America and West Indies
August 1664

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Institute of Historical Research

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W. Noel Sainsbury (editor)

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1880

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222-231

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'America and West Indies: August 1664', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 5: 1661-1668 (1880), pp. 222-231. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=76478 Date accessed: 01 August 2014.


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August 1664

Aug. 3. 781. Remonstrance of the Governor, Council, and Burgesses of Virginia to the King. Setting forth the meeting of the Commissioners for Virginia and Maryland for lessening the planting of tobacco in both colonies, according to his Majesty's instructions and the agreement that was concluded between them, which the Assembly of Maryland have utterly rejected, and beseeching his Majesty to take the same into his consideration. Signed by Sir William Berkeley, Governor, and Robert Wynne, Speaker. Indorsed, "Recd. 8th August, read in Council 10th August 1664. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 89.]
Aug. 10. 782. Minutes of the Committee for the affairs of Jamaica, on the nine articles of proposals concerning the peopling of Jamaica, extracted from Governor Sir Thos. Modyford's letter of 10th May last [see ante, No. 739]. 2 papers, one in the handwriting of Sec. Bennet. 1½ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., Nos. 90-91.]
Aug. 10. 783. Minutes of a report of the Council appointed a Committee for the affairs of Jamaica on the above proposals of Sir Thos. Modyford. Some of said articles of proposals are not to be yielded to, some nothing said thereupon, and denied, and others altered and found reasonable. See next abstract. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 92.]
Aug. 10. 784. Report of the Committee of the Privy Council for the affairs of Jamaica on the above-mentioned nine articles of proposals by Governor Sir Thos. Modyford.—Article 1. That the King be prodigal in giving away the first million of acres, allowing 30 acres per head to men, women, and children, white or black, agreed. 2. Grants to be limited to 30 acres per head and planted within three years, under a penalty of 12d. per ann. per acre. 3. Freedom from custom on goods : denied ; trade to be allowed only with the Spaniards in American commoditites. 4. More strict directions to be given to Lord Willoughby to encourage it : denied. 5. The great men of England to be obliged by his Majesty's example to settle plantations there : no remarks. 6. The Royal Company to be obliged to furnish negroes : recommended and their answer desired. 7. That the meaner sort of people and children that lie on the parish, as also delinquents, fit subjects of mercy, be transported thither : the former cannot be complied with, of the latter care is already taken. 8. That encouragement be given to Germans and others by making them free denizens only within the island : this is reasonable, and in some degree provided for in the Governor's instructions. 9. For power to coin money : denied. Upon the two propositions for allowing 1,200l. for transportation of passengers and the appointment of a person to defray expenses of same from Barbadoes to Jamaica, the King's pleasure is to be known. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 93.]
Aug. 10.
Jamaica.
785. Gov. Sir Thos. Modyford to his brother [Sir James Modyford]. Thinks this better than to write directly to the General [Duke of Albemarle], for now he can offer what he thinks fitting. Annexes,
Considerations touching Jamaica, presented by Sir Thos. Modyford, with his desires thereon. It is calculated that 5,160l. 10s. will finish the fort at Port Royal, and 1,648l. per ann. maintain it, besides a constant supply of ammunition ; it would then be one of the strongest places in the world. Three hundred negroes would "excuse" much of the charge, and an assignment of part of the King's revenue in Barbadoes would in less than three years finish it. With these negroes a Royal plantation might then be settled. On consideration of the large extent of the island and the wide settlements—from Port Morant to Bluefields Bay is at least 170 miles—besides many on the north side, the only way to keep them in order and to give speedy justice is to divide the whole island into counties, hundreds, and tythings, with a sheriff to be chosen yearly, constables, and tythingmen, to keep monthly county courts, also courts leet, to secure the allegiance of the inhabitants. Instead of a sheriff there is a Provost-Marshal, an officer only fit for an army ; a sheriff is absolutely necessary for the peace and happiness of the island, therefore the King's positive orders are desired for one to be appointed. A court of common pleas, consisting of three judges, to be held in St. Jago, is most necessary, and has been in part begun, but positive orders are desired to take off all envy and repining, especially at Cagway, where they were settled to the almost ruin of the colony. On same sheet. July 21, Jamaica.—Sir Thos. Modyford to his brother. Desires him to communicate the above to his brother [Kendall], and both to "our Duke" [of Albemarle], and advise seriously what is obtainable. Desires him especially to press for the sheriff, absolutely necessary for the good of this place, and begs there be no hint of Modyford's desire in it, because it will make Col. Lynch, who has that unreasonable patent for Provost-Marshal, resent it, who Modyford would not willingly disoblige, for he is a pretty understanding gentleman, and very useful here ; he has an estate, and would be very well beloved were he sheriff instead of marshal. As to the fort, prosecute it as far as he can. Shall settle the courts as fast as he can, and if his Majesty's directions come after it will do well. Is just despatching Jack for Barbadoes to fetch his mother. Indorsed Rec. from Sir Jo. Rob[inson?]. 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 94.]
