America and West Indies: April 1681

Pages 25-37

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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April 1681

April 2.
62. The King to Lord Baltimore. By Letters Patent bearing date 4th March last we have granted to William Penn, from regard to the merits and services of his father Sir William Penn, a tract of land in America called Pennsylvania. [Boundaries described]. And that all due encouragement may be given to William Penn in the settlement of the plantation within the said country, we recommend his deputies and officers to your friendly aid. And to this end we think fit that you order with all convenient speed some person or persons to meet the agents of William Penn to define the boundaries of Maryland and Pennsylvania, according to our letters patent. Signed, Conway. [Col. Entry Bks., Vol. III., pp. 83, 84, and 86, 87, and Vol. XCIII., p. 4a.]
April 2. 63. The King's declaration, setting forth that he has granted a tract of land called "Pensilvania" to William Penn by Letters Patent of 4th March, and calling upon all inhabitants and settlers of that province to obey him as Proprietor. Addressed to the "Inhabitants and Planters" of Pensilvania. 1½ pp. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCIII., p. 164.]
April 4.
64. [Sir John Werden] to John Lewin. Enclosing a warrant to aid him in his enquiry at New York. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXX., p. 35.]
April 6.
65. Order of the King in Council. The petition of Francis Mingham (ante, No. 40) to be referred to the Lords of Trade and Plantations for their report. ½ p. Inscribed, Read 12 April 1681. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 114, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXIX., p. 460.]
April 6. 66. Memorandum of the foregoing Order in Council by the Clerk, Francis Gwyn. Scrap. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 115.]
April 6. 67. Petition of Edward Yeomans, Provost Marshal of Jamaica, to the King. Showing that though there is no prison in Jamaica the petitioner is liable for all escapes; that he was forced to build a room for Francis Mingham and hire guards at extraordinary trouble and expense; that though he might have exacted his charges and fees for Mingham, yet in dutiful obedience to the King's order he released him at once, without receiving any satisfaction; and that he therefore begs the King and Council, on hearing Mingham's case, to order his fees to be paid. Inscribed, Rec. 6 April 1681. Read 12 April 1682. In Entry Book is a memorandum that the petition was referred to the Lords of Trade and Plantations. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 116, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXIX., p. 461.]
[April 6.] 68. Petition of Edward Randolph to the King. Petitioner recounts his difficulties in the law-courts of Massachusetts over his attempts to enforce the Laws of Trade and Navigation. Over and above these delinquencies, Massachusetts has omitted to send over agents as commanded by your Majesty. They also continue to coin money, which they acknowledged to be a great crime, and for which they craved pardon; they convert fines and forfeitures, which are due to the King, to the use of the Colony; and lastly they have liberated without any process of law a master of a ship who was apprehended for firing at your Majesty's jack. The charter of incorporation of Massachusetts is similar to that of the Bermudas, against which you have ordered the issue of a writ of Quo warranto as was formerly done in Virginia. The misdemeanours and arbitrary proceedings of Massachusetts far exceed those of the Somers' Island Company. Petitioner therefore prays that a writ of Quo warranto may be issued to vacate their patent. 1 p. Inscribed, Read in Council, April 6, 1680. Read at Committee, 8 April 1680. In the margin, Order of the King in Council, 6 April 1681. That the Committees of Trade and Plantations meet on Saturday next to consider this petition. Signed, Francis Gwyn. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 117.]
April 7. 69. Testimonies of various witnesses taken by Robert Mason, Philip Chasey, of Oyster River in the province of New Hampshire, testifies that in the year 1665, when the King's Commissioners were in the province, Major Walderne, now one of the Council, said to him, "You are one of those that petition for kingly government. You shall have a king, and I will be your king"; and he has ever since oppressed the inhabitants. John Michelmore testifies that in February last Major Walderne said to him, "You have been to Mr. Mason for a confirmation of your lands, for which I will smoke you over the coals." Robert Watson testifies that in February last Walderne, in the town of Dover, warned several people not to agree with Mason for confirmation of their lands, in the hope that there might be a change of Government in England. John Rand and John Beckford testify that when they came to Portsmouth, to agree with Mason for confirmation of their lands, they were met by Richard Martyn, one of the Council, who dissuaded them, saying that neither the King nor Mason had any more right to land in New England than Robin Hood, and that the Council were resolved to oppose him. Joseph Smith gives similar testimony. The foregoing all attested by Robert Mason. 1 p. Endorsed, Read 10 Sept. 1681. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 118.]
