America and West Indies: December 1673

Pages 535-544

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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December 1673

[Dec. 1 .] 1173. Sir Jonathan Atkins to (the Council for Trade and Plantations). The King has designed him to be Governor of Barbadoes and the islands annexed, and has referred him to this Board for his Commission and Instructions. Must confess he lies under some trouble to see his discretion and integrity arraigned by denying him the nominating of the Council, which was never yet refused to any Governor, and was granted even in the worst of times by Sir George Ayscue to Col. Searle. He will be sent with the title of Captain and Governor, but the Council, thus constituted, are established by as good authority as his own, and no doubt where their own interest is opposite to the King's they will make their party too strong for him, and having nothing but a negative voice, which will either set the people at odds with him, or establish a faction. If his Majesty make choice of the Council, he must of necessity advise with merchants or planters here, who have interest there and questionless will prefer their own friends. Is told the King refused them a Planter for their Governor, being informed they were too much inclined to popular government already; but if they attain the making of the Council, the title of Governor and the honour to go first will be alone his portion. It were much better his Majesty made them a Corporation and leave them to a free choice of the Council, as of the Assembly. It is undeniable that Barbadoes and the other islands are not annexed to the Crown of England, but depend solely on the King; who then so proper to present fit men as his Governor, who is bound to uphold his rights before all other interests. Begs they will consider the rocks he is thrown upon by this change. Is expected to come to Barbadoes with an olive branch but must come amongst them like a hurricane and turn topsy turvy the whole frame of their Government, to the discontent of most of the people; for those that are to be turned out cannot be without friends, who will make their cause their own, the cause of their suspension not want of wit but want of wealth, not want of honesty but want of money. In case of death or vacancy he is to certify the same to England, which may take six months, in which time five or six more may be dead, departed or suspended; in case they be reduced below nine the Governor may make them up to that number, of whom seven are still to be a quorum; but if Lord Willoughby could hardly get a quorum out of 12 he will never be able to out of nine, so that until he can hear from England there must be no Council held in Barbadoes, and if he does elect, it is but pro tempore and he fears none will undertake it on that account. Hopes they do not desire to send him with more fetters than are necessary. Where Governors are near to address themselves to the supreme power, those rules may pass, but the amplest power they can give will be little enough to keep order in such an island as this. Endorsed, "Sr Johnathan Atkins' paper. 1mo Dec. 1673. Delivered into the Council and read." 3 1/2; pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXX., No. 84.]
Dec. 2. 1174. Minutes of the Council of Barbadoes. Ordered, that Lieut.-Col. Wm. Bate call in the necessary match from the several stores in the island, deliver 1 cwt. to Capt. Wyborne of his Majesty's ship Garland, and employ the rest for the forts about St. Michael's Town; and that Capt. Wyborne do not sail till Saturday next. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XI., 254.]
Dec. 2.
1175. Affidavit of Wm. Hayes of London, merchant, concerning the taking of New York. That after Samuel Davis informed the Dutch that New York was in a very good condition, Samuel Hopkins, a passenger in Davis's sloop, and inhabitant at Arthur Cullin New England [Achter Col in New Jersey] and professor there. voluntarily declared that what Davis had said was false and that New York was in no condition to defend itself, which encouraged the Dutch to proceed to that place which they presently took, where Hopkins yet continues and had encouraged the Dutch to proceed to the taking of Arthur Cull, having discovered to them also the weakness of that place. This examination was taken by me Edwyn Stede. 1 p. Printed in New York Documents, III., 213–214.[Col. Papers, Vol. XXX., No. 85.]
Dec. 4. 1176. Memorandum of a Pass for 40 volunteer soldiers to be embarked by the African Company and transported to Cabo Corso for defence of the castle there. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. XL.,, p. 136.]
Dec. 5. 1177. Deposition of William Carpenter, Gent., aged 24, before the Council for Trade and Plantations. Was present with Edwin Steede, Esq. in the Court of Common Pleas at Austins Bay in Barbadoes, when he presented to Henry Walrond, junior, Esq., Chief Judge, a Patent from his Majesty, and demanded the Marshal's place of that Court, and several times pressed said Judge and Court to read said Letters Patent; but they were not read, and when deponent left Barbadoes some time after, one Mr. Syncleare executed said office under that Judge. 1/2 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXX., No. 86.]
Dec. 5.
