America and West Indies
December 1681, 3-15


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J. W. Fortescue (editor)

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'America and West Indies: December 1681, 3-15', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 11: 1681-1685 (1898), pp. 147-166. URL: Date accessed: 22 October 2014.


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December 1681

[Dec. 3.]308. Petition of Reginald Wilson, of Jamaica, to the King. Prays for appointment by patent to the naval office of Jamaica erected by Sir Thomas Lynch (see ante, 213). 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVII., No. 98.]
Dec. 3.
309. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Petition of Reginald Wilson, of Jamaica, read (see preceding abstract), together with Sir Thomas Lynch's letter of 1st September concerning him (see No. 213). Agreed to recommend that the naval office be granted to Wilson by patent, provided it be executed in person and not by deputy.
Act of Antigua read, enabling Thomas Ball to sell land. The Lords disapprove it, thinking it wrong that the estate of inheritance of any private person should be disposed of by Act of Assembly except on extraordinary occasions, and after directions of the King obtained. Ordered, that Sir William Stapleton be instructed to suspend the operations of the Act unless the land be already sold, and to report. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol CVI., pp. 312–314.]
Dec. 3.
310. Lords of Trade and Plantations to the King. Recommending the granting of letters patent to Reginald Wilson constituting him naval officer at Jamaica (see preceding abstract).
Ordered by the King in Council accordingly. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXX., p. 52.]
Dec. 6311. Sir Jonathan Atkins to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I have had some difficulties in obeying your commands, owing to indisposition arising from change of climate from the West Indies, and a hurt received on shipboard during my passage home. I could not attend you before, and I do not now think it worth while to repeat all the circumstances of the Government of Barbados, which I have so often laid before you; and I apprehend rather that you expect of me an account of the Island exactly as it stood when I left it, with all possible brevity, so far as my memory will serve me. My papers, which extend over a Government of some length, were disordered by my sudden departure, and some of them lost. First, as to the Church. I found it in disorder enough, the churches being for the most part incapable of receiving the people, and the incumbents of performing their duty. By the Bishop of London's help, I got the place supplied with able and orthodox ministers, and prevailed with the people to repair the defective churches and rebuild those ruined by the hurricane. This is now done, and the eleven churches of the eleven parishes are now as decent and in as good order as in such a place could be. The maintenance of the ministers is derived two ways: one by a law of the country which gives them only a pound an acre, the collection whereof, owing to the size of the parishes, some of which are six miles long, does not amount to a competent maintenance. In every parish, therefore, they allow a certain exhibition (sic), which amounts to forescore pounds a year besides perquisites, which is assessed by the vestry and included in the rates for the expenses of the poor, ministers, and churches. This is paid to the minister either quarterly or annually, and the salary is augmented or diminished according as the minister pleases or displeases them. It were well if it could be brought to certainty without dependence, but they will never be brought to alter their customs, though I did endeavour it. I hear that I am blamed for suffering one Mr. Grey to continue as minister, though not in holy orders. It is true that there was such a minister there, and had been there for more than twenty years. I had no complaint against him; his parish loved him well, but whether he were ordained or not I cannot say. If he were not, I am sure I could not ordain him. He was orthodox in his doctrine and well observed the rules of the Church of England. Moreover, the 15th paragraph of my instructions forbids me to suffer any man to be molested or disquieted in the exercise of his religion, so he be content with a quiet and peaceable enjoyment of it, not giving offence or scandal to the Government. The Governor himself is required to be of the Church of England and to recommend that religion, with discretion to others. I found in Barbados that my constant going to church did more to make others frequent it than if it had been imposed on them, and when I left there was not one church which did not observe all the rites of the Church of England. As to the courts of justice, I informed you that there were five, consisting of a judge and four assistants. I lately sent you their names. Trial is by juries, made up of the freeholders in the several districts. Four courts would suffice, but they are so jealous of any alteration of their first constitution that when Francis, Lord Willoughby, tried to reduce them to three, they never had the least kindness to him, believing that if any of the privileges granted them through Lord Carlisle might be taken away, their properties might follow. The Assistants have no profit from their places, and are elected as near as may be of persons most fitted for the duty. The judges issue writs from their several courts, under their own hands and seals, for which they are allowed small fees established by local Act. All fees of court and of officers are fixed by Act, though how well observed I cannot say. After a verdict they may bring a writ of error, which is brought before the Governor and Council, sitting as a Court of King's Bench or something of that kind, and observing the same methods as that Court in England. There is also a Court of Chancery, the Governor being Chancellor by the King's commission. He sits in Chancery every month by law of the Island, and is obliged to have four of the Council to sit with him, and as many more as will come may give their votes; the majority carries it, and the Governor has a casting vote, which is seldom needed. I gave you a full account of the Militia, from the Colonels and Field Officers (see previous volume, Nos. 1336 XXVII.–XXXIV.). Mustermasters they will not admit, for two reasons. First, because all are obliged to find and bear arms, and they think it hard to increase the burden of the poor. Secondly, the planters by the Militia Law are to find arms and men both for horse and foot. Though they have arms they lack men, population decaying owing to want of land, so if the law were strictly executed it would be very hard on them. I gave you a particular account of the fortifications. When I came first to Barbados most of them were down, being built too close to the sea, and the guns and carriages lying in the water, so I was forced to build new works and constrained to be engineer myself, there being none other that understood anything of fortification. I erected several new works and closed all that had before been but batteries, made courts of guard for the arms and lodgings for the officers, and mounted two hundred pieces of ordnance on the batteries. I gave you an account of all this. At my departure I left fifteen hundred firearms in store, which were bought by the country's request in England, and for which it has paid or must pay. Since I entered upon the Government, the King has been put to no charge for fortifications, guns, or gunners, which I am sure cannot be said of any other Colony. I left also five hundred barrels of powder, collected by a local law which requires every ship to bring one pound of powder for every ton that she carries. I also left ball and gear for the great guns, a good quantity of small shot, and other necessaries, all of which cost the King nothing. I sent you an account of the population. I reckon the negroes at forty thousand, but it is impossible to give a certain account of them. Finally, I left the Island better than I found it. Holograph. Five closely written pages. Endorsed. Rec. 6 Dec. 1681. Read 27 Jan. 1681. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVII., No. 99.]
