America and West Indies: August 1685

Pages 71-86

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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August 1685

Aug. 1. 299. Minutes of a Council of War held at Jamaica. The Governor brought forward the necessity for suppressing a rising of negroes belonging to Guanaboa. Order for the articles of war framed by Lord Carlisle to be published and martial law to be proclaimed; for 120 men to be raised and kept constantly on duty, at 5s. a day for an officer, 2s. 6d. for a sergeant, and 1s. 6d. for a soldier, receiving also 5l. a head for every negro captured or killed, to be divided equally among the men of the party concerned. Ordered that, as many plantations have not so many white servants as the law requires, the Colonels shall place on such plantations as many men as are necessary, at the owners' expense, till the owners shall procure others in their stead. Ordered, that commanding officers keep a greater or lesser number of men in arms in their respective parties. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXVI., pp. 89–90. Copy of Articles of War, pp. 94–97.]
Aug. 1.
300. The answer of Edwyn Stede to the interrogations of Sir John Witham. (1.) I often heard Sir Richard Dutton say, after his return to Barbados, that he expected a good present from Sir John Witham and deserved it, and that if he did not get it, it would be the worse for him, and so forth. Sir Richard oftern spoke angrily of the loss of half his salary, and at last, to keep up friendship, I offered to speak to Sir John on the subject, and did so, telling him that Sir Richard, unless satisfied, was resolved to give way to violent prosecution, as an indictment of Premunire. Sir John said that he feared none of such things, and that the abandonment of the half salary to Sir Richard would only weaken his cause; and as he insisted on his innocence of the complaints against him, I pressed him no further. Sir Richard was very angry when my mission came to nothing, and still more so when a few days later Sir John wrote to him and told him his mind. Shortly after came the accusation of Sir John in the Council. (2.) I verily believe that if Sir John had resigned the half salary, there would have been no prosecution. (3.) The records shew that Sir Richard disposed of two men's estates for money, and that he received considerable fines from offenders at the Sessions of 1681. (4.) The proceedings against Sir John in the Court of Exchequer were by Sir Richard's own order, who was much vexed that they were not speedier. (5.) I publicly expressed my dissatisfaction on the bench with the manner of proceeding against him. Harsh words were used against Sir John from the bench, but by whom I do not remember. (6.) There was great discussion as to the amount of the fine to be imposed. If I could have prevailed, the eleven thousand pounds should have been reduced to less than as many hundreds. (9.) I do not believe that Sir John Witham altered any of the records, as was charged against him (10.) Sir Richard frequently dined with the Council and Judges during the Sessions. He was anxious to conclude the trial quickly. (11.) Mr. Richard Seawell, who was made a judge by Sir Richard Dutton, was charged with high crimes by Mr. William Walley, but I know not what they are, nor why no prosecution was made. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 331–338.]
Aug. 1.
301. Henry Carpenter to the Royal African Company. Transmitting an Act of Antigua for annexing negroes to the freehold, and requesting that it may be stopped as destructive to trade. ½ p. Endorsed. Recd. 10 Aug. 85. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 2.]
Aug. 1. 302. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Ordered that Mr. Bysshe receive copies of the depositions sent by Governor Cony.
Colonel Molesworth's letters of 27 April and 15 May read (see No. 193). The Lords agreed that all persons concerned in the Assiento should be encouraged.
Petition of Barachiah Arnall read (see No. 297), and referred to Sir William Stapleton. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVIII., pp. 170–173.]
Aug. 3. 303. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Randolph presented a paper of proposals (see next abstract). The Lords agreed to await the King's directions. Lord Howard of Effingham's Commission approved.
Sir William Stapleton's report on the petition of Barachiah Arnall read, and referred to the Commissioners of Customs.
Colonel Digges's letter to Lord Baltimore of 11 June, and Colonel Spencer's of 18 June were read (see Nos. 221, 239).
Memorandum of documents received. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVIII., pp. 173–176.]
Aug. 3. 304. Edward Randolph to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I have received three writs of quo warranto against East and West New Jersey and Delaware, and two more, with summons from the Sheriffs of London, against Rhode Island and Connecticut, which are returnable next term. A ship should be sent in three weeks' time at farthest direct to New England, that the serving of the writs may not lapse through the delays of a winter's voyage and the prosecution be rendered ineffectual, as in the case of the Boston Charter. Signed, Ed. Randolph. Holograph. 1 p. Endorsed. Read at Committee, Aug. 3 1685. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 23, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXI., pp. 248–249.]
