America and West Indies: January 1700, 11-20

Pages 25-35

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 18, 1700. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1910.

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January 1700

Jan. 11. Mr. Pullen, who on Dec. 28 promised to lay before the Board a memorial relating to Mr. Day's conduct and to procure the like from one Mr. Brice, now promised to dispatch it and to make oath to it, as also to speak to Mr. Brice and Mr. Richier for what either of them can furnish of the like kind.
Representation relating to the sending for pirates for trial here, signed.
Representation in pursuance of Dr. Cox's letter, Jan. 9, signed.
Jan. 12. Secretary ordered to write to Mr. Pulteney for a speedy reply to the letter of the Board to the Earl of Romney, Nov. 13.
Letter from the Earl of Jersey, Jan. 8, with memorial of the Baron de Bellmonte about the Jews in Jamaica read. Answer directed. [Board of Trade. Journal, 12. pp. 314–317; and 97. Nos. 7–9.]
Jan. 11.
27. Order of King in Council referring the petition of Dorothy Bishop for the opinion of the Council of Trade and Plantations. Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. April 4, Read April 5, 1700. 1 p. Enclosed,
27. i. Petition of Dorothy, wife of Robert Bishop of Barbados. Col. Russell, late Governor of Barbados, constituted Robert Bishop Chief Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for the precincts of St. Michael, St. George and St. John's. After the Governor's death, the Council without cause removed him from that office and placed in his stead Mr. Colleton. His Majesty is begged to give relief in this matter. Copy. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 8. Nos. 40, 40.i.; and 45. pp. 36–38.]
Jan. 11.
28. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Having in obedience to Your Majesty's Order in Council Dec. 21, 1699, required from Dr. Cox an account of the settlement alledged to have been made in Carolana, alias Carolana Florida, he has desired us to lay before your Majesty the annexed copy of a memorial prepared by him (See Cal. 1699, No. 967.), together with the Account of Commodities, etc. of that Country, whereof we laid before your Majesty a copy, Dec. 21, being the answer that he desires may be returned upon your Majesty's foresaid Order. Signed, Stamford, Lexington, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 26. p. 146.]
Jan. 11.
29. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Since our late representations concerning pirates seized in your Majesty's Plantations in America and others infesting those coasts, we have received further advices from many hands of their increase and boldness, and we thereupon represent that, in order to the bringing those of them that have been seized to condign punishment, directions be sent to the respective Governors in the method prescribed, Nov. 2, 1699, that they send hither in safe custody all the pirates who are now in prison or shall or may be at the time of their receiving those directions, together with the evidences upon which they have been seized and which may be of any use towards their convictions here; and that they take care to secure their goods and effects, to be disposed of as shall be determined by law. We further humbly propose that the like orders be also given with this variation to Lord Bellomont, Col. Blakiston, Col. Nicholson, Sir Wm. Beeston, Col. Codrington and Mr. Grey, that if in any particular occasion any of them do judge by the circumstances of the case, the laws in force and the disposition of the people, that such pirates may be more speedily and effectually brought to punishment there than by sending them hither, in such cases they may either cause the said Pirates to be tried there or send them hither as they shall understand to be most expedient, but to the Governors of the other Plantations not under your Majesty's immediate government (of which no one is yet qualified, notwithstanding our frequent applications to the Proprietors pursuant to Your Majesty's Orders and the Act of Parliament for preventing Frauds, etc.), and to the Governor of Bermuda, we humbly offer that the foresaid orders may be given as a standing rule as well for time to come as in the present occasion. Signed, Stamford, Lexington, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 35. pp. 148–150.]
Jan. 11.
30. Order of King in Council, approving above Representation, and ordering the preparation of draughts of letters to the respective Governors accordingly. Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. Read. Jan. 15, 1699/1700. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 5. No. 39; and 35. p. 151.]
Jan. 12.
