America and West Indies: November 1700, 12-15

Pages 646-660

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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November 1700

Nov. 12.
926. Governor Grey to the Council of Trade and Plantations I have received your letter of Aug. 1, with the Lords Justices' Order to transmit an account of the methods of proceedings in the Courts here. I shall communicate the same to the Council at our next sitting, etc. I have sent the Agents the bill for a present the Countrey have made me for 2,000l., for the obtaining of which I shall beg your Lordships' favour. Signed, R. Grey. Endorsed, Recd. Jan. 24, Read 27, 1700/1. ¾ p. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 8. No. 75; and 45. p. 238.]
Nov. 12.
927. Governor Sir Wm. Beeston to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I transmitted the Public Accounts, etc., Oct. 7, and some months past an account who were at present of the Council, and a list of others I thought fitting. Col. Lowe, one of them, is gon for England, and Lt.-Col. Dawkins, another, is lately dead, so that there are but eight remaining, and one of them, Capt. Banister, is so terribly afflicted with the gout that he rarely goes out of his house, by which it's hard to get a quorum. Therefore I humbly hope you will recommend to His Majesty such of the list I sent you as to your Lordships may thinke best. I hear that Mr. Greydon is making application to your Lordships to be admitted Attorney General. Whilst he was here (which was about two years), he behaved himself very well, and if he be approved of in England for his knowledge and understanding in that part of the Law as concerns the justification of His Majesty's right, I believe he may be more proper than one that is a stranger here can be. The Spaniards continue taking our vessells they can overpower, and imprison the people and use them inhumanely. If some course be not taken for redress, they threaten they will revenge themselves, which I fear is what will follow. This Country has held hitherto without any distemper, so that, the year being so far over, we expect none, which is a great incouragement to all people, and all things goe on very well and quietly. Signed, Wm. Beeston. Endorsed, Recd. Jan. 31, Read Feb. 5, 1700/1. Holograph. 1 p. Enclosed,
927. i. Memorandum of Exportations, Dec. 25, 1699–March 25, 1700. ¼ p.
927. ii. Memorandum of Exportations, March 25, 1700–June 24, 1700. ¼ p.
927. iii. Memorandum of Exportations, June 24, 1700–Sept. 29, 1700. ¼ p. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 9. Nos. 30, 30.i.–iii.; and 57. pp. 133–135.]
Nov. 12.
Office of
928. Board of Ordnance to the Council of Trade and Plantations. We have received your letter of the 7th, present, and sent accordingly a copie of the Report of Mr. Talbot Edwards, one of H.M. Engineers belonging to this Office, upon his return from Barbados, where, in Jan. 1696, he was ordered to goe for His Majesty's service, and, that your Lordshipps may have all further information therein, he does by our order attend your Lopps. herewith. Signed, C. Musgrave, Ja. Lowther, Jon. Charltone. Endorsed, Recd. Read Nov. 15, 1700. ¾ p. Enclosed,
928. i. Report of Talbot Edwards, Engineer, concerning Barbados, from whence he came June 23, 1698. It is naturally fortified on the windermost side by high mountains and shoal rocks, nor is there any landing here save only in two or three narrow places, where a boat can but just pass between ye rocks when it's very calme. So that this side may be easily secured by a small battery of three or four cannon at each place. On ye Leward side is ye greatest danger of an enemy's landing, where almost from one end to the other boats may come ashore either at high or low water upon a hard dry sand, from whence they may draw their artillery without difficulty, having no hills to go up, but an easie assent. Besides, here is very good anchoring for ships all along, from 14 to 30 fathoms and in some places within musquett shot of the shore. They have nothing to secure themselves but a small Trench they have sunk of about seven foot broad by five foot deep all next ye sea, behind which is a breastwork thrown up of loose sand, about six foot high and three foot broad at top, and this runs from one end of ye Island to ye other, where there is no high land next ye sea, and as this is a very slight defence, soe it is washed downe almost every year with ye rains. The greatest defence they have therefore is here and there a small battery, and some places they call Forts, which have neither moats nor pallizadoes about them, most of which lyes soe open, and have such sorry guns in them from 7½ to 8½ foot long, that, should they ever come to make use of these works, would serve only to deceive ye Island, but not to defend it.
