America and West Indies: February 1680

Pages 477-492

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 1680

Feb. 4. 1284. Petition of John Crown to the King. As Mounthope has been bestowed on Plymouth, prays for a tract of land called Boston neck, or such a number of acres of the Narragansett Country (which is His Majesty's right by ancient donation of the Indians) as may afford his father, family, and himself a competent subsistence. Underwritten is a reference dated 4th February 1679/80 to the Committee for Trade and Plantations. Signed, Sunderland. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIV., No. 15, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXI., pp. 35–37.]
Entry of the above petition and reference. [Dom. Entry Bk., Vol. LV., p. 63.]
Feb 4.
1285. Order of the King in Council referring the examination of the seditious practices lately carried on in Carolina by John Culpeper and others to the Lords of Trade and Plantations, who are directed to meet for that purpose on Saturday next, 8th February. Copy. ½ p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIV., No. 16.]
[Feb. 4.] 1286. Petition of William Hinton to the King. Petitioner has since 1667 spent much pains and 2,500l. in endeavouring the settlement of Newfoundland, encouraged thereby by His Majesty's repeated promises that he should have the Government when it should be established. The Colony will be ruined unless the Government be settled; and petitioner prays that the King's promise may be remembered when the Government is concluded. 1 p. Endorsed, "Recd. from Mr. Duppa 4 Feb. 1679." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIV., No. 17.]
[Feb. 6.] 1287. Petition of William Downing to the King. Praying for a settled Government for Newfoundland, since the West Country Adventurers, notwithstanding the suspension of their Charter by Order in Council, have inflicted great abuses and vexations on the inhabitants and forced them either to return to England or to request French protection. Endorsed, "Read in Council 6 Feb. 1679–80." [Col. Papers, Vol.. XLIV., No. 18.]
Feb. 7. 1288. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. In pursuance of the enquiry into the business of the late rebellion in Carolina, the Earls of Shaftesbury and Craven, and Sir Peter Colleton were called in. Lord Shaftesbury promised to furnish their Lordships with a copy of the patent and a speedy answer to their circular letter and enquiries, and then narrated as follows. In 1677 the Lords Proprietors sent one Eastchurch to be their governor of Albemarle county, who staying sometime at Antigua deputed Mr. Miller, Collector of the King's Customs, to go and settle the country. Soon after his arrival the rebellion broke out. Miller is no sectary but is given to drink; the accusations of treason against him are spiteful merely. On his arrival he undertook to model the Parliament, which gave the people occasion to oppose and imprison him. Whereupon Mr. Durant, Captains Gilham and Culpeper agreed together to defraud the King of his Customs. Sir Richard Temple, one of the King's Commissioners of Customs being called in, declared that Culpeper had no authority to seize the King's Customs. Whereupon an account was read which Miller had delivered upon oath to the Commissioners of Customs. Culpeper replies that there was a lawful assembly set up by whose authority he acted, and that the people of Carolina agreed upon him as their collector after Miller's imprisonment, just as a collector had been appointed by the country after the death of Mr. Bland. The Lords Proprietors rejoin that the authority which appointed Culpeper collector was rebellious. Miller produces a paper (see No. 1290 I.) written in Culpeper's own hand forbidding all persons to meddle with the Customs. Whereon Culpeper says it was his proclamation and excepts against Miller and Hudson as traitors to the King. Messrs. Hudson, Summers, and Taylor being sworn depose that Culpeper abetted the rebellion and that all the Proprietors' deputies were imprisoned by the rebels, except one who joined them. After the examination of witnesses Culpeper desires that he may be tried in Carolina, and, if that may not be granted him, acknowledges the fact and begs His Majesty's pardon. The Lords Proprietors inform their Lordships that the country is now quiet, and propose that the King's money which was taken by the rebels shall be reimbursed by the offenders and not by a general tax upon the community. The Commissioners of Customs recommended that Culpeper be not pardoned till the King be satisfied for his Customs. Ordered that Captain Gilham, who is accused by Mr. Miller, attend on Monday next to be examined. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., pp. 118–122.]
Feb. 7.
1289. Report of Lords of Trade and Plantations to the King. We have heard the complaints of the Commissioners of Customs against John Culpeper, and are satisfied that he aided and abetted a rebellion in Carolina, whereby seven lawful magistrates were imprisoned, the Collector of Customs among them, and that he proclaimed himself collector. Culpeper confesses and prays for pardon, but if your Majesty should not show mercy to him he begs to be tried in Carolina. The Commissioners of Customs beseech your Majesty that no mercy be shown him unless he make good the 3,000l. which he took from the Customs. Signed, Anglesey, J. Bridgewater, H. Coventry, L. Hyde, Lauderdale, Worcester. Copy. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIV., No. 19.]
Feb. 7. 1290. Papers concerning the rebellion in Carolina read before the Committee of Trade and Plantations in the trial of John Culpeper aforesaid.
