America and West Indies
May 1675

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Institute of Historical Research

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W. Noel Sainsbury (editor)

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1893

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222-238

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'America and West Indies: May 1675', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 9: 1675-1676 and Addenda 1574-1674 (1893), pp. 222-238. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=70094 Date accessed: 20 August 2014.


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Contents

May 1675

(May 1.)545. "Considerations in order to his Majesty establishing his interests in New England." Robert Mason's proposals concerning the Commissioners to be sent to New Hampshire. Deprecates delay, considering the concurrence of the Proprietors of the best provinces and the inclinations of the people; success will be of manifold ad vantage to the King and the charge will be altogether inconsiderable. The King's counsels leading him to bring all the provinces in New England into a nearer inspection and management, and the first step being to vindicate the grants made to the ancestors of Robert Mason and Ferdinando Gorges, in order to the taking of their properties to himself, it seems advisable that the King should interpose by way of mediation. And as the Massachusetts, by their letter to Secretary Morrice of 30 May 1665 desired to be heard before they were judged, the King may send them a letter by Commissioners (according to their representation by the late Council of Plantations, 12 Aug. 1671) to reconcile all differences, whereby the King may interpose without any dissatisfaction of the Massachusetts, who may be fairly admonished of their duty and be at liberty either to acquiesce in the arbitration of the Commissioners or be heard by agents before the King. Thus the King may be perfectly informed of all interests, and may raise such observations as to lead him to further counsels and settlements. The Commissioners may have instructions open and answerable to the letter written to the Massachusetts and others reserved, by which they may govern themselves according to the temper of affairs. That the Commissioners be about five in number, of a prudent and sober conversation and of several professions, to have limited instructions to some purposes and powers less limited to others. That they proceed first to Portsmouth, where there are said to be many well-inclined to admitting the King's interests as far as they can, being lately oppressed by the Massachusetts, publish the King's declaration, summon the inhabitants of Hampshire and Maine to hear their Commission read, send a messenger to Boston to signify their arrival and carry the King's letter, and choose some convenient town as a place of treaty with the Massachusetts Deputies. That they use means to make an acquaintance with the chief and best-inclined persons in the two provinces, to let them understand that the King has taken counsel for employing his care for their further prosperity, and giving a good title of inheritance to all in possession that desire confirmation under the King's authority, paying only the twentieth penny of the yearly value for yearly rent. That, as soon as they find a fit temper in the people, they treat about the improvement of trade, the supplying the King with masts, &c., and show the advantages which will arise by a better correspondence with England and by their cheerful submission to those ordinary duties which are set upon trade in all other the King's dominions, the inconsistency of the King's permitting any people, especially his own, to be exempt from those rules of government and commerce which support trade and the interest of State; seeing that he provides for the safety of New England as belonging to the Crown, he may justly expect some benefit from their trade, it belonging to the King's care to provide for the general balance of trade. As soon as good impressions are made on the inhabitants, the Commissioners should declare the King's intention to give all possible encouragement to trade in New England, but if any town does not readily submit to the necessary regulations and duties, it will not be permitted to trade with any other of the King's plantations and dominions but on payment of double duties. That the Commissioners be empowered to leave one or more of their number in such places as they shall find requisite, and join other persons in commission who may signally show their forward affections to the King's service, so that the provinces may be sooner settled. Draft of the King's declaration to be published in New England, informing the people that he has appointed Commissioners to examine and accommodate differences and return after 12 months, and that if the differences are not settled then, the disagreeing parties are to choose agents to appear before the King for his final determination. Draft of the King's letter to the Massachusetts to the same effect. Endorsed, "Read by the Lords of the Committee, 1 May 1675." 4 pp. Two copies. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, Nos. 68, 69.] Annexed,
545. i. Richard Bellingham, Governor of the Massachusetts, to Sec. Sir Wm. Morrice, 30 May 1665. Calendared in a previous volume (1661–68), p. 301, No. 1001, with Returns of the Massachusetts Commissioners respecting the northern bounds. Endorsed, "Read before the Lords of the Comtee, 1 May 1675." [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 70.]
545. ii. The King to the Governor of the Massachusetts, 10 April 1666. Calendared in a previous volume (1661–68), p. 372, No. 1171. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LX., pp. 21–22.]
May 1.546. Copies of the above "Considerations" and the papers annexed. Annexed,
546. i. "Result of the Committee." Their Lordships having considered the aforesaid papers, order that Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor General do examine the titles of Mason and Gorges, that his Majesty be moved to send 5 men of great sobriety and discretion as Commissioners to New England, to end all differences, or to tell those on the other side to send back Commissioners; that the Lord Treasurer be desired to send to the Commissioners of Customs for their opinion about the Acts of Trade and Navigation in New England. Conceive the charge may amount to 8,000l., but the advantages of a settlement make it inconsiderable.
546. ii. The Committee of Trade and Plantations to the Lord Treasurer. Desire to understand the opinion of the Commissioners of Customs how far the Acts of Trade and Navigation take notice of New England, what violations thereof they have observed there, and of what ill consequence, and what rules they think most proper for the remedy.
546. iii. Order of the Committee. Directing the Attorney and Solicitor General to examine the titles of Mason and Gorges. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LX., pp. 9–25.]
