America and West Indies
May 1704, 23-25


Institute of Historical Research



Cecil Headlam (editor)

Year published





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

Citation Show another format:

'America and West Indies: May 1704, 23-25', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 22: 1704-1705 (1916), pp. 131-137. URL: Date accessed: 26 October 2014.


(Min 3 characters)


May 1704, 23-25

May 23.337. Attorney General to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I have considered of the Petition of Peter Van Bell [see March 9, May 16], and am of opinion if that Court was held under the late King's Commission for governing the Leeward Islands, as the Petitioner takes it to be, alledging that the President and Councill had power only to appoint, but not to sitt themselves as a Court of Admiralty, or if the sentence was given by the President and Councill of Nevis as the Councill there, in both cases the Appeale ought to be to H.M. in Councill, but if the President and Councill held a Court of Admiralty, by authority derived from the Admiralty of England, the Appeale is to be to the Court of Admiralty in England. And soe it was lately determined by H.M. in Councill. Signed. Edw. Northey. Endorsed, Recd. Read May 31, 1704. 1 p. Enclosed,
337. i. Copy of Petition of Peter Van Belle. [See March 9.] 2¾ pp. [C.O. 152, 5. Nos. 71, 71.i.; and 153, 8. pp. 306–311.]
May 23.
338. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lt. Gov. Usher. We have received yours of Dec. 30, Jan. 19, Feb. 19, Feb. 25 and one without date. All these letters contain mostly the same matter over and over again, and in such a method as renders them very difficult to us to understand. Wherefore we must advise you for the future only to write plaine matter of fact, and in such a manner as may be less obscure. In answer particularly to what you write relating to Col. Dudley, we must acquaint you that when he is in the Province of Massachusetts Bay he is not to be look'd upon as out of his Government, and therefore you ought to consult him upon all occasions and to obey his directions, he being Governor in Cheif, and you must not take upon you to dissolve Assemblys contrary to his directions, since your doing so may prove of ill consequence to H.M. service. Upon this advice we do not doubt but that you will endeavour to behave yourself kindly and respectfully towards him and jointly with him contribute your best endeavours towards everything that may tend to the safety and peace of the Province and to the carrying on of H.M. service there. [C.O. 5, 911. pp. 328, 329.]
May 23.339. Jeronimy Clifford to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The enclosed letter has had no effect. Prays for the consideration of his case (Feb. 10). Signed, Jer. Clifford. Endorsed, Recd. Read May 31, 1704. ¾ p. Enclosed,
339. i. Jeronimy Clifford to Samuel Shippard, Jacob Oosterland, John Gardner. May 18. I am made a prisoner in the Fleet by the devises of my adversaries. Prays for the speedy despatch of their report on his accounts, etc. Copy. 2 pp. [C.O. 388, 75. Nos. 90, 90.i.; and (without enclosure) 389, 36. pp. 188–192.]
May 23.
340. Wm. Popple, jr., to Wm. Lowndes. Encloses Act of the Massachusetts Bay for establishing a Naval Office. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire you to move the Lord High Treasurer that they may have the opinion of the Commissioners of H.M. Customs. [C.O. 5, 911. p. 305.]
May 23.
341. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Lord Cornbury. Since ours of March 17 we have received one from your Lordship of Dec. 18. We must remind your Lordship of what we writ you Jan. 26, 1702/3, upon the Acts past at New Yorke during the Earl of Bellomont and Captain Nanfan's Government, to which it is necessary your Lordship[s] return us speedy answer. Mr. Thrale, your late Agent, having presented to us a Memorial desiring a supply of stores of war for New York, we desire your Lordship, in order to the better enabling us to lay the same before H.M., to give us a particular account of the species and quantitys of what is wanting and of the places for which the said stores are desired. [C.O. 5, 1120. pp. 105, 106.]
May 23.
