America and West Indies: March 1699, 21-31

Pages 110-124

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 17, 1699 and Addenda 1621-1698. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1908.

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March 1699

March 21.
March 22.
The Governor and L.G. took the oaths appointed and subscribed the Test and Association. The Surveyor and Searcher, appointed to Oyster Bay, surrendered his commission, declaring he dare not execute it by reason of the threats of the inhabitants. The case communicated to the Assembly, who were recommended to take some course to prevent illegal trade there and elsewhere.
March 23. All accounts delivered to Col. Cortlandt ordered to be audited.
March 24. It having been shown that it is the custom of the West Indies for His Majesty in cases of seizure of vessels to allow seamen's wages due before the seizure, ordered that the charges of seizing and condemning the Hester be first deducted out of the money arising therefrom, and that then Captain Richard Wise, the late master, and the mariners be paid the money due to them on account of their wages, as far as the residue will extend.
John Vincent ordered to be prosecuted for breach of the proclamation prohibiting persons to go on board any vessel coming into port until some Customs' officer had first visited her. The account of Henry Jourdain returned audited and ordered to be paid.
March 25. Other payments to officials. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 198–203.]
March 20. 196. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letter from Mr. Addington, Feb. 7, read.
Two letters from President and Council of Nevis, Dec. 31 and Feb. 4, read with enclosed papers. Copies ordered to be sent to Mr. Vernon if he have not received duplicates.
March 21. Further memorials presented by Mr. Wharton in the name of Nicholas and John Hallam. Resolved to enquire of Lord Bellomont as to the affair. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 420–422; and 96. Nos. 47 and 48.]
March 21. 197. Minutes of Council of Montserrat. An Act for a donation of 50,000 pounds of sugar to the Hon. Col. Thomas Delaval, Lieutenant Governor, read and assented to. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. p. 543.]
21, 22.
Fort William
198. Minutes of Council in Assembly, New York. After being frequently adjourned owing to the absence of representatives from town, nineteen assembled on this day and took the Oaths, Test and Association. They chose James Graham Speaker, and demanded to have their former rights and privileges confirmed (1) That none of their members nor servants may be arrested or molested during the session. (2) That they may have freedom of access to His Excellency, (3) and freedom of speech and a favourable construction upon all debates, (4) that in case of misunderstandings with the Council, committees of both Houses be appointed to reconcile their differences. Entered in the Council Book with the consent of His Excellency, who proceeded to address the Assembly:—The last Assembly was dissolved because it sat for a whole month and did no business, there being great heat, and divisions among them. Faction and sedition were rife in the town and some ill men used the utmost industry to spread the infection all over the province by false suggestions of their independence from the Crown of England, and that 'tis a wrong and violence done 'em that England should put a limitation on their trade. But does not England put a restriction on its own trade in some cases? and as for piracy, which some people are so fond of here, 'tis held in such abomination as not to be known or practised there. The Province is subject to the Crown of England, enjoys its protection and the best constitution of laws in fellowship with the best and bravest people in the world, the people of England. The angry men of New York must expect no more connivance at their ill practices. Great marks of irreligion and immorality are noticeable and proceed from a long habit of breaking the laws, which nothing can rectify save Religion. The Governor then recommended the continuance of the present revenue, the discharge of the Government debt, the reconciliation of parties and moderation in debate. The friendship of the Five Nations of Indians was secured at the conference at Albany last year: but they have since grown very uneasy at the detention by the French Governor of Canada of some of their friends prisoners in spite of the late Treaty of Peace. The Assembly's advice invited on the matter. The Assembly withdrew. Col. William Smith on behalf of the Council expressed their satisfaction with the Earl's speech.
March 23. The right of His Majesty to all drift-whales which the subject can make no just claim of having killed was unanimously asserted, and Richard Floyd, who in contempt of the royal right and authority clandestinely cut up and removed one on the island Nassau, was committed for prosecution. The Chief Justice was required to examine on oath witnesses in the matter. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 743–54.]
March 21. 199. Minutes of Council of Barbados. The petition of Mr. Irwin about servants was read and order made for payment. The salaries of Mr. Rawlins and Mr. Woodhouse, £50 to Mr. Duke for repairing the fortifications, a sum to Mr. Thomas for Spight's fort, and £35 8s. to Sarah Dweight for entertaining the Committee of Public Accounts, were passed. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. p. 390.]
