Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 5, 1661-1668. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1880.
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The last volume of the Calendar of State Papers, America and West Indies, finished with the year 1660. This volume begins with the year 1661, and in nearly 2,000 abstracts of documents summarises our Colonial History for the next eight years to the end of the year 1668.
In drawing attention to some of the salient points in the history of the numerous colonies and countries as abstracted in this volume, it will, I think, be convenient to class them into the following divisions, viz.,I. Our American Colonies under Charles II.'s reign ; II. Our Colonial Possessions in America ; III. Our Colonial Possessions in the West Indies ; and, IV. Our Possessions in Africa, on the Gold Coast, the River Gambia, and elsewhere.
I. Our American Colonies.
I. Our American Colonies at the opening date of this volume consisted of six only of the original thirteen United States of America, viz., Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, and Virginia. But in March 1663 the first charter was granted to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, which province afterwards developed into the two states of North and South Carolina. New York was surrendered to the English in August 1664, and Delaware in the following October. New Jersey formed part of the territory granted to James Duke of York in the same year, while Pennsylvania was not founded until 1682, and the State of Georgia was not thought of until some fifty years after that date. So that we are able to trace by the light of these State Papers the early history of eleven out of the original thirteen United States, five of which, as British Colonies, begin their history in this volume.
Soon after his restoration, King Charles II., judging it necessary that so many remote colonies, so many ways considerable to his crown, should be brought under an uniform inspection for their future regulation, security, and improvement, signed a commission (fn. 1) appointing thirtyfive members of the Privy Council, the nobility, gentry, and merchants, a Council for Foreign Plantations. In this Commission authority was given to any five to inform themselves of the condition of the Plantations, and of the commissions by which they were governed, as well as to require from every governor an exact account of the constitution of his laws and government, the number of inhabitants, and, in short, all the information he was able to give.
The Commissioners were also instructed to provide learned and orthodox ministers to reform the debaucheries of planters and servants, to consider how the natives and slaves might be invited and made capable of baptism in the Christian faith, and generally to dispose of all matters relating to the good government and improvement of the Plantations.
The first meeting of this Council was held on the 7th of January 1661, when committees were appointed for the several Plantations and they held many meetings throughout that year. How they carried out their instructions may be seen in their minutes, reports, and orders, all of which are abstracted and may readily be referred to at p. 710 of the Index.
The Colonies of New England.
Attention was first directed to the Colonies of New England, and informations, petitions, and relations of those who had been sufferers, and of thousands of others in New England were laid before the Council (42, 45, 46, 49-51). After several meetings they reported that the government of New England [Massachusetts] had exceeded their grants by enacting laws and administering justice repugnant to the laws of England, that unequal restraints were imposed in matters of conscience and divine worship, and that trade was in no way managed to the advantage of his Majesty's crown. It was also objected that the New England Colonies had increased their stock of sheep to nearly 100,000, whereby they were so stored with wool that the manufactures of England would be less necessary to them ; and that their government had purposely withdrawn all means of judging or disposing of their affairs in England, "as if they intended to suspend their absolute obedience to the King's authority" (66, 75).
This report was presented to the Secretary of State, together with the heads of a letter which had been prepared for the Governor and Council of New England. At the same time the Council for Plantations offered their report and letter to the consideration of the King and his Privy Council, for they said they conceived themselves to be in no capacity to give any judgment therein, having heard but one side, that they had but considered the general state of things in New England, and made ready a letter with all possible tenderness, avoiding all matters which might set the people at a greater distance, or stir them to any fears or distrust that it would not be safe for them to submit cheerfully and wholly to the King's authority and protection. The Council advised that this letter should be speedily sent to prepare the people to such a compliance as must be necessary for an English Colony (80).
This letter was read at the Council Board on 17th May 1661, but was not thought fit to be sent now or indeed at all by the Council of Plantations (87), upon which the Lords of the Council, conceiving it to be a matter of State, appointed a committee of their own body to take it into consideration (91).
More than a year elapsed and so little progress had been made in the settlement of the New England Plantations, that on 25th September 1662 the matter was once more "seriously debated," on which occasion Lord Clarendon declared that the King would speedily send over Commissioners to settle the respective interests of the several Colonies (370), and the Lord Chancellor subsequently drew up himself a paper of "considerations in order to the establishing his Majesty's interests in New England," (706). It was not, however, until April 1663 that the King in an Order in Council made a similar declaration, at the same time promising to preserve the [Massachusetts] charter though he wished to know how it was maintained on the part of the Province (437), and another year elapsed before Charles II. signed Commissions and Instructions in April 1664 for Richard Nicolls, Sir Robert Carr, George Cartwright and Samuel Mavericke to visit the colonies of New England, and determine all complaints and appeals for settling their peace and security (708-725).
In an elaborate letter to the Governor and Council of Massachusetts the King under six heads explained his reasons for sending his Commissioners, and commanded that his letter should be communicated to the Council and to a General Assembly to be called for that purpose, and while desiring their co-operation and assistance he declared that he doubted not they would give his Commissioners proper reception and treatment (715). So strong, however, was the feeling against them when they landed in the Piscataqua that wagers were laid that they would never sit at Boston, and it was by them thought better to begin at Connecticut and dispatch the other three Colonies first ; for, argued the Commissioners, if they had good success there it would be a strong inducement to the other Colonies to submit to the King's Commissioners, whereas if they were opposed at Boston it would be an ill precedent (931). They were two years engaged in visiting the New England Colonies, at the end of which time the King recalled them ; and while letting the colonies know how much his Majesty was pleased with the good reception given to his Commissioners and their dutifulness and obedience to his Majesty except in the case of the Massachusetts, the King said he was sorry that any of his loyal subjects should so mistake their own true advantage as to give him cause of displeasure, and he could not choose but resent their deportment, so his Majesty sent express commands for the Governor and others of that colony to attend the King and answer their proceedings (1171-1175). This summons was never obeyed, one of the reasons alleged being that Governor Bellingham was nearly 80 years old and had many infirmities (p. 419).
In a long report the Commissioners presented an account in detail of their transactions with each colony visited by them, viz., Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Plymouth, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Kennebec (1103). All their proceedings are duly chronicled in this Calendar and have been largely drawn from by Dr. Palfrey in his admirable history of New England, which it is an interesting study to read in conjunction with these State Papers.
Propagation of the Gospel in New England and America.
Now the Council for Plantations, as we have seen, were also instructed "to consider how the natives and slaves might be invited and made capable of baptism in the Christian faith," so a Committee was appointed to meet at Grocers' Hall, of which Robert Boyle was a member (3) ; and on 7th February 1662 a patent of incorporation of the Company for propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America passed the Great Seal. All the great officers of state with other persons of eminence formed the "body corporate and politic," and power was given to them to purchase and hold lands not to exceed the yearly value of 2,000l. and to ship foreign coin not exceeding the value of 1,000l. in any one year. Of this corporation Robert Boyle was constituted the first Governor (88, 152, 223). The King was soon afterwards petitioned to grant one general collection throughout England and Wales, for their charges had exceeded their income, which was much too small to carry on their work. They had printed the New Testament and a good part of the Old in the Indian language and the rest was making ready for the press, and they were in want of funds partly for perfecting so costly and necessary a work as completing the translation and printing of the Bible, and partly for the maintenance of schools for Indian children (318, 319).
Quakers in New England.
While measures were taken for teaching the Indians and their children to live according to the principles of the Christian religion, representations were made to King Charles of cruel and inhuman sufferings inflicted upon the people of God called Quakers by the Magistrates of New England. The General Court at Boston had tried all means to prevent the intrusion of Quakers, "who, besides their absurd and blasphemous doctrines, do like rogues and vagabonds come in upon us." Any one adjudged a wandering Quaker was to be stripped naked from the middle upwards, tied to a cart's tail, and whipped through the town, and from thence conveyed beyond the Massachusetts jurisdiction. Whippings, imprisonments, fines, ear-cuttings, and even death were the punishments inflicted "only for conscience sake," while many were banished upon pain of death because they were called Quakers. The King in Council ordered that these complaints should, as the petitioners desired, be referred to the Council for Plantations. (89, 90, 92, 93.)
Three months later the King wrote to Gov. Endecott and the Governors of all the Colonies in New England, commanding that if there were any called Quakers already condemned to death or other corporal punishments, or that were imprisoned, to forbear proceeding any further with them, but forthwith to send said persons, whether condemned or imprisoned, to England, together with a statement of their crimes or offences, to be dealt with agreeable to our laws and their demerits (168). Less than a year after this letter had been written Charles II., when acknowledging an Address and Petition from the General Court of Massachusetts, which he said had been very acceptable to him, promised he would renew their charter whenever they desired it, the principal end of which the King then declared to be liberty of conscience ; but he added, "We cannot be understood hereby to direct or wish that any indulgence should be granted to Quakers, whose principles being inconsistent with any kind of government, we have found it necessary, by the advice of Parliament, to make a sharp law against them, and are well contented that you do the like there" (fn. 2) (314.)
The regicides, Whalley and Goffe.
Charles II. had promised by proclamation free pardon for all offences committed against him during the late troubles, except those attainted by Parliament of high treason, "if any such have transported themselves into those parts." (314.) Two of the regicides, Whalley and Goffe, were at that very time in New England under the names of Richardson and Stephenson (45), and warrants were issued for their apprehension by Gov. Endecott, "that so they might testify to the world how much they abhorred to entertain or conceal such persons declared to stand convicted of having a hand in the execrable murder of the late king." Compare this letter with John Crowne's deposition abstracted No. 161. So a thorough search was ordered to be made for Whalley and Goffe in Connecticut, New Haven, and New Plymouth, and if found they were to be brought into the Massachusetts jurisdiction (81). A report to Gov. Endecott from Thos. Kellond and Thos. Kirke, the bearers of the warrant, describes the delays and the unwillingness they met with everywhere to give them any assistance. Time was everywhere given to the regicides to make their escape, so that the officer sent in pursuit wished he had been a ploughman and had never been in the office since he found it so weighty (96). Neither Whalley nor Goffe was ever apprehended, though it was believed they were concealed in New England, as indeed they were. Other papers in reference to this subject are abstracted in this volume, which, together with the report of the Royal Commissioners, may be found by consulting the index. Some interesting "Memoranda concerning Edward Whalley and William Goffe," by Franklin B. Dexter, are printed in Vol. II. of the Papers of the New Haven Colony Historical Society.
But the Northern Colonies in America did not engross the whole attention of the Council for Plantations. Letters were also written to the Colony of Virginia informing the government there of what had been done in England in reference to their inspection and management, and recommending that planters or those well acquainted with their affairs should represent them in England, and that they should apply themselves to the increase and improvement of flax, silk, and other manufactures. They were also directed to inform the Council how many parishes the country was divided into, how many were supplied with ministers and what allowances they received, and the encouragement given to others to go over to them (24, 32). Sir William Berkeley had succeeded Sir Francis Wyatt in the government of Virginia. His first commission as Governor was signed by Charles I. in 1641, and on 3rd June 1650 Charles II. signed his second commission. Articles for the surrender of Virginia to the subjection of the Parliament of England were signed by the Governor and Council of Virginia and the Parliamentary Commissioners on 12th March 1652, and it was then agreed that neither Governor nor Council should be obliged to take any oath to the Commonwealth for one year, and that some one should be sent to give the King an account of the surrender. Almost immediately after the restoration Charles II. signed a third commission (31st July 1660) for Sir William Berkeley to be once more Governor of Virginia, which office he continued to hold until his death in 1677, thirty-six years after the date of his first appointment as Governor. While debate was had on the letter to be sent by the Council of Plantations to Virginia, Governor Berkeley, then in England, was desired in August 1661 to bring in writing an account of the colony and such propositions as he conceived fit for its advantage (149). It was in July 1662 that he received the King's command speedily to repair to his government. The proposals which he then made for the advancement of that colony, and the Orders of Council thereon, are abstracted, Nos. 332-334, 341, 345, 352-3, 357.
In the previous Calendar (1574-1660) Cecily, the widow of Lord De la Warr, in a petition to Charles I. described how her husband settled the plantation in Virginia, and that the great profits and advantages which accrued from thence were due to the large sums of money expended by him out of her jointure, that she was left burdened with many debts and only 10l. per annum to maintain herself and seven children. (fn. 3) King James had granted Lady De la Warr in 1620 a pension of 500l. per annum for 31 years, to be paid out of the customs of the Plantation, which at the date of her petition had more than half expired, and she prayed for a renewal of her grant for another 31 years. Her petition was not granted, though we gather from another petition to Charles II. in this volume (239) that her annuity continued to be paid until the year 1640, and then ceased. So in 1662 Cicely, then Dowager Lady De la Warr, petitioned the King that having received nothing since 1640, the pension of 500l. might be granted to her for the natural life of her daughter, Jane West. The report of Lord Treasurer Southampton on this petition is worth recording. His Majesty, having a particular regard to the worth and good deservings of petitioner and family, had commanded the Lord Treasurer to certify what he conceived fit to be done for His Majesty's service and the petitioner's satisfaction. So Lord Southampton reported that the sense he had of the present necessities of the Crown made him a very unfit judge of the labours of any person, and therefore in all times he had declined certificates of that nature, but had complied with whatever the King had commanded in grace to any single persons or families, as far as His Majesty's public occasions would permit ; and this, I hope, added the Lord Treasurer, is as much as His Majesty will expect from me in the quality I serve him (249). Three weeks after this report the King signed a warrant for a pension of 200l. a year to Jane West, in consideration of her mother's loss by discontinuance for 11 years of a pension of 500l. a year granted to her for her late husband's services in improving the plantation of Virginia (258).
