Friday, the 23d of April, 1652.
Capture of Barbados.
A LETTER from the Barbados, of the 27th of
February 1651, from Sir George Askue, was this
Another Letter, dated the 26th of February 1651.
Mr. Thomas Challoner reports, from the Council of
State, a Letter from Sir George Askue, from the Barbados, of the 26th of February 1651; with the Articles
made upon the Rendition of the Island of the Barbados
to the Forces of the Parliament of the Commonwealth
of England: Which were this Day read.
He also reports a Letter from Mr. Daniel Serle, from
the Barbados, of the 18th of February 1651 / 1652: Which was
this Day read.
He also reports a Letter from Thomas Mudiford, from
the Barbados, of the 16th of February 1651: Which was
this Day read.
Ordered, That the said several Letters and Papers be
referred to the Council of State, to take the same into
Grant to Nicholls.
Ordered, That Captain Richard Nicholls have the Sum
of One hundred Pounds bestowed on him for his good
Service: And that it be referred to the Council of State,
to see the same forthwith paid to him accordingly.
Colonel Wauton reports, from the Council of State,
concerning the Office of the Ordnance, and the Officers
and Labourers belonging to the same: With Reasons
for the Settlement of that Branch of the Office of the
Ordnance that respects the Navy, in the Commissioners
of the Navy.
Sundry Reasons for the Settlement of that Branch of the
Office of the Ordnance, that respects the Navy, in the
Commissioners of the Navy.
1. THE Transaction of the Service of the Navy, in
Two Offices, under distinct Commands, and in several
Places, doth necessarily expose the State to the Expence
of more Time than is needful, or otherwise would be
expended, if the whole Business were settled in one
Commission, and dispatched at one and the same Time,
from one and the same Persons and Places.
2. Upon the Loss of Time for want of Gunners Stores
depends oft-times the Loss of a Service, and the Opportunity of a fair Wind; and always the unnecessary Charge
of Victuals and Wages to a Ship full-manned, till the
Gunner be supplied; and, after that, till the Wind turns:
Which, together with the Subjects Loss, for want of
Convoy and Guard in the Seas, hath been no small
Damage to the State in Ten Years past.
3. In the Case of a Fleet going to Sea, the Want of
Guns, or Gunners Stores, for one Ship, may beget the
same unnecessary Charge to the State of Victuals and
Wages to the whole Fleet, till those Stores be provided
4. If this Business were settled in the Commissioners of
the Navy, all that Trouble and Care that now attends the
Council of State, Committee of the Admiralty, Committee of the Navy, or their Secretaries, in writing double
Warrants, for one and the same Service, to distinct Officers, would be avoided: And for want hereof, it falls
out too often, that the Commissioners of the Navy receive their Warrants, and finish half the Service required
from them, before the Officers of the Ordnance know of
any such Service, or have any Warrant for the same.
5. As the Service is now acted, the State knows not
where to lay the Blame, in case of Neglect; the Commissioners of the Navy excusing themselves by the Default of the Officers of the Ordnance; and they, by the
Default of the Commissioners of the Navy: And, between both, the State suffers; and oft-times those in
whom the Fault is not do bear the Blame: All which
would be remedied, if the Service were settled in One
6. Divers petty Provisions are, at present, supplied by
the Commissioners of the Navy to all Gunners; for which
they neither indent to the Commissioners, nor yet account
for to the Officers of the Ordnance; being not included
in their Indentures in that Office.
7. Many Wastes and Imbezzlements are, and more
might be, discovered, by the Commissioners of the Navy,
and their Instruments, if the Gunners were under their
Command: But in regard they do not indent with them,
can account to them for their Stores, they neither do nor
can perform that Service to the State, in finding out or
punishing the Gunners Abuses, as otherwise they both
might and ought.
8. All Breeching and Tackles for Guns are now made
of new Hemp, and bought at 28s. the Hundred-weight,
or thereabouts, to no small Charge to the State: Whereas,
if the Service were settled in the Commissioners of the
Navy, they doubt not to save a great Part of that Charge,
by new-working the State's old Junks into Breechings and
Tackles: And for want of such a Vent for the State's
Junks, or old Cables, they are forced to sell them by the
Candle, at low Rates.
