America and West Indies: December 1678

Pages 306-312

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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December 1678

Dec. 4. 837. Representation of Randall Holden and John Greene to the King. Recapitulate the title of Rhode Island to the Narragansett country and complain of the aggressions of Massachussetts, Connecticut, and Plymouth, and more particularly that in June last, some of the Massachusetts Magistrates with other of that colony as Commissioners, have publicly set up in several places of New England printed papers declaring the Narragansett country to belong to them with offers to make sale of the lands and do dispose the Government to Connecticut. Represent this to the King that he may give some redress to this growing evil. Signed by Randall Holden and John Greene. Underwritten, "Read in Council 4 Dec. 1678." Enclosed,
837. i. "An Advertisement touching the Narrhaganset and Niantick countries." Very pleasant and fertile, fit and commodious for plantation. The true legal right belongs to certain gentlemen in New England, the most part dwelling within the Massachusetts colony by purchase from the chief Sachems, the sole proprietors, as was allowed by the Honoured Commissioners of the united colonies and recorded in the Book of Records for Connecticut, under which government the land lieth. These are therefore to certify that all Christian people that are willing to settle themselves in a regular way of townships on said lands may apply to the subscribers hereof in Boston who have been chosen by the proprietors a Committee to act in any of their concerns touching the premises. Signed by Simon Bradstreet, John Saffin, and Elisha Hutchinson. Endorsed, "Advertisement concerning the lands of the King's province." Printed. Boston, 1678, July 30. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLII., Nos. 149, 149 I.]
Dec. 4. 838. Order of the King in Council on Petition of Randall Holden and John Greene. That a copy of the printed advertisement be sent to the Massachusetts agents who are directed to attend His Majesty in Council on Fridry the 6th instant, and to show by what authority the claimants pretend to the lands mentioned in the paper, and also to inform the Board what obedience has been rendered to His Majesty's letter of 27th April 1678 enjoining the administering of the oath of allegiance. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LX., pp. 295, 296.]
Dec. 4. 839. Copy of preceding Order, adding that there have been read two letters from Sir E. Andros to William Blathwayt of 16th September and 12th October last, mentioning their unjust pretensions to New York and enclosing the printed paper. The date of the King's letter is given as 8th April instead of 27th. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CV., p. 269.]
Dec. 6.
840. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Order of Council of 30th October read (see ante No. 820) and Lord Carlisle's letter of 14th August (see ante No. 779) being also read. Agreed to report, That the clause in the Militia Bill whereby the Govern ment is to act according to powers given by His Majesty's Commissioners remain unaltered, it being the undoubted right of His Majesty to dispose of the Militia as he shall think fit. As to the proposal for a mint to be established in Jamaica, ordered that it be referred to the officers of the Mint to report what may be convenient for His Majesty's service. A letter to this effect was accordingly written to the Warden and Officers of the Mint.
The Agents of Boston attend. Secretary Williamson presents two letters from Governor Leverett of 25th August and 15th October intimating that the Governor, Council, and General Court had taken the Oath of Allegiance enjoined by His Majesty's letters of 8th April. A return of the Court on William Harris's case, pursuant to His Majesty's commands of 4th August 1675, being enclosed in the letter of 15th October, their Lordships think fit that a copy of this return should be given to the Warwick deputies who are concerned therein. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CV., pp. 270, 271.]
Dec. 6.
841. Sir Philip Lloyd to the Warden and Officers of His Majesty's Mint. The Lords of Trade and Plantations have received a proposal from Jamaica to erect and establish a mint there, with power to make coins of gold and silver or other convenient metals, and to set such a value thereon "as shall be thought most agreeable to the interest and occasions of that island." Their Lordships desire their report on said proposal, and whether same be convenient for His Majesty's service, and under what restrictions it may be safely allowed and regulated. Such coin shall be only current in that island. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXIX., pp. 248, 249.]
Dec. 8.
842. Lords of Trade and Plantations to Governor Stapleton. Acknowledges receipt of a box with his letters and other papers (see ante Nos. 741, 741 I.–XVII.), but by reason of this extraordinary conjuncture no leisure has yet been found for their perusal, but he will now receive the seal. Concerning the laws, it will be necessary for him to transmit an entire collection of all laws in force throughout his Government, and that he affix the seal to them. His complaint of Captain Haddock has been made known to His Majesty in Council and referred to the Admiralty. [Col. Entry Bks., Vol. XLVI., pp. 328, 329, and Vol. CV., p. 371.]
Dec. 10/20.
