Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations, Volume 1, April 1704 - January 1709. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1920.
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Journal, June 1707
A letter from the Lord Bishop of London of the 2nd instant in answer to one writ him the 28th of the last month, for his opinion upon a law past in Virginia in 1706 for the effectual suppression of vice [fo. 187] and restraint and punishment of blasphemous, wicked and dissolute persons, was read; whereupon their lordships agreed to lay that law before her Majesty as fit to be repealed.
A letter from Mr. Secretary Harley, refering to this Board a petition of the Lords Proprietors of the Bahama Islands to the Queen, praying her Majesty's approbation of Robert Holden, esquire [fo. 185], to be Governor of the said islands, and to know if their lordships have any objections thereunto, was read. Whereupon ordered that letters be writ to Mr. Graves and Mr. Boon [fo. 206, 207] to attend the Board to-morrow morning in order to inquire of them what they know of the character of the said Holden.
Mr. John Graves attending [fo. 205, 213], and being asked what he knew concerning the character and qualifications of Mr. Robert Holden, nominated to be Governor of the Bahama Islands, he said that he did not know the said Holden, and therefore could give no character of him; but promised to make enquiry thereof, and to give their lordships an account accordingly.
A letter from Colonel Handasyd, Governor of Jamaica, dated the 21st of April last, was read, and the minutes of Council transmitted therewith from the 22nd of November, 1706, to the 7th of February following, were laid before the Board. Whereupon ordered that copy of paragraph C. of the foresaid letter, relating to two prizes taken and brought into Jamaica, be sent to the Commissioners of prizes.
A letter from Colonel Sharp, President of the Councill of
Barbadoes, dated the 24th of March last, was read; and the papers
referr'd to in the said letter laid before the Board, and are as
Papers of public proceedings.
Copy of a petition of several merchants &c. to the President, complaining of the Assembly's backwardness in redressing their grievances occasioned by the Act for a paper credit, and praying him to move the Assembly therein.
Address from the President and Council to her Majesty, setting forth that for the seditious behaviour of Colonel Cleland, he had been suspended the Councill, and praying her Majesty's confirmation thereof.
Minutes of Council from the 10th of February, 170 6/7, to the 21st following.
Naval officers' list of ships entred and cleared in Barbadoes from the 25th of September to the 24th of December, 1706, inclusive.
Three Acts past by the General Assembly in Barbadoes in February and March, 170 6/7.
Whereupon their lordships gave directions for preparing the draught of a representation for laying before her Majesty, together with the forementioned address, an account of the behaviour of the said Colonel Cleland [fo. 215].
Mr. Perry, Mr. Hyde and Mr. Linton attending [fo. 186], presented to the Board a memorial in behalf of the Virginia and Maryland merchants, setting forth the disadvantages they lye under in relation to the tobacco trade to Russia and other parts, praying their lordships to consider the memorial formerly delivered to this Board upon that matter, and to report thereupon to her Majesty, was read. And they added in discourse that their particular desire was that liberty be obtained from the Czar of Muscovy, for all such as are free of the Russia company to import into that country what quantity of tobacco they should think fitting; that the great improvement in quantity and quality of tobacco in Holland and Germany was very destructive to their trade, but they did not doubt that, in case tobacco could be sent from hence to France in neutral ships, to vend great quantities there; and being asked for a particular account of the tobacco's manufactured in Holland and Germany [fo. 263], Mr. Linton promised to give their lordships such an account accordingly.
The draught of a representation upon the Acts past in Jamaica in April, May and June, 1704, July and August, 1705, and February, 170 6/7 [fo. 204, 214], as directed in the minutes of the 30th of the last month, was agreed and ordered to be transcribed.
The draught of a representation [fo. 216] relating to the disobedience of the propriety and charter governments to her Majesty's proclamation for settling the rates of foreign coin in the plantations was agreed, and ordered to be transcribed.
This being the day appointed for hearing the complaints of the the Councill and Assembly &c. of Bermuda against Mr. Jones [fo. 181, 218], secretary and provost marshall of that island, and Mr. Attorney General and Sir Thomas Parker attending in behalf of the complainants, and Mr. Eyre and Dr. Lane on behalf of the said Jones, her Majesty's Order in Council of the 4th of April, 1706, requiring the said Jones to come to England prepared to answer the several complaints against him, was read. Then Mr. Serjeant Bennet presented to their lordships a charge in behalf of the Councill, General Assembly, judges and justices of the peace of Bermuda, against the said Jones, which was also read; whereupon the councill for the plaintiffs desired to know, before they proceeded any further, whether the said Jones had any patent from her Majesty for the places of secretary and provost marshall of Bermuda.
Unto which the council for Mr. Jones answered, that the question before their lordships was not whether the said Jones had a patent from her Majesty or no. The charge and all the proceedings against him stile and acknowledge him secretary and provost marshal; and they observed that he was suspended in King William's reign in June, 1701, which suspension was taken off by her Majesty's Order in Council of the 20th of April, 1704, and he permitted to return to the execution of his office, which was as good in law as if he had a new patent.
The council for the plaintiffs replied that in this case, upon the demise of the King nothing could legally reinstate Mr. Jones in the said place but a patent from her Majesty, and they insisted upon Mr. Jones producing such a one, else they should look upon all that he had done since his last going over as a violation of her Majesty's authority; and they further desired leave to lay before their lordships the proofs of the complaints formerly exhibited against Mr. Jones, because his former suspension had been taken off for want of such proof; and he permitted to return, upon promise of his good behaviour, but having had no regard to that promise, and continuing to misbehave himself, they hoped their lordships would permit them to make out the crimes formerly alledged against him.
The council on the other side opposed this motion, Mr. Jones having been reinstated in his places by her Majesty; nothing was now properly before their lordships but what he had committed since his last going over; and they declined answering whether the said Jones had a patent from her Majesty or no. But the councill for the plaintiffs insisting upon it, the defendants desired time till Wednesday next to give in their answer. Which being agreed to by the plaintiffs, their lordships ordered that both parties do attend on Wednesday next the 11th instant at nine a clock in the morning, in order to proceed further in the said hearing.
Mr. Graves attending [fo. 206, 254], acquainted their lordships that he had made enquiry about Mr. Holden, nominated by the Lords Proprietors to be Governor of the Bahama Islands, and was inform'd that he had some small estate; that he had a patent from the Proprietors to look after the whale fishings and wrecks in those parts, which was the main reason for their sending of him thither; that he had indeed a commission to be Governor, which the said Graves thought might be of dangerous consequence, there being no strength, and the Proprietors sending over none to defend those islands. Whereupon their lordships gave directions for preparing a representation in answer to Mr. Secretary Harley's letter of the 3rd instant, relating to her Majesty's approving the said Holden as Governor of the Bahama Islands.
Mr. Thomas Sleford presented to their lordships a memorial containing some reasons for establishing an agent for commerce [fo. 341], in subservience to the Council of trade, which was read. He further communicated to their lordships a like memorial which he had presented to my Lord High Treasurer with a minute endorsed thereupon, purporting that Mr. Sliford must make his application to this Board, my Lord Treasurer not thinking it proper to make any reference thereupon, in regard it is intermeddling with the business of the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations. After the reading whereof, and Mr. Sliford being withdrawn, ordered that he be acquainted by the secretary, the next time he calls at the office, that without a reference to their lordships, they did not think proper to make any report upon his proposal.
Mr. Holden attending [fo. 185, 253], and being asked several questions relating to the present state of the Bahama Islands, he said that he had been at several of those islands, but never at Providence. However he had been informed that the harbour there was very good, and capacious enough to contain a great number of ships; that ten or more ships came there every year for shelter, being drove off from the continent; that four or five hundred pounds would repair the fort, and put it into a good posture of defence; and that there were 500 men able to bear arms scatter'd in the several islands, but he owned that the said fort would not be tenable without a due reparation; and as for arms and stores of war, he did not know of any that had been sent thither since the desolation made by the Spaniards there about four years ago.
