America and West Indies
May 1700, 16-20


Institute of Historical Research



Cecil Headlam (editor)

Year published





Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'America and West Indies: May 1700, 16-20', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 18: 1700 (1910), pp. 255-262. URL: Date accessed: 21 October 2014.


(Min 3 characters)


May 1700

May 16.The J.P.s of Richmond and Ellis Duxbury not appearing, the messenger was ordered to go and serve them with the orders of May 9th.
Commission to try Lamberse delivered. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 316–318.]
May 16.443. Memorandum of Order in Council relating to Commissions for trying pirates in the East Indies. Inscribed, Recd. June 3, Read June 5, 1700. ¼ p. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 5. Nos. 63, 64.]
May 16.
444. Order of King in Council. Whereas Alexander Skene has by his petition complained that His Majesty having, upon the resignation of William Welbye, granted petitioner the office of Secretary of Barbadoes by letters Patents, the said Patent being produced before the Governor and Council of that Island, it was alleged against petitioner that he was born in Scotland, and therefore not capable to enjoy the benefit of the said Patent, by reason of a clause in the Statute made in the 7th and 8th of His Majesty's reign, "that all places of trust in the law or what relates to the Treasury of the said Island should be in the native born subjects of England, Ireland and of the said Island," and Mr. Attorney and Solicitor General having reported their opinion, that "the office of Secretary of Barbados hath in all times past been a Patent Office and in the gift of your Majesty and Royal Predecessors, and that a Scotchman, being in law a natural subject of England to all intents is not restrained, by the clause quoted from the Act for preventing frauds and regulating abuses in the Plantation Trade, from executing any place of trust in the said Island, and that a Scotchman is a native-born subject of England within the construction of that Act, and that therefore petitioner is well qualified and ought to enjoy the said office," ordered that the Earl of Jersey prepare a letter for His Majesty's signature, requiring the Governor and Council of Barbadoes to admit Alexander Skene to the full and free execution and enjoyment of the office of Secretary of the island, with all the rights, perquisites and profits thereunto belonging. Endorsed, Recd. 14th, Read 17th June, 1700. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Barbadoes, 8. No. 49; and 45. pp. 79–82; and Plantations General, 35. pp. 270–273; and (memorandum only, ¼ p.) 5. No. 62.]
May 16.
445. Mr. Randolph to Mr. Popple. Having seen several of the Bahama Islands in my passage from Providence, I arrived here 10th inst. I left those Islands in a very unsetled condition, the Lords Proprietors being wholly unacquainted with their true interest and benefit, being actuated per Mr. Amy and Mr. Thornton, their chief managers. That vast territory lies unimproved which, if under His Majesty's government, would bring in a vast revenue to the Crown. In my general discourse which I presented to the Board before I left England, I shewed the design of the Governors of those islands, who go over worth little or nothing, was to defraud His Majesty of his duty and the Proprietors of their perquisites and to enrich themselves by all unjust practices. I mentioned Mr. Trott as chief; all which and a great deal more I soon found verified of him. The inhabitants are petitioning to be freed from the arbitrary government of the Lords and their agents. Mr. Trott has married Mr. Amy's daughter; their Lordships, by Mr. Amy's persuasion, have sold Mr. Trott Hogg Island, which makes Providence Harbour, for 50l., to the ruin of the inhabitants in the town of Providence Island. I find in this Province their Lordships by misinformation have at least made choice of very naughty men to be their Deputies, to the great discouragement of this most thriving settlement in these parts of America.
There are many pirates in the Gulph of Florida; three masters belonging to Bermuda are here, who had their vessels taken by them; I narrowly escaped one that day I arrived here. The Spaniards encourage them; the frigates lie in harbour, and all trade will in a little time to these parts of the world be destroyed. I have many things of moment to represent to the Lords, but have no opportunity, neither am able to set to writing, being lame in my left knee with lying the whole time upon the deck; the fatigues and hardships I suffer for want of a frigate are not to be told. I am endeavouring to get to Bermuda, where I expect letters from England, and afterwards to look into that place called a Proprietary Government in North Carolina. I hope the Lords at your Board will move that if a vessel be not already ordered for my transport, orders may be sent me from the Admiralty to hire one in Bermuda. Signed, E. Randolph. Endorsed, Recd. 10th July, Read 25th ditto, 1700. Addressed, To the Honble. Mr. Popple, Secretary at the Plantation Office, Whitehall. 1¾ p.p [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 5. No. 49; and 26. pp. 257–260.]
May 16.
446. William Popple to Mr. Burchett. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire you to move the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to give directions that Col. Codrington, appointed Governor of the Leeward Islands, may have passage for himself and such servants and equipage as is usual for Governors in such cases in one of H.M. ships, which he is informed are designed to be sent shortly to the West Indies. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 46. pp. 40, 41.]
May 17.
447. J. Burchett to William Popple. The ships of war bound to the West Indies have been sailed some days since. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. 17th, Read 28th May, 1700. ¾ p. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6. No. 62; and 46. p. 41.]
