America and West Indies: August 1699, 28-31

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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'America and West Indies: August 1699, 28-31', in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 17, 1699 and Addenda 1621-1698, (London, 1908) pp. 412-420. British History Online [accessed 19 April 2024]

August 1699

Aug. 28.
746. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I arrived May 26, and on the following Wednesday the Assembly met, as the Charter directs. I enclose what I proposed to them, their answer and congratulatory address, and the addresses of the L.G. and Ministers. As regards their compliance with my propositions, for the reviving and settling the Courts of Justice, which is the first thing I recommended to them, there have been several Acts passed. We passed an Act for settling and encouraging a trade with the Eastern Indians. Those two about [stores] of war and the fortification on the Island at the mouth of their harbour p[assed] over without any consideration. There being now a peace, they have no remembrance of the war, tho' their fort on the island is the poorest I ever saw, and not to be [called] a place of strength. The situation is very fine, and were there a good fort there, an enemy can never hurt [this town] of Boston, not even with bombs, for it will keep them at three miles' distance. You shall by the next conveyance have the plan of such a fort as Col. Romar has designed as most suitable, together with the soundings of the harbour and bay. [See June 20.] He has been with me at Pescattaway, and has made the [plan] of a fort there and surveyed and sounded that harbour. I have sent him [to] view all the Eastern Coast as far as the River of St. George's, which I am sorry to say [is the] boundary between us and the French eastward. He is to view nicely well Casco [Bay]. Pemaquid and St. George's, and report what sort of harbours are there and their capacity of being fortified. The French are surveying St. John's and Nova Scotia with the same view of fortifying them. Casco Bay, Pemaquid and St. George's are in the Province of Main and under this Government of Massachusetts Bay, and the Province of New Hampshire lies between this province and that of Main, which is odd and inconvenient. 'Tis not to be expected this Government and people will willingly consent to build forts in the Province of Main, when they will not be brought to build one at the mouth of their harbour. Therefore I could wish your Lordships would please to bestow some thought on this matter, which I conceive to be of great consequence to England as well as to these provinces, for the whole coast from Pescattaway to St. George's—about 90 miles—affords as good fishing as the banks of Newfoundland, and the country the richest for soil of any part of the King's dominions [on this] continent, and a great part of it cleared and was indifferently well peopled, till by the late war they were destroyed by the Indians for want of being [succo] ured from hence and of a right management of the war with those Indians. All the [Eastern Indians do not exceed 300 men fit to bear arms, yet this Province is said to have lost 1,000 families this last war, including those of Main; those Indians too a cowardly enemy that never dare come [to han]dy blows or fight fairly, but skulk behind bushes and shoot at our people and then [run away], and are so nimble that our people can as well catch hares in the woods. Though the fishery on the Eastern Coast be the staple of this Province, I do not [find the] Assembly here have the least thought of re-peopling the Province of Main, and [to be sure] unless there be forts to secure them from the French and Indians no [people will] be so mad as to settle there. If you think forts should be built on the E. Coast of Main it seems reasonable, since that country is under this Province and this Province is rich enough, that they should undergo the charge of what [is a part] of them and is for the security of that part. But the governing men here have not a public spirit and, so long as they can sleep securely in this town of Boston, they [think] nor look no further. How essential the fishery is will appear by the address of the marchands. To protect them from being interrupted by the French and to defend this coast from pirates; I hope you will procure that a 4th rate man-of-war be ordered.
