America and West Indies: September 1702, 1-5

Pages 571-581

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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September 1702

Sept. 1. 928. Earl of Clarendon to [the Earl of Nottingham]. Having been confined ever since I was with your Lordship by a severe fitt of the strangury, will make my excuse for not wayting on your Lop. at this time. I give your Lop. many thanks for the list you sent me of the members of Councell of New Jersey; not knowing anything of that country myselfe, I have advised with some here of that Province, and particularly with Col. Basse, who hath given me his remarks upon six of them;—whether it be fitt upon this new settlement of the Province of East and West Jersey to putt Quakers into the Councell, when there is choice of other men, I submit to your Lop. Col. Basse has desired me to move your Lop. something in his behalfe, concerning some alteration to be made in his warrant of Secretary, wch. I cannot better represent to your Lop. then by laying before you his letter to me etc. Signed, Clarendon. Holograph. 1¾ pp. Enclosed,
928. i. Remarks by Jeremiah Basse on the Council of New Jersey. Edward Hunlock, in the time of my administration proved to be an encourager of pyrates, being their trustee for their cash, and very much in the Quaker interest. Saml. Jennings, a bigoted Quaker, Preacher etc. Francis Davenport, a Quaker and Preacher. William Pinhorne, formerly of the Council and Judge of New York, but turned out by Lord Bellamont for some ill practices. Saml. Leonard, a man of no estate, complained of by the country, and a zealous stickler for the Quakers. George Deacon, a Quaker Preacher. In the room of these: Major John Berry, Daniel Coxe, jr., John Royce, Capt. John Jewell, Collector of H.M. Customs, Edward Slater, Col. Richard Townely. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 980. Nos. 31, 31.i.]
Sept. 1.
929. Lt. Gov. Bennett to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Since my last, I have perceived so much alteration in the report and behaviour of Mr. Larkin that I am apprehensive of some misrepresentation from him, but I doubt not your Lordships' justice in leting me know, if anything be form'd or alledged against me. This Gentleman now assumes an authority over all officers, and everybody, not so much as allowing me a superiority, for he has told me when sitting in Chancery that he was equal in Commission with me, and truly one would have thought he had had a better, considering his extravagant expressions, which I am asham'd to particularize, because I did not show a suitable resentment, which nothing but preventing him proceeding farther on the business he is employ'd in could have preserved him from. By what prevailing or undeniable argument, I can't be positive of, but instead of his usual way of reviling Col. Day, with his characture abroad, and his indirect ways in getting of money here, he now espouses him in all his affairs, and att a Court of Chancery (amongst many other irregularities) in a haughty manner made a declaration that noebody had been with him to complain against Col. Day, and that he took all their presentations to be malicious, and added, if any persons had anything to say to Col. Day, he was ready to hear them. One of the Council said to Mr Larkin, what would it signify to complain to you? He answered, he would doe the people justice. I then asked if he had a Commission or Instructions to examine into Col. Day's miscarriages, and if he had, I desired to see them, to which he replied, he would show me neither his orders nor instructions, neither has he, but what relates to the trial of pirates. Pardon me, my Lords, if I concluded by Mr. Larkin's refusing to show me his orders, that he has exceeded them, and consequently must make some pretence for his unwarrantable proceedings, and that I may not suffer under any imputation, I beg leave to affirme, I omitted nothing from the time of his landing that might either show him respect or doe him service, tho' he pretends I once omitted calling for a chair when he came upon business to the Councill, the neglect of which gave him the opportunity of behaving himself, the next time he came to the Board, very unbecoming in his expressions. notwithstanding I protest to your Lordships, when he came in, I pointed to the chair where he satt all the morning before. As for discharging the trust reposed in me, I hope that has been performed both honestly and industriously and according to what was expected from me, and I think in this I am safe in Mr. Larkin's opinion, for in particular he has friendely advis'd me not to take that constant pains, as he observed I did, about compleating the fortifications and disciplineing the Malitia, for fear of prejudicing my health. And as for what can be pretended against me, relating to my predecessors, I have often acquainted your