Assembly, but when the witnesses had said what they could, they found it would not answer their expectation, then Mr. Morris, who was Chairman of the Committee of the whole House, tendred an oath to Capt. John Bowne, one of the Members, Capt. Bowne told him he had noe power to administer an oath to him, and therefore he would not take it; upon this the House expelled Capt. Bowne, and then went on in making such votes as they thought fit, out of which they framed their Remonstrance, etc. I must beg your Lordshipps soe farr to stand my friends with the Queen that I may have leave to take such measures to obtain satisfaction from those Gentlemen for the extravagant injury they have done me, as the Law will allow; this, I hope, will not appear unreasonable, and therefore I take the liberty to ask your favour in this matter. Upon this occasion I think myself obliged to observe some things to your Lordshipps, and particularly with respect to the Assemblys in these parts, the Queen is pleased to command those that have the honour to serve H.M. as Gouvernors of Provinces to call and hold Generall Assemblys, the Gouvernor in obedience to those commands issues writts to call an Assembly, which meets at the time appointed, the Gouvernor, after they have chosen a Speaker, acquaints them what he thinks necessary or proper to be done that Sessions, the Assembly does not like some of the things proposed to them, (tho' perhaps they are propos'd to them by the Queen's immediate command) they trifle away their time, severall Members obtair leave to goe into the country upon their private affairs, the House by that means grows thinn, and then noe businesse can be done, so the Gouvernor is forced to adjourn the Assembly to another time, when that time comes, the Members being resolved not to doe what is required, the major part of the Members don't appear, soe there can be noe Assembly, noe support can be had for the Gouvernment, nor can anything else be done for the good of the Country, this has been the case more than once in the Province of New Jersey, and particularly the last Fall, when the Assembly was to have met at Amboy; it has been said by severa persons that it is true the Gouvernor has a negative voice, and we can fit him as well, for if we don't meet he can have noe Assembly, and then nothing can be done, he can't force us to attend if we have noe mind to it; he can but dissolve the Assembly, and call another, most of the same men will be chosen again, and they will take the same course; and indeed I must say, that will be the case as long as the Quakers are admitted to serve in the Assembly; I wish some method might be found to oblige the members, when chosen, to attend their duty, it is noe small charge to me, and to the Gentlemen of the Councill, to attend upon all occasions of the sitting of the Assembly, but that we are well contented with, but we can't help being concerned to find our endeavours defeated by a few obstinate fellows, who would never, if they could help it, be under any Government but their own; I hope your Lordshipps will be pleased to consider this matter, and favour me with your commands in it; In Washington's Abridgment, 7th and 8th of King William cap. 34, relating to Quakers, in the 7th paragraph, it is said, "Noe Quaker or reputed Quaker shall by virtue of this Act be quallified to give evidence in any criminall cause, to serve on any Jury, or bear office or place of profit in the Gouvernment." For this reason I have not suffered any Quaker to have any office in the Gouvernment of New York, but in the Gouvernment of New Jersey the Queen was pleased to command me to admit such Quakers as were capable into any office, in obedience to which I have put severall of them into imployments, but I have always found them obstinate, unwilling to be ruled, never forwarding, but still interrupting businesse; what Quakers would be had they power in their hands, and which they are very fond of, appears very plainly in the Province of Pensilvania, where noe man can tell what is his own, or how to get what is justly his due; and now I am mentioning Pensilvania, give me leave to mention an accident that hapned in those parts lately, when I was last at Burlington, I thought it a proper time to visit the lower parts of the Province of New Jersey, in order to the doing whereof, I ordered a sloop to be got ready to carry me to Cape May, which is about 150 miles from Burlington downe the River Delaware, and is the extreamest part of the Province of New Jersey Southward. I proceeded on my voyage as farr as 6 miles below Salem, which is about 80 miles below Burlington, and there meeting with contrary winds, I put into Salem, where I stayed severall days windbound, it seems during the time I was at Salem, Col. Evans was beginning to erect a fort at Newcastle, and had got an Act of Assembly past in the Lower Countys for the laying a duty of half a pound of powder a tonn upon all vessells that should sail by Newcastle, and the intent of that Fort was to make them pay it; a sloop belonging to some of the chief Quakers of Philadelphia being laden, and ready to sail for Barbadoes, came downe the River, when she was within a mile of Newcastle the Custome-house officer went off and went on board the sloop, demanded of the Master his register, and his clearing, which he readily produced, the officer told him he must come to an anchor, upon that one of the owners told the Customehouse officer that the wind being fair, it would be a great prejudice to them to be stopped a whole tide, espetially considering that Northerly winds are very seldom to be had in the spring, the officer told him if he would not come to an anchor, he would carry away his register, which he had in his hand, upon that the owner snatcht the register out of the officer's hand, upon which the officer went into his boat and went on shore, the sloop continued her course, and when she came over against Newcastle, Coll. Evans ordered a gun to be fired at her, which was done, a second gun was fired, which went over her, but the sloop made all the sail she could in order to get down to Salem, Coll. Evans took his boat and pursued the sloop, and ordered the Custome-house officer to doe the same, which he did, but the wind blowing pretty fresh, the sloop outsailed them, and came to an anchor under the stern of my sloop, the owners hoping that would have protected them, it being another Government, but Coll. Evans went on board the sloop and after having given the Master a great deale of ill language and struck him, he forced him into his boat and sent him to Newcastle to prison, in the meantime Coll. Evans had sent his Navall Officer to Salem, where I was (which is 3 miles up a creek) to complain to me of the Master, and to tell me that he was coming himself after him for the same purpose, I stayed something above an hour expecting his coming, but seing he did not come, by the complaint one of the owners had made to me, I did believe he intended to carry away the sloop, which I was resolved not to suffer; soe I ordered my boat to be got ready, and Coll. Ingoldesby offering to goe, I directed him to bring up the Master, and to order the Master of my sloop not to suffer the other sloop to stirr, but if anybody offered to weigh her anchor, to fire upon them; he went downe and found Coll. Evans on board the Philadelphia sloop, he told Coll. Evans that he had done very ill, and that he would doe very well to satisfie me, if he could; upon that Coll. Evans came to Salem with Coll. Ingoldesby, as soon as he came into the house where I was, he desired to speak with me in private, I tooke him into my chamber, there he made great complaints of the Master of that sloop, I asked him where the Master was, he told me he had sent him to Newcastle, I asked him by what authority he had seised a man in my Government, he said, it was upon the water, I told him that was as bad, for that he had noe Commission from my Lord High Admirall, and consequently had noe power upon that river, I told him I would not give one word of answer to his complaints till he produced the Master, and the officer that had dared to carry him away, he told me he was sensible he had committed an error, that he would