1178. Order of the King in Council. On petition of Martin Stamp setting forth the barbarous cruelties and murders committed on his brother Timothy Stamp, merchant, and several English mariners taken in the ship Humility of London, Matthew Fox, master, by Don Philip Hellen ats FitzGerald, capt. of a Spanish man-of-war, as they were sailing between Jamaica and Virginia, with a particular narrative thereof attested by Matthew Fox, who alone by great providence escaped with his life, though he was run into the body in several places with a sword and detained nine months at sea by Fitz-Gerald purposely to be destroyed if any ship should oppose him. And there being another petition presented by Edmond Cooke, master of the Virgin of London, with a narrative of the taking of said ship by said Fitz-Gerald and two other Spanish men-of-war in her voyage from Jamaica to London, and of the barbarous proceedings against the master and his mariners. Ordered, that said narratives be given to Sec. Lord Arlington, who is desired to write effectually to Sir Wm. Goldophin, his Majesty's Ambassador in Spain, to represent to the Catholic King his Majesty's just resentment of said inhuman proceedings and to demand reparation and satisfaction for the same, and further to acquaint the Spanish Ambassador here with the same, and press him to procure speedy satisfaction. Annexed,
1178. I. A true relation of the circumstances and manner of the taking and surprising by the Spaniards the ship or pink Virgin of London, of 130 tons, Edmond Cooke, master, on her voyage from Jamaica to London, laden with sugar, logwood, indigo, tortoise shell, cocoa, pimento, and boxes of rich English goods, on 10th May 1673 about 40 leagues short of the Havanna, by three ships of war, commanded by Captains Philip-Fitz-Gerald, Mat. Delacruze, and Don Francisco. That he had received a packet of letters from the Governor of Jamaica for the King, with instructions in case of imminent danger of surprisal to cast it overboard, and he cast it into the sea accordingly. That a pistol was kept at the master's breast for three quarters of an hour with threats of killing him if he would not declare what was become of the King's pacquet of letters, and he finally confessed it was cast overboard. The Spaniards also gave chase to a New England ketch that came in company of the Virgin. The Spanish Commanders pretended their Commissions authorised them to surprise and destroy ships trading to or from Jamaica, but utterly refused to produce them, asserting their flag was their Commission. That after 14 days they were put into the Virgin's long boat and into a canoe, where, in their passage for Jamaica, they were in great danger from the insufficiency of their boats and the weather, by reason whereof and from want, one man died, and were two months reaching Jamaica. Signed, Edmond Cooke, John Austin. Sworn by Edmond Cooke 11th December 1673, before Rob. Wyseman. Endorsed, "Reced 3° Decemb. 1673." 2pp. Together, 3pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXX, Nos. 87, 87. I.]
Dec. 8. 1179. Minutes of the Council of Barbadoes. "An Ordinance by the President and Council," investing the Judge and his four assistants of St. Michael's with the powers of a Court of Exchequer for the trial of actions wherein his Majesty's revenue is concerned. 2 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XI., 255–256.]
Dec. 11. 1180. Relation by John Channon, master of the ship Rebecca, of his barbarous usage by the Spaniards. Sailed with eight men from Jamaica with Sir Thos. Lynch's let pass for Barbadoes 22nd October 1672, was next day forced by foul weather into Cape Antonis, a vacant place at the westernmost end of Cuba, 70 leagues from Havana by sea and 140 by land, for repairs. An hour after came aboard a Spanish canoe with about 12 soldiers, who were seemingly courteous, and desired him to carry his let pass to their Commander at the other side of the Point, and having taken counsel of one of his men, Roger Kine, who had been prisoner among the Spaniards, he said that if they meant roguery they would have done it at their first coming aboard, he put out his boat and went with Kine and three Spaniards; who, however, put them ashore, and went aboard and brought off the rest of his men, and left them with nothing but a piece of a great knife, a penknife, a piece of tobacco tongs and a flint and "founck horn," which a man had put in his pocket the day before to strike fire in the night. Next morning the Spaniards came ashore, as he was informed at Havana, to kill them, but they had gone to seek water. The Spaniards then weighed anchor and left them at Cape Antonis, a place whence never any man had travelled. In 10 days after they had began their travel one man, Richard Harper, failed, and being afraid he would be eaten, begged them to go to prayer with him, sing a psalm and leave him whilst they had strength, which they did to their great grief, expecting daily the same; but it so pleased God to strengthen them, that though they had nothing to eat but wild cabbage, three snakes and two crabs, they travelled in all 31 days and then came to inhabitants. Found an old Spanish house where a mulatto lived, who was absent, and afterwards met an Indian who hearing whence they came, crossed himself, saying God brought them, for never any man came that way alive. They were taken to a captain's house, who seemed much troubled at their usage, and sent two men with them for 50 leagues to another captain's house, by whose means they were conducted to Havana, being 62 days since they were put ashore. Went to the Governor for his vessel and goods, not having had a pennyworth of logwood or any other Spanish goods aboard, but found his vessel fitting out for a man-of-war, and himself sent home for Seville prison, where he continued seven months, being examined four times. Was questioned whether he did not know it to be a crime to go into the West Indies: answered, he thought he was as free to sail from one of his Majesty's islands to another as they were to their ports; at which they said it was contrary to their Articles for any English dog to go into them ports, and condemned him a slave for four years to the quicksilver mines, and on pain of death never to go into the West Indies. By means of Sir Wm. Godolphin, himself and one of his men, were set at liberty, and has heard that the rest of his company got free as soon as they came for Spain. His damage amounts to 1,828l. 18s., as he will attest on oath. Signed by John Channon and sworn before Rob. Wyseman that the above relation and the inventory of his losses annexed is true. 4 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXX., No. 88.]
