America and West Indies: October 1664

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 5, 1661-1668. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1880.

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'America and West Indies: October 1664', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 5, 1661-1668, (London, 1880), pp. 235-250. British History Online [accessed 18 June 2024].

. "America and West Indies: October 1664", in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 5, 1661-1668, (London, 1880) 235-250. British History Online, accessed June 18, 2024,

. "America and West Indies: October 1664", Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 5, 1661-1668, (London, 1880). 235-250. British History Online. Web. 18 June 2024,

October 1664

Oct. 1. 808. Articles of agreement between Sir Robt. Carr on behalf of his Majesty and the Burgomasters on behalf of all the Dutch and Swedes inhabiting on Delaware Bay and river. 1. All the burghers and planters will submit to his Majesty :2. And shall be protected in their estates. 3. The present magistrates shall be continued. 4. Any man may depart with his goods within six months. 5. All shall take the oath of allegiance to his Majesty and fidelity to the present Governor. 6. And shall enjoy liberty of conscience. 7. And be free denizens and enjoy all the privileges of trade as freely as Englishmen. 8. The scoute, burgomaster, sheriff, and other inferior magistrates shall exercise their customary powers for six months, or till his Majesty's pleasure be further known. Then follows the oath of allegiance to his Majesty, and of obedienee to his Governor and officers. Signed, Robert Carr, Fob Out Gout, Henry Johnson, Gerret Saunders Van Tiel, Hans Block, Lucas Peterson, and Henry Cousturier. Indorsed, Articles of Agreement upon the Dutch surrender of Delaware Bay and river to Sir Robert Carr for the King. Printed in New York, Documents, III., 71. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 106.]
Fort James, New York.
809. Col. Nicolls to [Sec. Lord Arlington]. Since his last by Captains Hill and Groves, there is arrived Capt. Hyde, to whose more ample relation of the reducing Delaware Bay he must refer himself. His instructions to Sir Robert Carr took the effect designed, for by [above] distinct treaty with the Swedes and Dutch planters, the Governor was disarmed of their assistance and left to defend his inconsiderable fort with less than 50 men. The foot company under Lieut. Carr and Ensign Stocke stormed it without the loss of a man, but of the Dutch 13 were wounded and three are since dead. Within the fort a considerable cargo was found, and some part plundered, but fears the rest is in hucksters' hands, for though Sir Robert Carr stayed aboard the Guinea whilst his soldiers took the fort, he came early enough to the pillage, and says it is his own, being won by the sword, but Nicolls will dispose thereof to his Majesty's service. Cannot but look upon it as a great presumption in Sir Robert Carr, to assume the power not only of appropriating the prize, but of disposing of houses, farms, &c., and not converting them to the maintenance of the soldiers, whose necessities are so great that many are run from him into Maryland. The better to explain the authority Sir Robert doth usurp, has enclosed the commission given him, and a grant he has made to Capt. Hyde. Commends to his consideration how few hands they have to justify what they have gained to his Majesty's obedience, and no maintenance for officer or soldier, but such as he takes upon credit, or pays out of his own monies. In the success in Delaware Bay, Capt. Hyde had a considerable share, and is best able to make the narrative. Cannot but repeat the importance of employing merchant ships with a great proportion of merchandize suitable to the trade of New York and Delaware Bay, otherwise his Majesty's expenses will not turn to account ; for the Dutch have lost their trade ; by which also many of his Majesty's subjects in Virginia, Maryland, and New England were furnished with necessaries, and will not know how to live unless speedy care be taken from England. Some considerable merchants should join stock and dispatch ships to arrive in March or April, for the loss of Delaware falls upon Amsterdam who bought the plantation from the West India Company, which being proud and powerful, may join with said Company next spring to recover what they have lost this autumn, which is the whole trade of tobacco ; and their neighbours of Maryland are much bribed by their trade with the Dutch. Takes it for granted that Lord Baltimore will much more solicit his Majesty to give up Delaware into his hands, than he was solicitous to take it from the Dutch, but hopes that at least so much of his patent may be forfeited, for trading with the Dutch, as has been reduced at his Majesty's charge. Submits that in case the Dutch attempt to recover New York or Delaware, his Majesty will enjoin all his colonies, none excepted, to resist and expel them. The very repute of such a command will deter them. By advice of Colonels Cartwright and Maverick he will depute Capt. Robt. Needham to command at Delaware Bay, till his Majesty's pleasure is further known. Indorsed, "Received Jan. 28 ; answered Jan. 28, and referred to a further consideration." Printed in New York Documents, III., 68-70. Incloses,
809. I. Sir Robert Carr's Commission to reduce the Dutch. Whereas the Dutch have seated themselves at Delaware Bay on his Majesty of Great Britain's territory without his Majesty's consent, and have fortified themselves and drawn a great trade thither, his Majesty's Commissioners by virtue of their instructions have determined to bring that place in obedience to his Majesty, and by these, order the frigates Guinea, William and Nicholas, and all the soldiers not in the fort, to go thither under command of Sir Robt. Carr to reduce the same. Indorsed, "Received Janry 28." Printed in New York Documents, III., 70.
