America and West Indies: June 1700, 21-25

Pages 354-380

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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June 1700

June 21. Above report again read, amended, and sent down to the Representatives.
The Representatives concurred with the resolve of the Board that, as the Commissioners from Connecticott have not thought fit to accept the proposals of this Court, some meet persons be appointed by His Excellency in Council to find the southermost part of Charles River and of any and every part thereof, as also to endeavour to find the southern line of the late Colony of the Massachusetts Bay, as anciently run by Nathaniel Woodward and Solomon Saffery.
Petition of the elders of the French Church in Boston for assistance for their minister recommended to the Representatives.
Report of the Committee, appointed to consider methods to obviate the industry of the French Missionaries in debauching of the Indians, and what may be necessary to bring again the Eastern Indians under His Majesty's obedience, read. Those articles in it which were agreed to were sent down to the Representatives for their concurrence.
A Bill in addition to the Act intituled an Act for the equal distribution of insolvent estates, sent up from the Representatives was read twice and committed. In Committee it was agreed that the Bill as worded be rejected and a new Bill of like import be drawn up.
Order for making the Plantation called Framingham a township was passed and sent down.
Bill repealing an Act for building with brick or stone in Boston, sent up by the Representatives, was read a first time. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 368–371.]
June 21.
577. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor the Earl of Bellomont. We acquainted you, May 10, with what we had proposed relating to the Indians, and are now to inform you that all is done accordingly, viz., 500l. paid to Mr. Champante, to be remitted you towards the building of a sod fort in the Onondage country, and subsistence money also paid him for the soldiers from April 24–June 19. He has likewise found means to provide clothing for them and is shipping it by H.M.S. Advice, together with 400 light fuzils and a suitable quantity of lead and powder, as also cloths and other necessaries, to the value of 800l. in all, for presents to the Five Nations. The reason of sending so large a proportion of arms was the better to remove the jealousy that has been raised amongst them of a design to disarm them. Your Lordship will therefore take care to deliver them, more or less, at once or at several times, as you shall in your own prudence find most proper to effect that end and settle them firm in their allegiancie to His Majesty. In order to the execution of the recent Act for the more effectual suppression of piracy, Commissions are now passing to be sent to all the Plantations. His Majesty having been informed that the Government of Algier had declared their resolution to direct their cruisers to require Admiralty Passes pursuant to the Treaty with them in 1682 from all the ships of His Majesty's subjects that they should meet with in and after September next, and it being apprehended that they may cruize in the way of our Plantation Trade, more than they have formerly done, so that all ships, not only to and from England thither, but also from one Plantation to another will need to be provided therewith, care has been taken here for preparing of Passes and regulating the distribution thereof in the Plantations with all possible diligence, in which, as we have done our parts, we doubt not but you will accordingly receive both passes and rules relating thereunto from the Admiralty. We send copies of the Dey's letter, Ap. 14, 1699, and the Consul's letter, Ap. 13, 1700.
His Majesty having referred to us a petition by Mr. Crouch and other merchants, setting forth that the Mary, designed with pipestaves and other timber from New England to Portugal had been stopped there by your authority and not permitted to proceed on that voyage, we enclose a copy thereof and of H.M. Order in Council, May 9, directing that she be permitted to proceed on that voyage. His Majesty has been pleased to appoint Mr. Atwood to be Chief Justice, and Mr. Broughton to be Attorney General of New York. We are giving them all the assistance we can towards the dispatch of what may be necessary for them. The Acts of Assemblies of all the Provinces under your Government lie yet in the hands of Mr. Solicitor General, but we are every day in expectation of those of New York, and when we receive them shall use all the dispatch we possibly can in our report thereupon, and press for the rest out of his hands, that we may dispatch them likewise. We have found an inconvenience from some of H.M. Plantations in having private Acts fastened together under the same seal with those that are of a public nature, the one proving sometimes an obstruction to the dispatch of the other. We therefore desire you to take care hereafter that all private Acts be sent, each of them, under a separate seal, and that the persons concerned in any such private Acts do direct some of their friends here to solicit their dispatch with the Attorney and Solicitor General and instruct them so that they may be able to give information in any doubts or enquiries that may be made thereupon.
His Majesty having lately required us to lay before him a state of what allowances have been heretofore made by the Provinces of Massachusetts Bay, New York, and New Hampshire for the maintenance of their respective Governors, and what may now be expected from them, in order to his giving such directions as he shall judge fit for your Lordship's support in those Governments, we enclose a copy of our Report, but are not yet acquainted with the resolution that has been taken upon it. Signed, Stamford. Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Locke, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney. P.S.—June 22. Since finishing this letter, we have received His Majesty's further commands to lay before him an account of the presents that have been made your Lordship by the respective Provinces under your Government. We send you a copy of the Representation we have prepared. [Board of Trade. New York, 54. pp. 241–246; and (corrected draft) 44A. No. 45.]
June 21. 578. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letter from Lord Jersey, June 17, read. Directions given for a representation accordingly.
Letter to Lord Bellomont signed.
June 22. Representation, relating to the presents that have been made to Lord Bellomont by the Provinces under his Government, signed and transmitted in a letter to Lord Jersey. Copy thereof ordered to be sent to Lord Bellomont with a postscript to the letter signed yesterday. [Board of Trade. Journal, 13. pp. 87, 88; and 97. Nos. 114, 115.]
June 22.
Office of
579. Ordnance Office to the Council of Trade and Plantations. We have given notice to Mr. Champante that the arms and stores for New York are ready, that he may apply to the Admiralty for orders to have them taken on board H.M.S. Advice. Signed, C. Musgrave, Ja. Lowther, Wm. Boulter, Jon. Charlton. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New York, 10. No. 10.]
June 22.
580. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I hope in this letter to give an account that will be as pleasing to your Lordships as it will be serviceable to England, though I confess I write under all the disadvantage and discouragement imaginable, for to this hour I have no orders upon the several letters I writ about Naval Stores, about the ill posture of affairs in the Province of N. York, about the right of nomination of officers and the extravagant waste of woods in N. Hampshire. In my former letters I sent my scheme by piecemeal for furnishing all the King's dominions with Naval Stores of all kinds, except flax and hemp, being interrupted in my thoughts by other business. In my first letter on that subject, Ap. 17, '99, I meet with one mistake, where I say that the women and children will be able to make tar in the Province of New York, for that 'tis but tapping the pitch-pines and the liquor will run out in great quantity, but I misunderstood M. Bernon, who has since explained to me that he meant turpentine. I have been very inquisitive of all people that I heard had any insight in making tar, etc., and I find other people's notions agree with mine, viz., that the cheapest and surest way of making tar will be with soldiers, that the pay I proposed for them. 12d. a day, will be very reasonable, that sequestring 12d. per week to be improved for every soldier in trade, and that to be laid out for the soldiers' benefit at seven years' end, to build 'em houses and buy 'em necessary furniture, and some few cattle to begin the world with and stock the 40 acres of land I proposed for each soldier. I am more confirmed than I was of the certainty of making tar to serve the King and all his dominions, being assured by several hands that 'tis a thing of great yield where there are a number of hands to assist one another. If Mr. Bridger may be credited, who has made tar in N. Hampshire and sent it to England with the other specimens, a number of men will with ease make a barrel of tar a day all the year round for each man's share, which is 37 ton and 6 barrels of tar, at which rate 600 soldiers will make 22,650 ton of tar a year, which one would think would more than suffice for all the King's dominions yearly, yet the making pitch will cause a great diminution of tar. There comes good store of tar and pitch hither from Carolina, as appears by the cocketts, which I never fail to examine carefully, as well as into the prices of both. Nicholas Meers, master of a vessel, brought lately from South Carolina 70 barrels of tar and 26 of pitch. He told me he had bought tar there this year for 5s. 6d. per barrel, but that when he came from thence it was so much in demand, and several vessels from the neighbouring Plantations waiting to load with it, that it was risen to 7s. 3d. per barrel. His 26 barrels of pitch cost him 17s. 6d. per barrel. I asked him the reason of the disproportion of the price of pitch, because he had told me that a barrel of pitch was made out of a barrel and two-fifths parts of a barrel of tar. He said he could give no good reason for it, but that the people in Carolina were not fond of selling tar but rather pitch, because they got most by it. Oak casks there cost 16s. per ton: here and at New York I can have casks of pine (which will do full as well) for 12s. per ton. I asked him about the value of money in Carolina, as a thing proper for me to know, to make my computation more just; he told me there was much disorder in that, that the dog dollars, Rix dollars and the Seville, pillar, and Mexico pieces of eight have a currency there, but are not at a fixed standard in value, they going with some people for more, with others for less.
