America and West Indies: October 1701, 16-20

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: October 1701, 16-20', in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 19, 1701, (London, 1910) pp. 581-591. British History Online [accessed 30 May 2024].

. "America and West Indies: October 1701, 16-20", in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 19, 1701, (London, 1910) 581-591. British History Online, accessed May 30, 2024,

. "America and West Indies: October 1701, 16-20", Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 19, 1701, (London, 1910). 581-591. British History Online. Web. 30 May 2024,

October 1701

Oct. 16. Bill ordered to be brought in for supplying the defects of the Act for settling the Militia.
Oct. 17. The above Act read the first and second time and committed, then read a third time, passed and sent down.
Act for payment of the debts of the Government made in the late happy Revolution, sent up, was read a first time.
Acts for granting an additional duty to H.M. and for the speedy repairing the Forts of Albany and Schenectady were read the second and third time and passed.
David Jamison summoned to appear to-morrow. [C.O. 5, 1184. pp. 894–903.]
Oct. 16.
952. Col. Romer to the Council of Trade and Plantations. [Aug. 8.] Refers to deaths of Lord Bellomont and Lieut.-Governor Stoughton. I have been working at the fortification of Castle Island since May 14. This work is in danger of being lost without the intervention of H.M. and your Lordships. The simple truth is that the people employed do not understand military orders and are incapable of defending a place of this importance; they have no discipline or subordination and Jack is as good as his master. A good officer with 150 men and subalterns are needed for the defence of their new Fortification and 50 canons etc. (details enumerated). Some time past four French ships arrived at Port Royal in Accadie, with a new Governor named Brouillion, a man of quality, with 600 men. The French from time to time send spies amongst us, and for a year past there has been in our neighbourhood here a French Captain named Bonavanture, who takes all the informations of our Bay and approaches in general, without notice being taken of him, but, on the contrary, he had the entire freedom of this Province anywhere he wished for some months. Some weeks ago there arrived at Boston a sloop from Port Royal in Accadie with the French flag, and a Lieutenant named de Feinville, four men and a boy on board. She had visited all our coasts before coming here. The Lieutenant was a clever man, and brought a letter from the Governor of Port Royal to Lord Bellomont. They knew as well as we did that he was dead. It's contents I do not know; as far as I can find out it requested two cows, six sheep and some pounds of groceries; which would imply that a Governor (a man of quality, as he is termed) recently arrived from France would not have brought any groceries from Europe, knowing that they do not grow in Nova Scotia. I refer to your judgment whether we should not think him an open spy. Makes request for "riding wages" promised him by Lord Bellomont. Besides my long and troublesome journeys among the Barbarians, I am obliged to act as Master of Fortification everywhere without the least assistance, to be a slave in my old days, having no manager, with people inexperienced and of a very touchy temper, I am obliged to act as Master-Mason, Carpenter and so forth, and receive every day a thousand annoyances, and am hated by the people because I call the Fortifications the Fortifications of the King, of which they are very jealous. I am still afflicted by a very troublesome accident, which is, without any other, a Conquest of America, and unless I find some remedy, I shall die like a wretch. Lieut.-Governor Nanfan shows his annoyance because I am at Boston, and as I cannot divide myself in two, I can only be at one place at a time. However, I have begged him in several letters to make provision of materials at Albany, etc., for the summer, but I find very little or no advance made, so that that will take perhaps another summer. To advance this business I shall go in a fortnight to New York. I began this letter Aug. 8, but had no time to finish it. Signed, Wolfgang Willm. Römer, Boston, Oct. 16, 1701. Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 25, 1701. Read Jan. 8, 170½. French. 3 pp. Annexed,
952. i. Abstract of preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 862. Nos. 80, 80.i.; and (without abstract) 5, 910. pp. 173–179.]
Oct. 16. 953. Minutes of Council of Bermuda. Act about assigning over Plantation Bonds passed. The Assembly adjourned till Jan. 15. [C.O. 40, 2. p. 44.]
Oct. 16.
954. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices. In obedience to your commands (Sept. 30), we humbly represent that the producing of passes to the Commanders of the ships of yt. Country (Morocco) will not be any greater evidence to them of English ships than the view of their built, colours and men, all wch. those people are sufficiently acquainted with; but that the granting them a liberty to come aboard and visit English ships will be a means to furnish them with new pretences and cavils wherewith to colour their violences. The setling of consuls in those parts, which may probably be the consequence of such an article, is not only esteem'd by our merchants a great charge upon their trade, but will also give unto those people upon occasion of any difference with us a great advantage, which they will not fail accordingly to improve by seizing the person of such Consul as a pledge, till they receive satisfaction upon their own unreasonable demand. And for these reasons we humbly offer to your Excellencies that the Article relating to Passes (which seems to be for their advantage) may not be inserted in the present Treaty. But if in any future occasion they insist upon an article of yt. kind, it may be used as an argument to obtain the better terms from them upon any other point which may be in controversie. Signed, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Trade Papers, 15. pp. 236, 237.]
Oct. 16. 955. Journal of Assembly of Bermuda. Act, amending the Act for repairing highways, was sent up and returned passed with amendments, which were consented to.
Additional Act for preventing bastardy was returned not passed. Act for assigning Plantation Bonds to the party suffering by breach of the condition, was returned with amendment. The Assembly adjourned till Jan. 15. [C.O. 40, 2. pp. 279, 280.]
Oct. 16. 956. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letter from Mr. Larkin, Aug. 20, read.
Letter from Capt. Graydon, Sept. 20, with enclosures, read.
Letter from Capt. Powel, Sept. 20, read.
Letter from Mr. Broughton, Attorney General at New York, Sept. 3, read.
Letters from Col. Codrington, Aug. 18 and 20, read.
Oct. 17. Capt. Graydon's answer to the queries relating to Trade and Fishery of Newfoundland read. [Board of Trade. Journal, 14. pp. 182–184.]
Oct. 16. 957. Journal of House of Representatives of New York. The House met and adjourned.
Oct. 17. Act for removing the Courts now to be held at Westchester to East Chester read the first, second and third time.
Act for settling the Militia read the first and second time, and committed three times, read a third time and passed with amendments and sent up. Several Acts sent up. See preceding abstract, No. 951.
Oct. 18. Ordered that H.E. have a copy of the Earl of Jersey's letter to the late Earl of Bellomont relating to Mr. Leysler and his petition to H.M. signed by the Speaker, and that the Speaker keep the original. [C.O. 5, 1184. p. 1028.]
Oct. 17. 958. Minutes of Council of the Massachusetts Bay. Capt. Southack was ordered to lay up H.M.S. Province galley for the winter and discharge the crew. [C.O. 5, 788. p. 100.]
Oct. 17. 959. Minutes of Council in Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay. Resolve of the Representatives sent up, that the Address and Memorial of this Court to H.M., mutatis mutandis, be sent to Constantine Phips, with what other applications this Court shall see needful at this Session to make to the Court at home, with the desires of this Court, that he will prefer the same and solicit the matters therein contained, on behalfe of this Province, and that 100 sterl. be paid him as a further acknowledgment of his service as Agent. Agreed to and signed. Message from the Representatives sent up, desiring that in the Address to H.M. it might be inserted, that the Court had appointed an Agent to attend H.M. referring to the affairs of this Province, but intelligence arriving before his dispatch, that H.M. had appointed a Governor, and that he might be speedily expected here, they had deferred his setting forward, that so they might have the advantage of the Governor's advice and directions in further humble Representations and Supplications; also desiring that in the Address notice might be taken of the Bill lying before the House of Lords for the vacating of Charter Governments. Address to H.M. and Letter to Mr. Phips considered in Committee.
Oct. 18. Address to H.M. and Letter to Constantine Phips, past by the Representatives and sent up, were read and agreed to, and, with the Address agreed upon Aug. 9, mutatis mutandis, being fairly transcribed, were severally signed by the Council, and by Mr. Speaker in the name of the Representatives. The Representatives desiring a day of Public Thanksgiving throughout the the Province, Nov. 20 was agreed upon as a suitable day.
