America and West Indies: February 1683, 17-28

Pages 385-400

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

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February 1683

Feb. 17. 946. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Agreed to recommend Colonel John Colebeck to be of the Council of Jamaica in the room of Colonel Whitfield, deceased. Form of Order in Council, for confirming the Acts of Jamaica and repealing that which declares the laws of England to be in force, approved. Draft letters from the King and the Lords to Sir T. Lynch approved.
Report on the business of Richard Thayre approved.
Petition of John Totton on behalf of William Fisher read (see No. 914 I.).
Memorandum of letters sent and received in February. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVII., pp. 124–129.]
Feb. 17.
947. William Blathwayt to the Attorney-General. My Lords desire your opinion as to whether mines of saltpetre found in the King's dominions in America are his immediate property as royal mines. Memorandum of the Attorney-General's reply.—22nd February. The mines are not royal mines, but the King has the prerogative to dig for saltpetre in any such mines. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCVII., p. 93.]
Feb. 17.
948. Lords of Trade and Plantations to Sir Thomas Lynch. We have laid all your letters and the addresses before the King, who has confirmed the laws of Jamaica for seven years, except some few remitted for amendment. These require amendment in the following points. Act for ordering boats and wherries.—Thieves of boats unable to pay the fine are ordained to be sold indefinitely. You will pass an Act that the time for which a man shall be sold under this clause shall not exceed four years at most. Act for regulation of slaves.—A fine is imposed on all such as wilfully and wantonly kill a negro. The King will not confirm this clause, which seems to encourage the wilful shedding of blood. Some better provision must be found than a fine to deter men from such acts of cruelty. Act requiring masters of ships to give security in the Secretary's office.—The bonds must be in the King's name, and entered into not for the use of the people, as in the Act, but of the person or persons concerned. Act for surveyors.—Power must be reserved to the King to re-examine surveyors in all that concerns him. Act for encouraging the settlement of the Island.—Protection is given to debtors for five years without distinction of creditors. The Assembly should provide for the satisfaction of debts contracted in England. Act for regulating fees.—The Attorney-General is charged with double fees if he fail to recover his information. This must be set aside, and a new Act passed to suspend the clause. The King will confirm the Acts thus amended for seven years. You will do your best to render the Act of Revenue perpetual, representing that the King may thus be ready to confirm the laws for more than seven years. Act for ascertaining the rates of negroes.—The African Company has complained of this, and the King, on hearing its representatives and yours, has decided that the Act shall remain in force during his pleasure only. Act for maintenance of ministers.—No provision is made for carrying out the regulation of 1680 respecting vestries.
As to your complaints against Governor Clarke, the Lords Proprietors of the Bahamas have summoned him home in custody to answer for them and for other misdemeanours. The Proprietors claim no right of making war under their charter, except against infidels and Indians not under any Christian state. As to pirates holding commissions from the French Governor of Hispaniola, the King has ordered representations to be made to the Court of France. Meanwhile, you will seize as many of them as you can. The King; noticing that of the six hundred pounds annually paid from the English Exchequer to the Governors of Jamaica for maintenance of fortifications, little or nothing has been applied to the intended use, orders that the Governors shall henceforth account in the Exchequer for the money. We approve of your appointment of surveyors to collect the quit-rents in the various provinces. The Attorney-General is of opinion that the irregular grants of mines and of Port Royal harbour may be voided by scire facias. As to the narrative of Jonas Clough respecting the cruelties of the Spaniards, the King has directed that application be made to the Spanish ambassador, and that you endeavour your best to procure the liberation of the English prisoners. The King has approved the appointment of John Colebeck to the Council; and that he may in future appoint no person whose character he does not know, he directs you to furnish him with the names and characters of twelve men whom you shall esteem best qualified for that trust, nominating substitutes from time to time to fill the place of those who die, leave the Island, or otherwise become unfit. Signed, Fr. North, C.S., Halifax, C.P.S., Albemarle, Arlington, Ailesbury, Bath, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Conway, J. Ernle, L. Jenkins. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXX., pp. 127–135.]
Feb. 17. 949. Commission for Lucas Santen to be Collector at New York. Printed in New York Documents, Vol. III., p. 335. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXX., p. 45.]
Feb. 20. 950. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. Committee appointed to draw up an answer to the Governor's speech. William Sharpe, Edward Littleton, John Codrington, Richard Seawell, James Carter, Samuel Husbands, John Davies. Adjourned to 22nd February. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XIII., p. 510.]
Feb. 20.
951. The Clerk of Assembly of Barbados to William Blathwayt. Forwarding quarterly return of the proceedings of the Assembly from 31st October to 23rd January. Signed, Ri. Cartwright ½ p. Endorsed. Recd. 11 April 1683. [Col. Papers, Vol. L. No. 33, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., p. 184.]