809. II. Sir Robert Carr's grant to Captains Hugh Hyde and Thomas Morley, their heirs and assigns, of all that tract of land known by the Indian name of Chipussen, and now called the manor of Grimstead, near the head of the river Delaware, with all the rights and privileges that to a lord of a manor may properly belong ; they covenanting to plant or stock the same within six years, provided always that his Majesty's assent be procured. Sealed and delivered by Sir Robert Carr in the presence of John Carr, Geo. Colt, and Arthur Stock. 10th Oct., 14th (mistake for 16th) Charles II. Indorsed, "Received Janry 28." Printed in New York, Documents, III., 72, 73. Together 7 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 107 107, I., II.]
Oct. 1.
810. A view of the condition of Jamaica, attested by Governor Sir Thos. Modyford. There are but seven established parishes, viz., St. Katherine, St. John, Port Royal, Clarendon, St. David, St. Andrew, and St. Thomas, in the whole island, and but one church at St. Katherine's, being a fair Spanish church ruined by the old soldiers, but lately in some measure repaired by Sir Chas. Lyttelton ; but they are now levying contributions to raise churches in some of the richest parishes. Beyond the bounds of these parishes are many hundreds of people who have sent four representatives to the Assembly. In these parishes are but five ministers, Mr. Webb, Mr. Johns, an old army preacher not yet in orders, Mr. Maxfield, and Mr. Houser and Mr. Sellers, two Germans. Mr. Nicholas, who came on the Westergate, was settled at Port Morant but died of the disease by which many perished. Five good regiments have been raised, and two more are forming. The old soldiers for the most part are turned hunters, and it is supposed kill not less than 1,000 cwt. of hog per month, which they sell at from 15s. to 25s. per cwt. There is scarce any place near the sea but is settled, and many have gone into the mountains, which are most healthful and fruitful. Account of the chief courts of common law and Chancery which are settled at St. Jago, where also the justices of the peace hold their sessions quarterly. The Admiralty court is held at Port Royal. Sugar, ginger, indigo, cotton, tobacco, dyeing woods, and cocoa may be and are produced as well as anywhere, but pimenta, China roots, aloes, rhubarb, sarsaparilla, tamarinds, cassia, vaignillios, hides, and tallow, are the proper commodities. There is the best building timber and stone in the whole world, and great plenty of corn, cassada, potatoes, yams, plantains, bananas, peas, hogs, fowls, cattle, horses, asincoes, sheep, fish, and turtle, and pasturage. In fine nothing wanting but more hands and cows. The low valley grounds are feverish and aguish from June to Christmas, the rainy weather : but the uplands and hills are as healthful as Cotsall in England. 2 pp. Two copies. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., Nos. 108, 109.]
1664? 811. Extract of a letter from Jamaica. All people here are well satisfied and have an extraordinary plenty of provisions and imported goods. This last month or two there has been an uncommon mortality, which has carried away three or four considerable persons ; and not one planter has come from the Caribbees. Cannot tell whether the coming of theirs, or the departure of our Lord Governor obstructs or discourages them, but Jamaica must rise by the King's peculiar favour and its own real advantages. Privateers are still out, and the Governor's order for cessation will rather keep them so than bring them in, nor is it well understood whether his Majesty's order applies to commanding under Lord Windsor's commissions, or prohibiting only wild excursions by the inhabitants, for since then a letter from Mr. Sec. [Wm.] Coventry enjoins the Governor to take care of his Royal Highness' dues from the men-of-war. The fortune of trade here none can guess, but all think that the Spaniards so abhor us, that all the commands of Spain and necessity of the Indies will hardly bring them to an English port ; if anything effect it, negroes are the likeliest. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 110.]
