America and West Indies: July 1702, 6-10

Pages 441-463

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 20, 1702. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1912.

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July 1702

July 6.
Basse Terre
in St. Kitts.
700. Governor Codrington to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The good Providence which I hope guards H.M. person and will attend on all her undertakings, has blest her arms under my command with better success then I could have wish't for. Her Flag is now flying on the French Fort, and the Count des Gennes with about 1,200 French men, women and children are my prisoners. I am made believe by the French themselves that a tolerable good disposition of my forces and a lucky stratagem or two made them doe that over-night, which they were very much ashamed of the next morning. I cannot now give your Lordships an account of particulars, but think myself obliged to let you know that Col. Hamilton of Antigua, with about a dozen gentlemen of the best estates in that Island, Col. Abbot, Col. Smith, Lieut.-Col. Butler of Nevis, with several Gentlemen of that kind attended me, and would have gone wherever I durst have led them. I could not spare Col. Byam of Antigua from thence, and Col. Pern was sick. Col. Williams has not been on his feet these six months, otherwise, as old as he is, he would not have been left behind. Col. Hamilton of Nevis commanded next under me, and had my commission as Major General, to prevent disputes in case I had fal'n. How ill an opinion soever your Lordships have of my circumspection, I shall never want a sufficient share of it to do my duty till the arrival of my furlow or congé, either of which will be welcome to, Signed, Chr. Codrington. Endorsed, Recd. Read Oct. 22, 1702. Holograph. 2 pp. [C.O. 152, 5. No. 2; and 153, 8. pp. 119, 120.]
July 6. 701. Duplicate of preceding. [C.O. 152, 5. No. 3.]
July 6. 702. Memorial of Governor Haskett in answer to the deposition of the People of Providence and Michael Cole. On arriving at Providence, with goods etc. to the value of 4,000l., the Governor did apprehend himself obliged in duty to reform the many great abuses and enormities daily committed there, and to bring the offenders to due punishment. He caused John Graves, Collector of the Customs, to be prosecuted for divers great causes and misdemeanours. He procured the sloop Success, belonging to Read Elding, to be seized for breach of the Laws of Trade. She was condemned in the Court of Admiralty, and Elding was by the Governor's orders under prosecution for piracy and other heinous crimes. The Governor also caused a bond of 500l. to be put in suit against Ellis Lightwood, conditioned for his delivering up Avery, the pirate, which was forfeited by his procuring a sloop for him and conveying him from the Island. The Governor also caused a sloop of his to be seized for trading against Law. The trials of Elding and Lightwood were drawing near, when to secure themselves, they seized the Governor, etc. During his imprisonment, they seized his sloop, the Success. They seized Benjamin Pittman, of the Providence galley, detained him and his sailors, and disposed of the ship's lading. They forced the Governor aboard a small ketch, etc., and sometime afterwards his wife and sister on board a sloop in the middle of winter, without their apparel or necessaries; the sloop was cast away upon a desert coast. The Governor met with all this hard and barbarous usage because he was impartial in the discharge of his duty, and made discoveries of such offences there as tended greatly to H.M. prejudice.
It is impossible for me at present to make proof of my defence, all my written vouchers being seized and detained from me. The people that inhabit this Colony are almost all such who for several enormous crimes and villanies have either fled from, or been thrust out of all the other Colonies in America. Their method of living has been always upon piracy and plunder, and by defrauding the Crown of its dues, and the Proprietors of their rents and perquisites, and there has been no Governor before myself, but who, either for his profit or his quiet, shared in or at least connived at their unjust practices. Answer to accusations. [See No. 307.i.] (1) Upon my arrival I found one Hatton to be Minister, a man of a very desolute and lewd life, and a scandal to his robe. Upon complaint of the people that they would not pay him so much as the 160l. allowed him by Elding in the absence of the Governor, I and the Council settled upon him 120l., but he retired into the country in a sullen mood, and refused to do his duty for about 6 weeks. I never detained him otherwise than by chiding him for his repeated debauches. (2) I never laid any tax on the people in Brazaletta wood or otherwise, save the duty on liquors, with the concurrence of the Council, to pay the Minister aforesaid. The wood I received was from the people of Ethera, who are subjects of this Province, and who are to pay the Lords Proprietors 1d. per acre rents for the lands they are possessed of, and money being very scarce among them, I offered to take the rents in Brazaletta wood for the use of the Lords Proprietors. It is now seized by the conspirators and divided among them. I never denied the people their lawful trade upon account of the wood, or otherwise. (3) During my Government I only imprisoned the following:—4 deserters from the Providence galley, who publicly declared their intent to run away with her; John Graves by virtue of a writ upon a bond due to the Proprietors. He was charged in prison with granting false certificates and embezzlement. He tried to bribe me to stop or alleviate the prosecution, which I with indignation refused; Edward Holmes by virtue of a writ upon a bond; three Bermudians, for cutting and taking away from some of the Bahama Islands, six months before, some 50 tuns of Brazaletta wood without paying dues, and unloaded the same at Caresoa [Curaçoa]. This unlawful trade is constantly practised. One of the Bermudians petitioned for forgiveness on paying for his part of the wood, which was granted; Josias Simms, a negro, for having loaded fustick wood and unloaded it at St. Thomas's. He being in very indifferent circumstances, I compounded with him for 20 pistoles and received them for the use of the Lords Proprietors. Upon further evidence I imprisoned him and some of his crew for piracy. The rest of the crew were conveyed away by Read Elding, the owner of the sloop; the last was Read Elding for piracy and divers other crimes. He tried to bribe me to banish him rather than stand his trial. I never received any bribe from any of them. (4) I never demanded any more than the tenths of Brazaletta wood. It is in my Instructions to take the sixth part of all wrecks and royalties belonging to the Lords Proprietors, including tortoiseshell, tho' there were so few tortoises taken, that I only received 5l. therefor. (5) My Commission and Instructions were read the day of my arrival before the whole people, and I was always ready to show them to the Council. (6) The port charges are the same as at Barbados, etc. I was never privy to the taking of any greater. (7) and (8) Upon the last Governor's deserting the Island, he deputed Elding, who arbitrarily and by corruption made several Laws, the most of which were for his own benefit and service, and wholly repugnant to the Laws of England, and were refus'd to be confirmed by the Lords Proprietors. Soon after my arrival, I call'd a Council and Assembly, in order to propose and make some Laws for the better Government of the place, and the first thing that was moved and offered was a list of the said Laws, in number about 20, made by Elding, the most of which, for the reasons aforesaid, were rejected and others of them confirmed, and several new Laws made. There was produced to me a list of the poor people of Ethera, and it was moved that a tax might be laid upon them of several hundred pieces of eight, as an allowance to the Council and Assembly at their meetings, for their trouble and time spent therein; which, as it was proposed, would have been much more than any of them could get at their trades, which I thought to be so unreasonable an imposition upon that poor people, and there being none of them present at Providence to answer for themselves, I could not, in justice, but oppose the same; whereon they immediately without any consent adjourned themselves for many months. Among the Acts made in Elding's time, the Act against monopolizing, as the Articles term it, was one, and that (among others) was not confirmed by the Proprietors; and it was so penn'd, it was thought fit to be rejected. (9) This Article is grounded wholly upon my once striking with my cane one Cole. All other Masters of ships, I have always treated them with all imaginable respect and candour. (10) Utterly false, and cannot be proved. (11) A ship belonging to the King of Portugal, bound for the Havana, fell in among the Bahama Islands, loaded with negroes and passengers, who were almost starved to death. I granted the Captain protection and relief, wholly against the desire of the people, who though they knew all the persons on board were ready to starve, demanded double and trebble prizes for all sorts of provisions. I, to prevent such exorbitant