America and West Indies: November 1697, 27-29

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, 27-29', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905), pp. 37-53. British History Online [accessed 15 June 2024].

. "America and West Indies: November 1697, 27-29", in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905) 37-53. British History Online, accessed June 15, 2024,

. "America and West Indies: November 1697, 27-29", Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905). 37-53. British History Online. Web. 15 June 2024,

November 1697

Nov. 27. 70. Instructions to Ralph Grey as Governor of Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Vincent, and the other islands to Windward of Guadeloupe. The names of the Council are Francis Bond, John Hallett, John Gibbes, Edward Cranfield, John Farmer, Richard Salter, George Lillington, George Andrews, John Bromley, William Sharpe, Patrick Mein, Tobias Frere, Burch Heathersall, Michael Terrill, David Ramsay, Richard Scott, Benjamin Cryer, Richard Walter and Thomas Merrick. Laws for an impost on liquors must be for not less than a year, other laws (except for a temporary end) indefinite. The 4½ per cent. duty may be changed for any other equivalent. The case of Ralph Lane is to be examined and justice done to him. The Governor is to grant no land, except in Barbados, without orders. His salary is to be £1,200 a year, paid out of the 4½ per cent. duty. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. pp. 163–188.]
Nov. 27. 71. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. Message from the Assembly to the Council, asking them to concur in disallowing a charge made by the Secretary for books. The Council and Assembly agreed that 3,820lbs. of sugar paid by the late Treasurer, Thomas Fenton, to Sir Nathaniel Johnson, should be charged against his estate. Several claims referred to the Committee of Accounts. Resolved to send home the minutes of this and of the last Assembly to the Council of Trade. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 442–444.]
Nov. 29. 72. Extract from Governor Nicholson's letter of 13 July, respecting the inability of Admiralty Courts to try breaches of the Acts of Trade and Navigation. 1½ pp.
Inscribed at end, Opinion of the Attorney and Solicitor-General that offences against the Act to regulate the Plantation Trade may, under two clauses of the same, be prosecuted in the Admiralty Courts of the Colonies. Signed, Tho. Trevor. Jo. Hawles.½ p. The whole endorsed, Read 29 Nov., 1697. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 45; and (opinion only), 9. p. 173.]
Nov. 29. 73. Charles Story to Council of Trade and Plantations. Since I have laid the state of New Hampshire before you and you have given your orders thereupon, I hope you will so far encourage fidelity as to order my expenses to be paid, amounting to £100, besides a year's loss of time. If you do not grant me your assistance, the burden will be utterly ruinous and obstructive to me. Signed, Cha. Story. 1 p. Endorsed, Read 29 Nov., 1697. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 130.]
Nov. 29.
74. Gilbert Heathcote to Council of Trade and Plantations. In reply to the papers sent by the Admiralty (see No. 57 I.) I offer as follows. First, as regards Captain Reeves's letter, the Deputy-Governor's salary, as he told him, cannot maintain him, so that Sir William Beeston could have no money to lend the Captain out of the profits of the place; but such was his zeal for the King's service that he sold all the produce of his plantations and lent all the money to the men-of-war, when the merchants, owing to the bad payment of their bills in England, refused to lend any more. In proof hereof, I send the said bills. Of those that were paid some were by exchequer bills, but the most by tallies on the salt fund which tallies were then sold at 47 per cent. Other of his bills are not yet paid, and no payment offered but malt-tickets payable after nine or ten thousand pounds, which if sold will lose him one third of his money. And this he did after he understood the discouragements which the merchants lay under by the payment in England. I hope that, after Sir William Beeston had lent all that he had or could raise out of his estate there, he will rather deserve thanks for his generous service than censure upon an angry Captain's letter. As to the protection of seamen who deserted from the men-of-war, Sir William Beeston in his letter affirms the contrary, but as further proof several persons are come from Jamaica who will satisfy you that runaways were on the contrary taken up and secured. I can even prove to you by three witnesses that any person who concealed a seaman belonging to a man-of-war was prosecuted, and that some were imprisoned. I hope that this also answers Captain Magham's letter, being only a complaint of a want of credit. But whereas he says that Mr. Heathcote would advance no more money, he should have said that he could lend no more money. He had at that time advanced not only all his own money for the men-of-war, but all the Spanish money belonging to me which he had in his hands. Part of it was paid here in salt tallies, but I have yet bills for £5,929 which are not yet paid. Let me add that all this credit was undesired. The offices in England to which these officers belong have never written nor taken any care for it; and, had not the men-of-war met with this voluntary credit, they must have sold their guns and sails. As to the complaint in Admiral Nevill's Journal of the Governors refusing to let the three men-of-war cruise to windward for intelligence, I can only say that (according to my letters from Jamaica) the Admiral was misinformed, for