America and West Indies: September 1697, 1-15

Pages 594-611

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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September 1697

Sept. 1.
1,292. William Penn to Governor Markham of Pennsylvania. Directing him to co-operate with Governor Nicholson in drawing the boundary line between Pennsylvania and Maryland, on the basis of an Order in Council of 1685. ½ p. [America and West Indies. 601. No. 48; and Board of Trade. Maryland, 9. p. 96; and Proprieties, 25. p. 140.]
Sept. 1. 1,293. Memorandum of the preceding letter. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 38.]
Sept. 2. 1,294. Minutes of the Council of Massachusetts. Order for payment of £6 to a treasurer for public entertainments. Leave granted to Thomas Peek, jun., to build a house in Boston. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. p. 113.]
Sept. 2.
1,295. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Sir Edmund Andros. We have received yours of 22 April, from which we understand that ours of 1 February had not yet reached you, but we doubt not that it is since come to your hand. We have also received the papers mentioned in your letter and also others which were not mentioned, but no list of the whole which ought to have been sent. We enclose you a letter from the King of 22 April relating to the execution of the Acts for the Plantation Trade, to which we refer you. Now as to your letter, we must notice first your neglect in a thing which we had required you to observe, namely an account of all money given for public uses, and how the same is and has been from time expended. You say indeed that the Auditor has transmitted an account of the revenue, but we have not received it. You will see in our letter of 24 September, that the King requires his Governors to send us from time to time exact accounts of all public money, and we expect the King's pleasure herein to be punctually observed at least from the beginning of 1696. We expect also that whatever orders you were directed by your instructions to observe towards the late Committee of Trade and Plantations shall be observed also towards us. You have omitted to give an inventory of the arms, ammunition and stores in the King's magazines, as your instructions require you. We observe what the Council says in its letter of 24 April concerning the quota for New York, though you say nothing of it in yours. We must on this head refer you to our letter of 1 February, adding only that it was by Order in Council of 19 November last that the King required us to order the Governors of all the Colonies concerned to make good their respective proportions. What the Council writes of the debt on the two shillings per hogshead duty and its insufficiency to defray the charges assigned to it are matters of very great importance, which we are thoroughly sensible ought to be remedied. But by your omission to send us the public accounts or even your own opinion on that head, you have wholly incapacitated us from submitting anything to the King on that subject, having no proper foundation upon which to do it. The inconveniences which may arise from them until you obey the King's instructions will lie wholly at your door, and we therefore wish you may not only speedily remedy this fault but prevent any occasion of such like observation in the future. Your answers to our queries are methodical, yet some of them call for remark. We think that the making of pitch and tar should be encouraged, and wish to know to what perfection they are brought in Virginia, whether they are as good as those of Sweden and Denmark, and what you would recommend to encourage the making of them. Concerning illegal trade your answer is not distinct. There is nothing to show whether the heads of which it consists are all of them now practised, or only in your opinion advisable to be practised. The Act for Ports, though the Act formally made for that purpose has been thought inconvenient and has therefore been suspended in execution, and though perhaps it may not be advisable to make any full and perfect regulation therein at once, yet has certainly a good object; and we wish you to prepare and send us a draft of an Act which may have some tendency thereto, as may best suit the circumstances of the country. Your answer as to the number of ships and seamen is imperfect. "Many" and "few" are too indeterminate expressions. We desire positive numbers, so far as can be known or judged. You give no reason why the officer should have made no return of the number of ships built. We desire a more particular answer as to naval stores. We have not yet read the journals of public proceedings which you have sent us, but shall shortly give you our observations thereon. But, on looking backward, we find the laws of Virginia to be in so great disorder that we know not how or when we shall be able to make any report on them to the King. For we are sensible of many inconveniences that have arisen and may arise from the consideration of any of them in separate parcels without a perfect view of the whole. This seems to have been one great occasion of the confusion which necessitated giving an instruction, first to Lord Howard and since to yourself, to revise the laws and send over a draft body of those in force there with your opinion thereon and what alterations you consider needful; which has not been done. We observe indeed that the revisal of the laws has been obstructed by heats and differences in the Assemblies, though with what reason or want of reason we have not examined. But, however that were, we conceive that the thing required might have been done by many Governors and ought to have been done accordingly. Your instructions say in plain words, "That it may be the better "understood what acts and laws are in force, you are required with "the assistance of the Council to send over a complete body of those "that are so with your opinions, etc.," as aforesaid. This is no impossible nor difficult work, but it appears to us to be absolutely necessary, and therefore we must positively require it from you with all expedition. We add only this further direction, that, among the laws now in force, you distinguish those that have been ratified by the King from those that remain in force till his pleasure be declared. We will add one word about rule and method. All writings whatever to be transmitted from Virginia must have fair margents, capable to hold notes that may be made upon them. In the journals and public transactions the heads of each matter must be minuted and set down in the margent. All papers whatever, even petitions, addresses or the like, must be conveniently dated. These little rules we esteem useful to be observed and you will give orders accordingly. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, J. Pollexfen, J. Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 37. pp. 79–88.]
Sept. 2.
