America and West Indies: August 1697, 16-31

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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'America and West Indies: August 1697, 16-31', in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 15, 1696-1697, (London, 1904) pp. 582-594. British History Online [accessed 2 March 2024]

August 1697

Aug. 16.
1,251. Secretary of Customs to William Popple. In reply to yours of 13th, the Commissioners of Customs in 1682 prepared instructions for the commanders of the King's ships to assist the Governors and officers in the Plantations to enforce the Acts of Trade. Recently an Order in Council of 8 August, 1694, was obtained, directing the Governor of Maryland to hire one or two small vessels to cruise for prevention of illegal trade, and giving him authority to expend one third of forfeitures and penalties recovered under the Acts of Trade in this service and in the encouragement of it. In November last the Commissioners further moved the Treasury to send a ship of some forty tons burden from hence with orders to obey Governor Nicholson's orders for enforcement of the Acts of Trade. Signed, Jno. Sansom. 1¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. Read 16 Aug., 1697. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 30; and 9. pp. 88–90.]
Aug. 16. 1,252. Memorandum of the preceding letter from Mr. Sansom to William Popple. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 26.]
Aug. 16. 1,253. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Sansom's letter of this day as to a cruiser for Maryland read (No. 1,251). Order for enquiry to be made of Edward Randolph in connection therewith (No. 1,256). Governor Nicholson's letter of 27 March was further considered, and further orders issued as to the answer thereto. Order for Dr. Blair to attend on Wednesday next.
The Order in Council of 12th inst. as to Captain Norton was received and read (No. 1,241).
Aug. 18. The Secretary reported a message from Mr. Sansom to the effect that a man-of-war had been appointed to cruise on the coast of Maryland. Order for a letter to the Secretary of the Admiralty to enquire when any men-of-war are sailing thither. Dr. Blair attended, and in answer to questions said that he had never been in Maryland, though he had lived for some years in Virginia, but gave an account of both as well as he could. He said that tobacco-stripping began in Virginia towards the end of September and continued, being hindered by frosts, until the end of March. In Maryland everything was about three weeks later than in Virginia, and the tobacco grown in the two Colonies is different, for in Maryland the stalk is allowed to grow high and carry up to twenty-leaves, whereas in Virginia it is cut, and not above five or six leaves left on it. Hence Virginia tobacco has a thicker leaf, and can be pressed more tightly, making therefore heavier hogsheads. The ships used for Virginia are consequently larger. Moreover much of the tobacco-land in Maryland is in the woods, whereas that of Virginia is by the water-side; hence, apart from the month's difference in the season, the Maryland crop is never ready as soon as the Virginian, so that it is hard for the Virginian convoy to wait for the Maryland convoy. He then gave an account of the manner of granting lands. The Council agreed as to their reply to the address from Maryland concerning Governor Copley's estate, but deferred that to the address concerning the quota. Mr. Randolph gave information as to navigation bonds in Maryland.
Draft letters to Lord Bellomont and to the Governments of Rhode Island and Connecticut approved, also a draft representation as to temporary laws in the Colonies.
Aug. 19. Order for a copy of the Order in Council of 13 November, 1685, as to the boundaries of Pennsylvania, to be sent to Governor Nicholson, with orders to see it executed. Order for the letters for Virginia and Maryland to be ready to be sent by the men-of-war appointed thither. Draft form of the land-grant used in Virginia received and read.
Mr. Bridges's letter of 18th inst. read (No. 1,259). Order that Lord Tankerville be informed that the Council is ready to report on Mr. Grey's instructions as soon as he will give his assistance therein.
Aug. 20. Draft letter to Colonel Gibson approved.
Several papers lately received from Virginia read. [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 199–210.]