Aug. 3. 305. Captain William Phips, R. N., to the Earl of Sunderland. By order of the Governor of Bermuda, I brought home Henry Bysshe on board H.M.S. Golden Rose, and delivered him to you; since which time Bysshe has arrested me. I am now in custody in the bailiff's hand in the liberties of the Tower; whereby I am kept from the King's business. Pray issue some order for my discharge. Signed, William Phips. "From the Nagg's Head on little Tower Hill." ½ p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 24.]
Aug. 3. 306. Receipt for a bundle of papers seized from him by the messenger and returned to him by william Blathwayt. Signed, Henry Bysshe. 1 p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 25.]
[Aug. ?] 307. A short summary of the history of the Bermuda Company down to the time of the vacation of its charter. 1¼ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. LV., No. 26.]
Aug. 3.
308. Depositions of Colonel John Sampson, in reply to Sir John Witham. (1.) The Court denied Sir John a copy of the indictment and counsel. (2.) Henry Walrond said that the indictment was leniently drawn by the law-officers, for it might have been treason. (3.) The Court refused to hear two witnesses for Sir John. (4.) The Court rejected Sir John's plea in abatement, and (5) his pleas in bar, and insisted that he should plead not guilty. (6.) The judges hesitated to allow Sir John's witnesses to be sworn. (7.) Henry Walrond directed the jury to find for the King, not valuing evidence against the King's. (8.) Henry Walrond declined to allow portions of two letters from the King and from Secretary Jenkins to be read in evidence. (9.) People were afraid to speak on Sir John's behalf, or to visit him in confinement, from fear of Sir Richard Dutton. (10.) It was common report that Sir Richard intercepted Sir John Witham's letters. (11.) The Council, with two exceptions, offered themselves as witnesses against Sir John, though sole judges of the Court. Copy. 8 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 27.]
Aug. 4. 309. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Sir Timothy Thornhill took the oaths and subscribed the test. The Lieutenant-Governor announced that after due consideration he had decided not to alter the rules respecting the practice of judges this year. John Whetstone was empowered to administer oaths. Order for payment of a quarter's rent for Fontabelle to Thomas Walrond, and for repair of the path to the magazine. Agreed that the Assembly called by Sir R. Dutton might legally continue during the usual time. Order for depositions to be taken as to Sir R. Dutton's protection of Captain Walley from arrest. Commission to be issued for the trial of Mr. Tollemache. Several payments ordered for work on the fortifications. The beneficed Ministers appeared before the Lieutenant-Governor, took the oaths and signed the test. Establishment of the Court of Chancery constituted in 1672 revived and confirmed. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XI., pp. 619–634.]
Aug. 4. 310. William Blathwayt to Mr. Graham. The King, on reading Captain Phips's letter (see No. 302), orders that bail be given on his behalf for so much as relates to Captain Phips's transportation of the prisoner. You will see to this. Draft. ¼ p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 28.]
Aug. 10. 311. Minutes of a Council of War in Jamaica. Ordered that the negro prisoners taken at Guanaboa be tried by Court-Martial. The Board declared their opinion that any officer of horse, under the rank of Captain, may be tried by a regimental Court-Martial of foot officers belonging to the same precinct. Order for issue of powder. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXVI., p. 91.]
Aug. 10. 312. Instructions prepared by the Commissioners of Customs for the Governors of Plantations, for the better putting in execution the Acts of Trade and Navigation. (1.) You will study the Acts themselves. (2.) None but ships of the British Isles are to trade with the Colonies, and three-fourths of the crew must be British subjects. (3 and 4.) You will see to the observance of rules as to bonds and certificates. (5.) [To Maryland only.] In consequence of frauds and mischiefs, we have caused blank certificates to be sent to every port in this kingdom, and have given some also to you. You will see that your officers assist the King's collector in his work, and that they do nothing in reference to the King's duties without his privity. (6.) You will observe the law as to exclusive importation of home produce, (7) and for transhipment of all colonial goods not designed for the English market. (8.) [To Maryland only.] In consequence of the forging of certificates and cockets, you will prepare a list of all bonds taken and to be taken from Michaelmas 1679, to Michaelmas, 1685. (9.) [To Maryland only.] The officers which you have appointed to receive the King's customs shall cease to do so and shall render us an account of their receipts. Countersigned, Sunderland. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCVII., pp. 151–167.]
[Aug.] 313. Form of certificate of bonds given by masters of ships trading to the Plantations. 1¼ pp. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 29.]
314. Forms of certificates of ships trading to the Plantations and of ships laden in the Plantations, that they have produced certificates of bonds to observe the Acts of Trade and Navigation. Printed. 2 pp. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 30.]