May 1547. Copies of the above "Result of the Committee" and "Letter to the Lord Treasurer." [Col. Entry Bks., Vol. CIV., pp. 22, 23, and Vol. XCVII., p. 11.]
May 3–8.
St. Jago de la Vega.
548. Minutes of the Council of Jamaica. The Act for Naturalization returned from the Assembly, with amendments. The Acts for preventing nuisances, regulating Marshall's proceedings in executions, rating meat, preventing trusting seamen, preventing fraud in rum, against tippling, cursing, and swearing, for preventing stealing of boats, for foreign attachments, empowering the Secretary to take sufficient security, and against excessive usury, read and passed; also for Surveyors, with amendment. The Act for raising money read; and French pistols to pass current at 20s., silver French crowns at 5s., and all other moneys of that coin proportionably.
May 4.The following Acts read and passed, viz.: for freight of boats, prohibiting commodities, celebration of the 10th May, empowering the Churchwardens of St. Katherine's to prevent the retailing of strong liquors, for encouragement of Mr. Lassel, for preventing damage by fire, preserving Savannas, regulating hunting, for Mr. Tothill's estate, against suing foreign debts in 5 years, and for Recovery of Subsriptions.
May 5.The Act for the enrolment of Deeds, with amendment, considered, and further amendment proposed. The Act of Revenue returned with divers amendments from the Assembly, at whose request 3 of the Council were appointed to confer thereon with a Committee of the Assembly.
May 6.Sir Thos. Modyford and Sir Thos. Lynch's accounts returned by the Assembly with divers observations. The Act for encouraging the building of a town at Old Harbour read and passed. Report of the Committee of Council on the amendments agreed upon for the Act of Revenue; 1,500l. to be given to his Excellency and paid next after the contingent charges; the residences of St. Jago and Port Royal for the Captain-General and Lieutenant-General to be omitted; the salaries to be 2,000l. and 600l. per annum, paid proportionably; and the General's order to be Warrant to the Treasurer. Thomas Freeman and Hender Molesworth appointed to join a Committee of the Assembly in drawing up said Act.
May 7.The Act for Liberty of Conscience referred to further debate. The Act confirming Orders of Council read; the present Chief Judge, &c., to be inserted in the order about Mr. Cussans and Capt. Rose, instead of John White; other clauses about Jews and Capt. Richard Brayne, &c., to be omitted. The Act for collecting Quit Rents read, with amendments. The Act for Enrolment of Deeds passed, with amendments.
May 8.The Act for preservation of cattle read. Also for Negro Slaves, Maintenance of the Ministry, Christian Servants, and Repairing and Amending Highways, read and passed. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XXXV., 410–419.]
May 5.
Whitehall.
549. Order of the King in Council. The Committee for Foreign Plantations having this day reported their opinion touching the inconveniencies of a Colony and inhabiting of his Majesty's subjects in New foundland, and his Majesty having thought fit to order the Commander of his convoy bound this year to that place to admonish the inhabitants either to return to England or betake themselves to other of his Majesty's Plantations; ordered, that Sec. Williamson prepare letters to the several Governors of said Foreign Plantations to receive any of said inhabitants of Newfoundland with favour, and afford them all convenient help towards their settlement. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 71.]
May 5.
Whitehall.
550. Order in Council. Upon reading the Report of the Committee for Foreign Plantations of 15th April, as follows: they have in obedience to his Majesty's Order of 12th February considered Mr. Hinton's petition and papers touching the necessity of placing a Governor at Newfoundland for the advantage of that fishery, and have perused all the papers touching this affair and sent advertisement to all the Western Ports, and heard their agents and other principal Merchants of the Exchange, some for the encouragement of a Colony and Governor, but many more against both; and the points that seemed very clear were as follow:—(1) The French have of late years applied themselves with great industry and public encouragement to the fishing trade on one of the sides of Newfoundland, so that the English serve none of the markets of France as formerly, but on the contrary, the French are found in many other foreign markets as early as the English; (2) the people of New England take about 60,000 kintals of fish a year on their own coasts, and by increasing that trade bring much detriment to that of Newfoundland; (3) for some years the fish has failed in Newfoundland, and the Adventurers have lost many ships and hands in the wars, especially with Spain, and the inhabitants and planters who, contrary to their Charter, live within six miles of the sea, destroy the woods and whatever the Adventurers yearly leave, possess the best places before the Adventurers return, and mostly sell wine and brandy, whereby the seamen are withdrawn from their labour and seduced to stay, leaving their families a burden to their parishes at home. From all which t'was easy to believe that the complaints of a decay of trade were very just, but as for Mr. Hinton's proposal, their Lordships could not find that a Governor would cure any part, (1) because the planters, numbering 800 or 1,000,. live scattered in 25 harbours, betwixt Renouse (?) and Bonavista, which are almost 80 leagues asunder; (2) in all the winter, when the abuses are many of them done, there is no passing from one place to another, so that near 40 harbours would have no Government though a Governor were in the country; (3) besides the charge of forts and a Governor which the fish trade cannot support, any such defence against foreigners is needless, the coast being defended in the winter by ice, and must in summer be the resort of his Majesty's subjects, for that place will always belong to him that is superior at sea. So that unless their Lordships saw reasons for a Colony, they could see none for a Governor; and against a Colony there are not only the rigours of the climate and infertility of the land, but the inhabitants chiefly consume the products of New England, and