America and West Indies: January 1676

Pages 330-345

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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January 1676

773. Six Acts of the Island of Barbadoes, viz.:—An Act appointing how the testimony of people of the Hebrew nation shall be admitted in all courts and causes; passed 18th Feb. 1674(–5). An Act for taking off the eighty days after execution for furtue contracts; passed 25th March 1675. An Act for regulating the gauge of sugar cask; passed 15th April 1675.
1676. An Act to prevent the people called Quakers from bringing negroes to their meeting; passed 21st April 1676. An Act to prevent the inconveniences upon the inhabitants of this Island by forestallers, ingrossers, and regrators; passed 29th Nov. 1676. An Act to explain a clause in the Act for establishing the Courts of Common Pleas within this Island; passed 29th Nov. 1676. Printed. Before Sir Jonathan Atkin's administration the Governors alone signed the Acts, but from the time of this Governor the Clerks of the Council and Assembly attested the approbation of the Legislative Body. See footnote. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XV., pp. 94–100.]
Jan. 8.
774. Order of the King in Council. Approving Report of the Lords of Trade and Plantations of 23rd December last (see ante, No. 756), and authorizing Secretary Coventry to instruct Lord Berkeley, Ambassador Extratordinary in France, to present a memorial to the effect of what is therein proposed in order to obtain powers for determining the differences of St. Christopher's in this place, and with all diligence to solicit the despatch thereof. 4 pp. Two copies. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVI., Nos. 1, 2; also Col. Entry Bks., Vol. XLVI., pp. 30–36, and Vol. XCVI., pp. 32–38.]
Jan. 8. 775. Order of the King in Council. On representation of Lords of Trade and Plantations the Lord Treasurer acquainted his Majesty that, notwithstanding the many difficulties he had met with in the procurement of money, yet in obdience to an order of this Board of 18th June last (see ante, No. 597), appointing 6,656l. 14s. to be paid to Colonel Stapleton and the two companies, the pay of two years, his Lordship had now ready half that sum which should be furnished in ten or twelve days when the ships would be ready to depart, and would furnish the residue between Lady Day and Midsummer next. And to establish a settled fund for support of that Island in the furture, and that the companies be made complete, his Lordship proposed to make the duty of 4½ per cent. to bear not only the charge of that Island but of the rest, yet because the farmers of said duty pretended to defalcations and difficulties appeared in the settlement of their accounts, he would very speedily call them before him, and then pray his Majesty's presence in order to a more solemn determination of the same. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVI., No. 3; also Col. Entry Bks., Vol. XLVI., pp. 37, 38, and Vol. XCVI., pp. 38, 39.]
Jan. 9. 776. Warrant to the Attorney or Solicitor-General. To prepare a Bill for the King's signature to pass the Great Seal containing a grant to Ralph Wyat of the office of Clerk of the Market of St. Michael's Bridgetown, Barbadoes, during pleasure to execute the same by himself or deputy, with all fees, profits, and advantages thereunto belonging. [Col. Entry Book. Vol. CX., p. 81.]
Jan. 10. 777. Sir Robert Southwell to Secretary Coventry. Encloses the Order in Council of 8th instant (see ante, No. 774), directing Lord Berkeley to solicit powers for the French Minister here to determine the disputes of St. Christopher's in this place, and it may be proper to say that he should not enter further into the business than concerns the obtaining said powers. Conceives Sir William Lockhart would have had a pretty hard tug of it if they had told him he came to ask more than was before by his Majesty's commands demanded by memorial from Mons. Colbert in London, "and I know not how the Lords will be well able to answer it here unless a thing were done which is not probable, my best hope is that the paper may be lost or mislaid, or that Mons. Colbert may be out of the way." Also encloses copy of Sir William Lockhart's memorial which he conceives was but part of a larger memorial that extended to the state of commerce between the two kingdoms in general, but Mr. Angier will be there able to inform his Excellency. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVI., p. 37.] Encloses,
778. i. Memorial of Sir William Lockbart, Ambassador from the King of Great Britain, for the restitution of St. Christopher's in accordance with the 7th Article of the Treaty of Breda. Endorsed, "Rec. 13 Jan. 1676." [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVI., No. 4.]