1,296. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Nicholson. We have received duplicates of yours of 14 July, 1696, also your letters of 13 and 27 March. We observe that ours of 25 September, 1696, had not then reached you, but we do not doubt that it has been since delivered to you. We have not had time to go into all the particular matters that lie before us concerning Maryland, but we write what we can. This will be brought to you by the advice-boat Swift, which we suppose will answer your end as a vessel to cruise on the coast. We send you a letter from the King of 22 April last, requiring your punctual care in the execution of the Acts of Trade. As to Colonel Copley's conversion of public money to his own use, we cannot conceive why prosecution has not been made thereupon, to recover from his estate whatever was found due to the King. As to stores of war, we can find no list of them among the papers sent by you; as the King has ordered such a list to be furnished annually we expect your compliance herein. You have also omitted to send an account of all money received for public uses and of its expenditure. We expect this to be punctually done at least from the beginning of 1696. As to the quota, we could not have understood the meaning of the Assembly's address thereon, had it not been more plainly expressed in other papers. But since they told you that they did not think themselves obliged to contribute any more thereto till the royal pleasure was known, we repeat to you that by his Order in Council of 19 November last, the King directed us to order the Governors of the various Colonies concerned that they should each make good their respective proportions; and you will observe this accordingly. We have looked out the Order in Council of 1685 as to the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland, and have required Mr. Penn to direct the Government of Pennsylvania to co-operate with you in drawing the line accordingly. The laws of Maryland we find to be in a great disorder. Those formerly sent by you have only just been returned to us by the Attorney and Solicitor General; the last are yet in their hands, and until we have received the whole we cannot consider them. They need thorough revision, and we are doubtful lest a determination on any part of them until a view of the whole will but breed greater confusion. It was to the better understanding of the laws in force that you were required to send over to us a complete body of the laws with your opinion thereon and what alterations you judge expedient, and we wish to put you in mind of this instruction. We would remind you also of another instruction as to the laws, viz. that all be made indefinite except those for a temporary purpose. You will therefore not re-enact a law which has been enacted before, except on very urgent occasions, nor in any case more than once without the King's express consent. The neglect of this rule has evidently been the fault in enacting laws in Maryland, and the list of those passed in your time shows that you have not too well observed it.
We commend your care and diligence in the papers which you have sent us. The distinction between free-men, negroes and servants, which you say you intend in the account of taxables, will be very acceptable. As to the pirate, Day, we wish you had told us what laws are in force in Maryland for the punishment of pirates, for though we may find it for ourselves yet your information would have made it easier for us. You will write to us your proposals for what may be expedient, not only for the seizing of such persons but for the punishing of them. The Sheriffs' returns of persons employed in places of trust, contrary to the intent of the Act for preventing frauds, are very imperfect and answer not the end of your enquiry. The Assembly's address about remission of forfeitures upon Navigation Bonds is under the consideration of the Commissioners of Customs. We are sensible of the evil which you say arises from the engrossing of lands. You will exert all your power to redress the evil, and propose to us very fully and plainly what you think should be done to remedy what is past and prevent the like in future. The General Pardon which you propose may be expedient, but though it must spring from the King it must be prepared in Maryland, on sight of which and of the reasons which you send with it, it will be time to consider the question and not before. As to the two women under sentence of death, the matter should be brought before the King by petition, with a state of the case and the grounds for recommending them to mercy. As to William Dent, however fit he may be to be Solicitor General, we do not think it expedient to recommend the establishment of any such new officer. The Addresses and Associations have been forwarded to the King. In future all writings whatever in your correspondence must have fair margents; in the Journals and other public transactions the heads of each matter should be minuted in the margent; and all papers whatever should be dated. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, Jno. Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 9. pp. 97–104.]
Sept. 2.
1,297. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices of England. With reference to your order of 26 August, on the petition of Captains Weems and Hide (see No. 1,283), we think, on the representation of these officers, that there is no manner of reason why 30 per cent. should be deducted from the pay of their companies for the eleven months before they landed in New York, and that Governor Fletcher should be ordered not to require it. As regards the deduction of the 30 per cent. generally we notice that the sum arising from that deducting is £2,040, of which £349 is set apart for payment of a chaplain, gunner, armourer, storekeeper, etc., and the remainder placed at the Governor's disposal for the contingent use of the companies and the fortifications. He is required to account for this fund, but no account has been received; and we think that he should be ordered to furnish it. Finally we think that the whole deduction of 30 per cent. should be revoked, as a hardship to the companies. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, Jno. Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. New York, 52. pp. 257–260.]
Sept. 2. 1,298. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices of England. Submitting a draft Commission and Instructions for Samuel Day as Governor of Bermuda. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, John Pollexfen, Jo. Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 29. p. 40.]
Sept. 2.
1,299. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices of England. Submitting draft Instructions for Ralph Grey, as Governor of Barbados, for approval. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, John Pollexfen, Jo. Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. p. 90.]
Sept. 3. 1,300. The Attorney General to Council of Trade and Plantations. I find nothing to object to in the six Acts passed by the Assembly of Barbados from 18 August, 1696, to 27 January, 1696–7, which were referred to me by Mr. Popple's letter of 17 July. Signed, Tho. Trevor. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 4th, Read, 21st Sept., 1697. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 39; and 44. pp. 91–92.]