the three Captains made no such offer to cruise. Moreover, every one knows that the Princess Anne is too bad a sailer to go to windward, while the Reserve at that time wanted both masts, careening. Moreover, people come from Jamaica tell me that the people seeing no English fleet appear, after the French had been so long in those parts, were in great fear that the French after an expedition against the Spaniards would turn against Port Royal, and were therefore uneasy as to letting our ships leave port. But if the three men-of-war had been out they could have given Admiral Nevill no fuller notice than he had by a small frigate which he sent to St. Domingo for intelligence, and which told him before he went to Jamaica that the French were gone to Carthagena. Again they met one of our sloops which told them that the French had taken Carthagena and were actually in the harbour. Again they called at the East end of Jamaica and were again told that the French were on the Spanish Coast. But this you can ascertain by perusing the Minutes of the Council of War which, as I am told, was held off Hispaniola. When they came to Jamaica both the Governor and people did their utmost for the fleet. It arrived on Sunday morning, and had all its wood and water aboard by Tuesday morning, which, considering from how far both had to be fetched, was very extraordinary. After consideration of these facts, I hope that Sir William Beeston will not lie under your displeasure. Signed, Gilbert Heathcote. Attached, Particulars of sums furnished to men-of-war in 1696–7, whereof £2,661 by Sir William Beeston, and the remainder by Josiah Heathcote and Company. The total bills drawn amount to £13,128, of which £7,201 has been paid in tallies, etc., and £5,929 remains unpaid. The whole, 3 pp. Endorsed, Read 29 Nov., 1697. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 77; and 56. pp. 153–159.]
Nov. 29.
75. Colonel John Gibsone's narrative of the expedition to Newfoundland. On 17 April the squadron under Commodore John Norris sailed from Newfoundland and on the 7th June we made the southernmost point of Conception Bay. A Council of War was then held as to how we should go into St. John's Harbour. My advice was to attack at once, landing 150 men to attack Kitty Vitty, which though a bad landing place was the only one near St. John's, and send the rest of the troops in the lightest vessels to assail the harbour with all possible vigour. Captain Cleasby opposed this, proposing that he should go in himself with a flag of truce, and at last it was resolved that he should go with a pinnace but without a flag of truce, to discover what he could. Meanwhile the fleet plied southward towards St. Johns, and Captain Cleasby learning from one of our fishing boats at the harbour's mouth that no enemy was there, the squadron sailed into the harbour. We found there two or three of our merchant ships and a few inhabitants, but all the houses and stages destroyed. On 10 June my regiment was landed and in a few days hutted themselves, after which we began to cut fascines, continuing this until the 27th, when the store-ships came in, and we began to fortify the harbour's mouth by a battery on each side, and by erecting a fort on a hill on the north side. We found much difficulty owing to the vast rocks we were obliged to remove. A few days after our arrival it was agreed at a consultation that the squadron should put to sea for the security of the ships expected from England and Portugal. On this cruise they took a French provision-ship, and from letters and prisoners taken in here they learned that Mons. Nesmond was to follow them with a large squadron from France. It was therefore agreed at a council of war on 22 June that the squadron should remain in port until the rest of the men-of-war should arrive from England. On the 27 June the store-ships and provision ship came in with only three months' provisions for 340 men of my regiment. Fearing that we should fall short of provisions I shewed the Commodore my instructions and asked him to send a frigate to New England, at the same time saying that it would be necessary to take provisions from the merchant-ships. He answered that he would send no frigates to New England, as it was against his instructions, and we should have a sooner return by sending to Old England. He also refused a convoy to the captain of the provision-ship, when he offered to go to New England for provisions. As to taking provisions from the merchant-ships he said that it was none of my business, and it was not till the 2nd of August that he sent me a message to say that I might take the provisions from the merchant-ships if I pleased. I had before this acquainted him of the arrival of a ship in Conception Bay with a large cargo of provisions, but to no purpose, so that at last I was obliged to seize provisions wherever I could get them, though with much difficulty, and the more so since several of the officers, particularly Captain Cleasby, had spread it abroad that I had nothing to do there but to command my own regiment. On 28 June it was resolved in a Council of War that the squadron should go to sea for three weeks, looking in at some of the ports, particularly Trepassy, Renouse, Fermouse and Ferryland, which had formerly been English, but a few days after going out Captain Roffey of H.M.S. Guernsey took a considerable prize, which made a great noise at their return. It was alleged that Captain Roffey had endangered his ship in taking her, and I was told that for some time he was in confinement; but how they accommodated this is best known to themselves. The prize was on her way to Canada and had been under convoy of Mons. Nesmond who, by the prisoners' accounts, was