America and West Indies
December 1671, 1-15

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Institute of Historical Research

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W. Noel Sainsbury (editor)

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1889

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282-296

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'America and West Indies: December 1671, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 7: 1669-1674 (1889), pp. 282-296. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=70216 Date accessed: 29 August 2014.


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December 1671, 1-15

Dec. 1. 669. Writ signed by Sir Thos. Lynch, Lieut.-Governor of Jamaica, in the name of the King, to the Provost Marshal of Jamaica, or his lawful deputy. Requiring him to make publication in the parish of Clarendon of his Majesty's pleasure that an Assembly be convened on 1st February next, and on the 25th inst. to proceed to an election of two of the fittest freeholders to serve in said Assembly for said parish, to which election all freeholders in the precinct are to be admitted to give their voices. To give notice to all Justices of Peace in that parish, and the constables to all freeholders; and see that the election be freely and indifferently carried without faction or interest; and on penalty of 50 l. make a true return to the Govr. and Council at their first session after such election. With certificate annexed, and the hands of six or seven principal freeholders; and to take care that none but freeholders who have taken out their patents give their voices. 1 1/2 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XXXIV., 263, 264.]
Dec. 6.
Bilbao
Plantation,
Barbadoes.
670. Nicholas Blake to the King. Sends copies of his letters of 20th Oct. 1670 and 5th Jan. last ( see ante, Nos. 298, 383 ), because, though the originals have been many months in London, does not think they have been presented, not having money so plentiful as to procure them admission; and 'tis pity but such addresses should come speedily to his Majesty's knowledge, which would encourage his loyal subjects to proceed, or put their minds at rest. Judges what he proposed will be to his Majesty's honour and profit, and of some advantage to him; but if his Majesty decline it, will attribute it to a cross influence of fate which uses to keep persons of ingenuity low, while fortune seems to come to others sleeping. Looks on his Majesty as the sun and himself as a shrub overshadowed by larger trees, and if not transplanted to enjoy the sun's beams, will never be a cedar, but remain a shrub to his dying day. Has taken the boldness to relate most of the passages concerning Sta. Lucia to H.R.H., with whom he intercedes that these papers may come to his Majesty's view. If harkened to, the next December will be the best time for his Majesty's ships to arrive here; and the cure of these things may best be committed to some able and honest merchant, who will be able to give account of all transactions. Together, 7 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXVII., No. 48.]
Dec. 6.
Barbadoes.
671. Minutes of the Assembly of Barbadoes. Letters this day sent to his Excellency, the Gentlemen Planters in London, and Thos. Henchman (chosen solicitor); with two petitions to his Majesty, for obtaining the uses of the 4 1/2 per cent., and preventing the imposition like to be laid on sugars; and duplicates of the Assembly's letters of 16th June to his Excellency and the Gentlemen Planters. 1/2p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XIII., 86.]
Dec. 6.
Barbadoes.
672. The Assembly of Barbadoes to Lord Willoughby (in London). Have not received any letter from his Excellency since their last of 16th June, a duplicate of which is enclosed; but are still mindful of his kindness in the prevention of the great imposition that was like to be laid on them, and assure him that if that imposition be laid on their sugar, and that on foreign sugar not raised proportionably, they are all undone, and many will be forced to seek some other way of living. Signed by Simon Lambert, Speaker. 1/2p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XIII., 86, 87.]
Dec. 6.
Barbadoes.
673. The Assembly of Barbadoes to Thos. Hinchman. Have several times received friendly advice from their fellow planters in England, how they may most aptly proceed for the interest of his Majesty and welfare of this place and people. Desire him to solicit before his Majesty's Council and all committees concerned, what shall be given him in charge for them, and to return account thereof on all opportunities, and refer him to their letter to their said fellow planters, and have ordered 100l. to be paid to him, besides necessary charges, for his pains for one year. Signed by Simon Lambert, Speaker. 1 p. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XIII., 91, 92.]