Oct.? 812. An account of the state of Jamaica [by Sir Charles Lyttelton]. He left the Government in the Council, who chose Colonel Lynch President, whom he also appointed commander of the forces and judge of the courts. The situation of the island. Being in the heart of the Spanish dominions, it is best fitted for the seat of trade and also for war, for between the east end and Hispaniola is the passage of about 20 leagues for all the Spaniards that trade from Sta. Domingo, Porto Rico, and the Caracas to the Havannah, Cuba, and Nova Hispania, and between Cuba and Cape Catoche, but 50 leagues distant, where our men of war ply, is the passage for the galleons of the Plate fleet from Peru to the Havannah, where is also the rendezvous for the King of Spain's fleet before they pass the Gulf of Florida to return to Europe. The convenience of harbours. To the east Port Morant, and 14 leagues to leeward, Port Royal, worthily so named from the goodness and largeness of the harbour, where the best ships of England may securely lie. All the merchants live here, and this port is the only fort (of any strength) in the island not above one-third finished, which for 2,000l. could be finished, so as to secure the harbour, but would need a garrison of soldiers, as the trained bands could not be so much relied on, and the inland settlements are at so great a distance. To leeward also are the old harbour, Maccary Bay, and Blewfields Bay. On the north side is Port Antonio or Carlisle, where the Earl of Carlisle has begun a very hopeful plantation, and Rio Novo, where the Spaniards last landed with 300 men and fortified, and whence they were bravely beaten out, and almost all killed or taken by Col. D'Oyley, then Governor ; and on this side are Montegna Bay and other good harbours. The strength and number of the inhabitants and their settlements. The regiment of Port Morant, Morant and Yellows, commanded by Col. Lynch, is the richest settlement ; that of Lygonee, the fittest, strongest, and most numerous, by Col. Barry ; Captain John Man commands the four companies of Port Royal, part of Lord Windsor's regiment ; Major Fuller the regiment of Spanish Town, or St. Jago, and the Angels and places adjacent, of which Sir Chas. Lyttelton was colonel ; and Lt.-Col. Cope and Major Joy, the Lord Chancellor's agent, that of Guinaboa. These regiments number 2,500, besides 400 or 500 more hunters and unsettled people, and women and children. There will be found about 150 horse, well mounted and equipped, but the foot ill armed with muskets and pikes, are of small use in that place. Like all new settlements this is daily changing, and those who knew it two years ago may be strangers to the state of affairs now, provisions and all sorts of commodities having infinitely increased. The design of a free trade cannot be effected but by order from Spain, nor the privateers called in but by frigates from England, the English being grown so hateful to the Spaniards in those parts. There are now 14 or 15 sail in them, 1,500 or 2,000 seamen of all nations, and few will take order but from stronger men-of-war, and as this has always been their trade and livelihood, if they are forbidden these ports they will go to others, and find themselves welcome enough. The Government is plain and agreeable, and so are the laws and their execution, all suits being determined in six weeks, with 30s. or 40s. charges. The Acts of Assembly are here and humbly desired to be confirmed by his Majesty. The people are generally easy to be governed, yet rather by persuasion than severity. Privateering has let out many ill humours, and those that remain are thriving, peaceable, and industrious. When Sir Charles left, the island was in a very healthful and plentiful condition, even the Spanish negroes, who had so long disquieted the inhabitants, having come in and submitted to his Majesty's authority. In the handwriting of Sir Charles Lyttelton, indorsed by Sec. Lord Arlington. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 111.]
Oct. 3. 813. Copy of preceding, with mem., The original of this paper [that is the preceding Account of Jamaica] was given to Mr. Secretary Morrice 3rd Oct. 1664. The last 10 lines of the original, commencing from The Government is plain and agreeable, are, however, omitted in this copy. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 112.]
1664. 814. A short account of Jamaica when Sir Charles Lyttelton left it in the year 1664 [May 2], which by his Majesty's command he presented to the Privy Council. This is almost an exact copy of the above, but written in the third person, and the last paragraph about Spanish negroes is omitted. 2 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XXVII., pp. 21-23.]
[Oct. 3.] 815. Reasons [by Sir Charles Lyttelton] proposed by the King's command for his Majesty's settling a plantation in Jamaica. It will be a great encouragement to the old planters to endeavour a great improvement on their plantations when they see his Majesty interests himself in the country, and will take away all doubts and jealousies of rumours too frequently spread, of his Majesty's re-delivering the island to the Spaniards, which have hitherto been a main obstacle to the settlement of it. It will encourage the better sort of planters in the Windward Isles to come down to Jamaica ; and will serve for the re-victualling ships in harbour. But the best design for his Majesty will be a great sugar work ; and for this 30 blacks and as many whites at first entering are thought sufficient. In about 10 months 100 more must be added, it being alike dangerous to starve a growing plantation for want of hands as to overcharge a small one and so starve them. Then must be added coppers, stills, and all utensils for a mill and sugar works, and sawyers and ships' carpenters. In managing these affairs the present Governor has greater experience than Sir Charles, but he thinks that 2,000 or 3,000 hogs will in a small time be raised, and the ships' carpenters should be employed in felling and squaring timber and building shallops for his Majesty's service. The plantation should be near a harbour, and three shallops would be needed, which could also be employed to go a-turtleing and in carrying despatches and provisions. The whole cost cannot, he computes, according to his inquiries, be more than 4,000l., which in two years would be nearly repaid. Cocoa walks, to be managed by 16 men, who might grow indigo and tobacco besides, could be planted with advantage ; a gentleman obtained last year from 20 acres of plants 12,000 weight of nuts, which he has sold himself since his arrival for 8l. 12s. per cent. Thinks it a very probable advantage if his Majesty would encourage two or three skilful miners to search the ore of the mountains. Indorsed by Sec. Lord Arlington, Jamaica papers. Reasons for the settling a plantation in Jamaica at his Majesty's own expense of 4,000l. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 113.]
[Oct. 3.] 816. Copy of preceding. Indorsed, Original of this [the above reasons in the handwriting of Sir Charles Lyttelton] was given to Mr. Sec. Morrice 3 Oct. 1664. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 114.]
