America and West Indies
July 1691, 1-10

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Institute of Historical Research

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J. W. Fortescue (editor)

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1901

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479-502

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'America and West Indies: July 1691, 1-10', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 13: 1689-1692 (1901), pp. 479-502. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=70706 Date accessed: 21 September 2014.


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Contents

July 1691

July 1.
New York.
1,605. Proclamation of the Governor of New York. For allowing ships to be fitted out against the French. Copy. Large sheet. Endorsed. Recd. 6 Sept., 1692. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. No. 35.]
July 1.1,606. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Lady Culpeper's petition, praying for the royal approbation of the patents granted to the late Lord Culpeper for the land between the Potomac and Rappahannock, referred to the Lords of the Treasury.
July 2.Draft charter for Massachusetts read. The following minutes for a charter agreed to. (1) That a Governor and Deputy or Lieutenant-Governor be appointed by the King during pleasure. (2) That the Deputy-Governor enjoy the Governor's powers during the Governor's absence. (3) That there be a General Court or Assembly chosen by the freeholders. (4) That the Assistants or Council be chosen by the General Court. (5) That the General Court meet once a year or oftener, as convened by the Governor. (6) That the Governor with the advice of the Council choose the judges, sheriffs and justices of the peace. (7) That members of the Assembly and all judges, etc., take the oath and test. (8) That the word freeman be everywhere changed to freeholder. (9) That the first Assistant preside in the absence of the Governor and Deputy-Governor. (10) That proxies be allowed at elections. [Board of Trade. Journal, 7. pp. 30, 31 ; also (so far as concerns Massachusetts) Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., pp. 273, 274; and (so far as concerns the first paragraph) Board of Trade. Virginia, 36. p. 70.]
July 2.
Whitehall.
1,607. Order of the Queen in Council. That the bills drawn by Governor Kendall on the Commissioners of the Navy for victualing of the squadron be accepted.
Memorandum that the Lord President procure this order. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VIII., pp. 240–242.]
July 2.1,608. Deposition of Sir Timothy Thornhill, before Governor Kendall. At the taking of St. Christophers Colonel Codrington sent down a sloop of his own with sugar to St. Thomas's for sale, and two sloops for the like purpose to Curaçoa. On seeing the sloops again laden for the same purpose deponent entreated him not to incur the penalties prescribed by the Acts of Navigation, but was told by Colonel Codrington to mind his own business. Signed. Tim. Thornhill. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 456. No. 30.]
July 2.1,609. Deposition of Joseph Crisp before the same. Deponent though much ruined by the rebellion at St. Christophers went with others to serve as a volunteer under Colonel Codrington at the recapture of the Island. Colonel Codrington declined to accept him as an officer, though he had long served as a major in the militia of St. Christophers, and he therefore entered as a private and served as such during the recapture of the Island. The General there took advantage of his knowledge of the hiding places of the negroes to propose to him to transport them clandestinely to his own plantation at Antigua, thus defrauding the Army of its just due. Deponent was to receive one fourth of the negroes so recovered for his share. General Codrington also kept several dangerous French prisoners and parties of negroes to cultivate indigo for him in St. Christophers, to the great peril of isolated families in the Island. For these prisoners came down from the mountains suddenly and forced many planters to desert their settlements. Deponent went out to fight these negroes and found many branded with General Codrington's mark. A hundred more French negroes branded with the General's mark were also discovered by an officer in Bolton's regiment. Again a French prisoner who had fled to the mountains and joined the rebel negroes was dismissed without punishment by the General on being captured by deponent, and presently returned to St. Christophers with accomplices and did greater mischief than was done at the first capture of the Island. The General kept two large sloops constantly at work carrying spoil to his plantations at Antigua or merchandise to St. Thomas and Curaçoa; he also took for his own use negroes and cattle belonging to the English inhabitants of St. Christophers, though claimed by their owners. He further gave valuable slaves to French prisoners, though he refused everything to the ruined English, thus destroying all their zeal for the capture of Guadeloupe. He also gave a commission to a Frenchman to command a company of French mulattos, which were employed not for the King's service, but to make indigo for the General. It was also reported that the General had declared he would not give Sir T. Thornhill the two thousand acres of land in St. Christophers granted to him by the King. Signed. Jos. Crisp. Countersigned. J. Kendall. 5 pp. [America and West Indies. 456. No. 31.]
July 2.
Albany.
1,610. Dirck Wessells to Governor Sloughter. The Maquas having delayed to come I paid a visit to their castles. I found those of the first and second castles ready with their canoes and victuals and that they had been ready to march for a week but had waited for those in the third castle, who were so busy lamenting the death of a Sachem, who never did good in his lifetime and whose very death was prejudicial to a good design, that they had forgotten their business. I sent an express to them that this was no time to dally, and they answered immediately that they would spare seventy-four men and provisions and send them in three or four days. Those of the first and second castles will be at Senectady to-day and leave only one old man behind them. Provisions are ready for them there. We have strictly forbidden the sale of rum for three days till the Maquas be passed by, else they would fall drinking and neglect their business. In my absence two men were killed while making hay in a very dangerous place. I received the news in the Mohawks' castles, and they were much concerned at it. So all of the first and second castles will go out, and clear the coast as they go. We have doubled our watch and find so few in town that we are amazed. I wish you would send an order that none shall be excused watching at this juncture but the present Magistrates and Officers of the Courts; for if the old officers be excused there will be no watch. Pray send up the men, for we ought to have a garrison at Canastagione and the Half Moon, that patrols may pass constantly from the Half Moon to Senectady. Copy. 1½ pp. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. No. 36.]
July 2.
Albany.
1,611. Robert Livingston to Governor Sloughter. Mr. Wessells has told you of his difficulties with the Maquas (see preceding abstract). They expected a considerable present when he came, to wipe away their tears, and told him that they had waited so long for the Christians last year that he could wait for them now. I wish to God we had such a force that we needed not to depend on such a broken reed as these heathens; but for the present there is no help for it: they must be tenderly handled. It is deplorable how men will expose themselves without cause. Two men crossed the river Canastagione to make hay in the most dangerous place in the province. The French Indians killed one, and we know not if the other were shot in the river or carried off prisoner. Three shots were heard, but nothing seen but the canoe in which they crossed sunk in the water. A party of horse found one of the men dead in the water. All the farmers round about were warned. This is the worst time of the year, with harvest just at hand. Another such occurrence would leave all the corn on the ground, and send the farmers flying into town. The people at Half Moon dare not stay without a garrison. I will tell them you will send up men as soon as you reach New York, for the people are very timorous, there not being a hundred men in the town. Abraham Schuyler has just come from the Mayor, saying that all is ready and waiting only for the Indians. All the men well and cheery. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 6 Sept., 1692. Printed in New York Documents III., 783. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. No. 37.]
July 2.1,612. Stephen Wessendunk to ? . Two days before my departure from St. Malo I heard from a French sailor that the New England people had plundered Chapeau Rouge, St. Pierre, and Plaisance in Newfoundland. Signed. Stephen Wessendunck. ½ p. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 173.]
