America and West Indies: October 1684

Pages 694-713

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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October 1684

Oct. 1. 1883. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Order for Francis Bond, Robert Davers, John Peers, Edwyn Stede, and Henry Walrond, or any three of them to be a Committee to inspect the Acts relating to Grand Sessions and to prepare a new Act; also to make a collection of the laws of the Island now in force and report on them. The Assembly presented its answers to the Governor's proposals.
Oct. 2. The Assembly submitted the names of John Codrington and Richard Barrett as Treasurer and Clerk under the Act of Excise, which the Council approved. Militia Bill brought up from the Assembly, read thrice and passed for three months. The Assembly asked for members of Council to join eight of their members as a Committee to inspect the Militia Act.
Oct. 3. The Assembly brought up two Bills, for securing the possession of negroes, and laying an imposition on wines, which were thrice read and passed. The Speaker reported that the Assembly had two Bills, for public accounts and for suppression of pirates, under consideration, but desired to adjourn till Tuesday, to which his Excellency assented. Henry Walrond, Edwyn Stede, Francis Bond, and Robert Davers, appointed to be of the Joint Committee on the Militia Bill. The Governor sent a message to the Assembly desiring that the same Joint Committee might inspect and make a collection of the laws. The Act of Excise and Militia Act were published by beat of drum. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 543–548.]
Oct. 1. 1884. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. The Assembly's reply to the Governor's proposals (see No. 1880). 1. We should be glad to know whether the King disliked the whole Act for Grand Sessions or only a part of it, that we may know how to meet his wishes. 2. Provision for punishment of wanton murder of negroes already exists. 3. We are willing to pass an Act against piracy. 4. We beg that the old Militia Act may be revived for a short time to give leisure to a Committee to peruse any new Act that we may prepare. 5. We beg for time to consider this. 6. We will take care to raise money to pay our debts and repair the fortifications. Excise Bill considered. John Codrington elected Treasurer and Richard Barrett Controller under the Bill.
Oct. 2. Act to revive the old Militia Act for three months passed. John Codrington, John Waterman, William Foster, John Davis, John Heathersell, Michael Terrill, John Leslie and Edwin Binney appointed a Committee to meet the Council to draw a new Militia Bill. Present of 2,000l. voted to the Governor. Voted that the Treasurer have 8 per cent. for his pains in collecting the Excise. Act for imposition on wines read.
Oct. 3. Bill for securing possession of slaves read. Bill for an imposition on wines amended and passed. Adjourned to 4th November. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XIV., pp. 2–10.]
Oct. 4. 1885. Memorandum. That this day the Duke of York signed and sealed the Charter of Franchises and Privileges to New York, which was afterwards despatched for delivery in New York. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXX., p. 50.]
Oct. 4. 1886. Journal of General Assembly of Nevis. The Assembly met and was sworn, viz., Captain Samuel Jardiner, Speaker, Robert Helmes, Thomas Bartlet, Walter Symonds, John Smargin, John Standley, Simon Browne, Henry Litton, Thomas Cole, John Abbott. Having elected their Speaker they made no proposals. [Col. Papers, Vol. LII., No. 4.]
Oct 6. 1887. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Order for a copy of Sarah Bland's appeal to be sent to Colonel St. Leger Codd. Letter of 17th June from Governor and Council of Virginia read (see No. 1749). Order for copy to be sent to Lord Baltimore for his reply.
Memorandum of documents received and despatched. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVIII., pp. 16–18.]
Oct 6. 1888. William Blathwayt to Lord Baltimore. My Lords desire your answer to the representation of the Council of Virginia respecting your pretensions on the Potomac (see No. 1749). [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXII., p. 302.]
Oct. 10.
1889. Sir William Stapleton to William Blathwayt. I send your supplementary accounts, which had not reached me when I sent the last. I hope that I am right in not charging or discharging myself in the accounts, for I am quite a stranger to the accounts, which are entrusted to Commissioners of Audit. I am much concerned that I have not heard from you for so long. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., p. 175.]
Oct. 10. 1890. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Present: Sir Richard Dutton, Henry Walrond, Thomas Walrond, Edwyn Stede, John Peers, Robert Davers, Francis Bond, Sir Timothy Thornhill, Bart. The Governor having inquired into the administration of the Government by Sir John Witham in his absence, propounded seven queries to the Council:— 1. Did Sir John Witham on taking over the Government take any oath for the due execution of his office at the Council Board ? Answer. — He did not, and being asked by certain members if he had, refused to reply, and said it was not their business to inquire. 2. Did he take the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, sign the test, take the sacrament, and take the oath to observe the Acts of Navigation? Answer. — He took the two first oaths and signed the test, but we know nothing of the rest. 3. Did you ever ask him if he had taken these oaths? Answer. — See our answer to the first query. 4. Did he not assume the style of Lieutenant-Governor on all occasions and use it in official documents? Answer. — Shortly after your departure he did, as the Council-book shows. 5. Did he not refuse to allow the members of Council free debate and vote in the Court of Chancery and at the Council Board, declaring that he would do what he thought fit, notwithstanding their opinions? Answer. — He did so, and William Beresford, one of the Deputy Registrars of the Court of Chancery, advises us that Sir John Witham in his own room altered certain orders and decrees made by consent of the Council in the Court. 6. Did he not alter certain orders and decrees of the Court? Answer. — See our reply to the last query. 7. Do you think that the expenses of his Government have been such as to merit the reward of half my salary, which was granted him by the King? Answer. — He continued his usual thriftiness and good husbandry throughout his Government.
Whereupon His Excellency suspended Sir John Witham from the Council and from all public employment in the Island. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XI., pp. 549–554.]