May 17.
448. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Sir William Beeston. Since our last letter, March 5, we have received yours of Jan. 5 and Feb. 1. We easily believe it is not without reason you complain in the first of those letters of the ill-consequences of Patentees acting by insufficient deputies; but His Majesty having by Order in Council, Feb. 16, 1698, directed what he thought fit to be observed for the preventing of those inconveniencies for the future, and it belonging only to him to make any alterations or new regulations in reference to Patents formerly past, and yet remaining in force, we think the Assembly of Jamaica did not sufficiently consider that matter, when by their late Act for obliging Patentees of Offices to reside in that Island they made void or at least limited the effect of several patents contrary to the conditions allowed by them. This has therefore obliged us to represent to His Majesty that he would please to repeal the said Act as derogatory to his Royal Prerogative, which has accordingly been done by Order in Council of the 2nd instant, whereof we send you a copy, though we doubt not but an original will be also sent you by some of the Patentees concerned, and you are to take care that His Majesty's pleasure therein be known and observed. But as for the ignorance you say you are kept in about the tenour of patents and the right of Patentees, and your being thereby liable to be imposed upon by ungrounded deputations, we think you will do very well, for the preventing of that inconvenience, to admit of no Patent where the original, duplicate or exemplification under the Great Seal does not appear to you. And when any Deputies are faulty in the performance of their duties, your Instructions are your rule how to deal with them. As for your complaints of Rere-Admiral Bembo and other commanders of H.M. ships in those parts, we have sent abstracts thereof to the Admiralty, and refer you to what they may think fit to write. We desire you to send us a copy of the form of writs used in that Island for the Election of Assemblymen, that we may compare it with the forms used in other places, in order to such observations as occasions may require. What you say about the severity and ill-consequences arising from the Acts for Trade are things in which we can give you no directions but what you find in the Acts themselves. And for what relates to Custom House matters, we refer you to the Commissioners of H.M. Customs.
Your care in putting the law in execution against pirates is very commendable. And we hope it will not be long before Commissions be despatched hence in pursuance of a late Act of Parliament for the more effectual suppression of piracy, which will make the proceedings in all His Majesty's Plantations more uniform and effectual than they have hitherto been on such occasions. We observe with much satisfaction that you had finished the Store-houses and Fort Charles, and were about to lay a line of guns for the defence of the harbour. But you have omitted to send us a draught of that fort, which we desire you to do, and for the future to send draughts upon all other such like occasions, And now for the better security of that harbour against any attacks by sea, we further offer to your consideration that the shooting of red hot bullets is of the greatest service against ships, so that you may do well to get good instructions how to do it when occasion shall require.
Having lately represented to His Majesty our opinion upon the Acts past in the General Assembly, Dec. 1698, and humbly offered that you might have his Royal permission to receive the present made you by the country, we send you here enclosed a copy of H.M. Order in Council thereupon, and believe the Agents will have taken care to send you the authentic orders that may be necessary thereupon. But we must acquaint you that the Agents have been too backward in attending Mr. Attorney General for his report upon the Acts past in June, 1699, which, whether it have been to delay the repeal of the foresaid Act for obliging Patentees to reside or for what other reason, we do not know; but so it is that we have not yet had his report upon any of those Acts except that relating to Patentees, which the Patentees themselves procured, and it is very necessary that some certain method be settled for preventing such like delays, which we leave to your consideration. Private Acts have sometimes proved an obstruction to the dispatch of the public. You will do well hereafter to send private Acts each of them single under distinct seals, and let the parties concerned know that it is necessary some persons here be instructed to solicit the dispatch thereof, and give information upon any doubts that may arise. In looking over the account of exportations, which you sent us October 13, 1698, and comparing it with the form of such accounts directed to be transmitted by H.M. Instructions relating to trade, we find it deficient in several particulars fit to be exprest. But as you had not then received those Instructions, we say nothing upon the time past; only for the future we desire you to let the several forms therein prescribed be the model of those accounts, and that you send us constantly copies of all, importations as well as exportations, quarterly or at least half-yearly, from time to time. So we bid you heartily farewell. Your very loving friends, Signed, Stamford, Lexington, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, John Locke, Abr. Hill, George Stepney. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 57. pp. 58–64.]
May 17.
449. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Grey. We have made a representation to the Lords of the Admiralty about the need of an established credit at Barbados in accor- dance with your letter of July 4. But we must observe that Mr. Thomas proceeded irregularly in making the bills of exchange payable to Mr. Blathwayt, by which means they were never presented, wheras if they had been payable to any merchant in London they would have been presented and might have been paid by the Victualling Office. We have received your letters of Jan. 30 and Feb. 28. We approve of the good advance you have made in disposing the Assembly to raise a levy for paying the public debts and the hopes you have of further levies for repairing the forts and building a Governor's House. You have done well to send so full an account of the proceedings relating to Mr. Skene. As we observe therefrom that the place is now supplied by another, so we hope that the Island be not prejudiced by any disputes about that matter. We send you a copy of some observations communicated to us on the great mortality of the Island. Having found that the transmitting of private Acts passed in the General Assemblies of the Plantations, fastened together under the same seal with those that are of a public concern, has sometimes proved an obstruction to the dispatch of the public, we desire you hereafter to take care that all such private Acts be sent each of them single under distinct seals, and that the parties concerned be informed that it is necessary some persons here be instructed to solicit the dispatch thereof, and answer any doubts that may arise thereupon. Signed, Stamford, Lexington, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, John Locke, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 45. pp. 58–61.]
May 17.
450. William Popple to William Lowndes. The Agents not being able to get credit for the clothing ordered for the four companies at New York without so much of the pay as they are to expect from the Paymaster-General, the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations desire you to put the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury in mind of this necessary and pressing payment, for which you and the Paymaster-General will be attended by the Agent, this being the chief thing wanting for the sailing of H.M. fregat now bound to those parts, and to mind them, also, that Mr. Champante is under the same difficulty for 300l. for providing clothes and other things ordered for a present to the Indians. [Board of Trade. New York, 54. pp. 226, 227.]
May 17.
451. Dep. Gov. Read Elding to Mr. Secretary Vernon. I enclose a copy of what I sent per Esq. Randolph. A vessel has arrived here which was taken by the pirates that are succoured at the Havanna on Cuba. They had three English sail which they had taken but a little before. The master informs me the pirates were accompanied with Spaniards, and threatens that in some short time they design for this Island of Providence. Their possession of this place in time of war would be of great importance. The protection it now lies under is but a small defence. The Lords Proprietors sent me H.M. Instructions to put in execution the Acts of Trade and Navigation, and also a Com- mission to Richard Taliafferro to be Chief Judge and Justice of all matters civil and criminal with as much power as any Court of Westminster. By virtue of this he assumes to sit as Chief Judge of the Admiralty Court, and has there acted such monstrous actions that here are several persons that design for England in order for satisfaction. Although a vessel was proved in Court positively to break the Acts of Trade, etc., he cleared her contrary to the verdict of the jury. He picked out such men for the jury as he thought fit for his turn. The foreman was so insolent that he answered the Attorney General, who was reciting the Act of 7 and 8 William III., that such Acts were never in force here nor never should be. Whereupon I wrote to the said assumed Judge a letter, which was no more minded than if it were never written. Soon after a Court of Admiralty was ordered, and when the jurors were present, the Assistants' Commission from me was read, the Attorney General prayed that what he had to offer to the Court, vizt, his libels against three vessels that lay under seizure for breach of Acts of Parliament, might be read in order to proceed as the law directs. The Judge would not permit them, and though I appeared in Court with the Acts and Instructions received from England, he would not suffer them to be read, but broke up the Court upon the adjourning, which he said he would do from time to time, although positively contrary to his oath, and would not take the advice of his assistants, as per their enclosed deposition. If there be not especial care taken about the Acts of Navigation, His Majesty will have great wrongs as to his Customs, for the Judge declares that the sloops of this Government may take in enumerated commodities and [need] not to be registered without being forfeited, because he believes the Acts of Parliament do not reach so far as to compass them. These vessels trade to all His Majesty's Plantations. If I was to send home all the illegal actions he has acted, it would fill above a quire of paper, but shall put a stop to his disregard to the matter of the Admiralty by the appointment of a Judge for that purpose. If he commits any illegal proceedings as to the Courts which his Commission allows him to sit Judge of, he must be answerable to the persons injured. As soon as the Proprietors have received my letters, they will be very angry with him or them that have preferred him to be a Judge that cannot govern himself. Signed, Read Elding. Endorsed, R. July 8, 1700. 3 pp. Enclosed,
451. i. Nassau, May 11, 1700. Copy of letter from Gov. Read Elding to Richard Taliafferro. Yesterday came on trial the sloop Content for breaking the Acts of Trade. I can prove that you picked the jury. For you to allow of such monstrous acts against His Majesty as the speech of the foreman (see above), I will not allow. If you delay His Majesty to have justice any longer, I shall suspend your Commission. You ought not to have private conversations with the accused or to dispose of drink to the jury. 1½ pp.
