America and West Indies: January 1697, 16-30

Pages 308-337

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 15, 1696-1697. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1904.

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January 1697

Jan. 16.
Hudson's Bay
593. Deputy Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company to William Popple. The following is an account of the affairs between the English and French in Hudson's Bay. 1682. The French took from us a factory in Port Nelson River, burnt it, and kept the men prisoners many months. 1686. The French took from us Hayes Fort, Rupert's Fort, and Albany Fort in the bottom of Hudson's Bay. 1688. They took and burnt another fort on Albany River. 1690. They took and burnt a fort on New Severn River. 1691. The Company retook the forts taken in 1686 by the French. 1694. The French took York Fort. 1696. The Company retook York Fort. We know of no footing that the French have now within our Charter except one fort, Nemiskie, about forty-five miles from Rupert's Fort. We have omitted all damage done to ships and goods. Signed, Samuel Clarke. [Board of Trade. Hudson's Bay, 2. No. 12.]
Jan. 16.
594. Christopher Coke to John Pollexfen. Your letter plainly shows the hazard of the Newfoundland trade without the residence of planters there. I was about to trouble you by post with the depositions of about 220 inhabitants, who after barbarous usage by the French and Indians in St. Johns were sent home. Sir Edward Seaward, our representative, will give it to you. The matter is a weighty one to the whole kingdom and affects our western ports deeply, which have no other foreign trade to depend on. As to our drapery I look upon the Dutch as masters of that by the management of the tookers, who will ruin themselves and all workers under them to raise the Hollander. We have drawn a petition on the Newfoundland affairs of which and of a few reasons of my own I send you copies. Perhaps you may extract from them some proposals which will be of service at the Board. The Admiralty are not always so certain as might be wished in their appointment of convoys, as I know from woeful experience. It is supposed that on this last news from Newfoundland you may alter your former resolutions, but we still think you will keep your resolve of the two convoys going with the salt ships. You say that I am well situated at Plymouth for the Bonadventure, but I cannot keep a man abroad for the press, and I find it very difficult to obtain a protection. Pray give me your advice and assistance, that I may not lose the convoy. Signed, Christopher Coke. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 20 Jan., 1696–7. Enclosed,
594. I. Copy of a petition from the Corporation and merchants of Exeter to the King. Setting forth very briefly the advantages of the Newfoundland trade as a school for seamen and the ruin which its loss will bring on the western ports, and asking that the losses already suffered may be reduced. 1 p.
594. II. "Reasons for inhabiting Newfoundland or ruining the commerce." (1) Permanent settlement is necessary for the security of the immovable materials of trade in Newfoundland. (2) The necessary commodities imported there from Europe can never be managed by divers persons with so even a hand as neither to leave nor lack. If there should happen a want of provisions, salt, wine, brandy, etc., there can be no supply of them from any neighbouring parts, so consequently the voyde (sic) is ruined. If there be an overplus it is no sooner left by the owner but it is in the enemy's possession. (3) It is not to be supposed that this fishery can be supported or supplied by ships and men from England alone, for if they depart in March, arriving there in the middle of April and finding no boats, stages or warehouses, it cannot be thought that they can supply themselves (even if the French leave these necessaries and the timber growing round about undestroyed) in less than a month's time. Their best hopes then are to begin fishing in June, when it ought to be half over; so indeed a third of our time will be taken up to let our enemies ravage again as soon as we have deserted the country. (4) Settlement is necessary for the preservation of the catch, of which there was an indifferent stock about St. Johns before the late devastation. This was not much benefit to the sick. They must feed altogether upon salt food if the land be deprived of planters to preserve fresh food. 5. Settlement is also necessary to secure the land and to preserve and increase the trade. Nothing would encourage it more than 1,000 or 1,500 resident planters both to manure the land and increase the fishery. 6. To preserve the planters and the effects left behind during the winter, the settlements must not straggle too far from the fortifications erected for defence. 1 p., very obscurely expressed. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. Nos. 25, 25 I., II.]
Jan. 18. 595. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. The Governor reported the return of Captain Moses with several French prisoners and the renegade Grubbin captured. Order for £100 to be paid to him immediately as a reward for his great service. Order for several accounts to be entered in the Council book, including a list of small outstanding debts, amounting in all to £1,475. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 79. pp. 47–52.]
Jan. 18. 596. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Nicoll, agent for New York, was warned to prepare his answer to the three lieutenants by Wednesday next.
Mr. Usticke's letters of 12th and 15th inst., respecting Newfoundland, read. Mr. Cary, of Bristol, attended as to the convoy to Newfoundland, but was told that there was still uncertainty about affairs in Newfoundland, and that the matters brought forward by him belonged more properly to the Admiralty.
Letter from the President and Council of Barbados of 29 September last read. (No. 277.)
Letter from the Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company of 16th inst., read. (No. 593.)
Mr. Blathwayt said that the Elector of Brandenburgh had asked for copies of the despatches sent to Governor Codrington, respecting the restitution of New Tertholen [Tortola]. Order for copies to be given to him, and for a letter to Governor Codrington on the subject to be prepared. [Board of Trade. Journal, 9. pp. 352–355.]
Jan. 18. 597. John Cary to Council of Trade and Plantations. The merchants of Bristol desire me to ask whether the convoy designed to be at Milford on the 20th is to sail with such ships as are ready by that time and take charge of all ships bound to the American Colonies, which will be about twenty sail, all laden with English produce and manufactures. Signed, John Cary. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd., Read, 18 Jan., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 26.]
Jan. 19. 598. The Attorney and Solicitor-General to Council of Trade and Plantations. We have perused the Act passed in Barbados in 1696 respecting Philip Kirton's lands, and are of opinion that the Act is reasonable if the suggestions therein are true, and if, as we are informed was the case, the Act was passed by the consent of the parties. Signed, Thos. Trevor, Jo. Hawles. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd., Read, 21 Jan., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 26; and 44. pp. 45–46.]
Jan. 19.
599. J. Tucker to William Popple. Mr. Secretary Trumbull wishes me to inform you that he has laid the affidavit of Philip Roberts and others (see No. 586) before the King, who desires the opinion of the Council of Trade as to what should be done therein. Signed, J. Tucker. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd., Read, 20 Jan., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 27; and 25. p. 67.]
Jan. 19. 600. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Order for payment of a present of £200 granted by the Assembly to Captain Daniel Reeves, of H.M.S. Newcastle. Orders for payments. Four assistants for Scotland precinct Court appointed, and one for Hole precinct Court. Francis Brooking appointed Master in Chancery. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 178–79.]
Jan. 20.
601. The Mayor and merchants of Poole to Council of Trade and Plantations. We thank you for Mr. Popple's letter of 2nd inst. We desire now to add to our former proposals. 1. That two more men-of-war may be added, so as to make ten in all, for the reduction of Newfoundland. 2. That these ten ships be ready to sail direct to Newfoundland by the middle of February at latest. 3. That every ship may carry a pilot acquainted with the coast and harbours, so that they may not be deterred from dealing with it when there may be ice on the coast and the country looks dismal. 4. That our merchant ships have timely notice to prepare to sail with these ships. Signed, Tho. Hyde, Mayor, and by twelve more. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd., Read, 23 Jan., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 28.]
Jan. 20. 602. Answer of the Proprietors of the Bahama Islands to the queries made in the letter of 14 January to Mr. Thornburgh. (1, 2.) Captain Webb is ready to take the oath to the King, to sign the Association, and to swear to observe the Acts of Trade. (3.) Copies of his commission and instructions shall be sent to the Council of Trade. (4.) The Proprietors have never received a farthing of profit from the Bahamas, but have been at yearly expense. The Governor's salary is one-seventh of the rents; the remainder of the rents have always been spent in the country for its benefit and security. (5.) Captain Webb shall give any security that is required of us. He has served the King well in the West Indies, has been recommended to us by persons of considerable note, and is very acceptable to the merchants in the City. (6.) All pirates shall be tried in the King's Courts of Admiralty. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. p.20.]
Jan. 20. 603. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. A letter to the Hudson's Bay Company ordered, as to the fort at Nemiskie.
Mr. Tucker's letter of 19th as to Newfoundland read. Mr. Cole and Mr. Merret attended, and said that more ships were necessary now than had at first been appointed, that the French were now likely to fortify their captured places in Newfoundland and stay there, that any expedition must be made with secrecy, and that it would be well if the possession of Newfoundland could be secured to England by the Treaty of Peace. The Council reassured them and ordered a representation to be prepared.
The New York Agents and the three lieutenants attended and were told to attend again on Friday.
Mr. Thornburgh and Captain Webb brought copies of the latter's commission and instructions to be Governor of the Bahamas, also an answer to the enquiries made of them (No. 602).
A letter to the Lieutenant Governor of Massachussets was signed.
Jan. 21. Order for a letter to the Commissioners of Sick and Wounded, that Mons. de la Forest need be no longer detained.
Order for the Acts of the Leeward Islands to be sent to the Attorney-General.
The Attorney-General's report of 19th as to a private Act of Barbados read (No. 598). Order for the Secretary to enquire of the merchants whether the Act was opposed.
