America and West Indies
July 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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253-261

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'America and West Indies: July 1675', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 9: 1675-1676 and Addenda 1574-1674 (1893), pp. 253-261. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=70096 Date accessed: 28 July 2014.


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Contents

July 1675

July 1.
Whitehall.
615. Minutes of the Committee of Trade and Plantations, St. Christopher's. Report of Sir R. Southwell that, having asked Sir Chas. Wheler whether anything he did with M. de Baas obstructs his Majesty from demanding justice from the French King for the Planters of St. Christopher's agreeable to the Articles of Breda, he answered that there is not any part of any Article relating to St. Christopher's that he did not demand of M de Baas, and can show his demand in writing, and M. de Baas answers that he obtained many of those points, and for those he could not obtain brought M. de Baas to sign an instrument referring them back to the two Kings, which instrument Sir Charles can produce; and that he insisted on some things for the advantage of the English which were omitted from the Articles of Breda. Ordered, that Sir Charles read over the memorial approved by their Lordships, and make such amendments as he conceives fit for preventing any objections from France. 1 pp. [Col. Entry Books, No. CIV., 31; and No. XLVI., 13.]
July 1.
Barbadoes.
616. Sir Jonathan Williamson. The trial over it is fit he should give some account of Lord Sunderland's business. There were never better juries empannelled than this sessions, and many witnesses were heard for the King, who gave evidence that Bridges, the constable, presently after 9 o'clock, the fish market not ended and most of the shops open by reason it was market day, called out his watch, and hearing some gentlemen come singing along the street went hastily down the street to meet them, and asked why they kept such a noise; some replied we keep no noise, but are going to our lodgings, and said good night and parted; but hearing them singing again, which he took for an affront, and having a pique against Mr. May on, whom he had said he would put in the cage, the constable, with his watch, warned them, and with his staff struck 3 or 5 times upon them, saying nothing to them, but calling on his watch to seize Mayon; he lighted on Mr. James Colleton, whose head he broke in two places, and one swore he saw Colleton's blood on the staff, and heard him say, "Flesh and blood is not able to endure this," and he drew his sword and passed it into the body of the constable, who cried out, "This is fine; I am killed." The evidence was that the others made no resistance, the truth might easily be discerned, the streets were full of people, and it was a bright moonshine night. On the whole the jury found them not guilty of murder, and, if Mr. Colleton had stood his trial, it is believed it would have been found he had done it in his own defence The country were well satisfied with the verdict, blaming much the imprudence of the constable and his illegal executing his office. Is informed that, to prevent all accident, they had procured the King's pardon, but has not yet seen it. Dictated this with much pain, having for 10 days laboured under the torment of an impostume in the thigh, in which he thinks there can be no greater anguish. Had it lanced yesterday, and hopes it may conduce to his future health, for so they repute it here. Endorsed, "R., 17 Aug." 1½ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 109.]
July 6–8.617. Minutes of the Council of Barbadoes. An Act for Settlement of the Militia passed without the clause for appointing a Muster Master, and again laid before his Excellency and Council.
July 7.Ordered, that the Treasurer pay out of the Excise on Liquors to Mrs. Elizabeth Egginton 50l. for rent of her houses for his Excel lency's use the last 6 months, Resolved. on debate of the presentments of the Grand Jury at the last General Sessions, to prepare an Act to restrain the too frequent wanderings and meetings of negroes, and punish crimes, insolencies, and outrages committed by them. Ordered, that an Act be drawn to prevent the running away of Christian servants, and their getting off by the negligence of such as keep boats and other vessels.
