America and West Indies: April 1675

Pages 201-222

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.

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April 1675

April 1.
507. Minutes of the Committee of Trade and Plantations. Newfoundland. Resolved to report to his Majesty their full approbation of the rules and orders settled in Council, March 1670–71; but that masters return journals to this Committee in lieu of the Council of Plantations. A new reference to be made to the King's Council to know how crimes in that place shall be tried and punished, and that the Western Mayors take out a new charter with the additional powers in the said order mentioned; to which resolution, and of having no Governor or Plantation, all concurred, except the Lord Privy Seal. Ordered, that living within 6 miles of the shore from Cape Race to Bonavista be made a high crime according to the rule of the Charter, the Lords supposing most would come away if debarred from license in that particular. That the Western merchants attend on the 8th inst., to advise on the following points, whereof they were to have notice: (1) What amendments could be made to the former rules, what impediments in the trade removed, and what neglects in the execution of rules? (2) What fit instruction could be given to the convoy now going, to make "himself" useful there? (3) How the French proceed in their trade as compared with the English; their victuals, wages, way of curing fish, &c, and how rich were their Adventurers? (4) How to invite the planters, since this point was so much insisted on for a better establishment for the future? 1½ pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. CIV., 16, 17.]
April 3.
Derby House.
508. S. Pepys to Sir Robt. Southwell. Finds that Mr. Cranfield's going away was very quick after he had his despatches from Sir Robert, in that he left behind his instructions from the King for all that concerns him after his having done at Surinam, which he has sent after him, but they would have called for a good deal of discourse with the Secretary to have made himself master of them, which the Secretary seems to have expected. Is at a loss what to do for the Norwich, or to know whether anything can be done, for either Lord Orrery stopped her and so his passage s secured, or she is past recalling; will advise with the Lord Treasurer in it. Favouring his own eyes makes him borrow another's hand. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 48.]
April 5. 509. Edward Cranfield to Sir Robert Southwell. Has received his packet directed aboard the Hunter and his of the 3rd inst. Thanks for his care in sending to Mr. Pepys about Mr. Orton, who as yet they hear nothing of, notwithstanding he was accommodated with a vessel by the Commissioners of the Navy to overtake Cranfield. Has lost a fair wind through his absence, and desires the King's order to sail without him. The sad misfortune befallen the Earl of Meath and the rest of the passengers extremely afflicts him. [Col. Entry Bk., No. LXXVIII., 91, 92.]
April 5.
Aboard the America (in the Downs).
510. Edward Cranfield to Sir Robt. Southwell. Last night Capt. Orton came to Deal, but could get no further than Sandwich Haven. Has sent a boat to bring his things on board, and meantime the ships are preparing to sail. Will omit no opportunity of remitting accounts of his proceedings. ½ p. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 49.]
April 5. 511. Copy of preceding. [Col. Entry Bk., No. LXXVIII., 92.]
April 5 to 1676, June 17. 512. List of ships entertained by the Royal African Company since Christmas 1674, with date of "when clear of the coast," for what part of Guinea, where to discharge, the number of negroes, and the number of "negroes delivered." Also "negroes ordered" from Xmas 1674 to Xmas 1675 for Barbadoes, Nevis, Jamaica, and Virginia, and since for all four plantations in the last five ships. Total, 7,025. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 50.]
1675. April 6.
St. James's.
513. The Duke of York to Governor Major Andros. In answer to his letters of 20 Nov. and 4 and 17 Dec., thinks he has done well to discourage any motion for an assembly, as being not comprehended in his instructions, nor consistent with the form of government established, nor necessary for the redress of grievances, as such may be easily obtained by an address to the Governor at their yearly general assizes, where the same persons as justices are usually present who would, in all probability, be their representatives. Approves of his having bespoke a seal and mace for the city of New York, the charge whereof will be allowed him upon account. There appears no present remedy for the want of money for ordinary commerce complained of, unless he should be at the charge of coining so many thousand pounds, as it is not convenient for him at present to lay out, and if money were coined, unless of a lower rate than that of their neighbours (which would impoverish the country), it would now be carried away; some merchants have a project to send 10,000l. in money, provided it be taken of only in beaver in specie at such values as may compensate their hazard; it is but a notion as yet, and unless he (Andros) proposes some way from thence how to effect the King, it will have but little life from hence. The bounds of Connecticut were settled by Commisioners in 1667, and, according to Delavall, are to be on the edge next them of the river Marrinac [Mamaroneck] northwards as far as they please, provided they leave that river when it inclines W., so as not to approach nearer than 20 miles to any part of Hudson's River; this was, he says, agreed by the Commissioners; tis, however, best to make accommodations of this kind temporary, so if possible to preserve the utmost limits that the Patent gives him a title to. Approves of his leaving salt wholly free, although it was intended that salt for common uses should pay 2 per cent., and salt for fishery (which he will do well to encourage) be free. Is satisfied with his proceedings, especially in reducing to obedience those three factious towns at the east end of Long Island; hopes that they may be soon so settled that the people may be without apprehensions of any injustice. Desires to have an estimate of the revenue. Printed in New York Documents, III., 230–231. 2 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. 70, p. 18.]
April 7.
St. Jago de la Vega.
514. P. Beckford to Secretary Sir Jos. Williamson, per the Swiftsure, Capt. Lowder. My Lord (Vaughan) has made Sir Thos. Modyford Chief Justice of the island; most of the Assembly men are made choice of, but not all. There seems to be some misunderstanding between the Governor and Sir Thos. Lynch about Gallop's prize of negroes. Represents the case as well and as plainly as he can. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 51.]
April 8.
515. Warrant to the Attorney General. To prepare a Bill for the King's signature containing a Grant to Charles Modyford of the office of Surveyor General of Jamaica, void by the death of the late Surveyor [blank], who is to keep registers and books of entry of all surveys to the end search may be made, or copies taken by those any ways concerned on payment of the fees allowed by the Assembly (see ante, No. 497]. 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. 110, p. 64.]
April 8. 516. Sir L. Jenkins to [Sir R. Southwell]. Conceives that those ensigns of occupancy he writes of ought to be reputed sufficient to continue a possession that we have held so long without disturbance, yet if the French should put themselves into possession in our absence they would not want matter of chicane that would not only be specious but hard enough to be well answered in this case, for there being no written law or common superior to give the rule between them and us, the strength of our plea must be from the law (that is, the general usage) of nations which is so uncertain and so unconcluding (where men are not ingenuous but lie at catch) that we cannot expect it shall be now yielded to as it would have been when men governed themselves by the rules of primitive honesty and simplicity. It will avail us but little (when we are at the worst end of the staff) to say that my possession by the Imperial, or else by this or that municipal law, is continued firm and good to me by the mere animus retinendi, or by such or such a little mark, and that he who hath thrust himself into a place I so held hath no legal possession, for it will be answered that the very introducing of such diversified fictions of law in our seizins and disseizins (for instance) in England, France, &c., implies that the general law of nations knows not, takes no notice of any other than my actual corporeal gross occupancy of a place with its dependencies. I can no more think our retreat in this case to be a desertion than the coming down of the people in some parts of Italy to the valleys in certain seasons is a deserting of those mountains they return to when they see it convenient. If our people are to be called away I would, under correction, offer, 1st, that his Majesty would by his declaration do it showing the reasons of his so doing, with an express caution that he means not thereby to depart from his own jus imperii there, nor from any of the rights or properties acquired to his people; 2ndly, that the chiefs there, at their coming away, should make some act (in the best manner they can) in writing that they withdraw thence in obedience to his Majesty, and that they leave such and such stores and necessaries behind them out of an intention to return and use them at the season, and with a special protest that they so leave them upon the place to preserve his Majesty's rights and dominion, which I take to be distinct from and superior to their several properties; 3rdly, that copies of these orders and acts be sent to the French fort there to the employers and settlers out at Rochelle, &c., to our Ambassador at the French Court to be notified as a matter of state. Endorsed, "8 April 1675; Rec. ditto." 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 52.]