not fifteen leagues distant. Our squadron thereupon returned to harbour on 11 July, after but nine days' cruise. We heard of five ships to southward, which we conjectured to be Nesmond's, and at last they came before St. Johns, where they plied for two days in a great fog, and after that anchored in Conception Bay. Then we were told that it was part of Pointis's squadron from the West Indies; and after four councils of war and examination of prisoners, there came intelligence that another French man-of-war had appeared off Petty Harbour within three leagues of St. Johns. Since we had reason to believe that Nesmond's squadron was also off the coast, I was against our squadron's going out, and this has caused some reflection upon me here, as though I and my officers were the only ones that had given this advice. I therefore give the results of the Councils of War aforesaid. 22 July. Resolved unanimously that, since we have reason to apprehend an attack by sea and land, the land-forces be embarked, and that the people at Kitty Vitty and Petty Harbour leave their fishing and come to St. Johns. 24 July. Resolved unanimously that since there is every reason to believe Mons. Nesmond's squadron to be in the offing and to be much stronger than ours, the squadron shall continue in St. Johns, sending out a frigate to gain intelligence. 25 July. Resolved unanimously that since our latest intelligence points to the presence of Pointis's squadron as well as perhaps of Nesmond's on the coast, this squadron remain in St. John's harbour. 28 July. Resolved, on further intelligence confirming the presence of Pointis's squadron and in consideration that Mons. Nesmond's squadron is probably near the coast, that the squadron shall not sail in pursuit of them in view of the risk of separating the land and sea-forces, but remain at St. Johns for the security of the whole. These are the four Councils of War; and to the best of my recollection but three of the sea-captains besides the Commodore were for the squadrons going out. [The names of the officers present are given, the greatest number of naval officers present at any meeting being thirteen and of military officers also thirteen. Commodore Norris was president.] Besides the presence of Pointis we had intelligence that Nesmond was actually arrived, and we could not tell that they were not in communication. Pointis had not long left Conception Bay when Nesmond appeared before St. Johns with his whole squadron on 18 August. At his first appearance we doubted not that he would attack us. Commodore Norris laid all his men-of-war in line thwart the harbour, with their broadsides to the harbour's mouth, and got a third cable without the other two thwart the harbour's mouth. Meanwhile I got 250 of my regiment to the south side of the harbour, and 100 to the North side for defence of the batteries and securing of the cables, and left the rest at King William's fort which was not then far advanced. Nesmond plied up and down a whole day and at last sent two ships, one apparently a fifty-gun ship and the other a bomb-vessel. They stood in very close to the harbour's mouth (I presume to discover our posture), when the Commodore ordered a bomb to be thrown from one of the bomb-ships, upon which they immediately returned to the squadron, which continued plying as before. That whole day and the whole night following we continued in the same posture. Next day they appeared no more, and I think that if they had attacked the harbour they would have met with a very hot reception; indeed, I looked upon it as impracticable, with the land and sea-forces thus joined. But if our squadron had been at sea in pursuit of Pointis, and Nesmond had then come down, I cannot tell what would have happened to our squadron at sea, and far less what would have become of the land forces in the harbour.
I have mentioned before that on the 2nd of August the Commodore sent me a message that I might visit all merchant ships and take what provisions I thought fit. I accordingly visited a French prize belonging to Captain Elton, and found in her 5,388lb. of bread, and 1,312lb. of pork, besides beans and oil, though Elton swore at the time that he had only 1,500lb. of bread on board. What threatenings I met with from Captain Elton herein and what trouble I had in seizing other provisions, I shall not mention. The quantity I had seized before 1 October was so small that I was apprehensive that the forces to be left in Newfoundland would be in a miserable condition, and those returning home little better. I was obliged to think of a means for sending to New England, and to this end to buy a small prize for £180, for which Commodore Norris gave me credit, and despatch her with my letters and credentials, giving the Lieutenant-Governor at the same time an account of the circumstances and of the provisions that I required. She sailed on 30 September, but by God's Providence a provision ship from Ireland came in on 3 October, whose whole cargo I bought and thus made it easy both for the troops remaining and returning. I left St. Johns fortified as follows: one redoubt of nine guns on the south side, one of five guns on the north side, both complete, and a fort within the harbour unfinished but in a good posture of defence. For garrison I left the major of my regiment, Thomas Handasyd, in command with ten officers and 252 non-commissioned officers and men, besides thirty-six of the train of artillery. I also left thirty-seven sick men of my regiment, who were too ill to be carried on board the hospital-ship. I left with Major Handasyd instructions [given in full] as to the completion of the works, guards, alarm-signals and dispositions in case of an attack.