Dec. 6.
Barbadoes.
674. The Assembly of Barbadoes to the Committee of Gentlemen Planters in London. Have received theirs of 10th June, and hope they will persist in their endeavours to their utmost for the well being of this island, wherein they are so eminently concerned. Have raised nigh 800,000 lbs. sugar for repair of fortifications, which is mostly expended, and without their care to procure for the future the use of the 4 1/2 per cent. for which it was raised and intended, they will be reduced to poverty and wholly unable to raise any further tax, and forts and other works must fall to ruin. Their militia by the care of their Deputy Governor is in formidable order for opposing any foreign enemy or inbred insurrection. Hope for their endurance, taking notice that their last addresses lie under his Majesty's consideration. Request that against the sitting of Parliament in April, they will arm themselves with the strongest and best arguments they may against the tax on sugar, and entreat them to take to their assistance the best counsel in the law, to preserve their rights and their trade from further imposition. Send enclosed petition relating to said tax to present to his Majesty. As to a money trade to be passed into an Act, it will require time for debate. By a vessel of Bristol lately arrived from Ireland are informed that their sugars are prohibited by an Act of the English Parliament to be shipped from Barbadoes for that place; but can give little credit thereto. Request if there be any such thing in agitation, timely to interpose to prevent it. Whereas this House chose Capt. Ferdinando Gorges for their solicitor for one year, and, on his refusal, approved of Lt.-Col. Edwd. Thornburgh, the year being expired have according to the rule of the House proceeded to a new election, which is carried for Thos. Hinchman, who they desire may receive the same salary. Have formerly sent them copy of petition to his Excellency to be presented to his Majesty concerning the 4 1/2 per cent. and other things; but fearing they may be deemed to desire too many things at once, herewith send petition for the uses of the 4 1/2 per cent. only, being of the greatest importance. Signed by Simon Lambert, Speaker. Enclose,
674. I. Petition of the representatives of Barbadoes to the King. Have been informed of some motions in the last Session of Parliament for increasing the custom on sugars, which is the chief produce of this island. Time has so much impoverished their lands, that notwithstanding their endless labours in improvements, they yet remain near barren and unfruitful, the timber and wood made use of and destroyed, and the difficulty in making sugar as much increased as its value has lessened, whereby the produce is not answerable to the necessary charge, so that without the addition of more, petitioners can manifest that if the large supplies they have yielded to his Majesty's occasions during the late war and since had not very much impoverished them, yet now their very industry will but serve to draw on them leisurely inevitable ruin, which is so obvious to the most vulgar capacity that the apprehension thereof has caused upwards of 4,000 inhabitants within the last three years to desert the island, many of them being led through great encouragements to settle in foreign plantations. Pray his Majesty therefore, by forbidding increase of customs, and granting some immunities of trade, to preserve this small part of his dominions from at least swift destruction. Signed by Simon Lambert, Secretary.
674. II. Petition of Representatives of Barbadoes to the King. The imposition of 4 1/2 per cent. on the produce of the island, for support of the Government and forts, and other public occasions necessary for its well being and safety, has been duly paid to his Majesty's treasurers, and by his Majesty's Governors employed for the most part to the ends mentioned, until Commissioners arrived empowered by his Majesty to collect the same, who have refused to disburse anything for said ends; notwithstanding the forts will speedily fall to decay, the prison is useless, and many public occasions neglected. Pray his Majesty to command said Commissioners or Farmers to perform the conditions in the Act for the collecting of same. Together, 6 pp. [Col. Entry Bk., XIII., 87–94.]
