America and West Indies: February 1678

Pages 215-220

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 10, 1677-1680. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1896.

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February 1678

Feb. 4.
596. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Several laws enacted at Jamaica, 9th April 1677, and received from Secretary Coventry on 18th December last read. Here follow the titles. Whereupon ordered that these laws so approved be sent to Mr. Attorney General for his review and amendments according to the method prescribed in the perusal of the former laws transmitted to him. Having thus finished their consideration as well upon the Commission and Instructions of the Earl of Carlisle as upon the laws to be transmitted to Jamaica, agreed to report to his Majesty the most material points that have occurred to them. Mem.—This report was read on 15th instant and approved with order that Mr. Secretary Coventry prepare a Warrant for passing the laws under the Great Seal of England. [Col. Entry Bks., Vol. XXIX., p. 179, and Vol. CV., 217–221.]
Feb. 8.
Middle Plantation.
597. Survey of His Majesty's at Virginia; by virtue of an Order from Herbert Jeffreys, Governor, of 16th January last. Signed by Edward Rous, James Archer, junior, George Wachop, Thomas Needler, and William Morris. [Col. Entry Bk. Vol. LXXX., 293–299.]
Feb. 9
James City, Virginis.
598. The case of William Sherwood of James City in Virginia declaring the hard and severe usage he hath met with since his last arrival there as also concerning the concealing His Majesty's Royal letter dated 15th of May 1677. Also copy of the Act of Assembly by which County Courts are appointed, and copy of his answer to Colonel Hill's complaint, addressed to Herbert Jeffreys, Governor of Virginia. 2 papers. 6 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLII., Nos. 23, 24.]
Feb. 11–25.
St. Christopher's
599. Minutes of the Council of St. Christopher's. Two letters read by Governor Abed. Matthew from Colonel Stapleton, Governor of the Leeward Isles touching the rumour of a war between England and France. Ordered that the field pieces in the fort at Sandy Point be removed to Cleverley Hill fort, a large guard house erected there, and a guard forthwith settled there, and two barrels of powder with shot.
Feb. 25. Representation by the Governor of the great necessity of forwarding the fortifications. Boat to be sent to Tortola for timber with four white men and eight free negroes, William Colhoun's boat to be employed at the rate of 150 lbs. of sugar per day. Nine canon lying useless at Stones Fort and the Old Road to be brought to the New Fort at Cleverley Hill. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXVIII., No. 69, pp. 17–18.]
Feb. 15.
600. Order of the King in Council. Approving Report of Lords of Trade and Plantations on the Commission and Instructions of the Earl of Carlisle [Governor of Jamaica] and directing Mr. Secretary Coventry to prepare them accordingly, also that the Laws of Jamaica pass under the Great Seal of England. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLII., No. 25, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXIX., pp. 180–183.]
Feb. 15.
601. Order of the King in Council. Approving thirty seven laws of Jamaica, the titles of which are given and directing that they be transmitted to Secretary Coventry and that he prepare a Warrant for the immediate passing said laws under the Great Seal of England, and that the Lords of Trade and Plantations consider the law sent from Jamaica for calling in and suppressing Privateers and if they can by any fitting amendments agree to same to send it with the rest to Secretary Coventry, but if it may be better settled by instruction to prepare same for Lord Carlisle to take with him. And their Lordships are also to consider the Statute of Henry the Eighth for trying pirates, and to frame a law making said Statute in force in Jamaica. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXIX.) pp. 183–188.]
Feb. 15. 602. Account of the establishment for Virginia (as compared with the establishment for Jamaica). Total 6,040l. 10s. per annum. The amount is thus made up; The Governor, 1,000l.: Deputy Governor, 600l.; Major General, 300l.; Surgeon, 91l. 5s.; incidental charges, 600l.; chaplain, 121l. 13s. 4d. Two Companies, 3,327l. 11s. 8d., exceeding that of Jamaica by 212l. 18s. 4d. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLII., No. 26.]
Feb. 16.
603. Governor Stapleton to [Wm. Blathwayt]. French men of war cruising to and from Martinique to St. Christopher's besides a considerable squadron Vice-Admiral Count d'Estrées has at Martinique. It is surmised he designs for Porto Rico or Curacao. He has lately sent a frigate with a French company of land forces to St. Christopher's where they have no need of them their number far exceeding ours. Prays their Lordships to consider what strength the French have here. Wishes we may not be thought of too late as in the last war. A ketch is but of little credit to the nation especially when commanded by a mere brute unfit to live among men, daily quarrelling and as often baffled. Prays their Lordships and the Lord Treasurer to let him have the 4½ per cent. for one year in lieu of his arrears in Sir Tobias Bridge's regiment. "I suppose a word speaking to the Duke or the Committee might procure it." 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLII., No. 27.]