Jan. 10. 778. Journal of the Lords of Trade and Plantations. That Sir R. Southwell gave Secretary Coventry this day the Order in Council touching Lord Berkeley pressing in France for powers to have the matter of St. Christopher's treated here, and also a copy of Sir William Lockhart's memorial about the same business (see preceding letter). 'Tis obserable Sir William Lockhart takes a method of exposing many grievances in the body of his memorial, yet prays for few remedies in the conclusion. If Sir Charles Wheler's proceedings were valid that memorial seemed all we could demand; but if invalid, and the demands fit to be enlarged, then the French will call for reparation against Sir Charles Wheler. Sir Charles did two things in St. Christopher's: 1st, make an absolute accord with M. de Baas in many points; 2nd, he made a statement of those difficult points upon which he and De Baas could not agree, and they were referred to the decision of the two Kings. Yet Sir Charles has this to say in his own vindication that these were not made final and conclusive by him, because in the counterpart of the agreement signed by him there was added a clause that all these matters were first to be submitted to the good pleasure of the King and his ministers, that is I suppose not to be referred to a new award if they were thought to be already determined or determinable by the Treaty of Breda. Memorandum showing what is contained in the report to the King (see ante, No. 756), and insisted on in the memorial of Sir W. Lockhart but when a power shall come from France to treat this business here then will it be fit to see in the first place what proofs from persons and papers are ready to vouch and justify the demands which are mentioned in Mr. Slingesby's draft. Lieutenant Greatbach says that the English now in possession in St. Christopher's were most of them restored upon very hard terms, as namely by payment of the price mentioned in the contract and giving allowance for meliorations, which is but an ill precedent. Memorandum.—That for the English who did not put in their claims in St. Christopher's no care is now to be taken, forasmuch as Colonel Stapleton and the Council of St. Christopher's thought fit to dispose of such lands, they lying waste, they are given to industrious persons who have since improved them. Memorandum on 17th Jan.—I (Sir R. South well) received from Mr. Angier at Paris all the papers Sir Wm. Lockhart had with him touching the business of St. Christopher's. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol CIV., pp. 57–59.]
[Jan. 10.] 779. Petition of several merchants of London adventures to the Caribbee Islands to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Testify to the courage and prudence of Colonel Philip Warner, Governor of Antigua, a man of great loyalty, and to the forbearance and barbarous conduct of the Indians of Dominica who have often attempted the ruin of the plantation chiefly by the treacherous contrivance of an Indian named Warner; that Colonel Stapleton on the address of the Council and Assembly of Antigua commissions Colonel Warner to raise soldiers and go to Dominica to destroy those barbarous savages who by surprise, "it not being otherwise to be done," said Indian Warner and several savages were killed for which Colonel Philip Warner stands ordered to be tried at Barbadoes which petitioners fear will be a great encouragement to those infidels, ruin to Colonel Warner his wife and nine children, and an obsolute overthrow of Antigua and the trade of petitioners to that Colony. Pray their Lordships to present this petition to his Majesty and move him to enlarge Colonel Warner, or appoint his trial in England or in Nevis or any of the Leeward Isles. Signed by Bastian Bayer and twelve others. Endorsed: "Read. from his brother Sir Thos. Warner, 10 Jan. 1676. Read 10 Jan. 1675–76."[Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVI., No. 5.]
Jan. 11.
780. The King to the Royal African Company and four other Merchant Companies. His Majesty having for the encouragement of the art of navigation thought fit by Letters Patent of 19th August 1673 to establish and endow a foundation within Christ's Hospital for 40 poor boys therein to be instructed in the art of navigation and the whole science of arithmetic, and reflecting on the proof which through the industry and ability of John Leeke, the first Master, has been given of the effects of his bounty, in the extraordinary proficiency of 15 of the children first chosen into the said school, as upon strict examination by the Master and Wardens of the Trinity House of Deptford Strand has been largely repre sented to his Majesty, has, for the encouragement of able and sober Masters to entertain the said children as apprentices, granted to the Governors of the said Hospital for ever by Letters Patents now passing an allowance of common seaman's pay, being 19s. per lunar month, to be given for three years to each master who shall take one of the said children as apprentice. And his Majesty most effectually recommends to them the promotion of this work as often as they shall he applied to by the Governors of the said Hospital on that behalf, as a matter well pleasing to God and profitable to the public. 2½ pp. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. XLII., pp. 20–22.]
Jan. 12. 781. Secretary Sir Joseph Williamson to Lord Vaugham, Governor of Jamaica. Recommends to his favour and protection the bearer Mr. Elletson, a barrister-at-law and of good esteem in his profession, who goes to better his fortune in a climate where he hopes there may be more causes or at least fewer lawyers than in England. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XCIII., p. 146.]
Jan. 13.
782. Journal of the Lords of Trade and Plantations. Three sheets presented to their Lordships being extracts of all the papers of the late Council of Plantations relating to the Leeward Isles under the heads following:—1, An account of the Leeward Isles in general; 2, Points relating to the security and trade of same; 3, The defence and trade of St. Christopher's. Out of all which papers several points were selected and Sir R. Southwell commanded to put those points together and send them in a letter to Captain Gorges, that he and such others who had knowledge of those parts and of what was necessary might either write their opinions thereon or attend their Lordships (see No). Sir Charles Wheler's letter of 7th July 1675 (see ante, No. 618) was also presented, which contains: 1, Account of the Leeward Isles in general above referred to; 2, Points relating to the defence and security of same are also contained in Sir Charles's letter above mentioned and in various letters from Colonel Stapleton, dated in 1672 already calendared; and 3, The defence and trade of St. Christopher's is the paper of Lieutenant Greatbach, abstracted below [annexed No. II.]. Further "points relating to the defence, trade, and security, of the Leeward Islands" are contained in several letters from Sir Charles Wheler and Colonel Stapleton, dated 1672 to 1675 already abstracted under their respective dates. Annexed,—
782. i. Extract of several points relating to the defence and security of St. Christopher's.