Though fortifying the Coast better with some redoubts and batteries be necessary, yet if that were done an enemy may happen either by surprize or overpower[ing] them to get ashore, and then without a place of retreat ye Island may be lost, but with it easily secured. Such a place, therefore, being ye maine thing necessary to secure this important Island, which if once lost would not be a Newfoundland business to retake, I have contrived as well to secure from ye attempts of ye negroes within as an enemy without, a Royal Cittadell for ye Bridge Town of above 500 pieces of cannon and lodging for 5,000 men in it, all secured against bombs, and this place if built might, with sufficient provisions of all things necessary against a seige, hold out till relief come from England. For an enemy can hardly bring more than four or 5,000 men there, and it would be very hard fortune if, with that number, they should beat as many, who have a strong fortification to defend them, which I hope your Lordshipps will think my designs to be. I believe it is ye first peice of fortification as ever was contrived with such large flanques, being 300 foot in length, and the greatest Engineers in Europe has never yet brought them higher then 200ft., tho' their exterior polligons has been more then a 1,100 foot, which mine does not exceed. Signed, Talbot Edwards. Countersigned, C. Musgrave, Cl. Ordnance. Copy. 2½ pp. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 8. Nos. 60, 60.i.; and 45. pp. 132–138.]
Nov. 12. 929. Minutes of Council of New York. His Excellency produced His Majesty's letter of July 3, 1700, confirming Robert Walters a Member of Council.
In consideration that the barracks in H.M. Fort are not sufficient to entertain the souldiers in His Majesty's pay in this Province, ordered that barracks be built without the Fort. Sentry coats ordered for soldiers in the winter.
Circular letters to the several Counties ordered, to hasten the payment of their quotas of the 2,000l. granted to His Majesty, 1699.
9l. 8s. to Ryer Schermerhoorn for furnishing the garrison at Schonnectady with firewood, April 1–Nov. 1.
38l. 5s. 6d. granted to the Commissioners of Public Accounts and the Clerk of the Council for their trouble in that matter.
Nov. 13. John Parmyter, Robert Crannell and Danl. Toy made their affidavits before the Board relating to Mr. Ducie Hungerford, late one of the Commissioners of the Customs, his seizing of goods and keeping of them without informing against them in order to their condemnation, and also relating to his taking the elephants' teeth, etc., out of the Custom House in the night-time.
Ordered that the Excise of the City and County of Albany be let to farm to the highest bidder for the year ensuing. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 382–386.]
Nov. 12.
930. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letter from Dr. Newton read.
Acts of Barbados further considered.
Nov. 13. Letter from Sir Robert Cotton and Sir Tho. Frankland, Post-Masters General, Nov. 7, read. Resolved to lay the matter referred to, together with the Stationer's and other accounts, before the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury as soon as possible.
Acts of Barbados further considered.
Nov. 14 Acts of Barbados further considered. Mr. Attorney General's Report upon those past there Aug. 2–Oct. 17, 1699, read. [Board of Trade. Journal, 13. pp. 243–245; and 97. Nos. 200–202.]
Nov. 13 931. Minutes of Council in Assembly of Barbados.
The Hon. Thomas Sadleir was appointed Chief Judge of the next Court of Oyer and Terminer.
The Account of John Duke, Commander of the Watch of the Magazine, ordered to be paid.
Lt.-Col. George Peers and Thomas Horne appeared as sureties for the Treasurer, Lt.-Col. Richard Downes. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 66. pp. 385, 386.]
Nov. 14.
