America and West Indies: October 1666

Pages 414-422

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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October 1666

Oct. 3.
1286. Lieut.-Governor Will. Willoughby to the King. Was left by Lord Willoughby in July last his deputy, from whom and the Council his Majesty has herewith the full account of the misfortunes of that undertaking, and of their insufficiency to attempt any further remedy without his Majesty's assistance [see ante, No. 1281]. Craves authority to press ships if necessary. Indorsed, "Rec. 5th Dec." 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., No. 148.]
Oct. 3.
1287. Lieut.-Governor Will. Willoughby to Sec. Lord Arlington. Duplicate of his letter dated 30th Sept., see ante, No. 1285. Indorsed, "Rec. 5th [Dec.]" 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., No. 149.]
Oct. 9.
Rhode Island.
1288. Samuel Mavericke to Sec. Sir Wm. Morrice. Acknowledges receipt of his letter of the 10th April to the Commissioners. His Majesty's gracious letters to them and to the three southern colonies were received on 5th August with much joy. Humble thanks for the 200l. sent out of his Majesty's Royal bounty. It was five weeks ere he could persuade the Governor of Massachusetts to call his Council to deliver the King's letter to them. Has given a more particular account of this to Col. Cartwright. Is now on his way to New York, whence he will write a more ample relation. His mother presents her humble service. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., No. 150.]
Oct. 15. 1289. Warrant to the Sheriffs of London and Middlesex to deliver Sir John Towers, Bart., sentenced to death for high treason for counterfeiting the Royal Seal and Sign Manual, but reprieved, to John Tompson, commander of the Companion, to be by him transported into the Colonies on bond and security for his safe and secure transportation. N.B.—In a draft Barbadoes is named as the place of transportation, and the clause is omitted as to security for his safe transportation. [Dom., Chas. II., Vol. CLXXV., Nos. 34, 35, Cal., p. 198.]
Oct. 16. 1290. Mem. That upon a petition of Sir William Davidson for passes for two ships to New England and three to Barbadoes, his Majesty recommended the Duke of York to grant the passes desired, on giving security to pay his Majesty's dues. ⅓ p. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. XVIII., p. 223.]
Oct. 23.
1291. Twenty-four Acts passed at a Grand Assembly held at James City, Virginia, by prorogation from 5th June to 23rd Oct. 1666, but the titles only of those are given against which in the margin is written, Repealed, Expired, Obsolete, Frivolous. Printed in Col. Entry Bks., Nos. 89, 90, 91, see ante, No. 262. [Col. Entry Bk., No. 88, pp. 64-69.]
[Oct. 24.
Fort James New York.]
1292. (Col. Nicolls) to (Sec. Morrice). His dutiful acknowledgments to the King for approving his endeavours as a Commissioner, and sending him 200l. at a time when money can be least spared. Attends only his Royal Highness' commands before he returns to England, and gladly embraces his Majesty's liberty to do so. The copy of his Majesty's signification to the Massachusetts was surreptitiously conveyed over to them by some unknown hand before the original came to Boston. Affirms it positively true that formerly the original of Mr. Mavericke's petition to the King and Council (concerning the Massachusetts colony) was stolen out of Lord Arlington's office in Whitehall, by Captain John Scott, and delivered to the Governor and Council at Boston, though Scott said a clerk of Mr. Williamson gave it him. This same Scott, by a pretended seal affixed to a writing, in which was the King's picture drawn with a pen or black lead, with his Majesty's hand, Charles R., and subsigned Henry Bennet, hath horribly abused his Majesty's honour in these parts, and fled out of the country to Barbadoes. Lord Willoughby sent word that he would send Scott prisoner to England, so has given this information, that such fellows may have some mark of infamy put upon them. The Massachusetts persist, or rather fly higher in contempt of his Majesty's authority ; for the General Court have resolved to send no man out of the colony, according to his Majesty's summons. Several considerable men both of the Council and Deputies have entered their protest against that resolution ; and most of the considerable merchants and men of estates petitioned the Court to comply with his Majesty's commands, but are to be questioned as seditious persons. Makes this narrative shorter because Mr. Mavericke will attend with more full particulars in another ship. The eyes of all the other colonies are bent upon this strange deportment of the Massachusetts. His Majesty may easily chastise them, not by force, which might frighten the innocent as well as nocent, but by a temporary embargo on their trade, until such and such persons are delivered to justice : the numerous well affected would soon give up the ringleaders ; nor would his Majesty lose any of his customs, for if ships were sent with goods suitable to New York, all the trade of Boston would be brought hither, and hence to England ; in which case a frigate for convoy would be necessary, indeed in their present posture, every small picaroon of the enemy is master of all their harbours and rivers, from the Capes of Virginia to Piscataqua. Indorsed, Col. Nicolls to Sir William Morice, 24th October 1666. A duplicate sent November the 2nd. Printed in New York Documents, III., 136, 137. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., No. 151.]
