America and West Indies
August 1681


Institute of Historical Research



J. W. Fortescue (editor)

Year published





Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'America and West Indies: August 1681', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 11: 1681-1685 (1898), pp. 98-105. URL: Date accessed: 18 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


(Min 3 characters)


August 1681

Aug. 6.196. Mem.—A letter was given to Mr. Richard Banks by the Lords Proprietors of Carolina desiring the government of the north part of Carolina to give him a manor of three thousand acres according to precedent of 26th March (ante, No. 54). [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XX., p. 170.]
Aug. 6.
197. Commission to Sir Thomas Lynch to be Captain-General, Vice-Admiral, and Governor-in-Chief of Jamaica. This Commission gives powers to appoint and suspend Councillors; suspended Councillors to be incapable of holding any public office. Remaining powers unchanged. Countersigned, L. Jenkins. [Col. Entry Bks., Vol. XXX., pp. 1–18, and Vol. XCIX., pp. 53–63.]
Aug. 9.198. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Petition of Aaron Baruch Lanzade, Daniel Bucino, and Jacob Founzeke, on behalf of the Jews of the Island, praying for enforcement of an Order of Council of 1675, permitting them the use of the Courts for their protection as traders and the right to trade. Petition referred to Assembly, with the recommendation to prepare an Act to preserve the Jews' rights to appear in Court; and meanwhile Ordered, That the Order of 1675 be enforced.
Aug. 10.Bill to raise money for several public occasions brought up by the Assembly, read thrice and passed. Bill for defining freeholders deferred. Orders for paying a sum to the executors of Simon Lambert, and a quarter's rent to Madam Stanfast, and a sum to Thomas Cudduging, passed. Petition of Thomas Kirton for confirmation of land inherited by him granted. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XI., pp. 427–434.]
Aug. 9.199. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. Christopher Codrington being absent through sickness, Edward Littleton was elected Speaker. Bill to revive an expiring Act received from the Governor and Council and ordered to be transcribed.
Aug. 10.Voted that a present be made by this House to His Excellency Sir Richard Dutton. Ordered, That at next sitting a full debate be held on the levy of an excise on wines and other liquors. Voted, that a tax for public occasions shall be laid on negroes and not on land, and ordered that the tax be of ninepence a head, and that Jews be assessed in proportion. Bill to this effect passed two readings. Ordered by the Governor, Council, and Assembly, that John Hallett pay to the executors of Colonel Simon Lambert 24l. 16s. 8d., and 10,249 lbs. of sugar for money expended by the said Colonel on the fortifications in Speight's Bay; to Madam Elizabeth Stanfast 87l. 10s. for one quarter's rent of Fontabelle House; and to Thomas Cudduging 6,650 lbs. of muscovado sugar for cutting of stones for the Leeward fortifications. Adjourned to 4th October. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XIII., pp. 444–447.]
Aug. 9.200. Lord Culpeper to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I have perused Mr. Randolph's papers, and during my stay at Boston I heard of most of the matters therein specified. As to the measures for preventing irregularities in trade I think them necessary, but not being well versed in the position shall add nothing, except that all possible encouragement should be given to the King's officer who is entrusted with so difficult a duty. As to the mint at Boston I think that, especially as it is managed, it is extremely prejudicial to all the King's subjects in what place soever, that deal with them. They call the piece that they coin a shilling, and it is current in all payments great and small, as, without special contract (in which no one can lose less than ten per cent.), equal with the English shilling; and this though it is not so fine in itself and weighs but three pennyweight against the English four. It is impossible to prevent the loss by bills of exchange, for they value their bills as they please and exact six per cent. coinage of all silver brought in their mint, to say nothing of loss of time. If therefore it be no longer connived at, it is absolutely necessary that the English shilling be made current there by law or proclamation at sixteenpence, and so proportionally, and coinage made more moderate and speedy. 1½ pp. Signed. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVII., No. 44.]
Aug. 10.
Council Chamber.
201. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Agreed to recommend that no grants be passed for the future for the quit rents of Virginia to any person, but that the same be applied to the support of the Government. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., p. 274.]
Aug. 16.
Council Chamber.
202. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. On consideration of the Revenue of Virginia, ordered that a letter be written to Colonel Norwood requiring him to give an account of his receipts and management of the Virginian quit rents in 1669; also that the Surveyor-General return surveys of all lands patented and set out, and of the quit rents payable on them. Lord Culpeper mentions an address of the Virginian Assembly desiring the auditor's place to be left to the nomination of the Governor; but their Lordships think fit that the patent granted to Mr. Blathwayt of Surveyor and Auditor General of Revenue in the Colonies be punctually complied with in Virginia, and that it is best for the King's service that Mr. Blathwayt's deputy on the spot be appointed by the Lords of the Treasury according to the patent and the established practice. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., pp. 275, 276.]
