America and West Indies: February 1672

Pages 326-335

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 7, 1669-1674. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1889.

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February 1672

Feb. 1.
St. Jago.
747. Minutes of the Council of Jamaica. Capt Samuel Long, on the nomination of the Governor, presented by the Assembly for their Speaker, who, being approved of, took the oath of allegiance and returned with the Assembly to their House. Col. Thos. Modyford and Mr. Chief Justice White appointed to administer the oath to the rest of the Assembly. Motion by the Speaker for a new writ for St. Elizabeth's, because Francis Dickinson refused to take the oath; which was granted. Ordered, that the following particulars be proposed to the Assembly : To advance the Custom on brandy to 12d. per gallon; beer to continue at 30s. per tun; Madeira wines to be advanced to 5s. per tun; tonnage to be raised to 1s. 6d.; and that three of the Assembly be desired to join with Lt.-Colonel Byndloss, and Capt. Hender Molesworth to consider thereof, and of the whole Act for the Revenue, and whether all Acts concerning the Revenue, the security for shipping, &c. may not conveniently be made into one, and that the King's due on every licence for selling drink, besides the officers' fees, be advanced to 5l.; and that they likewise amend the Act for regulating servants; and enlarge the power of the Justices of the Peace, that they may decide all differences not exceeding 5l. Writ granted for a new election at the desire of the Assembly, who found that the election of Humphrey Freeman was not fair, because the Justices not being acquainted with the writ, issued no warrants to the constables, so that several of the inhabitants had no notice of the time. Ordered, that Humphrey Freeman for speaking seditious and contemptuous words of the present Government stand committed till security be given to answer same at the next Grand Court. Minutes of the Council of Jamaica. The Act concerning servants, read, and several amendments made and proposed to the Assembly. The Act against excessive usuary read, and the interest of money voted to be reduced to 10l. per cent. It appearing upon the Marshal's return of Humphrey Freeman for St. Jago de la Vega, that Mr. Glover being sent by Capt. Burden, his Majesty's Receiver-General, to see Mr. Freeman's patent, according to the Governor's order, he answered, that there was no law for it, and that he believed there was a trick in it, but ere long they should find it out, for which seditious and mutinous words, he was bound over by the Council to answer at the next Grand Court; it was unanimously declared that until he had cleared himself, he was incapable and no fit person to be chosen to sit in the Assembly. The Act for preventing the retailing of strong liquors by unlicenced persons read and passed. Adjourned to 5th inst. 4 1/2 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XXXIV., 278–282.]
Feb. 3.
748. Sir Chas. Wheler, Governor of the Leeward Islands, to the Council for Trade. Made use in his great necessity of Colonel Strode's estate for his Majesty's service, and holds it his duty to give his reason for so doing, and a particular account thereof. Has formerly informed their Lordships how he was threatened by the French to have the negroes forced from his house, whither they had fled to return to the English; his house was one thatched room, enlarged with a tent, and before his door two pieces of cannon and three or four files of musqueteers; the French round about him in the King's half of the Island were 100 horse, which he expected every evening would pull him out of his tent before sun-rising; for besides the foolish talk of the people M. De Baas plied him with daily letters, the close of all which was, that inconveniences would follow upon general discontents in despite of the most careful Governors. For all that, he would not part with the negroes, but moved his tent into the fort, where he lay 14 nights under canvas, under as much rain as was ever known without a hurricane. Wrought perpetually with all the officers of Nevis who came to bear him company, and took spades to encourage the soldiers, who refused to be paid, and demanded only rum, &c., except 10, who had before agreed for money. Furnished the fort with provisions, and hired the shallop Charles, which, with the Dover Castle (a ketch in the King's pay) took turns to sail daily to Nevis; but as soon as M. De Baas and himself had closed their agreements, he dismissed the shallop, and gave over working, leaving the fort like an egg half hatched. Though their Lordships may wonder he should pretend to anything of fortifications with 140l., it is too much to make bold with without the King's leave. Earnestly desires that his account may be allowed on Colonel Strode, as he shows it is impossible the inhabitants of St. Kitts should pay it. As bad a platform as it is, he could not raise another as forward for 1,500l. Earnestly beseeches their Lordships to order a public seal for him; has desired Colonel Strode to pay for it, which is one way to hasten it. The Governor's plantation, which their Lordships were in hopes might go far towards the support of the Government, because Lord Willoughby paid about 2,000l. for it, but the most that was offered for it at the Public Assizes was 60l. a year on a three years' lease. Complains of the hardship he lies under, because he suspects no other Governor has been sworn to the Act of Navigation but himself, and for aught he can see masters and merchants punished by him may trade freely to other islands, which may be done by his own Deputy Governors. He also complains that the Dutch make good profit in furnishing shallops to these islands, and that the Act obliges him to seize these shallops, without any power to naturalize them after condemnation. Endorsed, "Received from the Earl of Sandwich, 16 April 1672. Read in Council the same day." 5 1/2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXVIII., No. 9.]