Having been informed that the Assembly had formerly passed two Acts for incorporating Harvard College, in both which they had excluded His Majesty from the right of visitation, which were rejected by His Majesty for that reason, I proposed their addressing His Majesty to grant his Royal Charter to incorporate their College, but the sour part of the Council, who make a majority, would not hear of a charter, though I had reconciled the ministers to it. I refused my assent to the Bill for Incorporation of the College, therefore, as it had already been twice rejected, and because of a clause excluding absolutely all members of the Church of England from the government of the College and consequently from being members thereof. As instructed, I tendered to the Council the Bill for establishing a Post Office here. We respited it by consent upon a suggestion that Col. Hamilton, deputy to Mr. Neal, was coming from England with powers and instructions to put the office under a [new regula]tion, and that if the Bill I had brought from England did pass it would destroy the office. I also tendered the Bill for punishing privateers and pirates, but it would not go down with the Council, especially the clause which declares piracy felony and punishable with death, and that the Judge of the Admiralty shall sit as one of the Judges on the trials of pirates. They showed me a Bill they had passed and got approved since my leaving England. By it a pirate [could not] be punished with death, tho' he were a convict. I pressed the Bill I tendered 'em all I could, arguing that the gaol being now full of Bradish's pirates was a great charge to the country, and that it would be best for them if all their laws were made to have a con[form]ity with those of England. Whereupon three or four Councillors stood up at once, and one or two asked me with some warmth what the Laws of England had to do with them, and one of 'em said they were too much cramped in their liberties already, and they must pass for great fools, should they abridge the liberty that was left 'em by an Act of their own. I confess this carriage of theirs surprised me, but it warmed and provoked me withal, and I did not spare to reprove them sharply. These were the sour part of the Council; the most understanding gentlemen seem to be very zealous for the Laws of England. Nothing would prevail; a pirate [can]not suffer death in this province, and what to do with Bradish's crew and Kidd [and his] men, I know not, and therefore desire your orders. The reason [why the]ir Act, that was approved in England, will not reach the life of a pirate is this: [Pira]cy by the Law of England is felony without benefit of clergy and punishable with death. Here there's no such thing in practice as the benefit of clergy; neither is felony punishable with death, but by their law the felon is only to make a threefold restitution of the value of the offence or trespass.
The Providence galley of Carolina was lately taken by Hynde the Pirate; a memorial by John Green goes. The pirates multiply very much and will endanger a total loss of the trade from England to the East Indies unless speedily suppressed. Their retreat in all the Plantations in America must be cut off, which will never be unless the Governors be [nicely] honest and active too. And there must be other helps, as an upright judge and Attorney General and a King's ship. Col. Webb, late Governor of Providence Island, was robbed lately in James' River; while he went ashore at Newcastle, Pennsylvania, to refresh himself, the seamen ran away with his ship and all his estate, £7,000 in gold and £1,000 in goods. If he were to give an account of how he made £8,000 in two years in such a paltry island, I believe he would [say] he but trod in the steps of his predecessor Trott, the greatest pirate-broker that ever was in America. There was such a character of his dealing with pirates in Barbadoes and the Leeward Islands that it was in everybody's mouth. The Attorney General of Barbadoes, Mr. Hooper, told me that Trott could not have got less than £50,000 by pirates, and that he had cunningly dispersed his money in Barbadoes, New York and Boston. It was amazing to me to hear of that man's being restored to that Government. Pirates need no other sanctuary; there they are furnished with provisions and all things else for their purpose brought thither from the other Plantations.
I sent orders to my L.G. at New York to apprehend the masters of the sloops that conveyed bales of goods from Kidd's sloop towards New York. By that means some of the goods have been recovered and sent hither. I send papers relating to the goods seized. I have some jealousy Mr. Gardner has not sent all that Kidd left with him, and will have him and his wife and servants examined on oath. One Syms of New York took away one of the negro boys left by Kidd with Gardiner. I have ordered the boy to be secured for the King. Here was a rumour about a week ago of a waistcoat of Kidd's with diamond buttons that was concealed. After diligent search, I found it, but the stones were plainly Bristol stones tho' set in gold. I believe Kidd thought they were right diamonds by his conveying the waistcoat away in the manner he did. There were seven of the buttons wanting when the waistcoat was brought to me. John Ruggles in his memorial about Bolton, enclosed, forgot to insert that it was reported at Nevis that Bolton was removed to St. Thomas'. He was a man of no account, two or three years ago Deputy Collector of Antegoa. I send a copy of Sir Wm. Beeston's letter to-me of June 7. There was a sharp contest between the Council and me about the nomination of officers, the same party of men that opposed the Bill against Pirates contending for the right of nomination on the ground that in the clause in the charter "it shall be lawful for the Governor with the advice and consent of the Council to nominate Judges etc.," the words "with the advice" etc. came before the words "to nominate." Sir Wm. Phipps was weak enough to let the Council gain that point of him. Mr. Stoughton yielded timorously but with protest. I told the Council I could not be so imposed on; it was plain the right of nomination was in the Governor and they had a negative on my nomination; they could write to England to have the point decided if they pleased; meantime I would not depart from the right of nomination. In conclusion, they yielded. I acquainted Mr. Usher three or four times with your instructions about his accounts with the Government of Massachusetts Bay, but he has not yet applied to me about it. Among the transcripts of the Acts passed last session, there goes one whereby the Assembly make me a present of £1,000 this money, which is 30 p.c. worse [than sterling] money. They stile it a present, but I take it to be part of the salary I [was] promised should be made good to me before my leaving England, which I understood was [to be] £1,200 sterling, and this £1,000 will make but £700 sterl. I never did nor will ask the[m anything], and it troubles me that I am on so precarious a foot for a salary from this Government. I am put to great inconvenience for want of a house here and am forced to pay £100 a year for a house besides what I pay for a stable. Here is a very good house-plot, where Sir Edmund Andros lived, in the best part of the town, but ['tis the least of] their thoughts to build a house for the King's Governor. About £3,000 would build a good house and offices, not much, considering that building here is at least a 3rd part dearer than in London. I hope you will send me orders soon upon all parts of this letter. Signed, Bellomont. At Pescattaway, I sent for the Eastern Indians. They have since sent three Indians to treat with me; the paper containing their promise of submission to the King goes. Various enclosures referred to. Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 22, 1699. Read Jan. 25, 26, 1699/1700. Holograph. 7 pp. Edges torn. Enclosed,
