America and West Indies: May 1686

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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'America and West Indies: May 1686', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 12 1685-1688 and Addenda 1653-1687, (London, 1899), pp. 182-200. British History Online [accessed 18 June 2024].

. "America and West Indies: May 1686", in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 12 1685-1688 and Addenda 1653-1687, (London, 1899) 182-200. British History Online, accessed June 18, 2024,

. "America and West Indies: May 1686", Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 12 1685-1688 and Addenda 1653-1687, (London, 1899). 182-200. British History Online. Web. 18 June 2024,

May 1686

May 1. 648. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Nevis. On the motion of the Assembly, the Governor and Council agreed that a levy of 26,000 lbs. of sugar, four-fifths should be raised in the country by a poll tax on negroes of sixty pounds, and one-fifth in the towns, whereof one-fourth to be borne by the Jews; and ordered an Act to be drawn to continue the Acts of the Island for two years, pending further orders from the King. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 43.]
May 1.
649. The Dutch Ambassador to the King, More than two years ago I had the honour to request by memorial, of which copy is annexed, the restitution of the Island of Tortola to its true owners, and that orders might be sent accordingly to Sir William Stapleton, who had taken the Island at the request of the proprietors for some time into his own protection as Governor of the Leeward Islands. The answer then given, and frequently repeated since by word of mouth, was that Sir William Stapleton was on his way home, and that on his arrival he would either be heard or ordered to furnish in writing a report as to the matter. Understanding that Sir William is arrived, I beg to press my former request, that the King will order him to yield up possession of the Island. Copy. French. 2 pp. Attached,
649. I. Copy of the former memorial of 16–26 February 1684. 2 pp. French. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., Nos. 65–65 I.]
May 1.
650. Lieutenant-Governor Molesworth to [William Blathwayt]. The donation to be given to the parish of St. Andrew has not been diverted, but the grant may be better confirmed by the Assembly, as I hope it will be. I have enquired into the case of Sarah Harrison. Her land, not being built upon, was seized for the King by writ of cessavit per biennium, and has been since alienated, so that I consider her to be remedyless. Extract. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXI., p. 158.]
May 2.
651. Lord Howard of Effingham to the Earl of Sunderland. Thanks for his lordship's thoughts amid the pressure of great affairs. Signed, Effingham. Holograph. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 5 July 86. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 66.]
May 4. 652. Minutes of Council of Maryland. On the petition of John Ryley and another, Daniel Darnall was bound over to good behaviour. The complaint of Abraham Gale against Henry Staples heard and dismissed. Swithin Wells appeared and was discharged from his bail. Petition of Henry Bray read, and a letter from Lord Baltimore in his favour, concerning the misbehaviour of his attorney, Colonel William Burges. Letter from Lord Baltimore in favour of Mr. Willymot. The Council resolved to comply with his Lordship's commands therein. Order for a writ of error in the case of Nicholas Butterham, guardian to Henry Bassey, an infant. Other legal business. Sheriffs of nine counties appointed.
May 5. Settlement of complaints and claims of sundry litigants.
May 6. The same. Rules for the Land Office. The Kings of Pocomoke and Assateague, with several of their great men and great men of other Indian nations on the Eastern shore, presented themselves for audience. They delivered a present of ten deer skins, and proceeded to make complaint of the encroachments of Charles Scarborough and others of the English, on their village at Askimenokonson, and of damage done to their corn by cattle. Other Indians made like complaints.
May 7. Colonel William Stevens, Colonel William Colebourne, Mr. Thomas Newbold, Mr. John Osborne, and Mr. James Round were ordered to enquire into the grievances of the Indians, and the Indians were informed accordingly. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LIV., pp. 7–24.]
[May 5.] 653. Certificate by Edwyn Stede that he received no order from Sir Richard Dutton to negotiate with Sir John Witham for a composition in the matter of salary. Dated, Barbados 20 May 1685. 1 p. Copy. In the handwriting of Sir R. Dutton. Endorsed. Recd. as a true copy from Sir R. Dutton, 5 May 1686. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 67, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 371, 372.]
May 6. 654. Sir Richard Dutton to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Pursuant to orders I offer the following answer to Mr. John Daniels' petition (see No. 542). When he declares his loyalty to the King and conformity to the Church of England, I must say that I never knew or believed it of him and thought him unfit for any such office as judge. He was preferred to the post by Sir John Witham in my absence, Sir John having married his wife's sister. I thought him unqualified for the following reasons. He was one of a factious cabal that made it their business to obstruct the Government and circulate scandalous papers concerning it. He was not only of civil company, but is given to debaucheries of drinking, so that often he has been unable to return to his house but has fallen and lain down on the way, to the great scandal of his office as judge. As to his allegations against Sir Timothy Thornhill, I may say that in December 1684 Sir Timothy complained to me that Daniel had slandered him by reporting that he had used blasphemous speeches. I sent for Daniel, who brought with him a scroll of some words, said to have been said by Sir Timothy, but without stating the time nor the persons who were present. I called upon him to supply these, and found that Sir Timothy had used at a christening some vain and inconsiderate expressions, but could not discover what they were, owing to the conflicting reports of them. I concluded that the whole company was so far gone in drink that none could remember what was said. I admonished Sir Timothy, who is a young gentleman, in private, and I believe with good results. Having never thought Daniel fit for his office, I thought him the less so after his endeavour to libel Sir Timothy Thornhill (for the two had quarrelled long before the matter came to my ears) and discharged him from it. If he insinuates that Sir Timothy has given me a present I am ill-used by such an expression. As to the Major-Generalship, I thought it unnecessary, while I was myself in the Island, and could take the military command, but in my absence I judged a Major-General very necessary, since my deputy was wholly without experience in military affairs, and without conduct or activity to serve the King and country. I therefore appointed Sir Timothy Thornhill as the fittest person. Signed, Ri. Dutton. Holograph. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 6 May. Read 10 May 1686. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 68., and abstracted in Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., p. 370.]
