The War.; Trade reopened with Spain.
There was little fighting in America or the West Indies
during the years 1704 and 1705. But the victories of
the Allies in Europe, and the success of British arms in
Catalonia, strengthened the candidature of their nominee,
the Archduke Charles, for the throne of Spain. In these
circumstances, upon the initiative of the States General,
trade with the Spaniards in the West Indies was re-opened
in the name of Charles III (50, 116, 160, 1353, 1485).
It was a measure desirable as a stroke of policy intended
to alienate Spain from her French allies and to put an
end to friction between English and Dutch in the West
Indies; and it was almost imperative as a means of
preserving the prosperity of some of the Colonies. The
loss of the trade with Spain is, for instance, mentioned
by Col. Quary as one of the chief causes of the great
impoverishment of New York (p. 140). But permission
to engage in this commerce was not extended to the
Charter and Proprietary Governments, for fear that it
would be used as a cloak for carrying on illegal trade (50).
Col. Handasyd, the Governor of Jamaica, who evidently
enjoyed the confidence of Ministers at home, was instructed
to carry on negociations with the Spanish Governors.
The Spaniards were ready enough to re-open trade with
the English, and Rear-Admiral Whetstone represents
them as weary of the yoke and tyranny of France (1264).
But they continued meanwhile to treat their English
prisoners with such barbarity (1236), that it was necessary
to make threats of reprisal, should such treatment be
continued (1329, 1330, 1358).
Thanksgivings for Blenheim. etc.
Proclamations were issued for Days of Thanksgiving
throughout the Colonies for Marlborough's victories on
the Danube and in the Spanish Netherlands (538, 1282).
Collusive trade with the Dutch and Danes.
Questions of trade with the Dutch from the Plantations,
contrary to the Acts of Trade and Navigation, and of
collusive trade with the French in provisions from New
England and the Northern Colonies, through the Danes
at St. Thomas, were raised (12, 50, 677.i., 914). The
Council of Trade suggested that Danish ships carrying
goods from that island to the French were liable to
confiscation, and that the Crown of Denmark should be
pressed to refuse to allow French ships of war and
privateers to harbour themselves in that port, assuming
that the treaties in force with regard to European ports
applied equally to St. Thomas (12, 677.i., 914).
The Council of Trade.
The general account of trade and the administration
of the Plantations for 1704, which the Council of Trade
rendered to the House of Lords, has been printed in the
Calendar of the House of Lords MSS. (682).
Convoys.; Losses to Trade and Shipping.
Much of the time of the Commissioners was taken up
by their endeavours to arrange convoys and to make up
the merchant fleets so as to satisfy the conflicting convenience of the Colonies, the English merchants and the
Admiralty. Some English merchants were anxious to
steal a march on others; some to delay the sailing of a
fleet in order to catch the Colonists short of English goods;
many secured licences not to be obliged to await the
convoys, if their ships were warranted good sailers and
well armed. The Council of Trade did their best to check
the issue of these permits, pointing out that in case of
capture such ships would endanger the whole fleet that
was to follow (1510). In order to prevent the leakage of
information, whether of a commercial or a political nature,
they further pressed Governors and merchants to instruct
masters of ships to sink any letters they might be carrying,
in case they should find themselves in imminent danger
of capture (426). But in this matter, too, neither merchants nor colonists were always ready to sacrifice private
advantage for the public weal (p. 626). Further confusion
and loss was caused by the failure of the Admiralty to
provide men-of-war when the fleets were ready, for such
unpunctuality involved the missing of the markets. A
good deal of mismanagement on the one hand, and of
greedy individualism on the other, resulted in many ships
being caught and trade being severely handicapped. No
less than 43 ships are reported captured or missing, out
of the fleet of 108, which sailed from Barbados and the
Leeward Islands in 1704 (794). By the middle of 1705
the Province of the Massachusetts Bay alone had lost
140 ships (954). A prisoner at Martinique says that
163 prizes had been brought in there since the war began,
and that 30 French privateers had been commissioned from
that port, where there was confident talk of a French fleet
coming to take all the West Indies (348, 420).
Prizes and Admiralty.; Relaxation of Navigation Act.
The captures, of course, were not all one way. And
since there was a general tendency in the Plantations to
chafe against the rights of the Admiralty, orders were
sent to the various Governors to support the Agents of
the Crown in cases where prizes were brought into their
ports (39, 45, 53, 103, 128, 174.ii.). But on one point the
Navigation Acts were relaxed. The proportion of English
seamen required in each ship's crew was reduced from
three-fourths to one-half "during the present war" by
an Act of Parliament (465).
Bill for encouraging the importation of Naval Stores from the Plantations.
Hitherto the efforts of the Council of Trade to encourage
the production of Naval Stores in America, in order to
break the monopoly of the "Eastern" merchants, had
resulted in an almost negligible export of pitch and tar
(750). As the result of their efforts in the previous year,
they recommended Thomas Byfield and Co. for a charter
to import these articles (143, 234, 899). They proposed
that this embryo trade should be encouraged by granting
a premium on Colonial produce, which should also be
admitted Custom-free (327. i., 413). An Act of Parliament,
to encourage the importation of Naval Stores from the
Plantations, prepared by the Board, was passed to this
effect at the end of 1704 (742), and Mr. Bridger was
presently appointed Surveyor General of the Woods,
with the function, amongst other duties, of instructing
the Colonists in the art of preparing pitch and tar (1517.i.).
Proposal to build men-of-war in America.
In this connection may be mentioned a proposal for
setting up a ship-yard and building men-of-war at
Mr. Secretary Hedges and Mr. Secretary Harley.; Absentee Patent Officers.
Thwarted in their plans for the active prosecution of
the war by the extreme Tories, Marlborough and Godolphin
obtained the dismissal of the Earl of Nottingham and
his followers in the spring of 1704. Sir Charles Hedges
succeeded him as Secretary of State, "with the care of
the Plantation affairs" (291). At the same time,
Mr. Secretary Harley and Henry St. John appear on the
scene in these pages (328). Indications will be found of an
increasing tendency to send Ministers' protégés in Governors'
trains with the view of a post being found for them (1351).
And, in spite of the past efforts of the Council of Trade,
and symptoms of restiveness on the part of the Colonists,
the system of absentee-holders of Patent Offices grows,
and is encouraged (1487, p. 284).
Supervision and Repeal of Laws.
The Council of Trade continued to remind Governors
to send over bodies of the Laws in force in their several
Governments, and copies of the new Laws as soon as
possible after they were passed (536, 540). The careful
consideration given to Colonial legislation, and the reasons
given for repealing some of the laws, are very instructive.
Sometimes, for instance, approbation is refused upon
grounds of infringing the prerogative of the Crown or
the rights and liberties of the subject, sometimes in order
to prevent inhumane punishments, as in the cases of
Bermuda and Pennsylvania (496, 498, 1076, 1081).
Coinage. The Proclamation disregarded.
Instead of being welcomed as a step towards commercial stability, the Proclamation issued in June, 1703,
fixing the rate of exchange for foreign coins throughout
the Plantations (392, 424), was received in the Colonies
generally in the same spirit as similar legislation had
recently met with in England. Thanks, as the Lieut.Governor of Pennsylvania remarks, to the liberty which
trading men will always take in their own bargains, but
also to the advantage which the several Colonies sought
to derive by shifting the value of the coinage, the
Proclamation remained practically a dead letter on the
Continent (864). It was observed in Barbados, but not in
the Leeward Islands, to the great irritation of the former
(1018, 1376). Dudley could not persuade the Assembly of
the Massachusetts Bay to enforce it (p. 590); it was ignored
in Virginia, where trade in cash, instead of kind, is
mentioned as a new feature (924, p. 412); in Pennsylvania
the merchants decided to make for the future "particular
bargains," and to wait on the example of New York (864,
1442); and in New York the merchants regarded the
innovation as certain to bring utter ruin (635). As
the neighbouring Colonies were determined to ignore
H.M. injunctions and to continue the practice of
clipping coins and passing money at the old rates, or
even higher, as the Bostoners intended, Cornbury decided
to delay putting the Proclamation into execution (876).
At home, whilst Penn urged that the regulation should
either be dropped or enforced (1209), and the Agents of
Barbados demanded the infliction of the severest penalties
on those who did not obey it (1376), the Attorney General
advised the Council of Trade that probably in the
Plantations, as before in England, an Act of Parliament
would be required, imposing penalties on those who
received money at other values than those which had been
fixed (1217, 1382).
