America and West Indies
April 1687

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Institute of Historical Research

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J. W. Fortescue (editor)

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1899

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353-364

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'America and West Indies: April 1687', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 12: 1685-1688 and Addenda 1653-1687 (1899), pp. 353-364. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=70515 Date accessed: 17 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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Contents

April 1687

April 1.1,200. Journal of Council and Assembly of Nevis. The Governor and Council proposed that the reception of Sir Nathaniel Johnson should be considered, together with the expense thereof. The Assembly declined. The Governor and Council proposed to consider a means of defraying the expenses of Sir James Russell as Governor. The Assembly, not being a full Assembly, could not reply, but finally agreed to give him 100,000 lbs. of sugar within eighteen months, the grant not to become a precedent. Acts for confirming bills and restraining the insolence of negroes read and passed. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVIII., p. 127, and pp. 135–137.]
April 3.1,201. Memorandum of Lord Howard of Effingham's proposal that power be given him to regulate the price of foreign coin in Virginia. Presented 3 April. ½ p. Endorsed. Read at the Committee, 13 April 87. [Col. Papers, Vol. LX., No. 18.]
April 3.1,202. Instructions to Lord Howard of Effingham, for the support and protection of the Royal African Company; to see that the Company is promptly paid for goods delivered and that interlopers are prosecuted. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIII., pp. 120–122.]
April 7.1,203. Minutes of Council of Antigua. Message of the Council to the Assembly asking approbation of their measures at the last four meetings, and a grant from the common stock to meet liabilities. Answer of the Assembly. We do think that the country ought to pay for taking or killing any of the runaways, the matter being of public concern; and the runaways perhaps belonging to poor men, the public should help them. We approve of your proceedings highly. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVIII., pp. 113–115.]
April 11.
Charlestown,
Carolina.
1,204. George Muschamp to [Lords Proprietors of Carolina]. I fear that it will be difficult to enforce the Navigation Acts here. Only a week ago I had an action with a master for illegal trading, which I lost, the evidence not being very clear. However, it was declared in effect that if the guilt had been never so evident they would have pleaded the benefit of their charter against me, for they pretend that it gives them full power to trade with Scotland and Ireland, and that the natives of those countries have liberty to transport their own produce in their own ships, which is certainly contrary to the letter of the law, which was in force before their charter was passed. I, for my part, do not conceive that the King designed his grant to the prejudice of the English settling here, nor contrary to an Act of Parliament made chiefly to encourage trade at home and to maintain our race of seamen. This practice, however, opens the trade to Scotland and Ireland, which are evidently able to undersell the English. Their goods, being either much coarser or slighter, will serve for servants and will be sure to go off there, being cheap, so that an Englishman must either go away unfreighted, or sell to vast disadvantage. Moreover, if it be allowed here, Lord Baltimore may pretend to the like liberty. Endorsed. 1½ pp. Copy.
Copied on other side. The Attorney-General to Lords of Trade and Plantations. It is plain that the trade referred to by Mr. Muschamp at Carolina is illegal, the fact that their Charter was granted subsequent to the Acts of Trade and Navigation being nothing unless the Charter contains a clause giving them licence to trade contrary to those Acts. Signed, T. Powis, 7 July 1687. [Col. Papers, Vol. LX., No. 19, and Col. Entry Bks., Vol. XXII., pp. 116, 117, and Vol. C., pp. 2–5.]
[April 12.]1,205. Memorial from the Envoy of Courland. The Envoy subjoins some copies of letters which his late Majesty at divers times despatched to the West Indies in his Highness' behalf, which the Envoy conceives cannot but make his master's request irreprovable; for nothing can be more just than due performance of a treaty. This rule his Highness has faithfully observed, for as to the contract made with Captain Poyntz, both it and the minister that made it were rejected both here and in Courland. As to the benefit to his Majesty's subjects, a condition in their favour is inserted in the treaty, nor would they be so desirous of his Majesty's permission, if they knew not it should turn to their advantage; and most of the produce shall be brought for the benefit of his Majesty's Customs. Lastly, the Envoy prays that if his Majesty shall not permit any of his subjects to go to said island, he will grant a new order to the Governor of Barbados to suffer his people to supply their need at a reasonable price. For the rest the new Governor at Tobago is in a sufficient capacity to defend the island against the Indians, having already above 400 men. 1½ pp. Annexed,
1,205. I. The King to Francis, Lord Willoughby of Parham, Governor of the Caribees. A war being ready to break out between his Majesty and the United Netherlands, he has granted the Isle of Tobago to the Duke of Courland, for the equal benefit of his Majesty's subjects and the Duke's, with a like participation of privileges and immunities to both; whereof his Majesty gives this notice, that he may perform all such friendly offices to the Duke's subjects as shall be fit from one ally to another. Whitehall, November 25, 1664. Signed, Will. Morice.