May 10. 655. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Draft Commission to the Governor of New England read and approved, with a clause requiring him and the Council to continue the existing taxes until he settle new ones. A further clause empowering the Governor and Council to make laws.
The Commission of Colonel Dongan for New York ordered to have two clauses added, conferring similar powers on the Governor and Council.
Lord Howard of Effingham's letter of 10 February read (see No. 563). The Lords agreed to advise that the Assembly be dissolved, that the Governor be empowered to appoint the Clerk of the Burgesses in future, that Robert Beverley be declared incapable of public employment, and that he be tried for altering the records of the Assembly. Agreed also to advise the repeal of the Act of 1662 as to payment of quit-rents. [See also Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIII., pp. 102–103.]
Draft instructions from the Governor of Bermuda read; the clause as to the magazine ships referred to the Lord Treasurer.
The Dutch Ambassador's memorial of 1st inst. as to the restitution of Tortola read (see No. 649). Agreed to refer the matter to Sir William Stapleton on his return from France.
Letter to Colonel Molesworth approved and signed (see next abstract).
Letter to Colonel Stede at Barbados approved and signed (see No. 657).
Sir Richard Dutton's answer to the petition of John Daniel read, and referred, together with the petition, to the Lieutenant-Governor and Council of Barbados for enquiry and report. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVIII., pp. 263–267.]
May 10.
656. Lords of Trade and Plantations to Lieutenant-Governor Molesworth. We have received your letters of 16 and 17 January and 16 February last (see Nos. 548, 549, 569). The King approves of your care and prudent conduct in the matter of the difference between the factors of the Assiento in Jamaica, and doubts not that by continuance thereof the trade with the Spaniards for negroes will be finally settled. Your proposals as to the cotton manufacture we shall lay before the King at the first opportunity. Signed, Jeffreys, Craven, Rochester, Dartmouth, Middleton, J. Ernle, Phi. Lloyd. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXI., p. 141.]
May 10. 657. Lords of Trade and Plantations to Lieutenant-Governor Stede. The King approves your zeal for his service and the loyalty of Barbados as shown in the style and provisions of the Act for the governing of the convicted rebels transported to the Island. Signed, Jeffreys, C. Rochester, Craven, Middleton, Dartmouth, J. Ernle. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., p. 369.]
May 10. 658. The same to the same. We refer to you herewith the petition of John Daniel for examination and report (see No. 542). Signed, Jeffreys, Albermarle, Bridgewater, Rochester, Mulgrave, Craven, Ormond, Huntingdon, N. Duresme, J. Ernle. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 370–371.]
May 10. 659. William Blathwayt to Henry Guy. Asking the opinion of the Commissioners of Customs as to the employment of a magazine ship for the importation of tobacco from Bermuda. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XVIII., p. 23.]
[May 10.] 660. Petition of Theophilus Hopkins to the King. Praying for authority to compound for and receive the revenue called the King's silver, or fines for alienations, which is not collected in the Colonies. The revenue will amount to eight or ten thousand pounds a year, and will be an advantage to the people as giving them the best security in law at little charge, and being no burden upon them. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. and read 10 May 86. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 69.]
May 10.
661. Instructions of Lieutenant-Governor Molesworth to Captain Charles Talbot, H.M.S. Falcon. You will go in company with H.M.S. Drake, to the easternmost end of Hispaniola, and cruise thence northward to the Gulf of Samana, where there is a convenience for careening ships, and where Banister, the pirate may be expected to be found, and search all likely places for him, destroying all pirates and obeying the King's orders as to interlopers, but above all things you will try and catch Banister. If you have no certain intelligence of Banister within five and forty days, you may return off Port Morant, and await further orders. Postscript. May 11. Information has just been received from one who has been plundered by Banister. Supplementary orders are added in the light of this information. Copy. 3¼ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 2 Sept. 1686. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 70.]
May 11. 662. Instructions from the same to Captain Sprag of H.M.S. Drake. If you should meet with Banister the Falcon will return hither, but you will proceed to Margarita to claim a ship and cargo wrongfully confiscated by the Governor. 1 p. Copy. Endorsed as preceding. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 71.]
[May 10.]
663. Affidavits taken in the Court respecting the ship Bachelor's Adventure. Statements as to the condition of the ship and the ill-treatment of the crew by the captain. 3 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 10 May 86. Addressed. "My dear, prithy deliver these to Mr. Thornell; they are about the Court I held for Smailes and Phillip. 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 72.]
May 10.
664. The Secretary of Virginia to [the Earl of Sunderland?]. Has nothing to say but recalls himself to his Lordship, and sends a present. Signed, Nicho. Spencer. Holograph. 2 pp. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 73.]
May 10. 665. Patent granting the office of Escheator-General of the Leeward Islands to William Tyack; with a minute, presenting it, from Attorney-General Sawyer. Copy. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 74.]
