America and West Indies
December 1699, 18-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor)

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1908

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575-586

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'America and West Indies: December 1699, 18-31', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 17: 1699 and Addenda 1621-1698 (1908), pp. 575-586. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=71204 Date accessed: 29 August 2014.


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Contents

December 1699

Dec. 18.
Whitehall.
1,065. R. Yard to Mr. Popple, enclosing His Majesty's letter to Sir William Beeston about seizing Kidd's plunder at Curaçoa. Signed, R. Yard. Endorsed, Recd. Read Dec. 20, 1699. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 9. No. 3; and 56. p. 412.]
Dec. 18.1,066. Memorandum of letter from Mr. Yard to the Council of Trade and Plantations signifying that an instruction has been given by His Majesty to Col. Codrington about Kidd's plunder at St. Thomas's. Endorsed, Recd. Read Dec. 20, 1699. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6. No. 49.]
Dec. 18.
Whitehall.
1,067. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letter to Col. Fox ordered.
Abstract of papers relating to complaints against his son, Gov. of Bermuda, ordered to be given to Sir Thomas Day.
Dr. Cox attended and repeated the substance of his "Demonstration of the King's just pretentions to Carolana," etc. Representation to state the case specially to His Majesty ordered.
Dec. 19.Letter from the Earl of Jersey, Dec. 14, read. Commission for Capt. Elrington ordered to be prepared accordingly.
Papers about passes for Algiers considered. Representation sent.
Letter reminding Mr. Pullen of his promised memorial ordered.
Dec. 20.Letters of Instruction from the King to Sir W. Beeston and Gov. Codrington about Kidd's plunder received from Mr. Yard.
Representation with Commission for Capt. Elrington signed. [Board of Trade. Journal, 12. pp. 297–300; and 96. Nos. 204–206.]
Dec. 19.
Whitehall.
1,068. William Popple, junior, to Josias Burchet. The Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations have taken into consideration your letter of the 30th of the last month concerning Passes with relation to the Algerines and after having consulted with Vice-Admiral Aylmer, they have commanded me (my father being indisposed), to acquaint you for the information of the Rt. Hon. the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty that they are of opinion that the best method with respect of the Plantations and keeping the Algerines in amity with us as well as for hindering foreigners from taking advantage of our trade will be by Passes, as most agreeable to the Treaty with Algiers and to former practice. They think that in the Plantations, the Passes should be entrusted only to such governors as are appointed or allowed of by His Majesty and thereby qualified according to the late Act of Parliament. They will be ready to prepare such particular rules and instructions relating to the Plantations as may be most proper, in addition to the rules and instructions relating to passes in H.M. other dominions. [Board of Trade. Trade Papers, 14. pp. 407, 408.]
Dec. 19.1,069. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. Petition of Charles Irvin, Clerk, praying leave to withdraw his former petition to be paid a sum of money alledged to be due to him for servants placed on the Treasury, read and granted. An Act to secure the Hon. Thomas Sadleir, late Treasurer, such debts as he hath made good to the public, passed. Standing rule passed that persons fined as absent members be not admitted to their votes for the remittance of such fines. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 457, 458.]
Dec. 19.1,070. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Letter from the Council of Trade (June 28) read. The part relating to the men-of-war appointed for Virginia sent to Capt. Aldred, together with the orders of Council, Oct. 19 and 25, he having written to enquire with what orders he had not complied. Proclamation ordered for the arrest of such men, desired by the Council of Trade, as have not already been proclaimed. Kenelm Chiseldine, of Maryland, complaining against John Waugh, of Stafford County, for marrying his daughter without licence or publication of banns, he being a notorious offender in that kind, referred to Mr. Commissary Blair and Mr. Attorney General. Mr. Gawin Corbin permitted to allow some Rappahanock Indians to live upon his land. Lt.-Col. William Bassett returning a list of officers and soldiers for a troop of horse in New Kent County granted leave to list as many persons of the same county as will provide themselves with horses and arms. Attorney-General directed to draw their Commissions. Capt. Peter Cood, Commander of H.M. advice-boat Messenger now in Maryland, writing for orders from the Governor of Virginia, resolved that no orders need be given till next spring, the Messenger not being big enough to cruize in Chisapeake Bay, and therefore of no use to this Government. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 53. pp. 371–374.]