A representation relating to the disobedience of the propriety governments [fo. 210, 346; M. fo. 21] to her Majesty's proclamation for settling the rates of foreign coin in her Majesty's plantations in America, as agreed at the last meeting, together with a letter inclosing the same to the Earl of Sunderland, were signed.
A representation upon an address from the President and Councill of Barbadoes to her Majesty, touching the behaviour of Colonel Cleland [fo. 215, 322], one of the members of the said Councill, also agreed at the last meeting, together with a letter inclosing the said representation and address to the Earl of Sunderland, were signed.
A memorial from Mr. Charles Lodwick [K. fo. 135; fo. 254], in behalf of Colonel Bayard and Alderman John Hutchins of New York, setting forth that they had entred into recognizance, and also transmitted certificates thereof (annexed to the said memorial), pursuant to a representation from this Board to her Majesty, dated the 15th of December, 1704, upon an Act passed at New York, declaring the illegality of the proceedings against the said Colonel Bayard and Hutchins for pretended high treason, and for reversing and making null and void the said judgment, and all proceedings thereon, and praying a report for her Majesty's royal approbation of the said Act, was read; and Mr. Lodwick being acquainted that, till Mr. Attorney General's report upon the second Act, transmitted to him the 14th of December, 1705, was laid before them, they could not proceed any further in that matter; whereupon Mr. Lodwick promised to bring the same to their lordships accordingly.
Mr. Nodin, agent for the Bermuda Islands, and Mr. Jones attending, according to the directions of the 9th instant [fo. 210, 388], with the same counsel on each side; and the counsel for Mr. Jones, the defendant, being asked what they had to say to the question proposed by the other side, when last at the Board, viz.:—Whether Mr. Jones had a patent from her Majesty for the places of secretary and provost marshal of the said islands, or no ? they said:
That Mr. Jones had a commission under the Great Seal from his late Majesty King William during pleasure, that the next day after the King's demise her Majesty issued her proclamation, directing all persons to continue in and execute the offices they possess'd at his said Majesty's demise, till her Majesty's further pleasure be known, which proclamation being under the great seal, and her Majesty not having revoked the late King's patent to the said Jones, they look'd upon it that he is authorized by her Majesty under the Great Seal of England, and which they esteemed to be as valid in law as if he had a real patent from her Majesty, until such time as her Majesty's pleasure shal be declared to the contrary.
Unto which the counsel for the plaintiff replied that, as to the proclamation, there was nothing in it but what was common and usual upon all such occasions, for the common law determines all commissions upon the demise of the King, and therefore these proclamations were only for the keeping of the government in order, till the successor should think fit to make alterations therein. That the Act of Parliament, made in the first year of her Majesty's reign, for explaining a clause in the Act of the seventh of King William, for the better security of his Majesty's royal person and government, directs that all patents or grants of any office, shall not be construed to be determin'd by the death of his late Majesty, but shall remain and continue in full force for six months after his said Majesty's death, unless made void by her present Majesty; so that it is plain, that after the six months, all officers ought to renew their patents, such patents are good for six months; but by construction of the Act, after six months they are determin'd. The Act being subsequent to the proclamation, the proclamation cannot be offer'd as any authority for Mr. Jones's acting without a patent, and therefore everything that he has done since the said six months, is illegal, null and void.
Whereupon the counsel for the defendant answered, that they look'd upon the proclamation [as] equivalent to a patent; that the Act mentioned by the other side was out of the case, for the Parliament never intended thereby to restrain the power of the Crown; that if the Crown by proclamation continue officers, they are well and legally established in their places, for the term limited in the proclamation, and her Majesty's foresaid proclamation limited no time, and leaving it at large, during her royal pleasure, Mr. Jones is thereby confirmed in his places, till her Majesty revoke the same; and the late King's patent is also thereby become her Majesty's act and deed.
The counsel on the other side insisting that there is no colour, since the passing the aforesaid Act, for offices subsisting longer than six months after the demise of the King, unless in case of necessity, they were acquainted by the Board, that regard would be had to what had been offer'd on each side upon that matter, and were desir'd to proceed.
Then the counsell for the plaintiffs desired leave to begin with the proofs they had of crimes formerly charged against Mr. Jones, and which, though he was permitted to return to Bermuda, had never been made out here, and this being the prayer of the petition of the Assembly of Bermuda to her Majesty (marked H. No. 1), and that petition being referr'd to the Board, to examine the allegations thereof, and report the state of the fact, with their opinion thereon, they thought the former matters were now properly before their lordships. That the reason why Mr. Jones's suspension was taken off, and he permitted to return, was, for that there was not then in England sufficient proof to make good the crimes then charged upon him; and for that he promised to make a due submission to the Governor for what he had said against him, and to behave himself better for the future. Instead of which, he having since his last arrival misbehaved himself in several particulars now to be laid before their lordships, they thought there was sufficient ground, were it not referr'd to their lordships, to examine into his former behaviour.
The counsel for the plaintiff said that Mr. Jones coming from Bermuda in October, 1702, and his suspension not taken off till April, 1704, there was sufficient time for procuring proofs to the charge against him.
To which the other side replied, that proofs had been regularly sent, but were lost in a ship taken and carry'd into France, and that though he might come from Bermuda in 1702, his petition was not presented to her Majesty till November, 1703, and the representation thereupon was in April, 1704, so that there was not sufficient time to send for duplicates of the proofs necessary on this occasion.
The counsel for the defendant said that her Majesty's order of the 20th April, 1704, for taking off the said Jones's suspension, and for remitting the fines imposed on him in Bermuda, was as full and ample as could be, and therefore it would be very hard that he should be tryed again for pretended crimes already pardon'd by her Majesty; and upon this occasion they desired their lordships to look back into the minutes of the former commission. Whereupon the said minutes were read, viz.: those of the 28th February, 170 ¾, whereby it appears that Mr. Bennet was allowed six months to produce proofs of the crimes then laid to Mr. Jones's charge. By the minutes of the 27th of March following, it appears that a memorial from Mr. Jones was read, importing that Mr. Bennet had no objections to his being restored to his places; and by those of the 29th of the same month, Mr. Bennet and Mr. Jones being present, it appears that Mr. Bennet declared that Mr. Jones having made his submission and begg'd the Governor's pardon in writing for the words spoken against him, and he having no instructions in relation to the accusation against the said Jones, he had nothing to object to his readmission into his places. It appeared further, that the copy of the indictments and sentences against the said Jones were read, and he heard thereunto; whereupon a representation was ordered to be prepared, proposing that Mr. Jones be restored to the execution of his said places.
Upon which the counsell for the plaintiffs said, that by the representation of the Board Mr. Jones was not acquitted, but his suspension only taken off, in regard there was no proof here against him; that as to Mr. Serjeant Bennet's having no objection to Mr. Jones's returning to Bermuda, that was only in behalf of his brother the Governor, upon Mr. Jones's promising to make his submission, and ask his pardon; but that the complainants had no satisfaction done them thereby, and for that reason it is they desired to have the former matters laid before her Majesty. The compromise made between Mr. Serjeant Bennet and Mr. Jones was only conditional, that the said Jones should behave himself better for the future, which he having neglected to do, they thought it just and reasonable to lay the former complaints before her Majesty; not that they insisted that he ought to repay the fines remitted by her Majesty, in case he should be found guilty, but that their lordships might judge whether a man convicted on record for perjury, extortion, violence, oppression and maladministration in the execution of his offices, be fit to be employed by her Majesty in places of such trust.