Lordships I never refus'd him anything I could grant in justice and reason, notwithstanding which I find there are contrivances on foot to persuade your Lordships into another opinion of me, for I am further inform'd of another part of Mr. Crain's letter to Col. Day, mentioned in my last, which says, We have heard how your brother of Bermudas has served you, about the House, Church Plate and Silver Oar, but your father and brothers are goeing up to London, and will leave noe stone unturned to get you justice. My Lords, it's very crewell I should be accused of doing this gentleman wrong about his house in dispute between the King and him, when I had nothing to do with the tryall, for when that letter was writt, it had only been heard att Common Law, but now he has appealed from the Chancery to the King and Council, and I was soe kind to him, that I told him he should not be disturb'd in his possession till it was heard and determin'd in Egland. As for the Church Plate and Books, when I apply'd to my Lord Chamberlain for furniture to the Communion Table and Chappel, my Lord told me I must be contented with such as was sent with Col. Day, upon which his indenture was deliver'd to me, out of the Jewell Office, which I was to return to him, when he deliver'd me the plate. And as for the oar, Col. Day, soon after my arrival, told me it was his, upon which I sent it him, but he returned it again by the Sherriff, desiring me to accept of it, but I refus'd, saying if he would let me pay what it weighed, (which I believe is about 17l. in money) I would have it, to which the Sheriff brought me this answer, that it was of no use to him, therefore desired I would keep it; so that those complaints will appear both ungenerous and unjust. This busie gentleman, Mr. Larkin (amongst espousing the concerns of the malecontents, I mean the officers and favourites in Col. Day's time) has undertaken the affair of the late Sheriff, Mr. Jones, and gives him great assurance (as I am credibly informed) of procuring his reinstatement. I hope it will not be thought ill-natur'd, if I remind your Lordships of his behaviour to me, for as to my particular, I would willingly forgive him, would it not reflect on my reputation both here and abroad, and with submission, I think it will be very inconsistent with H.M. service and quiett of this place, to have a person Sheriff, who has differ'd with the whole Country.
Having received advice from most Governments in America that the Queen had long since been proclaimed, I design, if the Council agrees with me. to perform that ceremony on Thursday next, and repeat it when I receive my orders. Signed, Ben. Bennett. Endorsed, Recd. 28, Read Oct. 30, 1702. Holograph. 4 pp. [C.O. 37, 4. No. 4; and 38, 5. pp. 295–299.]
Sept. 1.
930. William Popple jr. to the Agents of Barbados. There not being a quorum of Commissioners at the Board this morning, the reading of your letter was necessarily suspended. But, however, the two then present have commanded me to send you the enclosed copy of an Order of Council, which they received this day, and to desire you to consult with the persons concerned, and to let them have your opinion therein, on Thursday next in the morning, if it can be done conveniently. [C.O. 29, 8. p. 200.]
Sept. 1. 931. Minutes of Council in Assembly of Barbados. Alexander Walrond, Thomas Horne, and Capt. John Jones granted leave to go down in the Flag of Truce for recovery of their healths.
Petition of Capt. Alexander Forrister, Commander of the private man-of-war, Seaflower, praying to be eased of the charge of maintaining upwards of 60 French and Spanish prisoners, recommended to the Assembly.
Error brought by Miles Toppin, to reverse a judgment obtained against him April 24, 1702, in the Court of Common Pleas, St. Michaels, upon an action of detinue brought by John Summers, found good, because the judgment was not confirmed during the continuance of that Act.
Error brought by Joseph Harrison found not good. Judgment confirmed.
Ordered that the Attorney and Solicitor General forthwith report to this Board what duty is to be paid to H.M., or what part is due to H.M. for prizes brought in by privateers.
Petition of John Sutton and William Martindale, executors of John Gubbins, setting forth that there are several actions commenced or to be commenced in the Court of Common Pleas of St. James's, at the suit of Mary Jones, widow, for lands and negroes which were the estate of John Gubbins, and that Mary Jones had taken up all the Council learned in the Law and Solicitors, except Michael Glyd and John Legan, and they would not take the burthen of the defence of such causes without some other Council were joined with them, and praying that either the Attorney or Solicitor General or any other Council might be joined with them, dismissed, for that the matters depending did not lie properly before this Board. [C.O. 31, 6. pp. 263, 264.]
