America and West Indies: February 1698, 1-15

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: February 1698, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905), pp. 97-111. British History Online [accessed 18 June 2024].

. "America and West Indies: February 1698, 1-15", in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905) 97-111. British History Online, accessed June 18, 2024,

. "America and West Indies: February 1698, 1-15", Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905). 97-111. British History Online. Web. 18 June 2024,

February 1698

Feb. 1. 199. Minutes of Council of Barbados. The President announced the reasons for calling the Council, viz., to despatch Captain Reeves of the Newcastle and supply him with men and money; to embark Governor Russell's corpse on board the Newcastle; to provide for the reception of the new Governor; to prepare the journals and laws of the past six months for transmission to England; and to prepare letters to the Council of Trade, the Admiralty and the Agents. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. p. 275.]
Feb.1. 200. Minutes of Council of Montserrat. Permission granted for a foreign vessel to unlade her cargo of wheat, she being unfit to proceed on her voyage. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. p. 529.]
[Feb. 1.] 201. Extracts from two letters to the East India Company. Letter from Surat dated 6 February, 1696–7, and received 28 January, 1697–8. Enclosed are several papers relating to pirates that infest these seas. What your affairs and we have suffered from these villains, and how they were endangered on the Malabar Coast, will be manifest to you. We knew of three besides the Mocha, frigate, Babington, Hore and the Dutch Master. They have lately plundered one ship of the Shawbunder of Cong, and another ran ashore to escape them. It was said that if the Portuguese had not been in the road they would have plundered the place, as they may have done Gambroon. Your estates, trade, and servants' liberties and lives here are in continual danger, and may be shortly so all over India. We are at this instant prisoners at large, and how soon we may be straiter confined by the Government or massacred by the rabble, God alone knows, to whose Divine will we desire entirely to submit ourselves. There is a report of twenty-two more at Madagascar bound to the several parts of India, but of this we have no certainty. The damages that these rogues have done to the inhabitants of Surat and the adjacent towns was brought in to our Governor, in the time of our late imprisonment, to be five million rupees.
Letter from Bombay, dated 18 February, 1696–7, and received 28 January, 1697–8. Besides what the President etc. have wrote afresh concerning the villainy of the pirates in the Gulf of Persia, we hear that there are three cruising off Cape Comorin, who vainly as well as impudently give out that they are friends to no man but to God Almighty. 1¼ pp. Endorsed, Delivered to the Board by the Governor and other members of the Company. Recd. Read, 1 Feb., 1697–8. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 88.]
Feb. 1.
202. Memorial of the Merchants trading to Virginia and Maryland to the Council of Trade. Last August we urged the advantages which might accrue to this Kingdom and to the Colonies if liberty were granted to all the King's subjects to export tobacco to the Czar's dominions, and begged that the King might be moved to obtain this liberty for us. We received the favourable reply that the necessary instructions had been given to the King's Ambassadors at the Hague. We now beg your further advice and assistance in recommending that the favourable opportunity of the Czar's presence may be made use of. Signed, Micaiah Perry, and by four others. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 4 Feb., 1697–8. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 36.]
Feb. 1. 203. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Secretary Vernon's letter of yesterday with a list of ships for the West Indies read (No. 198). Order for an explanation to be asked of Mr. Ellis before the same be answered.
The Governor and others of the East India Company presented a copy of intelligence lately received as to the pirates in these parts (No. 201), adding that these pirates put them to great expense in convoys and that a squadron should be sent to destroy their settlement. They were then informed that a representation to that effect had been made and that the great officers of the Crown, belonging to this Board, had appointed a meeting to be held on the subject.
Order for a letter to the President and a Council of Barbados and a memorial to be given to the New Governor to report as to the usage for deciding controverted elections in that island; also that the Secretary ask the Barbados Agents what they have done in pursuance of the White Servants Act of Barbados passed in 1696.
Order that a representation be drawn as laying before the King the necessity for putting the Colonial Militia Acts into execution.
Feb. 3. Letter to Mr. Vernon asking for several copies of the Proclamation forbidding English subjects from taking service with foreign princes.
Colonel Gibsone attending, was asked to draw up a memorial of his thoughts relating to the forts and garrison of Newfoundland.
The Secretary reported that he had ascertained from Mr. Ellis that the ships for the West Indies were not to be kept together as a squadron, but their disposal to be left to this Board's consideration.
Mr. Bridgeman's letter of this day read (No. 205), and copy ordered to be sent to Mr. Gilbert Heathcote, with directions to attend to-morrow morning.
Feb. 4. Mr. Micaiah Perry and the merchants of Virginia urged that endeavours might be used with the Czar of Russia while here to admit tobacco into his dominions. The Council answered that they had already done so, and that the question had been previously laid before the Czar in Holland.
