America and West Indies: November 1682, 1-15

Pages 317-332

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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November 1682

Nov. 1.
767. William Blathwayt to Sir Leoline Jenkins. The Lords of Trade and Plantations have learned that Lord Culpeper's Commission has not been despatched, presumably for want of payment of fees. I am to ask the Attorney-General to certify you whether fees are legally due in cases so nearly concerning the King's service, and to request that you will cause the Commission to be passed and sent forthwith to Virginia, as the last ships are about to sail. Holograph. 1½ pp. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 89.]
Nov. 3.
768. Order of the King in Council. Referring the petition of sundry merehants possessing estates in America to Lords of Trade and Plantations for report. Signed, Francis Gwyn. 1 P. Endorsed. Recd. 7 November 1682. Annexed,
768.I. The petition referred to. Several persons have been prosecuted in the Crown Office and others threatened for sending servants to the Colonies, though the servants were proved in the office erected for the purpose to go voluntarily. Some persons have also been heavily fined. The result is that no one dares send servants to the Colonies, which is a great misfortune to the trade of the Colonies, for they have no white men to superintend their negroes, or to repress an insurrection of negroes, or to repel an invasion of the French. We beg that we may be protected by regulation against such practices. Forty-one signatures. Additional considerations in reference to the above. The prosecutions have frightened all masters of vessels. The lack of white servants will not only endanger the Colonies, but make it impossible for the planters to comply with the Militia Laws. The King's customs will suffer, for it is reckoned that every white man's work at tobacco for a year is worth 7l. to the King. The French encourage the transportation of servants. The generality of volunteers for transportation are the scum of the world, brought to volunteer by their, own prodigality; if they do not go to the Colonies they will probably go to Tyburn. The danger of impressment or kidnapping can be provided for. The whole, 3½ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 90, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCVII., p. 87.]
Nov. 6.
769. Sir Thomas Lynch to Secretary Sir Leoline Jenkins. On 20th ultimo I received at Port Royal the Royal Order of 7th May, and yours of 14th July respecting the ship La Trompeuse, and the Captain La Paine who ran away with her and her cargo from Cayenne. I at once sent a special order to St. Jago to seize and imprison La Paine, but can hear of no accomplices, for most of his company opposed him, and the few that consented are dispersed, for the affair happened seven or eight months' ago. Mr. Charles Barré as the procuration from the concerned (sic), and I have shown him your letter and the order and promised him all assistance. Three days ago, when Barré was with me, I sent for La Paine with his keeper and asked him where were the twenty-five thousand crowns mentioned in the Ambassador's memorial. He says that the sum is a false estimate, for he brought here nothing but twelve thousand pounds of sugar of divers sorts valued here at 1,400l., 200l. or 300l. in achiotte, and some sixteen pipes of Fayal wine of which he cheated the poor French Consul. The wines and achiotte he sold himself, and the sugar he delivered to one Captain Hoskins, who did all Sir Henry Morgan's business. This Hoskins died about a month since, so I sent for his administrator to get an account of this sugar, and have charged Barré to send it in writing to the concerned; as I remember he told me that Hoskins had received about 120,000 lbs. of sugar and being unable to sell it here had shipped it by La Paine's order to England. He has paid La Paine about 1,200l. which is charged on the master to whom the sugar was consigned, so that if no accident happen it is not like to produce above 300l. over this 1,200l. and for this the master must account at his return, which may be in February. There is as much as this due for Customs, since La Paine has not settled according to law, but I shall not claim it for I shall not add to the loss of those concerned. I have advised Barré to get all he can into his hands, and then we can proceed against La Paine for his barratry. But, as you say, it must be by our law, for he is naturalised; otherwise he would deserve to be hanged without form, for having stolen all this and spent it no one knows how. It was a fatal mistake (to use no harder term) to give this villain product here. Apart from the dishonour and trouble, the traders have lost twelve or fifteen thousand pounds by it; for this Trompeuse was sent to the bay of Honduras to load logwood and designed thence for Hamburg, but as I have told you was surprised by some Frenchmen who have set up for pirates in her, taken seven or eight of our vessels, barbarously used our men, put a full-stop to our trade, and compelled the men-of-war to set out. A sloop came in yesterday from Antigua and Tobago that was captured by her and robbed of all, so that the men were perishing when they met Johnson off Tiburon. I hope that Johnson may come up with the pirate in a few days. There are a hundred and twenty desperate rogues on board her, twenty or thirty of them English. The ship is in bad condition and ready to sink, for they cannot get victuals to enable them to go and careen. They talk of going to Mona to intercept Irish and New England vessels on their way here. I ordered Johnson specially to preserve the ship as the French King's property, but if he engages her in her present condition it will be impossible. Pursuant to the King's orders I have complained to Mons. Pounçay, the French Governor of Hispaniola, of the unjust seizures made by his deputy, particularly