America and West Indies: October 1698, 26-31

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: October 1698, 26-31', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905), pp. 510-521. British History Online [accessed 16 June 2024].

. "America and West Indies: October 1698, 26-31", in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905) 510-521. British History Online, accessed June 16, 2024,

. "America and West Indies: October 1698, 26-31", Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905). 510-521. British History Online. Web. 16 June 2024,

October 1698

Oct. 26. Order in Council of 25th ult. upon the state of New York received, and directions given for draft letters to be prepared accordingly.
Acts of Massachusetts further considered.
Oct. 27. Representations as to denizenation of foreigners, as to the defences of New York, and as to Naval Officers and Proprietary Governments signed, and copy of the last ordered to be sent to Mr. Lowndes. Letter to Sir William Beeston signed.
Acts of Massachusetts further considered.
Oct. 28. Representation accompanying the draft of a letter as to New York signed. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 263–267.]
Oct. 27.
939. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices of England. Recommending that Colonel Romer be allowed to stay in New York to look to the fortifications there until Christmas, 1699, and that 200 recruits be sent to New York. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. New York, 53. pp. 45–46.]
Oct. 27.
940. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices of England. On the subject of Acts of Denizenation referred to us by your Order in Council of 20th inst. (see No. 910), we report as follows. We do not find that Governor Fletcher or any other Governors in America had or have any authority by their commissions to endenise foreigners; and though in some cases this power has been conferred on Governors by their Assemblies, yet it has been so limited as not to extend to any advantage to any persons denised beyond the bounds of the Government where the grant was made. But we do not understand that upon one pretence or other any grant has been granted in such large terms as this by Governor Fletcher, for it is expressly to enable the person denised to trade to and from New York (without regard to Acts of Parliament in England) though some pretences have formerly been made to a very large interpretation of similar grants. Thus in 1682, Governor Stapleton caused a vessel part-owned by a Frenchmen, naturalised by Lord Culpeper in Virginia, to be seized and condemned, and the sentence was confirmed by the late Committee of Trade and Plantations. We think the letters of denizenation granted by Governor Fletcher not only grounded on no authority, but of most pernicious consequence and directly contrary to the intent of the Acts of Trade. We therefore think the judgment of the Provincial Court of Maryland in acquitting Arnold Noding's vessel to be contrary to law, and that the Attorney-General was right in appealing from it to the Governor in Council. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 9. pp. 309–313.]
Oct. 27.
941. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Sir William Beeston. Since our last of 19 May we have received yours of 6 April, 31 May, 4 and 6 June and 5 July. We have recommended to the King the remission of the forfeiture incurred by you through your delay in taking the oath to the Act for regulating the Plantation Trade, and have left the soliciting of the affair to Mr. Heathcote. Your representations as to the inconvenience of patentees not fulfilling their offices in person shall be laid before the King. Neither Mr. Lloyd nor Mr. Brodrick have made any application to us, so we say nothing of them. If they do apply to us we shall remember what you write. Your last letter as to the Assiento makes it unnecessary for us to take any notice of Sir James Castillo's petition; but if there had been any difficulties in relation thereto we are so sensible of the advantages brought by the Assiento to Jamaica that we should willingly have contributed our endeavours to remove them. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 56. pp. 230–232.]
Oct. 27.
942. William Popple to William Lowndes. I forward copy of a representation to the Lords Justices (see next abstract) for communication to the Lords of the Treasury, it being drawn in accordance with the desire signified in your letter of 14th inst. (No. 894). The Council of Trade will make use of that part of the enclosure therein which relates to irregular trade through Newfoundland at some fit opportunity. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. p. 368.]
Oct. 27.
943. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices of England. We lay before you a draft instruction for the Governors of Colonies in compliance with a report of the Commissioners of Customs, which has been forwarded to us by the Treasury (see No. 894 I.). We agree with the Treasury that it may be of good service towards the security of the Plantation Trade, and we therefore beg that it may be sent not only to the Colonies under the King's immediate authority, but also to those which are under distinct Proprieties or Charters, concerning which last we would inform you (as we informed the King on 13 January last) that none of the Propriety or Charter Governments have yet given security for the conduct of their Governors, which we required of them in pursuance of the address of the House of Lords, though we conceive that this would not only check illegal trade, but also other irregularities in these Plantations. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill.
