BHO

America and West Indies: July 1665

Pages 307-316

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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July 1665

July? 1015. Petition of part of the inhabitants of Portsmouth and Strawberry Bank to the King's Commissioners for New England. For several years past they have been kept under the Massachusetts Government by an usurped power, whose laws are derogatory to the laws of England, under which power five or six of the richest men of this parish have ruled and ordered all officers, both civil and military, at their pleasures, and none durst make opposition for fear of great fines or long imprisonment. They have been denied in their public meeting the Common Prayer, Sacraments, and decent burial of the dead, and also the benefit of freemen. Hope the Commissioners will take them under their protection and government, and rectify these miscarriages. Signed by Francis Champernowne, Abraham Corbet, John Pickering, Anthony Bracket, Francis Drake, James Johnson, John Shirborne, Nath. Drake, Edward Clark, Sam. Fernalld, Francis Ran, John Partridg, William Cotten, Richard Sloper, George Wallis, Mark Hunking, John Johnson, John Berry, John Frost, Joseph Atkinson, John Jones, Henry Savage, Francis Jones, William Hearle, Thomas Avery, George Walton, Sam. Roby, Edw. West, George Gray, Thom. Fallingsby, John Tanner, and George Drake. The parties we petition against are Joshua Moody, Master, Rich., and John Cutt, Elias Styleman, Nath. Fryer, and Bryan Pendleton, merchants. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XIX, No. 76.]
July 1.
Weymouth.
1016. George Pley to Navy Commissioners. Barbadoes fleet of 30 sail with two of his Majesty's ships has arrived in Plymouth, with news of destruction of English ships and plantations in Newfoundland by De Ruyter, who came thither in the beginning of June, and, after he had done that mischief and victualled his fleet out of English ships, departed suddenly homewards, it is thought by the North of England. [Dom., Chas. II., Vol. CXXVI., No. 7, Cal. p. 459.]
July 5.
Barbadoes.
1017. Gov. Fras. Lord Willoughby to the King. It has been his great trouble since coming into these parts that he could not serve his Majesty more. This has been owing to the distractedness of the times, giving encouragement to a disaffected party, who were nourished and brought up in the island in the time of the usurped powers, and who are always ready to stir up the people against his Majesty's just rights and authority there. Upon calling an Assembly in pursuance of his Majesty's commands to raise supplies for erecting and repairing the forts and providing fit defences for the island and shipping, Samuel Farmer, a very dangerous, active, and eminent man amongst the disaffected, was chosen a member and elected Speaker ; who not only obstructed all things that were proposed for the above objects, but by insinuations and practices endeavoured to stir up sedition and rebellion against his Majesty's authority by engaging the Assembly to own a petition which he had cunningly framed and intruded upon them, rendering their meeting useless, so that the Governor was forced to dissolve them. Has since thought fit to send Farmer home to receive his trial before his Majesty and Council, by reason of the distractions and evil temper at present amongst the people of the island. Begs that he may be allowed to use the custom dues of four and a half per cent. for the expenses of building forts and keeping men to defend them, having no other means of paying for the same. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XIX., No. 77.]
July 5.
Barbadoes.