31. George Lapthorn to William Popple. I have given Col. Foxe's letter to Nicholas Perdue, Master of the Adventure, bound for Antegua, who will sail first good wind. Signed, George Lapthorn. Endorsed, Recd. Read Jan. 15, 1699/1700. ½p. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6. No. 56.]
Jan. 12.
32. Governor of Carolina to Mr. Secretary Vernon. I have received His Majesty's commands relating to the vessel condemned here belonging to Mr. Peter Reneiwe, Capt. George Harris, Commander. I acquainted you that I and the Judge of the Admiralty had made him an offer of all that came into our hands by rendering him an account of the sales of the cargo, but he would not take it, expecting satisfaction for all his damages sustained. We told him that in case any embezzlement had been made by the seizer or by the Marshall of the Admiralty, if he would bring his action against them, we would see that he should have justice. He refused and is gone off and has left a power of attorney for sueing the Judge of the Admiralty, which seems to be a very hard case, for though His Majesty was graciously pleased to remit Mr. Harris' error, yet since the Judge did but his duty he ought not to be molested. For if Mr. Harris were a denizen, he had no certificate thereof, and though he says he left it behind him for fear of being taken by the French, who can help that ? For if any man will be hanged with a pardon in his pocket and will not produce it, the Judge is not to be blamed. There hath been likewise a vessel here lately called the Cole and Bean galley of London, Paul Walsh, Commander, which was seized by H.M. Collector and condemned for not being registered and having a certificate thereof. Both the Merchant and Master were offered by the Judge of the Court of Admiralty that if either of them would make oath that they had ever seen a Registry or that their owners had ever told them so, he would let them have the ship and cargo, giving security to produce a certificate from H.M. Commissioners of Customs. They refusing, he decreed her condemned and forfeit. He is very much startled at his being to be sued in Capt. Harris' case, and if he should meet with such treatment in this, I doubt whether he will ever pass a decree against a vessel again, and then all the laws will be broke through at once. I have from time to time received such strict orders from His Majesty etc. to put the laws in due execution, that I cannot forbeare calling on all the officers to be diligent in the execution of their trusts. If they are so discountenanced from England that they are afraid to do it, I cannot help it. If His Majesty be at any time pleased to remit to offenders his share of forfeitures, no one can have anything to say against it, but if before any such thing should arrive here, the informer should be gone with his part, it would be very hard that the Judge should be sued for it. Since the condemnation of the Cole and Bean galley, on their coming to enquire into her cargo, I understand that on her voyage hither she was at the Canary Islands and took in several pipes of Canary wines, which she hath here imported contrary to law, which, without the want of a registry, would have forfeited her if she had been prosecuted on that point, but it was not then known. Signed, Joseph Blake. Endorsed, R. 17 Apr. —. 1½ pp., Addressed and Sealed. [America and West Indies. South Carolina, 620. No. 4; and Board of Trade. Proprieties, 5. No. 13.]
Jan. 12.
St. James'.
33. Mr. Pulteney to William Popple. On the very day on which I received your letter, Nov. 13 last, by my Lord Romney's order I sent it to the principal officers of the Ordnance with directions that they should, as far and as fully as possibly they could, comply with what was therein desired. I have several times since called upon them for a dispatch of that matter, which from time to time they promised to do. I doubt not but the Lords Commissioners are sensible that a work of that nature will require time. I will again to-morrow remind the Board of Ordnance. Signed, J. Pulteney. Endorsed, Recd. Read Jan. 15, 1699/1700. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 5. No. 40.]
Jan. 15.
