America and West Indies: February 1700, 11-15

Pages 64-73

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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February 1700

Feb. 11.
St. James'.
111. Mr. Pulteney to Mr. Popple, enclosing account of ordnance and stores of war sent to the Plantations 1660–1688. "I hope their Lordships will not think there has been any delay, since it was to look back for so many years, and is digested into an alphabetical manner." Signed, J. Pulteney. Endorsed, Recd. Read Feb. 12, 1699/1700. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 5. No. 44; and 35. p. 173.]
Feb. 11. 112. Account referred to in preceding. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 6. (The entire volume).]
Feb. 12. 113. Petition of Jeremiah Basse, Esq. and John Lofting, merchant, to the House of Commons. Richard, Earl of Bellomont, Governor of New York, usurping an arbitrary power over H.M. subjects of East Jersey, which is independent and no part of New York, sent down fifty armed men to Perth Amboy, forcibly seized the Hester [See Cal. A. & W. T. 1699.) and carried her off to New York, where he caused her to be condemned and sold for not entering at New York the goods imported by her to East Jersey and for not paying the duties imposed on such goods by an Act of Assembly of New York, though no duties are payable for goods imported to East Jersey, nor is East Jersey subject to the Laws made by the Assembly of New York. Petitioners, the owners, can obtain no satisfaction at New York. Jeremiah Basse, late Governor of East Jersey, seized there John Elston and William Merrick, who confessed themselves of Every the Pirate's crew, and refused to bail them, but the Earl of Bellomont by a pretended Admiralty power forced them out of his hands and set them at liberty upon insufficient bail. Merrick has since made his escape. Petitioners pray for relief. Endorsed, Read Feb. 23, 1699/1700. Copy. 2 pp. Annexed,
113. i. Order of the House of Commons referring above petition to a Committee, (Feb. 12). (Names given.)
113. ii. Order of Committee of House of Commons for the Secretary to the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations to lay before them the entry of the Instructions from the Government of New York to Col. Palmer and the Agents here about 1685–7, as also an authentic draught of the country of New York and Hudson's River. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read Feb. 28, 1699/1700. [Board of Trade. New York, 9. Nos. 14, 14 i., 15; and 54. pp. 91–94.]
Feb. 12.
114. W. Popple to Mr. Lownds, enclosing extracts of Lord Bellomont's letter NOv. 29, 1699. "As for the character of Mr. Gardiner which he desires the Lords Commissioners of H.M. Treasury may be acquainted with, I am to add that he has sent several papers in proof of Gardiner's favouring pirates, and particularly of his harbouring one Gillam." [Board of Trade. New England, 37. pp. 338, 339.]
Feb. 12.
115. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of Jersey. We enclose an extract of Lord Bellomont's letter, Nov. 29, 1699, relating to the designs and measures of the French in fortifying the eastern frontier of New England, which may serve for your information until we be able to lay before H.M. a full state of the forts etc. in those parts, which we are preparing with all dispatch. Signed, Lexington, Wm Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. New England, 37. p. 340.]
Feb. 12.
116. Earl of Jersey to the Council of Trade and Plantations, enclosing for report a letter from the Admiralty and representation of Mr. Wallis. "What sort of licence is proper to be given, and what method to be taken for the preservaton of the woods in New England?" Signed, Jersey. Endorsed, Recd. Feb. 13. Read Feb. 14, 1699/1700. 1 p. Enclosed,
116. i. Lords of the Admiralty to the Earl of Jersey. Feb. 5. The Principal Officers of H.M. Navy having lately contracted with Mr. William Wallis for bringing from New England two ships' loading of great masts for the service of H.M. Navy, which are much wanted, we send enclosed a copy of his request to the Navy Board, praying H.M. leave for providing the said masts in that country, with directions to the Surveyor of H.M. woods there to forward the service in the same manner as was done in 1691, and desire you will move His Majesty to give the necessary orders herein. Signed, J. Bridgewater, G. Rooke, D. Mitchell, Geo. Churchill. Copy. 1 p.
116. ii. Copy of letter from William Wallis to the Navy Board, Jan. 22, 1700. I pray you to move the Lords of the Admiralty and obtain a licence for me to cut trees in New England. The inhabitants continually cut down the best trees, and in process of time no great trees will be had for H.M. service. H.M. Surveyor of Woods, Mr. Jahleel Brenton, says that although such trees are reserved in the Charter of Massachusetts, that makes it no law by which he can ground any prosecution, and that it is a very hard matter to distinguish between the King and the inhabitants' right, and that his allowance of 50l. will not answer the end for which he is appointed. 2¼ pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 10. Nos. 15, 15.i., ii.; and 37. pp. 377–383.]
