America and West Indies: January 1699, 16-31

Pages 19-34

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.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


January 1699

Jan. 16. 35. Petition of Nicholas Bayard to the Council of Trade and Plantations, praying for copies of the papers transmitted by the Earl of Bellomont relating to his suspension from the Council of York. Signed, N. Bayard. Endorsed, Recd. Read Jan. 16, 1698/9. [Board of Trade. New York, 8A. No. 5; and 53. p. 252.]
Jan. 16.
36. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Blathwayt communicated an extract of a letter from Paris, Jan. 9, relating to the settlement of the tariff between the French and States General. Letter to Mr. Secretary Vernon ordered, desiring to be informed of all particulars. Mr. Hill communicated a copy of the Bill now before the House of Commons for the more easy admission of merchants into the Russia Company.
Letter to the Agents of Barbados ordered (Jan. 17).
Petition from Col. Nicholas Bayard read.
Order for papers required by Mr. Weaver to be communicated to him. Col. Fletcher's hearing appointed for Friday, 9 a.m. Mr. Vernon to be desired that the Instructions to Governors relating particularly to trade, having been approved of by Council, may be despatched with all speed.
Order of Council upon a representation of Dec. 21, about irregularities in the government of Rhode Island and requiring drafts of a commission of enquiry as proposed, read.
Order of Council about merchantmen bound to the southward taking out Admiralty passes before they are dispatched at the Custom house, read.
Letter to Mr. Sansom, asking for answer to letter of Dec. 22 about Perth Amboy, ordered.
Jan. 17. Letter to Mr. Vernon signed.
Enquiry ordered of Mr. Attorney General whether the Act for preventing frauds and regulating abuses do not exclude Mr. Andrew Hamilton from being Governor of East New Jersey. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 337–341; and 96. Nos. 11, 12 and Trade Papers, 14. pp. 156–159.]
Jan. 17. 37. Council of Trade and Plantations to Edward Littleton, William Bridges, and Francis Eyles. We have had some notice of a design carrying on here to plant Tobago under the protection of the Duke of Courland. You are to enquire into it with all the care you can and report on the matter, as also whether you hear of any ships designed from hence to that island. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. p. 239.]
Jan. 17.
38. Jno. Sansom to William Popple. Yours of the 22nd past with some papers relating to Perth Amboy was received and laid before this Board. But the Holy daies then very shortly intervening and a great deal of business succeeding them the Commissioners have not yet had time to return answer but will take the first opportunity. Signed, Jno. Sansom. Endorsed, Recd. Read Jan. 18, 1698/9. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 2. No. 44.]
Jan. 17.
39. William Popple to Sir Thomas Trevor. The appointment of Andrew Hamilton as governor of East New Jersey having been referred to the Council of Trade, they desire your opinion whether he, being a Scotchman born, be qualified for that employment, in respect of the Act for preventing frauds and regulating abuses in the Plantation Trade or any other law of this realm. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. pp. 303, 304.]
Jan. 18. 40. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Crown attended as desired, and gave some account of his title to Penobscot and promised it in writing.
Letter from Mr. Secretary Vernon, promising to communicate what particulars he can about the settlement of the tariff between Holland and France, and to dispatch the Instructions to Governors and Proprietors, read.
Letter from Mr. Sansom, promising answer about Perth Amboy shortly, read.
Col. Bayard, Mr. Robert Hackshaw and Mr. Blackhall, merchants trading to New York, made some general complaints against Lord Bellomont's conduct in that Government. Being directed to put their allegations in writing some objected, others seemed inclinable to do it.
Jan. 19. Ordered that notice be again given to Col. Fletcher that he be punctual in observing the hour of nine o'clock to-morrow morning appointed for the hearing of his business.
Mrs. Wood, the necessary woman, laying before the Board two bills for necessaries for cleaning the rooms amounting to five pounds per annum, their Lordships ordered her to be paid for that charge three pounds per annum for the past and for the future.
Upon consideration of the complaints made yesterday against the Earl of Bellomont, their Lordships reflecting that probably the ground thereof may arise from the fear lest some law should be made in the next Assembly enacting that reparations be made for damages done to those of Leisler's party in the time of the Revolution, ordered a letter to be written to Lord Bellomont advising him not to pass any such Act without the King's express command.
Several papers relating to Col. Bayard's removal from the Council of New York were read.
The draft of a clause was agreed upon which might be added to the Bill for encouraging the Woollen Manufacture in England with relation to H.M. Plantations in America, and Mr. Blathwayt was desired to present it to the Committee of the House.
The clause was as follows:—No wool, wool-fells, shortlings, wortlings, wool-flocks, woosted, bay or woollen yarn, cloth, serge bays, kerseys, says, frizes, druggets, cloth serges, shalloons or any other drapery stuffs or woollen manufactures whatsoever made up or not, with wool or wool-flocks, being of the product of any of the English Plantations in America shall be loaden or laid on board in any ship or vessel in any place or parts within any of the said English Plantations upon any pretence whatsoever, or upon any horse cart or carriage to the intent to be exported under the same penalties as are prescribed for the like offences committed within the kingdom of Ireland, etc. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 341–346; and 96. Nos. 13, 14; and Trade Papers, 14. pp. 160–163.]
