America and West Indies: January 1686

Pages 135-147

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 12 1685-1688 and Addenda 1653-1687. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1899.

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January 1686

Jan. 2. 531. Attestation; that James Smailes, of the ship Bachelor's Adventure, voluntarily broke bulk and delivered to Richard Phillips part of the cargo without force or compulsion of any kind. Signed, Richd. Cony, Jno. Bee. Scrap. Endorsed. Recd. 10 May 86. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 1.]
Jan. 3.
532. Captain Bartholomew Sharpe to the Earl of Sunderland. I have been driven into this harbour by want of provisions. The Island affords plenty enough, yet I cannot be accommodated for our money, though I have the King's commission, unless we side with the peers of the land, as about twelve of the principal men pretend to call themselves, against the King and Governor. They affront them daily and impudently to such a degree that I should think myself a traitor if I did not seek out means whereby the King may become acquainted, and this most loyal Governor assisted with power suitable to his desire to serve his prince, for which they owe him a mortal hatred. Holograph. 1 p. Signed, Bartholomew Sharpe, comr. of the Josiah frigate. Signed also by, Paul Abney Letnt., Thomas Walley Mastr, John England Commander of the Frances brig. Endorsed. Recd. 2 Mar. 85–6. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 2.]
Jan. 3.
533. Governor Richard Cony to Lords of Trade and Plantations. The first five pages of this letter are a duplicate of a letter of 8 October (see No. 396), after which the letter continues: In October last the Deputy Sheriff came to me with William Peniston, George Bascom. William Keele and others to ask me to permit the country to send its tobacco to Barbados or elsewhere to buy arms and ammunition for the militia to defend their country, having no money wherewith to buy, and that meanwhile I would permit them out of the magazine. They then demanded of me the keys of the magazine and the great guns before my door, saying that they were bought with the country's money and belonged to the country. As a matter of fact the country has no right to them, as they were taken off wrecks many years since. They then affirmed that the trust of the magazine was in the Deputy Sheriff and not in me. The Deputy Sheriff went on to say that he was also Treasurer, and that I ought not to choose any one for that office. He then read a pass, and said that in virtue thereof he was empowered to dispose of Crownlands and all the King's revenues, stores and concerns here. After several contests he and his company at length departed, but all of them except the Sheriff returned two hours later. What passed between us is enclosed. It happened to be at the time when news reached us of a great army raised by the Duke of Monmouth and of the defeat of the King's forces. It was whispered about the country that now or never was the time, that the Duke was rightful king and no papist, and that the Pope was the whore of Babylon and drunk with the blood of the saints, and much more such stuff. I ordered all officers to keep a strict guard against a rising, for in Cromwell's time they were at that game, and one of the ringleaders was Richard Stafford. The Sheriff, Bascom and Lea, disposed of two shares of Crown land to Mr. Vaughan and Mr. Fowlls, an Independent minister, for their preaching. I have counter-ordered this grant, but I question if I shall be obeyed. The Sheriff has many relatives in the Island, so his private friends will be served and he himself a secret gainer. Mr. Bond is a secret enemy to this country, and I know not what to do with him. It is vain to imprison him, for the whole country are his friends. I daily wish for the King's orders or for redress; meanwhile I am constrained to be passive for fear of mutiny. Doubtless they intended to have seized the ports, great guns and magazine had not the news arrived of the Duke of Monmouth's imprisonment. I believe Mr. Bond and Mr. Vaughan had some foreknowledge of the late troubles in England. When I arrived here Vaughan professed himself of the Church of England, and read Divine service accordingly. Before I came he did not; but after my coming he tole me that his conscience bade him conform. He would not administer the Sacrament because he was not in high orders, and he told me his one object in going to England was to obtain orders; then if he could not live by the ministry he would turn merchant. A letter arrived addressed to the first clergyman in Bermuda, sent apparently by the Bishop of London. None would receive it except old Wiliam Righton, once a preacher, now turned lawyer, by trade a tailor, and for many years servant to Hugh Peters. I could not allow him to open it. When Vaughan returned from England we expected the Prayer-book and the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Few of the people knew what it is except by hearsay. But he flung off his canonical gown, and atter a chapter read by a silly clerk and a psalm irreverently sung, stepped into the pulpit. The parish is so much troubled at it that few or none will contribute their benevolence, which he hoped would have far exceeded the two shares of land formerly allowed him by the Company.