Remonstrance of the inhabitants of Paspatancke to all the rest of the county of Albemarle. A manifesto of the rebels to justify their violent proceedings. Copy. Certified by sworn statement of Edward Wade. Inscribed, "The Rebels' first paper, called a remonstrance, and Mr. Wade's testimony." Dated 3rd October 1677. 1½ pp.
1290. i. Declaration of John Culpeper to the inhabitants of County Albemarle against the authority of Captain Timothy Biggs. Dated 25th February 1678–79. Copy. Endorsed, "Culpeper's declaration against T. B. when T. B. was pulled down." Scrap.
1290. ii. Affidavit of Henry Hudson giving information from Thomas Miller's arrival in July 1677 and of the course of the rebellion. Subscribed, "Jun. 31 die Februar. 1679 (1680) W. Mountagu." 1½ pp.
1290. iii. Affidavit of John Taylor who was with Captain Timothy Biggs. Subscribed as the foregoing. 1¼ pp.
1290. iv. Affidavit of Thomas Miller, with his story of the rebellion. Subscribed as the foregoing. 2¾ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIV., Nos. 20, 20 I.–IV.]
Feb. 7.
1291. Governor Sir William Stapleton to Lords of Trade and Plantations. The Deptford ketch is returned from Surinam with 102 persons, blacks and whites, who are now in the Island of Antigua. The Dutch Governor will not permit any more to come without orders from the States, though the men are all clear from debt. I beg that you will move the King to obtain such orders, for they will be a great relief to the English at Surinam, of whom a list is herewith enclosed (see No. 1281 1.). The latter, together with the 102 already at Antigua, will add greatly to the settlement of that Island, which in three or four years will exceed any of the Leeward Islands and add proportionately to the King's revenue. I suppose the Dutch Governor's arguments to be a mere put-off, for I conceive that the instructions of the States mentioned in the 5th Article of the last Treaty were already sent by Mr. Cranfield when he went to Surinam as Commissioner to transport the English to Jamaica. This new Governor might be ignorant of it, or merely conceal it as an excuse for detaining the King's subjects. I therefore intend to write to him to search the records and to signify to him that the King my master is not obliged to procure a new order for every Governor that comes out. I ask you to note that he was ready to let them go if they left their land and stock for nothing or for less than their value. However, I beg you to send an order from the States General for the poor people are ready to starve there and exposed to be murthered by the heathen Indians. The Indians have got many of their black servants already and butchered several of the inhabitants, English and Dutch. Holograph. Inscribed. Received from Mr. Secretary Coventry, 26th April. Read 27th April 1680. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIV., No. 21, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVI., pp. 422, 423.]
Feb 8. 1292. Sir P. Colleton to Mr. Blathwayt. Encloses a narrative of the proceedings at Albemarle as they have been made known to the Lords Proprietors by letters, informations, and persons from thence. Encloses,
1292 i. The case between Thomas Miller, Collector of the King's Customs, and Captain Zachariah Gilham, Culpeper, Durant, Crawford, and others, principal actors in the late disturbances of the Northern part of Carolina. 3 pp. Endorsed. Received from Sir P. Colleton, 9th February 1679–80. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIV., Nos. 22, 22 I.]
[Feb. 11.] 1293. The humble representation of John Downing of St. John's Newfoundland, on behalf of the inhabitants. The Western Adventurers have broken all the Articles of their Charter that are any way considerable. By the care of the King's Captains, Sir John Berry, Carter, Russell and others, the inhabitants' stages were well kept and well found, but notwithstanding this the greater part of them were in 1678 destroyed by those belonging to the adventurers in fishing and sack ships. The greater part of them were found spoiled at the time of the departure of the said ships, and the reason was that the Convoy, Captain Dickeson, came late and did not enter St. John's. The same would have been done to the new and rebuilt stages this year but for the arrival of Captain Wright. There were last year several persons settled in stages built by the adventurers and several inhabitants likewise. It can be proved that last year the Admiral of the Adventurers' fishing fleet, Thomas Weighmouth, when soon after his arrival several of the storehouses belonging to the ships of other Adventurers were broken into and spoiled, punished none of the culprits though he knew who they were. Captain Wright ordered the Vice-Admiral, in the absence of the Admiral, to forbid all damage to any buildings of the Adventurers, which was done, but none the less several stages and storerooms were much spoiled by night and stealthily by day. Several other disorders are committed for want of a settled government, the offendors presuming that they may pass without control if they escape being called to account by the Captain. How can it be doubted but that more damage will be done when the King's ships have left the place, there being no authority left to check them ? I can command my own family, and that is all that I and other honest persons can do. Several of the inhabitants have left the place, and others will go unless a settled government be established, and the people allowed to live in peace unoppressed by the Western Adventurers. 1 p. Copy. Endorsed, Recd. 11th Feb. 1679–80. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIV., No. 23.]
