America and West Indies
July 1698, 6-9

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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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322-328

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'America and West Indies: July 1698, 6-9 ', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 16: 1697-1698 (1905), pp. 322-328. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=70962 Date accessed: 25 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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Contents

July 1698

July 6.637. Minutes of Council of New York. On complaint of Jacob Leisler a sheriff's fee for giving possession of tenements was reduced from £25 to £15. The Council of Trade's letter of 21 March, 1698, concerning pirates read. Order for payment of a quarter's salary to the officers. Depositions against Ebenezer Willson were read, when it was resolved that he be suspended from his place of sheriff. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 124–125.]
July 6.638. Opinion of the Law Officers upon the following case. Mr. Blair, the Bishop of London's Commissary in Virginia, has for some time past been appointed to the Council. In that Colony the members of the Council have always been the only Judges of the General Court, which is the Great Court of Justice there. A late Act of Parliament, for regulating the Plantation-trade, enacts "that "all places of trust in the courts of law or what relates to the "Treasury of the Plantations shall from the making of the said Act "be in the hands of native-born subjects of England." Query, Is Mr. Blair, being a Scotchman, disabled by this law or otherwise from being of the Council and sitting in the General Court of Virginia? Answer, We are of opinion that he is not disabled by this law nor by any other, since being born in Scotland he is by construction of law a native-born subject of England. Signed, Tho. Trevor, Jo. Hawles. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 8 July, 1698. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 52; and 37. pp. 230–231.]
July 6.
Islington.
639. Edward Walrond to William Popple. Captain Thomas Lilly, against whom Thomas Delavall, mariner, made a deposition, is in England. Captain Bugdon is also in England and (as he told me the other day) is ready to prove that a large quantity of the brandy in the flag of truce, which was seized by him and released by Governor Codrington, was put on board H.M.S. Colchester. ¼ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 6 July, 1698. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 90.]
July 6.
Islington.
640. Edward Walrond to William Popple. Thomas Lilly is one of the pirates concerned with Captain Weatherhill in plundering the Spaniards, so it is not to be expected that he will answer a bare summons of the Council of Trade to bear witness against himself. My object in informing you that he was in England was that he might be arrested to prevent his escape. If the Council does not approve of this I can do no more. I will take care to summon Captain Bugdon in a day or two. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 91.]
July 6.
Whitehall.
641. William Popple to John Sansom. Forwarding the Order in Council of 25 November, 1697 (No. 69) respecting ports in New Jersey, for the information of the Commissioners of Customs. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. p. 212.]
July 6.
New York.
642. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to the Lords of the Admiralty. My last was by Captain Evans, whose behaviour in these parts, as I am informed, was not suitable to his trust. He loved to lie at anchor and to be very busy ashore managing elections for the humour of Colonel Fletcher, following trade, and leaving the King's service to his own convenience. Mr. Randolph tells me that the Government of Rhode Island have seized some pirates and claim by their charter to erect a Court of Admiralty, no doubt in order to try and acquit them. Their encouragement of pirates and connivance with breach of the Acts of Trade will make them tender prosecutors in a Court of their own erecting, but I do not know how to prevent it, for though I am intended to be Vice-Admiral of these seas I have no general commission, only a special one empowering me to commissionate certain officers of Admiralty named by you. Please remedy this by giving me a full commission of Vice-Admiralty, which other Governors, of much less quality than myself, have had here before me. Mr. Weaver will attend your orders in this matter, which should be despatched as soon as possible, for there is no part of the King's dominions where people are so bent and united to oppose all Government which shall interfere with their illegal trade and their piracy. There is a conspiracy among the merchants here who speak of sending home to procure my recall and Colonel Fletcher's restoration. I have seized two supposed pirates of Every's crew, but having no orders to send them home and no evidence to convict them here, I am obliged to admit them to bail. The Deptford is refitted and has sailing orders for Boston, but is delayed by contrary winds. Signed, Bellomont. I omitted to tell you of a precept issued from the Court of Admiralty here to take two pirates from the custody of the Governor of New Jersey; but he will not obey it, alleging that my commission of Vice-Admiral (which as yet I have not) was not published nor recorded in the Jerseys. But I sent him a commanding letter, which he obeyed, and sent the prisoners. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 8th. Read 16th Sept., 1698. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 81; and 52. pp. 436–438.]
July 6.
New York.