Jan. 19.
Fort William
41. Minutes of Council of New York. His Excellency proposed, with a view to uniting parties and curing the present unhappy differences among the people, to call an Assembly. The Council concurred and writs were ordered to be issued for an Assembly to meet on March 2. Courts of Judicature were ordered to be continued by a proclamation till confirmed by an Act of Assembly.
Payments on accounts of fees and expenses in escheating the estate of Thomas Williams of the county of Winchester were ordered to George Sydenham, John Shute, High Sheriff, Benjamin Collier, clerk, Joseph Hunt, Constable, all of the county of Westchester. The account of John Peter Melott, blacksmith, being found fraudulent, Thomas Parmyter, the master gunner and supervisor of the buildings in the fort who signed it, was discharged and John Ashton appointed in his place. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 183–185.]
Jan. 19.
42. Lords of the Admiralty to the King. Report on the representation of Jan. 10. There is already in the West Indies a ship of the sixth rate attend[ing] on Virginia and a fifth rate on Barbados and a fifth and a sixth rate on Jamaica, and a sixth rate on the Leeward Islands so that, if the other ships proposed be sent into those parts, there will then be there, three ships of the fifth rate and six of the sixth rate, besides the squadron under command of Rear-Admiral Bembow, composed of two fourth, one fifth and one sixth rate. The commanders of such ships as do attend the Plantations having orders to follow such directions as they shall from time to time receive from the respective Governors, it is presumed they employ them in such manner as may most conduce to His Majesty's service, and it is the intention of this Board to relieve them yearly or in as little time longer as possibly the service will admit of it. We do not know of any ships leaving the Plantations without the previous knowledge of the Governors thereof. The Commander of the Richmond had orders to advise with the Governor of New York about a reasonable time for his stay, before his return, to the end such merchant ships as intended to come under his convoy might get themselves ready to proceed accordingly. The orders sent to the Commander of the Fowey directed him that when he was ready to sail for England, if the Governor should desire him to stay any number of days not exceeding twenty for the bringing home any merchants ships bound his way, he should do the same and then return home, and all other H.M. ships will have the like orders upon their being sent to any of the Plantations. Signed, H. Priestman, R. Rich, G. Rooke, Kendall, John Houblon, Geo. F. Wharton. Endorsed, Recd. Read, Feb. 10, 1698/9. Copy. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 5. No. 4; and 35. pp. 9–11.]
Jan. 19. 43. Memorial from Mr. Crown, setting forth his title of Penobscot and other lands adjacent in America. Endorsed, Recd. Jan. 19, Read Feb. 10, '98/9. 6 pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 9. No. 54 and 37. p. 134.]
Jan. 20. 44. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Hearing of Col. Fletcher's case. Mr. Weaver attended with the Attorney General as Counsel for the King: Col. Fletcher with Sir Thomas Powis as Counsel for him. The Heads of Complaints 1, 2, 3 and 5 (Cal. 1698, No. 1007) were read and Col. Fletcher's replies thereto (Cal. 1698, No. 1077.) Mr. Attorney General read papers in confirmation of those charges and Mr. Weaver stated he was present when the Secretary of the Province declared to Lord Bellomont that no securities taken for the men belonging to the ship Jacob were ever committed to his hands. Sir Thomas Powis replied, first, by a complaint of hardship that Col. Fletcher had not been given copies beforehand of the papers now produced against him, to which Mr. Attorney replied that it would have been contrary to the method of proceeding in all such cases, and, secondly, by pleading the Acts of Indemnity passed in England since those things were done, though they do not positively extend to those things done in America. He desired time to send to America for counter evidence; argued that the Attorney General of New York was himself criminal in not prosecuting pirates, and pleaded the many commendatory addresses made to Col. Fletcher by the inhabitants of that Province. Col. Bayard said that Taylor had told him he was imposed upon in making his deposition. As to the Minutes of Council April 7, 1693, he was himself a member and present and the matter was freely debated: they were not overawed by Col. Fletcher but unanimous in their opinion that the men belonging to the Jacob should be admitted. The minutes were very seldom read in Council. He complained of Lord Bellomont's undue method in forcing witnesses to swear. The ship Jacob was greatly suspected to have been at the Red Sea, and the Council relied upon the information given by Mr. Nicoll, who said he had it from Taylor. The Act for restraining and punishing privateers and pirates was discussed. Capt. Evans appeared as a witness that Taylor's deposition was forced, and his deposition was read. Mr. Chidley Brook said there was no manner of force brought to bear upon the Council: there was only suspicion, but no evidence that the Jacob had been at the Red Sea, and the reason for admitting the crew was that upon refusal they would have gone away to some other country. Col. Bayard said that no examination or enquiry was made about the doings of the ship. It was the duty of the Secretary who gave the protections to take the securities. The men sought for protections not because they were pirates and feared the Act, but that they might be secure from being pressed aboard H.M. men-of-war. But it was observed that the protections had no manner of relation to the pretence of securing men from the press. Affidavits by Benjamin Ashe, Jacob Mayle and Mathew Ling were read, but withdrawn as relating to other matters. Mr. Weaver said that none but himself and the Attorney General of the Province were present when Taylor's deposition was taken. All the inducement Lord Bellomont used to oblige him to declare his knowledge was a promise that if he did it ingeniously [? ingenuously] he would intercede with the King for his pardon.
