America and West Indies: December 1676

Pages 507-514

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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December 1676

[Dec. 4.] 1168. Petition of Eleanor Langdon, widow, and Robert Langdon, citizen and merchant tailor of London, to the King and Council. By the death of petitioner's husband and of both his sons in Barbadoes an estate has come to both petitioners in Barbadoes of 300l. per annum for which they have been in suit in the Court at Barbadoes almost seven years but can get no good end, although a verdict passed for Eleanor about thirteen months past; possession is detained by one Thrale together with 3,000l. arrears of rent. Pray for an order to the Governor of Barbadoes for recovery and possession of what belongs to petitioners. "Read 4 Dec. 1676." [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVIII., No. 72.]
Dec. 5.
1169. Journal of the Lords of Trade and Plantations. Paper containing "The state of the business of Newfoundland and the fishery" read. Ordered that Mr. Pepys be written to for copies of the returns made to the Admiralty concerning Newfoundland by Captains Russell and Wyborne, who went convoys thither last year, and their Lordships will remember to chide them for not having made answer to the heads of enquiry put into their hands. Ordered that Messrs. Parrot and Ryder, agents for the West Country Adventurers, attend next meeting and give account of the West Country charter, and whether the additional rules allowed by the King for the regulation of the fishery are sufficiently settled. Sir John Berry's observations to the papers given in against a colony read, and to be further considered. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CIV., p. 261.]
[Dec. 5.] 1170. "The state of the business of Newfoundland and the fishery" referred to above, and endorsed "Rec. 5 Dec. 1676." This copy is full of corrections in the handwriting of Sir Robert Southwell, secretary to the Lords of Trade and Plantations. The title has also been altered to "An Account of the Colony and Fishery of Newfoundland and the present state thereof," which is certainly more accurate than the above title. Another copy of this document without endorsement appears to be a fair copy of the above, but it is evident further alterations were made in the original after this fair copy was made. 9 pp. Two copies. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVIII., Nos. 73, 74.]
[Dec. 5.] 1171. "French regulations in the fishery of Newfoundland, received from Mr. Secretary Williamson, 5th December 1676." These consist of extracts taken from the registers of St. Malo, and include a list of the names of twenty-nine French ships, with the number of men to each ship, total 1,627 men. French. 9½ pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVIII., No. 75.]
[Dec. 5.] 1172. Title same as preceding, but this is a Decree of the Parliament of Brittany at the request of the noble Burgomasters of St. Malo on the regulations for ships and harbours in Newfoundland. Rennes, 1640. 31st March. French. 18 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVIII., No. 76.]
Dec. 6.
1173. Order of the King in Council. On petition of several merchants of the city of London trading to Virginia and Maryland, for liberty to proceed with their ships bound for those parts, that the Lords of the Admiralty forthwith give order for taking off the embargo whereby said ships may freely proceed on their respective voyages. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXX., p. 135.]
Dec. 6/16.
1174. Governor Sir Jonathan Atkins to the Lords of Trade and Plantations. The rumours of differences with the French lodge them under some apprehensions. Is vigorously putting the Island into a posture to encounter all accidents. A Dutch squadron of ships in these parts, they have taken Cayenne and Marigalante from the French, and all the negroes taken they have transplanted to Tobago where they are fortifying and settling a colony. Doubts their stay will be long for a large French frigate has been met bound for these parts. There is never a frigate of the King's in all these parts, nor has he so much as a boat to send out for intelligence. In want of a quantity of match but of no other stores. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVIII., No. 77; also Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VI., pp. 148, 149.]
Dec. 7.
