America and West Indies: Addenda 1674-77

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 9, 1675-1676 and Addenda 1574-1674. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1893.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


, 'America and West Indies: Addenda 1674-77', in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 9, 1675-1676 and Addenda 1574-1674, (London, 1893) pp. 151-163. British History Online [accessed 26 May 2024].

. "America and West Indies: Addenda 1674-77", in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 9, 1675-1676 and Addenda 1574-1674, (London, 1893) 151-163. British History Online, accessed May 26, 2024,

. "America and West Indies: Addenda 1674-77", Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 9, 1675-1676 and Addenda 1574-1674, (London, 1893). 151-163. British History Online. Web. 26 May 2024,

Addenda 1674–77

July 3.
Hampton Court.
399. Warrant to [the Attorney General] to prepare a Bill for the King's signature to pass the Great Seal, containing a grant to James Duke of York, his heirs and assigns for ever, of "all that part of the mainland of New England," the boundaries of which are set forth, being the colony of New York. [The boundaries and contents of this grant are identical with a previous patent to the Duke of York, dated 12 March 1664, abstracted in Col. Cal., 1661–1668, p. 101, No. 685.] 2 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. 110, pp. 56, 57.]
Aug. 12.
Hampton Court.
400. The King to Major Edmund Andros and Anthony Brockhurst. By a commission dated 24 July last the King appointed them to demand and take possession of the colony of New York from the Dutch, by virtue of the 6th Article of our last treaty with the States General; his Majesty, having granted said colony to the Duke of York, commands them as soon as they shall be possessed of the premises to comport themselves in the future government and of the revenues arising therefrom, according to directions and instructions from the Duke of York. 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. 110, p. 58.]
Dec. 30.
401. The King to Sir Jonathan Atkins, Governor of Barbadoes. The Council of Barbadoes having sent advice that there had been lately brought to Barbadoes eleven Indians from the Amazon river on the coast of Guiana by force, and considering the great importance of a fair correspondence between the Caribbee Indians and the English, and that provocation should be avoided, commands him to send said Indians home by the first opportunity, and that in the meantime they be kindly used, and that he takes all proper occasions to gain the goodwill and affection of that people, and to promote a good understanding with them. 1½ pp. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. 110, pp. 61, 62.]
1674 ? 402. Petition of Sir George Pretyman to the King. About 1663 his father, who was Receiver, was 20,000l. in arrears for tenths and first fruits, but as his estate was settled in reversion on petitioner, he could not pay it without petitioner's consent, who thereupon consented to the passing of an Act of Parliament for sale of the same, whereof his Majesty's debt was paid, but petitioner was utterly ruined. In the time of Sir George Boothe's rising, petitioner raised a troop of horse at a charge of 2,000l., for which he has not yet asked any recompense, notwithstanding his Majesty's voluntary promise at Breda. And whereas the Island of Jamaica ought to be supplied with an officer called by the name of Treasurer and Recorder of the Patents, prays that said office may be conferred upon him. Signed G. Pretyman. [On 2 July 1674 Gov. Lynch chose Samuel Bernard for Treasurer. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. 33, No. 107.]
1674 ? 403. Observations upon the several heads proposed by Mr. Secretary Ludwell and other gentlemen sent from Virginia. 1. As to the request to be enabled to buy the quit-rents and escheats there already granted by the King to the Lord Chamberlain St. Albans, Culpeper, Berkeley'[Grant dated 8 May 1669] to the public use of the Colony. 2. Whether it be good for the Crown to parcel the plantations into two small properties. 3. Ought to be granted to such as enjoy lands, they paying quit-rents. 4. Concerns the King's escheator and patentees. 5. As to the chief officers being resident. 6. Absolutely necessary and will secure them from being subject to a double jurisdiction, viz., the laws of an English Parliament where they have no representatives. 7. If in pursuance of what is done in Ireland and Jamaica. On all seven heads the King's authority and power must in no sort be lessened "for the New England disease is very catching;" and whilst they desire to have no other dependence but on the Crown, care must be taken that they do depend on the Crown and that their remoteness and great growth is very considerable. In a word the country is to be encouraged and the power of the Crown kept up. 3½ sheets. [Col. Papers, Vol. 33, No. 108.]
