America and West Indies: April 1624

Pages 60-61

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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April 1624

[April 22.] 11. Petition of Capt. John Bargrave to the House of Commons, on behalf of himself, the absent planters in Virginia, and all other adventurers that shall adventure their estates under a government where, the Governor being corrupt, the profits of the greatest joint stocks may, by practice and factions, be monopolized into a few private hands. Against the proceedings of Sir Thos. Smythe late Treasurer of the Virginia Company and others practising with him for ruling the colony by laws directly contrary to the King's letters patent. Prays that Sir Thos. Smythe may be compelled to refund all monies to the Company for which he can show no true account; that the dishonour the plantation hath received may be considered; and Smythe and his associates ordered to give satisfaction for their unjust practices. [Copy. On the same day Sir Thos. Smythe writes to Sec. Conway, intreating him to attend the Grand Committee of Grievances to-morrow in order to help to stop the clamorous tongue of Bargrave, who has petitioned against Smythe and others.See DOMESTIC Corresp. Jac. I., Vol. CLXIII., No. 28, Cal. p. 220.]
April.? 12. Answer of Sir Thos. Smythe and Robt. Johnson, aldermap, to the petition of Capt. John Bargrave, exhibited by way of complaint to the Commons Committee of Grievances. Concerning the tyrannical government imposed upon the people in Virginia by Sir Thos. Smythe; Bargrave's allegations touching his patent of free trade for those parts and his intention to make a private plantation; the monopoly of importing tobacco; and the charges against Alderman Johnson for "indirect dealing." Represent that there is an action for 500l. now pending against Bargrave, who is indebted to the Company for that amount for tobacco bought of them, and pray that some course may be determined for "easing this their grievance which may be any man's case to be so abused if he be suffered without punishment." [Copy. On 26 April 1624, a petition presented by Mr. Ferrar from the Treasurer, Council, and Company of Virginia was read in Parliament, and Wednesday 28th, appointed to take it into consideration [see Commons Journal]; but on that day the King wrote to the Speaker of the House of Commons, desiring the Commons not to trouble themselves with the petition, as it would renew the factions of the Company which were in settlement by His Majesty and the Privy Council. [See DOMESTIC Corresp. Jac. I., Vol. CLXIII., No. 71, Cal. p. 227.] Sir Isaac Wake informed Sec. Conway on the following day that the King's letter, which was received with universal applause [in the House of Commons] had quieted the great schism caused by the Virginians. SAVOY Corresp., 1624, April 29. See also Nethersole's Letter, May6.]
April? 13. Memorial of Count de Tilliéres, French Ambassador in England, to [Sec. Conway]. The English hostilities in Canada, particularly against the Sieur de Poutrincourt, may prejudice the peace and good friendship which exists between the two nations. Describes the English possessions in America as from Virginia to the Gulf of Mexico, an extent of more than 500 leagues, and requests that the King of Great Britain will prohibit his subjects from disturbing the French in their settlements, and especially the Sieur de Poutrincourt in his possessions in those parts. [Copy. French. Tilliéres arrived in England about Sept. 1623, and was recalled 18th June 1624. See FRENCH Corresp.]
14. Answer to the Memorial of Mons. de Tilliéres. The undertakers for the plantation of New England are surprised that the subjects of the King of France should have any doubt upon, or dispute the extent of their patent between 40 and 48 degrees, which has been so long recognised by both nations. The discoveries by Sebastian Cabot, the letters patent to Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Sir Walter Raleigh, and King James' charter for the establishment of the two colonies in those parts are recited. It is argued that the pretensions of the French can only date from the discoveries made by Jacques de Cartier, and the foundation of a plantation at a place called Tadousac, by Sam. Champlain. Sir William Alexander's patent is also quoted, and the right of Mons. Poutrincourt to the possession or settlement of any of those parts disputed. There is a great desire to maintain good correspondence with the French King's subjects, and "nous serons joyeux," that a conference should be had with Mons. Poutrincourt or his friends, for the better confirmation of a good understanding [cours civil] for the future. French. [Copy.]
April 27. [Sec. Conway] to Lord President Mandeville. Sends remonstrance of the French Ambassador, with translation in English for his Lordship's case. The King desires him to summon the merchants trading to Newfoundland before the Privy Council, to examine the grounds of complaint, and report what will be fitting for His Majesty to reply. [DOMESTIC Corresp. Jac. I., Vol. CLXIII., No. 59, Cal. p. 225.]
April 28.
James City,
15. Geo. Menefie to John Harrison. Although a stranger to him was well acquainted with his brother [George] whose death took place fourteen days after a duel with Rich. Stephens, in which he received a small cut in the knee only; the jury at the inquest, after a post mortem examination, affirmed that he died of natural disease. Sends particulars of his will; an inventory of his estate he shall receive by the next ship. Asks for instructions touching his brother's estates in Virginia and the West Indies. Hopes to see him in London next year.
April 30.
Chamberlain to Carleton. The King wrote a letter yesterday to the Lower House, to rid them of a thorny business touching Virginia and the Somers Islands. It was like to have bred much faction among them, to prevent which, the King has reserved the whole cause to his own hearing. Thinks it the best course that could have been taken, and no doubt most pleasing to the major part. [Extract. DOMESTIC Corresp. Jac. I., Vol. CLXIII., No. 74, Cal. p. 227.]