1175. Journal of the Lords of Trade and Plantations. Letter received from Mr. Pepys of the 6th instant, enclosing several papers sent to the Lords of the Admiralty by Captains Russell and Wyborne, convoy for the fishery of Newfoundland, viz., List of papers concerning Newfoundland and the fishery:—
i. Account of ships fishing between Trepassa and Bay of Bulls by Captain Wyborne, 1676 (two copies).
ii. Account of ships making fishing voyages in Newfoundland in 1676.
iii. Account of fishing ships by Captain Russell, 1676.
iv. Account of the French trade in Newfoundland (two copies).
v. Account of the French ships in Newfoundland, 1676, by Captain Wyborne.
vi. Account of sack ships between Trepassa and Bay of Bulls, 1676.
vii. Account of sack ships between Bonavista and St. John's, 1676, by Captain Russell.
viii. Account of sack ships with their number of men, guns, and tons, 1676.
ix. Account of the English inhabitants in Newfoundland between Bonaventure and Petty Harbour, 1676, by Captain Russell.
x. The names of English inhabitants, their habitations, number of boats, men, wives, children, and servants from Bonaventure to Trepassa.
xi. Total account of the inhabitants, their boats, fish, cattle, &c., from Trepassa to Bay of Bulls, 1676, by Captain Wyborne. 431 people, 9,743 kintals of fish worth 6,347l. 11s., and 75 cattle.
xii. Abstract of the above papers made by order of their Lordships, from which it appears (by Captain Russell's account) that the number of English ships that went this year to fish is 126, the number of men belonging to these ships 4,556, the number of boats belonging to the ships 894, and the fish "made by them" 178,800, worth 112,618l. sterling. The number of French ships 102, with 18 boats to each and five men per boat, 9,180 with 2,040 guns. In "another account" of the number of English ships, &c., the figures vary, but not considerably. Total of English inhabitants, 1,657. This abstract is endorsed "Recd. from Mr. Pepys, 6 Dec. 1676." [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVIII., Nos. 78–91; also Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CIV., pp. 262, 263.]
Dec. 7.
1176. Journal of the Lords of Trade and Plantations. Order in Council of 29th November last read, in which Secretary Coventry is directed to add a clause to his Majesty's letter to Sir Jonathan Atkins commanding him to take bonds of ships suspected by the agents of the Royal African Company; and their Lordships being also directed to give the same instructions to Lord Vaughan and other Governors of His Majesty's plantations, it is thought fit that these words be inserted in the letter now sending to Barbadoes, viz., "We do further in relation to the said Royal Company signify unto you his Majesty's Order in Council of 29th November last, copy enclosed, and require that the same be carefully observed and put in execution." Messrs. Ryder and Parrot attend and present copy of the Western charter containing the additional rules which his Majesty had by Order in Council of 5th May 1675 approved (see ante, No. 550), and inform their Lordships that the charter was settled last spring, and orders sent by an express to Newfoundland to give information of his Majesty's pleasure. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CIV., pp. 263, 264.]
Dec. 8.
1177. Order of the King in Council. That Secretary Coventry insert a clause in his Majesty's intended letter to Governor Atkins to take effectual care that no ship, except in the service of the Royal African Company, be permitted to go to sea on a trading voyage from any port within his government, the cargo of which may be suspected by the Company's agents to be proper for any parts of Africa within said Company's charter, until the master or proprietors of such ship has given security not to go to any part within the limits of said Company's Charter, viz., from Sallee to the Cape of Good Hope, and that they shall not import negroes, gold, elephant's teeth, malagetta, or other commodities of the countries within said Charter. Also that similar directions be sent to Lord Vaughan, Governor of Jamaica, and to the respective Governors of all other his Majesty's American Plantations. 1½ pp. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. I., pp. 59, 60; also Vol. VI., pp. 139, 140.]
Dec. 8.
1178. Order of the King in Council. That, for the greater security of the ships bound to Virginia and Maryland, and to prevent their falling into the hands of the rebels in Virginia, whereby those rebels may be supplied, the Lords of the Admiralty take care that notice be forthwith given to their respective masters to sail for James River for orders from Sir John Berry, Commander of his Majesty's ship the Bristol, before they proceed to their respective ports to trade. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXX., p. 136.]
Dec. 9. 1179. The King to Sir Jonathan Atkins, Governor of Barbadoes.
