America and West Indies: February 1702, 6-10

Pages 69-75

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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February 1702

Feb. 6. Order of the House of Lords, Feb. 5, read. Directions given for preparing an answer.
Letter from the Earl of Manchester, Feb. 2, with reference to the Carolina Act, etc. was read. Directions given for preparing a report accordingly.
Letter from Mr. Burchet, Jan. 26, read.
Order of Council, Jan. 29, read.
Mr. Docmenic, Mr. Morris and Mr. Sonmans attending in relation to the affairs of the Jerseys, a copy of Mr. Attorney General's draught of a surrender of the right of Government to be made by the Proprietors was delivered to Mr. Docmenic to be communicated by him to the Proprietors of both the Jerseys, in order to their final resolutions. [C.O. 391, 14. pp. 320–323; and 391, 96. Nos. 22, 23.]
Feb. 6.
St. Jago
de la Vega.
99. Governor Selwyn to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I arrived in Jamaica Jan. 21, after the most tedious passage that ever was, and leaving behind us several ships of our company from whom we were long since separated in a violent storm, and have got no news, viz., two store ships, one bomb ketch, one fireship and the Benjamin, wherein is seven companies of Tiffin's and all my equipage, but the war not being broke out, we hope they may yet come safe, as also part of Col. Brewer's Regiment in the York. I cannot yet send any particular account of the present posture of affairs, only in general terms I think everything is in disorder and confusion. We are come to several resolutions in Council for the defence and preservation of the Island, which with what further happens between this and the next ship shall be all transmitted. The chief business in hand at present is to restore the people to the right of civil Justice, who have had no Law but Martial for seven months past, and to try a new Assembly, which I have resolved shall meet March 17. I have recd. your letter of Nov. 5, with the petition of Benja. Way, to which I shall have all due regard. Capt. Bannister, who was left out of the Council, is very uneasy at it, as I hear. I have not seen the gentleman, but am told he has a good character. Signed, W. Selwyn. Endorsed, Recd. 4th, Read May 5, 1702. Holograph. 2 pp. [C.O. 137, 5. No. 61; and 138, 10. pp. 327, 328.]
Feb. 6.
St. James.
100. Lords Proprietors of the Bahama Islands to the Council of Trade and Plantations. We received your Lordships' letter, the particulars whereof we are as yet entirely strangers to, having received no advice or letters a considerable time from the Bahama Islands; as soon as any shall come to our hands, we will lay the account we receive before your Lordships, that you may the better be enabled fully to represent the same to H.M. for his directions thereupon, and shall at all times shew ourselves ready to joyn with your Lordshipps in restraining any disorders committed by our Governor, or any other person employed by us. Signed, J. Granville, Palatine; Craven, Berkeley, M. Ashley. Endorsed, Recd. Read Feb. 17, 170½. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1261. No. 45; and 5, 1289. p. 361; and 5, 289. p. 84.]
Feb. 6. 101. Minutes of Council of Barbados. At a meeting upon an Alarm. Ordered that the sloop Thomas and John, Capt. George Chowne Commander, be immediately taken up for the service of this Island, forthwith to sail to the Northward about 8 or 10 leagues and there to lye 48 hours, unless he see any considerable number of ships, and if so, he is to endeavour to make what they are, and then to make all the haste he can into the Windward of the Island, and to make the best of his way to relate the same to the President. But in case he see no ships by the time aforesaid, he is to return again to windward of this Island.
Mr. Jona. Sisson having offered his service to go down in the sloop Marian and Rebeccah, Richard Gilbert, Commander, which was taken up by the Commissioners appointed by the Assembly for the service of this Island, to send out to get intelligence, his offer was accepted, and the President was desired to issue out his orders and instructions to him, for the intelligence from the French Islands, what designs they may be upon, and where their fleet is. Capt. Gilbert to follow Mr. Sisson's orders. The President was desired to issue out his orders to Col. Richd. Kirkby, Commander of H.M.S. Ruby, forthwith to put all the vessels in this Road in the best posture for H.M. service and the defence of this Island. Ordered that 20 barrels of gunpowder be immediately delivered out of the Magazine for the use of the Forts, and 8 fuzees and ammunition for the use of the Marian and Rebeccah.