Articles 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 in the forementioned heads of complaints were read with Col. Fletcher's answers. The depositions of Dr. Staats and Alderman Lewis were produced in confirmation of Article 4, and depositions of John Wicks, Col. Depeyster and James Emott, Reyner's discharge, a letter from Sheriff Hobbard and a memorial of the East India Company in confirmation of Article 6. Col. Bayard said with regard to the matter of the first two depositions, he wrote to Col. Fletcher who was then in Pennsylvania and he replied that he would make no bargain, but, in sending the protections desired, he added that they might make what present they pleased. The protections were desired to secure the men from being pressed; Lewis told him they had been abroad rambling but did not say they had been with Capt. Tew. He paid the money received to Mr. Honan. The pieces of Arabian gold were worth about two dollars a piece, and had been pretty common in the Province since the arrival of Capt. Coates. A copy of the protection to Barnard Rinderson was read and found to be wholly foreign to the reason given for desiring them. Col. Bayard said that Col. Fletcher had ordered him to take security for these men in delivering their protections, but the persons who applied for them being his neighbours and friends he did not care to do it, but on the return of Col. Fletcher he told Mr. Honan they were to give security. He had been 45 years in the Province and long in public employments, both under the Dutch and English Governments, but did not know that any such protections were formerly granted. But a bystander unasked said Col. Dungan had granted such like, and Col. Fletcher himself said it had been a common practice. Sir T. Powis asked for time to send to America for counter-evidence. Documents were read in support of Articles 7 and 8, and Mr. Weaver declared that he being about the time of Tew's commission in the Leeward Islands, it was a thing notoriously known to every one that Tew had before then been a pirate. Sir T. Powis pleaded that Col. Fletcher might not have known, but it was observed that in his answer he seemed to admit that he did. To show that persons entrusted with such commissions may become guilty of great crimes without the fault of those concerned with them, Sir T. Powis instanced in Capt. Kidd, with whom Lord Bellomont himself and others are concerned. He produced minutes of Council of New York, Nov. 8, 1694, to show that the Council unanimously agreed that Tew should have a commission. Documents were read in support of the 10th article. Mr. Attorney General observed that Moston's ship, The Fortune, having been formerly a Dutch privateer, and thereby notoriously known to be an unfree bottom not qualified for trade in the Plantations, it was evident the commission was only given her for a colour. Sir T. Powis replied that nothing was more common than for merchantmen of any considerable force, who go upon voyages of trade in time of war to take along with them commissions of war, which was confirmed by Capt. Evans as things wherewith the Records of Doctors Commons are full. Col. Fletcher said he did not know the vessel was an unfree bottom. The hearing of the case was adjourned till Tuesday, 4 p.m. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 346–360; and 96. No. 15.]
Jan. 20.
45. Governor Sir William Beeston to Council of Trade and Plantations. In mine of Dec. 5 I informed you that I had sent the Maidstone to Petit Guavas to demand from Mons. Ducasse satisfaction for the piracies committed by Kelly since the Peace. She has returned with the enclosed reply from M. Paty. It's visible by the frivolous evasion they make that they never intend justice on his person nor restitution for his villanies, for to say he had been brought before the Judges and they had found nothing against him, is pure design, because before he came in there the Chatham had been at Petit Guavos to demand satisfaction which they promised. The reasons they give are evasive as the rest, for they say a vessel of theirs was taken by one of our ships of war, the Chatham, in time of peace, which is not truth. It was a Tartan the Chatham took Oct. 20, and the peace did not commence till Nov. 19. They say 14 or 15 of their men landed on the N. side of this island and our people robbed them. 'Tis true they landed in the time of the peace but with their arms and in a hostile manner with intent to rob the poor people of those parts, but ours proved too strong for them and took away their arms, but not their clothes as they allege, and if they had been punished they had received but their deserts, but they were sent home very friendly, so that all these pretences and excuses are but only the denial of justice, and the truth of the reason is Mons. Ducasse was concerned in the Tartan as a merchant and in Kelly as a privateer, and therefore regrets the loss in the one and designs to keep the money gotten by the other, which was to a great value. The Sindados (Soldados, Entry Book) Prize is returned from St. Domingo but at her going up stopped at the Isle de Vash (Vache) to enquire after the pirates, whence Mons. Beauregard, who is Governor there and settling a new colony of French by the name of Port Lewis, has written me a great complaint of the officers and people of that ship, which I transmit, for I think he will complain in France or to their ambassador, for I find they are very minute in demanding of what they think their right, though they deny it to us, for the Lords Justices by Mr. Yard sent me a list of 14 or 15 French that were taken some years since in one of the northern ports about Nova Scotia, with order to enquire if any such were detained here and to let them go, but I have none of them nor any other; nor in the time of the war did detain any, because we had not wherewithal to defray the charge, and Mons. Ducasse did the same by ours. But this gent. will now expect reparation from me for these injuries if they be true, and I have not any public money to do it withal, neither have I any