America and West Indies
October 1705, 1-15

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor)

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1916

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629-640

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'America and West Indies: October 1705, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 22: 1704-1705 (1916), pp. 629-640. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=73694 Date accessed: 22 September 2014.


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October 1705, 1-15

Oct. 4.
Cockpit.
1358. Mr. Secretary Hedges to Governor Handasyde. Refers to petition of Peter Dyer on behalf of prisoners in Spanish West Indies. [See Sept. 1 etc.] It is H.M. pleasure that you endeavour by sending a Flag of Truce to the Havana, or elsewhere, to procure by an exchange the liberty of H.M. said subjects, and to make the Spaniards in those parts sensible that unless they do comply herein, you shall be obliged to use the same severitys to such Spaniards as now are or may come into your power, and you do likewise by the best ways and means you can, give the said prisoners to understand that such orders are given to you, and that H.M. will not be forgetfull of their good services, but do all that in her lyes for their redemption. Encloses Mr. Dyer's papers of Sept. 1. His account of Spanish forts perhaps may be made some use of. Acknowledges letter of Aug. 12. Signed, C. Hedges. [C.O. 324, 30. pp. 43, 44.]
Oct. 4.
London.
1359. Mr. Dummer to Mr. Popple. The Queen Anne packet arrived Plymouth Sept. 27, out and home 105 days, having met with extreme bad weather, lost two topmasts and foremast. Came home with a jury foremast and in the Soundings was chased every day etc. Signed, E. Dummer. Endorsed, Recd. Oct. 5, 1705. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 323, 5. No. 86.]
[Oct. 5.]1360. Copy of Mr. Penn's Commission to Coll. Hamilton to be Dep. Governor of Pennsylvania, 1701. Endorsed, Recd. Read Oct. 5, 1705. 2½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1263. No. 33.]
Oct. 5.
Whitehall.
1361. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Harley. Report on the case of the Richard and Sarah. (No. 1352.) The ship had 20 guns and 30 men (9 of which refused to fight). The rest maintained a fight of six hours with a French privateer of 20 guns and 166 men etc. The ship is disabled and the privateer took the most valuable part of the cargo out of her. Petitioners have also suffered heavily in Jamaica by extraordinary accidents of fire and earthquakes. They are fit objects for H.M. grace etc. [C.O. 138, 11. pp. 417–419.]
Oct. 5.
Whitehall.
1362. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Queen. We humbly offer that the Act of Connecticut "Hereticks," [see April 21] be repealed and made void, that Law against the Quakers being contrary to the liberty of conscience indulg'd to Dissenters by the Laws of England, as likewise to the Charter granted to that Colony, and severall persons having suffered by virtue of it. [C.O. 5, 1291. pp. 210, 211.]
Oct. 8.
Bermuda.
1363. E. Jones to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I cannot prevail with the leading gentlemen here to comply with H.M. royall Order in Council or to suffer me quietly to enjoy the powers and priviledges of my Patent. Collonel Anthony White, Charles Walker and Samuel Spofferth, Esqrs. (the old ennemyes to truth and peace) and such others as H.E. has bin pleased by their advice to commissionate Judges, Justices and Officers of authority, being pre-instructed in their irregular resolutions, carry on their malicious designs against me with all imaginable rigour. They aim to empower persons of their own choosing in all the posts and places of trust in these Islands, both civil and military, and count a commission from England in any station an imposition upon the inhabitants. This is evidenc'd by H.E. late answer to my claim of being Clark of the Council (and by consequence, Clark in Chancery), that he believed it to be my right, but that his Council, meaning the said White, Walker, etc., had declared they would not sit if I presumed to be their Clark. And likewise upon my claim of Clark of the Assize, that the Judges (being two gentlemen born here of mean parts and meaner education) had fixed the same resolution, and have given it as their positive opinion that the Commission granted them by H.E. is sufficient power to them to nominate their own Clark, and so intrust him with the Records of their own Courts, meaning the Generall Assizes, Queen's Bench and Common Pleas, the like answer I have had from the Quarter Sessions, as tho' it were in the breast of a Councillor, Judge or Justice, and not in the power of the Governor himself, to regulate and determine those affairs, a shallow reason I think to divest me of my just rights and priviledges, the most materiall part of the files, rolls, papers and records of what has bin transacted during the time of our present Governour in the Courts of law, equity and government being still kept from the Secretary's Office in the custody of Mr. Charles Minors, late Secretary, and others, and copies thereof privately deliver'd out, and many of the original papers for byass'd ends imbezled, stifled and dispers'd, so that people dayly repair to the Office for copies, and neither the