America and West Indies
August 1698 , 11-15

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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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374-377

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'America and West Indies: August 1698 , 11-15', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 16: 1697-1698 (1905), pp. 374-377. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=70969 Date accessed: 18 September 2014.


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Contents

August 1698

Aug. 11.
Whitehall.
742. Mr. Yard to William Popple. The Lords Justices, hearing that fresh information has been received about the pirates at Madagascar, desire to have an account thereof against their meeting to-morrow morning. Signed, R. Yard. ¼ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 12 Aug., 1698. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 126; and 34. p. 317.]
[Aug. 12.]743. Deposition of John Blacon. In July, 1696, while sailing in one of the East India Company's ships, I was put ashore at Madagascar for provisions, and, the ships being forced to sea by stress of weather, was left behind until July, 1697, when I embarked on board the New England ship Swift, Captain Knott. She had taken in negro-slaves and East India goods. She sailed to Mascareen, where she traded with the French and natives in East India goods for a fortnight, and then, being alarmed by the arrival of another ship, returned to Madagascar. Copy. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 12 Aug., 1698. Original sent to Lord Bellomont in letter of 25 Oct., 1698. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 127.]
Aug. 12.744. Memorandum of a deposition of John Blacon as to illicit trading of Captain Knott of the Swift, brigantine. Recd. 12 Aug., 1698. The original sent to Lord Bellomont, 25 October, 1698. ½ p. [Board of Trade. New England, 9. No. 34.]
Aug. 12.745. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Order for the Province galley to be placed at the disposal of the Purveyors of Naval Stores on their agreeing for payment and victualling of the captain and crew. Order for payment of £74 to the gaol-keeper of Boston for custody of French and Indian prisoners. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. p. 168.]
Aug. 12.746. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. The Council sent down the letter from the Council of Nevis as to the succession to the Government of Antigua. The Assembly sent up a letter to the Council of Trade on the subject for the Council's concurrence, but on the Council's dissent declared that they would send it from themselves alone. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 269–270.]
Aug. 12.747. The Assembly of Antigua to Council of Trade and Plantations. We, assembled together on the 12th of August on the occasion of Governor Codrington's death, represent as follows. The Governors of the Leeward Islands successively have taken up their abode in some one of the islands and resided there for the most part several years without visiting the other islands. Thus the whole burden and care of Government, except in the island where they resided, have been borne by the Governors of the several islands, who, having no allowance from the King, may be in future (if not already) obliged to think of indirect means to get from the inhabitants wherewith to maintain a suitable port. Thereby the people are unjustly oppressed, while the Governor-In-Chief, though performing the duty only of a private Governor in one island, receives so great an allowance from the King, and is so vastly advanced beyond the level of others, that his power and wealth may encourage him to tyranny, no person being able to stand against so great riches and authority in any complaint, though never so just. If any one island should be unanimous in complaint (as the place of his residence may oftenest have cause) a General Assembly and Council is called, consisting of but three persons from each Assembly and two from each Council, by means of which the Governor can form a party of three islands to condemn the reasonable complaints of a fourth, the respective Governors seeming under a necessity to join his interests, that their indirect methods of obtaining support may more readily be winked at. The disparity of the numbers of members for each island appointed to serve in the General Council and Assembly is very great, for in no island does it exceed seven, whereas the number of representatives fixed by law for this island is twenty-one, and in the other islands few less. We represent to you the unreasonableness of this inequality in the hope that the King will think five members from each island a fit number to make a General Assembly, which even then will scarcely come up to the proportion of two in seven of the several Councils. We earnestly recommend this, not only because a small number is more easily influenced, but because the people should have the disposal of the moneys which they have voted, which, with authority vested in so small a number, is (we think) that they do not possess, especially since any three of them joining together can bind their fellow subjects by an Act of General Assembly. It would also conduce to the good of the Crown and people if a company of the King's soldiers were appointed for St. Christopher, and another for Antigua, £300 per annum for the