America and West Indies: September 1683, 17-30

Pages 495-511

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. 17. 1253. The humble petition and remonstrance of Randall Holden and John Greene, of Warwick, to the King. We were members of the General Court of Rhode Island held at Warwick on 20th August, understanding that Governor Cranfield and the rest of the Commissioners were about to meet at Mr. Richard Smith's house at Narragansett to examine the rival claims to the Narragansett country, and sent a letter to them to produce their commission and adjourned to wait for their answer. Not obtaining a sight of the commission, the Governor and Council issued a prohibition to your subjects to attend the Commissioners, though we were ready with all documents, and had already given in a full relation to your Majesty in 1679 concerning the Narragansett country. At the same time we answered the pretensions of Massachusetts, though no less for the King's interest than for that of Rhode Island. Signed, Randall Howlden, John Greene. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. from Mr. S. Godolphin, 24 July 1684. [Col. Papers, Vol. LI., No. 97, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXI., pp. 209–211.]
Sept. 17. 1254. Minutes of Council of Virginia. The Council met to consider the question of the incursion of the Senecas, and requested the President to continue his present methods, being the most effectual that can be devised. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 182–183.]
Sept. 17.
1255. Return of Imports and Shipping from 17th June to 17th September 1683. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. X., No. 17.]
Sept. 18.
1256. Sir Leoline Jenkins to the Governors of the Plantations. Circular. The French Ambassador having presented the enclosed memorial to the King, I am instructed to send you a copy. The King is aware that your respect for treaties will have led you to show all severity to pirates, so if any of those complained of by the French Ambassador come into your power you will prosecute them with the utmost rigour of the law, and report that you have done so. Signed, L. Jenkins. 1½ pp. Copy of the memorial referred to:— Several French ships on their way to Newfoundland have lately been pillaged while on their voyage to Newfoundland by a ship of six patararoes and no cannon, the captain and company English. Sir L. Jenkins is begged to see that orders be sent to the Colonies not to harbour this ship. 1 p. Entered in Entry Book only. [Col. Papers, Vol. LI., No. 98, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCVII., pp. 94–96.]
Sept. 19.
St Jago de la
1257. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. The Assembly sent up a bill for the better ordering of slaves, which was returned for amendment. Colonel Molesworth returned the examination of Jabez Streater, Constable (see ante, No. 1247). Petition of Provost Marshal Yeamans read. Agreed that he deserves fourpence a mile for summonses, and the same for executions, and that the same be recommended to the Assembly. Agreed to propose to the Assembly a joint committee to prepare the Supplemental Bill.
Sept. 20. Orders for Captain Morgan and Thomas Martin to attend on the business of the powder received for the tonnage of ships; for making up the pieces of eight sent to Mr. Blathwayt for his salary to the just sum in sterling. This salary ordered to be paid in Bills of Exchange in future, the difference of exchange to go to the Treasury. The Provost Marshal brought up Robert Felgate. Ordered that they attend the Assembly's pleasure. The Assembly returned the book of laws and desired a conference on the Supplemental Bill. Sir F. Watson, Sir Charles Modyford, Colonels Freeman, Fuller, and Molesworth appointed conferrers. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXVI., pp. 18–19.]
Sept. 20. 1258. Lord Culpeper to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I have written against each instruction my manner of complying therewith. I regret that sickness prevents me from presenting it in person. The reports are written on the original copy of the Instructions of 27th January 1682. In the following abstract matters of routine, or such as are mentioned elsewhere, are omitted. The numbers refer to the clauses of the Instructions:—1. I was ready to start on 15th September 1682, but, through no fault of my own, was delayed. 2. I did not swear in William Byrd of the Council at the first meeting. Matthew Kempe died a few days before my arrival. 7. I have suspended but one Member of Council, Major Whiting; reasons given in my order of 16th April last. 9–10. By the deaths of Colonel Kempe and Sir H. Chicheley, the long illness of Mr. John Curtis, and the absence on leave of Major-General Smyth and Colonel Philip Ludwell, the Council was reduced to eight, so I appointed Colonel John Lear, a man in every respect well qualified. He was admitted 23rd May. I wish to recommend Colonel Isaac Allerton as one most fit to be of the Council. 17. I must point out that escheats are not due to the King but to the patentees. 31–33. I have been unable to carry out those instructions, as the Assembly only sat for three or four days after my arrival. The first two, I believe, I could have executed; the third was suggested by me in 1680 and rejected. 35. The salary of members is more moderate than formerly, but, being newly fixed by Act, I left it for the next Assembly. 36. I shortened the sittings of the Assembly effectively. 38. Pursuant to instructions for liberty of conscience, I stopped execution against a Quaker, John Plaisants, who was indicted for not attending church, pending signification of the King's pleasure. 