America and West Indies: October 1675

Pages 293-300

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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October 1675

Oct. 1.
688. Order of the King in Council. Whereas Col. Philip Warner, late Deputy Governor of Antigua, stands charged with the murder of his brother Tho. Warner, an Indian, and the destruction of other Indians, his Majesty's friends, in the Island of Dominica, for which he remains at present a prisoner in the Tower, and his Majesty being willing to know where the trial of the said facts will properly be, whether at Barbadoes where the information was taken and from whom it was sent, or in the government of Col. Stapleton, by whom said Col. Warner alleges to have been employed, ordered that copies of the commissions of Sir Jonathan Atkins, Governor of Barbadoes, and Col. Stapleton, Governor of the Leeward Islands, be transmitted to the Attorney and Solicitor General, that they may report where the trial may most properly be carried on. 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XCVI., 17.]
Oct. 2.
689. Minutes of the Committee of Trade and Plantations. Sir Leoline Jenkins called in, touching the case of Capt. Cooke. Ordered, that the Council Books be searched for all complaints of his Majesty's subjects against those of Spain. ½ p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. CIV., 41.]
Oct. 3/13
690. Gov. Sir Jonathan Atkins to Sec. Sir Joseph Williamson. Received his of 8th June and 29th July at same time, ships often taking three months on the voyage; and are often three months without any ships, and never so few has come as this year, which has advanced freight to such a height as considering the low price of the commodity in England it is impossible for them long to continue to make sugars. Intimated this not long since, and has never missed one convenience of corresponding. Gave advice in his last of a damnable design of the negroes to destroy them all. Finds it on more thorough inquiry far more dangerous than was at first thought, for it had spread over most of the plantations, especially amongst the Cormantin negroes, who are much the greater number from any one country, and are a warlike and robust people. Has been forced to execute 35 of them for example, which he believes has set a period to that trouble. But their sufferings are infinitely augmented by a hurricane the last of August last, the ruin of houses, works, mills, sugars, and utensils being incredible, their canes for next year's sugar crop twisted and broken off, their corn and ground provisions that should have kept their families six months, laid flat or rooted up. Never was seen such prodigious ruin in three hours; there are three churches, 1,000 houses, and most of the mills to Leeward thrown down, 200 people killed, whole families being buried in the ruins of their houses, a torrent of rain beat down all before it, unroofing all their storehouses and letting in the wet to their sugars; never saw a more amazing sight in one night, all the trees were stripped of leaves and fruit, all their housing laid flat, and the people in such consternation and distraction that they resolved never to build again but to leave the island. But upon second thoughts many have changed their minds and are repairing as fast as they can, but a great many can never be able to do it. All the prodigious effects of the hurricane would swell into a volume and puzzle belief; 12 ships, some of them laden with sugar, were driven ashore and broken to pieces. The King's frigate "Foresight" saved herself by standing out to sea, perceiving the storm coming; she called from the "Havana" to borrow powder, Jamaica being forced to ask powder of the King's ships, not having 10 barrels in their stores; he lent them 40 barrels out of the country's stores, the King having none here. Has advice of 15 French frigates full of land men watering at Madeira; conceives they saw some of them off this island five weeks ago, and expects daily some news of them by a sloop from Jamaica, and will transfer it by New England. Hears they are much infested in New England hy Indians, who have killed many and made great destruction of their outward plantations, forcing the people to fly for safety. This with the great provisions exhausted from them to Virginia, which has been in a starving condition, has caused them to make an embargo on all provisions, to the great prejudice of Barbadoes at this conjuncture. Thanks for the very necessary intelligence received by Sir Joseph's order, and the diligence of Mr. Yard. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 35, No. 29.]
Oct. 7.