Feb. 16. 1294. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Business of Newfoundland, pursuant to Order in Council of 15th instant. Read, an account of the past history and present of the Colony, the Report presented to the King, 15th April 1675, and several reports made by the Convoys annually sent to the Colony, which their Lordships see no reason not to accept as true and authentic. The Western Charter confirmed and enlarged on the 20th January 1675 was examined. Agreed that the first article be put into execution and a more effectual way of judicature be found, whether by the convoys then present, or by such as the King shall appoint. Remaining articles of the preamble agreed to except the 10th, prohibiting the setting up of taverns, which was altered so as to enable the inhabitants to keep taverns and public houses, and leave it to masters of ships to see that their men do not debauch themselves As to the added portion of the Charter, the following amendments were made:—3rd Article: To allow the planters to live as near the shore as they please. 4th Article: That the inhabitants shall retain possession of their stages, but build no more until the Adventurers be all arrived, after which they may erect new stages which they shall always possess; and that no Planters or Adventurers meddle with the stages belonging to each other. 5th Article: To permit the inhabitants to hire servants in England and transport them to Newfoundland, though they be not of the ships' company or have no share therein. 6th Article: That no owner carry more than sixty persons per hundred tons. 8th Article: The order obliging fishing ships to stay till the 1st March is superseded; agreed that the King be recommended to send one convoy at the first season to protect the ships bound to Newfoundland. Their Lordships also recommend that one Minister, or as many more as the inhabitants can maintain, be sent over by the next convoy, who are to go from place to place to baptize children, &c., and that the person to be commissioned by the King be ordered to visit the settlements yearly, and take care that the people do not go to the French, and keep an exact register of them and of their ships, to be furnished to the Council annually. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., pp. 122–127.]
Feb. 16.
Treasury Chamber.
1295. Lords of the Treasury to Sir Robert Howard, Auditor and other officials of the Exchequer. Warrant for payment of 750l. to Sir William Stapleton for the building of forts in the Leeward Islands, pursuant to Order in Council of 28th November 1679. Signed, L. Hyde, Ed. Dering, S. Godolphin, Ste. Fox. Copy. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIV., No. 24.]
Feb. 17 and 18. 1296. Jouinal of Assembly of Barbadoes. Colonel Richard Guy elected Speaker. Adjourned to 8 a.m. precisely on the morrow. Bill for prohibiting the putting of negroes or other slaves to arts or trades; Bill to continue an Act for the better regulation of the issue of tickets by the Secretary, both passed nem. con. Order for Colonels Richard Guy, Christopher Codrington, William Sharpe, and William Bate to sit with the representatives of the Council in the Committee to examine the Militia Act, passed. Bills for the destroying of wild monkeys and racoons and for prohibiting negroes from learning trade passed as amended by the Governor. Petitions of Edward Rownton and John Firebrace considered and satisfied. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XIII., pp. 375–378.]
Feb. 19. 1297. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Sir William Stapleton's letter of 18th December 1679 read (ante, No. 1235) and their Lordships' report thereon agreed to (see post, No. 1320). Captain Gilham, accused of taking part in the rebellion of Carolina, called in, as also Lords Shaftesbury and Craven and Sir Richard Temple. The information of Peter Brockwell and Solomen Summers read; Brockwell being sworn cannot say that Gilham did act in the rebellion; Summers deposes that Gilham conferred with the rebels and gave them arms. Thomas Miller deposes that the person who seized him had Gilham's sword, and that other prominent rebels had swords from him also; further, that Gilham detained him on board his ship as a prisoner and received rebels on board. Affidavit of John Taylor read. Gilham replies that he had no conversation with any man except as they were his customers, and says Miller came on board his ship in a hectoring, insolent manner, and was free to leave it as soon as he pleased. Lord Shaftesbury hereupon informs the Board that further information in the matter is expected from Carolina; after which the Lords desire the Lords Proprietors and Commissioners of Customs to confer as to rules for the settlement of the country and the security of the King's Customs, and present such rules to the Board. Captain Gilham warned that he must attend again if summoned. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., pp. 128–130.]
(Feb. 19.) 1298. Papers concerning the rebellion at Carolina read before the Lords of Trade and Plantations:—
1298. i. Affidavit of Edward Cooke, mariner, respecting the trial and acquittal of Thomas Miller, for using treasonable language. Sworn before Major Robert Clayton, 9th February 1679–80.
1298. ii. Affidavit of Henry Crokly, shipwright, to the same effect. Sworn as preceding, 13th February 1679–80. Scrap.
1298. iii. Affidavit of James Swanson of London, to same effect. Sworn as preceding, 13th February 1679–80. Scrap.
1298. iv. Affidavit of Solomon Summers, respecting the rebellion in Carolina. Sworn 31st January 1679–80. 1 p.