39. I issued commissions and endeavoured to settle a militia, but the dispersion of the people makes them so backward and unwilling that little can be done. 41. I appointed Colonel Joseph Bridger to military command south of James River, but the service is so difficult and dangerous that I could appoint no other. The Indians are quiet, and the King of Pamunky with most of his great men, have lately desired to become Christians. I promised that his first son should be christened Charles, the second James, and his daughter Catherine, but they are so treacherous that there is no trust in them. 46. I agree with the instruction that the non-payment of quit-rents has done great mischief. The only remedy is to cause the quit-rents reserved to be paid by large holders in specie, and by others in produce, that they may throw up the land that they cannot turn to account and leave it open for others. 47, 48. I take the opportunity to show you that Mr. Buller's complaint of the seizure of deer-skins deserves no notice. 51. It is impossible to return the value of exports and imports, since no duty is levied except on tobacco. 59. I never heard of any price set on blacks by the Royal African Company, but it is to the interest of all that they should be as cheap as possible in Virginia. 65. As to treatment of servants and slaves, it is extremely difficult to keep an equal hand between bad masters and bad servants. The Assembly should look to it. Negroes are converted to Christianity, but remain slaves. 68. The suspension of the Act for towns should, I think, be removed. I have given every encouragement to building in James City and Green Spring, but nothing save the prospect of profit can do it. Besides, many think other places are better fitted for a metropolis. 70. Two Acts require to be repealed. Under one of them each county can prohibit the planting of tobacco for a year; under the other, tobacco is accepted in payment for quit-rents at twopence a pound, which is twice its value. 71. Poverty is our great failing. But the moment that the price of tobacco rises, other produce is laid aside. 72. The dearness of labour is a great obstacle to the growth of new produce. 75. This instruction, which provides for my salary, cannot be complied with. Four thousand pounds are due to me. I might have done something towards paying myself, but preferred to attend first to the King's service. Everyone is paid but myself. I ask for your justice. 76. I have done my best to check frauds on the King's revenue. Having answered each instruction I must now add a general report. I transgressed my commission in two particulars. 1. I issued a general pardon, after making two examples, to the plant-cutters, though their crime was called treason. I thought that few of them had any idea of committing treason, but only of raising the price of tobacco, and I acted accordingly. Might not power be given, in future, to pardon such kind of treason? 2. I appointed Nicholas Spencer President of the Council, though Colonel Bacon was the senior member. The latter was so averse to it that he would not have accepted it on any terms; Spencer is a patent officer and well fitted for the work, and has promised me to attend to the work diligently. A motion to make me a present I, before receipt of your order, suppressed with scorn and silence. 3. You will find the case of Mr. Sands and Mr. Brown fully dealt with in the Council of Virginia of 13th March last. 4. As regards returning stores by the Norwich frigate, she has never been near Virginia. 5. As regards the plant-cutting riots, I found the Assembly sitting at my arrival, and next day I ordered it to adjourn to the following Monday, and on the afternoon of that day fell to business. I altered almost every one of their Acts, rejected what they meant to do for their favourite, Beverley, divided half of Buller's forfeited deer-skins among them (which they carried in triumph home), and dissolved them with a speech against plant-cutting. Though I passed their laws I did not approve them, but, as my first business was to make an example of plant-cutting, I thought it better that the unpopularity of rejecting the Acts should fall on those at home than on me. On 10th January I examined the business of the riots in full Council, and found that the prompt action of Nicholas Spencer and Major-General Smith, in securing the person of Robert Beverley, had done more than anything to keep the peace. It was lucky for Beverley, too, for I could find no evidence against him, except for general sauciness, and evil influence over Sir Henry Chicheley. I at once put Beverley out of all public employment. I was much embarrassed by a general pardon issued by Sir Henry Chicheley, and a particular pardon to John Suckler, the chief ringleader, on condition that he built a bridge situated conveniently for Sir Henry's plantation. Having, however, with the Council's consent, found plant-cutting to be treason by a precedent of 39 Eliz., I committed four men to prison. They were tried, and, notwithstanding high words and threats, three of them found guilty. Of these two, Somerset Davies and Black Austin, were executed. The third, Richard Baily, I reprieved till I knew the King's pleasure, he being not yet nineteen and a victim to the seductions of others. If you think that I have not done enough, I excepted Beverley and some others from my proclamation. At the request of the Council I increased the soldiers kept by Sir Henry Chicheley from eight to eighteen men, so as to have three complete tiles, and have paid them from 1st January to 1st July. I have drawn two bills of exchange on Mr. Fox, the paymaster, for this expense. I also hired a sloop of sixty tons for a year at 6s. 8d. per ton per month. (Here follow elaborate details of pay and expenses.) I gave the captain orders to check frauds on the revenue, and I believe that the money so saved will exceed the cost of the sloop. She will be useful also against pirates. Lord Baltimore ought to contribute to