My letter to the Lieutenant-Governor was as follows: St. Johns, 28 September, 1697. No doubt you will be surprised to receive this so late in the year, but I am sure that you and the gentlemen with you, when you hear of the condition of myself and my soldiers, will pity us, particularly those who must stay here all the winter who must speedily perish without your assistance. As soon as we approached this country I asked the Commodore for a small frigate to carry you the enclosed, shewing him the King's letter to you and my instructions to apply to you for provisions. Yet he refused; nor was it until the 2nd of August, in spite of my applications, that he sent me word that I might visit the merchant ships and secure what provisions I saw fit. I answered that it was too late. Little provisions have come into this country, and the fleet is preparing to return to England in eight or ten days. I had designed to stay here with my whole regiment, but provisions are so scarce that I shall be obliged to return to England leaving about 270 men and 20 women behind me, so ill-furnished with provisions that they must speedily perish without your assistance. You and your Government are our last and only refuge, for at this late season I can expect no relief from England, and I can only leave the forces here ten weeks' provisions on half allowance. I do not doubt that you will seriously consider my request. I enclose a proportion of provisions which will be absolutely necessary, which I beg may be despatched with all haste by the ship that bears this. The Commander and two passengers can give you an account of the condition of Newfoundland, which I believe will induce many to send provisions here. If you could send a convoy or ship of force with them it would be of great consequence. I must rely on you to employ persons of integrity to manage this affair both as to quantity and quality. Do not impute my freedom in thus informing you of our extremity to want of respect. Letter ends.
Second letter to the Lieutenant-Governor of New England. St. Johns, 7 October, 1697. In view of the extreme urgency of the case I have left Major Handasyd in command of the garrison here, and have given him duplicates of my former letter and enclosures to be sent by two different ships. I have no doubt of your compliance with my request. Letter ends.
Here follow, a proportion of provisions, shoes and stockings for 290 men for 120 days.
An account of the provisions taken out of the merchant-ships, with the prices, and of the provisions left at St. Johns.
I was obliged to take up one of the transport ships for better securing the provisions. The original hospital ship was discharged in July, and a transport taken up in her place. Signed, J. Gibsone. The whole, 19 pp. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 90; and 25. pp. 132–167.]
[Nov. 29.] 76. A Collection of Papers relating to pirates and other matters in Pennsylvania.
76. I. Robert Quarry to William Penn. London [blanks for dates unfilled], 1697. I was extremely surprised when I came from England to hear that Governor Markham of Pennsylvania has been so highly charged for the entertainment of Captain Day. I am sure that if the Lords Justices or Council of Trade were rightly informed of the true state of the business they could find no cause to blame him. I happened to be in Philadelphia at the time, and knew all the circumstances. I presume you have had the relation of it from several hands, so I hold myself obliged to give you in as few words as possible the true state of the thing. This Captain Day went with his ship and cargo to South Carolina and there sold both and bought a brigantine under pretence of carrying part of the lading and effects home; so he had his clearing from the Government and gave bond and security to the Naval Officer for landing his enumerated commodities in England, as the law requires. With this clearing he came to Pennsylvania and wanted not colourable pretences enough; but his having more than the ordinary number of men made some people jealous that he designed some other voyage. However, this was but jealousy. It is true that Mr. Jones told the Governor that he believed Day had some ill-design, by his having sold his owner's ship and goods in Carolina. The Governor answered that he had brought his clearing from thence, and that there was no information against him, but that, on his complaint, he would seize him provided that Jones would give security to indemnify him, which Jones refused to do. Some time after this, a French privateer on the coast took several vessels coming out of New York, and among them one of great value belonging to Philadelphia. The privateer came to the Capes of Delaware and lay there for some time, which put the country into great consternation not only for fear of their shipping, but being apprehensive lest the privateers should land, being distressed for provisions. At the height of this consternation the Governor called at my house, and told me he was concerned how to manage himself in this affair. I took the freedom to advise him thus. Sir (I said) this thing could not have happened at a better time, for here is Captain Day who has a gang of brisk fellows. Add thirty or forty to them from the lower counties, and give Day a commission to command them. By keeping a good look out he may ambuscade the French if they land, and cut them off before they can recover their boats. The Governor thereupon said that he highly approved my advice, that Day had been with him and had offered his services to go out and fight the French, though they were of more than twice his strength, if he could have more men, and had further promised to do this without putting the country to a heavy charge. I told the Governor that I thought this a brave and generous offer, and that he would be to blame if he did not accept it. Two days after this I went to Maryland, so I do not know if the Governor gave Day his commission, but I was informed that Day went out to sea and returned again. I know nothing of the particulars of his being seized by the forces from Maryland, but I am very well informed that Day went straight to Curaçoa, where he sold his brigantine, and went thence directly to Holland, where he now is. This is the truth of the matter, and I am ready to give this account to any person concerned, as an act of justice to you. Signed, Robt. Quarry. 3¼ pp. Endorsed, Delivered by Mr. Penn to the Secretary, Nov., 1697.
76. II. Commission of Governor Nicholson to Captain Josiah Daniell and others of H.M.S. Prince of Orange to arrest certain privateers in Pennsylvania. 13 October, 1696. Copy. 1 p.
76. III. Captain Daniel's order to two of his officers to seize a privateer-ship at Newcastle, Delaware River. Copy. ½ p.