A new representation to the King as to Newfoundland was signed, and delivered into the King's own hand by Lords Tankerville and Bridgewater.
Jan. 22. Mr. Bridges attending brought forward a difficulty which had arisen over the sailing of the West Indian convoys. Resolved to prepare a representation at once to remove the obstacle.
Mr. Cole and others enquired what resolutions had been taken upon the Newfoundland trade, and complained of the pressing of some of their men from their salt-ships. The Council answered that the latter business had been represented to the King, and that his decision would be communicated to them without delay. Order for a letter to be written to Mr. Secretary Trumbull to give him some further information brought by the merchants concerning Newfoundland, and to beg for the King's speedy resolution upon the other matters. Petition of the merchants of Poole (No. 608 I.) read.
The three lieutenants from New York attended, and said that they desired to add nothing to their affidavits. They were, however, warned to attend on Tuesday next, when the New York agents would be present for the hearing of their case.
Letter to Governor Codrington as to Tortola signed.
Jan. 23. Report from the Admiralty as to sending supernumerary men to Jamaica read (No. 567). Order for the Agents of the Leeward Islands to be summoned to attend on Monday next, and for the Secretary to enquire of the Admiralty as to the sending of supernumerary seamen to the frigates now at Jamaica.
Sir Henry Ashurst moved for a memorial relating to New England to be read. The Council appointed Monday next for the attendance of Lord Bellomont.
A representation to the King was signed (No. 615) on the delay of the West Indian convoys by the Customs, also two letters to Sir William Trumbull, urging the despatch of the business of Newfoundland. Letter from the town of Poole of 20th inst. read (No. 601). [Board of Trade. Journal, 9. pp.352–364.]
Jan. 20.
604. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lieutenant-Governor Stoughton. The King has appointed us to our present office. You will be careful to keep us well informed as to the province under your government and to transmit the Journals and Minutes of Council and Assembly and the Acts of Assembly with regularity. Your letter of 24 September, and Mr. Addington's of 16 and 22 September have been received. The Acts of Massachusetts have been before us, of which the following have been disallowed for the reasons given. The Act to regulate the building of ships seems to lay an unnecessary and discouraging charge on the builders and opens the door to great partiality in the overseers. If however the Act has been found beneficial we are ready to promote the passing of another Act to the same purport. The Act for encouraging a Post Office is prejudicial to the General Post Office here and inconsistent with existing patents. We are sending you a draft Act, for your Assembly to pass if it thinks fit. The additional Act for Courts, supplementary Act to Revenue Acts, and the second additional Act for Courts, are all based on a previous Courts Act of 1692, the repeal of which renders necessary the repeal of these three. Similarly the additional Act for Privileges is disallowed, as the original Act has been disallowed. The Act for establishment of the Chancery is disallowed because it seems to exclude appeals to the King in Council, except in certain cases, which is contrary to your Charter. Among the Acts approved is one for fitting out a cruiser for the coast; we wish to know how its enforcement is continued and with what success. The Act to restrain exportation of pitch, tar, etc. has not been disallowed, as it has expired, but you will remember in future that such restraint seems suitable neither to the interest of the Colony nor to the King's desire to encourage the production of Naval stores. We are sending out Commissioners to examine and report as to Naval stores. The Acts of date subsequent to those above mentioned are still under consideration. The general state of your province we have learned from your letters. Your proceedings upon the news of the discovery of the conspiracy here seem to have been suitable to the occasion. Your diligence in defence of Piscataqua and your measures for the annoyance of the enemy after the taking of Pemaquid are commendable, though the surrender itself was a reproachful action unworthy of Englishmen. We shall then expect an account of your proceedings against the commander of the fort. The King will always have particular regard to the security of New England and the adjacent provinces, wherefore continue your vigilance and care in preparing for defence and for giving timely assistance to your neighbours. We press this more upon you, as our last news from Newfoundland gives us fresh apprehensions of danger. Mons. d' Iberville has taken St. Johns, shipped the inhabitants to England (where 200 are already arrived) and has made himself master of the whole country, threatening as soon as the season permits to fall upon New England. You will therefore exert extraordinary vigour in preparing for defence. Though the King be mindful of the Colony, yet he may well expect the inhabitants to do their part in repairing the fortifications and putting exposed places (especially Saco) into a good state of defence. We must remind you also of the expediency of resettling a fort at Pemaquid or at some convenient place thereabout a little more remote from the sea, whereby it will not be exposed like the other to attack by ships. You will continue to send us lists of the prizes brought in by privateers. We note what you say as to the want of Admiralty power and shall be mindful of it. Lord Bellomont's absence in Ireland has hindered his despatch to America and delayed other matters also, but as he is lately arrived we doubt not but that all proper directions will be given to him. The King has sent orders to all the Colonies to observe the former regulations as to the quota to be furnished for defence of New York, and you too will not fail to observe the same strictly. The King has also ordered that in future the commanders of his ships sent for defence of any of the Colonies shall be under the direction of the Governors, and that no seaman shall be impressed in the Colonies without the Governor's warrant. He has also ordered effectual laws to be made against harbouring deserters, and that all Governors shall do their utmost to repress piracy. In the trial of Every's crew there was too frequent mention of New England as the place from which pirates are fitted out and where they are entertained. One deposition says that "all the pirates now out came from New England, except Tew from New York. Thomas Wake was fitted out at Boston. They build their ships there. The money they bring is current there, and the people know well where they go. Captain Gough, who keeps a mercer's shop at Boston, made a good estate that way." You will be most vigilant to repress such practices. As we have given you orders to help your neighbour Colonies, so we have given them orders to help you in case of danger. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Tankerville, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. New England, 36. pp.103–112.]
Jan. 21. 605. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Orders for payment of £1 10s. 0d. to Henry Dering, as Clerk of the Representatives; of £40 apiece to Thomas Danforth, Wait Winthrop and Samuel Sewall, as judges of the High Court; £70 to Isaac Addington, Secretary; £50 to Anthony Checkley, Attorney-General; £10 to Major Jonas Convers for negotiating with the Indians and military services; and £40 to Jonathan Balston, sen., for fitting a ship for the King's service. Order for the Ministers to be urged to collect a contribution for settlement of the Ministry. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp.65–68.]
Jan. 21. 606. Petition of the Proprietors or Agents of Carolina, the Bahamas, Pennsylvania, East and West Jersey and Connecticut to the King. We observe in the representation of the Council of Trade of 17 December last that, notwithstanding our Charters, you may appoint Courts of Admiralty in our provinces, and that the Admiralty have reported that all Governors of Colonies have or might have commissions as Vice-Admirals. We beg that our Governors may have Vice-Admirals' commissions like the Governors of your other plantations. Signed, on behalf of the other Proprietors, Dan Cox. Copy. 1 p.[America and West Indies. 601. No. 42; and Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. p.31.]
Jan. 21. 607. Receipt for letters directed by William Popple to Lieutenant Governor Stoughton, with an engagement to sink them in the sea, in case of any misadventure through the French on the voyage. Signed, John Thomas, Daniel Pinneau. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 25th Jan., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 58.]
Jan. 21.
608. J. Ellis to William Popple. Forwarding a petition from Poole to be laid before the Council of Trade. Signed, J. Ellis.¼ p .Enclosed,
608. I. Petition of the Mayor, Corporation, and Merchants of Poole to the King. Besides the deplorable losses which we have sustained by French attacks in Newfoundland to September last, we have since received news of the further destruction of St. Johns and of a design to do the like to the northern harbours. We beg you to send ships of war to Newfoundland to avert not only the loss of trade, and of a means of increasing seamen, but the ruin of us inhabitants of the West of England. Fifty eight signatures. 1 p.[Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. Nos. 29, 29 I.]
Jan. 21.
609. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. They repeat their report of 13 January (No. 583) and continue as follows. Since preparing this report we have information of an attack upon St. Johns, where the French have wrought great destruction, barbarously used some of the inhabitants and sent others away to England. They are now masters of the Island, depriving us of the trade, and must continue so unless a sufficient land and sea force be sent out. We recommend therefore that four more ships of war and land-forces be added to those already desired for the end of February, to visit the coast of Newfoundland lately possessed by the English, secure them during the preparations for the fishery, and if possible attack and capture Placentia. For these purposes we think that a regiment of not fewer than 700 soldiers would suffice, of which, at the close of the season, two companies should be left at St. Johns, and one each at Ferryland and Fermouse, to secure them from attack during the winter. For this purpose the regiment should be provided with tents, ammunition and provisions, not only for the summer but for the winter. Further instructions in accordance herewith should be given to the commanders of the sea and land-forces; and some of the ships if possible should be employed in cruising upon the Bank of Newfoundland and on the coast, to disturb the French fishery. Lastly, the whole enterprise should be carried on with the greatest despatch and at the times mentioned, lest the French by earlier preparations prevent us. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Tankerville, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. pp.68–73.]
Jan. 22. 610. Extract from a letter from Poole to Mr. Edward Lloyd. The Two Brothers of Poole arrived to-day from Newfoundland after a three weeks' passage. The master reports that after the taking of St. Johns, the Governor of Placentia sailed for France leaving his brother and a hundred men at St. Johns to secure the place, and designing to return with a greater force from France to fortify all the harbours taken from us. ¼ p. Endorsed, Recd., Read, 23 Jan., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 30.]