1298. v. Affidavit of Henry Hudson. Sworn 16th February 1679–80. 1 p.
1298. vi. Affidavit of Peter Brockwell. Sworn 16th February 1679. 1 p.
1298. vii. Petition of Timothy Biggs to the King, praying for settlement of the Government after the rebellion. Enclosing two following papers. 1679.
1298. viii. Affidavit of Timothy Biggs, confirming a former deposition. Original date 15th August 1679. 2½ pp.
1298. ix. Humble proposals of Timothy Biggs to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina for the improvement of the Colony. Original date 15th August 1679.
1298. x. Answer of Zachariah Gilham to the charges made against him. 1½ pp. Received 19th February 1679–80.
1298. xi. Account of tobacco shipped by Zachariah Gilham for London and Holland from 1677–79. ½ p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIV., Nos. 25 I–XI.]
Feb. 19. 1299. [William Blathwayt] to Mr. Guy. The Lords of Trade and Plantations finding no direct evidence against Zachariah Gilham, he is discharged under an obligation to attend further if required. Meanwhile, the Proprietors of Carolina and Commissioners of Customs are desired by the Lords to agree on some proposal for resettling the Government and for the collection of customs. The Commissioners of Customs are requested to report to the Lords on the matter. Draft. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIV., No. 26.]
Feb. 21. 1300. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Business of Newfoundland resumed from 16th February (ante, No. 1294). 9th Article, of the latter part of the Charter, limiting the transportation of seamen to members of the ship's company or shareholders in the ship only, superseded. 10th Article agreed to. 11th Article postponed. 12th Article, that the Admirals secure and bring to England all offenders in Newfoundland, altered so as to exclude planters and their servants, while still including seamen. 15th Article, for bringing offenders into England, amended in the same spirit. In reply to the "Reasons for the decay of the Fishing Trade" formerly presented to them (see ante, No. 1293), their Lordships order—(1 and 2.) That the masters and seamen of all fishing ships give bond not to destroy or damage their own stages or any other. (3.) That the laws of England be enforced to prevent the destruction of timber and filling up the harbours, also that the bonds given by masters and seamen to the several mayors be returned to the Council, and that they send up certificates to the Board of Trade and Plantations how the conditions have been executed; and that the planters give the like certificates to the Governor, who will transmit them to the Council. After further debate, it was agreed that the planters may have leave to fish during the whole fishing season, and at the same time that the Adventurers do. Agreed that a Governor should be sent to Newfoundland with power to punish the planters and their servants, and also to secure all seamen and other fishermen that offend ashore and send them on board to be punished by the masters or carried to England. Agreed that the restriction on masters to transport none but such as belong to their ships, apply in future only to the Adventurers' fishing ships and Company, and that free liberty be given to all others to go to Newfoundland in what capacity soever. Their Lordships opine further that the Admirals and Vice-Admirals may preserve the peace among the seamen and fishermen ashore, so that they interfere not with the Governor's authority. Ordered, that provision be made to prevent convoys from carrying men belonging to other ships, and from fishing or carrying fish except for their own use. A Petition on behalf of the inhabitants of Newfoundland read, and consideration thereof postponed. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., pp. 131–134.]
Feb. 21.) 1301. Representation of the inhabitants of Newfoundland to Lords of Trade and Plantations. They have never in their former petitions designed the least prejudice to fishery or navigation they desire only the security of the King's property, the advancement of his Customs, and encouragement of the fishery in general. If the King do now make a full settlement of the country, they desire that their servants may be brought to them yearly by freight or hire, according to the practice of the fishing ships, but they conceive it necessary and for the good of all that, as by the violence of the Western Adventurers they have been forced to disperse to twenty different places, the King should reduce them to four, viz., Trinity Harbour, St. John's, Ferryland, and Trepassey, or such other harbours as the Lords may think fit. Thereby not only will the Colony be easily governed, but also enabled to oppose the French, provided St. John's, which is a place easily fortified, be one of the places assigned to them. The inhabitants are willing, for the greater satisfaction of the Western Adventurers, to contain themselves within their present number and possess only their existing stages, provided that their children, as in time they increase, be permitted to erect stages and get an honest livelihood by a trade which is so advantageous to the Kingdom. Signed, William Downing. 1 p. Endorsed, Read 21 Feb., and again 26 Feb. 1679–80. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIV., No. 27.]
Feb. 23.
St Jago de la Vega.