April 8.
517. Minutes of the Committee of Trade and Plantations. Newfoundland. Several merchants attended according to the last Order, who, after discussing the points sent to them, concluded that the present rules approved would be sufficient; that the French did not outdo us in any material thing, but on the whole left the advantage to us; that they knew not what encouragements to offer for inviting off the planters, none of whom had property where they lived, and only a licence to live there so as they kept 6 miles from the shore. They were unwilling to advise their being forced away, though nothing could cure the mischief but their removal, but proposed that, seeing all their victuals and subsistence comes from New England, a frigate should be appointed to seize such New England ships. This expedient not much approved by the Lords, who proposed to report to his Majesty that the convoy have instructions to declare his Majesty's pleasure to the planters that they remove 6 miles from the shore, for that they destroy the woods and stages, debauch the mariners to stay there, leaving the parishes at home clogged with their families, and by selling wines and brandy draw men from their labours. That the convoy may give help to those that would come home, tell others that would go to other Plantations that the Governors are ordered to receive them kindly; and let those who are obstinate, and persist contrary to the Charter, know that they shall be forced home hereafter. Mr. Pepys to send a draft of the usual instructions to convoys going to Newfoundland. Desire of the merchants that the New Charter when passed may be printed, as also a proclamation to issue to give life to all this regulation. Ordered, on reading a letter of the 21st March from the Mayor of Southampton, that the Governors of Jersey and Guernsey take great care what passports they grant, and send a list thereof, some French sheltering themselves here during their war with Spain. 1½ pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. CIV., 17–18.]
April 8.
Tarr Bay (Torbay).
518. Edward Cranfield to Sir Robt. Southwell. Sailed on the 6th, as soon as Mr. Orton arrived at the Downs, but on the 8th were forced to cast anchor here. The ships are in good condition, and will make the best of their way as soon as wind and weather will permit. ½ p. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 53.]
April 8. 519. Copy of preceding. [Col. Entry Bk., No. LXXVIII., 93.]
April 10.
520. Deposition of Jno. Darbey, aged 22 years, sworn before the Admiralty Commissioners at Jamaica. In April 1674 Deponent and six more English were taken in a sloop sailing from St. Thomas's Isle for Antigua by a Dutch man-of-war, and put ashore at the Havana, where the Governor caused them all to be put in irons for five weeks, and then put them to work upon the fortifications for three months in miserable slavery. They were then put abcard a ship called the Sta. Christ, but were taken five leagues off San Domingo by a French man-of-war and brought to Jamaica. While Deponent was in the Havana, eight English were brought in that had been taken aboard a New England bark off Port Royal, that had no lading but provisions; and they, endeavouring to get clear, marched along the seaside to see if they could meet with any English or French vessels; but the Governor sent a party of soldiers after them, who murdered them all except the master, Jno. Collison, whose head was cut off and set on a pole before the Governor's door, where Deponent saw it standing three weeks. And further, while Deponent was at work on the wall by the harbour, he saw Don Philip Fitz-Gerald, Commander of a Spanish man-of-war of 12 guns, come into the harbour with a New England bark as prize, whose lading was only provisions, liquors, and money; and he had five English tied ready to hang, two at the main-yard arms, two at the foreyard arms, and one at the mizen peak, and when he came near the More Castle he caused them to be turned off, and they hanged till they were dead, and Fitz-Gerald and his company shot at them from the deck of the frigate. And a few days after Fitz-Gerald would have had Deponent and several more English sail with him, and showed them his commission to take all English and French vessels, and they refusing he stabbed one of them dead with his "spadu"(?). Sworn before R. Wilson [Rgistrar], 10th April; and afterwards, by order from Lord Vaughan, before Sir Henry Morgan and two other Commissioners of the Admiralty, in the presence of several Spaniards, who were brought in by a French man-of-war, and who confessed that the major part was true to their knowledge. ½pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 54.]
April 13.
Port Royal, Jamaica.
521. Lieut-Gov. Sir Henry Morgan to Sec. Williamson. On 8th Jan. last weighed anchor in the Downs in order to sail in company with his Excellency but their anchor was so fast in the ground, his Excellency in the frigate was got about the Foreland, and they could not see him afterwards. Account of his voyage. Met Sir Roger Strickland's fleet the 10th, and on 25th Feb. ran ashore on the reef off the Isle of Vache, where they had all perished had Morgan not known where he was. The 14th of March Lord Vaughan arrived in the Foresight frigate, and was received with all the respect imaginable, the forts firing many guns, and entertained at the King's house at a splendid supper. His Commission read, 15th, by Peter Beckford, Secretary of the island, and he was nobly entertained by the Commander of the forts; next day he went to St. Jago de la Vega, attended by most of the gentry in their coaches, and was treated at a most splendid dinner by Sir Thos. Modyford. The following day his Commission was read there, his Majesty's Council assembled, and an account of the Revenue demanded of Sir Thos. Lynch, which was found very short, and likewise his Majesty's stores so exhausted, that there was found in all the stores but 14 barrels of powder, which on occasion would not last three hours. Nevertheless that shall not daunt him, for before he will lose his Majesty's fortifications, he will lose himself and a great many brave men more, that will stand and fall by him in his Majesty's service; though they grumble much that their powder has been sold to the Spaniards by the late Governor. His Excellency next convened an assembly for the 26th inst., which gives general satisfaction. The face of all things is most changed, and things go but indifferently between the General and Sir Thos. Lynch; nor can any one blame the General, for there is the greatest cheat in the world intended to be put on the King about Capt. Gallop's negro prize, which was condemned to the King, but there has been no return to his Majesty though above 7,000l. received; and the General demanding the reason, Sir Thos. answered that he kept it for Capt. Gallop; but if Gallop had come he would have answered that it was condemned to the King. To keep people in the dark there was no register kept of the fees of the condemnation, and contrary to all custom she was condemned when without command. 7 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 55.]
April 13–16. 522. Minutes of the Assembly of Barbadoes. The Speaker, with Wm. Sharp and Col. Richard Guy, desired again to move his Excellency and Council that they may have full satisfaction for the scandalous reflections on them by Edwyn Stede, in his Petition and Statement to his Majesty, before they proceed to any business. Motion of the Speaker to his Excellency and Council accordingly, and reply of Edwyn Stede that he would presently send his answer in writing. Petition to his Majesty and paper of grievances annexed, drawn up by his Excellency, touching the farmers of the 4½ per cent., weighing their sugars, a trade with Scotland, and the injuries done by the Royal African Company, considered and re ferred to Wm. Sharpe and Edw. Littleton for some amendment against to-morrow.