Perusal of the Jamaica Acts continued. Order for a letter to the Jamaica Agents concerning two of them. [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 410–419.]
Feb. 2.
204. William Popple to the Agents for Barbados. The Council of Trade, finding among the Acts of Barbados one of August, 1696, for the speedy supply of arms, ammunition, stores and white servants, desire to be informed what has been done in pursuance thereof. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. pp. 135–136.]
Feb. 3.
205. William Bridgeman to William Popple. The Admiralty desire to know whether the Council of Trade has any accounts of the number of negroes carried off by the French when they last landed in Jamaica and in particular if any of the negroes were free. If so the Council is desired to send extracts from their accounts. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 3 Feb., 1697–8. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 83; and 56. p. 175.]
Feb. 3.
Fssex Street.
206. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Vernon. We have seen a proclamation forbidding the King's subjects to enter the service of foreign princes, which we judge necessary to disperse widely through the Colonies. Please order the King's printers to furnish us with three or four hundred copies of this and of any other printed paper that we may require. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, W. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. p. 232.]
Feb. 3.
207. Extract from the Minutes of the Privy Council. The representation of the Council of Trade on the Acts of Barbados, dated 27 January, was read. An Act for granting £300 to the late Governor Russell was confirmed. Signed, John Nicholas. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 15th, Read 16th Feb., 1697–8. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 59; and 44. pp. 136–137.]
Feb. 3.
208. Order of the King in Council. Confirming the Act of Barbados for making a present of £300 to the late Governor Russell, and authorising his executors to receive the same. Copy. Signed, John Nicholas. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 22nd, Read 23rd Feb., 1697–8. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 60; and 44. pp. 137–138.]
Feb. 3.
209. Order of the King in Council. Referring the petition of John, Lord Cutts, and others to the Council of Trade and Plantations for report. Signed, John Nicholas. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 9th,Read 10th Feb., 1697–8. Annexed.
209. I. Petition of John, Lord Cutts, Sir Henry Pickering of Barbados and Joseph Dudley of New England to the King. There is great want of small money in the Colonies, whereby trade is much obstructed. A certain metal, far exceeding that made at Nuremberg, has been brought, by the industry of one who holds your Majesty's patent, to that curiosity and perfection as to be without any danger of counterfeiting. We beg you to grant us Letters Patent for seven years to coin half pence, pence and twopenny pieces for the use of the Colonies according to such rules, and with such superscriptions and devices thereupon, as you shall approve or direct. ¾ p. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. Nos. 89, 89I.; and 34. pp. 235–236.]
Feb. 4. 210. Memorandum of a paper presented to the Council of Trade by Micaiah Perry, giving reasons for enlarging and regulating the trade to Russia and the Narve. ¼ p. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 37].
Feb. 4.
211. William Popple to the Agents for Jamaica. The Council of Trade have found difficulties in respect of two Acts of Jamaica. That for confirming certain lands to Sir James del Castillo has no clause saving the rights of the King or of strangers, and is therefore unfit to be confirmed. That for appropriating the additional duty contains a reference to a former Act, which is not in this office, and you are therefore desired to send me a copy. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 56. pp. 175–176.]
Feb. 4. 212. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. Address of the Council to the Governor, vindicating him against Edward Walrond's accusations in respect of Robert Arthur's trial. Message from the Assembly asking for an adjournment since there is no time to deal with any important Acts before the Governor goes to leeward. Patents for land granted. The Chief Justice was sworn. The Governor adjourned the Assembly. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 246–248.]
Feb. 7.
Essex Street.
213. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Vernon. In reply to yours of 31st ult. respecting the ships to be sent to the West Indies, we have already represented our opinion to the Lords Justices on 19 October last, and the Admiralty have sent us a list of ships accordingly, adding further that the Swift would be sent to Maryland and the Essex to Virginia. Observing the difference of these names from some on your list, we can only say that if the force of the ships appointed is conformable to our representation, they may be sufficient for the service. As to the ships that are already gone or may be intended to go to any of the Colonies, we have not been applied to for any alterations nor have we any to propose. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill.[Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. pp. 232–233.]
Feb. 7. 214. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letter to Mr. Vernon as to men-of-war for the Plantations signed (No. 213).
Feb. 9. Mr. Tyrrell attended to ask if any report had been made on his brother's petition. The Board told him that they would shortly consider the matter and inform him.
Order for a circular letter to be drawn, transmitting the Proclamation to forbid English subjects from taking service with foreign princes.
Feb. 10. Order for a letter to be written to Mr. Blackborne to ask him to send certain further information as to pirates in the East Indies.
Order for letters to be written to the several Plantations, that have not printed their laws, to print them.
Order in Council of 3rd inst. covering Lord Cutts's petition read (No. 209). Ordered that if any enquire about this matter they be directed to attend the Board with their proposals in writing.