150 fire-arms and ammunition ordered to be delivered to Capt. Maycock for the fortifications within his division.
Ordered that a shallop with her company be forthwith impressed to carry powder and arms to the Leeward fortifications.
Powder and ammunition ordered to be delivered out of the Magazine to Col. Andrews for use of the forts at Read's Bay.
Feb. 7. Ordered that the forces be discharged till this day sevennight their ususal exercise, unless twelve ships or more appear in sight or other lawful summons.
Deposition of Richard Cochran taken that an express about the middle of January by Capt. Robt. Cunningham from St. Xtophers arrived at Antigua to General Codrington, signifying that twelve French men of war from the Havana had joined 30 odd men of war at Martinico, 20 of them being adjudged to be from 70 to 100 guns, and also that he was informed that about two days before he left Antigua, Jan. 26, one Capt. Jones arrived there and brought information that the French men of war were embarqueing all their forces together with some of the inhabitants of Martinico, which were said to amount to 1,200 men, and that all manner of vessels were impeded going in or coming out of any of their ports, the better to conceal their designs. Wherefore it was supposed by a general consent of the people of Antigua that their designs was to take or attempt to take by way of reprizal some or all these Windward Islands in case Admiral Benbo should commit any hostility either on the French or Spaniards below, wherefore General Codrington impressed one sloop or more with design, as Deponent believes, to watch their motions.
Ordered that George Hooper, Jeremiah Biddle, Edward Simpson and others, who are officers attending the Council under the Provost Marshall, be excused from appearing in arms in any of the companies in the Militia during their being employed as officers to the Provost Marshall.
Deposition of James Atkinson, Mariner, setting forth that on Jan, 31, about 10 leagues from Antigua, he saw a light on Monk Hill which he believed was for an alarm to that Island.
Ordered that no vessel be suffered to sail from this Island before Thursday next, or the next sitting of the Council.
Ordered that orders be given to Col. Kirkby and to the Gunners of the respective Forts that they suffer no French or Spanish ships of war to come to anchor in any of the roads of this Island, and that all smaller vessels of those Nations do come to an anchor under the stern of H.M.S. Ruby, and that Col. Kirkby keep a guard on board such vessel as shall soe be brought to an anchor till further orders from the President and Council.
Ordered that the Assembly be called to meet on Monday, Feb. 9. [C.O. 31, 6. pp. 145–149.]
Feb. 9. 102. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. The House met by a special summons. Absent Members fined.
They waited on the President and Council, who informed them that they had good reason to apprehend the speedy approach of an enemy, and earnestly recommended to the Assembly the appointing a Committee of this House or any others they shall think fit to name, as Commissioners to take up such small vessels for fire-ships or to keep off bomb-boats or to send for intelligence as the President and Council shall from time to time find good cause to appoint on emergent occasions, and that the charge thereof be borne out of the Public Treasury. The President and Council delivered the following proposals; (1) That 3 fireships be forthwith effectually fitted. (2) That four or five of the best brigantines and sloops be fitted with store of ammunition, in order to attack bomb vessels. (3) That four Bermudas large, nimble boats be provided to row with as many oars as good place can be found for in them, to be well armed and manned to act in conjunction with the aforesaid brigantines. (4) That an order issue for the taking up all deserting, hidden, straggling sailors in this Island, and that they may be employed for H.M. service and defence of this Island.
Resolved, that the fireships, sloops and boats, mentioned in the proposals laid before this House, be taken up accordingly. Committee appointed for that purpose.