1018. Governor Lord Willoughby to the Lords of the Council. Having no means of carrying out his Majesty's commands for repairing the forts, as his appropriation of the 4 per cent. on the customs had been petitioned against by the Earl of Carlisle's creditors, he called an Assembly, his commission strictly restraining him from laying any imposition upon the people without their own consents. But the country was so factious in its choice that these endeavours were rendered fruitless ; for instead of providing for the defence of the island, the Speaker of the Assembly, Samuel Farmer, put in a petition to the Governor and Council, and told him it was a petition of right, and that therein he had followed the example of the best of Parliaments, and they refused to consider any other matter until their petition was answered, which was so scandalous and false and so much contesting with the King's authority as even utterly to subvert and destroy his Majesty's Government and just rights in Barbadoes. Wherefore after two days' respite, which did but confirm their former resolution, was forced to dissolve them. The chief promoter of these seditions is the said Farmer, whom Lord Willoughby has sent home to receive his trial before the King and his Council, as it would not be safe or proper to try him in Barbadoes in the present condition of affairs. Incloses,
1018. I. Petition of the Representatives of Barbadoes to Governor Lord Willoughby. That contrary to certain statutes, divers of his Majesty's subjects in Barbadoes had been imprisoned without any warrantable cause by the law of the land given for their commitment, and had been there detained five weeks against tender of sufficient sureties for their enlargement, and no offence to this day proved against them ; that others had been violently put out and disseised of their inheritances, others exiled, by the Governor's warrant only ; others forced to attend as witnesses during the whole session, though they knew nothing against the supposed offenders ; and others to their no small expense had been sued in the courts of common pleas not belonging to their precincts : all which grievances are supposed to be occasioned by the advice of his private Council working for their own ends. Pray that none of his Majesty's subjects may hereafter be unjustly imprisoned or detained, that none without judgment of his peers be put out of his possessions or disseised of his inheritance or exiled and banished without due course of law ; that none be commanded to attend as witnesses at their own costs when they can say nothing material against the offender ; that the courts may return to be kept in their due and accustomed precincts ; and that the statutes may not hereafter be subverted by ordinance of Governor Willoughby and his Council, nor any of the doings before mentioned be made a precedent. "This petition was this day, 8 June 1665, read and passed by the Assembly, and ordered to be presented as it is. John Pococke, Clerk of the Assembly." Indorsed by Lord Willoughby, "This paper given me by the Assembly, with several allegations against myself, the 8th of June, and owned by Mr. Farmer to be of his own framing."
1018. II., III., IV., V. Depositions of Anthony Lane, Josias Cox, John King, John Barwicke, and John Downell, sworn before Governor Willoughby. That after the Assembly was dissolved, Sam. Farmer read a petition to several vestries in the island for their approval, which he told them was a copy of what the Assembly had presented to the Governor.
1018. VI. Also Deposition of Edward Bowden, Deputy Secretary, that Farmer refused to sign a recognizance [annexed] to be bound over to the sessions to answer what was objected against him, and in the interim not to do anything against the Government ; to which latter part he said he would be damned and rot where he was before he would acknowledge any such thing, for that the government was by ordinances made by his Excellency and Council against the laws, and which he would never own ; and that he had put in a plea against it already, by which he would abide. 5 papers. 29, 30 June, 1, 5 July 1665.
1018. VII. Affidavit of Governor Lord Willoughby that the proofs and evidences to the papers annexed [the preceding depositions] had been taken before him. 1665, July 5.
1018. VIII., IX., X. Three petitions of the vestries of St. James, St. Thomas, and St. Joseph to Col. Henry Willoughby, Deputy Governor, and the Council. That by the blessing of God and the diligence of their ancestors many wholesome laws have been enacted which have served as bounds between the King's prerogative and the subjects' rights. That for the better settlement of the island it was divided into five precincts, and a court of common pleas appointed for each. It is now proposed to diminish the number of these, which will be attended with great expense to suitors, and with great damage to creditors if the judgments be avoided by writs of error. Prays that the courts may continue as formerly. Three papers, signed by twentynine persons.
1018. XI. Articles of high treason and other crimes and misdemeanours exhibited against Samuel Farmer by Governor Lord Willoughby. Barbadoes, 1665, July 5. Farmer's answer to Lord Willoughby's accusations was read by himself in Council 16th March 1666. Together 18 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XIX., Nos. 78, 78 I. to XI.]
July 12.
Hampton Court.
1019. The King to the Wardens of the Mint. The office of Assay Master is vacant by death of John Woodward and the absence of Thos. Woodward, his father, who, if alive, is at some plantation on York river in Virginia ; John Brattle is to exercise the office during the absence of Thos. Woodward, with a fitting allowance, see Nos. 187, 1005. [Dom., Chas. II., Vol. CXXVI., No. 92, Cal., p. 474.]
July 12.
Boston.
1020. Warrant of the Massachusetts Government to the Constable of Portsmouth. To prohibit the inhabitants, summoned [by the Commissioners] to meet on the 13th, assembling, and to make return of such as neglect obedience hereto. Boston, 12th July 1665. Annexed,
1020. I. The Governor and Council of the Massachusetts to the King's Commissioners. When they departed refusing to treat further with the General Court, it was expected they would have ceased any further actings and would render an account to his Majesty of their negotiation, but they have since interrupted the ordinary proceedings of the Court of justice in Yorkshire against the King's express command, thereby stirring up the people to act contrary to their oaths and the wholesome laws here established. Have seen their warrant to the constable of Portsmouth for calling the people together ; in the King's letter they will find they are directed in a more orderly method than they observe. Protest against their irregular proceedings and account themselves bound to provide against such unreasonable mandates.
