America and West Indies: October 1680

Pages 608-623

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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October 1680

Oct. 1. 1528. Warrant appointing Mr. Mason to be of the Council of New Hampshire. Signed, Sunderland. 3 pp. [Col Entry Bk., Vol. LXI., pp. 104–106.]
Oct. 1.
1529. Order of the Court of Assistants at Boston. That when any person shall obtain from the Governor an order for the meeting of the Court of Assistants, and of a jury, the Secretary before granting a warrant for summons of a jury shall require the plaintiff to deposit 10l. as caution money to repay the charges of the court. Written in the margin. Mem.—I was attached in execution of 600l. because I did not prosecute John Brock, and was forced to get a special Court.—E[dmund] R[andolph]. Scrap. [Col Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 15.]
Oct. 2.
1530. John Allyn, Secretary of Connecticut, to [William Blathwayt]. Requests his Honour to give them a conveyance to Mr. William Harris if he be arrived, but if he be not arrived or should be dead, to open the "pacquett" and peruse it and improve it to their best advantage. Endorsed, From the Secretary of Connecticut about the Narragansett. Recd. 6 Jan. 1680. 1 p. Enclosed,
1530. i. Pleas of Right about the Narragansett country. Calendared under 15th July 1680. 1 p. Copy.
1530. ii. Governor Winslow's certificate that 20 years since, in a discourse between Plymouth and Rhode Island about boundaries, the commissioners for that colony, Roger Williams and Captain Randal Holden, pleaded that Patucket river between Rehoboth and Providence was Narragansett river, and New Plymouth has not for many years past prosecuted any claim beyond that river. Dated 22nd August 1679. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., Nos. 16, 16. i.]
Oct. 4.
Bay of Bulls.
1531. A list of the ships under the convoy of His Majesty's frigates, Assistance and Assurance, under the command of Sir Robert Robinson. Seventy-one ships, two-thirds of them from Devonshire ports, and from Barnstaple and Bideford in particular. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 17.]
Oct. 5. 1532. Richard Wharton and John Saffin to Thomas Lord Culpeper, Governor of Virginia. Respecting the controversy between Connecticut and Rhode Island about jurisdiction in the Narragansett Niantick, and Chesett counties. Property hath by many legal conveyances from the Indian Sachems been transferred to sundry of His Majesty's loyal subjects who have by great expense and hazard of their estates upon encouragement from His Majesty's letter of 1st June 1663, made new and considerable adventures for settlement of the countries and for adding another colony to the Crown. By an inadvertent act of some of His Majesty's Commissioners and the pretensions of Connecticut and Rhode Island to Government, the plantation was greatly discouraged, and for lack of protection in the late Indian wars laid desolate. Owing to the Rhode Islanders sending forth the scum and dregs of their unsettled plantation to possess our lands and disturb our settlements, we have lately petitioned His Majesty for a confirmation of Government of the Province to Connecticut, or that it may be added to New Plymouth, or that it may, as a distinct province, be privileged like the other colonies with a charter to the proprietors; also that the King would commissionate judicious, righteous, and uninterested persons to elect a Court of Claims in New England, to determine all private claims and pretensions, and to ascertain the bounds between the colonies. We beg you to represent our case, a breviate of which is enclosed, to the King, and to favour our friends, Thomas Deane, John Lewin, and William Harris, who will wait upon you with your recommendation and good direction. 1 p. Enclosed.
1532. i. Breviate concerning the right of John Saffin, Richard Wharton, and Elisha Hutchinson to the Narragansett country:—(1) Purchased those lands from Connonnicus, the great Sachem of those countries, at the first coming of the English into these American parts. About nineteen years since their right was manifested in the presence of several hundred English and Indians by the free consent of the under-sagamores and counsellors, who all gave up their rights, as also by the receipts of money from them by the sachems and their interpreters at sundry times. (2) By their instance the Sachems subjected themselves and people to the King's government, in and by the united colonies in England, who have approved of their purchase and right, and in particular by their late letter and address to the King; their actions about the said lands were open and not clandestine, deeds and evidences being registered and remaining in courts of record. (3) His Majesty allowed and confirmed their rights by his letters to the colonies of 21st June 1663, commanding them to defend the Proprietors in their rights against the injuries done by Rhode Island, terming their irregular and tumultuous actions a scandal to justice and government. (4) The chief sachems in the time of the late bloody rebellion of Philip (before they also revolted) confirmed the grants of the lands, in the 7th Article of their treaty now in print; nor did the Indians ever manifest the least discontent at the possession of those lands by the Proprietors. Assert, in answer to the statement of John Green and Randall Holden, that the Narragansett lands were never purchased by any English but given to King Charles I.,—(1) A great part of the lands were purchased above 40 years ago by Roger Williams still living, and by Richard Smith, deceased, and are possessed to this day by his son Richard; (2) The subjection of the Indians to the King was no other than the putting themselves under his protection. Answer to the objection that His Majesty's Commissioners in 1664 made void all their deeds and evidences on condition of the Indians paying 1,055 fathom of "Wampampeage,"—(1) That the Commissioners had no right to make void any title of lands; (2) That the said declaration was made null by the absence of Colonel Nicholls; (3) If the validity of the act were granted, the condition, viz., paying so much wampampeage, has not been fulfilled, and so the act is void; (4) Colonel Nicholls and the rest of the Commissioners, on better consideration, made null their previous act. Endorsed, Copies of a declaration or breviate to the King. Abt. the Narragansett country. Recd. from my Ld. Culpepr. 12 Sept. '81. 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI, Nos. 18 and 18. i.]
