America and West Indies: December 1669

Pages 46-48

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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December 1669

Dec. 6.
130. Letters patent constituting Wm. Lord Willoughby of Parham, Governor-in-Chief of the Caribbee Islands, identical with his commission, dated November 20, 1669. 12 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. 5, pp. 101–114.]
Dec. 19.
131. Wm. Freeman to Col. George Gamvell, at his house in High Holborn over against the Hat and Hand in London. Sir John Yeamans, one of the commissioners appointed to receive his Majesty's interest in St. Christopher's, passed here about 10 days ago with three vessels full of people for settling Port Royal on the main near Cape Fear; who said that the King's commissioners came to Barbadoes four months before, but no orders for any vessel to bring down the commissioners and no instructions to the Governor, so that to hire a vessel on their own account was thought too much; and that if Lord Willoughby had intended to further the design he would not have written so slightingly of it, but that Antigua was a great obstruction to settling St. Christopher's. The French Governor of St. Kitts told him last week that if Lord Willoughby had stayed for M. De la Barre three days longer when he first demanded the land, De la Barre had delivered it him, and several gentlemen here aver that Lord Willoughby said he did not know what to do with it and would not go down to demand it, but send others, which the French took as a slight and sent as slight an answer. By such proceedings his Majesty's subjects are kept out of their estates to their utter ruin, as by woeful experience he has found, having left his family in Jamaica these 21 months, and lost all he had left in the hurricane of August last. Some hundreds of pitiful poor people were suffered to settle under the French, no better than slaves, paying them half or one third of the produce of their labours, hoping that in a short time the land would be surrendered; but about two months ago the French Governor heard that our commissioners would be down in a short time, and ordered all those that lived upon the King's land, as it was called, to carry off their provisions and houses (or burn them) and begone, so that those poor people must still be slaves to the French or perish with hunger. The French, notwithstanding the Articles of Breda, have carried off all the houses, timber, woods, negroes, coppers, and horses from the English plantations, and to this he was a witness in November last Complains of the terms by which the English are to be put in possession of their estates as a most lamentable thing, and the loss it is to himself. Those that chose rather to lose their lives and estates than to falsify their allegiance are no more considered than cowards that swear allegiance to-day to one prince and to-morrow to another. Has endeavoured for 42 years to enlarge and maintain his Majesty's interest, losing one of his limbs; and now he has not so much left as he brought with him, only 22 of his offspring left in Jamaica, who, though poor and bare, may come to do his Majesty service, if self-ended persons, intrusted to promote the good of his Majesty and his people, do not occasion a miscarriage in both. Thanks him for thinking him worthy to be joined in the commission; but Col. Board did very discreetly in putting by such as were poor and bare and would have finished the business out of hand. Cannot imagine the design of these delays, unless it be to make those who desire to resettle the island unable to do so. Several Barbadians have given out on the Exchange and to the Committee of Trade that they had rather St. Kitts were sunk than settled, and wherefore commissioners should be sent thence of all places he understands not. Gamvell's tenant, Mr. Worly, lately come out of New England, has been very sick, but is recovered again. 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIV., No. 96.]
Dec. 23–30. 132. Minutes of the Council of Barbadoes. Ordered that the Deputy Secretary, assisted by the Provost Marshall, publish an Act for the settlement of the Government of this island.
Dec. 30.—Also that they publish this day a proclamation sent by Governor Wm. Lord Willoughby for the settling of the Government bearing date 5th November last. 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. 11, p. 183.]
Dec. 31.
New York.
On Manhatans
Island in
133. Matthias Nicolls to Col. Richard Nicolls, one of the Grooms of the Bedchamber to the Duke of York. Two or three days since Mr. Boone arrived by way of Virginia with news of his health and welfare. The Scotch ship so long expected and which Nicolls mentions, not yet arrived. There was a silly intention of an insurrection amongst the Finns at Delaware, but the ringleaders being surprised, their design was broken. They pretended an expectation of some Swedish ships to reduce the place. The Governor sent him there to inquire into the matter, whence he returned the beginning of Christmas week. Some few days before Mr. White, Surveyor-General of Maryland, had been there to lay claim to all the west side of Delaware River as belonging to Lord Baltimore; they had sent persons also to exercise their jurisdiction at the Hoare Kill, but none either there or in Delaware will submit till the matter be decided in England. The Governor has now sent Mr. White's original claim for England, and by the next intends to remit the whole proceedings about the Finns. Beseeches him, who has been his kind master and patron ever since he had relation to him, to put the best construction on the boon he begged in his last letter. Endorsed, Recd 11 Marcii 1669–70. 2 pp. Printed in New York Documents, III. 186. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXIV., No. 97.]
Antigua. 134. Eight Acts passed in the island of Antigua, viz.:— (1.) April 8. An Act for enlarging and keeping clean the High Ways. (2.) April 8. Explaining the Act intituled An Act for incouraging and promoting the settling of this Island. (3.) April 8. For the bringing all Tobacco of the growth of this Island into Public Storehouses. (4.) Oct. 21. For extending Lands and Goods for Debts or Fines. (In margin, Repealed, 19 Dec. 1683.) (5.) Oct. 21. Against assignment of Bills without the Debtor's consent. (6.) Oct. 21. For public recompense to the Masters of Slaves put to death by law. (7.) Oct. 21. Stating servants' times, wages, provisions, apparels, &c. (8.) Oct. 21. Declaring the duties of all masters of ships or small vessels trading to this island, and for the careful looking after their vessels whilst they stay, and for the preventions of fugitives and transportation without ticket. 13 pp.[Col. Entry Bks. No. 49, pp. 28–40, and No. 50, pp. 272–285.]
Antigua. 135. The titles of the preceding eight Acts. [Col. Entry Bk., No. 132, p. 2.]