Aug. 16.
Council Chamber.
203. Lords of Trade and Plantations to the King. We have considered several papers submitted to us by Lord Culpeper respecting your Majesty's revenue in Virginia. We recommend that the Commissioners of the Treasury consider the best means for bringing the quit rents into your hands according to your promise to the Assembly; also that your orders of 30th June 1680 to check abuses in the management and disposal of the revenue in Virginia be renewed, as they have not yet been obeyed. Report approved, and instructions given accordingly. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXX., p. 404.]
Aug. 16.
204. Sir William Stapleton to Lords of Trade and Plantations, My last was of the 27th July (see ante, No. 189), reporting the murder of the King's subjects at Barbuda, which happened on 4th July last at three in the afternoon. Forty Indians came up to the house, wherein there were only three men, two women, and two children. The Indians left the rest of their companions at the seaside or in bushes. It is reported that they were three hundred men, or, as I judge, two hundred and forty, in six periagos. As they came to the house they spied one of the people splitting of wood, whom they struck with arrows and left for dead. To those in the house they pretended, as is their most treacherous custom, that they came in friendliness, and demanded drink, which was given them through a window. One of them within told them, "If you come in friendship go and expel the poison of those arrows you have shot at the man without and cure him." But instead of applying the juice of the Indian arrow-root to him, one of them, who spoke good English (called Captain Peter, who lived formerly at Barbados with Colonel Morris), staved his brains out with his own axe, saying, "Hang the dog, he is not to be cured." On this they discontinued their parley, and the Christian within fired and shot Captain Peter in the hand, and he shot the Christian in one of his fingers. On this they parleyed again with each other to fire no more, but the treacherous villains killed three boys that were without the house, knocking their heads against a tree. In fine they got all the party that they had hid to the house and forced in one of the rooms, the people within not being able to defend round all the rooms. The commander of the place, one Captain Francis Nathan, being abroad with some men, came up to the defence of the house, was shot by the Indians through the heart with a brace of bullets. They killed in all eight. His wife, his two children, and a servant woman escaped by the assistance of one of the men while the Indians were drinking kill-devil or rum (this country's spirit) and pillaging the house. There were three of the barbarous heathens killed. Two of them were carried off, as is always their practice if they can, and Captain Peter was left dead behind them. I beg your pardon if I am tedious, but I beg you to represent to the King the necessity for destroying these Carib Indians, and move him either to order the Governor of Barbados to do it, which is an easy thing for that Government to do through its nearness to St. Vincent and Dominica, or to put me in capacity to perform that good piece of service whilst we are in amity with the French. I beg at least that it may not be disliked if I take all opportunities to drive them to the Main if I cannot compass their total destruction. I need not dwell on the importance of this affair to the safety of the Leeward Islands, not doubting that you are sensible thereof. We are now as much on our guard as if we had a Christia enemy, and more, for we fear no such at this time of year, neither can any such surprise us but these cannibals who never come Marte aperto, though they have generally good fire-arms from the French and Dutch, and are as good firemen as any. Postscript. — I humbly offer to your consideration the depositions annexed if worthy thereof, or of demanding satisfaction by this opportunity. I hope the copy of the four-and-a-half per cent. will be received by Mr. Blathwayt. Holograph. 2pp. Inscribed, "Recd. 17 Oct. 1681." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVII., No. 45, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., pp. 23–26.]
[Aug. 16.]205. Charge delivered by Sir Richard Dutton to the Grand Jury at the Sessions of Barbados. Copy. 2½ pp. Inscribed and endorsed, "Recd. 24 Oct. 1681." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVII., No. 46.]
[Aug. 16.]206. Presentment of the Grand Jury to Sir Richard Dutton, Calling attention to the inconveniencies caused by unskilfnl jurors, to the exorbitant claim of fees by the marshals of the Courts, and asking the regulation of the same by Act; to the non-execution of the laws against rum-sellers; to the evil done to the island by vagrant and poor Jews, and to the want of a state-house and common gaol. 2 pp. Nineteen signatures. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVII., No. 47.]
