1418. Governor Sir William Stapleton to Lords of Trade and
Plantations. My most grateful thanks for your care of the
Leeward Islands, and for the 1,500l. for the fortifications. How
short this sum will fall even to pay the masons I leave to your
Lordships' consideration. The forts must be large enough to hold
1,000 men at least. If you would procure the bestowal of the
4½ per cent. duty on the erection and repair of forts (which was
the purpose for which it was originally designed) you would
infinitely oblige the inhabitants. A frigate in time of peace and a
squadron of ships in time of war, are, as I have frequently reported,
an absolute necessity to us, owing to our neighbours the French.
No less a person than the Vice-Admiral of France has been here
for three years in succession, and he is now once more expected,
if not already arrived at the Cul-de-sac at Martinique. The
Deptford I hope is long since arrived, and has mediated for the
supply of a good frigate. As my duty demands, I shall vindicate
the King's honour to the last drop of my blood, but hardly a week
passes but some proud Frenchman or other comes by and will
neither salute nor lower topsails until forced to it, or compelled to
bear off by our guns, which is a great charge in powder and ball,
though not to be grudged did the shots take effect. We want halfa-dozen of the longest sackers, and I humbly suggest that your
Lordships should precure them for us. Our grievances against
the French having been laid by the King before the French
Ambassador, we must patiently wait the issue thereof. I declare
and protest that the pretence of the French judge about a Dutch
ship bringing goods to St. Christopher's is, as I reported in my
last, utterly groundless. The ship William and Edward having
been restored to its present owners, pray direct that no claim be
made for its restitution. Had it not been delivered I should have
attempted no forcible reprisal without orders. We note the King's
order for quarterly returns and reports from the Governor and
Council jointly. Respecting the orders concerning appointments, I
never disposed of any place for lucre or gain while such stood in
my power, and before the King granted them by patent. The
Secretary's and Marshal's are the only places of any profit, both of
which are granted to the King for three lives to Captain James
Cotter, and are by him let out at annual rent to two persons in
each Island. Captain Joseph Crispe has the Escheator's place; I
beg for instruction how far the power of that office may extend.
There is a Receiver, or as some call him Treasurer, appointed
pro hac vice and not by commission, to keep an account of what
is levied for maintenance of four gunners and twenty-two soldiers,
who guard the ordnance, and for any public charges. In my
answer to the inquiries I gave full account of all public offices and
places of trust, but I now annex an account thereof, excepting
the names of the younges officers of Militia, which I cannot yet
furnish accurately. There is no office disposed of for gain, nor has
any Magistrate more than his labour for his reward, except the
Deputy Governors, to whom the country, if they be acceptable,
presents once a year what it can or what it thinks fit. The
Secretary's and Marshal's places are the only two fit for the
Governor's disposal, they being immediate servants to execute his
trust, but they are most fit for the King's, since it is so already
ordered. The truth is that the grant of offices by Patent lessens
authority and causes neglect in the officers. Eight sail passed by
this Island at three leagues distance at daybreak on Saturday 27th
June, and went to leeward of St. Eustatius about 8. the same
morning. I am since assured that this was Count d'Estrées and
M. Gabaret, in two very considerable ships, with six frigates. I
have the King's orders from Newmarket to seize all interlopers,
ships and other goods, and help the agents of the Royal African
Company, whose complaint was the reason of the order. I beg your
Lordships instructions how to act in cases where there is resistance,
or a man defends his own. I am aware that it is my duty to
defend the King's perogative, but the law takes hold of any
violent act of bloodshed, without which people will not part with
that which is their own. I never refuse any warrant for seizure, or
assistance when I may safely give it. We have had one man
murdered already in one such quarrel, account of the trial enclosed.
Holograph. Endorsed, Recd. 15th October 1680. 3½ pp. [Col.
Papers, Vol. XLV., No. 33; and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVI.,
pp. 439–443.] Encloses,
1418. i. "A list of the present public offices of the Leeward
Walter Symonds, Esq., Judge of the several Sessions
held twice a year; also of the monthly Court held in
the precinct of St. George or Figtree Point.
Sir James Russell, Kt., Judge of St. James, his parish,
vulgarly and commonly called the Windward Court.
Nicholas Raynsford, Esq., Judge of a monthly Court
Daniel Lanhather, Esq., Judge of St. Thomas, his
The above four are the Justices of the Peace also of the
Thomas Fenton, Secretary (with clerks).|
Cæsar Rodeney, Marshal, with a deputy.
The Secretary and Marshal or their deputies attend all the
Colonel Sir James Russell's regiment of foot.
Lieutenant-Colonel John Smith.
Major John Netheway (on furlough in England).
Captain Edward Earles.
Captain John Edy.
Captain Robert Choppin.
Captain Griffin Brookes.
Colonel Daniel Lanhather's regiment of foot:—|
Lieutenant-Colonel William Burtt.
Major Robert Hamon.
Captain Edward Bridge water.
Captain Charles Pym.
Captain Joseph Jory.
Captain William Mannin.
Sir James Russell as eldest Colonel commands both
regiments. "The weakness of the number of soldiers
makes an odd company in each regiment."|
Troop of Horse:—|
Captain Michael Smith.
Lieutenant Cæsar Rodeney.
Cornet Francis Burton.
Joseph Martin, Collector of the 4½ per cent. duty in
all the Islands. He is appointed by the farmers
and has sub-collectors in the other Islands.
Captain John Edy, Controller and Surveyor of the
Customs, or duty on the growth of the Plantations.
Abednego Mathew, Deputy Governor, Colonel of all the
Militia, Captain of one of the standing Companies,
Judge of the Sessions.
John Estridge, Judge of the Windward Court, and
Justice of the Peace, precinct of Capesterre.
Joseph Crispe, Justice of the Peace in Cayonne and
Justice Willet, Justice of the Peace at Palmeto Point.
Major Elrington, Justice of the Peace at Sandy Point.
Captain Jeaffreson, Justice of the Peace at the Road.
James Cole, Secretary (with a deputy).
Francis Kery, Marshal (with a deputy).
The Regiment of Foot:—|
Colonel Abednego Mathew.
Lieutenant-Colonel John Crook.
Major Roger Elrington.
Captain Joseph Crispe.