Aug. 11. 315. Governor Dongan to William Blathwyat. Yours of 6th March I have received, and am heartily glad that I am to correspond with you. Sir John Werden writes that he has delivered up the material papers to you. You must be a stranger to our proceedings unless you have perused the papers concerning the differences between our Indians and the French, and if occasion should come for me to act (of which I hope there is no danger), I have no instructions, for Sir J. Werden has not answered my letter. The French are now quiet. We have a very good trade this year, and shall have much better if we take the same care as the French, by putting a little fort on this side the Great Lake, as they have on the other. It is in the King's dominions, nearer to us than to them, and would be an obligation on the Indians to bring their beaver to us, which would be six for one at present. I put the arms of the Duke, now His Majesty, on all the Indian Castles near the Great Lake, by their own consent, they having submitted to this Government. They are a considerable people, and ought to be encouraged, for they have a great influence over most of the Indians in America. The French quarrel only because they cannot obtain them. If ever they should, they would be troublesome to most of the King's subjects in America. A French man-of-war came into Sandy Hook, which is within six or seven leagues of this city, and asked leave to wood and water and buy fresh provisions. I sent the Mayor, who is a Frenchman, on board, to see by what commission he sailed, and he sent me copy of his commission, which was from the Governor of Petit Guavos. I called the Council, who advised that he might have leave to wood, water, and provision, so long as he left none of his prize goods behind him, nor sold them. Having obtained what he wanted, he went to sea, and I am told plundered one of our ketches bound to Barbados. She was of thirty guns and 200 men. I sent away the packets to Virginia, and wish I could tender you any particular service. Mr. Spragge, Secretary of this place, goes to England this winter, and will bring our last-made laws with him. Signed, Tho. Dongan. 2½ pp. Endorsed. Recd 29 Sept. 1685. Read Oct. 9 1685. Printed in New York Documents, III., 363. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 31, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVIII., pp. 79–83.]
Aug. 14.
316. Henry Guy to William Bridgeman. Enclosed are the instructions to the Governor of Maryland, with the blanks filled up by the Commissioners of Customs. They have represented that it would be for the King's service that all such instructions should be sent by them, as they can send with them books of rates, etc., to the Collectors. Though therefore it is probable that the present instructions may be given to Lord Baltimore, who is in England, all such instructions are, by the Lord Treasurer's order, to be sent in future to the Commissioners of Customs. Holograph. 1 p. Endorsed. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 32, and Col. Entry Bk, Vol. XCVII., p. 149.]
Aug. 18. 317. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Draft instructions from the Commissioners of Customs to Governors as to the Acts of Trade read, and ordered to be sent to all Governors (see No. 312).
Minutes of Council of Virginia of 20 November and 12 June read (see No. 230) as to Colonel Talbot. Order for a letter to Lord Howard, instructing him to send Talbot home for trial. Lord Baltimore to be informed. The representation of the Governor and Council of Virginaia of 21 April as to quit-rents read. A copy to be sent to Lord Culpeper for his reply. Draft instructions to Lord Howard read, and a clause respecting transported rebels added. A new clause as to encouragement of planting vines, flax, etc., to be remitted to the King, as it may give too much encouragement to neglect the planting of tobacco in consequence of the new duty.
Mr. Penn's petition for hearing of his case against Lord Baltimore read (see No. 320). The Lords appointed the 26th inst.
Sir Philip Howard presented a memorial for instructions as to English ships driven by stress of weather into French ports, and as to retaliation on French ships in the corresponding case; as to French privateers and their treatment; as to disturbance of the turtle-fishery by the Spaniards; as to convoys of negro ships for the Spaniards; as to supply of negroes by the African Company; as to pardon of privateers who give security for good behaviour; and as to the inexpediency of keeping practising lawyers in the Council. Ordered for consideration on 26th inst. Abstracts to be made of Colonel Molesworth's letters relating to privateers.
The proclamation of the King at Philadelphia 23 May read. Mr. Randolph's memorial (see No. 319) read and remitted for the King's orders.
The Chief Justice to give his opinion whether the gift made to Henry Walrond by the Barbados Act of Excise be not irregular. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVIII., pp. 177–183.]
Aug. 18. 318. William Blathwayt to Lord Culpeper. Forwarding the address of the Council of Virginia of April 21 (see No. 140) for his answer and proposals. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXII., pp. 334.]