9. Hereby the Salaries now given to the Officers of
the Ordnance for this Duty, may be saved to the State;
and yet the Service as equally well, if not far better for the
State, executed by the Commissioners of the Navy, without any Addition to their Number, or present Salaries.
10. All, or most Part of, the Travelling-Charges, expended yearly by the Officers of the Ordnance, their Clerk,
and other Instruments, to survey Ships Stores, balance
Gunners Accompts, and re-supply Stores, may be saved,
both at Chatham, Debtford, Woolwich, and Portesmouth;
where constantly some one or more of the Commissioners
of the Navy do attend all Pays; and where the Clerks
of the Survey are already resident: Who, for a small Recompence, or Augmentation to what they now have, both
may and will as equally execute that Service that respects
the Gunner and his Stores, as they now do the Service
that respects the Boatswain and his Stores.
11. The Charge of Transportation of Guns, and all
Gunners Stores, excepting Powder, to and from Chatham, Woolwich, and Debtford, may, for the most Part,
be saved by the Commissioners of the Navy's Care in
this Business; there being Conveniency of Wharfs for the
Guns, and Storehouses for all Provisions, excepting Powder, in all Yards; without further Charge to the State,
than the bare Delivery on Shore, and Receipt on Board,
of the said Provisions.
And also additional Reasons, given by the Officers of
the Ordnance, against the Transporting that Branch in the
Office of the Ordnance, which respects the Navy, to the
Charge and Care of the Commissioners for the Navy.
According to Order of the honourable Committee for
the Ordnance, the Officers of the Ordnance do humbly offer these additional Reasons, why, in their Opinion, it can neither be for Safety or Advantage to the
State, to transport that Branch in the Office of the
Ordnance, which respects the Navy, to the Charge
and Care of the Commissioners for the Navy; viz.
THE Parliament have been pleased very much to enlarge, unto the present Commissioners, the Powers which
were or have been granted unto any former Commissioners
for the Navy; that, by that Means, they are at present vested with a Sufficiency, in the several Particulars following:
1. In the Contracting for, Receiving, Keeping, and
Issuing-forth, all manner of Sea-Stores employed towards
Building, Repairing, Rigging, and Equipage of any Ships
2. In Issuing-forth, upon their own Warrants, divers
considerable Sums of Money, and Engaging the Credit of
the State for any greater Sums for Service of the Navy.
3. In Impressing any Numbers of Men, to be borne
upon those Ships, for present Service.
4. In Drawing-forth any Quantity of Victuals from
the Victuallers for the Navy, by Warrants under their
own Hands, for such Numbers of Men, as have been by
them imprested, to be borne upon those Ships either already in, or fitted up for, present Service.
In all which Trusts, if the Treasurer for the Navy do
agree, there can be no Check or Controul kept upon
them, other than the Admiral of the Fleet; who are not,
nor can be, so far acquainted with their Actings at all
times, until the Service be performed; nor can therefore
the Parliament, or Council of State, be fully informed,
from any Hand other than their own, how far they have
executed, or exceeded, their Commands, in a Service of
so great Importance.
5. All the naval Service aforementioned is generally
transacted by Three Hands; their being Two of their
Number upon particular Residence, and cannot therefore
attend the publick Table.
