America and West Indies: October 1700, 1-5

Pages 539-551

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

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


October 1700

Oct. 1. Their Lordships again proceeded in preparing the report to be made upon Lord Bellomont's letters relating to Naval Stores, etc. [Board of Trade. Journal, 13. pp. 194, 195; and 97. Nos. 173, 174.]
Sept. 30.
804. B. Homrigh to William Blathwayt. I have news from Capt. William Burnside, commander of the Lyon of Dublin, at sea, that the soldiers for New York, who went from hence with him are all well, save one who died, etc. Signed, B. Homrigh. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New York, 10. No. 29; and 55. pp. 3,4.]
Oct. 1.
805. [Hillary] Reneu to Wm. Popple. In reply to your letter of yesterday, I send you a copy of the letter I wrote long ago to Lord Bellomont at Boston, concerning the trade in alamodes. I learn that my letter came to his hands, but that nothing has been done to forbid it either at Boston or New York. I said in my former letter that the French merchants have means of sending this merchandize not only by way of La, Rochelle and Nantes, but also by Bilbao and Lisbon and Newfoundland. It is said that they have committed themselves to the extent of 15,000l. sterling. If my Lord would see that the laws in this matter were known and observed by the persons whose names I enclose, it would have a good effect; and if he directed the Custom-house officers to ascertain that the seals are duly affixed, whether those of the London Customs, or of the Lustring Company, in accordance with the Act of 1698, the sellers and buyers, who know that it is not allowed to buy or sell any other sort under penalty of 100l. sterling, would comply with the laws. As to the opinion of the Lords Commissioners of Trade, of which you inform me, that I should apply to the Commissioners of Customs, their officers are so distant and the 2½ per cent. so inconsiderable, that I am sure the way of my Lord Bellomont is best. Signed, H. Reneu. Endorsed, Recd. Oct. 4. Read Oct. 10, 1700. French. 1 p. Enclosed,
805. i. List of names [of Boston Merchants ?] referred to in preceding. Simon Stodder, James Townsend, Thomas Savage, Elkana Pembrook, Elias Heeth, John Winscomb, Mr. Walays, Mr. Brading, Mrs. Elizabeth Hatch, Ruth Coningham, John Russell, John Waldo, Samuel Sturgis, Wm. Gibben, Mr. Stukey, Mr. Peacok, Mr. [?] Bilby, Zachary Long, Isaiah Tore, Thomas Gould, Mr. Harris. Slip.
March 6.
805. ii. H. Reneu to Lord Bellomont. The enclosed papers will vouch for my character. They show that I have been useful in the establishment of the Lustring and Alamode manufacture in England, in spite of the attacks of French Emissaries, and that many alamodes were introduced into England, to the great detriment of the Lustring Company and His Majesty's Customs, during the war. This would have been neglected if the Company had not brought their complaint to Parliament. Some ill men undertook to swear that I had sent powder and arms into France, thinking thereby to sink the prosecutions that were made against them and their friends. But God put in the heart of a Captain of a ship unknown to me to appear in Parliament to declare that he had been hired in France to spirit me out of England, for which he should have 600l. sterling reward, carrying me to Calais, dead or alive, and named four men and a woman that were privy here. Parliament, before I knew anything of it, last Sessions, voted that these kidnappers should be prosecuted, and later (April 20) declared that I had done good services to the Nation and ordered a Bill for my naturalisation. Now I am credibly informed that some men in your Government receive French alamodes by way of Rochelle and Nants, when they lade salt, which being against law, it would be a great charity in your Lordship to put some order to that, and because the Law is here that no alamodes or lustrings shall be bought, sold or sent beyond sea, unless they have the mark and seal of the Custom House for foreign goods, or the mark and seal of the Lustring Company for those that are made in England, if your Lordship was pleased to issue the Proclamation that all such goods shall not be admitted to land in your Government unless they be so marked, then I suppose people would be afraid to meddle with the French, etc. Signed, Reneu. P.S.—The Protestants are more and more persecuted in France, and I hope that your Lordship will take compassion of those that are under your Government, for the more people there is in a Country the better it becomes. Copy. 1¾ pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 11. Nos. 15, 15.i.,ii.]