March 21. 200. Col. Fletcher to Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Miller was not upon daily duty as chaplain at New York as he alleges. His commission bears date March 7, 1692. He was in New York only from the end of Aug., 1692, to the end of May, 1695, when he went to England without my leave upon his private occasions, leaving not only the Companies but the City of New York destitute of an English minister. So that from the time of his arrival at New York to the deserting of his flock is only two years and nine months. At 6s. 8d. a day his pay would amount to £393 13s. 4d., of which he owns to have received half. So there remains due to him, New York money, £196 16s. 8d., which makes sterling at £30 per cent. difference, £151 8s.
As to there being a sum of money in my hands for that purpose, as he alleges, I can produce accounts to show that there is a balance of £173 4s. 11d. due to me. But when the forces shall be cleared to the time of my being superseded by the Lord Bellomont, the deduction of 30 per cent. will amount to upwards of £3,130, out of which not only my balance may be cleared, but your Lordships may direct the paying Mr. Miller as much as you think his services deserve. Signed, Ben. Fletcher. Endorsed, Read March 27, 1699. 1½ pp. [Board of Trade. New York, 8A. No. 20; and 53. p. 292.]
March 22. 201. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Nevis. The Assembly esteeming the Gunner's account of powder irregular proposed that he should not be paid till he had presented a proper account, and should be dismissed the country's service and forfeit wages due if he did not do so within ten days. The Surveyor was called upon to lay his accounts before both Houses. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. p. 494.]
March 22.
S. Carolina.
202. Edward Randolph to Lord Bellomont. About Jan. 10 last one Cuttler came from London hither with his wife. He gave out that he had a commission from His Majesty to search for mines in this Province. His wife has brought over with her a stock and keeps a milliner's shop in this town. He expects one Green to follow him, equally concerned with him, as he says, in the search for mines, but neither he nor Green have been formerly in this Province. I hear from an intimate friend of Cuttler's that his dependence is wholly upon one Edward Loughton, whose wife's sister Cuttler married in London, and one David Maybank, another relation by marriage, to assist him. They have no knowledge of mines further than what they have heard Indian traders discourse of mines thirty or forty miles down the Savanore River, taken up when the river is dry, good for little or nothing. Loughton and Maybanks are both house-carpenters and have lived above 16 years in this town. They were in London not long ago; 'tis probable they might infuse notions of mines into Cuttler and Green, that they know where there were mines, and easily to be found if they could get a commission from His Majesty to search and some persons of quality to countenance them and money to bear their charges. They returned about five years after. Now whether they are joined with Cuttler and Green is best known to your Lordship. Cuttler talks of going to Savanore Town, about 120 miles from hence, with Loughton and Maybanks to speak with the Indian traders. He promises great matters to those who inform him of mines, and has lately discoursed that your Lordship, the Earl of Pembroke, and Mr. Blathwayt are principally concerned, and have got them a commission to pay their passage and travelling charges. I enquired of a gentleman in this country what profit has arisen to his Majesty by the fourth part of the gold and silver mines in this province, or whether they have given encouragement to any persons to discover them and work them. I hear of none. Some time after upon a report that I was going to England he sent me a letter (copy enclosed) which I intended to show to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but since I find your Lordship, the Earl of Pembroke and Mr. Blathwayt are all engaged in the same design to promote the lasting benefit of his Majesty and his Kingdoms, I enclose a copy to Mr. Blathwayt in case any should miscarry. Mr. James Moor is a gentleman of a good estate in this country, he is Secretary of the Province and a deputy to Sir John Colleton, one of the Lords Proprietors. He told me that if he were empowered and had good encouragement for himself and his friend, he would forthwith take 50 white men and 100 Chirakues Indians to be his guard, and that he had a negro smith. He desired me, to be secured against the Lords Proprietors' claim, to have all matters so accommodated that they might not seize upon the produce of his own cost and labour bestowed upon his Majesty's fourth part, whereas their Lordships have three-fourths to set men to work upon for themselves. He can employ his estate and slaves to greater profit. As to his own share which may arise to him from the mines, he wholly submits that to His Majesty and to your Lordships considering he is at all the charge of the discovering and opening them. As this is a matter of great import to the Crown if it succeed, so if it do not, it will prove an utter ruin to Mr. Moor. If the Lords Proprietors know that he hath neglected them and made his proposals in the first place to you, he will certainly be a double loser, for besides his great charge and travel to discover the mines, the Lords Proprietors will upon the first notice turn him out of the Council and take from him his office of Secretary and engage the Governor and Council against him to the destruction of himself and numerous family, and at last force him to leave the country, as has been formerly practised upon men of good estates in this province. You may refer to Mr. Thornburgh, now one of the Lords Proprietors, and his agent. If you please to command I will attend at Whitehall. Meantime I humbly pray for the recovering of my health that I may have leave to make my residence in Carolina in winter time, to avoid the extremity of cold in Virginia, Maryland or the other northern Plantations, and that I may have another vessel that draws much less water than the Swift advice boat, lost by the carelessness of the commander in Virginia last winter; with liberty to have an able coaster well acquainted with the dangerous flats and sands upon all the shores from this place to New England, where H.M. service will very often require me. Copy. 5 pp. Endorsed, Recd. June 15, Read June 19, 1699. Enclosed,
March 1.