1020. II. The King's Commissioners' reply to the Governor and Council of Massachusetts. Their letter is full of untruth and wanting grammar construction. The fixing, naming, and owning a bound house three miles north of Merrimac river, above 12 years together, by the Corporation of the Massachusetts, must necessarily determine the limits of said corporation, and answer all the false and fraudulent expositions of their charter. The King's last letter the ground of their warrant to Portsmouth and other towns. Not to suffer themselves to be so much misled by the spirit of independency ; the King has not granted away his sovereignty over them, the supreme authority he has reserved for himself. The conditions on which his Majesty's clemency was promised to them, in his letter of June 1662, [see No. 314]. It is possible the charter they so much idolise may be forfeited ; they must clear themselves of many injustices, oppressions, violences and blood complained of, and if they be Christians, as they profess, show obedience to the King's authority. The other colonies have set them good examples, even Rhode Island, who they so long despised and disowned, and lately derided for their submission to the King. Desire they will not contradict the orders they make in his Majesty's name, or molest those who obey them. Piscataqua river, 16 July 1665. Mem. Upon receipt of this reply the Governor and Council sent out warrants to several towns in the Eastward parts of the following tenor : To the constable of. To summon forthwith the deputies chosen for the year, or in case they have none, at once to assemble the freemen to choose them, to meet at Boston on 1st August next, at 8 a.m., "to consult in General Court with the Magistrates about the weighty occasions of the colony." Boston, 21st July 1665. Together 3 pp. Printed in New York Documents, III., 98-100. [Col. Papers, Vol. XIX., No. 79.]
July 16.
Piscataqua.
1021. Joseph Mason to Robt. Mason. Perceives by his letters that he has empowered General Nicolls for settling his Province grant ; prays he may have good success in it. The Commissioners violently opposed by the Massachusetts Bay Government. One of the Commissioners returned for England in this ship. Generally the people here and in the Province of Maine are desirous to be taken off from the Bay Government. Desires he will make himself known to Col. Cartwright, who has taken great pains in perusing Robert Mason's papers, relating to his affairs. Here has been a public meeting before the Commissioners by their command to hear the King's letter read, when the people were informed they were out of the Bay's jurisdiction, and they promise speedily to settle the Government. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XIX., No. 80.]
July 21. 1022. Sir Roger Bradshaigh to Williamson. One of the Barbadoes fleet richly laden was burnt the night before they were to have set sail through the drunkenness of the mariners ; it belonged to Mr. Blundell of Ince. [Dom. Chas. II., Vol. CXXVII., No. 47, Cal., p. 485.]
July 24.
Jamaica.
1023. John Style to [Sec. Lord Arlington]. Landed on 4th of June last, and has since been viewing the land and conceives in all things it exceeds England, for though the neighbourhood of Port Royal and Spanish Town is sandy, rocky, barren, and dry, and rains but seldom, there has been no rain there for seven or eight months, so that cattle are almost starved and provisions very scarce, 20 miles farther in the country there is grass plenty and rains and dews seasonable, with cattle and hogs fat, and English grain, besides sugar, cotton, and indigo. The climate is most healthy, the heat by reason of the constant breezes most temperate, so that it is not the country but the deboistness and intemperance of the people that bring evil report upon it. Finds the island so good and so profitable that he would resolve to end his days there had he not many engagements in England to forbid it ; but has sent for two of his younger sons to bring grain from England with ploughs and tradesmen of all sorts, so they be sober persons, and has also sent advice to some farmers and husbandmen to transport themselves, but doubts whether it will be followed, "for such men are generally of the Israelites' temper, they had rather sit by their flesh-pots in Egypt (though with slavery and penury) than travel into the land of Canaan." A master of his trade of husbandry with 100l. stock, may live in greater plenty than his landlord in England with 100l. or 200l. per annum, and in a few years with industry and temperance acquire many hundred pounds estate. Doubts not himself in two years to have 500 head of horses, hogs, and cattle, by taming wild stock. Proposes that his Majesty, like the Kings of Egypt, Emperors of Persia, and Kings of England of old, should take a quantity of land in the island for stock and planting, for if 500l. stock will bring in 1,000l. per annum, 2,000l. invested by his Majesty would be most advantageous to him as well as to the island. His Majesty should also make himself sole merchant of the copper which is found within seven miles of the sea, as the King of France is of the salt, and the Emperor of Russia of the caviare in his dominions. Will make upon pawn of his life as good butter, cheese, and salt meat there as in England. So great is the scarcity of money, that unless there be free trade or war with the Spaniards, the colony will never flourish or hardly be kept. The island would take all the negroes of the Royal Company, if they would give 18 months credit, as the Dutch did formerly at Barbadoes. But why should not his Majesty as the Romans did send out a colony, one family from each parish, not your convict gaol birds or riotous persons, rotten before they are sent forth and at best idle and only fit for the mines. Such well-disposed people not to be sent as servants for a term, hateful to a free Englishman, but upon meat, drink, and wages, as in England, until they could make provision for themselves. These are the conditions he has authorised his son to offer, and he believes that the ice once broken and the advantage by experience confirmed, there will in short time be equal need to restrain by a law such people from coming as now to send them hither. That he may not altogether seem a brain-sick person refers to Col. Holles, Capts. Berkeley and Watson, Sir Reginald Forster, and Dr. Peter Mews, the King's chaplain. Believes his Honour remembers his name at Christ Church, where he was his fellow student, some two or three years his senior of Powell's standing. 8 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XIX., No. 81.]