Dec. 6.312. Extract of a letter from Christopher Rousby to Robert Ridgely. You will be doubtless be surprised to hear that I am not yet free from my trouble with Lord B[altimore], but I thank God that though I have moved slowly I have miscarried nowhere, but have lately gained a very great point, and stand fair to effect not only my own business but yours also, whereof I hope shortly to give you good account. Though the character given me by his Lordship is as black as hell I hope that I am not yet looked on as so profligate or despicable a rogue as he sets me forth, but have met with honourable and just dealing and several unexpected friends, some not of the meanest rank. Here is great news lately. A grand jury of eminence for estates and judgment was sworn to go upon the indictment of Lord Shaftesbury, who was then in the Tower. The witnesses were Turberville, Smith, Booth, Haines, Baines, and a crew of Irish blades. They all swore like stout sinners, but the quality of the persons, the improbability of the testimony of some, the contradiction of others, and the certain knowledge of some of the jurors that a paper found amongst Shaftesbury's writings touching an association, upon which great stress was put, was a thing done in Parliament time. Some motions had been made in the House of Commons concerning it, which, if it had been a contrivance made outside Parliament, might have amounted to treason. On the whole matter the jury ignored the bill. The last day of the term, which was this day sennight, Lord Shaftesbury, Lord Howard of Escrick, Mr. Willmore, Mr. Wilson, and another, all committed for treason, were, upon their habeas corpus, admitted to bail and suffered to go at large. There was great rudeness at the Old Bailey when Shaftesbury's bill was ignored, and great shouting and noise by the common people. Many bonfires were lit that night in the streets by the rabble, who in some places were over disorderly to the people that passed, forcing them to give money towards their fires and drinking the earl's health. This has been very ill resented and complained of. But it is the common opinion that if the jury had found a true bill, many hundreds of the Whiggish party would presently have been committed to prison, for that is the term of distinction from the Court party called Tories. Meanwhile, beware of that treacherous, false, lying, swearing, deceitful man, Mr. Vincent Lowe, whose false, forward, foolish affidavit against me, in order to strip me of my office and take away my life, I have hinted to you in my last letter. Beware yourself, and so, I pray you, desire my brother and all our friends to beware, of persons of that stamp, lest you woefully experience, as I have done, how void of conscience and honesty they are. I hope you will pardon me if I seem a little too bitter, for it was not my design to appear so. I have spoken here with several masters who conclude that the paying of an easy penny in Maryland is much more for their profit than paying a halfpenny in England with the demurrage of lading and unlading the ships. [Written against this sentence in the margin, in Lord Baltimore's hand: Rousby's old practice of compounding with the masters will still be pursued.] Personal messages. 1 p. Copy. Endorsed, "An extract from a letter from Rousby to Robert Ridgely, the whole being two sheets of paper. This extract is truly copied and examined with the original, which is in the hands of (Signed) C. BALTEMORE." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVII., No. 100.]
Dec. 6.313. Christopher Rousby to Robert Ridgely. We have letters from Virginia signifying some kind of disturbance in Maryland, as if his Lordship and the Assembly could not agree; that Fendall and Coode are still in durance, and others imprisoned besides them; and that his Lordship keeps forces in arms and the common people in great dread and fear. These letters are dated about the 12th or 14th September, and came by a Liverpool man out of Potomac. I wish I had one from you of that date. [The letter continues like that in preceding abstract as to Lord Shaftesbury's trial]. Copy. ½ p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVII., No. 101.]
Dec. 7.
314. Order of the King in Council. Confirming the judgment of the New York Court of Assizes in the case of Hall v. Darvall (see ante, No. 235). 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVIII., p. 53.]
Dec. 7.
315. Order of the King in Council. That Mr. Samuel Mearn, His Majesty's stationer, deliver fifteen large church bibles to such person as the Bishop of London shall appoint, for the Leeward Islands, and that the Commissioners of the Treasury pay him for the same. ½ p. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVI., p. 462.]
Dec. 8.
316. The Governor and Council of Barbados to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Transmitting Quarterly Returns of transactions of Council and Imports. Signed, Ri. Dutton, Fran. Bond, Richard Howell, John Peers, Alex. Riddocke, Edwyn Stede, Henry Walrond, Thos. Walrond, John Witham, Thomas Wardall, Sam. Newton. ½ p. Endorsed. Recd. 3 April 1682. Read 8 April 1682. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVII., No. 102, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., p. 117.]
Dec. 10.
317. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Two letters of 26th May and 10th July (see Nos. 120, 166) from Mr. Badcock, Surveyor of Customs in Maryland, to Commissioners of Customs, read. Agreed to report that a letter be written reprehending. Lord Baltimore for his obstruction to Badcock in the execution of his duty, and requiring him further strictly to observe the Acts of Trade and Navigation. The Lords will inquire further of the matter of the Commissioners of Customs. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., pp. 317–318.]
Dec. 12.
Custom House.