932. Col. Quary to the Council of Trade and Plantations (?). The enclosed copy of my letter to the Admiralty will inform your Lordships of the present state of affairs here. I have only this to add, that I never laboured under more difficulty than at present. I believe Governor Penn would have prevented in a greate measure, if it had beene in his power. I hope your Lordships will joyne with the Lords of the Admiralty in mainetaineing the powers and jurisdictions of the Admiralty in this Government. I presume Governor Penn will see his mistake and recall his late comissions, if your Lordships please to writt to him. It is very hard that this should be the only Government in America that doth oppose the authority of that Court. Signed, Robt. Quary. I have paid Governor Penn all the respect and service in my power, and have represented all matters here to your Lordships and the other great boards as much to his advantage as I could. Endorsed, Recd. 23, Read Jan 27, 1700. Holograph. 1 p. Enclosed,
932. i. Col. Quary to the Lords of the Admiralty. Philadelphia. Nov. 14, 1700. I am favoured with a letter from your Secretary, June 28, informing me that your Lordships promise that I shall be reimbursed the charges that I have been at in seizing ye Pirates. I have received also Sir Charles Hedges' opinion in answer to the queries I stated to you. I could wish he had been more particular. The reason I troubled you was that about two years since there was a vessel condemned here belonging to some Scotch merchants, who appealed to the High Court and brought an inhibition under the seale of the Admiralty. As soon as they produced it, I ordered a copy of the Record to be sent home. When they saw that they could not frighten me into compliance with them, they submitted to the decree of this Court. Knowing my own weakness, I sent to England for the advice of learned men in several matters, which occur in your Lordships' Court here. Amongst many other things, they have given it under their hands that ye Parliament have invested ye Admiralty Court in ye Plantations with more ample power than in England, for by the Act of ye 7th and 8th, etc., all causes arising from the Act of Trade, etc., and particularly by that Act, shall be tried in ye Courts of Admiralty held in ye respective Plantations, thereby made local, but in England in Westminster Hall, that they conceive no appeal lyes on those Actions to ye High Court of Admiralty in England. Perhaps they are mistaken and Sir Charles Hedges is in the right; however, I thought it was a sufficient warrant for me to state ye matter to your Lordships and to expect your directions, tho' by so doing I find I have disobliged Sir Charles. For upwards of a year and a half ago there was a ship [the Providence, See Cal. A. & W.I. 1699. No. 426] seized by the King's Officer belonging to Hull, John Lumby, master, as having no Register. A Court of Admiralty was appointed where he appeared with his Council, and all the Quaker Magistrates of this place, not out of kindness to the man but prejudice to the jurisdiction of the Admiralty. After hearing the case argued, I concluded myself under a necessity of condemning the ship, but, so great a regard had I to the Equity of the cause that, instead of at once ordering the sale of the ship and goods, I ordered the goods into the King's Store and left the ship to the Master's care, that the merchant or owner might try if they could get any redress at home. The merchant went to England, but after eight or nine months wrote to his friends saying that there were no hopes of recovering the ship and goods. At length after a year, upon the Marshal's report that a great deal of the goods were rotten, I ordered them to be appraised and to be disposed of as the Law directed, one-third to His Majesty, one-third to the Governor, and one-third to the prosecutor. At the master's request I have retarded the sale of the ship for above a year and a half, and all the return I have is to be abused and railed at. About four months ago the Master desired me to help him to purchase his ship again on easy terms. I prevailed with the Governor to remit his share, the prosecutor most of his, and promised to ask the Commissioners of Customs to get the King's part remitted. He was grateful, but as soon as the Quakers heard of it, they told him he would be ruin'd for ever if he bought the ship, and promised to get his ship for him without any charge. For their end was to raise all the clamour they could against the Admiralty, and not be(en) seen in it themselves, but to make use of other people, which they have so effectually done, that after more than a year and a half there is an inhibition granted from the High Court of Admiralty with extraordinary powers of the first impression in America, impowering those very Scotchmen before mencioned to execute the same. They hitherto secreet the inhibitions from me, to obstruct my making my applications to your Lordships by this opportunity. I cannot believe Sir Charles Hedges could know the circumstances of these men. All the clamour and intrigues is carried on in masquerade by the inveterate enemies of the Admiralty jurisdiction. I will quickly find a way to unmask them. They have already rais'd all the reflections and affronts they could devise on the King's Advocate and myself, giving out that we were sent for to England, there to be fin'd to our ruin, and that whatever we do will be made void at home. I took no notice of all this till I found that they had prevail'd on Governor Penn so far as to make him violate that solemn promise which he was pleased to give me and so often confirm, vizt., that he would