342. J. Moore to Governor Nicholson. [See June 6.] In obedience to your letter of April 8, I enclose copys of what has hitherto past in our Assembly; by them yr. Excellency will perceive the unhappy state of this place, and ('tis thought) they will break up without doing any business, the Proprietor having clogg'd the Lt. Governor's Commission wth. his own finall assent to all Laws, but this is uncertain. We have now on the Anvill the old project of a — Militia, to answer the Governmt. at home: but of that and what elce is doing here, I refer your Excellency to Mr. Alexander Paxton (that goes home in the fleet), and is able (if required) to give a naked state of the countrey. The Assembly of New Jersey are to meet the middle of next month. I hope in God the 2 men of war are arriv'd, and that you'll receive good news in them. etc. Signed, J. Moore. Endorsed, Recd. 9th, Read Aug. 22, 1704. Holograph. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1262. No. 84.]
May 23.
Maryland, Annapolis.
343. Governor Seymour to the Council of Trade and Plantations. It was Aprill 10 ere a most uncomfortable, tedious winter passage of neare 7 months (in which wee were for a long tyme reduced to ye poor allowance of one pint of water each day) permitted my arrivall here in H.M.S. Dreadnought. So soon as I arived I summoned the Members of H.M. Councill, and on April 12 caused H.M. Commission to me to be published in the Court House. Capt. Evans, the Commodore of the Virginia and Maryland fleets, assuring me that his orders were positive to sail the last of Aprill, beyond which tyme he was resolv'd not to tarry, though the Trade should not be ready then to go with him, although my long passage had prevented me of meeting the General Assembly sooner, yet willing to convince your Honourable Board of my most ready obedience to H.M. royal commands and instructions, and your Lordships' directions, I endeavoured to convene the General Assembly then on foot at this place Aprill 25, but it was the 26th before I could get a sufficient number to make up an House, and then but a very thinn one, their mercantile affairs in so great an hurry and the staple of this Province being so much later than that of Virginia, necessarily requiring everybody's presence at home to dispatch their respective concerns therein, in which H.M. service and interest is not also a little concerned. Upon the opening of the Session I enquired upon what foot the present Assembly stood, and was surprized to find that they had been of above three years, and summoned by the authority of his late, and not of her present Majesty, thô this the 3d year of her reigne. By which I was cautioned not to make use of them any further than the present exigency of Affairs required; However, I press'd them to answer such of H.M. Instructions, which I was directed to lay before them, and they required to answer and assist me in. [See Journal of Council, etc.] Your Lordships will find by the Laws transmitted that H.M. Instruction relating to the oath for better securing the Succession etc. has been readily answered by this Assembly, who have thô late most affectionately recognized H.M. Instruction concerning guifts to her Governors. I laid before them H.M. Royal Instructions and your Lordships' explanatory observations on enacting Laws were laid before the Assembly, who have given due regard and complyance thereto in the transactions of this Session. The revising the Laws is of so great weight and concerne, that less than several weeks will not suffice for that worke; Therefore the Assembly have humbly pray'd to be excused at this juncture, and I humbly beg your Lordships will be satisfied, that as I have not been unready to enter upon that service, so I shall heartily use my endeavours upon our next Meeting (which I hope will be in Sept.) to compleate that Injunction so strictly incumbent on me. I have not been able yet to see, but upon the best inquirys find the Militia at present very ill regulated and unserviceable, and althô the present Act therefore may seeme to answer H.M. Instruction that all Planters and Christian servants be fitly armed and obliged to muster, trayne and serve therein; yet Experience shews it is not practicable here through several defects, some in the principles of the people (especially the Quakers) and otherwise in the poverty of many not being able to provide themselves arms and ammunition; To ye redressing this misfortune I shall zealously apply myselfe on our next meeting, and am not without hopes but that then such proper measures may be concerted which will render them not only of better defence and service to H.M. and the Country; but likewise easier to themselves in that service, and their mayne affaire