451. ii. Copy of deposition of Thomas Dalton, Christopher Hooper and George Graham, commissionated assistants to Judge Taliafferro at the trial of vessels, May 16, 1700. Mr. John Warren, the King's Attorney, and Mr. Isaac Rush desired liberty to lay open their informations against the vessels, but Richard Taliafferro denied them and adjourned the Court, without the advice or consent of his Assistants, refusing to enter their dissent, merely because the money for the charges of the Court was not deposited in Court before the trial. 1 p. [America and West Indies. Bahamas, 452. Nos. 64, 64.i., ii.]
May 17.
452. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Blakiston. Our last letter to you was April 12. We have now received yours dated Feb. 2, with lists of entries inwards and outwards, and desire you to continue to send us the like from time to time. The account you give of your conduct and of the country's satisfaction therewith is well. In relation to pirates we may now inform you that an Act of Parliament having been lately past here for the more effectual suppression of piracy, there will shortly be commissions dispatched in pursuance thereof to all His Majesty's Plantations, which will direct the proceedings of all Governors in those matters, and we hope prove of good use towards the cure of that evil. Having found that the transmitting of private Acts, past in the General Assemblies, fastened together under the same seal with those that are of a public concern, has sometimes proved an obstruction to the dispatch of the public, we desire you to take care that when any such private Acts are past in Maryland, they be sent each of them single, under distinct seals, and that the parties concerned be informed that it is necessary some persons here be instructed to solicit the dispatch thereof, and answer any doubts that may arise thereupon. Signed, Stamford, Lexington, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 9. pp. 490, 491.]
May 17.453. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letters to Mr. Grey, Sir Wm. Beeston and Col. Blakiston signed.
Letter from Lord Jersey, May 14th, read. Lieut. Hunt and Mr. Champante attended and said that they could not proceed with their business about providing clothes for the soldiers at New York and presents for the Indians, etc., without money from the Treasury. Letter to mind the Treasury of the necessity of a speedy supply of money ordered. [Board of Trade. Journal, 13. pp. 48, 49; and 97. No. 93.]
May 18.
454. Col. Foxe to [? Mr. Blathwayt]. I writ to your Lordship by the last shipping, since which, on my arrival at St. Christopher's, I had information that there was two men put on shore out of a ship suspected to be a pirate. I sent for them and they, confessing that they had been upon the East India seas, pleaded nothing else but that they were come upon His Majesty's proclamation. I sent them aboard of H.M.S. Margate, and ordered the Captain to pursue the said pirate to the leeward, which he found at an anchor at St. Thomas's. But the chief pirates were fled ashore with their best effects. The Captain could not prevail with the Governor of St. Thomas's to secure the pirates that were gone ashore, only had liberty to carry the ship away, which he could bring no farther than Spanish Town, she being leaky, and ordered his lieutenant with men sufficient to take care of her till further directions. He gave me an account that he had brought along with him all the men he found in the ship. I ordered a Court of Admiralty to be held in this place, and appointed men fit for the appraising of 20 negro slaves, who were valued at 500l. They being taken upon the sea, I have given the Lords of the Admiralty an account of it. Signed, Edw. Foxe. Endorsed, R. 28th June. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands. 6. No. 63.]
May 18.
455. Col. Foxe to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Repeats substance of foregoing. Concludes, at my arrival at Antigua and Mountseratt there was presented to me by the Council and Assembly these inclosed Acts that I have given my consent and affixed the Seal to, which will be presented by the Agents of the several Islands to your Lordships. I am forced to act by the orders of former Generals that I have found here, not having had the honour to have had fresh directions from you. Signed, Edw. Foxe. Endorsed, Recd. June 28th, Read July 2nd, 1700. 2 pp. Enclosed,
455. i. List of Acts, consented to and sealed, March 22, 1699 (1700), passed in Antigua and Montserat. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6. Nos. 64, 64.i.; and 46. pp. 48–52.]
May 18.
456. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts Bay. His Excellency communicated to the Board a letter which came to his hand this afternoon from Lt. William Rayment, commander of the soldiers in the County of York, stating that the inhabitants are hopeful the present danger is over, and that they are unable any longer to subsist the soldiers, being scarce of provisions for themselves. Advised, that His Excellency order the discharge of the soldiers.
10l. 3s. 8d. ordered to be paid John Walley for clothing provided as a present to the Pennicook Sachems.
356l. 5s. 4d. ordered to be paid to Mr. Treasurer for fitting out the Province galley, and subsisting the garrisons at Castle Island, Saco and the County of York.
Wages of the garrison on Castle Island, May 26‐Nov. 26, 1699, paid. Wages of 16 soldiers lately posted at Woodstock under Lt. Benjamin Sabin, and of 25 soldiers at Haverhill under Capt. Samuel Ayer, paid.
Licence granted to Edward Grey of Boston, ropemaker, to build a timber leanto unto the backside of his dwelling-house situate by the rope-walk at the south end of the town. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 291, 292.]
May 20.457. Minutes of Council of New York. Proclamation ordered proroguing the Assembly till July 15. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. p. 318.]