records nor the originals are to be found, to the great discredit of the Office, and lessning the proffits thereof, and to the great abuse and detriment of the whole country. This seems to me to tend to no less a contrivance in my weak imagination than to unhinge the general tranquillity and welfare of the inhabitants and even to strike at the prerogative of the Crown, for if no obedience be paid to the mandates of our Sovereign Lady the Queen, nor reguard to letters pattent under the Great Seal of England, but these gentlemen will assume a power to themselves of appointing officers, separating offices that have bin hitherto united, thereby subverting the known antient customes and practice of these Islands from the first settlement thereof, what can all this be but an ambition to shake off all subjection and engross the government, or at least the commanding part of it, into their own hands? H.M. ammunition stores, as I am credibly informed, are unspeakably embezled, which I have been sworn to preserve for H.M. service, and before my suspension maintained all the forts and fortifications 15 months with only 9 barrils of powder, but now am not suffered to inspect them. The votes of the Assembly have been removed from the Secretary's office since my return, and still kept from my custody or knowledge. The Assembly past an Act for building a magazine and great sums of money raized in order thereunto, but the money converted to private uses and the Act itself never recorded. The Governor and Council during the sitting of the Assembly upon publick affairs wou'd not admit me their Clark, but the Governor himself has bin pleased to supply that office, but no notice of their sitting given to me, or any the minutes of publick affairs return'd into the Secretary's office. Myself also am depriv'd of the arrears of the rent of the Secretary and Provost Marshall or Sherriffs land during my unjust suspension and received by the Governor, and nothing material left me but the empty title of Secretary to support me, and all under this haughty insolent position (which those gentlemen publickly assert) that, let their transactions here be what they will, they can write so intricately in their reports to your Lordships as shall puzzle your Lordships to except against, or interpret it, and have taken advice that if the persons offended grumble, they should load them with actions, accusations, fines and imprisonments (no matter whither right or wrong) till they had worried them out of their just interests and pretensions. The poor innocent people H.M. loyall subjects here were never put to the trouble of hopping from one officer to another, but upon all emergent occasions have had a plain and constant recourse to the Secretary's Office to their great ease and satisfaction, but if that Office must be now piecemeal'd into a numerous company of lesser offices, 'twill reduce them to such a confusion that for many years yett to come they will be at a loss whither to repair for the written securities of their lives and fortunes. Thus, my Lords, you may plainly discern the stubborn and venemous temper of these aspiring and uneasy gentlemen, who, instead of changing their auntient malice into a friendly reconciliation and readily fixing me in my offices aforesaid according to the tenour of my grant, and H.M. said Order in Council, they continuallly charge me with pretended errors, and as I am informed have drawn up and passed divers accusations in the Assembly and taken severall affidavits in writing against me, without suffering me to appear in my own vindication, neyther can I yet be truly informed what they are. I have moved the Speaker and the whole House and address'd myself to H.E. that I might be order'd copies thereof, but have bin and still am positively denied. 'Tis true copies have bin delivered to me by the Governor's orders of some few affidavits taken about 4 years ago by Col. White and others and transmitted to your Lordships, but copies of what has bin acted or sworn against me since my return I could never obtain. I have likewise both by word and writing humbly requested that the records of the Quarter Sessions might be lodg'd in the Secretary's office which the Justices have bin so far from granting that they have absolutely denied me copies of several particular proceedings which I my self had an imediate occasion for. I claimed the Clarkship of the Quarter Sessions in writing, which they ignorantly interpreted a demand of the office of Custos Rotulorum, and oppos'd the dignity of that office, which they say is vested in them by the Governour's Commission, to my Patent from the Crown. I confess I esteem the Secretary for the time being to be Custos Rotulorum under H.E. for the whole Islands, but my pretensions to them was only to become their Clark. The Judges here called a Court according to adjournment the first Monday in this month and with them the aforenamed Mr. Samuell Spofferth, one of the Council, whom the Governor has bin pleas'd to constitute Chief Justice in the room of Capt. Stafford deceased, tho between H.E. and him there has bin such an animosity that Mr. Spofferth hath not appear'd in Council for above two years past, nor publickly concern'd himself with any of the affairs of these Islands, tho' privately of constant council to the said White and Walker, and now made use off as the only