Oct. 14. 1891. Sir John Witham to the Earl of Sunderland. My real thanks for obtaining for me the Royal Warrant giving me first place in the Council and the rank of President in the event of the Governor's absence or death. But Sir R. Dutton has practically vacated this authority. I have been sick for some time before and since his arrival, and I have not yet seen him; yet in my absence, without any summons or notice, he has suspended me from the Council, without any reason that I know of, unless that I would not part with my salary to him. Five days ago he sent his Secretary to me upon that errand, but I answered that I would not part with it. Three days after I heard of my suspension. I cannot yet get a copy of his reasons, but as soon as I can I shall answer them and beg your favour. They must be very untrue or very insignificant, for I dare stand or fall by any fair trial. His instructions direct him to suspend no member of Council without his answer and proof of the allegations. I know his neglect of instructions well, for he is but a month arrived, and the Assembly has given him 2,000l., in which gift and the uses appointed (sic) he has passed a Bill, without perusing his instructions or directing the Assembly. He has no friendship for you, for he has spoken formerly very unhandsomely and reflectingly of you. I beg your favour in procuring my restoration. 1 p. Read 13 Jan. '84[-5]. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIV., No. 47, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., p. 248.]
Oct. 15. 1892. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Order of Sir Richard Dutton voiding an order of 3rd October 1683 issued by Sir John Witham, under the title of Lieutenant Governor, and re-issuing it in his own name; and ordering his declaration of the expiry of Sir John Witham's Commission as Deputy Governor to be recorded. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol XI., pp. 554, 555.]
Oct. 16. 1893. Memorandum of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Having received from the Treasurer of the late Bermuda Company a schedule of debts and a proposal that eight shares of the public lands may be alienated by the King for the discharge of the Company's debts, we recommend that the matter be referred to the Lords of the Treasury, and would suggest that if the request be granted, the Company should be answerable to the King for the overplus, and acquit him of all pretensions and demands whatever, also that the taxes levied in the Islands or by the late Company be continued for the support of the Government. Draft, with corrections. 1½ pp. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIV., No. 48.]
Oct. 16.
1894. Henry Guy to William Blathwayt. Forwarding the report of the Commissioners of the Mint (see No. 1876). Signed, Hen. Guy. 1 p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIV., No. 49, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., p. 171.]
Oct. 16. 1895. Governor Cranfield to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I have received from Mr. Blathwayt copies of your letter of 23rd July last and of the petitions of the inhabitants and of Nathaniel Weare (see Nos. 1814, 1800 I). As to the charge of erecting Courts, there is not a word in my Commission that I should erect Courts such as myself and the Assembly think necessary. But in the powers granting me the negative voice, & c., these words follow after: "And we do hereby give and grant unto you full power and "authority to erect, constitute such and so many courts of "judicature within the province as you and they shall think fit." The complainants pretend that the words and they signify the General Assembly, whereas it was the opinion of the whole Council, which then included Waldern, Vaughan, Martin, Daniel, and Gillman, now among the complainants, that the words were to be looked upon as insensible and a slip of the writer's pen. For the next clauses empower me to constitute Judges, & c., and as the clauses next before and after the clause quoted grant powers simply to me as Governor, the Council could not but think the words and they to be a mistake of the clerk that copied it. The Assembly was of opinion that it could not be intended by the words, and have so entered it in their journal. Again, I did not deliver a copy of my Commission to the Assembly, but the original for them to copy if they would, so if the words and they are written in their copy it is their won doing, for they are unaltered in the original and in another copy which I left at Boston. Nevertheless I have erected no Courts without the advice of the Council, and the fees and salaries were fixed by the Council and afterwards approved by me. There was a project of some of the Assembly and others for their own private advantage to make the Court of Common Pleas itinerant and held every three months in a different town in the province, but that being inconvenient to traders and contrary to the law of England, I appointed the Court to be constantly held at Portsmouth, the chief port and place of trade, for the convenience of merchants and mariners. No other Court has been appointed except a special Court for the trial of Gove, a Court of Equity, and a Court of Admiralty as directed by the Duke of York's Commission. The said Court has no other powers than those resembling the Westminster Courts, and the practice has been accordingly.
As to their complaints of Mr. Mason's proceedings at law with some of them, I cannot but observe that the King's Commission, upon the advice of the highest authorities in England and the disclaimer of Massachusetts, sets forth the ancient right of Mr. Mason as proprietor; yet the complainants allow him only the title of pretended proprietor, in contempt of the Royal decision. As to my duty to mediate between Mr. Mason and the inhabitants, and, failing that, to send home copies of the proceedings, the complainants have never complained to me of any hard terms imposed by Mr. Mason as to their quit-rents either before or since the trials held; but they have wholly denied his right and title and refused to become tenants. Hence I could not mediate, for matters of right must be determined by law. It was a full year after my arrival before Mr. Mason began a suit against any of them, and although upon a fair trial at law he has obtained judgment as proprietor of the lands sued for and might justly have dispossessed them, yet he offers to confirm to every man and his heirs his former estate on payment of the small quit-rent before demanded. So far he has dispossessed but one person, one George Jeffrey, a Scotchman, who fled from the province from fear of punishment for having spoken infamous words of the King. I have never interested myself in a trial between Mr. Mason and the inhabitants, nor have higher fees been set than twenty shillings of this money, which is but fifteen shillings English, for each action, and that only for payment of the judge and officers of the Court. These fees were established by the Council and are thought so reasonable that they have been adopted by the Province of Maine. The rest of the six pounds, of which they complain, is the damages and costs given by the jury to Mr. Mason for being kept out of possession, all of which amounts to but 4l. 10s. English; and if it be such a grievance to the complainants to pay costs and damages to Mr. Mason for keeping him so long out of possession, it must be a far greater injustice to him to be denied the liberty of suing for his right. As to the allegation that I have made myself part-owner of the province, it is a mistake. I have only a house and garden which I bought of one of the inhabitants for 450l. And for my coming here Mr. Mason, considering that the King made me no allowance for my support, generously allowed me 150l. a year for seven years out of his own estate, of which I have never yet received one penny, nor of the fifth part of the quit-rents. I hope without offence that Mr. Mason may dispose of his own estate without asking them leave, and that it will not be accounted a crime in me to accept what is given. As to the valuing of money, pieces-of-eight were fixed by the Council and myself at their just value, six shillings of this money, which is four shillings and sixpence English, and they are worth as much in the King's mint, or at sevenpence the ounce Troy, which is five-pence English, the taker to receive them as he pleased, by the piece or the ounce. This has been an advantage to the province by introducing more money than formerly, of which the people have no reason to complain. I sent you the order fixing these values last year.
