America and West Indies: May 1681, 16-31

Pages 49-65

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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May 1681

May 16.
106. The Secretary of New Hampshire to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I arrived at Portsmouth 24th December last, at the house of Mr. John Cutt, the President, lately deceased. I delivered your letter of 30th September, and the King's commission for me to be Secretary and Clerk of Council. On the 28th December the Council met, when the letter and commission were read. It was debated for about three days whether they would admit me or not, but at length on the 30th I was admitted. According to the duty of my office I requested that the books, papers, and records of the Council should be delivered to me, which were in the hands of one of the Council, Mr. Stileman. The Council book was refused to me on the ground that there was none. I therefore desired one to be made, and was told that the country was poor, &c., but afterwards, at their meeting in March, I had a waste book of the Council's Acts and Orders delivered to me to transcribe and keep; the fairer book then brought was to remain in Mr. Stileman's hands. He also retains the records and papers that are filed, in virtue of his offices of Recorder and Clerk of the Writs. He is also captain of the fort. To make my commission insignificant they have appointed three of themselves to be joint secretaries or registrars of the province—Stileman for the matters aforesaid and for Portsmouth and Dover, Samuel Dalton for Hampton and Exeter, and Richard Martyn to take charge of the shipping. I have told the Council that I believe it to be the law that persons who are judges in any court of judicature cannot also be ministers to the same court; it is derogatory to the King's service that the Deputy President of the province and a law-maker should also hold so mean an office as maker of writs and attachments. My fees are so small that they are not worth the naming. My salary and perquisites are ordered to be settled according to the measure of other colonies, but the authorities here do not see fit to do it, so that hitherto I hold but the name of an office, the profits being shared by the persons before named. I beg that the King will fix my salary and order the Council to pay it, and that the issue of writs and other due perquisites may be attached to my office. On the 2nd March the Council and Deputies met under the name of the General Assembly, to hear appeals. They first formally declared themselves a court of appeal, though they have no such power by the King's commission, and reviewed the laws made at their former meetings. When they were read I gave my opinion which of them were different, and which repugnant to the laws of England and the King's commission. Thus those for confirmation of titles and crown-grants, which are declared by the King's commission and letters to be illegal, I conceived to fall into the latter class The Council tried several times to impose on me an oath of secrecy, and that I should enter no account of any matter or debate without their order. This I refused to do as inconsistent with my commission, with your orders, and with the duty of my place. It was hinted that unless I took the oath I should not be secretary, and it was afterwards moved that when they had any private business I should withdraw. I told them they might do their pleasure, but I should not suspend myself. They replied that they knew what they had to do, from which it is conjectured that they debate matters before they come to session. The deputies for the several towns are eleven. It is thought that they are nominated by the Council, and that the Council allows none but whom it pleases to vote at elections. I was at the election in Dover in February last, where Mr. Mason took the opportunity of making himself known to the inhabitants, of discoursing his interest as proprietor, and of making offers of confirmation and grant according to the King's proposition; wherewith many were well satisfied. At that time several demanded their liberty to vote, which was denied by Major Walderne, our present President. It was then said that but thirty were allowed to vote, and Mr. Mason, when he withdrew, was followed by many, complaining that a hundred and fifty persons, all payers of great taxes, were excluded from voting. The Council have written you an account of the province, and you may be glad to receive that of Mr. Mason, who perhaps will give more details, having been in most parts of it.
And here I must tell of what is perhaps the thing of greatest moment to this province, namely, what has passed as to Mr. Mason, who is declared by the King to be lawful proprietor of the province. The King, at Mason's coming to New Hampshire, appointed him of the Council, and ordered his commission declaring Mason's legal right as proprietor to be published by the Council. The President, John Cutt, being ill, the Council deferred the publication till February, but as soon as it was published, together with his agreement with the King for the satisfaction of the inhabitants, the people came in from all parts to welcome him. They desired confirmation of their estates, and to take grants for the same with the addition of more land. Some of them have lived for twenty years in these parts, and could never yet obtain the least parcel of land, as they complained, for their trade and subsistence. So in a short time half the province had been with Mason, and had entered their names with me as secretary, most of them complaining of heavy burdens and oppressions. But between Mr. Mason and the Council there has been no such good understanding as the King evidently expected. At his first coming the Council proposed to him that they should undertake to raise a yearly rent, payable to him in each town of the province, and to be managed by them. He refused, saying that he would treat with every one separately, and let them lands as he saw cause, and that if any of his tenants had cause of complaint he would redress it himself and not entrust the duty to others; moreover, the people generally desired to hold their estates of him directly. Hereupon the Council have endeavoured to give him all the trouble they can by dissuading the people from coming to agreement. I must confess that some of the Council have afterwards affirmed that they had no wish to hinder people from taking conveyances from Mr. Mason, but they will not