America and West Indies: March 1706, 11-19

Pages 68-89

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 23, 1706-1708. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1916.

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March 1706, 11-19

March 11.
162. Lt.-Governor Bennett to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Acknowledges letter of Oct. 29. I doubt not but per packet boat your Lordships have had an account of the transactions of the French in the West Indies more correct than I can give it, therefore shall make noe mention thereof here. This country is att present very sickly, and by calculation more people have died within these 8 months than in five years before, two were Councellors, Col. Walker and Mr. Spofferth. The state of H.M. Council is as followeth. Capt. Richard Penniston, Capt. John Tucker, never would act. Col. Charles Walker, dead. Col. Anthony White, Capt. Tho. Harford, very much afflicted with the gout. Major Michaele Burrows, Mr. Robert White, dead, Capt. Benja. Wainwright, dead. Capt. St. George Tucker, very infirm and much afflicted with the gout. Capt. Benn. Hinson, lives 25 miles from St. Georges and is often missing. Mr. Patrick Downing, very aged and not able to give his attendance. Mr. Samll. Spofferth dead. So that there are but 7 Councellors remaining, and most of them infirm, and if they would sitt and do business on the customary days, it would be but seldome 5 of them could attend togeather. What I would humbly propose is that the 3 undernamed gentlemen might be added to the Council, viz. Capt. Tho. Brooks, H.M. Collector of the Customes, Capt. Tho. Jenour, a considerable merchant, and one of the principal inhabitants, Col. John Trimingham, Collonel of the troop of Horse Granadeers, a merchant and has a very good estate. By this addition the Queen's nor country's service would be disappointed for want of a Council. A small privateer fitted out from this place (which was the first that went purely on that account) hath lately brought in here a French ship of about 90 tuns, 4 guns and 17 men, loaded with sugar. They met with her in latitude 28, comeing from Martinique and bound to Bordeaux: the condemnation and appraisment of which I will transmitt in my next. In confirmation of the Council's report, relating to the produce of tobacco here, now to my knowledge it is so much lessened, that it is frequently brought from Virginia to supply the inhabitants, and the market price is 9d. a lb. Mr. Spofferth (who was auditor of accounts of the Revenue) some time before he died, was soe recovered as to be capable of business, and told me he would proceed on the Treasurer's accounts in Mr. Davis his time and since, but nothing has been done therein. I have them in my custody, and when the Councill wil sitt, they shall be by us audited and accordingly transmitted, as also the acct. of stores, which is ready, all but what relates to the Castle, the Capt. whereof has been sick, and not able to give me his accts., but in my next I hope I shall inclose them, and for the future be more regular than I could be hitherto. Enumerates former letters. I transmitted Journals of Assembly June 9, 1701—Sept. 8, 1705. They are very long, therefore can't yet get a duplicate from the Clark. I have also ordered the Secretary to prepare transcripts of the Minutes of Council from my arrival. Signed, Ben. Bennett. Endorsed, Recd. June 24, Read July 2, 1706. Holograph. 4 pp. [C.O. 37, 7. No. 29; and 38, 6. pp. 196–199.]
March 11.
163. Same to [? Sir C. Hedges]. Acknowledges letters of Nov. 2 and 29 last. Those orders have been complied with, etc. I have sent an acct. of stores, and for the future will take what possible care I can to make more regular transmitts. Repeats part of preceding. Signed, Ben. Bennett. Holograph. 4 pp. [C.O. 37, 26. No. 16.]
March 12. 164. Attorney General to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Report on the Acts of the Leeward Islands, 1705. Enumerated. (1) I am of opinion that the Act for making Indian Castle a shipping place is not fit to be approved of. A new port may be prejudiciall to H.M. Customs. By 25 Car. II the power of appointing places where goods shall be landed is lodged in the Treasury. (2) I have no objection against the Act for raising an impost on strong liquors imported, unless ye clause that no other like impost shall be paid or received doe prejudice any other customs payable for liquors imported there, if any such be, which doth not appear to me. (3) The Act to settle the Secretary's fees seems in ye design of it to be reasonable, but the clause that lays 3l. forfeiture for every time the Secretary takes more yn. the ffee established by this Act is unreasonable, the party grieved being to have one half of ye forfeiture on conviction, wch. may be made by one Justice of the Peace on the single oath of the party grieved, by wch. he is enabled to swear for his own benefit. (4) There is the same objection against the Act to settle ye Marshall's fees. (5) By the Act for regulating vestries there is a power in ye Vestrymen to settle ye fees of ye Minister, Clerk and Sexton, which may deprive the Minister of his just rights, if any such have been before settled on him. And there is a forfeiture on every vestryman yt. doth not appear on every summons to ye Vestry without reasonable excuse such as shall be approved of, and not said by whom, which is defective. (6) The Act to settle the Militia is not fit to be approved of, for yt. it leaves ye settling the Militia, their arms, etc. to a Court Martiall, and obliges all males wtsoever., except the Councill and Assembly-men, personally to appear at a monthly muster, unless letted by sickness onely under a penalty, and allows the exercising of Martiall Law at ye times of muster and exercising in ye time of Peace, wch. is contrary to ye Law of England. And one of ye Articles of Warr in this Act is, that a soldier blaspheming a second time shall be bored through ye tongue with a red hot iron, wch. may render them useless. (7) By the Act to settle General Councils and Assemblies etc., all the laws and legall customs now in force in each of the Leeward Islands and respecting onely ye circumstances of ye same, are enacted to be and remain in full force and virtue, wch. establishes what I cannot judge of without perusing all ye Laws passed in each of those Islands, and if they are in force, they do not want this confirmation. The power of making Laws in the Genll. Assembly of all the Charibbee Islands being erected by this Law, and such Laws that shall be made being enacted to be binding to all the Islands, it may be questioned whether H.M. approbation be necessary, wch. ought to have been taken care of in this Bill. (8, 9, 10) Three Acts to make other laws, made in ye particular Islands, in force in all the Charibbee Islands, having not seen those Laws, I cannot give any opinion. (11) The Act to secure the payment of the Ministers' dues, giving a power to suspend Ministers, and applying the profits of their livings to the use of their respective parishes, and that notice shall be given to ye Bishop of London for his directions; the power of the Bishop should have been explained to be to confirm or anull ye suspension and to restore ye Minister to his living and the profits thereof. But of this Law his Lordship will be best judge. (12) The design of the Act for supplying ye want of fines, and recoverys and for making deeds duly executed before any of H.M. Justices of ye Court of Common Pleas in England or Ireland or any of these Islands equivalent to fines and recoverys duly levy'd in any H.M. Courts of Record at Westm., is good and necessary, but is somewhat defective in ye penning of it. Details given. (13) By the Act for preventing tedious and chargeable Lawsuits and for declaring the rights of particular tenants, the Common Law of England as farr as it stands unaltered by any written Laws of those Islands, or of some of ym., confirmed by H.M. or her Predecessors or by Acts of Parliament in Engld., is made to be of force in each of the Charribbee Islands, and to be ye certain rule, whereby the rights and propertys of H.M. subjects there are and ought to be determined, and that all customs or pretended customs and usages to the contrary are void. So generall an enacting the Common Law of England to be in force in ye Plantations as a certain rule, whereby the rights and propertys of H.M. subjects there are to be determin'd, is not fit to be confirmed, the same intrenching on H.M. Prerogative, which is different in those places from what it is in England, besides it cannot be readily foreseen what is effected by so generall a clause, but it will be fit to have such establishing of ye Common Law of England to be explained by referring to particulars. As to the Acts (14) for raising a levy, (15) ascertaining fees of the justices, (16) to prevent accidents of fire through throwing squibs or other fireworks in the towns, (17) making the Act of Parliament, allowing the affirmation of Quakers, in force there, and (18) obliging Joseph Crisp of St. Kitts to account to Nevis, Antigoa and Mountserrat for sundry goods intrusted him, I find nothing therein disagreeable to Law or Justice, or prejudiciall to H.M. Royall Prerogative. Signed, Edwd. Northey. Endorsed, Recd. March 14, Read May 1, 1705/6. 9½ pp. [C.O. 152, 6. No. 42.]