Sept. 3. 1,301. The Attorney General to Council of Trade and Plantations. With reference to the Acts of Barbados, passed in February and March last, and sent to me in Mr. Popple's letter of 24 August, I find nothing in them to object to, except in the Act declaring the decision of controverted elections of members of Assembly to be legally and rightfully in the Representatives of the people of the Island. It is, I think, a question whether this may not abridge the Royal prerogative, for if it has hitherto been the usage in Barbados for the Governor to determine controverted elections, it will be a diminution of the King's power to place that in the Assembly. The Act legalising the affirmation of Quakers in lieu of an oath in the usual form is the same as that made in the 7th and 8th year of the King, against which I have no objection. Signed, Tho. Trevor. 1¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 3 Sept. Recd., 6 Oct., 1697. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 40; and 44. pp. 93–94.]
Sept. 4.
1,302. Secretary of Customs to William Popple. In reply to yours of 26 August, the Commissioners of Customs have received several papers from Governor Nicholson to the same purpose as the extract forwarded by you, and will prepare an answer thereto. Signed, Jno. Sansom. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 6 Sept., 1697. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 39; and 9. p. 105.]
Sept. 4. 1,303. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. The Governor reported to the Board that the merchants refused to advance more money for the victualling and repair of ships, as the money advanced by them two years before was still unpaid and they saw no prospect of repayment; that he had been obliged to borrow £250 to enable H.M. ships Newcastle and Colchester to sail to the Windward Islands, and that he proposed to take £1,000 of the soldiers' subsistence money in order to furnish the ships, since otherwise it would be necessary to lay them up. The Council concurred, and it was ordered accordingly. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 79. pp. 18–19.]
Sept. 6. 1,304. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Licence granted to Andrew Belcher of Boston, merchant, to export provisions to Newfoundland. Twelve sheep and a hogshead of Canary were ordered to be sent by the same ship as a present to Colonel Gibson. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. p. 114.]
Sept. 6. 1,305. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. The New Commission of 6 July was read.
Mr. Sansom's letter of 4th inst. as to the Maryland papers sent to him was read (No. 1,302).
Two reports of the Attorney General of 3rd inst. on the laws of Barbados were read (Nos. 1,300, 1,301), and the Secretary was directed to apply to him for some earlier laws still in his hands.
Draft instructions for Governor Day considered.
Sept. 7. Orders given as to the dispatch of letters to the Colonies.
The Secretary gave information as to certain gentlemen appointed to the Council of Barbados, whose names are not in Governor Grey's instructions. The Council observing that these names brought up the numbers of the Council of Barbados to twenty-two, ordered investigation of the original constitution of that body.
Sept. 8. Several documents relating to the Council of Barbados were examined, and further consideration deferred.
Order for the representation as to temporary laws in the Colonies to be stopped, and its substance embodied in a more general report.
Order for certain queries to be sent to Colonel Hartwell concerning Virginia.
Order for the letter to Colonel Gibson, returned by the Admiralty, to be sent to the Commissioners of Transportation for conveyance.
Governor Day's instructions further considered.
Mr. Penn attended to protest against the design of keeping a man-of-war, under the direction of the Government of Maryland, to cruise about the entrance to Delaware Bay. He was referred to the Commissioners of Customs, as the persons responsible for that design.
Sept. 9. A clause against piracy added to Governor Day's instructions.
Sept. 10. On intimation of the importance of Golden Island and of the Port upon the Main over against it, in case of any settlement by any nation on the Isthmus of Darien, a representation was ordered that a competent number of men should be sent from England or Jamaica to seize the Port and Island for the Crown of England.
Draft clause against piracy for Governor Day's instructions agreed to.
Mr. Lowndes's letter of 8 September read (No. 1,308) with a report of the Commissioners of Customs concerning East and West Jersey. Ordered that the clause in the New York instructions relating to that Province be sent to the Treasury.
A paper sent some time since by the Company for working mines in New England was read. [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 241–253.]
Sept. 7.
1,306. William Popple to Henry Greenhill. Forwarding packets for the Governors of Virginia and Maryland, to be carried by H.M. Advice-boat Swift. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. p. 178.]
Sept. 8.
1,307. William Bridgeman to William Popple. Yours of yesterday has reached me with a letter for Colonel Gibson, to be sent by H.M.S. Dreadnought. That ship sailed for Newfoundland on the 29th ult., and is presumed to be a good way on her voyage, so I return the letter. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. ½ p. Enclosed, Rec. Read, 8 Sept., 1697. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 85.]
Sept. 8.
1,308. William Lowndes to William Popple. Forwarding a report from the Commissioners of Customs on a petition of the Proprietors of East and West New Jersey, for the opinion of the Council of Trade.
Here follows, Petition of the Proprietors of East and West Jersey to the Lords of the Treasury. Under our charter granted us by King Charles II, we have power to constitute maritime and other officers and to erect ports. For the better enforcement of the Acts of Trade and Navigation we have appointed Perth Amboy in East Jersey, and Burlington, Salem and Cape May in West Jersey to be ports for loading and unloading. Nevertheless the collectors at New York pretend that all ships bound to the Jerseys must either unlade at New York or pay custom there for the goods imported, and have lately forced several people to do so. We beg that we may enjoy the liberty of our own ports in future and be freed from the pretensions of New York.
Here follows, Report of the Commissioners of Customs on the foregoing petition, 31 August, 1697. It seems that the inhabitants of New York have granted a certain revenue to the Crown for the defence of the province, arising from an impost on all goods exported and imported, and all Indian trading carried up the Hudson river, and an excise of liquor retailed. The Collector of New York has demanded the same on all goods belonging to the Jerseys that come within the Hudson River. This the Collector alleges to be the ancient practice, but these duties are not under our management, nor is it by our orders that the use of their own ports has been denied to the Jerseys. We therefore leave this matter in your hands. Among the officers for the Continent of America approved by your warrant of 20 November last are a Collector for Perth Amboy and another for Burlington, to collect the duties levied under the Act of 25 Car. II, and for those purposes it is necessary that there should be privileged ports for the officers of the Customs in order to the despatch of business inwards and outwards. Signed, Robert Henty, Sam. Clarke, John Austin. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. pp. 141–148.]