in the case of one Lenham, who only touched at Petit Guavos to deliver a letter from Mons. Barré, and of the piracies daily committed by the French. I have asked him to let me know if he grants commissions of war, that such may be respected and all other privateers punished like thieves and robbers, particularly one Picard in a brigantine, Pennon in a Spanish barque, and Guernsey in La Trompeuse. I have told him that I have sent men-of-war to capture them, and that I am sure not one of them can escape unless concealed in some part of his government. You would do the King a service and the West Indies also if you could ascertain whether this Governor has any authority or directions to issue commissions of war, and if he has cause him to be instructed to distinguish between us and the Spaniards, but if he has not, authorise me to treat those that hold them as pirates. There are seven or eight of these rogues in pretty considerable vessels, some of them commanded by English; but I do not them so much fear as offending our lords, and bringing the power of France against this Island. We have plenty of trade and abundance of brave seamen. Thus we were able in eight or ten days to fit up and send off with Captain George Johnson a ship of thirty-five or forty guns and a hundred and eighty men. Johnson has 100l. for his ship, and the provisions cost 500l. or 600l., all of which has been raised by merchants and traders here. They have special orders to seek out the Trompeuse but to meddle with no Frenchmen that bear commissions, except those that have taken and robbed our vessels and killed our men. While busy at Port Royal over the despatch of this vessel one Captain Clarke, a very honest useful man, solicited me about one Payn, in a barque with eighty men. He told me Payn had never done the least harm to any, and that if I would allow him to come in he would engage to bring in or destroy these pirates. I thought this likely and advantageous from creating divisions among the pirates, so I accepted the offer and hope per fas aut nefas to put down these destructive rogues. Three days ago one Kempthorn returning in one of our trading vessels from the Main reported that the Dutch have two thousand negroes which they have kept seven or eight months for the Spaniards, and have embargoed a Spanish vessel of thirty-five guns; but that negroes, Spaniards, and Islanders at Curaçoa are all ready to starve from scarcity and drought. They will not sell their negroes and despair of the Spaniards sending for them, for it is concluded that the Assiento in Spain is broken, and this is the reason why the Governors of Panama and Havana sent hither for them. Kempthorn also says that an interloper, one Head, was wrecked on St. Danes a little to westward of Curaçoa; that he had brought two hundred and fifty negroes from Africa, and lost all but fifty when he was wrecked. He was intending for Curaçoa with his gold and negroes where he will certainly be seized and lose all, but I shall send thither by first opportunity to demand both gold and negroes.
Yesterday arrived one Mr. Dendy, in a vessel that went from Antigua, to settle in Tobago. He found most of the people dead and gone, the island dry and unfit for planting, the Courlandish Governor sottish and arbitrary. This last took four negroes from him by force, and intends, as this man says, to go to St. Thomas, a Danish island, commanded by Captain Esmit. Thus fortune has done for us what we should for ourselves; for their settlements, especially under strong princes, may be extremely prejudicial to us. I have already pointed out to you the danger that might follow from the granting of Commissions of War by the Governor of New Providence. From a vessel that came in last week I learn that Governor Clarke is removed and one Lilborn put in his place, but I could not find out whether he means to continue the rapine or not. I hope that you will make known your wishes to the Lords Proprietors of the Bahamas on this head. This fishing for wrecks draws all kinds of dissolute fellows to Providence. The Indies, in fact, are full of desperate rogues. The worst are those who run from the ships that come from England. Recently I sent Captain John Coxon and two other vessels to the Bay of Honduras to bring away our logwood-cutters. So far from doing so he was in danger of losing his ship and his life. His men plotted to take the ship and go privateering, but he valiantly resisted, killed one or two with his own hand, forced eleven overboard, and brought three here, who were condemned last Friday. I shall order one or two to be hanged for an example to others and encouragement to him. I am hiring him to convey a Spaniard to Havana. The want of a frigate here has made pirates to increase in number and impudence. I am much troubled, and the island in great danger. We have no public money or are like to have any, and it is impossible to oblige individuals to make such an effort [as our last in search of the Trompeuse] again. Indeed, we could not have done so much except at this moment, when every one is anxious to do the King service. I have issued commissions to all the military officers. I delayed the issue till the business of the Assembly, meaning to withhold them from any that might have been disrespectful or refractory, however efficient. However, thank Heaven, there was not one. Next week I shall order the Colonels to furnish their muster-rolls. The Point regiment paraded seven hundred strong last week, although eighty men were away with Payer, and a hundred and sixty with Johnson. Moreover, our trading vessels are of from forty-five to fifty tons, six to eight guns, and fifteen to twenty-five men. You may guess, therefore, how strong Port Royal is in seamen. Signed, Tho. Lynch. 10 pp. Endorsed with long précis. Read, 14 Feb. 1682–83. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 91, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXX., pp. 106–115.]