34. Proprietors of East New Jersey to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The Proprietors are surprised at your Lordships' dubious answer to the second article of their proposals concerning the establishment of a Port at Perth Amboy. For the principal objection that has been always made to the allowance of a Port in East Jersey arising from the non-payment of Customs there and the detriment accruing to the trade of New York by reason thereof, the Proprietors conceived that by submitting to pay the same Customs as are paid at New York they had effectually answered that objection, and prevented all others, and that they being His Majesty's subjects and equally entitled to his favour and protection with the inhabitants of New York, might under the payment of such duties freely enjoy those conveniencies for trade which God and Nature have allotted to their Colony, and they have purchased with their money, and which has not been denied to any other American Plantations, though paying no Customs, but permitted as a natural right. They therefore declare that the obtaining a Port to be continued for ever was their main inducement to consent to a surrender of their Government, and therefore they insist that in the new Charter, to be granted to them by His Majesty, there be an express clause inserted whereby Perth-Amboy shall be established a port for ever for entering all ships coming into and going from East Jersey for importing and exporting goods, and that such port shall not be forfeited or taken away for any misdemeanour whatsoever, but only the persons guilty of the misdemeanour shall be accountable and punishable for it. This is the only thing that 29 can make the Province of any value to the Proprietors or give them hopes of reimbursing their purchase money and other expenses in improvements, and if your Lordships think it too great a privilege for them who have been faithful subjects and contributed to the defence of the frontiers during the late war in America more than they were able to bear, the Proprietors cannot be accessory to their own ruin by a voluntary surrender, but must endeavour to vindicate their right in a legal manner and seek redress as they shall be advised. If their desire of a Port is once granted, the Proprietors do not foresee any great difficulty to adjust with your Lordships the other Articles mentioned in their memorial. Signed, on behalf of the Proprietors and by their order, Wm. Dockwra. Secy. and Regr. Endorsed, Recd. Read, Jan. 15, 1699/1700. 3 pp. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 4. No. 36; and 26. pp. 147, 148.]
Jan. 15.
35. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of Jersey. With regard to the Baron de Belmonte's memorial (Jan. 8) relating to the Jews of Jamaica, we humbly conceive it necessary that the Governor be writ for a true state of the matter of fact, and we intend to do it. Meantime we are of opinion His Majesty may be pleased to direct that the Governor may have a general order to use the Jews that are there gently, not disquieting them by vexations of any kind, and more particularly that they be not obliged to be in arms on their Sabbaths or other solemn feasts, unless it be when an enemy is in view. Signed, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 57. p. 4.]
Jan. 15.
36. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letter from Mr. Pulteney, Jan. 12, promising despatch, read.
Letter from Mr. Lapthorn signifying that he had sent forward the letter of this Board to Col. Fox read. Copy ordered to be sent to Mr. Richard Cary to forward by the first opportunity.
Letter to the Earl of Jersey about Jews in Jamaica signed.
Order of Council, Jan. 11, in accordance with representation about pirates, Jan. 11, read.
Letters from Lord Bellomont, Oct. 20, 24, 25, and Nov. 6, with enclosures, read.
Mr. Dockwra presented a memorial from the Proprietors of East New Jersey, which was read.
Jan. 16. Mr. Pullein and Mr. Richier promised their papers about Governor Day in five or six days.
Jan. 17. Order from the House of Lords, Jan. 16, requiring the opinion of the Board how consistent the Colony at Darien may be with the Treaties with Spain and the Trade of this Kingdom, read. Report prepared. [Board of Trade. Journal, 12. pp. 317–329; and 97. Nos. 10–12.]
Jan. 16.
37. Earl of Jersey to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The French Ambassador having given in a memorial representing that two vessels went lately from Barbados to make a settlement in Dominique, which island he pretends to be under the French Protection, and the memorial complaining of injuries done to the French by the English African Company in Gambia, His Majesty desires your report of the facts and your opinion therein. Signed, Jersey. Endorsed, Recd. Read, Jan. 19, 1699/1700. 1 p. Enclosed,
37. i. Memorial of the French Ambassador. Two ships from Barbados recently passed in sight of Martinique, carrying Col. Frayer and 60 men, who under pretext of obtaining building-timber are going to settle in Dominique. This island and St. Alouisie were assigned by former treaties between France and England solely for the occupation of the aboriginals of the Antilles. As the English wished to make a settlement at St. Alouisie about 20 years ago, they have been obliged to abandon this principle, and after the war of 1666 the savages placed themselves under the protection of France. I demand that His Britannic Majesty? should order Col. Frayer to quit Dominique, and the English Governor not to permit such enterprises.
