America and West Indies: November 1697, 22-25

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: November 1697, 22-25', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905), pp. 30-37. British History Online [accessed 22 June 2024].

. "America and West Indies: November 1697, 22-25", in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905) 30-37. British History Online, accessed June 22, 2024,

. "America and West Indies: November 1697, 22-25", Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905). 30-37. British History Online. Web. 22 June 2024,

November 1697

Nov. 22.
55. William Popple to Sir Charles Hedges. The Council of Trade desires to be informed by what law and in what manner the Courts of Admiralty erected in the Plantations by Commission of the Lords of the Admiralty, do or may try pirates, and whether they have power to inflict capital punishment upon those that are proved guilty. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. pp. 207–208.]
Nov. 22. 56. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Order in Council of 4th inst. as to Mr. Grey's instructions read.
Draft representation as to pirates considered. Order for the Secretary to enquire of Sir Charles Hedges as to the powers of the Courts Admiral erected by Commission of the Admiralty in the Colonies to try and punish pirates.
Nov. 23. A letter from the Duke of Shrewsbury of this day covering copies of complaints against Sir William Beeston was read (No. 57) and the matter appointed to be considered to-morrow.
Nov. 24. Memorial of Mr. Grey as to his passage received (No. 59) and a representation ordered thereupon.
Several Quakers attended, with a letter from Mr. Penn, to desire that the Maryland law imposing a duty of 10 per cent. on European goods re-exported might be reported on, without waiting for the other laws to pass out of the Attorney-General's hands. They were answered that the Council had written to Governor Nicholson on the subject, and thought it inexpedient to consider laws except in order as they were passed.
Sir Charles Hedges, attending, reported that the Admiralty Courts in the Colonies have no power to try and punish pirates except under a local law, such as exists in Jamaica, though they have power to arrest pirates and send them home to be tried. He doubted if a law to extend uniformly through the Plantations for the trial of pirates there could be easily obtained. The Council resolved to send a circular ordering Governors to execute strictly their powers against pirates and suggesting to them the passing of an Act like the Jamaica Act against pirates.
The complaints against Sir William Beeston were then read, with Lady Beeston's memorial on his behalf (No. 60) and his letter of 15 July. Order for copies of the complaints to be sent to Mr. Gilbert Heathcote with directions to bring his answer on Monday next, and that notice thereof be sent to the Admiralty.
Nov. 25. Representation as to Mr. Grey's passage signed.
Nov. 26. Order for a circular to be drawn for transmission of copies of the Treaty of Peace to the Plantations. [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 350–357.]
Nov. 23.
57. Duke of Shrewsbury to Council of Trade and Plantations. The enclosed papers from the Admiralty have been laid before the King, complaining of Sir William Beeston's refusal to supply the King's ships with men or provisions, and his neglect to send Admiral Nevill advice of the French squadron in those parts. The King directs that you enquire into these matters and report. Signed, Shrewsbury. ½ p. Endorsed, Read 23 Nov., 1697. Annexed,
57. I. Secretary of the Admiralty to [James Vernon]. Admiralty Office, 5 November. I am to send you the enclosed copy of a letter from Captain Reeves of H.M.S. Newcastle, reporting that the Governor and agent at Jamaica refused to supply him with money and provisions for his ship, also copies of several letters that passed between Admiral Nevill and the Governor of Havana. The Commander of the Princess Anne also reports from Jamaica that the Governor and merchants there refuse to supply him with provisions, and that the Governor had also refused to impress men for him. Copies of these papers are also enclosed for the information of the Lords Justices, also an extract from Admiral Nevill's journal complaining of Colonel Burton's [Beeston's] not sending him advice of the French ships in those parts. Signed, J. Burchett. 1 p.