[Nov.] 770. "The English title to Canada, in return to the French pretences to the lands and territories about Hudson's Bay set up in a memorial lately delivered here by the French Ambassador." Sebastian Cabot, being Pilot Major to King Henry VII., was the first that entered the Gulf of St. Lawrence as first possessor for the Crown of England. In 1600 some Frenchmen seized on the tract of land north of the Canada river, and in 1604 added the land on the south side. They held it till 1621, when King James granted the tract, called in consequence Nova Scotia, to Sir William Alexander. He held it for two years, and it was then restored at the marriage of Queen Henrietta Maria. In 1627–28 war broke out, and Sir David Kirke, and his brethren Lewis and John, fitted out an expedition and took Quebec on the north side, and the three principal towns on the south side of the Canada river. Being possessed thus of the whole country, they made over Nova Scotia to Sir W. Alexander, and kept the north side for themselves. In 1632 the whole country was again restored to France, but an article was agreed on in favour of the Kirkes, that they should receive 5,000l. from Mons. du Cane, who was to take over the territory for the French King. The money, however, was never paid, and shortly after one of Kirke's ships, trading in Canada, was certificated by the French. In 1654 Cromwell, to remedy the injustice, sent out Major Sedgwicke, who recovered Nova Scotia once more, which, however, was surrendered again to the French at the peace of 1667. But the north side of the river, which belonged to the Kirkes, was not mentioned in the treaty, and the Kirkes have, therefore, a perpetual right thereto. 5 pp. Endorsed as headed. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 92.]
Nov. 8. 771. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. The laws of Jamaica further considered. The draft of Lord Carlisle's Revenue Act read, and the instructions to Sir Henry Morgan and Lord Carlisle. The Lords are confirmed in their opinion that the present Revenue Act should be disallowed and that an Assembly should at once be called, to which the Governors shall submit the draft of an Act sent to Sir Henry Morgan, intimating at the same time that the King will suffer no Acts to be tacked. Letters to be written to the Governor, one containing private instructions, the other to be shown to the Assembly. The Assembly is to be acquainted that the King will suffer no obligations to be imposed on him in Jamaica or any other colony, that the desires the Revenue Act to be passed from consideration for the Colony's security only; that if they refuse to pass a Revenue Act the Assembly is to be warned that the laws of England empower the King to levy tonnage and poundage. The reasons urged in Order in Council of 28th May 1679 to be revived, to which the Governor is to receive no reply that may tend to delay public business. Finally, the Assembly is to be told that if they pass the Revenue Bill as the King orders, the King will confirm for the same term the laws sent to them and such other laws as they shall pass. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVII., pp. 73–76.]
Nov. 8. 772. Order of the King in Council. Confirming the Act of St. Christophers for re-settlement of the English part of the Island. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LI., pp. 47–58.]
Nov. 10.
773. The King to Sir Richard Dutton. Granting him leave of absence to come home for a reasonable time to recover his health. John Witham to administer the Government in his absence. Signed, L. Jenkins. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 93, and Col. Entry Bks., Vol. VII., p. 140, and Vol. XCIX., p. 182.]
[Nov. 10.] 774. Opinion of the Attorney-General on the foregoing. I think that this is sufficient as to the allowance of a deputy who may act during the Governor's life, but in case of the Governor's death the power of the deputy will determine and the government will devolve upon the Council, which cannot be prevented but by other letters patent directing otherwise. Signed, R. Sawyer. ¼ p. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., p. 141.]
Nov. 10.
James City.
775. Acts passed at a General Assembly of Virginia held at James City, 10th November 1682.
1. An Act to repeal a former law making Indians and others free. 2 pp.
2. An Act declaring Indian women servants titheable. ½ p.
3. An additional Act for the better preventing insurrections of negroes. 1 p.
4. Act prohibiting the exportation of iron, wool, woolfells, skins, hides or leather. 5 pp.
5. Act directing how Commissions of Dedimus potestatem and other writs shall issue. 1 p.
6. Act repealing the Act concerning Attorneys, No. 6 of 1680. ¼ p.
7. Act for disbanding of the present soldiers in garrison and for raising other forces in their stead. 3½ pp.
8. Act to impose further penalties on those who declare that the Acts of Assembly of Virginia are not in force. 1 p.
9. Act repealing an exception in Act No. 9 of 1664. ½ p.
10. Act to free witnesses from arrests. ½ p.
11. Act to encourage the manufacture of woollen and linen cloth. 3 pp
12. Act to advance manufactures of the growth of the country and for the better and more speedy payment of debts and levies. 2 pp.