immediatly send for the Master, but begged I would not insist upon having the officer because he had done nothing but by his order; he did send for the Master, who was brought to me in few hours; then I heard Coll. Evans, the Master and the owners, and I found upon hearing of them all, that the only complaint Coll. Evans had to make was their passing by Newcastle without paying the powdermoney; I thought that was not cause sufficient to stop the Master, soe I dismissed him in order to proceed on his voyage, which he did next day; afterwards I told Coll. Evans I thought it was very odd that the Assembly of Newcastle should pretend to taxe the Queen's subjects for trading from one Province to another, and both under the Queen's immediat Government, and where the people of Newcastle have nothing to doe, for if all vessels must pay powder-money, then sloops trading from New York to Burlington, and those trading from Cape May, and Salem, to Burlington must pay, tho they have nothing to doe with Newcastle, I told him further that if I heard he made any of our sloops pay, I would soon get some guns down to Elsingburgh Point (which is a place where the Swedes had formerly a fort) and is below Newcastle, and would make every vessell that went up the river or down, pay three times as much as he did; soe how [he will treat our people I cannot yet tell]. I ask your Lordshipps' pardon for this long digres[sion, and return to New Jersey], where the Quakers who are in the Assembly have declared they will [never pass] any Militia Act, they say they will have noe Militia, but that will not be in their power nor choice, though the people are refractory enough, and indeed we want a good Act for regulating the Militia in all these parts very much, but I despair of getting any such Bill passed in New Jersey, as long as the Quakers are allowed to serve in the Assembly. Your Lordshipps will perceive by the Remonstrance the Assembly thought fit to give me, that they say, "It is notoriously known that many considerable sums of money have been raised to procure the dissolution of the first Assembly, to get clear of the Proprietors' Quit-Rents, and to obtain such officers as the contributors should approve of. This House has great reason to believe the money so gathered was given to the Lord Cornbury, and did induce him to dissolve the then Assembly, etc." As for all the rest of their Remonstrance, I referr your Lordshipps to my answer, which I intreat you to believe is true in every part, and to the truth whereof I will make oath whenever your Lordships shall require it; but the words above-mentioned seem of soe extraordinary a nature, that I think my self obliged (besides what I have said on that subject in my answer) to assure your Lordshipps that if any such sums of money have been raised, I am intirely a stranger both to the raising and the disposall of it, if I had been soe greedy of money, I should have taken the 1,200l. that was offered me to perswade me to passe a certain long Bill the Assembly offered to me the first Sessions of the Assembly, which offer I rejected with contempt; then for the Proprietors' Quit-Rents, it is soe farr from what they say, that every Sessions I have recommended it to the Assembly to prepare a Bill or Bills to settle the rights of the Proprietors, which certainly I should not have done, had I taken money to get clear of the Proprietors' Quit-Rents, as they call it, as for obtaining officers, as I know of noe contributors, soe I am sure, no man has made any application to me upon that subject, and I doe assure your Lordshipps that I have not put in one person into the Commission of the Peace, nor Millitia in the Province of New Jersey, but such as have been recomended to me by some one, or more, of the Gentlemen of the Councill, or the Collonels of the Regiments, this being truth, as most certainly it is, I hope their saying they have great reason to believe the money was given to me, will have no credit with your Lordshipps; I did intend to have sent the Journall of the House by this opportunity, but the Clerk could not get it ready in soe little time; If I have been anything harsh in my answer to the Assembly, I hope you will be pleased to consider the provocation I had, which I believe is without paralel; I am informed the Gentlemen of the Councill are preparing an addresse to H.M. to inform the Queen of the state and condition of the Province of New Jersey. Signed, Cornbury. Endorsed, Recd. Jan. 27, Read Feb. 11, 1707/8. Holograph. 6 pp. Enclosed,
963. i. Governor Lord Cornbury's Speech to the Assembly of New Jersey, Burlington, April 9, 1707. I am glad to see so full an appearance at the beginning of ye Sessions, I could have wished the rest of the Members had attended their duty to their Queen and Country likewise, etc. The first thing I shall recomend to your consideration, and wch. I have in command from ye Great Queen of England, my Mistress, is, that you settle such a revenue upon H.M. as may be sufficient to support ye dignity and supply all the necesssary charges of Governmt., and because it has been represented to the Queen yt. ye Country is not yet able to answer very great taxes, H.M., who is always solicitous for ye ease of her subjects etc., has commanded me to acquaint you, that she is graciously pleased to accept of 1,500l. a year in lieu of 2,000l., wch. was granted for two years, wch. ended on Dec. 13. The Queen expects it should be settled for 21 years. The next thing wch. I most earnestly recomend to your serious consideration is ye preparing a Bill or Bills, whereby ye right and property of ye General Proprietors in the soil of this Province may be confirmed to them, and likewise for ye confirming ye particular titles of all ye inhabitants and purchasers claiming under them. This I have recomended every Sessions since I have had ye Honor to serve H.M., what has hindred it till this time, I will not undertake to say, but sure I am that nothing can contribute more to ye settlement, welbeing and happiness of this people, etc. The Highways directed to be laid out by a former Act, have not been laid out according to the directions of that Act, tho' the Commissioners have been often called upon to do their duty. I cannot but take notice yt. the Bridges are in so ill a condition, yt. after any sudden rain it is very dangerous to go over them, I think if a tax were laid for the building of bridges and good managers appointed for ye laying out yt. money, and seeing ye work effectually done, it would not only be a conveniency and safety to travellers and traders, but it would be less charge and trouble to the people, for then a very small charge with care would maintain them many years. I think it my duty to recomend to you ye preparing a Bill for the settling ye qualifications of persons to serve upon jurys, the lives of men and ye titles of their estates are often lyable to be called in question, and I think it is not proper that every idle person should be capable of serving upon those occasions. I have often recomended a Review of the Laws in force in this Province before ye Government was surrendred to H.M., perhaps some may be found fit to be re-enacted in ye same words they are now conceived, or at least with some amendments may be made fit for the Queen's approbation, if such are, you shall always find me ready to receive them. H.M., who is desirous yt. all her subjects may equally enjoy ye benefit of Trade without incroaching one upon ye other, expects yt. a Bill or Bills be past to lay ye same dutys and impositions upon goods imported into, or exported out of this Province as are paid by her subjects of ye neighbouring Province of New York. The Act for settling ye Militia is expired. I propose to you ye reviving that Act for ye ease of the people, for if it is not revived, I must govern myself with respect to the Militia according to ye Laws of England, which will not be so easy, especially to some people, as yt. Act was. Recommends dispatch. The best way to attain that will be to lay aside all private animosities, yt. you may the more freely apply all your thoughts and your time to ye service of the Queen and your Country. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. 2 pp.