endure that he be owned as proprietor as the King has owned him. At the General Assembly of 3rd March last Mr. Mason was present; all his grants and the King's orders were read to the deputies to give them all the satisfaction imaginable; they were so far from receiving it that they opposed Mr. Mason's title though unable to show any of their own, and encouraged the deputies to opposition and to preparation of a remonstrance from their respective towns. The Council doubted if Mr. Mason were the true person, and the deeds true copies; I was summoned to testify to my own hand, &c., but they doubted still because they would still doubt. I cannot omit to add that several scandalous libels about Mr. Mason were dispersed—that he designed to enslave the people, to make them pay two shillings for every chimney, and ten shillings for every room they kept fire in, that they should neither fish nor fowl, and the like, all of which I know to be utterly untrue. By my conversation with him I know that his aims are just the contrary; and he has carried himself so fairly that even his enemies admit that he is to be respected, and that none who came to him went away unsatisfied. The quarrel with the Council is the fault of the Council. Mr. Mason has no difference with the inhabitants; they say, I am told, that they are ready to agree with him if the Council will order it. The objections of the dissentients to his title are too paltry and too readily changed to be worth notice. Now they pretend a grant from the Indians—now a pretended conquest from the Indians. The whole truth is that they have given each other great tracts of Mr. Mason's land, and sold it to divers persons without any legal title, and they therefore expect the purchasers to come upon them for the purchase money. At present they have made a law to confirm town grants. I gave my opinion, at the time of revision, that it should be repealed as repugnant to the commission. They did repeal some laws, as, for instance, one that punished rebellious children with death, yet this confirmation was not repealed. Mr. Cutt, who died at the latter end of March, was an honest, loyal gentleman who acknowledged the proprietor, stood for his rights and purposed to take his grant from him. As to his successor, Richard Walderne, you will hear more from Mr. Mason, who has taken several depositions (see ante, Nos. 69, 99) about him. There was a debate as to filling the vacant place in the Council, but no entry is yet ordered of names to be submitted. Mr. Mason has refused to sit and act in the Council, as he judges their proceedings to be illegal. The people complain of great taxes, and that they know not how they are expended. 4 pp. Holograph. Signed, Richard Chamberlain. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 139, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., pp. 14–22.]
May 17.
New Hampshire.
107. The representation of Major Nicholas Shapleigh, Captain Francis Champernoun, Walter Barefoot, and William Bickham, to the King. We beg to lay before you the condition of New Hampshire. The greater part of the Council are such as were in authority while the Province was under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, and zealous promoters of that interest. When Mr. Randolph brought your commission for establishing your own authority therein, although they were appointed by you to be of the Council, yet they opposed the settlement thereof to the utmost of their power, and did not accept the Commission till some days later than the term fixed by you, nor indeed until the late President, John Cutt, summoned the inhabitants to Portsmouth to hear the Commission read, and to make provision for the peace of the Province pending your further instructions. Ever since they have showed every appearance of disobeying your orders, and have imposed on the province the laws of Massachusetts. The inhabitants generally are loyal subjects, and inclined to obedience to you, but they are kept in subjection by the present Council under pretence and name of your royal authority, so that they are afraid freely to speak their minds. The taxes laid on them are great and intolerable, and no account of their expenditure is given. The only visible expense is eating and drinking, the Council always meeting in an ordinary. On the arrival here of the honoured Mr. Robert Mason, the lawful proprietor, the people from all parts came to welcome him and to obtain from him confirmation of their lands, and we may confidently say that there was not one man but would have readily complied with him, but for the persuasion and other indirect measures of the Council, who have obstructed him all they can in the peaceful settlement of the province, by spreading false reports. Even his adversaries confess that his behaviour commands respect, and that if they must be tenants of any one man, they would rather be tenants of him than of any man living. The heirs of John Mason have always been esteemed lawful proprietors here, and it is well known that he expended many thousand pounds in building, planting and stocking, of which others have reaped the benefit; and the chiefs of the Council have made themselves rich by selling his timber and by giving each other large tracts of his lands. The proprietor is going home to represent these things to you. We pray to be freed from the oppression of unreasonable men. 1 p. Signed, Fran. Champernoun, Wm. Bickham, Nic. Shapleigh, Walter Barefoot. Endorsed, "Recd. 24 July 1681." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 140.]
May 17. 108. Testimony of John Machin of Exeter, New Hampshire, that John Gillman, one of the Council, said in his hearing in March last that the King had nothing to do in the province, nor had rights to grant lands therein (see ante, Nos. 69, 99). Attested by Robert Mason. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 141.]
May 17.
109. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Sir Thomas Lynch's Commission considered. Ordered, That it be prepared without any recital or mention of Lord Carlisle's Commission or Government. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVI., p. 262.]
May 17. 110. Minutes of Council of Barbados. The Assembly was invited to send members to a conference over the Bill for a Committee of Public Accounts, which members concurred with the proposals of the Council in respect thereof. His Excellency reminded the Assembly of the great necessity for distributing the magazine in several parts of the Island.
