America and West Indies: July 1698, 11-14

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: July 1698, 11-14', in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905) pp. 328-344. British History Online [accessed 13 April 2024]

July 1698

July 11. 654. Minutes of the Council of Maryland. Gerard Slye was brought up, and confessed that certain articles against the Governor were of his drawing up. The articles were then read to him, one by one, and he was required to prove them, and the Governor told him that he would summon any witnesses and order copies of any documents that he asked for to be given him. After a long examination he was remanded in custody till he should further recognize himself in £1,000 and two sureties to take his trial at next Provincial Court. Warrants for the arrest of John Coode and Philip Clarke were signed, as also for bringing Robert Mason before the Council. A letter from Mr. Blathwayt read, that the King desired 100 mocking-birds for his volery at Loo, and any other birds and beasts that could be sent. Order for notice hereof to be given to all the poorer people, the Governor saying that he would see that they were paid. Orders as to arms and ammunition. Two Nanticoke Indians appeared and complained of four people who had each a plantation on their land. The Governor promised to see that the matter should be settled. The King of the Choptank Indians appeared with similar complaints of encroachment. The Governor promised to enquire into the matter, and warned them to have nothing to do with the Piscattaways. Letters to the Indian Agents on the above matters signed.
July 12. Gerard Slye, desiring to speak to the Governor, was brought in, when he said that the Governor was bound in honour to discharge him and produced certain documents, after which he was withdrawn. Order for the dismissal of the Sheriff of Prince George's County for pressing men and horses for his private advantage. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. 543–557.]
July 11. 655. Daniel Parke to Council of Trade and Plantations. I have, as ordered, put in writing the substance of what I told you when I waited on you. Last fall I received a letter from my deputy-collector that Mr. Benjamin Harrison was gone away with a vessel from James River laden with tobacco, and that everyone supposed he was gone for Scotland, since he went without clearing. I went with this letter to the Commissioners of Customs, who told me that they had the same account from their officer, and that they had information of the advice of such a vessel in Scotland from their agent there. I suppose Mr. Harrison will not deny that he went with a vessel to Scotland, and that he sold the vessel and the major part of the tobacco himself. Lord Bridgewater acquainted me that Mr. Blair expected to be continued in the Council of Virginia, notwithstanding the late Act of Parliament. I will not presume to say that that Act was intended to exclude any Scotchmen from sitting in any Court of Judicature or being one of the Treasury in any of the Plantations; but this I do affirm, that if that was not the design of the Act, the Act had no design at all. I hope you will be of opinion that it is not for the King's interest, especially in Virginia, to have any Scotchmen of the Council (who are both a Court of Judicature and have the examining of all the public Acts, and may therefore properly be called the Treasury of the country) and especially Mr. Blair, who is both a Scotchman and also President of the College, to whom and the master (who are all of them Scotch) the penny per lb. duty is given. By these means, having the Governor very much his friend, what may he not do, especially if Mr. Harrison, his brother-in-law, be made Attorney-General? I will not say that Mr. Blair contrived or advised Mr. Harrison's voyage to Scotland, but I must confess it is admirable to me that Mr. Harrison, who is a native of Virginia and one that has followed the law there, whom I do not remember to have traded until the year when he went to Scotland, and who not only himself but all his family (Mr. Blair excepted) were utter strangers to Scotland, should so much as think of such a voyage. I need not acquaint you with the sweetness of that trade nor what a prodigious revenue the King may lose if it be not well looked into. I designed not to have given you this until Mr. Blair's return from Scotland, whither I suppose he is gone with no other design but to visit his country; but I understood that Mr. Harrison was to attend you to-day. Signed, Dan. Parke. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. Read 11 July, 1698. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 54; and 37. pp. 232–234.]
July 11. 656. Memorial of Benjamin Harrison respecting the trade, and collection and management of revenue arising thereby, in Virginia. There is perhaps no place in the King's dominions where the methods of managing both the trade and the revenues are so exactly calculated to defraud the public, abuse the subject and prevent discovery thereof as the present constitutions demonstrate Virginia to be. Indeed, the course of affairs there has run so long in the same channel that it now looks like justice for it to continue, and that it is become almost criminal to argue against it. For, while ill men find their advantage by such constitutions and by the illegal and abusive practices which are the natural consequences thereof, those who would endeavour to make any reformation shall never fail to be branded as persons of turbulent spirits, stubborn and disloyal hearts, and treacherous and wicked inclinations; and not only so but shall meet with all imaginable opposition and perhaps be pursued with rage and violence by those who think themselves likely to lose by the alteration. The self same men, who have been naval officers to enter and clear ships and collectors to receive the public duties, have likewise hitherto been the Council of State to pass their own accounts and to advise the disposal of the money. The same men also constitute the Supreme Court of Judicature in all causes whatsoever, so that there is no relief against any judgment that they choose to give, so that the most prudential method for every man is to submit patiently and to make the best terms with them that he can. For they will always look so carefully to their own interest as to stand by each other in opposition to all persons, and if one of them chances to speak a little freely of the miscarriages of one of his brethren, though perhaps there may be truth enough in it, yet upon second thoughts they think it their common interest to agree among themselves and generally let such things sleep. Thus, about two years since, Colonel Parke of his own knowledge accused Colonel Hill in the presence of several people of frauds and abuses in collecting the penny per lb. duty on tobacco, but probably the thought of the fatal consequences of a prosecution to himself, among the rest, caused him to desist from giving any legal information, though at the time it was his duty as a magistrate and a councillor to do so.