Aug. 17. 1,254. Minutes of Council of Barbados. H.M. Ship Bonaventure arrived with a letter from the Admiralty that she was appointed for the service of Barbados. The President submitted for the Council's consideration whether she might not convoy the fleet out; and, the Captain appearing and saying that he was ready for a cruise of twenty or thirty days, he was ordered to sail on the 19th and convoy the fleet to the latitude of Deseada. Bill for furnishing seamen read, and a conference desired. Bill for new entrenchments read and, with one small amendment, agreed to. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. p. 239.]
Aug. 17. 1,255. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Accounts for a fireship to accompany Admiral Nevill's fleet passed. Orders for sundry payments. On a complaint against the chief officer of the Company of the King's soldiers of stopping two pence a day from their pay, it was ordered that the Commissary deduct the said stoppage from that officer's pay until it be paid off, and that in future he pay both soldiers and officers according to the establishment. William Brodrick's complaint against Captain Moses having been adjusted, the Council agreed to take no further notice thereof. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 79. p. 18.]
Aug. 17.
1,256. William Popple to Edward Randolph. Asking what has been done, or what he judges likely to be done, on the question of sending ships to Maryland and Virginia to suppress pirates and illegal traders. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 9. p. 91.]
Aug. 18.
1,257. Secretary of the Admiralty to William Popple. Your letter of this day has been laid before my Lords. H.M.S. Swift, advice-boat, at Spithead, is going to Maryland to attend there and will proceed in company of the Deptford and Fowey, which are going to New England and New York. The Essex, prize, is ordered to be forthwith fitted to go to Virginia and attend there. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 19 Aug., 1697. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 31; and 9. p. 92.]
Aug. 18. 1,258. Memorandum of the receipt of the preceding letter. ¼ p. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 27.]
Aug. 18. 1,259. William Bridges, Agent for Barbados, to Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Littleton and myself have enquired into the practice in relation to holding the Courts of Chancery, Error and General Sessions, and have considered the effect of inserting a clause in the Governor's instructions empowering three or more of the Council to hold the said courts at any time when the island is unhealthy. It has always been the practice for the Governor and Council to hold the Court of Errors, and for the Governor, or such as he empowers, to hold the General Sessions. If you think fit that the Court of Errors shall be held during the Governor's absence, we think that it would be most for the King's service and for the satisfaction of the people that the said Court be held by the Council or by any five of them, which is the quorum according to the Governor's commission. I would submit to you further whether the insertion of a clause in the Governor's instructions for altering the usage in holding courts, would be of sufficient authority to do so unless they pass under the Great Seal, or unless such alterations be authorised by law of the Island. Signed, Wm. Bridges. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 18th, Read, 19th Aug., 1697. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 38; and 44. pp. 81–83.]
[Aug. 19.] 1,260. Copy of a draft form for grants of land in Virginia of date 28 September, 1681. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd, from Mr. Perry 18th Aug., Read 19 Aug., 1697. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 28; and 37. pp. 38–39.]
[Aug. 19.] 1,261. Memorandum of the receipt of the preceding paper. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 32.]
Aug. 23. 1,262. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. A letter from the President and Council of Barbados of 17 June, with the laws and journals, were received; but the Council after sending the laws to the Attorney and Solicitor General deferred the rest.
The reading of the Virginia papers was continued. Order for Colonel Henry Hartwell and Dr. Blair to attend on Wednesday next.
Order for notice to be given to Mr. Penn as to the orders given to Governor Nicholson concerning the boundary of Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Aug. 24. Draft letter to the Governor of Maryland considered. Order for copy of the address for remission of forfeitures on bonds in that Colony, with the Governor's remarks thereon, to be sent to the Commissioners of Customs. Mr. Penn's letter accepting the order as to his boundaries read (No. 1,266).
Colonel Hartwell's letter excusing himself from attendance read.
Aug. 25. Order for further documents concerning the remission of forfeitures in Maryland to be sent to the Commissioners of Customs.
