America and West Indies
April 1704, 18-30

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor)

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1916

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96-111

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'America and West Indies: April 1704, 18-30', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 22: 1704-1705 (1916), pp. 96-111. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=73655 Date accessed: 30 July 2014.


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April 1704, 18-30

April 18/29.
Fort Kijkoveral, Rio Essequebo.
250. Commandant Beeckman to [? the Directors of the Dutch West India Company]. Signed, Samuel Beeckman. Endorsed, July 17 (n.s.), 1704. Dutch. 8 pp. Enclosed,
250. i. List of papers sent to Middelburgh. Dutch. 1¼ pp. [C.O. 116, 19. Nos. 20, 20. i.]
[April 19.]251. John Thrale to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Prays for copys of any writings brought in by the petitioners against Col. Nicholson, in order to a just defence; and that a day may be assigned for that purpose. Signed, Jno. Thrale. Endorsed, Recd. Read April 19, 1704. ¾ p. [C.O. 5, 1314. No. 6; and 5, 1360. pp. 466, 467.]
April 19.
Treasury Chambers.
252. Wm. Lowndes to Wm. Popple. Enclosing following amended Instructions to Governours, prepared by the Commissioners for Prizes, to be laid before the Council of Trade, etc., for H.M. Signature. Signed, Wm. Lowndes. Endorsed, Recd. Read April 20, 170¾. ¾ p. Enclosed,
252. i. Draught of a Circular Letter to Governors. Whereas complaints have been made to us of abuses in the Courts of Admiralty in the Plantations and of irregularities in the disposition of the Prizes brought into our said Plantations, etc., We strictly charge and require you that you be obedient to such orders and instructions as you shall from time to time receive from our High Admirall, and that you require all persons whatsoever in the Plantations whom it may concern to be aiding and assisting in the recovery of our dues as also our High Admiral's dues in cases of prizes, according to our Declaration for the encouragement of our ships of war and privateers, and in maintaining the rights of the Admiralty; and that you cause due care to be taken that all commanders of our ships, privateers, etc., doe deliver up the prizes by them taken, and brought to any port within your Government, into the possession of such Officers for prizes as are properly appointed and authorized to take charge of the same, and that all persons be required to be aiding and assisting to the said Prize-Officers in preventing embezzlements and recovering Prize-goods, which may happen to be imbezled and concealed, as well as in the execution of all orders to them directed in relation to prizes by any Court of Admiralty legally established by our High Admirall in our said Plantations etc. 1 p. [C.O. 323, 5. Nos. 45, 45.i.; and 324, 8. pp. 428–430.]
April 20.
Bermuda.
253. Lt. Governor Bennett to the Council of Trade and Plantations. On Feb. 7 the new Assembly mett, and after sending for them and recommending the passing a Revenue Act without limitation, they on the 9th following sent me by a Committee the enclos'd Act, which for the reasons mentioned in the Preamble I passed. I have not received any letters from you since those of July 28, and if any commands have been sent via Barbados they are still there, for all our vessells that went thither took in freight for either Virginia, Carolina, New England, Pensilvania, New York, or some of the Northern Colonies, soe that not clearing for this place was the reason I have not recd. my pacqts., for by a vessell that belongs to this country, but bound to Virginia, the winds being contrary, put in here, the Master told me that there were severall letters lay for me att Barbados, but would not take them, not knowing of touching here. I enclose the examinations of Joseph Holbeach and Boaz Bell (No. 257. i.) relating to a Spaniard who was taken up here on account of piracy, which were, unknown to me, taken before Mr. Larkin, and after swearing the witnesses and signing thereunto, leaving room for my name, he sent the Registrar wth. them, and desired that I would swear and examine the witnesses thereon, and that I would also signe the Depositions, which accordingly I did (being oblig'd to follow his Instructions), whereupon the man was committed. But before a Court of Admiralty was held, the evidences were convey'd away to Carolina in the Shadow, by the contrivance of Mr. Larkin, as is made appear by several papers in my pacqts. to your Lordships, so that the accused could not be tryed for want of witnesses, and hearing the prisoner's character to be an extraordinary pilot in the West Indies, and he having been in this Country abt. two months before he was taken up, and observed to have been frequently walking about the fortifications and bays, I advised with the Council. It was agreed, the best way to prevent him immediately going back to the enemy would be to send him for England as a prisoner of war, which I have accordingly done, under the care of the Capt. that brings this pacqt., who has my orders to attend my Lord Nottingham wth the prisoner. Refers to enclosures. Having recd. an account that the dispute was over relating to the pretentions of the wreck patentees to the French ship that came on the sholes of these Islands, I intended to send your Lordships and the Secretary of the Admiralty an acct. of every peece of rigging that was saved, and what quantity of logwood was taken up by Divers, but expecting my Secretary's arrivall here every day, I thought it convenient to delay it, he takeing an acct. of everything that was brought on shoar, and therefore can best swear to the inventorys. Signed, Ben. Bennett. P.S.—Capt. Nelson the last Assizes (which began in March) indicted Capt. Richard Penniston and Char. Walker, both of the Councell, for perjury, but the Grand Jury brought the Bills in ignoramus. Endorsed, Recd. June 9, Read July 6, 1704. Holograph. 4 pp. [C.O. 37, 6. No. 14; and 38, 6. pp. 8–12.]
