BHO

America and West Indies: December 1651

Pages 366-370

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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December 1651

Dec. 2. Order of the Council of State. Any five or more of the Council to be a Committee to consider the business of Plantations, to meet in the Admiralty Chamber. [INTERREGNUM, Entry Bk., Vol. XCIV., p. 7.]
Dec. 2.
On board the Rainbow.
Sir Geo. Ayscue to Lord Willoughby. Has received great addition of strength, by which it is clear that "God will own us in our attempts against you as He has hitherto done." To avoid the shedding of blood, gives him a last opportunity to deliver up Barbadoes for the use of the Commonwealth upon such conditions as may be honourable for the State to give. [Colonial Corresp. 1652, Jan. 10.]
Dec. 3. Lord Willoughby to Sir Geo. Ayscue. No other answers could in reason be expected by him to his former letters, which were all so positive and absolute. Although the accession of force he has received cannot shake their resolution, yet if the conditions mentioned are honourable to himself, and safe for the inhabitants of Barbadoes, he may be assured no man is more tender of the spilling of English blood, nor more willing to make up the unhappy breaches among his dear countrymen than himself. Will send in two or three days what shall be thought fit to require on their parts. [Ibid.]
Dec. 4.
On board the Rainbow in Austin's Bay.
Sir Geo. Ayscue to Lord Willoughby. Conceives by his proposals that delays are only intended, and for that cause is resolved to receive no such papers. If he "intends plainly and really," expects he will appoint Commissioners, which they will also do, and thus all objections on either side may be removed. Requests his answer, and if he consents to treat by Commissioners, the number, names, &c. which to him are indifferent, provided the treaty begins on Saturday next at noon and concludes on Monday at five. Did not offer conditions in his former summons, as he conceived they were to be understood. [Ibid.]
Dec. 4.
[Barbadoes.]
Lord Willoughby to Sir Geo. Ayscue. Assures him that he will not be diverted from the resolution conveyed in his last, and doubts not that it will appear to all the world that Ayscue's refusal is the cause of all the evil that may ensue. [Ibid.]
Dec. 8. Order of the Council of State. Referring letters with copies of acts from Barbadoes to the consideration of the Committee for Examinations. [INTERREGNUM, Entry Bk., Vol. XCIV., p. 38.]
Dec. 9. Similar Orders. Petition of Edward Winslow to be referred to the consideration of the Committee for Plantations. Warrant to be granted to Robt. Harding, master of the Jonathan, lately arrived at Cowes from Barbadoes, to bring his ship to London without breaking bulk, and to present himself and three of his principal officers to be examined about their trading to Barbadoes. [Ibid., pp. 42, 43.] Annexed,
I. The warrant above alluded to. [Ibid., p. 45.]
Dec. 11. Similar Orders. Petition of John Rowley, merchant, and others, concerning the sending over servants to Barbadoes, to be referred to Committee of the Admiralty, but not to allow any horses to be exported. Answer to be returned to the petition of Michael Spencer, merchant, that when he has cleared himself in a legal way from imprisonment for his debts, the Council will further consider his desire for a pass to Barbadoes. [Ibid., p. 52.]
Dec. 11.
On board the Rainbow in Speight's Bay.
Sir Geo. Ayscue to Lord Willoughby. Has sent on shore the wounded men after their hurts were dressed and refreshment given to them. Other prisoners, whose wants it would have been more proper for Willoughby to have inquired after than for Ayscue to remind him of, have requested to send this note from them, a request he could not deny. Several persons from the island wish to be informed of the grounds of the quarrel, and profess they know not of any proffers of peace. Is so far from standing upon the advantages of their late success as still to offer conditions that may stand with the honour of the State and the happy condition of the people of Barbadoes. [Colonial Corresp., 1652, Jan. 10.]
Dec. 12.
[Barbadoes.]
Lord Willoughby to Sir Geo. Ayscue. Before receiving his last, had taken orders for accommodating the prisoners with provisions and other necessaries; acknowledges his courtesy. Had convened an Assembly to consider of safe propositions when he received his positive refusal to accept any. The spoil and burning of that part of the island where Ayscue's forces landed, will oblige the people to be more resolute in the defence of the rest. Wonders that any should be ignorant of the message sent by him, since it was published to the whole island. The people have only taken arms to defend their own, and leave the guilt of that blood and ruin at the doors of those who offer force, in repelling which they will never be deserted by himself. [Ibid]
Dec. 13. Lord Willoughby to Sir Geo. Ayscue. Has sent by his trumpeter some fresh provisions for the prisoners on board his ships, and desires they may have leave to make known their wants. [Ibid.]
Dec. 14.
On board the Rainbow in Speight's Bay.
Sir Geo. Ayscue to Lord Willoughby. Willoughby's trumpeter has spoken with Lieut. Bayly and delivered the provisions sent for the prisoners. Is unable at present to send a list of them, but proposes an exchange according to number and quality. His men were invited on shore with a white flag, and then fired upon, and in their rage they fired those houses from whence they received such treacherous dealing; it was positively against his command, and would have been prevented had he been upon the place. Should be glad if he were equally clear with himself of the charge of wilfully spilling the blood caused by standing out, after so many invitations of peace. [Colonial Corresp., 1652, Jan. 10.]
Dec. 17.
From my house [Barbadoes.]
