America and West Indies: October 1697, 1-15

Pages 626-635

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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October 1697

[Oct. 1.] 1,357. Copy of a Commission given by Captain Josiah Daniel, of H.M. Ship Prince of Orange, to Lieutenants Ockman and Young to seize one Day, a pirate, in Pennsylvania. Endorsed, Delivered to the Board by the Lieutenants. Recd. Read, 1 Oct., 1697. ½ p. [America and West Indies. 599. No. 33.]
Oct. 1. 1,358. Memorial of the Proprietors of East New Jersey. Under our Patent, as we are advised by Counsel, we have the right to erect ports in our property; but the Collector and officers of New York pretend to compel all ships bound to East Jersey to come to New York and pay an impost there according to an Act of their General Assembly. They pretend further that all Governors of New York have received an instruction to that effect. We conceive that neither the Act nor the instruction can bind us to pay custom nor hinder us from the use of our port, for New Jersey is distinct from New York. The privilege of ports was one of the chief inducements to us to adventure and send settlers over there, and the disturbance of us therein will ruin the trade of the province and destroy our property. The Commissioners of Customs have lately reported that it is necessary that there should be privileged ports in New Jersey for the attendance of the officers of Customs. We beg you to hasten your report to the Lords Justices for preservation of our rights, as Lord Bellomont and the Governor of East Jersey are both ready to embark. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. pp. 154–157.]
[Oct. 1.] 1,359. Opinion of Sir John Hawles, Solicitor General, upon the Memorial of the Proprietors of East Jersey (see preceding abstract). (1) If East and West Jersey are not under the Government of nor dependent on New York, I think Customs cannot be imposed on any goods imported into any ports belonging to East and West Jersey by the Government of New York, nor otherwise than by Act of Parliament in England or of the General Assembly of East and West Jersey. (2) I think that the Commissioners of Customs of England (if the case be truly stated) cannot compel the inhabitants of the Jerseys to enter their ships at New York, nor restrain them from using their own harbours, though they will not pay the duties imposed by the Assembly of New York. Signed, Jo. Hawles, 4 June, 1697.
Opinion of Sir Creswell Levinz on the same, 2 April, 1697. To the same effect, more briefly stated. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. pp. 158–163.]
Oct. 1.
1,360. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices of England. After enquiry we find that John Dudgeon is fitly qualified to be appointed Secretary of Bermuda, but we suggest that the office of Provost Marshal, which is quite distinct from it, might be reserved for the King to bestow on some person who has deserved reward for his good service in the late war. Signed, Ph. Meadows, John Pollexfen, Jo. Locke, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 29. pp. 48–49.]
Oct. 2.
St. John
1,361. Sir Henry Ashurst to Council of Trade and Plantations. I enclose my answer to the heads for a charter drawn up by you. Signed, Hen. Ashurst. 1 p. Enclosed,
1,361. I. Answer of Sir Henry Ashurst, and of several inhabitants of and traders to New England, to a paper of proposals for establishment of a Corporation to work copper-mines in New England and bring naval stores from thence. (1) All attempts to separate the copper metal from the earth in New England have failed so far. (2) The Corporation only proposes to bring in about £6,000 worth of naval stores in two years, which is within the reach of two or three individuals without a Corporation. (3) In spite of its restrictions your proposed charter will confer a monopoly. A Charter will lower the price of our commodities, for the Corporation will lower its prices for the first few years to beat individuals out of the field. Hence no doubt the modest proviso that no stock shall be transferred within five years of the date of the Patent. (4) Having gained the monopoly they will raise the price, and the inhabitants of New England, being oppressed, will find themselves forced to manufacture linen or woollen for their own use, to the great damage of England. (5) In time of peace the Commissioners of the Navy contract for not above two ships' load of masts a year, which is of no great value. (6) The people of New England are daily supplied by private hands with more commodities than the Country can send. (7) The great charge of Corporations forbids that naval stores can be bought as cheap by a Company as by private hands. (8) As to the professed willingness to vacate the charter if the Company's powers be misused, we may as well set bounds to the sea. Other Corporations survive and thrive under twelve years' complaints to the King and Parliament. (9) On intelligence that such a patent was asked for, the people of New England represented that it would be their ruin. Even if this (which lies in your office) be of no weight with you, it is surely unreasonable to grant such a patent just when Commissioners have been appointed to examine and report as to the whole question of naval stores in America. If their report be favourable no doubt the King will find means to encourage the export of their stores. Thirty signatures. Large sheet. The whole endorsed, Recd. 4th. Read 8th October, 1697. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. Nos. 127, 127 I.; and 36. pp. 302–307.]
