America and West Indies: May 1684, 16-31

Pages 636-645

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 1684

[May 16.] 1690. The Governor of Carthagena to Sir Thomas Lynch. Complaining of the conduct of the captain of the convoy for carrying away money belonging to the Assiento of Curaçoa. Copy. Spanish. 1½ pp. Inscribed and endorsed. Recd. 16 May 1684 (see ante, p. 596). [Col. Papers, Vol. LIII., No. 100.]
[May 16.] 1691. Copy of a Commission of the Governor of Havanna to Augustin Alvarez against pirates. Translation. 13 pp. Endorsed, To Augustin Alvarez, who took the Jew off Curaçoa. Recd., 6 May 1684. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIII., No. 101.]
May 19. 1692. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Order for the Assembly to be prorogued to 15th October unless sooner called. The Governor announced that the King had renewed permission for the Spanish negro trade to be carried on, but that one Meverell and Gill had endeavoured to hinder that trade. Meverell was called in, and in reply to questions said that Mr. Elletson was his counsel, and that he had acted by his opinion. Gill was called in to whom the Governor represented the illegality of his action. He pleaded Mr. Elletson's opinion, and was ordered to withdraw. The Council resolved that the action of Meverell and Gill was malicious, and ordered them to be committed to custody till they should give security for good behaviour. Mr. Elletson's opinion, by which they had been incited, was then read, and he was like-wise bound over to good behaviour. Order for the prosecution of the offenders when the Assembly shall meet. Adjourned sine die. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXVI., pp. 36–39.]
May 19. 1693. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Secretary Spencer presented a letter written by Captain Thomas Smith of his treatment by Lord Baltimore's officers in the Potomac. Ordered, that it be represented to the King how grievous to the Colony and destructive to trade in the Potomac such proceedings must be, [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., p. 183.]
May 19. 1694. Journal of Assembly of Virginia. Report of the Conference. Address to the Governor on the complaint of inhabitants of Lower Norfolk respecting the encroachments of Carolina, praying that the boundaries may be settled. Bill for impost on liquors returned by the Governor and Council with proposed amendments. Message from the Governor respecting the Bill concerning escheats.
May 20. Address to the Governor, defending the refusal of repayment to Lord Culpeper by combating his right to receive quit-rents. Bill for escheats again re-drafted and sent with a message to the Governor. Messages from the Governor respecting the Act for co-habitation, and the Bill of escheats.
May 21. Message from the Governor and Council combating the arguments of the House against the right of Lord Culpeper to receive quit-rents. Resolved, that the message is not a full answer to the reasons adduced by the House. Message from the Governor. I cannot pass your address to the King as it stands, for the request concerning appeals, that none shall lie to the King unless the sum at issue be 500l., seems to me excessive. Alter the 500l. to 300l. and the Council and I will join you. Again, your request that your laws shall remain in force until repealed by the General Assembly is an entrenchment on the royal prerogative. If you will ask that laws of which the King disapproves may be suspended only till the Assembly's reasons are heard, we will join you. We agree to the rest of the address. Resolved to pay the sum claimed by Lord Culpeper to his agent. The Bill for an impost sent up to the Governor and assented to. Several claims settled.
May 22. The congratulatory address to the King, and the other address, partly amended as the Governor suggested, taken up to the Governor. The contract for building the Governor's residence approved. Resolved, that the grant of any lands escheating to the King to any other than those who have right thereto, is a breach of the Royal Charter and a grievance to the Colony. Address to the Governor. We think 20,000 lbs. of tobacco not an excessive salary to the Clerk of Assembly, who has more work than the Clerk of the General Assembly, who is little more than Clerk of the Council. Message from the Governor reminding the House that the Attorney-General's four years' service is still unconsidered, and that the salary voted for him is insufficient for his expenses, and much less than given to the Clerks of Committee. As to the salaries of the Clerks of Assembly and General Assembly, if that of the latter is not raised, it will be necessary, in common justice, to reduce that of the former. It is time to settle these small matters and close the Assembly. The Assembly proposed a conference, after which the House resolved that the Clerk of the General Assembly was sufficiently paid, and that the Attorney General ought not to be paid out of the poll-levy.