[1674.] 404. Memorial of Mr. Serjeant Rigby. Recites patent to the Earl of Warwick, Sir Ferdinando Gorges, and others, of 8 Nov. 1620 of New England, and their Grant of 26 June 1630 to Bryan Bincks, John Dy, and others, their associates, their heirs, and assigns for ever, of two islands in the river Sagadahock and certain tracts of land therein mentioned. That in the year 1630 said Bryan Bincks and associates settled themselves in Casco Bay, layed out considerable sums of money in planting there and made laws and constitutions for government of said plantation. That in 1643, John Dy, Thos. Jupe, and others, survivors of Bryan Bincks and others, granted their claim and interest in said lands to Alexander Rigby, of Rigby, co. Lancaster, his heirs and assigns for ever. That in 1644, Robert Earl of Warwick, Governor-in-Chief in America, ratified and confirmed several laws and constitutions for the good government of the people inhabiting the territory aforesaid, then styling the same the province of Ligonia. About that time a difference arising, being said Rigby and John Gorges' son and heir apparent of said Sir Ferdinando concerning the title and boundaries of the Provinces of Maine and Ligonia, same was in 1646 heard and examined by said Earl of Warwick and Committee for Foreign Plantations, and by them adjudged that the right and title of said Province of Ligonia was in the said Rigby and his heirs, and the inhabitants were commanded to submit to the government of said Rigby, which in 1645 they had done by consenting and subscribing their names to said constitutions under which government they continued until 1652 or 1653, all which time the Government of Massachusetts extending their northerly bounds forced most of the people living within the Province of Ligonia to submit to their government. Now, the Massachusetts bounds being questioned before the Privy Council by Mr. Mason and the heir of Sir Ferd. Gorges, it is humbly desired that no order be made to the prejudice of the Rigby's interest before Mr. Serjeant Rigby in whom the interest of the Province of Ligonia now remains, be first heard. Endorsed by Williamson, "N. Engl. Mr. Serj. Rigby." The date is supplied by the Privy Council Register. There is a petition of Gorges, Mason, Rigby, and others, patentees and inhabitants of the Provinces of Maine and Ligonia to "the Parliament of the Commonwealth" complaining of the government of Massachusetts, and praying that the whole business may be examined. Col. Cal., 1574–1660, pp. 478, 479. Also a "State of the differences of the several Provinces of New England," endorsed by Povey, 2 December 1674, in the previous volumn of this Calendar, p. 627, No. 1397. [Col. Papers, Vol. 33, No. 109.]
1674–77. 405. A small MS. Volume, one of Sec. Sir Joseph Williamson's note books. List of the Plantations, Barbadoes, Sir Jon. Atkins; Leeward Islands, St. Christopher's, Nevis, Antigua, Montserrat, Stapleton; New England, 1, Boston; 2, Plymouth; 3, Connecticut; 4, Rhode Island; Jamaica, Somers Islands or Bermudas, Virginia, Maryland, Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Newfoundland, Hudson's Bay. Four Acts about Plantation Trade; Act of Navigation, securing the Customs, regulating the Plantation Trade, securing the Plantation Trade.
1674–75. Surinam.—The Dutch agreement of making sugar; they offer 200l. per annum to our English workmen which we have for 10l. 15s.; sugar-makers, &c. The French begin to learn that art. The English have 1,200 negroes on Surinam, and may be themselves about 300. Spoke with Sir [Nath.] Brent lately come from thence, 1674–75. Every head of cattle there worth 20l. 300 English, 1,100 or 1,200 Negroes. Have 20 sugar works; out of debt, generally because they have had no supplies of shoes, &c., many tons of sugar, &c. 20l. per ton to the Dutch, whereas in Barbadoes we have it for 4l. 10s. They might buy off 10,000 wt. for an overseer, whereas we have them for 10 m. (sic). All the artificers are English, carpenters, smiths, &c. The Dutch have not the skill of making sugar, but hire the very raggedest English, &c. Sugar works in Surinam: 17 on the river Surinam, 3 on Cainaweena River. 30 per cwt. by the Dutch which will make it difficult to the English. The Dutch ordered to free the English, in debt to them for blacks, &c., and to that end some ships are now sent to Jam(aica). Proposed to have two large flyboats, one less vessel, one man-ofwar. The English have good number of cattle, which the Dutch will endeavour to underrate and forbid to buy and hinder the English from carrying off. [pp. 13–15.]