Aug. 10.
Jamaica.
786. Gov. Sir Thos. Modyford to his brother, Sir James [Modyford]. Is troubled for Sir Charles (Lyttelton), but truly he was a weak man and much lead by mean fellows here, and lately sent out so many privateers, which renders Modyford's actions very difficult ; for he has an account of no less than 1,500 lusty fellows abroad, who if made desperate by any act of injustice or oppression, may miserably infest this place, and much reflect upon Sir Thos. Therefore he has hit it right that unless Tortudas be reduced, and a fleet of frigates to awe them, they must be "tempored" with. Accordingly, he privately told the captain who brought in the last Spanish prize, that he only stopped the Admiralty proceedings to give a good relish to the Spaniard ; that he should have satisfaction, but that Sir Thos. durst not secure him nor his ship ; so got some merchants to buy the prize for 400l., and went one-fourth part with them himself, with a promise to get nothing if the Spaniards came for her. The creditors of this privateer pressed the Capt. so hard that he fled in the night, and was put out of command the next day, but he told the Marshal he would advise all privateers to come in and give over until further power from his Majesty. The fault was wholly in Sir Charles to grant, for the commission was good to the poor man, and therefore to imprison him or alter his property, had been injustice and oppression. Hopes this will come soon enough for his own vindication. 1¼ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 95.]
Aug. 12. 787. Sir Edward Harley to Lord Conway. Lord Willoughby, by promises and entreaties, engaged the writer's brother Robert to go to America with a great part of his estate, but there used him most severely, and sent him home sick ; he is still in a deplorable condition of health. [Dom., Chas. II., Vol. CI., No. 39, Cal., p. 665.]
Aug. 19/29. to Aug. 29./Sept. 8. New York. 788. "Copies of the several letters which passed between Col. Nicolls, the present Governor, and the late Dutch Governor Stuyvesant, before the surrender of New York, under his Majesty's obedience, with the articles upon which it was surrendered." Annexed,
"Governor Stuyvesant's first letter sent on board his Majesty's ship Guyny (? Guinea), riding at Nayack Point near Long Island." Having received various reports concerning the arrival of four English men-of-war upon this coast, has sent the bearers John de Decker, one of the Council, Rev. John Megapolensis, Paul Leenderzen Vandergrift, and Samuel Megapolensis, to intreat of their commander the intention of their approach, without first acquainting him with their design, which in respect of the Government of the place they ought to have done. Fort Anill, New Netherlands, 1664, Aug. 19/29. Col. Richd. Nicolls to Governor Stuyvesant. Has received his letter of August 19/29, and thinks it fit to let him know that his Majesty of Great Britain, whose right and title to these parts of America is unquestionable, well knowing how much it derogates from his crown and dignity to suffer any foreigners to usurp a dominion and inhabit in any of his territories, has commanded Nicolls to require a surrender of all forts, towns, or places of strength possessed by the Dutch under Stuyvesant's command. And in his Majesty's name Nicolls demands the towns situate on the island Manhatans, with all the forts thereto belonging. His Majesty, being tender of the effusion of Christian blood, confirms and secures estates, life, and liberty to every Dutch inhabitant who shall readily submit to his Government, but those who shall oppose his Majesty's gracious intention must expect all the miseries of a war which they bring on themselves. Expects his answer by Col. Geo. Cartwright, one of his Majesty's Commissioners in America, Capt. Robt. Nedham, Capt. Edward Groves, and Thos. Delavall. His Majesty's ship Guinea riding before Nayack, 1664, Aug. 