America and West Indies: December 1682, 16-31

Pages 357-363

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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December 1682

Dec. 16. 857. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. The merchants of Jamaica to be consulted as to the Act for settling the Island. Act for maintenance of ministers approved absolutely, and the Governor to be ordered to pass a supplemental Act providing that the Minister shall always be of the Vestry. Act declaring the laws of England to be in force referred to Chief Justice North, with a request to draw an Act on the subject that may be confirmed by the King. Act for regulating fees referred in part to the Commissioners of Customs; Lord Chief Justice North to amend the provision inflicting double costs on the Attorney-General.
Ordered that Sir William Stapleton be directed to make laws for the Leeward Islands in the same form as those of Barbados and Jamaica.
Draft of a letter to Sir R. Dutton approved. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVII., pp. 93–94.]
Dec. 18. 858. Memorandum. The Lords of Trade and Plantations recommended that a duplicate of Lord Culpeper's Commission and of the warrant for an allowance to the Deputy Governor should be sent to Sir Henry Chicheley, which was accordingly done. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVII., p. 94.]
Dec. 18. 859. William Blathwayt to Lord Chief Justice North. The Lords of Trade and Plantations have perused an Act from Jamaica declaring the laws of England in force, as also a clause formerly proposed by yourself to the same purpose. They now desire you to furnish a report on the inconvenience that may arise from continuance of the said Act, and to submit a draft of an Act in its stead. In another Act from Jamaica there is a clause obliging the Attorney-General to pay the defendant double costs of suit if he do not recover according to his information. My Lords desire you to frame a proviso thereon for the safeguard of the King's service. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXX., pp. 77–78.]
Dec. 20.
860. Sir William Stapleton to Lords of Trade and Plantations. For my own justification I annex certain documents relating to Captain Billop's trail, and some few depositions respecting his carriage since I last wrote. He has taken upon himself to relinquish seizures, detaining his own share without any trial, to take guns from an interloper in Antigua, to compound with some for inconsiderable sums, and to break open chests and take money from them. He has so frightened the people here that they durst not go about their lawful avocations in ships and sloops while he remained here. He has run away from the King's colours, and I thought it was felony by common and statute law to run away from the King's colours. I could have sent you affidavits of all these things, but that I fear the imputations of malice. I beg for an order for my salary for myself and for the two companies at St. Christophers. They are still three years in arrear and I some months longer, to say nothing of my arrears in Sir Tobias Bridges' regiment. I am out of purse for shrouds for the dead and cure of the wounded, for minding their arms and giving them credit in merchants' storehouses. I beg that if I am not paid according to the muster rolls of that regiment (as has been the rule in all ages) I may at any rate receive consideration for these contingent charges, and at least for my ensign, who fell wrapped in my colours after the staff was shot in my own hand. I have received the Order in Council forbidding Governors to come home without leave. I always thought it was death to quit one's post. Those that offer to do it must be most ignorant and presumptuous. If it be a capital crime for sentinels, I am sure that it ought to be not less for Governors. I should otherwise have been at Billop's heels to prevent his clamours and groundless aspersions, which were occasioned only by my endeavours to check his evil practices. I received a kind check from you once for not securing the Tobago negroes and not taking them from Captain Haddock. I paid dearly to the Dutch agent for it. Your orders respecting Brunet's ship shall be executed as soon as I can send to St. Christophers. Some time since I got a journal from one of the South Sea privateers who came here from St. Thomas, also a map, in Spanish, of that coast, which I thought it my duty to send you. I have got the map translated in case this should miscarry. I also send an answer to the petition of Benjamin Middleton, and the Acts and Proceedings of the Assembly. I beg your vindication against so vile-mouthed a man as Billop. I knew that his covetousness and impudence would leave no stone unturned against the character even of the most innocent. I regret to inform you that the heathen crew of seven periagos landed in Montserrat on 13th November last, in a remote place inaccessible to the boats of any Christian enemy, killed two boys, burned a sugar factory and carried off a few negroes. They have not landed in Montserrat with success since the French took them there in the war. I should have been with them before now, but for the want of a vessel and for the King's orders to Sir Richard Dutton. As soon as I can get provisions, which are very scarce, I shall, please God, be after them, if only in shallops. Holograph. Signed. 2½ pp. Endorsed with a long précis. Recd. 26 Feb. Read 8 March 1682–83. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 131, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., pp. 80–83.] Annexed,
Further depositions respecting the embezzling the cargo of the ship Providence.
860. I. Deposition of John Chinn taken before Joseph Jory 8th July 1692. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 26 February 1682–83.
860. II. Deposition of George Crust taken before Sir William Stapleton. July 10. 1¼ pp.
860. III. Depositions of John Casey and Matthew Soley, taken by Joseph Martyn. 12th July. ½ p. Endorsed. Recd. 26 February 1682–83.
