America and West Indies: April 1698, 18-30

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: April 1698, 18-30', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905), pp. 171-187. British History Online [accessed 19 June 2024].

. "America and West Indies: April 1698, 18-30", in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905) 171-187. British History Online, accessed June 19, 2024,

. "America and West Indies: April 1698, 18-30", Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905). 171-187. British History Online. Web. 19 June 2024,

April 1698

April 18 376. Archibald Hutcheson to Council of Trade and Plantations. I enclose a packet received from Governor Codrington, with seven papers under cover to myself, with directions to give you the import of them, though I hope the perusal of the papers themselves will not be tedious to you. They will shew you that the esteem for him in the Leeward Islands, to which I alluded in my letter of November last, is not changed. Give me leave to repeat that Governor Codrington on the first notice of the Revolution appeared for the King, and has ever since freely exposed his person and disbursed his money for the service of the Government. His salary is now nearly four years in arrear, besides considerable disbursements on the public account; he has several times advanced his own money for the service of the Leeward Islands, but has never desired nor received any donation from them, and so far from making a great estate by the Government (as Mr. Walrond has misinformed you) it is only the great estate which he already possessed that has enabled him to pay the expenses of the Government. Greater evidence of good affection towards the present Government and of a generous inclination to serve the public than he has given, it would hardly be possible to give. The enclosed papers will shew you that Mr. Walrond has prevaricated grossly, and would have the Council and Assembly of Antigua treated as unjust sycophants for the justice that they have done to the Governor in this matter. With great modesty he expects to be believed before the joint representative of all of any note in the island. Being bound over to appear at next Sessions for scandalous words used of Governor Codrington, he has moved to Barbados, where he is very busy seeking deponents and depositions against him. I acknowledge that there is every reason to hear the complaints of the meanest subjects and to punish such Governors as really deserve it; but there is a justice due likewise to them, when groundlessly slandered or traduced, otherwise men of merit and fortune will be discouraged from accepting such stations. Signed, Arch. Hutcheson. 1½ pp. Endorsed,
376. I. Copies of messages exchanged between the Council and Assembly of Antigua. The Assembly to the Council. In view of the gross traducing of the Governor's reputation, we offer a representation, which has been brought forward by one of our members. (See previous volume under date 11 Sept., 1697. No. VI.) Answer of the Governor giving his thanks for the same.
Declaration of the Council of Antigua, 1 Sept., 1697, in vindication of Governor Codrington's loyalty, faithfulness and good service to the Leeward Islands against all aspersions.
Message from the Assembly to the Council of Antigua, asking for copy of Walrond's letter of charges against the Governor; and the Council's answer sending the same to them. Copies. The whole, 4 pp.
376. II. Copy of Edward Walrond's letter of 11 September, 1697, misdated 11 December, 1697. 1 p.
376. III. Message of the Assembly to the Council of Antigua. We have read Mr. Walrond's letter of accusation against Governor Codrington, also the letter signed J. Johnstone, dated 4 May, 1697, and having examined also the proceedings respecting Robert Arthur, we pronounce these letters to be false and scandalous, being unanimous that the Governor never used any contrivance to enable Arthur to escape from justice and that he has always been a loyal and faithful subject to King William. Copy. ½ p.
376. IV. Address of the Council of Antigua to Governor Codrington. We have read the letters and depositions sent home by Edward Walrond to accuse you. We know that when Arthur's affair was first brought before Council an order was given to the justices to examine him and the witnesses then on board the Jersey; we know that Arthur was bound over to take his trial, and had every reason to suppose (nor could you know to the contrary) that the witnesses had also been bound. We have often heard you express just resentment against the villainous actions committed by Arthur, though you did him the justice to say that he was a stout fellow and able to do the King service. We absolutely clear you of any design to palliate Arthur's crime. Seven signatures. Original. 1¼ pp.
376. V. Copies of documents relating to the despatch of H.M.S. Jersey to Nevis in May, 1697. Letter from Governor Codrington to Lieutenant-Governor Gardner, 8 May, 1697. I now send you the Jersey to convoy your outward bound merchant-ships. She must not stay with you above two days, though I have told Captain Bugdon twenty-four hours.
Sailing orders of Governor Codrington to Captain Bugdon, 8 May, 1697. To sail to Nevis and taking the merchant-ships there under convoy, to escort them northwards as far as latitude 20°, cruise a few days to windward of Deseada and return. You are not to stay at Nevis for more than twenty-four hours, nor is your cruise to exceed ten days. Copies. 1 p.
376. VI. Depositions of Henry Pearn, 5 Feb., 1697–8. Some days after the trial of Captain Arthur, I, in discourse with Edward Walrond, asked him how he came to pass the words for which Arthur was accused, since they were spoken in his house. He said that he was not in the room at that time, but was told of the words by his cousin, Henry Walrond, some days after. ½ p.
