America and West Indies: August 1701, 1-5

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 19, 1701. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1910.

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'America and West Indies: August 1701, 1-5', in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 19, 1701, (London, 1910) pp. 386-399. British History Online [accessed 24 April 2024]

August 1701

[? Aug. 1.] 686. Mathew Plowman to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Petitioner the last sitting before this of the Lords Justices had an Order from their Lordships to your Lordships to examine concerning a parcel of provisions for the frontier garrisons of Albina's use, upon which you gave him an Order to Lord Bellamount, that unhappily died before petitioner's case was examined. Prays that orders may be given to Lord Cornbury to examine and report upon the matter. No signature. Endorsed, Recd. 1st, Read Aug. 6, 1701. ⅓ p. [C.O. 5, 1046. No. 31.]
Aug. 1.
687. Minutes of Council of the Massachusetts Bay. Wait Winthrop was chosen Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Judicature, in place of Lieut.-Governor Stoughton, and John Saffin a Justice of the same.
Several persons had votes for Judge of Probate of Wills etc. within the County of Suffolk, but none having a majority, that matter was adjourned to be further proceeded in to-morrow.
Grants of the Assembly, May 28, confirmed and warrants issued accordingly; to James Russell 125l., as full and final consideration to him for his services and losses as Treasurer, and those of his Father, Richard Russell; to James Taylor, Treasurer, 200l. for his service in that office the year last past; to John White, Clerk of the House of Representatives, 10l. in part of what shall be allowed him; to Capt. Samuel Phips 2l. in consideration of extraordinary service by him done for ye House of Representatives; to James Maxwell 30l. for his service as Doorkeeper to the Lieut.-Governor, Council, and General Assembly; to Capt. Samuel Legg, 22l. for freight of soldiers' cloathing, 1686; to Capt. Thomas Browne, 5l. in full compensation for ye loss of his horse in pursuit of the Indian Enemy, 1697; to Arthur Mason 5l. 10s. in full satisfaction for his service in a journey to New York, 1673, over and above what he formerly received; to Caleb Ray, late Keeper of H.M. Gaol in Boston, 24l. 19s. 11d. for keeping of sundry persons committed for piracy etc.; to Warham Mather 15l. for his services as Chaplain at Northfield in the time of Sir Edmund Andros; to Oliver Purchis, an ancient publick servant of the Government, who is fal'n to decay and become very indigent and necessitous, 10l. for his present support; to Benjamin Nason of Barwick, 4l. towards the charge of his daughter's redemption from the Indians; to the town of Wells 5l., York 5l., and to the precinct of Barwick in the town of Kittery 10l., towards the maintenance of the Ministry in said Towns and Precinct; to the Town of Tisbury 15l. for their assistance in building a meeting-house; and for the rent of the room taken up and improved by the Commissioner for Import for the two years last past, 16l.
Warrant signed for payment of 15l. to Penn Townsend in abatement of the sum for which he farmed the Excise in 1698, in consideration of his not receiving Excise from Bristol.
The Assembly, Feb. 12, having resolved that certain allowances be paid to the following inhabitants in the County of Suffolk, in full of their accompts of disbursements for H.M. service, warrants were issued and signed accordingly:—To Joseph Storer, Jane Littlefield, Jonathan Littlefield, John Cloyes, Nathaniel Cloyes, Thomas Cole, Jonathan Hammond, Mehetabel Littlefield, Joshua Downing, John Shapleigh, Jasper Poleman, James Plaisted, and Jeremiah Molton, 137l. 0s. 9d. in all.
3l. 18s. paid to Thomas Howe, he having paid so much for ye redemption of Elizabeth Howe, who was captive to an Indian.
5l. 5s. 3d. paid to James Gooch on behalf of John Wade of Barwick in full of his accompt for medicines and applications by him used for soldiers posted at Barwick, April, 1700.
2l. 12s. 4d. paid to Nathaniel Byfield for his disbursements and expenses for provisions, by order of the Council, when they went to view ye Fortifications on Castle Island, and deliver possession thereof to Elisha Hutchinson.
Aug. 2. The choice of a Judge of Probate for the County of Suffolk was adjourned till Tuesday 5th currant.