Now, although the Officers of Ordnance do not present any Thing that may tend towards raising of Jealousy against the present Commissioners, whom they do
judge to be of very great Integrity to the State; yet they
do humbly offer, whether, if Authority, in times past,
did branch forth the forementioned Trusts into particular
Duties, which were lodged upon the several and particular Commissioners for the Navy, for which they should
be thereunto each of them, severally and apart, responsal;
and, that, besides all this, the Office of Ordnance and
of Victualing were kept distinct, and were therefore collateral Checks upon that Occasion; whereby, if Defection from the State had been made by the one Office, yet
no considerable Disadvantage could befal it, without the
Concurrence and Assistance of the other; which was not
only distinct in Person and Command, but in Place also,
it might be adjudged advisable to add this Power of arming all Ships with military Stores; in the Managing whereof, all Articles of Peace or War with foreign States will
be very much promoted or abated, upon Three or Four
Hands acting jointly in One Office; and may be more
probably therefore, in Ages to come, be corrupted, to
sacrifice the Welfare of this whole Commonwealth for
private Interest, before they can be so seasonably discovered. All which, as they humbly, conceive, may more
rationally be provided against, by a double and distinct
Trust, as now it stands: The Reduction of which Charge
could never contribute any thing of Recompence, if the
Whole should be, in time to come, so far endangered.
As to the Eleven Reasons offered by One of the Commissioners for the Navy, the Officers of Ordnance do present this further humble Answer:
That the Officers do conceive, the Reasons before offered may abundantly counterpoise what hath been said
in the first Three Arguments of that Commissioner;
wherein he doth only assign a general Charge, during the
last Ten Years, without making any particular Thing to
appear, nor, as the Officers are confident, ever can: But
if so, yet it may be very easy to reduce the same to that
Constitution it was in before those last Ten Years; and
so rendered serviceable without Demolishment. All
which, and whatsoever else of Disadvantage could be
objected, was, as they humbly conceive, sufficiently provided against in that Model formed by the Committee
for Martial Affairs.
To the Fourth; They conceive, that no Transcriptions
by the Secretaries can be of so great Importance as the
Safety of the State.
To the Fifth; That, the Difference of Stores military
and naval being so great, if any Neglect should arise concerning the same, by the Persons trusted with either, it
might be as conspicuous who was in that Fault; and the
State know thereby where, and how, to require it.
To the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th; The Officers do believe, that as well the other Four of the Commissioners of
the Navy, as the Persons that have any Reference to the
naval Service, are sensible, that so great an Affair doth
already incumber their Hands, that they need not grasp
more, lest the State suffer.
And, for Imbezzlements, the Officers do think, that
it is easily made appear, the greatest they assume to be
discovered by the Commissioners, or their Instruments,
were, in truth, found out and pursued by the Officers of
Ordnance: Besides that divers Persons who are no Commissioners for the Navy, do usually discover Imbezzlements of Rigging, &c.
To the 10th and 11th; The honourable Committee
for Martial Affairs did, on their late Model, provide for
the Cutting-off of all Travelling-charges, and made Provision for that Service another Way; to which the Officers do refer.
And, lastly, the said Officers of Ordnance do humbly
offer, That if such a Translation as is propounded should
be admitted, it would necessarily engage the State in a
far greater Charge than it is at present at, as Affairs do
now stand; for that there will be a Necessity of repeating the same Offices and Officers in the Navy, for Execution of such a Service, as are at present under Pay of
the State, in the Office of the Ordnance.
All which, craving Liberty to make more fully appear,
if it shall be required, they do humbly submit.
And also Reasons, given by the Officers of the Ordnance, concerning Continuing the Navy-Stores in the
Tower of London.
1. AUTHORITY, in precedent Ages, did avoid
to commit so great a Trust, as the Managing of all Naval
and Martial Affairs is, unto the Hand of any one in Subordination to itself; but did therefore direct the Government and Ordering of all such Ships and Stores, as were
to abide in Harbour, to one Commission; and the Equipage and Habiliments of War, both for Sea and Land
Service, to another: Whereby if the one Officer should
have made Defection, yet could not do any considerable
Disadvantage to the State, without the Concurrence of
the other; who was not only distinct in Person from
him, and Command, but in Place also.
2. The Partition or Dividing of those Stores to Sea and
Land Service, must necessarily expose the State to double
Charge, in the Salaries of Officers, Clerks, and Labourers,
to both Branches alike.
3. The Loss of a Ship, or Fleet, as well as of an Army,
depends on the Sufficiency of military Stores; and it is
not probable, that the Commissioners for the Navy have
either Skill to judge, or Time to learn, what is sufficient,
or what is defective, in those Stores.