extortion, bought what was necessary for the ship, though at very exorbitant prizes, they knowing it was for her use, and when he was furnished, I ordered a sloop to convey him to Havana, to do which, I went through many difficulties, she having a large quantity of money on board, the people of Providence contriv'd a great many stratagems in order to make a wreck of the ship, but all was prevented by the great care I took. Elding offered me a great sum if I would give him liberty privately to make a wreck of the ship by sending his brother in the night-time upon a little piece of board with a hatchet, in order to dive down and cut the ship's cable, that she might drive ashore and become a wreck; but these barbarous intentions I utterly rejected, which was very much resented by the people, not being used to be debarr'd of their ancient customs and practices. (12) When I arrived at Providence, there were not above 20 people lawfully married, and the wives of part of those 20 were taken from them by those that had more strength and riches than the husbands, which occasioned great animosities. For example, Elding forcibly took away the wife of one Perryman (sic) Trott. Lightwood deserted his own wife and took the reputed wife of the late Governor Trott. One Holmes took one Harris' wife, and drove him off the Island. Samuel Thrift forcibly took away the wife of one Starr, and detains her from him, and most of the rest live after the same manner by daily changing of wives and mistresses. I ordered the Grand Jury to enquire into all such disorders, so that upon their first meeting they presented about 20 such persons, and some proceedings being set on foot to punish, several petitioned me to grant them licence to marry the women they had lived with. Their charges amounted to three or four pounds, but for any licence granted by me I never took more than five pieces of eight, which fee is taken by all the Governors throughout the whole Indies. But the Minister was so covetous, he refused to marry these poor people if they could not present him with 24s. I myself paid for several of them. (13) Before I came to the Island, the Judge of the Court of Admiralty was forcibly drove off the Island, together with all other Commission Officers appointed from England, and were most barbarously treated by Read Elding. On their return, I confirmed them in their places, until the time of seizing me, when they also were imprisoned, till they almost starved, and an oath was extorted from them (two of them with pistols at their breasts) not to be witnesses of what they had done, the Judge of the Common Pleas having a pistol fired at him, and very narrowly escaped with his life. I never contributed any of these by my own Commission or authority. (14) I never demanded any oaths from Masters of ships, but such as the Law strictly requires me to do. I never opened any letters of merchants in business, but some letters that I had great reason to suspect were sent to foment rebellions, the contents of several of which were found to be very reflecting on the interest of the Lords Proprietors and of myself, etc.; also some directed to notorious pirates, containing instructions for setting on foot a correspondence between them and pirates of other Islands. (15) They have not thought fit to particularize. For all goods that came into port, I for the most part, gave the people liberty to buy before me, and when they were furnished, sometimes I bought the rest. (16) There happening to be an alarm upon the sight of some vessels making to the town of Providence, I commanded the Officers to order all the people into the Fort, in order to defend the place if there should be occasion; and upon return of some of the said Officers, they gave me an account that one Graves, the Collector, hindered and detained about eight or ten of our men with himself from coming to the Fort, and sent me word, he would not be obedient to my commands, nor would be hindered from going off in a boat, to see what vessels they were that stood off the place, notwithstanding I had ordered that no boats should go on board, till such time as the ships were under the command of our Fort, for that several boats, that have gone to meet vessels before they got into Port, have been detained, and kept on board several Pyrate ships, and have not been discharged until they have been furnished with all things necessary for their pyratical undertaking. Whereupon I was necessitated to go to the place where Graves and his men were, and did in anger drive them all into the Fort with a small cane, and believe some blows might fall upon Graves, who, ever since my coming to the Island, had been a very ungovernable person, and of whom I had continual complaints, and at the same time I ordered that if any persons offered to go on board the said vessels without my leave, that they should fire at the boats. Graves was some time afterwards committed to prison upon information given me upon the oaths of several persons that he had granted several false certificates, and had connived at the carrying on unlawful Trades, and had defrauded the King of his Customs, to the value of several hundred pounds, for which crimes he was to have been tried in few days, if he and others had not prevented it by the conspiracy. (17) The seizure of brandy and claret was made and valued truly, but no man in the place was capable of buying it, unless I would sell it by the gallon; so I bought it myself, and charged myself debtor to H.M. for one third part, as the Law directs. (18) I had a sloop, one Spatchers Master, on board which I shipped 10 negroes and nothing else but provisions for them, and gave orders to sail for Porto Prince, on Cuba, and there to dispose of the same for pieces of eight, horses or live oxen, and no other commodities, neither did they bring any else in return. The second voyage she made was to the Isle of Ethera for a load of Brazaletta wood, which she brought directly to Providence, having orders from me to do the same. The third voyage was to another of the Bahama Islands to load salt. The said sloop nor any other vessel for me, or wherein I had or was to have any interest, never did go to any other place, nor loaded nor unloaded any other goods. (19) At my going to the Government, I took with me Roger Prideaux, an attorney, of Lyon's Inn, and constituted him Clerk of the Courts, as being more knowing in the Law than any person in the Island. The fees of the Courts were the same as in England. (20) I never ordered any Brazaletta wood to be brought from any of the Islands to Providence, or elsewhere, but such as was the Lords Proprietors' dues, and paid by the people for their rents or bought with my own money. (21) In all public affairs I always advised with, and had the approbation of the Council. (22) See answer to (3). (23) Most of the people were so well satisfied with me that they had resolved to make an Address of Thanks to the Lords Proprietors for sending me to that Government. If they repented of it afterwards, as alleged, such repentance wd. be very proper to appear under their hands. Describes "the Council of Providence" who subscribed these Articles;—Ellis Lightwood, John Warren and Read Elding, old pirates, etc., as elsewhere; Richard Taliaferro during all my Government Judge of the Common Pleas, was imprison'd with me and cruelly used there for ten days, and they presented a pistol to his breast, and fired at him, which he put by with his hand, and so saved his life. All this was done to compel him to approve their undertaking, which he afterwards declared he did, only to save his life. Thomas Gower was turned out of Commission and became miserably poor, and was thereby prevailed with to do anything for sustenance. Thomas Williams, an old privateer and so illiterate that he cannot write his name. Thomas Dalton, now Master of a small barke, had served under pirates in the South Seas. A person of a very weak understanding. Nicholas David, a poor journeyman carpenter, working for me at 2s. 6d. a day when I was seized. Had been a privateer. Prideaux was seized with me. He confessed to me with tears at New York, he was forced to do what he did to save his life and for a share of the plunder, meaning, I presume thereby, the framing of the letter. The Letter and Affidavit are not consistent. The Letter is dated Aug. 4, and I was not seized till about the middle of October, and it is very strange that when sloops are going off every day this letter should lie dormant all that time. I am ready to make oath, that I never signed any such letter, or caused it to be written. As to the affidavits of William Spatchers, Benjamin Griffin and Peter Corane, the former was put in prison with me, whilst his wife and family were starving. So they forced him to sign a paper which they told him (for he cannot read) was only to certifie his approbation of deposing the Governor. It is most likely the same method or good rewards induced Griffin and Corane to do the like. As to the Affidavit of Tabitha Alford, she was a bought servant of Read Elding, and was to be tried for making away of her bastard child, which she had by him, and consequently absolutely in his power. If I had taken the bribes, which it is true were offered me, I must certainly have set Elding at liberty, which was never done till the seizing of me.