843. Governor Atkins to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Not one ship from London has arrived from London for twenty months, which often happens. Has sent all the laws made since he was Governor according to the time limited of two years. If he has no advice of His Majesty's resolution, shall we be without laws, and how will the people be governed? By their laws they are easy and submissive, but without them the most stubborn, for they have the arms in their own hands. He has not a soldier in the King's pay, nor is the King at one penny charge with this island. We are not without apprehension as you are in Europe. If Monsieur Gabaret, who, he hears, is coming into these parts, "intend me," doubts not to give him a greater rap of the fingers than his predecessor had, for they are well provided for him. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLII., No. 150; also Col. Entry Bk., Vol VI., pp. 249–251.]
Dec. 13.
844. Order of the King in Council concerning the King's Province. After hearing Bulkeley and Stoughton, the Massachusetts Agents, who were directed to show by what authority or title certain persons within that Corporation have laid claim to the lands of Narragansett and Nantiack countries, otherwise called the King's Province, and also Randal Holden and John Greene, Deputies of the town of Warwick, who by petition had given His Majesty information of their pretension and of His Majesty's right both to the sovereignty and propriety of that country, the Massachusetts alleged their Government do not meddle with this claim, but only some inhabitants who had purchased their lands from the Indian Sachems, to which Holden asserts as of his certain knowledge, having been an inhabitant of that country above forty years, that never any legal purchase had been made from the Indians, and that it is contrary to the known laws of all the Colonies, whereby no man is permitted to purchase any lands of any Indian without the Colony where he is dwelling without leave from the magistrates of the Colony within which the lands do lie. He also presents several papers in support of his arguments. Whereupon His Majesty ordered that letters be sent to Massachusetts and all the Colonies in New England, requiring them to leave all things relating to the King's Province in the same posture it now is as to the possession and government, and to give them to understand that the absolute sovereignty and particular propriety of all that country is vested in His Majesty by the surrender of the Sachems, and that no further settlement be there made upon any title whatsoever until those who pretend any claim have made out their title, and that they send over persons duly instructed to make the same appear, or in default His Majesty will give order for the government and settlement of said Province. [Col. Entry Bks., Vol. LX., pp. 308–311, and Vol. CV., pp. 272–275.]
Dec. 13. 845. Colonel Francis Moryson to [William Blathwayt]. Has advice that Colonel Rowland Place is lately arrived from Virginia. He is the gentleman Governor Jeffreys mentions as able to give a true information of all transactions in Virginia since the Commssioners' coming away (see ante No. 758). He is one of the Council and a very honest gentleman. Conceives it necessary for the King's service to have a true prospect into the affairs there before Lord Culpeper goes. Wishes him to defer giving in the papers, viz. the Queen [of Pamunkey]'s letter and complaint, the Governor's deposition concerning the denial of His Majesty's letter in the case of Bird, and the Interpreter's letter. 1 p. [Col. Papers Vol. XLII., No. 151.]
Dec. 13. 846. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Proposals received from Lord Culpeper in reference to the Governor of Virginia (read on 14th December), "in pursuance of His Majesty's commands," with marginal notes. Some of the articles are "Agreed" (see Orders of 14th and 20th December 1678). These heads were delivered in January 1677(–8) to Mr. Secretary Coventry and read at the Committee of Foreign Affairs in May last, but, by reason of my Lord Treasurer's absence, nothing done. But on the 11th August, after a full debate upon every one, it was resolved as in the margin, and so set down by Mr. Secretary. Some lesser points were then also agreed. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLII., No. 152, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXX., pp. 258–263.]
Dec. 14.
847. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Letter read from Colonel Jeffreys to Colonel Moryson of 10th July last, also a deposition taken in Virginia concerning Captain Bird, with letter from Colonel Moryson to Mr. Blathwayt of 13th December instant, to be considered when Colonel Rowland Place, lately come from Virginia, shall give his attendance on Tuesday next. Secretary Coventry signifies His Majesty's pleasure that their Lordships take into consideration Lord Culpeper's despatch, which contains several heads relating to his Government of Virginia upon which orders are made, viz. in reference to the Establishment (military) in Virginia, the building of a fort and towns on each great river, laws to be sent over, Acts for the Revenue and of Indemnity, the payment of soldiers, patentees of lands, security of homeward bound merchant ships, and the drawing up by the Attorney General of a Proclamation and General Act of Indemnity. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CV., pp. 275–278.]
Dec. 16.
848. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Slingesby attends concerning the proposal for erecting a mint in Jamaica referred to the officers of His Majesty's Mint, and desires to peruse entries in the Council Books of 1661 touching a mint for Ireland, and to be informed of the present state of Jamaica; their Lordships think fit that Lord Vaughan and some merchants trading to Jamaica be summoned to attend, and in the meantime Mr. Slingesby may peruse the entries he desires.