Sept. 8.
1,309. William Popple to the Attorney-General. The Council of Trade having received your two reports of 3rd inst. wish to remind you of a former parcel of laws of Barbados sent to you on 5 October last, the want of which hinders them from making present use of what they have now received from you. They beg therefore for your opinion, or the Solicitor General's, with all possible despatch. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. p. 41.]
Sept. 8.
1,310. William Popple to the Agents for Barbados. The Council of Trade has had under their consideration an Act of Barbados, declaring the decision of controverted elections to the General Assembly to lie in the Representatives of the people. They desire you to inform them in writing what the practice has been, where the right of determining in such cases has lain, by whom it has been exercised, and since when and by whom any alterations have been made therein. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. p.96.]
Sept. 8. 1,311. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. The Assembly met, but there being no full Council, could not proceed to business, but it was resolved to address the Governor on the grievances caused by the abridgement of the Lieutenant-Governor's ancient powers. A letter was accordingly drawn up and signed by the Speaker, as follows. The Council refuses to obey the Lieutenant Governor's summons to meet, on the pretext that we have affronted them. The Council has refused to issue a writ for election of a new member, and on our remonstrating call it an affront on our part. We had appointed a new Treasurer and a joint Committee to examine the late Treasurer's accounts, but on our making certain proposals in respect to those accounts the Council refused to answer and now refuses to meet. We must further represent that we hold your Commission to Colonel Browne to receive the duty on liquors to be improper without the consent of the Council and Assembly; and that legislation and the administration of the island are falling into arrear owing to the abridgement of the ancient privileges of the Lieutenant-Governor. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 426–429.]
Sept. 8. 1,312. Journal of General Assembly of Massachusetts. The Lieutenant-Governor acquainted the Assembly with the measures that had been taken for defence of the Province and recommended the state of the Treasury to its consideration. Order for a bill to revive the Act for giving succour to neighbouring colonies.
Sept. 9. An order for a committee to hear the dispute between Freetown and Tiverton was sent down to the Representatives. Bill to revive the Act for assistance to neighbouring colonies read.
Sept. 10. The same bill was read a second time. Proposals from the Assembly to defer laying a new tax and for a recess for some weeks, received. Bill for an allowance to the Commissioners for farming out the excise rejected. Report of the Committee appointed to settle the bounds of Rehoboth and Attleborough received and confirmed. An order of the Representatives, to restrain claims on the Treasury for a time, was agreed to. Bill to revive the Act for succour to neighbouring colonies passed into an Act. The Assembly was then prorogued to 13 October. [Board of Trade. New England, 48. pp. 173–179.]
Sept. 9.
H. M. Yard
1,313. Henry Greenhill to William Popple. In obedience to yours of 7th I have sent the packets for Virginia and Maryland on board the Swift, advice-boat. Signed, Henry Greenhill. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 10 Sept., 1697. Enclosed,
1,313. I. Receipt of the Captain of H.M.S. Swift for two packets for the Governors of Virginia and Maryland. 7 September, 1697. Signed, J. Bostock. Scrap. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. Nos. 65, 65 I.; and (without enclosure) 34. p. 179.]
Sept. 9.
1,314. William Popple to Henry Hartwell. The Council of Trade, while lamenting your indisposition, have directed me to forward you a paper of enquiries for your answer thereto. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 37. p. 89.]
Sept. 10. 1,315. Minutes of Council of Barbados. The President reported that he had sent out the Bideford, as well manned as she could be in the time, to chase a brigantine which had run away out of Speights Roads. Order for the Bideford to be overhauled, and everything done to make her healthy and serviceable. Bill for furnishing seamen read, with amendments, and sent down to the Assembly. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 243–244.]
[Sept. 10.] 1,316. Copy of an Act of Massachusetts of 31 May, 1671. Giving a privilege to Mr. Richard Wharton to make pitch, rosin, turpentine, etc. 1 p. Endorsed, Sent to the Board by Mr. Hebb. Recd. 19 Aug. Read 10 September, 1697. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 122; and 36. pp. 299–300.]
Sept. 11.