Neither the Sheriff nor the country will give me any account of Crown-lands, whale-fishing or the King's shares. They obstruct all settlement of the country and prefer to live in their accustomed way of confusion, disorder and cheating. About six weeks since Captain Bartholomew Sharpe came into St. George's harbour with a commission from Sir W. Stapleton. He brought no prize, only a few Indians which he offered for sale. He carries ten guns, eight patararoes and a hundred men. I could not persuade the people to send their address to the King, after I had told them the errors in the paper that they had drawn up, but would have had me sign that. Richard Stafford told me that my Commission was a patent and ought therefore to be exposed for every man to take a copy. I suspect Bond to be the author of this point in law. So they are nibbling at my Commission as they were at the late Company's patent. Some of the justices of the peace questioned my authority to call Courts. I beg that you will call Captain Bee, commander of the magazineship, before you, to declare how the people have behaved during his nine months stay among them. I have also received a petition for powder, which I enclose. They will not buy it, but expect the King to provide it, yet they use all inventions to defraud the King's customs, led by the example of the Under-Sheriff. I suppose they wish the forts and castles to be unfurnished. I know well that two pounds of powder is enough for a miltia-soldier's stock for one year. If the Island were attacked it would be taken before that quantity had been fired by every soldier. Ever since my Commission came I had bidden them buy their powder; they want neither money nor opportunity. Vaughan treats the Crown-land granted to him for preaching as his own, under pretence of arrears due to him from the Company.
I sent part of this letter by Captain Christopher Potter of the pink John and Samuel. After leaving the harbour he caught up two of my household slaves, who were fishing, and carried them off. I beg that Potter may be enquired after and the slaves seized, for they are the King's. Now I have none but old slaves left; the two stolen were all that I could expect labour from. So far I have not settled any Court of Judicature. I have had enough to do to keep the country from downright rebellion, nor have I dared to call a General Sessions till I have the King's orders. It would do little good, and we could not expect an honest jury. About two months since I called a Court to decide a difference between the master of a vessel and his merchant. The cause went on the merchant's side, and the master doubting that he should be cast, by old Righton's instigation, as is supposed, disowned the Court. His vessel is seized in execution and himself imprisoned, and the master, disappointed of his voyage, is forced to remain here with his cargo. The master, whose name is James Smailes, hoisted his colours reversed on hearing of the Duke of Monmouth's defeat, though his vessel was then riding before my door. This animated the fanatic faction greatly. The country is too full of inhabitants, there is not land nor employment for such a multitude, so the country is pestered with thieves and idle persons. I beg to suggest that no man in the Island be allowed to keep more than ten slaves. They are so numerous as to be a danger, and ten slaves will do the work of any freeholder in the country. I suggest also that Captain Bee or some other be employed to every year to transport our tobacco to England. This will be a great security for the King's Customs against fraud, for now that the Company is dissolved, no magazine-ships will be sent by them, which is just what the inhabitants desired, that they may have the better excuse to ship their produce to neighbouring Colonies and so to foreign countries, which is still their practice. There should also be a commission to search for and seize all smuggled tobacco or prohibited goods such as timber, for the timber of the Island is destroyed for want of it. Also there should be power to deport offenders to England and to prohibit exportation in another bottom. This Captain John Bee has been several times employed by the Company, and understands the people well. He is a loyal and honest and will look to the King's interest. Another French vessel has been lately stranded here and became a prey to the people. She was fired for the sake of her iron. The culprit is suspected, but I cannot obtain sufficient evidence against him, for the people are all akin by consanguinity and villainy. The principal person in the vessel, Mons. Nouart, intends to apply to you for redress. I have enclosed an account of the business to Lord Sunderland. Vaughan has been threatening some of the King's tenants that he will buy their land, and that is one of his chief errands to England. The selling of the inhabitants' land by the Company was the principal ground of the quarrel between them. It is the great aim of the people to buy all the Crown lands, if the King will sell them, which I conceive would be very prejudicial. So long as they are tenants they can be in some measure awed. Signed, Richd. Cony. Holograph. 8½ very closely written pages. Endorsed. Recd. 2 March 1685–6. Enclosed,
533. I. Attestation of Francis Tucker, as to the demand of the magazine and other matters by Deputy Sheriff John Hubbard. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 2 March, 85–6.