The difference between Colonel Stapleton and the Admiralty of Holland touching negroes carried off Tobago by the Quaker, ketch, in Jamaica upon the defeat of the Dutch by the French; letter from Colonel Stapleton and memorial of the Dutch Ambassador are read. Counsel on behalf of the Dutch Admiralty and Mr. Freeman and Counsel on behalf of Colonel Stapleton are heard at length. The parties being withdrawn, their Lordships, after debate, resolve to report to His Majesty that six months be allowed Colonel Stapleton to make answer to the Dutch claim to the negroes which His Majesty granted him in free gift, and in the meantime that Colonel Stapleton's agent give 1,500l. security in the High Court of Admiralty to answer further process and to make good the negroes claimed, and that their Lordships may be ordered to write immediately to Colonel Stapleton thereon, and require his speedy answer. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CV., pp. 279–282.]
[Dec. 16.] 849. Papers concerning the difference between Governor Stapleton and the Admiralty of Holland about certain negroes carried from Tobago to the Leeward Islands. The King's grant of his right and title to said negroes to Governor Stapleton, and that he may dispose of them as of His Majesty's free gift. Westminster, 1678, April 12. Annexed,
849. i, John Van Wachtendonck, Commissary for the United Netherlands, to the King. Encloses Memorial from the Ambassador of the States General, of 28th March last, and prays for a speedy answer.
849. ii.The above Memorial to the King. (See ante, No. 638.)
849. iii. Depositions of Jan Hessen and Daniel Rosens in reference to the taking of said Negroes at Tobago, and their being conveyed to Nevis by the Quaker, ketch. 1678, April 12. Together three papers. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLII., Nos. 153 I., II., III., and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVI., pp. 330–334.]
Dec. 17.
850. The King to Thomas Lord Culpeper, Governor Herbert Jeffreys, Lieutenant-Governor and the Council of Virginia. To permit Ralph Williamson or his assigns to land and dispose of fiftytwo convicted persons of Scotland, sentenced to be transported to our English plantations and such others as shall be convicted in Scotland and sentenced to be transported and delivered into Williamson's custody, without hindrance or molestation, any law, order, or custom of Virginia to the contrary notwithstanding. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCV., p. 166.]
Dec. 20.
851.Order of the King in Council. That the Earl of Danby, Lord High Treasurer, forthwith take care that an establishment be made for the Lord Culpeper and others employed in the Government of Virginia, as also for the two foot companies in the like manner and proportion as is already settled for Jamaica, and that his Lordship provide a fund for same. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXX., p. 263.]
Dec. 20.
852. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. In reference to a report to be presented to His Majesty upon the several heads of Lord Culpeper's paper about the establishment in Virginia "it being a Colony of greater extent (than Jamaica) and more advantage in point of the customs and yearly revenue to the Crown;" the quitrents of Virginia; the settlement of towns upon each great river; the laws agreed to be immediately transmitted to Virginia; the payment of soldiers; the patents granted to Lords Arlington and Culpeper; and the departure of ships from Virginia. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CV., pp. 283–285.]
Dec. 20. 853. Petition of Randall Holden to the King. Was about 40 years since, with divers others of Rhode Island seised upon by the Massachusetts and carried captive to Boston, where he was committed to prison and most barbarously used, being laid in irons a whole winter, and there made to work for his living, and when that government had nothing to lay to his charge he was banished out of their jurisdiction, as appears by the annexed order of their Court. Being on return home, and not knowing but that by distress of weather and other exigents he may be forced into the Massachusetts jurisdiction, prays the King to command the said magistrates to repeal the order of banishment. Signed. Endorsed, "Read in Council 20 Dec. 1678." 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLII., No. 154.]
Dec. 20.
854. Order of the King in Council on above Petition of Randall Holden. That Petitioner and all others banished with him receive the King's pass and protection with the signification of His Majesty's displeasure for the proceedings of the Massachusetts against them, and his orders for repealing the order of banishment passed at the General Court of Boston against Holden and the rest of that Company. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LX., pp. 312–315, and Vol. CV., pp. 285–286.]
Dec. 21.
855. Journal of the Lords of Trade and Plantations. That Lord Culpeper propose to the Committee such heads as he shall think fit to be inserted in his Commission and Instructions. And that in the mean time a draft of such Commission and Instructions be prepared for their Lordships' view, and the Commission and Instructions formerly given to the Governors of Virginia, as also those to the Earl of Carlisle be made use of as far as it is proper herein. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CV., pp. 286, 287.]
Dec. 24.
856. Order of the King in Council. Approving Report of Lords of Trade and Plantations, of 16th December last (see ante, No. 848) and directing William Freeman to give security for 1,500l., to be entered in His Majesty's High Court of Admiralty; also that their Lordships write to Governor Stapleton requiring his answer and proofs within six months allotted him for his defence. Also, The Letter from the Lords of Trade and Plantations to Governor Stapleton above referred to. Whitehall, 1679, January 24. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLII., No. 155, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVI., pp. 335–340.]