Oct. 1.
806. Minutes of Council in Assembly of Barbados. Alexander Skene was granted leave to appoint a Deputy to execute the office of Secretary.
The Assembly desired precepts for other members to be issued to serve in the places of Major Daniel Hooper and Capt. Enoch Gretton, who were going off the island for the benefit of their health.
Mrs. Sarah Codrington's petition, complaining that she had had three negroes beyond her complement placed upon her, referred.
Mrs. Hester Haggard's petition likewise referred.
Petition of Abraham Mellows, Planter, to same effect, dismissed.
Upon the petition of Elizabeth Morris, widow, for relief, seeing that a servant had been placed upon her that had lost his ears and done very villainous acts, ordered that the servant be changed.
Petition of John Chace, complaining that he had had a servant placed upon him beyond his complement, referred.
Petition of Stephen Gibbs, setting forth that he had been committed to gaol upon suspicion that he had killed David Horton, referred, and Mr. Heywood, the Coroner, ordered to appear with all the original papers.
His Excellency caused those Gentlemen of Scotland, that had been out of the Commission of Peace, to be restored.
Oct. 2. Petition of Lt.-Col. Geo. Peers, attorney of Capt. John Tucker, Capt. Thomas Jenour and Capt. Leonard White of St. George in Bermuda, late owners of the brigantine Mary Rose, impressed for the service against Martinique, was recommended to the Assembly,
His Excellency signed the two precepts demanded yesterday. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 544–546.]
Oct. 2.
807. Mr. Yard to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Enclosing for their opinion thereupon the following petition. Signed, R. Yard. Endorsed, Recd. Read Oct. 3, 1700. 1 p. Enclosed,
807. i. Petition of Mathew Plowman to the Lords Justices. Petitioner being an inhabitant in New York at the time of the late happy Revolution, Jacob Leisler, who then assumed the Government of that Province, caused 130 barrels of beef and pork, to the value of 400l. belonging to petitioner, to be seized and spent them to the support of the garrisons of New York and Albany, without making any satisfaction to petitioner, who, since the persons who took the goods are indemnified by an Act of Assembly, has no means to obtain compensation otherwhere than from the Government of New York. He therefore prays your Excellencies to order an examination of the premisses by the Governor of New York and that satisfaction be made by him for what shall be found justly due to him. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New York, 10. Nos. 30, 30.i.; and 54. pp. 403, 404.]
Oct. 2.
Fort William
808. Minutes of Council of New York. Mr. Livingston paid 29l. 13s. for beef, pork and pease given to the Indians at Albany, 65l. 14s. 1d. for other disbursements to them, July 6–Sept.; 15l. 6s. 8½d. for sundry disbursements for the use of His Majesty's Fort at Albany, July 5–Sept. 3.
Francis Wynne, Cornelius Low, and Abraham Staats, paid for sloop-hire to Albany.
37l. 5s. 6d. paid to Thomas Noell for ozenbriggs and rum for presents to the Indians at Albany, and 9l. 9s. to William Morris for 63 gross of pipes.
Other payments made to Jan Baptist van Epe, Peter van Brugh, Frederick Oothout, Anthony Rogers, Alexander Mason, and Col. Abraham Depeyster, for other supplies and services on the expedition to Albany.
40l. 11s. 8d. paid to Col. Stephen Cortlandt for candles used in the Garrison Fort William Henry, Feb. 5–Sept. 18.
Petition of Capt. James Weemes referred to a Committee. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 357–360.]
Oct. 2. 809. Minutes of Council in Assembly of New York. The Assembly announcing that but five of the members were yet come to town, His Excellency, with the advice of the Council, adjourned the Assembly till to-morrow.
