America and West Indies: December 1697, 16-31

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1905.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


'America and West Indies: December 1697, 16-31', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905), pp. 61-78. British History Online [accessed 23 June 2024].

. "America and West Indies: December 1697, 16-31", in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905) 61-78. British History Online, accessed June 23, 2024,

. "America and West Indies: December 1697, 16-31", Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905). 61-78. British History Online. Web. 23 June 2024,

December 1697

Dec. 16. Agreed that the Council nominate two persons and the Representatives one to meet Lord Bellomont.
Dec. 17. A vote of the Representatives for allowing a rebate of duty, and several votes for payment of salaries and small charges, agreed to. Wait Winthrop, Elisha Cooke and Penn Townsend appointed to meet Lord Bellomont at New York.
Dec. 18. On the motion of the Representatives, the preparation of a bill to prohibit exportation of coin and bullion was ordered. The question of Thomas Hinkley's land deferred to next Session. Address to Lord Bellomont read, and left to further reading. Sending votes for payments agreed to. [Board of Trade. New England, 48. pp. 207–211.]
Dec. 16.
102. Order of the King in Council. Referring the representation of the Council of Trade respecting Colonel Gibsone's accounts (see No. 93) to the Lords of the Treasury for consideration. Copy. ¼ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 21 Dec., 1697. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 92; and 25. p. 172.]
Dec. 16. 103. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. The Council passed the Act for regulating slaves, sent up by the Assembly, and agreed that the Act for an impost on liquors should be renewed. Address of the Assembly to the Governor, setting forth the trouble that might ensue to Antigua if on his death, and after his beneficent rule, Lieutenant-Governor Gardner should succeed him in the Government; and praying him to take measures to avert such an event. Answer of the Governor, that he recognised the justice of their fears and would do what he could. Message from the Governor that Barry Tankard had returned and surrendered himself for trial. The Assembly sent up six Acts to the Governor to be passed, of which he declined to pass those for regulating fees, and appointing the number of the Assembly. Orders as to land grants, and for payments in compensation to the owner of two runaway negroes who had been killed. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 222–227.]
Dec. 16. 104. Minutes of Council of Montserrat. Free licence granted to Hercules Murphy to keep a tavern for a year, he having been maimed in the expedition to Martinique. A joint Committee appointed to audit the Treasurer's accounts. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. p. 527.]
Dec. 16.
105. Order of the King in Council. Referring Governor Codrington's letter to the Privy Council of 5 July, to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Copy. ¼ p. [Board of Trade. Leeward Island, 5. No. 62; and 45. p. 127.]
Dec. 17. 106. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Letter of the Council of Trade of 27 October read. Order for peace to be proclaimed accordingly. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. 395–396.]
Dec. 17. 107. Sworn information of William Hughes, of the parish of St. James's, Westminster. I have received the enclosed letter as to the misusage of my son by Captain Ganspoole. When my son was first retained as servant to him it was agreed that he should have four shillings a year, meat, drink, washing, lodging and clothes, while in England, and on accompanying him to Antigua, twenty shillings a year more, also to be clerk of his company, giving a month's warning upon dislike. Captain Ganspoole promised the servant that he should freely go to his brother, William Burnett, at Barbados; all of which, according to this letter, he has not performed. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 20 Dec., 1697. Enclosed,
107. I. Benjamin Burnett to his parents, 29 Sept., 1697. Dear father and mother, my humble duty presented unto you hoping that these lines will find you in good health as I am at this present, blessed be God for it. Your long absence from me surprises me, especially I not having heard from you since I came, only my brother William informs me in a letter which he sent to me that he received a letter from you and that you desired him to enquire after me, which he did, but my master will not permit me to go to him, neither will he give me any money or clothes, but keeps me in a very poor condition. I have been very bad of the fever and ague for the space of seven months, but I thank God am now recovered, and am resolved now I have my health never to remain in this poor condition, but privately depart from this unfaithful master of mine hoping that God Almighty will be my guide, and you may assure yourselves that wheresoever I am I shall not fail to send you word. Pray remember my kind love to my brothers and bid them to take care how they depart from Europe with strangers. Pray remember me to all my friends and acquaintance, having no more to say at this time but my prayers to God for you all, I remain your dutiful and obedient son till death, Benjamin Burnett. 1 p. Very well written and spelt. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. Nos. 63, 63 I.]
Dec. 19.