963. ii. (a) Remonstrance of the Assembly of New Jersey to Governor Lord Cornbury. We are heartily sorry that, instead of raising such a Revenue as is by ye Governor (as we suppose by ye Queen's directions) required of us, we are obliged to lay before him ye unhappy circumstances of this Province, etc. It's our misfortunes extorts this procedure from us, etc. We may not perhaps rightly apprehend all ye causes of our sufferings, but have reason to think, yt. some of them are very much owing to ye Governor's long absence from this Province, wch. renders it very difficult to apply to him in some cases, that may need a present help. It were to be wished that the affairs of New York wd. admit ye Governor oftner to attend those of New Jersey, he had not then been unacquainted with our grievances, and we are inclin'd to believe they would not have grown to so great a number. (1) Some persons under sentence of death for murder, have not only remained until this time unexecuted (they being condemned not long after Lord Cornbury's accession to this Government), but often have been suffered to go at large. It's possible the Governor has not been informed that one of these persons is a woman who murthered her own child, another of them a woman who poisoned her own husband, ye keeping of them so long has been a very great charge, and how far it's a reflection on ye public administration to suffer such wretches to pass wth. impunity, we dar not say, but sure ye blood of those innocents crys aloud for vengeance, and just Heaven will not fail to pour it down upon our already miserable Country, if they are not made to suffer for their demerits. (2) We think it a great hardship that persons accused for any crime, should be obliged to pay Court fees, notwithstanding the Grand Jury have not found ye Bill agst. them, they are men generally chosen out of ye neighbourhood, and should be the most substantial inhabitants, who cannot well be supposed to be ignorant of ye character of ye person accused, nor to want as good information as may be had; when therefor they do not find the Bill, it's very reasonable to suppose ye accused person innocent, and consequently no fees due from him. We pray therefor that ye Governor may give his assent to an Act of Assembly to prevent ye like for ye future, otherwise no person can be safe from ye practices of designing men, or ye wicked effects of a vindictive temper. (3) The only office for Probat of Wills being at Burlington, it must be very expencive and inconvenient for persons who live remote to attend at it, especially for the whole Eastern Division. We therefor pray the Governor will assent to an Act to settle such an office in every County, or at least in each division of this Province, and that ye officers may be men of good(s) estates and known integrity in the said County or Division. (4) The Secretary's office is not also kept at Amboy, but all the Eastern Division are forced to come to Burlington that have any business at that office. This seems inconsistant with the present Constitution, which doth not admit one of the Divisions of this Province to enjoy more privileges than the other. We therefore desire the Governor's assent to an Act to oblige the Secretary to keep his office at both places. (5) The granting of patents to cart goods on the road from Burlington to Amboy for a certain number of years, and prohibiting others, we think to be a great grievance, that it is contrary to the Statute Ja. I. Ch. 3 against Monopolies, and being so, we doubt not but will easily induce the Governor to assent to an Act to prevent all such grants for the future, they being destructive to the freedom that Trade and Commerce ought to have. (6) Establishing of fees by any other power or authority than by the Governor, Council and Representatives met in General Assembly, we take to be a great grievance, directly repugnant to Magna Charta, and contrary to the Queen's express directions in the Governor's Instructions. Pray the Governor's assent to an Act to settle fees, without which we think no more can be legally demanded than the persons concerned by agreement oblige themselves to pay. (7) The Governor's putting the former public Records of the Eastern Division into the hands of Peter Sonmans, the pretended Agent of the Proprietors, one that doth not reside in the Province, nor has not given security for the well and true keeping of them as is by ye Queen directed; and keeps them so that H.M. subjects cannot have recourse to them, and their being carried out of the said Division, is a great and crying grievance, they are the only evidences that one half of this Province has to prove the titles of their estates, and this House is humbly of opinion that they ought to be so kept that persons may have recourse to them, and in the hands of such of whose fidelity there is no reason to doubt, this being a thing so reasonable incourages us to request ye Governor to assent to an Act to be passed to put them in proper hands for ye future, that the Country may not be under ye same disappointments they now are. (8) There are other grievances of an higher nature, and attended with worse consequences. We did expect when the Government was surrendred to feel the benign influences of the Queen's mild Government, and to be protected in the full enjoyment of our Liberties and Properties, the last of which we thought ourselves something more secure in than some of the neighbouring Plantations etc. It's our misfortune that we must say the success has not answered the expectation, and the Queen's subjects here have felt the reverse of what they had most reason to hope. That greatest and best of princes is without all peradventure ignorant of our pressures; she has more of Heaven in her, than not to hear the cry of those that groan under oppression and the unkind effects of mistaken power, to whom we owe our miseries. (9) The Governor has prohibited the Proprietors' Agents, commonly called the Council of Proprietors from granting any warrants for taking up of lands in the Western Division. We cannot see by what Law or Reason any man's property can be disposed of by ye Governor, without his consent; the Proprietors, when they surrendred the Government did not part with their soil, and may manage it as they think fit, and are not to take directions from any persons whatsoever, how and when to do it, if any person concern'd be agriev'd, the Laws are open, by which disputes on property are decided, etc. We are very sorry the Governor gives us occasion to say, it is a great incroachment on the Proprietors' properties. But we are not surprised at it, when a greater incroachment on our liberties led the way to it, and that was the Governour refusing to swear or attest 3 Members of the last Assembly, etc. We are too sencibly toucht with that procedure, not to know what must be the unavoidable consequences of a Governor's refusing to swear which of the Members of an Assembly he thinks fit, but to take upon himself the power of judging of the qualifications of Assembly men, and to keep them out of the House, as the Governor did the aforesaid 3 Members nigh 11 months till he was satisfied in that point, after the House had declar'd them qualified, is so great a violation of the liberties of the people, so great a breach of the privileges of the House of Representatives, so much an assuming unto himself a negative voice to the Freeholders' election of their Representatives, that the Governor is intreated to pardon us if this is a different treatment from what he expected. It is not the effect of passionate heats, or the transports of vindictive tempers, but the serious resentment of a House of Representatives for a notorious violation of ye Libertys of the people, to whom they could not be just, nor answer the trust reposed in them, should they decline letting the Governor know they are extremely dissatisfied at so unkind a treatment, especially when its causes and effects conspire to render it so dissagreable. (10) It is notoriously known that many considerable sums of money have been raised to procure the dissolution of the first Assembly, to get clear of ye Proprietors' Quit-Rents, and to obtain such officers as the contributers should approve of. This House has a great reason to believe the money so gathered was given to the Lord Cornbury, and did induce him to dissolve the said Assembly, and by his own authority keep 3 Members out of the next Assembly, and put so many mean and mercenary men into office, by which corrupt practice men of the best estates are severely harassed, H.M. good subjects in this Province so impoverished, that they are not able to give that support to H.M. Government as is desired, or as they would otherwise be inclined to do. And we cannot but be very uneasy, when we find by these new methods of Government, our liberties and properties so much shaken, that no man can say he is master of either, but holds them as tenants by curtesie, and at will, and may be stript of them at pleasure: Liberty is too valuable a thing to be easily parted with, and when such mean inducements procure such violent endeavours to tear it from us, we must take leave to say, they have neither heads, hearts, nor soul that are not moved with the miseries of their country, and are not forward with their utmost power lawfully to redress them etc. May 5, 1707. Signed, by order of the House, Sam. Jenings, Speaker.