It was urged that the excessive planting of tobacco, and the consequent low price of it, was very much against the growing prosperity of the colony, and the King was petitioned not only to put the Act against planting tobacco in England into full force, but that both the Governors of Virginia and Maryland should be commanded not to permit any ships to leave those colonies except at certain stated times (358). In the instructions given to Berkeley for his government in September 1662 he was directed to give every encouragement for the production of the staple commodities of silk, flax, hemp, pitch, and potashes ; and to appoint commissioners to treat with those of Maryland to restrain the planting of tobacco. The King himself wished to undertake "an iron work," which he desired Governor Berkeley's advice about erecting in Virginia. The colonists made such progress in the production of silk that in 1668 they begged the King's acceptance of a present of 300 lbs. weight, being the first fruits of their labours in that kind ; and as they termed it a royal commodity, they entreated His Majesty's favourable reception of it, which they said would be a very great encouragement to them. At the same time they begged the King to send over men better skilled in that and other staple commodities, "for which this country is very proper," to reside amongst them, when they would no longer depend wholly upon tobacco, to the ruin of the colony and the decay of the King's customs (1805-6). The King received the present with much content, and as a mark of his princely acceptance and encouragement commanded it to be wrought up for the use of his own person (1878). These letters have been thought of sufficient interest to print in full.
A full account of the government of Virginia was sent to Sec. Lord Arlington, by the Secretary of the Colony, Thomas Ludwell, in July 1666, and is inclosed in his letter abstracted No. 1250. The year following the Colony was visited with a series of misfortunes. In April 1667 they had a most prodigious storm of hail, many [hailstones] as big as turkey eggs, which destroyed most of their young mast and fruit trees and forward English grain, brake all glass windows and beat holes through the tiles of their houses, killing many hogs and cattle. In June four Dutch men-of-war did much mischief by sailing into James River and burning the King's frigate and taking some 20 merchant vessels. Then came forty days rain, and on 27th August followed the most dreadful hurricane that ever the Colony groaned under. It lasted 24 hours, overturned houses and trees and drove vessels above high water mark many feet. Gov. Berkeley wrote that four-fifths of their tobacco and corn had been destroyed, and that in Virginia and Maryland 15,000 houses had been blown down (1505-8, 1611, 1625, 1627).
The first charter to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, as already stated, is dated 24th March, 1663 (427). But a previous patent had been granted by Charles I. to Sir Robert Heath in 1629, and people desirous of settling in Carolina under the patent of 1663 were hindered by the Duke of Norfolk's pretentions and other claims to the title (476). So the King by an Order in Council directed his Attorney-General forthwith to take proceedings for the revoking of all former letters patents and grants of Carolina, and it was also ordered that the new patentees should proceed in the planting of the Province (525). This order was signed by several of the patentees, and forms part of the valuable collection of papers presented by the present Earl of Shaftesbury to the Public Record Office. The "Shaftesbury Papers" comprise a rich collection relating to the early settlement of Carolina. The first Earl of Shaftesbury was one of the original Lords Proprietors, and his medical adviser, private Secretary and friend John Locke, the framer of the first set of the Fundamental Constitutions for the goverment of Carolina, seems to have been the presiding genius and to have really worked hard to advance the settlement and progress of the Colony, as the numerous papers in his handwriting in this valuable collection prove ; in fact almost every letter received from Carolina at that time is endorsed by the great philosopher. His original draught of the Constitutions, dated July 1669, is among the "Shaftesbury Papers," and will, with the greater part of those papers relating to Carolina, be found in the next volume of this Calendar. There are fine impressions (slightly damaged) of the Great Seal of the Lords Proprietors described at No. 527.
At the first meeting of the Lords Proprietors on 23rd May, 1663, it was ordered that the eight Proprietors should contribute 25l. each which was to be disbursed according to the orders of the majority ; 20,000 acres of land were to be reserved in every settlement for the Proprietors, and a declaration was agreed upon to be published to invite planters to settle in the Colony (457). In this declaration power was given to the freeholders to choose Deputies to make their own laws ; freedom of conscience was granted and of customs on certain commodities, while 100 acres of land was to be given to every planter within five years of the first settlement together with proportionate grants of land for every man and woman servant (536). This declaration was sent to Barbadoes, New England, the Bermudas, and other places, and above two hundred gentlemen of good quality in Barbadoes besides many hundreds of well experienced planters expressed themselves ready to remove speedily thence with negroes and servants (528, 547, 559, 560, 576). The Governor of Barbadoes was desired by the Duke of Albemarle and the Lord Chancellor to encourage the settlement (549). The Concessions and Articles of Agreement of the Lords' Proprietors of Carolina and the settlers from Barbadoes and elsewhere, all of whom are named, will be found abstracted, No. 904. A little more than two years after the passing of the first charter, a second charter was granted by Charles II. on 30th June, 1665, in which the boundaries were much enlarged and greater privileges were granted (1011). The fees paid for passing these two charters may be seen, No. 1027.
A debtor and creditor account with the Lords Proprietors up to April 1666, shows that each proprietor had then subscribed 75l., and how the total of 600l. had been spent (1192.) Nearly all the names originally given to the several counties, capes, and other places after the names of the Lords Proprietors, and which appear on maps of the period, have been altered, and entirely blotted out, although it is not difficult to trace the locality of most of them. Thomas Woodward, who was appointed surveyor of Albemarle County, in a long letter to Sir John Colleton, describes that country with his opinion upon its settlement. He quotes from Bacon's Essay of plantation, "Planting of countries is like planting of woods, for you must make account to 'leese' almost 20 years profit and expect your recompense in the end, for the principal thing that hath been the destruction of most plantations hath been the hasty drawing of profit in the first years." (1005.) The commission and instructions from the Lords Proprietors to Samuel Stephens, appointed Governor of the county of Albemarle, are dated October 1667 (1619-1621.) Lieut.-Col. Robert Sandford, the Secretary and Registrar of Clarendon County, when sending an account of "The Port Royal Discovery," certified to the richness and fertility of the soil of the country discovered, and the excellency of the rivers, havens, &c. The total cost "in order to the planting and settling of Port Royal" was 284l. 12s. 3d. (879.) It measures to the Lords Proprietors, remarked Sandford, as his foot did Hercules, the greatness of your Sovereign's gift and to the world the greatness of your trust and favour with him. It shows in prospective how lasting a renown you may add to your already glorious names, how boundless a grandeur to your longest posterity (1243.) John Vassall, the Surveyor-General, gives account of the loss of the plantation on Charles River, and the reasons. Had his cousin Henry Vassall arrived safely, he said, they had yet been in a flourishing condition, but all their misfortunes were occasioned by the hard terms of their Lordships concessions, which made the friends that sent them out from Barbadoes forsake them. With 200l. in clothing they might have made a comfortable shift for another year. He himself offered to stay if 20 would remain with him, but he could not find six true men so was obliged to leave to his ruin. He feared their Lordships would not have a much better account of their plantation at Roanoke, unless a better course were taken to encourage their stay, for they were not without great cause of complaints (1601). His cousin Henry Vassall, who styles himself sole agent for the adventurers and planters of Cape Fear, explained to the Lords Proprietors how highly dissatisfied the present planters were with their concessions, "they thought these hard enough, but those other concessions intolerable" (1259). In October 1667, Samuel Mavericke informed the Secretary of State that the plantations of Cape Fear were deserted, and that some of the inhabitants had gone to Boston and some to Virginia (1611).
Articles for the surrender of New York to the English were signed at the Governor's Bowry on the 27th August 1664 (794). Several letters had passed between the Dutch Governor Stuyvesant and Colonel Richard Nicolls before the surrender, all of which are abstracted No. 788 ; but I do not find that these are printed in the Documents relative to the Colonial History of New York, edited by John Romeyn Brodhead in 11 volumes, quarto. Nearly all the New York papers calendared in this volume are printed in the above magnificent collection, and with but rare exceptions, most accurately, and they have been of great assistance to me in my labours. I have collated every one referred to in this Calendar and can therefore speak confidently on the subject. Perhaps it may be useful to point out the few omissions and mistakes. In the printed copy of a letter from Samuel Wilks to Colonel Nicolls, No. 1236, wherein he hopes all the colonies will be ready to attend their duty "as the nature of a matter of so momentous a consequence may require," one line, being the words between inverted commas, is omitted. Again, in the report of the Council of Trade to the King, calendared No. 1874, two lines have been omitted from the original in the last paragraph but one, after "to trade with any of their plantations," should be added to the printed copy, "That your Majesty will be graciously pleased forthwith to revoke your said Order of Council and all passes thereupon granted. And if any ship." The documents in French, abstracted Nos. 1227 and 1251, have in part been incorrectly translated. In the letter to M. D'Hinse, surgeon at Albany, instead of the writer complaining that last year seven ships came and we are eight and ten months without people from France, he really said, last year seven ships arrived with 1,800 persons from France, while M. Hertel, writing a few days later to the same person, did not say that he experienced much fatigue during the war last winter and arrived in alarm four or five hours after the governor retired, but he told M. D'Hinse that he was still more displeased when during the war last winter he arrived at the army four or five hours after the Governor retired. But there is a more curious inaccuracy or misprint in Colonel Nicoll's letter to the Commissaries of Albany (1219) where in the New York Documents Nicolls is made to say, your intelligence is mistaken for there are no soldiers quartered and accommodated in the Town, whereas Nicolls wrote and told the Commissaries, that there were 100 soldiers quartered and accommodated in the Town.
There are two papers calendared in this volume of some interest in relation to the surrender of New York. (fn. 4) It seems that some Englishmen who had made a voyage to New Netherlands having been invited by the Raritane Indians to purchase their land, bought a tract to their liking ; upon this the Dutch Governor sent forth a man of war to take them, charged them to depart, and said they should not purchase any land of the Indians, but that if they would submit to the Dutch Government, the Governor himself would purchase the land and give it to them. This offer the Englishmen refused, and being told by their interpreter that the Dutch had tried to persuade the Indians to kill them and bury them in the sand, got out of the river in the night as quietly as they could. But it appeared that the Indians had received them very courteously and had promised to maintain their purchase, so they desired advice how to act, esteeming their lives not dear for the defence of his Majesty's just rights if called thereto (593). The other paper contains an argument at some length upon the right given to a nation to countries pretended to on behalf of the King, which had been discovered by his predecessors and long after hidden from those who now presumed to possess them. It is herein stated that the lands between the east end of Long Island and Delaware Bay were discovered by Henry Hudson, but that differences having arisen with his mariners, Hudson was by them imprisoned, though immediately released by the King's orders. After which he went to Holland where he sold his maps and cards to the Dutch, their cruel conduct committing him to sea in a small boat after they had got what they could of him. That Sir Samuel Argal was commissioned by King James to demand satisfaction of the Dutch and to warn them in the future upon pain of confiscation of goods. After referring to the emigration of noncomformists from Holland to Hudson's River or the west end of Long Island, the writer proceeds, "but the Dutch breaking faith landed them 140 leagues from the place N.E. in a barren country since called Plymouth, and themselves in 1621 settled a factory in Hudson's River through fraud and treachery, to the wearing out of our English interest in that place, and contrary to their engagement to Argal that they would come thither no more, so that in pursuance of said engagement, all the Dutch have there, both ships and goods, stand liable to confiscation." Then follow accounts of the proceedings before Charles I. in Council occasioned by Colonel Powell asserting the King's interest and the obstructions of the Dutch ; the insolence and treachery of the Dutch to the English and Natives, of which an instance is given in the cruel murder of an Indian Sachem by the Dutch who staked him alive for selling lands to Daniel How ; and concludes thus :This miserable state of English interests in that part of the world calls aloud for remedy that they may no longer sustain the intolerable disgrace of submitting to the intrusion of such monsters and bold usurpers (622). Now this paper was written in 1663.
On 29th January, 1664, Sir John Berkeley, Sir George Carteret, and Sir William Coventry reported that they had discoursed with several persons well acquainted with the affairs of New England, some having lately inhabited on Long Island, where they have yet an interest. They further reported that the Dutch on those Colonies did not exceed 1300, the English who lived intermixed with them being about 600 men ; so it seemed very probable that the Dutch might either be reduced to his Majesty's obedience, or dispossessed of their usurped dwellings and forts, if the King would send three ships and about 300 soldiers under good officers. It was also suggested that the King should send letters to the Provinces in New England to be assisting therein (647). It is probable that this report was founded on the arguments above referred to. A month later the King signed a warrant for a grant to his brother, the Duke of York, of lands in America, which included the Province of New York, at that time possessed by the Dutch under the name of New Netherlands. There are four several copies of this warrant (675-678), in two of which the boundaries are differently described. The King's Bill is dated the 8th March, 1664 ; and in this, as well as in the Signet Bill and the Privy Seal, both dated 10th March, there is a variation from the warrants, in the boundaries, which, however, are fully set forth in the Patent, dated 12th March, 1664 (683-685). Dr Palfrey, in his "History of New England" (II. 580), says : "I have never seen the Duke of York's Patent entire. That part which relates to the boundary has been more than once printed." This Patent is enrolled on the Patent Roll of 16 Charles II., Part 8, No. 6, and is abstracted No. 685.
Col. Nicolls, in the instructions he received from the King in April, 1664, was directed to recover his Majesty's rights in those places possessed by the Dutch, and to reduce them to obedience and submission to the King's Government (711-715).