There are twenty merchants in this town that trade to Carolina, and not any two of 'em agree in their accounts of the money there; by that of Mr. Meers the money there is about 16 per cent. worse than 'tis here, and the money here worse than sterling by 30 per cent., so that a barrel of tar costing 5s. 6d. in Carolina money is no more than about 3s. English, whence I infer that tar is a thing of great produce, otherwise it could not be afforded so cheap, where labour must be as dear as in the Province of New York, Carolina being a later Plantation. Besides, he told me the barrel was given in with the tar. In Whiston's price current, Jan. 15 last, I find Stockholm tar sold at 11l. 10s. per last, and pitch at 14l. A ton, then, of Stockholm tar is 7l. 13s., and a ton of Carolina tar 2l. 4s., besides the great difference of the money, and the price of labour—that of soldiers at 12d. per day sterling being almost 2/3 parts cheaper than the common price of labour in my Governments, which is 3s. per day this money. I cannot conceive that tar manufactured by soldiers in New York as I have proposed can cost the King more than 4l. per ton, freight included. I take it for granted you will agree with me that it will be much the best way to manufacture the tar into pitch in England, because of the advantage of employing hands to work in England, rather than abroad. I am told that at present all Naval Stores which we have from Sweden and Denmark are paid for in specie carried from England, above 100,000l. per annum, whereas I would undertake to pay for all the Naval Stores from New York and New Hampshire with the manufactures of England. (Summarises and repeats advantages of his scheme, 2 pp.) Our next neighbour Colony of Conecticut make and export a pretty good quantity of tar and pitch every year, but 'tis dearer than in Carolina. I discoursed over my scheme with Col. Hamilton, Governor of the Jerzies, who was lately here. He refined on my project and brought me a scheme of his own. (Copy enclosed.) 'Tis utterly impracticable to prevail on with these Plantations to raise the quotas of men and money he proposes. In this Province I would as soon undertake to reconcile 'em to the Mass as to such a contribution as he proposes for their proportion of the charge. If these Plantations could be reconciled to the charge of maintaining a thousand men for the ends aforesaid, I think it would be most unpolitick in the Crown to suffer these Plantations to provide and maintain their own guard. It would be to put an opportunity in their hands of setting up for an independance on the Crown, which 'tis much to be feared all these Plantations on this whole Continent have too much propensity to. Everybody knows that common soldiers always fight for those that pay 'em, without examining the justice of the quarrel.
By enquiry at Pescattaway last summer I learnt by degrees enough to convince me that the King may be much cheaper furnished than he is at present with all his masts, yards and bowsprits, and with all the principal timber for ships of war. The secret lies chiefly in this, that if the King will employ three or four ships of his own, the greatest part of the charge will be saved. I send you a copy of Mr. Taylor's contract for masts, yards and bowsprits. Mr. Bridger's answers to my queries, enclosed, will show the charge of building a hag-boat of 500 ton at Pescattaway for the King for carrying his masts, etc., and sailing the same. I desired Mr. Bridger to give me the prices of the principal ship timber as sold in the King's yard at Portsmouth, where he served his time. He told me he put very moderate prices on the several sorts. In his memorial, enclosed, answering my queries, he undertakes to save the King 2,930l. 19s. in every ship-load of masts, of what is paid to Mr. Taylor. Two ships of the King's own making two voyages a year from Pescattaway to England will gain him 11,723l. 6s., if the Navy require so many masts. I believe I shall as easily make it appear that the principal ship timber for building his ships of war will be sent home in the King's own ships for very near half the prices those sorts of timber cost the King at this time in his yards.
That which has induced me to set about these estimates, is the desire I have of taking off from the King the present charge of a 4th and 5th rate men-of-war for this Province and New York, which piracy and unlawful trade have made a necessary charge. I have learnt from Rear Admiral Benbow that 'tis a rule in the Navy that 3l. 15s. per man per moneth pays all charges whatsoever, wages, stores and wear and tear; at which rate a 4th rate frigat, 235 men, and a 5th rate, 135 men, stand the King together in 17,062l. 15s., reckoning 13 moneths to the year, which is the custom in the Navy. Three fly-boats or hag boats of the King's own and of 500 tons each will, by carrying home masts and ship-timber, save the above charge of the two frigats.
I verily believe all the Eastland trade, except for flax and hemp, may be turned to these Plantations, and all masts and ship timber for the use of the dominions of the Crown furnished cheaper than they now sell in England. With a good regulation here will be a lasting store of all those things to the end of the world. This Province and N. York, and Conecticut, as well as N. Hampshire abound with excellent ship-timber of all sorts.
And now, my Lords, I appeal to you whether the advantage I have proposed by these Plantations to England be not preferable to the selling almost all the lands in the province of N. York to Col. Fletcher, and all N. Hampshire and a great part of this Province to Col. Allen. For whoever contrived that clause in Col. Fletcher's Instructions, which gave him an unlimited power in the disposition of those lands, (and that directly contrary to precedent in other Governors' Instructions) may be truly said to sell those lands and therein to betray the King and kingdom in a very high degree. I also call it selling N. Hampshire and a great part of this Province to Col. Allen, for that Mason, under whom he claims, had no opinion of his own title is very plain, having offered to sell it for 100l., as Col. Pynchon's deposition does so far make out as to satisfy any indifferent man, though it would not be allowed a direct proof in law, because the offer was made by a third hand, Dr. Owen, a Presbyterian Minister. Then for Col. Allen's title I send you Col. Hutchinson's deposition tied up with Col. Pynchon's; they are both members of H.M. Council of this Province and both of good reputation and substance. I have reason above other men to believe Col. Allen's title is defective, having been much urged to be bribed to favour his claim. There was an offer made me of 10,000l. in money, and that Col. Allen should divide the Province of N. Hampshire with me; but I thank God I had not the least tempting thought to accept of the offer, and I hope nothing in this world will ever be able to tempt me to betray England in the least degree. This offer was made me three or four several times, and I am able to swear to time and place, and besides I have some letters from a certain man that mention enough to corroborate my testimony. I presume you will not have the better opinion of Col. Allen's title. The lands and woods claimed by him are much more valuable than ten of the biggest estates in England, rated at 300,000l. apiece, which is 3 millions. By his own confession to me at Pescattaway last summer, he valued the quit-rents of his lands, as he called them, at 22,000l. per annum at 3d. per acre or 6d. in the pound of all the improved rents. Then I leave to your Lordships to judge what an immense estate the improved rents must be, which, if his title be allowed, he has as good a right to as to the forementioned quit-rents. And all this besides the woods, which I believe he might very well value at half the worth of the lands. There never was, I believe, since the world began so great a bargain as Allen has had of Mason, if it be allowed to stand good, that all this vast estate should be purchased for a poor 250l., and that a desperate debt too, as Col. Allen thought. The consequence of his claim may prove highly prejudicial to England; he pretends to a great part of this Province, as far westward as Cape St. Ann, which is said to take in 17 of the best towns in this Province next to Boston, the best improved land, and, I think Col. Allen told me, 8 or 900,000 acres of their land. If Col. Allen shall at any time go about to make a forcible entry on these lands he pretends to (for to be sure the people will never turn tenants to him willingly) the present occupants will resist him and any force he shall bring, and the Province will be put into a combustion, and what may be the consequence I dread to think. I much fear in such a combustion all these Plantations would hold together and take fire, like a train, from one end to 'tother. I believe it would provoke the patientest of us all, that after 50 or 60 years peaceable possession of an estate in this Province, improved by our fathers' and our own industry, such a Proprietor as Col. Allen should drop out of the clouds to oust us, as the lawyers call it.
