America and West Indies: September 1683, 1-15

Pages 486-495

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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September 1683

Sept. 1. 1234. Memorandum, that a power of granting land was sent this day by Captain Hostede (?) to the Secretary. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXII., pp. 21.]
Sept. 4. 1235. The King to the Council and inhabitants of Bermuda. Approving the appointment of Richard Coney as Governor pending further action. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCIX., pp. 222.]
Sept. 5.
St. Jago
de la Vega.
1236. Sir Thomas Lynch's speech to the Assembly of Jamaica. Many congratulations on the discreet behaviour of the House in the matter of the Laws, and on its success with the King More congratulations on the prosperous state of the Colony. Much dwelling on the King's gracious favour in abridging himself of his prerogative towards the laws for seven years. Enumeration of the amendments required, and of the reservation of the Act for fixing the price of negroes. "It's against the reason and nature of commerce to put a perpetual or standing price on goods we need, for trade ought to have all liberty and encouragement. We see therefore in those places, where it is freest, there it is greatest." Five large pages. Endorsed. Recd. 6 Nov. 1683. [Col. Papers, Vol. LI., No. 87.]
Sept. 5. 1237. Speech of the Speaker of Assembly of Jamaica in reply to Governor Sir Thomas Lynch. After the King's gracious favour we shall have little more to do but every man to sit down under his own vine, studying to do our own happiness, and pray for His Majesty's long and happy reign. But we must not omit our thanks to the Lords of the Committee and still more to your Excellency. 1¼ p. Endorsed. Recd. 26 Nov. 1683. [Col. Papers, Vol. LI., No. 88.]
Sept. 5.
St. Jago
de la Vega.
1238. Minutes of Assembly of Jamaica. Jonathan Ashurst, Peter Beckford, and Thomas Raby, returned as Members of Assembly for Vere, St. Dorothy, and St. Elizabeth. Letter from the Lords of Trade of 17th February read (see ante, No. 948). Agreed that it be sent to the Assembly. Two of the above members of Assembly sworn, and a new writ desired for election of a member in place of Jonathan Ashurst, deceased. Writs amended. The Assembly being come, the Governor made them a large discourse, to which the Speaker replied. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXVI., pp. 14, 14a.]
Sept. 5. 1239. Acts of Jamaica passed 5th September 1683:—
Act requiring masters of ships to give security.
Act for Regulating Fees.
Act for better ordering of slaves.*
Act for ordering of boats and wherries.
Act for regulating surveyors.
Act for further regulation of surveyors.
Act for encouraging shipping and regulation tonnage.
Act ascertaining salt to certain parishes.*
Act against engrossing and forestalling. Repealed by King's letter 17th April 1684.
Act for punishment of idle persons and relief of the poor.
Act for vacating several irregular grants.
Act for raising a Public Revenue for twenty-one years.
The whole of the above except those marked * were confirmed in Council for twenty-one years from November 1683. 17th April 1684. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLIII., pp. 249–281.]
1240. Observations on the Receiver-General's accounts. In one of his accounts Mr. Martin charged twenty shillings a chest on some Spanish indigo captured by pirates before he would grant entry; this was for himself besides the sixpence charged for customs. Other irregularities also observed. The Receiver-General declines to produce receipts for salaries paid, and will show no account of cash nor keep the book as directed by the Governor. Further detailed criticisms. 2 pp. Unsigned. [Col. Papers, Vol. LI., No. 89.]
Sept. 5. 1241. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Warrant for payment of salaries to the gunners and matrosses of St. Michael's. Order for prolonging the former order for accounts of the powder delivered to various persons. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XI., pp. 586a–587a.]
[Sept. 6.] 1242. The depositions of Benjamin Bird respecting the three causes at issue between Samuel Hanson and Sir Richard Dutton. Sworn, 15 June 1683. 10 pp. Inscribed and endorsed. Recd. 6 Sept. 1683. [Col. Papers, Vol. LI., No. 90.]
Sept. 7. St.
Jago de la
1243. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Message from the Assembly requesting the appointment of members of Council to confer with them about the manner of passing the laws. Sir Henry Morgan, Colonel Ballard, and Colonel Molesworth appointed. Petitions of Captains Francis Mingham and Joseph Wild read (see No. 1249 I.). Message from the Assembly, desiring that the whole Council and Assembly might confer about confirming and passing the laws. The Assembly being come the Council declared, in answer to the Speaker, that for the laws which were passed by the King there needed only a supplemental law, but for those not so passed they must begin de novo. Message from the Assembly desiring a conference with five of the Council on the subject-matter of the last conference. Sir Henry Morgan, Sir Charles Modyford, Colonel Ballard, and Mr. White appointed.