Jan. 22.
611. William Popple to the Agents for Barbados. The Council of Trade desire to be informed whether an Act of Barbados concerning Philip Kirton's land was passed by the consent of the parties, and whether there are any persons that concern themselves in opposing the confirmation of that Act by the King. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. pp.46–47.]
Jan. 22.
612. William Popple to the Attorney-General. Forwarding two Acts of Antigua for his opinion. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 45. pp.43–44.]
Jan. 22. 613. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Codrington. Forwarding copies of the memorial submitted by the envoy of the Elector of Brandenburgh respecting the propriety of the island of New Tertholen, for a full and true report thereon. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 45. pp.44–45.]
Jan. 23. 614. Council of Trade and Plantations to Secretary Trumbull. The merchants trading to Newfoundland are impatient for an answer to their petitions. Please remind the King on Sunday afternoon of our representation. We have just heard that the French Governor is fortifying Renouse, one of the English harbours, and intends to reside there. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. pp.73–74.]
Jan. 23.
615. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. In our representation to the Lords Justices of 4 September last we set forth the advantages of directing the West India trade and convoy to sail from the Downs on 31 December, and that after that day no ships should be stayed for. You gave your orders accordingly on 22 October and we gave notice to the merchants by our letter of 5 November to the Commissioners of Customs. We have since received your orders through Mr. Secretary Trumbull in his letter of 14th inst., to ascertain how many of the merchant-ships had sailed and how much longer the merchants desired the convoys might stay for the rest. Also by a letter of the 9th inst. from the Admiralty we learned your order to that Board that such of the convoys as were ready to sail for the West Indies should proceed thither with the merchantmen that were ready, and that those which were left behind should be convoyed by convoys appointed for them. We gave our orders and notice accordingly, but the merchants have since informed us that the Commissioners of Customs now refuse to clear their ships, which are intended to sail with the afore-mentioned convoys. This refusal (alleged to be grounded upon your Order in Council) has put the merchants into great disorder, for they have got their ships ready for their voyages, and will cause great loss to them and great prejudice to the Plantations, unless you direct the Commissioners of Customs to clear all such ships at least as appear by their entries, already made, to be bound to the Plantations, until the actual departure of the convoys be signified to the merchants. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Tankerville, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. pp.95–97.]
Jan. 25. 616. Minutes of Council of Barbados. A letter from the Governor of Martinique read, asking for the exchange of twenty-one French prisoners against the number of English prisoners now sent by him, pursuant to an agreement with Governor Russell. Resolved to exchange no prisoners until the King's instructions be received.
Jan. 26. An express arrived from England with the Council of Trade's letter of 23 November, 1696, which was read, as was also a warrant giving Edward Cranfield leave of absence on account of his health, and permission to appoint a deputy for his offices of Naval Officer and Customs Officer. Order for hire of a sloop to carry the Council of Trade's despatches to Governor Codrington. In the afternoon a second advice-boat came in with a duplicate of the above letter, and the first advice-boat was at once sent on to Jamaica. The Assembly then came up, and presented five bills, for raising a strength of labourers, for freedom of elections, for appointing agents in England, for allowing Quakers to substitute their affirmation for an oath, and a bill concerning apprentices. They also brought up the following proposals. (1) That the French prisoners might be secured, in case of alarms; (2) that a review be taken of the arms and ammunition in each person's hands; (3) that there be frequent exercises for a little time; (4) that they might see the letters from England; (5) That a Joint Committee, for which they named their members, might be appointed to prepare the Militia Act; (6) That the Act for levy of hands be published by beat of drum tomorrow. The Council answered as to (4) that they had shown the Assembly all that it needed to know, and as to (5) that they were ready to receive a Militia Bill but not to join in a Committee to frame it.
The Assembly concurred in the hire and immediate despatch of a sloop to Governor Codrington. The Assembly also moved that in the present emergency the judges, in this round of Courts, should only publish their commissions and swear their officers.
Jan. 27. Bill for raising a strength of labourers read thrice and passed. Orders for the rudder and sails of the French flag-of-truce to be removed, and for a serjeant and twelve men to be put aboard her, and for the nightly patrols of the bays to be resumed. A second sloop hired to carry despatches to Governor Codrington. The master of yesterday's advice boat was brought up in custody for not sailing as ordered, and was sent on board again in custody with orders to sail at once. Order for the field-officers to attend next Council. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp.179–184.]
[Jan. 25.] 617. Petition of Sir Robert Robinson to Council of Trade and Plantations. I was the first King's Governor of Bermuda, and in settling the Government was at the expense of £2,000 (which has never been repaid me) besides a vast and troublesome fatigue. I also sent home to the Crown of England £3,000 in silver with 36,000 weight of copper as well as a ship of twenty guns which was properly my own, being taken by pirates. Also there is due to me four years' salary at £400 a year. I beg that I may be appointed Governor of Bermuda with such encouragement as you think fit to allow me. Signed, Robt. Robinson. 1 p. Undated. Endorsed, Read 25 Jan., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 3. No. 5.]
[Jan. 25.] 618. Memorial of the Agents for the Leeward Islands to Council of Trade and Plantations. Recommending Edward Parsons as Secretary of the Leeward Islands if John Palmer be displaced in consequence of the charges against him. Signed, Bastian Bayer, Joseph Martyn, Rd. Cary. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd., Read, 25 Jan., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 34; and 45. pp.45–46.]
Jan. 25.
Bay House.
619. Deputy Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company to William Popple. In reply to yours of 21st we have ascertained that Nemiskie was built by the French as a rendezvous for themselves and their Indians to intercept our trade and annoy our factories, by which means they took three forts from us in 1686. When peace between France and England is in question, we desire that the French may not travel nor drive any trade beyond the midway between Canada and Albany Fort, which we reckon to be within our bounds. Signed, Sam. Clarke. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 25 Jan., 1695. [Board of Trade. Hudson's Bay, 2. No. 13.]
Jan. 25. 620. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Sir Robert Robinson's petition read (No. 617) and laid aside.
The Agents for the Leeward Islands presented a memorial recommending Edward Parsons as Secretary of those islands. Being questioned as to supernumerary seamen they said they believed that masters were as unwilling to carry sailors as soldiers.
Mr. Secretary Trumbull reported that he had, by the King's orders, directed the Commissioners of Customs to clear all ships of the West Indian convoys that were ready, but that the King desired to know what others were preparing and when they would be ready. Order for enquiry to be made of the agents. Mr. Secretary then informed the Council that a large number of malefactors were in Newgate, awaiting transportation; on which matter the Council resolved to consult the Agents of Barbados.
Mr. Secretary then put to the Council three questions from the King as to Newfoundland, viz., whether fewer men of war would not suffice; whether it could not be agreed that the merchant-ships should victual the fleet on the public credit; and whether a Governor were not needed as well as soldiers. The Council therefore prepared a new representation. Mr. Cole and Mr. Merret attended to enquire as to the resolutions that were taken about Newfoundland, and reported that the French commander had gone to France to ask for forces to conquer the whole island. They were directed to call again on Thursday morning.
Several gentlemen concerned in New England and the neighbouring Colonies attended. The New England Agents urged the immediate consideration of the memorials before it. Afterwards Mr. Harrison and Dr. Cox, in the name of all, moved that New England and New York might be united under one Government for the civil part of it, and that the same Governor should have military command also over Connecticut, the Jerseys and the adjacent Charter Colonies. They recommended Lord Bellomont to be Governor, towards whose entertainment Dr. Cox said that they would willingly contribute. The New England Agents intimated the same thing, with the restriction that it should only be as a voluntary gratification, not by fixing any certain salary, for which they had no order. They argued for the usefulness of such a junction, and promised to embody their opinions in a memorial.
Jan. 26. Lord Bridgewater presented a petition from the Proprietors of the Jerseys as to administering the oath required by the Act for regulating the Plantation Trade, saying that the Lord Keeper desired them to consider the form of the oath, the manner of administering it, and the Commissioners who should administer it. The Council ordered Mr. Randolph to be summoned to attend tomorrow on this business.
The three Lieutenants of New York and the New York Agents attended upon the case pending between them; but no one having any knowledge of what related to Captain Weems, it was moved that he have notice and time given him to make answer himself. The Lieutenants then gave evidence, and the Council reserved its resolutions thereon for further consideration. The New York Agents handed in an Association signed by the officers civil and military of New York.
Jan. 27.
Colonel Lidgett handed in a petition from the Proprietors of the King's Province (see 27 Jan.), which was reserved for consideration.
The Agents for the Leeward Islands reported that their ships were ready to sale.
The Agent for Barbados reported that the Barbados merchants designed no more ships for that island. He also reported that there was no opposition to the private Act as to Philip Kirton's estate, and promised to enquire whether the island would receive any convicts.
Mr. Randolph attended, upon the matter of the oaths to be administered under the Act for regulating the Plantation Trade, and reported that the matter was now before the Treasury. He gave the names of those appointed to administer the oaths to the Governor of the Jerseys; whereupon Lord Bridgewater took a minute of these things and took back the petition of the Proprietors of the Jerseys.