Feb. 20.
952. Governor Cranfield to Sir Leoline Jenkins. I send you on the ship Richard, under Mr. Randolph's care, Edward Gove, an Assemblyman who is condemned to death for raising a rebellion in this province. See enclosed account of the trial signed by Major Waldern. I intended to execute him here for terror to the whole party who are still mutinous, had my commission allowed it. Nine others were taken besides Gove, and on trial were convicted, but security has been taken for their appearance and they have been respited pending signification of the King's pleasure. I cannot with safety to myself or the Province keep Gove longer in custody, for besides the great expense of guards for him I have reason to fear that he may escape. Moreover by my commission I am ordered to send home rebels, and if Gove escape the sentence of the law there is an end of the King's government in New Hampshire. I was soon made to understand that H.M.S. Lark was gone to sea. At the second meeting of the Assembly in January they began to dispute my commission, rejected my Bills and passed bad ones of their own, so that I was compelled to dissolve them. I took a journey to Boston and other places in Massachusetts and made it my business to find out their temper. I find the prevailing faction opposed to the King, whatever they may pretend to serve their present turn, and I believe that if the Duke of York should survive the King, their aversion, buoyed up as it is by the Nonconformista in England, is such that they will at once fall off from their allegiance to the Crown. It is very necessary therefore that the whole country should be brought to a thorough regulation, being alarmed by the quo warranto against their charter. At frigate should also be sent, until such regulation is completed by the placing of the ports and militia into the hands of honest men. Thus the troublesome faction would be disarmed and suppressed. I hear that it is designed to petition for Gove's life, and that it is to be managed by the messengers from Boston. If so, this will the more convince me that Gove received encouragement from that quarter. Major Pike, one of the magistrates and a member of the faction, came to me the night before Gove's trial with several depositions to certify that Gove was of unsound mind, in order to avoid his prosecution. The ministers in New England are more absolute and independent in their practice than their principles. They meddle with all matters of Government, and the people are stirred or composed according as they are influenced by these teachers. Some of them scrupled to preach on the 30th January which I have ordered to be annually observed. I also proposed to the ministers the baptism of children as an essential part of their office, and the administration of the sacrament, which at Gove's trial was put forward as a great crime and innovation. I am forced to keep the militia in arms till Gove is shipped off, and hope to keep the peace; but I beg that Mr. Randolph, who understands the whole state of affairs, may be sent back to me with full instructions and a small frigate to await orders, otherwise I can promise the King little success in the charge committed to me. Mr. Randolph has been very diligent, having made five journeys this winter in the extremity of weather from Boston hither, a distance of over seventy miles. He now undertakes the duty and cost of transporting Gove. I cannot repay him from Colonial funds, as they are brought so low by the expenses of Gove's rising. I beg therefore that his expenses may be allowed. Signed, Edw. Cranfield, 2½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 5 June, Enclosed,
952. I. Account of the trial of Edward Gove and nine others for treason. Copy. 4½ pp. Signed, Richard Waldern, [Col. Papers, Vol. L., Nos. 34, 34 I.]
Feb, 20. 953. Duplicates of foregoing letter and enclosure. [Col. Papers, Vol. L., Nos. 35, 35 I.]
Feb. 20.
954. Governor Cranfield to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Recapitulation of letter of 30th December (ante, No. 868). Gove has been tried and convicted of high treason. This would never have been done had I not first got an Act to pass, that the Marshal appointed by me should have the sole power of impanelling and returning jurymen. It was for want of such an Act that we lost the Scotch ketch. I send Gove home, but have respited his accomplices, and recommend them to mercy. Mr. Randolph has good ground for the uneasiness expressed in his letters. I believe that there is a general combination to continue their irregular trade, and make this port and the Isle of Sholes the chief centres of the design. This cannot be prevented without a frigate, which is wanted also to secure the King's authority, Signed, Edw. Cranfield. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 4 June 1683. [Col. Papers, Vol. L., No. 36, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., pp. 83–85.]
Feb. 20. 955. Governor Simon Bradstreet to Robert Mason. I received yours of 19th November (see ante, No. 803) on 26th January, and should have answered long ago had it not been that the General Court, which was best fitted to answer it, was about to be convened. I communicated your letter, and the answer is that you could have had the trial with respect to particular lands that you claim long ago, and may have it at Ipswich on the last Tuesday in March, or at the next court at Salem in June, though I beg for a month's notice as to the Court at which you will proceed. As to the unimproved lands which you ask possession of, the answer is the Court does not understand from your letter what are the limits of your claim, and know of no vacant land within the boundaries you seem to mean, that are not already appropriated. Signed, S. Bradstreet. Holograph. 1 p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. L., No. 37.]