533. II. Letter from Nicholas Thornton to Richard Cony. Testifying to the civil behaviour of Captain Sharpe's men. Inscribed by Governor Cony. This is the evidence concerning Captain Sharpe's men's deportment when I sent them to bring down William Righton's vessel. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 2 March 85–6.
533. III. Attestation of Peter Dick and others that James Smailes hoisted his colours reversed when he heard of the Duke of Monmouth's defeat. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 2 March 85–6.
533. IV. Memorial of the goods on board the French ship stranded in Bermuda. French. 2 pp. Endorsed as the foregoing. 2 pp.
533. V. Copy of charges against Governor Cony with his answers. 2 pp. Endorsed as the foregoing. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., Nos. 3, 3 I.–IV., and (letter only) Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XVII., pp. 185–192.]
Jan. 3. 534. Duplicate of the despatch above abstracted. 9 pp. Holograph by Governor Cony. Endorsed. Recd. 2 March. [Col. papers, Vol. LVII., No. 4.]
Jan. 3. 535. Abstract of the same despatch in two parts, dated 8 October and 3 January. The wholepp. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 5.]
Jan. 3. 536. Extract of the same despatch. The paragraph refering to Christopher Potter. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 6.]
Jan. 4. 537. Minutes of the Council of Barbados. The Assembly was summoned, the King's letter of 10 October 1685 concerning transported rebels read, and a bill recommended to them. The Lieutenant-Governor recommended the appointment of Stephen Gascoyne to be treasurer of the Island. A Bill touching transported rebels passed the Council and was sent to the Assembly. The Assembly brought up a Bill for the appointment of Treasurer, which was passed by the Council. Colonel Gascoyne to give £4,000 security in taking the office. Acts appointing a committee to settle the public accounts and to deal with convicted rebels passed. Adjourned to 19th instant. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XI., pp. 669–670.]
Jan. 4. 538. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. John Reid elected Speaker, and Stephen Gascoyne Treasurer. John Reid, Paul Lyte, Abel Allen and John Davies appointed a Committee of Public Accounts. A Bill to constitute them passed. Adjourned to 16 March. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XIV., pp. 144–145.]
Jan. 5. 539. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. Message of the Assembly to the Governor and Council. We think the Act for raising public stock sufficient till 25 March next. We beg the Treasurer to proceed at once to the recovery of arrears. We approve of the Act sent us. Answer of the Governor and Council. We are surprised that you say nothing of amendment of the Act. We send it back to you for review. It was of your proposing, and we expect you to amend it. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 49.]
Jan. 8.
540. Lieutenant-Governor Stede to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Sickness and bad weather have been very prevalent, and we have lost many from small-pox and violent fevers. I have therefore been obliged to adjorn the Council from time to time, the members in the country being afraid to come to town, and have only just been able to get a full Council to which to communicate the King's instructions. We have already passed the Act requrred respecting transported rebels, which I hope will meet with approval. The first shipload of them has arrived, and I send an account of the people to whom they have been assigned. A second shipload does not agree with the list sent to me. These are not yet all disposed of, so I cannot give you a full account of their masters by this ship. I shall give you a fuller account of the affairs of the Island when improved health and weather permit me. I learn from Captain St. Loe of H.M.S. Dartmouth, that the French begin to make settlements, build houses and inhabit on St. Lucia, an Island belonging to the King, and included in my Commission. The French settlers assert that they are there under the French King, who is the lawful owner of the Island. Pray obtain for me the King's orders. Signed, Edwyn Stede. Holograph. 2½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 11 March 1685–6. Enclosed,
540. I. A list of the prisoners from Exeter, Wells and Dorchester Gaols, being a copy taken from the original warrant, 9 Jan. 1685–6. Attestation by John Whetstone, Deputy Secretary. Endorsed. Recd. from Barbados 11 March 1685–6.
540. II. A fresh list of the same prisoners, being the first ship's load that arrived in Barbados. Dated. Certified and Endorsed as the foregoing. Large sheet.
540. III. A table showing the disposal of the same prisoners to their masters in Barbados. One master has as many as seven. Dated, Certified, and Endorsed as the foregoing.