Representation as to militia in the Plantations signed (No. 218). [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 420–424.]
Feb. 8. 215. Council and Assembly of New Hampshire to Council of Trade and Plantations. We thank the King for appointing Mr. Partridge to be Lieutenant-Governor in place of Mr. Usher. On Mr. Partridge's arrival with the King's Commission proclamation was made that Mr. Usher's power was void, yet, Mr. Partridge for some reason delaying to assume the Government, and leaving it in the hands of the President and Council, Mr. Usher began to make disturbance and, we hear, has complained to you of the province being without a Government and in a lamentable condition. The province was never more peaceable, nor has there been any disturbance since Mr. Partridge's arrival except that which Mr. Usher has endeavoured to give us. We understand that he has represented Mr. Hincks, Mr. Vaughan, and Mr. Waldern to you as ill men. We assure you that they have proved themselves true and faithful to the King's interest and well affected to his Government, and they are qualified beyond most of the inhabitants for the King's service. By the Council's advice Mr. Partridge has since taken the Government upon him to prevent further disturbance, which has given general satisfaction here. We await the King's further pleasure by the arrival of the Earl of Bellomont. Nothing could have been more agreeable to us than his appointment, and under his influence we shall distinguish ourselves by fervent zeal for the King's service. Signed, Hen. Penny, Secretary; Henry Dow, Speaker. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. Read 6 April, 1698. [Board of Trade. New England, 9. No. 10; and 36. pp. 353–354.]
Feb. 8. 216. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Order for H.M. ships Sheerness and Bonaventure to sail to Tobago, where they can procure timber to refit. Orders for the wines for the new Governor to be paid for by the Treasurer, and for Governor Russell's corpse to be embarked on the 17th. Order for the Treasurer to bring in his accounts. Certain accounts passed or referred for examination. Answer to Captain John Aldred's memorial, telling him that the Assembly refuses to provide money for the supply of the King's ships, and that the Receiver of the King's casual revenue refuses to advance it without orders from Whitehall. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 276–279.]
Feb. 10. 217. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Nevis. Governor Codrington was present. Letter from the Agents read, reporting the end of the war. John Perrie's commission as Surveyor General read.
Feb. 12. The Clerk of the Assembly was ordered to bring the minutes of Assembly, and refusing to do so was ordered to be kept in custody. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. p. 458.]
Feb. 10. 218. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Looking to the state of the Colonies in America, weakened by the late war and by remissness in keeping up a competent number of white servants (who are the body of the militia) in proportion to the blacks employed in plantation-work, we think that the Governors of the Colonies should by your directions be required to take exact care that the Acts for increasing the number of white men in their several Colonies be effectually put into execution, and that when any laws of that kind are defective they should use their utmost endeavours with the Assembly to procure their amendment. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. p. 234.]
Feb. 12.
219. Governor Codrington to Council of Trade and Plantations. Yours of 10 November has come safely to my hands, and I have returned an answer to Mr. Walrond's accusations. I have forborne from any reflections upon his strained inferences and ill-applied epithets, nor shall I trouble myself with the motives which he professes for his proceedings. Had I not some reason to flatter myself that my behaviour since I have been Governor acquits me of this scandalous accusation of disloyalty, I could convince you by demonstrations that would leave no room for doubt, but I shall spare you that trouble, only asking you to believe that I have little regarded blood or interest upon any occasion when the upholding of the King's honour and the welfare of his subjects here required it. Now as to Captain Arthur, it is very true that he was committed for scandalous and treasonable words against the King and Government, and if I did express my concern when I heard thereof (as Mr. Walrond says) it was not at his commitment but from horror at his offence, and because it was out of my power to punish him as that offence deserved. It is also true that on his application to me in Council, bail was granted and two sureties put in for his personal appearance at next sessions. The grand jury found a true bill at the trial, but the petty jury, because the witnesses did not appear, found him not guilty. Why this is imputed to me or how I can be reasonably said to patronise Arthur or to contrive that he shall not be punished, I must leave to your judgment. It is alleged that I refused my warrant for bringing witnesses from H.M.S. Jersey that they might be bound over to prosecute Arthur at sessions. So far was I from refusing it that an Order in Council was passed that Mr. Duncombe and another justice should send for the witnesses from H.M.S. Jersey, then lying in St. John's Harbour, and make full enquiry. Presuming that these gentlemen knew their duty and having no cause to think that they would neglect it, I gave myself no further trouble on the occasion until I was alarmed at Captain Arthur's being cleared upon his trial. I confess that I was much surprised at this, and upon enquiry found that the witnesses had never been sent for by the justices as in Council was ordered, and that by reason of the ship's being absent on a cruise they could not be had. I find likewise that the justices had taken no care to adjourn the trial to await the ship's arrival, which a special clause in the Commission