The greater portion of Col. Nicolls' letters, as first English Governor of New York, are printed in the New York documents, but those which are not may readily be distinguished by referring to the index, p. 705. His proclamation to the inhabitants soon after he assumed the government, in draught with corrections in his own hand, has not before been printed (835) ; but the names of those noted in the abstract immediately preceding, who took the oath to be true subjects to King Charles, have. A list of provisions necessary for 300 soldiers, besides officers, who were designed to be kept in pay nine months, but had been continued two years, and must still continue 12 months longer at the least, is worthy of note (1362), as well as the mark of his particular protection, which the King desired to give to an acquisition of such importance as the reducing and settling New York (1480). A complete list of the laws enacted by the Duke of York in 1667, and established at New York, is contained in a MS. volume of 258 pages, abstracted No. 1623.
After "his abode" of four years in New York as Governor, where he lived with great reputation and honour, Gov. Nicolls was in August, 1668, on his return to England. Samuel Maverick gave him this character. He has done the King very considerable service in these parts, having kept persons of different judgments and diverse nations in peace when a great part of the world was in wars ; and as to the Indians, they were never brought into such a peacable posture and fair correspondence as by his means they now are. (1829).
The first letter from Nicolls' successor, Governor Francis Lovelace, is dated from Fort James, 28th August, 1668. (1834).
Servants for the Plantations.
Early in 1661 those Lords of the Privy Council who were Members of the Council for Plantations had debate on a petition of Colonel Tuke concerning proposals for registering planters and servants going to the Plantations (32) ; and a Committee was appointed to consider the best ways of encouraging and furnishing people for the Plantations ; and the powers to be given to justices of the peace to dispose of felons condemned to death for small offences, single men and women found to be sturdy beggars, and loose disorderly people. The Committee was also directed to consider of an office for registering these people, and how the stealing of women and children from their masters and parents might be prevented (101).
The Mayor of Bristol petitioned the King for power to examine ships bound from that port to the Plantations, to see that servants and passengers went of their own free will, for among those from all parts transported to the Plantations as servants the mayor declared that some were husbands who had forsaken their wives, others wives who had abandoned their husbands, some were children and apprentices run away from their parents and masters, while unwary and credulous persons were often tempted on board by men stealers, and many that had been pursued by hue and cry for robberies, burglaries, or "breaking prison" escaped (331). The Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London likewise petitioned the Council to devise some course for the suppression of these evils (770).
Spiriting away people to the Plantations.
The "wicked custom" of seducing or, as it was popularly called, of spiriting away young people to go as servants to the Plantations was much resorted to and loudly complained of. A thriving trade was driven by these spirits, who by fraud or violence sent over servants and others to inhabit the rapidly increasing Plantations. Petitions were presented to Charles II. and his Council from merchants and planters as well as masters of ships against this custom. It was complained that evil-minded persons voluntarily offered to go and having received money, clothes, and other necessaries pretended they were betrayed, carried off without their consent, in short spirited away. Lady Yarborough in a letter to the Under Secretary of State begged for a warrant to search ships for a poor boy of whom she had the care, but who had been stolen away by these spirits as they called them. Sir Heneage Finch, the Attorney-General to whom these petitions were referred, reported that the mischiefs complained of were very frequent, there being scarce any voyage to the Plantations but some were carried away against their wills or pretended to be and so run away. That a registry of passengers would be a proper remedy, and that the King might erect such an office, although the Attorney-General was of opinion it would never effectually be executed without an Act of Parliament. About the same time proposals were made for better accommodating the Plantations with servants, and for constituting an office for transporting thence vagrants, rogues, and idle persons, felons, vagabonds, gipsies, and loose persons "who remain here noxious and unprofitable." (fn. 5) Upon these proposals a Committee of the Council reported, and like Sir Heneage Finch recommended that an Act of Parliament be passed containing the necessary powers and provisions to remedy the evils complained of (769-772, 791).
At length in September 1664, Charles II. granted a Commission to the Duke of York and others to examine all persons going to the Plantations whether they went voluntarily or through any deceitful or sinister practice. The King at the same time erected an office for registering the agreements of persons voluntarily going, and appointed Roger Whitely master of said office with the fee of 40l. a year and such allowances as the planters might agree to give him (798).
Notwithstanding this Commission, however, it was found necessary some years later to resort to Parliament for prevention of these abuses. Sir A. Ashley Cooper was entreated to move it in the House to have a law to make it death to spirit away, and he was at the same time assured that his mercy to these innocent children would ground a blessing upon himself and his own (1720). So on 18th March 1670 an Act was passed to prevent stealing and transporting children and other persons whereby any person spiriting away by fraud or enticement with the design to sell, carry away, or transport any person beyond the sea shall suffer death as a felon without clergy. (fn. 6)
Condemned prisoners sent to the Plantations.
Many condemned prisoners were sent to the Plantations, the names of some will be found at No. 1431, and on reference to the Index. John Style, a prominent inhabitant of Jamaica, writes to Secretary Lord Arlington on this subject with considerable emphasis. Why should not his Majesty (he said) send out a colony, one family from each parish, as the Romans did. Not your convict gaol birds or riotous persons, rotten before they are sent forth, and at best idle and only fit for the mines. Well-disposed people should not be sent as servants for a term which is hateful to a free Englishman, but upon meat, drink, and wages as in England until they can make provision for themselves. These were the conditions he authorised his son to offer ; the ice once broken and the advantage by experience confirmed, he believed that there would in a short time be equal need to restrain by a law such people from coming as there is now to send them (1023). Towards the end of the year 1666 a resolution was passed in reference to the Scotch rebels which added considerably to the population of some of our Colonies. All the Scotch rebel officers and ministers were ordered to be hanged ; of the common sort one in 10 was to be executed, one in 10 "forced to confession," and the rest sent to the Plantations (1351).
Sir Joseph Williamson.
Crowds of minutes relating to the American Colonies in Williamson's handwriting will be found in this volume, some of which, as will be noticed in the abstracts of them, are scarcely accurate. This is the more to be wondered at, as he is known to have been most painstaking in the numerous official employments which he held during forty years of his life. Some of these were of the highest trust and importance, for not only did he fill the office of Under Secretary of State for a considerable time, but he took a prominent part at the Congress of Cologne and in the Treaties of Nimeguen and Ryswick, and was also Ambassador in Holland, Keeper of his Majesty's State Papers, and Secretary of State. (fn. 7)
II. Our Colonial possessions in America.
II. Our Colonial Possessions in America at the opening date of this volume were Acadia, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, the Bermudas, and a part of the country which has since been divided into British, French, and Dutch Guiana, for although Canada, with the fort of Quebec, was taken from the French by the brothers Kirke early in the preceding reign (July 1629), it was soon afterwards ordered by Charles I. to be restored to France. (fn. 8)
Acadia and Nova Scotia.
The country of Acadia and Nova Scotia is described as the largest of his Majesty's possessions, abounding in good harbours, rivers, lands, and timber, and incredibly fruitful in mines and in fish (1486, 1877). The rival claimants were so numerous that statesmen may well have been perplexed and confused with the history as they were with the geography of the country. (fn. 9) From the first grant of King James to Lord Stirling in 1621 the title to the country came into dispute, and so it remained, although it was supposed more than once to have been settled. Early in 1662 Charles II. directed the Council for Foreign Plantations to take into consideration the interests of the several pretenders, and to report to the King in Council their sense of the whole matter (224).
Sir Lewis and John, Sir David, and their brothers, Thomas and James Kirke, Francis Berkeley, William Earl of Stirling, his daughters, Ladies Mary and Jane, Colonel Blount, who married the Earl's widow, Thomas Elliott, of the King's bedchamber, Capt. Thos. Breedon, Lord de Latour, Colonel Thomas Temple, (fn. 10) and William Crowne were all claimants to the right and title to Acadia and Nova Scotia. (fn. 11)
The country, if not "first discovered by Latour," was certainly first settled by him and his father, who lived 15 years among the savages before any grant was passed, (fn. 12) and, having built St. John's Fort, engaged Sir William Alexander to support his right and title and take part of his interest. So Sir William obtained the first grant of the country, and at vast expense and the loss of his whole fortune, planted a colony there. Nine years afterwards the Earl of Stirling conveyed part of Nova Scotia to Latour, and in 1632, at the King's persuasion, surrendered Port Royal to the French for 10,000l., issuable out of the revenue of Scotland, which was never paid. Hence arose the pretensions of the Earl's widow, who married Colonel Blount, and of his heirs. In the Earl's right came Sir Lewis Kirke, Francis Berkeley, and others, who bestowed vast sums in planting that country under contract with the Earl, and who surrendered their interest to the French for 60,000l., which was never satisfied. Then the French at Port Royal made war upon Latour at St. John's Fort, who, going to New England for succour, mortgaged St. John's to Major Gibbons, but found on his return that his fort had been seized by D'Aulney, his men put to the sword, and his wife poisoned. Latour then repaired to France for justice ; the King disavowed the action and gave Latour power to sieze D'Aulney, but he found on his return that D'Aulney had been drowned by one of his own servants, so Latour married the widow and took possession of Port Royal and Penobscot by that right. In 1655 Major Sedgwick, without orders, turned his forces upon the French in Nova Scotia, seized Latour's forts, killed his men, demolished his chief fort, plundered him to above 10,000l., and brought him prisoner to England. Cromwell restored the forts and country to Latour, who for his adherence to England was condemned in France as a traitor (210, 1598-1600, 1809). Colonel Temple then purchased Latour's interest for 8,000l. (1641).
From a statement made by Temple and Crowne of how they became proprietors it appears that Latour, being unable to pay 1,800l. to Cromwell's soldiers and 3,376l. 18s. to the relict of Major Gibbons, of New England, for redemption of the mortgage on St. John's Fort, sold his interest to them (111). So in 1656 Cromwell granted under the Great Seal of England to Charles St. Etienne Lord de Latour, William Crowne, and Thomas Temple for ever, the territory denominated Acadia and part of the country called Nova Scotia, extending along the coast to Pentagoet and to the river St. George, (fn. 13) which was erected into a province independent of New England. Thus for the first time was introduced that confusion with regard to Acadia and Nova Scotia which so perplexed statesmen in after times by considering those as two different countries that were in truth the same ; the former containing the latter and more, and Acadia advancing westward until it met with the settlement of New England. (fn. 14)
But the rival claims of the English grantees were supplemented by a "claim by the French Ambassador in Council" (225, see also 1644). He demanded the restitution of Acadia, but in urging his royal master's right to the forts in New France, as he called it, "with the countries thereupon depending," fell into a strange blunder. He accused Temple, who, he said, called himself Oliver Cromwell's lieutenant in America, of violence in the house of one De la Have (241). The "Proprietors," Latour, Temple, and Crowne replied that they never heard of any complaint of violence by Temple in the house of one De la Have, neither was there any such man in the land, but that there was a place so called which Temple purchased from Latour ; and they in turn complained of the hostile proceedings of Le Bourne and his barbarous usage of the English in turning them upon an island to live upon grass and wade in the water for lobsters to keep them alive (226). In Richard Cromwell's time the French offered to give up all their claim to the country if they might enjoy that part of it from La Have northward to New France or Canada (241).
The title of the English was argued at considerable length, with quotations from legal authorities on both sides, and the opinion of Sir Wadham Wyndham was in favour of the right of King Charles (243). Further papers on this subject are abstracted, Nos. 1598-1600, wherein it is stated that the lands being first discovered by Cabot at the charge of Henry VII., the first patent was given to Sir Humphrey Gylberte ; then patents were granted to the Virginia Company, and a subdivision being made, a part was given to New England, another to Sir William Alexander the first Earl of Stirling to New Scotland, who afterwards sent expressly to discover a place for habitation, having heard that the French had been removed from Port Royal by Sir Samuel Argal about ten years before. It is alleged that during the reign of King James there was no complaint made upon Argal for having displanted the French (1600) but this statement is opposed to the facts, as may be seen by reference to the State Papers, France, of 1614, where there is a long State Paper entitled an Answer to the Complaints presented by the French Ambassador de Buisseaux, the fourth and eighth articles of which have reference to the force used by Argal in carrying out his commission. (fn. 15)
The question then arose whether the right of propriety in the country was in Latour, Temple, and Crowne by Cromwell's grant, in the Kirkes, Berkeley, and others for their 60,000l., Gibbons for his mortgage, or the Earl of Sterling's heirs for their 10,000l. The first discovery of Canada and possession were by the English. Afterwards the French planted and kept it, when the Scotch Patent was granted to Nova Scotia, and were again ejected by the English ; but at the peace Quebec was restored, yet so as the right of the English was not taken away. So that if the English had right the Scotch Patent cannot take it from them. If the French usurped, it was upon the English, and were not ejected by the Scotch, so that the Scotch Patent could not be of force against the one or the other. And if in the restitution of Quebec there was a reservation of the right of the English and no reservation thereof, it remains entire both against French and all other. Such was the opinion of Sir John Coke (1600). But in pursuance of the 10th and 11th articles of the treaty of Breda the King commanded Col. Temple, the governor of Nova Scotia to restore to the King of France the country called L'Accadie which the most christian King formerly enjoyed. Temple was at the same time warned that it was only the country of L'Accadie he was to restore and not any part of Nova Scotia or any other country or province, or any part even of L'Accadie itself but what originally belonged to the King of France, and was taken from him by the English (1635-38). If any of the inhabitants of Acadia preferred to live under the King of Great Britain it was agreed by the treaty that they should be permitted to withdraw (within one year of the restitution of said country) and sell or dispose as they pleased of their lands, goods and slaves, or carry them away without molestation (1654) (fn. 16).
