America and West Indies: February 1697, 16-20

Pages 367-379

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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February 1697

Feb. 16. Captain Shadrach Walton attending gave an account of New Hampshire, speaking in particular of the omission of Massachusetts to protect it. He represented that the New Hampshire men were better woodmen [forest-fighters] than the Massachusetts men, and that it would be of no advantage for the province to be united to Massachusetts. The question of the union of the Northern Colonies was further considered.
On the application of the Hudson's Bay Company it was ordered that the papers concerning its dispute with Mons. de la Forest be sent to Council.
The Order in Council of 11th inst. as to John Palmer was received and read (No. 707).
Feb. 17. Two orders from the Committees of the House of Lords received, asking for copies of the representation as to the establishment of Admiralty Courts in the Colonies and of Governor Fletcher's Commission as Governor of New York. Ordered, that they be supplied.
Mr. Brenton obtained leave to view certain Acts of New England, to which he offered objections, and asked for copy of Sir Henry Ashurst's memorial for union of the Northern Colonies, which he stated to be impossible for civil purposes owing to the varieties of forms of Government. He said that he believed Rhode Island would surrender her charter.
Mr. Way's petition read (No. 734). He was informed that the Council had already written to the Governor of Jamaica on the matter.
Colonel Gibsone, appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Newfoundland expedition, attended, and agreed upon heads of estimates of the charge of necessaries for the soldiers. A copy of the representation of 25 January was given to him. The Commissioners of Transportation attended on the same business and represented the absolute necessity of ready money. They were requested to draw a new estimate of the charge for freight and accommodation of 1,500 men.
A memorial from the merchants of the Leeward Islands was read (No. 735). The Lords agreed to signify to Governor Codrington their dislike of the design therein considered by them.
Mr. Edward Richier presented a memorial on behalf of his brother (No. 733).
Order for Mr. Cole, Mr. Merret and Mr. John Cary to attend tomorrow.
Feb. 18. Mr. Bridgeman's letter of yesterday respecting the Newfoundland convoys was read (No. 738), and shewn to Mr. Cole, Mr. Merret and Mr. Cary, who begged that the convoys to the main fleet might be despatched without delay, and might not call at Ireland on its way.
Commissioner Greenhill's letter of 15th inst. read (No. 727). Representation concerning the three lieutenants of New York signed.
Feb. 19. A memorial of John Graves concerning pirates was read (No. 744); and the Secretary was directed to ask him for further information.
The Secretary wrote to apprise Mr. Bridgeman of the suggestions given by the Newfoundland merchants yesterday.
A letter from Mr. Thornburgh excusing the delay of the Proprietors of the Bahamas in the business of Thomas Bulkley was read. [Board of Trade. Journal, 9. pp. 406–417.]
Feb. 16.
730. Lieutenant-Governor Usher to Council of Trade and Plantations. By Captain Shadrach Walton I gave you an account of some persons rebelling and attempting to seize the fort, and of my information as to their intentions. Since then Mr. Partridge has arrived, but to this day he has not shewed, nor acquainted myself or President Fryer and the Council of any commission for the Government, nor published any. I enclose copies of letters giving an account of John Hincks's seizing the Government, upon which I despatched to the Government an account of my proceedings, with my protest, which is also enclosed to you. The reasons for my proceedings are these. I hold the King's commission for the Government and was not willing to betray my trust. Hincks and his company, being suspended, must be restored by signet or sign manual or by virtue of a new commission, but no such instrument for restoring Hincks was ever shewed to me, therefore his restoration is illegal. Hincks, etc. as President and Council cannot act but in the absence of the Governor or Commander-in-Chief; consequently, even if he were invested with power as President, that power ceased when I was on the spot, so that he could not call a Council nor raise the militia, my commission being not as yet superseded. Again, my commission says that Councillors appointed by myself are to remain so until confirmed or replaced by others appointed by the Crown; so that Hincks, Vaughan and Waldern could not act, nor could Smith and Hall be laid aside but by suspension, etc. It is not my person, but the King's prerogative that they abhor and hate to submit unto. If such actions as these be overlooked, farewell (I am certain) to the King's prerogative in the Colonies. It is now upwards of four years that I have served my prince, always rendering a true and impartial account of the place. Never to this day have I received a penny, though many hundred pounds of my own estate have been spent for the King's Government. In my little trust I have been faithful, and now that arms are taken up against the King's Government my life is not safe, and I have left the Province knowing not what more I can do than to send you this account. Signed, John Usher. 1 p. Enclosed,