540. IV. A list of the shipload that was not in accordance with the warrant of the Lord Chief Justice. Dated, Certified, and Endorsed as the foregoing. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., Nos. 7–7 I.–IV., and (without enclosures) Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 358–360.]
Jan. 8.
541. Deputy-Governor Stede to the Earl of Sunderland. The French have been sending people to St. Lucia from Martinique and from other of their settlements. I asked Captain St. Loe of the Dartmouth, to call there on his way to Nevis and make enquiries. He writes me that he landed there, and was very civilly received by four white and seven black men, who however claimed the Island on behalf of the French King. Pray obtain for me instructions. The French hold so good a correspondence with the Carib Indians that they are never disturbed wherever they go, and it is they, I presume, who make the Caribs so fierce against the English, for if we send to cut wood in St. Lucia, or the Islands near, we are obliged to guard our labourers, or they would be cut off. The French need never be at this pains; it is thought that they set them to annoy the English by reminding them of the Dominica wars of Colonel Warner and Sir William Stapleton. We have passed an Act for the transported rebels (repeats substance of preceding letter). Holograph. Signed, Edwyn Stede. 4 pp. Endorsed. Read at the Committee of Foreign Affairs. March 17 1685–6. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 8, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 360–362.]
[Jan. 8.] 542. Petition of John Daniel to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I was a Chief Judge of a Court of Common Pleas. A complaint was brought before me against Sir Timothy Thornhill for profane language. He being a member of the Council, I thought it my duty to acquaint Governor Sir Richard Dutton. Sir Richard first blamed me for not bringing witnesses to prove it, which I presently did, but he seemed to neglect the matter (for Sir Timothy had found means to be much devoted to him) and forthwith, with- out any cause assigned except the matter aforesaid, struck me off the Commission of the Peace, and appointed a new judge of Common Pleas in my place. Thus he punished me instead of Sir Timothy, whom he appointed Major-General of the forces in the Colony, an office which a little before he had declared to be unnecessary and useless. I beg redress. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 8 Jan. 1685–6. Read at the Committee 23 Mar. Annexed,
542. I. Deposition of John Daniel, to the same purport as the petition. Sworn before William Chester. 8 August 1685. 1 p.
542. II. Copy of John Daniel's letter to Sir Richard Dutton making complaint against Sir Timothy Thornhill. 1 p.
542. III. Deposition of Honoria Savery as to the language used by Sir Timothy Thornhill. ½ p.
542. IV. Deposition of Elizabeth Brooking, to same effect. ½ p.
542. V. Deposition of Dorothy Green, to same effect. Scrap.
542. VI. Deposition of Francis Brooking, to same effect. Scrap.
542. VII. Deposition of Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Helme, to same effect. Scrap. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., Nos. 9, 9 I.–VIII., and abstracted in Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., p. 370.]
Jan. 12. 543. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. In consequence of lack of funds the military parties serving against the negroes were discharged. Order for every parish to provide for its own security by its own party or guard. Order for payment of £31 4s. Od. to T. Jennings for hire of his sloop. The petition of William Peartree for consideration on account of a wound received while pursuing the rebellious negroes. He was referred to the Justices and Vestry of St. Dorothy's and St. Thomas in the Vale. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXVI., pp. 103–104.]
Jan. 16. 544. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Lord Howard's letter of 13th November read (see No. 459) together with an address from the Assembly of Virginia, concerning the tax on tobacco in England. The address referred to the Lord Treasurer.
Draft of a reply to the answer from the French Court concerning the English fishery on the coast of Acadia read, and reserved for further consideration.
On the business of Bermuda the Lords agree to advise the continuance of Colonel Cony as Governor till further order, and the transmission of a Commission and instructions to him. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVIII., pp. 242–243.]
[Jan. 16.] 545. Answer of the French concerning the fishery of Acadia. The coast of Acadia, which extends from the Isle Pers_e to the Isle de St. Georges, belonged to the French till 1664, when it was taken by the English and restored by the Treaty of Breda in 1667. The French have, therefore, the titles of first occupation, long possession and a treaty of peace. But the English finding greater facilities there than in New England, continued to fish in French ports, with and without permission, until French trade was much interrupted. In December 1683 the French King gave Sieur Bergier and his company a patent to establish a fishing station on this coast, which company, in 1684, issued a prohibition to foreign vessels to enter within its juridiction on pain of confiscation. In spite of the publication of this the English vessels continued to come there until Sieur Bergier in August 1684, seized eight of them, took away their fish and furs and carried the masters before the authorities in France. Two of these were found to have permits. These were discharged, and orders given for the restitution of their ships. The rest were confiscated. Copy, French. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. Jan. 16 1685–6. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 10, and, with a translation, Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXI., pp. 296–299.]