not in the least invade ye rights and jurisdiction of the Admiralty, but that I should exercise all the powers of your Lordship's Commission, tho' he thought there were some things that bore hard on him, however, he would content himself with a Representation to your Lordships. But now he hath granted Commissions to all the Sheriffs of the Counties, by which in effect he hath broke into the jurisdiction of the Admiralty and invaded almost all ye (? its) powers. I have discourst him about it, who is pleased to assert it as his right, and that the Admiralty hath no jurisdiction within the body of the County, so that consequently if I must not execute the powers of your Lordships' Commission within the body of the County, then I must go out of the Capes, which is out of this Province and that of West Jersey, and beyond my Commission. I was extreamly surprised to hear this doctrine from Governor Penn after so many promises to the contrary. All the discourse of the Country is that the Admiralty Court is taken from this Province, and that now Governor Penn hath appointed officers to execute the powers of that Court. For my own part I have charity enough to believe yt he would never have taken those measures were he not under a necessity of complying with his Quaker friends, especially at this juncture when they are setting in Assembly and he expects considerable supply from them. I know the temper of those men so very well, that I am sure they will not part with their mony unless they can govern as they please, so that Governor Penn is reduced to this great streight, if he complys with his friends here, then he must violate all his promisses, which he hath made at home for supporting the King's Authority in his Government, and if he doth not comply with them, he must not expect any mony from them. I doe heartily wish that silence in this case were consistent with my duty. There ought to be no time lost in re-establishing the King's authority, and your Lordships' powers in the Government. In relation to the Inhibition, I desire that you will be pleased to order that ye King's Advocate and Council may attend this cause to defend His Majesty's intrist and stop ye reversall of this decree. I could wish that Sir Charles Hedges had been pleas'd to have heard what I could have said before he had granted such an extraordinary Inhibition. If I have made any wrong steps it's the Law that hath misguided me. I hope Sir Charles will give such rules and directions as may make us safe, or send over from England a person that is well read in the Law. Governor Nicholson knew that I did not pretend to the Law, which was the argument that I made use of to excuse my executing the powers of your Lordships' Commission. However, he was not pleased to allow of any excuse. I am sure no man in America ever took more pains to serve His Majesty than I have, and perhaps with as good success, espeatially considering what a sort of perverse people I have had to struggle with. Your Secretary acquainted me your Lordships had under your consideration the sending of a small vessel for the security of this place in respect of Trade and Pyrates. There was never more occasion than now, for all the Tobacco of the Province is ingrossed by ye Scotch merchants, and at such rates that I am sure none that designs a fair trade can afford to give it, and then the Curesaw Trade is carried on more than ever. In my former I gave you an account that I had seiz'd and condemned a vessel belonging to the Scotch, but all the goods were safely landed first. I expect that they will bring an inhibition on that decree, tho' the master of the vessel was an evidence against her. They tell me plainly that they do not value what is done in your Lordships' Court of Admiralty here, for they can have it all reverst in England. About ten days since here arriv'd another vessel from Curesaw, with abundance of iron, clarett, wine and all sorts of lining manufactory, in so great a quantity that it is sold here as cheap as they can be bought in England, which is a very great discouragement to all fair Traders, nor is it possible to prevent this evil without a small vessell. I am now in a hot pursuit after a discovery of this business, but do find all persons so very cold and unwilling to concern themselves that I must do all myself or nothing will be effected. Hither-to I have had little encouragement, having serv'd His Majesty these three years at my own cost, which I am confident you will please to consider in due time. Since the account of these inhibitions the Magistrates interfere with most of the maritime affairs that happen here, particularly lately between a Master of a Bristol ship and his seamen in relation to some disturbance on board at sea and in the harbour, and committed one of his seamen to prison, to remain till their Quarter Sessions, and when application was made to me by the seamen, the Master was backed by the Justices and encouraged to slight the Admiralty power, withal assuring him that they would clip its wings by complaints home. Yesterday I had a letter from Governor Penn, who is now at Newcastle with his Assembly, where the Scotch Commissioners live. He is pleased to write to me that they will not serve me with the inhibition till the ship [by which this goes] is ready to sail. I beseech your Lordships to consider how barbarously they use me. However, I resolve in the morning to ride down to them, which is 40 miles, yt if it be possible I may have a sight of the inhibition, that so I may take care to pay due obedience to the High Court of Admiralty in all things. Signed, Robt. Quary. Endorsed, Recd. Jan. 23, Read 27 do. 1700/1. 7¾ pp.