The Article charging me with making and executing laws by the Council only being in general terms, I can only say that I know of none. Had there been such the complainants would certainly have named them. All my Orders in Council have been laid before you, and if I had had or shall have any intimation that you disapprove them, they should have been, or shall be, annulled. The order for restraining the Boston lumber trade was never enforced. As to the two persons mentioned as committed to prison without lawful cause, William Vaughan and Joseph Dow, the latter was not committed, but bound over to appear at quarter sessions for refusing to take the oath of allegiance according to the form used in England. William Vaughan had formerly beaten the King's officers when executing their duty in searching of ships, had entertained Gove the night before he rose in rebellion, had told me that he would lay his blood at the door before he would become Mr. Mason's tenant, had given me ill-language at the Council, and had accused me of exceeding my commission. Finally, Thurton, the deputy-searcher, said that he was afraid of being again beaten by Vaughan if he tried to execute his office. I therefore required sureties of Vaughan for his good behaviour, and on his refusal committed him to prison till he should do so, which I conceive to be legal. As to the last article, that of denying witnesses to be sworn, the request was never made of me. I never forbade the Secretary to grant summons to any persons, but Mr. Chamberlain tells me that Vaughan required him to set his hand to blanks, as some of them desired a blank commission of me, which Vaughan said he intended for summons, but would fill up himself. Mr. Chamberlain declined to comply with this as unwarrantable. In further proof of my defence I lay before you the enclosed depositions to show the groundlessness of these complaints. According to your letter all persons shall have liberty to depose upon oath what they know in any case, and take copies of all records or other matters relating to myself or the province. I have accordingly required Mr. Chamberlain to take copies of all such matters and take affidavits, but as yet no person has been here to demand any, though it is well known that in a few days the ship that bears this letter will sail to England. I would observe also that though Vaughan and Martyn are the ringleaders of this clamorous petition against my making Courts yet they were well contented to be judges and assistants of the two first Courts that I made. Waldern, Vaughan, Daniel, Martyn, and Stileman were present when the fees were fixed, Daniel and Vaughan when the value of pieces-of-eight was fixed, and they agreed to it. And had they done the King justice in the trial of the ketch seized by Mr. Randolph they would never have been removed. But instead of that they denied appeals in two other cases, saying that no justice could be had at the Council Board; and for this and for other indecent carriage I thought it my duty to remove them. I do not wonder at Vaughan's backwardness in doing the King right, since he now detains five hogsheads of tobacco which his men took from the custody of the law after seizure. Other irregularities in trade to the prejudice of the King's customs will appear by a journal of a voyage between this and Amsterdam without touching in England. Being restrained in these irregularities Vaughan has brought forward this malicious accusation. I am glad that I lay my defence before such judges as your Lordship. In my opinion my successor must expect to share the like calumnies if he inspects their irregularities in trade or countenances Mr. Mason. I call God to witness that I have done nothing but for the King's service and for the maintenance of justice; but to gratify the people in matters prejudicial to the King respecting trade and to deny Mr. Mason his trials is not according to my conscience, though had I done so I should not now be called upon to write this defence. Signed, Edw. Cranfield. Holograph. Four closely written pages. Endorsed. Recd. 17 Jan. '84/5. Read 19 Mar. '84/5. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIV., No. 50, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., pp. 118–128.] Annexed,
1895. I. Resolution of the Council as to the clause of Governor Cranfield's instructions concerning erection of Courts of Judicature. January 10, 1683. Certified copy by Richard Chamberlain. 1 p. Endorsed.
1895. II. Copy of a list of fees of Court, dated 19th January 1683. Certified as the foregoing. 1 p. Endorsed.
1895. III. A short supplement to the foregoing, being fees of Court for entry of an action. Scrap. Certified as the foregoing.
1895. IV. Order of the Governor in Council, that no one presume to ask other than the authorised fees.DatedDecember 22, 1683. Certified copy.
1895. V. Deposition of Thomas Thurton. As to violence offered him by William Vaughan when searching a ketch in January 1682. Sworn before Robert Mason. 1½ pp. Endorsed.
1895. VI. Deposition of Thomas Philbrick confirming No. v. Sworn 20th May 1684. ½ p.
1895. VII. Depositions of Daniel Mathews and Thomas Thurton against Robert Wadleigh for stirring up insurrection. Sworn before Richard Chamberlain, 23rd May 1684. 1 p. Endorsed.
1895. VIII. Deposition of Walter Barefoot, that he took the original of the Governor's Commission to, the Assembly to be copied, and that the words of the clause for erecting Courts were unaltered. Sworn before Richard Cham berlain 24th October 1684. Certified copy. 1 p.
1895. IX. Deposition of John Hinks that he had heard Governor Cranfield order the Secretary to furnish copies of records to any persons having causes depending that might require them. Sworn before Richard Chamberlain, 30th October 1684. Scrap.
1895. X. Deposition of the same as to words used by William Vaughan to the Governor, that he would have the rights of the Commission. Sworn as the foregoing. Scrap.
1895. XI. Deposition of the same. That Robert Mason suggested the order fixing the value of money and removed the Governor's doubt as to his power to do so without the Assembly. Sworn as the foregoing. Scrap.
1895. XII. Deposition of the same, that the Governor to the best of his memory, gave no order about settling fees, nor was present at the Council when they were settled, but afterwards approved them. Sworn as the foregoing. ½ p.
1895. XIII. Deposition of Robert Wadleigh. That the Governor gave the Secretary orders to let him have such copies of the records as he desired. The fees were reasonable Sworn before Richard Chamberlain, 1st November 1684. 1 p.