April 14. Voted, that a Bill pass as now read for continuing the excise on liquors as it now is; that the goods so raised be disposed of by the Governor, Council, and Assembly, the Council and Assembly bearing their own charges, except only payment of the Assembly's officers; and that Lt.-Col. Wm. Bate be Treasurer and John Hallett Comptroller. Ordered, on Petition of Richard Moseley, merchant, in commiseration of his great loss by the wreck of a ship of wines from Madeira, that the excise on 16 pipes of wine be remitted. Answer of Edwyn Stede, Provost Marshal, to the charge laid against him by the Assembly, sent by his Excellency, as follows:—13th April. In obedience to his Excellency's order in Council, 25th March last, craves leave to give a short state of his case. He never gave his friends in England any directions for the manner of their proceedings to obtain what he conceives in justice belongs to him; all or most of what he wrote being barely matter of record and matter of fact, without any observations, inferences, or reflections on any person. Then follows the substance of what he wrote, to the same effect as his "State of the Case" (see ante, No. 485), which being read and the Assembly not finding satisfaction, the following request was presented to his Excellency by the Speaker: That they find not the least satisfaction from Edwyn Stede's answer, but are confirmed thereby that his Petition and case presented to his Majesty was by his direction, who though he denies to have drawn it, yet does not acknowledge that it is filled with the most malicious designs and scandalous lies and reflections upon the Assembly; and not being able to bear reproaches drawing in question their loyalty and affection to his Majesty, nor satisfied that a man should be countenanced in any office amongst them, who, to accomplish his private ends, boldly offers at the ruin of the Island by traducing the inhabitants and drawing them into his Majesty's displeasure, the Assembly pray that Edwyn Stede may be suspended and removed from all public offices and trust in this Island, lest his continuance should administer occasion to his Majesty to believe them guilty as he has rendered them; and further pray that good security be given for the safe keeping of their records by whomsoever his Excellency shall intrust them with.
April 15. Voted, that Petition of the Council and Assembly to his Majesty, with their grievances annexed, and Petition to his Excellency for assistance in the same, be presented as they are. An Act for the settlement of the Militia ordered to lie under consideration. An Act passed for settling 6 acres and 30 perches of land and 2 negroes in the representatives of the Parish of Christ Church for maintaining 5 poor people, by the gift of Philip Trowell. An Act for reviving the authority of Commissioners for settling Public Accounts, sent by his Excellency and Council, passed. Ordered, that Petition of Rachel Yeamons for abatement of excise on liquors and composition for brandy, be granted. Order sent from the Council for providing a ton of refined sugar to be presented to Sir Wm. Poole, knt., Commander of H.M.S. St. David, before his departure; and An Act for regulating the gauge of Sugar Cask, passed. Received from his Excellency and Council a paper containing Mr. Stede's further vindication, together with a paper signed by his Excellency and part of the Council, as follow: Mr. Stede added to his paper of yesterday, that the foregoing he owns to be the true narrative of what he wrote home, and what is more than that set forth in the Petition and state of the Case presented to his Majesty, he absolutely disowns as done without his knowledge, and conceives that the same and other misrecitals or misreports therein were wholly done by the misapprehension of the person who drew the same. His Excellency and Council having considered the Assembly's paper and what Edwyn Stede has presented in manifestation of his own integrity, declare that in their judgment he is no way guilty of any accusation or injurious language against the Assembly, and they suppose the Assembly will remain well satisfied therein; and it is further ordered that care be taken to vindicate the Assembly in the account to be rendered to his Majesty of that affair. Adjourned till Tuesday eleven weeks, but altered to the morrow at his Excellency's desire, in order to prepare letter to the Gentlemen Planters in England desiring their assistance in prosecuting the Petition of the Council and Assembly to his Majesty for removal of their grievances.
April 16. Petition of the Council and Assembly to his Majesty, with their grievances annexed, together with their Petition to his Excellency for his assistance, viz.: That the full sense they have of the hasty approach of their own ruin and of the decay of his Majesty's dominion in these parts, through oppressions unknown to his Majesty and contrary to his intentions, and persuaded that their greatest difficulty lies in bringing the matter to his Majesty's knowledge, pray his Excellency to countenance and direct their Addresses and assist them with his interest. Ordered, that the Treasurer cause 12 butts of sugar to be shipped to the Gentlemen Planters in England for defraying the expense of prosecuting their Addresses to his Majesty. Letter from the Council and Assembly to the Gentlemen Planters in England read and passed, as follows: Excuse themselves for not answering their letters hitherto, and return hearty thanks for their diligence in their affairs. Their former Addresses have not had the good effect hoped for, but encouraged by the zeal of their excellent Governor to promote their interests to make further address to his Majesty, have sent the enclosed, entreating them to carry it on with vigour, appointing Col. Thornburgh or what other person they think fit to solicit the business under them. Have sent 12 butts of sugar for defraying the expense, and if the exigency of affairs require an advance will speedily reimburse it. Ordered, that the Treasurer inspect the account of Paul Gwynn for accommodation of the Assembly four days at this sitting, and pay what shall appear out of the excise on liquors. Adjourned till Tuesday come eleven weeks. 19½ pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XIII., 164–183.]
April 15. 523. Minute of the Council of Barbadoes. An Act for gauging cask, and several other papers about the affairs of the Island, presented by the Assembly to be sent home. ½ p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XI., 288.]
April 15–16. 524. Minutes of the Committee of Trade and Plantations:
April 15, Newfoundland.—A long report presented by Sir R. Southwell, of the matter of Newfoundland, comprehending much of the debate, that neither the Council nor merchants might be imposed on by new application when things are supposed to be forgot, read, and ordered to be writ fair, with some alterations, and points given in charge to the convoy touching the French.
April 16.—The whole report read and approved, and ordered to be forthwith presented to his Majesty in Council.
Mem.—That of 14 orders sent down to the Western Ports there were answers only from Weymouth and Melcomb, Plymouth, and Barnstaple. The petition of Mr. Mason about his pretensions in New England to be considered on Thursday. 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. CIV., 19–20.]
April 16.
Port Royal.