One of the privileges granted by King James to Sir Wm. Alexander was the power to create baronets of Nova Scotia. The country was annexed to the Crown of Scotland by four Acts of Parliament and the Lord De Latour and his eldest son were made baronets of Nova Scotia (1809. 112). King Charles II. himself granted the title of baronet of the kingdom of Nova Scotia under the great seal to Col. Thos. Temple and his heirs male (321) and we gather from a petition to the King that there were external badges to distinguish the Orders of the Garter, the Bath and Nova Scotia but that there was no such badge to distinguish baronets from knights bachelors (208).
Newfoundland was granted by King James I. to Sir George Calvert afterwards Lord Baltimore, but in 1637 "the whole continent, island, or region called Newfoundland" was granted by King Charles I. to Sir David Kirke who took over one hundred persons to inhabit there. In a letter to Archbishop Laud from Ferryland in October 1639, Sir David Kirke says that the air of Newfoundland agrees perfectly well with all God's creatures except Jesuits and schismatics, and that a great mortality amongst the former tribe had so affrighted my lord of Baltimore that he had utterly deserted the country. Their chiefest safety was a strict observance of the rites and service of the Church of England and he doubted not but the country would be numerously peopled in a short time. Immediately after the Restoration, Cecil, Lord Baltimore, petitioned the King about his father's grant. He said that his father had begun a plantation in Newfoundland, built a fair house in which he resided and expended above 30,000l. That after his decease, Sir David Kirke surreptitiously obtained a patent, went over the following year, and dispossessed the petitioner of all his rights there, and he prayed that no grant might pass to his prejudice and to be restored to his rights. (fn. 17) When Sir David Kirke returned to England some ten years before, he was sued by Lord Baltimore for dispossessing him of his house, goods, and rights, and for keeping him out of possession many years to his prejudice of above 20,000l., and he was laid in prison where he died before making any satisfaction (62). After this the King commanded Sir Lewis Kirke and the heirs of Sir David to give up possession of houses and land belonging to Lord Baltimore, who then appointed Capt. Swanley his deputy in the government of the country (452).
From its first discovery until the Treaty of 1632 the French had never been permitted to fish at Newfoundland, but after that treaty the French who traded to Canada and Acadia made dry fish there, and "presumed" to raise a garrison. They soon became more numerous than the English planters. A governor was dispatched from Rochelle with two stout ships of war, and in 1665 were laden at least 100 great ships with dry fish. About this time the merchants of London, Bristol, Southampton, Plymouth, Dartmouth, and Weymouth petitioned the King complaining of the prejudice they sustained by the Dutch under De Ruyter in June 1665, by calculation 36,000l., and their great fear of the French "now planted there." By the product of this fishing trade the King's customs amounted to 40,000l. per annum, and the return to the nation to 300,000l., and they prayed His Majesty to secure the country by fortifying it (1666). But the French were encouraged by their King to continue to plant there, for by proclamation Louis XIV. allowed masters of ships five livres for every man and three for every woman carried to Newfoundland. In two years the French had planted between thirty and forty guns in the best harbours, and showed their King's broad seal for government of the island. The English were driven from their habitations, and said they must desert the land if there were not some timely remedy. The fishermen robbed, killed, and spoiled the inhabitants as much as they had done before the Restoration. So Charles II. was entreated to send a frigate or two to remove the French, and proposals and reasons were presented to the King for the settlement of the country. In 1668 it was said that Newfoundland was the greatest, if not the only nursery for seamen, and that when the trade flourished it bred 10,000 seamen yearly. That under a government the fishery produced 50,000l. customs and brought to the nation 500,000l. per annum. That the French had possessed themselves of three of the best harbours and used all means to debauch His Majesty's subjects to live under their protection, and that they would in case of war quickly possess the whole country. If they should take Newfoundland it was asserted that, whereas they employed 400 sail and 18,000 seamen, and the English 300 sail and 15,000 seamen, they would employ near 700 ships and 30,000 seamen, and the English be shut out of 700,000l. yearly. That it was only by a settled government that the English could avoid the abuses of the ungoverned seamen, who dealt with them as they pleased, and be preserved from sea rovers and enemies, have equal justice, a minister to christen, marry, instruct, and bury them, and not live as they lived now, like brutes. The having no officers of Christianity, "so that the very natives take notice of it," the want of justice, destruction of stages, houses, woods, and harbours were said to be some of the consequences of the want of a governor (1730-1).
To defray the charges of government it was proposed that every fishing boat should pay a certain custom. But this impost was strongly objected to by the merchants, owners, and masters of ships, who in their reply to Capt. Robinson's proposals to the King in Council argued that such imposition was positively contrary to several Acts of Parliament, and that the memory of Sir David Kirke's actions was little encouragement for another Governor. That the many tippling houses and taverns were first created by Kirke to his own advantage, which was the first cause of debauching the seamen and of the increase of the inhabitants. That if another governor followed he would doubtless continue the same. That laws were violated by the inhabitants, and not by the fishing ships, which would be prevented if the inhabitants were removed. That the English possessions reached near 300 miles, with 48 fishing places, and that if St. John's were fortified and a governor resident there, it would signify nothing to the other places. They therefore conceived that a governor would be more disadvantageous than profitable either to the public or to the trade, and they asserted that as the Newfoundland fishery was contrary to charter, already carried on by the inhabitants and boat keepers in great part, so if a governor were settled and the inhabitants continued, the trade would in a few years be removed from this kingdom and become as the fishery of New England managed altogether by the inhabitants, so that not one ship had sailed on that employment out of England for seven years (1729-1732).
The Bermudas or Somers Islands were granted in 1615 to the Earl of Southampton and others by the name of the Company of the City of London for the plantation of the Somers Islands, who governed the plantation and managed their own affairs without any charge to the Crown. The customs from tobacco imported thence amounted to thousands of pounds yearly, so the King occasionally granted them supplies of powder and ammunition out of His Majesty's stores (1334-5). A collection of Laws and Orders with the rental of the public land and an account of the glebes and ministers' entertainment and respective settlements will be found No. 399. The colony was proprietary, so that there are but few papers relating to the history of it in this calendar. Lieut.-Gen. Sir J. H. Lefroy sometime Governor of the Bermudas has compiled from the colonial records two thick 8vo. volumes of Memorials of the Discovery and early Settlement of the Bermudas which includes the State Papers of value preserved in this department.
Several attempts were made in the reign of Charles I. to plant and colonize the river Amazon and the country of Guiana. As early as 1627 the Duke of Buckingham granted Roger North two prize ships for that service, and certain "inducements" were propounded to the King to take the adventurers to Guiana and their plantation under his protection. One George Griffith also sent men to plant on the coast. In a petition to the King in 1638 he said that his Majesty's subjects were the first Christians who ever planted there, that the design was very hopeful, and he prayed the King to encourage adventurers to underwrite so that Englishmen might be planted there before the Dutch or any other nation. (fn. 18) In 1650 Francis Lord Willoughby furnished out a vessel, and by treaty with the natives of that part of Guiana called Surinam began to settle a colony there, and at his own cost equipped a ship of 20 guns, and two smaller vessels with things necessary for the support of the plantation. Two years later, for the better settling of the colony, he went in person, fortified and furnished it with things requisite for defence and trade, and in March 1654 the Council of State, upon the report of a petition from Lord Willoughby, recommended that letters patent should be granted to him and his heirs of a large tract of land which comprised the Colony of Surinam. (fn. 19)
The King's interest in Surinam extended to the Orinoco, and the whole tract of land was about 350 square leagues. Lord Willoughby had expended near 20,000l. at Surinam, and he desired 30 leagues for himself and his heirs, but the Committee for Foreign Plantations thought that too much for one man (83.) Their report is dated May 1661, but in May 1663, Charles II. taking into consideration the faithful services of Lord Willoughby, and his desire that Lawrence Hyde, second son of Edward Earl of Clarendon might be joined with him, granted to them jointly all that part of the mainland in Guiana called Surinam by the name of Willoughby Land, except 30,000 acres reserved to his Majesty for demesne (451.) The colony is described at this time as in good order with about 4,000 "generous and obliging" inhabitants ; the country as healthy and fruitful and abounding with strange rarities both of beasts, fish, reptiles, insects, and vegetables, the which for shape and colour were wonderful, the air moderately hot and the natives numerous (577.) Towards the end of the year 1666, the inhabitants were infected with a wasting sickness and in a condition rather to invite than repel an enemy's force. While in this condition a Dutch fleet of seven sail with 1,000 men under Admiral Crynsens anchored before the fort. A summons was sent to Governor Byam to surrender, with a promise that all the inhabitants should retain their possessions, but that in case of refusal no quarter would be given. Governor Byam refused ; but after two or three hours fighting was forced to surrender, having but 50 lbs. of powder left (1421, 1814.) The narrative and articles of surrender will be found abstracted, Nos. 1421-2. About six months after the Dutch had obtained possession, Sir John Harman, with a large fleet appeared before the fort at Surinam, and on 7th October 1667, it surrendered and became once more an English possession. A Court-martial was held upon Governor Byam at his own request in reference to his surrender of the fort to the Dutch, which declared that he had in all particulars demeaned himself as became a loyal subject, a valorous prudent commander, and an honourable person (1540.) But in accordance with the 3rd and 6th Articles of the Treaty of Breda, the Colony of Surinam was ordered by the King in Council to be again surrendered to the Dutch (1638, 1785-6).
Paramaribo and Essequibo.
The Dutch having thus got a part of Guiana from the English, claimed the whole main (1812). They had before possessed themselves of several islands within the extent of his Majesty's Commission, and of some settlements in Guiana, regarding which Lord Willoughby, then Governor of Barbadoes, desired to know his Majesty's pleasure (830.) Berbice was at this time in possession of the Dutch, though it was daily expected that Lord Willoughby would reduce it with other Dutch colonies (944, 1067.) He set out 300 men and took Paramaribo and Essequibo, and Secretary Lord Arlington was informed in January 1666, that both Berbice and Curaao would be taken, and then the English would have all the Dutch trade in the West Indies (1126).
There is a narrative in detail of the taking of Cayenne from the French, who fought most valiantly. They began "according to the custom of their nation to charge furiously." If ever officers in the Indies fought like themselves and their soldiers like men it was here. The French Governor de Lezy and a considerable number were wounded, besides 23 killed on the French side, while on the English side the Commander of the Forlorn was shot in seven places, two of his men were wounded and one killed. Thirty-nine pieces of ordnance and large quantities of arms and ammunition were found in the fort. The forts and strong buildings were demolished, "the stock of Cayenne fully destroyed, the best of the buildings left in the last of their flames and more plunder, consisting of negroes, sugar, coppers, stills, mills, cattle, and horses carried away than will ever be known" (1540).
III. Our Colonial possessions in the West Indies.
III. Our Colonial possessions in the West Indies at this period were Antigua, Dominica, Montserrat, Nevis, and St. Christopher, the Leeward Isles ; Barbadoes, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and Tobago, the Windward Isles ; and Jamaica. Grenada, although included in Lord Willoughby's grant of the Caribbee Islands, was sold by the French West India Company to Du Parquet, the Governor of Martinique, who in 1668 had a great desire to "swop" it for St. Kitts, lately taken by the French, and which Lord Willoughby thought would be no ill bargain. (fn. 20) There was no grant or settlement of the Bahama Islands before 1670.
Antigua is described as a brave island, not inferior in bigness to Barbadoes, and worth all the rest of the Leeward Islands except Barbadoes, because of its fertile soil and incomparable safe harbours, and of its great consequence to the King (1663, 1692-4). It was frequently subject to the incursions of French and Indians, who three or four times a month would visit the island, so that the whole business of the planters was to keep what they had, and but for Lieut.-General Willoughby and 500 men with him the French had soon been masters of the island. When he draws off his men, wrote the President of the Council, we shall be in great danger except ships come from England, for the seas are now altogether in obedience to the French (1224). And so it turned out, for a few months after Willoughby left the island, the French landed in November 1666 after a short opposition, and pursuing the Governor into the woods took him prisoner, some of the inhabitants escaping in boats to Nevis. Another account says that the French came with English colours, landed without opposition, and surprised the fort and Governor, and that they had 18 ships, and landed 1,500 men (1347, 1390). Henry Willoughby told Secretary Lord Arlington that Antigua was attempted by 15 French ships, with about 700 or 800 men, who by the treachery and cowardice of several of the inhabitants met with little opposition, and after imposing the oath of allegiance to the French King, plundered them of goods and arms and left them to the mercy of the Indians, contrary to the articles of surrender. This base usage, he added, made the people of Nevis and Montserrat more resolute and forward (1400).
Francis Lord Willoughby had set out from Barbadoes in the previous July with a fleet for the relief of the Leeward Islands, but before he could reach Antigua the fleet was dispersed in a storm, some of the ships were lost, and Lord Willoughby himself was drowned (1258). His brother Lord William, who succeeded to the government, arrived at Antigua with a fleet towards the end of April 1667. They burnt several French ships, retook Antigua and Montserrat, and put the people in such heart that they feared not any enemy (1512). He told the King in 1668 that Antigua had been cruelly fired and plundered by the French ; then by their advice the Indians treated men, women, and children most inhumanly ; and lastly, some Irish destroyed what was left. That Antigua had suffered more than any of the other Leeward Isles, but was incomparably the best, and that if it had due encouragement from the King it would become a second Barbadoes (1663-1692).
The inhabitants of Antigua in a petition to Governor Willoughby expressed their thankfulness for his care of them, and in a paper of proposals they desired church government to be established among them, oblivion for their compulsory obedience to the French, that their courts of justice might be in the hands of honest and able men, and that every man might have the title to his estate renewed, except such as had run away to the French, with other requests and privileges, nearly all of which were granted (1687-8).