Feb. 21. 956. Petition of Thomas Sleeper to the King. My eldest son being on the road met with Edward Gove, and weakly consented to go with him, knowing nothing of his design. He is now found guilty of high treason. I am seventy-five years old, and have always been a loyal subject, and this has broken my heart in my old age. I beg your gracious clemency towards him. 1 p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. L., No. 38.]
[Feb.] 957. Petition of Robert and Sarah Wadleigh, of Exeter, New Hampshire, to the King. Their three sons were in the company of Edward Gove, since condemned for high treason, and are thereby culpable by law. The eldest of them is but twenty years old, and their meeting with Gove was accidental, and they only followed him as silly inconsiderate youths might. Pray for pardon for them. ½ p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. L., No. 39.]
[Feb.] 958. Petition of Hannah Gove, wife of Edward Gove, to the King. Her husband, under some distemper of lunacy, has been guilty of high treason, and is under sentence of death. Prays for his Pardon. Signed, Hannah Gove. 1 p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. L., No. 40.]
[Feb.] 959. Petition of Elizabeth Gillman and Elizabeth Lad to Governor Cranfield. On behalf of Nathaniel Lad, who was concerned in the rising of Edward Gove. Long sheet, one edge much damaged. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. L., No. 41.]
Feb. 21. 960. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Mr. John Buckner and others prohibited from printing. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., p. 153.]
Feb. 21.
James City.
961. Extract from Minutes of the Council of Virginia. John Buckner was summoned before the Council for his presumption in printing the Acts of Assembly made in November 1682 without a licence. He answered that he had given the printer order to print nothing without the Governor's licence, and had only struck off a couple of sheets for His Excellency's approbation. The Board was satisfied therewith, but ordered Buckner and William Nulhead, the printer, to enter into bond for one hundred pounds to print nothing further until the King's pleasure was known. Signed, Nicho. Spencer, Secretary. ½ p. Endorsed. Recd. 29 Sept. 1683. [Col. Papers, Vol. L., No. 42.]
Feb. 22. 962. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. Answer to the Governor's speech. We will hasten the despatch of business, and request your favourable consideration of the bills presented to you, particularly the Habeas Corpus bill. We will present it anew if need be. We will provide for the house of correction and for the magazine. We presume that the excise will provide for this and for the fortifications, without the increase thereof which you suggest. If it should fail, future assemblies will make good the deficiency, and we therefore see no reason for increasing it or extending the time of its operation. We hope that you are not so straitly bound as you say to forbid the calling of assemblies till your return. Your predecessors did not so limit their deputies. As regards the grandeur of Grand Sessions, the expense of sessions lies with the King, and can be defrayed by fines and forfeitures. We thank you for your offers of service.
Feb. 23. Bill for ascertaining parish boundaries read and passed. Order for Messrs Sharpe, Seawell, Littleton, Carter, John Codrington and Husbands, to be a committee to join with a Committee of Council to consider the wants of the island, and draw up an address to the King. Adjourned to 13th March. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XIII., pp. 511–516.]
Feb. 22.
963. Sir Thomas Lynch to William Blathwayt. Since I last wrote I have been extremely ill, oppressed with melancholy to stupefaction almost. For sixteen or eighteen days I hardly slept, till the gouty pains and swelling fell into my legs and eased my head so that I was able to be carried abroad. As soon as I could put foot to ground, three weeks ago, I came here [St. Jago de la Vega?] for change of air and for public business. It has, thank God, succeeded well, for I have not been better since I came into these cursed tropics than I am now. The people seem as satisfied, and are as quiet, as though under the perfectest peace abroad and the greatest success at home, though our losses and troubles through pirates are intolerable. We have lost divers vessels on the coast of Cuba and in the South Cays, some in the Bay of Honduras, others on the coast of the Main, and by La Trompeuse off Hispaniola about sixteen or eighteen ships, so that at a moderate reckoning our losses, the Royal Company's, and the English merchants, come to forty or fifty thousand pounds. This falls heavily, as you may believe, on a young Colony with a young trade, and the misfortune is aggravated by the great numbers of people maintained by trade in this Island. We are fed by provisions from New England, New York, and Ireland, and have fishermen at the South Cays; all these routes were interrupted and dangerous. The people would have been in an ill ferment if I had not done all that I could, and the frigate had not so seasonably made her appearance. There is no revenue nor hope of any, for little comes in; hardly two pipes of wine since my arrival, and not a farthing of fines or escheats in Sir H. Morgan's time. It is useless to sue the debtors, for they have three years allowed them for payment. The quit-rents come in as slowly, though we have and do exchequer abundance (sic). You should have the half-yearly account by this ship, but Martin says he cannot get the orders from Powell. You shall have it by next ship, but Martin says you will not be pleased with it, for he has not taken fifty pounds these tow months, and the revenue will be two or three thousand pounds in default. I am apt to believe this, for it owes me near half that sum for my salary, besides all I pay and am engaged for, which you will believe to be considerable after reading my letter and Martin's accounts. You may therefore conclude that I shall