730. I. Copy of a letter from Charles Storye to Lieutenant-Governor Usher. Newcastle, 31 Jan., 1696–7. I have had no opportunity till now to acquaint you with the great politicians' management of affairs. They have taken away the King's prerogative by seizing your commission and instructions and made themselves into a Council. They have discharged Major Smith from being Treasurer and Major and put in Major Vaughan, and discharged Colonel Packer, and have displaced Major Smith and Captain Hall from the Council to make room for Waldern and Vaughan. They have also given orders to all the Captains of Militia to order those affairs. Colonel Packer, Mr. Redford and myself journeyed last Friday morning to Exeter, where I held a court and publicly declared against these enormous proceedings; urging the danger of taking away the King's prerogative, and that they were to continue under the government of your commission. Mr. Coffin, Captain Hall, the minister and considerable more people were present. From thence we rode to Hampton, etc. I beg for your presence here with all expedition, not doubting of your welcome reception by many, for the people are all startled by reason Mr. Partridge's commission is not read, he being not qualified. Probably Mr. Fryer has acquainted you how cunningly they got your commission out of his hands. 1 p.
Copy of a letter from William Redford to Lieutenant-Governor Usher. Newcastle, 1 February, 1696–7. On Monday sen'night I was sent for to the board, where Mr. Hincks took his place as President, with C[offin], G[reen], W[eare], Waldern, Vaughan and Eliott present as Council. Mr. Hincks told me that one Mr. Storye had an order for the place of Secretary and that I must deliver up my books. I asked leave to speak, and desired that I might see the order. The answer was "What if there be none?"; and the board again told me to deliver up my papers, asking if I questioned whether it was a board or a government. I answered that I had no wish to dispute, but desired to see the order for my delivery of the books; which was denied. I then said that it was so long since Mr. Partridge's arrival and their meeting that I was surprised that I was not summoned earlier. Here they interrupted me by saying that they supposed I had heard of their sitting. I answered that I had heard there was to be a meeting, but did not know on what business nor that it concerned me. In short, they pressed me hard for my books. I asked "What books?" They answered, "All in your custody." I told them that they were not completed, but that the Council's books were ready at the Island. The boat was then ordered to attend me down; and, being sensible of Mr. Storye's order I fetched and delivered most of the books. I was then asked about the Court and Province Records, when I said that they were not ready, but that they would be in two days; "but my pillow and theirs not sitting as appointed altered my design," so I shall not act nor deliver up anything more until I see you, or orders from you. The affairs of the Government stand thus. They have sent their quietus to P[acker] and S[mith] not to act any further in the militia, and Smith not to act as Treasurer; Major Vaughan is to be Major, from whom all persons will receive orders, and also Treasurer; which actions are as preposterous in themselves as they are startling to the people, who expect you here very shortly. Mr. Partridge, from all that I can say, is at his wits' end and does not like these proceedings, and, as I understand, has said that he would be glad to see you here, as the Island and the Bank are already jarring. Packer, Smith and myself am [? are] resolved not to answer their expectations, but, if they push forward, will certainly go to gaol without any bail, and hence-forward will take no notice of what they say or do. I remember your motto of them, "Give them rope enough, and they will need no executioner." No doubt you will have heard from Major Smith. Smith is Smith still. Good Mr. Storye is really a gentleman and ingenious, and will stand for the King's prerogative. They hate him, and Moody has set them forward by giving Colonel Packer and myself his society (sic), therefore you may judge that Moody governs and sits at helm. Rebellion is his doctrine. You know him, so no further. Mr. Storye, Packer and myself went to Exeter, when he proclaimed his commission and gave his opinion of the present affairs of Government, saying that there could be no interregnum and that the people must take care, for they ought to act by no power but the Lieutenant-Governor's, that is to say your order. 2 pp.