691. Minutes of the Committee of Trade and Plantations. Proposed to settle such a draft of a memorial to be presented in the Court of France, touching reparation of injuries in St. Christopher's as may be well justified from matters of fact. Sir Chas. Wheler and Mr. Slingsby called in, and the former draft read and the voucher for each paragraph reasoned on. Mr. Sec. Williamson sends for Sir Charles's Commission and Instructions which are read, to clear some doubt how far he was authorised in what he did about ameliorations. His agreement with M. de Baas is also read, whereon many discourses arose as if the price named in each contract were allowed and the remedy of hardships left only in the consciences and houses of the two Governors. Desire of the Lords to see the particular points which were referred to the two Kings, also Sir W. Lockhart's Instructions, whose Secretary was ordered to return all the papers on this subject given to the Ambassador at his going over. Sir Chas. Wheler's answer of the 2nd September to Sir R. Southwell again read in part, but not approved as any fit way for reparation, he himself acknowledging some mistakes therein. The Books of Entries produced, out of which the late Council by their Secretary Dr. Worseley extracted such a narrative touching matters of fact in the proceedings of the English and French Commissioners as gave warrant to the draft given to M. Colbert, and from thence Mr. Slingsby drew his draft; so that unless their Lordships go over all those sheets they cannot make a new one; but by Sir Chas. Wheler's papers, reparation is made both impracticable and impossible as demanded. 1½ pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. CIV., 41, 42.]
Oct. 7.
St. Kitts.
692. Minutes of Council of St. Christopher's. John Gassan accused of transporting in the French quarter a negro named Fourry, formerly imprisoned for riotous actions against John Chambers, acknowledging same was pardoned and ordered to transport said negro out of this island and bring another instead into the English quarter of this island and make satisfaction to said Chambers for his loss. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXVIII., No. 69.]
Oct. 8. 693. Report of Sir Leoline Jenkins, Judge of the Admiralty, to the King. On view of Capt. Cooke's proceedings in the Court of Spain, and particularly of the two Commissions or sentences given by the Queen Regent, it is his opinion that Capt. Cooke must prosecute the effect of those two sentences at the Havana, and must affect the Ministers of Justice there with a denial to execute the Queen's Commissions, or else with such delays as amount to a flat denial, before his cause be ripe for granting reprisals. True the case is sad, and these sentences may be but an amusement to put him off, which seems to be the judgment of Sir Wm. Godolphin, upon which, as a matter of State, Sir Leoline will not offer anything; but as a matter of law, reprisals will not lie where there is neither denial of justice, nor a delay of it amounting to a denial. Argues that it cannot be said that there is a denial; that it could not have been otherwise ordered than that the parties wronged be sent to the Havana for reparation; that Captain Cooke did not sue out any process against Francisco Lopez de Andrade and others of the spoilers who were in Spain whilst he was there; that what may seem hardest is that Capt. Cooke is sent to those that have already flatly denied him justice; and that if they execute the Queen's Commissions they will require a new liquidation and fresh proofs of losses and damages; but to this will be answered in Spain that those of the Havana are now no Judges, but only Ministers to carry out the Queen's award; and that though the proofs made in the Admiralty would have been sufficient to have grounded reprisals on, yet the Queen not having condemned the wrongdoers in the sum demanded, the law there allows the Defendants, being seized, to bring the Plaintiff to a new liquidation. Another mischief is, the wrongdoers may prove insolvent, or be dead or out of the justice of the Havana, but these are accidents for which the Crown of Spain can hardly be made accountable. All these mischiefs together give little hopes of real reparation, yet cannot excuse Capt. Cooke if he pretends to reprisals from prosecuting his sentences at the Havana; for till he has used all diligences that any subject of Spain would be obliged to, he will not be sufficiently founded to obtain his Majesty's letters of reprisal. This will be extremely tedious, chargeable, and uncertain, and can think of but one way to prevent it, viz.: by nominating Commissioners on each side to determine this and all differences arising from depredations at sea. This would bring on such reckonings of the same kind as they at Madrid threaten to charge on his Majesty's subjects; but it would be much the shortest way, is expressly mentioned in the third Article of the Treaty of Madrid, and was the usual course between Queen Elizabeth and her neighbours. The Treaty of America does require a further adjustment, for it appears by the Queen's judgments about the Campeachy wood and other matters, that in Spain they affix a new interpretation upon the Treaty, in declaring what shall be pirate or not pirate, prize or not prize, without communicating with his Majesty, or any publication that may reach his Majesty's subjects. Endorsed, "Read at the Committee of Plantations, 1 Nov. 1675. Read again, the 27th." 8 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 35, No. 30.]
Oct. 11.
Custom House, London.
