America and West Indies: August 1690

Pages 301-317

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 13, 1689-1692. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1901.

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August 1690

Aug. 1. 1,001. Certificate of the Agent for the regular Companies at New York. That the officers and men have been paid to the 1st of July. Signed. Wm. Whitehurst. ½ p. [America and West Indies. 578. No. 154.]
Aug. 1.
1,002. Lieutenant-Governor Nicholson to the Revolutionary Government of Maryland. Richard Hill has been here and has made great complaints of Colonel Coode. Pray let me know what is the charge against him. You have given me no answer as to your ships preparing to join our convoy to Europe. No ships are to sail henceforth but in fleets. Pray let me hear all news whether from Europe or from the North. Copy. 1½ pp. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 2. No. 24.]
Aug. 1.
1,003. William Cole to the Earl of Shrewsbury. My humble thanks to the King for confirming my appointment as Secretary. Mr. Bacon gave you an account of the loss of the Deptford. The Council ordered the Auditor of the Revenue to pay for the clothing and feeding of the men, and to draw bills on the Commissioners of the Navy for the amount, giving them a full account. Captain Rowe took charge of all that was saved from the wreck and has certified us that he has made use of much of it; but there were some things that he did not want, and it would be a great expense to find storehouse-room for them, so the Lieutenant-Governor ordered them to be sold. I forward copies of the depositions as to the murder of Mr. John Payne, and also the journal of the Council. You will observe in the journal that I am directed to represent to you the dissatisfaction of the inhabitants of the Northern Neck, between the Potomac and the Rappahannock, that they do not hold their lands of the King. This is in consequence of a grant made to the late Lord Culpepper, which his representatives are endeavouring to execute. It is a great diminution of the King's Government that the King should receive no rent for so considerable a trac. We believe that there were proposals for the purchase of Lord Culpeper's interest which came to no effect. The present heirs, having little prospect of profit, will probably make over their interest to the King on moderate terms, and we beg of you to bring the matter before his Majesty. It is feared that the proprietors of the Southern part will try to procure a new patent or a royal order to lay out the bounds on new lines between Virginia and North Carolina. All within latitude 36° has been accounted always part of Virginia and has long been settled. We beg that no orders as to the defining of bounds may be given until we are first heard, for they might bring about a great loss in the King's quit-rents. I am desired also to represent the inconvenience of granting places and offices to persons not resident in the Colony, who execute their duty by deputy, draw a large profit and are of no use to the Colony; and to beg that offices may not be bestowed on such persons. Captain Nicholson found us in peace on his arrival but much alarmed at the prospect of war with the Indians. The Council thanks the King heartily for the supply of ammunition. Signed. William Cole. 4 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 29 Jan. 90/1. Annexed,
1,003. I. Extract from Minutes of Council of Virginia. July 26, 1690. Resolution to represent to the King the inconvenience of appointing persons not resident in the Colony to places and offices. Copy. 1½ pp. [America and West Indies, 636. Nos. 40, 40I., and Board of Trade, Virginia, 36. pp. 23–28.]
Aug. 3.
St. Christophers.
1,004. Governor Codrington to Lords of Trade and Plantations. In continuation of my letter of 4 July; on the 8th July we mounted three guns on our new platform, and on the 12th our trenches were nearly finished and our platforms for the batteries begun, nine twelve-pounders brought above half way and seven almost in position. That evening the French general sent three gentlemen to me with a flag of truce to desire a cessation of arms for three days with a view to a capitulation. I consented for forty-eight hours, reserving the right to go on with my trenches and batteries, the concession of which showed me that they had no thought of further resistance. On Sunday morning they sent me their proposals and on the day following I sent them my concessions, to which they agreed, only asking till Wednesday noon to prepare to leave the fort. On that day, the 16th of July, the fort was accordingly surrendered, and I took possession, hoisted the English flag and drank their Majesties' healths to a round of all the guns in the fort, which was answered by the frigates and three volleys of the whole army. I found in the fort the arms, ammunition, etc., of the enclosed list. The garrison consisted at the beginning of the siege of four hundred and eighty men, of whom sixty were killed by our guns on Brimstone Hill. The houses in the fort were riddled like sieves, and we can believe the French when they say they could neither eat nor sleep in quiet. We had several small skirmishes in the mountains during the siege, and lost some few men in the trenches. On the 18th I sent Sir Timothy Thornhill to St. Eustatia with three hundred and fifty men, who saved Captain Schorer, the former Governor, from an inconvenience. Schorer had landed with sixty men from Saba to take the fort of St. Eustatia, which was garrisoned by eighty men. Fortunately he did not show himself until Sir Timothy arrived, or he might have catched a Tartar—indeed his former demeanour in defence of the fort and his late endeavours to regain it are much upon a size. But despite his good fortune in our ridding him from the clutches of the French he has written me a letter lately complaining of being deprived of the honour of taking the fort, having, as he says, made an entire conquest of the rest of the Island—in very truth he had brought all the cattle, sheep etc. under his subjection, for all the men were in the fort. After five days' siege and two days' battering the Governor surrendered the fort and had the same terms as the garrison here, copies of which are enclosed. The Governor's lieutenant was killed and six more wounded; while we lost one man killed and fourteen wounded in the trenches. The Governor and soldiers were brought from there some day since and I have left a garrison of six files of men under a lieutenant, encouraging former proprietors to return and re-settle. I shall do my best for St. Eustatia, pending receipt of the King's orders.