Feb. 12.
Admiralty Office.
117. J. Burchett to Mr. Popple. I enclose copies of the letter of the Commissioners of the Navy, and of the reports made to them by the Surveyors, and of Mr. Wallis' letter. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. Feb. 14, Read Feb. 15, 1699/1700. 1 p. Enclosed,
117. i. Copy of a letter from the Officers of Deptford and Woolwich, Jan. 13, 1699 (1700). We have taken a strict survey of the several specimens of Naval Stores late come from New England. The oak plank of 3 and 4 inches thick we find a very spungey wood and subject to rotten veins, not fit for the navy, being inferior to East Country. In the pitch pine and pine plank we see no difference and judge them useful for joiners' work. The tar by its colour we find very different from that usually used, but desire to make trial of it. 9 signatures. Estimate of value of these stores. 3 pp.
117. ii. Copy of letter of Commissioners of the Navy to the Council of Trade and Plantations, Feb. 10. We find the specimens of Naval Stores generally fall short of the like commodities usually provided for the Navy, in quality and value. We think the gentlemen who promoted the project should be acquainted with the reports upon the stores, and refer to you consideration the calling home of the Agents, for easing H.M. of this great and growing charge, it seeming to us to be far from answering the service expected from it, and that, if any further progress should be judged necessary in the said enquiries, it would be much better for H.M. to be at a certainty with the merchants as to the prices by contracting with them as was proposed by this Board at the beginning. Signed, Rd. Haddock, Tho. Willshaw, Clow. Shovell, Dan. Furzer, John Hill, Cha. Sergison, (sic) Da. Lyddell, B. Tymewell. 1¼ pp.
117. iii. William Wallis to the Council of Trade and Plantations, Feb. 12. Mr. Brenton is so far in the right in his reply that there was no waste of trees in New England, that during the late war the inhabitants could not keep all their mills at work, yet at that time I have seen very great waste and spoil made by the logging trade. Mr. Brenton cannot take so much care of H.M. interest as one whose business daily it is to go into the woods, and therefore I humbly recommend Capt. Jacobed Plaisted, who lives upon the place and is altogether fit for the office of Surveyor of H.M. Woods. Copy. 2¼ pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 10. Nos. 16, 16.i. – iii.; and 37. pp. 383–393.]
Feb. 12.
118. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letter from Mr. Pulteney, with account of stores of war sent to the Plantations 1660–1688, laid before the Board.
Order of Council, Feb. 8, about sending men and materials to Newfoundland, read.
Letter from the Board of Ordnance, Feb. 10, read. Thereupon Mr. Cole and Mr. Merit were desired to attend the Board.
Reply from Mr. Burchett, Feb. 10, read.
Letter to the Earl of Jersey about the French fortifying the eastern frontiers of New England signed and sent.
Mr. Dockwra, in the name of the Proprietors of East New Jersey, desiring to know the resolution of the Board upon their memorials of Jan. 15, was told by their Lordships that they were preparing what he desired, but having understood that this day a petition had been brought into the House of Commons relating to their pretended right to a Port at Perth Amboy, this Board could proceed no further in that matter until they understand what the House of Commons may think fit to do in it.
Feb. 13. Mr. Chiampanty and Mr. Weaver, having understood that a petition was yesterday brought into the House of Commons containing some complaints against the Earl of Bellomont, desired that they might have copies of such papers in this office as may be of use to them in his Lordship's defence. Ordered accordingly.
Secretary ordered to return to Mr. Solicitor General his draft for a Bill for punishing here the Governors of Plantations for crimes committed there, and to acquaint him that their Lordships have nothing further to offer thereupon.
Order of Council, Feb. 8, about cutting down trees in New England fit for H.M. Navy, read. Letter to the Navy Board ordered, enquiring what sizes of trees fit for masts or other timber are prohibited to be exported in Denmark and Sweden.
Copies of Lord Bellomont's letters, Ap. 17, etc. upon Naval Stores ordered to be sent to the Lords of the Admiralty.
Major Yates delivered to the Board a letter from Sir Thomas Day, Feb. 10, desiring their Lordships to suspend their report upon his son's affairs. Major Yates informed that they would consider the matter to-morrow.
Lord Bellomont's letters, Sept. 9, Oct. 25, 1699, read. Acts of New Hampshire ordered to be sent to Mr. Solicitor General for his opinion. [Board of Trade. Journal, 12. pp. 368–372; and 97. Nos. 28, 29.]
