America and West Indies: June 1676

Pages 399-417

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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June 1676

June 1.
James' City,
939. William Sherwood to Secretary Sir Joseph Williamson. Account of the ravages committed by the Susquehannahs; forts ordered by the Assembly in March last to be built at the heads of the several rivers for security of our frontier plantations. A great number of indigent and disaffected persons stirred up by Nathaniel Bacon, junior, of but little experience, and but of two years continuance in the Colony, who "thinking himself wiser than the law, raised forces by beat of drum to obstruct the proceedings of the Assembly to the terror of his Majesty's good subjects." Evil effects of his proceedings "the rabble giving out they will have their own laws, demanding the Militia to be settled in them with such like rebellious practices." This country has had 34 years' experience of the valour, conduct, and justice of their Governor, whose declaration will inform more fully of our present condition. Encloses,—
939. i. Declaration of Governor Sir William Berkeley. Setting forth that Nathaniel Bacon, junior, Henrico County, with divers rude, dissolute, and tumultuous persons, contrary to their allegiance to the King, have unlawfully and tumultuouslytaken arms withoutcommission from the Governor; suspending said Bacon from the Council of Virginia, and all other his offices, and pardoning all his aiders and abettors, except John Sturdevant and Thomas Willford, the chief promoters of said unlawful practices, provided they return to their several habitations before the last day of this instant May. Henrico County, 1676, 10th May. Together, 5 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVII., Nos. 1, 1 I.]
June. 940. Twenty Acts passed at a grand Assembly begun and holden at James' City, 5th June 1676. Titles only, which are as follow, viz: 1, an Act for carrying on a war against the barbarous Indians; 2, concerning Indian trade and traders; 3, concerning Indian lands deserted; 4, for suppressing tumults, routs, &c.; 5, for the regulating of officers and offices; 6, for choosing of vestries; 7, enabling freemen to vote for burgesses and preventing false returns of burgesses; 8, for representatives to vote with the justices at levy courts and making bye laws; 9, for County Courts to appoint their collectors and disabling councillors to vote in County Courts; 10, for the limiting sheriffs, &c., a time to demand the levies and for tenders to be made them; 11, two justices of the quorum to sign probates, &c.; 12, councillors and ministers' families to pay levies and money allowed them; 13, altering the encouragement for killing wolves; 14, for the further prevention of mischief from unruly horses; 15, against exportation of corn; 16, for the suppression of ordinaries; 17, limiting the bounds of James City; 18, repealing laws concerning Accomack and Northampton; 19, of general pardon and oblivion; and, 20, disabling Edward Hill and John Stith to bear office. Signed by Sir William Berkeley, Governor, and Thomas Godwin, Speaker. Printed. N.B.—All these Acts and orders were repealed by his Majesty's instructions and proclamation, and also by an Act of Assembly, begun 20th February 1677, declaring them void, null, and repealed. [Col. Entry Bks., Vol. XC., pp. 65, 66, and Vol. XCI., pp. 24, 25.]
941. "Bacon's letter." Doubts the people find too true what he mentioned before the sessions of this Assembly, that no hope of redress is to be had by any other means than an appeal to his Majesty, who he believes has never heard of the nature of their grievances, not been fully informed how hopeful a Colony this is, or how miserable a condition ill-government and oppression have brought it to. Thinks he has discoursed the reason "why the hopes of a redress here by an Assembly in which I suppose all the experienced observers, all unprejudiced and well-minded men, will censure" (sic). First, the poverty of the country is such that all the power is got into the hands of the rich, who, having the common people in their debt, have always oppressed them. This misery of ruin the great ones conniving at, or rather juggling with one another, has perverted all equity and right too. So to the ruin of this Colony, things have been carried by the men at the helm as if it were but to play a booty, gain or divide a spoil. Now consider what hope there is of redress in appealing to the very persons our complaints accuse, who must not only be taxed but disgorge their extortions; consider the nature and quality of the men in power, not only the spungers of the commonalty as to their education, extraction, and learning, as to reputation of honour and honesty, and whether here, as in England, you can perceive men advanced for their noble qualifications of mind or honesty, a good security of the people's confidence. Judge impartially, and see rather that the majesty of power and authority, the dignity of judicature, those precious jewels of the people's safety, have not been abused by juggling mountebanks; let all men weigh whether the interest of a State be not in danger that is entrusted to such hands. True, the hopes of the people were in the Assembly, but see how poor people are debarred of their fair election, the great men having in many places the country in their debt, and consequently in their awe; how meanly we are provided with men of ability and courage, indeed of honesty, to stand up in the people's behalf, and oppose the oppressing party, the artifices, promises, and arguments used to bring over the minds of men in towns, and packing committees, and the badges of disfavour set upon those who speak freely or dissent. How great our grievances have been these many years, and how the Assembly have done answerable to our expectations. When you consider these things you will find it necessary that we send agents home for England, as also because some are gone before to represent many things to the disadvantage of the people, which you will understand. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXI., pp. 241–246.]
June 8.
942. Journal of the Lords of Trade and Plantations. [Thos.] Ludwell, Secretary of Virginia, shows a letter from Virginia concerning the present disturbances in that Colony occasioned both by the insurrection of the neighbouring Indians and by a mutiny of several discontented Englishmen, and promises to give a copy of the letter. [Mem.—He sent in this letter on the 19th current.] He is ordered to attend on Thursday with the other persons concerned in the petition of Sarah Bland, in behalf of her son now in Virginia. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CIV., p. 133.]