932. ii. Duplicate of preceding.
932. iii. Copy of proceedings of Court of Admiralty, May 12 and 13, Philadelphia, relating to the Providence. (See Cal. A. &. W. I. 1699. No. 426.iii.) Endorsed, Recd. Jan. 23, 1700/1. 3 pp.
932. iv. Duplicate of preceding.
932. v. Copy of Governor Penn's Commission to Thomas Farmer, High Sherif of the County of Philadelphia, to execute the office of Water Bailiff. "The twentieth day of ye 4th month in ye 12th year of the Reign of William ye 3rd of England, etc., King, and in the twentieth year of my Government, 1700." Signed, Wm. Penn. Endorsed, Recd. Jan. 23, 1700/1. 1 p.
932. vi. Duplicate of preceding.
932. vii. Mr. Moore to the Lords of the Admiralty. Philadelphia, Nov. 9, 1700. Upon the rumours of some inhibitions granted by the High Court of Admiralty to vacate the sentence given May, 1699, against the Providence, I beg leave to say that I acted therein with a sincere zeal for the King's service, and hope your Lordships will give graines for my defects, which the proceedings will grossly discover. If the stress lye upon the forme or method of the proceedings, 'tis past a question they will bee annulled, for how can it be expected that a warp'd, byass'd and ignorant Register, would methodize his records fit for the scrutiny of the learned Court ? etc. Signed, Moore. Endorsed, Recd. Jan. 23, 1700/1. 2¾ pp.
932. viii. Copy of preceding. 2 pp.
932. ix. Col. Quary to [? Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty]. Philadelphia, Nov. 14. His Excellency Governor Nicholson was here lately in his way to New York and returne, he had the misfortune to be very sick all the time he was there, but was so well recovered, that he returned to his Government by land. I gave him the state of affairs here, which he ordered me to represent to your Lordships in a more particular manner than I have done in my general letter. I have represented all things to your Lordships and the other great Boards as much to the advantage of Governor Penn as possible I could, concluding that he had been sincere in his promises of maintaining the powers of your Lordships' Commission, but I find that all was but pretence to serve an end, which he concludes is now fully answered, having made all things easy and smoth at home, and now that he hath gained that point, he is pleased to run counter to all, as will appear by the Commission I enclose. I very well know that he would not have appeared so bare-faced, had not his Quaker friends forced him to it by keeping their purse-strings close, and showing him that without removing the Admiralty there was no hopes of money. They found by experience there was no forcing me by storm from my post, and therefore, ever since Mr. Penn's coming thither, they have employed all their malice, interest and cunning to undermine me. All this intrigue about the inhibition hath been managed by Mr. Penn ; it was he that contriv'd to put in those two Scotch Merchants for Commissioners, that he knew were prejudiced to the Admiralty and me, and hath taken care to be the Principal himself, he hath promised the Quakers to return his share, and will be no looser by it. At the same time that he is thus undermining he treats me with all the shew of friendship and kindness. I am not courtier enough to pay him in his own coyne, but have dealt above-board with him, and let him see that I was no stranger to his endeavour of undermining the jurisdiction of the Admiralty, both by private ways, and by his public Commissions. The whole Government are spies, not only on my publick actions, but on my private concerns, but, God be thanked, I have no favour to ask of them, but it is uneasy to live always in a state of war. I am very willing to continue in your Lordships' service till I can see the powers of the Admiralty are established in this Government, and then I hope you will please to fix on a person better qualified. I do most humbly beg of your Lordships that you will please to discourse Sir Charles Hedges, and desire him to propose some method, or rules, to prevent all misunderstanding betwixt the High Court of Admiralty and your Lordships' Court in the Plantations, that so all things may be carryd on smoothly, for the least difference is attended with a very ill consequence. Signed, Robt. Quary. Copy. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 5. Nos. 72, 72.i.–ix.; and (enclosure i. only) 26. pp. 411–431.]
