America and West Indies: March 1698, 11-19

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1905.

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, 'America and West Indies: March 1698, 11-19', in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905) pp. 132-140. British History Online [accessed 27 May 2024].

. "America and West Indies: March 1698, 11-19", in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905) 132-140. British History Online, accessed May 27, 2024,

. "America and West Indies: March 1698, 11-19", Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905). 132-140. British History Online. Web. 27 May 2024,

March 1698

March 11. Message from the Delegates as to a disputed election received, and the question settled. The Governor produced the articles formulated by Gerard Slye to George Robotham and John Addison, who declared them malicious and foolish. Several letters and petitions sent down to be laid before the Delegates.
March 12. The Governor's instructions and Act of Parliament relating to Trade were read and sent to the Delegates, also copies of Gerard Slye's articles against him. Message from the Delegates as to the Governor's conferences with them received, and an answer sent that the Governor was well satisfied therewith. A message to the Governor concerning Indians was sent down to the Delegates. Bill proposed to revive the discontinued process of Cecil County Court. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 14. pp. 239–248.]
March 11. 289. Receipt of a master of a ship for a packet addressed to the Governor of Maryland. Signed, Wm. Lurting. Scrap. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 46.]
March 14.
St. Christo
290. Governor Codrington to Council of Trade and Plantations. I enclose a deposition sworn by the person who was Governor under the former proprietor of New Tortola, and who surrendered the island to our forces which were sent against it by Sir William Stapleton. This Peter Balderick has remained here ever since he was taken at Tortola, preferring to live among the English than to return to the Dutch, and is a lusty healthy man of his age. This deposition will strengthen those which I formerly sent to you. Signed, Chr. Codrington. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 3rd, Read 6th May, 1698. Enclosed,
290. I. Deposition of Peter Balderick, 9 March, 1697–8. That he was Governor of Tortola in 1672, and surrendered the island to Sir William Stapleton's expedition in that year. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. Nos. 77, 77 I.; and (without enclosure) 45. pp. 197–198.]
March 14.
291. Governor Sir Edward Andros to Council of Trade and Plantations. On the 9th of January I received yours of 27 October, with the proclamation of peace. I at once sent it to all parts of the Government and to Captain Pound of H.M. ship Dover (prize), the only man-of-war in this Government. It was solemnly published at Jamestown on the 15th of January, and a day of public thanks-giving has since been kept. On the 3rd inst. I received the King's commission appointing Commissioners to swear me to the due observance of the Acts of Trade and Plantations (sic), also the instructions of the Lords Justices and of the Treasury concerning the said Acts, and a Commission for appointing officers of the Admiralty Court in Virginia, Carolina and the Bahamas, and a letter from the Admiralty nominating the said officers. I am sensible of my omission in not sending you directly an account of public moneys and not signing nor writing my opinion of the Council's letter of 24 April; but I was then much indisposed in my health. I now send the Auditor's accounts for 1695 and 1696 to the 24th April, 1697. None have been made up since, nor is it usual until after the time of shipping tobacco. The cause of the debt on the two shillings per hogshead and port duties was the charge for assisting New York and of keeping a sloop, as ordered, to prevent illegal trade, together with some extraordinaries on account of the war and the fact that shipping did not come in as in time of peace, but one London fleet coming in two years. For these causes the said revenue was not sufficient, though it has been, and I presume will be, for the constant support of government. The said debt is submitted to you for the King's favour out of the quit-rents (sic) having been incurred on extraordinary occasions for the King's service. I enclose accounts of the stores of war at Jamestown and at Tindall's Point, York River, there being no other stores nor fit places to keep any except at Jamestown. The powder formerly sent was distributed to the militia-officers of the several counties. As to the quota for New York, though I at first represented the different circumstances of this country for it, I was always ready and did my duty therein as commanded. I have used my endeavours for the revisal of the laws both with the Council and Assembly and encouraged any that would contribute thereto. They were reduced by a principal member of the Assembly under proper heads, which being brought before the Assembly they were impatient of any further trouble therein, but voted the several paragraphs into so many laws. But the Assembly not agreeing with the Council in matters recommended for the King's service (though the Council acquiesced in several things in hopes thereof) was dissolved. The revisal not having been effected since, I have now again acquainted the Council with your orders, and some of their number are appointed to proceed therein and report to the Board. On receipt of your letter I directed copies of all laws to be prepared as soon as possible, and they will be transmitted by the first good opportunity. The appointed Commissioners swore me on the 7th inst. to due observance of the Acts of Trade and Plantations, and I have sent reiterate orders to the Naval officers, on the receipt of those from the Lords Justices and the Treasury, for their utmost care therein. I have, as ordered, commissioned Edward Hill to be Judge of Admiralty in Virginia and Carolina, and Miles Cary to be Registrar. I have sent for Miles Sherman to be Marshal and await the arrival of Edward Chilton to appoint him Advocate. All is very well and quiet here. Signed, E. Andros. 2¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. Read 23 May, 1698. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 39; and 37. pp. 202–206.]
