America and West Indies: May 1665

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: May 1665', in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 5, 1661-1668, (London, 1880) pp. 295-302. British History Online [accessed 24 April 2024]

May 1665

May 3-26. 987. The transactions of his Majesty's Commissioners, Col. Richard Nicolls, Sir Robert Carre, George Cartwright, and Samuel Mavericke, with the General Court of the Masachusetts at Boston. Consisting of correspondence between the Commissioners and the General Court, chiefly explanatory of the King's instructions and their action upon them. 57 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XIX., No. 56.]
May 13. 988. Sir William Berkeley's letters of revocation. The King commands the Governor's repair to his Royal presence to give an account of the state of the colony of Virginia, and to consult upon the welfare thereof. To constitute in his absence a discreet, able, and sufficient Deputy to supply the place of Governor. p. [Dom. Entry Bk., Vol. XXII., p. 134.]
May 15. 989. Petition of Thomas Newton, gent., in his own and fellow subjects' behalf to the King and Council. Petitioners and others of his Majesty's well-disposed subjects have been most illegally oppressed by the violences and usurpations of Governor Lord Willoughby ; but all that they would suffer with patience if they did not see greater injuries offered to his Majesty to the concern of many thousands of pounds ; which they are ready to make good by Lord Willoughby's own orders and on the oaths of many credible persons. Pray for liberty to vindicate themselves and the injuries done to his Majesty, which by the articles annexed may more fully appear. With reference to the Lord High Treasurer and Lord Ashley, Chancellor of the Exchequer, to take said articles into consideration, and return an account to his Majesty. Annexed,
989. I. Articles exhibited by Thomas Newton against Governor Willoughby, touching several misdemeanours by him committed in Barbadoes since August 1663. 1. That on his arrival the Governor procured the Assembly of Barbadoes to settle on himself a duty formerly paid to the King on liquors imported, worth 3,000l. per annum, which heretofore usually defrayed the whole charge of Government, and one moiety whereof (it is conceived) his Majesty ought to have had. 2. Before settling said duty on the Governor, the Assembly and country seemed unanimous to grant 5 per cent. instead of the 4 per cent. now paid to his Majesty upon commodities exported, so that besides the loss to his Majesty, Lord Willoughby has contrived "a dark account," and to bring the King in a debtor, when in truth there is 6,000l. due to his Majesty. 3. Lord Willoughby charges his Majesty with the expense of his own voyage to the Leeward Isles, and with collecting the duty in Barbadoes contrary to his covenants ; also for provisions for one Mr. Dearing and the loss of a sloop, pretended to be employed in settling St. Lucia, when in truth it was sent long before out of private animosity in pursuit of Col. Walrond. 4. That the Governor has received quantities of sugar for arrears of prize goods, and profits upon plantations seized in his Majesty's name, but has brought nothing to account. 5. That commodities are exported and imported contrary to the Act of Navigation by persons most intimate with Lord Willoughby. 6. That the Governor has no power to act in things judicial without his Council ; yet by his own single power he has denied his Majesty's subjects the benefit of law, and in particular Fras. Cradock who acted by the King's commission. 7. Justice is discouraged, and Henry Harvy and other justices of the peace have been put out of commission for endeavouring to relieve an injured person, as by law enjoined. 8. The Governor has countenanced Jews who have become very numerous, and engrossed the greatest part of the trade of the island, to the great discouragement of English merchants, their dealings being principally with those of their own tribe in Holland ; and being a people only minding trade and to be useful to each other they will not be helpful in case of invasion or insurrection, which is too much to be doubted, so many English having been sent off that the few remaining cannot but stand in fear of the blacks who are six for one in number. 9. That he has disquieted the minds of many under pretence of their possessing 10,000 acres said to be in arrears to the Earl of Carlisle, who not performing on his own part ought not to expect from the planters, yet Lord Willoughby has exacted 2,400l. from one estate of 300 acres, which the people are not able to pay. 10. That the Governor has disobeyed his Majesty's commands, and encouraged others to do the like, for his Majesty's commissions and letters have several times in open Court been derided, "and been said fit to wipe one's breech," but the offenders not questioned but rewarded with office. 11. That he has by force turned some out of their possessions and taken away the goods of others without legal proceedings or accusation. 12. That several gentlemen and merchants have been imprisoned together against all colour of law, 12 of them for 10 days, who were not released until they owned themselves in fault, in particular John Sparkes. 13. That several gentlemen imprisoned wrote that they might come to trial, but although the grand jury presented them, the Governor would not permit, and they were forced to give security for good behaviour. None dare appear against Lord Willoughby, so the only hope of relief is in his Majesty. Together 6 pp. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. XVIII., pp. 154-160.]