Oct. 24.
Fort James.
1293. Duplicate of the preceding. 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., No. 152.]
Oct. 24. 1294. Petition of the Royal African Company to the King. The impossibility of carrying on the trade of Africa without a joint stock is too evident to be insisted on, and petitioners were in a fair way of enriching the kingdom by exporting manufactures and importing bullion before the loss sustained by De Ruyter. In July 1664, had provided 12 or 13 ships with rich cargoes to go to Africa, and were more than ordinarily careful to prevent private trade, but Capt. Giles Thornborough, contrary to the warning particularly given him, and to the charter-party by himself signed, did lade upon his ship great quantities of prohibited commodities, which upon search were found on board. The Company might have confiscated both his ship and goods, but upon his humble address, praying them not to proceed against him in the Admiralty, and promising to mitigate his fault by future service, they suffered the ship to proceed and seized only the goods, no man daring to justify so foul a crime as not only to trade to Africa without leave, but to do it in the Company's ships, so as to make them pay freight for being wronged and abused. But now John Kirkham impudently pretends a title to some of those goods, and has put in an action in the Exchequer ; pray that he may be summoned before the King in Council, to give a reason of his proceeding, they having just cause to suspect that Thornborough was a principal instrument in betraying their fleet, fort, and goods to De Ruyter, and believing that Kirkham instigated him, before he went, to watch the first opportunity of a black treason. [Dom., Chas. II., Vol. CLXXVI., No. 25, Cal., p. 217.]
Oct. 25.
Boston, New England.
1295. John Winthrop, Governor of Connecticut, to Sec. Lord Arlington. The King's letter of the 22nd Feb. was received in July last, with declaration of war against the French, which was forthwith published at Hartford, New London, and other places. The Assembly, after serious consideration of his Majesty's commands for reducing Canada, thought it necessary that he should go to Boston to consult with the Governor and Council of Massachusetts, and Sir Thos. Temple, Governor of Nova Scotia, now residing at Boston. Was detained about diverting a great body of Indians from joining the French ; of which Capt. Baker, of Fort Albany, gave intelligence, the French designing to draw these Indians into a confederacy on pretence that their war was against the Mohawks. Many hundreds of them already on the march were persuaded to return. Some few horse sent to discover the way to Canada, and get intelligence of the French army, which Col. Nicolls, the Commander of Albany, and divers Indians reported to be on their march to Albany. These horse passed with much difficulty 120 miles from Hartford, and brought intelligence that the French were then on a treaty of peace with the Indians, and proceeded no further than Lake Hiracoies [Lake Champlain]. Had conference with Sir Thos. Temple and the Governor and Council at Boston, and on consideration of the necessity of good ships, the difficulty of passing over land, and the lateness of the season, it was unanimously agreed that at present there could be nothing done by these colonies in reducing those places at or about Canada. Beseeches his favourable representation to the King with the enclosed abbreviate. Signed and with seal. Indorsed, Rec. Dec. 22 1666. Printed in New York Documents, III., 137, 138. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., No. 153.]
Oct. 25. 1296. Governor Winthrop to the King. The breviate of the preceding letter therein referred to. Signed and with seal. Indorsed, Rec. Dec. 22, 1666. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., No. 154.]
Oct. 26.
