America and West Indies: October 1672

Pages 417-424

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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October 1672

Oct. 1. 942. Minutes of the Council of Barbadoes. Ordered, that Richard Noke continue to execute the office of Secretary till further order, no person claiming same; that the President sign all papers used to be signed by the Governor till the next sitting of Council; that the guards in the several forts be suspended till further order; that five of the Council, President Sir P. Colleton to be one, be a quorum, with power to act as if the whole Council were present; and that the power of the militia be invested in the President till the next sitting of Council. 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XI., 199–200.]
Oct. 8.
943. The Secretary to the Council for Plantations to Sir Thomas Lynch. His letters of 20th June and 5th July were read in the Council about 1st instant. Received orders immediately to advise him of their receipt, and that he may expect from Lord Arlington an answer of such things more peculiarly referred to his Lordship. As to his connivance at the trade of cutting logwood, their Lordships have at present no objection against it, resting satisfied with the reasons formerly given by him for it, provided that the same care and prudence be still constantly observed that he has mentioned in all his letters, and that he countenance not the cutting unless in desolate and uninhabited places. But to use all endeavours to prevent any just complaints the Spaniards may make of any violence or depredation in it. The other parts of his letters their Lordships will consider, and themselves signify their resolutions. Is likewise directed to acquaint him, that though through the war, but chiefly by reason of the unhappy death of the late Lord President, the Earl of Sandwich, their Lordships have not written so frequently as he might possibly expect, yet his Majesty having renewed his commission, created Lord Shaftesbury President, and Lord Culpepper Vice-President, and added divers other Lords to it, such care will be taken in future for supplying him with advice as that he shall not need to fear any discouragement for want of it. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No.35.]
Oct. 9.
944. Sir Thomas Lynch to Sir Joseph Williamson. Duplicate of his letter to H. Slingesby [No. 945], but with the addition that he has not had a letter these eight months from London, but from other parts has had rude accounts of the war, and it's fatal successes. That for chasing a Spanish vessel ashore, stealing logwood, and burning houses on the Isle of Pines, has turned Capt. Wilgresse out of his command; that our people do not "effectively" injure the Spaniards in logwood cutting, it is the French from Tortugas that make prize of all they can take. On the 18th of last month, the time of the storm which lasted three days, they had incredible swarms of wasps in the town, the like was never seen before; attribute it to the disturbance the tempest made, but which stayed but a few hours. All reasonable and planting people are against privateering, only the alehouse keepers and some few others that have gotten by them are concerned for them; but has heard that since the trial of Johnston one of the Justices, being exceeding drunk, cursed Lord Arlington and those that followed his orders, meaning himself, but does not think it convenient to take any notice of it. Is sorry he has no orders to permit ships to go hence till March, though they may better stay here than in any of the King's colonies, because of the fishing, wood cutting, &c. Incloses account, under Messrs. Hewytt's and Cooke's hands of the voyage. Copy of the Governor of Campeachy's letter to him. Proclamation against injuring the Spaniards, and some "large papers" from New Providence, Bahamas. Endorsed by John Locke, Rec. 26 Dec. Encloses,
944. I. A relation by Robert Hewytt of his voyage to Campeachy in his Majesty's service, by order of Sir Thomas Lynch. Embarked 31st January 1672, on the America frigate, Capt. Henry Ayler, in company with the Assistance and Lilly; cruised three weeks in the South Cays of Cuba to reduce pirates; thence sailed for Campeachy with the Lilly, where they arrived 7th March, and delivered the General of Jamaica's letter to the Governor demanding 14,000 pieces of 8 damages for a pink they took in August before. The Governor promised satisfaction from day to day, but were at last forced to return without it. Likewise demanded why he countenanced and commissioned his Majesty's subjects and a frigate of Jamaica to take English cutting logwood in desolate places, and his reply was they had no leave to cut, that the sole trade of that Province depended on that. As for detaining the frigate and English subjects, they voluntarily offered to serve the Crown of Spain, and therefore he would protect them in taking English ships cutting logwood. Were despatched 13th April with a bare letter to the General of Jamaica; re-took a catch which had been taken by Jamaica men revolted to the Spaniards, and sold her for 50l; on 26th took an English catch, the Susan, that had taken a Spanish bark and stolen logwood, but she was cast away at Boga Pavillion on the South Cays of Cuba; and on 16th September arrived at Port Royal and gave the Governor this account. Signed by Robert Hewytt. Port Royal, Jamaica. 1672, September 16.
