America and West Indies: May 1680, 1-12

Pages 521-524

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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May 1680, 1–12

May 1
1349.Governor Winslow to Mr. Secretary Coventry. Acknowledges letter of 26th September 1679 by Mr. Randolph, informing him of the King's acceptance of their letters of 1st July 1679. Thanks him for his favour; believes that the Colony is of as loyal a spirit as any of His Majesty's Plantations. Was unhappy in the miscarriage of his first letters and address, copies of which were sent last year, which are now under consideration of the Committee for Trade and Plantations; the timely receipt of the letters might have prevented the suspension they are under of settling Mounthope, occasioned by Mr. John Crown's petition. Requests him to be the King's remembrancer on their behalf, as they now have and opportunity to settle a trading plantation there by merchants and others of Boston of good estate. The letters were delivered to Mr. Ashurst of London, merchant, and by him delivered to Winslow's wife's brother, Major Waldegrave Pelham, an Essex gentleman, of Ferriers Hall in Bewers (?). Was very unwilling because of their relation to have named him, but has twice written to him very plainly and advised him to frame the best excuse he could for his neglect and yet to deliver them, but he will not give a word in answer, though they might be obtained on His Majesty's order. Cannot but entreat favour for him (notwithstanding besides this injury he detains from his sister above 1,000l. due to them as legacies by her father and grandfather, he being both heir and executor). Has drawn up and encloses a brief answer to the queries directed to him; has not sent a copy of their charter, because they have not had a General Court, without whose advice it would have been ill taken. Believes they will send some one to wait on His Majesty with it. Mr. Randolph has seen the original, and plainly understands it to take in great part of the Narragansett country, but His Majesty's pleasure in these matters shall quiet them, who desire not to be more great than good. Signed, Josiah Winslow. Endorsed, Recd. 30th June 1680 from the E. of Sunderland. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIV., No. 55.] Enclosed,
1349. i. Answer to the Inquiries of the Committee for Trade and Plantations about New Plymouth, in reference to the government, courts of judicature, number of soldiers, trade, &c. They have 1,200 listed men, from 16 to 60, mostly foot, but a trained band in every town; no trade beyond the seas; they have 14 small towns, in most of them good preachers and comely churches, and the sacraments administered to persons of various persuasions; their commodities are fish, provision, grain, horses, shiptimber, tar, hemp, flax, and a great store of iron; have no commodities imported directly, but have all their supplies from Massachusetts; very few slaves except Indian women and boys taken in the late war; no blacks brought thither, some few are brought to Boston, who are valued at from 20l. to 30l.; the number of blacks there is few, and of them fewer breeders; the English and other Indians increase very much, in seven years 800 children have been born, who are or may be christened if their parents' scruples do not obstruct; there have been 450 marriages in the last seven years and 546 deaths, more than at other times, owing to the Indian war and the small-pox. Most men there are freeholders, few tenants; incomes of 2,000l. are rare among them; no vessels, but scallops and fishing ketches; want of men of estate and skill to manage the trade and of good harbours for shipping; the obstructions to trade would be removed if Mounthope were settled on them and the Colony made a free port; no duties on imports or exports and no public revenue except 30l. a year by the rent of a fishing-place, employed towards the support of grammarschools; of those who are seriously religious the Congregational men are the greatest number, some Baptists and some Quakers, to all of whom equal respect is paid, except the Quakers, and they are not disturbed except they disturb the peace. The people are instructed in the Christian religion by good preaching in every plantation, by catechizing the youth in families, schools, and sometimes in churches; have for the most part in every town a good minister and church, maintained by their own people by rate or contribution; the poor and impotent are maintained by the town to which they belong, and so comfortably provided for that they have no beggars and suffer no idle vagabonds. Signed, Josiah Winslow. 6 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIV., No. 551., and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXI., pp. 56–61.]
May 2.
About 5 leagues from the Capes.