empowered them to do; and this was the occasion of Arthur's discharge. However, that he might be furnished as soon as the ship came in, I caused the witnesses to be examined in Council in the hope of finding new matter whereon to ground a new trial, but as none could be found they were dismissed; and this Mr. Walrond does me the justice to acknowledge. Secondly, it is alleged that I employed the frigate on a frivolous pretence, so that the witnesses might be absent from the trial. Now at that time there lay in Nevis eight or nine laden vessels, outward bound, and the Lieutenant-Governor at the request of the masters asked me to send down H.M.S. Jersey (which was then our only ship of war, Admiral Nevill having taken the Colchester with him to leeward) to see them clear of several privateers that lay in wait to intercept them. I accordingly ordered her to Nevis, limiting her stay to twenty-four hours and her cruise to ten days. During her absence Arthur's trial came on. Had the justices adjourned the Court or the Captain observed his instructions, there would have been no ground for the present complaint. I presume that the sending out of the frigate for the preservation of our ships deserves a better construction than a frivolous pretence. Thirdly, it is charged against me that, though I was informed of Arthur's saying that I durst not prosecute him, for that he could discover worse things of me than had been alleged of him, I never sent for Arthur nor took any pains to justify myself. This imputation is false, for I at once summoned Arthur before the Council and taxed him with these words, and the whole Council are my witnesses that he denied that he had ever said any such thing. Fourthly, I am accused for recommending Arthur to Admiral Nevill. Had not the Admiral been taken out of this world I dare presume that he would have justified my innocence herein. What passed between us was this. The Admiral happened to mention in discourse that the poor unfortunate fellow (pointing to Arthur who was then standing in my room) was in trouble and hardship, and prayed me to turn him about his business; saying that he had formerly done good service, but by his folly and roguery had made himself miserable. I answered that I had known him do good service and show courage enough, but that he had done very ill things and spoken ill words of the King and must take his trial before he went off. Mr. Yeamans, who was by, said it was true and that so he must; and so ended that discourse, and, upon the word of a gentleman, nothing more passed between the Admiral and me concerning Arthur. Had not Mr. Nevill begun the discourse I had never thought of Arthur, and had Mr. Walrond reported the beginning as well as the end of it, I conceive that the matter would have worn another face.
I do not remember saying that the depositions were malicious, and if any such words came from me I am sure that the manner of proceeding against Arthur was sufficient ground to me to suspect it. Henry Walrond and Arthur were held together in a very strict league of friendship until the Captain of the frigate quarrelled with Arthur, whereupon Walrond, siding with the Captain, made discovery of Arthur's words, which for a long time he had concealed, turning informer on that occasion. You will observe that no time is mentioned in his deposition when the words were spoken; and you must pardon me if I have no regard for a person who by his wickedness is become infamous, for he has been once convicted, and since then violently suspected of breaking open a chest and robbing a gentleman of a large sum of money. Lastly, I am accused of using Colonel Pym and Mr. Palmer as my chief Councillors, whom he calls Jacobites. I answer that in Arthur's business, or any other matter relating to the Government, I always advise with the Councillors appointed me by the King. Neither Pym nor Palmer were on this Island, nor did I see either of them from the first to the last of Arthur's affair, and I really believe that they know nothing of the matter. So far from using them as Councillors, it is rarely that I see either of them above once a year; and if they be Jacobites it is more than I know or have reason to believe, for Colonel Pym commanded a regiment in the late war and by his services has sufficiently demonstrated his fidelity to the Government, "while Mr. Walrond took "special care to secure one and the most signal and reasonable effects "of his loyalty and services upon which he so much values himself "have been the trouble he now gives your Lordships and myself "upon this occasion." Mr. Palmer's behaviour has been very different from that which Walrond has represented it to be, though he now lies under the King's displeasure and is therefore leaving this Government.
This is what I have to offer in my defence, which I hope will sufficiently clear me from Mr. Walrond's false and scandalous aspersions. I shall add nothing by way of recrimination (though I have matter enough) for his faults can be no justification of mine, but I would observe that whatever has happened amiss in the proceedings against Arthur has been through the negligence, first, of the justices, who should have bound over the witnesses to give evidence in Court and the informer to prosecute, secondly of the Court, whereof Mr. Walrond himself was a member, for not adjourning the Court from time to time till the witnesses should be forthcoming, and thirdly of Mr. Walrond himself who, notwithstanding the character which he gives of Arthur, always entertained him in his own house, and treated him with the greatest demonstrations of friendship imaginable, until Arthur was accused of the words laid to his charge, which were spoken in Walrond's house and were not revealed by him for some time after, though he is a justice of the peace. This is the truth as to my palliating or conniving at Captain Arthur's villainy. Signed, Chr. Codrington. 2½ closely written pages. Endorsed, Recd. 20 April. Read 6 May, 1698. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 72; and 45. pp. 185–193.]