July 8.Ordered, in regard to the present low value of sugar that it be referred to the Treasurer to deal as well as he can for the public as to the rate at which to pay Col. John Stanfast the rent of Fontabel plantation leased by his Excellency. An Act for reviving the Commissioners of Public Accounts passed. Ordered, that the Treasurer pay out of the Excise on Liquors 5,000 lbs. of sugar to Nicholas Gammage for his pains in contriving an advantageous way of hanging coppers to the general good; 5,000 lbs. of sugar to Thomas Rawlins, gunner of the forts and platforms at Austin's Bay, for his salary for one year, also 3,000 lbs. to William Bragg, gunner of the new battery; 5,000 lbs. to Thomas Larcombe, gunner of Willoughby's Fort; 10,000 lbs. to John Higinbotham, Clerk of the Assembly; and 1,500 lbs. to Joseph Mithers, the Assembly's Marshall, all for salary. An Act to give encouragement to all persons to take up runaway Christian servants, and requiring security from such as keep boats, passed and ordered, together with a supplemental Act to a former Act for the better governing of negroes, to be transcribed against next sitting of the Assembly. Adjourned to Wednesday 3 weeks. 4½ pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XIII., 184–188.]
July 7.618. Sir Chas. Wheler to the Committee of Council for Trade and Plantations. Has, in obedience to their commands, given Sir R. Southwell the best information he can for preparing their Lordship's paper for the King. Offers also some papers of his own which passed between M. de Baas and himself containing his demands under every article of the treaty, and the reasons, with M. de Baas' reasons, for refusing them. Suppose they may be useful, for when the King shall press the French King for reparations, it is likely his Ministers will send back the reasons M. de Baas remitted, and his own replies, which were from eye witnesses of the wrongs and injuries done. Has yet a further end, viz., to represent the state of the English part of St. Christopher's, because although the French King should fully satisfy His Majesty's demands now made (which Sir Charles believes he will not), yet his Majesty's part of St. Christopher's will be lost whenever the French attempt to take it. Will therefore endeavour to propose the means of making it capable to defend itself till it may be relieved from his Majesty's other Windward islands. It is a great mistake to hope that those 2,000 English who bore arms when the French overcame them will return to their respective plantations, because they are settled better elsewhere. The present strength of the island is only a fort at Sandy Point and a fort at the English Road, with 20 cannon mounted, and defended by the two companies of foot, which should consist of 160 Englishmen, but is informed are not effectively above 70. The militia, that is planters and servants formed into one regiment, whereof about half is on either side of the island, may consist of about 600 men, whereof 150 may be French and Dutch who have purchased English estates, and 150 Irish; and by the French and Irish the King is so much weaker, for in any war the French would revolt, and the Irish betray the English as in the first war. The strength of the French is their castle, a platform at Basseterre, on which many cannon are mounted, and a little fort at Sandy Point, defended also by two companies of foot; their militia, formed into two regiments, one in Basseterre and the other in Sandy Point quarter, may consist of about 1,600 musketeers, and 200 of their best planters on horseback, whereof several are of good families in France. The French Governor of St. Christopher's is M. St. Laurence, a Knight of Malta, and of great courage, and the Lt.-Genl., M. de Baas, a man well experienced in the wars; while the King's Governor is Capt. Mathews, who never saw any action in his life, and his Lt.-Genl., Col. Stapleton, as little; yet for all this odds his Majesty's part of St. Christopher's may be reasonably secured and defended and the French utterly overthrown there (and in all other their islands except Martinico) in case of war. Proposes that 2 companies of 100 in each be new raised from Barbadoes, Antigua, and Nevis; that the forts at Sandy Point and English Road be well repaired, and defended by one of the companies; that a house, to be defended by the other company, be built for the Lieutenant-General on the windward side of the island, and he obliged to live there; that a yearly expense be bestowed to keep the way passable through the mountains; and that some gentlemen be commissionated to muster the companies, and be answerable that they be