Oct. 6
1533. Lords of Trade and Plantations to Sir Henry Morgan. Ordering transmission of attested transcripts of the books and registers of the past Assemblies, and true copies of their proceedings in future. Signed, Anglesey, Bridgewater, Clarendon, Essex, Fauconberg, H. Seymour, Sunderland, Worcester, L. Jenkins. [Col Entry Bk, Vol XXIX., p. 440.]
Oct. 6. 1534. The same to the Secretary of Jamaica. Lord Carlisle has furnished attested copies of the Council's records to 3rd September 1678; copies of the proceedings since that date, and perpetually, are to be furnished by you. Signed as the above. [Col. Entry Bk, Vol. XXIX., p. 440.]
Oct. 8. 1535. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Petition of John Wachtendonck read praying for compensation to the Dutch West India Company for the ship Asia. Sir Richard Lloyd's report thereon read (see No. 1519). Ordered that Sir Jonathan Atkins be directed to bring the sum of 300l. with him and a particular account of the salvage charges. With this Mr. Wachtendonck is satisfied.
Lord Culpeper's letter from Virginia of 8th July read (see No. 1433), with the laws enclosed therein. Discussion deferred till next meeting.
The gentlemen of Barbadoes attend, Sir Peter Colleton, Messrs. Lucy, Scutt, Davers, and others, who declare that the conversion of their slaves to Christianity would not only destroy their property but endanger the island, inasmuch as converted negroes grow more perverse and intractable than others, and hence of less value for labour or sale. The disproportion of blacks to whites being great, the whites have no greater security than the diversity of the negroes' languages, which would be destroyed by conversion, in that it would be necessary to teach them all English. The negroes are a sort of people so averse to learning that they will rather hang themselves or run away than submit to it. Conversion will impair their value and price, and injure not only the Planters but the African Company. Upon the whole matter, their Lordships think best to leave the Governor, Council, and Assembly to find out the best means for converting the negroes without injury or danger to property, which is made an instruction to Sir R. Dutton. Asked about the salaries of ministers, the gentlemen reply that the old stipend was 1 lb. of sugar per. acre, but since the fall in the value of sugar the stipend is made up by the vestries to 100l. per annum, that of the minister of St. Michael's rising to 300l. It is not in the power of vestries to displace them or lessen their allowance. Asked as to the reason why laws have of late been usually made for two years only, Sir Peter Colleton answers that it was by accident and mistake, not by design of the Assembly. The gentlemen being withdrawn, their Lordships order Sir R. Dutton to be instructed to ascertain the stipends of ministers, if it be not already done. On Sir R. Dutton's proposals, agreed that the Governor be compelled to show to the Council those only of his Instructions in relation whereunto the advice and consent of the Council is mentioned to be requisite. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., pp. 205–9.]
Oct. 11.
1536. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. In reference to Lord Culpeper's letter from Virginia of the 8th July (ante, No. 1433). The first proviso repealing former Acts for raising a public revenue approved, but the last proviso which frees the Virginia owners of ships from the duties of 2s. per hogshead and the Castle duties, very much disliked. Resolved that a draft order be offered in Council for confirming this Act as it was transmitted under the Great Seal, together with the proviso for repealing other laws, and disallowing the exemption of Virginian owners, and that a letter be written by the Committee to Lord Culpeper directing him to publish the Order and to take care that it be duly obeyed.
Agreed to advise the King to give strict orders to the Commissioners of Customs to furnish the Committee from time to time with an account of all commodities exported and imported, and by what ships as well in the out ports of England as the port of London; also to direct their Collectors in the Plantations to keep exact accounts of exports, imports, and shipping therein.