Jan. 16.
546. William Blathwayt to Henry Guy. Forwarding the address from the Assembly of Virginia concerning the tax on tobacco to the Lord Treasurer for report (see No. 458). [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVIII., p. 79.]
Jan. 16. 547. Minutes of Council of Assembly of Nevis. Agreed that the Governor's expenses in government be defrayed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 43.]
Jan. 16.
548. Lieutenant-Governor Molesworth to William Blathwayt. As soon as Captain Stanley could refit after his return from the wreck, I sent him to Havana to ask for the release of Captain Chandler and about forty others, who have been taken at various times on the Coast of Cuba. The account that I formerly gave you of Chandler's capture was incorrect, and only of late have his letters arrived, which occasioned the despatch of Captain Stanley. I enclose copy of my instructions to Stanley, and of my letter to the Governor of Havana [wanting]. Porcio's factor, Saint Jago de Castillo, having answered roundly to the Bill in Chancery brought against him by Coyman's factors, has commenced a vexatious action against one of them, Alexander Olivero, for scandal, setting his damages at £10,000. Being sensible that this was done only to discourage him from his duty and to weary him of carrying on the affairs of the Assiento in the Island, I granted Olivero a supersedeas and discharged him from the action, believing from private information that the Spanish King's letters in favour of Coyman were approved of by their Lordships. I doubt not but that there will soon be occasion to send Castillo to account for his management of the Assiento before a proper tribunal. The Spanish Ministers both at Panama and Carthagena press me to do so, but as his accounts show the Assiento to be in his debt I have no power. When proofs arrive to charge him with certain defalcations, the case will be altered. Castillo relies, in his opposition to the King of Spain's Minister, upon his letters of naturalisation which were granted to him at a time when he was frequently disturbed in his business as factor to the Assiento, but as he has not complied with the conditions of the Act, namely, that he should settle and plant, I informed his counsel that he could claim greater benefits than were granted by the King him- self, viz., liberty to trade, not exemption from responsibility for the revenue that passes through his hands. I beg for full instructions on these points.
Captain John Coxon, a notorious privateer, who took advantage of a clause in the Act for restraining and persuading pirates, to return to the honest life, became weary of it and reverted to piracy, has wearied again of that and returned here. His bond for good behaviour, when required, could not be found, but I have evidence against him and have ordered him to be apprehended. The place of trial will be St. Jago de la Vega, where there will be fewer sympathisers among the jury.
A large ship of the Assiento has lain here for fourteen months waiting for a cargo of negroes. She is now ordered to load for Puerto Velo with six hundred only, rather than lose the favourable time, and if she cannot obtain that number here to sail for Curaçoa. Unfortunately these orders arrived when we were wholly unfurnished with negroes, and the ship was just starting for Curaçoa, to the great discredit of this Island, when two of the African Company's ships arrived with five hundred negroes, which, with a few in the country, sufficed to make up the required number. Considering the importance of the occasion I agreed to provide a convoy, and Captain Mitchell will receive orders at the same time for the arrest of Bannister, whom he is as likely to encounter on this voyage as on any other. The Assiento borrowed the money for payment for these negroes at 35 per cent. It is creditable to the Island that so much ready money could be obtained, and the return of it in pieces-of-eight will be for the common good. I shall send copy of my instructions to Captain Mitchell by next ship. I now send copy of my letter to the Governor of Merida respecting English prisoners. Recd. April 21 1686. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXI. pp. 128–139.]
Jan. 17
549. Lieutenant-Governor Molesworth to William Blathwayt. Though I have written at length already (see No. 548), I must acquaint you with some proposals made to me by Captain Simon Musgrave and others for the erection of a cotton manufacture in this Island. The result would be to further the settling, improving and strenghening of Jamaica by the addition of many small plantations, and to find employment for many of the lower sort of people who would otherwise seek a livelihood by privateering in this Island. For the encouragement of the undertaking, they beg that the King will grant to the undertakers, 1. The monopoly of all cotton manufacture in the Island for a term of years, being a new invention there. 2. The Royal assent to an Act to compel burying in cotton in Jamaica, as in the like case for burying in woollen in England. 3. The imposition by the same Act of a duty on all cotton yarn and cotton manufacture imported. I beg for instructions. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXI., pp. 139–140.]