376. VII. Certificate from the Governor, Council, Merchants and others of Nevis, that the report of the Governor's encouraging the pleading of the Act of Limitation is false and scandalous. Signed, Sam. Gardner, and by fourteen more. Large sheet. The whole endorsed, Recd. 20 April, Read 6 May, 1698. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. Nos. 79, 79 I.–VII.]
April 18. 377. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Order for issue of writs for an Assembly to meet on 25 May, and that Nicholas Noyes preach a sermon to the Assembly on that day. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. p. 153.]
April 18. 378. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Burchett's letter of 15th inst. read and orders given for the Secretary's reply thereto.
Letter from the Victualling Office of 15th inst. read. Order for an extract to be sent to Colonel Gibsone, and that his opinion thereon be desired against Wednesday next.
Order for the Acts of Massachusetts to be sent to the Attorney and Solicitor-General, with a request to hasten despatch of the Plantation Acts already before them.
April 20. Colonel Gibsone presented a memorial (No. 384) as to the victualling of Newfoundland. He added that his reckoning had been based upon "seamen's allowance," viz. thirteen months to the year. He mentioned, in reference to his suggestion to send malt instead of beer, that there was a large quantity of cask left there which might serve for brewing beer, but that two coppers must also be sent. He asked for leave for Lieutenant-Colonel Handasyd to come home, and named Lieutenant Grig as the fittest officer to command in his place.
Order for the Secretary to ascertain from the Victualling Office the first cost of eatables and drink for a seaman on short allowance per diem. A letter from Leghorn of 31st ult. as to interloping trade to Newfoundland read. Order for copies to be sent to the Admiralty and to Mr. Secretary Vernon.
Mr. Brenton's letter of 8 March last read. Order for a representation thereupon to be drawn up, and for Mr. Duke to attend the Board on Thursday or Friday next.
April 21. The letter to Mr. Vernon, as ordered yesterday, was signed. Letter of the Victualling Office read, and order given to the Secretary for his reply thereto (Nos. 386, 390).
Letter from the East India Company of yesterday read. Order for copies and extracts to be sent to Sir Charles Hedges and to the Admiralty for their opinion. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 28–36.]
April 19.
378. William Popple to the Secretaries of the Admiralty. In reply to Mr. Burchett's letter of 15 April, the Council of Trade is of opinion that it may be convenient, now in time of peace, to direct the commanders of the ships of war in the West Indies, which are now to be relieved by others, not to wait there for the merchantmen that are to return under their convoy longer than the term prescribed by the Order in Council of 22 October, 1696, but that it may be left to the Governors of the respective Plantations to shorten the said terms, as they see occasion for the King's service, and that a copy of the instructions be communicated to the Governors for that purpose. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. pp. 270–271.]
April 19.
379. William Popple to the Attorney and Solicitor-General. I forward Acts of the General Assembly of Massachusetts for your opinion thereon, and I am to remind you of the several Plantation Acts that are already in your hands and on which your opinion is much wanted. A list of them is enclosed to you. Here follows the list. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. pp. 272–274.]
[April 19.] 380. List of laws of Massachusetts passed in September and October, 1697, which were sent to the Attorney and Solicitor-General on 19 April, 1698; thirteen Acts in all. 1½ pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 9. No. 17; and 36. pp. 371–372.]
April 19. 381. Return of the inhabitants of Albany City and County and of the numbers of the Five Nations, showing the decrease between 1689 and 1697.
Men. Women. Children.
Albany City and County in 1689 numbered 662 340 1,014
" " 1697 " 382 272 805
Since the beginning of the war there have departed 142 68 202
" " taken prisoners 16
" " killed by the enemy 84
" " died 39
Of the Five Nations
There were in 1689 of the Mohocks 270 men, in 1697, 110 men.
" " Oneidas 180 " " 70 "
" " Onandagas 500 " " 250 "
" Cayonges 300 " " 200 "
" Senecas 1,300 " " 600 "
" River Indians 250 " " 90 "
Total Indians 2,800 " 1,320
1 p. Endorsed, Delivered me by Mr. Livingston, 19 April, 1698. Recd. 29 Sept. from Mr. Weaver. Read 30 Sept., 1698. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 59; and 52. pp. 481–482.]
April 19. 382. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Bartholomew Fowler sworn of the King's counsel at law and as assistant to the Clerk of Council. The Naval Officers were sworn to observe the Act for regulation of the Plantation Trade. On a petition for further assistance to H.M.S. Swift, it was resolved that enough had already been done. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 53. p. 120.]
April 20.
East India
383. The East India Company to Council of Trade and Plantations. We understand that the ship Buckhurst, Captain Edward Say, is now cleared for the West Indies, but is bound for Muscat, and that she has 180 iron guns in the hold and 44 mounted, which we have reason to fear are designed to supply the Muscatters, who have already taken two English ships and will in all probability seize such others as they can meet and overpower. We beg your attention to the extracts enclosed, in support of our representation. Signed, Ro. Blackborne, Secretary. 1½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 21 April, 1698. Enclosed,
383. I. Abstracts of advices received from Persia by the East India Company touching the Arabs of Muscatt. From Spahaun General [Ispahan], dated 11 June, 1697, received overland 14 February, 1697–8. We hear that the Queddah, a merchantman hired in Surat, while on her way from Bengal to Persia put in at Muscat, where the Arabs have stopped her, demanding all goods that belong to any of the King of Persia's subjects. They stopped another English ship two years ago, and if they are not curbed at the first offers, they may grow more insolent by degrees.