746. I. Abstract of above. 2¼ pp.
746. II. Speech of Lord Bellomont to the Council and Assembly at Boston, June 2, 1699. Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 22, Read Jan. 25, 1699/1700. 3 pp. Printed by Bartholomew Green and John Allen, as appointed by James Converse, Speaker.
746. III. Answer of the Representatives, June 6. 2 pp. Printed. Same endorsement.
746. III. A. Duplicate of preceding. No endorsement.
746. IV. Congratulatory address of the Representatives of the Massachusetts Bay, June 6, to Lord Bellomont. Printed. 2 pp. Boston. Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 22, 1699.
746. V. Address of the Lt.-Gov. Stoughton to Lord Bellomont, June 2, 1699. Printed. 4 pp. Same endorsement.
746. VI. Address of the Ministers met at Boston, May 31, 1699. Your Excellency has command over New England, a nation of Nonconformists, hearty friends to the English liberties and loyal subjects to the mighty Prince to whom we are indebted for their recovery. Our University is languishing for want of its Charter Settlement. Signed, Increase Mather. Printed. 2 pp. Same endorsement.
746. VII. Salem, May 23, 1699. Merchants and others concerned in the fishing trade on the coast of New England to Lord Bellomont. The privilege of fishing on the high seas and coasts of Nova Scotia undoubtedly belongs to H.M. subjects, but a French ship last summer warned off one of our fishermen, and in Sept. a French ship took two of our fishing vessels that lay at Chebueta. The Governor of St. John's has written forbidding our fishermen to take fish on the coasts or high seas in the northern parts of America, and we now hear has fitted out Capt. Battes with a vessel in those parts to take our fishermen. Signed, Jno. Brown, Edw. Brattle, De Siuer. Parkman, Jno. Hathorne, junr., Saml. Ruck, Jno. Legg, Rich. Chattwill, Jno. Turner, Jno. Dodg, Benj. Gerrish, Wm. Clarke, Benj. Brown, Jno. Higginson, junr., Wm. Hirst, Steph. Sewell, Saml. Browne, Jos. Wohott, Philip English, Wm. Gedney, Jno. Higginson, tertius, Benj. Marston, Robt. Kitchen, Nath. Norden, Ambrose Gale, Wm. Dodg. Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 22, Read Jan. 26, 1699/1700. Copy. 2 pp.
746. VIII. Copy of a clause in the rejected Bill for Harvard College; "the Founders having been Congregationalists or Presbyterians, be it enacted that no one shall be President or Fellow of the said Corporation but such as shall declare themselves and continue to be of the said persuasion." 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 22, 1699.
746. IX. Copy of a clause in a Bill proposed by Lord Bellomont for the punishment of pirates with death. ¾ p. Same endorsement.
746. X. Deposition of John Green, master of the Trial of Boston, about a ship taken by Hynde the Pirate. Signed, John Green. Copy. ½ p. Same endorsement.
746. XI. Col. Cortlandt to Lord Bellomont. I have shipped the bales and chests landed here out of Kidd's sloop. Signed, S. V. Cortlandt. New York, Aug. 16. Same endorsement. Copy. ¾ p.
746. XII. Invoice of above goods. Signed, S. V. Cortlandt, James Evetts. Same endorsement. Copy. 2¼ pp.
746. XIII. Boston, Aug. 25. Memorial of John Ruggles, master's mate of the Primrose of Boston. Drinking in a public house at Charles Town, Nevis, with William Cheesers and Wm. Daniel, I heard the former say that Bolton had got £16,000 by Capt. Kidd. Signed, John Ruggles. Same endorsement. ½ p.