Three gentlemen concerned in Jamaica attended and reported as to the ships ready and preparing to sail to Jamaica. Mr. Bridgeman's letter of this day as to supernumerary seamen (No. 637) was communicated to them. That part of the letter which concerns Virginia was ordered to be communicated to the Governor of the Province.
Captain Webb soliciting for a despatch of his business was told that a representation about the Bahamas would be laid before the King tomorrow.
Jan. 28. Mr. Ellis's letter of 27th read and an answer, dated this day, sent to Sir William Trumbull. A further letter was sent to him as to the ships for the West Indies.
Representations as to the Bahamas, Philip Kirton's Act, and new Councillors for Virginia were signed and sent to the Privy Council.
Jan. 29. On the Order of the King in Council of yesterday, respecting the Bahamas, the Secretary was directed to write to Mr. Thornburgh for information.
The dispute between Rhode Island and Connecticut as to the Narragansett Country or King's Province was considered, and all parties were assured that copies of the papers on both sides should be interchanged and due notice given of the day of hearing.
The Agent for Barbados reported the readiness of the Colony to accept convict men; and it was ordered that a letter be prepared to Mr. Secretary Trumbull on the subject.
Mr. Secretary Trumbull laid before the Council the King's resolutions as to sending a force to Newfoundland, and requested that experienced masters of ships should attend the Admiralty to give them information, adding that it was desirable that some of the merchants should victual at least the land forces designed thither. Sir Joseph Hern was therefore summoned, but he being unable to attend through sickness, Mr. Pollexfen went to him and brought back his answer that he was unwilling, owing to inexperience, to undertake the business of victualling. Mr. Cole and Mr. Merret were asked to see that the masters attend the Admiralty, and the Secretary was ordered to give notice of the King's intentions to the out-ports.
The New York Agents desired that they might be heard before the proposed change of Government was made, which was promised.
Mr. Bernon again asking for encouragement to import Naval stores, was bidden to draw up a proposition and to state prices.
Letters to the Governors of Virginia, Maryland and New York approved. [Board of Trade. Journal, 9. pp.364–381.]
Jan. 25.
621. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Pursuant to your orders, we offer the following additional report as to Newfoundland. The ships designed for it are prepared to sail at three different times, viz., two with the salt-ships at once, and two with the sack-ships in June. The total number of ships that we propose for opposing the French and mastering the coast is eight ships, nor do we think that fewer will suffice. The French send thither several ships of force every year, and more may be sent upon the information of the Governor of St. Johns, who we hear is returned to France to give an account of his progress. As to provisions, the trade therein is carried on by so many sorts of people and by so many towns that have no correspondence with each other, that we think it impracticable to obtain them by proposals to the merchants. The people could not comply therewith and would be rather discouraged from their preparations, fearing lest the ships of war should not be ready against the appointed time, from lack of provisions. As to a Governor we think that the Commander-in-chief may be military governor for all offensive and defensive operations during the summer, but that the troops left behind by him in the several harbours shall be commanded by their respective captains, of whom the eldest officer shall have chief command. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. pp.74–76.]
Jan. 26.
622. John Whitrow to John Pollexfen. I observe your sentiments in your letter of 29 October about Sir Edward Hungerford. Notwithstanding Mr. Bath's promise of preferring a bill last term, I have not heard a word from him since. A fortnight since an affidavit was made here by some of the inhabitants fled from St. Johns, Newfoundland, setting forth the damage done there by the French. A copy was sent to Secretary Trumbull, and another to Sir Joseph Hern to present to you. A petition asking for some men-of-men to be sent to Newfoundland early this spring was also sent to him. He said that he would present it to the King, so I presume that it has been referred to your Board. Several ships are here designed out on the fishing account, but so many men are impressed for the men-of-war that unless we can get protection our preparations and designs will be ruined. They do indeed tell us that if our men remain always on board ship they will not meddle with them, but that is impossible, for the men must go ashore for what they want. I am therefore instructed to beg your favour with the Admiralty that we may obtain protections for our men on shore as well as aboard, and that the seamen's names may be inserted in the margin of the protections according to lists to be furnished by the masters of the ships, which will effectually prevent them from being impressed. It is also requested that the men-of-war designed for Newfoundland may sail at the end of next month, and that the ships bound on the fishing voyage may have the benefit of their convoy, otherwise it will be too late in the season to proceed on that design. I suppose you heard of the ship that came into Plymouth last week in twenty days from Newfoundland. The master reports that spies sent to observe St. Johns reported that some of the French were still there and fortifying themselves. I hope therefore that our men-of-war will sail early in the spring to root out that bloody crew before they receive fresh supplies from France. Signed, John Whitrow. 3 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 29 Jan. Read 1 Feb., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 31.]
Jan. 26.
623. John Warren to John Pollexfen. We have duly heard of your Board's orders for convoys to be ready at Milford and Plymouth by the 20th inst., and for four or five men-of-war to sail to Newfoundland direct at the end of February or beginning of March. But nothing is now said of this, and after the information that the Governor of Placentia has left his brother and 100 men at St. Johns and has sailed to France to get recruits, most people think that Newfoundland and the trade for this year are lost. No doubt they will be lost unless we are speedy and vigorous to send men-of-war there before the French. If this be done in time, one-half the strength will be more effectual then than twice the number afterwards. I understand that all this time we have twenty-one or two men-of-war in port, of which a couple may be ordered to sail to Portugal and four more direct, about a month hence. These might be manned from other ships that are not in such haste, and if you give them sufficient ammunition and provisions this would be a simple way to regain and secure Newfoundland without much noise or charge. But unless the commanders are sober, diligent men I expect no good to come of it, and cannot but lament to see that most of the miscarriages proceed from the ill-conduct of lewd debauched men, who are often employed but with whom we cannot expect God's blessing. The merchants and shipwrights of this town have petitioned the Admiralty that they may have a competent number of men besides their servants protected from impressment, as in all other places. But we lie under such hardships that not one ship has been built within this harbour since the war, though we cannot be heard in anything that would mitigate them. It would therefore be a singular kindness if you would recommend our request to their Lordships for their favour. There are men-of-war now in port to be paid off; it would be a great benefit to these parts if they were paid off here. Signed, John Warren. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 29 Jan., Read 1 Feb. 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 32.]
Jan. 26.
624. William Popple to the Secretaries of the Admiralty. The merchants have insisted upon sending one hundred super-numerary seamen in the fleet designed for Jamaica to the Southampton and Reserve, as a thing of very great importance to the island. The King has directed this to be done, in accordance with a representation of the Council of Trade, and I am to ask what progress has been made in the execution of the service. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 56. p. 71.]
[Jan. 26.] 625. Information of Lieutenant George Sydenham against Governor Fletcher. (1) Soon after landing at New York we received orders to march to Albany. Lieutenants Riggs and Wright and I applied to the Governor for credit or subsistence, but were refused. (2) At the end of 1695 the Governor came up to Albany, when I applied to him for money to subsist. He told us that he had none and that our captains ought to pay us; but we could obtain no payment. (3) When I was ordered to Senectady I told the captains that the soldiers wanted shoes, stockings, shirts, etc., but they sent none for them, so that the soldiers were unable to do their duty, or to go through the woods to discover Indians. (4) I informed the Governor of this, as also that the soldiers had no means of boiling their provisions, and he wrote to me that he would provide the articles needed; but they were never sent. (5) The Governor said that he had written to the Agents for clothing by every ship, but the Agents deny it. (6) I told the Governor that the soldiers received no food provisions from the Commissary of Stores, but money instead, and that not half the value charged to them. The Governor said that if the men could not take the money, they should have nothing. (7) The King pays 300 soldiers at Albany, but not half the number were there last May, so that the inhabitants have deserted their plantations for thirty miles. (8) There was a company of Fusiliers maintained at Albany at the country's charge. The Governor broke them, to engage them for one year's service in the King's cloth, with promise of £3 a man advance and fourpence a day additional pay. But the men not receiving this money have deserted sixteen or eighteen at a time. (9) When relieved at Senectady I obtained leave to return to New York, where I laid an information against the captains; whereupon the Governor told me it was not the part of a gentleman to inform against his officers. Sworn 13 Jan., 1696–7. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 13th. Read 26th Jan., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 2.]