From Spahaun General, dated 8 July, 1697, received 14 February, 1697–8. It may be worth your consideration to send some force to these parts as well to expel the pirates as to suppress the insolencies of the Muscat Arabs. Since taking the Queddah they have seized, plundered and kept another small ship, the London, belonging to Madras, under pretence of having Armenian goods on board, though she was wholly laden with English goods. They forced all the English aboard their ships to fight against the Portuguese, and for all that we know that some of them lost their lives in the late engagement. If the Arabs be not curbed quickly the trade into the Gulf of Persia will be ruined.
From Spahaun General, dated 15 July, 1697, received 7 Feb., 1697–8. The little ship mentioned in our last as seized by the Arabs of Muscat, has been openly sold there as a prize, and the English are kept close prisoners.
From Spahaun General, dated 4 November, 1697, received overland 8 April, 1698. The Imaum of Muscat refused to restore the London, with the rough answer that if we were disposed for war we should be very welcome, for they were ready to try what they could do with us. We believe therefore that they will take any of the Company's ships that they can master in future. 1¼ pp. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. Nos. 108, 108 I.; and (without enclosure) 34. pp. 274–275.]
April 20.
384. Colonel Gibsone to Council of Trade and Plantations. I have, pursuant to your orders, read the letters from the Victualling Office (see No. 375) as to the provisions for the garrison in Newfoundland, and I think that short allowance—viz., six men to four men's allowance—both of eatables and drinkables is sufficient, but that care must be taken for them to receive full weight and measure, with which, and the allowance of twopence a day, they may live very well. I think it will be far better to send malt than beer. I have further to tell you that when I left Newfoundland I took up a transport ship to stay there for the winter for the security of the provisions there. Her owner is very pressing that she be discharged. Signed, J. Gibsone. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 20 April, 1698. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 103; and 25. p. 201.]
April 20.
385. William Popple to the Victualling Board. With reference to yours of 15th, as to provisions for the garrison of Newfoundland, will you inform the Council of Trade what is the first cost of eatables and drinkables for a seaman at short allowance per diem? Your answer is desired with all possible dispatch. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. p. 200.]
[April 21.] 386. The Victualling Board to William Popple. We enclose a paper showing exactly the allowance to seamen at whole allowance for a week, the cost of provisions for 364 days to 60 men (which we take to be the number, assuming the non-commissioned officers to be seven), the cost of bare provisions at short allowance, which amounts to something over 6¼ d. per man per diem. The extraordinary dearness of provisions is the reason why things amount so high. We have set down also the estimated charge of cask and freight. Pray give us early directions whether we shall send the quantity of provisions as allowed to seamen at whole allowance, or only the proportion given at half allowance. We have treated for freight with several masters of ships bound to Newfoundland, but none will bind themselves to stay for the convoy (which our orders direct shall be done), insisting on liberty to sail when they are laden, though willing to endeavour to keep company with the men-of-war, if they sail at the same time. Pray give us orders whether we shall ship the provisions without obliging the master to wait for the convoy. There was a ship, the Providence, laded in New England by Colonel Gibsone's order, which being unable to make Newfoundland came to England, and suffered damage to the cargo of provisions during a storm in the Channel. The provisions on board her which were proper for the fleet we have made use of at Plymouth; but there were also on board molasses, shoes, stockings, medicines, garden-seeds, a few live stock and vegetables. We know nothing of the disposal of the two last items, but we suppose that the remaining goods may be sent out on any ship at freight to Newfoundland, and may be useful there. Signed, Tho. Papillon, Hum. Ayles, John Burrington. 1¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. Read 21 April, 1698. Enclosed,
386. I. Table of the allowance of provisions to seamen at full and short allowance. Estimated cost of provisions for 60 men for 364 days, at full allowance, £858; at short allowance, £572; at the rate of 6¼ d. per day per man, £569. Freight and cask for the aforesaid provisions at full allowance, £240; at short allowance, £160. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. Nos. 104, 104 I.; and (without enclosure) 25. pp. 203–205.]
April 21.
387. The Victualling Board to William Popple. In our former letter of this day we omitted to mention that there was a hogshead of tobacco in the ship Providence which was driven over from Newfoundland to England. Pray give us orders as to this and the other goods in her. Signed, Tho. Papillon, J. Burrington. ¼ p. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 105.]
April 21.
