America and West Indies: September 1702, 16-20

Pages 592-599

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


September 1702

Sept. 16.
965. Sir William Beeston to William Blathwayt. I have a letter from Col. Beckford, who gives me the relation of the ill-condition Jamaica is now under. Col. Brewer is dead and Col. Beckford's Commission, being from the late King, falls with him, and since he was not in the actual execution thereof at H.M. death, they conclude there that H.M. Proclamation for six months cannot justifie him, soe that they seeme to bee without authority, the Assembly being dissolved by course before they had done anything; the Judges and Justices refuse to act because they think they have not authority, and I may presume the officers, both Civil and Military, are still under my Commissions, for I know Brigadier Selwyn never granted out one in his lifetime, and I guesse Col. Beckford had not time before hee heard of the King's death to grant them out, or if he had, his Commissions being thought of no authority, the people will not act by them, soe that unless a Commission be speedily sent to Col. Beckford or somebody else to command them, I doubt they will run into great errors and confusion, and till then the Island must be kept under Martiall Laws, both for the quartering the souldiers and keeping the Island in quiet. Signed, Wm. Beeston. Holograph. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 45. No. 14.]
Sept. 17.
966. Governor Dudley to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Last month I visited all the frontiers to the Eastward, as far as Monhegin and saw the Sachims of all those parts, and am yet using all means to save them out of the French influence and management, but am advised that the French priests, whose Religion those Indians have embract, are daily using means to draw them off from their obedience to H.M., which puts the frontiers of near 200 miles into constant watching and scouting for fear of a surprise, which is a considerable charge and burthen upon both the Provinces. In obedience to H.M. commands to infest the French, our neighbours, I have sent out four small sloops with about 50 men each, who have in 30 daies past brought in four sloops and five ships, the least ship above 100 tuns, one of them a mast-man bound to Port Royall to load; the other are Bankers, some with fish, others with salt etc. for a fishing voyage, and the sloops are abroad again for one cruise more, by which time our seas will be governed by the North-west wind too hard to abide. About 20 daies ago, in obedience to H.M. Instructions, I took with me some Gentlemen of the Council here, and a troop of horse to attend me, and came to Rhode Island, and there in presence of Mr. Cranston, Governor, and seven of their Council, most of them Quakers, and a great Assembly of people, I published H.M. Letters Patents for the government of the forces and fortifications of that Colony in the time of war, and the Commission for the Vice-Admiralty, at which the Quakers raged indecently, saying that they were insnared and injured. I refused to enter into any conference with them until I had taken the Oaths of Allegiance etc. and signed the Test, which I told them I would do in the presence of the Council I brought with me, but had rather do it before them, and then I should account myself qualified and secure in my proceedings with them, which obtained so far as that some of them withdrawing, Mr. Cranston administered the oaths, and the next day, at a Conference with them, I told them I should proceed to review and settle the defects of their Militia, and desired the names of their officers, but could obtain nothing of them but a stubborn refusal, saying they would lose all at once, and not by pieces. The next day I gave out warrants to the Town Major, to muster the two Companies in Newport, that I might see them, intending to have given the officers the oaths and spoken kindly to the people, but the Governour and his Council would admit of no such thing, but have called their General Assembly, which is now sitting, and as they say, intend to send home some application to H.M. The day after I proceeded into the Narraganset Country and came to the Town of Rochester, to which I had the honour to give that name 16 years since, when I was President there, who are now grown to 120 men, who with their officers all met me at the seaside and attended the publication of the Commission, and cheerfully and unanimously officers and soldiers took the oaths. I treated them as well as the place and time would allow, and the next day proceeded in my journey, but the Governour and Council of Rhode Island came near to Rochester the next day, sent for the officers, and were greatly displeased with their attendance and submission, and since have used all methods to bring back the people to confusion, and upon the whole of this Article, my Lords, I am humbly of opinion that I do my duty to acquaint your Lordships that the Government of Rhode Island in the present hands is a scandal to H.M. Government. It is a very good settlement with about 2,000 armed men in it, and no man in the Government of any estate or education, though in the Province there be men of very good estates, ability and loyalty, but the Quakers will by no means admit them to any trust, nor would they now accept it, in hopes of a dissolution of that mis-rule, and that they may be brought under H.M. immediate Government in all things, which the major part by much of the whole people would pray for, but dare not, for fear of the oppression and affront of the Quakers party making a noise of their Charter.
Three daies since arrived here H.M. Sloop the Wolfe, with H.M. commands for provisions to be sent hence to Admirall Bemboe to Jamaica or elsewhere, in which I am taking all possible care to expedite the matter to have the provisions ready, and shall not faile in anything, but the weather is so hot that meat will be in hazard of spoiling, but I doubt not a fortnight will suit the weather, when I shall use all possible dispatch, and shall take care that the prices be as low as can be and the fraight agreed for, and the Gospir, as H.M. has commanded, shall convey them down.
