America and West Indies: February 1682

Pages 191-201

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 11, 1681-1685. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1898.

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February 1682

Feb. 2.
394. Sir Richard Dutton to Sir Leoline Jenkins. The late Assembly has persisted in spite of my warnings in most undutiful behaviour towards all the King's commands which were most excellently calculated for the benefit of the Island. and has damaged the country to the value of at least twenty thousand pounds. Thinking it inconsistent both with my duty and my honour to suffer them to pursue their unjustifiable proceedings any longer, I considered myself obliged to dissolve them, and did so on the 24th January to the great astonishment and still greater satisfaction of the country. I prepared a declaration of my reasons to be read in all the churches of the Island last Sunday, which had the effect that I desired there, and I hope may have the like success with the King's Council. I have sent it to Mr. Blathwayt for you, and beg your favourable construction thereof. I know that I have aimed only at the maintenance of the King's honour, and not at my private advantage. That the Assembly might see my just resentment of their ill behaviour, I removed all the leading men of the faction from all employment, military or civil, previous to the dissolution, and have put much better men in their places. One of them was a judge called Littleton, a man who loves neither the King nor the King's government; and had Sir Jonathan Atkins done his duty, he would not have left such a person behind him for me to contend with. He told Sir Jonathan most traitorously that if the King did not faithfully perform the things that the people entrusted him withal it was in their power to thrust him from his government. This he said to him privately, but Sir Jonathan had not the resolution to punish him and actually had the folly to speak it to one of the Council, Mr. Stede, who told him that he ought either to conceal it or make an example of Littleton. The other Judge is one Quintin who is a great intelligencer, and supplies all the faction here with scandalous papers, and was always caballing with them and endeavouring to lessen the prerogative on every occasion. Holograph. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 2 April 1682. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVIII., No. 19.]
Feb. 3.
395. Order of the King in Council. For the preparation of a Commission to Edward Cranfield as Governor of New-Hampshire. Signed, John Nicholas. ¼ p. Endorsed. Recd. 16 Feb. 1681–82. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVIII., No. 20, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., p. 32.]
Feb. 3.
396. Order of the King in Council. Referring the petition of Benjamin Middleton to the Lords of Trade and Plantations for their report. Signed, John Nicholas. ½ p. Annexed,
396. I. The petition referred to. Petitioner's father, Thomas Middleton, spent 8,000l. on the settlement of a plantation in Antigua, but lost the whole by the invasion of the French in 1667. The inhabitants, however, being sensible of his merit and of that of Mr. Jacob Lucy, passed an Act soon after the rendition of the Island to the English requiring every inhabitant (except him and Mr. Lucy) to re-settle and to pay taxes. Thomas Middleton died many years ago, and petitioner succeeded to the Plantation, but, having many debts, was not in a condition to re-settle on the Island till last year, when he agreed with Mr. William London's correspondent to do so. To his great surprise he now hears that some people have got possession of his plantation and refuse to allow Mr. London to enter, on pretence of some late Act which is not yet confirmed by the King. Prays that the Act may not be passed, and that Governor Stapleton may be directed to relieve him. Copy. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 18 Feb. 1681–82. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVIII., No. 21, and (order only Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., pp. 48–49.]
Feb. 6.
Mount Paradise,
397. Mr. C. Jones to Lord Baltimore. This is to ask you for a permit for trade at Nanticoke only for Roanoke and Peake, if there be any commodity prohibited by your laws. I have an inland trade about four hundred miles from here S.S.W. This year the Indians will leave Roanoke, and I have a considerable trade with them. Through it I learned six weeks since of the motion of the Seneca Indians about three hundred miles S.S.W. from here. They took from an Indian town thirty-five [prisoners] and four or five from several small towns under the mountains near five hundred miles [from hence]. They have so oppressed the Indians that they have made no corn this year; they are now in a full body returning home. By reckoning they may be now in your country on their return, "when the turkeys gobble," by the information of those that were here. I expect to hear from the priest, and will forward any further news. Not long since I was at Mr. Heale's and heard of your coming to Notley Hall. He gave me to understand that you would take it kindly if I watched the action of Mr. Fendall, which I have since made it my business to do. He converses with no gentry, for they would condemn one so arrogant as a man to be watched in all his motions. Mens' actions are so carefully inspected here that you need fear no mischief from Fendall in your country. Your grant of a permit to trade would be an act of charity. Copy. 1 p. On the page within, A second note from the same to the same, dated 3rd March 1682. On the other side is a copy of a letter which I was promised should be delivered, but you being not at Notley Hall it was returned. Pray empower the bearer, Thomas Ousley, to trade for me. Signed, Cadwallader Jones. Holograph. ½ p. Endorsed, "Letter concerning Virginia. Recd. from my Lord Baltimore." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVIII., No. 22.]