Mr. Perrot, Mr. Scutt, and Mr. Pollexfen, agents appointed by the Western towns to attend the Lords in the business of Newfoundland, are called in and report that the towns for which they act apprehend the appointment of a Governor of Newfoundland to be very prejudicial to trade, and can give no other answer. A letter received from Bideford to the same effect. Whereupon their Lordships finding no reason to alter their former resolution as to a Governor agree to proceed further towards preparing rules and provisions in that behalf. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., pp. 209–211.]
[Oct. 11.] 1537. Petition of sundry inhabitants of the Narragansett country to the King. Petitioners enumerate the disputes between Connecticut and Rhode Island regarding the government of the province. In answer to the King's commands had instructed the Agent sent by Connecticut in a rude and hasty address, but the person and papers thus designed are carried to Algiers. Are so impoverished by the Indian war and the intrusions and disturbances of Rhode Island, that they cannot contribute to the collection of new evidence, and the colony having been long blasted by the evil influences of Rhode Island, pray that John Lewin and Thomas Deane may be admitted to spread before His Majesty such petitions, &c., as they may be furnished with, and that confirmation of their propriety be granted to them, or, if it should so seem expedient, a Charter of Incorporation be, granted to them, and that a commission be given to the Governor of Plymouth and others to constitute a court of claims to hear and determine all titles in controversy. Signed, Richd. Smith, Simon Lynde, John Winthrop, Wait. Winthrop, William Tailer, Richd. Wharton, John Saffin, Elisha Hutchinson, Joshua Lamb. Endorsed, Recd. from Mr. Lewin, 11 Oct. 1680. Read 12th April 1681. [Col Papers, Vol. XLVI., No., 19.]
Oct. 12. 1538. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Lord Carlisle acquaints their Lordships that the present Revenue Act for Jamaica will expire in March next, and that the Government will be greatly embarrassed unless the King grant leave to Sir Henry Morgan to pass a temporary Bill, and to that end cancels the Order in Council of 14th January last. His Lordship gave an account of his endeavours to persuade the Assembly to pass the Revenue Bill which was sent out from England, giving an account of his arguments against the Assembly's objections. He said also that he had set licences for taverns on foot before he passed any Bill of Revenue. Their Lordships resolve to meet again in this business; Colonel Long and the other Assembly men of Jamaica to attend.
Draft of new instruction to Sir R. Dutton respecting the substitution of another impost in lieu of the 4½ per cent. read and approved. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., pp. 212, 213.]
1539. Three Acts passed in the island of Montserrat, viz., An Act imposing a duty of powder on all the growth or manufacture of sugar, tobacco, or indigo transported from this island, 29th March 1680. An Act restraining the assignment of bonds and bills without consent of parties and session two several times in the year, no jury to be under one thousand pounds of sugar, 12th October 1680. An Act for the making restitution for cattle stolen by negroes and licenses for tap houses in town and country, 12th October 1680. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. L., pp. 239–245, also printed in Vol. LV., pp. 35–37.]
Oct. 14. 1540. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Lord Carlisle produces an entry from the Jamaica Council book of a law passed by Colonel Doyley and the Council for Public Revenue, and of a similar law passed by Sir Charles Littleton and Council, both of which were indefinite. After which Colonel Long and Mr. Ashurst are called in and asked to state their objections to a perpetual Bill of Revenue. They answer that they have no other way of making their grievances known to the King than by the dependence of the Governor in the Assembly. If a perpetual Bill were passed there would be no need to summon Assemblies, to which my Lord Carlisle replies that the necessities and contingencies of the Government are such that the Assembly must needs be called frequently, even though the Bill for impost on liquors were perpetual. Their Lordships inform Colonel Long that if the Assembly pass the Revenue Act indefinitely the King may be induced to settle other perpetual laws which they shall propose as beneficial to them. The gentlemen from Jamaica being withdrawn their Lordships debate concerning the continuance of the two laws made by Colonel Doyley and Sir Charles Littleton; and it is alleged, with respect to the laws of England, that they cannot be in force in another country where the constitution differs from that of England. Agreed to refer to Chief Justice North two questions. (1.) Whether the King by his proclamation published during Lord Windsor's government, his letter of 15th January 1672–73, or any other Act appearing by the laws of England, or of Jamaica, or by any commission or instructions to his Governors, has divested himself of the power he formerly had to alter the forms of government in Jamaica? (2.) Whether any Act of the Assembly of Jamaica or any other Act of the King's or of his Governors have totally repealed the Acts made by Colonel Doyley and Sir Charles Littleton for raising Public Revenue, or whether they are still in force? Mem.—The King being present, Lord Chief Justice North was added to the Committee. Lord Vaughan summoned to attend next meeting. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., pp. 214.–16.]