March 14. 292. List of the papers enclosed with the preceding letter. Accounts of the revenue of the two shillings per hogshead duty, etc., ending 10 June, 1696, and 24 April, 1697. Accounts of the quitrents for 1695 and 1696. Accounts of stores in the magazines. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 40; and 37. p. 207.]
March 14. 293. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Order for Captain Norris to attend next Wednesday on the business of Newfoundland.
Draft representation as to the instructions for the commander of the squadron designed against pirates, considered.
March 16. Mr. Crowne presented a memorial upon his claim to Penobscot (No. 299).
Lord Orford's memorial as to councillors in Barbados read (No. 298). Agreed that the question be considered as soon as the numbers of that Council fall below twelve. Mr. Bridges presented a letter from the President and Council of Barbados, also copy of the Act as to white servants, of which he said that he had dispersed several copies about England, though it was only temporary. He also proposed two new members for the Council of the island.
Captain Norris attended and gave information as to the defence of Newfoundland, and was ordered to attend again to-morrow with a memorial on the subject.
March 17. Lord Bellomont's letters of 8 January read (Nos. 158, 159).
Captain Norris presented a memorial as to Newfoundland (No. 301), and the heads of a representation thereupon were agreed to.
March 18. Colonel Gibsone attending said that fifty men might be a sufficient garrison for Newfoundland in time of peace; that they should not be allowed to fish but should have their pay increased to tenpence a day; and that twelve months' provisions and money to pay the men that are ready to settle there should be sent out. He added that all the planters were desirous to have a Governor and would contribute to the maintenance of one. He was ordered to draw up a memorial of these things.
Representations signed as to the instructions for the Commander of the squadron against pirates and as to seals (Nos. 304, 305). [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 458–466.]
March 14. 294. Journal of House of Delegates of Maryland. Order for two journals to be kept, and for an Assistant-Clerk to be employed. The Clerk sworn to give in his journals to the Secretary's office and not to divulge the secrets of the House. Order for bills to revive the process of Cecil County Court and to alter the winter County Courts. Message to the Council respecting ferries. Message from the Council for the House to attend the Governor.
March 15. Debate on the Piscattaway Indians. Carried unanimously that it is unnecessary to make war upon them. Message from the Council, asking for Delegates to attend the swearing of the Naval Officers to their accounts, and asking the House's opinion as to the expediency of prohibiting export of corn and provisions. Message to the Council asking for a joint committee to look to relations with the neighbour Indians and to the security of the frontier. Six Delegates were sent to the swearing in of the Naval Officers, and to report the House's resolution that the prohibition to export corn and provisions would be inconvenient.
March 16. Message from the Council appointing members for a joint committee on Indian affairs. The Delegates for the same committee appointed. Committee of Laws appointed. Adjourned to meet at 7 a.m. to-morrow at the Speaker's Chamber, owing to his indisposition.
March 17. Report of the Committee of Grievances. Orders given for preparation of bills thereupon, and for George Plater, William Dent, and Robert Goldsborough to be brought up in custody to answer their conduct in justifying the dismissal of several attorneys from practice by Order in Council. Mr. Dent on attending declared that he had given his opinion on the point faithfully and honestly. Order for them to attend again in the afternoon, and in the mean-time for the case of James Cranford, attorney, to be examined by two members, who, however, reported that the Clerk of the Council had no papers on the subject. Message from the Governor ordering the Delegates to attend him or offering to come down to the Speaker's Chamber if the Speaker were too ill to come up. Message in answer, asking him to come down to the Speaker's Chamber. House adjourned for an hour. Message to the Council asking for copies of the King's lawyers' opinion in relation to the attorneys.