May 23. Message from the Governor. I am disappointed at the result of the conference, and did not expect these delays. The Clerks of Assembly and General Assembly should be paid alike. I expect your compliance also respecting the Attorney-General. A second message from the Governor. You have not altered the address to the King, except by substituting 300l. for 500l. in the matter of appeals. Unless you alter it as I suggested to you, I shall set it altogether aside. Address from the House. We have duly weighed your suggestions, and think that we cannot recede without betraying our trust to the country. The Governor suggested a conference. The House resolved that it is its undoubted right to represent the state of the country to the King by address. Message from the Governor, passing the salaries to the clerks, but intimating that he should take care that the case should not be made a precedent. Resolved, that the address to the King be presented in the name of the burgesses only.
May 24. Five members fined 1,000 lbs. of tobacco each for leaving James City without leave. Bill for public levy read three times. Order fixing the bounds of James City. Message from the Governor, refusing to pass this order, but intimating readiness to pass it as an Act. Assembly dissolved. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXV., pp. 190–217.]
May 20.
1695. William Righton to Francis Burghill. Every day produces new complaints against Mr. Cony, the Company's Governor. He beats them and abuses them, and imprisons them when they come to him for justice. He has forbidden the inhabitants to yield obedience to their military commanders, and has the keys and custody of what little ammunition there is in the country. He will not trust the country with a jot of powder, but they must come to him for it, insomuch that if war and invasion come the country must be taken before the inhabitants can put themselves in a state of defence. The country knows him to be miserably poor, and so much given to drunkenness, swearing, and lying, that there is not a spark of respect for him. The people have refused to raise money for him, and will not allow him daily to make a prey of them, as be began to do. They give out that if he do not demean himself in some proportion to his place and trust, so that the safety of the plantations and the liberty and property of the inhabitants may be secured, and some reformation be made to render his government tolerable, they will lay him aside and put in a wiser man. I am afraid that some such thing will soon come to pass, for he grows worse every day I am told that, when the Governor saw the articles that I proffered against Durham, he swore before God that Durham spoke nothing but the truth. Holograph. 1 p. Addressed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIII., No. 102.]
May 21. 1696. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. The complaints of Sir Henry Morgan and others against Sir Thomas Lynch. Counsel on each side attended, but several important papers being wanted the matter was put off. Sir Thomas Lynch's letter of 15th May read, reporting the difference between the Governor of Carthagena and the Assiento, and taking notice of the restrictions put on him by the Admiralty. Agreed to investigate and settle the jurisdiction of the Admiralty in Jamaica on Tuesday next, the King's Law Officers, the Duke's Advocate, Sir John Werden, and Mr. Pepys to attend. Sir Thomas Lynch's letter complaining of the reception given to pirates in Carolina. An extract thereof is to be sent to the Proprietors for their reply. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVII., pp. 296–299.]
May 21. 1697. William Blathwayt to Lord Craven. Transmitting Sir Thomas Lynch's account of privateers at Carolina for his observations. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCVII., p. 107.]
May 22
1698. Address of the House of Burgesses of Virginia to the King. Some of our inhabitants have lately been bound over to answer the determination of your Majesty in Council for matters of meum and twum arising here. We represent to you how hard and ruinous this must be, for it seems hardly possible to clear up all facts and evidence so that others may not be introduced, to the loss of the cause and the ruin of the parties by the delay and the costs. We cannot find that such causes used ever to be moved from the Colony. The system hitherto has been to appeal from County Courts to General Courts, and from General Courts to the General Assembly; and the causes so determined have always given satisfaction. But if you ordain that appeals shall go to England, we beg that they may not lie for matters under the value of 300l., and that sufficient security be first given for costs and damages in case the judgment be affirmed. Again, twice as much accruses to your revenue from our staple manufacture of tobacco as to ourselves. In spite of the hardship and danger to which we are exposed in this distant country, we do not enjoy so much of your favour as many lesser corporatious. Of late, several of our Acts and Statutes have been voided by proclamation, without consulting your General Assembly here, contrary to an Act No. 88 and to established usage. We beg you to continue that usage, and to grant that our laws may remain in force until repealed by the General Assembly, or at least until you have heard our reasons for making them. Again, we are greatly distressed by the low price of tobacco, and reduced to such poverty that we can hardly bear the expense of our defence against Indians. Rapine, robbery, and affronts are daily committed by them, which we are forced to submit to dishonourably, to the reproach of Englishmen and the great encouragement of the enemy. They have slaughtered our hogs and cattle, less we believe from hunger than from contempt of our poverty and wish to provoke us. We have suffered the friendly Indians, our outguards and intelligences of the approach of foreign Indians, to be cut off, not intertering until quite lately, though bound thereto by treaty. And though our late Governors were not blind to the danger, and our unfitness to meet it, and our present Governor gives us good proof and assurance of his anxiety for our protection, yet we beg you to consider that the present settlement of but thirty horsemen at the heads of each of the four great rivers, though not sufficient to engage any great body of Indians in case of war, will cost us five hundred thousand pounds of tobacco annually, which, after all, is the least of our burdens; all of which, when amassed together, will make it impossible to endure the cost of a war without your precious help. We acknowledge with great thankfulness the remission of the quit-rents for several years, and we were assured in 1677 that none were to be demanded for twenty-one years. But, nevertheless, the quit-rents have been demanded, by whose authority we know not, and we beg that this branch of your revenue may be applied to the defence and other public uses of the Colony. We thank you for the Bibles for our churches, which, however, were insufficient, and beg you of your favour to supply enough for seven more parishes. Signed, Edw. Hill, Speaker. 2½ large sheets. Endorsed. Recd. at the Committee. 8 Nov. '84. [Col. Papers, Vol. LII., No. 103.]