Resolved that the Speaker desire the President and Council to issue out a Proclamation for the taking up all straggling seamen etc., as proposed. The hire of vessels taken up, or their value if lost, to be paid for out of the Treasury.
Resolved, that Mr. Speaker move the President and Council that all persons living in or near the Bridge Town may be immediately enlisted, and appear in the respective divisions where they live.
Resolved that Mr. Speaker move the President and Council that the President may act and appear as General Commander of this Island upon all alarms, and that he may also appoint a general officer to act under him in such case, and that all Collectors and other Field Officers and Members of H.M. Council may act and appear in their respective stations and posts, at such times aforesaid. [C.O. 31, 6. pp. 448, 449.]
Feb. 9. 103. Minutes of Council in Assembly of Barbados. The Board met in order to propose to the Assembly in this dangerous conjunction to provide for the public safety in these particulars:— that the Assembly appoint a Committee of their House, or whom else they shall think fit to name to be Commissioners to take up such small ships to make fire-ships or to keep off bomb-vessels, or to send for intelligence, as the President and Council from time to time shall find good reason to appoint, the charges to be borne out of the Pubick Treasury.
Ordered that the Keeper of the Stores in the Magazine deliver out to Col. Frere 20 barrels of gunpowder and 3 dozen musquets with ammunition for the use of Oistin's Fort, and 10½ barrels powder and 100 musketts with cattoos boxes and bayenets to be distributed among the poor men in his Regiment, who are not able to furnish themselves.
Ordered that the Clause in the Militia Act for the encouragement of servants and slaves that behave themselves well against an enemy be publisht in the Churches next Sunday, and that the Secretary write out attested copies of that clause in order to be so publisht.
Ordered that Col. Tobias Frere and Col. David Ramsay have leave to order two companies of Foot in the Regiment under their command in any posture where they think convenient to exercise with a troop of Horse every exercising day, and that Col. Leslie have leave to exercise his Troop with the Foot and march them in the same posture, if he thinks convenient.
The Assembly attending, Mr. Speaker delivered their resolutions agreeing to the Council's proposal above:—and appointing a Committee accordingly. They moved that the President and Council do issue out a Proclamation for the calling in all straggling and absconding seamen, as was by Col. Richd. Kirkby proposed, and that such men as shall be soe apprehended be put on board the vessels to be fitted out for the service of this Island.
Ordered that the ingredients for fitting out three fireships be forthwith provided by the Commissioners appointed by the Assembly, with all possible speed. The Board accepted Col. Kirkby's frank and ready offer of his advice and assistance in that matter. The proposal of the Assembly is already answered by a Proclamation ordered on the 3rd.
Stores of war ordered to be issued to Col. Thos. Maycock for the use of the Leeward Regiment and fortifications under his command.
Ordered that two of the brass guns upon field-carriages at Fontabell be delivered to Col. Frere for the use of the Windward Fortifications, and one for the Hon. George Andrews, and the other two to Col. Abell Alleyne or his order for the use of the several fortifications within their divisions.
Ordered that six half barrels of pistol-powder be delivered out of the Magazine to the President for the use of the Leeward Regiment of Horse under his Command.
Ordered that the bars of lead in the Magazine be forthwith cast into small shot.
Letters and Instructions from the Admiralty, brought by Capt. Maughan, H.M.S. Kingsale, ordered to be entered at large in the Council Books.
Feb. 10. Ordered that no ships sail for Europe till the sloop returns which was sent towards Martinico.
Ammunition ordered to be delivered to Col. Andrews for the use of the Regiment and Forts under his command.