[March 12.] 165. Mr. Thurston's estimate of necessaries wanting for the additional 100 men for Newfoundland. Endorsed, Recd. Read March 12, 1705/6. 2 pp. [C.O. 194, 3. No. 127; and 195, 4. pp. 234, 235.]
March 12.
166. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Hedges. The Chief Fort and the South Battery can receive the 200 soldiers necessary to defend St. Johns. Bedding, bricks and materials for building chimneys for the officers, boards, etc. will be needed. The men ought to have good clothing, with an addition of surtouts for that cold climate, and 20 watchcoats for the centinels upon duty. Victuals, money for subsistance and coals as ballast by the sack ships should be sent, etc. [C.O. 195, 4. pp. 236–238.]
March 12.
167. President, Council and Assembly of Nevis to the Council of Trade and Plantations. By the enclosed relation of the proceedings of the French fleet and Petition to H.M., your Lordships may easily perceive the imminent danger we were in, how it pleased God to deliver us, and what apprehensions we are still under of ye sudden returne of our enemy againe upon us. The hopes we conceive of your Lordships' countenancing our Petition and H.M. gracious compliance with the same, are, however, great supports to us in ye condition we are in. Your Lordships very well knowes we have a potent enemy to deale with that neglect no opportunity to effect their designs, and theire intentions at this time where wholy at first against us whom the[y] threatn'd to plunder, burn and destroy. As our wants are great, having spent most of our powder and shott of all sorts, so the danger we are yet threatned with, presses hard for a speedy supply, for should it come too late, and we be attacqued in ye meane time may perhaps be of fatall consequence. Therefore we presume to putt ourselves under your Lordships' patronage, most humbly begging your assistance with a favourable representation of our case to H.M. that soe we may obtaine what we petition for, and that ye said gunns and stores may be speedily sent us while we are yet a people, and then by the help of God we doubt not but to defend and keep this H.M. Island against all her enemies, etc. P.S.—We are heartily sorry that we are forced to take notice to your Lordships that ye 500 musketts sent us some time since out of ye Tower proved so bad when we came to use them that not above one in foure were fit for service, which was a great disappointment to us at that time. We further crave leave to represent how very weake some of ye Companies of H.M. Regiment are, (two of which are onely upon this Island) having had few recruits from England since they were in these parts, and those Companies yt. are full are kept soe by reason of ye officers inlisting the poore men of this Island and our servants as theire time expires, which we conceive to be a great detriment to us, and therefore we beseech your Lordships that no more may be here inlisted. Signed, Wm. Burt, Peter Belman, Speaker, John Ward, Tho. Goare, Saml Gardner, Tho. Bridgwater, Wm. Child, James Burdue, Samuel Browne, John Richardson, Wornell Hunt, Joseph Symonds, Richd. Abbott, Wm. Buttler, Jas. Bevon, Aza. Pinney, P. Andrews, Thomas Butler. Endorsed, Recd. 21st, Read May 22nd, 1706. 3 pp. Enclosed,
167. i. President, Council and Assembly of Nevis to the Queen. We have escaped a most dangerous invasion, etc. We were much lett and hindered, by reason the guns in all out Forts are too small, the enemy throwing at us shott that weighed 22, 24 and 26 lb., when we could fire but 9 and 6 pounders, having not above 3 or 4 guns in all the Island that carry a larger ball. Pray H.M. to send them twelve 24 pounders, twelve 18 pounders and twelve 12 pounders and 12 nine pounders with carriages and 100 barrels of powder and shot in proportion for each gun. Also six small field pieces, 4 pounders, with carriages and harness, etc. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 4 pp.
167. ii. Journal of proceedings of the French at Nevis and St. Kitts. About Christmas we received news of an intended attack. The Council and Assembly was called and one negro out of every 30 was ordered to repair the breastworkes, trenches and fortifications. The Militia was prepared. About the middle of January a privateer sloop Capt. Christopher Akers, sent out for news, reported several of the enemy's fleet off Dominico, and Jan. 27 another sloop reported them off Guardaloupe. For some days we were in doubt as to whether this fleet might not be the convoy fleet from the Northward for Barbados. But on Feb. 5 they were seen standing down towards us, and alarm guns were fired twice round the Island. Enumerate fleet as in following—5 large ships of war, 2 small frigates, 5 brigantines and 19 sloops. They kept without gunshot of our forts, and came that evening to an anchor against the Old Road Fort neare a league from the shore. This evening about 8 the Medway prize weighed with design to go to Antigua, but was followed too close by a 60 gun ship of the enemys, which sayled two foot for her one, that she had been taken, had she not beene within reach of the guns of Pelican Point Fort, who fired soe briskly at the French ship that she was forced to beare away, by which meanes the Queen's ship tack'd about and soe got safe into the Road againe. Feb. 6. They took great numbers of men into small boates, as if they intended to attack us, but the wind blowing very fresh and farr northwardly occasioned a greate cockling sea and a high surfe on shoare, and the greate readiness they observed all along our trenches, as also the several forts being soe neare one the other, that let them land where they would, they must be exposed to the shott of two Batterys at once, they desisted, etc. This gave us time to put things in better order. By the greate resolution and cheareful willingness of everybody, as well souldjers as officers, being all as one man (the very negroes not excepted), but more especially by the greate care, conduct, and indefatigable industry of Col. Richard Abbott, who commanded the Island, things were brought to that pass by Thursday (7th), that wee noe ways doubted but to beate the enemy off, should they attempt to land. That night the enemy sounded in their boates the water all along the Greate Bay from Black Rock to Coles Point, still keeping without gun-shott. This day Capt. Akers came in from Antigua, having been chased into Antigua by two of the enemy's sloopes, which he fought 3 hours before he could get cleare of them, two other of the enemy's sloopes endeavoured againe to take him, but Akers kept close along shoare under our gunns, and after a greate many shott were exchanged and little or noe damage done on either side, he got in safe. He brought letters from the Commander in Chief that he was coming to our assistance with men of war from Barbados etc. Akers was sent back to Antigua with answers next day. Feb. 8, about breake of day, the enemy with two ships of warr came within shott and fired their broadsides against the forts and trenches between the Old Road Fort and the Fort at Coles Point. Wee having lately made a new Fort at the Cotton Tree, in the midway betweene the two former, all which three Forts kept constantly firing at them, and was believed and since confirmed by some deserters, did them considerable dammage in their hulls and rigging (and as is credibly reported, killed