318. Commissioners of Customs to Lords of Trade and Plantations. In obedience to Mr. Guy's letter of 12th July (ante, No. 169) we submit the following report on the Act of Virginia submitted to us. The time, wherein the Act is to take place for the landing of goods, expired, we find, on 29th August last, and the time from which it is to take place for shipping tobacco is 20th March next, which is now at hand, so that these times cannot possibly be complied with. Next, as to the general drift of the Act in respect of appointing places for landing and shipping of goods. In 1674 we obtained an order of the King directing the appointment of such places, and in 1677 a similar order to apply to Maryland. But we find that even in England where trade has been long settled the carrying out of these regulations has been a matter of great difficulty and time. Not half of the lawful quays and landing-places in this kingdom had been set out in 1671, when the present commission of the Customs first began; and though it has been our constant endeavour to complete the work, it is not yet finished. Moreover, such landing-places have never been appointed in England with a view to forcing towns to be built and merchant vessels to call there. Trade is to be courted not forced. Where trade carries itself and where there has been reasonable accommodation for merchants, that is the place where it has been our principle to appoint a quay. But in this Act we find wharves and quays appointed where there are no warehouses or accommodation for receiving goods, nor, indeed, any inhabitants. It is very unreasonable to compel people to go where there is no shelter for them. In England, again, quays are never appointed without a commission to the magistrates and principal inhabitants, making them judges of the matter, but we find no such method in this Act, though it is the only one practicable. Again, we notice in this Act directions that no tobaccos are to be seized on their way to the Custom House, nor in them, for any debt due under the Act, and that bricklayers, &c., are to be freed from arrests for five years. These provisions seem to us very extraordinary, and of dangerous consequence to the disturbance and overthrow of trade. Moreover, anything of this nature that is done should apply to Maryland as well as Virginia, lest the inhabitants of Virginia be thereby driven to Maryland. Further, on discourse with the merchants and traders to Virginia, we find them dissatisfied with this Act as burdensome to their trade and impracticable. They add that where anything of this kind is done the warehouses must be first built, and built of brick with roof of tiles, not of wood with roof of shingle, from fear of fire. It is certain that if this Act were enforced the traders would be aggrieved and driven to smuggling. On the whole, we recommend that the Act be by no means confirmed, but that the whole question should be referred back to the Governor of Virginia for reconsideration and that the like directions be at the same time given to the Governor of Maryland, so that the advice of our officers may be taken thereupon; for the subject is one of deep concern to the King's Customs. Signed, W. Butler, Ch. Cheyne, G. Downing, And. Newport. 3½ pp. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVII., No. 103.]
Dec. 12.Duplicate of foregoing. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVII., No. 104.]
Dec. 12.319. Lord Culpeper to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Account of his Government required by order of 31st October (ante, No. 276). I received my instructions and commission on 10th December 1679, and reached the Downs on the 13th, after vexatious delay due to Captain Lovell, of the yacht Catherine. I was detained by contrary winds till 13th February 1680, and then set sail in the Oxford frigate. We stayed at the Bermudas four days, and after a tedious passage reached Virginia on Monday night, 3rd May 1680. I waited till the 10th May, alike to humour the Council and to inform myself of the affairs of the Colony, then published my commission, took the oaths, and administered them to all of the Council except Francis Leigh, who was not arrived, and Henry Meese and Rowland Place, who were then, as now, in England. Having by their unanimous advice (as was my constant rule) settled all commissions, civil and military, I issued a proclamation calling an Assembly to meet at Jamestown on the 8th June. Meanwhile I charged the Council with the duty of answering your heads of inquiry, supervised the County Courts, and visited several places where it was proposed to build forts, particularly Tindall's point in the York River, but found not one suitable to defend ships against a vigorous enemy by sea without vast charge and expense, and few positions tenable against an enemy by land except against Indians. On the 8th June the Assembly met. Their first act was to recommend Robert Beverley for their Clerk, nemine contradicente, wherein they were backed by the unanimous vote of the Council. Though my orders were to exclude him from all public employment pending the King's pleasure, I could not deny them without disobliging the whole country, so I consented. I have at any rate gained a point to the Crown, for no Governor ever appointed a Clerk before, and I also averted the raking up of old quarrels, for which many members were ready. The same considerations prompted me to defer the removal of Colonel Edward Hill from the commission. Also, contrary to my expectation (for at the first reading it was rejected nem. con.), I persuaded the Assembly to pass a perpetual Revenue Bill, as I brought it from England, with the alteration of but two provisions, viz., to exempt (1) ships belonging entirely to Virginian owners but not built there, and (2) ships built in Virginia. The first was brought in by mistake; it was never intended, is contrary to a former Act, and, in my opinion, is sure to be altered by the next Assembly. The second, notwithstanding your Lordships' opinion to the contrary, I still think most fitting (at least for a time), and it will, I am confident, be insisted on by the next, and by every subsequent Assembly in Virginia. The remarkable thing is that the Bill, which was first rejected nem. con., was finally passed unanimously. I gave the Royal assent also to two other Acts of indemnity and naturalisation, and passed several more which have been laid before you. The Assembly was adjourned by me to 15th February 1681, and now stands adjourned to 20th January 1682, with a design of a longer adjournment except the King order otherwise, or some sudden emergency should occur. On the 8th July 1680 I repealed all the Acts mentioned in my instructions except three, of which I deferred the repeal, on the advice of the Council, till the Assembly should have supplied some necessary particulars in every one of them. I delivered the presents sent by the King to the Indians, except the coronets, for reasons already before you. The coronets were lost, with the rest of my goods, when the James was wrecked in the Downs. The instruction conveying the King's high resentment of a representation made by the Assembly to the late Colonel Jeffreys, is suspended by me on the humble and unanimous petition and advice of the Council. Pursuant to another instruction I nominated five officers to command in nine counties against the Indians, but subsequently, on the advice of the Council, I appointed Colonel Joseph Bridger as sole commander for all the said counties. On 29th June, at the earnest instance of the Council, I admitted Colonel Philip Ludwell to be of it, and on 8th July Colonel John Page and Colonel Matthew Kempe, both loyal and well qualified men, in the room of Rowland Place and Henry Meese, absent in England. On 2nd August I issued a proclamation for the collection of quit-rents, but I have not yet received any particular account thereof, and fear that the low price of tobacco and the cost of collection will make it inconsiderable. I also took measures for the collection of arrears. Lastly, I did not communicate my second commission at all, fearing that it would be most distasteful to the whole country, but I left it with Secretary Spencer in case of Sir Henry Chicheley's death. I understand, to my great satisfaction, that you have thought fit to alter it and let it stand as heretofore. I should have mentioned that on the death of Colonel Swann, one of the Council, I directed Colonel William Bird to be sworn in his place. I have heard no more since, but I recommend the confirmation of the appointment. All the instructions not answered herein are answered in the margin next to such instructions (see next abstract). I sailed for England 11th August 1680. Signed, Tho. Culpeper. On 27th July 1680 Colonel Nathaniel Bacon, Auditor-General of Virginia, with assistance, paid off all the officers and soldiers of Sir Henry Chicheley's company for seven musters of fourteen months, from 1st May 1678 to 1st July 1680, "to the good liking both of landlords, soldiers, and country." Signature repeated.