1674. Surinam.—Heads proposed by the Council in March 1673–74 for the Dutch orders. 1. To suffer our Commissioners on arriving to have free access among the English. 2. The English to sell their estates, pay their debts, and no harm to hinder them. The ships to have two months' time to stay there. N.B.—One Brent has lately come over and given an account of the present state of the place. Browning (?) offers to go Commissioner for nothing; to treat with Odyke about our orders for Surinam, N. England. The Council's Report and Stapleton's demands. Ammunition, pay for the two companies, satisfaction against the French. The Council wants regulating, pay, &c. What about N. England? What about Newfoundland ? If Mr. Cranfield won't do some job about N. England in coming back. Qu. The Council's Report about New England. [pp. 21–23.]
1674–76. West Indies.—Nevis.—23 July, from Stapleton, grievances from the French, slaves, &c., salary for himself, pay for the 2 companies at St. Christopher's, seal for the Islands, his justification against Sir Ch. Wheeler, i.e., religion and the selling S. Ch. plantations; qu. the demands of Stapleton for de Baas. Stapleton's last account of the Island, &c., 10 July. De Ruyter arrived at Vichinequa with 40 sail, a vessel taken in the mouth of the culde-sac; C. de Horne was in a fair way to make himself master of the fort, &c., but De Ruyter made his signal to repair aboard. Fr. vilanos, dispersing their slaves, sold them after a month's sequestration; qu. what articles made with de Baas by Sir Ch. Wheeler. The French pretend to have lost slaves by us; Henseler, 12 negroes; de Pareille, a like number. 16 October, Mr. Gorges, merchant, on behalf of St. Christopher's. 1. Many acres of land in St. Christopher's belonging to the English not yet resettled. 2. Negroes not resettled. 3. Fr[ench] claim the sovereignty of the seas. 4. Negroes to be supplied yearly. 5. The seal lost by Sir Charles Wheeler. 6. Two companies of foot not paid since June 1671. Letters received 13 October 1671. Barbadoes, 16 July, for the Committee [by the Garland]; the peace proclaimed. The Garland sent for here, want of victuals. Repairs. Barbadoes is reckoned to be 100,000 acres; of these 10,000 acres were at first planted by certain merchants of London under the E. Carlisle, under 5 per 100 of the issues. The Governor; the Council put in by the commandment of the King; the Assembly which consists of two men of a parish. These three make laws, which are good till the K[ing] disapproves. N.B.—To find a way to know all vessels coming and going to and from all foreign plantations and returned to the Council. Write frequently to all plantations and press to hear from them. N.B.—Stapleton has not heard from Europe since 1672. The 4½ per cwt. is a duty through all the Plantations on goods exported, &c. Wheeler and Strode farmed it for 7,000l. per annum. Barbadoes. Laws are good when assented to by the Governors of themselves, without any approbation of the King till the K. declare the contrary. In all other Plantations, as at Jamaica, only for two years unless the King approves them, &c. Lord F. Willoughby obtained of the Assembly, when first he went to them, the 4½ per cent. on condition that all the planters, &c., should hold thenceforth all their lands in free soccage, &c., vide the Act, &c. October 22, 1674. France, qu. Edit of 31 May 1670, forbidding all strangers to sail aux environs, &c., to these Islands. [pp. 17–21.]
1676. Barbadoes.—6 April 1676. Petition of the Council and Assembly. 1. Complain of the payment of the 4½ per cent., the rules for levying it; have passed an Act for gauging vessels of sugar, praying it to be passed by the K. 2. As to Negro Slaves, the Guinea Company supply them generally and at fixed rates, formerly 16l. per head, now 20l. and 22l.; confess they are offered at 15l. per head one with another. 3, Act of Navigation, by which they are forced to bring all sugars to England; the market is overstocked, the freight dear. They offer, 1, to trade only with English ships; 2, and sail with English only, which are the orders of the Act. 3. The returns will pay the K.'s customs at B.B. [p. 29. End of Book.]