their Vice-Admirall and 8 men) but thanks be to God, wee recd. noe loss at all. A French man and a negro were privately landed in the night in a small bay S. of Long Point, which sett the canes on fire at Dobin's Plantation, and the next two nights at Holmes' and Walker's Plantations, but was put out againe without any greate dammage; this was to be the signall for the enemy to land, and they had 1,100 ready in their boates to have landed this morning dureing the said action and signall, but they did not attempt it. Feb. 9. They lay very still, only severall of theire small craft went to and againe between St. Christophers about Buggs Hole and the moreings. In the night one or two of theire men of warr, and some sloopes came within shott of our gunns, and wee fired at them from Johnson's Fort, Black Rock Fort and Pellican Point Fort, and placed 9 shott in the hull of one of them, four betweene wind and water, which caused her to toe of with her boates; what their designe was, wee know not, unless to see whether it was possible for them to cutt or burne H.M.S. Medway prize, and the merchant ships that were in the Road (but they found it would be too hott service for them and soe desisted, tho their boates were maimed all the time). Feb. 10. They continued all day very quietly in theire old station. Feb. 11. This morning the Enemy were weighed and gon from us to St. Christophers. Capt. Akers and another sloope came from Antigua with 40 of the Queen's soldiers. He was chased in by a French man of warr and a sloope that cruised to windward. Feb. 12. Two deserters gave us an account of the dammages done by the enemy and of theire strength, which, as they affirmed, was 1,800 land souldjers from Old France and 800 from Martinico and Guadaloupe; that they actually landed 2,500 effective men at St. Christophers, and that theire main designe and first intentions was against Nevis. Feb. 14. The French man and negro were tried by a Court Martiall, found guilty of being spies and setting the canes on fire, and executed. Feb. 17. The Enemy left St. Christophers and sailed away to windward, etc. Wee attended their motion all that day along our coasts still firing at them when ever any of theire vessells came within reach of any of our forts, till they were quite out of sight, and soe thanks be to God, wee got ridd of a troublesome and dangerous enemy. Feb. 26. This day wee sett apart to returne thanks to Almighty God for this greate deliverance. Feb. 23. Our Commanderin-chief came from Antigua with the Greyhound and the two men of warr from Barbadoes, but noe merchant shipps of force as was promised, stayed 2 days, then went to St. Christophers, and after that up to Antigua again. Account of Forts lately built and charge thereof, etc. About 14,000l. Signed, Geo. Cheret, Sec. and Clerk of Council. Solomon Israel, Clerk to the Assembly. Endorsed as preceding. 10½ pp. [C.O. 152, 6. Nos. 45, 45.i., ii.; and (without enclosures) 153, 9. pp. 356–359.]
March 13.
168. Lt.-Governor Johnson to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In my last I acquainted your Lordshipps of a French fleete I had inteligence of by way of St. Thomas, which is now in some measure verifyed, for the 4th ultimo there appear'd betweene this Island and Montseratt 7 shipps of warr, and 23 brigandines and sloopes, which insulted our coast, endeavouring to cling the shoare, but the wind blowing very hard northerly the shipps were beaten off, while severall of the small craft got under the land, sounding our bays and harbours. The 5th about noone the signall was given for the small vessells under our shoare to fall down to leeward, the shipps not being able to turne up, and then all boare away directly for Nevies, where they anchor'd in the evening before ye towne, and tho the enemy during their stay there, had at one time 1,000 men in their botes to land, yet being inform'd I had throwne in forces on the back of the Island from Antigua, which was really soe, and perceiving the roughness of the fortes, plattformes and trenches, which were observ'd to be well lin'd, 'twas thought adviseable to remand them on board. Before that place was 5 dayes spent without any reall action, more than the exchanging great shott daily betweene the ffortes and the enemye's shipps, with some dammage on their side, but none on ours. The 10th at night the whole ffleete weigh'd anchor and sayled for St. Christophers, where the 11th they landed 2,300 men in three severall places, which notwithstanding the disposition of the forces (being between 600 and 700 men) made by the Lieut. Governor, together with his good conduct otherwise, gave the inhabitants such an amuzement, as the Enemy thereby without little or noe bloodshedd, on either side, soone became Masters of the Island, except ye Fort and Brimstone Hill, to which some of our forces retir'd. On the Fleete's going to St. Kitts, that Island was soe guarded by the enemy, that 'twas out of my power for want of a cover to land a number of Forces from any other Islands to their assistance, the Greyhound being then on the carine here and the Medwayes prize block'd up by the Enemy at Nevies, for the destruction of which, and the merchants shipps there, a small fire vessell was fitted, tho' the project not putt in execution. Immediately on the Fleetes parting from our coast to Leeward, I dispatched two good sayling sloopes to Barbados as expresses to Sir B. Granville for the assistance of the two frigatts attending that goverment, which was readiely and chearfully granted; I also twice sollicited the help of the Deptford, Capt. Stuckley, ariv'd there a convey from New England with a Fleete bound for Salt-Tartudoes, which tho' ye safety of H.M. Leeward Islands in great measure depended thereon, as I at large sett forth to him, he could not be prevail'd upon; as your Lordshipps may perceive for the reasons given boath by Sir Bevill and him in their letters to me, which have herewith sent. Monsieur Chevaniack, who commanded the French Fleete, after being at St. Kitts 7 dayes, burning great part of the canes, houses, workes; destroying a great number of horses and cattle, and taking off about 300 negroes, precipitatly embarqu'd his Forces at midnight, and tooke his departure thence Feb. 18, with the whole fleete for Martinica, in great disorder, having 3,500 men on board, of which 1,500 were privateeres of the French Islands. The surprize of the Enemy at their leaving the place was so great that they left store of plunder as coppers, millworke, etc. at sea side, not affording themselves time to carry it off; the true reason of which I am as yet at a loss to learn, except occasion'd by some account they had themselves of a Force coming against them directly from Europe; or that it was caus'd by a letter of mine to the Governor of St. Kitts, which was intercepted by the Enemy the afternoone before their embarquing in which I assur'd the Lieut. Governor he might depend on being sudenly reliev'd by the two men of warr attending this Goverment, the three Frigatts from Barbados, and a number of vessells and menn from this Island and Montserrat, ready to joyne the Frigatts on their arrivall. Immediately on the arrivall of the two Frigatts from Barbados I joyn'd them with the Greyhound and what Force was ready here, and putt to sea in person, with intent to give our Friends the best assistance I could; but