America and West Indies: April 1685

Pages 27-38

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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April 1685

April 1.
112. Order of the King in Council. That Samuel Pepys, Esq., Secretary of the Admiralty, order the commanders of the King's ships on the Colonial Stations to seize all foreign vessels trading with the plantations. Copy. ½ p. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 83, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCVII., p. 142.]
April 1.
Council Chamber.
113. Lords of Trade and Plantations to Sir Richard Dutton. Forwarding copy of Sir John Witham's petition and appeal (see No. 94 I.)for reply. All Sir John Witham's papers are to be restored to him. Signed, Rochester, Halifax, Clarendon, Ormond, Lindsey, Arlington, Huntingdon, Bridgewater, Craven. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., p. 289.]
April 4. 114. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Draft circular respecting the Acts of Trade and Navigation read. An exception as to Spanish ships trading for negroes (see No. 120).
Colonel Molesworth's letters of 30 December and 3 February read (see preceding volume). A copy of his proposals as to exchanging guns in the forts to be sent to Lord Dartmouth. Sir Philip Howard to examine and report as to Bannister's escape.
Memorandum of despatches sent and received. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVIII., pp. 129– 133.]
April 4.
115. Order of the King in Council. Referring the petition of James, Earl of Arran, to Lords of Trade and Plantations for report. Signed, Phil. Musgrave. 1 p. Annexed,
115. I. The petition of James, Earl of Arran. In 1660 the Council established at Plymouth sold a tract of land in New England, now called the Narragansett County, to petitioner's grandfather, James, Marquis of Hamilton. The rebellion gave several persons opportunity to take the county without acknowledgment of petitioner's right. Prays the King's order for his title to be acknowledged and possession to be given. Copy. 1 p. The whole endorsed. Recd. 7 April. Read 15 April 1685. Memo. in Entry Bk. Referred to Law Officers 15 April. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., Nos. 84, 84 I., and (Order only) Col. Entry Bk., Vol LXI., pp. 224– 225.]
April 6.
116. Lieutenant-Governor Molesworth's instructions to Captain David Mitchell, H.M.S. Ruby. To convoy two Spanish ships to Porto Bello, and thence to proceed to the Bay of Darien, visit Golden Island and the Isle of Pines, and destroy piratical craft if possible. Copy. 1½ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 85.]
April 7. 117. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. No quorum. Adjourned to 5 May. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XIV., p. 23.]
April 8.
118. Order of the King in Council. Report of Lords of Trade and plantations to the King. We have received Governor Cranfield's answer to the charges of Nathaniel Weare. We find that Governor Cranfield has not pursued his instructions in reference to Robert Mason's claim to the property of New Hampshire, having caused titles of land to be tried in the Courts of the Province instead of sending the cases to England in case his own mediation should fail. We think again that he ought not to have raised the value of foreign coins without your direction. We recommend that he be so informed; that the differences between Robert Mason and the planters be decided; that William Vaughan have liberty to appeal against the judgments given against him in his private case, whereby you will best be able to judge of Mason's right and title; and that till that case be heard all proceedings at law relating to the said title do cease until your further pleasure be known. Dated27 March 1685. Ordered in Council accordingly. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., pp. 138– 139.]
April 9. 119. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. The Governor reported that he had advice, at second hand, of the death of King Charles II. Order for proclamation of King James on confirmation of the news. Adjourned sine die. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXVI., pp. 81– 83.]
April 10.
120. Circular. Lords of Trade and Plantations to the Governors of the Colonies. Ordering strict observance of the Acts of Trade and Navigation; all foreign vessels trading with the Plantations to be seized, excepting Spanish ships that come to buy negroes. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCVII., pp. 142, 143.]
April 11. 121. Minutes of Council of Nevis. Sir William Stapleton's Commission of Admiralty read, appointing five members, any three of whom to form a Court. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVIII., p. 64.]
April 13. 122. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. The Lieutenant-Governor communicated a letter from the Lords of Trade of 6 February and from the King of 15 February, which had arrived on the evening of the 16th; and reported that the new King had been proclaimed at St. Jago de la Vega and Port Royal on the following morning. The Council passed an address of loyalty. Judge White announced that Colonel Thomas Freeman, who was absent through sickness, desired to express his hearty concurrence with the address. Adjourned sine die. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXVI., pp. 80– 81.]