March 18. Message from the Council with copies of the opinions asked for by the House, which being read, the King's lawyers were ordered again to attend the House. The Committee for Indian affairs presented a report proposing that a message should at once be sent, by an Indian messenger, to the Piscattaway Indians, and that the rangers in Baltimore County be dismissed, the Indians generally being quiet. Report approved. Message to the Council, asking for the joint committee on Indian affairs to meet again and decide some unsettled questions. The King's lawyers attending declared that they adhered to their opinions as to the attorneys, but were prepared to change their opinion on better arguments; whereupon they were directed to attend the House to-morrow, bringing the authorities for their opinion. In answer to proposals from the Council the House declared that the Indians at the head of the Potomac do not live within the bounds of the province, and appointed members for a joint committee to view the State-house and the materials for the church and school, and to inspect the accounts of the latter.
March 19. Bills to restrain the extortion of sheriffs and others, to revive the process of Cecil County Court, and for appointing court-days in each county read a first time. The King's lawyers attending were asked whether they would retract their opinions as contrary to law, whereupon they said that, though liable to err, they adhered to them, and produced several authorities which are conceived to be rather against than for them. Resolved that the said opinion is dangerous, tending to deprive people of their liberty without trial and to exasperate the Governor against the justices for protecting people in their rights. Address to the Governor, embodying this resolution, and asking him to consent that the King's lawyers pay each ten shillings to the Serjeant-at-arms and burn their papers, as a mark of his displeasure, and to receive James Cranford into his favour. Report of the Committee on Indian affairs, when it appeared that the members were equally divided on the question of keeping the rangers at the head of Potomac, and the House referred it to the Governor's discretion to station the said rangers where they could be of most use in case of alarm or to call them in altogether. Address to the Governor accordingly. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 15. pp. 213–229.]
March 14. 295. Minutes of Council of Maryland in Assembly. Message from the Delegates as to ferries. The Governor summoned the House and recommending them to attend to Indian affairs instead of private business, laid several papers respecting Indian matters before them, at the same time adding that he had sent in to a message, couched in the usual terms, a reply which shewed his anxiety to come to a good understanding.
March 15. Resolved to propose to the Delegates how the arms now coming shall be disposed of, and that a dispute about certain furs brought from Pennsylvania be decided this Assembly. Messages to the Delegates about swearing the Naval Officers to their accounts, as to whether the Susquehannah Indians are within the province, as to a joint committee to view the public buildings, and recommending the regulations of ordinaries, the better securing of ships' letters and the care of orphans. The Naval Officers sworn to their accounts. Joint committee for Indian affairs appointed. Sundry further recommendations sent to the Delegates.
March 16. Letters from the Archbishop of Canterbury about free schools, and one from the Council of Trade of 17 November, 1697, were read, and certain paragraphs ordered to be laid before the Delegates.
March 17. The Governor brought before the Council the ill consequences of the reports of Lord Baltimore's restoration. He also took notice of a message from the Delegates asking for certain Council papers, which he conceived to be an improper thing without his privity and consent, and had ordered the messengers to return that answer. After exchange of messages the Council proceeded to the Speaker's Chamber, where he informed them that there were letters from England to be laid before them, and recommended to their consideration the unrest caused by reports of Lord Baltimore's restoration, a letter from Dr. Bray on Church affairs, and some clauses in a letter from the Bishop of London. Finally he spoke of their manner in asking for Council papers, which he supposed was a mistake, and added that if they had any dispute about the Royal prerogative they had better refer it to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Order for copies of the King's lawyers' opinions to be sent, in compliance with a message from the Delegates. A law proposed against enticing people from the province, and the Delegates' help requested in ranking the Provincial Justices.
March 18. Petitions referred to the Delegates. Messages from the Delegates as the joint committee on Indian affairs, and a joint committee to view the public buildings, complied with. Laws proposed for trial of disputes between masters and servants, and for restraining the refractoriness of seamen.
March 19. The Delegates' address as to the opinion of the King's lawyers received. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 14. pp. 248–263.]
March 14. 296. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Proceedings upon a warrant and bond for the appearance of John Russell for harbouring runaway seamen.
March 15. Order for the prosecution of a ship's master for making a false clearing. The Naval Officers sworn to their lists of shipping. George Plater presented the accounts of the King's revenues received in his districts. Two letters of Gerard Slye were read, and ordered to be given to the law-officers for his prosecution; ordered also that one of them be laid before the Assembly.