April 7.
70. The Secretary of Barbados to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Transmitting copies of all transactions in the Secretary's office, Council, and elsewhere, made up to the end of Sir Jonathan Atkins's Government (see ante, No. 36). Endorsed and inscribed, Recd. 4 June 1681. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 119, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., p. 64.]
April 7. 71. Minutes of Council of Barbados. The Committee reported its amendments to the Bill for fortifications brought up by the Assembly, which were engrossed and returned to the Assembly. Mr. Stede's Bill for a Committee of public accounts was approved and sent down to the Assembly. The Assembly coming in, the Speaker asked that their own Bill for fortifications might be returned to them. Mr. Robert Dawes's petition read, and recommended to the Assembly.
April 8. The Assembly presented a Bill for levy of money for fortifications, which being found to contain few of the amendments formerly added to a like Bill, a conference was desired, and the following members were appointed thereto:— Henry Walrond, Thomas Walrond, Edwyn Stede, Richard Howell. The Assembly delivered the Bill sent them by the Council for a Committee of accounts without having done anything therein, and desired their Bill for getting in the arrears might be returned to them with the Council's amendments. They also sent for the Bill, which they had returned unaltered, for a Committee of public accounts.
April 9. The Assembly brought their Bills for the fortifications and the Committee of public accounts. The former was read three times and received the Governor's consent, the latter was read once. Two petitions for payment of gunners recommended to the Assembly. The Assembly brought an order for a present to Captain Ashley, which was passed by the Council and approved by the Governor. Adjourned to 19th April. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XI., pp. 339–343.]
April 7. 72. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. The House, having sent up a Bill for raising a levy of labour for the forts and received a Bill from the Governor and Council to same effect, resolved to desire the return of its own Bill, and sent back that of the Governor and Council.
April 8. The House ordered this Bill, with the amendments of the Governor and Council, to be read, and thereupon that a Bill with the necessary alterations be drawn. Bill passed and sent to Governor and Council, who desired members to be appointed to debate with some of the Council thereon. Christopher Codrington, Edward Littleton, Richard Seawell, John Davies, Samuel Husbands appointed accordingly, who returned with the said Bill and amendments.
April 9. Ordered by the Council and Assembly that John Hallett give two hogsheads of sugar to Captain Ashley, of H.M.S. Constant Warwick, out of due sense of his good service in bringing hither his Excellency Sir Richard Dutton. Bill for supply of labourers for the fortifications, with the Assembly's amendments, passed. Bill for a Committee of public accounts, with amendments, passed. Ordered, That the Committee appointed to treat for a house for the Governor conclude an agreement with Madam Stanfast for Fontabelle. Adjourned to 17th May. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XIII., pp. 425–427.]
April 9.
St. Jago de
la Vega.
73. Sir Henry Morgan to Secretary Jenkins. Your letter of 3rd February arrived here on the 7th instant by Captain Knapman. Thanks for your friendly intimation of the malicious confederacy to which Lord Carlisle and I have been exposed in the matter of countenancing pirates and privateers. The discouragement of them has always been the utmost endeavour of his Lordship, the Council, and myself. I have put to death, imprisoned, and transported to the Spauiard for execution all English and Spanish pirates that I could get within the power of this Government. I wrote a full account some weeks back to the Lords of Trade and Plantations, and have since received thanks from several Spanish Governors in the Main for exerting so much care and vigilance in the suppression of privateers. Lord Carlisle's earnest endeavours in this direction were the cause of the loss of H.M.S. Success among the South Keys in Cuba, which the privateers used for sanctuary. Nothing was omitted by the Government that tended to carry so good a work into effect, so far has it been from countenancing them or any other malefactors at sea or ashore. We have used Spaniards on all occasions with that respect, despatch, and neighbourly friendship that they have more reason to be thankful than to complain. Privateers in the West Indies can be no less easily extirpated than robbers on the King's highway in England, both being lawless and driven by their respective necessities till overtaken by punishment. I am most infinitely obliged to His Majesty for his gracious opinion of my zeal in his service, particularly in repressing all piracy. I promise my utmost endeavours in the future, but I would I had some small frigates to cruise about this Island, without which they will be busy and infest this coast, though they are prohibited all the ports and all commerce whatsoever with the inhabitants of the Island. The complaints [against Lord Carlisle and myself] have risen more from the desire of men to be popular than from their zeal for the King's service, valuing themselves on the frequent obstructions they often give it. "God forgive 'em, I do." Postscript.—The Assembly did little at their first meeting; they meet after a long adjournment to-morrow. 3 pp. Endorsed, "Rec. 4 July 1681."