April 13. 123. Lieutenant-Governor Molesworth to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Reporting the proclamation of King James II., the publication of the King's proclamation continuing officers in their places, and the transmission of a loyal address from the Council. Copy. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Read July 15 1685. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 86, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXI., pp. 48– 49.]
[April ?.] 124. Address of the Lieutenant-Governor and Council of Jamaica to the King. Sorrow at the death of King Charles, joy at the peaceful accession of King James. Signed, Hender Molesworth, F. Watson, John Cope, Cha. Modyford, Tho. Ballard, J. Fuller, John White, John Bourden, Samuel Barry. Large sheet Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 87, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXI., pp. 50– 51.]
April 14. 125. Lords Proprietors of Carolina to Governor Joseph West. Warrant for a grant of 500 acres of land to James Du Gue. Signed, Craven, Albemarle, P. Colleton. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXII., p. 58.]
April 14 126. The same to the same. Warrant for a grant of 300 acres of land to Isaac Fleury. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXII., p. 59.]
April 15. 127. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. The Bishop of London's letter as to ecclesiastical jurisdiction read (see No. 130). Agreed to consider it when his lordship is present.
Lord Arran's petition read and referred to the Law Officers, and Lord Culpeper's petition likewise. Mr. Wharton to be heard respecting his petition on 27th inst. (see Nos. 81, 91, 115).
Draft circular as to the Acts of Trade and draft letter to Governor Cranfield approved.
Sir William Stapleton's letters of 17 November, 13 December, and 7 January read (see preceding volume). The merchants to attend, touching the Act of Antigua.
Memorandum of letters despatched and received. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVIII., pp. 133– 136.]
April 15. 128. Roger Elletson to William Blathwayt. I send a faithful account of the transactions at the Council of 11 March. A sum of 667l. embezzled was admitted with little or no dispute. I proved a further sum of 400l, and two hundred pieces of eight taken from the house of one Ward, also six large pieces of plate taken from Spurre, and two hundredweight of cochineal. Sir Charles Modyford offered to swear in Council that the plate and cochineal were worth no more than 480l., but in my judgment they were worth 800l. I proved also a diamond ring in the hands of Wilson's wife, and further sums amounting to 340l., which the Council called perquisites. I hope to prove further embezzlement when Captain Davis arrives. Holograph. 1½ pp.
Duplicate of foregoing. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., Nos. 88, 89.]
April 15. 129. Account of pirates goods. Total 1,919l. 5s. 8d. This concerns the charges of embezzlement against Sir Thomas Lynch (see No. 57). The amount stated due to the King is 804l. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 90.]
[April 15] 130. The Bishop of London to William Blathwayt. Being unable to attend the Committee, I ask you to lay the three following propositions before it. (1.) That I may have all ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the West Indies, or in Jamaica at least, excepting the disposal of the parishes, licences for marriages, and probate of wills. (2.) That no schoolmaster be received from hence without my licence; or otherwise that he take the Governor's licence. (3.) That orders be given for establishing the donation at St. Andrew's parish, Jamaica. Signed, H. London. Holograph. 1 p. Endorsed. Read April 15, 1685. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 91, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCVII., p. 143.]
April 15.
131. Lords of Trade and Plantations to Governor Cranfield. Repeating the substance of the report of March 27th (see No. 118). [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., pp. 140– 141.]
April 16. 132. Warrant of Lords Proprietors of Carolina for the grant of 500 acres of land to charles franchomme. Signed, Craven, Albemarle, P. Colleton. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXII., p. 59.]
April 17. 133. Warrant of the same for a grant of 500 acres to Isaac Lejay. Signed as the preceding. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXII., p. 58.]
April 17.
St. Christopher's
134. Minutes of a Council of War held at the Old Road. Two field officers, two captains, seven lieutenants, and seven ensigns present. Sergeants John Ruddle and Francis Holland, of the English Companies, were tried for mutiny. Sentence, to be shot by two files of their own men. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVIII., p. 39.]