May 15. 990. Petition of Francis Cradocke, Provost-Marshal General of Barbadoes [to the King], to be Receiver of his Majesty's moiety of customs, &c. at Barbadoes. Referred to the Lord High Treasurer and Lord Ashley whether that service be not already provided for otherwise, and upon the whole to report their opinion. p. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. XVIII., p. 160.]
May 16.
991. Sec. Lord Arlington to Lord Willoughby, Governor of Barbadoes. Hopes to send him particulars of the late general engagement between his Majesty's fleet and the Dutch, with its happy issue. His Lordship will not be surprised to hear that befal you which commonly befals men in eminent command, to have their actions censured and complained of. He will understand at large from Mr. Willoughby what petitions have been exhibited against him and by whom, but as yet no progress has been made in them. Returns the Acts which had been sent home for his Majesty's approbation, which they have accordingly received at the Council Board without any considerable alteration, save concerning the exempting from duty the 10,000 acres, &c. With regard to the French pretensions on Sta. Lucia, Lord Willoughby is directed to make his party there as good as he can, as the season of defending his Majesty's right to that island may come ere long. At present no vessel can be spared for the defence of the West Indies, but if the blessing of God be upon his arms, his Majesty will no doubt make the security of those Plantations his first care. His Lordship will be abundantly justified in taking any advantage to endamage and prejudice the Dutch in any of their colonies or trade, and is particularly recommended to secure the islands under his government against De Ruyter, who is said to have certainly gone thither. As for the firearms he has desired, it has always been accustomed that settled plantations should purchase arms for themselves, as in the case of Jamaica. Draft, with corrections, in Sir Jos. Williamson's hand. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XIX., No. 57.]
May 20.
992. Governor Lord Willoughby to the King. Hopes his Majesty has been informed that his absence from Barbadoes was not owing to negligence, but to his having been dangerously wounded in Surinam. Has lately received his Majesty's commands of 17th Jan. 1665 concerning the protection of shipping and raising of forts, which he will see executed, but must inform his Majesty that there is nothing of effects in his hands to do anything, as part of the revenue arising from the 4 per cent. has been employed in settling Sta. Lucia and the remainder paid to the Earl of Carlisle's creditors, who accuse him of having converted the revenue to his own use. Prays therefore that his accounts sent home may be audited, and that he may not any longer lie under so severe a check and scandal, but stand clear in his Majesty's opinion ; for there is no one in Barbadoes to receive upon account of the Earl of Carlisle's creditors, and not having particular order from his Majesty, knows not how better to employ the goods, which are of perishing nature, than for his Majesty's service. His Majesty's regulations with regard to the Spanish trade and the Royal African Company's traffic in negroes of none effect, because the Spaniards have ceased to come to the island, and the Company has engrossed the whole trade with the Spaniards for negroes, so that his Majesty has no revenue within those parts. Should be glad to receive further instructions to enable him to execute these commands, and hopes his Majesty will make an allowance for at least one hundred soldiers to be employed in the forts for the defence of forts and guns, for all labour is double the rate of labour in England. His Majesty's regiment has been under a great discouragement owing to not having received colours and drums, which he requests may be sent out, as well as three thousand muskets, two or three hundred barrels of cannon powder, and about 50 of musket powder ; none of which can be got in the island. De Ruyter cannot brag of what he did at Barbadoes, for he was unable to carry away any ship and received great damage ; but at the Leeward Islands he had better success, and carried away sixteen ships from Montserrat and Nevis. The Governors of those islands have called upon Governor Willoughby for powder ; and unless his Majesty will send some, his interests in those parts must suffer serious damage. Indorsed, Rec. 4 Sep. 1665. 6 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XIX., No. 58.]
May 20.
993. Duplicate of the preceding. [Col. Papers, Vol. XIX., No. 59.]
May 20.
994. Gov. Lord Willoughby to Sec. Bennet [Lord Arlington]. Was delayed several months longer than he intended in Surinam by reason of a dangerous wound received from one of the inhabitants, who intended to murder him. Unless his Majesty can spare a ship of war he cannot well remove from one island to another ; for he is forced to hire shipping, which is very chargeable in the West Indies, and not to be had at all times, so that his Majesty's affairs there are likely to suffer. Has received several duplicate letters, and the King's orders, which shall be obeyed. As to the raising of forts, does not know how to carry them on owing to the want of money, for his Majesty has assigned the imposition on negroes to the Royal African Company, and the Customs to the Earls of Marlborough and Kinnoul and the creditors of the Earl of Carlisle, and has received very severe checks for disposing of any of that revenue to the King's service in settling Sta. Lucia, and is petitioned against by the Earl of Carlisle's creditors about it. Has received the great guns and is mounting them, but the principal verb is wanting, there being no powder sent along with them, so they are rather weakened than any ways strengthened ; for if another De Ruyter come (as he is advised), the little stock of powder will soon be blown away. Requests that his Majesty may be moved to send out three or four hundred barrels of powder, and three thousand snaphance muskets of a bastard bore, because the climate is hot and men are not so able to carry heavy muskets as in other parts. The Leeward Islands are very unprotected, and it will be hard to defend the shipping if timely supplies be not received. Three and thirty barrels of powder were spent in the dispute with De Ruyter wherein he was foiled in his attempt on the English shipping, and received himself very great damage, according to the report of some English prisoners landed on the Leeward Islands. He was more successful at the other islands, and carried off sixteen ships, there being no considerable forts, guns, or ammunition to defend them. If his Majesty would preserve the trade there, which is considerable, he must send out supplies and money to raise forts and pay men. There is absolute necessity that some of the King's ships of war cruise off the islands for the safety and encouragement of shipping. His Majesty is also requested to send colours and drums for the regiment he has permitted to be called his own. 4 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XIX., No. 60.]