July 26.
Boston.
1024. Sir Robt. Carr, George Cartwright, and Samuel Mavericke to Sec. Lord Arlington. This Province [of New Hampshire] reaches from three miles north of Merrimack river to Piscataqua river and 60 miles into the country. Find many small patents in it, and the whole Province to be now under the usurpation of the Massachusetts. Col. Nicolls bound to attend De Ruyter's attempt against New York and not being here, the Commissioners left them as they found them under the Massachusetts Government, though very earnest to be taken under the King's Government, as will appear by their petitions herewith sent. The inhabitants of the Province of Yorkshire, formerly called Maine, weary of the unjust and partial actings of the Massachusetts, the Commissioners have taken into his Majesty's more immediate government, according to their petition, being assured it was the best expedient to procure the peace of the Province and end the differences between the pretending parties for the present, leaving the final determination to his Majesty. In this Province are five towns, Kittery, York, Wells, Scarborough, and Falmouth ; all built by the seaside and five or six miles long at least, though they have but 30 houses in them, and those very mean ones. The places beyond Sagadahock given to the Duke of York by the King, they have appointed some to govern for the present, as there was great need. Upon three rivers, the East of Kennebeck, Shipscot, and Pemaquid, are three plantationsthe greatest has not above 20 housesand they are inhabited by the worst of men ; they have no Government, and have fled thence from punishment : for the most part they are fishermen, and share in their wives as they do in their boats. An excellent harbour within Piscataqua river, large and safe ; had an intent to have fortified it, but the Massachusetts prevented. This place deserves fortifying as well as any in New England. The Massachusetts have appointed a General Court on Aug. 1 to consider how to manage their opposition, for they intend to maintain the bounds of their patent as far as they have stretched them ; to justify their own ways for admitting church members and freemen, though the King write never so often to the contrary. Some exceptions they may make to serve to delude the King with a show of compliance, for if writing will serve their turn (as they suppose), they can keep the business in agitation until the King and all his Secretaries there and all his good subjects here be weary of it. Unless his Majesty take some speedy course, they who have declared their judgments against the Massachusetts jurisdiction will be undone ; it is the case of the loyal party here, as not long ago it was in England, though they be two for one yet they are so overawed that they cannot help themselves. The readiest and surest way is to take away their charter, which they have several ways forfeited, and King Charles I. was about to do in 1636 or 1637. And if his Majesty will assure the people they shall not be tied to religious ceremony the generality of them will be contented ; but this without a visible force will not be effected. If his Majesty should now let these people rest, having so much declared themselves against his authority over them, those that are well affected will never dare hereafter to declare themselves, besides all the ill consequences which must necessarily follow. Those who have declared themselves loyal are very much threatened and in great fear, and have earnestly pressed the Commissioners to solicit his Majesty for their speedy defence and safety, that they may not be afflicted or ruined for showing their loyalty. Earnestly desire him to acquaint his Majesty with their desires in this, as also of having their children baptised and themselves admitted to the Lord's Supper. [Printed in New York Documents, III., 101, 102.] Inclose,