1895. XIV. Deposition of Joseph Rayn, confirming the scene between Cranfield and Vaughan (see No. IX.). Sworn as the foregoing. ½ p.
1895. XV. Deposition of Robert Wadleigh in confirmation of Barefoot's statement in No. VII. Sworn as the foregoing. 1 p.
1895. XVI. Copy of the proceedings against William Vaughan for his treatment of Thomas Thurton. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 4 Dec. 1686. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIV., Nos. 50 I.–XVI.]
Oct. 17. 1896. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Ordered that the Commanders of the four troops at the heads of the rivers have powers to impress men and horses to carry despatches, to avoid the weakening of their troops by using troopers for this service. Order to prohibit the export of corn atter the 10th November in consequence of the bad harvest. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., p. 207.]
[Oct. 18.] 1897. A collection of papers, used in his vindication by Governor Cranfield (see following abstract and No. 1895).
1897. I. Deposition of Thomas Thurton. As to treasonable words spoken by Richard Waldern, and violence offered him by William Vaughan in the execution of his duty. Sworn before Richard Chamberlain, 14th October 1684. 1 p. Endorsed.
1897 II. Deposition of Walter Barefoot. Testifying to the reduction of legal expenses by Governor Cranfield. Sworn as the foregoing. 15th October 1684. 1 p. Endorsed.
1897. III. Deposition of Robert Mason. Testifying to the integrity of the Governor's commission when presented to the Assembly; and to the establishment of fees by the Council without participation of the Governor. Sworn as the foregoing. 15th October 1684. 1 p. Endorsed.
1897. IV. Certificate of Richard Chamberlain. As to his refusing his signature to blank papers brought to him by William Vaughan and others. 15th October 1684. ½ p. Endorsed.
1897. V. Order of Governor Cranfield for releasing Richard Waldern and William Vaughan from prison, it being alleged that several persons have been imprisoned to obstruct the obtaining of proofs of the charges against him. Dated 16th October 1684. 1¼ pp. Certified copy. Endorsed.
1897. VI. Deposition of James Sherlock. To the effect that Walderne owned that Governor Cranfield had never refused him, but rather offered him facilities for getting his witnesses sworn. Sworn before Richard Chamberlain. 17th October 1684. 1 p. Endorsed.
1897. VII. Deposition of Robert Mason, that he was the first who suggested to the Governor to fix the value of Spanish money. Depositions of Walter Barefoot and Robert Elliot in confirmation. Sworn as the foregoing. 18th October 1684. 1 p. Endorsed.
1897. VIII. Deposition of Robert Elliot, of words spoken by the master of the ship who brought letters from Whitehall; who quoted Mr. Randolph to the effect that if Governor Cranfield knew what was in those letters he would be glad to have them made away with. Sworn as the foregoing. 18th October 1684. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 7 Jan. 84/5.
1897. IX. Deposition of the same, that Governor Cranfield was not present in Council when the fees of Court were established. Sworn as the foregoing. 18th October 1684. Scrap. Endorsed.
1897. X. Deposition of Walter Barefoot, that Governor Cranfield offered Richard Waldern all facilities for swearing evidence and obtaining copies of records. Sworn as the foregoing. 18th October 1684. ½ p. Endorsed. Recd. 7 Jan. 84/5. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIV., Nos. 51 I.–X.]
Oct. 20. 1898. Robert Mason to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I have seen the petition of Nathaniel Weare against the Governor and of the inhabitants of New Hampshire against myself. Though I have not your order to do so, I beg leave to send you this answer thereto. I shall not go into the question of my title as Proprietor, which gave you so much trouble, and was so grudgingly acknowledged by Massachusetts. Since that acknowledgment the people seem to look upon themselves as their own proprietors. It was not till I had been a year in the place that I took any action against my tenants, having meantime used all endeavours to come to a fair agreement. Many acknowledged my right, and agreed for their quit-rent, but several opposed me, chiefly those who had got large tracts of land by grant from the Government of Massachusetts, which title they insist on. With these I first began to take suit, choosing one out of each town, that the rest might see on what ground I stood and what defence the tenant could make. The verdict was in my favour, but I publicly offered in the Court, and have done the same on all trials since, that if any one were dissatisfied with the verdict I could give him a trial at the Council Board, or at any of the Courts at Westminster, and in the meantime would stay execution. Not a man has appealed for a new trial, but they have endeavoured to blacken me by false reports and clamorous petitions. However, notwithstanding the perverse obstinacy of the people I have sued, I never put any terms on them that I had not demanded before, and that others pay who have agreed with me; nor have I dispossessed but one man, a factious Scot, who has lived here only for a few years. Even after judgment given I stayed execution for five months awaiting his compliance, and on the very day that I took possession offered him a deed for the house on a quit-rent of ten shillings yearly, though the house is worth twenty pounds a year. He said he would never own me as proprietor, and bid me do my worst, for if I dispossessed him it would not be long before times changed and he would have it again. He added, as to the King's commission, that the King would have written as much for him as he had for me, if he had given him a little money, for which infamous words a warrant was taken out for his apprehension; whereupon he fled to Boston. Of those whom I have sued not one half have yet paid for my costs and charges in the suit, none exceeding 4l. 10s., and many less. The defendant is not at one penny of expense till the cause is issued, and then the costs of Court are taxed. Heretofore a common person was allowed greater costs than have been allowed to me. From many I have taken deal boards in lieu of money, which I have transported to Boston for sale; nor were any committed to prison for not paying the execution till after Weare had left for England, and then only three persons, whom I released on their giving their notes to pay in deal boards or dried fish at money price, which notes are not yet satisfied, so forbearing have I been. As to Weare himself I did not ask for my costs till six months after judgment given, a kindness that these complainants are seldom guilty of, their manner being to take out execution in twelve hours, and then pay or prison, or, what is worse, take a noble for ninepence. I have always demanded payment before I took out execution to save the marshal's fees, which generally amount to twenty shillings, but most of the people are so obstinately wilful that they will rather damage themselves than yield to a fair compliance. For the arable pasture and woodlands I ask but twopence the acre rent, which is very small, and besides I grant everyone free liberty to feed cattle in my woods, and to cut wood for building, fencing, and firing free of charge. I submit it to your Lordships how just their accusations are. Nathaniel Weare cannot deny a word that I have written, yet all shall be proved on oath. As to the names on the petitions, several of them are boys and strangers, and such as having not a foot of land in the province; their number even so is small compared with that of the inhabitants who have not complained. Some of these have denied that they signed; others have since been on the jury, and have found for me; others have agreed without suing, and many profess that they never heard the petition read. I find among the names five of those who took part in Gove's rebellion, and were pardoned. All that I have done has been in accordance with law, and with the greatest tenderness and moderation that may be unless I should let them alone and demand nothing. 2½ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIV., No. 52, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., pp. 131–136.]
