America and West Indies: June 1673

Pages 499-504

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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June 1673

June 9. 1105. "Humble Address and Advice" of the Council for Trade and Foreign Plantations to the King. In observance of his Majesty's directions to inquire into the several complaints presented to the King from Governors and others of his Plantations touching the proceedings at St. Kitts in relation to his Majesty's subjects there, who have not recovered to this day the right of their respective possessions again, according to the 8th Article of the Treaty of Breda, they have drawn up an entire state of said proceedings as it doth appear to them. Then follows a recital of what was done, but notwithstanding the commission and instructions given to Sir Chas. Wheler and Lt.-Col, Stapleton, they find not the success expected, for the several reasons set forth, no consideration having been had to the loss of his Majesty's subjects by being kept out of their possessions from the 2/12 May 1668, when rendition was first demanded by Lord Willoughby, to the 5/15 July 1671, nor any allowances for damages done to the Plantations during that time. And because Sir Chas. Wheler, wholly without his Majesty's order, entered into certain articles with M. de Baas relating to meliorations, pejorations, forgeries, or differences about contracts, wherein the Commissioners could not agree, which transaction of Sir Charles' brought a double inconvenience; for the French Commissioners on the one hand would yield to nothing the English propounded, but referred almost all cases to the two Generals, and Lt.-Col. Stapleton on the other hand, unwilling to concern himself in any of the said articles, refused to take on him this arbitrary umpirage; so that after seven months sitting the Commissioners rose and concluded little or nothing. But as his Majesty has given no countenance to Sir Chas. Wheler's proceedings, they are of opinion that it is every way agreeable to the honour and justice of the French King and his alliance with his Majesty that no advantage be taken by him of any of Sir Chas. Wheler's concessions or of the lapse of time; but that all said proceedings be wholly laid aside, and that he issue peremptory orders that his Majesty's subjects, refunding the money actually received for lands and goods sold to the French, defaulking for all goods lost or wasted, have the same speedily restored to them, and that all debates relating to meliorations be wholly set aside. For the better inducement to his most Christian Majesty the more readily to grant the restoring of the said possessions they humbly offer that no demand be for the future insisted on about the several thousand slaves taken from Montserrat, Antigua, and St. Christopher's, which by the 13th Article were to be free to return to the English; nor for the 39 cannon which by the 12th and 15th Articles were to be delivered up with the forts to his Majesty, nor for consideration for the not rendering possession of the island for three years after it was first lawfully demanded, or for the many wastes within that time made not only on divers plantations and houses not sold to the French, but on the very churches also. All which, though reasonable in themselves to be insisted on, yet for the motives aforesaid they humbly offer be wholly remitted and forgot, which they the rather present that the amity between the two crowns may be the better preserved, and because they judge the regaining possession of the said plantations to be the principal thing that can secure his Majesty's interest in the island and can encourage your Majesties subjects again to plant upon it. Signed by Shaftesbury,C., Arlington, Halifax, Rich. Gorges, Sir H. Coventry, Sir Geo. Carteret, H. Brounker, W. Hickman, Edm. Waller, J. Evelyn, and S. Titus. 4 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXX., No. 44.] See also copy with marginal note: "To this purpose vid. the Lord Willoughby's narrative in the Leeward Islands." [Col. Entry Bk., No. XCIV., 50–54.]
June 10. 1106. Minutes of the Council of Barbadoes. Ordered that forasmuch as his Majesty's ship Garland, convoy to the fleet of merchant ships homeward bound, is retarded for want of provisions, George Hannay, Deputy Provost Marshall search the ships and places in St. Michael's Town, and seize and deliver to the purser of the Garland, provisions necessary, which shall be paid for out of the public treasury. 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XI., 244.]
June 11. 1107. Petition of John Smith, junr., son of English Smith, deceased, to the King and Council. Petitioner's father possessed two plantations called the Sadhill and Bath Plantations, stocked with sugar canes, cattle, and servants, and a parcel of pasture in Nevis, and died leaving by Will the Bath Plantation to his eldest son Thomas, and 700l. to his wife and children, and petitioner sole executor. That said Thomas having set up a Deed of Gift which his father made to him in the usurper's time to keep his estate from being sequestered. His Majesty on petitioner's petition ordered the Governor to enquire into the state of the case, and relieve the parties injured, upon which the Deed of Gift was laid aside and the Will proved in 1664. But said Governor being removed Thomas pretended the pasture belonged to the Bath Plantation, and petitioner for the sake of concord permitted him to enjoy it; but not content therewith, on a suggestion that there were several cattle on that ground, he sued for 11 cattle, two colts, and a negro boy, and obtained judgment against petitioner in his absence for 25,000 lbs. sugar, though neither ground nor cattle belonged to the Bath Plantation. Prays his Majesty to order the Governor of Nevis to stay execution or award restitution, and that said Thomas may be sent for over, that both parties may be heard before his Majesty in Council, petitioner being willing to pay cost if judgment be given against him. In margin: "Recd June 11, read 12, 1673. Recd & read 23 June, 73." Annexed,
1107. I. Order of the King in Council referring above petition to the Council for Trade and Plantations to examine and report to his Majesty what is fit to be done for petitioner's relief. Whitehall, 1673, June 20.
