America and West Indies: November 1672

Pages 424-440

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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November 1672

Nov. 2.
952. (Dr. Worsley) to Sir Thomas Lynch. The Council (for Plantations) have commanded him to dispatch the enclosed. Their Lordships have made an order that Lord Shaftesbury and others confer with Lord Arlington in order to move his Majesty about the design the Dutch seem to have upon Jamaica. All due caution is to be used to whom and how far he communicates their Lordships' letter, so as to dispose the officers of the island to a greater forwardness in its defence, without disheartening them by extraordinary apprehensions. By this conveyance he will receive a former letter of Worsley's of the 8th of last month, and hopes, one at least from Lord Arlington. Since his last, 34 Acts of the Assembly have come to hand, but no letter with them for the Council. Presented them to the Council, but finds no date fixed to any of them. Has diligently read several, and hopes to write more largely about them. Enclose,
952. I. The Council for Trade and Plantations to Sir Thos. Lynch, Lt.-Governor of Jamaica. His Majesty having by Lord Arlington acquainted them of some consultations of late held by the Dutch for the taking of Jamaica, and that in order thereto a confederation has been already propounded by some merchants for setting out a considerable fleet of private men-of-war, with a number of soldiers; there being also a strong rumour that these counsels have been communicated to the Count de Monterey, Governor of the Spanish Netherlands. Have some cause to suspect therefore lest these forces might take advantage of the present expedition of the Duke of Veraguas into those parts, to join with them, but that his Majesty relies on the honour of the Crown of Spain. Nevertheless their Lordships desire that he may send full intelligence of this intent, that the more care may be employed for putting the island forthwith into a ready and constant posture of defence; and they will apply to his Majesty, as there is any likelihood of danger, that supplies be sent to enable him to give a good account of it. London, 1672, Oct. 31. Together, 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., Nos. 41, 41 I.]
Nov. 3.
953. Wm. Lord Willoughby to Sec. Lord Arlington. Having from Tangier and the Madeiras given account of his proceedings will only add that after 13 weeks he arrived at Barbadoes Oct. 17th. At Madeira met with a smart hurricane 19th Sept., which forced Lt. David to slip his cable and trust to his sails, which were soon blown from the yards, but had first weathered a dangerous point called the Brazen Head; the storm continued four hours, and was the greatest any of the seamen were ever in, as they said, though he thought not so, being too well acquainted with a Willoughby gale, as they term it here, but their masts stood, and getting new sails in 24 hours they came safe to their own station and recovered cable and anchor. Found the island in a pretty good posture, and hopes ere long to put them in a better, the people seeming inclined to appear good subjects. Has chosen his Council as his instructions direct, and issued writs for an Assembly, and has accepted Sir Tobias Bridge's commission to command under Willoughby, and hopes to have occasion to employ him to some purpose; but his whole Council of opinion that Sir Tobias is incapable of serving as a councillor, has suspended that command of his Majesty till his further pleasure. Will, as directed, transmit the names of those chosen to the Council for Plantations. Endorsed, "Ansd Jany 15." 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No. 42.]
Nov. 5.
954. Sir Thos. Lynch to (H. Slingesby, Secretary to the Council for Plantations). His of the 23rd July came to hand last week, and is the only letter Sir Thos. has received since his arrival. Believes the Council have greater concernments, yet hopes for the future he may have leisure more frequently to give their commands. Has just again perused his Majesty's instructions, as ordered, and supposes, if all his letters and papers be come to hand, he has complied with them in all that is possible; for has not only sent answers to all inquiries, but also Sir T. Modyford's account of receipts and disbursements with remarks, the state of the present Government, including that of the revenue, with the names and qualities of the Councillors and Officers of the island, and the methods and forms of their employments, lists of the militia, accounts of the arms and ammunition in the island, and account of all ships, people, and goods imported or exported this year; the Secretaries, Lords of the Treasury, and Master of the Ordnance have had the same accounts; nor does he know anything that is wanting but the numbers of people, which the Receiver has been four or five months collecting, and which by next ships will be sent as perfect as they can get, also, hopes, an exact map of the island, which he has contracted with two surveyors to make for 120l. Has hitherto had great distempers, wants, and difficulties to struggle with, but everything now is in a good posture. Planting is heartily and successfully intended, which, with logwood cutting, improves their trade as much as his Majesty's customs in England; and to his wonder, and hopes to their satisfaction, has reduced all the privateers, so that now there is not one English pirate in these Indies, unless some few in French vessels. Though this service may be done at a time when it will not be valued, believes his Majesty and Council will be pleased to see that his Majesty's orders are entirely obeyed, and that this sort of people are reduced to obedience and may be more useful than ever. Has sent for the masters in port that have used the logwood trade; and if their enclosed affidavits be not sufficient, believes he can send 500 of the same purport. This logwood grows all along the coast of Yucatan for near 150 leagues, and the best sort is in "morose and swampish" grounds