860. IV. Further deposition of George Crust taken 12th July 1682. 1 p. Endorsed as the foregoing.
860. V. Extract from the Minutes of Council of New York. Deposition of Daniel Johnson of the sloop Compliance as to his arrival from Nevis with part of the spoil of the Providence. Certified copy. 1 p. Endorsed as No. III.
860. VI. The deposition of Captain Tristram Stephens taken before Sir William Stapleton 19th December 1682.½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 26 Feb. 1682–83.
860. VIII. Deposition of John Poynton, taken as the preceding. Endorsed as preceding. ½ p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., Nos. 131, 131 I.–VII.]
Dec. 21.
St. Jago de la
861. The Secretary of Jamaica to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Transmitting Minutes of Council from 14th August to 14th November 1682. Signed, Rowland Powell. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXX., p. 140.]
Dec. 21. 862. Extract of a letter from the Register of Scotland to Sir John Werden. I wrote to you formerly of our desire, who are proprietors of East Jersey, to have our Government rather holden by charter of the Duke of York, as it is at present by transmission of our authors, without any augmentation of our privileges, but only to be under the Duke's immediate protection. Printed in New York Documents III., 329. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXX., p. 40.]
Dec. 22.
863. Lords of Trade and Plantations to Sir Richard Dutton. We have received yours of 29th August, reporting the passing of the Act for an impost on imported liquors, enacted according to the style of such laws in England. We have represented this to the King as a special service, but we are surprised that we have received no copy of the Act. Your leave of absence is granted on half salary. As to the Assembly's present of 1,500l. to you, though we doubt not that you deserved it, the King has issued a new order respecting such gifts (see ante, No. 832). As to Colonel Codrington's fine, you will levy the money, Colonel Codrington being left to recommend himself to the royal favour by his future good conduct. We approve very highly your discovery of charitable gifts and legacies, and your devotion thereof to the objects intended by the founders; also your success in obtaining a vote from the Assembly for building a magazine. We desire you to return us as soon as possible a survey of the Island and of its inhabitants, according to the scheme enclosed, also transcripts of all laws, and of the Assembly and Council Books. Signed, Radnor, Ormond, Beaufort, Sunderland, Craven, Conway, L. Jenkins, J. Ernle. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 147–150.]
[Dec. 22.] 864. Petition of M. de Chambré to the King. In 1666 the French having taken the Island of St. Christophers permitted the English to sell their estates. Petitioner purchased a plantation from one Freeman and enjoyed possession quietly for nine years, but for some years past, he has been disturbed in his possession by the officers of the Island, who upon false pretences seize his goods. Prays for orders to the Governor that he may be permitted to enjoy possession unmolested. On the side.—A reference of the foregoing to the Lords of Trade and Plantations for their report. Signed, L. Jenkins. Whitehall, 22nd December 1682. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 132, and (reference only) Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., p. 73.]
[Dec. 22.] 865. Duplicate of foregoing. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 133.]
[Dec.] 866. A relation of the circumstances that led to the purchase of a plantation in St. Christophers by Mons. de Chambré from Mr. Freeman. After the conquest of the Island by the French in 1666 Freeman sold the plantation to De Chambré. On the restitution of the Island to the English Freeman found that, according to the articles of Breda, he could not reimburse the improvements. He thereupon published a protest whereby he demanded the estate, alleging that it was in much worse condition than when he sold it, that the sale was forced, and that he received nothing for it. The matter came before the Commissioners of the two nations, and the French Governor demanded that Freeman should give satisfaction for the wrong done by his calumny. The cause was then referred to the two Generals, and then to the two Kings. The business has now dragged on for years, and De Chambré is continually molested. He now prays justice from the King; and if judgment should be given against him prays for liberty to alienate his possessions to the King's subjects. French. Unsigned. 2½ pp. Endorsed in French. Annexed,
866. I. Translation of the foregoing into English. 7 pp.
866 II. The Contract of Sale between De Chambré and Freeman, dated 2nd June 1666. French. 2½ pp. Endorsed.
866. III. English translation of the foregoing. 4½ pp.
866. IV. The case as submitted to the two Kings. French. 6½ pp. Endorsed in French.
866. V. English translation of foregoing abridged. 1¼ p.
866. VI. A memorandum of what is to be doue for De Chambrés case in England. French. 1¼ pp.
866. VII. English translation of the preceding. 2½ pp.
866. VIII. Summary of the whole business in English. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No:. 134, 134 I.–VIII.]
Dec. 23. 867. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Proclamation ordering the sheriffs to collect the King's quit-rents in the respective counties. 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., p. 141.]
Dec. 30.