Oct. 3. His Excellency adjourned the Assembly till Monday, for the same reason. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. p. 843.]
Oct. 2.
810. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letter from Mr. Gilbert Heathcote, Sept. 30, read. Draft of report upon Lord Bellomont's letters relating to Naval Stores finished.
Oct. 3. Letter from Mr. Yard, Oct. 2, read, and a report made upon Matthew Plowman's petition accordingly.
Oct. 4. Representation upon His Majesty's timber in America considered.
Representation upon Naval Stores signed and sent.
Representation upon timber in the Plantations further considered. [Board of Trade. Journal, 13. pp. 196–198; and 97. Nos. 175–177.]
Oct. 3.
811. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices. We humbly represent our opinion that a copy of the petition of Mathew Plowman be sent to Lord Bellomont for him to enquire into the allegations therein set forth and to report thereon. Signed, Jon. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney, M. Prior. [Board of Trade, New York, 54. pp. 404, 405; and (rough draft), 44A. No. 49.]
Oct. 4.
812. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Vernon. Enclosing following report. Signed, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney, M. Prior. Enclosed,
812. i. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices. In obedience to His Majesty's commands, signified to us July 4, we humbly report that the Earl of Bellomont has by several letters to July 15 last, offered to us divers considerations to the following effect, viz., that the Province of New York being the most advanced frontier of His Majesty's Plantations in those parts, the defence and preservation thereof is of the utmost importance to the security of all the rest, not only with respect to the French of Canada, but against any insurrection of the scattered nations of Indians. That the forts and fortifications on that frontier, for want of timely repairs, are in so ruinous a condition that they will now scarce bear the firing of a gun upon them. That the soldiers, which were formerly four companies of 100 men each, being diminished by death and desertion to less than 200 in the whole, and afterwards reduced by a new establishment to 50 men in each Company, are in a miserable condition, almost naked, and ready to perish by reason of the great arrears that are due unto them. That our Five Nations of Indians, who, in the beginning of the late war, consisted 3,500, are now reduced to about 1,100, having suffered great losses during the war, and many of them having been clandestinely murdered by the French Indians since the Peace, by reason of which weakness they are now inclined to shelter themselves under that Protection, which appears to be the strongest. That the posture of the French at Canada is much different from ours; they maintain in constant pay 1,500 men, and are at work with great diligence in repairing all their forts, of which they have eight or nine between Quebec and Montreal (within the space of 60 leagues), besides other fortifications at a greater distance, (as for instance one in the Dowaganah's Country, 700 miles from Quebec), by which means they endeavour to extend their territories on the back of His Majesty's dominions, and seem to prepare for war. That the French, by reason of their several small forts lying near one another, encourage their own people to inhabit and make settlements on their borders, and by means of their remoter forts they drive a trade and keep up an interest with the Indians that live at a distance, and have greatly animated them in their wars against ours. That the French emissaries have spread malicious reports to fill our Five Nations with prejudices, as if His Majesty had given orders to disarm and extirpate them and that my Lord Bellomont would use means to destroy them by poison, which suggestions, together with the consideration of our weakness and the strength of the French, have made our Indians very wavering in their friendship towards us, so that their defection to the French is to be apprehended, and if that should be followed with the conjunction of all the other Indians in those parts, it would be of fatal consequence to the English interest. We beg leave to add to your Excellencies that Mons. d'Iberville, Commander of a French man-of-war of 50 guns, in his return from Mississipi to France, in July last, put into the Port of New York, though much out of his way, upon pretence to wood and water, but more probably with a design to sound that channel and harbour. Upon this general view of affairs the Earl of Bellomont proposes, that the fortifications of the Province of New York be repaired; and, more particularly, that those of Albany and Scenectady, on the frontiers towards Canada, be rebuilt with stone, the charge of which, according to Col. Romer, will amount to 8,000 or 9,000l.; and that two new forts be erected, one to the N.E. of Albany, at the end of a Lake called Corlaer's or the Iroquoi's Lake, and another in the Onondage Country, which lies to the N.W. and is the centre of the habitation of our Five Nations, and