America and West Indies
July 1701, 11-15

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor)

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1910

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347-353

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'America and West Indies: July 1701, 11-15', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 19: 1701 (1910), pp. 347-353. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=71560 Date accessed: 20 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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Contents

July 1701

July. 11.
Whitehall.
637. William Popple to the Agents of Barbados. The Council of Trade and Plantations command me to send you the inclosed copy of a paper that has been laid before them [above], relating to Appeals from the Government of Barbadoes to H.M. in Council here, and to desire you to give them your opinion thereupon in writing, so soon as you can conveniently. [C.O. 29, 7. p. 344.]
July. 11.
Whitehall.
638. Mr. Secretary Vernon to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The King has been pleased to appoint Brigadier William Selwyn to be Governor of H.M. Island of Jamaica in America, which I acquaint your Lordships with by H.M. command, that you may cause draughts to be prepared of his Commission and Instructions accordingly. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. 14th, Read July 15, 1701. ¾ p. [C.O. 137, 5. No. 39; and 138, 10. p. 168.]
July. 11.
Whitehall.
639. William Popple to John Sansom. The Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations having now under consideration draughts of Instructions for the Governors appointed for New York, Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire, relating to the administration of those Governments, they have commanded me to desire you to propose to the Commissioners of H.M. Customs that they would consider of any alterations necessary to be made in the Instructions for the Governors of Plantations relating to Trade, which were first prepared by them (and the last corrected draught whereof I received from you July, 1700), whether it be with respect to any Act of Parliament past since that time or otherwise. And more particularly whereas Mr. Randolph has lately laid before their Lordships the copies of some papers, which he says he has likewise presented to the Commissioners of Customs, concerning irregularities in the Plantation Trade, the loss H.M. suffers thereby in his revenue, and the want of some further remedy than what the officers of the Customs there have hitherto been able to apply, their Lordships desire the Commissioners of the Customs would please upon this occasion to take his proposals into consideration, and thereupon to add such articles to the foresaid draught of Instructions relating to Trade, as they think proper. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 36. pp. 8, 9.]
[? July. 11.]640. Col. Fox to the Council of Trade and Plantations. According to your Lordships' directions, I here endeavour to give a faithful account of that part of America I was in [i.e., The Leeward Islands. ED.]. When I first arrived there, I found most of the people indebted, and several did complain to me that such obstructions had been in the course of justice among them before my coming there by the frequent adjourning of these Courts that people for several years have been by those means debarred of the benefit of recovering their dues, which I did endeavour to remedy by appointing the several parties to appear before me, by which I either brought them to an agreement, or persuaded them to refer their matters of differences to an arbitration, which took effect with a great many of them, and especially in Nevis, the place of my residence there. When I took my progress round the several Islands, I observed their Militia, which I found very ill disciplined, no arms nor ammunition to speak of, and most of their guns, without carriages, lying flat upon the ground, nor no stores either for small arms or great guns, or other engines of war, which is of dangerous consequences, especially in St. Christophers, where also the Forts are much out of repare, so that in case of a rupture (tho' the English part of that Island is more populous, and seems to be stronger than ye French part, still the French have the advantage that they are proportionately in much better order, having four companies of soldiers there very well equipped with arms and ammunition and more forward than the English to improve their fortifications. One M. Renaud, a famous Engineer, who was sent to that Island on purpose to view their Forts (whyle I resided there) having drawn the plan of a new fortification, which in time may bridle us. As for our people in that Island, they generally seem to be of a stubborn temper, not much caring to submit to any Government that doth not sute to their own humour.
Nevis seems to be naturally stronger and better fortified; still there is great want of good arms and ammunition, but if care was taken the Militia of that Island might be brought to some discipline; still seems to be in less danger than St. Christophers' tho' not able to hold out very long without reliefe. That place is always sickly.
Mountseratt is in far greater danger than any by reason of ye few Protestant inhabitants in that place, there being twinty Roman Catholics to one Protestant; and unless they quickly find out how to stop ye progress of the Irish among them, who daily grow thicker (being drawn thither out of Ireland and other parts by some relations or acquaintance of ye same opinion) they seem to be disposed, as soon as they'll find an opportunity (I mean ye Papists there, who would soon overpower ye others) to deliver the Island into ye hands of ye French, or any of their Popish confederates. That Island is very healthy.
Antigua, ye richest and ye most populated, is in no less danger than the others, by reason of ye several places where an enemy can land round that Island: the Militia there is something better ordered than in any of ye aforenamed Islands, but their fortifications want sadely to be repared and improved; they also want good arms and ammunition. That place is always very sickly.