Feb. 12.
220. Governor Codrington to Council of Trade and Plantations. Since my last I have received yours of 27 October, and have proclaimed peace accordingly. Yours of 10 November reached me at the same time, with duplicates of your orders respecting New Tertholen, as to which I have reported at length. Since I wrote that report, however, I have learned that your conjecture of the capture of that Island by the King's forces in 1772 is true, and that it was not surrendered to Sir William Stapleton to prevent the French from taking it as they set forth. I enclose a deposition of John Palmer in confirmation of this, also the original commission and instructions of Sir William Stapleton to William Burt, father of the present Major William Burt, for the taking of the island. I have answered Mr. Walrond's complaint in another letter. Signed, Chr. Codrington. P.S.—Mr. Thomas Duncombe of the Council of Antigua being grown a very great sot and having by that means made himself scandalous in spite of my frequent admonitions, I have suspended him. I was the sooner induced hereto from learning that in his drunken fits he has spoken disrespectfully of the King's person and Government. Signed, Chr. Codrington. ¾ p. Endorsed, Recd. 20 April. Read 6 May, 1698. Enclosed,
220. I. Deposition of John Palmer. 4 Feb., 1698. That he served as an ensign under Colonel William Burt in an expedition sent by Sir William Stapleton to capture the island of Tertola [or Tertholen] in 1672, that the fort and island surrendered, and that the fort was demolished, the cannon carried away and the whole island laid waste. Saba was also taken. ½ p.
220. II. Commission of Sir William Stapleton to Captain William Burt to command an expedition for the reduction of Tortola and Saba, 10 June, 1672. Signed, W. Stapleton. Stuck on the commission, Beating orders of Sir William Stapleton to Major Burt to raise a hundred men for the reduction of the Islands aforesaid. Originals. 1 p.
220. III. Sir William Stapleton's instructions for the expedition against Tortola aud Saba, 10 June, 1672. Original. 1½ pp.
220. IV. Sir William Stapleton's instructions to William Burt for the administration and settlement of Saba, 26 March, 1677. Original. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. Nos. 73, 73 I.–IV.; and (without enclosures) 45. pp. 194–197.]
Feb. 14. 221. Memorial of Samuel Day to Council of Trade and Plantations. In my instructions one Gilbert Nelson is nominated to be of the Council of Bermuda. This person left England on account of his debts and has no estate in Bermuda, which is expressly contrary to a general clause in the instructions as to the qualifications of Councillors. Nelson has also by several irregular acts made himself very obnoxious to the people, who are very impatient to have their estates judged by him who has none of his own. One Outerbridge is also nominated to the Council, though he too is charged with several irregular acts committed in Bermuda. I beg, therefore, that these two may be removed and Charles Walker and Lieutenant-Colonel Anthony White appointed in their place. These last are of the best estates in Bermuda and were of the Council until turned out, without any reason given, by Governor Goddard, contrary to the Royal Instructions. Also John Dudgeon is nominated Secretary, whom I believe to be quite incapable of executing the place. I beg you further to consider what stores it is necessary to send to Bermuda, none having been sent there since the going of Governor Goddard. Signed, Sam. Day. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. Read 14 Feb., 1697–8. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 3. No. 21; and 29. pp. 107–109.]
Feb. 14. 222. William Penn to Council of Trade and Plantations. "Honoured friends, "that I might not be wanting in respect to you or justice to myself, I think it not amiss to let you know that I think it hard that Proprietors should give security for Deputies of the King's approbation, since to me it seems the same thing. We should be excused, because the King approves or disapproves our nomination. If we are absolutely appointed, then I think we could not well refuse the security required. However, if it be thought fit that security be given even for such as the King approves of, I beg that no deputy be approved that will not give the King security for the right discharge of his place in respect of trade and the King's revenue; since a Proprietor, who may be both absent and innocent, may be ruined by the carelessness or corruption of a Deputy. The security aimed at by the Address of the House of Lords is equally answered by this, so I beg that it may be favourably considered. Signed, Wm. Penn. Holograph. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. Read 14 Feb., 1697–8. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 2. No. 11; and 25. p. 194.]
