America and West Indies: December 1700, 11-13

Pages 731-744

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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December 1700

Dec. 11. See preceding abstract. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 55. pp. 311–316.]
Dec. 11.
990. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Codrington. Whereas Co. Fox, before your arrival in the Leeward Islands, took upon himself the powers of Commander-in-Chief and passed Acts in the Assemblies of those Islands, for which it has been doubted whether he had sufficient authority, His Majesty has been pleased by Order in Council, Dec. 5, to direct us to signify to you that you cause all the Acts of Assembly passed by Col. Fox to be laid before the respective Assemblies, that they may be confirmed or repealed as you and they shall think most conducing to His Majesty's service and the public good of those Islands, which Acts, so confirmed or repealed you are to transmit hither with all convenient speed in order to His Majesty's royal approbation or disallowance. Signed, Stamford, Lexington, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney, Mat. Prior. P.S. by William Popple. I am commanded to send you the enclosed copy of H.M. Order in Council, Dec. 5. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 46. pp. 130, 131.]
Dec. 11. 991. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letter to Col. Codrington signed. Secretary ordered to send him a copy of H.M. Order in Council, Dec. 5.
Mr. Bridges and Mr. Holder, Agents of Barbadoes, with several gentlemen concern'd in that Island attending, said that the Act concerning pressing of seamen was made upon occasion of H.M. Order in Council committing the care of pressing seamen in the Plantations for the use of His Majesty's ships of war in those parts to the Governors in Chief of each Plantation respectively, and is drawn with such clauses as were thought proper by the General Assembly for remedying the inconveniences to which merchant ships were subject by having their men prest by the Captains of His Majesty's ships of war. In relation to the Habeas Corpus Act, they said that in Jamaica, His Majesty's subjects enjoyed that benefit by virtue of the Common Law of England, but the same having been oft denied in Barbados, the said Act was there thought necessary. Whereupon these gentlemen were directed to be as particular as they can in all these matters, and to lay the same before their Lordships in writing.
Dec. 12. Letter to Col. Codrington signed.
Letter from Mr. Gilbert Nelson, of Bermuda, Nov. 4, read.
Dec. 13. The Agents of Barbadoes and others presented a memorial upon the Habeas Corpus Act passed there.
Sir Henry Ashurst presented memorials, in defence of Connecticut's right to the Government of the Narraganset Country, and relating to appeals from Connecticut.
Letters and papers from Lord Bellomont, Oct. 17, 24, 28, were laid before the Board. Their Lordships entered upon consideration of the first. Acts referred to therein ordered to be sent to Mr. Sollicitor General.
Ordered that Mr. Sollicitor General be desired to dispatch his report upon the Acts of Maryland that are in his hands, and more especially upon that for the service of Almighty God, because of the many pressing applications that have been made to their Lordships for their report upon it. [Board of Trade. Journal, 13. pp. 271–282; and 97. Nos. 217–219.]
Dec. 12.
992. John Usher to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Upon Earle Bellomont's entering on ye Government in Province New Hampshire, I gave under my hand a charge against Jno. Hincks, Wm. Vaughan, and Richd. Walderen, of disorders by them comitted when I was concerned in the Goverment; the charge and whole proceedings are lodged in Plantation Office but my Lord's stay being not long, and suppose His Majesty's concerns required his presence in Massachusetts Bay, there was noe examination of the matter. Att same time gave under my hand a charge against Wm. Partridge, Esq., now Lieutenant-Governor, for entering on the Govermt. contrary to Act of Parliament, not being quallified, and in a hostill maner, in disobedience to your Lordships' commands. Did hope said persons would have been made to answer before your Lordships ere this; they look upon there actions allowed of, and say the Govermt. is in there hands for this King's reign. Now they having the Government in their own hands, and those in place being persons ill affected to Kingly Govermtt., loyal persons frowned on, Acts of Trade violated, and the present Lieutenant Governor one that was commissionated with others for surveying woods for timber for His Majesty's service, ye said person hath cutt down the best timber for plancks, etc., shipt the same off to Portugall, might as lawfully sent itt to France, ye timber and planck fitt for ye biggest ship in the world. The Govermt. being thus in there own hands, actt us as they pleas, judgeing they are not accountable for there actions. It's a principle to much entertained in these parts, ye King hath nothing to do, unjust they may not have the Govermt. in their own hands, and act without controule; Acts of Parliament ought not to be laws for Plantations, unless had Representatives in Parliament; if may write plaine, are nott for Kingly, but comonwealth Govermt., which pray Libera Nos. This am assured, if persons were ordered to appear to answer for their misdemeanours, it would put a stop to the many insolences and cause abundance of more due regard to orders from Whitehall. In case orders should be sent for examining evidences as to ye charge for disorders committed, which are lodged in Plantation Office under my hand, on least notice shall make proof thereof. It may be these lines may be too troublesome, however they are writt from a true principle of loyalty. Signed, John Usher. Endorsed, Recd, Feb. 17, 1700/1 Holograph. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New England, 11. No. 31; and 38. pp. 381–383.]