[Dec. 7.] 675. Report of the Council for Plantations to the King. Have considered, in obedience 'to his Majesty's commands, what may be fit to be published concerning St. Christopher's, and advise that a Proclamation be made to the following effect. Having understood that Sir Chas. Wheler, Governor of the Leeward Islands, has, since the restitution of the English part of St. Christopher's, on or about the 24th August last, caused a Proclamation to be made to the great discouragement of the late Proprietors and English Planters; his Majesty declares that said Proclamation is null and void, that said late Proprietors and Planters shall be admitted to their plantations with such stock as they can provide, but those who have not sold to the French must return thither before the 25th December 1672, and such as have sold to the French are to reimburse to the purchasers the money they actually received for their estates, within one whole year from the re-delivery of the English part of the said island on the 5/15th July 1671. That no quitrents shall be imposed, or any moneys levied, but by a public law made by the Assembly with the consent of the Governor and Council; and that none shall suffer in person or estate by reason of any miscarriages in the late surrender of the island to the French. 1 1/2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXVII., No. 49.]
[Dec. 7.] 676. Copy of preceding. [Col. Entry Bk., No. XCIV., 96, 97.]
Dec. 7. 677. Minute of the Council for Foreign Plantations. That Lord Arlington, being present at the framing the Proclamation concerning St. Christopher's, proposed something fit to be offered to the French ambassador, which was approved and his Lordship charged himself to acquaint his Majesty therewith and receive his commands. Mem. by Williamson, The 4 1/2 per cent. to be taken off St. Christopher's for the two or three first years. 1/2 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXVII., No. 50.]
Dec. 9/19.
St. Christopher's.
678. Sir Charles Wheler, Governor of the Leeward Islands, to (Sec. Lord Arlington). In obedience to his Majesty's letter of the 5th March 167 0/1, herewith sends account of difficulties met with at St. Christopher's since the restitution. The accompanying paper, signed by himself and M. De Baas, was sent on the Tho. and Benjamin of Bristol [5/15 Dec], and will send a double by the next occasion, according to an agreement with M. De Baas that two should be sent by each of them. Remarks on "these articles of our Treaty," and on what M. De Baas refused. The difficulty of the greatest importance is the choice the negroes of Antigua and Montserrat are to have to return to the English. His Majesty's pretence to these negroes (which number some 1,500) amounts to near 40,000 l., whereas the payment for the French prisoners' diet, &c. comes not to above 6,000l. The Commissioners, Col. Stapleton, Col. Russell, and Lt.-Col. Smith, upon this difference parted the second day and drew up protests one against the other; upon which M. De Baas and Sir Charles entered into it themselves. Concerning the negroes on St. Christopher's, the English never got any but such as ran away to them by night, and it was only yielded that if the English could inform of any of their negroes detained in chains, &c., they should be brought forth to make their election within six months. Leaves him to judge how impracticable this would be in Martinico, Guadalupa, and other French islands. Suggestions on this subject which his Majesty may make use of in his Treaty with the King of France. Computes his Majesty's subjects lost about 400 negroes at St. Christopher's, of which about 100 are come in, and near 100 more may be detained by their French masters. Has sat down with the loss of the other 200 for peace sake, for the French were so inflamed at their negroes coming in that when the Commissioners broke off their treaty was forced to lie for 14 days (till M. De Baas and he entered into a new one) in a little hole of a fort which he was scrambling to get in some repair to mount some cannon, and M. De Baas hinted he was not very well assured of the populace. Discusses at length the points transmitted to their Majesties, with his own arguments and those of M. De Baas, viz.: On the 2nd and 3rd Article, for reparation; on the 5th Article, touching the diet, &c. of the prisoners; on the 8th Article, remarks on the folly of the English in being aggressors in this war, their ignorance in the conduct of it, stupidity in their capitulation, and great honesty in suffering as they did rather than take an oath of fidelity to the French King, for such a medley of madness and loyalty it must be God's will in an extraordinary manner to punish them. After it was agreed to render up the country, and it was published that they were to take an oath to the French King, all as one man resolved to quit all they had and begin the world again, some in New England, some in Jamaica, and in other places; and whereas by the capitulation they might sell and carry off the price of their estates, they were so mad to be gone that they sold for the twentieth part of the value, and the French and Dutch paid them in canvas and shoes and trumpery, paid their debts and gave them passage by sea hither and thither. Has only heard of two that had payment made in money, sugar, or indigo. The French have put in twice as much as the consideration really was, so that where the English bring to repurchase their estates 20,000 lbs. sugar which they honestly contracted for, they find in their contracts (besides that their houses are pulled down) 40,000 lbs.; some signed these contracts in ignorance of the French language, and some refused, but afterwards signed, for fear of being made prisoners. M. De Baas made him believe this is usual in France for security against re-purchase, and they dare not make a breach upon the sanction of a contract; nor is this all, for many were robbed and pillaged even of what they had thus embarked. The decision of this is left to the two Kings, yet his Lordship may see in the paper agreed upon that it is depending on the honour and conscience of M. De Baas. Has done his utmost amicably to settle all differences. Endorsed, "R. Mar. 3, 1671–2." Encloses,
