America and West Indies: October 1701, 11-15

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

'America and West Indies: October 1701, 11-15', in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 19, 1701, (London, 1910) pp. 572-581. British History Online [accessed 19 April 2024]

October 1701

Oct. 11. Col. Caleb Haethcoat, Capt. Tho. Hicks and Jonathan Smith took the oaths as Representatives. [C.O. 5, 1184. pp. 890–894.]
Oct. 11. 937. Journal of House of Representatives of New York. Act for paying the debts of the Government read a third time. Several Bills sent down with amendments. The House not being able to agree to the amendments to the Act for encouraging the City of New York, desired a conference with the Council. And see preceding abstract. [C.O. 5, 1184. p. 1026.]
Oct. 12.
King William
St. John's.
938. Capt. Powell to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The party returned, but had no success in pursuit of the deserters. (See Oct. 5.) I consulted with my officers and we thought it convenient to send away a drum to the French Governor as a truce. Until then I was onwilling to list the complement of men as deserted, before I had an answer from him, to see were (? whether) he would exchange those I have man for man, but I have listed four whose names I shall insert. There has been several robberies committed here by French spys in running away with the inhabitants' fishing boats, which is to the ruin of them. I have positive orders from the Secretary of War, signed by the King's own hand, not to concern myself directly nor indirectly upon no account, which makes me very unwilling to concern myself with them, until I have further orders. We have a garrison here of 100 men, but no surgeon here: if a man should be wounded, he must onavoidly perish. There is not half arms enough for the men yt. is fitting for service, etc. Signed, John Powell. Endorsed, Recd., Read Dec. 2, 1701. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 194, 2. No. 50; and 195, 3. pp. 20–22.]
Oct. 13.
939. Wm. Partridge to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Being given to understand that Mr. Usher is now bound for England, who formerly made complaint to your Lordships of sundry disorders in New Hampshire committed by myself and Messrs. Hinckes, Vaughan and Waldron, which your Lordships were pleased to order the Earl of Bellomont, our late Governor, to make exact enquiry into and report thereof to H.M., least Mr. Usher should renew his said complaints, as he has threatened here, I was willing to let your Lordships know that the Earl of Bellomont attended your Lordships' order in that matter, and upon his enquiry into these disorders, required our answers to Mr. Usher's complaints against us, which we gave to his Lordship's satisfaction and presume he has made a report accordingly, which we hope, if not miscarried, has given good satisfaction also to H.M. and your Lordships, so that we humbly hope that if Mr. Usher should now offer anything further in that matter, it may have no influence to our prejudice. Signed, Wm. Partridge. Endorsed, Recd. Read Dec. 11, 1701. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 862. No. 81; and 5, 910. pp. 15, 16.]
Oct. 13.
940. Mr. Burwell to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I have received H.M. commands requiring my service as one of the Council of Virginia. It is my very great misfortune that upon this occasion it is not in my power to pay those respects of duty and obedience to H.M., which I have always been ambitious to do. I pray for your Lordships' intercession with H.M. that he will not insist upon his commands. Pleads sickness and lameness which make it impossible for him to attend. Signed, Lewis Burwell. Endorsed, Recd. Read Jan. 28, 170½. Addressed. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1312. No. 16.]
Oct. 13.