Oct. 4. 1,362. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. The copies of the grants of 1674 and 1682 to the Proprietors of New Jersey were read; but the Council still finding difficulties in the case deferred it for further consideration.
Oct. 5. A letter from Mr. Orth of 21 September relating to the Scotch East India Company was read.
The petition of the Proprietors of New Jersey was then further considered and order given for certain queries to be addressed to the Attorney and Solicitor General thereupon.
Oct. 6. Captain Culliford's letter of 29th ult. as to the two Indians was read (No. 1,351).
Memorial of certain Quakers of Maryland read (No. 1,365). The Council informed them that the Act of which they complained was now before the Attorney General, but that their memorial should be remembered when the Act came before the Council.
Several Acts of Barbados, with the Attorney General's opinion thereon read. The Council decided to read the journals before giving their resolution upon the first of them.
Letter to the Attorney and Solicitor General on the petition of the Proprietors of New Jersey approved and sent (No. 1,367).
Oct. 7. The Council perused the Journals of Barbados, and the Secretary was ordered to ascertain from the Agents the ancient practice of the island as to controverted elections, and to press the Attorney and Solicitor General for the despatch of the Acts now in their hands.
Representation as to Colonel Beckford's dormant commission Signed (No. 1,368).
Oct. 8. The Secretary was ordered to request of Messrs. Blair, Hartwell and Chilton a full account of the public state of Virginia.
The Order in Council of 5th inst. with a letter from the Governor of Maryland to the Privy Council was read (No. 1,363). Governor Nicholson's letter of 13 July last read and considered.
Order for Mr. Penn to attend on Monday next on the business of the protection of pirates in Pennsylvania.
Sir Henry Ashurst's letter of 2nd inst. read (No. 1,361). The Council thereupon resolved to make no further concessions to the petitioners for a patent to work mines in New England, but to let the matter lie as it now does.
Perusal of the journals of Barbados was continued.
Papers relating to Bermuda, and in particular to the displacement of Nicholas Trott, jun., were read. [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 293–302.]
Oct. 5.
1,363. Order of the Lords Justices of England in Council. Referring a letter from Governor Nicholson, with its enclosure, to the Council of Trade. Signed, John Povey. ½ p. Enclosed,
1,363. I. Governor Nicholson to the Privy Council. Port Annapolis, 30 June, 1697. On the 10th inst. I received your commands of 27 August, 1696, concerning one Henry Every, and a copy of the Royal proclamation against pirates. I enclose copy of my own proclamation. I confess that I always abhorred such sort of profligate men and their barbarous actions; for sure they are the disgrace of mankind in general, and of the noble, valiant, generous English in particular, who have the happiness of being governed by so great a King. Signed, Fr. Nicholson. 1 p.
1,363. II. Governor Nicholson's proclamation against pirates, 10 June, 1697, enclosed in the above. Copy. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. Nos. 40, 40I., II.; and (without enclosure II.) 9. pp. 118–119.]
