America and West Indies
February 1681

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Institute of Historical Research

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J. W. Fortescue (editor)

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1898

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7-15

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'America and West Indies: February 1681', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 11: 1681-1685 (1898), pp. 7-15. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=69843 Date accessed: 18 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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February 1681

Feb. 1.
Port Royal.
16. Sir Henry Morgan to the Earl of Sunderland. Since writing mine of the 27th January, a ship has arrived with your Lordship's letter, the King's commission and instructions, and three treaties for my guidance. I have summoned a Council for Thursday next, and issued writs for an Assembly to meet on the 18th March next. On Saturday night I had notice of one Captain James Everson, commander of a sloop, a notorious privateer, being at anchor with a brigantine which he had lately taken. I presently secured all the wherries on the Point and manned a sloop with twenty-four soldiers and thirty-six sailors, which at midnight sailed from hence, and about noon came up with him in Bull Bay. Then letting the King's jack fly they boarded him; they received three musket shot, slightly wounding one man, and returned a volley killing some and wounding others of the privateers. Everson and several others jumped overboard and were shot in the sea near the shore. They then brought her away with twenty-six stout men, whom they brought last night into this harbour. These are now prisoners on board H.M.S. Norwich to await trial for their lives. I have issued warrants for the apprehension of those that escaped, of whom I doubt not to give a good account. Such is the encouragement which privateers receive from my favour or the countenance of the Government, whatever the reflections of the Spanish Ambassador. I present this complaint to your Lordship against the unchristianlike conduct and unneighbourliness of the Spaniard, who take all our ships at sea or in port. They have this year captured twenty-two sail and absolutely ruined our Bay trade. Though not ordinarily prejudicial to this Colony, this is most detrimental to the King's customs, as you will perceive from depositions which I have forwarded to Lord Carlisle. I could multiply them if I chose to countenance addresses against the Spaniards' inhumanity. We treat them on all occasions with all imaginable respect and kindness, and in return receive only ingratitude; they have many English prisoners, we not one Spanish, and why they should have credit at Whitehall and we want it I leave to your Lordship. Postscript.—Upon search we could find nothing like a commission. All Everson's men were English, to the number of seventy, except six Spaniards. I shall send these last next week to Carthagena. Signed. Endorsed, "Rec. 29 April." 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 94.]
Feb. 1.
Port Royal.
17. Sir Henry Morgan to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I have received the King's instructions and three treaties, France, Spain, and Netherlands, but want your directions as to our other allies. I have been so fortunate as to capture a notorious pirate, Jacob Everson (recapitulates account given in No. 16). So much for the encouragement that privateers receive from this Government. 1 p. Inscribed, Recd. 8 Apr. 1681. Read 14 April 168]. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 95, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXIX., p. 474.]
Feb. 16.
Whitehall.
18. Order of the King in Council. That the petition of sundry of His Majesty's subjects in Bermuda be referred to the Lords of Trade and Plantations for their report. Signed, John Nicholas. 1 p. Annexed,
18. I. The humble petition of many of your Majesty's good subjects, freeholders, and others inhabiting the Somers' Islands or Bermudas. Your royal grandfather, King James, by Letters Patent established a Company in London for the government of these Islands, under whom your petitioners enjoyed much peace and quietness for sixty-eight years, whereof all your Plantations have received much benefit, particularly Carolina, which is well resented by the proprietors. Now, since several disaffected persons have endeavoured by wrongful charges of injustice and oppression to induce your Majesty to withdraw your countenance from them and us, under which this Island mourneth, your petitioners live in great pain, till you restore the Company, our nursing fathers, to its ancient method of governing. We therefore humbly beg you to command the Company to reform what is amiss amongst them, and let not this Island suffer with their dissolution, for we have already suffered too much in our wonted peace and quietness through these alterations. Signed, Flor. Seymour, John Fowle, minister, Richard Hanger, Thomas Witter, Henry Vaughan, John Bristow, sen., Francis Tucker, Daniel Seymour, Thomas How, John Bristow, jun., John Tucker. 1 p. Endorsed, "Recd. 21 Feb. 1680–81."