Jan. 18. 550. Sir Richard Dutton to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I have perused the petitions of Goldingham and Lane. (See No. 494 I.) I know nothing of it except that the indictment was preferred by the Attorney General at Grand Sessions, and the fines set by the same Court, but that I have given no orders nor interposed in any way. Signed, Ri. Dutton. Holograph, ½ p. Endorsed. Recd. 21 Jan. Recd. 8 Mar. 1685–6. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 11, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., p. 355.]
Jan. 19. 551. Minutes of Council of Barbados. The Lieutenant-Governor informed the Council that he had lately inspected the fortifications and found them much decayed. Commissioners were appointed in each division to superintend the repair thereof. Order for £300 to be placed in the Lieutenant-Governor's hands for emergencies, he having already spent part of that sum out of his own pocket. Order for payment of two years' salary due to Francis Chamberlayne, gunner. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XI. pp. 673–674.]
Jan. 21.
552. Governor Richard Cony to the Earl of Sunderland. Five days after the departure of the magazine-ship, the enclosed was sent me by the subscribers. Had they sent it to me before she sailed, I should have answered more fully. It is their usual way to accuse their Governors, but not let them know what their crimes are before they have sent them Court. They think that their false story will be accepted by the King or Privy Council, boasting that they were believed against a Company, so why not against a Governor? They assure themselves that Mr. John Tucker and Mr. Burghill will not fail them. Mr. Vaughan boasts that he has engaged them in a quarrel against me. I have replied to it as well as time would permit, but I was surprised to receive such a letter. Signed, Richd. Cony. P.S. The people publicly confess that they have nothing to say against Capt. Sharpe, but would shoot me through him. I have formerly been offered £500 not to enquire into public lands, slaves, and other questions, but as I do my duty they are disgusted. They themselves are the chief obstacles to their own happiness. I heartily wish that Richard Stafford and Bond were both before you. Holograph. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 18 Apr. 86. Enclosed,
552. I. The inhabitants of Bermuda to Governor Cony. We beg you neither to do nor suffer the things following. (1.) That no man may be deprived of his property without legal trial. (2.) That no man be imprisoned without crime or advice of counsel. (3.) That no more armed men be sent into the country to rob people under pretence of exercising authority. (4.) That our vessels when they have paid their duties may not be hindered from proceeding on their way. (5.) That powder money and public rents may not be turned to private ends. (6.) That officers established during the late reign may be continued, not supplanted by less capable men. (7.) That our Captains of forts and companies may not be refused powder, nor the country refused leave to sell its produce to buy ammunition. (8.) That we may no longer be compelled to pay uncertain fees, nor (9) denied our old privilege that the Governor and Council shall sit together and determine causes by the majority of votes. (10.) that we may not be represented as rebels and traitors. We offer these things not to offend you, but beg you to rectify them. We beg you enquire by what authority Captain Bartholomew Sharpe, who took Campeachy from the Spaniards, is entertained here and commits unwarrantable acts. Thirty-eight signatures, against some of which Governor has written notes. Henry Durham. Note. This Durham is a native, and was Governor when I came here. Francis Dickinson. Note. The person supposed to have fired the stranded French vessel. Christopher Burrows. Note. The man who with a dozen more drew his sword on me and assaulted me. Copy. 2 pp. Certified by John Hubbard, Deputy Sheriff. Endorsed, Recd. 19 May 86.
552. II. A rough draft of the foregoing with half of it struck out. Inscribed. This is Richard Stafford's own handwriting as is affirmed to me. Signed, Richard Cony.