The French Company of Senegal complain that the English Company established in the River Gambia, far from being grateful for the care with which they have executed the Treaty of Ryswick by giving back the Fort they had taken from the English during the last war, and from uniting with them as their interests demand against the interloping Dutch, try to stop the French Company from entering the River Gambia, though the French have always had the right of entry and also had a habitation on the banks of this river. The English Company wishes to trade in the River Senegal, where they have never had a station. The two companies would have come to blows if the French had not hoped to obtain justice in Europe. I beg the Earl of Jersey to send orders to the English Company to restore things to the footing on which they were before the war. Signed, Tallard. 1¾ pp. French. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 8. Nos. 34, 34.i.; and 45. pp. 21–23; and (letter only) Trade Papers, 15. p. 1.]
Jan. 16. 38. Order of the House of Lords, requiring the opinion of the Council of Trade and Plantations, how consistent the Colony at Darien may be with the Treaties with Spain and the Trade of this Kingdom. Signed, Math. Johnson. Endorsed, Recd. Jan. 16. Read Jan. 17, 1699/1700. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 5. No. 41; and 35. p. 152.]
Jan. 16. 39. Minutes of Council of New York. Payment ordered to Mr. Robert Walters for beds, etc. bought for the soldiers. Quarter's salaries of various officers ordered to be paid. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 293, 294.]
Jan. 16. 40. Minutes of Assembly of Barbados. Col. Thomas Maxwell chosen Speaker. Method proposed by the Agents in England to petition His Majesty adopted instead of address. All the General Assembly to sign such petitions. Bills, for securing the possession of slaves, and securing the Hon. Thomas Sadleir in the debts he had made good to the public, taken up to H.E. in Council, who earnestly recommended the raising a tax to defray the debts of the country, and the settling the Guard of the Magazine, and the allowance of officers and soldiers. The Speaker reported that he had supplicated H.E. that the Churchwardens of the parishes be enjoined speedily to give in the lists of lands, that the servants placed on the public may be disposed of among the inhabitants who want their complements for the militia.
Jan. 17. Ways and means to raise £10,000 considered. Charges for holding the Grand Sessions referred to a Committee. Bill for the encouragement of persons to become owners of vessels read and taken up. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 459–461.]
Jan. 16. 41. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Address of Lt. Col. Maxwell, Speaker, Lt. Col. Geo. Peers and Wm. Heysham read, representing the damage the inhabitants of Bridge Town had sustained by the loss of the Bridge through the late deluge. Leave granted to take some public stones for repairing it. Letter from Talbot Edwards, Oct. 16, 1699, relating to the fortification of Bridge Town read.
Letter from Mr. Povey, Aug. 31, 1699, about returned Bills of Exchange read. The Governor and Council having obliged themselves to answer for them if not accepted, sent for Capt. Thomas, who declared he was satisfied by the last account he had received from home.
Presentments and Addresses of the Grand Jury read.
H.M. Patent, May 18, 1699, for Edward Chilton to act as Attorney General read. He took the oaths, etc. H.M. Patent, Aug. 29, for Alexander Skene to act as Secretary read and allowed of provided he proved his qualifications, it being objected that he is not a native-born subject of England, Ireland or the Plantations.
Letter from the Council of Trade and Plantations, Nov. 6, read.
Jan. 17. Bill for securing the possession of slaves read the first time and committed.
Ordered that Mr. Skene be admitted to be heard by his Counsel next Council day.
Bill to secure Thomas Sadleir, late Treasurer, read three times and passed.
Bill for the disposal of servants ordered to be prepared.
Bill to encourage owners of vessels read the first time. Petition of William Heysham read, praying to be paid for 20 servants delivered by him to Mr. Sadleir for public service. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 482–484.]