May 18. The Assembly brought up the Bill for a Committee of Public Accounts, which was thrice read and passed into an Act. Bill to confirm the lease of Fontabelle thrice read and passed. A Bill to explain the Act establishing the Courts of Common Pleas was twice read and dismissed. Bill for habeas corpus read a first time and reserved for consideration. The Assembly sent a list of gentlemen among whom the magazine might be distributed, to which the Governor replied that he would issue orders to the keeper of the magazine to effect the distribution forthwith. A motion from the Assembly touching the Court of King's Bench and Chancery was read and laid aside. The Assembly presented several orders for payment of gunners and matrosses, and an order that John Hallett might not be a sufferer from the Bill of Public Accounts. All of which were passed. The Speaker also made his request concerning Kennedy's surrogate. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XI., pp. 344–347.]
May 17. 111. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. Address to the Governor passed, requesting him that the proceedings of the Court of Chancery may be public, and that the members of the Council may be sworn (see next abstract). Message from the Governor asking that members be appointed to confer with a Committee of Council on the Bill for a Committee of Public Accounts. Christopher Codrington, Edward Littleton, John Davies, William Sharpe, and James Walwyn appointed. Bill to confirm the lease of Fontabelle to his Excellency passed. Bill appointing a writ of habeas corpus passed, and ordered to be transcribed against to-morrow morning.
May 18. On petition of the gunner, mate and matrosses of the several forts, ordered by the Governor, Council, and Assembly that John Hallett pay 14,660 lbs. of muscovado sugar to Captain Thomas Rawlings, chief gunner of Oistin's Bay, and to his three matrosses as salary for sixteen months from 25th November 1679 to 25th May 1680; 15,890 lbs. to Henry Jacob, gunner of Charles Fort, and to his mate and matrosses for salary from 14th July to 14th January last; 5,500 lbs. to William Baynes, gunner of James Fort, and to his matrosses for same period; the like sum to Archelous Bowdidge, gunner, and the matrosses of Willoughby Fort, to John Hare and the matrosses of the battery, to Thomas Sackfold, gunner of Fontabelle Battery, and his matrosses; 2,500 lbs. to John Taylor, gunner of the line in the Bay, and to his matrosses. The Speaker desired to move the Governor to put a stop to the proceedings of Mr. Kennedy's surrogate and order him to return all fees that he may have received, also to thank his Excellency for his care in proposing the method of building and repairing fortifications. Bills for habeas corpus, and for confirming the lease of Fontabelle, read and passed. Bill explaining the Act establishing Courts of Common Pleas passed. Bill appointing Committee of Public Accounts received from the Governor and Council, with an addition made by them, and passed. Ordered, That notwithstanding the passing of the said Act the Committee should take care that John Hallett, Treasurer, should not be a sufferer thereby. Adjourned to 7th June. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XIII., pp. 427–432.]
Oct. 5.
[May 17.]
112. Address of the General Assembly of Barbados to Governor Sir Richard Dutton. It is enacted by law of the Island that the Governor, Council, Judges, and Justices of the Peace shall hold General Sessions every six months, in pursuance whereof the said Council, Judges, and Justices have always acted as members of that Court, and have constantly had their free votes in all judgments there given, and all fines imposed. Your Excellency at the last General Sessions, not being informed of this, imposed several fines without their concurrence, which we look upon as a dangerous innovation, likely to be of grievous consequence under governors less just and moderate than yourself. We beg therefore that you will preserve us our old law and customs, re-admit the Council, Judges, and Justices to the power given them by law, and stay execution of the fines imposed by you, as we think them unwarranted by law. Signed, John Higinbotham. Copy. Certified by Edwyn Stede, 7 Oct. 1681. 1 p. Endorsed, "5 Oct. 1681, to the Governor." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 143.]
May 18.
113. Warrant for the apprehension of Robert Mason, and for bringing him before the President and Council, if sitting, or, if not, before Richard Walderne and Elias Stileman, or any tow of the Council, to answer for his usurpation over the King's authority in publishing a declaration dated 2nd May 1681, wherein he summons the President and Council and others to appear before the King in three months. Subscribed, "This was written with Mr. Stileman's own hand, whereof it is vera copia. Rich. Chamberlain." ½ p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 143.]
May. 114. The Speech of Samuel Bernard, Speaker of the Assembly of Jamaica, to Sir Henry Morgan. The usual declaration of personal unworthiness, and of the dutifulness of the Assembly towards the King, and the ordinary claim of the Assembly's privileges. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 144.]
May 18.
St. Jago
de la Vega.