Captain Ralph Willet.
Captain Christopher Jeaffreson.
The Troop of Horse:—|
Captain Robert Nesmith.
Captain James Cotter, Deputy Governor; and Judge
of the Sessions, with the Council for Assistants.
Peter Cove, Judge of the Windward Court, late
commander in Montserrat.
David Gallway, Judge and Justice of the Peace,
Daniel Meagher, Secretary.
Captain Thomas Nugent, Marshal.
Militia:—One Regiment of Foot.|
Colonel James Cotter.
Lieutenant-Colonel John Cormicke.
Major David Gallway.
Captain John Devereux.
Captain John Bramly.
Captain John Symmes.
Captain Nicholas Meade.
Captain Thomas Roche.
Captain Philip Meagher.
Valentine Russell, Esq., Deputy Governor and Judge
of the Sessions of the peace and gaol delivery.
Paul Lee, Esq., Assistant to Mr. Russell in precinct of
Chalmouth, Judge of Common Pleas and Nisi Prius,
and Justice of the Peace.
William Barnes, Esq. Assistant in the Precinct of
St. John, Judge of Common Pleas and Nisi Prius.
John Ley, Secretary (the Registrar's office is distinct
from the Secretary's).
Henry Symmes, Marshal.
Colonel Rowland Williams's Regiment of Foot.
Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Aires.
Mayor William Barnes.
Captain John Winthrop.
Captain Paul Lee.
Captain Moyl Johnson.
Captain Archibald Cockram.
Colonel James Vaughan's Regiment of Foot:—|
Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Mallet.
Mayor Jeremy Watkins.
Captain J. Thomas.
Captain Samuel Jones.
Captain John Vernon.
Captain Joseph Fry,
Captain Abraham Howell, Deputy Governor, Judge,
Justice of the Peace. There being few people there
are few or no other Magistrates. Secretary, Thomas
Bushell; Marshal, anyone appointed by the Governor
to serve his precepts, which are few, there being little
Captain Peter Batterie, in command. Few people and
little business, and so no occasion for plurality of
offices, civil or military.
Saba and Tortola.|
The same applies to these.
There being but some few servants belonging to those
who have leased it from Lord Willoughby to look
after a stock of horses, mares, cattle and sheep, there
is only a bailie or a steward.
The whole in Stapleton's handwriting. Endorsed, Rec.
15 Oct. 1680. 6 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLV.,
No. 33 I.]|
1419. Sir J. Werden to Sir E. Andros, desiring him to enable
Mr. Lewen, either by himself or a magistrate, to tender an oath
to any persons whom he may desire to examine. ½ p. [Col. Entry
Bk., Vol., LXX., p. 32b.]
1420. Warrant of the Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica in
Council to the Provost-Marshal for the arrest of certain pirates
who have lately plundered the town of Portobello, and have left
Jamaica for the purpose of working with privateers. [Col. Papers,
Vol. XLV., No. 34.]
1421. Governor Winslow to the King. Acknowledges receipt
of His Majesty's letter of 12th January 1679–80, declaring his
donation of Mounthope and his intention to grant them a new
charter. Intends very speedily to send some person or persons to
wait on His Majesty with their old and imperfect grant. 1 p. [Col.
Papers, Vol. XLV., No. 35, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXI.,
1422. Journal of House of Burgesses of Virginia. Message of
the Governor to the House recommending grant of 15,000 lbs. of
tobacco to Henry Hartwell, Clerk of Council. Answer of the House
suggesting 10,000 lbs. Amendments of the Council in the Act for
towns considered. Several minor propositions agreed to. Bill about
laws agreed to. As to the Bill for prohibiting export of money, the
Governor and Council insist that the best way of doing it is by
address to the King.
Address from the House to the Governor, that but 10,000 lbs. has
been voted to Henry Hartwell. Answer of the Governor that he
hopes the House will remember Hartwell, and also Colonel Jones
another time. Address to the Governor thankfully accepting his offer
to receive 150l. in discharge of all expenses incurred by him for the
Colony in London, and begging his acceptance of 500l., a poor gift
but the best that the county can afford for his endeavours on its
Order by the Governor appointing Colonel Philip Ludwell and
Major Richard Lee to be of a Committee to draw up the addresses
to the King.
Order of the Governor respecting a question of houses for
Mr. Auditor Bacon and Mr. Lee.
Assembly adjourned to 15th February 1681. [Col. Entry Bk.,
Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 88–94.]
1423. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Petition of Benjamin
Hatcher considered. His Excellency communicated his instructions
to the Council, showing His Majesty's high displeasure with the
representation made by the Assembly in 1677. The Council excuse
it by pointing out that this representation was not made until the
Assembly had been provoked by the high-handed behaviour of the
King's late commissioners in seizing their records. And whereas
the King charges the Council to find out the authors and abettors
of this offence against His Majesty, the Council begs the Governor
rather to let the matter pass (for they have shown all goodwill
and obedience to his Excellency) than rip up several things not
fitted to be insisted on, until His Majesty shall signify his opinion
to the contrary. His Excellency also submitted to the Council the
Royal Instructions to repeal the Act limiting the times of receipt
and payment of public tobacco. The Council advise his Excellency
not to repeal it till certain clauses which ought to be continued be
provided for; so likewise respecting two more Acts which are
ordered to be repealed. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 38–44.]
1424. Sir Henry Morgan to Lords of Trade and Plantations.
I have received your letter of 8th April last (ante, No. 1340) respecting
the assigning of Captain Brayne's bond to the attorneys of the Dutch
West India Company here, and other matters. I summoned a Council
wherein everything was done for the prompt execution of your
Lordships' orders and several warrants sent out for the apprehension
of privateers and their accomplices. I beg your Lordships' consideration of this latter business which greatly concerns the trade
and prosperity of the Island. We have promise of a good season
which has been rare of late years. Lord Carlisle will doubtless
have given you full information as to the state of the Government.
Signed. Inscribed, Recd. and read 10th September 1680. 2 pp.
[Col. Papers, Vol. XLV., No. 36, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXIX.