As soon as I had possession of the fort on this Island I set about the securing of our conquest, and have to-day shipped off five hundred and fifty men besides women and children to Hispaniola, and I have also sent over two hundred men disarmed and four hundred women and children to St. Martins, being former inhabitants, appointing one of them to be Governor for the present. To Martinique I have sent the French Governor of the Island with fifty men and two hundred women and children, and have written to Count de Blenac for ships to transport the remainder to St. Domingo. I should send the rest of the prisoners to Europe if I could, but have not the means. On enquiry I find that in all this expedition we have not lost above sixty men killed or dead of wounds, the rest being recovered or in a fair way, particularly Colonel Holt. There have been some deaths from distemper, and indeed the whole army has of late been very sickly. Considering that this fact, the number of prisoners still awaiting transportation and our scarcity of provisions, I see no prospect of any further expedition until October. Today and tomorrow all the planters, except some small detachments, will be shipped off to their various colonies, and I doubt not will be well recruited and ready for action against the appointed time. The detachments aforesaid, with the remains of the English and Barbados regiments and Colonel Hill's company, I have appointed to stay here. The English have stores of their own and the rest I shall supply as well as I can, for except a little Indian provisions there is nothing to be had. Scarce an ox, a sheep or a pullet is to be seen, such has been the destruction and consumption made by our army in what was not long since a plentiful and flourishing Colony. I design to stay here myself for some time longer, until I have seen the remaining men shipped off, and shall then visit and regulate affairs in the other Islands, for which since I received my commission I have had no leisure.
I have written twice to the Governors of Jamaica and Barbados to give them a full account of all affairs here, not omitting to represent the need for their assistance to complete the conquest of the French Islands, and how unreasonable it is that the Leeward Islands, without a third part of the inhabitants of Jamaica and Barbados, should bear the whole burden of the war. Had I sufficient force in my own Government I should not ask for the aid of my neighbours. I hope that Jamaica will not be tardy, though former experience gives me little hope of help from Barbados beyond what shall be directed by the King's positive orders. There was never so fair an opportunity to destroy the French interests in America as this. Tomorrow Admiral Wright sails with his fleet for Barbados, designing to cruise between that and Martinique until the close of the hurricane-season, where they will have sea-room in case of a storm and will lie commodiously to meet any fleet from France. At the end of two months I hope to send you further accounts of the success of our arms. I doubt not that you are mindful to hasten us fresh stores for the fleet and the English regiment, it being difficult if not impossible to supply either here; and without a fleet it will not only be impossible to hold our present conquests but there will be great peril to our own Islands. There are several matters to be represented to you as to St. Christophers. If the French be restored to their former possessions therein, no Englishmen will ever settle there again, for having been twice ruined by their French neighbours within twenty-two years, it is not likely that with all America before them they will run the risk a third time. If the Island become entirely French it would soon be very populous and formidable to all their neighbours. When I landed they had fifteen hundred fighting men and six thousand women and children; and if they were left in possession I am convinced that most of the inhabitants of the Leeward Islands, and especially of Nevis, where much of the land is worn out, would withdraw to some secure country. On the other hand total possession of the Island by the English would be very beneficial to us, for though it has been longer settled than Barbados, it still produces as plentifully as any of the Carribees, the soil is good, the air is healthy and there is abundance of good water. I dare engage to say that if it continued wholly English for five years it would have more than twenty-five hundred fighting men, and in less than fifteen years would rival Barbados in splendour and riches. Barbados lives chiefly by trade, for the soil is so miserably poor that it scarce anywhere produces without dung, and I dare aver that the same quantity of goods could be made in this island with less than half of the labour and expense. I mention all this for your information in case there should be question of a treaty of peace, but I hope in God that by the end of the war the French interests in America will be at an end and all treaties of surrender to them in these parts at an end likewise. Pardon me for reminding you that I have disbursed large sums for the public service and am ready still to do so cheerfully, not doubting of repayment from the King. It is on this that I must solely depend, for the war has made all these islands so miserably poor that no donations can be expected from them for some years, which were the main advantages of former Governors. Also I have been deprived of a company of foot, which was enjoyed by all my predecessors, through the solicitations of Colonel Hill's agents. Neither in that nor in any other station has he discharged his trust with greater zeal than myself, and though I am far from envying the King's bounty to him, yet in justice to myself I must remark that I am deprived of that which all my predecessors enjoyed. Signed. Chr. Codrington. 6 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 16 October. Annexed,
1,004. I. Articles proposed by the French for the surrender of St. Christophers, 13/23 July 1690. Fifteen Articles. Signed. Le Chev. de Guitaud. Copy. 1¼ pp.
1,004. II. Article conceded by Governor Codrington to the French in answer to the above proposals. He does not grant them the honours of war and refuses to send any French prisoners to Martinique or Guadeloupe, but only to French possessions to leeward. Signed. Chr. Codrington. 1¼ pp. Copy.