Nov. 14. 933. Talbot Edwards to the Council of Trade and Plantations. "A suppliment to my report concerning Barbados, (No. 928.i.) showing why that place cannot with safety be fortified any other wayes than what I have already proposed." Tower, Nov. 14, 1700. Signed, Talbot Edwards. Endorsed, Recd. Read Nov. 26, 1700. 2 large pp. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 8. No. 61 ; and 45. pp. 171–176.]
Nov. 14.
At Mr.
934. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Quit-rents of the Counties ordered to be sold with 10 per cent. abatement for the Sheriff's salary in collecting the same and with a preference for any of the Council, should they wish to purchase. In cases where no contractor offered, ordered that the Sherif of the County be instructed to offer them for public sale. Warrants issued to the Sheriffs for the Collection of the quit-rents.
His Majesty's Letter, July 2, 1700, concerning arrears due to Sir Edmund Andros, read and referred. Ordered that Mr. Auditor Byrd prepare an account of the Public Revenue from April 25—Dec. 1700.
Ordered that all Naval Officers and Collectors appear at the City of Williamsburgh, Dec. 5, to make up their accounts with Mr. Treasurer and Mr. Auditor Byrd.
Ordered that Capt. Passenger's accounts for his sick men be first examined and then laid before the Council, Dec. 5.
His Excellency laid before the Council a letter from the Commissioners of Customs, Sept. 5, 1700. Ordered that the Collectors transmit accounts of duties as requested.
Ordered that M. de Sallee render an account, Dec. 3, what French were carried up to Manikin Town and in what state they now are, what money he hath received from England for their use and how it hath been disposed of, as also to lay before the Council copies of all the transactions betwixt him and Dr. Cox relating to the said French Refugees. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 55. pp. 39–43.]
Nov. 15.
935. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of Rumney, Master General, and the Principal Officers of H.M. Ordnance. We have received your letter of the 12th, and return you our thanks for the copy you send us of Mr. Edwards' report. We make it our further desire that you would favour us likewise with his journal, and such plans as he took for the better fortifying any part of Barbados. We also entreat you to let us have a sight of the report, or Journal, which was given you by Mr. Sims, decd., and such plans as he may have left of St. Christopher's or any other of the Leeward Islands, for the better security thereof, His Majesty having required us to make a General Report on all these matters. Signed, Stamford, Ph. Meadows, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney. P.S.—All papers and plans that you may send us, shall be returned to you. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 45. pp. 138, 139.]
Nov. 15. 936. Edward Randolph to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The state of the Bermuda or Summer Islands. The Islands lie so conveniently that they protect and secure the Trade from England to all H.M. Plantations on the Continent of America and Carribbee Islands ; but if they be overtaken by surprize or otherwise by the French or Dutch, which may easily be done at this time with 500 men, they will command all the trade in those parts of the world, which, if so, will not be soon retaken. They were upon their first settlement under a Governor and Council, as formerly Virginia was, and divided into eight Tribes or Parishes, each Tribe into 25 shares, and every share into 25 acres, and the spare land lying near the Fresh Water in every Tribe was ordered to be laid out for building of houses and for gardens and other easments to be adjoined to them, that the people might inhabit more comfortly, as in towns. The Company resided always in London, and did sometimes send them over a Governor, and sometimes appointed one of the inhabitants to be their Governor, who greatly oppressed them, taking their lands from them without a Judge or Jury, insomuch that their Charter was vacated (Charles II.) and those Islands put under His Majesty's immediate Government.
Sir Robert Robinson was appointed Governor by Commission under the Great Seal, with sufficient salary for his support. He put in all his officers, making Rich. Ashworth, a Blacksmith, his Naval Officer, and afterwards the High Sherif of those Islands, and Terrill, a Waterman, Capt. of one of the Forts. He turned Mr. Trott, the Collector of H.M. Customs, out of his office, and imprisoned him six weeks in the Castle, by his own arbitrary warrant, and made Tho. Burton, a stranger and of no estate, to be the Collector in his room, saying the Commissioners of H.M. Customs had no power to appoynt their officer, where His Majesty had sent a Governor. In like manner did all the succeeding Governors, putting straingers in all the places of trust, and neglected the men of the best estates, fit for those employments and born in the country. But Mr. Day exceeded them in all manner of oppressions and injustice. He turned the best men of parts and good estates out of the Council, and imprisoned them. Names of former and present Members of Council given.