Proteus or fit person to prosecute their evill designs against me and others whom they daily persuade the Governor to be his open enemies, and privately to cabal against him, when indeed our whole bent is nothing else but to redress our grievances. And that they might not want a proper officer to carry on their malicious and superb intrigues they have prevail'd with the Governour to make Thomas Burton Attorney Generall, formerly a fidler to a known pyrate or privateer, and a person of that exploded life and conversation that he hath bin superseded from his practice and fin'd by former Governors for his notorious villanies upon record and a petition was preferr'd to H.E. for liberty to prosecute him thereupon since his admission to the office of Attorney Generall, but H.E. was pleas'd to sign his pardon and supersede the former record without any deffence made thereunto on H.M. behalf, altho' indictments of maintainance were ready to be exhibited against him. A decree past before H.E. in a Court of Chancery to affirm a judgement at Common Law obtain'd by Col. Anthony White against Capt. Gilbert Nelson, formerly one of the Council, with stay of execution till the Lord Chief Justice of England's opinion was had upon that decree, being grounded upon a double verdict, which opinion is not yett obtayn'd nor ever requested and yett Capt. Nelson hath lain a year and upwards in close prison separate from his family by virtue of an attachment grounded upon that decree. Dr. Starr was about a year since publickly whip'd by a common negro hangman for words sworn by a notorious proffligate fellow to be contain'd in a letter under the Doctor's hand, which being produc'd and diligently read over, are not to be found in it. John Woodward an Attorney, a person imploy'd by Capt. Nelson and my self in our law affairs, drew an answer in Chancery on behalf of the defendant to a Bill filed by the said Burton, Attorny for the complainant, after the cause was heard and a decree passed for the defendant, the said Burton, meerly to bring the cause over again and enhance his fees and to expose Woodward to publick shame and disgrace, insinuated with the poor innocent defendant to confess upon oath in his own wrong that the said answer, which he had sign'd and sworn to was false, and then obtained an Order of Council upon his own bare motion to prosecute Woodward upon the statute of maintainance at the then next Quarter Sessions, and brought the perjur'd defendant as an evidance against him, the Governor having by Burton's contrivance prepardoned the defendant on purpose to reswear against Woodward, and the same day Burton's own pardon was read in Court to enable him to proceed upon the indictment aforesaid, least Woodward upon his tryall shoul'd object Burton's being superseded as aforesaid and not rectus in curia to act as Attorney Generall. But Burton's villany was soon detected by the Jury and Woodward brought in not guilty. Mr. Burton hath also caused Woodward to be comitted to my custody as Provost Marshall ever since the date of the enclosed first commitment, which is now full three months, where he still remains without any examination, presentment or other legall prosecution then the two enclosed comitments, which your Lordships will readily perceive are manifestly contradictory to each other, and carry nothing of truth with them, there being not one word of what is charged against Woodward in the latter comitment incerted or mentioned in the former, but only maliciously framed by Burton in open Court, who usually dictates what their ignorant Clark, Thomas Bostock, is order'd to write or draw up. And yet Woodward is still continued in my custody, altho' he hath a wife and severall small children to maintain, and besides 'tis generally believed we shall hold no more Courts here till they hear further from your Lordships. I could ennumerate many the like barbarous irregularities, etc. Signed, Ed. Jones. Endorsed, Recd. Dec. 31, 1705. Read March 4, 1705/6. Holograph. 3½ pp. [C.O. 37, 7. No. 22; and 38, 6. pp. 161–170.]
[Oct. 9.]1364. Mr. Penn's Observations upon an Act for establishing Courts of Judicature in Pennsylvania and the Counties annexed. I conceive ejectments may and ought to be brought and prosecuted in Pensilvania in the same manner as in England, notwithstanding an incertaine expression in the Act, viz. [keeping to brevity, plainness and verity in all declarations and pleas, and avoiding all fictions and colour in pleadings]. The meaning of which clause (I think) can onely extend to avoid such fictions as in their owne nature tend to prejudice, or delay either party and hinder the merits and rights of the cause from a fair and speedy determination. The bringing therefore ejectments as aforesaid being no ways prejudiciall to either party, but the most speedy and easy method of bringing the matter in question to an issue and restoring the party injured to his right, ought to be allowed and encourag'd. And if the Justices or Judges there, from too strict construction of the said clause, will not allow of such ejectments, it will, as I conceive, be convenient (if not necessary) to endeavour a stopp to her Majes. passing the Act, untill the same be amended, or better explained in this point. Signed, Wm. Wharton. Endorsed, Recd. Read Oct. 9, 1705. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1263. No. 34.]