13. Act for the public levy. ½ p.
Copy. Certified by Tho. Milner, Cl. Assembly. Inscribed, Recd. 28 April 1683, without any letter. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 94.]
Nov. 11. 776. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Order for the re-arrest of Robert Beverley, now at large, in view of the expected arrival of Lord Culpeper. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 132–133.]
Nov. 11.
777. Sir William Stapleton to Lords of Trade and Plantations. The enclosed correspondence will show what a bad neighbour is the Governor of St. Thomas. I had in any case intended to forewarn the King not to grant the King of Denmark any toleration of settling any other of the Virgin or Caribbee Islands, for his Governor pretends to them all, notwithstanding his inability to settle even the twentieth part of St. Thomas. He has but a hundred men there, and most of them English subjects. My reason in offering this is the protection of our merchants. They have no place to get timber from but the Virgin Islands, nor a single harbour to leeward. They suffer alike from Dutch and Danes, from fugitive servants black and white, and from seamen and other debtors, who run away to these Islands and are never restored, on the ground that the freedom of their ports protects all. By what law I am to proceed unless by that of the Turks and Algerines I know not; but it goes to my heart to see my fellow-subjects unredressed in such a case. I would rather be out of employment in a private capacity than in a public one in such circumstances. I could easily deal with them if I might. And it is not only English subjects, but English trade and the King's customs that suffer from these Danes. Holograph. Signed, 1½ pp. Endorsed. Rec. 20 Jan. 1682–83. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 95, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., pp. 76, 77.] Annexed,
Oct. 7. 777. I. Sir William Stapleton to the Governor of St. Thomas. The bearer, Mr. Thomas Biss, goes to you to ask the restoration of a sloop brought in to St. Thomas by pirates, and also of the prisoners taken by these villains. He will give the names of the owners and other particulars, and I doubt not your just restitution of the ship. Dated, Nevis, Oct. 7, 1682. Addressed, "For the Honourable Governor Esmit in St. Thomas Island." Endorsed. Recd. Jan. 20, 1682–83.
777. II. Reply of the Governor of St. Thomas to Governor Stapleton. Dated Christiansport, 30th October. Refusing restitution of the sloop as contrary to law and custom. Holograph. Signed, Esmit. 2 pp. Danish.
777. III. Deposition of Thomas Biss. On arriving at St. Thomas I repaired to the Governor with Sir William Stapleton's letter, and asked restitution of the sloop. He answered that he could not do so until he had reported the matter to the King of Denmark and received his orders. I protested, that in so small a matter he might surely act independently, pressed him hard, and told him that if our King could not get justice from the King of Denmark he would issue letters of reprisal to his subjects. The Governor then invented excuses. He would say first that the sloop was picked up derelict at sea, then that she was taken from privateers by other privateers, and that on coming in they showed a certificate from the Governor of Anguilla, were allowed to wood and water, and after fourteen days' stay were free to sail again. As they did not go, however, the Governor finding that they were selling goods for much below their value, made enquiry, and finding no commission or papers among them he adjudged two to die as pirates, and the rest to be condemned but respited. The latter after respite retired from the Island, and so the sloop became forfeit to the King of Denmark. I asked for the names of the people who brought in the sloop to the port, and found them to be those of which I had been advised. I then pointed out to the Governor that he ought now to be convinced that the privateers had not taken this sloop as a derelict, nor from other privateers, but from honest men engaged in lawful business, and produced evidence to prove it; but all that I could obtain was that if I chose to pay the value of the sloop I might have her. I also demanded the delivery of seven runaway servants, English subjects; but he answered that his port was a free port, and that anyone who asked him for protection should have it. "Sir," I answered, "if your port is free why did you seize the sloop? If some rogues have freedom here, why not all?" Subscribed, "Sworn before me the tenth of No. 1682. Wm. Stapleton." 3½ pp. Endorsed, with a long précis. Recd. 20 Jan. 1682–83.