July 2.1,613. Charges against Governor Codrington by Sir Timothy Thornhill. (1.) He has not taken the oaths to observe the Navigation Acts since his appointment as Governor, but has violated them. (2.) He imposed an oath unauthorised by Act of Parliament on Sir Timothy Thornhill's regiment. (3.) He arbitrarily refused permission to trading vessels that came to the Leeward Islands to leave again, on pretext of defence of the Islands. (4.) He arbitrarily imprisoned men without charge or trial, and would not state the charge when required. (5.) He was chiefly responsible that the whole of the French Islands were not destroyed. He promised all the plunder of the French to the troops, but when the fort was ready to surrender at discretion gave the French such terms as made his own troops feel humiliated beside them. Though he said he would not touch a penny of the plunder he charged the army with £4,000 or £5,000 for hire of his sloops, which were employed chiefly on his own account, though the Island undertook to pay for such expenses. He also charged the army with £1,500 for clothing, of which most was sold at Antigua. The rest he charges for provisions, and on this score he has taken and sent away six or eight hundred negroes and sent to Curac[Illegible]oa £15,000 worth of produce, cattle, etc. (6.) He called Mr. Hutcheson to his Council of War, who has never sworn allegiance, and has used disloyal language of King William. (7.) He did not divide the plunder of St. Christophers within five months after taking it, nor did he return the French prisoners. His grasping and avaricious disposition alienated officers and men, and led to the shameful evacuation of Guadeloupe. Signed. Tim. Thornhill. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 18 Jan. 1891/2. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 4. No. 1; and 44. pp. 15–17].
July 2.1,614. A true state of the case of the treatment of Sir Timothy Thornhill's regiment. In August, 1689, Sir Timothy at great expense raised a regiment of 700 men, which was sent down in sloops to the help of St. Christophers, at that time attacked by the French and Irish. On reaching Antigua he received news that St. Christophers was taken, and orders from Governor Codrington to stay at Antigua till his arrival. The regiment accordingly stayed there three months, during which time there were extraordinary rains. The regiment was kept inactive and lost 200 men from sickness, though attack on the French Islands was feasible and the troops would have been welcome at Nevis. But Governor Codrington having an estate at Antigua, was resolved to secure it. At length the men at Nevis, as well as the regiment at Antigua, died so fast that the Governor was prevailed upon to let them sail to Nevis, which they did in their own sloops, brought there from Barbados, for which the Leeward Islands now refuse to pay. In Nevis the regiment was encamped about two months till the Island's provisions failed, when Sir Timothy, unwilling to go away and leave the Islands in that miserable condition, proposed the taking of St. Bartholomew's and St. Martin's, which was done. At his return, the regiment being all naked, the Island of Nevis paid 100,000lbs. of sugar as damage for a captured sloop, and voted the regiment 135,000lbs. of sugar for three months, till our fleet came. At this rate the private centinels received about fourpence a day. On the arrival of the fleet the regiment embarked for St. Christophers, served through the recapture, and was sent on to recapture St. Eustatia, during which time the rest of the army got all the plunder of St. Christophers. Governor Codrington sent 800 negroes to Antigua for his share, and prodigious quantities of produce of St. Thomas and to Curac[Illegible]oa for sale. Antigua had £22,000 worth of negroes sent up, besides other food to the value of a million of money; though it was agreed in the Council of War that the plunder should be equally divided. After the return of the regiment from St. Eustatia nearly the whole of the militia returned to the several Islands, but the whole of Sir T. Thornhill's regiment was kept from June till January following, doing equal duty with the Blue Regiment, with promises from Governor Codrington of reward from the plunder or of the King's pay. Yet, though it stands recorded that this regiment was the only means which preserved the Islands, when the regiment was sent home in January, the plunder handed to it did not exceed £2,300, which the colonel distributed to the regiment. What has been given to those troops that remained behind, the Colonel does not know, but it was agreed by the Council of War that the shares should be equal. The regiment now finds that after six months' starving and duty at St. Christophers they have no return but delusive promises and breaches of faith from Governor Codrington, insomuch that if further assistance were required for any further enterprise, the private soldiers of Barbados would die sooner than serve under his command; for they know that the failure of the attack on Guadeloupe was due to the mistrust of him by his officers owing to his covetousness and unseasonable devotion to the French ladies. Being cajoled with false promises, his own men went to Guadeloupe with him, but seeing the same game playing as at St. Christophers, left the Island almost in panic. Signed. Tim. Thornhill. 3½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 18 Jan. 1691/2. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 4. No. 2, and 44. pp. 22–26.]
[July.]1,615. Petition of Edward Thorne to the King. In 1689 I, having a large store of arms and ammunition by me, in my zeal for the public service went to St. Christophers and supplied £500 worth to the garrison. Soon after I was sent with Mr. Joseph Crisp to Barbados to ask for help. On our return we find that the French had taken St. Christophers and Anguilla, and I was sent with 100 men to retake the latter. I was also at the recapture of St. Christophers and St. Eustatia, and the capture of St. Bartholomew's and St. Martin's, in all of which great plunder was taken and reward was promised me by Governor Codrington. Yet I have not received a penny, the Governor keeping all the plunder for himself, except a small matter given to his own inhabitants. On my departure for Barbados I was commanded on shore by the Governor and imprisoned nineteen days, whereby I lost my passage in a man-of-war and had to hire a sloop, which was captured by the French. Hereby I lost £1,000, besides two months' imprisonment. I beg your orders to Colonel Codrington to pay me what is due for my goods. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 18 June, 1691/2. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 4. No. 3, and 44. pp. 21, 22.]
[July.]1,616. Petition of Joseph Crisp to the King in Council. At the beginning of the war with France I had a large estate in St. Christophers. At the outbreak of the Irish rebellion I was sent over to Barbados to get assistance, but before it could arrive the Island was surrendered, and I lost everything but a few slaves and a sloop. This vessel was constantly required by Governor Codrington for alleged public purposes, and was at last taken by the French. For this and for other goods supplied to the Governor there is due to me £2,048, as by enclosed account, of which despite the Governor's promises I have received nothing. On returning to St. Christophers General Codrington would not let me have my own negroes, enriching himself by all the plunder, French and English. I petitioned to you sometime ago, when you directed that Governor Codrington should report (see No. 1503), but I made no mention of the negroes taken from me nor of the money due to me. I beg your order to the Governor to restore the one and pay the other. Annexed,
1,616. I. Statement of Joseph Crisp's claim against the public service of the Leeward Islands, £2,048. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 4. Nos. 4, 4I., and 44. pp. 18–20.]
July 3.
Antigua.
1,617. Governor Codrington to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I take up Mr. Fletcher's narrative from the 1st of May, on which day he sailed for Barbados. On the following day we began our battery against the cavalier, finished it by Tuesday evening (5th May), mounted two guns and played on them that night. On the 6th we mounted a third gun and fired for the next four days without any return from the French. On Monday 11th the French began to repair their breaches but were soon forced to retire; and that day we battered down their house in the fort, but they repaired the breach in the cavalier. On Wednesday 13th we heard of twelve sail of topsail vessels; and about 8 p.m. the Antelope, which had been cruising, confirmed the report. On this Captain Wright sent to me for his sailors, whom I at once ordered on board their ships. I sent out two sloops that night, who returned next morning with the news that eleven topsail vessels had gone into the Cul de Sac of Guadeloupe. These last fourteen days were extremely rainy, which caused much sickness among our men and disheartened them; besides there were few days on which we were not skirmishing, with loss on both sides. On the morning of Thursday 14th Captain Wright sent me a message, that a Council of War of his Captains had unanimously decided to sail with the whole squadron in pursuit of the French fleet, and that he desired to know whether I would immediately draw off the army. I at once mustered my men and found them to be 1,100 men besides officers, and called a Council of War. Taking into consideration the raininess of the season, the sickness among us, our scarcity of ammunition and provisions, the chances of the enemy being reinforced from Martinique and the consequent risk of being outnumbered, it was resolved unanimously that, since the squadron was about to sail and that our own small craft might be destroyed by the French and our retreat cut off, we should embark the men with all speed. This resolution was most repugnant to me and I opposed it with all the arguments in my power, observing that the French suffered as much from scarcity of stores as ourselves, that there was no certainty of reinforcements from Martinique and if so there was no hazard, and that if such reinforcements did come the whole French interest would be greatly endangered, for in the event of our success Martinique must fall an easy prey. Again, should we have the worst of it, we have the squadron to protect our Islands, which would be little the insecurer for our defeat while we were masters at sea. On the other hand success would secure our Islands even without the help of a fleet. Finally I pointed out that we were expecting a large reinforcement from Barbados, for Mr. Hutcheson had not returned, whereas his orders were to return instantly if his mission failed; I added that though we might not attempt much against a great force we could perfectly defend ourselves, for we had not seen a place in the Island which could not be effectually defended by 500 men. But, for all my arguments, the departure of the squadron influenced officers too strongly on the other side; and yielding to them I gave orders for the troops to embark that night. After the Council of War I returned to my quarters, grieved at the thought of abandoning an Island which was already half conquered, and finally came to the resolution, notwithstanding the Council of War, not to desert the Island but to hold it as long as possible in the hope of troops from Barbados, and that I should be necessitated before their arrival to make a fair push for it, provided Captain Wright would leave me the five hired merchant men to protect our small craft and cover our retreat in case of need, and would at once go in chase of the French fleet with the seven frigates and fireship that remained to him. I sent a message to Captain Wright to apprise him of this resolution, and received for his answer, that he would not leave me a single ship nor venture an action without the whole of his force; for he must be careful of the King's ships and not divide his strength; that he would rather all the Leeward Islands were destroyed than H.M.S. Mary, and believed the loss would be greater to the King. He added other expressions of his hatred for the Islands and his indifference as to their preservation, concluding that I might do what I would, but that if I did not embark that night he would sail without me.