388. Copy of a letter from the Admiralty to Secretary Vernon. Pursuant to the King's Order in Council we gave the Victualling Officer orders to supply one year's provisions to the garrison at Newfoundland. The order, however, is prefaced by the words: "The pay of subsistence of the soldiers to be left there shall be as follows:— The value of 6d. per diem the first cost of provisions, 2d. per diem for clothing and 2d. per diem for expenses, &c." Is it hereby intended that the provisions to be sent to Newfoundland are to be provided at the rate of 6d. per diem, first cost, or that the soldiers should be victualled in the same manner as the soldiers sent to Newfoundland last year? Again the order directs that the officers and soldiers who are not left at Newfoundland shall be permitted to return to England by the first convoys coming from thence, and shall receive an allowance of provisions on the said convoys during their passage. We must acquaint you that none of the soldiers can be brought home in the convoys now going to Newfoundland, as they are to proceed directly from thence up the straits with the trade, as is usual in time of peace. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 26, Read 29 April, 1698. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 106; and 25. pp. 209–210.]
April 21. 389. William Popple to the Secretaries of the Admiralty. Forwarding extract of a letter from John Pym of 19 March (No. 306) respecting a foreign ship trading to Newfoundland, that the Admiralty may give orders to the commanders of the men-of-war respecting the same. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. p. 206.]
April 21. 390. William Popple to the Victualling Board. With reference to yours of 15th and your answer to mine of 20th inst., I am to inform you that the King will allow to the private soldiers at Newfoundland 10d. a day, viz., 2d. for clothing, 2d. for their daily expense, and the value of 6d. in bare provisions at prime cost, which last article amounts very nearly to the short allowance for seamen as given in your estimate. The value of 6d. per diem for each man in bare provisions at prime cost, should be the measure of what is now to be provided for them, and cask and freight is not to be deducted from the soldiers in this computation, but charged to the King. The Council concurs with you in the expediency of sending malt and hops instead of beer to Newfoundland, with necessaries for brewing and preserving beer there, as also in the exchanging of one-third of the beef for flour and suet. The non-commissioned officers are to be eight, including two drummers. The Council does not think it necessary for the ships carrying provisions to Newfoundland to await the sailing of the men-of-war. You may deal as you think best with the provisions in the ship which was driven over to England by heavy weather. There are 150 tons of cask belonging to the King which remain in Newfoundland; you may use part of it and bring the rest away as you think fit. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. pp. 207–208.]
April 21.
391. William Popple to the Attorney and Solicitor-General. Forwarding copy of the East India Company's letter respecting the ship Buckhurst (see No. 383) for their advice as to the proceedings that may be legally taken to prevent her mischievous design.
The same letter (mutatis mutandis) was sent to Sir Charles Hedges, Judge of the Admiralty. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. p. 276.]
April 21
392. Lieutenant Governor Stoughton to Council of Trade and Plantations. Since mine of 1st inst. I have received notice from Lord Bellomont of his arrival at New York. Signed, Wm. Stoughton. ¼ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 7 June, 1698. [Board of Trade. New England, 9. No. 18; and 37. p. 1.]
April 21. 393. Minutes of Council of New York. Order for Peter Schuyler and Godfrey Dellius to proceed to Canada, taking with them the French prisoners, clothed, and to treat with Count de Frontenac for release of prisoners. £140 granted to them for their expenses. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 84–85.]
April 21. 394. Memorandum of a statement by Peter Schuyler and Dirck Wessels made at New York. Abraham Schuyler and two more were sent from Albany on 29 December, 1697, by Colonel Fletcher's order to advise the Governor of Montreal, Mons. de Calliére, of the conclusion of peace. They carried with them the articles of peace but no letter from Colonel Fletcher, which was resented by M. de Calliére, as a slight, and as insufficient intimation of the peace. Peter Schuyler, Dirck Wessels and Mr. Dellius wrote to M. de Calliére, to signify the peace, to which he answered in substance that the French Indians were out a hunting in expectation of peace, that he desired a confirmation as soon as might be, and that all the French prisoners might be released. Subscribed, told me by Colonel Schuyler and Dirck Wessels at New York on 21 April, 1698. Signed, Bellomont. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. from Mr. Weaver 29th, Read 30th Sept., 1698. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 60; and52. pp. 484–485.]
April 21. 395. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Richard Lee, Naval Officer for Upper Potomac, was sworn to observance of the Act for regulation of the Plantation Trade. Order for the ship, Seventh Son, seized for illegal trading to be brought for trial. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 53. pp. 120–121.]
April 22. 396. Sir Charles Hedges to Council of Trade and Plantations. With regard to the ship Buckhurst (see No. 391), if the East India Company will send persons who can give information on oath to the Court of Admiralty that they verily believe her to be going with guns to Muscat or upon any other unlawful design, a warrant may lawfully be granted to arrest her, and I think I am obliged to grant such a warrant whenever the King's Proctor and Advocate shall move for it. But if the setters forth of the ship shall give security for performance of the voyage according to her clearing, or shall shew that sufficient security is already given, or else make it appear that she is upon a lawful design, the warrant ought and will be forthwith superseded. Signed, C. Hedges. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 23rd April, Read 29th. [Board of Trade. Plantation General, 4. No. 109; and34. pp. 277–278.]