The House of Burgesses consists of forty-one persons, two for each of twenty counties, and one for James City. The charge of the Government is maintained—(1.) By private levies raised in each parish for the minister, church, courts of justice, burgesses' wages, &c., which are never brought to the audit or accounted for publicly. Yet they are as high, unequal, and burdensome to the people as any other, being generally managed by sly, cheating fellows that combine to defraud the public. They ought to be inspected and supervised by Government. (2.) By public levies raised from time to time by Act of Assembly and accounted for in the Assembly, for extraordinary occasions of the Government, which, though much better ordered than the first named, are and have been (as I believe) often misapplied. Both these imposts are raised by "titheables" or working hands, of which there are about fourteen thousand in the whole country. The method is extremely unequal, very costly in collection (at least twenty per cent.), and causes vast quantities of trash tobacco to be made, which not only clogs the market but disparages the quality of the commodity, and is ruinous to the country. Could the Assembly be induced to raise a much smaller sum by a duty on imported liquors and other commodities, that alone would be a great relief to our sad condition. (3.) By two shillings a hogshead on exported tobacco, together with fifteen pence a ton for the tonnage of each ship. These latter charges were formerly called Fort duties, which were received by particular associations (as they call them) and were in a manner appropriated, or rather engrossed by particular persons to particular forts. By guess these may be worth communibus annis about 3,000l. a year, and, if well looked after, five or six hundred pounds more, out of which the Governor, councillors, judges, or other persons are paid their salaries. (4.) By the quitrents, as to which I refer you to my former accounts.
As to judicature, there are County Courts in each of the twenty counties, from which an appeal lies to the General Courts, of which there are three every year. Appeals from the General Courts were formerly heard by the Assembly, but are now heard by the King in England in great causes. The ecclesiastical government lies, under the King, in the Governor, who grants probate of wills and presents, or ought to present, to all livings, though only such persons as are certified by the Bishop of London. Such livings should be worth about eighty pounds a year, and number in all seventy-six or seven; but the poverty of the country, and the low price of tobacco, has diminished their value to scarce one half, and the parishes, as they pay their ministers themselves, have made it usage to obtain the right of presentation, or rather of not paying except to their own candidate, whether the Governor approves him or not. This should not be allowed, but the matter must be handled with great caution. As to military power, there is not a fort in the country defensible against any European force, or to be made defensible except at a vaster expense than the country can bear. I do not believe it possible to secure ships anywhere against a superior naval force, except by going so high up the rivers as that better ships will not think it fit to follow them. There may be fifteen thousand fighting men in the country, yet they count three hundred men an army royal.
As regards our neighbours, North Carolina is and always was the sink of America, the refuge of our renegades; and till in better order it is a danger to us. Maryland is now in torment, and not only troubled with our disease, poverty, but in very great danger of falling in pieces; whether it be that old Lord Baltimore's politic maxims are not pursued or that they are unsuited to this age. In a word, he is at this moment so far from being in a condition to assist us, that it is worthy of your prudence to take care, as well for Virginia's sake as his own; for without speedy remedy we shall both be involved in the same fate. As to the Indians, we are at present at peace with all, or at least at war with none, but there is no relying on them, and when we least suspect it we have, by long experience, found ourselves in most danger. Our tributaries may on the slightest occasion prove as bad as bandits, and though unable to contend with us, yet in our present circumstances they have power to ruin us. The foreign Indians, the Senecas, have this year greatly disturbed and frightened us, and in Maryland they have done more. They have certainly appeared armed and in an unusual way, and most certainly hate us all. But that which is more to us than all other things put together, and will be the speedy and certain ruin of the Colony, is the low price of tobacco. The thing is so fatal and desperate that there is no remedy; the market is overstocked, and every crop overstocks it more. It is commonly said that there is tobacco enough in London now to last all England for five years; too much plenty would make gold itself a drug. Our thriving is our undoing, and our purchase of negroes, by increasing the supply of tobacco, has greatly contributed thereunto. Free importation into Russia would revive our drooping spirits, for we want nothing but a vent. The Assembly has offered the King a petition on the subject, with the reasons here annexed. Pray see that it is answered. Meanwhile, in this great exigency and distress, I take the liberty to offer these few hints of remedies for that poor place:—(1.) To encourage the building of towns, and not only to confirm the Act in all things not prejudicial to the Customs, but to grant the penny per pound for some time to ships loading at the said towns. (2.) That the King should recommend to the next Assembly a juster manner of tax. (3.) That he would send to the country about 300l. in flax seed and hemp seed, and 500l. in coarse goods, to help them for this present, and put them in the way for the future. (4.) That he give strict orders to the next Assembly not to raise money by titheables, except only twenty pounds [? of tobacco] per poll. This will be in accordance with the wishes of several counties and of the Council; it can be raised by the Governor and Council without calling an Assembly, and being but a little will not be much felt. In place of titheables, an import duty on brandy and other liquors, or almost any other impost, would be preferable. (5.) That New England shall observe the Acts of Navigation as well as Virginia. (6.) To regulate appeals. (7.) To give strict rules for the improvement of the two shillings per hogshead. (8.) To permit the Government to raise the price of moneys, especially foreign, as they find cause. (9.) That the Colonies may be put in a better posture for mutual assistance. (10.) That no war or peace be made with the Indians without consent of the Government of Virginia. (11.) That no Assembly sit till my return or till the King's further order. (12.) To explain the clause of the soldiers paying their debts and quarters, &c.; the King to pay the passage home (according to promise) of such as desire to return. Signed, Tho. Culpeper. Holograph. 9 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVII., No. 105.]