Whereupon both sides being ordered to withdraw, they were, after their lordships had debated the matter, called in again, and acquainted that, considering the compromise between Mr. Serjeant Bennet and Mr. Jones, their lordships were of opinion that they should at present proceed upon the charge exhibited against Mr. Jones since his last going over to Bermuda, and if, upon the hearing, it appear'd that Mr. Jones had broke the said compromise, their lordships should be at liberty to hear the former charge, if they found it proper and necessary. To which both sides acquiesced.
Then the counsel for the plaintiffs exhibited the charge against
Mr. Jones, which was read the 9th instant in the words following,
1st. "That Mr. Jones was no sooner returned to Bermuda, but instead of behaving himself as he ought to do to the government there, and as he had promised this honorable Board (which as they humbly conceive, was the ground of taking off his suspension, and remitting of his fines) he with his wonted heat and passion, but with greater arrogance and insolence (being puff'd up with the advantage he conceived he had obtained over the government of those islands by his being restor'd), insults and affronts the Assembly, Councill, justices and government of these islands, and abuses them with insolent and vile language."
In order to prove this article, and that Mr. Jones by his behaviour
had render'd himself obnoxious and disagreable to the generality
of the island, the counsel for the plaintiffs referr'd to the petition
of the General Assembly to this Board, which was read, and found
to be in substance much to the same purpose as their aforementioned
petition to her Majesty, praying that Mr. Jones may be removed
from his employments there (the said paper is marked H. No. 3).
They likewise referr'd to the last paragraph of the remonstrance
of the justices of a court of quarter sessions held the 18th July,
1706, to Colonel Bennet (mark'd H. 69), which paragraph is to the
same purpose as the forementioned petition; and in further proof
of that part of the first article relating to Mr. Jones's giving a
general disturbance by his haughty and violent behaviour, they
referr'd to the affidavit of Nathaniel Trout (marked H. No. 8),
which was read.
2ndly. "That he lays claim and insists upon being clerk and register of all courts and jurisdictions in these islands, and to be Recorder and Custos Rotulorum, and declares that the records and all the courts there are his courts, and that he has the sole management and government thereof, and refuses the judges the sight of the records."
In proof of this article, they produced the affidavits of Robert
Bostock, George Darrell, William Tucker, Thomas Burton, Richard
Gilbert, Samuel Sherlock and Samuel Smith, which were read
(and are mark'd H. Nos. 68, 71, 72 and 75).
3rdly. "That he obstructs all the proceedings of the Assembly, and all the courts and judicatures in these islands, so that no justice could be had or done, since his last arrival."
In proof of this article, they referr'd to the foregoing affidavits, as also to those of Stephen Painter, Lewis Joh[n] stone and Nathaniel Trout (mark'd H. No. 8) and particularly to those of the foresaid Bostock and Charles Minors, setting forth that by threats he had so terrified them, that they durst not execute the places of clerks of courts, to which they had been chosen by the said courts, by means whereof the courts were adjourn'd and a stop put to publick justice, which were read. (The said affidavits are mark'd H. 68 and 73.) They also produced the copy of an Act past in Bermuda the 31st of August last, entituled An Act for the further regulating the courts of judicature in these islands, which was read (and is mark'd H. 58), setting forth that by reason of Mr. Jones's claiming to be clerk of the courts, and denying the judges the perusal of the records in his office, and threatning all such as should act as clerks of the said courts by the judges' appointment; the said courts were adjourn'd from time to time, and justice thereby delay'd ever since Mr. Jones's last arrival; and by reason of the death of some of the judges, and absence of others, the adjournments could not be further continued, the said courts and all the death so some of the judges, and absence of others, the adjournments could not be further continued, the said couts and all the proceedings and business depending therein must be construed to be discontinued. They have therefore enacted that all actions, suits, plaints &c. (pleas of the Crown excepted) issued out, entred or filed, since Mr. Jones's last arrival, be adjudged wholly discontinued &c., as if the same had never been entred, issued or field. The use the counsel made of this Act was to shew that Mr. Jones by his behaviour had so far obstructed all the proceedings of the courts, that, to prevent such ill consequences as might arise thereby, they were forced to pass the foregoing Act.
In proof of this, they referr'd to a paper, entituled Mr. Jones's complaints and demands, with Colonel Bennet's answer thereunto, which was read (and is mark'd G. No. 22), and to shew that Mr. Jones had no colour for demanding the custody of the seal, they referr'd to a clause in her Majesty's commission to Colonel Bennett, directing him to keep and use the public seal of those islands.
5thly. "That he demands of the Governor all the stores and ammunition in these islands to be delivered to him, though the Governor, by the 45th article of his instructions, is required to keep and take care of, and answer the same."
In proof of this they produced the aforesaid remonstrance, as also the forementioned affidavit of Stephen Painter, and of John Dickenson, which were read; setting forth that a court of sessions having required Mr. Jones to summon a grand jury adjourned for two hours; and upon the return, Mr. Jones made answer that he had not time to do it, though there were above forty persons attending there, fit for such an inquest, and that upon Mr. Jones's being acquainted therewith, he replied he did not like the persons.
In proof of this, they only produced the foresaid remonstrance of the justices of assize, setting forth that, having demanded of Mr. Jones an account of fines and amerciaments receiv'd by him, relating to that court, he produced an account, wherein he pays himself out of that money which he ought not to have done.
9thly. "That he sets open the prison doors, and permits the prisoners to go at large, especially those who are committed for disturbing the peace and quiet of the government of these islands, and when sent to, and required to take care and confine them, yet lets them out, to affront the Governor, members of the Assembly, and justices, in their houses, and as they pass by to hold the assemblies, assizes and sessions, and suffers the prisoners to keep shops in the prison house, and to lay them open to the streets, and to carry on their trades and traffick in the prison house, without any restraint, so that the goal is become an open shop, and every one that pleases may go abroad when and where he will, and none are confined, though in execution, whereby justice is at a stand, and nobody will proceed in their causes, since it is but a jest to send them to goal, where they are immediately discharged, and come and affront them that prosecute them, for so doing."
Upon the whole, the counsel took notice that Mr. Jones's refusing to return juries, was a crime of an extraordinary nature, for thereby it put an absolute stop to justice; for, till the pannel of jurors was return'd, it was impossible for the courts to proceed to business. That his refusing to bring a prisoner to the court, when required, was also obstructing of justice, and assuming to himself an authority above the court. That his claiming to be clerk of all the courts, is also very extraordinary, for his patent gave him no such right; but that if it had been his right, he ought not to have obstructed justice by detaining the records, and even the commissions constituting those very courts, from the justices; but he might have applyed, in case he had been aggrieved, to her Majesty for redress; and they added that the former secretaries, who had exercised the places of clerks of courts, were chosen by the said courts, or by other constitutions, and not by virtue of their patents. Then they rested it here, till the defendant should make his answer.
Then the counsel for the defendant said that the true reasons for these new complaints against Mr. Jones were not fairly stated to their lordships, and therefore they desired leave to open that matter, before they proceeeded any further, as follows:
That upon Mr. Jones's arrival in Bermuda, he waited on the Governor, and according to his promise here, desired to beg the Governor's pardon for anything he had said against him, which he did in a respectfull manner, after which all complaints were hush'd, till Mr. Jones came to demand an account of the mean profits arising by his places, from the persons executing the same during his suspension, and particularly of Daniel Greatbeach, who executed the place of provost marshal; and upon his filing a declaration against the said Greatbeach for the same, all was again in an uproar; the Council, Assembly, the courts and justices of the peace, were all set against him; the reason whereof was, for that the Governor himself had received the said mean profits, as appears by Greatbeach's plea to the said declaration [M. fo. 83], which was read, setting forth that he was not answerable to the said Jones, having accounted to the Governor for the profits accruing during his execution of the place of provost marshal.