Oct. 14.
1541. Lords of Trade and Plantations to Governor Lord Culpeper. We have received your letters of 2nd May and 8th July, with copies of the laws. We have disapproved only of the last proviso in the Public Revenue Act exempting Virginian owners from the payments under the Act, for we esteem it not only irregular but inequitable, that ships owned in Virginia should receive more encouragement than those of others of the King's subjects. The Act would be frustrated if Virginian owners should monopolise the Virginian carrying trade. The King has therefore disallowed the proviso. The King has also ordered all Governors, jointly with their Councils, to keep a journal which is to be sent home quarterly, and the Secretaries and Clerks of Assembly to report likewise. Also, in order to an inspection of all offices in the Colonies, you will report which should be in the King's and which in the Governor's gift. You will fill up all places with regard to merit only and not for gain. You will also order that every minister be a member of his parish vestry, and no vestry held without him. 4½ pp. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXX., pp. 388–392.]
Oct. 14.
1542. Order of the King in Council confirming an Act for raising a public revenue for the better support of His Majesty's Colony of Virginia passed by the Assembly of said colony, but disallowing a proviso in said Act whereby the Virginia owners are freed from paying the duties imposed by the Act. [Col Entry Bk., No. LXXX., pp. 392–394.]
[Oct. 15.] 1543. Copy of three warrants issued by Sir William Stapleton to the Provost-Marshal of Nevis on complaint of the Agents of the Royal African Company to search for negroes introduced by interlopers. Dated 30th June, 29th August, and 1st September 1679. Certified by the Provost Marshal, Cæsar Rodeney. Together, 3 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 15 Oct, 1680. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 20.]
Oct. 16. 1544. Sir J. Werden to William Blathwayt. Since our previous correspondence respecting Mr. William Penn's petition he has represented to the Duke [of York] his case and circumstances (in relation to the reasons he has to expect the King's favour therein) to be such that the Duke commands me to acquaint you, for the information of the Lords of Trade and Plantations, that he is very willing that Mr. Penn's request may meet with success, that is, that he may have a grant of the land that lies on the north of Newcastle Colony and on the west side of Delaware River, beginning at about the 40th degree of latitude, and extending as far as the King pleaseth, under such regulations as their Lordships may think fit. Holograph. Endorsed, Read, 21 October: read again 4 Nov. 1680. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 21.]
[Oct. 16.] 1545. List of all ships that have laden any of the enumerated plantation commodities in the Island of Barbadoes from 16th April to 16th October 1680, with names of the masters. Signed by Sir Jonathan Atkins, and Abraham Langford, Clerk of the Naval Office. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. X., No. 3.]
Oct. 18. 1546. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Chief Justice North undertakes to return his answer upon the first question submitted to him (see No. 1540) at the next meeting, and is desired to take other of the Judges to assist him. [Col Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., p. 217.]
Oct. 19. 1547. President Danforth's letter to the Magistrates of Maine. Orders them, on Mr. Randolph exhibiting his libel against one Mr. Nicholls, master of a ketch, for breach of the Acts of Trade, and laying down 10l., to appoint a time for a special court, and to order the Secretary to give notice to the magistrates and send warrants for summoning a jury to the constables of York, Kittery, and Wells. The jury to be allowed 4s. a day for expenses, and the magistrates and other officers according as the charge shall arise; what remains of the 10l. to be delivered back to Mr. Randolph. Endorsed, Tho. Danforth's esq's. letter to ye Magts. of ye Province of Maine to pay 10 to Mr. Rush worth. Copy. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 22.]
Oct. 19
and 20.
1548. Minutes of Council of Barbadoes. Bill sent up from the Assembly for the continuance of certain expiry laws passed; eight orders for payment of gunners and mattrosses passed.[Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XI., p. 325.]
Oct. 19. 1549. Journal of Assembly of Barbadoes. Bill to continue the Act appointing a Committee of public accounts passed; letter from Sir Peter Colleton and Colonel Drax read. Orders, that William Sharpe draw up an answer against to-morrow morning.
Oct. 20. Answer to Sir Peter Colleton and Colonel Drax read. Ordered, that it be signed by the Speaker and dispatched. Voted, that the question of making a present to His Excellency stand over to next Assembly. Several orders to pay for materials for the fortifications passed. The Assembly expiring this day ordered that its records be committed to the care of the Speaker till next election. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XIII., pp. 400–404.]