her support. I did not use Sir L. Jenkins's letter to Lord Baltimore, and now return it. I have incurred odium through my unwillingness to support the colonists in causing a cessation of planting. I rather encouraged planting; it will the sooner cause another glut, and force the people to new industry. The merchants in England, finding that they cannot stop the growth of tobacco nor destroy it, are trying to delay it from coming home. As to the order suspending 65l. 10s. of my salary for fees on my commission, it could not be obeyed till after the audit, when I suspended its execution till I could be heard in protest. You have received several papers concerning Captain Tyrrell's carrying away a servant. The question is of importance, as the King's ships will be disliked if the Governor is to be defied by every little captain of a fifth-rate man-of-war. You will see, by the certificates of the disbanding of the foot companies, that I am a heavy loser. It is hard upon me. Lastly, I hand to you the Council's report on the country of 4th May, and Captain Byrd's proposals respecting the Indian trade (see ante, No. 980). According to my maxims of free trade I threw it open, but they wish it to be restrained. Having in April despatched the business of the Great Court, and finding the whole country quiet, I thought it best to make a step home, not from any fondness to be in England, nor any contempt of orders, nor for the reasons given by the Council, but because I knew that the great crop of this year would certainly plunge the country into further difficulties next year, and therefore wished to consult as to the measures to be taken. I believe that nothing could have been better conducing to the King's service than my departure with design to return at Christmas. No doubt another Governor of greater ability will outdo my poor endeavours; but what the wit of man can expect from a Governor beyond peace and quiet, and large crop of tobacco, I know not. I have done my duty, and my conscience does not accuse me. But the load of Government is so heavy that I am as contented to be eased of it as to take it up. I hear that there is to be a new Governor. I beg that my dues and concerns may not suffer thereby. Signed, Tho. Culpeper. Holograph. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLVIII., No. 11, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXII., pp. 122–171. N.B.—The instructions themselves will be found in the same Entry Bk., pp. 30–61.]
Sept. 20. 1259. Minutes of Council of St. Christophers. Proposed by the Council (1) that an Act may be drawn compelling imported malefactors to serve for eight years, (2) that thanks be returned to Thomas Hill and Christopher Jeaffreson, or that their expenses be reimbursed for their good service in forwarding the transportation of malefactors and in other respects. Answer of the Assembly agreeing to the first proposals, and returning their thanks to both. When the debts are cleared off they will be mindful of giving Jeaffreson a present. On a proposal of the Council that one able negro out of every twenty should be sent to the work on the Sessions house, the Assembly altered the proportion to one in thirty. Orders for a return on oath of working negroes; and for a joint committee to inspect the public accounts. [Col. Papers, Vol. L., No. 98.]
Sept. 20. 1260. Description of Jamaica, dedicated to King Charles II. by Sir Thomas Lynch. Jamaica lies in latitude about 18° north; is distant from Hispaniola, west, about thirty-five leagues, from Cuba, south, twenty-six leagues, from the Main and Carthagena, north, about one hundred and fifty leagues. It is of oval form and divided from east to west by a chain of lofty mountains; its length by the chart is one hundred and fifty miles, but by common computations it is judged twice as long; extreme breadth, fifty-two miles; extent, 7,500,000 acres, of which about 108,700 are taken up. About 350,000 acres are savanna or pasturage; about a million acres barren and unplantable; about six million and a half manurable and useful. The land differs in climate from causes of conformation; the good land runs in veins and thus the settlements are separated. It has plenty of good ports and is not subject to hurricanes; it is well watered, has over eighty rivers running to the sea, and six times as many tributaries to them. The planting of the Island began after the Restoration; it has since been divided into fifteen parishes and eight provinces or precincts. The Governor commands during the King's pleasure, and has no salary but what is paid by the King in the Island without presents from the Assembly. In the event of his death or absence the Lieutenant Governor succeeds, and on his death or absence the Council, with senior member for President. The Council consists of twelve or thirteen members nominated by the King. Their names are:—
Sir Francis Watson, knight.
Colonel Thomas Freeman.
Colonel John Cope.
Colonel Thomas Ballard.
Colonel Thomas Fuller.
Colonel Robert Byndloss.
Lieutenant-Colonel Hender Molesworth.
John White.
Sir Charles Modyford, bart.
The Assembly consists of thirty-two members:—
St. Catherine's Samuel Bernard, Speaker.
John Bourden.
Edmund Duck.
St. Thomas Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Stanton.
Ralph Whitfield.
St. David's Major Thomas Ryves.
Captain James Lobley.
Port Royal Major Samuel Bache.
Captain Reginald Wilson.
Mr. Coward.
St. Andrew's Colonel Samuel Barry.
Captain Francis Scarlet.
St. Thomas in the
Major George Nedham.
Dr. Fulke Rose.
St. Dorothy's Doctor Bonner.
Peter Beckford.
Clarendon Thomas Sutton.
Richard Dawkins.
Vere William Pusey.
John Peck.
St. Elizabeth Colonel Richard Scott.
Thomas Raby.
St. James Samuel Jenks.
Captain Thomas Clark.
St. Anne's Lieutenant-Colonel Whitgift Aylemore.
Major Benjamin Smith.
St. Mary's Andrew Orgill.
John Moon.