It is true (so far as regards the penny per lb.) the system seems to be a little altered by sending some new officers to Virginia; but that is only to some parts of the country, and the salaries paid to the officers equal if not exceed the revenue that they collect. Probably the intention of sending them was rather to change the persons than to alter the system, which seems the only way to do effectual good. All the public accounts (the penny per lb. excepted) are kept very secret from the sight of everybody but themselves, so that it must be an extraordinary accident if any abuses are discovered. It may possibly be alleged in answer to this that all the Collectors' accounts are stated by the Auditor and sworn to before the Governor; but whoever considers their management will find that they are not extraordinarily exact in their accounts nor in their oaths. An instance is given in the observations made by the Controller General at the Custom-house on the accounts of the Collectors of Maryland and Virginia, a copy of which was sent to Mr. Randolph by the Commissioners of Customs in a letter dated 12 June, 1694, as follows. "Ralph Wormeley, Collector of Rappahannock district, "ended his last account ended 20 April, 1691. He now sends one "account from 20 April, 1691, to 20 July, 1693, and another "from 23 August, 1692, to 20 July, 1693, both for the very same "individual sums. He further sends another account from "21 June, 1691, to 20 June, 1692, for 699 lbs. of tobacco collected "in the same time, which time is comprehended in the first account; "but the tobacco is not mentioned in either of the aforesaid "accounts, and yet all three are attested by the Controller and "Surveyor-General and sworn before the Governor." Probably this might be the reason why the Commissioners of Customs displaced Mr. Wormeley and put in another collector for the penny per lb., which is inconsiderable in that district; but he still remains Secretary (the greatest trust requiring the greatest abilities in the Government), and he is also naval officer and collector of the other public dues, which shews that the Governor does not discourage him even now. And having found out the advantage of keeping these transactions as private as possible in the past, they evidently intend to keep it in their own hands as long as possible, which may plainly be deduced from the means that they have used to make any other methods ineffectual. A man-of-war has generally been kept there for suppression of illegal trade, but its journals will shew how much time it has spent at anchor in one particular place; and this has rendered them of little use and sometimes prejudicial.
In 1694 the merchants complained that their trade was in a great measure ruined by ships trading direct from Scotland and Ireland to Virginia and Maryland without paying any duty. On this the Treasury by their letter of 15 November, 1694, ordered Sir Edmund Andros to hire a small vessel or two to cruise on the coast for prevention of such trade; and, to pay the cost thereof, he was empowered to dispose of a third of the forfeitures under the Acts of Trade and the penalties recovered on forfeited bonds within his government. Accordingly a small vessel was hired at a very great rate and placed in command of one Beverley, and that it might be as burdensome as possible and therefore soon laid aside, the whole charge was defrayed not from the funds assigned by the Treasury but out of the standing revenue of the country, not otherwise appropriated, by which and similar projects the revenue is not only exhausted but greatly charged with debt. During Beverley's tenure of this office he seized two ships. One, belonging to London, had no cocquets for certain goods on board; and Beverley, suspecting fraud, carried her into the Rappahannock where he had formerly traded. The master went ashore and represented to Collector Ralph Wormeley the hardship of his case, whereupon Wormeley used his interests to get her released without trial. The other ship seized was an Irish ship with servants, which had several breadcasks full of goods without any cocquets for them. Being taken near the mouth of the Rappahannock she too was carried in there, where the master by the like means obtained Mr. Wormeley's interest on his behalf. Beverley, however, insisted on a trial, saying that one of his seizures had been released but that he would not quit this one so easily; and so he continued resolute until the ill language and menaces of his adversary led him to think of his power, whereupon he loosed his hold, and that ship also was released without trial. Wormeley's interest in espousing the master's cause can best be discovered by examination. The people grew so suspicious over these two cases as to say openly that the ships had been let go for bribes, until at length the Governor and Council thought themselves obliged to make at least a shew of enquiry into the matter. Beverley was therefore summoned to Council, but he was obliged to declare himself with great tenderness lest he should make too clear to them where the fault lay, for he know they had no mind to take notice of it. So that matter ended, and shortly after the vessel and master were both discharged. Beverley having been laid by, one Broadbent was sent out on the same duty, a man whose character was a sufficient scandal to his employment. He had been one of Sir Edmund Andros's tax-gatherers in New England, where he had been made prisoner for his honest (or dishonest) behaviour. He seized a small vessel, which was released on trial owing to a failure in the legal proceedings. It was generally believed that this vessel was of New York and a legal trader, but that the indiscretion of the master (in not filling Broadbent some bottles of rum, as he desired) was the occasion of his being troubled. In June, 1697, Broadbent seized another ship which really was an illegal trader, but upon the trial he was detected in base practices of tampering with the evidence (to do what he might have done fairly, if he had understood his business) and the jury thereupon acquitted that ship. These and similar matters, which though probably true are not easily proved, together with the exorbitant fees charged by the officers, have brought Virginian trade to such a pass that it can hardly be carried on without loss. Hence all men are obliged to fall into the same road, and if the inhabitants have been guilty of such practices (as has been insinuated) perhaps the mismanagement and abuses of the government and the officers have driven them to it, that they might make it manifest that, so long as the evil was tolerable, duty and loyalty had kept them from doing these things which they saw the officers encouraging. But these things are all past and not perhaps to be remedied; though what is to come may in a great measure be prevented by other methods and better management, the ordering and directing whereof is humbly submitted to those whose station calls them thereto. 10 pp. Endorsed, Recd. Read 11 July, 1698. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 55; and 37. pp. 235–246.]
