America and West Indies
November 1698, 7-10

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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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524-537

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'America and West Indies: November 1698, 7-10', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 16: 1697-1698 (1905), pp. 524-537. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=70986 Date accessed: 01 October 2014.


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Contents

November 1698

Nov. 7.975. Journal of House of Burgesses of Maryland. On the petition of the Clerk of Council, part of his salary was granted and part refused. Bills for allowance to Sheriffs for packets, for repealing the Acts as to Sheriffs' duties, to secure Delegates and Justices from serving on juries, and to suppress cursing and swearing, read a second time. Bill ascertaining the bounds of the Nanticoke Indians read a first time. Address to the Governors on behalf of Robert Mason read. Petition of William Sharp for exemption from duty on servants carried to Pennsylvania, read; and resolved that the said servants are not subject to duty. The Council concur herein. Address to the Governor embodying the report of the Committee of Grievances of the 4th inst. The Governor thereupon summoned the Speaker and the Delegates and ordered the Address to be read. He then asked them to choose certain members of Council to seal up the journals every night, and took notice of certain irregularities in the proceedings. He then said that he was sorry that the House had refused the Act of Pardon, as he should now be obliged to put all the Navigation bonds in execution; and therewith the journals were sealed up. The Clerk then proceeded with the reading of the Address, after which the Governor remarked (1) that the Address ought to have been signed by the Speaker; (2) that Delegates should not think themselves above the law; (3) that if Justices will not return their accounts according to law they must be punished; (4) that Clerks of Committees ought not to be sworn to secrecy, since the House of Commons prints its journals daily; (5) that the laws of England are very severe against attainted juries; (6) that he had answered them at once to shew that he needed no time to prove his innocence. And therewith he dismissed them.
Nov. 8.Petitions for payments read and referred to the Committee of Allowances. Summons from the Governor for the House to attend him, after which the Clerk of Council brought in the journal sealed up last night before the Governor and Council. The Governor then ordered the Clerk to read the Address of the House on behalf of Robert Mason, after which he explained that his reason for suspending Mason from his office of Treasurer was that he had been found guilty by a jury of a notorious crime and that he had himself confessed his guilt. He then said that he had sent orders to Mason to bring in his accounts, who had refused to do so for a considerable time, that when they were produced it was found that he had overcharged the country £50, that no money had been demanded of him nor appropriated to any use otherwise than had been directed by the Assembly, but that nevertheless the sum had not been paid to this day. He, the Governor, had to his sorrow known by experience what it was to find a country without any fund to support it, and he would, according to his promise, consent to appropriate half of the country's stock now in bank to the current expenses of the year. The address on behalf of Mr. Clarke had been answered by the Council. The House was at liberty to appoint a Committee to write as many journals as it pleased and to send them home, provided that they signed them. He looked upon the records of the supreme authority as most sacred next to the divine law, and he recommended the House to pass a severe law against any who should alter or erase them. All rebellions were begun by scandalising and rendering odious the persons in authority; and he was surprised that the Colony should reject the King's pardon, which the Lords and Commons of England had gratefully accepted. He then recommended them to proceed with the country's business and dismissed them. On the return of the Delegates to their house the following message was received from the Council. Your message of the 29th ult. has been maturely weighed, and we wish that you had considered it as well before you sent it. You say that you were prorogued upon your application for Philip Clarke's release, but the true reason is a secret. You say, too, that the Governor prorogued you, but your Journal shows that you contemned the Governor's authority and that your Speaker also prorogued you. You say that you think it your duty to insist on Clarke's release. You know that he has been convicted before juries of a breach of the law, and sentenced to six months' imprisonment, and I know no way of relieving him of this punishment but by the Royal mercy or by reversal of the judgment. We do not believe it to be your privilege to release him, and we believe that no House of Commons ever attempted such a thing. But at any rate your pretended familiarity and equality with the House of Commons is enough to provoke us at once. The Government of this province is derived from the King, by whose laws we are bound and to whose authority we owe obedience, and although we are the Council we do not pretend to an equality with the House of Lords. We do not desire to abridge your privileges, but your demands must be tempered with justice and modesty. Message ends. Resolved to address the Governor disclaiming any favour to Slye or Coode, and asking him to name the sum that he will allow from the stock in bank towards the public expenses. Bill respecting administrations passed as amended by the Council. The Council's amendments to Coursey's bill rejected. Message from the Council proposing a bill to make real estate liable to debts in failure of personal estate. Resolved to refer the proposal to next Session. Bills as to marriage licences and as to the free school read a first time. Bill to define the bounds of the Nanticoke Indians read a first time, and referred for first consideration next Session. Bill for conveyance of lands referred to a Committee. Bill as to the Cool Springs referred to next Session. The Council's amendments to the Pirates bill rejected.