202. I. James Moore to Edward Randolph. I made a journey in 1690 over the Apalatheean Mountains and took up seven sorts of ores or mineral stones, all differing either in weight, colour, smell or some other qualities. By my friend Col. Maurice Matthews I had these tried in England. He sent word two were very good and one indifferent. In the same journey I was informed the Spaniards had been at work upon mines within 20 miles of me. The natives described to me their great bellows and furnaces, and said they killed the Spaniards for fear they should make slaves of them to work in the mines, as they had millions of other Indians. The places where I took up the ores are much nearer Ashley River than any place now inhabited by the Spaniards or French. Reflecting on the weakness of our colony and that the report of a silver mine among us would incite the French in America, if not in Europe, to invade us, I thought it convenient during the war not to make any discovery of them. I now communicate this with you, desiring you to communicate it either to the Rt. Hon. Mr. Montague, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Blathwayt, or some other great officer at Court. I leave it to you to agree for my certain reward. I hope I shall not be worse dealt by because I will not put the Crown to one farthing charge before the thing be effected. King Charles II. by his charters has given our Lords Proprietors three-fourths of all silver, gold, precious stones, etc. found within their patent. If they work the mines they will hardly send men enough to defend this country. Copy. 3 pp. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 3. Nos. 19, 19 I.; and 25. pp. 433–443.]
March 23. 203. Andrew Hamilton to William Popple. The last ship to sail to New York and Boston is 14 days hence, and puts me under a necessity to remind their Lordships of the petition and memorial of the Proprietors of the Jerseys concerning me. The state also of the Post in America, which is under my care, doth call for my speedy repair thither, the Acts of Assembly of those Colonies which ascertain the rates upon letters being near expired, and will not be easily renewed without my personal application. Signed, And. Hamilton. Endorsed, Recd. Read, March 23, 1698/9. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 2. No. 60.]
March 23.
204. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Vernon, enclosing papers received from Nevis dated Feb. 4. Signed, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 45. pp. 345–348.]
March 23. 205. Proprietors of East New Jersey to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The Proprietors in their petition to His Majesty in Council, since referred to you, complained of the seizure of the Hester at Perth-Amboy, which the Governor of New York justifies by virtue of the Order in Council made in confirmation of your report declaring your opinion that the Proprietors have no grant of any port in East Jersey. They set forth that your report was grounded upon several misinformations. For the right claimed is but the common and natural right of coming into and going out of that Province with ships for the necessary support of the inhabitants, a privilege which every other colony of America doth enjoy to this day. No customs being payable there for any goods imported from Europe thither or for the product of that Colony to Europe, or elsewhere, they are advised they have power to import and export such goods from any part of that province without interruption. And for the enumerated products of the Plantations upon which a duty is imposed by the statute of Charles II, the Proprietors insist that the Commissioners of Customs had constituted Perth-Amboy a port for that purpose before your late report, which the Proprietors are willing shall be the port for importing and exporting all goods whatsoever to and from the Colony. The separation of the Jerseys from New York, 1664, was before the Statute which empowered the Commissioners of Customs to constitute ports in America or before any customs were payable at New York, so that, as the people were under no limitation from England of using the most convenient harbours in their colonies, New York cannot pretend that by the separation of the Jerseys any revenue or customs are lopped off. Your report set forth that New York and Perth-Amboy lie within the same capes and river, and that it is not usual to admit of two independent ports within the same river: but this is the case with Virginia and Maryland, and every creek there is permitted to be a port as in New England. And though the entrance from the sea to New York and Perth-Amboy be through the same channel close to Sandy Hooke, because of shoals and