America and West Indies
December 1672

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Institute of Historical Research

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W. Noel Sainsbury (editor)

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1889

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440-455

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'America and West Indies: December 1672', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 7: 1669-1674 (1889), pp. 440-455. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=70230 Date accessed: 21 August 2014.


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Contents

December 1672

Dec. 7
and 10.
977. Report of two conferences of the Council for Plantations with Sir Chas. Wheler. Account of the rendition of the English part of St. Christopher's by M. de Baas; the appointment of Commissioners on both sides to determine differences; their meeting on the 12th October, and breaking off the next day with protests one against another; his arranging a second meeting, when they fell into far greater heats, giving that high and provoking language that he expected they should end in blows. At length he concluded a single treaty with M. de Baas, which lasted some weeks, during which he advised from day to day with Lieut.-Col. Estridge and others of the Council of St. Christopher's; and before the articles were signed summoned the whole Council to consider and amend them, who said they were above what they expected, and they were signed and sealed. Upon this it was agreed that all rights and customs practised between the nations on St. Christopher's should be resumed; amongst which were none more necessary than the National Court to end all differences, consisting of two persons chosen out of the Windward side and two out of the Leeward side, for each nation; it was therefore resolved that this National Court should put all the articles in execution, and where they could not agree, the matter to be referred to the two Generals. M. de Baas then departed for Martinico and Sir Chas. for Nevis, and besides the articles mentioned there were never any other articles, treaty, or transaction between them. How he acted when within three months of their final determination lie found the Commissioners had only put in some poor men and done nothing to the resettling of considerable estates, and the Council considered it no way advisable he should either treat with a deputy or go to M. de Baas, but he resolved to go to M. de Baas and show him that his own presence was absolutely necessary, and then he heard of his Majesty's order superseding his Government, and of a commission already come to Col. Stapleton. Asked by the Council Sir Charles said, that the Articles mentioned in his Proclamation were no others than those comprehended in the Act of Restitution; that the publication sent over, dated 24th August, was not published there till the 27th December [in another place he states 27th September], from which date the time for bringing in claims was to be accounted and not from 24th August. That he transmitted the Proclamation to Col. Stroud that he might advise with Lord Arlington in what way notice might best be given to all persons concerned for restoring their interests; that he did not make that publication without the approbation of the Council of Nevis; that the plantation of St. Christopher's being one of the most ancient of the Caribbees differed much from the other islands, consisting mostly of persons who had formerly been servants, whose plantations of 10 or 12 acres were managed generally with English hands, those requiring slaves being very few comparatively, hence it was that the English, about 5,000 men, and very much stronger than the French, were betrayed by the cowardice and avarice of some of the richer sort, who underhand made conditions with the French. That very few comparatively sold their interests, hardly the 100th man, and of those that did sell not above 12 or 16 returned during the time of Wheler's stay, and that not above 1/6th of the whole was sold. That the generality of the inhabitants left the island in discontent without making any conditions for their plantations, there remaining not above five or six families under the French Government. That the bulk of the inhabitants, accustomed to work, had settled in other Colonies, and no likelyhood of their returning, their ground being much out of heart and overrun with weeds, and requiring more trouble to clear than if it had been standing wood, and he judged that in his time not above 120 returned, That he made a small town and fortification on the Leeward side where most of the soldiers were, having a further design to agree for some land on the Windward side, very convenient to be fortified against the French there. As to the strength of the English and French on St. Christopher's, two companies of foot, and 200 more English, Irish, and Dutch, and 120 French of no consideration had taken the oath of allegiance to his Majesty: Nevis the whole strength of the Leeward Islands, there being 1,200 musketeers and 60 horse; at Montserrat there might be about 800, but near all Irish and men of no great courage or discipline; in Antigua, though there might be 600 or 800 English, they were very mean and lived much scattered; the land and harbour good but no part fortified. All the Leeward Islands very weak comparatively to the French, having not one harbour so well secured as to defend ships or prevent the landing of an enemy. The French force being chiefly in St. Christopher's, no island lay so convenient to annoy them as Statia; the French have on St. Christopher's about 1,500 musketeers and 200 horse, all well disciplined; and lately made Martinico, their most Windward Island, the seat of Government, where their men-of-war rendezvous, there being an excellent harbour called "the Woolsack" (cul de sac ?), for fortifying which the French King has been at a very great charge, and though as he hears that island has not above 600 or 700 able men, they have the advantage of landing by their men-of-war what strength they please on the English Islands, and retiring to a place of security. The rest of the French Islands are not very considerable, there being in Guadaloupe, not much frtified, about 800 or 1,000 men, and in Marigalanta, St. Bartholomew, Sta. Crux, and St. Martins, in some 200 and in others 300 or 400 men at most. 12 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No. 53.]
Dec. 7
and 10.
978. Copy of preceding. In margin, An account given by Sir Chas. Wheler, late Governor of the Leeward Islands, to the Council for Trade and Plantations of the state and condition of the said Leeward Islands when he left them, &c., as all was taken and drawn up by the Secretary of the said Council. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XLV., 53–62.]