782. ii. Lieutenant Greatbach's proposals concerning St. Christopher's. To build a fort at Cleverley Hill and leave a platform of four guns at Sandy Point. Account of guns and ammunition in the stores. The planters have generally fire-arms. The French supply their planters with powder and shot, but ours have to buy their own. The French soldiers are well paid, ours have four years' pay due to them, and the French can bring into the field 400 or 500 men more than we can. Necessary to have a small man-ofwar in time of peace. [Col. Papers Vol. XXXVI., Nos. 6, 7; Col. Entry Bks., Vol. XLVI., pp. 39–48, and Vol. CIV., pp. 59, 60.]
Jan. 13. 783. "Minutes concerning Religion and the security of St. Christopher's." The Lords of Trade and Plantations having heard the state of the Leeward Islands as to trade and defence out of three several papers, have reduced their thoughts to the heads following in order to prepare a report for the better defence of St. Christopher's and the good of the other plantations:—1 st. About the state of religion in those parts and the want of ministers, when fit proposals can be presented that the bishop of London be discoursed withall to put some better regulation to this great and shameful neglect. Mem.—Touching the christening of negroes. 2ndly. Their Lordships hold it absolutely necessary to have the two companies completed to their complement of 80 men in each, and that there be a certain fund for their pay, and whether all the present soldiers be made planters as Sir Charles Wheler proposes, and two new full companies from Barbadoes or elsewhere raised left for consideration. Also about sending off malefactors condemned to transportation till the island be reasonably stored; also, as Sir Charles proposes, if poor debtors in prison go and serve for four years as there is so great a necessity of white servants. 3rdly. Supply of ordnance, arms, and ammunition. A fifth-rate frigate. A Court of Admiralty. The building a governor's house. Forts. The harbour of Antigua. Stores for Nevis, and about the three islands, Statia, &c. (Saba and Tortola). 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVI., No. 8.]
Jan. 15. 784. [Sir Robert Southwell] to Captain Gorges. The Lords of Trade and Plantations, being very solicitous for the good of the Leeward islands, have debated several points:—1st, upon advice from Colonel Stapleton that there were some ministers and schoolmasters in Nevis but none in the rest of the leeward Islands, their Lordships thought it a very shameful neglect, and are resolved to procure some redress. The bishop of London is well-disposed to send able men to those parts, with assurance of good preferment at their return; is commanded to ask him how this good work may most properly be promoted who can say much in the matter himself, and to consult with those who know most to frame a proposal how many ministers are necessary, how to be qualified for those parts, and their subsistence, and lastly, to give his thoughts on the point of christening negroes, and what the French and other nations practice in this particular. Advantages of sending out good ministers. 2ndly. As to the defence of St. Christopher's; completing the two companies, and establishing a fund for their constant pay. Describes Sir Charles Wheler's and Colonel Stapelton's proposals on this matter. 3rdly. It is proposed, for the better filling that island with white men, that malefactors be transported thither, and Sir Chas. Wheler adds debtors in gaol willing to go if their debts were paid, and they would give assurance of their service to planters. 4thly. Also for a supply to be sent of ordnance, arms, and ammunition; and 5thly. That a fifth-rate frigate attend those parts, and the Governor have power to erect a Court of Admiralty. Is told Mr. Scutt is acquainted with those parts, but he knows best who is. [Col. Entry Bks., Vol. XLVI., pp. 49–51, and Vol. CIV., pp. 59–61.]
[Jan. 15]. 785. Journal of the Lords of Trade and Plantations. Ordered, that a particular state be made of the condition of the three islands, Statia, Saba, and Tortola, taken by Colonel Stapleton from the Dutch in this last war, and though to be restored, the Dutch demand them not for fear the French should immediately take them out of their hands. "The question therefore that arises seems to be whether the title of the Dutch be not weakened for want of their making claim, and whether they are to have these islands whenever they call, notwithstanding the improvements which may be made upon them during our possession." State of these islands. Lord Willoughby's account in his letter of 9th July 1668 (see No. 1778 in a previous volume of this Calendar) is recited. Captain Gorges, Lieutenant Greatbach, Mr. Freeman, and other planters of the Leeward Isles inform these islands were first planted by the Dutch, but taken by the English and retaken by the French and Dutch till taken by Colonel Stapleton. Statia about five miles in compass, but Saba a mere rock. It would be most pernicious to the English if possessed by the Dutch in point of defrauding the trade, but the French, in point of power by their nearness to St. Christopher's, would be of great annoyance. Statia the most valuable; Tortola of no value at all. Refers to Sir Charles Wheler's account of Statia (St. Eustatius) in his letter of 14th Dec. 1672 (see No. 987 in previous volume of this Calendar) and Colonel Stapleton's letter of 13th July 1672 (ibid., No. 891), with account of his taking possession of these three islands, and his proceedings in consequence. That Statia was pretty considerable, and had a better fort than any of the English islands there, where he had left 120 armed men and 17 great guns, and upon Saba 40 armed men.