108. John Usher to Council of Trade and Plantations. I have received yours of 3 August and 27 October last. Herein I enclose an account of my proceedings in pursuance of your orders in New Hampshire. I gave you formerly an account of the seizure of the Government by Hincks, Vaughan and Waldern. Since then they have taken upon themselves to call an Assembly, have raised a considerable sum of money, turned Joseph Smith out of his places as Councillor and Treasurer, and have taken the King's money into their hands, for which Smith had issued out a warrant, pursuant to an Act when I was in the Government. This I judge proper to lay before you. As to the present disorders relating to the Government, pray refer to the enclosed. As to Partridge I submit that he might have qualified himself when he was in England but he neglected to do so, and for over a year after his arrival here refused to assume the Government as not being qualified. On the day after I had published your orders he entered on the Government without qualifying himself, contrary to your directions of 3 August, and Hincks gave him an oath. He then admitted three suspended persons to Council, without their restoration by the King's authority, and put out Joseph Smith and Kingsley Hall, both loyal persons who sat with me in Council on the 13th inst. All this was expressly contrary to the King's commission and very discouraging to loyal persons. He has made one Penny Secretary, a person who is not a freeholder nor has five pounds in the world, contrary to the Royal Instructions. Partridge being sensible that he could not gratify himself before entrance on the Government made Hincks, Vaughan, Waldern, Eliott and Coffin give bonds to pay part of the £1,000 penalty imposed by the Act, which, with submission, I take to be a high misdemeanour. I am told that Partridge with advice of his Council has issued warrants to call an Assembly; if he be not qualified I judge he cannot legally do so. The reason why Partridge did not sooner assume the Government was that he had two ships from Bilboa with iron, and another with European goods from Newfoundland arrived this summer, all contrary to the Acts of Trade, and that he feared I might seize the vessel and part of the goods, which I should have attempted. I issued my warrants for my Commission, instructions and the seal to be given to me, Partridge, Hincks, etc., having by a wile got them from Mr. Fryer, in whose custody I had left them. I could not by warrant obtain them so, as Partridge entered the Government, keeping my commission, etc., I judged it my safety to proceed no further in the Government but to retire to Boston and await further orders. When Captain Walton went to England there was £83 of the King's money in his hands for which he has my receipt. I hope that the King will allow me the same for the money which I have been forced to pay to Walton and to Mr. Story to give you an account of New Hampshire. In all this amounted to £90; but if you will not allow it, the money shall be repaid into the Treasury. It is six years since I had the King's commission, and to this day I have never had a penny to support me in the Government, but have spent over £700 of my own, besides expense of time. I hope that the King will allow me the £1,000 forfeited by Partridge to the King, being nothing out of the Treasury in England. To support the Government I suggest that the King should lay a tax of three shillings a thousand on all boards, pro rata, planks, lumber and staves, for anchorage money. The transient discourse which I heard here respecting your orders was that they had no occasion to mind a private letter from you, looking on the Lords Justices as no other than their own ignorant justices. I hope that in the spring there will come orders to make these "mighty potent" (though but an inconsiderable handful) to answer for their irregularities at Whitehall. If not, I think it will be very prejudicial to all the Governments immediately commissionated by the King. Signed, John Usher. 2 pp. Enclosed,
108. I. Account of Lieutenant-Governor Usher's proceedings on receipt of his orders of 3 August and 27 October, 1697, from Whitehall. I at once issued a warrant for Henry Green, Nathaniel Wear, Peter Coffin, Kingsley Hall and Joseph Smith of the Council to meet me at Hampton on the 13th of December. I also issued my warrant for Joseph Smith to order the whole militia of the town to appear under arms for the proclamation of peace, which was done. On Sunday, 12 December, just before Mr. Cotton pronounced the blessing at the close of Divine service, I asked his permission to speak, and read their Lordships' letter of 3 August requiring all persons to obey the same. On the 13th the members of Council duly appeared, and, several of the militia being present under arms, the letters of 3 August and of 27 October were read, after which three volleys were fired in honour of the peace, and the soldiers were dismissed, I having first ordered wine to be given to them to drink the King's health. I then called upon the Councillors present to accompany me to Newcastle to execute your orders. Wear and Green prayed to be excused, but I required their obedience. I then set forth with all the Councillors except Green to Newcastle, where Captain Walton, by my order, had drawn up as many of the militia as he could obtain under arms. We then alighted from our horses, and before going into any house I read the aforesaid orders and proclamation, and ordered wine for the soldiers to drink the King's health. An hour later I sat in Council, having warned all to appear, but only Fryer, Coffin, Wear, Hall and Smith were present. I then gave my warrant to Captain Fryer to deliver the King's fort and stores to Captain Walton. He ordered the fort to be delivered to him, but Hincks, who had the custody of the stores, declined to deliver them. I issued my warrant therefore for seizure of the stores, which was done. On the 14th December, while Captain Walton was taking account of the King's stores, Mr. Partridge, who had that day been sworn and had entered on the Government (though contrary to Act of Parliament) with a pretended Council (of whom two had sat with me on the day before) came with about one hundred well-armed men, drums beating, colours flying, entered the fort and seized the same. I asked by what power this was done; and was answered by Mr. Partridge, as Lieutenant-Governor. Mr. Partridge read his Commission in the fort and published the proclamation of the peace (though he had no order for the same and I had done it on the day before). A warrant was immediately issued for arrest of my sheriff and for two files of musketeers to seize him, when judging myself not safe, since I could not get my Commission, I returned to Boston. Signed, John Usher. 2 pp.