On receipt of this answer I went on board of him myself, but nothing I could say would move him, the treatment that I received from him being then, as before and since, very coarse and unseemly between men in our positions. "Zoundsing" and huffing made up the best part of his discourse with me, the rest being invectives against the Islands and resolutions to thwart everything that could be for the public service. Accordingly I ordered the troops to be embarked, which was done that night. Next morning (15th) I went aboard Captain Wright. The small craft bore to leeward and the frigates and hired merchantmen stood to windward. So far for occurrences from the 1st to the 15th of May. Nothing has been wanting on my part for the public service, and I think you will see how faulty Captain Wright has been. I have already sent home an account of his proceedings to the 3rd of April, from which you will judge how cold he has been in the King's service. You will see that he has not mended his ways since.
The merchant ships which he pressed at Barbados he kept for two months, for no manner of use, and was then for discharging them, just when the forces were coming into action, so that, having deprived the King of their services in Europe, he might do the like here. Lately, when they might have been of great use to us, he would not leave us a ship of them, although he had under his command seven frigates and a fireship, any three of which might have engaged the French eleven sail, eight of them being merchantmen and deeply laden, while of the three men of war, two were very small and the third about forty guns. On Sunday, 19th April, there were ten men killed and wounded on board of him, and twenty on the other frigates by the fire of the shore-batteries—all due to his foolish firing which served no end but to waste ammunition in bravado. He was going to drop anchor off Baylief, without considering why or wherefore; which, had he done, we should be in all probability have been driven ashore. As it was we narrowly escaped. I told him that our landing place was further to leeward, and therefore begged him not to fire, which would encourage the other frigates to fire and so needlessly delay us, but he thought fit to follow his own fancy, with the consequences above narrated. Thereby also we lost our landing that night, which we might otherwise have gained at our first designed landingplace, before any great number of the enemy could have been collected to oppose us. It is true we were afterwards very lucky in our landing, but that was a chance which he could not reason to foresee nor expect. Indeed, his bearing away so far to leeward that day gives ground for suspicion that he designed us neither a fortunate nor a speedy landing. Such another night's work might have put off our expedition, for all our small craft were without water, and most of them very dull sailers, so that the greatest part of them would have fallen to leeward to one island or another. Again, the morning we landed, he ordered his pinnace to tow his long boat ashore. I asked him how I was to land. He said he knew not and that he had provided no boat for me. I saw that an affront was designed, but wishing to hasten the landing of the troops, I asked him to give me his yawl; which he did. It would be tedious to tell you of all the indignities put upon me by this peevish man. I could have overlooked it in small matters, had I not found his temper the same in matters of the greatest consequence. Indeed I know not one important thing that he has proposed for the King's service since his coming, nor one proposal made by others as to the fleet that he has not thwarted. And that he has done as little as he has proposed, he must himself confess. Yet he has not wanted for opportunities, as this and my former letters will show.
To return to our operations, on the 15th we stood to windward all day, but could not weather the Saints. On Saturday morning, 16th, Captain Wright with the squadron bore away to one of the hired merchantmen which had broke her fore-yard. I begged him not to do so, since thereby the French would get out of the Cul de Sac and escape before we could get to windward again, a misfortune infinitely greater than the temporary separation of a merchant ship. (I must do Captain Leech, the captain of another merchantman, the justice to say that in the service of Guadeloupe he has shown great zeal and readiness. He was the only engineer I had, staid constantly on shore with me, directed our batteries and plied our guns. I have reason to believe him very well affected to His Majesty, and I recommend him as a good man.) But to return to Captain Wright, I told him further that one frigate was quite sufficient to help the merchantman, and that I thought it strange to take the whole squadron. He answered that he knew his business and would not be directed by me, so we bore away till 2 p.m. and then stood to windward again, whereby it was next morning before we could weather the Saints. As we began to stand to windward, Captain Wright asked me what we intended to do. I answered that I believed our design was to pursue the French fleet and if possible to surprise them in the Cul de Sac. He then, as usual, began to raise all possible objections, too tedious and trivial to be set down here. At night we were intermixed with the French fleet, and about 8 p.m. the Mary hailed a ship which we have since learned to have been French. On Monday 28th, by break of day we spied some of the French ships, and presently had them all in view, being to windward of many of them. Ducas, the French commander, was somewhat to windward of the Mary, plying close under the Mariegalante shore to southward, but by reason of the land could not go on the other tack nor lie so near the wind as otherwise she might. The Antelope was then to leeward of us, and in chase of a French ship to leeward of her. Captain Wright believing or pretending that the Antelope was a French ship bore away after her, and would not stand after Ducas, in spite of my remonstrances, to which he answered, as usual, that he knew his business and was not to be directed by me. We bore away after the Antelope above an hour and spent much time also in getting out the long boats; and though Captain Wright perceived her to be the Antelope, he continued his chase, firing guns and lowering his topsail to call her from the chase of the French ship. We then stood after Ducas, we being almost at the northernmost and he at the southernmost point of Mariegalante, where I believe we might have cut him off had we started at first. As soon as he stood after Ducas Captain Wright made signal for line of battle, whereby he effectually prevented the chasing of any French ships, which were scattered to and fro, and being deeply laden must otherwise have fallen into our hands. But it seems that Captain Wright's new way of fighting is to bring his squadron in line of battle as a rational way to pursue scattered ships. Had he met the enemy in line I have reason to believe that he would not have put forth this signal but found some parallel new method of fighting. Captain Daniel of the one of the hired ships pursued a French ship and ran her into the Saints. He shot away her top mast and killed a great many men, but did not dare to board, she seeming to be full of men, while he had but thirty hands. Captain Haughton of the Bristol was near and I believe would have boarded her, but for the signal aforesaid. Captain Wright about 4 p.m. discontinued the chase and bore away to the rest of our squadron, which was to leeward. I entreated him that the chase might be pursued, and had it been so the enemy's heavy sailers must undoubtedly have fallen into our hands. I must mention that Ducas, the French Commander, had made all possible sail, whereupon I begged Captain Wright to do likewise; but on the contrary he lowered his topsails, saying that otherwise he would bring his topmast by the board. I answered that he ran no greater risk than the chase, which was carrying top-gallant sails. Indeed I learn since that Ducas spent his main top-mast and was obliged to lie under Dominica all next day to mend it, which makes it doubly unfortunate that the chase was abandoned.