Jan. 18.
42. Order of King in Council, referring to the Council of Trade and Plantations the enclosed petition for their report. Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. April 4. Read April 5, 1700. Enclosed,
42. i. Petition of Samuel Allen, Proprietor of New Hampshire in New England and late Governor thereof, to the King. Petitioner being come to his Province with his whole family to settle there, finds himself obliged to represent to your Majesty that the inhabitants are a considerable trading people wholly governed by their own private interest, without the least regard to your Majesty's authority, the laws established, the Acts of Navigation or to your petitioner. They have lately made a contract with the Portuguese for sending timber for building great ships and are still felling the best masts in the Province, which is the best for your Majesty's service. Unless a speedy stop be put to these proceedings, the woods will in a little time be destroyed to the prejudice of England and your Navy, now supplied with the best masts from your said Province, whence a ship is lately departed with 45 masts for your Majesty's great ships of war and more are expected, if not prevented by the illegal and destructive practices of the inhabitants. Petitioner prays that the Earl of Bellomont be instructed to oblige them to obey the laws accordingly. Copy. 1½ pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 10. Nos. 9, 9.i.; and 37. pp. 422–425.]
Jan. 18.
43. Council of Trade and Plantations to the House of Lords. In obedience to your order, Jan. 16, we offer that, the Isthmus of Darien is a tract of land lying between the Kingdoms of Peru and Mexico or New Spain, and part of what is called by the Spaniards Terra Firma or Castella Aurea, being in the center of all the most valuable dominions of Spain in America. It appears by all the most approved books and historical accounts of the West Indies, that the Spaniards settled themselves there in 1510, and that Enciso, a Spaniard, first discovered the River Darien and built a town upon it, which he named Sta. Maria Antigua, afterwards erected into a Bishoprick. But when Vasquez Nunez Balboa had discovered the South Sea, Petreco Davilla, Governor of the Province of Darien under the King of Spain, in 1519 removed the inhabitants from Sta. Maria to Panama, alleging the unhealthiness of the air. The Province of Darien has been so divided by the Government of Spain that all on the one side of the River was allotted to the Audiencia or Presidentship of Panama, and the other side to that of Cartagena. And though the Spaniards having built several towns in Darien did afterwards demolish them and retire to other neighbouring places, as they were invited by convenience or advantage, yet this changing of habitations is not judged a dereliction of the territorial property of the Province, which they have always esteemed to be and remain entire in the Crown of Spain and in their possession, the inhabitants being only removed, some to Panama, others to Portobello and Cartagena, which three places are the extremities that in a manner environ and comprehend the Isthmus of Darien.
After great hostilities exercised for many years between us and the Spaniards in America, it was agreed by the 7th Article of the Treaty of Madrid July 8/18, 1670, that the King of Great Britain should hold all those lands, etc. in the West Indies and America, which he did then possess, and by the 8th Article that the subjects of each Confederate respectively should forbear to sail and trade in the ports and havens which have fortifications, castles, magazines or warehouses, and in all places whatsoever possessed by the other party in the West Indies. Since the concluding of the said Treaty it has always been understood and insisted on by the Spaniards from a constructive equity of the 7th Article that the King of Spain is equally and reciprocally to have and hold such places as were then possessed by his subjects. And such has been the force of this Treaty, that, as the subjects of all other European Princes have forborne to plant a Colony or make any settlement upon Darien, so also His Majesty's subjects have always, (till on the late occasion) had such regard thereunto as never to attempt the same; which cannot be imputed to any want of knowledge of those parts, for that not only the English, but also the French and Dutch have long been as well acquainted with that coast and territory as any other whatsoever in America, and many proposals have been made to the Government of England to that effect. But the chief consideration against it has been that such a thing could not be compassed without a rupture with the Spaniards, who have constantly insisted on their right to that territory, and do particularly endeavour to secure their property and possession thereof by their Armadilla or Barlovento Fleet, which cruizes yearly upon that coast as it does upon the other coasts of their dominions in America. And to evidence of what great consequence the Spaniards do esteem it to themselves that this country be untouched by any foreigner, we cannot but take notice that the Treasures of Peru are carried by the South Sea to Panama, and from thence overland by the Province of Darien to Porto Bello, so that the Spaniards will unavoidably ever be very jealous of any neighbourhood, that may seem to interrupt the communication between the North and South Seas; as it may be judged from continued observations and experience that they will never unless forced by conquest, suffer any other Europeans to place themselves upon the mainland betwixt the Empires of Peru and Mexico; whereof we have a strong instance in that they would never hitherto permit us quietly so much as to cut logwood in the Bay of Campeche upon the Coast of Yucatan, lying upon the same tract of land, near unto which (at a place called Port Royal) there was some years past a small colony of about 300 English, disavowed by the Government of England, whom the Spaniards seized, destroying many of them upon the place and carrying others to Mexico, where they kept them working in chains. This they did, least by degrees we should habituate ourselves in those parts and settle there.