868. Governor Cranfield to Lords of Trade and Plantations. By my letters from Boston I told you that I was well received here. Finding the Council and inhabitants possessed of large tracts of land claimed by Mr. Mason, and resolved to defend their right, I thought it best not to make myself a party by appearing on Mason's behalf, but referred the matter to a decision at law, and made it my business to try to bring about a peaceable settlement. At the rising of the Assembly in November I passed their laws and made them sensible that I obliged them thereby. They also seemed to be affected by the fact that the King, in spite of Mason's complaints and Randolph's, had kept the Council intact, and made protestations of obedience in future. I was therefore induced to believe that they were in earnest, dismissed Mason's charges against Waldern and Martin, and writ to you in their favour. Let it not surprise you that my mind is totally changed. All of the late Council and chief inhabitants are part of the grand combination of Church members and Congregational Assemblie throughout New England, and by that they are so much obliged that the prejudice of any one, if considerable, influences the whole party. About August last the President and Council admitted a Scotch vessel belonging to one Jefferies, a Scotchman and Church member here. She was ordered to be stopped and the case was tried. There were four leading Church members on the jury, and the verdict was against the King with costs. I have taken strong measures against Stileman for letting the ship escape, and shall prosecute with vigour all concerned therein. When you gave me my commission you had an idea that on my arrival the illicit trade complained of by Randolph would be wholly discountenanced. His Majesty's ship Lark cowed them for a time, but as long as the preachers exert themselves against the royal authority, I know not where to turn for honest men to administer justice. The other day a gentleman brought an action against a Church member. The jury found for the plaintiff, but the Court refused to accept the verdict. So the preachers take care of each other. I cannot carry on the Government without power to remove those preachers who set themselves up against it, and also until the province of Maine across the river is annexed to it. Signed, Ed. Cranfield. Postscript.—The jury in the case of the George has asked for leave to amend their verdict, having evidently some dread of the consequences. As it was not recorded, I consented, and the vessel, though out of our possession, is now condemned. This, I think, will terrify succeeding juries from adhering to the malignant party and going against law and evidence in future, which, were it not for fear of punishing their purses rather than burdening their consciences, they would not stick to do. I am sorry to find the actions of the people so far short of their first professions, but this change of tune in me is not due so much to my neutrality as to the people's want of loyalty. They have been in a confederacy to carry this cause against the King; but I doubt not in time to reduce them to reason. The Assembly is now sitting. I doubt whether I shall be able to persuade them to make provision for the support of the Government, and I therefore judge it imperative that I and the Council should be empowered to impose an excise on wines and spirits not exceeding 1,000l. a year. Signed, Edw. Cranfield. 3 pp. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 135.]
Dec. 30. 869. Duplicate of foregoing. 4 pp. Endorsed, Rec. 10 May 1682–83. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 136.]
Dec. 30.
New Hampshire.
870. Edward Randolph to Lords of Trade and Plantations. On the arrival of Governor Cranfield I expected to find the people conform to the Acts of Trade and Navigation, the Governor having particularly pressed it on them. On this, in spite of many repulses received here and at Boston, I was encouraged to proceed against a Scotch vessel, the George, which came into this river last August with a considerable cargo, and though qualified in no one point by the Acts, was admitted. Finding that she had no certificate that she was English built I seized her on October 23rd and informed the Governor. He at once gave Captain Stileman orders not to let her pass the fort without order, and appointed a special court to try the case at Portsmouth on 21st inst.; and care was taken to summon persons well versed in maritime affairs to the jury. But notwithstanding the Governor's care the ship was allowed to pass the fort and escape. The case was adjourned till the 29th instant, when the officer in charge of entries swore that she brought no certificate as required by law; but the jury encouraged by the example of Lord Shaftesbury's jury at the Old Bailey (a leading precedent to the factions here) gave a verdict against the King with costs. The Governor highly resented this, being a contrivance of the principal minister Stileman, Jefferies, the pretended owner of the ship, and four of the leading men of the jury. So that the King's clemency and the Governor's moderation have produced little effect. The Governor, however, who is determined to enforce the Acts, has suspended Stileman the Council, put him out of the fort (wherein he has placed Captain Walter Barefoot) and declared him incapable of holding any place of trust. He has also directed me to prosecute all that were concerned in the vessel's escape and has written to all the Governors of the West Indies and the consuls of Madeira, Fayal, &c., to seize the ship and cargo, and send master and men here to be prosecuted for running away with a ship seized for the King. He is resolved to awe this combination, which is carried on against the King's authority by one Moody, a minister, who makes great profit out of it. I hope to find a jury that will do its duty honestly at my next trial. If they find for the King in the attaint of the last jury I shall catch some of the worst offenders in the matter of the George. But so long as Boston goes unpunished for like misconduct of juries these may hope to escape. Without it, it will be difficult for the Government here to enforce the laws, for there are two small creeks on the Maine side of the river where prohibited goods can be covered and secured. It is essential that the Bostoners should be brought to account for the escape of forfeited goods and vessels. Signed, Ed. Randolph. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 18 May 1683. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 137.]