On Tuesday morning the 19th, Captain Wright was for making the best of his way to Barbados to convoy the merchantmen thither, adding that he wanted provisions and would not starve. I answered that I believed that most of the ships had over one month's short allowance, as in truth they had, and that if he pleased he might have all the beef in one of the merchantmen, which was over a month's full allowance for the whole squadron, as I had contracted for it for that very purpose. But he absolutely refused it, while still pretending want of provisions as a reason for going to Barbados. I could not see what danger the armed merchantmen could incur, for most of the French ships were merchantmen, and the rest too much frightened to go cruising while our squadron was abroad. The utmost that could have been needful would have been to see them safely some leagues to windward of Mariegalante, and then to make for Martinique and wait for the French ships to come in. Had he done so most, if not all, of them must have fallen into his hands. This I have ascertained from various persons since, as also that on their arrival bonfires were made and several healths drunk to our Admiral's main topsail. I learned also that Mons. d' Eraigny, the French general, was on board Ducas, and had brought from Martinique all the King's troops, between 700 and 800 men, and had landed them at Guadeloupe, but as soon as they saw our fleet had re-embarked them, in consternation how they should ever get back again.
Finding myself unable to deter Captain Wright from his resolution to sail for Barbados, I told him that he had received the Admiralty's commands to remain in these parts till further orders, and that by his instructions he could not go anywhere without my leave and approbation, which I could not and would not grant for his going to Barbados. He gave me his usual answer, saying further that soon after his arrival in Barbados he would sail direct for Old or New England with the whole squadron, as it was out of repair, leaving only a ship for Barbados and another for the Leeward Islands. I asked him why the Antelope and fireship should not be left, to which his answer was, "Zounds, do you think I shall stay here to command three or four ships?" I told him that I thought it would be no dishonour to him to command no more than a single ship for the Queen's service, and I put to him plainly the advantages of his staying and the disadvantages of his departure. He answered in his usual style, saying that if the Leeward Islands were lost it was no great matter, as Barbados and Jamaica would supply England with sugar enough. All therefore that I could do was to return to my Government, and take the best care of it that I could, since this gentlemen had managed affairs so exactly to the wishes of the King's enemies. At first he refused to let me have a frigate to take me and the Blue Regiment to the Leeward Islands, until I pointed out how penal such behaviour would be. That night we anchored on the North West side of Mariegalante. On Wednesday the 20th Captain Wright held a Council of War and appointed the Jersey and Antelope to take me and the regiment, though he asked for part of the regiment to be left on board the Mary, for all that she was the best manned ship in the squadron, for her security as far as Barbados. From this and other of his actions I am in doubt whether fear or disaffection has the greater influence on him. I arrived at Antigua on the 22nd, and on the 26th had a meeting with the Council, Assembly and military officers, who addressed me to ask that Captain Wright might be prevented from carrying away the squadron, as he had declared that he would. I at once despatched orders to Mr. Hutcheson by the Antelope directing him to apply to the Governor there. His account will show you how agreeably Captain Wright demeaned himself then. As Captain Wright has none of the King's money, his sick seamen must be paid for out of the four and a half per cent. duty. It is better that part of that fund should be diverted from its appointed purpose than that so many good subjects should perish. And as touching this revenue, not a sixpence of it has been disposed of in the Leeward Islands, and my agent writes from Barbados that he has sugar to the value of £4,000 or £5,000 which he cannot dispose of but at great loss. The result is that the regiment is in arrear, and that the duty is anything but an encouraging and speedy pay for them. It would be better for everyone that this revenue should be shipped home as it used to be, and the produce kept, if need be, as a particular fund for this particular service.
There has been great mortality at Barbados of late, especially among the seamen, to the vast detriment of the merchant fleet now there. I hear that they sail on the 8th. Part of our fleet sailed ten days ago without any convoy, except the Jersey for a short distance. Sickness was increasing so violently among them that I yielded to their entreaty that they might not be detained. The remainder will be convoyed by the Tiger, prize, which is too unserviceable to be kept out here. I am told that the Bristol is worse than she, so shall send her home as soon as she arrives from Barbados. In the late expedition to Guadeloupe we lost near 300 men killed and dead of sickness; the enemy confess to a loss of 150; but the damage that we did there amounts to fully half a million sterling. The Leeward Islands have been very sickly of late, especially Nevis, where people continue to die at the same rate. They say there are 600 or 700 widows there. I cannot have more than 1,700 men now in my government, apart from the Blue Regiment, which just now does not exceed 400 men. Let me repeat that a hundred men detached from old troops are worth 200 new raised. The squadron ordered to remain in these parts consists of six ships, the Mary, Assistance, Jersey, Antelope, Hampshire and St. Paul. Captain Arthur, as senior captain, commands, who with these ships, though in as bad condition as Captain Wright represented them, will I doubt not do more in a few months than has hitherto been done. And this leads me to my last remark about Captain Wright. Some time since, in conversation with Captain Wickham of the Antelope, he spoke to the effect that he wished he were out of command and that if he were he would fight on neither side, for he did not know how the game was going and what card might turn trumps—a most ingenious confession of an abject mind, who, not out of conscience, but out of cowardice, was at a stand to choose his side. You will now judge how far he is to be trusted. Captain Wickham has given this account of him publicly at Barbados, from whence I believe that the depositions will be sent you.
Captain Arthur since his coming has forced one ship ashore at Martinique and taken another in sight of the French ships. He has also chased one of their men-of-war, as his enclosed letter tells at length. It will be observed that the enemy suffers as much as ourselves from sickness. The merchant fleet mentioned in his letter passed to leeward of this Island, stood to northward on Sunday, 28th June, and alarmed us. Had Captain Arthur cruised a week sooner, a great part of them might have fallen into our hands, for which failure we have to thank Captain Wright, who arrived at Barbados on Saturday, 30th May, but signed no orders for cruising till the 17th of June, although daily importuned to it by the Governor and others. When at last he did it, it was reluctantly and from downright fear of the treatment he might receive from Governor Kendall. That gentleman's sincere friendship and assistance makes his neighbourhood of great advantage to me in all my difficulties. Since my receipt of Captain Arthur's letter, the Mary, Assistance and St. Paul have come here, and the Jersey has returned from convoying the homeward fleet, having seen it clear of the Islands. I design forthwith to embark 150 of the Blue Regiment on board the frigates and send them to Barbados, with orders to cruise a little about Martinique on their way. I hope that on their arrival they will meet the two convoys and stores expected from England, and then we shall be seven frigates and a fire-ship, well equipped with provisions, gunners' and boatswains' stores. Masts and yards are most wanted; we got a mainmast at Barbados and a main top-mast here for the Hampshire; the rest of the ships can make shift for a time, but it would be well if a fly-boat were despatched to New England to bring masts to Barbados for the use of the West Indian Squadron. Meanwhile I, and I believe the Governor of Barbados also, shall write to the Governor of New England to tell him of our want, and procure the masts to be sent to Barbados. Bills shall be drawn on the Commissioners of the Navy. I hope that those I have already drawn have been met, or we shall lose credit in these parts. The foregoing will show how weak these Islands are. Nothing but naval superiority can save us, so I hope that, as soon as it can be done, you will raise our force to twelve frigates and two fireships, with additional strength according to your information of the French designs. It would be well too for the present squadron to be replaced by fresh ships.