Jan. 26. 626. Abstract of the grievances of Lieutenant George Sydenham against Captain James Weems. (1) On the receipt of Lieutenant Sydenham's commission Captain Weems sent him into the country to raise men. He then told him that he must raise thirty men for his complement, for which he would allow him nothing, nor for the necessaries required for the men on the voyage to New York, but that he must make a bill and charge it as contingencies. (2) Lieutenant Sydenham acquainted Mr. Blathwayt that he had raised fifty men and received no subsistence to them, whereupon Mr. Blathwayt wrote to Captain Hide to pay him the subsistence and advance-money, but to no purpose. He then wrote again to Mr. Blathwayt, who thought he ought to have £2 per man. Three of Captain Weems' sergeants did freely affirm that Sydenham brought fifty men to Captain Weems, whom he clothed and took into pay, besides others that ran away. (3) At Portsmouth Captain Weems discharged one man for seven guineas, after he had been mustered. (4) At the end of September, 1695, Governor Fletcher came to Albany, when Sydenham informed him that Captain Weems would not pay nor account with him, whereupon the Governor gave order that he should do so; but Captain Weems feigned himself sick, and would not be spoken with. The Governor left orders that Colonel Ingoldsby should inspect the accounts and report to him, on which Weems ordered Sydenham to make up his accounts, which he did, agreeing that the money which Weems had overcharged Sydenham should be omitted till they heard from England. (5) On New Year's day, 1695–6, Captain Weems sent his sergeant with a full muster-roll for Sydenham to sign, which he refused, as he had never seen so many effective men; whereupon Weems would not stand to Sydenham's accounts nor pay him any money. (6) Weems charges Sydenham with £120 before he left England; whereas the Agent charges him with but £55. (7) Lieutenant Sydenham was forced to live on a private centinel's pay for several months, which is fivepence a day, New York money. (8) The soldiers not having good provisions nor necessary clothing, either drowned themselves or ran away to the woods, where several perished. Some were retaken, tried by court-martial and shot, but nevertheless some deserted a second and third time, owing to their hard treatment. (9) Weems sold a young man of his company in New York for £15, and the purchaser sent the man to sea in a privateer. (10) Lieutenant Sydenham disbursed more money in raising and subsisting Captain Weems's men than he received from him, and he has received no subsistence from the Governor, the Captain, or the Agent since the date of his commission. He did not leave his post from disrespect to the King's service, but came to England for justice. Signed, Geo. Sydenham. Sworn on 13 January, 1697. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 13 Jan. Read 26 Jan., 1697. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 3.]
Jan. 26. 627. Abstract of the misdemeanours of Captains James Weems and William Hide. (1) They signed a list of their men to the magistrates of Boston, where the men were quartered, but they did not pay the soldiers' quarters nor sign the landlord's bills, but left the charge on the King's account. (2) They did not pay the men's quarters nor sign the landlord's bill at New York, but marched the men out of the town. (3) They have charged their officers and men all the time 3s. 6d. a week for provisions, though the King's charges are 2s. 11d., yet they were on short allowance, which is four men's allowance to six men, from 1 August, 1694, to 12 November, 1694, which amounts to 1s. 11¾d. per week, though officers and men were all charged 3s. 6d. a week all the time. (4) On the 22nd June, 1696, the Commissaries for provisions in New York told me that they had not received above £70 from both Captains. (5) The two Captains acknowledged that they received the subsistence of their companies from 1 August, 1694, to 31 January, 1695; yet what they have paid does not amount to £100, the rest remaining in their hands. Signed, Geo. Sydenham. Sworn 13 January, 1697. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 13 Jan. Read 26 Jan., 1697. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No, 4.]
Jan. 26. 628. Abstract of the grievances of Lieutenant Roger Wright against the Governor and Captains of New York. (1) On landing at Boston he informed the Governor of the payment of six months subsistence in England for the two companies, foreseeing the evil consequences of it not being paid according to the intent for which it was given. (2) On his landing at New York the Governor told him that he had received his letter from Boston, with two letters enclosed from the Duke of Leeds and the Duke of Bolton on his behalf. He further said that he understood that the two Captains had embezzled the money received in England and a great part of the overplus provisions, but that he would not meddle with them. (3) The Governor told Lieutenant Wright that he was sorry for him in that he had served in command before, and that he had better have taken a halberd in England than come as a Lieutenant to New York. (4) Having orders to prepare for the frontier, Lieutenants Sydenham, Riggs and Wright asked the Governor to help them with a little money for subsistence and with credit for the same, but the Governor positively refused. (5) Lieutenant Wright was ordered to the garrison of Senectady with a detachment, from whence he signified the want of ammunition and other necessaries for the garrison, but was not supplied. (6) The dissatisfaction of the soldiers owing to their want of good provisions and of shirts, shoes, and stockings led to the desertion of many, of whom several perished in the woods. (7) Finding the companies much weakened Lieutenant Wright asked as to the closing of the rolls; whereupon they were asked to close the rolls as full, but refused to do so for more than the effective men. (8) No musters were ever made in New York, according to Act of Parliament, that Wright ever knew of. (9) Wright was forced to live on a private man's allowance for several months, having neither money nor credit to subsist otherwise. (10) For the subsistence that he received in England the Governor deducted 30 per cent., as his accounts, signed by the Agent and the Governor's Secretary, can show. (11) Lieutenant Wright is highly sensible that the detention of their subsistence from the men was the great cause of their deserting; but when he applied to the Governor and Council of New York he could obtain no redress. Signed, Rog. Wright. Sworn 9 Jan., 1697. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 12 Jan. Read 26 Jan., 1697. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 5.]
Jan. 26. 629. Abstract of the grievances of Lieutenant Roger Wright concerning the ill-treatment of the soldiers of the New York Companies. (1) Lieutenant Wright has several times mounted the main guard at Albany with twenty-eight privates, when half of the men were bare-legged and bare-footed, and several without a shirt to their backs. Captains Hide and Weems, when applied to, instead of helping the poor soldiers, would violently beat and abuse them, which led to much desertion. (2) At Christmas last three sergeants of Captain Hide's company very modestly went to him, asked him to give them a little money and place it to their account, instead of which he abused them, with the result that four days afterwards two of the sergeants deserted with five privates more, and a fortnight after ten more men of his company deserted from Senectady. (3) The hardships put on his company by Captain Hide occasioned so much desertion that the complement in May last had been reduced from 100 to 43 men. It is hoped that the Council of Trade will regard Captain Hide's scurrilous retlections upon Lieutenants Wright and Sydenham as malicious; for if they had been guilty of them they could have been tried by court-martial. As to his trumped-up account that he disbursed his six months' subsistence on necessaries for his company, the Commissaries of New York positively declare that they have only received 120 dollars from Captain Hide and 130 dollars from Captain Weems. In July last Lieutenants Shanke and Wright applied to the said Commissaries for a private man's allowance for one month's subsistence. The Commissaries agreed to give it on their note, but they said that they would not be concerned with the two Captains, for they were then indebted £900 to £1,000 to the said Commissaries, who marvelled how the two Captains had embezzled the six months' subsistence received by them in England. Captain Hide never mustered his company in New York, but asked Wright to sign a false muster. The embezzling of the men's pay drove many to desertion, and the neglect of their complaints drove the officers to resign their commands. Signed, Rog. Wright. Sworn, 9 January, 1697. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 12 Jan. Read 27 Jan., 1697. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 6.]
Jan. 26. 630. Abstract of the grievances of Lieutenant Matthew Shanke against the Governor and Captains of New York. (1) He served as First Lieutenant to a company of Grenadiers raised for New York. (2) After several months' duty in England the company received and spent its pay there, and was then transported to New York. (3) Governor Fletcher received clearings for the two companies to 1 January, 1691, but kept the pay in his hands for nine or ten months after his arrival in New York, contrary to law, and before he allowed Lieutenant Shanke his pay deducted 30 per cent. for all the money received and spent in England. (4) This stopping of 30 per cent. for the said money brought the two companies into debt and caused the men to desert. (5) Lieutenant Shanke has been kept without subsistence for eighteen months at a time. The place where he was was so poor that he could obtain no credit, and as the Governor took no care for his subsistence, it was impossible for him to live. (6) Governor Fletcher, knowing the companies to be thin, would not write to the King for recruits, but asked that the King would make them up to hundreds. They were about half-companies when they arrived at New York. There has been no muster-roll returned according to law for five or six years. (7) The companies have received only one mounting and a second mounting in near six years. This has made the men desert. Many of those that remain are almost naked, some have neither shoes nor stockings, some no shirts, some no breeches, so that they look more like the Black Guard than forces in the King's service. (8) The Governor sent an order to the Sheriff of Albany to muster the forces in garrison there. The Captains asked him to sign false musters, which he refused to do. He was thereupon huffed and shortly afterwards turned out of his place, which was given to one who was made Lieutenant in Sydenham's place. (9) The company to which Shanke belonged consisted on its first arrival of three commissioned officers, eight non-commissioned officers and drums, and sixty men, the weekly subsistence of which Company is £13 15s. The desertions, owing to their hardships, were so many that now there are not above thirty men of all ranks. These thirty were subsisted for several years together for 12s. 6d. a day, which left over six pounds a week of their subsistence in the Captain's pocket. (10) There was a Sergeant Malby in Governor Sloughter's own company, who served as Sergeant six weeks. After Governor Sloughter's death Colonel Ingoldsby promoted him Lieutenant, in which post he served thirteen months. On Governor Fletcher's arrival Malby applied to him for pay to discharge his debts contracted in the service, which Governor Fletcher refusing, Malby was obliged to leave the country secretly without satisfying his creditors. (11) One Lieutenant Hutchins, holding the King's commission, commanded at Albany when Governor Fletcher first arrived. He was brought a prisoner to New York and dismissed the service without a court-martial. (12) One Simms, Lieutenant Shanke's youngest lieutenant, came from England with Governor Fletcher, who upon his arrival made him Captain of one of the companies raised by the country for defence of Albany. He served in command of it for one year, when the Governor gave the company to Colonel Ingoldsby, and Simms was sent master of a ship to Jamaica. Though he has been absent four years, he is still continued in pay. (13) Lieutenant Shanke wanting money for his subsistence, applied to Governor Fletcher, who replied that he had none. The Governor also refused to draw a bill upon the Agent, saying that if he wanted money, Mr. Honan, his private secretary, would advance it. This Shanke was obliged to do, and give Honan a bill for £23 for £20 received. (14) Lieutenant Shanke was forced to live on centinel's allowance for several months that is on salt beef, pork, pease and bread, at five pence a day, New York money. He applied to the Governor for relief, but obtaining none was forced to resign his command and come to England. Signed, Math. Shanke. Sworn 9 Jan., 1697. 3 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 13 Jan. Read 26 Jan., 1697. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 7.]