1350. Governor Lord Culpeper to [William Blathwayt]. After a most tedious passage full of death, scurvy, and calentures, we are in eleven weeks and two days arrived within soundings of Virginia, and being now within sight of three ships that appear to be bound to England I write such details as time permits. The King's affairs in the Colony will so infinitely suffer from the unwarrantable supine remissness of Captain Younge in the hired (ship) James that I cannot give you an idea of the inevitable inconvenience should he not be come. And if he be, I am resolved that a man that hath so wretchedly, cowardly, and basely disobeyed both myself and Captain Mason (from whom he had positive orders to sail before us) shall never serve the King under me. Till I got on board the Oxford frigate on the 13th February I thought him gone before, and then you know what a noise would have been raised against me, both at the Exchange and the Council Board, if such a great and considerable fleet, so long wind-bound, had been delayed on my account. By my resolution to put the King's interest first, I left most of my servants in the James, that we might be stronger in case of meeting with Canary, and took some of the best of my company in their place. I am glad of it, for I have reason to fear that the Building and Cantonizing Act exploded last year on the first hearing, nemine contradicente, will be strongly driven in again here, and I am sure that if I had had two companies I could have saved the pretence of it by putting them in the service, and that more effectually. The bearer, Captain Jeffreys, in the Golden Fortune is just come on board, and assures me that all is well in Virginia. I beg that the hired James with the residue of my company and servants may be despatched to me with all speed. You shall hear everything after I am arrived. Holograph. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIV., No. 56, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXX., pp. 377–379.]
May 5.
Council Chamber.
1351. Order of the King in Council. Report of 27th April (ante, No. 1348). Mr. Secretary Jenkins to communicate with the Dutch ambassador and the British envoy in Holland, and endeavour to procure the withdrawal of the English from Surinam on the same terms as were granted in 1675. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIV., No. 57, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVI., pp. 424, 425.]
May 8.
1352. Governor Peleg Sanford to William Blathwayt. Enclosing replies to the Committee's enquiries from Rhode Island, and a letter to the King from the General Assembly. Endorsed, "Recd. 30 June 1680." 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIV., No. 58.] Enclosed,
1352. i. Answers to 27 enquiries of the Committee for Trade and Plantations, on government, trade, &c. Militia consists of 10 companies of foot; have nine towns or divisions; export horses and provisions, and import a small quantity of Barbadoes goods for supply of their families; have above 500 planters and about 500 men besides; there may be about 200 whites and blacks born in a year, and about 50 marriages a year; 455 burials in the last seven years. They have no merchants, but most of the colony live comfortably by improving the wilderness; great want of men of considerable estates; there are no customs on imports or exports. Baptists and Quakers are the most that publicly congregate together, but there are others of divers persuasions who all enjoy their liberties; know of no Papist among them. Leave every man to walk as God shall persuade their hearts and to have liberty to frequent any meetings of worship; have no beggars and vagabonds, and for lame and importent persons a due course is taken. Their predecessors forty years since left their native country because they could not in their private opinions conform to the liturgy, forms, and ceremonies of the Church of England, and transported themselves over the ocean seas to dwell in this remote wilderness that they might enjoy their liberty in their opinions. They on application to His Majesty obtained a charter full of liberty of conscience, in which there is liberty for any persons that will at their charges build churches and maintain "such as are called ministers" without the least molestation. Endorsed, "Recd. 30 June 1686." 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIV., No. 58 I., and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXI., p. 67.]
May 11. 1353. Minute of Council of Barbadoes. Ordered, that Solomon Eccles be committed to the custody of the Provost Marshal for public speaking and uttering blasphemous and seditious language as deposed to before Samuel Husbands, Justice of the Peace, and that John Hallett, Treasurer of the Island, who prosecuted him under the Act "To prevent the people called Quakers from bringing negroes to their meetings." [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XL., p. 314.]
May 12. 1354. Journal of Assembly at Barbadoes. But six members being present, the House after waiting till three o'clock in the afternoon adjourned to 9th June. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XIII., p. 388.]