always recruited with English and not Irish; to see the disbursements made for the repair of the way through the mountains and of the forts; and to dispose the English soldiers now remaining of the two companies into convenient plantations, providing each with two servants, and wood from Antigua towards the building of his house, which help, with the arrears of his pay, will make him a substantial planter, making a considerable addition to the militia of the country. The forts at Sandy Point and English Road and the Governor's House can hardly be taken by the French, because no cannon can be brought against them, but with such difficulty that in the meantime relief may be had from Nevis, which can send down 1,000 musketeers in 3 hours; and if the war be of such length that M. de Baas should bring from Martinico and Guadaloupe 1,000 musketeers, which is near all their strength, the King shall gain all the French islands if the Governor of Barbadoes take the opportunity to make a descent on Guadaloupe. Computes that 3,000l., with the help the country will contribute of hands to work, will largely repair the forts, build the Governor's house, and put in order the highway through the mountains; for the levy money and transportation of two companies, 400l.; about 100 servants for the soldiers to be made planters, about 1,000l.; timber for their houses about 200l.; and the establishment of the two companies yearly and repair of the way, 3,400l.; computes this to be only for 3 years, in which time the Commissioners, having settled 40 or 50 soldiers every year in plantations, the militia will be strong enough to keep the forts as formerly in times of peace, and reckoning 600l. per annum to buy servants and timber for these soldiers, the expense for the first year will be about 8,600l., and for the two years following 4,000l. per annum, to defray which his Majesty will receive for the 4½ per cent. from Barbadoes and the Leeward Islands about 5,700l. per annum; but this revenue is now anticipated for 4 or 5 years by tallies struck for soldiers' pay and other disbursements of war for those Islands. If this be too great an expense, the next best is that the little fort at Sandy Point be slighted and a new one of good strength raised at the English Road and all the cannon mounted there, and 30 soldiers in garrison with no other officers than 2 sergeants, which comes to about 420l. per annum; and that special care be taken that on any danger of war all the English retreat under protection of said fort till relief be sent them. This will secure the King's interest, although expose his subjects' plantations to fire and other spoils of war. About 2,000l., with the help of the country, would raise this fort and repair the way through the mountains. The LieutenantGeneral, who now lives at Nevis, should be obliged always to live on St. Christopher's, which will be a great means to replant it, and bring much business of the other islands. 4 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 110.]
July 7.619. Copy of preceding 7 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 111.]
July 8.
Whitehall.
620. Minutes of the Committee of Trade and Plantations. St. Christopher's. Sir Chas. Wheler's amendments to the draft of a memorial read in part, and being demanded if his Majesty were still at liberty to insist on the advantage of the Treaty of Breda, he referred himself to his answer of July 1 (see ante, No. 615), and told the Lords if they had not copies of his proceedings with M. de Baas he would furnish them. Resolved to have the whole matter seriously considered. The reading of the [above] letter from Sir Charles, of the 7th instant, setting forth a method of his own for the demand of reparation, and a method for the security and preservation of the island, put off. ½ p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. CIV., 32]
July 8.621. Sir Chas. Wheler to Sir R. Southwell, Secretary to the Committee of Council for Plantations. Begs pardon for his absence the next day the Council shall meet on the affairs of St. Christopher's, having engaged himself in some business in the country before receiving his summons; but Mr. Preacott will attend their Lordships with his papers, and Sir Robert may take copies or abstracts of any that may throw light on the pretended reasons of the French Lieutenant-General to obstruct the execution of the Articles of Breda, not doubting that he took notice of their Lordships' order to use them only and give them back. Mr. Prescott will keep them safe for Sir Charles. "Recd., 12 July." 1p. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 112.]
July 11.
Surinam.
