America and West Indies
May 1698, 6-10

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

J. W. Fortescue (editor)

Year published

1905

Pages

191-206

Annotate

Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'America and West Indies: May 1698, 6-10', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 16: 1697-1698 (1905), pp. 191-206. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=70952 Date accessed: 25 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

Contents

May 1698

May 6.
Cockpit.
430. Council of Trade and Plantations of Mr. Secretary Vernon. We have already answered one of the enquiries in your letter of 25th ult., and now inform you that we believe the question of provisions for Newfoundland to be already settled with the Victualling Board. As to the return of the soldiers from thence, since the convoys are not to come home direct, we recommend that the Admiralty be instructed to order the Commander-in-Chief of the convoys to agree with any of the fishing-ships there that are bound homeward direct for the passage of the soldiers aforesaid. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. pp. 211–212.]
May 6.431. Memorial of Edward Walrond to Council of Trade and Plantations. Governor Codrington, being resident at St. Christophers when the King's letters arrived to give an account of Mons. Pointis's squadron, a Council of War was convened by order of Lieutenant-General Thomas Hill at Antigua, when it was thought expedient to open the packet at once, though the Governor was absent. The purport of the packet was that the Governor should prepare to defend himself in case of an attack on the Leeward Islands. The packet also contained directions that he should not fail to order the inhabitants wholly to desert the French part of St. Christophers and discourage settlement thereon; but instead thereof the Governor inveighed against the impudence of the Council of War in opening packets addressed to him, and did what in him lay to suppress the knowledge thereof from the inhabitants thereof, threatening Major Joseph Crispe for divulging the same, Major Crispe having received an account from Mr. Blathwayt as to the orders given respecting the French part of the Island. Nevertheless Major Crispe discovered the contents of his letters to the intent that the inhabitants might no longer be deceived nor wholly ruined by the Governor's repeated abuses. Lieutenant-General Hill in particular has since discontinued the improvement of his plantation in the French ground. Major Crispe's testimony will confirm the truth of this, but all that I have said is confirmed by several who were of the Council of War when the packet was read. The Governor has drawn off some of the inhabitants of the northern plantations for the settlement of St. Christophers, as also some planters from Barbados, by giving them warrants for land on the French ground. He has even given warrants for the same land to three or four persons, so that by his deception they have spent their time and substance fruitlessly in improving land which is now restored to the French. He gave the late Governor Francis Russell a warrant for the plantation of Madame Salinave, whose husband had deserved well of the English. The King ordered everything to be restored to her, but the Governor granted away her plantation as aforesaid, hoping to benefit himself by the friendship of Governor Russell's family. Governor Russell discovered this a little before his death and resented it accordingly. Could a greater indignity be offered to one of Governor Russell's quality? This general disobedience to the King's orders is supposed to arise from Governor Codrington's insatiable avarice, for he has no fewer than sixteen coppers in two several works in St. Christophers, with which he makes a vast quantity of sugar of which he sends the greatest part to St. Thomas's and Curacoa, to the diminution of the King's revenues. When Captain Frederick Weighman, now dead, commanded H.M.S. ship Colchester, the Governor gave him orders (which orders I have seen, in the hands of Weighman's nephew) to take Captain John Perrie to St. Thomas with letters of importance to the Governor. Captain Weighman at first refused, but on receiving second orders he sailed as bidden to St. Thomas's when Perrie put on board the Colchester several negroes which he had purchased from the Bradenburgher's factory for the use of Governor Codrington and others. The negroes were accordingly transported in the Colchester to St. Christopher's, and having the flux and malignant fever infected the crew, so that many of them besides Captain Weighman and other officers died.
