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America and West Indies: April 1668

Pages 555-564

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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April 1668

April? 1720. George C[torn away] to [Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper]. Has inquired after the lost child John Brookes, and last night he was after much trouble and charge freed again : he relates that there are divers other children in the ship the Seven Brothers enticed from their parents. Hears she is bound for Virginia and is fallen down to Gravesend, and if a speedy course be not taken to stop her she will be gone. Hears of two other ships in the river at the same work, and though the parents see their children in the ships, yet without money they will not let them have them. The woman and child will wait on him. It is believed that divers strangers and others are carried away, so that it were good to get the ships searched. Begs him to move it in the House to have a law to make it death, and is confident his mercy to these innocent children will ground a blessing on himself and his own. Not to let his great affairs put this good work out of his head, to stop the ships and discharge the children. Indorsed, "About spiriting." 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXII., No. 56.]
April? 1721. The case of James Strutt and Thomas Hutson, masters of the Concord and Providence. Prince Rupert having granted them a protection, they have laded their ships, paid duties, and are ready to sail ; but order is sent to stop them because they carry no guns, which is procured upon a misrepresenting of some matters to the Duke of York, and will tend to their ruin. Desire an order for proceeding with the fleet, having used the Barbadoes trade many years. p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXII., No. 57.]
1668? April? 1722. Copy of the above, slightly altered. p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXII., No. 58.]
April? 1723. Bill of Ric. Dakers for 3l. 10s. for pay of Richard Crampe while sick. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXII., No. 59.]
April 3.
Aboard the Crown, Nevis Road.
1724. Gov. Wm. Lord Willoughby to Williamson. Refers to his previous letters giving account how he found matters in disorder at Nevis by contrivance of Esq. Marsh, who there has a plantation, and had so possessed his allies with his interest at Court that they were inclinable to a kind of rebellion against any Governor if not their natural Prince. This occasioned Willoughby's longer stay there, besides the trouble he found in transporting thence many poor prisoners sent by the French which they had inhumanly abused, and the remainder of Sir Tobias Bridge's regiment, but soon made the inhabitants sensible of their duty and his own power, and they have quitted (or at least declared so) their quondam patron, Mr. Marsh. The people are well fitted to the place, which is the worst the Indies afford of that magnitude ; it is true there are many people on it, and all plantable ground is planted, and no wonder, for is informed the Governor will suffer few to go off if once in his jurisdiction. Lay there three weeks and had at one time 60 sick men in his ship, 18 with the small-pox, and the captain thought he escaped well. Thence he beat up to Montserrat, a pretty island, with as much plantable land as Nevis, but cruelly destroyed by the French ; it is almost an Irish colony ; they now swear to be true to his Majesty, "and I believe them till an enemy appear." Thence arrived at Antigua, which if well supplied and countenanced by his Majesty may prove the best island in the Indies. This letter being mislaid lost its passage, so he may now give an account of his second voyage to these islands, where he has spent another eight weeks, and being at Montserrat on his return he met with those long expected orders for taking possession of St. Kitts ; returned thither and stayed five days with "the trifling Governor, Mons. St. Lawrence," and the Intendant for the Royal Company, M. De Chambre ; a large narrative of which he has sent Lord Arlington and the Duke of Albemarle, with letters to his Majesty and his Royal Highness by this conveyance. Presumes it was supposed the French King's order would have been obeyed, or he would have had orders how to proceed in case of refusal, which happened as they pretended for want of De la Barre's presence. Viewed the island ; the place where our men landed was inaccessible, but had he 1,000 men and orders to do so, believes he could have made them repent not delivering possession. The terrible fire at Barbadoes that burnt three parts of the town and blew up the magazine, and other business, will not permit him to stay to treat further about St. Kitts, so must employ the Commissioners joined with him. Col. Lewis Morris is a severe Quaker, and Willoughby is confident will not accept the employment, which if he should, Monsieur would be astonished at thee and thou ; Col. Hooper, the fittest of the three, died in his last voyage ; so that Col. Lambert must perform his part single, "who is a man of good reason, and at a bowl of punch I dare turn him loose to any Monsieur in the Indies ; he shall not want my best advice if he will obey orders." Hopes soon to see him that the world may see he fears not to justify himself against Mr. Marsh or Lord Carlisle's creditors, "who I do assure you will never be paid out of the King's fund in these parts, let who will govern." Here "the people and Governor are all satisfied and loyal." Indorsed, Rec. 19 June, &c. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXII., No. 60.]