Oct. 21.
1899. Deputy Governor Cony to the Earl of Nottingham. In my last I said that I had some hopes of quietness till further news from England, but now the country is again in confusion owing to some letters lately written to Mr. Bish (whom I unfortunately brought over with me), Mr. Sam Trott, old Righton, and Richards, the late Speaker of our Assembly, from Mr. Milbourne the Fifth Monarchist, and one Mr. George Turfrey of London, both of them fled not long since to New England. The contents of these letters are that the Bermuda Company is broke—that is the very word. On the receipt of these letters Bish and Trott invited Tucker, the Secretary, and myself to the funeral of the Company, saying that there was burnt claret enough for all comers. Most of the people now disown the Company in consequence, and two of my officers have laid down their commissions, Mr. Bish saying that now legally I ought no more to be owned as Governor. Whereupon one of my captains, Christopher Burrass, on the 8th instant, came privately into St. George's above five in the evening with twelve men, and late in the evening, while I was walking before my door, drew upon me. I had no sword, but I parried as well as I could with a little switch that was in my hand, and retiring preserved myself, but the point of his sword cut my coat about the left breast. His companions then came behind me, and struck up my heels. I made shift to recover, and got somehow a staff or halbert into my hands, I know not which, but to little purpose, for they struck up my heels again and Burrass broke his sword upon me as I was falling. The best of the mobile stamped on my body and right leg, of which I am somewhat recovered, but my leg is in a very sad condition. The watch was set, but not one would come to my help, but at last my foot-boy and one of my blacks came up and tried to persuade them to let me rise, but they knocked down my black three times and my foot-boy twice. More of my blacks then came up and carried me off. Two days later I was informed of a new design of Burrass to surprise me and remove me dead or alive from the command, as no longer authorised to govern now that the Company was broke. This is a mere pretext, for they aim at the sole government themselves and to choose a Governor, saying that the King will not concern himself with an island of rocks, and such poor people. If the Company has lost its patent, pray acquaint the King with the state of things, or the Island will be totally ruinated or betrayed to the Spaniard. True, the Castle and three forts are a good defence to eastward, but the rest lies open, and all the secret channels are published by the inhabitants to every stranger. We have many villainous wretches among us who would be glad of any occasion to get money, and many Bermudians who have deserted the country and are abroad privateering. It was a Bermudian who piloted the Spaniards into Providence, and he is now living among us, having bought land. On some suspicious words that he let fall I arrested this man, William Bell, and took good security that he should be forthcoming when wanted. He ought to be sent for to England and examined, for I believe he could not clear himself. The inhabitants are drawing up a petition to the King to let them live under the same laws as when under the Company, for they are a free people. I have not yet seen it, but I am told that they expect my hand to it or I must expect worse than I have yet suffered. I know not what I may be forced to do to keep things quiet. Pray warn the King that if these people have the same liberty as under the Company the country will be lost or ruined. No Governor of his will be obeyed, and the Privy Council will be perpetually troubled by their impertinence and clamour, for they are giddy, wilful people that know not what they would have and would live under no Government. Richard Stafford, one of my Council, is a dangerous person; so is Dereham, the late Governor. We have frequently had false alarms raised by the sons of these men, and others. I have punished the rest, but the sons of these two have absconded, and their fathers slight the crime, calling it a trick of youth. What the meaning of these false alarms is I know not, except to see how the people turn out in arms. It is expensive in the matter of powder, and troublesome to the few that wish to live honestly and peaceably. The arms sent out by the Company have been many of them taken away by persons deserting the country, and this in spite of my care. But several ships will not be searched by my order. Some men convert their firelocks into pestles to beat their corn with, so that the country is defenceless but for the Castle and forts. Moreover, many of the people will not be exercised by their officers, saying that they have as much land as their officers, and are as good as they and better. Such is our condition. The people expect a new Governor from the King, who will notice their ways no more than they wish, hoping that he will connive at defrauding the King of his dues and let every man do what he pleases. After the loss of Providence I cut down such timber as I could find on St. George's and mounted twelve great guns, ten of which have lain in dust and water for years. I also built a stone breastwork, but my guns were no sooner mounted than Bish and Trott declared it treason for me to fortify without the King's orders, or for any person to help me, so I was obliged to desist. I paid the expense, fifteen pounds, out of my own pocket, nor do I think that I shall be reimbursed, the Council saying that I did it without their advice. Yet there was an Act to raise money for fortifications, though none has been raised for ten years past. But for the expenses of the Assembly a contribution was levied of half a-crown a day while it sat. If I am guilty of treason in fortifying these Islands I hope the King will pardon me, for I never knew it. There is great trouble here with lawsuits also. Signed, Richard Cony.