Feb. 18.
604. Governor Stapleton to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Daily expectation of war with France obliges him to get all hands to the sea side to repair former and erect new fortifications. The Vice Admiral of France at Martinique with a considerable squadron; he has sent some to Petit Guavos for 900 Buccaneers. His "weak conception" of their designs; to remain at Martinique three months without attempting upon Dutch or Spaniards "is strange to my feeble apprehension." Have had but the Quaker Ketch here for the reputation of the nation as meanly manned as ever he saw a King's vessel. Have several ketches from New England which in a few days might be manned and fitted with as much credit to the Crown as the Quaker Ketch was often represented. The condition of the islands, instances nothing through timidity, has a strong dilemma to answer. If he goes not to St. Christopher's with a strong force it must needs be lost, and if he goes he weakens Nevis and the rest of the islands, and if success or miscarriage attend he endangers all; reasons. Remarks upon the 10th and 11th rules of the Printed Orders as to let passes. "Rec. 18 April 1678." 1½ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLII., No. 28, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVI., pp. 267–269.]
Feb. 18.
605. Governor Stapleton to Sir Robert Southwell. Sends Barnes' answer if he be not as good as his word; will be pleased to know "that he may be obliged to effect it." All persons who arrive have nothing but report of a war with France. The French are powerful by sea and land and the Vice-Admiral is here with a considerable squadron; what his design is cannot be conjectured; he makes a great stay at Martinique, and does not proceed upon his former supposed design on Porto Rico and Curacao. "Rec. 23 April." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLII., No. 29.]
Feb. 19.
606. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Consideration of the law sent from Jamaica for calling in and suppressing privateers; also of the statute of Henry VIII., for trying pirates and to prepare a law for putting the same in force in Jamaica. Whereupon Mr. Attorney-General presents a draught for the more effectual punishment of pirates, which is not approved. Agreed to report to His Majesty their amendments to the law for calling in privateers. Petition of Charles Modyford, Surveyor-General of Jamaica, read. Whereupon, Sir Thos. Lynch and Mr. AttorneyGeneral having explained the case, their Lordships agree to make report to His Majesty. Mem.—Their Lordships report was approved on 22nd inst., in relation to the above laws, but nothing was resolved on the case of Charles Modyford. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CV., pp. 221–222.
Feb. 19. 607. Report of Lords of Trade and Plantations to the King. That they have agreed upon an Act for the more effectual punishment of pirates in Jamaica and also an Act for calling in the privateers which serve under foreign commissions in those parts, and they have considered Charles Modyford's petition, and been attended by Sir Thomas Lynch who says nothing can more contribute to the encouragement of planting than that Petitioners' office should be supported, and their Lordships are of opinion that the regulation of fees relating to a surveyor in the Act of Jamaica may be left out of such Act, and Lord Carlisle be ordered to regulate the fees of the Surveyor-General according to his instructions in reference to other fees. Draft, 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLII., No. 30, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXIX. pp. 192–193.]
Feb. 19. 608. Petition of Charles Modyford, Surveyor-General of Jamaica, to Lords of Trade and Plantations. That he was appointed by Letters Patent of 27th April 1675 Surveyor-General of Jamaica, and the Assembly have transmitted to His Majesty an Act regulating the Surveys. Prays that said Act and list of fees may not be passed to obstruct Petitioner acting under his patent, but that same may be encouraged by the Earl of Carlisle. "Rec. 19th Feb. 1678." Annexed,
608. i. The patent of Charles Modyford above referred to. Westminster, 1675, April 27.
608. ii. Reasons for supporting and encouraging Charles Modyford's patent. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLII., Nos. 31, 31 II., and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXIX., pp. 188–191.]
Feb. 19. 609. Journal of Assembly of Barbadoes. Having sat three several times by adjournment, according to the rules of the House, they proceeded to elect a Speaker, and William Sharp was chosen. Committee appointed to consider what amendments are convenient to be made in the Act of the militia of this island.
Feb. 20. An Act to repeal an Act to prohibit the bringing heading and timber (sic) from Surinam read first time, also an Act to encourage the bringing in of Christian servants, which was passed. Proposals having been made by Captain John Poines to make a good, safe, and sufficient haven for ships of the creek or swatch of salt water that runs by the town of St. Michael's, and it being thought of great conveniency and safety to ships, if it were well effected Colonel William Bate, Colonel Richard Guy, Major John Hallett, and Captain John Johnson are appointed a committee to hire so many boats as they find needful, and working negroes not exceeding one hundred to be employed by Captain Poines for three weeks, and to draw upon the Treasurer of the Excise for the charges. Captain John Johnson to have credit upon his account of excise for the half duty of eleven pipes of Madeira. Committee appointed to consider the presentment of the last grand jury and draw into a bill what they think necessary. Adjourned to 19th March. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XIII., pp. 294–297.]