Green, nigh
941. Col. Jory to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to the Attorney General's objections to Acts of Nevis. [See Oct. 3.] Act (2). All men undisciplined are unfit for service upon an expedition, therefore the Act makes provision twice a week for their exercise in arms, and there is no man upon the place but is listed in one of the Regiments of the Island, if an inhabitant, and if any man doth the King good service against his enemy, he hath an incouragement, which is allowed out of the public stock of the Island, as usual, and such a Law had never been consented to by the Chief Men of the Island of the place, if it had not the prospect of an universal good for all H.M. subjects, and St. Christopher's adjoining almost to Nevis, and the French living there, as doth the English, it should be highly necessary for sutch men desired to be equipped for H.M. service and the preservation of both and all the English Islands, for if one miscarries, the other are in great danger. Act (3). Will be undoubtedly for the quiet and peace of all H.M.'s subjects to establish them in their just rights against clamorous, letidius (? litigious), vexatius abusers of the good and wholesome Laws of this Kingdom, which maintains men in their rightful possessions if peradventure they had lost their deeds and grants by accidents of fire or water or wind, which many years past these Islands were often exposed to hurricanes, which threw down their houses and carried away most things of a light carriage by wind or distroyed by the rains, and may have destroyed many men's papers, but their just rights will continue by the validity of this Law, which if otherwise, they will be always exposed to every wicked man's molestation to their great expense and disquiet, and for intayled estates, I never knew any there, nor lunaticks or idiotes.
Act (4). Nevis doth not abound with Papists, and to prevent their future increase they have made a law or ordinance many years past, that if any Irish servants should be brought there for sale, they should not be inforced to buy them; for about eleven years past when war with France, and the Island expected dayly to be attack'd by the French, the Irish Papists etc. joining in Council together, as was affirmed, to joyne with the French when landed, made the Government then make an ordinance for the banishment of all of them to Jamaica, which was accordingly done for the King's Island and subjects' security, and all people in general esteemed it well done for the preservation of all their estates to part with some; and to find out those that are suspected or reputed Papists, the intention of the Law is by tendering or administering the oaths ordained by law instead of the oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, by which refusal they will be discovered, and noe law can be made too cautious to prevent their evils, and once sutch a law is made good, they will all depart soone, or comply to the oaths enjoined by law, which is fit all subjects ought to take that have their support under its Government. Act (5). This Act inforceth noe person whatsoever to bring servants from England or elsewhere to Nevis, and when any are imported there, men and women from sixteen to fifty years old, are by a law to serve but four years as servants and not slaves; if they have noe indentures, and have a reward of 400lb. sugar at the expiration of their faithful service, and there is no reason for kidnapping, for those public places of settlement; especially when the person that shall so doe will hazard his ruin, and the person that should buy any such spirited child shall by a precept from England be forced forthwith to deliver him or her without satisfaction, but caveat emptor. But such things are unpresidented these many years, if ever in this Island. But the late long wars and the sicknesses that hath frequently attended Nevis, hath very much dispeopled them, insomuch that there may be from twelve to twenty blacks to every white man, which is very dangerous, if they should be attacked by the French, and war's now supposed to be at hand, even to the loss of the King's Island, and ruine of all H.M. subjects there, for want of white men to be imported for their just purchase, and to prevent their blacks from cutting their masters' throats, or other surprizall of them, by reason of their weakness in number of whites, and when all is done, if the Law be granted, I do not see no great incouragement by the price prescribed to make masters of ships or merchants trading that way to indeavour any indirect means for the procurement of servants, to import to Nevis. And in war time, for want of white men, the Government are inforced to make choice of companies of the best blacks to be in posture of defence, lined between two companies of white one black company, which they would never do, had they sufficient of white men for the defence of H.M. Island and their own security. Signed, Jos. Jorye, Agent for Nevis. Endorsed, Recd. Read Oct. 14, 1701. 11/8 closely written pp. [C.O. 152, 4. No. 54; and 153, 7. pp. 242–246.]
Oct. 13. 942. Journal of Assembly of Bermuda. Information being given that Capt. Dodsen had spoke some words reflecting on the Assembly as touching the Committee concerning the taking of affidavits, he was sent for, and denied the substance of the charge, and only acknowledged that he said he believed some persons had made affidavits to the Committee that they would not justify, whereupon the Assembly thought fit to dismiss him.
Resolved that an Act be drawn up to enforce every man that is owner or possessor of land to clean the public paths through his land, notwithstanding the late Act for amending the highways at the charge of the parish, the intent of the said Act being only for the levelling of rocks and amending of ruinous paths, that could not but with great expense and hardship be done at the privat charge of the owner of the land.