Trusty, &c. When of our special grace and mere motion we designed you Governor of our Island of Barbadoes, it was not without trial made and experience had of your conduct in other employments wherewith we had entrusted you, and therefore we could not but expect from you a suitable deportment in that government. And we are the more surprised to find foundations laid for the support of government in that our Colony, and for the rendering the same useful in some measure to this our native kingdom, by a due observance of such Acts as the wisdom of Parliament here hath judged necessary and established upon mature consideration, not only shaken by the presumption of some pragmatical spirits there representing them as grievances, but countenanced and encouraged therein by your patronizing and pleading in their behalf, whose duty it was to bend all your reason and interest to have diverted such proceedings, and convince them of their error and danger in the attempt, at least to have refused your concurrence in affairs of that consequence and import till you had acquainted us therewith, and received our pleasure and direction concerning the same. The particulars which chiefly give us offence are these: First, that concerning our Farmers of the four-and-a-half per cent. weighing the casks of sugar; secondly, the complaint of the want of sufficient supply of negroes from the Royal African Company; thirdly, which is the main matter, a dispensation proposed by the Acts of Navigation and Trade; concerning which, when you have reviewed your late address of the 4/14 July 1676 to our Committees of Trade and Plantations, we doubt not you will be so sensible of your mistakes that we shall not need animadvert further thereupon than to tell you, as to the first, that the four-and-a-half per cent., being a revenue acknowledged by those who gave it to be settled and paid as cheerfully as any was by our people, if any hardship did appear in the collection by the Farmers thereof which might be remedied for the ease and convenience of our people, without damage to us by the abuses that are often practised in making casks bigger than the gauge, and ramming sugar therein to a greater weight than the casks are allowed to contain, you, who know how tender we are of our people's good, should have informed us thereof, with the safest way of remedy without promoting the same to a head of complaint, which yet we have under consideration for a regulation if it may be found, and cannot but blame you, the more that, in the close of your large account of that Island, though our Council and Assembly never so much as mention it as a burthen in their address, yet you desire for their encouragements they might be eased for some time of that duty, which themselves never so much as touch upon in their paper of grievances, but, on the contrary, profess as before to pay it with all cheerfulness. To the second, the Sub-Governor and Deputy Governor of the Royal African Company attending the Committees of Trade and Plantations, together with Colonel Thornbury, Agent for that our Island, he did not insist further upon that head, but agreed that the Island had been well supplied for this twelve months' past, and when there was any interruption of sending negroes it was occasioned by the stop of trade in the late Dutch war, and yet we observe you continue this complaint without the least colour for it. As for the third, we had thought you had been too well instructed in the constitution of this government not to know of what evil consequence it is that any of our subjects should, out of Parliament, presume to petition against the laws they must live under, and call them grievances, upon which the whole frame and navigation of this kingdom doth turn. But, above all, we admire that in your accounts to our said Committees which they have laid before us (with commendations, nevertheless, of your answer to all their inquiries) you make a complaint of the desperate condition of all our Plantations, and that they lie under great discouragements (without naming any, as you ought to do if there be anything that is truly so), such general discontented representation no way conducing to our service or the quiet of our people. And, therefore, upon the whole matter, being willing favourably to interpret what you have done to have proceeded rather from surprise, incogitancy, or importunity of some you found there not so well affected to our service as we judge you, than from any ill intention or declination in your zeal to promote the same, according to the trust reposed in you, we choose rather to caution you upon this occasion than to give you that severe reprehension which this action void of those favourable circumstances would require from us, and will yet hope to see your example and diligence for the future not only restore you fully to our good opinion but render you a "President" worthy imitation by the Governors of our other Plantations. And to the end you may be so in all respects we think fit further to take notice of a complaint made to us by the Company of Royal Adventurers trading to Africa that an action hath been brought against their Agent residing under your Government for having seized, according to the power they have by our Royal Charter, a veesel called the Anne of Barbadoes, with her lading of negroes imported thither, and to let you know that you failed in duty to us in suffering the said action to be commenced against the said Company's Agent for acting according to our said Charter, which ought not to be questioned or judged there. And therefore we require you to discountenance this action, and to prevent such proceedings for the future. And we, intending that the said Company of Royal Adventurers shall not by any ways be invaded upon as to the rights of our Charter to them, have thought fit to order in Council that no ships but only such as are in the service of the said Company shall be permitted to go to sea on a trading voyage from any ports or places of any parts of our Plantations in America whose cargo may be suspected by the Agents of the said Company to be proper for any parts of Africa within the said Company's Charter, until such time as the masters, owners, or other proprietors of such ships and vessels have given good security that they will not go to any parts within the limits of the said Royal African Company's Charter, viz., from Sallee to the Cape of Good Hope. And that they shall not import any negroes, gold, elephants' teeth, mallagetta, or other commodities of the countries within our said Charter to any of our said Plantations. We have therefore thought fit to signify our pleasure to you, and do hereby require you to take such bonds accordingly. And so we bid you farewell. Given, &c.