Generally speaking, none of those Islands can hold out long, if an enemy should appear before them, and if St. Christopher's was once taken by the French, that Island would supply them with a place of arms and a Rendezvous, to bring in whatever they should want to reduce ye others.
There is two small Islands more belonging to ye same Government that are inhabited—viz. Anguilla and Spanish Town, but there is so few inhabitants, and most of them so poor, that whosoever hath, or will have them, will be very little ye better for them. No signature or date. Endorsed, Recd. 11th, Read July 16, 1701. Addressed. 2½ pp. [C.O. 152, 4. No. 37; and 153, 7. pp. 203–206.]
July. 11.641. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letter from Lieut.-Governor Stoughton, June 3, read.
Memorial from Mr. Wallis, praying that Mr. Brenton's Deputy Surveyor of the Woods in New England may be duly paid the salary which Mr. Brenton promised this Board to allow him, was read, and a Memorandum thereupon taken for directions to Col. Dudley appointed Governor for those parts, when he shall be ready to go thither.
A Memorial from Mr. Hodges, proposing some new regulations to be made relating to Appeals from the Government of Barbadoes to His Majesty in Council here, was read, and thereupon ordered that a copy thereof be sent to the Barbados Agents for their opinion thereupon.
Letter from Mr. Yard, July 9, requiring the opinion of this Board in a Project of the Treaty of Peace with the Emperor of Morocco, was read.
Directions given for summoning merchants concerned in that Trade to attend.
Mr. Randolph having desired the Board to take into consideration some papers he had lately laid before them (which had already been read the 17th and 24th March), the same were read again; and the subject thereof relating chiefly to such matters as lye under the inspection of H.M. Customs, the Secretary was ordered to write to Mr. Sansom that the Commissioners of Customs may thereupon add such articles to the draught of Instructions prepared by them relating to Trade, as they then thinke fit.
Copies of several Orders of Council, lately received, read. [Board of Trade. Journal, 14. pp. 101–104.]
July. 11.
St. Jago de la
Vega.
642. Minutes of Council in Assembly of Jamaica. Answer sent to the House. "Your paper of yesterday is of such moment that it requires time to answer more then this present emergency will afford. Wherefore to prevent all further disputes about this matter, and that wee may goe on cheerfully with soe good and reasonable a work as ye quartering and provideing for the soldiers, wee doe acquaint you that wee are so farr from protecting our Messinger, that for his hanious offence of proclayming anything by beat of drum without askeing and having the Generall's leave, wee have comitted him close prisoner, in order to his further punishment for soe great a crime."
The House replied that this was no manner of answer to their complaint, the House not being concerned in the beating the drum, wherefore they desired a full and satisfactory answer. H.E. said they should have a further answer, which was drawne by H.E. and unanimously approved of by the Board, and ordered to be fairly transcribed by the Clerke against to-morrow morning. Petition of Edward Batterton, Dep. Marshall, was read and ordered to be entered, "inasmuch as it was your petitioner's meer ignorance and inadvertency with the then hurry of the day, which led him soe to publish the said vote," begs for pardon.
July 12.The House sent up a message to H.E. that they had gone through the heads of the Bill for quartering the soldiers, and have agreed to give the oficers money instead of quarters and doe intend to levy the money soe to be given on the Treasure which was gathered in the Earthquake; that the House have sent orders to several of the then Commissioners, who are now Councillors, to lay their accounts relateing to that Treasure before ye House, which hitherto have not been complyed with, wherefore the Assembly pray that they may have ye said accounts, for that they cannot proceed without them. To which H.E. answered, he would order the Council to meet and send them an answer in ye afternoon.
The House was summoned to attend H.E. in the Council Chamber and the following paper was read to them:—The Governor and Council having considered ye contents of the paper brought up, July 10, cannot but wonder upon what grounds the present Assembly have assumed to themselves such powers as do not in any wise belong to them, and such as were never before offered at in the former Assemblys of this island, some whereof wee shall enumerate, that they may remain on our Journal and yours for future Sessions to take notice of and avoid. Soon after the opening of this Sessions, ye Speaker's warrant was sent to five of H.M. Council to require them to appear before them, and give them an account of the money collected after ye calamity of the Earthquake. This was (if their warrant had been obeyed) the ready way to unframe the whole Government, and carry of one branch of the Legislative authority, besides the surplus of that money was the King's onely, not raised by the Assemblys, and therefore not to be accounted for to them, and the President and Council were then Governors, who always have H.M. Orders to dispose of his money. The sending to the Governor and some of the Council to give them an account of the King's Bounty money was of the same peice, being the King's own money by him directed how to be disposed of and where to be accounted for.
It's true in money raised by the Assemblys the King in kindness to the country has given an Instruction to his Governors, that if the Assembly desire it, he shall order the Receiver to lay the publick accounts before a Committee of the Assembly for their inspection; but that ever before now the Speaker sent his warrant to command the Receiver to come before them and bring his books without desiring the Governor to send his order to him soe to do, was never heard of, nor that ever the books were taken out of the Receiver's hands and kept from him.