Feb. 22.
610. The King's Warrant to Sir Thomas Chicheley, Knight, Master General of the Ordnance. To appoint some fitting person to take charge of all the munition and habiliments of war now sending or hereafter to be sent to Jamaica and render account of the expenditure, and to make him reasonable allowances out of the Treasury of that office. ¾ p. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. XXIX., p. 241.]
Feb. 22.
611. Order of the King in Council. Approving Report of Lords of Trade and Plantations (see ante, No. 607), upon two Acts of Jamaica touching pirates and privateers and transmitting same to Secretary Coventry to prepare warrant for His Majesty's signature for the immediate passing of the rest of the laws of that island under the Great Seal of England. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXIX., pp. 193, 194.]
Feb. 22. 612. Petition of Henry West of the Isle of Wight county in Virginia, now in London, to the King. For a pass for leave to return home to his poor family in Virginia by a ship ready to sail within a very few days, else he will lose his passage this year; also that his bond not to return may be cancelled and his estate discharged from seizure without the payment of fees. Endorsed, "Read in Council Feb. 22, 1678." 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLII., No. 32.]
Feb. 613. Report of Thomas Lord Culpeper to the King. On petition of Henry West of Virginia, Planter, referred to him as Governor of that Colony by an Order in Council. That, upon the best information he can obtain from Colonel Moryson and others, inasmuch as the Petitioner came voluntarily in to submit himself in the time of the late rebellion, he conceives him a fit object for His Majesty's compassion and pardon, and to have liberty to return home to his wife and children in Virginia. Endorsed, "Read 22d of Feby. 1678." 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLII., No. 33.]
Feb. 22. 614. Minutes of the Council of Antigua. Address of the Judges and Council to the Assembly. Have this day perused a letter from His Excellency intimating a great suspician of a war with the French, and commending to their consideration, to consult the preservation of the Leeward Isles, and in particular St. Christopher's, as most subject to innovation, and that some secure plot of ground be fortified for the preservation of women, children, and impotent persons. Answer of the Assembly,—Desire that the island may be furnished with ammunition and good arms, in readiness to attend His Excellency's commands, and that two of the Council be appointed to join with three of the Assembly to view a place for a fortification, and that negroes be appointed to attend them. Conceive that one negro in 20 may be sufficient for the work. That the Commanders with one of the Assembly should make a just list of every able working slave in their divisions, the public work to be satisfied out of the public stock, Ordered, by reason of a disrepute cast on the common stock of this island, that the Treasurer bring in their account of debt and credit against next meeting, that a course may be taken to prevent the like disrepute for the future. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXV., No. 55*, p. 759.]
Feb. 25. 615. Colonel Francis Moryson to Samuel Wiseman. Sends Colonel Jeffrey's letter about Beverley and Ludwell (see ante, No. 541). They will never be other than mutineers and will undoubtedly cause new disturbances in the country as soon as the soldiers are gone. Replies to Beverley's accusations against the Commissioner's proceedings; believes that those two by their advice to Sir William Berkeley occasioned the civil war "which had never been if that fatal petition of Gloucester had not been prosecuted." Shall think it hard to be forced to take a journey to charge so inconsiderable fellows. Hopes their Lordships will think the trust too great to be questioned by a pirate, and such a contemptible fellow as Ludwell. That they may stand committed until Governor Jeffreys comes home to bring his charge against them. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLI., No. 138.]
Feb. 27.
616. Warrant to Heneage Lord Finch, Lord Chancellor. Approving thirty-nine laws of Jamaica, the titles of which are specified, and ordering that he immediately pass them under the Great Seal of England. Countersigned by Secretary Coventry. [Col. Entry Bks., Vol. XCV, pp. 240–42, and Vol. CX., pp. 122–124.]
617. Three Acts, passed in the island of Montserrat, viz., An Act prohibiting the importation of Fayal wine and all liquors to be entered before landed, and and impost on the same (expired). An Act confirming levies formerly raised, treasurer's notes to be accepted, minister and clerk's salary and cattle trespassing (expired), passed 18 February 1678. An Act about contracting marriages, and the Governor, Secretary, and Marshal to be free from all taxes. Passed 2 April 1678. [Col. Entry Bks., Vol. L., pp. 229–236, and printed in Vol. LV., pp. 33, 34.]