Copy of Minutes of Council of New Hampshire, 21 January, 1696–7. Present, John Hincks, President, Peter Coffin, Robert Eliott, Henry Green, Nath. Weare, William Vaughan, Richard Waldern. Order for the Secretary to inform Major Joseph Smith that he is dismissed from his office of Major of Militia and of Treasurer; and to inform Lieutenant-Colonel Packer that he is dismissed from his command of the Militia and from his office as Judge of Probate. 1 p.
730. II. Account of the proceedings of Lieutenant-Governor Usher. On the 3rd of February, while at Boston, I received news that Hincks, Waldern and Vaughan had seized the Government, seated themselves as a Council, dismissed the Colonel and Major of Militia and the Treasurer, appointed others in their places, and were calling for an account of the King's Treasury and stores. On this, in spite of the severity of the weather, I went to Hampton, arrived there at 8 p.m., and, to assert the King's prerogative, despatched that night warrants to all the members of Council to appear and attend at Hampton, at noon on the 8th February, as they would answer the contrary at their peril. At the same time I despatched warrants to the militia-officers to warn the militia to be in arms, complete with ammunition, at 9 o'clock on the morning of the 8th. On the 7th as soon as Divine Service in Hampton Church in the forenoon was done, the Major read the warrant aforesaid for the assembling of the militia. While he was reading, Captain Dow and other officers, besides several of the inhabitants, turned their backs contemptuously upon him and refused to stay and hear the warrant, though required by me to do so. However, the warrant was read, and the Major ordered all the militia to appear in obedience to it, as they would answer the contrary at their peril. Seeing such disorder I was surprised and looked for a rebellion presently, to prevent which I resolved to take one step more. Towards the close of evening service, when the minister (worthy Mr. Cotton) was about to give the blessing, I stood up and asked for his permission to speak, which he readily gave. I then said, "Gentlemen, you that "are civil and militia officers, and inhabitants, hearing "that there is dissatisfaction as to the settlement of the "Government, I am with great hazard of my life come "into the province to make all things easy and quiet. "I understand that Mr. Partridge is in the province. "If he has a commission under the broad seal and is "duly qualified by publication thereof, etc., you are to "submit to his power; but as yet he has shewed no "such commission to myself or to the Council, and "until he has published it you must obey the powers "granted to myself by the King's commission, of which "I shall now read several clauses." Having done so I continued, "Gentlemen, you observe in particular the "powers committed to me of suspending and appointing Councillors. John Hincks, William Vaughan and "Richard Waldern, having been suspended, cannot act "in Government unless my commission be superseded "or they be restored by the Royal authority. I therefore call upon all officers and all inhabitants to assist "me, and in my absence the President and Council, in "executing the powers granted to me in my commission." After service I went to my lodgings. I was told that orders were taken that, as soon as I entered the province, Colonel Packer, Major Smith, Mr. Storye and Captain Redford were to be seized, and then myself. My next news was that Mr. Eliott had torn in pieces my warrant to him and Captain Fryer to attend the Council, declaring that he would not obey it. All Sunday night the smiths were shoeing and frost-nailing the horses. Expresses were sent to all towns to be in arms, warrants for the pretended councillors to meet at Portsmouth, and for the militia to be in arms under Major Vaughan. Green from Hampton and Coffin from Exeter went to Portsmouth before daybreak upon the summons, Coffin declaring that the great guns were in readiness and the militia in arms, that they had begun and must go through, come what might of it. On the 8th finding my commission disobeyed and myself likely to be seized, I waited until 3 p.m. Having 240 men in Hampton and but 20 under arms, I read the protest at the head of those in arms, and left the province. On the 12th I heard that Major Vaughan and Pickering were at the head of the militia in Portsmouth against me, that forty horse came to Hampton to seize me soon after I was gone, and that Storye and Redford were in custody. Signed, John Usher. 2½ pp.
730. III. Protest of John Usher. Reciting certain clauses of his commission as Lieutenant-Governor of New Hampshire, declaring the assumption of authority by Hincks, Vaughan and Waldern to be illegal, and calling upon the inhabitants to support his authority, 8 Feb. 1696–7. 2 pp. The whole endorsed, Recd. 8. Read 11th May, 1696–7. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. Nos. 70, 70 I.–III.; and (without enclosures) 36. pp. 185–187.]