June 8. 943. Edward Cranfield to [? Sir R. Southwell]. Has sent papers concerning the business of Surinam. Wishes their Lordships would intercede with his Majesty to procure Pringall and Mackintosh's removal to Jamaica for they were zealous in his service, whereas Simpson and his brother were bitter enemies. Encloses copy of a judgment against this Rowland Simpson for 240l. payable to Andrew Clifford, for the want of which he and his family are now miserable in Jamaica; recommends this in particular, also reminds him of the Lords' report touching "my behaviour in his Majesty's service." 1 p. Encloses,—
943. i. "Sentences upon several actions at Surinam." Extract of the register of the proceedings at the Court held at Paramaribo in Surinam the 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th of July 1675 for the dispatch of the English who depart from hence, in the presence of Governor Peter Vorsterre as President, and of the Commissioners of his Majesty of Great Britain, Edward Cranfield, Captain Richard Dickenson, and Marcus Brandt, and the Commissioners of the States General, Captain Charles Nightingale, Cornelis Snelman, and Alex. Batty; registered by Samuel Nassy. The following were "ordered by sentence to pay," or "to receive of," the persons named with the several amounts specified, viz.: Madame Wale, Arthur Norris, Arthur Gally, Peeter Man ten, William Davision, Henry Ferris, John Spenser, Mathew Hyde, Edward Ware, John Smith, George Gording, William Slade, Robert Hudson, John Horne, George Findel, William Johnson has no debts, Ralph Larcum has no debts, Elias Ely, William Yarwood, William Vahan, Richard Scot, Samuel Tare, William Waley, John Persen, Samuel Pinchon, whose payments and receipts occupy almost a page, Roger Philipps, Robert Browne, Walter Greene, Richard Done, Henry Long, John Jones, Andrew Clifford, John Vigars, James Davison, John Horton, Francis Wattson, William Smith, Jos. Rayly, William Heath, Augustin Gavel, Robert Smith, Jos. Starling, Thomas Gambol, Oliver Ampsen, John Chambers, Charles Graves, Geny Dory, Jeremy Westropp, Edward Sauls, William Johnson, David Hutton, Mary Orpeth, George Maskel, Alex. Sims, John Hoger, John Stalworthy, Teyge Mekmemare, John Lewens, John Willoby, Alex. Wilson, William Wyate, Henry Danfort, William Dobeson, Steeven Vissier, John Johnson Sonius, William Carpentier, Abraham Walker, Alex. Lark, John Cremar, Abraham Backer, John Haynes, Benjamin Peine (?), and Andrew Knights. Endorsed as above. 14¼ pp.
943. ii. Petition of William Pringall and Henry Mackintosh, planters in Surinam, to Edward Cranfield. Complain that through a contract made with Rowland Simpson he would not suffer either of them to go off [Surinam], though they proffered to lose all their own and their slaves' time since they came to the Plantation. Desire he will acquaint his Majesty and assist them to the utmost of his ability. Signed by Petitioners. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVII., Nos 2, 2 I., II.]
June 13. 944. Agreement between the Lords Proprietors of Carolina and John Berkeley, Simon Perkins, Anthony Lane, and John Pettitt. To set out to them one whole colony of 12,000 acres of land, not before granted, where they shall choose, on condition that within five years they build upon said colony one town to contain thirty houses, and four in family in each house. One-fifth part of said houses and proportion of inhabitants to be brought in every year, fifty acres of land to be annexed to each house, the builder of each house to enjoy the freehold to him and his heirs for ever on payment of 1d. per acre to said Lords Proprietors, the first payment on Lady Day 1690. Any occupying 50 acres, and being four in family, may take up 350 acres more before 1690, with sundry other privileges. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XX., pp. 105–107.]
June 13.
945. Governor Leverett to Secretary Coventry. Acknowledges the receipt on the 10th instant of the King's letter of 10th March, by the hand of Mr. Edward Randolph (see ante, No. 838), in whose presence the letter and the petitions of Mr. Gorges and Mr. Mason were read the same day in Council, whereby they have received a full demonstration of the King's favour and justice in imparting the matters of complaint against them, and thereby a further obligation to dutiful obedience. Though at present the heavy pressure of the Indian war, together with an epidemical sickness, impedes the convening of the General Court, with whom, according to their constitution by patent, it lies to make answer to the complaints, which will by the first opportunity be attended with all dutifulness and diligence, yet it was thought their duty by this conveyance to let the King through his Honour understand both the receipt of the letters and petitions, and that the matters of complaint in the petitions are impertinencies, mistakes, and falsehoods, proof whereof will be made out in their more particular answer. Though they deny not (but that not by any force, as is suggested), but by the just and plain extent of their patent line (as they conceive), and on the earnest solicitation of the inhabitants in those northern parts, being then wholly deserted by the present claimers, are now under the King's government in this colony established. They fear not to submit the whole matter to a just and equal determination, not doubting of the King's clemency and favour. Much trouble and charge, they are sure, has been contracted to maintain justice among them, besides much expense of men and money for their defence in the Indian war. Are sure that, being a government constituted by the charter of the late King and encouraged by the present King's gracious declaration, especially in 1662, they will still be cherished. Signed by "John Leverett, Governor, with the consent and advice of the Council." Endorsed: "Recd. from Mr. Bunne, Sept. 14; read, Nov. 2." [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVII., No. 3; also Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LX., pp. 111–113.]
June 13–14. 946. Journal of Assembly of Barbadoes. Act for binding out poor children apprentices to arts, trades, and services, passed. Finding it needful to make some explanation of the late Acts concerning negroes, and to prevent the bringing of Indian slaves, as well as to send away those already brought to this Island, "being thought a people of too subtle, bloody, and dangerous nature and inclination to remain here," the Bill now read entitled an Act of Explanation to the Act of negroes and to prohibit the bringing of Indian slaves to this Island was passed.
June 14. Ordered that the Treasurer, out of the excise on liquors imported, pay to Governor Atkins the sum of 200,000 lbs. of muscovado sugar presented to him by the country for his better support in the government of this Island. Also to Thomas Rawlins, gunner of the forts at Austins Bay, his salary. Further debate and addition made to the Act of Explanation, which was then passed. Queries presented by merchants of St. Michael's to the Assembly containing grievances of the oppression of excessive and new invented fees taken by the officers. Ordered that copy be given to Edwyn Stede, Deputy Secretary, who is directed to appear at their next sitting. Address of the Assembly to the Governor and Council thereon. Ordered that a list of all fees demanded be sent to the Clerk of this House. Adjourned to 11th July next. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XIII., pp. 222–226.]