'Tis most amazing to me how dust has been thrown so many years together formerly in the eyes of the King and the nation, that the value of these Plantations to England has not been seen into. I will make it appear undeniably that by a right management of them, England shall employ 1000 stout ships of burthen and 20,000 seamen more than she now employs, and besides other advantages, these Plantations shall be for ever secured in a dependance on the Crown. But more of this in another letter shortly.
A person in this town tells me he has advice from England, that the Eastland Marchands began to be alarmed at the talk that has been of late in London of furnishing Naval Stores from these Plantations, and that it was believed they would oppose that design as much as in them lay; and also that the specimens of tar and timber sent by Mr. Bridger from N. Hampshire were not without enemies that decried and run them down.
'Tis highly necessary your Lordships should prevent the intended cozenage of the Crown in the countenance given to Col. Allen's claim. 'Tis abominable that the Crown should be defrauded of these lands and woods, of inestimable value. An Act of Parliament ought to pass for vacating all extravagant grants of land by Fletcher, in New York, and of all other Governors, and to put all those lands under a good regulation. The same Act should also vacate Col. Allen's pretended title, and vest all the lands in N. Hampshire in the Crown, with a saving for all the inhabitants for their lands which they have improved, paying a reasonable yearly quit-rent to the Crown. I believe there is not a man of 'em that has taken in and cleared from the woods 500 acres of land. The same Act should under great penalties bar them from sending any timber or lumber to any foreign country, and should oblige 'em to enter into bonds for four times the value of the cargo to carry the timber within the King's dominions. And a clause should be inserted which shall oblige everybody that cuts down a tree to plant 4 or 5 young trees in its stead, which I have heard is the custom in Norway. The waste of the woods in N. Hampshire is so very great, that Mr. Bridger assures me they are forced to go 20 miles up into the country to get a good mast for the use of the Navy. I am told the inhabitants have taken in what tracts of land and woods they pleased, to which they have no better title than Col. Allen has. I hope there will be a strict inquisition into that, and that none of 'em shall be allowed any property in the woods otherwise than as a common tenant right, viz., fireboot, hedgeboot, and house and plough-boot. For there must be in my opinion such a course taken as that all the King's subjects shall be allowed to cut and carry away such timber as they shall have occasion for, gratis; they to pay for the labour only and the planting 4 or 5 young trees in the room of that cut down. And there ought to be a restraint on all persons, on pain of paying a good fine, not to cut any tree that is marked for the use of the Navy. Several other clauses will be necessary, as for example, no tree to be cut but when the sap is in the root. Therefore the penning such an Act will require great care. Complains that he has had no answer to his letters of a year ago. Another trouble I have is to see the French are undermining us and getting away all our Indians, and I in no capacity of preventing their artifices, but things so managed as if the game were playing into French hands; the frontiers neglected, the soldiers reduced and no care taken to pay 'em. When I consider these things I cannot but laugh at myself for continuing to trouble your Lordships with a scheme for making Naval Stores and making these Plantations useful to England, at a time when all the Plantations are on a precipice of ruin. I am so far from being able to build forts or repair 'em, that I am not able to live on the poor appointments of these Governments. Major de la Valliére and a gentleman in this town that has lived in Canada both agree that the Governor of Canada has 28,000 livre a year, duly paid from France by the King. Then he has several perquisites, the chief whereof is the permits or "congés" he grants to people to go a beaver-hunting for so many months and within such a quarter or canton of the country. These congé s sell for more or less ready money according to the time granted and the part of the country. A person that obtains one sells it to a marchand at Quebec for 200 pistoles or more. The Governor is allowed by the King to dispose of 30,000 livres in these congés without account, wherein I suspect there's a secret service they are sham'd of; 50 crowns was the price of every scalp the French or their Indians carried to the Governor, whether they were Englishmen's scalps or those of our Indians, as I was told, and as I charged the Count de Frontenac in a letter I writ to him. I could never yet certainly know what his emoluments were reckoned at; some have told me 10,000 pistoles a year, some 8,000, other 6,000. M. de Champigny, the Intendant of Canada, has a salary of 12,000 livres, paid in France also by that King, and his perquisites reckoned at 6,000 livres, which in the whole is about 1,500l. sterling a year. He has a better time on't than the Governor of N. England with his three Provinces, for I have not yet seen near 1,500l. sterling in one year. The French Colony of Canada, tho' a paultry one in comparison of these Provinces, is allowed a Judge at 1,000l. a year salary, and I cannot prevail with all the interest I can possibly make to be allowed a Judge for N. York and N. Hampshire; and without a good Judge and Attorney General 'tis utterly impossible for me to bring N. York and N. Hampshire into good order.
I send Col. Romer's Memorial, which I have turned into English. Refers to various maps and designs enclosed. If the King will keep these Plantations from the French, I must take the liberty to say, he must necessarily be at the charge of building several forts, both on the frontier of N. York and to the eastward of this Province. I hope the Assemblies of this Province, N. York and N. Hampshire will contribute largely according to their ability, and I believe, if the King did write to all the several Governments, to stir 'em up to a contribution for the building such forts as are necessary, it would so operate with them that money would be raised that would defray a great part of the charge, for all their security from S. Carolina to the eastermost point of this Province, which ought to be the River of Ste. Croix, is bound up in the preservation of the Five Nations of Indians in amity with us, and trying to rescue the Eastern Indians from the French, which, could I call myself a free agent to have some money at command to dispose of at my own will and discretion, I believe I could yet accomplish, as late as it is, and notwithstanding the opportunities and advantages we have given the French of gaining the Indians to the eastward by our want of care, and indeed of justice and kindness to them, which I will hereafter acquaint you of. If it be thought advisable for the King to write to the several Plantations to contribute to the charge of the forts, I know His Majesty's letters will have the surer effect if they be directed to the Governors and General Assemblies of all the Plantations. It will require, according to Col. Romer's and my calculation, 29,000l. sterl. to fortify the frontiers of New York, and this province to the eastward, not counting the harbour of this town. The King shall not be cheated of a shilling. I hope half or more of the sum will be raised by contribution of all the Plantations, if the King will please to send his circular letters to them; and the sooner the better. I shall by the next opportunity send your Lordships the calculation we have made, the places where we conceive forts are necessary and what each will cost. I have it now by me, but it will require some reasoning to enforce the necessity of building these forts speedily, and that would lengthen this letter, which I fear you will think is too long already.
I have been provoked in my speech to the present Assembly to reflect on the management of the late Reigns in parting with Canada and the Eastern Country and Fishery to the French, the worst of neighbours. King Charles I gave 'em Canada, and King Charles II the eastern country in exchange for half of the Island of St. Christopher's. Forty such islands are not equivalent to the Eastern Country. Therefore when the King is moved to consent to the charge of fortifying the frontiers and His Majesty regrets the charge, I could wish he were put in mind that all this disturbance and the charge of fortifying proceeds from the most unaccountable conduct of his predecessors on the Throne, and their fondness of the French interest. M. Denys's letter to the French King shows what use the French intend to make of the Eastern Country, but if we carry our bounds to the River of Ste. Croix, which of right we ought to do, they will be disappointed of their project of sending masts, ship timber and tar and pitch to France, for the country to the eastward of Ste. Croix is said to be a barren sand for some miles into the country all along that coast. Capt. Southack, commander of the Province galley, commanded a private ship of war during the last war, and took M. Denys prisoner, and with him seized this letter.
The Government of Rhode Island continue their irregularities with more boldness than ever. I am wholly passive in concerning myself with them, but when people they oppress come with petitions, I think I am bound to transmit their complaints to your Lordships. If a speedy course be not taken to prevent it, there will be some lives lost in the quarrel between that Government and the people of the Naraganset country.