Dec. 12.
993. Order of King in Council referring enclosed petition to the Council of Trade and Plantations for their report. Signed, Edward Southwell. Endorsed, Recd. Read Dec. 30, 1700. ¾ p. Enclosed,
993. i. Petition of Isaac Hawkins to the King. Barbara Newton, late of Barbados, widow, having sometime before her death brought an action of debt there against John Gibbs, late one of the Council of the said Island, on a bond of 30,000l. sterl., whereon there was 5,975l. then justly due to her. The Court gave a groundless judgment against her, whereupon she brought a writ of error in the Court of Errors, which affirmed that judgment, whereupon she exhibited a Bill in the Court of Chancery there for relief, but the said Court, consisting of the same persons who were Judges on the Writ of Error (four of whom were interested in the consequences of the suit) her Bill was by them dismist, whereupon she appealed to your Majesty in Council, and died before the same came to a hearing. Petitioner, one of her executors, brought the cause to a hearing in Aug., 1695, when the said judgments and decree were set aside and petitioner left at liberty to begin a new suit. Soon after John Gibbs died and covered his estate as best he could to keep it from being liable to satisfy petitioner's claim. Petitioner hath not yet any new suit, being much discouraged, since he must sue in the Chancery of the Island, which Court doth very seldom sit, and consists of the Governor and 12 gentlemen who are the Council, and several of the Council are interested in the consequence of the suit. Represents hardship of Court sitting so seldom and of having cases determined by the major vote of persons who are frequently interested in the causes that come before them. Copy. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 8. Nos. 66. 66.i.; and 45. pp. 192–195.]
Dec. 12. 994. Attorney General to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I have considered of the several Acts (enumerated) past at a General Assembly in Barbados, Jan.–March, 1699/1700, and find nothing therein contained contrary to law or prejudicial to His Majesty's Royal Prerogative. Signed, Tho. Trevor, Endorsed, Recd. Dec. 19, 1700, Read Jan. 14, 1700/1. 1¼ pp. [Board of Trade. Babados, 8. No. 70; and 45. pp. 213, 214.]
Dec. 12.
995. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Codrington. We send you copies of our Representations, Sept. 19, 20, and Oct. 18 upon the Acts of Antegoa, 1696, 1697, 1698, and of Nevis, 1698, 1699, passed by the President and Council of Nevis, and copies of Orders of Council thereupon, Oct. 22, that you may observe their contents and the reasons we have offered for the repeal of some of the Acts. We also send some observations that occurred to us upon reading the said Acts, which are not express't in our Representations, in order that whatever we have noted there as any ways unfit or irregular may for the future be amended. We desire you, as we shall do the Governors of all His Majesty's Plantations, that a memorandum be entered upon the books of the respective Councils of the Leeward Islands, to caution them that whenever the Government of the said Islands by the death, absence or removal of a Governor or Lieutenant-Governor immediately commissioned by His Majesty comes to devolve upon a President and the Council of any of the said Islands, the President and Council do forbear to pass any Acts but such as are immediately necessary for the peace and welfare of the islands, unless they receive His Majesty's express order for their so doing. We have found in the course of our business relating to His Majesty's Plantations that the transmitting of private Acts past in the General Assemblies fastened together under the same seal with those that are of a public concern, has sometimes provided an obstruction to the despatch of the public Acts, and therefore desire you to take care that, whenever such private Acts are passed in the Leeward Islands, they be sent each of them single under distinct seals, and that the parties concerned be informed that it is necessary some person here be instructed to attend His Majesty's Attorney or Solicitor General in the dispatch thereof, and to answer any doubts that may arise thereupon.