Sept. 3.
932. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of Nottingham. In answer to letter of Aug. 12. q.v. As to New York, the division of that Province having been very great, and we daily expecting to be informed from my Lord Cornbury how the present state of things are there and what will be the best method of reconciling the inhabitants, we think it most for H.M. service that the nomination of Counsellors be defer'd till we receive such information. To which we add upon this occasion, that it has been constantly given as a clause in all Instructions to Governours that the members of their respective Councils should be men who have good estates, and we do not hear of any estate that either Mr. Bass or Mr. Cox has in that Province. As to the said persons being of the Council of New Jersey, we have already inserted in Lord Cornbury's Instructions for that Province the names of 12 persons, which were after much contest between the Proprietors of the East and West Division agreed on unanimously by both parties, and which was in some measure a condition upon which they have surrendered. We think it therefore for H.M. service to keep to the nomination of those persons, and are apprehensive that any alteration at present may renew their former animosities in that Province. As to the number of 12, we are restrained by an Order of Council, and whereas to that number Col. Quary is added in New Jersey, it is only to enable him the better to execute his office of Judge of the Admiralty, as H.M. service may occasionally call him thither, he not being from thence reckoned a standing Councellor in that Province. Signed, Dartmouth, Robt. Cecill, Jno. Pollexfen, Mat. Prior. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 980. No. 30; and 5, 1119. pp. 205–207.]
Sept. 3.
933. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Order of Council, Aug. 24, concerning the 4½ p.c. in Barbadoes, read, and a copy sent to the Agents for their answer.
Order of Council, Aug. 24, about frigates for Barbadoes, read.
Letter from the Agents of Barbadoes read.
Certificate of security for Deputy Governor Sir Nathaniel Johnson read.
Orders of Council, Aug. 24, relating to the Bahamas, read.
Letter from Mr. Penn to the Secretary, Aug. 27, read.
Letter from Mr. Burchet, Aug. 25, read.
H.M. Letter to Governor Nicholson, Aug. 20, requiring him to defray the stores of war now sending to that Province, read.
Petition of Mr. Haistwell etc. read. Ordered that, when the Act referred to be brought to the Board, they have notice thereof.
Letter from Sir Robert Cotton read. Ordered that it be communicated to Mr. Champante.
Letter from Col. Quary, July 24, read. Ordered that in the next letter to him he be desired to send authentic copies of the grants referred to.
Letter from Governor Bennet, April 28, read. Ordered that it be again reconsidered. Papers enclosed laid before the Board.
Letter from Governor Bennet, May 26, read.
Letter to the Earl of Nottingham, signed.
Sept. 4. Copy of Sir Bevill Granville's Commission from H.R.H. to be Vice Admiral of Barbadoes, laid before the Board.
Memorial from Mr. Usher read. Copy ordered to be sent to Mr. Vaughan for his answer.
Mr. Powys having communicated to the Secretary a minute made by the Lord High Treasurer upon the Board's desire that the Acts of Trade should be reprinted viz. that the Acts are in the Books of Rates, which may be bought for a small matter, and put into the incidents, and their Lordships finding upon enquiry that the Book of Rates is out of print, and not to be had, ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Powys to acquaint him therewith, and to desire him to move for the Lord High Treasurer's directions for reprinting 100 of each of the said Acts. [C.O. 391, 15. pp. 191–198; and 391, 96. Nos. 146, 147.]
Sept. 3.
At the Governor's House,
St. George's.
934. Minutes of Council of Bermuda. Ordered that Her Majesty be publickly proclaimed throughout the Island.
On a motion on behalf of Capt. Edward Jones, about his being protected by this Board from arrests and interruptions in attending his causes now depending in Chancery, it is the opinion of this Board, that it may be of great inconveniency for the future to parties concerned to grant the same, and there being no president for the same, this Board conceives they cannot allow of the said motion. [C.O. 40, 2. p. 49.]
Sept. 3.
Newport, on
Rhode Island.