May 11. 666. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Legal business. Francis Jenkins and John Townsend joined to the Commission for enquiring into the grievances of the Indians. Copy of the Commission. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LIV., pp. 25–27.]
May 11.
667. Lieutenant-Governor and Council of Barbados to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Forwarding quarterly returns of the Council's transactions and of imports. Signed, Edwyn Stede, Fra. Bond, Robert Davers, Stephen Gascoigne, John Gibbes, John Hallett, Henry Quintyne. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 380–381.]
May 11
and 12.
668. Minutes of Council of Barbados. A petition of Samuel Hanson for the admission of an appeal to the King granted, and copies of the action ordered to be made out. Five petitions for rebate of duties considered. Order for various payments in compensation for negroes executed. Colonel Peers granted leave of absence to go to England. Order as to repairs to Fontabelle house. William Walley's commission of Solicitor General annulled, there being no occasion for such an office. Copy of the King's instructions as to the wording of money-bills delivered to the Assembly, who were at the same time warned that their time was nearly expired, and that they should think what it was necessary to do for the country. On the request of the Assembly, orders for payment of the Clerk and Marshal of Assembly, and for hire of a Committee-room were passed. The Assembly brought up a short Act to make the Lieutenant-Governor a present of £1,000. Copy of the Act. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XI., pp. 689–701.]
May 12.
669. Order of the King in Council. Referring the petition of Dame Ayliff Raynsford and William Stokes from a decree given against them in the Court of Chancery of Barbados, to Lords of Trade and Plantations for report. Signed, Phi. Lloyd. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 372–373.]
May 12.
670. Commissioners of Customs to the Lord Treasurer. On the letter of the Irish Commissioners of Revenue of 22 April (see No. 638) we report as follows: The burden laid by the revival of the law on the Irish merchants is no more than they endured for the nine years when it was first in force, and we are informed by old officers of the Customs that before that Act there was some restraint laid on Irish trade by Order in Council, which certainly cannot have been so insupportable as is represented, or have continued so long, considering that Parliament was constantly sitting, which on due application would have repealed it. As to the commutation of the Plantation-duty into a half-duty in Ireland and the halfpenny per pound taken off tobacco imported into Ireland from England, these were mere expedients due to the want of the present law, and if the present law were dispensed with the same remedies would be applied. But now there is no need of them, nor is the long reckoning that they make thereon to our present purpose. Again, notwithstanding the great hardships of this law, the Irish will still be better off than the English. In assuming that no tobacco is imported into Ireland but for consumption therein, allowing that it pays threepence of regular duty besides a supposed halfpenny as the cost of unloading in England, the total is but threepence halfpenny a pound, whereas the English pay fivepence a pound, some drawbacks for ready money and waste excepted. We agree that now that the law is revived the halfpenny a pound on tobacco imported from England should be abolished. As to the passage on the real point of contest, which seems to reflect on our management, we shall take no notice thereon, nor retort with the many frauds used by the Irish in counterfeiting English certificates. When the laws are executed there will be no contest who shall collect the halfpenny per pound on tobacco, for it will be collected both by them and by us, and without doubt to the increase of the revenue. The tobacco consumed in Ireland will pay threepence instead of twopence halfpenny a pound, and England will enjoy the benefit intended by the makers of the law. The whole body of the Plantation laws is under the care and control of the Commissioners of Customs, whose business it is to correspond with the leading officials in England and the Colonies for the maintenance of an uniform and efficient system. They cannot do this duty nor be responsible for it, if so great and near a kingdom as Ireland be freely let into the trade and suffered to trade directly with the Colonies. Apart from any arguments of ours, the merchants of London, Bristol, and other ports have many others to advance. On the whole therefore we adhere to our original opinion. Signed, Ch. Cheyne, N. Butler, J. Werden, J. Buckworth, D. North, W. Dickinson, Tho. Chudleigh. Here follows copy of Orders in Council of 6 and 22 March 1664–5, referred to in the letter. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CXVII., pp. 213–224.]
May 12.
671. The Secretary of Virginia to [the Earl of Sunderland?]. I send the trial of Colonel George Talbot, which was managed with all possible ease, circumspection, and fairness to that unfortunate gentleman (see No. 629). He remains now in the custody of the High Sheriff for Gloucester County, Lord Howard having deferred the execution of the sentence till the King's pleasure be known. The trial lasted long, though the case was so plain that it might have been shortened. What Talbot offered for himself was chiefly by way of extenuation, and having heard all the trial I cannot but be charitable enough to say that the fatal stroke was dealt in the height of passion. All is quiet here. I send you a brace of Virginia deer, buck and doe. Signed, Nicho. Spencer. Holograph. 3 pp. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 75.]
May 12.
672. Order of the King in Council. Referring a letter from the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland of 16 March with its enclosures (see No. 599) to Lords of Trade and Plantations for report. Signed, Phi. Lloyd. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCVII., pp. 177, 178.]
May 14. 673. Petition of Thomas Bisse, senior, to the King. Praying for reparation for damage done by the Spaniards in Tortola, either in money or reprisal. Signed, Tho. Bisse. Appended is a computation of the damage claimed, amounting to £3,977. 1¼ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 20 Sept. 86. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 76.]
May 16.