Lord Cornbury's dual with the Assembly of New York.
The Colonial Assemblies tended, in many instances,
to regard themselves as modelled upon the House of
Commons, and, therefore, as entitled to all the prerogatives
of the English Assembly (p. 386). Lord Cornbury explained
to the Representatives of New York that the holding
of Assemblies was "purely by the grace and favour of
the Crown," and that their claim to all the privileges
of the Commons was an encroachment upon the prerogative
of the Queen and an infringement of the powers of the
Governor (p. 308). The Council of Trade supported this
view. The occasion of Cornbury's strictures was the
determined endeavour of the Representatives to obtain
some control over the expenditure they sanctioned.
Alarms at New York and Albany.
On the alarm of an advance of French and Indians,
Cornbury had gone up to Albany. The alarm proved
false, but it gave occasion to show that the Militia was
ready and serviceable, and that the Five Nations were
friendly and alert. Another alarm of an attack upon
New York by the French from sea recalled Cornbury
thither, but, by the time he arrived, the rumoured ten menof-war had resolved themselves into one actual privateer.
Some of the Militia are said to have behaved well on this
occasion, "but very many of the Dutchmen ran away
into the woods" (p. 307).
The Dutch party.; The Council and money Bills.
It was, Cornbury asserts, in hopes of forcing him to
dissolve the Assembly, that the Representatives refused
to pass a measure for the defence of the frontiers, save
with such provisoes as infringed the prerogative. By
this manæuvre, the "Dutch party," headed by the old
leaders, Gouverneur and Staats, expected to gain a majority
in the New Assembly. Cornbury, therefore, only adjourned
the House from the summer till the autumn of 1704 (427,
428, p. 187). But the passing of summer did not cool
the determination of the Assembly not to pass the Bill
save on their own terms, and they declined to admit any
amendments made by the Council to Money Bills.
Cornbury accordingly dissolved them (p. 309).
A New Assembly and the old spirit.
When the new Assembly met, in June, 1705, it was
found, in general, that the people had chosen the same
Representatives. The Representatives chose the same
Speaker (p. 559). The same spirit naturally animated them.
They prepared a Bill for raising 1,700l. for the defence of
the frontiers, but insisted on nominating a Treasurer who
should be accountable to the Assembly. They refused to
admit any amendments to this Money Bill from the Council,
on the analogy of the Lords and Commons in England
(pp. 560, 561). They were adjourned to September,
but "continued in the same obstinate way" with regard
to their Money Bill (1462), in spite of a pronouncement
by the Council of Trade that the Council had a perfect
right to amend such Bills (1462. vii., p. 460).
The Assembly complain of misappropriations.
The explanation of their insistence appears in the
Assembly's reply to the Council (1462.i.–v.). They complain that they have in practice been left hitherto in the
dark as to the disposal of public monies, and that sums
already raised for the defence of Albany and the frontiers
had been misapplied. Whereupon they were prorogued
till the following May.
Bayard and Hutchins.
Past events still threw their shadows. An Act to
reverse the proceedings against Bayard and Hutchins
was repealed upon the suggestion of the Attorney General,
and another Act was passed to the same effect, but
providing against the bringing of vindictive actions against
persons who had taken an innocent part in the proceedings
now reversed (545, 736, 741, 1499, p. 705).
Cornbury, Nanfan and Lady Bellomont.; Grant of stores of war and a present to the Indians.
Lord Cornbury devoted much of his time to a prolonged
and controversial investigation of the accounts of
Lady Bellomont and the ex-Lieutenant-Governor, Nanfan.
He claimed to make out that both Nanfan and the late
Governor, Bellomont, were much in debt to the State,
a position not at all admitted by Nanfan or Mr. Champante
(398, 406, etc.). Both Lady Bellomont and Nanfan escaped
to England, the latter, as he says, after a severe experience
of prison and from a series of malicious prosecutions (415).
The Council of Trade wrote on their behalf to Cornbury,
who appeared to be making a partisan use of his great
powers as Governor. They also advised him to streighten,
as far as possible, his expenses on fortification and stores
of war in these times of stress, and warned him that no
more stores were likely to be granted until an account
was rendered of those he had taken with them. Cornbury's
answers are plausible enough, but from these hints by
the Council of Trade, and by their observation that if
the money granted by the Assembly had been spent on
raising a battery at the Narrows, that would induce the
Assembly to grant the remainder necessary, it would
appear that some suggestion of malversation had already
reached them (184, 530). A further request, however, for
stores of war, a present to the Indians, and a man-of-war
to save the trade of the Province in provisions with the
West Indies from extinction by French privateers, met
with a more gracious response (643). Three hundred
pounds were granted for a present to the Indians (891);
two men-of-war were appointed to guard New York (1493,
p. 460); and since Cornbury had represented that he had
not 120 barrels of powder left and no spare small arms at
all, it was proposed that some stores captured by the French
should be made good, and 50 barrels of powder sent, to
be paid for by the Assembly (889–892).
Lord Cornbury and Mr. Byerley.
A charge was laid against Lord Cornbury by Mr. Byerley,
the Collector, of lax administration of the Acts of Trade
and Navigation in favour of Col. Wenham, one of the
Council (379). Cornbury replied (416, 422), and presently
retorted further by suspending Byerley for countenancing
illegal trade (1172).
Smuggling trade at Sandy Hook.
The smuggling trade carried on at Sandy Hook leads
Col. Quary to suggest the building of a battery and the
stationing of a Collector there (353. i.).
An Assembly Room to be provided.
Amongst the domestic legislation of 1704 was an Act
to provide a room for the Assembly, which had hitherto
been obliged to sit in a tavern (p. 191).
Mr. Livingstone restored.
Mr. Livingstone was restored to his office of Secretary
for Indian affairs, and his advice bore fruit in the appointment of two ministers by the Society for Promoting the
Gospel in Foreign Parts as missionaries to the Five Nations
(55, 799, 800, 1357.)
The industries of New York.; The state of parties.
Lord Cornbury's report to Mr. Secretary Hedges throws
light upon the industries and economic condition of the
Province, and gives a valuable sketch of the political
views of the inhabitants. He offers his own opinion that
"all these Colloneys, which are but twigs belonging to
the main Tree, ought to be kept intirely dependent and
subservient to England, and that can never be if they
are suffered to goe on in the notions they have that, as
they are Englishmen, soe they may set up the same manufactures here as people may doe in England, for the consequence will be that, if once they see they can cloath
themselves, not only comfortably, but handsomely too,
without the help of England, they would soon think of
putting in execution" the anti-Anglican, anti-monarchical
designs they had long harboured in their breasts. He
indicates again the cleavage between the Dutch and the
English and French, and, again, between New York City
and the rest of the Province: "Among the English in
this City there are a great many good men, but in the
countrey, espetially in Long Island, most of the English
are Dissenters, being for the most part people who have
removed from New England and Connecticut, who are
in noe wise fond of Monarchy," etc. Hence, he concludes,
their desire to extend the powers of the Assembly
New Jersey. The Revenue Act. The "Proprietors' Bill."; Opposition of Lewis Morris, etc.
The Assembly of New Jersey made it clear that they
did not intend to grant a Revenue until the "Proprietors'
Bill," which they had brought in in the previous year,
was passed (27, 641, pp. 283, 284, and see Calendar, 1703,
p. xv.). Lord Cornbury accordingly dissolved them in September. The new Assembly, in spite of the opposition of the
Quakers, granted a revenue of 2,000l. to the Governor for
two years, and, amongst others, Bills for settling the Militia
and for altering the qualifications of electors and elected.