1,317. Edward Walrond to the Earl of Bridgewater. We, the King's subjects in the Plantations, are frequently under the misery of arbitrary Government, and I am emboldened to beg for your protection against our General Codrington. It is in the case of Captain Robert Arthur, of which I have already reported to you the most minute circumstances, and considering the great scandal which it has produced, I have made it my business to discourse freely thereof on all occasions. The General, having received the enclosed deposition from Mr. Laurence Crabb, summoned me before himself and Council to answer the several matters therein objected to me, and I may say without partiality that I have done so, by no less testimony than that of the Council. My apology, enclosed, mentions the persons I made use of, and they are most of the Council, who maintained the premises. The General was very importunate with the Council to undertake the prosecution of this abuse against himself (as he termed it) but they utterly refused to meddle, alleging that they could not conceive that I had done anything contrary to my duty. The General thereupon bound me in £500 to be of good behaviour and to be answerable at Grand Sessions, and ordered the Secretary to strike my name out of the Commission of the Peace. I am satisfied that it was with a desire to prevent me from going to England whither my affairs call me and where I hope to arrive next spring, when I shall not only convince you of the truth of Arthur's case but shall discover to you various irregularities on General Codrington's part. Such proceedings, if unremedied, will discourage every man from his duty. I declare that I have no other end herein but the public good, for I am a prosperous man, and I do not doubt to receive encouragement from you. I think you ought to know by what undue methods Governor Codrington has supported himself, and indeed had not the equity of my case pleaded undeniably in my defence I should have been crushed, for Mr. Crabb is wholly devoted to the Governor. He exhibited the enclosed character of him in the Assembly, of which he is a member, and concurred to compliment the General with the same, ushered in by a message, with intent to invalidate my testimony in Arthur's case. This they did before I was heard by the Council, for when I had proved my apology and supplicated the Assembly to make me some satisfaction for the injury which they had so precipitately done me in their message, they absolutely refused to do it. They added that they were sorry the Governor had been so careless of his own reputation, and wholly declined the cause, pretending that it was not within their cognisance, whereas, to gratify the Governor, they had not scrupled before to act contrary to the rules of justice. I may say that that encomium is as confused as the actions of the gentlemen that it represents. You will hardly admit such a preposterous character to be within the rules of common sense. Signed, Edward Walrond. 1 closely written page. Endorsed, Read, 1 Dec., 1697. Annexed,
1,317. I. Deposition of Lawrence Crabb, taken before the Council of Antigua, 27 July, 1697. Hearing Edward Walrond discourse very freely on the 5th inst. about the Governor, I took upon him to make some reply to him as follows: Walrond said that when the written depositions of treason spoken by Captain Arthur were taken, the said Arthur moved for bail, but the Justice first desired the Governor's warrant for the three witnesses to be brought from on board the frigate and to be bound over to prosecute, but that the Governor refused to give the warrant, saying that the witnesses could be forthcoming when the trial came on. There-upon I asked why the Justice did not bind the witnesses when he took their depositions. Walrond answered that it was Colonel Holt, who was no Justice, that had taken the depositions, and that when Arthur's trial came on the three witnesses were out a cruising in the King's frigate, and so none were forthcoming. I answered that it was not the Governor's business to know where the witnesses were, nor to find them out. Walrond replied that the Governor did know where they were, for they were on board the frigate and he had sent her cruising and appointed the day for her sailing, and that he (Walrond) believed that the Governor knew they would be absent at the time of the trial. Walrond then asked me whom I thought to be in fault. I answered that he tried to lay the fault on the Governor, but asked why the Court did not ask for an adjournment since they knew the witnesses were absent. "So "they might have done," he said; on which he ran at me and said the Court had a very good action against me for laying the fault on them, and that the Court's action was as good as the Governor's. I answered "Only just now you asked me who was in fault. "You yourself acknowledged that the Court might have "asked for an adjournment until the witnesses could be "produced, and yet you say it is actionable in me to "have asked why it did not ask for an adjournment. A "man must be careful of what he says in your company." Walrond then said positively that the fault was the Governor's, and that he ought to have written to the Attorney-General to attend the trial. I said that I thought it was the Attorney-General's business to attend the Governor, and not the Governor's to be always writing after him. Walrond then said that the Governor represented Captain Arthur to Admiral Nevill as a man fit to serve the King, and Arthur should say the Governor dared not prosecute him for he could say worse of the Governor; and that when the Governor was told of it he took no notice. I replied that I believed the Governor had no motive to favour treason in any man, nor could I imagine how he could be under any obligation to Arthur, and that if he had in clemency done any act of compassion it could not be out of disloyalty. Walrond said that he would not give a pipe of tobacco for the Governor's Commission, that he did not aim to be Governor, and meant to go home. 1 p.
1,317. II. Summons for Edward Walrond to appear before the Governor and Council of Antigua, 27 July, 1697. Copy. Scrap.
1,317. III. Edward Walrond's apology in answer to Lawrence Crabb's depositions. It is sufficiently well-known that the Governor denied his warrant three several times to Justice Duncombe to bring the witnesses ashore that he might bind them to prosecute Captain Arthur. Justice Duncombe has pleaded this in his own defence, to save himself from being fined by the Court. I told Mr. Yeamans that I heard the Governor recommend Captain Arthur to Admiral Nevill. Mr. Yeamans then said, "The Governor forgot that Captain Arthur cannot sail "until he has stood his trial for using seditious language." Henry Walrond told Governor Codrington that Captain Arthur did say that the Governor dared not prosecute him, and that he could say as bad or worse of the Governor. I heard this from Colonel Williams, Mr. Parsons and Captain Bugden, who were all present at the time. I do think that the Governor should have ordered the Attorney-General or, since he was absent, someone else to represent the King at the trial, or at least to have directed the Court to suspend the trial of Arthur till the witnesses should be forthcoming. I utterly deny the last words ascribed to me, and can bring four gentlemen of credit to prove that I did not use them. When the cases of Mr. Weaver and Colonel Hill are as well-known in England as they are here, my proceedings will not be misunderstood. 1 p.
1,317. IV. Order for the apprehension and detention of Edward Walrond until he shall give sufficient security to answer for scandalous and opprobious words at next Grand Sessions, and meanwhile to be of good behaviour. 1 Sept., 1699. Copy. Scrap.