That it is not to be wonder'd the foresaid persons should be all so violently set against Mr. Jones, if it be consider'd that the Council are the Governor's creatures, that the judges and justices being appointed by him are dependent upon him, and therefore will not fail of doing what he shall require; that the Assembly, by the method of election, are also his creatures; the said method is as follows: There are nine tribes, who send each of them four representatives, the Governor directs his writ to a justice of the peace in each tribe, the said justice summons the inhabitants to meet, and he proposes to them the first person, who is generally chosen, then that person proposes to the people the justice himself to be chosen, and he by virtue of being the second man, proposes the third, and the third the fourth, so that if these four be thus approved by the people (as generally they are) and the justice to whom the writ was directed in the Governor's interest (as no doubt but he takes care of that), the whole Assembly is properly of his nomination, and consequently in his interest; and therefore that it was very reasonable to infer that the Councill, judges, justices and assembly would be ready enough to comply with anything the Governor should require of them; and therefore they hoped that their lordships would not look upon the petitions or remonstrances from the said persons, as any evidence against Mr. Jones; besides that being themselves parties to the charge against him, nothing from them ought to be admitted as proof.
As to the proof offer'd by the counsel on the other side, to the first article, they took notice that the chief part thereof consisted in addresses from the Assembly, and remonstrances from the justices, which for the reason above mentioned ought not to be esteemed of any weight. And as to the affidavit of Nathaniel Trout, they said it was in general terms, and very little to the purpose.
As to the second article, that Mr. Jones claims being clerk and register of all the courts, the counsel did not perceive any crime in demanding his right. Mr. Jones did in a decent manner apply to the said courts to be admitted their clerk, which they refused. That it was not Mr. Jones's fault, if all judicial proceedings were stopp'd, but the fault of the judges, who might have chose another clerk, and gone on with the publick business. But by their whole proceeding, it appears that their aim is to have the disposal of all the patent offices in themselves. That it is not necessary, nor requisit, that the justices should have the records, for that Mr. Jones being sworn to keep the same, he could not put them out of his custody. That the place of clerk of the courts does belong to him as secretary, all former secretaries having enjoyed the same, and, their powers and rights being known, there was no need it should be mentioned in his patent. That Mr. Fyfield, his predecessor, by virtue of his patent (which allowed him the same fees, profits, advantages &c., which the secretary, sheriff and provost marshal of the late Bermuda Company ever had) executed the place of clerk of the courts, and Mr. Jones's patent gives him the same powers as Fyfield and all former secretaries had; and to prove that former secretaries were clerks of the Council and of the courts, they produced extracts out of the Council books and book of records I. No. 12 of Commissions (which was proved to be true extracts, by the affidavit of Thomas Nechills), by which it appear'd that Henry Tucker, Cornelius White, Nicholas Trot, and Charles Minors have acted in those places during the time that they were secretaries, and particularly the said Minors, as clerk of the court of chancery, whilst he was Mr. Jones's deputy, and they alledged that Mr. Jones himself did execute those places for eighteen months, without any opposition.
And in answer to what was offer'd by the other side, that Mr. Jones when refused by the courts to be admitted their clerk, ought not to have obstructed the proceedings of the court, but have made his application to her Majesty for redress, they produced the affidavits of Richard Castelman and Thomas Dunscomb, which were read; setting forth that they heard Mr. Jones at an assizes in June, 1705 (upon the judges refusing to admit him as their clerk) desire the said judges to appoint one themselves, rather than the publick business should be stopp'd; and the said Dunscomb further declares in his affidavit that in all his life he never knew any but the secretaries or their deputies execute the places of clerks of the courts. But the said Dunscomb attending at the same time, and being asked by the other side, whether those secretaries that acted as clerks of the courts, were not chosen by the judges, he said he did not know.
In answer to the affidavits produced by the other side, in proof of the third article, relating to Mr. Jones's obstructing the proceedings of the courts &c., they referred to the aforementioned affidavits of Castelman and Dunscomb; upon which they observ'd that Mr. Jones was so far from obstructing the proceedings of the courts by insisting on being their clerk; that he desired the judges to choose another, upon their refusing to admit him as aforesaid.
As for the forementioned Act for the further regulating the courts, they said that it could not be made use of to the advantage of the plaintiffs; they being parties, their own Act could not be brought in evidence for them. Besides, that the Act itself was in reality calculated for a quite different purpose than what alledged by the other side, for the discontinuing all actions &c. commenced from the time of Mr. Jones's arrival, was only to prevent his proceeding in the actions he had commenced against the persons who had executed his places, for the mean profits during his suspension. And that this was really so, they said did plainly appear from the Act itself, for though it discontinues all civil causes (which were the only causes in which Mr. Jones was concern'd), it continues all pleas of the Crown.
As to the fourth article, they admitted that Mr. Jones did demand the custody of the seal, but took notice that it appear'd from the paper produced on the other side, that he did it with all the submission and respect imaginable. They further observ'd that such his demand could not be imputed to him as a crime.
They took notice that the proof referr'd to in the fifth article, relating to the Governor's being required to keep the publick stores, was in reality none, for that was a clause in Colonel Bennet's instructions from the late King, whereas in the instructions from her Majesty there is no such clause, and therefore the Governor had no colour to claim the keeping of the said stores. Besides, the oath administred to Mr. Jones as provost marshal requires him faithfully to keep and preserve the ammunition and stores, which oath was produced and read; and prov'd to be a true copy by the forementioned affidavit of Thomas Nechills.
The proof offer'd to the sixth article, relating to Mr. Jones's refusing to bring up a prisoner when required by the court, they said was only the remonstrance of the judges of the court, and for the reasons abovementioned ought not to be admitted as evidence; and they produced the foresaid Nechill, who declared that Mr. Jones had only a verbal order, which was not authority sufficient for him to do it; that there was indeed an order in writing to the constable, but none to Mr. Jones; and that the prisoner was then, when required to be brought, above seven miles off the court; but the counsel took notice that no proof had been offer'd by the other side of Mr. Jones's refusing to receive the prisoner committed for murther.
The proof offer'd to the seventh article, that Mr. Jones refused to return juries when required, consisted in the foresaid remonstrance of the justices, which was of no weight; and as for the affidavits of Stephen Paynter and John Dickenson, they observed the matter of fact sworn by them might be true, and yet no crime in Mr. Jones; but that the justices were to blame, for that they met without any previous summons to Mr. Jones, and during their sitting directed a venire to him, which could not be comply'd with at that time, the several tribes out of which the jurors were to be returned being at too great a distance. In proof of which they referr'd to their foresaid affidavit of Thomas Nechills, and the counsell added that Mr. Jones could not make a panel out of the persons mentioned to be about the court, they being unqualify'd for that trust.
As to the proof to the eighth article, it is only from the parties themselves, being the remonstrance from the said justices, in opposition to which the counsel produced the affidavit of the foresaid Nechills, setting forth that, before he left Bermuda, Mr. Jones pass'd his accounts, as secretary and provost marshal, with the Governor and Councill, and had paid the ballance thereof to George Tucker, appointed by the Governor to be deputy in one of the said Jones's places.
The proofs offer'd to the ninth article were of the same nature as the former, the first part consisting of the foresaid remonstrance; and as to the affidavits of Paynter, Johnson and Trout, they were easily answer'd. First, as to Mr. Jones's setting open the prison doors, they thought could not be objected to him as a crime, he doing it only in compassion to the prisoners, that they might have a little fresh air; besides, that it was never done without a guard being kept at the door, and no prisoner ever made his escape, so that this is but clamor and no real complaint. As to his letting prisoners go at large, that was of the same nature, and only on two occasions; the one was, one Woodward, who did not make his escape, and was never seen abroad but once. The other was Dr. Starr, the only physician in Bermuda, and who was permitted by a verbal order from the Governor himself to come abroad to visit one that was sick, and that he never was abroad upon other occasions. And as to Mr. Jones's permitting prisoners to exercise their trades in the prison, that was so far from being a cause of complaint against him, that it was a great instance of his humanity, in permitting them by working or otherwise to get a livelyhood during their confinement.
