Entry Book: April 1686

Page 1691

Calendar of Treasury Books, Volume 8, 1685-1689. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1923.

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Page 1691

April 1686

April 26.
Representation from the Governor and Council of Virginia at a Council at James City in answer to Treasurer Rochester's letter of 1685, Dec. 21, touching quitrents, supra, p. 495; there being present at the said Council Lord Howard of Effingham, the Governor; Mr. Auditor Bacon, Mr. Secretary Spencer, Col. Philip Ludwell, Col. William Cole, Col. John Custis, Col. Richard Lee, Col. John Page, Col. William Bird and Col. Christopher Wormeley. The Governor read Treasurer Rochester's said letter signifying the King's pleasure to apply 513l. 15s. 7d. of quit rents of the Colony to discharge a debt remaining on the revenue thereof and for the better support of the Government thereof. The Council return thanks for this royal bounty. As to the clause in the said letter requiring that the profits arising from tribute beaver and wine licences in the Colony should be futurely accounted for, the Council humbly represent to the King that the tribute beaver has always been received by all former Governors as a perquisite appointed to the office of Governor and that by the articles of peace concluded by the late King's Commissioners for the affairs of Virginia it was agreed that the several Nations of tributary Indians should pay to the Governor their tribute beaver and that likewise they should annually pay to his Majesty only three Indian arrows in lieu of a quit rent and as an acknowledgment for all lands they hold of our sovereign lord. The several towns of Indians are partly by war and partly by mortality so wasted and decayed that many towns now united do not make up the number of one town; whereby the value of the tribute beaver is much lessened to what in former Governors' times it hath been and is now so mean that if it were sold at the common price between man and man it would not produce above 50l. sterling. It is therefore hoped it will be continued as a perquisite to the present Governor "under whose prudent and watchful government this his Majesty's Colony doth now, God be thanked, flourish." As to wine licences it has never been known, since the first settling of this country that houses have been peculiarly set up for the vending of wines or that any wine licences have been granted. The only houses of accommodation are ordinaries and alehouses, which are not above two or three in a county, the masters of which houses do annually upon the renewing their licences pay to the Governor a small consideration as by Act of Assembly established. Ibid, pp. 212–3.