It is the request of this Board that Capt. Kirkby stay here with H.M.S. Ruby till Feb. 18, because by the intelligence we have that the French lately had at Martinico about 50 ships of war and 12,000 land forces reimbarquing about 10 days ago, and by the information of a Master of a sloop that run up the side of Martinico on Wednesday last [Feb. 4—Ed.], [who] believes that they were gone thence, for that he saw but few vessels at Fort St. Peers Harbour, and being also informed by John Norman's deposition that on Jan. 18 last he saw 10 men of war turning up from the westward to Martinico, which were part of those that about three months ago went from Martinico under the Command of M. Coetlogoon to join the 15 ships of war that lay there on the 7th and 23rd of January last, according to the depositions of Evan Parris and John Norman, in expectation to be joined with other French forces:—these reasons considered, this Board hath good cause to suspect that the said French forces may be intended against this Island, and may be now standing far to the northward with design more commodiously to obtain the Windward part thereof, and may reasonably infer the same by M. Coetlogon coming so far from the Westward to join the ships at Martinico, in order to pursue some designs in these parts. [C.O. 31, 6. pp. 149–158.]
Feb. 9. 104. Minutes of Council of New York. Petition of Mathew Clarkson, Lancaster Syms, Robert Walters, Richard Slater, John Cholwell, Cornelius Depeyster, Leigh Atwood, Barne Cosens, and Caleb Heathcote read. The said persons were allowed to be the first discoverers, and the other matters referred to further consideration.
Petition of Col. Bayard and John Hutchins was read, praying their tryall may be respited to the usual sitting of the Supreme Court, and altho' it appeared to the Governor and Council that the suggestions of the petition, whereon their prayer is grounded, are altogether false, yet, in favour to the said petitioners, it is ordered that some further time be allowed, and that the special Commission of Oyer and Terminer be not opened till Thursday next come seavennight.
Ordered that the Attorney and Solicitor General prosecute them for High Treason then, and that the Clerk of the Council give them notice thereof.
Ordered that Paroculus Parmyter, late Naval Officer, do lay before this Board all Books, bonds, and papers relating to his late office.
Ordered that the High Sherrif of Westchester appear before this Board on Thursday seavennight, and bring with him Jonathan Scrifen, John Horton and Joseph Purdy.
The late Naval Officer appearing and refusing to deliver the Books, etc., in contempt of the above Order, ordered that the High Sherrif of the City and County of New York do seize on and secure them, if found, and inventory the same before two witnesses, and give an account thereof to this Board.
Feb. 10. The High Sherrif having seized the books, etc., as ordered above, ordered that he deliver them to Thomas Weaver and James Evitts, who are required to view the same and report to this Board on Thursday next the state and condition they shall find them in. [C.O. 5, 1184. pp. 618–620.]
Feb. 10.
105. William Popple to John Sansom. Requesting a return of goods imported and exported to and from St. Christopher's for two years last past. [C.O. 153, 7. p. 399.]
Feb. 10.
106. William Popple to the Attorney General. Enclosing for his opinion in point of law an Act of St. Kitts, June 18, 1701, For settling and strengthening H.M. part of that Island. Mr. Mead and some other Proprietors of Plantations in that Island will attend you with their objections, etc. [C.O. 153, 7. pp. 399, 400.]
[? Feb. 10.] 107. William Freeman, William Mead, and the Lady Ann Stapleton to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Petition, on behalf of themselves and other Proprietors of lands in St. Kitts, that since in an Act lately made there "for the settling and strengthening of H.M. part of that Island," there are several clauses which are not only destructive to many of H.M. good subjects, but also to petitioners' estates and their titles to land in that Island, a day may be appointed for this to be heard, before report is made to H.M. thereon. Signed, Wm. Freeman, Wm. Mead, Ann Stapleton, Frances Duport, John Helot. Endorsed, Recd. Read Feb. 10, 170½. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 4. No. 83.]
Feb. 10.
108. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Secretary ordered to write to Mr. Sansom.
Mr. Mead presented a petition against a late Act of St. Christophers, which was read. Ordered that the Act be sent to Mr. Attorney General for his opinion in point of Law. Mr. Mead was acquainted that he and the other Petitioners may offer their objections to Mr. Attorney as they think fit.
Ordered that Mr. Hutchenson have notice to attend to-morrow.