would in time tread in the same steps, to the loss of England, for a like regulation on the products of this place as on those of other Plantations could not be expected, because fish cannot bear the charge of coming home but must go directly to the markets abroad. As concerning the French, find they manage the trade by the Adventurers ships that yearly go out and return, for their fort at Placentia in the south part of the island is only to defend them from the Indians who come off from the main and molest them in their beaver trade, for which trade only they inhabit there. Find also that the Adventurers can catch fish cheaper than the Planters, and that the English do in general still preserve a superiority in the trade over the French. So that on the whole matter their Lordships find the Rules formerly settled in Council, the 10th March 1670–71, needed only some few additions to make the trade revive, which are proposed as follow:—(1) That all inhabiting in that country be discouraged, and that the Commander of his Majesty's convoy this year, declare his Majesty's pleasure to all Planters that they come voluntarily away, and that next year his Majesty's convoys will begin to put in execution the ancient Charter forbidding any Planters to inhabit within six miles of the shore from Cape Race to Bonavista, and to seize and send home any offenders, and in this single point their Lordships conceive consists the validity and good effect of the whole regulation; (2) that the convoy assist in transporting those desirous to return home, and to declare that if they choose to betake themselves to other Plantations, the Governors are now written to and commanded to receive them with all favour; and such letters it is proposed may be speedily sent to said Governors. Also that the convoy be ordered to enquire whether any strangers, in this time of war, come there to fish under pretext of being English; and in case of jealousy, to enquire into their passes and sea briefs, and how they have been procured; also to enquire into the state of the French trade, the number of their ships and whether a more or less number this year than formerly; and of all his observations and journals to send a duplicate to this Committee; (3) that his Majesty's Counsel be directed, as formerly, to review the powers formerly given by his Majesty's Charter of Confirmation, for trying treasons, felonies, murders there, and if deficient, report what sort of judicature should be erected; (4) and that when his Majesty has settled in what hands that power shall be placed, the Mayors of the Western Ports be required to renew their Charter, with the additional Rules and Powers, and that the same be printed, and a proclamation issued to enforce the same. Ordered, that all necessary orders forthwith issue for the better effecting the several thing's advised in the above Report, that so by a due course to be taken in Newfoundland and by a renewal and enlargement of the Charter for better regulation of things at home and the punishment of crimes committed, said trade may recover and mariners be increased to the public benefit and welfare of this Kingdom. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XCVI., 2–8.]
May 5.551. Mem. of preceding Order in Council, though headed "Order upon report of the Committee concerning Surinam" "that island" is corrected to "Newfoundland." Also Draft Mem.—That when Mr. Attorney returns his Report of the Judicature, there must issue a new Order requiring the Mayors to surrender their old Charter and take a new one, with the additional powers of 10th March 1670–71, concluding with a direction to the Attorney General to prepare a Bill for the King's signature accordingly; and order for printing the Charter, and for Proclamation of the matter. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 72.]
May 9.
Whitehall.
552. Warrant to (the Attorney General). Whereas his Majesty has received information from Sir Jonathan Atkins, Knt., Governor of Barbadoes, and from the testimony on oath of William Hamlyn of Antigua, mariner, that in 1673, Col. Philip Warner, Deputy Governor of Antigua, having undertaken an expedition against the Indians to windward of Dominica, with the assistance of Thomas Warner, Deputy Governor of Dominica, after the enterprise was over invited said Thomas Warner and the Indians with him to the number of 60 or 70 men, women, and children to an entertainment of thanks for their good service, and having made them drunk, the English, upon signal from Col. Warner, fell upon Thomas Warner and his company and killed all or the greater part of them, and it is believed that this slaughter was committed by the sole direction of said Col. Plilip Warner. To the end that so inhuman an attempt should be duly examined, and the persons convicted brought to condign punishment, it is his Majesty's pleasure that a Bill be prepared to pass the Great Seal containing a Special Commission of Oyer and Terminer, authorizing Sir Jonathan Atkins, Governor of Barbadoes, and (blank) whereof said Governor to be always one, to hear the matter aforesaid, pass such sentence and judgment as shall be agreeable to law and justice, and cause the same to be put in execution. Beneath is a memorandum. This warrant passed no further but instead thereof a letter was signed by his Majesty, to Sir Jonathan Atkins (and entered in the Plantation Book) requiring him to try the parties accused according to the powers of his Commission, 3 pp. [Dom. Entry Bk. Chas. II., Vol. 28, pp. 131d, 132d.]
May 11.
Whitehall.
553. Warrant to (the Attorney General). Whereas Thomas Lewis has informed his Majesty that he lately sent one of his sons, Thomas Lewis, on the frigate Foresight to Jamaica to settle there, but some differences happening between him and another young man it was the fortune (sic) of said Lewis to kill the other in a duel at Barbadoes, for which he has been condemned but reprieved for his Majesty's pleasure, and said Thomas Lewis having besought his Majesty's mercy for the life of his son, it is his Majesty's pleasure that he prepare a Bill to pass the Great Seal. containing a grant of his Majesty's pardon to said Thomas Lewis for the death of William Acton, gent., and all indictments and forfeitures by reason thereof. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. 28, pp. 133, 133d.]
