America and West Indies: October 1700, 11-15

Pages 558-567

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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October 1700

Oct. 11. Letter from Capt. Fairborn, Newfoundland, Sept. 11, read, and his account of the Fishery, etc., laid before the Board.
Letter to Lord Bellomont, concerning Mr. Plowman's petition, was signed and delivered to Mr. Plowman.
Representation about the timber in H.M. Plantations was agreed upon. [Board of Trade. Journal, 13. pp. 201–203; and 97. Nos. 180, 181.]
Oct. 11. 831. Minutes of Council in Assembly of New York. The Representatives attending, His Excellency recommended unto them the repealing the Act passed last Session "for the better securing the Five Nations in their fidelity to His Majesty," which will not answer the end intended, and hath been generally declared by the merchants in this Province to be pernicious to the trade thereof, and a diminution of the Revenue, and advised them to passe a law for the raising the sum therein mentioned for the use intended, and told them that whatsoever else he had to recommend to them should be sent to them in writing. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 844, 845.]
Oct. 11. 832. Minutes of Council of New York. John Peroo, master of the sloop Three Brothers, granted a Commission. His Excellency acquainted the Council that he had for some time past expected Mr. Graham, the Attorney General, in town, to have given an account why Capt. Shelley and his men, who had been so notoriously guilty of openly bringing from Madagascar fifty pyrats and their effects, great part whereof were landed in this Province, to the great scandal of H.M. Government, were not committed, but the Attorney General, by reason of his indisposition or otherwise, does not appear in town, His Excellency does therefore think fit no longer to delay the examination of that matter, that he may be enabled to give the Government of England an account thereof, and His Excellency having produced several letters to the Council, wrote to and received from the Lieut-Governor by him, at Boston, wherein was contained such directions as was given by His Excellency on that head, as also the Lieut-Governor's signifying what had been done therein, His Excellency and Council are of opinion that reference ought to be had to such letters as were wrote and received, as is aforesaid, and that Dr. Staats and Mr. Walters their depositions be taken, together with the Clerk of the Council, how the Attorney General gave his opinion in that matter, and who dictated the Minute of Council made thereon.
Salaries of various officers passed.
Oct. 12. Col. William Smith informed the Board that he had let the Excise of the County of Suffolk for 1699 for 21l. 6s. 7½ d., which, after deducting 4l. 2s. 7½ d. for expenses, he was ready to pay unto the Commissioners of the Customs. Ordered accordingly, after examination of the account. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 363–365.]
Oct. 11.
833. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor the Earl of Bellomont. Enclosing petition of Matthew Plowman for enquiry and report. Signed, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney, Mat. Prior. [Board of Trade. New York, 54. p. 433; and (rough draft) 44A. No. 52.]
Oct. 11. 834. Minutes of Council in Assembly of Barbados.
Gunners' salaries for Clarendon and Rochester forts paid.
250l. paid for six months' rent for the Governor's house.
Report of the honble. Geo. Lillington and George Andrews, upon the removal of Col. Robt. Bishop from the office of Chief Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for the precincts of St. Michael, was read, together with a Minute of Council, Jan. 12, 1696 and deposition of Tho. Dodd, then and now Clerk of that Court, approved and ordered to be entered in the Council Book in order to be sent home to the Lords of the Council of Trade pursuant to their direction. (Entered accordingly, pp. 549–551.)
Two Petitions of Edward Lascelles recommended to the Assembly. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 547–551.]
Oct. 13.
835. Extract of a letter from Quebec. Our Governor has concluded the peace with the Iroquois very gloriously for His Majesty, having with his customary prudence managed so well that he compelled them to come to demand it, in spite of all the opposition of the Engish. He has succeeded in making himself the arbiter of all the Nations, by making them make peace also with all those beyond. This will give us some relief from the contributions which we were obliged to make, to meet the great expenses of the war. Endorsed, Communicated to the Board by Mr. Blathwayt, Feb. 11, 1700 (1701). Copy. French. ½ p. [Board of Trade. New York, 11. No. 15; and 55. p. 119.]
Oct. 14.
836. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Sir William Beeston. We have received your letters of April 20, May 3 and June 16. We observe what you write about Mr. Toplady. No complaint having yet been made to us for his not being admitted, we have not offered anything to His Majesty upon that subject, but if occasion require we will be mindful of your objections, and endeavour to inform ourselves further about him, as shall be necessary. Meanwhile, as to your conduct towards Patentees, we refer you to our letter of May 17 last (No. 448). Enquiry having been made into the matter of Mr. Allen Brodrick (see Jan. 26), and we having offered the exceptions, which you sent us (see Cal. A. and W. I. 1699. No. 887.i.), but some of them being contradicted and others thought insufficient, and it being probable that matter may be strictly examined, we therefore desire you to send us what particular proofs you have, or what else you think fit to offer in relation to such of those exceptions as you judge a sufficient ground (if proved) for your refusing to admit him according to the intent of H.M. Letters Patent; that we may thereupon report or take such further measures as shall be convenient. We have considered the estimate that you send us, April 20, of the value of what is shipt yearly from Jamaica to England, and desire you to let us know upon what ground you compute the sugar at 17l. per hhd., that we may distinguish how much thereof is properly the produce of that Island, and how much arises from fraight, Customes or other charges. We desire you also to give us the same distinction in relation to indico. As for gold and silver, we would also know how you are satisfied that so much is sent from thence, and what proportion of it you think is procured from the Spaniards in return of the draperies and other English goods that are sold them, and what proportion for negroes. And we likewise desire you to calculate and let us know what you judge the value of the goods imported into that Island from England do amount to yearly, upon such an estimation as you may be able to make of their first cost here. In answer to what you write, May 3, relating to Mr. Attorney and Mr. Sollicitor's opinion about the naturalizing and endenizing of foreigners, in the Plantations, we do not understand that there is anything in their opinion contradictory to or inconsistent with the authority you have to endenize foreigners by the Laws of that Island, only you are to observe that the privileges you grant unto them by virtue of those Laws do not extend beyond the limits of your Government; nor are any naturalizations or endenizations in the Plantations of any further extent than the limits of each Plantation respectively. As for pirates, we refer to ours of May 17. The Commissions are now passing through the other offices, so that we hope they will shortly be dispatched. The papers that you have sent us in answer to the Baron de Belmonte's memorial relating to the Jews at Jamaica, we have transmitted to Mr. Secretary Vernon, to be made use of as occasion shall require, and have not since heard anything about that matter. Your last letter also of June 16, upon the subject of Mr. Smith's ship, shall be made use of as fit. Signed, Jon. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney, Mt. Prior. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 57. pp. 98–102.]
Oct. 14. 837. Governor and General Assembly of Connecticut to the Council of Trade and Plantations. We have received your letter of May 27, by which we understand our letter concerning the matters mentioned were not then come to your hands. Your letter of April 24, 1699, was laid before us at the Sessions of the General Assembly next following the receipt thereof. We immediately sent for Major Palmer and gave him opportunity to manifest to us the injustice which he had complained of as don him by the County Court at New London, that being the proper course our law directed to for relief to any person so agrieved, which he refused to do, of which we did by the next opportunity of ships for England give your Lordships an account. We also laid before you our humble requests relating to appeals, By which we presume you will perceive that we have not omitted to render a speedy obedience to His Majesty's command. Signed, by order of the Governor and Assembly of His Majesty's Colony of Connecticut, Eleazar Kimberley, Secretary. Endorsed, Read 25 April, 1701. Addressed and sealed. ¾ p. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 5. No. 69.A.; and 27. pp. 43–45.]
Oct. 14. 838. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letter to Sir Wm. Beeston signed.
Order of Council, Sept. 5, about the Council of Virginia, read.
Acts of Antegoa, March 21, 22, having been lately received from Mr. Cary, were now laid before the Board.
Mr. Sollicitor General's report, upon the Acts of Nevis, Aug. 1699 and Jan. 1699/1700, laid before the Board.
Oct. 15. Representation relating to the timber in H.M. Plantations signed and sent to Mr. Yard to be laid before their Excellencies, the Lords Justices.
Oct. 16. Letter to Governor Grey signed.
Letter from Mr. Yard, Oct. 15, with enclosures concerning Sta. Lucia read.
Letter from Governor Blakiston, July 5, read, and papers referred to laid before the Board. [Board of Trade. Journal, 13. pp. 204–207; and 97. Nos. 182–184.]
Oct. 14. 839. Minutes of Council of New York. Several officers took the oaths appointed.
11l. 6s. 6d. paid to Thomas Farmer for arresting and bringing in a deserter from Philadelphia.
Oct. 15. Order for sending to England all old, decrepit soldiers.
Francis Vincent, sail-maker, paid 8l. for sails to the new Customhouse barge. 5l. paid to Cornelius Lodge for painting the same, 34l. to John Latham, ship-carpenter, for work and materials for the same.
1l. 6s. 6d. paid to Robert Cranwell for rum for the carpenters employed for building the Custom-House pinnace.
6l. paid to Jean le Chevalier, carver; 4l. to John Coolley, blacksmith; 2l. to John Owen, joiner; and 19l. to John Ellison for work done on the Custom-house barge.