Feb. 7. 398. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Petition of John Ewin for satisfaction for brandy seized by Sir John Berry read. Ordered, that the matter be reported to the King if the petitioner insist further (see No. 401).
Draft of a letter to Lord Baltimore read and approved. Agreed that the style of "Our province" be insisted on by the King.
Report concerning foot companies in the Leeward Islands read, approved. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVII., pp. 3, 4.]
Feb. 7.
399. Report of Lords of Trade and Plantations to the King. We have received several letters from Sir William Stapleton, and we cannot but represent to you the necessity of the two foot companies in St. Christophers, through their pay being three years in arrear. The Governor also has received no pay during the same period. As regards fortifications, we hope that the 1,500l. granted by you will be disposed of to build a fort in each Island, and not to build one strong fort only as suggested by Sir William Stapleton; but we recognise that the expense will be very burden-some to the country, and we think it of the last importance that either by your bounty or by their private contribution a fort should be finished in each Island. We recommend to you the following Acts for confirmation:—
Act imposing a duty on powder.
Act for making restitution of cattle.
Act for Ministers' duties.
Act for ascertaining lands.
Act for encouragement of buyers of servants.
Act to repeal an Act touching payment of sugar.
Act to prevent fraudulent accounting of handicraftsmen.
Act to prevent fires in Charlestown.
Act to prevent the landing of infected persons.
Act for repairing common ponds.
Act for repairing the King's forts.
Act for cleaning and enlarging paths and highways.
Act for bringing in runaway negroes.
Act for settling the militia.
We have also received several depositions of persons complaining of violence from a Spanish ship, which we recommend to be delivered to the Spanish Ambassador, with request for reparation. Finally, we lay before you Sir William Stapleton's letters of 16th August and 12th November (see ante, Nos. 204,291), respecting the massacre by Indians in Barbuda. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., pp. 27–30.)
Feb. 7.
400. Journal of the Assembly of Nevis. The Governor proposed the renewal of the Act for an impost on liquor imported into the Island. The Council agreed to continue it for a year from 9th April. The Assembly concurred. The Governor advised that the Acts sent him should be confirmed here every two years to save them from expiry. The Council agreed. The Assembly asked for time to peruse them. Petition from the merchants and inhabitants of Charlestown that there be no fireplaces but with chimneys of brick or stone, and no stalls in the town. Granted by the Council and Assembly. Petition of the taverners for raising the rate of Madeira wine rejected. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVIII., No. 23.]
[Feb. 7.] 401. Petition of John Ewin to the King. In September 1676 I shipped a cargo on board the Francis, John Warner, master, consigned to William Drummond of Virginia. He was hanged for his share in the rebellion, and Sir John Berry, finding the Francis in James River on his arrival seized the papers and cargo, and finding some brandy and wine among it sold it for the King's service. The prime cost to me was 126l. I have ever been a faithful subject, and have paid large sums to your customs. I pray reimbursement. 1 p. Inscribed and endorsed, "Read at the Committee, 7th February 1682." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVIII., No. 24.]
Feb. 8. 402. Order of the King in Council. Approving the draft of the succeeding letter to Lord Baltimore. Signed, John Nicholas. Copy of letter follows. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCIX., pp. 123–128.]
Feb. 8.