April 20.
St. James's.
254. Order of Queen in Council. Upon Representation of April 4, referring draught of Charter to Thomas Byfeild etc. to the Attorney and Solicitor General. Signed, Edward Southwell. Endorsed, Recd. Read April 27, 1704. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1262. No. 81; and 5, 1291. p. 30.]
April 20.
Whitehall.
255. Wm. Popple, jr., to Sir John Cook, H.M. Advocate General. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire your opinion whether privateers or others with letters of marque are obliged upon their arrival in any Port of England or in the Plantations to deliver up the prizes taken by them into the possession of the Commissioners of Prizes. [C.O. 324, 8. pp. 430, 431.]
April 20.
Whitehall.
256. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of Nottingham. Pursuant to H.M. Directions, we have prepared and enclose an additional Instruction for Privateers and ships carrying Letters of Marque in reference to the Spaniards in the West Indies. Annexed,
256. i. Additional Instructions for privateers referred to in preceding. Not sent. [C.O. 324, 8. pp. 409–427.]
April 20.
Bermuda.
257. Lt. Governor Bennett to Mr. Popple. Desires him to forward a pacquet to Lord Nottingham, etc. Signed, Ben. Bennett. Endorsed, Recd. June 9, Read July 6, 1704. 1 p. Enclosed,
257.i. Copy of the Examination of Joseph Holbech and Boaz Bell. Sept. 8, 1702. The sloop Shadow was piratically seized off Hispaniola by a Spanish briganteen, and one Slicam Van Elwalle alias Philip Van Vaw Yella took a leading part therein. Endorsed, Recd. June 9, 1704. 3 pp.
257. ii. Copy of the condemnation of the French prize, The St. Lawrence the Victorious, at a Court of Admiralty in Bermuda, Dec. 28, 1703. The Hon. John Follett, Judge. Same endorsement. 6 pp.
257. iii. Account of the French prize, St. Lawrence the Victorious, taken by the Adventure of Antigua, Oct., 1703. Same endorsement. 2 pp.
257. iv. Duplicate of preceding. Endorsed, Recd. July 18, 1704. 2 pp.
257. v. Copy of the Trials of several Pirates, held at a Court of Admiralty, Bermuda, Oct. 12, 1703. Endorsed, Recd. June 9, 1704. 42¼ pp. [C.O. 37, 6. Nos. 15, 15.i–v.; and (without enclosures) 38, 6. pp. 13–15.]
April 20.
St. James's.
258. Order of Queen in Council. Approving Representation of April 4, and ordering the Lt. Gov. of Bermuda to restore Edward Jones etc. accordingly. Signed, Edward Southwell. Endorsed, Recd. Read May 8, 1704. 1 p. [C.O. 37, 6. No. 13; and 38, 5. p. 471.]
April 20.
St. James's.
259. Order of Queen in Council. Referring the Representation relating to Mr. Bridger to the Lord High Treasurer to report his opinion. Signed, Edward Southwell. Endorsed, Recd. Read April 27, 1704. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 863. No. 91; and 5, 911. p. 239.]
April 20.
Boston.