[Dec. 12.]320. Lord Culpeper's Instructions of 6th December 1679, with marginal comments against each article. There is little that is not embodied in the report given in preceding abstract, except: An estimate of the population of Virginia, viz., about seventy or eighty thousand, of which fifteen thousand servants, three thousand blacks, and the remainder free men, women, and children; and an estimate of the strength of the Indians, as follows: None of our neighbouring Indian nations can make above two hundred fighting men, except the Occanagees, about three hundred; the Tuscarores, towards Carolina, six or eight thousand, but these are peaceable; and the Senecas, a fierce and dangerous race, about four thousand. The Instructions cover 42 pp., and the marginal notes are very full. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVII., No. 106.]
Dec. 13.
321. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Sir George Downing attended. Being asked as to the proceedings of Lord Baltimore towards Nicholas Badcock (see No. 317), he explains that Lord Baltimore seems to be in error concerning the Acts of Trade, since he himself confesses that he hindered Badcock from receiving the penny a pound on tobaccos which were intended to be brought for Ireland. Agreed that Lord Baltimore be severely reprehended for his erroneous opinion, that he be ordered to refund the two thousand five hundred pounds which Mr. Badcock reports to have been lost to the King thereby, and that he be given to understand that, unless he obey the Acts of Trade and Navigation, the King will direct a quo warranto to be issued against his Patent.
The Virginian Act for Cohabitation returned by the Commissioners of Customs. Agreed to report the whole matter to the King in Council. Lord Culpeper's instructions considered. Agreed that such Acts as he has omitted to repeal be named in his instructions to be repealed on his arrival in Virginia. Agreed to represent Lord Culpeper's request for flax seed to the King. The Lords agreed upon their report concerning Lord Culpeper's omission to execute the instructions concerning the declaration of the Virginian Assembly to Colonel Jeffreys, and concerning the re-instatement of Robert Beverley and Edward Hill (see No. 319). [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., pp. 318, 322.]
Dec. 13.
322. Lords of Trade and Plantations to the King. We shall presently submit to your Majesty a draft of a new commission and instructions to Lord Culpeper. Meanwhile, we have received a report from the Commissioners of Customs on the Acts for Cohabitation and for the encouragement of Trade and Manufacture in Virginia (see ante, No. 318), and finding the Act impracticable we recommend that it be referred back to Lord Culpeper with directions to the Governor, Council, and Assembly of Virginia to frame something more practicable and less prejudicial to your Customs, and that meanwhile that portion of the Act which fixes the time of its operation for landing of goods and shipping of tobacco be immediately suspended. In your Instructions to Lord Culpeper of December 1679, you directed him to signify your resentment of a resolution of the Assembly submitted to Colonel Jeffreys. We find that Lord Culpeper has, by the earnest advice and petition of the Council, omitted to signify your resentment. But that such unwarrantable proceedings of the Assembly may not become a precedent, we recommend that, though you pardon the persons who offended therein, you direct by Order in Council that you wholly disapprove of this declaration of the Assembly, that it be razed from the Journals, that your Order aforesaid be registered in the Council's records, and that the Governor prepare a Bill to the Assembly condemning those proceedings, and indicating the right of your Majesty and your officers to call for all public records. Moreover, Lord Culpeper likewise suspended your instructions to exclude Robert Beverley and Edward Hill from public employment; and since he is satisfied that they are honest and able men, and did good service in the rebellion, we beg your instructions whether they shall be displaced or continued. Signed, Anglesey, Albemarle, Clarendon, L. Jenkins. 3 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXII., pp. 3–6.]
Dec. 13.323. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Letter from the King to his Excellency read, directing him to swear Mr. Alexander Riddocke of the Council. Mr. Riddocke sworn accordingly. Mr. Samuel Husbands and Mr. John Hethersell of the Assembly attended and said that, being unable to make a House till late, owing to bad weather, the Assembly had adjourned till to-morrow. Meanwhile, the House desired answers to its addresses presented at last meeting, Heads of proposals made by the Governor and Council to the Assembly (see Journal of Assembly of this date). Order for payment of John Josephson passed.
Dec. 14.Warrant for payment of Samuel Norris, gunner.
Dec. 15.The Assembly brought up an address for a warrant for payment of John Higinbotham. The Governor consented. The Assembly's answers to the proposals of the Governor and Council: (1.) They will address the King for great guns. (2.) They will build a house of correction out of the excise on imported liquors when imposed, and (3) arms from the same fund. (4.) The repairs to Fontabelle shall be paid for from the public Treasury. His Excellency is desired to press the Commissioners for Fortifications to levy executions for payment in arrear under the last Act. Order for payment of Thomas Spiar passed. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XI., pp. 472–478.]
Dec. 13.324. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. William Sharpe elected Speaker in the absence of Edward Littleton. Message from the Governor recommending to the consideration of the House to provide with all speed for forty-five pieces of cannon for the new forts, and four gunners and eight matrosses; also that the gunners and matrosses may, in future, be paid quarterly without trouble or expense to them for the solicitation of their money; also to provide (as they promised) for the building of a house of correction; also to provide that the arms of the foot regiments be according to the Tower standard; also that his Excellency may be reimbursed for the cost of repairs of Fontabelle to prevent it falling down which is about 300l.
Dec. 14.Put to the vote whether the excise on imported liquors be now imposed, or suspended until the King signifies his pleasure as to the commutation of the four-and-a-half per cent., and carried that it be raised now. On the petition of Thomas Spiar, executor of the late John Stanfast, ordered that John Hallett pay him 206l. 5s. for eight months and eight days rent of Fontabelle. Address to the Governor praying his warrant for payment of his salary to John Higinbotham.
Dec. 15.No quorum. Adjournment till 20th December. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XIII., pp. 458–463.]