1674–75. Leeward Islands.—San Domingo.—St. Vincent.—Are peopled by Indians entirely animated by the French. St. Christopher's has about 600 English; the 4½ per cent. is in force for Sir Ch. Wheler for 7 years, of which about 4 expired 1675. Qu. All that passed in the affair of St. Kitt's is with the French, all the orders, commissions, &c. The Indians of Dominica and St. Vincent were headed by young Warner, who was old Sir Th. Warner('s son) by an Indian woman, &c., who was now lately killed by Col. Stapleton in a small expedition, 1674–75. Qu. The articles for the surrender of St. Christopher's. Sir R. Southwell, &c. St. Christopher's. Col. Lockhart's Memorial of 6/16 May 1674 contains these complaints. A narrative of all: 1. That no regard was had to the spoils committed before the Lord Willoughby's Demand of Restitution, &c., 1671, &c. 2. The Commissioners did not continue their sittings. 3. That ameliorations were demanded. 4. Demanded greater sums from the English proprietors than they had received really. Prays that the Most Christian King will give the K. up the sovereignty, and the English old Proprietors be restored upon payment of their price really received, that no advantage be taken of the tenure of a year and a day having lapsed, seeing the revision of several difficulties. [pp. 21, 25, 26. End of Book.]
1675. New England.—May 1675. Qu. If the respective Governors of the Plantations have taken the Oaths about executing the several Acts of Navigation, &c. Qu. If the Bonds appointed to be taken from ships in the several Plantations have been returned yearly hither as appointed. As to Gorges' county in N. England, vide King's letter 1664, their answer of April 1665, the King's letter to them, 1666. The Massachusetts Patent is said by them to bear date 10 or 11 years before the grant to Ferd. Gorges (vide their letter to Sec. Morrice). N.B.—A Quo Warranto was brought 1637 against the Bostoners' Patent, and I expect given for the King. They melt down all English money brought in there into their own coin, making every shilling 15d. to avoid the carrying it out. 4,000 seamen saved themselves into N. England in the late Dutch Wars (Capt. Wyborn, captain of the (blank) 1673). As to the Acts of Navigation, &c.: 1. N. England is as one of the Plantations under these laws. 2. As to abuses, 25 Car. II., they bring into Europe American goods and not to England directly; they carry thither out of all parts of Europe goods of Europe, which should go only from England. 3. Remedies: Let the Governors in New England take the oath enjoined by law; no vessels to bring in European commodities save which were shipped in England; to take bonds of all vessels that come there to trade here in England and nowhere else, the forfeiting of the Bonds to be duly prosecuted, &c. As to the oath they take. Qu. If all Governors of the Plantations have taken the oaths, and if same has been taken for the King. As to the Bonds taken Sir J. Shaw has received no such Bonds save only from Maryland, and some few from Virginia, &c. N.B.—That the point of Bonds be looked into, &c. What care has been taken by the Governors, if they are sufficiently directed to do it. Qu. Statia and Saba if held by the Dutch, and why they do not demand restitution of them. Qu. How the Church stands in the Plantations, what provisions made for them. [pp. 59–63.]
Newfoundland.—1610, a Grant to E. Northampton, &c., of Newfoundl(and); 1620, Grant of Aviland to L. Baltimore; 1620, Earl Pembroke's Patent, &c., M. Hamilton, &c., against L. Baltimore, &c.; 1660, Grant of Confirmation to L. Baltimore; 1633, Charter granted to Western Traders, &c.; 1660, the Western Charter renewed; 1663, Additions to the former Charter in Council. Qu. to settle a Governor ? The fleet and convoy go out in March. Qu. What Ordinances made by France against Newfoundland. &c., and any other Plantations on Trade, &c. N.B.—K. James' Letters Patent to L. Baltimore of all Aviland, &c., about 1620. K. Charles I. made a Patent to the Kirks of Newfoundland, &c. (Aviland); yet by a Report of Sir Orl. Bridgman and Sir Hen. Finch, 1660, the first Patent was found good to L. Baltimore, and an order of the K.'s to restore Aviland by the Kirks to L. Baltimore. The western towns, 15 Car. II. 14 Dec. 1663, an Order of Council in favour of the Western men for observing the Order and Rules made by the Fishers. This trade has been from the West for 30 years and more. 200 ships usually employed, and 20,000 men. N.B.—Three voyages make a landsman a good seaman; ¼ of the profit is divided among the seamen; the fish carried into the Straits, and brought home in fruits, wine, &c. Bullion: go out in April, come back at Michaelmas; leave their nets, instruments, &c., covered with reeds; 1633. Regulations of this Fishery in Council. N.B.—The first vessel that arrives in Newfoundland is by that made Admiral. 13 Car. I. a Patent to the Lords Proprietors. 