Dec. 9.
Whitehall.
979. Dr. Benjamin Worseley to (Sir Thos. Lynch, Lieut.-Governor of Jamaica). The advice boat has been delayed beyond his expectation; since which there has been some rumour as if the Earl of Winchilsea were about going over as Governor to Jamaica, but apprehends it to be but a rumour and no more; at least, nothing has been communicated to the Council for Plantations, nor has he heard any of them mention it as a thing likely. This he thought not impertinent or unfriendly to say. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No. 54.]
Dec. 9.
St. Jago.
980. Minutes of the Council of Jamaica. On petition of the inhabitants of Sixteen Miles Walk to Sir Thos. Modyford, to have the new way by the river made common, when they would repair same at their proper costs, excusing Sir Thos. and his heirs for ever, and whereas by reason of extraordinary inundations said way is since much worn away, to the great prejudice of Sir Thos. Modyford and his heirs, it is the opinion of the Governor and Council that the way ought to return to Sir Thos. Modyford and his heirs, unless the subscribers or other of the adjacent precincts comply with their covenants. 1 1/2 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XXXV., 333, 334.]
Dec. 9.
Westminster.
981. Acknowledgment by George Spillsbery of having received from Dr. Benj. Worsley, Secretary to the Council for Trade and Plantation, three packets directed to Sir Thos. Lynch, Lieut.-Governor of Jamaica, one containing letters and dispatches from said Council and Lord Arlington, which he engages, God willing, to deliver according to the instructions of his Royal Highness. 1/2 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No. 55.]
Dec. 10.
Montserrat.
982. Governor Stapleton to the King. The Leeward Islands are in great want of arms of all sorts. There are two companies of foot in St. Christopher's without pay or maintenance. In extraordinary want of negroes and servants. A very considerable number of his Majesty's subjects live amongst the French since Cromwell's time, who would willingly draw off, if they might carry off their goods, which is forbidden by the severity of the French Governors. The planters are much discouraged because their neighbours are supplied with men-of-war to countenance them and clear the coast of Dutch privateers, who of late have taken some of their vessels. Has obeyed his Majesty's commands as to the logwood merchants and Capt. Archibald Henderson. Is himself by inheritance concerned in an estate in Ireland which is given by a custodium to one Lady Demsy, and prays that being extra regnum and in his Majesty's service he may not lose the benefit of the law, and that no seal may pass to deprive him of his birthright. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No. 56.]
Dec. 10.
Montserrat.
983. Governor Stapleton to the Council for Plantations. Came yesterday from Antigua after visiting St. Christopher's, Nevis, and Statia, and settling their defence as well as he could considering their great want of arms and ammunition, and of men-of-war to secure their trade from the Dutch privateers who infest their coasts, one of which has taken two New England ketches, but given back one, which they were not able to man, to the master. At Tobago the Dutch have five men-of-war, the least being of 26 guns. Has fitted a brigantine and sloop to chase a sloop and galliot which took two of their sloops, but is not able to deal with the stronger sort; nor can with prudence often visit the islands for want of some vessel of strength, nor can he relieve either of them if invaded. Has caused two small forts to be erected on little islands in St. John's and Falmouth Harbours in Antigua, though they want great guns and ammunition, which places, if well fortified, will be of as great consequence and safety to English ships as the French Cul de sac at Martinico is to them; all the rest of the islands have but open roads. Were he not assured that the fleet which departed 13th July is safe arrived, would send copies of all papers he then sent by Capt. Saye of the Lætitia ; but only sends copy of the Commissioners' proceedings at St. Christopher's, the Antigua and Nevis Acts; which latter are neither dated nor entitled, for so he found them on record. In those days the people were not exact, but they desire his Majesty will give his assent thereto, and that the Council will transmit them, with the Acts sent before, and an answer to the petition from Nevis. The want of the seal for confirmation of lands is very prejudicial to the settlement of the islands. If his Majesty get the French King's orders to his Governors to join for the destruction of the Caribbee Indians, or at least not to concern themselves with them, it will be a mighty encouragement to the settlers, who dread those heathenish villains more than a Christian enemy. The people are much disheartened for want of men-of-war, the French and Dutch having always some. Desires to know whether they will have the Dutch commissions which were on Statia, Saba, and Tortola sent home. Begs them to represent to his Majesty that the two standing companies at St. Christopher's may have some fund for their pay and sustenance, and that he may receive the salary Sir Chas. was to have. Is informed that Sir Chas. received one year's pay for those companies, but they have not received it; and that he had arms out of his Majesty's stores, which, if true, he has sold as his own, but could not see him to get an account. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No. 57.]
Dec. 10.
Mytau
(Mittau).
984. James Duke of Courland and Semigallia to the King. Returns humble thanks for the goodness his Majesty has always expressed towards him in his letters, and trusts his Majesty will consider how long since his many attempts for redress in his just pretensions, and to order that he may at last receive some satisfaction. Would not importune his Majesty in this troublesome conjuncture but for his necessities and principally his age, being in his climacterical year called Magnus, for it would be great consolation if before his death his children might see him satisfied for his faithful services to his Majesty. If his pretension cannot be satisfied in money, prays that some island or other equivalent be given him. French, 2 pp., also Translation. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., Nos. 58, 59.]