Feb. ? 749. Mem. of queries, in Sir Jos. Williamson's hand, as to the commission for a new Governor of the Leeward Islands. Whether to give him the title of Governor or Lieutenant-Governor, as Sir Thos. Lynch of Jamaica; if Governor, whether during the King's pleasure, or only pro interim? whether Sir Chas. Wheler's commission and instructions shall be transcribed for him word for word, or anything new? whether to have power to appoint Deputy Governors for the smaller islands, and he leave it to Colonel Stapleton to fill up the Government of Montserrat, which will become vacant by his appointment? and whether anything be necessary to be had from the King of France for declaring his agreement to the undoing what Sir Chas. Wheler may have rashly agreed with his Governor there. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXVIII., No. 10.]
Feb. 750. Revocation of the commission constituting Sir Charles Wheler, Bart., Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief over the islands of St. Christopher, Nevis, Montserrat, Antigua, Barbuda, and Anguilla, and all other the Caribbee Islands lying to leeward from Guadaloupe to St. John de Porto Rico. And also the commission dated 14th March 1671, constituting said Sir Charles Commissioner to treat with the French Commissioners about re-possessing the English at St. Christopher's of their estates and goods sold to the French. [Dom., Chas. II., Docquet.]
Feb. 4.
751. Order of the King in Committee of Council for Foreign Affairs. On the suit of the merchants and traders to Newfoundland from the several western parts. Said merchants and traders being called in, his Majesty declared they should have liberty to proceed in their voyages to that fishery, and have protection allowed them according to regulations heretofore settled and herein set forth; pro vided the master of every such vessel first give security, on penalty of 250l. to each vessel of 100 tons, and so proportionably, to carry all sorts of fit and necessary instruments for fortifying St. John's in said island, and other places, viz., each ship of 100 tons to the value of 5l., and so proportionably, and also to carry 20 firearms with ammunition; to obey his Majesty's frigates appointed for their convoy; and not to carry more men than their proportion, and punctually to return them at the end of the voyage, mortality excepted; and those that go to market, as they end their market voyage. 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XCIII., fo. 51.]
Feb. 5–9. 752. Minutes of the Council of Jamaica. Appearance of Mr. Freeman with his witnesses for clearing himself. Upon the desire of the Assembly that the oath of. allegiance be given him, and he allowed to sit as a member in their house, return was made, that Mr. Freeman being heard, and his witnesses not saying anything to clear or excuse him, the Council declared that he ought not to take the oath of allegiance, and because the parish of St. Katherine's had two representatives as formerly, they were of opinion that no new writ need be issued.
Feb. 6. The Act for the Secretary taking sufficient security read and passed. Sir Thos. Modyford's accounts sent to the Assembly upon their request.
Feb. 7. An Act declaring it felony without clergy to steal or carry away any boat, canoe, &c., read and passed. The Act of negroes read, and several amendments proposed to the Assembly. The Act for the Justices of Peace deciding differences under 40s. read and passed.