10l. paid to Aert Elbertsen, boatman, for the hire of his sloop to Nassau Island.
Oct. 16. Jean le Chevalier's account referred to a Committee.
The old house in the fort, wherein His Excellency lives, being very much decayed and the beams that support the first floor very rotten, soe that it will be in danger to fall this winter, ordered that a mason and carpenter view and report upon it.
Col. Smith's expenses in obtaining intelligence about the Indians, etc., ordered to be paid.
Col. William Smith's expenses in salving a scow wrecked in Suffolk County allowed. If she was claimed within a year, and the said expenses were paid by the claimant, he was directed to hand her over; if not, to sell her and, after deducting his expenses, to hand over the proceeds to the Receiver General. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 365–370.]
Oct. 15.
840. Mr. Yard to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The Lords Justices send you a copy of a letter the French Ambassador writ lately to Mr. Blathwayt, together with a copy of Mr. Grey's letter to the Marquis D'Amblimont concerning the Island of Sta. Lucia. It is His Majesty's pleasure that you prepare thereupon such an answer as may be fit to be given to the said Ambassador, and that the same may be ready to be laid before His Majesty at his return. Signed, R. Yard. Endorsed, Recd. Read Oct. 16, 1700. Enclosed,
840. i. French Ambassador to Mr. Blathwayt. A la Haye, Oct. 16 (N.S.). You will see from the enclosed letter, that Governor Grey tells M. Damblimont, "Gouverneur des Isles Françoises de l'Amerique," that he has orders from His Britannic Majesty to drive out all the French who establish themselves without his permission in the Island of Ste. Alouzie, to which he adds such strong threats, that M. Damblimont has been obliged to reply that, not being aware that His Britannic Majesty has any right on this Island, which has always belonged to France in all sorts of times, he will maintain them there against all who wish to undertake to drive them out. Allow me to tell you (vous voulez bien que je vous dise), Monsieur, that France has been in possession of the said Island for several years, that it has never been laid claim to by any Treaty or any Foreign Power, that Mr. Temple, who wished to establish himself there, withdrew as soon as M. de Blenac informed him of the rights of the King, my master. Therefore I shall be extremely obliged if you will send the necessary orders to Barbados without loss of time, in order to prevent incidents which might arise in the course of those disputes, and to maintain the good relations which ought to prevail between the two nations, the King, my master, having commanded his officers there to do all they can towards that end. Signed, Tallard. French. Copy. 2 pp.
840. ii. Governor Grey to M. Damblimont. July 23, 1700 I have received orders from the King of Great Britain to take care to assert his rights and claims to the Island of Ste. Alousie (Sta. Lucia) in my Government, and to oblige all, who settle there without his permission, to depart. Being informed that some subjects of His Most Christian Majesty have recently built some houses with the intention of settling there, contrary to the rights of the King my Master, I am obliged to inform you of this affair, not doubting but that you will take the necessary steps to oblige such of the subjects of the King your master, as are now in the island or shall be in the future, to withdraw, in order that I may not be put to the necessity of compelling them by disagreeable means. French. Copy. 1¼ pp. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 8. Nos. 57, 57.i., ii.; and 45. pp. 111–115.]
Oct. 15.
841. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices. In obedience to your commands, we humbly report upon His Majesty's timber in America. Besides the infinite number of pines and oakes, which grow throughout the whole Province of New Yorke, Lord Bellomont has more particularly informed us that in the northern part of the said Province are growing abundance of huge pines, some of eleven or twelve foot in circumference, fit for masts for His Majesty's first-rate ships, which, if they can be got down the great fall above Albany without breaking, as he is confident they may in the winter time, then the floating them down to the port of New York being easy and not chargeable, they will be the cheapest masts of that size in the world; that on the bank of Hudson's River not far above the city of New York, very conveniently for water-carriage, is also growing a noble range of timber trees for knees and planks, amongst which his Lordship hoped to find some of the length necessary for beams for a first-rate man-of-war; that in New Hampshire and thence eastward to the River St. Croix, there is a vast extent of woods, from whence may be had pines for masts and oaks for all principal ship timber. My Lord believed His Majesty may be better and cheaper furnished therewith from Piscataway than now from England, and if the King should think fit to have timber brought from thence for the use of his Navy, it would be adviseable to do it in hag-boats or such-like vessels built on purpose for that service on His Majesty's own account. He thinks it not unlikely that deals also may be brought cheaper from thence to England than we have them now from Norway. He complains that the French are daily incroaching upon our territories from St. Croix westward, pretending to extend their right as far as Kennebeck; and that, without staying for a determination of those boundaries, their Jesuits have lately built a great church, at a place called Narigewack on Kennebeck River, upon which he observes that if their pretentions should be allowed, His Majesty would lose a country of 190 miles in length, abounding with excellent timber and upon a coast no less valuable for its fishery. He further complains of the great waste and havock of timber, made more particularly in the woods of New Hampshire and Province of Main, and of the officers for not looking more carefully after them. He says that there are above 50 saw-mills (and above half of them double) constantly at worke in the little Province of New Hampshire, the least of which do twenty times the work of two men; that the great pines, which are now or in a few years would be fit for masts for His Majesty's ships of war, are there sawn into boards, and the great oaks cut into pipe-staves; that amongst those oaks some have been of that bigness as to afford them 14 lengths of pipe-staves at 4½ foot each length; that unless some speedy course be taken to prevent this destruction of those woods, his Lordship apprehends that in two or three years time there will not be a good tree left for the use of His Majesty's Navy, but what will be so far up in the country that the carriage to Piscataway will cost more than it will be worth, and that he has been informed by Mr. Bridger that even now they are forced to go 20 miles up into the country to get a good mast. This destruction of the woods his Lordship imputes partly to the furnishing divers of His Majesty's Plantations, on the Continent and Islands in the West Indies, with deals, staves and other such like timber for their occassions, but chiefly to the exportation of masts and other principal ship-timber (together with lumber for stowage) to Spain, Portugal and other foreign parts, which exportation he esteems of very dangerous consequence, not only by its tendency to deprive the King of such a nursery of the noblest timber of all sorts that is in any of His Majesty's dominions, but also because it is a means, either directly or indirectly, to supply other princes therewith, and amongst them very probably some who, upon a turn of affairs, may prove our enemies. His Lordship has endeavoured to hinder this exportation, but finds it very difficult to effect, by reason of the great profit made by that trade, and more especially because he is not authorized to do it by law, for which reason he proposes that an Act of Parliament should be past here, to forbid it. In the meanwhile, upon occasion of a vessel laden by Mr. Partridge, Lieut.-Governor of New Hampshire, with such timber for Portugal, he had thought it necessary for His Majesty's service to engage the said Partridge to enter into bond to send the vessel to England and give His Majesty the pre-emption thereof at the market price. Upon consideration of the value of those woods, which he esteems very great, and of the weakness of Mr. Allen's title to the Proprietary of New Hampshire, in which he conceives the Crown has been greatly defrauded, His Lordship proposes that the grant of the Province of New Hampshire may be vacated by Act of Parliament, with a proviso for reimbursing Mr. Allen the 250l. which my Lord had understood was all the said Allen paid for that province to Mr. Mason, the grantee, and with a saving to the inhabitants for the lands they have improved under a yearly reasonable quit-rent. We farther understand by a report made to the Navy Board by Mr. Bridger and Mr. Holland, Commissioners employed by them to inspect the Naval Stores in New England, that the woods of New Hampshire afford abundance of all sorts of oak and pine timber proper for the use of His Majesty's Navy; that the waste in those woods has been incredible; that the oaks are there cut into staves and the pines into boards, some of which boards have been of three-foot diameter; that this waste proceeds in part from the neglect of the surveyor or his deputy, and partly from the uncertain boundaries of townships, which gives a pretence to the inhabitants frequently to incroach upon His Majesty's woods; that if His Majesty should pursue the design of bringing timber from thence, it will be convenient to build transport ships there for that service; that building of ships there will prevent the waste which would be made of much timber in cutting out only such pieces as may be fit to be sent home; and that the woods in the eastern parts (if settled) would afford plenty of as good timber, if not better and cheaper, than New Hampshire. We have likewise understood from Mr. Partridge and Mr. Jackson, the persons nominated by Sir Henry Ashurst for inspecting the Naval Stores in New England, in conjunction with those appointed by the Navy Board for that service, that in the Province of Main and adjacent