where it is impossible to plant; and our people have only had huts there for convenience of embarking the wood, which has turned to so good account that there have been constantly English there since they began the trade, and believes that last year they cut above 2,000 tons. Hears there is now some 600 tons at Boston, which, with other American goods, it is reported they send to foreign markets; thought it his duty to advise this, that better inquiry may be made. Is glad to hear the Council has perused his papers, and that he may expect satisfactory orders from his Majesty; what Slingesby writes about the logwood, and what Sir Chas. Lyttleton advises the King said, makes Lynch own that trade, which is likely to be interrupted by a pirate that is fled to the Spaniards, and has already taken 14 vessels, and by capers from Curaçoa, as well as three small frigates from Biscay, who are sent to clear that coast. These considerations made Lynch order them to go in fleets, with the enclosed instructions, which is all he will venture to give till he hears further; it will be hard to defend themselves without offending the Spaniards, of which he will be cautious while the Peace lasts. His wife sending her mother a cocoa tree painted, occasioned his writing Sir Robert Moray all he knew of it. None here, nor any Spaniards he has met, can guess at the cause of these blasts of the cocoa trees, or what remedy to apply; on Hispaniola and Cuba the cocoa is also gone; the young walks to the eastward and some few on the north side are in good condition; but all that are old and some of the young are gone or going, though planted in different places and soils; believes the three former dry years occasioned it, by exsiccating the radical moisture, for after spring is past the leaves fall, and little by little they die, and some breed worms; but the certain sign of mortality is a dryness of the bark and dustiness about the root. Last year, which was very seasonable, has not recovered them; but this has not discouraged them from planting, and in some years they are likely to have much better and greater walks than ever. Is very glad of the liberty to strangers Slingesby seems to say the King will grant in Jamaica, having already done it in England, for freedom contributes much to the trade and settlement of a new colony. The taking of a ketch from Barbadoes with 40 passengers and 70 negroes made him think of sending six or seven vessels and 500 men to attempt reducing Curaçoa; but found the design so difficult, has sent only one ship of 26 guns and 120 men, and is designing to draw all the privateers that way, where they will not continue long if nothing is to be had. Doubts from that place they may take all that come down, especially as the European capers intend coming that way; which makes him lament the recalling of the Assistance and wish Lord Willoughby's frigate were ordered to cruise there. Hears from Barbadoes that his Lordship found Sir Peter Colleton in the Government, and was received with abundance of joy; that they have lost seven great ships by the hurricane ["urycan"] all loaded; and that about the Madeiras "our St. Patrick that was" took the ship carrying my Lord's horses and goods, the fleet basely leaving her, or she might have been saved, for the caper was so ill manned that that ship alone fought her above two hours. Hears from Cuba the galleons were expected a fortnight ago at the Havanna, in which city many people had been drowned and some houses and churches ruined by this fatal hurricane. Hears of four vessels more lost by it in the Bay of Campeachy and on the coast of Cuba. May possibly send to Cartagena, and when there is any certain advice of the fleet's motion will dispatch a vessel to let the Secretaries know. Begs as often as he can to give his own if not the Council's commands, needing all the directions possible in such an intricate employment abroad and so fatal a conjuncture at home. Endorsed by Locke, "Jamaica, 72." Encloses,
954. I. Depositions of William and John Coxen, Philip Osborne, John Mitchell, James Smith, and James Risby, all captains of ships, sworn before Sir Thomas Lynch, Governor of Jamaica. They have used the trade of logwood cutting for about 2 1/2 or 3 years on the coast of Yucatan, from Boca Couil to Cape Catoche, and thence to Cozumel, and during that time the English have had and now have huts and people to the number of 100 or 200 there resident; have never seen any Spaniards or Indians, nor heard of any Indians nearer than 12 or 14 leagues, or Spaniards nearer than Rio Lagartos, 18 leagues off, where there are guards or look-outs, and have never met with any interruption until the pirate Yallahs came about eight months since and took divers vessels. One has also cut wood at Beef Island and Sumasanta, 35 leagues to the westward of Campeachy; the proprietor of Beef Island, who comes there at certain seasons to make hides, has always given leave to the English to cut wood; and the Indians there resident are not subject to the Spaniards. Endorsed by Locke, "William Coxen and others' depositions concerning cutting logwood 1672." October 29th to 3rd November 1672.
954. II. Proclamation of Lieutenant-Governor Sir Thos. Lynch for regulating the trade of logwood cutting. Being informed that his Majesty's subjects have used for some years to hunt, fish, and cut wood in divers cayes, islands, and parts of the continent, not frequented or possessed by any subjects of his Catholic Majesty, without molestation; nevertheless divers vessels have been seized by pirates and fugitives of this island, and are in danger to be surprised by them and others, as well as Dutch capers. It is hereby ordered that all vessels sailing from Port Royal for said lawful employments go out in squadrons of four at least, giving bond to obey whoever is made Commander. Form of commission for commanders of fleets. Endorsed by Locke, Logwood, 3 Nov. 1672. St. Jago de la Vega, 1672, Nov. 3. Together, 6 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., Nos. 43, 43. I. II.]
Nov. 5.