1024. I. Petition of the inhabitants of Portsmouth and Strawberry Bank, Dover, Exeter, and Hampton to the King. Were transported with joy and hope of settlement when they heard of his Majesty's care of those plantations, and desire the King to take them into his Royal protection and government and join them to the Province of Maine. Signed by Fran. Champernowne, Edward Hilton, Abra. Corbett, John Foulsham, Marke Hunckings, Thos. Walford, Henrie Sherburne, James Johnson, Robt. Burnum, Richard Sloper, Edward West, John Pickering, John Pottell, Francis Drake, Jo. Tanner, Francis Gray, Gorg Drak (?), Nath. Drake, Joseph Atkinson, John Shirborne, Antho. Brackett, Francis Ran, John Jackson, Walter Abetts, Phesant Eastwick, William Seavey, William Hearle, John Webster, John Jones, Francis Jones, Richard Scamond, William Cotton, John Widdon, Samuel Whiddon, James Jones, Thomas Footeman, Robt. Watson, David Hammdleton, James Harben, Phillip Chasley, Patrik Jameson, Daniell Blake, Symon Lea, James Oare, Jam. Smith, Patricke Denmarke, Will. Jones, Thomas Roberts, senr., Ralph Tamlay, Tho. Hanson, James Newth, James Buncker, Will. Follett, John Godard, Robert Huden, Ben. Hull, John Yorke, Richard York, John Hilton, John Huncking, and Tho. Avery.
1024. II. Address of the bench in sessions at Wells for the Province of Maine to the King. Their gratitude for his Majesty's fatherly care of them after so long a death inflicted on their minds and fortunes by the usurpation of the Massachusetts power ; and that the enjoyment of their restored happiness under his Majesty's immediate power may be preserved to them, and the insultings of others over them prevented for the future, they beg that Sir Robt. Carr may be and continue their Governor. Signed by Henry Jocelyn, Robt. Jordan, Edw. Johnson, Wm. Phillips, Fran. Hooke, Sam. Wheelwright, and John Wright (?).
1024. III. Petition of the inhabitants of the Province of Maine to the King. They have been long distracted by the several patents and claims made for title and jurisdiction, and are much afraid lest they be further entangled by Gorges in their lands. Though they have petitioned the King's Commissioners, yet they will not order the petitioners to be longer under his Majesty's immediate Government than till his pleasure be known. Pray that they may be continued under his own Royal Government without any dependence on any patent. Together 6 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XIX., Nos. 82, 82 I., II., III.]
July 26.
Boston.
1025. Copy of the above letter, but without the inclosures. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XIX., No. 83.]
July 31.
New York.
1026. Col. R. Nicolls to [Sec. Lord Arlington]. Could not foresee or prevent the loss of his letters in the Elias. The Martin carried the full accounts to the Lord Chancellor and Sir W. Coventry. Boston and Connecticut were joined in the treaty to engage their assistance against the Dutch if need had been ; if he committed an error in consenting, hopes it is very pardonable. The uncertain conveyance of letters into England gives him much discouragement. No ship directly out of England or supplies arrived since the surrender, so that the soldiers and planters want necessaries. Still hopes a place of this importance will fall into due consideration with his Majesty and Royal Highness. Begs the King's orders concerning Delaware ; if neglected the trade there will be quite lost, and all the planters upon the river go naked if not supplied ; at present all their provisions and maintenance for a foot company are sent upon his own account. Sir R. Carr was persuaded in the beginning of February to remove thence, and hath ever since followed his Majesty's Commission. Sends by Col. Cartwright, who he supposes is now at sea, all transactions in the colonies. Has sent a copy of the King's letter to each colony ; have much less cause to apprehend De Ruyter than the privateers, though they do not apprehend either, for they have no ships to lose, no goods to plunder, but a ragged sort of a fort put into the best posture of defence possible, well fitted with cannon, no want of ammunition at present, and as many soldiers as will not lose his Majesty's interest but with their own lives. Printed in New York Documents, III., 103. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XIX., No. 84.]
July.
Shaftesbury Papers.
1027. Account of fees paid in passing a duplicate of the first charter of Carolina [March 1663], total 106l. 11s. 6d. ; also of those paid in passing the last patent for Carolina [June 1665], total 71l. 2s. 4d. 1 p. [Shaftesbury Papers, Section IX., No. 5.]
July. 1028. Copy of the preceding. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XX, end of volume.]