Lewis Morris led the opposition to the latter Act, declaring
that the Properietors had only surrendered their right of
government upon terms, and that one of the conditions they
insisted upon was the qualification of electors and members
as laid down in the original Constitution. His opposition
ended in his being suspended from the Council by
Lord Cornbury (878). Amongst his arguments, as
reported by Cornbury, was the claim for Colonial Assemblies
to have the same powers as the House of Commons, referred
to above, and that, if they were not allowed to send
Representatives to the House of Commons at home, the
Colonies ought to be governed by laws of their own making
(p. 386). The Proprietors of West Jersey soon entered
their protest against the Act, insisting on the conditions
on which, they alleged, they had surrendered their Charter
(952, 1040). They assert that the country was not duly
represented when the obnoxious Acts were passed, and
that they therefore ought not to be confirmed. For a
majority of one had been obtained by two members of
the Council challenging the qualifications of three members
of the newly elected Assembly, and the Governor had
refused to admit them even after their cases had been
considered and they had been approved by the
Representatives. This, as they pointed out, was to claim
a veto on any election. They object, too, to the tax upon
uncultivated lands, included in the Revenue Bill, which
was passed, it is suggested, in return for the Governor's
dissolution of the last Assembly and his exclusion of the
three members. Objection was also made to the Bill
about the Indian lands (1703) and to other actions of
Lord Cornbury contrary to his instructions (48, 1040,
1449). Cornbury's version of the affair is given (1476).
The Council of Trade did not admit the suggestion
that the surrender of the Proprietors had been conditional.
They had already approved the alteration in the methods
of election, and proposed that the Governor's Instruction
should be altered to that effect, before the results of this
Session reached them (1055). They directed Cornbury
to get the Revenue settled for 21 years, and bade him
be content with 1,500l. for his first year and 1,000l. for
subsequent years, and not to intermeddle in the election of
Representatives (1057). And they offered other advice which
certainly amounted to a severe reprimand. When the
Assembly met in May, 1705, the Quakers, who represented
the Western Division, did not attend, in the hopes, it was
said, of forcing a dissolution. Cornbury, however, merely
adjourned the House till October, and in October again
to May, as soon as the question of the three excluded
members was raised again, and he saw, as he says, that
they were resolved to do nothing (1476).
The Massachusetts Bay. Governor's salary and the Quota.
The Council of Trade confessed themselves defeated
by the refusal of Col. Dudley's Governments to settle a
salary upon him and the other officials. They pointed
out that it was unreasonable for them to expect to be
supplied with munitions of war, whilst they refused to
obey H.M. commands in this matter (110, 349). Those
commands were renewed (491) in August, 1704, and again,
a few months later, on the occasion of a grant of cannon
for Castle Island, which was now finished (3). The
Governor was instructed to inform the Council and
Assembly of her Majesty's sense of their great neglect
of their duty and of their own security. If they did not
comply immediately with H.M. commands to rebuild the
Fort at Pemaquid, contribute to the cost of fortifying
Piscataqua, and settle the salaries of the administration,
they were warned that they must not expect any further
grants or favours from the Crown (349, 645, 693, 807.i.).
The Reply of the Representatives to H.M. commands.
In September, 1705, Dudley called a special Session
of the Assembly to consider this Order, and demanded their
"positive and direct answer" (1422). Their answer
ignored his blandishments, and, since the Council of Trade
had expressed their disapproval of their previous method
of sending over an Address to the Queen without the
knowledge or consent of the Governor (349), they now
pursued the more correct method of addressing the Crown
through the Governor. They had already, in begging
for a grant of cannon and small arms, and for two frigates
to guard the coast, urged that the neighbouring Governments ought to contribute towards their heavy burden
of defence (451), but they refused to vote their own quota
towards the help of New York in case of need (p. 217);
and whilst they commended Governor Dudley's careful
management of affairs, and readily raised men and money
to carry out his precautionary measures of defence on the
frontiers, they again refused to settle a salary upon him,
or even to vote an annual sum adequate for his support
(p. 217). As to Pemaquid and Piscataqua, they repeat
the reasons formerly given for refusing to obey H.M.
commands (Calendar, 1703, No. 1266) and add some new
ones (1435.ii.), which Dudley declares to be mistaken
(p. 656). The Addresses and letters sent home with
Mr. Cary were thrown overboard when the vessel conveying them was captured by the French (594).
Opposition to Church and Crown.; Policy of Starvation.
Dudley explains the difficulty of his position in the
course of an appeal for the support of the Minister in
charge of the Plantations. So long as he enforces the
Acts of Parliament, the New Englanders, "who can hardly
bear the Government nor Church of England amongst
them," were determined to make him as uneasy as possible
(679). The privilege of electing Councillors was used by
the Assembly to exclude "every loyall and good man
that loves the Church of England and dependance upon
H.M. Government" (p. 215). The policy of starving
the Governor was applied also to other public officers.
The Lieutenant-Governor, the Chief Justice and other
Judges were being compelled to resign for want of an
adequate salary, and the Council would not consent to
fill their places with Dudley's nominees, "the best qualifyed
men for estates and loyalty" (pp. 446, 447).
Choice of a Speaker.
An incident in the same struggle was the choice of a
Speaker in May, 1705. Dudley refused to accept Oakes as
being a pauper and a "known Common-wealth's man."
The Council denied his power of rejection, and he was
obliged to waive it in order to save the Revenue (p. 588).
Successful Measures of Defence.
On the other hand, as we have seen, the Assembly did
not hesitate to support their Governor in his energetic
measures of defence, although they involved an expenditure
of over 20,000l. per annum (954). For it was clearly a case
of self-preservation (p. 446):
English Raid upon Nova Scotia.; Quebec and Port Royal in difficulties.
The precautions taken achieved their object. During
the winter of 1704 the frontiers were kept clear of Indians
by parties of rangers on snowshoes, save for a raid from
Montreal upon the towns of Connecticut River, which
was quickly repulsed (159.i., 260). Only one man-of-war
was appointed to guard the coast from privateers and
to keep the French fleet out of Boston Harbour or
Piscataqua, should it pay a rumoured visit to that place.
But a privateer from Port Royal, which chanced to be
driven ashore, gave warning of an expedition in force,
"drawn together from Quebeck, Port Royall and our
own Indians," intended against Piscataqua in May (p. 100).
Dudley prepared to receive them, and at the same time
organised a counter-attack on the Eastern Indians during
their absence. Actually in July a concerted movement of
French from Quebec and Eastern Indians was made upon
the Piscataqua and Connecticut Rivers. It was broken
up by Dudley's frontier forces (455), which were ordered
to follow up their success by an advance into the enemy's
country (p. 214). In co-operation with a fleet of sloops
and two men-of-war an expedition under Col. Church
advanced into Nova Scotia and plundered and burned the
French settlements (455, 600). Dudley, indeed, declares
that, if he had been granted the extra 4th rate man-of-war,
for which he had applied, they could easily have reduced
Port Royal, for that that place, like Quebec, was short of
provisions (p. 214). The capture of their provision ships
this year and the next did, in fact, reduce the French at
Quebec to great straits (680, p. 587). Confirmation of this
is to be found in the proposals of neutrality made by
M. Vaudreville to Dudley in October, 1705 (1423.iii.,
p. 587). These proposals prompted Dudley, like Cornbury, to press for an invasion of Canada (679, 680, 1274,
Destruction of Noridgewock.
The effects of the expedition to the Bay of Fundy were
very salutary. The Indians caused no trouble in the
winter, which had previously been the season when they
had done most mischief. But Dudley did not relax his
vigilance. Besides keeping a strong guard upon the
frontiers to repel a threatened attack, he sent an expedition
to Noridgewock in the following spring (p. 445). They
found the place deserted, and destroyed the fort, "in
which they found a large Church and School and lodgeing
for a couple of fryers" (966, 968).
Births and Settlers.
A Register of births, April, 1704–1705, and a list of
causes for the year October, 1704–1705, are referred to
(1422.iv.–x.). The former, giving the number of births as
over 2,000, was rendered imperfect by Quaker principles
and inefficient officials. But against this element of
increase in the population Dudley notes elsewhere a decline
in immigration—not ten families of settlers had come
in ten years—whilst hundreds had fled across the border
to the Charter Governments, in order to escape the burdens
of taxation and military service (p. 447).
Dudley seized and hanged some privateers who had
turned pirates, though, as he says, it was regarded as a
new and harsh thing to hang people that brought gold
into the Province (p. 216). Whilst he petitioned for the
balance of this money for his pains, the Agent of the
Province solicited for a grant of it towards the purchase
of arms (954).
Mr. Usher's Accounts.
The moneys long due to Mr. Usher as Treasurer in the
time of Sir E. Andros remained unpaid, although his
accounts were passed by a Committee of Council, and
the Assembly could make no clear objection to them
(No. 417, pp. 446, 453).
He retires to Boston from New Hampshire.
