America and West Indies: May 1632

Pages 146-151

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 1, 1574-1660. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1860.

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May 1632

May 3. Minutes of Meetings for Providence Island. Finance. Articles with Mr. Filby ordered to be sealed. Instructions to be sent to the Governor and Council for the trial of Capt. Wil. Rudyerd, accused of drunkenness, swearing, ill-carriage towards the Governor, and other misdemeanors, since he had been in the island.
May 4. Richard Field, gunner, to be entertained in the Company's service at 20l. per annum, to teach the art of gunnery in the island. Rewards granted to Capt. Sam. Axe for his many good services to the Company.
May 5. An addition to be made to the former intended instructions to the Governor and Council concerning Capt. Rudyerd, that if he be a reformed man, and not likely to breed division to oppose government, nor hinder the progress of religion, that then they shall forbear the trial, but not otherwise.
May 7. Mr. Pym is desired to write a letter to the Customs for discharge of the charity and satisfaction of the goods now exported. Math. Harbottle to go master mate in her. Articles with Mr. Sherard, Mr. Ditloff, and Nic. Goodman ordered to be sealed. Letter received from the Earl of Holland, Governor of the Company, who mediated for a friendly accord of the differences with Capt. Rudyerd, ordered to be digested by Sir Nat. Rich against next meeting. Request of Mr. Bruster for part payment of 1,500l. lately lent by him to the Company; "promised to do what was reasonable."
May 8. Upon consideration of the Governor's letter it is agreed to revoke the former order for the trial of Capt. Rudyerd and to send a general instruction to the Governor and Council of the island how to proceed against any factious person, or a hinderer of religion, &c., to be drawn out by Mr. Pym. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. III., pp. 59–61.]
May 8. Instructions from the Company of Providence Island to Thos. Punt, master of the Charity, bound thither. Mr. Rous and other passengers to be taken in at Plymouth; from thence to go to St. Kitt's, Nevis and Barbadoes, to procure cotton seeds, and pomegranate slips, and salt at St. Martin's. Letters and instructions to be delivered at Association, and Mr. Filby, his wife, child, and four servants, landed there. Tobacco, pepper, and other seeds to be taken from thence to Providence, where the passengers will be landed according to the list; goods delivered to the store, as also the ordnance and ammunition, and the letters and instructions to the Governor and Council, to remain as long as the Governor appoint. No passengers to be brought home without a licence from the Governor and Council. Slips of fig trees to be left at Association and lading of wood and tobacco taken in there. Passengers to be landed at Bermudas sent thither from Providence. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. IV., p. 42.]
May 10. Commission from the Company of Providence Island to Mr. Halhead, Mr. Rishworth, and Thos. Punt, master, for the government of 150 passengers or thereabouts, sent thither in the Charity, with power to punish all misbehaving themselves. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. IV., p. 42.]
May 10.
Brooke House.
Minutes of a Court for Providence Island. The Earl of Holland elected Governor, Sir Thos. Barrington Deputy, John Pym, Treasurer, and Wil. Jessop, Secretary. Resolutions passed upon Mr. Dike's demands for payment of arrears due to him upon account of the Seaflower and other money matters. Agreement with John Lydsey, Apothecary, entertained in the Company's service. Instructions, letters, and commissions to be sent to the island approved and ordered to be engrossed. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. III., pp. 61, 62.]
May 10. Commission from the Company of Providence Island to Capt. Phil. Bell, establishing him in the government of that island for three years from this date. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. IV., p. 24.]
May 10. The Company of Providence Island to the Governor and Council. Had entertained a favourable opinion of Mr. Morgan's diligence as minister, but his seditious and malignant spirit is apparent in two letters sent by the late Mr. Essex in the Seaflower. Direct that he be suspended forthwith from his ministry, and sent home by the next ship. Are assured that his malicious slanders will make no impression on the minds of wise men, but enter into a full explanation of their conduct, which will provide them with a sufficient answer to every aspersion. Underwritten, is added that a copy of certain articles extracted out of Mr. Morgan's letters were also sent inclosed, they are not, however, entered. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. IV., pp. 36, 37.]