June 14.
947. Secretary Coventry to Sir Jonathan Atkins, Governor of Barbadoes. The bearer, Captain Alexander (? mistake for Abraham) Langford, is a person who hath done his Majesty very considerable service in many places, and particularly in the Colonies and West Indies, in consideration whereof his Majesty has granted him the place of Clerk of the Navy Office in Barbadoes as part reward and encouragement. Doubts not this will prevail with the Governor to show Captain Langford all favour in admitting him into said office, that he may execute same peaceably, "yet my particular kindness unto him in regard of his own merits and the respect I bear to some of his friends, makes me add my recommendation also in his behalf, which I hope will not be ineffectual.' [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CX., p. 93.]
June 14.
Office of the Ordnance.
948. Estimate of the charge of the gunpowder, arms, and small shot, hand grandades, &c., herewith mentioned, to be forthwith provided and issued out of his Majesty's stores and sent to Virginia. Total, 2,497l. 6s. 8d. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXX., p. 68.]
June 15. 949. Mem.—On 15th June Thomas Ludwell, Colonel Morryson, and Colonel Smith, agents for Virginia, as also Colonel Parks, attend the Lords of Trade and Plantations on petition of Sarah Bland in answer whereto is read the answer of Thomas Ludwell. That he has seen copy of petition presented by Sarah Bland to the King, and a reference to their Lordships for a hearing on the 6th of this instant June "and finding himself more particularly concerned as being bespattered with a part of that dirt which is thrown upon the whole Government of Virginia by the said Mistris Bland," he begs their Lordships' leave and patience to receive this his answer to the particulars of said petition. The Act of the Grand Assembly of Virginia of 21st Sept. 1674 against Giles Bland and Order of the Governor and General Court of 21st Nov. 1674 for fining Bland 500l. referred to in Ludwell's answer are both abstracted in the previous volume of this Calendar under their respective dates, see Nos. 1353, 1390. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVII, No. 4; also Col. Entry Bk., No. LXXX., pp. 59–64.]
June 15.
950. Journal of the Lords of Trade and Plantations. Sarah Bland's petition and Ludwell's answer, with the Order of the Governor and Council of Virginia imposing a fine of 500l. on Giles Bland, read. It was urged by Mrs. Bland's counsel that the Council [of Virginia] could not impose fines for an affront done to another Court, but that his trial ought to have been by a jury; but their Lordships conceived that a Council table was invested with many authorities that had in all times been exercised and allowed of; and that it will be hard, in so remote a place as Virginia, to support the Government if there were not an extraordinary power in the Board for emergent occasions. And considering Mrs. Bland's petition much reflected on the honour of the Council, their Lordships thought it necessary to have a copy sent over for an answer. My Lord Privy Seal at first dissented, saying it appeared to him Ludwell was qualified to make sufficient answer for the Council of Virginia, but if not, his Lordship would concur in sending over the petition. Ludwell being called in declared he had no authority from the Governor or Council in writing to manage this cause. Whereupon, ordered that report be drawn to his Majesty that copy of Mrs. Bland's petition be sent to the Governor and Council of Virginia for their defence in writing, or else to empower somebody here to answer for them and to be allowed six months time, no advantage to be taken in the interim as to the forfeiture of the fine imposed. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CIV., pp. 141, 142.]
June 15.
Council Chamber.
951. Report of the Lords of Trade and Plantations to the King. On petition of Sarah Bland in behalf of her son Giles, that the matter has been argued before them by counsel learned on both sides, but forasmuch as said petition reflects upon the honour of the Council of Virginia and the legality of their proceedings, and that it is fit the Governor and Council should have opportunity to make their just defence, their Lordships propose that copy of said petition be sent to Virginia with allowance of six months for their answer. Mem.—On 27th July following, this report was presented, but their Lordships being informed that Mrs. Bland had prepared a petition to his Majesty, desiring leave to retract those unadvised and offensive expressions contained in her former petition, they think fit to expect his Majesty's orders thereon before said report be presented in Council. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVII., No. 5, and Col. Entry Bks., Vol. LXXX., p. 67, and Vol. CIV., p. 184.]
June 15.
952. Governor Leverett to [Secretary Sir Joseph Williamson]. Received his letter from Whitehall, of 20th March [see ante, No. 846], on 10th June, and understands thereby his favourable acceptance of what he wrote on 18th Dec. [see ante, No. 745], with a manifestation of the King's gracious and compassionate resentment of the condition of these and others of his American plantations as being under the effects of a united conspiracy of the heathens. Thanks him for expressing his readiness to serve them, and gives an account of what has passed since December. Their forces joined with those of Plymouth and Connecticut in the Narragansett country under the conduct of Josiah Winslow, Governor of Plymouth, the enemy having done much spoil on the persons and estates of the people there, and in a very cold and tempestuous season at the end of December after a hard march fell upon the enemy in their advantageous quarter, environed with a swamp and within it some fortification, of which their men by the good hand of God became masters after some hours spent in a hot dispute, with the loss of five captains and about 75 men, and many wounded, the enemy having lost divers hundreds with all their habitations; the severity of the weather necessitating a march to their own quarters, where their provisions were, having only one house of Mr. Richard Smith's to retire to, scarce sufficient for the receiving their wounded men, the rest sheltered only by little huts under a stone wall; the men a little recruited, there were issuings forth towards the enemy, whereby much of their corn was seized, many of them taken and killed; the forces being recruited, six weeks after marched after the enemy, drove them from the sea-side up the country, whereby they were reduced to great difficulties and lost several of their people. The forces having spent several days in the wilderness and spent their provisions marched home again. Philip, with the upland Indians, a considerable number, having marched from the English towns on Connecticut River towards the Dutch at Albany to obtain a quiet quarter for the winter season, the Eastern Indians having likewise drawn off up into the wilderness, little action passed there except by some skulkers. The enemy driven from the sea-side, recruiting and joining with some of the inland Indians fell on several out and scattered plantations, where they did much spoil by firing houses, destroying persons and cattle, and taking captives, especially at Lancaster, the forces of the Colonies marched forth and gave some check to the enemies, by taking prisoners and killing many, some of their principal sachems, amongst others Quananshit, the chief sachem of the Narragansetts. Philip assailed the