spying a Fleete of small vessells plying to the Southerd of Montserratt, which wee suppos'd to be some of the enemyes in their returne home, and which prov'd soe, went in pursuite of them, but they having the start of us, and the windward gage, had the good fortune to gaine their port before could cutt them off the shoare. Since the returne of the Frigatts from that attempt, so well as before, noe endeavors have beene wanting in the inhabitants of the severall Islands (those of St. Kitts excepted, being an unsettled sort of people) to putt themselves into the best posture can be expected; and are at this time vigorously carrying on their trenches, breast-workes, and other fortifications, even to the loss almost of their present cropps, which are very promising. Sloopes well man'd are constantly kept out, at the publick expence of the Islands, to observe the enemyes motion; and noe charge is scrupled at present for the common security, in hopes some effectuall care will be taken in order to their preservation in the future. The intollerable pressures boath on the persons and interests of the inhabitants, by the little that's made of the one, and the constant fateague and hazard of the other by frequent allarmes and continuall guarding; together with the vast taxes unavoidable in this time of warr, causes so great a discouragement to traders as well as themselves, that 'tis fear'd the event will prove very dismall; for all the endeavors these willing people can use will availe little to their safety for want of sufficient numbers on shoare, or an agreeable force at sea; which consideration has already oblidg'd maney to think of quitting their settlements. The whole Fleete now remaines at Martinica, where wee have repeated advices there is daily expected Monsieur Eberville to joyne them with a squadron of 8 men of warr and 2,000 land-forces, with a design to make a generall attack on these Islands. The enemyes shipps now here, by the advice wee have, sneak'd from France one after another, and were a month at Tobago, where they mett together before the inhabitants of the French Islands (except the Generall at Martinica and a few more) were anywayes appriz'd of them; and after such secret methods their Fleetes, are form'd abroad, the better to surprize us in their undertakings, when the Court of England can scarce possibly have any timely intelligence of it. On the whole matter (I am sorry there is too much reason to assert it to your Lordshipps) except three good sayling Frigatts do constantly attend this Goverment, the like number Barbados, and those in the Northern Collonies in the winter, when they can be no wayes serviceable there, be also appointed to cruize among the Islands, they will be subject to continuall insults, if not in a short time to downeright ruine, for I do assure your Lordshipps, that during the present warr, practices of this kind have beene soe frequently repeated by the French, being also powerfull in privateeres, that all men's interests within this goverment are thereby render'd soe very precarious and their persons soe continually fateagued and harrassed that unless some meanes by way of prevention be speedily found and putt in practice, 'tis with a great deale of trouble and concern I give your Lordshipps to understand these promising Collonies will be soon deserted, to the great prejudice of navigation in perticular, and the interest of the Nation in generall, if not in the end prove soe fatall a catastrophe, as to cause one of the fairest Jewells to dropp from the Crowne. I feare I have beene too tedious, but the readierly hope for your Lordpps.' pardon considering the subject matter relates to the publick welfare; for which cause I have been forward to be perticular; that as well the by-past as present circumstance of these Leeward Islands may be boath timely and justly lay'd before H.M., etc. This goes by an express to overtake the Prince George packett, which I misst coming here from St. Kitts, what letters I have from your Lorpps. by her as yet I know not, nor can I (if any) soe timely as to give an answer by this opertunity. A list of the French ships which lay before Nevies and St. Christophers:—
Le Glorieux 72 M. Chevaniach (de Chavagnac).
Le Brillian 72 M. Count Swizell (le Comte de Choisseuls).
L' Apollo 60
The Frances [or La Fidèle] 58 M. Gaberett.
The Carvett 44 M. Dunstree [or Darshie].
The Nepthion 20 [? Numphe or Neptune].
A great hospitall shipp, what force I know not. Signed, Jon. Johnson.
P.S.—Subscribed is a list of the present Councill of this Island all which if I mistake not are already appointed or approved of by H.M., except the last three, which I have some time past nominated and sworne, being men of very considerable fortunes, knowne worth and integrity. I was in a manner oblidg'd to fill up the number, especially in these times of danger, most persons of ability being under a necessity of taking several employments on them for the publick security, by which meanes the Gentlemen of the Councill acting in a double or threefold capacity, it has often proved difficult to gett together a sufficient number to consult for the common good. If your Lordpps. were throwly senceible what a handfull of people wee are, this is not to be admir'd. I hope and desire therefore your Lordpps. will think it reasonable to gaine H.M. approbation of them; being also gentlemen of the best characters and fittest capacityes here to serve in that station. Counsellors' names: John Yeamans, Christopher Codrington, Rowland Williams, John Hamilton, Edward Byam, William Codrington, Henry Lyons, Barry Tankerd, Thomas Morriss, George Gamble, John Luice Blackman, Daniell Mckinnen. Signed, Jon. Johnson. Endorsed, Recd. 21st, Read May 22nd, 1706. 3¾ large pp. [C.O. 152, 6. No. 44; and 153, 9. pp. 345–356.]
March 13. 169. Same to Mr. Sec. Hedges. Repeats preceding, adding:—The C. in C.'s packetts being in the Nevis maile, when he is in this Island or Montserratt, instead of being timely delivered, is carry'd from him, by which meanes, if they be not for the future putt in a bagg by themselves, may prove of fatall consequence, being afterward subject to be taken by the enemy in the transportation from one Island to another; besides their coming too late to be answered, if gett safe to hand. Signed, Jon. Johnson. Endorsed, R. May 21. 4 large pp. [C.O. 184, 1. No. 5; and 7, 1. No. 8.]
March 13.
170. Col. Abbott to Mr. Sec. Hedges. Gives acct. of French attack as supra, petitions for big guns, etc. Signed, Rich. Abbott. Endorsed, R. May 21. Holograph. 2 pp. [C.O. 184, 1. No. 4.]
March 13.
171. Lt. Governor Johnson to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following. Signed, Jon. Johnson. Endorsed, Recd. May 21, Read May 27, 1706. 1 p.
171. i. Certificate that Lt. Gov. Johnson has not received any present from the Council and Assembly of Antigua. Jan. 4, 1705[6]. Signed, Tho. Kerby, Sec. and Clk. Councill; Francis Rogers, Clk. Assembly. Endorsed as preceding. ½ p.
171. ii. Similar certificate from Nevis. March 13, 1705/6. Signed, Geo. Cheret, Sec. and Clk. Councill; Solomon Israel, Clk. to the Assembly. ¾ p.
171. iii. Certificate that Lt. Governor Johnson has not received any sum out of the 4½ p.c. at Nevis, March 12, 1705(6). Signed, P. Andrews, Commissr. ¾ p.
171. iv. Similar certificate as to Antigua. Jan. 4, 1705(6). Signed, Edw. Perrie, Commissioner. ½ p.