260. Gov. Dudley to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers to letter of March 10. Since which time severall parties that I have in the woods to the head of Connecticutt, Merimack and Saco Rivers are returned, they were in all 600 men in four parties and kept the forrest upon a 3ft. snow in show shoes, carrying their provisions with them for 20 days, but found no Indians, they having early before Christmas gone Eastward as far as Penobscot, but I have thereby given this country as well as the Indians conviction, that we can bear the frost and travell with our victualls as long as they, and the spring being now come, I am preparing about 700 men to range the coast from Casco Bay Fort to St. Croix, the extent of this Government, to keep the Indians from their fishing and planting, to distress them farther against winter, which will demand 20 sloops with provision to attend them, and this is besides 600 men in garrison upon the frontiers in a line from Marlborough to Wells, as your Lordships will see the frontiere to reach in the mapp, which I humbly offer'd your Lordships by the Centurion, and as an encouragement to voluntiers in the service the Assembly at their last Session agreed to pay 100l. per head for every Indian above ten years old brought in by the voluntiers who march without pay. During the time of the forces being abroad, the French and Indians about 200 came from Mount Reall. directly over the Lakes, and on Feb. 1 fell in upon a village called Deer Field, our uppermost Settlement upon Connecticut River, which was taken in by a palisado containing about 40 houses, wherein were 70 men inhabitants, and 20 musketeirs I had lodged there as a garison, but the watch being neglected the Indians got into their gates, fired severall houses before any alarm, but when they were got to armes they defended themselves tollerably till 60 men from that field [? Thatfield], the next village, as I had ordered, came to their releif and beat the enemy out of town, where notwithstanding we lost 20 men and 70 women and children carryed away, but the enemy left 30 men dead behind them, within 24 houres there were 300 men from the lower towns of that River, from Springfeild and Hartford, in the village, but for want of snow shoes dare not follow the enemy, this part is from Boston 120 miles, and having no officers, nor regular soldiers for their example, are not so ready and under command as they would be if H.M. would favour those provinces with two or three foot Companies to be disposed in these parts as at New Yorke, where the very being of the soldiers in garison hath secured the Maquas at peace for severall years last past. While this was doing, Brouillon, the Governor of Port Royall, had fitted out a privateer sloop with 40 men to cruise at Cape Codd to look for our Western victuallers to supply his garison, of which I was aware, and had written to the Governor of Connecticut not to suffer them to come round the Cape without a convoy, which I had ordered to receive them at Martha's Vinyard, where they stayed so long that by storm the French privateer was driven on shoare, and I seized the men, who are now prisoners, and may serve to exchange for the people they carryed away, the said prisoners give me account that there are drawn together from Quebeck, Port Royall and our own Indians, 1,000 men, who intend for Piscataqua early in May; I hope to have a force there ready to receive them, but the Settlements in the Province of Mayne are so open and unguarded that it is impossible to save them all from a less number of men, but I shall doe what is in my power, and besides the inhabitants I have 300 men in garison and 100 Indians, which I have lately entertained from Connecticutt Colony, and am fitting out 10 sloops with about 600 men to seek their headquarters in their absence. I hope I shall keep the war at a good distance, but their waters and swamps Eastward are so unpassable that it is impossible to root them out. These services by sea and land demand a very great share of the people of this Province, and instead of assistance from Rhoad Island, my next neighbours, I have some hundreds of young fellows, the fittest for the service fled thither, and entertained there, and I have no means to reduce them, but they will double their Province, and give me no assistance of men or money, and in a very short time if the war presses upon me, I shall be able to doe very little, my seamen as well as landmen taking refuge there where they doe no duty nor pay any tax. By the Centurion I gave your Lordships account of my obedience to H.M. directions in Mr. Allen's affairs at Piscatacqua, which he acknowledged to have put the people into a better disposition and just opinion of his title, and nothing shall be wanting on my part to put him into an absolute and quiet possession of the Wast, there is some little misunder standing between himself and Mr. Usher unhappily fallen, which may prove the greatest obstruction. I have yet no other assistance for the sea but the Gosper, which is uncapable to doe the services of one of the Provinces much less of both, and if, as we have a rumor here, the French fleet should call, we have nothing to secure us, but they may lye before Boston or New Castle in Piscataqua, and bomb the places where the seat of our Trade is. I humbly acknowledge the receipt of your Lordships' letters of July 29 and Aug. 6, 1703, and thank your Lordships for the farther report of the state of these H.M. Provinces, and hope the comming of a fourth-rate frigot to be added to the Gosper, absolutely necessary for the service here. Your Lordships' expectation of the Assemblies obedience to H.M. commands, for the settlement of a salary for the Governor here, must be at an end, if the Centurion be well arrived as I hope, where they have given their last peremptory answer to both H.M. gracious commands, referring to Pemaquid and that of a salary. I can sincerely protest to your Lordships I never intended in anything to use more skill nor application privately as well as in the Assembly, to have obtained an obedience in the rebuilding of Pemaquid, but without any successe with men that forget their duty, and the Address that the Representatives privately sent away digested by a secret Committee with their Memorial, which I hoped would never have been seen by your Lordships, Mr. Phips now adviseth me he presented, which I humbly hope your Lordships will please so far to animadvert upon, as to prevent such methods for the future and to doe me the favour to acquitt me, I being perfectly ignorant thereof. I have now a second Commission for Mr. Byfield, Judge of the Admiralty, and he was this day sworn in Councill and not before, and I shall leave nothing undone for H.M. service in the power of that Court. The Indian boy mentioned in that letter will now be useless, the Indians having broken all faith with me, and I should not returne him if he were here. In obedience to the letters of Aug. 6, I have enclosed plans of all the fortifications in these Provinces, and what is needfull for the present workes, which Col. Romer saith was done formerly, or I had not omitted it so long, but they may be mislayed comming over before my arrivall. Besides the cannon I am in great want of small armes, which are daily wasted by my forces abroad, especially the Indians in H.M. service. It would be a great favour, and that which I pray this people may deserve, if I might receive a small quantity, if but 500 small armes for both the Provinces. My Lords, I shall continue with all possible industry and application to serve H.M. here, and pray that it may be acceptable to H.M. and to your Lordshipps. The hurry of the war in a great measure prevents the inhabitants going upon the turpintine and hemp trade, but I am sensible that if the people here be not put upon it, or that H.M. will please to have some ships of war built here for her own service, whereby the people may make returnes, the woolen trade from England will sensibly be impaired every year, and great quantities of all sorts of woollen clothes made here to the great hurt of the Kingdom of England, which it is my duty with your Lordships' directions to prevent. Signed, Jos. Dudley. Mr. Romer, the Engineer, is at some distance from me. If I cannot get his planns of the fortifications they shall come by the next conveyance. [C.O. 5, 911. pp. 344–352.]