Nov. 9.Message from the Council. In answer to your Address of 5 November as to your grievances—It is true that the King has ordered the Journals of the Delegates to be sent to him, but this charge is committed to the Governor and not to you. If you know of any Clerk who has injured you herein, let us know plainly and we will impeach and punish him. You ask next that the Governor will not overawe the debates of the House nor summon members before the Council. Why do you not speak plain, and say when and where and how and wherein the Governor has so dealt with any member? Freedom of debate extends not to arraigning of the prerogative; and you cannot expect but that the Governor will deter men from such practices in order to prevent their punishment. As to Justices, they, like all others, are under the King's protection. True, several have been lately suspended for levying tobacco on the people contrary to law, of whom some were found innocent and some manifestly guilty. Are you aggrieved that these were questioned for their misfeasance and that the country was reimbursed the tobacco wrongfully taken from them, or are none to be questioned but those who are beforehand proved guilty? We are sorry to see so arbitrary a temper in you. We see the drift of your desire that your Clerks should not be examined on oath. Why all this trouble to hide your words and deeds? Will they not endure the light? If you proceed honestly, what matter who knows it? But if you wish to conceal your proceedings, it is enough to bring them into suspicion. Your complaint as to jurors is of the same kind with that as to justices. You wish both to be able to do as they please without being subject to answer for errors or misfeasance; and your grievance is that the Government will not suffer this. This is to take the Government out of the King's hands and place it in theirs. Maugre all opposition and pretended grievances, we shall do our duty. How you can plead for the jurors, now bound, to be discharged when you do not know whether they are guilty or not, we cannot imagine. We have given your paper more notice than it deserves, for the sake of the many honest gentlemen among you. Your alleged grievances are only pretences; it is the King's Government that you are aggrieved at. There are plenty of real grievances awaiting your care, and we recommend you to attend to them. Signed by six members of Council, not by the Governor. Resolved to receive no new message or matter, but to complete the business before the House and lay the public levy. Journal of the Accounts sent up to Council. The Attorney-General's petition for an allowance for his attendance on the Council rejected. The making of peace with certain Indians considered. Seven bills amended and sent up to Council. Bill against cursing read, as amended, and the amendments rejected. Five more bills considered, and amendments suggested to that concerning the Free School.
Nov. 10.The Journal of Accounts and six bills sent down, approved by the Council. That concerning the dues of public officers was committed for amendment, that relating to marriage licences postponed till Dr. Bray's arrival, and the remainder read a third time and passed. Members appointed to join a Committee of Council to choose timber for the church-roof. Message from the Council proposing that the Act for an imposition on officers be not repealed but allowed to expire. A private bill and the Attorney-General's petition, being rejected, were sent up to Council. The old laws, newly transcribed and margented, were brought in for the inspection of the House. Message from the Governor and Council. The levy bill is reported to us as too intricate to be passed this Session. The Governor will apply £800 of the money in bank to raising the public levy. Members are appointed to join with the appointed Delegates in a Committee to consider the matter. Message ends. Resolved hereupon to view the tobacco in bank. Message to the Governor, assenting to the price placed on it by the Council, and appointing members for the Joint Committee. Lord Baltimore's Agent summoned to attend upon the Free School bill, and state how Lord Baltimore's rights are affected thereby. Report of the Committee on the church-roof received and approved. Message to the Council, expressing willingness to pass the Free School bill with the omission of one clause which may affect Lord Baltimore's rights. Bill for regulating marriages thrown out. Message to the Council, asking if they will receive their allowance as Councillors in money or tobacco.