171. v. Account of Ordnance Stores in Nevis. Signed, Tho. Woodman, gunner. 2½ pp.
171. vi. List of Ships entered and cleared at Nevis, July 12—Sept. 29, 1705. To England:—16 ships carrying 1,840 hhds., 1,332 tierces, 133½ barrels of sugar, and 3 barrels of indico. To the Plantations:—2 ships carrying 2 hhds., 28 tierces, 8 barrels of sugar; 7 hhds., 41 tierces, 3 barls. mellossoes; 38 bags of cotton. Endorsed, Recd. May 21, 1706. ½ p.
171. vii. Ships entered and cleared at Nevis, Sept. 29—Dec. 25, 1705. To England:—2 ships, 13 hhds., 96 tierces, 24 barrels, sugar; 5 hhds. Lime juice. To the Plantations:—1 ship, 5¼ barrels of sugar; 1 tierce of molossoes, 3 barrels of indigo. Endorsed as preceding. ½ p.
171. viii. Deputy Secretary of Nevis to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Nevis, March 14, 1704/5. Sends these enclosures. This day came in Capt. Akers, who gives an account that the French fleet is still at Martinique. Signed, Geo. Cheret. Endorsed, Recd. May 21, Read May 27, 1706. 1 p.
171. ix. Account of the Ordnance Stores in Antigua. Endorsed, Recd. May 21, 1706. 5 pp. pasted in a strip.
171. x., xi. Account of Warlike Stores received and delivered in Antigua, June, 1705. Signed, Thomas Long, Commissary, Dec. 10, 1705. Endorsed as preceding. 2 long strips.
171. xii. Account of gunpowder received from tonnage of vessels, and of the quantity delivered out, in the Leeward Islands, March 14, 1700—Nov. 23, 1705. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 19 large pp. [C.O. 152, 6. Nos. 49, 49.i-xii.; and (with covering letter and No. viii only) 153, 9. pp. 365–370.]
March 13.
172. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Hedges. In reply to Feb. 28. We have considered the petition of George Ritter of Berne, for the settlement of a Colony of Switzers in America, and are of opinion that such a Colony might be settled most properly in Jamaica, there being large tracts not taken up or inhabited in that Island, but in case they should not like that climate, they may be either sent to settle upon Hudson's River in the Province of New York, where they may be usefull to England in the production of Navall Stores, etc., or on James River in Virginia, there being no other places as we are informed upon the navigable Rivers in that Province, but such as are already taken up; the soyl near this River is generally proper for the produce of Indian corn, which they may sow and furnish to their neighbours which lye lower on the same River, and some parts of it being proper for the planting of Tobacco. We have no objection to the demands in the petition, except to the 6th article, wherein they pray to be exempted from all customes or dutys for the first ten years, which cannot be allow'd, those duties being charg'd by Acts of Parliament here, or Acts of Assembly in the Plantations; And as for the charge of their transportation from Rotterdam to Virginia, it may be done for 8l. per head. But before any final determination be taken herein, we think it necessary that some Agent be sent from the said Switzers to England, to settle matters here, and that he, or some other person, be first sent by one of H.M. ships of war to Jamaica, New York or Virginia, as any of these places be judged preferable, with letters to H.M. Governors and Officers there, and such instructions as may best conduce to the future reception of the said Colony. Autograph signatures. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 3. No. 28; and 5, 1291. pp. 345–348.]
[March 14.] 173. (1) Affidavit of Elizabeth Bunker that Lt. Moody caused Christian, Mr. Jackson's servant, to be so severely whipped at St. Johns that she died, etc. Eliz. Bunker, her mark. St. Johns, Nov. 15, 1705. 1¼ pp. [C.O. 194, 3. No. 130.]
[March 14.] 174. (2) Similar affidavit of J. Huxford. Adds:—In Nov., 1704, Lt. Moody held a consultation about a watch which he would have in Fort William only, and not in the Harbour, which occasioned great heats and disputes. Signed, John Huxford. St. Johns, Nov. 19, 1705. ½ p. [C.O. 194, 3. No. 131.]
[March 14.] 175. (3) Affidavit of Susannah, wife of John Marshall. Christian's back, after her death, was black with stripes. St. Johns, Nov. 15, 1705. ½ p. [C.O. 194, 3. No. 132.]
[March 14.] 176. (4) Affidavit of J. Bradbury, Gunner of Fort William. After the enemy was gone, Lt. Moody suffered his soldiers to plunder what was left of the inhabitants' goods, divided them or sold them back to their owners. The enemy made no attack on the Fort, and Lt. Moody would not allow him to cannonade them or the General's quarters, etc. Signed, John Bradbury. St. Johns, Nov. 19, 1705. 2 pp. [C.O. 194, 3. No. 133.]
[March 14.] 177. (5) Affidavit of J. Huxford, Master-Gunner. Confirms preceding. Signed, John Huxford. St. Johns, Nov. 19, 1705. 1 p. [C.O. 194, 3. No. 133.A.]
[March 14.] 178. (6) Affidavit of John Jones, soldier. Sergt. Broomfeild shewed him goods plundered from the inhabitants, and upbraided him because those at the South Castle, under Capt. Robt. Latham, had done nothing. Signed, John Jones. St. Johns, Nov. 17, 1705. ½ p. [C.O. 194, 3. No. 134.]
[March 14.] 179. (7) Affidavit by 4 soldiers. During the siege the soldiers did not have more provisions than is allowed by the Queen. As soon as the French had left, Lt. Moody sent 12 soldiers under Sergt. James Broomfeild, to plunder the inhabitants, etc. Signed, Henry Jefferys, Archibald Taylour, (mark), John Barnes (mark), Joseph Violett. St. Johns, Nov. 17, 1705. ¾ p. [C.O. 194, 3. No. 135.]
[March 14.] 180. (8) Affidavit of A. Taylour. Describes how he gave the alarm on the morning of Jan. 21, 1704/5. The major part of the soldiers were drunk the night before, and the sentinells that should be on the ramparts was walking within the gate. Signed, Archibald Taylour (mark). St. Johns, Nov. 19, 1705. ¾ p. [C.O. 194, 3. No. 136.]
[March 14.] 181. (9) Affidavit of Elias Hoare, an inhabitant of St. Johns, as to his house being plundered by the souldiers 2 days after the French had gone. Nov. 9, 1705. ½ p. [C.O. 194, 3. No. 137.]
[March 14.] 182. (10) Affidavit of several inhabitants of St. Johns that Lt. Moody compelled them to pay exorbitant prices for the provisions supplied to their wives and children who were sent into the Fort by M. Subercasse. Sworn in St. Johns, Nov. 17, 1705, before Henry Hayman, Adml., and Peter Crapp, Rear Admiral, who also certify to the receipts, signed by Lt. Moody, for said payments. 1 p. [C.O. 194, 3. No. 138.]