Oct. 5. 1,364. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Order for the disposing of Garth's (late Russell's) regiment among the forts. Order for the ships bound to North America to sail on the 9th under convoy of H.M.S. Sheerness, and for the Sheerness to touch at Antigua on the return voyage. Order for the trial of a French prize taken by H.M.S. Newcastle, that four of her officers, having helped to navigate her through some shoals unknown to the English, be released and sent back to Martinique, and that the remaining prisoners be dispersed among the merchantmen and men-of-war. Order for provisions for the Bonaventure. Account of disbursements for the Bideford sent to the Assembly. The Assembly brought up a bill for new entrenchments and an address and bill for printing the laws of the island, and pressed the Council to pass the Militia and Habeas Corpus bills. They asked further that the frigates might cruise off Martinique, this being the season when the French expect supplies, and that a writ might be issued for election of a new member in place of Colonel Ramsay. The Council then delivered to the Assembly several papers, and acquainted them that they had provided a bill against engrossers, that the Habeas Corpus bill was near finishing and that the Militia bill would be speedily considered. They then urged upon them that the treat given to Admiral Nevill should be discharged, that provision be made for the new Governor lately appointed, that the bill for furnishing seamen be hastened, that racks for arms be made in the magazine, and that a convenient gaol be made. They added that care had been taken to get the frigates ready with all speed.
Oct. 6. The Council sent down to the Assembly a list of the wants of H.M.S. Newcastle and two letters that had passed between the Agents and the Admiralty. Habeas Corpus bill read and returned to committee for alterations. The Assembly brought up a Bill for St. Andrews parish to choose a vestry, and the bill for furnishing seamen. They asked that a frigate might ride off Speights to prevent the surprise of vessels in that road, but refused to depart from their former resolution not to supply the King's ships, lest it should be drawn into a custom. The Council rejoined that the supply of the frigates was of great importance, that not much was wanted in this case, and that the King had sent out a great quantity of stores which had been lost by accident. At the Assembly's request the Habeas Corpus bill was returned to them. Two Assemblymen, William Holder and Miles Tappin, offered to be security for anyone who would advance £100 for the supply of the Bideford. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 245–248.]
Oct. 6. 1,365. Memorial of the Quakers of Maryland to Council of Trade and Plantations. Before and in 1692 we enjoyed greatly the liberty of our consciences, upon the encouragement of which our fathers settled in the country. In 1692 that liberty was infringed by an imposition of 40lbs. of tobacco a head for building churches and maintaining ministers. Because we could not for conscience sake pay this imposition the law is strictly executed upon us, who are ancient planters and not the least considerable merchants. We beg you to disallow this law or to recommend a proviso for our relief. Signed, Richd. Johns, Sam. Chew, Neh. Birckhead, Sam. Galloway. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 6 Oct., 1697. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 41; and 9. p. 117.]
Oct. 6.
1,366. William Popple to the Attorney-General. Forwarding the laws passed in Maryland at the Assembly held between 26 May and 11 June, 1697, for his report. Here follows a list of the Acts, nine in number. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 9. pp. 115–116.]
Oct. 6.
1,367. William Popple to the Attorney and Solicitor-General. On the contention of the Proprietors of East New Jersey respecting their right to constitute ports in that province (see No. 1,358), I am to desire your opinion on the following points. (1) What is a port, and by what means may any place in the King's dominions on the Continent of America become a port? (2) Did King Charles II.'s patent to the Duke grant him power to erect ports? (3) Did or could the Duke of York convey that power to Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret? (4) When these two divided New Jersey could they convey such powers to the Proprietors to whom they sold their shares? (5) Supposing that East and West Jersey, now divided from New York, were formerly united with it under one government and that the city of New York was then the port for the whole province, would there be, upon the separation of East Jersey from New York by the conveyance of the Duke of York, any right conveyed to the granters of constituting a port at Perth-Amboy or elsewhere at their pleasure ? (6) Supposing further divisions of the province to be made by the Proprietors, will each of the several Assignees have also a right to constitute a port or ports in each of their divisions. Signed, W. Popple. 1½ pp.