Lord Willoughby to Sir Geo. Ayscue. Desires that Mrs. Allen may go on board to see her wounded husband, and that his drummer and boat may be returned. [Ibid.]
Dec. 23. Order of the Council of State. Upon petition of Lord Baltimore, directing that he be left to pursue his cause according to law, and that, as things concerning the same are offered at the Council, they will take notice as there shall be occasion. [INTERREGNUM, Entry Bk., Vol. XCIV., p. 103.]
Dec. 25. Similar Order. Referring petition of Michael Spencer to Committee of the Admiralty, to do with him as with others who have desired to go to Barbadoes. [Ibid., p. 118.]
Dec. 26.
From my house [Barbadoes.]
Lord Willoughby to Sir Geo. Ayscue. Has great reason to bless God for the unanimity and resolution in the inhabitants to stand by him in their just and necessary defence. Is induced to send the inclosed propositions, agreed to by general consent and approbation, to compose an unnatural strife and to prevent if possible the many inconveniencies of war, "the event of which I fear not at all." Has thus satisfied his conscience and the world of his endeavours for a just and honourable peace. [Colonial Corresp., 1652, Jan 10.] Annexed,
I. Propositions for a safe and well-grounded peace, agreed on by the Council and General Assembly of Barbadoes, to which the Lord Lieut.-General has given his consent and approbation that they be sent on board to Sir Geo. Ayscue. The Government to remain as now established. All Acts not repugnant to the laws of England, and made previous to 1638, to be in force; those concerning the present differences to be repealed, as also all Acts against any of the inhabitants, and a general Act of Indemnity to be passed by Parliament. The people of the island to be restored to their rights in England, Scotland, and Ireland. Every port, &c., under the Parliament to be open to Barbadoes for free trade as ever. No customs to be paid for three years for commodities of the island imported or exported. All persons to be restored to their sequestred estates. Goods taken by the fleet to be restored. Lord Willoughby's planting of Surinam not to be hindered, and his lawful right to the rest of his islands preserved. The ships to be allowed 10 days to wood and water, and then peaceably to depart. These articles to be confirmed by Parliament. [Copy.] Underwritten, Ayscue replies on the same day that he has received this "paper," to which he will give an answer to-morrow.
Dec. 27.
On board the Rainbow, in Carlisle Bay.
Sir Geo. Ayscue to Lord Willoughby. Is glad to find that he has the desire for peace; he will perceive by the proposals now sent on their part that they study nothing so much as to make the people of Barbadoes happy. It has already been agreed on by the Commissioners that fit persons should be appointed to treat upon the differences between them. To save time, has sent a safe convoy for those who may be approved on his side. [Colonial Corresp., 1652, Jan. 10.] Incloses,
I. Articles to be observed upon the surrender of Barbadoes to Sir George Ayscue and the Commissioners with him, for the use of the Commonwealth. The Government to be in a Governor appointed by the States of England, and a Council and Assembly chosen by the freeholders of the island. All laws heretofore made and not repugnant to the laws of England, excepting such as concern the present differences, to be good. The courts of justice still to continue, and judgments to be valid until reversed by due form of law. No taxes to be imposed without the free consent of the General Assembly. No man to be put out of his possession without due proceedings, according to law. Suits to be determined in the island. An Act of Indemnity to be speedily passed in Parliament, a general pardon in the meantime to be signed by Sir Geo. Ayscue. Every inhabitant to be restored to his lands, &c. in England, Scotland, and Ireland. Lord Willoughby's estate in England to be restored, his interest in Surinam preserved, as also his plantation on Antigua, provided he accepts these articles. No oaths, covenants, or engagements to be imposed upon the inhabitants against their consciences. Liberty of conscience in religion to be allowed, "excepting to such whose tenets are inconsistent to a civil government." All ports, &c., under the Parliament to be open to the island for as great freedom of trade as ever. No garrisons to be kept up, all forces to be disbanded, and the militia disposed of, as to the Commissioners shall seem fit. All persons to be restored to their estates, sequestred from them upon this public difference. Signed by Thos. Morris, Secretary. [Copy.] Underwritten is Willoughby's reply that he has received these papers, and will send an answer on Monday next.
Dec. 29.
Barbadoes.
Lord Willoughby to Sir Geo. Ayscue. Although entrusted with the management both of war and peace, yet as his "proposals" were directed, so have they been also referred to the Council and Assembly, who are resolved to insist upon the propositions already sent. Has not sent Commissioners, as they could have no other office but to return with his consent. [Colonial Corresp., 1652, Jan. 10.] Inclosed,
I. Resolution of the Council and Assembly of Barbadoes. They unanimously adhere to the first article in their propositions, and without that is granted, will not allow of any further treaty.
Dec. 29.
Rainbow, in Carlisle Bay.
Sir Geo. Ayscue to Lord Willoughby. The Council and Assembly of Barbadoes have not explained their meaning concerning their first article. Conceives that the proposals offered by the Commissioners were as full as may stand with the liberty, peace, and safety of a free people. His refusal to appoint Commissioners, which might have given a right understanding on both sides, is judged to proceed from an averseness to peace. Will wait until an opportunity is given to gain peace and liberty for the inhabitants of the island. [Ibid.]