bring into the Treasury everything of the King's that comes into my bands and that admits of no disputes at home, that my salary may be paid and the public expense supported. The Lords of Trade I am sure will be content with this; they know on what hard terms I came, and may believe that it has cost me three or four thousand pounds to purchase afflictions insupportable by my mind, my fortune, or my reason. Lord Hyde and the Lord Treasurer promised to make good my salary if I could not get it here. Pray therefore apply to the Lords for an order directing fines, forfeitures, and escheats to be applied to the payment of my salary and contingent expenses of Government. I have no reason to expect much from this source, for there has been nothing in the eleven months that I have been here, nor do I desire this, because I am sure the Lords of the Treasury will draw nothing from hence, but rather be glad that they are eased of trouble and expense Nevertheless I remember how our friend Sir R[ichard] D[utton?] sued Colonel C. for a seizure thirteen years ago which was laid out for public use, telling him he must pay with interest what he had received, and recover from the Lords of the Treasury what he had laid out. I know I need not fear anything like this, but I would not add the hazard of an Exchequer suit to the small fortune. I shall have your little paiyente (sic), but it is reasonable to fear there may arise people that did not know Joseph [this last sentence is, as it stands, unintelligible]. On the 21st December Captain Johnson, whom I had sent out with two hundred men after the pirate La Trompeuse, returned after two months' absence. He had been as high as Porto Rico, but failing to search Hispaniola on his way down, he missed her. At St. Domingo he saw Vanhorn, but the President would not suffer him to speak to him. As he came in, the Guernsey returned from St. Jago de Cuba and brought Captain Prenar. I at once despatched her to the coast of St.Domingo, understanding that the pirate haunted the French settlement at the Isle des Vaches, and was careening by Spencer at Jaqueene near to it. Before the frigate got up the pirate was gone. He had sent away Spencer after taking all he had, eight to ten thousand pounds value, as he says. Part of his goods were sent to Petit Guavos, and the greatest part given to the commandant and people at the Isle des Vaches, from which the pirate draws the recruits of victuals and men which have enabled him to subsist so long; though, indeed, it is rather an illfortune and Johnson's misconduct that have saved him, for Johnson missed him only by failing to examine the ports. Captain Tennant came into Jaqueene on the morning of 15th January and found him at anchor, but, it being calm, could not get near him for want of oars. The gale rising, the pirate sailed three feet to his one. About the 24th January the frigate came and reported this. A small French barque owned by an honest man, Mons. Petit, also came in from Guadeloupe bound for Petit Guavos. By him I sent a frank account to Governor Ponçay of the mischief we suffered from the French both ashore and at sea. Being displeased at the frigate's leaving the coast, I ordered the captain to sail thither again next day, but he pretended that she was foul. I sent about twenty carpenters on board him and plenty of seamen, and so got her careened in twenty days, which was more than ever was done before in this harbour. I gave him twenty more men and a month's provision, hired a satee to wait on him, and, on the 15th instant, he sailed with my positive orders not to stir from the coast till the pirate was gone or destroyed. We have great hopes, for the pirate is a weak and unsheathed ship, and is growing foul. Her best seamen are leaving her, yet the last vessel that she took reports one hundred and fifty men on board. Since the frigate left the coast several have come down who have been robbed by the pirate. One, Captain North's, a ship of twenty or thirty guns, was so strong that the pirates themselves said they durst not have boarded her if captain and men had not most villainously surrendered. From her they took sixty-five pounds of gold, which gave them eight or ten ounces apiece. This is their only profit, and has made one Moone, the master, leave them. I have taken the desription of this Moone and of thirteen or fourteen more English rougues, and shall send it to Bristol (whence he comes) and to all the colonies in America. These losses from windward, though great and frequent, are not so much felt, nor raise so much clamour, as those to leeward, for the former concern merchants only, but the latter the whole town. Many here live only by their sloops, which go turtling, trading, and fishing, and, if these be taken, the poor cannot eat nor others subsist. Five or six of them have been taken, and several men have been killed or left on desolate cays, where they perish most miserably. This exasperates the people more then anything else, so much so that I was constrained to hire a new sloop, put ten men on her, and send her away on the 16th January. She returned about the 12th instant with all the men, and the captain says that he engaged three small vessels that escaped with their oars, that the sloop captured by some French from Griffin is gone to Laurens in the Bay of Honduras, and that the English have, he hears, stolen nothing. He has brought up two or three pirates, who have been condemned. One will be executed to-morrow. To put a stop to all this mischief and save our sloops, without which we cannot live, I have resolved to do what nobody ever thought could be done, viz., build a galley to row with fifty oars, and carry fifty or sixty men. The merchants are much pleased with it, and believe that we shall no longer be infested with little rogues in small craft. Two days hence there will be one hundred men employed in getting the timber out of the mountains, and I am not without hope to get her afloat in twenty days. I shall have as many carpenters as can work on her, if I can only find means to pay them.