May 22. 1699. Duplicate of foregoing similarly endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIII., No. 104.]
May 23.
New Hampshire.
1700. Governor Cranfield to Sir Leoline Jenkins. I beg you to press their Lordships for a speedy resolution on my letter to them, for I can no longer uphold the King's interest here without a frigate to second me. You may rely on me to deal with pirates after their demerits. Pray send me as soon as possible the King's letter to permit me to go to Jamaica or Barbados for my health, which has suffered much from the severity of the cold. Signed, Edw. Cranfield. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 30 July 1684. Read 6 Aug. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIII., No. 105, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., p. 114.]
May 23.
New Hampshire.
1701. Governor Cranfield and the Council of New Hampshire to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Robert Wadleigh is returned from England, having lately had an appeal dismissed by the Council Board, having taken advantage of Mr. Randolph's absence who was counsel for the other party. His return has thrown the people into such ferment and disorder that it is impossible to govern them. Though in obedience to your orders we have called an Assembly, we have not thought it prudent or safe to let them sit, for they are of the same humour or worse as when Gove took up arms, which matter was hatched during the session of Assembly. Their conduct is the more suspicious since they have chosen four constables into the Assembly, that the King's peace may not be preserved, the whole number of the Assembly being but eleven. This Wadleigh was formerly an Assembly-man and is now chosen again, having had three sons condemned in Gove's rebellion. The eldest son I have pardoned, one of the others is dead, and the third I keep in prison pending your orders. Waldern's son is always of the Assembly and Speaker of this, the third assembly. I hope the King's clemency may not be of ill-consequence. They will not vote twopence for the support of the Government, and the very rates of Cutt's and Waldern's time have been continued by us according to the Royal Commission, but we do not think it safe to publish it having no strength to countenance our proceedings. Signed, Edw. Cranfield, Rob. Mason, Walter Barefoot, Rich. Chamberlain, John Hincks, James Sherlock. Endorsed. Recd. 30 July 1684. Annexed,
1701. I. Proclamation of the Governor of New Hampshire for calling an Assembly. Dated 16 May 1684. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 30 May 1684. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIII., Nos. 106, 106 I., and (letter only) Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., pp. 114–115.]
[May 24.] 1702. Acts passed in Virginia during the Session 16th April—24th May 1684.
1. Act for altering the time of holding General Courts.
2. Act for better preservation of the peace.
3. Act repealing the Act concerning pursuit of runaways.
4. Act for better supply of arms and ammunition.
5. Act repealing Acts 42 and 43, and for building prisons.
6. Act to repeal the Act for encouraging manufacture of linen.
7. Act for better defence of the country.
8. Act for lessening the levy by poll, and for an impost on liquors.
9. Act for the public levy.
Copies. Certified by Tho. Milner, Cl. Assembly. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXVII.]
May 24. 1703. The King to the Governor of Virginia. Ordering the issue of a warrant for the payment of 700l. to Lord Culpeper out of the duty of two shillings a hogshead. Countersigned, Rochester, J. Ernle, Ste. Fox. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXII., pp. 280–281.]