1,205. II. The King to the Governor of Tobago. Having thought fit to grant tobago to the Duke of Courland, these are to require you to deliver the island to such persons as the Duke shall empower to receive the same; and to give notice thereof to all Governors of his Majesty's Islands and Colonies in America, that they may perform all such friends' offices to the Duke's subjects as shall be fit. Whitehall, December 20, 1666. Signed, Will. Morice.
1,205. III. The King to Sir Jonathan Atkins. Having been given to understand by the Resident of the Duke of Courland that the Duke intends to send two or three ships to Tobago, it is our pleasure, that in case any of said ships touch at Barbados, you not only permit the officers to furnish themselves with what they may need, at a reasonable price, but be assisting to them as occasion may require; provided that these letters shall not give leave to said ships to trade in that island, or dispense with the Acts of Navigation. Whitehall, January 19, 1680. Signed, Sunderland. 5 pages. Indorsed. Presented by the Duke of Courland's agent and referred 13 March 86–7. Recd. 12 April 86–7. Read 13 April 87. [Col. Papers, Vol. LX., Nos. 20, 20I.–III.]
April 13.1,206. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Letter from the Governor and Council of Virginia of 6 July as to fixing the value of foreign coin read and referred to the Commissioners of the Treasury.
Memorial of Mons. Blumberg as to Tobago, which was referred by Lord Middleton 13 March read (see No. 1,184). The Lords agreed to report that they saw no cause to alter their former opinion.
Colonel Molesworth's letter of 17 December read. Agreed to refer it to the Commissioners of Customs.
Memorandum of documents received. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CIX., pp. 54–61.]
April 14.
Treasury
Chambers.
1,207. Henry Guy to William Blathwayt. The Lords of the Treasury desire of you a draft of a letter to be sent to Jamaica, concerning the perquisites, and that you shew the draft to Sir Charles Littleton before you send it. Signed, Hen. Guy. ½ p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LX., No. 21.]
[April 15.]1,208. Petition of Richard Lavington and Company of London to the King. We have for the last three years entrusted Colonel Philip Warner and his son Thomas as our factors at Antigua with several cargoes, worth five or six thousand pounds, whereof we have not been able to receive above one thousand pounds. In April 1688 the Warners told us that they had large quantities of sugar by them, and that if they had freight they could load sixty or seventy tons with say £250; but on our sending a ship they sent her with but £41 worth, thereby losing for us £200. We are forced to send one Mr. Porteene to Antigua to look into the matter, but we fear that he will have great difficulty in recovering our property; and we therefore beg you to recommend our case to the Governor of the Leeward Islands. Copy. 1¼ pp. Endorsed. Read in Council, 15 April 1687. [Col. Papers, Vol. LX., No. 22.]
April 15.
Whitehall.
1,209. Order of the King in Council. Granting the petition of Richard Lavington, and directing a letter to be prepared commending his case to the care of Sir Nathaniel Johnson. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., p. 249.]
April 15.1,210. Proposals of the Duke of Albemarle to the King. 1. In view of the extreme abundance of pirates in the South Seas, I beg for two frigates, as not more but less costly than the two warships, the Falcon and Drake, which are now at Jamaica, and are to return home. If the Drake do not come home she will be unable to live in the sea. Besides, you promised the smaller vessel to Captain Monk, for which purpose he was taken from H.M.S. Crown, now at sea. About four months ago you and Mr. Pepys decided to send a frigate after me within that time, so I beg that I may have either the Greyhound or the Lark frigate with me. 2. Of late there has not been a friendly spirit among the leading men in Jamaica. Pray direct that all past differences may be laid aside, and empower me to restore as well as to suspend Councillors, for I wish to keep the Council always full. Copy. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Read in Council 15 April 1687. [Col. Papers, Vol. LX., No. 23, and (second proposal only), Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXI., p. 259.]