May 11–15.
St. Jago de la Vega.
554. Minutes of the Council of Jamaica. Three Acts, for collecting the Quit Rents, for enrolment of Deeds; and for preservation of Cattle, read and passed. An Act for dividing the Parishes read and sent to the Assembly, with an Amendment. An Act empowering Justices of the Peace to decide all differences under 40s. read, with an Amendment. An Act declaring the Laws of England in force read, with an Amendment. The several Amendments in the Act of the Militia sent from the Assembly consented to, except the omission of the Proviso concerning his Excellency's Commission, which the Council still adhere to, and an additional Clause to be inserted. Petition to His Royal Highness, proposed by his Excellency instead of re-enacting the Law for free importation of negroes, ordered to be signed by the Clerk and recorded, and sent to the Assembly to be signed by the Speaker. His Excellency's representations of the great affection His Royal Highness has for this place have transported them with joy, and that they may be better enabled to make some grateful returns, they beg His Royal Highness to interpose with the Royal African Company to furnish the Island annually with a plentiful supply of negroes at moderate rates, whereby his Majesty's Customs will be considerably increased and the Colony exceedingly strengthened.
May 12.Concurrence of the Assembly in the Petition to the Duke, with the thanks of the whole House to his Excellency for proposing so good an expedient. Accounts presented by Sam. Bernard, Esq., Treasurer, examined, and ordered to be filed with the Clerk of the Council, as also the Account current which follows, total 1,854l. 9s. 3d., leaving a balance due from the Treasury of 269l. 10s. 9d.
May 13.Acts for dividing the Island into Parishes, declaring the Laws of England in force, empowering Justices of the Peace to decide all differences under 40s., establishing the Fees of the several Officers, and collecting Quit Rents, read and passed. The Act for the Militia returned from the Assembly; his Excellency and Council consented to the omission of shopkeepers, but adhered to the last Clause, his Excellency declaring his meaning was only to preserve his commission from being encroached upon.
May 14.The Act of Revenue read and passed. His Excellency and Council consented to the Act of Militia, which was read and passed. Acts, for repealing an Act for the Suppression of Lawyers, for quieting all persons' estates against dormant titles, and for confirming divers Orders of Council, read and passed. Acts, about Surveyors, for raising the value of money, and for the better maintenance of the Ministry, read and passed.
May 15.The Act of Revenue presented from the Assembly, with an Amendment; his Excellency urged that the Committee had agreed that the Governor's warrant should be the Treasurer's discharge, and sent it back to be further considered. Reasons sent from the Assembly for adhering to their vote, which his Excellency debated with them, saying he had no other meaning than that the Treasurer should be secure. After an hour's adjournment Wm. Beeston, Esq., acquainted his Excellency from the Assembly that the Act of Revenue was passed, and prayed that all the Acts might now be presented to his Excellency by their Speaker, and signed in their presence according to the custom of this place; to which his Excellency answered that he should guide himself according to the usage of Parliaments in England, and desired that the Speaker and all the Assembly should attend him. The Acts presented to his Excellency by the Speaker and Assembly as fully passed in their house, praying he would sign them in their presence; to which he answered that they must withdraw, for they could not be witnesses to anything he did by virtue of his negative voice; on which the Speaker said a vote had passed that unless his Excellency would sign them in their presence he was to bring them all back, and by no means to part with them, to which his Excellency replied the vote was altogether unparliamentary, and that having passed the Acts 3 times their consents were bound, and they were wholly dispossessd of them, and could not consider them as any records belonging to them; whereupon the Speaker desired to know what means the subjects might use to procure an Act beneficial to themselves; to which his Excellency answered that it was in their power to delay any other Act till their petition was granted. The Speaker and Assembly having withdrawn, his Excellency signed the ensuing Acts, being what the Speaker had presented, viz.: Acts for better maintenance of the Ministry; for ascertaining the number of Assembly men; for raising the public Revenue; for dividing the Island into Parishes; for foreign Attachments; for regulating the Marshal's proceedings in levying Executions; for settling the Militia; for taking out Patents and speedily collecting his Majesty's Quit Rents: requiring the enrolment of Deeds; for repairing Highways; for compensation of Mr. Scarlett, &c.; to prevent the retailing of Strong Liquors by unlicensed persons; for remedying Nuisances; empowering the Secretary to take security; against tippling, cursing, and swearing; for the good governing of Servants; for the good government of Negroes; for regulating Fees; for confirming Orders of Council; to prevent fraud in makers and sellers of Rum; to prevent Damages by Fire; establishing the current price of Money; repealing the Act suppressing multiplicities of Lawsuits; for regulating Hunting; for establishing the Supreme Court of Judicature at St. Jago de la Vega; for the recovery of Subscriptions, &c.; preventing abuses by Surveyors; for preserving Savannas; against excessive usury; empowering Justices of the Peace to decide differences under 40s.; for rating meat sold by retail; prohibiting the transportation of several commodities out of this Island; declaring it felony to steal a boat; for quieting all Estates against dormant Titles; for naturalization; empowering the Churchwardens of St. Katherine's; against suing for foreign debts for 5 years; declaring the Laws of England in force; for regulating the freight of boats; for the keeping holy the 10th of May; for the preservation of cattle; to prevent seamen leaving their ships; to encourage shipping to load at Old Harbour; for the encouragement of Mr. Lassells; and for the sale of Mr. Tothill's Estate. The Speaker and Assembly sent for by his Excellency, who having declared that he had signed all the Acts presented by the Speaker, prorogued them to December next. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XXXV., 419–434.]