115. Sir Henry Morgan to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Pursuant to my instructions I summoned a Council, and by their advice ordered the issue of writs for the election of a General Assembly, which accordingly were returned on 18th March last, when they chose Samuel Bernard, Esq., a person of ability, for their Speaker. At the first opening of the Assembly I found them fairly inclined, from their great satisfaction at the King's restoration to them of their formerly enjoyed privileges; but when I had insinuated among the leading men the strictness of my instructions to press for a perpetual revenue, and they communicated it to their brethren, they inclined to some heats. However, that they might gain time for their cooling, they presented a Bill for the keeping of the revenue for forty-four days, with an additional clause imposing five pounds on every negro slave that should be exported out of this Island, to be paid to the King. This imposition was occasioned by the merchants supplying the Spaniard with great numbers of negroes rather than the planters, whose necessities pressed them much for a good supply. I wanted not reason enough to refuse the Bill, but two Madeira ships were just arrived whose duties amounted to about 800l., and were in hazard to be lost, and moreover abundance of interloping negroes were on the Island, purposely reserved for the Spanish trade. I was anxious also myself to avoid anything that might make them uneasy on the first entrance into business, so by the advice of the Council (one only excepted) I gave this Bill the Royal Assent, but with a caution to the Speaker and Assembly that they should not make it a precedent for any such Bill in the future. At their meeting after their adjournment in Easter holidays I could not find in any of them an inclination but rather an absolute averseness to a perpetual revenue, so I was driven to my private instructions (previous Vol., No. 1572) for the gaining of it for at least seven years, which by all means I did endeavour, but as yet ineffectually. Soon after they fell into a dispute, managed at several meetings of Committees of the Council and Assembly, about the style of enacting laws, to which I am as strictly tied as to the observance of the term of seven years for the Revenue. Having laboriously possessed them with the indispensable necessity I lay under of obeying my instructions, from which I durst in no way swerve, and without obedience to which they could not enjoy the full fruit of the King's gracious favour, I at last communicated to several of the members as private gentlemen, the two paragraphs, one of my private, the other of my general instructions, touching the revenue and the style of enacting. Finding me under so absolute a necessity of so strict observance they began to be of a better digestion, but recollecting that they had prepared a great many Acts in an enacting style which I could not admire, and had passed them twice in the House in a wrong style, they were prevented from making the necessary alteration, which they were inclinable to make, without violating the parliamentary way of making Acts. Most of them being under great impatience to be at their plantations, being all in the chief of their work, they generally and unanimously desired that they might be prorogued, that they might begin again that which, when more successfully finished, might the better speak their thankful acknowledgment of the King's most gracious condescension in granting them their ancient privileges. Upon which by advice of the Council I prorogued the General Assembly till 24th June next, and, meanwhile, I am labouring all I can to gain the Revenue Bill for seven years, wherein I have encouragement to hope for success. I fear your Lordships may have had a late disorder in your opinion of my management of this Government by a proclamation pretended to have been made here for the intercepting of interlopers. It is of the same birth and nature as many other undeserved aspersions thrown privately against me by malicious adversaries, who through me would have maligned the Government, and dare not give me an opportunity of so fair a vindication as I now lay at your Lordships' feet (see next abstracts), where I do not doubt of an honourable justification. May I no longer live and prosper than I honour and obey my king. Signed, Henry Morgan. Inscribed, "Recd. 5 Aug. 1681." 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 145, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXX., pp. 47–49.]
May 18.
116. The Council of Jamaica to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Understanding by the pamphlet herein enclosed that some evil disposed persons have caused a proclamation to be put in print as passed here by our Governor in a form much reflecting on our Government, we hold it our bounden duty to clear it from that aspersion, and, if possible, to find out the contrivers of the forgery. To which end we called before us divers of the officers, civil and military, who being examined upon oath all unanimously declared that they never saw or heard of such a proclamation before the said pamphlet was produced here. And we also on our parts do assure you of the same. But the foundation of the report (which some malicious men at home have aggravated by additions of their own) appears to have proceeded from the indiscretion of the Secretary, who, being also one of the factors of the Royal African Company, was to prepare a warrant of assistance for the seizing of interlopers to be signed by the Government. He making an ill choice of a form and committing that to a scrivener to be transcribed, divers copies were obtained and sent for England, where they were printed under the title of a proclamation, with the name of Sir Henry Morgan subscribed to it; whereas it is certain that Sir Henry Morgan never so much as saw the said warrant (as it was so prepared). This was no sooner communicated by the said Secretary to the Company's other factor than he suppressed it, and drew another of a very different form, as your Lordships may see here enclosed, which is the only warrant of that kind that ever was signed by the Governor, or presented unto him to be signed to the best of all our knowledge, which in all humble duty is certified by (signed) Thos. Ballard, F. Watson, H. Moles-worth, Charles Modyford, Jo. Cope, Thos. Byndloss, J. Fuller, The. Cary, John White. Inscribed, "Recd. 5 August. 1681." Annexed,
116. I. Smith's Protestant Intelligence, Domestick and Foreign. Number 12, dated Monday, 7th March to Thursday 10th March 1681. A newspaper of a single printed sheet, containing the forged proclamation against interlopers in Jamaica.
116. II. Proclamation against interlopers who encroach on the monopoly of the Royal African Company. Signed, Henry Morgan. Countersigned, Rowland Powell. Inscribed, "Recd. 5 Aug. 1681." [Col. Papers., Vol. XLVI., Nos. 146, 146, I., II. Letter (without enclosures), Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXX., pp. 51, 52.]
May 18.
St. Jago
de la Vega.