Feb. 8. The Act of (sic) raising a public revenue read and passed. Several articles drawn up by the Assembly on perusal of Sir Thos. Modyford's account, and proposals to the Council whether they ought to be allowed or not, and if not, whether Sir Thos. Modyford's estate ought not to pay the balance; also respecting the 700l. mentioned to be paid Sir James Modyford for stores and ammunition, which were never received. The Act for preservation of cattle read and passed with the amendment, that the owners of stocks were not to answer for any damage done through defect of fences. Feb. 9. Return made by the Marshal of Christopher Pinder for St. Elizabeth's, and Capt. Molesworth appointed to give him the oath of allegiance. The Act of Toleration in Religion read and passed. The Council and Assembly adjourned till the 13th. 3 1/2 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., XXXIV., 282–285.]
[Feb. 6.] 753. "Report of Mr. Gorges Commissioner for the province of Maine." Arrived in Maine in November 1664 with a letter from the King dated 11 June 1664, commanding the inhabitants to submit to Ferdinando Gorges or his Commissioners, otherwise to show reasons to the contrary. Notice hereof being given to the Commissioners appointed by Ferdinando Gorges for the government of the Province, they met and summoned the inhabitants who viva voce et nemine contradicente willingly and joyfully submitted themselves. There was another letter from the King of the same date to the Governor and Council of the Bay of Boston, commanding them to deliver up the government of Maine to Ferdinando Gorges or his Commissioners, &c. This letter Mr. Hooke and he, appointed by the rest of the Commissioners, delivered and acquainted the Governor with the submission of the people of the Province. The Governor and Council replied that they would not surrender up the government, but would send over their reasons to the contrary, which answer being returned, the Commissioners kept possession of the government by virtue of the people's submission. About April 1665, the Commissioners, being at York, summoned every town to send two deputies to a general council to be held at Wells in May; this they did and sat about a week, and enacted several laws for the establishment of a peaceable quiet government. Being chosen Colonel of the Militia by the Commissioners, he held several private trainings wherein both officers and soldiers unanimously submitted themselves. During all which time (about a year) they were undisturbed by the Boston government, but about the beginning of November 1665 the Bostoners sent warrants into the Province to declare the holding of a Court of Judicature about the end of the month, whereupon they applied to his Majesty's Commissioners, Sir Robt. Carr, Col. George Cartwright, Mr. Mavericke, who were at Major Sharpleigh's in Maine, being come thither from Boston to view the bounds of their patent, which they did conclude ought to come no farther than the boundhouse, reliques of which were remaining 3 miles north of the Merrimacke. His Majesty's Commissioners having power to settle a temporary government, agreed to summon the people and try whether they would willingly submit to them; this the people did. Immediately came for England, leaving the Province under the government of his Majesty's Commissioners. Endorsed, 6 Feb. 1671–2, brought in by Mr. Archdale and read in Council the same day. 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX VIII., No. 11.]
Feb. 7.
754. Col. Chr. Codrington, Deputy Governor, to (Sec. Lord Arlington), Has had correspondence with the Indians of the Leeward Isles, more particularly with those of Dominica, being the most civilized and governed by an Indian surnamed Warner, base born to Sir Thos. Warner; who approved himself in the late war very faithful to the English interest, and in requital of some presents gave him privately to understand of a silver mine in that island, which they were fearful of discovering, lest the French, their ill neighbours, should through covetousness destroy them. This coming through Capt. Pearce, of his Majesty's ketch, immediately returned him to inquire and bring some ore, which he did, with four of the principal Indians. Has extracted from 1. lb. of the ore the piece of silver sent herewith, which is finer than our coin. Has treated the Indians with all imaginable kindness, and in this good mood returned them by Capt. Pearce, with a gentleman and three Englishmen who all speak the Indian tongue, on purpose to get what ore he can to present to his Majesty, and if possible to buy the island, or at least that part where the mine stands, and take possession thereof for his Majesty and settle thereon. Has bought a small vessel to attend this business, but doubts his endeavour will signify little without his Majesty's immediate countenance; for some French hunters 10 months since took some of this ore, and fears if they hear the English have notice of it they will make further inquiry, and being nearer may take the island. Proposes a small frigate with a sloop or two and 100 seasoned men raised in Barbadoes, as sufficient for present security of the settlement, with provisions and arms sent from home. Their numbers will soon increase if they may have land for settling, the island being very fertile. If his Majesty send any vessels hither, Capt. Pearce is very fit and diligent. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. X X VIII., No. 12.]