Then the counsel urged that the reason they had not offer'd fuller proof in vindication of Mr. Jones, was because they were not permitted to take affidavits in the island. That Mr. Jones had made application to the Governor for copies of the complaints against him, as appear'd by an attested copy of his petition to the Governor of the 12th of August, 1706, but could not obtain the same. That the 19th of September, 1706, he petitioned the Governor that several persons might be examined upon interrogatories relating to the complaints against him, but could not obtain the same; so that Mr. Jones was [as] much as possible prevented in making his just defence.
However, as a further proof of Mr. Jones's innocence, they produced the affidavits of the foresaid Dunscomb and of Robert Barron, late minister in those islands, setting forth that the said Jones had a fair character in Bermuda, and had never misbehaved himself there, as they heard of, which affidavits were read.
Then the counsel for the plaintiffs, in their reply, took notice that as to the being clerk of the courts, Mr. Jones had no right thereto, it not being mentioned in his patent, except to the court of chancery, which does consist of the Governor and Council, and that the appointing of clerks does of common right belong to the judges, in proof of which they referr'd to the Lord Coke's Second Institutes fo. 425. And as for Mr. Minors's acting as Mr. Jones's deputy, that if so, was to be objected to Mr. Jones, for that by his patent he is particularly restrain'd from appointing deputies, and therefore what he did therein was contrary to his patent. That the instances they had produced of Tucker, White, Trot and Minors acting as clerks whilst they were secretaries, was not to any purpose, unless they had proved that they acted as clerks in virtue of their being secretaries, for they might have been chosen by the courts. And they produced an extract out of the book of records of minutes and courts (which is mark'd G. 24), whereby it appear'd that in 1692, John Kedgill was appointed clerk of the assizes, Nicholas Trot being secretary. That in September, 1693, Charles Minors was by the Council appointed clerk of all courts, Nicholas Trot being secretary. That the said Minors was in October, 1693, appointed clerk of the Admiralty Court by the judges' commission. That in January, 169 ¾, the said Minors was appointed clerk of the Exchequer Court, the said Trot being still secretary (by the Barons' commission). That in June, 1695, the said Minors being made Attorney General, Thomas Clark was sworn clerk of the court of Exchequer, and the foresaid Kedgill in 1697, Minors still being Attorny General, was sworn clerk of the court of Admiralty. So that it is plain that though the secretaries may have acted, when chosen as clerks of the courts, yet they have no right thereto, but by the deputation of the said courts.
To which the counsel for the plaintiffs reply'd, that this objection lyes against the instances they gave themselves, particularly in the case of Nicholas Trot; and they added that all the proof that was offer'd in justification of Mr. Jones's right to keep the stores, was only his oath as provost marshal, which they look'd upon as no proof at all, because that since the alteration of his late Majesty's instructions to Colonel Bennet, whereby he was directed to keep the publick stores, neither Mr. Jones nor any other person has been appointed store keeper, and therefore Mr. Jones has no colour of claiming the same of right.
That as to the allegation that Mr. Jones was not permitted to take affidavits, that was not proved, and that the Governor refused to examine some persons upon interrogatories, was not to be imputed to him as a fault, Mr. Jones not having desir'd the same, as appears by his petition, till two days before his departure; besides that his desire was, that the Governor should oblige those persons thereunto, which he could not do.
Then they called upon Captain Richard Jennings, an inhabitant of Bermuda, to inquire into the character of Mr. Jones, who said that he had heard both good and bad of him, but that the generality, especially the most considerable people, were against him. Then the counsel rested it here, and only said that they would send in a day or two to know their lordships' pleasure [fo. 261], in relation to their further proceeding upon the first complaints exhibited against Mr. Jones.
Colonel Nicholson attending, the clause in an Act past in Virginia concerning juries [fo. 188] was communicated to him for his opinion thereon, and Colonel Nicholson informing the Board that the said law was according to former practice, their lordships agreed to offer to her Majesty, in their report to be made upon the whole collection of the Virginia laws, that she be pleased to approve the said Act.
Their lordships then took into consideration a paragraph in a letter from the Board to the President and Councill of Virginia, dated the 26th of March last, as also a clause in the instructions to Colonel Hunter relating to the patenting of lands on the south side of Blackwater Swamp and elsewhere (entred in Virginia C. fo. 162), and finding that the foresaid paragraph did not sufficiently restrain the granting of lands or signing patents, as directed by the said instruction, their lordships gave directions for preparing a letter to Colonel Hunter [fo. 264], now at Portsmouth, requiring him not to grant any lands, or sign patents for the same, till her Majesty's further pleasure be known therein, and that he do transmit to this Board, with all convenient speed, after his arrival in his government, a perfect list of the patents already signed, and those ready for signing, for the said lands, with the number of acres contained in each grant, as also a copy of the form of the said grants, together with an exact survey of the number of acres and a plat of all the lands on the south side of Blackwater Swamp and Pamunkey Neck, which letter was prepared and signed accordingly.
Mr. Holden attending [fo. 215, 258], and being asked what stores and ammunition of war and provisions he was to carry over to the Bahama Islands for the defence thereof, what tools for artificers for repairing the forts and fortifications there, what quantity of ammunition and small arms there were when he was on the island; he said that the Lords Proprietors did not design to send any stores of war thither, but that they had provided books and paper and mathematical instruments for registring all things in the several offices; that he had himself bought half a tunn of swan shott and some powder, which he intended to distribute to the inhabitants at his arrival; that he had also bought linnen and other things for the use of the people; that there was no need of tools for repairing the works, nor of small arms or powder, the inhabitants being well furnished therewith when he was there, and that he did not beleive they were so now, and that three or four hundred pounds would be sufficient for repairing the damages done to Providence by the Spaniards. He was further asked if he knew the name of the ship on which he was to go on board, as also the name of the commander thereof, and what time the said ship would sail; he replied that the captain's name was Gilbert, that the ship was a Bermudian but he did not know her name, and he believed that she would be ready to sail about a week hence for Bermuda, where he intended to be put on shore, and from thence to pursue his way by land to the Bahama Islands. Then the said Mr. Holden was desired to attend the Board again at 12 of the clock to-morrow morning.
A letter from Mr. John Graves of yesterday's date, setting forth the reasons of Mr. Holden's soliciting for the government of the Bahama Islands, was read [fo. 213, 256], and thereupon ordered that Mr. Graves have notice to attend the Board at ten of the clock to-morrow morning, and that he do inform himself of the name of the ship of which Captain Gilbert is commander, and when the said ship will sail from hence.
Upon consideration of Mr. Lodwick's memorial [fo. 217], and the recognizances entred into by Colonel Bayard and Alderman John Hutchins of New York (mentioned in the minutes of the 10th instant), together with the late Attorney General's report, dated the 14th of March, 1705/6, in answer to a letter from the secretary of this Board of the 14th of December, 1705 [K. fo. 135], for his opinion upon a second Act past at New York declaring the illegality of the proceedings against Colonel Bayard and Alderman John Hutchins for pretended high treason, and for reversing and making null and void the said judgment and proceedings thereon; ordered that the representation of this Board, dated the 15th of December, 1704, upon the first Act past at New York, relating to the said Bayard and Hutchins, and the Order of Councill thereupon, dated the 18th of the same month, as likewise the Acts themselves, and the late Attorney General's report upon the second of the said Acts, with the recognizances and certificates, be sent to Mr. Attorney General, [fo. 355], for his opinion thereupon, and to know whether the said recognizances do fully answer the intent of the aforesaid order.