[Aug. 18.] 319. Edward Randolph to Lords of Trade and Plantations. More than nine months have passed since judgment was entered for the late King against the charter of Boston, whereby the Government of the Colony is vested in the King; yet to this day disaffected persons, under cover of the vacated charter, pretend to exercise government there, and countenance breaches of the Acts of Trade and Navigation. There is now no Government there, and the loyal party, which is always the majority, is in daily expectation of deliverance from the oppression that they have groaned under; but being kept out of the Government they cannot relieve themselves, nor put a stop to the mischief complained of. I suggest that the King should erect a temporary Government of the best-disposed persons on the spot, until the Governor-General of New England shall be despatched. I have served the writs on the proprietors of East and West New Jersey and Delaware, and await orders about the two Quo Warrantos issued against Rhode Island and Connecticut, which are returnable next term. If the King think fit to commit the duty to me, I could serve the writs and establish the temporary Government. Signed, Ed. Randolph. Holograph. 1¼ pp. Endorsed. Read at Committee, Aug. 18 1685. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 33.]
[Aug. 18.] 320. Petition of William Penn to the King. Has long waited the decision of the difference between himself and Lord Baltimore; and though referred to the issue of the Quo Warranto on Lord Baltimore's patent, yet finds the delay very ruinous, for the question is of title of land and not of power, and so not touched by the Quo Warranto. Prays an early hearing by the Lords of Trade and Plantations. Signed, Wm. Penn. Holograph. 1 p. Inscribed. Recd. from the Earl of Middleton, 18 August 1685; read same day. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 34.]
[Aug. 18.] 321. Petition of same to Lords of Trade and Plantations. For an early hearing. Holograph. Unsigned. Inscribed. Recd. 18 Aug. 85. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 35.]
Aug. 18. 322. William Blathwayt to Henry Guy. Forwarding petition of Barachiah Arnall and Sir William Stapleton's report thereon for the opinions of the Commissioners of Customs. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., p. 192.]
Aug. 18.
323. Henry Guy to William Blathwayt. Asking that copies of the instructions issued to Governors respecting the Acts of Trade may be forwarded to the Admiralty for distribution to the captains of ships serving in the Plantations. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCVII., p. 150.]
Aug. 20.
324. Deputy-Governor Edwyn Stede to Lords of Trade and Plantations. We are in some degree restored to our senses and to peace since Sir Richard Dutton left. We are full of joy at the news received two days ago of the defeat of the rebels in Scotland and the capture of Argyle, as well as of those headed by Monmouth, whose head we hope has paid for his treason by this time. I have begun to inspect the affairs of the Government, and first of the Church. The clergy unanimously agreed to take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy and to sign the test. I found the Courts of Justice and Chancery all out of order and much in arrear of business. Most of the business is now despatched, I having set the example in the Court of Chancery. I am now taking account of the fortifications, artillery, and ammunition, hoping to persuade the Assembly to finish them, though at present, by reason of the large gifts made to Sir Richard Dutton and Henry Walrond, amounting to 3,000l., out of the excise which was raised for the maintenance of the fortifications, we are not able to carry them on. Indeed Sir Richard Dutton has given little care to the King's service since his last return to the Island, having employed his thoughts wholly to enrich himself and ruin Sir John Witham. No public thing has been finished but the new magazine, where I have seven hundred barrels of powder, and fifteen hundred spare firearms. I do not wonder at Sir Richard Dutton's anger at me for opposing his passing away the King's right to some land, for he lost a hundred pounds by it. But I hope the King will gain more than this by this land. I doubt not in time to discover to you many similar bargains of Sir Richard Dutton for his own profit and to the King's loss. Mr. Tollemache, son to the Duchess of Lauder-dale, who killed the purser of H.M.S. Diamond, is here on bail, and begs to be brought to trial as soon as possible. I therefore granted a special commission and summoned two juries, with due respect to his quality and to the justice of the cause, and he was found guilty of manslaughter only. He was allowed benefit of clergy, and he chose to be burnt in the hand to save him from being appealed in England. Signed, Edwyn Stede. 2 pp. Endorsed. Read 31 Oct. 1685. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 36, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VII., pp. 328–333.]
Aug. 20.