20/30. "Governor Stuyvesant's answer to the letter of summons, sent to Gravesend upon Long Island." That his Majesty of England hath an indisputable right to all the lands in the north parts of America, the Kings of France and Spain will disallow as he absolutely does, by virtue of a Commission from the States General, over New Holland and the isles of Curaçao, Bonair, and Aruba, bearing date July 16/26, 1646, as also a grant to the West India Company in 1621, as authentic as his Majesty can give to any colony in America, as appears by a Patent shown to Nicolls' deputies, Col. Cartwright, &c. Moreover it is without dispute that Stuyvesant's predecessors have peaceably enjoyed Fort Orange 48 or 50 years, the Manhatans 41 or 42 years, the South river 40 years, and Freshwater river about 36 years. As to his Majesty requiring a surrender of the places possessed by the Dutch under Stuyvesant's command, is so confident of the equity of his Majesty, that in case his Majesty were informed of the truth, that the Dutch came not by any violence but by virtue of commission from the States General in 1614-1616 up the North river to near Fort Orange, and in 1626 by a grant to the Burgomasters of Amsterdam of the South river, and that these Provinces have been governed and consequently enjoyed, in regard of first discovery, uninterrupted possession, and purchase of the natives and other private persons (though Gentiles). Makes no doubt that his Majesty would be too judicious to make such an order, in a time when there is so straight a friendship and confederacy between their superiors, to trouble the Dutch in demanding fortresses, put into their hands with order dated 18/28 July 1646, to maintain them for the States General. Stuyvesant is therefore obliged to repel and take revenge of all threatenings, injustice, attempts, or any force whatsoever committed against the faithful subjects of the States General, it being a very considerable thing to affront so mighty a State. About three years ago some English frigates on the coast of Africa, upon a pretended Commission, demanded Cape Verd, the river of Gambia, and all other places in Guinea, to the States General belonging, which his Majesty disallowing gave order that restitution should be made to the East India Company, which makes Stuyvesant think that a more express order should appear, as a sufficient warrant for himself towards the States General. To conclude, though his Majesty's Governor and Commissioners have divers times quarrelled with him about the bounds of his jurisdiction, they have never yet questioned the jurisdiction itself ; on the contrary, in 1650 at Hertford, and last year at Boston, they treated with us about this subject, a sufficient proof that his Majesty has never been well informed of the equity of their cause, so they cannot imagine his Majesty would give a Commission to molest and endamage them, or attempt any act of hostility or violence against them. But in case Nicolls will act by force of arms, protests that he will act an unjust violence and a breach of the 14 Articles of Peace between England and the States General. To prevent the shedding of blood, in February last we treated with Capt. John Scott, touching the limits of Long Island, and concluded for the space of a year, so that in the meantime the business might be treated on between the King and the States General, and again at present Stuyvesant offers a treaty by his deputies Cornelius Van Ruyven, Secretary and Receiver of New Holland, Cornelius Steenwick, Samuel Megapolensis, and James Cousseau. Stuyvesant fears not any threats, for we may as well be preserved by God with small forces as by a great army. At the Fort at Amsterdam, 1664, Aug. 23/Sept. 2. Governor Stuyvesant to Colonel Nicolls at Gravesend. The discovery of the news from Holland, which makes us not to doubt that the King and States are agreed upon their limits. This had