1425. Sir Henry Morgan to Lord Sunderland. Acknowledgments
as in foregoing letter. Presently after Lord Carlisle's departure
there anchored just outside range of our guns a French privateer
(as we have reason to conjecture) which, under pretence of a French
commission, and of being manned with French subjects, sent a boat
into harbour to ask leave to take wood and water. I readily consented, provided that, like other friends, she came into harbour. As
she refused to do this and remained still at anchor I sent off to order
her to depart, which she accordingly did; but having notice that she
had entertained many runaways and debtors off this Island contrary
to law, I at once despatched orders to all points along the shore
where I thought she might touch, to demand delivery of all English
subjects; but she escaped me. At Yallagh's bay, some ten leagues
to windward of this port, she had sent a boat ashore with twentyfour armed men before my orders arrived. Their jealousy is a
sufficient argument of their being offenders. Their coming armed
on shore is not to be suffered, and I intend to complain thereof by
first opportunity to the French Governor of Hispaniola, whence the
French privateers generally get their commissions. We are
not less troubled with privateers belonging to this Island.
Strict orders for their arrest were issued by Lord Carlisle before
his departure and by myself since, and some of their men having
been taken, who are now in prison awaiting trial, the rest are
alarmed, and not daring to enter any of our ports, keep on the
wing until they can find some place to settle on. I much fear that
this may occasion the loss of many men to this Island, but it can
only be prevented by the continual attendance of some nimble small
frigate in coasting round the Island and surprising the privateers.
Their numbers are increased by the necessitous and unfortunate,
and they are encouraged by the security of the Spaniards and
their pusillanimity under all their plenty. Nothing can be more
fatal to the prosperity of this Colony than the temptingly alluring
boldness and success of the privateers, which draws off white
servants and all men of unfortunate or desperate condition. I
spare no care to put down this growing evil, having lately granted a
special commission for the trial of several runaway whites who fired
in a body at a party sent to apprehend them. These privateers
discourage the Spaniards from private trade with us, which would
otherwise be considerable. This Colony in a short time would
gratefully answer the expense to which the King would be at in
countenancing it. Signed. Endorsed, Read in Council, 10th September 1680. [Col. Papers, Vol XLV., No. 37, and Col. Entry
Bk., Vol. XXIX., pp. 416–418.]
1426. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. The
Barbadoes Act for encouragement of importing gold and silver
coin read. The Lords will consider whether the clause prohibiting
the export of coin be not prejudicial to England. Sir George
Downing to be consulted on this particular. [Col. Entry Bk.,
Vol. CVI., p. 180.]
1427. Lords of Trade and Plantations to Governor Sir Jonathan
Atkins. We have at length received the satisfaction of your letter
of 26th March, (ante, No. 1334) with its enclosures, in answer to ours
of 4th July last. On perusal thereof it has occurred to us that our
frequent instances for your transmission of the laws could in no matter
want effect by reason of the conspiracy of the negroes, hurricanes,
or any formalities of the Government, since it was not the making
of new laws which we urged, but the transmission of such as were
in force, not only for the King's confirmation or disallowance, but
also for our own information. Nor can we apprehend how the
rebellion of Virginia or the memory of Sir George Ayscough's
expedition could reasonably hinder you from answering our
expectations in a manner, which is not only essential to all
Government, but void of all kind of exceptions or offence. And
as to the laws sent, as you mention, by two several expresses, we
have already observed to you that most of them were expiring
before their arrival, and therefore incapable of the King's approbation. It is, indeed, very strange that you did not imagine the
circumstance of time was so material to the confirmation of necessary
laws, nor can we direct you better therein than by referring you
to the plain letter of your Commission, which provides that no
law shall be in force for more than two years unless confirmed by
the King within that time. As for the important Act of the
Militia, we know well that it was always of late years limited to
a few months, and the Acts of Revenue likewise. It is not easy
for us to believe at present, whatever assurance you may give us,
that you have transmitted all the laws, since we find in the last
parcel thereof the Act of Militia dated 1st October 1678 limited
to the last day of March following, and none other transmitted
since that time, and we were so far from blaming your continuance
of that law that we were only sorry to see it tied up and determined
to so short a time.
If the taking the number of the negroes excites such apprehensions, it is because it happens so seldom, whereas we expect
it to be frequently done by your order, whereby all suspicions will
be removed. As to the Act for taking the Oaths of Supremacy
and Allegiance, we never blamed you for passing it, but told you
that we thought it might be necessary; but we could not therefore
hold you excused for not transmitting it. We are much surprised
to find the Militia, horse and foot, reduced to 5,588, the more so,
since your letter of 3rd February 1675 told us that the foot alone
were 8,000 men, exclusive of horse and dragoons. The number of
inhabitants according to your lists is but 5,504, which we attribute
to the omission of the women and children. This is vastly different
from your first computation of 21, 722, so that we desire your
amendment therein. It is no less strange that you give us a list
of 51 ships which have laden the enumerated commodities from
April 1678 to October 1679, since we are well informed that more
than 200 ships trade annually to Barbadoes, all of which carry
some of the enumerated commodities if not entirely laden with the
same. You say you can give us no certain amount of the goods
entered throughout the Island, there being no custom house, and
all ships making their entries at the Naval Office. You will
transmit to us by first opportunity those entries in the Naval
Office, and direct the officer further to furnish us quarterly with
the names, burden, and guns of all ships, and the species and
quantity of all goods exported and imported. We do not wish the
laws already sent to us to be again transcribed for the affixing of
the seal, but that all laws sent for the future may be authenticated
thereby. Nor do we refuse to receive the proceedings of the
Sessions, but we were sorry to find them alone presented to us,
while more important papers were omitted. You tell us that the
Propositions recommended by the Assembly to Sir Peter Colleton
and Colonel Drax were never confirmed by yourself and the
Council, without which we esteem all proceedings very improper
and irregular. To assert the character that you bear in the
Government we called both these gentlemen before us, and Sir
Peter Colleton, who alone was in town, assured us that he understood those Propositions to have been confirmed by the Governor
and Council. We inform you of this, that the matter may be
explained, and your credit vindicated by us. As to the vacancy
in the Council, we desire you to inform us whether you think
Mr. Francis Bond or Mr. Alexander Ruddock well qualified to fill
it. Signed, Anglesey, Clarendon, L. Jenkins, Radnor, Sunderland,
Worcester. 3½ pp. [Col. Papers. Vol. XLV., No. 38, and Col.
Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 7–10.]|
1428. Journal of Assembly of Barbadoes. Election of William
Sharpe as Speaker pro tempore, Colonel Guy being absent through
sickness. Bill of Replevins returned by the Council, and a Bill
in substitute thereof with it. Bill passed.
Explanatory Bill of the Act for securing the possession of negroes
and slaves passed. Adjourned to 3rd August. [Col. Entry Bk.,
Vol. XIII., pp. 392, 393.]
1429. Answer of Thomas Martin, Receiver General of Jamaica,
to the complaint of Francis Mingham, addressed to Lords
of Trade and Plantations in obedience to Order in Council of
10th October 1679. Mingham came to Port Royal about the
6th of December 1678 and not having made due entry of his ship
and cargo according to law, with evident design to defraud the
King's Customs, his ship was seized by Martin as the law directs.
But Martin utterly denies Mingham's allegations of malice and
collusion with Sir Henry Morgan, or that the ship was sold for
800l. and the sum divided between him and Sir Henry Morgan.
The ship was sold for 300l. to Mingham and the proceeds divided
according to law, a third to the King, a third to the Governor, and
a third to Martin himself, the prosecutor. So far from making
any profit out of the seizure Martin freely gave his share towards
the building of an Exchange in Port Royal. Martin therefore
trusts that their Lordships will hold him guiltless of the crime
imputed by Mingham, and show some mark of disfavour to Mingham
for his conduct. Signed. Inscribed, Recd. July 7, 1680. 2 pp.
[Col. Papers, Vol. XLV., No. 39.]
1430. Petition of Thomas Miller to the King. Complains of
the deplorable condition of himself and of other inhabitants of
Albemarle, under the present usurped Government of the rebels,
and prays that their petitions may be heard in Council or be
referred to the Committee of Trade for examination before the
departure of the Governor, who will be sent over by the Lords
Proprietors. Endorsed with a reference to the Committee of Trade,
14th July, before whom this petition was read on 19th July, and
also on 20th November following. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLV.,
Green Spring (Virginia).
1431. Proclamation by Governor Lord Culpeper repealing six
Acts of Assembly, viz., of free pardon, of attainder, of inflicting pains
and penalties, for relief of persons who suffered loss by the late
rebels, concerning servants who were out in rebellion, and for
delivery of stray horses; His Majesty (finding them unfit to be
longer continued) having commanded the repeal of all of them.
Endorsed with memoranda by Lord Culpeper as to the supposed
discovery of diamond and copper mines at Rappahannock and silver
mines near Boston. Copy. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLV.,
1432. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Advice of the Council
to substitute the King's soldiers for those of the country in
certain garrisons, also that additional ministers may be asked of
the Bishop of London, four next shipping and two every succeeding
year after. Appointment of five officers recommended, to raise men
in case of any attack of Indians on the frontier. Unanimous vote
that the King be asked to furnish a war vessel of at least sixty
tons, and ten guns for defence of the coast. Recommended that
an Agent for the Colony reside near the Court in England on
salary of 120l. per annum. Regulations for collection of taxes.
Proposal that power be vested in the Governor and Council to levy
in emergency a contribution of 20 lbs. of tobacco per poll without
calling the Assembly, owing to the expense of calling the Assembly
together. The Governor requested to represent this to the King.
[Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 44–49.]
1433. Governor Lord Culpeper to [Secretary Coventry]. Has
desired Colonel Spencer to write at large as he himself will next
week. Has, not without some difficulties, passed all the Acts sent
from England except a proviso or two added at the end of
that of the Revenue, to repeal former laws not mentioned therein
for fear of raising double impositions, and has adjourned the
Assembly to the 15th of February next. Thinks all things are in
good order, the low price of tobacco staggers him notwithstanding,
the continuance of it will be the fatal and speedy ruin of this noble
Colony without the application of a remedy. Has some addresses
from the Assembly, and a narrative of all his transactions, which
he will send very suddenly. "Received 8 Sept., 1680." Holograph.
[Col. Papers, Vol. XLV., No. 42, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXX.,
pp. 385, 386.]
1434. Colonel Nicholas Spencer to Mr. Secretary Coventry.
The Assembly has been suddenly summoned by Lord Culpeper.
I send herewith several Acts and Orders together with an Address
to the King imploring his grant for a cessation of planting tobacco
in the year 1681, a request which seems to imply such a diminution
of the Customs as to carry its own denial. Tobacco, our sole
manufacture, is through over-production so under foot that it will
be impossible for the inhabitants to support themselves longer
thereby unless the King order a cessation to decrease the production and raise the price. There will also be the advantage of
encouraging the people to other manufactures instead of to one
uncertain commodity only. Tobacco is so low in price that a whole
year's crop will not give the planters enough meanly to clothe
themselves, and we have the greatest crop ever known now, which,
with the stock already in the country, will be more than the ships
can carry away in the next two years. Hence the need of a
cessation. We are beginning to see that our miseries are much due
to our wild and rambling mode of living, to cure which, and to
cause cohabitation, an Act was passed by the late Assembly fixing
one town in every county, where goods may be shipped and landed.
If this takes effect, Virginia will advance, whereas of late years it
has retrograded. The immunity begged of the King would also
help us much. The Indians have been very quiet this summer,
owing I believe to the presence of our garrisons at the head of the
river. The maintenance of threescore men and horses was found
too heavy a burden for the country to bear in time of peace, so the
strength is now reduced to twenty men and horse in constant pay
in each garrison, as a permanent guard on the frontier, which can
be easily reinforced on occasion. I hope this may lead to as
permanent a peace with the Northern Indians as with Indians
can be made. You will receive other news from the General
Assembly, so I add only that Lord Culpeper's prudence has already
united all our different interests. The Assembly is now adjourned
to the 15th February. Received 17 Sept. 1680. 3 pp. [Col.
Papers, Vol. XLV., No. 43, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXX.,
1435. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. On reading
the Acts of Barbadoes, agreed that the forbidding the exportation
of coin to England is very unfit to be allowed, and that the
Governor be directed, if the Act be not already repealed, to
repeal it. Mr. Blathwayt directed to bring an answer in writing
to four questions: (1) Do the laws of Barbadoes remain perpetually
in force without the King's confirmation ? (2) If the King confirm
any law, may the Governor, Council, and Assembly repeal it
without his consent ? (3) Can the laws sent to England be
amended, or must they be either allowed or rejected ? (4) May
the King at any time declare his dissent to laws which he has not
confirmed, and do such laws become void immediately on the
signification of such dissent to the inhabitants ?