Here follows, copy of the draft instruction referred to, directing that all Naval Officers shall give security for due discharge of their trust to such persons as are appointed by the Commissioners of Customs for that purpose, and that no certificates signed by a Naval Officer for clearing of ships shall be valid without the concurrence of the Collector. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. pp. 369–372.]
Oct. 27.
New York.
944. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to William Popple. I send with this a proclamation for a day of fasting and humiliation, thinking this a proper means for removing the heats between different parties here. Last Wednesday was the day, and, to prove the wickedness of the people who would disturb my Government, few of them came to church and of the ringleaders not one. To-day there was another instance of the brutishness of some people here. The master of the ship that carries this promised to call on me on Thursday for the King's packets, but, it seems, intended to leave the letters behind and be gone. See the enclosed certificate and warrant; only I must add that yesterday Mr. Hungerford, the Commissioner of Customs, sent to him to bid him come and receive the King's packet from me, in answer to which he swore that he would not for all the Governors in Christendom, nor be post-boy to carry letters for anybody. This refusal made me send a warrant to bring him by force. The angry merchants had no doubt encouraged him to this insolence, else he durst not have refused to carry the letters after promising to call for and carry them. This is another specimen of their rage and malice, and I am satisfied that only fear keeps them from rebellion. Unlawful trade and pirates' spoil from the Red Sea is what they thirst after. I should like the Council of Trade to know the above particulars. I omitted also to inform the Council in my letter that Mr. Brooke carried over with him a bill prepared last Assembly to reconcile parties here. Though it has a specious name, there is a snake in the grass, which is this. Mr. Nicoll, the most active and inveterate of my enemies here, drew that bill and calculated it for his own advantage, for he has made the indemnity in the bill to extend no further than to Colonel Fletcher's arrival at New York, and all the extravagant decrees, judgments, etc., were obtained during his government. Nicoll himself obtained a judgment for £500 from a very honest Dutchman here upon pretence of his imprisonment during Leisler's government. The truth is that Nicoll opposed the Revolution and this Dutchman seized him by Leisler's order, and for his contumacy Nicoll was put in prison. It is well known that Nicoll was not worth half £500 when that judgment was given; but this is not all. The factious merchants and people in this town to the number of twenty-eight raised £100 by subscription, and sent it home by Brooke to bribe some of the officers about the Court and obtain the King's peremptory order to me to pass that reconciling bill next Assembly. I undertake to prove the truth of this; and I came to know it thus. One of the late suspended Councillors being checked by another Councillor for the part he supposed him to have in framing a complaint against me in England, the other denied it strongly, saying that he had never been concerned against me except as one of the twenty-eight persons aforesaid, and telling the story that I have told you. Pray inform the Council of this. The said bill would confirm and finish the ruin of several families and relieve none; so I hope that I shall not be ordered to pass it. Signed, Bellomont. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 19th, Read 20th Dec., 1698. Attached, an abstract of the foregoing letter. 1 p. Enclosed,
944. I. Proclamation of Governor Lord Bellomont for a day of fasting and humiliation, to be held on the 26th of October; the preamble accusing the people of the province of every description of wickedness. Printed sheet. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 19 Dec., 1698.
944. II. Warrant of Governor Lord Bellomont for the arrest of Thomas Jeffers, master mariner, for taking his ship down to Staten Island without calling for the Governor's packets. 28 October, 1698.
Letter from Mr. Hungerford and Lieutenant Daniel Hunt to Lord Bellomont. We duly went on board Thomas Jeffers's ship with your warrant, but he answered that he cared for no warrant in Christendom, and used other contemptuous expressions. He also said that all the devils under the copes of Heaven should not force him to give a receipt for the Governor's packet. Copies. 1 p. Endorsed as No. I. [Board of Trade. New York, 8. Nos. 17, 17 I., II.; and 53. pp. 142–145.]
Oct. 28.
945. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices of England. Submitting the draft of a letter to the Earl of Bellomont for approval. Signed, J. Bridgewater. Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. Here follows the draft,
Lords Justices of England to Governor the Earl of Bellomont. We commend your zeal and diligence in enquiring into and reforming the abuses at New York. We confirm the removal of William Pinhorne, Chidley Brooke, and William Nicoll from all their places, except those held by patent under the Great Seal, also the removal of Nicholas Bayard and Frederick Phillips from the Council; and we approve the appointment of Abraham Depeyster, James Graham, Samuel Staats, Robert Livingston, and John Corbile in their stead. You will prosecute all pirates and illegal traders according to law. You will take all legal measures to annul extravagant land-grants, and in future attach to all grants a quitrent of 2s. 6d. per 100 acres and a condition that the land shall be improved within three years. Memo. This letter was dated 10 November, 1698. [Board of Trade. New York, 53. pp. 47–51.]
Oct. 28. 946. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Orders for the letters and papers concerning John Coode to be transmitted to England. The report of the Committee respecting a draft Ports Act was read, to the effect that the case would be met by appointing certain places for loading and unloading of ships, viz., three on James River and two on each of the other great rivers. Encouragement should be given to people to reside at these places; warehouses should be built in them, and no limitations nor restrictions imposed but such as are absolutely necessary. The Council approved the report. Order for the Rangers to be disbanded. Several claims for payment examined and allowed. Order for survey of the military store-house at Tindall's Point. Several claims relating to H.M.S. Swift were referred to the Auditor. The sentence of death passed on Arthur Jarvis for burglary was, on the Council's advice, commuted to transportation. The Attorney-General presented his report on the fire at the State-house to the effect that, though there were depositions which threw suspicion on the said Jarvis as the incendiary, there was insufficient evidence for a prosecution. William Randolph then gave in the papers in his custody on resigning the Attorney-ship-General.
Oct. 29. Bartholemew Fowler was sworn, on appointment to be Attorney-General. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 53. pp. 148–153.]
Oct. 29.
947. John Usher to Council of Trade and Plantations. Since my last Mr. Allen has arrived in New Hampshire and taken over the Government. I have lately visited all the Colonies from New England to Pennsylvania and have made the following observations. The Jerseys are without a Government, Colonel Basse not being qualified by the confirmation of the King and Council. There are no Courts of Justice held, and the people as to justice are left without a remedy. "Pennsylvania—governed by "Quakers who turn their swords into plowshares—arbitrary in their "proceedings, account of which doubt not but you may receive from "Colonel Quarry, whose report of matters judge may be given "credence to." They "govern by the dictates of their own reason, "and the law is as they stand affected." Pirates have resorted thither and the Acts of Trade are too often violated. I cannot see how the Quakers can observe the Acts of Trade, all places being free for trade and no fort to prevent violation thereof, hence the King is greatly injured. The preservation of the Jerseys and Pennsylvania is at the expense of New York in securing the Five Nations at Albany. If the Five Nations should go to the French, they [Pennsylvania] "would be but for one breakfast," and the King would lose a fine country because inhabited by Quakers, who are not for using the carnal weapon. I write not to assail the Proprietors' right—God forbid—but to secure the King's Plantations. The trade of those parts is open and free; no duty is paid; and the Proprietors, not the Crown, gain the profit. This is esteemed a hardship on New York. I was told that several ships unload at Amboy and then import their goods into New York Province; hence the King loses the duty granted for the support of the Government. The Dutch often said they were for freeing trade in New York as in other places. In this case the disadvantages to the Crown would exceed the benefits which it reaps from these places. In Connecticut and Rhode Island the Governors are annually chosen. Quare, does not the Act, which obliges all Governors put in by Proprietors to be approved by the King and Council, reach these chartered Governments? The Proprietors of provinces are in England where they can be called to account for maladministration, whereas the Charter Governments are far remote. New York and New England, being immediately under the King, are at great inconvenience, for they secure the Colonies at vast expense, while the Proprietary and Chartered Provinces sit at ease and bear no charge in proportion. I wish that the King would so adjust matters that the Colonies directly under his government should not bear all the burden of securing the Plantations, while the rest go free, for of late New York and New England are all bondmen; so that it is small comfort to be under the King's Government, when the rest go free. Those under the King's Government should enjoy as much ease as their neighbours. Pardon my impertinence in writing thus. Signed, John Usher. 1¼ pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 9. No. 38; and 37. pp. 59–64.]