955. Sir Tobias Bridge to Sec. Lord Arlington. Wrote from the Madeiras account of their voyage. Lord Willoughby arrived from Tangier some time after him, to whom he presented in Council the King's letter and commission, both which received no good entertainment, and produced enclosed order. Is not in the least troubled at the reflections cast upon himself, but much aggrieved to see his Majesty's orders neglected. Lord Willoughby intends to send the St. David to Dominica very suddenly to take particular account of the mine there, of which he says he is the principal discoverer; believes the thing may be of very great concernment and worthy his Majesty's notice. Lord Willoughby has under consideration the reducing of Tobago. Encloses,
955. I.Order of the Governor and Council of Barbadoes. Sir Tobias Bridge having presented a letter under his Majesty's Sign Manual, dated 22nd March 1671–2, requiring that he be admitted one of the Council of the island; resolved, that Sir Tobias having acknowledged himself no freeholder is not qualified according to his Majesty's instructions, and that he be suspended till his Majesty's pleasure be known. 1672, October 28th. Attested copy. Together, 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX, Nos. 44, 44. I.]
Nov. 5.
956. Sir Tobias Bridge to Sec. Sir Joseph Williamson. It was no little trouble to him to depart so abruptly without taking leave, but it was by the King's command. The King's letter and his commission receive but slender entertainment from Lord Willoughby, of which he has given account to Lord Arlington. Prays him to take some care for remedying the defects. Has been careful to present his Majesty's commands, but does not think it necessary to dispute his Lordship's orders. Sir Joseph may be very instrumental in settling his Majesty's gift of 400l. per year, and what his Majesty formerly granted him as to some fee-farm rents, and may be confident he will never prove ungrateful. Entreats him to give assistance to Mr. Browne and Mr. Lloyd. Are all peaceable and quiet, with some thoughts of reducing Tobago. Lord Willoughby intends suddenly to send the St. David to look after the silver mine at Dominica, of which he says he is the principal discoverer. Endorsed, "R. Dec. 31." 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No. 45.]
Nov. 6. 957. Leolin Lloyd to Sec. Lord Arlington. Was sent to England by Col. Codrington, Deputy-Governor of Barbadoes, to give his Majesty account of a silver mine lately discovered at Dominique, with directions to deliver the papers to his Lordship; but his Lordship being on his embassy to the Netherlands, his Majesty referred the affair to the Lord Chamberlain and Lord Clifford, who ordered an expriment to be made by Dr. Williams with some of the ore brought over; who says he conceives it to be only the crust of a silver mine, in regard it yields not the quantity of silver suggested by the deposition of those who made the experiment at Barbadoes. But the ore was gathered by himself and others from the surface of the earth and in rivulets; they not having been furnished with conveniences for digging. The island is now possessed by Col. Codrington for his Majesty by a lawful purchase from the Indians there, who have always possessed it without the least claim from any European nation; and the English sent there at the charge of Col. Codrington remain in peace with the natives, but stand in need of his Majesty's protection against those tempted by this mine to become obtruders. Prays his Lordship to procure his Majesty's orders to secure the island by Col. Codrington, the first discoverer and purchaser, who next to his Majesty's service designs his Lordship's advantage. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No. 46.]
Nov. 958. Petition of John Rodney and Frances his wife to the King. That Stephen Mall deceased was seized of an estate in Nevis worth 500l. per annum; petitioner Frances, his daughter and heir, married Wm. Richardson, merchant, deceased, who had some small dealings with Tho. Cole; that after said Richardson's death petitioners intermarried,and some time after returned for England. In their absence said Cole, pretending Richardson to be indebted to him in 60,000 weight of sugar (about 300l.),James Russell, then Governor and his intimate friend, caused some proceedings to be had against said Richardson (according to some pretended law in that island), and said plantation to be sold by outcry, at which Cole was admitted to buy the same for 60,000 weight of sugar; and said Governor in 1670, about the time of leaving his government, turned out petitioners' servants and possessed Cole of all petitioners' stock and goods, who hath committed much waste by felling of timber and otherwise. All which was done by contrivance between said Russell and Cole, without any notice to petitioners, and Cole refuses to give account or possession of the premises, though he well knows Richardson owed him nothing, or if he did, said premises were no way liable, or if they were yet not to have been so exposed to sale for so small value; and if there was such a debt he is satisfied with an overplus by the profits. Pray that said Russell, now residing in England, may be summoned to answer the premises, and that petitioners may have relief therein. With,
Reference to the Council for Plantations to call the parties before them, examine the matter, and report the state of the case to the King and what they think fit to be done for petitioners relief. Whitehall, 1672, Nov. 7. Endorsed, "Received the 8th of Novemb. 1672, and read the same day in Council." 2 pp.
Order of the Council for Plantations on the above petition. That a copy of said petition be forthwith sent to Sir James Russell, and that he be required immediately to give answer thereto in writing; and that Dr. Worsley, Secretary to the Council, inform him of the matter and circumstances alleged before said Council by petitioners as evidences of said Russell's injurious proceedings. 1672, Nov. 8. Two draughts with corrections on the same sheet.