Lord Carlisle's request for four carriages to be sent for small
minions agreed to. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., p. 181.]|
1436. [William Blathwayt?] to Governor Lord Carlisle. Your
Lordship's letter of 23rd February has been read by the Committee, who await only the report of the Judges on the questions
referred to them by Order in Council before proceeding at once to
a settlement of your laws and methods of Government. Your
letter of 30th August has also been received, and will receive
attention. The carriages for five brass minions asked for in your
letter of 24th February will be sent by first opportuity. 1 p.
[Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXIX., p. 396.]
1437. Governor Sir William Stapleton to Mr. Secretary
Coventry. Pray inform their Lords that by Captain Cope an
answer shall be sent to theirs of 23rd January. The Count
d'Estrees, Vice-Admiral of France, and one M. Gabaret are in
these parts and were seen on the 27th June, two large ships and
six frigates, as well as could be judged at the distance. On the
29th an impudent fellow, commander of a French flyboat, shot a
bullet towards the flag, having been warned by one from the fort
to strike. A second shot from the fort made him bear off to sea.
It frets, me to nothing but skin and bones to see such indignities
put on the King's flag by their very merchantmen. I am sure a
frigate in these Islands would do His Majesty more honour than
either in Barbadoes or Jamaica, for it is seldom that the French
squadron appears to them or near their forts. The commander of
the French fly boat is Mons. Michel, the ship La Sara de Rochelle.
Holograph. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLV., No. 44, and Col.
Entry Bk., Vol. XLVI., pp. 431.]
1438. Clerk of Assembly of Nevis to Lords of Trade and
Plantations. Acknowledging receipt of Circular of 14th January
(ante, No. 1263), which shall be obeyed. Signed, Tho. Thorne. [Col.
Entry Bk., Vol. XLVI., p. 432, and Col. Papers, XLIV., No 65.]
1439. The Clerk of the Assembly of St. Christopher's to Lords
of Trade and Plantations. Acknowledging receipt of Circular of
14th January (ante, No. 1263), which shall be obeyed. Signed,
Sam. Okes. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVI., p. 430.]
1440. Copy of Proceedings at a Court of Admiralty held in
Nevis, the 12th July 1680, in connection with the death of James
Starky, a servant of the Royal African Company (see last line of
Sir William Stapleton's letter of 1st July, ante, No. 1418). Sir
William Stapleton's commission to Sir James Russell, Daniel
Lanhather, William Burt, and Nicholas Raynsford to be Judges.
List of Grand Jury (13) and Petty Jury (12). List of eight
prisoners indicted for piracy, of the prosecutors, and the witnesses,
with finding of the Grand Jury: Ignoramus. List of four
prisoners indicted for riot, occasioning the death of James Starky;
same particulars and same finding. List of ten prisoners indicted
for riot and rout; some particulars, same finding of Grand Jury
except in respect of one prisoner, against whom it returned a true
bill. Prisoner acquitted by Petty Jury. Reference of a suit of
the Agents of the Royal African Company against Richard Cary,
Thomas Belchamber, and Captain John Edye for forty negroes, to
trial at common law. Certified copy. 6pp. Annexed,
1440. i. Copy of indictment against Richard Grant for piracy.
1440. ii. The same against James Thomas. 1 p.|
1440. iii. The same against William Helmes. 1 p.|
1440. iv. Copy of indictment against Richard Grant for murder.
1440. v. The same against Robert Ellis.|
1440. vi. The same against James Thomas.|
1440. vii. Copy of indictment against John Winter for riot
occasioning murder. 1 p.|
1440. viii. The same against George, Stanley. 1 p.|
1440. ix. The same against Richard Cary. 1 p.|
1440. x. The same against Thomas Peale. 1 p. [Col. Papers
Vol. XLV., Nos. 45, 45 I.-X., and Col. Entry Bk.,
Vol. LVIII., first enclosure.]|
1441. The Council of St. Christopher's to Lords of Trade and
Plantations. We have received your Circular of 14th January
and have obeyed the orders therein. We thank the King for
giving us the opportunity of addressing him thus, and pursuant to
command offer our observations as to the improvement of the
general interest of the Island. We thank the King for his many
favours and particularly for the contribution towards the expense
of fortification. We have added thereto of our own cost and
charges 654, 449 lbs. of sugar (4,087l. 10s.), and yet without
additional supply from the King (which we hope you will advance).
Our works already begun and well forwarded must remain unfinished, unless we forsake our sickle and wholly betake ourselves
to the mattock and spade, which we conceive is not what the King
expects from his poor planters, who are ready out of loyal gratitude
to him to extend the utmost of our fortunes to advances anything
that may be for his royal service. But these works are too
considerable to be finished at the charge of poor ruinated subjects
who find it a hard matter to get bread for our families, and
therefore humbly implore your aid. Our trade inward and outward
is carried forward very regularly by the merchants, conformable to
your orders and to Acts of Trade and Navigation. Our military
affairs are well tended by the Governor and his deputy, exercise in
arms once a month or oftener, and a frequent duty. Their care is
not less than necessary considering the power of our French
neighbours. The constant exercising of our train-bands we hope
will make them in time little inferior in arms to the soldiers in the
King's pay. In civil matters we have the laws of England, so far
as they are applicable, while our own laws are sent home regularly.
In ecclesiastical affairs we are, thank God, unanimous for the
doctrine and discipline of the Church of England, with few or no
dissenters among us; and in matters relating to our souls' health
we are directed by the guides sent by the Bishop of London, whom
we humbly thank for his charity and piety, beseeching him that
when occasion requires more clergy to be sent into this Island
they may be of riper years and better read in divinity than those
last young graduates that came hither, lest, if any dispute should
arise between them and the clergymen of the Church of Rome
they should be foiled in argument. There are many Roman priests
on the French part of the Island who are questionless men of great
learning and parts.