Amongst the several accounts that you are directed by His Majesty's Instructions to transmit unto us, we desire you more particularly to take care in sending yearly those of the arms, ammunition and stores remaining in all His Majesty's magazines under your Government. And in the first place, so soon as possible, we desire you to send us an exact account of the state of the forts and fortifications there, with your opinion of what may be further necessary for the defence and security of the same. We have seen the plans and journals of what Mr. Simms has done in those matters, but do not find them of much use. Signed, Stamford, Lexington, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney, Mat. Prior. Annexed,
995. i. Observations upon the Acts of Antegoa, 1696, 1697, 1698:—
(a) An Act for regulating the towns and harbours and settling markets in this Island, Ap. 22, 1697. The fine of 50l. for throwing out ballast contrary to the rules prescribed by this Act is excessive, and ought to be laid upon the master, not the ship.
(b) An Act for naturalizing David Sweigle of this Island, Chirurgion, and Martin Frett, inhabitant of the same, being aliens born. Feb. 4, 1697. The words of this Act, expressing that the said persons shall be capable to do all manner of act and acts, thing and things with as great freedom as if they had been born within this Island or any other of His Majesty's Dominions are too general and by no means fit to be allowed. But whereas the following clause does confine the whole effect of the Act to the Island of Antegoa only, it has been though fit to pass it. However, this ought to be a caution against expressions of too large extent in all future Acts of Naturalisation.
(c) An Act appointing the number of Assemblymen and the manner of their election. We desire further to be informed what was the constitution of that Island in relation to their Assemblies before the passing of this Act, and why they desired to change it.
(d) An Act for the better Government of Slaves, etc. We desire to be informed what effect this Act has had, whilst it was in force. And would also know why Courts of Justice are declined and all the power put into the hands of two Justices of the Peace without making use of juries.
(e) An Act for the better regulating the fees of Public Officers. The penalty for any offence in taking fees seems moderate: all crimes of that kind are made equal. The expressions reflecting on the officers of the Customs, unless the crimes had been plainly proved, are not proper to be in an Act. There are many other improprieties of expression in the wording of this Act, as that boats shall give security, boats will observe the Act, etc.: all which, if it were not expired, would have been reasons for repealing it.
(f) Act for electing an Agent from time to time for this Island. It seems more proper that one and the same Agent were appointed for all the Leeward Islands. The Acts of Mountserat lie with Mr. Solicitor General for his opinion in point of law, for want of somebody's care to take them out.
(g) An Act for reinforcing several Acts. By the Governor's instructions about transmitting Acts, there is a penalty laid upon him for not doing it within the time limited. But the Acts are not therefore void, and for that reason this Act seems to have been needless.
(h) An Act for establishing Courts, etc. Though it have been thought fit to approve this Act, yet it may be convenient to observe that the fines thereby laid upon Secretaries, Clerks of Courts, Marshal, etc., do seem excessive.
995. ii. Observations upon the Acts of Nevis, 1698 and 1699:
(a) Act for Assemblymen to serve when chosen. This Act lays a penalty on such as refuse to serve when chosen. Now it being not usual for persons to refuse to serve, though some may neglect to do it, we observe that the penalty ought to have been laid on the neglect and not on the refusal.
(b) Act to oblige Masters of Ships to give in security besides the security by Act of Parliament. We further observe that the penalty of 1,000l. to be put into the bond is too general and also too high. It ought to be proportioned to the damage.
(c) An Act against running away with boats, etc. This Act ought to comprehend all Masters of Ships and all other persons as well as slaves and servants.
(d) An Act for vessels to pay tonnage, powder, etc. The reason of suspending our opinion upon this Act is that we may first be informed by you what was formerly paid in this Island, what is paid in the other Leeward Islands, and whether the other Islands do each of them exempt their own inhabitants from this duty.