1,317. V. Copy of a Message to Governor Codrington from the Assembly of Antigua, offering him a representation of the sincere affection of the house towards him, in spite of the base manner in which his character has been lately traduced.
1,317. VI. Address from the Assembly of Antigua to Governor Codrington, 27 July, 1697. A very long, verbose production, purporting to show that disloyalty to the Governor is contempt of the King, and that General Codrington is the best of all Governors, as well as the most successful of all sugar-planters, and that he never requires a present from the Assembly like Governors in other places. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. Nos. 54, 54 I.–VI.]
Sept. 11.
1,318. Governor Sir William Beeston to Council of Trade and Plantations. My last was by H.M. Ship Southampton, which sailed on 15 August. For want of the bills, drawn from hence for the victualling and repairs of ships, being paid in England, the merchant have forborne to give credit for those supplies. I called them together at Port Royal and used all the arguments I could, but to no purpose. Their answer was, that their bills for money above two years since were not paid nor was there any appearance that they would be, that they lived by turning their stocks and therefore could not be out of their money for so long for nothing and upon such uncertainties. I then tried the Jews, whom I found not wanting of the same advice, for they also refused absolutely. The Treasury owing to the war is near £5,000 in debt, and for my own part I have borrowed money, so that I know not how again to supply the ships. I am out of it too for over two years, and am written that there is no appearance when I shall have it. In this strait I sent for the Council and proposed to them that there was no way left—that the King's service must suffer dishonour, his ships be laid by and his men turned loose to gain their livings as they could unless they, the Council, thought it advisable for me to call in £1,000 of the subsistence-money for the soldiers and apply it to the victualling of the ships. To this they unanimously gave their approbation, thinking it much better so to employ the money than let the ships be laid up and perhaps lost. I begged therefore that this may be approved, or that I may have credit for the ships to enable me to return it to the soldiers' fund. The island is very healthy and has continued so throughout the hot season which is now over, so we hope that the distemper which has appeared at every hot season for the last seven years is now departed from this island, for no place can be more healthy than this is now and has been for a year past. The French now give us but little trouble, their privateers being much wasted and carried away by Vice-Admiral Nevill's fleet, so that unless a force be sent from France we are under no apprehensions from them; but we want supplies of provisions, clothing, tools and all necessaries, as well as shipping to carry away our produce; for all things are excessive dear yet, the people cannot sell their produce because there are not ships to carry it away, and the King thereby loses much customs. If you would lay the Engrossing Act before the King for approbation it would be a manifest kindness to the island as well as an increase to the revenue, which is too low to support the Government. Signed, Wm. Beeston. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 23rd. Read, 24th Dec., 1697. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 70; and 56. pp. 167–169.]
Sept. 13.
1,319. Captain Samuel Atkinson to William Popple. In the absence of my brethren I received yours of the 8th, but the letter enclosed for Colonel Gibson could not be sent by the transportships, which sailed on the 29th ult. I can hear of no other ship bound to Newfoundland. Signed, Saml. Atkinson. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 16 Sept., 1697. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 86.]
Sept. 13.
1,320. Henry Hartwell to William Popple. Enclosing his answer to several queries put to him by the Board of Trade and Plantations. Signed, Hen. Hartwell. ¼ p. Enclosed,
1,320. I. A list of thirty-seven queries propounded by the Board of Trade. 2½ pp.
1,320. II. Answers to the above queries. (1) Are the lands in Virginia patented in large or small tracts?—In both. (2) How come the patentees of large tracts by so many rights, since by the Constitution the limit is fifty acres for every person imported?——Rights may be purchased of the Secretary's Clerks, it being thought not prejudicial to anyone, and advantageous that the land should be liable to pay quit-rents. (3) What seating or improvement are they obliged to make on their land?—They are obliged within three years to seat or plant thereon. Building a house and keeping a stock on the land for one whole year is accounted seating; clearing, planting and tending an acre of land for one year is accounted planting. Either of these fulfil the condition of the patent. (4) What quit-rents are paid, and how are they collected and accounted for?——One shilling is to be paid yearly for every fifty acres; it is paid in tobacco at one penny per lb. The Sheriff is empowered to collect it, receiving 10 per cent. salary. He pays it to the Auditor, who has 7½ per cent. for selling and receiving the quit-rents. The Auditor, I understand, sends accounts to Mr. Blathwayt, Auditor General of the Plantations. There is great concealment of quit-rents, chiefly by the granting of vast quantities of land to the richer inhabitants. Some hold fifty or sixty thousand acres, by whom the Sheriffs are so overawed that they take their accounts as they themselves would have it. (5) For what causes does land lapse and escheat, and how is it disposed of?——If land be not planted and seated within three years it is granted by the Governor and Council to the first petitioner, on his producing a certificate of rights from the Secretary's office. In the case of lands of deceased aliens, heirless persons or intestates, the person in possession on petition to the Governor obtains a grant of escheat and pays a composition of 2lbs. of tobacco per acre to the Auditor. The Escheator, who is one of the Council, has a fee of £5 for returning an inquisition of the same. (6) What are the most proper places in Virginia for towns and ports?