1,004. III. Inventory of the arms etc. taken at Charles Fort, St. Christophers. 29 cannon, 275 small arms, 145 barrels of provisions. Inventory of the like captured in the fort at St. Eustatia. Copy. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 550. Nos. 89, 89I–III., and Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43. pp. 256–264.]
Aug. 3.
St. Christophers.
1,005. Governor Codrington to the King. A short letter of duty and loyalty. 1 p. Signed. Chr. Codrington. [America and West Indies. 550. No. 90, and Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43. pp. 265, 266.]
Aug. 3. 1,006. Duplicate of the foregoing. Endorsed. Recd. 22 Dec. 1690. [America and West Indies. 550. No. 91.]
Aug. 3. 1,007. Governor Codrington to the Earl of Shrewsbury. Enclosing his letter to the King to be laid before his Majesty. 1 p. Signed. Chr. Codrington. Endorsed. R. Oct. 16, 90. [America and West Indies. 550. No. 92.]
Aug. 3. 1,008. Duplicate of the foregoing. Endorsed. Recd. 22 Dec. 1690. Triplicate of the same. [America and West Indies. 550. Nos. 93, 94.]
Aug. 5. 1,009. Instrument of Philip Ludwell as agent for the proprietors of Northern Neck, Virginia, appointing Peter Hack Ranger-General. Copy. 2½ pp. [America and West Indies. 636. No. 42.]
Aug. 5. 1,010. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Order for the purchase of Colonel Allonby's land and for certain payments. Report of the Committee as to excusing poor people from guards brought up, and delivered to the Assembly for consideration. The Governor told the Assembly that he would, if they wished, write home for some brass farthings and half-pence since small coin was so scarce. The Assembly reported that they did not approve the report as to excusing poor people from guards, and left an address to the Governor as to a proposed tax on sugar-mills, suggesting also that the excusing of poor persons should be left to the discretion of commanding officers. On petition of masters of ships for liberty to sail, it was appointed that a convoy sail on the 9th. A committee appointed to examine and report on the stores in the magazines and as to any alarms that have been given since the present Militia Act came into force. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., pp. 138–140.]
Aug. 5. 1,011. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. The Assembly waited on the Governor and listened to his proposals. Address of the Assembly as to the excusing of poor people from guard-duties. Order respecting the renewal of the lease of Fontabelle. [Col. Entry Bk., XIV., pp. 235–237.]
Aug. 7.
1,012. John Netheway to Colonel Stede. My triplicate thanks to you for sending Sir Timothy Thornhill with his regiment to us, which though reduced to a small number, has by his courage and conduct been the main instrument in destroying our leeward enemies. We are obliged to pray for his prosperity and yours, and we beg you to continue your good offices by pressing Governor Kendall to give us further aid under the same conduct for the conquest of the Windward Islands. Copy. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 4. No. 47.]
Aug. 8. 1,013. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Urging on the Admiralty the necessity for speedy despatch of Colonel Sloughter and the two foot companies to New York. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXIX., pp. 258, 259.]
Aug. 8. 1,014. The Revolutionary Government of Maryland to Lieutenant-Governor Nicholson. Pray direct all your letters to the President. We can certify Richard Hill's treasonable expressions to be true, and have all ready against he be secured. Your orders as to ships shall be observed. There is news of French depredations on Block Island and Martin's Vineyard. Signed. John Coode, Hen. Jowles, Kenelm Cheseldyn, Nehemiah Blakiston, Ninian Beale, Robert King, John Courts, Chas. James, M. Miller. On next page. Resolution of the convention of Maryland appointing a President and Committee of Government. 1 p. Copies. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 2. No. 25.]
Aug. 13. 1,015. News from New England. Copies of the messages sent to give the alarm on the landing of the French at Block Island, July 12 and 13, 1690. Letter of 25 July. Details as to doings of privateers. Letter of Aug. 13. Giving an account of the recapture of St. Christophers. The whole, 3 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 22 Oct. 1690. From Capt. Nicholson. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 118.]
Aug. 15. 1,016. Roll of the Company of Captain Charles King. Two officers, 3 sergeants, 3 corporals, 2 drummers, 41 privates. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 578. No. 155.]
Aug. 15. 1,017. Roll of Colonel Sloughter's Company. Three officers, 3 sergeants, 3 corporals, 2 drummers, 60 privates. 1 p. [Ibid. No. 156.]
Aug. 15. 1,018. A particular of the arms wanting in Colonel Sloughter's Company-13 swords and 11 bayonets. ½ p. [Ibid. No. 157.]
Aug. 15. 1,019. Particulars of clothing and arms wanting in Captain King's Company. It appears that half the men were unclothed, unshod and unarmed. 1 p. [Ibid. No. 158.]
Aug. 15.
Isle of Wight.
1,020. Governor Sloughter to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Owing to delay, the three months' advance ordered to me is spent. I marched for Southampton on 17 June, hoping to embark at once, but was ordered to the Isle of Wight, while our ship is at Spithead. I beg for another three months' advance. Signed. H. Sloughter. ½ p. Endorsed. Recd. 27 Aug. 1690. [America and West Indies. 578. No. 159.]
