America and West Indies
October 1697

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Institute of Historical Research

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J. W. Fortescue (editor)

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1905

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1-4

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'America and West Indies: October 1697', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 16: 1697-1698 (1905), pp. 1-4. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=70936 Date accessed: 21 November 2014.


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Contents

October 1697

Oct. 27.
Whitehall.
1. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices of England. In reply to Mr. Vernon's letter of 21st inst., we represented to you on 26 July last the objections then made by certain persons against receiving convicts in the Colonies. The Agents of Virginia and Maryland in particular alleged that those Colonies had received such prejudice by the entertainment of convicts that they now precluded themselves by law from receiving them. We found no disposition to receive the fifty women convicts then in question except in the Leeward Islands, and we accordingly recommended that they should be sent thither. We can now add only that we know of no colonies except Virginia and Maryland which have passed laws against the reception of convicts (though Massachussetts has always desired to be excused from it); and we think that the unwillingness to receive convicts in other places is more or less according to the different circumstances of each place, and may vary according to the time in respect of war and peace, and always according to the quality and circumstances of the convicts themselves. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, John Pollexfen, Jo. Locke, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. pp. 187–189.]
Oct. 27.
Whitehall.
2. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices of England. Pursuant to your Order in Council of 23rd ult. we have enquired into the petition of the Proprietors of East New Jersey (preceding vol. No. 1,342). After inspecting their title we submitted certain queries to the law-officers, and obtaining their replies we find that the Proprietors have no manner of right to constitute ports, that before the separation of New York from the Jerseys New York city was the port for both, that it is against all rule in England to have two ports in the same river, that the merchants of New York have frequently complained of the harm likely to come to that city and province after the separation of the Jerseys from the province, and that such harm will certainly come if East New Jersey be allowed a free port. The most ever granted to the said Proprietors was by an order of King James II. in 1687, permitting ships to go direct to Perth Amboy, though on condition that officers were appointed to collect the same dues as are in force at New York. It has always been our instruction to all Governors of New York that no goods shall pass up the Hudson River without paying duty at New York. We think that the province, being the frontier of the British territories in those parts and therefore subject to greater risk of invasion and charge for defence, should be allowed to retain all privileges of this kind which do not infringe on the rights of others. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, John Locke, Abr. Hill, George Stepney. [Board of Trade. Proprietors, 25. pp. 176–185.]
Oct. 28.
Whitehall.
3. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices of England. In the draft instructions for Mr. Grey we inserted the names of fifteen persons whom we understood to be then, or to have been very lately, of the Council. We have since learned that mandates were given by the King in 1695 for the appointment of Richard Scott, Benjamin Cryer, Richard Walter and Thomas Merrick, to the Council, though owing to the miscarriage of the mandates by sea, these gentlemen have never been admitted. We submit it to your consideration whether their names should not be inserted in the instruction. At the same time the late Committee of Trade frequently reported their opinion that the number of Councillors should not exceed twelve, which we find to be agreeable to the Constitution of the Island and to former Royal Instructions. We think therefore that no more Councillors should be added till the number be reduced to twelve. Signed, J. Bridgewater, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. pp. 104–105.]
Oct. 28.
H.M.S.
Deptford,
Cowes.
4. Earl of Bellomont to William Popple. I fear I answered yours of 16th too hastily, which I was not aware of till yesterday when, reading it again, I was apprehensive that I mistook your meaning. I therefore sent for Mr. Brooke and Mr. Nicoll on board this morning, and they are of opinion that the King might dispose of several thousand disbanded soldiers in New York, and that it will in a short time prove and advantage both to the country and to them, but they doubt much whether the people of New York will be either willing or able to defray the cost of their transportation. They think too that the soldiers will hardly be persuaded to go there voluntarily, and that the way to effect their transportation will be to send them in a regular body and in the King's pay and to continue them some little time in pay, that they may have an opportunity of betaking themselves to husbandry or other ways of livelihood when they shall have come into the country and had a little time to look about them. This is the substance of their opinion in which I join them. Signed, Bellomont. 1¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. Read 1 Nov., 1697. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 50; and 52. pp. 285–286.]
Oct. 28.
H.M.S.
Deptford,
Cowes.