There are about 1,500 families in Bermuda. The Militia consists of about 1,000 men able to bare arms. They were formerly commanded by Col. White, turned out by Mr. Day. They are generally well armed. There is one Chapple at St. George's, where Mr. Kendall, a Church of England man, is the Minister; and eight parish Churches, some whereof have gleablands. Mr. Foule, an Independent preacher, is itinerant from one Church to another. Mr. Day receives the profit of the glebes and the lands given for public schooles, and has taken to his own use a great part of the Church plate. Two practitioners of physick. It hath three convenient harbours, the tide at the spring rises four or five feet. One Town Harbour, where is 16 foot at high water; the entrance is secured with two small forts built upon two rocks; that to the Northward is called Queen's Fort, where are seven guns mounted, lately commanded by Capt. Len White, the other to the Southward, called Smith's Fort, has about six guns; it is very much out of repair. Castle Harbour(s) has 18 foot at high water, that is secured by a good Castle on an Island on the S.W. side of the entrance, where are 28 iron and two brass guns mounted; it was commanded by Capt. Jno. Peasely, a man of a good estate and native, well qualified for that trust, but turned out by Mr. Day, and put in the hands of Mr. Jones, Provost Marshall. There is on the other side of the entrance a battery of about ten guns, upon an Island also. There is a brestworke at St. George's Town with nine guns, which secured the vessels at an anchor in the harbour. Elyes [? Ellis] Harbour at the West end of the Islands ; it has 14 foot at high water ; the entrance is difficult and used only by small vessels ; it is secured by a small fort, having four guns. 170 navigators able to take charge of vessels, and carry them to most known places of trade. 50 shipwrights, five smith forges for ship work ; 76 vessels built in the country, and all of ceder, of which four are ships of about 100 tuns ; six Briganteens from 40 to 60 tuns ; 60 sloops from 30 to above 40 tuns, nine of which were lately taken by Fardivando, the pyrat ; 3 or 400 small two-mast boats for fishing and other occasion upon the water ; 500 saylers, most of them natives of the Islands, being about 400 white men and 100 negroes and molattos, of which number above 60 sail out of Jamaica, and above 30 out of Carasaw, where they manage the trade with the Spaniards, for want of encouragement at home ; nine fortifications in all, some useless ; a good Engeneir is much wanted there ; 76 guns, of which not above ten iron guns are serviceable. Ammunition and stores under the Court House. There are in the magazine at St. George's 38 whole barrels and five half barrels of gunpowder, when Mr. Day entered upon the Government, as I was credibly informed, Feb. 27, by Jno. Rawlings, the store-keeper; but there was not above three barrels, when I left the Island, July 13.
The first Planters made great quantities of tobacco, most part whereof was brought to England ; some have made sugar, most places in those Islands very proper for it. They formerly sent great quantities of oranges yearly to England and to the Northern Plantations on the Continent, and get Estates, but since the orange-trees are blasted and their ground barren and overrun in many places with very small insects (which they call ants), they cannot raise Indian corn and provisions sufficient for their use, but are foreced to fetch it from Carolina and the Northern Plantations, and now they make but little tobacco, so that they have no staple commodity growing upon their Islands. They sometimes carry fish, onions and cabbages, of which they have great quantities, and sometimes oil to Barbados and the Leeward Islands. The small vessels go in their ballast and load salt at the Bahama Islands or Salt Tertuda, which they carry to Carolina, whence they bring provision, and get but little by those voyages; other(s) cut brazelett [braziletto] wood at the Bahamas, which they sell at Curasau with their sloops making their returns in pieces of eight and Hollands manufacture.
The inhabitants have been greatly discouraged by the severities and most unjust proceedings of their Governors, (1) by imprisoning the Chief of the Council and others at their pleasure (Sir Robt. Robinson and Mr. Day); (2) by imprisoning the Officers of H.M. Customs and turning them out of their places, putting their servants and confident[s] in their rooms, the better to carry on their illegal trade (Sir Robt. Robinson and Col. Goddard); (3) by seizing and condemning vessels, which had the misfortune to touch upon the rocks, demanding extravagant fees, and putting the owners to great loss before they can have them of Mr. Day ; (4) by stopping of vessels loadin with onions and cabbages, etc., under pretence to stay for the Governor's letters, by which their voyages are overthrown (5) by making straingers the Sheriffs and to continue them several years in that office, who, after they have done many unlawful things to the inhabitants, run away in their debts ; (6) by making owners of vessels pay ten pieces of eight for the registring their vessels, tho' of but 30 tun, whereas in other parts they pay not above two for all charges; (7) by exacting from the tenants of the King's hands as much more quit-rent yearly as they paid in the former Governor's time.