April 21.261. Copy of a clause in the Charter of the Massachusetts Bay. Subscribed,
261. i. Opinion of the Attorney General thereon: "If there be noe other clauses that exclude the power of ye Crown, I am of opinion H.M. may by her prerogative erect a Court of Equity in the said Province as by her Royal authority they are erected in other H.M. Plantations, and it seemes to me yt. the General Assembly there cannot by virtue of this clause erect a Court of Equity." Signed, Edw. Northey. Endorsed, Recd. Read March [? April] 22, 170¾ 1 p. [C.O. 5, 863. No. 90; and 5, 911. pp. 222, 223.]
April 21.
DD. Commons.
262. Advocate General to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The question proposed to me yesterday is determined by a clause in H.M. Declaration of June 1, 1702. that "all prizes taken by any Privateer and brought into Port shall, unless otherwise decreed by the Court of Admiralty, be continued in the possession of the Privateer, having only Custom-house Officers on board to secure H.M. dues." Signed, [Sir] J. Cooke. Endorsed, Recd. Read April 27, 1704. ¾ p. [C.O. 323, 5. No. 46; and 324, 8. p. 433.]
April 21.
Boston.
263. Governor Dudley to [? Mr. Secretary Hedges]. I adventure this by Lisbon, having no direct conveyance. Repeats gist of part of No. 260. Prays for payment of the money disburst for raising Capt. Walton, the second Company sent to Jamaica. I am indebted for the ship that transported them, etc. Signed, J. Dudley. [C.O. 5, 751. No. 50.]
April 25.
London.
264. Jeronimy Clifford to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Desires that Capt. Nicholas Hallam may be heard relating to his affairs in Surinam. Signed, Jer. Clifford. Endorsed, Recd. Read April 27, 1704. 1 p. [C.O. 388, 75. No. 88.]
April 25.
Whitehall.
265. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Hedges. Enclose Governor Handasyd's proposal for taking possession of Campeachy and settling a Governor there, to be laid before H.M. But whether with regard to the present conjuncture and to the letters that have been writ to the Spanish Governors, and the opening of that trade in concert with the Dutch, it be convenient at this time to make such an attempt, which cannot be done without considerable charge to the Crown, we most humbly submit to H.M. [C.O. 138, 11. p. 264.]
April 25.266. Wm. Popple, jr., to Josiah Burchett. The Council of Trade and Plantations enclose a copy of Governor Handasyd's letter, relating to H.M. ships of war, for the information of H.R.H. Council. They have given directions to him that, when anything occurs to him relating to the affairs of the Admiralty, he give a particular and immediate account thereof to the Lord High Admiral or H.R.H. Council. And their Lordships having recd. from Governor Codrington an account of H.R.H. tenths of prizes condemned at Nevis since July 28, 1702, they have also commanded me to send you the inclosed copy to be laid before H.R.H. [C.O. 138, 11. p. 263.]
April 25.
Office of Ordnance.
267. Board of Ordnance to the Queen. Desire to know H.M. pleasure with regard to their proposal for an Engineer for Barbados. [See April 4.] Signed, Granville, Ja. Lowther, C. Musgrave, Wm. Bridges. Endorsed, Recd. Read April 28, 1704. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 7. No. 30; and 29, 8. p. 430.]
April 25.
Whitehall.
268. Wm. Popple, jr., to Wm. Lowndes. Governor Nicholson having transmitted several Bills, two of which have relation to H.M. Customs [(1) For preventing frauds in the Customs and (2) for improving the staple of tobacco], the Council of Trade and Plantations desire you to move my Lord High Treasurer, that they may have the opinion of H.M. Commissioners of the Customs thereupon. [C.O. 5, 1360. pp. 467, 468.]