622. Edward Cranfield and Marcus Brandt to Sec. Sir Joseph Williamson. Sailed out of the Downs, 6th April with H.M.S. Hunter and the Hercules and America; anchored 8th in Torbay; on the 12th sailed towards Madeira where they arrived on the 27th, but the Governor denying them "produck" unless they would enter the king's ship as a merchantman they sailed for Surinam; on 14th May met two ships bound for Barbadoes by whom they wrote to the Secretaries of State; on 29th made Cape Orange, about 80 leagues from Surinam River, where they arrived June 2nd. It was concluded not to adventure over the Bar till the rise of the spring tides, so they dispatched a boat to the Governor with notice of their arrival, who, by return, sent a pilot with invitations to come ashore. Delivered all letters on the 4th, and took the Governor's receipt, who received them with extraordinary civility at Paramaribo, where the Advice boat rode, which arrived 28th March, but the Captain died before she was clear of the Channel; the next day the State's Order was published in English and Dutch in Paramaribo and Tororica, and notice given that on 30 June/10 July the Governor and two of his Council would sit with his Majesty's Commissioner at Paramaribo to determine all matters directed by those orders. In four days all matters were brought to a final determination according to justice, and the Governor gave satisfaction for the cattle and provisions taken in time of war, and anything else that appeared due, and execution to issue in three days against the stayers if payment be not made to his Majesty's subjects according to sentence. Were obliged to promise them all transportation direct to Jamaica, else three families would not have removed; and such a supply may conduce more to the advantage of that place than four times the number from Europe, both in respect of their seasoned constitutions and great experience in planting, most having been at it these twenty years. All things being amicably accommodated, and compliance given to all demands, except the detention of two or three orphans left particularly to the care of the Governor and Council, who will give reasons upon the refusal, and all things finally determined between party and party, they thought it their duty to render a particular account by the Hunter having no further service for her here; and have also given notice to his Majesty's subjects that at the next full moon they intend to sail direct for Jamaica, whence Sec. Williamson shall have a further account. Endorsed, "R. Sept. 19" &c. 2½ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 113.]
July 11.623. Duplicate of the preceding. Endorsed, "Recd. this by the Rainbow of Flushing who arrived at Plymouth, 8 Oct. 1675 and sent away the same day your very humble servant William Jenneus. R., 11 Oct. 1675." [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 114.]
July 11.
Surinam.
624. Edw. Cranfield and Marcus Brandt to Sec. Williamson. Since closing their letters, have occasion to add that the Jews having demanded transportation with his Majesty's subjects, the Governor told them his orders were to suffer only the English to go, and that the 5th Article of the last treaty mentioned only English in the Dutch translation; but finding that the Latin original was subjects, the Governor complied and made publication that the Hebrew nation might depart, but since a ship from Holland (as the Governor pretends) brought orders for stopping them, but finds this a pretence. Understanding the Mayor of the garrison had been all over the country to take a list of the Dutch, took occasion to pump him and found they were but 130, besides the garrison of about 140; and finding the Jews to be as conslderable for number and fortune, and that more had given in their names to depart than the Governor expected, the Governor wholly altered his resolution of suffering them to go, believing it would be an immediate destruction to the place. Endorsed, "R., 11 Oct. 1675," &c. 1p. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 115.]
July 12.
Surinam.
625. Edw. Cranfield and Marcus Brandt to Sir R. Southwell. Duplicate of their letter to Sir J. Williamson (see preceding No.). 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 116; also Col. Entry Bk, No. LXXVIII., pp. 97–100.]
July 14.626. Order of the King in Council. On reading petition of the merchants and freighters of the ship Virgin, setting forth their proceedings to obtain satisfaction for their losses by her capture by the Spaniards in the West Indies, amounting to 15,000l., which Capt. Cooke had been soliciting at great expense above nine months, being more than double the time limited by his Majesty, and yet could not obtain any other answer than a despatch sent to the Havana, which had not the least prospect of satisfaction, and therefore praying letters of reprisal according to the order of 3rd July 1674; ordered, that copy of this petition and of said despatch be delivered to Sec. Coventry, who is to acquaint Don Pedro Romquillos, Envoy Extraordinary of the King of Spain, therewith, and that if satisfaction be not forthwith given his subjects his Majesty can no longer deny them letters of reprisal. 1p. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 117.]
July 18.
Whitehall.
627. Sec. Sir Joseph Williamson to Lord Vaughan, Governor of Jamaica. In execution of the last Article of the Treaty Marine of 1st December 1674 with the States General, his Majesty has commanded him to transmit the enclosed authentic copy that it may be punctually observed by all his subjects. With Latin copy of the Treaty, attested by Secretary Williamson. ½ p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XCIII., 139.]