Sept. 8. The Council, on hearing the report of the above four gentlemen, sent its reasons in writing for the opinion declared at the conference of both Houses. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXVI., pp. 15a–16.]
[Sept. 7.] 1244. Order issued by Sir Jonathan Atkins empowering the Provost Marshal of Barbados to take a house for a common gaol. Dated Barbados, 1st September 1675. Copy. Certified by George Hannay. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. from Mr. Hannay 7 September 1683. [Col. Papers, Vol. LI., No. 91.]
Sept. 8.
1245. The Deputy Governor and Council of Barbados to the Lords of Trade and Plantations. Forwarding quarterly return of the Council's transactions and of imports for the past three months. Signed, Jno. Witham, Tho. Walrond, Edwyn Stede, Tim. Thornhill, Sam. Newton, Richard Howell, Robert Davers, Fran. Bond. 1 p. Endorsed and inscribed. Recd. 11 Feb. 1683–84. [Col. Papers, Vol. LI., No. 92, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., p. 221.]
Sept. 11. 1246. Memorandum of a paper given in respecting the inquest on Edward Flood. An account of Sir Henry Morgan's interference with the jury (see No. 1249). Copy. Certified by Francis Hickman, Cl. Concil. Inscribed and endorsed: "Paper delivered to Council by Richard Holloway." Recd. 22 Jan. 1683–84. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. LI., No. 93.]
Sept. 11. 1247. Deposition of Jabez Streater as to the manner of summoning the jury for the same inquest. It appears that on his setting forth, two gentlemen, Forth and Wayte, proposed themselves as jurors, and subsequently selected the rest of the panel. Sworn before Hender Molesworth, 18 Sept. 1683. Copy. Certified by Fra. Hickman, Cl. Concil. 1 p. Inscribed and endorsed. Recd. 22 Jan. 1683. [Col. Papers, Vol. I.I., No. 94.]
Sept. 12.
St. Jago de la
1248. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. The Governor reported the death of the Secretary, Rowland Powell, and proposed that Francis Hickman execute the office in town, and Reginald Wilson at Port Royal, till the lawful deputies of the patentees should arrive. Agreed to. The Assembly sent a message to thank the Governor for his elaborate and eloquent speech, and for being the means which made the King and Lords of Trade so kind to them. Lewis Anderson, one of the soldiers of the first army that took this Island, appeared before Council and swore that, though called Lewis the Frenchman, he was a native of Jersey. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXVI., pp. 16, 16a.]
Sept. 12.
1249. Sir Thomas Lynch to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I can give you no further information as to the sack of Vera Cruz. I have seen but one Englishman that was in the action, and have promised him a pardon if he brings in Spurre's sloop, but I have heard no more of him or the sloop. Laurence and all the privateers but Vanhorn's two ships are to Hispaniola. I had a small compliment from Laurens which I send to Mr. Blathwayt (see No. 1210). Some fancy he has a mind to leave the French, and the Government on the coast is mighty confused. Some would not obey Franconet, nor others Boissu, and no one would obey the French West India Company. There is a rumour that Vanhorn's ship has got up to our Port Antoine, but it is not confirmed, so I conclude that they are in a perishing condition to Leeward, or gone through the gulf. They had fourteen hundred people on the two ships, and have put most of their negroes on desolate cays. The withdrawal of Laurens would be a mighty service to the Spaniard, for if he pieces with the French they will go near to attack Carthagena. We here have more reason to complain of them than to assist them, if our interest here and trade in Europe did not depeud on the preservation of these Spanish Indies, for they do us intolerable injuries by rogues that are set out as freebooters to take traders. Three weeks ago I sent the Bonito to St. Jago de Cuba, and then I wrote to the Governor detailing our grievances, but I expect no answer nor satisfaction. I have sent a translation of the letter, as well as a copy of the Spanish, in case you and Dom Pedro de Ronquillos wish to see the particulars. Since this, one of our sloops is returned from Curaçoa. A Jew, naturalised here, took passage in her to bring back his family. Off the coast of Hispaniola she was taken by one Augustino Alvares in a barco luengo; near Curaçoa she met a pirate in another barco luengo which forced her into the rocks of Curaçoa. The pirate had but twenty-five, and the other fifty men, and the pirates, failing to grapple, lost ten men and their captain. The Spaniards from the rocks defended their barco luengo and prize, and afterwards cruelly tormented the poor Jew till they made him promise twenty-two thousand pieces of eight for his ransom; nor would they come into port till he had paid a third of it. The Governor, Joan van Epelun, ashamed of this cruelty and piracy, made the Spaniard restore the sloop, but not the ransom, though he confesses it to be unjust and has the offenders in his power. Sixteen of the thieves were Dutch. The master says that the Assientista's factors govern, and that these rogues robbed him of two hundred pounds, with threats of murdering every Englishman they met. So much may be gathered both from the Governor's letter, and the Jew's, which I have sent (see Nos. 1219, 1220). I wonder not that they do this in the West as they have done so much more in the East Indies, and that there is in Holland this proverb, "Jesus Christ is good, but trade is better." I intend to demand satisfaction of him, and he may ask it of the Governor of Havana. It will be impossible to restrain our people if other nations thus rob and insult them. Nor I can I fear but that our Act against pirates will unpeople this Island. Rogues, necessitous people and others rob the Spaniards under French Commissions, and dare not return because of this law, but go without concealment to other Colonies, especially to Carolina. Several that were at Vera Cruz are gone thither, and several vessels and pirates come from thence. There is one now on the coast of the North that has taken off thirty or forty men; so that if the same law be not enforced, then we shall lose our men, and Jamacians that have done unpardonable actions will retire to Carolina and be safe.