76. IV. Peter Alricks and John Donaldson to Governor Markham. Newcastle, 18 October, 1696. A strange invasion happened in this town yesterday. The Governor of Maryland sent over sixty men in a hostile manner to invade our liberty, and to seize Captain Day and his ship without acquainting a man in this place. All the men that they met in the road they took prisoners, and I myself, having just gone into a house, was taken for one of Captain Day's men, till I forced myself away and went to the end of the wharf to know what was the meaning of so many armed men, and who commanded them. They said they had the King's commission, which I have not yet seen. If you will suffer this gross affront from the Governor of Maryland I shall hold my hand upon my mouth and say no more. The bearers hereof will give you an account of everything. Captain Day's brigantine is under our guns, her sails in our custody, and men on board to secure her from being carried to Maryland, which had been done if I had not ordered Captain Day to move up before this town. P.S.—The reports that Day has been keeping men servants and man-of-war's men are all false. 2 pp.
76. V. A list of names of persons who can give information about pirates in Maryland. ¼ p. Endorsed, Delivered to the Secretary by Mr. Penn, Nov., 1697.
76. VI. Governor Markham to Captain Daniel, Philadelphia, 20 Oct., 1696. Your project for getting men to serve the King I approve, but the management I cannot commend. Sixty armed men marching into a town with colours flying, stopping all the inhabitants on the road and putting the whole country into consternation was a most irrational achievement, to say nothing of the abuse to the Government. I am well known to be zealous for the King's service, and had you warned me of your design you should have witnessed it. If any friend break into my house to do me service and I know not his intent, I will treat him accordingly; if he knock at the door I will treat him friendly. However, if any men are to be got, you shall shortly hear; and if any design be again on foot in which I can assist, let me know it beforehand, and you shall not want my assistance. Copy.
76. VII. Captain Josiah Daniell to Governor Markham. H.M. hired ship Prince of Orange. Patuxon River, 9 March, 1696–7. Last night three men ran away with the barge belonging to this ship, with two sails and eight oars. I suppose they are gone for your province. The worst sailors know how ready you are to entertain and protect all deserters, to the great prejudice of the King's service and to trade (except to your own quaking subjects who never did the King and kingdom any service) so that I beg you once more to give yourself a little trouble on his Majesty's account and cause strict enquiry to be made, that these deserters may be brought to punishment for a terror to others. It is ruin for any ships to lade here so long as they have such encouragement to run to your parts, whence they are allowed to go "Trampuseing" [? Trompeuseing, i.e. on piratical voyages] where they please. I read in last July's Gazette a proclamation to apprehend Captain Every and his crew, and hear that some of them are in your province. All Governors and Commanders are commanded to use their utmost efforts to apprehend them. I am certainly informed that the deserters from my ship appeared daily in public and offered their services to several masters in Philadelphia. I wonder that you prefer to gratify them rather than have regard to the King's service. I have received your letter by Colonel Quarry. I return you hearty thanks for my entertainment, which was better than I deserved. If you fall in my way I will endeavour to treat you as well as I am capable, but still have a regard to the King's service. Copy. 1 p.
76. VIII. Governor Markham to Captain Daniell. Philadelphia, 30 March, 1697. Yours of the 9th inst. is so indecent that it seems rather penned in the cook-room than the Great Cabin; but I take it as one of your inconsiderate actions and place it to your accustomed conversation. I shall take care to secure your men, if found within this Government, and do all things else for the King's service notwithstanding your vilifying of us. It is a great way from your ship to the province, no less than the whole length of Maryland. How comes it that they pass so quietly through that province without any notice taken by you, though upon a mere surmise you vilify our inhabitants. I know not what you mean by "trampuseing," unless you aimed at French to show your breeding, which you have ill set forth in your mother tongue. I belonged for many years to men-of-war, and then it was our custom, when we thought any men would run from us, not to leave the oars and sails in the boat but to keep a good watch, and often to hang our boats in the tackles. I hope I shall not fall in your way, lest my treatment be such as I find in your letter. I wish you a good voyage and a better temper. Copy. 1 p.
76. IX. James Clapoole to Governor Markham. Newcastle, 24 Feb., 1696–7. I received the enclosed from Sir Edmund Andros when I left home. I had not intended to be long absent, but was detained in Virginia by the severity of the weather until a few days since. The case of the men of H.M.S. Prince of Orange coming here to seize Day is very strangely represented in Maryland, and many affidavits have been taken against this Government, which to the best of my knowledge are absolutely false. The Governor is so incensed about it that he resolves to complain at home. The Governor of Virginia seemed to think it not proper to send armed men into another Government, without first acquainting the Governor of the same, on any pretence whatever. Mr. Coutts tells me he has obtained a permit from the Governor of Maryland to transport tobacco hence, provided he gives bond there that it shall go thence directly to England. He accordingly desired a permit from me, but I have refused to meddle therein without your order. The latest news from London is that money is so scarce and trade so dull that they only sat still to admire the deadness thereof. Sugar is fallen from 65 to 30 per cent. The hope of the nation was the Parliament which was to sit in December, and find out a remedy. Nothing done last campaign. Great discourse of peace, yet continued preparations for war. In November two ships brought a report of a plot to burn the fleet. I know not what truth is in it. 2 pp.