The following declaration of the Council upon the appeal of John Greenleafe from the decree of the Hon. William Stoughton, late Judge of Probate in ye County of Suffolk, was drawn up and signed by 16 of the Members present (out of 25); Whereas the Hon. William Stoughton by an order, Dec. 26, 1700, assigned unto Mary Veazie, late wife of Samuel Veazie, Mariner, of Boston decd., one moiety of the remaining personal estate of the decd., not then settled, besides her dower or thirds in his housing and lands during her life, according to the Act for providing for posthumous children, the said Samuel Veazie having made his will before his marriage, whereby it happened that she was not named therein, John Greenleafe of Boston, shipwright, husband of Hannah Greenleafe, sister of Samuel Veazie, and a legatory named in his will, did make his appeal from the judgment unto the Governor and Council and gave bond to prosecute the same; but forasmuch as upon June 19, the day appointed for hearing of the said Appeal, it hath been made appear that Mary Veazie, the Appellee, deceased some time before, it was considered that, by reason of her death, the said Appeal is discontinued.
Warrant signed for payment of 20l. to Jonathan Remington, late Chaplain at H.M. Fort Mary at Saco for his service there for 20 weeks. [C.O. 5, 788. pp. 71–76.]
Aug. 1. 688. Minutes of Council in Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay. The Council gave their consent to the Resolves of the House to which the Lieut.-Governor had not given his consent in writing.
Joint Committee appointed to acquaint the Hon. Wait Winthrop that this Court have appointed him Agent.
Mr. Increase Mather, President of the College, attending as he had been invited, acquainted the Court that he was now removed from Cambridge to Boston, and that as the College remained unsetled, he did not think fit to continue his residence there, and lookt at it as a hardship to expect his removing his family thither, but if the Court thought fit to desire he should continue his care of the College as formerly, he would so do. A resolve was sent up from the Representatives, that, accordingly, a message be sent to the Reverend Mr. Samuel Willard, to desire him to accept the care and charge of the College, and to reside at Cambridge, in order thereunto, agreable to the Order of this Court in March last. Joint Committee appointed to deliver the above message.
Joint Committee appointed to prepare Instructions for the Agent of the Province.
Aug. 2. The Committee reported that Mr. Samuel Willard had replied that he would consider thereof and advise with his Church. [C.O. 5, 788. pp. 298–302.]
Aug. 2.
689. Governor Blakiston to the Council of Trade and Plantations. It has pleased God to visitt me with a relapse of my old malady, ye Fevour and Ague, wch. has been very sharp upon me, and yet I am but in a very weak condition, wch. has a little impeded me in my duty in acknowledging yr. Lordships' of ye 18th of Feb. I have been very much perplexed in geting an acct. of arms etc., as yr. Lordships commanded me. I did in mine of May 25 acquaint you of ye irregular methods had been used here for ye distributing of ye arms, etc., into respective counties to ye commanding Officers, into whose hands they were committed, and they often dyeing, they fell into ye hands of executors, and were lost and imbezled, wch. method I have altered by ye advice of ye Council, and intend for ye future to keep them in a magazeen at Annapolis, and only distribute such armes and ammunition etc., as is absolutely necessary to ye frontier countys. I have already advised yr. Lordships of this my intention, and hope it will meet with yr. approbation.
I enclose an acct. of ye arms, ammunition, etc., belonging to H.M. in this Province, and I humbly crave leave only to observe to yr. Lordships, least you should think ye quantity of powder to little, for we have noe great guns in this Province as there is in ye rest of H.M. Governments, and wth. submission we esteem ye powder now in the Province to be a considerable quantity, since it is only for the use of small arms. I find the Militia of the Province pretty well armed, for it has always been ye custom for men-servants, when out of their time of servitude, to purchase a gun, being induced to it by ye great plenty of game this place affords, and I crave leave further to acquaint yr. Lordships that about two years agoe I prevailed upon ye Assembly to alter a former Law, in wch. they gave every man servant when free four barrells of corne, but they very seldom received it in specie: they altered it and made it two barrells of corne wth. a gun of 20s. price, wch. method will in a very short time arm all ye inhabitants, but notwithstanding, I send every yeare for armes out of ye money due to H.M. for the 3d. per hhd.