Duplicate of foregoing. 2 pp. Inscribed, Rec. 5 June 1681. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., Nos. 120, 121, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXIX., pp. 480–482.]
April 9.
74. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Read, Mr. Randolph's complaint of abuses in the Massachusetts (see ante, Nos. 45, 68). Lord Culpeper acquainted the Committee that while he was in New England he observed that the generality of the people were very weary of the Government of the Magistrates, and that the Magistrates also were very averse to the Government of England. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., pp. 256–257.]
April 12. 75. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Order of Council referring to the complaint of Francis Mingham read. Their Lordship's agree upon their report (see No. 77). [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., pp. 257–259.]
April 15. 76. Petition of Francis Tyssen, merchant, of London, to the King. Prays that directions may be given to Sir Henry Morgan to pay over 931l. 16s. which was placed in his hands as Judge of the Court of Admiralty to the petitioner's deputy, Edward Hazle. 1 p. Endorsed, with memoranda of the fulfilment of petitioner's wishes. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 122.]
April 15.
77. Order of the King in Council. The report, dated 12th April, of the Lords of Trade and Plantations on the case of Francis Mingham (see ante, No. 40) was read, to following effect. We have heard both parties by their Counsel, and we think that the condemnation of Mingham's ship and goods was unwarranted, and his imprisonment and the proceedings on the action for scandal, contemptuous towards your Majesty's Council Board and throughout oppressive and unjust. We recommend that the 300l. for which the ship was sold should be forthwith restored to Mingham, but, as the seizure was colourable and the case had divers circumstances of suspicion, without costs. As regards the action for scandal, we recommend that Sir Henry Morgan and Mr. Thomas Martin be called upon to express their satisfaction with our judgment, that Mingham may be no more troubled thereby, and that your Majesty should express, in such manner as you think best, your resentment towards Sir Henry Morgan and Mr. Martin, to discourage the like proceedings in other persons in power. We recommend further that Mingham be left to take such further legal remedy as he chooses to obtain satisfaction for his sufferings during imprisonment.
As regards the petition of the Provost Marshal of Jamaica (ante, No. 67), we think it reasonable that his fees should be paid by Sir Henry Morgan and Mr. Thomas Martin, according to the proportion of 2,000l. and 500l. for which Mingham was taken in execution. Signed, Bath, Clarendon, Conway, L. Jenkins, Francis North. Order in Council accordingly. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXIX., pp. 462–466.]
April 15.
78. Answer from the Leeward Islands to the King's offer to commute the four and a half per cent. duty. At a meeting held at the Public Court Hall in Charlestown on Friday, 15th April 1681. Present: Sir William Stapleton, Governor and Captain General, Colonel James Cotter, Governor of Montserrat, Captain Charles Pym, and Nicholas Rainsford, Esq., of the Council, and Mr. Philip Lee (Speaker) and Mr. James Walker, of the Assembly of Nevis. Lieutenant-Colonel John Estridge, Captain John Pogson of the Council, and Mr. Ralph Willett (Speaker) and Captain William Willet of the Assembly of St. Christophers. Captain Paul Lee, Captain John Fry of the Council, and Captain John Vernon (Speaker) and Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Mallet, of the Assembly of Antigua. Captain John Symes, Mr. William Fox of the Council, Mr. John Blake (Speaker), and Lieutenant John Davis, of the Assembly of Montserrat.
The King's offer was read, to commute the four and a half per cent. duty for some other more convenient imposition. The representatives of Nevis, Antigua, and St. Christophers answer that they wish for no alteration, but the representatives of Montserrat accept the offer, and are willing to pay an equivalent sum of money for ever, provided that the Island be discharged of the four and a half per cent. duty. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., pp. 13–15.]