I must remind you of the inconvenience of the division of command by land and sea between distinct hands. Such a misfortune as a second Captain Wright may not occur again, but the more surely the two authorities are united the greater will be the efficiency of our operations, especially if we make further attempts on the French Islands. In such expeditions unless the land-commander has absolute command of the squadron, he can have little satisfaction or certainty in any undertaking. Moreover, without the power of appointing and displacing commanders, other authority over the squadron will be of little value, for this hope of reward and punishment is what compels officers to faithful duty. Were this authority entrusted to the land-commander a squadron might be made active and serviceable, which is not the case at present, when the misconduct of commanders can only be examined at a great distance of time. Let me add that to grant flags to the King's officers in these parts only increases their vanity, without profit to the King's service. I understand that Governor Kendall has no control over the squadron, which is very inconvenient, for there are many services which he might direct with advantage were it under his command. You will now gather that these Islands are in no condition to make any further expedition against the enemy. The most I can hope to do is to raise 500 men and send them, with the remains of the Blue Regiment, to help Barbados, if she should make any such attempt. The burden of the war has so far fallen on the Leeward Islands, and we are too much weakened in men and estates to bear it longer as principals. I have before now pointed out to you the advantages of a total destruction of the French Islands and that 2,000 men from England, with the help of Barbados and ourselves, could effect it. I am still of the same opinion notwithstanding our losses, for the enemy has lost as heavily as we, and such force of good old soldiers would hearten these Colonies to a great effort. The fort at Martinique is, I am told, as strong as any in Europe, and a siege could not be undertaken without a force of experienced soldiers. The rest of the Island could be easily ruined, and for such work, lasting two or three months, planters are sufficient, but not for a tedious siege, for they cannot be kept longer from their estates. If such an enterprise should be determined on, I doubt not that you will send the requisite material and a sufficient squadron of ships. And, that the King's expense may not be thrown away from want of compliance in these parts, let me repeat the recommendations of my letter of 26 November, for increasing the Governor's authority while the present war lasts. I am strengthened therein by the obstacles that I encountered in raising men for the late expedition. You will have seen how few of us understand or are willing to pursue; and it is certain that, however willing we are, this change will not make us less so, and will conduce to greater rapidity of action than can otherwise be hoped for. Meanwhile all that can be expected of our squadron is to cruise and harass the enemy, wherein I doubt not that they will do much damage. Captain Arthur is preparing fireworks at Barbados, and with these and the fireships hopes to give a good account of the ships at Martinique.
Your letter of 24 November I have long since received and shall answer by next opportunity. I beg to return my acknowledgments for the expression of the King's approbation. Let me mention that Lord Archibald Hamilton has shown great zeal and gained honour and esteem both in fleet and army. He served as my aide-de-camp at St. Christophers and as Lieutenant-Colonel of the Marines at Guadeloupe, in which services he was as much exposed as any private centinel, and showed a resolution becoming to his quality and a discretion far beyond his years. I beg also to recommend Captain John Pigott for a military command, who has served well in the late as in former expeditions. He is returning to Europe in hopes of serving the King there. His father is, I believe, a gentleman of considerable interest in Ireland and has suffered greatly by the late rebellion there. I will engage for his loyalty and courage. Signed. Chr. Codrington. 14 closely written pages. Endorsed. Recd. 14 Sept., 1691. Presented to the Committee, 22 Sept., 1691. Read 23rd. Annexed,
1,617. I. Proposals of Archibald Hutcheson, relating to the West Indian Squadron. (1) The ships are so unserviceable that they must go either home or to New England to refit. If they go to New England the work will be done cheaper, the ships can return sooner, they can get men, they can bring masts and yards, and they can convoy traders. (2) But unless the frigates can lighten to a draught of ten feet they cannot enter the dock at Boston and must go to England. In such case Captain Wright proposes to send the merchant fleets of Barbados and the Leeward Islands under different convoys. To this I must object, (3) that the Royal instructions order the ships to sail in one convoy, so that the squadron may not be weakened. If the ships appointed to convoy are insufficiently manned they are not fit for the duty of convoying; if they are fit, men can be left to strengthen the squadron in the West Indies, for ships going home for repairs do not need as many men as ships taking convoys. The two merchant fleets can easily be united and union will be a strength to both. (4) If the two fleets be after all sent home by two different convoys, then I must ask that the convoy of the Leeward Islands be the stronger, as it is far the weaker fleet. It is absolutely necessary that I be informed as to this, that the Leeward Islands may take their measures accordingly, on hearing from me. (5) As to the ships left in the West Indies, the sick men must be brought ashore and carefully tended, when they will quickly recover. If they stay on board they will only die in crowds and infect the healthy. If Captain Wright have no money for the purpose the expense must be defrayed from the four and a half per cent. duty. I can pledge myself to obtain the necessary orders for the purpose. (6) After the landing of the sick, the Mary and Assistance should start at once to cruise about Martinique for three weeks, taking some of the Antelope's men to strengthen them if need be. The Antelope could follow when the sick men are restored. The Hampshire should be at once sent to Antigua with me, whence the Governor will send her to join the other cruisers, which after the end of three weeks should return to Barbados, unless otherwise ordered by Governor Codrington. By that time stores and fresh frigates will have arrived, and some enterprise may be undertaken against the French. As the Admiral refuses to use the provisions furnished by Governor Codrington, on the ground that they are not good, there is no more to be done on that hand. But as he pleads the want of bread, orders have been given to furnish it for bills of exchange. If these be not accepted the bread must be impressed. 3 pp. Endorsed. 8 June, 1691. Read. 14 Sept., 1691.
1,617. II. Copies of letters from Archibald Hutcheson to Governor Kendall and Captain Wright. To Captain Wright, 8 June, 1691. Your resolution to sail home or to New England contrary to the Royal Instructions and your orders not to send a single ship to cruise or convoy without Governor Codrington's orders or direct orders from England, have compelled His Excellency and Council to dissuade you from any such proceedings. Your leaving Guadeloupe without proposing anything further and without giving the Governor any account of the state of your squadron made it impossible to know what orders to give you, but he has sent me an order requiring you and your squadron to return to Antigua. Considering however that this order might retard the King's service I am commanded to ask Governor Kendall to advise you, and, on your compliance with that advice, not to deliver that order. As you have already changed your resolutions, I have nothing to add to the first part of my instructions: as to the second part you will herewith receive his Excellency's sentiments and can judge whether compliance therewith will promote the King's service.
To Governor Kendall. 8 June, 1691. Pray give cover to the foregoing letter to Captain Wright and acquaint him with your sentiments as to the affairs of the squadron. I have drawn up the enclosed proposals (see Enclosure No. I) which are submitted to you for your decision. I know that they will be approved by Governor Codrington, and I hope will be complied with by Captain Wright, which will prevent the necessity of delivering him the order to return to Antigua. The gentlemen of the Leeward Islands seem resolved to finish their work at Guadeloupe, being encouraged by the arrival of Captain Gainspoole, who is thoroughly acquainted with the Island, its forts and strong places. He proposes to reduce it with a much smaller force. He brought recommendations from the King to Governor Codrington as a man to be consulted in all operations against the French Islands. They are inclined to start on the new expedition on the arrival of the convoy and stores from England, but this will depend on the assistance that you can give us. 1 p. Endorsed. Read 14 Sept., 1691.