746. XIV. Jamaica, June 7, 1699. Sir Wm. Beeston to Lord Bellomont. Copy of letter printed supra, June7. Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 22, Read Jan. 26, 1699. 3 pp.
746. XV. Memorial of the Sagamores and other Eastern Indians, with their submission to the Crown of England. Signed, Scanbeovyt, Sasumick, Sampson alias Schadoock, (their marks). Boston, Sep. 8, 1699. Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 22, 1699. Copy. 3 pp.
746. XVI. Deposition of Joseph Baker, commander of the Charles of New York, plundered by the pirate, John James, a Welshman, of the Providence galley, now called the Alexander. Signed, Joseph Baker. Same endorsement. Copy. 3 pp.
746. XVII. Memorial of John Mitchell, whose sloop was overhauled by John James, the pirate. Sep. 4, 1699. Signed, John Mitchell. Same endorsement. Copy. 1 p.
746. XVIII. Inventory of some East India goods brought from Gardner's Island to Boston, left there by Kidd. Signed, Sam. Sewall, Nath. Byfield, Jer. Dumer, And. Belcher. Same endorsement. Boston, Sep. 8. Copy. 1 p.
746. XIX. Boston, Sep. 4, 1699. Deposition of Captain Kidd. In his chest which he left at Gardner's Island there was three small bags or more of Jasper Antonio or stone of Goa, several pieces of silk stript with silver and gold cloth of silver, about a bushell of cloves and nutmegs mixed together and strawed up and down, several books of fine white calico, several pieces of fine muslins, several pieces more of floured silk; he does not well remember what farther was in it. He had an invoice thereof in his other chest; all that was contained in the said chest was bought by him and some given him at Madagascar, nothing thereof was taken in the Quidah Merchant. He esteemed it to be of greater value than all else that he left at Gardiner's Island, except the gold and silver; there was neither gold or silver in the chest. It was fastened with a padlock and nailed and corded about. Further saith that he left at Gardiner's Island a bundle of nine or ten fine India quilts, some of them silk with fringes and tassels. Signed, Wm. Kidd. Same endorsement. Copy. 1 p.
746. XX. Duplicate of preceding. Much rotten with salt water.
746. XXI. Lord Bellomont to the Commissioners of Customs. Boston, Sept. 8, 1699. I sent your pacquets to Mr. Randolph, who I understand is a prisoner at Bermuda. I believe Mr. Randolph was bullied by Brookes into recanting the certificate he had signed against him, but why he should dare to say he was tricked into signing it (presumably by me) I do not understand. Please to order Mr. Brenton, Collector of this place, to his post. Capt. Hammond, his deputy, is lately dead. I have put William Payne in his place till Brenton returns from England or appoints another deputy. Signed, Bellomont. Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 22, Read. Jan. 26, 1699/1700. Copy. 1½ pp.
746. XXII. Memorandum of Receipt of Minutes of Council of Mass. Bay, Ap. 11–Aug. 24, 1699, transmitted by Mr. Addington. Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 22, 1699.
746. XXIII. Memorandum of Receipt of Minutes of General Assembly of Massachusetts Bay, May 31–July 20, 1699. Same endorsement.
746. XXIV. Memorandum of Acts of Assembly of Massachusetts Bay, May 31, 1699. [Board of Trade. New England, 9. Nos. 65, 65 I.–XXIV.; and(without enclosures) 37. pp. 232–258.]
Aug. 29. 747. Minutes of Council of New York. Proclamations ordered for the arrest of Gillam, Clay and Smith, pirates, and for proroguing the Assembly till April 12.
Aug. 30. Wm. Murray and David Munro granted leave to bring their clothes on shore from the Unicorn. It being announced that the Indians were willing to resettle Schaakhook, instructions were ordered to be drawn for encouraging them. The Onnondage Indians ordered to be rebuked for trading at Pennsylvania in breach of the Covenant Chain.
Daniel Toy appointed and paid as a Land and Tide-waiter in place of John Parmyter. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 276–278.]
Aug. 29.
748. Robert Yard to Council of Trade and Plantations. The Lords Justices request information about the vacating of the lease of the King's Farm by the Assembly of New York. Signed, R. Yard. Endorsed, Recd. Aug. 30, Read Aug. 31, 1699. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New York, 8 A. No. 41; and 53. p. 338.]