April 15. 79. Order of the King in Council. That a copy of the petition of Thomas Dervall be referred to the Lords of Trade and Plantations for their report. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVIII., p. 53.]
April 15. 80. The King to Sir William Stapleton. On the question of the restoration of St. Eustatia and Saba. The Dutch ambassador having undertaken to reimburse you for your expenses in keeping those Islands, viz., 100l., and fifty muskets, we hereby authorise you to restore them to such persons as the Dutch Government shall appoint. 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCIII., p. 6a.]
April 15.
81. Warrant for the re-delivery of the Islands of St. Eustatius and Saba to the Dutch. Addressed to Sir William Stapleton. Countersigned, L. Jenkins. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., p. 72.]
April 16.
82. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Lord Culpeper attended and gave an account of New England. He said that New Plymouth is very well inclined to the King's Government and should therefore be encouraged. Their Lordships will report so to the Council, and that in their opinion! New England cannot be brought to a perfect settlement unless a general governor be sent over and maintained there at the King's charge. They will also propose that all governors be obliged to reside within their governments and receive no salary during their absence therefrom. Their Lordships, considering Mr. Randolph's good services, agree to recommend that his salary be doubled. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., p. 260.]
April 16. 83. Edward Randolph to Sir Leoline Jenkins. I propose that the articles and paper containing several high misdemeanors against the Bostoners, which I gave in myself to the Lords of Trade and Plantations at my first return from New England, should be read; also Sir William Jones's and Sir Francis Winnington's opinion thereon; also my petition and appeal to the King; also the depositions taken on 9th instant. For full confirmation of the whole matter the Attorney-General should be provided with the Bostoners' Charter; and the Acts of Trade and other papers now lying before their Lordships, that the King may be able to proceed legally, and reduce this Government, whose example leads the other Plantations to mutiny and uneasiness, and that the conspiracy, which to my knowledge is continued between the factious parties in both Englands, may be utterly dissolved. A Quo warranto is, by the opinion of the late Attorney and Solicitor General, the most legal and safe way of proceeding with them. Having given notice of the Quo warranto the King should issue a Commission to settle the Government of the province temporarily, similar to that which I myself carried to New Hampshire, empowering the present magistrates and other resident gentlemen to administer justice, to preserve the peace, and to guard against foreign invasion; also to re-hear several causes or seizures which were illegally given against the King, and to enforce the Acts of Trade and Navigation; and lastly to take care of the militia, and to place the castles and forts in safe hands, pending a final settlement of the whole matter. The King should also by printed declaration grant liberty of conscience in matters of religion, grant to every man his legal rights and properties and forbid money to be raised (except in case of foreign invasion or trouble with the Indians) without his permission. Mr. Danforth, Mr. Noel, Mr. Saltonstall, senior, and Mr. Gidney, who lately entered Maine with an armed force, should be declared incapable of any public office, and bound over to good behaviour in a bond of a thousand pounds. I doubt not to give the King a speedy and effectual account of all this, since I obtained the settlement of New Hampshire by his Commission, which was a matter of far greater difficulty. The Quo warranto will unhinge their government and prepare them to receive the King's further pleasure, saving withal both money and time. I have in my papers often pressed the appointment of a general governor as absolutely necessary to the service and honour of the Crown and the good security of the whole Plantation. At present it is cantonised into small corporations and governments, unable to defend themselves or relieve their neighbours. But in many respects I do not look upon the present as a favourable season for this. Besides, should any force appear on the coast to reduce them to reason before they have had a legal summons to make their defence, it would discourage the honest majority in the place. But after a legal prosecution there will be no need of force, for I do not believe that they will add rebellion to all their former extravagance. Yet even supposing that they should not regularly comply, they well know and fear that, for what is already committed, the King will put them out of his protection, command all the Governors of foreign plantations to seize their ships, and deny them further to trade; and without trade they cannot subsist. As for the apprehensions of their joining with the French, they have such a pique against them that they only want an opportunity to dispossess them in Nova Scotia, Canada, and Newfoundland. Holograph. Endorsed. 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 123.]
