America and West Indies
September 1698, 1-5

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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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410-413

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'America and West Indies: September 1698, 1-5', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 16: 1697-1698 (1905), pp. 410-413. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=70973 Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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Contents

September 1698

Sept. 1.
Whitehall.
788. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices of England. With reference to the powers and instructions to be given to the Commissioners to be sent with Captain Warren's squadron to the East Indies, we offer our opinion as follows. The powers should be in general to seize on the persons, ships and goods of the pirates, and in case of resistance to pursue and destroy or take them by land or sea; or, otherwise, to give them assurance of the King's pardon. As to the execution of the powers, a proclamation should be furnished to the Commissioners, setting forth that the King's design in sending this great force is to secure the trade of those parts and clear the seas of pirates by an utter extirpation of them, unless they immediately surrender, and thereupon calling upon them all to surrender, when they shall receive pardon for all piracy committed before they have notice of this proclamation. But this pardon shall not extend to any pirates on this side the Cape of Good Hope, nor in any case to Henry Every alias Bridgeman. The Commissioners should further be directed to sail with the squadron as soon as they can possibly be ready, and make the best of their way to the island of St. Mary near Madagascar, where they will publish the proclamation in the best manner that they can, dispersing it also in all other places where they may understand that pirates are or may come. Any pirates who will not voluntarily submit must be attacked by land or sea, their persons, ships, etc., and their fortifications and refuges destroyed. From thence the Commissioners should pursue the pirates (dividing the squadron if need be) through all the seas to the east of the Cape of Good Hope, as well beyond as on this side Cape Comorin, attacking them everywhere, as aforesaid. All pirates that fall into their hands should be examined, and encouraged even by recompense to give information. All ships navigated by British subjects, that may be reasonably suspected of trading with pirates, must be strictly searched, whether on this side or beyond the Cape of Good Hope. If pirates be met at sea in strength so inferior as to be incapable of resistance, they are to be seized without offer of pardon, though subsequently all but the ringleaders may receive assurances of pardon on promise of honest demeanour in future. Pirates in strength to offer resistance should receive the offer of pardon if they surrender without fighting; if they resist, the Commissioners shall give no assurance of pardon to the captain except on conditions to be hereafter expressed. If the fight be obstinate, the offer of pardon may be renewed during the fight, to avoid effusion of blood. If during the fight any of the crew seize the captain and surrender the ship, they shall be assured not only of pardon but of reward. If a pirate-ship escape from a fight and the captain afterwards seizes another pirate-ship and deliver her up as well as his own, assurance of pardon shall be given to him and his crew. Pirates bringing in their own ship or another by force (except in the case above-mentioned) may receive not only pardon but reward. The Commissioners should be directed to let their rules be known in order to foment divisions among the pirates, according to their discretion. They should also be directed to apply to the natives and to the factories of the East India Company for advice and assistance. The most notorious pirates should be brought back to England to be tried and punished; those that have received assurance of pardon should also be brought to England and so disposed of that they may be secured from returning to piracy. Any treasure taken from the pirates should be reserved for the King towards reimbursing the charge of the expedition; and the Commissioners must therefore be directed to take account thereof. Trading-ships taken by pirates from any people in amity with the King shall if possible be restored to those people. Goods piratically taken by pirates and recaptured from them shall if possible be restored to their right owners, and the Commissioners shall take an exact inventory of them; otherwise they shall be brought to England to be sold for the King. But of all such booty one tenth part shall be reserved for the officers and men for their encouragement. The Commissioners should also be directed to promise to the officers and men further recompense for any extraordinary attempt. Perishable goods may be used or sold, and the produce thereof brought home and accounted for. Signed, Ph. Meadows, John Pollexfen, Jo. Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. pp. 319–328.]
Sept. 1.789. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Order for payment of £25 to Bartholomew Green for printing done for the public service, also of £10 for transportation of fourteen prisoners released from Canada to Albany. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 169–170.]
Sept. 1.790. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Robert Quarry deposed as to scandalous words spoken by a person during Slye's trial in the Provincial Court. The oaths were tendered to the accused person, he being suspected of disaffection to the Government, whereupon he refused to take them.
Sept. 2.Order for Colonel Lowe to enquire whether Mason did not receive fees for criminals in Governor Copley's time, though as Sheriff he handed over no criminals to his successor.
Sept. 3.The Governor commended certain remarks of Mr. William Helmsley on the Provincial Court to the Justices of that Court and the Law-officers. Sundry petitions read and dealt with. The report as to the complaints of the Nanticoke and Choptank Indians was referred to further consideration. Order for Gerard Slye to be brought before Council, to disprove his charge of subornation against the King's evidence.
Sept. 4.A petition from Gerard Slye read, confessing his fault and asking for mercy. The Council recommended that his imprisonment be remitted if he made further confession and discovery and gave up his papers. Two presentations of the Justices and Grand Jury as to the harbouring of John Coode in Virginia and Sir E. Andros's neglect to arrest him, were read and ordered to be published.
Sept. 5.John Bozmane sworn Naval Officer for Pocomoke. Several depositions against James Frisby were heard, and the matter was left to the ordinary course of law.
Sept. 6.A letter to Sir Edmund Andros, forwarding papers relating to Coode and praying for his arrest, was read and approved. Enquiry ordered about the arms at Potomac fort. Shipping lists sworn to. Court of Appeal appointed for next week. Sheriffs ordered to have the public tobacco ready against next Assembly. The Journal of the proceedings of the Agents appointed to treat with the Indians read and approved. The Indian present accepted, and order given for a present to be made them in return. A day was fixed for them to come to Annapolis and make a further treaty. Petition of Gerard Slye for remission of his punishment and leave to go home, on answering any questions put to him and giving up his papers. Ordered that he do of himself make discovery and give up his papers. Order for a day of thanksgiving for good crops.
Sept. 8.Order for adjournment of the Provincial Court till November. Gerard Slye's narrative read and his imprisonment remitted, provided he acknowledge his offence in open Court and ask pardon for his abuse of Captain Hill. His fine to be distributed among deserving people. His bond for good behaviour was then read and approved, and he made his submission in public. Robert Mason also petitioned for mercy, which the Governor was inclined to grant to him on the same terms as to Slye. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. 612–626.]
Sept. 2.791. Minutes of Council of New York. The Attorney-General reported that the Governor of Philadelphia had written to ask for the service of H.M.S. Fowey against pirates in Delaware Bay, but that Captain Culliford declared himself bound by his orders to proceed direct to England. Order for a letter to the Governor of East Jersey to restore certain deserters from H.M.S. Fowey who have sought shelter in that province. Order for an embargo on all vessels outward bound. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 122–123.]
Sept. 5.792. Minutes of Council of Bermuda. The officers of the militia were sworn. (The captains of the forts were sworn on the 8th.)