525. Joseph Knapman to Mr. Alderman. Doubts not he has had an account of the unfortunate loss of the Jamaica merchant on the 25th February on the east side of the Isle of Ash on the south side of Hispaniola, within 24 hours sail of this port. Knows not what evil genius led him there, and never was any man more surprised considering the course they steered. Saved all the people, and 5 or 6 days after, one, Capt. Tho. Rogers, a Jamaica privateer now sailing under the French, carried Sir Henry Morgan and all the passengers for Jamaica, but he and his men stayed behind to save, if possible, his Majesty's stores and the ship's furniture, and he was obliged to offer them one-third of what they could save, or could get them to do nothing. Were a month ere they got to Port Royal, in which time they saved a great part of his Majesty's stores, and some of the ships, for which he will be accountable. With difficulty saved Mr. Alderman and his son's gold, for he was forced to swim with it on his back. Left a small sloop to keep possession of the ship for the King, and Lord Vaughan has since sent up two great sloops to save what may be saved. Soon after his arrival Sir Thos. Smith and Capt. Moulsworth gave him command of this ship, the St. Thomas, for the voyage home, and intend to come home in her. Sees no likelihood of laying out Mr. Alderman's money to any advantage, for Mr. Webber arrived on the 8th, by whom he sends positive orders not to exceed 9d. per lb. for pimento, and can get none for that price; sugar is 18s., 19s., and 20s. per cwt., and indigo 2s. 6d. per 1b., so knows not how to lay out his money. Desires him to advise the gentlemen concerned of their ill success, for he hates to write to everybody of so evil a subject. Gives a list of his Majesty's stores saved, including 8 barrels of powder, 458 hand grenades, 301 snaphance muskets, 480 carbines, 2,667 long pikes, 186 snaphance dragoons, 10,000 cut flints, 805 "cartooth" and "cardose" boxes, 78 pistols, 544 culverin shot, 323 demi-cannon shot, 2 petards. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 56.]
April 20/30.
526. Governor Sir Jonathan Atkins to Secretary Sir Joseph Williamson at Whitehall. Received his of 30th January, and one from the King on Lord Sunderland's business, to whom he wrote. The unfortunate killing of Mr. Bridges happened before his arrival. Trials for life are here but once a year at the General Sessions. Has appointed same to be 7 weeks hence, but according to the custom of the island there is no seizure till conviction. The fact was committed by a younger brother of Sir Peter Colleton, who escaped out of the island, and there were in his company Mr. Kendall, a man of good estate, one Mayo of no fortune, and one Archer that keeps an ale house, and from the evidence it may be concluded that Mr. Colleton killed him, the constable was to blame, and that from a former pique to Mr. Mayo he took occasion to affront the gentlemen as they were going home to their lodgings. What construction a jury will make of it is next to be noticed, but, as the law admits, will establish his Lordship's business to his best advantage. At the last meeting of the Assembly they presented petition with an address to the King importing some grievances and desiring his assistance, which he could not refuse seeing the evil consequences portended. The first grievance is the collecting of the 4½ per cent., the farmers having procured a letter from the King to weigh all casks, which is so much to the hindrance of the people that he had much to do to keep them in order, but has prevailed with them to make an Act for a gauge of all sugar casks, with penalty of confiscation of all goods put into greater casks, without acquainting the officer for the duty. The gentlemen they employ in England will wait on him with the papers, and reasons of the petition; but in brief the Act of Navigation lies so heavy on all these plantations that they will lose all commerce from New England and Ireland, from whence they have all their provisions; for if they bring but a piece of frieze or anything of their own manufacture, not being first had to England, it is forfeiture of ship and goods, when the bare bringing of provisions so long a voyage cannot answer the charge. The merchants of England not being able as formerly to make 50 or 60 per cent. on sugar, find it scarce worth their hazard, and the want of shipping therby has raised the freight to 9l. per ton, yet can they not get shipping to carry off one-half of their effects this year. Is confident the restraining of trade to one place only must in time dissolve all the plantations, and the contrary advance the King's Customs 10,000l. a year, without prejudice to the Act of Trade. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 57.]
April 21.
Aboard the America.
527. Edward Cranfield to Sir Robt. Southwell. Sailed from Torr Bay 12th inst., and are now in lat. 39 and 45, where meeting ships bound for the Channel, thought it his duty to give account. Hopes the wind will in a few days carry them to Madeira. 1½ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 58; also Col. Entry Bk., No. LXXVIII., 93.]
22 April. 528. Preamble (of the Committee for Trade and Plantations,) The Lord Keeper having on 12 March acquainted the Board by his Majesty's command that his Majesty, having dissolved the late Council of Trade and Foreign Plantations, had committed what was under their inspection and management to the Committee of the Board appointed for matters relating to trade and foreign plantations, their Lordships met on 22 April, and being attended by Sir Robt. Southwell were acquainted that on 13 January two petitions from Robt. Mason and Ferd. Gorges were presented to his Majesty in Council, which were referred to the Committee. Annexed,
528. i. Order of the King in Council referring the two petitions above mentioned to said Committee for their report. Whitehall, 12 March 1675.
528. ii. Petition of Robert Mason to the King and Privy Council praying relief for the province of New Hampshire against Massachusetts. Calendared, ante No. 413, 13 Jan. 1675.
528. iii. Petition of Ferdinando Gorges to the King and Privy Council for relief for the province of Maine against Massachusetts. Calendared, ante No. 412, 13 Jan. 1675.
528. iv. Report of Robert Mason and others on the two preceding petitions. Calendared in previous volume of Col. Cal. 1661–1668. p. 75, No. 230. 15 February 1662.
528. v. Mem.—Mr. Mason having opened many points by his discourse concerning New England the Lords of the Committee, order him at their next meeting to bring the statement of his case in writing. See No. 545, 1 May 1675. [Col. Entry Bk, Vol. LX., pp. 1–9.]
April 22. 529. Minutes of the Committee for Plantations. Memorandum about the petitions of Mason and Gorges; Order in Council thereon 12 March; the meeting of the Committee on the 14th, when Sir Edward Walker and Mr. Slingsby were directed to peruse the books and papers of the late Council of Plantations, and thence to extract and prepare a scheme of the present state of New England, and what transactions had there touching that place. Mr. Povey, by order of the 27th, added to this sub-committee and a while after Sir R. Southwell. They met and examined the proceedings before the late Council of Plantations, and finding that all relating to the petitioners or the State of New England was comprised in two short reports of the Council, dated 12 Aug. 1671, the same were presented and read, upon which their Lordships not having that light or satisfaction which a matter of this importance required, ordered Mr. Mason to bring in afresh a statement of his case. 2 pp. [Col, Entry Bk., No. 104, p. 20.]
April 26.
530. Warrant to Sir John Robinson, Lieutenant of the Tower. To suffer Col. Francis Lovelace, a prisoner in the Tower, for not having defended the Fort and Colony of New York, and now fallen very dangerously ill of a dropsy, to have his liberty, he giving security in 500l. to render himself again a prisoner when thereunto duly required. 1 p. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol, 28, p. 130.]