western towns on Connecticut River but was repulsed, and those with him retire to their fishing and planting higher up the river, while from the towns 200 issued forth, fell in upon the enemies' quarters and did considerable spoil, but relief coming in from other parts, were forced to retreat, and in the retreat the captain and above 30 more were lost. Several opportunities have since been sought to engage the enemy, which they decline, yet several have been taken and slain, this last week about 100; their last intelligence by some captain is that the greatest number of the enemy are gone up towards the head of Connecticut River, where they have planted much corn on the interval (sic) lands and seated three forts very advantageously in respect of the difficulty of coming at them; their forces with Connecticut are ordered to join to endeavour the assailing of the enemy, and they expect in a few days to hear of an action. The eastern parts have been and are quiet, many come in, others coming in, professing desire to be at peace, others say they never acted in hostility but withdrew to avoid engaging in the war, others that have been active and had taken prisoners delivered up their captives freely, so that it is hoped they are real, but a strict eye will be kept on them Several are come in to Connecticut and stragglers are coming in from day to day, who say that the generality are weary of the war, but some are desperate and resolve to hold it out to the last. The hand of God has been heavy on the Colonies by an epidemical distemper of colds and thereby putrid fevers, whereby many have been brought low and others removed by death, so that the Colonies are brought low, yet resolved to prosecute the war to the utmost, and hope in His good time to give an account of the Lord's delivery of them. Since December by the nearest computation they have had slain and taken captive about 340, the captives being about 40, of them redeemed and returned above 20. They have report of the enemy assailing Hadley on the Connecticut River on the 12th instant, where it is reported they were repulsed with considerable loss; their own forces lost four men, but they have not an account of the particulars. The enemy's great body is in those parts, to engage whom they have sent considerable forces and expect to hear of action speedily, if the great rains prevent not. 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVII., No. 6.]
June 17.
953. Edward Randolph to Secretary Coventry. Having landed at Boston, the metropolis of the American plantations, on the 10th instant, waited on the Governor, showed him the King's pass, and, according to the instructions given to the master of the ship in which he sailed, to act in case of his miscarriage at sea, himself having only a verbal order, acquainted the Governor with the cause of his coming over and asked him to assemble the magistrates as soon as might be; was told that a Council had been appointed on other business that afternoon, which he attended and delivered the King's letter that included Mason and Gorges' petitions; they being read by the Secretary in his presence, the Governor told the Council that the matters contained in the petitions were very inconsiderable things, easily answered, and it did in no way concern that government to take notice thereof; informed them that after due advice they were to give a full answer to the King's letter with all convenient speed; they asked by what order he made that demand, desired him to produce it, for as yet it did not appear to them that he was further empowered by the King's than to deliver his letter and hear it read; replied that what he had there demanded he would answer at Whitehall. Monday following they sent their Secretary to his lodging to know what further instructions he had to communicate to the Council; showed the Secretary a general order given to the master of the ship, and permitted him at his request to carry it to the Council; after two days' consideration it was resolved that thanks be returned to the King for his gracious letter and an answer forthwith sent by a master of a ship ready to sail for London. Thursday following was sent for to the Court; the Governor asked if he intended for London by that ship; if so, he should have a duplicate of their letter to the King then or at any other time when he did return, but not the original, for that was to accompany the Governor's particular answer to a letter from Sir Joseph Williamson by the same master of the ship Randolph came with; asked if they had well considered on the King's letter in so short a time and had concluded on their agents and their time of going for England; he said the Council looked on Randolph as only Mason's agent, and if he had nothing further from the King to them he might withdraw. Knows not the contents of their letter, but is credibly informed they defer the business till October next when their General Council is to meet; these are their usual methods of discountenancing all affairs that come to them from the King; cannot expect better when they yet glory in their affronting Sir Robert Carr and other of the King's commissioners, neither are they to learn that old trade of inventing and spreading false reports which are easily credited coming (as they say) from very honest men in England, viz., "that upon his Majesty's intentions of suppressing all noncomformists' meetings last March they were all in an uproar and going to cut one another's throats and that his Majesty intends to alter the Government and bring episcopacy into New England, a thing more dreaded than the Indian war, by such cunning pretences whole herds of the meaner inhabitants are frighted from their obedience to his Majesty into the toils of their unlimited authority." Friday, waited on the Governor at his house for the answer of the King's letter, but he refused that or the duplicate till Randolph was ready to sail; discoursing with him about several ships arrived in the harbour (since his coming) from Europe contrary to the Navigation Acts, he freely declared that the laws made by the King and Parliamant oblige them in nothing but what consists with the interest of New England, that the legislative power abides in them freely to make laws not repugnant to the laws of England by their charter, and that all matters in difference are to be concluded by their final determination, denying any appeal to the King. Since his coming some have declared that the King cannot retrench their liberties, but may, if he please, enlarge them. The commissions granted to their officers in these Indian wars are in their names and authority, allowing to the King only magni nominis umbra; the sea-coast towns, especially Boston and Piscataqua, are the residence for foreigners and English factors that have foreign commissions for trade; there is not any form of a Custom House, but a small acknowledgment collected on goods imported by the Governor and the late Treasurer's sons who pay the surplusage of their salary, if any, to the common stock. Since the 10th instant there have arrived from Nantes a Bostoner, 100 tons, Clutterbuck, master, laden with 50 butts brandy and French commodities, a pink of Boston from France, of 70 tons, with 12 tun of brandy, wine, &c., a Scotsman, 130 tons, from the Canaries, with 80 pipes of Canary, a Bostoner, 80 tons, from the Canaries with 50 pipes of Canary, this day a ketch of Southampton from Canary, contents and burthen does not know. About a month ago a Bostoner, 150 tons, from the Canary with 70 pipes of wine, and about the same time