Jan. 26. 631. Answer to the complaints of Lieutenants Wright and Sydenham against Captain Hide. On the 28 December, 1696, your Lordships heard the complaints of Lieutenants Wright and Sydenham against Captains Hide and Weems. I thought that for their own sakes they would have troubled you no farther, but finding that, contrary to your order to make their complaints distinct, they have yet joined both officers together, I must trouble you again from the beginning of the matter so far as it relates to Captain Hide. In May, 1696, Lieutenant Wright complains to the Governor and Council of New York that Captain Hide's company had received full subsistence to 10 February, 1694–5, that they were in arrear of it from 1 August to that time, that the company had received bounty from the Queen for fighting the French at sea, and lastly that had the subsistence been duly paid, it would have hindered the soldiers' extravagances. Upon examination by the Council it appeared, unfortunately for Mr. Wright, that all his allegations were false, for the subsistence was paid only to the 29th of January; he had cleared with all his officers to that time, and the soldiers were subsisted in provisions. No bounty was given by the Queen for fighting the French at sea, and the chief reasons for the men's deserting were Lieutenant Wright's mutinous discourses and letters to the men, and his debauching of them. Lieutenant Sydenham also preferred complaints against both captains of much to the same purpose as Wright's On examination the Council of New York could make nothing of them, except that Sydenham by his own confession had been well cudgelled. The complaints of their officers, Captain Hide's answers and the reports of the Council of New York are all in Mr. Popple's hands. The frivolity of the charges may there be fully seen. Wright and Sydenham found that they could obtain no credit in New York and were under an ill character on many accounts, and in particular for not resenting some affronts put on them. They earnestly begged the Governor's permission to resign, which at last he granted; and on their arrival in England they prefer new complaints, whereof some are false, but none affect Captain Hide. In his three first articles Lieutenant Wright says that the men were under great hardships for want of clothes, shoes and stockings, that when they complained of this they were abused and that therefore they deserted. I believe the first part of this to be true, for it is no wonder that the men should be in want of necessaries after three years, but that officers should beat men for this reason only is incredible. It is plain that no officer has a fund there to supply the clothing. It appears by Captain Hide's account that he furnished what he could towards a second mounting, and if supplies have not gone sooner from hence it must be imputed to the funds here, which did not give the clothier here sufficient encouragement to undertake it. As to what he says is due from Captain Hide to the Commissaries, the Pay Office will certainly stop it upon him, if it be true. As soon as the charge of the company is sent here from New York, it is always placed to account. As to the want of musters and requests to sign false musters, the truth of this can best be known from the Captains themselves. Lieutenant Sydenham has nothing in his articles which seem matter of complaint. His two first articles say that the Captains left New York and Boston without paying their quarters. If that were true the Colony would have written to their Agents here to have the money stopped in the Pay Office, as is the daily practice in England. The third article concerns the reckoning more for sea provisions than the King does. I desire that the officers in New York may answer to that themselves; and then by comparing their answer with the charge at the Victualling Office, the truth will appear. The fourth and fifth articles are not made out, whatever the Captains' answers thereto; but granting them to be true, their accounts stand chargeable for what they have not rightly disbursed and the King has the remedy in his own hands. I would remind you of an account of Captain Hide's, now before you, shewing how he disbursed the money which he received at Plymouth before he embarked. If his difficulties be considered, first in raising and shipping them to that country and next in keeping landsmen eleven months on board, with the great care, trouble and expense incident thereto, he conceives that his extraordinaries will be found necessary and unavoidable. On the allegations of these Lieutenants it may be observed (1) that Captain Hide is not charged with detaining one farthing which was due to his officers, which makes their complaint look strange, (2) that all the hardships of the soldiers from want of clothes and a punctual supply is no more than has been represented in every letter from the Governor, for which a remedy must be found in England and not in New York, (3) that, as regards their insinuation that Captain Hide has defrauded his men, it is evident that the men have been constantly supplied with provisions, and equally certain that the King's pay is not large enough to allow the men both pay and provisions; so that, if he had any money in his hands, the Pay Office is a check upon him and will make him account for it. Since these two Lieutenants had no personal injustice from Captain Hide to complain of, there must be some secret reason for it, which can only be imputed to their apprehension lest their character and ill-behaviour, and how far these contributed to make the men desert, should be expressed. Mr. Wright had his commission full three months before he came near the company, and was like to have been left behind if the ships had not been accidentally forced back, and had they not every day been expected to sail. Mr. Sydenham had been called to account for deserting his command a considerable time without leave, and for assisting one of Colonel Northcott's officers to make false musters with two or three files of men, who in recompense gave him two French Papists, whom he brought over and whom the Governor was forced to secure on suspicion of their going to Canada. How the two Lieutenants behaved themselves in New York will sufficiently appear in the annexed extracts of several letters from Governor Fletcher and Captain Hide, which were laid before you, and which I request may accompany any report that you may make. 5½ pp. Endorsed, By Mr. Southwell. Read 26 Jan., 1697. Annexed,
631. I. Extracts from letters from Governor Fletcher to Sir Robert Southwell. 30 May, 1696. Captain Hide is come here to recruit his company. He is a very honest gentleman and a careful, good officer. He has a very vicious, troublesome man for his lieutenant, by name Wright, who is a disgrace to the worthy Captain. 18 September, 1696. Captain Hide has not lost his time in the Army. He understands his duty in every punctilio. One of his lieutenants, Wright, has articled him to me and the Council—the papers are sent to the Plantation Office—and that Lieutenant and two more have importuned me to be discharged even to the wearing out of my patience. They have quitted the service by resignations, signed and sealed. Two of them, Shanke and Wright, are the most debauched, drunken beasts I have ever seen. 10 June, 1696. Captain Hide is with me, plagued with a vicious, drunken lieutenant, one Wright, who may vex him, but can never hurt or wound his reputation, as things appear to me which are transmitted by the Captain's request to the Plantation Office. 22 August, 1696. Three lieutenants have importuned me by several letters during several months to quit their commands, and at length have brought me their resignations. I have granted commissions to men whom I am sure are better, one Bickford, who served in Ireland, in place of Shanke, and Young in place of Sydenham. Wright, a lewd, debauched fellow, is succeeded by Mr. Olliver, who came over with the Captain. I never saw so drunken a beast as Wright, nor so factious a fellow. Copies, certified by Sir Robert Southwell. 2 pp. Endorsed, Read 26 Jan., 1697.
631. II. Extracts from Captain Hide's answer to Lieutenant Sydenham's complaint at New York. 13 July, 1696. To expose this Sydenham's cowardice I must acquaint you that he was lately very well caned and cudgelled at Albany, that he ran with a pistol in his hand crying "Assault and battery." His letter to you from Senectady shows his poor spirit and weakness of sense, when he acquaints his Captain-General that he stood looking on over the stockades when a party of cowardly skulking Indians came and scalped and carried away some of the inhabitants. He dared not send to their relief nor as much as fire a gun from that fort, though he was near enough, which would have frightened them. In an English garrison he would go near swinging for it. He brought a cargo of peddling trade with him, and has minded the handling of that more than his duty. He is so factious a man and so rank a coward that he is a scandal to all who hold the King's commission and beneath any officer to march in one rank with, besides the danger of entrusting the King's service to a man who will take a caning as patient as a pack horse. 9 June, 1696. To give Wright's character without malice and as favourably as I can—he is a drunken, vicious fellow who can take a kicking as patient as a dram of Nantz. He is so talkative in his cups with all the scoundrels (for none other will keep him company) that he lashes all without any regard. He was sent for before the Committee some days ago, I suppose after taking a large morning draught of rum. Some word being moved him from the Council, Mr. Wright puts out his tongue, winks one of his eyes, and screws his mouth up with a whistle and says "Damme, I am for the King, gentlemen, and you may do what you please, and I know the laws and Acts of Parliament." He is now at Albany, whence I hear that he is corrupting the new recruits, telling them that the Assembly's groat a day is a mere sham and that they will never have a penny of it. I think this is the beginning of mutiny; he is an intolerable fellow and enough to vitiate a whole army. I should want three quire of paper to write down all his scandalous actions. Copies. 2 pp. Endorsed, Read 26 Jan., 1697. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. Nos. 8, 8 I.–II.]