April 26. 531. William Harris to Fleetwood Shephard at his lodging in Privy Garden. Thanks him for his kindness to himself, a stranger; statement of his wrongs and reasons. Has suffered great and long wrong, and can find no effectual remedy in New England, for though he has had a vindication of his and his partner's right both by arbitration and law he cannot get execution of the judgment owing to the confederation of the forcible enterers openly resisting by force of arms. His adversaries pretend that they will resist till they have had a trial, as the King's Commissioners promised when they should come back from the Eastward of New England, who came not all back and are now dead, so that he is forced in the evening of age to come three thousand miles to get a remedy and to be troublesome to the King and his own friends which is not his wont. It may be thought strange to enter on other men's lands, but it is stranger to enter as one Norton did. Has papers to prove these things, otherwise how would be run such jeopardy, to come so far by sea to take such pains and undergo such charge and trouble his friends as well, than which nothing is more contrary to his disposition, nor does he ever go to law for five or ten pounds, nor ever was arrested but for supposed high treason against Oliver Cromwell, until of late falsely indicted by his adversaries, not did he ever arrest any man, but first offered arbitration. Asks as a proof that he is not contentious, that, if the King grant his petition, it be of no force till a jury has tried the issue whether it be or be not true that he has had a verdict and judgment and the execution resisted and two awards of arbitrators; if it be proved true the commission to be in force but not otherwise. In answer to the objection that the King's order would not be observed in New England owing to the Massachusetts' denial of the King's Commissioners, begs him to take notice that three of the four colonies, New Plymouth, Connecticut, and Rhode Island received the Commissioners in weighty things as to the bounds of their charters, that they of Boston offered to show their proceedings, as to one Porter, to the Commissioners, and that they received and executed some of the King's writs, so that it seems reasonable to believe that the three colonies and Boston will at the King's command do justice. Moreover, it is certain that John Winthrop, Governor of Connecticut, Josiah Winslow, Governor of new Plymouth, and William Codington, Governor of Rhode Island, will receive and execute the King's commission for their own safety and praise and reward of well-doing. Thus will the King's command be easily obeyed and his authority more immediately innured, and a way to his after orders prepared and peace and his interest maintained without the least charge to him and to his subjects' safety. There is no rational ground, by any patent granted to any in New England, to be excused from answering to the King's writs, no more than other Corporations in England which are all under the King's immediate writ to answer according to laws, otherwise the King's subjects there may be oppressed, for they are allowed the privileges of free and naturalborn subjects of the Kings in England, and, if denied, the King's laws and writs and benefits thereof; and resisting the King's writs and laws seems contrary to the patents and the laws of England, which authority is not granted to any people in New England, and for a corporation to make any laws of death seems contrary to the laws of England, III. Car. I. 1. It cannot be imagined that the King hath given some of his subjects to other subjects of other corporations, who may not make any laws in imminution of the King's prerogative, 17 H. VII. 7, nor forbid suits in the King's courts, 19 H. VII. 7. Knows many leading men in New England, discreet and honest—the Governor of Connecticut, Winthrop, a prudent moderate man, and the Deputy Governor, Leet, some of the assistants, Tollcot, Willes, Allen, Richards, wise men, devout for their churches; the Governor of New Plymouth, Winslow, a very moderate wise man, their oldest assistant Alden instead of a Deputy Governor, others Hinkley, Bradford, Freeman, Browne, Cudworth, pretty moderate most of them; the Governor of Massachusetts, Leveret, their deputy, Simons, assistants Damport (Danforth), Hathorne, Broadstreet, Denison, Gooking Stoton, Clark, very devout men for their churches; the Governor of Rhode Island, Codington, the deputy Easton, assistants Bull, Gould, Clark, Coggeshall, Trip, Harris, Allmy, Barton, some of them called Quakers, some called Generals. Each colony has a body of laws; the Rhode Island laws are most in conformity to the laws of England and the most toleration there; next most sufferance is at New Plymouth where are Quakers and Baptists, but some Quakers and Baptists at Massachusetts, but fewest at Connecticut, where they persecuted them least, except at Rhode Island. Trade of the country to Barbadoes, Nevis, and other places; country healthy and well replenished with people and cattle, and so many horses that men know not what to do with them, nothing so wanting as thanks to God and answerable conversation thereto. Begs him to let no one who will tell his adversaries know his thoughts about the king's authority, lest he should be a long sufferer, for one Wharton, a merchant of Boston, for informing the King of what the Dutch did on the coast and how he conceived it might be remedied, was taken as no friend to New England and his letters stopped. 3 pp., with seal, a heart with the letter H, and the motto "Uprighte." [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 59.]
532. William Harris to Sir Joseph Williamson. Prays pardon for wearying him, and offers a few words in reply to his objection that the King gives commissions to preserve his peace, but not later commissions as to titles of lands, &c. Answers that the suppressing of forcible entries, &c., lies in the commissions of the peace, that the patents in New England give power to the Justices to hear and determine as to titles of land, that writs to remove suits to higher courts for more impartial judgment are tried by another commission, that persons supposed to commit a force on the offer to traverse their title to possession are not to be removed but admitted to try it before the said Justices of the Peace, that the omission and execution of the law is the defeat of the exercise of the power given by patent, of the peace and of their possession; they wear their title by the law of the Colony forced to prove before the forcible entry there could be tried and they had a verdict, judgment, and execution resisted and the force never yet tried though comp'ained. Leaves to the providence of God, the King, and pleasure, &c., whether a later commission with power in these cases is not needful. Prays that an order may be granted requiring or commanding and empowering three, if the fourth should sail, lest at the worst all should sail and justice be defeated. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 60.]
533. W. Harris to Sec. Williamson. Reminds him the Governors of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Plymouth, and Rhode Island, are 50 or 60 miles distant from each other, and it will be long before they agree on the best way to proceed. Suggests that some direction should be given by the King to them or one of them; prays him to an effectual performance of the matter. 1 p. Probably a postscript to preceding letter. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 61.]
534. Draft Commission in the handwriting of William Harris. Authorising the formation of a Court to try the questions at issue between himself and his opponents. The four Governors of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Plymouth, and Rhode Island, are each to appoint one Judge, and from the three former Colonies 48 men are to be chosen, from whom 12 jurymen are to be selected. The decision to be final, the costs of the Court to be borne by the losing parties. Endorsed by Williamson, "1675. New England. Mr. Harris his case." 7 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 62.]
April 26.
535. List of Members chosen by the different parishes for the Assembly convened for 26th April 1675. See following Abstract. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 63.]
April 26—
May 1. St. Jago.
536. Minutes of the Council of Jamaica. The Provost Marshal brought in the Returns of the several elections as follows:—St. Thomas', Edward Stanton and Clement Richardson; St. David's, Wm. Beeston and Wm. Rives; St. Andrew's, Sam. Barry and Richard Braine; Port Royal, Sam. Bache, Authony Swimmer and Benjamin Whitcombe; St. Katherine's, Samuel Long. Samuel Bernard, and Peter Beckford; St. Dorothy's, John Colebeck and William Shute; St. Thomas-in-the-Vale, William Knolles and Fulke Rose; Clarendon, Gifford Pennant and William Bent; Vere, John Bourden and Robert Varney; St. Elizabeth's, Robert Bridgewood and Jonathan Ashurst; St. George's, William Nedham and William Brewer; St. Mary's, George Nedham and Joachim Haynes; St. Ann's, Benj. Smith and Thomas Helyer; St. James', Richard Guy and Sam. Jenks; St. John's, Wm. Bragg and Francis Price. Sam. Long presented by the Assembly for their Speaker, of which his Excellency approved, and in a speech declared the reasons of their meeting. Tho. Freeman and Robt. Byndloss sent to administer the Oaths of Allegiance to the Assembly. The thanks of the Assembly presented by Wm. Beeston and three others to his Excellency for the great satisfaction he had given them in his speech.
April 27. No business offered from the Assembly, the Council adjourned till,—
April 28. The Oath of Allegiance administered to Richard Guy, one of the representatives of St. James' Parish. Wm. Rives and Sam. Bernard brought up the Acts for ascertaining the number of Assembly men for the Revenue, for maintaining of the Ministry, and for repairing the Highways, with divers amendments and observations, and desired Sir Thos. Lynch's account of the public money which his Excellency promised to send them. The Act ascertaining the number of Assembly men read; for maintenance of the Ministry, read and approved with Amendments; for the Revenue, read with Amendments and referred to further debate.