banks that lie all along to Nassau or Long Island, yet once within the channel the courses, flowings and ebbings, are different, for New York lying north from Sandy Hook upon Hudson's river and Perth-Amboy lying west upon Rariton River, ships bound for Perth-Amboy, if they must first enter New York will have to go down again to Sandy Hook before they can fall into the channel of Rariton River, and are subject to be driven to sea as pilots often have been. A ship bound outward from Perth Amboy, if obliged to clear at New York, may be blown off in going round, and so is seizable in any of the King's ports for want of coquets. A northerly wind is a fair wind to go to sea from Perth Amboy, but blows quite down Hudson's River, that ships with that wind cannot come at New York, and so lose a fair wind. In the winter ships can go to sea from Perth Amboy once in two or three tides, but it is impossible to go to New York because of the running ice in that river, and therefore must lose their season. East Jersey affords great store of horses fit to be transported to the West Indies. They are never put aboard till the wind offers fair to go to sea, and should vessels loaded with horses be obliged to clear at New York, they may lose the wind that might carry them to sea, and be the loss of their voyage. In order to take away the principal objection made by your Lordships, the detriment a free port in East Jersey would bring to New York, the Proprietors propose to obtain an Act of Assembly for the same duties at Perth Amboy as are and shall be paid at New York. Their proposal for a trial at bar is merely to vindicate them against any charge of remissness from the inhabitants in case of failure. Signed, Wm. Penn, Thomas Harte, Tho. Cooper, David Lyell, Tho. Barker, Clemt. Plumsted, Walter Benthall, Wm. Dockwra, Peter Sonmans, John Burnet, and for Robt. Burnet, Gilbert Molleson for Robert Barclay, Joseph Ormston. Endorsed, Recd March 23. Read March 29, 1699. 3 large pp. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 3. No. 1; and 25. pp. 379–382.]
March 23. 206. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Andrew Hamilton was informed that a report on his affair and other matters relating to the Jerseys, which could not be separated, would be made as speedy as possible. Letter to Mr. Secretary Vernon enclosing papers from Nevis signed and sent. Letters from Sir Wm. Beeston with enclosures, Jan. 20 and Dec. 5, considered, and letter to Mr. Vernon thereon ordered to be prepared.
March 24. The draft of the letter agreed upon.
Representation upon the business of Newfoundland ordered. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 423, 424; and 96. Nos. 49 and 50.]
March 25.
207. Copies in full of Acts passed at Nevis, 1699.
(1) An Act that constables shall not refuse to serve.
(2) An Act to oblige masters of ships to give in security besides the security by Act of Parliament.
(3) An Act that no actions shall be commenced at a sessions unless they be for above one thousand pounds of sugar.
(4) An Act against running away with boats and canoes.
(5) An Act for all vessels to pay tonnage, powder and arms.
(6) An Act against importing rum and molasses; also for raising an annual tax on vintners and retailers of rum and rum punch, and for lessening the number of distillers.
(7) An Act to revive and continue divers Acts of this island.
(8) An Act to ascertain the value of foreign coins to pass current in this island.
Signed, Wm. Burt, Mich. Smith, Dan. Smith, Jno. Smargin, Richd. Abbot, Wm. Butler, and J. Bevon and Wm. Ling, Speakers. Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 8, 1699. Sent to Mr. Solicitor General, Nov. 8, 1699. Recd. back May 28, 1700. Read Sept. 11, 1700. Reported Sept. 29, 1700. [Board of Trade. Nevis, 260. Nos. 5–8.]
March 25.
208. James Vernon to Council of Trade and Plantations, directing the preparation of a Commission and Instructions for Col. Codrington to be Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief of the Leeward Caribbee Islands. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. Read March 27, 1699. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6. Nos. 11 and 45. p. 348.]
March 25. 209. Instructions to Col. John Gibson, commanding the regiment of foot despatched to recover the Island of Newfoundland from the French, 1697. Endorsed, Recd. from Mr. Blathwayt March 25. Laid before the Board, March 27, 1699. Copy. 6 pp. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 128.]
March 25. 210. Heads of Instruction for Capt. John Norris, commander in chief of the squadron of H.M. ships bound to Newfoundland, 1697. Endorsed as above. Copy. 7 pp. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 129.]
March 27.
211. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Vernon. We think it proper to lay before you some matters referred to in the letters of Sir William Beeston, Lieut.-Governor of Jamaica, Dec. 5 and Jan. 20 last (q.v.). The matters reported are (1) The passage about the deaths of the Commanders of the Sindados Prize and H.M.S. Maidstone; (2) the case of Captain Allen and the Sindados Prize at the Isle des Vaches; (3) the endeavours of the French to settle a colony at the Isle des Vaches "which a few years ago lay common and the inhabitants of Jamaica used to hunt there and fish for turtle upon that coast. And inasmuch as the said settlement so near St. Domingo may be prejudicial to the Spaniard as well as to our navigation that way, besides the consideration of our fishery, we humbly conceive it may be fit that information be given of that new settlement to the Spanish Court"; (4) the Kelly affair. (5) The attitude of the Spanish and the case of Captain Medlicot. (6) The detention of English ships at Carthagena by the Spaniards. "We are also to acquaint you with what has been lately writ to us by the President and Council of Nevis relating to the Spaniards in those parts. Two sloops belonging to that island having sailed to Crab Island, the leeward-most of H.M. Carribbee Islands, in order to winter there out of the danger of hurricanes and to return with turtle, which is fished in those seas, in the spring, were surprised and taken by two armed half gallies, who carried them to the neighbouring Island of St. John de Porto Rico, where the men are kept in prison to the loss of the owners esteemed to be £1,000 sterling, and to the great prejudice of our navigation and turtle fishing in those parts." Signed, Phil. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 56. pp. 303–311.]
March 27.
212. James Vernon to Council of Trade and Plantations. His Majesty commands me to transmit the enclosed advice sent to the Royal African Company. You are to advise with the merchants whether they have anything to propose for the security of trade. I have sent your report of Feb. 24 concerning passes to the Lords of the Admiralty, but have not yet been sent their reply. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. Read March 28, 1699. Enclosed,
Aug. 29.
212. I. Wm. Burrough to Samuel Heron, merchant in the Royal African House. This is for to acquaint the Royal African Company of my misfortune in being taken by a pirate under English colours in the Lat. of 7' 15", they being a ship of 14 guns and 6 patereroes and 50 men, he being a consort of Avery, and they told us likewise that there was 10 sail upon the coast of Africa and that Avery was the head of them in a ship of 24 guns and 100 men. They told us that they had fought the Bedford Galley at the Isle of May and that she had disabled their mast, by which reason they took my ship with ten of my men (named) and gave me their ship, which I have brought to Seralone and delivered her to Agent Corker. Copy. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 5. Nos. 10, 10 I.; and 35. pp. 34, 35.]
March 27. 213. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letters to Mr. Secretary Vernon (ordered March 23) and about Turkish passes (Feb.24) signed.
Letter from Mr. Vernon, March 25, received, and draft of a Commission and Instructions for Col. Codrington to be Captain General and Governor-in-Chief of the Leeward Islands ordered to be prepared accordingly.
Order of Council of March 9 relating to ships of war to attend the Plantations read, and so much of it as concerns them ordered to be communicated to the respective Governors.
Orders of Council of same date upon Jews trading to Alexandria and enquiry into the misdemeanours of the Government of Rhode Island read.
Letter from Col. Fletcher, March 21, read, and copy ordered to be given to Mr. Miller.
March 28. Letter from Mr. Vernon, March 27, enclosing copy of an advice sent to the Royal African Company concerning pirates on the coast of Africa, read. Any members of the Company or persons able to give information on the matter invited to attend any morning before Saturday.
Copy of a Bill now depending before the House of Commons for encouraging the trade to Newfoundland read and discussed. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 424–427; and 96. Nos. 51 and 52; and Trade Papers, 14. pp. 237–239.]
March 28. 214. Memorandum of a copy of a Bill now depending in the House of Commons for encouraging the Trade to Newfoundland. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 130.]
March 28,
29, 30, 31.
215. Minutes of Council of New York. Accounts of Hendrick van Dyck, Jacobus van Dyck and Jacob Staats, chyrurgions, for attending the soldiers at Albany considered, and the accounts of Robert Livingstone ordered to be audited. Petition of Richard Floyd read and referred.