A letter from Captain Gardner [fo. 202], agent for the soldiers at Jamaica, of yesterday's date, giving account of 56 recruits being raised towards filling up Colonel Handasyd's regiment in the said island [fo. 352], and of the great difficulties the officers have met with in raising the same, for want of a larger allowance of levy money; and that he had ordered the said recruits to Plymouth to be embarked on board the packet boat, was read; and thereupon ordered that a letter be prepared [fo. 261] for transmitting a copy thereof to the Earl of Sunderland.
Mr. Graves attending, according to appointment [fo. 254, 292], his letter of the 11th instant was again read, and being asked as to the truth of the matters therein contained, he said that Captain Richard Jennings did hear Mr. Robert Holden say after he came out from the Lords Proprietors, that he would not attempt the resettling or fortifying of Providence during the war, or invite the people scatter'd among the islands to return thither till a peace was concluded. And that what he proposed to himself by obtaining a commission was that he should thereby be the better enabled to pursue the fishing for wrecks and whales, pursuant to a patent granted him by the said Lords Proprietors, without which commission the wrecks would be of little value to him. Mr. Graves being then asked if he was willing these informations might be made use of as occasion might require, he replyed that he readily consented thereto, he having no further knowledge of Mr. Holden than what he had from Captain Jennings.
At the same time he presented to the Board a letter of yesterday's date signifying that the said Holden designed to go to Bermuda in the sloop Hopewell, Captain John Gilbert, commander, now at Rederiff, and that she would sail from thence the beginning of the next month, which was read; and he added that the commander of the said sloop had declared that as yet he had received no ammunition or provisions on board, nor did not know of any he was to receive.
Mr. Holden also attending according to appointment [fo. 253, 262], and being again asked what he designed to do in relation to the repairing and fortifying Providence, he said that he had no intention, whilst the war lasted, to undertake the same, but if he were to fortify any place, it should rather be Elutheria, that having a good harbour, and might be made the best place of defence in the Bahama Islands; that ships of 150 tuns might come in there, and lay safe under the guns, as he should mount them; that Providence was not comparable to it, being only a road lying open and exposed, having no natural fortifications to secure it, as the other had. He added that he had an intention upon his arrival in those parts to call an Assembly, and propose methods to them for their safety, and the protection of all shipping that should come to those islands. Then being asked if he had anything further to offer, he said no, whereupon he was acquainted that their lordships would lay the state of the whole matter before her Majesty with all convenient speed.
Their lordships understanding that Captain Richard Jennings was without, he was called in, and being desired to give the Board an account in what state the fort at Providence was and whether the harbour was good for shipping, he said that as to Providence it was at present wholly defenceless, having been ruined by the Spaniards. That as to the harbour, it was large and capacious enough to receive ships of 400 tun, but that ships of burthen generally lay out in the road. Being then asked if he knew what things Mr. Holden was buying to carry over with him thither, and whether he knew of any intention the said Holden had of repairing and fortifying that place, he answered that he knew only of his having bought half a tun of swan and other shot, and some powder, but whether to be distributed by the said Holden or sold to the inhabitants there, he did not know. That as to the resettling and fortifying Providence he had heard the said Holden declare that he would not attempt the doing it whilst the war lasted, unless he found the people inclined thereto, they being not to be forced to any thing of that kind; and that his chief business was to make use of his patent. Captain Jennings added that at the request of the Lords Proprietors he had drawn up and presented a memorial to them of what was necessary to be sent over for the resettling and defending those islands, and being asked for a copy of the said memorial [fo. 261], he promised to bring the same to this Board on Monday next.
He then presented to their lordship copies of two proposals for securing the trade in the Spanish West Indies [fo. 278], and taking the Spanish Plate fleet and other vessells as they trade from port to port and to the Havana, and as they return from thence home to Spain, which were read.
A representation upon the petition of Mr. Sandford and Mr. Dorn [fo. 190, 322] to her Majesty, complaining of the proceedings of Mr. Cox, chief judge of a court of oyer and terminer held in Barbadoes the 10th of December last, together with a letter to the Earl of Sunderland inclosing the same, were signed.
The draught of a letter to the Earl of Sunderland, as directed at the last meeting [fo. 256], inclosing the copy of a letter from Captain Gardner relating to the number of recruits raised for Colonel Handasyd's regiment in Jamaica, and the difficulties the officers meet with here in raising the same for want of a larger allowance of levy money, was agreed and signed.
Ordered that the draught of a letter be prepared to the Earl of Sunderland stating the case [fo. 251, 262], and desiring to receive her Majesty's pleasure whether their lordships are to hear the former complaints against Mr. Jones, or only those since his last arrival.
Captain Richard Jennings attending, presented to the Board a memorial [fo. 260, 331], relating to the resettling and fortifying Providence and other places in the Bahama Islands, which was read; and being asked several questions therepon, he said the fort at Providence (destroyed by the Spaniards four years agoe) might be easily rebuilt, but that it would be of no use if a fort was not erected at the west end of Hogg Island. He further added that Mr. Holden had told him that at his arrival in those parts, he would use his best endeavours to draw the people to one place, and that when he had so done, he would perswade them if he could to settle and fortify there, but that he the said Jenning did not beleive it could be done, by reason the people there were very licentious, and have had for a long time no settled form of government amongst them.
The draught of a representation relating to Mr. Robert Holden [fo. 258, 264], nominated by the Lords Proprietors of the Bahama Islands to be Governor of the said islands, was agreed and ordered to be transcribed.
A letter to the Earl of Sunderland [fo. 261, 263, 323], desiring to know her Majesty's pleasure whether this Board shal hear the former complaints against Mr. Jones, secretary and provost marshal of Bermuda, or only those since the said Jones's last arrival in that island (as directed at the last meeting), was signed.
Mr. Nodin attending, and desiring to know when their lordships would be pleased to hear the former complaints exhibited against Mr. Jones from Bermuda, he was acquainted that their lordships had writ to the Earl of Sunderland to know her Majesty's pleasure therein [fo. 262].
Mr. John Linton attending, presented to the Board a letter of yesterday's date [fo. 209, 287], inclosing extracts of several letters to himself and others from their correspondents abroad, relating to the increase and improvement of tobacco in Holland and Germany; he also presented to their lordships a memorial setting forth how much the revenue suffers by the use of foreign tobacco on Board the Royal Navy, and proposing a remedy thereof, which letters and memorials were read; whereupon being asked several questions he said that one great discouragement to the consumption of our own tobacco on board the Navy, was the not allowing the drawback on such tobacco, for want of which the pursers furnish themselves with foreign tobacco at half the price they can buy ours for. He added that the only way to regain the tobacco trade, now lost, would be to allow the drawback on stalks manufactured here, which they could mix with other tobacco, and thereby be enabled to sell the same at Riga, Revell &c., as cheap as the Dutch, otherwise the Dutch will always beat them out of those northern markets.
A representation relating to Mr. Holden's being Governor of the Bahama Islands [fo. 262; M. fo. 106, 256], as agreed at the last meeting, together with a letter to Mr. Secretary Harley, inclosing the same, were signed.
A letter from Colonel Hunter of yesterday's date from Portsmouth [fo. 252], acknowledging the receipt of one writ him the 12th instant, relating to the granting and patenting of land on the south side of Blackwater Swamp and Pamunkey Neck, in Virginia, was read.
Copy of an Order of Councill of the 20th of the last month [fo. 150], upon a representation of the 9th ditto, proposing Thomas Belman, Lawrence Brodbelt and James Milliken, esquires, to be members of her Majesty's Councill of Nevis, approving the said representation, was read.