About four years ago James Weatherhill of Antigua, commander of the privateer sloop Charles of Jamaica, took a Spanish merchantman of great value. It is credibly reported that several Spaniards were killed in defending their ship against these pirates, and those who survived were inhumanly abused. Happening to discourse with our Lieutenant-Governor, John Yeamans, I mentioned that I had heard that Captain Julius of H.M.S. Jersey and John Perrie, now Provost Marshal of the Leeward Islands, went down in a little sloop (which Julius commanded) to a Spanish town where Weatherhill was lying with his prize, that there Julius had traded with the pirate, and that I wondered why Governor Codrington had not prosecuted Weatherhill for piracy and Julius and Perrie for trading with them. Mr. Yeamans replied that he had advised the Governor to prosecute them and that he drew a general warrant for their apprehension, which Governor Codrington promised should be executed. But he never did so, and instead thereof afterwards preferred Julius to the command of H.M.S. Chester, though he had sworn in the company of Lady Stapleton and others that Julius should be hanged. He even refused to eat some bacon which Julius had bought of Weatherhill. I had this account from Mrs. Katharine Fenton, who was present, but is now dead. Lady Stapleton, who is in England, could doubtless confirm it. When Weatherhill committed this piracy John Perrie kept a tavern in St. Johns, Antigua; and Perrie harboured Weatherhill in his house until Perrie could assure him that he might safely appear. Weatherhill has since been so impudent as to bring on his own trial at the Grand Sessions, at the same time as when Robert Arthur was tried, but the Court would not permit Weatherhill's trial to be brought on. Perrie was shortly afterwards promoted from his tavern to Governor Codrington's service. This incestuous person has married his own brother's widow, for which he was prosecuted by the Assembly of Antigua, but the proceedings were obstructed by Governor Codrington. Perrie is his prime vizier who manages the most important affairs of this high and mighty sultan, as well in relation to civil authority as to secret trade with foreigners. If such actions correspond with the character which the Council and Assembly of Antigua have given to Governor Codrington, with intent to invalidate my statements as to Captain Arthur, then vice triumphant is esteemed virtue, but their partiality is explained by their combining with him to trade with the French during the war, for which see John Clarke's deposition annexed. Colonel Rowland Williams admitted that he was concerned in the ship bought by Martyn and Roe at Martinique, and Edward Byam acknowledged that he had received excise for the brandy which they bought at Martinique. The foregoing will shew you how faithfully the King's interest has been promoted by those entrusted with the Government here. These and many other abominable practices of Governor Codrington have induced me to prefer all my complaints against him. I have had frequent solicitations from his favourites to dissuade me from proceeding therein, but I have not gone with the multitude to flatter a man whose will is law, though I have suffered much since I had my difference with Governor Codrington, but I had rather forego all I possess than submit to arbitrary power. I expect great opposition in the undertaking, but am comforted to think that my judges are men of honour and integrity. Signed, Edward Walrond. 5½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 6 May, 1698. Annexed,
431. I. Memorial of Edward Walrond to Council of Trade and Plantations. I herewith lay before you depositions taken before the Superior Court of Barbados, as also others taken before Colonel Holt on H.M.S. Newcastle. I could not take them in the Leeward Islands, General Codrington having risen to that height of arbitrary power that the subordinate magistrates are deterred from any duty which thwarts his unjust practices. I procured the depositions at Barbados with difficulty, Mr. Robert Blake, an Irish papist and favourite of Governor Codrington, having been sent by him with a letter to President Bond. Having made private application to the President he was permitted to obviate in open Council what I offered against Governor Codrington, alleging that it was illegal and unreasonable that depositions should be taken against him in his absence and when he could not cross-examine the deponents. The major part of the Council rejected Mr. Blake's defence, since my matters were so immediate for the King's service, but others gave me great discouragement and would have referred the taking of the depositions to two justices if they had not been overruled by the rest. These few gentlemen met, and in the absence of the Council passed an order that the seal of the island should not be affixed to the depositions, by which you may understand their partiality for Governor Codrington; but I hope that the unjust usage which I have received from a part of the Barbados Council will not be imputed to the whole. The deposition of the Spanish Doctor will show that Governor Codrington has not only failed in his duty and allegiance but has violated the law of nations. There are some particulars in reference to the illegal trading of Samuel Martyn and John Roe which require explanation. When Major Samuel Martyn returned from Martinique in the flag of truce he came to anchor at night in St. John's Harbour, Antigua, to have the opportunity of landing the goods purchased from the enemy unseen. But Captain Fisher of H.M.S. Jersey, having some intimation of his design, went on board the ship, and searching her found brandy and other French goods, for which he seized her. The discovery was so apparent that the ship was libelled and both ship and cargo confiscated, much to Governor Codrington's dissatisfaction and that of his Council; and to keep Captain Fisher from further mischief the Governor presently sent him to Barbados with bills of exchange for a large sum of money to pay Holt's regiment, but the bills were not accepted. The true intent of sending the Jersey to Barbados was that Captain Roe (who had been left at Martinique to fit the ship and brigantine) should bring those vessels to Antigua while the man-of-war was absent, which was accordingly done. Martyn and Roe were never prosecuted for their trading with the French, and the reason plainly is that the Governor and Council are their brothers in crime. I hope the King will now have leisure to rectify these miscarriages which, owing to the war, have gone on so long unpunished. Had I been at Antigua when the Governor received your account of my complaints against him, I am assured by my friends that he would have stopped my mouth. His threats drove me to Barbados, from whence I am now come to England in H.M.S. Newcastle. Unsigned. 2¼ pp. Endorsed, Presented by Mr. Edw. Walrond.