The narrative of Michael Cole is an idle and malicious story. The want of inhabitants, and consequently of force to defend Providence made me always cautious how I suffer'd anybody to go off when shipping came near the Island, till I had them under command of the Fort, lest I might lose the people by an enemy carrying them away, or some treachery to invite pirates or strangers to cut us off. This Cole came before the place, and without showing any colours, kept off a considerable time; the place was all allarm'd and the people in arms; I fired a shot, either to send him away, or bring him ashoar, the last of which it did, after he had stay'd off almost two hours, as he acknowledges in his narration. Upon demanding the reason why he made no more haste, he with his hat on and a supercilious look, told me that he knew the Indies and what respect to pay, but when he found none due, he thought none ought to be shewn. I passed over that affront, and demanded his letters. I open'd several directed to persons that I had great reason to suspect, and found a correspondence carrying on between several privateers and the Colony, which, if not prevented, must of course have ruined the Settlement, and thereby have been an extraordinary loss both to the Crown and Proprietors. In a day or two afterwards, a Portuguese ship in distress came in, who was amicably received by me, and relieved; but upon setting out a Proclamation that nobody should go on board without particular leave, lest the thinness of the garrison and our uncapableness of resisting an enemy should be known, he, this Cole, in the night time went on board, discover'd our misfortunes, and inform'd him of all the particulars of the place, as the Portuguese Captain informed me next day. But when this Cole, a few days afterwards, tore down a Proclamation I had ordered to be set up, bidding me kiss his xxxx, I was provoked to give him three or four blows with a small cane, and know not but his head might be broken, though he went away and seemed to have little hurt thereby.
As to the Bermudian Sloop, soon after my arrival, information was given me about the oaths of several persons, of several Bermudian Sloops who had cut, and were cutting and taking on board Brazaletta wood from some of the remotest of the Bahama Islands, without entring and clearing. Upon which, I ordered out a sloop, with Commission to search among the said Islands, where dying woods grew and salt was made, and ambergreese found. They found Tucker in a Bermudian Sloop, cutting Brazaletta wood, but had taken little or none on board, being just returned from St. Thomas's to which place some few months before, he had carried her full of the said wood, without entring, clearing or paying H.M. Customs, or the Lords Proprietors' dues, as oath was made before me by a person who was then present on the place. For which reason the vessel was seized, and brought down to Providence. When I was told that Tucker and his sloop had been long practised in this trade, for that about ten or eleven months before, in the time of the preceding Governor, and in the salt season, without entering or clearing at Providence, he took in his load of salt, and carried it out of that Government to some place where he could best dispose of it, and accordingly I found an information thereof upon oath recorded in the books, which had been made before my predecessor, upon this the sloop was libelled by the Attorney General for loading the said salt, contrary to Law, and was brought to a trial at the Court of Admiralty, before John Doggett, then Judge of the said Court, and upon full evidence of Tucker and his mate's voluntary confessing the several charges to be true, the Jury found her guilty. She was condemned by the Judge, who at the same time asked the Master if he would appeal to England, but he did not, nor would appeal, knowing that several Bermudian vessels had been condemned before for the same fact; besides, that had she been libelled for the other facts before related, there was very sufficient proof against her, and indeed it has been the common trade and practice of the Bermudians for many years past to cut and carry the same dying wood to Caresoa and St. Thomas's, contrary to Law and to H.M. loss of 40s. or 50s. per tun, besides the tenths due to the Lords; and unless some care be taken at Bermudus to prevent its sloops going to the Bahama Islands, without security to take no such goods on board without due entrings and clearings, H.M. and the Proprietors will be constantly robb'd by them. Summarises his defence. Endorsed, Recd. Read July 6, 1702. Printed. 14 pp. Annexed,
702. i. Abstract of preceding. 4 pp. [C.O. 5, 1261. Nos. 126, 126. i.]
July 6. 703. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Order of Council, July 2, upon a petition of Capt. Haskett read. He delivered a printed memorial in answer to charges of the people of Providence [July 6]. Being asked why he had not sooner been to wait upon this Board, according to his promise at his first arrival, he said that he had waited five weeks in expectation of some redress from the Lords Proprietors (before whom he had laid his case) but none [sic], and then thought it necessary to lay the same before H.M. Ordered that he attend again on Wednesday.
Letter from Lt. Gov. Partridge, April 17, read. Partridge's son desiring a copy of the complaints that have been exhibited by Mr. Usher relating to the disorders in New Hampshire in 1696 and 1697, ordered that the same may be given him.
Directions given for preparing a Representation upon the reference of Mr. Penn's petition, relating to Col. Hamilton's being Lieut.-Governor of Pennsylvania.
Sir Henry Ashurst attending, desired a copy of the New Hampshire Act for levying 550l. etc., which was ordered accordingly to be given him.
July 7. Representation upon Mr. Penn's Memorial abt. Col. Hamilton signed.
Account of incident charges approved and transmitted to the Lord Treasurer.
July 8. Representation with drafts of Commissions signed.
Capt. Haskett attending presented some papers which were read. He being asked whether he or the Lords Proprietors could prove the allegations therein, he answered he was ready to make oath to the truth of what he had advanced; but for other proof, his papers etc. having been seized, he had none, nor did he know that the Lords Proprietors had any. Whereupon he was directed to bring a more particular state of Providence with relation to the mismanagement in the Government, and to the method of carrying on illegal trade, therewith his proposal for remedying thereof, also an account how the Island may be made defenceable and the charge thereof, and to explain at large, in the best manner he can, every article in the account of goods and money etc., belonging to H.M.; and then he was advised to lay before the Commissioners of Customs an account of what he had to offer against Mr. Graves, the Collector at Providence.