1,617. III. Archibald Hutcheson to Governor Codrington. Barbados, 19 June, 1691. On Saturday, 13th May, the fleet having brought the news of our leaving Guadeloupe, the Governor summoned the Council and disembarked and disbanded the regiment. Four or five days afterwards I received your letter, and two days later the Antelope arrived with your account of Captain Wright and the application of the Council and Assembly of Antigua that he should not be allowed to take the squadron to New England. On the 31st May I met Captain Wright at the Governor's and found him fixed in his resolution to take the squadron home or to New England, the ships being unserviceable, stores of all kinds lacking, most of the men dead, and the remainder sick, so that they were in no condition to face an enemy. I begged that the ships might be surveyed and an account of their stores taken, as also of the men, sick and well, so that such as were really unserviceable might go to New England, and the rest remain; also that provisions might be made up in all of them to a month's allowance. I pointed out further that the gunners' and boatswains' stores would last a month or six weeks longer, as there had been little occasion to use them; that all the sick men ought to be brought ashore; that if he were short of money it could be provided out of the four and a half per cent. duty; that he could gradually man his ships from the trading vessels that arrived at the Islands; that meanwhile Governor Codrington would lend him some of the Blue Regiment; and that the enemy had also lost many men and had no ships of great strength. I added that our cruisers would awe the French, harass the people ashore and take many of their ships; whereas, if our squadron went away, our trade would suffer and the Leeward Islands be harassed, if not taken; and I urged that at such times we ought to do our best for the King's service with what resources we had, no matter how inadequate. Such were my arguments, which had little weight with a man who had made up his mind; but Governor Kendall took my side, and then finding himself under compulsion, he consented that a survey should be made. Orders were given for the purpose, and he then called a Council of his Captains and pressed, with what interest he could, that the squadron should return to Europe; but the majority outvoted him, saying that there was no pressing necessity yet to send home more than the Bristol and the Tiger. The next point to gain was that some of the frigates should be sent cruising, but I found that Captain Wright's objections were now improved to keeping the ships in port till the expected stores should arrive from England. So matters rested till I received your packet by Captain Wickham, and communicated it to the Governor. Two days later the Council and Assembly met, and Captain Wright in Council consented that the squadron should stay, though it was much against his inclination. In conversation with me he said that he wished the Leeward Islands were sunk, as it would be less loss to the King than the frigates which I had desired might stay here. I remarked to those present that we could not expect him to do much in our defence. Nothing further is done, so I have reduced what has passed to writing. My letters, as you know, are dated 8th June, but it was the 17th before anything could be got done. Then the Princess Anne was ordered to convey the Barbados merchant fleet, and the Bristol and Tiger that of the Leeward Islands. Captain Arthur also received the command of the Mary, which with three others was ordered to cruise about Martinique, where the Antelope and Jersey should join them. Between the 8th and 17th Captain Wright as usual did nothing but object to all measures for the King's service. It was long before I could persuade him to obey the directions of yourself and the Council of War, and when I referred him to his own instructions, he fell, "Zoundsing" and saying that had he known his authority would be so much modified, he would never have come to these parts. On receiving my proposals and Governor Kendall's letter he grew wondrous wise in an instant and for the first time was all obedience to your orders, asking me for your order to him to proceed to leeward. I pointed out that your only object in the order was to send him cruising, and that he might reasonably do so without orders; but, to be plain with you, I see nothing in his conduct but desire to obstruct the service of the squadron. One day the squadron wanted no provisions, another day they wanted only bread, and at last I found it wanted bread, beef and pease. Yesterday the Tiger had a month's bread put on her, and I never heard that it was wanted till that very morning. The sick are now brought ashore and Captain Arthur has lost no time in preparing to cruise. The Mary, Assistance, Hampshire and St. Paul sail tomorrow, and the Hampshire will take me to Antigua. Captain Wright goes home a passenger in the Princess Anne, being indisposed in mind and body, as he has every reason to be. Governor Kendall lent us the provisions prepared for Salter's regiment, and what was lacking was made up by drawing bills on the Navy Board. None were willing to accept them in payment till I produced your press-warrant. So much for my negotiation; and we are well rid of a lazy, doubting, perpetually scrupulous commander, thanks chiefly to Governor Kendall, whose zeal and pains have been all that was possible for the King's service. Copy. 5½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 14 Sept., 1691.
1,617. IV. Captain Robert Arthur to Governor Codrington. H.M.S. Mary between Dominica and the Saints. 28 June, 1691. Since the 23rd we have cruised to windward of Martinique. On the 24th the Assistance sighted a vessel standing to N.W. We both chased, and came up with her in the night and next morning engaged her, but she gained so much on us that she made her escape. The Assistance lost one man killed. Hauling to the S.W. close under the shore we saw two sloops, and capturing one found that the vessel we had chased was the Seahorse, 50 guns, one of the convoys to a fleet of twenty-four sail that sailed hence four days ago. We learned also that Ducas is in Port St. Pierre, Martinique, with four ships, very sickly. The sickness drove the East Indiamen of the merchant fleet to sea, not having men to man them. Another ship is at St. Pierre, having suffered much in an engagement with one of ours. No ships have arrived from France these five weeks, and though no merchant vessels are expected, men-of-war are waited for daily. I send you a prisoner, who says that he is master of a sixteen-gun ship, now in the Cul de Sac. Our chasing the men-of-war so far to leeward has frustrated our beating to windward of Martinique, by reason of little wind and strong currents. I shall, therefore, anchor under the west side of Mariegalante. We are very weak in men. I have lost thirteen since I left Barbados. Pray send me 200 of the "Blue-coat" soldiers in the Hampshire and Jersey. Signed. Robt. Arthur. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 14 Sept., 1691. [America and West Indies. 551. Nos. 28, 28 I–IV., and (without enclosures) Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43. pp. 380–414.]
July 3.1,618. Abstract of the letters from Alexander Hutcheson of 3 June, and from Governor Codrington of 3 July. (See Nos. 1557, 1617.) 6 pp. [America and West Indies. 551. No. 29.]
July 3.1,619. Extracts from Governor Kendall's letter of 4 April, 1691, and Governor Codrington's of 15 February and 3 July, 1691, relating to Captain Wright. (See Nos. 1384, 1617.) 13 pp. [America and West Indies. 551. No. 30.]
July 3.
Treasury
Chambers.
1,620. Secretary of the Treasury to William Blathwayt. Desiring his attendance with a report on the matter of Lady Culpeper's petition (see No. 1514 I). Signed. Hen. Guy. ½ p. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 45, and Board of Trade. Virginia, 36. p. 70.]
July 4.
Barbados.
1,621. Governor Kendall to Lords of Trade and Plantations. On the 6th of April, a convoy of fourteen merchantmen sailed, and on the 11th an advice boat brought me the good news of four months' provisions coming for the squadron under convoy of two frigates. This greatly encouraged the people here, who had but a melancholy prospect of their estates, considering that the French had already five men-of-war in these seas and expected more by the end of the year. On the 16th of May, the Hampshire frigate arrived from Guadeloupe, with Mr. Hutcheson on board, who was sent by General Codrington to tell me how prosperously he had landed in Guadeloupe, burnt the chief town and was besieging one of the forts. He hoped to take this last in a few days but said that he could not perfect the destruction of the Island unless I sent him a regiment from hence. I had already appointed officers for a regiment in case one should be wanted against Martinique, and chosen Colonel Salter to command it. I now sent for him to raise a regiment, and he said that he could do so if I promised the men that they should not be sent to the Leeward Islands (which they dread as much as certain death) but that they should be transported to attack Martinique when their service at Guadeloupe was over. I gave him an assurance as to the first point but could make no promise as to the second, not knowing in what condition our forces might be to attack so powerful an Island as Martinique. Then remembering that even if I raised men, I had no arms for them, I found it impossible to perfect this work without the help of the Council and Assembly. On the 12th of May they met, and I laid the project before them with all the arguments that I could advance, and with such success that they gave me generous assistance, and also passed a tax for repair of the forts and payment of the debts of the Island. So diligently was the work pressed forward that by the 29th of May six hundred men, besides officers, completely clothed and well-armed were embarked in one large ship and three sloops, with ammunition and six weeks' victuals. The frigate was ordered to sail with these vessels on the morning of the 31st, but on the 30th we were alarmed by the sight of ten large ships which at last turned to be Captain Wright's squadron. Being unwell himself he sent Lord Archibald Hamilton to inform me of General Codrington's withdrawal from Guadeloupe; adding that the squadron had fallen in with the French fleet but had been so unfortunate as not to take one of them, and that about twenty leagues to leeward of Barbados they had seen five French men-of-war. These I have since learned, were lying in wait for our regiment; so that if contrary winds had not beat our fleet back, our regiment would probably have have been totally destroyed, because General Codrington gave me no intelligence of his hasty retirement. I have great reason to complain of this. Having ascertained from Lord Archibald that there would be no present use for the regiment, I ordered them ashore again and disbanded them, giving the men their clothes and a crown apiece to encourage them, and the officers my thanks for their zeal. None the less I shall lose two hundred of these men, for they have been hired for the fleet, which has lost great numbers of men from a contagious distemper.