674. Joseph Dudley and Edward Randolph to Lords of Trade and Plantations. H.M.S. Rose arrived here on the 14th inst, with the King's Commission and a copy of the judgment against the late Company of Massachusetts. We are assembled to-day to summon the gentlemen named in the Commission, some of whom live at a distance, for an early meeting, and shall report our proceedings. Signed, Joseph Dudley, Ed. Randolph, Secy. 1 p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 77.]
May 17. 675. Commissioners of Customs to Lords of Trade and Plantations. We have enquired into the theft of negroes by Christopher Potter (see No. 633), and on examining the mate of the vessel, we learn that the two negroes asked for a passage to England. and that the master left the ship at Milford, where she put in for water, that one of the slaves found a master at Cardigan, and that the other was left at Milford. Signed, N. Butler, D. North, Jo. Werden, J. Buckworth, W. Dickinson, T. Chudleigh. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 20 May 86. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 78.]
May 17. 676. Commissioners of Customs to Lords of Trade and Plantations. As to Colonel Molesworth's proposals for the establishment of a cotton manufacture in Jamaica (see No. 549), we beg to report as follows. The grant of a monopoly for a term of years will affect the trade of this kingdom as to the export of manufactures to Jamaica. The more such manufactures are encouraged in the Colonies the less they will be dependent on England. Moreover we have no knowledge how far the grant of such a monopoly may be for the benefit of the trade and inhabitants of Jamaica in general. But if the King be inclined to grant it, we beg that some of the principal merchants trading to Jamaica may first be consulted. We have nothing to object to an Act for burying in cotton and imposing a duty on imported cotton manufactures. Signed, J. Buckworth, W. Dickinson, T. Chudleigh, D. North, J. Werden, N. Butler. Memo. This report was approved by the Lords on June 3rd. 1½ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 79, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXI., pp. 142, 143.]
May 17.
at Nevis.
677. Captain St. Loe to the Earl of Sunderland. I send this to accompany a depositior which I have made respecting a recent cruise of H.M.S. Dartmouth, and other papers on the same subject. Signed, George St. Loe. Holograph. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 20 Sept. 86. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII. No. 80.]
May 17.
678. The Deputy-Governor of the Leeward Islands to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I beg to report myself as Sir William Stapleton's deputy, and to enclose papers giving an account of H.M.S. Dartmouth's adventures with a Spanish pirate. Signed, Ja. Russell. Memo. in Entry Book. The papers were laid before the King at Windsor on the 25th of July 1686. Endorsed. Recd. 23 July 86. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 81, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., p. 198.] Enclosed,
678. I. Sir James Russell's instructions to Captain George St. Loe, H.M.S. Dartmouth, to cruise after a Spanish pirate. Copy. ½ p. Endorsed. Recd. 23 July 1686.
678. II. Duplicate of the foregoing. Same endorsement.
678. III. Depositions of Peter Battery. I was a passenger on a sloop bound from Nevis to Anguilla on the 11th instant. When off St. Martin's we were hailed and stopped by a vessel under French colours, which ordered myself and others aboard her. Perceiving her to be a Spaniard, I and three more took to the sloop's boat, being close to land, and got on shore. The ship continued in chase of the sloop, came up with her and compelled her to anchor. A boat came ashore and promised us security if we would go on board again, but we refused. Another Englishman presently joined us, who told us that the ship had about one hundred and fifty Spanish mulattos on board and from twenty to thirty guns. Signed, P. Battery. Sworn before Henry Carpenter, 19 April 1686. 3 pp. Endorsed as the preceding.
678. IV. Deposition of Thomas Arthur. Was with his sloop in a bay of Tortola on 16 April, when a ship came in which seemed to be a privateer. Got up anchor, when the ship's boat gave chase followed by the ship, and overhauling the sloop captured her. The sloop was plundered and the deponent kept prisoner for some days, when the sloop was restored to him, plundered as she was, and he was bidden to go about his business. Depositions of Richard Roach and others to same effect. Sworn before Sir James Russell, 1 May 1686. 2 pp. Endorsed as the foregoing.
678. V. Deposition of Captain George St. Loe of H.M.S. Dartmouth. I sailed on 19 April for St. Eustatia, where I learned that the Spanish pirate was gone for Tortola. Sailed thither and found that the pirate had plundered the inhabitants three days before and sailed, it was supposed, for Porto Rico. Searched the Virgin Isles, and on 27 April arrived before St. Juan de Porto Rico. Sent in the Lieutenant to enquire privately after the pirate, but pulicly to ask leave to wood and water. The Governor, Don Jaques Martine, willingly granted leave, sent a pilot to bring the ship in, and showed great hospitality. Next day I sent ashore to ask satisfaction for the damage done by the pirate, which the Governor refused, saying that he knew nothing of the pirates, but would hang them all. We were directed where to get water, and when we arrived, were at first complimented, but directly afterwards a large force came out of the gate, seized the boat, my lieutenant, and his men, and hurried them before the Governor. At the same time came a message from the Governor to me to go ashore and show my commission. I replied that if the Governor had anything to say to me he was very welcome aboard, but that I should not budge from the ship, nor wait longer than I thought proper. Meanwhile the lieutenant and his men were examined, the Governor saying that he would treat them as pirates unless he saw the lieutenant's commission. This was sent to him, and also my orders from Nevis, when he ordered them to be discharged but detained their goods, which I had sent ashore to them privately. The Governor then ordered me to sail at once to the port of St. Justas, but this I positively refused to do, and told him that unless the goods he had seized from my men were restored I should sail and require satisfac- tion for the damage he had done me at another place. I sent two gentlemen ashore to wait on him for his answer, whom he treated very civilly, but asked me not to sail till the morning, as he wished me to carry some letters for him, and gave orders that the goods should be restored and that we should have wood and water. In the evening I sent ashore for his letters, when there came to me a boat with a letter ordering me positively to take the ship to Port St. Justas or his guns should force me, adding that if we could not sail up we must warp up. Seeing that he had raised the whole country and trained his guns on the ship, at seven in the evening I cut my cable and made sail. The forts at once opened fire, which I returned until we were out of range. There were one hundred and fifty guns bearing on the ship, several batteries to pass, the shore lined with small shot, and the channel so narrow that we were forced to go within pistol shot. Two of my men were killed and two more wounded; the ship had several shots right through her, fifty shot through her foresail, and most of her running rigging shot away. We were two hours before we got out of range. I learned however that the pirate that I sought was fitted out at San Juan de Porto Rico. Signed, G. St. Loe. Sworn before me, 10 May 1686. Signed, Ja. Russell. Three closely written pages. Endorsed as the preceding.