May 20.
995. Duplicate of the preceding. [Col. Papers, Vol. XIX., No. 61.]
May 23.
996. Declaration of the General Court of the Massachusetts Protesting against the legality of the warrant of the King's Commissioners giving protection to John Porter, junr., a high offender against God, the King's authority and laws, and the peace of his good subjects here, who breaking prison, made his escape out of the hands of justice here. With mem. that it was published 24th May by Oliver Purchas, one of the Deputies of the Court, with sound of trumpet in the market place in Boston, at the Dock head, and at the cross way by Capt. Breedon's. Annexed,
996. I. Reply of the Commissioners to the General Court of the Massachusetts. Since they will needs misconstrue everything, and make use of that authority which the King hath given them to oppose that sovereignty which he hath over them, the Commissioners will not lose more of their labours upon them, but refer it to his Majesty's wisdom. For the better satisfaction of all concerned they desire their commission, the King's letters, and all the papers they have given in to the Court may be printed and published. 24th May 1665. Printed in New York Documents. III., 95, 96. Together 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XIX., No. 62.]
May 23. 997. Two copies of the preceding. [Col. Papers, Vol. XIX., Nos. 63, 64.]
May 25. 998. Warrant to the Clerk of the Signet. Whereas for the advancement of Jamaica his Majesty has thought fit that commodities of that island brought into this kingdom be not burdened with impost or custom for five years from the 18th Feb. 1663, and has directed Gov. Sir Thos. Modyford to publish the same, it is his Majesty's pleasure that he prepare a bill to pass the Privy Seal containing a warrant to the Treasurer, &c. of the Exchequer to allow upon the accounts of the Farmers of the Customs all such sums as shall be abated by them during the said five years upon the importation of commodities of Jamaica allowed upon certificates of the Governor thereof. 1 p. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. XXII., p. 146.]
May 26.
999. George Cartwright to Samuel Gorton the elder at Warwick. These gentlemen of Boston would make the Commissioners believe that they verily think that the King hath given them so much power in their charter to do unjustly, that he hath reserved none to himself to call them to an account for doing so. They refuse to let the Commissioners hear complaints against them, so that at present nothing can be done in their behalf. Hopes shortly to go for England, where he will truly represent their sufferings and loyalty. His kind love to Wicks, Holden, and Green, whose solicitor he is resolved to be. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XIX., No. 65.]
May 27.
1000. Sir Robert Carr, George Cartwright, and Samuel Mavericke to Sec. Lord Arlington. Have already given their reasons for choosing rather to visit the other colonies first ; will now give a brief account of their success. From Plymouth they went to Rhode Island and so to Connecticut ; in all they were welcomed with great expressions of loyalty and joy, that Commissioners were sent to them to regulate what was amiss and assure them of the King's favour and protection. Heard of few complaints in Plymouth, it is certainly by much the poorest colony. In Rhode Island they had more complaints, yet they readily submitted, even the Governor himself, to be tried by them. "Some we put to arbitration, some we referred to the General Court, to the general satisfaction of them all." Morton's case at New London. "In all these colonies they freely consented that all administration of justice shall be in the King's name ; that all householders shall take the oath of allegiance ; that church membership shall not be considered in making freemen ; that all persons of civil lives shall have liberty of conscience, so that they deny not their share of maintenance to the public minister fairly chosen by plurality of voices ; that all laws and expressions in laws derogatory to the King (if any such have been made) shall be repealed and altered. From Connecticut they came through the Nanhyganset [Narragansett] country ; met with one of the Sachems, who surrendered that country 20 years ago, and gave them that very deed. They received him and his into the King's protection, and named the country the King's Province, according to the King's command, though it be the only ground upon the main land belonging to the colony of Rhode Island. Have made those who were magistrates in the colony, justices of the peace in the King's Province. Coats presented to the Sachems, who send the King presents as tokens of their surrender, which they hope Col. Cartwright will deliver before long. Have met everywhere with complaints against the Massachusetts. Col. Nicolls came to their assistance at Boston the day before the General Court met, but their success there has not been answerable to what they had in the other colonies. Printed in New York Documents, III., 96, 97. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XIX., No. 66.]