General Notes:—There has been a great negligence in wording of these Acts. They are full of many improper and absurd expressions. Some of these Acts are so fastened together that they cannot be read without tearing. They ought to be writ upon large, strong paper, folded in folio, with fair margints on both sides, so that they may be conveniently bound up together and read without trouble. Several of these Acts are placed disorderly, not according to their dates, but confusedly mixed, the first last and the last first. Duplicates of what has been sent in one parcel are in some places mixed with new ones and fastened together under one seal, without any distinction. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 46. pp. 132–140.]
Dec. 12. 996. Minutes of Council of New York. Several accounts referred. Payments made to Paroculus Parmyter, Judge Advocate, Barne Cosens, Clerk, Richd. Stokes, Marshall, for their services at the Court Martial.
1l. 16s. paid to Hendrick van Dyck, for physick and operations of chyrurgery done by him. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 394, 395.]
Dec. 12.
997. Minutes of Council of the Massachusetts Bay. Account of John Walley, for materials supplied to the Fort at Cascobay, paid.
Ordered that the inhabitants of Dunstable be allowed 12l. per annum for two years towards maintaining an orthodox minister amongst them.
Treasurer's account and account of wages due to the soldiers at the Castle referred to a Committee. [Board of Trade. Massachusetts Bay, 2. p. 23.]
Dec. 12. 998. Journal of the House of Burgesses of Virginia. Several public claims received were referred to the Committee of Claims.
Mr. Bartholomew Fowler sworn Clerk of the Committee of Grievances. Upon consideration of the writ for James City, upon which the Sheriff had made a double return, of Benjamin Harrison and Robert Beverley, resolved that Robert Beverley is duly elected a Burgess, and that the Sherif, Thomas Cowles, come into the House and rase his return of Benjamin Harrison, and when he had done this, he was excused his error, "because the circumstances of the Election were such that they created in him a great dilemma."
The House then took into consideration His Excellency's speech. The consideration of the papers concerning the French refugees, together with the Lords' letter about building the Governor's house, was referred to the Committee of Propositions.
Consideration of public claims and debts referred to the Committee of Claims.
A Committee was appointed to receive the Treasurer's accounts.
Several petitions, propositions and grievances referred to the several Committees.
Dec. 13. Several public claims referred to the Committee of Claims. Robert Beverley took the oaths, etc., appointed, as a Burgess.
Several propositions and grievances from the counties referred to the Committee of Grievances. Two, improperly attested, were rejected.
A message from His Excellency was delivered, laying before the House various papers and claims and lists of tithables.
Tully Robinson and Thomas Welburne were sworn and took their places in the House.
Report upon a grievance from Norfolk County referred.
Papers relating to the French Refugees referred to the Committee of Propositions.
Petition of Edmund Jennings referred to His Excellency and Council.
Dec. 14. Several petitions and propositions, referred to the House by His Excellency and Council, were read and referred to the Committee of Propositions and Grievances. Other petitions were read and referred to the Committee of Claims.
Petition of Edmund Jenings of the County of York, and David Bray of the County of James City, executors of Thomas Bray of New Kent, as to some land in Pomunkey Neck, read, and referred to the next session. A motion, to prohibit all persons in possession of the lands mentioned to make any waste thereupon until the said petition was taken into consideration, was negatived.
Petition of several inhabitants of the upper parts of S. Peter's parish in the county of New Kent, for a chapel of ease to be built there, rejected.
Petition of William Holt of Stafford County, for services done for the said county, rejected.
Report of the Committee of Propositions, upon French Refugees and the Governor's house, referred. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 54. pp. 46–60.]
Dec. 12. 999. Minutes of Council in Assembly of Virginia. Ordered that the Clerk prepare several petitions and a list of tithables and untithables and the muster-rolls, to be laid before the Burgesses.
Dec. 13. The papers referred to, together with all the claims and papers belonging to the Pirates and the Rangers, ordered to be laid before the Burgesses, and that the Clerk of the Assembly acquaint the House that the original list of tithables and untithables, and the muster-rolls of each County, is to remain here upon record in the Secretary's office, and two fair copies are to be transmitted for England. And see preceding abstract. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 55. pp. 316, 317.]