That unfortunate gentleman found himself no better
off as Lieutenant-Governor of New Hampshire. After
some differences with his chief, Col. Dudley, after
reiterated complaints against his predecessor, Partridge,
and his faction, and a total failure to obtain an allowance
from home or any grant from the Assembly for his services,
he retired in dudgeon to Boston (34, 35, 982). He complains that H.M. Commission was treated with disrespect;
and the people of New Hampshire are reported by Sampson
Sheafe to be against monarchical government. No jury,
he says, would convict in a case of transgressing the Acts
of Trade, were Admiralty cases left to them (141). A
petition came before the Queen in Council against a
protective duty imposed in New Hampshire which
penalized English owners of ships (543.i.).
He is rebuked by the Council of Trade.
Exasperated, not unnaturally, by the obscure style
and repetitions of the Lieutenant-Governor's letters, the
Council of Trade beg him to write plain matter of fact
in an intelligible manner.
Governors and Lieutenant-Governors.
As to his differences with Col. Dudley, they remind
him that Dudley is not out of his Government when he
is in the province of Massachusetts Bay, and that therefore
the Lieutenant-Governor of New Hampshire must take
his orders and not dissolve Assemblies contrary to his
directions, as had been done (338, Calendar, 1703, p. 917).
The same question of administration arose in the case
of Lieut.-Governor Ingoldesby and Lord Cornbury in
relation to New Jersey a little later (1443).
Dudley and the Assembly of New Hampshire.
Dudley met the Assembly of New Hampshire in February,
1704. They pleaded poverty as their reason for not
doing more than raising 500l. for the Fort at Newcastle,
which was repaired by Col. Romer (417), and keeping men
ready for emergencies against Indian raids (159.iii.). In
spite of their experiences of that danger, the settlers on
the frontiers continued to live in their scattered houses
rather than in garrisons on the defensive (p. 51).
Mr. Allen's Claims.
Mr. Allen's claim to the "waste lands" continued to
agitate the Province (120). His case against Waldron
was tried in March, 1705, and resulted in a verdict for
the defendant, as, says Usher, was to be expected, the
judges and jurors being persons who gave Waldron money
to carry on his case. The judges refused to obey the
Queen's Orders to direct the jury to find specially in
this case (982, cf. Calendar, 1703, No. 580). Allen
The Assembly's Offer to Allen.
On Dudley's arrival in May he took up the case and
persuaded the Assembly not only to grant a salary and
revenue for the administration in obedience to H.M.
commands (Calendar, 1703, 601), but also to make an
offer which he thought Allen would have done well to
accept, even though it were short of justice (1108, 1109,
1432.i.). Allen, however, died at that moment. His
claim was taken up by his son (1367.i.).
List of Causes.
A list of recent causes is indicated (1).
Pennsylvania. Division of the Province and Three Lower Counties.
The new Lieutenant-Governor, Evans, did not arrive
in Pennsylvania until February, 1704 (175). In spite of
his efforts to promote unity, the division foreshadowed
in Penn's Charter of 1701 (1429), crystallised when the
Representatives of the Province and Three Lower Counties
met in Assembly in April (353, 359.ii.–vi., 605.vii.). The
Representatives of Pennsylvania refused to sit with those
of the Three Countries, who, "finding themselves thrown
off by the Quakers," retired to their own country to shift
for themselves in a separate Assembly at Newcastle (353).
Militia.; The Quota.
One of Evans' first steps was to issue a Proclamation
requiring all those "whose perswasions will on any account
permit them" to arm themselves and enlist in the Militia
(359.i., 599). By the end of the period under review he
reports that he has succeeded in settling as regular a
Militia as he could induce the Representatives to see the
necessity of. The Quakers, of course, were exempt,
and the Lieutenant-Governor suggests that many who were
not Quakers by conviction, but were disaffected to H.M.
Government, availed themselves of this exemption (1441).
He had pressed, but pressed in vain, for the Assembly at
Philadelphia to grant the sums they were enjoined by
the Queen's commands to contribute towards the defence
of the New York frontier (359, p. 273). The Assembly
referred to their former refusal, and proceeded to challenge
the Lieutenant-Governor's power of proroguing or dissolving
them (599). Col. Quary suggests that the evil example of
Pennsylvania in this matter of the Quota corrupts the
good manners of the Jerseys, and nothing more is to be
expected so long as the present Constitution is allowed
to remain in force (p. 141).
Judicial Oaths.; Penn, Father and Son.
The old antagonism continued between Quakers who
wished to be judges, but would not take or administer an
oath, and non-Quakers who might wish to be tried, but
thought an oath more binding than a mere affirmation
(605.ix., p. 282). There was a further division of Quaker
against Quaker, a large party being strongly opposed
to the Proprietor's interest. The quarrel came to a head
over the Militia, the officers of which were indicted by the
Quakers, who did not spare young Mr. Penn himself,
who was "presented for abusing the Constable and Watch"
(605.xi.). The Lieutenant-Governor retorted by declaring
the proceedings of the Court against one of the Militia
void, in accordance with the Order in Council of January,
1703, since the Court had refused to administer an oath
to a witness (p. 283, No. 605.ii.). Incensed with Penn and
his son, the Quakers refused to grant a penny to them or
to Evans, and young Penn, who had come over in pursuance
of an agreement, by which, if father or son should settle
in Pennsylvania, a sum was to be raised for them, was
so incensed that he publicly renounced the Quakers,
put on his sword, and shook the dust of the province
from off his shoes, resolved to persuade his father to resign
the Government (p. 283).
Penn's proposals for surrendering the Government.; Exports of Pennsylvania.
These events are reflected in the negotiations for
surrendering his Government which continued to take
place between Penn and the Council of Trade. After
returning to the charge against Col. Quary in 1704 (176),
Penn, in the beginning of 1705, renewed his proposals for
resigning the Government, waiving the conditions which
had rendered his previous offer impracticable, and
stipulating, in general, only for entire liberty of conscience
for the inhabitants, the reservation of his Proprietary
privileges, and exemption for himself and his successors
from troublesome offices and public taxes (786). These
generals were gradually extended to the particulars from
which Penn constitutionally shrank, and a draught of a
surrender was framed before the end of the year (788,
809, 810, 946, 1156, 1158, 1331). With a view to compensation, and to support his claim that his recent visit
to Pennsylvania had produced a very large increase in
the Customs paid, Penn supplied valuable lists of exports
since 1699 (788, 1446).
Laws of Pennsylvania.
In considering the 105 Laws of 1700 and 1701 passed by
Penn, the Council of Trade took great care to enquire
into the Proprietor's legal position as well as into the
desirability of the particular laws. The Attorney-General's
report upon them is a good instance of the careful scrutiny
to which the Laws of the Colonies were submitted by the
Law Officers of the Crown, and of the reasons for which
they were repealed, if repealed they were. Some were
rejected as tending to the prejudice of Englishmen, or as
contrary to the laws of England, or as encroaching on
the prerogative of the Crown; but the larger number
because they threatened the liberty or security of the
subject, or because the punishments proposed were
inhumane or too severe (604). Penn's reply to these
objections is characteristic. He must submit to lawyers,
and pleads that the "simplicity of the times in that
wilderness should excuse inexpertness," and so forth
(1278.i., 1324, 1372, 1383, 1463). In response to the
objection to an Act that might encourage the making of
shoes in the Plantations, to the disadvantage of English
manufacturers, he argues that reason of State cannot "in
prudence or justice put one man's commodity, as this will,
upon another at ye seller's price" (pp. 598, 612).
Connecticut. The Mohican Indians.
In response to the complaint of the Mohican Indians,
that certain lands had been taken from them by the
Government of Connecticut, contrary to agreement (11),
a Commission of Enquiry was appointed (171, 172, 207),
after the opinion of the Attorney General had been
ascertained as to the power of the Crown to erect such a
Court (146). The Commission, presided over by
Governor Dudley, sat in August, 1705, but the Commissioners appointed to represent the Colony first flouted
the Queen's directions and challenged the power of the
Court, and then withdrew (181.i., 1312, 1422). The
Commission reported unanimously in favour of Owaneco
and the Mohegans (1312.i.), but indicated that the Government of Connecticut would refuse to carry out the award
and to restore the lands in question without further
pressure from the Crown (1422).
Repeal of the Heretics Act.