Postscript.—I beg that I may be informed what salary and perquisites are due to me. My family and I are not able to live in our house any longer. It is so rotten and leaky that we eat and sleep in water, while the slaves die on my hands with wet and cold. I found them naked, but have clothed them well out of my own pocket. Had Dereham left them clothes I should have kept them so. I have several times written the Company to ask if they think fit that I should be at this expense. Dereham is going to sue me for 20l. worth of corn that I reaped this year because it was planted before my arrival. It is surely rather hard that I should find no house to put my head in, have to clothe the slaves, and pay 20l. to the late Governor. But I must submit. The Company told me I should find plenty of their stores of everything. So far I have leaned on my own purse for everything. I should have hired a house in the town for this winter but cannot get one, so must abide all storms. The Sheriff says he has no orders to repair nor build. He says he spends the powder money on the Island's service, but not a penny will the Island get. Moreover the Sheriff pays no one, for I am wearied with complaints, and try in vain to move the Council. I hope the Company will stand by me for I have stood by them. 5½ closely written pages. Endorsed. Read 23 and 27 Feb. 84/5. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIV., No. 53, and the greater part extracted in Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XVII., pp. 115–123.]
Oct. 21.
1900. Minutes of Council of Bermuda. Several attestations as to the words and actions of Henry Bish on the report of the dissolution of the Bermuda Company. Dated 17th and 21st October 1684. The wholepages. Endorsed. Recd. 17 July '85. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIV., No. 54.]
Oct. 23. 1901. Minutes of Council and Assembly of St. Christopher's. The Council sent down proposals, but there was no quorum of Assembly. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 48.]
Oct. 23. 1902. Rule in Chancery confirming the judgment against the Charter of Massachusetts. Copy. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIV., No. 55.]
Oct. 23. 1903. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Order for payment of the rent due for Fontabelle Plantation [Government House]. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XI., pp. 555, 556.]
Oct. 24.
1904. Order of the King in Council. Referring the petition of Robert Wadleigh, for compensation for his expense in coming over to England, to Lords of Trade and Plantations for report. Signed, John Nicholas. Recd. 6 Nov., discussed 20 Dec. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXI., p. 211.]
Oct. 25. 1905. Lords Proprietors of Carolina to Governor Sir Richard Kyrle. Warrant for grant of 3,000 acres to Mons. Chavasse, "a person well skilled in drugs and other secrets of nature." Signed, Craven. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXII., p. 39.]
Oct. 25. 1906. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Order for all customs laid on foreign wines to be paid in cash or bills of exchange, while the duty on rum and brandy may be received in rum or brandy at a fixed rate. The Council recommended an order to the officers of militia that they shall agree as to the days of muster, so that no two conjoining counties shall muster on the same day. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., p. 208.]
[Oct. 27.] 1907. Captain Francis Wheler, R.N., of H.M.S. Tiger, to William Blathwayt. Answers to the queries annexed to the instructions given to the commander of the convoy concerning Newfoundland:—1. A list of inhabitants and their servants is enclosed. These latter change from year to year and convenant with their masters for the fishing season or the year at high rates. The best of the sport is over by the 20th August, but they fish on till November when the ice and snow comes and then they do little but provide fuel against the cold. I have answered at large how they keep the Western Charter. 2. The Colony cannot support itself. The earth, or rather the rock, produces no more than enough to keep a few cattle in summer, which must be slaughtered during the winter for want of forage. The place is provisioned from England, New England, and Ireland. 3. At St. John's they go two miles to fetch their wood owing to the demand for fuel, but elsewhere there is no scarcity. It is the general complaint that the adventurers' stages are pulled down in the winter, and I am sure it is partly true. The inhabitants are so united that the offenders cannot be known. But I find that the fishermen build their stages slight, and five months' bad weather and ice tear the posts down. The inhabitants prevent the whole work from perishing by repairs, but the damage to the stages makes the ships come a month before they need, and this can only be prevented by a magistrate on the spot. 4. Every inhabitant that keeps boats has his own stage, which he keeps always; but in all ports the ships have room enough. I find that in spite of an Order in Council there are several warehouses built close to the sea which take up good room for stages, and would be much better further back. On the fishing-places there is room for twice the number of ships. 6. All clothing and tackle is brought from England; salt, liquors, and provisions are from France and New England. 7. There is no sort of arable or pasture land in the Colony, nor any fur trade except towards Cape Bonavista. 8. The New England trade is considerable, chiefly rum and molasses. If Bills of Exchange are taken it is for English goods; if fish, the fish is taken to Barbados. The rum is pernicious, for it makes planters and fishermen drink out all they are worth in the winter to a shameful degree. Other liquor comes from England and wines from Fayal; but I believe it would be impossible to continue the trade, for ten hours in the boats every day in the summer and the intolerable cold of the winter makes living hard without strong drink. But the worst thing is that the New England men carry away many of the fishermen and seamen, who marry in New England and make it their home. 9. The wages paid to the servants are so high that planters can hardly help getting behindhand. An account enclosed from an intelligent planter explains this. They make something by the liquor, which they sell at a very dear rate, but many of the servants having families in England are not very prodigal. Certainly there is hardly a planter in the country who is not a great worse than nothing, but they are bound to go on fishing or the merchants will sell them no provisions for the winter. 10. The New England men do not fish on this coast though a great deal on their own, and have a fish trade with Portugal. 11. The fish are sold to the sack-ships, and so they go home with their train-oil and men. I have calculated the cost and profits of one of their ships. But the trade being carried on for the most part by men who take up their money at bottomry at 20 per cent. (very usual in the West country) they are obliged to sell dearer. Able merchants would turn the trade to better account. The men called boat-keepers in the list do not fish on the ships' account but are hired by particular men. 12. The list of sack-ships is annexed. 15. All men employed by masters of ships are upon bargain to be paid in England, which keeps them from staying in Newfoundland. Occasionally they stay, but last year there were but 120. 