108. II. Minutes of a Council held at Newcastle, New Hampshire, on 13 December, 1697. Lieutenant-Governor Usher, Messrs. Fryer, Coffin, Wear, Smith and Hall present. The orders of 3 August and 27 October from Whitehall were read, and the Lieutenant-Governor said that he had already caused them to be published. Orders for a day of thanksgiving for the peace on 30 December, and for a warrant for the delivery of the records of the province to Joseph Smith. Adjourned till to-morrow. 1 p. The whole endorsed, Recd. Read 11 April, 1698. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. Nos. 131, 131 I., II.; and (without enclosures) 36. pp. 355–358.]
Dec. 20.
109. James Vernon to Council of Trade and Plantations. By the King's order I send you copy of a memorial lately given in by the French Ambassadors at the Hague to the King's Ambassador. You will report how much of the island of St. Christophers is to be restored to the French in virtue of the late Treaty, and whether anything is to be demanded on the King's part in relation either to St. Christophers or to any other parts of America. I transmit also a memorial from Mr. Ralph Grey, Governor of Barbados, concerning an allowance of shipping for his attendance or equipage, whereon also you will report. Signed, Ja. Vernon. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 21 Dec., 1697. Enclosed,
109. I. Memorial of the French Ambassadors at the Hague. The Treaty of Peace carries with it the restoration of two quarters of the Island of St. Christophers which were taken by the English during the late war. The Most Christian King has ordered his ambassadors to demand from the English Ambassadors the necessary orders for replacing the French in possession, so that the same ship to be despatched there by the French King in January next may carry both his orders and those of the King of England for the reinstating of the French. Copy. French. ½ p. Endorsed as the letter. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. Nos. 64, 64 I.; and 45. pp. 129–131.]
Dec. 20. 110. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Order for providing clothing for French prisoners until they can be transported.
Dec. 22. Order for payment of £40 to each of the Judges of the Superior Court, and of £15 to James Maxwell for a year's service as door-keeper to the Council and Assembly. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 136–137.]
Dec. 20. 111. Journal of General Assembly of Massachusetts. Address to Lord Bellomont agreed to. Bill to prohibit exportation of coin, etc., read.
Dec. 21. The bill aforesaid was read a second and third time and ordered to be engrossed. Two justices heard in defence of a complaint against them.
Dec. 22. Order on the complaint aforesaid, that the warrant of execution issued by the said justices be cancelled. Bill to prohibit exportation of coin passed into a law. Committee appointed to examine the demands of wounded soldiers. Prorogued to 16 March, 1698. Memo. On 24 Feb. the Assembly was dissolved. [Board of Trade. New England, 48. pp. 212–214.]
Dec. 20. 112. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. The representation of 9th inst. (No. 94) as to pirates being returned from the Privy Council, Lord Bridgewater explained that there were further papers on the same subject to be considered.
Governor Codrington's letter of 5 July to the Privy Council read.
Affidavit of William Hughes (No. 107) read. Ordered that the matter be brought to Governor Codrington's notice in the next letter written to him.
Dec. 21. Mr. Secretary Vernon's letter of yesterday as to the restitution of the French part of St. Christophers and Mr. Grey's passage read (No. 109). Order for the books to be searched for the precedents in both cases.
Copy of an Order in Council of 16th inst. (No. 102) as to Colonel Gibsone's accounts received and read.
Draft letters, requesting the owners of Proprietary Colonies to send copies of their laws, approved.
Dec. 22. On Mr. Richard Cary's request, it was ordered that copies of the complaints against Governor Codrington be given to him.
The laws of Virginia, borrowed from Mr. Bird, were returned.
Dec. 23. Mr. Bridgeman's letter of yesterday as to Mr. Grey's tonnage read (No. 117), and a letter was at once written to Mr. Secretary Vernon thereupon.
Mr. Secretary Vernon's letter of 21st, with copies of advices from the East Indies concerning pirates, was received and read (No. 115).
Dec. 24. The business of the restitution of St. Christophers considered, and a letter written to Mr. Secretary Vernon thereupon (No. 123). [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 375–380.]
Dec. 21. 113. Memorial of Ralph Grey to Council of Trade and Plantations. The late Governor Russell on going to Barbados, besides tonnage for his goods, had allowed him twenty chaldron of coals, two coaches, thirty-two persons, and twenty-one horses, for the carriage of which the Navy Board contracted, and paid before the ship left the Thames. Governor Grey desires that the like may be allowed to him. ¼ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 21 Dec., 1697. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 55; and 44. p. 119.]
Dec. 21.
114. William Popple to the Secretaries of the Admiralty. I forward a memorial from Mr. Ralph Grey (see preceding abstract). Finding no particular account of these matters in the books, the Council of Trade desires to be informed by the Admiralty what tonnage was allowed to Governor Russell for his goods, and also for the other occasions mentioned in the memorial. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. pp. 119–120.]