I have already told you of the Spaniard that came here from the Governor of Panama to buy negroes. He wanted men between eighteen and twenty-eight only, to be delivered at Porto Bello, but as he was unwilling to pay for the choice and risk, and the African Company could not send many, we were unable to furnish him. So after four months' stay he went away with about a hundred, which had been bought of an interloper by merchants to windward. They hired Captain Johnson's ship, by which I wrote to the President that it was impossible to supply him with such negroes and deliver them at Porto Bello, but that if he chose to send an agent from Panama, and also from Havana, they might buy on the same footing as ourselves. About five days since a great ship, under French colours, brought me letters from Mons. Ponçay and Mons. Grammont, lieutenant of the ship St. Nicolas. The letters assured me of their intention to keep the peace, and reported that Mons, Ponçay had sent this ship after La Trompeuse and other pirates, that Vanhorn, the captain, had no other commission but to take pirates, nor other design here but to deliver his letters. They desired also to buy medicines and stores. I sent Mr. Charles Barré on board, and from him and former information I found out that the ship is an English ship called the Mary and Martha, that she sailed from London for Cadiz and Africa, that she did some mischief to the Spaniards at Cadiz, has robbed the Dutch, taken negroes by force from the coast, helped one king to make war on another, and so got hold of four or five hundred negroes with which she came to Cayenne. There she left half of them and brought the rest to St.Domingo. She was there made to pay for injuries done against the Spaniards and Dutch, but was protected against us and let go with a very few men; for of the English some had deserted, and others, under pretence of mutiny, had been barbarously left on desolate islands and cays. In this condition she reached Petit Guavos with fifty or sixty negroes. Governor Ponçay then put Mons. Grammont on board with nearly three hundred men, and gave him a commission, grounded on my complaint of French pirates and planters at the Isle des Vaches. Fear of the French King makes Mons. Ponçay in good earnest. He hanged one or two men that I described to him, and sent to Isle des Vaches to seize the commandant. Still he does no justice about restoring goods received by himself as well as by the commandant and others. In future, I hope we shall be better neighbours. Our frigate, I doubt not, will make an end of La Trompeuse, if she has not already done it, for six or seven vessels which have come in during the last three days from the coast report that they saw nothing of the pirate. The vessels we have sent out, and the fame of our galley, awe all the rest of the rogues, and the more because they were fitted out by this Island alone. The pirates, therefore, are all joining Laurens in the Bay of Honduras, where he is said to have two great ships, a barque, and a sloop of ours and five hundred men. Three days ago I gave the master a letter to Laurens requesting him to punish the pirates and deliver the sloop, which I believe he will do. For I hope to bring them to that pass that they will be content if we do not punish them for robbing the Spaniards, and that without another frigate from the King or further charge to his revenue in England. Every one here concludes that Vanhorn is also gone to Laurens (the man who, as I wrote to you, took 122,000 pieces of eight off Porto Rico), and lies by to intercept a ship of forty-four guns and four hundred men, with another of just half her strenght, that are loading goods and money at Guatemala. Vanhorn has provisions for six months. Nobody thinks he would carry this to capture pirates, nor that he would come to leeward after them when he knows they are to windward. Besides, directly he was out of sight of Jamaica on his departure he bore up. Barr_ says that the French abhor him for his insolence and passion, and that they will desert him at the first land or make Grammont captain, who is an honest old privateer. Vanhorn, besides, is so vain that he showed him a number of bags which he judged to hold six or eight thousand pieces of eight. We gave him a great charge of letters. You may hear more of him from Colonels Bawden and Stroude if this be not enough about a rascal. You cannot blame me for being the historian of those rogues for this year, for I have business with few else. To ensure the destruction of La Trompeuse, and sow dissension among the pirates, I have sent Coxon to offer to one Yankey (who commands an admirable sailer) men, victuals, pardon, naturalisation, and two hundred pounds in money to him and Coxon if he will go after La Trompeuse.