1664? 817. A brief account of the island Tortudos [Tortuga], about 20 miles long and seven broad. When Gen. Venables arrived before Hispaniola, Tortudos was inhabited by a few Spaniards, who wholly deserted the place some six months after. Elias Watts then, with 10 Englishmen from Jamaica, took possession thereof, raised a fort of four guns from the ruins of a great fort which the French had erected, but they were wholly beaten off by the Spaniards. After some time about 150 English and French settled there, which was a great succour to the English nation. Col. Watts got a commission for said island from General Bryant, Governor of Jamaica, and the inhabitants increased. A poor distressed gentleman, a colonel in the King's army, banished from England, married Watts' daughter and became chief in Tortudos ; but a French Monsieur obtained a commission, went for Jamaica when Col. D'Oyley was Governor, and had possession given him on condition of holding the island for the English nation, but proclaimed the King of France, plundered the English, put them off the island, and has since kept possession thereof. The wrong that Tortudos may do the inhabitants of Jamaica. It is a port where men-of-war may safely ride at anchor and bring their prizes, putting them to sale, and supplying all their wants, which will be a great discouragement to Jamaica. There are 20 privateers of all nations under the protection of Jamaica, which being now debarred from taking in their prizes there, will from Tortudos take French and Portugal commissions or none at all, and will hinder all trade to and from Jamaica and obstruct Spanish ships from going there to buy negroes. In fine, if Tortudos be not reduced to the obedience of the Governor of Jamaica, it will cause the ruin thereof and the harbouring of rogues and pirates who make it [piracy] their living, by which means the inhabitants of Jamaica will desert the country. This may be prevented by demanding Tortudos with two of the King's ships from Jamaica, which may very easily be done, as there are but 150 Frenchmen and one fort with four guns, and it is certain if demanded the island will be delivered. 3 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XCII., pp. 259-262.]
1664? 818. A relation concerning Tortugas and his Majesty's right thereunto, by Abraham Langford. About 28 years past, Governor Lyttelton, of Nevis, sent 25 men to settle Tortugas, who were the first inhabitants of any nation since the Spanish conquest of the natives. They received as Governor Captain James, who was soon after dispossessed by Lavasnier, a Frenchman, who fortified it with 74 guns, made himself absolute Lord of the island, imprisoned those who had lawful commissions from the Earl of Warwick, and seized their ships. He was murdered by two of his own kinsmen, and the Grand Master of Malta, on St. Christopher's, appointed M. Travail to be Governor, and afterwards M. La Fontaine, who sold the place to the Spaniards for 15,000 pieces of eight ; they deserted the island when the English fleet went for San. Domingo, and six months after Elias Watts, an Englishman, re-possessed it by commission from Lt.-Gen. Bryan, Governor of Jamaica ; he was succeeded by G. M. Duracy by commission from Col. D'Oyley, who has declared for the King of France, having received from him a patent for the island, and is now following Lavasnier's track by receiving pirates into his protection, and goes on fortifying himself, which if not prevented may prove the ruin of his Majesty's subjects in these parts. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 115.]
Oct. 3.
Parson's Green.
819. Dr. Henry Stubbs to William Godolphin, at Sir Henry Bennet's house near Charing Cross. Gives at Sir Henry Bennet's request his opinions as to the present design upon Tortugas. Considers the design not worthy of his Majesty ; it may endanger a rupture with France ; will engage the King's honour, and is difficult to effect, and hath no considerable advantages ; it were rather an attempt becoming some private merchants, or the Governor of Jamaica, acting by the King's connivance. The island is small and yields little encouragement to English to settle, and must become either the possession of some few planters or of a Governor and garrison. The present French Governor holds it by his domestics and servants, nor is there one considerable plantation, since the buccaneers have no fixed abode in Hispaniola for fear of the Spaniards. Tortugas is their harbour, and a port for French ships, who trade with them for tortoise-shell and hides. It lies out of the course of English merchant ships, so that neither doth necessity enforce nor can any advantage induce his Majesty to this design. Knows not with what force his Majesty will possess himself of it, for opposition must be expected from the French of Hispaniola. Albeit the English are not overmuch concerned at the name and interest of their King, yet those French would embrace any directions from France, as was seen in Jamaica, when they termed Pleneville a rebel for going against the French Governor by Lord Windsor's appointment. It seems difficult to comprehend how any will be got to transport themselves from Jamaica to Tortugas, and how it could be the King's interest to disfurnish Jamaica. Col. Barry was an old known soldier and planter in Jamaica, Capt. Pleneville a serious and understanding planter, who, with Capt. Leveret and Capt. Langford, and all their interest and contrivance, could not procure 20 men to go with them to stay there ; and can it be imagined that any will be more willing now when Jamaica is in a much more flourishing condition, but allow that some should go, Tortugas may prove as fatal to the Jamaicans as Jamaica does to Barbadoes, St. Kitts, Nevis, or Bermudas. The English had it once, but never heard of any great advantages made of it ; most of them went away, and who can stay or govern a people that have but a barren soil to dwell on. A design on San Domingo much more practicable. But should all things appear different to what they really are, yet is Capt. Langford not a fitting man to manage this design. When he went with Col. Barry, certainly Sancho Panza with better conduct regulated himself at the island of Baratoria. Sir Charles Lyttelton can inform the Secretary of that novel [obviously Don Quixotte]. Capt. Langford speaks not French, nor does he understand it ; he is a man of no wisdom, his interest in Jamaica and person is despicable, his fortune forlorn, his honesty questionable. Fears all his contrivance amounts to no more than a desire to repay out of the King's purse debts he has contracted by his debonnaire life and defrauding, as 'tis said, his principals. Denies not he is a good seaman and skilled in those parts, but so opiniative he will boast of much more than he knows, and seems resolute to ignore nothing. Fears lest so exellent a Prince should receive a blemish by the miscarriage of so puny an attempt, to be prosecuted by so inconsiderable a person, who has been foiled in one petty settlement at Petty-Goava, and who has neither wit to apprehend a design, conduct to manage it, nor honesty to be trusted with money or goods. 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 116.]