Dec. 21.
115. James Vernon to Council of Trade and Plantations. I send you, by the King's command, copies of advices received from Persia and India by the East India Company concerning piracies committed there for the most part, as it is represented, by the King's subjects, to the great damage of trade and the further danger of servants and factors by irritating the Governors of those countries against them. You are to consider what measures are to be taken for suppressing such piracies, for destroying the fort they are said to have built in the island Santa Maria near Madagascar (where they are supplied with provisions from the West Indies), and for preventing them from settling themselves under a formed Government of robbers. Signed, Ja. Vernon. ¾ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 23 Dec., 1697. Enclosed,
115. I. Copies of extracts from letters received by the East India Company.
Bombay, 15 October, 1696. Horrible clamours are occasioned by the pirates from all parts, which are unanimously reputed to be English. Besides the Gunsway the Mogul's own ships were robbed last year near Surat and barbarously used. Abdul Gophow has since had one robbed of a great sum in the Gulf of Persia, and this day we have news from Mocha of two ships belonging to the Company's merchants being taken. The loss of one of them, in which was 60,000 rupees, amounting to £7,500, has almost broke some of the merchants in Bombay, and is a considerable prejudice to the Company, for there was in her eighty tons of good new coffee. They were taken by two small pirates, one of fourteen and one of thirteen guns, with each about one hundred and fifty men, almost all English. They used the crannyes (or pursers) very barbarously to make them confess they had more than what was in the ships. They set the master ashore at Aden to sell the two prizes, but he not returning, they burned them both. The surgeon of one of the ships, who was carried on board the pirate, gives the following account, viz., that on the 14th and 15th August the Ruparrell and Calicut, merchantmen, both bound for Bombay, were taken by a pirate called the John and Rebecca, John Hore captain, that came out of the Babs, near Mocha; the pirates, being unable to get the prizes ransomed at Aden for 3,500 pieces of eight, burned the Calicut first and the Ruparrell afterwards, with the English ensign at the top-mast-head, in sight of the people at Aden, turning the lascars (or Indian seamen) on shore, and taking the English on board. From thence the pirates proceeded to the Gulf of Persia, designing to plunder Congo. At Tampo (also called Antelope Island) they careened and victualled their ship and sent their boat to Congo to observe the place. In the night they took two fishing-boats, which told them that six Portuguese men-of-war were there. Thereupon they went to Cape Mussington and plundered a fishing-town; then turning up towards Kirmish (an Island in the Gulf of Persia) they took a country-vessel; then they sent to view Congo a second time, and an island higher up, after which the narrator, being set ashore at Gambroon, can tell nothing further of their proceedings. This same letter from Bombay further reports that another of these rogues was in July off Tellicherry, looking out for the ships of that coast coming from Aden, and that there was hourly expectations of the Company's affairs being embroiled there. At Surat it was generally reported that there were five pirates at the Babs near Mocha.
From Bombay, 15 December, 1696. A ship, called the Mocha, in the Company's service, was bound on a voyage from Bombay to China, when part of her crew conspired together, killed the captain, wounded the carpenter, secured the rest of the officers and turned seventeen men, who refused to be concerned in their further design of piracy, adrift in a small boat without victuals or water, where they were for three days in the utmost danger and extremity. At the same time another of the Company's ships, the Josiah, being bound from Bombay to Madras, some of the men took the opportunity of the master's sickness to run away with her, but by a strange Providence she came where these seventeen men were ashore, who recovered her and carried her back to Madras. These disorders the factors attribute in very great measure to the licentious principles and practices of interlopers, who, to the utmost of their power in India, have endeavoured to banish all reverence of government from the minds of men. Probably the actions of some like men in England have contributed thereto, by declaiming against all acts of justice done in India against malefactors. If care be not taken to suppress pirates in India, and to empower the Company's servants there to punish them according to their deserts without fear of being traduced for what they have done when they return to England, the said servants fear it is probable that their throats will all be cut by malefactors and by the natives of the country in revenge for frequent losses, and, moreover, the trade in India will be wholly lost. It occasions great trouble to stave off the Governors of these parts from violently revenging the loss of their subjects' lives and effects upon the lives and estates of the Company's servants. The factors have fresh advice of two pirates (wherein all are English) on the Bombay Coast, one of which has taken an Arab ship, which will probably put the Arabs upon taking all the English that they can master.
