America and West Indies: May 1666

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 1666', in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 5, 1661-1668, (London, 1880) pp. 380-384. British History Online [accessed 12 April 2024]

May 1666

May 1.
1193. Governor Sir Wm. Berkeley to Sec. Lord Arlington. Hath marshalled the 26 merchantmen into a squadron, but all of them are not able to encounter three well prepared men-of-war ; they hope a convoy will meet them on the coast of Ireland. Live after the simplicity of the past age ; indeed unless the danger of our country gave our fears tongues and language we should shortly forget all sounds that did not concern the business and necessities of our farms. As we are farther out of danger so we approach nearer to Heaven with our prayers that his sacred Majesty's enemies may either drink the sea or lick the dust. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., No. 63.]
May 1.
1194. Thos. Ludwell to Sec. Lord Arlington. That in regard of the hostile force of many and potent enemies against the safety of the three kingdoms, their fears at this distance are almost insupportable. Sends copy of their latest laws and public levyes to Col. Moryson to present to his Lordship, with two orders of the General Court, concerning the repayment of the 2s. per hogshead upon the tobacco lost last year, and the stop of the ships till the first of April, a month longer than his Majesty's restriction, that they might be a sufficient fleet to defend themselves, though they could not now dispute their liberties with two men-of-war of twenty guns. Indorsed, Answered Nov. 24, 1666. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., No. 64.]
May 1. 1195. Certificate of the Captains of the merchantmen at Point Comfort in Virginia, of Gov. Berkeley's great care of them in ordering their stay till the end of April, they being not ready till that time nor all the ships come up to them. Signed by Nicholas Lux, Admiral, John Scott, Vice-Admiral, and William Coulton, Rear-Admiral. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., No. 65.]
May 3. 1196. Orders of Sir Wm. Berkely, Governor of Virginia, to the fleet of merchantmen bound for England. Constituting Nicholas Luxe, Admiral, John Scott, Vice-Admiral, and William Coulton, Rear-Admiral, and ordering them (according to their bonds) to keep together till they come to Cape Clear, and if they meet with no convoy there to make to the next coast of Ireland. Two copies. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., Nos. 66, 67.]
May 7.
Mount Hope.
1197. Eleise Pokonoahkit [King Philip?] to the Chief Officer of the town of Long Island. Understands that "Ne negrat" will come over to their neighbouring Indians for tribute for conquering them. Sends these few lines to tell them not to pay any more tribute to Ne negrat till the honoured Commissioners have the hearing of it, but to strengthen themselves against his coming. Will not lay hands on them as he did before, both English and Indians are his friends, and Block Island Indians will not join with Ne negrat. "Writin by me John Sasonion." p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., No. 68.]
May 7. 1198. Warrant to pay 800l. to George Cartwright for the use of his Majesty's Commissioners employed for the visitation of the colonies in New England. [Dom., Chas. II., Docquets, Cal. p. 383.] The warrant for a Privy Seal is dated 27 April, see Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. XXIII., p. 81.
May 7. 1199. Mem. of advices received during the week ; (1) dated May 4, that Capt. Talbot set sail with several vessels under his convoy for Lisbon, and Virginia ; the Sorlings is gone to Falmouth to fetch in a ship that came from Jamaica laden upon the King's and Duke's account, having 50,000l. worth of gold and plate for the tenths and fifteenths of prizes taken about those islands. (2.) Mem. of advice from Barnstaple, May 4, that 40 or 50 Dutch capers are lying about 48 or 52 degrees, expecting the English Virginia fleet ; one of them took a vessel laden with masts from New England. [Extract from Dom., Chas. II., Vol. CLV., No. 57, Cal., p. 383.]
May 7. 1200. Twenty-one bonds of 1,000l. each given by the Commanders of the ships following :
John Stockes Golden Lyon of Bristol.
Peter Wraxall Goodwill of Bristol.
David Baker Elizabeth of Weymouth.
Richard Sparke Rebecca of Dartmouth.
Gilbert Anderson Adventure of Hull.
John Hatch Plymouth Merchant of Plymouth.
John Watson Virginia Berkeley.
William Wilcox Francis of Topsham.
Edward Pearce Golden Fortune of London.
William Nicholls Thomas and George of Bristol.
Christopher Browning Samuel of Bideford.
Edward Pickard Philip of Barnstaple.
William Coulton Agreement of Bristol.
Thomas Phelps Dolphin of Bristol.
Nathaniel Thornton James of Bristol.