April 19. 135. Journal of Assembly of Nevis. The Council and Assembly agreed to the Governor's proposals that the Blackrock and Old Road forts be repaired, that ammunition should be supplied to the forts, limiting the purchase to twenty barrels, and that a standing guard should be appointed instead of the look-out. The Assembly proposed the enforcement of the Act compelling every merchant to have by him fifty-six pounds of powder. Referred to next meeting. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 40.]
April 20.
136. Nehemiah Blakiston to [the Commissioners of Customs]. The murder of Mr. Rousby has been and is daily seconded with very apparent tokens of approvement both by the murderer Talbot and by all his adherents, who are very busy in extenuating his crime, and have conspired to procure his escape from Virginia to Maryland, where he remains publicly known at his own house. There is little hope that he will be brought to justice, since he is in intercourse and correspondence with the principal magistrates. Since the murder I have been continually discountenanced and obstructed in my proceedings for the King's service by the chief persons deputed for the government of this Province. They have contemned and disowned my commission, torn and burnt my certificates to masters of ships, and diverted masters from applying to me, so that ships have been cleared and despatched without my privity, by which means i am sure that my transgressors have escaped and many frauds been undetected. Lord Baltimore's Council has arrogated power to depute another to be collector of the King's dues on several rivers; and because I refused to recognise them I have been served with warrants to appear before them, and threatened with trial and ruin. One Colonel Digges is especially domineering, and tells me that I shall not maintain my commission here except by great guns, as Captain Allen doth. Him they calumniate and call pirate, and they asperse both his commission and mine, but I mean to do my duty, and I hope that I shall have your support. I beg that you will move the King to put an end to the growing and intolerable insolences under which the King's officers have always suffered. I expect hard usage unless care be taken to check persecution of the King's service here. I am sure that the King loses several thousand pounds annually by the obstruction and confusion of his affairs here, and I doubt but the revenue from tobacco will be small this year, for many merchants bound for other plantations would have carried tobacco had they not been threatened by the aforesaid with seizure of their ships. I know of but two entries made with me and my deputies for tobacco in the whole province. I hear that some of the collectors have lately clandestinely cleared and received the King's duties of some tobacco, and shall make enquiry. Major Nicholas Sewall, one of the Council and Collector at Patuxon, entered some Irish and some other ships. Suspecting these the transgressors, I told Sewall of his irregularity, and demanded the cocquets and certificates of the ships, but Sewall deferred delivery thereof. Suspecting that I would order Captain Allen to seize the ships, he warned the masters and promised them all favour if they submitted their ships to be seized by him. This was done; and the ship was brought to condemnation by a private court appointed for the purpose, just to prevent the execution of our commissions. Some prohibited goods were in like manner seized and tried by the same Sewall and Major Darnall. They might have had witnesses and evidence enough to condemn the goods, but they acquitted them without calling the material witnesses. The ship which imported these goods was seized soon after by Captain Allen by my order, but a trial on the King's behalf was refused by one of the principal officers of Government. You will see what just cause of complaint the King's officers have. I have plenty more such information to give you, but for the present suspend it. No letter came from Mr. Rousby, nor his brother John Rousby, nor for myself either this year or last. I mention this that, in any case you should have sent us anything, you may be aware of the miscarriage. Signed, Nehe. Blakiston. 7 pp. Endorsed. Presented by the Commissioners of Customs. Read in Council 10 July 85. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 92.]
April 21.
137. Governor Bradstreet to [William Blathwayt]. We received the letter reporting the accession of King James on 17 April, but deferred the proclamation till the 20th, to make suitable provision for the ceremony. Your intimation of the vacation of our charter by legal process was the first notice that we have received from any correspondent in England. We did not even hear of the issue of the scire faciasin time to answer, so we hope that our not appearing will not be imputed to us as disloyalty, much less contempt. I shall not attempt to extenuate our faults, and have sometimes thought it much, considering our difficulties and the distance from England, that we have committed no more. This I must say, that many things have been urged and aggravated against us by some that bore us no good will, as for instance the 50,000l. mentioned in the scire facias, when there was never 1,000l. raised in that account, nor above 2,000l. in any way for the expenses of Government. I trust that the King will forgive our faults and failings, and remit to us the liberties and little comforts that we have purchased at so dear a rate in this wilderness. Signed, S. Bradstreet. Holograph. 2 pp. Endorsed. Read at Committee June 11 1685. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 93, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXI., pp. 227– 228.]