(b) Abstract of Governor Lord Cornbury's Reply to preceding. On Thursday last I received above Remonstrance, but, because I would not put it in your power to say I had given a rash, inconsiderate answer, I would make no return to it, till ye Saturday following, at [which ?] time I sent you word by the Secretary that I should not expect your attendance till this [day ?]. I have been in this Province twice every year, and have never stayed less than a month, sometime(s) 6 weeks or more. The Post goes every week to New York, and the Lt. Governor resides constantly in this Province, and would certainly have done right to any person that would have complain'd to him, which makes this allegation appear very frivolous. The affairs of New York have never hindred the Governor from attending those of New Jersey. I don't know of any grievances this Province labours under except it be the having a certain number of people in it, who will never live quietly under any Government, nor suffer their neighbours to enjoy any peace. (1) The two women have not been executed, there having appear'd most notorious malice and revenge in some people who were zealous in those prosecutions. The Queen is ye fountain of Honor, Justice and Mercy, and may reprieve or pardon any criminal. That power H.M. has been pleased to intrust me with, and I am no wise accountable to any person for what I do in those matters, except to the Queen's Majesty alone. As to the vengeance of just Heaven, I am of opinion that nothing has hindred it from falling upon this Province long ago, but the infinite mercy of God, who has been abundantly provoked by ye repeated crying sins of a perverse generation among us, and more especially by ye dangerous and abominable doctrines, and the wicked lives and practices of a number of people, some of whom, under ye pretended name of Christians, have dared to deny ye very essence and being of the Saviour of the World. (2) If you had asked any man that knows anything of the practice of ye Law in England, you would have found that if any proceedings have been carried on against any persons supposed to be guilty, they have always paid ye Court Fees, notwithstanding the Grand Jury have not found the Bill. Indeed, if Juries in this Country were [what] they ought to be, the supposition might in some measure be allow'd, but we find by woful experience, that there are many men who have been admitted to serve upon Grand and petty juries, who have convinced the world that they have no regard for ye oaths they take, and especially among a sort of people, who under ye pretence of conscience refuse to take an oath, and yet many of them, under the cloke of a very solemn affirmation, dar commit the greatest enormitys especially if it be to serve a Friend, as they call him, and these are the designing men, and the vindictive tempers, of which all the Queen's good subjects ought to beware, etc. (3) If I could perswade myself to wonder at any of ye enormities contain'd in this Remonstrance (and which I should do, if it came from any other men), it should be at this, because no reasonable man [can] easily perswade himself to believe that a number of men, chosen by their Country [men] to represent them, would presume to complain of a thing as a grievance, when ye thing complained of is in fact not true. For the Office of Probats of Wills is, wherever ye Governor is. Every year I have been at Burlington and Amboy, except the last year, when I had the unspeakable misfortune of losing a wife, whom I loved as much as my own soul, after a very long, tedious sickness, during which no reasonable man could expect I should leave her for any time, and yet notwithstanding that, I was twice at Amboy last year, where anybody that had a will to prove, might have had it done. Besides, considering the remoteness of Cape May County and the County of Salem, I did appoint a Surrogate at Burlington, before whom any of the inhabitants of either division might have had their wills proved. I did not think it necessary to appoint one in the Eastern Division, because the inhabitants of that Division, who are most remote from New York, are within a very easy day's journey of my Surrogate at Burlington, and much the major part of the people of that Division are within a very small day's journey of New York, where their private affairs dayly calls many of them, and where any of them may have their wills proved, without any injury to, or incroachment upon their properties, rights, or privileges. All judicious and impartial men will look upon this complaint to be malicious, scandalous and frivolous, contriv'd only to amuse poor ignorant people, etc. Besides, what you desire is a direct invasion of the Queen's Prerogative, for it belongs to H.M. alone to appoint who shall take probats etc., and that power the Queen has been pleased to vest in the Governor, etc. Of all people the Quakers ought to be the last to complain of the hardships of travelling a few miles upon such an occasion, who never repine at the trouble and charges of travelling severall hundreds of miles to a yearly Meeting, where it is evidently known that nothing was ever done for the good of the Country, but on the contrary, continual contrivances are carried on for the undermining the Government, both in Church and State. (4) You have had as little regard to ye truth of matter of fact in this complaint as in some of the rest. For it is certain vt. the Secretary's Office is kept at Amboy as well as at Burlington, as far as the nature of the thing requires, and it can admit of, for the Records of the Eastern Division are kept in the Eastern Division, or at least so many of them as the Agent for ye Proprietors of that Division could hitherto recover from one Thomas Gordon, into whose hands they were put in the time of the Proprietary Government, and who has imbezled several of them, for which he must be answerable. There is a Supreme Court held once every year at Amboy, there is no more at Burlington, so that one Division does not enjoy more privileges and advantages than the other. And you have no more reason to desire a Secretary's Office to be settled at Amboy than the people of the County of Cumberland would have to desire a Secretary of State's Office to be settled in their County, because it is a great way for them to travel to London. The thing is inconsistent in itself, to have two Secretary's Offices in the same Province, and consequently unreasonable, and I am pretty well satisfied without precedent. Besides, I don't know of anybody that can claim the right or power of appointing a Secretary in this Province, but the Queen, and she has been pleased to appoint one, and H.M. is pleased to think one sufficient, as undoubtedly it is. But if you had thought that another had been necessary, it would have been much more modest to have acquainted me with it, that I might have humbly represented it to H.M. etc. (5) I could wish (since you had a mind to colour this complaint with the authority of an Act of Parliament) that you had advised with some Lawyer whether this could be any way brought under that Statute, or can by any construction in the world be called a Monopoly. Nothing can be properly call'd a Monopoly but where a man engrosses a commodity into his own hands and imposes what unreasonable prices he pleases, or where a man is suffered to enjoy any trade exclusive of others, to the prejudice of the public, or particularly to the hindering or burthening of trade. The thing complained of, is directly contrary. For by this Patent, the subjects of this Province have the conveniency of sending such quantitys of goods to and from Burlington and Amboy as their private occasions, or the nature of their trade may require, at reasonable and certain rates, and at certain times, which they never could do before. For before the settling of this Waggon, if any persons had occasion to send any goods to or from either of those places, they were forced to hire a waggon, though perhaps they had not the tenth part of a load, and were forced to pay such rates as the owner thought fit to impose, whereas at present everybody is sure once a forthnight to have an opportunity of sending any quantity of goods at reasonable rates. By this means, and by no other, a trade has been carried on between Philadelphia, Burlington, Amboy and New York, which was never known before, and in all probability would never have been, had it not been for this certain convenient way. In all the parts of Europe, the having public carriages for goods has always been esteemed of absolute necessity. It is plain the Patent complained of cannot come within the Statute 21 Ja. I. When I was first applied to, for a Patent, for the allowing of this Waggon, which was by one Dell, a man who in Col. Hamilton's time was permitted to drive a waggon for the carrying of goods, though under no regulation, before I would grant it, I did acquaint the Council. Those Gentlemen were all of opinion there could be no inconveniency in it, but rather a great conveniency; experience has proved that opinion to be true. Nay, Mr. Lewis Morris himself, the chief promoter of these unreasonable and frivolous complaints, who had ye honor then to be one of H.M. Council, express'd himself very fully to that purpose; indeed, if that Gentleman had ever been consistent with himself in any two actions of his life, I should wonder how he could so soon alter his opinion, etc. (6) This is of a more extravagant nature than ye former. You call that a great grievance and repugnant to Magna Charta, and contrary to the Queen's express directions, which is most certainly exactly pursuant to the express words of the Queen's Instructions. (7) When I first read this clause, I could not imagine what it was put in for, unless it were on purpose to arraign the Queen's express commands to me. Mr. Sonmans is not ye pretended Agent, but is lawfully constituted Agent for the Proprietors of the Eastern Division, and has qualified himself according to ye Queen's Instructions to me, and he does reside the greatest part of his time in the Province, the Records are not carried out of ye Eastern Division unless it be those which Thomas Gordon has imbezled, but those which came to the hands of Mr. Sonmans are kept at Amboy, where anybody may have recource to them, that will desire, at any seasonable hour, and the Country is not under any disappointment upon yt. account. Besides the Records of the Eastern Division were put into ye hands of the Proprietors' Agent by an Order from England upon a complaint