12 Caroli. I., 26 Jan., Grant to the Western men. The Western men would have none stay behind them, but all return yearly, &c. Others wished for a Plantation and to be settled; 1,000 able seamen remained in Newfoundland the winter of 1670 or 1671; they remaining make ⅓ of the fetch (?) that is made. Boatkeepers are those persons that remain in Newfoundland in the winter of the Westerns, &c.; these Boatkeepers destroy the houses, boats, provisions, &c., that the Western Newfoundland men leave behind them, pull down their stages, which obliges them to make new every year, destroy the woods by burning. Forced to begin their voyages two mouths earli(er) than formerly to set up stages, &c., which makes them sell the fish dearer. The Boatkeepers provide themselves with provisions from N. England and Ireland, not England; they possess themselves of the best fishing-places, and so prevent the ships, &c. New additions of power prayed for: I. No persons to be carried to Newfoundland but such as mean to settle there save the ship's company. II. The fishing to be maintained by the ships that go, and all of a ship's company to be in one company and engaged to keep so. III. Only 60 persons for 100 tons of ships. The Dutch build 50 persons to 100; not above 100 tons on any ship. Additional powers advised by the Council of Plantations, 1670: 1. All the K.'s subjects may go and fish there, go on shore, &c., cut wood for stages, &c., provided they observe the Rules established. 2. No stranger to settle or fish. 3. No planter or inhabitant to fell any timber trees, &c., to make no gardens or plant within 6 miles of the coast between Cape Raye and Cape Bonavista. 4. No planter or inhabitant to take up stages, &c., before the fishing vessels arrive from England. 5. That the Rules of 1660 be thus altered: No persons to be carried to Newfoundland but the ship's company. 6. No one ship to carry above 60 persons per 100 tons, and so proportionably. 7. Every 5th man yearly carried out be a green man, i.e., not a seaman. 8. To victual all in England except salt. 9. No ship to go out before 1 March, or to the Cape de Verd Islands before 15 Jan. 10. To give Bond to the Mayors of the ports, &c., of 100l. not to carry out save their ship's company, to bring them back again; if no complaint made within 9 months then the Bond to be delivered up. 11. Every stage to have 25 men in a company. 12. N.B.—To remain in Newfoundland after the fishing. 13. The Admirals, Vice-Admiral, and Rear-Admiral, to preserve good order at shore and in the harbours. 14. The companies to support none but their company. 15. The companies to assist the Admirals, &c. 16. The companies to keep out at sea. 17. Companies not to fish. 18. To take account of the places, ports, states of them, &c. 19. To take an account of the stages and fishing-places. 20. Of the number of the inhabitants' ships, boats, implements. 21. Companies not to bring off any fish. 22. To give in copies of their journals. 23. Admirals, &c., in the Bay to secure all offenders and bring them home. 24. On 20 Sept. to publish orders against the stay of any seaman after 28 Oct. 25. Accounts of the state of the fishing, &c., to be given in to the Council of Plantations. 26. The Mayors and Recorders of the respective W. ports to hear all complaints, &c. 27. Reasonable fines to be imposed on the persons offending against Rules, and these fines to be ⅓ to the K., ⅓ to the informer, and ⅓ to the place. 28. The power of the E. Marshall, &c., as to carrying beyond the sea to be removed (? renewed) in relation to Newfoundland. In view of it a Rule to be now settled, &c. 29. The inhabitants of Newfoundland to transport themselves to other Plantations, &c. Order of Council, March 10, 1670–71, confirmed 18 of these advices by the Council of Plantations; ordering the attorney to prepare a Bill, &c., to pass the Great Seal, &c. Mr. Attorney to consider of the clause about the power of E. Marshal. From 1496, the first discovery of Newfoundland, till 1632, the French never fished there. Then, on pretence of carrying on their trade at L'Acadie, they began to usurp the fishing, &c. Kirke sent as Governor to prevent it; about 1662 they begin to plant there. In 1666 the French had 100 sail, and we but 10 or 12; 25 years ago were 200 ships, 150,000l., a stock of fish, &c., took off English commodities 100,000 t. (? tons), brought back of oils, &c., 300,000 tons; about 10,000 men, ¼ green men; the ships return at Michaelmas, and so the people working all winter; 100 sail of ships employed in fetching salt. Fish cost ¼ cheaper than now; infinite numbers of handicraftsmen employed in England upon it; infinite increase of seamen. Alleged in the Books and Plantation Accounts make fish dearer, as N. England fish is dearer ¼. Against Boatkeepers. Western shipping, breeds no seamen, hinders the conveyance for victualling, &c., and benefits New England, France, and Ireland. Fish is dearer and N. England supplies the market; the boats take up all good places, and prevent the ships; they set on fire woods, destroy stages, debauch the seamen with brandy, &c.; the country not being improvable to sustain the planters, they must fetch victuals elsewhere. Against a Governor. I. It would make it no English fishery, i.e., carry it quite out of England into N. England. N.B.