The issueing out a Proclamation by authority of the Assembly and signed by the Speaker and published by beat of drum, and publickly affixed up, was never heard of before in this island, nor to be done or offered at by any House of Commons in England, unless that part of a House that dethroned the King and voted the House of Lords useless, and is such an intrenchment upon H.M. prerogative and authority, that had wee not taken public notice of it by punishing the Marshall that presumed to doe it, wee must have betrayed the trust and confidence H.M. reposes in us for the preservation of his honour and authority in this Island, and your commanding the Justices of the Island to come to you to complaine, is wholly impracticable, nor can either a resolve or vote of your House oblidge them to it. The demanding our Messinger was very unfitt and improper since wee sent him to take downe that paper, which he himselfe undutyfully and without any of our knowledges had presumed to publish and fix up, and for which wee have committed him to close prison, not doubting but wee have power over our own servants. Nevertheless, if you can make it appear to us that he has done anything disrespectfull to your House, wee will endeavour to doe you Justice.
We think it necessary likewise to observe to you that the Assembly has now been together above a fortnight, yet wee doe not hitherto observe one step you have made towards the tenor of ye writt you were called by nor towards anything the Governor recommended to you at the opening this Sessions, which was very short, in regard wee know not how soon our enemyes may be upon us, but instead thereof you have entered into desputes, controversies and high demands, as if being now mett together, the whole power and authority of the Government were in your hands, and in yours onely, which wee must by no meanes grant. But if you will leave of these heats and disputes, and sett yourselves about the Bill for quartering the soldiers (which you might have finished and sent up to us in the same time you were provideing your resolve), wee shall be ready to joyne with you in it. If not, you may believe the Governor will send home ye Address you have prepared, that H.M. may thereby see your management, and how well you have observed the promise you have there made to him in takeing care of his soldiers, which he in kindness has sent to us to assist in our preservation. Wee likewise desire that these paper messages (which tend only to the raising animosities and differences, instead of healing any breeches may be in the country, and which wee believe to be all our dutys to cement and not to enlarge) may cease, it being ye resolution of this Board not to answer any further debates of that nature, nor to wast time in such fruitless disputes.
And further H.E. recommended to the House the expediteing the Bill for quartering ye soldiers and other ye business he had recommended to them at ye first meeting without persisting in such disputes as had spent too much time already. [C.O. 140, 6. pp. 379–384.]
July. 15.
Whitehall.
643. William Popple to Sir John Hawles, Solicitor General. The Council of Trade and Plantations command me to send you an Act of the General Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay to impower the Treasurer to issue forth Bills of Credit, and desire your opinion thereupon (as upon those of the same Province already in your hands) in point of Law. [C.O. 5, 909. p. 456.]
[? July. 15.]644. J. Bass to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The complaints of the disorders and irregularities of the Proprietary and Charter Colonies still increasing and it being the opinion of this Board that it is of absolute necessity that the Legislative power of the Nation is onely capable of provideing suitable remedies for so great evills by reassuming the powers of Government and placing them in the hands of H.M., in order to the attaining this end, I would humbly propose that a Commission of Inspection into the State and Complaints of the Proprietary and Charter Governments might be granted to such person or persons as your Lordships shall judge fit for such a service, with sutable instructions to enquire into:—(1) the several transgressions of the Acts of Trade; (2) the encouragement and entertainment of pirates; (3) the denial of appeals to England; (4) the raising and falling of coyne to the damage of the neighbouring colonies; (5) the quantity of tobacco yearly made in the three lower Counties of Pennsylvania, and how and by whom shipped, with the places where; (6) the state of their Militia and Courts of Law; (7) the boundaries of Pennsilvania, more particularly where Mr. Penn's patent limited to the latitude of 40 degrees takes its beginning on Delaware River, that a true account may be given of the quantities of lands surveyed out of the bounds, the one half of the quit rents being due and reserv'd to H.M.; (8) the Refuge that hath been given by any of those Proprietary or Charter Colonies to fugitive sailors, soldiers or servants, etc. And to make returns of these enquiries with the proofs against the next session of the Parliament, by which not onely your Lordships, butt that Honorable Assembly may be thoroughly acquainted with the true state of those Colonies, and better enabled to make a due regulation and settlement of them. Signed, J. Bass. Endorsed, Recd. 15, Read July 16. Addressed. 1¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 1261. No. 10; and 5, 1289. pp. 109–111.]
July. 15.
Whitehall.
645. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letter from Mr. Secretary Vernon, July 11, read. Draught of a Commission for Brigadier William Selwyn to be Governor of Jamaica prepared accordingly.
Letter from Mr. Addington, Boston, June 2, read, and papers enclosed laid before the Board. One of the enclosed Acts, to impower the Treasurer to issue forth Bills of Credit (April 19, 1701), ordered to be sent to Mr. Solicitor General for his opinion.