Resolve of the Representatives concurred with, that the Committee, formerly appointed to grant Debentures upon claims of debts contracted by the public in time of the Government of Sir E. Andros, be revived until Jan. 17.
And see abstract of Minutes of Council Oct. 22.
Resolve of the Representatives, that Col. Romer be earnestly desired (if by any means he may) to continue his direction and assistance in directing the fortifying Castle Island, until it be finished, agreed to.
Resolve of the Representatives concurred with, that the several hearings appointed to be attended the present Session of this Court, be attended the first Friday of the next Session thereof, the several parties to be notified by the Representatives of the respective Towns.
Report of the Committee appointed June last to run the line between Dedham and Natick sent up. Resolved that the boundaries be settled accordingly.
The Court was prorogued till Dec. 10. [C.O. 5, 788. pp. 324–328.]
Oct. 18. 960. Minutes of Council in Assembly of New York. Amendments, made by the Representatives to the Bill for supplying the defects in a late Act for settling the Militia, agreed to. As also the amendments made to the Bill for encouraging the City of New York.
Mr. Jamison appeared, but offered no further reasons against passing the Bill for confirming the Bill between Swartwont and Co. and Aertsen and Co.
Petition of Jacob Leisler, praying the Bill for paying the debts of the Government may pass this session, read. Which petition was favourably received by the Governor and whole Council, no man objecting against the matter of the same, only forasmuch as the Assembly had sat very long, and it was reasonable it should be at present dismissed, the further consideration of the same is respited to the next sessions of the Assembly.
The Governor gave his consent to the 10 Bills passed Oct. 10, and also to Acts granting an additional duty to H.M., for repairing the forts at Albany etc., and supplying the defects of the Act for settling the Militia.
The Governor summoned the Assembly and desired their attendance to the City Hall to have the Acts passed published, and prorogued the Assembly to the third Tuesday in March. [C.O. 5, 1184. pp. 903–905.]
Oct. 20.
New York.
961. Lieut.-Governor Nanfan to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Just now came the enclosed to my hands express from the Governor of Virginia, wherein your Lordships will see what assistance we are like to expect from that Colony if at war. Mr. Penn writes me to the same effect from Pensilvania. I had them hastily transcribed, being unwilling to miss this oppertunity of transmitting them to your Lordships, the post just returning to Philadelphia, and Mr. Penn immediately going for England. Not having time at present, cannot add any particulars of what has been transacted here, only that the Assembly have granted to H.M. an additional duty for two years, and have borrowed 200l. out of the money raised for Onondage to repair Albany and Schenectedah. I passed some other bills which I take to be purely for the public peace and welfare of this Province, and hope they will be thought so by your Lordships. I prorogued the Assembly the 18th inst. to the 3rd tewsday in March, and by a vessel will sail hence for England in some time, I will transmit your Lordships particulers of what has occurred with the bills. Our Indians continue firm in their allegiance to H.M. and in friendship to us. No Col. Romer as yet. Signed, John Nanfan.
P.S.—I must acknowledge receipt of duplicates from your Lordships of April 29 and May 7 and your letter of May 20. Endorsed, Recd. Dec. 26, 1701. Read Jan. 15, 170½. 2¼ pp. Enclosed,
961. i. Abstract of preceding. 1 p.
961. ii. Governor Nicholson to Lieut.-Governor Nanfan. Virginia Royal College of William and Mary. I have with an unwearied diligence again and again prest unto them [the House of Burgesses] to comply with the subject matter of H.M. letter (Jan. 19) which you sent me, and in the end they came to this resolution, that considering the public engagements and debts this country at present lies under, they are not in a condition to furnish the 900l., and that considering further the necessary provision which this Colony will require from time to time for the security and defence thereof, being a large, open and defenceless country, they are in more want of assistance themselves than capable to afford it to others. And as to the quota of men, it is the opinion of the House of Burgesses of this Colony, that to send a detachment of men from hence would not onely be very prejudicial to H.M. interest at home, but also endanger much the safety of this Dominion. Refers to enclosure. By all which it is evidently manifest that there is not the least ground to depend upon having any assistance from hence of men. This letter by advice of H.M. Council, Oct. 2, 1701. Signed, Fr. Nicholson. P.S.—The Assembly is this day prorogued till Nov. 12, not knowing what may happen from England. But hope there will be no occasion of their meeting till the Spring, the winter season being very inconvenient for holding Assemblies. F. N. Endorsed as preceding.
