America and West Indies: July 1673

Pages 504-510

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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July 1673

July 3. 1114. Minutes of the Council of Barbadoes. Ordered, that the Secretary cause the Act for an imposition on liquors, &c. to be fairly writ, and send same, with the Board's amendments apart, to the Assembly at their next meeting. ½ p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XI., 246–247.]
July 8.
1115. Lieut.-Governor Sir Thos. Lynch to Dr. Worsley. Refers to previous letter. This comes by C. Greene, bound from Barbadoes to England, but forced to leeward. In his last gave account of two years' receipts of the revenue, which did not amount to the pay of the salaries and contingent charges by 887l., and yet were the greatest years for importation of liquors that ever were. This account was drawn up for the Assembly, and all the Council and reasonable people of the island were of opinion that this with the King's orders, their Lordships' advice, and their own safety, would have prevailed with them to raise money to complete the fortifications at Port Royal; but instead, two or three factious persons stirred them up to cavil about their negroes being commanded to work at the fortifications, and to raise questions about the Governor and Council's power; which he thought so insolent that he immediately dissolved them, and determines to call no more. Finds Assemblies are apt to be refractory when not restrained by an absolute power such as (he supposes) the King will confer on the nobleman he sends Governor, that his authority and interest be established betimes. People are very healthful and have abundance of goods, but no ships to carry them away, nor have they had a ship from England since the King's ketch. Nevertheless, they have heard that divers of their ships have been taken. The last is Capt. Cooke, a vessel of Mr. Lyttelton's, carried into Havanna, and the master or some of the men said to be hanged. Two very good ships, Capts. Knapman and Webber, laden home, are also reported taken by two capers of 34 and 36 guns that lie in the Bay of Matanza and cruize off Havanna; but of neither have they any certainty. What is most assured is, that one Fitz-Gerald, a runnagate Irish rogue, has been sent out from Havanna and taken eight or ten Jamaica vessels in the bay, and also Cooke, and hanged one of his company, an Englishman, because he ran away from the pirate Yhallahs and would not rob his countrymen. Besides this fellow, another or two are sent out from Campeachy, so it is reckoned apparent ruin to go there, where about 40 vessels have been lost, to the great prejudice and enraging of the people; and fears it will force the logwood cutters and desperate privateers, which may be 500 or 600, to join the French, against whom it is reported the Spaniards have declared war. A pitiful Spanish barque forced to touch here on her way from Trinidad to St. Jago, and her boat being stopped on the north side, he has given the master all satisfaction, and sent him away two days ago content, though many here are not so, thinking the Spaniards worse enemies now than ever; but will do his utmost to observe the peace till further orders, though the service may be no more grateful at home than here. If there should be a rupture knows the Lords will give timely advice; of the war with Holland they had not a printed declaration until ten months after. This Spaniard could give no news from the Main, nor has he lately heard from Tortugas and Hispaniola of the French, but that ten Dutchmen, with two fireships, came into these Indies six weeks ago by way of Quinea, where they have destroyed the English and French. Hears not their design, but apprehends they are those their Lordships advised of, and that they come in the Spanish service, and may intend the ruin of the French and the attack of this island should they be strong enough for that, yet would two or three cruizers off Cape Tiberon and Havanna undo Jamaica. Presses the Lords to move the King for one frigate at least to defend the island and trade. Shall not be wanting to themselves, for they are fitting up a new fort, though they have no money, and he so much indebted for materials for the fireships, which are ready for action. All their men are well armed and drilled, but what they can do without forts or ships leaves them at home to judge. His last advised that two months since they sent the catch to Altavela, on Hispaniola, with a brigantine of eight guns and 50 men to surprise a pirate that has taken about 25 Jamaica vessels; has heard nothing of them, but expects the catch every hour, having ordered her to stay out but two months, and go no further than that coast. On her arrival will despatch her for England, being all the occasion they are like to have, unless some vessels come thence or drop in by chance, as this has; by which will write the ministers and send the Lord Treasurer the year's account. Not having heard from London these seven months, having no ships here, and beginning to want negroes, servants, and necessaries, fearing invasion, and having frequent accounts of losses and affronts by Dutch and Spaniards, makes them all very melancholy and angry, and makes him consider that without ships and supplies the King's plantations must be undone, customs unpaid, and trade left off; and it is probable the war will be long, both sides seeming alike, obstinate and powerful. Thinks it might be best that all merchants coming