694. Report of the Commissioners of the Customs to the Committee for Plantations. Cannot inform their Lordships what persons have been appointed to administer the oaths to the Governors of the Plantations, or what has been done by the Governors, as it does not come within their cognizance. On inquiries, find that no such bonds or duplicates as are required by the Acts of Trade have been received from any of the Governors since the commencement of their Commission, nor any lists of ships or bonds from any of the Governors, except from Charles Calvert, Governor of Maryland, who has a salary from his Majesty; bonds and lists of ships laden from 26 June 1673 to 21 July 1674, and by the direction of Edward Diggs, who also has a salary from his Majesty, four copies of bonds from Henry Corbyn, dated Dec. and Jan. 1674, and from the Secretary of the Massachusetts eight bonds, all that were taken in 1674; have also received bonds, &c., from the Governors of Antigua and Nevis. Represent that if the Governors did send bonds, it would be a great means to prevent the fraud used in carrying Plantation commodities to other parts. "Read, 2 Dec." [Col. Entry Bk., No. 97, pp. 22–25.]
Oct. 11.
Custom House, London.
695. Report of Richard Temple and three others, Farmers of the Customs, to (the Lord Treasurer) concerning the returning of bonds from the Plantations. In obedience to his Lordship's commands by Charles Bertie, upon a letter of Sir Robert Southwell touching the trade of New England and those parts, answer to the first point: That though by law it is provided that Governors of his Majesty's Plantations shall take oath before persons authorized by his Majesty to do their utmost to cause the laws to be observed, yet what persons have been so appointed by his Majesty, or what has been done by the Governors, is not within their cognizance; and to the second: That by the Act of Navigation it is provided that the Governors, twice every year, return true copies of bonds taken by them to the Chief Officers of the Customs in London; and by a later Act for regulating the Plantation trade, that the Governors do, once a year at least, return to the Officers of the Customs in London a list of all such ships as shall lade any of the enumerated Plantation commodities, as also of the bonds taken by them. But Sir John Shaw, who is the proper officer, has received no such bonds since the commencement of their Commission; nor have they received any lists of ships or bonds from any of the Governors, except from Chas. Calvert, Governor of Maryland, who has a salary from his Majesty; copies of several bonds, with a list of ships laden from 26 June 1673 to 21 July 1674, by direction of Edw. Diggs in Virginia, who has also a salary from his Majesty; four copies of bonds from Henry Corbyn, dated Dec. and Jan. 1674–75, taken in Rappahannock River; and from the Secretary of the Massachusett's jurisdiction in New England eight bonds, which are all that were taken in 1674; and since the collection of the new duty in the Plantations, whereof some of the Governors are collectors, they have received from the Governor of Antigua copies of bonds and certificates of ships cleared from October 1673 to April 1675; from the Governor of Nevis a list of bonds and certificates from 18 July 1673 to 20 May 1674; and from the Governor of Bermudas the copy of one bond. Humbly offer that if the Governors did according to law, send copies of bonds and lists of the ships there laden, it would be a great means to prevent the fraud used in carrying the Plantation commodities to other parts. In margin, "Custom Farmers Report. … Recd, Oct. 16th, '75. Read at the Commtee the 2nd Decr 75. Memdm, the original remained with my Ld Treasr, and this copy was sent in by Capt. Shales." 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 35, No. 31.]
Oct. 12. 696. Report of the Attorney and Solicitor General to (the Lords of the Committee for Foreign Plantations), pursuant to an Order of Council of 23rd June last (see ante, No. 603 I.). On petition of Francis Moryson, Thos. Ludwell, and Robt. Smith, Agents for Virginia. That it will be for his Majesty's service to grant and confirm under the Great Seal power to the Governor and Council of Virginia to purchase the lands, &c., contained in the grant to the Earl of St. Albans, Lord Culpeper, and others, and as to that purpose only to be made a Corporation to purchase and retain the same. The inhabitants to have their immediate dependance upon the Crown of England. The Governor to be resident in the country, with other provisoes. 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 35, No. 32.]
Oct. 12. 697. Copy of the preceding with this addition:—"Whereupon their Lordships after debate agree upon a report contained in the following order approving the same." Annexed,
697. i. Order of Committee of Trade and Plantations. On reading the Attorney and Solicitor-General's report of 12th October about Virginia (see preceding), Moryson and another of the Agents being called in, the 4th, 6th, and 9th Articles (of the Heads which said Agents request may be drawn up into a Charter for Virginia, see ante, No. 602 I.,) are explained, and in case of death or absence of the Governor, leave to be given to choose a Deputy Governor themselves out of the Council, unless the King nominate one of the Council. All these things are to be expressed as granted to them out of his Majesty's grace and goodness to his subjects and all ordered to be reported to his Majesty in Council. Whitehall, 19th October 1675. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CIV., p. 72.]