April 21.
138. William Stoughton and others to William Blathwayt. The 20th of April was appointed for the proclamation of King James II., and there was present in Boston a very handsome appearance of a thousand foot-soldiers and about a hundred horse and numbers of gentlemen and merchants. After a regular march through the town the proclamation was read amid acclamations and volleys of shot, particularly of about fifty pieces of ordnance from Noddle's Island by Mr. Shrimpton. Similar proclamation will be made at Salem. Nothing would be more reasonable and just than for the people here to have early sent their agents and a humble address for the King's favour, but we judge this impossible to obtain with any public satisfaction. We doubt not that the King will take care for the settlement of the colony. Signed, William Stoughton, Joseph Dudley, Peter Bulkeley, Samuel Shrimpton. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 5 June. Read 11 June 85. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 94, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXI., pp. 226– 227.]
April 21. 139. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Resolved to address the King (see next abstract). [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 210– 211.]
April 21. 140. The Council of Virginia to the King. His Majesty having taken from Lord Culpeper a release of the demise of the quit-rents, escheats, etc., of the Southern part of Virginia and appropriated the same to the benefit of the Government, we, with all gratitude, feel encouraged to ask that he would also compensate Lord Culpeper for Northern Neck, and treat that in like gracious manner. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXII., pp. 333–334.]
April 22.
141. Governor Treat and the Council of Connecticut to Sir Leoline Jenkins. We received the news of the Accession of King James on the 19th instant, and proclaimed him this day at two of the clock. Favour us by presenting the enclosed address to the King. Signed, Robert Treat, Governor. John Allyn, Secretary. ½ p. Annexed,
141. I. Address of the Governor and Council of Connecticut to the King. Loyal rejoicings at his Accession, and hope for a quiet and peaceable life under the royal shadow. Signed as the letter. ½ p. The whole endorsed. Recd. 26 July 85. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 95, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXI., p. 248.]
April 22. 142. Warrant of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina for the grant of 3,000 acres of land to William Shaw. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXII., p. 60.]
April 22. 143. Minutes of Council of Barbados. (There was no quorum on April 7 and April 14.) The Governor shewed a letter signed by several of the Privy Council, a proclamation of King James II., and an Order in Council for alteration of the prayers. Order for the proclamation to be published. Address of the Council to the King; sorrow for the late monarch, loyalty to the new. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XI., pp. 588– 591.]
April 22.
144. "The March from Fontabelle [Government House] to the Town of St. Michael's for proclaiming our Gracious King James the Second." An account of the procession of regiments, horse and foot, and of dignitaries, to the place called Cheapside in St. Michael's, where the Provost Marshal repeated the proclamation after the Secretary. There was plenty of wine provided to drink the King's health; "had there been conduits they should have run "wine, instead of opening the heads of all the casks, which was "done that with more ease all people might drink the King's "health." 1 p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 96.]
April 22. 145. Petition and appeal of William Vaughan. (1.) Against a judgment given against him in New Hampshire, 6 November, 1686, in an action of trespass brought by Robert Mason. (2.) From a fine of forty pounds imposed at Quarter Sessions 6 May 1684 for beating and abusing Thomas Thurton, pretended deputy to Edward Randolph, of the King's Customs. (3.) From a judgment given against Nicholas Baker, master of the ketch Diligence in July 1684, of which vessel petitioner was principal owner. (4.) Against a decree of the Court of Equity by Robert Mason, as Chancellor and Judge, in a judgment obtained by Robert Mason against Richard Martyn, and another judgment obtained by Governor Cranfield against the said Martyn. Signed, William Vaughan. Copy. 7 pp. Endorsed. May 1681. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 97.]