for America should be ordered to make one fleet, and that but once a year; for if they sailed in October, after the men-of-war are come in, they might arrive at their ports before Christmas, be despatched about the end of March, and be in England in May, time enough to serve in his Majesty's fleet; and could he spare three fourth and three fifth-rate frigates, two might convoy the Virginia and New England fleets, two the same for Barbadoes and the Leeward Isles, and two for Jamaica; and every merchantman should have a commission of war, by which means they will be always in the King's service, have better ships better fitted, and so contribute more to their own safety, or be punished without the formality of common law if they do not their duties. By this means it is possible the trade of the capers will not be so easy, custom and trade would be continued, plantations supplied, losses prevented, and ships and seamen more ready. But this is but the politics of one in another world, and may be all ad rhombum. Will be content to fancy he replies like him that told the poor man he had said enough to show his want but not to persuade him to relieve it. But nothing concerns him more than the want of money for the support of the Government, for the revenue depending on the importation and consumption of liquors, does not foresee there can be any these hazardous times, navigation to and from the island being mighty dangerous. Has commanded these to be hung up in the master's cabin and thrown overboard if he sees he shall be taken, and so hopes they will come to his hands or nobody's. Does not trouble Lord Arlington or the Lords, having been hardly able to hold up his head to scribble all this, in which he has done himself a violence, for it is probable that shortly a letter from Jamaica will be a novelty. Endorsed by Locke, Read 19 Nov in a "Committee." 4 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXX., No. 49; see also Col. Entry Bk., No. XCIV., 173–176.];
July 8.
1116. Presentments of the Grand Jury in Barbadoes. The daily increasing numbers of Quakers, who under pretence of piety, seduce many ignorant persons from due obedience to authority, and the true worship of God, which opens a gap to all heresies, and schisms in Government, and open profanity in manners; for prevention whereof it is proposed that all persons be more careful to send their children to be catechised and instructed in the fundamental truths of the true Protestant religion, most of the ministers offering their endeavours, and complaining that few or none repair to them, and that the aged more frequently repair to public worship, and be enjoined to the better observation of the Lord's Day, the profanation of which is a crying sin in the island; that the laws for punishing swearing and drunkenness be duly put in execution; and that orthodox ministers be countenanced against the insolent tongues and pens of ungodly heretics, and that all such as speak evil of dignities and are disobedient to authority, may be restrained by good and wholesome laws 2ndly. They present the great inconvenience arising from the reversal of judgments of the courts by writs of error occasioned by the insufficiency of jurors, and propose that it be declared what value of estate or stock may make men capable to be jurors, and that none under the degree of a councillor, judge, or colonel in command be exempted from serving on trial of land or freehold. 3rdly. They pray that public informers be appointed to prosecute offenders against the penal laws, and that they be countenanced by ministers of justice, and more particularly that the statutes to prevent depopulations, and against ingrossers and forestallers of provisions and salt, be prosecuted 4thly. They present the Clerk of the Markets for not making due inspection into the bad provisions lately brought to the island, and neglecting other duties, and request he may be enjoined to substitute a sufficient deputy in every town. 5thly. They pray that his Majesty may be petitioned for free trade with Scotland for Christian servants. 6thly. For licence to coin silver, without which there can be no assured trade; and 7thly. That the consideration on which 4 1/2 per cent. was raised may be granted to the island. 8thly. They present the insufficiency of the prison, the decay of the Indian Bridge, and the general neglect of surveyors of highways. 9thly. They request that in every parish houses may be erected, and a stock provided for setting to work poor people, to prevent the daily increase of idle beggars, presuming that if the public make a beginning, other charitable persons would contribute. 10thly. They present the cruel severity of some masters and overseers towards their Christian servants by which some have lately been destroyed. 11thly. They request that a public fair may be held yearly at each of the four seaports. 12thly. They present the great damage many suffer by ill-disposed persons who on pretence of fright, seize other men's negroes; which may be prevented by enacting such seizing to be felony, or otherwise providing a trial the first court on a replevin under a large penalty; and 13thly. They thank God for so gracious a King, who has appointed the Government of this island on such worthy persons. Signed, Alex. Riddocke and Richard Bowcocke, Clerk of the Crown. Endorsed, "21st October, 1673. Read at a Committee of the Council." 2 1/2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXX., No. 50; see also Col. Entry Bk., No. XCIV., 161–163.]