In answer to the other part of H.M. Order, referring to the forming of some Companies to be sent to Jamaica, your Lordships will please to remember that we are the most distant Government on the shore of America from Jamaica, being more than 500 leagues, that we have a long inland frontier, to the Indians, of more than 200 miles in open villages, where in every war we have been attackt by the Indians and French, and expect the same every day, now Port Royal and Placentia are so well fortified and strengthened, besides our sea-coast, which is much longer, upon which in the last war a single French privateer has often landed and carryed away what he pleased. And Port Royall is so growing a settlement, and so near us, that if H.M. would please to let a small fleet of but three or four men-of-war call there with assistance of some of H.M. people here for the land part, that nest might be destroyed, and the people be at more freedom to serve abroad; however, without any consideration of what is abovesaid, which I have done with when I have represented it, I shall for myself absolutely submit, and would immediately enter upon it, to prepare and encourage some companies of men for the service at Jamaica, but the present Charter of this place giving the choice of the Council into the hands of the people, and directing H.M. Governour here not to send any people out of the Province without the consent of the Councill and Assembly, is that which cramps me in that affair, and I am morally assured, before I enter upon it with them, that I shall not obtain one voice of a Counsellor for fear of their precarious places, depending upon the people's voices, and so H.M. affairs will unavoidably suffer till the Council here shall value their duty more than their station, or depend absolutely upon H.M. appointment.
I am yesterday informed that there are three more valuable prizes, one of 20 guns, one of 12, and one of 8, our Privateers have taken in the mouth of Canada River. I humbly pray your Lordships' favour that we may have the canon and stores sent, long since ordered for this Province, and if we might have 200 men for the guard of the Eastern parts, which are very necessary to cover the fishing and lumber trade of that uninhabited part, as your Lordships have some time since reported, I believe we might more easily get some of our people for the service of the Southern parts, as H.M. has directed. Signed, J. Dudley.
P.S.—Sept. 19. We have two more Bankers of 120 tuns each brought in this evening, and while the season of cruising lasts I am humbly of opinion our loose men cannot be better employed; in the winter I shall use all possible means to perswade and form some volunteers for the service of Jamaica as commanded. Endorsed, Recd. 9th, Read Nov. 11, 1702. 6 pp. Enclosed,
966. i. Abstract of preceding. 1¼ pp.
966. ii. Assembly of Rhode Island to Governor Dudley, relating to his Commission for commanding their Assembly. Sept. 17, 1702. Refer to Order of Aug. 22, 1694. We shall address H.M. on the subject, and meantime consider it our duty to continue the Mallitia as formerly. Countersigned, West. Clarke, Secretary. Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 9, 1702. 1 p.
966. iii. Copy of Minutes of Council of Rhode Island etc. Sept. 3rd–7th. Endorsed as preceding. 4 pp. [C.O. 5, 862. Nos. 130, 130.i.–iii.; and (without enclosures) 5, 910. pp. 284–293.]
Sept. 17.
967. Governor Blakiston to the Council of Trade and Plantations. His late Majesty was pleased to grant me his letter of leave to come for England for the recovery of my health. I hope in a few days to wait upon your Lordships with the Acts of Assembly and Journals of Council. On July 30 we sailed out of the Capes of Virginia with 150 sail under the protection of four men-of-war, and are all, I hope, arrived safe etc. Signed, N. Blakiston. Endorsed, Recd. 18, Read Sept. 22, 1702. Holograph. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 715. No. 55; and 5, 726. pp. 133, 134.]
Sept. 17.