Memorandum in Entry Book,—Three other petitions were presented to same effect. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 96, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XVII., pp. 85, 86.]
Feb. 16.
Whitehall.
Plantations
General.
19. Order of the King in Council. Exempting ships liable to duty for commodities carried to England, Wales, and Berwick under the Act 25 Car. II. from that duty on the giving of bond and one surety. Printed sheet, black letter. Damaged. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 97.]
Feb. 16.
Esher Place.
20. Sir Thomas Lynch to William Blathwayt. During the time I commanded at Jamaica I know of no damage done the Spaniards but by such as were declared pirates, and punished when we could apprehend them; so that during all that time neither their vessels, goods, nor persons ever came under command. However, the Spaniards did us divers injuries, by seizing our ships and sloops, chiefly logwood-cutters. I sent a long catalogue of our losses, which amounted to many thousand pounds, which paper I suppose you have: it was in 1673. As I remember, the principal and most unjust was the Virginia, Mr. Lyttelton's ship, that was seized going for England because she had logwood in her. The master, Cooke, is he that is since turned rogue and took the cacao and murdered the Spaniards. Among that catalogue is a ship of negroes taken off Carthagena that amounted to about 6,000l. I expect to be in town next week. I thank you for the news and those that do me right in Council. I should be glad to hear of Colonel Herbert: we are frighted about him. Holograph. 2 pp. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 98.]
[Feb. 18.]21. Petition of William Righton of Bermuda to the King. Upon miscarriage of several of their petitions the inhabitants sent your petitioner over as bearer of a petition against the oppression of the pretended Company. On hearing the grievances of the said inhabitants your Majesty graciously ordered, on 14th November 1679, a Quo warranto to try the validity of the Company's charter. Josias Pitt, who came over with your petitioner, having occasion to return to Bermuda, took the said orders for the Quo warranto with him, and on his arrival was committed to prison, to his great damage and loss, by the Company's Deputy Governor, Sir John Heydon, for showing the said orders. Petitioner prays for a Royal order that satisfaction may be given to Josias Pitt for wrongful imprisonment. Signed, Will. Righton. 1 p. Inscribed, Recd. 18 Feb. 1680–81. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 99.]
[Feb. 20.]22. Petition of the Merchants and Freeholders of Bermuda to the King. The Bermudas were originally the property of the Somers' Islands Company, and the planters only their tenants, but your petitioners, by their labour and industry, have now long since become owners of their lands. The Company, besides the alienation of their lands, are now so few that their government is not practicable as directed by their charter, and indeed they have ceased to trade as a joint-stock company for fifty years. Yet the new pretended Company, contrary to the book of laws made by the true Company, imposes so many taxes and hardships, as is seen in the schedule annexed, that petitioners can no longer endure them. Petitioners complained five years since through their Assembly, by petition to your Majesty, but the Company concealed the petitions and gave orders that the Assembly should meet no more. Petitioners pray that a Governor may be sent, empowered to allow them such freedom of trade as is allowed by the Acts of Navigation, when they will cheerfully pay all duties and customs, fortify the Island, and maintain the Governor without expense to your Majesty. Annexed,
22. I. "Abstract of the Planters' Articles against the Bermuda Company." A recapitulation of the charges examined by the Lords of Trade and Plantations in 1679 (see previous volume, Nos. 990, 1052). Eighty-four signatures. Two parchment sheets. Endorsed, "Recd. 8 Feb. 1680–81." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 100.]
Feb. 21.
Council
Chamber.
23. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. The Bermuda Company, with several other persons concerned in the Islands, called in, and the petition, of the inhabitants read (see No. 25). Depositions of George Bond and Jonathan Francis also read. Their Lordships resolve on their report (see No. 31). [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., pp. 251–253.]