made in England that ye Records were not in the hands of the Proprietors' Agent. (8) This is certainly one of ye boldest assertions that ever was made. No one act of severity, much less of injustice has been done. I challenge you to prove the contrary, etc., etc. Very few men in the Province, except Samuel Jennings and Lewis Morris, men known neither to have good principles nor morals, who would have ventured to accuse a Governor of such crimes, without any proof. (9) By H.M. Instructions, I am to allow of all such Agents as ye General Proprietors shall appoint, such Agents qualifying themselves by taking such oaths as the Queen is pleased to direct, and no others; no persons under the name of a Council of Proprietors have ever tendred themselves to take those oaths, consequently they are not capable of acting as Agents. Besides, I say, those people who call themselves a Council of Proprietors, are a parcel of people pretending to act by a power derived from certain persons who have no powers to grant, the Governor has therefore done in this case nothing but his duty, in hindring, as far as in him lay, that pretended Council from acting illegally, which they have long done, to the great prejudice of H.M. subjects. Repeats account of the excluded Members of Assembly. As soon as the proofs of their qualifications were communicated to me as I desired, I admitted them immediately, which I could not do before without breaking H.M. Instructions. It was entirely due to their own stubbornness in refusing to give me the proofs, that they were not admitted before etc., etc. (10) If any money was raised, it was not given to me, nor was ever any money offered to me, as is alledged. I dissolved the first Assembly because it was plain they never intended to do anything for the support of the Government, nor for the good of the country, and indeed better could not be expected from an Assembly so corruptly chosen as that was, for some of the now Remonstrancers, and some other people, prevailed with Thomas Gordon, then Sherrif of Middlesex, to refuse a poll when demanded, and when the persons injured by that practice complained to the House of Representatives, they had a day assign'd them to be heard, but were limited to bring but 20 witnesses. They attended at the day appointed, but were then by that House refused to be heard and their witnesses examined, tho' they heard Thomas Gordon, the petition was dismissed. This violation of the rights of the people was a sufficient reason for the dissolving that Assembly. As for getting clear of the Proprietors' Quit-Rents, that is absurd, for at the beginning of every Sessions I have recommended it to the Assembly to prepare a Bill for settling the rights of the Proprietors. I have not knowingly put any mean or mercenary men into office; indeed at my first coming I desired the Gentlemen of the Council to recommend fit persons to me. Mr. Morris gave me a list in which by experience I find there are some mean scandalous men. I have said the less in answer to the scandalous reflections you have cast upon me, because I don't doubt but H.M. will allow me to take such measures as may be most proper to procure me ample satisfaction, etc. Now I shall take note of some of your late unwarrantable proceedings in this Assembly. At the opening of the Sessions I recomended to you the settling a Revenue, etc., but you have squandered away your time in hawking after imaginary grievances for one whole month, without making one step towards ye service of the Queen or the Country. You have presumed to take the Queen's subjects into the custody of your Serjeant at arms, who are not Members of your House, which is a notorious violation of the libertys of the People. You have taken upon you to administer an oath to one of your Members, and have expell'd him from the House for refusing to take an oath, which you could not legally administer to him; this is most certainly robbing that member of his property, and a most notorious assuming to yourselves a negative voice to the Freeholders' Election of their Representatives, for which there can be no precedent found. You have arbitrarily taken upon you to command the High Sherrif of this County to discharge a prisoner, who was in his custody, at the suit of one of the Queen's subjects, and he has been weak enough to do it, for which he lyes lyable to be sued for an escape, whenever the Gentleman thinks fit to do it, and from which you cannot protect him; this is a notorious violation of the rights of the subjects, and a manifest interruption of Justice. You have taken upon you to appoint one of your Members to act as Clerk of the Committee of the whole House, which you have no power to do, and the party officiating is liable to be prosecuted for acting without lawfull authority, and without being qualified to act, etc., I was going to conclude with giving you some wholesome advice, but that will be but labour lost, etc. Endorsed, Recd. Jan. 27, Read Feb. 11, 1707/8. Copy. 14¾ closely written pp.
963. iii. Address from the Governor and Council of New Jersey to the Queen. Congratulate H.M. on the success of her arms in 1706. Signed, Cornbury, Rich. Ingoldesby, George Deacon, Wm. Pinhorne, Daniel Leeds, Wm. Sandford, Tho. Revell, Robt. Quary, Ric. Townley, Dan. Coxe, Roger Mompesson. Endorsed as preceding, 1 large p. [C.O. 5, 970. Nos. 49, 49.i.–iii.; and (without enclosures) 5, 994A. pp. 312–328.]
964. Observations upon above Remonstrance of the Assembly of New Jersey. No date or signature. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 970. No. 50.]
June 7.
965. Lt. Governor Bennett to Mr. Popple. Feb. 27 I mention that I was prepareing an answer to Capt. Jones. But considering severall of the Articles related to the Assembly and Judges, I thought it proper they should answer for themselves, and accordingly that letter has been laid before them, who have but very lately returned their answer: soe I can't by this opportunity compleate it, but shall by the next, and doubt not but their Lordships will be fully satisfyed that Capt. Jones his assertions are base, malitious and untrue, etc. Signed, B. Bennett. Endorsed, Recd. Read July 29, 1707. Holograph. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 37, 8. No. 40; and 38, 6. p. 313.]
June 7.
966. W. Popple, jr., to the Commissioners of Prizes. Encloses extract from Governor Handasyd's letter relating to 2 prizes brought into Jamaica. [C.O. 138, 12. p. 98.]
June 9. 967. Tho. Sliford to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Proposes the establishment of a Commercial Agent to obtain intelligence as to trade etc., for the Board, at home and abroad. His reports would contribute to a sort of trade history of England, etc. Endorsed, Recd. Read June 9, 1707. 3½ pp. [C.O. 388, 76. No. 21.]
June 9.
968. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of Sunderland. Enclose following to be laid before H.M.
968. i. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Queen. Report upon Acts of Jamaica 1704, 1705, "and Feb. last" [i.e. 1705/6. Ed.] Some are expired (enumerated). The following need not be either confirmed or repealed by your Majesty at present, but may be left as probationary. (1) An Act to enable Cary Bodle to sell lands, etc., the objection being the want of a saving of your Majesty's right, and of the right of all other persons, as is usual and proper in such Acts. (2) An Act for the speedy collecting of out-standing debts, (3) for raising an additional duty etc. for 1707. As to the duty thereby laid upon bottled beer etc., they have therein had regard to your Majesty's Order of July 15, by lowering the duty to 6d. per dozen, but such licquors in cask are raised from 4s. to 20s. per tonn. Recommend 7 Acts for H.M. approbation.
The Act to provide an Additional subsistence for officers and soldiers, Feb. 1706–1707, being liable to the same objections as a former Act with the same title repealed Nov. 14, we humbly represent that notwithstanding the reasons for repealing the foresaid Act were laid before the Assembly by Brigadier Handasyd with a signification of your Majesty's pleasure that they should not pass such clauses for the future, they have again re-enacted all the clauses but one of the said repealed Act. That part which provides an additional subsistance is temporary and expires Feb. 1st, the rest is perpetual and contains the following clauses, which we think unfit for your Majesty's approbation, vizt. (1) That all persons not natural born subjects of England, Ireland or the Plantations are incapacitated under the penalty of 500l. from holding any offices civil or military in that Island, except only that they may serve in your Majesty's Regular Forces; which restraint we think intrenching upon your Royal Prerogative, your Majesty having a right to the services of your subjects in what capacity your Majesty thinks best. (2) That if any officer or soldier shall marry any inhabitant of that Island, he shall from thenceforward lose all that share of the money to be raised by this Act, which would otherwise have accrued to him. (3) That no officer (the Governor excepted) shall be capable of any Civil employment or command in the Militia, during the time he shall be an officer of your Majesty's regular forces there. (4) That all persons in civil employments, under the penalty of 100l. forfeiture, take an oath that they are not officers in your Majesty's regular forces. All which we look upon as a burthen and discouragement imposed upon the soldiery, which happens the more unseasonable at this time, when they are upon harder duty by reason of the danger, wherewith that Island is threaten'd from the enemy. Yet considering the hardships the soldiers will lye under, by reason of the dearness of all provisions in that Island, if the said Act be repealed before the term limited for the expiration of that part which provides an additional subsistence, we do not think it for your Majesty's service that the said Act be disapproved at present; but that it be suffered to continue till nearer the time of expiration. But in the meantime we humbly offer that a letter from your Majesty be writ to your Governor there, taking notice of the Assembly's disregard to your Majesty's Order in passing an Act with the same clauses as those formerly repealed, and directing the Governor to move the Assembly in the most effectual manner that they do not in any future Act lay such hardships upon the soldiers sent thither by your Majesty for their defence and security. [C.O. 138, 12. pp. 99–105.]