1302. Governor Lord Carlisle to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Were I not well assured of my true regard to the King, and conscious that I have acted duly by the advice of my Council and according to my best discretion, I should be more troubled than I am at the information of my friends of your Lordships' resentment against my proceedings. Ever since my arrival I have carried myself with that caution that by a patient suffering I might gain the better opportunity of generally discovering the humours of those people, who rashly oppose the directions of your Lordships and the pleasure of the King. In pursuance thereof I have removed Colonel Samuel Long from the Chief Justiceship and the Council, and design to bring him with some of the stubbornest of the General Assembly to appear before your Lordships, and receive those reasons for their obedience in England, which they reject as insufficient in Jamaica. I hear that your Lordships are dissatisfied that I should accept a temporary Bill of Revenue. Truly I am not content myself till I consider the inducements of a Treasury not only empty (from Lord Vaughan's refusal to pass a like Bill before his departure) but a thousand pounds in debt. I passed this last Bill from the necessity of supporting the government, which could not otherwise be preserved. Before the Bill of Revenue for six months passed, I had neither the King's orders nor yours. When I afterwards received them, I found the Council very unwilling to raise money without the General Assembly, from their certain apprehensions that many merchants would refuse payment, as of an impost illegally levied. Indeed, they had hinted that they would address the Parliament in England in that behalf. I therefore wrote to Secretary Coventry for such increased powers as would persuade the Council to concur with me, and I dare modestly aver that not one at the Council Board, though most dissatisfied with my proceedings, would have acted otherwise in my place. As to your Lordships' objections against granting four offices in this Island to Mr. John Byndloss, I agree with them, and I beg your Lordships' care that neither fresh grants may be issued to persons resident in England, nor patents renewed to any persons not residing in Jamaica, the contrary practice being inconvenient to the government and unpopular with the people, who are naturally, more here than in other places, averse to strangers. As to your Lordships' remarks on the muster rolls of the two foot companies, I return this answer (a verbatim repetition of that abstracted in the letter next following).
About Christmas arrived here one Captain Francis Mingham from England with an order from your Lordships directed to be shown to Sir Henry Morgan and Mr. Thomas Martin, the ReceiverGeneral, upon a scandalous petition delivered to your Lordships against them. In the main I am well satisfied. Mingham is a very ill man. He took upon him (though there was no mention of me either in the petition or the order) to serve me too, as he had served Sir H. Morgan and Mr. Martin, as if I had been concerned in what he so falsely and maliciously charged them with. His ship was condemned in the Admiralty Court, and sold but for 300l., whereas the petition says 800l., and that it was divided between them, whereas I do not believe that they turned a penny of it to their own use. Sir Henry as Judge of the Admiralty Court has not yet received even his fees, and Mr. Martin has given his share for the building of an Exchange in Port Royal for the encouragement of trade. They are now engaged in a trial with Mingham before the Grand Court, the result of which shall be reported to you as speedily as possible. His Majesty's ship Success is a total wreck, but I have saved her guns, cables, sails, and anchors. I was encouraged to try and recover her by Captain Tosier and by certificates under the hands of the warrant officers of both His Majesty's frigates. (The account of the court-martial as in following letter.)
Postscript.—Since writing the above Mingham's attorney asked me to dissuade Sir Henry Morgan from prosecuting his action, promising a written acknowledgment from Mingham that his petition was false and scandalous. Sir Henry, however, resolved to put it on the country, and the jury has given him 2,000l. damages. Whereby your Lordships may see how easy it is for us at this distance to be reproachfully and scandalously traduced to you, till we are made happy in an opportunity of vindication. Subscribed, Recd. 2 June 1680. 5 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIV., No. 28, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXIX., pp. 389–396.]
Feb. 23.
St. Jago de la Vega.
1303. Governor Lord Carlisle to Secretary Coventry My last news of you was some months since, but I hope for fresh letters by Sir Francis Watson. I have given you repeated accounts of the Assembly's proceedings, so shall not trouble you further with them. Understanding that the Council has shown resentment of some passages in my late management of affairs, I have written their Lordships my reasons and hope that they will be satisfied My last letter told you how I had displaced Colonel Samuel Long from being Chief Justice and one of the Council, and putting Colonel Robert Byndloss in his room, which I judge to be due to him for his steadiness in loyalty. I have since removed one Captain Samuel Bach of Port Royal, merchant, an enemy to the Church and supporter of conventicles in his own house, with Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Barry, a stiff member of the Assembly, and in their places have appointed Lieutenant-Colonel Theodore Cary and Major George Nedham to succeed as assistant judges of the Supreme Court, of whose loyalty and good will to the present form of Government I have had several assurances. I am very anxious for Sir Francis Watson's arrival and accounts from you that I may take new measures for my resolutions, for your disorders at home leave us in great uncertainty here. Their Lordships wonder that I should desire a supply for the two foot companies, though the muster rolls are returned full and are so effectively, It is absolutely necessary at this juncture of the Government, and I took good care that they should be so by filling the death vacancies, which are many since my arrival, with free servants and others. These, after experience of duty and temptation of preferment, are daily importunate for their discharge, which I would most willingly give them had I supplies of good artificers from England to put in their places, who here only live well and improve the Island,—a consideration which may reasonably lead the King to bear the expense of transporting them. I have not myself made any profit or received one farthing of pay from my command of the company, but let my own pay run in credit upon the King that the payment transmitted may give the larger satisfaction.