opposite to the French Fort at Cadaracqui, by which our Indians are much annoyed, and their trade obstructed. The expense of building which fort Col. Romer computes at about 1,000l. And in order to the repairing or building of these forts, his Lordship desires that spades, shovels and other necessary utensils be sent from hence. He intends also to propose the building of several other forts not only in the Province of New York but elsewhere, which he conceives will be absolutely necessary for the security of all His Majesty's Plantations on that Continent, and therefore advises that His Majesty may be pleased to write circular letters to the Governor and Assemblies of each Plantation to excite them to contribute to the charge, but promises to explain himself further upon that subject and to send his reasonings thereupon by the next conveyance. For the garrisoning of the forts above mentioned, for the encouragement of our Indians to continue firm in their independance on the Crown of England, and in general for the defence of those frontiers, his Lordship proposes that 1,000 soldiers are absolutely necessary; and for the better removing of any obstruction that might arise from the charge of this establishment, he has made a scheme whereby the labour of these soldiers in making turpentine, tar, rozin and pitch may defray the charge of their maintenance. His Lordship offers that the Lieut.-Colonel may be made Lieut.-Governor of New Hampshire; the Major, Governor of Albany, with such additional salaries as His Majesty may be pleased to allow, and that the Captains be of the King's Council, both in New York and New Hampshire. He offers that some Minister of the Church of England be sent to live among our Indians, to instruct them in Christianity, and to prevent their being practised upon by the French priests and Jesuits.
Here follows a résumé of Bellomont's proposals for the production of turpentine, rozin, tar and pitch, pp. 412–418. (See Cal. A. and W. I. 1699, 1700, s.v. Naval Stores.) The consideration of his proposals for the supply of ship-timber from America we reserve for a distinct Representation. We next lay before your Excellencies what has already been done in relation to these matters. His Majesty has been pleased to give 500l. towards the building of a sod fort in the Onondage Country and his Lordship hopes to dispose the Assembly of New York to supply the rest. Recruits have been shipped by His Majesty's order to make up the Four Companies 400 effective men; clothes have also been sent them, and subsistence money is now paid unto the Agent for them regularly every month. A present of fuzils, clothes, etc., to the value of 800l. has been sent to the Earl of Bellomont to be distributed amongst them. As to the making of turpentine, rozin, tar and pitch, we have advised my Lord to make what essay he can with those soldiers he has; that we may thereby judge what further encouragement is to be given for raising greater quantities in proportion; and have offered that the soldiers may be rewarded from the profit made by their own labour. As to the waste of woods occasioned by the burning of them, we have advised his Lordship to endeavour to get an Act passed in the General Assembly of New York for the restraining of that ill practice. Upon enquiries made here concerning turpentine, rozin, tar and pitch, we have had accounts somewhat different. The officers of Deptford and Wollidge have reported to the Navy Board that they find the tar from America to differ in colour from what is ordinarily used in His Majesty's yards; that 'tis difficult to be tempered with pitch, the stuff rising in the kettle, which makes it troublesome and dangerous, and that this tar has the burning quality which consumes the ropes; they grant, however, that it may be used on ship-sides or sheathings. But we have been informed by traders in that commodity that, though tar from some of the Plantations has been formerly ill-coloured like that of Courland and Drontheim, yet there comes of late as good tar from New England, and as fit for ropes and all other uses whatsoever, as that of Stockholm, which is esteemed the best; and they further remark that the tar which has most of the burning quality makes the best pitch, so that where the tar made in His Majesty's Plantations has not that quality, it may be preserved in kind, and where it has it may be converted into pitch. And we have likewise been informed that there is as good rozin brought from New England as any made in France. We find that the quantities of tar and pitch imported in 1693, 1694, 1695, were about 13,500 tons, whereof three-quarters were from Sweden. In 1687 Stockholm tar was sold here 3l. 16s. 8d. per ton, and mounted gradually during the war, till in 1696 it came to 9l. 16s. 8d. It is now about 8l. and pitch about 10l. per ton; the rise of price arising from the privilege granted by the King of Sweden to a certain Company of his own subjects, who have the sole right of buying and selling those commodities, and thereupon advance the price at their pleasure. Upon the whole matter we propose, (1) In relation to the forts which