[June 9.] 969. Charge of the General Assembly, Council, Judges and Justices of Bermuda against Mr. Jones. Repeat charges of 1705, 1706 etc. Endorsed, Recd. Read June 9, 1707. 3¼ pp. [C.O. 37, 8. No. 11; and 38, 6. pp. 272–279.]
June 9.
970. W. Popple, jr., to Capt. Gardner. Repeats enquiry about recruits for Jamaica. [C.O. 138, 12. p. 98.]
June 10. 971. Capt. Gardner to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Gives an account of 56 recruits raised for Governor Handasyd's Regiment. I hope your Lordships may procure for the officers a larger allowance of levy money, they alledging that, whereas the Government gives officers 3l. per man for men raised to serve in England, 5l. per man will not defray the great charge they are at in obtaining them, etc. Signed, Rot. Gardner. Endorsed, Recd. Read June 12, 1707. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 7. No. 51; and 138, 12. pp. 105–107.]
[June 10.] 972. Mr. Lodwik to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses certificates showing that Messrs. Bayard and Hutchins have entered into recognizances as ordered Dec. 18, 1704, and prays that the Act of New York concerning them may accordingly be confirmed. Signed, Charles Lodwik. Endorsed, Recd. Read June 10, 1707. 1 p. Enclosed,
972. i., ii. Certificates of recognizances referred to in preceding. Signed, Cornbury. Dec. 7, 1706. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 1049. Nos. 33, 33.i., ii.; and (without enclosures) 5, 1121. pp. 45, 46.]
June 10.
St. Christophers.
973. Governor Parke to the Council of Trade and Plantations. It is now 10 weeks since I have had any news from England. I thank God these Islands are in as good a position as can be expected, the Islands being pretty healthy and will make good crops. May 19 arrived at Antigua the Guernsey with the Winchelsea and Child's play with two transports and one storeship with 300 men of Col. Lynlliston's Regiment from Ireland; I have gott the Island of Antigua to give quarters to 200, one company I have got quarters for at Montserratt, and two companies I have got this Island to quarter; I designed two companies for Nevis, but cou'd not gett the Assembly there to give them quarters. The Lt. Governor and Councill advised me to dissolve them and call a new one, which I did; they are to meet the 12th, at which time I designe to be there, and hope to prevaile with them to quarter the soldiers; if not, I must carry those two companies to Antigua. I can gett them quartered there. The people of Nevis expects the Queen should doe everything for them, though they doe not endeavour to help themselves. The storeship brought 20 gunns, 500 small arms and 100 barrells of powder. I shall distribute it as I think most for the Queen's service, tho' I doe not expect to please any of the Islands, had the other stores come, there wou'd have been enough for all the Islands. If the Queen will supply what was lost, in the other store-ship, we shall have enough, but instead of the powder to send us 10 long 36 pounders to guard the Harbour of St. John's; for the future we shall not want powder, every ship that arrives being obliged to pay powder. Signed, Daniel Parke. P.S.—June 21. I mett the new Assembly at Nevis, but I could not prevaile wth. them to quarter the 2 companys I brought them; therefore I was obliged to send them back to Antigua, where they will have quarters. Comodor Wager wth. his squadron bound to Jamaica came to an anchor at Nevis ye 12th and sayled the next day. Signed, Daniel Parke. Endorsed, Recd. 9th, Read Aug. 14th, 1707. 3 pp. [C.O. 152, 7. No. 25; and 153, 10. pp. 60–63.]
June 10.
974. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of Sunderland. Enclose following to be laid before H.M.
974. i. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Queen. We humbly lay before your Majesty an Address from Col. Sharpe and the Council of Barbados, praying your Majesty to confirm the suspension of Col. Cleland, and we thereupon take leave to represent what has appeared to us from the severall Minutes of Councill and of Assembly, and from affidavits, in relation to his behaviour. Repeat part of Representation of May 28, q.v. Though the said Cleland did protest against the dissolving the old and calling a new Assembly, yet he joyned with the rest of the Councill in swearing the new elected Members, after which the said Cleland with others signed a paper, which was presented to the Assembly, Jan. 28, importing that they were an illegal Convention, and containing threats in case they proceeded to do business. Upon the reading the said paper the next day, the Assembly came to this resolution, "That it was the unanimous opinion of that House that all the persons who had subscribed that paper, as also the framers, contrivers and promoters thereof, were guilty of a high misdemeanour tending to disturb the peace and quiet of the Island, and deserved to be forthwith turned out of all offices civill and military, and be further proceeded against according to Law. And that the said Cleland hath been a principal promoter of the heats and divisions in that Island, and by the subscribing the said paper an encourager of faction." Which resolution was on Feb. 3 delivered to the President and Councill. And upon the reading thereof on Feb. 11, they desired the Assembly to give their reasons for the said resolutions, which they did the same day in the words following, viz. "(1) That William Cleland hath signed and publish'd a protest against several Articles established unanimously in Councill, as an explanation of H.M. Letters Patents and Instructions for the Goverment of that Island, which Articles Cleland, acting as a Counsellor on his oath, had jointly with the rest of the Councill consented to and established, though in the protest he declared, that what he had so solemnly agreed to was only done to compliment the President with powers he did not intend should ever be exercised. (2) That he did refuse to publish the writt for the election of Assembly men for the Parish of St. Andrews, which was directed to him, and afterwards did with some other persons appear at the time of election at the said Parish Church, and sign a paper importing that the said election, and the writ on which it was made, were illegal. (3) That Cleland, being one of the Members of Councill, and sitting in Councill when the Members of this Assembly were sworn, and having with the other Members in Councill unanimously agreed to have them called in and sworn Members of the Assembly in order to their acting as such, did afterwards jointly with several other persons sign the paper which was delivered to the Assembly importing that the Assembly was an illegal Convention, and containing threats in case they should proceed to act as an Assembly, which they conceive to be a factious and seditious action, tending to disturb the peace of this Government at a time when we are in so much danger of the common enemy. (4) That Cleland having before the delivery of the said paper to the Assembly delivered another paper of the like import to the Hon. the President and Councill, and the same paper being censured as scandalous and seditious by the President and Councill, the Assembly did humbly conceive that Cleland being a Member of H.M. Councill, ought to have so far submitted to the said opinion of the President and Councill, till H.M. pleasure were known therein, and not to have encouraged and headed a party, in making the said remonstrance to the Assembly, tending to create discontents, divisions and faction in this Island, and especially since he had concurr'd in having the said Members called into Councill to be sworn of the Assembly, in order to their acting as such." These reasons, without mentioning any other, the Assembly did conceive to be a sufficient ground for the aforesaid vote. Whereupon Cleland was acquainted by the President, that if he would acknowledge his having been in an error, and submit himself to the Board, they would not proceed to censure him, which he refused to do, saying, they might do what they would, he did not value it, for it would not be for above 5 or 6 weeks (meaning till the Governor's arrival). Upon which the question was put whether for his misbehaviour he did not deserve to be suspended. All the Councill but one were of opinion that he did deserve suspension, but they were equally divided upon the question whether he should be suspended or no, so that for that time nothing further was done. On March 14, Coll. Walker, a Member of Councill, informed the Board of some resolves made the day before by the Assembly upon some scandalous and seditious speeches made by some persons against the Members of the Councill, and produced the affidavit of Capt. Townsend, to prove that Coll. Clealand had sayd that all the Councill except Raynes Bate were rogues, insinuating that they had been guilty of bribery and subornation. Upon consideration whereof, and that Cleland had abused the lenity of the Government, it was again put to the vote, whether he should be suspended, till your Majesty's pleasure be known, which was carryed in the affirmative, 5 being for the suspension, and the 6th only declaring that Cleland ought to be proceeded against, according to the utmost severity of the Law. Whereupon he was suspended accordingly. The President and Councill were informed that Cleland after his suspension had applyed himself to the Assembly, with some pretended informations against some of the Councill. Whereupon they came to this resolution, that Cleland in giving the said information intended and designed to promote sedition, encourage faction, and as far as in him lay, falsely and scandalously to libel and villify the Government, and thereby to raise and foment jealousies, distrusts and differences between the Councill and Assembly, thereby to obstruct the happy consequences of peace and union, and that he is thereby become a publick incendiary, industriously labouring to continue the unhappy heats and divisions, of which he has been the grand promoter. They further resolved humbly to address your Majesty, as above. It does appear to us from what is before recited, and from what we had occasion to lay before your Majesty, May 28, that Cleland has been and continues to be a promoter and encourager of the heats and animosities that have so long distracted that Island, and for which reason we humbly offer that your Majesty be pleased, not only to approve the said suspension, but to dismiss Cleland from your Majesty's Councill and all other employments in that Island. [C.O. 29, 11. pp. 36–46.]