[April 8.] 1725. Petition of Grace, wife of Humphrey Walrond, to the King and Council. Petitioner's husband being very severely prosecuted by the then Lord Willoughby, whose sub-governor he had been in Barbadoes, appealed to his Majesty in Council, where being surprised with new matter which he could not suddenly answer, an order was made for his commitment ; but he having contracted debts by his loyalty to at least 30,000l. withdrew out of the kingdom, not to avoid his Majesty's justice, but to prevent his ruin by the violent prosecution of his creditors. Now in regard of his loyalty and sufferings, notoriously known both in this kingdom and in Barbadoes, whence he was banished for proclaiming his Majesty, petitioner prays his Majesty to withdraw said order of commitment, so that her husband may freely appear without restraint. Indorsed, Read in Council, April 8, 1668. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXII., No. 61.]
1668? 1726. Petition of John Walrond to the King. His father Humphrey Walrond, with many brothers and sons, served in all the late wars with unwearied loyalty, the loss of several of his family, and the utter ruin of a very fair estate. Prays for license to carry in his own ship his own sugars from the Caribbee Islands to any port of Europe without first coming to England. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXII., No. 62.]
[April 8.] 1727. Petition of Edward Bushell and others, merchants, to the King. To authorise the Duke of York to give order to protect 25 seamen in the Amity, Thos. Heath, commander, bound to Barbadoes with 60 passengers and servants, from being pressed, the rather because of the great want of servants there. Indorsed, Recd. and read in Council, April 8, 1668. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXII., No. 63.]
April 10.
Whitehall.
1728. Order of the King in Council on memorial of the Ambassadors from the States General. That the two Dutch seamen lately from Surinam, come before this Board on the 15th inst., to depose on oath their knowledge concerning what has passed there since the articles of peace and patent for rendition thereof were made known there. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXII., No. 64.]
1668? April 15. 1729. Memorial concerning Newfoundland fishing. Two years since the French planted upon Newfoundland eight or ten guns and 30 or 40 men, and last year 20 pieces of ordnance and 90 or 100 men, showing their King's broad seal for government of the island, and driving the English from their habitations who will desert the land if there be not some timely remedy. This proceeds because the island (except the province of Avalon) is without government, the forts all ruined, and all in confusion. The fishermen rob, kill, and spoil the inhabitants as bad now as before his Majesty's restoration. It is humbly desired on behalf of the inhabitants that a frigate or two may remove the French, that a Government may be settled, and for defraying the charge that every boat may pay one quintal, which is a very small charge, every boat ordinarily catching three or four hundred quintals. Indorsed, "Read in Council, April 15th. Memorial exhibited by the Duke of York. Ordered ditto." Annexed,
1729. I. Deposition of John Rayner, late Deputy Governor in Newfoundland. In 1662 a great French ship full of men and women put into Grand Placentia, where she landed a great number of soldiers and passengers, who fortified the harbour with 18 pieces of ordnance, as one Isaac Dethick, who was there, affirmed. Dethick saw the Governor's Commissson under the Great Seal of France for the command of the whole country of Newfoundland, and the following year was forced to remove from his plantation and settle at the Bay of Ards, where deponent found him and took from him an account of the French proceedings, which he sent for England by Mr. Robert Prowse, to be presented to the King. On the 6th June 1665 the harbour of St. John's was invaded by De Ruyter, who took all the ships and goods, and destroyed cattle and houses, and made the like spoil in the Bay of Butts and Petty Harbour, but De Ruyter said if there had been but six guns mounted in St. John's, he would not have adventured in. Deponent was present and lost his whole estate there, to the value of 2,000l. Jurat 2 January 1668.