678. VI. Deposition of Lieutenant Ignatius Usher of H.M.S. Dartmouth. Confirming the preceding deposition. Signed, I. Usher. Sworn and endorsed as the foregoing. 1½ pp.
678. VII. Letter from the Governor of Porto Rico to Captain St. Loe, respecting permission to wood and water. Original, Spanish. 1 p. Dated, 8 May [29 April]. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 20 Sept. 1686.
678. VIII. A second letter from the same to the same. 1 p. Dated, 9 May [30 April]. Spanish. Same endorsement.
678. IX. Deposition of Thomas Bisse, senior, Deputy-Governor of Tortola and the Virgin Islands. I was away from Tortola and had deputed my son to act in my stead, when I heard that a Spanish pirate was cruising among the Virgin Islands, designing to rob the inhabitants of negroes. I therefore embarked in H.M.S. Dartmouth for Tortola, and found myself and the rest of the inhabitants robbed and ruined. At San Juan de Porto Rico I demanded satisfaction of the Governor, but he professed to know nothing of the ship, though he promised to seize her if she came in. Several of the inhabitants however told us that she was fitted out in the port and was daily expected. Here follows confirmation of depositions in Nos. V. and VI., with the following details of the action. As soon as our cables were cut and sails set, we were about before the wind, which was light. We were not above pistol-shot distance from their cannon, which played upon us immediately, together with volleys of small shot. I judge we had sixty great shot fired at us before we discharged a gun, but when we began we followed it close "with drums, shouts and holloas," till we were out of range. It is surprising that our loss was not greater. Signed, Tho. Bisse. Sworn before Sir James Russell. 17 May 1686. 3½ closely written pages. Endorsed. Recd. 23 July 86.
678. X. Deposition of Thomas Bisse, junior. On 14 April fifty armed men from a Spanish ship landed in Tortola, beset my father's house and plundered it of everything. They stripped me and bound me, and carried me to a neighbouring plantation, where they took all the negroes they could find, went thence to another plantation where they did likewise, and finally finding no negroes barbarously beat and abused me. They then carried me on board their ship, where they kept me three days, constantly threatening me, and threw a sixteen-pound lead at me which struck me in the back, from which I doubt if I shall ever recover. They also tortured another inhabitant of Tortola. One of the prisoners discovered that they had determined to murder all the English and Dutch on the Island, the ringleader being an English doctor, who had formerly belonged to Captain John Beare. Signed, Thomas Bisse, junior. Sworn and endorssd as the foregoing. 1½ pp.
678. XI. Deposition of Manuel Brun as to the proceedings in Porto Rico. Taken and attested. 2 May 1686. Dutch. 3 pp.
678. XII. Deposition of Daniel Moöy as to the same. Taken and attested. 3 May 1686. Dutch. 3 pp.
678. XIII. Deposition of Adrian Sorgeloos. Dutch. 3½ pp. 18 May. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., Nos. 81 I.–XIII.]
May 19.
679. Lieutenant-Governor Stede to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I beg your intercession with the King that I may be allowed to receive the thousand pounds lately given me by the Council and Assembly here, which was voluntarily voted without the least motion or application from me, for my maintenance in this very expensive place. Apart from the ordinary expenses of the Government, I have deemed it my duty to stimulate loyalty by observing the days of the King's birth, accession, coronation, restoration, and all such days with the greatest splendour and magnificence that this place could afford. The King's proclamation was done at my charge, though Sir Richard Dutton, who was then Governor, never provided so much as a glass of wine for the people who came from all parts to drink the King's health. It is not to lessen Sir Richard nor to magnify myself that I mention this, for want of conduits, I made the streets run with wine at my expense, nor do I claim merit for any such service. I simply explain the cause why the country has given me this present. The Assembly indeed would not have given it were it not that its year of existence is expiring, which is the time when they generally make such presents. I communicated the Royal instructions as to presents both to the Council and Assembly, and shall not touch a farthing of the money until I receive permission. If it be granted I hope that it will not entail any diminution of the salary granted to me by the King. I beg for a warrant for payment of my year's salary due in July next, which I hope may be as much as was allowed to Sir Richard Dutton, my expenses being greater than his. I have made great progress in repairing the forts and settling the militia. I send a list of the fourth and last parcel of convict rebels, with their masters. God be thanked we are now in a healthy condition. I hope that the sugar crop will greatly increase the revenue of the four and a half per cent. duty. Holograph. Signed, Edwyn Stede. 4 pp. Annexed,
679. I. Address of the Assembly to the Lieutenant-Governor, with an Act for granting him a present of £1,000. Read and passed the Council 11 May 1686. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., Nos. 82, 82 I.]