Dec. 14.325. Christopher Rousby to Colonel William Stevens, of the Council of Maryland. Yours of 2nd August came to my hand but yesterday, and by what ship I know not, but it is very welcome. Thanks for it and for all your kindnesses, especially for favouring, countenancing, and advancing that affair of His Majesty's with which I am concerned, and which poor Badcock signified to me but a week before he died. No doubt you have heard what pains Lord Baltimore has taken to ruin me in estate, reputation, and life by idle, malicious, and damnable false accusations to the Commissioners of Customs, the Secretary of State, and the Lord Privy Seal. I have answered all, and thank God am in a very fair way to be cleared and confirmed in my place to great advantage. Lord Baltimore's behaviour to Mr. Badcock in the case of the ships that came to Maryland in the summer with certificates of having given bond to sail for England, Ireland, Wales or Berwick, is very ill resented by the Lords of the Council, and his Lordship will presently receive a severe reprimand for opposing the King's interest and obstructing his affairs. Pray tell Mr. Howard that I have a strict charge not only from the Commissioners of the Customs but from the Commissioners of the Treasury to receive the King's duty of a penny a pound from all ships that bring certificates of having given bond here to return for England, Ireland, Wales, or Berwick. For though the Act of 22 & 23 Charles II., which enjoins the omission of the word Ireland, is expired, yet the duty is due by the Act of 25 Charles II. for all tobaccos for which bond is not given, to bring the same to England, Wales, or Berwick, or some plantation, and to no other place; so that now, if they pay their duty they may go directly for Ireland without touching in England, otherwise not. Please tell Mr. Ridgely that I am in great hopes and fair way to effect his business for his content. Thank God I have found good friends here, and though Lord Baltimore paints me as black as the devil, his calumnies will not take place according to his desires and unworthy clandestine dealing. The practice and proceeding here is very different, and I am surprised that he did not know it. All is open, fair, and clear, which has sufficed to unriddle his profound intrigues against me. I confess it has cost me much money, but I would not for twice the sum have remained in ignorance of what I now know, or have wanted the interest I have now gained. Our public news is the trial of Lord Shaftesbury for treason, on the evidence of a parcel of lousy Irish knaves. Strict charge has been given by the King to the justices about the laws and proclamations against Papists. Tobacco is most damnable low both here and in Holland. Mr. Ridgely had twelve hogsheads which I kept for the better, but, as it proved, for the worse market. It would hardly clear itself. Pray desire Mr. Howard to send me over a cock and hen of the wild turkey breed, and get some master of a ship to take care of them. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed with a certificate that it has been examined by the original in the hands of C. BALTEMORE. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVII., No. 107.]
Dec. 15.
326. Lords of Trade and Plantations to the King. We have been attended by Lord Culpeper and the Muscovy Company to find out the best means of introducing the trade of tobacco into Russia. Lord Culpeper puts it forward as of the greatest consequence for the relief of Virginia, owing to the present glut of the tobacco markets. The merchants also favour it as extremely advantageous, but say that it is extremely difficult to bring about, tobacco being forbidden not only by the secular power but by ecclesiastical law. We therefore think the matter can only properly be entrusted to a Minister to be sent by you to the Court of the Czar. The settlement of this trade will not only recover the languishing condition of Virginia, but will much encourage your traders to Muscovy and increase your revenue. We think therefore that if you send an ambassador, this should be a principal object of his mission, and that in endeavouring to gain it he should not only represent to the Czar the advantages to his own treasury, but should apply himself also to the Ministers of the Court, and to the Patriarch with fitting arguments. And since by your instructions to Lord Culpeper you directed him to encourage the growth of hemp and flax in Virginia, we favour his suggestion that you would be pleased to advance him two or three hundred pounds to be distributed to fitting persons there that they may be able to undertake the production and manufacture. Signed, Anglesey, Clarendon, L. Jenkins. 1½ pp. Inscribed, "This Report being read in Council the next day it was ordered that it should be further considered." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVII., No. 108.]
Dec. 15.327. Draft of foregoing, with corrections. Endorsed. Entered Book of Trade, p. 314. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVII., No. 109.]
Dec. 15.
Custom House.
328. The Commissioners of Customs to Lords of Trade and Plantations. In obedience to Order in Council of 30th June last (see ante, No. 151) we have called before us Christopher Rousby, and enquired into the charge made against him by Lord Baltimore. We have also received his answer and also a former answer made by him to similar complaints by Lord Baltimore. But as there are no particulars transmitted upon the points complained of, nor any proofs of the same, we think that it would be much to the King's prejudice and to the discouragement of the officers of the King's Customs in Maryland if they should be removed or dismissed upon such terms. We therefore request that Rousby may be returned to his charge and a letter written to Lord Baltimore desiring him that if in future he shall have any cause of complaint against Rousby, he shall first give him a regular charge thereof and receive his answer, and then transmit both accusation and reply to us, together with the proof thereof, to save loss of time. Signed, Charles Cheyne, G. Downing, W. Butler. 1½ pp. Annexed, a list of the following enclosures.