Captain Daniel Reeves, H.M.S. Newcastle, to the Admiralty. Port Royal, 11 August, 1697. I was sent in here by Admiral Nevill's order to refit. I have done this ten days ago, but am forced to lie here for want of provisions to carry me up to Barbados. I have applied to the appointed Agent, who has given me a flat denial, saying that he could not run himself into debt for any of the King's ships, but had he it of his own he would supply me. Since then I have been with the Governor, who tells me that he has no money nor nobody will trust him; but I find it is all tricking, for the Governor and merchants are agreed together that I believe I shall get but little from them, but what the purser must buy if he gets credit. The Governor says that his salary from the King is so small that he spends £600 besides it for keeping the table only, so that he has no money to spare. Our men fall sick very fast and several run away, and to complain to the Governor signifies nothing, for they say they will protect those people for the service of the island; so all our men that run away are clear lost and never to be gotten again. 1 p.
Admiral Nevill to the Governor of Havana. H.M.S. Cambridge off Havana, 22 July, 1697. I trouble you with a letter which I sent by one of our frigates to Saint Jago, acquainting you that I had come into these seas for the security of the galleons and to accompany them to Cadiz. Being in great want of water and refreshment, having got none at Carthagena, I beg your permission to bring my ships into Havana, to make provision for so long a voyage. ½ p.
Admiral Nevill to the General of the Galleons. 23 July, 1697. I sent a sloop with a letter to Porto Bello fearing that you might be put back after your coming from thence on 28 May, of which I was informed by a sloop that came out in your Company. I have since written to you at Havana by a sloop which I sent to Saint Jago, to tell you that I was come to these seas to escort you to Cadiz.
Admiral Nevill to the Governor of Havana. 25 July, 1697. I am honoured by yours of yesterday, and was mightily surprised at the sight of it, wherein you use us more like Turks and Moors than Christians and Englishmen in denying us water, when we have come for so many hundred leagues to serve His Catholic Majesty. You were misinformed when you were told that we wanted bread and flour. We have enough of them, and want only water. Since you refuse it; and since the river Matanses is ill-suited for watering so many ships I shall leave this Island to-night and seek water among the Indians, from whom I doubt not that we shall find more friendship than from you. If we were Turks or Jews we could not, by the law of nations, be refused admission into any port for forty-eight hours in case of such necessity as we are now in for water to carry us to England; for thither I must go by my master's orders if the General of the galleons refuses to accompany me to Cadiz. I send you a packet of letters which came to my hands last night from Jamaica. 1 p.
Admiral Nevill to the General of the galleons. 25 July, 1697. If you will not accompany me to Cadiz, my orders are to sail to England. Kindly inform me of your resolution.
Admiral Nevill to the Governor of Havana. 25 July, 1697. I had ordered my provision-ships to Havana, not doubting but that we should be admitted. I beg you the favour to hand them the enclosed instructions to follow them to England.
Here follows what is cridently an abstract of instructions given by Admiral Nevill to some emissary, whom he sent to the Governor of Havana to ask admission to the port. You will inform the Governor as follows. I was ordered from Cadiz secretly to these seas for the security of the galleons. I have come from Carthagena and have packets for the King of Spain. I beg for admission to the port, and that if refused I may not be sent to the Bay of Matanses, for I lost all my long-boats while in chase of Pointis, and the place is inconvenient for watering such a fleet as mine. By the law of nations you cannot refuse us admission to the port to water, in case of distress, for forty-eight hours. If you refuse us admission for so long, I am ready to send five or six of my captains ashore as hostages for our good behaviour. I have powder and small arms with a ship to send to Carthagena, for want of which the people cannot keep out the privateers. By intelligence from England, dated 14 May, a French fleet is fitting out at Brest to intercept the galleons. If none of these arguments will prevail, our want of water is so great that I will give the Governor of Havana a present of two thousand pieces-of-eight. I enclose him a copy of an account of the flota and galleons, which was given to me when I arrived at Cadiz from England, that Mons. Chateaurenaud was lying off the Azores in wait for them. I enclose also my orders from my King to go to Havana for the relief of the galleons, he being afraid that Pointis designed to attack them. I had notice from a Jamaica sloop of the galleons' leaving Porto Bello on 28 May, N.S., and fearing lest they should be put back I sent a sloop from Carthagena to Porto Bello that I would meet the General of the galleons at Havana and escort them to Cadiz. This sloop had not returned by the 15th July, N.S., so that I suspect that they detain her to act as pilot. We landed 1,000 men at Petit Guavos and burned it, taking and destroying nine privateer-ships and carrying away 500 privateersmen prisoners to Europe. The King of Spain forbids ships of other nations to enter his ports on account of trade. We being men-of-war have no merchandise. 2 . ½ pp.