July 11. 657. Petition of Benjamin Fletcher to Council of Trade and Plantations. Having been recalled I beg to present myself to give an account of the province of New York and of my administration during the past six years. At my departure Lord Bellomont thought fit to demand of me £10,000 security to answer what he should object against me. Since thirteen principal persons of the province willingly joined me in bonds of security for that sum, as well knowing my integrity, the doubt of which seems to have been implied by bonds of such importance, I beg that my sureties may be discharged, and that you will proceed to deal with me as you think best. Signed, Ben. Fletcher. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 11 July, 1698. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 85; and 52. pp. 372–373.]
[July 11.] 658. Draft deposition presented by Captain Edmund Bugdon. On 24 September, 1697, when on board H.M.S. Jersey in St. John's harbour, Antigua, I saw a sloop, which I perceived to be a flag of truce, coming in. I sent my lieutenant aboard her, who reported her to be laden, and by my order brought the master and one Hartman, one of the prisoners on the flag of truce, on board the Jersey. On examining the master (Hartman acting as interpreter), I learned from him that the goods were to be delivered at Guadeloupe, but owing to variable winds had been obliged to put into Antigua, though he had nothing on board for that island except a hogshead of claret which was a present to Governor Codrington. After ascertaining that he had ten pipes of Madeira and twenty-one barrels of brandy besides other goods on board, I sent him and Hartman back to their ship and went ashore, when I met one Barry Tankard among other gentlemen. "Well, gentlemen," I said, "here's brandy and wine enough for you now." Tankard answered that they wished I was out of the way, and then they might get some. Going aboard the Jersey again I sent my chirurgeon, a Frenchman, on board the flag of truce to examine the men. He learned from one of them that the brandy had been taken in on the previous night from a brigantine lying off Guadeloupe and had been brought thence to Antigua direct, but that he could not say what was to be done with it. I reported this to the Governor and sent men on board the flag of truce to secure her. The annexed deposition shows what passed between me and the Governor from the time when the vessel was secured, until she was dismissed by the Governor's orders. The Governor promised me on his honour that none of the goods on her should be landed at Antigua. Shortly afterwards I learned from the carpenter of the Colchester that a good quantity was transferred from the flag of truce to her. The Colchester sailed that night. A letter annexed shows what was in her at Montserrat, so I judge that the rest was put on board the Colchester. When I was aboard the Colchester as Captain Weighman's lieutenant, she was sent by the Governor to convoy the Barbuda to St. Thomas's to fetch negroes, some of which negroes were carried in the Colchester to St. Christophers. Before the transportation of these negroes the crew of the Colchester was healthy, but soon after fell ill of flux and malignant fever, being infected by the negroes, and the captain, doctor, and several of the best mariners died suddenly. I have represented these abuses of Governor Codrington in my letters to the Admiralty. Captain Weighman seized a sloop belonging to Captain O'Bryan bound with sugar to St. Thomas, and sent her to Nevis. The Governor took the ship from him and cleared her without any legal process. After I took command of the Jersey the Governor told me that Captain Weighman did very ill to meddle with this sloop, that he had turned him out of his house and had a mind to kick him. Again the ship Le Hardi, and English vessel retaken by Captain Weighman, was condemned for a moiety only, so that the King was brought £120 in debt for her. The Governor afterwards gave the ship's company what he pleased without furnishing any account to me. I had been appointed to be at her condemnation, Captain Weighman not daring to go ashore himself and claim the rights of himself and his ship's company, for fear of the Governor's ill usage. Further, Captain Thomas Fisher, late of the Jersey, was much discouraged by the Governor for seizing a flag of truce which came from Martinique with French goods. Further, being ordered to bring ashore three witnesses against Robert Arthur from the Jersey, I heard Henry Walrond tell the Governor that Arthur had declared that the Governor dared not prosecute him, whereupon the Governor only said that the fellow was mad. Colonel Rowland Williams urged the Governor to send for Arthur and clear himself, but he took no notice. Further, Captain Hartman said that the Barbuda sloop had gained the Governor as much money as she could well carry, by taking sugar to Curaçoa and bringing back Dutch goods. 3 pp. Endorsed, Presented by Captain Bugdon. Recd. Read 11 July, 1698. Annexed,
658. I. Copy of a pass given by the Governor of Martinique to John Oliver to carry prisoners from Martinique to Antigua, touching at Guadeloupe on the way. 27 September, 1697.