Aug. 16. 1,021. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. The Governor reported the suspension of Colonel Ryves and the appointment of Captain Charles Knight as Receiver General. Petition of Mary Gavall, setting forth the landing of Laurens and the French in St. James's Parish and their plunder of the houses etc. Assessors were appointed to ascertain the amount of the damage. Orders for payment of sundry accounts. The Auditor's objection to the accounts of the Receiver General; items objected to amounting to over 1,200l. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 77. pp. 63–67.]
Aug. 16. 1,022. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Order for Nicholas Welsh, an Irishman escaped from Barbados, to be secured. Order for H.M.S. Dumbarton to anchor over against York River. Order that Captain Hill be arrested and security taken for his surrender in England, as requested by the Government of Maryland. Order for George Lindsey, a soldier lately come from New York, to be sent to England to give a true account of the serious state of affairs there. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 385–388.]
Aug. 20.
1,023. Lieutenant-Governor Nicholson to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I arrived here on the 16th May and found the people in alarm at news of great depredations made by the French and Indians in New England and New York. I therefore went to view the heads of the rivers that lie exposed to these enemies, and to examine the condition of the Militia. I found them neither so well armed nor so well disciplined as present circumstances require; and as our upper plantations are remote and very open to attack I wish an order could be sent to forbid more out-plantations. In case of war with the Indians those settlers must retire lower down or run great risk of being cut off. I have seen some of the places which are called forts, but do not think they deserve the name. I hope by next ship to report further hereon and on the Militia, which I am doing my best to set in order. I found Captain Rowe of H.M.S. Dumbarton here, who told me that he was in want of powder and gunners' stores, so I provided him. The fleet now bound to England, which I am making up, will consist of near a hundred sail, great and small, from here and Maryland, and I hope will be worth £300,000 to the King. I intend to remain on the coast in case of attack by French and privateers. The enclosed account will shew how near they were to us. At the beginning of July I sent a gentleman to Pennsylvania, New York, and New England to find out how matters stood there with the French and Indians, but he has not returned, being stopped, I fear, by the disturbance on the coasts of New England and New York. I cannot hear that the Governor is yet arrived at New York, so fear it is in great disorder. The President of Pennsylvania tells me that in consequence the other Colonies can come to no agreement as to action against the French and Indians. I beg your orders as to assistance to other Colonies, whether it shall be men or money. I beg orders too as to establishment of a post between this and New England, for we have little intelligence from our neighbours, and to send messengers is tedious and costly. One Colonel Coursey is sailing in this fleet to England and I hear that Colonel Coode and two more are going also, so that I hope Maryland will soon be settled, or the King will lose by it. I am told that the collectors are concerned in the Government and not very diligent in their employ, also that one, if not all three of them, are indebted to the King. I have written to find out what number of ships had traded there this year, but have had no reply. I have ordered Captain Rowe to look strictly after them, and to examine the New Englanders that come there, for I hear that in these troublous times they defraud the Customs. The Council desires me to write to you about the Northern Neck, but I have left it to the Secretary, who knows more about it. Colonel Philip Ludwell is appointed agent for the heirs of the late Lord Culpeper, who are proprietors of the Neck. I send you copy of a letter from him about North Carolina, of which he owns himself Governor, for the Lords Proprietors; I have quieted these stirs for the present, but I cannot tell how long they may continue quiet, for I hear that the people are very mutinous, the Government unsettled and the boundary with us very often in dispute. Colonel Ludwell and Captain Gibbs (of whom he complains) are both going to England, so I hope that little province will soon be settled. At present things are in disorder both to Northward and Southward of us, and I fear there are many poor and idle people here who would be ready to follow their neighbours if they be suffered to continue in their loose way. I think that there will not be left above eight or ten sail of vessels from here and Maryland; these will probably sail at the end of October. Signed. Fr. Nicholson. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 22 Oct., 1690. Enclosed,
1,023. I. Declaration of John Gibbs. Albermarle. 2 June, 1690. That Philip Ludwell is a rascal, impostor and usurper. If any hero in this or the next country will justify him, let him call upon me with his sword, and I will fight him as long as my eyelids will wag. These therefore are to charge all persons to obey me and not to act by virtue of any power of Ludwell's. I further proclaim Ludwell to be a tattler, a villain and a coward, who will not give me a meeting sword in hand. 1 p. Endorsed. Reod 22 Oct., 1690.
1,023. II. Philip Ludwell's instrument appointing George Brent his deputy as agent for the Proprietors of the Northern Neck. Dated 10 July, 1690. Copy. 2 pp. Endorsed as the preceding.
1,023. III. Philip Ludwell to Lieutenant-Governor Nicholson, 19 July, 1690. I have received a letter from North Carolina informing me that on the 6th inst. Mr. John Gibbs entered Albermarle province with armed men, forbade a Precinct Court, which was sitting, to sit by any commission but his, seized and carried off two of the magistrates, and still detains the prisoners at his house in Virginia. The people armed themselves to secure themselves from further outrages, but dared not pursue Gibbs into Virginia without your leave. The condition of the country is deplorable, the people being obliged to continue in arms to defend themselves, and hence losing their crops. Gibbs is said to have near eighty men at his house in Currahtuck. He pleads that his arms are only defensive, though no violence has ever been shown to him, and in vindication of his right to the Government. Whatever his right, he ought to assert it by application to the Lords Proprietors. I beg you for relief, which will be a favour alike to the Proprietors and to the country. Copy. 1½ pp. Endorsed as the preceding.