July 8–10. 1117. Minutes of the Council of Barbadoes. Present, the President and eleven of the Council. Ordered, that the Grand Session for trying treasons, murders, felonies, and misdemeanours, be held by the President and Council (or any three of them), assisted by so many of the judges and justices as shall be present; and that the Assembly be summoned to meet at the usual place to-morrow morning at 7 o'clock.
July 10.—Ordered, that the Act for an imposition on wines and liquors imported be published in St. Michael's town to-morrow by beat of drum, and in the parish churches of the seaport towns the Sunday following; and that Lieut.-Colonel Bate and five others, or any four of them, whereof the first to be one, make a survey of the provisions and stores sent from England on the ships African and St. Peter for the use of the ships St. David and Garland, and make report to the President. 1 1/2 p. [ Col. Entry Bk., No. XI., 247–248.]
July 16.
1118. Sir Henry Chicheley to Sir Thomas Chicheley. The Governor and Assembly of Virginia have made choice of him (Sir Henry) to present their humble desires to the King in the inclosed petition, wherein is truly manifested the present state and weak condition of this country against invasion which they may justly fear in this time of wars. They have raised 20 regiments of foot, and as many troops of horse, without making use of any of their slaves or few of their English servants, yet have not arms for every tenth man. It cannot be denied that Virginia yearly raises a greater revenue to the Crown by customs than any other plantation under his Majesty's dominions, therefore they may justly hope for a sufficient supply of arms and ammunition. Although behaving liberally to several agents on similar occasions, they have not answered the country's expectations, so that his favourable assistance will be received with general satisfaction. [2 pp.] Incloses,
1118. I. The petition above referred to. Account of a fight with four Holland men of war, and the loss of eleven of their ships and goods and of the necessity of assistance for their defence. The foundation alone for a fort at Point Comfort will cost at least 15,000l. sterling, whereas their public revenue does not exceed 2,200l. a year, of which the Governor has 1,200l., the Council 200l., and the rest expended in necessary works. Hopes still it will not be expected from them. Suggest such duties being laid on ships as may support the necessary charge, for soldiers will not serve for tobacco, because the merchants give them so little for it, as a year's salary will hardly clothe them. Signed by Will. Berkeley, Hen. Chicheley, Edward Digges, Thos. Ludwell, Nathaniell Bacon, Augustin Warner, Henry Corbyn, Daniel Parke, Tho. Ballard, Nicho. Spencer. 4 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXX., Nos. 51, 51. I.]
July 25. 1119. Warrant to the Atorney-General. To prepare a Bill containing a grant to Thomas Derham, gentleman, of the offices of Clerk or Registrar of the Court of Chancery and Patents in Jamaica, by himself or his sufficient deputies for life, with all fees to said office appertaining. 1/3 p. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. XL., p. 81.]
July 25. 1120. Warrant to the Attorney-General. To prepare a Bill containing a grant to Anthony Wingfield, gentleman, of the office of Clerk of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas at Port Royal in Jamaica, or wheresoever that court is held. 1/4 p. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. XL., p. 81.]
July . 1121. Warrant for payment of 8,397l. 2s. 4d. to Richard, Lord Ranelagh, and William Lord Brereton, in right of their wives being daughters and co-heirs of the late Francis, Lord Willoughby, for their moiety, of his Majesty's 4 1/2 per cent. revenue at Barbadoes, same having been employed in his Majesty's service in the war against the Dutch; with directions for levying tallies on the Farmers of that revenue, and in what manner the same is to be paid. [Dom. Chas. II., Docquets.]