431. II. Petition of Edward Walrond to the President and Council of Barbados. Asking that certain depositions may be sealed with the island seal before them in Council.
Order of the Council of Barbados for the parties named to attend Council next morning. Dated, 8 Dec., 1697. Originals. 1½ pp.
431. III. Petition of Edward Walrond to the Council of Barbados. Asking again for the island seal to be affixed to his depositions. 24 Jan., 1697–8. ½ p.
431. IV. Letter from John Clark to Mr. Fitzgerald, Barbados, 22 April, 1697. On parting from this island I unfortunately met with a ship of London, on which I shipped a considerable cargo for Maryland, but owing to this vessel not being ballasted we could not keep our course. Before we left the convoy he pretended a leak, but the master would not send for a carpenter from the man-of-war just ahead to repair it. I believe she was considerably insured upon his owners. Thus it happened that I was taken into Martinique. This would have been to my advantage but for Major Samuel Martyn and Captain John Roe of Antigua, the two greatest villains I ever met with. Two days after my arrival in Martinique I bought a vessel called the Fortune, of Dublin, and drew bills on Barbados. The master, with whom I was taken, and some of his men helped to rig her, and we wanted nothing to complete us for sailing but three hands, whom we were expecting hourly, when Martyn and Roe came into Martinique, under notion of a flag of truce, but in reality to buy this vessel, of which they had heard. They had brought ready money with them to buy the vessel as well as to buy wine, brandy and soap, which they did. As I was in possession of the vessel and her pass, they were obliged to discourse with me, and we agreed that I should have one half share, they advancing the money and I to reimburse them. This was our verbal agreement, but when the money came to be paid Martyn would have me resign another quarter part, saying that it was on Governor Codrington's account, and that he could not answer it him at his return unless he was concerned, having his money in his hands. Finding myself in a strait I consented that Governor Codrington should have a quarter part and kept only a quarter for myself, upon which the money was paid, after which Martyn and Roe said that the fourth part was for Captain Samuel Home and others, so that they circumvented me of one-fourth part of the vessel without any profit in Martinique. We now awaited the condemnation of the ship which I got in my name, as the pass was, and on the back-side assigned one half to Roe according to our first agreement. We then sailed to Antigua, where we found that freight was 18s. per hundred for sugar to London, where I hoped to be in a little time, but was frustrated by Martyn, Roe and their adherents, who would not fit her out, alleging that as they had paid for her in Martinique they would have the benefit of their bargain. But knowing that all her papers were in my name they thought it convenient to act another part of their villainy in order to gain them. For this purpose they got out a warrant of arrest against me, knowing that as a stranger I should find it difficult to get security, and that if I gave it, it would cost me much time and expense before it came to a trial, there being no Courts open. I was advised for the present to keep out of the way, which I did, and soon afterwards I fell ill of the distemper, which turned into fever and ague of which I could not get rid for over four months. After my recovery Captain O'Bryan came to my lodging and I agreed with him for a quarter part of his ship for 377 pieces-of-eight, and to make the bargain secure he brought two witnesses. He then left Antigua for three months, and when he returned told me that he was off his bargain, and bade me take my course for damages. This was unexpected, but I understood that it was part of the design of the other knaves, who furnished an account of disbursements of over £170 on the ship, without date or signature. I took the affidavits of John and George Gamble, the two witnesses to my agreement with O'Bryan, before Governor Codrington, who seemed displeased thereat, and to avenge himself caused the warrant of arrest to be executed on me. I was kept that night at the bailiff's house and next day was brought before him in Council, when they ordered that I should be kept in St. James's fort until by law discharged. I saw now that having to do with judge and party, I must hazard my life if I went to the fort, which is three miles from the town, with no plantation near it, the muntross [? matross] houses not tenable, an infinite number of mosquitos, no sustenance except from the town, each message to the town costing a piece-of-eight—and this to continue, for aught I knew, for my life, for by Act of the country no Courts were allowed during the war. I could only escape this by resigning my title to the ship, which I did, reserving the certificate of my first agreement for purchase of the ship and the master's confession of her being prize to the French. The condemnation I gave to them, though they had a copy of it before by sending a flag of truce, which is done every month or five weeks at farthest—an excellent way of trading. It was Samuel Martyn's brother who went messenger when the copy of the condemnation was returned. He had some prisoners delivered on board his sloop whom he suffered to run away to a French sloop in Martinique Road, for which misdemeanour he is detained till satisfaction is made. The ship is now at Antigua ready to sail under the name of the Dolphin, John Keir master. If I thought that Solicitor Byrne could gain any advantage against my enemies in Court I would send him copies of my papers. Signed, John Clark. 3¼ pp. The truth of the letter sworn to before the Council of Barbados. 14 Dec., 1697.