—I think that the General Assembly should decide the places for towns and ports, limiting them to at most one on each river, the population being too thin at present for more. To facilitate the making of one principal town and for divers other conveniences, it would be well for the public officers to be compelled to have their ordinary residence there, and that a house should be built for the Governor, which the Assembly would readily do if it could apply the £150 a year, now allowed to the Governor for house-rent, toward the building and keeping in repair of it. The principal officers should also be ordered to live there. Middle Plantation, where the College is built, would well answer the requirements for the site of a principal town. (7,8) Is the Country well peopled, and if not for what cause?—Virginia is very ill-peopled, the number of men over sixteen and of negro women (who are reckoned titheables) being under 20,000. The causes are the engrossment of great tracts of land, and the want of towns. (9) The names of the Council and their service on the Council are as follows: Ralph Wormeley and Richard Lee, about 21 years; William Byrd, 15 years; Christopher Wormeley 13 years; Edward Hill, 8 years; Commissary Blair, 3 years; Daniel Parke, 2 years; Richard Johnson, Charles Scarburgh and John Lightfoot have been added since I left Virginia. (10) What is the procedure in Council?——The Governor proposes matters to the Council who have all along held the places of profit in the Country by the Governor's gift, which, I have always observed, has restrained them from due freedom of counsel and debate. (11) What is the form of suspending a Councillor?——But one member was suspended while I was in the Council; and it was done without any process in writing. (12) Are the Governor's instructions communicated to the Council?—The body of the instructions was not communicated while I was a Councillor, but on occasions the Governor would read extracts as he thought convenient. (13) As to the salaries and places of profit held by Councillors?—The settled salary of a Councillor by law is £350 a year, paid out of the revenue of the two shillings per hogshead and proportioned by the Governor among the several Councillors according to their attendance at General Courts and Assemblies. The places of honour enjoyed by the Council are three: they form the Upper House of Assembly, they sit with the Governor as judges of the General Court, and they hold the chief military command in the several Counties. Their places of profit are five. The Secretary's place is worth £400 or £500 a year, arising from fees and perquisites. The Secretary holds his Commission from the King but is generally recommended by the Governor. The Auditor's place is worth £300 or £400 a year, arising from 7½ per cent. on quit-rents, and on the duty of two shillings per hogshead, fines, forfeitures and escheats. The Auditor is appointed in England on the Governor's recommendation. Escheators are usually nominated from the Council by the Governor; their profits are uncertain. Collectors of the two shillings per hogshead duty receive 10 per cent. thereon. Naval officers receive fees for entering and clearing of ships. All these places of profit, except the Secretary's and Auditor's, are in the Governor's gift and held during his pleasure. (14) Are all Orders of Council fairly drawn and read in Council?—Not when I was in Council. The Clerk took minutes which were not fairly drawn nor read. (15) As to the Constitution of the Assembly?—The Council forms the Upper House; the Lower House consists of two members for each county and one for James City, elected by the freeholders. (16) The Governor commonly sits in the Upper House and manages their consultations and debates. (17) As to the summons of Assemblies?——The Assembly is convened by the Governor with the advice of the Council once a year, or as they find occasion. (18) As to the General Assembly's means of representing grievances?——The Assembly having no power of themselves to raise money cannot in their public capacity represent their grievances to the King without the Governor's consent. (19) As to the collection, receiving and accounting for money voted by the Assembly?——The Governor names Collectors of all money voted by the Assembly, which is paid to the Auditor. The General Assembly has the examination of accounts. The Burgesses claim the right of naming a treasurer of their own, which being denied to them makes them suspicious and unwilling to raise money. (20) Who are the judges?——In every County are eight or nine justices of the peace, commissioned by the Governor (with advice of the Council) to hold monthly Courts for trial of all causes (above 200lbs. of tobacco), life and limb excepted. They are mixed Courts of common law, chancery, admiralty and spiritualty, and appeals lie from them to the General Court. (21) The General Court consists of the Governor and Council who try all causes exceeding £16 sterling or 1,600lbs. of tobacco, also all appeals from the County Courts. It likewise is a mixed Court. (22) As to the last appeal in the Country?——This formerly lay from the General Court to the Assembly who at that time chose a committee of Council and Burgesses (in which the Burgesses made treble the number), but this was taken away in Lord Culpeper's government, so that the only appeal is to the King in Council and that only for causes exceeding £300 value. (23) Are the Judges sworn?——The judges of the County Courts are sworn to do justice, but not those of the General Court. (24) As to the privileges of Councillors in civil causes?——Councillors cannot be arrested by a common writ like other men. I know no means to make them answer a cause in the County Court; but in the General Court the Secretary writes to the defendant, being a Councillor, summoning him to appear to answer an action on such a day, which letter is directed to the Sheriff. If the gentleman does not appear on the appointed day the action ceases. (25) As to the proceedings in the Courts as compared with English Courts?——The forms are very defective. The same Court takes cognizance of all sorts of causes, which is very different from England. (26) As to the names, duties and fees of naval officers?——The naval officers in 1695, were, Edward Hill, Upper James River; John Lear (since dead), Lower James River; Edmund Jenings, York River; Ralph Wormeley, Rappahannock River; Christopher Wormeley, Potomac; Charles Scarburgh, Eastern Shore. Their duties are so much mixed with those of Collectors as to be not easily distinguishable. I know nothing of their fees. (27) As to the Collectors and their fees?