II. Deposition of William Hill, late Capt. of His Majesty's ship Coventry. That he arrived prisoner from the West Indies at Rochelle on the 14th May 1667, saw several French men-of-war outward bound, and was told that one of 56 guns and another of 30 odd guns were designed for Newfoundland, with a Governor and about 150 soldiers, with many great guns and small arms for fortifying some harbours there, and about 60 families to inhabit there ; and the said ships set sail about the latter end of May last. Jurat 2nd January 1668. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXII., Nos. 65-67.]
1668? 1730. Reasons for the settlement of Newfoundland and the trade under Government. First, in respect of his Majesty's interest. It is the greatest if not the only nursery for seamen, and when the trade flourished it bred 10,000 yearly. Under a Government it produced 50,000l. customs yearly, by the product of fish sent to foreign countries, and foreigners permitted to fish paid 5l. per cent. to the Governor, but for want of it the French have encroached, possessed three of the best harbours, mounted 30 or 40 guns in each place, and use all means to debauch his Majesty's subjects to live under their protection Secondly, in respect of the trader's interest. When the trade flourished under a Government it brought to the nation 500,000l. per annum, but since then not one-third so much. No harbours being fortified and there being no settled Government, the traders are liable to all pirates and enemies, all stages, boats, fishing crafts, &c. are destroyed by the planters or the fishermen that came first, whereby the fishermen are obliged to a month's delay and 20 per cent loss, so that foreigners undersell them in all markets. The cutting down and firing of the woods near the sea will prove the destruction of the trade if not speedily prevented ; the tippling houses where the poor fishermen spend all they get might be prevented ; also the encroachment of houses and gardens on land fit for drying fish. The chief harbours are spoilt by casting ballast into them, great abuses are committed by unseasonable fishing, and the west country owners at the end of the year send their men to New England to save their passage home, by which fishermen are made scarce, and many serviceable seamen lost. By reason of a late Act for turning the planters six miles into the country, the chiefest have gone to New England, and the rest will go to the French, who are so well fortified that in case of a war they would quickly possess the whole country ; for by a late proclamation of the French King, every master of a ship is allowed five livres for every man and three for every woman he carries to Newfoundland. Thirdly, in respect of the inhabitants. By settled Government and harbours fortified they will avoid the abuses of the ungoverned seamen who deal with them as they please, they will be preserved from sea rovers and enemies, have a minister to christen, bury, marry, and instruct them, whereas now they live like brutes. And they will have equal justice, which will greatly encourage all except those who desire to live under no government, but in all things to be their own carvers. Two copies. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXII., Nos. 68, 69.]
1668? 1731. Capt. Robinson's proposals to the King concerning Newfoundland. Because Sir David Kirke's Government was careless or severe, it does not follow that if there be a bad Governor over a Plantation that therefore the Governor and the Plantation shall be removed, and so the country left to any other nation or people whatsoever, but rather that a better Governor be appointed and his Majesty's honour and interest still maintained. The destruction of stages, houses, woods, and harbours ; the want of justice ; breaking the Lord's day and having no offices of christianity, his Majesty being Defender thereof, so that the very natives take notice of it, are some of the consequences of the want of a Governor. Arguments as to whether Newfoundland ought not to be kept from an enemy when it may be done at 1 per cent. on the fish. If the French should take it, whereas they now employ about 400 sail and 18,000 seamen, and the English 300 sail and 15,000 seamen, they would employ near 700 ships and 30,000 seamen, and the English be shut out of 700,000l. yearly, besides which the French would make double that sum. The great advantages of the Newfoundland fishery as a nursery for seamem. If the French should add what the English have planted there to what they possess already in Canada, Nova Scotia, and other places thereabouts, they would be bad neighbours to his Majesty's flourishing Plantations of New England, New York, and Virginia. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXII., No. 70.]