Dec. 10.
African
House,
Throgmorton
Street,
London.
985. The declaration of H.R.H. James Duke of York and Albany, Governor, and the rest of the Royal African Company of England, to all his Majesty's subjects, especially to those inhabiting the plantations in America. That their request to Fras. Lord Willoughby, Lt.-Gov. of the Caribbee Islands, to publish their orders to the company's factors to sell negroes at 17l. per head found not that good acceptance by the planters as was hoped for. The Royal African Company do resolve and declare they will deliver, upon the conditions within named, negroes from 12 to 40 years old at the following prices, at Barbadoes, 15l. per head; Leeward Isles, 16l.; Jamaica, 17l.; and Virginia, 18l. per head. Printed, with the coat of arms of the company. Folio sheet. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No. 60.]
Dec. 12.
Exeter House
Shaftesbury
Papers.
986. Earl of Shaftesbury to Capt. John Wentworth, Governor of New Providence. Has from the beginning, from the character received of him, always thought him a fit man for the government of those islands the King has bestowed upon the Proprietors. At first the uncertainty of their names made the distinction between his brother and himself not easy, but as soon as the Lords Proprietors were informed he was the person actually in New Providence chosen Governor by the people all mistakes were rectified, and the Lords Proprietors pitched peremptorily on him, notwithstanding the suggestions of his own brother and Capt. Darell against him. The character they gave of him, not much to his advantage, hath not prevailed, for he hath a tenth share in the stock of the adventurers, as much as Shaftesbury himself hath, which, if trade be well and fairly managed, he believes will be very considerable. A business proposed by Capt. Darell seems very fair and for the Lords Proprietors' good there till his willingness to have Capt. Wentworth laid aside gave umbrage, though his care and charges in peopling the Bahamas shall be regarded as it ought, but cannot consent that he or any one by underhand dealing should deceive the adventurers or prejudice the trade. Depends principally upon him for the security of it; advice thereon. Design a nobility there, which he shall not fail of. One Mr. Fisher sent as an under officer to Capt. Darell, who he will do well to consult. Promises himself good success in this undertaking from his prudence and integrity. 2 pp. [Shaftesbury Papers, Section IX., Bundle 48, No. 55, pp. 125, 126.]
Dec. 14. 987. Account of the present state of the Leeward Islands delivered to the Committee of the Council for Plantations by Sir Chas. Wheler. St. Christopher's must hold the balance between his Majesty's interest and that of the most Christian King, it being certain that who has that island entire will be master of all the rest, though the French missed Nevis in the last war, by a gross want of conduct. St. Christopher's is divided into four quarters, as rudely set out in the map. In the French quarter of Basseterre are about 800 musketeers and 100 horse; in the town one platform commanding the road with 12 cannon; 2 miles inland the castle, so well built of brick and stone as to resist all hurricanes, and not to be taken without cannon; and several other good stone houses. In the other French quarter of Sandy Point are 600 or 700 musketeers, and towards 100 horsemen; a fort out of repair, whence they may shoot into the King's fort, yet not do any execution; under it a little village of merchants' storehouses, where they drive a good trade with leave from the English, all the strand being English; a quarter of a mile above it is Capt. Sperance's house, which gave the repulse to the English who attacked it, and consequently was the loss of the island in the first war, but is of no strength; in the fort are six cannon and a file of soldiers, and on the other side of the quarter has been another fort, now useless, without guns, and with a guard only of a file of soldiers. The English quarter to Leeward has three companies of foot, each parish a company, Palmetto Point, Capt. Benningfield, Middle Island, Capt. Treman, and Sandy Point, Capt. Eddrington; in the three companies are 120 English and Irish, the greater part Irish, and not above 20 substantial planters, and about 50 or 60 Dutch and French who have sworn fidelity to the King; at Stones Point are mounted six guns, and at Sandy Point 14, and on each hand of the fort are encamped the two companies of foot in little huts, and a fair street begins to be built leading to the fort of storehouses for merchants under the cannon of the fort; and at the Old Road also are begun storehouses in expectation that the old fort may be repaired and cannon mounted. On the English quarter to Windward are also three companies of foot; Capsterre, Lieut.-Col. Estridge, which Sir Chas. takes to be, by his discretion, a greater strength to the English than all his company who since Wheler's coming away is displaced; Nicola Town or Middle Island, Capt. Crooke, son to Major Crooke; Chian, Lieut. Harrington, it being the colonel's company, the regiment he gave to Capt. Matthew, Lieut.-Governor of the island; in these companies are 60 English and Irish, mostly Irish, does not remember any substantial planter, and about 50 or 60 Dutch and French. Does not reckon the King's two companies to be of any strength, because the French daily expect as many soldiers come with the new Governor of Martinico; two-thirds of these two companies are also Irish, and there is great difference between them and the English in trust and valour. Sta. Eustatia may be so settled as to be of great use to St. Christopher's, for in case of war it may so threaten the French Sandy Point quarter, that they must stay at home to defend their own estates. On Nevis, the neighbouring island to Windward, has mustered 1,200 English and Irish in 12 companies (of which a fifth may be Irish), and a troop of 60 horse well mounted, and there may be on the island 200 more able to bear arms. From Pelican's Point to Musketi Bay, about 5 miles, is all the Leeward side of the island, for defence of which are 30 pieces of cannon on the platforms of Pelican's Point, the Old Rock, the Old Fort, Duke's Sconce, and Morton's Bay; had Sir Chas. stayed he would have raised one at Musketi Bay, the best landing especially