—For the fishery is now almost grown as prejudicial as that of England at Newfoundland. All trade is either to benefit the nation by increase of people. New England and Ireland will feed and clothe them. Objection: How can it be preserved without a Governor and force against the French ? Answer: These would not preserve it, though the King should go to the expense of it as 3 or 4 forts. The coast is so made. It must be a force at sea, by frigates. The fishery lies 200 miles long. At St. John's indeed might be a fort but also that covers nothing but the fishery of that very part, and a frigate and five ships destroy all the fishery, &c. N.B.—The country is mean, unprofitable, and so places of fishing must be destroyed by any French coming into the country. But is only to be done by force at sea, i.e., all passage from place to place is by water. N.B.—The fish are found uncertainly, some years in one place, sometimes in quite another; for it cannot be known where the fishing will be, so no fort can be certainly where to be fixed. The inhabitants spoil the stages, the fishing places. N.B.—A Governor could not redress at all the abuses, &c., of destroying stages, burning woods, &c. Besides, he dwells at St. John's at a great distance, and cannot at all come by land, and, in winter, which is the proper time to do it, cannot for storms come by water. For plantation upon Newfoundland, &c., and for a Governor. It costs so much our sending ships and keeping them rigged some months more than is necessary; we can't go to market with the French; the French take twice as much as we of fish; for say they, let it be planted, they want the fish and we only fetch them off and carry our commodities, &c. N.B.—That Mr. Gould, being the principal abettor of this doctrine, is avowedly for the turning of this trade in such a way as may benefit N. England; and whereas the arguments on the other side are all bound for the profit that would arise to New England, which he plainly tells us he will not agree to, for he says he is all with us, and if Old England gained, &c. This is at the bottom the sense of his doctrine, &c. Objection: France oversells us. Answer: France now is come to furnish itself with fish, which we did formerly. This fish they can sell cheaper than we, because, &c., &c. In all foreign markets can sell even with them. Objection: The English fishing is not so good now as heretofore. Answer: Because we formerly had all the N. England fishery, while now N. England is come to take it (into) their own hands, &c., &c., N.B.—If this answer not the great question, how our English fishery at Newfoundland is damaged. N.B.—A ship of 100 tons carries 10 boats, a boat 5 men. Objection: France sells cheaper. Answer: No; for this very year at St. Malo they sell for 6l. (?) the quintal, and now at London we sell for 12s., which is not so dear. N.B.—Some sorts of fish are for some places and go off better, others at others, and that causes the going of ours or their fish, &c.; but generally speaking, ours go off equal to theirs; we can sell as cheap and do sell as dear, &c. France has made a proclamation encouraging planters, i.e., giving so many livres for every woman, so many for every man. Common ills agreed on by each party, of which remedies must be found. Stages pulled down and so much cost to raise them, which makes ours come later to the market, &c.; woods destroyed by which there wants wood to rebuild the stages; harbour spoiled by ballast thrown, &c., 1615. Capt. Whitbourne had a Commission to inquire into abuses in Newfoundland. 1633. Rules for trading set down, &c., in the Star Chamber, in the Council. Against a Governor and Plantation by the Western Ports, &c. (Against ?) a Plantation. 1. They take up the best places not being able to dwell at 6 miles from the shore, as is required there. 2. They destroy stages, rob, &c. 3. Destroy woods. 4. They want necessaries, and go over debauched upon brandy, &c. 5. The Governor for his profit licenses tipplinghouses, &c., which debauches the men, &c. 6. They take up all good places of fishing, &c. 7. They breed no seamen as this was doing, &c.; their seamen leave their families here to burthen the parish; and get away all the good seamen and fishermen from the ships that go from hence, by which they pay dear and have not so good men. 8. A Governor must cost the trade to maintain him, which would burthen the fishery trade. 9. The increase of seamen follows this present way, and the fishing trade could manage, as it happens to the French. N.B.