From Bombay, 15 January, 1696–7, and from Calicut, 30 November, 1696. On 23 November, 1696, a pirate came under English colours into Calicut Road, where several ships were at anchor. Coming in call of the outermost the pirate fired a gun at her, and then hoisting Danish colours fired broadsides and volleys of small shot, laid her on board and took her. From her they fired at the other ships and took three of them, viz., one of the Mogul's hired ships, a Banyan ship, and the Company's frigate Josiah. Thereupon five other ships cut their cables and ran ashore. Having taken four of them they demanded £10,000 ransom for them or threatened to burn them. Not having the money immediately they hoisted bloody colours, fired one of them and soon after set a second ashore, also on fire. Some of the pirates, when they came ashore to demand the ransom, acquainted the Chief and Council that they acknowledged no countrymen, that they had sold their country and were sure to be hanged if taken, and that they would take no quarter, but do all the mischief they could. Captain Mason was sent on board them from the English factory, but after some show of detention he was turned ashore. He reported that the pirates were going to cruise for the Persia and Bussorah ships, that she had been at Mocha, having left it on 24 August, that she was the ship that took the Arab at Chuttapore, that she is of about 300 tons, 100 men and 20 guns, that her commander is a Dutchman, Dirick Clevers, of New York, that he has been two years out from thence, and that he expects a consort of much the same burden commanded by one Hore. The Commander of the pirate also told Mason that most of the pirates which infest those seas are fitted out at New York, whither they return a share of their unlawful gains, the Governor conniving thereat, and that Guilliam's ship, after their piracies in the Indian seas, returned thither and shared £700 each man. They then made a present of their ship to the Governor, who sold her for £1,000; and shortly afterwards £2,000 was offered to the buyer by some of the crew who intended to pursue their evil practices. This pirate's actions so exasperated the Governor, country and people that, had not some soldiers and others stood by the English and protected their factor, the country-people would have destroyed the Company's servants; for they were all reporting that the pirate was an English ship and belonged to the Company, and that the money demanded for ransom was to be brought ashore again into the factory. While closing the letter of 16 January, the factors received advices that three pirates in the Coast of Sindy had taken seven country ships, worth 400,000 rupees or £50,000; the factors were fearing that the whole of the Company's effects might be taken.
From Gambroon in Persia, 16 January, 1696–7. On the 4th inst. one of the pirates that lately was off Congo was brought in prisoner, having been taken at Cape Jasques, where he and several others had landed to plunder for provisions. The Persians fought them, killed three and took one. He is an Irishman, says his father was Dutch and his mother English, confesses that they are of all sorts in the ship, but says that she comes from the King of England's dominions (meaning New England); so that the Persians say that the English are the only robbers. The factors sent to the Government to desire that the prisoner might be brought to their factory to be examined, and that if he were an Englishman he should be sent to Bombay to answer for his roguery in burning two English ships in the Gulf of Mocha. But the Government would grant nothing, and have sent him to the Chief Governor of Lar. What they intend to do with him is not known. The factors believe they will come to some trouble and disgrace about him.
From Captain Thomas Warren, of H.M.S. Windsor, to the East India Company, 28 November, 1697. The master of ship from Madagascar, whom I met, gave me the following account. There is a small island called Santa Maria at the north-east part of Madagascar, where the pirates have a very commodious harbour to which they resort and clean their ships. Here they have built a regular fortification of forty or fifty guns. They have about 1,500 men, with seventeen sail of vessels, sloops and ships, some of which carry forty guns. They are furnished from New York, New England and the West Indies with stores and other necessaries. I was informed that if they could obtain pardons they would leave that villainous way of living. 7 pp. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. Nos. 80, 80I.; and (covering letter and concluding extract only) 34. pp. 226–227.]
Dec. 22.
116. William Popple to William Thornburgh and to the Proprietors of East and West Jersey. Desiring them to send copies of the Acts of Assembly of the Bahamas, Carolina and the Jerseys. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. p. 189.]
Dec. 22.
117. Secretary of the Admiralty to William Popple. In reply to yours of yesterday, with Mr. Grey's memorial, I am to acquaint you that, as the providing tonnage for the carriage of goods, etc., for Governors of the Plantations is a service that relates not to the Navy, the Admiralty gives no orders in such matters except according to the King's pleasure signified to them. In Colonel Russell's case this was done by Order of Council, as will appear by the Council books. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 22 Dec., 1697. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 56; and 44. pp. 120–121.]
Dec. 23.
118. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Vernon. We are unable to give you any opinion as to the tonnage requested by Mr. Grey for want of information as to what has formerly been allowed on the like occasion. We have thought fit to send you copies of a letter written by our order on the 21st inst. (No. 114) to the Secretary of the Admiralty, and of his reply of the 22nd (No. 117), leaving it to you to lay the matter before the King in such manner as you think most proper, that it may receive the necessary expedition. Signed, Phil. Meadows, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. pp. 121–122.]
Dec. 23.
119. Order of the King in Council. Referring the petition of Usher Tyrrell to Council of Trade and Plantations for report. Signed, John Povey. Annexed,
119. I. Petition of Usher Tyrrell to the King in Council. I lately submitted a petition to you on which a report has been made that the money, for the remission of which I pray, cannot be remitted since it is already appropriated by law. I beg you to recommend my sad case to the Governor and Assembly, whether they will not report that your Majesty may, notwithstanding the law, grant me the relief for which I ask. Copy. 1 p. The whole endorsed, Recd. Read Dec. 30, 1697. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 81, 81 I.; and 56. p. 170.]