5. The New York Agents to William Popple. In compliance with your request through Lord Bellomont, we reply that New York will hold a greater number of men than the King will think fit to send. If he will transport some thousands of men in his pay to those parts and let them remain in his service, there will be no occasion to disband them involuntarily. In less than a year most of them will desire to be discharged and to make their own living, the wages of labourers and handicraftsmen being very high and provisions plentiful. Inland lands are to be bought at easy prices from the Indians, and a great deal of land already appropriated lies uncultivated for want of people and may be leased on very reasonable terms. Signed, Chid. Brooke, W. Nicoll. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 1 Nov., 1697. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 51; and 52. pp. 286–287.]
Oct. 29.
Crutched
Fryers.
6. Solomon Merrett to William Popple. I have received yours of yesterday with letters to be forwarded to the Commander in Chief in Newfoundland. I should be glad to send them, as it is very necessary, but this is not the time of the year to send ships to those parts, though possibly we may get in. About a fortnight ago we attended the Admiralty by request with some of the Newfoundland masters, who gave their opinion that it was possible to send a ship there with advice, and I have heard since that the Admiralty designed a ship to Newfoundland. This is the only opportunity that I know of, but the news that some of our frigates have arrived from Newfoundland may change the Admiralty's resolutions. Signed, Solomon Merrett. ¾ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 30 Oct., 1697. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 88.]
Oct. 29.
Waterstock.
7. Sir Henry Ashurst to Council of Trade and Plantations. As to your question what provision can be made in Massachusetts for disbanded soldiers who are willing to transport themselves thither, I must submit that, having no directions from the Colony therein, I can only give my own opinion. The charge of transportation is so great that if any number of men were sent over, the merchants usually had four or five years of their labour to reimburse them. Many ships have been built and manned of late years in New England, which has drained the country of men, for, having no sea-commanders nor seamen in proportion to their shipping, they have been forced to take land-men. On their arrival here both the one and the other were pressed into the King's service, which prevented them from returning, while many taken by the French died of their hard treatment. If the King would be at the charge of transporting two or three thousand men to New England and allow them four months' subsistence they would have time to turn themselves out and obtain good wages, and the remainder (sic) may turn farmers. No doubt gentlemen will employ them and give them corn and cattle to stock the ground. If you desire it, I will refer your question to the Colony for a fuller answer. Signed, Hen. Ashurst. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. Read 1 Nov., 1697. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 128; and 36. pp. 318–319.]
Oct. 29.
Whitehall.
8. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices of England. After consulting with the Agents of Jamaica, Barbados and the Leeward Islands we find that they desire men-of-war to attend those Colonies as has formerly been practised in time of peace. We therefore recommend one fifth-rate to be appointed for Barbados, one fifth or sixth-rate for the Leeward Islands, and one fourth-rate and one sixth-rate for Jamaica, each of them to be relieved annually by others of like force. Signed, Ph. Meadows, John Pollexfen, Jo. Locke, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. pp. 182–183.]
Oct. 29.
Admiralty
Office.
9. J. Burchett to William Popple. The Admiralty, having received no answer from you to their letter of 20 September as to the alteration of the numbers and rates of the ships attending the Plantations, command me to acquaint you that they have thought it necessary to send orders by the ships going to New England for the ships that are now there to come as soon as they arrive, not knowing but that the said ships might sail before the receipt of an answer from you, whereby the opportunity of sending these orders might have been lost. Signed, J. Burchett. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 30 Oct., 1697. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 70; and 34. p. 192.]
Oct. 29.
Admiralty
Office.
10. J. Burchett to William Popple. The Admiralty have this day ordered an advice-boat to be fitted out at Plymouth to proceed with the notification of peace to Jamaica, Barbados and the Leeward Islands, which vessel will shortly be ready for sail. The Admiralty desire to know if the Council of Trade have any despatches to send by her. Signed, J. Burchett. ¼ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 29 Oct., 1697. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 71; and 34. p. 193.]
Oct. 29.11. Memoranda of the receipt of the preceding letter. ¼ p. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 45; and Leeward Islands, 5. No. 59; and Jamaica, 8. No. 73.]
Oct. 30.
Whitehall.
12. William Popple to J. Burchett. Both of your letters of yesterday have been laid before the Council of Trade and Plantations, by whose orders I send you packets for Jamaica, Barbados and the Leeward Islands, to be sent by the advice boat from Plymouth. I enclose also a letter to the Commander-in-Chief of the forces at Newfoundland, to be sent to him if there be opportunity, or if not to be returned to me. The Council of Trade on the 19th laid before the Lords Justices their opinion as to the men-of-war that should attend Barbados, Jamaica and the Leeward Islands in time of peace. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. p. 194.]