March 16. James Cranford was restored to his practice as an attorney.
March 17. Accounts and shipping lists were given in and sworn to. A deposition of Thomas Robinson respecting privateers in Pennsylvania was sworn to by him. Thomas Robinson then brought forward certain expenses to which he had been subjected as Lord Romney's prize agent; and part of the fees charged to him were remitted. Complaint being made by the Rev. Richard Tubman that the Popish priests have perverted several persons during the late sickness, the matter was referred to the law-officers for their advice. Several proposals as to the building of the church and school at Annapolis agreed to.
March 18. A complaint of several seamen against their captain of with-holding their wages was heard and dismissed.
March 19. William Alderne and William Dent were sworn as a Deputy-Collector and Naval Officer. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. 425–432.]
March 15.
297. Edmund Jenings to Council of Trade and Plantations. Sir Edmund Andros being much indisposed has ordered me to transmit to you an Act for a public levy, the Orders of Council, and the Journals of the last General Assembly. Signed, E. Jenings. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 2 Aug., 1698.
Duplicate of the above, addressed to the Duke of Shrewsbury. Endorsed, Recd. Read Aug. 5, 1698. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. Nos. 41, 42; and (memorandum of documents received) 37. p. 250.]
March 16. 298. Memorial in the name of the Earl of Orford, recommending the appointment of John Meade to the Council of Barbados in place of Burch Heathersall, deceased. Scrap. Endorsed, Recd. Read 16 March, 1697–8. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 62.]
[Mar. 16.] 299. Petition of John Crowne to Council of Trade and Plantations. I am rightful proprietor of Penobscot from the river Machias on the east to the river Musconcus on the west. The said lands were purchased by my father, who held them until 1668, when they were given up by Sir Thomas Temple to the French, for his own sinister ends and without the King's authority. I beg that, in view of the settlement of boundaries in America by Commissioners of England and France, my claim to these lands may be heard. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 16 March, 1697–8. [Board of Trade. New England, 9. No. 11.]
March 17. 300. Receipt of the master of a ship for a packet of letters directed to Sir Edmund Andros in Virginia. Signed, Joshua Cooke. Scrap. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 43.]
March 17. 301. Captain John Norris, R.N., to Council of Trade and Plantations. I think that the fishery of Newfoundland cannot be better than under its old constitution. If you wish to make part of the country defensible in case of war, I think St. John's harbour the most advantageous place by nature. The country is so woody and mountainous that an enemy can't easily march to it and cannot possibly bring cannon by land to the place; hence the redoubt built by Colonel Gibsone may be sufficient defence against such attacks. As to the sea, the narrow entrance to the harbour and the great height of the land on both sides create such eddy-winds and calms that an attack would be very difficult, especially if you approve of a boom and chain being fixed across the harbour's mouth. On the north side, at a place called One-o'clock, is a convenient place and distance from the boom for a battery of from fourteen to eighteen guns. Right against it on the south side is another place for three or four guns. These two places, in addition to what is already, would, I believe, make the harbour defensible. I think that if planks and materials were sent there at the time of the convoy's going, the labour of their ships-companies might complete the work this year. The battery on the north side should have a place to put powder in. To man these batteries I think that the inhabitants would suffice, but for the care of the guns and stores there should be gunners and store-keepers; but that power should have no influence over the inhabitants for fear of prejudicing the trade; and to prevent any abuses by mismanagement the convoy for the year, together with the Admiral and Vice-Admiral of the port, should examine all the stores to check embezzlement. I would suggest whether, against the outbreak of war, it would not be proper to have dormant commissions among the inhabitants to summon the people for the defence of St. John's until the King send what may be proper, allowing them pay while the service lasts. This power should in my opinion be subordinate to the Admiral of the port, if one be there, because the masters of the merchant-ships may probably have seen more service than any of the planters, and the planters in general are a kind of servants to the merchant-men. To fix the boom there must be an iron bridle to go over the rock on the north side, and a crab or capstan on the south side to heave the boom across. Signed, Jno. Norris. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. Read 17 March, 1697–8. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 96; and 25. pp. 182–184.]
March 17. 302. Mr. Clement to William Popple. The letters committed to me for conveyance to Lord Bellomont have been duly delivered, three to go to Boston by Captain Updike, who intends to sail next week, and three for New York by Captain Jeffries, who sails in about a fortnight. Signed, S. Clement. ½ p. Endorsed, 18 March, 1698. [Board of Trade. New England, 9. No. 12.]