Mr. Bridger tells me he had shipped about 8,000 pitch pines to make tar of, and some malicious people have set fire to the woods where those trees stood, and burnt 'em all down. Mr. Partridge made a journey hither t'other day, and I have accepted of his bond in 3,000l. that his ship sail directly to England, where she shall give your Lordships notice of her arrival, and the King the pre-emption of her load of ship-timber at the market rates. This I thought absolutely the best way to secure the timber, since your Lordships have not sent me any orders upon my former letter. The original bond I will send by the frigat when she goes home, being unwilling to venture it by this ship. I am told there never was nobler ship-timber than this which Mr. Partridge had provided for Portugal, and I hope your Lordships will take such a course as that the King will not miss of it. Mr. Partridge's folly in discovering what a profitable voyage his ship formerly made to Lisbon, of which he cracked to everybody, viz., that for less than 300l. this money he cleared 1,600l., has set all the country agogg, so that some marchands of Salem are now loading a ship with 12,000 foot of the noblest ship-plank that ever was seen in America. 6,000 foot of 'em are 4-inch plank, and 6,000 3-inch and 45 foot long, and scarce a knot in any of 'em. They were designed also for Portugal, but I have taken such a course as that the King shall have 'em of the marchands' carrying or of my sending. I have told one of the owners, I would not suffer any ship-timber to be carried to a foreign country, and that he and his partners must resolve either to send their ship and timber to England upon the same terms as Mr. Partridge, or sell the timber to me for the King at the price it stands them in, and he has promised it shall be so.
Your Lordships may see by this what vigilance is necessary to a Governor of these Plantations, and what an eternal trouble I am at in contending for the interest of England with the people in my three governments. Perhaps I may hear hereafter that the 7 or 8 very worthy petitioners to your Lordships against me for maleadministration at New York may trouble you again upon the score of my stopping this ship-timber, and call it an arbitrary way of proceeding; but if they knew what peace of conscience I have upon my whole conduct at New York and here, and how much I despise them, they would not trouble you with any more of their clamours. I shall take another time to answer their unjust reproaches, when I have time to answer your letter of Aug. 21. Another use I would make of these accounts of ship-timber is that since 'tis so very profitable to marchands to export it from these Plantations, why not to England for the use of the Navy and all England ? For a conclusion, I humbly and earnestly recommend the vacating Col. Allen's pretension to N. Hampshire and all other claim derived from Mason, which with Col. Fletcher's grants of the lands of New York are an abomination and mistery of iniquity. Yet I would have the charity done Col. Allen to reimburse him the 250l. mortgage money, which Mason had of him. Signed, Bellomont. Endorsed, Recd. Aug. 9, Read Aug. 13, 1700. Holograph. 19 large pp. Enclosed,
580. i. Abstract of preceding. 4½ pp.
580. ii. Copy of Col. Hamilton's scheme, Feb. 14, 1699 (1700), for the maintenance of soldiers in the Plantations by employing them to purchase Naval Stores for the King on the land about the frontiers, the inhabitants to pay them by a yearly poll-tax of 15s. per head. 2½ pp.
580. iii. Prices of masts, etc., that Mr. Taylor contracted for with the Navy Board. 1 p.
580. iv. List of queries by Lord Bellomont as to the cost of transporting masts and ship-timber from Piscataqua to England. Boston, April 4, 1700. Copy. ¾ p.
580. v. Replies to above enquiries by John Bridger, Agent for Naval Stores. Copy. 2 pp.
580. vi. Prices of masts, etc., which Mr. Bridger offered to contract for with the Navy Board. Copy. 1 p.
580. vii. Lengths and prices of ship-timber. Copy. ¾ p.
580. viii. Capt. Belcher's estimate of the charge of sailing a vessel of 500 tun. Wages and victuals for a year of 12 months (in the King's Navy there go 13 months to the year, but with merchants but 12 months): 1,068l., wear and tear, 210l. Total, 1,278l. Copy. ¾ p.
580. ix. Memorial of Col. Romer to Lord Bellomont touching the Five Rivers. Boston, April 11, 1700. In obedience to your order, I embarqued at Boston, July 28, on board the Province galley and arrived in Piscataqua River next day. The fortification on the Island is extreme bad and incapable of defending the entrance into that noble and important river, not being sufficient to endure three or four days' attack of an enemy. The place where the fort stands is very proper, if there were defensible works built, the importance of the river and growing trade of the place requiring it. But besides that, a good strong tower on the point of Fryers Island, a battery on Wood Island and another single battery on Clark's Island would be very necessary. As for the Great Island on which Newcastle stands, a good redoubt near to the Horse-Ferry would be very convenient for maintaining a correspondence between the Great Island and the mainland. I arrived in St. George's River, Sept. 7th. The river is difficult of entrance, not only because of several islands, but also rocks which lie under water; once within these we found fair, large bays, where ships of 150 tun could ride. About those bays we perceived good store of rich land, fit for habitation and improvement, but which was never inhabited by other than Indians. On the outside of the largest of the islands, there are several Plantations, deserted by means of the late war. There is little timber thereabout fit for building ships. The coast adjoining is reckoned extraordinary good for fishing; the French have taken the best part of it, which is from the River of Penobscott to that of Ste. Croix; the latter is said to have been the boundary between N. England and Nova Scotia before Nova Scotia and Accadie were delivered to the French by Sir Thomas Temple.
Pemaquid River is nine leagues to the westward of St. George's. The entrance is spacious and without any danger for ships to go immediately into safe harbour from the main sea, there being but two leagues from thence to a point called the Barbekin, close by the fort. The land of Pemaquid is much better than that about St. George's. There was there formerly a village of 36 well built houses on a neck of land, where stood the fort, and there were many farms and farmers in the neighbouring country. 'Tis supposed that had peace continued Pemaquid would have been a place of importance because of its fishery, its trade with the Indians and the trade which would have arisen from the productions of the country. Besides, this place is considerable because of its frontier, which covers and shuts in the rivers of Damarascot, Sheep Nott and Kennebeck. The French have entirely demolished the Fort of Pemaquid, which seems to have been extremely ill-built and not defensible. There was no order observed in building it; its walls were made of clay mixed with sand brought from the sea-shore, instead of lime, insomuch that when the French besieged it, the Commander having ordered two great guns to be fired, the wall of the Fort was so very much shaken, that he was forced to have it supported with great beams of timber, which was partly the cause that the place was shamefully surrendered to the French. This was the Fort which the country were made to believe was impregnable, the loss of which disheartened them extremely and made the inhabitants desert the whole eastern country. For the better security of this frontier and its port, I am of opinion there ought to be a good fort built much about the same place and care taken for conveying in fresh water for the garrison. The defence toward the sea ought to be lower down than formerly, and there should be a good battery, guarded by a redout or round tower on John's Island, and another battery of six pieces on Cuckold's Point.
Kennebeck River is a fine one and convenient for great ships, when they are once got two leagues within the islands that are before its mouth. The river is navigable for great ships as far as Newtown; higher up 'tis somewhat hazardous by reason of the little islands and rocks and its rapid course. As to the soil, that of Rownik Island, on which Newtown formerly stood, is very good, and so is the land that lies towards the west and south-west along the river. There was never any other fortification but that at Newtown, which was a small square fort palisadoed. I have marked on the chart the places that ought to be fortified, not only for the defence of the mouth of the river, but also for that of the river itself within the country, and this last I hold very necessary, because the savages have two forts at the head of the river, which are called Naridgewack and Comesoquantick. They have two Jesuits in each fort, which do great hurt to the King's interest and that of the public, because they instil into those people hatred for His Majesty and his subjects. Before the war there was a palisadoed fort on Damarascove Island for defence of the fishermen, and a little higher there was another place called Capenewagin, where the people cured their fish, and two harbours lying open to the sea, where the fishermen secure their vessels from storms when they cannot get into Kennebeck River.
I find Casco Bay the noblest, as I do the country about it the fertilest that's in all New England. There are in this Bay a great many inlets from the sea: the Bay is covered from the storms that come from the sea by a multitude of islands, great and small, there being, if one may believe report, as many islands as days in the year. The chart will show the soundings wherein I was particularly careful. The French and Indians burnt the Fort during the late war; it was built of wood and very ill contrived, being so seated on a neck of land that it could not be relieved. And as it was ill built, so it was ill kept in repair. Yet in confidence of this Fort, people were encouraged to build a pretty large village called Falmouth, consisting of 46 houses and a good Church, but all lies now in ruins. There are still to be seen the remains of houses of two stories high, with stone walls and chimneys, and there are 180 farms, besides a great many fishermen's houses. 'Tis great pity that so fine a country should be deserted. In case it were to be resetled, I could advise a much more commodious place for building a town, and have marked it on the chart.