117. Minutes of Proceedings of the Council of Jamaica for the investigation of the forged proclamation against interlopers (see preceding abstract). Present, Sir Henry Morgan and the nine Councillors whose names are subscribed to the letter to the Lords of Trade and Plantations. Detailed examinations of Francis Hanson, lawyer, Henry Ward, merchant of Port Royal, John Montfort, writing master, Edward Yeamans, Provost Marshal, Thomas Martin, Receiver-General, Anthony Swymmer, merchant, Captain Richard Herne, Doctor of Physic, Captain Charles Penhallow, merchant, Captain Edward Gardiner, brazier, Captain Thomas Hodgkin, merchant and naval officer, Edward Story, Deputy Provost Marshal, John Star, clerk to the Provost Marshal, and Rowland Powell, Secretary of the Island. From which it appears that Powell took the original draft of a proclamation from Hanson, amended it and gave it to John Montford to be copied; that Montford with Powell's consent gave a copy to Henry Ward, who sent it to London. The proclamation meanwhile was found wanting by the Council, and a new one was drawn. How it came to be printed in London no witness can tell. 8 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 147.]
May 20.
St. Jago
de la Vega.
118. Sir Henry Morgan to Secretary Sir Leoline Jenkins. Gives a summary of his letter to the Lords of Trade and Plantations (ante, No. 115) and continues. Colonel Samuel Long and Mr. Jonathan Ashurst with their families are lately arrived by Captain Bannister. They are of a much more moderate temper than when they left us, and seem to sit down with us in a more sedate and satisfied condition having before their departure possessed the people with a very strange assurance that they should receive what their hearts desired from the success of their solicitations at Whitehall. Since their arrival I have been very careful in following your instructions for their reception and entertainment, and I question not but they will be careful of exposing themselves to such another voyage. Signed. Endorsed, "Recd. 6 Aug." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 148.]
Duplicate of foregoing. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No 149.]
May 25. 119. Lords Proprietors of Carolina to Governor and Council of Ashley River. Mr. Archdall, purchaser of Lady Berkeley's proprietorship, wishes to buy 12,000 acres of land and a town-lot in Charlestown. Pray give his Agent assistance in choosing land. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XX., p. 196.]
May 26.
120. Nicholas Badcock to the Commissioners of Customs. In my last to you by Captain Samuel Groome I have you a full account of your affair here, as well as of all that has been done since my coming, of what is amiss, and of the remedies required. Four ships have come in from England, the Freeman of Liverpool, Edward Tarleton, commander, the St. George of London, Captain Shephard, the Dolphin of Poole, Captain Dennet, and another whose name I cannot yet hear. All have certificates of being bound for Ireland, as well as England, Wales or Berwick. The Act restraining the word Ireland in all bonds is now out, but I conceive, by the Act for the better security of the plantation trade, that the plantation duty is nevertheless due and payable. I therefore, directly I had the first sense of it, repaired to West Wighcocomeca, about thirty-seven miles from hence, and demanded the duty of the Master of the St. George, who had begun to load. He told me he would do nothing in the matter but refer me to the Governor. I returned next day to Patuxen, by which time the Dolphin was come in, and got sight of the master's certificate, Lord Baltimore, as is frequently the habit of him and his officers, having granted it to him again, by which means I believe that they often make them serve for the next year. Finding him bound for Ireland I told him that by the law for securing the plantation trade he must still pay the plantation duty, Notwithstanding the bond that he had given in England. He told me that he would go on shore with me and give satisfaction, but goes instead to Lord Baltimore, who presently orders him to sail for his lading port, and as I hear has promised to defend him and save him harmless. Finding that he had thus dodged me and was gone I went to wait on Lord Baltimore about it, showed him that the duty was due, and begged for his assistance. He seemed teased and angry that I concerned myself with them, refused me all assistance, and told me I should not meddle with them. I waited on him three several times, and argued all points on the matter, but nothing would induce him to assist me. At last he ordered me to appear before the Council at St. Mary's, which I accordingly did, and then I prayed in the King's name for the aid of the province to levy the King's duty or seize the goods, for I was satisfied that by the law it was due. They absolutely refused it, and told me that I ought not to meddle with it, for I had nothing to do with it. These four ships will carry from eighteen hundred to two thousand hogsheads of tobacco at least, worth at least 2,500l. in the plantation duty. We are hindered in several other matters, and in general in the due execution of our duty, and particularly in my own office. I find therein business enough to be done and matter enough to go upon, if I had full authority to act without interruption as in England. Although several persons have despised and laid down the employment, yet I find that with authority and good management it may be made a good employment. The main impediment has been the discountenance of the Government, which, particularly in the present great affair, has greatly daunted me. I was encouraged to come here by my knowledge of the capabilities of the office, but, now that the Act is expired, this is wholly cut off by the Governor, so that I have nothing to do but to wait on you for remedy. There are more things out of order here than I can express. I hope you will find me a remedy for the loss that I thus sustain at the Governor's hands, for I had spent my all in the expense of waiting on you and coming hither; and to be thus overborne is most grievous. I understand that Lord Baltimore's three sons-in-law and our Secretary are the chief actors, and are most interested in the freights of these ships; and that the ships stayed so late on purpose to bring such certificates with them, hoping that the matter would pass unnoticed. Copy. 2½ pp. Endorsed, "Read 10 Dec. 1681." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 150, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LII., pp. 57–61.]