St. John's Major Thomas Ayscough.
Francis Price.
St. George's Captain Henry Archbold.
Edward Broughton.
They are chosen by the freeholders by virtue of writs delivered to the Provost Marshal as High Sheriff. The Church has the King for its head. The Governor collates to benefices, which are worth from 40l. to 100l. per annum. Not more than nine churches yet. All the clergy orthodox good men. There is liberty of conscience and freedom of naturalisation. The King has honoured the Island with the gift of a large gilt mace, which is carried before the Governor and Chancellor on solemn occasions. The King has also given the Islands arms and a broad seal. On one side is the King on his throne and two Indians on their knees offering him fruits, and two cherubims aloft supporting a canopy, and this motto, Duro de cortice fructus quam dulcis. Around it is Carolus, &c., Dominus Jamaica. On the other side is an escutcheon bearing a cross charged with five pines, two Indians for supporters, and for the crest, an alligator. The inscription on the orle containing all is "Ecce alium ramos porrexit in Orbem, nec sterilis crux est." The motto beneath it is "Indus uterque serviet uni." All this I believe was designed by the present Archbishop of Canterbury in 1661. The Governor is Chancellor, but the place is worth little. He has one clerk, called Clerk of the Patents, whose office is worth but 55l. a year. He has also three Masters in Chancery. The Court sits the second Monday of every month. The Chancery causes are few and soon despatched. Land grants are made under an order from the Governor to a legal sworn surveyor, through whom it is returned to the Clerk of Patents and sealed. The King's revenue in the Island consists of quit-rents, fines, forfeitures, escheats, licenses for taverns, and an impost on strong liquors, all of which are received by the Receiver-General, who is supervised by a deputy-auditor who brings the accounts to the Governor in Council. Duplicates are sent to the Auditor-General in England. A naval officer is responsible that the Acts of Trade and Navigation are complied with. The Governor is Ordinary and Judge of the Prerogative Court. The Secretary has charge of the office, and is paid by fees. The Governor receives none. The Governor is also Judge Admiral, and holds a commission to command all men-of-war that come into these ports. There is an office of enrolments which is held by the Secretary. The Provost Marshal General is the executive officer of justice. The Militia is much better armed and disciplined than in England, and do much more duty as the Governor's guard and garrison of the forts. There are eight regiments in the eight provinces, and a troop of horse to every province, which, together, make up one regiment. At Port Royal is a captain of the castle and twelve gunners and matrosses, all paid by the King. Each province has a Custos Rotulorum, the best and richest gentleman in it, who, together with the other justices of the peace, holds Quarter Sessions. There is also a petty court to each province, where the ablest gentleman is judge, with two justices for assistants. Their jurisdiction extends to cases involving 20l. or less, and they do good justice. The Grand Court has a Chief Justice and four assistants, which last serve without salary. It is held quarterly at St. Jago de la Vega. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXX., pp. 212–228.]
Sept. 20.
1261. Instructions of Sir Thomas Lynch to Captain James Risby, on his voyage to Petit Guavos. You will find out if the Governor grants commissions against the Spaniard, and, if he does, beg him to forbid the men-of-war to touch in our ports, or, if they do, to command them not to carry off our people. You will demand the merchandise taken by La Trompeuse from Spencer, Spurre's shallop, as belonging to this Island, and the goods aboard Laurens that belong to Spurre, as the King claims them. Let him know that I have four frigates here, and that I send you to avoid scandals and disputes; also that Vanhorn's ship being English I expect her to be sent to me; also that strict orders are coming from France to command the observance of the peace, and to do us justice about the La Trompeuse. Let him know also that we do not pretend to trade, but ask that the vessels I send, or such as are forced on the coast, may be treated humanely as we treat them here. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd 22 Jan. 1683–84. [Col. Papers, Vol. LI., No. 99.]
Sept. 21.
1262. Sir Thomas Lynch's reasons, addressed to the Assembly, against raising pieces of eight to the value of six shillings. Sixteen brief clauses setting forth, with specific examples, the futility, dishonesty and impolicy of giving an arbitrary and excessive value to money. Unsigned. This was evidently put forward to defeat the designs of Sir Henry Morgan. See post, Nov. 2. 2½ pp. Endorsed. Rec. 22 Jan. 1683–84. [Col. Papers, Vol. LI., No. 100.]
Sept. 22. 1263. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Mr. Martin asked by what power he asked a Commission on the powder paid by ships; ordered that in future he have a commission, valuing the powder at a shilling a pound. Petition of masters of vessels as to the gauge of casks referred to the Assembly. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXVI., pp. 19–19a.]