Dec. 13. 1000. Mr. Thurston's memorandum of supplies necessary to be sent for the soldiers at Newfoundland. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read Jan. 23, 1700/1. Enclosed,
1000.i.–iii. Detailed estimates of above supplies. 3 pp. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 4. Nos. 19, 19.i–iii: and (without estimates), 25. p. 398.]
Dec. 13. 1001. Sir Henry Ashhurst, Agent for Connecticut, to the Council of Trade and Plantations, asserting the right of the said Colony to the Government of the Narraganset Country. The natives and inhabitants of that country, before they received any particular form of Government from the Crown of England, made their application to the Colony of Conecticott, desiring they would represent to King Charles II. the unanimous consent and desire of ye Narragansetts to be under ye jurisdiction of H.M. Colony of Connecticott (see their letter Nov. 18, 1662), and His Majesty accordingly by his Charter, April 23, 1662, granted to the Governor and Company of Conecticott all that part of his Dominions in America bounded on the East by Narragansett River, alias Narragansett Bay, where the said River falleth into ye sea, and on the North by ye Massachusetts Plantations, and on ye South by ye sea in Longitude as ye line of ye Massachusetts Colony running from E. to W., that is to say, from Narragansetts Bay on ye E. to ye South Sea on ye West, with the islands thereunto belonging, etc. In pursuance of this gracious Charter, the General Assembly of Conecticott did make several orders, 1663 and 1664, and appoint several officers for settling ye Government of ye said Country of Narragansett, on which foundation the inhabitants thought themselves very happily settled, till their quiet was disturbed by the plantation of Rhode Island, who as they alledged had obtained a patent from K. Charles II, 1663, in which the Government of Narragansett was comprehended. The claim of the Rhode Islanders is not justifiable, for (i) They must either affirm that ye bounds of ye Country of Narragansett are not truly described in one patent, or that their subsequent patent is a revocation of ours. As to ye first of these, 'tis humbly offered that, in regard of ye distance of ye place, your Lordps. would admit of examinations taken from ancient natives of the Pequitts and Narragansetts' Country, ready to be produced, which agree with the bounds described in our Charter, and, as a further confirmation, the proceedings upon a Commission under ye Royal Signet, April 7, 1683, by which it doth appear that the Commissioners did certifie that the bounds of Narragansett were agreeable to the Charter of Conecticott, and that the Government thereof did of right belong to that Colony. (ii) The subsequent Charter of Rhode Island of any jurisdiction in ye Narragansett's Country is so far from repealing the former Charter granted to us, that 'tis in itself void as to this particular, as would be the case with a similar grant of lands in England. We further beg leave to remind your Lordships of your order May 22, 1695, by which you referred ye matter of law in ye case now in question to Sir Thos. Trevor, Attorney General, who reported that ye Government of Narraganset doth of right belong to Conecticott and not to Rhode Island. If it be further objected that the bounds of Conecticott's jurisdiction was settled between Mr. Winthrop and Mr. Clarke, Agents for Conecticott and Rhode Island, we answer that though it were granted that a collateral agreement between Agents could enlarge or diminish the grant of the King, yet Mr. Winthrop's agency, after having obtained and sent over ye Charter, was fully determined, and this supposed agreement was after that time, and meerly his own act, without any instructions or authority given him from ye Colony of Conecticott. And lastly that yr. Lordships will take such order as shall seem meet that a line be run particularly describing their bounds of jurisdiction to ye Country of Narragansett, according to the limitations of their Charter. Signed, Hen. Ashhurst. Endorsed, Recd. Dec. 13, 1700. 4 large pp. Edges torn and rubbed. Enclosed,
Oct. 15 1699.]
1001. i. Gov. J. Winthrop to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In obedience to His Majesty's command, we have been many times since endeavouring to issue the difference between this Colony and Rhode Island concerning the Government of the Narragansett Country, but have not been able to effect it. This Government hath hereupon given a Commission to Sir Henry Ashhurst as our Agent to lay before His Majesty, or such as he shall appoint, our claim to the Government of the said Country and to receive His Majesty's determination therein. Signed, J. Winthrop. Endorsed, Recd. Read Dec. 5, 1700. 1 p.