Their Lordships entered into debate about the obligation on Governors to return home bonds according to the acts of navigation, and commanded that this point should enter as an instruction into all the circular letters. [Col. Entry Bks., Vol. CIV., pp. 61, 62, and Vol. XLVI., pp. 52, 53.]
Jan. 17.
786. Governor Stapleton to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Refers to his letter of 20th Dec. last (see ante, No. 748) in justification of his Deputy-Governor of Antigua, who he understands to be a prisoner for his actings against the Caribbee Indians, ever perfidious to the English, occasioned by the deposition of William Hamlin, which Colonel Stapleton shows to be very erroneous for certain given reasons. The fact was committed on shore, and Hamlin master of a sloop was on board, and Indian Warner was killed on shore. Hamlin is a fellow of an evil life, and dare not return to Plymouth, and has since run away to Jamaica, and is now master in a Dutch privateer, and has chased and fired on an English boat. Prays their Lordships to consider the error of the deposition, and how unfortunate and dangerous is the condition of any man that bears command if he must be ruined in his fortune by imprisonment by such malicious informations. Urges in Colonel Warner's behalf, if he has erred in the form of fair fighting and has used stratagem to destroy a skulking heathen enemy, it is not without precedent of all nations who have settled these parts, and in all warlike Christian expeditions the like is in use at this day, and blowing up each other in mines, and destroying one another with trains of gunpowder without giving any notice. They beat up quarters, burn houses, whether the adverse party be armed or naked, awake or asleep, the actors rather applauded than punished. Endorsed, "Rec. and read, 14 April 1676." [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVI., No. 9; and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVI., pp. 91–93.]
(Jan. 19.) 787. Petition of divers of his Majesty's subjects trading to the ports of Europe, and also into his Majesty's dominions in America, to the King. Complain that of late the inhabitants of New England, not regarding the Navigation Acts, trade directly with their own ships to most parts of Europe, and encourage stranges to trade with them, whereby all sorts of merchandise of the produce of Europe are imported directly into New England, and thence carried to all the other of the King's dominions in America, and sold at far cheaper rates than any that can be sent from hence, and that they take in exchange the commodities of the Plantations which are transported to Europe without coming to England, so that New England is become the great mart and staple, by which means the navigation of the kingdom is greatly prejudiced, the King's revenue inexpressibly impaired, the price of home and foreign commodities lessened, trade decreased, and the King's subjects much impoverished. Implore his Majesty to take the whole matter into consideration, and that the New England people may be reduced or compelled to trade according to the laws prescribed. 28 signatures. Endorsed, "Received 19 Jan. 1675/6, read 21, referred for remedy to the Committee, read at the Committee 6 April 1676." 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVI., No. 10.]
788. Copy of preceding, with minute that it was read 28th January 1675–76, and their Lordships resolved to ask the opinion of the Attorney-General thereupon. Annexed,
788. i. Lords of Trade and Plantations to the Attorney-General. Whether by the Act of 25th of the King a ship that lades the commodities there enumerated and pays the duty there imposed, by declaring themselves bound to another of his Majesty's plantations, be not exempted from any other bonds, and at free liberty to carry such commodities to what part of the world they please. 5 pp. [Col. Entry Bks., Vol. LX., pp. 85–90, and Vol. XCVII., p. 28.]
Jan. 21. 789. Journal of the Lords of Trade and Plantations Ordered, that inquiries be made concerning the authority of the Bishop of London over foreign plantations, for which the Charters of Virginia and New England are referred to, most probably about 1629, when Bishop Laud was in chief authority. Great debate on the merchants' petition complaining of the New England trade; consideration deferred. Ordered, that some few lines be put in the letter to be sent to New England, mentioning the great neglect of those people of Boston whosoever answered his Majesty's letter of April 1666, with such a turn by laying the want of earlier notice thereof partly on the public impediments of war, partly in the neglect of prosecution in the parties concerned, so as may reprehend the fault in them, and not draw part thereof on their Lordships' Committee. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CIV., pp. 63, 64.]
Jan. 21. 790. Journal of the Lords of Trade and Plantations. Having ordered a duplicate of the circular letters sent to Lord Vaughan and Sir Jonathan Atkins to be sent also an additional letter, their Lordships altered the draft relating to the oaths for execution of the Acts of trade, and directed the inspection of the Governor's commissions and instructions on that point. Sir Robert Southwell presented a scheme of several heads sent by the late Council to some of the Governors which are to be taken in when letters are next written. Ordered also that an article be entered for keeping due account of all christenings, burials, &c., and that all Governors send home maps of their plantations. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CIV., pp. 63, 64.]