Your Lordships are pleased to command me to transmitt to you an acct. of ye situation and condition of what soe ever Forts and Fortifications there is in this Province. At present there is not any, and by what I can learne there never has been any, nor doe I find at present there is a necessity for fortifications to oppose an enimy from Europe, being ye whole Province is soe full of creeks and bays to land at. The numbers of inhabitants are very considerable in Virginia, wch. is our frontier, and soe they are in this Province, and if an enimy should make any attempt in landing, there marches would be attended wth. those deficults by reason of ye woods that they scarce will be able to make any advances into ye country, wth.out ye greates(t) hazard, besides these parts does not afford those bootys to enduce ye common enimy to steare thire course this way, but noe prospect of security shall make me the least tardy in ye duty that is incumbant upon me; and will endeavour to have all things in as good a posture of defence as I can. The Militia of ye Province does very much want a better regulation to make them truely servisable, but ye Assembly ye last meeting would not adheare to it, though I earnestly moved them to it.
Yr. Lordships are pleased to signify that ye Law for Religion has been laid before H.M. and that he has been pleased to direct a new Bill to be prepared; when compleated I shall waite upon yr. Lordships' directions therein. I have sent to the respective vestrys to transmitt an account how ye money has been disposed of that has been raised this eight or nine years past for ye Clergy. When I have ye returns I shall send them to yr. Lordships.
Acknowledges letter with Commission for trying pirates, etc. Signed, N. Blakiston. P.S.—Notwithstanding what I have humbly offered to yr. Lordships of ye little occasion we have of Fortifications against an European enemy, yet it seems very necessary that there were some Forte to secure ye merchants' shipps here from being burnt or plundered. All ye security we have at present is that we are many leagues up ye Bay from ye Capes, and that Virginia is our frontier. Endorsed, Recd. 8th. Read Dec. 15, 1701. Holograph. 3 pp. Enclosed,
689. i. Abstract of preceding. 1 p.
689. ii. An account of the Arms, Ammunition etc. in Maryland. Endorsed, Recd. Dec. 8, 1701, Read Jan. 15, 1702. 1 large p. [C.O. 5, 715. Nos. 45, 45.i.–iii. (including duplicate of letter); and (without abstract) 5, 726. pp. 108–114.]
Aug. 4. 690. Minutes of Council of Bermuda. Committee ordered to inspect the accounts of Edward Jones, he having not had respect to the Order of July 22.
On the motion of Charles Walker about the Charles, outward bound to Carolina, the small-pox being in the vessel, ordered that no person who came in her, except those who have been ashore for 10 days, come on shoar this whole week, and those on shore do not go aboard. [C.O. 40, 2. pp. 41, 42.]
Aug. 4. 691. Minutes of Council in Assembly of Massachusetts Bay. The Committee for preparing Instructions for the Agent met.
Aug. 5. Joint Committee appointed to go on a message to Mr. Willard's Church, to desire their consent, and that Mr. Willard might reside at Cambridge, to take the care of the College there.
Resolve of the Representatives was concurred with that, This Court having received advice that several French ships of force with 600 soldiers are lately arrived at Port Royal in Nova Scotia, concerning which matter they apprehend it needful that further intelligence be obtained, a shallop or some other suitable vessel be sent forthwith to make discovery of the posture and proceedings of the French there.
Draught of an Address to H.M. and of Instructions for the Agent read.
Aug. 6. James Taylor, anew elected Treasurer, took the oath.
Wait Winthrop presented his answer in writing as to the Agency in England, with several proposals relating thereto.
Draft of an Address to H.M. read and sent down.
Salaries of Judges allowed.
The answer of Mr. Willard's Church, that they could not consent to part with him, was communicated.
Petition of Major Benjamin Church and others, Proprietors of Freetown, referring to a road laid out from Pocasset Ferry to Taunton, was sent up from the Representatives, with their resolve that the Petitioners be heard by this Court, and read. Concurrance refused.
Several proposals of the Representatives, referring to the security and defence of the Province, were sent up and read. [C.O. 5, 788. pp. 302–306.]
Aug. 4.
Fort William
692. Minutes of Council of New York. The Governor produced a letter from H.M., July 3, 1700, which was read, and William Atwood was accordingly sworn a Member of Council. He produced his Commission under the seal of the Admiralty of England appointing him to be Judge of the Admiralty of the province of New York, and Sampson Shelton Broughton his Commission to be Advocate General of the Court of Admiralty of this Province, who were both admitted, and took the oaths appointed. The Governor produced H.M. letters, July 3, 1700, commanding him to appoint William Atwood to be Chief Justice and Sampson Shelton Broughton to be Attorney General, which were read, and the Secretary ordered to prepare Commissions with all expedition.