1001. ii. Copy of Commission from ye Governor and General Assembly of Connecticut constituting Sir Hen. Ashhurst Agent for that Colony, Oct. 15, 1699. Same endorsement. 2½ pp. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 5. Nos. 79, 79. i., ii.; and (first enclosure only) 26. p. 352.]
Dec. 13. 1002. Sir Henry Ashhurst to the Council of Trade and Plantations. With reference to the several appeals brought by Major Edward Palmes and John and Nicholas Hallam, by virtue of their Charter the Colony of Conecticott have a full and ample power of hearing, determining and bringing to a final issue all causes arising within that Colony. By that Charter, Charles II. appointed a Governor, Deputy Governor and 12 Assistants, with such other freemen of their body corporate as should by them be elected to be ye General Assembly or Supreme Court of Judicature within the Colony, to erect Inferior Courts and ordain laws, etc. In obedience to ye said Charter, the General Assembly erected several Inferior Courts, and in particular one at New London, for the trial of all matters of right between party and party, and to the end that no person should be without remedy, who might think himself aggrieved by ye proceedings in such Inferior Court, they did further ordain that upon complaint of any person in such a case to ye General Assembly, ye cause should be again heard there and finally determined. This form of justice, as 'tis the most speedy and effectual, and most for ye benefit, if not absolutely necessary to ye subsistence of ye Colony, so we humbly hope your Lordships will allow to be reasonable and lawful and no wayes injurious to ye prerogative Royal of this Realm, though it seems to exclude any appeal, properly so called, to this Kingdom. Argues that the distance is great and the advantage of "having justice at our very doors" valuable, that there is no precedent of such an appeal from that Colony since their incorporation. The objection that, if no appeal be allowed from ye General Assembly, this will make them absolutely independent of the Crown of England, is met by saying that if the Assembly became totally corrupt, that would amount to a direct forfeiture of their Charter. As to Major Palmes' complaint repeats substance of following letter. As for the other complainants, they have not so much as begun any suit in any of the Courts of ye Colony, but would carry the matter still further to have not only appeals, but even original jurisdiction in England. Signed, Hen. Ashhurst. Endorsed, Recd. 13, Read Dec. 16, 1700. 3 large pp. Edge torn. Enclosed,
Oct. 22, 1699.
1002. i. Governor and Company of Connecticut to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The Governor at the first opening of the General Assembly (Oct. 13), after the arrival of your letter (April 24, 1699) communicated it to us. As to the petitions of John and Nicholas Hallam and of Edward Palmes and John Hallam, we could not without great regret observe the abuse done to His Majesty and your Lordships, as well as to us, by their false representations. The last case mentioned in the petition of John and Nicholas Hollam was never in the least moved or agitated in any of His Majesty's Courts within this Colony, and therefore not the least reason for them to pretend any obstruction of justice. And for the case mentioned by Edward Palmes and John Hollam, although they brought it to one of His Majesty's Inferior Courts within this Colony, yet they have never offered to make the least complaint to the General Assembly of any obstruction of justice, by any judgement or proceeding of the said Inferior Court, as the Law of the Colony doth expressly provide, that any person whatsoever agrieved by the obstruction of justice may, and since the receipt of your Lordships' letter, the General Assembly did perticularly demand of Edward Palms, that if he had anything to alledge against the said Inferior Court he should produce it, and offered that they would hear it, and grant him such redress as should be just. But he utterly refused. Upon the information we have received about the case, we do not perceive any of the proceedings of the said Court in said case to be prejudiciall to justice, the judgment there given being grounded upon the Law of England, which is no way contrary to the course of the Courts in this Colony, and was moreover expressly consented to by the said Petitioners, as appears by the Record of the Court, who could not therefore rationally make the least objection against the said Judgment. As for any such obstruction of justice as they pretend, nothing is more certain than that all His Majesty's Courts in this Colony have ever been ready to receive and hear any causes, that have been legally brought unto them. Before these Petitioners, we never heard of any that ever made the least objection of this kind, and cannot perceive they had the least reason for their complaints. As for the liberty of appealing from His Majesty's Courts here to His Majesty in Council, we hope that since the complaints occasioning His Majesties declaring his pleasure therein were so groundless, we shall not need to offer any further consideration thereupon. We could not possibly be more happy than to have all such differences as arise among us, and not issuable here, to be heard and determined by His Majesty's great wisdom and justice, did not the remoteness of this Colony render it very prejudicial and almost wholly ruinous to His Majesty's subjects here. We are therefore humbly bold to offer to your Lordships' thoughts His Majesty's most gracious priviledge granted by Charter to this Corporation, for the hearing and issuing any such differences when they should happen among us, a power which, because of the remoteness of this Colony, as is expressly said in the Charter, was thought necessary for the support of the same. Signed, by order of the Governor and Company of His Majesty's Colony of Connecticut, Eleazar Kimberly, Secretary. Endorsed, Recd. Read Dec. 5, 1700. 2 pp. Edge torn. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 5. Nos. 78, 78.i.; and 26. pp. 353–366.]