4. The Stores of Powder, and all other Ammunition,
cannot, with so great a Safety, lie in any Place, at least
in these distempered Times, as in the Tower of London;
where a strong Guard is Night and Day for their Preservation.
5. Upon Return of any Ship from Sea, when the Reasonableness, or Unreasonableness, of the Gunners Expence
is to be allowed, or disallowed of, it may, probably, be
better performed by the Officers of the Ordnance; who
should be best acquainted with Proportions of Powder and
Shot, &c. to the Guns, than the Commissioners for the
Navy's Clerks; upon whom it must be cast, if those
Stores be removed.
And the said Officers, finding, by Experience, the common Roughness of Seafaring-Men, do humbly conceive,
they may be better awed by an Office that is daily acquainted with those Expences, than by any inferior Instruments that shall be appointed thereunto; whereby the
State may be very much abused in those Stores.
He also reports, "That the Parliament having been
pleased to confer on Major General Harrison, the Office
of Lieutenant of the Ordnance, in the Ordnance-Office in
the Tower of London, with all the Fees and Perquisites
thereof, the Council hath paid over several Sums unto
him; to be issued, by their Warrant, for the Providing
of Stores unto such Artificers, as should furnish Provisions: That the Monies by him issued, upon particular
Orders, amount to the Sum of 122,629 l. 8s. 6d. the
Poundage of which, at Six-pence in the Pound, being
one of the Fees of the said Office settled upon him,
amounts to the Sum of 3,065 l. 14s. 6d.; which he
hath not received of the particular Artificers, to whom
the Money was paid: By Reason of which, the Provisions, contracted for in the said Office, have been served
in at much lower Rate than formerly, and to a greater
Advantage to the State than the Value of the Poundage.
Which the Council have taken into Consideration, as
also that there is due unto the said Major General, as
Lieutenant of the Ordnance, for Salary, upon the Quarter-Book in the Ordnance-Office, the Sum of 366 l. all
which amounts unto the Sum of 3,431 l. 14s. 6d.; they
have thought fit humbly to offer the same unto the Consideration of the Parliament, that such Order may be
given therein, as they shall judge meet."
Ordered, That the several Papers touching that Part
of the Report which concerns the Settlement of that
Branch of the Office of the Ordnance, which respects the
Navy, in the Commissioners of the Navy, be referred to
the Council of State, to take the same into Consideration;
and to deliver their Opinion therein, and report the same
to the Parliament.
Resolved, That the Office of Lieutenant of the Ordnance be, and is hereby, taken away.
Resolved, That Lands of Inheritance, of Delinquents Estates, forfeited to the Commonwealth for Treason, of the Yearly Value of Five hundred Pounds, be settled upon Major General Thomas Harrison, and his Heirs.
Resolved, by the Parliament, That Lands, Tenements,
and Hereditaments, of an Estate of Inheritance, of the
clear yearly Value of Five hundred Pounds, or to the
Value of Lands of Inheritance of the clear yearly Value
of Five hundred Pounds, out of Delinquents Estates,
forfeited to the Commonwealth for Treason, be settled
upon Major General Thomas Harrison, and his Heirs or
Resolved, That the said Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments, so to be settled, be out of the Lands and
Estates already exposed to Sale by the Act, intituled,
An Act for Sale of several Lands and Estates forfeited
to the Commonwealth for Treason: Or out of the Lands,
of the Value of Ten thousand Pounds a Year, formerly
appointed to be settled by the additional Act for Sale
of Delinquents Estates, to make up the Security upon
the First Act; which Lands of Ten thousand Pounds a
Year shall accordingly go to supply what shall be so
settled, in pursuance of this Vote, or shall be wanting on
the former Security.
Resolved, That the Trustees for Sale of several Lands
and Estates, forfeited to the Commonwealth for Treason,
be authorized and required to convey Lands, Tenements,
and Hereditaments, of or to the Value aforesaid, to the
said Major General Thomas Harrison, and his Heirs or