1107. II. The case of John Smith—to the same effect as his petition. Together, 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXX., Nos. 45, 45 I.,II.]
June 12. 1108. Minutes of the Council of Barbadoes. Ordered that in an exigency this Board may lawfully cause any provisions (that are to be sold) to be seized for his Majesty's ships, paying the price current. Also that the Garland make what speed she can to New England and back, and that the President issue instructions to Capt. Wyborne accordingly. 1/2 p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XI., 244–245.]
June 18.
1109. Governor Stapleton, to the Council for Trade and Plantations. Beseeches them to present to his Majesty that the 26th May last, by break of day, a Dutch fleet of 15 sail, nine men-of-war and the rest prizes taken from the French Windward Islands appeared before Montserrat, and continued firing at five ships riding at anchor till five in the afternoon, and boarded and carried off little a vessel called the Michael of Galway, whose master would not haul in within reach of the small shot. The 27th they consulted of landing a regiment of 1,100 men they had aboard, but made no attempt; they had 25 men killed and wounded, but none killed of the island but the gunners' boy, who was blown up in loading a gun. The 28th they came to Nevis and manned seven pinnaces to fetch off some vessels, but he ordered them to warp in so close that they durst not attempt anything; and having a captain and quarter-master killed they sailed to St. Christopher's, and carried off a French vessel, and killed a soldier, a woman, a child, a negro boy, and two Frenchmen. The 29th they sailed for St. Eustatius which they took (having landed 850 men) upon no other articles than quarters for the people in the fort, out of which the Governor says he and his men were beaten by great shot, which is not yet inquired into. They remained there 14 days and did little prejudice, and the island is reduced again, for as soon as they went away the French Governor sent to take it for his master; the English Governor sent four hours before him. Doubts they went to Windward again. Resolves tomorrow in a sloop for Montserrat which they have threatened to take. They report that they expect seven sail of Zealanders, a regiment bound to Surinam, and eight Hollanders from Guinea, which will be too many for any one island. Most of their soldiers are his Majesty's subjects, who treacherously deserted their colours in Flanders. Begs for his Majesty's result or their own in relation to the affairs of St. Christopher's. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXX., No. 46. See also copy: "Read at a Comttee as before 19 No. 73." Col. Entry Bk., No. XCIV., 171–172.]
June 23. 1110. "Representation and advice" of the Council for Trade and Plantations to the King. In pursuance of his Majesty's reference of 7th November last on the petition of Capt. John Rodney and Frances his wife, (see ante, No. 958), certify:—That they have heard both parties by their respective counsel, and are of opinion, in regard it was yeilded, by both sides that the plantation is the proper inheritance of Rodney's wife and descended to her from her father, that it ought not to be sold outright without her own free and voluntary consent; but as it does not yet clearly appear whether said plantation were sold singly for the debts of Richardson, her former husband, or partly for those contracted by Capt. Rodney, or at least for those of his brother and agent Caesar Rodney, humbly offer: That a special commission be directed to Lt.-Col. Stapleton and 4 others of Nevis with power to examine the records and proceedings of the Court of that island, and witnesses upon oath, and if they find that the plantation was sold for Richardson's debt alone, that they forthwith restore it to Rodney; but if it was sold in part for the debts of said John Rodney or his wife, or debts of Caesar Rodney contracted for the use of the plantation, that then it be not restored till Rodney or his wife shall satisfy or give security for such debts. And if it appear that any of Richardson's goods and chattels have been sold and converted to Capt. Rodney's own use, that then he give satisfaction to Cole who is creditor to Richardson, as far as said goods sold amount to. And if Cole has committed any wilful waste upon said plantation, or sold any timber for his own private advantage, that the Commissioners order him to give satisfaction to Rodney for the value of same, or if any timber has been cut for the public use that they order satisfaction to Rodney out of the public stock or treasury of said island to the value of said timber cut or to the damage done to said plantation. 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXX., No. 47, see also Col. Entry Bk., No. XCIV., 63–64.]