April 23. 146. Governor Cranfield to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I received yours of 6th February on the 19th inst., and have proclaimed King James II. I have also pardoned all rioters and fineable misdemeanours to invite the disaffected to be better subjects. Signed, Edw. Cranfield. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 26 July 85. Enclosed,
146. I. Order of the Governor of New Hampshire in Council for proclamation of King James II. on the night of the 18th [sic]. Dated April 18, 1685. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed. as the foregoing.
146. II. Commission of the Governor of New Hampshire to Robert Mason and Richard Chamberlain to administer the oaths of allegiance and supremacy to the inhabitants. 22 April, 1685. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed as the foregoing. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., Nos. 98, 98 I., II., and (despatch only) Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., p. 146.]
April 24.
147. Governor and Council of New Plymouth to Lords of Trade and Plantations. We received your letter of 6 February on the 20th inst., and proclaimed King James II. on this day "with the "greatest solemnity our mean condition would capacitate us unto," rejoicing at the appearance of people not only from all the towns, but from the remotest parts of the Colony. We pray for a long and happy life for the King, and crave to enjoy our wonted liberties, both civil and religious, "which to enjoy without offence to those worthy "persons who were otherwise minded was the main and known "ends at that first and difficult undertaking by the first adventurers "at their own proper charge into this wild and barbarous wilder- "ness." Signed, Tho. Hinkley, Govr. Holograph. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 26 July 85. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 99, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXI., pp. 246– 247.]
April 24.
148. Lieutenant-Governor Molesworth to the Earl of Sunderland. I give further particulars of the piratical English in the South Seas. The small Island of Perico, which they have taken, is well fortified by nature, wherein they have made a strong palisaded fort. Having taken at different times vast quantities of flour, they have doubled their palisades, and filled them up between with sacks of flour, which by rain and other means is so hardened that it will resist any shot that can be brought against it. So provident were they of their own security that they neglected to take a very considerable prize in order to seize twelve ship's guns, which they have mounted in the Island. It is now stated that all the English in the South Seas are collected in one body, that they are indifferently strong at sea, that the President of Panama sent out five ships against them which were beaten back with loss of the commanding officer, and that the President agreed upon a truce, and during the truce sent a fireship among them, without success. They are said to intend to intercept the Lima fleet, and to be strong enough to do so. I heard yesterday of six privateer ships that had been burnt in the Bay of Darien, from which seven hundred men joined the rest, most of them French; also that two French privateers had landed two hundred and eighty more men, so that the whole party must now be two thousand strong, the majority and governing part being English. Captain Michel, a French privateer, was recently beaten off by the Spaniards from Darien with loss of his prizes. The French continue to issue Commissions against the Spaniard, on pretence of damage done them by piragues set out from Havana before the making of the recent truce in Europe. Signed, Hder. Molesworth. Holograph. 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 100.]
April 24. 149. William Blathwayt to the Attorney and Solicitor Generals. Referring to them the petitions of Lord Culpeper and others and the Earl of Arran, for report (see Nos. 91 I., 115 I.). [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXI., p. 325.]
April 25. 150. William Blathwayt to the Merchants of the Leeward Islands. Forwarding copies of Acts, and directing their attendance. Memo. of their attendance on the 27th. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., pp. 183– 184.]
April 25. 151. Minutes of Council of Nevis. The letter of February 6th from the Lords of Trade read, also the King's letter of 15 February and the proclamation of the Accession of King James II. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVIII., p. 64.]
April 25. 152. Journal of Assembly of Nevis. The Assembly agreed to a proposal of the Governor and Council for the immediate supply of fifty barrels of powder; and to a proposal that the Treasurer should meanwhile buy up all powder for sale in the Island. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 40.]
April 27. 153. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Acts of Barbados considered. Sir Richard Dutton to be told that the passing of the Militia Act for three months is contrary to his instructions. The same to be said of the Act for securing possession of slaves. The remainder approved.
The Bishop of London's proposals agreed to (see No. 131). [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVIII., p. 144.]
Acts of Antigua read. The merchants to attend and state their objections if any.
Petition of Richard Wharton read (see No. 81). The Lords inclined to grant him so much land as he can improve in seven years, with liberty to fish so far as not to molest others.
Memorandum of letters despatched and received. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVIII., pp. 137– 140.]