The people here and in the Leeward Islands are now much incensed against Captain Wright, as will be seen in the two addresses from the Assembly. I shall give no opinion as to who and what are responsible for the miscarriage. Captain Wright and General Codrington accuse each other; but of this I am satisfied, that if Captain Wright had followed my advice, Martinique would long ere this have been in a miserable condition. He is going home so can answer for himself, but I must complain that I was granted liberty only to advise him, whereas the General of the Leeward Islands and the Council of War had power to command him. I assure you that this lessens me much in the estimation of this Government, but I am yet more concerned that it has hindered me from doing the King very considerable service. I beg you to represent the matter to the King, for if he decide that it shall still be so, I must and shall be contented. With great pains and persuasion I have at last prevailed with Captain Wright to send four ships to cruise off Martinique for twenty days, under the command of Captain Arthur, a very bold man, who I hope will follow my instructions and make the French understand that we have changed our commander.
Violent sickness and the chance of war have so decreased our number in all the English Colonies that we can make no further attempt on any French Island without reinforcement from England; but by putting three or four hundred men in the fleet, we can, if it be well managed, do the French more mischief than by landing two or three thousand men, for the French are generally well fortified and intrenched, particularly at Martinique, which has two forts as regular as any in Europe. But the appearance of our fleet will cause them to break up their forces to defend several landing places, which will keep them in constant hurry and alarm, destroy many of their men and give us the chance of landing small parties to destroy their settlements that lie near the sea without risk. This could easily be done if we have a gentleman of good sense, well affected, and a seaman, to command the fleet. If it be not presumptuous I would suggest Sir Francis Wheeler.
The ships returned from Guadeloupe so much infected that if I had not ordered the sick men ashore and taken the utmost care of them, our ships of war must have been unserviceable; but as it is we have three ships cruising off Martinique, and next week I hope to send the Antelope to cruise to windward of us and save us from the French picaroons, who have taken many of our provision ships. I have supplied many of the ships with provisions, and design to repay myself in specie when the victuallers arrive, having no power to draw bills on the Commissioners of the Navy. I hope that you will see that I do not suffer for my zeal. Pray remember how short I am of arms. This very fleet which bears this letter will pay the King £100,000 in Customs. Pray give me the means to defend the Island with honour. I should not do justice to Lord Archibald Hamilton, youngest son to the Duke of that name, if I did not assure you that he has shown more prudence and conduct than perhaps was ever seen in so young a gentleman, and as much bravery as any man living. He has now served over three years in H.M. ships, came over with me as a volunteer, and has served for over twelve months as youngest lieutenant on board the Mary. He goes home as eldest lieutenant of the Tiger, prize. At St. Christophers he served as Aide-de-camp, and at Guadeloupe he commanded the Marines regiment with great applause. Colonel Nott can give you particulars of his behaviour, having been an eye-witness of his acts. He himself is an excellent officer and deserves your favour and protection. Sir Timothy Thornhill has desired me to send you the state of the regiment that he carried down from hence for the preservation of the Leeward Islands. Not above ninety men returned here again, who complain much of their ill-usage, and told such stories of their miseries that it is impossible to raise men to go there.
So much for our present posture of affairs. In regard to civil matters I must point out the inconvenience of granting out the offices of this Island by patent in England. Every office of profit now is no sooner vacant than it is begged for by some one or other in England. Formerly, all offices relating to the Island in general were given by the Governor, and the subordinate places by the officials above them, as the Marshal by the judges and so forth. I know that the King and your Lordships are strangers to the inconvenience of the present practice, and I must point out that it is a disservice to their Majesties, discouragement to Governors and prejudice to the Islands. First it lessens the authority of the Government and brings it into contempt. Governors cannot reward merit nor ensure the due execution of justice, since they cannot appoint persons whom they know to be qualified, and it is reasonable to suppose that a Governor on the spot can better judge of well qualified persons than people far away in England. Again, the best of the offices are granted to non-residents and enjoyed by three, four and even five farmers and sub-farmers. It must be mere chance if they are executed by qualified men, and it is not unreasonable to believe that such underlings will stoop to base and unworthy practices to make their market out of offices. The Governor has no check upon them. If he had the appointment of officers, matters would be very different. As it is, justice is obstructed and the Government discredited. The hardships to the Governor are many, but I shall name one only. He has not power to choose his secretary, but must be content with such clerk as the sub-farmer of the lessee or purchaser shall think fit to allow him. The Public Secretary claims all profitable business, even fees for the great seal, which is in the Governor's custody. Again by Act of Parliament the Naval offices are entrusted to the Governor under great penalties; so it is hard that they should be patented away, and that the Governor, who is responsible, should not have the power of choosing persons that he can confide in. Further, there is the danger of many offices being engrossed in a few hands; whereby the Governor is prevented from distributing them among good and honest persons; and it is hard that all the records of Courts of Justice and estates should be entrusted to such persons as the farmers think fit to instal, when the profits would ensure the employment of an honourable man. It is not less unreasonable that the Provost Marshal's office should be given by patent than the Secretary's, for he answers to the Sheriff in England, and the office for execution of the law should not be bought and sold. I beg that the offices granted by patent may be vacated and the appointment vested in the Governor. If it be objected that the King will be lessened in his opportunities of obliging and rewarding those who have claims on him, I would reply that by the same reasoning the King might appoint to all the minor offices in England, and with good cause, for offices in England are more valuable than here; but he does not do so in England, there is therefore the less reason why he should do so here, especially when the inconveniences are so great. Finally the benefit of the public is always of greater account than the interest of private persons. Signed. J. Kendall. 7 closely written pp. Endorsed. Recd. 5 Nov., 1690. Read at the Committee 7 Nov., 1691. Annexed,
1,621. I. Address of the Assembly of Barbados to Governor Kendall. Reporting that Captain Wright had said that he would not fight for the King and would prefer to fight for neither side until he saw how the issue would go, and praying the Governor to take notice and measures thereon. Signed. G. Payne. 10 June, 1691. Copy. ½ p.
1,621. II. A second address from the Assembly of Barbados to Governor Kendall, asking him if it be safe for the merchantships to sail under convoy of a vessel commanded by Captain Wright. Signed. G. Payne. 18 June, 1691. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed. Received 6 Nov., 1691. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 4. Nos. 66, 66 I–II, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VIII., pp. 255–271.]
July 4.1,622. Duplicate of the foregoing (without enclosures) addressed to Lord Nottingham. [America and West Indies. 456. No. 32.]
July 4.
Barbados.