May 28. 121. The Lords Proprietors of Carolina signed a commission to Sir Peter Colleton's brother, Thomas Colleton, to be a landgrave of Carolina, by their nomination. Memorandum. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XX., p. 172.]
May 30. 122. Edward Randolph to Lords of Trade and Plantations. In the matter of instructions to regulate judicial proceedings and to check the illegal trade of the Bostoners, I propose that the Attorney-General should give his opinion on the following queries: —1. Whether seizures made of ships and cargoes illegally imported into New England, brought to a trial and cleared by jury, upon appeal in Court to the King in Council cannot be brought to a new trial on the spot? What directions are necessary to procure the same? How should juries be dealt with who in trials relating to the King's affairs bring verdicts contrary to evidence and the letter of the law? 2. Whether the order made by the Court at Boston on 1st October 1680, requiring the payment of ten pounds for calling a special Court, be valid, and should be paid by the King's officers in causes relating to the King's affairs, and whether the several sums of money already paid by virtue of that order, as also all costs and damages given against the King, and fines arbitrarily imposed on the King's officer, should not be repaid; and if repayment be refused how are they to be recovered? 3. Whether the Government of Boston has the right to receive fines and forfeitures paid on breach of the Acts of Trade and Navigation; and whether such fines ought not to be paid by the King? 4. Whether the Government of Boston has power to impose customs and other imposts on English built shipping, and on commodities which have paid the King's duties in England, Wales, &c, and on goods imported from the King's foreign plantations where these duties are directed by law to be paid? 5. Has the Boston Government power to lay a duty upon live stock brought to market in Boston from the neighbouring Colonies, and to levy taxes on the lands, estates and persons of the King's subjects as often and in what manner they please, without the King's consent? 1 p. Signed.
On the opposite page.—The Attorney-General's answers to these queries:—
1. Where a verdict is given upon an information upon a seizure or other penal law, no appeal lies; and it is rarely that a new trial is awarded unless some miscarriage be proved upon the defendants by tampering with the jury, or the Court be satisfied that the verdict was given against plain and direct evidence, and against the direction of the Court. 2. In my opinion the order of 1st October 1680 is against law, as well as all orders to the King to pay costs; also that they may be appealed from to the King and Council, who may order the money unduly levied to be repaid. 3. The Company is not entitled to the fines and forfeitures; one moiety of them goes to the King and one to the informer; the Company is accountable to the King for what they have received of him, and it should be directed to pay the King's moiety to the King's Receiver. 4. In my opinion the Company has no power by its charter to lay any impost upon any not free of the Company, nor upon any ships or goods coming from other Colonies. 5. I find no power in the Charter to impose such taxes, specially upon those not free of the Company. Holograph. Signed, R. Sawyer. 30th May 1681. ½ p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 151, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXI., pp. 120, 121.]
May 30.
123. Governor Sir Richard Dutton to Sir Leoline Jenkins. Since assuming the Government I have been zealously endeavouring to carry out my instructions. I began very early to regulate God's house and worship, which had been but too much neglected by former governors, which made the people schismatical, factious, and consequently disobedient to authority. There were very few persons in most parishes that received the sacrament once a year, and there are more that never received it in their lives. This I hope to reform, having ordered the sacrament to be administered monthly in every parish church, of which I have already found the effect to be good, not only through the command but through my own example. I have also held a visitation to enquire after the ordinations and presentations of the clergy and all public school-maters, to see that they were conformable with the discipline of the Church of England and that they instructed the children in the catechism. These two enquiries have caused great surprise. One who pretended himself to be a clergyman, who had been tolerated by the Government for four and twenty years, who was actually in possession of two livings, administered both the sacraments, married all that came to him, and was vicious in the whole course of his life—this man confessed that he had never been ordained. Yet though this clergyman be a man of all these ill circumstances, my predecessor, Sir Jonathan Atkins, is offended that I should suspend so infamous a person. I am sorry that I must so describe him, but there is so much to his shame that I use the word truly. And that you may better understand the temper of the people whom this man had so long influenced—upon my suspension of him one of the parishes called a vestry and resolved to steal him off this island, and this in violation of a fundamental law of the island which provides that all who intend to leave it must register their names at the Secretary's office, and that captains of ships must give a bond of 1,000l. that they will receive no passengers that are not so registered. Yet, notwithstanding this, they gave the captain counter-security to indemnify him (in case his bond were put in suit) if he would carry this fellow to England, and moreover gave him credit in England for 500l. not doubting but that sum would prevail with any bishop to give him ordination. I wrote the whole affair to the Bishop of London, and I hope he will take care that no such vile person be admitted to holy orders. He has married so many persons, the legitimacy of whose children will be questioned, that I am solicited to pass a Bill for the confirmation of those marriages to prevent suits at law. I have been tedious in my relation of this affair, which I have also transmitted to the Bishop of London lest any surprise should be attempted, and I should be discouraged from the prosecution of such vermin. When this was done I called an Assembly, to whom I communicated the King's gracious act in commuting the four-and-a-half per cent. duty, which was seemingly received with all expressions of gratitude. But since that time (whether they cannot find another fund or that they care not for the King's offer because it is favourably made, I know not) they have taken no step to provide for the equivalent revenue to the King. I have passed only two Bills, the one for the building and repair of fortifications, the other for a quick recovery of arrears of taxes due under a former Act. They have since sent me a bill of habeas corpus, to follow the method of our English Parliament; which I think will not come so far as to have my assent or dissent, the Council being resolved to take the refusal of it upon itself. However, by the grace of God, I shall never give my consent to lessen the King's authority in any kind, to gain all the treasures of the Indies; for I find they intend to lay this as a snare either to throw me upon the King's just displeasure or to make it a cause of quarrel with me, so as to give me no present as they usually did to all their governors. I do not fear the latter, for I know I have a good master who will not suffer me to be totally ruined after forty years in the service of the Crown; but I must be ruined unless he be pleased to think of some way of augmenting my salary, this place being very expensive in every way. I have not yet received one penny from the King or this country, and am already out of purse over 3,500l., being resolved not to appear but with honour in the King's service. I am very uneasy that it is not in my power to prevent the dispersing of cursed pamphlets and libels which are sent from England in great numbers and influence people whether well or ill disposed.