given us hope that you would have desisted from your design, or at least have given time for an answer from our masters. But as by the report of our deputies, you persist in your summons of 20/30 August, we are obliged to defend our place. However, as no doubt there will be a great deal of blood spilt, and greater difficulty may arise hereafter, we have thought fit to send John de Decker, Councillor of State, Cornelius Van Ruyven, Cornelius Steenwick, and James Cousseau, to the end of finding some means to prevent the spilling of innocent blood, praying that Nicolls will appoint a place and hour, and send deputies with full commission to treat of a good accommodation. The Manhattans in the Fort of Amsterdam in New Holland, 1664, Aug. 25/Sept. 4. Col. Nicolls to Governor Stuyvesant. In answer to his of Aug. 25/Sept. 4, thinks it agreeable to the King's intentions to receive all ways of avoiding the effusion of Christian blood, and would willingly comply with his proposition to appoint deputies to treat, but unless by such meeting he intends to treat upon articles of surrender, Nicolls does not see just cause to defer the pursuance of his Majesty's commands for reducing his towns and forts to his Majesty's obedience. Gravesend, 1664, Aug. 25. "Governor Stuyvesant's commission under the seal of the town, empowering several persons to treat upon articles of surrender." The Governor-General and Council of the New Netherlands, to prevent the effusion of Christian blood, and moved by the summons of the Hon. Lord Richard Nicolls, promising freely to redeliver the fort and city of Amsterdam, in case the difference of limits be agreed upon by his Majesty and the States General, have "committed" John de Decker, Capt. Nicholas Verlett, commissary concerning matters of traffic, Samuel Megapolensis, Cornelius Steenwick, Oloffe Stevens Van Kortlandt, and James Cousseau, to agree with the Lord General Richd. Nicolls or his deputies upon further articles, promising to fulfil whatsoever shall be by them agreed upon. Fort Amsterdam, New Netherlands, 1664, Aug. 26/Sept. 5. "Colonel Nicolls, his answer consenting to the Treaty of Surrender, and nominating his Commissioners." Col. Nicolls, Commander-in-Chief of his Majesty's forces now beleaguering the town on the Manhatans, accepts the proposals of the Governor and Council there residing, to treat of articles of surrender of said town and forts ; and whereas they have been pleased to appoint John de Decker, &c. to agree upon further articles, Nicolls on his part appoints Sir Robert Carr, Kt., Col. George Cartwright, John Winthrop, Governor of his Majesty's Colony of Conecticut, Saml. Willis, one of the Council of said colony, Capt. Thos. Clarke, and Capt. John Pinchon, Commissioner from the General Court of Massachusetts, to be his deputies to treat and conclude upon articles of surrender, promising to fulfil whatsoever they shall conclude upon. At the camp before the Manhatans, 1664, Aug. 26. Mem.—That it is agreed upon by the Commissioners on both parts above-named that they meet to-morrow, 27th Aug. (old style), at 8 o'clock in the morning, at a place called the Governor's Bowry on the Manhatans. On said 27th day the Commissioners met at the place appointed and agreed upon the following Articles of Surrender, which were consented to by the persons thereunder subscribed, and dated 1664, Aug. 27 [see Cal. in full, No. 794.] Certificate of Governor Stuyvesant's consent to the above Articles of the 27th Aug./6th Sept. agreed upon by the Commissioners appointed by him and Col. Richard Nicolls, under his hand and the public seal of the town. Signed P. Stuyvesant, and certified by Cornelius Van Ruyven, Secretary. Fort Amsterdam, New Netherlands, 1664, Aug. 29/Sept. 8. "Upon the same day the town and fort were delivered accordingly." Together 26 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 96.]
Aug. 19-22.
St. Jago-de-la-Vega.