Oct. 20. 1550. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Chief Justice North's opinion respecting the first question (see No. 1540) read, Colonel Long, Mr. Beeston, Mr. Ashurst, and other planters being present. His Lordship's conclusion is that the Act of Revenue made by Sir Charles Littleton in 1663 is yet in force. Colonel Long objects that, by a law made in Sir Thomas Modyford's time, all laws passed by Sir Charles Littleton are declared void for want of due form; whereupon he and those with him are bidden to withdraw. Ordered, that the objection be communicated to Chief Justice North, and that the gentlemen of Jamaica be directed to be ready with their objections at the next meeting. [Col. Entry Bk. Vol. CVI., pp. 218, 219.]
[Oct. 20.] 1551. [William Blathwayt ?] to Lord Chief Justice North. Pursuant to your instructions I acquaint you with the objections of the Jamaica planters to your report. (1.) They say that the law made by the Assembly in 1663 is not in force, there being a law made by Sir Thomas Modyford which declares all laws passed by that Assembly to be void. (2.) They say that the law made by Sir Charles Littleton's Assembly is void because Lord Windsor, whose deputy he was, had power by an instruction to call assemblies and make laws which were to be in force two years, and no longer unless confirmed by the King. (3.) They say that neither the law made by Sir Charles Littleton and his Council, nor the other made by Colonel Doyley and his Council, are now in force, since they had no express powers to make laws by their Councils, and that they, as Englishmen, ought not to be bound by any laws to which they have not given their consent. The Lords of Trade and Plantations have appointed them to attend at three in the afternoon, and desire your Lordship to be present. Draft, with corrections. Endorsed with date 1680, and the words Oct. 26 erased with the pen. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 23.]
Oct. 21. 1552. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. The business of Jamaica. The King's proclamation in Lord Windsor's time read, whereon two questions arise. (1.) Were the Acts of Council by Colonel Doyley and Sir C. Littleton perpetual ? (2.) Whether, if they were perpetual, they have been annulled by subsequent laws and proclamations ? The gentlemen of Jamaica entering divers objections against the validity of these laws, Colonel Long, Mr. Beeston, and Mr. Ashurst are directed to wait on Lord Chief Justice North to explain their chief wants to him, whereby they may be induced to pass an Act for Revenue, to the end that matters may be brought to an accommodation. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., pp. 219, 220.]
Oct. 22. 1553. Lords of Trade and Plantations to Governor Sir Jonathan Atkins, With reference to your report of 3rd March 1679 (ante No. 914) respecting the ship Asia, we have, on the application of an agent of the Dutch West India Company, considered the demand of charges made by you, and could have wished that you had so specified the same as to enable us to make our award without further delay. You will, however, on your return home bring with you the 300l. which are the proceeds of the sale of the ship, and a particular account of the expenses incurred by you for the care and salvage thereof, that we may determine how much should be deducted from the 300l. on that account. Signed, Anglesey, Radnor, Worcester. 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 23, 24.]
[Oct. 22.] 1554. Lords of Trade and Plantations to the King. We have prepared draft commission and instructions for Sir Richard Dutton pursuant to your Majesty's order of 31st July, and we recommend further the insertion of a clause making void all patents of offices, except those of the Secretary and Marshal, unless the patentee shall reside in the Island, and that no more places be granted under the great seal, except those that are already granted, but be left to the disposal of the Governor. 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 24, 25.]
Oct. 22. 1555. Commission to Sir Richard Dutton to be Governor of Barbadoes and Governor-in-Chief of Barbadoes, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Dominica, and the rest of the English Islands to windward of Guadaloupe. The only reference to the last three Islands is a clause empowering him to choose a council of twelve members from the principal freeholders therein. 12 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 25, 37.]
Oct. 23.
1556. Governor Sir William Stapleton to [Lord Sunderland ?]. I have received your command from Windsor in favour of Mr. Plott. I do not wish him to need my assistance, but shall be glad to do any service to one bearing your recommendation. His agent is in quiet possession of his right without further disturbance than that which the Vice-Admiral of France, who is at Martinique, gives us in watching and trenching. You will excuse me if I give no particular account of his promenade as you have it already in my last letters. Holograph. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 24.]
Oct. 26.