Our opinions as to the means of advancing the general interest
of the Island are these. The first and main thing is a firm and
durable peace between French and English in the Island, that men
may believe their property to be secure from any rupture that
may come between the two nations at home. Else an expedient
should be found to provide us with six or eight hundred English
or Scotch men, to bear arms on occasion and defend us against any
hostile attacks of the French, whose numbers are thrice as great as
ours. Security is the first thing, for in our present state, far more
than attracting new settlers we are rather in danger of losing those
we have, who forsake us for other plantations of greater safety.
This insecurity redounds already mightily to our disadvantage.
Merchants make Nevis and other islands their chief ports of
discharge, and thus commodities reach us in a manner at secondhand, which raises the price of them 20 per cent. for us over our
neighbours, which is in itself discouragement sufficient to keep this
Island from reassuming its former lustre. Unless therefore you
can propose some expedient for this, your other efforts will prove
ineffectual; otherwise the prospects of this Island would be hopeful
enough, and quite as promising as those of the other Islands. So
we hope you will take us under your special protection by espousing
our cause and moving the King to do more for us than for other
Plantations, whose necessities may not be so great as ours. We
implore you also to obtain for us redress for the wrongs and
injuries suffered in the late French war, and support this declining
Plantation, which will otherwise unavoidably be ruined.|
Having now apprised you of the obstructions that impede our
progress, we offer what we conceive may be a "curable remedy"
against those distempers. Four years since the King passed an
Order in Council that three hundred malefactors should be sent to
this place and that their gaol fees should be paid by His Majesty.
If this order had been executed we should now be in a far better
posture of defence; but inasmuch as three hundred malefactors
condemned for transportation are not likely to be received, we
humbly offer that in lieu of the sum and charge of the gaol fees
which the King was then content to pay, it might be to his service
to allow the like value or some other consideration to all who import
servants capable of bearing arms into the Island. This would be an
encouragement to merchants trading hither to supply as with men
sufficient to secure us against French invasion. Or arrangement
might be made with the merchants for some certain consideration
to be paid them by the King by certificate under the Governor's
hand for every man landed in the Island capable of bearing arms,
over and above what the planters give for their three or four years'
service. Again, might not the severity of the clause in the Act of
Trade and Navigation, forbidding ships from Scotland sailing with
Scotch seamen, be mitigated for so important a service to the Crown.
This alone, we are credibly informed, would satisfy our wants in
this respect, while the ship might give in bond here with sufficient
securities to return with the produce of the plantation to some
English port conformable to the Act. The King's customs would
not be damaged hereby, while this Island would be populated.
Another great hindrance to the improvement of this Colony is the
Royal African Company which enjoys practically the monopoly of
the negro trade. Since its incorporation the Company has never
vouchsafed to supply this Island with more than one inconsiderable
vessel, but rather has put hardships and difficulties in the way of
the planters. We beg therefore that the Company may be
summoned by your Lordships to shew cause why the people of this
Colony, who have always striven to give it good satisfaction and
compliance for everything received, should be thus discouraged and
oppressed, and that it be ordered to supply us properly in future or
permit us to take other measures herein. For it is as great a
bondage for us to cultivate our plantations without negro slaves as
for the Egyptians to make bricks without straw. You have very
probably been informed that great supplies of negroes have been
sent to Nevis from which we might be furnished. It is true that
we have been supplied with a considerable number, but of refuse
negroes at intolerable and immoderate rates, and even these only
when they could not be sold elsewhere. For the first three years
after Sir William Stapleton's assumption of the Government, the King
graciously forgave us three years of the 4½ per cent. duty on all the
dead commodities of our growth and production. During those three
years the planters, now returning to their houses and tenements,
were chiefly employed in public affairs and the King's service, and
so could not reap the full benefit of this remission, though it enabled
them to see of what advantage the like benevolence would be at this
time. Will your Lordships intercede for us to procure the appropriation of the 4½ per cent. duty, if not entirely, yet for a few years,
to the carrying on of our fortifications and the public expense of the
Island, or, when the lease of the said duty to the present farmers expires,
apprise us thereof and allow us to have preference when the revenue
is again let out to farm. Our last request is that the King's two
Companies of Foot now in garrison may be continued if not
augmented until some expedient be found to furnish us with men
of whom we can raise train bands for our defence, if need be,
against French or other invasion. We are obliged to provide from
frontier guards as well as the main guard, and we dare not mention
to you our great want of ammunition. May your Lordships continue
Sir William Stapleton as long as may be in chief command over
the Leeward Islands, for they have flourished exceedingly under his
auspicious government. Signed, Roger Elrington, Jos. Crispe,
John Crook, John Estridge, Christoph. Jeaffreson, Abed. Mathew,
John Royson, C. Rodeney, William Willett. Endorsed, Recd.
13th October 1680. Read 17th September 1681. Six closely
written pages. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLV., No. 46, and Col. Entry Bk.,
Vol. XLVI., pp. 444–452.]|
1442. The Council of Montserrat to Lords of Trade and Plantations. In reply to Circular of 14th January. Our Government is
to the best of our power and knowledge agreeable to His Majesty's
laws. All our debates and by-laws in Council are such only as are
necessary for the particular concerns of the Island, and no way repugnant to the laws of England. Our ecclesiastical affairs are to the
best of our endeavour agreeable to the canons and constitutions of the
Church of England. Our military concerns we must confess to be
not in such good condition as we could wish for defence of the
Island, we being altogether destituted of any considerable fort or of
any quantity of guns to mount therein. We thank you for our
proportion of the 1,500l., though it signifies little or nothing, either
to us or to any of the Islands for to build such fortifications as
are required; but if the King would afford us some considerable
assistance, either by giving us the income of the 4½ per cent. duty
for a reasonable time or by any other way that you may think
convenient to help us to build a good fort in this Island, we doubt
not but to give a good account of Montserrat, especially so long as
Sir William Stapleton remains our General. His care and conduct
deserve universal praise from all the Islands. We must further
acquaint you that in case of war not only we, but all the Caribbee
Islands, must pray for timely assistance to equalize the forces
usually sent hither by other nations, and especially by our implacable enemy the French. Such is their subtlety and care of their
colonies that before fame could bring report of approaching war
their forces used to be arrived with a great number of men-of-war,
which they always keep in these seas in peace as in war, though
the production of their colonies is much less than that of ours. To
prevent any design on their part, we beg for a good frigate or two
in time of peace and for a squadron in time of war. As to our
trade, there are few ships that trade hither, and a great part of our
sugar and indigo is therefore transported in sloops to Nevis and
shipped there. The great hindrance to the improvement of the
Island is the want of negroes. Montserrat was wholly destroyed
by the French and Dutch in 1666, since which time but two small
ships have been sent by the Royal African Company with little
more than three hundred negroes, half of whom are already dead.