Oct. 14. Put to the vote, whether the exportation of shoats, (fn. 1) turkeys and foules shall be restrained or prohibited. Passed in the negative. Adjourned till the afternoon at the ringing the Bell. Act ordered to be drawn up for explanation and amendment of the Act intituled Additions and Alterations to the Act intituled an Act for repairing the highways.
Oct. 15. The above Act was read and passed. [C.O. 40, 2. pp. 278, 279.]
Oct. 13. 943. Minutes of Council of the Massachusetts Bay. H.M. Commission for the trying of pirates within the Province being first read, George Larkin presented the draughts of a Commission and Oath for a Register, of a warrant for conventing of pirates, etc., which were read, and left in the hands of John Valentine, Public Notary and Register of the Admiralty. [C.O. 5, 788. p. 99.]
Oct. 13. 944. Journal of House of Representatives of New York. Address to H.M. read and ordered to be engrossed. Conference upon Bill for encouraging the City of New York appointed. Col. Heathcote, Capt. Thomas Hickes and Jonathan Smith having taken the oaths etc., were ordered to take their places. Then Col. Heathcote produced a paper which he said contained the opinions of all three, and being ordered to sit down, refused, until they had a reply to the said paper, which the House ordered not to be read at this time, and thereupon they withdrew.
Act for the speedy repairing the Forts at Albany and Schenectady read the first and second time.
Amendments to several Bills agreed to and the Bills sent up.
Act for measuring corn etc. was read a third time and sent up.
Address to H.M. was read and signed by the Speaker and the whole House.
Act for granting an additional duty to H.M. was read the third time.
Col. Rutsen granted leave of absence.
Oct. 14. Act for repairing the Forts read a third time and sent up.
Act for settling some inhabitants of Long Island read a third time and sent up.
Address to H.M. sent up with a request to H.E. to transmit the same the first opportunity for England.
Oct. 15. Proposal from the Conference on the amendment of the Bill encouraging New York agreed to. [C.O. 5, 1184. pp. 1027, 1028.]
Oct. 14.
Boston in
New England.
945. George Larkin to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I arrived at Piscataqua the 4th instant, where my short stay gave me no opportunity of enquiring into the affairs of that Province, and had only time to view the fortifications, which to me seem very weak and inconsiderable, and the stores of powder very small, that in case of a war with France that Port from whence H.M. has an annual supply of Masts for his Royal Navy will be exposed to danger, and the people, as far as I can learn, are unable to be at the charge of making it defensible, having been at great loss and expenses in defending themselves during the two late Indian wars, and indeed keeping Mr. Allen, a Gentleman who has a very good character in these parts, out of his right. There is a great deal of timber transported from this place every year to Portugal.
I came to this place the 7th, and yesterday, after reading H.M. Commission, settled such forms of proceedings with some of the members of the Council as are to be observed in the trial of Pyrates. I have also left with them a form of the Articles, sentence, etc., but truly I believe they would have been much better pleased if your Lordships had sent them an Act of Parliament for encouragement of so beneficial a Trade. I don't hear of any pyrates that have been lately upon these coasts, but there are several that belonged to pirates' ships who lye skulking up and down the country, and not one as yet come in upon H.M. Proclamation. The Inferior Court for this Province was held last week, when I had the opportunity of seeing the method of their proceedings, which in my poor opinion are very arbitrary and irregular, and not agreeable with those used in our Courts of Judicature. As to the Laws of England, they abhor the very thought of them, and Acts of Parliament they look upon to be only obligatory wherein the Province is particularly named, though they will make us[e] of either of them to serve a friend, so that noone can tell what is Law and what is not, and there is little better to be expected until the Parliament shall think fit to take away this Charter, and H.M. shall be graciously pleased to send Judges of his own. There is not a gentleman that comes here upon any service for H.M., but what is really obnoxious to the people of the Country; they hate the very thought of a King or King by Government, and it is fear'd if some care be not taken for asserting H.M. power and right here and putting his orders in execution, they will in a short time set up a Government themselves. Some