961. iii. Copy of Minutes of Council of Virginia, concerning their refusal to send assistance to New York. Sept. 18, 19, 1701. Same endorsement. 2 pp.
961. iv. Extract of letter from Governor Penn to Lieut.-Governor Nanfan. Philadelphia, Oct. 18, 1701.—"Yet could not be prevailed with to think of any supply for the Fort, being extremely in arrears to the public, and the Lower Counties very poor and long indebted to the merchants and their staple (tobacco, and none of the best), never lower, and indeed the Engineer being absent, and the country now inaccessible, and our own low circumstances make up some excuse for them; and the negative of Virginia to their part will render it more difficult everywhere, considering the dignity of that Colony and the vigour of their Commander in Chief to pursue the advices from home." Same endorsement. ¾ p.
961. v. Duplicate of preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1147. Nos. 3, 3.i.–v.; and (without enclosures) 5, 1119. pp. 63–65.]
Oct. 20.
New York.
962. Wm. Atwood to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers to letter of Aug. 15. Case of Wake's ship. My Commission as Chief Justice subjecting me to ordinances of the Governor and Council, I prevailed with them to appoint ye Supreme Court to be holden for ye hearing and determining the question of the legality of that sentence of the Court of Admiralty discharging that ship, and it being considered that one of the persons designed for a Judge in the Supreme Court was ye person who, as Deputy, had given sentence in favour of ye ship, and ye other was a merchant who might be concerned in interest, the Governor thought fit to suspend the granting their commissions till this matter should be over in ye Supreme Court, and therefore the enclosed ordinance was made impowering me alone to hear and determine this matter. This I conceive to be agreable to the ordinance for establishing the Court, which provides that a Supreme Court shall be held and kept at New York, which Supreme Court is fully impowered to have cognizance of all pleas, civil, criminal and mixed, as fully and amply as the Courts of King's Bench, Common Pleas and Exchequer in England have or ought to have, but makes no provision for any certain number of Justices: out of the office of which Supreme Court all process is to issue under the test of the Chief Justice of the said Court, wch. does not necessarily imply that there must be more than one; nor, as I conceive, can the Chief Justice within the Province be disabled from acting upon ye death or amotions of ye other Justices, any more than the Chief Justice of England. Besides, tho' my Commission mentions my power together with the other Justices of the Supreme Court or a quorum thereof, (1) neither then nor when I sat upon this cause was there any other Justice, (2) there never was any provision for a quorum, unless by an expired Act of Assembly. (3) The Commission expressly relates to the ordinance for establishing ye Court, which has no provision for any more than a Chief Justice, who as Chief Justice in the Province may be so in relation to other Courts. And since the assistance of other Justices is required only according to that ordinance, wch. requires no assistance, as there's nothing in the ordinance to restrain the Chief Justice, neither is there in the Commission. However, ye Commission equally relates to subsequent ordinances, and according to that of Aug. 15, I alone am fully impowered. Further yet, the Supreme Court, as appears above, has full conusance in these matters, and by a special clause in my Commission, inserted by the advice of your Lordships, I have full power to hold the Supreme Court at such places, times as the same may or ought to be held within the Province. Being, as I conceived, sufficiently impowered to hear and determine this matter, the suggestion being solemnly argued by Council on both sides, I having taken due time to compare the authorities cited, and to collect others which I produced at large, gave judgment for a prohibition as to a certain bond mentioned in the suggestion, which the Admiralty Court had taken to be such a composition as ought to discharge ye forfeiture. My argument herein I hope to transmit to your Lordships before the cause can be argued in England, whether 'tis removing by an Appeal from the judgment of Council here in affirmance of mine. I must observe to your Lordships that after they had owned the jurisdiction of