Aug. 5. Mr. Atwood and Mr. Broughton received their Commissions and took the oaths accordingly.
The Governor produced H.M. letter of Jan. 27, relating to Trinity Church, which was read and ordered to be entered:—Whereas we are informed that the inhabitants of New York have at their great expence built a Church there, for the performance of Divine Service according to the usage of the Church of England, and that they are under apprehensions of being disposest upon a pretence of a flaw in their Charter, whereby they hold their said Church, Our Will and Pleasure is that in case any suit be already commenced, or shall hereafter be commenced against their said Charter, to the prejudice of their said Church, or any the rights or revenues thereunto belonging, that you do not proceed definitely thereon, until the said Charter, or an authentick copy thereof, together with the whole state of the matter be first transmitted hither, and laid before us in our Council, and our further pleasure be thereupon signified to you. Hampton Court, Jan. 27, 1701.
Ordered that the Secretary prepare a Commission of Oyer and Terminer for the trial of Henry Lewis for murder, together with a negro woman and John Johnson for felony.
Ordered that Col. Abraham Depeyster and Robert Walters be Assistant Justices of the Supreme Court of Judicature. [C.O. 5, 1184. pp. 567–570.]
Aug. 5.
Custom House.
693. Richard Savage to William Popple. I received yours of the 24th ult. (q.v.), which I have laid before my masters, the Commissioners of H.M. Customs, who command me to acquaint you for the information of the Council of Trade and Plantations, that the principal part of the Collector's business, who is established at Bermuda by authority and directions of the Treasury, is to see that all tobacco and other the Commodities enumerated in the Acts of Trade and Navigation be duly imported and exported, and that noe European goods (except what are by law excepted) be imported but from England, Wales or Berwick, and that all ships inwards and outwards be qualified and navigated according to these laws, and the Commissioners conceive it necessary that according to the aforesaid Instructions all ships should be obliged to enter and clear in one of the aforesaid harbours, the better to be visited and examined by the Collector, there being no need in their opinion of any other Officer for any of the matters under their care and inspection. Signed, Rich. Savage. Endorsed, Recd. 5th, Read August 13, 1701. Addressed. 1½ pp. [C.O. 37, 3. No. 59; and 38, 5. pp. 173–175.]
Aug. 5. 694. Elianor Corbett to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In behalf of her son John Corbet, an Infant, petitions that the case annexed be considered, and in case Col. Perne obtain an Act of Assembly in Antegoa to impower him to sell the land in question or to settle it on his children, that it may not be confirmed before petitioner hath been heard by her Counsel. Endorsed, Recd. 5th. Read Aug. 13, 1701. ¾ p. Annexed,
694. i. John Corbet, late merchant of London, bought of the co-heirs of John Lingham two Plantations in Antegoa called Blubber Valley and Musketo Cove. Immediately after John Lingham's death, one Col. Henry Perne got into possession of the said Plantations, and keep(s) them to this day. Corbet's widow having received advice of Col. Perne's having lodged a petition with the Assembly at Antego and is making interest to have an Act pass as above, petitions as above. ¾ p. [C.O. 152, 4. Nos. 39, 39. i.]
Aug. 5.
695. Lewis Morris to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In obedience to your Lordships' commands, I have perused the petitions of East and West Jersie, and the better to enable you to judge of the hardships the petitioners lie under, I take leave to lay before you a state of those two Provinces, but more particularly East Jersie.
Mr. Basse arrived ye last of March, 1698, and some time in April applyed himself to the then Governor (Hamilton) and Council, producing a Commission from the Proprietors of East Jersie for Governor of that Province, but not producing an aprobation, as was expected. The Governor told him that though he was assured ye Proprietors had given what authority they had to Mr. Basse, and had thereby superseded him, yet he did not think Mr. Basse, without the King's approbation, was sufficiently authorised to enter upon ye Government. However, he left that matter with ye Council, who adjourned for a day or two, and at the time appointed part of them met again, some of which are in ye number of the Petitioners, and, notwithstanding that barr, acknowledged him their Governour, and 12 days after swore him, and was themselves sworne by him.