Capt. Poyntz, Dr. Woodroffe, and Moses Stringer, accompanied with Monsieur Blombergh, presented to the Board a petition to H.M., with a reference from Lord Nottingham, June 24, praying to be incorporated in order to the settling of Tobago, which was read. M. Blombergh, though he said he did not appear with a character from the Duke of Courland, desired that the consideration of this business might be suspended till he had given the Duchess of Courland an account thereof, and had received her directions.
Order of Council, June 11, concerning Mr. Day, read. Letter to Capt. Bennet ordered accordingly. [C.O. 391, 15. pp. 120–127; and 391, 16. Nos. 120–122.]
July 6. 704. Minutes of Council of the Massachusetts Bay. H.E. acquainting the Board that Capt. John Hearne, H.M.S. Centurion, had informed him that several of his seamen had deserted, and desired a Proclamation for their apprehension, with a reward of four pieces of eight; Ordered accordingly.
Draught of letter from the Governor to John Winthrop, Governor of Connecticot, referring to the Boundary, approved.
Advised that John Phillips, who with others is nominated to attend H.E. on a journey to the Eastward, upon which H.E. intends speedily to set forward, do advance what is necessary to support the charge of H.E. and the gentlemen that attend him. Advised that H.E. issue his warrant to the Treasurer to provide 100 bushels of Indian corn and ship the same for Piscataqua, to be distributed amongst the Indians that shall wait upon H.E. there, if H.E. shall find them well disposed, or otherwise to be employed in the service of the Province.
18l. 16s. paid to Penn Townsend and Nathaniel Byfield for treating of the Gentlemen that attended the solemnity of proclaiming H.M., May 29, and for drink supplied to the Militia then in arms.
41l. 2s. 6d. paid to John Walley and Penn Townsend for a public dinner and drink to the Militia at the reception of H.E.
Account of Thomas Downing referred to a Committee.
H.E. nominated Paul Dudley Attorney General. The Council consented.
H.E. and Council were sworn J.P.s.
Elisha Hutchinson and John Foster were sworn Justices of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas, for Suffolk, and James Russell and John Phillips for Middlesex. [C.O. 5, 788. pp. 172–174.]
July 7.
705. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Queen. Refer to former report upon Col. Andrew Hamilton as Governor of New Jersey. We do not conceive it for your Majesty's service that he receive your Royal approbation as Lieut. Governor of Pennsylvania. Signed, Dartmouth, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Mat. Pryor. [C.O. 5, 1290. pp. 102, 103.]
July 7. 706. Account of Mr. Churchill the Stationer, July 3, 1701—June 22, 1702. Total, 83l. 8s. 0d. Endorsed, Recd, Read July 7, 1702. [C.O. 388, 75. Nos. 55, 56.]
July 7. 707. Account of Mr. Short, the Post Officer, for letters and packets from June 27, 1701—June 17, 1702. Total, 47l. 12s. 0d. [C.O. 388, 75. No. 57.]
July 7. 708. Attorney and Advocate General to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to enclosed queries: [See June 13.] (1) The words of the Act of Parliament are express that every Governor shall be approved of by the King and take the oaths appointed. Therefore it is plain H.M. approbation must be had before such Governor can do any Act whatsoever as Governor: without it, the Proprietor's appointment is as if it had not been made. To this Mr. Penn objects that he as Proprietor is Governor, and therefore not within the Act, and I am of opinion he is not, but his Deputy Lieutenant is. But in this he excuses himself from the necessity of his return to England, which obliged him to leave a Deputy in his absence, and that his late Majesty's death prevented his applying to him, but he is now applying to her present Majesty for her approbation of him. (2) I do not find the Act of 7 and 8 William III. directs the settling an Admiralty Court in the Plantations, but supposes them already settled there. The practice of the Plantations since that Act hath been to sue for forfeitures by this Act in the Admiralty Court in the Plantations, and many unregistered ships have been there condemned, and Appeals have been to the late King in Council from such sentences, and the jurisdiction of the Admiralty Courts hath never been there denied, though the Act is confused and dark, yet the clause giving liberty to sue in any Court in the Plantations, and the Admiralty being expressly mentioned, fol. 502, I am of opinion the Parliament intended that Court among others in the Plantations under the general words. (3) I conceive, if a suit be first properly begun in the Court of Admiralty, pending such suit no proceeding ought to be in any other Court, and if there be a judgment given in such Court of Admiralty, it determines the matter in suit, and that determination is final, unless altered on an Appeal from the same. But the Common Informer, who is to have a third part of the forfeitures, may sue for unlawful trade either in Westminster Hall or in any Court in the Plantations, and is not restrained to the Admiralty. (4) I conceive the Commission granted by Mr. Penn to water-bayliffes doth not interfere with the Admiralty jurisdiction, for it doth not grant them any Admiralty jurisdiction, nor to execute process on the High Seas, but within the Rivers, which is within the jurisdiction of the Common Law Courts, and is only constituting a Sheriff of a County, which Mr. Penn calls a water-bailiff, and he is to execute process to be directed to him, which the Admiralty process is not, but to the Marshall of the Admiralty. On view of the grant of Charles II., I conceive Mr. Pen hath not power to erect an Admiralty Court there, the power to constitute Judges being to determine all causes within that precinct, which must be causes there, and not on the High Seas, of which the Admiralty Courts have cognizance. Signed, Edwd. Northey, J. Cooke. Endorsed, Recd. 8th, Read July 10, 1702. 2¼ pp. Enclosed,
708. i. Copy of queries answered in preceding. 1¼ pp.
708. ii. Copy of William Penn's Commission to Thomas Farmer to be Water-Bayliff of Philadelphia, 20th. 4th. month, 1700. [C.O. 5, 1261. Nos. 127, 127.i., ii.; and (without enclosures) 5, 1290. pp. 109–113.]
July 7. 709. Account of wood and coals for the Board of Trade from March 4, 1700/1—March 31, 1702: 30l. 6s. for some 16 tons of coal. The prices vary from one ton of Scotch coal in April at 1l. 18s. 0d. to the same in December at 2l; 1 chaldron of sea coals, 1l. 11s. 0d. 1 p. [C.O. 388, 75. No. 58.]
July 7. 710. Petty Expenses of the Board of Trade, March 25, 1701—June 24, 1702. Total, 87l. 8s. 8d. Signed, Dartmouth, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Mat. Prior. 4 pp. [C.O. 388, 75. No. 54; and 389, 36. pp. 138–143.]
July 7.
711. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lord High Treasurer. We take leave to present an account of our incident charges for two years last past, amounting to 449l. 11s. 6d. There being an arrear of salary for 2 years and a quarter due to this office, by which our under officers, having no other means of support, are reduc'd to great necessitys, we humbly entreat your Lordship to take the same into consideration, and that your Lordship would be pleased to order the passing a new Privy Seal for our Commission. Signed, Dartmouth, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwait, Mat. Prior. Account annexed. [C.O. 389, 36. pp. 145–147.]