Oct. 29.
948. John Nelson to William Blathwayt. You are our only remaining hope for a barrier against French pretensions to the fishery. I have laid my thoughts hereon before the Council of Trade, but you are the only person at Court, or perhaps in England, who is sufficiently acquainted with American affairs, and for this reason are doubtless chosen to be one of the Commissioners to settle the boundaries between the French and ourselves in these countries. Our confidence is that no concession will be made depriving us of our right of fishing on the high seas, in which the French mean to obstruct us unless the matter be regulated. Since my arrival I have visited those French parts, where the French Governor showed me his instructions. I find they ground their pretensions on the Treaty of Neutrality of 1686, interpreting the extent of their coast to include all banks in the ocean that front upon them, even though twenty leagues distant, whereas the coast means harbours, bays, rivers, and making use of their shores. It has often been decided among civilians that where no bounds can be fixed (as in the ocean or in the air) no right can be claimed. If we yield to the French pretensions (1) our navigation will be diminished and that of the French augmented; (2) the money and bullion brought into the realm by the fishing-trade will be lost to us and transferred to France; (3) the Colonies here will be ruined. Pray take notice too of the design to encroach upon Kennebec river, so as to gain the Indians wholly to their side and become masters of the mast and timber trade. But whatever their specious pretences, I doubt not that by your advice they will be frustrated, and our ancient rights preserved. Lord Bellomont's difficulties at New York prevent him from representing these matters himself; but your countenance to me in my private importunities has encouraged me to write to you my thoughts. Signed, Jno. Nelson. 3 pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 9. No. 39; and 37. pp. 95–98.]
[Oct. 31.] 949. Memorandum of the receipt of the Pennsylvania Act for regulating the Plantation trade, with Edward Randolph's marginal notes. Read 31 Oct., 1698. ¼ p. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 2. No. 38.]
Oct. 31.
950. Governor Sir Edmund Andros to Mr. Secretary Vernon. I was much concerned at the dissolution of the Assembly which met on the 28th ult. and whose journals are sent herewith. I thought the Burgesses well disposed, but when they admitted a member not born in England, Ireland or the Plantations, contrary to Act of Parliament, I was obliged to dissolve them, and the season will not admit the calling of another Assembly at present. All is well and quiet, but I have not yet recovered my health. Signed, E. Andros. 1 p. [American and West Indies. 638. No. 31.]
Oct. 31.
951. Governor Sir Edmund Andros to Council of Trade and Plantations. The Council have drawn up a report on the revisal of the laws, and a draft Act that may have a tendency to the Ports Act. The General Assembly met on the 28th of September, but I was obliged to dissolve it, as the Burgesses admitted a member not born in England, Ireland or the Plantations, which was contrary to the Act for regulating the Plantation trade. By advice in Council I have issued a proclamation against the harbouring of pirates or privateers. I have appointed Colonel Dudley Digges to the Council in the room of Christopher Wormeley, deceased, and I beg for his confirmation. He is well qualified, of a plentiful estate and good family, and very acceptable to the other members. The Council have also appointed William Byrd to be Agent in England. He is of a principal family, was late of the Council and is in good esteem with the Burgesses. On the 20th inst. a fire broke out in a house adjoining the State-house, which in a very short time was wholly burnt, and also the prison. But, it being Court-time and many people there, all records and papers were saved, and on being sorted and listed are found undamnified. They will soon be in good order, and they will be kept in a brick house in Jamestown, which has also been appointed for use of the Court until further order. Mr. Bartholemew Fowler has by the Council's advice been appointed Attorney-General in the room of Mr. Randolph, resigned. The minutes, journals and other public papers are sent herewith, but those relating to Mr. John Coode of Maryland are thought by the Council so extraordinary that they have been put together for more ready account thereof. Signed, E. Andros. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 3 April, Read 17 May, 1699. Enclosed,
951. I. Proclamation of the Governor of Virginia for a day of fasting and humiliation on 15 July. Dated, 8 July. 1 p.
951. II. Speech of Sir Edmund Andros on opening the Session of the General Assembly on 30 September. Copy. 1¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 3 April, 1699.