Dec. 19.
Whitehall.
1,071. Earl of Jersey to Council of Trade and Plantations, referring the enclosed petition. Signed, Jersey. Endorsed, Recd. Jan. 3, Read Jan. 4, 1699/1700. Enclosed,
1,071. I. Petition of Benjamin Bennett, who served as Captain in the first Marine Regiment from the raising of it in 1690, and in Col. Brudenell's Regiment till last May, to be Governor of Bermudas. 1 p.
1,071. II. Testimonial as to the character of Capt. Bennett. Seven signatures. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 3. Nos. 59, 59 I.–II.; and (without testimonial) 29. pp. 244, 245.]
Dec. 20.
Whitehall.
1,072. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. In obedience to your commands we lay before your Majesty the draught of a Commission for Capt. Roger Elrington to be L.G. of Nevis. Signed, Stamford, Lexington, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney. Annexed,
1,072. I. Draught of Commission referred to in preceding. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 46. pp. 27, 28.]
Dec. 20.
London.
1,073. Lords Proprietors of Carolina to Governor Joseph Blake; James Moore, Secretary; Lantgrave Jos. Moreton; Major Robert Daniel; Capt. Edmund Bellinger; and John Ely. We fear that the powers we gave you to grant land have been used to the prejudice of us and the public, and being satisfied that the request of the Assembly, that too great parcels of land may not be granted to any one person, is reasonable, do direct (i) that you do not grant more than 500 acres to any one person except by special direction from us, (ii) that all future grants contain a provision to make the land escheat unless a settlement be made within four years, (iii) that you lay aside any thoughts of trading for us, we having altered our minds concerning that matter. Signed, Bath. Palatine, Craven, Bathe for Lord Carteret, M. Ashley, Wm. Thornburgh for Sir John Colleton, Tho. Amy, Wm. Thornburgh.
Dec. 20.1,074. Lords Proprietors to Joseph Blake, Governor, and Council of South Carolina. We heartily lament the great loss you and we have had in the death of Mr. Marshall and can't be but well pleased at the generous charity of the people to his relict. There is a minister, Mr. Maston, who was designed for Sir Nath. Johnson's neighbourhood, recommended by my Lords of Canterbury and London. We hope by the next ship you will give us an account of your colony's being restored to its former healthful condition, and if you would but study and endeavour the peace and advancement of it with that zeal and conduct we do here, it would in a little time be in a most flourishing condition. Signed as preceding.
Dec. 20.1,075. Lords Proprietors to Thomas Harvey, Dep. Governor, and Council of North Carolina. The Rev. Dr. Bray, a learned pious and charitable man coming into America Suffragan and Commissary to the Bishop of London, your diocesan, and designing to give you a visit, we desire you to treat him with all kindness at the public expense. He will be able to mediate in any difference that may be between Virginia and us. Signed as preceding.
Dec. 20.1,076. Lords Proprietors of Carolina to Col. Nicholson, Governor of Virginia. We having the opportunity by the Rev. Dr. Bray could not omit congratulating the good fortune of Virginia in having so good and generous a Governor and ourselves so good a neighbour. We are sorry the limits are not settled between us and Virginia. We shall with all convenient speed send a Governor with instructions to wait on you and settle that affair. Signed as preceding. [Board of Trade. North Carolina, 4. pp. 80–82.]
Dec. 20.1,077. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. Act to secure the peaceable possession of negroes and other slaves debated and read. Lt.-Col. George Peers and William Heysham empowered to hire any number of men not exceeding sixteen to guard the Magazine at a rate not exceeding 15 pence a day and one person to command them at 2s 6d. A memorial was delivered by William Heysham proposing as matter for consideration that, (1) a proportion of bread be allowed to slaves for their sustenance, (2) That all differences arising between Mariners, Sailors and Masters be determined before the next Justice of the Peace, as formerly, which will prevent great charges and unnecessary suits in the Admiralty, (3) that out of the forfeitures of £300 for carrying off a servant or slave, the owner thereof be only allowed the value of such servant or slave, and the residue be applied to some public use, which will deter any indirect practices in the Informer, who frequently appears to be the servant. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 458, 459.]