552. III. Governor Cony's reply to the inhabitants of Bermuda (see No. I). (1.) I never went about it. (2.) I never did. (3.) This reflects on my sending Captain Sharpe's men to bring down Righton's vessel. When I send the townsmen on such errands the country rises against them, and disarms them. Sharpe's men behaved civilly, as Captain Bee can evidence. (4.) I never do interfere except when I know them to be about to defraud the King's customs. (5.) I am not a private man in Bermuda, and I apply the money to the King's service. (6.) I have displeased only Keel and Bascom, who never had a commission from me, and have been grossly insubordinate. (7.) I am unwilling to waste public stores, and have strong cause to suspect Keel and Bascom of fraud. (8.) I take no fees, nor ever have, except for a sea-brief five shillings, and for a warrant one shilling. If they want a warrant for nothing they can go to the next justice of the peace. They would have me be troubled with their impertinences gratis. (9.) I know my Council too well. (10.) I have never called them rebels and traitors, though they frequently call me a traitor. As to Sharpe, he has Sir William Stapleton's commission. If he has gone beyond it, it is more than I know, or any Bermudian knows. They encouraged a proclaimed pirate because he bought three or four thousand pounds' worth of goods; Sharpe has only money to pay for provisions for his men, so they will sell him none. All their spite against Sharpe is because I asked him to bring down old Righton's vessel. His men have behaved very well. Though the Deputy Sheriff's name is not among the signatures, yet he is one of the chief of the cabal. I wish that we had an honester man for the place, as well as an abler secretary. The malignity of the people is shown by the date of their letter. It is dated the 1st Jan., but it did not reach me until four days after Capt. Bee sailed for England, that is to say, not until the 11th. I met with this conveyance accidentally. Here follow brief biographies of a few of the signatories. See Governor Cony's notes to No. 1. The whole, four closely written pages. Endorsed, Recd. 18 April 86.
552. IV. Journal of the French ketch stranded at Bermuda, giving an account of the plundering of her. The ship was undamaged by the stranding. List of the cargo. Signed, J. Bargeau. Sworn before Governor Cony. 20 Jan. 1686. French. 4 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., Nos. 12, 12 I.–V.]
Jan. 22.
553. Order of the King in Council. Report of Lords of Trade and Plantations recommending that Colonel Cony continue as Governor in Bermuda for the present, and receive the Royal Commission and instructions. Dated 16 January 1685–6. Ordered accordingly. Signed, Phi. Lloyd. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 13, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XVII., pp. 182, 183.]
Jan. 22.
554. The Deputy-Governor of Nevis to Lords of Trade and Plantations. H.M.S. Dartmouth arrived here on 5 December last with orders to look out for an interloper and to assist the Agent of the Royal African Company. I have given Captain St. Loe all the help in my power, and have despatched him to cruise again in search of interlopers. Signed, Wm. Burt. Read in Council, 26 March 1686. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., p. 197.]
Jan. 22.
555. The same to the same. Your orders of 29 April 1685 have been duly received and distributed. I shall obey your orders as to confiscation of foreign or unfree vessels trading hither as I have done. Signed, Wm. Burt. Recd in Council, 26 March 1686. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., p. 198.]
Jan. 26. 556. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Nevis. The Assembly concurred in the Council's proposal to confirm the laws sent home to the King till his further orders. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 43.]
Jan. 29. 557. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Nevis. Proposed by the Assembly (1) that no persons buy for sale any parcel of provisions till the importer has been on the Island eight days; (2) that any negro abusing or threatening any person be punished by thirty lashes at the whipping post, that any slave striking or throwing anything at a white person lose his hand; (3) that any negro stealing from one to three hundred pounds of sugar in value shall suffer for the first offence loss of one ear, for the second loss of the other ear or sixty lashes, and for the third death; (4) that any person compounding to conceal or make satisfaction for the above offences be fined a thousand pounds of sugar; (5) that any masters or mistresses permitting a tumult of their slaves without endeavouring to suppress it be fined two thousand pounds of sugar, any slave disobeying the same shall receive thirty lashes. The Council concurred with the Assembly in granting 100,000 lbs. of sugar to William Burt to defray the ordinary expenses of government. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 43.]
[Jan.] 558. Memorial to the French Ambassador concerning the French in the West Indies. The Governor of Jamaica complains that the French continually seize the ships of English subjects, whether they come into French ports in the West Indies to wood and water, or whether driven thither by stress of weather. The fact is confirmed by a letter from the Chevalier St. Laurens, who shows an order from the French King to confiscate all vessels anchoring in French ports. Several privateers also, pretending French commissions, even in time of peace continue to harass English traders, being encouraged by their not being obliged to give security in their commission-port as the European treaties direct. 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXI., pp. 125–126.]