1668? 1732. Reply to the King in Council of the Merchants, Owners, and Masters of ships of the Western parts to the allegations of Capt. Robert Robinson concerning the Newfoundland fishery. For many years past few have made 10 per cent. on this fishery, and last year both Dartmouth and Plymouth lost considerably. The memory of Sir David Kirke's actions little encouragement for another Governor, which was sufficiently proved upon a commission from his Majesty to several gentlemen of Devon in the 19th years of his Majesty's reign (1667). Placentia Bay was never possessed by the English, but was fortified by the French to secure them from the "solvages (natives of the country)." As to the fear of God and honour of his Majesty, seeing the country is most barren and rocky, is productive of no commodities as other Plantations, or affords anything of food to keep men alive or employment for the people, they conceive it fittest that some be brought away, and the rest transported where they may not live so idle, and dishonourable to God and this nation, so that the trade in provisions, &c., now mostly supplied from New England, may be carried on by fishing ships from England and the seamen augmented. Laws are violated, and trees, woods, and stages destroyed by the inhabitants and not by the fishing ships, which would be prevented if the inhabitants were removed. The many tippling houses and taverns were first created by Sir David Kirke, to his own advantage, which was the first cause of debauching the seamen and the inhabitants' increase. If another Governor follow he will doubtless continue the same. Capt. Robinson will remember what he did himself at St. John's in 1661. From Bonavise northward to Trepasse southward is all that ever was and is now possessed by the English, which reaches 300 miles, wherein are 48 fishing places, and if St. John's were fortified and a Governor resident there, it would signify nothing to the other places. Therefore, seeing the many other fishing places that cannot be secured, and that may be done as well by the Admiral, they conceive that a Governor will be more disadvantageous than profitable either to the public or the trade. And lastly, though the charge proposed of one penny per quintal of merchantable fish, and a halfpenny on refuse fish and corr, and 12 pence per hhd. on train, seem so inconsiderable, it will amount to 1 per cent. on fish, and 2 per cent. on oil, occasion vexation to the fishing ships, and hinder the reviving of this decaying trade. Such imposition is positively contrary to several Acts of Parliament, particularly that of the 15th year of his Majesty's reign. Besides they assert that as this fishery through Sir David Kirke's indulgence, contrary to their patent, is already carried on by the inhabitants and boat keepers in great part, so if a Governor be settled and the inhabitants continued, the trade in a few years will be removed from this kingdom, and become as that fishery of New England, which at first was maintained from these parts, but is now managed altogether by the inhabitants of New England, so that not one ship hath gone on that employment out of England these seven years. Pray his Majesty with the serious advice of his Council to consider the premises, and against those pretences and designs to weigh not only the former practice of his Royal progenitors but also the present state of France, so flourishing of late through their fisheries and consequent increase of seamen, and that this is almost the only nursery for seamen, and to continue his former respects for its encouragement and reviving. Indorsed, "An answer to Capt Robinson's proposals." [Col. Papers, Vol. XXII., No. 71.]
April 20/30.
On board the States' Ship Surinam.
1733. Articles between Admiral Abraham Crynsens and Major Bannister about the surrender of Surinam [contained in the short narrative of 30th July 1668, see No. 1814]. The articles of 24 Feb./6 March 1667 [see No. 1421] hereby ratified, all judicial proceedings and grants of land confirmed and all things done to the prejudice of the States General to be forgotten. 1 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. LXXVII., pp. 4-6.]
April 20-27.
Barbadoes.
1734. John Bushell and Francis Bond to Edward Bushell. On Saturday evening last, the 18th, happened a most dreadful fire, which in two or three hours consumed the whole town [in margin, fire at Michs. town] to a very few houses. Their house one of the first sacrificed, but where the fire began is not known ; help there could be none, it being next door to the public magazine, which some time after blew up with great terror and damage ; however, God most miraculously enabled them to save their books and many papers. Their losses will be considerable. The blow of the magazine killed many.