From Casco Bay I came to Winter Harbour, four miles from the mouth of Saco River, and went up in the pinnace as high as the first falls or cascades, where I found a small fort, ill seated and worse built; it was made of clay and sand, and the most considerable part of it, a small tower, ready to fall. The Fall makes so great a noise that one can scarce hear oneself speak. This place is not so much a frontier as a place of defence for the salmon fishing. The river is only deep enough for sloops. There must be a good redoubt a mile and a half from the Fall and a boom across the river to hinder the Indians in their canoes from coming round about the Falls and so to the sea, for which reasons we ought to be masters of the river, at the head whereof the Indians have a fort called Narracomecock, where they have also two Jesuits. Since the people of New England have enriched themselves by their fishing, which is their principal trade, it would be proper in my judgment to make a good battery guarded by a redout at Winter Harbour on Stagegut point, to secure their sloops etc.; which indeed ought to be done in several places on the Eastern Coast, where at present they have no sort of refuge to the eastward of Saco. The land along this river is very good and fertile, and well stored with woods for ship-building and houses. At the head of this River, above the first and greatest Falls, it takes its course N.N.E., where the last mentioned Indian Fort, which is built at some distance from the river, and the two former Indian forts, which I mentioned in the article of Kennebeck River, do center, all three within two or three days' journey of each other by which means the savages can conveniently correspond, and upon occasion draw together in a body. All these Indians were our cruellest enemies all the late war: they burnt Falmouth, besieged Wells, a village to W. of Saco consisting only in 10 or 20 houses which were fortified and well provided with provisions and ammunition, who, though they were besieged by 500 French Indians, forced them to retire with considerable loss, among others three of their best captains, one of whom was a kinsman of the Count de Frontenac. As a token of their revenge, having taken an old Englishman, they roasted him alive on a spit in sight of the English in garrison. This is one mark, among many others, of the horrible cruelty of French Papists and Indian infidels. Signed, Wolfgang Willm. Römer. Copy. 6 pp.
580. x. Col. Romer to Lord Bellomont, Boston, June 20, 1699. I herewith present a map of the Castle Island in the Bay of Boston and the Fortifications thereon. The batteries as well as the Fort should be made as here set forth. Boston, June 20, 1699. Signed, Wolfgang Willm. Römer. Copy. 1½ pp.
580. xi. Col. Romer's report upon the proposed new forts at Pemaquid and Piscataqua. Boston, Nov. 10, 1699. Signed as preceding. Copy. 1¼ pp.
580. xii. Col. Romer to Lord Bellomont. New York, Oct. 12, 1698. Demonstrates the proper method of preparing lime on the frontiers of New York. Encloses designs and estimates of new fortifications at Albany, Schanectade and Kanestigiouna "In New York are but about ten iron guns and some few brass ones to defend any sea-port; the rest are old and honeycombed, and those that are good are chambered or taper-bored, unfit by land and water. They were formerly, as I am told, rejected by the English Admiral. and they must be handled by persons that have a particular skill, else it may cost ignorant people their heads and arms. So that if a battery should be built under the Fort William Henry, as also a Blockhouse at Sandy Point, the same may in time be very necessary." Signed, as preceding. Copy. 3 pp.
580. xiii. Sketch of method of preparing lime. 1 p.
580. xiv., xv. Duplicates of Nos. iii. and iv. (May 7.)
580. xvi. Joseph Pemberton, John Lewis and Edward C. Blening to Lord Bellomont. Newport, Rhode Island. Dec. 20, 1699. Narragansett Country, claimed by both Rhode Island and Connecticut Governments, is much oppressed by the former, who tax us and take our estates from us at their will. We were rated by them last summer a considerable sum to send an agent for England, which money according to an Act of Assembly was levied upon our estates, and since by the Government put unto other uses, contrary to an Act of the Colony, and now another sum required of us as they say by their late Assembly's Act for the same use. Wherefore, and because we did not know how soon we might be annexed to some other Government, many of us of the town of Westerly in a town's meeting shewed our dislike against their so arbitrary actions. Upon which a special Constable was deputed by the Governor of Rhode Island to apprehend us, and we were hurried to Rhode Island Gaol and there we remain until we comply with what they require. They refuse to show us a copy of the warrant by which we were apprehended. The Government of Connecticut, who have been courteous to us in not imposing any taxes on us, are much exasperated by these actions. We are now in a vacancy really under neither Government. Copy. 2 pp.
580. xvii. Capt. Christopher Almy to Lord Bellomont. Boston. April 15, 1700. At a Court of General Trials held at Newport, March 16, 1700, narrator was foreman of a Grand Jury, which twice returned a verdict of "Ignoramus" upon the indictments against Joseph Pembarton, John Lewis and Edward Blevin (sic) (xvi.). The Court had already added three more to the Jury. and now added six, and, in spite of protest and after many hours' debate, 12 of the 21 now agreed to bring in a Billa Vera, because the Court would not receive it otherwise. The Judges constituting the Court were Governor Cranston, Dep. Gov. Green, Walter Clarke, Robert Carr, James Barker, Gyles Slocom, Joseph Sheffield, Joseph Hull, etc. Copy. 2 pp.
580. xviii. Corroborative account of the proceedings at the trial referred to in preceding. Signed, Jo. Hearne. Boston, Ap. 17, 1700. Copy. 1 p.
580. xix. Earl of Bellomont to the Governor and Company of Rhode Island. Boston, April 22, 1700. I send you a copy of a letter from the Council of Trade and Plantations to you, whereof I find the original was sent by Capt. Jones, who, it is feared, has been cast away. I am troubled to hear of your proceedings against Mr. Pemberton, which I think is the most arbitrary and irregular I ever heard of, next to the taking away a man's life against law, and I doubt not but it will be so resented by the Government of England, that as many of you as sat as his Judges will be summoned to appear in England to answer for your behaviour. One would think, by your treatment of Mr. Pemberton and your sending an armed force to levy taxes in the Naraganset Country, you were weary of your Charter and had a mind your Government should be dissolved. Copy. 1 p.
580. xx. John Bridger to Lord Bellomont. I have for two years past bin in the woods near Piscattaway preparing trees for tar. On May 21 last I found most of them burnt, which fire was, I fear, designed, those woods not being usually burnt, or at least was not these two years past to my knowledge. I desire your assistance that the offenders, if found, may be punished. Copy. 1 p.
580. xxi. Copy of Wm. Partridge's Bond in 3,000l. referred to in Lord Bellomont's letter, June 4, 1700. 1 p.
580. xxii. Affidavit of John Pyncheon, of Springfield, Massachusetts Bay. Boston, June 12, 1700. In London, 1664, and again later, Dr. John Owen treated with him about purchasing Mr. Mason's right to lands in New England, particularly about the River of Piscataqua, now called N. Hampshire, for between one and two hundred pounds. The matter fell. Copy. 1 p.
580. xxiii. Affidavit of Col. Elisha Hutchinson of Boston, June 14, 1700. Deponent was in London, 1687–1689. With Mr. Partridge, now L.G. of N. Hampshire, he entered into covenants with Col. Samuel Allen, since Gov. of N. Hampshire, to enable Col. Allen to perform his contract with the Commissioners of the Navy to provide masts; Col. Allen said he had lent John Mason, alias Tufton, about 250l., for which Mason had left his original deeds as a pledge in his hands. Col. Allen often said he wished he had his money again, seeming to be out of conceit with Mr. Mason's title to N. Hampshire and other parts of N. England. Copy. 1 p. Nos. ii.–xxiii, endorsed, Recd. Aug. 9, 1700. [Board of Trade. New York, 10. Nos. 2, 2.i.–xxiii, (Nos. iii.–x. and xiv.–xxiii. being Memoranda only); and (letter and enclosure xii.) 54. pp. 299–341; and (abstract only) 45. pp. 83–93; and (duplicates of Nos. xvi., xvii., xviii.) Proprieties, 5. Nos. 63–65; and 26. pp. 299–307; and (duplicate of xix.) 26. pp. 308, 309.; and (copy of letter, without abstract, xii. or xiii.), New England, 10. Nos. 45.i.–x.; and ix.–xi. only. 38. pp. 100–165; and, America and West Indies. New Hampshire, 572. Nos. 3, 3.i.–xxiii.]