Jan. 21. 791. Journal of the Lords of Trade and Plantations. Captain Gorges, Sir James Russell, Mr. Freeman, and Lieutenant Greatbach attended on the letter sent to Captain Gorges, 15th instant (see ante, No. 784), and all the points therein being debated their Lordships settled upon eight points in relation to St. Christopher's, and ordered a report to be made comprehending the same (see No. 808.)
Mem.—Mr. Huffam, a Minister of Nevis, lies now at Spring Garden at Southwark, and is known to Mr. Freeman. Note the list of what arms are wanting in Nevis; about the harbour of Antigua, which is a furlong over and the forts built thereon by Colonel Stapleton, but without guns. Also touching war with the Indians of Dominica, and about the islands of Statia, Saba, and Tortola. [Col. Entry Bks., Vol. CIV., pp. 64, 65, and Vol. XLVI., p. 54.]
Jan. 23.
792. Journal of the Lords of Trade and Plantations. Letter read from Sir Jonathan Atkins, dated at Barbadoes 21st November / 1st December 1675 (? 20th/30th November, see ante, No. 711), praying for more time to answer the particulars of their Lordships' circular letter. A new letter to be prepared telling him that whereas he refers for information to his letter to Secretary Coventry, their Lordships expect that he himself would make a narrative and deduction of all things since the time of his government there. [Col. Entry Bk., No. CIV., p. 67.]
Jan 23.
St. Jago de la Vega.
793. Journal of the Council of Jamaica. Present: Governor Lord Vaughan, Sir Henry Morgan, Colonels John Coope, Charles Whitfield, and Anthony Collier, Lieutenant-Colonels John Bynd losse, and Thomas Fuller and John White. His Excellency communicated the condition of the parish of St. Maryes, and that the rebellious negroes were not yet reduced; the Council recommend the raising twenty good men to be kept in pay, at least two months, or until said negroes be subdued, that every parish make a contribution, and Colonel Coope be desired to see the men immediately raised and put under the command of Lieutenant Collet, with an assurance that besides their pay they shall receive for the taking and killing of the negro called Peter 20l. sterling, for the negro named Scanderberg 15l., for the negro called Doctor 15l., and for all the rest of the rebellious party 5l. per head, according to the Act; shoes, bread, arms, and ammunition to be advanced out of the Treasury, and repaid from the several parishes as per the rates stated, viz., eleven parishes to contribute 245l. Six Spanish negroes to be sent over to assist with their lances. Proclamations of the Governor prohibiting the selling arms or ammunition to any negro slave without a ticket from his master, or against harbouring, concealing, or conniving at any of the rebellious negroes under severe penalties. Report by Sir Henry Morgan of "unhandsome and misbeseeming words and carriage," which Colonel William Ivey had expressed to the Governor in his own house, and prays that Colonel Ivey be ordered to appear before the Council at their next mceting. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXV., pp. 499–453.]
Jan. 26.
St. Jago de la Vega.
794. Peter Beckford to Secretary Williamson. Has received his of 16th July. Do not find ourselves more than 5,000 fighting men, and about double the number of women and children, and supposes treble the number of negroes. The island daily increases in planting considerably, but by means of the Royal African Company's negroes being at too high rates, they are in continual want of them, so that less sugar is made, and the King's revenue lessened. Arrival of a French man-of-war, who took a "Spaniard" (vessel), their share in money about 80l. a man, besides silks and other rich goods. Port Morant not being fortified our Government could do nothing, but none traded with the Frenchman; my Lord uses all possible means to keep peace with the Spaniards, though they are not so careful on their parts, but they have not been very troublesome lately to our logwood men; if that trade were encouraged it would employ all our privateers, who otherwise will be committing piracies upon the Spaniards for they cannot work. The Spanish fleet at the Havanna and will not sail till end of February, and carry home very great treasure. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVI., No. 11.]
Jan. 28.
795. The Duke of York to Major Andros. Approves of his demand of all the land west of the Connecticut River, as comprised within their Letters Patent, but is not willing he should proceed further, in regard he hopes hereafter for a more convenient means of settling the boundaries, approves of the limitation of Connecticut for the present to a distance of 20 miles from Hudson's river. Cannot but suspect an assembly would be of dangerous consequences, nothing being more known than the aptness of such bodies to assume privileges destructive to the peace of the Government; does not see any use of them which is not as well provided for while the Governor and Council govern according to laws established; however, if he continues of the same opinion, will be ready to consider of any proposals to that purpose. Approves of his taking off the 2 per cent. from goods of America brought into his port, supposing nothing of this kind is to remain beyond the three years just designed. Wishes for a more exact account of the revenue and charge, he having put him in hopes that the Government will be (at least) able to support itself and save the burthen it has been hitherto. Recommends Captain Salisbury, the bearer of the letter. 1 p. Printed in New York Documents III., 235. [Col. Entry Book, Vol, LXX., p. 20b.]