789. Minutes of the Council of Jamaica. On reading the King's letter of June 15 last commanding restitution of captured ships and goods to the Spaniards ; ordered that the ship and bark brought in by Capt. Searles of the Port Royal be seized and restored to that nation, and also all specie that can be found ; that notice thereof be sent to the Governor of Havannah ; that persons making any further attempts of violence and depredation upon the Spaniards be looked upon as pirates and rebels ; and that Capt. Searles' commission be taken from him, and his rudder and sails taken ashore for security. Col. Theodore Cary, judge admiral, John Man, sergt.-major at the Point and Capt. Peter Pugh, to see these orders duly executed. Aug. 22.—Ordered that the judge forbear to grant execution upon the verdict of the jury at the last Court of Common Pleas, against Capt. Thos. Morgan, for a negro taken at Campeachy, whilst Capt. Christopher Mings was disabled by a dangerous wound, until further notice, as matters of this nature do not come under the cognizance of a civil court. 3 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. 34, pp. 121-123.]
Aug. 24.
Inner Court of Wards.
790. Minutes of the Council for Foreign Plantations. Petition of merchants, planters, and masters of ships trading to the Plantations to the King, with his Majesty's reference, the report of Sir Heneage Finch [see ante, No. 769], and a signed bill preparatory to a grant of said office to Col. Roger Whitley under the Great Seal [see No. 802] being read and debated upon, according to the King's directions ; ordered, being a matter of great moment and the day far spent, that the further consideration be deferred for a week. ½ p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XIV., No. 59, p. 57.]
1664? 791. Report of Committee of Council for Foreign Plantations, entitled, "Certain propositions for the better accommodating the foreign Plantations with servants," in 20 articles. The servants are classed under two heads, blacks and whites. The blacks bought by way of trade, and sold about 20l. a head, the most useful appurtenances of a plantation and perpetual servants. The whites divers ways gathered up in England, few from Ireland or Scotland, transported at the rate of about 6l. per head, are entertained by those to whom they are consigned or are exchanged for commodities at different rates according to their condition or trade ; after certain years these are free to plant for themselves or take wages for their service, and have to the value of 10l. to begin planting for themselves. Ways of obtaining these servants from felons condemned to death, sturdy beggars, gipsies, and other incorrigible rogues, poor and idle debauched persons. Recommend as a remedy to the evils complained of in the petition above referred to, that an Act of Parliament should pass with such powers and provisions as may be proper to the thing intended and necessary to the Plantations. And that the secretaries of the respective colonies transmit the names of said servants every six months, and the places and persons to whom they are dispersed. 9 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XCII., pp. 275-283.]
1664. Aug. 25.
Barbadoes.
792. Gov. Lord Willoughby to Sec. Lord Arlington. Has received his letter of March 1, 1664, in answer to the Governor's of 30th November 1663, stating that the King would have Walrond's house and land reserved for the Governor as his Majesty's house, if they became legally forfeited. The land was first seized with the stock upon it for the King as alien land, but this was avoided by a dormant conveyance which Walrond had fraudulently made to one of his sons. His Majesty has been entitled to it by jury of inquest of office, but it is not convenient to put it upon any further trial with the son, as the juries always give their verdict for the planter against the King, without regard to right or wrong. The friends of Walrond are offering to compound for him, which it might be well to listen to, as it will be very difficult to recover anything in a legal way in Barbadoes. It is a new thing to the people to have the King's authority among them, for in the Earl of Carlisle's time it was Governor and people that did all, but little of my Lord of Carlisle's name, being very rarely and seldom used amongst them. The Leeward Islands are very small and poor, and can raise but little for the King's revenue, particularly as they are too hard pinched by the Acts of Trade and Navigation ; their ports are almost empty, whereas the French, who allow free trade, have theirs crowded with shipping, which used to be quite otherwise before the passing of these Acts. The French islands were formerly settled by private persons, but now their King has taken the property of them into himself, and has sent out 1,500 men in six ships, three of which are men-of-war, and have been left to protect French interests in the West Indies. Requests the secretary to put the King in mind of his promise to send a man-of-war to support him, which is now more necessary both on account of the French proceedings, and because he has settled 1,000 men in Sta. Lucia, which borders close on the French, and intends taking some more there soon. Indorsed, "Rec. 29 Oct. Extract to be made of this for the Council, or offered to the Committee of Plantations." 4 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 97.]