951. III. Proclamation of the Governor of Virginia against the harbouring and entertaining of pirates. Dated, 7 Oct., 1698. Copy. 2 pp. Endorsed as No. II.
951. IV. Proclamation of the same for the arrest of John Coode, at the instance of the Governor of Maryland, for blasphemous and atheistical speeches. Dated, 17 Oct., 1698. Copy. 2 pp. Endorsed as No. II.
951. V. Order of the Council of Virginia approving the report of some of its members as to a draft Act to appoint Ports. Dated, 28 Oct., 1698. Copy. 1½ pp. Endorsed as No. II.
951. VI. Proclamation of the Governor of Virginia for bringing in the books and papers scattered owing to the burning of the State-house. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. Nos. 65, 65 I.–VI.; and 37. pp. 311–314.]
[Oct. 31.] 952. Copies of the proceedings relating to John Coode referred to in the preceding letter.
Governor Nicholson, Maryland, to Sir Edmund Andros. Annapolis, 15 December, 1696. Enclosing a collection of papers relating to John Coode, senior, viz., eight depositions as to blasphemous language used by him; warrant for his arrest, dated 3 May, 1696; the Sheriff's return that he was not to be found; the Attorney-General's petition for renewing of process against him; a fresh warrant for his arrest and a similar return from the Sheriff; the presentment against him and the Grand Jury's return of a true bill; further renewal of the process; fresh warrants for Coode's arrest and for recovery of the sums held by him as Collector of Revenue; state of the case against him; Order of the Council of Maryland for the papers to be sent to Sir Edmund Andros; and copy of a Maryland Act against blasphemy.
Copy of a warrant issued by Sir Edmund Andros for arrest of Coode, 3 January, 1697.
Copy of a letter from Governor Nicholson to Sir Edmund Andros of 19 Feb., 1697, asking that the warrant for Coode's arrest may be as widely distributed as possible and every measure taken to prevent his escape.
Copy of a letter from Governor Nicholson to Sir Edmund Andros, 2 July, 1698. Forwarding fresh evidence against Coode, with documents, which seemed to insinuate that Coode was protected by the Government of Virginia, and asking for the immediate arrest of Coode and of his associates.
Copy of a letter from Sir Edmund Andros to Governor Nicholson. 13 July, 1698. If John Coode be in Virginia, why do not your people use my warrant to apprehend him? As to his associates, I have nothing before me to shew that they are fugitives from justice, and the warrant for arresting them appears to apply only to St. Marie's County. My Council are of my opinion.
Copy of a letter from Governor Nicholson to Sir Edmund Andros, 6 Sept., 1698. Pressing again very earnestly for the arrest of Coode, and enclosing an indictment against him for sedition, and addresses from the justices and jurors of the Provincial Court of Maryland respecting Coode and his proceedings.
Copy of an Order of Council of Virginia of 7 October, 1698, resolving that the Governor having issued a warrant for Coode's arrest, there is nothing more to be done except to send home the documents relating to the case.
Copy of a letter from Governor Nicholson to Sir Edmund Andros, 3 October, 1698; sending a duplicate of his last letter, as he has received no reply to it, and a fresh proclamation against Coode.
Copy of a resolution of Council of Virginia, of 15 October, 1698, to the effect that no further steps are necessary except to issue a fresh proclamation for arrest of Coode if in Virginia. Copy of the proclamation. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 52. pp. 514–550.]
[Oct. 31.] 953. Memorandum as to the receipt of the documents mentioned in the preceding abstract. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 66.]
Oct. 31.
954. Governor Sir Edmund Andros to William Popple. I have not yet recovered my health. You will see from my letter to the Council all that I have to report. There is no discontent and all is well and easy. I hope soon to wait on you, as the King has granted my return home. Signed, E. Andros. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 3 April, 1699. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 67.]
Oct. 31. 955. Minutes of Council of Bermuda. The Assembly met, when Francis Jones was nominated Speaker.