Dec. 23.
120. John Usher to the Lord Justices of England. I have still to answer that part of your letter of 3 August which refers to Acts of General Assembly. I received this on Saturday, 11 December, while on my way to Hampton. Mr. Stoughton living out of town, I proceeded on my journey without first applying to him. On my arrival in New Hampshire all seemed with a good aspect, Mr. Coffin assuring me that all would go well without any obstruction. I then proceeded as already reported (see No. 108) and on my return to Boston I applied to Mr. Stoughton. As Lord Bellomont may be arrived, I dare say that he will give orders therein. As to the laws, the Secretary had strict orders from me that everything should be written fair and sent to the Council of Trade, and always thought this had been done until you informed me to the contrary. The said Secretary is lately dead. For five years' service in General Assembly and Council he never had above £12. He was a true, loyal person, and I hope his failures will be overlooked. In future these matters shall receive more careful inspection. I beg that the laws for the Militia and the Courts may be confirmed and the rest rejected. This will soon make a change in them, for sooner than not have laws to raise money for prudential affairs they will take care support the honour of the Government. I have not received a farthing since I entered on the Government, and my expense has been very great. I hope that the leaders of disturbance, being persons of estate, will be called to account at Whitehall. Signed, John Usher. 1 p. Enclosed,
120. I. Copy of a letter from John Usher to Lieutenant-Governor Stoughton, Boston, 18 December, 1697. Narrating the occurrences which led to his return from New Hampshire (see No. 108I.) and asking for his advice and assistance. 1 p. The whole endorsed, Recd. Read 11 April, 1698. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. Nos. 132, 132 I.; and (without enclosure) 36. pp. 359–361.]
Dec. 23. 121. Minutes of Council of Montserrat. The impost on liquors and licence for taverns was farmed out to William Frye for 70,000lbs. of sugar. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. p. 527.]
Dec. 23. 122. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Order for special summons for the meeting of the Council. Order for several persons to attend the Governor and Council at Battletown on the 11th prox. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. 396–398.]
Dec. 24.
123. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Vernon. Forwarding a report as to the island of St. Christophers pursuant to the King's orders conveyed in his letter of 20th inst. See following abstract. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 45. p. 131.]
Dec. 24. 124. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. In reply to your questions as to the demands to be made on your part in respect of St. Christophers or other parts of America, we report as follows. St. Christophers, ever since the first settlement by the English and French, has always been divided into four quarters (each nation having two) besides a peninsula running south towards Nevis, with salt-ponds which did belong to the French alone. But the salt being absolutely necessary to the English as to the French was commonly gathered or shared by both nations, who kept up a friendly correspondence until 1666, when the French took the two English quarters by surprise. By the Treaty of Breda in 1667 the French covenanted to restore this land with all speed, or at furthest within six months, with all the negroes, slaves and other moveable goods. But contrary to this obligation they retained the island till 1671, in spite of several protests and of the immediate cession by us of Acadia. By this undue execution of the treaty the English were endamaged £500,000 sterling. In this state the Island remained until the first year of the present war, when contrary to the first Article of the Treaty of Neutrality of 1686, the French again attacked the English, took the chief fort, drove them off the Island, destroyed most of their plantations and kept the whole until 1690, when Colonel Codrington recaptured the island and sent the French away by capitulation to the other French Colonies in America. Since that time St. Christophers has remained entire in your Majesty's possession, but by the 7th Article of the Treaty of Ryswick the two French quarters are to be restored to them.
By the 8th Article of the said Treaty, Commissioners are to be appointed to settle the rights and pretensions of both parties to Hudson's Bay, and these Commissioners are to meet in London within three months of the ratification of the Treaty. Your subjects in Hudson's Bay have many complaints to bring before the Commissioners.
There are several pretensions of your subjects to Nova Scotia or Acadia, wherein not only private rights are concerned, but complaints are made of French encroachments on your dominions, and doubts are raised as to the possession of Port Royal and St. Johns, and as to fishing rights.
In Newfoundland the French do not appear entirely to have quitted the English ports nearest to Placentia. A timely demand should be made lest they endeavour to ground claims on the omission thereof.
As to St. Christophers the Treaty of Neutrality contains provisions as to the right to fetch water and salt, but as it is not clear how far this Treaty is revived or confirmed, there may be further consideration required in order to a reciprocal agreement. The inhabitants of the Leeward Islands have asked that you will retain St. Christophers wholly for yourself by giving the French an equivalent; and since the Treaty of Ryswick empowers the commissioners to exchange territory for mutual advantage, we think that orders should be given to settle this and other matters. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Geo. Stepney. 6 pp. [America and West Indies. 601. No. 49; and Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 45, pp. 131–139.]