[April 16?] 84. Part of the Articles objected against the Government of Boston in New England. 1. Erection of a mint and coining of money. 2. Putting subjects to death for matters of religion. 3. Making laws repugnant to the laws of England. 4. Invading and subduing neighbouring provinces with force of arms. 5. Illegal imposition of taxes. Denial of appeals to King in Council; denial of baptism to children, &c. Copy of the opinion of Sir William Jones and Sir Francis Winnington that if the articles alleged be true they are sufficient to invalidate the Patent. Additional considerations: It is clear by the docket of the Charter that they were constituted to be a Governor and Company here in England; and in fact they did act by a Governor in London and sent agents to represent them in America, so that the question arises whether by removing themselves to America they have not invalidated their Charter, and consequently that all power is not returned to the King. I have several papers to communicate to Mr. Secretary if I may have opportunity to attend. 2 pp. Holograph in Randolph's handwriting. Unsigned. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 124.]
April 18.
85. Lord Carlisle to Sir Leoline Jenkins. I have received yours of the 12th instant. I have by this post several letters from Jamaica. The orders are arrived, and Sir Henry Morgan will do his best to get a compliance with what His Majesty and the Lords expect, but I find there will be difficulty to get the Revenue Bill passed perpetual. I heartily desire you would move the King to give his part of the prize taken by Captain Heywood to Sir Henry Morgan. You know there is taken from him 600l. per annum payable here, and his company [of foot], so that this gift will hardly recompense the loss of the other this year, and the place he lives in is so chargeable that, with his generous humour, I know he will be a beggar, though I also allow him 600l. per annum out of what you have left me. I pray give Captain Morgan leave to wait upon you about this, and also to show you some letters from him. Holograph. Endorsed with a docket. "Reed. 30 April 1681." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 125.]
April 19. 86. Order of the King in Council. Referring a petition from the inhabitants of Bermuda to Lords of Trade and Plantations for report. Signed, Francis Gwyn. 1 p. Annexed,
86. I. The petition referred to, from the persons acting in behalf of the inhabitants of Bermuda. In October 1679 your Majesty granted a Quo warranto against the Bermuda Company, to which they avoided pleading by contempts and other designs till Christmas last. On 25th February last you ordered that the Deputy Governor should be sent for to answer his contempt for your Royal order (see ante, No. 31). Notwithstanding this the Company still continues its former practices. It has lately turned one of the Council out of all his employment for speaking on behalf of the said order, and it determines titles of land situate in Bermuda in its Courts here. We beg you to take the Island under your Royal protection, that it may have the benefit of trading to the port of London like the rest of your Plantations till you make known your determination. Signed, William Righton, Nathaniel Smith, John Trott. Copy certified by Francis Gwyn. 1 p. Endorsed, 19 April 1681. Mem.—"Nobody solicits it." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., Nos. 126, 126 I.; and (order only) Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XVII., p. 92.]
April 10. 87. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Mr. Francis Wilbraham, Clerk of the Committee of Accounts, ordered to bring the public account books from 1666 to 1670 to next meeting. Discussion of the Bill for public accounts deferred. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XI., p. 343.]
April 20. 88. "The names of substantial, able and (as I was informed in the place) uninterested persons, fit to be Commissioners in the Narragansett affair." William Stoughton, Joseph Dudley, Edward Randolph, and the chief officer of the King's customs for the time being, Samuel Shrimpton, John Fitzwinthrop, Edward Palmer, John Pyncheon, junr., Mr. Saltonstall, junr., the Governor and Deputy Governor of New Plymouth for the time being, if the Colony have no pretence, and the persons be uninterested, or any three or four of them; whereof the four first named and the Governor of New Plymouth for the time being to be one (sic). Holograph. Signed, Thomas Culpeper. Scrap. Endorsed. "Presented 8 October 1681." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 127.]
[April 23.] 89. Petition of Thomas Darvall to the King. Petitioner is aggrieved by a judgment given against him at New York assizes in October 1680; has appealed to you in Council and given bond to prosecute the appeal before 6th October 1681. Prays, therefore, for a day to be appointed for the hearing. Copy. 1 p. Certified by Francis Gwyn. Endorsed, "Recd. 23 April 1681." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 128.]