May 24. 1704. Journal of General Assembly of Nevis. The Assembly requested that no steps should be taken as to building a fort at Long Point for the present. [Col. Papers, Vol. LII., No. 4.]
May 24. 1705. Pass granted to Edward Randolph on his return to New England. Countersigned, Sunderland. Copy in Randolph's hand. 1 p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIII., No. 107.]
May 26.
1706. Nicholas Spencer to Sir Leoline Jenkins. I had hoped that the Assembly would have had all the proceedings that I wrote of in my last in readiness, but it has sat longer than we expected, and we have not yet had time to transcribe the laws for transmission. The Governor's anxiety to pass some bills of moment caused him to yield to the arguing away of some time that might effect the desired ends. Such bills were, one to impose a duty on imported liquors, and one to establish a fixed guard at the heads of the rivers, and advance for any additional men that the Governor may have occasion to raise. The first Bill improves the King's revenue, and the second is a great security to the Government. All is quiet and peaceable, though we have occasional disquieting alarms from foreign Indians; but we hope that the force established by the new law may suffice to secure us, or at least to check the enemy till additional forces can be raised. We daily expect the arrival of the ketch of war which the King has graciously appointed for us. Signed, Nicho. Spencer. Holograph. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 30 Sept. 1684. [Col. Paper, Vol. LIII., No. 108, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXII., pp. 290, 291.]
May 27. 1707. Earl of Craven to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I have read what Sir Thomas Lynch has written you about the reception of privateers at Carolina. On inquiry I learn that one Jacob Hall did touch there to wood and water on his way from Vera Cruz, but he did not belong to the place, and had no inhabitants of Carolina with him. After a very few days' stay he sailed for Virginia. Hall acted under Vanhorn, who had a commission from the French, and the King's order that his subjects should not receive commissions from foreign princes, being not known in Carolina accounts, I conceive, for his not being secured. I never heard of but one more there, and he, having no commission, was indicted, found guilty and was executed, he and his two principal accomplices being hung in chains at the entrance to the port, where they hang to this day. At Providence, which Sir T. Lynch has complained of before now for harbouring pirates, all imaginable care was taken to suppress them, and no attempt upon the Spaniards was made except by the instigation of a person whom Sir Thomas Lynch had sent to take pirates. We have sent to Carolina the King's proclamation of neutrality and against pirates, and I doubt not but that a law like that of Jamaica against pirates will be speedily passed. Signed, Craven. 1¼ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 27 May 1684. Annexed,
1707. I. Governor Lilburne to the Lords Proprietors of the Bahamas. In March 1683 one Captain Thomas Paine, with a ship of eight guns and sixty men, was at the Bahamas, with a commission from Sir Thomas Lynch to take pirates. He met there Captain Conway Woolley Captain Markham, John Cornelison, commander of a brigantine from New York, and Brashaw, a French privateer, who was waiting to fish for silver from a Spanish wreck. The four entered into a conspiracy to take St. Augustine's, and listed themselves under Paine. They landed under French colours, but finding the Spaniards ready for them abandoned St. Augustine's and plundered some small places round. Paine, Markham, and Brashaw came to Providence, where the Governor attempted to seize Paine's and Markham's ships, but failed for want of a force. Paine then went wrecking, but a strong ship coming in shortly after the Governor manned it and went off to the wreck himself, but Paine and the rest had already sailed. The Governor on this represented to the Council the danger of allowing these weak islands to be made a place for pirates to assemble in and start from in their depredations against the Spaniards. He then made an Order in Council that all masters of vessels coming with men over and above their sailing company should, within twenty-four hours, give security that neither he nor any of his men would supply pirates in or near the Colony. A captain who came out shortly after, and refused to give this security, was imprisoned, since which all others have quietly complied. The Spaniards still take English vessels wherever they meet them, and are strong enough to do it. There are also many pirates whom the Governor is powerless to suppress without a man-of-war, and he begs for a man-of-war lest the pirates should seize upon some place and make it a second Algiers. Evidently abstracted from several letters. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. from the Earl of Craven, 27th May 1684. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIII., Nos, 109, 109 I., and (letter only) Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCVII., pp. 111–113.]
May 27. 1708. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Petition from William Freeman read complaining of a threatening letter received from Sir W. Stapleton (see next abstract).
Acts of Barbados for the better regulation of tickets from the Secretary's office, for settlement of the Militia, and for raising money for the fortifications read and approved. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVII., pp. 306–308.]