from St. Christopher's. All along the Leeward sides of these islands ships may ride so as to land their men in boats without much danger; the strand of Nevis is the fairer, but that of St. Christopher's so good, that the report that Sir Tobias Bridge's regiment was cut off in their attack upon that island because their guide landed them under an inacessible precipice is false, for they might have ascended immediately by three ascents, and were 400 landed before the French had 30 to receive them. During the war the inhabitants of Nevis ran a line all along the coast, but he persuaded them to make little redoubts, for their line being slight and without a trench might be passed anywhere, their men being extended 5 miles: but have since been dissuaded, and will run their slight line without any fastness, except at Pelican's Point. Montserrat, next to Windward, is a small island, but the securest of all the Caribbees; upon which are 1,000 Irish, and few or no English; when the French took it by assault it was bravely defended till the major, an Englishman, who behaved with singular courage, was killed, but no man stood a moment after. On Antigua, a little northward, are about 800 English; found a Quaker President of the Council, who refusing the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, he commissioned Col. Warner, Governor, a worthy gentleman, son to Sir Thos. Warner, to whose industry is owing all the Plantations of Barbadoes and the Leeward Islands. Cannot see how this island can be defended, even from incursions of the savages, by reason of its greatness and many places of easy landing, till it be more peopled, for, by the extent and richness of the soil it may contain 20,000 planters besides their slaves. Has been made to believe there are two harbours, Falmouth and English, so land-locked as to be out of danger of the hurricanes, and that his Majesty's third rate ships may ride well; yet there is no trusting the King's fleet there, for the Dover Castle yacht went ashore in a storm in September 1671, but the two harbours, separated only by a neck of land. may be cut through with inconsiderable charge, and very probably a harbour made there. Guadaloupe, Granterre, and Mariegalanta are three French islands next to Windward; on Guadaloupe may be 800 men, 100 or 200 being Irish, whom they would fain be quit of, for they live much as they do at home, in little huts, planting potatoes, tobacco, and as much indigo as will buy them canvas and brandy, and never advance so far as a sugar plantation. Knows not whether Granterre, which is contiguous, is reckoned to made up said number of 800; on Mariegalanta is a distinct Governor and 300 inhabitants; Guadaloupe is extremely mountainous and not a fourth part planted, but, towards Basseterre their town is more fortified than St. Christopher's or Nevis, and the castle just above the town is as well an ornament as a fortress; there M. de Lion lives, who has been in several actions in Flanders; they have on the island about 30 cannon. Dominica is next, inhabited only by the savages, and the people of Barbadoes have talked so much of a mine there that the French have a great mind to set down on the island. On Martinico, the most winderly island, the French King's Lieut.-General lives, and about 600 men bearing arms; it is happy in a most secure harbour, the Culesac (cul de sac) on which they are raising a very strong fortification, the King of France having sent an engineer on purpose, and the talk is of 60,000 livres; by the advantage of this harbour his Majesty's plantations are in great danger in case of war, for in July, August, and September, when all English shipping must be gone for fear of hurricane, the French may lie safe in the Culesac; it would therefore be of great use if a harbour could be made at Antigua. Has never known less than three French men-of-war attending their islands, and sometimes four and five. To Leeward of St. Christopher's the French have St. Bartholomew's, Sta. Cruce, and St. Martins, the two former inconsiderable, but St. Martins, now that the French have taken the Dutch moiety, may have 500 or 600 men. "This is the most particular answer that I can set down in writing of the state of the strength of these islands." Endorsed, "Delivered to the Committee 14 Dec. 1672." 11 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No.. 61]
(1672.) 988. Answer of Sir Chas. Wheler to queries concerning the arms and ammunition carried by him to the Leeward Islands. On his arrival at Nevis he caused a storehouse to be hired at Charles Town, wherein part of the stores were put under charge of Mr. Clarke, and the other part was delivered to Mr. Hinton, storekeeper to the island, which officers are to be accountable for their trusts. Can charge his memory with almost all the particulars, and hopes his sudden removal from the Government may be an excuse for not giving a fuller account. Nos. 1 to 10. Describes in detail what was left in the several islands. With part of the muskets which he brought he armed his Majesty's two companies of foot, others he sold to the captains of foot in Nevis, St. Christopher's, and Antigua, but he is not paid for any of them; and there were near 100 short of the 1,000, false packed up at the Tower, so hopes he may be relieved when the 800 l. on his bond shall be demanded. Some things were lost at sea, when the ship was wrecked on the Island of Deseada. In reference to the canvas, boards, hides, tarred rope, and powder. The materials for two drawbridges, all lost at sea. A magazine gate house, sentry box, and float for landing cannon, also repairs to his houses at St. Christopher's and Nevis, which cost him 300l. the fir deals supplied, there being no house for the Governor. Smith's bellows, &c. used in the fort at Sandy Point, and afterwards sent to his own house for safety, where some of the iron was used, but he ordered as much to be returned to the storehouse on the first arrival of shipping. Stone-cutters' and bricklayer's tools used at St. Christopher's about the groins of the fort, &c., conceives himself not concerned in, having made no contracts for freight. Is ready to make oath that to the best of his knowledge there was nothing sold, or embezzled, or any way otherwise disposed of, than above mentioned. Endorsed, "72" &c. 4 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No. 62.]