Dr. Benj. Worsley to Sir James Russell. Encloses copy of the above petition, with the order of reference and order from the Council for Plantations, who, from a tenderness and respect for his former character as Governor and the distance of his present residence, are content that he answer in writing, though several circumstances tendered by Capt. Rodney and his agent, if true, greatly aggravate the partiality and rashness of his proceedings. The petitioners declaring that Cole, to whom he sold said plantation, was Russell's intimate friend; that whereas the debt challenged did not exceed 300l., and no way appeared by bond, but was pretended to arise by accounts of dealings with Richardson, which accounts were of many years' standing and ought not to have been allowed till Richardson's books had been examined, nevertheless he admitted Cole's witness on his own behalf only, and delivered possession of a plantation alleged to be worth ten times the value of the debt, when some few of the slaves sold at market price would have been sufficient to satisfy said debt; that such a sale is not only without precedent, but contrary to an express law then in force; and that said plantation was not only sold in the absence of and before Capt. Rodney ever heard of any such debt or demand, but when, as Russell knew, he was commanded off the island on his Majesty's service. To all which their Lordships require a punctual and particular answer, with all convenient speed. 1672, Nov. 12. 2 pp.
List of stock and goods left by John Rodney upon his plantation in Nevis in 1668, made by him by direction of the Secretary of the Council for Plantations, viz.: 33 negroes and Indians, great and small, four white servants, 9 cattle, 2 sugar mills, 7 coppers, with stills, coolers, and other necessaries, besides houses and near 100 acres of canes, all fit to make sugar within one year after Cole had possession. Signed by J. Rodney. 1 p. 1672, Nov. 12.
Sir Jas. Russell to Dr. Worsley. Has received his letter of the 12th with papers enclosed concerning Capt. Rodney's impeachment against him, and sent answer. His indisposition prevented him answering sooner, and if their Lordships rest not satisfied, desires the present Governor and Assembly of Nevis may be ordered to send over copies of all the proceedings, from which it will appear that Capt. Rodney had no injury done him, unless by his profuse and idle brother and agent, Caesar Rodney, who, with no regard to the satisfaction of his debts, caused the stock of the plantation to be wasted through riots and suits of law. 1 p. Bristol, 1672, Nov. 30.
Sir James Russell to the Council for Plantations. Has received Dr. Worsley's letter and Capt. Rodney's petition against him, the falsities whereof he will lay open. Capt. Rodney had a plantation in Nevis, but it was encumbered with debts above its worth. Thomas Cole was of his acquaintance, as other merchants were, and on his return to Bristol Sir James consigned some sugars to him, but no such intimacy had he with Cole as to bias him to partiality or injustice, a thing he ever abhorred. Has heard there were great dealings between Cole and Richardson, and between Cole and Rodney; but does not remember the particulars, only they were duly proved in Nevis, and notice given to Caesar Rodney, petitioner's brother and agent; and no exception being made, the plantation was, about 1670, by order of himself and the rest of the Court of Assembly, sold by outcry to Cole for satisfaction of his debts, and notices having been put up for a month inviting any one to give more, and no other chapman coming, Cole was put into possession according to law and by full assent of the court, his integrity in all which will appear by the public records of the island. The slaves, stock, and cattle left by petitioner on the plantation were in a short time sold by petitioner's brother, and recovered by judgments by creditors for debts, amounting, as he has good reason to believe, to more than the whole plantation and stock were worth, contracted by petitioner and by his said agent by his profuse, idle, and lewd living; and as for timber felled, it was for the use of the island, and believes petitioner's agent received satisfaction for it. Lord Willoughby when Governor gave the Assembly power to make bye-laws, and accordingly they revived a former law for satisfaction of debts for the sale of plantations, by virtue whereof petitioner's plantation and several others were sold. Has been informed that petitioner suggested to Sir Chas. Wheler that he had been unjustly dealt with, who, finding it untrue, continued Cole in possession. That petitioner was sent off the island in his Majesty's service is untrue; he insinuated with Lord Willoughby to be employed in bringing over letters to his Majesty, that he might defeat his creditors and that his person and goods might not be touched by arrest; for he brought away above 20 tons of sugar and other merchandise, and left debts to above 100,000 weight of sugar to creditors who were forced to sue for recovery, and Caesar Rodney owned in court they were just debts. Together, 6 papers. See also Report of the Council for Plantations on the whole proceedings. 23 June 1673. Bristol, 1672, Nov. 30. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., Nos. 47, 47 I.–V.]
Nov. 7. 959. Copy of the above petition of John Rodney and Frances his wife, with reference. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCIV., p. 62.]
Nov. 8. 960. Memorial to Sec. Lord Arlington? That in June last the fleet consisting of 29 ships sailed from Barbadoes for England, Capt. Leonard Webber, Admiral by commission from Col. Codrington, Deputy Governor, Capt. Robert Munden, Vice-Admiral, and Capt. Burrey, of Bristol, Rear-Admiral, but during the whole voyage said Admiral took little or no care to put the fleet in a posture of defence. That on 29th August, close by the Islands of Scilly, two Dutch capers of 25 and 16 guns endeavoured to get into the rear of the fleet, and had the Admiral engaged them they durst not have attempted so considerable a fleet. But said Webber took down his pendant, made sail, and ran away, and the caper encouraged by the running of the whole fleet, forced one, Mr. Grant, who had but four guns, after some handsome resistance, to surrender; sailed to Capt. Munden, the Vice-Admiral, who surrendered without resistance; and then came up with Capt. Coleman, a new strong English built, with 12 guns mounted and six unmounted, who after three shots struck his ensign, though Capt. Wasey, a passenger, having 13,800 pieces of 8 on board, proffered to defend the ship. The other caper came up to Mr. Terry, who fought from 8 to 11 o'clock and defended himself like an Englishman all night, but finding next morning that he was alone and powder and shot near spent, after being boarded three times was forced to surrender. Through the cowardice of said flag officers and Capt. Coleman nine sail were taken, and more had miscarried if Terry had not kept them fighting till the rest escaped. "We humbly pray that this business may be examined," and that his Majesty will give some marks of favour to those who behaved like Englishmen, and punish such as by their ill conduct and cowardice deserve it. There are now going to the West Indies several considerable ships commanded by Quakers, who sail without guns; which, if taken by the enemy, will make considerable ships of war, and besides they can sail much cheaper than ships of force, which in time will eat all ships of force out of trade if not timely prevented. Annexed,
960. I. Statement of Richard Barnes, mate to Capt. Coleman, concerning the ill-conduct of Capt. Coleman, which resulted in the capture of his ship as above narrated. Together, 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No. 48. 48. I.]