Letter from Governor Codrington to Captain Bugdon. 28 September, 1697. Blaming him for putting men on board the flag of truce and for hauling down her colours, as contrary to the law of nations, and directing him to withdraw the men and rehoist the colours.
Captain Bugdon to Governor Codrington. 28 September, 1697. The flag of truce has on board wine and brandy which they say they meant to deliver at Guadeloupe but were prevented by weather. I can prove this to be false and can only treat her as a French trader, which is a thing contrary to law. I have rehoisted her colours, but cannot withdraw my men.
Written order of Governor Codrington to Captain Bugdon. 2 October, 1697. Commanding him to release the sloop, restore all the goods to the master, give the master satisfaction, and shew his reasons for a direct disobedience of orders.
Captain Bugdon to Governor Codrington. 2 October, 1698. I waited on you yesterday, expecting that you would have taken other measures to get the pretended flag of truce from me than by Captain Julius coming to assault my people after the watch was set, which I assume was by your permission. I expected your order for redelivery of her, the master's receipt in full, and the attestation of two or three gentlemen that full restoration has been made, otherwise I cannot feel safe as to the damage that may be laid to my charge.
Receipt of John Ollivier for his sloop and cargo complete and undamaged, with the exception of two pieces of striped linen. 2 October, 1697.
Letter to Captain Bugdon. 10 October, 1698. On the 7th inst. the flag of truce seized by you came into Montserrat, and offered the rest of his wine and brandy for sale. It was not sold, for he asked too high prices, £15 a pipe for his Madeira, and ten guineas a barrel for the brandy. The Governor of Montserrat sent an express to order him to leave that night, when he said that he feared he must heave the liquor overboard, not daring to take it back to Martinique lest he should be betrayed. I beg your privacy herein, for you know how people are dealt with who so much as mention anything relating to their private commerce. Copies. The whole, 3½ pp. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. Nos. 92, 92 I.]
July 11. 659. Archibald Hutcheson to Council of Trade and Plantations. In Edward Walrond's late memorial against Governor Codrington, the first charge is that he disobeyed your orders to discourage the settlement of the French part of St. Christophers. It will be remembered that the Agents for the Leeward Islands petitioned for the suspension of such settlement, and that the petition was referred to Governor Codrington in a letter of 24 November, 1690. On his return from the expedition to Guadeloupe he laid the matter before the General Assembly of the Leeward Islands, which agreed with the Agents that to settle the French part of St. Christophers would be to weaken the whole of the island. He thought differently, and reported his own opinions and those of the General Assembly in a letter of 12 September, 1691, to the Duke of Leeds. His reasons were so far approved of that no further directions were sent him on the matter until the letter to which Mr. Walrond alludes, and which, as I conceive, might proceed from the prospect of the peace that has since been concluded. During my three years' stay in the Leeward Islands Governor Codrington was most punctual in obeying your orders, and since Mr. Walrond speaks only by hearsay of the letter aforesaid, I conceive that his affirmation can be of little value. The story of Governor Codrington's anger with Major Crispe for breaking open his packets and divulging the contents, proves nothing. He might very reasonably show such anger, and yet it does not follow that he did not punctually obey the orders in those letters.
The second charge is that Governor Codrington has drawn off inhabitants from the Northern Colonies and Barbados by granting them lands in the French part of St. Christophers, that he has given warrants for the same plantation to several persons, and that those persons, being deceived in their grants, have spent their time and substance fruitlessly in the improvement of a place now restored to the French. It is very true that he drew inhabitants from other Colonies to St. Christophers. He gave his reasons for doing so in his letter to the Duke of Leeds, nor has he ever since received any prohibition on this point. The second part of the charge is in general terms, without a single instance adduced in proof. It is true that when warrants have been granted to persons who have afterwards relinquished their settlements, fresh warrants for those lands have been granted to others; but this harms nobody. If any such injury had been done as is insinuated, you would undoubtedly have heard of it. The last part of the charge is of a piece with the rest. Governor Codrington never pretended to assure the people that the French part of St. Christophers would not be restored. The warrants in question convey no legal title; but rather a promise of a title in case the settlement were continued. Nor have the settlers been necessarily losers; they have had the produce of the enemy's land in return for their labour; and, as to improvements, there were none on the island except those made by the French and by Governor Codrington, who has expended thrice as much as the rest of the people put together, and makes no complaint. As to the third charge, that Governor Codrington granted Mons. Salinave's estate to Governor Russell, that is very true; but Governor Russell knew perfectly well to whom the estate had belonged and never at any time thought himself abused in the matter. As to Mons. Salinave's meriting well of the English, I never heard of it, though I remember him as a civil obliging person; but as he was dead before Mr. Walrond came to the Leeward Islands, Mr. Walrond can only know him from the reports of others. As to the allegation that the land was granted contrary to the King's order, I know that Madame Salinave sent a petition to the King which was referred to Governor Codrington, who, I presume, made his report, but I never heard of any order issued thereupon.