Feb. 16. 731. Order of the King in Council. That strict orders be given by the Commissioners for Sick and Wounded and for Prisoners of war that no person be permitted to speak with the four Indians and the Polander who were taken at the surrender of Fort Bourbon in Canada to Captain Allen and are now bringing up to town, whether upon the road or during their continuance here, without leave first obtained from Mr. Secretary Trumbull. Copy. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 22 Feb., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 32; and 34. p. 107.]
Feb. 16. 732. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Accounts of disbursements for two sloops passed, also two petitions for rebate of duties. Bill as to Quakers' affirmations returned to the Assembly to be made temporary. Bill as to apprentices read thrice and passed. Ordered that after Saturday next the Militia exercise every four weeks as formerly. Bill to appoint Agents read once.
Feb. 17. On a petition of the masters of seventeen ships for leave to sail to England, it was answered that they should sail as soon as the man-of-war could be got ready after her arrival. Account of disbursements for a hired sloop passed. Bill for freedom of elections read once. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 192–193.]
Feb. 17. 733. Petition of Edward Richier, on behalf of Isaac Richier, to Council of Trade and Plantations. I am informed that Governor Goddard of Bermuda has sent you an answer in writing to the Order in Council of 19 December, 1695. I annex a letter which I have received from my brother, stating the case as it stands between him and Governor Goddard, also an attestation of the Deputy-Marshal to shew you that the Order in Council has had no effect, and that my brother is still confined in prison. I beg you to take the matter into consideration and to find some way of relieving a distressed gentleman, who has suffered beyond all example. 1 p. Endorsed, Presented to the Board, 17 Feb., 1696–7. Annexed,
733. I. Abstract of the case of Isaac Richier, late Governor of Bermuda, since the arrival of his successor, Governor John Goddard. Mr. Goddard landed at Bermuda on 10 August, 1693. During the ceremony of reading his commission he used Mr. Richier contemptuously, and the same evening he told him in a haughty manner that he expected his house to be cleared for his reception on the next day, which was accordingly done. Some days later Mr. Goddard sent Nicholas Trott, whom he had appointed Secretary, to demand of Mr. Richier half of the profits and perquisites which he had received from the date of Goddard's commission to his arrival, together with the Bible and prayer-book given to Richier by the King for the use of the Chapel. Richier refused to comply, whereupon the Governor let loose the malice of Bermuda upon him, encouraging all who fancied themselves injured by Richier's alleged misgovernment to prosecute him, and making himself a party to the quarrel. Richier was arrested at the suit of Nicholas Trott in two actions for £2,095, and three more actions at the suit of William Peniston, Robert Hall and Thomas Walker for £10,298 altogether. Trott's suit was for damage done to tobacco in a ship which was seized for non-compliance with the Act of Navigation. Trott's only proof was a certificate under the hands of one Jennor and his brother John Trott fixing the damages at £760, but the jury wished to bring in more, and accordingly guided by the oath of Nicholas Trott, jun., they cast Richier in £1,246 damages for the loss of the ship's voyage. The particulars of these damages were written down and given to the jury in open court by the Clerk of Assize, at the direction of the judges, who were William Peniston, Joseph Dorrell and Samuel Trott, an immediate party to the cause. The jury brought in their verdict for the above men in spite of Richier's protest that the Court had no authority to take cognisance of acts of his administration as Governor, and appealed to the Governor in Council. The Governor however threw out the appeal at a private Court, not held on the known and appointed day for such trials, and ordered execution for the sum. As the Governor (as shall presently be told) had already robbed and destroyed Richier's estate and there was nothing left to satisfy Trott, they framed an outlawry upon the execution, and an exigent was sued forth, particularised in an account of their proceedings, to which Richier begs that the King will give attention. Under this pretended authority the sheriff a second time seized Richier's wearing apparel and sold it at public outcry. Trott's second action, which was for £95 only, was for that he pretended to fly from Richier's malicious prosecution, whereas he was really an accessory to a felony, as is shown by confession of the felons. Nevertheless the jury cast him in the whole sum, and the Governor threw out his appeal and ordered execution, whereupon several of his goods were seized and sold at public outcry. Hall's action was not prosecuted, having been instigated solely by the Governor, nor was Walker's, which was for false imprisonment, which imprisonment was for the murder of Henry Fifield. This murder he confessed at the coroner's inquest, but the Governor, Judges, Secretary and Attorney-General conspired to acquit him, threatening the witnesses and refusing to hear their