Dr. Blair, attending, said that the price of tobacco varied last year from 10s. to 20s. per cwt., but public tobacco, used for quit-rents and tithe, is not esteemed equal to the rest. He then gave further information as to quit-rents, revenue, the duty of two shillings per hogshead, the one penny per lb. export-duty on tobacco exported to other Colonies, which was established in Cromwell's time, and has since been continued by Act of Parliament, and several other matters. Jamestown, he said, had but twenty or thirty houses, and Elizabeth town thirty or forty.
Aug. 26. Letters to Lord Bellomont, Connecticut, Rhode Island and to Colonel Gibson signed, also the representation as to temporary laws in the Colonies. Lord Bellomont's letter of this day read (No. 1,272) and instructions given to the Secretary for his reply (No. 1,273). [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 211–225.]
Aug. 24.
1,263. Henry Hartwell to William Popple. Regretting that he cannot attend the Board of Trade and Plantations owing to gout, which has confined him to the house for twelve months. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. and read, 24 Aug., 1697. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 29.]
Aug. 24. 1,264. William Popple to the Attorney and Solicitor General. Forwarding four Acts of Barbados, passed in February and March, 1697, for their opinion. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. pp. 83–85.]
Aug. 24.
1,265. William Popple to William Penn. To avoid disputes the Council of Trade has directed Governor Nicholson to run the line of division between Maryland and Pennsylvania according to King James's Order in Council of 13 November, 1685. You are informed hereof that you may give directions for a concurrence in that work on behalf of Pennsylvania. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 9. p. 92.]
Aug. 24. 1,266. William Penn to William Popple. "Esteemed Frd., I "just now received thy letter, am very well pleased with wt the "Lords Comr's have ordered, and so I shall with all their directions "that regard the public weal of the Provinces and assure them that "they shall not finde a more ready and respectfull regard from any "than their and thy assured friend Wm. Penn." Holograph. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 24 Aug., 1697. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 33; and 9. p. 93.]
Aug. 24. 1,267. Memorandum of the above letter. ¼ p. [America and W. Indies. 601. No. 47.]
Aug. 24. 1,268. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. The Deputy-Governor presided in Council in the Governor's absence through indisposition. The Council concurred in a proposal of the Assembly for an Act to revive such Acts as were invalid from not being sent home within three months. The Assembly accordingly sent up an Act for the purpose, which was agreed to. The Council further concurred in the Assembly's recommendation for a payment, and for the Treasurer's not levying a duty on imported negroes. Order for Edward Walrond to attend next meeting of Council on 31 August. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 208–210.]
Aug. 24. 1,269. Minutes of Council of Barbados. A conference was agreed upon concerning the bills for new entrenchments and for furnishing seamen. Habeus Corpus bill read twice and committed. The Conference met in the morning, and about sunset the Assembly returned the two bills, agreed to as amended. The President sent them a message desiring them to keep together so as to despatch the urgent business that lay before them, and urging them to pass the Excise bill without the new uses which they insisted on, this being the best way to defray the public charges and stop the mouths of the country's creditors, who were daily invading the Council. The Speaker answered that the Excise bill lay before the Council, which might pass it if it would, but that the Assembly would not recede from its former resolves, judging it unreasonable that they should raise money and not have the use of some of it for such an Agency as they required. The President thereupon again laid before them the disadvantages which might ensue if they persisted in their resolution, and rebuked them severely for their unreasonableness and obstruction in a speech of some length. The Speaker desired a copy thereof, which was sent down.
Aug. 25. The Assembly brought back the Excise bill, refusing to go back from their resolutions therein. Bill for new entrenchments read, passed and sent to the Assembly. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 239–343.]
Aug. 26. 1,270. The Attorney General to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I have perused the Acts of Maryland passed in 1696, and find nothing to object to in them except a clause in the Act for Establishment of the Protestant religion, enacting that the people of Maryland "shall enjoy all their rights and liberties "according to the laws and statutes of the Kingdom of England "in all matters and causes where the laws of Maryland are silent." It seems not reasonable for all the Acts of Parliament in England to be made laws for Maryland by a general clause of this Act. If they wish to enact any particular Acts of England into laws in Maryland they had better send over a list of them, that the King may declare whether such acts are fit to be made laws or not. Signed, Tho. Trevor. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 26 Aug., 1697. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 35; and 9. pp. 179–181.]