A list of the debts of the Government was produced and communicated to the Assembly. Twenty pounds paid to James Evetts for making drawings for the buildings of the Fort. The accounts of expenses of seizing the Hester referred to a Committee. Four tydewaiters, to inspect shipping and prevent running of prohibited goods, appointed at 40l. per annum:—Capt. John Bowden, John Parmyter, Nicholas Feilding and Robert Cranwell; but the latter, already receiving forty-six pounds a year as one of the matrosses of the Fort and cockswain of H.M. pinnace, to receive no more than that amount. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 203–206.]
March 29. 216. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Memorial of the Proprietors of East New Jersey read. Sir Thomas Lane with Mr. Penn, Mr. Dockwray and other Proprietors of East and West New Jersey, applied for a report upon the several matters before the Board concerning them. They proposed, by way of accommodation in the business of ports at Bridlington and Perth-Amboy, to raise the same duties there that are laid at New York and give one half part thereof toward the charge of maintaining the frontiers of New York, and, on being told that the Board is required to advise with Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor General on those matters, they said they would endeavour to bring them on Friday.
Mr. Thomas Nisbet with Mr. David Waterhouse and another merchant offered verbally some objections to the Bill for encouraging trade to Newfoundland. They said they were to be heard before the Committee of the House, and were told the Board could not properly interpose unless required to do so.
Mr. Miller offered a long deduction of his case and was told the Board had no power to compel Col. Fletcher to pay him, and that he ought to make application to the Earl of Ranelagh's office or to the Treasury or in the ordinary course of law.
Mr. Lucas was told the report on his business would be made as soon as possible. The letter of Mr. Gamble to him was copied and returned to him.
March 30. Letter to the Treasury concerning the charges of the office ordered. Representation upon affairs of Newfoundland signed and sent to the Council Board.
Mr. Attorney and Solicitor General summoned to attend to-morrow.
Laws of Nevis and Antego, Sept.–Feb., with remonstrance of the General Assembly of Antego, Nov. 29, laid before the Board. The Laws referred to Mr. Attorney and Solicitor General.
Sir E. Andros, lately arrived from Virginia, stated that the Government had been put into Col. Nicholson's hands Dec. 9, and that he left all well. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 427–430; and 96. Nos. 53 and 54.]
March 30.
217. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. The preservation of the Fishery of Newfoundland being of the greatest importance to this kingdom and the season of the year being now come for the departure of ships bound thither, which will be soon followed by the usual convoys, we humbly crave leave to lay before your Majesty some particulars relating thereunto which require a present consideration. Your Majesty having last year established a Company of Foot for the guard of the harbour of St. John's and of the forts there, it will be absolutely necessary, in case your Majesty be pleased to continue the company in that service, that care be taken to send a sufficient quantity of provisions, clothes and money thither to serve them until the ensuing year, and that a recruit of ten men be sent to make up the complement that may be wanting by death or desertion. We understand from Captain Norris, who commanded your Majesty's fleet there last year, that at the time of his departure from thence the remainder of the provisions, which had been sent whilst the forces were more numerous there, was sufficient in quantity to serve those now left there for a year longer, but that in his opinion they will be defective and spoiled before they can be served out to them. He proposes that one complete year's provisions should now be sent for the Company, and, upon their arrival, the old provisions should be disposed of at a public sale for the use of the soldiers. We humbly offer to your Majesty that the Commander-in-Chief of the convoys should be charged with the sale and be accountable for the same. Capt. Norris advises us that no money was sent by the Office of Ordnance last year for the subsistence of the gunners left there, and that for want thereof they were put to hard shifts for clothing themselves and subsisting during the winter. We propose that the necessary directions be given to supply that want and prevent the like inconvenience in future. Lt.-Col. Handaside, who succeeded to the command of the soldiers left there, on the return of Col. Gibson, has acquainted us with the great hardships suffered by them that winter, and the death of the greatest part of them, which he imputes chiefly to the want of sufficient barracks to defend them against the injuries of the winter season, and the impossibility of building such barracks whilst he was there for want of timber or stone, adding that unless some care be taken to have barracks built of stone or brick it will be very difficult for the men to live there, besides the hazard of fire if made of wood. Last March we offered our opinion that for the erecting of new and finishing the old fortifications it might be necessary that workmen should be sent from hence with such a quantity of brick, lime and plank, as the Office of Ordnance, upon consulting with engineers then lately come from thence, should find requisite, as also that a chain and boom together with an iron bridle and a crab or capstone should be likewise sent for the services mentioned in our report, and directions given for employing the seamen and soldiers in the works. Your Majesty gave directions accordingly, but, as we conceive through the pressure of other occasions, none of the said things were sent or done. The reason of the said proposals being yet the same we humbly offer that the directions then given should be now put in execution and that likewise a sufficient quantity of bricks and lime for building barracks for the company of men left there be further added to what we then proposed for the fortifications, and directions given for the building or repairing both of the one and of the other. Lastly we humbly beg leave to lay before your Majesty an abstract of the State of the last year's Fishery at Newfoundland: viz.—
The tonnage of 252 ships employed in that fishery amounts to 24,318 tons.