Sept. 25. 1264. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Lord Culpeper's replies to his instructions read (see No. 1258). Colonel Lear to be confirmed in the Council. Colonel Isaac Allerton to be admitted at first vacancy. A new instruction as to style of enacting laws. Lord Culpeper desired to give a further account of the state of the Church. A new instruction to be added respecting orders of Court. The clause respecting an allowance of tare on tobacco referred to the Commissioners of Customs. The clause as to reduction of salaries of members of Assembly softened to allow the Governor to use his discretion. An instruction to be added for the further respite of sentence on John Plaisants. Lord Culpeper's account of stores to be sent to the ordnance-officers. The grant of the quit-rents to Lord Culpeper referred to the officers of the law and of the Treasury for report. Mr. Mearn to prepare books for the churches in Virginia. The question of appeals referred to the Lord Keeper and Crown Law Officers. Instruction as to the repeal of divers Acts, and to forbid the revenue to be anticipated in future. The question of salary or arrears claimed by Lord Culpeper referred to the Commissioners of the Treasury.
On the business of Bermuda, Mr. Secretary Jenkins proposed that a letter be written to countenance Mr. Coney, the new Governor. The Lords are averse to such a course while the quo warranto against the Company is still depending. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVII., pp. 194–199.]
September 25.
1265. [William Blathwayt] to Lord Culpeper. The Lords of Trade and Plantations desire from you a more particular account of the Church in Virginia. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXII., p. 172.]
September 25. 1266. Journal of Council and Assembly of Antigua. Sir William Stapleton's Commission to Colonel Edward Powell to appoint the representatives of Nevis for a General Assembly of the Islands, and his instructions to him, both dated 1st October. Message of the Assembly to the Council, requesting that a posse comitatus may be given to the Marshal for the arrest of Doctor Port, a Roman priest, and Jasper Joyce, who have threatened to murder the men that informed against Port for saying mass. Answer of the Council. We have issued a warrant for the arrest of Port and Joyce. We send for your concurrence an account of what will be necessary for the Indian expedition, viz., three sloops, doctor and medicines, thirty barrels of beef, ten barrels of rum, three barrels of powder, ten thousand of bullets, one thousand flints, one hundred bushels of grain, and one thousand pounds of bread. The Assembly concurred provided that the rest of the Islands paid their proportion. [Col. Papers, Vol. XLIX., No. 81.]
Sept 26. 1267. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. The Speaker with the whole Assembly came to ask the Governor to appoint a day of thanksgiving for the escape of the King and Duke of York from the late horrid plot. His Excellency said he was glad to see the Assembly's forwardness herein. Order for proclamation of a thanksgiving day. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXVI., pp. 19a–20.]
Sept. 27. 1268. Warrant from the Lords Proprietors of Carolina to Governor Moreton for the grant of land to Robert Steevens and Bartholomew Le Roux. Signed, Craven, Albemarle, Bath (for Lord Carteret), Pr. Colleton. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXII., p. 15.]
Sept. 27. 1269. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Lord Culpeper's account of his Government resumed. The Lords think, on paragraph 77, that the value of coins should not be altered without the King's consent. Clause 80, respecting records, to be omitted from Lord Howard's instruction. The business of Mr. Sands to be further considered. The King to be asked to declare how Robert Beverley shall be treated. Lord Culpeper's charges for additional soldiers and for hire of a sloop-of-war referred to the Treasury. Lord Culpeper's report as to a combination of English merchants, who have bought a great quantity of tobacco to retard the further importation thereof, referred to the Treasury. Lord Culpeper's objection to the fees for his last commission to be heard; his complaint against Captain Tyrrell referred to the Admiralty, and his business as to the discharge of Major Mutlow's quarters referred to the Treasury. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVII., pp. 200–203.]
Sept. 27.
1270. [William Blathwayt] to the Attorney and Solicitor-General. The Lords require your opinion on the two enclosed grants of the quit-rents of Virginia to Lord Culpeper and others. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXII., p. 187.]
Sept. 27.
1271. [William Blathwayt] to Henry Guy. Lord Culpeper informs my Lords that there is a design of the merchants here, who have bought large quantities of tobacco, to hinder or retard its coming home. I am ordered to apprise the Lords of Treasury thereof. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXII., p. 187.]
Sept. 27. 1272. Lord Culpeper's representations concerning the Church. The Church in Virginia rests on Act No. 3, concerning the maintenance of ministers. It is doubtful in itself, and though constantly interpreted in their favour (as they suppose) is little encouragement for good parsons. Therefore, and in consequence of the inclination of the people to comfort themselves after their hard labour to forget sorrow, the clergy are only too ready to humour them, and thus eventually earn their contempt. The allowance, besides house, glebe, and perquisites, is eighty pounds a year, but as it is payable either in money or in produce, i.e., in tobacco at twelve shillings the pound, or in corn at ten shillings the barrel (once the true but now an excessive value), the parish takes advantage to the parson's prejudice, the value being not worth above half the nominal in some parts of the country nor above two-thirds in others. Were this all, there might be some hopes, but universal poverty is hopeless. There is a glebe of one hundred acres laid out in every parish in the country, and in most parishes, I believe, a sufficiently good house, to answer the law. But the other is the main point. I know only of four parishes in the country which, with glebe, perquisites, &c., are really worth eighty pounds a year, viz., Middle Plantation, two parishes in Gloucester county, and that wherein Mr. Nicholas Spencer lived in Westmoreland. I fear the last will lose value when he leaves it. I know not which way to begin to amend this. Good ministers would in time certainly gain a hold on the people, but there is nothing to encourage good men to go so far. Apart from the general poverty there are in many parishes barrenness, remoteness and danger from Indians to contend against. All depends on the interpretation of the words in the Act "as may be really worth four score pounds per annum." If your Lordships think the words could be construed according to equity, I could suggest a scheme whereby, with caution, something could be done, otherwise it will be a long and difficult matter. Signed, Tho. Culpeper. Holograph. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 28 Sept. 1683. [Col. Papers, Vol. LI., No. 101, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXII., pp. 172–174.]