May 20. 680. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Petition of Ayliff Rainsford and William Stokes appealing from a decree in the Court of Chancery of Barbados read. The appeal ordered to be heard on the first Tuesday in November.
Report of the Commissioners of Customs as to the slaves alleged to have been stolen by Christopher Potter (see No. 674).
Petition of Theophilus Hopkins respecting the King's silver read. Agreed to address a circular to the Governors of the Colonies asking their views thereon (see No. 660).
Petition of Charles Henderson read (see No. 604). The Governor of Antigua to enquire and report.
Petition of Robert Wright and Francis Pew read (see next abstract). A copy to be sent to Sir Edmund Andros for his report. Colonel Dongan's instructions read. A clause to be added repealing the charter granted to the city of New York by the late Assembly. Existing duties and impositions however to be continued by the authority of the Governor and Council. The King to be asked whether Colonel Dongan's present salary of £400 per annum shall be increased. The instruction as to books of homilies, &c., to be confined to the orthodox churches.
A clause to be added to Sir Edmund Andros's commission, empowering him to continue any existing taxes in New England until he can report what further taxes can be imposed. All instructions as to the Church in New England to be omitted until Sir Edmund shall have reported as to the state of the Church there.
Memorandum of documents sent and received. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVIII., p. 268–273.]
[May 20.] 681. Petition of Robert Wright and Francis Pew to Lords of Trade and Plantations. On our appeal against a judgment given against us in the Court of New York, you ordered us to state our exceptions thereto, on which a commission should be issued to the Governor of New York to enquire into the fact. As Sir Edmund Andros is in England, we beg you to summon him to give information on the subject and save us the expense of a commission. 1 p. Endorsed. Read 20 May 86. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 83.]
682. Copy of the foregoing, slightly abridged, as presented to Sir Edmund Andros. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 84.]
[May 20.] 683. Petition of Sir Richard Dutton to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I learn that my answer to John Daniels' petition is to be referred to Lieutenant-Governor Stede for report. Great animosities have arisen in the Island over the late contention, so that I am likely to be at a disadvantage in verifying Mr. Stede's answer. I beg that the enquiry may be put off until the arrival of the new Governor, who, I understand, is about to be appointed to Barbados. 1 p. Inscribed. Recd. 19 May. Read 20 May. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 85.]
May 20.
684. Memorandum of Lords of Trade and Plantations. On the petition of Sir R. Dutton (see preceding abstract), the Lords think his request reasonable, and will order that Sir Richard Dutton's witnesses, as well as all others, shall be admitted to give evidence. Draft ½ p. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 86.]
May 20.
685. [William Blathwayt?] to Sir Richard Dutton. Conveying the sense of the above memorandum. Draft with corrections. ½ p. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 87.]
May 20. 686. Lords of Trade and Plantations to Lieutenant-Governor Stede. On the application of Sir Richard Dutton, we signify to you that such persons as he may appoint shall have liberty to produce witnesses and depositions in the matter of the complaint of John Daniel. Signed, Jeffreys, Rochester; Sunderland, Ormonde, Mulgrave, Huntingdon, Berkeley, Preston, N. Duresm, J. Ernle, Edw. Herbert. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 379–380.]
May 20. 687. Clerk of Assembly of Barbados to William Blathwayt. Forwarding the journals of Assembly. Signed, Ri. Cartwright. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., p. 380.]
May 20. 688. Lords of Trade and Plantations to the Governor of the Leeward Islands. Enclosing the petition of Charles Henderson for enquiry and report (see No. 604). Signed, Jeffreys, Rochester, Sunderland, Ormonde, Mulgrave, Huntingdon, Berkeley, Preston, Melfort, N. Duresm. Memo. Sir William Stapleton being in France a letter was sent to him there. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., pp. 199–200.]
May 20.
689. Lieutenant-Governor Stede to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Renewing request for permission to accept a present from the Assembly (see No. 679). Holograph. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Read 16 Aug. 1686. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 88, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., p. 381.]
May 20.
690. Governor Dongan to Father Lamberville. I have received yours of 10th inst. from the Onandages, and rejoice to hear that you are in good health. You may depend on my good offices and protection from the danger which you apprehend from them. I am sorry that our Indians are so troublesome to the Indians of Canada, but I am told by Christians that according to Indian custom a conquered land is the conqueror's own. I lay no stress on that, but I am still in doubt whether the country where the Indians go to war belongs to the English or to the French King. If I am rightly informed it is dependent on the English King's territory, as it lies west and south of this place, whereas your countries are to northward of us. But that is no material reason for the Indians to disturb the people of Canada, and I shall do my best that they shall disturb them no more, but leave the matter, as I leave all differences between us and the people of Canada, to my master at home. I am sure that Mons. Denonville will do likewise. I have not spoken to the Indians yet, and your messenger being in haste cannot tell me what they say for themselves, but if a right understanding between this Government and that of Canada is to be attained, let the Governor of Canada send to me if any French subjects be disturbed by the Indians, and I will do all justice possible to me, and let him do likewise for me if I send to him. Thus a good correspondence between the two Governments will be maintained. I hear they pretend that they are afraid of the French, but I hope Mons. Denonville will think well before he invades any of the King of England's subjects. I have no time to write to him, but assure him that I will write before I go. I have no other object here in sending for the Indians than to check them from attempting to disturb Canada. Signed, Tho. Dongan. I pray you to pray God for me. 2 pp. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 89.]