July 7. 712. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Ordered that the Attorney and Solicitor General report their opinion to-morrow whether it will be more proper for the Judges to take the oaths to H.M. and act by their old Commissions, or to have new Commissions.
Ordered that Lt.-Col. George Peers appoint a convenient number of men out of the Regiment under his command to guard the French and other prisoners of war that shall be brought in here.
Ordered that Mr. Baines, Gunner of James Fort, deliver to each prisoner under his care 1lb. of bread, 1lb. of fish and ½ pint of rum a day.
Error brought by John Howlett, to reverse a judgment obtained against him by John Robinson in the Court of Common Pleas for the precincts of St. Michael, was deferred at his request.
Error brought by Thomas Manwaring to reverse a judgment obtained against him by Phill. Bamfeild and Jane, his wife, in the same Court, in an action for debt for rent. It was alleged by Counsel that the Judge had not made a full return of all the Records. Ordered that they be produced at the next sitting.
Error brought by Miles Tapping v. John Somers was referred at the request of both parties.
Bill of costs brought against Phillip Bamfield by Henry Cleaner, upon dismissing a Writ of Error. Ordered that the former pay 19l. 15s.
Saml. Cox ordered to pay John Warton 14l. 10s. upon a similar account.
Charles Wilson ordered to pay Thomas Walker 14l. 15s. upon a similar account.
John Thomas ordered to pay Dorothy Love, alias Read, 15l. 5s. upon a similar account.
Nicholas Rice ordered to pay Edward Pare and Samuel Irish and Elizabeth, his wife, 20l. upon a similar account.
John Fercherson and Thomas Fercherson ordered to pay Katherine Fercherson 10l. 15s. upon a similar account.
John Lewis ordered to pay John Kettlewell 10l. 10s. upon a similar account.
Capt. John Jones, who had petitioned for a special Commission to try the actions of arrest against him, prayed that some persons might be named in place of Col. Christopher Warren and Richd. Dearsely, the former being a relation of some of the parties and Dearsely having prejudged the cause. Granted.
The Hon. John Hooker was appointed Chief Judge of the precincts of St. Peter's, and Alexander Walker of St. James'. The former was sworn accordingly.
Ordered that Letters be wrote to the General Assembly to meet next Tuesday. [C.O. 31, 6. pp. 240–243.]
July 7.
713. Minutes of Council of New Hampshire. The Lt.-Gov. having received the Declaration of War from H.E. Joseph Dudley, desired the advice of the Council about proclaiming it. The Militia was immediately ordered in arms at Portsmouth, and about noon the Declaration of War was published, as also at H.M. Fort at Newcastle, where several great guns were fired with sundry volleys of small shot, etc. [C.O. 5, 789. p. 93.]
July 8.
714. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Queen. Enclosing drafts of Commissions for the Governors of New York, Maryland, Virginia, Leeward Islands, and Bermuda. Signed, Dartmouth, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Mat. Prior. [C.O. 324, 8. p. 175.]
July 8. 715. Draught of Commission for the Rt. Hon. Edward, Lord Cornbury to be H.M. Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief of H.M. Province of New York and the territories depending thereon in America, and to be Captain-General of all forces by sea and land in Connecticut and East and West New Jersey. [Cf. Cal. 1699, No. 382; 1701, Nov. 26, etc.] [C.O. 5, 1119. pp. 145–164.]
July 8. 716. Col. Nicholson's Commission to be Governor of Virginia. Signed, Aug. 4, 1702. [C.O. 5, 1360. pp. 184–203.]
July 8. 717. Copy of a Commission from James, Duke of Courland, for raising of men and taking possession of Tobago, March 26, 1670. Signed, Jacobus. Endorsed, Recd. from Capt. Poyntz. Recd. Read July 8, 1702. French. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 28, 6. No. 64.]
July 8. 718. Copy of the Articles agreed upon between Mr. Abraham Marine, Resident in England, for the Duke of Courland, and Capt. Poyntz. Sept. 20, 1681. Endorsed as preceding. 6¼ pp. [C.O. 28, 6. No. 65.]
July 8. 719. Copy of a Letter from the Earl of Midleton to Mr. Blombergh signifying that King James did not think fit to permit his subjects to settle Tobago. Signed, Middleton. Whitehall, May 19, 1687. Endorsed as preceding. French. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 6. No. 66.]
[July 8.] 720. Capt. Haskett to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The chief part of the last settlement of the Bahama Islands, about 12 years since, was composed of the cast-out pirates of those seas, who have ever since, till the coming of Governor Haskett, practised the same without interruption, either immediately by themselves, or sending out or conniving with others in sloops they build for that purpose, and whatever they plunder they give it the name of wreck goods. They have all all along cherished and traded with the greatest pirates who came into those seas, and for many months concealed and succoured the noted Avory, and procured his escape, so that by being inured to these methods of living, they never allow themselves time to plant anything, either for the benefit of trade or for their sustenance, wherefore a great part of the year the people are ready to starve, were they not supplied from other places.
The produce is the same with all the other Islands in the West Indies, and if improved accordingly will be equal with any lands there; but such improvement can never be supposed to be made, until a regulation be made of the people and their ways of life. Ever since the settlement they have constantly traded against the Laws in every respect to H.M. loss of many thousand pounds, for in one year's time, as information was given to the Governor on oath, there was as much logwood and Brazaletta wood privately conveyed to Curasoe, as would have made 1,500l. Customs. Such Governors as have in the least endeavoured to restrain these practices have either been seized on by the people, or been drove off from the place by them. If a Governor will not be governed by them, or at least connive at their practices, they will not suffer him to govern at all. It was the Governor's doing his duty without a requisite force to protect him which has been the occasion of his barbarous treatment. From hence will arise a necessity of sending a sufficient strength to the said Islands, without which they will be an annoyance and loss to H.M. Dominions. To this end it were to be wished that the Proprietors, who never have made, or in probability are like to make a farthing profit by the said Islands, would surrender up their right of Government to H.M., or that H.M., upon your Lordships' Representation, would allow them something for their interest therein. If by either of these means H.M. shall be possessed of the said Islands, the Governor [Haskett] will lay before your Lordships a scheme of making them more advantageous to the Crown than any other H.M. Dominions in America, and hopes that for his services therein and his unjust sufferings and losses, he shall have a suitable encouragement. Signed, Elias Haskett. Endorsed, Recd. Read July 8, 1702. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1261. No. 128; and 5, 1290. pp. 104–107.]
[? July 8.] 721. Capt. Haskett's Account of his property in New Providence, amounting to the value of 5,585l., which were all seized and shared by the conspirators. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1261. No. 129.]
[July 8.] 722. Account of money, etc., due to H.M. in New Providence. ⅓rd of three seizures, amounting to 320l. A bond of 500l. due from Ellis Lightwood. ⅓rd of a sloop forfeited for breaches in trade, 400l. A bond of 500l. due from John Warren. All which the conspirators seized and divided among themselves. Endorsed, Recd. July 8, 1702. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 1261. No. 130.]