May 30.
1001. R. Bellingham, in the name and by order of the General Court, to Sec. Morrice. In reply to the King's letter of 11th June 1664 [see ante, No. 751], commanding them to make restitution of the Province of Maine (now called Yorkshire), or otherwise without delay, to show reason for the contrary. The difficulties and pressures they met with, in the first beginning of their wilderness work and their members being small, there was then no need to seek out and settle the bounds of their patent, only they knew their grant was clear and extended three miles northward of the most northerly part or branch of Merrimack river. Commissions were given to credible persons and skilful artists by the General Court in 1652 and subsequently to discover exactly the northernmost part or branch of Merrimack river, who have set a bound mark and made their return upon oath, whereby their north line is clearly settled according to the patent. Their charter is dated 10 or 11 years before that of Sir Ferd. Gorges, which they conceive sufficient to confirm their right and possession of the place. Their grateful acknowledgments to the King for granting them this opportunity to plead their right. Annexed,
1001. I. Return of the Commissioners, Capts. Simon Willard and Ed. Johnson, to the order of the General Court in the year 1652, laying out the northern line of the Massachusetts patent. 17th May 1665.
1001. II. Similar return of Jonas Clarke and Sam. Andrewes, of the northerly bounds of the patent upon the sea coasts. 19th Oct. 1654.
1001. III. Similar return of Serj. John Sherman of Water Town and Jonathan Juce, Student of Harvard College. 19th Oct. 1652.
1001. IV. Similar return of Peter Weare concerning the extent of the river Merrimack. 17th May 1665.
1001. V. Similar return of Richard Walderne of what he knows about the name of Merrimack river. 17th May 1665. Certified copies by Edward Rawson which are again certified by Simon Robins and Rich. Walker. Indorsed, "Amongst the papers of Mr. Gorges and Mr. Hartlib." 7 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XIX., No. 67.]
May 31.
1002. Ri. Bellingham, Governor, in the name and by the order of the General Court of the Massachusetts, to Sec. Sir William Morrice. In reply to his letter of 25th Feb. [see ante, No. 945]. They cannot acquit themselves of whatever transgression there was in their petition by laying it upon the contrivance of some few, it being the act of the General Court upon such considerations as their weakness then enabled them unto. "If anything in it were unwarily or unsuitably worded, the rudeness of a people inhabiting in a remote wilderness and their unskilfulness in actions of so high a nature as addressing their Prince craveth pardon for the same, and if it be judged an unseasonable and overforward act ... we entreat it may be imputed to a passionate solicitude for our liberties ... and we wish we had not so much cause to say that as before our sending that petition we received by sundry speeches and carriages of those gentlemen commissionated what we might expect from them, so their actings since have sufficiently showed that our fears were not causeless." They might instance acts where the Commissioners have sequestered the lands of his Majesty's subjects and secured their estates ; they have protected one notorious malefactor that escaped out of prison and fled from justice, and now have summoned our Governor and Company whilst sitting in General Court to answer before them to the complaints of particular persons within their own jurisdiction, which tends not only to lay prostrate at once the whole authority of this Government and the administrations thereof, but also abridges them of the native privileges of Englishmen. Complaints against Samuel Mavericke, for calling them traitors again and again, and threats destructive to them. "Sir, it is the cry of the poor drawn from us by our fears and anxieties what we have before and still do present to our Lord the King, which we beg may not be imputed to us as a crime ... God knows it is the affliction of our souls to be thus constrained to dissent from gentlemen come among us in such a capacity as they are in, but when as self preservation doth enforce us, we shall be we hope both pitied and pardoned for the same." To all these [charges of the Commissioners] they reply in brief ; to the first in reference to the case of Thos. Deane, to the second as to their oppressing their neighbour colonies by their power and undue extending their bounds and jurisdiction further than they ought, their letter to his Majesty's Commissioners with which was inclosed a map of the lands they conceive to be granted them by the charter. Thank his Majesty for again assuring them of their full and peacable enjoyment of all their privileges and liberties granted to them by charter, which is all they desire, and crave pardon for what displeasure soever their unhandsome expressions may have occasioned. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XIX., No. 68.]
May 31. 1003. Warrant to allow on account of the Farmers and Officers of Customs all moneys which have been or shall be abated by them or remitted, for five years from Feb. 18, 1664, on importation of commodities of the growth and production of Jamaica. [Dom., Chas. II., Docquet, Cal., p. 397.]