of cropps not neglected. I proposed to the Assembly the making an Act for punishing mutiny, dissertion and false musters, which they have pray'd may be referr'd to their next Meeting; And I hope the little tyme I have been upon the spott will plead my excuse that I have not yet procured and transmitted the amount of the publique stores of arms and ammunition, which has been impossible for me to get (thô I have given the strictest orders therein) they being lodged in severall hands at great distance; but I will take effectuall care this Injunction shall be punctually comply'd with. As to a Generall Survey of the whole Province and every County, or a particular survey of all ye landing places and harbours, I have recomended it to ye Assembly, who seeme not very forward by reason of the great Expence and Trouble, and have referr'd the consideration thereof to ye next Assembly, with other of H.M. Instructions. Thus far in obedience to H.M. Royal Instructions which I am commanded to communicate to the Assembly for their advice and assistance; but now as to those which are more imediately to my selfe and H.M. honble. Council here, your Lordships by the Journal of the Council may see that I have not neglected, but used my utmost dilligence to do my duty in an exact complyance with all and every of them, wou'd ye shortness of the tyme have admitted it; And it is not without much regrett and disappointment that I have not been able to have all ye publique Accounts regularly stated and transmitted to your Lordships, as well as the list of the inhabitants required in my Instructions, which I will not fail of doing by the first happy opportunity. My arrivall here happening at a very busie tyme, not only in reguard of the Dispatch of the shipping but in that the Provinciall Court which was appointed April 25 cou'd not be farther adjourn'd than May 16, hath much straigthned me as well as the respective Officers in point of tyme to comply with our several dutys by ye present shipping, yet hope your Lordships will favourably accept of the best endeavours I have been capable of performing in so short a space. After the many misfortunes and inconveniencys I suffered by my long passage, Mr. Thomas Tench who presided here in H.M. Council, being a craving person and not satisfyed with the advantage of the best part of 1,000l. sterl. (which my ill fortune in being so long on my passage hither presented him with) and althô my Commission passed Feb. 12 last was twelve months, still insists upon a moyety of the 12d. per hhd. for what tobaccoes were on board the shipps here at my arrivall, thô not to be cleared until two months after, which I humbly hope your honourable Board will not think reasonable, and beg you will not countenance his pretensions thereto, who has already gained so much by my misfortunes with little or no charge or trouble to himself, or hindrance of his private concerns. Sir Thomas Laurence, H.M. Secretary of this Province, finding himself much impaired in his health, and uneasye in his Office, the Assembly refusing to continue to him the benefit of the ordinary lycenses, and having made application to my selfe and H.M. Council for leave to goe for England, leaving a sufficient Deputy well qualified to execute his Office, has offered his service to take care of ye Journals and publique pacquetts from this Government and, God willing, will wth. Col. Blakiston, our Agent, wayte upon your Lordships to present them. etc. Signed, Jo. Seymour. Endorsed, Recd. 9th, Read Aug. 23, 1704. 6 pp. Enclosed,
343. i. Transcript of the Journal of the Committee of Accounts, May, 1704. Endorsed, Recd. Aug. 9, 1704. 20 pp. [C.O. 5, 715. Nos. 78, 78.i.; and (without enclosures) 5, 726. pp. 288–296.]
May 23.
344. W. Popple, jr., to Samuel Gardner etc. Encloses Mr. Clifford's account. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire your report (March 2) as soon as conveniently you can. [C.O. 389, 36. p. 187.]
May 23.
345. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Seymour. Since ours of March 17, we have heard from Sir Bevill Granville that you had been forced from the coast of Virginia to Barbados, and giving us an account of the hardships you had undergone, for which we are heartily sorry. And we hope that long before this you are safely arrived in your government. Upon our considering the Laws of other Governments, we find it absolutely necessary to remind you of that Instruction which directs you to send over a compleat collection of all the Laws of Maryland now in force; which therefore we desire you to send over with all possible dispatch. [C.O. 5, 726. pp. 281, 282.]