[Feb. 14.] 223. Memorial of Lord Cutts and others to Council of Trade and Plantations. We have asked the royal sanction for the making of small money (see No. 209) the necessity for which has been shown by multiplied petitions from the Plantations. Half-pence, pence and twopenny-pieces are required because they in the Plantations have no specie besides Spanish money, nor any of a less denomination than a royal plate, to which these will bear a suitable proportion of exchange. That Spanish money is not of greater value (considering the rates it goes at) than what is now proposed to be coined, the charge of coinage and contingencies being deducted, so that what is now intended is to answer the necessities of the Plantations in such manner as will really be to the advantage of trade. Accordingly a metal is prepared, both white and yellow, of such a composition as it not likely to be counterfeited and of such a value as not to give encouragement to attempt it. Of the white metal shall be made penny and twopenny pieces, which shall be of value about three shillings an ounce; and the half-pence shall be of the yellow metal, worth at least two shillings an ounce, each piece bearing suitable proportion to the said value. If any objection be made to the value of the said coins, it may be answered that the Spanish money, from which neither the King nor his subjects have any advantage, is not of a greater value (taken generally) than what is now proposed; and if a higher value for the coin should be insisted on, the King's favour would issue in the patentees' charge and loss. Besides, there scarcely needs rules in this case, because it cannot be to the interest of the undertakers to make anything base, mean or inferior, lest they should be put upon by counterfeit, which will prove a greater loss to them than to the individuals who might be cheated thereby. What is now produced is but specimens of the metal, but as soon as the devices for the coin shall be projected and approved, and a precept for cutting the dies projected and submitted to the King's pleasure, it is designed to put this matter into speedy practice; and within, at longest, six months each Plantation shall be supplied in proportion to its demands. Signed, Cutts, H. Pickering, J. Dudley. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. Read 14 Feb., 1697–8. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 91; and 34. pp. 237–238.]
[Feb. 14.] 224. "Narrative of Mr. Henry Watson, who was taken "prisoner by the pirates, 15 August, 1696." On 14 August, 1696, I embarked on board the ship Ruparrel, bound to Bombay, having freighted on her thirty-five bales of coffee, etc., and other goods on the Calicut, merchant, which was to sail in her company. On 15 August both ships were taken by a pirate which came out of the Babs. It was proposed to the Captain of the Ruparrel that she should be redeemed at Aden for 35,000 pieces of eight, and it was so agreed upon, though I advised to the contrary, because neither he nor his owners had ever been or had any correspondents at Aden; hence they could not expect the money to be provided and the Governor would be greatly to blame if he permitted it to come on board, this being the best way to spoil the trade of the port, encourage pirates to use these seas, and so to ruin the traffic of Mocha, Aden, etc. However, the ship was brought to Aden, when a native merchant and another young merchant-freighter (upon whose credit the money was apparently to be procured) were sent ashore, but after staying two days there was no sign of their getting the money or of their coming off themselves. On the third day the Captain was sent ashore with some lascars to hasten off the money, lest the pirates should burn the ships, as they threatened to do. That night two fires were seen ashore, which were supposed to be the two boats, and next morning a shot was fired as a signal that the ship would not be redeemed. Thereupon they fell again to plundering the ship, which I thought had been effectually done before. On 22 August about eleven o'clock the ships were set on fire in sight of the people of Aden, first the Calicut, then the Ruparrel with the English ensign flying. The lascars were sent away on floats, and the mate, gunner and myself were carried on board the pirate-ship, which was a prize taken from the French, formerly called the St. Paul, but now the John and Rebecca. The master of the Calicut proposed to them to plunder Congo in Persia, and they accordingly proceeded on the voyage. On the 22nd September we arrived at Tompo, called by the pirates Antelope Island from the great number of antelopes there, from whence they sent their boats to view Congo; but learning from two fishing-boats, captured in the night, that six Portuguese men-of-war were lying there, they resolved to stay a while in the hope that these might depart shortly. They careened their ship and killed great quantities of antelopes, until being weary of that kind of flesh and having nothing but stinking beef and doughboys (that is dough made into a lump and boiled) they weighed anchor on 16 October and came down again to Cape Mussington. There they plundered a small fishing town and got good store of dates and salt fish, but returning on the 20th they saw four Dutch ships and fled for fear of them into Cape Mussington, turning up next day towards the Island aforesaid. Off Hisnies they took a Frank, that told them of two great ships, supposed to be English from Europe, at Gambroon, which scared them not a little. On the 22nd they arrived again at Tompo and on the 25th sent boats to view another island up the Gulf. These had not been long gone before a boat was seen to come and view the ship, which they suspected to be a spy from Congo, as she in reality was. That night the mates and gunners of the Calicut and Ruparrel contrived to escape in a small boat, which made them think their designs frustrated. Thereupon they called for me and threatened to make me fast and beat me, and afterwards turn me on shore naked on a bare rock, or maroon-key as they called it, without food, wood or water. I told them that they knew my daily solicitation to them to be put on shore, that I knew nothing of these men's going or I should certainly have escaped with them. This abated their rigour and villainous design against