431. V. Deposition of John Clark. A repetition of the essential points given in his letter (No. IV.) in almost the same language. Sworn before the President and Council of Barbados. 14 Dec., 1697. 2½ pp.
431. VI. Certificate of Mons. Pinel of the purchase of the ship Fortune of Dublin, first by John Clark for bills, and secondly for ready money by John Clark and John Roe as half owners. French. 1½ pp. Sworn to as No. III.
431. VII. Deposition of Henry Walrond. Towards the end of September last a French flag of truce arrived at Antigua from Martinique. I was then a volunteer on board H.M.S. Jersey, Captain Edmond Bugdon, then lying in St. John's Harbour. I was ordered to attend the Captain in his pinnace to board and search the flag of truce, when finding a quantity of French wine and brandy on her the Captain seized her and reported as much to Governor Codrington. The Governor ordered him to restore the sloop and goods. The Captain answered that he could not discharge her except by due course of law and asked that she might be brought to trial. I myself saw the letters that passed. Soon afterwards the Governor sent a second order in writing to discharge the ship, which the Captain refused to do, and some days later the Governor came down to St. John's and sent for Captain Bugdon. I was present at the meeting, and heard the Governor say, "Sirrah, I wonder how you can have the impudence to "look me in the face after being such a rogue to seize "a flag of truce and disobeying my commands." He added that Bugdon was a rascal, saying, "Get you "gone and discharge her, or I will take care of you,' or words to that effect. Bugdon thereupon left him but refused to discharge the ship. A few days later the Governor sent a message on board the Jersey to summon Captain Bugdon before himself and Council. Captain Watts and Captain Julius were both with him, and I also was present. The Governor commanded Captain Bugdon to discharge the flag of truce, and on his refusal threatened to turn him out of commission. He complained to his Councillors and the two Captains that Bugdon ought to be tried and said that he only awaited the arrival of Captain Simmonds at St. John's in order to try him. He said that the flag of truce should not be tried; and a few days afterwards she was discharged by his order and sailed away. Captain Hartman, late commander of Governor Codrington's sloop Barbuda, taken by the French outside St. Christophers, was a prisoner on board the flag of truce, and informed me that no harm could be done to him for the goods brought down in the flag of truce without doing harm to the Governor, who was concerned in them; for several of the goods in her belonged to the Governor and were bought for him. Sworn as No. III. 2 pp.
431. VIII. Deposition of Alonzo de Bonne Maison, doctor of physic. About the month of May, 1695, Don Francisco Morales, commander of a Spanish ship, came to me in St. Christophers and told me that his ship had been lost in Barbuda, but that his crew had been saved, and had by diving brought a great quantity of money and plate, which had been lodged in the Castle of Barbuda, where the Spaniards were allowed to keep it in their own custody in their sleeping room. Shortly afterwards they paid four or five hundred dollars to Captain Nicholson, the Commander at Barbuda, to acquaint the Governor of Antigua of the loss of their ship. Soon after there came orders from Governor Codrington, brought by Captain Perrie on the sloop Barbuda, upon which all the Spaniards were confined, sentries put over them, and the greater part of their plate and money taken from them. They were then embarked on the Barbuda for St. Christophers, and as they went on board Captain Nicholson searched all their chests and took all their money except about two hundred dollars, which Captain Perrie saved as a pretended favour to the Spaniards. Perrie accompanied them to St. Christophers, where I, being sick, sent my wife to intercede with Perrie and the Governor to be more favourable to my countrymen. I relieved them at my own expense, for the Governor afforded them and their commander not one glass of wine in his house, but ordered them to go to one Hartman, commander of the Barbuda, by whom they were badly entertained. The Spanish Captain frequently came to me, and told me these things, adding that he had great fear that he and his company would be destroyed. Soon afterwards the Captain sent me a message that he was forbidden to visit me, whereupon I went to visit him at Basseterre, when he said that he was afraid to be seen speaking with me, but that it was proposed to him to have a sloop bought for him to carry him and his company away. Captain Perrie told me that he would help the Spaniards herein and in anything else, out of kindness to me. Wishing to send my son to Curacoa I bought a ticket for him on the sloop provided for the Spaniards, but Hartman went on board her and forcibly brought him ashore again. About two o'clock in the afternoon the Spaniards sailed from St. Christophers, but after two hours at sea found the sloop to be so leaky that they returned into the road, entering it about eight o'clock. She was fired at by small-arms for some time, and when the sloop was careened the leak was found to be a man's span square. This was mended and they sailed away. Captain Morales told me that when his ship was lost he had on board 13,000 dollars to pay the garrison of Maracaibo besides great quantities of plate for the Governor. Sworn as No. III. 2½ pp.