Answer of the law-officers to the above queries. (1) A port in our law is a place appointed for the lading and unlading of goods and merchandise for the better collection of the King's customs and other duties. Such ports by the Act of 25 Car. II. cap. 7 (for better securing the Plantation Trade) are to be appointed by the Commissioners of Customs in England by and under the authority of the Lord Treasurer or Commissioners of the Treasury, in the respective Plantations, for collecting the customs due to the King in those Plantations. (2) The power of appointing ports thus granted to the Commissioners of Customs was not granted to the Duke of York by his Patent. (3) Hence the Duke of York, not possessing such power, could not grant it to Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret. This sufficiently answers queries 4, 5, 6. Signed, Tho. Trevor, Jo. Hawles. 1 p. The whole endorsed, Recd. Read, 18 Oct., 1697. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 2. No. 1; and 25. pp. 164–168.]
Oct. 7.
1,368. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices of England. In July, 1695, we moved the then Lords Justices for a dormant Commission to be prepared for Colonel Peter Beckford to succeed to the Government of Jamaica. They gave order accordingly, and a Commission was drawn but not expedited. We now recommend that the said Commission be passed. Signed, Ph. Meadows, John Pollexfen, Jo. Locke, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 56. pp. 135–136.]
Oct. 7. 1,369. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Order for payment of £175 as five months' pay to a party employed in hunting runaway negroes. Orders for sundry payments, and for £300 of the King's bounty-money to be distributed to the plundered inhabitants of St. David's, St. Thomas to windward, St. George and St. Mary. On a complaint against the officers of the King's ships of violence and insolence, and their counter-complaint against the inhabitants of harbouring deserters, seven of the Council were appointed to enquire into the matter. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 79. pp. 19–21.]
Oct. 7. 1,370. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. Order for payment for a pressed sloop which was lost in the expedition to St. Martin's. Letter to the Agents approved. This letter acknowledges the receipt of their accounts, though they should have been sent sooner, but desires explanation of the reason only £341 was given to the Lord President over and above £44 to his Secretary, also explanations of a payment of 300 guineas paid to the Lord President in May, 1694, of 100 guineas to the Secretary of Plantations in November, 1694, and £110 in November, 1695, over and above 100 guineas paid to him in November, 1692, of £141 paid to Mr. Povey and of £96 to secretaries and clerks. A letter from the Assembly to the Governor was then read and approved, protesting against his appointment of Philip Browne as Treasurer, when Azariah Pinney had already been appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor, Council and Assembly. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 435–438.]
Oct. 8.
1,371. William Popple to William Penn. The Council of Trade hearing that you were in town desired me to summon you to speak with you next Monday afternoon respecting the complaints against Pennsylvania of harbouring pirates. Though I have since heard that you are not in town, I send you this notice none the less. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. p. 166.]
Oct. 8.
1,372. William Popple to Henry Hartwell. The Council of Trade having read your answers to their queries and not doubting that you may be able to suggest other things of equal importance, desire you to draw up a full and plain account of the whole public state of Virginia, that so they may have it before them in one view. They have made the same request of Dr. Blair and Mr. Chilton, so that you are at liberty to send your answer jointly or separately. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 37. pp. 124–125.]
Oct. 11. 1,373. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Governor Nicholson's letter of 13 July further considered. Order for Mr. Francis Jones to attend on Wednesday next, and that an extract of the passages relating to the Acts of Trade be sent to the Secretary of Customs.
Perusal of the Virginian papers continued.
Oct. 12. Order for an extract of Governor Nicholson's letter, relating to the accounts of Mr. Cheseldyn and Mr. Coode, to be sent to Mr. Povey.
Perusal of the Virginian papers continued.
Oct. 13. Order for the Agents of the West Indian Islands to attend on Friday. Perusal of the papers of the Leeward Islands begun with the Journals of Council and Assembly of Antigua of 1692.
Oct. 14. Mr. Vernon's letter of yesterday as to disbanded soldiers read (No. 1,379). Agreed to lay the matter before the Agents for the West Indian Islands to-morrow.
The addresses enclosed in Governor Nicholson's letter of 13 July read, and those addressed to the King sent to be laid before his Majesty.