May 12.
Whitehall.
555. Warrant confirming Nathaniel Bacon, one of his Majesty's Council for Virginia, in consideration of his good services and abilities in the office of Auditor of the public accounts of that Colony, in the room of Edward Diggs, late Auditor, deceased. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 73; also Col. Entry Bk., Vol. 110, p. 66.]
May 12.556. Report of the Commissioners of the Customs to the Council for Foreign Plantations on the execution of the Navigation Acts in New England. New England is subject to the laws that relate to the Plantation Trade, abstract of which is annexed. As regards the violation of these laws, they are informed that before the law for regulating the Plantation Trade made in the 25th year of the King imposing certain duties on sugar, tobacco, cotton wool, indigo, ginger, logwood, fustick, and cocoa-nuts, several of these commodities were brought from the respective plantations to New England, thence transported to Ireland and other foreign parts. They hope that since the making of the said law and officers appointed to carry it into execution, the inconveniences may be prevented, and they are advised that since the King's letter to the Government of Virginia they have taken bonds of some ships as the law formerly directed. They are informed that several ships have laden commodities of the growth and manufacture of Europe in other parts of Europe than the King's dominions, and have unladen the same in New England contrary to the said law. As to the damage arising thereby to the King's profit, it is provided by the said law that England should be a staple for the commodities of the plantations and of other countries for their supply to be carried directly from England and from no other place; but if contrary to the law through the connivance or negligence of the officers in the other plantations, the enumerated commodities should be laden for New England without payment of duties and without a bond to bring them to England, foreign parts may be made a magazine for these commodities; and if European goods should be exported there from other places, the plantations will be thence supplied with them to the prejudice of the trade of England. They have nothing on which to ground a calculation of the particular detriment thus arising. As for rules to remedy these inconveniences, they advise that all Governors be required to take the oath for executing the law, and be strictly required to suffer no ship to trade there, but those belonging to England or some English plantation and navigated according to law, to seize any vessel importing European commodities proscribed by law if not actually laden in England, and to take bonds with securities of all masters of vessels to bring and unlade in some port of England, Wales, or Berwick, all the enumerated plantation commodities. Signed: Geo. Downing, Wm. Garway, Fr. Millington, and John Upton. Annexed,
556. i. Abstract of laws relating to the plantation trade. 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, Nos. 74, 75; also Col. Entry Bks., No. 60, p. 29, and No. 97, p. 12.]
May 12.557. Caveat that no grant pass of any fine of 500l. imposed upon Giles Bland in Virginia for some quarrel with the Secretary of the Council there. 4 lines. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. 45, p. 10.]
May 13.558. Minutes of the Council of Barbadoes. Ordered, that the Grand Sessions be holden on 8th June next, and that summons be timely issued as accustomed, and sent to the Privy Council living in the parish. ½ p. [Col. Entry Book, No. XI., 288.]
May 14.559. Report of Sir Wm. Jones and Sir Fras. Winnington, Attorney and Solicitor General to the Committee for Foreign Plantations. Have considered the matter referred to them 1st instant [see ante, No. 546 I.]. Find that Sir Ferdinando Gorges in the 15th year of Charles I. obtained a grant to him and his heirs under the great seal, of a considerable part of New England in America called Maine, to be holden of some rents as of the manor of East Greenwich; are of opinion that Ferdinando Gorges, being the grandson and heir of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, has a good title to the province of Maine. Underwritten, Read at the Committee, 24th May 1675. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 76; also Col. Entry Bk., No. 60, p. 26.]
May 14.
Aboard the America.
560. Edward Cranfield and Ri. Dickenson to Sir Robt. Southwell. Left Madeira 27th April, and meeting with ships bound for Barbadoes, took the opportunity of sending duplicates of their proceedings at Madeira and rendering account how propitious the winds have been. If they meet with a courteous reception at Surinam, doubt not their dispatches may be effected without much demurrage of time, and will take care to discharge the ships with all expedition according to their instructions. ½ p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. LXXVIII., 95.]
May 17.
Shaftesbury Papers.
561. Earl of Shaftesbury to his affectionate and faithful friend Capt. John Wentworth, Governor of New Providence. Has received his letters of 26th August and 13th October. Can give no further directions concerning the Brazilletto than were in their general letter. The Lords Proprietors are resolved not to be wronged, they have a good right to the land and the wood that grows upon it, and will not want means to make good their right. Thought himself very truly his friend, and that his Lordship had made the Proprietors, Adventurers, and his interest the same, and had the design to bring Wentworth to a great and lasting condition and quality had he proved himself as expected, but his Lordship must tell him plainly that he has reason to apprehend Capt. Darrell and Mr. Colleton have found ways to lead him more to their interest than to that of the Proprietors or Adventurers, though in the end Wentworth will find the difference in dealing with such men rather than with the Proprietors, who not only walk by rules of honour but have the power to right themselves. Do not think such men as those are able to overthrow the design. As still desirous to be his friend, tells him plainly if he desires to continue Governor he must break off all correspondence with them or any other interest against the Proprietors or Adventurers. Leaves the Spanish trade to the Adventures management though his Lordship thought he might have been very useful to them. Desires to know whether he holds the place of Governor as chosen by the people or the Proprietors, for if by the former the latter will quickly try how safe the island will be under another. Reasons for this question, offers his friendship if Wentworth will have it, the terms are not difficult, to be just and faithful to those who employ him. [Shaftesbury Papers, Section IX., Bundle 48. No. 55, p. 149.]