328. I. Christopher Rousby to the Commissioners of Customs. Having received a copy of a letter of complaint against me written by Lord Baltimore of 29th April, I present the following answer. The whole charge is general, without any particular circumstance, so I can but return a general reply; if his Lordship had acquainted me with the substance thereof before my departure from Maryland, which had been but reason, I should have been better able to vindicate my innocence. His Lordship says that he had by two shippings sent letters to you, but fears that by some misfortune they are miscarried; he adds that he is almost sure that they were put into my hands and never carried out of the province. I answer that the letters were never in my custody, nor was it in my power to stop any man's letters, much less his Lordship's. I suppose he has not forgot by what ships they were sent, and can easily require the master to account for them. It was not difficult for him to have sent duplicates, as is usual, particularly if he suspected interception. As to my proud carriage towards West country men, and New England traders and his Lordship's officers, I cannot understand to what he refers, and can only say that to the best of my judgment I have borne myself with all respect to his Lordship, as I was bound in discharge of my duty. As to the charge of exacting fees from masters of ships in entry and clearing, and the allegation that a crown a vessel is the least that they escape with, and that they are forced to give me presents for their despatch, I deny that I ever demanded or suffered those under me to demand one penny except from masters that came from other plantations or who produced no certificate, and were therefore obliged by law to enter into bond of navigation there; though I never took a farthing myself, I confess that I allowed my clerk to demand two shillings and sixpence from masters of small vessels and from others, where there were more entries outward, five shillings. But where one master paid, three did not, and I can safely say that all receipts on that score never amounted to thirty shillings in any one year since I had the employment. But I am informed, that if I had taken what was justly due it would have been much more. I utterly deny again that I ever detained any ship, but where I thought it absolutely necessary for the King's service. I do not believe that there is a man who will say that he was threatened or stopped by me or by any under me on the score of making me a present. As to what is alleged against me of receiving certificates from masters of ships of their having given bond in England, and not suffering them to carry the same to Lord Baltimore's collectors, I answer that when his Lordship was last in England, he left his lady's son, a very young man, to be his collector, who trusted the business to a young Irish fellow, his clerk. Now I had occasion to see some certificates, which were said to be left in their hands, in order to make up my accounts, but when I asked for them they could not be found. I asked Mr. Thomas Notley, then Governor and now deceased, to tell them to be more careful, whereupon he desired me from that time forth to take the certificates from the masters into my own custody, and certify from time to time under my hand to Lord Baltimore's collector that the masters had produced and left such certificates with me. He assured me that it would be kindly looked upon by my Lord, and taken as a very good service to him. I therefore pursued this course until his Lordship returned from England, when, seeing the method, he told me he liked it very well. I therefore pursued it two years longer, during all which time he never said a word against it. Nor was this one farthing benefit to me, or any under me; on the contrary, besides the trouble, I was put to considerable charge for the entertainment of masters. As to the charge of endeavouring to prevent any master from making entry with Lord Baltimore's collector till he had satisfied my unjust and unreasonable demands, I absolutely deny it; nor do I know what his Lordship means by my "unjust and unreasonable demands." I confess I tried to prevent ships that came from other plantations or England without certificates from being entered and permitted to trade by his Lordship's collector before they had satisfied the law and your Honours' instructions. This, it seems, troubles his Lordship and makes him add that, if he suffered me to proceed, no ship would be able to trade without my leave. I do not deny that some New England ships have left the province because I looked strictly that they should obey your Honours' orders; and this his Lordship is pleased to call my proud, haughty, and insolent humour. But I deny that he has ever spoken to me about this ill-carriage of mine, much more that I ever used such irreverent language towards him in the Government as he suggests. As to the allegations about my wicked life, profane language and debauchery, and that when on board London ships my common discourse was treason, I thank God that my life was never so wicked as to commit any treason against my Sovereign. I wonder that his Lordship makes this charge, for which, if true, his prudence, justice, and loyalty would not have suffered me to go unpunished. But he was not the man that ever accused me of such a thing in Maryland, though my name was set up at the Court-house there (as the manner is) for about four months before I came away. And since his Lordship affirms that treason is commonly spoken by me on board London ships, I wish he had specified the words and named the ships, that the masters and officers might have been examined to acquit or condemn me. Your Honours can hardly imagine that, if I were such a person as his Lordship describes, I should be so foolish as well as wicked as to speak treasonable words aboard London ships, whose commanders would be equally guilty with me if they did not immediately apprehend or accuse me in England, which they have not done. This, I think, clears my innocence of this charge. As to his Lordship's term of rogue, rascal, &c., I pass them by as a matter of course. I confess that I received my commission as Collector of Customs in Maryland on the particular recommendation of Lord Baltimore for which I have returned him all due respects. And, if I mistake not, his Lordship has not charged me with the least breach of trust in my employment, nor with any neglect or omission of your commands, which I hope I have fulfilled to your content. I am confident that till you find me guilty of some misdemeanour you will not think fit to move me to make room to Mr. William Diggs, son-in-law to his Lordship's lady, and I am sure that my zeal in my office will in the end appear to be my greatest crime. I will only add that I think the King will be better served by men who dorive no part of their powers from his Lordship than by his Lordship's collectors, because Lord Baltimore's eye will not be so likely to overawe them to promote the interest of himself and of his province, Signed. 2½ closely written pages. Endorsed.