[Sept. 27.] 1273. Proposals in relation to Virginia offered by Lord Howard to the Lords of Trade and Plantations. It is absolutely necessary to send a frigate to Virginia. All reasons that apply to the despatch of men-of-war to other Colonies prevail with double force here; the revenue of Virginia exceeds that of all the other plantations put together. By the presence of a frigate the peace of the Colony will be secured against all such troubles as the late insurrection, which cost the King's customs dear. The ship cruising between the two Capes of Virginia will check irregular traders and advance the King's revenue; and it will help Maryland as well as Virginia in this respect. Finally, it will put down pirates and be a great awe to all plantations north of the tropic, especially New England, whither it may be sent if necessary. 1 p. Unsigned, but headed as above, and endorsed. Recd. 27 Sept. Read 29 Sept. 1683. [Col. Papers, Vol. LI., No. 102, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXII., pp. 247–248.]
Sept. 28. 1274. Commission to Francis, Lord Howard of Effingham, to be Governor of Virginia in the room of Thomas Lord Culpeper who has forfeited the office. Thirty-eight clauses. The new Governor is not empowered to pardon treason, but is empowered to pardon plant-cutters as seems good to him. Countersigned, L. Jenkins. N.B.—The date in the second Entry Book is September 4th. [Col. Entry Bks., Vol. LXXXII., pp. 188–204, and Vol. XCIX., pp 223–235.]
Sept. 28.
1275. Sir Thomas Lynch's reasons for prolonging the term of the Revenue Bill addressed to the Assembly of Jamaica. Thirteen heads. Showing that the prolongation to twenty-one years is dictated alike by convenience, interest, and gratitude. If the Assembly is nervous that it will not be summoned, Sir Thomas will obtain a special instruction from the King to insure its meeting. 3 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 22 Jan. 1683–84. [Col. Papers, Vol. LI., No. 103.]
Sept. 28.
1276. Order of the King in Council. Referring the petition of William Freeman, complaining of John Bramley, to the Lords of Trade and Plantations for their report. ½ p. Signed, Phi. Lloyd. Annexed,
1276. I. The petition of William Freeman. Petitioner and John Bramley are partners in a plantation at Montserrat. Bramley has for some years past refused to account for the produce of the plantation, pursuant to agreement, and thereby greatly enriched himself. Petitioner sent one, William Berwick, to call Bramley to account, but Bramley refused to give any, and has since endeavoured to compel a partition of the estate, which will inevitably entail the loss of the whole of petitioner's interest therein, and has applied to Sir William Stapleton for the same. Prays for an order to Sir William Stapleton to desist. Copy certified by Philip Lloyd. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. and read, 6 Nov. 1683. [Col. Papers, Vol. LI., No. 104, 104 I., and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., p. 110.]
Sept. 28.
1277. The King to Sir William Stapleton. The letter respecting the Royal African Company approved by Order in Council of 25th August (see ante, No. 1214). [Col. Entry Bks., Vol. XLVII., pp. 96–98, and Vol. XCIX., pp. 239–240.]
Sept. 28.
1278. The same to Sir Richard Dutton. The same letter, mutatis mutandis. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCIX., pp. 236, 237.]
Sept. 29. 1279. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Lord Culpeper's account of his administration of Virginia resumed. Order for process to issue on the inquisition against his patent. Letter from Lord Culpeper reporting letters from Virginia, wherein he learns that all is quiet, and that the tobacco crop is prodigious. A paper of proposals from Lord Howard read (see No. 1273), and referred to the Lords of the Treasury for their opinion. An account of Virginia for the past three years by the Council read (see No. 1063). The Lords think thereon that there should be free trade with the Indians, that there should be no cessation of planting tobacco, and that garrisons in Virginia should not be kept unless without expense to the King. The question of the quitrents is referred to the Attorney-General. As to the Act of towns the Lords defer judgment till Lord Howard shall report thereon. Agreed to advise an additional instruction to Lord Howard to propose to the Assembly a law empowering the Governor and Council to raise a limited levy by their own authority. Memorandum of documents sent and received. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVII., pp. 204–209.]