Nov. 8. 961. The Council for Plantations to the King. Having, on intelligence from Sec. Lord Arlington of some design by several Dutch merchants, not without the privity as is probable of the Count de Mounterey, for surprizing Jamaica, immediately dispatched advertisement thereof to Sir Thos. Lynch, Governor of that island; and having since received certain information of several private men-of-war and others that have actually passed through the channel; advise that a nimble catch or small frigate be forthwith ordered to carry advice and letters to Jamaica, with strict charge to employ all possible diligence in their delivery, and in returning with the Lieut.-Governor's advice of the state of the island. Further represent that said Lieut.-Governor, by letter of the 5th July last, requested that as the French, Spaniard, and Dutch constantly employ some strength in those seas to countenance their interest, they would move his Majesty that one or more frigates might constantly attend that island. 1 1/2 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XCIV., 30–31.]
Nov. 9.
Exeter House.
962. Earl of Shaftesbury to his very affectionate friend Capt. John Wentworth. The people's choice of him as their Governor before his Majesty gave the Bahama Islands to us (the Lords Proprietors) and his fair address since give them reason to hope the plantation will thrive in their hands. Has been careful it should not prove a barren title to him, as he will see by his share in the adventurers' trade, which it is pointed out to him he has the power to preserve and increase by fair dealing and beginning a secret commerce with their neighbours the Spaniards, whose wants will induce them to receive supplies from Europe that way, and which he has courage, skill, and dexterity to bring about and manage. Relies upon his care also of the plantation. Has been told the country is capable of producing cocoa, and that trees flourished there until a misfortune destroyed them. This is a commodity of great profit and deserves his care. Has writ to the Governor of Jamaica to let him have plants and seeds of those trees, which he will do well to send for. The profit will reward his pains and increase the people and trade of the place. Their intention is to establish in those islands, as they have done in Carolina, an hereditary nobility with land and privileges above the common people, and doubts not but his management of affairs will place him in the first rank. Will take care to make him a considerable man in those islands whilst he follows their designs and prudently conducts affairs in the way his Lordship shall chalk out to him. [Shaftesbury Papers, Section IX., Bundle 48, No. 55, pp. 116, 117.]
Nov. 9.
Exeter House.
963. Earl of Shaftesbury to his very affectionate friend Isaac Rush. Has received so good a character of him from Mr. Knowles that Shaftesbury has made him his deputy in the Bahama Islands. His instructions will tell what to do and hopes he will manage the plantation to the public good, to which nothing can so much contribute as fair dealing amongst them. Those deputed by the rest of the Lords Proprietors are all utter strangers to his Lordship, but depends upon him for their true characters. Begs he will send a true and impartial account of all transactions, so he may be able to apply a quick remedy to any inconvenience. Hears he is a man versed in merchandise, and as they have set up a trade of some adventurers for his constant supply, is very chary to have it preserved from underhand dealing. [Shaftesbury Papers, Section IX., Bundle 48, No. 55, p. 119.]
Nov. 13.
964. Warrant to Sir Thomas Chicheley, Master of the Ordnance. To deliver to Anthony Earl of Shaftesbury, or such as he shall appoint, four minions, two minion cutts, and two falcons, with ship carriages, ladles and worms to each, for the use of his Majesty's Colonies in the Bahama Islands. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol.XXIX., pp. 59, 60.]
Nov. 13–14. 965. Minutes of the Council of Barbadoes. Ordered, that Sir Peter Colleton and five of the Council, with William Sharpe, Symon Lambert, Ralph Fretwell, Henry Odiarne, Henry Walrond, junior, and Edward Littleton, or any three of them, be a Committee to consider and report on the Acts of the country, and meet 28th instant at the Roebuck, near St. Michael's Town, at 9 in the forenoon.
Nov. 14.—Committee appointed for the provision of victuals and other necessaries for 300 men for one month, to be employed in reducing Tobago, and also for hiring of two shallops for that service, with power to draw upon the Treasurer to the sum of 80,000 lb. muscavados sugar. 2 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XI., 204–205.]
Nov. 15.