The Guernsey arrived a week since from the Main and is now in port. She brought from Santa Martha the master and eight sailors who had been maliciously condemned as privateers on false witness, for they were all honest men, and not one of them had ever been so engaged. There is no mass at Carthagena yet; the quarrel between the Bishop and Governor still continues. It is about a convent of nuns, whether Dominicans or Franciscans shall confess them. The captain has lost some men this voyage, and a pretty gentleman, brother to the Duke of York's Colonel Nicholls. At Margarita an interloper of Bristol has been seized, and there are now two down towards Porto Bello commanded by C. Thornbury. One Fincham has been on our north side. He has lost seven hundred negroes, and those on the Main as many. I have ordered the Custom-house officers to be informed; to see if these vessels cannot be proceeded against at home. I have a lamentable account from Barbados of the ravages of pirates on the coast of Africa. I send it to Mr. Blathwayt. The Ruby would have found them at the Virgins on her passage from Barbados, but they were gone before she came. Colonel Stede wrote me about six weeks ago that she was driven out of the roads in the hurricane, honest Captain May dead, and his Lieutenant Boteler dying, so that I am in great pain for the frigate. All that put to sea escaped, but those that stayed were driven on shore. In a former letter I recommended Colonel Bourden to take Colonel Colebeck's place in the Council. Since then Colonel Long and Colonel Cary have died. I recommend Colonel Samuel Barry in place of one of them, a very honest, reasonable gentleman and a good officer. He is son of Colonel Barry of the old army, has made two thousand pounds this year from his estate, and has two or three hundred a year in Kent. The Assembly met a week ago. They received my speech very well, voted every amendment according to your directions, and are in a better temper than ever. I have no doubt that the Session will end to your satisfaction, and that the revenue, if not perpetuated, will be prolonged to twenty-four years. If the Assembly had not happily been in good humour, and peace perfectly established, an unlucky accident of Captain Churchill's, which has given me unexampled trouble, would have embroiled us. Soon after Captain Churchill, in the Falcon, came in, a cooper, employed by one Mingham (the same Mingham that had the contest with Sir Henry Morgan), thinking himself discharged, went on board the Falcon and offered to enlist. Captain Churchill deferred accepting him till he had seen Mingham, and sent for him. Mingham insolently replied that he would not come, but that he dined at such and such places, and that Churchill might come to him. On this, Churchill sent for the cooper's clothes; Mingham's mate refused to give them up; then came ill words and affronts, to avenge which Churchill sent and pressed five more of Mingham's men. On this Mingham's son and Captain Wild's mate ridiculed the captain's action, which was reported by Churchill's coxswain in such terms that the captain felt obliged to resent it. He sent on board Mingham again, fetched off the mate, and made ready to duck him, and brought off Wild's mate, who was immediately stripped and ducked. The same day, Mingham, his mate, and Wild came to me. I told them I could do nothing, for the captain was not under my power, and was homeward bound; but that the Admiralty would give them justice, and that, to help them, the Judge-Admiral should take all the affidavits they pleased. They thought this unjust, and applied to the Judge-Admiral for a warrant against the captain, but he told them that he was sure it was not my order. On Mingham's coming I told him he should not be so rude to the King's captains, and that he deserved punishment for embroiling me with a captain, who came here by chance, and was not under my authority; I told him also to go on board and give the captain good words, and that he should have his men back. Instead of this, he sends his mate on board, who says that the Governor has ordered the men to be given up. The captain told him he lied, but that if Mingham had come for them himself he should have had them. The mate goes off to the Judge-Admiral and offers to swear that the captain said that if I was Governor ashore he was Governor there. On this Wild and Mingham draw a petition to the Assembly craving justice, &c. This I have sent Mr. Blathwayt (see No. 1249I). The Assembly, very discreetly and respectfully, sent it to me as Admiral. I laid it before the Council, who referred it to the courts-martial of England. Whereupon this virulent, base-natured fellow, Mingham, provoked by this, stirs up everybody at Point and in the country, and seeing his cooper, that was by accident come ashore, applies to Judge White for warrant for one of his seamen, who was refractory. The judge, not thinking of