America and West Indies: January 1669

Pages 1-7

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 7, 1669-1674. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1889.

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January 1669

Jan. 7/17
1. Memorial of the Spanish Ambassador to King Charles II. Represents that the answer of Sec. Lord Arlington and Sec. Trevor to his paper of 8th August concerning hostilities committed by his Majesty's subjects of Jamaica is so different from what has been promised, that he is obliged to demand what was agreed upon in writing, and cannot determine upon the expedients offered till he receives orders from his Queen. But the truth of the account he gave his Majesty on the 12th December last of a new incursion of his Majesty's subjects of Jamaica upon Puerto Bello, pillaging and committing outrages scarce heard of, being now confirmed by the George and Samuel from Jamaica, by whose bills of lading it appears that besides what George Potts and other merchants received of plate, the share of every soldier was 600 (oz.) or 80l. at half a crown an ounce, whence it may be guessed what quantity the officers, Governor, and their confidants had; the Ambassador desires that his Queen may have full satisfaction, and the Governor of Jamaica the punishment due for an incursion so unjust and contrary to the faith of the new Treaty of the general peace. And as other vessels are arrived with part of the booty, and the number of ships designed for Jamaica is increased, he desires that just restitution be made, and convenient orders given for the future. Annexed,
1. I. "The Spanish Ambassador's paper" [above referred to as delivered on 12th December last]. Being an account of what happened at the taking of Puerto Bello by the English of Jamaica under the command of John Doglar, which account he sent to Havre de Grace :—On 10–20 June 1668 we landed at Puerto Velo with 422 men in 28 canoes, leaving our ships 37 leagues off the west coast. On 11th we advanced to the walls of Fort St. James, where were 30 pieces of artillery. After three or four hours hard fighting we assaulted the fort and made ourselves masters of the garrison, all of which refusing quarter were either killed, wounded, or cut to pieces. The next day we attacked Fort St. Philip, on the other side of the coast, where were 12 pieces of artillery, and after fighting three or four hours it surrendered. After remaining some days in said fort sickness broke out among our troops, of which we lost half by sickness and fighting, so that we were obliged to abandon these places and received 100,000 crowns from the Spaniards for retiring. Had we had 800 men we might have gone to Panama, about 18 leagues to the south of Puerto Velo, and have easily made ourselves masters of it, as also of the Kingdom of Peru. The chiefs of the Expedition were Henry Morgan, Commander-in-Chief, John Doglar, Julian John Salter, Enoch Clarke, Capt. Rudolph Court, Colliar, John James, Maurice. French. Together 3 1/2 pp. [ Col. Papers, Vol. XXIV., Nos. 1–2.]
1669 ? 2. Mem. "Your Honor" [? Under Sec. Williamson] is desired to request of the King a supply of fire arms and ammunition for the Somers Islands, also a convoy for the Comp. magazine ship, John Jenkins, Commander. Governor Sir John Heydon arrived at the Bermudas on 15th May 1669, in the magazine ship, Capt. John Jenkins. Lefroy, II. 286. 1/2 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIV., No. 3.]
Jan. 13.
3. The King to the Governor of Barbadoes. To seize the Mathew and Francis of 300 tons, Rich. Bread, Master, and the Sarah and Mary of 270 tons, Edw. Burton, junr., Master, laden in the Texel, upon the account of several Jews and others at Amsterdam, immediately they arrive in any port under his Government, and to proceed with rigour against them according to the late Acts of Navigation. Draft by Williamson. See No. 48. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIV., No. 4.]
Jan. 13./23.
4. Memorial of M. Colbert, French Ambassador in England. The Directors of the West India Company, having seen the answer given by Sec. Lord Arlington to the French Ambassador, concerning the restitution of part of St. Christopher's to the English, represents that orders should be given to the Commissioners to enquire what is due for the maintenance of the English prisoners, and cause reimbursement to be made. If the King desires that the English should have a year for re-entering their habitations sold to the French the Company submit that a year and a half has already elapsed, and three months would suffice. The nomination of Commissioners for the execution of the treaty is absolutely necessary, and will be very advantageous to both sides, if they have full powers to act in good faith. With regard to Acadia the Directors complain of the refusal of Sir Thos. Temple to surrender Pentagouet, St. John's, Port Royal, Cape Sable, and La Have, which he says compose Nova Scotia, before St. Christopher's is surrendered to them, although expressly ordered by his Britannic Majesty to do so; the West India Company request that fresh orders be sent to him punctually to obey the first order, copy of which is annexed. Endorsed by Williamson, Rec. 15/25 Encloses,
4. I. The King of France to M. De la Barre. Wrote to him on the 17th July, 31st Oct., and 11th Dec. last concerning St. Christopher's; but since then the Sieur Colbert has adjusted the whole matter with the Ministers of the King of England, and the King desires, whether he has received said letters or not, that he will execute precisely all that he finds in this despatch, which contains his final intentions. As soon therefore as this shall be presented to him he is to put those empowered by the King of Great Britain into possession of that part of the Island, as also of the forts, which the English possessed on Jan. 1, 1665, and re-establish those English in their goods and habitations which have not been sold to the French; but such as have been sold are not to be re established until the price paid has been reimbursed, and if such reimbursement shall not have been made within a year, no demand shall be made for same. The points of ameliorations and maintenance of prisoners to be accommodated by Commissioners to be named on either side; and the King of Great Britain has declared that the French who remain in the surrendered part of the Island shall receive equal justice with the English, provided they take the Oath of Allegiance. Said restitution to be made without delay or difficulty on pain of disobedience and rebellion. M. De la Barre is to make known his Majesty's pleasure to the Chevalier de St. Lawrence; and if De la Barre should have set out on his return home when this arrives; the Sieur de Baas, who will have succeeded, is to execute all contained herein. Endorsed by Williamson, French King's 4th Order for restitution of St. Christopher's. French. Together 6 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIV., Nos. 5, 5 I.]