April 25. 397. Mr. Secretary Vernon to Council of Trade and Plantations. Forwarding a memorial concerning the infraction of the capitulation made at the surrender of Fort Bourbon in 1696 for their report and advice how the terms of the Treaty of Ryswick shall be complied with and the goods in question restored. See next abstract. [Board of Trade. Hudson's Bay, 3. pp. 45–46.]
[April 25.] 398. Memorial concerning the capitulation of Fort Bourbon in 1696. Setting forth that Mons. de la Forest capitulated on condition that the garrison, with their goods, arms, ammunition and two guns, were to be shipped to Placentia, but that in violation of the terms they were taken to England and their goods plundered. In November, 1696, Mons. de la Forest, then at Plymouth, made complaint and was brought to London. Interested parties obtained an order from the Court to send him back to Plymouth, but this was reversed by the King's order, and both sides were heard by the Council, when, in spite of all the skill of the greatest lawyers in England on behalf of the Hudson's Bay Company, no order was made to M. de la Forest's prejudice, which would never have been, if the certain members of the Council could possibly have obscured the truth. Final decision, however, was persistently delayed, and M. de la Forest was detained in London till August, 1697, when he died. It was, however, stipulated by Article 8 of the Peace of Ryswick that the capitulation of Fort Bourbon should be faithfully executed. French. 3½ pp. Endorsed, R. 22 April, 1698. Annexed,
398. I. Copy of the capitulation of Fort Bourbon, 31 August, 1696. French. 2½ pp. The whole endorsed, Recd. 26, Read 29 April, 1698. [Board of Trade. Hudson's Bay, 2. Nos. 17, 17 I.]
April 25. 399. Extract of a letter from Mr. Secretary Vernon to Council of Trade and Plantations. Captain John Aldred of the Essex, prize, has complained to the Admiralty that the Council of Barbados refused to supply him with what was necessary for fitting the said ship to proceed according to her orders. I transmit the extract, that you may enquire as to the methods formerly in use for supplying the King's ships in the West Indies and what you now think fit to propose therein. For enclosure see next abstract. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. pp. 188–189.]
[April 25.] 400. Extracts of a letter from Captain Aldred to the Admiralty, 22 Feb., 1697–8. Ever since I received my orders from you I have waited upon you every Council day to the 8th inst., when I received the answer herewith sent. Since then I have contrived to rig my ship by my interest here, and hope to have her ready for sea in nine days, when I shall sail for Virginia.
Message from the Council of Barbados to Captain Aldred. We have considered your two memorials setting forth that the Essex under your command, bound to Virginia, had been driven off that coast by stormy weather and totally dismasted, and that you required £300 to repair her. We advised you to take up that sum from the merchants, drawing bills, according to custom. You then informed us that the merchants were willing to furnish you, but would not do it until you had received an answer from us in writing. We now inform you that we have no public money, and that the Assembly has voted that no more of the island's stock shall be applied to furnishing the King's ships. The Commissioners of the 4½ per cent. duty and the Receiver of the casual revenue also refuse to give money for this purpose without orders from Whitehall. Copies. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 26th, Read 29th April, 1698. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 64.]
April 25.
New York.
401. Edward Randolph to William Popple. I have waited upon Lord Bellomont, whom I find strict in supporting the interests of the Crown, enforcing the Acts of Parliament and suppressing pirates. Five or six vessels (as is reported) are come from the Red Sea; some are gone southward towards Carolina and Providence. I doubt not to hear later that some of them have touched at Pennsylvania, where Mr. Markham continues their steady friend. He entertained and countenanced some of Every's men; he had the Lords Justices' proclamation against them but after that let two of them go to Carolina, and the other two are in the province. One of them, Claus, a Dane, keeps a shop in Philadelphia; I saw him every day. Another of them, James Brown, is married to Markham's daughter, and lives near Newcastle if he be not dead. I administered the oath to the Governor, but he was not well pleased that I would not join him to break it. He pressed me to admit the Quakers' attest instead of an oath to prove that they were the owners of the vessels, whereas their own law (made since the Act for preventing frauds) enacts the contrary. But he values neither oaths nor Acts of Parliament so he may get money. I have the like account of other Proprieties. Mr. Webb at Providence has forgot his oath (I am informed), seizing and discharging vessels as he pleases, the masters paying well for it. Many of Every's men are in Carolina. Lord Bellomont is now sending the Fowey in pursuit of the pirates about the southern parts. I go upon her to administer the oath to the Governor of Carolina, and shall then write a particular account of proceedings there. It is absolutely necessary for three or four light frigates to be sent here and put under the direction of Lord Bellomont, otherwise all the Acts of Parliament and letters to Governors will signify no more than an old Gazette. This should be in addition to the Fowey and Deptford to guard New England and New York. Part of the charge will be prevented if the King appoint his own Governors with good salaries in the Proprieties. You remember how I pressed for the appointment of an Attorney-General in every Government. I have found the want of one in Pennsylvania, to put two forfeited bonds in suit. The parties are arrested, but nobody appointed to prosecute them for the King. Before I left England I proposed what is now confirmed to be necessary for the King's service, and I expect that care will be taken at home to remedy the misdemeanours in the Proprieties, otherwise I shall be of Mr. Penn's and Colonel Quarry's opinion—that the salaries bestowed upon the officers, especially in Pennsylvania, are but money thrown away. Signed, E. Randolph. Holograph. 1¼ pp. A brief abstract is inscribed. Endorsed, Recd. 6 July, Read 20 Oct., 1698. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 110; and 34. pp. 301–304.]