Aug. 26. 1,271. Memorandum as to the New York Acts not yet confirmed or disallowed by the King (1) Acts for quieting and confirming of possessions. Queries, Were there any arrears of quit-rents or other debts due to the King which this Act would destroy for ever? Will not the granting of large tracts in such general terms be a hindrance to the planting of the Country? (2) Act for pardoning such as have been active in the late disorders. This Act excepts some persons who have since been pardoned by Act of Parliament. If it be made conformable to the said Act of Parliament it may be confirmed. (3) Act for regulating damage done in the late disorders etc. Probably this Act has had its full effect, but it is thought fit to leave it in suspense, lest any persons should be precluded from taking advantage of it, so that it may be repeated at any time. Query: Of what use would its continuation or repeal be to the country? (4) Act to divide the province into shires and counties. Several places mentioned in the last clause, as Martin's Vineyard and Pemaquid, are not in New York Province. If these be omitted, the Act may be confirmed. (5) Act for restraining and punishing pirates. Query, What has been the effect of this Act? There is an error in the quotation of a statute. (6) Two Acts concerning the Post Office are temporary, and may be allowed to run out the time remaining. (7) Act to enable Isaac Leinser to erect a mill for making rape or linseed oil. Query, How is this invention carried on and with what effect? (8) Thomas Lloyd's Private Act. Are there none that oppose it? [Board of Trade. New York, 52. pp. 250–253.]
Aug. 26. 1,272. Earl of Bellomont to William Popple. I received your request for the return of my Instructions for comparison with the drafts of them. They are engrossing in the Duke of Shrewsbury's office and shall be returned as soon as finished. I send the list of stores for which you ask as I received it yesterday from the Tower, whither I went on purpose to get it. There was also an Order in Council for several tools and materials to be sent with Colonel Romer to New York; if you would like a list of these you shall have it. Pray ask the Council to give me orders as to which of my Governments I shall first proceed to. The Lords Justices have more than once intimated that it should be New York, but I conceive that a verbal order is insufficient. I am advised that I should have an instruction to that effect from the Lords Justices, recommended by the Council of Trade upon my application. I presume that this present application will suffice. The reason why I ask for such an instruction is that I find that the merchants of New England do a little stomach the discourse that they have heard of my proceeding first to New York, as if it were a slight upon the people of New England, who are the larger number and far more considerable than the others. That they may not take it ill of me I think an order from the Council of Trade or from the Lords Justices, as to which of the Colonies I shall first go to, is absolutely necessary. The reasons hinted at by the Lords Justices for taking New York first are, first, because New York is a frontier, and second that I shall supersede the present Governor. Signed, Bellomont. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 26 Aug., 1697. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 121; and 36. pp. 243–245.]
Aug. 26.
1,273. William Popple to the Earl of Bellomont. With reference to your letter of to-day, the Council of Trade can do nothing except by representation to the Lords Justices, and recommend you to apply to the Lords Justices directly yourself. I beg your pardon for writing a second time for a sight of your Instructions. I had no doubt that they had been despatched. The further list of stores which you offer me will be very acceptable. [Board of Trade. New England, 36. pp. 245–246.]
Aug. 26.