1297. Samuel Nadhorth to Sec. Morrice. Is emboldened by his Honor's good character to write, and having been here resident for some years, and observed the temper of all sorts of people. Though charged with denying the King's jurisdiction, his Commissioners had more kindness and respect shown them by this colony than all the rest of the colonies of New England. Col. Cartwright very well knows that this colony greatly assisted in reducing the Manhatoes and in treating with the Dutch, and as to the charge of denying the King's jurisdiction—the people say that they left their native country, not with any dislike of the King, or of monarchical power, for they esteem it the best of Governments, but that they might worship the Lord according to His own institutions, not being able to bear the yoke imposed on them by the then prevailing hierarchy. So they obtained a Royal charter, which gave them power to elect all their own officers and to govern all the people of this place, and came to a waste and howling wilderness, where they have conflicted with difficulties and sorrows of all sorts, scuffling with the Dutch and French, and suffering from the savage cruelties and murders of the wild natives, who for a time were pricks in their sides and thorns in their eyes. In spite of the extremity of heat and cold, and the barrenness of the land, they have wrestled through the difficulties of first planting, and sown the seed of man and beast, so that they are grown up to a considerable body of people, and some small beginning of a common weal—and all this at their own proper charge. Now they reason that, while they own his Majesty's charter, they cannot be justly charged with denying his jurisdiction, for they acknowledge themselves his subjects, their Government and courts of justice were constituted by his authority and appointment, and their writts and process of law go forth in his name. And in case they may not be confident in this grant, they can have no certainty of their lives and estates, and much less of that liberty in the free passage of the Gospel, far dearer to them than all their other comforts ; they well knowing that if the wall of the Civil Government be pulled down, the wild boar will soon destroy the Lord's vineyard, and that it is impossible for them to keep the waters of the Sanctuary when that Venice glass which holds them is broken in pieces, they not wanting many sectaries and profane persons that are sprung up among themselves who do long for such an opportunity. And as to the General Court refusing to answer at the tribunal of the Commissioners, they answer that the Commissioners interpreting their commission contrary to the charter, was a great abuse of the power, and repugnant to the instructions given to them by his Majesty. This people having purchased their liberty at so dear a rate, and having lost those privileges in the Parliament of England which their fathers had, crave only that they may stand as the shrub among the cedars, growing upon their own root, and not be forced to be the slaves of rulers imposed upon them contrary to the rule of their charter. They are afraid to multiply their supplications, their hope is in God. To express their affection and loyalty to his Majesty they have ordered a present of masts such as no other of his dominions can produce. It is in his Majesty's power easily to crush them by the very breath of his nostrils, but they have a higher esteem of their liberties than of their lives, which are such twins as God and not nature have joined together, and are resolved to bury their estates and liberties in the same grave. Should his Majesty speak comfortably to them, he has no subjects more faithful in all his dominions, and the colony will be daily increased, to the great advance of his Majesty's customs ; whereas, should the malicious accusations of their adversaries prevail with his Majesty to impose hard measure upon them, their dwellings, not desirable for luxurious minds, would not be long inhabited. What a great pity it would be that this hopeful plantation, raised without any expense to the King, should be made a prey to foreign enemies ; the French are waiting for such an opportunity, being "much fleshed by their prevailing in Christopher's Island," last summer sent sundry ships and soldiers to a considerable number, who last winter travelled across the Great Lake, and the Massachusetts Patent, as far as Fort Albany. It is reported by the Indians that 700 Frenchmen are fortifying on this side the Lake, above our Plantations, and have built two forts, intending there to settle. The English of this colony in their frontier towns so alarmed that they were forced to stand on their watch last summer, though disabled from giving them any offence. How acceptable it would be to French and Dutch to see this colony frowned upon by their King. Account of the present of 28 large masts now aboard Captain Pierce, fit for another Prince Royal, and of the difficulties of getting them. All the poor planters can do is to get bread and clothing for their necessary supplies. True, every man has a little house and small parcel of land, with a few cattle, but all will not purchase 5l. worth of clothing in England, and for years past God hath much frowned upon their crops, so to obtain this present they are forced to take up money at interest. The signification from his Majesty requiring the Governor and others to appear in England was neither original nor duplicate, but only a copy without any seal. The Governor is near 80 years old, with many infirmities, and to have exposed him to such an undertaking had been extreme cruelty. No particulars were nominated to which they are to answer, and the answer of the General Court to the mandates of the Commissioners were sent over last year, wherefore the General Court and the people generally hope that his Majesty will favourably interpret them herein. If he shall perceive that declaring the contents hereof will do no good to this people, humbly begs "that it may not be improved to any provocation," being done without the privity or authority of any person whatsoever. The truth is that the Commissioners "putting their spurs too hard to the horses' sides before they were got into the saddle," and the rigorous dealing of Lord Willoughby on Barbadoes Island, have made the name of a commissioner odious to these people. Had the Governor and leading men of the colony adhered to the Commissioners' mandates, the people (some discontents, Quakers, and others excepted) would have utterly protested against their concession. Printed in New York Documents, III., 138-142. 3½ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., No. 155.]