June 22 581. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to Mr. Secr. Popple.
I have not left any room in my letter to the Lords of the Council of Trade, to acquaint them of a fresh alarm of the Indians leaving New Roxbury and New Oxford in this Province, and their houses and corn and removing to the Eastern-Indians, This is taken for a forerunner of some mischief intended by them. I am much disturbed at the not receiving any letters from your Board or any of the ministers, since the letter you sent me Aug. 21, which I received not either till April 12th. Capt. Robinson, the master of a vessel belonging to this town arrived here a moneth ago from London. About a week before his departure he met Mr. Weaver at the Sun Coffè-house behind the Royal Exchange, who having with him a packet for Mr. Robinson desired he might have the bringing it, but Mr. Weaver told him he was ordered to send the packet to New York and not to Boston. Robinson saw him deliver it to one Jeffers bound to New York, and Jeffers gave it to the master of the Coffy-house to keep for him till he called for it. Now Jeffers having complained of me for detaining his ship at New York for my packet, and having a prejudice to me, 'tis to be fear'd there is some foul play that I have not those letters in all this time, for he was not arrived last Monday at York, and it cannot be less than 13 or 14 weeks since the time Robinson speaks of, and he says Jeffers pretended to sail within a day or two after. I should be glad you would enquire who gave Mr. Weaver those strange orders to send the packet to New York; and I wish you would please to move their Lordships that Mr. Weaver and Mr. Brenton be ordered to come away immediately to their respective posts. Their loytering in England so long from their duty is upon no score to be justified. Signed, Bellomont. I desire you will communicate to their Lordships Capt. Alden's relation to me. Endorsed, Recd. Aug. 9, Read Aug. 14, 1700. Holograph. 2¼ pp. Enclosed,
581. i. Capt. John Alden's narrative to the Earl of Bellomont, June 13, 1700. Capt. Alden told me he was newly returned from Penobscot River to the eastward, where he discoursed with M. de Saint Castin, a French gentleman that lives there, and with whom he has traded several years. M. de St. Castin said he hoped he should shortly come under the King of England's Government; that the true boundary between England and France to the eastward was the River of Ste. Croix, and that the French Court would try to cozen the English out of it. The Jesuits, he said, had taken indefatigable pains to stir up the Indians everywhere to make war upon the English. Signed, Bellomont. M. de St. Castin is said to be a gentleman of good family, who, leaving France on some disgust in his youth, settled on Penobscot River, married the Chief Sagamore's daughter, speaks the Indian tongue, lives after the Indian manner and is become Chief or Sagamore of the Penobscot Indians. The French Governors of Canada and St. Johns have sent several times to him to go to them, but he will not go near 'em. He professes great kindness to the English, and advised some of the late Governors here of the French designs against this country. The return he had was the sending a frigat and some soldiers who ravaged his country and burnt his wigwams. Holograph. 1¼ pp. Same endorsement. [Board of Trade. New England, 10. Nos. 46, 46.i.; and 38. pp. 165–170.]
June 22.
582. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to Mr. Secretary Vernon. If you have patience to read my long letter to the Council of Trade (June 22), it will give you, I hope, an idea of the use that might be made of these Plantations. The papers I send inclosed with this letter will surprize, especially that which discovers Blathwait's bargain with Col. Allen for half his pretended interest in N. Hampshire and a great part of this province. I have sent the same papers to my Lord Chancellor and my Lord Jersey, and I hope among you he, I mean Mr. Blathwait, will be crossebit. By this bargain of his with Allen 'tis plain who sold the lands in New York to Fletcher. If it could be lawfully done, the seizing Col. Allen's papers would discover this villainous bargain of Blathwait's with him, which would a thousand times more deserve an inquisition of the House of Commons than that they bestowed nine hours' debate on the 6th of last Dec. I hope those two Lords and yourself will with vigour oppose Mr. Blathwait's treacherous sale of these Plantations from England. The management of them has been hitherto most ridiculous, and all by that man's means who has made a milch cow of 'em for many years together. We have a fresh account of the Indians, which is bad enough, but the hasty departure of this ship will not permit me to relate it to you. I have not had any letter from the Co. of Trade since that of Aug. 21; which is very discouraging. I wish you Ministers would set a right value on these Plantations, and then we Governors would be more regarded and should hear from you oftener. Repeats complaint about Jeffers and Weaver, as in preceding. There ought to have been duplicates of the packets from the Ministers: for 'tis a terrible thing to be used as I am. Signed, Bellomont. Endorsed, R. Aug. 9, 1700. Holograph. 3 pp. Enclosed,
582. i. A discovery by the Earl of Bellomont of Mr. Blathwait's bargain with Col. Allen. On Tuesday night, June 11, 1700, Mr. Armstrong, the Naval Officer of N. Hampshire, told me that Mr. Blathwait and Mr. Dobbin, a lawyer, had now an interest with Col. Allen in N. Hampshire and the rest of his claim, and the Duke of Leeds, Lord Lonsdale and another Lord, whose name he has forgot, were concerned with Col. Allen, but that Mr. Blathwait has bought 'em out, and that Col. Allen is indebted to Mr. Blathwait 3,000l.: that he, Mr. Armstrong, has seen the writing between Mr. Blathwait and Col. Allen, which came from England about three moneths ago, when Col. Allen was last in Boston, whereby Mr. Blathwait is to have half of Col. Allen's interest in the premisses, if Col. Allen do not repay the 3,000l. by a certain time, and but a third part if Allen repays the 3,000l. That Dobbin was concerned with Blathwait, he knew from a letter from Blathwait to Allen, and that Blathwait has undertaken to procure a mandamus to force the inhabitants of N. Hampshire to a trial with Allen. He believed the share Dobbin was to have of Allen's propriety was kept a secret between Dobbin and Blathwait. To draw the whole secret out of Armstrong I told him what offer Allen had made to me. Armstrong told me Sir Bartholmy Shore was once concerned with Allen, and had been, as well as Dobbin, Allen's counsel a long time, but he believed Blathwait has satisfied Shore. The Duke of Leeds, he said, fell out with Allen about an account that had been between 'em, and that he has seen accounts in Allen's hands which made it appear that the D. of Leeds was concerned in trade with Allen a great many years together. He told me that had it not been for Blathwait's paying a debt of Allen's lately, which payment I understand has made up the abovementioned 3,000l., Allen had been ruined, for that a procuration was coming from England to arrest him for a debt. He told me there came 'tother day a great packet from Blathwait for Allen, which was sent to Foxcroft with a charge to deliver it with his own hand to Allen.
On June 12, Mr. Armstrong told me the name of the Lord he had forgotten was Leinster. That those Lords had no longer any concern with Allen, he read in Blathwait's letters to Allen. Blathwait had lately paid Allen 1,400l. of the 3,000l.; part of it went to pay Sir Bart. Shore a debt due to him by Allen. Signed, Bellomont. Mr. Armstrong was bred an Attorney in England and is in great intimacy with Col. Allen. He told me had seen all his writings, and that 'twas a mistake that the Council of Plymouth had not signed Mason's patent, under whom Allen derives, for three of them had signed: if there was any objection to the patent, 'twas because a majority did not sign it. Some little time before my leaving London for America, I met my Lord Carmaerthen in the Treasury, who desired I would be particularly kind to Col. Allen's concern there for his sake, for, said he, I have a vast tract of land in that country. Signed, Bellomont. Holograph. 2¼ pp.