403. The King to Lord Baltimore. When we reflect on all the favour shown you by our predecessors we hope that you will be guided by the rules of our charter, but we are not a little surprised to find by divers and undeniable testimony, as well as by the confession of your own letters, that you have obstructed our service and discouraged our officers in the execution of their duty. We have already directed you to aid our collectors and customs' officers in Maryland in all matters pertaining to their office, and particularly for securing to us the dues payable to us by the Act for the better securing of the plantation trade, which imposes, among other rates, one penny per pound on tobacco. We are nevertheless informed that, far from helping our officers to collect this, you have hindered and forbidden them to receive it. In particular we have heard from Nicholas Badcock, our late Controller of Customs in Maryland, that on the arrival of the ship St. George of London and two other ships, he, finding that the bonds which they had given rendered them liable to the penny per pound, demanded it of them, and, being refused, attended you several times and asked your assistance. You, however, refused to give him the least help, and, on his pressing the request, ordered him to appear before the Council. He then again asked for your aid but was absolutely denied it, and was told not to meddle with such matters for they did not concern him. You acknowledge, in your letter of 7th June to the Commissioners of Customs, that you refused him the receipt of our duties, and hindered him from molesting the masters of the ships in question. The ships, therefore, sailed away without paying the duty, whereby our Customs were damnified to the value of 2,500l. We have also been acquainted with your complaints against Christopher Rousby, our present Collector, as if he had behaved himself in a violent and unwarrantable manner, such as tended to discourage trade, diminish our customs, and disturb the public peace. But, on examination of the matter, it appears that you proceeded in a most unjustifiable manner in charging Rousby with great enormities in his absence without giving him notice of your accusations before he left Maryland, which was well known to you four months before he embarked. You have transmitted no sufficient proof of your charges, and we can give no credit thereto. But we command you to let Rousby execute his office peaceably, to afford him therein all the assistance that the law requires, and we give you this caution, that if you shall hereafter have any cause of complaint against Rousby, or any other person, you will first show him your accusations and receive his answer thereto, and send both, together with the proofs, to us; and, though your proceedings, in obstruction of our officers and contempt of our laws are such as might justly cause issue of a writ of quo warranto, yet of our clemency we have done no more than to require the Commissioners of Customs to charge you with the payment of the 2,500l. lost to our Customs through your fault. We strictly order you in future to see that the laws relating to the trade of our Colonies are carried out. Signed, L. Jenkins. Endorsed. 5½ pp. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LII., pp. 74–80, and Col. Papers, Vol. XLVIII., No. 25.]
Feb. 8. 404. Memorandum of the writing of the foregoing letter, with a full summary of its contents. Draft. 5 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVIII., No. 26.]
Feb. 8 405. An incomplete version of the foregoing. Draft. 1½ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVIII., No. 27.]
Feb. 8. 406. Order of the King in Council. That the Commissioners of Customs cause demand to be made for the speedy payment of 2,500l. by Lord Baltimore in repayment of the loss caused to the King by his fault. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LII., pp. 80–81.]
Feb. 8.
407. Order of the King in Council. Confirming the following Acts of Antigua: Act for cleaning and enlarging common paths; Act for repairing and cleaning common pounds; Act for bringing in runaway negroes; Act for settling the militia.
Acts of Montserrat: Act imposing a duty of powder on ships; Act for making restitution for cattle stolen by negroes.
Acts of Nevis: Act for ascertaining lands; Act to encourage buying of servants; Act to repeal an Act touching payment of sugar; Act to prevent fraudulent accounts of handicraftsmen; Act to prevent dangerous fires in Charlestown; Act to prevent landing of infected persons; Act to amend an Act to prevent the barbarism of negroes; Act for Ministers' duties. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LI., pp. 1–46.]
Feb. 8.
408. Order of the King in Council. That copies of the depositions sent by Sir William Stapleton respecting the plundering of the ship Agreement be sent to the Spanisb ambassador with demand for reparation. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., pp. 31–32.]
Feb. 8.
409. Order of the King in Council. That the Commissioners of the Treasury be desired to take care to provide money for the payment of the arrears of the Governor's salary, and of the pay of the two foot companies in St. Christophers. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., p. 32.]
Feb. 8.
410. Order of the King in Council. That a copy of Sir William Stapleton's letter of 16th August 1681 be sent to Sir Richard Dutton with orders to confer with Sir William as to the best means of suppressing the Caribbee Indians. Letter to be prepared accordingly by a Secretary of State. Signed, John Nicholas. ½ p. Endorsed. Annexed,
410. I. Copy of Sir William Stapleton's letter of 16th August 1681 (see ante, No. 204). [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVIII., Nos. 28, 28 I., and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., pp. 30–31.]
[Feb.] 411. The King to Sir William Stapleton. In reply to your letter of 16th August (see No.204) we give you full power to make war on the Indians, and we have written to the Governor of Barbados to concert operations with you, and do all that in him lies to suppress these savage enemies. You also, on your part, will do your best to agree with him for the security of the Islands. If you cannot utterly suppress the Indians you will do your best to drive them to the Main. Draft. 2 pp. Endorsed, "Barbados." A similar letter mutatis mutandis was sent to Sir Richard Dutton. [Col. Papers. Vol. XLVIII., No. 29.]
Feb. 10. 412. Order of the King in Council. Approving the report of the Lords of Trade and Plantations of 31st January (see ante, No. 389), and directing a letter to be written accordingly. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXII., p. 65.]
Feb. 11.
St. James's.