[Feb. 21.]24. Deposition of George Bond and Jonathan Francis. George Bond of London, mariner, sworn, deposes:—About the 28th August 1680, I, being in Bermuda, went before the Deputy Governor, Sir John Heydon, who ordered me to enter into a bond of five hundred pounds not to carry any tobacco or other goods off the Island. I refused, telling him that I had already entered into a bond of a thousand pounds in the King's custom-house in London to bring such commodities of the growth of the Island as any merchant or planter might ship. On the 30th Sir J. Heydon again sent for me, with Jonathan Francis, commander of the ship Providence. He tendered us the bond, which we refused, telling him for the second time that we came on purpose to load tobacco for the port of London and there pay the King's duty for the same. He answered that we should not carry one pound off the Island, and ordered the Marshal to carry us both forthwith to prison, because we would not enter into the bond. About the 3rd September the said Sir J. Heydon sitting in Court with his Council summoned Josias Pitt before him, and told him he had broke his behaviour in reading some paper in the churches (which is the usual custom there for any public business). Pitt replied that it was the King's and Council's order with the King's seal to it, and taking it out of his pocket showed it them. Sir J. Heydon presently commanded the Marshal to take him away to prison, and told Pitt he must find security before he could be released. Captain William Peniston, a justice of the peace in the Council of the Island, being present in Council, remonstrated with Sir John after Pitt had been removed, and repeated the words, "King's and Council's order." Sir John replied that it ought to be burnt and not published. Captain Peniston replied that Sir John had sent Pitt to prison, and that he might burn the King's and Council's order if he dared. Peniston then declared that he would have the order read and published in his precincts, and then rose from the Bench, told the Governor he would be no more of his Court, and then came straight to the prison, where he told the story to Jonathan Francis, Josias Pitt, and myself. Signed by George Bond and Jonathan Francis. Sworn before William Beversham, 21st February 1681. 1½ pp. Endorsed, "Read, 21 Feb. 1680–81. Read again in the Council, 26 Feb." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 101, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XVII. pp. 86–89.]
[Feb. 21.]25. Petition of inhabitants of Bermuda to the King. The Bermuda Company of London still imposes on us unjust and arbitrary laws, dispossessing us of our lands and estates without legal process. On our complaint your Majesty was pleased to order your Attorney-General to bring the Company to trial by "Coranto" (Quo warranto). The Company, knowing the weakness of its cause, has procured by last ship that a petition should be made up in its favour, from which it has great hopes (see No. 18 I). But we trust that their petition, signed by a few officers, tenants, and servants, who were moved thereunto by hopes of preferment and continuance in places of profit, may not mislead your Majesty. We beg you to send us a Governor who may give us the benefit of laws and freedom of trade that is allowed to all other of your subjects. Fifty-one signatures. Sheet. Endorsed, "Recd. 21 Feb. 1680–81." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 102.]
Feb. 21.26. Instructions to Andrew Percivall from the Lords Proprietors of Carolina. You will make peace with the Westoes, on such terms that they shall not despise us, and yet find it advantageous. If they should hold off and slight a peace you are to get the Governor to send to the Cofitaciquis, Esaus and all other nations, and make a league with them, so as to compel the Westoes to treat the sooner. In the treaty the articles will allow them to be supplied by us with necessaries by way of trade; but you are not to tie them to come to any Plantation of the English except Lord Shaftesbury's and Sir Peter Colleton's, which being populous and well fortified will be safe. The Westoes must be told that if they go to any other Plantation it will be treated as a breach of the peace, of which they must take the consequences; and that the same will happen if they injure any Indians that are under our protection. One copy of the treaty should be written in their language and signed by them You are to deliver to Mr. Maurice Mathews one of the articles signed and sealed by us about trade, and communicate these instructions and ask his assistance in pursuing them, but you will conceal everything from Mr. Henry Woodward till peace is made with the Westoes; then you may deliver to him and to Mathews the cargo sent with you to be disposed of according to their contract. You will instruct the Governor and Council to correspond with us by all opportunities, and write also yourself. Signed, Craven, Shaftesbury, P. Colleton. Subscribed, This was not sent but altered. 1½ pp. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XX., pp. 154–156.]