The Assembly are to meet again Tuesday sennight. They intended to settle the excise on liquors for a year for the payment of their debts, but that intention was obstructed two years ago by some from England that loved neither the King nor this country. It was upon a quarrel with Sir Jonathan Atkins, on the pretence that the King intended to lay his hand upon it as soon as passed, and divert it like the four-and-a-half per cent. and give it to Lady Portsmouth. The same falsity is now revived and, I may say it confidently, in part by Sir Jonathan Atkins, who has privately insinuated it into the heads of some of the Assembly, to the great dishonour of the King, and the lessening of my reputation with the people. On their meeting therefore I shall pawn all my credit (as I may justly do) with them, to convince them of the malice of the report which formerly brought such inconveniences in the Island. I am unwilling to do anything that may seem harsh to one who so lately preceded me in this Government, but should he pursue his peevish humour I shall stop him in his career. There are two things more which I must ask you to recommend to the King. One is the settlement of an exchequer here, for want of which the royal authority is much contemned. No man values the forfeiture of a recognisance nor any fine that is imposed on him. The other is to have an Attorney-General, with a competent salary out of these fines and forfeitures. I would recommend for that employment Mr. Richard Seawell, who is one of the best lawyers here and a loyal man, and would, I am confident, endeavour to further the King's interests. These two things done, I doubt not in a little time to bring the people to a better temper. I have now reduced the judges and all the pretenders to the law to wear gowns to distinguish them from other men; for till now the lawyers came to bar with their swords by their sides, as if they went thither not to beg but to defy justice. Their pleadings, which were nothing but confusion, are now as orderly as Westminster Hall. I am now reducing the militia to greater usefulness and efficiency. The Quakers are very numerous and insolent, but I shall find an expedient to humble them, or make them conform to the law better than yours in Englans. Still I will have the law of God and the law of my men on my side, and being sure of them I shall not fear to punish those that disobey them. I shall by next opportunity send the Acts that I have passed, and an account of the militia and of the whole Government. This will be in about a month's time. Meanwhile please give leave to Mr. Chaplain, my agent, to address himself to you with a petition of mine to the King. 5 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 67–72.]
May 31.
New Hampshire.
124. The President and Council of New Hampshire to the King. We have received from Mr. Mason your orders to report to you our current transactions. On the arrival of Mr. Mason and Mr. Chamberlain we at once in obedience to your orders admitted the one as member of Council and the other as Secretary. Since then John Cutt is dead, and Richard Walderne is Governor in his stead, with Elias Stileman for deputy. We have also framed laws not repugnant to the law of England, and as far as we can make them so, identical and consonant with them. We doubt not but that when confirmed by you they will attain the great ends of keeping the people in a right understanding of a submission to your Majesty's authority, of suppressing vice and encouraging virtue. Our great difficulty now is Mr. Mason's pretension to proprietorship of the lands which we possess. He has some countenance to his claim in your commission, which we cannot but think he has gotten by indirect means, and untrue information, in which he abounds. We are informed that he has no authentic original or duplicate of any part of the soil, nor has obeyed the conditions of such grant, if made to him, viz., the peopling of the place, and enlargement of your dominions, both of which have been vigorously intended by the present inhabitants. The vast expense of estate is mostly if not entirely pretence. A house was hired in this province, but most of the money was spent in Maine, on the other side of the river, and for carrying on an Indian trade in Laconia, in all of which his grandfather was but a partner. Yet he would appear among us as sole proprietor. He says that we have no right but what is derived from Massachusetts in virtue of an imaginary line. This is another of his groundless imaginations, for we were possessed of the soil long before Massachusetts meddled with us; indeed, we invited Massachusetts to govern us when we had learned by our combination to prevent the confusion of anarchy. We could not govern ourselves, and being under their government used their system of allotting lands, but never thought of deriving any propriety from them in these lands which under you and your royal predecessors were accounted our own. Our articles with Massachusetts will show on what terms we stood in respect of our lands. Instead of the final expulsion by Massachusetts, alleged by Mr. Mason, we can plentifully prove that the undertaking was slighted, and the whole place deserted both by Captain John Mason and his agents many years before Massachusetts was concerned therein. Mr. Mason's behaviour while among us has not been dissonant from the false information given by him against us, but rather such as you will judge to be very unbecoming to his place and pretensions. Thus he amuses poor people by threats, and insinuates into them by fair promises and by false intimations against the Council. He imperiously requires the Council as proprietor to attend his