April 25. 402. Memorandum of the receipt of the above letter. ¼ p. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 61.]
April 25.
403. Robert Snead to Sir John Houblon. I have sent an attested copy of my account of the pirates that ran away with the ship Fancy, together with other depositions. I understand that Mr. Randolph has sent copies of them to the Council of Trade. As long as the Government is in the hands of Quakers, as it is, it must be expected that pirates and unlawful traders will still be encouraged. Those pirates that did not break prison are at liberty without bail, and those that Governor Markham would not allow me to take up are they that encouraged others to go, and fitted the ship Fancy out for them. I am told that several pirates are expected here from the Persian sea. They may come for there is none to oppose them, here being no militia nor even power to raise any, the magistrates and their assemblies being Quakers. There are several hundred able and willing to bear arms, but if some few meet to exercise as an artillery, they threaten to indict them for a riot, the King's attorney being a Quaker. We have built a church and there are several of the Church of England who are of good estates, but we cannot call them our own, the Quakers being so prejudiced and insolent against all that are not so and having the government in their own hands. In all cases that come before them, judge, jury and evidence are never sworn, so that we cannot hope to enjoy the prosperity and liberty of subjects of England. These and many other grievances we were about to set forth to the King by petition when we were seized by these magistrates and stand bound from time to time. They declared in open Court that anyone who signed any paper relating to the Government should be fined, and made a law to prevent the same. I leave it to you whether such persons as will neither take an oath nor swear allegiance to the King should so arbitrarily govern English subjects. Since we dare not petition we beg you to intercede for us. Signed, Robt. Snead. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 12 July, 1698. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 2. No. 15.]
April 26.
New York.
404. Edward Randolph to Council of Trade and Plantations. On the 16th December last I arrived at Annapolis, and on the 10th January administered the oath to Governor Nicholson. He continues very zealous to put the Acts in execution, and, to the end that no illegal traders may in future get off with slender security, he has put all forfeited Plantation bonds in suit and recovered judgment against several of the inhabitants. This makes many of them, who were Scotch traders, very uneasy to the Governor. Fearing that I could not administer the oath to the Governor of Pennsylvania within the time prescribed by the Act, I sent the commission to my servant to administer the oath to Sir Edmund Andros in Virginia, who duly took it. He is very strict himself, and obliges the officers of Customs to be very diligent and punctual. With much difficulty I got over Chesapeake Bay and travelled to Pennsylvania, calling at Newcastle, in Delaware Bay, on my way. It is chiefly inhabitated by Scotch and Dutch, with a few French and one or two English. They are under an arbitrary Quaker Government where neither judges, juries nor witnesses are sworn even in trials of criminals. About four years ago when I was there I was informed that a man was tried, condemned and executed for supposed murder. Thus the King's subjects there and in Pennsylvania are in no wise secure in their estates, lives and liberties, nor can it be expected that the officers of Customs can have justice done when there are no persons qualified by oath to try their causes. On the 17th I administered the oath to Mr. Markham at Philadelphia, but he has not the Order in Council allowing him to be Governor. Governor Nicholson, hearing that some of Every's men were in Philadelphia, at once sent the proclamation for apprehending them to Mr. Markham, who instead of securing, supported and encouraged them. Two of them were carried to Carolina and another, Claus, lives in Philadelphia. I have seen him almost every day in the streets; and another of them, James Brown, is married to Markham's daughter. I enclose a copy of their examination attested by David Lloyd, the Attorney-General, also a copy of the preface of their laws, wherein they shew themselves independent of the Crown. I have ordered one inhabitant of Philadelphia to be arrested (being security for a ship which carried tobacco direct to Scotland) upon his forfeited Plantation bond of £1,000 and another upon a bond of £500. I went to the Governor and asked him to appoint an Attorney-General to prosecute these bonds for the King, but he did nothing therein. He has adjourned the Courts for six months, thus giving the persons arrested fair opportunity to save themselves and estates from further trouble, as also those whose forfeited bonds he refused to shew me. Thus the King's service is neglected, the Acts of Trade eluded, and the officers of Customs put to charge and trouble to no purpose. Mr. Markham has also discharged a New York vessel belonging to Colonel Heathcote and Captain Evans, of H. M. S. Richmond, which was seized by his own warrant since he received and published the Act for preventing frauds.