of them don't stick to declare publicly that they will oppose the landing of Col. Dudley, who I understand is appointed their Governour. Indeed I believe there may be several good-meaning people that have a kindness for the King, but they dare not shew it for fear of being ill-used. As to the Admiralty Jurisdiction, it is not in halfe the esteem here that the least Court Barron in England is, and those few proceedings that are in the Admiralty are framed according to the proceedings at Common Law. The close of last week I wayted upon the King's Advocate and the Register, and would have shewed them the manner of the proceedings in the Vice-Admiralty Courts in England, but I don't find that they are willing to go out of their old course, and this Government will not suffer the officers of the Admiralty to proceed in any cases but what relate to the Acts of Trade. There is scarce a merchant here but what is guilty of carrying on an illegal trade, and in short, the Courts protect them in it, for judgment is generally given against the King. I am informed that there was sometime since a Commission sent to this place from the High Court of Admiralty to examine touching some prizes taken during the late warr. Mr. Foster, one of the Members of the Council, and one Belcher, who victuals H.M. ships here, were summoned by the Commissioners, but refused to appear, and the produce of the prizes, which amounts to two or three thousand pounds, remains in their hands to this day.
I have been to see the Castle, which is a sort of a regular irregular place still, tho' Col. Romer has taken a great deal of pains and done his part. If H.M. would send some good officers and four or five hundred men, it would be capable of making a very good defence, if there should be occasion, and it might be a means to curb the insolencyes of some particular people. If primogeniture and a superintendancy in their Church goverment were established here, it might in time be of some service. Here is a great many young men educated at the Colledge at Cambridge, who differ much in their principles from their parents; and there is a great many people in the Navigansetts Country that would willingly embrace the doctrine of the Church of England, but they want Ministers. I hope your Lordships will consider that I am an absolute stranger in this part of the world, and to give a particular answer to the enquirys delivered to me by your Lordships will require longer time than I can well stay, considering the expences I am dayly at and the small allowance. Signed, Geo. Larkin. Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 24, Read Dec. 2, 1701. 2 large pp. Annexed,
945. i. Abstract of preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 862. Nos. 79, 79. i.; and (without abstract) 5, 909. pp. 486–491.]
Oct. 14. 946. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Answer from Col. Jory to the objections made by Mr. Attorney General to several of the Nevis Acts was read. Some of the said Acts were also read and considered.
Mr. Richardson (see Oct. 10), being asked his thoughts about the Article in the Treaty with the Emperour of Morocco which relates to passes, declared in his opinion it would be more advantage of (sic) the English Navigation, if there were no such Article agreed upon; that the settling of Consuls in that country (which would be the necessary consequence of such an Article) would give them great advantage, because the person of a Consul would always be as a pledge to them for anything they demanded; and that since the Article is more for their interest than ours, we ought not to offer it, but let it alone to be treated of when they come to desire it. After which their Lordships gave directions for preparing a Representation to their Excellencies the Lords Justices upon that subject.
Oct. 15. Petition from Robert Bradenham, desiring an authentic copy of his effects seized in Pennsylvania, read and granted.
Mr. Lawton presented a letter from Mr. Penn, Aug. 26, with enclosures, which were read.
Representation upon that Article, in the project of a Treaty with the Emperour of Morocco, which relates to Passes, was signed and ordered to be delivered to Mr. Yard. [Board of Trade. Journal, 14. pp. 179–181.]
Oct. 14. 947. Minutes of Council of Bermuda. Ordered that the Committee to supervise the care of the fortifications do order the using and taking the lime for the reparations out of the lime-kiln lately burnt for building the Governor's House. Their receipt to be a sufficient discharge to the Treasurer.
Ordered that Joseph Hinson, William Harman and Thomas Burrows of Sandys Tribe be overseers to take care that Sandys Tribe Bridge be repaired and amended, to be paid as heretofore.