Lord Bellomont has desired may be repaired or built in New York, we agree that divers such are necessary; but considering that the said Province has been much diminished by the separation of the Jerseys, and has of late been also exhausted by the extraordinary charges it was at for its own defence during the war, we humbly conceive that it is now neither able singly to bear the charge of erecting and maintaining the said forts, nor, though it were able, would it be reasonable to expect that Province should alone provide for the defence of a frontier, wherein the security of all His Majesty's other Plantations on the Northern Continent of America is concerned. We therefore humbly propose that the most effectual methods may be used to oblige the rest of His Majesty's said Plantations to contribute in some due proportion to so necessary a work. In 1694 her late Majesty proportioned a quota (of men) for some of those Provinces, (See Cal. A. and W. I. 1694. No. 1253), but as there was no proportion fixed for East and West New Jersey, or for Carolina and New Hampshire, both which Provinces, though more remote from New York than the rest, yet are not unconcerned in the safety of those frontiers, we therefore offer to the foregoing quota the following additions:—East New Jersey, 60 men; West New Jersey, 60; North and South Carolina, 90; New Hampshire, 40. We further propose that His Majesty may be pleased to write circular letters to the Governors and Proprietors of those Provinces or Colonies, to be communicated to the respective Councils and Assemblies, to require them to contribute to the charge of securing the frontiers of New York according to the foresaid proportions, which, supposing the sum now to be demanded were 5,000l., would be:—
£ s. d.
New Hampshire 138 2 5
The Massachusetts Bay 1,208 11 3
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations 165 14 11
Connecticut 414 7 4
New York 690 12 2
East New Jersey 207 3 8
West New Jersey 207 3 8
Pennsylvania 276 4 10
Maryland 552 9 8
Virginia 828 14 8
North and South Carolina 310 15 5
Meanwhile we propose that His Majesty may make some further addition to the 500l. already given towards the beginning of that work, which will also be a means the better to incline those people to follow the Royal example, and that spades and other utensils necessary for building the forts be sent from hence, with 1,000 felling axes for cutting timber, according to my Lord's desire. As to soldiers for the defence of New York and the neighbouring Provinces, we humbly offer, that considering the strength of the French in those parts, and the dangers His Majesty's Plantations are exposed to by their practices amongst the Indians, 600 men may be added to the 400 already there, and that part of those soldiers be placed in New Hampshire to prevent the encroachments of the French and the insults of the Eastern Indians, with which the frontiers on that side have been lately, and are still, alarmed. What the Earl of Bellomont offers in relation to the employment and recompence of the officers that shall command these soldiers, we humbly conceive may be better considered hereafter, when his Lordship's proposals shall have been put in execution, and that His Majesty being then informed of their particular merits, will best understand what further trusts it may be fit to employ them in, and how to reward them accordingly. Concerning Ministers to instruct our Indians and prevent their being practised upon by the French, if a fund can be found for their maintenance, they may be of very great service, as well for the propagation of the reformed Religion as for improving the civil interest of England. As to Naval Stores we agree with his Lordship, that if they can be supplied from His Majesty's Plantations, that would be a thing of great advantage. It may defray the charge of the soldiers that are otherwise necessary for the defence of the Plantations. It will save to England a very great sum of money yearly exported in specie for those commodities to the dominions of the Northern Crowns. It will tend to the increase of our shipping and navigation. It will also increase the export of English manufactures to the Plantations. The supply of Naval Stores will thereby no longer precariously depend on the pleasure of other Princes or on the disposition of their affairs. And if in time a greater quantity of those stores should be made in America than shall be consumed in His Majesty's Dominions, the over-plus may turn to a very beneficial trade with Spain and Portugal. Upon the several parts of his Lordship's scheme for the producing of those stores we observe, That the price of labour at New York and in the neighbouring Colonies being about 3s. per day, it is to be feared that soldiers, finding they are required to work for 1s. per day, will be apt to desert and shelter themselves in other Colonies, where they may have thrice as much wages; to obviate which difficulty, and to give a more effectual beginning to this work (which we think so advantageous to the Nation, that it should be encouraged almost upon any conditions) we humbly propose that, instead