413. Sir John Werden to Lieutenant Brockholes. The Duke is preparing instructions for you. Meanwhile do your best to keep all quiet and in good order, and the soldiers in discipline. I may hint to you that the Duke may grant to the Colony the privilege that it desires of choosing an Assembly like the rest of the English plantations. Sound the people about this, and try to obtain from them some written undertaking as to the provision of a revenue in future. Report fully to me. Printed in New York Documents, Vol. III., p. 317. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXX., pp. 38–39.]
Feb. 13.
414. Sir Richard Dutton to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I have already begged for your instructions what course to pursue in respect of causes that are properly cognizable by an ecclesiastical Court. There has never been such a court established here for the punishment of the highest offenders. The Island is now grown to such importance that it is high time to let the people know that there are religious as well as civil duties to be required of them, that could not so conveniently be provided for in its infancy. They can now digest strong meats, and I am afraid the Government may find the ill-effects of not providing them with it. I have made some essay to let them know that I will not tolerate their former liberties, such as marriage by unqualified persons, and between persons within the prohibited degrees. My attempt had not the success that I had hoped, but it has startled them very much, and given them persuasion that I intend to enforce strict conformity with the ecclesiastical laws. I am confident that in this way I shall make them better Christians as well as better subjects. It may appear to be a novelty, and therefore burdensome to them at first, but in a short time, if thoroughly enforced, it will reduce them to a proper obedience. I therefore urge it as of the first importance to have an ecclesiastical person empowered under me, who might be vested with full authority to inflict ecclesiastical censures as provided by law in the English ecclesiastical Courts. What appellation to give him, whether Chancellor or other, I leave to you, but I beg that his patent may declare that he holds office during good behaviour. Mr. John Kenney, Rector of Christchurch, is the man that I appointed surrogate on my arrival; he is very well qualified for the employment, a man who understands the civil laws, and is very zealous for the Church, and I venture therefore to recommend him for the new office. If you approve of my suggestion I doubt not that you will see that his patent gives him proper powers. Mr. Yard, the bearer hereof, a very honest worthy person, will see to the payment of the expenses of the patent. 1 closely written page. Holograph. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVIII., No. 30.]
Feb. 15. 415. Letters of naturalisation issued by Thomas Lord Culpeper to Henry Brunett. Copy certified by John Fox, Secretary. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVIII., No. 31.]
Feb. 15.
416. Instructions to Edward Dudley and John Richards, Agents for the Massachusetts, on arriving in England. 1. Humbly to present the Address, and thank the King for his favour. 2. To beg pardon for the fault of coining. 3. To represent that members of the Church of England have the same liberty as all others. 4. That all laws against dissenters are suspended, except those which apply to all sects. 5. That all Protestants are admitted to the government and contrary laws repealed. 6. That the Acts of Trade shall be duly observed, and the King's officers supported; to disclaim all pretence and forfeitures of contraband goods; to represent that to grant appeals indefinitely in all cases arising out of the King's revenue will be extremely burdensome; that no fees have been taken of the King's officers, except when courts have been called and juries summoned for the purpose outside the usual terms; nor damage given against any officer but in action brought; that all trials for breaches of the Acts of Trade have been by courts and juries upon oath; to pray that the people of Massachusetts may not pay double the duty of the rest of the King's subjects on plantation goods. 7. To show that the rates on strangers were not above one penny per pound, and increased only on inhabitants by reason of the war. 8. To pray for a trial in the place for the inhabitants under Mr. Mason's claim. 9. To give a true relation of the proceedings respecting the province of Maine. The King having informed us that he has no intention of violating our charter, you will therefore neither do nor consent to anything that may violate or infringe the liberties conferred by that charter, but if anything tending that way be propounded you will say that you have no instructions, and ask leave to consult us before answering. 10. You will try to satisfy the King and Council in the foregoing particulars, beg the King's consideration of the circumstances of our condition, and beg his pardon for past faults now amended. Signed for the Court, Edward Rawson, Secretary. 2 pp. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVIII., No. 32, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXI., pp. 164, 165.]
Feb. 15. 417. Duplicate of foregoing. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXIII., No. 33.]
Feb. 15. 418. Four pages of the Official Gazette of Massachusetts, containing regulations for the erection of a naval office and appointing officers thereto. Against a clause providing that security shall be given by the prosecutor in cases arising under the regulations, is written in the margin, Expressly against His Majesty's letter of 21st October 1681. The next clause provides that the officers shall be assisted by local authorities with warrant [in the margin, but not without] from the Governor or a magistrate. Follows, an order for amending certain clauses of the capital laws. In the margin, Their laws were revised and many repealed in January 1680, but the deputies would admit of no more than the changing of words. Follows a clause headed, Conspiracy: "If any "man conspire and attempt any invasion, &c., against the King's "Majesty, his government here established .... he shall be put "to death." Underwritten, 2 Sam. 3, 2 Sam. 18, 2 Sam. 20, Numb. 6, 16. Against the words "King's Majesty, &c.," is written, "Commonwealth in the former law. This law was made about "the time they set up to be a commonwealth, and ought to be "repealed." Printed, 4 pp. [Col. Papers. Vol. XLVIII., No. 34.]