the Court, demurring only upon the supposed insufficiency of the suggestion, and, by agreement entered in Cort, were to insist on nothing but ye merits, yet they, besides the general error, before the Governor and Council assign specially that I had no authority and that the determination was coram no judice. Gives an abstract of his arguments in the Supreme Court. Tho' a great clamour was raised against a sentence of mine in the Admiralty Court against another vessel, wch. loaded goods on board without having been registered, that sentence is at peace and the vessel is upon sale. For some others, which seem to have incurred forfeitures, by direction of the Governor, time has been given for such proofs as ye circumstances of the several cases require. In a short interval of public business here, I went to Burlington where I published my Commission for West Jersey and took the oath etc. in Council before Col. Hamilton, whose authority in the other Jersey is much disputed. The affairs of the Supreme Court, the Chancery, the Admiralty and the Assembly here, wch. arose on Saturday, rendered it impossible for me till now to go to Connecticut, Rhode Island, Boston and New Hampshire, and tho' a severe season is approaching, I am not discouraged from going to those, and indeed, through the neglect and frauds of the officers of the Customs, I am not likely to have anything brought before me in ye Admiralty Court there. A late scandalous composition at Boston makes it my duty to prevent the like for the future. Several here cannot well bear with the execution of the Laws of England; yet I hope I have hitherto maintained their credit in these parts, and the Assembly, as an evidence of their approving my endeavours, have added 70l. a year to my salary during the continuance of the additional duty. I have not yet applied myself to the Governor and Council to know from what time they will think fit my salary should commence, but Col. Depeyster, who was in the place from about Christmas last, barely for necessary process, without pretending to judge in any cause, not expecting any salary, I submit it to the consideration of your Lordships whether it may not be reasonable that which I receive here should be from Christmas, as 'tis in England, or at least from ye date of the Colonel's Commission.
Permit me further to acquaint your Lordships that this City is miserably divided, and had not I prevailed, if I have yet prevailed, on the party who think themselves aggrieved for not being returned Aldermen and Assistants, not to resolve to right themselves as they had threatened, but to take a legal method, there had hardly been the face of a government in ye City. But at my perswasion they have prosecuted mandamus's, and yet would have anticipated the judgment of the Supreme Court by the presentment of a warm part of a Grand Jury, which presentment I found reason to set aside for ye incertainty. But, as I undertook, perswaded the Governor and Council to grant an adjournment of the Supreme Cort to the 25th day of ye next month, in order to determine that and other matters depending. Since which something of a very extraordinary nature has hapned, several of the members of this Assembly having been turned out for absolutely refusing to act after they had been sworn and had chosen their Speaker, whom they unanimously presented to the Governor; in the room of three, others were chosen, who came into the House with a protestation against it's proceedings, and departed to their countries. These the House of Representatives desire to be prosecuted by the Attorney General: their reasons for which they have sent to the Governor and Council. After this ye writ from Suffolk County was returned unexecuted, with an insolent paper sent by the Sheriff as ye sense of the freeholders who then met. The Council are upon enquiring after the authors of this, and I doubt not will direct prosecutions against them, yet I must say I find a backwardness where I did not expect it. Your Lordships cannot but be sensible that these things are not to be suffered in any Government, and while I am discharging my duty, I doubt not of the favor and protection of your Lordships. Signed, Wm. Atwood. Endorsed, Recd. 8th, Read Jan. 22, 170½. Holograph. 8 pp. Enclosed,
962. i. Abstract of preceding. 2 pp.
962. ii. Copy of Mr. Atwood's Commission to be Chief Justice of New York, Aug. 5, 1701. Signed, M. Clarkson, Secretary. Endorsed, Recd. Jan. 8, 170½. 1 p.