another Bostoner, 160 tons, from the Straits with Malaga wines, oils, &c; does not know what has come into the Piscataqua River and other ports there. Government consists of a Governor, 11 Magistrates and a Secretary, all yearly chosen, most of them inconsiderable mechanies packed by the prevailing party of factious ministry who have a fellow-feeling both in the command and profit; none capable of election but church members, confiding men, such as have signally expressed their affection to the Government; these lay what impositions they please; a tax of 20,000l. is out of hand to be collected for payment of the army greatly discontented and in great arrears and for defraying the public charges of the war; no accounts audited or debts paid notwithstanding several great sums of money have been gathered with a duty of 4d. per quarter on all malt imported from England for two years past. The clergy generally inclined to sedition, being proud, ignorant, and imperious; Owen and others, ejusdem farinae, are in great veneration, yet there are some civil gentlemen among them that on all occasions express their duty to the King, abominating the hypocrisy of their pharisaical sanhedrim. Standing militia of the country consistis of 10,000 foot and 1,000 horse; they can on occasion raise 20,000 more; magazines of arms and ammunition indifferently stored; the Indian wars have been expenseful to them; is told they want 1,000 good arms. Among the Commanders Major Thomas Savage, a gentleman of very good family in England and loyal principles is chief in the soldiers' affections, being the only field officer that faced the Indians; Goffe, the old rebel, is still in the country, narrowly escaped the Major in the southern parts, where he and others are harboured by their antimonarchical proselytes; one Dennison is Major-General and Chief Commander, a prudent man that sat at home in Council, being indisposed to fight, dividing the spoil with the magistrates, his brethren of, the captive Indians. Major Winslow, General of the southern forces, is a stout commander, well-beloved, and on good occasion will freely act for the King's service; many in the very magistracy, clergy, army, merchants, and commoners, that highly affect the King's interest, but the daily abuses and discouragements offered to such in whom appears the least suspicion of loyalty make them conceal themselves till the King should fully resolve upon reducing the plantation to their due obedience; this summer would have effected it with very small trouble and charge, for the least stop on their trade, together with the present disturbance from the Indians, would turn them all on their magistrates and force them to an humble and ready submission. Is confidently assured by those that well understand the affairs of the country that 3 frigates of 40 guns, with 3 ketches well manned, lying a league or two below Boston, with express orders to seize all shipping and perform other acts of hostility against these revolters would bring them to the King's terms, and do more in one week than all the orders of King and Council in seven years; there are several empirics in England that bolster up the deformed anarchy with lying delusions, sometimes informing that the King is persuaded to sign letters and orders, and does not really intend what he writes. Their trade has been somewhat obstructed by the Indian war; there are discourses of a peace, that several hundreds have surrendered themselves upon Articles in Maine and New Hampshire. The war in King Philip's country is smartly prosecuted by General Winslow with good success, and they question not but to give them a total overthrow next winter, if not before, having reduced them to great extremities and killed most of their chief leaders. Notwithstanding the disturbances the fishermen have made very good voyages, having killed above 12,000 kintals of cod fish at the Islands of Thold (?), besides other places; the fish is exported to Spain, France, and other parts, and brings in 50,000l. yearly to the markets, the masts and timber for shipping, sent to Barbados and other of the Carib Islands, make profitable returns in barter, besides above 1,000 tons of logwood yearly fetched from the Bay of Campeachy. The maritime towns are well stored with mariners, fishermen, and carpenters; they build yearly several ships of good burthen, beside ketches and barques, and for these seven last years, communibus annis, they have launched 20 ships, some of 100 tons, and this year 30 were ordered to be set on the stocks by the merchants in England, who make their returns from hence in new shipping, but the wars have prevented that number, yet there are at Boston, Charlestown, Salisbury, and other places, above 12 building, some, he is informed, upwards of 160 tons. 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVII., No. 7.]
June 20.
954. Governor Stapleton to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Has received their commands of 14th April last. The inquiries being numerous, require time. Returns thanks for their Lordships' favourable report of himself and two companies in St. Christopher's, but are as yet destitute of the effects of their care, and of the benefit of his Majesty's order for arrears and recruits. Acknowledges their Lordships' particular letter relating to a due observation of the Acts of Trade; encloses copy of the King's orders, and the Commissioners of Customs' directions about same. The Secretary keeps all bonds; by acts and custom of these islands there is a condition that the masters shall carry no person off without a ticket from the Governor; persons indebted, felons, servants, and negroes having often made their escape to the ruin of many. Has sent every year to the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Customs lists of the ships, masters, tonnage, and ports they belong to. Has often to go to the islands in small boats to his great cost and danger of life as lately to Antigua and Montserrat to settle "their distracted thoughts of deserting them (sic) islands through apprehension of Indians inroads by murders, rapes, &c." Asks for explanation of some points in the Acts of Trade. Has already sent map of St. Christopher's, but will endeavour to get another, and will get Antigua drawn, it is of greater difficulty than all the rest, being of larger extent and full of harbours, bays, and creeks. Has in most of his letters represented the importance of destroying the barbarous heathens, the Caribbee Indians, who in the war joined the French in the destruction of his Majesty's subjects, and have since murdered many in Antigua, and had done the same in Montserrat had he not, when particular Governor, secured two perriagoes of them fitted for mischief and landed. Truly the poor planters "in them two islands" are more destroyed by watching and warding for these heathens than by any other casualties, many catching malignant distempers on their guards. Has sent in a more authentic manner of supplication upon this matter under the respective Councils and Representatives hands, which he hopes in due time will be taken into serious consideration. Encloses,
954. i. Commissioners of Customs to the Governor of Nevis, St. Christopher's, Antigua, and Montserrat. Sends his Majesty's letter to him concerning the Acts of Trade and Proclamation prohibiting the importing into any place under his government European commodities which shall not be laden in England, Wales, or Berwick-upon-Tweed, for publication, and give him directions concerning same. Custom House, London, 1675, December 10.