Jan. 28.
St. James'.
796. Sir John Werden to Major Andros. Hopes the scarcity of provisions (mentioned in his letter of the 8th instant) will be no longer so, in regard of taking off of the duty on salt. Whilst the Navigation Act stands in the way, it cannot be obtained to have ships trade directly from Holland to his parts, and his other proposition, to have ships cleared at the out ports without being strictly searched, is so much opposed by the customers that he looks upon it as wholly impracticable. Is not able to judge of his raising the value of pieces of 8 to 6s., but Mr. Delavall thinks they will bear 6s. 6d.; supposes he remembers that the raising of money above its intrinsic value in a country is a certain way of debasing its commodities and therefore a kind of impoverishing it. Caveats will be entered to prevent any new grants to Connecticut till his Royal Highness be heard. In answer to the allegation that the Duke is entitled to all that the Dutch had in those parts and that Connecticut Patent is so uncertainly bounded that it may as well extend as far as Virginia as to what they now claim, it is said to be proved that they had possession of all or most they now enjoy before the Dutch were expelled from New York, and that their patent must be void wholly, if it did not entitle them to the very bowels of their country, and that the King's Commissioners in 1664 settled the boundaries which were assented to by the Duke's Lieutenant-Governor. The Duke on the whole is wishing things should stand as they are at present, but is not sorry the claim is revived, because possibly some good use may be hereafter made of it. The Dutch Ambassador, Mr. Van Beningen, has put in a memorial that the Dutch complain that the Governor imposes the oaths of allegiance and fidelity, and will not declare (as the late Governor did and the articles of surrender to Colonel Nicolls require) that they should not be obliged to bear arms against the Hollanders; he prayed that they might have the oaths in as large a sense as was agreed or else leave to transport themselves and their estates elsewhere. Answered that he did not know of any such declaration under the hand of any preceding Governor, and the only article of surrender of the kind says they shall not be pressed to serve in war against any nation whatsoever, which was directed against pressing (as in the navy in England) and not to exempt inhabitants from bearing part in the common defence; that anyone might withdraw himself and estates freely. Reminds him that it is the Duke's intention to have all persons treated with all possible humanity and gentleness. Knows nothing like a project that he is fonder of than that of setting up a fishery in Long Island, both for the number of hands and shipping it will employ, and the concourse of people it may draw. The value of the timber in the Castle frigate was 400l., so that reckoning the cargo about 1,300l., the charge for wages 800l. and victualling 500l., the Duke was about 2,200l. out of purse by the expedition for the repossessing New York, which he would be heartily glad to see in a fair way of being reimbursed to him. He will do well to look always upon the Duke's territory as bounded northwards by Canada, and when any occasion shall be to take out a new patent, care will be had of fixing the northern limit; may say the like of Delaware;wishes the distinct marks and boundaries of those countries to be sent, and an account of what towns or territories on the west of Connecticut river were actually under the government of Connecticut in April 1662 (the date of their patent). 8 pp. Printed in New York Documents III., 236–238. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXX., p. 21.]
Jan. 28. 797. Journals of the Lords of Trade and Plantations. The merchants' petition read complaining of the trade in New England, and the report of the Commissioners of Customs. Ordered, that a letter be written to the Attorney-General for his opinion in the matter. Inquire whether the Commissioners of London have any under officers in New England, which yet seems not probable, because these grow none of the commodities enumerated in the 25th Car. II. Proposed to take into consideration when they have leisure the value of coins in the plantations, being told that in New England they make money which is alloyed a fourth part to that of England, and that the English 9d. goes for a shilling. Mr. Mason called in to explain the scope of the afore-mentioned petition and how he understood the meaning of the Acts as to the liberty of the trade in that point which is referred to Mr. Attorney. [Col. Entry Book, Vol. CIV., pp. 67, 68.]
Jan. 28.
Council Chamber.
798. Sir Robert Southwell to Sir William Jones, Attorney-General. The Lords of Trade and Plantations desire his opinion on a clause in the Act of 25 Car. II. for better severing the Plantation trade as to the bonds to be given by ships bound to the Plantations. With the Attorney-General's opinion annexed. Endorsed. "8 Feb 1676. Read 6 April 1676." 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVI., No. 12.]
Jan 28.