Aug. 31. 749. Order of Lords Justices in Council. The matters mentioned in the Representations of the Board of Trade, Aug. 4 and 10, are to be effectually recommended to Mr. Penn. Directions are also to be sent to the Earl of Bellomont, Mr. Penn, or the Governor-in-Chief of Pennsylvania, and the Governor of East and West New Jersey, that all persons that have been or shall be seized for piracy in the provinces of Massachusetts Bay, New York, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, or in East or West New Jersey, be sent over hither in safe custody, together with all money, goods or other effects seized with them, and all such evidences as may be of any use for their conviction. Signed, Edward Southwell. [Board of Trade. New York, 53. pp. 339, 340; and 8 A. No. 42 (memorandum of preceding); and Proprieties, 4. No. 4; and 26. pp. 85, 86.]
Aug. 31.
750. Order of Lords Justices in Council, disallowing Mr. Markham to be L.G. of Pennsylvania, and recommending Mr. Penn to nominate another for H.M. approbation. Signed, Edward Southwell. Endorsed, Recd. Read Sep. 1, 1699. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 4. No. 3; and 26. pp. 83, 84.]
Aug. 31.
751. Order of Lords Justices in Council, approving the Representation of Aug. 4, and declaring the Pennsylvania Act for preventing frauds, etc., and all other Acts made in the said province contrary to the known laws of England, null and void. Signed, Edward Southwell. Endorsed, Recd. Read Sep. 1, 1699. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 4. No. 2; and 26. pp. 82, 83.]
Aug. 31.
752. Order of Lords Justices in Council, approving the Representation of July 6, and ordering directions to be given accordingly. Signed, Edward Southwell. Endorsed, Recd. Read Sept. 6, 1699. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 132; and 56. pp. 356–358.]
Aug. 31. 753. Order of Lords Justices in Council, approving the Representation about Governor Day, July 20, and ordering accordingly. Mr. Day, in addition, is to send his answer in writing to the Council of Trade and Plantations to all matters objected to him. Signed, Edward Southwell. Endorsed, Recd. Read Sept. 11, 1699. 2¾ pp. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 3. No. 47; and 29. pp. 203–206.]
Aug. 31.
754. Order of Lords Justices in Council, referring the petition of Charles Walker, Lt.-Col. Anthony White and Capt. Thomas Harford to the Council of Trade and Plantations, who are first to obtain Governor Day's answer thereto. Signed, Ed. Southwell. Endorsed, Recd. Sep. 8, Read Sept. 11, 1699. ½ p. Enclosed,
754. I.–IV. Copies of petitions of above-named removed from the Council of Bermudas by Governor Day without any cause shewn, praying to be acquainted with the cause and for a day to be assigned them for defending themselves. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 3. Nos. 48, 48 I.–IV.; and 29. pp. 207, 208.]
Aug. 31. 755. Attorney and Solicitor General to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In reply to your letter of July 7, we cannot find any law forbidding the carrying of logwood from Honduras to Venice, unless the ship belongs to some of H.M. Plantations. As to the lading of European goods at Venice and carrying the same to Guinea, in case the Coast of Guinea be reckoned an English Colony or Plantation (which we think 'tis not) the same is prohibited by the Act made the 15 Car. II. In case the ship belongs to any of His Majesty's Plantations, she is forfeited by the Act 22 and 23 Car. II. Signed, Tho. Trevor, Jo. Hawles. [Board of Trade. Trade Papers, 14. p. 344.]
Aug. 31.
756. Council of Trade and Plantations to Sir Thomas Trevor, Attorney General, and Sir John Hawles, Solicitor General, asking for an opinion about the title to the estate referred to in the petition of Richard Bate. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44 A. p. 324.]
Aug. 31.
757. William Popple to Sir Bartholomew Gracedieu. It is supposed that Mr. Heathcote being out of town is the reason for no reply being received to my letter of Aug. 4, in answer to the memorial about the place of Provost Marshall in Jamaica, desiring information about the character of Toplady. The Lords Commissioners therefore command me to refer this matter to your care. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 56. pp. 353, 354.]
Aug. 31.
758. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letter from the President and Council of Nevis, July 7, read.
Letter from Lord Bellomont, Boston, July 8, read. Order given for drawing a Representation relating to Pirates in the West Indies.
Letter from Mr. Yard, Aug. 29, read. Consideration of it deferred till the proceedings of the late Assembly of New York be received.
Letter to Sir Bartholomew Gracedieu about the character of Toplady ordered.
Order of Council upon a petition of Richard Bate, Aug. 22, read. Copy ordered to be sent to Attorney and Solicitor General for opinion in point of law.