April 29. Sir Thos. Modyford's accounts delivered to the Assembly to be examined with Sir Thos. Lynch's. Six Acts presented by the Assembly, to whom were returned the Acts for Assembly men, maintenance of the Ministry and Highways, approved with Amendments. The Act for establishing the Supreme Court, approved with Amendments; for Fees, with Amendment, approved with a Clause to be added; for Justices, read and Amendments proposed; all which were sent to the Assembly with the Council's observations.
April 30. The amendments and additions in the Act of Militia consented to, except one clause concerning the Captain of the Troop of his Excellency's guards, which is to stand; pikes and lances to be left to the discretion of the officers; other small amendments proposed, and this clause to be inserted,—That for the particular encouragement of his Excellency's troop of Guards, all who shall enlist therein shall be excused from serving as constables, and that no foot officer in the precincts of St. Katherine, St. Dorothy, and St. Thomas-inthe-Vale, enlist any out of their proper division. This clause likewise to be inserted at the end, that nothing in this Act be construed to abridge his Excellency's power to act as Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief according to the powers and commands given him by his Majesty's Commission. The Act for Negro Slaves read, and Amendments approved. The Act for servants read and Amendments approved, with proviso that the penalty shall not run against masters who have once supplied themselves, if by death or accident their servants are lost, but that 12 months more be allowed them.
May 1. The Act of the Revenue read, and the first Amendment approved, remarks upon other Amendments, the Captain General's salary to be 2,000l. per annum, "residing usually at St. Jago," his residence at Port Royal to be omitted; other Salaries in the order named to be paid by the Governor's Warrant to the Treasurer. The Act of Naturalization read with Amendment. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XXXV., 399–410.]
April 26 to
May 15.
St. Jago de la Vega.
537. Minutes of the Assembly of Jamaica. List of the Members elected (see preceding). Capt. Sam. Long chosen Speaker. The Oath of Allegiance administered to all except Capt. Richard Guy who was absent, and Thos. Helyer who refused to take it according to the form prescribed. Rules approved as much conducing to the regular proceeding in their business; 17 to make a quorum; every Act before it pass to be read at three different sessions; in all votes the major part to carry it, wherein the Speaker is to have his voice; no man to speak but twice at one Session to the same Debate, the Speaker and Assembly to imprison or fine such of their Members as are disobedient, drunken, or profane. Five Members to join with those of the Council appointed for the inspection and returning of Writs. Four Members to return his Lordship thanks for his gracious speech and free grant of their privileges.
April 27. Capt. Knapman's business not to be tried again. The House resolved into a Grand Committee to consider about raising money for a present to his Excellency, and 1,500l. voted for that purpose, whereof 500l. to be employed in buying the house his Excellency lives in for the Governor's use for ever; 1,600l., whereof 100l. to be allowed to the constables for levying, to be levied of the lands and personal estates of the inhabitants, yet so as they exceed not one-half thereof in the levy off the lands, viz.: from the Parish of Port Royal 350l., St. Andrew's 250l., St. David's 80l., St. Thomas's 200l., St. George's 10l., St. Ann's 30l., St. James's 20l., St. Elizabeth's 110l., Vere 80l., Clarendon 160l., St. Katherine's, St. Dorothy's, and St. Thomas's-in-the-Vale 150l., St. John's 130l., and St. Mary's 30l. Ordered, that Thos. Hclyer refusing to take the customary Oath of Allegiance, be not allowed to sit, and that his Lordship be moved to issue a new Writ. Ordered, that the Marshal give Capt. Richard Guy notice that having been chosen for St. James's Parish, he must give his attendance notwithstanding he is not a freeholder in said Parish. Several Acts considered with amendments and sent to his Excellency in Council, with a request for an account of the revenue.
April 28. Amendments to several Acts of the last Assembly. Answer of his Excellency, that he would send account of the revenue. Capt. Richard Guy sent to the Governor and Council to take the Oath of Allegiance, and admitted to sit in the House.
April 29. Several Acts read and passed with Amendments. Sir Thos. Lynch's accounts sent by his Excellency, and also Sir Thos. Modyford's at the request of the Assembly. Committee appointed to consider these accounts and to report on Saturday next (1st May). Several Acts sent back by his Excellency with Amendments.
April 30. Acts read and passed, some with Amendments.
May 1. Leave to Col. Brewer to go home, on information of the disorder his affairs were in by reason of the running away of his negroes. Two Acts read. Report of the Committee for examining Sir Thos. Modyford and Sir Thos. Lynch's accounts, that they were satisfied Sir Thos. Modyford had received his discharge from the King's Exchequer. The Committee called attention to 144l. 12s. 2d. in Sir Thos. Lynch's accounts, finding nothing else to be objected against. Voted, that Sir Thos. Lynch's accounts be viewed.
May 3. Act for taking out Patents and collecting Quit Rents, read and passed. Voted, that certain sums in Sir T. Modyford's accounts objected to by the Assembly, amounting to 4,047l. 5s. 10d., be sent to his Excellency and Council, that order be taken that they be not brought against the country hereafter.
May 4. Voted, that the sum of 144l. 12s. 2d. in Sir Thos. Lynch's accounts for repairing the King's House at Port Royal be allowed. The Act of Naturalization read and amended. Sundry votes and queries upon Sir Thos. Lynch's accounts. Voted upon the Act of Revenue, that the 1,500l. annexed to Government be first paid after contingencies; the Captain-General usually to reside at St. Jago and the Lieutenant-General at Port Royal; the CaptainGeneral to have 2,000l. per annum and the Lieutenant-General 600l., to be paid proportionably; his Lordship to have any surplusage, the salaries and contingencies being paid; Sir Henry Morgan, for his good service to the country, to have 600l. during his Lieutenant Governorship, but none of his successors. Several Acts read and passed, some with Amendments.
May 5, 6. Several Acts read and passed, with Amendments.
May 7. Voted, on petition of the Freeholders, that the Magatee be annexed to the Parish of St. Thomas-in-the-Vale, but continue to pay all Parish duties, reparation of highways excepted, to St. John's until a Minister be settled and a church built in St. Thomas-inthe Vale. Several Acts read and passed. Petition of Wm. Gibbon, merchant, that the estate of Dan. Jordan, deceased, be sold for satisfaction of his debts, because Petitioner and Jordan are joint administrators of the estate of Thomas Scutt, deceased, and indebted thereto. Three members appointed to examine into the matters alleged in said petition. Several Acts read and passed.
May 8. Several Acts read and passed. Petition of John Styles, of the Magatee, planter, that his land be made a distinct Parish, under the name of Styles Langley, he having left it by will to Christ Church College, Oxford, from whence he expects it will be supplied with Preachers, and that it might continue in the Parish of St. John till Petitioner should have a church built and a parson settled there: refused, by reason there was no probability there would be a sufficient congregation to make a parish.