Dec. 20.1,078. Minutes of Council of Virginia. John Harwood, Master of the Mary of London, being in great distress for want of a carpenter to fit his ship to go to sea, Capt. Aldred ordered to let him have Stoakes for a month. Warrants and Proclamations signed. Capt. Rhodes, having mislaid the register of his ship and being a known fair trader, permitted to enter York River on making oath. Examination of some land in Henrico County, vested in His Majesty by the attainder of Nathaniel Bacon, junr., for High Treason against Charles II, ordered. Warrants for salaries signed. Oath for Masters of ships approved. Mr. Attorney-General ordered to consider the complaint of the Naval Office of the Eastern Shore that persons come from this side of Chisapeake Bay and load sloops with tobacco and bring it away, producing a certificate that bond has been given to the officer for paying the duties here. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 53. pp. 374–379.]
Dec. 20.1,079. Minutes of Council of Montserrat in Assembly. Impost on liquors and licences to taverners, etc., let to Capt. William Frye to farm for 69,750lbs. sugar.
Petition of John Fitzgerald Taylor, to have his levy remitted, granted.
The Assembly was dissolved. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. p. 546.]
Dec. 21.1,080. Council of Trade and Plantations to Col. Fox. Upon intimation from Mr. Ellis that you had desired a copy of Col. Codrington's Instructions, we acquaint you, to prevent any mistake, that the Government of the Leeward Islands, upon the death of the late Governor, did devolve upon the President and Council of Nevis, and as they are now in the possession and exercise of the same, we are of opinion they cannot be dispossessed until the publication of H.M. Commission under the Great Seal to a new Governor. Signed, Stamford, Lexington, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jon. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 46. p. 29.]
Dec. 21.
Kensington.
1,081. Order of King in Council. The Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations are to send for Dr. Cox and to take an account of the settlements alleged to have been made in Carolana, when they were made there, and how long they continued to be possessed by the Proprietor. Signed, Edward Southwell, Endorsed, Recd. Read Jan. 2, 1699/1700. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 4. No. 33; and 26. pp. 143.]
Dec. 21.
Whitehall.
1,082. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Your Attorney General is of opinion that Dr. Cox has a good title to the province of Carolana, 31°–36° North Latitude inclusive, on the Continent of America, and to several adjacent islands as also to Norfolk County in Virginia. In pursuance of this title (grant of Charles I.) Dr. Cox has assured us that about 200 Englishmen went thither and by the assistance of others who followed them made diverse settlements for trading upon the lakes and rivers there, some of which have ever since remained in the possession of the English there and are now included within the bounds of Carolina, whence he infers the actual possession of the said country many years before the treaty of Madrid (1670) is sufficiently demonstrated, and therefore the said country is to be understood as a part of the lands agreed by that treaty to belong to the Crown of England. As to the situation of Carolana with respect to the Spanish territories, Dr. Cox alleges that it being about 1,000 miles distant from Mexico and 300 miles from St. Augustin, the only settlement the Spaniards have in Florida, the further settling of the Province cannot justly give them any offence. He has given us a list of the valuable commodities, besides gold and silver, to be had in the Province. Such a settlement, he adds, may tend greatly to the security of your Majesty's other colonies, in extending a trade amongst many remote nations of Indians, which the French are daily endeavouring to engross by means of several little forts and trading houses here and there on the back of your Majesty's Plantations from Canada to Mechasippi. The settlement designed by him may become a sort of barrier between the French and your Majesty's subjects in those parts.