evidence. The Governor, in order to assist Trott in his action, made himself and Council a peculiar Court with peculiar rules, and upon the orders of that Court made Richier a close prisoner. Richier still protested against the trial of his actions as Governor by the Courts of Bermuda. Governor Goddard then again approached Richier on the subject of the half-profits and perquisites, telling him this was the true cause of his action and offering, if Richier gave him (as he understood) £1,000, he should be free from all further prosecution and set at liberty. Richier absolutely refused to agree to this, and the Governor, though he released him from close confinement, encouraged everyone to persecute him to the utmost, even releasing the murderer Walker to preside over the Committee appointed to hear complaints against Richier. By threats and promises the Governor and Trott tried to procure an oath to confirm Trott's false accusation against Richier of disloyalty to the King, but only after much trouble prevailed on one Stow to say that he verily believed him to be disloyal. In September, 1693, the Governor caused to be seized and sold, without process of law, Richier's wine and other property. Richier offered to give bond to abide by the King's award in the case, but the Governor would take nothing but money. Failing to obtain it, he offered to take Richier's bond to answer his demand in England, which Richier consented to, being then very ill, but the Governor went back upon his word. While he was lying sick the Governor caused a cistern containing whale-oil, belonging to Richier, to be broken open, and took the oil. The country was so intimidated that no one durst speak on Richier's behalf at the Assizes in December, 1693. The Sheriff is only a creature of the Governor's, and he in February, 1694, actually signed a proclamation, which was read in the churches, forbidding all persons under severe penalties to pay debts due from them to Richier, or to deliver to him property of his own which was in their keeping, but to give up all to the Sheriff, and commanding all persons not to presume upon their peril to buy or sell to Richier, there being several executions against him. The whole of Richier's clothing and furniture was thereupon seized and sold, and since even the Bermudians refused to buy them, in their resentment against such malice, one Wall, an emissary of the Governor, was employed to buy them. This execution was at the suit of William Peniston, who had been imprisoned by Richier for attempted rebellion and restored by Governor Goddard. The jury refused to give him more than £6 damages, but at the instigation of the judges allowed him £18 more, on his swearing falsely that this was the amount of his costs. Wall, his attorney, is a man who fled from England, being guilty of forgery, and came out with Governor Goddard. Richier's case is not the only one in which the Governor has used the forms of justice for purposes of extortion.
Since Richier still refused to yield, two narratives were drawn up and sworn to by Wall, one to shew Richier and Colonel Devereux guilty of disloyalty and disaffection, the other to convict him of several crimes. Richier and Devereux were both arrested and brought before Council, where the charges broke down so completely that the Governor made fair professions of a change of feeling towards Richier, declared that Nicholas Trott's prosecution should go no further and that he would give Richier liberty to go to England. In two days however he repented, took Wall to his bosom again and employed him to finish the aforementioned outlawry. Richier and Devereux brought actions against Wall for scandal, but the judges refused to allow a trial for either action; and Wall afterwards by a perversion of legal forms contrived that he and several others should be imprisoned for a time, until the Governor for very shame cancelled the proceedings. Devereux then shewed Wall's true character to the Governor, who caused Wall's papers to be searched, when a confession of forgery, addressed to Chief Justice Holt, was found among his papers. He was thereupon committed to close prison, but he was released by the Governor very shortly. Colonel Devereux managed to escape from the Island, though the Governor had refused to let him go unless he paid a large sum, and begs your Majesty for justice, as also does Isaac Richier. 6 large very closely written pages of confused narrative.
733. II. Attestation of John Rawlins, Deputy Marshal of Bermuda. As to the persistent ill-treatment of Isaac Richier by Governor Goddard through keeping him in the common gaol with common criminals and negroes, refusing to change his place of confinement even when Richier was held to be sick to death. 1¼ pp. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 3; Nos. 7, 7 I., II.]
Feb. 17. 734. Petition of Benjamin Way, on behalf of Samuel Lewis of Jamaica. That Lewis may have orders to dispose of the King's money resting in his hands on account of provisions, etc., sold by the Lieutenant-Governor's order, and to pay to himself the sums due to him as Commissary-General, Muster-master, Pay-master and Judge Advocate; and that he may be confirmed in those offices on giving such security as the Lieutenant-Governor shall direct. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 17 Feb., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 46.]