1,023. IV. Duplicate of the preceding. [America and West Indies. 636. Nos. 43, 43 I–IV. and (without enclosures) Board of Trade. Virginia, 36. pp. 20–22.]
Aug. 20. 1,024. List of the ships bound to England from Virginia. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 22 Oct. 1690.
Duplicate of the foregoing. [America and West Indies, 636. Nos. 44, 45.]
[August.] 1,025. A collection of papers relating to Edward Davies, the pirate and his fellow prisoners.
1,025. I. Depositions of Gilbert Moore and others taken at James City. 4 June 1690. 2½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 22 Oct., 1690.
1,025. II. Duplicate of foregoing. Endorsed. Recd. 29 Jan., 1690–1.
1,025. III. Triplicate of foregoing.
1,025. IV. Bill of lading of the pirates' goods sent to England. Dated July 26, 1690. 3 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 22 Oct., 1690.
1,025. V. Extract of a letter from Captain Rowe. 3 August, 1690. If these men had had their due they would have been hanged before now, supposing the accounts of the negro who sailed with them to be true. They murdered Spaniards ashore, and burned their captured ships, men and all. In one Holland ship that they took they tied the crew to the gunwale and set her on fire. Copy. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 636. Nos. 46, I–V.]
Aug. 21. 1,026. Order of the King in Council. That the Attorney General forthwith proceed against the charter of Maryland by Scire facias, to vacate the same. Copy. ½ p. [America and West Indies. 556. No. 2.]
Aug. 23. 1,027. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Draft Commission to Lord Howard as Governor of Virginia approved. Order for enquiring of the Admiralty whether further orders have been sent to Captain Wright, and as to victualling of the fleet. Draft patent to Dr. Cox for land in North America referred to the Attorney General. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CIX., p. 327.]
Aug. 22. 1,028. Order of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Referring the Draft Commission to Mr. Lionel Copley as Governor of Maryland to the Attorney General for report. Signed. William Blathwayt. ½ p. On the next page. Report of the Attorney General on the Draft Commission. I understand the seizure of this Government to be for necessity, as the only means of preserving the province; but though the Government is taken out of the hands of those who endangered it, the laws and customs are to remain as far as may be the same. I do not know how far the provisions in this draft are agreeable to those laws and customs. I drew a General Commission reciting the causes and constituting a Governor to govern according to the laws of the Colony, and I see no reason to depart therefrom. Signed. Geo. Treby. Sept. 1, 1690. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 2. No. 26; and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LII., pp. 176–178.]
[Aug.] 1,029. Draft Commission to Lionel Copley as Governor of Maryland. This is in the usual terms, as to the King's Governors, but in Lord Baltimore's name. 5 pp. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 2. No. 27.]
Aug. 22. 1,030. Account of the fourteen pence a ton on ships, and two shillings a hogshead on tobacco in Maryland for one year, ending 22 August, 1690. Amount received, £2,690. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LII., pp. 215, 216.]
Aug. 22. 1,031. Minutes of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Referring the petition of Jahleel Brenton to the Lords of the Admiralty for their report. ½p. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 119.]
Aug. 22. 1,032. Minutes of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Referring draft of a grant to the Attorney General for report. Draft with corrections. Scrap. [Ibid, No. 120.]
Aug. 22. 1,033. Lords of Trade and Plantations to the Commissioners of the Admiralty. Asking whether any further orders have been given to Captain Wright as to his stay in the West Indies, for how long his fleet is victualled, and when the victuals to be sent to him will be ready to sail. Signed. Carmarthen, Nottingham, Marlborough, H. Goodrick, John Lowther. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. C., p. 116.]
Aug. 22.