June 10.
975. Governor Seymour to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I am glad of any, and take this opportunity of paying my duty etc. Our Assembly met on March 26, and sate till Aprill 14th, but the clarks not having had time to transcribe the Laws and Journalls, I cannot now, but must be content to transmitt them to your Lordships by the Ffleete, however presume to informe you with the most materiall transactions in this Session, and first of the enacting an additionall Law for towns and ports, wherein it is at last agreed to that all tobaccos, after Sept. 10, 1708, shall be brought to, and shipt off from Towns and Ports, and that all ships shall ride and loade there; which I am perswaded will be of great advantage and security to H.M. Revennue; and therefore hope it will find your acceptance, and H.M. royall sanction; though the stiffness of our legislators has still aforded occasion to have it amended. In obedience to H.M. Royall commands, an Act of Assembly was past for suspending (during H.M. pleasure) the prosecution of Priests of the Romish Comunion, incurring the penaltys of the Act to prevent the growth of Popery in this Province, by exercising their function in a private family of the Roman Communion, but in no other case whatsoever, and hope it will answer H.M. and your honble. Board's directions. Upon a new discovered peice of villany, that Richard Clarke with his gange of runaway rogues had concerted, to seize on our magazine and burne this towne and port of Annapolis, and then steale a vessell and turne pyrates, where they thought it most feasable: all means having prov'd ineffectuall to apprehend and bring the said Clarke to Justice, the Assembly, for the better security of the Province, and to deterr any from associating with him, past an Act to attaint him of high Treason; And this Province has already and is still like to be at no little charge and trouble upon his account. For altho he is one of the greatest of villains; yet (especially in this County of Ann Arundell) he has so many neare relations, that wee find it very difficult to discover his haunts, and what is worse, out of a foolish conceipt of his being a stout fellow and country-borne, the natives being now growne up, and most of them in offices, are very backward, if not altogether unwilling to bring him in, could they conveniently meete with him. During the Session, one Mr. Joseph Hill (country-borne) and a Member of the House of Delegates, was by that House expell'd the Assembly, for adhering to, assisting and corresponding with the said Clarke; notwithstanding which, I am doubtfull wee shall allways want Jurys to do H.M. common justice on the countrie-borne (as they call 'em) and am apt to believe, the reason is, that the Assembly, anno 1694 (under a specious pretence of ye encouragement of learning, to which the Countrye has not yet made any one further stepp) gained the then Governour and Councill's assent to an Act for the encouragement of learning and advancement of the natives of this Province, by which H.M. English subjects are debarred from holding any office of trust or proffitt within this province (not being immediately a patent office) untill they have actually made this countrye their place of residence during the full terme of 3 years: and hence it is that no ingenious men capable of serving H.M. or the Province will come here to starve so long a terme, which, if not remedyed by H.M. disassent to that Law, I feare will be of fatall and pernicious consequence to Maryland, for notwithstanding the Act of Assembly, made in 1694, for ye erecting of Free-Schools, there is not yet so much as one Grammar-Schoole in the whole Province, and yet the Assembly and other Courts of Justice for ye most parte are composed of, and the Government on all occasions is necessitated to commissionate, the Natives, tho many tymes very ignorant and unfitt for the offices and trusts this Act of Assembly devolves upon them, which is only a particular misfortune to Maryland, no such Law or practice being in any other of H.M. Plantations, where all her subjects stand upon the levell. Severall complaints being made agt. the Lord Proprietary's Officers for granting and measuring of lands, upon examination it was found that his Lordp's. Surveyors Genll. farm'd out their Offices in the severall Countys to their Deputys (who are generally unskilfull and indigent persons) at certaine large summes or rents; for which they tooke their obligations, whether the just(s) ffees and perquisites from ye said Deputys, accustom'd to be reserv'd to ye said Surveyors Genll., amounted thereto or not, which occasioned the said Deputys, the better to raise the said summes and rents, to use many tricks in the execution of their offices, sometymes neglecting to include in ye surveys the lands intended and shewne them, and very often prying into and finding faults with the old surveys by the watersides, where the ancient bounded trees, and even the bancks, are sometymes washt away into ye bays and rivers, to the greate disturbance and dissatisfaction of H.M. subjects, who have been put to greate charge in asserting their just bounds. The Assembly made an Act requiring the Lord Baltemore's Agents to certifye into the Secretary's Office the Instructions and conditions of Plantations, with the ffees by them demanded, and obliging his Lordshipp's Deputy Surveyors to qualifye themselves according to Law; and by that Act lay a forfeiture of 20l. on the said Agents so refusing to certifye the said instructions and conditions; and also enjoyne the said Surveyors under the penalty of 100l. sterl., not to survey any lands for any person whatever, until they have taken the oathes by Law appointed to maynteyne the succession of ye Crowne, and likewise an oath for ye faithfull execution of their offices, which had never as yet been done by any of the said Surveyors, and is wholly submitted to H.M. Royall pleasure and direction, in case the Lord Baltimore shall thinke fitt to address her on that occasion. Some disputes between the Lord Baltemore and Mr. Wm. Penn, about their North and East bounds of this Province, rendring the estates of H.M. subjects very precarious and ambiguous on those confines, have induced the Assembly to address H.M., that she will be graciously pleas'd to direct the said proprietors to run out and settle their bounds, that the purchassors and takers up of lands there may be safe in their graunts. In few days with the advice of H.M. Councill, I shall regulate and settle the Judicature according to the directions of your honble. Boarde; notwithstanding our wayward Assembly thought it improper to be done here, without rendring any substantiall or mannerly reason whatever, for at present our Provinciall Court, consisting of 12 Justices, is a mere jest, tot homines, tot sententiæ, unless particular interest draw them, not knowing any rules to guide their judgements. Nowithstanding we heare not from England in 7, 8 or 9 months, during this warr, the Assembly with the like reason, that they might still continue irregular and gainsaying, rejected Mr. Dummer's proposalls for better and more speedy advice and intelligence by way of his pacquett-boats. And when I proposed a Law to punish the dispersers of false and reflecting news of affairs in Europe during the warr, it was deny'd by our stiff-necked Assembly, whose reasons I doubt not but your Lordshipps may perceive, being they are wholy bouyed up by a gainsaying and restless party. Col. John Addison, Robert Smith and James Sanders, 3 of H.M. Council here, being dead, and Coll. Robert Quary lives in Pensilvania, a good distance hence, and has so much publique busieness on his hands, 'tis allmost impossible to have his advice or assistance when wanted, and that Mr. Thomas Brooke never comes to Councill, there is a necessity to have the vacancys of that Boarde supply'd; and since there are but 4 left on this side the Bay to meete on any emergency whatever, and those on the other side many tymes in bad weather not able to come, I humbly propose Coll. John Contee to be one, who lives in the midst of the most considerable Papists in Charles County, and presume your Lordshipps will judge it reasonable to have a person of spiritt and authority, where there is so absolute an occasion, altho he was not named in