There were at this time about 1,100 men upon the island formed into a regiment, but the greater part wanted arms. An Act was passed allowing 10 acres per head to settlers, and two places were set apart upon which to build towns adjoining the most commodious harbours. At the same time convenient lands were reserved for the King's use near the best harbour, called English harbour. The inhabitants were "suddenly" to produce great crops of tobacco, as also sugar, for which a supply of negroes was necessary. But one of the chiefest wants of all the islands was pious, learned, and orthodox divines (1788).
The King in his instructions to William Lord Willoughby in February 1667 gave similar powers to those previously given to his brother Francis Lord Willoughby, to treat with the natives in the West Indies, especially with those of St. Vincent and Dominica ; but if they were injurious or contumacious to persecute them with fire and sword (489, 1403). So in February 1668 Lord Willoughby instructed Major James Walker to take Captain Thos. Warner to Dominica, and if he could beget a good understanding between Warner and his allies to leave him there, with orders to bring the French party over to peace with our nation, and to procure a general release of the English captives who had been taken there by the French from Antigua, Montserrat, &c. But if it were found unsafe, after trial of the humour of the Indians, to leave Warner, then to bring him back to Barbadoes, with such of the captives and Indians as he could, attacking and destroying the Indians and their towns. Warner was the son of Sir Thos. Warner, Governor of St. Kitts ; but though his mother was an Indian he was educated and lived with his father until he was 30 years of age, and received a commission to be Deputy Governor of Dominica. He suffered exceedingly by the French, by whom he had been taken prisoner for his loyalty to the English. It was objected by the French General De la Barre that Warner had never lived as a Christian, but as a Caribbee, and that his return to Dominica would cause a broil with the natives, who, De la Barre said, the French must support, as having ceded the island to them ; but Lord Willoughby insisted that Dominica was within his own government, and though inhabited by Indians he saw no reason why the English should not settle there and the Indians be brought under the King's obedience, which they eventually were by treaty in 1668 (1663, 1690, 1693, 1717, 1788, 1901).
News arrived in London in January 1667 that Montserrat was wholly reduced by the French, and the inhabitants like to be starved for want of provisions (1392-3). Governor Sir Thos. Modyford informed Sec. Lord Arlington that the French had had success on Montserrat and that upwards of 600 of the inhabitants had come to Jamaica extremely plundered, even to their very shirts, so that many would have perished had they not been relieved by the charity of the planters (1456). So Capt. Berry was sent with a fleet to relieve Montserrat and Nevis and destroy the French ships, and he succeeded in fetching off 400 Englishmen from Montserrat ; two Frenchmen who had been left Governors were taken prisoners (1477), and the French and Irish upon the island were sent to Nevis (1528). The inhabitant freeholders of Montserrat in a petition to Governor Willoughby said they had been conquered by the French under De la Barre, and were by them possessed and governed some months, but that Capt. Berry reduced the island upon which they were reinvested in the small residue of their estates. And they prayed to be confirmed in their former possessions and privileges (1668).
Montserrat is described as a fine little island with as much plantable land as Nevis, very fertile and well settled, but far short of Antigua, "cruelly destroyed" by the French and almost wholly possessed by Irish, many of whom, for behaving as their countrymen did at Antigua were "fairly hanged," and others when hunted out of the woods were promised the same fate. The rest, about 400, swore to be loyal, and I believe them said Governor Willoughby until an enemy appear (1663, 1692, 1724). How the Irish behaved in Montserrat is described in a declaration of the inhabitants themselves. They said they had been devastated in the late war above any of their neighbours not only by their enemies, but likewise in a most barbarous and inhuman manner had been robbed, plundered and almost utterly consumed by a party of rebellious Irish, their neighbours, in such sort as it was almost impossible either for man or pen to describe (1676). Lieut.-Col. Stapleton, a gentlemen of known valour and integrity, born in Ireland and therefore understanding the better to govern his countrymen, was in July 1668 commissioned Governor of Montserrat (1788).
The Council and Assembly acknowledged the blessing of God in the almost miraculous restoration of the King, whose appearance, they said, like the rising of the sun soon dispelled all those condensed fogs of malignity and oppression in that almost depraved nation [of England]. But they complained in conjunction with the other Leeward Islands that they were now debarred from that freedom of trade which they had formerly enjoyed, by reason of the Acts of Trade and Navigation which had lately been passed in Parliament (731, 804).
Now though De Ruyter could not boast of what he had done at Barbadoes, for in truth, he was not only unable to carry away any shipping from thence, but himself received considerable damage, yet at the Leeward Isles he had better success and carried away 16 ships from Montserrat and Nevis (992). As soon as the Governor of St. Kitts received the King's proclamation of war against France he requested assistance from Nevis, whereupon Governor Russell sent him 400 men, but on a second application he was told the island could not spare any more (1181). When St. Christopher was taken by the French in April 1666, men, women, and children to the number of 2,000 were sent to Nevis "to the great weakening of the island, provisions being extremely scarce" (1214). In consequence of letters from Governor Russell stating that Lieut.-Gen. Henry Willoughby was expected in Nevis, and that his presence would be a reviving to the inhabitants and a security to the King's interest, he was ordered to depart forthwith and conduct the forces there (1458). Lord Willoughby shortly afterwards informed the King that had not his son Harry stuck close to Nevis it had been lost, still he said the island was in so desperate a condition for want of provisions and arms that further relief was necessary to enable them to hold out (1476-7). The French were about to attack it with 4,000 men and 1,500 Indians, but happening to take a sloop sent by Lt.-Gen. Willoughby to assure Governor Russell that within ten days they should have ten sail of stout ships, the French mistaking the style apprehended they would be down the next day and so desisted from their design (fn. 21) [1484).
A battle between the English and French fleets was, however, imminent, and on the 10th May, 1667, they met in Nevis-road. The two fleets engaged, and the fight continued more than four hours. On our side were ten ships and a fire ship, under the command of Capt. Berry ; on the enemy's side, twenty men-of-war and ten or twelve other vessels. During the fight a ship of Bristol blew up, and most of her seamen and thirty soldiers were killed. Our fleet behaved like Englishmen, and drove the enemy before them to the very shore of St. Kitts, where they took shelter under Basse-terre town. The French in this action sustained considerable loss ; on our side only 24 men were killed and 28 wounded, and our ships came off well. The want of re-inforcements was urged upon the Home Government again and again. We cannot long even defend ourselves without considerable supplies from England, said Lord Willoughby, for if France and Holland be on one side, and on the other only Barbadoes and Nevis, who can expect but that in the end they will prove too weighty. Had our fleet been beaten at Nevis, that poor island would not have met with gentle usage, for De la Barre declared he would give no quarter. He had a considerable force, and the Cannibal Indians plied off during the fight in their boats, as it were hovering over their prey. There were great numbers of negroes in arms, and the French had stirred up the Indians against us, so that there were enough altogether to devour many such places as Nevis. But the courage of our men was good (1488). Happily Sir John Harman arrived in the nick of time from Martinique, where he had destroyed the French fleet. Being now masters of the sea, wrote Governor Russell, we hope in good time to be masters of the land (1521). Lord Willoughby told the King that the charge of preserving Nevis, which otherwise had been undeniably lost, had not been less than 50,000l., and they were then going to fortify themselves at no less expense (1539).
The question which arose towards the end of 1667 whether it would not be convenient to separate the government of Barbadoes from Antigua, Montserrat, Nevis, and St. Kitts was strongly opposed by Gov. Lord Willoughby. He told the Council for Plantations that Barbadoes had gained Antigua and Montserrat with the fleet set out at their own charge, which afterwards preserved Nevis, and by that means Nevis outlived this last storm of war. He said he did not use this argument to gain a territory, it being his right by patent. He was then about to visit Nevis, and to bring that island into better order than his brother Russell had yet modelled it (1650).
On his arrival in January, 1668, Lord Willoughby opened the Assembly with a speech in which he said that though he was no good orator, yet he hoped he should so speak as to be understood, and that they would like plain dealing best. He requested them to lay aside all animosities, said he was sorry to see the effects of the late hurricane, and to ease them had taken care for the speedy removal of the soldiers, but was heartily glad that through his own care in supplying them with shipping, soldiers, and other necessaries at vast charge, whilst their neighbours had been destroyed and laid in ashes they had been preserved, and he exhorted them first to serve God and next their King. (1665.)
In a report to the King of his visit to the Leeward Islands, where he had been seven weeks "dashing to and again among them," Lord Willoughby reckoned the people, 1,200 fighting men at least, to be good subjects (1692). To the Privy Council he reported in July, 1668, that the late war and long settling had much decayed, and the late hurricane greatly injured the island. The inhabitants, too, were overburthened with ruined families forced thither for refuge during the war, but were exceedingly grateful and civil to the soldiers even beyond their abilities. The island was sickly, and many of the chief settlers were removing to Antigua (1788). A petition of Governor Russell, the Council and Assembly of Nevis to the King relates how the ships of war under Capt. Berry and Sir John Harman preserved them from the cruel French and bloody Indian cannibals, whilst on all their neighbouring fellow subjects were such outrages committed "as cannot easily be rased out of the memory." During this time the only refuge for 5,000 distressed men, women, and children was their poor island, which had long been besieged, so that no provisions came to their relief, and at last their chiefest food was the herbs of the field boiled with salt only, insomuch that, had it not been for the officers and soldiers, the commonalty would have rather yielded to the sword than to famine. In this juncture two ships from Hamburgh were, by the Council at which Major-General Sir Tobias Bridge was present, allowed, contrary to the Acts of Trade and Navigation, to supply the island with provisions for payment. So petitioners implored the King's pardon, since they were able by a cloud of testimonies to prove that his Majesty's service and their own groaning necessities compelled them rather to fly to his pardon than to perish and become murderers. So the King directed the Attorney-General to prepare a Bill to pass the Great Seal containing his Majesty's free pardon to all concerned, with a remission of the penalties incurred (1880, 1893).
The island of St. Christopher was inhabited by the French at both ends, while the English in the middle were divided from them by mountains through which there was only passage for men on foot (1179). As soon as the King's declaration of war against France reached Governor Watts he gave the French General, De la Salle, according to agreement, three days' warning, one account says, 24 hours, telling him that he must then expect an assault ; Governor Watts had been re-inforced with 500 men from Nevis and 200 buccaneers under the command of the valiant Colonel Morgan. So but little if any preparation was made by the English, who depended upon their own strength which was two to one of the French or even more. At the expiration of the time agreed upon the French General asked for 48 hours longer, which Governor Watts granted without consulting his Council, but the next morning De la Salle marched from Basse-terre with a considerable body of horse and foot as well as negroes armed with bills, hoes, and fire brands, each negro having been promised a white wife and freedom as well as plunder. They burnt all before them, the houses and the people in them, killing men, women, and children without opposition, and advanced three miles within the English quarters to St. Nicholas Town where Mrs. Jordan, a gentlewoman of good reputation, endeavoured by flight to save herself with three or four children, but the whole party was forced back by the French soldiers into their own house and burnt. Lieutenant Hoskins perceiving a negro ready to set fire to St. Nicholas church cut off his head and so put a temporary stop to the rest of the negroes, but General De la Salle advancing with two "Religious," Hoskins with his men retired into a thicket near the Church and at one volley killed the General, the two "Religious," and several others. After a pause the French again advanced, and though Hoskins and his men fought with great bravery they were overpowered by numbers and all put to the sword, and all the next day the French continued burning and killing. While this was going on Colonel Morgan went to Governor Watts, "whom he found in his gown and slippers in his own house," and presenting a pistol to his breast called him coward and traitor and swore, buccaneer like, to shoot him if he did not immediately "fall on." Upon which the forces from Nevis advanced to the French Quarter near Sandy Point where a garrison of 200 well armed men received them with much resolution. After much hard fighting the English obtained possession of this post, but Governor Watts coming up with 200 or 300 men fired at both French and English, killed 40 or 50 English and shot Colonel Morgan through both thighs and was himself shot through the head. Another account says that most of the buccaneers were killed or wounded and the Irish in the rear "(always a bloody and perfidious people to the English protestant interest)" fired volleys into the front and killed more than the enemy of our own forces. Most of the officers fell, Colonel Morgan shot in both legs and mortally wounded, Governor Watts, Squire Darcy the Royal African Company's factor, and many more killed. The main body of the French then pushed forward ; thousands of women and children with great shrieks disheartened the rest of the English, some of whom saved themselves in boats while others made the best terms they could with the enemy. After this the English made but little opposition, being betrayed into submission by Colonel Reymes, who made them believe the French had 2,000 fresh men landed at Basseterre, in which villany he was seconded by Colonel Lovering and Lieutenant Clarke, so that the enemy who at first implored mercy were now entreated to show pity, and by Thursday night the French were masters of the whole island and of twice the number of prisoners as themselves, and set up their flag in Charles Fort. Numbers were sent off to New England and Virginia and about 1,500 to Nevis, "this little spot being now a mere hospital." Squire Darcy behaved gallantly and was killed at head of his troop of horse. This relation was had from Squire Warner, Squire Austen, and other considerable persons of Antigua, and is also taken from a letter from Francis Sampson, Secretary of Nevis (1212, 1214, 1220).