Oct. 9.
Bermuda.
1365. Lt. Governor Bennett to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Your Lordps.' letter of March 6 last I received, wherein I am required to give an account what pirates have been taken and what prizes made by those Commissions I have granted, to which 1 answer, not one of either kind, for there hath not been any vessel fitted out on purpose for privateering since my arrivall here. But indeed they went with more hands than usuall, when information was given that a wreck was found amongst the Bohamas in 1701, in order to fish on it, and also when they were bound to Turks Islands to rake salt, or on other voyages, that they might be the better able to talk with an ennemy if any happened in their way; I hope your Lordps. will remit that fault, which I was presidentially lead into (see Aug. 12) and I shall be very cautious for the future in all respects. As for Capt. Jones, he can justly have noe reason to complain of my reception of him, nor want of a ready complyance to H.M. orders for taking off his suspension, as appears in my answer to his paper [see March 31]. Your Lordps. may please also to remarke how ready I was to doe him justice upon a debate in Council concerning his being Clark thereof, where I declared he was soe, and that I could admit of noe other etc. (see April 4). Your Lordships may also please to observe how cautious I have been in wording the Judges' Commission, which according to all former presidents gave them full power and authority to choose their own Clarks. But by that I have lately given, I have added these two words (viz.) "as customery," so that if it be Capt. Jones, his right to be Clark of the Assizes, I doe not exclude him disputeing it with them, and I hope it will not be concluded that I joyn with the country against him (nor never did) but to the contrary have declared my opinion opposite to theirs, and in all points I shall be tender of what I think he ought to enjoy by vertue of his Patent, altho' he hath offered to incroach on mine, by demanding the seal and magazine. I cannot conceive on what grounds Capt. Jones can complain of me, but if he should I pray your Lordps. would let me know my charge, that I may answer it before credited. Here is enclosed a remonstrance from the Judges, which I am desire[d] by the Council to recommend to your Lordships' considerations and orders thereon. My Lrds, this country is in a miserable condition, for at present (or till these disputes are over) there is a stagnation of all business, both in law and equity, for no Council nor Chancery Court can be held, by reason the members of them will not sitt, if Capt. Jones is Clark; neither will the Judges of Assize proceed to business, because of his pretension to that clarkship, so that when they meet and sitt, it's only in order to adjourn the Court, therefore I pray your Lordps. to consider the circumstance of this place, and send some directions accordingly. As for Mr. Barrons (late Minister here) his petition, because he more particularly complains against me for want of his mony he pretends to be due, and in some measure reflects on the country for hardships recd., I therefore refer'd it to the House of Assembly to enquire into the matter in order that he might be relieved, as his character and justice of his case requires; the Assembly has not yet made me any returne, but for what I hear, that gentleman may repent his complaint, great part of which is unjust and ungreatfull, and I pray your Lordps. to suspend your thoughts till my next letters arrive. Acknowledges Commission for the tryal of pirates etc., and letter of April 26. As for treating Lieut. Henley with humanity in regard to his wife and children, it was his own fault he continued six days in the Castle (which was the place he petitionned to be sent to) for I ordered the the Captain thereof to offer him as from himself that he would endeavour to prevail with the Judges to let him be in Tucker's Town (a very pleasant place) provided he would behave himself regularly, but he sullenly refused that proposal, and continued in his confinement about a month (I think it was) and then desired that liberty, which he has had ever since, and to show your Lordps. my compassion for him, in a short time after his tryal I moved and prevailled with the Council to consent to the allowance of 10s. a week to be paid out of the publick treasury, on consideration of his family, and I hope I am not thought either cruel or uncharitable. Your Lordps. in this letter intirely blame me, that the Acts of Assembly were return'd without any date. Pray my Lords consider where the fault lyes. I ordered the Secretary to prepair transcripts of them, which when finished (as I conclude) he bring them to me with an affidavit incerted att the end, to which I swear him, that they are true copys of the Records, according to the best of his examination, soe that with submission I think in that case my business is only to transmit them, neither can I blame the Secretary for that omission, for upon enquiry it rests in the Clark of the Assembly, for he used to enter them in the Book of Records, and he neglected puting in