May 17.
Exeter House.
Shaftesbury Papers.
562. Earl of Shaftesbury to his assured good friend [Laac] Rush. Has received his of the 10th Aug., and is sorry there was any mistake concerning him, for the Proprietors opinion of him is that he is a discreet, honest, and plain dealing man. Is not satisfied that the Adventurers' agent has not made better use of his assistance. Hopes his island will be much better supplied for the future, for it is intended to be a mart and staple for the neighbouring plantations. If he continue on the island be may expect better advantages every way than he can have in any other place. Has spoken to the Adventurers' agent to make use of his assistance in future and will get him profitable employment. Commends his honesty and integrity and assures him of his Lordship's friendship upon all occasions. [Shaftesbury Papers, Section IX., Bundle 48. No. 55, p. 150.]
May 17.563. Report of the Attorney and Solicitor General to the Committee of Plantations. Have examined the claims of Robert Mason to the province of New Hampshire, and find that King James, 3rd November 1620, granted to several persons under the name of the Council of New England all the mainland in America lying between 40° and 48° N. lat., and that John Mason, grandfather of Robert Mason, by several grants from this Council, dated 9 March 1620, 7 November 1629, and 22 April 1635, was instated in fee in sundry great tracts of land in New England by the name of New Hampshire. Are of opinion that Robert Mason, being the heir of the said John Mason, hath a good and legal title to the lands called New Hampshire. Underwritten, Read at Committee, 24 May 1675. 1 p. Two copies. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, Nos. 77, 78; also Col. Entry Bk., No. 60, pp. 27, 28.]
May 17.
St. Jago de la Vega.
564. Peter Beckford (Sec. of Jamaica) to Sec. Sir Joseph Williamson. Since his last little of moment has happened. The Assembly met 26th April and my Lord made them a pithy and gracious speech. Will send copies of some of the Acts by the next; all that were new were an Act for naturalizing all strangers here, and an Act to repeal a former Act against the pleading of lawyers in any of our Courts of Common Pleas. In the Act of Revenue they have given my Lord 1,500l. to be paid out of the Public Treasury next after the contingencies, and 2,000l. per annum to his Excellency, and 600l. per annum (if the Treasury hold out) to our Lieut.-Governor, his Lordship to be judge of the contingencies, and all to be paid by Warrant from his Exchequer to the Treasurer. Advice from Tortudas, that the French are making up a fleet, and a great body of men to attack some considerable place of the Spaniards; and from St. Jago on Cuba, that the Queen Regent of Spain has sent orders to the Governor there, on notice of the arrival of Sir Thos. Modyford and Sir Henry Morgan in Jamaica immediately to advise her thereof. Two days since they had advice of a ship of this island laden with logwood taken by the Spaniards and carried into San Domingo. Sends copy of address from the Assembly to his Royal Highness. The 14th inst. his Excellency, having consented to the Acts, prorogued the Assembly till the 13th Dec. next. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 79.]
May 18.
Wallingford House.
565. Earl of Danby, Lord Treasurer, to the Committee for Foreign Plantations. Has transmitted to the Comissioners of Customs the paper sent to him concerning the pretensions of Mason and Gorges to the provinces of New Hampshire and Maine, who have reported their opinion on the whole matter, which is herewith sent. Encloses,
565. i. The Report of Commissioners of Customs about New England, calendared, see ante, No. 556. Endorsed, Read before the Lords of the Committee 24 May 1675. Read again 2 Dec. 1675. Together, 7 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, Nos. 80, 80 I.; also Col. Entry Bks., Vol. LX., pp. 29–36, and Vol. XCVII., pp. 12–21.]
May 18.
Jamaica.
566. Governor Lord Vaughan to Sec. Sir Joseph Williamson. Wrote about a month since advising of his arrival and the receipt of his letter by Peter Beckford, to whom he has been very kind and will continue so to be. Sends this by their friend Sir Thos. Lynch, for he shall now always call him so, being very well satisfied with his prudent government and conduct of affairs; to whom he refers for particulars of what has occurred since his landing, as likewise of the unlucky shipwreck of Sir Hen. Morgan and loss of his Majesty's stores occasioned by his particular ill conduct and wilful breach of his positive and written orders, and his behaviour and weakness since at the meeting of the Assembly; which, with other follies, have so tired him that he is perfectly weary of him, and frankly tells Williamson that he thinks it for his Majesty's service he should be removed, and the charge of so useless an officer saved. What he strove for in England was not so much for Sir Henry as against the dividing of the Commissions, which he considered would cause disputes. What he has further discoursed to Sir Thos. Lynch he will communicate. Has written all the Ministers the truth of this miscarriage, and believes his Majesty and his Royal Highness will much resent it. Should the King make this alteration that in the absence or approaching death of the Governor he should have power to appoint a fitting deputy, approved by his Majesty, there being need of none during the Governor's residence, a power Lord Windsor had, he would rather recommend Sir Thos. Lynch than any one, 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 81.]