Jan. 13/23 5. Copies of the preceding memorial of M. Colbert and Louis XIV.'s letter to Mons. De la Barre inclosed. Together 5 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIV., Nos. 6, 6 I. ]
Jan. 14.
Custom House,
6. Farmers of the Customs to the Clerk of the Privy Council. Understanding that the Commissioners for Trade have given directions for letters to be sent to the Governors of the Plantations blaming them for their neglect, and enjoining a strict observance of the laws concerning ships from foreign ships trading there, pray that (if not perfected) a draft thereof may be sent to the farmers, which shall without delay be returned. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIV., No. 7.]
Jan. 14.
7. John Style to Sec. Sir Wm. Morrice. Refers to his letter of 27 Oct. by Capt. Barnard Nicholls, wherein he presented his own sad and unjustly abused condition, and that his appeal to his Majesty and Council would not be allowed, and begged for commands to the Governor here for himself to return, either to be punished or acquitted. Has since been brought to his trial, of which he sends an account. Description of the island; affirms it will maintain more people than England if it be as large as reported, viz., 7,000,000 acres, not an acre of which but yields some food for man or beast—the great increase of all things according to their kind. Lays down, according to his ability, such things as hitherto have hindered any great progress in this settlement, and which for ever will unless remedied. Begins from his own time in July 1665. For the first two years things went well forward, as appears by the number of patents taken out; then the old soldiers, who call themselves the conquerors of the land, took advantage of the Dutch wars to work upon pretending danger to destroy their neighbours and keep up their own boundless tyrannical power under pretence of carefulness. Martial law was set up, and courts martial called at pleasure, and planters obliged to come down 20 and 30 miles to keep guard, and not one Christian must be left at home. This was the first destruction of small settlements, and the hindrance of greater, and many were forced to sell their plantations to their lords and masters for what they could get, or else run from them and leave all. Had himself the boldness to inform the Governor of these great inconveniences, who said they should be remedied. Complains of the jurisdiction in the quarter sessions and courts of common pleas, which if continued, will prove the utter destruction of his Majesty's interest in this island—were the judges and justices men of discretion and knowledge, and not beasts, drowning the reason God hath given them with strong liquors. The first and chief is Lt.-Col. Cope, who knows not one letter in the book, yet of late hath learnt to write his name; he was long imprisoned in Dublin and elsewhere to save him from the gallows his crime deserved. Then Capt. Olefield, a man condemned to be hanged in England, but who got sent hither to labour as a servant. Maj. Ascough, judge of the Court of Common Pleas, Capt. Aileman, and Capt. Lahor, whose further description may be found in Job xxx., all trained up from boys in rebellion and murder. Capt. Nelson, justice of the peace, is a stout man, one of the old soldiers and of good estate, but not being of their turn, is in all business left out. Abuses in the election of churchwardens; the vestry raise what money they please and how they please, but the enquiry what becomes of it is not to be made; "that is my crime, and I think that for it they have made me an example sufficient to deter all others." More than 500l. raised in the parish of St. John's under various pretences, of which he is certain the poor never had five pounds. The church not yet finished. Complains of summoning jurymen to the quarter sessions 16 and 20 miles off when there is nothing to do. States what he conceives ought to be done in order to the making the best advantage of this place and the peace and quiet of the planter, as to planting, feeding and breeding of horses, cattle, and sheep. Instances himself and two neighbours, about a mile and half a mile distant, who having fenced and secured what they had planted in two years, from a small beginning, got to such a great number that had such laws as he describes have been made they would have been able to have killed nearly a thousand fat hogs, if not more. Argues against the planting altogether with Indian commodities, which here are destructive. If this island were able to maintain itself with diet and other necessaries what would become of the New England trade. The trade now consists principally in plate, money, jewels, and other things brought in by the privateers, who sell them cheap to the merchant, and then are sent to New England and the Madeiras and returned chiefly in wine, brandy, and victuals. That a proportion of Christian indented servants or hired freemen should be allotted against such a number of negroes to secure the island from danger; proposes that every one that has six negroes should keep one Christian servant and one hired freeman and so on, and be compelled to allow them food, clothing, and lodging; also other regulations in reference thereto. The contrary to what he writes is justly a great hindrance to the settlement of this island. Examination of their present strength. In St. John's, about 150 men; in St. Katherine's, where is St. Jago de la Vega, about 250 foot and 60 horse; Port Royal, about 200; Lygonee, about 400; Clarendon, 