[Sept. 29.] 1280. Lord Culpeper to William Blathwayt. Pray acquaint the Lords of the Committee that I received letters yesterday from Secretary Spencer, Auditor Bacon, and many others, of 23rd and 25th July, giving a good account of the Colony and of the prodigious crop of tobacco. Let their Lords, in fact, set down how they would have things go when the market in Europe is overstocked, and so it is or better. I desire that I may be speedily despatched one way or another before the King goes to Newmarket. I am ready to answer for all my actions in my Government, and if no faults are found, I suppose there are none. Signed, Tho. Culpeper. Holograph. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 29 Sept. [Col. Papers, Vol. LI., No. 105, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXII., p. 175.]
Sept. 29.
1281. William Blathwayt to Henry Guy. Forwarding for report of the Commissioners of the Treasury Lord Howard's proposals, and those of the Council of Virginia for the stationing of a frigate at Virginia (see ante, Nos. 1063, 1273). [Col. Entry Bks., Vol. LXXXII., pp. 246–247.]
Sept. 30. 1282. Commission to John Moore to be Receiver-General of the Province of Carolina, West and South of Cape Fear. Signed, Craven, Albemarle, Bath (for Lord Carteret), Pr. Colleton. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXI., p. 45.]
September. 30. 1283. Lords Proprietors of Carolina to the Governor and Deputies of the Province South and West of Cape Fear. In our last we gave you directions for the election of a Parliament (see ante, No. 1132). As we are uncertain whether these orders reached you soon enough, and whether the Parliament was so chosen, we order you forthwith to dissolve the present Parliament and call another, to be elected according to the new rules, the election to be held in both places on the same day. If the Parliament was chosen according to the new rules you will not dissolve it. We hear that there are many undue practices in the choice of members of Parliament, and that men are admitted to bring papers for others, and vote for them, which is utterly illegal and contrary to the custom of Parliament, and will in time, if suffered, be very mischievous. You will take care to put a stop to this in future, and if the sheriffs refuse to obey you will appoint other sheriffs in their place. In our order of 21st November 1682, we gave the Governor and Parliament power to ratify our new fundamental constitutions of 17th August 1682. We now cancel that order, for the Scots have desired some additions that will be of benefit to the inhabitants. We order you to pass no Act of Parliament diminishing the fees of the Secretary's, Surveyor's, and Registrar's places without our consent. The places require men of ability who cannot be obtained without giving them some equivalent. We strictly forbid you to allow any Indians to be transported without consent of Parliament, elected as aforesaid, and you will assemble the Palatine's Court to consult a part of all Acts of Parliament and licence for transportation of Indians, that they may negative it if they think fit. Any officer commissioned by you or chosen by the Palatine's Court who transports Indians without a licence shall be at once dismissed. Signed, Craven, Albemarle, Bath (for Lord Carteret), Pr. Colleton. [Col. Entry Bks., Vol. XXI., p. 44, and Vol. XXII., pp. 15, 16.]
Sept. 30. 1284. Lords Proprietors of Carolina to the Governor and Deputies of the Province West and South of Cape Fear. We have read your letter of 2nd March about sending away of Indians, and are by no means satisfied with your reasons for doing so. We must plainly tell you that we are very jealous that the private gains made by some by buying slaves of the Indians has more to do with the opinion that they ought to be transported, than any consideration of public safety or benefit; and we are confirmed in this view since Captain Godfrey, one of your number and a public spirited man, openly dissents from you; while others that have signed your public letter, in their private letters write that they do not see the necessity urged by you for the transportation of Indians and that they anticipate trouble from it. Even some of the dealers in Indians who signed the public letter have given their reasons, which seem to us to partake more of private profit than public good. Their reasons are three, viz., 1. That the Sevanas having united all their tribes are become so powerful that it is dangerous to disoblige them. 2. That you have wars with the Waniahs in which these people assist you. 3. That humanity induces you to buy their slaves of them to keep them from a cruel death. As to the first, we ask you whether the prohibiting the buying slaves of any others but the Sevanas, and allowing it to them and giving in exchange guns, powder, and all that they need, be not the way not only to keep all the tribes of the Sevanas united, but to join all other scattered tribes to them for protection, and for share in their privileges, and so make them formidable indeed. As to the second, we ask how came the wars with the Waniabs for the first seven years after the settlement? When the English were weak they had wars with none of the neighbouring Indians, but lived justly with them; and all was quiet. But the heads of the Westos were taken whilst they were in treaty with the Government, and so under the public faith for their safety, and put to death in cold blood; the rest were driven from the country, and the Sevanas did not afford the profitable trade to the Indian dealers in beaver, etc., that was expected. Then, in order to have Indians to transport (for we can imagine no other reason), a quarrel was picked with the Waniahs on pretence that they had cut off a boat of runaways. These runaways, we are informed, arrived safely in Antigua, and we are expecting depositions concerning them. These [Waniahs] the Sevanas were to take and sell to the dealers in Indians, and only to the few of them that had a share in the Government; for complaint has been made to us that a certain person offering to buy some Waniah prisoners taken by the Sevanas was told that they dared not do it, for that a certain person, whom they named, and whom we understand to be the chief contriver of your letter, would be angry if they sold them to any but himself. We are also informed that a false alarm was contrived by the dealers in Indians in order to gain the chance of showing themselves in force in the Sevana town and so frighten the people into a sole trade with themselves, for we cannot learn that any Westos were near the Sevana town. The Indian dealers tell us that there are not fifty Westos left alive, and those divided. Are the Sevanas so formidable a people as you allege, and is it necessary that the whole English settlement should be harried into trouble and expense to defend the numerous and powerful Sevanas against fifty Westos? We learn further that the Westos wanted peace and sent some of their people to the Sevanas to mediate for them, but their messengers were taken and sent away to be sold. The poor Waniahs would, we are told, have done the same, but their messenger also was taken and sent away. But if there be peace with the Waniahs and Westos, where shall the Sevanas find Indians to sell to the dealears We are convinced that the sending away of Indians caused the Waniah and Westo wars and continues them, and will not only continue them but cause other wars. And wars are inconvenient to planters.