1,274. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of Bellomont. We think it proper, while wishing you a prosperous voyage, to lay the following matters before you. First as to New York, we enclose a list of the stores mentioned in your instructions, of which, as of all other such stores, you will give us true accounts from time to time. By order in Council of 18 November last the Governor of New York is empowered during this time of war to distribute a part of the powder and bullets to the Five Nations, if occasion arise. Of the laws we have recommended several for confirmation and one for disallowance. We send you a list of others, which are doubtful, with our queries and objections, to which we shall require your reply. As to Massachusetts, we send you copy of the Jamaica Pirates Act, which you will endeavour to persuade the Assembly of Massachusetts to pass, a draft Post Office Act, and the form of a bond to be required from the Governments of Rhode Island and Connecticut. Mr. Usher has asked us to recommend to you the examination of the state of his accounts with the Government of Massachusetts. We send you copies of the previous orders passed hereupon that you may know how the matter stands. The Lords Justices by an Order of the 27th May gave effect to our recommendations for the despatch of another frigate for Massachusetts to convoy the salt-ships (see No. 1,044). You will have an eye to the observance of it. We also enclose you an Order in Council of 29 July (No. 1,214) as to the right of officers of the Custom House to appeal to the King in Council, that it may be observed. Next, as to New Hampshire, we send you copies of our representation of 29 July last, and of our letters of 3 August to Mr. Usher and Mr. Stoughton. We have also rebuked Mr. Usher for his neglect in the matter of the records transmitted to us by him. Next, as to Connecticut and Rhode Island, which provinces have long disputed as to the right of government over the Narragansett Country, Connecticut insisting upon the priority of its grant, and Rhode Island upon a settlement of the boundaries agreed on by the Agents of both Colonies. We have exhorted them to an amicable arrangement of the dispute, but if they will not and if your good offices fail to persuade them to do so, then you will examine and report the true state of the case and order both provinces to send Agents here as early as possible in the spring, that the matter may be finally determined. Lastly we send you a copy of the Treaty of Madrid, and urge you to use all your endeavours to repress piracy and bring pirates to punishment. We will only repeat to you certain rules which we have sent to all the Colonies respecting the writing and dating of all documents which you send to us. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, John Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. New England, 36. pp. 246–251.]
Aug. 26. 1,275. Memorandum of Lord Bellomont's letter, with a list of stores sent by him to New York, asking to which of his Governments he shall first repair. Inscribed, Recd. Read, 26 Aug., 1697. ½ p. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 41.]
Aug. 26. 1,276. Memorandum of a present for the Indians to be sent with Lord Bellomont. 5 double fusils, 6,000 flints, 50 barrels of corn-powder, 5 cwt. of lead in bars. ¼ p. Endorsed. Recd. 26 Aug., 1697. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 42; and 52. p. 188.]
Aug. 26. 1,277. List of warlike stores, according to Lord Bellomont's letter, for the use of Colonel Romer, the Engineer. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 26 Aug., 1697. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 43.]
Aug. 26.
1,278. William Popple to John Sansom, Secretary of Customs. Forwarding an extract from Governor Nicholson's letter of 27 March, with several papers relating to trade, on which he desires instructions from the Commissioners of Customs. Here follows a list of the papers enclosed. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 9. pp. 93–94.]
Aug. 26.
1,279. Council of Trade and Plantations to Colonel John Gibson. We have received with satisfaction yours of 28 June. Afflicting though be your account of the desolate state of Newfoundland, yet the assurance we have of your care in making security for the return of the inhabitants gives us good hope of re-establishment of the Colony and fishery. We wish you happy success and a safe return. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, Jno. Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. p. 128.]
Aug. 26.
1,280. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Governor and Council of Connecticut. Major-General Winthrop has faithfully discharged his duty as your solicitor. The Duchess of Hamilton has renewed her claim to the Narragansett Country. Copy of her petition has been delivered to Major-General Winthrop, and you shall be early informed as soon as any resolution is taken in the matter. We could not determine anything in your controversy with Rhode Island as to the Narragansett Country, because nobody has appeared on behalf of Rhode Island. We think that an amicable arrangement may be of mutual advantage, and exhort you to apply to Lord Bellomont to assist you both in compromising your differences. If he succeed, you will send us our copies of the agreement that it may be made unalterable; but if through any obstinacy on either side our intentions herein be frustrated, then Lord Bellomont is ordered to send agents over as early as possible next spring, in order to a final settlement of the matter by hearing both parties. The King has appointed Lord Bellomont to be Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Massachusetts, New York and New Hampshire with further powers of Captain-General over Connecticut, Rhode Island and other places, but with the limitation that in time of peace the militia of each of the provinces shall be left to the disposition of its Governor, though in times of exigency he shall always take superior command of the forces. In reply to an address from the House of Lords the King has ordered that the Proprietors of the Proprietary Colonies shall give security for the due execution of the Acts of Trade of Navigation by their Governors. Lord Bellomont will require this security from you. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, Jno. Locke, Abr. Hill.