328. II. Christopher Rousby to the Commissioners of Customs. In obedience to your orders I present the following answer to Lord Baltimore's letter of 28th April (ante, No. 151 I.). 1. His Lordship says that he has had great cause of complaint against me for two years and has written to you, but that I have intercepted the letters. I utterly deny this and would refer to my answer to his letter to you of 29th April (see preceding abstract). 2. His Lordship says he may term me a devil, for I have carried myself with such pride that I have driven West countrymen and New England traders from Maryland. I affirm that I have to the best of my judgment borne myself with due respect to all men. As I said in former letter some New England men may have quitted the trade which they long had there, which trade was, in truth, to load tobacco and carry it whether they pleased without paying any customs at all. The departure of these illegal and irregular traders will be no loss to the King's revenue, but the contrary; for the tobacco left by them will be brought to England, Wales, and Berwick, as it has been for the last two years, and consequently will pay the King's customs. Simply because I set myself to reduce all traders in the province to compliance with the law (which was the reason of my employment), Lord Baltimore tries to persuade my Lord Privy Seal that I have been guilty of a crime, and that I ought to be displaced to make room for his lady's son-in-law. 3. I deny all imposing or exacting of fees, as alleged, and I deny that I ever forewarned masters of ships from entering with Lord Baltimore's officers. I confess that when vessels came from other plantations, or without certificates, I always advised his officers to refuse permission to trade till they had entered into bond to take their tobacco to some other plantation in England and Wales, or paid a penny a pound. But I deny that I ever called this, as is alleged, a duty to myself. 4. I also deny that I hindered masters of ships from carrying their certificates to his Lordship's officers, except as set forth in my other letter. I deny also that I ever pretended other powers than those conveyed in your commission, or went about to wrest its terms from their natural sense. I confess that I have always treated your Honours' instructions with awful respect, and it may be that Lord Baltimore accounts the due execution thereof disservice to his Government. I deny that I ever used such terms as that I cared not how much I prejudiced the King's service so as I might advance my own fortune. No one but a fool or a madman could have spoken such idle words. I deny, too, that any of Lord Baltimore's officers came to call me to account as is suggested, or that he ever acquainted me, before I left the province, with the matters now charged against me. As to the charges of debauchery, lewdness, and villainy, it is a way of writing made easy to his Lordship by his practice in all his letters of complaint against the late Mr. Nicholas Badcock, the late Surveyor and Controller there, as also against myself, whereby he hopes to render us too infamous to be capable of employment. He has no cause nor ground for the same, but hopes that by casting much dirt, some will stick, to work his ends against me. As to the charges of treasonable language, had I been guilty as is pretended, his Lordship would probably have questioned me before I left his Government and not have let me go unpunished and unquestioned, though he knew of my intention to leave three months before I left. I sailed on the 11th May last, and his letter is dated a fortnight earlier, all of which appears by the enclosed affidavits. As to his Lordship's importunate begging for my removal, it is evident that he wishes to place all the offices of Collectors and Surveyors in Maryland in the hands of his own creatures, and I therefore hope that his accusations will be construed accordingly. Lastly, his Lordship seems to infer to the Lord Privy Seal that the practice of Virginia, where the same man collects the two shillings a hogshead and the penny a pound, should be followed in Maryland. The two Colonies are totally different. Virginia is under the King's own Government through his own immediate Governor; all writs run in his name, and the two shillings a hogshead belongs to him as well as the penny a pound. But Maryland is Lord Baltimore's province, the writs run in his name, the two shillings a hogshead are his Lordship's, and the King has no officer but the two connected with the penny a pound. To rid himself of both, his Lordship has brought grievous complaints against Mr. Badcock as well as against me; thus it is manifest by Mr. Badcock's letter of 10th July (see No. 166), written shortly before his death, that he did nothing but his duty, that he was most unjustly accused, and that Lord Baltimore's opposition injured the King to the amount of two thousand pounds. It is easy to see what most excellent service would be done for the King in Maryland without any noise if Lord Baltimore could procure the two places for his lady's sons. Three closely written pages. Endorsed.
328. III. Affidavit of Gerard Slye, shewing that Christopher Rousby made no secret of his intention to return to England, that his name was posted up in the Court house, that he obtained a pass to depart from Secretary William Calvert, that he went to say farewell to Lord Baltimore two days before his departure, though his Lordship would not see him, and that he sailed in the ship Globe, Samuel Groome, master, on 11th May 1681. Sworn before Thomas Raymond. 23rd September 1681. 1 p. Endorsed.
238. IV. Affidavit of Jane Slye, to the effect that Rousby's projected departure was well known. Sworn as the foregoing. 1 p. Endorsed.
328. V. Affidavit of John Lynes, master of the ship Friends Increase, to the same effect. Sworn as the foregoing. 1 p. Endorsed.
328. VI. Affidavit of Robert Tout, planter of Maryland, to same effect. Sworn as foregoing. ½ p. Endorsed.
328. VII. Affidavit of William Johnson of London, merchant, lately on a visit to Maryland, to same effect. Sworn as foregoing. ½ p. Endorsed.
328. VIII. Order from Philip Calvert to Christopher Rousby to pay money in London, and wishing him a pleasant voyage. Dated 6th May 1681. Handwriting attested by Gerard Slye, and attestation sworn as the foregoing. 1 p. Four endorsements.
328. IX. "The Case of Christopher Rousby, Collector of His Majesty's Customs in Maryland." Lord Baltimore, wishing that no person but his own creatures may be employed in the King's Customs in Maryland, has taken the following measures, viz.—(1.) He has brought several complaints against Christopher Rousby, and being unable to conceive why Rousby should go to England except to clear himself added a clause that he discoursed treason on London ships. He first asked that Rousby's place might be given to his son-in-law, Captain Diggs, but presently waives Diggs and substitutes another of his lady's sons-in-law, Philip Calvert. (2.) Rousby has answered all the charges in writing, and is surprised that no mention of them was made to him before he left Maryland. (3.) Rousby, on obtaining copy of Lord Baltimore's letter of 28th April from Sir L. Jenkins, answered that also, and then on Sir L. Jenkins's advice petitioned to the King who referred the matter to the Commissioners for the Treasury. (4.) Soon after, Rousby heard that Lord Baltimore had supplemented his charges by a pretended affidavit from Vincent Lowe, his lady's brother (see ante, No. 128), of which he obtained a copy. (5.) The Commissioners of the Customs have reported upon the whole matter, and recommended that Rousby should be returned to his office. (6.) Rousby denies Lowe's statement and has made affidavit to that effect. He adds further that if Lowe made any such statement he must have been drunk, which was nothing unusual with him. He would point out again the remarkable fact that Lord Baltimore let him leave the Colony without any question as to these charges. (7.) Rousby would call attention again to Lord Baltimore's accusations against Mr. Badcock, and his request that Badcock may be turned out to make room for Nicholas Sewell, his lady's son. One large closely written sheet. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVII., No. 110, 110 I.–IX, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LII., pp. 72–74, without enclosures.]
Dec. 15
329. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Report on the Act of Cohabitation and other Virginian matters approved. The Muscovy Company, which attended on other business, was called in, and Lord Culpeper moved the Lords to find some way of opening a trade for tobacco within the Emperor's dominions. The Company stated the difficulties, and added that the patriarch and favourite of the Czar must be persuaded by fitting arguments to permit the use of tobacco in the country (see No. 326). [Col, Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., pp. 324–325.]