—In summer scarce any disturbance happened to our fishing except by De Ruyter once, &c.; in winter the country and coast is so cold and frozen, nothing is to be found, so in no case is a Governor of Forts necessary. N.B.—Our fishing is but ⅓ of what it was before Sir David Kirke was settled Governor. The Merchants and Owners.—I. The advantages of the trade: 1. Great growth of navigation, &c. 2. Great quantities of victuals from home, materials for shipping. 3. Great numbers of seamen made. 4. Considerable numbers of families maintained by it. 5. Increase of customs. II. As to the method of it: Go out in April, returns in winter, and bring home all their men for the King's service, &c., as by Order of 1633 of Council. III. In process of time some irregular people stayed in the country in winter by the negligence of those that ought to have prevented it, as carrying of private persons and foremost boatkeepers upon the ships from home, as in the late years ⅓ of the fish caught was caught by the people remaining there, and in the late wars the seamen absconded thither; there are now 1,000 seamen possibly; at last it will come to this, that we shall only send to buy their fish, send ships to carry it to market, and it will be no more ours than that of New England is. The inconveniences to the trade from it. 1. The inhabitants debauch at any rate the best seamen and fishers from the ships to remain with them, which makes seamen dearer to the shipping and leaves the parishes burthened with their families. 2. They destroy their boats, &c. 3. They destroy their stages, which puts them to new charges, &c., 100l. per ship; forced to part 2 months early (from) home to build their stages. 4. They serve to debauch their masters, overseers, &c., which oppresses their seamen and causes wranglings, outrages, &c. 5. Corrupt with wine, rum, &c., their common seamen and fishermen. 6. Our ships in England lie by the wall, but ⅓ of what were formerly employed. 7. They possess themselves of the best fishing places before the ships from England arrive. N.B.— As to inhabitants, there are (say Dartmouth) so many planters as that every planter having 2 boats, every boat 5 men, there are found to be 900 men in all, i.e., there are 90 planters. For a Governor, [Weymouth]. 1. Destruction of near 150m. young trees by the stages being broke down, &c., and too big to be repaired; the Admirals themselves do it. 2. 50m. trees destroyed by being barked, for covering of stages, which at best will ruin the trade by the decay of wood and make them go so much earlier in the year. 3, 4. Throwing overboard their stones at the end of the year, which spoils the harbour. 5. They destroy young cod to bait withal. N.B.—The French are but 12 miles from the English. Dinage, i.e., small birchen rods cut down to lay between the fish and the sides of the ship to keep them from bruising. 1700 planters now, 1675, take 70m. quintals of fish, i.e., ⅓ of the whole quantity taken. Disadvantages of this trade. 1. They had great losses about 1657 and 1660; 1,200 ships taken by the Spanish, many of which of the Newfoundland. 2. They go upon Bottomry at 26 per 100. 3. The French have great encouragements, go not upon Bottomry, all victuals cheaper in France, &c. Till 1659 France was supplied with all fish save boat fish by us, now they supply themselves all, and all aboard, sell at as good or rather better rates than we do. For a Governor and a plantation; but of the mending(?), that is the question, not as now by reason of the infinite Bottomry which makes us not be able to trade with them long to the same market. If that could be done this way, this were the best very much. The advantages in this new way. 1. This would make a less stock to carry on the fishery and the fish come cheaper, less time to catch them, no longer to entertain men and ships there, just to fetch off what they have caught, and carry it to a market. 2. This would make the fish better cured; it would not otherwise go off, at least not in a plentiful year. N.B.—It happens that some months are better fish and more than in another; for none knows when it will be a good or a bad year, till the time be quite over, and being in different Bays they know not where it is good, where bad, &c., so as the market is kept open. Boat-masters, all those that govern the boats; one man (for) each two. Trounsers are the goers on least expense. New England fishery is at Piscataqua, where we send to buy their fish. 60 ships at least come from New England and Barbadoes, &c., yearly. N.B.—A boat and company in the way, the fishery now as managed costs by an ordinary computation 55l. or 60l., whereas after the way of planters the same number of men fishing, &c., costs constantly 75l. Ten boats going from home from Dartmouth cost to fit out with all necessaries in all over 114l. 7s. 11d., besides wood to build them carried from hence, saltmen's wages, men's victuals. Every boat going from England the Plantations way costs 43l. or 45l. certainly. N.B.