Dec. 13.
1003. William Popple to Sir Thomas Trevor. The Council of Trade and Plantations very much desire the dispatch of your report upon the Acts of Maryland which are in your hands, and more especially upon that "for the service of Almighty God," because of the many pressing applications that have been made to their Lordships for their report on it. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 10. p. 11.]
Dec. 13.
1004. William Popple to Sir John Hawles. I enclose three Acts past by a General Assembly at New York, July 29 last, vizt., an Act for the better securing the Five Nations in their fidelity to His Majesty; an Act for appointing Commissioners to examine the Publick Accounts, and an Act against Jesuits and Popish priests. The Lords Commissioners for Trade have been informed that the first has been repealed in that Province by a later Act, which they have not yet received, so that there does not need any report upon it; but upon the other two they desire your opinion in point of law, with what speed you can. [Board of Trade. New York, 55. pp. 60, 61.]
Dec. 13. 1005. Agents of Barbados, etc. to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In reply to your letter of Dec. 6 we offer some few instances of the oppressions and grievances mentioned in the Act of Barbados for securing the liberty of His Majesty's subjects, etc. (1) The Speaker of an Assembly of that Island, legally chosen by the People, was publickly carted and whipped through the streets of the chief town. Several of the Members imprisoned during the pleasure of the then Governor. (2) Samuel Farmer was taken up by order of the Governor coming out of Church and hurried on board ship and sent away prisoner to England, where no crime appeared against him, which so impoverished him, that both he and his son have laboured with the utmost industry and frugality for above 35 years, but their estate is still indebted by that great piece of injustice. (3) Col. Simon Lambert was also clap't up and sent prisoner on board ship, and forced to make a submission, right or wrong. Lieut.-Col. Robert Sandford was hurried away on board ship to one of the Northern Colonies, to his utter ruin, notwithstanding he was willing to be tried. (4) Of later times, John Smith was committed to prison for a supposed crime or misdemeanour to one of the Council here, where he was detained and denied bail till he was forced to a submission, and almost ruined by the delay. (5) Capt. John Price, commander of a merchant ship, for trading as an interloper, (then so phrased) was detained in the Island contrary to the Laws thereof, being denied his ticket after having put up his name publickly, nor was this even granted him when security was offered by some of the considerablest inhabitants, unless he would give bond to the Company's Agents never to trade to Guinea again.