April 25.269. Affidavit of James Blair. In support of the Memorial of the Major part of the Council of Virginia against Governor Nicholson. Signed, James Blair. 8¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 1314. No. 7.]
April 25.270. Affidavit of Robert Beverley, formerly Burgess of Assembly of Virginia. Gives evidence of Governor Nicholson's persecution of him and hectoring the Assembly and of his " penurious way of living and publick treats. He lives in a little low wooden house worse then many overseers have . . his servants are often stinted to one small dish a day among them. The last General Court his hostess complained that his whole account came to but 13l. Of late he has usually treated the Assembly four times a week except once, and commonly sends drink to several of their chambers," etc., etc. Signed, R. Beverley. 4 large closely written pp. [C.O. 5, 1314. No. 10.]
April 25.271. Affidavit of Stephen Fouace. Gives evidence of Governor Nicholson's violent abuse of Col. Jennings, and of Major Burwell, his mistress's father, etc., who, he thought, were against his match; and of his abuse of deponent and other clergymen, etc. Signed, Stephen Fouace. 4 pp. [C.O. 5, 1314. No. 11.]
April 25.272. Affidavit of James Wallace. After preaching before him, Governor Nicholson violently abused him for daring to tell him his duty etc., etc. Signed, Ja. Wallace. 1¼ large closely written pp. [C.O. 5, 1314. No. 12.]
April 26.273. Affidavit of George Luke. He heard Governor Nicholson cursing and swearing in the churchyard immediately after receiving the Sacrament. He violently abused him and caused his wife to be kept in gaol upon a baseless charge of burglary. Signed, G. Luke. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1314. No. 13.]
[April 26.]274. Account of Officers and Sentinells, killed, wounded deserted and taken prisoner at Guardalupa, since our first landing March 12, until May 6, 1703. Officers, 18 dead, 18 wounded, 165 living. Sentinells, 226 dead, 191 wounded, 59 deserted, 12 prisoners, 2,719 living. Recd. Read April 26, 1704. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 5. No. 67.]
April 27.
Whitehall.
275. Wm. Popple, jr., to Wm. Lowndes. In answer to your letter of 19th inst., the Council of Trade and Plantations doubting whether a clause in the draught of H.M. letter relating to prizes were agreable to Law etc., have thought fit to consult H.M. Advocate General. They enclose his opinion, and pray my Lord Treasurer's further directions. [C.O. 324, 8. pp. 431, 432.]
April 27.276. Wm. Popple, jr., to Wm. Lowndes. Encloses, to be laid before the Lord High Treasurer, copies of Governor Handasyd's Accounts of Prizes condemned in Jamaica, May 4, 1702—March 1, 170¾, and Col. Codrington's Account of Prizes condemned at Antegoa since the war. [C.O. 138, 11. p. 265.]
April 27.
Whitehall.
277. W. Popple to the Clerk of the Council in Waiting. Encloses Col. Codrington's letter of Feb. 6 etc. (See April 4, 5.) [C.O. 153, 8. pp. 281, 282.]
April 28.278. Affidavit of R. Beverley that the following letters are genuine. Annexed,
(a) Wm. Byrd to Philip Ludwell. Virginia, July 6, 1702. Concerning the sitting of the Assembly etc.
(b) Robert Carter to Philip Ludwell. March 1, 1702/3.
(c) Col. John Lightfoot to James Blair. Williamsburgh, Oct. 21, 1703. The Governor abused me for siding with that d—d Scotch Parson, Blair, and said that there is a d—d Scotch conspiracy afoot against him, and that he had not a Counsellor but was a rogue and a coward, etc., etc.
(d) William Drummond to Capt. Wm. Passinger. Dion Wright, debtor to me, is designed to go to England with you without a pass etc. I desire you to deliver him up to justice.
(e) Wm. Drummond to P. Ludwell. July 6, 1702. Four this year is at open variance with most of the other inferiour plannets, etc. The breach is wide and still widens. Capt. Passinger having refused to carry Wright out of the country, H.E. said he would pay his debt, which afterwards he refused to do, and commanded Mr. B. Harrison, the King's Attorney, to pick some legal quarrel with me upon the account of my lease, and so to turn me off the land I live on, which as yet they have not been able to do etc. The whole, 12 pp. [C.O. 5, 1314. No. 14.]