There are several other accounts of the loss of St. Kitts in which the conduct of Governor Watts is very differently spoken of. Governor Lord Willoughby gave no credit to the accounts of Governor Watts' cowardice, and told Charles II. he behaved very well. Lord Willoughby in his report to the King said that the French, better supplied and better instructed, surprised the English, destroyed all with fire and sword, and had become masters of the windward half of the island. Though supplied with a trained band of 1,000 men the alarm caused the English of the leeward side to advance into French ground where they met with a very hot reception, the privateers who fought stoutly lost most of them their lives and the Governor who behaved very well and received five wounds was killed. The fighting of the planters could not be at all commended. It appeared that the French beat up their outguards and so fell in pell mell among the planters with fire and sword and quickly became masters of that part of the English ground, which struck such terror into the rest on the other side of the island that they gave it up without a stroke (1204-5). Lieut.-General Willoughby, nephew to Lord Willoughby, in his letter to Williamson says, that the loss of St. Kitts was through the cowardice and treachery of Lieut.-Col. Lovering, who most dishonourably cut down the King's flag, of Colonel Reymes, and others (1273). Margaret, the widow of Governor Watts, in a letter to Sir William Darcy at Whitehall told him that "her dear Watts and Sir William's son, patricians both, fell in one hour," and that though there were above 1,600 well armed men their treacherous officers would not suffer them to fight but cowardly surrendered to the French, and she and her fatherless child were forced to fly for their lives without enough to buy provisions. She described her sufferings in Nevis where she met with Job's friends who said her husband was the traitor that had sold the island and they hoped he was ere this in hell. She was kindly welcomed at Barbadoes by Lord Willoughby who "threw it aside" as not to be credited of a man who received so many wounds as Governor Watts, and yet fought on to the last gasp. All accounts agree as to the conduct of Colonel Reymes. He told his men he would make as honourable terms with the French as ever they had with the English and wrote to the French General craving submission, and it is said had not so much honour as to demand the corpse of his commander which he hoped would appease their wrath, All who would not take the oath of allegiance to the French King fled off the island, but most of the rich ones valued their money above their God and stayed with Reymes who conducted the enemy to the English quarters, took down the English and put up the French flag. This is the account given by the widow of Governor Watts (1206). Another account says, whether by the treachery of Watts or his too much forwardness or the cowardice and treachery of other commanders, as Colonel Reymes and Captain Nicholas Taylor, the island is now possessed by the French. On seeing the English force, which was three if not four times the number of their own, the French concluded to send for conditions, but before they could do so, a flag of truce was sent by the English which was received with no small alacrity, and they laid down their arms before they were scarce demanded (1214). The articles of surrender are dated 11th April 1666 (1180).
Some inhabitants of St. Kitts, who afterwards came to England, reported to the English Government that the island was lost through the cowardice and indiscretion of the Governor and those chiefly entrusted there (1278). Sir John Knight told Secretary Lord Arlington that St. Kitts was betrayed by the Governor, who was thereupon pistolled and killed by Colonel Morgan ; and that Colonel Reymes and some of the chiefest of the island had revolted to the French and possessed their estates (1257, see also 1254). The cruelties of the French were loudly condemned in England, and "the country was vehemently exasperated against the French barbarism" (1235, 1238). In a remonstrance from several thousand inhabitants of St. Christopher to the King some eighteen months later they complained of the continued oppressions of the French ; that many of the English inhabitants had sold their estates for almost nothing, and were stripped and plundered of all they had at sea ; that an examination into the inhumanities of the French nation, with the barbarous usage of the Indians by their order, and the miserable cruelties shown to prisoners of war, would make all nations abhor the name of that nation ; that they made Christians grind in the mill instead of cattle, many starved, and numbers were sent to uninhabited lands (1629).
In June 1667 an attempt was made to retake St. Christopher, but after two hours and a half hard fighting the English were forced to retreat, with the loss of 506 men killed, 284 wounded, most of them mortally, and 140 prisoners. "Brave Rellamont" was killed, and Colonel Stapleton, Lieutenant-Colonel Cutter, and Captain Talbot were among the wounded. The French on their side lost 130 killed and 340 wounded. (fn. 22)
By the treaty of Breda, France engaged that restitution should be made of the English part of St. Christopher ; but although Louis XIV. ordered his Lieutenant-General in the West Indies to make restitution to King Charles, (fn. 23) difficulties arose, which caused delay. These are explained in Dr. Sir Leoline Jenkins' report to the Council for Plantations, and in Lord Willoughby's narrative of his proceedings, dated in December 1668, from which it is evident that the island had not at that date been restored to England (1883, 1900).
Barbadoes, "that fair jewel of your Majesty's crown," the metropolis of the West India Islands, (fn. 24) has always been in the possession of the English. During the first seven years after the King's grants of the island it was but little improved, on account of the rival claims of the Earls of Carlisle and Pembroke, both of whom had distinct grants from Charles I. The right was, however, finally settled in the Earl of Carlisle, and after the numerous creditors of the grantee had obtained a decree in Chancery in 1644 for the amount of their debts, amounting to about 30,000l., and an assignment in 1649 for 21 years of half of the profits arising out of the Caribbee Islands, the remaining half was granted to Francis Lord Willoughby, who was constituted Lieutenant-General of those islands, also for 21 years, but was not to receive any other reward or allowance. At the expiration of that time all the right, title, and profits were to be surrendered to the King. (fn. 25) An Order of the King in Council, dated 13th June 1663, the day after Charles II. signed Lord Willoughby's commission as Governor, finally disposed of the pretensions of all those who claimed title or interest under grants from Charles I., when all revenues would revert to the Crown, with but one reservation, viz., a grant of 1,000l. per annum to the Earl of Kinnoul and his heirs in perpetuity (482, see also Nos. 387, 1432).
Soon after the troubles began in England, the Dutch came to Barbadoes and taught the inhabitants the art of making sugar, and having free trade and plentiful supplies of necessaries their manufactures increased very much every year. It is estimated that in 1643 there were 18,600 effective Englishmen in Barbadoes, 8,300 of whom were proprietors ; but that the value of the island was then not one seventeenth so considerable as in 1666 ; that there were also about 6,400 negroes, whereas in 1666 their number had increased to upwards of 50,000. The buildings were mean with only necessary things fit for use, while in 1666 plate, jewels, and household stuff were estimated at 500,000l., and the buildings were "very fair and beautiful," the houses like castles, and the sugar houses and negroes' huts showed themselves from the sea like so many small towns, each defended by its castle. Emigration to New England, Virginia, Surinam, Jamaica, and other of the West India Islands was very considerable in the earlier years of Charles II's reign, the number being computed at upwards of 12,000, though few men who were born on the island left it (1657). This emigration was partly caused through Barbadoes having been "sadly afflicted" in 1663 with strange and unusual caterpillars, which like the locusts of Egypt came upon the land and devoured all things, so that the poorer sort of people, who were very numerous, were very hard put to it, and must have starved if they had not been supplied with victuals from New England, and many were forced to leave Barbadoes merely for want of food (578, 669). Gov. Willoughby was very much against sending off people to "furnish" other colonies. He informed Sec. Lord Arlington that he had furnished Sir Thos. Modyford with about 800 people, but earnestly requested that the King might be diverted from giving any more such orders, for he said it is not beginning at the right end to improve his Majesty's interests in these parts, for he doth but take out of his right pocket to put into his left. Europe, he said, was the magazine of people, and from thence his Majesty ought to send a constant supply every year. It had been found by woeful experience that in all new settlements whither people were removed from the old ones 10 die for one that comes fresh and raw out of Europe ; he must refer to the physicians for the reasons (764). There was a constant incoming and outgoing of strangers, and seldom fewer than 60 or 70 ships lying at anchor. Four hundred sail were employed yearly, which loaded 10,000 tons with the manufacturers of England, and returned with sugar, cotton, indigo, and tobacco ; and as many tons of goods were shipped from thence as from the two "famous empires of Mexico and Peru" (1657, 1679.) The island is described as no less pleasant than fruitful, being like one great garden, and such plenty of all things that a man need not wish himself in London ; it was not so hot as Spain in the dog days (1035). It contained 100,000 acres, worth from 10l. to 20l. per acre, and was divided into 11 parishes, with ministers, "whose lives for the generality run counter to their doctrines." (fn. 26) There were in 1668 60,000 inhabitants, of whom two-thirds were blacks. The Militia consisted of six regiments of foot, two of horse, and a life guard, in all about 6,000 men. The forts were few and said to be none of the strongest and ill furnished with artillery (739, 1368, 1771, 1788).
On Saturday, the 18th of April 1668, happened a most terrible fire, which in less than six hours consumed three fourths of St. Michael's Town, the metropolis of the island, with the principal powder magazine. The fire was supposed to have begun in Messrs. Bond and Bushell's house, but though James Costen was in the counting house he could give no account of it. It was, however, suspected either that a little negro boy took up a candle into the garret, or that it was kindled by a spark from a neighbour's house. Next door was the magazine with 170 barrels of powder, which struck such "amazement" into the people that they durst not give any assistance, otherwise a great part of the devastation might have been prevented. It was a miracle of mercy that when the magazine blew up it did not destroy many hundreds, for had the powder been in the lower instead of the upper rooms, or had met with any opposition, it had made a great earthquake, and few in or near the town could have escaped. As it was this blowing up so "dissipated" the fire and shattered the houses that the whole town became a prey to the flames. It was calculated that near 800 houses were burnt down. Another account says the fire of London was not worse. There were between 200 and 300 barrels of gunpowder in the magazine when it blew up, and it is incredible to relate what a tearing it made among the houses which afterwards were consumed. The whole loss could not be computed at less than between 300,000l. and 400,000l. sterling (1734, 1739, 1772, 1816).
On 12th June, less than two months after this fire, the King in Council took into consideration the sad state of Barbadoes by reason of the late fire, and to prevent inconveniences and cheer up the distressed inhabitants, his Majesty appointed a committee of the Council to confer with the merchants and planters then in London on the best means for present relief (1768). The result of their deliberations is abstracted in the next No. 1769, and it was recommended that some relief might be given by way of a general collection to the poorer inhabitants, who were utterly ruined and ready to perish. Gov. Willoughby reported to the Lords of the Council on 9th July that he had ordered the town, which was large and populous but very "disorderly" built, to be rebuilt according to a form drawn by Commissioners, and in the October following, in their presentment, the Grand Jury requested that the late Acts for the regular building of St. Michael might be duly observed (1788, 1860).
The Government consisted of a Governor, Council, and an Assembly of two burgesses from each parish. The island was divided into five precincts, each with four judges, who decided everything according to the laws of England, supplemented by some special ones concerning slaves, servants, &c. The lands were held in free soccage. Sugar was the principal commodity, as it was the ready money of the island. Cotton was likewise grown in some parts, as well as ginger. The public charges were defrayed by a tax on imported liquors, supplemented when necessary by a levy (84, 669). Governor Willoughby assured the Privy Council in 1667 that the whole of the King's revenue of 4 per cent. in Barbadoes did not amount to 6,000l. per annum, necessary charges deducted, though the people there valued it at as much more (1633, 1648). He had, however, previously told the King that Barbadoes was the best peopled spot in those parts of the world, and yielded her prince the greatest income ; the gentry bred there were all lively spirited men, very ingenious and industrious, and the most active in improving commerce of any he ever heard of (1204). The presentment of the Grand Jury to Gov. Willoughby in Oct. 1668 exhibits the prosperous condition of the island at that period. An Act had been presented to the Assembly years before recommending to the Minister in Barbadoes the christening of negro children and the instruction of adult negroes (587), and now the Governor was requested to encourage the speedy erection of free schools to prevent youth seeking education in foreign parts. He was also entreated to take care that none should officiate as ministers but those in holy orders of the Church of England, and to notice the great neglect of churchwardens and other public officers touching the strict observance of the Lord's Day (1860).
Although the King directed the Governor to establish a post office according to the establishment in England made by Parliament (463), Lord Willoughby had not been able in 1668 to carry out the King's instructions. The year before he made several trials, but being forced to be perpetually grating on the Assembly for money, thought it not then convenient to push too hard as yet, though he hoped later on to be able to do what was wanted by their consent and assistance. It seems that a previous Assembly were resolved to countenance the post office, but were dissolved by an Act made in Sir Thomas Modyford's time (1633, 1640, 1802).
The Lords Willoughby.