The General of the galleons to Admiral Nevill. Havana, 25 July—4 August, 1697. I thank you for your offer. If it lay in my power I would gladly accept your company to Cadiz, but, as I have told you, I cannot go against my King's orders. ½ p.
The General of the galleons to Admiral Nevill. 24 July—3 August, 1697. I have laid your letters before my officers, but the King has given me no instructions to sail with you to Cadiz, and I am therefore bound by my former orders from him. I regret greatly that I cannot have your company. 1 p.
The Governor of Havana to Admiral Nevill. Havana, 24 July—3 August, 1647. I have received and thank you for your letters of 12 June from Jamaica and of 22 July off this port. I would gladly do all that I can for the ease of your fleet, but I have no orders to do so, and the rules of the King my master are strict-that no ships but Spanish shall be admitted, without excepting any. The galleons are in this port, and their General agrees with me. You are free to water, wood and victual at the bay of Matanses, and I will send you a pilot if you want one. 1¼ pp.
The Governor of Havana to Admiral Nevill. 25 July—4 August, 1697. A very civil letter, deprecating Nevill's cruel reproaches but adhering to his decision. 1¼ pp.
Captain George Magham, of H.M.S. Princess Ann, to the Admiralty. Port Royal, Jamaica, 12 August, 1697. Admiral Nevill has commissioned me to command this ship, but I find her very much in want of men, provisions and stores. We have orders not to impress men ourselves but to apply to the Governor for men, which we do, but to little purpose. As to provisions Mr. Heathcote, who formerly supplied us, says positively that he has none and will advance no more money to procure any; and so say all the gentlemen of Port Royal. We have now not above ten days' provisions on board, and when that is done the Governor says we must all be quartered ashore. If so, our men will have a large island to range in and will give us leave to catch them again when we can. As for stores I can get no credit from the owners of the ship, so must make use of the King's. I shall duly furnish an account thereof. ½ p.
Extract from the Journal of Admiral Nevill. I cannot forbear to tell you of the unkindness of Governor Beeston. The lieutenant of the Southampton had been in a sloop at Petit Guavos and came down to report to him that the French fleet was sailed and Jamaica out of danger. Thereupon the three captains of the men-of-war asked several times that one of them might be ordered to windward, to lie off Hispaniola and give us notice that the French were gone over to the Main. I could have watered at Tiburon, where the French did, and stretched over to Carthagena and caught them there with the town dismantled. The Governor's answer was, that we might as well have stayed at home, for we were too late now. Hence I judge there was not a penny to be got, for I perceive that the Governors in the tropics when they send a letter or a flag of truce, send a cargo with it. ½ p. Copies. The whole, 13 pp. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. Nos. 74, 74I.; and (without enclosures) 56. pp. 150–151.]
Nov. 23. 58. Minutes of Council of Barbados. A provision-ship intended for the King's service in Newfoundland was driven into Barbados by heavy weather. Order that her provisions be landed and surveyed, and that her powder-duty be remitted. Sundry accounts for salaries, disbursements and rebates passed. Note. Councils were called on 26th and 30th of November, but no quorum could be made. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 259–261.]
Nov. 24. 59. Memorial of Ralph Grey. The Admiralty have ordered a man-of-war to carry me to Barbados. I beg your recommendation to them to provide me, as is customary, with a ship of 150 tons to transport my goods, servants and equipage. ½ p. Endorsed, Nov. 24, 1697. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 52; and 44. p. 111.]