935. Minutes of Council of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. H.E. Governor Dudley acquainted the Board with his Commissions as Governor and Vice-Admiral of Rhode Island and the Narragansett Country, and took the oaths appointed. The Governor (Cranston) and Council requested a copy of that part of H.E.'s Commission that refers to the command of the Militia, which was granted.
Sept. 4. H.E. observed to the Governor and Council that the Militia was by Act of Parliament vested in the Crown, and it was H.M.'s prerogative to dispose thereof as she should think fit, and he had shewn forth unto them H.M.'s Royal Commission under the Great Seal of England, appointing him to be Her Captain General of all the forces within that Colony etc., Her Commands under the Board Seal not being to be disputed or controverted. Governor Cranston said that himself and Council had appointed Major Martindale to acquaint H.E. with their opinion upon what H.E. had shewn forth unto them yesterday. Then Major Martindale desired that the Recorder might read the clause in the Charter granted by Charles II unto the Governor and Company of the said Colony, referring to the Militia, which being done, he observed that the power of the Militia was one branch of the priviledges granted by H.M. unto that Corporation, being intermixt with the Civil Government, and that the Governor and Council could give no result to H.E.'s demand without first advising with the General Assembly, which was to sit at Providence in October next, and then a presentation should be made to them of what H.E. had communicated to the Board, and an answer should be made. H.E. replied that he had nothing to do with an Assembly in that affair, but with the Governor and Council only.
Governor Cranston desired they might have copys of H.E.'s Commissions. H.E. said he did not think it proper to grant copys in loose sheets that might be put into a private man's pocket; but if Governor Cranston pleased to direct the Recorder or any Clerke to attend him at his Chamber with their Book of Records, he should have liberty to enter the said Commissions, and that H.E. would examine and sign them.
Col. Povey, Lt. Gov., took the oaths appointed.
H.E. and Lt. Gov. Thomas Povey subscribed the Test or Declaration before Governor Cranston and the Council.
H.E. issued forth his warrant directed to Major Martindale, Major of the Island Regiment, to cause his Regiment to appear in arms to-morrow morning.
James Meinzies, by direction of Governor Cranston, attended H.E. with paper books to transcribe H.E.'s Commissions. The transcripts were attested and returned.
Sept. 5. Major Martindale waited upon H.E. at his lodging and excused. his not executing H.E.'s warrant, for that by his Commission he was to observe the directions of the General Assembly or the Governor and Council of that Colony, and was sworne accordingly.
At noon H.E. with the Gentlemen that waited upon him from Boston departed from the Island and went over to Bristol.
Sept. 7. H.E., attended by the Lt. Gov., Col. Townsend, Col. Byfield, with several other Gentlemen went from Bristol over to the Narraganset Country to King's Province and landed at Rochester, where they were received with all respect by the Gentlemen of the place, Capt. Daniel Eldridge attending with his Company in arms, and H.E.'s Commission from H.M. for the command of the Militia etc. of that country was there read and published. H.E. and Lt.-Gov. Povey took the oaths appointed and subscribed the Test. Then H.E. tended the oaths of Allegiance to the Officers of the Militia who cheerfully took it, and after them the whole body of the souldiers in arms. H.E. stayed there that night and treated the souldiers as the time and place would allow, and the next day directed his voyage homeward. Signed, Isaac Addington, Secy. 3¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 1302. No. 1.]
Sept. 4.