Upon the whole matter we are humbly of opinion, that such is the continued claim of the Spaniards to this country, that the planting of a Colony and making a settlement upon Darien by H.M. subjects is what must touch them in the most sensible and vital part, and that the doing of it would inevitably involve H.M. in such a difference with Spain as may prove fatal to the Peace and good accord between the two Crowns, and consequently be destructive of our Trade and highly prejudicial to our Plantations in America. But supposing no such war should insue from the settling a Colony of Scotch, as has been lately attempted, it would nevertheless be highly mischievous to our said Plantations and principally to the Island of Jamaica, the most important of any of them, by alluring away their inhabitants with the hopes of mines and treasure and diverting the present course of trade, which is of the greatest advantage to England. Signed, Stamford, Lexington, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 35. pp. 152–159.]
Jan. 18.
44. Order of King in Council, according to the report of Mr. Attorney and Solicitor General that the usual method of granting denization in the Plantations hath been by Acts of Assembly (cases quoted), and that the Governors of the Plantations ought not to grant letters of denization unless they were expressly authorised so to do by their commissions, and that no Act of denization or naturalisation in any of the Plantations will qualify any person to be Master of a ship within any of the statutes made in this Kingdom, which require masters of ships to be Englishmen. The Council of Trade and Plantations to give notice to Governors accordingly. Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. Read Jan. 26, 1699/1700. 2¼ pp. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 5. No. 42; and 35. pp. 160–163; and Maryland, 9. pp. 475–478.]
Jan. 18.
45. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Report about Darien signed and taken by the Earl of Stamford to lay it before the House of Lords.
Jan. 19. Mr. Thurston, Agent for the Company at Newfoundland, directed to draw out a particular account of the quantities he esteemed necessary of things mentioned in Lt. Lilburn's letter.
Letter from the Earl of Jersey, Jan. 16, with the French Ambassador's complaints about Dominique and the African Company, read. Information ordered to be desired from the Barbados Agents and the African Company.
Letter from Mr. Attorney General, Jan. 10, declaring his opinion about Commissions to approve or disapprove Governors, read. [Board of Trade. Journal, 12. pp. 330–332; and 97. Nos. 13, 14.]
Jan. 19.
46. Mr. Secretary Vernon to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I enclose for your opinion on petitioner's qualification Mr. John Wollaston's petition for the Government of Bermuda when it shall become vacant. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. Read Jan. 22, 1699/1700. Enclosed,
46. i. Petition of John Woollaston. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 4. No. 2; and 29. pp. 248, 249.]
Jan. 20. 47. Minutes of Council of New York. Attorney General ordered to enquire into the reason why the Justices of the Peace of Queen's County have delayed to issue warrants for raising their quota of the sum raised by the Act of General Assembly granting to H.M. 2000l.
Col. Cortlandt's account of candles used in the Fort referred to a Committee. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. p. 294.]