(Dec.) 15.
Aboard the St.
David, Barbadoes,
9 o'clock
at night.
989. Sir Tobias Bridge to Secretary Lord Arlington. Annexes copy of his last. Is now aboard the St. David with three brave companies of stout men, numbering near 300, and has five other companies shipped in other vessels, which to appearance are very gallant men. Will sail within two hours for Tobago. Endorsed, "Dec. 15, '72." Together, 1 1/2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No. 63.]
Dec. 17.
Piscataqua
River in
New England.
990. Nicholas Shapleigh to the King. To supply the need of the Royal Navy for masts, there is nowhere such great abundance as in these parts of America, particularly in the province of Maine belonging to Ferdinando Gorges, and in that part which is beyond the authority of the Massachusetts Government. The mast trees there were granted to him and a friend by the General Court, which trees he has endeavoured to preserve from being destroyed, but by reason of divers saw mills constantly erecting, great spoil has been and is being made, Gorges' government being set aside by reason of the power of the Bay of Boston over them, so that the grant of mast trees will be totally destroyed, if the King's prohibition come not in time to prevent it, which being granted will effect the preservation of those mast trees, that is of so great concern to him and to the King's other subjects, seeing the like cannot be had out of other kingdoms, they may be secured for public and private use without being beholden to foreign nations. There is a certain tract, lying between Maine and the part possessed by the French, wherein many stately trees grow, settled by the Commissioners on the Duke of York, who appointed Commissioners that for some time exercised authority over the inhabitants, but the Government is now entirely obstructed. Endorsed by Williamson, Received March 1672–3. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No. 64.]
Dec. 17.
Piscataqua.
991. Two copies of the preceding. One endorsed, "Letter from Shapleigh, a Quaker of New Hampshire." [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No. 65. See also Col. Entry Bk., No. XCIV., p. 141.]
Dec. 17.
Lady Villier's
House near
Whitehall.
992. Dr. B. Worsley to Wm. Lord Willoughby. Has thought it necessary to send with the Council's letter copies of all papers mentioned, that he may see how their advice is founded. Cannot much doubt but near one third of the interest, trade, and stock of this nation depends on the safety of the southern plantations, for which his Majesty and all his subjects cannot but be greatly concerned. Is mistaken if it were not his Lordship's judgment that the balancing of the power of the French in the West Indies was as much his Majesty's interest and concern, as the balancing of that of the power of the Spaniard or Dutch; and it may be far more so if there be open war between the Spanish and French, which most wise men think so near as there is a sufficient ground laid for it by this late action of Charleroi. Which if it should happen and the French should vigorously fall into the Spanish West Indies, they may have a worse neighbour than the Spaniards, and it may possibly concern his Majesty as much to keep a spy upon the growth of their power there as here. Commends his Lordship's judgment and experience in affairs of state, and is sure he will arrest every opportunity of transmitting anything of importance to his Majesty or the Council. In this new commission the persons are the same they were before, only the Lord Chancellor is made President instead of Lord Sandwich, Lord Culpeper Vice-President, and Sir Wm. Hickman, of the House of Commons, is appointed instead of Sir John Finch, who is chosen ambassador for Constantinople; and there are added of the King's Council, Lord Halifax, Sir Thos. Osbourne, and Sir Robert Long. Has been appointed by his Majesty's commission to attend the Council as their Secretary. Mem.—"This letter was sent 17th of Xber 1672 to Dr. Benjamin. Sent by Mr. Sampson the Messenger." Encloses,
992. I. The Council for Trade and Foreign Plantations to Governor Willoughby. His Majesty has by commission of 27th September last constituted them a Council for Trade and Foreign Plantations; and they have received information of several private men-of-war sent forth by the Lansons and other principal persons in Zealand, and of a considerable number of ships said to be fitted with warlike provisions by the directors of the West India Company, or other merchants in Amsterdam; all which they fear are designed to attack some part of his Majesty's West Indies, and perhaps more especially the Caribbees. Desire therefore that nothing be omitted for the safety of the island. Have been informed by letters from Col. Codrington, that M. De Baas has not only disseized persons sent by him to take possession of Dominica for his Majesty, but has burnt their houses, and presumed to forwarn the sending any more, using threats, as if he would be guilty of violating the Peace, among the articles of which he would have it received that this was one principally agreed on, vizt., that Dominica should be neuter and remain free to the Indians. Are assured that no such articles were ever made anywhere in his Majesty's name, nor ratified by the public authority of either nation; and considering that since the time wherein said articles are pretended to have been made there has been actual war between the two nations, and no mention of any such agreement in the articles of Breda, his Majesty is no way bound by said agreement. Finding likewise that the Indians of Dominica and also of St. Vincent and Santa Lucia even during said war put themselves under his Majesty's protection and Government, and entered into an alliance with his Lordship, judge his Majesty has a right to claim an interest in those islands, so far as is agreeable to said articles, an authentic copy whereof they desire his Lordship to return by the first opportunity. Advise that if there be further debate of the matter with M. De Baas, he signify said particulars, and if notwithstanding he shall observe anything to be done by the French to the real prejudice of his Majesty's right in those places, he is to advertise his Majesty, meantime moderating himself so as to prevent any actual contest or breach. Draught with corrections. Together, 5 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., Nos. 66, 66 I.]