[April 23.] 90. A collection of papers referring to the legal case of Hall v. Darvall.
90. I. Copy of the Record of the trial before the Court of New York. Verdict for defendant with costs. 20 July 1680. 1 p.
90. II. Copy of the Bill and Answer at the Assizes. 5 pp.
90. III. Deposition of James Barre before the Mayor of New York. 28 July. 1 p.
90. IV. Depositions of Thomas Holloway and John Hooper. 3 pp.
90. V. Deposition of Samuel Davies. 2 pp.
90. VI. Confirmation of judgment of Court of Assizes. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., Nos. 129 I.–VI.]
April 30.
91. Edward Randolph to [Sir Leoline Jenkins]. Taking it for granted that the Bostoners have vacated their charter, by moving themselves, their charter, and the entire execution thereof to America (see ante, No. 84), and by their former misdemeanours acknowledged by their agents, what remains but for the King to proceed against them in the same manner as against Bermuda and Virginia. It is a matter of absolute necessity both to the Colony and the Crown, and will ensure the following advantages: 1. It will bring Massachusetts to nearer dependence on the Crown, and will confirm neighbouring Colonies in their allegiance. 2. One united Colony, under a single Government, will be much stronger than five independent corporations, both against internal disturbance and foreign invasion. 3. It will render the whole Plantation of singular use to all the Colonies, by supplying them with provisions and stores, without which they cannot subsist if the French prove troublesome and stop our West Indian trade. 4. The country once brought under the King's immediate authority, will supply the King with well-seasoned men and provisions for the reduction of any rebellious Colony. Again, in case of foreign war, the King's frigates could victual at Boston, raise men to create a diversion, and seize the enemies' Colonies. The French and Spanish, who to this day supply their plantations through magazine ships from Europe, cannot do the like. 5. New England well settled will supply us with all kinds of naval stores, timber, spars, pitch, and tar, in case we should be cut off from supplies in the Sound. 6. The rest of the Plantations will yield to the laws of trade when they see New England subjected to them as well as themselves. Finally, this will utterly cut off the correspondence between the factious parties in Old and New England. The discontented here think that New England will be a good retreat for them, and value themselves on their numbers.
The King cannot hope for a better opportunity than this for settling the country, for the other Colonies that were their confederates have now fallen off, from their being unable longer to endure their encroachments on their boundaries, nor the imposts laid on their produce by the General Court at Boston. Nor do they find it reasonable to be involved in the mischief which may follow such repeated disloyalty. Moreover, every Colony is divided against itself. The Governor, part of the magistrates, and the ministry have throughout voted for dutiful submission to the King, as witness their petition of 1666. The other party, inconsiderable in estate or repute, and superior only in number, outvotes the Governor in all public meetings, accounting him and all his party betrayers of the liberty granted by the charter, which is one great cause of the misunderstanding between the King and the Colony. However, they all agree that the inhabitants shall be taxed to raise near 5,000l. to pay for the purchase of Maine, and for the expenses of the late agents in England. Besides these charges there is the growing expense of Mr. Danforth's expedition, and of maintaining a garrison to secure those allotments of land which Mr. Danforth and others of the magistracy have secured to themselves out of the province of Maine. Neither they nor any persons now in public office in the Colony have paid a penny towards the purchase thereof, and this, together with the imposition of an excise on all live-stock imported from other Colonies into Massachusetts, has so incensed the people that at my coming they were in high discontent. After all their complaints and the opposition offered by some of the magistracy to the King's laws in open Court, they look at least for a regulation of the Government, failing which nothing remains for them but to leave the place, which they cannot without ruin. No ship or armed force is required to carry out my proposal, only the advance of as much money as is necessary in the regulation of the Colony's trade, and a prosecution of the following methods:—1. The Attorney-General to bring a Quo warranto against the Governor and Company of Massachusetts, and a distringas upon the province of Maine. 2. A commission to be issued by the King to the present Governor, Messrs. Stoughton Dudley, Buckley, Pyncheon, Saltonstall, junr., Major-General Denison, and Major Savage, all of the present magistracy, and together with them to Messrs. Lines, Shrimpton, Warton, Kellond, Sheaf, and Wait Winthrop, all men of good estates and well-esteemed in the Colony, charging them to settle a temporary Government, as in New Hampshire, pending a final settlement. 3. The King to signify his readiness to grant a general pardon, liberty of conscience, and security of legal rights and properties. 4. No law made in the Plantation to be valid, nor any money to be raised, without the King's sanction. 5. Major Shapleigh, Captain Champernoun, Mr. Wheelwright, Mr. Blackman, and Mr. Rushworth, formerly justices of the peace and managers of Mr. Gorges's patent, who were put out by the Bostoners, restored by the Royal Commissioners in 1665, and again displaced since the purchase of Maine, may be restored. If the King see fit to entrust the execution of these proposals to me, I do not question to give a good account of them. To unite New England in one Government, no one could be better qualified than Lord Culpeper, who by his administration in Virginia and his bearing during his stay in New England has gained mighty respect among all good men. Had he but held instructions to regulate the Government, I do not doubt but that he might have effected the design with ease and success at the time of his visit. Signed. 4 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 130.]