authority to cause the officers of the ships to do it, for they know my authority reaches only to order them to go to this or that place for the service of His Majesty and the Island, but am ordered not to meddle with them or their discipline, from whence they know they may do what they think good whilst they are here and nobody can say anything to them for it, so that it seems a paradox that ships should be sent hither and ordered to (be) under the direction of the Governor for the time being, yet at the same time when an officer falls they have power to give commission to new ones without the Governor's approbation, and to do what they please in and about their ships. For my own part I am not concerned at it in relation to myself, for it's an ease to me and saves me the trouble as well as censure perhaps for putting in officers though very fitting yet that others do not like, but how it consists with his Majesty's honour and authority I must humbly leave to your Lordships' better judgments. Lieut. Allen, who commands the Soldados Prize, denies all Mons. Beauregard writes, and says there was no storehouse broken open, that he freely gave him the meat he complains of and offered him all the civility whilst he was there that he could shew and the place afford, and says further that Mons. Beauregard has had a correspondency with the pirates that have touched there, and therefore pretends to complain first for fear I should complain of him, and it is certainly true that he had the brigantine in his own possession that the pirates took coming away for this place from New York laden with flower, and about 70 or 80 barrels of flower which was more than the pirates could take aboard and has kept most of the flower, but the brigantine Lieut. Allen took away from him and sent her hither. The governor of St. Domingo also writes me a long letter about the taking and condemning of Medlicott's sloop, and after a long harangue tells me the produce is in the King's Chest, whence it cannot be paid out but by an order from Madrid, and has sent me the Plito (pleyto,=dossier) which is a volume all of very little concernment onely form, but Lieut. Allen tells me that they owned the Governor, Lt. Gen. Fiscal and others had placed the produce of the vessel amongst themselves and therefore it was to no purpose to expect restitution from them, and to go to Spain to seek after it is adding more time and money to the lost to no purpose. That your Lordships may see the more plainly how they use us I transmit a duplicate of a letter written by one Macarty, an Irishman, who is interpreter at St. Domingo, by which it appears they have done very ill, or he must be a great rogue who lives amongst them to give such an account of them. In the main it's very hard and uneasy, and I humbly hope your Lordships will please so to represent to his Majesty, that we may have some directions for redress, which they will never make unless we have leave to stop their vessels for satisfaction. I have now an account that they have in Cartagena two English ships that carried negroes thither for the Assiento, two vessels of New York and one from this island, which they detain, but whether they have wholly seized on them or only detain them till they have sent their expedition against the Scotch, I cannot certainly learn, but the master of a vessel of New York which they took and the English ran away with in the night and came hither tell me the Spaniards told them they took them because there was war with the English. Signed, W. Beeston. Endorsed, Recd. 21 March, Read March 23, 1698/9. 2 pp. 1 p. abstract. Enclosed,
45. I. M. Paty to Governor Beeston. M. Ducasse is ill, so I must reply to your letter. Kelly has been tried and acquitted. M. Ducasse has already written to reproach you with being the man who asks more and gives less justice than any other. He has given up to you 7 or 8 ships that had been taken, and one of your men-of-war has taken a barque of ours for which we have never been able to obtain satisfaction. Fourteen or fifteen Frenchmen were stripped naked on shore in peace time, but we have never been given back their clothes or arms. We will do all we can for the frigates you are sending to cruise here. Signed, Paty. French. Dec. 20, 1698.
45. II. M. Beauregar to Governor Beeston. I have received your letter about a brigantine taken by a pirate on this coast. Nobody has a greater hatred of pirates than I. But what can I do ? I am just settling a new colony here, and have no forces even to protect myself against the outrages of Lieut. Allen, commanding the Soldados Prize (Prise des Soldates), who has behaved here as if we were at war. They robbed the Church and even profaned the altar, as is proved by Mr. Allen sending me back an image of the Virgin, which he had carried off to his cabin and which was on the altar. They broke open and looted a shop on the seashore, as is proved by their confessing to me that they had taken some brandy and flour, but that they thought the flour was English and from a pirate—very bad reasons for such behaviour. Having no force at my command I had to try persuasion with the pirate and with great difficulty succeeded in getting the brigantine and 57 barrels of flour he could not take. I was going to send her to Jamaica, since she belongs to you and Col. Cher, otherwise I should not have taken so much trouble, despatching her to Petit Guavas, where I heard were some English men-of-war with a cargo of provisions for the inhabitants. She was just about to start when Lt. Allen came aboard, assaulted the officer I had placed in command and told him he was his prisoner. I am much insulted at the way I have been treated and demand justice. Am I a pirate ? (Est ce moi qui suis forban ?) I have 37 barrels of flour and half a barrel of oil etc. which were in the brigantine and which I will send to your order if you will return me the cargo and other things seized by Capt. Allen to the value of 7 or 8 hundred crowns, I assure you on my oath and honour. Signed, Beauregar. 10 pp. French. Port St. Louis. Dec. 27, 1698.