Nov. 11.Two absent members fined 500lbs. of tobacco for not attending. Bill as to public officers' dues passed. Message to the Governor asking that certain tobacco in the hands of the Treasurers of the Eastern and Western shore may be applied to the public charges. Answer of the Council, assenting. The bill relating to servants and slaves amended so as to make it perpetual. Message from the Council, proposing to appropriate £100 of the money in bank to building small tenements at the Cool Springs for benefit of the poor, and £100 out of accruing revenue to the purchase of books for education. The House assented. Message from the Council, that they are willing to accept money and tobacco in equal proportion for their salaries. Orders for certain small payments. Message from the Council proposing a conference on the bills for regulating marriages and for the Free School. Conferrers appointed. Message from the Governor, asking for an allowance to be made to three Justices and to the Attorney-General for their attendance on the Council. Resolved to enter upon no new business, but to refer the matter to next Session. Three bills read a first and second time.
Nov. 12.An absent member fined 1,000lbs. of tobacco. Order for a Committee to draw up an Address in answer to the Governor's and Council's reflections on the Delegates. Report of the Conferrers on the Free School bill read, and the matter deferred to next Session. Resolved to allow the £60, lent to the King for payment of three ministers in 1697, to the Governor for a Council Chamber. Message from the Governor, that he had not mentioned that the country was spared the expense of a Council Chamber, in order to be paid for it. Resolved to move the Governor to adjourn the Provincial Court. A sum added to the public levy to make round figures. A sub-sheriff taken into custody for serving subpoenas on members. Message from the Governor, that a rumour is abroad that the Speaker's letter to the Bishop of London has been altered, and asking that inquiry may be made as to the same and the divulgers of the report punished if it prove false. Bill for a public levy read twice and sent up to Council. Message to the Governor. It is so long since the letter to the Bishop of London was written, that it is impossible to accuse any person, wherefore we beg to be excused. Message to the Council, reporting that the Marriage bill had been thrown out and the Free School bill referred to next Session. Public Levy bill read a third time. Address to the Governor, resenting very respectfully his reflections on their loyalty and their good Protestantism, desiring that their debates concerning their privileges may be imputed rather to misunder-standing than to other causes, and taking note that he has been transferred to Virginia. Answer of the Governor, welcoming the repentance and change of tone. Sundry messages exchanged about minor matters. Message from the Governor, answering the Address concerning his transfer to Virginia with the assurance that he will still always do his best for the province, and with an exhortation to live as good Christians and loyal subjects. Message to the Governor asking him to put an end to the Session. The House attended the Governor at his summons, and presented ten bills, which were passed. The Governor then said that he was sorry that the Delegates had so prolonged the Session by their heats and animosities, which he hoped were now all buried. He would therefore draw no distinction between any of them, as he hoped all that had happened was through inadvertency. He then announced his transfer to Virginia, and that Mr. Blakiston was shortly coming to succeed him. He added that he had received an Address, which he caused to be read, asking for mercy to Philip Clarke for the sake of his wife and children, and caused Philip Clarke to be brought out by the Sheriff, when after disclaiming any animosity in causing him to be prosecuted, he told him that he could produce his reasons for reversal of judgment before the Provincial Court now sitting, if he would; but that if he could not he would release him on his giving bond for good behaviour. Address of the Council, Justices of the Provincial Court and thirty-four of the Delegates to the Governor for his good government. The Governor thanked them and prorogued the Assembly to the 28th of June. [Board of Trade Maryland, 15. pp. 315–376.]