582. ii. An account of Col. Allen's offer to Lord Bellomont. On Aug. 1, '99, Col. Allen came to my lodging at Mr. Waldron's house at Pescattaway and desired I would let him have a trial for the lands of the Province of N. Hampshire, and that if I would favour his cause he would make me a handsome recompense. I told him I would keep clean hands. On Aug. 8th he came again and offered me, if I would favour his cause against the people of N. Hampshire, he would match a younger daughter of his to my younger son, and would make her worth 10,000l., and that he would divide the province with me besides. I told him I would not sell Justice, if I might have all the world, and that both my sons were children and not fit to marry. He desired I would be present at the trial, and that it would overawe his adversaries if I would be there. I told him I would not do such a thing for the world. He still pressed my marrying my younger son to his daughter, and told me a third part of the people had already turned tenants to him at a quit-rent of 3d. per acre; that the woods would be of a vast value, and that there had been and still is an extravagant waste committed in his woods by men who had made estates out of 'em. On Aug. 12 and 15 he renewed his offer (detailed). On Aug. 17 I left Pescattaway for Boston. Col. Allen conducted me as far as Hampton, where I dined at Mr. Cotton the minister's house, where, walking on the green in front of the house, he again urged his proposals. I replied I would do him justice but no favour. At the end of last Feb. or the beginning of March, at Boston, he renewed his proposition. I have several letters from him hinting the forementioned offer to me, and more plainly the match between my son and his daughter. Boston, June 19, 1700. Signed, Bellomont. Col. Allen told me he was sure the inhabitants of N. Hampshire upon my countenancing his title were ready to turn tenants to him immediately. In a week's time he could raise 20,000l. on them by way of fines, half of which he would pay me as his daughter's portion. Signed, Bellomont. Holograph. 2 pp.
582. iii.–ix. Duplicates of Nos. 580 iii.–ix.
582. x., xi., xii. Duplicates of Nos. 580. xx., xxii., xxiii.
582. xiii. Duplicate of No. 402. iii.
582. xiv. Duplicate of No. 581. i. ¼ pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 10. Nos. 47, 47.i.–xiv.]
June 22. 583. Minutes of Council of New York. Mr. Antill moved this Board that the deeds and writings of William Shackerly, now in the Secretary's Office, be delivered to Shackerly, he giving 500l. security to return them on demand. Granted.
Case of Cruger v. Depeyster heard before the Council. Judgement of the Supreme Court, April 9, 1698, against Francis Tyrens and Valentine Cruger in favour of Col. Abraham Depeyster confirmed. Mr. Antill moved for an appeal to His Majesty in Council, which was granted, provided he give security for 100l. costs. Petition of Amareus [? Amoureuse], widow of John Stout, late of Jamaica, read. Surveyor ordered to lay out three tracts of land according to the bounds of the patents therein mentioned. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 321–323.]
June 22. 584. Minutes of Council in Assembly of Massachusetts Bay. Bill for the equal distribution of insolvent estates, was read a first time.
10l. and a pension of 4l. granted to John Baker, a soldier of Swanzey, wounded in H.M. service.
60l. granted to Capt. Anthony Checkley, for past service as Attorney General.
Resolved to hear the inhabitants of Watertown on June 26. Notice ordered to be given them.
Petitions of Jonathan Waldo, for his wife Hannah, of Susanna Jacobs and Abigail Woodmansey for a new trial in cases where they had neglected to appeal seasonably, dismissed.
Land granted on petition of John Wade, son of Thomas Wade, son of Jonathan Wade of Ipswich, decd.
Report of the Committee relating to the matters contained in the Address to His Majesty amended and sent to the Representatives, who returned it, omitting the 13th article and proposing a different clause instead of the addition offered them. A message was sent to the House that the Board insisted upon their own clause.
June 24. Bill for repealing the Act for building with stone, etc., read a second time.
Bill for equal distribution of insolvent estates read a second time, committed, passed and sent down to the Representatives.
6l. paid to Margery Williams, relict of Robert Williams of Boston in satisfaction of claim. Bill, directing the proceedings against forceable entry and detainer, read twice and committed. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 371–374.]
June 22. 584A. Council of Trade to Lord Jersey, enclosing, in reply to No. 555, a Representation to the effect that Acts have been passed by the Assemblies of New York, Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire presenting Lord Bellomont with £3000 in all, amounting to little more than £2000 English. These Acts are not yet confirmed. The only money we know of paid to him since his departure in Oct. 1697 is £400 per annum sterl. out of the Revenue of New York. As to the future, the Province of New York being a considerable frontier and liable on that account to many extraordinary charges, it cannot well be expected from them that they will make any presents to him in the future. New Hampshire will probably do little or nothing towards his Lordship's support, and Massachusetts Bay, which is a flourishing colony and able to make sufficient allowances to H.M. Governor, does not show any disposition to do it, nor will they in probability be inclined thereto further than they can prevail with him to gratify you in things which will not be for H.M. service. Signed, Stamford, Wm. Blathwayt, John Locke, Geo. Stepney. [Board of Trade. New England, 38. pp. 29–32.]
June 24.
585. Earl of Jersey to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The King having been pleased to appoint Capt. Benjamin Bennett to be Governor of Bermudas in the place of Mr. Day, I acquaint you with it by His Majesty's commands, that you may cause a draught of his Commission and Instructions to be prepared accordingly. Signed, Jersey. Endorsed, Recd. 24th, Read 26th June, 1700. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 4. No. 32; and 30. p. 33.]
[? June 24] 586. William Attwood and Sampson Shelton Broughton to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Petitioners, appointed Chief Justice and Attorney General of New York, conceive 'tis agreed by your Lordships that the patents to be passed at New York are to be as long as they behave themselves, yet the precedents which they produce being only during pleasure, they observe the different grounds. (i.) They venture themselves and families at a much greater distance from their native country with greater hazards. (ii.) If their patents were only during pleasure, they would be determined with the Governor's patent, those offices being within his patent, which they are not in Ireland. (iii.) 'Twill be impossible to serve His Majesty and the interest of England, if they are liable to be recalled upon every information from the people of the place. (iv.) William Attwood represents in his own behalf, that since, by the constitution of their Courts of Judicature, any Judge, commissioned by the Governor, with the assistance of Justices of the Peace, may hold any one of the supreme Courts except at New York, that after provision for enjoying the place as amply as any person formerly enjoyed the same, there may be added, together will full power and authority to hold the Supreme Courts of Judicature at such places and times as the same may and ought to be held within the said Province. Endorsed, Recd. 24th, Read 25th June, 1700. 1½ pp. Enclosed,
586.i. Copy of warrant constituting a Chief Justice of Ireland. Countersigned, Nottingham. Nov. 1690.
586.ii. Copy of warrant constituting an Attorney General of Ireland. Countersigned, Shrewsbury. May, 1695. [Board of Trade. New York, 10. Nos. 12, 12.i., ii.,; and (without enclosures) 54. pp. 246–248.]
June 25.
587. Thomas Harford, Samuel Spofferth and John Dickinson to the Council of Trade and Plantations. On May 28 arrived here a vessel from Jamaica, by which we received H.M. Order in Council, Nov. 2, 1699. But, notwithstanding, the Governor hath slighted and rejected His Majesty's commands and utterly refused to confirm unto us the authority and commission in the aforesaid Order mentioned. Yet we thought it our duty humbly to transmit unto your Lordships this following report, as it publicly happened on June 3, in open Court, to our certain knowledge, and on June 5, as it is related unto us by the Gentlemen of the Council, who we presume will unto your Lordships signify the same:
587. i. Minutes of Council of Bermuda, St. George's, June 3, 1700. Mr. Charles Walker, Agent to Jacob Mears & Co. of Jamaica, publicly delivered to the Governor in Council an Order from His Majesty in Council, Nov. 2. The Governor with some seeming anger received it, but upon Mr. Walker's declaring what it was, the Governor rendered no other obedience thereunto, but hastily without opening clapped it into his pocket. Then Mr. Walker desired it might be publicly read to the Council, but the Governor utterly refused, saying he knew how to receive orders and when to answer them. Then all the gentlemen of the Council, except Mr. Nelson, earnestly entreated him that the same might be read, urging that as it was His Majesty's commands, and, as they supposed, related to the affairs of these islands, they desired the King's business might be dispatched before any others, but he refused and commanded the Court to proceed upon other matters. However, before they parted, the Governor appointed the Council to meet him on Wednesday following to consider upon what was necessary to be done relating to the Order before mentioned.