the pressed man, of course grants it. Mingham, with a great stick, goes up to help the constable, and so the frigate's crew and the people quarrel, the cooper was rescued, and two or three of the seamen are in prison. All this while the mate was sick of a fever. He fell ill four days after the ducking and whipping; and this it was that made the people so riotous when I said that I could not punish persons whom they judged criminal. Yesterday the mate died. Captain Wild at once came to me and told me of it. I bade him apply to the coroner if he thought him murdered. "But," he said, "the Falcon has striven these four days to get out of port, and the captain will be gone in the Bonito." "Why," said I, "do you say he murdered your mate?" He answered that he desired the captain might be stopped till the matter was tried. By chance Sir Henry Morgan was with me. I told him to go down, and commanding the regiment and forts (sic) I bade him do what was reasonable and legal. He went away with Wild, and, God is my record, had no other orders by word, letter, or message from me. The inquest was held at seven yesterday morning, and the jury was seven hours before it agreed on its verdict, which was that deceased died of fever and natural death. I enclose the depositions. As soon as the inquest was over, the foreman (one of the three famous Forths of London) and three others came to me to complain that Sir Henry Morgan was in the house; that Captain Musgrave was there, as he said, by my order; that the evidence was transposed and depositions not fairly taken, and that fifteen were impanelled and sworn, and three afterwards discharged. I answered that it was not my habit to meddle in the ordinary course of justice; if they had returned their verdict they ought not to complain; they should have made their complaint at the opening of the inquest; now it was too late; that I did not know why Sir Henry Morgan might not be below stairs while they were above, for he neither said nor did anything, nor had Musgrave any order from me to say a word to them. He was there with the Attorney-General to advise the coroner on points of law, and I concluded that if the coroner had erred about the jurors, he had erred by their advice, and they knew he was not a man of skill in the law. However, they were at liberty to inform against him at the next Grand Court, or, if they preferred the Council to hear it, I would summon all parties for to-day. Then I told them calmly that it was impossible for Christians or reasonable men should not give more credit to six positive oaths than to one doubtful one; and if more than six had sworn that rage and shame brought deceased into a fever, why should they judge that the captain killed him any more than Judge White killed Secretary Powell? No one but God could judge of spirits. After this they seemed satisfied with the thing, though not with the manner of doing it, and I must confess that no more am I. Musgrave, instead of obeying my orders, fell into debates and disputes, and confounded the poor coroner, and discontented the jury. In being too much concerned to do the captain right, they have done both him and me wrong. However, those very men do acquit him, and I myself think the case so plain that ignoramus or the devil could not have spirited a jury to find it otherwise. I have had some trouble, too, about points of honour betwixt Churchill and Tennant. After hearing both parties I concluded Churchill to be the senior, and on the better ship, and therefore ordered him to set the watch, but on condition that he acknowledged the Duke of York's power, for that I, as the King's and Duke's Vice-Admiral, claimed as much respect as any flag he might accidently come under. To this he discreetly submitted, and I have adjusted these considerable points. But the masters of ships are so exasperated with him that not above three or four will take any notice of his setting the watch, though I have ordered them to do so. I am told, too, that people gather suspiciously to the shore when he lands, so that, though I cannot stand yet, I must go to the Point to prevent disorder. My Lords, if I may presume to say it, my declaration that I have no power to do the people right in this case has much exasperated them. What will happen if any other of the frigates have broils with the people ashore I know not. I beg you to consider, that it is denying them their rights to send these naval officers with affidavits to another quarter of the world; it is unheard of that seamen or soldiers can be commanded without the power to punish; if the Duke be Lord High Admiral here he has the same powers as the Lord Admirals in England; if the Ruby be lost, your new order is the cause, as I shall hereafter explain; if further accidents should happen to arise between sailors and landsmen, they will have much worse consequences than this. My apprehensions make me say so. I beg leave to repeat what I have said before about Captain Heywood's trial. I know not what the King's evidence may prove in London, but I will perish if they prove here that Heywood or the goods he had on board caused the loss of the Norwich. If Heywood was not censured and imprisoned for breach of instructions, that was due to the folly or partiality of Captain Temple, not of the Jamaica Governor, for he had my orders. I beg pardon for mentioning this again, but I foresee ill consequences from your late order. Signed, Tho. Lynch. Eight closely written pages. Endorsed with a long précis. Read, 1 November 1683. [Col. Papers, Vol. LI., No. 95, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXX., pp. 166–178.] Annexed,
Sept. 7.