966. Wm. Lord Willoughby to the Secretary to the Council for Plantations. Has safely arrived and made up his Council to 12, viz. :—Col. Hawley, Col. Searle, Col. Codrington, Mr. Farmer, and Mr. Knights, who were of his old Council, and has added Sir Peter Colleton, Mr. Wardall, Mr. Drax, Col. Barwick, Col. Walrond, and Lieut.-Col. Newton, and Mr. Sparks, who are the best men he can find qualified according to his instructions. Sir Tobias Bridge presented a letter from his Majesty requiring him to be admitted of the Council, but Sir Tobias having acknowledged that he was no freeholder, and his instructions bearing date much later restraining him to freeholders only, was advised by his Council to suspend Sir Tobias's admission till his Majesty's further pleasure. Will give further account of the particulars his instructions require by next ships. In margin, "Read in Council the 6th of March 1672." 1 1/2 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XCIV., 132.]
Nov. 15.
967. Sir Tobias Bridge to Secretary Lord Arlington. Refers to his of 5th by this conveyance, the ship not going away till this day. The Assembly met on Tuesday last, and they, as well as his Lordship and Council, think it necessary to send him down to attack Tobago. Willingly undertakes that concern, preferring the King's service before any particular concerns of his own. News by way of New England that the fleet which sailed from Barbadoes in June is taken by the Dutch. Tuesday last a Guinea ship was chased by a Dutch man-of-war and got in with difficulty, and the St. David forthwith sailed to look after the Dutch ship, and is not yet returned. Endorsed, "Ansd Jany 15, 7 2/3." 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No. 49.]
Nov. 15. 968. Petition of Rabba Couty to the King. Has lived in New York as one of his Majesty's subjects many years and paid scot and lot as a burgher of the city, and had a pass from Col. Lovelace, Governor General under his Royal Highness, dated at Fort James, 16 Aug. 1671, certifying as much, and giving him licence to traffic in the ketch Trial to the parts of the West Indies within his Majesty's dominions. In confidence whereof sailed to Jamaica, where at Port Royal his ship was confiscated by a sentence of William Beeston, Chief Judge of the Admiralty, upon colour of an Act of Parliament for increase of shipping, &c., upon pretence that petitioner was no denizen, though he had formerly traded to Jamaica without any molestation; besides which is informed by his counsel that in strictness of law territories that accrue by acquest to a Prince enjoy the privileges of natives, and that it was so held by all the Counsel and Judges of England in the grand argument about the Postnati; all which the Judge of the Admiralty there, not knowing or not weighing as he ought, condemned the ship and lading, 23rd November 1671. Which sentence the Governor, Sir Thos. Lynch, seemed doubtful about, showed him much compassion, as appears by a note under his hand, promised, if he could procure a word from his Majesty's Secretary in his favour, to restore the ship, and ordered him some money to bear his charges into England. Said ship was condemned without a Court of Record or sentence of a jury, as the law requires, and petitioner can make out the loss of above 1,200l.; and the ship and goods, being valued to 300l., the goods were not sold according to law, but divided amongst the Judges. Petitioner returned to New York to bring other certificates under the Governor's hand, which petitioner is ready to produce. Represents moreover, that said ship's loading was victuals, which in all cases have a particular favour, and that he is utterly undone, said ship and lading being the greatest part of his substance. Prays his Majesty to put the truth of his allegations in such a summary way of hearing before his Council for Plantations that he may have order to the Governor to restore said ship and goods, which is according to his own inclination, though the Governor had a share in the forfeiture, and thought not fit to overrule the mistaken sentence by his own authority. With reference to the Council for Trade and Plantations for their report. Whitehall, 15 Nov. 1672. Endorsed by Locke, and "Read in Council 20th Nov. 1672." Annexed,
968. I. Pleas and proceedings and sentence of the High Court of Admiralty in Jamaica, William Beeston, Esq., Chief Judge, 23rd Nov. 1671. Reciting provisions of the Act of Navigation, and stating that Edmund Ducke, his Majesty's Attorney-General, having exhibited his libel against the ketch Trial, Rabba Couty, master, setting forth that the owners were not English, nor the master and three-fourths of the mariners English which is contrary to said Act, which he demanded on behalf of his Majesty, the Governor, and Lieut.-Col. Robert Freeman should be put in execution; and it plainly appearing by confession of the said Rabba Couty that he was no denizen, and that two-thirds of the ketch were his own, and most of her lading, it was adjudged that the ketch, with all her tackle, furniture, and lading, be forfeited, according to said Act. Endorsed by Locke, "Couty."
968. II. Pass from Francis Lovelace, Governor of New York. Requiring all persons to permit Rabba Couty, who for several years had lived and trafficked in New York, and paid scot and lot as a burgher of the city, to pass in the ketch Trial, whereof William Merritt, master, with goods and passengers, to Barbadoes or parts adjacent within his Majesty's dominions, and to return, without any manner of molestation. Dated Fort James, in New York, 16th Aug. 1671. Recorded by order of the Governor, Matthias Nicolls, Secretary.
968. III. Certificate of Governor Lovelace. Declaring the ketch Trial, condemned and confiscated at Jamaica, to be an English built vessel, and that the master and mariners, or so many as required by the Act of Navigation, were likewise English, and that Rabba Couty had been several years a free burgher of this city. Dated at Fort James, in New York, in the island of Manhatans, 14th May 1672. The names of the master and sailors. Wm. Merritt, master.