As to the inhabitants of Barbados not enjoying the same liberties as those of other Plantations, the inhabitants of Jamaica have Courts of Grand Sessions and Gaol Delivery frequently held, and the benefit of the writ of Habeas Corpus, and when it has been denied, as formerly it was once or twice, the parties grieved brought their actions against the Judges, that refused to admit them to bail, and had satisfaction, but this hath been refused to the inhabitants of Barbados. Many more instances of the subjects' oppressions could be shown by the Records of Barbados, if your Lordships will insist on their transmission, and that thereby many people have been known to leave the Island. Good Laws are made to correct evil practices, and the people had complained for many years to their Representatives that they were highly injured for want of this law. Therefore it was that the Government thought they were obliged to enact it, for down to the day of passing it, bail has been refus'd, where by law it ought to have been granted, and General Sessions were seldom held in two and sometimes in three years. The great expense of holding such Sessions and the uncertainty of that expense, together with the grievance of taking, upon many occasions, immoderate bail, further influenced the Legislators. We humbly submit whether in England, Jamaica or elsewhere this law has had any evil consequences, nor can it have any worse effect in Barbados than that it will take away the power of men in authority from oppressing those that are subjects as well as themselves, for ever since the passing thereof, which is above three years, the Grand Sessions have been duly held, and the people have enjoyed their liberty, and have been easie, and no other evil has succeeded. If they should fail in this law, they will conclude themselves under the greatest uncertainties imaginable as to making of Laws for the good of the people. Signed, Mel. Holder, Tho. Maxwell, Wm. Cleland, Wm. Allamby, Will. Wheeler. Endorsed, Recd. Dec. 1700, Read Jan. 29, 1700/1. 3½ large pp. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 8. No. 77; and 45. pp. 241–251.]
Dec. 13. 1006. Certificate of William Popple as to the dispatch and receipt of various seals "made and delivered by Hen. Harris for their Majesties' service in the West Indies." (1) A Seal for Maryland, engraven on the one side with the King's Arms, etc., and on the other their Majesties' Royal Cypher crown'd, and this inscription round the circumference "Sigillum Provinciæ de Maryland in America". (2) A Seal for the Massachusetts Bay, with the King's Arms, Crown and Garter, and these inscriptions round the same Sig. Reg. Provinciæ de Massachusetts Bay in Nova Anglia in America, and Guglielmus 3 et Maria 2 D. G. M. Br. Fr. et Hi. Rex et Reg. etc. (3) A seal for New Hampshire, with the King's Arms, Garter, Supporters, Motto and Crown, with this inscription round the same, Sig. Provinciæ Nostræ de Nova Hamptonia in America. (4) A Seal for the Bermuda Islands, with the King's Arms, as preceding, and inscription round the same, Sigil. Insular. Nostrar. de Bermud. in America. (5) A Seal for Virginia, with the King's Arms, Garter, and Crown, with inscription round the same, En dat Virginia Quintum.
I certify that these seals appear by the books in my custody to have been transmitted with warrants for their use to their respective Governments, and that there are now in my custody many public papers received from thence to which impressions thereof are affixed. Signed, W. P. Endorsed, Dec. 13, 1700. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 5. No. 81.]
Dec. 13.
Williamsburgh in
1007. James Blair to Mr. Popple. Our Governor, being confined to his bed by sickness, has desired me to signify to you something of our present circumstances, and to acquaint you that about the beginning of September last he set out for New York, but was taken very ill on his journey, and all the while he was there was necessitated to keep for the most part his chamber and his bed. He returned hither about the end of October, and before he was well recovered (Mr. Auditor Byrd being sick), he took a journey to his house to hold a Council for settling the Revenue, and immediately upon this he made another journey to Kikotan, to give some orders about the Shoram man-of-war, which was just then come from the careen, and had a great many of her men very sick, which with some other defects was the cause that she was not judged fit to ride out in the Bay, where her services was most wanted. These two journeys being undertaken before his health and strength would well permit were favoured with a dangerous relapse, from which His Excellency is not yet recovered, though there is great appearance of his amendment. The General Assembly is at present met, but by reason of the shortness of the days and severity of the weather seem resolved to make but a short session, to despatch what is most pressing and necessary. There are two or three ships of the London fleet arrived, and we are in dayly expectation of the rest. The country enjoys at present great peace and quietness, but we have had a very sickly summer and fall for fevers, agues and choughs, which are not yet at an end. Signed, James Blair. P.S. The Governor would have ordered Mr. Secretary Warmley to write a more particular account of these things, but he has never yet been present at Council since His Excellency came to the Government, of which perhaps His Excellency will give the Lords an account, when he is in a condition to write. Endorsed, Recd. Feb. 24, Read April 1, 1700/1. Holograph. 2 pp. Enclosed,
1007. i. Abstract of preceding. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 9. Nos. 4, 4.i.; and 38. pp. 74–76.]
Dec. 13. 1008. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Upon reading Capt. Passenger's letter, he was summoned to attend the Council. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 55. p. 46.]