Nov. 1. The Assembly presented their Speaker, who was approved, and, the members having been sworn, the Governor made his speech, putting forward the proposals enjoined upon him by his instructions, and making the following proposals: (1) to pass an Act for the effectual repairing of highways; (2) to restrain the number of horses by imposing a rate on those that keep them; (3) to prevent the stealing and destroying of oranges; (4) to provide compensation for owners of slaves who are executed; (5) to prevent the clipping and defacing of coin; (6) to revive the tax on liquors and sugar. Address of the Assembly in reply. We think an export duty of a penny per lb. on tobacco against the interest of the Colony and of the Crown; the settlement of quit-rents is contrary to the nature of the titles of our lands; a public levy is repugnant to the interest of the Island. We think an import duty on liquors to be far preferable. The Act about shipping provides for security to be given for payment of the King's customs. The prison and fortifications shall be repaired. We have no imported white servants, so there is no occasion for an Act to prevent inhumanity to them. We have long endeavoured the conversion of negroes to Christianity, but find that the greater their instruction in religion, the greater their insolence, obstinacy and incorrigibleness. There is no need to raise stocks to employ the poor, there being more employment for them than they can perform. We shall offer you a bill for restraining pirates and other bills. Here follows, an address of welcome from the Assembly to Governor Day. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 39. pp. 4–8.]
Oct. 31. 956. Journals of House of Delegates of Maryland. William Coursey's private bill, a bill to secure Administrators and a bill to repeal the imposition on offices, read a first time. A question as to executions for officers' fees referred to the Committee of Laws. The Speaker reported that last session's Journal of Grievances was in the Governor's hands. Committee of Laws appointed. Message from the Council approving of the Delegates' proceedings. Report on the papers sent down by the Governor presented. Bill ordered for the restraint of pirates. References from the Committee of Accounts considered.
Nov. 1. Bill as to Administrators and Coursey's bill read a second time. References from the Committee of Accounts considered. Report of the Committee on the papers presented by the Governor. On the Council of Trade's letter of 2 September, 1697; (1) the first part refers to a former letter; (2) we do not think it worth while to look after the debt due to the public from Colonel Copley's estate; (3) we request the Governor to answer the questions as to arms; (4) the Committee of Accounts will answer as to public money; (5) we hope that the conclusion of peace puts an end to a need for the quota for New York; (6) we desire to have no further concern yet about the boundaries of Pennsylvania; (7) new copies of the laws have been written; (8) the Governor has given orders as to freemen, servants, etc.; (9) a bill is ordered for the restraint of pirates; (10) we cannot explain the non-agreement of the Sheriffs' returns with the Governor's orders as to the Acts of Trade, not knowing what those orders were; (11) our address for the remission of forfeited bonds has been forwarded and seconded by the Governor; (12) we beg the Governor to acquaint Lord Baltimore's Agents with the evils of engrossment of large tracts of land; (13) we are not conscious of needing a general Act of Pardon; (14) the matter of the two condemned women does not concern this House; (15) Mr. William Dent's petition to be Solicitor-General concerns the Governor only; (16) as to Addresses and Associations we need make no more remark; (17) we conceive that the instructions as to margins for public documents may be advisable. The question of keeping an Agent in England was negatived. Order for a bill for purchase of lands for the Cool Springs. The Governor requested to appoint members of Council to join some of the Delegates in considering the matter of the church-roof. A bill ordered for an allowance to the Sheriffs for taking charge of letters and packets, also a bill to empower vestries to raise money for repair of churches. 1,600 lbs. of tobacco voted as the allowance to the Serjeant attendant. Message from the Governor, making proposals as to examination of the revenue for arms, and the distribution of arms and ammunition. The Delegates agreed as to the distribution of the arms in several counties. Sundry accounts considered.
Nov. 2. The Committee of Laws was ordered to prepare a bill for allowances to Sheriffs. Bills to restrain pirates, and to empower vestries to raise money, read a first time. Message from the Council for a joint Committee to examine the laws agreed to. Recommendations of the Council as to the charges and oaths of juries referred to next Session. A proposal as to new modelling the Militia law rejected. The Governor made a present to the country of the Serjeant's staff, with directions as to its use. On a proposal as to Indians, the House thought that surveyors should be sent to run out the land of the Choptank Indians. The letter of the Governor of Virginia and his proclamation for arrest of Coode was held to need no answer. Sundry petitions considered. The House refused leave to Colonel Thompson to go and fetch his Naval Officer's accounts. Sundry orders given on minor affairs.