By letters from New Providence, I understand that Lilborn acts as old Governor Clarke did, but with less appearance of justice, for he does and permits as much without Commissions as the other did with them, as you may see by enclosed quaker's letter. I have sent him with an address to you that you may know particulars if you please, and what illuminations he has to make us Landgraves and Mamamouchts. That you may see that I have business with the godly too, you must know that about a month ago at the Sessions one Elletson, a lawyer, after the justices were seated but before the charge, desired leave to speak. Then in a studied harangue he pressed the justices to enforce the laws against dissenters. Everyone was much surprised, and Colonel Molesworth answered that it was forbidden both by our local laws and by the King's repeated instructions. The Council and I thinking Elletson's conduct malicious, summoned him by warrant before us. He was asked whether the King could dispense with those laws. He would not answer. He was then asked whether he was not aware of the King's instructions to that effect, why he had not raised the question in Sir Henry Morgan's time, when he was Attorney-General, and whether the dissenters had done anything to forfeit the King's grace. To this he answered No, and to the rest nothing, declaring himself a Protestant, but that he had never taken the sacrament. Elletson is an ill man; he was driven here by his crimes and necessities, and was the occasion of all the hard, inconvenient and illegal grants passed by Sir Henry Morgan, for which he is oursed, and was told so before Sir Henry's face in the Council. Knowing how much mischief he had done and advised, he took out a pardon before I arrived, which no officer ever did before. Moreover, though he would now be thought episcopal, he was a fanatic. When the assembly rose, he asked one of them how he could answer to the country for his trusting the Court. The Council, putting all these things together, and judging that his last action was done from private malice and revenge, ordered him to be bound over to good behaviour, and an information laid against him at the Grand Court. He has since given in his submission, so I suppose we shall pardon him. You must forgive me this and the other senseless and impertinent story about C. Morgan. I am afraid ill impressions may be taken before I am heard. You may judge of the rest by this. But I reckon, if I can live, that I may be quiet a little longer, for surely as yet the fame of my salary and acquisitions will not charm lords to come to this agreeable climate and profitable government. I intend to write to my Lords Sunderland, Halifax, and Clarendon, from whom I have not had a line. But great men answer, like Heaven, by deeds, not words. I know ministers and statesmen so hate impertinence and tedious letters, that I durst not address this to our Lords or Mr. Secretary. You can best garble it and lay (as the merchant says) the needful before them. Postscript in Sir T. Lynch's own hand.—4th March 1682–83. This is a copy of one that I sent by a Bristol man. I send also affidavits about Vanhorn's business. Signed. 12 closely written pages. Endorsed, Recd. 28 May 1683. [Col. Papers, Vol. L., No. 43, and(with private matters omitted) Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXX., pp. 141–152.] Annexed,
March 3. 963. I. Affidavits of Vanhorn's piracies. Depositions of James Nicholas, gunner, John Otto, coxswain, Peter Cornelius, sailmaker, George Martyn, sailor, late of the ship Mary and Martha alias St. Nicholas, 400 tons, 40 guns. About sixteen months since deponents sailed from England in this ship, Nicholas Vanhorn commander, and a crew of one hundred and fifty men, fifty of them English, all shipped for Cadiz, in company of another ship of 160 tons, twelve guns, and twenty-three men, all English, belonging to Colonel Stroude, Governor of Dover Castle, Captain John Mayne commander, under orders of Vanhorn. Vanhorn was forced by weather into a French port in the Bay of Biscay, where twenty-five of his men, seeing what a rogue he was, ran away. Sailed thence to the Groyne [Coruña] and Cadiz, where Vanhorn put thirty-six men ashore without wages. He also pretended to get a licence to trade in America, but could not, and then turned two of his merchants ashore. The night before he sailed, he sent away his barge with about twenty men and took by force four brass patararoes of the King's, to the great disgrace of the English nation. Sailed thence to the Canaries when he went ashore and took about forty goats by force. Before leaving Cadiz Vanhorn whipped an Englishman, Nicholas Browne, to death for no cause, Sailed thence to the Cape de Verdes where five men deserted, thence to the Guinea coast, arriving about March, and traded for gold in truck for powder and guns, having no other cargo. Fell in with two Dutch ships at Castledemaino; Vanhorn plundered one of them of everything, to the value of thirty thousand dollars; took a negro by force out of an English ship; also a canoe from Cape Coast, laden with goods for negroes, and killed three of the negroes therein. Vanhorn then traded for negroes with the goods he had captured, and took over a hundred on board, with a great quantity of gold. Sailed on by the coast of Capa where Vanhorn went ashore with great guns and in twenty-eight days returned with six hundred negroes. He did everything under English colours, burning all the houses and destroying all the negroes' crops and stores. A month later he captured a canoe with twenty negroes, shot one and took the rest. Sailed on to St. Thoma where he took a Portuguese cannon and two of their negroes; thence to Cayenne where he put ashore six English; thence to Trinidad, and so to St. Domingo, arriving there at the end of November. By that time they had three hundred negroes, the best being dead. The President of St. Domingo took the Spanish brass patararoes and, as they heard, made Vanhorn pay. While there, a ship came in under Captain Johnson, in search of La Trompeuse, pirate-ship. Johnson would have spoken with Vanhorn, who lay under the Castle, but was forbidden by the President. Vanhorn sailed last with but twenty men, deponents embarking on another ship which brought them to Jamaica. Sworn before me 3rd March 1682–83. R. Wilson. 3½ pp. Endorsed and inscribed.Recd. 28 May 1683. [Col. Papers, Vol. L., No. 43 I.]