The fourth charge is that Governor Codrington sent H.M.S. Colchester to carry John Perrie to St. Thomas, and that Perrie embarked some negroes on her, who infected the ship. This does not concern Governor Codrington, for it is not pretended that he ordered the negroes to be embarked. The present Captain of the Colchester told me that the men-of-war were often ordered to cruise off St. Thomas, because the French frequently carried thither the prizes taken from us. He added that Perrie took a sloop with him for the transport of the slaves, but that some of them were taken on board the Colchester. The fifth charge concerns a piracy said to have been committed by one Weatherhill, and conversations between various people. I cannot see how this concerns Governor Codrington; but I may mention that Captain Julius has been confirmed by the Admiralty and continued ever since in the King's service, and that Captain Perrie is esteemed a man of very good sense and understanding in business. Captain Julius denies the story of his upbraiding Mr. Yeamans for advising Governor Codrington to hang him. The sixth charge is for carrying on illegal commerce at Curaçoa, St. Thomas and elsewhere. This is a serious and material accusation, but it rests on nothing but Mr. Walrond's affirmation. The deposition given before Colonel Holt in the Newcastle I shall deal with elsewhere; but the charge is not one under which Governor Codrington is likely to sit down quietly. The remainder of the memorial contains severe reflections on the Council and Assembly of Antigua, and sets forth the integrity of Mr. Walrond's motives in putting it forward. I need not remark hereon, except to introduce the enclosed deposition, which proves that Mr. Walrond is under some private resentment against Governor Codrington.
Mr. Walrond's next paper deals with the difficulties which he encountered at Barbados in procuring depositions against Governor Codrington and in getting them authenticated, with a hint of Governor Codrington's inhumanity to the crew of a Spanish ship, and some matter supplementing John Clark's deposition respecting Samuel Martyn and John Roe. As to the behaviour of the Council of Barbados, I can only see that all was not granted to Mr. Walrond that he thought fit to ask; but I would submit that the whole of its proceedings seem to me extremely irregular. The depositions of the witnesses produced by Mr. Walrond might have been taken by any magistrate; but the case is different when the Council orders them to appear, upon a bare suggestion of one person, against another person who is not heard, and enters the depositions among the records of the island. The wrong is aggravated also by the fact that the accused is not under their jurisdiction. I pass next to Walrond's supplement to John Clark's deposition, which deposition in no way concerns Governor Codrington and is not much mended by Walrond's remarks. He insinuates that Captain Fisher, having seized a flag of truce with French goods on board, was sent out of the way to Barbados that he might do no more mischief; but at the same time he mentions that the ship was sent down to Barbados to bring money to pay Holt's regiment, and this is confirmed by a letter from Governor Codrington to me. Next he complains that Martyn and Roe were never prosecuted, but he admits that the sloop and goods were condemned, and whether they were concerned in the goods does not appear by the condemnation. To make this a matter of accusation against Governor Codrington, Mr. Walrond should have shewn that there was sufficient evidence against them to subject them to prosecution. I pass next to Mr. Walrond's criticisms on the address of the Assembly of Antigua. Proceeds to deal with them at great length in an ironical style. Signed, Arch. Hutcheson. 16 closely written pages. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 93.]
July 11. 660. Archibald Hutcheson to Council of Trade and Plantations. The first deposition brought forward by Mr. Walrond against Governor Codrington is that of John Clark. He is, however, obliged to supplement it by a small narrative of his own, because the deposition itself has nothing to do with Governor Codrington. The substance of the information is that Clark, when a prisoner at Martinique, agreed with one Pinel for a prize ship called the Fortune of Dublin, that Major Martyn and Captain Roe arriving from Antigua struck in with him for partnership in the vessel, that Martyn, in altering the bargain, insisted that a quarter-share in her was for Governor Codrington, whose money he held in his hands, but that subsequently he declared that the said quarter-share was for others. Then follows a long account of his wrangles over the bargain, one of which came before the Governor, who shewed great displeasure towards him. But wherein do these matters concern Governor Codrington? It is evident that Martyn used his name very wrongly to deceive Clark, but he did not leave him long deceived, as the deposition itself shews. But a deposition of John Keir, which has been taken in England, proves that Governor Codrington had no concern in the vessel and that Clark's troubles were due to his own crooked dealing. Next comes Mr. Henry Walrond's deposition as to the seizure by Captain Bugdon of a flag of truce which came from Martinique and Antigua with French goods on board, and of his discharge by Governor Codrington's order. I can see herein but two points in which the Governor may have been in fault, namely in not seeing that his first order was immediately and effectually obeyed, and in not suspending Captain Bugdon and sending him home a prisoner. Captain Bugdon has preferred several complaints against Governor Codrington to the Admiralty, and I imagine that if the Admiralty had thought him ill-used, they would have referred the matter to you. On the other hand I hear also that Governor Codrington has made complaints against Captain Bugdon, which that officer has not satisfactorily answered. The discharge of the flag of truce is obviously justified by the law of nations, and though the goods on board her laid her open to suspicion, yet there was nothing acted contrary to our laws or the rules of their safe-conduct to justify her trial and condemnation. As to the assertion of Hartman, that the goods were brought down for Governor Codrington's use, is Governor Codrington answerable for that? Hartman seems to have apprehended trouble for himself and might very well have used the Governor's name in the hope that it might be of service to him.