On May 11th he held the Supreme Court and there one of ye late Councell did publickly demand him by what authority he took on him ye Government, who reply'ed by the King's, and ordered that person to be seized; and the Court (some of the Members of which are now some of ye Petitioners) fin'd him fiftie pounds, and committed him to the Sherrif's custody. Refers to the seizure of the "Hester." Some time after Mr. Basse passed an Act for raising 675l., "for redressing a force of our neighbour Province." This Act was so displeasing to the greatest part of ye country, that they did in several towns resolve not to pay it, unless forced to it, and wrote to the Proprietors, which letter lies before you.
Mr. Basse and Council finding that the foresaid Act wanted some necessary amendments, without which it was judged impracticable to raise the money, resolved to wait till the next session of Assembly, who applied themselves to make those amendments requisite, but finding the country on one side to murmur and resolve not to pay, and Mr. Basse's Deputy Governor and Council, on ye other, insist violently on it, the greatest part of them left ye House, without a Quorum to act; and that Assembly disolv'd of course, and everything was quiet till ye arrival of Col. Hamilton, Dec., 1699, and produc't a Commission from ye Proprietours of East Jersie to be their Governor. He also told us, your Lordships refus'd him an aprobation, because it would be a recognising the Proprietors' rights to Government, but did not thereby intend to inhibit him governing, and provided he acted in yt. station agreeably to the Laws of England and of that Province, he was justifiable. Mr. Basse's Council did acknowledge yt. he derived his power from ye same persons yt. commissionated Mr. Basse, that his commission was good, and promis't to pay an obedience to it, and accordingly all but foure continued their former stations in ye Government, and three of those four Col. Hamilton by repeated solicitations desired to continue in their former stations also, but they all alledged they were fatigued with the toils of publick business, so that he was forc't to commissionate others. Those men of the former Council, with some others of lesse note, who during Mr. Basse's administration did sedulously circulate to the people, yt. although Mr. Basse wanted an aprobation, he was a lawful Governour, whether vext at being disappointed of raising the money they wanted, or displeased at the Proprietors for displacing Mr. Basse sooner then they expected, did stir up ye same people to opose Col. Hamilton, because he wanted an aprobation. Their endeavours had the effect they propos'd, as appears by the several records now laid before your Lordships, and to consumate the work so well begun, they did on March 25, 1701, rescue a pyrat, one of Kid's crue, from ye Barr, and seise ye Governor and Justices.
On June 7, 1701, arrived a new Commission from part of the Proprieters of East New Jersie, empowering Capt. Andrew Bowne, one of the Petitioners and one of ye Council that did advise and assure ye Proprietors yt. no Governor by them commissionated would satisfie ye people, without H.M. aprobation, to be Governor. Col. Hamilton resolves not to surrender ye Government unless Capt. Bowne's Commission is signed by two thirds of the Proprietors, as, by their agreements among themselves, it ought to be. If it be enquired into, I fear few of their commissions has had that sanction, for they are divided, and five of one party, which is about one fifth of the whole, hatcht this last Commission in a corner, and one of that number, having the keeping of their public seals, affixt it to it and sent it into America, without the knowledge and consent of most of the rest, some of them being ignorant of it until, to their great surprise, they heard it from America. At this rate, my Lords, we may have new Governors by every ship from England, and none of them with ye sanction requisite even by their own constitutions. Government is prostituted in ye hands of such people. I hope our present unhappy circumstances and the illegality and ill consequences of the Proprietors' procedures will move your Lordships to take such methods as may be for H.M. honour and our safety.
In West Jersie Mr. Basse arriv'd about the same time he did in East, ye Assembly then sitting, but Mr. Basse not producing H.M. aprobation, the Assembly rejected him, and did refuse to act with him, or recognise him as Governour. Mr. Basse made a Council and some other Magistrates, who made some few efforts to assert his authority, but ye generality of ye country being against them, they had no effect but setting ye people by th' ears. This was the state of that country till Col. Hamilton arrived; the Assembly was then sitting. Col. Hamilton produc't the Proprietors' commission, and acquainted them what steps had been made to obtain H.M. aprobation, and yt. it could not be had during the present circumstance of things. The Assembly having experimented ye ill effects of confusion, and judging a lame authority to be better than none (though they thought Col. Hamilton's not to be such), did recognise Col. Hamilton's, and so did ye country in general, till ye Assembly, to defray the necessary of ye Government, rais'd a tax, which so disobliged that party yt. adhered to Mr. Basse, yt. they made use of ye present occasions; and arguments against paying of money meeting generally with favourable auditors, they gain'd to themselves a party conciderable enough to disturb the public peace, and are got to the height that sometime in March last about 80 of them came into the town of Burlington and at noonday broke open the prison, and took away one committed (I suppose) because he would not give security for his good behaviour. The names of the Petitioners of East Jersie are the same as those mentioned in ye Records of several riots committed in yt. Province, especially that remarkable riot, or rather Rebellion of March 25, as by No. 6 appears, which I lay before your Lordships as a complaint, and beg that those persons may have an exemplary punishment.