954. ii. The King to Governor Stapleton. The letter above referred to. Whitehall, 1675, December 1. Together, 6 pp. Endorsed, "Rec. 19 Aug. 1676." [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVII., Nos. 8, 8 I., II.; also Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVI., pp. 128–132.]
June 20.
955. Governor Stapleton to Sir Robert Southwell. The hurricane time hinders the correspondence of the islands, so he cannot answer their Lordships' inquiries so soon as expected. Is afraid Lieutenant Greatbach's death may delay the soldiers' arrears if Captain Gorges, Captain Freeman, or his brother should be absent. Highly resents his Honor's kindness on this subject. If my Lord Treasurer knew the condition of the poor soldiers, and what dishonor it is to the nation to have two companies of soldiers barefooted and in a starving condition in sight of French and Dutch, does not question that his Lordship would with expedition pay their arrears. Endorsed, "Rec. 19 Aug. 1676." 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVII., No. 9.]
June 20.
956. Governor Stapleton to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Wishes his Majesty's or their instructions as to whether the French who possess lands in the English part of St. Christopher's are obliged by the Articles of Breda to take the oath of fealty to his Majesty. On sight of any Dutch fleet they go in arms under the French Governor's commands, and do not say by your leave to his Deputy Governor. Confesses it is not "much material," for trust is equal to be put in them. Has but 2 cwt. of powder and guns ill mounted. Sends to Tortola for timber, as it is wanting in all the islands, except Antigua. Endorsed, "Rec. 19 Aug. 1676." 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVII., No. 10, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVI., pp. 133, 134.]
June 22.
957. Journal of the Lords of Trade and Plantations. Read letter from Lord Vaughan, dated 4th last April, concerning a ship with negroes, which had been arrested as interlopers, in the Court of Admiralty, and taken from that jurisdiction to the Common Law. Ordered that such extract be sent to Dr. Lloyd, Surrogate of the Court of Admiralty, to report the usage and law in England in like cases, and the Royal Company to have notice to attend some person to attend Dr. Lloyd to give the necessary information for the better understanding this business. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CIV., p. 148.]
June 23.
958. Sir Philip Lloyd to Dr. Richard Lloyd, Surrogate of the Admiralty. Is commanded by the Lords of Trade and Plantation to send enclosed copy of part of a letter from Governor Lord Vaughan (see ante, No. 916). They think it strange that this cause of the ship with negroes should be so dismissed from the Admiralty there, and desire to be informed of the usage here in cases of this nature, therefore their Lordships request his report. The Deputy Governor of the Royal Company has notice, and presumes he will attend Dr. Lloyd to inform him of the circumstances. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXIX., p. 55.]
June 24.
Port Royal.
959. Peter Beckford to Secretary Sir Joseph Williamson. Arrival of several ships from London and other parts. Our advices from New England tell us that the Indians still prevail much upon the English there, but not so many men, and are in want of provisions; King Philip hath not more than 50 men, but does great mischief. Not more than 2,000 of the Massachusetts in arms, yet the English have garrisoned all their towns, and have soldiers in all their out garrisons. Advice from New York that the New England men have great hopes, with the help of the Mohawks, to do some good upon their enemies. Advice from Curacao of several Dutch men-of-war come into our parts, that they have taken several French privateers, and have made great advantage with their trade with the Spaniards. A Dutch fleet seen on the north side of Jamaica. One Pignier, an Englishman with a French commission near our Island, with considerable "purchase" taken from the Spaniards, but understanding they were all to be hanged if our Governor could lay hold of them, made their way for Tortugas, where they were assured of being better treated. The people of this Island much dissatisfied with the Royal Company, for they are not furnished with negroes as other plantations, so it has become a good trade to buy negroes of the Royal Company's factors in Barbadoes and ship them for Jamaica, buying them at 17l. per head and selling them at 24l. Advice that the Phœnix frigate, Captain Wright, has arrived at Barbadoes bound for Jamaica. Lord Vaughan has been kind to him to a degree. Endorsed, "per the Fortune, Thos. Wilkins." 1 p., with seal. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVII., No. 11.]
June 26.
960. Governor Lord Vaughan to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Arrival of the Phœnix four days since with letters. Sent by the Foresight a new and very exact map of the Island. All their inquiries answered in his letter of 28th January last (see ante, Nos. 799, 800). Has taken care for the erecting and establishing the Naval Office, so that the Acts of Trade and Navigation be strictly observed, and sent to Commissioners of Customs list of all vessels that have entered into bond here since his arrival, and shall every six months transmit like accounts. Intends, if possible, to send the rolls of the Militia in his next. "Rec. 20 Aug. 1676." 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVII., No. 12, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXIX., pp. 90–92.]
June 27.
961. Governor Lord Vaughan to Sir Robert Southwell. Has received his of 15th April by the Phœnix, and two from their Lordships. Hopes they are fully satisfied with what he has from time to time written to them. The most material of the new inquiries are answered in the state of the Government, and the letter sent with it. Thanks for his assurances of friendship. "Rec. 10 Sept. 1676." 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVII., No. 13 and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXIX., p. 92.]