325. Robert Mason to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Your letter of 22 May last (see No. 198) was opened by Captain Barefoot, Governor Cranfield having sailed for Barbados. In obedience to your order I will give my attendance in June next to answer the appeal, and prove my just title to the soil of this province. In obedience to your letter of 29 April I shall forbear to commence any more suits upon title of land until William Vaughan's appeal has been heard, but I conceive that you do not intend me to suspend the judgments for my costs in the several actions, many of the defendants having given bills to discharge the same, or to discharge such as are in execution for nonpayment. I have had the patience to wait a whole year for most of them, in hope of an amicable arrangement. I have now caused it to be published that if anyone else shall appeal, they shall be admitted to be heard before you, and have a month allowed to enter their appeals with the Secretary of the province, that the matters may be finally determined; but their design is to weary me out, if they can, by continual troubles and expenses, while they make purse among themselves out of my estate, to bear their expenses. Upwards of 400l. has already been collected from Vaughan and Weare, and more will be raised, to carry on the design against me, by the fanatic party. As to the trials I have had with the terre-tenants, I conceive that it was according to the report of the Chief Justices of 17 July 1677, confirmed by the royal letter of 23 June 1682, which required the Courts of Massachusetts to admit me to prosecute my right. As to the clause in Governor Cranfield's Commission, he and I conceived it to relate to the value of lands and quit-rents, and not to title. If I have done wrong I ask pardon. It is a great prejudice to me to have to sue in this place, where jurymen take upon themselves to be judges of law as well as of fact, as in the case of Mr. Vaughan. The lands he holds are worth 150l. a year, and he has held them for about ten years. I brought an action for 500l. damages, and the jury found that the land was mine, and as damages for the time passed awarded me two shillings. Since the arrival of Vaughan and Weare, the preachers and church-members have used all imaginable industry to prevent the inhabitants from agreeing with me. Such as have become my tenants are vilified and abused, and several riots have been committed upon the lands of those who have taken deeds from me, pulling down frames of houses, throwing down fences, mowing the grass, and felling the timber. When the people seek redress, the trespassers plead that it ought not to be tried, being a matter of title, and that all my grants signify nothing till the present King declares my right, as the late King so often did. I beg for a letter from you to encourage the loyal party and suppress the insolent. Signed, Robert Mason. Holograph. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 21 Dec. 1685. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 37, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., pp. 151–155.]
Aug. 21.
326. Commissioners of Customs to Lords of Trade and Plantations. On the petition of Barachiah Arnall (see No. 297). We think that, as the King has received no prejudice and the Act of Navigation has not been evaded, the petitioner is a fit object for the King's mercy. Signed, J. Buckworth, Jo. Werden, D. North, T. Chudleigh. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 24 Aug.. Read 26 Aug. 85. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 38, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., p. 193.]
Aug. 21.
Sept. 10.
327. Father Lamberville to [Governor Dongan]. Since my last the "Sonnentonans" [Senecas], who wished to make a disturbance and determine all the Maquois to join them against Mons de La Barre, have changed their minds. This is in consequence of an assurance that the peace made last year, as you desired, should not be broken by Mons. de La Barre, as had been maliciously insinuated by a hundred false reports. To finish the work so happily begun, it remains only to exhort the Sonnentonans to add more peltry to the ten beaver skins and thirty otters which they have left in store at Onnantague to satisfy Mons. de La Barre, as you recommended them to do last year. May your zeal for the public peace, above all for that of the Christians of America, urge you to put the finishing touch to the work at once, and recommend the Sonnentonans and other tribes to distrust current false rumours, for the Governor of Canada desires with all his heart to preserve peace and second your upright intentions. The Onnontagués and those who are of their sentiments have wrought earnestly with the Sonnentonans to make them revert to peaceful intentions, as has also the Sieur Arnaut, bearer of this letter, who was present at all that was said and done, and will be glad to give you a full account. Since, by your efforts, peace is likely to be maintained, we shall continue to carry the Christian faith into this country, and to entreat those Indians, whom you honour with your friendship, to embrace it. This is the one object that has brought us hither, that the blood of Jesus Christ, which was shed for all men, may be profitable to them, and that His glory may be great upon earth. If you could honour me with a word from your own hand, you can give your letter to one Garakontié, who is deputy for the Onnontagués at the congress which you are calling at Albany. Do him the favour to exhort him to be a good Christian, as was his brother, whose name he bears. Advise him to get drunk no more, as he promised when he was baptised, and to do his duty as a Christian. One word from you will affect his mind very greatly, and he will publish abroad that it is untrue that the English forbid them Christianity, since you, their Governor, exhort him to persevere therein. I pray God, who has untied us in the same Catholic faith, to unite us also in heaven. Signed, Jean Lamberville, of the Company of Jesus, called in Indian (en sauvage) Teiorheuseré. P.S.—Pardon me the liberty that I take in presenting my humble respects to the Governor of Virginia, whom the Indians call Longsword. I hear that he will be near you at Albany. Some time ago I caused an Englishman, called Robetman, whom the Indians had robbed and captured, to him, saving him from the fury of the disorderly and from those who wished to make a slave of him. It was the least that I could do for him. French. 2½ pp. Printed translation in New York Documents, III., 453. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 39.]
[Aug. 23.] 328. Lords of Trade and Plantations to the King. Recommending the adoption of Edward Randolph's proposals for a temporary Government at Boston (see No. 319). [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXI., p. 250.]