Oct. 30.
1298. John Reid to [Sec. Lord Arlington]. Has but little to add to his letters of 29th September and 12th current, but that they have no news of Lord Willoughby or his ships, and are out of hopes ever to hear of them, for all people conclude that they were swallowed up by the hurricane. Begs for arms and ammunition. Sends news received from Surinam from Gov. Byam. Ships that were to have gone to the Leeward Islands in his Majesty's service are now loading for London. Our people at Antigua and Nevis in a most sad condition for want of provisions and ammunition, and no vessels can go to them. Hears a new collector or commission is coming over to receive half the customs for satisfaction of the Earl of Carlisle's debts ; begs his Lordship to be mindful of him and continue his favour to his brother William. Indorsed, Rec. Jan. 29 [1667]. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., No. 156.]
Oct. 30. 1299. Petition of Dr. Benjamin Worsley to the King. Whereas upon his Majesty's encouragement petitioner has brought the growth of senna to perfection in his Majesty's Plantations, and is encouraged to undertake the producing of other commodities belonging to Turkey. Prays that none may plant or import senna without his Majesty's special grant ; that the senna imported may be examined by some of his Majesty's physicians, and sold at a price not exceeding the medium price for the last seven years ; that no foreign senna be permitted to be sold till all the store imported from the Plantations be sold ; and that, instead of a grant for the sole planting and importing thereof for 14 years, as petitioner was promised, he may have a lease for 12 years on paying a rent, and at the end of that term he will resign it wholly to his Majesty, or give an advance of rent, by which means the goodness will be preserved, and his Majesty will receive ten times the present revenue for customs. With reference to the Attorney-General to consider the same and make report to his Majesty. Whitehall, 1666, Oct. 30. On same sheet,
1299. I. Report of Attorney-General Palmer. Has considered above petition and the reasons annexed, and conceives that his Majesty may grant the sole use and benefit of the new invention in the production of senna in his Plantations for 14 years, according to the statute, and that the other matters are fitter for the consideration of Parliament, than his Majesty's grant, 1668, March 14. Annexed,
1299. II. The reasons above referred to for encouraging the planting of senna by a patent or by an Act of Parliament, see warrant, 12 Aug. 1668. Together 4 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., Nos. 157, 158.]
Oct. 31.
Fort James, New York.
1300. Col. N[icolls], Sir R. C[arr], and Sam. M[avericke] to Mr. Richards. Though they have just cause to believe that the cattle arrested in the King's Province truly belonged to those arch traitors Goffe and Whalley, they authorise him to receive them on giving security to the Governor of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in 100l. that said cattle be forthcoming within one year and a day. Same to Justices of the Peace of the Province of Maine. Recommend to their protection the case of Francis Hooke against Nathaniel Phillips and Clement Hard, in which the authority of a Justice of the Peace seems to have been violated. Same to Mr. Jordan. It is well known to him that the Massachusetts have refused his Majesty's Commissioners to hear and relieve the oppressed, so can only remit the petition to the King. Same to the Governor and Assistants of Rhode Island. Request them to take the petition of James Barker into their care and protection according to equity. Same to Mr. Brenton. The King's declaration to the Massachusetts that the temporary bounds set by the Commissioners between Plymouth and Rhode Island shall stand till his Majesty finds cause to alter the same ; which he will be pleased to receive as their answer to his letter. Same to Mr. Alcock. Are apt to believe well of his right to Block Island before Rhode Island colony was established by his Majesty's patent, yet have seen no conveyances or heard that he is excluded from his right or molested by the gentlemen of Rhode Island. Advise him to address himself to that Government for a confirmation of his right, which if refused may give him just cause of complaint. 2½ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., No. 159.]