431. IX. Deposition of Gabriel McCrakan, sailor on board H.M.S. Newcastle. In 1691 I was hired as a sailor at forty-five shillings a month on board Governor Codrington's sloop Barbuda, John Panton commander. I was on her thirteen months, during which I helped to load on her sugar and indigo which was afterwards transported to Curacoa. During my service on her also I saw sugar and cotton brought to Barbuda by one of Governor Codrington's provision-sloops, which goods were afterwards sold at Curacoa by Panton. After fifteen months' service in another of his sloops I could get no more money than forty-five shillings from the Governor, who told me that he would pay me if I would prove that he had ever paid anybody. There are others who were on the Barbuda who can testify to the truth of these things. Sworn 10 March, 1697–8, before Colonel Holt.
431. X. Deposition of William Delavall. That in 1693 he saw a fellow-mariner of New England in Falmouth, who told him that he was with Captain James Weatherhill when he took the Spanish ship, and that they seized them to the cable, cut the anchor from the bow and let them all run together. Sworn before Captain George St. Lo, 22 April, 1698.
431. XI. Copies of the complimentary addresses from the Assembly of Antigua to Governor Codrington (see preceding Vol. No. 1317 VI.), and of the Governor's thanks. 2 pp. Here follows, A commentary thereon, evidently the work of Edward Walrond, as follows. The doctrine of infallibility seems at last to have been discovered by the Council and Assembly of Antigua, and to be centred in Governor Codrington; but I believe that if this Divus Augustus were once removed from temporal power he would be found subject to error. It is no wonder that these gentlemen abandon their allegiance to the King, since they attribute the late peace to the Governor; but Colonel Holt told me that he heard Governor Codrington express great dissatisfaction at the peace, saying that he would be £20,000 the worse for it. No wonder that he laments the peace, for he must now abandon his possessions in the French part of St. Christophers. The Council and Assembly, moreover, though they express great concern for the Governor, express not the least for the King. If I had not appeared, Arthur's case would never have been brought upon the stage, and now their only subterfuge is to bear me down with their characters of the Governor. They dared not join with the Governor in prosecuting me. 1¼ pp.
431. XII. Letter (unsigned) from Edward Walrond to Council of Trade and Plantations. These papers relate to a flag of truce which was sent from Antigua to Martinique by Governor Codrington, under pretence of fetching English prisoners, but in reality to sell provisions to the French, as appeared after the happy seizure of the flag of truce by Captain Vincent Cutter of H.M.S. Bonaventure. Being ordered with the Newcastle and Sheerness by the Government at Barbados to cruise on the enemy's coast, they accidentally met with her just as she was going into St. Pierre, when they reached her and, finding her to be laden with provisions, made seizure of her. On board the flag of truce, when seized, was Mr. Barry Tankard, who has formerly traded with the French, as is shewn by the deposition of Henry Walrond. The brandy belonging to him in the flag of truce, which was seized by Captain Bugdon, was afterwards put on board the Colchester and carried down to Nevis for Tankard. Then Tankard was intercepted at St. Pierre, as above told, and he went on board the Newcastle and asked the Captain to intercede with Captain Cutter to release the ship, since if she were carried into Barbados, he, Tankard, would be undone. The papers that follow, which have the seal of Barbados affixed, were sent by Governor Codrington for Tankard's defence and used by his counsel, but the depositions taken in Antigua, to Tankard's prejudice, were not sent, though the Council and Assembly of Antigua requested the Governor to send them. Such have been the villainous methods practised in the Leeward Islands during the war, whereby the French were enabled to fit out their privateers and cause infinite loss, besides the exhaustion of our money which has been carried away in every flag of truce to pay for French goods. 1½ pp.