45. III. John Macarty to Governor Sir William Beeston. Capt. Medlicott has been very much wronged. The Captain that took him had no commission, and chose his own judge when he had him and all his men tried for pirates. They were permitted to leave the island, and in their absence another trial was got up. Signed, John Macarty. S. Domingo. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. Nos. 105, 105 I., II., III.; and 56. pp. 288–302.]
Jan. 20–26. 46. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Nevis. It was agreed that the Act for obliging persons to give in a list of their negroes upon oath should be put in force against several resisters, and that a house and land belonging to Col. Bartlet's orphan should be rented for Col. Collingwood. A committee of both houses was appointed to draw up an Act for raising a levy of a 100 pounds of sugar per head on all negroes, which would amount to 526,500 pounds, and a sixth part on Charles Town, James Town, and New Castle, World's End, amounting to 87,750 pounds. Mr. Richard Cary was appointed to act as agent in England. The Assembly proposed that the money advanced in supplying Col. Collingwood's officers should be repaid when the levy was raised; that Mr. Pinney should present the account of what the public owed him for accommodating Col. Collingwood to the House; that Col. Collingwood should be allowed £140 per annum for one year, the captains fifty pounds, lieutenants, ensigns and chaplains forty, to be paid quarterly in advance. They also proposed that the two Houses should write home to explain that they could not afford to billet the soldiers longer than for the time consented to in order that they might be "eased of so vast an expense of giving soldiers free quarters in peaceable times." They proposed to buy "a very good book, fit for transcribing the Acts in." [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 489–492.]
Jan. 23. 47. Extract from Ogilby's America relating to a grant from King Charles I. to Sir Lewis Kirke, May 11, 1633, to plant, trade and colonise on the river Canada. "The year following Kirke and Company send out a ship which was seized by the French, because she was trading in Canada. Restitution being demanded by the English Ambassador to the value of £12,000 sterling, nothing was obtained." Endorsed, Recd. Read Jan. 23, 1698/9. Enclosed,
47. I. Two extracts from Fournier, Hydrograph. pp. 351, 352. (French.) [Board of Trade. New England. Nos. 55, 55 (I); and (without enclosure), 37. pp. 112, 113.]
Jan. 23. 48. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Hill communicated an extract of a letter to Sir Thomas Vernon, dated Smyrna, Oct. 22, 1698, relating to the great increase of the French trade thither as well in draperies as in other commodities; also an extract from Ogilby's America relating to a grant made to Sir Lewis Kirck and Partners by Charles I. of the privilege of fishing etc. in the River of Canada.
Two alterations made in the Representation on the General State of Trade of this Kingdom.
Jan. 24. Colonel Fletcher's Case. (1.) Article 11 was read and depositions in confirmation produced; these Sir T. Powis said related wholly to Col. Fletcher's servant Daniel Honan; Mr. Attorney replied that they concerned Col. Fletcher as the fault of his servant about a thing in which he himself was obliged to have taken care. He produced documents to prove that (Art. 12) the trade of New York was greater during Col. Fletcher's Government than since, but the Customs were less, and argued that much of that trade was therefore unlawful and greatly connived at. Sir T. Powis replied that the City during the same period was greatly enriched and enlarged, and that during time of war not so many ships were entered directly from England, which are those that bring in most Customs, but chiefly from the neighbouring colonies. Mr. Brook was called to show why the Customs could not be so great then as now, to whom Mr. Weaver replied. In confirmation of Art. 13 and 14 Mr. Attorney produced the memorial of the Attorney General of New York about the method of granting lands. Sir T. Powis again complained that they had not had the paper now produced communicated to them before. Col. Bayard said that before Col. Fletcher's time the constant practice was that the Attorney General did attend the Council: Col. Fletcher thereupon declared that he altered that method because he did not think fit that anyone should be present in Council who was not under the oath of a Councillor, and, concerning surveys, he said that the Surveyor General was lazy and negligent and that when he came away there were about 15 warrants for surveys unexecuted. Further evidence was given on either side with regard to the granting of lands from the Crown and the granting of the Mohacques' land to Mr. Dellius. Documents were read in support of Article 15. Col. Fletcher replied that he never received a farthing of any allowance for the King's forces. Sir T. Powis observed that the muster-roll was certified by Col. Cortland, now one of the Council, and Col. Bayard added that the charge of falsifying it was made by Bulkley, an infamous fellow. In answer to Art. 16 and the report of Col. Bayard upon the survey of the Fort of New York, Col. Bayard replied that every word of Col. Fletcher's written answer was true; Sir T. Powis produced a report made by Mr. Pinhorn to show the impossibility of marching to Cadaraqui to demolish that fort. The letters of denization of Arnold Nodin were read. Col. Fletcher replied that he remembered nothing of that business; and had granted no such letters but in the usual form. The Duke of Shrewsbury's letter recalling Col. Fletcher and assuring him that His Majesty was not dissatisfied with his conduct but would employ him some other way, together with several addresses, was read.