Countersigned by Secretary Coventry. [Col. Entry Bks., Vol. I., pp. 60–63; Vol. VI., pp. 140–144; and Vol. CX.,pp. 103–106].
Dec. 9. 1180. R. P. to [Colonel Jeffreys ?]. Showed his letter concerning the two invalid soldiers set on shore at Deal to the Duke of Monmouth who ordered him to draw a letter for their relief to the Governor of Deal Castle for the Duke to sign. 1 p. Draft with corrections. Annexed,
1180. i. The draft letter above referred to. That Colonel Jeffreys had two soldiers of Captain Picks' company set on shore, one disabled by sickness, the other by an accident wound in his leg, from proceeding to Virginia. It is the King's pleasure they be lodged in some convenient place and be allowed 8d. a day each for their subsistence which shall be paid out of contingencies. He is to send speedy notice to [Mat.] Lock, Secretary to his Majesty's forces, at his office in the Horse Guards, whether they were old soldiers or newly raised and of what company and regiment. Together, 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVIII., Nos. 92, 92 i.]
Dec. 11. 1181. The King to Lord Vaughan, Governor of Jamaica. Taking into consideration a complaint of the Royal African Company that in some of the American Plantations the rights granted to them by charter have been invaded, his Majesty was pleased to order in Council that only ships in the service of said Company be permitted to go to sea in a trading voyage from any places within his government whose cargo may be suspected by the agents of said Company "to be proper for any parts of Africa within the said Company's charter" until security be given not to go to any part within the limits thereof, viz., from Sallee to the Cape of Good Hope, and that they shall not import negroes, gold, elephants' teeth, magalleta, or other commodities of said countries. Requires him to take care that said Order be duly observed. Mem.—The like letter was sent to Colonel William Stapleton, Governor of the Leeward Isles. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CX., p. 107.]
Dec. 12.
Port Royal.
1182. Journal of the Council of Jamaica. Ordered that Proclamation be issued immediately for prohibiting the landing of Indians from New England or any other places. The Proclamation. Ordered that the Secretary underwrite the account of the quit rents to certify it was sworn to by John Crompton; that the King's Attorney-General deliver to the Secretary the deposition of Captain William Bragg touching Sir Thomas Modyford and with the Judge's letter to his Excellency to be filed by the Secretary. The accounts of the Treasury allowed except the year's salary of 200l. to Sir John Griffiths, for solicitation of the confirming our laws and stores which is left to the King to allow. The accounts (from 1st March 1675 to 1st March 1676): total disbursements, 4,141l. 10s. 9d., which include 1,500l., the Assembly's gift to the Governor, 671l. 15s. 10d., on the forts. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXV., pp. 535–543.]
Dec. 13. 1183. Order of the King in Council. On petition of John Jefferies, John Banks, John Ewers, and others of London, merchants, owners of the Merchant's Delight and Hannah, praying for passes for said two ships in order to the more secure bringing them home; that the Lords of the Admiralty forthwith grant said passes. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXX.,p. 137.]
Dec. 13.
Wallingford House.
1184. Warrant from the Earl of Danby to Anthony Segar. Whereas in pursuance of his Majesty's letters of Privy Seal of 15th June last, several tallies amounting to 4,500(l.) stricken upon the duty of 4½ per cent. at Barbadoes are delivered to him for his Majesty's service, that he forthwith deliver, in pursuance of his Majesty's warrant of 6th instant to the Duke of Monmouth, so many of said tallies as amount to 2,604l. 2s. 7d. for his own use. ½ p. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. XLI., p. 72.]
(Dec. 13.) 1185. Receipt of the Duke of Monmouth from Anthony Segar pursuant to above warrant of three tallies, viz., for 950l., 900l. and 700l., amounting in all to 2,550l., part of the tallies above mentioned. ¼ p. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. XLI., p. 72.]