The informations of Francis Jones and Thomas Robinson, as to pirates in Pennsylvania were read; but it was agreed not to refer to them in answering Governor Nicholson's letter, since they were not given on oath.
A petition from Mr. Bulkley for a favourable report upon his case was read.
Oct. 15. Mr. Bridges presented a memorial (No. 1,382). Order for a representation as to men-of-war for the West Indies to be prepared. Mr. Bridges asked for further time to consider the questions put to him concerning controverted elections in Barbados and disbanded soldiers. Mr. Cary answered to the same effect as to disbanded soldiers; and orders were given for letters to be written to Lord Bellomont, and the Agents or representative gentlemen of Jamaica, Massachusetts, Maryland, Virginia and New York upon the subject.
Ordered that in the next letters sent to Virginia, Maryland and New York, the Governor be instructed to move for the retention of regular Agents for those colonies in England.
A further letter of 1st inst. from Mr. Orth as to the Scotch East India Company was read.
Mr. Stepney communicated to the Board a letter from Mr. Newman to Mr. Nelson of 2 August (No. 1,219). Ordered for a copy thereof to be kept.
Several papers relating to public proceedings in Maryland laid before the Board. [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 303–313.]
Oct. 12.
1,374. Governor Goddard to Council of Trade and Plantations Gives a transcript of his letter of 29 June and 22 September (Nos. 1,122, 1,340) and proceeds. I send the affidavits which I promised in my letter of 29 September and the names of the confederates who were in the design to assist him to escape to the Leeward Islands; but the design was for Martinique or St. Thomas, if he could have got off. Signed, J. Goddard. 4 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 15th, Read 18th July, 1698. Enclosed,
1,374. I. Sworn information of Jonas Clay, sometime master of the sloop Happy Jane, that his ship, before her late condemnation was the property of Isaac Richier so far as he knows, though perhaps Richier's brother was concerned in her, that she was designed to carry him off to Antigua or Montserrat, and that signals had been agreed on to shew when Richier was coming off.
1,374. II. Isaac Richier's sailing orders to Jonas Clay, 4 June, 1697.
Letter from Jonas Clay, 4 June, 1697, saying that his design to carry off Richier is suspected and that he must sail for Barbados.
Letter from Isaac Richier to Jonas Clay. Repeating his former instructions, and blaming him for not following them and for mistrusting him.
Minutes of Council of Bermuda, 17 September, 1697. Giving the examination of Jonas Clay, in which he revealed that the sloop Happy Jane was purchased for Isaac Richier, and gave the names of the persons who were his confederates. Resolved, that all the said persons be bound over to good behaviour and to appear at the next assizes.
Further information of Jonas Clay, as to a forged letter of credit, whereby the fiction, that he was the true purchaser of the Happy Jane, was to have been maintained.
Copy of Jonas Clay's oath to keep the design of Richier's escape secret.
Names of the chief confederates in the design, nine in all. Copies. 5 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 15 July, 1698. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 3. Nos. 19, 19 I., II.; and (without enclosures) 29. p. 123.]
Oct. 12. 1,375. Minutes of Council of Montserrat. Order for the owner of a negro, which negro had been convicted of murder, to pay 5,000lbs. of sugar or have him executed. Order for another negro belonging to the same owner to be hanged for stealing, and for compensation to be paid to the owner. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. p. 525.]
Oct. 12. 1,376. Minutes of Council of Barbados. An application was received for payment for the subsistence of French prisoners. Order for the Treasurer to supply the Bideford with fourteen days' bread for thirty men. Colonel Ramsay took the oath as a judge in equity.
Oct. 13. Militia bill read a second time and sent to the Assembly with amendments. The Assembly brought up the Habeas Corpus bill and asked, that the bill to prevent the escaping of white men and slaves might be passed, that the bill against engrossing contain among other matters a prohibition to export provisions, that the soldiers if disbanded may not be disposed of by the officers, and that racks and bins be made for the magazine.