A similar letter, mutatis mutandis, to Rhode Island. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. pp. 104–112.]
Aug. 26.
1,281. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices of England. We have observed in some of the Assemblies of the Plantations in America a practice of making laws for a limited time and re-enacting them immediately before expiration, and continuing on that method for one and the same law. We conceive this practice to be open to the objection that if any such law once enacted should be disallowed by the King, yet by enacting it a second time or oftener it may be continued in force, and the King's supreme authority in the enacting of laws eluded. To prevent this we recommend that a clause which already appears in the instructions of some of the Governors shall be added to all, viz. that all laws, except those for a temporary end, shall be indefinite and without limitation, and that no law once enacted shall be re-enacted except on very urgent occasions, and in no case more than once without the King's express command. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, John Pollexfen, Jo. Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. pp. 176–178.]
Aug. 26.
1,282. Order of the Lords Justices of England in Council. Referring the petition of Sir Thomas Laurence to the Council of Trade for report. See No. 747. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. ½ p. Enclosed,
1,282. I. Extract from the minutes of Council of Maryland, 10 December, 1696. Sir Thomas Laurence brought before the Board the question whether he was entitled to fees for process taken out of the Secretary's office on the King's behalf. After deliberation it was on the 16th December resolved that he be referred to lay the matter before the Council of Trade. Copy. 3 pp. The whole endorsed, Recd. 14. Read, 15 Sept., 1697. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. Nos. 34, 34I.; and 9. pp. 105–110.]
Aug. 26.
1,283. Order of the Lords Justices of England in Council. Referring to the Council of Trade and Plantations a petition from Captains Weems and Hide, together with the order for deduction of 30 per cent. from English pay, for their report. Signed, William Bridgeman. 1 p. Annexed,
1,283. I. Petition of Captains Weems and Hide to the Lords Justices. We raised our companies for New York in 1694 and have since done our utmost for the preservation of the place. From the time when the soldiers were first raised to the time of embarkation and from thence to their landing at New York was eleven months, during which they underwent great hardships and fought a French man-of-war. For all this period the men received English pay while on shore, and the victualler had the like for their provisions. By the Establishment of New York the Governor is obliged by his instructions to cut off 30 per cent. of the English pay, to be employed as the King shall direct; and Governor Fletcher accordingly demands the same from us for the eleven months during which we received English pay. This is impossible, for the men have spent it, and as the Governor cannot discharge them without order we beg that he may be instructed not to deduct the 30 per cent. during the eleven months. Copy. 1 p. The whole endorsed, Recd. Read 1 Sept., 1697. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. Nos. 40, 40 I.; and 52. pp. 253–256.]
Aug. 26. 1,284. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. The accounts of John Usher of his brother's estate inspected and approved. On the petition of the select men of Boston, leave was granted to build a school house. Leave was granted to Benjamin Fitch to build a house in Boston. Order for payment of £20 to Sheriff Samuel Gookin for the expense of the Court held at Boston in October, 1694. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 111–112.]
Aug. 30. 1,285. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Order for Major Wilson to attend on Wednesday next to give information as to Virginia.
Aug. 31. The Secretary delivered a message from Mr. Grey acquiescing in his instructions without the alterations proposed by Lord Tankerville; and it was ordered that they be written fair. Letter of 17 June from the President and Council of Barbados read.