Nov. 7.976. Minutes of Council of Maryland in Assembly. Mr. Smithson summoned to swear to his accounts, which he could not do to more than three, for want of accounts from other officers. The Governor granted the money arising from marriage licences (if the Marriages bill pass) to Dr. Bray for his good service in collecting libraries. Addresses from the Delegates setting forth their grievances, and on behalf of Robert Mason. The Governor summoned the House, when the first part of their address on grievances was read to them, and the Governor observed that they were many of them abettors of that rogue Slye. The Clerk of the Delegates then admitted that several alterations and obliterations had been made in the Journal of 29 October. He then asked what were their boasted authorities for Clarke's release, disapproved so small a number as sixteen as a quorum for the House, threatened to put the Navigation bonds in execution since they had refused the royal pardon, threatened to treat the Address as a seditious libel if it were not signed by the Speaker, and after dealing with the rest of their alleged grievances dismissed them. Four bills read a first time.
Nov. 8.The Delegates were summoned, and the Governor made them a speech, after which messages from the Governor and from the Council were sent down to them (see preceding abstract under date).
Nov. 9.Four bills read a second time and returned, one of them with amendments. The Attorney-General's petition for an allowance recommended to the Delegates.
Nov. 10.Sundry messages exchanged (see preceding abstract).
Nov. 11.Several messages exchanged (see preceding abstract). Three bills received.
Nov. 12.Three temporary bills received from the Delegates and referred to the law-officers, who reported on them, and further gave their opinion that the Assembly is not dissolved by a change of Governors. Letters from the Council of Trade sent down to the Delegates. Public Levy bill received and passed. Sundry messages exchanged. Addresses to the Governor and his answers (see preceding abstract, under date). The Governor gave the Attorney-General a present, since the Delegates had refused to grant him an allowance. Assembly prorogued to 28 June. [Board of Trade Maryland, 14. pp. 376–413.]
Nov. 7.977. Minutes of Council of New York. Order for inspection of the barracks and bedding of the soldiers at Albany, and that the French prisoners at Albany receive liberty to return to Esopus or go to Canada, but be no more victualled by the Government. The Lieutenant-Governor's accounts of his expedition to Albany referred for audit. Order for speedy trial of the Swift and Concord, two vessels seized under suspicion. On the petition of the inhabitants of Orange County, it was ordered that a sheriff be appointed for them and that they shall elect a representative in the Assembly. Orders for sundry payments. Order for Robert Livingston to provide bedding for Lieutenant Matthew Shanke, if that formerly belonging to him be not found. [Board of Trade New York, 72. pp. 158–160.]
Nov. 7.
New York.
978. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to Council of Trade and Plantations. This is to give you an account of the revenue. I begin with the yearly accounts from Michaelmas 1692, which was the time when Colonel Fletcher entered on the Government. See enclosure No. I. You will see that the greatest produce of any year was £3,934, and to show that Colonel Fletcher and Mr. Brooke were corrupt and neglected their duty I will undertake to double that sum under the present commissioners or any honest men appointed by the Treasury. I also send the amount of the revenue in every Michaelmas quarter of Colonel Fletcher's government (No. II.), and of those this last Michaelmas quarter (No. III.). No doubt Mr. Brooke will object that there was a war while he was Collector, and that consequently comparison of former quarters with this last past is unfair, but I will confute him by two arguments. After examining the book of entries for three years backward in Brooke's time, I find that fewer ships were entered and cleared in this last quarter than in the corresponding quarters of 1695, 1696 and 1697 (see enclosure No. IV.). Yet this last quarter has produced two-fifths more revenue than the average produce of the corresponding quarter in all six years of Colonel Fletcher's government. Another argument is the comparative price of commodities during the war and during the last eight or nine months. When I went to Albany in July last I was forced to pay 50 per cent. dearer for all presents to the Indians than had been