[March 14.] 183. (11) Account of payments to Lt. Moody, as in preceding by Henry Boys, Wm. Roberts, Sarah Spark, David Sheppard, William Clark, Sampson Jobe, Wm. Wane, John Adams, Jono. Drew, Henry Gray, Hen. Studley, Gilbert Jeane, Jno. Mursey, Wm. Penfrase, Eliz. Curtis, Jono. Cock, Jno. Marshall, Toby Neales, Jno. Burton, Ant. White, Rich. Cole, Jno. Collin, Tho. Greacy, Walter Short, Jeffrey Lang, Richd. Sampson. 1 p. [C.O. 194, 3. No. 139.]
[March 14.] 184. (12) Affidavit of John Furlong that he bought of John Small provisions owned by Lt. Moody. The casks were marked with the Queen's arrow. Signed, John Furlong. St. Johns, Nov. 17, 1705. Copy. ¾ p. [C.O. 194, 3. No. 140.]
[March 14.] 185. (13) Affidavit of Aaron Cocke and Clement Vickery that they helped to remove some provisions marked with the broad arrow from the Fort to the house of Mr. Collin Campbell, and frequently saw this done. Signed, Aron Cocke, Clemt. Vickery (mark). St. Johns, Nov. 16, 1705. ¾ p. [C.O. 194, 3. No. 141.]
[March 14.] 186. (14) Affidavits of Francis Pearse and Wm. Ware that they bought provisions from Capt. Moody. W. Ware's bond to Capt. Moody for 4l. St. Johns, April 25, 1705. 1¼ pp. [C.O. 194, 3. Nos. 141.i., ii.]
[March 14.] 187. (15) Affidavit of H. Hayman, jr., that he bought 200 quintals of fish of Lt. Moody for 115l. sterl. Signed, Hen. Hayman, jr. St. Johns, Nov. 15, 1705. Endorsed, Recd. Read March 14, 1705/6. ½ p. [C.O. 194, 3. No. 142.]
[March 14.] 188. Commanders of ships trading to Newfoundland to the Queen. St. Johns, Nov. 17, 1705. Return thanks for relieving the Garison with new troops and Major Lloyd. See March 29. 28 signatures. Endorsed, Recd. from Mr. Sec. Hedges' Office, Read March 14, 1705/6. 1 p. [C.O. 194, 3. No. 128.]
March 14. 189. Similar address from the inhabitants of St. Johns. Signed, John Furlong, Wm. Robarts, John Collet, Rich. Lanley (mark), Thomas Fourd, Sam. Workham, Richard Willson, John Clay, Rob. Cook, Abraham Ash, John Lee, Adam Shillaby, Wm. Tapley, Wm. Collons, Thomas Fanson, James Smith, Christopher Potter, Nicholas Counett, Peetter Cooumbs, Thomas Squary, John Eferd, Josep Allen, Learene Lunge, John Coull, John Nailes, Thomas Mantell, Abraham Barret, John Collins. See March 29. Endorsed as preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 194, 3. No. 129.]
March 14. 190. John Linton to the Council of Trade and Plantations. A survey of the Continental tobacco-trade. Endorsed, Recd. Read March 15, 1705/6. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 1315. No. 16; and 5, 1362. pp. 14–19.]
March 14.
191. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Hedges. Enclose draught of Declaration for setling a Militia to be published by the Commodore at Newfoundland. Similar to that of July 13, 1705. See April 11, 1706. We desire to know H.M. pleasure relating to the part the Commodore is to have in reference to the forts and garison. [See Feb. 25.] Autograph signatures. 1¾ pp. Enclosed,
191. i. Two drafts of Declaration referred to in preceding. 1½. pp. [C.O. 194, 22. Nos. 64, 64.i., ii.; and (without enclosure) 195, 4. pp. 240–243.]
March 15.
Crotchett Fryers.
192. Mr. Merrett to W. Popple. It was with regrett I delivered this day the severall affidavits [? March 14], which I desired to have kept, had not Mr. Moody and Mr. Jackson continued their endeavour to prejudice a gentleman who is not here to answer for himselfe, and who hath been so unfortunate as to have all his letters to miscarry. The Parson's paper is malicious. He is to be pitied as his nature is to make himselfe and others uneasye. Encloses following, which I have had by me some time. I beg you to interceed with their Lordships, that this Paper may be made no other use of then for their Lordships' speculation. Signed, Solomon Merrett. Endorsed, Recd. Read March 15, 1705/6. Addressed. Sealed. 1 p. Enclosed,
192. i. Inhabitants of Newfoundland to the Lord Bishop of London. Dr. Jackson's way of living and communication with all men did instead of hindering vice and correcting ill manners, rather increase it, etc. Return thanks for removing him and sending the Rev. Jacob Rice. St. Johns, Nov. 17, 1705. Signed, Hen. Hayman, jr., Saml. Hayman, Vice Adml., Peter Crapp, Sr., Arthur Holdsworth, Gideon Andrews, Hen. Peardon, Abra. Passmore, Robt. Holdsworth, John Davis, Hen. Studly, Wm. Pyne, Edw. Elson, Wm. Wade, Philip Cockrem, Tho. Cawley, Mich. Martin, Jno. Grigg, Jos. Parsons, Cha. Lavens, Hen. Tayler. Endorsed as preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 194, 3. Nos. 143, 143.i.]
March 15.
193. W. Popple, jr., to the Commissioners for Exchange of Prisoners. Encloses Memorial relating to the prisoners taken by the French the last winter at Newfoundland. [C.O. 195, 4. p. 243.]
March 15. 194. Mr. Roope to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. George Sciffinton, lately come from Newfoundland, sayeth there are 30 or 40 prisoners in Plasentia yt. have taken service as soldiers or servants in the fishery; about 20 are sent to Quebeque some given to the Indians, some M. Subercass keepeth in his house for his own service. Mr. Sciffinton was carried to Plasentia under pretence [of] the contribution agreed on for saving ye houses at Buena Vista; under ye same pretence they committed several barbaritys in Trinity Bay, killing 9 men there, calling them out one by one of ye house yt. they were kept in, and killing them as they came out; at Buena Vista they killed 9 men and 2 children. He names as prisoners, Arthur Jeffrys, John Dicker, Thomas Thorpe, Peter Wiles, Nicholas Goodwin at Plasentia; Robert Duffett, Nicholas Plomby, a smith, carried to Quebeque. Endorsed, Recd. Read March 15, 1705/6. In Mr. Roope's handwriting. 1 p. [C.O. 194, 3. No. 144.]
March 15.
St. Christophers, In Charles Fort.