Dec. 27. 125. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Mr. Randolph's commission to swear the Governor recorded, and the instructions of the Commissioners of Customs as to Trade, etc., produced. An order for the appointing of certain gentlemen to be officers of an Admiralty Court was likewise read; but Sir Thomas Laurence declined the judgeship. A commission to the Governor to appoint officers of Courts of Admiralty in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Jersey was also read and recorded. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. 398–399.]
Dec. 28. 126. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. Address from the Assembly to the Governor, praying him to send to Barbados all the depositions concerning Tankard's sloop, soon to be tried in that island, to the end that such wicked proceedings may not go unpunished. The Governor concurred. Second message from the Assembly asking that the said depositions may be sent to Barbados in charge of some honest gentleman, and that the vessel that carries them may call at Martinique to remonstrate against the depredations of French privateers since the declaration of peace, and to bring away English prisoners from thence to man the King's ships. The Assembly further asked that the platform at Parham might be begun. Message from the Council to the Assembly, laying before them the libellous letter signed J. Johnson, and a letter of Edward Walrond for their opinion, also further depositions against Barry Tankard. The Assembly again represented the importance of passing the Acts for regulating fees and for regulating the numbers of the Assembly. Orders for several payments. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 227–232.]
Dec. 28. 127. James Vernon to Council of Trade and Plantations. With reference to your report of 24th inst., it is the King's pleasure that you prepare the necessary orders for restoring to the French, pursuant to the Treaty, that part of St. Christophers which they possessed before the war, together with a draft of such instructions as you think fit to send with those orders as to the manner of delivering up the said territory and as to the limitations for securing to the King's subjects inhabiting there the same advantages as they formerly enjoyed. The King directs you also to consider of such particulars as will be fit to propose to the French Commissioners who will be sent here to determine the matters mentioned in the 8th Article of the Treaty. Signed, Ja. Vernon. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 65; and 45. p. 140.]
Dec. 28. 128. Memorandum that the preceding letter was received and read on the 29th December, 1697. ¼ p. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 81.]
Dec. 28.
129. William Penn to William Popple. "I send herewith "the laws desired. I forbore doing of it sooner because I perceived "the Lords were full, and that those of other colonies stuck in their "passage. I also hoped to have been in town sooner, but my "steward's death and consequents prevented me. I hope they will "not lie long at Whitehall, and I shall take care that they have "their dispatch at the Attorney-General's. Thy very assured "friend, Wm. Penn. Holograph, 1 p. Endorsed, Letter from Mr. Penn with the laws of Pennsylvania. Recd. 30, Read 31 Dec., 1697. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 2. No. 7; and 25. p. 189.]
[Dec. 29.] 130. Extract from a letter from Paris. Another company is forming for the re-establishment of several colonies in the tract of country in America between the 30th and 40th degrees, which was discovered by the late Mons. Lasalle. The beginning of this company is founded on thirty shares of 10,000 livres tournois each, to which none but merchants will be admitted. The King has granted them the ownership of all the extent of country which they will possess as a fief issuing from the Crown. The King grants them eight companies of infantry with their officers, who will receive their orders directly from them, and will be commanded in chief by one nominated by them. The King further grants them two ships of war, a frigate, a corvette and three large transports to carry the troops, the various workmen which they will need to begin the settlement, those who are ready to settle there, and eighteen months' provisions for all. They are informed that the land by the Gulf of Mexico abounds greatly in many things such as indigo and [word lost], that there are gold and silver mines and that the vicinity of the Spaniards, with whom they give out that they are on good terms, will give them an opening for advantageous trade with them. French. 1¼ pp. Endorsed, Communicated by Mr. Blathwayt, 29 Dec., 1697. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 82.]
Dec. 29. 131. Memorandum of the receipt of a letter from Paris from Mr. Nelson as to the designs of the French for encroachment on New England. Recd. Read 29 Dec., 1697. ½ p. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 133.]
Dec. 29. 132. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Secretary Vernon's letter of yesterday received and read (No. 127). Order for the office to be searched for precedents, and for the Secretary to write to Mr. Crown about Penobscot.
Sir William Beeston's letter of 11 September read. Order for a letter to the Treasury to be drafted thereupon.
Mr. Nelson's letter of 2/12; December read (No. 82).
Order for a letter to the Attorney and Solicitor-General, pressing them to despatch the Acts of the Colonies now before them.
Governor Codrington's letter of 22 August read. Order for a representation on the subject of New Tertholen [Tortola] to be prepared.
Mr. Blathwayt communicated a letter from Paris as to a new American Company now forming in France (No. 130). Order for a memorandum to be kept to lay the matter before the King.
Order of Council of 25 November last as to ports in New Jersey read (No. 69).
Colonel Gibsone communicated a letter that he had received from Newfoundland, complaining of the badness of the beer in the provision-ships. It was left to him to draw out an extract of whatever he had to offer.