His Majesty's ship Success is irrecoverably lost. I have saved, I hope, as much of her stores as may discharge the expense of my attempts to recover her. Captain Johnson, her commander, is a very diligent and careful man, though unfortunate in this case, from the unskilfulness of the pilot, and deserves better than to lie under this disaster. The pilot was tried by court-martial on Saturday and was ordered to be whipped on board five several ships on three days one after another, to be imprisoned for twelve months, and to be incapable of even again piloting a King's ship. Two Spanish prisoners have lately arrived, seemingly men of some quality, who were taken prisoners two years and nine months since from Santa Martha, and even since detained hy the French at Petit Guavos in Hispaniola. Two of them, the Dean of Santa Martha and a land captain, I received and dismissed with suitable respect, and permitted them opportunity of a very good passage home. We meet with no such kindness from the Spaniards, who lately took a Bristol ship, called the Trade's Increase, bound hence with sugar, in the latitude of Bermuda, and made with her for Cuba. She was retaken by an English sloop and carried to Petit Guavos where I hear that the Governor had shipped home her oargo, of which I intend to complain. They pretended that she was retaken by a French Commission, on which false foundation the French Government has condemned her. I wrote of this to the Spanish Government of St. Jago in Cuba from whom I have had satisfactory assurance of their disowning the Act by seizing the Spanish vessel which had made the capture on her arrival there, in order to make reparation to the English owners. 3 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 31st May. Read 10th July 1680. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIV., No. 29, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXIX., p. 385.]
Feb. 24.
Port Royal Jamaica.
1304. Sir Henry Morgan to Lords of Trade and Plantations. In obedience to your Lordships' order of 10th October, I transmit the exemplification of the whole trial, which, with the papers and depositions will, I doubt not, prove to your Lordships that the petition of Francis Mingham is false and scandalous, except in the one fact that the ship was condemned. The petition says that she was condemned for two casks of brandy; but it was in reality for two butts of brandy and twenty casks of black cherry brandy which were plainly kept on board to defraud the customs. Other statements are equally false.
It is plain that Mingham makes no conscience of swearing falsely, for he exhibited a bill in the High Court of Justice denying on oath that he had ever delivered the petition or served me with a copy of your Lordships' order, and a little later another bill in part confessing it. There was no malice on my part or Mr. Martin's in the trial before the Admiralty Court as Mingham falsely asserts, nor did covetousness enter into the matter. The office of Judge Admiral was not given me for my understanding of the business better than others, nor for the profitableness thereof, for "I left the schools too young to be a great proficient in either that or other laws, and have been much more used to the pike than the book; and as for the profit there is no porter in this town but can get more money in the time than I got by this trial. But I was truly put in to maintain the honour of the Court for His Majesty's service," without which the Acts of Navigation cannot be enforced for it is hard to find unbiassed juries in the Plantations for such cases. For instance, a ship from Ireland came here with several casks of Irish soap, and was seized by His Majesty's Receiver. The case was tried in the Court of Common Pleas, and the jury found for the defendant with costs. One witness swore that soap was victuals and that one might live upon it for a month, which the jury readily believed and found the aforesaid verdict. I beg your Lordships to believe that if I have erred at all in this matter it has been in judgment only. May God love me no longer than I love justice. (Two closely written pages, the signature and date only in Morgan's hand.) Endorsed, Recd. 23rd June 1680. Read at Committee, 29th June 1680. Annexed,
1304. i. Declaration of the case Sir Henry Morgan versus Francis Mingham, containing the libellous petition complained of. 2 pp.
1304.ii. Francis Mingham's demurrer. 2 pp.
1304.iii. The Defendant's reasons for praying arrest of judgment. 2 pp. (The above all copies.) [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIV., Nos. 30, 30 I.–III.]