April 27.Will now give a particular account of this calamity. At 5 o'clock on Saturday the 18th their house being washed and books and papers laid aside for the Sabbath, they walked as far as the Exchange Place, when there was an outcry of fire. James Costen, who was in the counting house, can give no account of it, but it is suspected either that a little negro boy took up a candle into the garret, or that it was kindled by a spark from their neighbour's house. They secured their books and cash chest, but next door was the magazine with 170 barrels of powder, which struck such amazement into the people that they durst not give assistance, otherwise great part of this devastation would have been prevented. It is a miracle of mercy that at its blowing up it did not destroy many hundreds, for had the powder been in the lower room instead of above or met with any opposition, it had made a very great earthquake, and few in or near the town had escaped. This blow so "dissipated" the fire and shattered the houses, that the whole town became a prey to the flames ; it being supposed there are near 800 houses consumed, with a very great value in goods. Indorsed, Read in Council, July 13, 1668. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXII., No. 72.]
April 21./May 1.
On board the States' Ship Surinam.
1735. Declaration of Admiral Abraham Crysens concerning the surrender of the Fort and Province of Surinam to the Dutch by Major James Bannister. Major Bannister to march out of the fort with all under his command with their colours and arms, but the ammunition of the fort to be delivered up. Contained in the short narrative of 30 July 1668, see No. 1814. 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. LXXVII., p. 6.]
[April 24.]
Barbadoes.
1736. An Act appointing a present accommodation for his Majesty's soldiers lately here arrived or remaining with us. Indorsed, 24 April 1668. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXII., No. 73.]
April 27.
Nevis.
1737. Gov. Wm. Lord Willoughby to (Sec. Lord Arlington). Acknowledges receipt of his Majesty and his Lordship's letters of Feb. 21 last with Commission to himself and others to demand his Majesty's part of St. Kitts [see ante, Nos. 1696-7], and several orders from the French King, and intends to put the Commission in practice to-morrow. As to the Commissioners, "Col. Hooper is dead ; Col. Morris is a very severe Quaker, and on that account a very unfit man to treat with so airy a people as your Lordship well knows the Monsieurs to be, who will take it for no small affront to treat where so little of their compliment will receive any cognizance ; Lt.-Col. Lambert is a fit man for that service ;" but being so near will try what he can do therein. This is the second voyage he has made hither, in daily expectation of this Commission, and to prevent the daily injuries of the French to the English quarters of St. Kitts. Was induced to countenance the Barbadoes proposals by the people's continual readiness to propagate his Majesty's service. Does not find any orders about demanding the restitution of Saba and Eustatia ; they were taken in the first of the war from the Dutch, since which, Saba was retaken by the Dutch, and is returnable by the articles of peace, and Eustatia was taken by the French, and it is doubted whether returnable or not.
May 2.
St. Kitts.
1738. Has now been five days in treaty with the French, who have not in anything acted honourably, playing fast and loose in their paroles and full of quillets. Was put off on pretence of not having orders from the Directors of the West India Company, whereupon delivered the French King's letter to M. Le Chambre, their agent and superintendent ; and M. St. Lawrence, the Governor, said he would not surrender without order from M. De la Barre, who was at Guadaloupe, to which place he despatched a sloop, but there was no news of him, to which the Governor and superintendent would give no credit. Resolved then to set sail, whereupon they sent M. Giraud to Lord Willoughby, who is the only person who has shown great civilities to the English, who pawned his honour that if Willoughby would return in three days his Majesty's part should be surrendered. But when Willoughby sent to treat with the Governor and superintendent they seemed not to have sent any such message, though M. Giraud affirmed the same to their faces, and has since offered to give it under his hand. All they would grant was to suffer Willoughby to put on the English land what people he pleased, but could not deliver up his Majesty's subjects as prisoners by a partial possession, and they refused the full possession. Did this 2nd May enter a solemn protest against them of which sends copy. Has done all that lies in his power ; must leave the whole matter before his Majesty, whose honour has been much slighted by the French in the whole carriage of this affair, divers of whom, especially the superintendent, have made settlements at English Plantations, which "stick in their stomachs to desert." Overtures were made which would not have been inconvenient to himself, but could not incline to anything of that nature, perceiving by his Lordship's letter that what the envoy moved as to satisfaction in such cases was rejected by his Majesty, and therefore unfit for himself. Incloses the protest above mentioned, see No. 1743. Together 8 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXII., No. 74, 74 I.]