[Aug.]207. Memorandum of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Their Lordships have received Sir Richard Dutton's letters of 30th May and 14th June (ante, Nos. 123, 136), and recommend his proposal that an Attorney-General be constituted for Barbados, and that Mr. Richard Seawell be appointed to that office. As to the Exchequer, they think that all services relating to the Exchequer may be determined by the other courts of justice, and that, if any further powers be necessary for the judges on this account, the Governor may signify the same to the King to await his pleasure. ½ p. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol., VII., p. 84.]
Aug. 22.
St. Jago de la
208. Sir Henry Morgan to Sir Leoline Jenkins. Since my last "I am by the public remour and vogue possessed" that the King has disbanded the two companies [of English soldiers] here. We have had such a report for a long time, but I have ever looked upon it as groundless, as I had no account of it from Court, and should much wonder if it were so, and so great a charge imposed on the Colony without intimation. It is said that Colonel Long induced the King to dismiss the companies as being useless here. I am much startled by the Colonel's allegation, seeing that our daily experience proves the contrary. They are constantly employed either at sea or ashore, in bringing in runaway or rebellious negroes or reducing of pirates, who, as I have already rebellious negroes or reducing of pirates, who, as I have already told you, are very numerous. Twenty of the soldiers are at this moment on board the Norwich in pursuit of a powerful and desperate pirate, and I hear that there has been an encounter and that some of them are wounded, but I know no particulars. By this you will judge of their usefulness. I urge nothing in favour of myself since I am daily in likelihood of being removed from the Government; it is for the King's service and for the good of the Island that I urge their continuance here, and I beg your good offices with the King in supporting my supplication that they may be continued. Signed. Postscript in holograph.—I have never received any advice from Court about them beyond a copy of a "resulte" [resolution] of the Lords of Trade and Plantations, offering it as their opinion that they should be disbanded. This I received from my correspondent, and never thought it a sufficient order to disband the King's soldiers, raised by his commissions under his sign manual and signet. For it is a common maxim, nothing can cut a diamond but a diamond, so I humbly conceive I am not nor cannot be safe in doing of it except I receive the King's command under his hand and the seal of your office or of the Privy Council. I beg therefore once more to know the King's pleasure herein, for it is heavy upon me to maintain these men of my company, who are, whatever may have been said, a full hundred men, at my own charges, and much heavier on the other parties. "God preserve your Honour" is and shall be the daily prayer of Henry Morgan. 2½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 25 Nov. 1681. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVII., No. 48.]
209. Abstract of the sentences inflicted by Sir Richard Dutton at the Barbados Sessions held 16th to 27th August 1681. Four murderers sentences to death; four burglars also sentenced to death; four prisoners found guilty of manslaughter pleaded their clergy, and were sentenced to branding of the left hand; six thieves sentenced to be whipped; one prisoner (a Quaker) to stand in the pillory for an hour as a blasphemer; three prisoners sentenced to death for running away with a ship and cargo, two others who pleaded guilty of the same offence being pardoned; one burglar and one thief pardoned for acting as approver and brander respectively; and one prisoner charged with manslaughter acquitted. Sheet. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVII., No. 49.]
Aug. 30.210. Account of the proceedings of the Governments and inhabitants of Boston and Portsmouth, relating to the Collector of the King's Customs from 20th December 1679 to 20th January 1680. By Edward Randolph. Twelve articles and ten recommendations. Referred to Commissioners of Customs (see next abstract). Endorsed. Read 12 Sept. 1681. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVII., No. 50.]
Aug. 30.
Custom House.
211. Commissioners of Customs to Lords of Trade and Plantations. In obedience to your letter of 11th July, we offer the following report on New England. We have read the paper sent to us and discoursed with Mr. Randolph on the same. It is alleged, first, that the King's Commission for administering the oath to the Governor of Boston, directing the observation of the Acts of Trade and Navigation, was not executed as required. Mr. Randolph tells us that the Commissioners empowered to administer the said oath were not admitted to execute the same, but that the order was overruled by the General Court, who directed their Secretary to administer the oath. Mr. Randolph further informs us that when, in May 1680, Mr. Bradstreet was elected Governor for the following year, neither himself nor any other of the Commissioners, except such as were magistrates, were present, and therefore he cannot tell whether he was sworn or not. We leave it to you to judge how far this is a contempt of the royal authority, and how necessary it may be to signify the King's resentment thereof Next, as to the second article, viz, that in the trial of the pink Expectation Mr. Danforth openly disowned the authority of the King's Customs officer and refused to admit Randolph to prosecute except