936. Lt. Gov. Beckford to the Earl of Nottingham. In my last, Aug. 25, I advised your Lordship that 22 sail of ships were seen of Porto Rico, and that I had thereupon dispatched away two sloops, one to the Admiral and another to the Rear Admiral with the advice thereof. These ships, as was suspected, proved to be Ducass his squadron. He had heard, I suppose, of the Admirall's having been at Hispaniola, and therefore did not (by what I have heard) come anywhere to an anchor there, but stood away for the Spanish coast, having sent down (as we are since informed) the merchant ships under his convoy for the Havana, and La Vere Cruz. It was supposed that Ducass would endeavour for Carthagena, having no harbour to secure him at Hispaniola, the Admiral therefore, from the advices received, took care to intercept him, and accordingly fell in with him, Aug. 19, of Rio la Hache, having then with him 7 men-of-war. Ducass had with him 4, from 60 to 70 guns, and two merchant ships: the Admiral fell immediately upon him and engaged, the enemy vigorously defending, but still endeavouring to gain their Port. However, the Admirall took from out their fleet a prize, which Capt. Walton brought into this Port with the Ruby, who had suffered in her masts and yards, the Capt. having behaved himself very well. There being but small winds for several daies successively, the Admirall as he came up with any engaged them, the French still endeavouring to avoid him. The 7th day after he first fell in with this squadron, about two in the morning, the Admiral came up with their sternmost ship of 68 guns, and so shatter'd her that she was altogether disabled, the enemy being forced to tow her off. That very morning the poor Admirall had his legg broak by a chain-shot, and not one of his fleet came in to his assistance, except the Falmouth, so that he was forced to stand the brunt of it. The Admirall, not at all discouraged at this, order'd his cradle upon the Quarter Deck, and gave the signall for his Fleet to fall into a line of battle, and fall upon the enemy, but instead thereof Capt. Kirkby in the Defyance, a ship of 70 guns, and of the same force with the Admirall's, comes aboard, hearing the Admirall was wounded, tells the Admirall he wondred that he should still persist to engage after a dispute of six daies, their men fatigued, and their ships shattered, or much to that purpose (whereas neither Kirkby nor Capt. Constable in the Windsor could bee said to have been engaged, and what shot they had received were only chance and random shott). The Admirall told Kirkby he believed it was his opinion, and would know that of the rest of the Captains, and accordingly made a signall for them to come aboard: when they were aboard, Kirkby and Constable, as is supposed, prevailed with the rest of the Captains to sign the inclosed paper, which I had from the Admirall with his answer to it, which proves their suggestions to bee notoriously false, so that the Admirall could not pursue the fairest opportunity that ever could bee hoped for or expected; for on board the French were the forces designed for the Spanish Ports, and the officers that were to carry on the Assiento. The French had but three ships left, the other being rendred useless, and wee had six no waies disabled, not one ship but the Admiral's (who had kill'd and wounded near sixty) having lost any number of men, I think no one above six. The Admirall charges all the Capts. except Capt. Fogg, Capt. Vincent and Capt. Walton with downright cowardice, and does I suppose design either to try them here, or send them for England. Never was poor gent. certainly so disserted by a parcell of ..., unworthy I think of being ever trusted again with a further command. Had the Admirall engaged again, after those resolutions taken, I am afraid they would have left him a sacrifice to the enemy: he had nothing left to trust to but his own ship and the Falmouth, a small 4th rate; so that it pleased God to direct him for the best, and to conduct him safe into Harbour, where I hope he will speedily recover his legg. The French to bee sure have lost abundance of men, and their ships shattered. The Admirall will give your Lordship a more particular relation of this engagement then 'tis possible for, Signed, Pe. Beckford. Endorsed, R. Jan. 6 [1703]. 2½ pp. Enclosed,
936. i. Copy of Resolutions passed by the Captains under Admiral Benbow's Command. At a consultation held on board H.M.S. Bredah, Aug. 24, 1702, off of Cartagena on the Maine Continent of America, it is the opinion of us whose names are undermentioned, vizt. :—First, Of the great want of men in number, quality and the weakness of those they have. 2nd, The generall want of ammunition of most sorts. 3rd, Each ship's masts, yards, sailes, rigging and guns being all in a great measure disabled. 4th, The winds are small and variable that the shipps cannot be govern'd by any strength each shipp has. 5th, Having experienced the enemyes force in six dayes battle following, the Squadron consisting of five men-of-war and a fire-ship, under the command of Mons. Du Cass, their equipage consisting in guns from 60 to 80, and having a great number of seamen and soldiers on board for the service of Spain. For which reasons above-mentioned, wee think it not fitt to engage the enemy at this time, but to keep them company this night, and observe their motion, and if a fairer opportunity shall happen (of wind and weather) once more to trye our strength with them. Signed, Richard Kirkby, Sam. Vincent, John Constable, Xpher Fogg, Cooper Wade, Thoms. Hudson. 1 p. On back,