Feb. 17. 735. Memorial of merchants trading to Nevis to Council of Trade and Plantations. We hear that some people in Nevis are endeavouring to get the statute of limitations pleadable in the Courts there, whereby to defraud merchants of the debts justly due to them, but which they have not been able to recover owing to the suspension of the Courts of Justice in consequence of the war. If they compass this end they will utterly ruin the merchants; and we beg you to represent the matter to the King, that he may direct that our debts may be recoverable notwithstanding the Act of Limitation, which has never been pleaded there in any Court since the settlement of the Island. Twenty-two signatures. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 17 Feb., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 38; and 45. p. 61.]
Feb. 17. 736. The Attorney General to Council of Trade and Plantations. Reporting that there is no reason against confirmation of two Acts of Antigua, one a Naturalisation Act, the other obliging the Secretary and Marshal to give security for good behaviour. Signed, Tho. Trevor. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 22 Feb., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 39; and 45. p. 62.]
[Feb. 17.] 737. Particulars necessary for the land-forces for the expedition to Newfoundland, in order to an estimate. Ordnance-stores, artillery officers, victuals, transports, Judge Advocate and Commissary of Musters and stores ("all in one") with an Assistant, Physician and Apothecary ("in one"), medicines, clothing, subsistence, contingent charges, hospital ship and provisions for sick soldiers, instructions for Commander-in-Chief, "and what also may be necessary." ¾ p. Endorsed, 17 Feb., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 46; and 25. p. 88.]
Feb. 17.
738. William Bridgeman to William Popple. The Admiralty have ordered instructions to be given to the two ships which are to convoy the salt-ships to Lisbon and Newfoundland, and desire to be informed what is the wish of the merchants as to these instructions, particularly after the convoy shall have arrived at Newfoundland. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 17, Read 18 Feb., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 47.]
Feb. 17.
739. The Mayor of Exeter to William Popple. The merchants, notwithstanding the order to make ready their ships for Lisbon and Newfoundland, are disturbed by the press-ketches, of which their seamen and carpenters are so apprehensive that they cannot fit out their ships to take advantage of the convoy. They beg therefore that you will send down a protection for the men belonging to the ships bound to Lisbon and Newfoundland, to Newfoundland direct and to Bilbao, and to prevent the carpenters from being impressed till the fleet has sailed. Signed, Chr. Bale. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 20, Read 22 Feb., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 48.]
Feb. 18. 740. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. On the complaints of Lieutenants Shanke, Sydenham and Wright we would point out that they were first made at New York and referred to the Council there, who have transmitted to us, but without any decision thereon, the answer of the parties concerned, containing something of proof in opposition with much of recrimination and imputation of debauchery, mutinous practices and cowardice. The Lieutenants have now presented to us several sworn affidavits containing for the most part the same things in a different form. Some of them begin from the very raising of the Companies in England. Lieutenant Sydenham in particular imputes things to Captain Weems of which we can form no judgment owing to the Captain's absence; and we must recommend that what relates to him may be kept in suspense till he can answer for himself. Then follow complaints against Captains Hide and Weems of keeping back part of the sailors' subsistence-money and of charging for short allowance of provisions on board ship at the rate of full allowance; but to this Captain Hide in New York submitted accounts to shew that his men had all along been duly subsisted, and we conceive that these (of which a copy has been sent to us) will be examined by the proper officers. The substance of all their complaints is the hardship suffered by themselves and their soldiers for want of due payment of subsistence-money (which they say the Governor and their captains received) and from the deduction of 30 per cent. from such money as was paid to them; and to this they attribute the desertion of their men and their own resignations. They add that the Companies have not been kept full, that no musters have been taken and that they have been asked to sign false musters; and Lieutenan Shanke says in particular that Major Ingoldsby received subsistence for sixty men, whereas there were not above thirty in his company Besides the answers received from New York we have received further answers from the Agents, denying the detention of subsistence-money, but acknowledging the hardships suffered by the forces, though imputing the desertions to the misconduct of the Lieutenants themselves. It is plain to us that the deduction of 30 per cent. is no exaction of the Governor and Captains, but prescribed by your Royal Order of 1 April, 1694 The accusation that the Lieutenants were solicited to sign false musters appears not to have been imputed to the Captains at New York, and the Lieutenants have owned to us that such solicitation was not made directly by the Captains, but by others in their name. The dismissal of the Sheriff of Albany is not proved. The neglect to make musters is disproved by a copy of the muster-rolls of the Governor's and Major Ingoldsby's Companies dated July, 1693. We understand that Major Ingoldsby is expected shortly, and until his information has been received, we are unable to offer an opinion on the matter. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Tankerville, Phil. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. New York, 52. pp. 83–88.]