Feb. 13.
119. William Popple to Sir John Hawles, H.M. Solicitor General. The Council of Trade and Plantations command me to send the Acts past at a General Assembly in New Hampshire, Aug. 7, 1699, for your opinion with what speed you can. Annexed,
119. i. List of Acts of New Hampshire, Aug. 7, 1699. [Board of Trade. New England, 37. pp. 373, 374.]
Feb. 13.
120. W. Popple to Sir John Hawles. I return your draft of a Bill to punish Governors, etc. The Council of Trade and Plantations have nothing further to offer on that subject than what they observed to you when you were last at their Board. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 35. p. 174.]
Feb. 13.
121. Secretary of the Bermuda Islands to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I arrived on Jan. 19, after 13 weeks' most dangerous voyage. Before I departed I waited several times at the office for your Lordships' commands, but was obliged to depart without receiving them. At my arrival I had an account of the Lords Justices' order and found Mr. Randolph actually discharged from his imprisonment and the Commission ready for him, Col. White and myself. On 31st we met and examined several persons who with themselves brought several depositions ready wrote. They were sworn before us. and afterwards I desired the copies of them that the Governor might see them in order to transmit his answer according to their Excellencies' order, but Mr. Randolph and Col. White wholly denied them or to let me take any copies of them, which I thought not fair, and thereupon the Governor by advice of his Council did make his protest. Signed, Ed. Jones. Endorsed, Recd. June 13, Read 20th ditto, 1700. 1½ pp. Addressed and sealed. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 4. No. 14A; and 30. pp. 28, 29.]
Feb. 13. 122. Minutes of Assembly of Barbados. Adjourned till 15th.
Feb. 15.
Feb. 16.
Joint Committee of the two Houses considered the Bill for securing the possession of slaves. Money voted for the charges of last Grand Sessions. Petition of Capt. Atwood, for the remission of the seizure of some beer landed by mistake without a cocket, recommended to the Council. Petition of Nicholas Baker, for a drawback of the duty on some Madera wine exported, granted by the Council and this House. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 464–466.]
Feb. 15. 123. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Acts, for raising a levy and placing servants, read a second time and committed.
200l. ordered to be paid to the Hon. Col. William Wheeler towards building the house in James' Fort.
Order made for the division of the estate of Thomas Walrond, decd. 30l. paid to George Payne for a year's rent of the Council Chamber, and 55l. for the 6 iron guns and carriages placed at His Excellency's door. 990l. ordered to be paid to Nicholas Baker for 55 men servants imported in the Reserve from Newcastle. 2250l. ordered to be paid to William Roberts and Company for 125 servants imported in the Dolphin from London. [And see preceding abstract.]
Feb. 16. Act for the disposal of servants read a third time and sent down. [And see preceding abstract.] [Board of Trade. Bar bados, 65. pp. 487–490.]
Feb. 14. 124. Dr. Cox to the Council of Trade and Plantations. One of the ships I sent about 15 months since is returned, having made a compleat discovery of all the Coast of America before unknown, from the Cape of Florida unto the North West end of the Mexican Gulph, and of all the harbours, rivers, isles, sands and shoals for above 1000 miles, and almost 200 miles up the great River Sussagoula, which four French they met in two birchen canoes, who came from Canada to trade with the Indians, did assure them is not the River Meschasipy, though a great way higher it hath a communication. They did search all the coast diligently, but found no settlement of French as was pretended, nor is there, as the French themselves own, any nearer than 450 leagues distance from the mouth of our river and far beyond the boundaries of the province of Carolana. And our people having ranged the coast 100 leagues westward of the said great river, found not the least footsteps of either French or Spaniards. And indeed we are most certain there are none of either nation nearer that way than Panuco, a colony of Spaniards, which is at least 250 leagues to the south west of Sassagoula. Therefore finding there can be no just exception against the English planting that country, who have so antient a patent and being the first discoverers of the Great River by ships, and 14 English being now settled in a fortified trading house 200 miles higher than our ships went, whom the French acknowledged they had visited a few days before, and who had a perfect good correspondence with divers nations of Indians, and for divers years had been there established, I suppose right reason and the laws common to all civilised nations will authorise our settling there. The only difficulty remaining concerns the French refugees, who are divers of them exceedingly desirous to settle with the English in this new colony, ten or twelve of them who accompanied us in this expedition having given a most extraordinary good character of this country for health, pleasantness and fertility. We write for your Lordships' approbation and His Majesty's consent that they may be permitted to consort with the English in such proportions as he shall deem expedient, or, if that be not allowed, they humbly request that they may be permitted to settle towards the head of the River Mattheo, 200 miles from those few Spaniards who dwell at Augustin, or at least at Norfolk County between Virginia and Carolina as was formerly proposed. Signed, Dan. Cox. Endorsed, Recd. Read Feb. 15, 1699/1700. 1½ pp. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 5. No. 14; and 26. pp. 165, 166.]