431. XIII. Copy of a letter from a gentleman in Antigua to his friend in Barbados, 15 Feb., 1697–8. In my last I told you how Mr. Tankard, sailing in a flag of truce with beef for Martinique, was taken by Captain Cutter. He pretended that he had leave to go to Barbados, but I leave you to judge of that from the proceedings of the Council and Assembly, wherein you will find that the Governor knew nothing of it, and that he, the Council and the Assembly agreed to send evidence against Tankard to Barbados. You will say that it is strange that the proceedings were not sent up, in this case, and indeed it is strange that, after all the Governor's professed ignorance and professed readiness to send evidence against Tankard, he really did give him leave to go to the island. After Tankard's return hither it was found that he had a certificate of his clearing for Barbados, yet before his arrival neither Governor nor Custom-house Officers knew anything of it. George Gamble has behaved like an honest man in being the first to bring this business on the stage and in pushing it so far, but he could not perfect his work for the reasons already given. You will see from what I send you that the country did not let the crime pass unnotified and would not have let it pass unpunished. The ship by which Mr. Walrond had sent home charges against Governor Codrington was taken by a French privateer and carried into St. Thomas. The Governor there sent them to Governor Codrington, who sent them down to the Council and Assembly to vindicate him, but as he would not confirm some of their Acts they refused to consider them and, their time being expired, the Assembly is dissolved. Still it seems that some of Mr. Walrond's letters reached England, for presently after copies of them were received from the Council of Trade, with orders from the Governor to vindicate himself. Thereupon a new Assembly was chosen which has tried to invalidate Walrond's statements, as has also the Council, but I am confident that people will think the house ruinous that needs such props to support it. General Sessions were lately held at St. John's, when, Mr. Walrond not appearing, his recognisance was forfeited, but his counsel appealed to the Council and Assembly and, in case they were not satisfied there, to the King. But I think that matters were not very fairly carried on when Mr. Palmer appeared for the King, and Mr. Cràbb, the chief and only evidence against Walrond, sat as one of his judges. Copy. 2 pp.
431. XIV. Deposition of Henry Walrond, taken at Barbados. In September or October last a French flag of truce laden with French goods was seized by Captain Bugdon at Antigua. After the seizure Mr. Barry Tankard came and asked me as a favour to intercede with Captain Bugdon to let him take away from the seized ship six barrels of brandy for which he had paid, and that he was ready to send to take out the barrels at night, so that no one should know. 1 p.
431. XV. Copies of the Minutes of Council of Antigua, 26 October, 1697. Message from the Assembly to the Council complaining that Barry Tankard has misused a flag of truce to carry provisions to Martinique, and praying for an enquiry. Answer of the Council asking for information that those who have thus offended may be prosecuted. Message from the Assembly giving information, and asking that the crew of the flag of truce may be arrested on their return. Answer of the Council that a warrant has been signed accordingly.
Minutes of the same, 16 December, 1697. Message of the Council to the Assembly. Mr. Barry Tankard has surrendered to take his trial. If you have anything further against him, produce it so that he may be prosecuted.
Minutes of the same, 28 December, 1697. Message from the Assembly to the Council. Tankard's ship is under seizure at Barbados. We think that the evidence of John Moore, Arthur Wharfe and David Rutherford should be sent thither to be used against him. Answer of the Council, that the Governor agrees and will act accordingly. Message of the Assembly, forwarding the depositions and praying that they may be sent to Barbados. 4½ pp.
431. XVI. Warrant of Governor Codrington for the arrest of the sloop Diligence, Robert Knowles master, lately gone with a flag of truce to Martinique. 12 November, 1697. Copy. 1 p.
431. XVII. Copies of several documents relating to the case of the sloop Diligence, which were sent to Barbados.
Governor Codrington's certificate of the authenticity of the following documents. 21 December, 1697. ½ p.
Governor Codrington's certificate, that about the beginning of November he sent H.M.S. Colchester to Barbados, and ordered Mr. Barry Tankard, who was bound to Barbados, to call at Martinique on his way so as to pick up some English prisoners to make up the Colchester's complement. 21 December, 1697. 1 p.
Deposition of Captain William Julius, of H.M.S. Colchester. That it was at his proposal that Tankard was sent to Martinique, to fetch prisoners, on her way to Barbados. The said prisoners were to have been transferred to the Colchester at Dominica, and Julius had begged Tankard to give out that he was going back to Antigua, lest the released prisoners, on learning that they were to be shipped on the Colchester, should mutiny and run away with the ship. 21 December, 1697. 1 p.
Deposition of William Lavington. That Governor Codrington had told him that Tankard's ship would call at Martinique on her way to Barbados. Same date. ½ p.
Certificate of the Collector of Customs of Antigua as to the clearing of Robert Knowles's sloop for Barbados; and of Barry Tankard's declaration that she would touch at Martinique on the way. 1 p.
Certificate of the entry of the foregoing certificate of the Collector of Customs. ½ p.
Captain Julius's sailing orders, 6 Nov., 1697. To sail to Barbados, touching at Dominica on the way in order to embark the English prisoners brought by the flag of truce from Martinique. ½ p.
Certificate as to a small quantity of sugar shipped in the sloop Russell. ½ p.
Pass granted by Governor Codrington for Barry Tankard, carrying his flag of truce to Martinique. 6 Nov., 1697. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. Nos. 81, 81 I.–XVII.]
May 7.432. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Information given as to language used by Lord Baltimore in England, that he expected to be restored to Maryland shortly. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. 492–494.]