The number of men employed last year in that trade and fishery near 6,000 men.
The number of quintals of fish taken there is 272,618.
The value of the fish at 13s. per quintal at Newfoundland, as the price generally went there last year, amounts to £177,201 14s.
The returns of the fish to England from the foreign markets with the advantages of freight and otherwise may be reckoned near the double of its first cost and so will exceed £300,000. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Tankerville, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. pp. 277–280.]
March 30.
218. Order of King in Council referring the petition of Francis Eyles to the Council of Trade and Plantations for consideration and report. Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. Ap. 1, Read Ap. 3, 1699. 1 p. Enclosed,
218. I. Petition of Francis Eyles praying for an Order in Council to permit the Hon. Ralph Grey, Governor of Barbados, to receive a present made to him by the Council and Assembly of "two thousand pounds in consideration of the charge he was at to fit and provide himself for his voyage thither." Copy. Signed, John Povey. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. Nos. 81, 81 I.; and 44. pp. 245–246.]
March 30.
219. Order of the King in Council referring the petition of Sir William Waller, knt., Nicholas Dupin, Esq., Partners and Company, to the Council of Trade to examine and report thereon. Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. Read April 21, 1699. Enclosed,
219. I. Petition of Sir William Waller, knt., Nicholas Dupin, esquire, partners and Company, to His Majesty for establishing and settling the Island of Tobago. The Petitioners have agreed and contracted with Charles, Baron de Bloomberg, as Envoy from His Highness the Duke of Courland, under the broad seal of the Dukedom bearing date at Mitavia, March 28, 1698. The island of Tobago is under His Majesty's protection and will be of great advantage to the commerce of his dominions, having several harbours and being inhabited by the subjects of His Majesty and of the Duke of Courland. Many noblemen and merchants and others have become partners and raised a considerable Joint-Stock to carry on the said great and advantageous design. There are several Protestant Switzers and others disbanded from His Majesty's service who are willing to go and settle in the Island, who will be of great use for planting, defending and improving it.
The Petitioners therefore pray His Majesty to order two small frigots to transport the Governor, Agent, Switzers and other servants with their necessary provisions in order to settle the Island, and that one of the said ships may remain for some short time to cruise about the said Island till the petitioners have secured themselves and their goods there. Copy. Signed, John Povey. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. Nos. 82, 82 I.; and 44. pp. 251–253.]
March 30.
St. George's.
220. Minutes of Council of Bermuda. The sloop Happy Jane, Jonas Clay late master, previously condemned in a Court of Admiralty, ordered to be exposed for sale. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 39. p. 10.]
March 30. 221. Royal African Company to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Proposals for the suppression of pirates upon the coast of Guinea and the West Indies. (1) Orders to be sent to H.M. Officers in New England, New York, Carolina, &c., to prevent the pirates being supplied with provisions. (2) One fifth rate frigate to be appointed to cruise near the Cape de Verde Islands and the Isle of May, July—April and to put in once or twice into the river Gambia to gain intelligence from the Company's Agents at James Island. (3) One fifth-rate frigate to sail along the coast from Cape de Verde to Cape Coast Castle, touching there for intelligence from the Company's Agents, and thence along the coast to the Island of Princess and to cruise near that island for 5 or 6 months. (4) Several small frigates to cruise near Barbados and the other islands. Endorsed, Recd. Read March 31, 1699. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 5. No. 11; and 35. pp. 36–37.]
March 31. 222. Minutes of Council of New York in Assembly. The Assembly addressed the Governor and applauded his negotiations with the Indians. "You have sweetened their humour, which had been much soured by the great disappointments they had met with, which enraged them to such a degree that, if your Excellency's care had not intervened, they would have deserted their friendship to this Province and gone over to the French, which would have made the Peace more grievous to all the inhabitants than the late war." In gratitude, they promised their loyal support of his administration. The Governor thanked them. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 755–757.]