Next comes the evidence of Don Alonzo Bonne Maison, from which Mr. Walrond presumably wishes it to be inferred that Governor Codrington sent Captain Perrie down to rob the distressed Spaniards, and that he sent them to sea in a leaky ship in the hope that she would founder. But there is nothing to show that Nicholson acted under Governor Codrington's orders, even if the story against him be true, which I do not believe; and as to the story of the leaky ship, the description of the leak as a span square shows that it is ridiculous, for a first rate man-of-war would not float for half an hour with such a hole in her. As to the inhumanity shown to the Spaniards in St. Christophers, Captain Julius tells me that on the contrary they were very well treated, and gives a very different account of the whole story, which he is ready to repeat to you on oath. Meanwhile I would remark that this wreck of the Spanish vessel took place three years ago, and that no complaint has yet been made by the Spanish Ministers. The next deposition is that of Gabriel McCrakan, as to Governor Codrington's illegal trading with the Dutch in 1691, and defrauding his crews of their wages. On this I shall remark first that in 1691 a similar charge of illegal trading was preferred against Governor Codrington by Sir Timothy Thornhill and others, and their accusations sent home to the Committee of Trade and Plantations. Every facility was offered to them by Governor Codrington to prosecute their charges, but they would not press them, knowing them to be unfounded. Governor Codrington then ordered a trial of the sloop Barbuda, wherein it was shown that the master and others had been guilty of illegal trading, but that Governor Codrington was wholly unconcerned therein. He suffered the sloop to be condemned on the evidence of the master, who could not by law have been compelled to swear, for the sake of the example. The whole of Governor Codrington's defence is in the hands of the Commissioners of Customs and can be produced. In the face of these facts I think that I need notice McCrakan's deposition no further. Finally there is the deposition of William Delavall, which, if true, reveals a most barbarous fact, but nothing that concerns Governor Codrington. Signed, Arch. Hutcheson. A very long and minute statement covering nineteen closely written pages. Endorsed, Recd. 12 July, 1698. Enclosed,
660. I. Deposition of Francis Roger. That in November or December, 1697, he heard Walrond say that the difference between Governor Codrington and himself was irreconcilable, and that the Governor had not done him justice. Sworn 28 Feb., 1697–8. ½ p.
660. II. Deposition of John Keir, mariner. I was taken prisoner by the French at the same time with John Clark. Clark agreed for the purchase of a prize-vessel at Martinique, but Major Martyn and Captain Roe, arriving in a flag of truce, agreed with him to pay the purchase money, they taking three-fourths of her, and he one-fourth. He refused, however, to pay his share in fitting her out, and then arose a dispute which ended in clark's relinquishing his share in return for a gratuity, for which Clark expressed great gratitude, begging their pardons for the trouble he had given them. I believe him to be a great knave, for after the vessel had been purchased and I had been appointed master, Clark suggested to me to run away with her for our own joint profit. I brought the sloop from Antigua to London and have her bill of sale, and can assert that Governor Codrington was never in any way concerned in her. Sworn, 6 July, 1698. 1 p. [Board of Trade, Leeward Islands 5. Nos. 94, 94 I., II.]
July 11. 661. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Captain Bugdon attended and gave in a draft deposition (No. 658). Mr. Walrond also showed a letter to him from Mr. Edward Byam, and asked for a copy of the Board's letter to Governor Codrington concerning Mr. Lucas, which was given to him.
Colonel Fletcher, lately arrived from New York, presented a petition to be discharged from his bonds (No. 657), offering further to put in new sureties for the same sum, to answer the condition of those bonds. Representation preferred accordingly.
Colonel Parke presented a memorial (No. 655). Ordered that a letter thereon be written to Mr. Sansom, since Colonel Parke refers to the Custom House for proof. Benjamin Harrison also presented a memorial which was read (No. 656). Instructions to the Governor of Virginia further considered.
July 12. Order for Mr. Dampier to attend, upon the anonymous letter from Edinburgh of 30th ult. (No. 620).
Representation on Colonel Fletcher's petition signed.
Mr. Hill brought up a letter from Robert Snead to Sir John Houblon respecting the protection of pirates in Pennsylvania.
July 13. Mr. Dampier attending said that he knew nothing of proposals made to Mr. Wafer, nor thought him capable of doing the Scotch East India Company any great service.
Several papers from Mr. Walrond and a further answer by Mr. Hutcheson were received.
July 14. Mr. Secretary Vernon's letter of yesterday as to the expedition against pirates in the East Indies read (No. 668). The Secretary was directed to confer with Mr. Ellis thereupon.
Mr. Walrond's letter of yesterday read (No. 671). The Board directed the Secretary to inform him that they have no power to order the apprehension of any man, and that he had better apply to the Lord Chief Justice.
Draft instructions from the Governor of Virginia further considered.
July 15. The Secretary informed the Board that Captain Warren was appointed to command the squadron against pirates.
Mr. Robert Richardson asked and obtained a copy of the Board's letters of 7 December last, concerning James Colleton. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 122–131.]
July 12. 662. Minutes of Council of Montserrat. Six men and women being guilty of a riot in rescuing cattle from the Deputy Provost Marshal were bound over to good behaviour till next Sessions. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. p. 535.]