The petitioners complain of the hardships they lie under, which are no other than what their unwarrantable practises have brought upon ymselves and others, who had they paid that submission was necessary to the conservation of the Peace, those Provinces had been happy, and your Lordships not troubled with their murmurs. There is a necessity the prayer of their petition be answered, and I presume there is no expedient can settle those governments, but giving a formal aprobation to ye Proprietors' Governor and commanding the people's obedience till H.M. pleasure be further known, or commissionating some person to be Governor under the Broad Seal. Our present bleeding and unhappy circumstances makes us fit objects of your Lordships' care and pittie. Signed, L. Morris. Endorsed, Recd. 7th, Read Aug. 13, 1701. 6 pp. Enclosed,
695. i. Memorial of certain Towns of East New Jersey to the Proprietors of East New Jersey. The Representatives of this Province having made an address to Jeremiah Bass, wherein they tell him he has spent his estate in endeavouring the good of the Province, with much more the like fullsome flatteries, we think it our duty to inform your Honours that address was made and passed by a number of his own creatures in the House, and that it is very far from being the sentiments of the generality of the Province, for instead of keeping up the honour of government, he has upon all occasions basely prostituted it, which to instance were but to recount all his acts of Government, wherein it was possible for him so to do. We owe the unhappy circumstances our Port lies under to his cowardice and sloth, who when he knew of a force coming to take the ship Hester an hour before their arrival, took no care to prevent her being surprised, and when he had force enough to retake her, being earnestly desired by them to head 'em himselfe or to commissionate some other, he refused and trembling left them. The ship lay two days before Perth Amboy, the soldiers ridiculing the Government of the Jerseys, calling for the Governor all their continued insults, he no otherways resented, then by desiring them not to be angry, presenting their Captain with Brandy and other provisions, and drinking the Earl of Bellomont's health to them. We[re] the ill effects of those proceedings our only suffering, we might perhaps have been patient, but as meanness of spirit is seldom unaccompanied with other vices, so are we no less owing to his malice [than] his folly for our hurt. Our rights and privilidges are by him invaded in the highest degree, and in lieu of the free electing Representatives, are forct to submit to the arbitrary will of himself and his Council, by whose advice (tho' unminuted) he took the writ from the Constable, the peo[ple] being met to elect, pretending informality in it, and because one of his own faction could not be chosen, he appointed the Election two days after, tho' the same methods were at first took as ever had been, since East [Jersey] has been a Province. He has not stuck to violate your positive Instructions, as for instance, Instruction, To lay no tax upon uncultivated land etc. The proceedings of the last Assembly will sufficiently inform your Honours, that no Governor has had a Council that could better suit his sinister designes, than that of Mr. Bass. Signed, April 21, 1699, by Order of the Town of New Worke, Nath. Ward, Clk., April 21, 1699, by Order of Elizas Town, Saml. Whitehead, Clk., April 25, 1699, by Order of Perth Amboy, Jno. Barclay, Clk., June 1, 1699, by Order of Freehold, Wm. Laing, Clk. Copy. 1½ pp. Edges torn.