Dec. 16. 1181. Order of the Council for Trade and Plantations. That John Locke, Esq., Treasurer, pay to Thos. Roe, doorkeeper to this Council fifty shillings. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XCIV., p. 116.]
Dec. 19. 1182. Report of the Council for Trade and Plantations to the King. Present herewith draught of Commission and Instructions for Sir Jonathan Atkins, as Governor of Barbadoes, &c., according to directions from Sec. Lord Arlington. Having inquired into the state of the magazine in Barbadoes and finding a great want of powder and small arms, advise his Majesty to send 300 barrels powder, 1,000 muskets, 340 pikes, 10 reams of paper royal for "carthrages," 40 handspikes, and 10 iron crowes, with Sir Jonathan, to be disposed of by him so as his Majesty may be reimbursed. And Sir Jonathan is very desirous that the 800l. a year his Majesty allows him out of the 4 1/2 per cent,, should be paid him in Barbadoes, which he conceives would be no way prejudicial to his Majesty's affairs. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXX., No. 89; see also Col. Entry Bk., No. XCIV., 100–101.]
1673 ?
Dec. ?
1183. Proposals of Sir Jonathan Atkins for additions to his Commission and Instructions. Is informed, the complaint of not paying debts in Barbadoes, proceeds from hence. There are five Courts Palatine, having distinct jurisdictions, the island being divided into five cantons or shares, severally depending on the several jurisdictions are courts, so that what is condemned in one court cannot be executed in another jurisdiction, and it frequently falls out that a planter who has lands in two jurisdictions, when one comes to make distress, withdraws his goods and negroes into the jurisdiction where he is not condemned, defrauding thereby his creditors. The Judges have neither stipends nor fees, and if they get anything it is by favouring the party condemned; they make their own clerks; and the marshals or bailiffs, who are made by the Provost Marshal, for money give notice to the debtor when they will distrain; who makes over his estate beforehand, and purchases some small piece of land in Scotland (as they call it), which is appraised at some small value, with which the creditor must be content. Conceives the expedient is to reduce it to two courts in the two chief places of the island, to take away all particular jurisdiction, and that laws be executed every where alike; all officers to be appointed and sworn and secturity taken, and that for misdemeanour they be displaced by the Governor and Council. These divisions were suitable enough at the beginning of the plantations, but much greater trade requires laws for better support of credit, which is much impaired by not paying their debts. Is informed all taxes are made and collected by the Assembly, and the Treasurer made by them to whom alone they pretend they are accountable; whereby great sums remain in the Treasurer's hands, and there is neither a house for the Governor and Council to meet in, nor a gaol in the whole island. The King's commands will be needful that they be brought to an account. Desires power in his Commission or rather by a private one to take or destroy Surinam or any of the Dutch islands or plantations. Endorsed, "Sir Jonathan Atkin's proposals concerning some things to be added to his Commission and Instructions." 2pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXX., No. 90.]