Draft letter to the Governor of Maryland approved. Mr. Randolph's memorial of this day was read (No. 1,290).
Sept. 1. Letter from Mr. Penn to Governor Markham, dated this day, read (No. 1,292) and a copy of the Order in Council of 1685 concerning his boundary with Maryland ordered to be sent to him.
Major Wilson attended and gave information as to Virginia. As to tobacco-planting he said that the plants were set in about three feet distant one from another, and that they reckon that one man can tend 10,000 plants, which would cover three acres. Land as planted will produce about three hogsheads, or fifteen cwt. of sweet-scented tobacco per acre, and about 10 cwt of Oroonoko. After describing the various offices, etc., he said that they made good pitch and tar and sent abundance of it to the West Indies, the barrel of 32 gallons being worth about 18 shillings. Very good leather is also made and shipped to England. An ordinary labouring man's shoes made out of this cost half-a-crown to three shillings, and are much better than those imported from England. Little cloth is made and that raw and not fulled. Wages of day-labourers are from one to two shillings a day. Planters generally kill their own meat, sometimes they sell meat to the ships, beef at about 1½ d. per lb., and pork from 1½ d. to 2d.
Draft Commission to Mr. Day to be Governor of Bermuda read and approved.
The Order in Council of 26th ult. as to the petition of Captain Hide received and read (No. 1,283). Order for the records of the New York Establishment to be searched for.
Sept. 2. Several representations signed, also the letters to Maryland and Virginia, but ordered not to be sent till another signature be added. [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 211–232.]
Aug. 31.
1,286. Instructions to the Earl of Bellomont as Governor of Massachusetts. In his absence from New England and New York half of his salary and perquisites is to be paid to the Lieutenant-Governor. In time of peace the Militia of Connecticut and Rhode Island are to be left to the command of the Governors. He is to pass a law against pirates, and endeavour to pass one for a Post Office. He is forbidden to alter the value of current coin. No printing press is to be kept nor book to be printed without his licence. Strict injunctions for execution of the laws relating to the Plantation trade. He is to take security from the Governors of Connecticut and Rhode Island for their obedience to all instructions for executing the Acts of Trade. Countersigned, Ja. Vernon. [Board of Trade. New England, 36. pp. 260–272.]
Aug. 31.
1,287. Instructions to the Earl of Bellomont as Governor of New Hampshire. The Council is named as consisting of William Partridge, John Usher, John Hincks, Nathaniel Fryer, Thomas Crawford, Peter Coffin, Henry Green, Robert Eliott, John Parish, John Ware and John Love. Five to be the quorum of Council except on extraordinary occasions. He is to get Acts passed to regulate appeals to the Governor in Council, and to restrain inhumanity to servants. [Board of Trade. New England, 36. pp. 286–299.]
Aug. 31.
1,288. Instructions to the Earl of Bellomont as Captain General and Governor-in-Chief of New York and its dependencies. The Council is nominated as follows: Frederick Flypse, Stephen Van Cortlandt, Nicholas Bayard, William Smith, Gabriel Minivell, Chidley Brooke, William Nicoll, William Pinhorne, Peter Schuyler, John Lawrence, Richard Townley, John Young. The quorum to be five except on extraordinary occasions. He is to report as to the necessity for establishing a Court of Exchequer. Sole power of impressing seamen is committed to him. Collation to benefices, granting of marriage-licences and probate of wills are reserved to him. Liberty of conscience to be permitted to all but Papists. There is to be no innovation within the river of New York, nor are any goods to pass up it without first paying duty at New York; since some of the adjoining Colonies, under pretence of grants, endeavour to obstruct the trade of New York and Albany. There is to be no trade between East Jersey and the Indians but by way of New York. He is to renew friendship with the Five Nations, and purchase great tracts of land for the King from them, if advantageous and if good opportunity arises. A law to fix a certain property qualification for jurors is to be passed. His salary is to be £400 a year, the Lieutenant-Governor's £200 a year. No alteration is to be made in the value of current coin without the King's permission. No printing press to be permitted without a license. He is to report on Robert Livingston's case. The Acts of Trade and Navigation are to be strictly executed. Any failure therein by wilful fault or neglect on the Governor's part will be punished by loss of his place and such further penalties as the King shall judge reasonable. Countersigned, James Vernon.