[Oct.] 1301. Petition of upwards of one hundred of the Principal Inhabitants of the Massachusetts Colony to the General Court at Boston. The petitioners being informed that the King, in letters lately sent to Governor and Council, expressed his ill resentment of the proceedings of the Colony with the Commissioners, and required some persons named to wait upon his pleasure with a view to the determination of the differences, considering the matter one calling for serious consideration, that they may not be wanting to the Government in withholding any encouragement that their concurrence might afford it, nor to themselves and the country in being by their silence involved in the mistakes of some otherwise well-minded persons, inclining to disloyal principles, desire to have liberty to propose their thoughts and fears about the matter. They conceive that those who live in that age are no less concerned in the advice of the Wise Man, to keep the King's commandment because of the oath of God, and not to be hasty to go out of his sight, that doth whatsoever pleaseth him : they therefore desire that the King, having already taken displeasure against them, as if they disowned his jurisdiction, care may be taken lest by refusing to attend the King's orders, they should plunge themselves into greater disfavour and danger. The receiving of a charter from the King's predecessor, and its confirmation from the present King by their late address, sufficiently declare the Colony to be a part of his dominions, and themselves his subjects, in testimony of which the first Governor, Matthew Cradock, stands recorded, juratus de fide et obedientia, before one of the Masters in Chancery, whence it is evident, if the proceedings of the Colony have given occasion to the King to say that we believe he has no jurisdiction over us, they ought to free themselves from incurring his Majesty's further displeasure by giving due satisfaction on all points ; such an assertion would be destructive to their welfare and derogatory to the King's honour ; the doubtful interpretation of a patent, which can never be construed to the divesting of a sovereign of power over his natural subjects, is too frail a foundation to build such a transcendent immunity and privilege upon. They acknowledge to the utmost the care and pains of the Government in endeavouring to uphold the liberties of the colony, and would not be unwilling to run any hazard for the regular defence of the same, and, while they are unwilling to reflect upon the persons they so much honour, by dissenting from them in things where they cannot approve the reason of their proceedings, yet in a matter of so great concernment, touching the honour of God, the credit of religion, and the interest of their own persons and estates, they earnestly desire that no party will so irresistibly carry on any design of so dangerous consequence as to necessitate their brethren equally engaged with them in the same undertaking to make a particular address to the King and declaration to the world to clear themselves from so scandalous an evil as the appearance of disaffection to their lawful Prince. They entreat that nothing likely to cause the King resentment may be further proceeded in, but that application be made to him to clear the transaction of them that govern the Colony from any such construction, lest that, which duly improved, might have been as a cloud of the latter rain, be turned into that which in the conclusion may be more terrible than the roaring of a lion. Underwritten, This petition was signed by upward of 100 of the principal inhabitants of the Massachusetts Colony, presented by them to the General Court at Boston, in October 1666, upon occasion of his Majesty's letter and declaration of 10th April of the same year. For which those gentlemen received a severe check, the petition voted scandalous, they styled betrayers of the liberties of the country, are still reputed ill affected to the Government, and not suffered to be chosen into any office of magistracy. Indorsed, The petition of the inhabitants of the Massachusetts Colony to the General Court in Oct. 1666. Two copies. 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., Nos. 160, 161.]
Boston, N. E.
1302. Edward Rawson, Secretary, in the name of the General Court of the Massachusetts, to Sec. Morrice. His Majesty's letter of the 22nd Feby. was received the 17th July. Have been and are according to their weak ability endeavouring to prepare against the French and Dutch. The reducing of Canada not at present feasible, as well in respect of the difficulty if not impossibility of a land march of 400 miles over rocky mountains and howling deserts, as of the strength of the French. The declaration of war against France solemnly published by sound of trumpet. Have sustained some loss by the French and Dutch in their shipping, and have themselves taken three or four fishing ships on the coasts of Canada. As to the writing delivered to them by Samuel Mavericke on the 6th Sept. without direction or seal, which he says is a copy of a signification from his Majesty of his pleasure concerning this colony, "we have in all humility given our reasons why we could not submit to the Commissioners and their mandate the last year, which we understand lie before his Majesty ; to the substance whereof we have not to add, and therefore cannot expect that the ablest persons among us could be in a capacity to declare our cause more fully. We must therefore commit this our great concernment unto Almighty God, praying and hoping that his Majesty (a Prince of so great clemency) will consider the state and condition of his poor and afflicted subjects at such a time, being in eminent danger by the public enemies of our nation, and that in a wilderness far remote from relief. Wherefore we do in most humble manner prostrate ourselves before his Majesty and beseech him to be graciously pleased to rest assured of our loyalty and allegiance according to our former profession." 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX., No. 162.]