Dec. ? 1184. (Sir Jonathan Atkins) to (the Council for Trade and Plantations). In order to their last commands with reference to his former papers further offers for consideration —(1.) Whether in the maller islands the number of 12 for the Council be not too big the whole Barbadoes having been a long time heretofore governed by a Council of six, and whether the quorum of seven be not inconvenient as expressed in Lord Willoughby's letter. (2.) The oath may be given to him by any five of the Council; but if the King commissionates a new Council, on his arrival the power of the former one ceases, and believes it will be insisted on by the people that the Governor take the oath on the place before he can act; he never knew it otherwise. (3.) Does not well understand if the power of Captain-General with limitation as practised in England, extend to the powers as formerly, it may be too much, if as they are now, it may be too little, the defence of the place lying solely on the Governor. Esteems it his duty to lay before them an address to him by the merchants, consisting of three heads, viz.:— (1.) That the 4 1/2 per cent. (or at least part thereof) may be disposed according to the intention of the Act by which it was given, viz., for support of the Government and other public uses. (2.) That all places granted by Patent may be executed by the Patentees themselves and not by Deputies. (3.) That his Majesty would allow a convenient number of ships to remedy the great want of provisions and utensils, and the great losses of the planters and merchants by keeping their perishable goods there. Endorsed by Locke. "Barbadoes, Sir Jonathan Atkins's paper, 73." 1 1/2 pp. [Col, Papers, Vol. XXX., No., 91.]
Dec. 19. 1185. Draught Commission for Sir Jonathan Atkins, Governor of Barbadoes. His Majesty appoints Sir Jonathan Atkins, Captain-General and Governor-in Chief of Barbadoes, Sta. Lucia, St. Vincent, Dominica, and the rest of the Caribbee Islands to windward of Guadaloupe under his Majesty's subjection; and appoints John Willoughby, Sir Peter Colleton, Bart., Henry Drax, Henry Hawley, Henry Walrond, Samuel Barwick, Samuel Farmer, John Sparke Samuel Newton, John Knight, Thomas Wardell, and William Sharpe the Council, with power to choose a Council in each of the other islands, consisting of 12 persons, seven to be a quorum. To certify any vacancy, that the King may appoint others in their room. With power to appoint in cases of vacancy up to the number of nine in each Council, who shall be Councillors until confirmed by his Majesty, or others nominated. With the usual power to take the oaths and administer the same; and with consent of the Councils, to suspend or expel any member on just cause. To summon General Assemblies of the freeholders and planters according to the custom of Barbadoes, to ordain laws, which shall continue in force two years and no longer, unless confirmed by his Majesty. To have a negative voice in the passing of laws, and power to dissolve said Assemblies. To use the Public Seal of Barbadoes, and with the advice of his Councils to erect and establish courts of judicature, appoint judges, sheriffs, and other officers, and administer oaths; transmitting to his Majesty copies of all establishments of courts, officers, &c. With power to pardon offenders, treason and wilful murder excepted, but to grant reprieves until his Majesty's pleasure be known. To present to ecclesiastical benefices. To levy arms and muster all persons whatsover and transfer them from one island to another, and to any of his Majesty's plantations in America, for resisting our enemies, and to vanquish and take, and put to death, or preserve, according to the law of arms. To ordain and execute Articles of War as used in England in time of insurrection or invasion on soldiers in pay only; with advice of Council. To erect forts, castles, cities, and towns, and fortify or demolish them; erect Courts of Admiralty, and exercise the powers of Vice-Admiral according to the instructions he shall receive from the Lord High Admiral. To grant his Majesty's lands on reasonable quit rents, under the Public Seal of Barbadoes. To hold fairs and markets; and appoint ports and harbours and erect custom houses. Not to dispose of any office which has been granted under the Great Seal. With power to appoint Deputy-Governors in the respective islands and plantations. In case of his death the Council of Barbadoes to take upon them the administration of this Commission. "We, your Majesty's Council of Trade and Plantations, humbly offer to your Majesty this draught of a Commission for Sir Jonathan Atkins. (Signed) Halifax, G. Carteret, Rich. Gorges, H. Brouncker, William Hickman, Ed. Waller, H. Slingesby." 15 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXX., No. 92; see also Col. Entry Bk. No. V., 153–162.]