695. ii. Copy of the proceedings of the Justices of the County Court of Midlesex in the town of Piscataway, March 19, 1699. This day being ye day appointed by Act of Assembly for holding the County Courts in the town of Piscataway in the Public Meeting House, the Justices went to the Public Meeting House, and finding the door shut, enquir'd who had the keys. Answer was made by some of the inhabitants that the House belonged to their Town, and that they had nailed the doors. The Justices replied the House belonged to the Country so as to keep Court there by Act of Assembly, and so demanded entrance, which being refused, the Justices commanded the Sherrif to break open the door, which he attempting, Edward Slater of said town layd violent hands on him, and John Langstaff with others stood close by to hinder the Sheriff, and the Sheriff and Slater wrestling together, the people called out, Let them have room and fair play, and the Sheriff getting clear of Slater, went to ye house doore and pushed it up with his foot and went into the house, and several others crowded in after him, amongst whom were John Langstaffe, Thomas Higgens, Joseph and Benjamin Mannen. Langstaff said, Let us turn the Sheriff out again, for we are men enough here to do it, and there being a great noise and confusion in the House, several persons said to Justice Dennes, Will you stand here and let the Sheriff be murdered in ye House? upon which he went to another door of ye house and pushed it open with his foot, and entering in, some persons of the town, whom he knew not, layd hold on him, and Edward Slater came to him and took him by the collar, with design as he supposes to strick him, and said, What do you come here for? To whom the said Justice answered, Only in peace to keep H.M. Court, but finding that not acceptable, he called Yelverton, Crowell, and William Enslie to his assistance, who relieved him from Slater. Also John Royse and Saml. Walker asked several times by what authoritie they came to keep Court there, and when it was answered to them, by the King's authority, they replied that they had no lawful authority to keep any Courts there, and that the house was the Town's, and the Justices had nothing to do with it. And so the Justices, finding such resistance, withdrew and went to the Constable's house and made this record. Signed, Samll. Dennes, John Bishop, Saml. Hale, Benja. Griffith, Machiell Van Weghtie, Thomas Gordon, Attor.-General, John Barclay, Clk. 2 pp.
695. iii. Proceedings of Court of Sessions, held at Midletown, County of Monmouth, March 26, 1700. Eleazar Cotterall, being called for a juryman, made some objection against the authority of the Court. The Court commanded the Sheriff to take him into custody. Richard Salter refusing and denying the authority of the Court, was also ordered into custody. James Bollen, the former Clerk of this County, being called to deliver up the books, papers and records of the Court to the present Clerk, did positively refuse, unless the Court would give him bond to save him harmless for the summe of 10,000l. The Court dismissed all such persons who were returned on the Grand Jury and appeared, and were willing to serve their King and Country. Cotterall was fined five pounds and Salter fifteen for their contempt of Court. John Ruckman, senr., John Bray, John Wilson, jr., Daniel Hendrickson, John Cox's, Richard Davis, Mordicay Gibbons, Nicholas Stivans, and Mosses Lippet fined 2l. each for their contempt of Court. Copy. 2 pp.
695. iv. Copy of proceedings of Court of Sessions of Elizabeth Town, County of Essex, March 12, 1700. Samuel Carter, appearing in behalf of himself and his neighbours, in an insolent and contemptuous manner railed and disowned the authority and power of the Court, calling the President (William Sandford) William Rascall, challenging him and the rest of the Justices out of the Court, often giving the President the lye, and bidding him kiss his * * * *, etc., etc. Ordered that the High Sheriff take him into custody, and that the matter be represented to the Governor and Council. The Court adjourned till next day, which was done, but attended with almost a general noise and hollowing, with unseemly actions and insolent gestures, which seemed rather to look like a Rebellion then otherwise. The persons most forward in this contempt were Saml. Whitehead, Benjamin Price, Ephraim Clarke, Saml. Potter, John Luker, William Luker, Joseph Haines, Jonathan Haines and John Willes. 2 pp.
695. v. Proceedings of a Court of Enquiry held at Shrowsberry, County of Monmouth, Aug. 27, 1700. Justices, Lewis Morris, President, Samuel Leonard, Jedidiah Allan, Samuel Denis, Antony Pintard. The Grand Jury (John Reid, Jeremiah Stilwell, John Slocum, Thomas Hewit, Abiah Edwards, John West, John Leonard, Alexander Adam, Thomas Webly, Patrick Cannan, James Melven, Petter Emley, Samuel Hopemyre, William Lawtone, William Foge) presented Richard Salter, John Bray, James Stout, David Stout, Benjamin Stout, Cornelius Compton, William Bowne, Thomas Taylor, Thomas Harikison, Jacob Vandorne, Arian Bennet, Thomas Sharp, Benjamin Cook, Robert Innes, Thomas Estal, and Samuel, a servant to Salter, for riotously assembling on July 17 and assaulting John Stewart, High Sheriff, and Henry Leonard near the house of Alexander Adam, beat and grievously wounded the said persons, tak their swords from them, brak them, caryed them away and kept them to the value of 5l. Signed, John Reid, Foreman, on behalf of the rest. 1¼ pp.