——The same persons are Naval Officers and Collectors. They have 10 per cent. on their receipts and several fees. (28) The places of Collectors and Naval Officers are in the Governor's gift and held at his pleasure. (29) As to the convenience of the offices of these officials and their performance of their duties?——I can't say that they keep any offices. Some of them live very inconvenient for the performance of their duties, and some have deputies, but give no constant attendance. (30) As to the choice and swearing of Deputies?——The Collector chooses his own deputy. I do not know if he be sworn. (31) What are their fees?——The fees are fixed by local law: for vessels of twenty tons and under 15s. 6d., for vessels over 20 tons 30s., for a coasting cocquet 1s., for a cocquet for every mark in a bill of lading 1s., for Virginia ships' entry 2s. 6d., licences to trade, clearings and bonds, each 2s. 6d. (32) As to audit, deposit and issue of the money?——The Collectors swear to their accounts before the Governor, which are then passed to the Auditor who receives the money, and issues it on the Governor's warrant. (33) As to the buyers and sellers of the King's quit-rents; as to the receipt and disposal of the money?——The Council commonly buys the convenient quit-rents, and of late, as I have heard, the Governor. The Auditor, I believe, advises with the Governor about selling them; the money is lodged in the Auditor's hands and is issued by warrant from the Lords of the Treasury. (34) Who inspects the accounts of revenue before they are sent to England?——They were brought to Council, but I never saw them strictly examined. (35) Who collects the penny per lb. duty?——The Collectors of the two shillings per hogshead collected it when I was in Virginia. (36) Do the exporters of tobacco to the plantations pay the penny per lb. in money, or in what manner?——They rarely pay in money. They agree with the Collector as well as they can how much a hogshead is to weigh, and pay in tobacco at 1lb. of tobacco for a penny. This was by Lord Howard's direction. (37) From what other inconveniences does Virginia suffer and what is the remedy?——Suspension of Councillors should be by process in writing, and the matter should be judged of in England before suspension is executed in Virginia. The body of the Governor's instructions should be communicated to Council. The Judges of the General Court should be a few men learned in the law, and an appeal should lie from them to the General Assembly as formerly. The accounts of the revenue should be laid before the Burgesses before transmission to England. Quit-rents should be sold by public outcry after public notice given. The true estimate of the tobacco taken for the penny per lb. should be according to the price of quitrents in the County from which it is exported. 8 pp. Endorsed, Recd. and Read, 14 Sept., 1697. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. Nos. 30, 30I.–II.; and 37. pp. 90–109.]
Sept. 13. 1,321. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Order for a copy of the last proposals of the Company for working mines in New England to be sent to the Agents of Massachusetts, for their opinion as to their effect upon New England.
Order for the Agents of the West Indian Islands, Maryland and Virginia to bring in or send their proposals as to convoys.
Sept. 14. Order for the Secretary to direct Mr. Nicoll to send a distinct account of the things that he thinks necessary for the two Indians on ship-board for their determination.
The Secretary's letter to Mr. Lowndes of this date approved.
Colonel Hartwell's letter of 13th with answers to the queries sent to him, was read (No. 1,320).
Sept. 15. An Order in Council of 26 August on a petition of Sir Thomas Laurence being left yesterday by his solicitor, it was ordered that the solicitor produce a copy of Sir Thomas's patent as Secretary of Maryland.
Sept. 16. Order for Mr. Day's commission and instructions to be laid before the Lords Justices.
Captain Samuel Atkinson's letter of 13th inst. read (No. 1,319). Several packets from the Plantations were received and opened.
Sept. 17. Mr. Nicoll presented two accounts of expenses for the two Indians placed under his charge (No. 1,327). Order for a letter to the Commissioners of Sick and Wounded to pay the New York Agents £50, on their producing a certificate that the Indians are embarked, together with the provisions necessary for their voyage.
Governor Goddard's letter of 29 June, and Sir Edmund Andros's letters of 1 July read.
Order for Mr. Edward Chilton to be summoned to the Board on Monday; and that a set of all the Virginian laws belonging to Mr. William Bird of Lincoln's Inn be borrowed, if possible, from him. [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 253–262.]
Sept. 14.
1,322. William Popple to William Lowndes. Acknowledging his letter of 8th inst., with the report on the petition of the Proprietors of New Jersey; and forwarding for the information of the Treasury copy of an instruction respecting the trade of New York and the Jerseys, which has been given to every Governor of New York in succession since the province has belonged to the Crown of England. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. pp. 148–149.]
Sept. 14.
1,323. William Popple to William Nicoll. Asking him for a distinct account of all particulars required for the accommodation of the Indians that he is to take back with him to New York. [Board of Trade. New York, 52. p. 260.]
Sept. 14.
1,324. William Popple to the Agents of the Colonies in England. Asking for their proposals in writing of what they and the merchants concerned in their Colonies desire in relation to convoys during the ensuing winter. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. p. 179.]
Sept. 14.
1,325. William Popple to the Agents for Massachusetts. Asking their opinion whether certain heads for a charter, enclosed, for a corporation to work copper-mines in New England and bring naval stores therefrom, will be prejudicial to the Colony. [Board of Trade. New England, 36. p. 301.]
Sept. 14. 1,326. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Order for payment of £1,605 to the Commissioners of War for provisions and clothes for soldiers and seamen. Intelligence being brought from Major John March of a successful engagement with 200 Indians, it was resolved to send a further expedition to York to follow up the enemy.
Sept. 15. Order for payment of £10 for the expenses of Captain Nathaniel Byfield and the gentlemen who accompany him on his journey to York, and of £10 to the Minister of the garrisons in Barwick parish. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 119–120.]