[April 30.] 92. Edward Randolph to the Lords of the Treasury. For the better regulation of the trade of Massachusetts, I propose that the Attorney-General's opinion be taken on the following points:— 1. Should not the laws of Trade and Navigation be observed, from the first signification thereof, by New England as well as all other English Colonies? What manner of signification is necessary? 2. Ought not the Government of Massachusetts to admit appeals to the King before and after trials in their Courts? 3. In appeals made by the King's officers and other subjects, should not good security be taken to answer before the King in England? What course should be taken if security be refused? 4. Have not the Governor and Company of Massachusetts, who by their charter were directed to act in England and transact their business in America by agents, vacated their charter by removing to America? Signed, Edward Randolph. Minute, referring foregoing to the Attorney-General for his report. Signed, Henry Guy, 30 April 1681.
Report of the Attorney-General, dated 30th May:—1. In my opinion, the Plantation Acts being public laws, and particularly binding on the Plantations, are of effect without particular notice from the King. Yet to take away all colour of excuse it has been usual to signify the same by Order in Council. 2. There is no question but that, as the sovereignty remains in the King, an appeal lies to him in Council as from Jersey and Guernsey, and the King in Council may give rules in what cases appeals may be allowed, and how prosecuted, and for what value, as has been done in Jersey and Guernsey, with allowance, of course, for the greater distance of the place, for it would be an infinite vexation to allow latitude of appealing in any case before the King in Council has settled rules, unless in some exorbitant case which may have influence upon the Government. 4. By the charter of King James the Council was to reside in England and manage by assigns in New England, but by the Patent, 4 Car. I., their assigns are made a body corporate, the Government is vested in them, and they may reside in New England. Signed, R. Sawyer. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXI., pp. 124–126.]
[April ?] 93. Petition of divers merchants and others of London, members of the Bermuda Company, to the House of Commons. The Company was created in 1614, and by its charter one-fourth of the Islands was reserved for the defraying of public expenses, all lawful owners of one entire share of land to be admitted to a voice in the Company, and no others. For some years the Islands throve, till some members of the Company, living in London, made by-laws for governing the planters in Bermuda, being themselves least concerned in the trade and interest of the Islands, for their own private advantage. They take away lands enjoyed for eighteen years by lawful owners, without legal process or compensation, erasing the record of their title to the same. Strangers who had no land in the Islands are admitted, contrary to the charter, to the Company, and the possession of the lands unjustly taken is decreed to them. The Company exacts a penny a pound on all tobacco grown on the Island, on pretence of defraying the expenses of government; they allow the Governor, without consent of the Assembly, to tax the planters, which is illegal, unwarranted by the charter, and destructive, and the money is spent by those who attend meetings in London. The land set apart for expenses of government amply suffices. Again, they prohibit all exportation or importation except in their own ships, and charge excessive freights; and a penny a pound being set on Bermuda tobacco, which is imposed on no other, Virginia and other colonies are able to undersell it. Again, the Company has prohibited the people from building vessels of over five tons burden, forbids any ship to be used as magazine ship in which any of the planters have an interest, has put a stop to whale fishing, and acted in many ways illegally, unjustly, and arbitrarily. We beg you to consider these grievances, and appoint a time to hear them. Printed broadsheet. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 131.]