the time of passing, and I fear by the change of Speakers and deaths of Clarks, with other carelessness and accidents, many of the originall Acts are lost, soe that I fear the record of Acts can not be compleated in that part, but I hope those past in my time will be soe. The copys of Minutes of Council, and Journalls of the Generall Assembly your Lordps. require are prepareing, both of which togeather with an acct. of the fortifications with submission I did transmit (which to be sure miscarryed) and Mr. Larkin's management (he being here att the same time) forced me to neglect sending duplicates. But I hope for the future I shal have time to make amends for former unavoydable neglects and constantly be able to comply with H.M. order to transmit accts. half yearly of the publick stores. I also received the Acts for prohibiting trade with France, and for preventing all traiterous correspondence, which were published accordingly, and the Act to encourage the production of naval stores. I have likewise received your Lordps.' of Aprill 27, with H.M. order to repeal the Act to prevent the insolences of negroes, which accordingly stands repealed on record. I also have your Lordships' letter of May 30 last, with H.M. seal and warrant, and had the old one broak before the Council, and is herewith sent; also is enclosed the Navall Officers' accounts June 13, 1701—Sept. 19, 1705, and everything else wanting shall be transmitted as soon as possible. And whereas it is said in H.M. Order, dated Feb. last (relating to stores, arms and ammunition), that I had not returned an account since my arrival, refers to letters of 1701, 1702, showing that I was from time to time giveing accts. of the fortifications, and had not my time been imployed as in my letter of June 29 last, I doubt not but I should have performed my duty in every respect which I shall take care of doeing for the future. Mr. Minors, the Registrar of the Admiralty, having been very busie in setling and delivering the Records of the Secretary's office to Capt. Jones, and this opportunity of sending any pacqt. by the way of New York happening accidently are the reasons the tryall of Danll. Smith for piracy has not been prepared for transmission now etc. Signed, Ben. Bennett. Endorsed, Recd. Feb. 1st, Read May 29, 1706. Holograph. 4 pp. Enclosed,
1365. i. Remonstrance of the Judges of Assize in Bermuda to Lt. Governor Bennett upon Mr. Jones' pretensions to be Clerk of Assize. June 29, 1705. Signed, Saml. Sherlock, Saml. Smith. Same endorsement. 5 pp.
1365. ii–iv. Copies of Commissions granted to the Judges in Bermuda, by Lt. Gov. Bennett, 1703, 1705, and by Lt. Gov. Day, 1699, referred to supra. 3 pp. Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 14, 1705 (?). [C.O. 37, 7. Nos. 27, 27. i.–iv.; and (without enclosures) 38, 6. pp. 182–189.]
Oct. 9.
Bermuda.
1366. Lt. Gov. Bennett to [? Mr. Secretary Hedges]. Acknowledges letter of Feb. 22 and repeats part of the preceding etc. Signed, Ben. Bennett. Holograph. 2 pp. [C.O. 37, 26. No. 14.]
Oct. 11.
Kensington.
1367. Order of Queen in Council. Referring following petition to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. Read Dec. 17, 1705. 1½ pp. Enclosed,
1367. i. Thomas Allen to the Queen. Prays that his father's appeal may be revived in his name. Copy. 4 pp. [See Acts of Privy Council, II. p. 367.] [C.O. 5, 863. Nos. 143, 143. i.; and 5, 912. pp. 19–23.]
Oct. 11.
Kensington.
1368. Order of Queen in Council. Referring following to the Council of Trade and Plantations for their report. Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. Read Oct. 17, 1705. 1¼ pp. Enclosed,
1368. i. G. Lillington, late eldest Member of the Council of Barbados, to the Queen. Upon the information of Thomas Lesly, whom he had turned out of his service, petitioner was taken in custody and bound over to appear at the Grand Sessions on a charge of having spoken scandalous and seditious words against the Governor. At the setting of the Court, June 14, 1705, Petitioner was hindered by the Court from making his defence according to the methods by Law allowed him. His Counsel was silenced by the Court, and not allowed to plead until he should be assigned of Council for the Petitioner by the Court. Counsel and Petitioner were not permitted to speak to each other during the tryal. His witnesses were not heard, but threatened by the Court so that several departed in fear; the Court would not allow Lesly to be cross-examined. Petitioner could have shown Lesly to be quite unworthy of credit and to have been suborned by great promises of reward. Found guilty by a packed Jury, on the single evidence of Lesly, Petitioner was fined 2,000l. and ordered to remain a prisoner until he should pay it and give security in 2,000l. to be of good behaviour. The Court refused to hear reasons for arrest of judgment. Several members of it threatened and abused petitioner's Counsel. During the trial the doors of the Court were kept shut etc. Prays that copies of the Commission by which the Court sat, and of all proceedings may be sent over for H.M. consideration, together with depositions by petitioner's witnesses. Copy. 7½ pp.