In consideration of the late order of Council the Secretary was ordered to write to Mr. Burchet desiring to know such instructions given upon that subject as the Lords of the Admiralty may think fit to communicate in order to a report upon that matter. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 361–372 and 96. Nos. 16 and 17; and Trade Papers, 14. pp. 163, 164.]
Jan. 24. 49. Deposition of Lt. John Bulkeley. Lieut. Peter Matthews of H.M. Company of Grenadiers in Fort William Henry, in New York, allowed one Capt. John Corbet to carry off on board his ship Peter Chowns, a soldier of that company, who escaped and returned to duty, but was imprisoned and returned to Corbet by Matthews. (Nov., 1696.) About the beginning of Jan., 1696, Matthews obtained through misrepresentation deponent's signature to a muster roll which included the names of many dead and run away. There were only 49 effective men doing duty in that fort on Lord Bellomont's arrival. Copy. Endorsed, Produced to the Board by Mr. Weaver at Col. Fletcher's hearing. Recd. Read, Jan. 24, 1698/9. 4 pp. Dated, New York, July 5, 1698.
50. Deposition of Col. Cortland and Mr. Livingstone about the perquisites allowed by them to Col. Fletcher for victualling the soldiers, with a muster roll and account. Signed, Rt. Livingstone and B. Cortland. Endorsed as preceding. 4 pp.
Jan. 24. 51. Reasons why the revenue of New York was not so great 1692–1697 as in 1687. The Acts of Assembly, 1691, 1692 took off the duty of 12d. per gallon, laid on in 1683, on wine and spirits carried up Hudson's River, except on liquors retailed there. The Act of 1692 allowing merchants to sell any quantity of spirits not under 5, instead of 15 gallons as heretofore, seriously affected the retail trade and through it the Excise. The same Act substituted 5 per cent. duty payable at importation for the 10 per cent. duty on Indian goods carried up Hudson's River. The war has hindered Indians from hunting and bringing in furs. All customable goods imported have been loaded with an additional duty near as great as the Customs, which, with the great conveniency of committing frauds given by the new wharves built within the river with merchants' houses upon them, has put the merchants upon more contrivances to run their goods, whilst the greatness of the duties have much lessened the trade, the ports of the neighbouring colonies being all free. Before the war New York was the mart to Pennsylvania, the Jersies and Connecticut, but of late the trade of Pennsylvania has been very near equal to that of New York, and the rest trade for themselves and want little from New York. The war and ships captured by the French also decreased the revenue, and, dislocating business, caused many inhabitants to leave New York, through fear of being detached to defend the frontiers at Albany. The Dutch, when they held the province, had a public Weighing House where all weighable goods were obliged to be brought and weighed upon importation or exportation or sale or barter within the city of New York, and certain rates were established for each "drought of the beame or parcell of goods weighed, as 3d. for every hundredweight of flour." This system was continued by the English Governors till 1692 when an Act of Assembly established certain rates payable out of the Weigh House, about 2/3rds less than those settled by the Dutch, and gave the merchants several privileges, as to weighing their own goods, which they had not before, to the great diminution of the revenue, as appears by the Weigh Master's accounts. In spite of all these drawbacks, the Customs arising from imported goods were in several of the years named actually larger than the like Customs in the boasted year of 1687, into the accounts of which great sums of the arrears of Excise in former years are crammed, but carefully deducted in other years compared with it, in order to sully the reputation of those who had the management. Note that Act establishing the additional duty expired May 14, 1698, and with only a 2 per cent. duty merchants will not now be so industrious in running their goods as they were to avoid the 4 per cent. nor will they now alter the bottom and transport so many of their goods to other Colonies without landing them and paying the duties. That clog being removed and the war ended, the revenue will certainly very much increase. Endorsed, Presented to the Board by Mr. Chidley Brook at Col. Fletcher's hearing. Jan. 24 1698/9. 4 pp. [Board of Trade. New York, 8A. Nos. 6, 7, 8; and 53. pp. 252, 253.]
Jan. 24. 52. Minutes of Council of Barbados. The execution of Katherine Travorse, for murdering her bastard-child, and of George Karr, under the statute of stabbing, was suspended. A letter from the Lords Justices, rectifying the misnomer of George Lillington who had been put in the Commission as Richard, was read. A Bill for the laying out and enlarging a common road was read three times and ordered to be engrossed. The Assembly waited on His Excellency with an address and a request that he would be pleased to accept £800 for repairing his house. Read and approved. Presentments by the Grand Jury delivered to the Speaker for the consideration of the Assembly. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 383–385.]