968. IV. Report of the Council for Plantations to his Majesty. Having, in obedience to his Majesty's order of reference of the 15th November last, examined petition of Rabba Couty, merchant, relating to the ketch Trial, seized and condemned at Jamaica by a sentence of the Court of Admiralty there, certify that they have perused an exemplification of said sentence, and heard Capt. Beeston, the person who gave it, then Commander of the Assistance frigate, and that they judge the sentence to be grounded on the presumption that Rabba Couty, being a Jew, was to be accounted a foreigner; although by certificates from Governor Lovelace they find he had several years lived as a free burgher of said city, that the ketch was English built, and that the master and so many mariners as were required under the Act were English. And further, Lieut.-Gov. Sir Thos. Lynch, by letter to Mr. Slingesby, their secretary, of 28th Nov. 1671, speaks of the sentence as hard. On consideration whereof conceive that Rabba Couty ought to enjoy the benefit of a free denizen, that said sentence was illegal, and that said vessel, furniture, and provision, or the value thereof, ought to be restored. Dated 20th Dec. 1672. Endorsed, "Agreed the 20th Dec. 1672 and delivered to the Earl of Arlington 21st" See also No. 999. Together, 7 1/2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., Nos. 50, 50 I.–IV. See also Col. Entry Bk., No. XCIV., 39–46.]
Nov. 20. 969. Minutes of the Council of Barbadoes. Ordered, that the Committee for the business of Tobago meet tomorrow and compute how much more will be necessary for sloops, boats, and a surgeon's chest, not already provided for, also what vessels they can persuade to go gratis having a share of the booty, to make an account of what is laid out and what more is necessary, to be laid before the Assembly at their next meeting. Ordered, that the Assembly be summoned to meet about the affairs of Tobago on Tuesday 26th inst. 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XI., 206.]
Nov. 26. 970. The King to Lord Willoughby, Governor of Barbadoes, in favour of the Guinea Company, being a duplicate of letter of 25th May 1672. (See ante, No. 840.) 1/4 p. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. XXXI., p. 98, d.]
Nov. 27.
Exeter House.
971. Earl of Shaftesbury to his very affectionate friend, Sir Peter Colleton, in Barbadoes. Is glad to hear that the tobacco of Carolina gives it so good a reputation. Was always confident and is daily more and more confirmed that it will prove the most flourishing plantation ever settled in America if it be not overlaid and strangled in its infancy by those into whose hands we commit it. For though willing to believe all that he says of Sir John Yeamans, and to have a good opinion of him, yet must deal freely and tell him he cannot foresee what advantage they (Lords Proprietors) shall receive from all those able parts he mentions if Yeamans proceed as he has begun and continue to buy up the people's provisions at rates not very conscionable on the one hand, and on the other set all things there so as to increase and continue their expense without any regard of stop or return, which the people, before he came, had ingenuity enough to consider and were beginning to provide for, but he no sooner got the government into his hands than he turned it all quite another way. And whereas the people just before had made an Act for repayment of their debts, and their addresses to us all looked that way, since he came in we can hear of nothing but wants and supplies. We must build a house for the Governor, and we must make provision for the entertainment of the Council and the reception of strangers, so that if to take care of one, whatever becomes of us or the people if to convert all things to his present private profit be the mark of able parts, Sir John is without doubt a very judicious man. Notwithstanding all this my dissatisfaction in him ceases as soon as he ceases to discompose our affairs. But you must give me leave to profess to you that unless these things be cured and I find that care of us and the plantation be in earnest indeed, I shall not have patience quietly to sit still and look on whilst the Colony is destroyed. And should it fall by his perverse and indirect management the indignation of having a design of so fair hopes and so great consequence on which I had set my mind ruined by his covetousness or ambition will make me endeavour to reach him and require satisfaction in the remotest parts of the world, for in this, which is my darling and wherein I am entrusted also by others, I cannot suffer myself and them to be injured by anybody without great resentment. Has discoursed thus plainly to him as a friend to them both and desires to be so to Sir John Yeamans as soon as by an easy turn of himself and his taking care of the public concernment there he shall give occasion. Their other plantation in New Providence promises not only a remote advantage by a flourishing settlement there but a present benefit by a trade established there which is perfectly free in all their merchandise and it is never intended to set up anything like a Company over them. All (except Lord Craven) have subscribed 200l. apiece as Col. Thornburgh hath for Colleton. Sends the Articles the Lords Proprietors here have executed for his confirmation to complete them. 2 pp. [Shaftesbury Papers, Section IX., Bundle 48, No. 55, pp. 120–1.]
Nov. 27. 972. Order of the Governor, Council, and Assembly of Barbadoes. That whereas the sum of 80,000 lbs. sugar ordered on 14th inst. for defraying the charge of the reduction of Tobago is not found sufficient, the sum of 40,000 lbs. sugar be added, and that the Treasurer issue such sums as shall be charged by the Committee not exceeding said sum of 40,000 lbs. sugar. 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XI., p. 207.]