April 15.1,211. Minute of Council on the foregoing proposals. The report formerly made on the second proposal was confirmed, with the addition that the Duke of Albermarle may send over Sir Henry Morgan or Colonel Byndloss, if he see cause, with the affidavits taken in their justification. Draft. Scrap. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LX., No. 24, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXI., p. 260.]
April 17.
Jamaica.
1,212. Lieutenant Governor Molesworth to William Blathwayt. Captain Talbot's seizure of the unfree ships never came into question here except to give those concerned a pretence for mercy as not wilful offenders, but as misguided by former practice. No one was so stupid as to think that this custom would justify him against the seizure, had Captain Talbot proceeded as he ought to have done. Whether it was that he scorned to bring himself forward as an informer, or coveted a larger share than belonged to him, I cannot say, but certain it is that though the ship was taken in harbour, he libelled her as if taken at sea, thereby pretending unto half forfeit for himself and half for the King. Judgment was given against him, whereas had he brought his action at Common Law with a tanquam for the King and Governor as well as for himself, he would have had no difficulty. Had he appealed after sentence, I should have found some way to redress him. It was not any freedom granted by me that the owners had to depend on. I gave them no more than a certificate that the ships had been formerly condemned as unfree, and the King's part of the condemnation having been paid, the certificate, according to old custom all over the Indies, has been treated as tantamount to letters of freedom. It is the practice, that the first condemnation, by which the King becomes entitled to a ship, makes her free for ever. No sooner was judgment given for the defendants than they hastened to unload her and accomplished this in one night; so that if a fresh trial should be ordered no one could tell where to find ship or goods. Captain Talbot has only himself to thank for his disappointment. I have heard from the Governor of Providence, who desires to be annexed to this government, and to receive a Commission from it. They begin to see their error, and sue for protection with many protestations against receiving or encouraging pirates. It is reported that they were considering how to banish Pattison, who was chosen one of the Council, and was first or chief promoter of the design. From Bermuda I hear that many families were preparing to move thither, and I doubt not that many of the loose sort will join them from here if any encouragement be given. Should Providence be made a new settlement it may become very injurious to us, though less so if under our jurisdiction. I am told that there are about three hundred people dispersed among those islands who could all unite at Providence if the government were there settled. I have told their solicitors to apply to the King, and meantime to defend themselves as well as they can against the common enemy. They tell me of a large stockaded fort that they have finished, which could contain more than all the inhabitants they had there with them.
Courtney, who was lately acquitted on trial, was on the 14th condemned by the civil law for aiding and abetting pirates. Piracy has never received such checks as I have given it in the last few months, nor have we ever been so free as lately from such vermin. We may easily remain so if care be taken to prosecute them and their abettors. Among the minutes of the last Council you find a petition from Don Santiago de Castillo about a licence for exporting some of the produce of the island, upon paying here the full duty of its importation into England. This being illegal, we could not oblige him; but the Council asked me to recommend it for the King's special orders and point out that such a commission would be much for the advantage of the island, as well as of the King's revenue, and will interfere little with the Acts of Trade and Navigation. The commodity that they aim at particularly is sugar, which they can get from hence much better and cheaper than from Cuba. Signed, Hder. Molesworth. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXII., pp. 31–36.]
April 19.1,213. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Orders for sundry payments on account of fortifications and of negroes executed, and for rebate of duties. Confirmation of thirty-seven feet of land in New England Street, St. Michael's town, to Doctor Henry Birch. The Assembly attending, the Governor reminded them as to the cleansing of the port of St. Michael's, and the revision of the laws. The Assembly ordered three to be a quorum of their Committees in those matters, to which the Governor added one member of Council. Benjamin Skutt sworn of the Council. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., pp. 33–39.]