paid all through the war, and at present the scarcity of clothing is so great that people are afraid they will lose their negroes from inability to clothe them against the winter. Next I come to the excise, wherein the enclosed comparison (No. v.) of the revenue from that source in 1687 and 1697 will show the corruption of Mr. Brooke. The whole produce of the excise in 1687 exceeded that in 1697 by £112, though it is reckoned that there are four times as many people and ten times as many public houses now as there were eleven years ago. My information comes from persons very knowing in the revenue, Colonel van Cortlandt and Mr. Graham, who were Collectors in 1687. It is believed that the excise of this province, if properly managed, would yield £2,000. It is plain that Brooke failed in his duty, for he has farmed the excise of Westchester County to Colonel Heathcote for £7 this year, though it yielded £20 eleven years ago. It is said that he and Heathcote were very friendly, but I cannot believe that his friendship outweighed the love of his own interest, so I conclude that "he went snips in the "advantage of so cheap a bargain." He has also let the excise of all Long Island for this year for £72 to Samuel Burt and Company, the Company being Ebenezer Willson, the Sheriff whom I displaced, and with whom Brooke used to board. I am told that Burt and Willson clear £500 a year by their bargain. In Ulster County, Brooke commissioned one De Meyer, a man of ill-character, to collect the excise five years ago, and De Meyer has never accounted for it, so that the arrears of five years are now due from him. To enable you to calculate the excise I send an account of the number of the inhabitants (No. VI.), to compare with which Mr. Blathwayt can no doubt supply you with a like account for 1687, of which no record has been kept here. You will then see the difference in population during the last eleven years. The Justices have not been exact in obeying my orders, for in some cases they have omitted the number of children and slaves. The return for the County of Albany will show you the mischief done by the war (see No. VII.). Again, Colonel Fletcher and Brooke took no pains to collect quit-rents, so that from £1,300 to £1,400 of arrears are due; but it would be difficult to ascertain them, for they have been many years (though how many I cannot find) unsolicited. Colonel van Cortlandt and Mr. Graham guess the quit-rents at between £200 and £300 a year, and they certainly ought to be £3,000, at the rate of 2s. 6d. for every 100 acres. Please take measures that the Crown may not be cozened by Colonel Fletcher or any former Governor. A further instance of his and Brooke's corruption is this. About mid-summer 1693, a great Dutch fly-boat, called the King David, of 350 tons, came in here from Amsterdam by way of Curaçoa and Surinam, and upon pretence of victualling and taking wood and water stayed here until the middle of November following. She had store of linen-cloth loose in the hold, of which several parcels were sold in the town. The Governor connived at the purchase by the master of such a quantity of provisions that the whole country grew clamorous and petitioned Colonel Fletcher to dismiss the ship. Provisions grew so scarce and dear that the poor began to be pushed, butter rising to 1s. 6d. per lb. and other things proportionably. At length when she had bought all the provisions that the Governor durst let her, she went away for Surinam. A brigantine of New York went with her and within Sandy Hook unladed £1,000 of provisions into her. This can be proved on oath. It was no secret, for it was known to all the town, and the general report was that the brigantine would be seized, but she was not. Governor Fletcher, Colonel Bayard, Minvielle and Brooke were feasted on board the Dutch ship. I sent you the documents in relation to this among my proofs against Colonel Bayard, but I send now another copy. Signed, Bellomont. 4½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 28th, Read 30th Dec., 1698. Enclosed,
978. I. Account of the Revenue of New York during Colonel Fletcher's Government, reckoning from Michaelmas.
1692–3, £3,291.1695–6, £3,403.
1693–4, £3,934.1696–7, £3,410.
1694–5, £3,884.1697–8, £2,145.—Total, £20,069.
½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 28 Dec., 1698.
978. II. Statement of the Revenue for the quarter ending on Michaelmas day during Colonel Fletcher's Government.
1692, £856.1695, £1,149.
1693, £959.1696, £1,678.
1694, £1,844.1697, £843.—Total, £7,329.
Average per year, £1,221. ½ p. Same endorsement.