Aug. 24. 329. Henry Guy to William Blathwayt. Forwarding report of Commissioners of Customs on the petition of Barachiah Arnall (see No. 326). [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., p. 192.]
Aug. 24. 330. Minutes of a Council of War held at Jamaica. Orders as to proceedings in a general alarm agreed to. The Governor proposed at the present juncture that the Council should take the oath of allegiance, which was done. Report of a Court-Martial on Captain Charles Hudson, for treasonable words. Ordered that he be cashiered, and that he be prosecuted by the Attorney-General. Order for a Court-Martial on captured negroes; the members nominated. Captain Davis's proposals agreed to, viz., in consideration of 100l. a month, one month to be paid in advance, to pursue the rebels with his Indians till he has destroyed them completely. Order for payment of the first instalment to him. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXVI., pp. 91–92.]
Aug. 24. 331. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Order for payment of three months' salary to the Governor. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXVI., p. 87 and p. 100.]
Aug. 26. 332. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. The business of Mr. Penn and Lord Baltimore postponed to 2 September.
Mr. Bysshe's and Colonel Cony's case was heard. Bysshe ordered to put in his answer to Cony.
Sir John Witham attended and swore to the statements put in on his appeal.
Sir Philip Howard's memorial considered. Petition of Jacques Gonzales read (see No. 228). Report of Commissioners of Customs on the petition of Barachiah Arnall read. Agreed to recommend him as a fit object of mercy.
Edward Randolph's petition (see No. 334) read and reserved for consideration.
On petition of Mr. Rousby, brother to the murdered Christopher Rousby, agreed to recommend that Colonel Talbot be tried by Special Commission in Virginia.
The Lords agreed to represent to the King the petition of Edward Gove for release. Memo. The King ordered him to be pardoned. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CVIII., pp. 183–187.]
Aug. 26. 333. Lords of Trade and Plantations to the Lord President. Desiring the King's opinion as to a clause in the commission for the temporary Government of New England as to calling Assemblies for raising money, since the law-officers report that, notwithstanding the forfeiture of the charter, the right still remains in the inhabitants to consent to such laws and taxes as shall be made in New England. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXI., p. 251.]
Aug. 26. 334. Petition of Edward Randolph to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I have already made eight voyages to and from New England on the King's business, and am just starting on the ninth. I beg your recommendation for my appointment as Secretary and Registrar of the Colonies to be united under the Government of New England. Holograph. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 26 Aug. 85. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 40, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXI., p. 251.]
[Aug. 26.] 335. Petition of Edward Gove, for pardon. Has been in the Tower of London since June 1683. Statement of case annexed. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 26 Aug. Represented to the King, 30th. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 41.]
Aug. 26. 336. Deposition of John Shaw, before the Lords of Trade and Plantations. Was carried away from Sir John Witham's, his master's house, on 23 June last by warrant from Sir Timothy Thornhill, and on 24th June brought up before Sir Timothy, who required him to swear to certain written depositions and questions, using threats to compel him. On the 26th he went into town to give evidence before the Commissioners appointed by the Governor, but objected to four of them, Messrs. Hothersall, St. John, Chester, and Walley, as not impartial; of whom two cross-examined him and altered his depositions. On 1 July, Walley again did his best to discourage witnesses for Sir John, and encourage them against him. Material witnesses for Sir John told him a few days later that they had been threatened with ruin if they should give evidence for him. On the last day of taking depositions Henry Walrond was present, and scurrilously abused all Sir John's witnesses. 3 large pp. Endorsed, 26 Aug. 1685. Recd. 9 Sept. 1685. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 42.]
Aug. 27. 337. Journal of Assembly of Nevis. The Council and Assembly agreed that the fortifications should be repaired. The Assembly proposed that a fine be imposed on all who keep their negroes at home and do not forward the work of fortification. Order for a joint Committee to draw up an Act for the purpose. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 43.]
Aug. 29.
338. Governor Cranfield to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I sent you a copy of my commission to Walter Barefoot from Barbados. Your grant of leave of absence came very seasonably to me, but the physicians say that those coagulated and congealed humours that are settled in my legs cannot be thinned and dispersed without the benefit of the Bath in England. Being unable to be of service here, I beg for my discharge and for leave to return home. Signed, Edw. Cranfield. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., p. 150.]
Aug. 29.