Whereupon we offer that, (1) according to the limits expressed in the original Patent, by virtue whereof Dr. Cox lays his claim to the Province, it does not appear by several maps we have seen that the mouth of the river, which descends from it, is included in the southern limit of 31, nor consequently that he has by the said Patent any access unto the same by the Bay of Mexico. We observe that being sensible of that defect he petitions your Majesty for some further extent of land upon the sea coast than what is granted by the foresaid patent. (2) The allowing the ancient patent in the extent of it within the Continent would occasion an interfering with the present boundaries of Carolina, but Dr. Cox has informed us that the Lords Proprietors of Carolina are come to an agreement with him upon that matter. (3) The settling of a colony in that part of the world does not appear to us to be a strengthening to your Majesty's other Plantations, nor is the situation thereof such with respect to the winds and currents by sea and the distant or inaccessible passages by land that it can easily receive succour. And this we are the more inclined to apprehend, because a considerable part of the persons designing to engage in this undertaking are French refugees, who without a constant military force will be liable to be molested by those of a different religion. (4) In respect of the Southern Plantations, where the industry of the people in improving a fruitful soil is of very great and certain value to your Majesty's Customs and to the Trade and Navigation of this kingdom, it may justly be feared lest this settlement by expectation of mines and other new and flattering hopes entice away the labouring people from thence. (5) It is not improbable the Spaniards, who pretend to a prior discovery and possession, may think Dr. Cox's claim not sufficient to entitle him to the benefit of the Treaty of Madrid. It is to be doubted they will not like the settling of a Colony so near the course of their navigation, and turn their resentment upon us to the prejudice of our trade, as we are informed they are now dissatisfied with the French settlement on Mechasippi on the same coast. (6) Upon consideration of the many difficulties attending this undertaking it seems natural to apprehend, what has frequently happened in other like occasions, that, instead of pursuing the ends for which such grants have been made, they have been perverted by the undertakers to the pernicious trade of stockjobbing. (7) The multiplying of Plantations tends to the encouragement of illegal trade and affords a greater opportunity for the reception of pirates. And forasmuch as Dr. Cox's proposals appear to depend as much upon considerations of State as of Trade, we humbly submit the same to your Majesty's Royal Determination. Signed, Stamford, Lexington, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 26. pp. 139–143.]
Dec. 21.
Whitehall.
1,083. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Representation upon Dr. Cox's petition signed.
Letter to Col. Fox signed.
The draught of an answer to Col. Codrington's memorial proposing some alterations in the Councils of the Leeward Islands being considered, their Lordships thought fit for the present to suspend their resolutions upon that matter.
Dec. 22.Upon occasion of a chimney in the Cockpit being on fire, their Lordships resolved to consider of a means for getting all the books in this office transcribed, to be kept in some other place, in case a fire should happen here. In the meantime ordered that a competent number of sacks be provided for carrying away the books upon any such accident.
Minute of Council, Dec. 14, read. Ordered that Lord Bellomont be given notice thereof.
Order of Council, Dec. 14, appointing Councillors of Virginia, read.
Order of Council, Dec. 14, approving Instruction to Sir W. Beeston about his salary, read.
Mr. Stepney was desired to draw up a state of H.M. title to the Island of Tobago.
Mr. Boscowen recommended Mr. Kendal for the Govt. of Bermuda in case Mr. Day be recalled. [Board of Trade. Journal, 12. pp. 301–303; and 96. Nos. 207, 208.]
Dec. 23.
Whitehall.
1,084. William Popple to the Postmaster of Portsmouth. I enclose a letter from the Council of Trade and Plantations to Col. Fox, who is lately gone from hence in order to embark at Portsmouth for the Leeward Islands. It being important for His Majesty's service that the said letter he delivered to him before he part, though I sent another letter to him under cover to the Mayor of Portsmouth by the last post, yet they have commanded me to send this also. Signed, Wm. Popple. On same sheet,
1,084. I. Col. Fox is sayled for the West Indis, so I send this back. Signed, James Wansbrugh. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6. Nos. 50, 50 I.]
Dec. 26.
Portsmouth.
1,085. Mayor of Portsmouth to William Popple. Yours with the enclosed come too late to be delivered, for the ship Shoreham, wherein Col. Fox is, sailed hence with a fair wind Fryday night last, but the wind turning Saturday evening to the S.W. 'twas thought the ship would return to Spithead, and therefore did not return the letter sooner, doe believe the ship may be at Plymouth. Signed, Jno. Blakley, Mayor. Endorsed, Recd. Dec. 27. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6. No. 51.]
Dec. 29.
Bermuda.