And as your Lordships' desire our opinion how the Island may be
improved, we not only think, but are ready to prove, that not one of
these colonies ever was or ever can be brought to any considerable
improvement without a supply of white servants and negroes
The want of these compels the inhabitants to plant a little tobacco
and indigo, the first of which through the unfitness of the soil is of
poor quality and small value, while indigo bears a low price. The
result is that the people are kept so poor that they can bring little
service to the King or profit to his kingdoms. We assure you that
in a few years Montserrat may be brought to as great perfection as
Nevis, being quite as fertile, more healthy, better watered and
greater in compass. It remains therefore only for us to wish that
the Royal African Company would be so kind as to give us a
constant supply of negroes, which would enable us to maintain
a punctual correspondence with them, to their great profit and the
advance of the King's Customs. Signed, John Symes, J. Cotter,
John Bramley, Nich. Meade, John Cormicke, Peter Cove, Wm.
Fox, Da. Gallwey, Rd. Stapleton. Endorsed, Recd. 15th Oct.
1680. Read 17th Sept. 1681. Two closely written pages. [Col.
Papers, Vol. XLV., No. 47, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVI.,
1443. Governor Sir Jonathan Atkins to Secretary Jenkins. I
congratulate you on your appointment as Secretary of State. It
is necessary for us to address the present Secretaries on most
occasions of public service, but though I do not fall within your
province, it is necessary for me to beg your correspondence, for in
the sphere wherein you move it may be necessary for me to address
myself to you. It is the misfortune of us who are employed so far
away to be compelled to renew all our interests by letter, and it
is my misfortune to be little known to you, though I had the
honour to be in your company at the late Lord of Canterbury's,
who was my very good friend. 1 p. Holograph. Endorsed,
Recd. 21. Sept. 1680. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLV., No. 48.]
1444. Memorandum of Lords of Trade and Plantations. That
the five small carriages for brass minions be sent to the Earl of
Carlisle according to his desire, they being necessary for His
Majesty's service. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXIX., p. 397.]
1445. Governor Leete and Council of Connecticut to Secretary
the Earl of Sunderland. Request his consideration of their pleas
of right to the government and soil of the Narraganset lands.
(1) Their patent, dated 23rd April, in the fourteenth year of His
Majesty's reign, doth circumscribe those lands and make them
Connecticut's: this patent is precedent to Rhode Island Charter.
(2) The bounds of their charter as to the eastern limits are not
newly devised, but were so described in a former grant bearing
date 1631, and purchased at a dear rate by the Colony of Connecticut; but, unwilling to rely on this as wanting a regal stamp,
the Colony soon after the King's restoration empowered John
Winthrop, their Governor, to go to England and procure a charter
from His Majesty, in which he was successful. (3) Pawcatuck
River, which Rhode Island procured the King to call Narraganset
River in their charter, is about six miles within the Pequot
country, which was conquered by Connecticut above forty years
ago. In part of these lands some of their friendly Indians have
been settled, to whom it would be intolerable for Rhode Island to
possess and govern. (4) After the Charter was procured, John
Winthrop's agency expired, therefore any agreement Rhode Island
may pretend to have made with him is not binding on the Colony.
(5) Connecticut has dealt plainly, has antiquity on its side, before
either donation of the Indians to the King, or the Rhode Island
Charter grant. (6) Connecticut has been long and lately in
possession of great part of those Narraganset lands, which according
to His Majesty's letters of 12th February 1678/9 ought so to continue
till His Majesty's pleasure be further known. Notwithstanding
which the Governor of Rhode Island hath been contending with
them and given them great molestation. (7) In the late Indian
war, Rhode Island neglected to assist the people in the Narragansett
country, or to recover the lands from the natives, who fortified themselves there and ruled as lords of soil and government till recovered
by Connecticut and its allies. How in the sharpest of the winter
their soldiers fought the enemy, beat them out of the works and
burnt them with fire, and how the late Governor Cranston, before
he let them pass, took indentures of them to serve him for years,
the soldiers not having money to pay for what they had, is known to
him, and yet again the Rhode Islanders would reassume a Government
there. Had sent sufficient proof of these things, but they are lost
with their agent. Request a favourable construction. Signed by
Wm. Leete, Govr. Endorsed, "About the King's Province. Recd.
from the E. of Sunderland 27th Nov. 1680." [Col. Papers,
Vol. XLV, No. 49.]
1446. Duplicate of foregoing. Endorsed, Rec. 6 Jan. 1680–81.
[Col. Papers, Vol. XLV., No. 50.]
1447. William Leete, Governor, and John Allyn, Secretary, to
William Blathwayt, Secretary to Lords of Trade. Have received
and gratefully accepted his letter of 1st August, and returned a
brief answer to the questions required, with all plainness and
truth. They are but a poor people, have lost and spent much in
the last Indian war, which cannot be estimated less than 30,000l.,
with no other advantage than the riddance of some bad neighbours;
yet the lands they possessed would be taken from themselves by
Rhode Island, who disbursed nothing for the war. They labour in
tilling the ground, and their provisions are transported to the
market at Boston, but half-a-crown there will not produce so much
goods of any sort as eighteenpence will in England. For years
past the holy providence of God hath smitten them with blasting
and mildew, and for three or four years a worm has bred in the
peas "which doth much damnify them," so they are likely, by
reason of losses at home and the heightened price of goods from
abroad, to remain a poor but loyal people. Desire the mediation
of the Privy Council with the King to make New London and
some other ports free for twenty, fifteen, or ten years, which would
bring men of estate to trade and settle there, would increase the
wealth of the Colony, and in the end do no damage to the King.
Request pardon for their boldness, and desire that they may be
upheld under his Honour's shadow in the full enjoyment of the
immunities and privileges granted by His Majesty to them.