968. Council of Trade and Plantations to Secretary Sir Charles Hedges. Having received an account from a considerable merchant here that Governor Codrington has obliged the French to quit St. Christopher's, we have thought it our duty to communicate the same to you, and to send you a copy of the Articles agreed to on that occasion. We are informed by the same hand that in pursuance of these Articles, Col. Codrington has sent the principal French officers to Martinique, but the main body of the people to St. Domingo upon Hispaniola. We understand that a ship dispatched from St. Christopher's, July 15, has been taken by the enemy and carried into France, upon which ship we presume there was an account of this expedition written immediately from Col. Codrington. Signed, P. Meadows, John Pollexfen, Mat. Prior. 1 p. Annexed,
968. i. Copy of Articles of Capitulation upon the surrender of the French part of St. Christopher's to the English. (i.) That the King's forces shall come away with their drums beating, matches lighted, arms and baggage. (Granted.) (ii.) That the officers of the said troops shall come away with their baggage, their servants and slaves, that is, each Captain six, the Lieutenants 4 and the Ensigns 2. (Granted, that each Capt. have three; Lieutenants and Ensigns one.) (iii.) That there shall be no kind of harm done to the Religious men, who shall be permitted to carry with them all that belongs to the Church. (Granted.) (iv.) That the Militia Officers shall come away armed, each Captain with six negroes, Lieutenants with 4, Ensigns 2. (At the discretion of the General.) (v.) That the Gentlemen of the Sovereign Council shall come away each with six negroes. (That they have each three negroes.) (vi.)That each of the other Planters shall come away with one negro. (At the Genll. discretion.) (vii.)That the families of the Planters and Officers shall be all carried, as also the troops, to Martinique in vessels with which they are to be furnished, with all their goods and baggage. (At the Genll. discretion, but no woman to be separated from their husbands.) (viii.) As to the Field Officers, which comprehend the Governor, three King's Lieutenants and the Major, they throw themselves on the General's civility as to the number of servants and slaves they'1 take with them. (ix.) That it shall be allowed to six gentlemen followers of Monsr. de Gennes to bring with each of them 3 negroes, their arms and baggage. (At the General's discretion.) (x.) That the Irish that live in the French quarters shall be sent away safe and sound with their families and baggage. (Granted that they shall go out with the French General, but to be left to the General's discretion wt. baggage they shall carry out.) (xi.) That Ravary, Choisin, and Bourgeois shall be incessantly surrendered; as also those that were taken in the Fig-Tree quarter, and shall be sent, as the rest, to Martinique. (Granted.) (xii.) That on the aforesaid conditions shall be rendered to-morrow, being the 16th N.S., the French quarters, that no harm shall be done to the Planters. (The Gut of Guillon to be delivered this night, and Basse Terre to-morrow morning.) Signed, De Gennes. All the above marked Articles in the margent are agreed to us [? as] there specified. Signed, W. Hamilton. Endorsed, Recd. Read Sept. 17, 1702. [C.O. 153, 8. pp. 82–85; and (enclosure only, 2 pp.) 152, 5. No. 8; and 152, 39. No. 95].
Sept. 17/28.
in River
969. Governor Samuel Beeckman to [?the Dutch West India Company]. Signed, Samuel Beeckman. Dutch. 8¼ pp. [See British Guiana and Venezuela Boundary Commission No. 3 (1896). pp. 68, 69.] Enclosed,
969. i. Copy of petition of Joannes de Wilde to the Governor and Council of Essequibo. Fort Kijkoveral, Aug. 19 [N.S.], 1702. Dutch. 1 p.
969. ii. Minutes of Council of Essequibo. July 27 [N.S.], 1702. Dutch. 4 pp.
969. iii. Inventory of all the [Dutch West India] Company's property in Essequibo, Aug. 1 [N.S.], 1702. Signed, Jan Van Dÿck, Samuel Beeckman. Dutch. 31¾ pp.
969. iv. Minutes of Council of Essequibo. Aug. 5 [N.S.], 1702. Dutch. 2 pp.
969. v. Minutes of Council of Essequibo. Aug. 14 [N.S.], 1702. Dutch. 1½ pp.
969. vi. A second petition of Joannes de Wilde etc. to the Governor and Council of Essequibo. Fort Kijkoveral. Sept. 7 [N.S.], 1702. Dutch. 1 p.
969. vii. Minutes of Council of Essequibo, Sept. 7 [N.S.], 1702. Dutch. 4½ pp. [C.O. 116, 19. Nos. 15, 15.i.–vii.]
Sept. 17.
970. Assembly of Rhode Island to Governor Dudley. In answer to your demands of the Militia [see Sept. 3], we humbly offer that, by our Charter granted by K. Charles II, the sole power of Militia is granted to us, as well as by Her late Majesty Queen Mary her pleasure to us signified, Aug. 22, 1694 [?Aug. 22. See Cal. A. & W. I. 1694. Nos. 1247, 1248]. Finding in Your Excellency's Commission no express superseding of the power of Militia in our Charter nor order to us from her present Majesty to surrender the same, and being sensible of the great importance of this matter, and finding it in [? in it] several main things which do need a particular explication and settlement as we shall God willing manifest to H.M. by our humble Address, cannot but conceive it our duty both with respect to H.M. service and our own peace and preservation in this time of war to endeavour to continue the Militia as formerly, till we shall receive further orders from H.M. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1302. No. 2.]