Nov. 3. Certain petitions considered. The Vestries Bill was read a second time, and a bill to repeal an Act for Supply read a first time. Joint Committee requested by the Delegates in the matter of the Nanticoke Indians. £20 granted to Joseph Man. Sundry small orders made.
Nov. 4. Journal of Committee of Accounts read. Report of Committee of Grievances read. Recommended that with the Governor's leave the Journals of the Delegates may be transcribed during Session and sealed up, so that there may be no suspicion of their being altered; that the Governor abstain from any sort of overawing the House; that no members may be questioned for free-speaking in the House within the bounds of their duty to the King, nor be troubled on any reports but from the House; that Justices be not troubled upon obsolete laws, but that their duties be made easy; that the Governor abstain from calling on the clerks to discover, on oath, all that is done in Committee; that members be not hindered from going home nor be ill-represented to the people; and that jurymen be not examined as to their verdicts nor bound over to appear at next court and to be of good behaviour. Resolved to embody the said report in an address. Robert Mason presented his accounts, who reported that the Governor had ordered him to cease to execute his office, and had forbidden Naval Officers to account with him. Resolved to address the Governor on the subject. Resolved that the practice of keeping a boat on the Eastern shore, for the passage of Delegates to and from the Assembly, be continued as heretofore at the public expense.
Nov. 5. Bill to repeal a Supply Act and the Vestries Bill read a second time. Bills for purchase of land at Cool Springs, for an allowance to Sheriffs for packets, to secure Delegates and Justices from serving on juries, for repealing an Act as to Sheriffs' duties, as to recovery of dues by public officers, and for ascertaining the boundaries of lands, read a first time. Robert Mason's accounts sworn. Members appointed to apportion the public levy. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 15. pp. 315–334.]
Oct. 31. 957. Minutes of Council of Maryland in Assembly. Answer of the Delegates as to Indians and liberty of conscience. Message to the Delegates as to accounts of the arms-fund and distribution of arms, and the Delegates' answer of concurrence.
Nov. 1. Several proposals to the Delegates as to examining the laws, juries' charges and forms of oaths, the Militia, the Nanticoke Indians, and other matters.
Nov. 2. Bill as to administrations read a first time and amended. Coursey's private bill read a first time. A law proposed to be made to make real estate liable to debts. Proposed also that sales of land to be licensed by the Assembly be published three months beforehand. Referred to the Delegates, a petition, a question as to qualifications of parish-clerks, and a proposal for a law for correspondence with Virginia as to runaway debtors and criminals. The report of the Delegates on the Council of Trade's letter of 2 September, 1697 (see preceding abstract).
Nov. 3. Joseph Man's petition referred to the Committee of Accounts. Resolved that the Assembly be prorogued in order to their better temper. Answers of the Delegates to several of the Council's proposals.
Nov. 4. Bill as to marriage licences read a first time. Several petitions referred to the Delegates. Observations on the Delegates' answers to the Council of Trade's letter of 2 September, 1697 (see preceding abstract, Nov. 1.) (1) The letter referred to never reached me. (2) The account of stores is sent home. (3) The Attorney-General has been ordered to look into Governor Copley's estate. (6) Directions as to boundaries of the province have been sent, but have miscarried. (7) It is not for you to give an opinion as to the Royal Instructions. You have omitted to answer the question as to temporary laws. (10) The Sheriffs were ordered to make their returns separately, instead of which they mixed them up. (11) I desire no thanks for having done my duty to the King, which was to give an opinion on the address which I sent home. (12) The House should give some order to Lord Baltimore's Agents as to the engrossment of land. (13) You are the first people that have ever refused the royal grace.
Nov. 5. Robert Mason swore to his accounts. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 14. pp. 363–376.]
Oct. 31. 958. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. A report received this morning from Lord Bellomont was read, also two letters from him of 14 and 21 September with several papers.
Captain Norris's letter of 27 September last read.
Acts of Massachusetts further considered.