978. III. Abstract of the Revenue collected at New York from 8 June to 29 September, 1698. Total, £2,270. Copy. 1 p. Same endorsement.
978. IV. Table of ships entered inward and outward during the Michaelmas quarter of the years 1695 to 1698.
1695-Ships inward51-Ships outward55
1696-" "71-" "70
1697-" "54-" "66
Total--176191
1698-" ",41-" "55
1 p. Same endorsement.
978. V. Account of Excise collected in New York in the years 1687 and 1697; a detailed account. Total of 1687, £1,143. Total of 1697, £1,031. 2 pp. Same endorsement.
978. VI. Account of the population of New York.
Men.Women.Children.Negroes.
County and City of Albany38027080323
Ulster and Duchess County248111869156
Orange County293114019
New York City and County1,0191,0572,161700
Richmond County or Staten Island32820811873
Westchester County316294307146
Suffolk County9731,024124558
King's County3083321,081296
Queen's County1,4651,350551199
Total5,0664,6776,1542,170
½ p. Same endorsement.
978. VII. Table showing the decrease of Indians and inhabitants of Albany County. The Five Nations and River Indians have decreased since the beginning of the war from 2,800 to 1,324. The inhabitants have decreased, through death, capture and flight, from 662 men, 340 women, 1,014 children, to 382 men, 272 women, 805 children. 1 p. Same endorsement. 1 p.
978. VIII. Extracts from the Minutes of Council of New York of 28 September and 9 November, 1693. Referring to the purchase of provisions, under permission of Council, by the ship King David. 1 p. Same endorsement. [Board of Trade. New York, 8. Nos. 20, 20 I.–VIII.; and (without enclosures) 53. pp. 174–182.]
Nov. 7.979. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Order in Council of 25 October as to hearing the complaints of Colonel Fletcher received (No. 937), and order given for him to be warned to attend.
Mr. Burchett's letter of 5th inst., with duplicates of papers from Newfoundland, read.
Further consideration of the Acts of Massachusetts.
Nov. 8.Order for the Attorney and Solicitor-General to be urged to despatch the Acts before them, dividing them between themselves.
Nov. 10.A letter from Colonel Fletcher read, asking to be excused from attending for a few days owing to his lady's death. Consideration of Lord Bellomont's papers continued.
List of papers received from Maryland.
Nov. 11.Five Orders in Council of 3rd inst. received; also a letter from Sir William Beeston of 28 July, with several enclosures, which was read. Order thereupon for the Secretary to write to Mr. Gilbert Heathcote and Sir Bartholemew Gracedieu to submit some names for the Council of Jamaica.
New York papers further considered.
Colonel Collingwood's memorial received (No. 991). [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 277–284.]
Nov. 8.
New York.
980. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to Council of Trade and Plantations. This is to give you a state of the accounts. With the General Account I send a short abstract. Colonel Fletcher having pretended to apply the 30 per cent., deducted from the pay of the forces here, to the building and repair of fortifications, I send you the King's order as to the application of that deduction and the account of the payments made from it, as delivered by Daniel Honan; also the account current thereof, with my observations thereupon, my orders to Colonels Bayard and van Cortlandt to survey the fortifications on my first arrival and their report thereon, which will show you that the Governor's house and fortifications were much out of order when Colonel Fletcher was superseded. I also send an account of the victualling of Colonel Fletcher's company, which shows him to have pocketed £1,496 by defective men. We reckon their victualling rolls to be exact and true, the officer taking care not to be cheated by the victualler, while the victualler is not likely to cheat himself. Daniel Honan was appointed Accountant-General of the province by Colonel Fletcher. The office was new and superfluous, and I am told that it was created without due warning. To be sure, Colonel Fletcher had the Council's consent to it, as he had for £130 to repay him the expenses of his voyage from England over and above the £600 allowed him by the King, and for issuing sums of money to Honan for no assigned purpose. To the office of Accountant-General was attached a salary of £50, and in Colonel Fletcher's account for the 30 per cent. deduction there is another charge of £50 for salary to this same Honan. But I suppose that this last salary was