Nov. 29. 973. Order of the King in Council. On petition of the Gambia merchants, That one of their chief commodities, redwood, is of great use and esteem in dyeing, but some are practising to introduce a sort of wood called sanders, of which the East India Company of Holland are only possessed, which though seemingly beneficial is of no lasting use, but a very fading, cheating dye, prejudicial to the woollen manufactures, and being cheaper will hinder the sale of redwood; pray his Majesty to prohibit the importation thereof. That said petition be referred to the Council for Trade and Plantations for their report with all convenient speed. Annexed,
973. I. Certificate of the Dyers of London, That they are able and ready from their experience to demonstrate that sanders is no less useful and necessary in dyeing than redwood, both for goodness and duration of colour. Signed by Roger Lock and Jacob Man, Wardens of the Dyers Company, and four others.
973. II. Report of the Council for Trade and Plantations on above petition of Gambia merchants. That having conferred with the Dyers' Company, they find that the price of redwood has been advanced by the Gambia merchants from 26 l. to 80 l. per ton, and could not be bought by the clothiers under 5l. per hundred, which forced them to seek out for some other materials. That the Dyers' Company are willing to make further attestation of their above Certificate on oath. That sanders, though brought from the East Indies, is sold in Holland from 10 l. to 12 l. sterling per ton, and though paying great customs may be sold here at 24 l. to 25l. per ton, or a fourth the cost of redwood. Are therefore of opinion that it deserves all lawful encouragement to be imported until our East India Company are able to furnish themselves with a sufficient quantity of it. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XCIV., pp. 47–50.]
Nov. 29. 974. Order of the Council for Trade and Foreign Plantations. The Earl of Arlington having heard that Sir Chas. Wheler was come into England, desired a Committee might discourse with him to know in what posture he left the affairs of the Leeward Isles in relation to his treaty with Mons. de Baas. Whereupon ordered that Lord Culpeper, Lord Gorges, Sir Humphry Winch, and Mr. Slingesby be a Committee, and desired to discourse with Sir Chas. Wheler as aforesaid. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLV., p. 52.]
Nov. 30.
975. Dr. Benjamin Worseley to Sir Thos. Lynch, Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica. Both his former letters [see ante, Nos. 943, 952] were written by express order from the Council; and having had the honour of reading all Sir Thomas's letters to the Council for Plantations, Lord Arlington, and Mr. Slingesby takes the opportunity of this advice boat, which is purposely sent, to tender his service; and to acquaint him, that their Lordships by their letter of 31st October [see ante, No. 952. I.] expressed their particular care of him, and that they would apply to his Majesty to send supplies in this time of danger to the island. Now having heard that some ships were gone through the channel, set forth as supposed by some principal persons of Zealand, and being jealous they might be designed for Jamaica, resolved on an address to his Majesty; whereupon his Majesty ordered that an advice boat should be with all speed sent to him; and is informed that two frigates are to be prepared to cruise about those seas, to secure the trade of the island. Has received his letter of 5th July, and the Council has nominated a Committee to report on the laws of Jamaica. Cannot but congratulate his care for the welfare of the island, especially in endeavouring to remove that humour of debauchery, which was got much into credit in the time of his predecessor, and must have ruined that noble plantation, for the thriving of which Worsley has the most passionate affections. Remembers one law against carrying out several plants into any other parts, on penalty of 100 l. Could have wished it had been more clearly explained whether his Majesty's own plantations were included; but the principal thing he took notice of was the nature and quality of the plants, as Vanillas, China roots, Contrayerva, and Achiott; and seeing an extraordinary value was put upon them, supposes the whole Assembly looked upon them as things of choiceness and price, and knowing the drugs here that bear their names are of great esteem, was the more delighted that the planters should take the more care to cultivate them. Would be glad to have a further account of these plants, and whether they are the same as Worsley thinks they are. Should esteem it also as a physician, and as his genius hath led him to a conjunction of friendship and intimacy with Mr. Robert Boyle for many years, whose great virtue he emulates above most men's. Has given great attention to his remarks frequently made about the French and the growth of their power in those parts, with the insolencies more probably to be expected from their neighbourhood, than any advantage from their friendship, which he himself has feared for several years; being also of opinion that they should ere long find it as great an affair of state to balance power in the West Indies, as it is now amongst Princes in Christendom; and that, not only with reference to the Spaniard, French, Dutch, and the English; but also mutually amongst the French, Dutch, and Spaniard. Apprehends that next to the preservation of the island itself, nothing could be of more service to his Majesty, or more oblige Lord Arlington, than constant information of anything of this kind. Sends a packet from his Lordship, and for news it would be an indiscretion to judge that he could add anything to Sir Joseph Williamson's letter, he being so much a master of all sorts of intelligence, and having sent it as it rises weekly. 2 1/2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No. 51.]
1672 976. Petition of Sir Chas. Wheler to the King. Mis Majesty having sent a Commission to General Stapleton for Government of the Leeward Islands, petitioner infinitely afflicted at his Majesty's displeasure is returned into England to throw himself at his Majesty's feet for pardon, hoping that the innocency of his intentions will appear, and that he has not done anything so faulty as may have been represented. Prays permission to look after his private affairs, almost ruined by this calamity, and to serve his Majesty in his other capacities. Signed. 1/2 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIX., No. 52.]