On the petition of the Quakers, an Act "entituled
Hereticks," and directed against "Quakers, Ranters,
Adamites and such like" was repealed (1060, 1153, 1356,
Charges against Connecticut and Rhode Island.
The Governments of Connecticut and Rhode Island
remained obdurate in their refusal to contribute towards
the defence of the frontiers, a burden which lay very heavily
upon the Massachusetts Bay. The Council of Trade more
than once recommended that the Queen should appoint a
Governor over their heads, and were backed by the opinions
of the Law Officers of the Crown (23, 448, 659).
Orders were once more issued from St. James's requiring
these Colonies to send aid to the Massachusetts Bay, but
once more without result (109, 132, 205). As the result
of H.M. reiterated commands, Dudley reported at the
end of the period under review that he had not received
one soldier or one penny from these Charter Governments
towards defence (1422). Rhode Island put the matter
off, first by promising to take a muster of the inhabitants,
and then by proposing to discuss the details with
Col. Dudley through Commissioners (1274.xi.–xiii., pp. 445,
587). The Governor and Council, in obedience to the
royal commands (105, 127), renounced their pretensions
to Admiralty jurisdiction, the obnoxious Act having been
repealed (23, 51, 52, 105, 107). But a Commission recently
granted to Capt. Halsey was soon causing further trouble
(p. 445, Nos. 1274, 1274.xv., xvi.). Their defence of
their assumption of the rights of Admiralty is given (1407.i.).
It is intermingled with many pious protestations and
the most unctuous prayers for the forgiveness of their
accusers. The charges against the two Governments
continued, indeed, to accumulate (701). Lord Cornbury
forwarded evidence against Connecticut, which he described
as a Nest of Thieves and a Government "peopled with
the spawn of rebellion" (861, 1475ff.), and Dudley sent
evidence against Rhode Island (1274, 1424). The
Proprietors of the mortgaged lands in the Narraganset
Country join the chorus of complaint against the injustice
and oppression of the Rhode Islanders (1451.i.). In general,
it is complained, these Governments acted "as if they
thought themselves out of ye dominions of the Queen,"
and pirates there were in less danger than their prosecutors.
Anti-monarchical principles and opposition to the Church
of England were, indeed, reported to be increasing daily
in the Proprietary Governments and the Massachusetts Bay,
some of the leading men, as Mompesson writes, talking
of shaking off their subjection to the Crown (436).
The consideration of the case against Connecticut and
Rhode Island, after having been frequently deferred,
came before the Privy Council in February, 1705. It was
ordered that the charges should be formulated, and that
the answers of the two Governments should be returned
within six months (856, 862, 975.i., 976.i).
The time allowed had, however, elapsed before the
Order reached the hands of the Government of Rhode
Island (1408). But, upon the report of the Council of
Trade, a general statement of the misfeazances of the
Charter and Propritary Governments, and of the
desirabilty of reassuming them to the Crown was ordered
to be laid before the Queen in Council (1525).
"Will and Doom."
Gershom Bulkley's Will and Doom, a pamphlet relating
to grievances in the Colony of Connecticut, of which I
merely give the title, has been printed by the Conn. Hist.
Soc. (Coll. III, 80) (644).
Virginia. Complaints against Governor Nicholson.; Nicholson and the College of William and Mary.; Nicholson's Reply. He is recalled.
Governor Nicholson refers to the habit of complaining against their Governors, which had lately come
into vogue in the Colonies (930). In the spring of
1704 his own turn came, in the shape of a petition to the
Queen, signed by six members of Council in May, 1703,
against his "arbitrary government and scandalous
example" (226, 247). Mr. Commissary Blair and Robert
Beverley were the leading spirits of the opposition, which
Nicholson and Col. Quary describe as small, factious, and
discredited by their own malice (p. 144). The charges
brought against Nicholson bear a strong resemblance to
those which had been levelled against him in Maryland
(508). He is accused of acting arbitrarily, contrary to
or without the advice of the Council, whom he publicly
abuses; of browbeating all opposed to his views in the
Assembly, of using "Billingsgate language," and interposing to promote ill-feeling between the Houses, when
he makes violent speeches, which are not recorded in the
Minutes. In the Courts he hectors the judges, shows
gross partiality to his friends, and tampers with the Grand
Juries and witnesses. His "haughty, furious and insolent
behaviour" towards gentlemen of the country is said to
be on a par with his profanity and gross immorality with
women, but he has so bribed and terrified the Clergy and
Grand Juries into signing flattering Addresses on his behalf
that he relies upon clearing himself with their aid. He
has invaded the Bishop of London's jurisdiction, and
abused the ecclesiastical jurisdiction entrusted to the
Governor (247, 270–284, 371). In the course of
substantiating these charges, Blair tells a very curious
story in connection with the College of William and Mary,
a story which throws light upon the official, as well as the
College manners and customs of the day. The form of
barring out the Schoolmaster in order to wrest a holiday
from him, was a custom which remained in vogue in some
parts of England within living memory (p. 112). Nicholson
was ordered to reply, and sternly recommended not to visit
his personal resentment upon those who were concerned in
the complaints (388, 507, 508). His answers began to come
in, voluble and indignant. Many of the charges were, as he
asserted, obviously petty, malicious and self-contradictory
(915, 921, 924, 930). But others were of a kind which
called for enquiry at close quarters. His defence was cut
short by a command to answer his accusers at home. The
Order was accompanied by an assurance that he had not
forfeited H.M. favour (1015, 1023, 1039). Nicholson could
justly say that he had found Virginia as he had found
Maryland, in debt and torn by faction; he could proudly
point to proofs that he left Virginia, as he had left Maryland,
prosperous, solvent, and at peace. The people, except for a
small and noisy faction, he describes as dutiful and loyal
The Assembly and Col. Quary.
The opposition had been much encouraged by Robert
Beverley's letters from England (628ff.). The Assembly
was led by a garbled version sent by him of a report by
Col. Quary—always an echo of Nicholson in matters
Virginian—to make an Address to the Queen upon it,
without giving that officer an opportunity of explanation
or denial (1277.i., 1399).
Governor Nott succeeds Governor Nicholson.; His Instructions.
Rumour was rife first that Col. Parke, then that
Lord Orkney was appointed to succeed Governor Nicholson
(p. 432). Actually, Col. Edward Nott received the post.
With commendable rapidity, he sailed in April, 1705
(1004, 1034). His Instructions cover a good deal of new
ground since Nicholson received his. They included careful
regulations for the taking up and settling of land, calculated
to encourage genuine planters rather than land-speculators.
He was also specially directed to consult with the Assembly,
Planters and Custom House Officers with a view to settling
ports for the exclusive lading and unlading of vessels,
similar instructions being given to the Governor of
Maryland (1013, 1016, 1051.i., 1065, 1210, 1210.i., 1316).
Nott and the Assembly.
Nott arrived at Williamsburgh on Aug. 12. He vainly
endeavoured to compose the differences of the clergy,
and summoned the Assembly to meet on Oct. 23 (1350,
The Clergy Bill etc.; William and Mary College destroyed.
A Revenue Bill was passed, and then the Laws, which
had been carefully considered and revised at home, and
which had been brought back by the Governor, were
discussed (978, 1513, 1533–1535). Some were passed,
but others, including the Clergy Bill, which had been
much amended, were altered back, the Assembly making
it clear that they would only be content with the original
forms. After a short session, they were adjourned till the
following April. The session had been inaugurated by a
disaster. On October 29 the College of William and Mary
was burnt to the ground, library, furniture and all (1534).
Emigrants from Berne.
A proposal was made by some Protestants from Berne
to follow the example of the Huguenots of Manikin Town,
and to settle in Virginia or Pennsylvania (633).
Amongst the records sent home by Governor Nicholson
is a copy of the Rent-rolls of Virginia in 1704 (1277.viii.).
Maryland.; Quakers and the Militia.
Col. Seymour sailed for Maryland in September, 1703, in
H.M.S. Dreadnought, but he did not reach his government
until April in the following year (343). He set himself
to improve the Militia, which he found in a "very unserviceable state," and dissolved the long-standing Assembly
as soon as they had renewed the Revenue Act (p. 142).
The Council of Trade instructed him to see to it that the
Quakers who would not bear arms, should, as elsewhere,
contribute money or substitutes instead (525). These
instructions were repeated by Order in Council, December
18, 1705, upon further complaints from Governor Nott
as to their refusal to bear any share in the defence of the
Province, "which divers persons who have no foundation
of Religion perceiving, have thereby been induced to
profess themselves Quakers" (p. 265).