1,034. Governor Kendall to Lords of Trade and Plantations. The letter opens with a duplicate of the letter of June 26 (No. 968). Since my last I have visited most parts of the Island. It is the beautifullest spot of ground I ever saw; the people are very industrious; sugar, cotton and ginger are the three staple commodities, but sugar is what they depend on. The heavy tax laid on sugar in the late King's reign has been extremely destructive to the poor planters. Twenty plantations are laid desolate by it. This, with the high price of freight, and the scarcity of provisions, caused by a long drought and by the war, has caused great misery, and unless speedily relieved from Old or New England, the commoner sort of people and the slaves must starve. Indian corn, which was commonly sold at twelve pence a bushel, is now worth seven and sixpence, and it is sold throughout the Island for fifteen and twenty shillings a bushel; a barrel of beef, that used to be worth twenty shillings, cannot be bought now for sixty. In consideration of my great losses in removing hither, and my great expenses here, the Council and Assembly have passed an Act asking leave to present me with £1,500. I confess that I expected a larger sum, but in the present time of hardship I must be contented with it. By a tax recently imposed on negroes I am certainly informed that their numbers exceed six hundred thousand; the whites are not above twenty thousand, men, women, and children, and there are at least three women to one man. The Militia is in a lamentable state, and cannot be improved without servants from England or Scotland. Many regiments that had a hundred men in a company have now but forty, and those miserable wretches. I only hope that the Island's former reputation for strength and numbers will deter the French from attacking us. I enclose the usual quarterly returns, and a bill for the Assembly to repeal the present and revive the old Act as to Grand Sessions. I have reserved it for your decision, for I find the present law was made under positive directions from King Charles II. The unpopular part of the present law is that the fines are set by the Governor and Council only, instead, of as formerly, by the whole Court. I have finished the examination of Ralph Lane's complaints against Colonel Stede, and find them to be groundless. He is kept in prison because he cannot compound with his creditors, and he is a man of uneasy turbulent spirit. On the 17th of July and 6th August, I received letters from Admiral Wright and General Codrington giving an account of their attack and capture of St. Christophers and St. Eustatia. Copies are enclosed. Admiral Wright arrived here on 15th inst. with the squadron, the forces in the Leeward Islands being very sickly, so that they cannot attempt more of the French Islands at present. I send home a convoy of thirty ships with this. Signed. J. Kendall. One closely written page. Inscribed. Recd. Oct. 16, '90. Enclosed,
1,034. I. General Codrington to Governor Kendall. Basseterre, St. Christophers, 23 June, 1690. As soon as the fleet arrived I raised all the forces I could in Antigua, Nevis, and Montserrat, borrowed two hundred sailors from the Admiral, which, with the English regiment, made up about 2,500 men, and sailed with these on Thursday night last from Nevis. On Friday morning we cast anchor in Frigate Bay, but our watchful enemy being ready with six or seven hundred men strongly entrenched I saw that a landing could not be forced without great loss, besides the hazard of being beaten off. I therefore detached between four and five hundred men under Sir Timothy Thornhill at two o'clock on Saturday morning at a small distance from the bay. They marched over a very high hill, when they were often obliged to clamber on all fours, and after a smart resistance from a party of the enemy (who it seems had some suspicion of our stratagem) reached the top of the hill about four o'clock, marched down and came upon the enemy in the trenches. By that time I had landed with about six hundred men, on which the enemy left their trenches and fled to the mountains towards Basseterre. We lost about twenty killed and fifty wounded, Sir Timothy Thornhill receiving a shot in the leg, from which I hope he will soon recover. The trenches thus gained, the rest of our men landed securely. About a mile from the shore the enemy engaged us, and after an hour's dispute we put them to the rout with some loss to ourselves but more to them. We then marched to Basseterre without further opposition, where we have since been encamped to refresh our men for the landing of our field-pieces, and for a march upon the English fort. From my prisoners I learn that I shall be engaged by the whole force of the Island, which is concentrated, and that if defeated, the enemy will withdraw into the fort, which is partly strengthened. Officers and men have acquitted themselves well. I find those that you have recommended to me to be such as you described them. 1 p. This letter was receired at Barbados, 11 July, 1690.
Admiral Wright to Governor Kendall. H.M.S. Mary, at Basseterre, 24 June, 1690. On the 19th, being at anchor at Nevis, and all the army shipped off on the several vessels at night, it was decided that I should sail with five men-of-war and three sloops to alarm the enemy and decoy them to follow us, which accordingly we did, hugging the shore as close as possible. But the army being late in embarking did not arrive at Frigate Bay till daylight, where the French were too strongly entrenched to permit a landing. On Friday, the 20th, I saw the fleet at anchor, and reached it in the afternoon. It was then agreed that Sir Timothy Thornhill with a detachment should sail at midnight, land in the next bay to Eastward and march over a high hill which commanded the French trenches. By one o'clock they were all landed, and a little before day they met a party of French, which they routed and followed into the trenches. The enemy resisted stoutly for two hours, but such was the courage of Sir Timothy and his men that they drove the French out. The army meanwhile was landing, and marched for Basseterre. The French had rallied and fought them for an hour, but were again routed. The squadron then weighed for Basseterre, which the French evacuated, both forts and town, on our approach, and fled to the mountains. Our army marched on, burning all before them, and in the evening encamped about a mile from the town. Sir Timothy Thornhill shewed great gallantry, for though shot in the leg when entering the trenches he would not stop till he had driven the French out. We lost about 130 killed and wounded; Captain Kegwin was shot through the thigh and died, and Captain Brisbane, who was next to him in command of the Marine Regiment, was shot through the body and died next night. The General marches to-day upon English fort, and we sail to the Old Road. 1 p.