Feb. 18. 741. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. A letter from Connecticut read respecting the dispute between the towns of Windsor, Enfield and Suffield. Order for a copy of the concession made by the Massachusetts Government to be sent to the Governor of Connecticut as requested. Order for the Treasurer to issue bills of credit, and for a committee to take an account of them. Order for payment of £130 to John Walley, and of their respective salaries to the officers of Excise. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 72–74.]
Feb. 18.
742. Lieutenant-Governor Usher to Council of Trade and Plantations. In consequence of the usurpation of power in New Hampshire and the outrages following thereupon, I have advised Mr. Charles Story to go to England to lay before you the true state of New Hampshire. He is an ingenious, loyal, worthy person, whose account may be more ample and satisfactory than I can give with my pen. I hope that you will give orders for his quick return with full powers and instructions. Signed, John Usher. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 8th, Read 11th May, 1696–7. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 71; and 36. pp. 187–188.]
Feb. 18. 743. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Several masters of ships attending declared that it would be impossible for them to sail at the time appointed owing to the bad weather during the winter.
Feb. 19. The Governor consulted the Council whether, in view of the number of ships likely to stay behind it was necessary to call an Assembly. The Council thinking this inconvenient, it was agreed to send a state of the case to the Sheriffs, to be by them shown to the Burgesses and Justices, who would then give their opinion. Further proceedings on the same subject. Colonel Darnall gave in several papers and certificates upon oath. He also obtained leave to go to England. Sundry orders for returns to be made by the Collectors and Naval Officers. The Governor's letters to Sir Edmund Andros asking for the apprehension of John Coode, also a letter to the Commodore asking that the fleet may be searched for him. Order for the Rangers to send for their arms and saddles. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. 225–237.]
Feb. 19. 744. John Graves to Council of Trade and Plantations. Two years ago last October I was travelling from New England to New York, when I saw three small vessels, a sloop, a brigantine and a barque, fitting out at Rhode Island. The name of the master of the sloop was Thomas Tue [Tew], whom I had known living in Jamaica twelve years before. He was free in discourse with me, and declared that he was last year in the Red Sea, that he had taken a rich ship belonging to the Mogul and had received for his owner's dividend and his sloop's twelve thousand odd hundred pounds, while his men had received upwards of a thousand pounds each. When I returned to Boston there was another barque of about thirty tons ready to sail and join Tew on the same account. I was likewise advised of another that had sailed from the Whorekills in Pennsylvania, and that one or two more were since gone on the same account. I understand that two of the four that I saw are returned with great booty. Signed, Jno. Graves. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 19 Feb., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 33; and 34. p. 105.]
Feb. 19.
745. William Bridgeman to William Popple. In reply to yours of 4th, the Crown is the man-of-war intended from Milford to Portugal and Newfoundland, and will be ready for sea as soon as she can be victualled. I will inform you of the number of soldiers that can be conveniently carried in the squadron for Newfoundland, when Mr. Russell has spoken to the King about it. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 20, Read 22 Feb., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 49.]
Feb. 19.
746. William Popple to William Bridgeman. In reply to yours of 17th, the merchants desire that the two convoys for the ships to Portugal may proceed from thence directly, and if possible together, to Trinity Bay, where it is believed that they will be secure and able to obtain information. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. p. 89.]
Feb. 20.
747. Petition of Sir Thomas Laurence, Secretary of Maryland, to the King. For an allowance to be made to him out of fines and forfeitures for the fees of such writs and process as issue out of his office upon the King's account. Signed, Thomas Laurence. 2 pp. Endorsed, Read 26 Aug., 1697. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 11; and 9. pp. 106–107.]