Copy of an Order of Councill of the 20th of the last month, upon a representation of the 9th ditto, proposing Peter Sonmans, esquire, to be a member of her Majesty's Council of New Jersey, approving the same, was read.
A copy of an Order of Council of the 5th instant, upon a representation of the 7th of the last month, proposing Samuel Beresford, rector of St. Michael's parish in Barbadoes [fo. 147; M. fo. 14], to be a member of her Majesty's Councill in the said island, approving the same, was read.
A memorial from Mr. Lawrence Crabb [fo. 268] was presented by Mr. Cox, relating to the naval strength of the French at Martinico, and to the prejudice thereof to the Leeward Islands and our trade in those parts, proposing how the same may be remedied, was read. Whereupon ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Cox to desire him to acquaint the said Mr. Crabb that the Board desire to speak with him on Tuesday morning next.
The secretary acquainted the Board that Sir Henry Ashurst had desired that a copy of the tryal of Vetch, Rouse &c., which he had received from New England, might be compared with that in this office, and attested as a true copy thereof, and further that he might have an extract of one of Colonel Dudley's letters which had formerly been given him, relating to Connecticut's refusing to give assistance to the Massachusets Bay. Whereupon ordered that the said tryal be examined and attested, and that he have an extract of the said letter, if he can tell the date thereof.
Then their lordships proceeded in the consideration of the Bermuda Acts, and read Mr. Solicitor General's reports [fo. 266, v. infra] upon those past in 1698 and 1701, together with the Acts themselves. They also read the Acts past in February, 170 ¾, in May and —, 1704, and agreed to go on with the remainder of the said Acts to-morrow morning.
Mr. Lawrence Crabb attending according to appointment, his memorial presented to the Board by Mr. Charles Cox the 18th instant [fo. 265, 288], setting forth that the great number of privateers the French have at Martinico is destructive to the Leeward Islands and our trade in those parts, and proposing a remedy thereof, was again read; and Mr. Crabb being asked how many men of war he thought would be sufficient for the security of the said islands and the trade thereof, he said that, if two fourth rates and two fifth rates were sent thither, he did not doubt but that they might in conjunction with the men of war attending on Barbadoes, together with such privateers as the inhabitants would be encouraged to fit out upon the arrival of this additional strength, be able to suppress the growing number of the French privateers at Martinico, scour the seas in the West Indies, and protect those islands from any further attempts and insults of the said privateers. Mr. Crabb being withdrawn, ordered that Captain Jennings [fo. 278] have notice to attend the Board to-morrow morning.
Their lordships then took into consideration the several letters,
memorialls and papers transmitted hither from the late Earl of
Bellomont, when Governour of New York, relating to the exorbitant
grants made by Colonel Fletcher, his predecessor, to several persons
in that province; as also the representations of this Board to
his late Majesty King William thereupon, together with whatever
else is lodged in this office touching the said grants, and went
through the same. A list of the said papers are as follows, viz.:—
Clause of a letter from the Earl of Bellomont, dated the 1st July, 1698.—New York. A. fo. 420.
The Attorney General of New York's memorial to the Earl of Bellomont about the method of granting land.—Bundle C. No. 52.
Copy of grants of large tracts of land by Colonel Fletcher.— Ibid. No. 53.
Copy of Colonel Fletcher's grant of the King's garden at New York to Mr. Heathcote, and of the King's farm to the English Church.—Ibid. No. 54.
Clause of a postscript of a letter from the Earl of Bellomont, dated 7th July, 1698.—New York. A. fo. 434.
Copy of Colonel Fletcher's grant of 50 miles of the Mohaques land to Mr. Pinhorn and others, dated 30th July, 1697.— Bundle C. No. 73.
Petition of the Recorder, Aldermen &c. of Albany to the Earl of Bellomont against Colonel Fletcher's grant of the Mohegan lands &c.—New York. Bundle C. No. 74.
Copy of Colonel Schuyler's resignation of his share of the Mohaques land, granted to him by Colonel Fletcher, dated the 19th April, 1698.—Ibid. 75.
Copy of Derrick Wessell's resignation of his share of the Mohaques land, granted to him by Colonel Fletcher, dated the 17th of April, 1698.—New York. Ibid. 76.
Deposition of two Christian Mohaques, relating to Colonel Fletcher's grant of 50 miles of their land, that they did not sell or otherways alienate the same, dated the 31st May, 1690.—Ibid. 77.
The Earl of Bellomont's report about Colonel Fletcher's grant of 50 miles of the Mohaques land to Mr. Dellius, &c.— New York. A. fo. 474.
Representation to their Excellencies the Lords Justices, relating to the general state of New York, with an account of the extravagant grants of land made by Colonel Fletcher, without a reservation of competent quit rents to his Majesty, or any obligation on the grantees to sell them, and the ill consequences of such grants.—B. fo. 18.
Order of Councill to prepare a letter to be signed by the Lords Justices, and sent to the Earl of Bellomont for vacating the grants.—New York. B. fo. 43.
Representation with the draught of a letter for the Lords Justices' signature, directing the Earl of Bellomont to put in practice all methods allowed by law for the vacating such exorbitant grants.—Ibid. fo. 47, 48 and 50.
The said letter.—Ibid. fo. 50.
Certificate from the Surveyor General of New York of the grants of land made by Colonel Fletcher, together with a mapp of the province and further reflections on the same.— Ibid. fo. 275.
Order of Councill of the 16th of the last month, upon the foregoing representation.—Ibid. fo. 292.
The Act passed at New York for vacating some of the extravagant grants has enraged the grantees against the Earl of Bellomont, but he will not be discouraged from endeavouring to vacate the rest in the next Assembly.—Ibid. fo. 311.
A letter from Mr. Yard, by order of the Lords Justices, for an account of the lease of the farm to the Church.—B. fo. 338.
The angry party at New York design to raise a storm against the Earl of Bellomont for vacating that lease.—Ibid. fo. 350.
In order to furnish naval stores, the Earl of Bellomont represents the necessity of vacating the extravagant grants, which comprehend fully three-quarters of the government, and are given to disaffected persons.—Ibid. fo. 367.
The Councill of New York were equally divided about the Bill for vacating the grants, so that the Earl of Bellomont was obliged to give his casting vote; his reasons why the regulations ordered by the Lords Justices were not then inserted.—Ibid. fo. 384.
Account of the Earl of Bellomont's endeavours to vacate some of the grants by Act of Assembly.—B. fo. 395.
The Act for vacating the grants has made the Earl of Bellomont enemy's, and Dellius is gone to England to hinder the confirmation of it.—Ibid. fo. 446.
He shall want the King's peremptory orders to vacate the rest, and desires the Act now sent may not be confirmed, if the rest are not to be broke, of which he sends an account.— Ibid. fo. 452.
He proposes the other grants to be vacated by Act of Parliament in England, and two shillings sixpence quit rent to be reserved on every hundred acres granted away for the future, with farther regulations.—C. fo. 14.
In a letter to the Earl of Bellomont, the Board command (sic) his lordship's zeal in vacating the grants, and desire him to pursue it in the next Assembly.—Ibid. fo. 150.
Letter from the Earl of Jersey, referring to the Board the consideration of the Bishop of London's letter about continuing the Church lease at New York.—C. fo. 196.
Mr. Montague's petition against the Act for vacating grants.— Bundle M. No. 2.
Mr. Solicitor General's report on the Act passed at New York for vacating the grants.—C.fo. 289.
Mr. Montague's memorial against confirming the said Act.— Ibid. fo. 348.