Feb. 22. 964. Report of the Attorney-General respecting saltpetre and irregular grants of royal mines. 1. I conceive the grant of the Royal mines in Jamaica (ante, No. 694) to be void, and that it should be voided by (scire facias because (a) it is not warranted by the Royal Instructions; (b) the grant of mines which shall be opened during the term named is uncertain, nor has the patentee any power to reduce it to certainty, for he has no power to search in other men's lands which, being a royal prerogative, cannot pass by a general grant; (c) there is no tie on the lessee to work the mines, and it is at the lessee's pleasure, therefore, whether the King shall have anything, whereby the King is defrauded. 2. As to the case of saltpetre, my opinion is that such mines are not royal mines, though the King has the prerogative of digging for saltpetre. 3. I can say nothing as to the grant of Port Royal Harbour not having seen it, but if it be a public harbour and of general use it cannot be appropriated by any grant to the prejudice of the King's subjects. Signed, R. Sawyer. Holograph. 1 p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. L., No. 44, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXX., pp. 121–122.]
Feb. 23
965. Order of the King in Council. That Secretary Jenkins prepare a letter for the appointment of Colonel John Colbeck to the Council of Jamaica in the room of Colonel Whitfield, deceased. Signed, John Nicholas. ½ p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. L., No. 45.]
Feb. 23.
966. Order of the King in Council, approving the following draft of a letter to Sir T. Lynch. Signed, John Nicholas, Annexed,
966. I. The King to Sir Thomas Lynch. We have received with great satisfaction the dutiful proceedings of the Assembly in repeating the former Act of Revenue, and enacting a new one wherein all offensive and distrustful clauses are omitted. We take this in good part and shall show it by our favour. We have been no less pleased to receive the address from our good subjects, for which this is our return. We confirm all your laws after a manner formerly approved, whereby for the space of seven years we have not left it in our power to vacate or repeal them. The Act to ascertain the rates of negroes we accept; and some few other laws we have remitted for amendment, promising to confirm the same as soon as amended. This we leave to your prudence and management, whereof your late successes have made us fully sensible. We have taken the measures suggested by you respecting privateers (see ante, No. 942). 1½ pp. Draft. [Col. Papers, Vol. L., Nos. 46, 46 I., and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXX., pp. 135–137.]
Feb. 23.
967. Duplicate of above Order in Council Copy. [Col. Papers, Vol. L., No. 47.]
Feb. 23.
968Order of the King in Council. Confirming the laws of Jamaica. Signed, John Nicholas. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXX., pp. 123–126.]
Feb. 23.
969. Order of the King in Council. Disallowing the Act declaring the laws of England to be in force. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXX., pp. 126–127.]
[Feb. 26.] 970. Sir William Stapleton's answer to the petition of Benjamin Middleton. Copy of the petition (see ante, No. 396 I.). The truth is that Middleton's father spent 8,000l. on plantations in Antigua and lost all by the French invasion; but petitioner might as well have added that his father sold the plantation, which he made his great settlement, some time before his death. It was called Middleton and Fletcher, and was sold to one Yeamans of London, who enjoyed it himself after the close of the war, and his successors after him. It is true that Middleton had another plantation, but he could lose little by it, for it consists mostly of standing wood never felled since the creation. It was called Crab Hall, and Middleton might have had it, to my knowledge, at any period during William Lord Willoughby's time, or, indeed, by patent from me, by simply opening his lips. There is not a word of truth in the statement about an Act in favour of Colonel Middleton or Mr. Jacob Lucy; on the contrary, both are excluded, though in general and not special terms, by Lord Willoughby's Act of settlement, which is with the papers at home. Had such an Act existed I should not have presumed to dispose of Crab Hall. If Mr. Lucy's agent had known of any law entitling him to the plantation he would not have come to me for a patent for he would not have needed it. The present owners are Captain Williams and Lieutenant Francis Burton, each of three hundred acres, and Mrs. Elizabeth Williams two hundred acres. Middleton's incapacity by reason of his debts could not be greater than that of all the inhabitants of Antigua, who lost all and yet have made settlements since. As for Mr. London, whose name is mentioned, he has been with me about the matter and is gone to Jamaica, so I am sure he is satisfied. So also is Mr. Benjamin Middleton, or he would not have asked a Barbados lawyer to whom he had sold it to retract his bargain for a few guineas, as he could not make good his title. In truth, the plantation fell to the King by a preceding Act until the inhabitants were re-invested with possession. Middleton, by merely asking and settling, might have had that or a larger plantation that I now offered him. But the allegation that Mr. London is refused entry on possession in consequence of some late Act is nonsense, for there is no such Act that I know of, and none could have been passed without my knowledge. Signed, Wm. Stapleton. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 26 Feb. 1682/3 [Col. Papers, Vol. L., No. 48.]