Jan. 24. 53. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. Present: Hon. Thomas Sadleir, Hon. James Colleton, Col. Abel Allyne, Col. John Leslie, Major George Peers, John Holder, William Holder, Samuel Maynard, Col. William Cleland, Daniel Hooper, Miles Toppin, Henry Markland, Thomas English, William Wheeler, Jonathan Downes, William Doten. Thomas Maxwell was unanimously elected Speaker. A summons was ordered and issued to the Hon. William Sharpe and Thomas Harrison to show their reason for not appearing before the Committee of Grievances and Inspection of Fees. Order made for an Explanatory Bill to the Act for the encouragement of Christian servants. Leave given to Col. William Cleland to bring in a bill to settle the conveyance of an estate to Charles Middleton of St. Thomas' parish, the original deeds being lost. The bill entrusted to a Committee to inspect and report upon. An address pursuant to the presenting of His Excellency with £800 towards the building and repairs of his habitation was drawn up.
Jan. 25. Thomas Harrison begged the pardon of the House for his contempt of non-appearance and was forgiven. A Bill, entitled, an Act for laying out and enlarging a Common Rhoad through the land of Mr. Richard Bate, Mr. Edmund Wheeler, Mr. Henry Gibbs and Mr. Daniell Clancey, was sent down from the Governor and Council through Thomas Edwards, Deputy Provost Marshall, for assent. It was resolved that the lands taken for the road should be paid for out of the public Treasury, but this resolution was revoked, and a new Bill prepared and passed.
The Treasurer, the Hon. Thomas Sadleir, signified that there were many servants imported lately which cannot readily be placed, the muster rolls being nearly full. It was resolved that such servants should be furnished with provisions by the Treasurer at the public expense. A Declarative Bill to the Supplemental Bill for the provision of servants was passed. Mr. Middleton's private Bill was passed. The Bill for the further provision for placing of servants was referred to Col. Cleland. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 329–335.]
Jan. 25. 54. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Petition of Mrs. Buttler Chamberlain was read and reserved for consideration. Capt. John Walter was appointed assistant to Judge Hooker in place of Col. Philips. The Bill for laying out a common road through private grounds was passed and consented to by His Excellency. A drawback—John and William Roberts' petition—was allowed. Alexander Forester's petition referred to the Assembly. Mr. Edwards was sworn Deputy-Serjeant at Arms. A petition of Robert Moor for allowance for an executed negro was past. The Assembly requested His Excellency in Council to issue his proclamation against forestalling and lawyers demanding unreasonable fees, and presented a Declaration Act for provision of servants, a resolution about the providing for servants, a Bill for laying out and enlarging a Common Road, an Act for settling an estate in fee simple in Charles Middleton, gent. The first, second and fourth were read once and ordered a second reading. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 386, 387.]
Jan. 26. 55. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Secretary ordered to write to Sir Gabriel Roberts, Deputy Governor of the Turkey Company, to enquire what number of clothes were exported by that Company in 1670, 1675, 1680, 1685, and 1690, and to Mr. Lowndes to desire the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury to give directions to the Commissioners of Customs for an account of merchandize exported and imported at the Port of London for some late years to be sent to the Board for his Majesty's service upon daily occasions. Reply to first.
Addresses in favour of Col. Fletcher, signed by the Rector, churchwardens and vestrymen of Trinity Church in New York and by the Minister and Elders of the French refugees read and returned to him.
Letters ordered to be prepared to transmit the Instructions about Trade to the several Governors of Plantations. Letter to the Postmaster of Deal ordered, bidding him send his Downs Lists and take care to send forwards the packets sent him by this Board, and promising him the same allowance as formerly.
Extract of Mr. Stoughton's letter, Jan. 25, 1698, relating to prizes, ordered to be sent to Mr. Lowndes, with desire to know what answer the Lords of the Treasury think fit should be made.
Jan. 27. Five pounds paid to four extraordinary copying clerks.
Petition of John Lucas of Antigua read and himself heard.
Mr. Hutcheson, agent for Col. Codrington, deceased, ordered to attend on Thursday next. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 373–376; and 96. Nos. 18 and 19; and Trade Papers, 14. pp. 165–167.]
Jan. 26–28.
St. John's.
56. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. The Representatives in the new Assembly:—
Justices. Division.
John Fry Capt. John Roe
Capt. Peter Lee
For Old Road and
Bermudiem Valley.
Edward Byam Wm. Thomas
Capt. Nath. Crump
Old North Sound.
Edward Byam John Paynter
Capt. John Lyons
New North Sound.
Phile. Bird Capt. Geo. Gamble
Nath. Sampson
St. John's Town.
Phile. Bird Mr. Richard Oliver
Capt. John Weir
St. John's.
Saml. Martin Capt. Robert Martin Five Islands.
Peter Lee Saml. Walkins
Francis Rogers
Pope's Head and
Dickison's Bay.
John Tankerd Capt. John Kerr
Abraham Swan
John Tankerd Robert Freeman
Keane Osborne
Falmouth and
Randevous Bay.