Nov. 24. 60. Memorial of Sir William Beeston to Council of Trade and Plantations. There is a complaint against Sir William Beeston that he gave not timely intelligence to Admiral Nevill, which prevented him from meeting with Pointis's squadron. Sir William is ready by his Agent to prove the falsity of this. Sir William's salary has not defrayed by some thousands of pounds his expenses in the Government. The best part of his estate ruined by the earthquake, the death of children, his wife exposed to a battle going to him, part of her goods and equipage taken by the French and herself obliged with the remainder to land at Plymouth—all these calamities considered, it is hoped that the King will allow him the full salary of the Government as allowed to his predecessors, and that your Lordships will represent it to the King accordingly. 1 p. Endorsed, Levy Beeston's memorial in vindication of Sir Wm. Beeston, 24 Nov., 1697. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 75; and 56. pp. 151–152.]
Nov. 25. 61. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. The Assembly sent up a private Act, on which the Council desired a conference. The Council concurred in the Assembly's proposal for a joint Committee to review the Acts for Courts, for regulating negroes, for ascertaining the bounds of lands and for regulating the Assembly. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 219–220.]
Nov. 25.
62. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Mr. Grey has applied to be allowed 150 tons of shipping for transport of his servants and goods to Barbados. We find this request to be in accordance with custom and reasonable. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Jo. Locke, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. p. 112.]
Nov. 25.
63. Order of the King in Council. Approving the representation of Council of Trade of this date (preceding abstract) and ordering the Admiralty to provide 150 tons of shipping accordingly. Copy. ½ p. Endorsed, Read 3 Dec., 1697. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 53; and 44. pp. 116–117.]
Nov. 25. 64. Extract from the Minutes of Council. Representation of the Council of Trade about sending disbanded soldiers to the Plantations. No order given. The part relating to disbanding in the men in the Plantations to be laid before the King for further consideration. Representation of the Council of Trade about sending provisions to Newfoundland. No order given. Representation on the petition of East Jersey respecting Perth-Amboy approved. Representation as to New York. No order given as to the deduction of 30 per cent. for the future. Copy. ½ p. Endorsed, Read 3 Dec., 1697. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 77; and 34. p. 210.]
Nov. 25.
65. Order of the King in Council. On the representation of the Council of Trade respecting the transportation of convicts to the Colonies, ordered that the Council of Trade consider and report how and to what places convicts pardoned on condition of transportation may be best disposed of, or what punishment might be more proper for such convicts in lieu of transportation. Signed, John Povey. ¼ p. Endorsed, Read 3 Dec., 1698. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 78; and 34. p. 209.]
Nov. 25.
66. Order of the King in Council. That, in accordance with the representation of the Council of Trade of 7 October last, a Commission be prepared for Colonel Peter Beckford to be Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica, to take effect after the death of the Commander-in-Chief for the time being, in whose hands the Commission shall remain. Copy. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 3 Dec., 1697. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 76; and 56. pp. 160–161.]
Nov. 25.
67. Order of the King in Council. Approving the draft Commission and Instructions prepared for Samuel Day as Governor of Bermuda, and ordering them to be prepared for signature. Copyp. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 3. No. 20; and 29 p. 50.]
Nov. 25. 68. Another copy of this Order in Council with the draft Commission and instructions attached. ½ p. Annexed,
68. I. Draft Commission to Governor Day as Governor of Bermuda. 13 pp.
68. II. Draft Instructions to Governor Day. 20 pp. [America and West Indies. 477. Nos. 55, 55 I., II.]
Nov. 25.
69. Order of the King in Council. Approving the representation of the Council of Trade of 27 October (copied at length) as to the ports of East Jersey, dismissing the petition of the Proprietors of East Jersey, and directing the usual instruction to be given to the Governor of New York to permit no goods to pass up the Hudson River but what shall have paid duty at New York. Copy. 4 pp. Endorsed, Recd. Read 29 Dec., 1697. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 2. No. 5; and 25. p. 188.]