May 11, 12. Several Acts read and passed, with Amendments. On report of the Committee that Jordan's estate was indebted to the estate of Thomas Scutt as alleged in Gibbon's Petition, Capt. Nedham ordered to draw up an Act for the sale of Jordan's estate; but it was thrown out, as unreasonable for the Assembly to be concerned where the law itself gives a remedy. Petition, sent down by his Excellency, praying H.R.H. the Duke of York to interpose with the Royal Company to furnish the Island with a plentiful supply of negroes, approved, and ordered to be entered in the journal, the Speaker to return his Excellency thanks for same.
May 13, 14. Several Acts read and passed, with Amendments.
May 15. The Act of Revenue read and passed, after a dispute with his Excellency whether his order should be the Treasurer's discharge for paying salaries. Ordered, that his Excellency be desired to sign the Acts in the Assembly according to the custom of this Island, to which he answered that it was not usual in England to do so, but that they bring in the Acts to the Council to be signed, the Assembly being afterwards called in; whereupon it was voted that the Speaker carry the Acts to the Council, but if his Ex cellency refuse to sign them in presence of the Assembly, that he bring them back again. Adjourned for an hour. Report of Mr. Speaker that his Lordship would not pass the Acts in presence of the Assembly, it being altogether repugnant to the custom of the Parliament of England; whereupon he was returning with the Acts, when his Lordship commanded them from him, telling him that when an Act was consented to in Council and three times passed in the Assembly they were dispossessed thereof: and being pressed by the Speaker, how an Act beneficial to the Governor should be stopped till other Acts conducing to the advantage of the subject were passed, his Lordship replied that such Acts for the subject should be sent to him and assented to before the House passed the others, and that the Speaker might take away any Acts not passed the third time. The Assembly sent for by his Excellency. Adjourned for half-an-hour. 22 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XXXVII., fol. 143–153d.]
April 26. 538. Forty-five Acts, Laws, and Statutes made and ordained at St. Jago de la Vega in Jamaica, by Governor Lord Vaughan and by an Assembly which began the 26th April 1675, with Index, viz.:—(1.) An Act appointing the number of Assembly men. (2.) Declaring the laws of England in force in this Island. ("Repealed" in margin.) (3.) For preservation of cattle. (4.) Empowering the Churchwardens of St. Katherine's to receive twelve pence per ton for all goods made up in cask that are laden or shipped from the bridge at Passage Fort, for maintaining and repairing the same. (In margin, "The new law approved.") (5.) For the quieting all persons' estates against dormant titles. (6.) Requiring the enrolment of deeds for prevention of fraudulent conveyances. (7.) Empowering his Majesty's Justices of the Peace in this Island to decide all pleas and differences between party and party not exceeding the value of 40s. (8.) For the better maintenance of the Ministry. (In margin, "The new law for regulating parishes to stand.") (9.) For the good governing of servants, and ordering the rights between masters and servants. (In margin, "The new law of force.") (10.) Preventing seamen leaving their ships, and victuallers or sellers of strong liquors trusting of them. (11.) For the perpetual Anniversary Thanksgiving on the 10th day of May, for the happy success and conquest made and obtained in his most sacred Majesty's Island of Jamaica. (12.) For the better ordering and governing of negro slaves. (In margin, "New law of force.") (13.) For settling the Militia. (In margin, "New Act to stand.") (14.) For the regulating the fees of the several offices of this Island. (With corrections). (15.) For the better amending, repairing, and keeping clear the common highways and known broad paths within this Island, leading to church and market, and for laying out new highways and turning old highways where it shall be needful. (In margin, "New law to be in force.") (16.) For confirming Orders of Council. (With corrections.) (17.) Against excessive usury. (In margin, "This is comprehended in the new law for establishing the interest of money; the new law of force.") (18.) For repealing of a former Act, intituled "An Act for sup pressing the multiplicity of law suits, and of divers other Acts made at the Session of the Assembly in the month of February 1673–74." (With corrections.) (19.) For foreign Attachments. (20.) To prevent fraud and deceit in the makers and sellers of rum. (With corrections.) (21.) For prevention of such damages as may happen by fire. (With corrections.) (22.) Encouraging of shipping to take in lading at Old Harbour, Port St. Thomas, or any other place round this his Majesty's Island. (With corrections.) (23.) For establishing the current price of money. (24.) Appointing Col. Thos. Modyford and Capt. Edmund Ducke to be Trustees, and fully enabled to make sale of the lands and plantations of Mr. Thos. Tothill, late of this Island, deceased, for the payment of debts and making provision for the relict and infant of the said deceased. (With a correction.) (25.) For rating meat sold by retail. (In margin, "The new law of force.") (26.) For compensation of the loss Mr. Nicholas Scarlett received by the pursuits of the rebellious negroes at Lygonee. (With a correction.) (27.) For encouragement to Mr. James Lassell for the sugar mill he lately contrived. (With a correction.) (28.) For recovering of such moneys as were subscribed to for building a half moon at Bonham's Court that are not paid. (In margin, "Paid and expired.") (29.) For regulating the freight of boats, wherries, and other vessels and their owners and employers. (In margin, "Laid aside.") (30.) For regulating the Marshal's proceedings in levying executions. (With corrections.) (31.) For the ordering and empowering the Secretary of the Island to take sufficient security of every master of ship or vessel and others that depart this Island; and of the duty of masters of ships and others that come to trade in this Island. (In margin, "The new law of force.") (32.) For the speedy remedying of all such nuisances as are or may hereafter be made upon the town of Port Royal, and to prevent the spreading of any fire that may happen therein. (In margin, "New law to stand.") (33.) For the speedy taking out of patents and the better adjusting and more speedy collecting the quit rents of this his Majesty's Island of Jamaica. (With corrections.) (34.) For regulating hunting. (With corrections.) (35.) For dividing his Majesty's Island of Jamaica into several parishes and precincts. (In margin, "New Act to stand.") (36.) Prohibiting the transportation of several commodities out of this Island, being in a growing condition. (With corrections.) (37.) For naturalization. (With corrections.) (38.) For the preventing the retailing of strong liquors by unlicensed persons. (With corrections.) (39.) Against tippling, cursing, and swearing. (In margin, "New Act to stand.") (40.) Declaring it to be felony without benefit of clergy to steal or carry away any boat, canoe, wherry, or other vessel from any part of this Island. (With corrections.) (41.) For regulating the proceedings of Surveyors. (In margin, "New Act to stand when allowed.") (42.) Against suing of persons here for foreign debts within five years after their arrival. (In margin, "Abolished.") (43.) For preserving of the savannahs and small plantations. (With corrections.) (44.) For the establishing of the Supreme Court of Judicature in the town of St. Jago de la Vega. (With corrections.) Endorsed, "Jamaica, May 21, 1675. These are to certify that I have carefully examined the several Laws hereunto affixed, containing 117 sheets, and find that they do agree wth the original Records in the custody of Ch. Atkinson, Cl. Con. In pursuance of his Majy's Instructions, I have commanded the Broad Seal of this Island to be hereunto affixed. May 24, 1675. Vaughan." And (45) an Act for raising a public revenue out of the strong liquors and other goods of the production of foreign plantations imported or to be imported into this Island, and for the disposal thereof. Endorsed, "Copy. The Original Revenue Bill, wherein the King's name is expunged, &c." Together, 118 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XL.]