76. X. Petition of Samuel Carpenter and others to Governor Nicholson. Protesting against the 10 per cent. duty levied in Maryland on English goods landed there for Pennsylvania as an infringement of Pennsylvania's rights and of common usage in the Colonies, and requesting that it be not enforced. Copy. 1½ pp.
76. XI. George Plater and William Dent to Governor Nicholson. On the petition of Samuel Carter and other merchants of Pennsylvania we report as follows. (1) The merchants recite Penn's charter from King Charles II., but this gives no authority to Pennsylvania merchants to transport goods through this province or into this province without paying the dues imposed by law. The patent may give liberty to pass to and from any water leading to or from the country, but that does not mean the transport of goods through a country or into it without paying the duties imposed by law of that country. (2) The merchants set forth that hitherto they have enjoyed the free use of waters, etc., as the King's highway. We do not deny that many goods have so passed through without paying duty, but mere use does not create a right that shall continue for ever, nor is the said use lawful, for it is claimed without any limitations whatever, which is allowed to no one. (3) The merchants propose to unload the goods and carry them by water without putting them ashore, so that the Government shall be put to no charge. That does not answer the purpose of the law, but shows the facility of doing what the law is designed to prevent, viz., the buying up and removal of great quantities of English produce which were bought for Maryland, and returning rum, sugar and molasses, which English merchants could supply quite as well, and that for the produce of Maryland, without taking any English goods and the best and weightiest of the money. (4) As to the reason of the law, we conceive that it is not for us to give, but surely it is reasonable for a country to find the best means to check a trade which it judges prejudicial to itself. (5) As to the legality of the law, Lord Baltimore's patent was granted long before Mr. Penn's, and gives him power to levy such duties. Meanwhile since we do not know that the King has disallowed this law, we conceive that it should be enforced. Copy. 2½ pp.
76. XII. Governor Markham to William Penn. 13 Feb., 1696–7. Our town has had a great loss through the capture of a sloop off Barnygate by a French privateer. She was reckoned worth £9,000. This privateer met a Dutch one in the gulf with a British sloop from Jamaica. The privateers fought till night, but next day the sloop mistook the French privateer for the Dutch and was taken. The French kept one of her crew to pilot them on this coast. They had an Englishman by name Cross on board, who had been tried for piracy at Carolina and acquitted, but they would not trust him to be true to them as he had been a rogue to his own country. On reaching this coast she kept standing on and off between our Capes, causing great alarm. She was in great want of provisions, and Cross advised the Captain to send his men ashore to plunder (for he knew all the country well) but the Captain having no confidence in Cross resolved to make that his last shift. Meanwhile they took a ship bound from New York hither, which though a good prize did not feed their hungry bellies, but getting intelligence of three provision-ships sailing from Staten Island, and sending out a captured sloop to intercept them, they took one of them and sailed away in her, abandoning their sloop. Meanwhile the privateer remained in sight from the Capes for some ten days. One Captain Day who had a brigantine with 60 or 70 men offered the people at Newcastle that if they would give him thirty more men and provisions he would go down to the Capes and cruise there for twelve days, not doubting to outsail the privateer if he could engage her. The people seemed to favour this; and to encourage Day I gave him a commission. Governor Nicholson, on hearing that such a vessel as Day's was in this river set Captain Daniell (who is an easy good-natured man) upon a project of getting Day's men. I have told you that there was suspicion of him in some quarters that he had conspired with Governor Nicholson and others to subvert your Government; but this I never believed. In short had it not been for Major Donaldson there would have been bloodshed, but he managed to disarm the sixty seamen that came with their officers, and kept them in confinement until he could discharge them safely. Some of the men took the opportunity to desert, which much disturbed Captain Daniell. About the middle of October Commodore Wager came to Newcastle and brought Daniell with him. Major Donaldson waited on them, and Daniell could not forbear taking notice of that action to Donaldson, though checked by Wager. While they were at Philadelphia I got as much of their company as I conveniently could, and found Daniell to be such as I said, but he could not forbear reflecting as if we harboured their runaway seamen, until Wager checked him sharply, when we heard no more from him. At his going he gave me the names of the men who had gone from him, and I promised to have them taken if they were discovered. I hear that Governor Nicholson alleges that I got great matters by Day's commission, but I solemnly declare that I had not the value of a farthing for it, and gave it only in view of the common danger. I hear that Day sailed mate of a ship from Bristol. The master dying, he took command and brought her into Carolina, where he had her condemned as insufficient, sold many of the goods and purchased a brigantine of one Captain Risby, with whom he left the rest of the cargo, but in such a manner that neither Day nor the owners can get it out of his hands. I was concerned to hear it for the city of Bristol's sake, which I look on as my native country, and consulted how to secure Day and his vessel. We might easily have secured him, but unless we secured the men and the ship also, it might have raised a tempest, for the men would either have plundered the ship, or rescued him or elected another captain; therefore it was unadvisable. Signed, Wm. Markham. 5¼ pp.