14. My answers as to the Western Charter are annexed. 15. Placentia is the best French fishing-place. They get to work six weeks before us, and take such catches that they are generally gone before the end of July. Their ships are large, some of them six and thirty guns. Their victualling is rather cheaper than ours. No fur trade. 16. The inhabitants are much fewer than our colony. 17. The planters are of no use to fishing except to secure their boats in the winter. 18. The French catch 300. quintals to a boat of four men, while we catch but 100 quintals. The usual price is six livres. The French catch more, victual cheaper, finish earlier, and get the first of the market, so they profit more by the trade than we. 19. The French markets are France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy. 20. Their trade generally increases except during war with Spain. 21. The French inhabitants are as negligent about defence as our Colony. They are supplied with salt provisions from France and with rum and molasses from New England. 22. A few English live among the French, but there is no correspondence between their Colony and ours. 23. No foreigner fishes on the Eastern Coast except on the bank fifty leagues from shore, which the French frequent much. The French have a Governor at Placentia, who is of great use. The French have no convoy to Newfoundland, the ships being strong. At Trepasse English and French fish together without quarrelling. 24. I learn that the French are numerous up the river of Canada, and have two good forts. They do not fish, but trade with the Indians for fur. The French begin to fish about ten leagues to north of Cape Bonavista. Being at utter defiance with the Indians in those parts they do not stay for the winter, and all the summer have their arms by them. They have a large fleet and twenty armed boats on the Coast to guard against the Indian canoes; any man of whatever nation who pays his proportion of this expense may fish on the coast. They catch 200 quintals to a boat of five men, and here their trade is worse than ours and decaying much. 26. The French have the advantage of us in the fishing trade at Placentia for reasons already given. Our trade decays by its being overstocked with sack-ships, for it is plain by the annexed account that the fishing ships profit greatly. The great plenty of fish that is housed this winter in Newfoundland for want of sack-ships reminds me that the fish which is taken one year is held as good as any next year. If the adventurers would sacrifice a year's profits they could send their sack-ships in the spring and get the first of the market. Signed, Fra. Wheler. 14 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 27 Oct. 1684. Annexed,
1907. I. Observations of Captain Wheler as to the Western Charter and the articles which are kept or broken in Newfoundland. 1st article is kept; 2nd is broken every day by seamen throwing ballast into the harbours; 3rd is broken by the destruction of stages in the winter; 4th is kept; 5th is kept. The fishermen now use cask instead of fats to carry home the train oil; 6th to 9th are kept; 10th is so absolutely broken that hardly a house does not sell drink. 11th is broken; if the people do assemble, it is not to hear divine service. 12th is interfered with by an Order in Council of 16th January 1678. Of the additional articles, 1st and 2nd are kept; the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th are interfered with by Orders in Council; as to the 7th the practice differs for fishermen and passengers; the 8th is kept; the 9th is superseded by Order in Council; the 10th is broken by the boat-keepers, who take a stage though they have but two men; as to the 11th, the Vice- and Rear-Admiral take upon them to command, but only to serve their own turn. The poor inhabitants are in misery for want of a Governor. Those that have most servants take what they please from the poor by force, and there is no redress in the absence of a king's ship. I have had a hundred complaints before me, and when I have spoker to the admirals they would not do justice, but answered that they wouldn't trouble themselves; 14th and 15th I can give no account. 4 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 27 October '84.
1907. II. Estimate of fitting out ten boats, and cost of a ship according to the usual custom of the adventurers. Total cost, 984l. 12s. 0d. Total profit, 1,350l. Net profit, 365l. 8s. 0d. 2 pp. Endorsed as the foregoing.
1907. III. Cost of fitting out two boats of five men. Total cost, 268l. 15s. 0d. Value of produce, 216l. Loss, 52l. 158. Endorsed as the foregoing.
1907. IV. List of the fishing ships at each port in Newfoundland. Thirty-six ships, all from Devonshire ports, except five from Poole and one from Piscataqua, whose Captain has a Devonshire name. 2 pp. Endorsed as the foregoing.
1907. V. List of the sack-ships loaded at the several ports of Newfoundland. Sixty-nine ships. The great majority from Devonshire ports, but eight from New England. 2 pp. Endorsed as the foregoing.
1907. VI. List of boats, men, stages, and catch of fish at the several ports of Newfoundland. 2 pp.
1907. VII. Numbers of the English planters at each port in Newfoundland. 197 men, 177 women, 199 children, 1,452 servants, 304 boats. 2 pp. Endorsed. Read 27 October '84. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIV., Nos. 56, 56 I.–VII.]
Oct. 27. 1908. William Blathwayt to William Poyar, William Freeman, Christopher Jeaffreson, and other merchants of the Leeward Isles. Forwarding the Act of Nevis for appraisement of lands, houses, &c., and the Act of Montserrat to prevent inconvenience arising from accounts, for their perusal and observations. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., pp. 173–174.]
Oct. 28.
1909. Sir William Stapleton to Lords of Trade and Plantations. The new Governor of St. Thomas arrived here the 7th, and left the 11th. I have helped him with a good sloop, armed with four guns, an officer and thirty-two soldiers, so as to prevent the pirate from making his escape, the Dane's ship being a heavy sailer. I am informed that the fort is quietly surrendered and that Esmit is in custody. The Governor's letter reporting the taking possession of the fort on the 13th is just arrived. I send a copy of the new Commission in which I observe some words encroaching upon my commission, and in particular on a clause in my last instructions, viz., circumjacentiumque inhabitatarum insularum; for in the King's name Tortola is inhabitata, i.e., habitata. St. John, St. James, Crab Island, &c., are circumjacentes insuloe, of which I have taken possession. Crab Island is the best of all the Virgins, if not better than them all together. It is a small traject of Porto Rico. When I reach home I may be able to give you an account of the Virgin Islands, though I have no ship to transport me. Let me entreat you to send a frigate to the Leeward Islands, and if H.M.S. Diamond, now at Barbados, be homeward bound in March, I would ask for conveyance for myself and family. Signed, Wm. Stapleton. Holograph. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 24 Jan. '84/5. Read 31st. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIV., p. 57, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., pp. 176–177.]
Oct. 29.
New York.
1910. An explanation of the Continued Bill for defraying the requisite charges of the Government. The text of the Bill itself. 4 pp. Endorsed. Read 1 Apr. 85. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIV., No 58.]