195. Lt. Governor Hamilton to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following, praying your Lordships to beleve that I did what was possible to be done for H.M. service, the Assembly would doe nothing for the preservation of the Island, nay, were soe infatuated that they would not beleve there was any such thing as three French men of warr in the French Islands, and much less any designe to attack any of her Majestie's an hour before the enemy's fleet appeared. Had the people throwne up such trenches as I press'd them to doe, and the Windward and Basseterre officers done theire duty, I might have hoped (at least) to have preserved from Godding Gutt to Brimstoane Hill, with Sandy-Poynt Towne and division, from being destroyed by the enimy. Signed, W. Hamilton. Endorsed, Recd. (from Mr. Tryon) Read May 27, 1706. Addressed. Holograph. 1 p. Enclosed,
195. i. Lt. Governor Hamilton's Journal of proceedings in St. Kitts, Jan. 27—Feb. 25, 1705/6. Jan. 27. Hearing the allarm at Nevis, I ordered it to be made here. Jan. 28. I received a letter from Capt. Akars that he had sighted French ships etc. [see March 12]. Jan. 29. I ordered the Windward Forces to encamp on Cayonne Hill. Jan. 30. I sent out the sloop Mayflower, Capt. John Gurley, for intelligence. Jan. 31. I ordered Capt. John Davis to send 4 Windward troopers to Friggat Bay, and upon appearance of the enemy 2 to go to Basseterre and 2 to Cayon Hills. Letters from Col. Abbot etc., Nevis, that the ships seen by Akers were New England men. Feb. 3. Capt. Gurley returned having sighted the French fleet off Guardeloupe. I wrote to warn Nevis, and to Montserrat, whence Capt. Gurley returned with news of the French fleet. Lt. Governor Hodges was marched with greatest part of the forces to Carrs Bay, near to which they had attempted to land. I sent this intelligence to Nevis, desiring them, if attackt, to advise me by a canow and I would give them all the assistance in my power. The same day Col. Abbott advised me that 11 sayle were seen from Nevis. Feb. 4. I ordered the Windward forces to the Jesuites Colledge near to Basseterre. About 3 p.m. the French Fleet came round Nevis Point and stood in between that Island and this. I marched to Palmeta Point Frontier, and wrote to Lt. Governor Johnson and sent Mr. Cunynghame to the Old Road to dispatch Capt. Gurley with my letter for Antigua. I called the Officers together, being Col. Michael Lambert, Col. John Garnett, Major John Panton, Major Will. Wooddrop, Capt. Edward Gillard, Lieut. Will. Stephens, Lieut. Isaac Jolly, Lieut. Edward Gillard, Cornett Soulegre, Ensign John Gillard, and it was aggreed to post the Queen's troops in Charles Fort and upon Brimston Hill, Lt. Col. Step. Payne, Capt. Ja. Biskett. Capt. Fra. Phipps' Companies, 10 men of Col. Garnet and 10 of Major Panton's, with half the troop to be posted near to Col. Lambert's smith shop. The remainder to be posted near Palmeta Point Frontier. Capt. Wm. Kitt, Capt. Chr. Stoddard's and the two Windward companies and troopers of Basseterre Quarter to be posted in Basseterre Town. Guards and patrols ordered. Feb. 6. At a Council of War it was ordered that, whereas a French sloop was this morning at anchor at the Salt ponds, a guard be placed on the pass on Sir Timothy's Hill, and hang any spies on the next tree. Feb. 9. Arrangements made for relieving Nevis in case the enemy had any success there, and for in case the enemy had any success there, and for provisioning the troops. Feb. 10. Received a letter from the Governor of St. Eustacius and James Rawleigh at St. Thomas, advising me of the enemy's force, and that they do expect M. D'Emberville with 8 great ships more, and that then they designe for Barbados. The French fleet came to anchor in Basseterre Road, except 2 ships and 4 sloops which fell away to leeward; one of which ships fired a broadside against Palmeta Point Fort; being then on horseback, I ordered the horse at the frontier to march with, and the foot to follow me to Basseterre, where I expected the enemy would have landed, or at Friggat Bay, where I had placed a guard. In the morning, two companies of foot being sent to the Morne to oppose the enemies landing there, I lined the waterside at Basseterre, some boats being seen rowing towards shoar. At clear day, a great body of men appearing upon the side of the hills above the Morne, I ordered Col. Garnett, Capt. Wm. Kitt and 60 men to oppose the enemies landing and to maintain the Church at Basseterre, marched with the horse and rest of the foot that lay near the frontier and at Basseterre to about a mile towards the enemy. About 250 without colours already advanced towards us, upon a halt were joined by the aforesaid body with four pair of colours, and another greater body with four pair of colours also advancing over the Sadle from Friggat Bay, and having but half the militia with me halted and sent orders to Lt. Col. Payne to post Capt. Phipps' Company in the fort and to march with the Queen's troops and the rest of the Militia to my assistance. The officers judging the enemy to consist of at least 1,000 men, were of opinion that I ought to retreat to some place of advantage. I resolved to maintain Palmeta Point to the utmost, tho without any works being thrown up: but as I was disposing the forces, Capt. de Brissac and an express from Lt. Col. Payne gave me an account that the enemy had landed another body near to Belletâtes Point, and that Lt. Col. Payne was hotly engaged with them. I ordered Col. Garnett with the foot to halt at Godding Gutt until further orders, and myself with the horse marched with all possible speed to assist Lt. Col. Payne. At Charles Fort I found him halted above the gate, having been obliged to retreat. At a Council of War, Feb. 11, it was resolved that Lt. Col. Payne with about 200 men march to Brimstone Hill and maintain it, and that provisions be got into the Fort etc. Intelligence from Col. Garnett that the two Capts. William and John Kitt and Capt. Chr. Stoddard began to mutiny and threatened to leave their post, and would go to their wives and children, which they did. Details given. I ordered Col. Garnett to march to the Fort with the remaining part of his forces. Account of women, children and provisions upon Brimstone Hill, Feb. 11. On Feb. 12 the enemy advanced to Godding and planted their colours at Col. Codrington's house there. A deserter informed me that the enemy only designed to plunder and destroy the country, for if they had 10,000 men they would not pretend to take the Fort and Brimston Hill, etc. etc. Feb. 13. I received a letter from Col. Johnson at Antigua that he hourly expected assistance from Barbados, Sir Ja. Wichart being there with 10 men of war, etc.; he sent me a command for the Governor of Anguilla to send me 50 well armed men, and the Governor of Spanishtown 40. In the afternoon rode out with the Horse to observe the enemy. Marched by Major Woodrop's up to Mr. Van Belle's Work, thence through Mr. Jolly's Plantation to a convenient place, where I observed about 500 of the enemy at Mr. John King's, as many at Major Panton's, and their main body at General Codrington's house at Godding. We exchanged some vollies without any loss but that of Peter Assailly wounded in the arm. Feb. 14. Whilst I went upon Brimston Hill, the enemy marched about 1,000 men by Capt. Biskett's upper work in from Mr. King's, burning the canes as they marched through Mr. Jolly's plantation to Mr. Van Belle's sugar work, which they burnt, thence through Lt. Col. Payne's plantation to Mr. McLear's house and thence into Sandy Point, burnt that town with all the