May 21. 691. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Edward Dennis made Coroner of Calvert County. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LIV., p. 27.]
May 21. 692. Minutes of Council and Assembly of St. Christopher's. The Council proposed that in future ships trading to the Island be compelled to carry but one pound of powder per ton. The Assembly concurred. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVIII., p. 55.]
May 22.
693. Governor Dongan to Monsieur de Denonville. I have sent for the five Indian nations subject to this Government to order them not to go to the side of the Great Lakes, nor disturb the Indians and traders; but since my arrival here I am informed that our Indians are apprehensive of war, owing to your putting stores into Cadaraqui and ordering some forces to meet there. I know you are a man of judgment and will not attack the King of England's subjects, for I learn that the Indians, with whom our Indians are at war, are to west and south-west of the Great Lakes. If so you cannot in reason have any pretence to them. It is my intention to forbid our Indians to war with the far Indians, but whether they do so or not it does not seem reasonable that you should engage yourself in their quarrel between Indians whom we lay claim to, and our own Indians. Whether those territories belong to us or to the French King must be decided by our masters at home, and your business and mine is to take maps of the country as well as we can, and to send them home for the limits to be adjusted there. I am also informed that you design to build a fort at a place called Ohniagero [Niagara] on this side of the lake, without question within my master's territories. I cannot believe that one of your reputation would follow the steps of Mons. de la Barre and be so ill-advised as, at the instigation of interested persons in Canada, to create disturbances between our masters' subjects in that part of the world for the sake of a little peltry, when all differences could be ended by an amicable correspondence between us. I assure you it shall not be my fault, though we have suffered much and daily suffer by your people's trading within our King's territory. I have had two letters from the two fathers that live among our Indians, and find them somewhat disturbed by apprehensions of war, which are groundless, for I am determined that it shall not be begun here, and I hope you will equally prevent it on your side and refer all differences home as I shall do. I hear that one of the fathers is gone to you. I have sent to the other to come here, lest the Indians should insult over him, though it is a thousand pities that those who have made such progress in the service of God should be disturbed, and that by the fault of those who laid the foundations of Christianity among those barbarous people. P.S. The rumour of your coming to Cadaraqui has prevented me from sending a gentleman to congratulate you on your arrival in your Government, so am obliged to entrust this letter to the father. Copy. 1½ pp. Endorsed. From Colonel Dongan. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 90.]
May 26.
June 5.
694. Mons. Denonville to Governor Dongan. I have received your letter of 13 October last. I remember you when you were serving in the French Army, which is a reason above the friendship of our masters for cordial understanding between us. I do not know for what reason you are displeased with Mons. de la Barre, but I shall not fail in all civility to you. As to the behaviour of Mons. de la Barre, which you think might cause ill-feeling between the two Crowns, I understand you to refer to his broil with the Sonnontouans. I think you know enough of these people to see that it is not easy to preserve a good understanding with folks who have neither religion, honour, nor discipline. Mons. de la Barre has several grounds of complaint against them, and their recent conduct has been no better. They have violated their word by the outrages they have committed on the Outaouacs this winter, perfidiously, and in violation of all good faith. I ask you what can be expected from these people after this? The King my master's attachment to this country is due solely to his zeal for the establishment of religion and the support and protection of the missionaries, whose zeal for preaching the Gospel has condemned them to brutality and persecution from the most savage tribes. You know better than I what they have borne, the tortures that they have suffered, and the fatigues that they undergo daily for the name of Jesus Christ. I know that your heart is filled with the glory of that Name. Shall we be so miserable as to refuse them the protection of our masters and to support them and contribute our small help towards the winning of poor souls to Christ? You cannot but lament that far from helping these apostles of the Gospel, we make war against them if we give their enemies opportunity to hinder the work of conversion. Hitherto the avarice of traders has made war on the Gospel by furnishing the tribes with arms to make war against us and with drink to make them mad. You are a gentleman of merit who love religion. Cannot you and I come to an understanding for the maintenance of our missionaries, keeping these savage tribes in awe and respect, which is the only means of making them receive the Gospel? Must it be that the avarice of our traders shall furnish them with arms to destroy their brothers and their own country? See what the Iroquois have done to the poor people of Virginia and Maryland. I cannot understand how a Christian's heart can be so hardened as to see dry-eyed that they are the destroyers of their brothers and countrymen. My trust in your piety has made me open my heart to you. I have done so the more joyfully since you have given me ground for hope that you would have us imitate the close bond of friendship of our master for the re-establishment of the royal authority in England, and the reviving therein of the Gospel in its ancient glory. If my thoughts touch you never so little, communicate yours to Father Lamberville, who is with the Onontaguez. He will let me know what you wish to tell me. God grant that the frankness with which I have written to you may be of profit to you in helping you to gather all your savages within the fold of the Church. I know how much the King has the work at heart. He told me, when I took my leave, that this was the only thing that made him love this wild country.