1557. Governor Sir William Stapleton to Lords of Trade and Plantations. My humble thanks for the ten barrels of powder to replace the six given to the Deptford ketch. I hear she is to be sent out again, and beseech you to prevent it, for as I have told you she is of no credit or profit in a place where the French show their master's grandeur by a considerable fleet. If I might make bold I would suggest that all the ships that are sent to Barbadoes, Jamaica, and the Leeward Islands, together, should attend the King's service wherever the French fleet are nearest, for three good frigates with merchantmen may not only offend but defend (sic) with the strength of the Islands transported to any point that is attacked. At any rate, they will do better service united than dispersed, while, if necessary, they can be ordered to their several stations. Vis enim unita fortior est se ipsˆ dispersˆ. I beseech you to order the payment of my arrears in Sir Tobias Bridge's regiment. I am ashamed to mention it so often, but if there be any desert in a subject for doing his duty I may say, without vanity, that I deserve that pay as much as anyone. I was dangerously wounded and taken prisoner after seven hours' dispute in ascending a cliff at the ill-managed descent upon St. Christophers, where, if I may modestly say so, I was no ways backward in imitating Anthonius Primus, though not in beating the French as he did four legions of the Emperor, nor in running my ensign (who dropped my colours and went woundless aboard) through the body. I took up the colours by the half pike and darted at the Chevalier St. Laurens. The pike was broken, and I was shot in the hand, but I snatched the silk from one who was about to seize on it. The French story of the war mentions the killing of the ensign and the breaking of Colonel Stapleton's arm, but it was not broken till two hours after. I humbly pray you to pardon this little vain digression, which is only given to implore you to obtain for me my arrears, due almost these dozen years, and, as long since stated, short of my due and contingent expenses. Since my last of 15th instant, I learn that Count d'Estrées is to remain at Martinique pending fresh orders from France, and that having contracted friendship with the Spanish governors, especially at St. Domingo, the design in that quarter is altered. He can therefore have no object in this American promenade (as they call their frequent voyages to these parts) but the English Plantations, since the ratification of the treaty of neutrality signed, and sealed by Count de Blenac and myself, is denied by the king of France, though they first proposed it, and by alleging defect in my powers obliged me to give supernumerary hostages. His Majesty's commands respecting the office created and granted to Mr. Blathwayt shall be obeyed. Inscribed, Recd. 11 Feb. 1681. Holograph. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 25, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVI., pp. 452–454.]
Oct. 26.
1558. Governor Sir Jonathan Atkins to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Your letter of 6th July last reached me only on the 14th instant. I have since sent by Captain Fen a map of the island such as I could get, with the rest of the Acts passed, and also those that were not passed by the Council. Those passed are so few that I may say to you what I have read was once said in Queen Elizabeth's time, when, there being a Parliament the Queen asked Lord Popham (who was of it) what the Parliament had done. His answer was, they have sat seven weeks, and I may say the same of our Assembly, they have sat a twelvemonth, though I put a great difference between this Assembly and the House of Commons. As to your frequent instances for the laws to be sent to you, I know of none that I could procure which I have omitted to send. I hope you will not think me guilty of so much weakness as to put forward the insurrection of the negroes and other circumstances as reasons for not transmitting the laws. They were rather reasons why the Assembly did not meet so frequently as before. As a rule they do not meet above once a month, nor sit for more than a day, and I thought it inconvenient to send the laws until there was a considerable number to be sent together. As to my mention of Virginia and Sir George Ayscough, I thought it not amiss to let you know in what condition the Governor stands when the King has no force of his own, and all depends on the people. Not that I distrust the people in general, though some of them are factious enough. If I have been mistaken in the circumstances of time of sending the laws I hope your Lordships will repair it, for it was not wilfully done. I beg your pardon for it and promise amendment. I know of no Act for the King's revenue except that for the 4½ per cent. which was sent to you long ago. I beg your pardon for repeating what I have so often said before, that the people here will not obey an Act that is not in being. The Militia Act was near expiration; many things in the former Act needed reform, but that Act being a very long one the amendments could not be speedily effected. The Assembly therefore renewed the former Act and continued it for a short time only, in order that the new Act might be presented to His Majesty in a state fit for long continuance. The account of the Militia to which you refer was sent you soon after my arrival. I had only taken up the government in the previous November, and until I had more time to enquire into the matter I was forced to accept the computation of the President and Council, which was based, I conceive, on the Militia Act, whereby owners of land are bound to provide for so many acres a horseman and for so many acres a footman; adding to the men thus raised the number of others obliged to bear arms, the total would amount to very near the numbers given. But there have certainly been great changes in the past six years. Firstly, numbers of people go from here to Carolina, Jamaica, and the Leeward Islands, in the hope of getting land which they cannot get here. Again, fresh supplies of men do not come to us; the few that do come are bound for at most five years, and when their time expires they seek a fortune elsewhere. Again, since people have found out the convenience and cheapness of slave-labour they no longer keep white men, who used to do all the work on the plantations. Moreover, as I have explained, white servants do not come here, though for their own safety the planters would willingly embrace them. Further, it has pleased Providence to send a great mortality among us these two years past which hath swept away many of our people and our slaves. We have lost six members of Council, four Colonels, two LieutenantColonels, and many considerable officers of the Militia, so that it is small wonder if the Militia be abated. Besides there is a considerable number of Anabaptists, Quakers, and other dissenters who have got considerable estates, and will neither serve themselves, nor send their servants as the law requires. This has occasioned some strictness in law for the Militia extraordinary, but these people are under no severer penalties than the best of the King's subjects. I did not include the lifeguard in my last account of the Militia. It is a thing uncertain, sometimes they are fifty, sometimes sixty, sometimes a hundred strong, according as the merchants and tradesmen that compose it come and go. Again, all overseers, under overseers, and many other servants of that kind are exempted by the Act from attendance at public musters, though they are bound to serve in case of alarm for the general defence of the country, and would make one of our best regiments. So also all judges, their assistants and servants, all clerks and officers of Courts, Justices of the Peace and their servants, lawyers attending the Courts, and officers in Commission of the Militia are allowed a man by the Act. They never attend public musters though they are bound to come with horse and arms upon all alarms. Considering all these things, your Lordships will I hope see that the present numbers do not really fall so far short of the former computation.