1,086. Edward Randolph to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I received your packet on the 22nd inst. and on the 24th Col. White with his son-in-law Mr. Dickinson and Mr. Spofferth, the Collector, came to town to wait upon Mr. Day for my discharge accordingly, but he hastened to the country, so that it was the 27th before they could speak to him. He told them his Council met Jan. 1 next. In the meantime I am continued a prisoner. He gives out he will do nothing about issuing a commission till he has received the original order. Upon the news of the Spanish Ambassador being ordered to depart England, I have just now wrote to Mr. Blake, Governor of Carolina, by Capt. Stow, to have a strict eye upon their neighbours the Spaniards at the fort and town of St. Augustine, about 40 or 50 leagues to the southward of Charles Town, mistrusting they may be influenced upon it, to take advantage of their present calamity, by the death of nigh 200 persons in Charles Town, and, reviving their pretended right a second time to all the southern part of Carolina up to Ashley River, make themselves masters of the whole province, being in great disorder and not in a condition to defend themselves and country. The Spaniards lay claim to these islands also. Signed, Ed. Randolph. Endorsed, Recd. April 1, Read April 5, 1699. [sic]. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 3. No. 60; and 29. pp. 268, 269.]
Dec. 30.1,087. Agents of Barbados to Council of Trade and Plantations, enclosing memorial relating to islands of Tobago and Sta. Lucia. Signed, William Bridges. Dated, Scotland Yard, Dec. 30, 1699. Endorsed, Recd. Jan. 1, Read Jan. 2, 1699/1700. Enclosed,
1,087. I. King Charles I. in the third year of his reign, above 70 years ago, did by his Letters Patents grant unto James, then Earl of Carlisle, all the region or country called or known by the name of the Caribe Islands, lying between the latitudes of ten degrees and twenty degrees north of the Equanoctial Line, as may more at large appear by the said Letters Patents. At which time Barbados, St. Christopher's and others were settled and peopled by the English. Soon after the said grant and pursuant to it, the said Earl ordered a party of men from Barbados to go and settle Tobago and take actual possession of it, which they did accordingly. But they could not continue there very long by reason of the unhealthiness of the country, whereby many of them having lost their lives, others got away as they could find conveniency of passage. Nevertheless divers of them stayed several months after the rest, till a Barbados vessel coming that way carried them all off thither. These men had put themselves during their stay under the command or government of one named Ayris, a sober, sensible man who is still alive in Barbados, whom his neighbours to this day do usually call Governor, or, when they give him his title at length, they call him Governor of Tobago. Two of his neighbours, Colonel Allumley and Major Walk, are now in London and give this information. And the said Colonel affirmed that he hath heard his father speak often of our possessing ourselves of Tobago, as is before related, he having particular knowledge of it. Some others of our Tobago adventurers, besides the said Ayris, were alive in Barbados till very lately, and many more when the present Agents of Barbados lived there. The whole affair of Tobago was then fresh in memory, and our taking possession of that island, with the accidents attending it, were a common subject of men's discourse. After our fruitless attempt to settle there, we do not find that any English have made it their constant habitation, but they freely went to it and made use of it as their own; and the people of Barbados have continually sent thither for timber and fished for turtle as they do to this day: their men continuing there two or three months at a time or more to cut the timber and get it down to the seaside. Nor did they ever ask leave or find any hindrance, save in time of war, from any other nation, so that we may truly affirm and must maintain, that we are still in possession of Tobago.
Tobago is to England as a piece of woodland to a private person. Now no man doubts but that woodland may be in propriety and possession as well as land of any other kind, nor does a man lose the possession of this land by converting it into wood or keeping it in wood, and the using of it and constant taking wood from it, not the dwelling upon it, is the true and proper possession of such land, so that a place may be possessed though it be not inhabited. Suppose a small island full of wood lay very near Barbados, which the Barbadians had tried to settle upon, but found unhealthy and unfit for habitation, afterwards they use it in common to supply themselves with wood, it cannot be thought that our possession is now lost, so that another nation might rightfully seize this island. And though Tobago be something bigger and something farther off, yet the case is really the same. Moreover, though Barbados and Tobago be at some distance upon the map and by measure (and this distance is but forty leagues, which in those parts is accounted next to nothing) yet in effect and convenience they are very near, for, since they lie northerly and southerly to each other, the same constant east wind gives a perpetual speedy passage backward and forward. Madera was so named by the Portugals because of the plenty of timber there found, that word in their language (as materia in Latin) signifying timber. For the same reason Tobago may be called the English Madera or our Timber Island; there being such mighty quantities of it carried thence to our Plantations.