The name of Willoughby must always be identified with the history of Barbadoes, for the two brothers Lords Francis and William did much while Governors to increase the wealth and prosperity of the island, and the two sons of the latter held prominent positions and contributed greatly towards ensuring the safety of the island during the troubled times of war and depression and discontent. Francis Lord Willoughby was such a staunch loyalist that it is not surprising he fell under the displeasure of the Parliament, who in 1651 sent a fleet to reduce Barbadoes ; the correspondence between Governor Willoughby and Sir George Ayscue on that occasion is in the previous volume of this Calendar. Francis Lord Willoughby arrived in Barbadoes with King Charles II's commission as Governor on 10th August, 1663, and eight days after at a meeting of the Council administered the oath of allegiance to each of the Councillors (534, 561). During the four years from 1663 to 1666 that Lord Francis Willoughby governed Barbadoes, he kept up a continuous correspondence with the Home government, and there are more than thirty of his letters in this volume describing his doings and the condition of the island. He made urgent appeals both to King Charles and his Secretary of State for supplies of shipping and men as well as arms and ammunition to prevent the loss of St. Christopher and other islands, for he and all the people were "in amaze what to do," the French King having for many months been re-inforcing his islands. He stayed the home-ward-bound fleet to raise men for the assistance of St. Kitts, and sent his nephew with them, for he said "better he and I and as many of our name as ever was born should be sunk and perish than those islands lost," (1186)words of prophecy so far as he was himself concerned. But what he so much feared and endeavoured to prevent befel His Majesty's subjects, for the French, better supplied and better instructed, destroyed all with fire and sword and became masters of St. Christopher (1204). His last letter to the King is dated the 15th July 1666 ; he wrote the next day to the Privy Council, made his will the day following and sailed from Barbadoes on 18th July with two men-of-war and eight merchant ships and between 600 and 800 volunteers, determined to use his best endeavours to beat the French out and "to see the beginning and end of it" (1244-7), and Lieut.-Governor Willoughby and the Council of Barbadoes agreed that the design was laid with much prudence. Five or six days after his departure a storm arose, and it blew an absolute hurricane which lasted eight hours with such violence that it dispersed the fleet, and six only out of the ten ships were saved from destruction, which having cut down their masts were driven into Antigua, Nevis, and Montserrat. At the end of September Lord Willoughby aboard H.M.S. Hope had not been heard of, but it was then hoped they had been driven without masts to Jamaica. Capt. Wm. Bridall in a letter to his father from Montserrat gives an account of the disaster, and says there was then but little hope of my lord's safety, with whom he feared his own Colonel, Lieut.-Colonel cum multa alia left this world. And it was so, for Lord Willoughby and all on board H.M.S. Hope most certainly went to the bottom and were drowned. So in January 1667 the King, "having too much cause to fear the miscarriage of Lord Willoughby's person in that accident," made choice of William Lord Willoughby to succeed his brother in the government, a person of whose singular worth, conduct, and loyalty His Majesty had had long experience. (fn. 27) Lord William arrived in Barbadoes on 23rd April, 1667, and during the twenty months of his government comprised in this volume, there are upwards of 40 of his despatches. Those abstracted, Nos. 1439 and 1476, show that he was on terms of intimacy with King Charles. He thus describes his brother's character :My brother hath dealt unkindly with me, but I forgive him, he has done so by himself by giving large legacies out of little or nothing, I shall only say he was honest and careless, for he hath left little behind him (1476). After Wm. Lord Willoughby had been about a year in Barbadoes it was resolved at the Committee for Foreign Plantations that he should receive the thanks of the Board for his endeavours to reconcile the differences he found there, and to be encouraged to continue the same (1712). Later on when requesting leave to come home, he vowed he had not received an ounce of sugar or a penny of money from the King or country (1820).
The first actual possession of St. Lucia that the English appear to have had though that island was included in the Earl of Carlisle's grant of 1627, was in 1638, when Sir Thos. Warner, the Governor of St. Christopher, granted a commission to one Capt. Judlee, of St. Kitt's, who accordingly settled St. Lucia with 300 or 400 men, but for want of supplies, and being continually infested by the Indians, abetted by the French, who went naked among them and painted themselves as Indians, they were forced from the island in 1641, and the Governor killed. It is said they were smoked out of their fortification with dried red pepper. St. Lucia remained unpossessed by any but Indians for several years after, until in 1652, a little before Lord Willoughby arrived in Barbadoes, a treaty was made between some inhabitants of that island and the Indians of St. Lucia, and 1,000 men were sent over by Lord Willoughby to settle there, who himself took over more settlers in 1664. 1,300 are said to have gone from Barbadoes to St. Lucia, though it was then described as so unhealthy that almost all of them died there. (fn. 28)
The French Governor of Martinique hearing of English settlers at St. Lucia put over some 15 or 16 Frenchmen who did not plant any settlement, but only remained for a pretence to make a claim to the island. The French pretences to St. Lucia were founded on a Commission said to have been given by Cardinal Richelieu to plant St. Kitt's and the neighbouring islands. St. Lucia was afterwards sold by the West India Company of France to Du Parquet, as were other Isles de l'Amerique sold to other Frenchmen ; but Louis XIV., wishing to reunite these broken interests in himself, gave the whole to a New West India Company, in which he himself went one-tenth. So in March 1664, the Sieur de Tracy was dispatched from Rochelle with seven ships and near 1,500 passengers and soldiers to recover and assert the title of the French, as well to St. Lucia as to Cayenne, Canada, and other places (887, 891.) Soon after his arrival Lord Willoughby wrote to Tracy explaining that in settling St. Lucia he had given particular directions to treat any French that might be on the island with respect, that they were thought to be but few dwelling there for fishing and hunting and not intending planting or settlement, and he pointed out that the island, belonged by ancient title and occupation to the English, though it had only lately been taken under the immediate protection of the King (801.) Lord Willoughby told Sec. Lord Arlington that he hoped the King would not surrender St. Lucia to the King of France, "so unreasonable a demand," for that danger was to be expected from the French in the West Indies, and it was quite necessary to consider how to become masters of the rest of their island (822.) In reply to which Lord Willoughby was directed to make his party there as good as he could, "as the season for defending his Majesty's right to that island might come ere long" (991.) So in March 1668, Lord Willoughby finding it an impossibility to reduce the Indians of St. Vincent and St. Lucia by force, concluded a treaty with them, in which they were for ever afterwards to acknowledge themselves subject to the King of England, friends to all in amity with the English and enemies to their enemies (1717, 1741.)
The poet Waller.
Edmund Waller was appointed by King Charles, soon after his restoration, one of the Council for Foreign Plantations, and also one of a committee of three to write letters to Governors (3). To his son, Edmund Waller, junior, of Beaconsfield, Bucks, Charles II. gave a grant of the island of St. Lucia for fifty years from November, 1663, on payment of the yearly sum of 3l. 6s. 8d. to the King (592).
In a letter from Dr. Henry Stubbs, the King's physician for Jamaica (237), in which, at Sec. Bennets' request, he gives his opinion as to Capt. Langford's design upon Tortuga, he ridicules the proposal, and says that when Langford went with Col. Barry certainly Sancho Panza with better conduct regulated himself at the island of Barataria, and that Sir Charles Lyttelton could inform Sir Henry Bennet of that novel (819). (fn. 29)
As to St. Vincent, Lord Willoughby entreated the King not to make any grants interfering with his, and that if that island had been granted to some Scotchmen his Majesty would retract it, lest it should be the cause of trouble with the Indians, a jealous people, with whom a league of friendship had been made to gain them over against the French (578). Charles II. told Lord Willoughby, in reply, that St. Vincent had not been granted to anyone, nor should any islands under his lordship's command be disposed of without his being first consulted (628).
St. Vincent is described as about the bigness of Barbadoes, and covered with wood ; inhabited only by Indians and Blacks (fn. 30), who acknowledged themselves subjects of the King of England. The Indians were so turbulent and active that Englishmen must always be among them to put them upon some warlike design against some nation on the main, the better to divert them from acting any mischief against the English Colonies, for the French were frequently among them and ready to invite them to breach and blood. So they had to be furnished with toys and strong liquors for a while (p. 587).
Tobago was settled by the English about the year 1642, but deserted in consequence of the trouble given by the Indians. It was again settled in 1646 by Commission from the Earl of Warwick, who was then governor in chief of all the plantations in America, but was again deserted some ten years afterwards (1368). In November, 1664, Charles II. formally granted Tobago to the Duke of Courland, his heirs and successors on certain conditions, one of which was that he suffered none but his own or the King's subjects to settle on the island ; and Lord Willoughby was directed by the King to perform all friendly offices to the Duke's subjects and officers (854, 861). In 1665 Willoughby fitted out six vessels with 350 men with the intention of taking 'Tobago from the Dutch ; but two small privateers, with the Governor of Jamaica's Commission and only 80 men, under Captains Searle and Stedman, had taken the island some days before. They were resolved to pillage, but Lord Willoughby came to an agreement with them for a plantation near the fort, where there were four or five guns, and where he left 100 men till he should receive the King's further pleasure. Lord Willoughby solicited from the King a lease for 31 years of the island and all its profits, when he said he would undertake the settling of it, but that if the King resolved to dispose of the island some other way, he desired to be reimbursed his charges for the shipping and garrison. Tobago was then described as pretty well settled, and stocked with negroes, cattle, and horses ; but because Lord Willoughby's purse could not purchase them, the privateers untiled the houses and destroyed all they could not carry away, "their custom in all places ; for they are all masters, and reckon what they take to be their own, and themselves free princes to dispose of as they please." Eighteen sugar works were demolished and brought away with the copper and what else was good, and Lord Willoughby was obliged to give them liberty to sell their plunder at Barbadoes, to induce them to leave the fort and the Governor's house standing (1124-6).
On 20th December, 1666, the King wrote to the Governor or Commander-in-Chief of Tobago requiring him to deliver up possession of the island to the Duke of Courland, to whom the King had granted the same, to be by him planted and maintained for the equal benefit of his Majesty's subjects and his own (1359).
The value and importance of Tobago, which is "one-third larger than Barbadoes, and which in time might be made a better Colony," is described, No. 1658, as also a curious custom which then prevailed in the Caribbee islands, that all Christian women, as well free as slaves, paid 100lbs. of sugar yearly ; head money was also paid by every inhabitant to help to support the charges of government and defence.
Jamaica in the opinion of the Duke of Albemarle was one of the most hopeful of all the plantations in the West Indies (1711). Lieutenant-General Edward D'Oyley was commander-in-chief there during the latter years of the interregnum, and on receiving news of the King's restoration he promised to use his endeavours to keep the peace, but that if not owned by some authority he should return home for he was resolved "rather to venture the fury of the populace than to act without power." He said that the island had a sense of being deserted by their own country which filled the minds of the people with sad and serious thoughts, and he requested from Secretary Nicholas positive orders and instructions during his stay, "so that he might not walk hoodwinked." He had then under his command nearly 2,000 officers and soldiers besides seamen men and the remains of a far greater number, mostly gentlemen of good families whom the jealousy of Cromwell banished thence. (fn. 31) D'Oyley's Commission and instructions from Charles II. are dated in February 1661 and although Lord Windsor was appointed Governor in the August following, General D'Oyley did not leave Jamaica before the arrival of his successor a year afterwards. The reason of his re-call appears in a report of the Council for Foreign Plantations to the King as does also the condition of the island and the King's opinion of it. Considering its fruitfulness, situation, and capacity of being made the most eminent plantation of all his Majesty's distant dominions, Charles II. cheerfully countenanced all overtures for rendering it more considerable and was resolved to provide for the security, supplies and improvement of the colony. So understanding that Governor D'Oyley was pressed by private affairs to leave the island, to advance its reputation the King appointed Lord Windsor Governor. D'Oyley was Commander-in-Chief and Governor in Jamaica about seven years. Lord Windsor was scarcely three months in Jamaica, but he was vested with the fullest powers and left the island in a contented and prosperous condition. He took over with him a donative from the King, of goods of all sorts, and every encouragement to those who desired to settle, and also a good store of ammunition. He disbanded the late army, divided them into five regiments, in all 53 officers and 2,030 men and modelled them into military discipline. He settled all proceedings of law and erected an Admiralty Court. He prescribed a course for conferring plantations, houses, and land, and settled fees. He made laws for the encouragement of religious liberty and toleration, and excused Quakers from bearing arms on certain conditions. He called in Privateers Commissions, endeavoured to reduce them to orderly rules and gave them commissions to take Spanish ships and bring them to Jamaica. In short, as Lord Windsor himself summed up his doings to the Secretary of State, the condition of Jamaica was quite altered through his going there being before under no civil government, and left by him regulated to the laws and government of England. And he left at his departure Sir Charles Lyttelton, [Deputy] Governor, "a fit and worthy person to the great content of the inhabitants." In October 1663 Sir Charles said the island was in a much more prosperous condition than it had been 14 months before, especially as to its plenty of provisions, which were cheaper by one half. (fn. 32)
Under Sir Charles Lyttelton who was Lieutenant-Governor for about 18 months before Governor Modyford's arrival the people became obedient and industrious, but their settlements were scattered near 180 miles along this vast country. They were generally pleased with Modyford's coming, and the more so as he was of the Lord General's [Albemarle's] recommendation, who once before sent the fittest and worthiest man in the world [Lord Windsor, No. 744.]
The most effectual means of suppressing or calling in the privateers which at this time scoured the Caribbean sea had long been a question of the most difficult solution. Col. Lynch was of opinion that it would be but a remote and hazardous expedient and could never effectually be done without five or six men-of-war. Naked orders to restrain or call them in, he said, would teach them only to keep out of the port of Jamaica and force them to prey upon the English as well as the Spaniards. What compliance could be expected from men so desperate and numerous, that had no other element but the sea, nor trade but privateering. There were then about 1,500 of them in about twelve vessels who if they wanted English commissions could have French and Portuguese papers, and if with them they took anything they were sure of a good reception at New Netherlands and Tortugas. And for this, he said, we shall be hated and cursed, for the Spaniards call all the rogues in these seas, of what nation soever, English. And this will happen though we live tamely in Jamaica and sit still and see the French made rich by the prizes, and the Dutch by the trade of the West Indies. We hope at last, added Lynch, to thrive by planting and are sure none of our inhabitants will now go to sea or follow another Mings. Those who were so disposed are long since gone (744).
Sir Thomas Modyford arrived as Governor the beginning of June 1664 and was received with the utmost kindness. His flatterers said he saw more of the island in a fortnight than all his precedessors had seen during their reign. He brought nearly 1,000 persons with him, and many more would have come had he had conveyance for them. They mostly belonged to "composed families," and were planting apace, having been set down where they desired to plant and were well contented. Besides these people, Governor Modyford had to provide for the settlement of his own private family, consisting of 80 persons (767).
The new Governor thought it more prudent to act towards the privateers by degrees and with moderation than suddenly and with severity, hoping to gain them off more safely by fair means and reduce them to planting (767). So a few months later on he was able to report that upon gentleness towards them they came in apace and cheerfully offered life and fortune in the King's service (976). He gave them commissions to take Tobago from the Dutch, and with two frigates and only 80 men they accomplished their purpose and anticipated Lord Willoughby's fleet on the same errand from Barbadoes (1126, 1276).