Oct. 30. 1911. Minutes of Council and Assembly of St. Christopher's. The Governor and Council proposed that half the negroes be sent to work at the fort on Cleverly hill for six weeks from the first Monday in November. The Assembly referred to its former answer of 16th September (see No. 1864). Proposals of the Assembly: 1. That the order as to the endorsement of values seized on the back of judgments for executions be published. 2. That order be given to the Marshal to make a modest demand before levying executions. 3. That the Acts against engrossment and for a levy on all whites over fourteen years old be forthwith published. 4. That Members of Assembly be allowed to join in signing all orders to the Treasurer for payment of public money. 5. That the Act for an impost on imported liquors be published. Answers of the Council: 1. The Governor has resolved to sign no execution without examination. 2. This will be done. 3. The Governor must see the Act first. 4. Not approved of. 5. An Act to this effect to be forthwith drawn and sent home for approval [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 48.]
Oct. 31.
1912. Sir John Witham to the Earl of Sunderland. I send a duplicate of a former letter, wherein I begged your favour in a hardship (I think an injustice), that Sir Richard Dutton would put upon me. I implore your kindness to procure that the offices, authorities, and "preheminencies" that I held and enjoyed in this Government may be restored to me. I enclose the copy of the order Sir Richard Dutton made against me, with my address to the King in reply thereto. I trust that the King will accept my answer. Two ships were despatched away before I was allowed to have a copy or know what Sir R. Dutton's allegations against me were, so that Sir R. Dutton's pretensions might be before the King before I could reply. I imagine that they have no great weight in them, the true reason proceeding from prejudice only. One reason is that I was too diligent in the discharge of my trust; but the principal cause of prejudice was that he had hopes that I should give him my salary gratis, whereas in truth my extraordinary expenses in the Government exceed my salary, which I have not yet received. Sir Richard discoursed that I had gained more by the Government than he, and that he thought it unreasonable for me to expect any salary out of his. I think it far more unreasonable that he should expect me to give up what the King has granted me. Sir R. Dutton has gained not less than 9,000l. by this Government, there being 12,537l. that he has received, as the public accounts show, besides private gifts, which are known only to himself. So it is plain that he has made a great mistake in calculating the sums that he has received. He has not been actually in the service of the Government above two years, while I was there sixteen months, for which my salary is 812l. 10s., which is vastly different from his receipts. Moreover, he diverted all chances of perquisites from me. He forbade me to call an Assembly, and he put creatures of his own into all places of profit, who reaped all the perquisites, and have never paid nor accounted for anything to me. Thus it is sufficiently plain that he has gained a fair sum. He took the Government for profit; I had no object but the King's service, and took my salary only to pay the extraordinary expenses. Sir Richard must have left England full of malice against me, for he knew all the reasons that he alleges for my suspension before he sailed, and could have laid them before the King. But his design was plainly to come here and suspend me himself, knowing that it would be some time before I could apply to my honourable friends. All his objections against me were for matters acted long before the date of the Royal Warrant appointing me first of the Council, and President in case of his absence or death. Pray preserve for me this warrant granted by the King's favour, which is threatened by Sir R. Dutton. Signed, Jno. Witham. 2½ pp. Endorsed. Read 13 Jan. 1684–5. Annexed,
1912. I. Extract from the Minutes of the Council of Barbados of 10th October 1684, recording Witham's suspension from the Council (see No. 1890). Below it, Sir John Witham's answer to the objections of Sir Richard Dutton against him. 1. As to the first objection, about taking the oath of Deputy Governor, it is to be considered who should administer this oath. I say that Sir R. Du?ton should have administered it, but he did not. I did not know that it was necessary to take any such oath or I should readily have done so. I took the oaths of allegiance and supremacy and the test within fourteen days, and it was not for six weeks or two months that Colonel Thomas Walrond started the question whether I had taken the oath of Deputy-Governor or not. I told him to show me such an oath, but he could not, so it was supposed that Sir Richard must have carried it off. I should have taken it if I had found it, but I could not frame an oath for myself. 2. As to the second objection about the title of Lieutenant-Governor. Your Majesty's Royal Warrant of 10th October 1682, wherein you granted me half the salary and perquisites of Governor, styles me Lieutenant Governor or Commander-in-Chief. Till that time I was style 1 Deputy-Governor, but I thought it fitter to take the title your Majesty had given me. As Lieutenant-Governor I established your Court of Pleas of the Crown in this Island, which Court you have ratified. Why does Sir Richard Dutton scruple my other proceedings under that title? In truth the true reason is not one of titles, but because I will not submit to some of his demands. The whole, one very closely written page. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIV., Nos. 59, 59 I., and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 248–253.]
[Oct.?] 1913. Articles of complaint preferred by William Milbourne and William Righton against Deputy Governor Thomas Cony. 1. On Cony's arrival, 29th January 1684, certain articles against Henry Dereham for treasonable language were shown to him. Cony swore by God that Dereham had said nothing but the truth. 2. He openly declared that the negroes were as good subjects as the Assembly-men, saying that the Company and Assembly were too saucy in making orders to restrain their insolence. 3. He took from one Joseph Milbourne a negro slave, after twelve years' possession, and converted him to his own use, as also another negro from another man, denying Milbourne a replevin according to law. 4. He imposes new oaths of allegiance and supremacy to ensnare people and committed a Quaker to the Marshal for refusing them; he also committed a person, who only desired that the oaths might be explained, to the Marshal. 5. He claims to hold the King's commission, and that he may do as he pleases, though the Company fail, and enforces new and unprecedented fees and impositions, e.g., on every master of a ship five shillings, every passenger two shillings, and every poor seaman five shillings before he allows them to depart. 6. He has granted an illegal warrant for seizing the goods of one John Stone, and imprisoned him for not obeying it. 7. He sells the powder paid by incoming ships, and converts to his own use. 8. He forces all public houses to take licences, exacting the same for himself and others. 9. He curses, swears, and strikes men in his drunken debauches, which are frequent. Signed. 3½ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. LIV., No. 60.]