[July 8.] 723. Inventory of wreckt goods brought into Providence April 3, 1700, in the sloop of John Groves [sic], Richard Curtis, Commander. Endorsed, Recd. Read July 8, 1702. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1261. No. 131.]
[July 8.] 724. Memorandum of Letters relating to the seizing of the Governor of the Bahama Islands, Oct., 1701. [See Dec. 2, 1701.] Endorsed as preceding. ¼ p. [C.O. 5, 1261. No. 132.]
[July 8.] 725. Memorandum of Letters relating to H.M. right to wrecks etc. in the Bahama Islands, etc. Endorsed as preceding. ¼ p. [C.O. 5, 1261. No. 133.]
[July 8.] 726. Memorandum of Letters about the Admiralty in the Bahama Islands and of an Address to H.M. from the inhabitants. [See Dec. 2, 1701.] Endorsed as preceding. ¼ p. [C.O. 5, 1261. No. 134.]
July 8. 727. Sir Bartholomew Gracedieu to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Recommending Emmanuel Morton for Councillor of Jamaica, in place of Josiah Heathcote, as a person of great interest there, both as to estate and otherwise. Signed, Bartho. Gracedieu. Endorsed, Recd. 8th, Read July 10, 1702. ½ p. [C.O. 137, 5. No. 71; and 138, 10. p. 344.]
July 8. 728. Minutes of Council of the Massachusetts Bay. Petition of Jonathan and Christopher Peake ordered to be heard Aug. 20.
H.E. acquainted the Board that Capt. George Turfrey, Commander of H.M. Fort Mary at Saco, having been heard at the Board, upon a complaint exhibited against him by several of the Garrison, and being dismissed sine die, he had directed him to wait upon him to the Eastward, when he would make further enquiry, and if nothing appeared to the contrary, should continue him in his post. And forasmuch as he was also Truck-Master with the Indians, H.E. asked the Council if they had anything to advise him in that matter. To which nothing was offered.
H.E. nominated John Leverett Justice of the Superior Court of Judicature, and Joseph Lynde of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas in Middlesex. The Council agreed.
Advised, that there be four serjeants, two drummers, and an armourer of the garrison at H.M. Castle, not augmenting the number of 120 in the whole.
H.E. proposing that, for the more vigorous prosecuting of the war, a Proclamation be emitted to encourage merchants and others to equip and set forth private ships or vessels of war for the annoying and taking of H.M. enemies etc., and to make known that due and legal Commissions should be granted unto suitable persons to command such private ships, and that all their mariners and soldiers duly listed should be free from all impresses for other services whatsoever, the Council advised accordingly.
H.E. again nominating Thomas Brattle for a Justice of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas in Suffolk, the Council were of opinion that he having been lately named in a fuller Council for that office, and not consented to, the Council ought to be anew summoned to advise thereon.
Isaac Addington, Samuel Sewall, and John Walley were sworn Justices of the Superior Court of Judicature, etc.
H.E. acquainted the Council of his intentions to set out on his journey to the Eastward to-morrow morning. [C.O. 5, 788. pp. 175, 176.]
July 9. 729. Order of Queen in Council. Approving drafts of Commissions for the Governors of New York, Maryland, Virginia, Leeward Islands and Bermuda. The Earl of Nottingham to prepare Warrants accordingly. Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. Read July 30, 1702. 1 p. [C.O. 323, 3. No. 135; and 324, 8. pp. 176, 177.]
July 9. 730. Memorandum of an Order of Council, approving Representation of July 8, upon Governor Codrington's Commission. ¼ p. [C.O. 152, 4. No. 105.]
July 9. 731. Memorandum of Order of Council, July 9, approving Representation of July 8, upon the draught of a Commission for Capt. Bennet to be Governor of Bermuda. ¼ p. [C.O. 37, 3. No. 75.]
July 9. 732. Memorandum of an Order of Council of July 9, approving a Representation of July 8, upon the draught of a Commission for Col. Blakiston to be Governor of Maryland. ¼ p. [C.O. 5, 715. No. 52.]
July 9. 733. Memorandum of Order of Council, approving Representation of July 8, upon the draught of a Commission for the Lord Cornbury to be Governor of New York. ¼ p. [C.O. 5, 1047. No. 58.]
July 9. 734. Memorandum of Order of Council of July 9, approving Representation of July 8, upon the draught of a Commission for Col. Nicholson to be Governor of Virginia. ¼ p. [C.O. 5, 1312. No. 37.]
July 9. 735. Minute of Council, approving Representation that Col. Hamilton might not have H.M. approbation to be Lt. Gov. of Pennsylvania. Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. 11th. Read Sept. 15, 1702. ¼ p. [C.O. 5, 1261. No. 144; and 5, 1290. p. 220.]
July 9.
St. James's.
736. Order of Queen in Council, confirming Acts of Barbados (see April 4) passed May 18, 1697—Dec. 5, 1700. Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. 11th, Read Sept. 15, 1702. 3¼ pp. [C.O. 28, 6. No. 69; and 29, 8. pp. 218–221.]
July 9.
St. James's.
737. Order of Queen in Council. Repealing the Act of Barbados, "for the better securing the liberty of H.M. subjects, etc.," and declaring H.M. intention to give such Instructions to the Governor to be sent to Barbadoes as may in the best manner secure the liberty and property of H.M. subjects there, and prevent any hardship by long and unreasonable imprisonment. Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. Read Oct. 17, 1702. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 28, 6. No. 70; and 29, 8. pp. 258, 259.]
July 9.
St. James's.
738. Order of Queen in Council, approving Report of the Committee of the whole Council, upon the Representation of April 4. The Committee recommended that the Acts of Barbados therein mentioned be confirmed, except the Act for the better securing the liberty of H.M. subjects etc., which contains divers imperfections and unprecedented clauses. The Committee were of opinion that it be disallowed, and that for the satisfaction of the inhabitants. Instructions be given to the Governor. Ordered accordingly, and that a Clause or Clauses be inserted in the Instructions to be given to the Governor to be sent to Barbados as may in the best manner secure the liberty and property of H.M. subjects there, and prevent any hardships by unreasonable imprisonments in the said Island, with directions that he cause the same to be made publick and to be registered in the Council Book of that Island. The Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations to prepare a draft of the clause for H.M. signature. Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. Read July 27, 1702. 1½ pp. [C.O. 28, 6. No. 68; and 29, 8. pp. 118–120.]
July 9.
St. James's.