houses, works and canes that way except Mr. McArthur's, Dr. Rowland's, Mr. Lillingston and Branch's houses and works, and some little poor houses, the canon from the hill firing upon the enemy, while they were in reach. Feb. 15. A prisoner of war gave me intelligence of the enemy [see March 12, 13]. He believes the French cannot stay longer than 8 days, this armament being agreed on at Martinico, without any order from Court, they cannot answer to expose their men before the Forts, neither have they any cannon etc. for a siege. I sent Wm. Middleton to Statia [St. Eustatius], writing letters to the Governors of Anguilla and Spanish Town to send me the men required of them. Feb. 16. The enemy burnt the towns at Palmeta Point and the Old Road, Col. Codrington's and Mr. King's house etc. and are drawing towards the Old Road. Deserters informed me that this squadron sailed from Brest Nov. 10 (N.S.) and arrived at Tobago on the French Christmas, and remained there about 15 days, expecting Mr. Du Casse with 7 men of war, etc., whence they sailed for Grenada, and thence to Martinico; where they were joined by the Fidelle, 50 guns, and the Duc de Los, 32 guns, and 12 privatiers. They staid 4 days at the N. point of Guardeloup, and were joined there by the rest of the privatiers, making besides the King's ships 29 sail. Their design was to attack Nevis with 2,500 men to land etc. [see March 12, 13]. They have a Barbados molato, James Johnson, for their pilot. If M. Du Casse had joined them, their intention was for Corrassao. That last night a brigantine arrived from Martenico with orders for the French forces to embark, there being some ships seen to windward, which they judge to be English. They have at least 2,500 landed, and have got about 600 negroes with all the mills, coppers and plunder from Basseterre to Brimston Hill. At a Council of War it was unanimously decided not to attack the French as they embarked, our forces not consisting of 1/8th part of theirs and they being protected by their guns etc. Certificate by the same Council of War, that, whereas there has been a malicious reflection cast upon Lt. Gov. Hamilton for not engaging the French at Basseterre, Feb. 11, his action then was the only means to preserve Charles Fort and Basseterre. The mutiny of Capts. Kitt etc. was the cause that the pass at Godding Gut fell into the enemies hands and of the subsequent destruction of plantations and Sandy Point. He has acted with all the courage requisite etc. 12 signatures. Feb. 17. Last night the enemy embarqued etc. I rode as far as the Old Road, which found in ashes with the plantations between that and Brimston Hill, except Col. Lambert's and Madam Hill's houses and works, Lt. Col. Payne and Major Wooddrop's under Brimston Hill, with Mr. Burchall and Mr. Helden's houses at Old Road. The towns of Palmeta Point and Basseterre and all the plantations and buildings that way are laid in ashes except Palmeta Point Church and that at Basseterre, with Tho. Young's house at Palmeta Point. Whilst Col. Garnett was examining the cannon left at waterside at Basseterre, the Church there was sett on fire in the roof, he believed by some of his detachment of horse. James, Whitman, a deserter, sayeth that Friday night by an express from Martenique they had an account that 15 English ships were seen to windward, and brought orders to retire. They embarked between 4 and 9 p.m.; their design was for Statia and Montserat, but broke by appearance of our ships etc. Account of stock killed for H.M. service. The enemy in their march at Windward, the 12th, burnt the dwelling houses and sugar works of Col. Crisp, Capt. De Brissac, Val. Persival, Clemt. Crooke, Mrs. Coles, Madam Mead, and Col. Daniel Smiths. Feb. 24. Lt. Gov. Johnson arrived. Feb. 26. Court Martial at Charles Fort for the trial of Capts. Wm. and John Pitt, Christopher Stoddart, and Wm. Woodley, who acknowledge the matter of fact, and prayed the Court not to proceed to trial of them. Adjourned till the morning. Feb. 27. There not being a quorum at 10 a.m., adjourned till 4, when the Court declared that the prisoners had been guilty of a high misdemeanour and that they loose their Commissions until the C. in C. of the Leeward Islands thought fit, and acknowledge their crimes etc. Signed, John Helden, Clk. to said Court. Endorsed as preceding. 13¼ closely written pp. [C.O. 152, 6. Nos. 48, 48.i.; and (without enclosures) 153, 9. pp. 363, 364.]
March 19.
196. W. Popple, jr., to Mr. Burchett. Encloses the usual Heads of Enquiry and Instructions for the Commodore of the Newfoundland Convoy, unto which the Council of Trade and Plantations desire they may receive answers, which they have faild of for the three last years, to the great inconvenience of H.M. service in those parts, it having been always customary for that Board before that time to be informed of the state of the Trade, Fisherys, and of the Forts and Soldiers there, by the Report of the Commissioners of the Customs, in order to present their opinions thereupon in Council. Annexed,
196. i. Heads of Enquiry to be given as Instructions to the C. in C. of the Newfoundland Convoy. As C.S.P., 1705. No. 1032.i. [C.O. 195, 4. pp. 244–259.]
March 19.
197. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Queen. We find that the differences between Lt. Gov. Bennet, the Council and Assembly of Bermuda and Mr. Jones are so farr increased and his disrespect to the Governor has appeared to be such, that we are humbly of opinion that he be required forthwith to come into England to answer the complaints against him, and that before leaving he do commissionate such Deputy or Deputys as shall be nominated by the Governor to officiate in his places during his absence. [C.O. 38, 6. pp. 170, 171.]
March 19.
198. W. Popple to the Agents of Barbadoes. Encloses Minutes of Council, March 18, and copies of the clauses in the Act to keep inviolate the freedom of Elections. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire Mr. Cleland to communicate them to the Governor of Barbadoes at his return thither. [C.O. 29, 10. p. 36.]
March 19.
199. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Queen. We concur with Mr. Attorney General that the Act of Barbadoes to confirm titles of owners etc. would instead of quieting possessions, create more disturbances and controversies at Law, and therefore offer that your Majesty signify your Royal disapprobation and disallowance of it. [C.O. 29, 10. pp. 37, 38.]
March 19. 200. Virginia and Maryland Merchants to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Support Col. Quary's proposal for one Convoy (Feb. 22) as certainly the interest of the Plantations and Merchants and Navigation. But if any accident prevent the Fleet going out according to his proposall, propose that what ships are pleased to go may be permitted. Signed, Micajah Perry and six others. Endorsed, Recd. 28th March, Read April 1st, 1706. ¾ p. [C.O. 5, 1315. No. 19.]
March 19.
201. W. Popple, jr., to Sir John Cook, Advocate General. Application having been made by several merchants of tobacco etc. of the growth of England and H.M. Plantations, that they may be allowed to dispose of such commodities to neutral ships coming into England, and the said ships permitted to carry the same to any place in enmity with H.M., the Council of Trade and Plantations desire your opinion by what Law, Order or Instruction the same is disallowed: the vending of the native commodities of this Kingdom and of the Plantations (not contreband, or expressly prohibited to be carried to France) being judged very beneficial to H.M. subjects. [C.O. 5, 1362. pp. 19, 20.]