—The W. country men carry out victuals at best rates from home, whereas the planters going from hence, that is, boatkeepers going hence, trust to the victuals they find there, and by that means are at the mercy of the New Englanders. 100 tons have 10 boats. N.B.—Every person that passes to Newfoundland pays the passage, 3l. going and 3l. coming, and 20s. per ton the victuals. These private boatkeepers build upon in going from hence that they can buy their provisions upon the place from New England, and so for hooks and nets, baits, &c. A boatkeeper sells Mr. Gould at 24 reals per quintal, the Dartmouth men ask 26 reals, &c. As to the price of fish. N.B.— That no comparison can be made upon the price at which fish either way was taken; in regard it happens by accident that some sell dearer one part of the year, the others at another season, as fish comes more plentiful. Generally speaking, in the present way of fishing 2/3 are for the boats, wages, victuals, &c., and the ⅓ is for the setting of the ship out, which is more than in the case of the planters. If fishing could by that way (be) managed, 45,000 quintals of fish taken at Piscataqua yearly, 60,000 quintals by 4 or 5,000 inhabitants. French: a vessel of 200 tons in St. Malo costs 25,000l. fitting out, the charges only their wages treble to England, though their victuals may be cheaper. N.B.—The New England men carrying their fish to Madeira bring thence brandy, which, paying no custom, they carry it directly to Newfoundland and there sell it cheaper than we could do, and so debauch our mariners, &c., and from New England they bring rum which expressly conquers our men, and some of our seamen being found 4l. in debt for brandy in a season, &c., which obliges the man to stay there a year round and so to free his debt.
May 3. Objections against taking away the Planters. 1. Will not the French come and take possession of the coast, and being once settled there advantageously sure it will be hard to dispossess them; the planters are now 1,200 good men, &c. 2. Will you have these 1,200 men starve, where shall they go ? You would have them tied without 6 miles from the shore, and yet you say that country cannot be inhabitable, not passable. 3. One thing is to regulate an abuse, another to undo so many families of our countrymen, &c., 150 families, 1,700 persons, some now living there that were born there, and one above 60 years of age. 1. The planters have a right to the houses they have built, and the western men have no authority to disturb them; why may not the planters fish as well as the western men? They have liberty given them by the King. Resp: They may fish, but must not remain and inhabit there, otherwise than under the rules of 1633, i.e., not nearer than 6 miles, &c. 2. As to inconvenience, the planters are not of prejudice to the western fishery; by Sir J. Berry's report, &c., the planters preserve the stages, succour the ships coming in, offer to give security to the W. men to preserve their stages; they are employed by the W. men to keep their salt fish, &c. Resp: That is necessary against the violences of the inhabitants, but if there were no planters there could be no danger, no need of keeping them off the plantations, not one has his house above ¼ mile from the shore; L. Baltimore's is within a coit-cast of the water. There are 48 bays or places of fishing in the English part, from Cape de Rays to Cape Bonavista, which is 70 leagues. St. John is the best bay, a good colony of 400 or 500 people. For the planters obj. to tenure. If the planters were removed, would not the French seize themselves of the English part. Resp: 1. Many English fishing places are now without any inhabitants, and yet are never looked after by the French. 2. Never have the French and English attempted to get into possession of one another's parts. 3. N.B.—Even the French do not keep their part by a plantation, but satisfy themselves to go from home yearly to fish, and are not planted. 4. If the question be of right, the French could no more, according to the law of nations, pretend to seize upon the English part if utterly void of plant, as jure primi occupantis, than if we were inhabited upon it all the year. If the question be of force and in fact, even though they should continue the planters, French would be easily able to overpower them; the planters are in no considerable force. Conclusions. If it be thought necessary to continue the planters in order to keep up the possession in law, or to be in a condition to resist by force, then let them continue, but let them conform themselves to the rules of 1633, 1660, &c., i.e., above 6 miles from the water pp. 24–57, 69–73. In the handwriting of Sec. Williamson, which is difficult to decipher. [Col. Entry Bk., No. 98.]