1249 I. Petition of Francis Mingham and Joseph Wild to the Assembly of Jamaica. Relates that his cooper deserted him, and that Mingham's mate was sent for by Captain Churchill on board the Falcon, and there hoisted up to the very top of the "gunbill," and shamefully exposed as a criminal for more than an hour, to the derision and scorn of the ship's company, in all readiness to be ducked. Wild's mate afterwards came on board, and then Mingham's mate was dismissed, and Wild's hoisted up to the yard-arm and three times ducked, with a gun fired over his head, and after that received twenty lashes on his bare back, so that the physicians declare him more likely to die than live. Six of Mingham's men have also been detained. The magistrates hesitate to issue warrants. Petitioners pray for redress. Copy. 1½ pp. Subscribed, At a Council held at St. Jago de la Vega, 7 Sept. 1683, it was resolved that the crime complained of is only cognisable by a court-martial of the King's captains. The Judge-Admiral, if applied to, shall take all evidence required by complainants. Signed, Fra. Hickman, Cl. Concil. Endorsed, Recd. 26 Nov. 1683.
1249 II. Depositions of the Coroner's inquest on the death of William Flood, mariner, belonging to Captain Joseph Wild's ship. Verdict according to medical evidence that deceased died of intermittent fever. 11 Sept. 1683. Copy. Certified by H. Wingfield, Coroner. 4 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. LI., Nos. 95 I., II.]
Sept. 14.
St. Jago de la
1250. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Petition of Robert Forth and seven of the jury at the Coroner's inquest of 11th September (see No. 1246) read. The Council referred them to their legal remedy if they thought the proceedings irregular. Four bills, for bonds of masters of ships, for fees, for ordering boats and wherries, and for the settlement of the Island, received from the Assembly and read a first time. Message from the Assembly requesting the attendance of Robert Felgate, late Surveyor-General, with the plans and papers of his office. Ordered accordingly.
Sept. 15. .The four bills enumerated above were read a second and third time and passed. Captain Musgrave appeared to defend himself against the aspersions of Robert Forth and others. Francis Hickman took the oaths on appointment to the office of Secretary. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXVI., pp. 17a–18.]
Sept. 15. 1251. The Clerk of Assembly of Nevis to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Forwarding transactions of Assembly to 14th March. Signed, Tho. Thorne. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 83, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., p. 107.]
Sept. 15.
1252. The Governor and Company of Rhode Island to Lords of Trade and Plantations. If any return should come before you from Edward Cranfield, William Stoughton, and other associates said to be in commission with them to enquire into the different claims [to the King's Province], we beg you to cause a stop to be put to a full determination thereon. We were ready to have appeared before the said Commissioners if they would have shown their commission. We were assembled at Warwick on the 20th August, and from thence adjourned to Captain John Fownes's house at Narragansett the next day, near where they met, having provided ourselves with all records for the ascertaining of the truth. But though we desired and waited with patience for it, the Commissioners would not produce their commission, but removed out of our view to the great disappointment of all concerned. We could have wished that these gentlemen might have been as well entertained as the King's former Commissioners, Colonel Richard Nicholls, Sir Robert Carr, George Cartwright, and Mr. Samuel Maverick, who, of their own accord, showed their commissions before they acted. Pray take notice that we are ready with all obedience, but deem it our duty to uphold the King's authority here. We beg that we may have notice of any complaints against us, for we take our liberty to appeal to the King as a great favour. Signed, William Coddington, Governor. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 23 July 1684. Read same day. [Col. Papers, Vol. LI., No. 96, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXI., pp. 206–207.]