April 21.1,214. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Colonel Isaac Allerton sworn of the Council. On the death of Robert Beverley, ordered that the records of the Assembly be committed to the care of Ralph Wormley and Christopher Wormley, who will make them over to the Sheriff of Middlesex for return of Jamestown. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 237, 238.]
[April 22.]1,215. The Deputy Governor and Council of Antigua to Lords of Trade and Plantations. We have enquired into the petition of Margaret Henderson. Archibald Henderson obtained in 1669 a warrant for the grant of five hundred of acres of land to himself, David Arnett, and Christopher White. The ground was laid out accordingly, and Henderson entered into possession for himself and the others. In 1671 Henderson was sent prisoner to England by Governor Sir Charles Wheeler, but returned in 1672 and remained till 1674, when he was judged by Sir William Stapleton to be unfit to inhabit the island, and accordingly left it, leaving a power of attorney for sale of the plantation, which, however, was left waste till 1677. Then one Major Mussendon applied to Governor Philip Warner for a grant of the land, when it was considered to be forfeited, and Mussendon obtained possession. Some time after, John Gunthrop purchased the estate from Mussendom and improved it at great expense, whereupon Sir William Stapleton, for his encouragement, confirmed him in possession by patent. Moreover we cannot discover that Henderson ever put a hand to this land as enjoined by the Act, which was one of the reasons why Mussendon obtained his grant. Margaret Henderson began an action at law against Gunthrop here, but dropped it. Gunthrop himself is absent in New England, so cannot answer the petition. Signed, Ed. Powell, J. Parry, Will. Barnes, Ste. Winthrop, John Frye, Will. Thomas, Fran. Carlile, Archibald Cochran, Jno. Vernon, John Yeamans. 1½ large pages. Endorsed. Recd. 22 April 1687. Read 30th. Annexed,
1,215. I. Copy of an Act of Antigua for encouraging the settlement of the island, passed 11 April 1668. Large sheet. Endorsed. Recd. 22 April 87.
1,215. II. Return of the Surveyor, who laid out the land for Archibald Henderson and others. 16 January 1669. Certified copy. ½ p. Endorsed as the preceding.
1,215. III. Order of the Governor of the Leeward Islands in Council for the banishment of Archibald Henderson. 7 May 1674. Certified copy. 1½ pp. Endorsed as the foregoing.
1,215. IV. Copies of documents showing John Gunthrop's title to the land formerly granted to Archibald Henderson. 7 August 1677, 30 August 1677, and 17 September 1678. 3 pp. Endorsed as the preceding.
1,215. V. Grant by Sir William Stapleton confirming the said lands to John Gunthrop. 10 January 1681–2. Certified copy. 1 p. Endorsed as the preceding.
1,215. VI. Deposition of Archibald Cochran, Surveyor, as to the genuineness of the original warrant of 1668, Sworn 13 January 1686–7. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. LX., Nos. 25, 25I. –VI., and (letter only), Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., pp. 259–261.]
April 22.
Bermuda.
1,216. Governor Sir Robert Robinson to [William Blathwayt]. I arrived here on the 10th, when we were very welcome. On the 12th I asked Colonel Cony to summon the Council. I had my Commission read and took over the government, but only one of the Council attended. I then took advice about a new Council; I enclose the names of eight, and shall search out the other four myself. On the 20th we met in the Sessions House, sent to the captains for an account of the militia, then selected Justices, drew up Commissions, and ordered them to come and be sworn. There were none here before; it was as in Israel when there was no King. We have resolved on a General Assembly, but that cannot be before June, for the tobacco and corn must be looked after, there being promise of a great crop. There are also hundreds of orange trees with hopes of many oranges and other brave fruits. The next business will be that of those poor prisoners and that no care was taken of them; the next, what men there are able to bear arms; the next, an account of every individual person. The people are very ready to raise money for forts and for public buildings. I am living in a private house, the Governor's being ready to fall down. I told them to look to the forts first, the other public buildings next, and myself last. The present secretary desires to be excused of his deputyship. so I think Captain Tucker will have it, but he is sick and cannot go abroad. You may judge of the help that I am like to get, but I shall do my best. The whale-fishing season is half over before I came, so for want of materials nothing can be done till next year. I enclose account of stores received from Colonel Cony. Signed, Robert Robinson. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 30 June 1687. Enclosed,
1,216. I. Names of the Council of Bermuda, April 1687. Thomas Foster, William Pitt, Laurence Dill, William Greene, Richard Peniston, Perient Trott, Thomas Outerbridge, John Hubbard. Scrap. Endorsed. Recd. 1 July 87.