1368. ii. (a) Copy of Governor Sir B. Granville's Order to Robert Gibbs, Deputy Auditor of the Queen's Revenue, to receive the above fine from George Lillington, June 19, 1705.
(b) Mr. Gibbs' Receipt for the same. Barbados, June 19, 1705. The whole 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read Oct. 17, 1705. [C.O. 28, 9. Nos. 5, 5. i., 6.; and 29, 9. pp. 373–383.]
Oct. 11.
Kensington.
1369. Order of Queen in Council. Appointing Col. Edlyn Member of Council of Jamaica. [Sept. 25.] Warrant to be prepared accordingly. Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. Read Oct. 30, 1705. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 7. No. 15; and 138, 11. p. 426.]
Oct. 11.
Kensington.
1370. Order of Queen in Council. Repealing the Act of Connecticut entitled "Hereticks" [see Oct. 5]. Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. Read Nov. 14, 1705. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 1263. No. 43; and 5, 1291. pp. 229–231.]
Oct. 12.
Whitehall.
1371. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Cooper, the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. Acquaint him that he is a Member of the Board. Similar letter to the Duke of Newcastle, Lord Privy Seal. [C.O. 389, 36. p. 306.]
Oct. 12.
Whitehall.
1372. W. Popple, jr., to Mr. Attorney General. The Council of Trade and Plantations having some difficulties about the presenting the Pennsylvania Laws to H.M., send you enclosed queries, unto which they desire your answer as soon as may be. Enclosed,
1372. i. Quote Penn's Charter. Mr. Penn in his absence from Pennsylvania has constituted a Lieut. Governour, and in his deputation there are these words "By thy writts Assemblys (when necessary) to call and the same from time to time to prorogue or dissolve as thou shalt see cause, and with laws to enact, saving always to me and my heirs, our final assent to all such bills as thou shalt pass into laws." Query: Whether the powers granted to Mr. Penn by his Charter, as to making Laws, ought not to be executed by his assent or negative upon the place, where the Assemblies meet, and at the same time as the Bills are presented to him there, and then to give his negative or affirmative? And whether he be not excluded from all power to do it at any other place or time? (2) Whether the 105 laws now offered by him, running in his name only, tho' he was not upon the place, and no mention being made of a Deputy Governour, or that they were passed by such Deputy Governour, by vertue of his Commission, and Mr. Penn having reserved the finall assent to himself, ought to be taken as Laws regularly made and fit to be offered to the Queen as the Laws made in that Province. (3) Whether the clause in Mr. Penn's Deputation, which reserves the finall assent to him, does leave in him a power to repeal any Laws that have been enacted by his Deputy Governour, or whether that clause be void in itself, because repugnant to the enacting powers given to the Deputy Governor by his deputation. (4) These 105 Laws being all joyned under one seal in one body, and so laid before the Commissioners of Trade by Mr. Penn for their opinion to H.M., Query, whether, if they do deliver the whole body of Laws connected together to the Privy Council, with a report upon some of them, whether the other Laws in the same body not reported upon may be construed delivered to the Privy Council, and consequently continue to be in force for ever in case H.M. do not repeal them in ye time limitted of 6 months mentioned in ye Charter. [C.O. 5, 1291. pp. 216–221.]