paid to him as Secretary at War, for he was that also, countersigning as such all commissions and orders relating to the companies and militia, which (besides the vanity of imitating Majesty) seems to me as superfluous an office as the other. Some of Colonel Fletcher's friends in the Council pressed me to make an Accountant-General, but knowing that it was a useless office and that this was only a snare to draw me into justifying Colonel Fletcher, I absolutely refused. I have already reported to you how profligate a man Honan is. There has been the strangest management in the buildings within this fort. The addition to the Governor's house, which is very little, the chapel and the barracks had cost before I came £3,701, as will be seen by an account sent to Mr. Weaver. I am beholden to Colonel van Cortlandt for this particular account of the buildings, who extracted it from the general accounts, otherwise there would have been a mystery of iniquity which I should never have known, for Colonel Fletcher and his man Honan left no account-books for other people to judge as to the expenditure of the public money. I find in the general accounts of the buildings a prodigious quantity of lime and bricks, enough to build a little town, and I am sure there is a good deal of fraud used in multiplying these materials. I have myself detected that bricks were all along charged at 30s. per thousand, though they were and are bought at 25s. I would undertake to build the same quantity of building in London for £600. It is true that building is one-third dearer here than there, but on a strict audit and survey I doubt not that Colonel Fletcher will be found to be indebted many thousand pounds to the King. I believe this debt will more than pay for the forts at Albany and Senectady, but I shall not say what it is till you order an exact audit of the accounts. Another article for which he is chargeable is money taken for the King's lands which he had no sort of power to sell. I cannot compute this last sum nearer than this. I have found out how much he made out of two or three grants, and reckoning the rest to be in proportion, he cannot have received less than £4,000, and, as many believe, much more. I have already sent you a list of the grants made by him. I send also a certificate of a perquisite of ten shillings for every soldier claimed and received by Colonel Fletcher, the total of which is £219, and is a further charge upon him. He can in no way justify it, for it was no sanction for it that Colonel Sloughter invented and enjoyed it; an honest man would have scorned such a precedent. It is no wonder that the soldiers deserted when the victualler was tied up to so narrow an allowance that he could give them no provisions fit for anything but dogs to eat. Colonel van Cortlandt tells me that he was forced to refuse payment of the perquisite afterwards, provisions grew so dear. I shall enquire of the victuallers at Albany whether they gave him that perquisite. Colonel Fletcher is further accountable to the King for an escheat of £500, which he received from the estate of a suicide. The sum of £4,053 at the foot of the short account is charged upon Fletcher and Brooke, these being all the accounts we could find. But there are other charges also, which are home charges upon him until he clears himself of them. I have taken much pains in making these enquiries, because it was my duty, not because I take delight in exposing Colonel Fletcher, though he did his best to make my Government uneasy to me. I await your orders as to further scrutiny of the accounts. Signed, Bellomont. P.S.—I send some further accounts of which I ought to have advised you at the beginning of my letter, and I am sending to Mr. Weaver copies of all Colonel Fletcher's orders for payments. 4 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 28th, Read 30th Dec., 1698. Enclosed,
980. I. Memorandum of the General Account of the Revenue of New York, referred to in the above letter, and filed in the volumes of Accounts. Scrap.
980. II. A list of the debts owed by the Government of New York on 30 August, 1692, when Governor Fletcher arrived. Total, £740. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 28 Dec., 1698.
980. III. A list of the debts owed by the Government of New York on 2 April, 1698. Total, £350. 1 p. Same endorsement.
980. IV. List of several creditors of the New York Government, who have warrants for payment of their claims, up to 2 April, 1698. Total, £1,391. 1½ pp. Same endorsement.