1664? 820. Proposals of Abraham Langford in matter to his return for Jamaica and Hispaniola without a ship of his Majesty. That he might have the King's commission for the government of Tortugas and coasts of Hispaniola, with maintenance. Has been two years endeavouring the reducement of Tortugas, see ante, No. 390, p. 116, and in the government of the coast of Hispaniola at his own great expense. Desires some advance to defray his transport to Jamaica. If the King's pleasure be not to reduce Tortugas, that he may have his Majesty's order to buy it from Mons. Duracey, who claims it as his own and proffers it to sell. To send miners for further search into the copper mine of Coridon. Signed by Abraham Langford. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 117.]
1664? 821. The Benefits which will accrue by taking the Planters off Hispaniola into his Majesty's protection and government. Increase of revenue ; land to maintain thousands of families ; it will prevent protection of pirates ; there are copper and silver mines ; it can be settled at less cost than other plantations ; quantities of good tobacco raised, and it will engross the trade from the French : 500l. desired for the hire of a ship to settle the government and trade, and an allowance to transport [Abraham Langford] to Jamaica. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 118.]
Oct. 5.
822. Governor Lord Willoughby to Sec. Lord Arlington. The French King has sent a new Governor to settle his West India Islands, who is intended for Canada as soon as that is done, whereby it appears that the French King is very intent upon his affairs in those parts. Has given his Majesty an account of the concernments of Sta. Lucia, and doubts not but upon demand of the King of France, the King of England will order the restitution of it. Refers to his account of the taking possession of the island, and hopes it will not be surrendered. Great danger to be expected from the French in the West Indies, so that it will not only be fit to refuse this so unreasonable demand, but to consider how to become masters of the rest of their islands. Has ordered his nephew to wait on him with some petitions from several of his Majesty's islands, wherein they have laid down their condition and implore the King's relief and help. 1 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 119.]
Oct. 6. 823. Abstracts of Governor Lord Willoughby's letters from Barbadoes of Sept. 10 and Nov. 4, 1663, and the King's letter of Jan. 12 (11th) 1664, all calendared, see Nos. 561, 578, 628. To the first is a marginal note by Williamson "the guns be already sent away by Sir John Colleton." Also, Abstract of Governor Lord Willoughby's letter of 6 Oct. 1664. That the King of France pursues his interest in the [West] Indies very high, and backs it with power of shipping and men ; his Lieutenant-General Mons. Tracy has 30 gentlemen for his guard and one of the King's ships of war of 50 brass guns to attend him ; the French strong and rich in trade in Canada, and Kyan (Cayenne) in the main of Guiana near Surinam. In fine the dispute will be whether the King of England or of France shall be monarch of the West Indies, for the King of Spain cannot hold it long, and this is the first year's entrance of the King of France on his own account. The French Governor of St. Kitts informed Lord Willoughby that the King of France would buy their interest in the island and all the islands adjacent possessed by the French, and appropriate them to himself, and that he was sending a viceroy with men and shipping to secure his interest in those parts. Williamson has added, Their ordinary gazette says that the bargain is already made with the Order of Malta by the King of France for their interest in St. Kitts and the money paid to the Commander de Sounc. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 120.]
1664? 824. Memorandum of 2,000 firearms, 1,000 pikes, 200 barrels of powder, with match and bullets proportionable, to be delivered to Sir John Colleton, his deputy, for the use of Barbadoes. In Williamson's hand. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 121.]
Oct. 8.
825. William Brenton to Col. Nicolls. Acknowledges the favour shown to the Governor and himself at the return of their Commissioners, who were sent to present their allegiance to his Majesty and service to himself, as also for his favour to this despised colony. They are a poor despised outcast people, and it has been his portion these 30 years to be in some trouble, yet they could never allege anything against him of unloyalty or rebellion against his Majesty or any of his substitutes. Is ready to serve the King or themselves to the utmost of his ability, to whom he offers his poor house to entertain or receive them in case they come this way. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 122.]
Oct. 11-28.
St. Jago-de-la-Vega.
826. Minutes of the Council of Jamaica. The returns of the several elections of Assemblymen for the island presented, viz., St. Andrew's, Major Richd. Hope and James Howell ; Port Royal, William Beeston and John Loveing ; North Side, Abraham Rutter and Saml. Ginkes ; St. John's, Thomas Ascough and Richard Offeild ; St. David's, Major Rich. Lloyd and Matthew Eaton ; St. Katharine's, Sir Thos. Whetstones and John Tompon ; Clarendon, Capt. Ed. Morris and Richard Philip ; Blewfields, James Perkman and Christopher Pinder ; and, St. Thomas', Thomas Freeman and William Bowden.