May. 24.346. Abstract of Complaints against Governor Nicholson. Presented to the Board by Mr. Blair. Endorsed, Recd. Read May 24, 1704. 4 pp. [C.O. 5, 1314. No. 18; and 5, 1360. pp. 471–475.]
May 24.
Treasury Chambers.
347. Wm. Lowndes to Mr. Popple. Returns. Act for settling the public Revenue of Jamaica [May 19] with the Lord High Treasurer's observations thereupon. Signed, Wm. Lowndes. Endorsed, Recd. Read May 26, 1704. ¾ p. Annexed,
347. i. Observations of the Lord High Treasurer upon the Act of Revenue of Jamaica. (1) If the goods be reshipt within 12 months, the Receiver is to pay back half the Customs at the rates mentioned, whereas it should be half the neat money by him recd. after the deductions made. (2) There is a penalty for running the goods after sunset, and before sun-rising, but there is no provision made in the Bill for goods run in the day-time. (3) The goods of new settlers are discharged from all duties. Quere. Whether that exemption should not be restrained only to the duties granted by this Act. (4) There is a proviso that the merchant shall pay duty for no more than he sell or disposes of within the Island. Quere. Whether the charge is to be made upon the importation or the sale, and if upon the latter how can the duty be ascertained, and whether the goods imported and exported again without being sold or disposed in the Island will be discharged of the whole by the Proviso or of half by the preceeding clause, for they seem to be repugnant. ¾ p. [C.O. 137, 6. Nos. 48, 48.i.; and 138, 11. pp. 271, 272.]
May 24.
348. Governor Sir B. Granville to the Council of Trade and Plantations. A packet-boat arrived here from England the 21 inst., and was very welcome to us, we having bin without one for above 3 months past, and thô it brings letters of Aprill 13 I have the honour only of one from your Lordships, Feb. 16. I doe enclos'd send the list you order me in relation to Councellours and do submitt it to you as of persons every way the best qualify'd of any upon this Island for that trust. I shall govern myself with great exactness in relation to the Spaniards according to my Lord Nottingham's directions, and shall carefully observe those other commands you send me in relation to the private ships of warr, my Lord High Admirall's tenths and dues. I am very sensible of all your Lordships' favour to me in the report you make to H.M. about the house rent settled here, and I doe return the greatest acknowledgements for it. By this ordinary, I send such Acts as have been pass'd, as also the Minutes of the Councill and Assembly from which you will be better able to judge of the present state of this place then from any generall account I can give. A fleet of severall merchant ships are here loaden ready to sail for England and will depart in a day or two. The French Privateers are buisy about us, and will continue to do us mischief without such ships be nimbler saylors then those we usually have, to which I must add that three men of war are necessary to protect all the trade of this place. There being a report which is come from the Maderas of a squadron of French men of war gon by that place for Martinique, I have sent out a spy boat to look into all their ports, as also at Guadaloup. I was in hopes it might have return'd in time for me to have given an account by this ordinary but I still expect her. Signed, Bevill Granville. Endorsed, Recd. 5th, Read Aug. 23, 1704. Holograph. 3 pp. Enclosed,
348. i. List of persons qualify'd to fill vacancies in the Council:—Abel Alleyne, William Cleeland, James Colleton, John Mills, Wm. Holder, Alexander Walker, John Holder, Middleton Chamberlin, Robert Gibbs, Edward Burk, William Battyn, Joseph Pickering. Endorsed, Recd. Aug. 5, 1704. ½ p.
348. ii. Account of prizes condemned in Barbados. 11 ships and sloops, 5 of which were wholy delivered into the Captors' hands according to the Act of Barbados for the encouragement of privateers, Nov., 1701. James Hannay, Marshall of the Court of Vice-Admiralty. Endorsed as preceding. 1 large p.
348. iii. An abstract of prizes condemned in the Court of Vice-Admiralty, Barbados, since the present war. (See Nov. 26, 1703.) Signed, Nich. Sayers, Registrar. Same endorsement. 2½ pp. [C.O. 28, 7. Nos. 33, 33.i.–iii. (and memoranda); and (without enclosures) 29, 8. pp. 455–461.]