Feb. 21.27. The Lords Proprietors of Carolina to the Governor and Council of Ashley River. By letters from divers persons sent from Carolina by Captain Strong we hear that you have had a war with the Westoes, but for what reason and with what particular success we are ignorant. We cannot but accuse you of great neglect in not informing us by the same conveyance, that we might have given the necessary orders. If friendship had been preserved with the Westoes it would have kept all the neighbouring Indians from daring to offend you, and if you had protected these from the Westoes, that protection would have made them love as well as fear you. This consideration has been our main inducement to try to hold a fair correspondence with the Westoes, by making ourselves useful to them by trade. Peace is the interest of the planters, that your people may return quietly and without fear to their business. We desire you to make peace with the Westoes as soon as you can upon safe and honourable terms. We have discoursed our opinions with Mr. Percivall, and given him directions upon the various conjectures we have had of the cause and success of this war, which he will communicate to you for your guidance. We desire that you will be more punctual in reporting affairs in future, and that you cause the Secretary to send us from time to time lists of all the people that come to plant and inhabit with you, and from whence they come, also a list of ships that come to you, with their burden and port of departure. We hope that you give all all possible encouragement to the building of Charlestown at the Oyster point, as we formerly directed you. A town of considerable population will do much for trade and security. Signed, Craven, Albemarle, Shaftesbury, P. Colleton. Subscribed, Not sent, but altered. 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XX., p. 153.]
Feb. 23.
Whitehall.
28. Order of the King in Council. On reading the petition of Thomas Henshaw and the rest of the creditors of James, late Earl of Carlisle, ordered that it be referred to the Board of Trade and Plantations for consideration and report. Signed, John Nicholas Annexed,
28. I. The petition referred to, to the King, showing as follows. The island of Barbados and the Caribbee Islands were granted in fee by King Charles I. in 1628 to James, Earl of Carlisle, who soon after settled the same by deed in trust for payment of debts. By decree in Chancery of 7th January 1645, the Islands, in pursuance of this settlement, were decreed to the ereditors of the said Earl liable to the payment of 37,074l. 4s. 6d. After the decease of the Earl his son James, for better security of the creditors, made a lease for twenty-one years, dated 29th September 1647, of one moiety of the profits for the payment of certain specified debts, and made a second lease of the same term, to commence at the expiration of the first, dated 30th December 1649. On the Restoration the King entered into treaty with the petitioners for re-assuring the Island into his own possession, and on 13th June 1663, agreed, by the advice of the Board of Trade and Plantations, to pay them 24,716l. 16s. for the whole of their interest in Barbados, which sum was but two-thirds of their debt; and one moiety of the profits of Barbados was ordered to be set apart for the payment thereof. The creditors were empowered to receive those profits by their own agents; and to that end a letter, dated 19th April 1665, was written to Lord Willoughby of Parham, then the King's Lieutenant in the Island. Nevertheless, neither petitioner nor any other creditors have received one penny of those profits in satisfaction of their just debt. The profits were for years let for 7,800l. a year, and are now let at 5,300l., and the King either has or ought to have received out of the whole profits, since the agreement was made, nearly 100,000l. As the creditors have never yet derived the least benefit from the Order in Council of 13th June 1663, they pray that it may now be put in effect for their benefit.
28. II. Copy of the said Order in Council of 13th June 1663, showing the apportionment of the moiety set apart for creditors. Certified by John Nicholas.
The Petition is endorsed: "Recd. 1 March 1680/81. Read again 21 July 1682. This business is appointed to be heard this afternoon at three of the clock. My Lord President directs notice to be given to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury of this business and meeting." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., Nos. 103, 103 I., II.; and (Order in Council only) Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., p. 130.]
Feb. 24.
Plantations
General.
29. Lords of Trade and Plantations to the King. In obedience to your commands, we have prepared the draft of a Charter, constituting William Penn absolute proprietary of a tract of land in America therein named, for your approbation. Draft by William Blathwayt. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 104, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCVII., p. 130.]
Feb. 24.
Council
Chamber.
30. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Draft of Mr. Penn's Patent read, and there being a blank left for the name, agreed to leave the nomination to the King. The Bishop of London is requested to draft a law to be passed for the settling of the Protestant religion in this country. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., p. 253.]
Feb. 25.
Whitehall.