As to the general account of the population, I gave you what was given by the Council to me; but my last account was, I thought, according to your orders. I conceived that I could not give you a better return than that made by the churchwardens who went through every parish and certified the number of inhabitants. It is an invincible difficulty to furnish you exactly with the numbers of all in the Island, men, women, and children. So nearly as we can calculate they may amount to near the number formerly given to you. The list of ships again I gave to you as it was given to me out of the Naval Office, who have no reason, and would not dare, to give me a false account. Possibly that account fell out at a time when few ships were here, for they carefully observe the time of the crop, and the crop being both late and short of expectation, most of the sugar has been shipped off since. The enclosed further account of what has been since shipped off may give you further satisfaction; an account of imports is also enclosed. As to exports neither I nor my Council can think of any way to satisfy your Lordships but by the entries in the office of the 4½ per cent. duty, which must at best be a very fallible one, as my Council will certify to you.
As to the confirmation of Colonel Drax and Sir Peter Colleton to act on behalf of the Island, not long before Colonel Drax resolved to go to England the Assembly presented to me and the Council an order for thirty butts of sugar to be consigned to Sir Peter Colleton for the payment of any extraordinary expenses incurred by their service for the benefit of the Island. This was agreed to. Shortly after a paper was presented to the Council containing instructions for Colonel Drax. Of these all were rejected except the two first. One of the latter was, that he should endeavour to procure a commutation of the 4½ per cent. duty according to a clause in the last lease. Upon several complaints made to me that the manner of collecting that duty was very troublesome to them, when the term was to be let I acquainted the Assembly that now was a fit time, if they thought it would be to the good of the country, to propound and offer for the term. Of this they took no notice. But suddenly, when Colonel Drax was resolved upon his journey, they promised themselves that much might be done in these and other imaginary things, wherewith they pleased themselves and gave instructions accordingly; but I told them they had mistaken their business, and that was all the approbation I gave to that affair. The second instruction was to endeavour to overthrow the patent of the Guinea Company, and to that I told them I could not Join with them, for that I acted daily by the King's patent, and in that particular by both his patent and express orders as well as your Lordships'. But their hopes went high. I told them that if they offered me anything to the good of the country, I was very ready to join with them, and in that particular had never failed them. Some overtures have been made by Colonel Drax and Sir Peter Colleton in the matter of the 4½ per cent., but with little encouragement for their success. They sent a letter to the Assembly saying how serviceable they had been to the country by saving them from being put under the Irish system of Government, from the grant of power to the Governor to make and displace Councillors, and from some other small things which when well inquired into cannot prove to be of much advantage to them. For this the Assembly wrote them a letter of thanks with a number of new instructions which was at last presented to the Council, which unanimously rejected it as factious, as not for the good of the country, and as encroaching on the royal prerogative. Hereby they refused to allow any such authority to be given to these gentlemen, and suspended the power (if any) that was given to them before. I respect the two gentlemen themselves, but I am afraid that they take wrong measures, though they mean well. A copy of the intended letter to them was sent to Mr. Secretary Coventry, and I now send a duplicate. As to the filling of the vacancy in the Council, Mr. Francis Bond is an ingenious young man, but most of his fortune depends on the life of a widow whom he hath married here; whereas Mr. Alexander Ruddock is a solid man, hath a good estate, and is free from debt. I therefore conceive Mr. Ruddock to be the fittest man. There was no vacancy in the Council till now, by the death of Colonel John Standfast, who died very lately. There was a vacancy, but Captain Thomas Walrond, by what procurement I cannot tell, obtained a Privy Seal to be one of the Council, and was accordingly sworn. By my commission I have power when the Council falls below nine in number to appoint a member, subject to the King's confirmation, and I accordingly appointed Mr. Benjamin Knight, a man without exception, both for estate, credit, and prudence. I beg His Majesty's confirmation of this appointment.Endorsed, Recd. 11 Feb.1680/81. Read, 10 March 1680/81. 7 closely written pages. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 26, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 89–101.]