339. Lieutenant-Governor Molesworth to William Blathwayt. Several ships have arrived from London, but no letter from you. We are still much in the dark. The judges refuse to sit by their old commissions in cases of life or death, and hesitate to do so in matters of property. About a month since all Widow Grey's negroes at Guanaboa, together with others, some hundred and fifty in all, rose in rebellion. They attacked first a house where there were five and twenty good arms and but two white men, broke through the walls and killed one man. Mrs. Grey escaped, while they were seizing the arms, to a neighbour, Major Price; but the negroes being now well armed attacked Price's house, killed one man and wounded another, but having lost one of their conjurors, on whom they chiefly depended, they retired to breakfast, meaning to return to the house later, not doubting, if they could cut off that family, to be masters of all Guanaboa, and have a thousand more negroes to join them, which was very probable. Had not a negro of Mrs. Grey's escaped and brought the news to town long before I heard of it from any officer of the quarters it was not unlikely to have taken effect. But I immediately sent thirty troopers, the first that could be got, together with forty choice foot soldiers from town. The troopers arrived just after the negroes had finished breakfast, and prevented their attack on Price. The negroes then chose an advantageous hill full of craggy rocks and stumps of trees, where the horse could not possibly approach them. A part of the troop dismounted to get nearer to them, but one trooper being killed, the rest fell back to await the arrival of the foot. The negroes no sooner saw and received a volley from the foot than they took to their heels and broke up into two or three parties, about thirty of the stoutest and best armed keeping together and making their way through the mountains to St. Ann's. At the feet of the mountains they cut off a small family that sold rum to travellers, and killed a man, a woman, and two children, when a party at their heels forced them to take a new path towards St. Mary's. Here a widow, with two children and a man, living in a house remote from all others, were all cut off and killed. This is all their mischief so far, though much too much, and all I hope that they will be able to do, for there are so many parties after them that they will have no rest. They choose such inaccessible mountains and rocks for their refuge that it is only with the greatest difficulty that our people come up with them, and they are on flight again before we can do much execution on them. They have not the courage to stand against a party of six men, so that all our success so far has been to capture about thirty, kill seven outright, and force in about fifty, who surrendered after the rout of Guanaboa. On their first rising I summoned the Council, who advised the assembly of a Council of War and the proclamation of martial law. We put all the several quarters into arms for their own defence, and to provide parties for pursuit; and we ordered six other parties, each of twenty choice men, whom we took into pay at the rate of half-a-crown a day for sergeants and eighteen pence a day for men, and distributed them so as to keep up a continual pursuit. The money for the pay is to be advanced from the Treasury, the Council and field officers, many of whom are in the Assembly, engaging to refund it out of their own pockets if the Assembly should decline to do so by taxation. For this reason I hope that the Governor will not again be left without orders to call an Assembly on extraordinary occasions. At our Council of War we made an agreement with Captain Davis, who with his Indians will follow the track of the negroes as well as a beagle follows the fresh scent of a hare, and have provided him with twenty choice men. He engages to destroy them all in less than two months after he has been laid on their track, and not to leave them till he has rendered them incapable of further mischief. But as he was forced to go to his house, which, as I have told you, was threatened by the Spaniards, it will be ten days before he can get back to his Indians, when our parties will be recalled and martial law will be revoked.
At the same meeting of the Council I thought fit, in view of our circumstances and late advices from England, to propose the taking of the oath to His Majesty, which was cheerfully accepted. The whole board therefore took it, and I ordered that every Colonel should call a regimental Court-Martial and administer the oath to the commissioned officers. At the same time we settled the place of rendezvous for every regiment in case of alarm from abroad, and have provided fireships and taken all precautions as though war had been declared, for we know not what tricks your great neighbour over the water may play, after what we understand he has done in the matter of the rebellion at home. His strength in ships and men that live on rapine and are ready for any design is such as to make us jealous. By late advice from Carthagena we learn that the privateers in the South Seas have left Panama, so that the passage from thence to Lima is again free, and the merchants' and King's money can come down. We hear that the French privateers had landed a thousand men at Campeachy, but that they had been stoutly opposed by seven hundred Spaniards. Several small vessels of ours have been carried into Carthagena, and about thirty of our people are employed about the walls. Their relations petitioned me to send the frigate to demand them, which I did eighteen days ago, so that I expect her back shortly. The Agent for the New Assiento took the opportunity to agree with the former Agent for the despatch of three hundred negroes under convoy of the frigate, embarking with them himself. We promise ourselves a considerable trade in negroes with the Spaniards, for before his departure he left full powers and instructions with his factors for carrying on the business. I have stopped a small vessel bound to London to make her carry the enclosed address of loyalty to the King. We hope that our next ships will bring us news of the suppression of the traitors. I must not omit to tell you of the vast discouragement that will be thrown on planting by the additional duty on sugar. It will certainly throw new plantations out of cultivation, and prevent the enlargement of others. The ordinary charges and risks of planting forbid us to bear any additional burden, much less this duty, which makes (with what we pay for Customs and Excise) more than half the clear production of every man's estate. If the gentlemen who impose this on us would tax themselves in the same proportion, we should be the most satisfied persons in the world. But what discourages us most is to see how the gentlemen of the House of Commons (for some mistaken interest) are set against us. It may often be in their power to ruin all the plantations unless the King interpose. Those that persuade the King that the duty will fall only on the expender argue well, supposing that no other nation made sugar but ourselves. But when we consider that the French, Dutch, and Portuguese are all our competitors, and that the chief vent for our own is in foreign markets (which, by this additional duty, will be lost to us), all their reasoning is invalid, and tends only to destruction of the plantations. The short of it is, that Virginia receives a mortal stab, Barbados and the Islands fall into a hectic fever, and Jamaica into a consumption. These are my private thoughts, though I tell others not to be discouraged, for the more we pay to the King the surer we shall be of his protection. But our great hope is that the King will not pass it, for when the Ministers consider that, in consequence of this duty, no more white sugar can be imported, so that in seven years the revenue will be much less than it was before the additional duty, while the only advantage thereof will be to the refiners, and the ruin of the plantations will inevitably follow, we have reason to hope that the Act may not pass, or that an equivalent duty, less disadvantageous to the public, may be substituted.