me. They would have weighed and gone away that night but for their unwillingness to leave behind them their boats and men, which came not back till the 30th. During my residence with them they were very kind to me in giving me my clothes again, with leave to sell them. Afterwards they put it to the vote whether I should bring the money or not, and at about one o'clock they gave me a boat and ten Arabs, whom, knowing something of their language, I persuaded to carry me to Gomron, where the East India Company has a factory. I landed there at sunrise on 2 November, and found the four escaped men already there. During my residence with the pirates, whose chief rendezvous is at an island called St. Mary's near Madagascar, I understood they were supplied with ammunition and all sorts of necessaries by one Captain Baldridge and Lawrence Johnston, two old pirates that are settled in the above islands, and are factors for one Frederick Phillips, who under pretence of trading to Madagascar for negro slaves, supplies these rogues with all sorts of stores, consigning them to Baldridge and Johnston. These two are both of them married to country women, and many of the others are married at Madagascar. They have a kind of fortification of seven or eight guns upon St. Mary's. Their design in marrying the country women is to ingratiate themselves with the inhabitants, with whom they go into war against other petty kings. If one Englishman goes with the Prince with whom he lives to war, he has half the slaves that are taken for his pains. I have often heard the commander and many of his men say that he took the ship from the French near the river of Canada, and that they had a commission from the Governor of New York to take the French. They fitted their ship from Rhode Island, and the then Governor of New York knew their designs as also the Governor of Rhode Island. Another pirate-ship of equal burden was fitted out there at the same time with this, which Hore commands. The Captain of the other ship is Richard Glover, brother-in-law to Hore. He also was in the Gulf of Mocha to leeward of us when I was taken by Hore, and came on board to see us prisoners and to filch what they could from our ships, knowing from us that no more ships would come from Mocha. Glover would have persuaded Hore to return to Mocha, burn the ships in the port and plunder the town, to which Hore complied not; so she remained in the Gulf, and what is become of her since I know not.
Here follows a list of the men on board the pirate John and Rebecca, 94 names in all, with a note to say that there were 22 more Europeans on board, besides blacks. All the names except five or six are British. Large sheet. Endorsed, Presented to the Board by himself, 14 Feb., 1697–8. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 90.]
Feb. 14. 225. Earl of Orford to William Popple. I fear that I cannot attend the Council of Trade to-morrow at ten o'clock on the business of pirates, being commanded to attend the King at that hour, though I have a great desire to wait upon their Lordships when they fall upon that consideration. I fear also the Lord Chancellor is not well enough in his health to be there, and I submit to better judgments whether his presence may not be of great use in the matter. If any other business should defer this I shall be punctual at any summons that you give me. Signed, Orford. Holograph. ¾ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 14 Feb., 1697–8. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 92.]
Feb. 14. 226. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. A letter from Mr. Blackborne read that one Mr. Watson would attend to give information as to pirates in the East Indies. Mr. Watson accordingly attended and handed in a narrative which was read (No. 224). He also said that he had been physician to the King of Mocha, and added that the East India Company's measures of trade were quite overset by pirates. The Secretary reported that by Lord Bridgewater's orders the meeting of the great officers had been summoned for to-morrow at the Cockpit.
The Secretary also reported that he had this day received from the Exchequer £150 in malt-lottery tickets for the incident expenses of the Board. He was ordered to sell some of them and pay £15 to Mr. Story for the charge of his voyage to New Hampshire.
Sir Henry Pickering and others presented a memorial of Lord Cutts and others (No. 223). The Council asked to see specimens of the metal, and directed that the present patentees for farthings should receive notice of the matter, and offer what they have to say thereon.
Mr. Day presented a memorial (No. 221). Order for a representation to be prepared thereon.
Mr. Penn's letter of this day read (No. 222).
Order for a representation for the recall of the Engineers sent to the Colonies.
Order for the Secretary to ascertain the names of the Admiralty officers appointed in Carolina.
Feb. 15. Lord Privy Seal acquainting the Board that one Mr. Langley could give information as to pirates in the East Indies, it was ordered that he be asked to give in a memorial thereupon. The Board then proceeded to consider the question further.
Feb. 16. Order for Mr. Gilbert Heathcote to be pressed for an answer to the letters of 3rd and 4th inst. Representation concerning engineers agreed on.
Feb. 17. The representation of yesterday signed.
Mr. Bridgeman's letter of yesterday read (No. 233).
Mr. Tyrrell attended on his brother's business. The Council resolved to write to Sir William Beeston in his favour.
Mr. Langley's letter of this day read, also several extracts from letters to the East India Company (Nos. 234,235). John Finlinson, a seaman, sent down by the East India Company, then gave information as to the pirate-settlement at Santa Maria and Captain Baldridge.
Draft circulars were brought up. It was resolved to omit the clause as to printing the laws.
Feb. 18. Mr. Fullerton attended and gave information as to the pirate Glover, and as to Mr. Phillips of New York, who upon information of great wealth to be found at Delagoa, on the main opposite to Madagascar, sent a ship to look for the place, but could not find it.
Mr. Heathcote's letter of this day read and order given to the Secretary for a letter to the Admiralty thereupon. [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 424–436.]