587. ii. Minutes of Council of Bermuda, June 5. The Governor spoke not one word relating to the business about which the Council were ordered to meet him. However, some of the Council, perceiving the Governor's delays, moved the Order might be read and that they might proceed in discharging their duties and give due obedience to His Majesty's commands, but the Governor utterly refused to shew the Order to them in Council, and positively told them they had nothing to do with it, for that it was not fit to be read, neither would he take any further notice of it. And accordingly, without shewing or communicating the matters contained therein to any of them as in Council, he returned it to Mr. Walker.
587. iii. Deposition of Charles Walker, as to his delivery of His Majesty's Order in Council to the Governor. Letter continues:—We have transmitted the true report of these matters, to demonstrate our readiness in complying with His Majesty's commands. Although your Lordships will undoubtedly conclude this to be a strange piece of insolence in a Governor, yet it produces no manner of surprize in us; we being so frequently conversant with Mr. Day's barbarous and extravagant actions, insomuch that the people are under fearful apprehensions that some unaccountable violences will shortly be committed by him, if not speedily prevented. No man here, except some few of his own creatures, thinks himself safe in the possession of what he calls his own. Therefore we humbly request your Lordships to use your interest with His Majesty for our deliverance and protection, which will infinitely oblige the poor distressed inhabitants of these Islands. Signed, Thomas Harford, Samuel Spofferth, John Dickinson. Endorsed, Recd. Read Aug. 26th, 1700. 5 pp. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 4. No. 34; and 30. pp. 47–52.]
June 25.
588. Thomas Burton to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In response to your commands to render you an account of the state of the Bermuda Islands when I left them, I with all humility offer:—The Island hath been very healthy since 1692, in which year a violent and malignant fever took away more than one-fourth part of the people, but is now very populous, I think more than ever. There are now in the Island by the lists I have taken near 4,000 souls, more than one-half of which are negroes, one-fifth capable to bear arms, the rest women and children. The inhabitants are chiefly Independents, but very loyal and easy to be governed, were it not for four or five restless spirits, which by their constant troubling the Government and their articling against every Governor His Majesty yet sent, causes the public work to be so much as it is neglected. For the Castle and other forts which command the harbours are very strong, but very much out of repair. In the town [in] the battery there the guns lie dismounted for want of a platform, the Sessions House, prison and Marshall's House ready to tumble down, and no house for the Governor to live in, although [they] have been about it several years. There are now seven members of Council:—Gilbert Nelson (Chief Justice), Wm. Outerbridge, Samuel Sherlocke, Richard Peniston, John Brooke, Michael Burrowes, and Robert White; nine Justices of the Peace:—Thomas Burton (King's Council), Gilbert Nelson, Wm. Outerbridge, Samuel Sherlocke, John Brooke, Samuel Harvey, William Tucker, William Keele, and Thomas Forster. There are nine companies, all in one regiment, well fitted, Francis Jones, Col., Wm. Outerbridge Lt.-Col., and Michael Burrowes, major. Captains:—John Tucker, Richard Peniston, John Morris, Samuel Smith, John Trimingham, Benj. Wainwright, George Darrelle, William Seymour. There are five Commanders of Forts:—John Peasley, Lt. of the King's Castle, Samuel Braughan, Roger Crane, Tho. Brooke, Wm. Leacroft. The Assembly are 36 members, chosen four out of each parish, by the freeholders; Francis Jones, Speaker, and myself, one of the members, both now here.
The island decays yearly as to its produce; the oranges and most of the other fruits carried away with a blast, the ants also destroying the Indian corn in several parts of the Island, which is their chief provision, insomuch that the produce of the island doth not maintain the inhabitants, for last year the country bought above 16,000 bushels and I believe this year will want more, and were it not for sundry small vessels which belong to the Islands, which bring in supplies, and for fish of which their (sic) is abundance catcht, the Island could not subsist. Signed, Tho. Burton. Endorsed, Recd. 24th (sic), Read 26th June, 1700. 3 pp. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 4. No. 33; and 30. pp. 29–32.]
June 25.
589. William Popple to Josias Burchett. I enclose the Representation of the Council of Trade and Plantations, Dec. 14, and H.M. Minute of Council thereon. Messrs. Atwood and Broughton will attend the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty in order to the dispatch of what they may think fit to do in reference to the last paragraph of the said Representation. [Board of Trade. New York, 54. pp. 248, 249.]
June 25.
590. William Popple to Sir Thomas Trevor. The Council of Trade and Plantations return you the inclosed draught of a Commission for the trial of pirates in the Plantations, with notes or queries annexed, that you may consider whether it be fit to make any alterations thereupon. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 35. pp. 300, 301.]
June 25. 591. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Attorney General's answer about the Cole and Bean case read. Directions given for a Representation thereon.
Draughts of a Commission for the trial of pirates in the Plantations, received from Mr. Attorney General, read. Some notes thereupon were made, and it was returned to him that he may consider whether it be fit to make any alterations or amendments. Ordered that he be acquainted with what was writ to Mr. Lownds, June 20.
Letter from Mr. Yard, June 19th, read. Mr. Skene, Secretary of Barbadoes, informed their Lordships that he is just upon his departure for that Island and was given a letter from His Majesty to the Governor and Council enclosed by Mr. Yard.
Memorial and papers from Mr. Atwood and Mr. Broughton read. Mr. Atwood attended and desired their Lordships' favourable report that some money be advanced them here towards the charge of their voyage, and that he may be constituted of His Majesty's Council at New York. Letter to the Earl of Jersey upon the whole matter ordered to be prepared. Letter to Mr. Burchet desiring him to move the Admiralty for the despatch of what they judge fit for Mr. Atwood and Mr. Broughton in relation to the last paragraph of the Representation of this Board, Dec. 14, 1699, and the Order of Council thereupon.
Order of Council, June 20, upon Capt. Hasket's petition, read. Representation, according to the certificates received of his character, ordered; and signed.
June 26. Representation about the Cole and Bean galley signed and transmitted to Lord Jersey.
Letter to Lord Jersey, in answer to his of the 17th instant, relating to Commissions for Mr. Atwood and Mr. Broughton, signed. Letters from the Board of Ordnance, June 20, and June 22, read. Letter from Lord Jersey, June 24, read. Directions given accordingly for preparing draughts of a Commission and Instructions for Capt. Benjamin Bennet to be Governor of Bermudas.
Memorial from Mr. Atwood and Mr. Broughton, signifying that the consideration of their papers had been respited by the Treasury, read.
The letter writ this day to Lord Jersey was shewn them as the most material thing that this Board could at present offer for the expediting of their despatches.
An account of the present state of Bermuda Islands, by Mr. Thomas Burton, was read. [Board of Trade. Journal, 13. pp. 89–94; and 97. Nos. 116, 117.]
June 25. 592. Minutes of Council in Assembly of Massachusetts Bay. Order making the Plantation called Framingham a township agreed to.
Joint Committee of the Houses appointed, to consider methods for the reviving and support of trade, and to enable the inhabitants of this Province to pay public taxes by endeavouring to find out some suitable medium to supply the scarcity of money.
Andrew Belcher, Agent for supplying His Majesty's ships with stores, petitioning for exemption from being required to attend any public employment, resolved that his petition be granted. This resolution was referred to the Representatives for their concurrence.
Bill for preventing abuses to the Indians sent up from the House of Representatives with amendments. The Board disagreed thereto.
Bill directing the proceedings against forceable entry, amended in Committee, was passed and sent down to the Representatives.
Bill repealing the Act for building with stone or brick in Boston rejected.
The Representatives attending, the claim of Thomas Hinckley to 200 acres formerly granted to him by the Government of New Plymouth was heard by the whole Court, as also the Proprietors of the lands at Seconett, alias Little Compton, in the County of Bristol, by their agents Major Nathaniel Thomas and William Fobes.