Dec. 18.
Whitehall.
993. Memorandum of a grant to Edward Cranfield, Esq., one of his Majesty's Gentlemen Ushers, of the office of Escheator of Barbadoes. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. XXXIV., p. 212 đ.]
Dec. 20.
London.
994. Thomas Henchman to the Assembly of Barbadoes. Refers to his last of 15th June, and hopes to receive their determination by next fleet. Showed their courteous letter of 17th May to their fellow planters, and has frequently tendered his service, but has been always answered there was no occasion. Conceives they have ere this made choice for the ensuing year; hopes it will here meet with all due observance, and requests that this dispute may no way prejudice him in their good opinion. Communicated to the Assembly the 20th March 1672–3. 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XIII., 122.]
Dec. 21.
[Tobago.]
995. Sir Tobias Bridge to William Lord Willoughby, Governor of Barbadoes. The enclosed papers will inform his Excellency concerning their affairs according to his instructions. Are peaceably possessed of the principal fortifications of the island (of Tobago). Some negroes come in voluntarily, and is upon consideration how to bring in the remainder. Is now considering the addresses made to him by the Dutch and French inhabitants. Is obliged by his articles to send off one vessel with the Governor and his servants to Curaçao, and one other is now sent with this express. Will be strangely straitened to bring off their own men, and the people of the island, without further shipping. Captain Parris can well give account of their difficulties and their success. Is somewhat ill disposed as to health, so cannot enlarge. Captain Poole has had hard service with his ship and favoured them as much as he could, and Captain Parris has given the best advice he could. Encloses,
995. I. Sir Tobias Bridge's summons to the Governor of Tobago to deliver his fort for the use of his Majesty of Great Britain. Expects his answer in four hours' time, "else you and your country will find the inconvenience of what follows." 1672, Dec. 19. Endorsed by John Locke.
995. II. Governor Peter Constant to Sir T. Bridge. Is bound to stand for his master the Prince of Orange with the States of Holland, and trusting to God's providence he refuses to deliver the fort without it be taken by the sword. 1672, Dec. 20/30. Endorsed by Locke.
995. III. Governor Constant to Sir T. Bridge. Requests a cessation of weapons, that they may make an amicable agreement, being they are of one religion. 1672, Dec. 21/31. Endorsed by Locke.
995. IV. Sir T. Bridge to Governor Constant. Had given order for a cessation of arms till 12 o'clock, and shall not be unwilling to make an agreement nor is his inclination to shed blood but where necessity compels him. Does not think it fitting to make any longer delay, therefore forthwith expects what he has to propose. 1672, Dec. 21. Endorsed by Locke.
995. V. Governor Constant to Sir T. Bridge. Desires he would give him one sloop to transport himself and family, viz., Christians and such as have occasion to go with him, with a safe conduct, that he himself may have his household stuff, clothing, and arms sufficient for defence; and that the inhabitants of the island may remain in their own possessions as subjects to his Majesty. Hopes his request will not be thought too grievous, but that out of his generosity Sir Tobias would consider the poor condition of the officers, and grant each of them one slave to help them; and that those that go off with him may likewise have their household stuff and clothing, and no molestation given to any man. 1672, Dec. 21/31. Endorsed by Locke.
995. VI. Sir T. Bridge to Governor Constant. Will comply with what he desires as to a sloop to transport himself and family, giving security for the same so soon as he has the fort, &c. delivered. Will use courteously such inhabitants as are minded to stay, when they make their addresses to him. Having been himself employed in military affairs these 35 years, the officers may expect such honourable treatment as becomes their loyalties, but for particular articles desires him to send within two hours two delegates to treat with two of his own. Endorsed by Locke.
995. VII. Commission from Governor Constant, authorising Wm. Hamen and George Hay to agree upon articles for rendering the island and forts of Tobago to Sir T. Bridge for the use of his Majesty of Great Britain. 1672, Dec. 20/30 Endorsed by Locke.