In the representation about naval stores, the Board report the Earl of Bellomont's reasons and proposals for vacating the extravagant grants, and regulating the conditions of all future grants, and of lands to be allowed in proportion to the former grantees.—Ibid. fo. 416.
But they forbear giving their opinion till they have received Mr. Champante's answer to the objections brought against that Act.—Ibid. fo. 430.
Mr. Champante's answer to the objections made by Mr. Montague.—Bundle Y. No. 65.
Mr. Champante's objections to Mr. Solicitor General's report (entred New York, C. fo. 289), relating to an Act past at New York in 1699, for vacating several grants of land &c.— Ibid. No. 66.
Allegations which ought to have been inserted in Mr. Solicitor General's report (entred New York, C. fo. 289) upon the Act past at New York in 1699 for vacating several grants of land &c.—Bundle Y. No. 67.
The Earl of Bellomont cannot begin the experiment for producing naval stores, till the Act for vacating the grants be approved; the King has not one acre of land nor one tree in the province.—D. fo. 19.
Letter from the Earl of Bellomont, dated the 24th of November, 1700.—D. fo. 148, 151, 167, 168.
Letter from the Earl of Bellomont, dated the 2nd January, 170 0/1 —D. fo. 221.
Letter from the Earl of Bellomont, dated the 16th January, 170 0/1.—Ibid. fo. 441.
Letter from the Lord Cornbury of the 30th June last, in answer to one writ him the 26th January, 170 2/3, relating to some Acts past by the Earl of Bellomont and Captain Nanfan with his observations thereupon.—F. fo. 187, 191.
Captain Richard Jennings attending [fo. 260, 280], and being asked if he had presented his memorial to his royal Highness's Councill, of which he gave in a copy to this Board the 13th instant, he said that he had not yet done it, but intended to present the same to-morrow morning. And being further asked how many men of war he thought would be necessary for protecting the Leeward Islands and our trade in those parts [fo. 269, 282], he replied that tho fourth and two fifth rate ships of war would be sufficient with what small craft could be fitted out in the West Indies for that service in like manner as had been proposed by Mr. Crabb in his memorial, which was read yesterday.
Their lordships then took into consideration an Act past by the Earl of Bellomont at New York in March, 169 8/9 entituled An Act for the vacating, breaking and annulling several extravagant grants of land made by Colonel Fletcher, the late Governour of this province under his Majesty [fo. 295]; as also another Act past there by the Lord Cornbury in November, 1702, entituled An Act for the repealing several Acts of Assembly, and declaring other ordinances publish'd, as Acts of Assembly to be void [fo. 277, 290], and went through the same and gave directions for preparing a representation thereupon.
Captain Jennings attending [fo. 278, 285], acquainted their lordships that he had presented his proposals to his Royal Highness the Lord High Admiral's Councill; as to the first part of the said proposal, relating to the intercepting the galleons, he said they thought it impracticable for the following reasons, viz.:—
That if our ships of war lay in any of the ports or bays in Cuba the galleons would not stir out of the Havana; that, if our ships lay amongst the Bahama Islands, there was no port or harbour to secure them from the north-west winds, so that in case those winds should blow they would infallibly be lost upon the shoals, and that if we should lie behind the Bahama Island near the streights of Florida, our ships would by the current and southerly winds be drove so far to the northwards, that the galleons might easily pass through the streights without being perceived.
Unto which Captain Jennings said he had replied that if the galleons did not stir out of the Havana whilst our ships lay at Cuba, we should, however, gain our point in preventing the mony being carried to France; that 'tis true the north-west winds (which are, however, very rare) would be dangerous to our ships lying amongst the Bahamas; but however that was no part of his proposal; that as to our ships being drove from behind the Bahamas to the northward by the southerly winds, that difficulty would easily be obviated; for the streight of Florida is not above 50 leagues over, and our ships lying at a convenient distance from one another at the mouth thereof, though they should be blown a little to the northwards, yet by having two or three sloops plying in the streights they might have notice of the galleons coming, and so prepare themselves to follow them in their course to Europe, and the galleons being bad sailors they may easily be overtaken. Then, being desired, he promised to put the foresaid objections with his answers thereunto in writing.
The Virginia merchants attending according to appointment [fo. 277], the draught of a representation relating to the discouragement they met with in the tobacco trade in this kingdom, in regard to foreign exports to Muscovy, Sweden, Denmark, France &c., was communicated to them [fo. 288], with which they were well satisfied and had nothing to add to it, and thanked their lordships for their care therein.
Then Mr. Arthur Baily and the rest presented to the Board a memorial relating to a convoy for a fleet of transports and other ships bound for Lisbon and from thence to Virginia, which was read, and upon consideration thereof when the gentlemen were gone, their lordships having a difficulty on that part of the said memorial which relates to the 10 or 15 sail of ships that are to be at Portsmouth the 2nd of August next; ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Baily to explain that part of the said memorial [fo. 284], for that it does not appear whether the said ships are to go to Lisbon with or without convoy.
A memorial from Mr. Lawrence Crabb [fo. 268], setting forth that if it shall be found requisite to send two fourth and two fifth rate men-of-war to the Leeward Islands for protecting the said Islands, and scouring the seas in those parts so much infested by the French privateers from Martinico, as proposed by his memorial read the 24th instant, that then letters may be sent to Colonel Park to inform him thereof, to the end that government may have time to prepare and fit out privateers to be ready to join the said men of war at their arrival, and forthwith to go with them in quest of the said French privateers, was read; and thereupon their lordships agreed to take the said memorial into consideration at the same time with the report [fo. 296] to be made upon the above-mentioned proposal of the said Crabb as also upon that of Captain Jennings.
A representation as agreed at the last meeting [fo. 280; M. fo. 69] upon several Acts past in Bermuda between the years 1690 and 1700, together with a letter to the Earl of Sunderland inclosing the same, were signed.
A letter from Mr. Arthur Baily [fo. 283], in answer to one writ him the 27th instant, signifying that the transport ships bound from Portsmouth to Lisbon are to have a convoy thither, but no further, and praying that a convoy may be ready at their arrival there, to proceed with the said ships from thence to Virginia, was read; and thereupon ordered that he be acquainted that, that matter immediately concerning the Admiralty, he ought to make application for the said convoy to his Royal Highness the Lord High Admiral.
A letter from Mr. Crispe of this day's date to the secretary, giving an account that there are several originial books and papers relating to the royal fishery, as also books and minutes of the Council of Trade from the year 1660 to 1668 to be disposed of upon a consideration given to the party who shal produce the same, was read, and directions given for writing an answer thereunto, desiring to know particularly what those books are, and how and where they may be seen, that some one from their lordships may inspect the same, in order to a valuation thereof.
A memorial from Captain Jennings containing proposals to his Royal Highness the Lord High Admiral's Councill, for intercepting and taking the Spanish galleons [fo. 280] as they return from the Havana to Spain (being the same with those delivered to this Board the 13th instant), together with Sir David Mitchell's objections thereunto and Captain Jenning's answer to the said objections, were read; and thereupon ordered that Colonel Jory [fo. 298] have notice to attend the Board, with any other merchants and masters of ships trading to the Leeward Islands, on Thursday morning next.
Mr. George Wilcox presented to the Board a memorial against an Act passed in Pennsylvania, entituled An Act fo directing the qualifications of all magistrates and officers [fo. 26, 293, 335], as also the manner of giving evidence, praying their lordships to take the same into their consideration, which was read, whereupon he was acquainted that there was no exemplification of the said Act under the seal of that province in this office; and he being withdrawn, their lordships ordered that Mr. Penn have notice to attend the Board on Wednesday morning next. Then their lordships read the several papers in this office relating to the said Act, which papers are marked Pennsylvania, Bundle o, No. 66, 67, 68, 77, 78, 81, 82 and 84.