America and West Indies: July 1680, 1-15

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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'America and West Indies: July 1680, 1-15', in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 10, 1677-1680, (London, 1896) pp. 559-579. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/colonial/america-west-indies/vol10/pp559-579 [accessed 12 April 2024]

July 1680, 1–15

July 1.
Nevis.
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 Islands:—
Nevis.
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 in Charlestown.
Daniel Lanhather, Esq., Judge of St. Thomas, his parish.
The above four are the Justices of the Peace also of the respective divisions.
Thomas Fenton, Secretary (with clerks).
Cæsar Rodeney, Marshal, with a deputy.
The Secretary and Marshal or their deputies attend all the Courts.
Militia:—
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.
Other officials:—
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.
Saint Christopher's.
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 Nicholas town.
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.
Montserrat.
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, Leeward side.
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.
Antigua.
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.
Militia:—
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,
Anguilla.
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 business.
Statia.
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.
Barbuda.
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.]
July 1.
St. James.
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.]
July 1.
Port Royal.
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.]
July 2.
Marshfield.
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., p. 76.]
July 2. 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.
July 3. 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 behalf.
July 5. 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.
July 6. Order of the Governor respecting a question of houses for Mr. Auditor Bacon and Mr. Lee.
July 7. Assembly adjourned to 15th February 1681. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 88–94.]
July 3. 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.]
July 5.
Port Royal.
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. p. 414.]
July 5.
Port Royal.
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.]
July 6. 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.]
July 6.
Council Chamber.
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.]
July 6. 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.
July 7. 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.]
[July 7.] 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.]
[July 7.] 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., No. 40.]
July 8.
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., No. 41.]
July 8. 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.]
July 8.
Virginia.
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.]
July 9.
James City.
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., pp. 381–385.]
July 10. 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.]
July 10.
Whitehall.
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.]
July 10.
Nevie.
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.]
July 10.
Nevis.
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.]
July 12.
St. Christopher's.
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.]
July 12.
Nevis.
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. 1 p.
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. 1 p.
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.]
July 12.
St. Christopher's.
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.]
July 13.
Montserrat.
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., pp. 434–437.]
July 14.
Barbadoes.
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.]
July 14. 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.]
July 15.
Hartford [Connecticut].
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.]
July 15. 1446. Duplicate of foregoing. Endorsed, Rec. 6 Jan. 1680–81. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLV., No. 50.]
July 15.
Hartford [Connecticut].
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. Enclosed,
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.]
July 15.
Hartford [Connecticut]
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. Enclosed,
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.]
July 15. 1449. Duplicate of foregoing letter. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLV., No. 53.]
[July 15.] 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.]
[July 15.] 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., No. 55.]
[July 15.] 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.]
July 15. 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.