944. II. Don Fernando Francisco Descovedo, Governor of Campeachy, to Sir Thos. Lynch. Has received his letter with all respect. The frigates found Don Miguel Francisco Codorino ready to succeed him in the Government and himself ready to proceed to that of Guatemala, so that he can do no more but answer his letter. Concerning the pink, it was necessary to impart the matter to the Bishop of the Province and Archbishop of San Domingo, and as the major part of the plate and negroes belong to the Church, they were of opinion to give account to the King and the Royal Audience of Mexico, so that neither he nor the present Governor have power to end it; but it will suddenly be determined by the Council, so that the King of England's Ambassadors will have justice, and whoever is in the right the goods are forthcoming. The English gentlemen on the pink declared that his Honour had recovered 700 slaves of Panama, and was using all diligence to recover the plunder of that city and restore it to the owners, which advice makes it lawful to detain these goods. Admires that those interested in the pink should complain that they missed 12,000 pieces of 8, when the Spanish captain made an inventory by the relation of each person of all they brought. But as he has written in the port of the Havana nor in this was the Peace published, and it was here made appear that the pink came to take the Spanish square sterned ship that was lost, and she could never have come up with the pink, for she was the worst sailer that used these seas. Nor was she a merchantman, for he has put in practice what he has seen used in Italy, viz : Merchant ships armed for war have commissions according to their force and this ship had one. Doubts not time will moderate the humours as well of the parties aggrieved as of the privateers, and he will diligently endeavour it. By way of Cuba has remitted information of the disorder occasioned by the King's frigate chasing one of their ships ashore; sends another and desires him to remedy it. With this goes likewise information of a barque from this port taken by a Peragua with one known to belong to the King's frigate in the Laguna de Terminos; said person was taken and delivered to the English gentlemen to be carried before his Honour, where it is not doubted that punishment and satisfaction will be given. Intends to begin his voyage this week, and in all places will be ready to serve his honour. Campeachy, 1672, April 6.
944. III. Proclamation of Sir Thos. Lynch. Whereas the gentlemen sent to the Governor of Campeachy had complaint made to them by the Spanish Proprietor of the Island of Triste, or Beef Island, that divers of his Majesty's subjects had killed his cattle and cut wood without permission; also complaint from the Governor of Campeachy that an English vessel had taken one of theirs and barbarously put the men on a barren island to perish; his Majesty's subjects are hereby strictly commanded not to break the Peace by robbing or doing violence to the Spaniards; all that do so are pirates and robbers, and if they return shall be proceeded against according to the rigour of the law. St. Jago de la Vega, 1672, Oct. 7. Endorsed, R. 26 Dec. Together 9 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., Nos. 36, 36 I., II., III.]
Oct. 9.
945. Sir Thomas Lynch to Henry Slingesby, Secretary to the Council for Plantations. He remitted in July the laws and accounts of the people and trade for last year. Now there come for England 7 ships laden with logwood, indigo, sugar and hides, and trade and planting so improve, that had they vessels are like to ship off three times as much as last year. Refers to the logwood cutting and to his sending Robert Hewytt to Campeachy to demand satisfaction for 2,000l. taken out of an English pink an account of whose transactions now sends to Sir Joseph Williamson, also copy of the Governor of Campeachy's letter; keeps the original to send to the Admiral of the Gallions at Cartagena. The letter does not complain at all of our cutting wood, but of the King's frigate chasing ashore one of their vessels; this, and advice he had of our men injuring a Spaniard who owns the Island of Triste, caused him to put forth the Proclamation sent to Williamson. The Governor of Campeachy owns to the plate, negroes &c., but finds pretexts to keep them, remitting us to Mexico and Madrid. Hopes his Majesty will put a stop to this, for "we have lost this year of peace by these kind of seizures, twice as much as in St. Th. M.'s 7 years of war." Relates how Yallahs was employed by the Governor of Campeachy to take the logwood cutters, and has surprised 12 or 14 vessels; of which he has taken no notice, because he only connives at the wood cutting, and without orders dare not direct the retaking of our ships. Hear that the Gallions are like to continue at Cartagena all winter because the plate is not come to Panama; the Admiral has seized and confiscated a ketch from this place that was forced on that coast by want of water. They have lately sent from Cartagena to St. Jago de Cuba 500 negroes for 500 pieces of 8 a head at twelve months' pay. The Dutch have abundance of negroes at Curaçoa; was resolving to have sent Major-General Banister with 5 or 6 sail to take it and Surinam, but the design has been quashed. Hears the French of Tortugas prey more frankly on the Spaniards, and divers of our desperate rogues are joined with them; and that they daily expect 3 or 4 frigates from Martinico, and talk more briskly than ever of attacking the city of San Domingo; if they should take it, it would be most pernicious to English