695. vi. Proceedings of a Court of Sessions held at Newark, County of Essex, Sept. 10, 1700. The Court being opened, Saml. Carter demanded by what authority they sat. The President replied, by the King's. The Court demanded security of Saml. Burwell for the maintenance of his bastard child, and upon his refusal, required the Constable to take him into custody. Whereupon, the Constable was set upon by Thomas Johnson, Saml. Carter, Jos. Burwell and others, the President, Wm. Sandford, pulled off the Bench by Abra. Hettfield and Daniel Craine, and his hat and wig halled off his head by Hettfield, the Clerk of the Court also grossly abused, in particular by John Luker, who struck him with greate violence with his fists, Wm. Luker, junr., with a stick, and John Clerke tore his wig from of his head, the President also having had his sword taken from him by Daniel Craine and broke in pieces, the rest of the Justices grossly abused, some their clothes torn off their backs, with many other abuseful words and actions received from the Rabbell of Elizabeth Town. Burwell reskewed out of the Constable's hands made his escape. The Constable grossly abused, pulled by the hair and his staff thrown out of door, the President being struck three blows, two of which ponches in the breast, and one in the face. The Rabble consisted of neere 60 horse (names given). The Sheriff, Robert Smith, also grossly abused. The Court adjourned to the house of Mr. Theophilus Pearson, J.P., next day at 6 a.m., when a Grand Jury (names given) was empanelled, who presented many of the inhabitants of Elizabeth Town riotously disturbing the Court of Sessions as aforesaid. A Jury of Enquiry (names given) was for Sept. 12. John Johnson's evidence that the Sheriff was satt [? set] upon by severall men from Elizabeth Town, Sept. 12, and robbed of the keys of the prison and the prisoner taken out of his custody. The Jury presented the names of his assailants. Depositions of Zachary Burwell, jr., Paul Day and John Gardner, as to the assault by a great company of men on horseback with clubs in their hands. Copy. Examined and signed, Georg Jewell, Clk. of the Peace, and Thomas Gordon, Dep. Sec. and Regr. 10½ pp.
695. vii. Copy of proceedings at a Court of Sessions, Midletowne, County of Monmouth, March 25, 1701. Mosses Butterworth, who was accused of piracy and had confessed that he did sail with Capt. Kid in his last voyage, being examined, one Saml. Willet, Inholder, said that the Government and Justices had no authority to hold Court, and that he would break it up, and went downstairs to a company of men then in armes, and sent up a Drummer, one Thomas Johnson, into Court, who beat upon his drum, and several of the Company came up with their arms and clubs, which together with the drum-beating continually made such a noise (notwithstanding continual open proclamations made to be silent and keep the King's peace) that the Court could not examine the Prisoner, and when there was betwixt 30 and 40 men come up into the Court, some with their arms and some with clubs, Benjamin and Richard Borden attempted to rescue the prisoner. The Constable and Under-sherrif apprehended them, whereupon they were assaulted (the Drum still beating and the people thronging upstairs with their arms) and the Bordens rescued. Upon which the Justices and King's Attorney-General, after commanding the King's Peace to be kept. and no heed being given thereto, drew their swords and endeavoured to retake the prisoner and apprehend some of the persons concerned, but was resisted and assaulted, and the examination of the prisoner torn in pieces. In the scuffle both Richard and Benjamin Borden were wounded, but the prisoner made his escape, and the people, to the number of about 100, did traitorously seize the Governor, the Justices, the Attorney General, Under Sheriff and Clerk of the Court, and kept them close prisoners from March 25 till March 29, and then released them. Copy, certified by Gavin Drummond, Clk., Thomas Gordon, Dep. Secretary. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1261. Nos. 15, 15 i.–vii.; and (without enclosures) 5, 1289. pp. 155–167.]
Aug. 5. 696. Minutes of Council of the Massachusetts Bay. Choice of a Judge of Probate for Suffolk County adjourned unto tomorrow.
Will of William Davies, late of Boston, Mariner, was proved by his widow.