July 28–30. 1122. An exact account of all the proceedings of the military officers of Fort James, from 28 July 1673 to the surrender of the fort. 28 July. Seeing ships in the bay under sail and suspecting them to be enemies, sent a warrant to Mr. Disborough of Momoronock, with letters to his Honour to press horse and man to go to Hartford to meet him, another warrant with a letter to Lieut. Willett and Cornet Doughty to draw up their troops to Utrecht and the coasts, to make discovery or give resistance, and to send down an officer to the ferry to attend orders, and warrants to the officers of foot upon Long Island to get their companies together and immediately repair to the garrison. 29 July. The companies not being come in, another more ample warrant was sent to Mr. Wm. Osborne to reinforce the former, and a warrant to Mr. Barker for seizing provisions was put in execution; orders were given to the sheriff for bringing in all the ladders of the town to the fort. 30 July. Capt. Carr, Mr. Thos. Lovelace, and Mr. John Sharpe were sent on board to demand the reason why they came in such a hostile manner to disturb his Majesty's subjects, who on the way met a boat bringing a summons to surrender the fort, dated 9 August 1673, and signed Cornelis Eversen and Jacob Banques, to which was replied that an answer would be given when those gentlemen had returned from the ships; thereupon he gave half-an hour's time, after the men were landed for the final answer, and the half hour being expired, an answer was sent desiring the suspension of hostile acts till the next day for the advice of the mayor and aldermen, to which they replied that they would give half-an hour longer and no more, and accordingly turned up the glass. The time expired and no message returned, they fired two guns to leeward as warning pieces, to get their men ashore, and when their men were all off, began to make their batterings upon the fort, which the garrison maintained as well as they could; at length finding their power too great for them, beat a parley and put up a flag of truce upon the works, yet they fired many guns afterwards; at length leaving off firing, heard they were marching down to storm; sent out Capt. Carr, Mr. Lovelace, and Mr. Gibbs to make the best conditions, who finding them all drawn up and their forlorn marching, their General told them they were prisoners of war, and if they had anything to say must speak it immediately. After some little discourse Capt. Carr was sent away to the fort (the rest remaining prisoners near their standard) to acquaint the garrison they were all prisoners of war, and that they should return their answer in a quarter of an hour, which he promised to perform on the word and honour of a gentleman and gave his hand thereupon. The time being expired and Capt. Carr not returned, they sent to the fort to know why an answer was not sent; Capt. Manning and Capt. Lovelace replied that they had gentlemen there to make conditions, to which their General answered, "Dit is de dree mael deij heb speld the Gaeck," and so commanded them to treck up and give no quarter. So marching towards the fort till they came near Mr. Van Ruijven's door, they espied Mr. Sharpe coming in haste towards them with a paper in his hand, whereupon they made a halt. In all this time Capt. Carr never came with his message nor has he been seen since. The Articles brought by Mr. Sharpe were (1) that the officers and soldiers should march out with arms, colours flying, and drums beating; (2) that the fort should be delivered to the Dutch; (3) that the officers and soldiers should carry away their goods without hindrance; these articles were read in Dutch to Col. Calvert and other commanders with him in the broad way near and towards the fort where Mr. Sharpe found Mr. Lovelace and Mr. Gibbs prisoners at the head of the regiment. Col. Calvert took the articles and after some capitulations put them in his pocket and engaged with his hand on his breast that upon the word and honour of a gentleman they should be punctually performed, and the next morning, confirmed the same, saying that they were to be prisoners of war which none of them were sensible of, it being only communicated to Capt. Carr, who immediately thereupon absented himself without giving them the least notice thereof, two of which articles were performed that night. Signed, John Manning, Dudley Lovelace, Thos. Lovelace. Endorsed, Capt. Manning's papers about New York. 5 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXX., No. 52.]