March 31. 223. William Popple to Sir Thomas Trevor and Sir John Hawles. I am directed by the Council of Trade to enclose the Acts of the General Assemblies of Nevis and Antego past there in Sept. Nov. Dec. Jan. and Feb. last, and to desire either of your opinions thereupon with what speed you can conveniently. Annexed,
223. I. List of Acts passed at an Assembly at Antegoa in 1698.
(1) An Act encouraging the settlement of this island with white people and promoting the importation of servants. Nov. 3, 1698.
(2) An Act for the better regulation and settlement of the Register's Office. Nov. 3, 1698.
(3) An Act to prevent the inconveniences that may arise by the expiration of the late Act of Courts, dated July 22, 1692, and the expiration of the Justices' Commission. Sept. 22, 1698.
(4) An Act for raising a tax of 1,100,000 pounds of sugar, for paying public debts and charges and the support of the Government. Dec. 22, 1698.
(5) An Act for the restraining and punishing Privateers and Pirates. Nov. 3, 1698.
(6) An Act for establishing of Courts and settling due methods for the administration of justice in this Island. Dec. 22, 1698.
(7) An Act regulating the Militia. Dec. 22, 1698.
(8) An Act for Electing an Agent from time to time for this island, appointing a recompence for his trouble and settling methods for the better management of that trust. Dec. 22, 1698.
223. II. List of Acts passed at an Assembly at Nevis in 1698/9.
(1) An Act to confirm all Estates in this Island to and upon the Owners and Possessors thereof. Jan. 19, 1698/9.
(2) An Act of Indemnity for Administrators, Overseers, Trustees, Executors, etc. Feb. 2, 1698/9.
(3) An Act for making the Negroes, Coppers, Mills and Stills of Intestates' Estates, chattels. Feb. 2, 1698/9. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 45. pp. 348–350.]
March 31.
224. Copies in full of the Acts mentioned above. Signed, Wm. Burt, Walter Symonds, Dan. Smith, Jno. Smargin, Richd. Abbot, J. Bevon, Speaker. Endorsed, Recd. March 8, 1699. Sent to Mr. Solicitor General March 31, Recd. back May 28, 1700. Read Sept. 10, 1700. Reported Sept. 29, 1700. [Board of Trade. Nevis, 260. Nos. 1–4.]
March 31. 225. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Capt. Nicholson, Mr. Roberts and another member of the Royal African Company presented some proposals for suppressing pirates on the coast of Guinea and the West Indies.
After interviews with the Attorney and Solicitor General and the Proprietors of the New Jerseys, the latter promised to make further proposals in writing for accommodating their differences with the Province of New York.
Draft of letter to the Treasury agreed upon. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 431, 432; and 96. No. 55.]
March 31.
226. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords of the Treasury. The allowances and salaries payable quarterly upon the establishment of this office being now one year in arrear and our officers, who have no manner of perquisites allowed them, being thereby put to great difficulties, we desire your order for the payment of the said year's allowances and salaries ending at Lady Day last. We also desire the payment of Mr. Churchill, the stationer, who has furnished our office these three years, for his account £203 2s. 7d., and of an Officer of the Post for the postage of many of our letters, for his account of £24 16s. 5d. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. Endorsed, March 31, 1699. Annexed,
226. I. Copy of Stationers' Account.
226. II. Copy of Post Account. [Board of Trade. Miscellanies, 1. Nos. 39, 39 I., II.; and 11. p. 76.]
March 31.
New London.
Oct. 27.
227. Governor of Connecticut to William Popple. By the ships in July 1, 1698, I acknowledged receipt of the letters of Feb. 23 and March 21, 1698. The proclamations therein contained were immediately published. I communicated the command to transmit the Laws and Acts of this colony to the General Assembly, who were then considering a revision of their laws in order to a more complete body for the press, but it being impossible to have them ready to send by the ships now hastening to sail, the General Court have despatched the present printed Laws and the transcript of other necessary and local Laws suitable to the constitution of the affairs of this wilderness, as they have been found needful to be passed by the General Assembly, and hope to have their Lordships' good opinion concerning them. Signed, J. Winthrop. Endorsed, Recd. March 31. Read April 13, 1699. 2 pp.
Governor Winthrop to Council of Trade and Plantations. To the same effect as preceding. Signed, J. Winthrop. Endorsed, Recd. March 31. Read April 13, 1699. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 3. Nos. 2 and 3; and 25. pp. 383–385.]