76. XIII. Governor Markham to William Penn. Philadelphia, 22 February, 1696–7. Mr. Clark informs me that the Marylanders continue to encroach on us. I wish it were seasonable to dispute the bounds. I have heard from Major Donaldson that he had prepared an account of the men that came from Maryland armed, but had heard that Governor Nicholson had drawn up something against him and was waiting to obtain a copy of it. I had advice at the same time that Governor Nicholson had drawn up an information against this province for enticing away and harbouring men belonging to ships in Maryland and had sent it to the magistrates of Cecil County to sign. They refused to do so, knowing nothing of it, upon which he summoned them to Annapolis, and he has taken some course with the grand jury of the same county on the same account. He and his wise secretary, Sir Thomas Laurence, are a brace of pure informers, but have forgotten to inform how we entertain the inhabitants that leave Maryland to live in this province, where men are protected by laws and not put in fear of caning or cudgelling. This has been the occasion of several of their people seating among us, and at this time more are coming of the first rank. ¾ p.
76. XIV. Extracts from letters from Governor Markham to William Penn, to 24 April, 1697. I understand from yours what a rattle Randolph has made in England, and how he thinks no indigent man fit for a Government. Indigency might be well applied to himself. I know none of the King's Governors that come to America to sell fashions or to learn breeding or the language. It is the wrong end of the world for it. I confess that I have been a slave to this province many years and never saw a penny of their money. I have done my utmost to prevent false trading either by Scotch or English. As to what he says of Da. Lloyd's refusing to plead for the King, he knows that in the case of the vessel he seized here, Lloyd pleaded his information. As to privateers, when Governor Fletcher was Governor here several men came both to New York and to this place, which went by the name of privateers. They might be pirates for anything I know to the contrary. Governor Fletcher fleeced them at New York and also here, not by any violence but by blind signs which made them make up a purse of gold for him. One crew came into New York and gave him their ship, which he sold for £800. He gave protections to the seamen both here and at New York, for which his clerk got something. Some of these men gave me a small present, and one of them dying left me £50, but if they are pirates or were ever accused as such I never saw nor heard of it. Some of them have houses of their own and families in Philadelphia. . . . .
I have written at large about Captain Day. My one care was to secure the river, and I say in the presence of God that I had nothing for it, and did it in no hope of reward. Day went from hence to Curaçoa where he sold his brigantine, and went thence to Holland. . . .
No man living is without fault, but no man is readier to own his faults than I. But whoever is to be judged by success, as is too often done, may be much wronged. The Assembly sits on the 10th prox. I doubt not to explain all to your satisfaction if the Council of Trade will suspend judgment until then. I wish that anyone acquainted with Randolph, huffing and bouncing, had but seen him when I called him to account for his affronts here. They would have seen him truckle, and as humble as any spaniel-dog, but no sooner was he out of the town than he fell to reviling me after his base manner. I would have been after him and taught him what wood my cudgel was made of. I must confess that I am unsettled at the rascal's reports. 2 pp.
76. XV. William Markham to William Penn. Philadelphia, 1 May, 1697. I perceive by your last letter that you are much displeased with me. You charge me with what I was accounted rather opposite to—you charge me with avarice, and I cannot take it to be less than a suspicion of my honesty. I have had as many opportunities to have bettered my fortune since I have been here as those that have made use of them, but I have always been governed by such principles of religion and honour that I fear will always subject me to the character that Randolph gives of me. I have served you faithfully, but desire not to be a burden. I have trusted Providence hitherto, and though it may be hard with me, being a cripple, I cannot beg alms even at the door of them I spent my strength for. I have sent you a bow and arrows such as the Indians in the West Indian Islands use. If you do not care for such things yourself, you might oblige an antiquary with them. I am not sure whether Day went to Holland as master of his brigantine or not. 1 p.