Jan. 26. 632. Answer of the New York Agents to Lieutenant Sydenham's complaints against Governor Fletcher. Articles 1, 2. It does not appear that Lieutenant Riggs makes any complaint. Governor Fletcher had no money of these officers in his hands; and it seems that Mr. Sydenham's manner made no impression for his credit. Articles 3, 4. The principal hardships of the King's soldiers in these parts are caused by the reduction of their money, and the Governor cannot supply that defect out of his own pocket. The soldiers receive what is allowed them by the public, and more cannot be expected. Article 5. It is not likely that the Governor wrote as is here set forth, but the denial here alleged is a palpable and demonstrable untruth. Article 6. This is an allegation contrary to the practice of victualling the forces at Albany. It seems unreasonable that the Governor should suffer any such disorder, by which he receives no profit, nor indeed credible unless proved by better evidence. Article 7. Any defects in the number of the King's companies at New York are due chiefly to the ill management of such officers as the informer, and the destruction of the country is to be attributed to the same cause. Articles 8, 9. The breaking of the company of fusiliers at Albany was occasioned by the want of a fund to subsist them. In April or May last the advance-money and additional pay was levied by a tax on the country, but it could not be got in till near the end of the year; and the men could not be paid before the money was in the Treasury. 1 p. Endorsed, Read 26 Jan., 1697. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 9.]
Jan. 26. 633. Answer of the New York Agents to Lieutenant Shanke's second complaint. Articles 1, 2. Admitted to be true. Article 3. Governor Fletcher arrived towards the end of August, 1692. There was then some dispute as to the disposal of £1,100 which Governor Sloughter had received in England for the two companies, and there might be unavoidable delay before the money was recovered from his executors. The deduction of 30 per cent. is agreeable to the King's establishment for the province of New York. Article 4. The victualling of the men and the amount stopped for their clothing in England amount to more than their pay; consequently they are in debt and in want of encouragement. Article 5. No man can live eighteen months without subsistence. It is true that the place is poor, but Mr. Shanke's want of credit is due to another cause. The Governor had constantly taken care for victualling the force there; and that living had been possible is plain from the fact that as good officers as Mr. Shanke have lived and do now live in the place. Article 6. Governor Fletcher has often written for recruits; several musters have been made, and the rolls doubtless have been sent, though probably some of them have miscarried; and this can be proved. Article 7. The men have had all the clothing that has been provided for them. Article 8. The Governor's sending his order to the Sheriff to muster the forces at Albany shows his desire to have fair muster-rolls returned. If the Captains desired him to sign false musters, they must answer for it. Major Ingoldsby will soon be in England and can give a full answer. The assertion that the Sheriff was turned out for the reason alleged by Mr. Shanke is malicious scandal. Article 9. Major Ingoldsby can answer this when he arrives. Article 10. Soon after Governor Sloughter's arrival Lieutenant Bradshaw, of his company, was made Captain of fusiliers in Albany, and Sergeant Malby promoted Lieutenant in his place. Soon after Governor Fletcher arrived Bradshaw died, and his widow demanded and received his pay. If anything be due to Malby it is from her. But Malby did not leave the country, as Mr. Shanke alleges, for he served for a considerable time in the country's pay after Governor Fletcher's arrival. Article 11. Lieutenant Hutchins had the King's commission for Lieutenant, but being an ignorant, drunken, factious fellow his commission was superseded and the place given to Peter Mathews, who came over with Governor Fletcher. He was accordingly installed and Hutchins dismissed. If this offend Mr. Shanke, it was the King's pleasure. Article 12. Governor Fletcher did give Lieutenant Simms leave to go to Jamaica to adjust some accounts in that island. Simms is now in London and will answer this article himself. Article 13. The reason why the Governor paid Mr. Shanke no money and refused to draw a bill for him was that he had no money of Mr. Shanke's in his hands and Mr. Shanke's credit was insufficient. If Shanke made an ill bargain with Mr. Honan, it was because he could not procure money on better terms elsewhere. Article 14. If Mr. Shanke subsisted on a centinel's allowance it shows his good husbandry and that he must be a great gainer by his commission. It shows great weakness not to be able to live where other men can in the same circumstances. If the station of a soldier and the fatigues of war were too hard for Mr. Shanke, he has done well to resign. His place is filled by one well satisfied therewith and able to live on his pay and discharge his duty. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 20 Jan. Read 26 Jan., 1697. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 10.]
Jan. 26. 634. Certificate of the strength of the New York companies, by the last muster-rolls taken in July, 1693. The Governor's company: 3 officers, 68 non-commissioned officers and men, besides 1 gunner and 2 matrosses. Captain Ingoldsby's company: 3 officers, 68 non-commissioned officers and men. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd., Read 26 Jan., 1697. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 11.]
Jan. 27. 635. Petition of the Bailiffs, Capital Burgesses and Merchants to Newfoundland in the borough of Bridport, to the King. We have heard of great devastations committed by the French in Newfoundland in September and November last, whereby not only have great losses been suffered, but the English fishery in those parts is in danger of being lost. We beg you to consider some means for recovering the Colony from the French and for the protection of the English in their fishery. Forty-eight signatures. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd., Read 27 Jan., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 33.]
Jan. 27. 636. Petition of Samuel Sewall and the other Proprietors of King's Province and Providence Plantation in America. We have spent many pounds in purchasing and settling the above plantations and made considerable progress therein, while they were included with Massachusetts and the other Colonies under Sir Edmund Andros's government, but since the alteration they have had no protection or settlement under any government, which partly obstructs our improvements, and is a disadvantage to the Crown. We beg, therefore, that we may be again put under Massachusetts or otherwise as may seem best for the Crown's service and our advantage. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd., Read 27 Jan., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 59; and 36. p. 113.]
Jan. 27.
637. William Bridgeman to William Popple. In reply to yours of yesterday, orders are given for two of the men-of-war now going to the West Indies to carry a number of men above their usual complements, one hundred of which are designed for recruits to the Southampton and Reserve. The men-of-war designed to convoy the trade from Virginia, in pursuance of the King's Order in Council, are ready and will have their instructions to sail in a day or two. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd., Read 27 Jan., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 28; and 34. p. 97.]
Jan. 27.
638. J. Ellis to William Popple. I am ordered by Mr. Secretary Trumbull to inform you that the King would have the Council of Trade consider what may properly be added to the instructions from the Lords of the Admiralty to the commander of the squadron going to the West Indies, in relation to Newfoundland or any other part of the King's dominions in the West Indies. Signed, J. Ellis. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd., Read 28 Jan., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 29; and 34. p. 98.]
Jan. 27.
639. Governor Sir William Beeston to Council of Trade and Plantations. This island is now in as perfect health as any place can be, and would be so to all people if they would time their coming so as not to arrive here in June and thence on to the end of September, as most have done for the last four years. This has cost the King many subjects and the island much strength, has discouraged trade and brought a disreputation upon the place, for it has been sickly all over the West Indies for five years past and much worse in most places than in this. The ships of war by coming hither ill-manned have continually pressed, thereby taking and frightening away most of our seamen and ordinary persons. By this we are much weakened, there are no seamen left to sail our vessels (by which trade is decayed), no men to man our privateers, and few men left in the country but masters of families. Moreover, the Northern plantations, that used to furnish us with provisions and necessaries, come not near us, whereby provisions are become scarce and dear, which much discourages the inhabitants. I send the public accounts till Mr. Broughton ceased to be Treasurer and Mr. Beckford took his place. I send also several papers which shew the management of Colonel (sic) Kirkby, commander of the Southampton, and the reasons why I ordered him to go home convoy of this fleet. These I submit for your consideration, believing that the King ordered his ships of war hither for the defence and encouragement of his subjects, and not to injure the place nor disturb the Government, nor hinder and obstruct his service. Captain Moses of the Reserve has done like a brave man in gaining intelligence and taking Grubbin, a renegade of this island, who has robbed and plundered most of our out coasts. I have thanked Captain Moses in Council and given him a present of £100. Mons. Ducasse has sent to demand Grubbin of me as a naturalised subject of France and married there, and has kept as a hostage one Price, who, he tells me, if I use any violence on Grubbin, shall fare accordingly; but that shall not hinder me from causing Grubbin to suffer whatever the law may condemn him in, nor do I think that Mons. Ducasse will venture to do anything to an innocent man for the punishment of a criminal.