Dec. 19. 1186. Draught Instructions for Sir Jonathan Atkins, Governor of Barbadoes. To repair with all speed to Barbadoes, call together the Council nominated in his Commission, cause said Commission to be published and administer to Council the usual oaths. To communicate to Council these Instructions, and cause Proclamation to be made in the other Islands as soon as may be of his being constituted Governor. The members of the Councils to enjoy freedom of debate, and vote in all affairs of public concern. Members of Councils to be men of good estates and abilities, and not too much in debt; but not to be made Judges so long as they serve in said Councils. Their number neither to be augmented nor diminished, nor any suspended or expelled without sufficient cause, the reasons and proofs of which with their answer to be forthwith transmitted to his Majesty; as also the names and qualities of any put by him into the Councils. To transmit copies of all Laws and Statutes: no Judges or other officers to be displaced without good and sufficient cause, nor is he to execute himself or by deputy any of said offices, nor suffer any to execute more offices than one by deputy. All salaries and fees to be in the bounds of moderation, and no exaction to be unreasonably made. No man's life, member, free-hold or goods to be taken away or harmed, but by known laws, as much as may be agreeable to those of England. That persons of different opinions in religion may not receive any discouragement; he shall dispense with the oaths of allegience and supremacy, to those bearing any part in the Government (except members of the Councils, Judges, and Justices) finding out some other way of securing their allegiance; and in no other case to suffer any man to be molested in the exercise of his religion, so he be content with a quiet and peaceable enjoying of it. But we oblige you in your own house and family to the profession of the Protestant religion, as practised by us in England, and the recommending of it to all others. To take care that all drunkenness, debauchery, swearing, and blasphemy be discountenanced, and none admitted to public employment whose ill fame may bring scandal thereon. All Planters and Christian servants to be fitly provided with arms, and mustered and trained. To send yearly an account of all arms and stores, also the number of Planters, servants, and slaves in each Island, their increase or decrease, and how many are fit to bear arms in the respective militias. To take care of all goods imported and exported, that due entries be made to what places they come or go, and of the profits arising to his Majesty. To give encouragement to merchants and others, in particular to the Royal African Company, his Majesty being willing to recommend that those islands have a constant supply of merchantable negroes at moderate rates, and to take special care that payment be duly made for them. Account to be yearly sent to his Majesty of the number of negroes supplied, and at what rates. Also of the wants and defects of the islands, their chief products and improvements in industry, and how his Majesty may contribute towards them. All the Articles of the Treaty of Madrid of 8/18 July 1670, to be carefully observed, with power with advice of Council to take order for anything for the advantage of the islands not provided for herein, giving his Majesty speedy notice thereof, provided he do not declare war without his Majesty's particular commands. Account to be given from time to time of the strength of bordering neighbours, and what correspondence is kept with them. To endeavour to pass laws to set the value of men's estates under which they shall not be capable of serving as jurors, for restraining inhuman severity by masters or overseers towards their Christian servants, and for raising stocks and building workhouses for employing indigent people. To erect a fair in each of the four Port towns of said island. To take into his custody the arms and ammunition sent with him, agreeing with the Master of the Ordnance how his Majesty may be reimbursed. In case of distress of any of his Majesty's plantations to assist them on application with what aid the islands can spare. The prison at Barbadoes to be forthwith repaired. To endeavour to get the Assembly of Barbadoes to re-enact the law whereby lands seized by process of law for satisfaction of debts be sold as formerly by out cry, and to acquaint the Assembly how sensible his Majesty is, what great prejudices are brought upon the trade of that island by the difficulty men find in recovering their just debts, which, if not timely remedied, will draw certain ruin upon the place. Not to encourage any planting or grant any lands in any of the islands except Barbadoes, till further order. With similar mem. and signatures as to Draft Commission. 14 1/2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXX., No. 93.]
Dec. 19 1187. Copy of preceeding with mem., that the foregoing Draught Commission and Instructions were delivered to Lord Arlington by the Secretary. [Col. Entry Bk., No. V., 162–171.]
Dec. ? 1188. Memorandum of alterations and additions in Sir Jonathan Atkin's Commission, as compared with Lord Willoughby's; chiefly relating to the transfer of the power of nominating the Council from the Governor to his Majesty. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXX., No. 94.]
Dec. ? 1189. Memorandum of alterations and additions in Sir Jonathan Atkins's Instructions as compared with those to Lord Willoughby. 2 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXX., No. 95.]
Dec. 23. 1190. Minutes of the Council of Barbadoes. Ordered, that the Commissioners for sale of the provisions sent for the St. David and Garland, proceed to sell all that remains, saving sufficient beef, pork, and bread for the Garland for five months, at the price current, either in ready money or sugar. 1/2 p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XI., 256–257.]