697. ii. Order of the King in Council. On aforesaid report touching a grant to be passed unto his Majesty's subjects of Virginia approving and confirming the same and requiring Mr. Attorney or Mr. Solicitor-General to prepare a Bill for his Majesty's signature in order to the passing of Letters Patent for the same. Two copies. 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 35, Nos. 33, 34, 35; see also Col. Entry Bks., Vol. 96, pp. 20–23, and Vol. 80, pp. 40–46.]
Oct. 17. 698. Order of a General Court held at James City. That Giles Bland for his scandalous letters read in open Court and false and mutinous reports, assertions, behaviours and deportments towards Governor Berkeley which he either would not or could not justify, be committed to the custody of the High Sheriff of James City County until he give good security for his good behaviour, and suspended from his place of Collector of his Majesty's Customs and all other offices in Virginia until his Majesty's pleasure be further known. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. 35, No. 36.]
Oct. 22.
699. Order of the King in Council. The Attorney and SolicitorGeneral this day presented their report touching the trial of Col. Warner, and by what way and method the same might be most properly pursued, his Majesty before taking a final determination is pleased to allow said Col. Warner copy of said report that he may show cause, if any he can, why his Majesty should not proceed by a special Commission of Oyer and Terminer for his trial in Barbadoes accordingly. ½ p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XCVI., 17, 18.]
Oct. 26. 700. Laws and Ordinances of, War passed and made 26th October 1675 by the General Court of the Massachusetts for the better regulating their forces and keeping their soldiers to their duty, and to prevent profaneness that iniquity be kept out of the Camp:—1. No man to blaspheme the Trinity upon pain of having his tongue bored with a red hot iron. 2. Unlawful oaths and execrations and scandalous acts in derogation of God's honour to be punished with loss of pay and other punishment at discretion. 3. All who often and wilfully absent themselves from the public worship of God to be proceeded against at discretion. 4. Negligent doing of duty to be punished at discretion. 5. Quarreling with a superior officer to be punished by cashiering, and striking such, by death. 6. Departing from his charge or Captain to be punished by death. 7. Every private soldier to keep silence on pain of imprisonment when the Army is to take lodging or imbattalio, so as the officers be heard and their commands executed. 8. No man to resist, draw, lift, or offer to draw or lift his weapon against his officer correcting him orderly on pain of death. 9. Words of sedition or mutiny to be punished by death. 10. Resistance to the Provost Marshal or any other officer in executing his office to be punished by death. 11. They that hear mutinous speeches and do not acquaint their Commanders to be punished with some grievous punishment. 12. Drunkenness in an officer to be punished with loss of place, in a private soldier as a Court Martial may think fit. 12. Rapes, ravishment, unnatural abuses and adultery to be punished by death. 14. Fornication and other dissolute lasciviousness to be punished with discretion according to the quality of the offence. 15. Theft and robbery to be punished with restitution and otherwise at discretion. 16. Murder to be expiated with the death of the murderer. 17. Soldiers, coming to their colours to watch or be exercised or to service, to come completely armed and arms well fixed upon punishment. 18. If any shall negligently lose or sinfully play away their arms at cards or dice or otherwise, they shall be kept as pioneers or scavengers till they furnish themselves with good arms. 19. None shall presume to spoil, sell, or carry away ammunition committed to him, on pain of death. 20. No soldier to outstay his pass without a certificate of the occasion under the hand of a magistrate, on pain of losing his pay. By grievous punishment is meant disgracing by cashiering, by the strap pads, or by riding the wooden horse to fetch blood; by arbitrary punishment or discretion is meant not to extend to hazard life or limb. Endorsed in the hand-writing of Benjamin Batten. Upon the Quakers' tomb at Boston, "Although our martyred bodies in dust here silent lies, our religious souls for ever live, our blood still vengeance cries." Marmdk. Stevenson, Wm. Robinson. Printed, see also Palfrey's New England III., 172. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. 35, No. 37.]