America and West Indies
February 1631


Institute of Historical Research



W. Noel Sainsbury (editor)

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'America and West Indies: February 1631', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 1: 1574-1660 (1860), pp. 125-128. URL: Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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February 1631

Feb. 2.Commission from the Gov. and Comp. of Providence Island, appointing Capt. Wil. Rudyerd Chief Commander of all passengers in the Seaflower, bound for that plantation. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. IV., p. 23.]
Feb. 7.
The Comp. of Adventurers of Providence Island to Capt. Dan. Elfrith, Governor. Have appointed his son-in-law, Capt. Phil. Bell, to the government, because of his experience as Governor of the Somers Islands. To have a twentieth part of the tobacco made the first year in the island for his salary; two fifths to be allowed Capt. Sam. Axe, Governor during Elfrith's absence, and who has taken great pains about the fort and other works upon the island. Promises of future reward some other way. Are resolved as yet not to make any division of the land, nor to grant estates of any part of it until they have had more experience. Desire to know how he and the Governor will be best satisfied. Have sent him six servants to work at halves. Refer him to Gov. Bell's instructions, and intreat him to go on cheerfully with what he has begun. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. IV., p. 22.]
Feb. 7.Commission from the Company of Adventurers for the Islands of Providence, Henrietta, &c., appointing Capt. Phil. Bell Governor thereof during pleasure. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. IV. p. 11.]
Feb. 7.Instructions to the Governor and Council of Providence Island, In 35 Articles, the heads of which may be abstracted as follows:- Capt. Dan. Elfrith, Capt. Sam. Axe, and Lieut. Hugh Price, resident there, also Capt. Wil. Rudyerd, Wil. Rous, and John Hunt, to be there, also Capt. Wil. Rudyerd, Wil. Rous, and John Hunt, to be the Council. Oaths to be taken by the Governor, Council, and every planter above 16 years of age. The Governor to have an absolute negative voice. Lewis Morgan to be the Minister of the whole Colony, "until we send you more," with an allowance of 40l. a year and his lodging and diet provided by the inhabitants, until some more liberal contribution be resolved on. The people to be distributed into families, whereof one to be the chief, to whom only is to be delivered stores out of the Company's magazine. Thos. Fitch and Thos. Jenks appointed clerks of the stores. A new fort, to be called Fort Henry, to be built on the south-west side of the island by Capt. Sam. Axe, who is also to be employed in all other works of fortification. Capt. Dan. Elfrith to be Admiral of the island, and have precedence next to the Governor. Capt. Wil. Rudyerd appointed Capt. of Fort Henry and Muster Master General, to rank next. Every man to plant twice as much corn as will supply his own family. Excess of tobacco prohibited, which, if practised, "will cause us wholly to forbid it." Liberal rewards to those who introduce any staple commodity. Particular instructions for the Government deferred until a full account of the state of the colony has been received. Capital offences to be proceeded in by way of jury, as well as civil and criminal causes of great importance. A convenient church and commodious houses for the Governor and Minister to be built. Promise of a settlement on "Andera," now called Henrietta, and other adjacent islands. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. IV., pp. 12–18.]
Feb. 7.
Company of Adventurers of Providence Island to Capt. Ph. Bell, Governor. Wil. Tanner, captain of the Seaflower, will deliver to him his commission and instructions. His election was unanimous. Requested to make his own propositions for his salary. No division of the land as yet to be made, the profits being equally divided between the adventurers and planters. Six servants sent to him at the Company's expense at half profits; Governor Bell to find their diet and apparel. Send a tipstaff, described as an ensign of his government. Would more gladly have sent over "a more grave and experienced man," for minister than Lewis Morgan, whom they commend as a very sufficient scholar for his time, and a studious and sober man. Reasons why no other ministers go over. Direct that parsonage houses be erected; the minister to be lodged and dieted in the Governor's house while he continues a single man. Special instructions for setting up God's ordinances. Explain why Mr. Ward, a minister of the Somers Islands, was not sent over. Desire that the passengers of the Seaflower be carefully provided for. Urge the fortifying of the island, and the planting of provisions. The cultivation of "that scurvy weed tobacco" prohibited, to the neglect of staple commodities. Every master of a family to build a substantial house, conveniently large to entertain as many more people. General directions for employment of the people. The colours, ordnance, powder, &c. sent to be well cared for; further supplies will soon be dispatched. Desire that the Dutch who are on the island may be so respected that they have no cause of complaint, but they are only to have interest in land as occupiers and manurers. Request information as to their condition, religion, &c.; none to be allowed to leave the island until it is fully fortified and peopled. Deny the first planters the whole benefit of their last year's labours, for reasons set forth; but special regard is promised to them "that have broke the ice." Conditions upon which liberty to return home will be granted. Send a small token as a remembrance of their good affections. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. IV., pp. 19–21.]
Feb. 10.
Warwick House.
Minutes of a General Court for Providence Island. Capt. Bell's commission read and confirmed, also instructions to the Gov. and Council, and letters to Capts. Bell and Elfrith. John Pym settled in the place of treasurer until the next election day. Gabriel Barber admitted an adventurer; and Sir Thos. Barrington's admission confirmed. Upon petition of Lewis Morgan, elected minister of the colony, ordered that 20l. advanced to him by the Company for the purchase of books and other necessary provisions should be a free gift. A dinner "not exceeding the value of 40s." to be provided for the Company at every General Court. The Company to stand engaged for the discharge of a bond of Rich. Caswell. Wil. Hird to have leave to take his wife over with him; no other woman goes in the same ship, and as yet there is no woman at all in the island. Articles between the Company and Lewis Morgan, minister, and between the Company and Jas. Gardner, barber-surgeon, sealed. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. III., pp. 7–10.]
Feb. 14.
Warwick House.
Minutes as above. Accounts of the Company. Divers ways for raising money propounded. Capt. Rudyerd's commission read and confirmed; also a "charter part" between the Company and John Tanner for a ship to transport passengers to the island. Finance. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. III., pp. 10–12.]
Feb. 26.4. Petition of Sir Wil. Alexander, Capt. David Kirke, and others, Adventurers in the Company of Canada, to the Admiralty. The King granted them commission some three years ago to plant colonies in the river of Canada, to displant those who were enemies in those lands, and to trade with the natives. Are informed that divers ships are bound thither, particularly the Whale of London, masters Rich. Brewerton and Wolston Goslyn, contrary to that commission and greatly to the petitioners' prejudice. Pray that such vessels may be stayed or sufficient assurance given that they will prosecute no such voyage. Underwritten is a reference to Sec. Dorchester to examine the parties, and if they have intention to go into those parts, to order that they be stayed as is desired.
[Feb. 29.]
5. Warrant for the stay of certain ships bound to Canada contrary to a commission granted to Sir Will. Alexander, Jarvis Kirke, and other, who have been at great charges in settling and maintaining a colony and fort within those bounds. Endorsed by Sec. Dorchester, "Conceit of a letter for hinderance of men going to Canada, desired by Sir W. Alexander." See above.
[Feb. 29.]
6. Copy of the preceding.