Feb. 16.
419. The King to Sir Henry Chicheley. Respecting the petition of William Fisher (see No. 183). We find that several unjustifiable proceedings have taken place and we order you to examine and report to us the whole matter. Countersigned. Conway. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLIII., p. 167.]
Feb. 18. 420. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Petition of Benjamin Middleton, respecting his estate in the Leeward Islands (see ante, No. 396 I.), read. Agreed to report that Sir William Stapleton be ordered to allow no Act to pass in Antigua to petitioner's prejudice.
Draft of Commission and Instructions for Governor Cranfield of New Hampshire, ordered. Agreed to recommend that the Council consist of ten persons besides the Governor, and to report that Mr. Mason asks to nominate as many members of the Assembly as the King thinks fit. Petition of Mr. Mason read, asking the King to declare his rights to the land between Naumkeck and Merrimac. Agreed to report that he have possession within six months unless parties show cause to the contrary. Ordered, that a Commission of Vice-Admiralty for Governor Cranfield be required of Sir John Werden.
Read, Sir Henry Morgan's letter of 4th October last, and the Secretary's letter promising to send the whole body of laws. The Lords noticing that a ship is since arrived from Jamaica without the laws, order that the Secretary be directed to be more punctual with his correspondence in future.
Ordered, that in the laws passed in the Leeward Islands the titles of Honourable and Excellency given to the Governor be henceforth discontinued. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVII., pp. 5–9.]
[Feb. 18.] 421. Petition of Robert Mason to the King and Lords of Trade and Plantations. In March 1679, in consequence of repeated complaints of the encroachments of Massachusetts the King ordered that Government to send over agents. They came in 1676, and after consideration of the case of both parties the territory for three miles north of the Merrimac to Piscattaway was taken out of the hands of Massachusetts; while in July 1679 it was decided that Massachusetts had no right to any country beyond three miles north of the Merrimac or lying between that boundary and the Naumkeck, and that I was the lawful proprietor of the land between the Naumkeck and Piscattaway. On the request of the agents, however, this decision was suspended, and the agents then returned home. The King, however, instructed Massachusetts to send over fresh agents within three months with proof of their title to the lands which they claim; which instruction has never been obeyed. I beg therefore for the King's final decision, for the voiding of the claims of Massachusetts and my establishment as lawful proprietor as already determined. I am willing to remit all arrears to the tenants and ask only a small quit-rent. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Read, 18th February 1681–82. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVIII., No. 35.]
Feb. 20.
422. Lords of Trade and Plantations to the King. We have prepared a draft Commission for Edward Cranfield as Governor of New Hampshire; but forasmuch as Robert Mason claims a right of property in the soil of the whole province, we have added a clause empowering him to nominate and appoint two deputies to sit and vote in the General Assembly. Signed, Anglesy, Ailesbury, Arlington, Craven, Worcester, L. Jenkins. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., p. 32.]
Feb. 21. 423. Minutes of Council of Barbados. William How and John Daniell sworn as Judges of the Courts of Common Pleas for two precincts. Thomas Walrond took the oaths of allegiance and supremacy. Petitions of Daniel Bueno and Anthony Graner, on behalf of the Jews of St. Michaels respecting church and highway levies, considered. Order for Commissioners to inquire into the charitable endowments of the several parishes. Adjourned to 21st March. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XI., pp. 507–509, and a second entry on p. 513.]
Feb. 28. 424. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Draft commission for the Governor of New Hampshire approved and ordered to be reported to Council, with an additional clause granting the proprietor the nomination of two members of Assembly. Mr. Mason reported the misbehaviour of Richard Waldern and Richard Martyn, and that they stood accused of high crimes. The Lords thought that they should nevertheless be continued of the Council, but that Mr. Cranfield be directed to suspend them on his arrival, and not re-admit them, if he see cause, until, after a report and examination of the whole matter, the King order otherwise.
Draft letter to Sir William Stapleton approved. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVII., pp. 9–11.]
Feb. 28.
425. Journal of Assembly of Nevis. The Assembly asked to peruse the Acts sent home before confirming them. List of the Acts. The Assembly confirmed them and sent them up to the Governor and Council. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVIII., No. 23]