April 27.
154.The Secretary of Virginia to [the Earl of Sunderland]. All is well and quiet here, and there are hopes of lasting safety, thanks to Lord Howard's treaty with the Seneca Indians. For years they disturbed us, but there has been no alarm since the peace. In all parts of the Government the Governor's prudence, justice, and good conduct has brought even the worst of men to order. George Talbot, who was brought here for the murder of Mr. Rousby, has broken prison and escaped to Maryland, where he has been, to the full knowledge of the Government, for full six weeks. I neither excuse nor aggravate the slowness of the Government of Maryland to apprehend so notorious an offender. Signed, Nicho. Spencer. Holograph. 1½ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 101.]
[April 27] 155. "Privileges craved by Mr. Wharton for a settlement of lands in the Province of Maine." (1.) Liberty of religion. (2.) Liberty to transport people of all nations that may be willing to come, such persons and their posterity, on taking the oath of allegiance, to enjoy the liberties of Englishmen. (3.) That all persons may for five years enjoy freedom from arrest for debts contracted out of the Colony, provided that within one year after arrival they apply themselves to improve their estates. (4.) That the Plantations, Harbour, and River be ordained a manor, and held directly from the King. (5.) That no action arising within the manor be tried without it, except exceeding 100l. (6.) That the lord of the manor may appoint ports for loading and unloading. 1 p. Endorsed as headed. Recd. 27 Apr. 85. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 102.]
April 28. 156. William Blathwayt to the Deputy-Governor of the Royal Africa Company. Forwarding copy of the Antigua Act of Extent, and fixing a time when he may attend the Lords of Trade thereon. Memorandum of the decision taken in consequence on May 5. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., pp. 184– 185.]
April 29.
157. Order of the King in Council. That copies of the appeal of William Vaughan (see No. 145) be sent to the Lords of Trade and Plantations for examination and report. Signed, Phil. Musgrave. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., pp. 141– 142.]
April 29.
East New
158. A brief intimation of the proclamation of King James II. "After the performance thereof the Governor entertained the "Council and gave the inhabitants a dinner, to their great content." Scrap. Endorsed. Recd. 8 July 85. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 103.]
April 29.
St. Andrew's
159. Roger Elletson to William Blathwayt. From new evidence I have ascertained the amount of cochineal taken from Spurre. This raises the balance due to the King to 804l. (see ante, No. 129). The same witness told me that Spurre's cocoa was sold at Petit Guavos from Sir T. Lynch, which was worth at least 400l. more; the sale of Spurre's sloop and negroes makes at least 320l. more. We hear strange reports of English and French privateers at Darien. Holograph. 1 p. Enclosed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 104.]
April 29. 160. Commissioners of Customs to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Forwarding a letter from Captain Allen giving a fresh account of the difficulty and danger of the King's Custom-Officers in Maryland. Signed, J. Werden, N. Butler, J. Buckworth, W. Dickinson, T. Chudleigh. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 105.]
April 29.
161. Governor Sir Richard Dutton to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I received your Lordships' order of the 6th of February, signifying the death of our Gracious Sovereign, which was a great astonishment and sorrow to me, and would have been insupportable had not God been extraordinary kind to us in not suffering us to be a minute miserable, by blessing us with such a prince in his present Majesty. On receipt of your order, I summoned the Council for the following day, and on the 23rd I proclaimed the King; and I hope, considering the shortness of the time and the number of the people, that it was done with as great solemnity and order as in any of his dominions, and not only with acclamation but affection, though when I entered on this government there were few that durst give him, as Duke of York, the respect due to a private gentleman. I then published the King's other proclamation, though the judges tell me that they cannot act without new commissions in his name. I have, therefore, ordered them to adjourn the Courts of Common Pleas from time to time till my new commission shall arrive. The day after the King's proclamation Sir John Witham sent his lady to me, encouraged so to do (so she said) by some eminent friends at Whitehall, to demand his freedom. I asked her to show me the grounds of her proposal, or any order from the King, for he stands committed not by my warrant, but by the Court of Grand Sessions, and is the King's debtor for the fines imposed on him. Signed, Ri. Dutton. Holograph. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 10 July. Read 15 July 85. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 106, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 294– 295.]