Oct. 12.That Rich. Hemmins enjoy the house mentioned in his Patent, but the court-house and shed adjoining to be reserved to the use of the public.
Oct. 15.That the Provost-Marshal pay Capt. Abraham Rutter 5l. for his great trouble in taking a negro belonging to Capt. Verney. That the proposals of the Assembly touching the courts be debated in full Council. That Gov. Modyford's commission be recorded in the office of Capt. Edward Walrond of enrolments in the Chancery.
Oct. 18.Order for debate of above proposals at Mr. Martin's chamber. That the clause in Highways Act concerning 60 feet wide in standing wood be not put in execution for two years, but only to be made 20 feet wide.
Oct. 20.Address of the Assembly, signed by Sir Thos. Whetstones, Speaker, to the Governor. It is their desire and advice that the Court of Common Pleas be constantly held in St. Jago-de-la-Vega, and no more at Port Royal. That in regard the former is in the heart of the country, and the latter far out in the sea, a quarter sessions be held in every precinct ; and that not more than two general sessions be held yearly, and those at St. Jago.
That the Council concur with the Assembly, and also in referring the settlement of the courts of judicature to the Governor. Ordered that the Court of Common Pleas be held at St. Jago. The following Acts were passed by the Council(1.) Against excessive usury ; (2.) For the good governing of servants ; (3.) For foreign attachments ; (4.) For enrolment of deeds ; (5.) For rating of meat ; (6.) For empowering freeholders to plead in their own cause.
Oct. 26.The former order concerning a difference between Capt. Thos. Morgan and Wil. Crane to continue in force. Two Acts passed by the Council, (7.) For the better maintenance of the ministry ; (8.) Declaring war against the outlying Spanish negroes unless they submit to the Government.
Oct. 28.Two Acts passed by the Council(9.) Concerning the court-house ; and (10.) Concerning the regulating of the freights of boats and wherries. 9 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XXXIV., pp. 93, 94, 105-112.]
Oct. 13.
827. The Duke of Albemarle to Sec. Sir H. Bennet [sic]. Requests him to procure a special license from the King of Portugal for Sir Jas. Modyford, to buy 600 head of cattle at Cape de Verd Island, for English commodities, and transport them to Jamaica. Indorsed, Mem., Sr. Jas. Modyford interpreted the cattle meant to be young heifers of three years old. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 123.]
Oct. 13.
Delaware Fort.
828. Sir Robert Carr to Col. Nicolls. Arrived at Delaware the last day of Sept., after a long and troublesome passage, passing by the fort without taking notice of each other, the better to satisfy the Swedes, who, notwithstanding the persuasions of the Dutch to the contrary, were soon our friends. Afterwards held parley with the Dutch ; the burghers and townsmen after three days consented to his demands, but the Governor and soldiery altogether refused his propositions. Whereupon he landed his soldiers and stormed the fort, and plundered it ; "the seamen no less given to that sport were quickly in," and had good store of booty. Their loss was none ; the Dutch had 10 wounded and three killed. The fort, although with 14 guns, is not tenable without great charge, which must be expended to keep it. Ensign Stock ill ; will send him to Nicolls when he recovers. If they had not come in as they did, they would have been necessitated to quit the place in less than a month. Has already sent some niggers to Maryland, which belonged to the late Governor, at his plantation above [of Delaware]. The falling of the Indians from their former civility, and abusing messengers, being exasperated by the Dutch, the cause of his not sending to give notice of their successes. The Indians so strong that no Christians yet dare venture to plant on the other side, which belongs to the Duke of York ; they stayed here three nights, but are since returned without doing any hurt. Begs his endeavours to assist in the reconciliation of the Indians called Synckoes, at the Fort Ferrania [Aurania], and the Huskehanoes here, several murders having lately been committed upon the Dutch and Swedes. To send Allison and Thompson to "re-edify" the fort and fix our arms, all being broken or unfixed. Printed in New York Documents, III., 73, 74. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 124.]
Oct. 14. 829. to Williamson. A Dutch ship with 300 men beaten by the English out of Amsterdam, New Netherlands, has arrived at Mount's Bay. The Eagle, Capt. Brooke, has arrived from Gambia, having landed 50 men there upon an island taken by Major Holmes, who thinks the Dutch have lost their interest in those parts. [Dom., Chas. II., Vol. CIII., No. 57, Cal., p. 32.]
Oct. 16.
830. Gov. Lord Willoughby to Sec. Lord Arlington. Refers to his account of the French King's proceedings in these parts [see ante, No. 822.] Hopes if war break out between the English and the Hollander, that he may have timely advice to prepare for the defence of the islands under his government, and the shipping riding there, which without good reaching guns, can receive little security from the shore. Unless arms and ammunition are sent out, they are likely to feel the effects of the war very suddenly, in revenge for the injuries inflicted upon the Hollander during the time of the usurped powers. The Dutch have possessed themselves of several islands within the extent of his Majesty's commission, and of some settlements in Guiana, regarding which he would wish to know his Majesty's pleasure with all convenient speed. Recommends some ships of force being sent out with 500 men and two or three thousand spare arms and convenient boats for landing a good number of men upon occasion to be employed against the Dutch before they are able to be reinforced. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 125.]