1,216. II. Names of the Justices of the Peace for Bermuda.
Hamiltontribe.Alfred Jones.
Smith's"William Peniston.
Devon"Joseph Dorrell.
Pembroke"Joseph Stow.
Pagett's"Francis Jones.
Warwick"John Darrell.
Southampton"Thomas Richards.
St. George's"Captain Tucker.
Scrap. Endorsed as the preceding.
1,216. III. Account of ammunition and other stores in the Sessions House, April 12, 1687. A very meagre supply. Endorsed. Recd. 5 July 87. [Col. Papers, Vol. LX., Nos. 26, 26I. –III., and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XVIII., pp. 110–113, and p. 115.]
April 23.
Bermuda.
1,217. Governor Sir Robert Robinson to the Earl of Sunderland. I have to acquaint you of the great inconveniences that accrue by binding people to one ship, instead of giving them liberty as elsewhere to give bond or take the consequences of violating the Acts. The King's loss here is now 100,000 lbs. of the last crop of tobacco, which lay for want of a vessel to bring it to England; and before Captain Bee goes away, which will not be before Christmas, the tobacco will be entirely spoiled and worthless. And as the King loses his dues, so do the poor planters their tobacco, that is, what was left after the hurricane last year. They make six to eight hundred thousand pounds according to the season, as I am credibly informed. I am advising about the appointment of an Attorney-General, and the erection of an Admiralty and a Custom House, which I think they have been very loose in. I shall go on with other things as fast as may be; but, Sir, consider the poor help that I have for these great things; one poor unpolished scribe cannot do the duty as it should be done. Signed, Robert Robinson. Holograph. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 5 July. Read 12 August 1687. [Col. Papers, Vol. LX., No. 27, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XVIII., pp. 113–115.]
April 25.1,218. Minutes of Council of Virginia. The Governor communicated to the Council the complaints of William Martin and William Gennes against Captain Crofts and the insubordination of Captain Crofts towards himself. Resolved that the Governor represent the matter to the King (see May 21).
The Attorney-General's petition for an increase of salary considered. Resolved that his case be represented to the King. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 239–242.]
April 26.1,219. Minutes of Council of Antigua. Order establishing fees for the judges in each precinct, viz., for every warrant in an action or of arrest, eighteen pence; for signing every execution, three shillings; for proving a letter of attorney, six shillings; for every attachment, eighteen pence; for every habeas corpus, eighteen pence; for every fine and recovery, twenty shillings. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVIII., p. 117.]
April 26.1,220. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. The Governor reported the operations of the parties against the rebellious negroes. They had marched through all the suspected district, destroying their provisions, grounds, and huts, and cutting the springes that they set for wild hogs, which (as was confessed by two prisoners) had reduced them to great distress and made them very sickly. They seemed to be dispersed into smaller gangs, which would never await attack, since the parties had not come up with them. Order for discharge of three of the parties. The Governor reported the expected arrival of the Duke of Albemarle, and suggested that he, being a peer of the realm, ought to be received according to his quality. Ordered thereupon that the Duke be entertained for three days after his arrival at the public expense, the Council to make the arrangements and to meet together to receive him. Order for payment of Captain Spragge's account for expenses incurred in the capture of Banister, and of Captain Robert Wardlow's claims on the same account. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXVI., pp. 168–169.]
April 27.
Custom
House.