777. IV. Sir William Stapleton to the Governor of St. Thomas. I have received your letter, and must tell you that when you say my demand is contrary to law and reason you understand neither law nor reason. You contradict yourself strangely, for you say that they showed you a let-pass from Anguilla. Therefore some English were in her. She was brought in by one George Strandly, master of the Africa sloop, and he, I am sure, is an Englishman, as well as the seamen in her; and this is more than an English boy, as you say. The proof brought by Mr. Biss, backed by my letter, would suffice for any one that was a friend to the King my master; but no proof is valid to a covetous inclination. I shall trouble you for the present no further with demands, but I assure you it will be law and reason in all men to think you as bad as the man who captured the sloop and brought her in. And as you dabble in Latin, I must hint to you an old action of yours, for you were formerly a privateer. "Quo semel est imbuta recens servabit odorem Testa diu."Signed, W. Stapleton. 1½ pp Endorsed. Recd. 20 Jan. 1682–83. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., Nos. 95 I.–IV.]
Nov. 11. 778. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Acts of Jamaica considered. Acts for fixing the numbers of the Assembly, for regulating servants, for fixing the prices of meat, for highways, against blasphemy and disorders in taverns, for fixing jurisdiction of justices of the peace, for a rate on liquors, and for compensation of Nicholas Scarlet, approved on condition that the Revenue Act be passed. Act for suppressing privateers approved unconditionally. The Attorney-General to advise whether, in case the Assembly refuse to continue the Revenue Act, the Governor may by his own authority receive the money for taxation upon wine licenses or refuse to grant such licenses. Lord Finch reported that the loss of the Norwich frigate at Jamaica was due to her carrying merchandise contrary to orders, and that captains sometimes excuse themselves by saying that they take such goods on board by the Governor's order. The Lords agree to recommend that an order prohibiting the practice be sent to the Governors. (Mem.—This order was issued accordingly on 15th November.) [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVII., pp. 76–78.]
Nov. 12. 779. [Sir Thomas Lynch?] to William Blathwayt. I have just sent away two packets by way of London and Bristol. You have Wilson's accounts; pray send them to the Lords of the Treasury or Commissioners of Customs. I have only to add further that advice has just come of a pirate of sixteen guns and ninety men waiting off Point Negril to take the Spaniards returning to Havana. Pray let my Lords know this for we shall be totally destroyed by these rogues if they send no frigate and give no instructions. Draft. On back of Wilson's letter of 1st October (see ante, No. 732.) [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 62.]
Nov. 13.
780. The Clerk of the Assembly of Nevis to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Forwarding quarterly returns of Assembly's proceedings from 14th April to 6th July. Signed Tho. Thorne. ¼ p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVIII., No. 79, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., p. 101.]
Nov. 13.
781. Edward Randolph to Sir Leoline Jenkins. I have sent Mr. Blathwayt my affidavit, taken in New Hampshire (see No. 753). Doubtless the agents will endeavour to avoid or deny my objections against these arbitrary proceedings. If my single testimony be not sufficient I am ready to attend at Whitehall. Here they please themselves with the character which they say Lord Culpeper gave of them to the King. It is true that there are many loyal good men in the Colony who if in power would cheerfully submit to the King's laws, but they are borne down in the Court of Deputies. Let the agents say what they will, very few honest men can be admitted into places of trust if the matter be left to the ordering of the dominant faction. If the agents offer any defence to my Articles of 7th April 1681, I beg your order to examine witnesses here in proof of them. In my petition to the King of that date I complain of the withholding of the moiety of a fine to the King. It has since been paid to me, under conditions. I have made several seizures this year, but have been cast by juries in very clear cases. The cheering of Lord Shaftesbury at the Old Bailey encourages them to such behaviour. Thus my duty is very costly to me. Who would suppose that while their agents are accounting for former contempts the people here still refuse appeals to the King in Council from the Courts, and that this very day they have served me with an execution for over a hundred pounds to deliver up a seized sloop, as to which I have appealed to the King. Moreover, they refuse to reimburse me the money ordered by the King, and refuse to suppress their naval office though disapproved by the Governor. Holograph. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Annexed,
781. I. Order to Treasurer Russell for payment to Edward Randolph the King's moiety of the fine imposed on Timothy Armitage, taking his bond for repayment of the same. Signed, Edward Rawson, Boston, 10th November 1682. Copy. ½ p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., Nos. 96, 96 I.]
[Nov. 13.] 782. Précis of complaints submitted by Edward Randolph in his letters of 7th August and 13th November [called by error 12th November], (see ante, Nos. 645, 731). 2½ pp. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 97.]
[Nov. 13.] 783. Draft of the foregoing, with corrections. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 98]
Nov. 14. 784. William Blathwayt to William Freeman, Colonel Bayer, and others concerned, in the Leeward Islands. The Lords of Trade and Plantations desire your opinion on the enclosed Acts of Antigua for extending of lands for mulcts and debts. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., p. 66.]