643. Deposition of William Teller, aged seventy-eight, as to the right of England to sovereignty over the Five Nations. I arrived in New York in 1639. It was then called New Netherlands, and the Governor was appointed by the States-General and West India Company of Holland. Shortly after my coming I was sent up to Fort Orange, where Albany now stands. Bastian Crole was then commandant at the fort, and I served with him first as corporal and later as watch-master of the fort. I lived at Albany from 1639 till 1692 with small intermissions of a few voyages. I have been present at most if not all of the meetings and treaties between the Governors of New York, or their Agents, and the Five Nations. The covenant-chain (as they call it) has been renewed almost annually since 1639, and in all that time there has been no breach with the Five Nations. When I first came here I never heard of a French settlement in Canada until 1645 or 1646, when some Iroquois told me thereof, and that the French had engaged themselves in the quarrel or war of the Iroquois against those Indians. Since then there has been almost continual war between the Iroquois and the French with their Indians, and many French prisoners have been brought by them to Fort Orange and redeemed for money by the Dutch and English. About 1666 the French invaded the Maquas' Country and set up brass plates with the arms of France, but they were driven out by the Maquas, and would undoubtedly have been destroyed but for the intervention of the Dutch at Senectady. Certified copy. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 29 Sept., 1698, from Mr. Weaver. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 82; and 52. pp. 487–489.]
July 6.644. Nicholas Bayard to Governor the Earl of Bellomont. On the French claim to sovereignty over the Five Nations, I think it my duty to inform you as follows. In 1609 the first ship of the West India Company of Holland arrived in the Hudson River, and had some encouragement for trade with the Five Nations. In 1611 another ship arrived there and traded with the Indians. As the trade increased several ships were sent annually from Holland, which continued until 1621. In that year the said company obtained a grant from the States-General for planting a colony here, which was called New Netherlands. One of the first settlements was made on an island at the mouth of the river called Hutton (?Manhattan) Island and another further up the river on Beeren Island. Shortly afterwards they extended their possessions by settling garrisons and building fortifications, westward both sides of the Delaware and eastward as far as Connecticut river (then called Fresh river) where they had a stronghold called the House of the Hope. The said grant was afterwards confirmed by the States-General, and I suppose that the original still remains with Heer Cornelis van Ruyern, the late Secretary of that Government, now residing at Amsterdam. Ever since that settlement the Iroquois or Five Canton Indian Nations have always kept a good correspondence with the Government, first Dutch and afterwards English, and in spite of several wars between Christians and Indians there has never been a rupture with any of these Five Nations. On the contrary for more than sixty years they have almost annually sent down their chiefs, with a large retinue, to Albany to renew the peace and covenant-chain made at the first settlement of the province by Christians. I have myself been present at many of those treaties for forty years past, when the Five Nations have often declared their submission to this Government, and desired to be protected against the French of Canada, comparing this Government to a great tree, under whose branches they desire to shelter, with many like expressions. Signed, N. Bayard. Copy. 3 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 29 Sept. from Mr. Weaver. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 83; and 52. pp. 490–492.]
July 6.645. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Adjourned till to-morrow, but three members being present.
July 7.But four members being present the questions of the Ports Act, revision of laws and despatch of an Agent to England were postponed till a fuller Council.
July 8.Four members present. A day of fasting and humiliation appointed in consequence of the prevalent sickness. Samuel Griffin, deputy to Christopher Wormeley, Collector and Naval Officer lately deceased, was continued in that office. Order for registration of the ship Hope. Adjourned to 17 August. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 53. pp. 129–130.]
July 7.
New York.
646. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to William Popple. 27 June. The bearer, Mr. Weaver, is appointed Agent for New York, and carries with him evidences and vouchers of everything done here. Pray show him your favour and give him opportunities to be heard by your Board on all business relating to this province in general and to myself in particular. He is a gentleman of the law, and I dare commend him for an honest man and of good understanding. He will give you Colonel Romar's reports, which are of my transcribing. You must not be surprised at the badness of the French; it is his own and such as he speaks. Please lay my instructions to him and his two letters before the Council of Trade, for one of the Royal instructions is to give an account of fortified places. The merchants, upon my inspection into their trade, have raised such a clamour that I shall be impatient to receive the Board's orders. Nothing but the Minister's countenance to me will mortify them and bring them to a right temper. You will therefore do me a singular kindness by procuring orders for me as soon as possible after Mr. Weaver's arrival, for until I receive them I do not see how I am to stir hence to my other Governments. Signed, Bellomont.