Admiral Wright to Governor Kendall. 26 July, 1689. We sailed from Basseterre on the 24th, and anchored the same evening in the Old Road, while the army encamped. The army halted for the next day and night, and early on the morning of the 26th marched for Pheype's bay, whither we also sailed, but finding it a bad anchorage returned to our previous berth. The army encamped, part of it within half a mile and part within three-quarters of a mile of the fort, and marched up Brimstone hill, which looks into the fort. On the 30th of June we had with trouble and labour mounted two five-pounder chase-guns on the forecastle, and receiving word from General Codrington that he was ready, we opened fire next morning (July 1st) on the fort. We weighed with seven sail, and passed along within half range, firing our upper tier. Having all passed in line we plied to windward, and recovering our order sailed past a second time, but did little damage, after which we anchored. Our loss was two men killed. Next day it was decided to land nine more guns to batter the fort from the shore. They were all mounted in their carriages by the 6th, and now await only their platforms, and the completion of our trenches, which we hope will be done in three or four days. Our guns gall the fort by beating down the houses within it, and the enemy keep up a continuous fire night and day. On the 3rd Colonel Holt was shot by one of his own men, but is recovering. On the 7th the General began his march round the Island with eight hundred men, to bring in all stragglers and fight any body of French that dares to face them. The rest of the army are busy with the trenches. On the 8th the General returned, bringing in a great many negroes and several Frenchmen. The 10th and 11th, several Irishmen were shipped off to Virginia. We are now at work on the platforms for the battery, and on the 12th the French sent out a flag of truce for a cessation of arms. On the 14th they surrendered the fort, marching out with all their baggage. We were surprised to see the damage done by our guns on Brimstone Hill. It was their fire that caused the French to surrender so soon, for they had lost sixty killed and wounded. On the 17th Sir Timothy Thornhill was ordered with his regiment to St. Eustatia, where he landed on the 19th without any resistance. On the 21st four of the ships anchored within shot of the fort and though we had four guns ashore and plied them constantly from the ships they held out until the 23rd, when they sent out a flag of truce. On the 25th they surrendered and our army marched in. 1½pp. The three letters copied on one sheet. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 4. Nos. 48, 48 I.; and (without enclosures) Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VIII., pp. 227–232.]
Aug. 22. 1,035. Duplicate of the foregoing despatch, without enclosure. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 4. No. 49.]
Aug. 26.
1,036. Sir Timothy Thornhill to the Earl of Nottingham. You have probably been informed of the progress of our arms in St. Christophers, after which I was ordered to St. Eustatia. The whole of the inhabitants then repaired to the fort which was very strong, having a deep ditch and being well stockaded. We thus began our approaches and in three whole days and nights they fired a thousand great shot, while their small arms never ceased firing; but when our batteries were complete we made their guns too warm for them to stand by, and in four days forced them to surrender. The prisoners were sent to Petit Guavos. We then designed for Guadeloupe, but it being hurricane time we came here to cruise until October when we shall rendezvous at Antigua for attack on the other French Islands. My regiment and the English regiment remain at St. Christophers. I beg your favour to obtain me a grant of two thousand acres in St. Christophers, for I and some of my friends design to settle there. Signed. Tim.Thornhill. 1¼ pp. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 4. No. 50.]
Aug. 26. 1,037. Commissioners of the Admiralty to Lords of Trade and Plantations. No fresh orders have been sent to Captain Wright. His squadron was victualled for eight months. Six months' provisions will be despatched to him with all possible speed. Signed. Tho. Lee, J. Lowther. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. C., p. 117.]
Aug. 26.
1,038. Clerk of Assembly of Barbados to William Blathwayt. Forwarding duplicates of the Minutes of Assembly. Signed. G. Payne. ½p. Endorsed. Recd. 16 Oct. 1690. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 4. No. 51.]
Aug. 27.
1,039. J. Sotherne to William Blathwayt. If the squadron is to remain longer in the West Indies it must be revictualled, the Commander's orders being to return, in case he received no further orders. Pray inform me if the Lords wish the squadron to be kept in the West Indies. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. C., p. 118.]
Aug. 27.
Isle of Wight.
1,040. Governor Sloughter to William Blathwayt. Our ship is come to Spithead, and may be ready in fourteen days, if you will hasten the gunners to their work. I beg that our orders for embarkation may be ready, as well as the Orders in Council for the sloop, and for the delivery of records and guns to me, and also the seal. Signed. H. Sloughter. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 578. No. 160.]
Aug. 31.
1,041. Earl of Inchiquin to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I send you an account of the revenue from which you may see what kind of a receiver has been here. Besides all his other villainies he appears to be in debt to their Majesties for £1,600 actually received by him. The Secretary was turned out for his exactions, before my arrival, by the Council. These tumults arise greatly from these places being patented to persons in England, who screw up their deputies here to give such prices for the offices as the posts cannot bear; and it is very displeasing to people here to see their money go to the making of estates for patentees in England, few of whom they have ever heard of, and none of whom have ever done them service. I wish that the old patents could be vacated by scire facias and the new patents given to residents on the Island if the King thinks it too great a trust for a Governor to put in such men as he finds in the country. When an Assembly meets, I have no doubt that something will be done herein, unless his Majesty do it before, but I do not think it well to call an Assembly yet lest the privileges should protect some from justice, which would cause a great clamour after such long suspension of law. Meanwhile I have put into the Receiver's place Mr. Charles Knight, of good estate, reputation and ability, whom I recommend to you for the new patent if the old should be vacated.