countries extending eastward from the River Piscataway, and including the foresaid River Kennebeck and divers other places now claimed by the French, grow great plenty of excellent oake and pine, fit for His Majesty's service, but that in travelling through the woods in those parts they had not found any fir trees larger than about 16 or 18 inches diameter; that the River Piscataway being the boundary between the said Province of Main westward and New Hampshire, there are particularly on both sides that river great numbers of oake and pine, which may afford a supply of timber and masts for many years to come; that they had viewed the plank and timber sent for England by Mr. Bridger before it was shipt off; and judged it good, and fit for his Majesty's service, not doubting but it would accordingly be approved of by the King's builders in England as to its quality; that they believed it would be for His Majesty's service to build ships of war and transport ships in that country, and to bring home the masts, timber and other Naval Stores that may be provided there in such ships upon his own account. Report of "His Majesty's officers of Deptford and Woolidge" upon specimens of timber from New England quoted. Which report we observe to be in substance to the very same effect as what some of the said officers reported formerly upon a parcel of timber, brought over from New England by Sir Henry Ashurst and Sir Stephen Evance in the year 1696. Upon consideration of all these matters we humbly represent that;— In relation to New Yorke, we have desired Lord Bellomont to make trial of the method by which he conceives the great pines that grow in the northern parts of that Province may be got down the great fall above Albany, and to make an exact computation of all charges, that it may be known what they will stand in, delivered on ship-board at New York. New Hampshire is a separate propriety, but under His Majesty's immediate Government. All the rest of that coast eastward, as far as Nova Scotia inclusively is granted by His Majesty's Charter of Oct. 7, 1691, to the inhabitants of the Massachusets Bay, and incorporated with the Massachusets Bay and Colony of New Plymouth into one Province. The country of Nova Scotia was yielded to the French by the Treaty of Breda. The western boundary of Nova Scotia is the River Sta. Croix, which ought to be esteemed the utmost extent of the French territories on that side. Not only the woods in those parts belonging to the Dominion of the Crown of England, but also the fishery all along that coast are of very great value, and if the pretensions and incroachments of the French be not stopt, the loss and prejudice thereby accruing to us will be doubled by the advantages that they will receive by it. It appears unto us therefore a matter of great importance that His Majesty's title to all that country and coast eastward as far as the River Sta. Croix be asserted and maintained, and that such methods be used for the dispossessing of the French of what they have already usurped as to your Excellencies' great wisdome shall seem convenient. The annual supplies of masts, brought from thence upon contracts with the Navy Board for the use of His Majesty's Navy are a demonstration of their fitness for that service. The quality of the oaken timber growing in those parts may be known by the proof of two ships, viz., the Falkland and the Bedford, which were built there, and are now in His Majesty's Navy. Tho' the said timber be judged by His Majesty's Officers of Deptford and Woollidg too weak and subject to decay to be employed in the building of His Majesty's ships of war, yet nevertheless the common practice of merchants in building ships there for their own occasions is an argument of its usefulness in some good degree, so that the care of preserving it ought by no means to be neglected. For the better removing of all doubts concerning the quality and usefulness either of pine, oak or other wood growing in those parts, it may be expedient to incourage the importation of all such wood here, by an exemption from Customs for a limited term of years, in which time and by which experiment it may be better judged how far it shall be fit to allow or restrain the exportation of it from thence to forreign parts, and how far it may be advisable that any supplies of timber should be brought from thence hither for the use of His Majesty's Navy. The waste made in the woods of New Hampshire being very great, it is justly to be apprehended that the most useful trees growing in the most convenient places for transportation will in a few years be destroyed. There is no sufficient provision yet made for the preservation of any of those woods. By the reservation in His Majesty's Charter to the Massachusetts Bay (quoted), there seems to be left to the inhabitants an intire liberty of cutting what oak they please, whether great or small. The same liberty seems also to be left for all trees proper for masts under the dimentions there specified, so that the nursery of growing pines, if never so little under those dimentions, may be destroyed without incurring any penalty. In the grant of New Hampshire there is not any reservation of this kind, but we have been informed by Mr. Brenton, Surveyor of His Majesty's woods in those parts, that by antient custom the reservation of trees for His Majesty's use has been there understood to be the same as now in the Massachusetts Bay. It seems very necessary some further and more effectual regulations be made to prevent the foregoing inconveniences, and more especially for the preservation of all trees whatsoever that now are or may be fit for masts for the Royal Navy, which we humbly conceive may be done either by Acts of the respective Assemblies there, or by Act of Parliament here. The Earl of Bellomont, who has the best opportunity to understand all the circumstances of these matters, may therefore fitly be directed to use his endeavours with the respective Assemblies of the Massachusets Bay and of New Hampshire, to pass Acts for preventing the future spoiles of those woods, and preserving a nursery of such trees as may be useful for His Majesty's service, and in case he cannot prevail with them to pass Acts to those purposes, that he send over hither the heads of such a Bill as may be effectual for those ends, and proper to be past here. As to what relates to Mr. Allen's title to New Hampshire, that being a dispute of property, and he not appearing here himself to defend his claim, we humbly crave leave to suspend any opinion upon it. Signed, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney, Mat. Prior. [Board of Trade. New England, 38. pp. 258–274.]