Oct. 19.
831. Gov. Endecott "in the name and by the order of the General Court" to Secretary Morrice. The confidence they have in his favour emboldens them to give him this additional trouble in the day of their necessity. "We are poor and destitute as to interest with any that have power to be helpful to us at such a time, except the Lord be pleased as formerly he hath done, to move your Honour's heart in our behalf, to appear for us as the equity and justice of our case may appear to you." They are necessitated to beg the King's grace and favour that they may not be deprived at once of all that was worthy their travels and hazard to and in this wilderness, which is threatened by a Commission granted to four gentlemen come into these parts, and should they make alteration in or weaken the authority established here by their charter, they have just cause to fear that the event of such a design will be no other than the ruin of this hopeful and hitherto prosperous colony, and will occasion such persons as are most considerable to provide for them in some other place less known than New England is now made to be. The favour they beg is, that their petition finding acceptance with his Majesty, and coming in debate before the Council, he will appear for them, that the authority and power of government they have so long enjoyed may not now be made void and strangers imposed upon them, the continuance whereof they apprehend to be their equal right even as their houses and lands. Beg him to pardon their boldness and plainness of speech arising from their deep sense of the evil impending over them, and accompanied with some measure of confidence in the candour of his spirit towards them. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 126.]
Oct. 19.
832. The Humble Supplication of the General Court of the Massachussetts Colony in New England to the King. Set forth the sacrifices by which the liberties hitherto possessed by Massachusetts had been purchased, and urge the injustice of encroachment on them. "This people did at their own charges transport themselves, their wives and families over the ocean, purchase the lands of the natives, and plant this colony with great labour, hazards, costs, and difficulties ; for a long time wrestling with the wants of a wilderness and the burdens of a new plantation ; having also now above 30 years enjoyed the aforesaid power and privilege of government within themselves, as their undoubted right in the sight of God and man." They refer with gratitude to the King's gracious letters to them full of expressions tending to confirm them in their enjoyments, viz., of 15th Feb. 1661 [see ante, No. 31], of the 28th June 1662 [see ante, No. 314], in which "we have applied ourselves to the utmost to satisfy your Majesty so far as doth consist with conscience of our duty towards God, and the just liberties of our patent," and the last of 23rd April 1664 [see ante, No. 715], wherein his Majesty declares he hath not the least intention or thought of violating or in the least degree infringing their charter. "But now what affliction of heart must it needs be unto us that our sins have provoked God to permit our adversaries to set themselves against us by their misinformations, complaints, and solicitations (as some of them have made that their work for many years), and thereby to procure a commission under the Great Seal, wherein four persons (one of them our known and professed enemy) are empowered to hear, receive, examine, and determine all complaints and appeals in all causes and matters, as well military as criminal and civil, and to proceed in all things for settling this country according to their good and sound discretions, &c., whereby, instead of being governed by rulers of our own choosing (which is the fundamental privilege of our patent), and by laws of our own, we are like to be subjected to the arbitrary power of strangers, proceeding not by any established law, but by their own discretions." In this case their refuge under God is his Majesty. "If these things go on (according to their present appearance) your subjects here will either be forced to seek new dwellings, or sink and faint under burdens that will be to them intolerable ; the vigour of all men's endeavours in their several callings and occupations (either for merchandise abroad or further subduing this wilderness at home) will be enfeebled, as we perceive it already begins to be ; the good work of converting the natives obstructed ; the inhabitants driven to we know not what extremities, and this hopeful plantation in the issue ruined." Whatever becomes of them they are sure the adversary cannot countervail the King's damage ; it is indeed a grief to their hearts to see his Majesty put upon this extraordinary charge and cost about a business, the product whereof can never reimburse the one half of what will be expended upon it. "We perceive there have been great expectations of what is to be had here, raised by some men's informations, but those informations will prove fallacious, disappointing them that have relied upon them. And if the taking of this course should drive this people out of the country (for to a coalition therein they will never come), it will be hard to find another people that will stay long, or stand under any considerable burden in it, seeing it is not a country where men can subsist without hard labour and great frugality." There have also been high representations of great divisions and discontents among them, and of a necessity of sending Commissioners to relieve the aggrieved, whereas it plainly appears that the body of this people are unanimously satisfied in the present government and abhorrent from change. "Sir, the all-knowing God, He knows our greatest ambition is to live a poor and a quiet life, in a corner of the world without offence to God or man. We came not into this wilderness to seek great things to ourselves, and if any come after us to seek them here, they will be disappointed. We keep ourselves within our line and meddle not with matters abroad. A just dependence upon and subjection to your Majesty according to our charter, it is far from our hearts to disacknowledge. And should Divine Providence ever offer an opportunity wherein we might in any righteous way, according to our poor and mean capacity, testify our dutiful affection to your Majesty, we hope we should most gladly embrace it. But it is a great unhappiness to be reduced to so hard a case as to have no other testimony of our subjection and loyalty offered us but this, viz., to destroy our own being, which nature teacheth us to preserve, or to yield up our liberties, which are far dearer to us than our lives, and which had we had any fear of being deprived of, we had never wandered from our father's houses into these ends of the earth, nor laid out our labours and estates therein. ... Royal Sir, it is in your power to say of your poor people in New England they shall not die. If we have found favour in the sight of our King, let our life be given us at our petition (or rather that which is dearer than life, that we have ventured our lives and willingly passed through many deaths to obtain), and our all, at our request. Let our government live, our patent live, our magistrates live, our laws and liberties live, our religious enjoyments live, so shall we all have yet further cause to say from our heart 'Let The King Live For Ever,' and the blessing of them that were ready to perish shall come upon your Majesty, having delivered the poor that crieth and such as had none to help them." This paper is partly printed in Palfrey's History of New England, Vol. II., pp. 588-590, who says a Committee consisting of Francis Willoughby, Major-General Leverett, and Jonathan Mitchell, minister of Cambridge, drew it up, and after more than two months were spent in its preparation it was adopted at a special meeting of the General Court. This the original is signed by "Jo. Endecott, Governor, in the name and by the order of the General Court held at Boston in New England, Oct. 19, 1664." 2 pp. very closely written. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 127.]