Feb. 10. 755. Commission to Lieut.-Col. Wm. Stapleton to be Governor-in-Chief over the Leeward Islands in the room of Sir Chas. Wheler, Bart., in accordance with the draft prepared Dec. 20, 1671 (see ante, No. 699). 8 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX VIII., No. 13; see also Col. Entry Bk., No. XLV., 41–47, and Dom. Chas. II., Docquets.]
[Feb. 10.] 756. The King to Lieut.-Col. Wm. Stapleton. Having found fit to dismiss Sir Chas. Wheler from the government of those [Leeward] Islands, his Majesty has been pleased to appoint Lieut.-Col. Stapleton to that charge; requiring him forthwith to enter into possession of said government by virtue of his Majesty's Commission of the date of these presents, and to follow the instructions he now receives, in which his Majesty expects his best diligence and frequent accounts of the state of those islands. Draft in Williamson's hand l p. [Col. Papers, Vot. X X VIII., No. 14.]
Feb. 10. 757. Copy of preceding. [Col. Entry Ble., No. XCIIL, fo. 49.]
Feb. 13.
758. The King to Sir Chas. Wheler. Having found fit to dismiss him from the Government of the Leeward Islands, his Majesty hereby requires him forthwith to deliver up the said Government, with the forts, stores, ammunition, &c. to Col. Wm. Stapleton, whom his Majesty has chosen to succeed him. Orig. signed, with seal. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXVIII., No. 15.]
Feb. 13. 759. Draft of preceding in Williamson's hand. [Col. Papers, Vol. XX VIII., No. 16.]
Feb. 13. 760. Copy of the above. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XCIII., fo. 49.]
Feb. 13–16. 761. Minutes of the Council of Jamaica. Concurred with the Assembly that every attorney, sworn and allowed, be admitted to receive 5s. for his fee, to be taxed in every bill of costs.
Feb. 14. The Assembly came in a body and informed the Governor of the sickness of their Speaker, Capt. Long, and he recommended Major John Colebeck, with whom they returned to their House and immediately returned thanks to the Governor for proposing so able and fit a person.
Feb. 16. The following Acts, having been subscribed by the Speaker, read and passed according to the rules in both Houses, and signed by the Governor at the desire of the Assembly in their presence, viz. : —Acts (1.) For toleration in religion, &c.; (2.) Against tippling, cursing, and swearing; (3.) For raising a public revenue; (4.) For raising the value of money; (5.) For preservation of cattle; (6.) For preventing unlicensed persons to retail liquors; (7.) Against excessive usury; (8.) For regulating the freight of boats; (9.) For prohibiting the transportation of commodities in a growing condition; (10.) Impowering the Secretary of the Island to take sufficient security; (11.) Declaring it felony without clergy to steal canoe, boat, wherry, &c.; (12.) Giving power to Justices of Peace to decide all differences under 40s.; (13.) For foreign attachments; (14.) For freeholders to plead their own causes; (15.) for governing negroe slaves; (16.) For reviving an Act in Sir Thos. Modyford's times, entitled an Act for quieting men's estates against dormant titles; (17.) For repairing and mending highways, &c. On signification of the Assembly's desire to adjourn till 1st May, it was declared that some Acts being required first to be passed, this session should not be determined, and the Assembly were desired to meet again at the time appointed without further notice. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XXXIV., 286–288.]