These parts have been full of French ships of war and privateers during the past year, insomuch that most of our ships have been taken either coming hither or returning home, to the vast cost of the merchants and inhabitants. As for our men-of-war, though they press continually they never have a complement of men sufficient to venture them out, lest the enemy should overpower them. There are now eight ships of war at Petit Guavos, and they tell me that Mons. D'Amblemont is daily expected from Martinique with fifteen more, besides bombs, tenders, etc., and whether their design be against us or the Spaniards we know not, nor can learn from them. Yet I believe they have some notice of a peace, for they have sent down the flag of truce I sent to them and our prisoners, and have given me some hints of it. We know not nor have heard anything of it nor have had any direct news from England since May last, which much concerns the people here and gives them occasion to think that little notice is taken of the place; for this squadron of Mons. D'Amblemont's is the fourth that has been here since January last, yet we have not had notice of any of them. We have no correspondence with the Windward Islands, so that let what storm soever be gathering against us at Martinique, the Governments never give us notice. If the war continues, pray be favourable to this place (which is of more importance to the Crown than all of them). If you will order the Governors on all occasions to send me advice we will pay the expense of the sloops that bear it. Signed, Wm. Beeston. Holograph. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 9th. Read 10th Nov., 1697. Enclosed,
639. I. Copy of an order from Captain Richard Kirkby to Captain William Wakelyn, of H.M. hired ship Princess Ann, 25 August, 1696. Since the Lieutenant-Governor intends not to send your ship abroad before the return of the Reserve and of my own ship from the cruise appointed to us, it is his opinion that you shall spare us men to make up our complement for the present service. You will therefore send at once on board my ship the seven men you last pressed, and eight more. Dated, H.M.S. Southampton, Port Royal. Scrap. Certified copy.
639. II. A second copy of No. I. Endorsed, Recd., Read 6 Jan., 1696–7.
639. III. Captain Kirkby to Sir William Beeston. H.M.S. Southampton, Port Royal, 4 Dec., 1696. I have just received your order of 2nd inst. to place my ship near Gun Island, in which order you respect Captain Moses as on the square with me. I must therefore acquaint you that where two of the King's ships are on service together, the command rests with the eldest officer. I think too that the Admiralty, by giving me authority to fill vacancies of officers, have sufficiently distinguished me from any captain for you to have perceived the difference. I therefore desire you will do me justice, as my post gives me naturally the command in time of service of all vessels and boats that are upon the water where I am present. I have not yet received orders from you as to fitting the fireships, without which I cannot undertake to receive them into my charge for that purpose after the appraisement. I shall sail for Gun Island as soon as the wind is favourable. Copy. ½ p.
639. IV. Governor Sir William Beeston to Captain John Moses. 28 December, 1696. I desire you to agree for any sloop you like in the harbour of Port Royal to go up with to Hispaniola to get a prisoner. What you agree for shall be complied with by me. Having got a fitting sloop, if you will provide her with men and provisions out of H.M. Ship Reserve and give me notice of it, you shall have what orders are necessary for your further proceedings. Certified copy. Scrap.
639. V. Order of Captain Kirkby to Captain John Moses, of H.M. Ship Reserve. 29 December, 1696. Whereas by Colonel Beeston's order of 28 December, 1696, you are directed to hire a sloop, in order to proceed to Hispaniola, and to supply her with men, ammunition and provisions from H.M.S. Reserve, you are hereby required not to absent yourself from H.M. ship under your command on the said occasion, nor to incapacitate her for service daily expected by sparing men, ammunition, etc., for fitting out any vessel for the above mentioned design.
Certificate of the authenticity of the above order. Copies. 1 p.
639. VI. Sir William Beeston to Captain Kirkby, 30 December, 1696. The Admiralty have left to my consideration which of H.M. ships to keep for the service of the island, and which to send home. I have seriously considered the question and have taken the opinion of the Council thereon, and I conclude that it is most conducive to the King's service that your ship should go for England and the Princess Anne stay here. You are therefore hereby ordered in pursuance of the Admiralty's orders to prepare H.M. Ship Southampton under your command forthwith in order to sail convoy to the homeward bound fleet on 10 January next. Any further orders necessary to your voyage shall be sent to you. Copy, in Sir William Beeston's hand. Scrap.
639. VII. Governor Sir William Beeston to Captain Moses. 30 December, 1696. The advice which we received of Mons. D'Amblemont's coming with fifteen ships of war obliged me for the King's service and the safety of the island to send up a flag of truce to Petit Guavos to discern what I could of their strength and designs. Since it is a month since she sailed and nothing has been heard of her I conclude that she is detained. Mean-while the fleet of merchant-ships has been stopped, and the island put to the great trouble and charge of drawing all the troops, one every week, to their several rendezvous. This is a great burden to the people, from which I cannot deliver them without some certain intelligence of the enemy's designs, unless by your offer to go in a sloop, if I provide one, with some of your men to take one or two prisoners or obtain information of the enemy's designs. I think that this will be much for the King's service, and you will therefore on receipt hereof sail with the said sloop and a fitting number of your men to the coast of Hispaniola and there do your best to gain intelligence. The whole direction hereof is left to your discretion, only if you see any great number of ships making towards this island or hear of any design against it you will return with all expedition. Copy. ½ p.
639. VIII. Copy of Minutes of Council of Jamaica. 4 January, 1696–7. The Governor laid his orders in relation to Captain Kirkby and Captain Moses before the Council, who entirely approved thereof. 2½ pp. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. Nos. 44, 44, I.–VIII.; and (without enclosures) 56. pp. 146–150.]
Jan. 28. 640. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Orders of the Governor for all masters of ships to make a sworn statement at their entry that they have observed the Acts of Trade and Navigation; and that the law-officers advise whether it be legal that persons against whom judgment has been obtained for forfeited securities, but respited, should convey away their property to save themselves. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. 217–218.]
Jan. 28.
641. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Hearing of no opposition to the confirmation of the Act of Barbados concerning Philip Kirton's land, and having received the opinion of the Attorney and Solicitor General thereon, we think that the said Act may rightly be confirmed. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. pp. 47–48.]
Jan. 28.
642. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Recommending that Richard Johnson and Charles Scarburgh be confirmed as members of the Council of Virginia. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 37. p. 26.]
Jan. 28.
643. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. We have made due enquiries and received answers from the Proprietors of the Bahama Islands as to the appointment of Captain Webb to be Governor thereof. [See Nos. 588, 602.] Since, however, his salary of the seventh of the rents will not amount to above £100 a year, and great exorbitances have been committed in those Islands by the harbouring of pirates and violation of the Acts of Trade, we think that a larger salary should be allowed to him, and that security should be taken of him to deter him from the like practices. All of which being complied with, we see no reason why his appointment should not receive your royal approval. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. pp. 29–30.]
Jan. 28.
644. Order of the King in Council. That the Council of Trade make further enquiry as to Nicholas Webb's behaviour towards the King and the present Government, and report thereon. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. p. 32.]
Jan. 28.
645. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Trumbull. In reply to Mr. Ellis's letter of the 27th, we must acquaint you that we have not been informed of any instructions given by the Admiralty to the Commander of the Squadron going to the West Indies, nor of how many ships, nor upon what design they are going, nor for how long they are victualled, nor how long they are to stay in those parts, so as to judge when they will be upon their return home or from what parts, and so as to determine the proper times and seasons when they might be employed elsewhere. We submit, however, that if the squadron pass the Gulf of Florida in their return home towards the month of June, the Commander-in-Chief may be ordered (if there be no objection) to detach two or more ships to the Capes of Virginia, where the Captains may inform themselves of the condition of those Colonies in relation to the French, and thereupon proceed as the Governor there shall advise or direct, with order to rendezvous after this service on the Eastern coast of Newfoundland. We further think that, on the supposition aforesaid, the Commander of the squadron may send one or two ships more to the coast of New England to proceed in like manner in relation to the French; as also that a light frigate be detached to Bermuda to take information of its condition and to be assisting as may be requisite. These ships sent to New England and Bermuda should also rendezvous on the English part of Newfoundland; to which we submit that the rest of the squadron may repair and proceed against the French in such manner as a Council of War, composed of the officers of the Newfoundland and West Indian squadrons and of the land-officers that shall be within call, shall, after regard to any further instructions from the King, think most expedient. For it is apprehended that the French squadron lately gone to America will also call at Newfoundland on its way home and do all that in them lies to secure their own possessions there and annoy the King's subjects. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill.
P.S.—We beg for early information as to Newfoundland, that we may acquaint the merchants, who are awaiting a final answer in order to continuing or relinquishing their trade. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. pp. 98–100.]
Jan. 28.
646. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Trumbull. In reply to your question as to the number of ships preparing by the West India merchants, besides those ready to sail by the first convoy, the merchants report as follows:—The whole of the ships for the Leeward Islands, being nine or ten, are cleared and ready to sail. The Barbados merchants will send no more ships than will be ready to go by this fleet. The Jamaica merchants have four ships ready, and are preparing three others, which they hope to have ready in time to sail with the rest. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. p. 101.]
Jan. 29. 647. Council of Trade and Plantations to Secretary Trumbull. In reply to the King's order to us to enquire of some of the merchants trading to Newfoundland whether they would undertake to provide victuals for the land-forces of the expedition, we have consulted Sir Joseph Hern—the only person among them whom we could think likely to embrace such a proposal. He answered that he never was engaged on any such undertaking, and should be at a loss to know how to proceed in such a case as this, and he added that the Victuallers would be likely to provide victuals more speedily than, anyone else, and at no greater cost. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. p. 77.]
Jan. 30.
648. William Popple to the Mayors of Bristol, Exeter, Bideford, Barnstaple, Plymouth, Weymouth, Dartmouth, Poole and Fowey. The King has resolved to send a suitable strength of sea and land-forces to recover Newfoundland and protect that trade. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. p. 78.]