1447. i. Answer to the queries received from the Lords Committee of the Council for Trade and Plantations. In
reference to the Government, Courts of Judicature,
number of Militia, &c., and general state and condition of
the Colony. There are 2,507 trained soldiers in the four
counties of Hartford, New Haven, New London, and
Fairfield; twenty-six small towns already settled, one of
which has two churches. In all the towns there are
altogether twenty-one churches. The commodities of the
country are wheat, peas, rye, barley, Indian corn, pork,
beef, wool, hemp, flax, cider, perry, deal boards, pipe
staves, and horses, which are mostly transported to
Boston and there bartered for clothing. Annual value
impossible to reckon. There is some little direct export
to the West Indies, and occasionally a ship is laden for
Madeira and Fayal. The peas have suffered much from
worms lately, and hence much of the trade has been
abated. Plenty of good timber for shipbuilding. Impossible to compute value of imports, say 8,000l. or
9,000l. a year. About twenty native merchants, but few
foreign. Few immigrants from the British Isles in the
past seven years, say one or two a year. Impossible to
give any account of births, marriages, and deaths, but can
give the increase of population since 1671, viz., in 1671
there were 2,050 men; in 1676, 2,303; in 1677, 2,362;
in 1678, 2,490; in 1679, 2,507. Impossible to estimate
the estates of the merchants; estate of the corporation at
large valued at 110,788l. Few vessels come to trade
except from Massachusetts or New York; about twentyseven vessels belong to the Colony. The Colony suffers
from want of capital and expense of labour. If Hartford,
New London, New Haven, and Fairfield were made free
ports, it would greatly improve the trade of the country.
No export duties, nor import duty except on wine and
liquors, which is inconsiderable, and devoted to the
maintenance of free scholars. In religion, some of the
people are "strict Congregational men," some "more large
Congregational men," some Presbyterians; the bulk,
however, Congregationalists. There are four or five
"Seven-day men," about as many Quakers. Great pains
taken for religious teaching. Beggars and vagabond
persons are not suffered, but when discovered are bound
out to service. Signed, William Leete, Govr., John
Allyn, Secy. Endorsed, Recd. 9 Dec. 1680. [Col. Papers,
Vol. XLV., No. 51, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXI.,
pp. 78–79 and 107–120.]|
1448. William Leete, Governor, and John Allyn, Secretary of
Connecticut, to Secretary the Earl of Sunderland. Pursuant to
the King's letters of 14th February 1678/9, we sent an Agent to
present our address respecting our claims over the soil and Government of the Narragansett country, but have heard that he was
taken by the Turks and our enterprise therefore quite frustrated.
We beg the King's favour that we may continue to enjoy the
rights and privileges granted to us by Charter, that we may not
be abused nor overriden by any whatsoever, but under His
Majesty's shadow may rest under our own vine and fig-tree without
molestation. We rest on the King's wisdom and justice for
protection against unneighbourly intruders. We had hopes of
presenting our case to the King by another agent, but the loss
and expense of the late Indian war, the damage done to produce
by blasts and mildew, and the anticipated cost of redeeming the
Agent "knock off our hopes"; we therefore trust to your Lordship's
good offices. We send copies of the documents entrusted to our
Agent. Mr. Randolph has visited us and been well treated by us.
Once again we beseech you to guard the rights granted to us
by Charter against the encroachments of Rhode Island. 1 p.
1448. i. Questions given to, and Answers taken from, the Poquots,
&c., and some ancient and noted Narragansetts, by Amos
Richardson and James Noyse, in the presence of Thomas
Minor, Commissioner, 15th August 1679. How far the
Pequot country extends eastward. Whether Pawcatuck
River was ever called Narragansett River, which is
answered in the negative. As to the title of Soso, an
Indian, to certain land on Pawcatuck River, and as to the
head of said river and the eastward bounds of the
Narragansett country. Certified by Hannah, a Pequot
woman and Indian interpreter, also by Stephen Richardson
and Joseph Minor, before Thomas Minor, Commissioner,
on 15th September 1679, and attested by the mark of
Simon an Indian. Certified copy by James Richards,
Assistant, 15th December 1679. 1 p.|
1448. ii. "Certificate touching the Narragansett Country." That
the Colony of New Plymouth is by patent bounded
westerly by the Narragansett River and the utmost
limits of Patanokett, that about twenty years since the
Agents or Commissioners of Rhode Island, Roger Williams
and Captain Randall Holden, earnestly pleaded that
Patuckett River was that Narragansett River, and
intended boundary, and that there was no other river in
the Narragansett country. The Colony of New Plymouth
has not for many years past seen cause to prosecute any
claim beyond said river. Signed by Josiah Winslow,
Governor of New Plymouth. Boston, 1679, Aug. 22.
Certified copy by John Tallcott and James Richards,
Assistants, 1679, Dec. 15. Endorsed, "A Paper from
the Connecticut Colony about the King's Province. Rec.
from the Earl of Sunderland, 27th November 1680."
[Col. Papers, Vols. XLV., Nos. 52, 52 I., II.]|
1449. Duplicate of foregoing letter. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLV.,
1450. Indictment against Thomas Miller for using seditious
language before the Grand Council in Albemarle in November
1679, with the depositions of the witnesses against him. The
offence alleged to be committed dates back to 1673. Copy. Two
large pages. Endorsed, Recd. from Commissioners of Customs, 15th
July 1680. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLV., No. 54.]
1451. Deposition of Timothy Biggs concerning the state of
affairs in Carolina from 1675 to 1678. Dated London, 1678.
Endorsed as the preceding. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLV.,
1452. Letters from Timothy Biggs to Captain John Willoughby,
with copies of his letters to Robert Holden and Samuel Pricklove,
his deputy, concerning the difficulty in collecting the Customs
duties there. The whole on one sheet. 3 pp. Endorsed as the
preceding. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLV., No. 56.]
1453. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Debate on the appointment of officers for the protection of the frontier. Those chosen
by the Council appointed. On the adjournment of the Assembly
to 15th February, resolved that, unless commands come from the
King by 20th January next, such as shall require the meeting of
an Assembly on that day, the Assembly be adjourned by proclamation to 20th January 1681–82.