The New Assembly. Revisal of Laws.; Jesuits restrained.
When the new Assembly met in September, 1704, they
applied themselves to a revisal of the laws (585, 1210).
Seymour reports that he has checked the activities of some
proselytising Jesuits, who, said to be encouraged by the
agents and relatives of the Lord Proprietor, were causing
"greate offence and scandall … by their slye and
assiduous endeavours to promote their superstition"
Position of Roman Catholics.
After an interview with the Council of Trade,
Lord Baltimore wrote to curb the zeal of William Hunter
and his Society (1508). Their proselytising had already
led to the passing of laws to prevent the growth of Popery,
against which the Roman Catholic community protested
(1530), and which was then modified by another law
granting them liberty of private worship (p. 552). The
Attorney General states the legal position of Romish
priests (1378), and also of Roman Catholics in the
matter of holding lands in the Colonies (403).
Burning of the Court House and Records.; Richard Clarke's Conspiracy.
In his account of this Session, Governor Seymour refers
to a series of misfortunes:—the burning of the Court
House with the Council Records (1210), repeated disturbances from the neighbouring Indians, and, lastly,
to a plot laid by some rebellious malcontents to join hands
with the Indians and seize the government. The ringleader, Richard Clarke, was outlawed, but escaped in a
sloop, to turn pirate, it was thought, along with "severall
other loose idle persons, who are much indebted on account
of protested Bills of Exchange, the epidemicall distemper
this Country now labours under" (1210). Of the other
conspirators, the "Petit Jury, like true Americans,
acquitted all but two." Those two the Governor
"consented to sell to some of the Islands for the country's
good," a surprising form of punishment (1316).
An Act directed against the profits of the Secretaryship,
indicates the growing feeling against the appointment of
Patent Officers by the Crown, to which Col. Quary refers
(785, 1030, p. 284).
A stirring episode of the sea.
A thrilling episode of the sea is told in the narrative
of Capt. Richard Johnson (585.iii.). Captured by the
French and carried into Martinique, he was presently
put on board a ship bound for France. Roused by the
taunts of the master, he, with one other English prisoner
and a boy, rose, surprised the crew, threw the commander
overboard, and brought the vessel into Chesapeke Bay
Census of Maryland.
A census of Maryland is given (1210.iii.).
Impoverishment of the Tobacco Colonies.
The reference just made to protested Bills of Exchange
is only one indication of the impoverishment of the
Colonies due to the war, and, in the tobacco Colonies, to
the low price of tobacco, arising from the resulting loss
of markets and restriction of trade. The condition of the
tobacco trade was, indeed, causing much searching of
heart, more especially as the low prices, restricted markets
and irregular supplies from home were inducing the planters
to turn to other crops and manufactures, which seemed
to threaten the English monopolies. Col. Quary analyses
the situation (pp. 142, 143). For fear the demand for
Colonial tobacco should be still further checked, steps
were taken to prevent the establishment of tobaccomanufacture in Russia by English merchants (1047, 1069,
In these circumstances, both Col. Quary and
Governor Nicholson, as well as the Agent of Maryland,
suggest that it would be well to abstain from pressing the
Tobacco Colonies at present to make their required contribution to the defence of the New York frontier. The
Virginian and Pennsylvanian Assemblies were less inclined
than ever to contribute their Quota, and the 300l. voted
by Maryland had been in some sort conditional on the
contributions of the other Provinces (361, 519, pp. 144,
The claim of Jeronimy Clifford against the States General
in connection with his estates in Surinam etc., still
remained unsettled. At the beginning of 1704 his
accounts were referred by Order of Council to a committee
of merchants (78). But it was not till over a year later
that the unfortunate claimant obtained from them a
report in his favour, confirming his assertions of barbarous treatment and of substantial sums due to him
(1111, 1127, 1128). These reports were approved at the
Privy Council, and there for the time the matter rests
(1231). In the meanwhile the resources of the unhappy
planter had been exhausted; he was arrested for debt
and lay in Fleet prison, and would have starved (1082,
1086) but for an allowance from the Treasury.
II. WEST INDIES.
Barbados. The Absenting Members.; And the Suspended Councillors.
In Barbados a peculiar constitutional crisis had arisen,
seven members of the Assembly having absented themselves from the House with the intention of bringing all
legislative business to a standstill for lack of a quorum,
and so forcing a dissolution. In their Address to the Queen
they state their case and demand a Commission of Enquiry.
They charge the Governor with receiving presents contrary
to his Instructions, and with other minor offences, which
they fail to substantiate, such as favouring the Jews and
disaffected Scots (570.i., 674, 923, 1063). Nor was this
all. The Governor, Sir Bevil Granville, suspended four
of the Council, whom he accused of fomenting faction by
encouraging the absenting members of the Assembly. The
four Councillors, on the contrary, asserted that they
unanimously condemned such conduct; that the whole
difficulty arose from the introduction of the Bill for raising
standing forces, which not only involved a great tax
upon the inhabitants' time, but was also a device for
putting 3,000l. a year into the Governor's pocket, to
compensate him for the loss of presents from the Assembly
by the recent rule. He was determined, they allege,
to find any excuse for suspending them, in order to pass
that Bill through the Council. And they complain of his
arbitrary and tyrannical procedure, and accuse him of
transgressing his Instructions (431). Sir Bevil, however,
and his Agents represent the matter as the outcome of
factious opposition on the part of a greedy minority who
had seized the management of affairs and used it to repair
their own broken fortunes, when the Government was
being administered by the President and Council, and
when Council, Assembly and the rest of the people were
"employed in quarreling and tearing one another to
pieces" (432, 568). The trick of absence had been used
frequently before the present Governor's arrival (p. 467);
on this occasion it was resorted to when the absenting
members had failed to secure the re-appointment of the
Treasurer, and were therefore afraid that the peculations
in which they had been concerned might be brought to
light (656, 839, 1542).
The Governor explained that he had been at length
obliged to make an example of the ringleaders, and that his
action had certainly been justified by events, for both
in the Assembly and the Courts of Justice business was
at last being dispatched smoothly and rapidly (568, 839,
1120). An abstract of cases in the Courts provides a
mine of names of litigants in those days (668.i., ii.). After
weighing the evidence, the Council of Trade report, on the
whole, in favour of the Governor; most of the charges
brought against him are dismissed as not proven; but
he is blamed for accepting certain sums from the Assembly
in defiance of his Instructions (992). The Secretary,
Alexander Skene, is found guilty of great irregularities
and of exacting extortionate fees, and is ordered to be
prosecuted and suspended from his office till his defence
is made known (591, 657, 658, 1268, 1306, p. 469). The
four suspended Councillors, on making their submission
to the Governor, are to be restored (No. 1267, p. 472).
As to the absenting Assemblymen, the question of
punishing them was raised at the Privy Council (624),
but was dismissed on grounds of general policy (840, 984).
The Council of Trade suggest, as a preventive measure,
the return to a smaller quorum—the number having been
raised to 15 by an Order of Assembly, which was declared
by the Law Officers of the Crown to be irregular (623, 840).
It was left to the Government of Barbados to provide a
remedy against a repetition of similar obstruction (1267).
Administration of Justice.
Meantime complaints had continued to come to hand
as to delays in the administration of justice in cases where
Members of Council or Judges were themselves concerned
(134, 180). Directions were sent to the Governor to
suspend any Judge or Councillor who should cause such
obstruction (169, 170, 185), directions which were presently
repeated upon the occasion of similar complaints (441,
623, 1029). The Council of Trade drew attention to the
growing abuse by which the place of Councillor in the
Plantations was being sought at home as a means of escape
from justice, and in the Instructions drawn up for the
Governor of Virginia, special directions are given in order
that Members of Council should not shelter themselves
behind their privileges (623, p. 492).
Amongst the ringleaders, of whom Sir Bevil had made
an example, were Chilton, the Attorney General, and
Lillington, one of the suspended Councillors. They were
tried by a packed jury, as was said, and found "guilty of
high misdemeanours" (1196, 1368.i.). Upon the latter's
appeal, his heavy fine was remitted, and enquiry ordered
to be made into his case (1387.i., 1405). This Order was
annulled in December, when he was granted leave to
make a fresh appeal (1483, 1484).