June ? 962. "The Virginians' plea for opposing the Indians without the Governor's order humbly offered as the test of their utmost intentions to clear and vindicate them from all misapprehensions of disloyalty and disobedience." How Virginia has been overrun and almost depopulated by the Indians, the daily discovery of their designs, and the low condition of New England though much abler to oppose them, so we counted ourselves obliged to offer our services against them in the first place, having still so much English blood in us as to account it far more honourable to adventure our lives in opposing them to the last drop of our blood for the security of the Colony and all therein dear to us than to be sneakingly murdered by them in our beds, and to this end we made earnest addresses to the Governor to suppress these troublesome Indians, but he did not grant their request or give hopes of any considerable relief before the next meeting of the Grand Assembly. Between that submission which the Governors' command required of us on the one hand, and the self-preservation and opposition which against such a notorious, cruel, and declared enemy the law of nature and nations in our own and the country's defence allow and call for on the other hand. To prefer such a necessity before order where life and all was concerned, and where our very being lay at the stake, no other present help appearing for our relief, what flesh could endure this? To lie still till we were destroyed by these heathens or past recovery on pain of being accounted rebels and traitors if we opposed them sooner. "Oh, Heavens! what a sad delemma! what an intolerable remediless condition are we fallen into!" If not to lay down our arms and disperse at the Governor's command, shall be censured a mutiny or rebellion and disobedience, when on the other side to lay down our arms and not keep in a body till some further course were taken for our better defence had been against sense and reason to have exposed the lives and fortunes of ourselves and families to the merciless power of a most bloody and barbarous enemy, not to say how much worse condition this Colony might have been in should we wholly have forborne to stand in the gap at such a time as this. Declare that their taking up arms was purely intended to preserve our very being, and not to injure any person or to free ourselves by the sword from any pressures in government, much less to alter it as some would charge us most unjustly with. Submit themselves and all grievances to the King, the Governor, and Grand Assembly for redress as they see cause, and desire most gladly and zealously to approve their constant loyalty to the King and duty to their Governor, with their utter abhorrence of all mutiny and rebellion, or opposition to Governor, so humbly prostrate themselves at his Majesty's feet, and this their hard case and sad condition for his most compassionate consideration and relief. 2½ pp. closely written. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVII., No. 14.]
June ? 963. Petition of Thomas Bacon to the King. That his only son Nathaniel Bacon in Virginia has been unhappily prevailed upon by the importunity of his distressed neighbours to lead them forth without the Governor's Commission, against their cruel and perfidious enemies the Indians, who had murdered divers of his family as well as others. Prays his Majesty's forgiveness for his son, and that he will admit his serious repentance and the manifestation of his innocent intentions and actings in every particular. Encloses,
963. i. Address of the Governor, Council, and Burgesses of Virginia to the King. In relation to the proceedings of Nathaniel Bacon who has fully manifested his intentions by effectual service and execution done upon the enemy, the forward proceedings of the people, though somewhat irregular in the method of their proceedings yet not in the matter which we since have found manifestly sincere and loyal, he was thereupon restored to the Governor's favour. Considering Bacon's activity, the forwardness of the people offering unanimously to be led by him against the implacable enemy, and being satisfied of his loyalty to the King, and good affection to this Government, the Council and Burgesses requested the Governor to issue a commission to Bacon to be General and Commander-in-Chief of the forces to be employed in this Indian war, which was done accordingly, and they are in great hopes shortly to give his Majesty an account of good execution done upon the Indians. Together, 4 pp. [Col. Papers Vol. XXXVII., Nos. 15, 15i.]
June 28.
964. Phillip Ludwell to [Secretary Sir Joseph Williamson]. Account of the distressed condition of this poor country both from the Indians and the rebellious mutiny raised by Nathaniel Bacon, which has come "to that prodigious height that indeed I think no story either ancient or modern can out-do, blood only excepted." Has not yet been two days out of durance, where the Governor, Council, and Burgesses, with divers others were strictly kept by Bacon and about 500 of the scum of the country three days until he had obtained his most unreasonable and illegal demands. Relates the proceedings of the Assembly in March last to take the best means to destroy their Indian enemies by erecting forts at the head of each river until an army could be raised, but while this was in action, Bacon, "a man of little above one year's experience in the country," infused into the people the vast charge this would bring on them, and gathered about him a rabble of the basest sort, and with them began to stand at defiance against the Government. Being "pleasant and sympathetic with the humours," in an instant he infected almost every corner of the country. The Governor perceiving the disease to grow dangerous and by its spreading the cure difficult used all possible means to reclaim Bacon from his mutinous ways, but he still proceeded contrary to positive order and command. His first exploit was to seize two Indians who had always lived in friendship with the English, these he put to death with much horror and cruelty without examining their crime, and drove our neighbour friendly Indians away, who are as necessary to us as dogs to hunt wolves. Hardly 100 friendly Indians on all our borders, and at least 1,500 enemies who continually prey upon our frontier plantations. Bacon's march with about 300 to the Occaneeches who live on an island 150 miles from the falls of James River, the march of the Occaneeches and assault of a fort of the Susquehannahs which they destroyed, and brought back six Mannakin Indians and seven Indians prisoners and the plunder to Bacon who tortured the prisoners to death. Dispute between Persicles, King of the Occaneeches, and Bacon as to division of the plunder, which ended in a fight in which Persicles and 40 or 50 of his Indians were killed, and 16 or 17 of Bacon's men. Bacon then made a hasty retreat, and on his return the Governor again ordered him to lay down his arms, and then was forced to publicly declare him a rebel; but Bacon with 40 armed men came to the Court House and commanded the Sheriff to forbear publishing the Governor's declaration, threatening him terribly if he proceeded, and being the day of election of Burgesses, Bacon was by his ruling party chosen a burgess. On 5th June the Assembly were to meet at James City, and the next day Bacon came down the river in a sloop with about 50 armed men and in the night landed at Sandy Bay, half-a-mile off, where he held a private conference with one Lawrence and one Drummond about three hours and then went to their boats. But they were discovered; an alarm was given and armed boats sent in pursuit, and about three in the afternoon Bacon was taken and brought to town with his men, who were kept guarded, but Bacon released on his parole. After which in open Court he made a full and free submission to the Government, and engaged his honour and estate never to do the like, but to use his utmost endeavours to allay the commotions. He was again sworn of the Council and promised a Commission to raise volunteers against the Indians, but instead of performing his obligations he raised new and heightened the old commotions, got at several places about 500 men, "whose fortunes and inclinations were equally desperate," and with these marched towards the town, which on 23rd June he entered, there being no force to resist him, and drew up his men before the State House, where the Governor, Council, and Burgesses were sitting. After sending out his guards to secure all parts, the Governor sent two of the Council to know what they came for, Bacon replied for a Commission; account of what took place, his refusing the Governor's Commission to be "Commander-in-Chief of all the volunteer soldiers to go against the Indians" and his demand to be "General of all the forces in Virginia against the Indians," the Governor's reply that he would rather have both his hands cut off than grant such a Commission, and challenge to Bacon to decide the controversy with the sword; Bacon's refusal and threats to the Burgesses in the State House where 100 guns ready cocked were presented at them, saying that he would pull down the house and have their blood, with such dreadful new coined oaths "as if he thought God was delighted with his ingenuity in that kind." The House demanded a little respite, and supplicated the Governor to grant the commission in Bacon's form, which was done, and other propositions and demands, very hard ones, were granted, having upon us the expectation of having all our throats cut and the fear of the Indians. The laws of Assembly were sent out to the people to be read, but they rose up like a swarm of bees and swore they would hear no laws nor have any but what they pleased. On Sunday 25th June news came that the Indians had murdered eight of our people, in two places. The Governor sent to call the House together, and desired Sir Henry Chicheley to see Bacon and demand what he intended, that either he should march away to secure the people from the Indians or suffer us to go to our respective countries that a force might be immediately raised to suppress these Indians. The Assembly was then dissolved, but Bacon refused to let the Governor go home to see his family until the next morning, when Bacon marched out of town, "by which all were released from their durance." They have marched to where the last mischief was done, but doubts not they will soon hear of him again. Entreats him to be as he doubts not these agents will be a mediator to the King for this poor languishing country. 6 pp. Closely written. Endorsed by Williamson, "Rec. 3 Sept." [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVII., No. 16.]