[Feb. 16.] 762. Account of the militia in the Province of Maine. In Kittery, 180;. in York, 80; in Wells and Cape Porpus, about 80; in Sacoe and Winter Harbour, 100; in Black and Blue Points, 100; in Casco Bay, 80; in the River Sagadahocke, 80; in all about 700. Boston Government said to be able to raise 15,000, of which about 6,000 are members of their church, the rest belong to those termed the disaffected party, who have no vote for any officers (sic), military or civil, whose children are not suffered to be baptised, and who complain that the laws are more favourably interpreted for a member of the church than for those that are not so. Endorsed, Brought in by the Lord Gorges, 16 Feb., 1672, read in Council the same day. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXVIII., No. 17.]
Feb. 20.
763. The King's instructions to Lieut.-Col. Wm. Stapleton, Governor of the Leeward Islands, and Commissioner for composing all differences about the restoring of his Majesty's subjects to their possessions in St. Christopher's (see ante, No. 700). "A true copy . . . . . . by order of the Capt.-General." 4 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXVIII., No. 18, see also Col. Entry Bk., No. XLV., 47–52.]
Feb. 21.
764. The King to Sir Thomas Lynch, Governor of Jamaica. Whereas John Horsham, George Lapthorne, John Munion, Richard Cowes, and John Warren, merchants of Plymouth, have represented that in April 1670 they sent John Head and John Mohun, of Plymouth, as factors, to Jamaica, to sell their goods and make returns, but said Head and Mohun, being deficient in rendering accounts, they have employed Samuel Gerrard, to negotiate their affairs, and have besought his Majesty's favour [see ante, No. 579]; it is his Majesty's pleasure that in case Samuel Gerrard cannot compromise and end the accounts, and that he stand in need of the Governor's help that he require said John Head and John Mohun to render to said Samuel Gerrard all goods belonging to said merchants, together with all papers, books of accounts and particulars of debts, and on refusal to do what to justice shall appertain, that his Majesty's subjects may receive encouragement in their adventures in that island. 1 p. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. XXXI., p. 84d.]
Feb. 21.
765. Sec. Lord Arlington to Lieut.-Col. Stapleton. His Majesty having appointed him to succeed Sir Chas. Wheler in the government of the Leeward Islands, according to the commission and instructions herewith transmitted (see ante, Nos. 755, 763), he must immediately-apply himself to receive the government from Sir Chas. after having first delivered to him the enclosed. Herewith he will likewise receive a power to adjust all differences with the French about ameliorations (see ante, Nos. 741, 745) as his predecessor had, which he must lose no time to do, and if any further orders from the most Christian King be found necessary, they shall be procured. The King's proclamation (see ante, No. 706) annulling what was done by Sir Chas. Wheler, as to the return of the English Proprietors, must be forthwith published in his government, and he may do well to have some dispersed in the neighbouring islands and colonies. To give ample advices of the state of those islands; and particularly in this uncertain state of affairs in Europe, to have a vigilant care for the defence of the islands, and of the ships trading there. 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XCIII., fo. 51.]
[Feb. 22.] 766. (Sec. Lord Arlington) to (Sir Chas. Wheler). He will certainly, before this arrives, have understood the unhappiness of being fallen into his Majesty's displeasure, and the unhappy occasions of it. Is extremely sorry for it, considering it is to a degree that shuts out all intercession his friends might otherwise have made in his favour; however, if any occasion shall hereafter arise of giving him relief under so great a misfortune, his Lordship will be ready to join with his other friends to serve him. Meantime it will be his part cheerfully to assist Col. Stapleton, whom his Majesty has for the present appointed to succeed him in that government, and to repair, as far as may be, the miscarriages or mistakes he is thought to have made. Draft in Williamson's hand. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. No. .]
Feb. 22. 767. Copy of preceding. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XCIII., fol. 52.]