Oct. 14. Habeas Corpus bill read and referred for further consideration. Order for four men and a boat with its crew to be allowed to Mr. Heberlands to assist in his survey of the forts. Order for Robert Chapman, son of the late master gunner, to be admitted a matross. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 247–250.]
Oct. 12. 1,377. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Order for the suspension and disbarring of James Crauford by the Justices of Calvert County to be referred to the law officers (p. 337).
Oct. 13. Report of the law-officers as to the issue of a new Commission for Somerset County, which shewing a difference of opinion was referred to the Provincial Court (pp. 339–341). Order for no fees to be taken for administration of the estates of rangers lately killed at the garrison, and that rangers be permitted to take up one or two unmarked wild horses apiece (p. 342).
Oct. 14. Report of the law-officers, condemning the actions of the Justices of Calvert County, respecting James Cranworth (p 337). Several letters read concerning the Indians and the late murder committed at the garrison. The Governor reported the orders that he had given for strengthening the frontiers and garrison. The Council gave it as their opinion that an Assembly could not be called at this time of year, but that the Justices and Grand Jury should be consulted as to the further measures to be taken about the Piscattaway Indians, who are suspected to be the guilty parties. The gentlemen who went lately to the Indians attending, reported that they believed the Indians to be sincere in their friendly professions. A report was also given as to the Choptico Indians. Other gentlemen familiar with the Piscattaway Indians said that they doubted whether they would return to Maryland. Proclamation offering a reward for the apprehension of an Indian for murder of a woman and three children in Virginia. Accounts being brought in from Baltimore County of insolencies of Indians there, were found to be without foundation. The Justices and Grand Jury were summoned to advise as to the Indians (pp. 342–347).
Oct. 15. The Grand Jury and Justices attending, the Governor put before them the question of making war on the Indians in consequence of the murder on the Potomac. He proposed to draw 200 men from the six counties for defence of the frontier, if necessary, such men to be ready at the shortest notice to rendezvous at an appointed place, there to be lodged and armed, but each to provide his own horse. The Governor then proceeded to lay several further proposals for military preparations before the gentlemen, and as to communicating with Sir E. Andros for the co-operation of Virginia; and a Committee was appointed to consider of the whole matter (pp. 342–350). Orders to prevent the smuggling of liquor to the Rangers (p. 353).
Oct. 16. The Grand Jury and Justices were again summoned, and the Committee's report deferred until Monday, 18th (p. 350). [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. as cited.]
Oct. 13.
1,378. William Popple to John Povey. Acquainting him with the passage in Governor Nicholson's letter of 13 July, wherein he requests that two accounts concerning Kenelen Cheseldyn and John Coode may not be passed until he has been heard on the King's behalf. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 9. p. 138.]
Oct. 13.
1,379. James Vernon to Council of Trade and Plantations. The Lords Justices have taken into consideration that it might be many ways useful and advantageous to the plantations if any number of the soldiers in the army, upon their being disbanded, were disposed to settle in such of the Plantations in America as most need supplies of men, and where the greatest improvements are to be made. It is their order, therefore, that you consider forthwith what encouragement may be fit to be proposed, and what provision can be made for those who shall be willing to transplant themselves into any of the Colonies, and report to them your opinion. Signed, Ja. Vernon. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 13th, Read 14th Oct., 1697. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 67; and 34. p. 184.]
Oct. 13. 1,380. Journal of General Assembly of Massachusetts. The Lieutenant-Governor recommended to the Assembly the state of the Treasury. Proposals to ascertain the value of coins and for registry of deeds.
Oct. 14. Bill to encourage Volunteers against the Indians received from the Representatives; bill to exempt the town of Groton from taxes sent down to them. Advised that bills be prepared for ascertaining the value of coins and for registering deeds.
Oct. 15. Committee appointed to examine the petition of the bakers as to the Assize of bread. Bill for Volunteers returned with amendments; bill for prosecution of the enemy read a second time and sent down. Bill for a public thanksgiving received and passed. Heads of a bill for registering deeds agreed to.