March 18.
303. Memorial of Benjamin Way. On 13 December last Mr. Samuel Lewis, Commissary-General and Judge Advocate of Jamaica, was in an inhuman and barbarous way stabbed by Mr. Peter Beckford, junior, whereof Lewis immediately died, his sword not being drawn out of the scabbard. I therefore, his son-in-law, beg that when the case comes before the Council of Trade I may be admitted to produce proofs of the barbarity of the act, Beckford having since fled from Jamaica, to Petit Guavos, as is supposed. Signed, Benj. Way. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 23 March, 1697–8. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 86; and 56. p. 183.]
March 18.
304. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Vernon. Forwarding a representation as to pirates in the East Indies, pursuant to his letter of 28 February (No. 267). Signed, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. Annexed,
Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. 18 March, 1698. Having advised with the East India Company respecting your commands conveyed to us on 28th ult., they have laid before us the following proposals for the voyage of the squadron (see No. 279). With these proposals we think it would be well to comply unless the Admiralty have any objections. We think that the Commander-in-Chief after arrival at Madagascar should be at liberty to divide his squadron or keep it together as he thinks fit, and to send home one or more of his ships at any time. In spite of the East India Company's objection to particular pardons we think that if great caution be used and they be granted only to such persons as do eminent service by giving up some port or ship, or to some large numbers of pirates who surrender within a limited time, then the Commander of the squadron may have power to grant them pardon. As to the disposal of such surrendered pirates, the East India Company think that it would be of ill consequence to leave them anywhere in the East Indies, and we think that it would be inadvisable to send them to the American Colonies, where they had their first rise, since it would give them opportunity to go back to their evil practices and tempt others to join them. We think therefore that the Commander-in-Chief had better be directed to bring them to England to be tried, unless he see cause to leave some of them in the East Indies, under proper regulation, until your further pleasure be known. We agree with the East India Company in the expediency of issuing a proclamation prohibiting all your subjects from assisting, corresponding or trading with pirates. But above all we think that the most effectual means of preventing piracy will be to pass an Act of Parliament here for the speedy trial of pirates in any part of your dominions, wherever proofs may most easily be found for their conviction and execution. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Wm. Blathwayt, Ph. Meadows, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. pp. 253–260.]
March 18.
305. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Re-commending that he direct seals to be prepared and sent to Bermuda, New Hampshire and Virginia, no public seals having been sent there since his accession. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. pp. 260–261.]
March 19.
306. John Pym to Simon Cole. I have been informed of your reflections as to the regulations of the Newfoundland trade so as to make it subservient to England's navigation. Now that Commissioners of Trade are appointed, it were a great pity that they should not consider so great an article in the balance of trade. We raise all cargoes (excepting salt) from our own produce and labour, and bring home the commodities of Spain, Portugal and Italy, with bullion. But I need not dwell on the advantages of the trade to you. Two things are at present very prejudicial to it. (1) The carrying over of passengers who take up all the choice of the men, paying only £3 or £4 for their passage, and take up all the choice places, whereas the merchant, who is at vast charge for outsetting, is obliged to carry one-third landsmen. By this substitution of passengers the natural advantage of providing one of the best seminaries for seamen is very much prejudiced. This has been frequently complained of, and this may be a fit time to redress it. This would tend very much to the increase of shipping and seamen, as would also the obliging ships to keep boats proportionable to their burthen, as ten boats to a hundred tons. This was proposed upon a regulation formerly. (2) Allowing unfree ships to come and fish there is a present evil to the trade and like to cripple it unless timely prevented. I am credibly informed that many ships from Portugal and Spain are going this year and catch up our seamen abroad to desert our ships in their ports and man theirs. I suffered from this in this year at Oporto, whence four Portuguese ships are going or gone to Newfoundland. This will carry away instead of increasing our seamen, and lose us the benefit of the trade. It has always been the object of the Government to prevent this, and men-of-war were sent there for the purpose; indeed all unfree ships were formerly liable to seizure by any that had a commission. If I could be of any service by procuring an address to the Council of Trade on the subject, or signatures to an address drawn by you, I will gladly do so. Signed, Jno. Pym. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 31 March, 1697–8. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3 No. 97; and (from to end) 25. p. 189.]