76. XVI. William Markham to William Penn. Philadelphia, 1 March, 1696–7. James Clapoole gives me such an account of Governor Nicholson's malice and envy against this Government that I must enlarge upon him. I have always treated him with all possible respect, and he has returned it as endearing as a man could do. I cannot imagine what has possessed him to drive him into such a rage without the least notice or friendly advice to me. It is admirable to be caressed with all the shows of familiarity and suddenly without warning changed to an inveterate enemy, and to have prejudiced men hunted up to swear affidavits against me. But this is not the only Government he vents against. Not one on the Continent escapes him, but he thinks he can deal best with this and hopes to have it added to Maryland. He has long tried to grasp it, whether from avarice or enmity others must judge. His late actions have recalled to me his behaviour in this town. He embraced me with a kiss, and on a ride through the country would call at poor people's houses and enquire after miscarriages in the Government, and what the poor ignorant people could say he put down in his memorandum book. Who can escape complaints when there are such diligent informers. The minister of the Bishop of London, who was dismissed by his congregation, told me that there were several in this town who had a cabal against me. I asked if they were poor or rich, as I should be glad for the rich to begin, and he said that it was some of the chief, and their motive was my countenancing the Quakers as I did. He promised to let me know shortly who they were; but I have no doubt that it was by instigation of Governor Nicholson. He himself said to me that a rising against the Pennsylvanian Government would not be treason, nor would the King be at the charge of quelling it for him, intimating that rebellion was the way to bring the province under the King's government. If he said so much to me, what would he say to those not dependent on you? I conclude that some have promises of employment from him, who, with others that will never be satisfied with any government—some of whom are shrouded here under the name of Quakers—may soon rise to such a height as to endanger the Government. They shall be narrowly looked after and severely dealt with while I am here.
Mr. Coutts, whose ship is in Maryland, wants 50 hogsheads of tobacco to fill her, and several other ships there are in the same condition, and no tobacco to be got there. There is some in this river that the owners want rent for, and it is but seven miles to cart to Maryland; and though I am confident that it would be for the King's interest to let it pass, I dread being tricked, having seen neither original nor copy of any permit from Governor Nicholson. When I do I shall consider further of it. Please discourse the Commissioners of Customs concerning the transport of tobacco overland to Maryland, bond being given that it shall go from thence to England. I am satisfied that it will be for the King's interest. 3¼ pp.
76. XVII. Richard Halliwell and two more merchants of Pennsylvania to Governor Markham. Newcastle, 24 Feb., 1696–7. Stating that they have a permit from the Governor of Maryland to bring tobacco to be loaded there from Pennsylvania, and giving bond that it shall be carried from thence to England; and asking his permission to take advantage of it. ½ p. Copy.
76. XVIII. Governor Markham to Richard Halliwell and others. Philadelphia, 26 February, 1696–7. I would gladly serve you to the utmost where I may justly do so; but the law is positively against the request of your letter of 24th and I have no power as a Governor to dispense with an Act of Parliament. Copy. ½ p.
76. XIX. Extract from the Minutes of Council of Pennsylvania, 19 November, 1696. Resolved that the Governor write to Governor Fletcher to acquaint him that a law has been passed this session for raising £300, Pennsylvania money, for presents to the Five Nations, and to request particularly that the Indians be informed that this present comes from Pennsylvania in compliance with the Queen's order for a contribution to the defence of New York; that the Indians be further informed that the Pennsylvanians are their friends and will be ready to give them every assistance as much as in them lies and their religious persuasion will permit; and that the fact may be so represented to the King. Copy. 1 p.
76. XX. Copy of a letter from Governor Fletcher to Governor Markham. Albany, 28 November, 1696. Acknowledging the receipt of the foregoing minute and assuring him, with thanks, that his wishes shall be complied with. ½ p. Endorsement of the whole. Some of these papers received from Mr. Penn on 2 Nov., 1697, others later. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 2. No. 6 I.–XX.]
Nov. 29. 77. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Draft Circular for transmission of the Treaty of Peace read and approved.
The Answer of the Attorney and Solicitor-General as to offences against the Acts of Trade was read (No. 72), and it was ordered that the same be communicated to Governor Nicholson.
Colonel Gibsone presented to the Board a narrative of his proceedings (No. 75).
Mr. Gilbert Heathcote presented a memorial in defence of Sir William Beeston (No. 74), bringing witnesses to testify to his statements. Order for a letter to be prepared to the Duke of Shrewsbury on the subject.
Mr. Story appeared and again asked for consideration for his trouble and expense (No. 73). The Council expressing surprise that he had not returned to New Hampshire, he said that he had been unable to obtain a passage, and that he had entrusted the letters committed to him to the fleet that sailed with Lord Bellomont.
Dec. 1. Mr. Walrond's letter to Lord Bridgewater of 11 September last was read.
Petition of Sir Peter Colleton's executors read (No. 81). Order for Mr. Eyles to attend on Friday next, and that letters be prepared to express the Board's opinion on the matter.
Dec. 3. Several Orders in Council of 25th ult. about matters in various Colonies read.
Mr. Francis Eyles attending declared that he esteemed Colonel Colleton a fair man, but had no instructions upon the controversy now laid before him. [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 357–362.]
Nov. 30.
78. Circular letter from William Popple to the Governors of all the Colonies. Forwarding them copies of the Treaty of Peace of Ryswick. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. pp. 208–209.]