John England Loves Increase of Bristol.
Robert Munder Charles of London.
John Smith William and Thomas of Bristol.
William Sheppard True Love of Bristol.
Samuel Finch Virginia Merchant of Plymouth.
Thomas Cooke Sarah of London.
To obey all orders and directions already prescribed by Gov. Berkeley or which they shall receive from Capt. Nicholas Lux on their voyage homewards. Certified copies. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., Nos. 69-90.]
May 8. 1201. Petition of Robert Swanley to the Duke of York. Has suffered much damage in Newfoundland by De Ruyter, and prays for one of his Majesty's ships of war for the defence of the place, or for a commission to provide such a ship himself with guns and all other things. [Dom., Chas. II., Vol. CLV., No. 72, Cal., p. 386.]
May 10.
1202. Hen. Hawley, Philip Bell, and Sam. Barwicke, of the Council, and H. Sweete, Nath. Kingsland, and Richard Hawkyns, of the Assembly, to Sir John Colleton and Sir Paul Paynter. Being destitute of fire-arms and powder, the Council and Assembly raised a stock to furnish the present necessity in some measure. They have appointed 40 butts of sugar to be consigned to Colleton and Paynter for sale, to return one-half in good cannon powder, and the other in good "Snapp hans (?), musketts, and garduce" boxes. Hope his Majesty will spare a small frigate to bring this supply, and make an addition to their store of his Royal bounty. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., No. 91.]
May 11. 1203. Sir John Wolstenholme, Sir John Shaw, and J. Harrison, Farmers of Customs, to Sir Phil. Warwick. A ship belonging to New England laden with Virginia tobacco, arriving at Weymouth, refused to enter and land her goods, as the law required, and is gone for Jersey ; beg for a warrant to the Governor of Jersey to stop the vessel and goods ; this little trick, if tolerated, would open a dangerous gap into the law and his Majesty's revenue in point of the plantation trade ; the ship is from Boston, New England. [Dom., Chas. II., Vol. CLV., No. 103, Cal., p. 392.]
May 12.
1204. Gov. Lord Willoughby to the King. What he so much feared and endeavoured to prevent has now befallen his Majesty's subjects in St. Christopher's, for the French better supplied and better instructed have surprised them, destroyed all with fire and sword, and become masters of the windward half of the island. Though supplied with a trained band of 1,000 men, the alarm caused the English of the leeward side to advance into French ground, where they were received with a very hot encounter, the privateers, who fought stoutly, lost most of them their lives, and the Governor, who behaved very well and received five wounds, was killed. Cannot commend the fighting of the planters at all. The French spare no cost to supply their Plantations with shipping, men, arms, and ammunition all from home, and keep garrisons in every island well paid and disciplined, all done by a company. If the torrent be not stopped by a speedy force of shipping, &c., the rest of the islands may be lost. News from the Governor of Nevis that 1,200 or 1,500 men well armed gave up to the French on very mean conditions without striking a stroke ; if Nevis give up he cannot expect any other will stand, "and if it once come to run in a blood, God bless Barbadoes that fair jewell of your Majesty's Crown.", Must and will tell the truth : Barbadoes is the best peopled spot in these parts of the world, and yields her Prince the greatest income ; the gentry bred here are all lively spirited men, very ingenious and industrious, and the most active in improving commerce and traffic of any he ever heard of. Begs leave to be plain with his Majesty, for he is "come to where it pinches, and if your Majesty gives not an ample and speedy redress, you have not only lost St. Christopher's, but you will lose the rest, I (sic) and famous Barbadoes too, I fear." Free trade is the life of all colonies, but such is the condition of the Caribbee Islands, that they have not clothes sufficient to hide their nakedness, or food to fill their bellies. Whoever he be that advised his Majesty to restrain and tie up his colonies in point of trade is more a merchant than a good subject, and would have his Majesty's islands but nursed up to work for him and such men. The people are much discontented, especially Barbadoes, who as they have merited much expect much to be done for them, especially a full supply of shipping with men, arms, ammunition, and cannon. There are no idle men in the island, and it ought to have a standing guard of 500 soldiers well paid with 1,000 more distributed in the other leeward islands. Supposes they might be paid without anything from his Majesty's revenue at home, except for the first year, if his Majesty would allow them free trade, and also to Guinea for negroes, which brought them to what they are, and if not allowed again fears his Majesty's interest will go back as fast as it did increase. The 10 pieces of eight per negro would be cheerfully paid, and custom upon all commodities imported, which would not only pay the 1,500 men but supply his Majesty's coffers at home, and is sure would improve the colonies. Had sent 500 or 600 men under his nephew Harry Willoughby, hoping he might have done to the French what they have done to us, but was too late. Hopes for more timely notice in future. Indorsed with a summary. 5 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., No. 92.]