Nov. 14. 785. Acts of New Hampshire passed by the Assembly convened at Portsmouth, 14th November 1682. 1. Act for encouragement of the Ministry. 2. Act against profanation of the Lords' Day. 3. Act against contempt of the word and the Ministry. 4. Act against cursing and swearing. 5. Act against drunkenness. 6. Act against lying. 7. Act for administration of justice. 8. Act to make fines, &c., payable to the King. 9. Act for regulation of jurymen and Assembly men. 10. Act to empower trustees to defray charges. 11. Act empowering constables to collect rates. 12. Act to confirm former judgments. 13. Act against burglary. 14. Act against felony. 15. Act against stealing. 16. Act against adultery. 17. Act against fornication. 18. Act against removing landmarks. 19. Act against burning of fences. 20. Act for infliction of corporal punishment where the offender is indigent. 21. Act empowering justices of the peace to try small cases. The foregoing Acts are each comprehended in a single clause. 4¼ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 13 Feb. 1682–83. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 99.]
Nov. 14. 786. Another copy of part of the foregoing, but in different order:—1. Administration of justice. 2. Adultery. 3. Fornication. 4. Burglary. 5. Theft. 6. Swearing. 7. Swearing. 8. Drunkenness. 9. Lying and profanation of Sabbath. 10. Against speaking contemptuously of the Scriptures. 11. Burning of fences. 12. Landmarks. 13. Corporal punishment. 14. Collection of rates and duties of constables. 15. Jurors. 16. Rates. 17. Summonses and attachments. 4 pp. Sealed and signed, Edw. Cranfield. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 100.]
Nov. 14. 787. Duplicate of foregoing. Signed and sealed. Endorsed. Recd. 10 May [1683]. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 101.]
Nov. 14. 788. Another copy expanding the laws to twenty-five clauses. Certified by Richard Chamberlain as a true copy. 3 March 1682–83. Endorsed. Recd. from Mr. Randolph, 4 June 1683. 8 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 102.]
Nov. 15.
789. The King to Sir Richard Dutton. Orders not to permit Captains of the King's ships to take merchandise on board. In case of any misdemeanours on the part of officers of the Royal Navy no court-martial is to be called, but depositions are to be taken and sent to England for their trial there. Countersigned, L. Jenkins. ½ p. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 184, 185.]
Nov. 15. 790. Journal of Assembly of Nevis. His Excellency brought forward the proposals of the Lords of Trade and Plantations made in their letter of 5th March (see ante, No. 429):—(1) To make the impost on liquors perpetual; (2) to change the style of enacting laws; (3) to apply fines to the expenses of the Government; and (4) to stir up the Councils of the islands to write a quarterly account of the Government. His Excellency further proposed that (5) no one shall transport any of the King's subjects to a foreign Colony under penalties; (6) no servants, slaves, or utensils for the manufacture of the Island's produce shall be sold to foreigners under penalties, without the Governor's leave; (7) the records of any Island duly authenticated to be of force in every island of the group; (8) a salary shall be allowed for an agent at home; (9) an Act shall be passed for commutation of the four-and-a-half per cent duty into an equivalent; (10) all conveyances, mortgages, &c., shall be recorded within fifteen days; (11) the four-and-a-half per cent duty shall be commuted as aforesaid, or an address sent to the King to allow the islands to take over the-farm; (12) provision shall be made to pay the cost of transporting men to and from any of the islands that shall be first attacked; (13) the Act for ascertaining lands shall be extended to all the islands mutatis mutandis; (14) that the King be called upon to give further help towards building the forts; (15) if no King's frigate comes here the country shall hire a vessel for the transportation of Sir William Stapleton with the eight sloops for the suppression of the Indians, the cost to be distributed as follows: Nevis and Antigua to bear each one third, St. Christophers and Montserrat each one sixth.—The answers to those proposals (1) We pray that no change may be made; (2) consented to; (3) that it be for the King to be employed on his fortifications; (4) We consent. The Council also will write as often as it meets; (5) that an exception may be made to allow the French who are reckoned English subjects in the English quarters of St. Christophers to be transported; (6, 7, 8) the Council and Assembly agree; (9) the Assembly refer to their answer given at the last General Assembly, the Council likewise; (10) the Council and Assembly consent; (11) We pray that no change may be made; (12) The Council consents. The Assembly does not comprehend how to effect so difficult a matter; (13) the Council and Assembly consent, provided Antigua be excepted; (14) the Council and Assembly ask that this be left to each Island according to its ability; (15) consented to, provided the General go himself; the Council concurs. The Council in answer to another proposal agree with the Governor that a certain gauge of casks should be fixed; the Assembly would have no change. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 83.]