1,221. Commissioners of Customs to the Lords of the Treasury. We have received the papers respecting the seizure of the ship Swallow with her lading of logwood by Captain Talbot of H.M.S. Falcon, as foreign-built ship and not made free according to the Act. It appears to have been a frequent practice in the Colonies for the owners and proprietors of foreign-built ships to procure the condemnation of such ships on very cheap and easy terms by compounding with the Governors for their share of the forfeitures and paying no more than the King's third part of the appraised value, themselves being the informers and prosecutors. By virtue of this certificate of condemnation the ships have thus been admitted as free within the tropics, which is a distinction of their own without any ground or colour of law. We understand that there are twenty sail more of foreign-built ships like the one under consideration, which trade as free ships under such certificates, and carry logwood direct to Holland or Hamburg without paying duty. We advice that the King call in all such certificates in Jamaica and elsewhere, and that after a certain fixed time they shall not be accounted valid. We hold, too, that the Governors of Colonies should be ordered strictly to enforce the Acts of Trade and Navigation, and in particular to suffer no unqualified ship with logwood from the Bay to pass under any pretext whatever. Signed, T. Chudleigh, D. North, N. Butler, Jo. Werden, J. Buckworth. Copy. 3 pp. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LX., No. 28, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXII., pp. 7–11.]
April 28.
Treasury
Chambers.
1,222. Henry Guy to William Blathwayt. Forwarding the report of the Commissioners of Customs of 27 April (see preceding abstract). ½ p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LX., No. 29, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXII., p. 6.]
April 28.
Whitehall.
1,223. Circular. Lords of Trade and Plantations to the Governors of Colonies. Ordering the publication of the proclamation for suppressing pirates and privateers. Draft, with corrections. 1½ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. LX., No. 30, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCVII., p. 239.]
April 28.1,224. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Petition of Major Thomas Long to be told the reasons why he is struck off the Commission of the Peace. Order to summon Colonel George Cocks, whose representations were the cause thereof. Petition of Major Thomas Long for the vacant shrievalty of Baltimore County granted. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LIV., pp. 93–95.]
April 29.1,225. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Colonel Lear informed the Council that the Indians were encroaching on the north side of the Blackwater. He and Colonel Cole were ordered to tell the Indians to move to the south side.
April 30.Order for the Clerks of the County Court to report to the Attorney-General half yearly what fines are to be levied. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 242–244.]
April 30.1,226. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Representation of the African Company as to the negro trade to the Leeward Islands read and referred to the Commissioners of Customs.
The Commissioners of Customs attended with a report as to the ship seized by Captain Talbot in Jamaica, and were ordered to take the Attorney-General's opinion thereon.
Memorandum of documents sent and received. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CIX., pp. 62–65.]
April 30.1,227. Commissioners of Customs to Lords of the Treasury. We have considered the proposal of the Governor and Council of Virginia that they be granted power to fix the value of foreign coin. We would refer you to our report of 27 September 1684, on an Act of Nevis for raising the price of money, and would add that no rate can in our opinion be set upon money except according to its intrinsic worth, nor any price upon goods except to rise and fall according to the scarcity and plenty. Should pieces-of-eight and the foreign coins be advanced beyond their worth by an Act in Virginia it would be a great hindrance to trade, and instead of a general benefit conduce only to the advantage of particular persons, who will by this means be enabled to defraud their creditors by paying less for their debts than they contracted for. It is proposed that all the King's dues should be advanced proportionably with the advance on foreign coin; but if money be frequently altered in value in this way the King's revenue must be subjected to frauds and difficulties of collection. We cannot, therefore, advise the passing of this Act. Signed, D. North, Jo. Werden, N. Butler, J. Buckworth, T. Chudleigh. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 3 May. Read 18 May, 87. [Col. Papers, Vol. LX., No. 31, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 134, 135.]
April 30.
Council
Chamber.
1,228. William Blathwayt to Henry Guy. Forwarding a representation from the Royal African Company concerning the negro trade in the Leeward Island, that the Commissioners of the Treasury and the Customs may state their objections, if any, thereto. Draft, with corrections. 1 p. Endorsed. The memorial was sent with this letter but never returned, nor was anything further done in the matter. [Col. Papers, Vol. LX., No. 32.]
[April.]1,229. Petition of the Royal African Company. Praying for orders to the Governor to put a stop to a practice of introducing negroes into the Leeward Islands from St. Eustatia. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed. Read in Committee 19 July 1687. [Col. Papers, Vol. LX., No. 33.]
[April.]1,230. Declaration of the Royal African Company of 28 December 1672, stating their prices for the delivery of negroes. Printed sheet. [Col. Papers, Vol. LX., No. 34.]