About ten days ago it was discovered that five or six ships from the Red Sea were on the coast. One of them was at Connecticut, and delivered part of her goods, but was seized by Lord Bellomont's directions. H.M.S. Swift ran aground at North Carolina and is in danger to be lost. I therefore intend to take my passage in the Fowey to administer the oaths to the Governors of Carolina and Bermuda and to carry the commission and instructions to the Bahamas, where I am informed that Captain Webb seizes and clears vessels, making the masters pay what he pleases, taking no notice of Mr. Graves, the King's Collector of Customs. You may remember that besides the provisions, in the Act for preventing frauds, as to the Governors of Proprietary Colonies taking the oath and being confirmed by an Order in Council, the House of Lords proposed in their address that the owners shall give security in £2,000 or £3,000 to observe the Acts of Trade and that till they had done so none of them should be approved. I believe that not one of these Governors (except Captain Webb) has been approved by Order in Council, nor have the owners given security. Thus all the measures taken under the new Act have been of no effect, and the sending of Customs Officers with large salaries is (as Mr. Penn has truly observed from the temper of his friends) only a charge to the Crown. To prevent this open contempt of the King's laws I would propose that the King take into his own hands the Government of all these petty independent Plantations, reserving to the owners always such rights and interests as are granted by their patents; otherwise, should a hundred Acts be made for their regulation, they will never be obeyed. It is also absolutely necessary that the Admiralty send out at least two light frigates, to be under Lord Bellomont's orders, besides those already appointed for New York and New England; otherwise it will be impossible to prevent illegal traders and pirates from trading along the eight hundred miles of coast from New England to Carolina and to defend lawful traders from pirates. They should be stationed at New York. Signed, E. Randolph. 2 pp. A short abstract is attached. Endorsed, Recd. 6 July, Read 4 Oct., 1698. Enclosed,
404. I. Copy of the title of the new laws made in Pennsylvania, viz.: "The laws made and passed by William Markham, "Esquire, Governor under William Penn, Esquire, "absolute proprietor of the province of Pennsylvania "and the territories thereunto belonging, by and with "the advice and consent of the Council and Representa-"tives of the said province and territories in General "Assembly met etc."
Here follows, Copy of the clause of an Act permitting those who object to take an oath, to make an affirmation; with copy of the affirmation for judges and justices. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 6 July.
404. II. Examination of Peter Claus, of Philadelphia. In August, 1693, he was on board the ship Golden Lion's Arms, John Johnson, Commander, of sixteen guns and 130 men, which sailed for the West Indian trade with another ship in company, both having the King of Denmark's Commission. On that day, while they were at anchor off the Ile de Prince, a ship of 46 guns under English colours came in, took both the ships, under pretext of England being at war with the Danes, and plundered them. They then set one of them on fire, and having fired some shots into the other left them. They then sailed to Fernando Po, taking seventeen of the men with them, including deponent, and thence to the coast of Persia, where they took a large ship, and having plundered her sailed towards Europe, and at last arrived at Providence Island. Robert Clinton and Edmond Lassells were both on the ship.
Examination of James Brown. He was trading on the coast near Madagascar where he met the ship Fancy, Henry Every, Commander, who gave deponent a passage to Europe as an old acquaintance. He did not for some time find out that he had been on a piratical voyage. Peter Claus, Lassells and Clinton were on board. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 6 July. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. Nos. 111, 111I., II.; and (without enclosures), 34. pp. 295–300.]
April 26. 405. Memorandum of the receipt of the above letter. ¼ p. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 62.]
April 26. 406. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Order for security to be given for the prize ship, St. Louis. Sheriffs were appointed for the several counties, and warrants for sundry payments were signed. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 53. pp. 121–122.]
April 26. 407. Minutes of Council of Maryland. William Bladen appointed Clerk of Council. Order for securing the public records left behind by the late Clerk, and for making an inventory of them. The Duke of Shrewsbury's letter of 25 September, 1697, read, and order issued for preparation of a proclamation concerning pirates. Captain Bostock's letter of 15th inst. read, reporting the burning of the packets brought in H.M.S. Swift. The Governor announced that he would write to Captain Bostock to offer him every assistance.
April 27. William Bladen sworn Clerk of Council. On the petition of masters of ships in Virginia, it was ordered that they be permitted to come and register their ships in Maryland. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. 475–478.]
April 29.
408. Governor Codrington to Council of Trade and Plantations. I have received yours of 23 February with the proclamation enclosed. I am glad that you approve of my reasons given you in relation to Tortola. The documents which I have sent to you should put the title to which the Dutch pretend clearly out of dispute, and I shall observe your orders to prevent foreigners from settling on any of the Virgin Islands. I received about a month since the Commission to restore the French to their part of St. Christophers, and have already ordered the English to withdraw from it. When the French took our part of it they destroyed everything, and our people on retaking it destroyed everything of theirs in requital except their church and a few houses in Basseterre which were spared in the hope that the Treaty might give us the whole island; but as soon as our people had notice to leave them they pulled them down and moved the material on to their own ground, for the French left not a house of ours standing. I shall observe your orders to send Sir William Stapleton such intelligence as may be useful to him. The affidavit which you sent me in relation to Captain Ganspoole's servant, Benjamin Burnett, I gave to the Captain himself, and found that he had already sent him to Barbados so that the lad must have misinformed his friends. Signed, Chr. Codrington. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 22nd, Read 23rd June, 1698. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 80; and 45. pp. 202–204.]