'Tis granted that other nations have been upon the island since we took possession of it; first, the Duke of Courland endeavours to make a settlement, and pretends to take possession, but as his possession had no right, unless he had it from the Crown of England the place being possessed before, so his endeavours had no effect, and his people were forced by want and sickness to abandon all. Then came the Dutch under the Duke's pretended title, and they erect a fort, but they were twice expelled and their fort demolished by the English, first under Stedman and Oram, about 1665, and then under Sir Tobias Bridge and Sir William Pool in or about 1672. Afterwards the Dutch came on again and rebuilt their fort. But, about 1676, the French, under the Count D'Estré, took the fort and destroyed it, and so quitted the island. And the Dutch, who had retired into the woods, finding all in ruins, soon after quitted the island likewise, so that it was now in the same state, being cleared of all other nations, wherein it was upon our first possession. And so it hath remained to this day. And the ancient English right stands without dispute. Had the Dutch been rightful possessors and the French had beaten them out in fair war and fixed themselves in their place, it had been something like a title to the French. But since the Dutch were plainly intruders and the French, when they had disturbed their settlement, did not so much as offer to fix and settle themselves, they have no pretence or colour. Men do not gain possessions by destroying and forsaking, but by taking the thing into their hands and keeping it; otherwise Pirates and Buccaneers might lay a claim to all the places they destroy. Moreover, though the French at Tobago took and demolished the Fort and burned the houses, yet the Dutch still kept the island and quitted it not till some time after.
Without all question we had once a right to this island, by being the first possessors. How came we then to lose that right? Was it worn out by degrees or broken and lost at once? If by degrees, in how many days or months or years will such a right be worn out? If at once, when was that critical minute? They that would argue us out of our right to Tobago must fall into difficulties inexplicable. As for Sta. Lucia, the Lord Francis Willoughby being made Governor of all the Caribes by King Charles II, who had resumed my Lord Carlisle's interest, the said Lord Willoughby sent Colonel Cary from Barbados to the island of Sta. Lucia with above 1,400 people, and took actual and solemn possession of it, where we built a fort and several houses, and cleared and planted a good quantity of land. But the same calamity of sickness, which befell us formerly at Tobago, falling upon us here likewise, we were forced after some years to desist, but still continued to fish there and fetch timber from the island. And our right to these islands, from such a notorious, substantial and not verbal, but real taking possession, remains unquestionable, which right Sir Edwyn Stede did also assert in person at the said island in 1687, when he was Lieutenant Governor of Barbados and other the Caribe Islands, as may appear from a letter from Mr. Thomas Foulerton, late Solicitor-General of Barbados, who went upon that expedition with Col. Stede. Moreover we are well informed that before the said Lord Willoughby's time, the English had several times possessed themselves of this island and the island of St. Vincent's, and made settlements upon them, though by reason of sundry accidents those settlements had no continuance. But surely we must be deemed to take full possession of such places, when [we] actually go upon them with a competent number of people, with a purpose to settle and with fitting conveniences for that purpose and meet with no opposition. If the Government of England should permit the settling and peopling all the parts of America to which the Crown hath undoubted right, there would be very few left here to cultivate the lands and defend the Kingdom. It may easily be made appear that the encouragement given in the two late reigns to settle new Colonies in those parts hath proved of very pernicious consequence, both by suffering people to possess many places with such small numbers as in time of war do prove a great trouble and charge to England to defend; and in time of peace are of no advantage to the Kingdom, but rather constantly very prejudicial, inasmuch as they always contribute to the dispeopling of the Colonies and Islands which have been long settled, built and fortified, and which bring mighty advantages both of naval strength and riches to England. We conceive nothing will be more fatal to the English West India Trade of tobacco, sugars, cottons, ginger, indico etc. than to countenance or permit more English Colonies to be settled in them parts of the world, at least until those are fully peopled which are already possessed, built and fortified. Signed, Edward Littleton, William Bridges, Mel. Holder. 4 large pp, first two torn, corner missing. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 8. Nos. 30, 30 I.; and 45. pp. 5–10.]
Dec. 31.
Plymouth.
1088. George Lapthorne to William Popple. Col. Fox in the Shoreham sailed hence a Wednesday. There are two ships of our town bound to the West Indies, one to the Leeward Islands and the other to Barbados. Signed, George Lapthorne. Endorsed, Recd. Read. Jan 2, 1699/1700. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6. No. 52.]