April 28.279. Affidavit of Stephen Fouace, that the following letters are genuine:—(a) Philip Ludwell, jr., to Philip Ludwell, sr. Mr. Fouace had much reason to leave us, but Mr. Wallace, Capt. Moody's Chaplain and Minister at Kiquotan, has more. Describes Governor Nicholson's violent language to Moody, putting him on oath in Council and endeavouring to extract evidence against Moody, when there was as yet no complaint against him etc. Narrates the Governor's violent language and scurrility towards himself. The occasion of his anger was that in October General Court we had a meeting of the Governors of the College, wherein the Governour told us it had been represented in England that his living in the College had been a great discouragement to it, and desired the Governors of the College to declare whether it were so or not. This put us in a dilemma. We must either accuse the Governor to his face or tell a lie. Major Allen made him a great compliment, but we endeavoured to avoid the question and proceeded to other business, so the question was never put by the Rector, nor nothing entered in the Minutes. But I presently found that Major Allen's compliment was entered in the Minutes as a Declaration of the Governors and protested. The Governor summoned me next morning and abused me scurrilously when I refused to give what I had then said under my hand. The Clerk confessed to me that the Governor had called for the Minutes after the meeting and dictated that entry to him. I should [not] have wondered so much at this language if I had heard the scandalous nasty reports he spread of me at Kiquotan. He said Mr. Blair's wife and mine were common to us both, and at the same time pretended friendship to my face. The Governor hath been at much charge and pains to get Addresses. He called the Assembly together again contrary to his promise; all means were used to gain the House. The Burgesses were treated very high and closetted one by one, and those days he did not treat, he eat with them at the Ordinary. At last when the Book of Claims was gone to the Council and they thought all was done, several of the factious party (as they are called) were gone about their affairs, it was moved that an Address of Thanks should be made to the Governour, which was easily carried. Cary, Corbin and Bland were sent out to draw it, but it was drawn by P. Beverley several days before. The Council would not pass the 10,000lb. tobacco the House had voted the Speaker. The Governor in requital of the Address sent a message to the House wherein he acknowledged he had promised and accordingly would support them in that priviledge, which made the House stand by their resolve; but the Council being obstinate, the Country party took heart and strengthened their party, so that if it had come to a vote again, they would have carryed it in the House, which the Speaker perceiving, he made haste to relinquish his pretentions very generously. But it is said the failing of that point cost the Governor 50l. to P. Beverley. At the General Court, when the Grand Jury were to be impanelled, Peter Beverley, Cary and Bland were had there early to be on the Jury, and the Sheriff was told Mr. Beverley was the fittest man in Virginia to be foreman. They had such a charge given them as I never heard before, and, according to their directions, made a very loyal Address and complimented him highly. Next he calls the Clergy and pretends that it had been represented to my Lord Bishop of London that he was not a friend to the Clergy, and desired them to declare whether it were so or not, and because their Address should be more hearty, invites them to breakfast and distributes 20l. amongst them. The Address was accepted but when Col. Quary saw it, it seems he had better eyes than the Governour and found the Address not to be so good as he thought for, wherefore he sent all about Town early in the morning to call all the clergymen that were in Town (except Mr. Blair), and when they came he demanded an explanation of the Address, and those that would not be wheedled, he scared to it, and gave them an Address the Clergy made to him at his first coming to copy by. He then carried it to those that were gone out of Town and got their hands to it at their houses. If they scrupled it, he hectored them to it. Since that, he hath had several private caballs with some select clergymen, such as Wheatly, Jones, Portlock, partly to make him elogies and part to complain against Mr. Blair. I observe you advise that the Council should petition the Queen for an augmentation of their salary, which I am much against, for (1) they have no reason to expect the Governor will joyn with them in it, unless they will do some very base thing to ingage him to it. (2) If the Council will be so mean spirited as to let a Governour do all the ill things he pleases in their names, and all the while using them like slaves, not suffering them to have any opinion of their own, and have not the courage to complain when they have no profit to oblige them, what will they do when they fear to lose a profitable place, or what will not others do to gain it ? Arbitrary power is grown to a high pitch among us. Laws and liberties openly trampled upon, and all things carryed with high hand to that degree that if any man do but expose any of the creatures for any villany they commit, tho in his own justification, immediately a Proclamation is sent out against them, as tho' he were a rebell and traitor, and all persons required to give evidence of whatever they know of him. We have a very notable instance of this lately, betwixt Major Allen and Major Tho. Swan, and it was only for exposing Cary and Wilson that the Governor pickt such an immortal quarrel with Moody, whom he hath used basely beyond expression. At Yorke Court he committed him to custody of Sheriff, and used him very grossly before the people for posting Cary, and when the people were gone, embraced him in his arms and kissed him, ingages him to complain to him of any affronts offered him, upon promise to make the parties give him satisfaction, and by this means gets several letters from Capt. Moody about their quarrels, and then brings them before the Council in judgment.