980. V. Account of arrears of taxes owing in New York on 1 November, 1698. Total, £1,253. 1 p. Same endorsement.
980. VI. General statement of the public money of New York, received and disbursed from 29 September, 1692, to 25 March, 1698. Receipts, £54,168. Payments, £51,403. Balance for which the former Collector and Colonel Fletcher are responsible to the King (including the balance of £2,764 due in the above account) is £4,053. Large sheet. Same endorsement.
980. VII. Copy of the Royal Warrant fixing the establishment of the four foot companies at New York. Annual charge, £6,801. 3 pp. Same endorsement.
980. VIII. Account of the money paid to the King's service upon the credit of the 30 per cent. deducted from the pay of the forces in New York. 7 pp. Same endorsement.
980. IX. Account current of the 30 per cent. deduction from the pay of the forces in New York. 2 pp. Same endorsement.
980. X. Lord Bellomont's observations upon the state of the 30 per cent. deduction from the pay of the forces in New York. (1) There is a charge for the chaplain's pay from 1 Jan., 1692, to 1 May, 1697, whereas there was no chaplain during that period. (2) The same is true of the surgeon's pay, though the surgeon went to Madagascar in 1694, and his duty has been done by others. (3) There was no adjutant on the establishment until 1695, of whose money only £36 10s. 0d. was paid. (4) The charge to Miles Foster is deducted from the pay due to the company for clothing, etc., and ought not to be allowed. (5) The money stated to have been paid to surgeons should be deducted from the surgeon's establishment. (6) It is doubtful whether the sums here charged for bringing back deserters have not also been charged upon the general revenue. Here follow four more exceptions, of much the same nature, to these accounts.
980. XI. Copy of Lord Bellomont's order to Colonels Bayard and van Cortlandt to survey the fortifications. 10 April, 1698.
Copy of their report, estimating the charge for necessary repairs at £1,515. 2 pp. same endorsement.
980. XII. Account of the victualling of Colonel Fletcher's company of foot, showing that he gained by the deficient men £1,496. 1 p. Same endorsement.
980. XIII. Certificate of Stephen van Cortlandt and Robert Livingston as to Colonel Fletcher's claiming 10s. for every soldier of his company whom they victualled, until lately when the dearness of provisions forbade it. Copy. 1 p. Same endorsement.
980. XIV. Memorandum of several orders in Council for payments during Governor Fletcher's government, received from Mr. Weaver. [Board of Trade. New York, 8. Nos. 21, 21 I.–XIV.; and (without enclosures) 53. pp. 184–190.]
Nov. 8.981. Abstract of the preceding letter of Lord Bellomont. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. New York, 8. No. 22.]
Nov. 9.982. Minutes of Council of Bermuda. Several votes of the House of Assembly were brought up to the Council.
Nov. 10.The liquor-tax, with amendments, was passed and ordered to be engrossed and published. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 39. p. 9.]
Nov. 10.983. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Order for Major William Barton to be commissioned Sheriff of Prince George's County.
Charles Carroll, Lord Baltimore's counsel at law, appeared to answer why he pretends to turn people off their land and then sell it as escheated. A petition making such a complaint was laid before him and Colonel Darnall, and together with their answer thereto referred to the Attorney-General. The Governor observed as to the practice for the King's escheats, whereat Colonel Darnall laughed in his face, and his Excellency said that unless he forebore he would be laid by the heels. It was finally agreed that the whole matter should be referred to the Council of Trade. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. 659–661.]
Nov. 10.984. Minutes of Council of New York. Order for the City and County of Albany to elect three representatives to the Assembly in future. Orders for payment of £21 15s. 0d. for wine for the soldiers on the King's birthday, and for other payments. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. p. 161.]
Nov. 10.985. The Solicitor-General to Council of Trade and Plantations. I have perused and enquired as to a private Act of Antigua respecting Nicholas Rainsford's estate, and am satisfied that it may properly be confirmed. Signed, Jo. Hawles. ½ p. Recd. 16 Nov., 1698; Read 28 Aug., 1700. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 124; and 45. pp. 302–303.]