May 10. The Company of Adventurers of Providence Island to the Governor and Council. Were glad to hear of the safety of the colony. The Seaflower, which arrived in April last, was attacked by a Spanish man-of-war. Capt. Tanner behaved well in the fight; Mr. Essex and three others slain. They marvel that Mr. Essex should have so soon returned for England. Upon examination of his papers, and particularly of a petition from divers planters in the island, wonder how men can so much forget their duty to God and respect to the Company. Contrast the great charge they have been at with men's adventures and other plantations, and bitterly reprove the people for their complaints that half profits are too small an allowance. Compare the planters to the Israelites for their murmurings, and will that "those ungrateful persons" be ashamed of their grudgings. Have sent to the furthest parts of the world to supply "that as yet poor island" with the richest commodities. Encourage those who are godly and discreet; admonish the guilty, and threaten their return home with shame and dishonour. Are most ready to receive and redress just complaints. Capt. Elfrith is rebuked for his rashness and disasters in his late voyages to the Cape; no acts of hostility to be in future attempted without special directions, and no voyage out of the island without consent of the Governor and Council. Have no intention to remove any of the inhabitants from their plantations; leases promised to those who desire them. Encouragement to those contributing to the public works; three or five hundred men could not be sent over at present, but a further supply is promised. The planters encouraged to go on with the fortifications. Debts due by the first planters for provisions. Half profits of the fustick wood now received granted to the cutters as desired; no more to be cut without order, being of so little value. Justify their demand of half profits; it is practised in other plantations where tobacco is the only commodity, and good profit made. Regret the "illness" of former commodities occasioned by the late Deputy Governor [Jo. Dike's] neglect. Desire proof of their complaints of the last store. Planters granted liberty to furnish themselves with necessaries. Regulations concerning tobacco and the stores. Do not insist upon men joining in families as formerly directed, but leave the planters "to sort themselves;" two acres of land per head to be allotted. Wonder at the report of the island's weakness, so different from former advices, and especially that the gunner was allowed to leave; ten pieces of ordnance now sent. Demand for further supplies will be considered. Instructions for mounting the guns, going on with the fortifications, and "the speedy security of the island." Cannot conceive there is any cause for the fear expressed in their letters. Any person "grudging" at their proposed conditions to be sent home in the next ship. Are surprised that many of the planters should be so desirous to return home; it is not intended to keep any man prisoner. Approbation of Capt. Bell's proceedings. Promise security against complaint from those not previously permitted to leave the island. Edw. Williams to be sent home by the next ship for his ill demeanour, impiety, and dishonesty. Some that went from the Somers Islands in the Seaflower to be returned thither. Directions for the employment and kind usage of servants. Ralph Walcott, nephew to Lord Brooke, recommended to the care of Mr. Rous, the minister. Approve of the agreement made with the Dutchmen for the first year's crop; instructions concerning those resident in the island; "the industry of our [Dutch] carpenter" specially commended. Promise care in the choice of honest men. Instructions for the punishment of murder, insurrection, and all minor offences; also concerning the sale of strong waters. Commend for consideration Mr. Floud's intended voyage to Jamaica. Wish silk grass to be planted and sent home, and sugar canes for private use; cotton to be made trial of; mulberry trees to be procured, also bees and fruits from the main. Specially approve the desire to procure Indian children, and recommend that a small number of free men should be persuaded to accompany them, but no Indian woman. Hope that by wise carriage and religious conversation those poor creatures may be won to the love of religion. Request care on the approach of a vessel; rules for trade. Clerks of the stores and their duties. Mr. Floud to be relieved from the office of Sheriff, and another appointed. Charles Wettenhall to be Marshal. 40l., the wages of John Waymouth, the gunner, allowed for one year, but not to be continued. A clause of secrecy to be added to the Councillors' oath. Ground should be planted for those sent for the public works. Have now sent many men and women. Promise a midwife by the next ship. Two magazines provided by this vessel. Twenty plots of 25 acres each to be reserved for the special disposal of the first 20 adventurers. Hen. Halhead, Sam Rishworth, and Edw. Gates to be sworn of the Council. Rules for precedency. Have sent three ministers-Mr. Rous, lecturer; Mr. Sherhard, minister of New Westminster; and Mr. Ditloff. Request they may be consulted in matters of importance. Reasons why the Company's officers are not yet supplied with servants. Recompence promised to those who remain in the island. Worth of Mr. Essex's ground. Messrs. Halhead and Rishworth to have the use of the buildings upon it. Direct the Governor and Council by their behaviour and carriage to set a powerful example of piety, virtue, and peace; no man's person nor place shall protect him from just punishment. Palma Christi seed sent over; directions for planting: one acre of seed will bear 300 trees; a tree grows eight feet high in three months, and produces seed for three gallons of oil. Other seeds and roots sent. Are resolved to dispatch "our next great supply" with speed. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. IV., pp.25–36.]