[May 27.] 1709. Petition of William Freeman to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Prays for relief, and for hearing of his case. Sir William Stapleton will not answer the petition as he was ordered, but writes letters to the petitioner full of scurrilous language and threats (see No. 1522). 1 p. Endorsed. Read 27 May. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIII., No. 110.]
May 27. 1710. William Blathwayt to Mr. Trant. I enclose you a petition from William Freeman. You will deliver all papers now in your keeping on the matter to my Lords within five days, that copies of them may be given to Mr. Freeman. You will receive copies of his papers likewise. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., p. 130.]
May 28. 1711. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. On the question of the jurisdiction of the Admiralty it is thought fit that the Attorney-General prepare a draft commission for the consti-tution of an Admiralty Court in Jamaica, and the draft of a law to the same effect. It is also thought fit that when King's captains take British subjects from on board foreign ships or from foreign ports, &c., those subjects shall be victualled as other seamen, and the captain allowed for the same. Memorandum of documents despatched and received. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVII., pp. 300–303.]
May 28. 1712. Order of the King in Council. That Sir Robert Sawyer, Attorney-General, prepare a draft commission for an Admiralty Court in Jamaica, with power of proceeding therein according to the maritime law as practised before the Statute of 28 Henry VIII., also that he prepare the draft of a law to the same effect to be passed in the Assembly of Jamaica. Signed, Phi. Lloyd (see ante, No. 1578). Endorsed. Draft prepared and read 23 July 1684. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIII., No. 111, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXX., p. 235.]
[May 28.] 1713. Draft of the foregoing, with corrections, in the hand-writing of William Blathwayt. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIII., No. 112.]
May 28. 1714. The King's Warrant to Sir John Witham to be first Councillor, and President during the death or absence of the Governor of Barbados. Countersigned, Sunderland. I p. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 242, 243.]
May 28. 1715. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. The Council declared, in answer to the Governor, that he had undoubted right to call a special Court, his power to do so having been denied by Mr. Gill. The Council supported the Governor in his action respecting Porcio's Servant, St. Jago de Castillo. The King's orders confirming the proceedings towards Sir Henry Morgan and others read (see No. 1565), also Colonel Molesworth's commission as Lieutenant-Governor. Mr. Gill was called in and rebuked for refusing a special Court to decide his differences with the Spaniard. Mr. Bancks was called in, and asked to prove the wrong which he alleged to have been done him by the Governor. He was heard; after which the Council directed that he should be removed from the Commission of the peace, and the Governor said that he should refer his scandalous reflections upon himself to a judge and twelve honest men. Adjourned sine die. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXVI., pp. 40–43 and 46–50.]
May 28. 1716. Matthew Meverell to Lords of Trade and Plantations Mr. Abraham Gill, one of my principal witnesses as to the seizure of the ship St. Thomas, would have sailed for London by the same fleet that carried this letter, but was refused a ticket by Sir T. Lynch, though he had complied with the law. On the 15th I was taken into custody, and on the 16th Mr. Gill, but I hope none the less to prove the breach of the Navigation Acts. Sir Thomas Lynch, in a letter to a gentlemen at Port Royal, owned that he had 20,000l. of goods on board the sloop, and I believe I can prove near 10,000l. more, which at 43 per cent. amounts to a considerable sum without further hazard than the safe return of H.M.S. Ruby. Since this trade has sprung up few planters can buv a negro from the African Company or interlopers. Signed, Matt. Meverell. 1 p. Inscribed, Recd. 3 Sept. 1684. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIII., No. 113.]
May 30.
St. James's.
1717. Sir John Werden to Governor Dongan. The enclosed will show you the King's resolution to maintain the privileges of the Hudson's Bay Company. You will be careful to suffer no interlopers to be encouraged in those parts. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXX., pp. 48.]
May 31. 1718. Sir Thomas Lynch's overtures to the pirate Laurens. Sir Thomas promises a pardon for all offences and naturalisation as an Englishman; but Laurens must take the oath of allegiance and buy a plantation in Jamaica. Sir Thomas will also procure the necessary letters for the safe-conduct of his wife from the Canaries, provided Laurens pays the fees and the expenses of the passage, and he will also procure him the King of Spain's pardon. Rough précis. Inscribed, Recd. 15 Aug. 1684. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIII., No. 114.]