Postscript. 7 July. Since I finished my letter I have received the circular of 21 March concerning pirates. I shall endeavour to pass the Jamaica Act as ordered. I send by Mr. Weaver the Act passed against pirates here. If it be not approved I shall try to get the other passed here, in Massachusetts and in New Hampshire, but the people here are so out of humour at present that I do not think it fit to call another Assembly for the present, nor to leave the province until new orders from England shall put a censure on the late Governor's administration, which is the source of all my difficulties and supports the insolence of his party. But if his administration meets in England with the discountenance and punishment which in my opinion it deserves, the people here will be tame as lambs and their ill-humour will vanish, and then I doubt not that the Assembly will be tractable in continuing the King's revenue, which is the thing that I most stickle for. Pray above all things urge to the Council two or three things, and first that I may have power to vacate Colonel Fletcher's grants, which are so extravagant that the province can never be peopled. There are half a dozen of his grants which were not much short of Yorkshire for extent, and the grantees have no merit. Henry Beeckman, a Lieutenant-colonel in the Militia, has a vast tract as large as a middling county in England, for which he gave Colonel Fletcher 100 dollars or about £25 English, and I am told that he values the land at £5,000. The Mohocks' land, fifty miles in length, is, I hear, valued by the grantees at £25,000. Colonel Smith's grant in Long Island cost him, I am told, but fifty dollars, and is worth more than any other grant of them all. And so it is with several other grants, of which I have sent a list by Mr. Weaver. He has granted away and sold all the Governor's conveniences here, viz., a farm called the King's farm he has given to the Church; but it is observable that his devotion did not carry him to do it until he heard that I was certainly to supersede him. Part of that farm, which is meadow-ground and a scarce thing here, he sold to Captain Evans of the Richmond frigate, as to whose misbehaviour here I have sent home several depositions. Part of the King's garden he has granted and sold to one Heathcote, a merchant, so that if I am to be robbed of a place where to keep a cow or a horse for the use of my family, I shall think that Colonel Fletcher has the best luck with his insolence and corruption that ever Governor had. I have given all possible discountenance to piracy, and that is one thing which raises their clamour against me. They say that I have ruined the town by hindering the privateers (for so they call the pirates) from bringing in £100,000 since my coming. Mr. Weaver, whom I have employed as King's Counsel, has inveighed smartly enough against their unlawful trade and mutinous disposition. They bear him such a grudge that his life is threatened, and therefore I beg that the Council of Trade will protect him in case any attempt may be made against his person and reputation. I know him too well to fear any defamation they can charge upon his reputation. 3½ pp.
Here follows a short precis of the letter. ½ p. The whole endorsed, Recd. 8th, Read 16th Sept., 1698. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 84; and 52. pp. 431–436.]
July 7.
Bermuda.
647. Governor Goddard to the Duke of Shrewsbury. Your letter of 9 October last reached me on 16 May. I shall duly observe your orders as to pirates. I enclose the information of one Samson Pendley, who was at Providence when Every and his crew came in there. Two of them, Daniel Smith and William Griffin, belong to Bermuda. Smith has bought two shares of land in another's name, and Griffin one in the like manner, though I hear that he is since dead. The three shares cost £900 Bermuda money. I also enclose copy of an instrument of those who contributed in setting forth one Thomas Tew under the late Governor Richier's commission. I am told that Tew brought over £100,000 into New York and Rhode Island. You will observe the names of the contributors. Richard Gilbert, Thomas Hall and Henry Fifield's widow are living in Bermuda and, I am told, have received large sums of money, proportioned to their contribution. Walmsley is dead. John Dickinson, who married Fifield's widow, is in England. His friend is John Tucker, a clerk in Sir William Trumbull's office. That is all that I can tell you. So long as I am Governor, no pirates shall receive protection in Bermuda. I hear from England that Mr. Richier's brother has turned me out of the Government with villainous falsities, scandal and untruths, which the Council of Trade was pleased to believe. I can with confidence affirm that there are not two iller men in the world than Richier and Trott. Signed, J. Goddard. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 5 Aug., 1698. Enclosed,
647. I. Copy of articles of agreement between Thomas Tew, Henry Fifield, Thomas Walmsley, Richard Gilbert and Thomas Hall, owners of the sloop Amity, and the crew of the said sloop. 8 January, 1692–3. 3 pp.
Extract from Minutes of Council of Bermuda. 4 July, 1698. The Duke of Shrewsbury's letter concerning pirates was read. The information of Samson Pendley was heard, to the effect that when at Providence in 1696 he had heard Daniel Smith, Wiliam Griffin and Benjamin Griffin declare that they had come thither in the ship Fancy with Every, and had heard other men there say that they were with Every when he took the Mogul's ship. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 3. Nos. 28, 28 I.; and (without enclosure) 29. pp. 125–126.]