trade. Has remitted to Williamson another letter from the Governor, Council, and Assembly of New Providence, Bahamas, where there are 500 inhabitants, and his answer to it; should have sent them no Commission, for thinks ill of that settlement and not well of any new colony, nor would he do anything to interfere with the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, but their present necessities may excuse him. Doubts they will have sad news from the Caribbees, for one of these ships was driven by the hurricane from Nevis, and says it is the cruellest that ever was; it has reached this island which none ever did before, and they have lost some vessels, and his plantation which is the most eastward and open to the sea has suffered. The greatest disorder this hurricane occasioned was in the shipwreck of the arch pirate Johnson, who has raised a small storm of discontent, and that it may not rise against Lynch in England, will tell him punctually the story. Immediately after his arrival and the publication of the Peace, one Captain Peter Johnson went out of harbour with 10 men, and joining with one Thurston took a new Spanish ship, killing the captain and 12 or 14 more; then got about 100 men, English and French, took some small vessels, cruised off the Havana, till chased thence by the Assistance they went to the north of Cuba; where they took a great ship laden with wines from the Canaries, killing a Governor, 2 captains, and 18 men. Afterwards hearing the King's ships were gone, and growing weary of the French, Johnson came to this coast with his share of the prize to capitulate with Sir Thomas, and stood for Morant Bay to move Colonel Freeman to intercede for him, but he was no sooner at anchor than this gust threw his ship on shore, when everything was lost but the captain and men who were preserved for another destiny. Account of his arrest: gave a commission of Oyer to Colonel Modyford to send for the Justices to proceed to trial and immediate execution, but be sure not to let him be acquitted. But he contrary to these directions deferred the trial, acquainted none of the Justices with his orders, and though the Captain and 2 of his men confessed enough to hang 100 honester persons, Modyford told the jury they could not find against the prisoner, so that in half an hour he came to the tavern to drink with his Judges. This exceedingly amazed all, for he "thought Sir Th. M.'s son and the richest man in the island durst not have acted so." However, was resolved to do justice if all mankind did not oppose, therefore arrested the Captain for 10,000l., called a Council, and finding material errors reversed the judgment, and as Colonel Modyford had nothing to say in his excuse, dismissed him the Council. Then tried the wretch again, where Lynch sat himself, which he never did in any Court, the Grand Jury hesitated to find the Bill because of the former indictment, but having done so the petty jury immediately found against him. In examination he confessed everything, and was condemned and executed, and as much regretted as if he had been as pious and as innocent as one of the primitive martyrs. Some if they durst would say Lynch was cruel and arbitrary, but take notice this was a Dutchman whom he had declared a pirate everywhere, and besides his murders, had done the Spaniards above 30,000l. injury. His ship was an admirable man-of-war new built at Cartagena of 18 guns what can be saved will keep for the owner, the Marquis De Villa Alta. Will send the men home as fast as he can take them, which they think next hanging, but thinks may make them more honest and serviceable. Sends now to Sir J. Williamson a large packet by Captain Swanly, Admiral of this fleet. Complains that he has not received a syllable from them, and hopes they will find time to let him know they remember they have such a servant as Thos. Lynch. 4 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No. 37.]
Oct. 17.
Port Royal,
946. Thos. Barrett to James Littelton. Private affairs. A vessel arrived here with people from Barbadoes coming to settle and bringing 80 negroes and some white servants in a catch, when they were surprised by two sloops from Curaçoa, who carried away the vessel, negroes, and servants, and gave them a small vessel taken from the French to bring them here. Has heard that Capt. James Tallers bought the negroes for Littelton from another ship in Guinea, which had them three months aboard, that they were almost all starved and "surfeycatted," he fed them with little else but musty corn: there must have been something extraordinary that so many of them died. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No. 38.]
Oct. 21.
St. Jago.
947. Minutes of the Council of Jamaica. Resolved, that all possible means ought to be used to stop the excursions of the Quarassoe (Curaçoa) private men-of-war; but that no party be sent hence to attack the island or fort, but that two ships be speedily fitted out to cruise off Bonayres. Ordered, that after any ship has passed the fort, no wherry-man presume to carry any person on board or lie by their sides, without licence from the Commander of Port Royal, or Captain of the Castle, under penalty of 20l. 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XXXV., 332–333.]
Oct. 22–29. 948. Minutes of the Council of Barbadoes. Ordered, that Richard Noke forthwith deliver up to Edwyn Stede, in right of John Dawes to whom same is granted by Letters Patent, the office of Secretary, with all books and papers, and that Edwyn Stede execute said office, and enjoy all fees and perquisites. The Secretary's oath.