Henry Lyons Capt. Henry Lyons
William Lavington
Willoughby Bay.
Henry Lyons Capt. Stephen Duer
Capt. Wm. Prear
were presented to the Deputy Governor and Council, and elected Capt. Geo. Gamble their Speaker.
The Deputy Governor and Council recommended to the Assembly the letter of the Lords Justices concerning Col. Collingwood's new regiment and suggested a small Act for quartering them. The Assembly replied that they proposed that the soldiers should be quartered as usual for six months as to the satisfaction to be made to the inhabitants, and in return be obliged to guard the island. No women belonging either to officers or sentinels to be quartered at the country's charge. In return, also, fourpence a day to be paid to the agents at home out of each sentinel's subsistence. The Council replied that the reason given for not treating the new regiment so generously as the former one, Col. Holt's, viz.: that the money voted "centerd in the King's coffers or in the hands of some about him" and did not benefit the poor soldier, was wholly contrary to His Majesty's intentions. Let an Act be speedily drawn up that the men may be disposed of and not lie in town and get distemper. The Assembly resented the pressure put upon them which, they maintained, was merely a device to curry favour; they asserted that free quarters were an abomination to the King and contrary to the fundamental liberties of the people, and sent a rough draft of an Act for billeting the three companies of Col. Collingwood's regiment which had arrived, with which the Council concurred. The Assembly expressed their surprise and indignation that the President and Council of Nevis had refused to affix the public seal to the Act for encouraging aliens, they proposed to send it home without seal, but the Council suggested that it would save time in procuring the royal assent, if they first found out the reason of the seal being refused. The Deputy Governor was asked by the Assembly to serve as Chief Justice for the year on the consideration of 200l., and accepted. The Council repeated that free quarters for six months to the three companies of soldiers was absolutely necessary. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 291–298.]
Jan. 27.
57. Letter from Col. Francis Collingwood. We arrived without a single sick man in the regiment. I pray you to get me a commission for a gentleman who is comed alonges with me and a man who deserves very well, his name is Mr. John Daney. Signed, Fr. Collingwood. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6. No. 20A.]
Jan. 29.
58. Governor Blakiston to Council of Trade and Plantations. The day of my arrival, five weeks ago, there was orders sent out for a meeting of Council. I was ashore ten days before I could either have my commission read or published, for want of a due number of the Council, and with much difficulty five were assembled, but the reason of not having more, and their not meeting sooner was occasioned by the obstruction of the rivers being froase up that it is hardly accessable from one county to another, and the settlements from each other at a considerable distance. Upon reading and proclaiming my commission I performed the first part of my instructions by administering the oaths appointed and the association, etc., but it is not possible, according to my orders upon my first arrival, to tender it to all those in places of trust, for to send orders to some places in this province it may not be effected this six weeks as I am informed, but there shall be no time omitted on my part. I send a copy of the Journal of what past in the Council upon my arrival. I found an Assembly here on foot, and that they were prorogued till June 28 by Col. Nicholson. I acquainted the gentlemen of the Council with some part of my instructions, amongst which I had orders to convene an Assembly in some convenient time. I enclose the reasons the Council assigned that it was not for His Majesty's interest nor consistent with the advantage of this Province, for that some laws which are temporary fall upon the dissolution of this Assembly, particularly that of the impost upon liquors, which is, they say, of a considerable emolument to the public. I hope what few steps I have made as yet will meet with your Lordships' approbation, I being altogether a stranger to this province, I thought I could not act with more safety for His Majesty's interest, than to concur with those gentlemen whose long experience and I hope their good inclination for His Majesty's service will always advise the best. I had the good fortune to meet Col. Nicholson here upon my arrival, who had upwards of four years' experience in this government, and desired he would be present when the Council met, and in my poor opinion I thought it not a fault, since the King had been pleased to distinguish him with such a mark of his royal favour to promote him to the Government of Virginia, that he was every way gratified to assist me, for my information, he having had a long experience here. I hope your Lordships will not impute it to any neglect of mine, or think it long, if I am tarde in giving so immediate an account of the proceedings of the country, for the General Assembly are not to meet till June 28, but I hope when they are assembled I shall find them ready and willing to promote His Majesty's interest. I am not able as yet to give any account of how this province is supplied with ammunition and arms, by reason of the season of the year, but by what little information I can gather they are in no great want.
I am informed the crops of tobacco last year is very short to what was expected and that the ships that are now here will fall short, it's thought, of being full freighted. Signed, N. Blakiston. Endorsed, Recd. Read April 21. 3 pp. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 68; and 9. pp. 371–374.]
Jan. 30.
Fort William
59. Minutes of Council of New York. Hendrick Hanson and Johannes Bleeker were granted a pass to Canada to trade with the Indians. Accounts of Col. Schuyler and Mr. Dellius, envoys to Canada, referred to a Committee. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. p. 185.]
Jan. 31. 60. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Col. Fletcher's case considered and directions for a report thereon given. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. p. 377; and 96. No. 20.]