Defence.; Depressed state of the Planters.; Hurricane.
Col. Lilley's trenchant criticism of the defences of the
island (1167, 1167.i.) bear out Sir Bevil's statement that
the President and Council had been so occupied with
party faction that the fortifications had been allowed
to go to ruin (1167.i.). To the same cause is ascribed
one of the reasons alleged by Codrington for the failure of
the expedition to Guadeloupe, the omission of the
Government of Barbados to send him timely notice of the
arrival of Commodore Walker's fleet (74, 299, 300, 568).
But whilst Militia service was unpopular and inadequate,
and the island lay open to invasion, French privateers
infested the seas. Once more the request was made for
more and better men-of-war to protect trade (1167.i.,
348, p. 254), whilst a petition was forwarded for some
regular troops to relieve the planters from the necessity
of self-defence (756). They urge that the island is being
depopulated and that the inhabitants are in a fair way to
be ruined, thanks to the war and the heavy duties upon
sugar. Furthermore, great damage was done to the shipping by a violent hurricane in September, 1705 (1343).
Demand for Schools and free Education for the Poor.
A Grand Jury deplores the lack of good schools, and
proposes that an Act should be passed to provide free
education for the poor (p. 577).
The Bahamas still lay desolate. But further details
are reported of the revolting cruelty practised by the
Spaniards upon their prisoners when Providence was
Bermuda. Revenue and Habeas Corpus Acts.
In Bermuda, as elsewhere, the Colonists were unwilling
to settle a permanent Revenue, and the Lieutenant-Governor
dissolved the Assembly when they insisted that it was
their right to appoint a Collector (16, 253). However,
the disputed Revenue Act, which had been passed in
Col. Day's time, and which some of the Assembly declared
to have been for two years only, now received the Royal
Assent as a perpetual Law, no such clause of limitation
appearing upon record (16, 457, 490). On the other hand
an Act which extended the Habeas Corpus Act to the
inhabitants of Bermuda was repealed as infringing the
prerogatives of the Crown, but at the same time
Instructions were given to the Lieutenant-Governor with a
view to securing the liberty of the subject, as had been
done in a like case in Barbados (475, 487, 509.i.). An Act
to prevent outrages by negroes was also repealed, on the
grounds that the punishment provided was "inhumane
and contrary to all Christian Laws" (1081).
Unfortunately for the internal peace of the Island, the
charges brought against the Secretary and Provost Marshal,
Edward Jones, in 1701, were regarded as not sufficiently
proved, and he was restored to his offices upon making
his submission to Col. Bennett (41, 139, 235, 258). His
return was the signal for another outburst of dissension,
and it was not long before he had brought all the business
of the Courts and administration to a standstill, his claim
to act as Clerk of the Council, Assizes and Court of
Chancery, by virtue of his Commission as Secretary, being
met by a flat refusal on the part of the Judges and
Councillors to sit (501, 999, 1009, 1155, 1363, 1365).
An enquiry into the causes of the decrease in the amount
of tobacco that was now being grown, produced an
interesting account of the changes in the economic
conditions of the Island (1205.iii.).
Jamaica, Kingston and Port Royal.; Handasyd rewarded.; Defence.
As regards Jamaica, the three Kingston Acts, which
had caused so much searching of heart in 1703, were
repealed, and Kingston and Port Royal set once more
on an equal footing (63, 83). For his services in securing
the passing of the Revenue Bill, Handasyd was rewarded
with the full Governorship (25, 63, 96). He was instructed
to press the Assembly for absolute provision for quartering
the two Regiments, under penalty of their being recalled
(107, 151, 152). Jamaica, however, was not likely to be
left defenceless. A demand for a further increase of naval
strength and of the garrison was at once sympathetically
considered (390, 394, 440). In pressing this demand,
the Agents for Jamaica stated that the evil system of
pressing, added to the devastation of the great earthquake
and recent sickness, had so sorely reduced the white
population, that they were scarcely sufficient to defend
themselves against their own negroes (437). The Governor
also declared that they were more apprehensive of their
own negroes, who had made a small insurrection, than
of the foreign enemy (p. 224). The Council of Trade
recommended that the frigates despatched to that station should be fully manned, in order to avoid pressing
The rumour of an intended attack in force by the French
fleet did not, however, terrify Handasyd, who was confident
of giving the enemy a hot reception (348, 739). Frequent
raids by privateers were met with spirit and success by
soldiers and planters, who were determined, in the event
of a greater emergency, not to part with their "beef and
pudding without bloody noses" (71, 164, 400).
H.M.S. Seahorse was lost on the rocks in securing a
Quartering the Soldiers.
Mr. St. John, in a letter to Robert Harley, calls
attention to the hardships of the soldiers serving in
Jamaica (547, 554, 557). Governor Handasyd describes
his regiment at Port Royal and Spanish Town as exposed
to the tropical heat and rains, left to lie upon the guns for
beds and with the "Heavens for their Canopee" (902).
The Assembly, in spite of all pressure, seemed determined
to discourage their defenders. First (April, 1704) they
passed an Act for their subsistence, but with a clause
debarring soldiers from sitting in Assembly (p. 172);
then, in September, after denouncing their Governor as
arbitrary, they proposed to make no allowance at all
for the officers, declaring that they had no need of them,
whilst they resolved that no Councillor, Judge, Justice or
Assemblyman should serve in the Militia. This, as
Governor Handasyd observes, would mean that very
shortly they would be officered by Jews and Blacks alone
Irregularities of the Assembly.
As in New York, the Assembly declared that the Council
had no power to amend Money Bills; they endeavoured
to make all officials accountable to the Assembly, and
committed themselves to other proposals, such as voting
by ballot in the Assembly, to which the Council of Trade
took exception, urging men of influence at home to write
to their friends and bid them cease from such irregularities
Mr. Totterdell and his party.; Exports and need of Settlers.
The fire-brand Totterdell, who led the opposition to
the Government, was proceeded against for using seditious
language, and was expelled from the Assembly (356,
p. 172). But he continued to prove troublesome, and the
Governor confesses that his party is a strong one (902, 903).
When the Assembly met again in July, 1705, Handasyd
hoped that he had broken "the factious knott" (1262,
1303), but the Quartering Act again proved a stumbling
block. Handasyd was obliged to pass it in order to save
the soldiers' lives, although it contained such clauses tacked
on to it as compelled him to recommend its repeal. One
such clause excluded all foreigners from serving in civil
employments or the Militia, "by which severall Scotch,
Dutch and French gentlemen, who have served in both
capacities these 20 years, and are as substantiall men as
any in the island, and as good subjects to H.M., are made
incapable of both services, which is a great discouragement
to Forreigners settling here, where white people are so
much wanted" (1459). The need of settlers is again
referred to in an estimate of the exports from Jamaica in
1704, which sets their value at over half a million—a sum
which might be increased "to at least five times this value,
if there were a sufficient number of white men to carry
on the planting" (36).
Gulf of Campeche.
The idea of appointing a Governor over the English
settlers and logwood-cutters in the Gulf of Campeche, in
order to claim that territory when peace should be
negotiated, was advanced by Handasyd (164.ii.), but
was not regarded as feasible during the stress of
Marlborough's campaigns on the Continent (293).
The Leeward Islands. Col. Codrington.
Writing from Antigua, Col. Codrington enlarged further
upon the failure of the expedition to Guadeloupe (74)
[see C.S.P., 1703]. He plumed himself much on his
services in obtaining an Act for settling the Courts in
Antigua, of which he says that "it is a much better Act of
Courts than is anywhere in the Indys, or perhaps anywhere
else" (135, 148, 158, 296). It was not, however, thought
fit to be confirmed (1420).
Sir William Mathew.; Col. Parke.; Lieut.-Governor Johnson fortifies Nevis.
His successor, Sir William Mathew, had hardly time
to do more than send a review of the islands and to ask
for some guns and another frigate, before he died
(544, 874). Codrington at once applied to be reappointed to
the Government, and his application was supported by the
Council of Trade (95, 705, 933, 942). Unfortunately, as
events were to prove, Col. Parke was appointed, as
a reward for bringing the good tidings of Blenheim to
his Sovereign (980, 1113). He had been spoken of as the
new Governor for Virginia, but had asked for it some hours
too late (p. 432). In the meantime the Government
devolved upon the Lieut.-Governor, Johnson, who
turned his attention with great zeal to the defences of
Nevis (711, 1344). But at St. Kitts he could not persuade
"the unaccountable people" of that island either to make
new fortifications or to repair the old (1215).