June 28.
James City,
965. William Sherwood to [Secretary Williamson]. Refers to his letter of the 1st instant (see ante, No. 939), and thinks it his duty to give a more ample account of the sad condition of this poor and languishing country, through the Indians on the one hand, and far more by the rebellions and outrages of the common people. Ordered by the Assembly that 500 men should immediately be raised for security of the Frontier Plantations, and to join with others when necessary. But Bacon dissuaded the people from submitting to the laws, giving out he would ease them of their levies. The Assembly "of 14 years continuance" dissolved, and in the new elections on 5th instant Bacon was elected Burgess for Henrico county. An armed force sent to compel his submission, but upon his promise not to head any faction he was set at liberty and promised a Commission. Relation of his marching to James City with at least 400 foot, "the scum of the country," and 120 horse, and intimidating the Governor, Council, and Assembly to grant him an immediate Commission as General of all volunteers against the Indians, and to consent to other matters which the Governor, after seeing him and offering to "decide this controversy by their swords," gave way to "for the prevention of the effusion of Christian blood." At the request of the Burgesses, and on the 24th instant, this "forced Commission" was delivered to Bacon, and Captain Gardner was secured by his soldiers. Bacon's entry into the House of Burgesses with his guard and his demands requiring an Act of Indemnity, and the Governor's letter to the King justifying his proceedings, which was done. "Now tag, rag, and bobtail carry a high hand, a guard is set upon the Governor, and the rabble are appointing new councillors." News of fresh murders by the Indians at the head of Chickahomony and New Kent, from whence most of this rabble came, within forty miles of James City, caused a sudden alarm, the Governor sent to Bacon to permit him and the Burgesses to return to their homes for defence against the Indians, which "caused a sooner riddance than otherwise would have been made, and on Monday morning 26th June Bacon with his men marched out of town," but when he intends out against the Indians is not yet known. 4 pp. This is a very similar account to Philip Ludwell's in the preceding letter. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVII., No. 17.]
June. 29.
966. Journal of Committee of Trade and Plantations. Ordered that letter be written to Dr. Lloyd to hasten his report about the ship with negroes at Jamaica which had been dismissed the Admiralty there, and Dr. Lloyd to attend at their Lordships' next meeting. Ordered that the African Company return their answer in writing to the clause of the grievances represented to his Majesty from Barbadoes about negroes mentioned in a letter from Sir Jonathan Atkins of 3⅓ February last, of which they had long since an extract. Paper read about passes for ships going to Newfoundland, and the Commissioners of Customs to write to all ports in England from whence ships go for Newfoundland for an account of those gone thence, at what time, and their burthens; and further to return their opinions how a regulation may be made for passes for such ships in order to prevent all deceit in this matter. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CIV., p. 152.]
June 29.
967. Governor Lord Vaughan to Sir Robert Southwell. Sends duplicate letter to the Lords Commissioners of Appeal concerning Captain Gollop's prize. Longs to hear if his large packets and letters and the map have arrived safely and are approved. Will send one of this town and harbour, being well done, and worth their Lordships' view. Advice of a Dutch squadron come into the Indies under Jacob Binckes, that they had already taken Cayenne, Marigalante, and St. Martin's, and expected recruits from Holland to meet them at Tobago, when they will attack the French Caribbees. Fight about three weeks since of a fleet of Dutch privateers, under command of Captain Mesallman, assisted by two States' ships, with the French, who drew their ships into the form of a half moon and fought well, but the great cannon of the States' ships tore them miserably, so that at last they were all sunk, burnt, or taken, with the loss of near 500 men. There were 11 Dutch ships and 14 French, including the Barriere of France, 40 guns, and three others of 34, 26, and 18 guns. Hopes Sir John Griffith solicits about their laws. "Rec. 30 Aug. 1676 by Capt. Stubbs of the Hannah." [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVII., No. 18, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXIX., pp. 92, 93.]
1675 June
1676 June.
968. The public account of the impost of 2s. per hogshead upon tobacco exported from Virginia. he payments include the Governor's salary paid by the King's instructions, 1,000l. a year, besides 200l. paid by order of the Assembly in lieu of 10s. per hogshead, the salaries of the Councillors, 200l. besides 50l. to those who attend the Assembly, and to Sir Henry Chicheley by order of the Assembly 100l. The "Collections" are, for the year 1675, 23,036 hogsheads of tobacco, amounting to 2,539l. 6s. 2½d., and for the year 1676, 25, 135 hogsheads, amounting to 2,781l. 18s. 4d. Two copies (of 1676) certified by Robert Beverley, Clerk of the Assembly. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVII., Nos. 19, 20, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXX., pp. 165–171.]