Feb. 25. 1305. Abstract of letters from Mr. Randolph and Sir E. Andros. 4th January 1679 Randolph writes that on 30th December he delivered His Majesty's commission for settling New Hampshire with the seal and Order of Council, into the hands of the President, Mr. Cutts is a very just and honest man, cast out of all public employment by the Boston Government, an ancient and infirm man; the people are afraid that they shall be put under the hands of strangers. The Bostoners murmur at the great expenses of their late agents in England, some say nigh 4000l.; grievous complaints are made by the inhabitants of Maine, who in the Indian War found more loss attending them by the cowardice and inadvertency of their church-member-officers than from the cruelty of the Indians themselves; the Boston Government have laid rates on Kittery, York, and Wells to above 3,000l., which they cannot pay, having lost almost all by the late war. The people all the way he travelled (except New Plymouth) were much unsettled, contending about boundaries, everyone supposing he had brought orders for settling their particular colonies. The Boston Government continues to collect customs and coin money. There is hardly one child baptized in Rhode Island, none lately in Maine, few in the other colonies; nothing will be more welcome to the generality than His Majesty's letter requiring that none be admitted to the magistracy or freedom but those that take the oath of supremacy, and that their children be admitted to baptism. Has discoursed with some inhabitants of Maine, who would in a little time advance so much money as the Bostoners have given for it, provided they might be assured of a government settled amongst them, as it was by commission from Mr. Gorges, distinct from any other place. There is an absolute necessity of erecting a great council, chosen out of the chiefest and best of every colony, with a President, to which men may appeal from the several judicatures of each colony, else they will never be quiet, nor then for long, till the King send over a General Governor. A commission for erecting a Court of Admiralty is absolutely necessary, by reason of several prizes brought in thither. 6th January: Two persons in the Commission have very much obstructed the execution of it, Mr. Waldron and Mr. Martin, who have misrepresented His Majesty's orders; it would put these men to a stand if they might know that they may be put out when His Majesty pleased. 7th January: Several privateers are gone thence to the West Indies and are expected home in a short time, which makes the necessity of a Court of Admiralty more urgent. In New Hampshire the Church Party oppose and abuse the honest party by false reports, and at Boston they endeavour to debauch the merchants and loyal men, telling them that their trade will be taken away. 30th December: The inhabitants of Maine have sent over a petition to His Majesty by Captain Champernoon desiring to be under His Majesty's Government, heavily complaining that they are bartered and sold from man to man like slaves in Algiers; the people in New Hampshire are in general highly satisfied with the Commission. 3rd January 1679–80: The Boston merchants persuade themselves that on paying 1d. per lb. for tobacco at Virginia they have liberty to carry it whither they please, and will shortly make proposals to His Majesty about trade. Before Randolph came into the country it was reported that the south bounds of Boston should be reduced to three miles south of Charles River, by which several towns hope to be under New Plymouth; Rhode Island on receipt of His Majesty's letter kept court in the Narragansett country, about which there are contentions concerning government, so that the inhabitants are molested sometimes by one party, sometimes by another; it would be far more conducing to the planting that country if it were a distinct government, it belonging originally to gentlemen of good estates and quality. Mr. Richard Smith who petitioned His Majesty for Hog Island now desires to have the matter referred to New Plymouth, and Rhode Island to be ordered to defend their pretences. 28th January: Great endeavours had been made to disappoint His Majesty's Commission, the Boston Government privately giving all encouragement, and promising to defend their mutineers at the Council Chamber, when their agents attend His Majesty. The President and Council had at length taken the oaths of allegiance and supremacy and entered on the execution of the Commission, confirming all civil and military officers till further care should be taken. The Bostoners after all the protestations by their agents are acting as high as ever, the merchants trading as freely, no ship or parcel of goods having been seized for irregular trading, although they did in 1677 make a second law to prevent it. It is in every man's mouth that they are not subject to the laws of England, neither are they of any force till confirmed by their authority. 4th January: It is proposed that all in public office take the oath of allegiance, and none to act or vote refusing it, and that all men taking the same be admitted to freedom and magistracy if of competent estates. Requests some allowance for his extraordinary expenses. 5th February; Expects to do little good to regulate the trade till he has an Order of Council that no ship pass by the Castle without a certificate of clearing from him. 11th February: Necessary to have his authority passed under the Great Seal of England, and to have added to his instructions to erect a custom-house for masters of ships according to the statute of II. Elizabeth to enter their ships and goods and receive their despatches. If the Commissioners of the Customs write to their West plantations abroad and to the ports in England to prohibit trade to such vessels who do not bring a clearing from him or his deputies in the colonies, it will soon make them comply. His Majesty may make short work of them by bringing a quo warranto against them, and then they will beg that on their knees which now they will not thank him for. There are thousands in all parts unbaptised. The General Court is up, having done nothing, as he hears, as to His Majesty's letters. 11th February: Desires that his commission for swearing the Governor of Boston be restored to him, and an extraordinary allowance for his winter travels, that the commission for making him Collector be for life; is certainly informed that there will be no more agents sent over. 24th February: Is promised by sufficient merchants there to deposit the money for the purchase of Maine, and on such terms as it may be for the benefit of the poor distressed inhabitants. Whatever is professed at Court by letters or agents is only to baffle and put off the evil day. There was certainly more difficulty in the commission of New Hampshire than in a quo warranto. 25th February: Might have saved the King 10,000 lbs. of goods, had he but his instructions under the Great Seal. Can expect to do little till his Majesty's Commission is sent over. It were most proper to convince the people by some public Act or declaration that they are to obey His Majesty's commands without the sanction of the Bostoners; witness the commission under the Great Seal, demurred upon till known whether it did not entrench on their charter. It would be for His Majesty's service that a quo warranto were sent over or a printed declaration that all persons of estates rateable at 10s. on a single rate, having taken the oath of allegiance shall be, ipso facto, freemen, and that all such who are already freemen, not having such an estate, be declared no freemen. 24th February: The inhabitants of Dover and Portsmouth have not taken the oath of allegiance, as required in His Majesty's letter of 29th April 1678, but were continued under tho oath of fidelity to that country. Desires a commission under the Great Seal, &c.