July 8.
Virginia.
648. Governor Sir Edmund Andros to Council of Trade and Plantations. The business of the Post Act, of revisal of laws and of settling an Agent, referred by the Council by reason of their fewness, still stands referred for the same reason, four Councillors only having attended. Colonel Christopher Wormeley is dead, and the rest excused themselves owing to their own illness and to the sickness in the country; but all, both absent and present, agreed that a day of fasting and humiliation to avert the sickness should be appointed, which has been done. Some ships which design to sail with the last crop of tobacco not being yet laden, the audit is referred to the 17th August. I continue still indisposed. Signed, E. Andros. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 5 Sept. Read 25th Oct., 1698. Enclosed,
648. I. Proclamation for a day of fasting and humiliation to be held in Virginia on Friday, 15 July. Dated, 8 July, 1698. Copy. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. Nos. 53, 53 I.; and (without enclosure) 37. pp. 303–304.]
July 8.
Whitehall.
649. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Codrington. Several complaints have been laid before us by Mr. John Lucas as to your detaining him from coming home by requiring of him £5,000 bail. A person of honour and quality here has interested himself on his behalf, and since there appears to be nothing against Mr. Lucas but a suspicion of his being the author of a letter reflecting upon yourself, we think it right to tell you, first that you should have sent us an account of the matter, and secondly that, as it is an affair of injury to yourself, you would have done better to have referred the matter for examination to England, since Lucas desired it. You will therefore do well to desist from the demand of £5,000 bail, and, upon his giving bond for £500 to answer all charges against him, to let him come to England. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Abr. Hill. Here follows, A list of the enclosures sent with the letter, being copies of those furnished by John Lucas and Edward Walrond. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 45. pp. 240–245.]
July 8.650. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. The Governor advising the Council that the Acts for export duty on negroes and import duty on wines would shortly expire, it was resolved to issue writs for an Assembly to meet on 27 September. Orders for sundry accounts to be paid or examined. John Favell made a deposition as to secret machinations of William Brodrick and Richard Lloyd against the Governor. Several other witnesses gave evidence that they had been canvassed by them. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 79. pp. 103–107.]
July 9.651. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Gerard Slye was brought up in custody, who setting his arms akimbo told the Governor he hoped he would be treated like a gentleman, and clapped himself down in a chair. He was remanded in custody. Samuel Cooksey, an associate of Slye, was also brought up and remanded. Several depositions against Slye were then taken, chiefly concerning his scandalous charges against the Governor. Slye was then again brought up and required to give further security to appear at next Provincial Court, pending which he was committed to custody until the 11th. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. 537–542.]
July 9.
Whitehall.
652. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. We have consulted the Attorney and Solicitor General on the petition of Mr. Gilbert Heathcote (No. 611), and have obtained the Solicitor General's opinion thereon (No. 635). We are satisfied that Sir William Beeston's omission proceeded from no unfaithfulness to your service, but rather from a scrupulous care in the discharge of his trust. We find too that he has served you with perfect care and diligence, frequently advancing his own money for the public service. We recommend that the forfeiture which he has incurred be remitted. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Tankerville, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 56. pp. 209–210.]
July 9.
Whitehall.
653. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Notwithstanding the protest of the Elector of Brandenburgh's envoy (No. 613 I.) we are well assured of the truth of all that we said in our representation, and in particular of your original right to the Caribbee Islands. We do not deny that during the confusion of the Civil War a few of the most inconsiderable islands were allowed to be settled by foreigners, and that Tortola was in possession of the Dutch until re-captured by Sir William Stapleton in 1672, not entrusted to him, as the envoy maintains. It was not demanded by Mons. van Citters until many years afterwards, nor was restitution of it asked for when application was made for the restoration of Saba. The African Company at Embden, who are under the Elector's protection, have quarrelled with the Danes, at whose island, St. Thomas, their ships used to repair to carry on irregular trade, and have agreed to buy of a merchant in Rotterdam his property in Tortola (which is little more than a rock) in order to sell European commodities and carry any West Indian produce free of duty, and thus defraud your Customs. If you think that the island should be restored to the Dutch, we have no objection to it, nor to its transfer to the Elector; but your Governors should be strictly ordered to defeat this formed design for illegal trade. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 45. pp. 215–219.]