July 24.
Bristol rrigate, in St. John's Harbour, Newfoundland.
628. Sir John Berry to (Sec. Sir Joseph Williamson). Arrived 11th instant in St. John's Harbour and found H.M.S Swann with 40 ships, the greatest part bound to a market. Has sent two able persons as far as Capes Bonavista and de Race to call in all the harbours, bays, creeks, &c., and take exact account as directed, and to declare his Majesty's pleasure to all the Planters. Has already done it in this Harbour, and they promised obedience, but the greatest part are too poor to remove unless his Majesty will send a ship for them, and at last they must be put on the Parish wherever they come. A labouring man will get in a summer season near 20l., and their daily food comes out of the sea, while such a person would not get 3l. in England. Has made diligent inquiry into all those things laid to the Planters' charge by the Merchants, and finds most of them false, manifested in this single point. Summoned the Admirals and Commanders of 45 ships, and told them he thought it would be convenient that no stages, flakes, storehouses, or anything else should be pulled down, but preserved till next season; several old and experienced Commanders were for the preservation of all, but three-fourths were for taking them down, making many pretences that they had been at great charge and labour to build them, and why should another enjoy their goods next year? In conclusion, told them his Majesty's Charter forbids that any spike or nail should be drawn, but everything entirely preserved, and he would take particular notice of those that should offend, and acquaint his Majesty therewith. All these things are laid to the Planters' charge. It is a common practice with the Commanders to brew beer, wood their ships, and sell the remains of the stages and houses to the sack ships. Has had experience of it 20 years since in a voyage here, and taken them in the very act of doing it since he came here. The charge laid to the Planters of enticing the men to stay behind and neglect their families is as true as the former; for when the voyage is ended, to save 30s. or 40s. for their passage, the Commanders persuade the Planters to receive them, and the seamen to tarry behind, as some Commanders have confessed, pretending they knew no order to the contrary. As to buying wine and brandy from New England in exchange for fish, has ordered them all to give account of all the wine, brandy, and other goods they have bought this year, with names of ship, master, and where she belongs. These Planters are not so bad as the Merchants make them, but some "self-ended" persons have a mind to engross all into their own hands. It is the opinion of several experienced Commanders that if those people be removed from this country, his Majesty's subjects would in few years find the ill-effects of it, for undoubtedly the greatest part would settle among the French, where they are already invited with great promises, or else for New England; they implore his Majesty's favour to continue, and promise all obedience to what orders shall be given. Several of the ships whose Merchants made such a clamour for convoy are scattered up and down, and going away without taking any notice of him. Designs to sail in August for the Bay of Bulls, there to make up the fleet, and to sail thence 20th Sept. at furthest, unless the ships cannot be ready. The fishers are like to make an indifferent good voyage, having taken about 200 kintalls per boat; the "Caplinge scoole" of bait is gone, which is a great detriment. St John's is an excellent Harbour, large enough for 100 sail, with a narrow entrance and very high land; a small charge may fortify it to keep out a considerable fleet, and several think that, if the inhabitants be taken away, the French will soon possess it, to the loss of several advantages his Majesty's subjects yet enjoy, it being in the middle of the land. Has inquired in this Port, and cannot find that any New England vessels have been here with the goods before mentioned; but, on the contrary, that New England has taken good quantities of those goods from hence, the product of which is shipped in Enghsh vessels for a market. Has given account to Mr. Sec. Coventry and Mr. pepys to the same effect Endorsed, "R., 23 Aug. 1675." 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 118.]
July 29.629. Sec. Sir Joseph Williamson to Sir Jonathan Atkins, Governor of Barbadoes. To same effect as his letter to Lord Vaughan (see ante, No. 627), with copy of the Treaty Marine with Holland. ½ p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XCIII., 139.]
July 30.
Windsor.
630. Mem. of letter to Lord Vaughan, appointing Sir Henry Morgan, of the Council of Jamaica, in the room of Maj.-Gen, Banister, deceased. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XCV., 92.]