936. ii. Admiral Benbow's Answer to the objections made by the Captaines for not fighting Mons. Du Cass's Squadron. (1) For want of men, I am well assur'd there was not eight men kill'd in all the ships besides the Bredah. (2) The want of ammunition was only a pretence, for they had enough. (3) That of their masts and yards to be disabled is false, for every ship's masts and yards stood very well, and in a much better condition then the enemy's. (4) They say that the winds are small and variable, that our shipps can not be govern'd, which is erronious, for all that time there was a fresh gale of wind, and such an opportunity wee have not had in six dayes, wee being then along their side, and to windward of them, that a fairer opportunity could never happen'd to engage. (5) They say that they have experienced the enemy's force in six dayes battle; the Bredah, Ruby and Falmouth indeed has in some measure, but the rest would not or durst not come up. They tell you that the French Squadron consisted in five men-of-warr and a fire-shipp from 60 to 80 guns, which is likewise false, for those were but four men-of-war from 60 to 70 guns, and one of those was disabled so much that their Commadore was oblieged to tow her, and as to their numbers of seamen and soldiers, I believe, we pretty well thinn'd them. These are the reasons they give for not engaging the French, which are all a vision false and cowardize, which I doe averr. Signed, J. Benbow. ¾ p. [C.O. 137, 45. Nos. 15, 15.i.]
Sept. 4.
937. The Queen to Lt. Governor Bennett. Directing him to remit the fine of 50l. imposed upon Samuel Day, Feb. 25. Countersigned, Godolphin. Endorsed, Recd. Sept. 29, 1702. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 37, 4. No. 5; and 38, 5. pp. 254, 255.]
Sept. 5.
938. George Larkin to the Council of Trade and Plantations. H.M. has been proclaimed. I have not as yet setled the proceedings for trial of pirates, but will do it in a few days. Signed, Geo. Larkin. Endorsed, Recd. 28th, Read Oct. 30, 1702. Holograph. 1 p. [C.O. 37, 4. No. 7; and 38, 5. p. 311.]
Sept. 5.
939. Lt. Gov. Bennett to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Having called a Council on Thursday last, I proposed the proclaiming H.M., which was unanimously agreed on, and the Queen was proclaimed here accordingly. Since mine of 2nd inst. Mr. Larkin had the assurrance to sware some persons to their affidavits, tho' myself and two Justices of the Peace were in town, which was on purpose to have an opportunity for a pretence to complain of my want of justice, and the matter is this :—On Aug. 27, one Ensign Russell came to me on behalf of himselfe and others, relating to some words that one Col. White had spoken reflectingly on them, and desired I would take their affidavits about it, to which I answered (Mr. Larkin hearing me) that I had made an Order that no depositions should be taken but when the party sworn against was by, but in cases where the Crown was concern'd; but said I would send for the Col. and then be ready to doe what they desired me, but for four days successively it blew so hard that few people ventured over a Ferry which leads to the Town, but on the 5th it was pretty calm, and some business preventing Col. White's coming to me, Mr. Russell told me he believed he would not be in town till the ship was gone (that brings this), to which I replied, if Col. White did not come the next morning by ten a clock, I would stay noe longer for him, but he was with me soon after the time, and sending to the ensign in order to take their affidavits, he told me Mr. Larkin had taken them, which surprised me, woundring how he was qualified, and sending for him, he shewed me a faculty from my Lord Archbishop of Canterbury. I told him my Lord Bishop did not give him that to affront Government with, to which he reply'd he could lawfully do it where Justice was delay'd, and this I suppose will be sent to your Lordships as a complaint against me, it being the only ground Mr. Larkin can find out since his arrival to frame one on, but I hope your Lordships will esteam him as a prejudiced person, but for what, and how Col. Day has prevailed upon him, I know not, but I begg your Lordships that I may know what account he gives of me and this place before it is confirmed for truth, that I may have an opportunity of justifying myself, for I know of nothing that I have done, but what's agreeable with justice and honesty. Signed, Ben. Bennett. Endorsed, Recd. 28th, Read Oct. 30, 1702. Holograph. 3 pp. [C.O. 37, 4. No. 7; and 38, 5. pp. 299–301.]