Oct. 28.—Ordered, that Lieut.-Col. William Bate attend the Council to-morrow with an account of the ammunition and arms under his charge. Sir Peter Colleton, Bart., Henry Hawley, Daniel Searle, Chr. Codrington, Thomas Wardell, Col. Henry Walrond, Samuel Farmer, John Knights, John Sparkes, Samuel Barwicke, and Samuel Newton, Esquires, sworn of the Privy Council, and took the oath which follows. Sir Tobias Bridge having presented a letter from his Majesty to the Governor, dated 22nd March last, requiring him to be admitted of the Council; resolved, that whereas he is no freeholder in the island he was not qualified according to his Majesty's instructions of 12th June 1672, and that he be suspended till his Majesty's pleasure be further known.
Oct. 29.—Present as above also Henry Drax. Total, 12 of the Council. Ordered, that the Court of Chancery for the Island be established in the Governor and Council, any four besides the Governor to be a quorum; that all the Council be a Committee to consider about reducing Tobago, and that three, whereof Col. Chr. Codrington to be one, be a quorum; that writs forthwith issue for the election of an Assembly to meet on Tuesday 12th November next at the house of William Wilson, formerly the house of Jurin Barnes, in St. Michaels Town, at 10 in the forenoon; and that the Council be a Committee to inquire into the stores of ammunition and arms within the island, and that Lieut.-Col. Wm. Bate and all others concerned attend. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XI., 200–204.]
Oct. 29.
Exeter House.
949. Earl of Shaftesbury to his very affectionate friend and servant Sir Thos. Lynch, Governor of Jamaica. His Majesty has bestowed upon the Earl with some other partners a propriety in some islands not lying far from Jamaica. Is now upon making himself a plantation, and intends to throw away some money in making some experiments there. Designs to try whether cocoa trees and Jamaica pepper will grow there, which some are apt to think will not bear the climate of these islands and grow to bearing in a soil not so rich and moist as in Jamaica. Is resolved however to make the trial, and must be beholden to him for plants and nuts fit to set, and for directions in the ordering of them, and doubts not he will furnish the bearer with the best sorts. [Shaftesbury Papers, Section IX., Bundle 48, No. 55, p. 118.]
Oct. 30.
950. Memorial given to the Spanish Ambassador by his Majesty's command. Refers to Sir Mark d'Ognate's memorial some time ago complaining of the taking of the Advice of Cartagena, and informs the Marquis del Fresno, the Spanish Ambassador, that he has received letters from the Governor of Jamaica, who assures him that not only not that vessel but no other belonging to the Spaniards has since his arrival been brought into any port of that island, but is given to understand that said vessel was taken on the coast of Cuba and carried to Tortugas by a runnagate mulatto, who had formerly a commission from Sir Tho. Modyford. The Governor gives his Majesty likewise an account that he has put to death such privateers as he has taken, sent several times to the Isle of Vaca to prevent their rendezvous in revenge, whereof they have taken some English ships, that he has freed many blacks that were slaves at Jamaica and given them back to the Spaniards, and done all other things conducing to good correspondence. His Majesty therefore hopes the Queen of Spain has or will give order for redress of several injuries his Majesty's subjects have sustained from hers, particularly in the case of the lieutenant and several seamen of H.M.S. Sweepstakes, who about two years since were sent on shore by their captain at Baldiara in the West Indies, and have been since detained by the Governor. His Majesty informed the Conde de Molina, then ambassador, hereof, who promised to obtain the Queen's orders for their liberty; which not being yet done, his Excellency is desired to employ his good offices to that purpose, and also to the other particulars imported to him in a late memorial of the 12th of August last (see ante, No. 908). 2 1/2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX, No. 39.] Indorsed by Locke, "Spain."
Oct. 30. 951. An Act made at the General Assembly of Newport, Rhode Island, Capt. John Cranston, Deputy-Governor, chosen moderator, and John Sanford, clerk, of the Assembly. On request by Edward Richmond, one of the purchasers with Major Atherton of lands in the Narragansett country, for a revocation of an Act formerly made for the forfeiture of such lands in the colony which should happen to be purchased without the assent of the Assembly, the Assembly, considering the industry and pains of the purchasers, and thinking themselves and posterity freed from all danger from barbarous Indians and settled in peace, hereby enact that the purchasers with Major Atherton shall have a good and lawful estate and title to their lands, as if the Act of prohibition had not been enacted. This Act not to bar any persons from taking measures to prove any claims they may have to these lands. Certified copy examined 4th September 1689. Indorsed, Received 17th June 1686. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No. 40.]