[Nov. 15.] 791. Sir Richard Dutton to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I have received yours of 22nd May, with copy of a petition to the King from Samuel Hanson (see ante, No. 469 I.) complaining of hardship and injustice suffered from me. I send the report and all the documents required of me herewith. The petition is a tissue of errors and untruths which can only be wilful. The trial was held according to the usual forms, or with only such slight deviations as circumstances compelled. But I will follow the story of the petition paragraph by paragraph with my own. (1.) On my arrival in the Island I found Hanson and John Burston under heavy bail, imposed by Sir Jonathan Atkins, for appearance at the next grand sessions. They were charged with taking away guns bought for the King's service, and guns belonging to private individuals, all of which lay upon a free wharf. This wharf belonged to no particular person, though the petition mentions that it did, in order to give colour to Burston's statement that he sold them because they had been so long lying and encumbering his master's wharf. No master of his nor any other person has any right to object to the guns lying on this wharf, it having been made a public wharf by Sir Jonathan Atkins, without limit to the time that people might leave their goods thereon, and without charge for use. The jury were fully aware of this, and were not deceived either by Burston's statement or by Hanson's allegation that he re-delivered the guns on the same night to Anthony Rodriguez. The truth of the matter is that Hanson chose a time when Rodriguez, who is a Jew, was engaged in the strict ceremonies of his religion to ship the guns. The ceremonies over, Rodriguez came out, and finding the guns missing from the wharf made inquiries, but without success. Fearing that he might be suspected by the Governor for making away with guns which he had sold for the King's use he complained to Sir Jonathan Atkins, who issued a search-warrant; and after a whole night and half a day's search the guns were found in the hold of the ship (Nathaniel William Clarke, Commander) that was to transport them to New England. Then and not till then they were returned on shore by the marshal's order and not by Hanson's, as the marshal's return to his precept will prove. So much for the first of Hanson's statements. (2.) Hanson being then bound over by Sir Jonathan Atkins to appear at the next sessions, I arrived and held those sessions in person, assisted, as usual, by the Members of Council, Judges, and Justices of the Peace. Hanson had no reason to complain, being indicted only for deceitful removal of the guns, whereas a severer indictment might have been laid. He had a fair trial, and was found guilty of deceitful buying and taking away Rodriguez's guns, the said Rodriguez being one of the King's subjects (in spite of Hanson's statement) by letters of denizenation. Among the guns were some bought for the King's service, but the jury, on a nice point, decided that the sale was not complete, for though the agreement had been made no money had changed hands. The price named for these guns of the King's considerably exceeded that which Hanson was to pay Burston for his pretended purchase, which was far below the true value of the guns, as appears by the oath of Colonel John Hallett. Still Hanson being disatisfied with the verdict urged reasons in arrest of judgment. The case was fully heard in full Court, the reasons were overruled, and the Court proceeded as usual to inflict a fine adequate to the offence, which was set in this case at 150l. sterling. Hanson says that his reasons were never heard nor overruled, nor the fine declared to be in sterling. The records of the Court prove the contrary. None of the Council suggested that my proceedings were illegal and irregular except one, and one of the five Judges, who from inexperience and lust of popularity put forward something of the kind, but could produce no precedent for the Governor's taking the vote of the assessors as to the amount of a fine to be inflicted. Nor is there legal nor customary warrant for it. As to the addresses from the Assembly to me in his favour, asking that I would not levy the fine because it was not legally imposed, you will, I doubt not, judge them to have been voted in haste, seeing that they ignore all precedents. There were hot humours afoot in the Assembly at the time, as is proved by the fact that they presumed to speak on the Council's behalf as well as their own, which proceeding was so much resented by the Council that it recorded its dissent from the same, and shortly after in a conference with the Assembly desired that for the future the Assembly would do no such thing without first acquainting it and receiving its concurrence. In further proof of the haste with which this address was voted, I send copy of another voted by the same Assembly two months later, on the 20th December, in which they praise my diligent inquiries into the fines and forfeitures payable to the King and beg me to pursue them. When you reflect on the chain of falsehoods written by Hanson, I doubt not that you will find that I have governed myself in this case with justice and equity; and if by chance something should be wanting in form and clerkship, I beg that you will not set aside the judgment. It will only give occasion for further trouble, more faction, and more frequent addresses voted simply to gratify the stubborn humours of a few who have joined their purses to carry appeals to England against the Governor. As to Hanson's complaint of his losses through the forced sale of his negroes, those losses were due, I conceive, simply to his own refractoriness. He had respite from the Sessions to the Court of Exchequer, which did not sit till two months after the Sessions, and after judgment was given in the Exchequer against him he had plenty of time to pay the fine into Court. On the contrary, he kept all his moveables out of the way for a long time, so that the sheriff could find nothing to levy on, till at last he thought fit to let a few negroes go abroad, which were seized by the sheriff and sold because Hanson refused to redeem them, in spite of many opportunities. Several of the negroes died in the interval and the rest when sold fetched a price far short of the fine. It is plain, therefore, that his loss could not have been great, so that if it was the fault was his own. Signed, Ri. Dutton. Six closely written pages. Endorsed. Recd. 22 Jan. 1682–3. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 103, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 169–178.] Annexed,
791. I. Certificate of Anthony Rodriguez's complaint of the loss of his guns. Certified by Edwyn Stede, 15th November 1682. 1½ pp. Endorsed.