Feb. 22. 768. List of despatches sent to Col. Stapleton, viz.:—Sir Chas. Wheler's revocation; Col. Stapleton's commission, Power to determine differences, &c., Instructions as Governor, Instructions for determining differences, &c., and commission for a company of foot; King's letters to Sir Ch. Wheler and Col. Stapleton; Lord Arlington's to same; American Treaty with Spain, and Treaty of Breda with Holland, printed; two packets of proclamations directed to Col. Stapleton; copies of the French King's letters to M. de la Barre, of 17 July, 31 Oct., and 11 Dec. 1668, and 16 Jan. 166 8/9, to M. de St. Laurens of 28 Aug. 1667, 17 July and 1 Oct. 1668, and 18 Jan. 167 0/1, to M. de Baas of 31 Oct. 1668 and 8 Jan. 167 0/1, and to the Directors of West Indian Company of 28 Aug. 1667; French Ambassador's memorial; answer to it, 1/2 4/4 Dec.1669; M. Colbert to M. de la Barre, 30 May 1669; and Act or the restitution of St. Christopher's. Mem. His whole despatch was delivered to Capt. Roebottome of the Thomas and Charles, 22 Feb. 1672. 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk.,, XCIII., fo. 52.]
Feb. 769. Grant to Henry Earl of Arlington and Thomas Lord Culpeper of the whole region, tract, and territory of land called Virginia in America, together with the adjacent tract or territory of Accomack and all lands, jurisdictions, and appurtenances thereunto belonging, and all rents reserved and payable upon any grant heretofore made of any parts thereof, together with mines royal and other mines, royalties of fishing, fowling, and other royalties whatsoever to be had or found in or about the premises, reserving to his Majesty a fifth part of the gold mines and gold ore and a tenth part of the silver mines and silver ore. To hold to the said Earl and the said Lord Culpeper, their executors, administrators, and assigns for 31 years under the yearly rent of 40s. Granting them all arrears of rents and other profits which accrued since the 8th day of May 1669. With power to grant any part of the said territories or dominions to planters or others in fee farm for ever or for any lesser estate. Reserving after the rate of two shillings for every one hundred acres to themselves for 31 years from the time of such grants and afterwards to his Majesty, and to divide the said lands into counties, hundreds, and parishes, and to erect churches, chapels, and colleges, and present thereunto. And also to constitute sheriffs, escheators, surveyors, and other officers under their seal which they have power to make, and also to erect and make manors, fairs, markets, parks and warrens, and such other powers and privileges as were directed by warrant under his Majesty's sign manual. Subscribed by Mr. Solicitor-General, and procured by the Earl of Arlington. 1 p. [Signet Office. Docquets, Vol. XVI., p. 603, see also Dom. Chas. II., Docquets.]
770. Heads of the demise granted to Lord Arlington and Lord Culpeper, which the colony of Virginia were disturbed at; presented to said Lords out of a desire of a fair composure of the differences arising from said grant. These are conceived to be contrary to his Majesty's service and destructive to the peace and welfare of that Colony, and it is hoped their Lordships will quit said grant and content themselves with another for the quitrents only to be paid in tobacco at a reasonable value, since there is not coin in that country. Annexed,
770. I. Agreement signed by Lords Arlington and Culpeper to part with all clauses in their Virginia grant but the quitrents and escheats, on condition of receiving at the rate of three halfpence per pound of tobacco, to be settled by Act of Assembly within six months after the passing of a new patent. Together, 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXVIII., Nos. 20, 20 I.]
771. Proposals of Thomas Grantham to the King and Lords Commissioners of Plantations. That Virginia is at present unable to defend itself through want of ammunition. At his coming away in February last there was not powder enough at Tindall's Point upon York River to charge a piece of ordnance. That by speedy supplies the danger of a surprise may be prevented. If his Majesty will give him protection for a ship and men, he will carry ammunition of all sorts and any despatches the King wishes to send without charge. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXVIII., No. 21.]