April 30.
162. Sir John Witham to Lord [Sunderland]. My most real thanks for your favour to me, which has relieved me from the malice of an implacable enemy, whom I never did justly offend, and who sought my life and ruin. Sir Richard Dutton will not understand the genuine sense of the words of the royal order of 15 January last, because it is not expressly said that I shall be restored again to my place in Council and discharged from all judgments, etc. The import of the words bears this sense, but he positively refuses to enlarge me or restore me or do anything for me till he receives further order. He seems to think that he has interest enough with the King to carry any matter as he pleases, though it be against the opinion and sense of the Lords of the Council. I make bold to enclose to you several matters wherein he has violated his commission and instructions, that the way of his proceedings may be rightly understood. For my part I never durst deviate from them; and the only fault alleged against me was that I would never be seduced to lessen the King's authority. Sir Richard acts against his instructions at all times when he is tempted with money or any gift that is valuable, and his quarrel with me was only because I would not give him 812l. 10s. 0d., the amount of my salary. I have been so much afflicted with sickness when Sir Richard took his opportunity to persecute me that I shall never perfectly recover my health till I return to England. I should have returned before now if Sir Richard Dutton had not hindered me. I beg you to procure me permission to return to England, and there answer all charges against me. Signed, Jno. Witham. P.S.—I perceive Sir R. had an eye upon a large part of the fruits I had been this eighteen years a gathering. 2½ pp. Annexed,
162. I. Matters wherein Sir Richard has acted against his commission and instructions. (1.) In receiving gifts without first obtaining the King's approbation, contrary to an instruction of 15 December 1682. A new order of 15 January 1684 is directed to be entered in the Assembly and Council Books; but though he has received this latter order ten days he has not yet appointed it to be registered. (2.) He enquires where titles to estates are defective, and threatens to take away the land unless the owners compound with him. He then issues grants, which he has no right to do, and has thus made large sums. He also collects the Escheats, but has never accounted for the money so received. (3.) He has appropriated the whole profits from the condemnation of an interloping ship, and will not give a farthing to anyone else. (4.) He has made a contract with Mr. Banckes, a Jamaica merchant, to give Spaniards liberty to trade here; for which they are to pay him 1,500l. annually. (5.) The Assembly recently passed an Act for renting the revenue of the four-and-a-half per cent. duty. He made an agreement with some members of the Assembly, and they consented to give him 1,500l. to pass the Act and use his interest with the King to obtain the Royal Assent. (6.) He keeps in his own hand some 400l. value of the estate of James Holloway, the traitor, who suffered at Tyburn in April 1684, not paying it into the Exchequer. (7.) He turned John Daniel, Chief Judge, out of his place because of his affinity to Sir John Witham, contrary to his instructions to remove no judge without just cause. (8.) He suspended Sir John Witham from the Council without charge, evidence, or trial, contrary to his instructions. (9.) He still keeps Sir John Witham in prison, notwithstanding the King's order of 15 January, and though it is addressed to himself and Council has never communicated it to the Council. 3¼ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., Nos. 107, 107 I.]
April 30. 163. Journal of Assembly of Nevis. The Governor, Council, and Assembly acceded to the request of the merchants that the fifty-six pounds of powder, ordered to be kept in their houses, might be stored in the magazine. The Governor and Council agreed to contract with Robert Helmes for twenty-two barrels of cannon-powder and eight of pistol-powder at 800 lbs. of sugar per barrel. Address of loyalty voted to King James II. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 40.]
April 30. 164. Minutes of Council of St. Nevis. The oath of allegiance was administered to the Deputy-Governor, Council, and Assembly. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVIII., p. 65.]
April 30. 165. Petition of John Custis to the King. Bringing forward his loyalty during Bacon's rebellion, and begging restoration to the Council and other offices which were disposed of to others owing to a report of his death. Inscribed below. Order of the King referring the petition to Lords of Trade and Plantations for report. Whitehall, 30 April, 1685. Signed, Sunderland, 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 5 May 85. Read same day. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 108, and (order only) Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXII., p. 323.]