We have had an election of Burgesses for the ensuing Assembly in which there hath been such preoccupation as I think for [sic] promises, threats, spreading scandalous reports among the people of worthy persons, brow-beating at elections, and what not. For instance, the Governor went to Charles City County and railed publickly at Ben. Harrison, wherever he came, casting most scandalous reflections on him, perswading all people from choosing him, promising the sheriffs and clerks places over and over, and some were told in the Governor's name, they had as good be damned as choose him. Having rid all through Charles City from house to house, he went to Surrey and commanded the High Sherrif to inquire as he went about his county and give him an account upon oath what persons spoke any ill things of Major Allen, and at the same time exclaimed bitterly against Nat. Harrison, and so went through the County perswading for Major Allen and disswading against Nat. Harrison, tho' to little purpose. At Surry Election tho' Major Tho. Swan were chosen unanimously, Major Allen did, in the Governor's name, forbid the Sheriff, at his perill, to return him. In James City County, the Sheriff was told he could not serve two masters, and, if B. Harrison were chosen, he should never expect any favour. And the Rt. Noble Little Col. Jennings was as busy as a bee in Yorke; and tho they could say nothing in praise of Ballard, they spread false reports of other worthy persons among the people, nay, the Col. was very angry with the People for demanding a poll. I could give you many other instances, but time being short I shall close all with poor James City, that hath had the priviledge of electing a burgess ever since we have had Assemblies, and that confirmed by a Law now in force, is now refused a writ, upon pretence that the State House being gone from thence, it is not the Metropolis; but the true reason is, he doth not expect a Burgess from thence for his turn. He tells us he will transmit our petition to the Queen, together with the Law, but we claim the priviledge by custom long before that Law was made. I hope you and Sir Jeff. Jefferies and Mr. Perry will all appear for the poor town, when it comes before the Council of Trade. By means of these practices, I fear we shall have a very bad Assembly. Pray God deliver us, for great endeavours are used already to gain the Burgesses, and if their House be intirely gained, woe be to us. Here will be no living for any but parasites. Opening letters is grown so common that it is hardly accounted a fault. The Governor gave my brother Burwell 2 of his letters he had kept above half a year. We are fully convinced of the good offices the worthy Col. Quary did us in England by his behaviour here. I have heard gold cleers the sight, but I find a gift blinds the eyes; for tho' the Col. might have seen and heard enough to convince any man, yet he was so free as to tell me that he could not see but that the country in general was very well satisfied with the Governour, and instanced the Addresses, etc.
(b) Benjamin Harrison to [?]. Refers to [Governor Nicholson's ?] opening of correspondence. All men were never made so uneasy in my time, and only because a violent man will have it so, etc. July 6, 1702.
(c) P. Ludwell, jr., to Philip Ludwell, sr. March 15, 1702/3. Reply to objections to the Address of the Assembly being sent not by the Governor's hand. We did not know it was necessary. When the charge of trying the pirates was brought to the Assembly they were unwilling to pay it. But the Governor promised if they would pay it, and Address the King for a sum of money out of the Quit-rents towards building the Capitol, he would joyn with them, and endeavour to obtain a grant, which they did, but he did not send the Address. They had therefore no reason to trust him with one that he endeavoured to prevent, nay he commanded the Clerk of the House in the King's name not to give copies of the Address or Journal to anyone. I observe it was asked Mr. Perry if any force were used by the Governor. It is true there was no force of arms, but there was all the force of hectoring, threatening and ill-language that could be used. It was objected that the Assembly sat and spent 1,800l. and gave their Agent 300l. to avoid giving 900l. I should wonder the Governor was not ashamed to object that, if I did not know that nothing will shame him; for if you convince him of never so great a lie, he does but sneer at it. It was come to that pass, that the Burgesses, understanding if they would not give it, they should be kept there till the charge of their sitting exceeded it, to make them odious to the people, they were so hot they were just going to pass a vote that the Burgesses should serve for nothing the remaining part of that Session, but I suppose the the Governor had intelligence what was said, and sent them other business, and it appears by their Journal that it was not their faults. As to the 300l. to the Agent, it will be good fish when it is caught. It is true it passed the House, but not the Council, for they thought it too much, tho' I believe everyone will agree the public credit ought to be maintained. It seems it was observed that but 4 of the Council signed. It was passed in full Council, but at last the rest of them were gone out of town. It is thought very hard that the Address of the whole Country should not be so much as looked upon, because they did not like the Messenger.
(d) Benja. Harrison to Philip Ludwell. Virginia, March 16, 1702/3. Our calamities daily increase etc.
(e) Major Lewis Burwell to Philip Ludwell. Virginia, July 23, 1703. I am daily alarmed with threatening messages of ruine, for what I know not, unless it be because I will not force my daughter to marry utterly against her will, which is a thing no Christian body can do. The other day I received a message that I must ride in one of our troops, and if I refused so to doe, I am to be fetcht out of my house by violence and compelled to ride, altho' I have the Queen's quietus for being one of the Council by reason I am disabled in my limbs.