April 26. 539. Summary of preceding Acts, with the exception of the last. 29½ pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XXVIII., 128–147.]
April 27.
540. Edward Cranfield to Sir Robt. Southwell. Arrived at Madeira this morning to recruit the Hunter with water and beverage wine, which the victuallers could not furnish her with in England, and Capt. Dickenson having sent to the Council to acquaint the Governor, he sent word that if the Captain would not enter the King's ship as a merchant man, and pay port charges and other duties, he would give him no "produck" (prattick in margin); but Capt. Dickenson refused, and desired him to acquaint the Governor that he would be gone immediately if he would not grant him "produck," which the Governor utterly denied, whereupon they thought it convenient to be gone rather than comply with an unpractical imposition which might reflect on the King's honour. Has received a letter just now from the merchants ashore, complaining of many injuries and indignities daily put upon them by this Governor, and Lord Vaughan was treated in the same manner, but presumes he has account of this before. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 64.]
April 27. 541. Copy of preceding. [Col. Entry Bk., No. LXXVIII., 94.]
April 27.
542. Copy of the above, but addressed to Sec. Sir Joseph Williamson. Endorsed, "R., 30 July," &c. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 65.]
April 29. 543. "An account taken from Mr. Harris of New England." Number of men bearing arms 7 or 8 thousand foot and 8 or 10 troops of horse, each troop consisting of between 60 and 80 horse. Twelve ships between 40 and 80 tons are built every year in Boston, Salem, and that jurisdiction; he came over in a ship built there of 200 tons with 14 guns. Does not know the number of the fishing boats, the trade being chiefly E. of Rhode Island, but there are never fewer than two men in every boat, sometimes three or four; the fishing is in cod, haddock, and mackerel, transported to the West Indies, Barbadoes, Spain, and the Straits. There are three or four ironworks but he has not heard of guns cast there, though there are many in the country; has seen some on the sea side 3½ yds. long, mostly about Boston in the Fort whereof on the sea by which all ships must pass, it is said there are about 20 guns; in the ironworks they formerly cast iron pots to boil meat in. The merchants seem to be rich men, and their houses as handsomely furnished as most in London. In exchange of fish, pipe staves, wool, and tobacco, they have from Spain, Portugal, and the islands, the commodities of those countries; their wool they carry to France and bring thence linen; to England they bring beaver, mouse, and deer skins, sugar and logwood, and carry hence cloth and ironwares; to Barbadoes in exchange for horses, beef, pork, butter, cheese, flour, peas, biscuit, they have sugar and indigo; when they trade with Jamaica, as they do sometimes, they bring home pieces of eight, plate, and pigs of silver. Their money is of pretty good silver; in the middle of it is a pine tree (with which the country abounds); the valuation of it is but 3 of 4 sterling money, and a New England shilling is but 9d. sterling; the pieces usually current are only 2d., 3d., 6d., and shillings; with the silver they are supplied from Jamaica. The houses in Boston are of brick and ordinary stone, but most of timber; some are 2 and the most but 3 stories high. The town very large and situate on a neck of land surrounded with a great salt river, only to the landward there is an entrance of about 40 perches large over a low salt marsh, which is sometimes overflown, and where they may cut a river. They have three meeting houses, set round with galleries, and very full; each is as large as an ordinary parish church. Country houses generally of timber. In Rhode Island the houses are very good, especially at Newport, where there are more sheep than anywhere else in New England. The haven is very commodious, being just upon the sea, whereas that of Boston is 2 or 3 miles within the land, and is large enough for 100 ships; this island is about 12 miles long and 2 broad, and is the garden of New England. In Connecticut there is a good harbour at New London, but the town and trade are not considerable. Knows of navigable rivers only in Connecticut, not having seen Puscatoa (? Piscataqua); the country is well provided with water. Does not know the number of islands. In the jurisdiction of Rhode Island is Block Island, first inhabited about seven years ago, where there is excellent fishing for cod, but no harbour. Plymouth, Connecticut, and Massachusetts are in a confederacy called the United Colonies, but Rhode Island is not. The soldiers are all of the inhabitants, they exercise often twice a week, their horsemen wear buff coats, pistols, hangers, and corslets; every soldier bears his own charges, except in war with the Indians; all that are able bear arms except a few Anabaptists and the Quakers, who will not bear any. The Governors chosen by all the freemen; the present Governor of Boston is John Leveret, a resolute man but much opposed by one Major Dennison; the election is yearly, though he has been Governor three years since Mr. Bellingham died. The Governor of Connecticut is John Winthrop, senr., a very good, sober man, who has been Governor near 20 years, and 11 years ago got a Patent from the King. The Governor of New Plymouth is Josiah Winslow, a moderate man; the laws of this Colony come nearer the laws of England than either those of Massachusetts or Connecticut. The Governor of Rhode Island is William Codington, a Quaker; the laws of England are pleaded here, and take place; the Governor has only a single vote, at Boston he has a casting vote. The most tyrannical ministers to those that differ from them are the Presbyterians, and amongst the fiercest is one Mr. Thatcher, the only man in the country that keeps a coach. The greatest part of the ministers are Presbyterians, Anabaptists, and Quakers; in Rhode Island, Quakers and Anabaptists rule. There is a considerable party in all the Colonies called Common Protestants, who in Massachusetts are not permitted to bear any high office, but may be constables, but in Rhode Island enjoy the same privileges as others. In the Massachusetts there is a college at Cambridge, 3 miles from Boston, where many preachers, physicians, and Indians (but no lawyers) are bred; it has translated the Bible into the Indian language, and in Massachusetts there are 3 or 4 congregations of Indians, called Praying Indians, and distinguished from the others in Rhode Island who are unconverted in their paganism. There was formerly a fencing school in Massachusetts and Rhode Island; he does not know whether there is any now. Gaming not allowed in Massachusetts. As to cloth, there are made there Linsey woolseys, and other of cotton and wool, and some all sheeps wool, but the better sort of linen is brought from England; they have many woolcombers, and some make Tammyes (?) but for their private use. Salt they get from Tortudas, not far from Barbadoes; it is sold at 10s. the hogshead, and is clear and white as alum, very sharp and much stronger than ordinary bay salt. Oaths in Rhode Island the inhabitants take not unless they please, only an engagement, on penalty of perjury, to perform some office or give true testimony. The Oath of Allegiance is to the effect of that ordinarily taken in England, but the Oath of Supremacy differs. 7 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 66.]
April 30.
544. Governor Stapleton to the Council for Plantations. Premised in his last of the 19th inst. to send "these papers;" is not prepared for what is required in theirs of 27th October. Two of his Deputy Governors are going home, Col. Philip Warner of Antigua for some occasions of his own, and his own brother from Montserrat, who goes for his health. Will instruct them to satisfy their Lordships fully as to these Islands, and if possible they shall have papers relating to St. Christopher's and Nevis. Since the letters between the French General and himself 12 of their negroes are runaway to these Islands, but not yet demanded; thinks it his duty, and is resolved to deny them, till M. de Baas makes restitution of 15 he sold belonging to his Majesty's subjects, or to sell them to him that offers most, as he did. In margin, "Recd 21 June 1675." 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. 34, No. 67.]