May 8.433. Minutes of Council of New York. Oath of secrecy administered to Thomas Weaver and Edward Randolph, they not being members of Council; and the former was appointed King's Counsel and to assist in taking the minutes of Council. The Duke of Shrewsbury's letter concerning pirates read, also Secretary Vernon's letter to Lord Bellomont with the memorial of the East India Company on the same subject; after which Lord Bellomont informed the Council that he desired their advice in relation to certain discoveries that he had made concerning piracy. After dwelling on the evils of piracy at large, he announced that he had received information that Colonel Fletcher had admitted notorious pirates to bring their spoils into New York, receiving considerable rewards for the same, and that Mr. Nicoll had been the broker in making the bargain between them, receiving 800 pieces-of-eight for his services. In confirmation of this the deposition of Edward Taylor was read. Mr. Nicoll was then called in and acknowledged that he had received the money aforesaid, but that he knew no pirates and had not acted as mediator between pirates and the Governor, but believed he was entitled to the said 800 dollars for his pains. He also justified himself by the New York Act as to pirates, to which Mr. Weaver answered that the said Act did not apply to the case. Mr. Weaver then acquainted the Council with the application of Captain Evans, of H.M.S. Richmond, for forty sailors, and with his statement to Lord Bellomont that he would man his ship with pirates. Lord Bellomont was alarmed at this, but Captain Evans said there was no cause for fear, and a few days afterwards he asked for ten sailors, only saying that he had thirty volunteers on board who would pay their passages to England. Lord Bellomont being still more alarmed told him to prepare to sail, and that his packets would be ready for him as soon as the ship was ready. Some days afterwards Captain Evans reported that he was ready, and asked leave to drop down to Staten Island and thence to Sandy Hook, where he expected six or eight men to come on board. For all these statements Lord Bellomont offered his oath. He then proceeded to relate that he had ordered Captain Culliford with an armed force on board the Richmond, and had secured Captain Evans in the fort. Captain Evans was then called in, but absolutely denied that he had said that he would man his ship with pirates, and all other speeches attributed to him by Lord Bellomont, saying that he had only said that he could get so many privateers just come in with Captain Alleson from Madagascar. He protested that he knew of no pirates or volunteers (to pay their passage) on board his ship and would not suffer them. He and Mr. Nicoll then withdrew.
The Governor then proposed a proclamation against piracy, to which the Council unanimously assented. He then asked the Council's advice as to the measures to be taken respecting Colonel Fletcher, Mr. Nicoll and Captain Evans; whereupon Mr. Chidley Brooke observed that the giving protection to pirates had not formerly been looked upon as so great a matter, and that all the neighbouring Governments had done it commonly. The Governor answered that Mr. Brooke might think it a peccadillo, but that the King and his ministers regarded it as a high offence; to which Mr. Brooke replied that he did not excuse it, but only stated what had been done. On considering the depositions against Colonel Fletcher the Council agreed unanimously that they should be sealed and sent to the King together with Colonel Fletcher, a prisoner, but that Mr. Nicoll should be tried in the province. The Governor observed that there was such corruption in the Government and such uproar if the law were enforced, that he was for sending both gentlemen home for trial. Mr. Nicoll was then admitted to give security in £5,000 to appear when called upon, and Captain Evans to give his recognizances in £1,000; after which they were released from custody. The Governor then suspended Mr. Nicoll from the Council. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 85–91.]
May 8.
Newport,
Rhode Island
434. Governor Cranston to Council of Trade and Plantations. We have received yours of 9 February, 1696–7, respecting the King's orders concerning the quota. This Colony being a frontier and lying very open to the sea was three times attacked by the French in the late war, so that we could never spare men without endangering the King's interest. Nevertheless, in obedience to the Queen's command, we made to Governor Fletcher a tender of compensation which he positively refused, as we can prove under his hand. Several informations have been forwarded to you that Rhode Island is a place where pirates are entertained. Thus it is said that William Mayes, a pirate fitted out at Rhode Island, and that Thomas Jones was concerned in the old bark with Captain Want. These things have been misrepresented to you. We have never countenanced such proceedings, and we are sure that William Mayes had his clearance here for Madagascar and a commission from this Government to fight the French. By the best information that we have Captain Every plundered him, and we very much suspect has destroyed him and his company, for none of them are returned and there is no news of any one of them. As to Captain Want we do not know the man and have never seen his ship. William Mayes is the only man commissioned by this Government who has been to the south of the Cape of Good Hope. On the receipt of your letter requiring strict suppression of pirates we at once issued a proclamation for the apprehension of all persons suspected of piracy; see copy thereof and of an Act of Assembly enclosed. We have also seized two men, Robert Munday and George Cutler, and their moneys, and though they assert that they have never gone beyond Madagascar we hope to find out the truth and bring them to trial. Signed, Sam. Cranston. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. Read 12 Sept., 1698. Enclosed,
434. I. Act of the General Assembly of Rhode Island for apprehension of all suspected pirates. 4 May, 1698. Copy. 1 p.
434. II. A proclamation for the suppression of piracy and apprehension of pirates. Copy. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 2. Nos. 17, 17 I.–II.; and (without enclosures) 25. pp. 224–227.]