799. Governor Lord Vaughan to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Received their letter of 11th August [see ante, No. 650] on 29th December last and sends answers to the several heads their Lordships directed. Understands that the body of laws he sent to Secretary Coventry [see ante, No. 538] lie before their Lordships. Hopes they will be approved and his Majesty's assent given to them. The sooner they are returned the better for encouraging people to come when they know the laws they shall be governed by, besides he is tied by his instructions not to re-enact any. Could not possibly get an exact number of the people but has given orders for doing so, there has never yet been any true account kept, all sent home only by guess. Trade and planting considerably improved, the island exceedingly helpful and the children born in it live and are very prosperous, so that the "Croyolians" and natives will in a few years make a great people. Those who removed from Surinam have proved a considerable addition to us, most of them well settled and exceedingly pleased with the Island. Encloses the last six months' account of his Majesty's revenue. Has given Secretary Conventry an account of the fatal loss of his Majesty's stores and how it happened. That he had issued proclamations for liberty of conscience and to call in the privateers for forbidding his Majesty's subjects to serve against his Majesty's allies. Has also stated the true state of our logwood cutting at Cape Catoche and how many interests of this place depend upon it; awaits orders and directions concerning it. A good body of laws await his Majesty's confirmation. Account of their losses and injuries sustained by the Spaniards sent to the Havannah, but a very imperfect answer received. Will, however, be very careful in observing the peace, but the Spaniard's jealousies and fears are so great they have never kept that correspondence with us the treaty requires. Only one fort at San Domingo in Hispaniola few people and very poor, correspondence with them very difficult. The westward part chiefly possessed by French, they have several plantations and live chiefly on tobacco and hunting, the number not so great as four or five years ago. It is feared they may be masters of the whole island at least. Account of Cuba and the Havanna. Hears that some of the Spanish Governors have received licenses to buy negroes, if so, it will be a good opportunity to endeavour to make a contract with them which would contribute to the interest of England and this island. Encloses,
799. i. Account of the revenue at Jamaica from March to September 1675. Total, 754l. 7s. 3d. Also the contingent charges of the Treasury. "Rec. 8 May 1676." 2 pp. [Col.Papers, Vol. XXXVI.,Nos. 13,131.; also Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXIX., pp. 32–40.]
Jan. 28.
800. An account of the present state and condition of His Majesty's Island of Jamaica under the command of his Excellency John Lord Vaughan, Captain-General and Chief Governor of the said Island, this 1st day of January 1676. The situation and commodities of the Island. The laws and rules of Government. The officers, Civil, Ecclesiastical, and Military. The Island divided into 15 parishes, which are named. A Supreme Court of Judicature held at St. Jago de la Vega every three months, consisting of a Chief Justice and four Assistant Judges, a Clerk, Marshal, and Crier. Mrs. (? sic.) Clongh, of the Inner Temple, has a patent for the Clerk's place. Commission and Instructions for Sir Thomas Modyford to be Chief Justice. The Orders and Rules for the Supreme Court at St. Jago. The parishes of the Island make several precincts or countries, in each of which are Courts of Common Pleas and Sessions. Names of the Judge of Common Pleas and his assistants, with their Commissions, Instructions, and Orders and Rules of procedure. Names of the Justices of the Peace, with their Commission. The precincts, with names of Judges and Justices. Commission of the Attorney-General Edmund Ducke, Esq. The offices of Secretary and Provost Marshal. His Majesty has favoured the Island with a mace, brought over by Lord Windsor, and carried before the Governor on solemn occasions; there are also a broad seal, and two Masters in Chancery. Thirty acres of land ordered by His Majesty to be given to every one that comes to settle; survey and tenure. Officers belonging to the Court of Chancery. Surveyors commissioned by the Governor; their Instructions. A Court of Admiralty established at Port Royal, consisting of Sir Henry Morgan and two Assistants, with various officers. The Governor is Judge of the Prerogative Court, and as Ordinary presents all that are qualified for the Ministry; whose maintenance is now appointed by the Assembly, so that they are not left to the mercy of their parishes as formerly. His Majesty's revenue is but small, and arises from quit-rents, fines, forfeitures, and escheats; the land granted in Sir Thomas Modyford's times pays 2s. 6d. per 100 acres, and that granted by Sir Thomas Lynch ½d. per acre. John Crompton appointed to receive the quit-rents; his Commission and Instructions. Edmund Ducke, Esq., for the collection of fines and escheats; his Commission. Reginald Willson, to collect duties raised by an Act of the Government on drink, sugar, indigo, ginger, and cocoa; his Commission and Instructions. Thomas Martin's Patent. Samuel Bernard appointed Treasurer to receive accounts from these officers of the revenue; his Commission. Sir Henry Morgan is also commissioned by His Majesty to be Lieutenant-General; his Orders and Instructions. Seven regiments of foot and one of horse. Names of the parishes in which they are raised, and of their commanding officers, with their Instructions. No fortifications in the Island, but at Port Royal, where there is a castle with 40 guns, called Fort Charles, a platform lately built at Bonham's Point with 13 guns, named Fort James, and a good line nearly finished which cuts off the point from the mainland, to these belong a Captain, Colonel Theodore Cary, who has 6s. per