Sir E. Andros' letters. 14th February 1679, New York: All continues quiet and well, with hopes of a good trade that year; intended to go in the spring to Pemaquid to settle the government there as far as Black Point, which was surrendered by the Indians; there was no fear of the Indians there, but rather the contrary, the French of Canada drawing them too much to their devotion, and inducing as many as they can to remove to Canada, the consequence whereof may import them much. Ib., 16th February: Has concluded an honourable peace between the Indians and Christians of Virginia and Maryland; has repaired and impregnably fortified the port of New York and the city. 11 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIV., No. 31.]
Feb. 26. 1306. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Business of Newfoundland resumed (see ante, No. 1300). Agreed that it is undesirable for the Governor to have further power over the men belonging to the Adventurers or Sack ships than to send them on board to their masters; also that Planters be forbidden to keep buildings, other than necessary for the fishery, orchards or gardens within a quarter of a mile of the shore, lest the fishery be thereby disturbed; also that the fortification of St. John's be first undertaken and the King advised to grant guns and ammunition; also that the mayors of each fishing port in England be directed to require the journals prescribed by the Western Charter of the Admirals of their respective harbours, all of the Admirals except one having failed to comply with this direction; also that, in view of the abuses pointed out by Mr. Hinton (see below) circular letters be addressed to the mayors of the western towns directing them to take effectual care that the Western Charter be observed in all such particulars as are not superseded by the King's order, also that the Governor be instructed to report to the Council what has become of the great guns left by Sir David Kirke. In view of the effect of the intended regulations of the Newfoundland fishery upon the King's Customs, the Commissioners of Customs are desired to inspect the papers and report to the Lords of Trade and Plantations on Monday next, when Mr. Downing will be present to say on behalf of the inhabitants what contribution they will furnish for the maintenance of the Governor; the captains of convoys are also directed to attend at the same time. Sir William Stapleton's letter containing his negotiation with the Count de Blenac read, and report thereon considered (see post, No. 1320). [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., pp. 134–138].
[Feb. 26.] 1307. Observations on Newfoundland by William Hinton. The harbours that are most naturally fortified, best inhabited, and require least charge to secure, are St. John's, Carbonere, Salvadie, Ferryland, Renoore, Queue de Vide. The guns and small arms required for each are specified. A list of "Some proposals offered for the Governor to observe":—(1) Erection of a place for public worship. (2) Baptism of unbaptized children. (3) Confirmation by a minister of marriages not solemnised by a minister. (4) Preservation of stores left by fishing ships. (5) Care for the proper curing of fish, that provided by the West Country Adventurers often proving ill-preserved. (6) Punishment of those drunken idle people that go into the woods and by taking of tobacco and carelessly blowing out their coal have many times set great quantities of wood on fire. (7) Preservation of timber by forbidding the barking of trees. (8) Preservation of cod-fry by forbidding the unseasonable use of "Lant" seines. (9) Preservation of stages, boats, &c., and provision that the stages of the West Country Adventurers that cannot be left standing during the winter owing to the ice, be taken down before the departure of the ships. (10) Prohibition of throwing press-stones or ballast into the harbours. (11) Prohibition of tippling houses without the Government's license. (12) The Council to consist of six inhabitants only, with the captains of the King's convoys during the fishing season, and the Admiral and Rear-Admiral of the harbour if they choose to come. (13) Public Acts to be registered and sent home annually. (14) Possessions of the Inhabitants to be respected, and the fishing room not used by them to be freely enjoyed by the West Country Adventurers. (15) Equal justice and good friendship to be maintained between the fishermen, the inhabitants, and the west country fishermen. (16) Endeavours to be made to retrieve the beaver trade now carried on by the French owing to English ill-treatment of Indians. (17) No impost to be laid on west-country fishing ships. (18) Masters of west-country ships to be forbidden to send their men to New England, as is frequently done to save the expense of their passage home, whereby the King loses many able seamen. (19) Due care to be taken that the King's duties be paid on goods brought from foreign countries, salt excepted. (20) Enquiry to be made what became of the great guns left by Sir David Kirke. (21) Inhabitants to be forbidden to build or plant orchards on any ground where tish may be cured or dried. Signed, Will. Hinton. 2 pp. Endorsed, "Read 26 Feb., 1679–80." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIV., No. 32.]