Feb. 14. 227. Minutes of Council of Nevis. Letter from the Commissioners of the Customs that the Lieutenant-Governor and Naval Officers of Nevis had not taken the oaths prescribed by the Acts for regulating the Plantation Trade. Depositions to the fact were taken, and Lieutenant-Governor Gardner was thereupon suspended.
Feb. 15. Proclamations of the Governor vesting the Government of Nevis in the Council with William Burt for President.
Feb. 16. William Burt was sworn to the Acts of Trade. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 459–464.]
Feb. 15. 228. Minutes of Council of Barbados. The writs for the Assembly were returned, and the members sworn. Order for a new commission to be issued appointing judges and assistants for Oistins Court and Bridge Court. Colonel Maxwell was presented as Speaker, whereupon the Council told them that they conceived that they were not a house, Colonel Alleyne not having come to be sworn, although a member. The Assembly retired and returned to say that they believed themselves to be a house; the Council also stood by their former opinion. The Assembly then said that they were no house and that the Council might issue new writs; and therewith departed. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 279–280.]
Feb. 15. 229. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. List of the members. Thomas Maxwell was elected Speaker and presented, when the Council doubted whether the members could elect a Speaker until all those returned by the writ were present (see the preceding abstract). William Rawlin elected Clerk, and William Woodhouse, Marshal. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 287–288.]
Feb. 15. 230. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Resolved to defer the meeting of the Assembly till the 8th of March owing to the severity of the weather. Writ issued to that effect. Order for enquiry whether any horses have been pressed by the Governor for the public or his own service without payment made for the same, and whether the Governor has ever by arbitrary power seized men's estates, or has ever put the country to unreasonable expense by building larger churches than necessary or has defrauded the people or clergy therein. Order for an enquiry as to maltreatment of an Indian. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. 413–416.]
Feb. 15.
231. Governor Codrington to Council of Trade and Plantations. Yesterday the Commissioners of Customs appeared before me in Council and exhibited the enclosed memorial, informing against the Lieutenant-Governor for not taking the oaths according to the Act therein mentioned. The case being proved (see depositions enclosed) I, with the advice of the Council, suspended the Lieutenant-Governor pending the signification of the King's pleasure. The enclosures will show what measures I have taken for the settlement of the Government. I shall proceed shortly to St. Christophers, when I shall suspend the Deputy-Governor mentioned in the same information. The Lieutenant-Governor of Nevis alleged that he had no notice of the Act, and that he took the oath as soon as he had knowledge of it, which was long after the time appointed; but as it plainly appeared that he had notice, I could impute it to nothing but neglect. Signed, Chr. Codrington. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 20 April, Read 6 May, 1698. Enclosed,
231. I. Deposition of John Perrie, Provost Marshal of the Leeward Islands. That in October, 1696, he was ordered by Governor Codrington to remind him to take the oaths appointed by the late Act for Regulating the Plantation Trade; that he reminded him accordingly, and swore him and John Yeamans at Antigua, and Colonel Thomas Delavall at Montserrat; that he proceeded thence to Nevis and reminded the Council some months before 25 March, 1697, that Lieutenant-Governor Gardner must also take the oath, but that, as far as he remembers, the Lieutenant-Governor did not. Dated, 14 February, 1697. 1 p.
Memorial of James Thynne and William Mead, Commissioners of Customs in the Leeward Islands, to Governor Codrington, 11 Feb., 1698. Setting forth that neither Lieutenant-Governor Gardner of Nevis nor Deputy-Governor John Macarthur of St. Christophers have taken the oath prescribed by the late Act for regulating the Plantation Trade, and that the Naval Officer of Nevis has also omitted to give the security required by that Act. ¾ p.
Deposition of James Thynne and William Mead, 14 Feb., 1698. That in July or August, 1696, they showed Lieutenant-Governor Gardner what was required of him and of the Naval Officer under the Act for regulating the Plantation Trade, and that he answered, after reading the Act, that he hoped he should not have to take the oath before William Mead. ½ p.
Extract from Minutes of Council of Nevis, 14 February, 1698. Resolved that Lieutenant-Governor Gardner be suspended for neglect to take the oath within the time prescribed by the Act for regulating the Plantation Trade, and that the Council, or any five of them, take upon them the Government, under the Presidency of William Burt. 1 p. Copies. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. Nos. 74, 74 I.; and(without enclosure), 45. pp. 199–200.]
Feb. 15.
Essex Street.
232. William Popple to Francis Parry. I am to inform you, as one concerned in the patent for making half-pence and farthings, that a proposal for coining small money from an artificial metal has been referred to our consideration, in order that you may draw up and offer what you may think fit upon the subject. To avoid any mistake the Council of Trade desires also a copy of your patent. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. pp. 239–240.]