Last, as to the plea of humanity, it is no more nor less than this: By the purchase of Indians from the Sevanas you induce them through covetousness of great weapons and other European goods to make war upon their neighbours, ravish the wife from the husband, and kill the father, take the child, and burn and destroy the dwellings of the poor people who cheerfully received us into their country, and cherished us when we were weak, or at least never did us any hurt. And, after this, we have set them to do all these horrid things in order to get slaves for the Indian dealers; we call it humanity to buy them, and thereby keep them from being murdered. Nor was the Waniah war managed with more humanity by your Indian dealers. Let us tell you the story as it reached us, for a warning. Upon a bare information from Indians that the aforesaid runaways were killed by Waniahs a war was proclaimed against them. No enquiry was made into the truth of the thing, no message was sent to the Waniahs to let them know that information had reached the Government of a murder committed by some of their people, and to demand the guilty persons. No. War was proclaimed; poor innocent women and children were barbarously murdered and taken for slaves, who had in all probability been innocent of the deed even if it had been committed. Does any one doubt that the Waniahs would have refused to give up the guilty persons, if any, considering how impossible it was for them to resist the English, and that the best that they could hope for was to be driven from their habitations, to live a miserable, skulking life. Had the English proceeded justly, they would have discovered that no such deed was committed at all, or the guilty persons would have been delivered up, their landgrave West, whom we believe to be a well-meaning man, but imposed on in this matter, would not have been persuaded to make war, and your Indian dealers would have missed their expected booty. These actions have been talked of in England and have kept many good settlers from you, who cannot see how runaway negroes can be brought back in so large a continent except the Indians be preserved, nor expect God's blessing on a Government so managed. We cannot answer it to God, the King, our inhabitants, nor our own consciences, that such things should continue. But we have a very tender regard for the safety of our inhabitants; we cannot foresee what necessities may arise for an Indian war, and in what case it may be necessary to permit soldiers, for their encouragement, to make the best advantage that they can out of their prisoners, to say nothing of the like necessity in unforeseen contingencies. We therefore think fit to allow Parliament to pass Acts for the exportation of such Indians as they may permit, the said Indians to be shown in the house, and to be examined by sworn interpreters as to their capture, name and nation; also the person to whom leave of exportation is granted must be mentioned in the license. In such matters the consent of the majority of the house shall suffice, and we do not intend that there shall be a standing Act for the transportation of Indians, but a particular licence for the transportation of each batch, to be granted by the whole Parliament. Any one who exports Indians without a licence shall receive the utmost punishment prescribed by law.
The Scots and some other considerable men that have a mind to become settlers, have hinted to us that our first constitution made insufficient provision against oppression. They pointed out that the members of the Grand Council were appointed for life, that the judges, sheriffs and all other magistrates and officers are chosen by us Lords Proprietors, and that juries are chosen by our officers. We have therefore altered our constitutions and made new ones. We give the Parliament of Carolina power to punish any member of the Grand Council or any other officer for misbehaviour. We have also provided for the appointment of juries by lot, and made sundry other alterations for securing the people in their liberties. We then gave power to the Governor and Deputies to ratify the same, which prevents further alteration except by consent of all the Proprietors, all the Grand Council, and all the members of two successive Parliaments. So that we cannot imagine the cause of the jealousy that we should change them again, unless it were that your Indian dealers thought that Parliament would have too much power over them, and that juries chosen by lot would give equal justice. We have also transferred the nomination of the Secretary from the Chancellor to the Palatine and Proprietors at large. Signed, Craven, Albemarle, Bath (for Lord Carteret), Pr. Colleton. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXII., pp. 16–20.]
Sept. 30.
New Hampshire.
1285. Proclamation for a day of thanksgiving in New Hampshire for the delivery of the King from Shaftesbury's plot. Copy certified by Richard Chamberlain. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. LI., No. 106.]