of the 4d. per diem to be added to the soldiers' pay, such stores as they shall make by their own labour, for a certain term of years, be allowed them for their own use and benefit; provided that the salaries to supervisors and officers employed on the work and other necessary charges be first deducted from the whole. Pine-cask being, as his Lordship writes afterwards, 12d. per barril cheaper than oak, and no less proper for the use intended, it may be well that such pine-cask be used, which will reduce that article from 20 to 12 shillings. The article of contingent charges not expressing what quantities his Lordship supposes were to be made, no judgment can be given of his calculations in that particular. The computation of freight from New York to England at 40s. per ton seems to be too low, for though a settled course of trade, when once this undertaking shall be perfectly established, will undoubtedly bring down the rate, yet the very length of the voyage will always require it to be nearer to 4l. than 40s. Upon what his Lordship has since writ to strengthen his scheme, we observe that if one man can make one barril of tar per week with his own single labour, as his Lordship was informed by the person who did it, there can be no doubt but a number of men by mutual assistance may be able to make much more: and though Mr. Bridger's opinion that such a number of men may make each of them a barril of tar per day the year round appears very improbable, yet, computing only two barrils per week per man, the 3l. 12s. 10d. per ton which my Lord allows in his first computation for the price of labour, will be reduced to 1l. 8s. The cheapness of tar at Carolina, mentioned by his Lordship, is confirmed to us by other hands. The Commissioners sent by the Navy Board to inspect Naval Stores in New England have writ them thence that in two years' time they would be able to prepare trees enow to supply the kingdom of England with tar to be delivered there at 5l. 4s. per ton, and hoped afterwards to do it at 4l. 16s., which prices being also cheaper than his Lordship's first scheme, we cannot doubt but tar may be made in the Plantations for moderate prices, and do agree with his Lordship that by the labour of soldiers, it may be done still cheaper at New York than elsewhere. As for the charge of converting tar into pitch, his Lordship's informations hitherto being uncertain and appearing to us very improbable, we humbly think it reasonable to suspend any resolution upon his proposal of making pitch in England, until he have made a sure experiment of what is or can be done in America. Concerning the quality of the turpentine, rozin and pitch made in the Plantations, we have not heard of any objection; and as for the quality of tar, which is the commodity of most consideration in this design, we cannot doubt but the inhabitants have already in some degrees reformed the faults complained of in what has been made there, and will by further practice reform them thorowly. As to the vacating of the extravagant grants of land that have been formerly made in the Province of New York, there having been an Act past by the General Assembly there to make void several of them, and objections having been offered to us in the name of the grantees and other inhabitants of the Province against the confirmation of it, unto which we expect answers, we humbly crave leave to suspend our opinion upon that point, until we may be better enabled to do it by a full examination of the allegations and arguments on both sides that will be laid before us. And what his Lordship proposes about appointing of Commissioners to set out lands in proper places and moderate proportions, according to new regulations, unto the former grantees, whose lands are or shall be taken away, and others, as likewise what he writes about the dividing of lands amongst the soldiers; all these matters depending upon the vacating of the former grants, we are obliged in the same manner to suspend our opinion upon them. But whereas his Lordship further writes, that, as the lands of that Province are now granted, the King has no power to cut a tree for any use whatsoever, and that unless that obstacle be some way removed, it will be in vain to go about the design of providing Naval Stores there, and therefore proposes that all pine-trees and all other timber on the estates of all persons whatsoever, without exception, be vested in His Majesty, either by Act of Assembly there, or Act of Parliament here, we do not conceive that the Assembly there will pass any such Act to take away their own property, nor can we offer it as a thing fit to be done here. Nevertheless, we are of opinion that the want of such an Act should not obstruct the setting about this work; for timber trees being very plentiful in those parts, it cannot be doubted but they may be had from the Proprietors on such easy terms as will not be any great hinderance, or at least not a total obstacle to the carrying of it on. Signed, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney, M. Prior. [Board of Trade. New York, 54. pp. 405–431; and (rough drafts) 44A. Nos. 50, 51.]