pleasure, speaking and behaving contemptuously towards them, a ready way to lower your royal authority by which the Council acts. He collects several names, some of which are under age, some servants and apprentices, and some disclaim any assent thereto, by which he thinks to make a great show elsewhere. But the truth is that all the names he has obtained, excepting some few that were frightened and deluded into they knew not what, are of people of a quality little creditable to them or to him. To these he has granted sundry improved lands and pastures where our timber and firewood grow, without which there is no possibility for our subsistence. He refuses to admit any application to the Council. He has also called in strangers, and promises to dispose of our lands to them, to the great prejudice of old settlers. he also tells us and the people' that unless we comply he will return forthwith to England and assume the Government of the place long ago granted to his ancestors but lately graciously surrendered to you, choose his own Council, and do as he thinks fit. However, we know by your commission that no such government was ever granted. The inhabitants, seeing the coming evil, petitioned the Council to interpose between Mr. Mason and them. They complain sadly of the disturbance they have met with from him, and dread its consequences. Indeed, we have been obliged to issue a declaration for the keeping of the peace, lest further mischief should follow. They have been put to vast expense of time and trouble; they see the impossibility of living if Mr. Mason prevail, and that they will be constrained to move to some other place where they can hope to be delivered from such impositions. And this after they have worn themselves out with hard work to get a poor living, and after expending their estates upon a wilderness. It would be a wilderness still for all that Mr. Mason has done towards improving it. The subscribers to this petition are the generality of the whole province, of any principles, port or estate. Many of those whose names Mr. Mason set down in his book have voluntarily signed the petition to Council. And, such is the affecting cry of your poor distressed subjects, they tell us that their only hope under God is in your goodness, mercy and equity, and they crave leave to speak for themselves, not doubting but they shall be found loyal subjects and lawful proprietors of the land which they possess. Since you did not absolutely command us to own Mr. Mason as proprietor we hope we shall not be counted as offenders for our slowness to become tenants to any subject, a thing which bears so ill among us in this vast wilderness, whither our fathers transported themselves in hopes of better things. And since we have your command to interpose between Mr. Mason and the people, we give our opinion that Mr. Mason has rendered that command impracticable. Unless a case can be agitated and debated by the people concerned, it cannot be stated, nor opinion given of it. But this Mr. Mason utterly declines, though we have often offered it. His only answer was that he was not concerned with Councils, towns or societies of men, but with every man individually. We crave pardon for any undue rudeness or prolixity. Signed, Richard Walderne, Elias Stileman, Richard Martyn, Wm. Vaughan, Tho. Daniel, John Gillman, Christopher Hussey, Samuel Dalton, Job Clements. One closely written sheet. Endorsed, "Recd. 20 Sept. 1681. Read 10 Nov. 1681." [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 152, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., pp. 22–29.]
May. 125. "Considerations about Sir Thomas Lynch, his commanding in Jamaica." If he have a commission as the King's Lieutenant-Governor it must be separate and independent without relation to any chief Governor, or he will be rendered incapable of serving His Majesty. If he have a Lieutenant-Governor's commission, and in that commission my Lord Carlisle be declared to exist, he will then be more my Lord's Lieutenant-Governor than the present Lieutenant-Governor, and cannot, whilst such a commission is impending, settle the affairs of the Colony, for the following reasons:— (1.) If the excesses and irregularities which have been committed under this commission give the subject and Spaniard cause of complaint, it may be needful to change it. (2.) Whosoever is sent as my Lord's Lieutenant-Governor must receive his orders, and countenance his dependents, though blameable, or his Lordship will be as much disobliged as if the title and government were immediately taken from him. (3.) Whilst there is a commission in being, it is impossible to have power or credit to do anything there, as was experimented by Colonel Jeffreys in Virginia (see previous volume, preface), and by Sir Thomas Lynch the last year of his government [1675]. (4.) If my Lord has credit to keep the government after all that has been or may be said, his power here and favours there will make it ruinous to a Lieutenant-Governor that gives him not account and profit from the Government. (5.) A Lieutenant-Governor cannot go hence but the expense of his equipage forward and backward will amount to above 3,000l. If His Majesty therefore be desirous of sending a Lieutenant-Governor there is a necessity of giving him some advance, and the same salaries as the present Lieutenant-Governor has had; for a Lieutenant-Governor will get no salary there, it being writ from thence that they will settle no revenue until they know their Governor, and they will never fix it while they apprehend it may be remitted to Governors here. Unsigned. 2 pp. Endorsed with date, May '81. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVI., No. 153.]