(f) Philip Ludwell, jr., to Philip Ludwell, sr., Virginia, July 26, 1703. You desire the reasons why Ja. City County had no Court for some time. The Justices did address the Governor the very next day after they found that the only Law that impowered them to try causes was repealed, but could never have any answer, neither would he lay it before the Assembly. The reason why it happened only to that County was that at first it was not known to other Counties, and it happened that very soon after the Governor fell right out with B. H[arrison] (I suppose about the amour) and was resolved to draw an odium on him, at the same time his emissaries perswaded people that tho' the Law was repealed, they had power, and that if they had not, it being a general thing, there was no danger, which opinion most men ran into readily to avoid the inconvenience of wanting Courts, when they saw the Governor would apply no remedy. At last when the people petitioned the House of Burgesses, the Governor managed it so that it was with difficulty they would do so much as give their opinion that the Justices might decide causes of meum and tuum, and then the Court did decide causes: and all the while they never failed to hold Courts duly every month to grant probates etc., and all things belonging to J.P.s except trying causes, and that they would have done, if the Governor and Council would have said they might. So that the whole fault lay at the Governor's door, and to shew you how the People resented it, B.H. was unanimously chosen Burgess the very next election … I could not think Col. Quary could be so very impudent as to write such damned downright lies as he hath done. I do not believe he spoke with 3 men of any note except the Governor and two of his creatures and Mr. Blair and myself. I hear he is to be here in the fall. I wish he may not embroil this Government as he did that of Carolina. I suppose my brother Burwell tells you how true that part of the Col.'s letter is that the Governor is become so entire a convert, and hath laid aside the amour. He and his creatures have industriously spread abroad, that tho' Lucy would not accept him, she and her friends had taken presents to the value of 500l. All the things that she had received were 3½ yards of dirty point lace and a purse containing 8 stone rings and a small seal, which he put into her hand wrapt up in her handkercher, and rid away. She sent them back and he returned them, and we then left them again at his house, whereat the Governor violently abused me, etc.
(g) B. H[arrison] to Philip Ludwell. May 28, 1703. Places are now shifted as often as the occasion requires to put out or in, as men will or will not serve a turn . . . I know no better way we had than to imploy men that go out of the country that are witnesses to the truth of our complaints etc. Quary's arrival did but blow the coals that flamed before. He was not sent for England to speak truth, and before he returned he forgot to do it. What could anybody expect from the Country's profest enemy, but to do what mischief he could. There was a great design on foot between him, Sr Thomas Lawrence and somebody else, but I thank God 'tis defeated. There is a little confident fellow gone in the last fleet, a second Denis Wright, who I suppose is to add a second edition to Quary's romance, but Mr. Wallis is gone likewise, a man of good life and credit. … Col. Leigh fell from his horse lately and cracked his scull and is dead. 'Tis said he was drunk at Parson Booker's of the Sabbath Day, and going home happened to that accident.
(h) Nath. Harrison to Stephen Fouace, July 15, 1702. Describes an interview at which the Governor swore at him "at a most horrible and blasphemous rate," etc.
(i) Lewis Burwell to Stephen Fouace. Virginia, July 22, 1702. I purpose for England, for I shall not be able to live here … we meekly lay under heavy threats of ruin, etc.
(j) Nath. Burwell to Phil. Ludwell. Oct. 13, 1703. The Governor continues to rage against my father, etc. The whole endorsed, Recd. Read April 28th, 1704. 45 pp. [C.O. 5, 1314. No. 15.]
April 28.
Whitehall.
280. W. Popple, jr., to Mr. Attorney or Mr. Solicitor General. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire your opinion in point of Law upon the Act for establishing Courts and settling due methods for the administration of Justice in Antigua, passed there Feb. 8 last. I am further to desire Mr. Attorney General's answer to the letter I writ him March 31. [C.O. 153, 8. p. 283.]
April 28.
Whitehall.
281. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Hedges. The convoys being shortly to sail for Newfoundland, we send you the draught of such a Commission as has been yearly granted to the Commodore for commanding the Forts and Soldiers during his stay there, as also the draught of a Commission to the Captain of the said soldiers for commanding in chief in the absence of such Commodore, which we pray you to lay before H.M. for her royal signature. Annexed,
281. i. Draught of Commission for the Commodore referred to above. [C.O. 195, 3. pp. 301–303.]
April 29.
Whitehall.
282. W. Popple, jr., to Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor General. There being three Bills transmitted from Virginia, [for the better securing the liberty of the subject; for limitation of actions; and for establishing County Courts etc.], the Council of Trade and Plantations desire your opinion in point of Law with as much speed as may be upon them, the Secretary of Virginia attending here on that account. These Bills may be altered in any part thereof as Bills transmitted from Ireland. [C.O. 5, 1360. p. 469.]