Governor of Nevis, £200 for the Governor of Montserrat, and £200 more to whichever of them the King shall appoint to be Commander-in-Chief in time of war. Thus every Governor would have a handsome allowance from the King and would be dependent on him, and would have no excuse for oppressing the people. They would thus also be more easily informed against for any extra judicial actions, and the King would be no more in advance thereby than has hitherto been paid yearly to a single General. Each Governor being thus independent, the islands would be freed from the trouble and expense of sending their laws up to the Governor-in-Chief for assent, and from the expense and inconvenience of travelling and of absence to seek redress of injuries from the Governors-in-Chief, who have seldom been known to discountenance their private Governors (except occasionally by some slender check) no ways thereby rectifying the abuse or relieving the subject. As to appeals to England, every private Governor should have power to admit thereof, and the islands should only be united for common defence in time of war, being wholly independent in the civil jurisdiction. It seems natural to the circumstances of the places, separated as they are by the ocean, to be as much separate in Government as their security and defence will permit. If you think those proposals unreasonable, we would offer that when the King sees fit to change his Generals he should not commissionate two successive persons of the same family, because, while all Generals, being men, are subject to human frailty, a change of persons will probably relieve those who were under the power of the former Governor; and thus the hardships of Government are in some measure allayed by the vicissitudes of the whole of the people. But successive Governors of the same family, by discountenancing always the same people, drive them from the island. A triennial change (as has lately been appointed for Barbados) would in great measure prevent this.
As to Antigua itself it is undoubtedly best fitted for the residence of the Governor-in-Chief, and we represent it as such, not from any design against the interest of any other island, but for the good of the whole. First, it is nearly twice as large as any other island and will contain more people. Secondly, it surpasses the rest in trade and production; it is the most exposed to danger from its many bays and inlets; it is by its situation to windward liable to be first invaded, and if taken affords most advantage to the enemy, as he can fall down at pleasure upon the rest of the islands. Thirdly, by its situation to windward it is most able to offend its neighbour enemies (being able to fetch the French islands on a tack) and can come to the assistance of any of the sister islands in twelve hours, whereas we can expect little help from them to leeward, as was seen during the last war. Fourthly, its harbours are so convenient that the King's ships can ride land-locked and can careen, which they cannot in any other of the islands; and for this reason there is more small craft fit for the King' service in Antigua than in any of the Leeward Islands. We think therefore that Antigua should be appointed as the residence for the Governor-in-Chief and that the King's ships should be placed under his command. The only inconvenience which we can see in the disuniting of the Leeward Islands for civil affairs is the great trouble to you by the increase of correspondence; but we hope that the better information given to you will be compensation for this. The small islands should be under the charge of the larger, Anguilla being placed under Nevis, as Barbuda already is under Antigua. Signed, Geo. Gamble, Speaker. 3½ pp. Endorsed, Delivered by Mr. Lucas to the Earl of Bridgewater. Recd. Read 29 Dec., 1698. Read again, 25 April, 1699. A short abstract is attached. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 111; and 45. pp. 306–318.]
Aug. 15.748. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Letter from Lord Bellomont read, as to constraining the Eastern Indians to peace by means of the Skachkook Indians. Order for a letter to him relating to the continued hostility and treachery of the Eastern Indians, notwithstanding their submission to the Crown of England in 1693. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. p. 169.]
Aug. 15.749. Minutes of Council of New York. The Governor communicated to the Council his transactions with the Indians, the addresses of Albany and Senectady as to forts, also several petitions from inhabitants of those towns for money owed them by the Government. Upon examination of their petitions, payment was ordered. The Governor then informed the Council of the haughty letter which he had received from Count de Frontenac, of the hostilities committed by French Indians, of the letter which he had sent in reply to Count de Frontenac, and of the instructions which he had left behind him at Albany. The Council gratefully acknowledged the Governor's good service in the conferences with the Indians. He further laid before the Council the muster-rolls of the companies at Albany and the transactions consequent on the murder of two men at Hatfield, and reported his order for repair of the barracks at Senectady, which was approved by the Council. A Committee was appointed to examine depending accounts and Mr. Livingston's demand for money on account of the late expedition to Albany.