Aug. 25? 793. List of arms and ammunition desired by Lord Willoughby for his Majesty's service in Barbadoes and the Caribbee Islands. 20 pieces of cannon for the forts, six light brass Drakes, six brass bosses, 60 barrels of powder, 3,000 muskets, a good proportion of bullets and flints for muskets and pistols, drums and colours, with all things belonging to the King's regiment. Indorsed, "Rec. 29 Oct. 1664." 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 98.]
Aug. 27.
The Governor's Bowry.
794. Articles consented to by the persons hereunder subscribed, at the Governor's Bowry, August 27th, 1664. 1. The States General or West India Company shall freely enjoy all farms and houses (except those in the forts), and within six months have liberty to transport all their arms and ammunition or else be paid for them. 2. All public houses shall continue for the uses which now they are for. 3. All people shall continue free denizens, and enjoy their lands, houses, goods, &c. 4. If any inhabitant have a mind to remove, he shall have a year and six weeks to do so and to dispose of his lands. 5. If any officer of state have a mind to go for England he shall be transported freight free in his Majesty's frigates. 6. Dutch people and vessels may freely come and return. 7. All Dutch ships and goods shall be received after the manner they formerly were for six months next ensuing. 8. The Dutch here shall enjoy liberty of conscience. 9. No Dutchman or ship shall be pressed to serve in any war. 10. The townsmen of the Manhatans shall not have any soldiers quartered upon them without being paid by their officers. 11. The Dutch shall enjoy their own customs concerning inheritances. 12. All public records shall be carefully kept by those in whose hands they now are ; such as particularly concern the States General may be sent to them. 13. No judgment that has passed shall be called in question. 14. If any Dutch here shall desire to travel or traffic he shall have a certificate that he is a free denizen of this place, and have liberty to do so. 15. If there is a public engagement of debt by the town of the Manhatoes, and a way agreed on for satisfying it, the same way shall go on. 16. All inferior officers and magistrates shall continue till the customary time of new election, and then new ones be chosen, who shall take the oath of allegiance to his Majesty of England. 17. All differences of contracts made before this day shall be determined according to the manner of the Dutch. 18. If it appear that the West India Company of Amsterdam owe any money to persons here, the duties payable by ships going for the Netherlands shall be continued six months longer. 19. The officers and soldiers shall march out with their arms, drums beating, colours flying, and lighted matches ; if any will plant they shall have 50 acres, &c. 20. If at any time the King of Great Britain and the States agree that this place be redelivered to the States, it shall immediately be done. 21. The town of Manhatans shall choose deputies, who shall have free voices in all public affairs. 22. Those who have any propriety in the fort of Aurania shall (if they please) slight the fortifications there, and enjoy all their houses. 23. If any soldiers will go into Holland, they shall have safe passports from Col. Nicolls, Deputy Governor under his Royal Highness to defend the ships that transport them from any acts of hostility from his Majesty's subjects. Copies of the King's grant to his Royal Highness, and his Royal Highness' commission to Col. Richard Nicolls, shall be delivered to Mr. Stuyvesant on Monday next by 8 o'clock in the morning, and these articles signed by Col. Richard Nicolls, and within two hours after the fort and town called New Amsterdam, on the Isle of Manhatans, shall be delivered into the hands of Col. Nicolls. Signed, John de Decker, Nicholas Verlett, Sam. Megapolensis, Cornelius Steenwick, Oloffe Stevensen Van Cortlandt, and James Cousseau, also by Robert Carr, George Cartwright, John Winthrop, Samuel Willys, Thomas Clarke, and John Pincheon. "I do consent to these articles, Richard Nicolls." Printed in New York Documents, II., 250-253. 2½ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 99.]
Aug. 27. 795. Another copy of the preceding articles, headed "A true copy," concluded 27th day of September (clearly a mistake for August), ratified and by their subscription confirmed 29th day of said month and year, August 1664. Indorsed, "Ordered in Council, 7 Oct. 1667." 5 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 100.]