May 22.567. The King to Lord Vaughan, Governor of Jamaica. Thomas Martyn having been obliged to remain in England some time since the granting his Letters Patent for the place of Receiver in Jamaica and now repairing to the execution of his charge, the King commands that no advantage be taken of his stay here, and that he suffer no molestation in relation to his said office, and that the Governor recommend him to the Council there that he proceed with the better success in the discharge of his place, but that he give the Governor once a year a regular account of his receipts. 1½ pp. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. 110, pp. 72, 73.]
May 24.568. Minutes of the Committee for Plantations. Reports of the Attorney and Solicitor General on the claims of Corges and Mason read, in which the Lords acquiesce as finding the title good. Letter from the Lord Treasurer of the 18th, enclosing report of the Commissioners of the Customs of the 12th, read. Commissioners to be consulted as to whether all Governors have taken the oath for the observance of the Navigation Acts and before whom, and whether all such Governors return the bonds taken. Collection to be made of all Commissions given to foreign Governors, of the Charters and Grants of the American plantations, at what time and how they came under the sovereignty of his Majesty, and how they hold of him. Copies ordered of the grants of Mason and Gorges, the Massachusetts Charter in Mr. Slingsby's hands; enquiry to be made about the two warrants in 1637, the answer of the Bostoners to his Majesty's letter of 1666, for the papers of Col. Nicholls and the Commissioners sent to New England; to see into the Council Books for all papers relating to New England. Those papers were presented to the Council of Plantations by Lord Arlington 26 June 1671. Quaere Mr. Slingsby about them. Series of all papers possible to be got in this affair to be collected and put together. 3 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. 104, pp. 23–25.]
May 25.
Livorne (? Leghorn).
569. Mr. Ball's proposals about the Mainotti. Has often much compassionated the Mainotti, who are the inhabitants of the famous Morea, and has discovered much with a Greek, an intelligent man, who manages all their affairs, and who doubts not, if his Majesty please, or any of his subjects who can give them land, to procure many thousands of them to go and inhabit any secure part of America under his Majesty's dominion. They have been turbulent, and the Turk endeavours what possible to drive them out of the country, laying a tax of so much per head, taking away their children, and not suffering them to exercise their religion, which is of the Greek Church. The Grand Duke pays the passage of all that will come at 5s. 4d. per head; many English ships have brought them in his time, and this year past came 400 or 500, and hears they have freighted two French polaccas, and want more. The Duke gives them land on the sea coast of Sienna, which is so bad an air that few live, and corn to sow, but otherwise treats them badly, so that they come to nothing. The Duke of Savoy has likewise lately courted them to come into their country, and whoever brings them to Villafranca is to have 5½ pieces of 8 per head. Ships go to Porto Vitolo, and an open road called Praitea, over against Candia (here called Braccia de Main), and men, women, and children embark, the Turk having no command to hinder them. Near that place may be 6,000 or 7,000, and on the Morea 4,000, who live in caves, woods, &c., and might all be got off. They are very laborious, great herdsmen, and make much oil, wine, wax cotton, and silk, and doubtless would produce the like in any proper country, as Virginia, Jamaica, &c., with which his Majesty is so well furnished, wanting only people to be the greatest prince in the world. They only desire the free exercise of their religion, and enough land to maintain them. His Majesty might order that commanders of ships bringing them to Tangiers or rather England shall have so much per head, and then ships bound for the place alloted have so much per head again; and the many ships going yearly home from Zante might carry a great many, or as these ships of war now bound for the Levant are called home, they might be ordered to bring them away, and this great deed of charity might be done with little charge, 15 or 20 pieces of 8 per head would do, for they live almost on nothing, and commonly carry their own provisions. About 400 of them bound hither were lately carried to Algiers, it would be a great deed of charity to redeem them, 100 pieces of 8 per head would do it, and they would be slaves to his Majesty till they had paid it with interest. Endorsed. "Read at the Committee of Plantation 24 Sept. 1675." 3½ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 82; also Col. Entry Bk., Vol. 97, p. 25.]
May 26.
Nevis.