Sept. 17. 971. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Cary acquainted the Board that he had received letters from the Leeward Islands with an account that the French port of St. Xopher's had surrendered to the English upon Articles, a copy of which he delivered to the Board; that Col. Codrington had sent the French Officers to Martinico, but the body of the people were sent to St. Domingo; and that a ship which came from St. Xopher's soon after the surrender (by wch. he supposed Col. Codrington had writ at large) had been taken and carried into France. Whereupon a letter was writ to Mr. Secretary Hedges.
Acts of the Leeward Islands, Dec., 1701, further considered and finished. [C.O. 391, 15. pp. 207, 208; and 391, 96. No. 152.]
Sept. 17. 972. Minutes of Council of the Massachusetts Bay. H.E. acquainted the Board that, pursuant to his Instructions left with the Commanders of H.M. Forts, when he was lately at the Eastward, that if any of the French or Indians should come in there as Messengers to himself, they should not permit them to travel through the country, but send them by water, Capt. Turfrey had sent in a sloop, which arrived here two days since, two Frenchmen that came last week to Saco with letters from M. Brouillan, Governor in L'Accadie; and that he had ordered a Chamber for the two Frenchmen and placed a sentinel over them, to keep them private from Company, and had caused the letters which they brought to be rendered into English, one of them being directed to himself and the other to the Gentlemen of the Council, both without date, wherein M. Brouillan demands the restoration of the vessels, effects and men taken by the private ships of war fitted out of this place since the commencement and declaration of war. Which letters were read. H.E. communicated the draught of his reply.
The hearing of Jonathan and Christopher Peake referred. [C.O. 5, 789. pp. 457, 458.]
Sept. 18. 973. Minutes of Council in Assembly of Barbados. The Assembly attending, the Speaker acquainted the President that their House would keep to their old rules of delivering their messages by word of mouth (see Sept 8 etc.), and that they would not discover what power and liberty they gave to their Speaker. They did expect they had been called upon some other account than upon that occasion. The President said that he did not call them upon that matter alone, but upon some other business of moment which he was ready to give them in charge; he did expect that they would have received what he had to offer, before they could pretend to know what they were called for. There were several deficiencies, which ought to be supplied, in the Bill for purchasing a vessel of war etc.
The President delivered back the Bill sent up for appointing watches for amendment. He proposed the taking up a vessel to carry off the Spanish prisoners for exchange, they being very sickly and chargeable to the country.
This Board, being informed that two vessels were yesterday seen to the Northward of this Island, standing to the eastward, in order to get into this latitude, and being suspected to be French privateers, do believe it to be absolutely necessary to send out a sloop to give notice to the man-of-war and brigantine, and desire the assent of the Assembly, which was given. Wm. Heysham offered his sloop for this service at what price the Government should think reasonable. His offer was accepted. Ordered that one man in seven be pressed out of each merchant ship in the Road and sent on board the man-of-war to reinforce her, and that she stay out a week longer than her last orders, provided Capt. Arthur's cruise be not out sooner, which if it be, then they are both ordered to return together.
Judge Buckworth [see Sept. 15] delivered his report. Ordered that Thomas Driffield give good security to answer the premises when required.
The Assembly, attending, said they could not supply the defects proposed by this Board in their Bill for buying and fitting out Major Trimingham's brigantine; but that so good a work might not be prevented, they brought several subscriptions of the Members of their House for raising money for that expedition, and humbly requested this Board do the like, which was readily granted.
The Speaker supplycated this Board that particular orders might be given that noe white servants be carried off for the future in any of the commissioned vessels, and that those which were now on board might be returned, and that a Law be provided for that purpose. [C.O. 31, 6. pp. 276–279.]
Sept. 19. 974. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. Message sent down about the Answer of the House concerning the Speaker. (See Minutes of Council, Sept. 10.)
Resolved that the Commissioners of Correspondence represent the growing charge of fitting out vessels of war to H.M. service, and that this Island may be considered in this matter.
Wm. Heysham allowed for the loan of his sloop.
And see preceding abstract. [C.O. 31, 6. pp. 487–490.]
Sept. 20. 975. Mr. Secretary Vernon to Mr. Warre. The enclosed is from Col. Handesyde, who went to Jamaica Lieut.-Colonell to Sir Henry Bellasis Regimt. I can no otherwise promote his present pretensions then by putting them into your hands, and submitting them to my Lord Nottingham's consideration. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Holograph. 1 p. Enclosed,
975. i. Tho. Handsyd to Mr. Secretary Vernon. Jamaica, July 5, 1702. Since the closing of my last letter to you Col. Brewer dyed, which occasions this further trouble requesting your interest and friendship in procuring H.M. Commission for me as Col. to the Regiment lately commanded by Col. Brewer instead of that of Capt. Genl. Selwyn's, the former being the Elder coare, etc. Signed, Tho. Handasyd. Endorsed, R. Sept. 21. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 45. Nos. 16, 16.i.]