[Feb. 26.] 971. Petition of Captain John Poyntz and Company. Your Majesty has granted Tobago to the Duke of Courland. We have agreed and contracted with him to settle ourselves therein and become planters, always preserving our loyalty to you, which we are ready to prove by taking the oaths of allegiance. We beg for directions as to our colours or standards. Should they bear the Union colours next the staff, Courland next the fly, or St. George's colours at the staff, or should it be yet something different? Subscribed. Order of the King in Council, dated Whitehall, Feb. 26, 1682, referring the Petitioner to the Lords of Trade and Plantations. Signed, L. Jenkins. On the margin. Recd. and read 25 May 1683. 1p. Annexed,
971. I. Articles of agreement between the Duke of Courland and John Poyntz. 9 large pages. [Col. Papers, Vol. L., Nos. 49, 41 I.]
Feb. 26.
972. Petition of Mark Baker of Hampton to the King. Petitioner foolishly accompanied Edward Gove on his seditious march and has been convicted as one of his accomplices; knew nothing of Gove's design and never dreamed of treason. Prays pardon. 1 p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. L., No. 50.]
Feb. 27.
973. Petition of William Healy to the King. I have been for some years servant to Edward Gove, and followed him, at his bidding, in the work for which he was condemned to death. Holograph. Signed. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. L., No. 51.]
Feb. 28. 974. Petition of Thomas Rawlins to Governor Cranfield. I was travelling on my own affairs when I met Edward Gove, and went on in company with him with no knowledge of his evil design, but I am convicted as an accomplice. I beg you forward my petition to the King for mercy and pardon. 1 p. Endorsed[Col. Papers, Vol. L., No. 52.]
Feb. 28. 975. Duplicate of foregoing. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. L., No. 53.]
Feb. 28. 976. Declaration of Sir William Stapleton. Authorising Peter Cove, John Devereux, William Fox, and George Lyddill to enter upon a plantation in Montserrat owned in partnership by William Freeman of London and John Bramley of Montserrat, and divide it, with everything on it, equally between the two, since their continual strife puts it in danger of ruin, and such differences, as experience has proved, are a discouragement to settlement. With minute directions for the work of valuation and apportionment. 2 pp. Copy. Certified by William Barwick. Endorsed. Recd. 6 November 1683. [Col. Papers, Vol. L., No. 54.]
Feb. 28.
977. Order of the King in Council. Approving the recommendation of the Lords of Trade and Plantations made in consequence of Sir William Stapleton's letter of 11th November last (see ante, No. 777). That the King not only demand of the King of Denmark the sloop and goods in question, as also seven servants that ran away with a wherry from Montserrat to St. Thomas, but that he assert his right to the Virgin Islands so that the Danes be not permitted to settle in any of them except St. Thomas, and if they will not submit to such right that they be given to understand that they have no good right to St. Thomas. Signed, John Nicholas. 1 p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. L., No. 55, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., pp. 77–78.]
Feb. 28. 978. Order of the King in Council. Approving Colonel John Colbeck as a member of Council of Jamaica. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXX., p. 122.]
Feb. 28.
979. The King to Sir Thomas Lynch. We have received with great satisfaction the proceedings of the Assembly in repealing the Revenue Act with offensive clauses, and passing another in its stead, as also a loyal address. We now confirm these laws, excepting some few that require amendment, for seven years, and will confirm the rest when amended, as your past prudence and skill leaves us no doubt that they will be. We have laid before the French King your complaints about pirates. 2 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCIX., pp. 194, 195.]
[Feb.?] 980. Mr. Byrd's proposals for regulating the Indian trade. If he may have the sole Indian trader to the exclusion of all others from trade or truck with Indians, he engages (1) to send out no persons to trade with them but such as have given security for good behaviour; (2) to take all possible pains to heal breaches between different tribes and to secure payment of the King's tribute; (3) as soon as peace is concluded between the Government and the Senecas, to discover the great tract of land to westward of the mountains and report thereon to the Governor; (4) to pay one hundred pounds a year to the King, provided that he have liberty to transport all commodities purchased of the Indians to England. Signed., Wm. Byrd. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 29 Sept. 1683. [Col. Papers, Vol. L., No. 56.]