Oct. 19.
833. Governor Lord Willoughby to the Lords of the Council. Sends, in answer to their letter of Aug. 24, abstract of the usages in the proceedings of the Court of Common Pleas in Barbadoes, also copy of ordinance lately passed for establishing the Courts of Common Pleas, which have been reduced to two, with one judge and four assistants in each. Was anxious to have the courts held by judges as in England, but the people were too much wedded to their ancient usages, but will endeavour to effect them on his return from Surinam. No ordinance but that of settling the customs has been sent home, as the people have not been in a proper temper for being called together. Hopes to rectify all in good time if their Lordships will bear with him. Indorsed, "Referred to Council of Plantations, Feb. 24." Incloses,
833 I. Narrative of the usages and customs of Barbadoes concerning proceedings in the Courts of Common Pleas. A debt may be recovered in six months. Land is appraised and delivered to the creditor without provision being made for the wife and children. The planter pays fifteen per cent. interest if he keeps the land 80 days after execution. For fraudulently concealing attached goods the debtor has to stand in the pillory and have his ears cut off, and the estate is sold or appraised ; execution issues after five days if goods are then not paid for, and the debtor's estate is delivered to the creditor with 20 per cent. advance. The appraisers are the ablest freeholders in the precincts, who are neither kindred, friends, nor enemies of the parties, and give their jugments upon oath. Approved by Governor and Council, 17th Oct. 1664.
833. II. Ordinance of the Governor and Council concerning the forms of proceedings in the Common Pleas. That from 12th January next the courts be held in two places only, viz., at St. Michael's for the parishes of Christchurch, St. Philip's, St. Michael's, St. George's, and St. John's ; and in Spight's town (alias Little Bristol) for the parishes of St. James, St. Thomas, St. Peter's, All Saints, St. Lucy's, St. Joseph's, and St. Andrew's. That there be one judge and four assistants in each court to be appointed by the Governor for the due administration of justice. The times appointed for said courts to be held, Monday in January next, and continue if need be until Friday night following ; the other court shall be held at Spight's town the Monday following, and continue if need be until the Thursday night after, and so successively every four weeks. Directions for the proceedings of the judges. Signed by Lord Willoughby. Together 6 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., Nos. 128, 128 I., II.]
Oct. 21-26.
New York.
834. "Catalogue, alphabetical, of the names of such inhabitants of New York, &c. as took the oath to be true subjects to his Majesty, October the 21st, 22nd, 24th, and 26th days, 1664," with the oath itself, viz., "I swear by the name of Almighty God, that I will be a true subject to the King of Great Britain, and will obey all such commands as I shall receive from his Majesty, his Royal Highness James Duke of York, and such Governors and officers as from time to time are appointed over me by his authority, and none other, whilst I live in any of his Majesty's territories, So help me God." Here follow the names in alphabetical order, which are all printed in New York Documents, III., 74-77. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 129.]
1664? 835. Proclamation in Col. Nicolls' handwriting to the inhabitants of New York. Whereas there is a false and injurious aspersion cast on the oath of obedience to his Majesty, the Duke of York, and the Governor and officers appointed by his Majesty's authority, by some persons seeking to distract the minds of the inhabitants of New York, by suggesting that the Articles of Peace so lately and solemnly made and signed were intended by that oath to be made null and of no effect ; Governor Nicolls declares that the Articles of Surrender are not in the least broken or intended to be broken by said oath, and if any person hereafter shall presume to give any other construction of said oath, he will be accounted a disturber of the peace, and proceeded against accordingly. This Declaration to be forthwith read to all the inhabitants and registered, and every denizen who intends to remain here under his Majesty's obedience to take the said oath. Draft, with corrections. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XVIII., No. 130.]