diem, and four matrosses, with 1s. 6d. per diem each, who are the only soldiers in pay in the Island. Trade and commerce of the Island; trade only with England; a naval officer at Port Royal to see that the Acts of Trade and Navigation be punctually observed; his Commission and Instructions. Commission also given to Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Whitfield, at Port Morant, which is a good harbour, and likely to be much frequented. Most of the ships trading from Europe come directly from London, and are between 80 and 100 tons, and some few of greater burden. Their lading is dry goods, servants, liquors, brandy, and all manner of ironwork. &c., for planters; many touch at the Madeiras and bring wine, and return with the Commodities of the Island, hides, and logwood cut at Cape Catoche, which has exceedingly contributed to the lading of ships and keeping up the trade. Some ships come from Ireland with provisions and servants, and return with sugar, tobacco, and logwood. Several merchants at Port Royal have correspondents at Bristol, Chester, Plymouth, Southampton, who supply servants, coarse cloths, provisions, ironwork. It is to the interest of the Island that the trade of Ireland and these other places be encouraged, to disappoint those of New England, who never brought any servants or would take off any goods, but in exchange of their fish, peas, and pork carried away our plate and pieces of eight; but since the Island has begun to have good store of flesh, they begin to leave off that trade. No vessel come from New York these two months. Between Barbadoes and this place two or three vessels are constantly passing, and every day some people remove hither; from the other Caribbee Islands no vessels come unless driven down by storms. There may be about 60 or 70 vessels belonging to the Island, and wholly employed in fetching logwood and salt, turtling and striking manatee, or fishing in the bays of Cuba; others go to Tirise, and the Lagunas of Yucatan; some sloops trade with the French for hides, meat, and tobacco; some have little designs with the Spaniards, and others with Curacao. These small vessels built in the Island pay no tonnage, or any duties, and take out their let passes but once a year, or every six months; it being much to the interest of the Island to encourage them, for they employ abundance of men, bring trade to the Island, and constantly give advice, so that no enemy can surprise the Island. 53pp. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXVIII. 44–96.]
Jan. 28.
801. Governor Lord Vaughan to Sir Robert Southwell. Has received letter and Order in Council from the Lords, and a in answer sent an exact account of the present condition of the Island and Government with a kind of journal of all his proceedings since his arrival. Hopes he has fully observed all their commands, and laid before them all the interests of this place so that Jamacia may be fully understood. The confirmation of their laws exceedingly imports the present and future interest of the Island; has given the Lords divers reasons for the speedy dispatching of them, should they scruple or stick at anything. Sir Thomas Lynch or Captain Molesworth will give their Lordships satisfaction, for indeed the laws are municipal and particularly adapted to the interests of this place, so cannot be clearly understood by those who are strangers. Begs he will let him know how his papers are received and approved. "Rec. 8 May 1676. Read to the Lds. 11th." 1 p. [Col. Papers. Vol. XXXVI., No. 14; also Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXIX., p. 31.]
Jan. 30.
802. Governor Lord Vaughan to Sir Robert Southwell. Sends this only to accompany the bearer, Captain Molesworth, one of the Council and a very "ingenious" person, who will give great information and light concerning the laws, and very agreeably entertain Sir Robert with all the interests of this place. "Received from Captain Molesworth, 3 June 1676." 1p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVI., No. 15.]
Jan. 31.
St. James'.
803. Sir John Werden to Major Andros. Forgot to mention in his long letter of the 28th that none of the previous Governors of New York permitted any foreigner's vessels to pass up the river of New York to sell their goods up at Albany, or elsewhere in the country, but obliged them always to sell what they had at New York., thereby securing better the public duties at New York and enriching the people there by giving them the opportunity of the first markets, and of keeping the beaver trade in the hands of the inhabitants of the colony, whereas tis said Andros permits the Bostoners and other strangers to go up in their small vessels to Esopus and Albany, and elsewhere, as freely as the very natural subjects of his Royal Highness's colony. Will be glad to have his reasons for a proceeding different from what was heretofore thought best for the place. ¾ p. Printed in New York Documents, III., 238. [Col. Entry Bk., No. LXX., p. 21 b.]
804. Two Acts passed in the Island of Antigua, viz.: For the regulating of certain clauses in an Act of this Island entituled an Act for extending of lands and goods for debts and mulcts; and for the establishing the six towns or places of trade within this island for the encouragement of trade and commerce. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. L., pp. 299–304.]
Jan. 805. "Briviate of the behaviour of the Dutch General at the Castle of St. George de Mina in Guines towards the English General there and the English interlopers upon that coast." About May 1675 a Dutch West India ship seized the Hope of Dover, with the King's pass, with cargo amounting to 3,700l., carried it into the port of St. George de Mina, and made prize of it. About January 1676, the Alice of London, John Gribble, master, was chased on the coast of Guinea by several of the English (Royal African) Company's ships, but fell into the hands of a Dutch ship, and was carried to the port of De Mina, and all her cargo disposed of. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVI., No. 16.]