Elizabeth Penniston, daughter of Col. Wm. Penniston, declared that Mr. Samuel Harvey now here present repeated the words written in a paper here produced by Col. White:—
"Christian's a conjurer, Clipp Castle is another,
So is Ambition, the Christian's brother;
By their Crafts and their Wits they have brought it about That knaves are put in and honest men are put out."
Harvey said that Doctor Starr told him. Dr. Starr owned that he might tell Mr. Harvey of the same, and believes he heard it from Col. Day. Mr. John Fowles says that he met Col. Day who ask'd him if he had not heard the news that a paper was seen or found put up, that the Christian was or is a conjurer, Clipp house or Castle or some such name was another etc. [C.O. 40, 2. p. 43.]
[? Oct. 15.] 948. Robert Bradinham to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Petitioner was an evidence against the Pirates at the Old Bailey. He prays for a copy of the account of his goods by Governor Penn seized and sent over hither with Admiral Benbow. Endorsed, Recd. Oct. 15, 1701. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1261. No. 26.]
Oct. 15. 949. Minutes of Council of the Massachusetts Bay. Account for provisions for H.M. Castle and Forts referred to a Committee. Licence granted to John Beard to erect a timber building at the south end of Boston in the lane leading from the Fort hill southward.
Licence granted to William Tilley to erect an additional building of timber to his house at the south end of the Town by the Rope Walk. [C.O. 5, 788. pp. 99, 100.]
Oct. 15. 950. Minutes of Council in Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay. The Assembly attending, Wait Winthrop informed them of several letters received from England, and further observed that the ships bound for England intending to sail within a day or two, they must speedily prepare what applications to H.M. they should think fit to make, and that, not having dispatcht what was under consideration at their late Session, it would be meet to begin where they then left. Letters and papers lately received from England sent down for their perusal.
John Usher presented a petition referring to his accompts as Treasurer in the time of Sir Edmund Andross, and the payment of what is due to him, with an answer to some exceptions made thereto by the Committee appointed to examine said accounts. Read and sent down.
Oct. 16. The Representatives desired to have the perusal of the Court's Address and Memorial to H.M. and the Instructions for the Agent, which were agreed upon at their sitting in August past. The same were accordingly sent down. [C.O. 5, 788. pp. 323, 324.]
Oct. 15. 951. Minutes of Council in Assembly of New York. Address from the Representatives to H.M. sent up, with an Act for granting an Additional duty to H.M.; an Act for the speedy repairing of the Forts at Albany and Schenectady, and an Act for quieting the possession of the ancient freeholders of Hellgate Neck within the bounds of Newtown on Long Island (Nassau). The Secretary produced a letter directed to him intended a return of the High Sheriff of Suffolk of the writ to him directed for the election of Representatives:—"We the freeholders of this County finding that the writs presented to us for the election of other Representatives therein required do contain an infringement of our Libertyes, not allowing us to chuse whome we think fittest to trust in that affair, and so may be a president for our further thralldome, wherefore we cannot at present incline to any further choice, having already elected for this Assembly too sufficient and legal persons, in our esteem, of approved fidelity unto H.M., who are no aliens but natural born Englishmen, and in their different capacities have served in many Assemblies, in time of wars, of greater concernment than this present Assembly is or can be of, and have acquitted themselves as faithful and upright both to the King's Majesty and to this Province, neither is this County as yet convinced of any fault that they have committed why wee should reject them." County of Suffolk, Oct. 8.
Ordered that an express be despatched with a summons for John Mulford, High Sheriff of Suffolk, to appear before this Board. Acts, for granting an additional duty, and for repairing the Forts at Albany and Schenectady, read the first time.