25 June./5 July.
1111. Memorial of M. Colbert the French Ambassador to the King. Concerning the seizure of the ship St. Etienne at Gambia. Represents to his Majesty and Council in the name of his master, that, on 30th March 1672, the ship St. Etienne of 180 tons, Capt. Le Cordier commander, was sent by Messrs. Jacques and Benoist, secretaries to the French King, and Landais, treasurer-general of the Artillery, to Guinea for gold, elephant's teeth, and negroes for the French islands of America; that taking in some wines at Madeira they departed thence, and come into the river of Serbonne to refit and water, Mr. Trevor, deputy of the English company at Guinea, without any pretence that appears, after he had caused several guns to be shot at her which killed one of the company, seized the vessel, her lading and victuals, and caused the rest of the company to be shipped in an old Flemish vessel to go where they pleased, as appears by the said Trevor's passport of the 21st August 1672, the reading of which alone plainly declares his unexampled violence between two friendly nations. As the said company is responsible for the actions of Trevor the deputy, and it appears by the annexed certificate itself that all has been converted to their use, his Majesty may please to order them to pay the just value of the ship and merchandize belonging to the said Messrs. Jacques, Benoist, and Landais with all costs, damages. French, signed, also translation. Annexed,
1111. I. Copy of a pass from Jno. Trevers and Jno. Alingham. For the bearers to have free liberty to pass where they desire, for they have forfeited their ship and goods to the Committee of Gambia Stock at London, and here taken by them for the account of that Committee. Sierra Leone, 1672, August 21. In Margin, "Governor of Gambia's pass for the seamen of the St. Stephen."
1111. II. Report of the Committee of Gambia adventurers to the King. In obedience to his Majesty's Order in Council of 27th June on the above memorial? they present the following narrative. On receipt of letters from Sierra Leone that Mr. Trevor had seized the ship about which the French ambassador complains, they attended his Royal Highness who is concerned in the stock, and then acquainted his Majesty who commanded them to take the French ambassador's directions, what he would have done. Where upon they waited on the ambassaor, but finding him ill left copy of Mr. Trevor's letters with his secretary and informed him that they had a ship in the Downs bound for Gambia River, by which they would write such orders as his Excellency should command; but hearing nothing, they only wrote to Mr. Trevor, that he had done very unadvisedly to seize the French ship, and advised him to keep ship and goods entire; and an account of all apart from the company's concerns. Also wrote to Mr. Rice Wight their chief factor at Gambia, that he had done well to chide Mr. Trevor and to disown it as the company do, and let him that hath done it bear the blame; but the ship and goods must be preserved for the right owners. They also told Mr. Peter Barre, to whom the committee showed all letters and advises, that they never gave Mr. Trevor commission to be their agent, or sent him any goods, and that their agent Mr. Rice Wight would not meddle with the ship or goods. Hope the French ambassador will be satisfied they have done as much as could be expected, and will write anything more he may desire by their next shipping in September or October next. Indorsed,"Received and read 9 July 1673:" [Col. Papers, Vol. XXX, Nos. 48 (2), 48 I. II.]
June 27 1112. Minutes of the Council of Barbadoes. Ordered, that all provisions brought in the ships African and St. Peter for his Majesty's ships St. David and Garland be put into the hands of the Treasurer, who is to give a receipt to the Board for a letter from the Commissioners of the Navy of 27th March last, and the several bills of lading and invoices. Sir Tobias Bridge admitted and sworn a member of the Council upon reading a letter from his Majesty to William Lord Willougby requiring that he be forthwith admitted. 1 1/2 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XI., 246.]
June 28.
Charles Town,
1113. Joseph West to John Locke. Though he has written several times and by Mr. Portman, who lately went in the ship Blessing, yet must entreat his assistance by importuning the Earl of Shaftesbury to hasten a ship from England with more people and supplies of clothing and tools, for the people cannot long subsist without supplies from the Lords Proprietors, and nothing but their assistance can preserve the settlement from falling, which in time he is confident will answer every man's expectations of it, as there is no plantation settled by the English in America like it for healthfulness. The advantages of falling upon English husbandry have almost overcome their extreme want of provisions this year, and hope a month hence to have corn enough of their own growth. Refers him to the report of the bearer, Mr. Miles' man. Endorsed by Locke. 1 p. [Shaftesbury Papers, Section IX., Bundle 48, No. 91.]