America and West Indies: February 1652

Pages 373-375

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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February 1652

Feb. 2. Similar Order. Referring petition of Edward Winslow, on behalf of Theophilus Eaton, brought back from the Committee for Plantations, to the Committee for Foreign Affairs. [Ibid., p. 290.]
Feb. 13.
The Council of State to Sir Geo. Ayscue. Have received notice of his arrival at Barbadoes, but nothing more. Account of the good condition of affairs in England, which may, perhaps, have been much misreported. The fleet bound for Virginia will have informed him of the signal victory at Worcester, and the prisoners on board that fleet will sufficiently inform him of their condition. [Ibid, Vol. CXVIII., pp. 124, 125.]
Feb. 16.
41. Colonel Thomas Modyford to John Bradshaw. Will endeavour to deserve his unexpected civilities received at the hands of John Bayes; "you have sweetly captivated my mind, and clearly fixed it in a true affection to your service." Is assured that all his Councils tend to the general good of English nation. The inhabitants of Barbadoes are now fully satisfied that they have fought for their bondage, and laid down their arms for their liberties; since the composure they have new spirits in them. Entrusted with a share of the government, he offers his advice how to preserve what has been gained, and to enlarge the English dominions in the West Indies. The people of Barbadoes would delight to have the same form of government as England, and he desires, although it "may seem immodest," that two representatives should be chosen by the island to sit and vote in the English Parliament. On the other point, "a short history of that unfortunate Lord Willoughby's actings" will be found to depend. Willoughby first sent a ship to discover the country, called, in the map, Guiana, and about a month after, another vessel was dispatched with 100 men under Serj.-Maj. Anth. Rowse, who settled and built a fort in the river Surinam; since then 50 more men were sent, about a week before the fleet arrived. Rowse has arrived at Barbadoes, upon hearing of its submission to his friends, and is much troubled that Willoughby should go thither, which he doubted would prove the only hindrance to the settling of it; hopes that may be prevented; it is a brave tract of land, and if taken under the protection of the Commonwealth, would, in seven years, appear far more considerable than Brazil. Advantages of countenancing so great a work. Places possessed by the Dutch. Will send by Sir Geo. Ayscue a further account of Barbadoes. Incloses packet to his cousin Monck. Endorsed, "Read 23 April 1652," in Parliament, and ordered to be referred to the Council of State. See Commons' Journal. Incloses,
41. I. Considerations concerning the settlement of the Maine called Guiana, to be presented to the Council of State. The commodities, situation, climate, and country, easy to attempt a settlement, already 150 lusty, well-armed men there; great numbers "out of their times" from Barbadoes, St. Christopher's, Nevis, and Montserrat will go; profits will be great; great increase of trade; honour, by extending the power of England; Raleigh's attempts; conversion of the Indians, and employment to "our countrymen at home." A frigate to be employed in carrying passengers thither. Description of planters; encouragement to be given to them, and how plantations should be laid out, in townships of at least 50 men in a town, and well stocked with cattle. As "Barbadoes cannot last in an height of trade three years longer," it is considered that there should be a place where "this great people" may find maintenance and employment, for which the commonwealth should disburse 20,000l.
Feb. 16.
42. Proclamation by Sir George Ayscue. Having with the Commissioners settled the Militia, the Courts of Justice and Justices of Peace throughout the country, the representative body are summoned to meet in General Assembly on Tuesday the 2nd of March next, so that by a free debate it may be known what good laws are needful. [Copy.]
Feb. 17. Order of the Council of State. For the Committee to whom the business of Sir David Kirke is referred to meet forthwith, and report on 27th how the matter stands. [There is no entry on this subject on that date. INTERREGNUM, Entry Bk., Vol. XCIV., p. 348.]
Feb. 18.
43. Capt. Michael Pack to Lord President Bradshaw. Sends account of the whole [of their proceedings]. Their passage from 5 Aug. to 16 Oct., when the fleet arrived at Barbadoes quite unexpectedly. Twelve sail of Dutch were taken, and they endured some shot from the forts, which did no harm, during which time Lord Willoughby was feasting with his grandees about 12 miles off. With 1,000 men all the strongholds of the place might have been secured, and the country hindered from taking up arms. On the next day about 5,000 or 6,000 were in arms against them, and so continued until 3 Jan. When the Virginia fleet arrived on 8 Dec., about 600 strong, they fell upon the enemy, killed about 40, took 50 or 60 prisoners, and routed about 1,000, which exasperated their spirits, especially Lord Willoughby, "who is as unworthy a person as any amongst them." Col. Modyford and others with estates upon the island sent a private letter, and after several meetings, articles were agreed on, 3 Jan., when Modyford and his regiment declared for the Commonwealth. Numbering about 2,000 men, they thought the sword must have decided the business, but through continual extremity of rains, they lay within a mile of each other, without any opportunity of fighting; the soldiers could scarce keep a match lighted. Articles were at length concluded, in which there are some things they were unwilling to grant. Since the rendition of the island on 12 Jan. four more Dutch ships have come in; are necessitated to sell the prizes as best they can. At present employed in settlement of the place. Hopes the fleet will be ready to sail within one month. Dan. Searle will be left Governor.
Feb. 19. Similar Order. For a licence for the Adventure, of Southampton, Daniel Bradley, master, to pass to the Caribbees, and trade there, with the usual limitations. [Ibid., p. 358.]
Feb.27. Similar Order. Referring so much of a letter sent out of Holland to an English Merchant, as concerns Barbadoes, to Committee of the Admiralty, who are directed to report upon the supply of shipping men, and other necessaries requisite to be sent to Sir Geo. Ayscue, to enable him the more effectually to carry on the work of reducing Barbadoes. Mr. Frost to put the Committee in mind of this business. [Ibid., p.390.]