Oct. 27. 1559. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Chief Justice North reports that the gentlemen of Jamaica are prepared to grant the King a perpetual Bill for the payment of the Governor, and another Bill for the payment of contingencies, for seven years. Provided that they be restored to their ancient form of passing laws, and may be assured of such of the laws of England as concern their liberty and property. Ordered, that Sir Henry Morgan be directed to pass a temporary Bill for the Revenue in Jamaica, with consent of the Assembly, or in case of its refusal by the method pursued by former Governors. On reading the petition of the inhabitants of Jamaica to be restored to their ancient method of making laws, ordered that their Lordships meet de die in diem till the question be settled. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., pp. 220, 221.]
Oct. 27. 1560. Petition of planters, traders, &c., of Jamaica to the King. The Island was in a most flourishing state until your Majesty altered the Government by your commission to Lord Carlisle, since which time a fatal stop hath been to its prosperity. Many of the inhabitants have withdrawn their estates and persons from the Island, and more will do so unless your Majesty be pleased to shine upon them with favour. The Council and Assembly have already pleaded for return to the ancient form of Government, which is likewise the prayer of the petitioners. Eighteen signatures, including those of Samuel Long and William Beeston. Inscribed, Read in Council Oct. 27, in Committee Oct. 28, 1680. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 27, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXIX., pp. 442, 443.]
Oct. 28. 1561. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. After consideration of divers documents their Lordships agree that the present method of making laws in Barbadoes, as laid down in Sir R. Dutton's Commission, be applied to Jamaica; and that the Assembly may be more readily induced to grant a revenue, their Lordships think that the King's quit-rents and the tax on wine licenses, as well as all existing levies, should be appropriated solely to the support of the Government. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., pp. 222, 223.]
Oct. 30. 1562. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Colonel Long and the other gentlemen of Jamaica called in and acquainted with the Lords' resolution to recommend for them the same method of making laws as in Barbadoes, with which they express themselves very well satisfied. [Col Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., p. 223.]
Oct. 30. 1563. Instructions to Sir Richard Dutton, Governor of Barbadoes. He is empowered to permit the 4½ per cent, duty to be commuted for some equivalent impost; ordered to enforce the Bishop of London's recommendations (ante, No. 1488) to endeavour to pass a law to prevent inhumanity of masters to their Christian servants, and to find out the best means for the conversion of negroes. In all 48 clauses.[Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 37–53.]
Oct. 1564. Petition of the General Assembly of Maine to the King. Were necessitated owing to the failure of those betrusted by him who was the chief lord proprietor, and by the unruliness of turbulent spirits and the rage of heathen natives, to crave the succour of the Massachusetts Government, who did not spare blood or treasure in their defence, having furnished supplies of clothing, ammunition, provision and money to the amount of 7,000l., and have never taken one penny tax either in peace or war except what was to be distributed among the inhabitants of the province. The Massachusetts Government being owners by a late purchase from the heirs of Sir Ferdinand Gorges, His Majesty's Lieutenant and their chief lord proprietor, and having notified the oath of allegiance to them, none refusing to accept it except Quakers and some with them, and having settled a Government according to Gorges' charter, petitioners pray that the accusations and suggestions of any representing sinisterly their estate and condition may not prevail to bring on further alterations. Signed by 16 burgesses. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 28.]
[Oct. ?] 1565. Report to the Committee about Mr. Penn's boundaries [by William Blathwayt?]. I have examined Mr. Penn's petition for the grant of a tract of land in America and the patent of New York granted to His Royal Highness [the Duke of York], and find that the latter is sufficiently distinguished from the grant desired by Mr. Penn. But I am further to offer to your Lordships that there are several Dutch and Swedish plantations which have been long under the English Government, that lie scattered on the westward of Delaware river, some of them perhaps within the bounds of Mr. Penn's petition, and have for a long time either acknowledged the protection of the Duke of York or of Lord Baltimore, near whose borders they are settled. Draft, with correction in Blathwayt's hand. Endorsed as above. 1½ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 29.]