May 10.
The Company of Providence Island to Capt. Phil. Bell, Governor. Have received his letters of 1st July 1631 and 21st Dec. last. Approve his proceedings in the government. Salary, quantity of land, number of servants, and other allowances. Promise to have a care of his wife as he desires, but cannot conceive there is just cause to fear any accident to the island. Do not think it safe for the Charity to call at the Canary Islands, because of the multitude of passengers. Commend "our surgeon" and promise him encouragement. Desire him to use with all respect and tenderness the Indians who come from the main; the spreading of the gospel being "the greatest work both in itself and in our aim." Servants not assigned to particular men to be employed upon the public works. Ensign Fitch to have two servants. Will. Tidd to continue servant one year and then to have a portion of land. Proposals to servants whose times are expired. Salt to be taken in at St. Martin's for supply of the colony. Regret he has cause to suspect the secrecy of any of the Council. Directions for the disposal of land of any master of a family leaving the island. Petitions of the Dutch. Complaint of Will. Rowliffe's father. Secret inquiry concerning Mr. Essex's pretended warrant for his return to England. Planters to have free liberty to send letters without being opened, "unless in such particular cases wherein your reasons so to do may give us good content." Confirm him Governor for three years from the present time. Send a token to make use of for their sakes. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. IV., pp. 38–40.]
May. The Company of Providence Island to Capt. Bell, Governor. Promise time for payment of debts to the Company's stores. Not one penny for any goods sent in the Seaflower has been received. Are sorry to understand that there was such doubt of a scarcity; hope before the next supply of men arrive that "God will enlarge your store with a plentiful harvest." Recommend in future that such quantities of corn and other provisions be planted as may serve at least for half a year's provision. Desire a difference may be made between public letters signed by the Council, and his own letters containing his private opinions; and that all public matters of importance may be taken into consideration by the Council. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. IV., p. 40.]
May 10. The Company of Providence Island to Capt. Dan. Elfrith. Condemn his indiscretion in too freely entertaining "a Mulletto, as you call him" in the island, against advice of Council, and in taking a Spanish frigate; but in consideration of his good services, are content not to take notice of former errors. Division of the 20th part of the old tobacco between him and Capt. Axe. Answer the objection of their reputed backwardness in furnishing supplies. Have removed the old planters' discontent about victuals and clothes spent by their servants in public works. Excuse his mistakes concerning the strength of the island. Refer him to their general instructions for fortifications. Suspend their answer to his request for government of the forts until finished. Commend his industry in procuring plants from the main, and especially his desire to propagate religion amongst the poor Indians. Have made trial of his red dye [tomarin] and find it very useful; require him to plant and procure as much as he can. Exercise of his place of admiralty. Regret that his present profits are but little, and grant several privileges for his encouragement. Approve of his proposition for discovery of the dangerous shoals to the leeward of the island. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. IV., p. 41.]
May 14.
Brooke House.
Minutes of a Court for Providence Island. Request of John Pym to be relieved from his place of treasurer, referred to the next meeting. Instructions, commissions, and letters to the island signed and sealed. A meeting to be held on the following day for the dispatch of business for the Isle of Association. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. III., pp. 62, 63.]
May 15. The Company of Providence Island to Capt. Phil. Bell, Governor. Have heard that some in the island have sent for cards, dice, and tables. Pray that if any arrive he will have them burnt, or at least sent back, and strictly prohibit their use under severe penalties. Mislike not lawful recreations, such as chess, shooting, &c. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. IV., p. 40.]
May 15.
Brooke House.
Minutes of a Court for Association. Resolved, that a magazine of provisions be sent thither by October next, which with other resolutions, Capt. Hilton, Governor of that island, is to be made acquainted with. [Colonial Entry Bk., Vol. III., p. 63.]
May 27.
54. Governor Harvey to the Virginia Commissioners. The colony in great want of shoes and other necessaries, yet Capt. Tucker left behind him stores well furnished, with instructions not to sell but at excessive rates. Recommends that Tucker, Stone, and Maurice Thompson should contract for three or more years for all the tobacco of the growth of Virginia. A beginning made in the building of shipping. Desires the same freedom for the colony, to seek the best market as the King's other subjects enjoy. Has spent much time in planting English grain and vines. Prays for some means or annual entertainment to support his great expenses. May as well be called the host as the Governor of Virginia; no other house but his for hospitality in James Island, and has been three years without any relief.