995. VIII. Articles agreed on between the above-named Commissioners and Sir Tobias Bridge and Captain Wm. Poole, William Hamen, &c. for the surrender of Tobago. That Governor Constant with all his white servants, household stuff, and clothing (plate excepted), and such of his countrymen as are willing to go with him (negroes excepted), be provided with a vessel to be transported of Curacao, provided that he discharge the vessel and men there and furnish the men with provisions for their voyage to Barbadoes. That he be permitted to carry off 12 small arms and 12 swords. That by 5 o'clock this day he deliver up to Sir T. Bridge all the fortifications with ordnance, arms, ammunition, and provisions thereto belonging; that his officers (8 in number) have liberty to transport themselves with their household stuff, &c., and the Secretary and George Hayes have liberty to carry off one negro each. The inhabitants making their addresses to Sir T. Bridge may expect favourable usage according to their qualities. That these articles be forthwith put in execution. 1672, Dec. 21. In margin. Read at a Committee of the Council 21 Oct. 1673. Endorsed by Locke. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., Nos. 67, 67, I.–VIII.]
Dec. 21. 996. Copy of the above Articles agreed on for the surrender of Tobago. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No. 68. See also Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCIV., p. 151.]
1672. 997. An account of the expedition against Tobago. Wednesday the 18th December 1672 the St. David with five lesser vessels having weighed anchor the Monday before, the whole regiment under Sir T. Bridge landed on Tobago, but in a place through the fault of a guide, very hazardous, as if purposely designed for their slaughter. Capt. Poole informed of the danger went ashore, and with some difficulty persuaded them to embark again. Next morning St. David's boats landed them within 1 1/2 miles of the forts without the loss of a man, the enemy having drawn down their forces to the other place. The Capt. then fitted his ship to go in, and had the first onset five hours together; and truly the forts have paid the St. David for her pains; but four men were killed and five wounded; the main yard, main top mast, and mizen mast will scarcely be serviceable again, and the main and main top sails, though furled, almost shot in pieces. Friday and Saturday spent in treating, and at 5 at night the forts surrendered without any more fighting. The prisoners about 400, the negroes about the same number. Endorsed, 18 December 1673. Two copies. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., Nos. 69, 70.]
Dec. 21.
London.
998. The Committee of Gentlemen Planters in London to the Assembly of Barbadoes. Have received no commands in answer to theirs by Capts. Williams and Collier, and have nothing more to acquaint them with. Perceive the seas to be full of Dutch privateers, and having some knowledge of the times his Majesty ordered several fleets to be despatched from Barbadoes about the beginning of August. The Reserve and Dort frigates ordered to meet and convoy the fleet expected from Barbadoes, but the Dort was delayed by contrary winds, and the fleet met with "Privateers of Mouth Bay," and 10 ships were lost. Were resolved to move more timely for the next fleet, and the Gloucester and Algiers frigates in October convoyed all the fleet safe into port. Have presented to his Majesty the horrid cowardice of some commanders who basely gave away their ships; Webber, Coleman, and Munden are summoned to the Admiralty; the first is under security and the two last are "obscured." Have also requested convoys for the ships now going to Barbadoes, but affairs at Court are now so privately managed that they cannot assure them it is done. Matters will be plainer by the papers Edw. Thornburgh will send them. Parliament is prorogued to 4th February next; will employ all their endeavours to withstand anything to the prejudice of Barbadoes. Have lately received a letter from the President and Council with a pertinent certificate, which they will make the best use of for the good of Barbadoes. Signed by Ferd. Gorges, Edw. Pye, John Gregory, Ja. Lucie, and John Bawden. "Communicated to the Assembly 5th March 1673." 2 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XIII., 117, 118.]
Dec. 22.
Whitehall.
999. The King to Sir Thos. Lynch, Lieut.-Governor of Jamaica, Whereas his Majesty has been informed by petition of Rabba Couty, merchant [see ante, Nos. 968 I.–IV.] that his ketch, the Trial, laden with provisions from New York was seized at Jamaica, and condemned by the Court of Admiralty under pretence of the Act of Navigation on a presumption that the said Rabba Couty being a Jew was to be accounted a foreigner; and whereas said Rabba Couty further represented that he had been for several years an inhabitant and free burgher of the city of New York, his Majesty being satisfied with the opinion of the Council for Trade and Plantations that said Rabba Couty ought to enjoy the benefit of a free denizen, and consequently that said sentence and proceeding were undue and illegal, requires him forthwith to give order for restoring said ketch and her lading, or the value thereof at the time of seizure. 1 p. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. XXXI., p. 101 đ.]
Dec. 22.
Barbadoes.