Like all new settlements, for it had not then been ten years in our possession, Jamaica was daily changing, and those who in 1664 knew it only two years before, were strangers, to the then altered state of affairs. The government was then described as "plain and agreeable" and so were the laws and their execution, all suits being determined in six weeks with 30s. or 40s. charges. The people were contented and generally easy to be governed, yet rather by persuasion than severity. Privateering had let out many ill humours and those that remained were thriving, peaceable, and industrious. Even the Spanish negroes who had so long disquieted the inhabitants submitted to his Majesty's authority. There were then only seven established parishes in Jamaica and but one church at St. Katherine's, an old ruined Spanish church lately repaired, but contributions were being levied to raise churches in some of the richest parishes ; there were five ministers, Mr. Webb, Mr. Johns, an old army preacher not in orders, Mr. Maxfield, and two Germans, MM. Houser and Sellers. Five good regiments as we have seen had been raised which numbered 2,500 men, and two more were forming. Scarcely any place near the sea was then unsettled and many had gone to the mountains, which were most healthful and fruitful. Sugar, ginger, indigo, cotton, tobacco, dyeing woods, and cocoa were produced in Jamaica as well as anywhere, but there were numerous other commodities, the best building timber and stone in the whole world, great plenty of corn, potatoes, yams, cattle, horses, fowl, sheep, fish, and pasturage. In short nothing was then wanting but more hands and cows (810-814). The best sugar works made between 20,000 and 30,000 (lbs.) of sugars a week which sold for 50 per cent. beyond Barbadoes sugar (620). In a long report to the Secretary of State Gov. Modyford pointed out by drawing a parallel between Jamaica and Barbadoes how the King's revenue might be considerably increased in Jamaica. Barbadoes contained 100,000 acres and loaded 10,000 tons of shipping. In Jamaica there were 7,000,000 acres. Princes, said the Governor, that go not forward go backward, and their royal growth is safest when least perceptible. The well filling this navel of the Indies, as the Spaniards call it, may notably further this growth (739).
John Style, in a letter dated July 1665, to Secretary Lord Arlington, his fellow student at Christ Church, Oxford, said he conceived Jamaica in all things exceeded England. He had landed there only the month before. The climate was most healthy, and the heat, by reason of the constant breezes, most temperate, "so that it was not the country but the deboistness and intemperance of the people that brought evil report upon it." He found the island so good and so profitable that he would have resolved to end his days there had he not had many engagements in England, but he sent for two of his sons to bring grain from thence, with ploughs and tradesmen of all sorts. He also sent advice to some farmers and husbandmen to transport themselves, but doubted whether it would be followed, for he remarks, such men are generally of the Israelites temper ; they had rather sit by their flesh pots in Egypt, though with slavery and penury, than travel into the land of Canaan. A master of his trade of husbandry with 100l. stock could live in Jamaica in greater plenty than his landlord in England with 100l. or 200l. per annum, and in a few years, with industry and temperance, acquire many hundred pounds estate (1023).
Lieut.-Col. Lynch, who was afterwards Governor, complained about this time of the bad arrangements made for many of the people who came to settle upon the island. They arrived very poor, and went into the woods without provisions, and there fell sick for want of shelter and food, and then he said the country must be blamed for their want and improvidence, people not remembering that air could not have maintained Adam in Paradise if God had not planted for him a garden. But whatever any might say, it was an excellent island and would certainly become a considerable addition to his Majesty's dominions (934.) We leave Jamaica in 1668 in a very thriving condition, and growing rich by privateering and the produce of the country (1892).
There are many papers in this Calendar relating to Saba and St. Eustatius and their capture from the Dutch ; to Curaao, Guadaloupe, and Hispaniola ; to Santa Cruz, also called St. Croix, and described under both names in Johnstone's Gazetteer ; and to Tortuga. All these islands belonging to France, Holland, and Spain, may readily be referred to in the index.
IV. Our possessions in Africa.
Royal African Company.
Forts and factories in Africa.
IV. Our Possessions in Africa. The Patent of the Royal African Company is dated 10th January 1663, and includes the names of "our Royal Consort Queen Katherine, Mary the Queen, our mother, our dearest brother James, Duke of York, our dearest sister Henrietta Maria, Duchess of Orleans," Prince Rupert, Duke of Buckingham, Duchess of Richmond (408.) The stock was 120,000l., of which the King himself was a large holder (902, 1111.) Under the special management of the Duke of York the Company employed in one year above 40 ships, sent out above 160,000l. in cargoes, plentifully supplied the coast and furnished all the plantations with negro servants. They had built many forts and established many factories in Africa, and had no European rivals but the Dutch, who, it was complained, endeavoured to drive them from the coast, followed their ships from port to port, and hindered the English coming near the shore to trade. It was also asserted that the Dutch persuaded the negroes to destroy the English Company's servants and take their forts, and that they violently seized their boats and goods, took possesion of Cape Coast and shot at his Majesty's flag (618.) The House of Commons, on a report of the Committee of Trade, resolved that the wrongs, dishonors, and indignities done to his Majesty by the subjects of the United Provinces, by invading his rights in India, Africa, and America, and the damages, affronts, and injuries done by them to our merchants are the greatest obstruction to our foreign trade, and that the House would support the King with life and fortune against all opposition, and a conference was desired with the Lords (702).
Cape Coast Castle. Guinea.
In proposals for re-settlement of the Company, there is an account of their posts in Africa. The Castle of Cape Corso, or Cape Coast Castle, was to be the head factory and residence of the Company's Agent for the whole of Africa (407.) Two years after their incorporation the African Company presented to the King a narrative of their trade and condition, showing the factories they had settled and fortified by consent of the natives on the north side, "notwithstanding the machinations of the Hollanders," from which they expected to derive a yearly return to the value of 100,000l., and on the Gold Coast, from which the Company asserted they might have expected, if they had not been disturbed by De Ruyter, to the value of 200,000l. in gold, and above 100,000l. in servants [negroes] for the plantations, besides a trade at Old and New Calabar. It was declared that the whole trade of the Royal African Company would produce greater profit than any other managed by the King's subjects, and this had induced them to enlarge their stock from 17,000l. to 120,000l. Their effects in January 1665 were estimated to be worth 273,807l. (902-3.) As an encouragement to the Company the King by warrant directed the master and worker of the mint to cause all gold and silver brought to the mint for the use of the Royal African Company to be coined with a little elephant thereon, as a mark of distinction from the rest of his Majesty's moneys (615).
There is no lack of information in this volume about slavery and the slave trade, which will be found under the word Negroes in the Index. Negroes were at this time considered to be the strength and sinews of the Western world (577), the very being and most useful appurtenances of the American plantations, which depended for their works upon the supply of negroes who were perpetual servants (618, 756, 791). Their price varied according to the Plantation at which they were delivered. At Barbadoes the price of an able bodied negro was 17l. ; at Antigua negroes were worth 18l. each, while at Jamaica the Royal African Company demanded 19l. apiece. They offered to furnish the Governors of those islands annually with negroes at the above prices, but with a reduction of 1l. per head to any one contracting for a whole ship load, on paying one fourth of the price in advance, with security for the remainder (407). Sir Thomas Modyford told the African Company that in Barbadoes their negroes sold for 2,400 lbs. of sugar per head, which at 2d. per lb. would be 20l. each, while the price the Company put upon negro boys and girls was from 12l. to 15l., "though it would have been well to express their age." The ship Speedwell arrived at Barbadoes in 1664, with 282 negroes, who had greatly lost in value owing to small-pox breaking out among them, a not unfrequent occurrence. A fee of one shilling a head was received by the doctors for inspecting a cargo of negroes (689). Dr. La Rouse, chief physician in Barbadoes, certified to a great mortality among them, caused by a malignant distemper through so many sick and "decaying" negroes being thronged together, and furthered by small-pox in Capt. Carteret's ship, so that men refused to buy them, and a surgeon to whom 20 were sold at a low rate lost every one (693). In the answer to a petition of the Representatives of Barbadoes to the King praying for free trade for negroes on the coast of Guinea, or else that the Royal Company be obliged to supply them at the price mentioned in their first printed declaration, Sir Ellis Leighton, Secretary to the Company, asserted that they never desired more than 17l. per head in times of peace (1680-1682). Negroes in Jamaica fetched 20l. a head, for at this price Governor Lord Windsor, in accordance with the King's instructions, contracted with the Royal Company for a supply within an appointed time (287, 766). Charles II. granted license to Spanish subjects in America to purchase supplies of negroes from the Caribbee Islands and Jamaica on payment of a duty of ten pieces of eight for every negro, which at the rate of four shillings sterling per piece of eight, was equal to a duty of 2l. (416, 585).
An Act was presented to the Assembly of Barbadoes recommending to the several ministers in the island the christening of negro children and the instruction of adult negroes (587). In Virginia an Act was passed in 1667 that negroes were not made free by baptism (1585). In Jamaica Juan Luyola and other negroes, on account of their submission and services to the English, had plots of lands granted to them, and Lieut.-Gov. Sir Charles Lyttelton by proclamation declared that they should in consequence enjoy all the liberties and privileges of Englishmen, but that they must bring up their children to the English tongue. Luyola was appointed colonel of a black regiment of militia, and a magistrate over negroes, to decide all cases except those of life and death (412). The punishment inflicted upon negroes in Jamaica for stealing their masters' goods was to be "moderately whipped" and committed to the custody of the Provost Marshal. Any convicted of mutiny were to be sold by their masters or sent off the island (182, 573).
A remarkable instance of valour and fidelity is exhibited in the person of a negro named John Cabessa at the time when the Royal African Company's forts and factories were attacked by the Dutch under De Ruyter. Goree had been surrendered to the Dutch Admiral with all the company's goods. The English factory at Satalone had been disabled. The great stronghold of Tacorady was taken by 1,000 negroes belonging to the Dutch, the town burnt, and Castle de Mina blown up, "stripping the English naked." Then De Ruyter sailed to Cormantin, thinking with 700 men and his 1,000 negroes to have landed, but here he was repulsed by John Cabessa. So De Ruyter went to Anamabo which he blew up and after making an agreement with the Fantees marched back to Cormantin with 10,000 men and with three ships began to batter the Castle. Upon their arrival John Cabessa and his men, unable to battle against such a force, made good their retreat into the Castle. The English are said to have done but little in their own defence and very soon to have hung out a flag of truce. This so mortified and enraged Cabessa that after cutting off the head of the man who did it, he with his own hanger cut his own throat. The English yielded up the Castle without any articles, but the Dutch gave quarter, put out the Prince of Orange's colours and blew up Cabessa's house. We are told that Cabessa was truer to the English than were any of His Majesty's subjects there. He had preserved the Castle from many dangers and intended to have gone to England to see King Charles. A great reward was offered by the Dutch for the head of Cabessa, but the blacks were not to be bribed and they buried their hero at Old Cormantin (986). Thus the English and the Dutch were rivals in Africa as they had been in India, and were also at this very time in America, and many forts and factories were in the possession sometimes of the one, sometimes of the other. It can therefore scarcely be said with historical accuracy, that the English have turned the Dutch out of places which belonged by right and title to them, when the original possessors were the English themselves (408, 737, 780, 954).
One cannot but be struck during the earlier years of Charles II.'s reign not only with the rapid advance and prosperity of those of our Colonies which had already been partially settled, but also with the establishment and the gradual though certain development of many other Colonies and Plantations. The spirit of enterprise and the desire for colonisation appear to have been almost as strong at that period as in the days of Elizabeth and James. Look at the efforts of the Lords Proprietors Albemarle, Ashley, Berkeley, Clarendon and others to colonise Carolina, which turned out after a little experience eminently successful ; see the dash and the pluck of "Dick Nicolls" at New York who, though a groom of the King's bedchamber, showed Dutchmen as well as Englishmen that he was an able general and a good governor ; the love of adventure of Lord Willoughby who at his own expense of nearly 20,000l. settled a colony of 4,000 inhabitants in Surinam, though it was afterwards taken from him by the Dutch during the war. (fn. 33) In Africa too, Englishmen secured a footing and made settlements in many places in spite of the hostilities of the Dutch. In the West Indies there were Lord Francis, and then his brother Lord William Willoughby devoting their best energies to consolidate the settlement of the Leeward Isles of Antigua, Montserrat, and Nevis, and "that rare pearl in the King's Crown" (fn. 34) Barbadoes. See also what D'Oyley, Lord Windsor, and Sir Thomas Modyford did for Jamaica and how these islands in spite of the attacks of both French and Dutch on some of them, developed in wealth and prosperity. Look again at the valorous old buccaneers and the young ones too ; their deeds though scarcely in accordance with law and orderby the way their commissions were not unfrequently signed by English Governors remind us of the doings of Hawkins and Drake, and they certainly displayed as grand a spirit of adventure and as much pluck and endurance as their great naval predecessors ; the name of Morgan is synonymous with valour. Surely it may be said with truth, that in these early years of Charles II's reign some glory was reflected upon England through her Colonies, and that in these eight years of our Colonial History shine forth some brilliant examples of Englishmen in the persons of the Governors appointed by Charles II. The brothers Willoughby in Barbadoes, D'Oyley, Lord Windsor, Sir Thomas Modyford, and Sir Charles Lyttelton in Jamaica, Sir William Berkeley in Virginia, of which Colony he was 36 years the King's Governor, Sir Thomas Temple, "honest Tom Temple," in Acadia and Nova Scotia, Richard Nicolls in the newly conquered Colony of New York and the veteran Sir Thomas Warner in the Leeward Islands, of all of these historical biographies of value might be written and read with pride by their countrymen.
My best thanks are due to my colleague J. E. Ernest
S. Sharp, Esq. for his valuable assistance in making the
abstracts in this volume.
W. Noel Sainsbury. 15th April 1880.