April 29. 409. The Attorney-General to Council of Trade and Plantations. I find no objection to the Acts of Massachusetts passed in September and October, 1697 (list of twelve given), but would remark that the Act concerning French prisoners, being determined by the close of the war with France, needs no confirmation. Signed, Tho. Trevor. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 2nd, Read 3rd May, 1698. [Board of Trade. New England, 6. No. 19; and 36. pp. 373–374.]
April 29.
410. William Popple to Sir John Fleet, Governor of the East India Company. Forwarding copy of Sir Charles Hedges's opinion as to the ship Buckhurst (see No. 396), and promising that the opinion of the Attorney and Solicitor-General on the same subject shall be likewise transmitted as soon as received. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. p. 279.]
April 29.
411. William Popple to the Attorney and Solicitor-General. Asking for their thoughts upon the draft of an Act to be prepared for the trial of pirates in the Plantations, with all possible despatch, lest the opportunity of this session of Parliament be lost; and reminding them that their opinion as to the ship Buckhurst is also awaited. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. p. 280.]
April 29.
412. William Popple to the Hudson's Bay Company. Forwarding extract from Secretary Vernon's letter of 25 April, with a copy of a memorial relating to the breach of the capitulation of Fort Bourbon (No. 397), with a request for speedy information and assistance. [Board of Trade. Hudson's Bay, 3. p. 46.]
April 29. 413. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Sir Charles Hedges's letter of 22nd inst. read (No. 396). Order for copy to be sent to the East India Company, with the further intimation that the opinion of the law-officers upon the same subject shall be also communicated to them. Order for a letter to the law-officers this day (No. 411).
Mr. Duke attending said that he had no instructions to answer the complaints against the Rhode Island Government, and was unwilling to do so without instructions.
A letter from Mr. Vernon of 25th inst. as to interloping trade with Newfoundland was read; and thereupon Mr. Lockley was ordered to attend on Monday next. Copies of the papers also enclosed therein as to the surrender of Fort Bourbon were ordered to be sent to the Hudson's Bay Company (No. 398), and a letter to the Admiralty to enquire as to the convoys to Newfoundland was also ordered.
Heads of a representation upon the extract from Captain Aldred's letter (No. 400) were ordered to be drawn. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 36–40.]
April 30.
414. William Bridgeman to William Popple. The convoys going to Newfoundland this year will none of them return directly to England, but will proceed with the trade to Portugal and the straits. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. ¼ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 2 May, 1698. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 107; and 25. p. 211.]
Perth Amboy.
415. Governor Basse to William Popple. After a long and tedious voyage I reached New York in Lord Bellomont's company, and proceeding to the Jersies published my commission and was sworn. To shew how the inhabitants received me I enclose a letter from the Council to the Proprietors. The only event since my arrival is that on the 9th inst. a pirate came into Sandy Hook, landed some men and killed several hogs. Some of them told the people that they belonged to Rhode Island, and that shortly there would be four or five Red Sea pirates on the coast. I at once informed Lord Bellomont, but the pirates, hearing of the change of Governors both there and here, put out to sea. I wish that some way might be found to suppress these sea-wolves and secure our East India trade. Another very prejudicial thing is the illegal trading to Curacoa and Madagascar which Lord Bellomont does his utmost to discourage. I believe that a small fortification at Sandy Hook with ten or twelve men, one of whom ought to be a waiter to board every vessel, would do better service there for this end than the more chargeable maintenance of a man-of-war. I have communicated this to Mr. Randolph, who seems to approve of it. To end the controversies between the provinces about duties on goods exported and imported, it might not be amiss to bring all to an equal level by an Act of Parliament. I have just cause to believe that no other means can prove effectual, the several Assemblies being very hardly brought to such a compliance; and it is the only way to reduce the trade of the several provinces to greater equality. Signed, J. Basse. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 4 July, 1698. Enclosed,
415. I. Council of East New Jersey to the Proprietors, Burlington, 14 April, 1698. Governor Basse arrived here on the 12th inst. to our great joy. We thank you for his appointment and do not doubt that he will perform his office perfectly. Such rude perverseness has seized the class of people called Quakers that none would move a foot to meet him, conduct him into town, or pay him the civility of a visit at his lodgings. The other people received him with every demonstration of joy. Signed, John Tatham, Tho. Revell, John Jewell, Edward Randolph, on behalf of the rest. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 2. Nos. 16, 16 I.; and (without enclosure) 25. pp. 210–212.]