791. II. Sir Jonathan Atkins's warrant to search for Rodriguez's lost guns. 26th March 1679. Copy. Certified by Geo. Hannay, 1682. ½ p. Endorsed.
791. III. The Provost Marshal's certificate as to finding the said guns. Copy. Certified as the preceding. ½ p. Endorsed. [This is dated 24th March 1679, which is irreconcileable with 791 II.]
791. IV. Warrant of the Governor to the justices of the peace to examine about Rodriguez's guns. Copy certified by Edwyn Stede and Stephen Gascoigne. 1 p. Endorsed.
791. V. Warrant for the apprehension of Samuel Hanson and John Burston, 19th April 1679. Copy certified by Geo, Hannay. 1 p. Endorsed.
791. VI. Justice's certificate of examination of the case. Signed, Edwyn Stede, Stephen Gascoigne. 15th November 1682. 1 p.
791. VII. Certificate that the wharf from which the guns were taken is a free wharf. Signed, Edwyn Stede. 13th November 1682. 1 p. Endorsed.
791. VIII. Certificate of Anthony Rodriguez's denizenation. Signed, Edwyn Stede. 24th October 1682. With copy of the certificate, dated 23rd October 1661, of Rodriguez having taken the oath. 1 p. Endorsed.
791. IX. Proceedings at the Court of Grand Sessions, held 16th August 1681, at the trial of Samuel Hanson and John Burston. Also the further proceedings overruling Hanson's plea in arrest of judgment. 27th August 1681. 4 pp. Endorsed.
791. X. Proceedings of the Court of Exchequer in the matter of Samuel Hanson, with the judgment against him. 4 pp. This and the preceding document are certified by Richard Seawell, Attorney-General.
791 XI. Certificate of the Marshal as to the levying of Hanson's fine. Certified by Geo. Hannay, 15th November 1682. 1 p. Endorsed.
791. XII. John Witham's report as to the case of Hanson Original. Holograph. 3rd November 1682. 2½ pp. Endorsed.
791. XIII. Certificate of Commissions of oyer and terminer in Barbados, 1663–71. 1 p. Endorsed.
791. XIV. Extract of Minutes of Council, 20th December 1681. Resolution of Council that the address of the Assembly respecting the late Grand Sessions was made without knowledge or consent of the Council. 1 p.
791. XV. Similar extract of same date. That the Assembly shall not join the Council in its addresses without the Council's concurrence and assent. 1 p. Endorsed.
791. XVI. Address of the Assembly of same date, approving the Governor's exactions of fines and forfeitures; with the messages that passed next day between the Council and Assembly. 2 pp. Inscribed, "Papers relating to the business of Mr. Hanson."The whole received 22nd January 1682–83. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., Nos. 103 I.–XVI.]
Nov. 15. 792. Order of the King in Council. The loss of the Norwich frigate, Captain Heywood, being due to the Captain's permitting merchants' goods to be laden on board, it is ordered that letters be sent to Governors of all the colonies requiring them to allow no merchandise to be laden on the King's ships in future; also that upon the occurrence of any accident or misbehaviour of any officer or men on any King's ship they do not hold a court-martial on the case, but take the necessary depositions and transmit them home. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCVII., pp. 85–86; also Vol, XXX., pp. 76, 77, Vol. XLVII., p. 71, Vol. LXVII., p. 72.]
Nov. 15.
793. Order of the King in Council. On report of the loss of the Norwich frigate, Captain Heywood, lately at Jamaica, it appears that the wreck was partly due to the Captain's taking on board merchants' goods contrary to regulation. Ordered, that Sir Thomas Lynch be directed to send home Captain Heywood in custody, to answer for the loss of the ship and other charges. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXX., p. 76.]
Nov. 15. 794. Memorandum of the Order in Council as to the drawing of half-salary by Acting Governor. [Col. Entry Bks., Vol. LXXXII., p. 93, and Vol. XCVII., p. 87.]
Nov. 15. 795. Memorandum of the instructions to Governors as to the enacting style of money Acts and as to presents to Governors. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXII., p. 93.]