May 12.
1205. Governor Lord Willoughby to (Sec. Lord Arlington). Has received account that the French have been beforehand at St. Christopher, and were better instructed and better provided than he was, for his only advice of the war was from the master of a ship, who brought in his pocket the print of both Kings' Declarations. The French had done their business before the fleet sailed hence. They beat up the outgards, and so fell in pell mell amongst the planters with fire and sword and quickly became masters of that part of the English ground, which struck such terror into the rest on the other side of the island, that they gave up without a stroke ; only a company or two of privateers from Jamaica, who had taken Eustatia and Saba and whom the Governor had drawn to him for assistance, fought stoutly, most of them being killed and wounded. This is the account Willoughby has received of the loss of St. Christopher. But few of the planters fell. Hopes it will stir up his Majesty and his Lordship that a good force of ships be speeded away, with a good supply of men, arms, and ammunition, for there are no means here. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., No. 93.]
May 13.
1206. Margaret Watts [widow of the Governor of St. Christopher's] to Sir William Darcy, Whitehall. Is the sad intelligencer of her own cruel misfortune, for on the 10th April last her dear Watts and Sir William's son, patricians both, fell in one hour by the French, and she lost a dear husband as ever God created, and an estate that brought in 1,500l. per annum ; and next day, though there were above 1,600 men well armed, their treacherous officers would not suffer them to fight, but cowardly surrendered to the French, and she and her fatherless child were forced to fly for their lives without enough to buy provisions. Her sufferings at Nevis, where she met with Job's friends, who hoped ere this her husband was in hell, saying he was the traitor that had sold the island ; the Governor also showing her little civility, and after embarking for Barbadoes, where at her arrival she had several kind welcomes, and Lord Willoughby could not see her child without tears, and was much troubled at her uncivil entertainment at Nevis. The same language that was given her [at Nevis] was written to Barbadoes, but his Lordship threw it aside as not to be credited of a man who received so many wounds, and yet fought on to the last gasp, and having in person sprung their trenches received the fatal blow ; after which they fired one volley and all retreated. Her cousin Darcy, who commanded the horse, was shot in the head, and then all retreated to the forts, where they found the guns spiked. Col. Reymes, who with near 400 men stood to windward and saw the English destroyed and their houses burnt, did not assist, but commanded his men to stand still, telling them he would make as honourable terms with the French as ever they had with the English. So he wrote to the French commander craving submission to the French King, not having so much honour as to demand the corpse of his commander, and further aggravated by saying that the resistance was by their Governor's orders, and he hoped the Governor's carcase that lay for a sacrifice would appease their wrath. After which all that would not take the oath of allegiance to the French King fled off the island, but most of the rich ones valued their money above their God and stayed there with Reymes, who conducted the enemy to the English quarters, taking down the English and putting up the French flag. Forces are already gone from this island to reduce St. Kitts under command of Col. Willoughby. Trusts she may live to see those traitorous creatures have their just reward, and to give the bones of her dear Watts and her cousin Christian burial. Knows not how she shall provide for herself and child, for if one of her husband's relations here had not supplied them with necessaries, they had been both in bare condition. Left her cousin Darcy's wife at Nevis with her mother, who has 40 negroes with some other things of value, so hopes she will not be reduced to want. Presents her service to himself and lady, and her entire affection to all her cousins. Col. Morgan, Governor of Statia, and Col. Barry were carried off the field wounded, but whether mortally they know not yet. Prays him to give this sorrowful news to her brother and sister in Ireland. Indorsed, Rec. 28 Augt. 5 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., No. 94.]
May 18. 1207. List of the fleet that sailed from Virginia the 18th day of May 1666 with the ship Alexander, 18 sail of Bristol, with 144 cannon and 13 from other places with 72 cannon. Indorsed, "Recd 14 Nov. '66." 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., No. 95.]
May? 1208. Petition of Capparose, inhabitant of Bayonne, to the King. For a pass for his ship the St. Peter, 100 tons, which he has laden for Boston, in New England. [Dom., Chas. II., Vol. CLVII., No. 66, Cal., p. 421.]