I am much obliged to you for the news of the punishment of the Duke of Monmouth. Who would have thought that poor unhappy prince capable of such conduct after the favours lavished on him by the late King at the siege of Maestricht. I did not conceive him to have so disloyal a heart. I assure you of my good wishes for the prosperity of your King. Every Frenchman must love and honour him, especially those who had the honour to see him when serving with an army. None of his own subjects can wish him better nor respect him more than I. I hear that several of the riff-raff of this Colony, in the hope of getting furs from the Indians, have spread lies and falsehood among them, with the object of gaining their confidence. I remark that the Indians are restless and alarmed for no apparent reason, and I thought it right to warn and inform you that several of those rascals have entered your territory. You will distrust them as much as I, for they are incapable of anything but mischief and they will make mischief for you sooner or later. I wish you would consent to work with me for the expulsion of these rogues. I am ready for my part to find out and compel to stay all that are on their way to your Colony without your leave. One of your officers asks me for two negro slaves, who have deserted him and, as he thinks, have come here. I have caused search to be made but cannot find them; if discovered they shall be sent back in irons, and I hope that you will repay me in kind. I know that some of our soldiers that have deserted are with you. I think our masters would be pleased if you would return them, and if an understanding was made between us on the subject. Signed, Le M. de Denonville. French. 3½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. from Colonel Dongan. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 91.]
May 26. 695. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Legal business. Order for the soldiers at Christina port to be continued and paid as heretofore; the captain of the port and his four men to be allowed 400 lbs. of meat and four barrels of corn per annum. Order for the officer in command to report any encroachment on Maryland in that quarter immediately. Legal business. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LIV., pp. 27–29.]
May 27.
696. Edward Randolph to the Governor and Company of Connecticut. I am heartily glad for your sake of my safe arrival here. Mr. Dudley and his Council entered on their government on the 25th inst. with the general consent and applause of the people. I have a quo warranto against your Government and Rhode Island. The King intends to bring all New England under one Government, and nothing now remains for you but to think of a dutiful resignation of your charter. If you try to defend it at law you will find that you are contending for a shadow, and you will lose all your territory from Connecticut to New York and find it annexed to New York. Nothing will save you and New England from such a calamity but timely submission, with an annexed petition asking for liberty of conscience and continuation of your present lands to you, and such other favours as your wants dictate to you. A court is ordered to be erected in Narragansett to assert the King's authority and to check further incursions of the Rhode Islanders. I do not expect that you will trouble me to enter your territory as a herald to announce war. My friendship for you inclines me to suggest to you an accommodation, and I therefore ask you to let me know if you will favour yourselves so far as to come to me to Boston, where you will be witnesses of our peace, and find the King's Government not such a scarecrow as to frighten men out of their estates and liberty rather than persuade them to submit and be happy. We expect ships to sail from hence to England within a month, and your intentions must therefore be fulfilled within that time. Now if besides yourselves and some of the Council in and about Hartford, your Governor, Deputy-Governor, and Major Gold will vouchsafe to come as far as Mr. Richard Smith's in Narragansett and apprise me of the time appointed, I question not but that you will be able to confer with some of the principal gentlemen of this Government. Bless not yourselves by vain expectation of advantage and spinning out of time by my delay. I will engage that though the weather be warm the writs will keep sound and good as when first landed. My care for you has made my letter unduly long. I beg you to appoint a speedy day that I may communicate to you what is not fit to write. Mr. Blathwayt is much your friend. Signed, E. Randolph. Copy. One closely written page. Endorsed. Recd. 9 May 87, from Colonel Dongan. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 92.]
May 28.
697. Memorandum of Council. That on this day were sent to the Duke of Albemarle the two circular letters ordering the publication of the Royal Declaration of Indulgence, and of the proclamation for the suppression of pirates. The former letter was signed Jeffreys C., Sunderland P., He. Arundel, C. P. S. Powis, Bath, Preston. The second was signed in addition by Albemarle, Fauconberg, Huntingdon, Mulgrave, Dartmouth. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXI., p. 297.]
May 28.
698. Order of the King in Council. Report of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Recommending that the appeal of Ayliff Rainsford and William Stokes be admitted. Dated, 20 May. Ordered accordingly. The appeal to be heard in November and the Governor of Barbados to furnish the necessary documents. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 373–374.]
May 31. 699. Earl of Sunderland to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Reporting that the King has appointed the Duke of Albemarle to be Governor of Jamaica. Signed, Sunderland, P. ½ p. Endorsed. Presented 3 June 1686. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 93, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXI., p. 220.]
May 31. 700. Return of the members elected to the Assembly of Jamaica:
St. Catherine's Samuel Bernard
Thos. Ballard, jun.
William Bragg
St. Thomas Richard Risby
Edward Stanton
St. David's Simon Musgrave
James Lobley
Port Royal Thomas Ryves
Daniel Hickes
Anthony Stoddard
St. Andrew's John Parnaby
Thomas Clarke
St. Thomas in the Vale George Nedham
Fulke Rose
St. Dorothy's John Bonner
Matthew Crew
Clarendon John Peeke
Thomas Sutton
Vere Robert Varney
Robert Smart
St. Elizabeth's Julius Herring
Richard Witter
St. James's Thomas Clarke
James Davis
[Col. Papers, Vol. LVII., No. 94.]
May 31. 701. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Return of the members elected to the Assembly, and list of them. Order for payment of three months' salary to the Lieutenant-Governor. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXVI., pp. 109–110, and p. 113.]