For redress of some of these grievances it is humbly proposed :—
(1) That your Lordships will be pleased to have the opinion of the Judge of the Court of Admiralty in England touching the Vice-Admiral's fees about vessels running aground upon the rocks, and also about wreck-goods which are found upon the Spanish coast or other places not belonging to Bermuda or other of H.M English Plantations.
(2) Vessels not to be stopped under pretence to carry the Governor's letters, and, if above 48 hours and upon urgent occasions, then by order of Governor and Council.
(3) Owners of vessels to pay but two pieces of eight for all the charges of registring their vessels.
(4) That the Sheriffs be chosen out of the inhabitants only, and to continue in their office but for one year, as in England.
(5) That the tenants of the King's Lands pay to the Governor no more quit-rent yearly than was paid in Col. Recteir's time. And that the inhabitants may build for themselves houses in Charles Town or other common lands laid out for townships without paying for the ground or for raising stones to build them. And as much as Mr. Day and some of his predecessors have taken to themselves the profits of the gleabs and other lands given for maintaining ministers and schoolmasters, that the succeeding Governor demand all those rents, and take care that they be applied to the end for which they were given, and that he demand of Mr. Day the Church plate, linen for the Communion table, and books. And finally, as the best and only means for preventing the succeeding Governors from oppressing the inhabitants by arbitrary practices, as has been formerly done in those Islands to raise a maintainance, it's humbly proposed that the Governor of Bermuda have an allowance not less than 500l. a year, to support them in their Government; provissions and all necessary being very scarce and deare. Signed, Ed. Randolph Endorsed, Recd. Read Nov. 6 [sic. ? 16th] 1700. Enclosed,
936. i. Copy of Sir Robt. Robinson's warrant for imprisoning Samuel Trott, Feb. 2, 1688. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 6, 1700.
936. ii. Capt. Peasly to Ed. Randolph, giving an account of stores in the Magazines of Bermuda. July 11, 1700. Signed, John Peasly. Same endorsement. 1¼ pp.
936. iii. Capt. Peasly's account of stores wanted for the forts in Bermuda. July 12, 1700. Signed, John Peasly. Same endorsement. 1 p.
936. iv. An account of the plate, linen and books brought over to the Bermudas in H.M.S. Maidstone, by Governor Day, for the Chapel. The Chalice and Covert, the Bason and Salver, the Bible and Linen for the Communion have been converted to his own private use by the Governor, the linen given for the use of the Communion being cut out of a piece of ordinary cloth and made up in this Island, vizt., one table cloth and two napkins. Of the 14 Prayer-books for the use of the Chapel, there is none disposed of to that use, excepting one to the Minister and one to the Clerk. Signed, Jno. Kendall. July 12, 1700. Same endorsement. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 4. Nos. 47, 47. i.–iv. ; and (without enclosures) 30. pp. 118–128.]
Nov. 15. 937. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Order of Council, Nov. 5, upon a remonstrance from East New Jersey, together with a memorial from Mr. Bass with extracts of some letters relating to the same subject were read. Copy of the remonstrance ordered to be sent to Mr. Dockwra to be by him communicated to the Proprietors, that they may answer in writing without delay.
Order of Council, Nov. 5, upon a petition of the Lord Baltimore, relating to two Acts of Maryland, which he conceives to be prejudicial to his right and property, was read Ordered that the said Acts be looked out in order to the considering of that matter the next meeting.
Letter from the Board of Ordnance read. A letter to that Board ordered.
Acts of Barbados further considered. Ordered that the Agents of that Island be reminded of what was writ to them, Nov. 6. [Board of Trade. Journal, 13. pp. 246, 247 ; and 97. No. 203].