1000. Wm. Lord Willoughby to the Sec. to the Council for Plantations. Since his last [see ante, No. 966] has thrice met the Assembly, who are very ready to serve his Majesty as far as their abilities will reach to. The first trial has been in order to the reducing Tobago, an island within 48 hours' sail to the southward; the Lord Lampson is proprietor, and has reinforced his former settlements with 500 new men, conveyed in five capers from 24 to 30 guns apiece, which have already taken some trading vessels; and that they might not grow more numerous, has moved the Assembly for assistance in reducing it, which they gave, but was forced to join his own credit to theirs to complete the force. Raised 600 brave fellows (in 10 days) and put them under command of Sir Tobias Bridge, and also six small vessels to attend the St. David under Capt. Poole; they sailed on the 16th; daily expects the news of their success. Should not the Dutch be disappointed of this footing, they would inevitably ruin Barbadoes and the Leeward Islands, that being a better island. Sends herewith the way of his proceeding; had he been furnished with three or four small vessels more, as proposed to the Council for Plantations, or had not the Garland been ordered for a convoy to Guinea, believes by this time the Dutch should have had no footing in this part of the world, but for want of force and a fund he may easily judge what is to be done. Has appointed Committees to inspect all matters directed in his instructions, and hopes by next conveyance to give account thereof. In margin, "Read in Council 6th March 1672–3." Encloses,
1000. I. Instructions to Capt. Wm. Poole, Commander of the sea forces in an expedition against the subjects of the States General of the United Provinces at Tobago, now his Majesty's declared enemies. To make diligent search in the St. David and other ships under his command, and apprehend all persons that have not the Governor's ticket for departure, and deliver them to the Provost Marshal; to receive aboard Sir Tobias Bridge's regiment with their arms and no other person without the Governor's special license. To sail immediately for Tobago, and take special care that a fair correspondence in the whole design be held between the sea and land forces, and that the soldiers be well accommodated; on arrival at Tobago, to execute orders agreed upon by himself and Sir Tobias Bridge, having regard to their general instructions to receive on board plunder brought by soldiers or seamen, and keep exact account, that an equal division be made in Barbadoes. 1672, Dec. 12.
1000. II. Instructions for Col. Sir Tobias Bridge, Commander of the Land Forces. To call his regiment to arms in the Old Churchyard at St. Michael's Town ; deliver to the Governor an exact list of the officers and soldiers, keep them in arms from 8 to 11 in the forenoon of 14th December. If any servant or debtor be enlisted, the master or creditor may demand him, and if any make good his allegation before William Bate, or others appointed, to disarm and cashier such servant or debtor. Then to march the regiment to Bentley's Wharf to be transported thence to Tobago; to use his best endeavours for a fair correspondence between the land and sea forces, having recourse for further directions to their general instructions 1672, Dec. 12.
1000. III. Instructions to Col. Sir Tobias Bridge and Capt. Wm. Poole, above mentioned. On arrival at Tobago to consult about the best place to land for attacking the island. if they succeed to use such humanity towards the enemy as may suit with the honour of soldiers and profession of Christians, especially preserving women and children from violence. If they become masters of the island to utterly destroy all forts, houses, buildings, and plantations, canes and provisions, so as to make it incapable of being replanted, bringing away as freemen the inhabitants, to be transported where they think fit. If they accomplish the destroying of the island to return with convenient speed with the booty taken, taking especial care to leave neither soldiers, arms, nor ammunition behind. To bring off all ships, merchandises, arms, great guns, prisoners, and plunder, taken in the island or in going or returning, causing an exact account to be kept, that a just division may be made in Barbadoes, according to the rules of war. To give the Governor from time to time an account of their proceedings. Together, 5 1/2 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XCIV, 132–137.]
Dec. 27.
London.
1001. Lt.-Col. Thornburgh to the Assembly of Barbadoes. Is ordered by the gentlemen empowered to act in their affairs to send enclosed papers, the effect of which will be advised of in their letters. "Communicated the Assembly, 5th March 1673." Encloses,
1001. I. Address of the Merchants and Owners of shipping loading to Barbadoes and the Caribbees. Whereas the Deputy Governor of Barbadoes has used all care to oblige the late fleet to assist each other in danger, but for want of a ship of war the instructions given were of no effect, it is proposed, first, that two ships of war have order about the end of this month of October to ply about Cape Clear, where the next Barbadoes fleet are appointed to come, and convoy in the said fleet; and secondly, that two frigates may go with the next fleet about the end of November, that for next year the ships be ordered to depart in three fleets, viz., on the last days of April, June, and September, the two frigates convoying the two first home, and during their stay to cruise about for the security of ships trading thither from Guinea and other parts; and the third fleet to be taken care of in due time; and that in future no ship carrying less than 12 guns have license to trade thither.
1001. II. Petition of above Committee to the King. Narrating the capture of nine of the Barbadoes fleet by Dutch capers, and praying his Majesty to give some marks of favour to those who behaved like Englishmen, and to punish those whose ill conduct and cowardice deserve it, also to prevent ships commanded by Quakers, who sail without guns, going to the Indies. (See ante, No.960.) 3pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No.XIII., 119–121.]
Dec. ? 1002. Account by Sir Chas. Wheler of his proceedings at St. Christopher's, to the same effect as the first part of his report. [See ante, No. 977.] With reasons for reviving the National Court, which was agreed upon by the two Lieut.-Generals, that it was impossible for him to find other than the four Judges of said court capable to be Commissioners, nor Register, nor Clerk, nor Interpreter; that the rules given them were the simplest that could be imagined for saving time and expense, all charges being defrayed by the public, that the plaintiffs should not be vexed for fees till they had possession of their estates. 6 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No. 71.]