On the last of July I heard the business of Colonel Ivy, Mr. Towers and others, and send herewith my report. I find that the same irregularities were practised at several other elections, but the parties aggrieved are inclined to peace and quietness hoping by patient acquiescence in the past to earn freedom from similar oppression in the future. I find the business of enquiry into Sir Francis Watson's behaviour already done for me, in great measure, and reported to you by the Council. You will see more of his proceedings in the minutes of Council, so much so that I cannot think either him or Colonel Ballard fit to be members. Besides, Sir Francis is £30,000 in debt, and his estate is most scandalously mortgaged two or three times over. I submit to you the names of twelve suitable persons for Council. Colonel Ivy and Colonel Fuller have died since my arrival and Colonel Walker is gone to England, so that we have now but six, including Watson and Ballard. I shall swear in Chief Justice Bernard in Walker's place.
On the 29th July last all the negroes on Mr. Salter's estate in the mountains in the middle of the Island broke out into rebellion, to the number of more than five hundred, forced the dwelling house, killed the caretaker and seized fifty fusees and other arms with quantities of ammunition. They marched to the next plantation, killed the the overseer and fired the house, but the slaves therein would not join them. They then returned to the great house, loading their great gun with nails, and ambushing a skirt of wood next the house. The alarm being given, about fifty horse and foot marched against them and there was a slight skirmish. Next day more foot came up and the negroes left the house for the canes, where the foot came in on their rear, killed some, wounded others and captured their field guns and provisions and put them to rout. Thirty choice men then pursued them through the woods, killed twelve and took all their provisions. Sixty women and children have since come in, who report that many have died of wounds and that they have few good arms. Fresh parties are after them, but I am afraid that so many will be left as to be a great danger to the mountain plantations. This rebellion might have been very bloody, considering the number of negroes and the scarcity of white men. There were but six or seven whites in that plantation to five hundred negroes, and that is the usual proportion in the Island, which cannot but be a great danger. A new danger is that the French are proving very formidable at Hispaniola. Since the reduction of St. Christophers, Colonel Codrington has sent down here a thousand French, most of them soldiers, in four vessels, the last of which informed me that they would shortly pay us a visit here. Possibly the message may be more rhodomontade, and I am sure I hope so, considering how despicable the militia law is. They are much dispersed and divided by the current distractions, so little is to be be expected from them. As the Treasury is empty I have invited public subscription for the fitting out of ships and men; and we have already five sloops of from fifty to seventy men; also a French prize, lately taken, with two hundred men, sails to-day to try to destroy what embarkations they may have on that coast. But if the French are as strong as they say, they may easily master the whole of St. Domingo, and then I put it to you what our danger must be, for most of the Scotch and West Country rebels are returned home. I shall do my utmost, but if we are so little regarded at home that no ships can be spared for our defence, it will be impossible for us to defend the north side of the Island or to continue our trade. Since my writing, two hundred negroes have come in altogether so that, what with killed and wounded, we look upon the rebellion as over. The weather being drier and hotter than usual has caused great mortality among the cattle, hindered the transport of sugar to the coast and so delayed the fleet. Mortality among men has been little less violent than among beasts, though I have escaped, thank God, with twelve days' violent fever. Signed. Inchiquin. 4½pp. Endorsed. Received 24 Nov., 90. Annexed,
1,041. I. Report of Lord Inchiquin in the petition of William Ivy, John Towers and others (see No. 647). 30th August, 1690. I inquired into this matter on the 31st July and found that the Marshal, Wayte, abruptly adjourned the election seeing that it was not going as he wished, and that Colonel Ivy and he exchanged hard words in consequence. This was construed into a riot and the whole of the petitioners were heavily fined. I find the statements of the petitioners to be true, and I recommend that their prayer be granted. Signed. Inchiquin. 1¼ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 24 Nov., 1690. Read 23 Feb. 1690/91, and April 23.
1,041. II. Names of Councillors for Jamaica submitted by Lord Inchiquin. Thomas Freeman, John White, John Bourden, Peter Heywood, Samuel Bernard, Peter Beckford, John Towers, Andrew Orgill, Francis Blackmore, Nicholas Laws, Charles Penhallow, Charles Knight. The first five are already sworn and Peter Beckford appointed by the Royal Instructions, so that an order for swearing in the six last will be requisite only, when Sir Francis Watson and Thomas Ballard are dismissed. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 24 Nov., 1690.
1,041. III. Extract of Minutes of Council of Jamaica, 28 May, 1689. Order for the payment of a quarter's salary to Roger Elletson. 1 p. Endorsed as the preceding.
1,041. IV. Conveyance by Thomas Ryves of his whole estate in Jamaica to John Phillips. 2 pp. Endorsed as the preceding. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 6. Nos. 74, 74 I–IV.; and (letters and enclosure No. II. only), Board of Trade. Jamaica, 53. pp. 1–6.]
Aug. 31. 1,042. Extract from a letter from Symon Musgrave, Attorney General of Jamaica, of 31 August, 1690. You have been so kind in the matter of my client Thomas Daniel, that I must tell you that our late Receiver-General is still in gaol, having, over and above what he pretends Sir Francis Watson to have taken of the Dutch money out of his hands, made use of sixteen thousand pieces-of-eight, so that they have lessened his cash here over thirty two thousand pieces-of-eight. Copy. ½p. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 6. No. 75.]