Feb. 14. 125. Petition of several merchants of London trading to New York to the House of Commons. Petitioners have received no satisfactory answer to their petition last year to the Council of Trade and Plantations, setting forth that by the misgovernment of Governor the Earl of Bellomont trade was much discouraged. By his illegal proceedings, he has put such further hardships on the merchants and other the King's subjects there that, without redress, the petitioners must be forced to withhold their trade thither, especially being informed by several now here in town, inhabitants of that place, that the said Earl has changed most of the Magistrates and Justices of Peace there, some whereof dare not and others absolutely refuse to take any affidavits for them, whereby his several arbitrary and unjust proceedings may appear in due form. Petitioners pray the House to consider their case and to send for such of those whose names are given as shall seem fit, who otherways dare not appear, lest on their return to New York they may suffer inconveniencies. Signed, Joseph Ormston, Thomas Adderly, Thomas Cage, Will. Shepheard, John Blackall, Wm. Cornelison, Simon Lodwick, Gerard Santtey-thuysen, Henry Adderly, John Jackson, Robert Hackshaw, Hiddo. Lofting. Endorsed, Recd. Read Feb. 16, 1699/1700. Copy. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New York, 9. No. 11; and 54. pp. 86–88.]
Feb. 14.
Navy Office.
126. Navy Board to Mr. Popple. We have no knowledge what sizes of timber are prohibited to be exported out of Denmark and Sweden. The East Country and Norway merchants are best able to give you an account thereof. From Ryga we have had masts of 22 and 23 hands and seldom higher, and from Norway only small masts from 17 hands downwards. Signed, Danl. Furzer, Clow. Shovell, Tho. Willshaw, R. Tymewell, D. Lyddell, Cha. Fergison. Endorsed, Recd. Feb. 14, Read Feb. 15, 1699/1700. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New England, 10. No. 17; and 37. pp. 394, 395.]
Feb. 14.
127. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Cole and Mr. Merrit promised to consult with the Board of Ordnance with a view to carrying some stores to Newfoundland. No ships would sail till the end of April.
Letter from the Earl of Jersey, Feb. 12, referring letters about cutting trees in New England and the consideration of some fit method for preserving the wood in those parts to their Lordships, read. Mr. Brenton was thereupon summoned to attend.
Feb. 15. Captain Mead presented several certificates of his services and sufferings in Ireland.
Representations upon Mr. Day's conduct in the Government of the Bermuda Islands, and upon the petitions of Sir Thomas Lawrence, Capt. Bennet, Capt. Mead, and Mr. Woollaston for the Government of those islands, signed, but their Lordships thought fit to suspend the sending of them to the Council for a few days.
Letter to the Board of Ordnance signed.
Letter from Dr. Cox giving an account of some late discoveries along the North West coast of the Gulf of Mexico, and desiring directions about the settlement of some French refugees either there or in Norfolk County in Virginia, read. Dr. Cox, called in, introduced one Capt. Bond, who said he sailed hence about 14 months ago for Carolina and visited all the foresaid coast. He laid before the Board several draughts of the said coast made by him.
Letter from the Navy Board, Feb. 14, read. Secretary ordered to enquire of Mr. Daniel Butts about the sizes of trees prohibited to be exported from Denmark and Sweden.
Letter from Mr. Burchett, Feb. 12, with papers and reports about naval stores in New England, read and referred for enquiry to Sir Henry Ashurst.
Mr. Mears, again desiring leave to sue Mr. Day in Bermudas, when another Governor shall be sent, was acquainted that it was not proper to allow anything in such a case that may hinder a Governor from repairing hither to give an account of his administration to his Majesty, but was assured that when a new Governor was appointed their Lordships would recommend his case to the said Governor for all the assistance that may be proper.
Feb. 16. Copy of a petition presented to the House of Commons, Feb. 14, by several merchants, complaining that they had received no satisfactory answer from this Board to their petition nine months ago relating to the Earl of Bellomont's mismanagement in the Government of New York, read. Directions given for preparing some memorials, in order to an answer when it may be called for.