570. Forty-eight Acts passed in the island of Nevis, 26th May 1675, viz.:—(1.) An Act for settling an Impost on the Commodities of the growth of this Island. (2.) Against profanation of the Sabbath. (3.) For encouragement of Ministers and other Church officers. (4.) Constables not to refuse to serve. (5.) Plantations not to be sold again until first paid for. (6.) Actions of Nisi Prius. 1,000 lb. sugar. (7.) Ships and boats to enter into security. (8.) Women servants inveigled. (9.) Instead of torches, lanthorn and candle (against the use of torches for crabbing, or smoking tobacco near any canes or other combustible matter). (10.) Executions and their penalties. (11.) Breadth of common paths. (12.) Non-subscribers to elections. (13.) Negroes not to sport or absent themselves on the Lord's day. (14.) Marshal's duty to the public. (15.) Running away with boats. (16.) Servants sold by indenture or otherwise. (17.) Washing in cisterns, ponds, slabbs, or guts. (18.) Provision for the Poor. (19.) Powder duties. (20.) Prohibition against clearing into other men's lands. (21.) White men not to keep company with negroes. (22.) Damages against trespass. (23.) Accounts left upon oath not pleadable, no assignments of bills without the knowledge of the debitor. (24.) Marshal or deputy not to serve or levy any execution or warrant in time of Court. (25.) Penalty on persons denying to serve in the public employ. (26.) Women not to answer in lieu of their husbands in any Court of Judicature. (27.) Chirurgeons not to practice without licence from the authority. (28.) For encouraging import of servants: for encouragement of servants by indenture. (29.) Prohibition of importing rum. (30) Concerning rates of liquors for taverns and tippling houses. (31.) Regulation of Secretary's and Marshal's fees (title only). (32.) Against running away with boats (dated 19th May 1675). (33.) Concerning appraisement of lands and houses (dated 19th May 1675). (34.) For suppression of thatched houses. (35.) Against killing negroes. (36.) Concerning going on board ships and other vessels. (37.) For due places for payment of sugar. (38.) For raising the price of money. (39.) For rates of sugar in money. (40.) For establishment and settlement of lands. (41.) For tickets and let passes. (42.) For storehouse-keepers to keep 56 lbs. of powder. (43.) Concerning outeries, (44.) For killing hogs, goats, and fowls. (45.) Concerning labourer's hire. (46.) For planting of corn. (47.) Against demolishment of fortifications. And (48.) against carrying of commodities and entertaining foreigners. Endorsed, "Read. from Col. Stapleton, 27th of Aug. 1678." Together, 47½pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. L., 89–140.]
[May.]
Jamaica.
571. Sir Thos. Lynch's account of the state of the Church in Jamaica. Mr. Hayne, a young man, good scholar, and ortholox preacher, is minister at Port Royal; he has 200l per annum, and the greatest cure, where all the merchants and tradesmen reside, and vessels and strangers resort. Mr. Hansyer, an honest man, good liver, and reasonable preacher, is minister at St. Jago, where the Governor and some gentlemen live, the parish is called St. Catherine's, out of which St. Thomas and St. Dorothy's have lately been taken, but as yet they jointly contribute to pay the minister 130l. per annum. Mr. Lemon, a sober young man, and very good preacher, is minister at Guinaboa, St. John's parish; he has 100l. per annum from the parish, and about as much from Col. Coape for keeping a free school he has erected. Mr. Cellar, esteemed a sober honest man, is minister at Lygonce, St. Andrew's parish, where he has a house, glebe land, and 100l. per annum; he and Mr. Hansyer are Swiss by birth. None but these four parishes are supplied, though there are 14 in the island. In Vere or Wyttiywood there is a church, and that and Clarendon parish adjoining are able and willing to give a minister 100l. per annum; at Yhallahs or St. David's there is another church, and that parish and St. Thomas' adjoining might well pay 100l. per annum. All the other parishes on the north side and St. Elizabeth's on the south, are great and ill settled, without churches, being mostly planted in Sir Thos. Lynch's time. who ordered glebe lands to be reserved in two or three places in every parish, which in time may prove convenient. He likewise, observing how prejudicial and dishonourable it was for the ministers to be at the will of the vestries, prevailed with the Assembly to make a law that every parish should pay their parson 100l. per annum at least. If two good, grave, and learned men were sent over they would do God and that island great service, but they may not expect above 100l. per annum there, so that without some encouragement here such will not go; but if the King would affix to that island two considerable prebendaries, as of Eton, Westminster, Lincoln, &c., such persons by the Bishop of London's directions might have a superintendence of Church affairs, keep people in their duty, convert sectaries, and suppress atheism and irreligion, which people there much incline to. Endorsed, "Sir Thomas Lynch, his acct. about the Church in Jamaica, May 1675." 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 83.]
May 27.
Whitehall.
572. The King to Lord Vaughan, Governor of Jamaica. Whereas Thomas Martyn has been obliged to attend here the prosecution of justice for losses sustained from the French, on which account he was sent by his Majesty into France, but is now repairing to the execution of his charge, as receiver in Jamaica, it is the King's pleasure that no trouble or molestation be given him in relation to said office by reason of his absence since the granting of the said Letters Patents [see previous volume of Calendar, No. 1260], but that all just favour be shown him in the execution of same, yet so as the Governor calls him once a year to give account of all receipts as is usual with offices. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. 31, No. 31.]
May 31.573. Mem. of petition of the creditors of Edward Billing, purchasers of a part of New Jersey, to be defended from all visits and troubles arising by Sir George Carteret who claims part of it; with reference by the Duke of York to the Committee for managing his revenue. [Col. Entry Bk., No. 70, p. 18.]
May ?574. The King to Sir Jonathan Atkins, Governor of Barbadoes. Thomas Lewis bound for Jamaica but touching at Barbadoes, had some difference with William Acton by whose importunity and provocations Lewis was drawn to determine the difference by duel wherein he had the misfortune to kill Acton, the king has thought fit to grant his pardon to Lewis, which is now going forward to the great seal with all diligence and will be sent over by his father as soon as it is past. Countersigned by Sec. Coventry (see ante, No. 553). 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. 110, p. 67.]