Oct. 15.1373. Masters of ships at St. Johns to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Causes of the decay of the Newfoundland fishery, "which since the remembrance of severall of us was great and flourishing and brought yearly vast treasure to the English Nation, there being then more then 30,000 men imployed therein, 6,000 whereof were allways men that never were at sea before, and yearly went out from and returned to England. Since that time the French have encroached on this our fishery, and in a manner engrossed it to themselvs, for they possess near 6/7th of the fishing ground, and so fishing few ships in a place are allways sure to make good voyages, and the fish cometh with them about 6 weeks sooner then in those places that wee still enjoy, by which means they save their fish before the sultry weather, and are sure to be at place of sale some 5 or 6 weeks before us, by wch. means they get great advantages, and Plasentia, which in 1661 was in our possession, as also all the rest of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia etc., is a place where about 800 boats may fish, and with little trouble make good fish in a wet summer, when wee at such times must take extraordinary pains, and yet have very bad fish. And to hinder us from carrying any fish to France have for severall years laid such duties on English-caught fish as amount to a prohibition, by wch. means they not only supply all France, which cannot subsist without fish, and where wee did annually carry about 500,000 quintals, but also by reason of their having fish ready sooner then wee, and their preventing abuses, supply in a great measure Spain. Italy etc., and now imploy 30,000 seamen by the Fishery that they have taken from us, and within a few months have in a barbarous manner overrun all our settlements etc., and so disturb us in the fishing season, that unless a competent force be sent to reduce them, wee shall be forced to abandon the country and trade. But the French could not have so intirely ruined this noble Fishery, if Debauchery, the forerunner of ruine, had not crept in by means of the importation of severall sorts of liquors etc. and especially ye rum, sugar, mollosses and tobacco etc., wch. the Americans bring hither in vast quantities and sell it by wholesale and retaile, by which means they draw to themselves the greatest part of the proffit that is now made of this Fishery, and their proffit is the cause of the ruin of the rest, for their rumme etc. is so coveted by those that are employed in the Fishery, that when they should dilligently follow their business, the fishermen in taking, and those ashoare in curing ye fish, both one and the other so closely follow the rumme bottle, yt. there is nott yt. quantity of fish caught yt. otherwise would, and yt that is taken nott well cured, to our great detriment when att place of sale. And whereas formerly all necessaries did come from England, now English provisions cannott be brought hither, they underselling us by much, and gett wn. we loose, to ye discouragement of ye English tillage and graseing, and allso within few yeares have a manufactory and doe bring hither shoose, hose, soape, netts, lines, hooks etc., and att ye end of ye fishing season clandestinely carry away many fishermen etc. wch. would otherwise goe for England, and by consequence H.M. Navy better man'd. The Scotts allso nott being naturallized according to law doe beginn to trade and fish here, which will be of dangerous consequence if nott timely prevented, for theire men workinge cheaper, and provisions etc. being cheap in Scotland, they will be able to undersell us and gett wn. wee loose, and so in litle time wrest out of our hands ye poore remaines of ye noble fishery, and so gett to ymselves seamen and treasure, and yn. doe as some of our neighbours lately have donne. And ye commanding Officer presuming to trade doeth nott onely threaten butt offten inflict millitary punishment on ye inhabitants, yt. he may ye easier ingross ye trade, wch. now may prove fatall, for rather yn. live under such barbaritys, they in greate numbers are resolved to leave ye country. The Convoyes allso being so late appointed, ye best fishing season is over before wee arrive. The present Minister is so accoustomed to drink to excess yt instead of instructing ye people in religion and sobriety, doeth incourage ym. in vice, and causeth much difference and disorder by means of malitious words yt. pass in their drinking injoyments. The by-boats that come here are allso a nusance, they hireing all ye best men, and never have any yt. never were to sea before, as by law they are bound, neither doe they bring theire necessarys from England, by reason ye Americans doe afford itt cheaper yn. cann bring itt from home. Pray the Board to represent these grievances to H.M. in Councell. P.S.—Since ye date hereof Major Lloyd is arrived, and doeth show such unexpected proofes of his fidellity and good management, that above 150 men that did really intend to leave ye country on his arrivall doe now stay. Nov. 17. Signed, Henry Hayman, Admll., Samll. Hayman, Vice-Admiral, Jno. Crapp, Rere-Admll. and 28 others. Endorsed, Recd. from Mr. Roop. Recd. Read Jan. 17, 1705/6. 1 large p. [C.O. 194, 3. No. 89; and 195, 4. pp. 144–151.]
Oct. 15.1374. Mr. Dummer's Account of the West India Packet Service, shewing that it has fulfilled the undertaking to keep a monthly correspondence with vessels each taking about 100 days out and home, "though at first thought impracticable by many of the best seamen in England." 2 finely printed pp. Published Oct., 1705, by E. D. Endorsed, Recd. Read Oct. 15, 1705. [C.O. 323, 5. No. 87.]