962. iii. Minutes of Council of New York. Aug. 15, 1701. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. 1 p.
962. iv. Copy of a suggestion exhibited to the Supreme Court of New York relating to the Admiralty Court's discharging Captain Wake's ship. Aug. 23, 1701. Thomas Weaver, Collector and Receiver, appearing in Court on Aug. 15, stated that whereas John Wake, master of the Elizabeth and Katherine of London, did import goods into New York (July 17, 1699), without making due proof of a Register according to the tenour of the Act for preventing frauds etc., sentence was passed in the Court of Admiralty, June 13, 1701, that, it appearing to the Court that the said ship was in 1699 seized by the then Naval Officer for the aforesaid fact and by him compounded for, the ship cannot be again seized and informed against for the same, and that she be accordingly discharged. This sentence was founded on a bond by John Wake to produce the certificate of his register or to surrender the ship within nine months. Now forasmuch as the said Naval Officer had no authority to compound for the King's part of the said forfeiture, and if he had any such authority the said bond cannot nor ought by any construction of Law to be deemed and taken for a composition, and no other composition being alledged and the said sentence being manifestly against Law, and to the great damage as well of H.M. and the Governor as of Thomas Weaver, the Informer, he desires remedy, and a writ of H.M. of prohibition to the Judge of the Court of Admiralty to be directed to prohibit him that he the pleas or anything concerning the premisses before him further should hold, and that the sentence and decree aforesaid of the said Thomas without delay should be revoked. Endorsed, Recd. Jan. 8, 170½. 3¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 1047. Nos. 4, 4.i.–iv.; and (without enclosures) 5, 1119. pp. 65–74.]
Oct. 20.
963. Governor Sir William Beeston to the Council of Trade and Plantations. According to the reports wee have had here, wee have for some weekes past expected the arrival of the squadron with Mr. Bemboe and my successor in the Government; but none of them yet appears, nor any farther advice when we may expect them, though it's reported for a truth here that about Sept. 20 about 26 sayle were seene a few days distance to windward of Martinica, which, if true, must be a French squadron. However, I dayly use my best endeavours to put the place into the best position for defence that I can. We have finished the round tower, and the line at the Easter end of Port Royall, on which is mounted twelve whole long culverings, and the line below it of 16 guns is also finished all in a good stone worke, and I have caused all the Bays, where there is landing at Old Harbour, to be entrench't; and we are now, by a resolution of a Council of War, intrenching the Town of St. Jago with a good trench, regular works, and bastions, all but the River, which runns along the East side of the Towne, and have every day 500 men negroes at work on it, and it goes on vigorously, but I cannot hope to see that quite finished, but must leave it to my successor. It was thought necessary to do this, because we may reasonably guess if an attempt be made on this place, it will be with such a force as will think able to carry their point, and if so, and they by their numbers may force their landing before our strength can draw together, and oblidge us to retyre, and if upon such retirement they should scatter into the country and plantations, it will not only be hard to get them together again, but also the country and people will be left open to the ravage of the enemy, who otherwise will not dare to venture into such a hazard, and leave such a fastness and strength behind them. I hope therefore, if there shall be any such occasion, that it prove of good use, being a place where there is plenty of lodgings, provisions and water. Here has been a scurvey, scattering sickness again, these last two or 3 months, wh. tho' it has not proved very violent, yet has carryed off several of the inhabitants and about 60 officers and souldiers, of Sir Henry Bellasis regiment of foot. The French are yet very civil when they meet any of our vessels at sea, but expect a warre, and seeme to be ready to prosecute it soe soone as they have liberty soe to doe. Here is else nothing worthy the troubling your Lordshipps about, else you should have received it from your most obedient and humble servant, Wm. Beeston. P.S.—I have been this day at Port Royall to name the New Fort, in which wee dranke H.M. health, fyred several pieces of cannon and called it Fort William. Endorsed, Recd. Read Jan. 24, 170½. Holograph. 1 p. Enclosed,
963. i. Abstract of preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 5. No. 59; and 138, 10. pp. 321–323.]