Yet the proper defence of the islands was urgent.
Col. Parke insisted that the number of soldiers ought to be
made up to at least 500, and the Council of Trade gave
their opinion that the islands could not be safe with less
(1141, 1157). But here as elsewhere the soldiers of the
garrison were treated as pawns in the game of local politics,
and St. Kitts refused to provide them with quarters (1281).
As in the case of Jamaica, the Council of Trade threatened
their withdrawal (1419). Not that the presence of the
enemy was unfelt. No less than 36 privateers were
reported to windward, so that it "was morally impossible
for any ship to escape them" (969).
The French part of St. Kitts.
Echoes of the capture of the French part of St. Kitts
occur in references to the question as to the legality of
levying the 4½ per cent. on exports from that territory. An
order to levy that duty was issued under the Great Seal
(4, 24, 26, 54). When the Lieutenant-Governor refused
to pass an Act of the Assembly which subjected the
inhabitants of the newly conquered territory to taxation
without representation, and at the same time infringed
the prerogative of the Crown, the Assembly immediately
retorted by turning the soldiers of the garrison out of their
quarters (1345, 1346). By a court martial at Martinique
M. de Gennes was found guilty of flagrant cowardice in
having surrendered to Col. Codrington without striking a
Newfoundland. Decay of the Fishery.
Although, owing to the capture of H.M.S. Coventry and
some of the ships under her convoy by the French, the
Board of Trade received no replies to their enquiries from
the Commodore of the Fishery (292.i., 511, 719), the
history of Newfoundland is fuller these years than in
many previous ones. It is mainly a history of successful
French raids and of the decay of the fishing industry.
This decay was due, according to some practical observers,
in part to French aggression and hostile tariffs, but in
part also to Scotch competition and the debauching of the
inhabitants by the Americans (1373).
Mutiny of the Garrison.; Capt. Lloyd suspended.; Projected expedition against Placentia.; The French surprise St. Johns.; Project for a Militia.
Goaded to desperation by their long hardships and
the ill-treatment and impositions of their Captain, Thomas
Lloyd, the garrison at St. Johns petitioned the Commodore
to suspend him and send him home with their petition
to be relieved, under threats of wholesale desertion (596.i.).
Capt. Bridge consented, and appointed in his stead
Lieut. Moody, who had also signed the petition (596. vii.,
598). The complaints of the soldiers were supported
by a petition from some of the inhabitants (606). Lloyd
in his defence ascribed the mutiny to the intrigues of
Lieut. Moody and the bibulous Minister, Mr. Jackson.
Capt. Bridge supported him (704, 753). The Council of
Trade found the charges not proven, and recommended the
relief of the garrison and the recall of Mr. Jackson (812,
790, 907, 1373). Whatever the truth as to Lloyd's
behaviour may have been,—and it is rendered more
difficult to extract it, owing to the readiness of many of
the inhabitants to sign and to recant affidavits when in
a state of terror or intoxication—Lloyd soon gained the
ear of Ministers at home. He and others eagerly represented
that Placentia must be taken: that Admiral Grayden, if
he had assaulted it last year, would certainly have
succeeded; and that with 500 soldiers Lloyd himself
would easily reduce it, provided they were despatched
with secrecy and by July, 1705 (69, 626, 967). The idea
was taken up. But whilst preparations were being made,
news arrived that the French had struck the blow, which
had long been dreaded (2, 1056). A combined force of
French and Canadian Indians, under M. Subercasse, had
surprised the harbour of St. Johns and laid siege to the
Fort. It is evident that no watch was kept either in the
Fort or the Harbour, partly owing to a squabble between
Lieut. Moody and the inhabitants as to their doing duty,
partly owing to such want of discipline as is indicated by
the fact that the guns were covered with snow and that
the enemy were discovered by a tippling soldier. But,
however lax in taking precautions, Moody proved brave
in action, and after a half-hearted siege of five weeks
the enemy retired with loss, the Canadians and Indians
continuing their march of devastation and bloodshed as
far north as Bonavista (1056, 1206, 1242). There was
some suspicion of treachery on the part of some of the
inhabitants, who, in their turn, accused Moody of extorting
extravagant prices from them for provisions supplied to
them in the Fort during the siege (1185, 1187, 1192, 1242).
Fresh raids were made in the summer and autumn on the
remaining English settlements by the French and Indians
from Canada. Prisoners were barbarously murdered,
hostages carried off from Bonavista as security for a
ransom, and the country generally was reduced to a
deplorable condition (1379, 1472). Meanwhile the merchants concerned had at once petitioned for reinforcements
to be sent (1207), and the wise project of establishing a
Militia was mooted among other proposals (1218.i.), and
backed by the Council of Trade (1241).
Expedition against Placentia.
It was determined to retaliate by sending an expedition
of 460 men against the French settlements and especially
Placentia. It was decided that the Commodore should
no longer command the land forces when at Newfoundland
(1032.i., 1147). Capt. Lloyd was appointed to the command, and he received his instructions in August (1228,
1326). The expedition was to be conducted with all
imaginable secrecy (1328). But owing to great delay in
starting, Lloyd did not arrive at Newfoundland till November,
a delay which he had warned Ministers might be fatal to
his projects (1339, p. 640). His arrival with reinforcements
was at any rate welcome to the inhabitants, who received
him with joy, and explained in an Address of thanks to the
Queen that a previous petition in favour of Lieut. Moody
had been forced from them (1457).
A French prisoner mentions incidentally that the French
explorers had found their way from Canada to the South
Tobago, Trinidad and the Virgin Islands.
A "Professor of Phisick and Chemistry" applied for a
Charter to settle Tobago, Trinidad and the Virgin Islands,
offering as a quid pro quo to endow a college on the former,
and to found a hospital near London for infants and
men invalided in the service (123).
Terms and Phrases.
"Lords of the Cabinet Council" is used apparently
to indicate the Committee of the Privy Council (1218.i.).—The "several Colonies in the Plantations" is a phrase
which shows how dominant was the term "Plantations"
in the sense in which we should now use "Colonies" or
"Empire" (1322). "I will endeavour to do some for
him" might be mistaken for a modern Americanism
Amongst Governor Nicholson's correspondence are to
be found early instances of two Indian terms, matchicomico,
an Indian durbar (p. 416), and huskanared, a word used
in connection with the native ceremonies of initiation
into manhood (p. 432).
Travelling in the xviiith century.
That the difficulties of travelling experienced by many
Governors were not confined to the Plantations, is shown
by Mr. Jenings of Virginia, who, in the depths of winter,
was obliged to wait for over a fortnight before he could
secure a place in a coach from London to York (124).
Keeping of Records.
In his Instructions, Governor Nott is directed to see
to it that the Records of Virginia are well and carefully
kept. The instruction was necessary, if we may judge
by Mr. Usher's account of the destruction of records in
New Hampshire, and the confession from the Leeward
Islands that "wee cannot preserve our Records so
authentick as wee would, by reason of the vermine and
other casualties" (pp. 53, 523).
These natural drawbacks were added to by the difficulty
of getting clerical and official work done by poorly paid
Deputy-Secretaries in the absence of the holders of Patent
Offices (316, 860). An instance of the haphazard way in
which justice was sometimes administered in the Colonial
Courts is supplied by Lord Cornbury, who, in applying
for a Statute-book, confesses that his own copy carried
him no further than the reign of Charles II. In any case
confusion was likely to occur when no record was kept in
the Secretary's Office or the Council Books as to whether
Acts had been confirmed or repealed (pp. 193, 387). Such
lapses added to the inconvenience of primitive postal
arrangements, and the hazards of the sea (343, 427, 523,
1458, p. 589). Mr. Dummer's service of packet-boats had,
indeed, in spite of occasional captures by the French, proved
successful beyond expectation; but, in spite of that,
Lord Cornbury had to complain that he had not heard a
syllable from England for seven months (1049, 1374,
A proposal to extend the packet-boat service to
Newfoundland was dismissed as impracticable (1379, 1395,
Journal of Council of Trade.
The Journal of the Council of Trade is now being issued
as a separate publication. I have, therefore, omitted
the signatures of members to their letters and representations, their attendances being sufficiently indicated in