739. Order of Queen in Council. Her Majesty having heard at the Board as well the Agents of Barbados as the Merchants and others interested in and trading to the Island of Barbados, with their Council learned, upon the petition of the merchants and others interested in and trading to the said Island, complaining of a clause of the Governor's Instructions, directing that Appeals be allowed to H.M. in Council from judgments given by the Governor and Council there, provided the sum or value appealed for exceed 500l., and that such liberty of Appeal be demanded within 14 days after sentence, and security be given to prosecute such Appeal and answer the condemnation, and also pay such costs and damages as shall be awarded by H.M. in case the sentence of the Governor and Council be affirmed; and H.M. having also had under consideration a report from the Committee of the whole Council in this matter, is pleased to refer it to the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations to consider this matter and particularly for what lesser sum it may be fit for H.M. to direct that Appeals be admitted, together with the time to be allowed for the Appellant to make such Appeal in, as also the method of admitting Appeals from the Inferior Courts in Barbados to the Governor and Council there, and to report their opinion. Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. July 31, Read Aug. 11, 1702. 1 p. Enclosed,
739. i. Report of Committee for hearing Appeals referred to in preceding. The Committee observe that by the Governor's Instructions Appeals are not to be allowed from the Inferior Courts to the Governor and Council for any sum not exceeding 300l. sterl., and propose that this Clause be altered in such manner as that the Governor of Barbados may be directed that Appeals be allowed from the Inferior Courts to the Governor and Council in that Island for any sum or value whatsoever; as also that Appeals be allowed to H.M. in Council from judgments or sentences given by the Governor and Council there for any sum or value whatsoever; provided such liberty of appealing from the said Governor and Council to H.M. at this Board be demanded at any time within the space of six months after such judgement and security be given to prosecute the same effectually and to answer such costs and damages as shall be awarded by H.M. in Council. Signed, John Povey. 1¼ pp.
739. ii. Copy of petition of several Planters, Merchants and others interested in Barbados and in the trade thereof, to the King. Whereas a petition was not long since exhibited to his late Majesty in Council by some persons interested in the said Island concerning an Instruction of late years giving to the Governors of that Island, as above. By reason of which aforesaid sum to be appealed for, the time to demand it in, and the security to be given, Petitioners and many others, as well as the aforesaid Petitioners, are exposed to great danger in their estates and interests, and are in a great measure debarr'd from their natural and legal right of appealing to your Majesty from the wrongs and injuries that may be done to them; They pray H.M. to direct such alteration to be made in the said Instruction as may seem fit. Signed, Wm. Cleland, Mel. Holder, Christo. Fowler, Ja. Aynsworth, Rowld. Tryon, Wm. Walker, John Gray, Nathl. Rous, Hen. Adderley, Henry Hale, Wm. Brooke, Robert Chester, Wm. Tryon, Jno. Norton, Richd. Sheppard, James Gohier. 2 pp.
739. iii. Copy of Petition of several Merchants and others interested in and trading to Barbadoes to the King. They and many others doe lye under great difficulties and are in danger of being great sufferers by reason of the clause referred to above. By reason of the shortness of the time [for demanding Appeal] and the unlimited power thereby, the benefit your Majesty intends your subjects by such Appeals is in a great measure rendered useless, and no remedy is allowed in any case that exceeds not 500l. value. And since by the said Instruction no execution is to be stayed in that Island during the dependance of any Appeal, it may deserve your Majesty's gracious consideration, whether there be reason to oblige persons appealing to give security for any greater value than the costs and charges of such Appeal, or to limit them to so short a time for appealing or to any sum or value to be appealed for. Upon which Instruction application having been made to the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, they have in a late Representation declared against altering the said Instruction. Petitioners pray that they may be heard before your Majesty in Council as to the reasonableness of altering the said Instruction. Signed, Richard Bate, Isaac Hawkins, Christopher Prissick. 2 pp. [C.O. 28, 6. Nos. 67, 67.i.–iii.; and (without petitions) 29, 8. pp. 124–127.]
July 9.
St. James's.
740. Order of Queen in Council. In accordance with a report of the Committee of the whole Council (July 2), the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations are to prepare an Instruction to the Lord Cornbury, for H.M. approbation, directing him to induce the Assembly of New York to repeal the clause of the Act, April, 1691, For quieting and settling the disorders that have lately happened within this Province, etc., enacting "that whatsoever person shall by any manner of way or upon any pretence whatsoever endeavour by force of arms or otherways to disturb the peace and good quiet of their Majesty's Government as it is now established shall be deemed and esteemed rebels and traytors to their Majesties, and incur the pains, penalties and forfeitures, as the Laws of England have for such offences made and provided," the meaning of this clause having been of late misinterpreted to the oppression of H.M. subjects, etc. [See Acts of Privy Council, Colonial, II., p. 413.] Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. Read July 14, 1702. 1¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 1047. No. 59; and 5, 1119. pp. 174–176.]
July 9.
St. James's.
741. Order of Queen in Council. Restoring Sampson Shelton Broughton to his office of Attorney General of New York, "whereof the Governor and Council of the said Province are to take notice and govern themselves accordingly." [See Acts of Privy Council, Colonial, II., p. 413.] Signed, John Povey. Endorsed, Recd. Read July 14, 1702. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1047. No. 60; and 5, 1119. pp. 176, 177.]
July 10.
742. Sir Thomas Laurence to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I have according to my duty delivered to Col. Blakiston copies of all the Journals of Council and of the Delegates, together with the Laws and Journals of the Publick Accounts, which have passed since my coming into this Province, etc. I need not trouble your Lordships with any particulars since H.E. brings them with him. He will give your Lordships the best account of the affairs of the Province. Signed, Tho. Laurence. Enclosed, Recd. Sept. 24, 1702. Addressed. Holograph. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 715. No. 53; and 5, 726. pp. 135, 136.]
July 10.
743. Lt. Governor Beckford to the Council of Trade and Plantations. It was but on the 9th inst. that I had the honor of your Lops'. of March 19. These pacquetts were forwarded by the President of the Council of Barbadoes but the 1st inst., so that they must have lain some time there: and it was accidental enough that they came so soon. A brigantine from Guinea belonging to this place hapned to touch there, and so had them delivered to him. The same brigantine brought a pacquet for Admiral Benbow, who sent me H.M. Declaration of War against France and Spain, which we made publick here the 11th inst., that our inhabitants might not be surprised or our vessels unhapily taken as they were the last war, before we had any notice of it here. The following day all our seafaring people came unanimously to offer their services against the French and Spaniards and to desire commissions, which, pursuant to the resolutions of the Council, I have since granted, and but for the space of six months, that they may not be long absent, or straggle too far from this Island, and I have made them all enter into bond with some of our most principal merchants, who are their security, to follow the Instructions now and which shall hereafter be given them, soe that I do not question but that these eight sloops (already fitted and ready to sail) will fatigue both French and Spaniard more than greater ships. The Admiral, pursuant to what wee agreed upon when wee last met, has divided his fleet into three squadrons, which lye to intercept Monsr. Ducasse (the French Governor of Leogane, who is daily expected from France), the new Spanish Governor designed for Carthagena, who is to come from St. Domingue, and the Victuallers designed for Chateaurenault's fleet at the Havana. Our ships cruize, the first squadron between the two Capes of Hispaniola and Cuba, the second of[f] Cape Alteville, which is on the South side of Hispaniola, and the third between Rio de la Hache and Carthagena; so I think hardly anything can scape us. The first squadron have taken and sent down one very rich ship designed for France, and three Victuallers which were going for Chateaurenault's Fleet at the Havana, and we are in hopes of meeting with about 16 sail more designed as wee hear for that Fleet, which, as wee are now stationed, we can hardly miss; and then perhaps Mons. Chateaurenault will be hard put to it for provisions. He is now, I believe, either at the Havana or La Vere Cruz; for on the 15th inst. a Dutchman, who had been a prisoner at the Havana for 16 moneths and had made his escape to the Port of Princes, which lyes on the South side of Cuba, and was there taken on board by one of our sloops, informs me that Chateaurenault with his fleet had lain a great while there in expectation of the Flota, which lay at La Vere Cruz, that being quite tired in waiting for them, his fleet sickly, more then half his men dead, and in want of provisions, he had taken eight men of war with him, and was gone to La Vere Cruz himself, to persuade or force the Spaniards under his convoy: but perhaps he may not be able to prevail, and then the French will have made but a very bad voyage of it, after the expence of two such Fleets as those of Catlagon's and Chateaurenault's, the loss of so many of their sailors, and the disabling of some of their principal ships.