Letter from Dr. Cox, excusing himself for not attending as he had promised, was brought to the Board by Capt. Bond and Mr. Desailly. Their Lordships enquiring of Capt. Bond concerning the River St. Matteo (mentioned in Dr. Cox's yesterday's letter, and supposed to lie in the North East coast of the Gulf of Mexico), he said that in all his voyage along that coast he had not found any considerable river at all between Mechasippi and the Cape of Florida, and so could give no account of it. Mr. Desailly desiring to know at which of the places proposed by Dr. Cox their Lordships thought it best for the French refugees to settle, it was told him that Norfolk County in Virginia appeared to be much the safest and subject to least inconveniences.
The Secretary announced that he had understood from Mr. Butts that the sizes of trees for masts, prohibited to be exported out of the dominions of both the Northern Kings, are from 17 palms circumference upwards, which he explained to be about the same thing as about 17 inches diameter, but added that much larger trees are many times brought from thence, and some may be had from 24 to 28 inches diameter.
Letter from Mr. Burchett, Feb. 15, with enclosures about naval stores, read.
Circular letters to the Governors about endenizing foreigners signed. Secretary ordered to certify the truth of the several copies of an Order of Council to be enclosed. [Board of Trade. Journal, 12. pp. 372–378; and 97. Nos. 30–32.]
Feb. 15.
128. William Popple to Sir Henry Ashhurst, enclosing copies of letter of Navy Board, and report about Naval Stores, Feb. 12. [Board of Trade. New England, 10. p. 394.]
Feb. 15.
129. J. Burchett to Wm. Popple. I enclose copies of the whole proceedings of the persons employed to inspect the Naval Stores produced in New England, and your draught of the harbour of St. John's. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. Read Feb. 16, 1699/1700. 1 p. Enclosed,
129. i. Copies of letters from John Bridger, Agent for Naval Stores at New England, to the Lieutenant Governor, Council and Assembly of Massachusetts Bay, Boston, May 27–June 20. 2½ pp.
129. ii. Copy of letter from Mr. Bridger to the Governor, Council and Representatives of New Hampshire, asking for a guard for him to inspect the woods. Piscataqua, June 14, 1698. 1 p.
129. iii. Copy of Order of Council and Assembly of New Hampshire, June 14, 1698, granting a guard of 60 men. ¾ p.
129. iv. Copy of letter from Mr. Bridger announcing his arrival at Piscataqua, and quoting above Order. 3½ pp.
129. v. Copy of a letter from Mr. Bridger, Boston, July 22, '98, giving an account of his proceedings. 3½ pp.
129. vi. Copy of minute of Assembly of Massachusetts Bay, recommending that a guard be granted to Mr. Bridger. May 25, 1698. 1 p.
129. vii. Copy of a letter from Mr. Bridger and Mr. Holland Oct. 9, 1699. Report upon Naval Stores in New England. 3½ pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 10. Nos. 18, 18.i. – vii.; and (without enclosures), 37. pp. 395, 396.]
Feb. 15.
130. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Board of Ordnance. Upon the receipt of your letter of Feb. 10, we immediately sent for Mr. Simon Cole and Mr. Solomon Merrit, two of the principal traders to Newfoundland, and proposed to them the carrying of stores thither as you desire. They promised that as soon as any ships are preparing to sail from hence, which may be towards the end of April, not sooner, they will apply themselves to you in order to some agreement about that matter, as may be reasonable. Signed, Stamford, Lexington, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwait, John Pollexfen. Abr. Hill, George Stepney. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. p. 352.]
Feb. 15.
131. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Upon the petitions for the Government of the Bermuda Isles submitted to us, we humbly report that (1) Sir Thomas Lawrence has behaved himself well for several years in the office of your Majesty's Secretary of Maryland, which upon his resignation is now enjoyed by his son. (2) Captain Benjamin Bennet has served your Majesty several years by sea and land, as Lieutenant and Captain in the First Marine Regiment, and afterwards in Col. Brudnell's Regiment, and has been recommended to us by some merchants trading to Bermuda as a person of a fair character. (3) Mr. Mead has served your Majesty many years in Ireland, and did, we understand, suffer considerably by the Irish. (4) Mr. Woollaston, whose family suffered much in the late reign, has been recommended to us by many eminent persons, and is particularly known by the Earl of Stamford to be a man of integrity and capacity and also of estate, whereby he appears to us to be fitly qualified in all respects to succeed Mr. Day. Signed, Stamford, Lexington, Phil. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 29. pp. 255, 256.]