July 12. 663. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. The House met pursuant to an adjournment on 5 July, when there was no quorum. Thomas Maxwell chosen Speaker. Several members fined for absence. Ordered that no papers shall pass from the Committee of Correspondence to the Agents without the concurrence of the House, signified by their attestation of the said papers. Order for the Agents to be instructed to send in their accounts and to pay the balance that remains in their hands to the newly-appointed Agents. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 297–299.]
July 12.
664. President and Council of Barbados to Council of Trade and Plantations. Since ours of 2nd March we have received yours of 21 March, with the King's orders for the strict execution or amendment of our laws for bringing in white servants. Some time since a law was enacted here offering very great encouragements both to white servants and to importers thereof, to the former by enlarging their allowances and rewards, and to the latter by offering them £18 a head for every imported servant. We enclose a copy of this law. We have it also under consideration to enact a law to encourage the continuance of our servants with us after they are out of their time, which indeed is our greatest difficulty, for, there being no land here to be taken up, they move to the Northern Colonies as soon as they are free, and there settle; by which means we are still made weak and exposed to great hazards in time of war. With reference to the Jamaica Act against pirates, of which you send us a copy, we enclose a copy of the Act passed here in Sir Richard Dutton's time, which seemed then to be effectual enough; but since the Jamaica Act seems larger and piracy has increased, we shall endeavour to pass an effectual Act against it. If any pirates had been detected here they should have felt the severity of our laws, whatever their treatment in other Colonies. It was a great grief and misfortune to us that Captain Edwards returned without performing the services for which he was sent hither. The chief reason was that, owing to our impoverishment by the war, we could not possibly raise the sums which he proposed as necessary to build a citadel or other great and secure fortification. If the King would grant us the 4½ per cent. duty for the purposes for which it was first raised, it would enable us to fortify the island beyond the danger of an attack, and truly it is an island of that concern to the Crown that it deserves to be secured and encouraged. We enclose the journals of the Council for the past six months, also a catalogue of the ships and loadings that have arrived, which you will see were many and of great value, while all of them have been returned laden with the produce made by the industry and labour of the inhabitants, who had all been ruined if the late designs to impose further duties on us had taken effect. Signed, Fran. Bond, John Farmer, Geo. Lillington, Geo. Andrews, Wm. Sharpe, Tobias Frere, David Ramsay. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 9 Sept., Read 25 Oct., 1698. Inscribed with a short abstract. Enclosed,
664. I. Copy of the Barbados Act against pirates and piracy, passed in December, 1684. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 9 Sept., 1698.
664. II. Copy of the Barbados Act to encourage the bringing of Christian servants, passed 20 June, 1696. 2½ large pages. Endorsed as No. I. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. Nos. 68, 68 I., II.; and (without enclosures) 44. pp. 218–221.]
July 12.
665. Secretary of Massachusetts to William Popple. Forwarding the Acts passed by the General Assembly in the Session begun 25 May last. Signed, Isa. Addington. Copy. ¼ p. Endorsed, Recd. 5 Sept., Read 25 Oct., 1698. [Board of Trade. New England, 9. No. 32; and 37. p. 26.]
July 12. 666. William Popple to John Sansom. Asking what information the Commissioners of Customs may be possessed of respecting the illegal trading of Benjamin Harrison between Virginia and Scotland, alleged by Daniel Parke. [Board of Trade. Virgina, 37. p. 247.]
July 12.
667. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. We lay before you a petition received from Colonel Benjamin Fletcher (No. 657). He has offered voluntarily to give other security in £10,000 here if the thirteen gentlemen in New York be discharged from their bonds, and we think that if he give such security there is no reason why the gentlemen aforesaid should not be permitted by you to be discharged. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Tankerville, Ph. Meadows, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. New York, 52. pp. 273–274.]
July 13.
668. Mr. Secretary Vernon to Council of Trade and Plantations. Desiring the Council of Trade to prepare instructions for the Commander-in-chief of the squadron now fitting out for the East Indies to suppress pirates. Signed, Ja. Vernon. ¼ p. Endorsed, Recd. 13th, Read 14th July, 1698. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 119; and 34. p. 307.]
July 13. 669. Archibald Hutcheson to Council of Trade and Plantations. There remains still one charge of Henry Walrond against Governor Codrington to be dealt with, namely that of sending Barry Tankard to sell provisions to the French at Martinique under colour of a flag of truce. In reply to this Mr. Tankard has produced a certificate from Governor Codrington, the sailing orders given to Captain Julius and other documents, to shew that he really intended for Barbados and called at Martinique only to fetch prisoners to man H.M.S. Colchester. I know not how he can give more convincing proof of his integrity; and though as a rule provisions are cheaper in Barbados than in the Leeward Islands, yet just at that time they were dearer, as can be proved. The Governor's concurrence in the enquiry instituted by the Council and Assembly of Antigua into Tankard's conduct, proves only that he did not know what his cargo was, not that he was ignorant of his intentions for Barbados. You will find too that Tankard's vessel was libelled not only for the design of trading with the French but for not entering some loose sugar with the Customs. But even if Tankard did design illegal trade with the French there is nothing to shew that Governor Codrington was privy to it. Mr. Walrond contends that he sent to Barbados only such documents as were in Tankard's favour, and not the depositions taken against him by the Assembly of Antigua; but there was nothing in those depositions but which was already self-evident, namely that Tankard embarked provisions at Antigua. Nor does it follow on Mr. Walrond's bare statement that these depositions were not sent to Barbados, for his facts are not always correct. He gives the date of the Assembly's first proceedings in this matter as 26 October, whereas by his own shewing Tankard did not sail from Antigua until the 6th of November. Signed, Arch. Hutcheson. 10½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 13 July, 1698. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 95.]