as a common informer, we point out that Randolph made the seizure under our instructions and the law of 1671, and that it seems to us to be good. He has, of course, no more right to seize and prosecute in our commission solely than any other person. The third particular is, that juries are sworn to proceed according to the laws of the country, and that the Acts of Trade are not declared nor owned in Massachusetts. Mr. Randolph informs us that although the Court held at Boston on 26th October 1677 made an order for the execution of the Acts of Trade and Navigation, yet that no laws are considered to be binding but such as are proclaimed by beat of drum and other formalities, which formalities were omitted. We think that the laws should be proclaimed with all necessary formalities without delay. The fourth article we omit, being a matter of law. The fifth complains that masters of ships enter to and form what ports they please and report their lading accordingly, refusing to take the oath. To this we observe that no masters are obliged by law to make their entry on oath but such only as come to New England with enumerated articles, or load them there for some other place. On failure to comply they incur a fine of 100l. The sixth article complains that the Governor refused to grant a warrant to seize certain prohibited goods, of which there was information given that they were landed in a warehouse at Boston. Mr. Randolph, in this, acknowledges it to be neither the law nor the practice of the country to issue such warrants; but we would point out that the Act of 1662 gives to English Custom-house officers certain powers in this relation, and would submit whether it be not expedient to extend this law to New England. The seventh article complains that Randolph's deputies were imprisoned and fined if found on duty at night, and some severely beaten; that one was imprisoned at Portsmouth and forced to pay a fine of ten pounds for accepting the place of deputy. Mr. Randolph informs us that the law forbids people to be abroad in the streets after ten at night, and we understand that the question of the fine is pending before the King. The eighth article deals with mutinies which were raised to disturb Randolph in the execution of his duty at Boston; at Portsmouth there was a design to prosecute him as a felon. Mr. Randolph has given us proofs of this, but withal says that he took no legal proceedings against the mutineers, being advised to the contrary by the Governor. We think therefore that the case may be met by an instruction to the Governor to put down such mutinies in future. The ninth article, as to the granting of a false pass to a ship by the Governor of Guernsey, we pass over. The tenth article charges the Customs officers at Carlisle and Minehead with granting false certificates to vessels bound from Scotland and Ireland to New England. We reply that we have dismissed the officer at Minehead, and hope that there will be no further ground for such complaint. The eleventh article we have already dealt with in our comment on the third. The twelfth article complains that, a seizure being made, Randolph was immediately arrested for damages unless it were at once prosecuted; and that if a Court were called he had to deposit ten pounds before he was permitted to prosecute. Randolph informs us that this is the practice of the country, and that it applies to all others in the like case.
We have also considered Mr. Randolph's proposals for preventing the several matters complained of. We have dealt with the first under the fifth article. 2. That Nantasket be included in the harbour of Boston, and that the Island of Shoalee and both sides of the Piscataqua be included in Portsmouth. We would point out that in England all creeks and havens are allotted to some head port. 3. That Cape Acme Harbour and Marblehead be included in the port of Salem. Mr. Randolph informs us that this can be done by an Act of New England. It would be much for the King's service. 4. That no ship be allowed to pass the forts till visited and certified by the King's officer. We observe that officers have no such power in England. 5. That all vessels from Scotland, Ireland, and Holland bring a certificate of what goods they have cleared in England. This is virtually in practice already. 6. That the King's officers be free to attend to their duty at night and be empowered to search for and seize prohibited goods. We have dealt with this in the sixth and seventh articles. 7. That they have power to board ships, coming within the Capes, at sea, and bring those into port that refuse to produce their clearings. There is no such power in England, and we cannot recommend it. 8. That the King's Customs officers in the Colonies give certificates of enumerated commodities shipped in New England ports, and that no European goods be unloaded from New England without such certificate. The officers have already sufficient powers to this end. 9. That several persons at Boston and Portsmouth be prosecuted for obstructing the King's officer in the execution of his duty. This is very requisite and necessary. 10. That no foreign vessels coming under pretence of distress into New England ports be permitted to wood and water without sanction of the King's officer, and receiving a waiter on board during its stay. We think this a great hardship and inconsistent with international amity. Signed, Ch. Cheyne, John Upton, W. Butler. 14 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVII., No. 51.]