Additional instruction of 9 September, that he shall repair first to New York, on going out to his Government. [Board of Trade. New York, 52. pp. 216–247.]
Aug. 31.
1,289. Governor Nicholson to Council of Trade and Plantations This comes by the Commodore of the West Indian squadron, lately commanded by Rear-Admiral Nevill, who died in Virginia, and by Rear-Admiral Mees, who died at sea. It is generally supposed, if this month continues seasonable, that there will be extraordinary great crops of tobacco, so I still propose that the London fleet and the out-port ships may have orders to sail from England this winter, for I am yet of opinion that the London merchants will endeavour to delay them till the next fall after this, which, if they obtain, will be very prejudicial to the King's interest, by reason that some of the tobacco by being here so long will be spoiled. But if the fleet and ships come in time enough to sail before next summer I hope that they will pay to the King's Customs over £300,000 sterling. The merchants being made sensible of the likelihood of great crops of tobacco and the great quantities shipped for England in the last two fleets, will make the market fall; and they will make every endeavour that their fleets shall not come for it soon. But if there be as great a crop next year, it will be impossible for ships enough to come to carry both crops; so that in two or three years there will be one crop very nearly spoiled here. Signed, Fr. Nicholson. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 2nd, Read, 3rd Nov., 1697. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 36; and 9. pp. 171–173.]
Aug. 31. 1,290. Edward Randolph to Council of Trade and Plantations. In reply to Mr. Popple's letter of 17th inst. I report as follows. On the 6th of May last the Lords Justices by Order in Council instructed the Admiralty to give the necessary orders for despatch of a vessel of forty tons well manned to Delaware, unless they saw objection to the same; but I do not know what progress the Admiralty have made therein. Certainly, seeing that the vessel fitted out for that duty by Governor Nicholson has been discharged, it is very desirable that another of like burden should be had, either in Maryland or some other Colony, with a knowing and diligent master and sailors (who should not be of the inhabitants) to cruise in and at the mouth of Delaware Bay and elsewhere to prevent illegal trade. But the sending of such a vessel from England will be only a very great charge and will not answer the proposed end, for she may be had and manned and maintained at far less charge in the Colony. Besides if they send a master and sailors that know their business from hence, they will not serve long for bare wages but will project to enrich themselves by indirect ways, by taking money from Scotch traders and others to connive at their frauds, and so eluding the only intent of their going thither, being under no check or control upon the place. Or they might be oppressive and exacting towards honest traders, as has been commonly practised by the commanders of the King's frigates in Virginia, and as many masters have good cause to complain. Signed, Ed. Randolph. Holograph. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 27 Aug., Read 31 Aug., 1697. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 37; and 9. pp. 94–96.]
Aug. 31.
Sept. 1.
1,291. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. The Council gratefully concurred in a proposal of the Assembly that a list be made of the remittances made the Governor since his assumption of the Government, and that an order pass for the same for his security. The Assembly sent up the Act to revive expiring Acts and an Act for trespasses, with the request that they might be passed immediately. The latter Act was accordingly passed with the amendments of the Council. The Assembly begged that the Governor would send his messages in writing and not verbally, since the minutes were rendered incoherent by unrecorded messages. Messages from the Assembly, refusing to free a negro at the public charge but recommending a public subscription for the purpose, and asking for the payment of several accounts. Orders for payment accordingly. Declaration of the Council vindicating the Governor's loyalty against the aspersions of Edward Walrond. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 210–214.]