July 13. 670. A collection of papers sent to the Council of Trade and Plantations by Edward Walrond.
670. I. Colonel Henry Holt to Governor Codrington. H.M.S. Jersey, 20 Feb., 1697–8. Hearing on board this ship of certain scandalous words used by Captain Arthur against the King, I have sent up depositions to you by Captain Julius. Signed, H. Holt. ½ p.
670. II. Deposition of Thomas Duncombe. 11 March, 1697–8. That Captain Arthur being charged with seditious language was anxious to be tried, and begged deponent to obtain Governor Codrington's orders for the witnesses against him to be brought ashore. Deponent spoke to the Governor accordingly, but the order though promised was not given. Copy. ½ p.
670. III. John Yeamans to Edward Walrond. 10 March, 1697–8. I hear that the whole blame for Arthur's affair is to be thrown upon the Court and in particular upon me, though you know how industrious I was to enquire after evidence for the King against him. The Court might have adjourned for ten days longer, but the Commission only provided for adjournment in case of accident, not to wait for evidence without motion made. Copy. 1 p.
670. IV. Copy of the Commission for holding Grand Sessions at Antigua for trial of Captain Arthur. 8 May, 1697. Large sheet.
670. V. Deposition of William White. 17 February, 1691–2. As to the sale of the King's powder by Robert Arthur, when commander of H.M.S. Mary, for his own profit. ½ p.
670. VI. Edward Byam to Edward Walrond. 14 May, 1698. I enclose an account of the proceedings upon your recognizance. I applied for an appeal to the King in Council some time before this, but it was refused, and on the meeting of the Court of Exchequer issue of execution was ordered. Copy. ½ p.
670. VII. Copy of Governor Codrington's Commission for holding a Court of Exchequer. 5 May, 1698. 1 p. Endorsed in Edward Walrond's hand, The persons hereby authorised are all three Irishmen; one was formerly a servant; another a broken pedlar who ran away for debt, and the third formerly Sir William Stapleton's footman—rare fellows, adapted to the Governor's genius.
670. VIII. Record of the Court of Exchequer, held at Antigua, 7 May, 1698, with order for issue of execution against Edward Walrond for £500 forfeited to the King. ½ p.
670. IX. Proceedings of a Court of Exchequer held at Antigua on 5 May, 1698, in the matter of Edward Walrond's recognisance in £500. Copy. 1 p. The whole endorsed, Recd. 13 July, 1698. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. Nos. 96 I.–IX.]
July 13.
671. Edward Walrond to Council of Trade and Plantations. I imagined that all complaints and informations within the scope of your commission would be gladly received by you, but I find to the contrary. Instead of speedy justice I have met with nothing but delay, to the apparent detriment of my fortune, besides the former hazard of my liberty through the arbitrary proceedings of Governor Codrington. In all Governments that I ever heard of (were they never so unjust in other cases) I never heard that the inferior magistrates refused appeal to the supreme authority; but I believe Governor Codrington never read the Acts of the Apostles. I might be thought insensible to the benefits of the laws of England, if I did not complain of this. I protest that I have no other design in my expostulations than my country's good, but I see that it is interpreted otherwise. I must remind you that Thomas Lilly, one of the pirates concerned in the plunder of the Spanish vessel, is in England, and that his arrest may be a means to a full discovery of that piracy. Signed, Edward Walrond. P.S.—I have an account of Antigua of a sloop seized for trading with the French, and that the French goods were found in the carts of Henry Pearne, the chief baron of the Exchequer, an excellent fellow to do the King justice. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 14 July, 1698. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 97.]
July 13.
New York.
672. Memorandum of Governor, Earl of Bellomont. I recommend the following gentlemen to be of the Council: Colonel Abraham Depeyster, James Graham, Dr. Samuel Staats, Robert Livingston, Dr. John Corbile, Adolphus Philips. Mr. Weaver is to move the Council of Trade for their appointment. Signed, Bellomont. Scrap. Endorsed, Recd. 29th Sept. from Mr. Weaver, Read 30th. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 86; and 52. p. 484.]
July 13. 673. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Nevis. On the proposal of the Assembly a joint committee was appointed to settle the accounts of the country, and it was agreed that the Acts made in April be written fair and reviewed by the Council before they are sent to the Governor, and that Captain Brome's account should be paid. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands. 64. pp. 470–471.]
July 14.
674. Abstract of a letter from a merchant in Barbados to his brother in London. Mr. Barry Tankard's sloop is cleared, and Captain Cutter is to pay all damages. Scrap. Endorsed, Brought to the Board by Mr. Richard Cary, and read 26 Sept., 1698. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 98.]