April 28 and 29. 1739. Mem. touching the late fire in Barbadoes. Major James Beake writes on 29th April, that on the 18th happened in St. Michael's town a most dreadful fire that has left not a twentieth part of the houses standing. 28th April. Another writes, this fire began on Messrs. Bond and Bushell's house, the fire in London was not worse ; when the magazine blew up, in which there was between 200 and 300 barrels of gunpowder and other ammunition, it is almost incredible to relate what a tearing it made among the houses, which afterwards were consumed. Major Beake lost his house and goods to the value of 3,900l. There were burnt down 80 or 100 merchants' houses with their goods, and merchants, persons of quality and note ; and the whole loss cannot be computed at less than 300,000l. to 400,000l. sterling. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXII., No. 75.]
[April 29.] 1740. Petition of Capts. John Staplehill and Florence O'Sulivan to the King and Council. That each of petitioners raised a company of foot in Barbadoes at their own cost by commission from Lord Francis Willoughby for the expedition to St. Christopher's, and being on board the Batchelor and Coventry seized two great French ships at Todos[los] Santos, near Guadaloupe, but by a fatal hurricane were forced ashore with their prizes. After defending themselves 11 days against M. De Lyon, Governor of Guadaloupe, they were forced, from want of ammunition, to yield, were prisoners 11 months at Guadaloupe, then sent to France, and forced to give engagements to the Royal Company to pay 260 livres. Have attended five months, and destitute of friends and money, pray for a timely supply to preserve them from perishing and enable them to pay their debts and be further serviceable to his Majesty. With reference to the Commissioners of the Treasury for their report, Whitehall, 1668, April 29th. Indorsed, Read in Council, Ap. 20, 1667 (sic). Brought in May 1, 1668. Read May 21. The Lords will make report to the Admiral concerning it. Read June 5, 1668. July 1. To report to his Majesty that they be satisfied the 20l. out of the revenue of Barbadoes. Annexed,
Report of the Commissioners of the Treasury on above petition. That the fittest way for petitioners' satisfaction will be for his Majesty to order the Governor of Barbadoes to pay them the 20l. demanded, and to gratify them for their service. Indorsed, Read in Council July 10, 1668. To be considered when Barbadoes business is taken in hand. Together 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXII., Nos. 76, 77.]
April?
(Barbadoes.)
1741. Sir Tobias Bridge to the Duke of Albemarle at the Cockpit. On March 11 the remains of his regiment at Nevis, save 37 sick, sailed on the Assurance frigate for Santa Lucia, where they met Lord Willoughby with several other companies brought from Barbadoes in order to reducing the Indians on those islands ; the effect of which was a peace, finding an impossibility of reducing them by force. Thence they sailed to Antigua, where his Lordship stayed, and sent the soldiers to this place, where they arrived the 21st April to find the principal town, called St. Michael's or Bridge Town, wholly laid in ashes by a fire three nights before. This was the place intended for the quarters of the regiment in taverns and alehouses. Found very great difficulty to persuade the country to receive the soldiers on any terms ; but at length the Assembly ordered quarters for the soldiers on security given for payment, but refuse to take the least notice of any of the officers. Is sure his Grace would conclude they were hardly dealt withal. Cannot understand from his Lordship that he has any directions from Court, either for their disbanding, continuance, or returning to England, nor any maintenance for them ; all they have received since leaving England has been 260,000 lbs. of sugar, which will amount to little more than a month's pay, and our clothes are worn out, notwithstanding all our good husbandry. Beseeches his Grace to have a thoughtful remembrance of them. Indorsed, 21 April 1668. Read in Council the 13th of July 1668. 3 pp, [Col. Papers, Vol. XXII., No. 78.]