Order for letters to be prepared to Rhode Island and Connecticut, bidding them send over copies of their laws.
Order for four or five pounds to be given in New Year's gifts to the Chamber-keepers of the two Secretaries of State and of the Treasury.
Dec. 30. The Board agreed upon a letter to Mr. Secretary Vernon asking him to search his office for precedents for the orders to be given on the restitution of St. Christophers.
Draft letters to the Treasury as to Sir William Beeston's late letter, and to the Attorney and Solicitor-General as to regular despatch of the Acts of the Colonies, agreed to.
Order for a letter to Mr. Day, to ask him why he is not yet departed and to press him to diligence.
Mr. Gilbert Heathcote asked for the Council's consent to printing the laws of Jamaica, which was granted. Being pressed as to the number of white servants which Jamaica might conveniently take, he said three or four hundred, if the Act for white servants were enforced. Order in Council of 23rd inst. as to Usher Tyrrell's petition received and read (No. 119).
Order for a letter to the Hudson's Bay Company to ascertain what they have to demand of the French on the Treaty of Peace.
Order for a letter to Mr. Penn, to press for the security to be given by owners of Proprietary Colonies for observance of the Acts of Trade by their governors.
Dec. 31. The Secretary reported that Mr. Day had been to the office, and explained that he was detained by the delay in despatching his commission, etc.
Mr. Penn's letter, with the laws of Pennsylvania, also several laws of the Leeward Islands, were laid before the Council. Order for lists of both to be drawn up.
The letters to the Treasury, Mr. Secretary Vernon, and the Attorney and Solicitor General were signed. (Nos. 139–141.)
The advices as to pirates in Mr. Vernon's letter of 22nd inst. were read. [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 380–387.]
Dec. 30.
133. William Popple to Samuel Day. The Council of Trade thinking it a little strange that they have not heard of your despatch to Bermuda, have commanded me to enquire the reason of it, and to let you know that the King's service therein requires your diligence. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 29. p. 51.]
Dec. 30.
134. William Popple to William Penn. You are reminded to send copies of the laws of Pennsylvania to the Council of Trade. The Council further desires your positive answer to what I writ you on 8 May about the security required of you, as of other Proprietors, for the due observance by your governors and deputy-governors, of the Acts of Trade. [Board of Trade. Proprietors, 25. p. 189.]
Dec. 30. 135. Minutes of Council of Barbados. The order for proclamation of peace, and the proclamation itself, from Whitehall, were read. The President then gave the Assembly a letter from the Agents and the order for publishing the peace. The Assembly brought in a bill for appointing Agents, a resolution for payment of £100 to William Rawlins for collecting the laws, and addresses for payment of their officers' salaries. Order for the proclamation of peace to be published. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 268–269.]
Dec. 30. 136. Minutes of Council of Maryland. William Wyvill was appointed Riding-surveyor, William Bladen, Collector of Annapolis, and several other officers were likewise appointed by Mr. Randolph. Sundry orders were thereupon issued. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. 399–401.]
Dec. 30. 137. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Nevis. The Assembly concurred in a proposal of the Council for the new billeting of Holt's company of soldiers. Message from the Assembly to the Council asking them to concur in a proposal that, since an importer has refused to pay duty on certain liquor on the ground that the Act for the duty is expired, it shall be asserted that the Act is in force and that any trial of the case shall be held in Nevis. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 444–445.]
Dec. 31. 138. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Order for sale of the fire-ship Fortune. Orders for payment of £935 to John Walley, Commissioner for War, of £9 to Bartholomew Green for printing Acts and Laws, of £10 to Sheriff Timothy Phillips for charges on account of prisoners accused of witchcraft in 1692, of £20 to Captain John Wing for extraordinary service at Pemaquid, and of £96 15s. Od. for fitting the Council Chamber for reception of the Earl of Bellomont. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 137–140.]
Dec. 31.
139. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Vernon. In reply to your letter of 28th inst. (No. 127) we have searched the books and papers in our custody and can find no instrument nor orders for the restitution of any place, either by us to the French or by the French to us, which might guide us in drawing up what is required. We beg you therefore to cause the office of the Secretary of State or the Paper Office to be searched for a proper precedent. Signed, J. Bridgewater, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 45. pp. 145–146.]
Dec. 31.
140. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords of the Treasury. Forwarding an extract from Sir William Beeston's letter of 11 September last, respecting his application of £1,000 of the soldiers' subsistence-money to the expense of victualling the men-of-war, for their directions. Signed, J. Bridgewater, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 56. p. 173.]
Dec. 31.
141. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Attorney and Solicitor-General. Urging upon them the necessity of despatch in giving their opinion as to the confirmation or disallowance of laws of the Colonies which are submitted to them, such despatch being absolutely necessary for the King's service. Signed, J. Bridgwater, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. pp. 219–220.]