31. Order of the King in Council. Report of the Lords of Trade and Plantations. Pursuant to Order in Council of 16th instant, we have considered the petition of freeholders of Bermuda, and have been attended by the Somers' Islands Company, as also by several other persons who formerly prosecuted the complaint against it. We have also read the depositions of George Bond and Jonathan Francis (see No. 24). We cannot but represent this behaviour of Sir John Heydon, which is also disowned by the Company, as a great contempt of your Majesty's authority. We therefore recommend that he be ordered forthwith to return to England to answer the charges of Bond and Francis; also that Josias Pitt be released from prison, if it be true that he is confined for no other reason than for publishing your Royal order. The Company has represented to us the confusion that has fallen on the Somers' Islands through the knowledge of the inhabitants that you have directed a proseuction against their Charter by a Quo warranto; the people, upon presumption that you have withdrawn your countenance and protection from the Company, refusing to pay the duties and obey the laws to which they are liable by the rules of the Charter; and we therefore recommend that in the same declaration you order the inhabitants to continue obedient to the Company, and submit to the powers granted by the Charter until the pending trial be determined. Signed, Ailesbury, Chesterfield, L. Jenkins, H. London. Radnor. Dated 21st February 1681. Order in Council accordingly. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XVII., pp. 89–92.]
Feb. 28.32. Draft of the Charter granting Pennsylvania to William Penn. This draft covers nine large sheets. It is without punctuation, and not divided into the twenty-three sections with which it appears at the head of the laws of Pennsylvania (e.g., in the folio edition, printed at Philadelphia, 1772). The date, too, as printed, is the 4th March 1681. The draft is certified, "Agrees with the record and is examined by me." Signed, Henry Rooke, Clerk of the Chapel of the Rolls. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI, No. 105.]
[Feb. 28.]33. Instructions from the Proprietors of Carolina to Captain Henry Wilkinson, Governor of that part of the Province which lies five miles south of the river of Pemptico and from thence to Virginia. These are identical with those issued to Governor Harvey on 5th February 1679 (see previous volume, No. 879), with the substitution of Lord Craven's name for Sir George Carteret's as Palatine. The names of localities are not even altered. At the close are the following additional articles: (1.) Complaint has been made to us that divers persons have been dispossessed by violence of estates and goods during the late disorders in Albemarle. Men who have taken part in the quarrel cannot be so impartial as one who has had no hand in it. You will therefore repair thither as soon after your arrival as convenient, and choose, with the consent of the Council, four able judicious men who have taken no part in the disorders, who with yourself shall be a Court to decide all disputes that have arisen from them. Residents in the county must bring their suits before the Court within six months of its erection, and residents outside the county within two years. (2.) If you leave the province you will appoint a deputy with the consent of the majority of your Council until your return. If you should die, the Council for the time being shall at once be summoned to meet by the eldest of our deputies, or in case he fail by the next. The Council being met shall choose a Governor, who shall to all intents be as if commissioned by ourselves until our pleasure be known. (3.) You are to take notice that it does not appear to us that Sir William Berkeley during his lifetime conveyed his property to any person, for want of which it is devolved. As he did not pay a penny towards the settlement of our province, we do not think fit to admit his heirs or executors to have anything to do in Carolina as proprietors, until they have proved their right thereto. You will therefore admit no deputy from them. (4.) You will take particular care that the bounds between Virginia and Carolina be adjusted according to our Patent. Signed, Craven, Shaftesbury, P. Colleton. Postscript.—Since the Lords set their hands hereto, they ordered me to insert the following particular:—You will be sure, as soon as you can, to send home a map of the country mended by your own or friends' experience; also, that you inquire into the damages of the King's officers, that there may be a summary way of giving them satisfaction." Signed, Samuel Wilson, by order of the Lords Proprietors. The whole, 6 pp. The additional instructions, 1½ pp. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XX., p. 156.]
Feb. 28.34. Minutes of a meeting of the Proprietors of Carolina at Thanet House. Present: the Earls of Craven and Shaftesbury, Sir Peter Colleton, Mr. Archdall. The instructions to Captain Wilkinson were read and agreed on (see last abstract). Ordered, That he have blank deputations from all the Lords with him, and that the following be added to his instructions, viz., that if any that are at present deputies will contribute to the settling the country and have not been concerned in the late disorders they shall be continued. Here follow two forms of the deputations used, dated 4th March 1681. 2½ pp. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XX., pp. 162–164.]