May 9.435. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Order for Slye to be bound over to take his trial at next Provincial Court. Lord Baltimore's Agent and Sir Thomas Lawrence reported their agreement as to fees in the Land Office. The Governor ordered Colonel Darnall, the said Agent, not to spread rumours of Lord Baltimore's restoration. Order for disposition of arms and ammunition, and for the militia-officers not to take too frequent musters in view of the prevalent sickness. Edward Lloyd appointed Colonel of the militia of Talbot County. The Governor gave orders for the parish authorities to visit sick persons in remote districts and to bury the dead, offering to pay the expense of burial himself if they thought the burden too great for them. Order for the proceedings against Philip Clarke in the Provincial Court to be publicly read at the various County Courts. Sir Thomas Laurence approved as the Colony's Agent in England. Order for the state of the Colony to be represented to the King, and that the Sheriffs take charge of several birds and wild creatures, intended for the King, till they can be shipped to London. The Assembly to be prorogued to the 20th July. Order for a proclamation concerning the alleged restoration of Lord Baltimore, to quiet the minds of the people. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. 487–492.]
May 9.436. William Popple to Sir Henry Ashurst. The Solicitor-General's clerk came to me the other day and told me that the Acts of Massachusetts, sent to him in September, 1696, were not to be found, but that he believed that they might have been mixed up with those of the Leeward Islands and given to Mr. Richard Cary. Mr. Cary, however, tells me that he certainly received none such, and I have been obliged to report the matter to the Council of Trade, who have ordered me to acquaint you with it to take what measures you think best for searching for the Acts. [Board of Trade. New England, 36. p. 375.]
May 9.437. Mr. Secretary Vernon to Council of Trade and Plantations. The King has instructed the Admiralty to order the Commander of the Newfoundland squadron to agree with the masters of the ships going under his convoy at the best rates he can for the passage of the soldiers and officers of the train from thence.
Memorandum of the above letter. Recd. Read 10 May, 1698. ¼ p. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. p. 217; and 3. No. 109.]
May 9. Victualling Office.438. The Victualling Board to William Popple. Pursuant to orders we have laden the provisions for Newfoundland in the ship John of London. We enclose a copy of the account, in which you will see that the bare provisions, considering what is saved by sending malt instead of beer, amounts to only £2 11s. 6d. above sixpence per man per diem. The whole charge, including cask and other expenses, amounts to £727 17s. 9d., and we shall apply for that sum to the Treasury. Though as yet we have received nothing towards it, we thought it our duty to despatch the provisions. Signed, Tho. Papillon, Hum. Ayles, John Burrington. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 10 May, 1698. Enclosed,
438. I. Account of provisions for 61 men for 364 days on short allowance. Victualling Office, 7 May, 1698. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. Nos. 110, 110 I.; and 3. pp. 218–220.]
May 9.439. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Draft letter to Mr. Crips approved and sent.
The Secretary reported that he had heard from the Solicitor-General that some of the Acts of Massachusetts, sent to him, could not be found. Order for Sir Henry Ashurst to be informed.
Draft Act for trial of pirates, as amended, read; and a representation thereupon ordered.
Letter from the Board of Ordnance of 3 May as to Newfoundland read (No. 418), and orders given for the Secretary to reply to Mr. Pulteney thereupon.
Mr. Edward Walrond's papers relating to Governor Codrington read.
May 10.Mr. Berry presented a bill for £13 4s. 0d. for maps supplied to the Board. Order for the Secretary to give him a malt-ticket for ten pounds and the rest in money. The Secretary acquainting the Board that he was already out of purse for its service, he was directed to try to sell some more of the malt-tickets, and acquaint the Board at what price it may be done.
Mr. Secretary Vernon's letter of yesterday as to Newfoundland read (No. 437).
Order for the Secretary to write again to the Hudson's Bay Company for the information required of them.
Mr. Crips attending said that he had never had any of the papers for which he had been asked, but had some belonging to the royal fishery of 1662–3 and would bring them.
Letter from the Victualling Office of yesterday read (No. 438), and orders given to the Secretary to reply thereto this day (No. 441).