[? Oct. 4.] 813. Mr. Brenton to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In obedience to your commands I humbly offer my objections to the Act of the General Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay for establishing seaports within that Province. If the Government of New England had power to make laws to establish sea-ports and give rules for lading and unlading goods and merchandizes, the King having reserved only the refusal or disallowance of such laws as shall be made in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, the other Colonies of New England might make such laws for establishing sea-ports, etc., as would be prejudicial to the King's interest. But the Government of New England have no such power, for by the Statute of the 25th of King Charles II the rates and duties therein laid upon the enumerated commodities are to be levied, collected and paid at such places and to such Collectors and other officers as shall be appointed in the respective Plantations to collect, levy and receive the same; and it is further enacted that this whole business must be ordered and managed by the Commissioners of the Customs in England. The Statute of the 1st of Queen Elizabeth directs when and where merchandize shall be landed or laden on board any ship in England, and that of the 14th of Charles II enacts that the King may from time to time by Commission out of his Court of Exchequer assign and appoint all such further places, ports, etc., as shall be lawful for the landing or shipping of any goods in England. The Statute of the 7th and 8th of the present reign enacts that all ships coming into or going out of any of the Plantations, and lading or unlading any goods or commodities, and the masters and commanders thereof and their ladings shall be subject and liable to the same rules, etc., as they are subject and liable unto in this kingdom by virtue of the said Statute of the 14th of Charles II, and all laws made in the Plantations contrary to the said statute of Charles II are declared to be null and void.
But supposing the Government of New England had power to make laws establishing seaports, etc., yet by this law are too many ports, and more than are any ways necessary for that Province, for several of the ports therein established have not one vessel belonging to them, nor have had (during the time I have been in my office there) one vessel that has laded or unladed there, and serves only for an encouragement to clandestine trade. Signed, Jahleel Brenton. Endorsed, Recd. Oct. 4, 1700. 1¾ pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 11. No. 16.]
Oct. 5.
814. Mr. Sansom to Mr. Popple. The Commissioners have now received an answer from Mr. Brenton at the Bath (copy whereof I herewith send you), relating to the Act of the Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay, May 25, 1698, for establishing of seaports within that Province. And it seeming by what the said Brenton writes, that by this law there are too many ports and more then are anyways necessary for that Province, because several of the ports therein intended to be established, have not one vessel belonging to them, nor have they had (during the time that he hath been in his office there) one vessel that hath loaded or unloaded there, and will serve only for an encouragement to clandestine trade; and as on the other side he hath omitted to say which and how many of the ports may be necessary for the trade of the Province, the Commissioners are of opinion that the thing in its own nature is not of such hast, but that there may be oppertunity to deliberate thereupon, before the Act passes. Signed, Jno. Sansom. Endorsed, Recd. Read Oct. 8, 1700. 1 p. Enclosed,
814. i. Jahleel Brenton to the Commissioners of H.M. Customs. Duplicate of Report to Council of Trade (No. 813). Copy. 1¾ pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 11. Nos. 17, 17.i.; and 38. pp. 234–239.]