April 30.
Whitehall.
1,231. Order of the King in Council. That the Attorney-General cause the proprietors of Maryland and the Colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island to be prosecuted on the writs of Quo Warranto ordered on 10 and 17 July last. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LII., p. 109.]
April.1,232. Captain St. Loe's answer to the complaints of Sir James Russell (see No. 1,111). (1.) My orders from Sir James of 19 April 1686 were to cruise to leeward after a Spanish pirate, which I did, and finding intelligence of him, pursued him to Porto Rico. Finding no sign of him in the islands I sent my lieutenant in a boat to the Governor of Porto Rico to ask leave to wood and water and enquire privately after this pirate. What ensued has already been related at length (see No. 678v.). I am surprised that my action on that occasion should now be brought against me by Sir James as a crime, and that he should ascribe my hard usage by the Spaniards to the fact that I went there without his orders. I grant that his orders did not name Porto Rico, but they did tell me to pursue the pirate, and I conceived it my duty to follow him thither. It is unknown that the same instructions should order me to cruise, and yet tie me to a certain place. If his orders had confined me to certain latitudes it would have been a crime in me to have left them, but his orders were general, to pursue the pirates. (2.) My next crime is that I sent a sloop with provisions to Statia without leave. I can only say that the King's Commissioner of Customs, Henry Carpenter, having knowledge of frauds on the revenues by Dutch vessels lying at Statia, asked me to send a sloop to lie in that roadstead to see what vessels there were there that shipped sugar for the British West Indian Islands. As to his wearing the King's flag, I know nothing of it, and see no great crime in it since he was employed in the King's service. The provisions were all or nearly all brought back to Nevis. I think Sir James ought rather to have sent a ship to Statia himself than to have blamed me for doing that duty. (3.) As to my carrying Captain Sharpe from place to place, I can only say that when I received Sir James Russell's orders I went to Bermuda, examined Sharpe's commission, and, finding it wanting, seized him and his ship and crew, and asked the Governor daily to call a Court to try him. The Governor declined, having the King's orders to call no Court till further orders. I therefore took him and the ship to New England and desired the President several times to call a Court, but without result, so that I was forced to detain him, which was in accordance with my orders. (4.) Then I am accused of going to Barbados and cruising for three weeks for recreation. I grant this was not in my orders. I steered a course well to eastward from New England to avoid the shoals of Bermuda and Barbuda and touched at Barbados to water, the water there being wholesomer than any to leeward, and to try and find witnesses against Sharpe. The Lieutenant Governor having intelligence of the pirate Grammont, ordered me to stay and escort him to St. Lucia, which is in accordance with the King's orders. I then returend to my station. I know of no crime here. It is true that I am placed under the orders of the Governor of Nevis and the rest of the Caribbee Islands, but I am not thereby released from the obligation to obey Lieutenant Governor Stede's orders. In Sir James Russell's orders I am instructed to do a great many things and return by 20th October, without regard to wind and weather. My journal will show that I could not have returned earlier than I did. (5.) My next offence is that of asking Sir James Russell for powder, though he had already given me thirty barrels and could not understand how they were expended. I can only refer to the moderation of my expense of powder ever since I have been a commander, as shewn by my gunners' accounts. It is my duty to keep my ship fit for service. As to wanting a better pen to describe my insolencies, Sir James Russell's pen could have particularised them, if true, with as much ease as the other charges. (6.) Lastly, as to the occasion of sending the ship home in February. Her stores, says Sir James, were exhausted, or at any rate would not have carried her home, and she was short of ammunition. She had, as a matter of fact, three months' provisions, and did not want a great deal of ammunition. She was in good order, and fit to remain on the station. I told Sir James so, and offered to buy powder at Barbados, but he refused, saying he would not trust the King one penny, and that I must go home. So he sent us home, and we met with such weather that the ship was much shaken, and there was nearly as much danger of losing her and all on board as at Porto Rico, for which he blames me so much. Signed, G. St. Loe. Holograph. 6 pp. Endorsed. April 1687. Read at Committee 19 July 87. [Col. Papers, Vol. LX., No. 35, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., pp. 254–258.]