[?]1089. Memorandum on a Representation from the Merchants etc. of Barbados and the Leeward Islands.
They do not say what number of white people they have, but represent them to be few and unarmed and the fortifications to be much out of repair, and very few Ordnance and those bad. Where the number of inhabitants is so much decreased, while the French are increased, it must be for want of proper encouragement: if those they have are undisciplined and in want of arms, it is their fault who should discipline them and provide arms. The islands have been always used to keep their fortifications in repair for their own security and at their own expense. There are few places where an enemy can land at Barbados; the Leeward Islands are more exposed, therefore a regiment is always kept there. The true reason of the decrease of inhabitants does not appear to me. I think it cannot be the decay of trade, because the French increase in both, as it is supposed we may do with the like industry and frugality. It is very true that in the late wars the French plundered some of our Island, when they had a superior strength, and it is as true that in our turn we plundered their islands and even took their part of St. Christopher's from them, and the same things may happen again in case of any future war, but the French will never in my opinion think of more than plundering our Plantations, should they have an advantage by a superiority of strength, for if they came to divide the inhabitants they have, they would be too weak to defend themselves in any place and consequently would be more liable to be attacked and ruined than our Plantations are now, and in case of war would, no doubt, even as they are, be in danger of being invaded and destroyed by a superior force, in case His Majesty should think fit to carry a war into that part of the world. But to send numbers of ships of war where seamen have always proved sickly and died in great numbers when they have continued any time, upon a suspicion or supposition of a war only, they might be incapable, if a war should break out, even of bringing their ships back again without more men and more ships being sent to strengthen and relieve. If the French Islands, especially Hispaniola, are supported from Ireland and our Northern Plantations, that would be stopped, of course, in case of a war, or may be prohibited and prevented without a war, if it were thought proper, and small cruisers are fitter for intercepting such supplies than squadrons of vast expense and subject to the inconveniences of sickness etc. before mentioned. If a large squadron were sent now to Barbados and the Leeward Islands and no war should happen, will it not be said, as it often is, that we are at the same expense in time of peace as in war, and upon imaginary dangers send our seamen to perish abroad, when they may be wanted at home? As to encouraging the Trade, I think our Colonies should be enabled to send their sugar to market as cheap or cheaper than the French, either by taking off the duty or suffering them to carry it directly to the best markets as the French do in some measure, or any other way that can be thought on. But a way should be found to encourage new settlers to come to our islands as the French do, and not making them servants little better than slaves, which keeps them down, that they never receive spirits like men, and sugar should, as it then may, be made as cheap as in the French islands, and exportation of rum from thence would be very well to be encouraged. I doubt whether the fortifications etc. in these islands is done at the expense of the Crown of France. I think it is done by the West India Company chiefly. And men-of-war that have been sent thither have been paid for by the Company and after come home laden with sugar, etc. I think there never was a squadron of ships kept at Barbados, but [they] have generally stopped there in their way to the Leeward Islands and Jamaica. No date, signature or endorsement. 4 pp. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 93.]
1,090. Printed Acts of Antigua. [Board of Trade. Acts. Antigua, 1. pp. 92–98.]
1,091. Printed Acts of Barbados. [Board of Trade. Acts. Barbados, 1. pp. 309–314; and 2; and America and West Indies. Barbados, 455. p. 194.]
1,092. Printed Acts of Jamaica. [Board of Trade. Acts. Jamaica, 1.]
1,093. Printed Journal of Assembly of Jamaica. [Board of Trade. Sessional Papers, Jamaica, 415. pp. 189–207.]
1,094. Printed Acts of Maryland, 1699. [Board of Trade. Acts, Maryland, 1. pp. 513–743.]
1,095. Printed Acts of Massachusetts Bay. [Board of Trade. Massachusetts Bay, 47. pp. 140–176; and 48; pp. 93–106; and America and West Indies. Massachusetts Bay, 562. pp. 143–168.]
1,096. Printed Acts of New Hampshire. [Board of Trade. New Hampshire, 21. pp. 1–7.]
1,097. Printed Acts of New York. [Board of Trade. New York, 111.]