1,623. Governor Kendall to [the Earl of Nottingham?]. Since I finished my general letter Sir Timothy Thornhill has asked me to recommend him to you, being informed that General Codrington is about to resign his commission or is likely to be removed in consequence of the heavy complaint against him. Sir Timothy having saved the Leeward Islands from invasion with his regiment and distinguished himself greatly at the capture of St. Christophers and St. Eustatia, presumes that no one has better pretension to that Government than himself. His actions have shown him to be brave and indefatigable, and by the conversation that I have had with him here he appears to be a very ingenious man. He knows the way to beat the French and has influence with the inhabitants, so I believe he will serve their Majesties faithfully. Signed. J. Kendall. Holograph. 1 p. Endorsed. R. Nov. 6, '91. [America and West Indies. 456. No. 33.]
July 4.1,624. Minutes of Council of New York. Colonels Bayard and Smith, Major Ingoldsby, Captains Van Cortlandt, Merritt Schuyler, de Key, Wilson and Gore, appointed a Committee to inspect the fortifications. Warrant for payment for flour sent to Albany for the Canadian expedition. Resolved that one be sent home to England to represent the state of the Colony; and a Committee appointed to consider his instructions and expenses. Augustine Graham appointed Surveyor General in place of Alexander Boyle, deceased. Order for survey of land in Staten Island for William Britton. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., pp. 268–270.]
July 6.1,625. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Petition of Sir Joseph Hern and others, praying for grant of the sole trade of all the seas and lands discovered by Sir Martin Frobisher and others in the search for the north-west passage, referred to the Attorney-General for report. [Board of Trade. Journal, 7. p. 31.]
July 6.1,626. William Blathwayt to the Lords of the Treasury. In the matter of Lady Culpeper's petition (see No. 1514 I), Lord Culpeper and others obtained a grant of the Northern Neck of Virginia in 1649 and a second grant in 1669, for an annual rent of £6 13s. 1d. In 1673 Lord Culpeper and Lord Arlington obtained a grant for thirty-one years of the remaining part of Virginia, including Accomack and the northern part of Carolina, and the former rent was remitted, only the fifth part of gold mines and gold ore being reserved to the King. In 1684 Lord Culpeper in consideration of £700 paid down and an annual payment of £600 for twenty-one years restored to the King all his estate in the southern part; but it appears that King James II. confirmed the Northern Neck to him by a new grant, and that his agents have enforced the grant. Lady Culpeper now asks for further confirmation of this grant, and for the upholding of the agents. The Council of Virginia has complained of the behaviour of the Agent, Philip Ludwell, which leads to quarrelling and trouble. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 36. pp. 71–74.]
July 6.
Barbados.
1,627. The Clerk of Assembly of Barbados to William Blathwayt. Forwarding the Acts passed from 2 September, 1690 to the 18 June, 1691. Signed. G. Payne. ½ p. Endorsed. Recd. 5 Nov., 1691. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 4. No. 67.]
July 7.1,628. Minutes of Council of New York. Warrant to impress men to replace deserters from the Archangel. Some Indians from the highlands of the Hudson attended and renewed their friendship. Jarvis Marshall appointed Marshal of the Admiralty and Water-bailiff.
On the receipt of letters from Albany confirming the news of French designs of invasion, ordered that Connecticut be called upon to furnish 150 men forthwith. Order for copies of the Acts to be furnished to the Sheriffs. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., pp. 265, 266.]
July 8.1,629. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. John Heathcot returned as member for St. James. A petition for compensation for damage done by the French referred to assessors. Order for the new writs returned and the claims for compensation to be referred to the Assembly. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 77. pp. 88, 89.]
July 8.
Barbados.
1,630. Sir Timothy Thornhill to the Earl of Nottingham. I thank you for the favour you have procured me from the King of a grant of two thousand acres of land in St. Christophers. I hope that we may keep the Island that I may enjoy it. Since my last I went from Barbados to the Leeward Islands expecting to attack Guadeloupe, and ordered my regiment from St. Kitts to Antigua. But the General has so cheated those that served under him that they would be executed where they stood, before they would go under his command. I waited three months expecting service until the fleet was ordered home, when Governor Kendall ordered me back hither and General Codrington discharged my regiment. Indeed we could not have subsisted longer for want of provisions; but I will not trouble you with our miseries and ungenerous treatment at the General's hands, for the state of my regiment has been sent to you, but I tell you for truth that I got not the value of sixpence of anything belonging to St. Christophers and St. Eustatia. On my return to Barbados I found the fleet ordered to stay here longer. It presently went down [to leeward] and after three months longer staying below, the General with fair promises got from his Government men enough to make up, with the Marines and the Blue Regiment, a force of fifteen hundred men. With these he attacked Guadeloupe, and being well landed ran off in distraction at midnight, to the general astonishment, leaving his mortar, shells and wounded men behind him. He now charges the Admiral with the blame. I now beg your favour in doing justice to a regiment that has done good service and has endured hardship without the least recompense. The raising of the regiment and my own expenses in the service cost me fifteen hundred pounds. Governor Kendall told me that General Codrington would resign his government and begs me to apply to succeed him. I therefore take the liberty of doing so, begging you to pardon my presumption. Signed. Tim. Thornhill. One closely written page. [America and West Indies. 456. No. 34.]
July 91,631. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. The following minutes agreed on for the Charter of Massachusetts. (1) The General Court to have power to erect Courts of Justice. (2) Probate of wills, etc. to be in the Governor and Council. (3) On appeals, the security to be equal in value to the matter in difference. (4) Laws to be transmitted without delay. (5) The time of the King's confirmation not to be determined by a year. (6) All officers except judges, sheriffs, justices and those especially relating to the person of the Governor, to be chosen by the General Court. (7) The Governor to have a veto of all laws and other acts of the Assembly. (8) The power of the Militia to be in the Governor, excepting the transport of inhabitants outside the Colony, which is not to be without the consent of themselves and of the General Court nor without martial law executed by the consent of the Council. (9) All Admiralty rights to be in the Governor by commission from the Lord High Admiral. (10) Fairs and markets to be appointed by the General Court. (11) Liberty of conscience to all Christians except papists. (12) The Agents to name a time of year within which the Government must call an Assembly. (13) If the Governor do not call it within that time, the Deputy Governor may call it and (14) if the Deputy Governor neglect to call the Assembly within a month the Council may call it. [Board of Trade. Journal, 7. pp. 32, 33; and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., pp. 274, 275.]
July 9.1,632. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Summoning Messrs. Samuel Allen and Gorges and others interested in the boundaries of New England to attend the Committee on the 13th July, when the consideration of the draft charter for Massachusetts will be held. Draft. 1 p. Endorsed. 9 July, 1691. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 174.]
[July 9.]1,633. Petition of Ferdinando Gorges to the King and Privy Council. Recites his claim to the Province of Maine, and begs that it may not be given to Massachusetts as he has sent persons to take possession of it. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 9 July, 1691. [Board of Trade. New England, 6. No. 175.]
July 9.1,634. William Blathwayt to Mr. Sotherne. Asking for copies of all orders and instructions issued to Captain Wright by the Admiralty. Draft. ½ p. America and West Indies. 551. No. 31.]
July 10.
Admiralty.
1,635. J. Sotherne to William Blathwayt. Forwarding copies of Captain Wright's instructions. Signed. J. Sotherne. ½ p. [America and West Indies. 551. No. 32.]
July 10.1,636. The Committee of Maryland to Governor Sloughter. We have already addressed you to congratulate you on your arrival; and although we have not perhaps been thought worthy of an answer, yet our alarm at hearing that the Senecas have concluded a peace with the French makes us request your advice and the best intelligence that you can give us on this and all other matters relating to it, not only by the bearer, but at all other times and occasions that affect the King's service and the common weal. Signed. Ne. Blakiston. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 1 Sept., 1692. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. No. 38.]