Admiral Benbow, his officers and men are (God bee praised) healthy and well, and his ships in order. Your Lordships are, I hope, sensible of the necessity of having a fleet near this Island. Wee must be Masters of these seas, and then wee may be able to doe anything against either French or Spaniard, or else wee must bee ruin'd here. Wee are so scituated that (if wee suffer them to outnumber us) nothing can come to or goe from this Island: if wee remain Masters, lying as wee doe in the heart of the Spaniards, wee shall bee able to doe them more harm then all the rest of our Settlements together, and since this Fleet is in so good a state of health, it will not, I hope, bee judged reasonable to change them; the ships wee may, but not the men, who are now so adapted to the climate, that there will be no fear of them, and new comers will be subject to the distempers of the West Indies.
Your Lordships will, I hope, judge it necessary to have these two Regiments recruited, and could another be possibly sent, it would enable us, with the strength we now have, to undertake whatever H.M. shall be pleased to command. And I think it would be necessary that the Commander in Chief should have leave to goe with such part of our strength as he shall think fitt, whenever an advantage may reasonably be hoped for, either against French or Spaniard; and that during the war a Lt. Gov. be appointed who may, if it be judged more reasonable, goe upon any such expedition or command here during the absence of the Governor, and a small salary not to exceed 200l. per annum (our Treasury being so low) may be adjudged sufficient for him. As to the inquiry your Lordships are pleased to make about the power which our Court of Admiralty act by, I shall endeavour to give your Lordships all the satisfaction I can in that point. This Island, the year it was taken, was governed by that military power which took it, until it came by successions into the hands of Doyly, who was called Genl. Doyley, and governed at the time of King Charles II.'s happy restauration to the Crown, who received immediately upon the King's coming in a Commission to continue him in his said government, but soon after his said Majesty for some reasons sent my Lord of Windsor with the character of Capt. General and Commander in Chief. My Lord brought with him his brother in law Mr. Mitchell, a Barrister at Law, who immediately after his arrival sat as Judge of the Admiralty, empowered I suppose by my Ld. under the powers of his Commission, for Mitchell being a Lawyer bred, it's to be presumed would never have acted without good authority. I came to this Island about the time that my Lord did, and I remember this Court was immediately settled; for within less then two months after I was one of them that returned from the taking of St. Jago upon Cuba from the Spaniards, and what wee brought from that place and afterwards from Campeache, both vessels and goods, were all condemned at that Court, which decided all maritime differences betwixt party and party. And all Governors since that first establishment have appointed and commissionated a Judge of that Court, or else vested the power in Commissioners, as it is now, so that I conceive the Court of Admiralty has alwaies been, and is now establisht by the clause in the Commission to Governors which impowers them to establish all such Courts as they shall think fit, and particularly this Court, whose power extends to criminal matters, and that by vertue of the Act for the restraining and punishing privateers etc., in which there is a clause empowering the Judges of the Admiralty (appointed by Commission from the Governors) to hear and determine all Treasons, Piracies, Felonies, etc., committed on the sea, with as large and ample power as if they were appointed by Commission under the Broad Seal of England by virtue of the Stat. of 28th Hen. VIII. And your Lordships may see by this very Act that wee have had such a Court from our first settlement here, for it confirms all the former proceedings of this Court. And it is my opinion that that Law (a very necessary one) has banished all Pirates from this place, who have been obliged to seek for refuge in the other Collonies.
When I granted the Commissions to our Privateers, I promised them that I would humbly recommend to your Lordships for their encouragement the remitting H.M. tenths, etc. However, that and all other dues shall be deteyned till I have your Lordships' directions, tho' I could wish they might be encouraged, for I durst say they will prove serviceable. I am sure I do not design, nor will I make any advantage of them, nor shall I ever propose anything but what I think will tend to the service of her Majesty. The Dutch from Curaçoa are, I understand, as busy in their Trade with the Spaniards as if there were no war, tho' it has been declared there for near a moneth's time. That Island is under the jurisdiction of their West India Company, and I suppose the Directors at Amsterdam give perticular directions to their Governor there to be sure they must supply the Spaniard with both ammunition and provision, and I am afraid our Northern Plantations will send most of theirs thither, for if they carry on that trade, our people will meet with a better price there then at this Island, which will by that means be disfurnished. And it has been represented to me as a grievance by some of our merchants that the Dutch were suffered to trade and our hands tyed up, and truly we are no more able to live without a trade with the Spaniard then they. Perhaps this may be worth a thought, and whatever directions your Lordships shall bee pleased to give in this or any other matter, shall be punctually complyed with by, Signed, Pe. Beckford. Endorsed, Recd. November 13, Read Dec. 1, 1702. 5 pp. Enclosed,
743. i. Minutes of Council of Jamaica, July 11, 1702. Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 13, 1702. 2 pp. [C.O. 137, 5. Nos. 72, 72.i.; and (without enclosure) 138, 10. pp. 370–380.]
July 10. 744. Abstract of preceding. [C.O. 137, 45. pp. 4, 5.]
July 10. 745. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Sir Bevill Granville attending, the draught of his Instructions was communicated to him, and a copy ordered for his perusal.
Memorial from Sir Bart. Gracedieu read, recommending Emanuel Morton for the Council of Jamaica in place of Josiah Heathcote, lately come from thence. Ordered that he produce a certificate from Heathcote of his not designing to return.
Letter from Lord Cornbury, May 18, read.
Mr. Attorney and Mr. Advocate General's answer to the Queries relating to Pennsylvania read. Ordered that Sir John Cook be desired to attend on Monday.
Letters from Col. Codrington, April 3 and 23, and May 10, read, and the papers referred to in the last. [C.O. 391, 15. pp. 127–129; and 391, 96. No. 123.]