the lists of the 12, and Samuel Young, Coll. Thomas Greenfield and Seth Biggs, if H.M. and your Honble. Boarde thinke fitt to remove Thomas Brooke, who has two owne brothers Jesuites in the Province, and himselfe but a late convert, and still a favourer of that party. One of the 12 formerly named is dead to witt, Henry Coursey, others refuse to act, having streightlac'd consciences, Col. Bigger unable to ride on horseback hither, and others I designe within the number of the 4 Itinerant Judges, as Col. Thomas Smith etc., and humbly lay the 4 beforementioned before your Lordps.' consideration as persons of good fortune and probity, and presume for the aforegoing reasons to present a fresh list of 12, having now a better knowledge of persons and things in this Province then could be well imagined I should have so suddainly after my arrivall here. The Law for Ordinary lycences will expire the next Session of Assembly, so that I wayte your Lordps.' further directions in that matter, for I am confident the Assembly will be very unwilling to anex that perquisite to Sir T. Laurence's H.M. Secretary's office, without some order to oblige them so to do. Richard Clarke and his prodigall companions lately sett an expedient on foote to retrieve some of their shatter'd fortunes, and carry on their base designes, which was forgeing and counterfeiting a considerable quantity of false money like unto the peices of eight of Spaine and the dollars of the Low Countrys, which they made of pewter, glass and other mixt metall, but the cheate being presently detected, the Assembly made an Act to punish such like offenders, and the utterrers of such false moneys. And since money is become so absolutely necessary, we earnestly beg H.M. to intrust us with a species of small copper coyne, as by our Address wee have pray'd. I think it highly necessary to represent that there are two Gentlemen commissionated and stiled H.M. Receivers within this Province, the one George Plater Esq. for the district of Puttuxent, and the other George Muschamp Esq., for the district of Potomeck. Through Mr. Plater's hands considerable summes of money pass yearly, but through the other's, Mr. Muschamp's, very little, his collection of the 3d. per hhd., for which he is accountable for severall years has not amounted to above 30l. odd per ann., and yet he as well as the other Receiver have each a sallary allotted of 100l. per ann., which they are authorised to take out of the fynes and forfeitures within this Government, which for many years will not halfe pay them, so that these Gentlemen seeme much dissatisfyed, though I thinke Mr. Muschamp has little reason, his office being needless, and might well be supply'd by the other Receiver, without any further sallary. I have sent a sloope well mann'd to North-Carolina, to demand some persons who have fledd hence from Justice, and to learne what law is made there to harbour others from paying their just debts, which has occasioned great numbers to flye from this Province thither, to the great detriment of merchants in England, and cheating the honest well-meaning people of this country, for if they have, as I am informed, made a law there to protect any person from being sued during 5 years, it will give an handle to many knavish people to gaine large creditts, and runn thither to defrawde their just creditors, and not only tend to the lessening the number of taxable persons here, but to the depopulating H.M. more useful adjacent Colonys and Plantations. And now as our poverty increases, so fresh villainys are carryed on intirely to subvert the Government; when I have their answer, I will transmitt it to your Honble. Boarde, and doubt not but your Lordps. will find out an expedient to have this pernicious practice stopt, otherwise many persons will go North to Carolina and H.M. Revennue hence be suncke to a scantling. The generality of the people in this Province have good tracts of land and stocks of cattle and hoggs, but being in debt to the merchants consignees in England, they send them little or no goods at all, most of the shipps comeing from London upon ffreight, in their ballast, with their provisions only for the voyage, so that many people here are almost starke naked, which has occasioned some to turne their hands to manufacture of lynnen and woollen; and if your Lordps. in your wisdome do not find out some expedient to have the necessity of the country relieved, by obliging the merchts. to send supplys, it may be of ill consequence to the Revennue arising on tobacco, which will be in greate measure layd aside by such who find they can have nothing for it. There neither is or hath been any guard-ship at ye Capes' mouth for these 12 months, so that H.M. Plantations of Virginia and Maryland are obnoxious to the insult of any rascally pyrate or privateer, who may come and go and burne what shipping happens to be in the countrye at pleasure. And have this day an accot. of a privateer lying off the Capes, which has taken severall vessells comeing into these Plantations, and having unman'd himself to secure them, is retir'd in order to a fresh expedition. I hope your Lordps. are by this time satisfyed I have done what was incumbent on me, concerning the prizes, etc. Signed, Jo. Seymour. Endorsed, Recd. 18th, Read Aug. 27th, 1707. 12 pp. Enclosed,
975. i. List of persons proposed by Governor Seymour for filling vacancies in the Council of Maryland:—Philip Lynes, John Hall, Major John Hawkins, Lt. Col. Wm. Whittington, Wm. Harris, Robert Bradley, John Gressham, Major Charles Greenberry, Richd. Tilghman, Lt. Col. Thomas Hammond, Col. Nathaniel Hynson, and Lt. Col. Thomas Addison. Same endorsement. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 716. Nos. 29, 29.i.; and (without enclosure) 5, 726. pp. 455–466.]
June 10. 976. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of
976. i. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Queen. Upon an humble representation of Nov. 23, 1703, your Majesty was pleased to issue your royal proclamation for settling the current rates of foreign silver coins in your Majestie's Colonies and Plantations, etc. Which proclamations having been published in your Majestie's several Plantations would have had a very good effect in case the Proprietary Governments had paid due obedience and regard thereunto. But we understand by letters from your Majesty's several Governors, and particularly of New York and New England, that altho' the said proclamation had been published in New England, yet no manner of regard was had thereunto, but that the several foreign silver coins did continue to pass there in the same manner as before, nay even at higher rates, by which means your Majesty's said Colony of New York did very much suffer to a sudden stop of their trade; upon which the Lord Cornbury, by the advice of the Council, was obliged to suspend execution of your Majesty's proclamation. And by letters from Sir B. Granville, your Majesty's late Governor of Barbadoes, it appears that the said proclamation being not observed in other Plantations (where they continued to keep up the value of their mony) the said Island is thereby in danger of being drained of their coin. Whereupon your Majesty's late Attorney General was advised with etc. His opinion quoted (C.S.P., 1705, No. 1382). Upon consideration of all which, and for preventing the mischiefs that may arise by such indirect practise of drawing the mony from one Plantation to another, to the great prejudice of trade, we are humbly of opinion that an Act of Parliament be passed here, for the better enforcing your Majesty's said proclamation in the several Plantations, under such penalties as shal be thought reasonable and necessary, as likewise for prevention of this and many other evil practises; that the said Propriety and Charter Governments may be brought under the same dependance on your Majesty as those other Plantations now under your more immediate Government; and till one or both of those provisions are made we cannot but think that the putting your Majesty's said proclamation in execution in some of the Plantations, whilst others (particularly the Propriety and Charter Governments) pay no regard thereto, may endanger their being entirely drain'd of the mony necessary to the carrying on their trade. [C.O. 324, 9. pp. 142—145.]