(Dec. 13.) 1186. Petition and Address of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in General Court assembled to the King. Refer to the Indian war as the cause of the delay of answering the King's letters; no sooner had it ceased in the southern and western parts than it sprung up unexpectedly in the eastern parts, concerning which the controversy between them and the complainants doth arise. Are yet willing to offer their pleas and produce their evidences in this matter; are sure that no intention of wrong to the claimers, no unlawful design of enlarging their borders, no profit thereby accruing (the contrary of which has hitherto been found) but a grounded apprehension of their interest, real compassion to the petitioning inhabitants in an unsettled and suffering condition together with a sense of duty to be faithful to their patent. Trust caused them to receive those inhabitants under the wing of the King's government in this Colony established. "Betrust" the further management of their defence to William Stoughton and Peter Bulkeley. Thank the King for his consideration in letting them see the complaints against them. Signed by "John Leverett, Governor, with the consent of the General Court." Endorsed, "Read in Council, December 13, 1676." 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVIII., No. 93; also Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LX., pp. 182–186.]
(Dec. 13.) 1187. Petition of Robert Mason and Ferdinando Gorges to the King. Pray for a hearing of their complaints of the unjust proceedings of the Massachusetts. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LX., pp. 187–188.]
Dec. 22. 1188. Similar petition to the King for a hearing. [Ibid., pp. 188, 189.]
Dec. 22. 1189. Order of the King in Council. Appointing 12th January for hearing the complaints of Mason and Gorges and ordering the attendance then of the Massachusetts' Agents, Stoughton and Bulkeley. [Ibid., pp. 189–190.]
Dec. 21.
Council Chamber, Whitehall.
1190. Lords of Trade and Plantations to Sir Jonathan Atkins, Governor of Barbadoes. Have received under the same cover his letters of 15th August and 4th July, with answer to articles of inquiry, upon which they cannot but express the satisfaction they receive from so particular an account of the present state of Barbadoes, but indeed are sorry to find him so far engaged in the recommendation of some particulars which are not only prejudicial to the settled condition of Barbadoes itself, but contradictory to the established laws of this kingdom, his Majesty's authority, and the privileges granted to his subjects. Have lying before them the petition of the Council and Assembly, with annexed paper of grievances. But do not so much wonder at these representations from the body of a people who may by malicious or unadvised suggestions be persuaded into misapprehensions of their own interest and welfare, as their Lordships have reason to disallow of the countenance he has given them by several expressions and arguments in his letters. This was a matter of so great moment and importance as to deserve his Majesty's inspection in Council. Refers him to his Majesty's letter he will receive herewith [see ante, No. 1179] for answer to those particulars. Must add their own observation that in the point concerning negroes "you join in complaint after such time as you knew the island was sufficiently supplied with them, which hath been fully proved to us by the Royal [African] Company, and the complaint itself disowned by Colonel Thornbury, agent for Barbadoes." Further send him copy of the King's Order in Council, and require same to be carefully observed. Desire he will supply in his next such of the articles of inquiry sent to him as are defective. He can make "a reasonable conjecture" of the value of imports and exports; also of the number of merchants and factors, the value of their estates and wealth of the whole island, the number of sectaries and qualities; also the number of ministers and the provision made for each, also for the poor, and an account of the burials and christenings for the time to come; also to furnish all the laws in force, and which have received his Majesty's approbation. Expect to hear from him by every single ship or fleet coming from thence. Have received his letters of 3rd February and 25th September last [see ante, Nos. 811, 1040] with exemplification of the trial of Colonel Warner, which came not until 26th November. Cannot but express their wonder that an account of a matter of this importance should be imparted by him six weeks after their Lordships had been informed by other hands. Signed by Anglesey, Craven, Fauconberg, and H. Coventry. A paragraph has been added after this letter was signed, so another copy was signed and most probably sent. 3 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXXVIII., No. 94.]
Dec. 21.
1191. Fair copy of the preceding, including the paragraph inserted in the margin. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VI., pp. 144–147.] Also copy of the first part of the above; probably the letter originally intended to be sent. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. I., pp 64,65.]