Letter to the Assembly from the persons elected to be Representatives of Westchester and Queen's County sent up, with the reasons of a Committee of the Representatives for prosecuting them:—The complaint and clamer of the people are so great that we think it very necessary and meet before we proceed to act with you that we and the people whom we represent have full satisfaction that you are a House legally and wrightly constituted. It is the common report that some of you have used very indirect and onwarranteabel menes to procure youres selves to be elected, and that on Aug. 20 the House consisted of 21 persons, wheare of the Speaker was one. Ten of the number did in the House chalings the Speaker to be unqualified for being an aliane and afterwards did repetet the same to the Governor, which they have allso given under their hands, oupon which heed the House being equally divided could give no decision. It appeares by your votes that ten of you with the Speaker thus sircumstanced have presumed to act, and to strengthen your number have vooted out sum of the other tenn, and tacken in tow others in their room, who are said not to be elected by the people, and that you are preparing to mack a Bill to deprive many of H.M. English subjects from their natef wright of voting for Assembly men, and the people in each respetef county from chusing pearsons to examine their own publecke deptes. Till you give us furder satisfaction and the Specker clear himself from being an Alian, we cannot act with you to sit and spend our time and the country's money to make Acts that will be void in themselves. Signed, Tho. Willet, John Tolman, William Willet. Sept. 13, 1701. Reasons of the Committee of the Representatives for prosecuting above. Sept. 23, 1701;—The above paper was subscribed before they had been in the House to observe any transactions there, and yet they presume to take upon them the judgment of the qualifications of members and to take notice of the proceedings of the House, which is a manifest breach of its privileges and of dangerous example. They reflect not only upon this House but upon the Governor, who approved of the Speaker. As to the affair of Aug. 20, the truth is thus. On Aug. 19 the House being ordered to proceed to chuse their Speaker ten of the twenty-one chose Mr. Abraham Gouverneur, against whom there was then no objection upon suspition of his being an alien, and nine endeavoured to chuse Mr. Nicoll, but the election having fallen upon Mr. Gouverneur, the whole house in a body presented Mr. Gouverneur to the Lieut.-Governor in Council, where Mr. Gouverneur would have disabled himself, but the Lieut.-Governor, finding no objection from any one member, approved of the choice which then appeared to be unanimous, upon which they returned to the House, and an objection being made against Mr. Nicoll and Mr. Wessells as chosen contrary to a late act and therefore not qualified to serve, they, as was usual, were ordered to withdraw till that matter should be determined, and yet they two with other eight came the next morning and then objected against Mr. Gouverneur, as if they had been informed since that Mr. Gouverneur was an Alien, and yet they could not but know that the same objection had been made in a former Assembly, when it appeared upon examination that he is within an Act of naturalisation, which has never been repealed, notwithstanding which the two who had no authority to act as members, till the question concerning their capacities to sit was over, together with other eight, had the assurance to go in a body to the Governor to complain of a matter wherein they had concluded themselves, besides that their objection if made in time could have had no effect, and since that, as we are given to understand, not only by this paper but otherwise, they put their complaint in writing, and have sent the same to England, after which we desire that enquiry may be made in order to the punishment of such seditious practices. These persons are guilty of a great contempt of H.M. writ in pursuance of which they were chosen, and refuse to act without such conditions as they well knew would not be complyed with, nor can without admitting that those three ought to govern the House, and that the votes of the far greater part ought to yield to those three, who while they argue that the House could not decide the question concerning the Speaker, are so inconsiderate as not to observe that the question had been over, and the due qualifications of the Speaker agreed to by all in effect, and that when the objection was first started, there were but eight persons qualified to object against not only the choice of ten but the submission and approbation of twenty. These persons having in their barbarous language used these words, "Till you give us furder satisfaction and the Specker cleare himselfe from being an Aliane, we cannot act with you to site and spend our time and the contre's money to make actes that would be voyd in themselves," would not only really infer that their satisfaction is requisite to the making the Acts of this Assembly of force, but are guilty of a high contempt of that authority by which it sits and acts, disowning that authority and labouring to stir up the people of this Province to sedition, and give advantage to a foreign power upon divisions purposely raised by them and their accomplices.
The Attorney General was ordered to prosecute the said persons at the next Supreme Court.


  • 1. = shot, a small pig.—[Ed.]