Captain Mitchell is just come in from Carthagena. He reports that the Governor was not very civil, and would not permit him to deliver his letter with his own hand, but forced him to negotiate by letter. This may have led to misunderstanding, but the sum of all is that the Governor refused to restore the prisoners, as they were taken by order of the General of the galleons as being no otherwise than pirates. They are therefore under the jurisdiction of the General, who is now at Porto Bello, and intends to take them to Spain. He added that, were they under his own jurisdiction, their treatment would be the same, that they were fortunate to be employed on the walls and to receive good meat and drink, with a good deal of stuff to the same purpose; which was unnecessary, considering that I pleaded not for pirates but for simple traders. I hope to send you copy of my instructions to Captain Mitchell. He reports that the pirates in the South Seas are in great distress, the Indians having turned against them. They wander from place to place in seven ships, which are in too ill repair to sail to European seas. When last heard of there was a squadron of ships in pursuit of them. It is also certain that fifty men, English or French, were decoyed into the country and massacred by Indians, who sent their heads to Carthagena. I hope soon to hear from you, for the truth is that we shall have a failure of justice unless I receive power to issue new commissions to the judges. The jails are so full of criminals that the Marshal complains that he cannot secure them. Signed, Hder. Molesworth. Holograph. 9 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 2 Nov. 1685. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 44, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXI., pp. 87–102.] Annexed,
339. I. Lieutenant-Governor Molesworth's orders to Captain David Mitchell, H.M.S. Ruby. To sail to Carthagena and ask the Governor for restitution of prisoners and sloops seized on pretext of piracy; and in case of failure to lodge a protest. Dated, 4 August 1685. Copy. 2 pp. Inscribed and endorsed. Recd. 2 Nov. 1685.
339. II. The same to the Governor of Carthagena. Asking restitution of the said prisoners and sloops, but disclaiming all wish to protect pirates. Dated, 4–14 August 1685. Copy. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 2 Nov. 1685.
339. III. Address of loyalty to the King from the Lieutenant-Governor, Council, and field officers of Jamaica. Large sheet, inscribed. Recd. 2 Nov. 1685. Copied in Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXI., pp. 77–79. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., Nos. 44 I.–III.]
Aug. 29. 340. Minutes of a Council of War held at Jamaica. The Governor, Council, and field officers agreed to a loyal address to the King. Copy of the address. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXVI., pp. 92–93.]
Aug. 30. 341. Clause inserted in the new instructions to Lord Howard of Effingham. To demand the surrender of George Talbot by Maryland, whether tried or untried, for trial by a special commission of oyer and terminer. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LII., p. 105.]
Aug. 30.
342. Instructions to Lord Howard of Effingham as Governor of Virginia. A clause forbidding presentation to a benefice without the Bishop of London's certificate; a clause directing report of several Acts of 1676; a clause authorising a claim for the delivery of George Talbot in the King's name, whether tried in Maryland or not, a commission of oyer and terminer for his trial in Virginia being prepared. Countersigned, Sunderland. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIII., pp. 20–61.]
[Aug. 31.] 343. Answers of Richard Bysshe to Governor Cony's charges in his letters of June 4 (see No. 210). Endorsed. Recd. Aug. 13 85. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 45.]
[Aug. 31.] 344. Answer of the same to the Attestation of William Peniston. Undertaking to prove his case against Governor Cony. 1¼ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 31 Aug. 1684. [Col. Papers, Vol. LVI., No. 46.]