160; Port Morant and Yellowes, 250; on the north side, 140, but they are mostly people run thither for shelter from creditors or masters; in all 1,580, besides some merchants and few others not appearing on duty. Dares say there are not 300 Christians upon the whole island who would not be glad to be gone upon easy terms. The dangers of settlements being so far distant one from the other, and the difficulty of guarding against such. In Col. D'Oyley's time the enemy landed and were beaten off, but it is not now as then, for there was a considerable army of young lusty men under command and pay, but now almost all are gone, or dead, or out for privateers. About 800 privateers out on that employment. Questions, if there be need of their help, whether they would afford any, when they have none or so little interest upon land that they value it not; gold and gain is the only god they worship; they can drive the same trade with far more profit and advantage under French commissions, paying neither tenths, fifteenths, nor waiting for Admiralty Courts; they are the only able and serviceable men in this island. A second number, if shipping be saved, cannot be raised here or sent forth from hence; H. M. ships Oxford and Lilly the chief defence of this place at present from foreign power. The settlement of Jamaica will never be in a better condition without a speedy supply from England of Christian planters, not merchants, as well as servants, and bringing up negro children in the Christian religion. 10 1/4 closely written pages. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIV., No. 8.]
Jan. 14.
8. John Style to [Sec. Sir Wm. Morrice].Since he wrote has happened the blowing up of the Oxford frigate and men. Refers to his past letters, but has little reason to expect to see any fruits of his labours, for before he was imprisoned he had notice he was waylaid to be murdered going to take ship, so his return for England might be hindered. Their malice is not now less than before, but does not accuse the Governor, or think it is with his good liking; is persuaded as things stand he cannot help it because on Friday last he gave Style liberty to go home on giving good security not to go off the island, so is now going forward with English husbandry, and hopes by Christmas corn, hemp and flax. Must return to prison upon notice left at his house. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIV., No. 9.]
Jan. 18. 9. Peter Du Moulin to Sir Edwd. Walker. In reference to his desire for an explanation of the third proposal in the address of the Council of Trade to his Majesty, touching the Plantations, is commanded to let him know that said Council took that proposal from the Act of Navigation, 12 Car. 2, wherein it is provided that no goods be brought from his Majesty's Plantations, but in ships that belong to, and whereof the master and three-fourths of the mariners are English, on penalty of forfeiture of ship and goods, and that all ships of war or ships having commission from his Majesty be required to seize them, which Act is further explained by the Acts of 14 and 15 Car. 2, and they intend that his Majesty's ships of war should have instructions, and any other ships desiring a commission might, on giving security, be commissioned accordingly. 1 1/2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIV., No. 10.]
Jan. 18. 10. Mem. by J[oseph] W[illiamson] of a despatch delivered to Mr. Champante to be sent by the William and John, Samuel Weaver, Master, for Barbadoes, the 18th Jan. 1668–9. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIV., No. 11.]
Jan. 21.
11. Petition of Margaret Griffith, prisoner in Newgate, convicted of felony, and desiring to be transported to Virginia, referred to the Lord Chief Justice or Mr. Recorder, who sat on her trial, to consider and report to his Majesty. Minute. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. 33, p. 4.]
Jan. 21.
12. Petition of John Ludlowe, convicted of felony to the value of 14s. 6d., and desiring to be transported to some of his Majesty's Plantations, referred to the Lord Chief Justice or Mr. Recorder, who sat on his trial, to consider and report to his Majesty. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. 33, p. 4.]
Jan. 22. 13. Henry Wasey's acknowledgement of the receipt of a letter from Richard Elkin "by his hand directed to Lord Willobey in Barbadoes." Endorsed, "Against Jewes and Dutch Traders." [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIV., No. 12.]
Jan. 29. 14. Warrant to the Sheriffs of London to discharge Margaret Gryffyth, convicted of felony at the Old Bailey the 14th Oct. last, on her giving security for her transportation into Virginia, to live with her brother there. 3/4 p. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. 30, pp. 99, 100.] Another warrant to the same effect is dated 3 March, ibid., p. 115.
Jan. ?
15. The King to Wm. Lord Willoughby and Council at Barbadoes. To cause the demands of the owners of the Pearl to be fairly examined and payment made for the expences, freight and damages of same in accordance with the Order of Council of 18th Nov. last, taking care to settle the account as low as may be within the sum already certified, and registering the orders of payment in a register to be kept for debts of this kind. Draft with corrections by Williamson. See No. 20. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIV., No. 13.]
Jan. ? 16. Copy of preceding, with corrections by Williamson. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIV., No. 14.]