678. I. Articles transmitted by Sir Charles Wheler and M. De Baas to their Majesties to be decided. These have reference to the 2nd and 3rd Articles, concerning reparation to be made to the English for all taken away since publication of the peace, as buildings, churches, moveables, houses, sugar works, coppers, cattle, cannons, &c. To the 5th Article, for payment to the French for diet, medicines, and clothes furnished to the English prisoners. To the 8th Article, for an exact account of all the English received and enjoyed, so they repay no more for their estates than effectively they had. To the 13th Article, concerning negroes, whether they will stay with their French masters or return under the English. As to those of Antigua and Montserrat, as the English had always possessed those islands, there could be no choice for the negroes. Lastly, Sir Chas. Wheler does not present his sense of these Articles which remain undecided so his Majesty's ministers should be bound by his reasons and excluded from making better arguments or replies. Dated and signed at Christopher's in double, both in English and in French, the 23 Nov/3 Decr 1671. Endorsed, "Sent by the William of Bristol the 9/19 Dec. 1671. Duplicate by the Thomas and Benjamin of Bristol, the 5/15 Dec. 1671."Together, 30 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXVII., Nos. 51, 51 I.]
679. Articles transmitted by Sir Chas. Wheler and Mons. De Baas to their Majesties for their determination. Copy of the above enclosure. [Col. Entry Bk., XLV., 113–129.]
Dec. 9.
St. Christopher's.
680. Answer of Sir Chas. Wheler, Governor of the Leeward Islands, to the inquiries of the Council for Foreign Plantations (see ante, No. 415. I.). 1. In every island under his Government there is a Council, which he will complete to 12, except Anguilla and Barbuda; Assemblies are called as the Governor sees occasion: at present one is convened at Nevis only; the courts of judicature are monthly courts or quarterly sessions, the former held by the justice of the peace of the division (always one of the Council); with two of the Assembly assistants, for all suits under the value of 1,000 lbs. of sugar; if they exceed that, appeal is to the sessions, where are heard all criminal causes and matters touching the Crown; the Governor (or next in rank) is Judge, Chancellor and Bishop, with all the Council on the bench, and the Assembly beneath. Council and Assembly sit bare; the Council speak, the Assembly when the Governor calls on any of them, as is usual in merchants' business, most of them having been merchants; but judgment is given only by the Governor. The manner of proceeding is cheap and short; two days are appointed for entering actions, of which all men take notice, and plaintiff and defendant are asked whether they will abide the judgment of the court or have a jury empannelled. After judgment follows an execution, mentioning first the person's ready sugar, next his grindable canes, then his person, and if after six months' imprisonment the debt be not satisfied, his estate to be sold at an outcry. The office of High Sheriff in England bears the name of the Provost Marshal. 2. In Montserrat there is a Court of Admiralty by commission or direction from the Duke, but in no other island of his government. 3 and 4. The Book of Statutes and Laws made here is too large yet to be made ready, but a Committee of the Council and Assembly will abridge the statutes as much as may be, and he will then pass them in full Council and Assembly and transmit them to the Council of Plantations; the executive power is wholly in himself and his Lt.-Governors and subordinate officers in ecclesiastical, civil and military affairs. 5. St. Christopher's is in too low a condition to be taken notice of. Nevis has a regiment of trained bands (under Col. Russell, a great support of the Government), consisting of 12 companies and 1,200 Englishmen, and a militia troop of 100 horse under Capt. Jas. Russell, eldest son to the Colonel; Antigua has a regiment of 900 English in eight companies, under Col. Philip Warner, Lt.-Governor, son to Sir Thos. Warner, who settled all those islands for the King, and sent out a colony for Barbadoes; there is no troop of horse, but a very good and numerous breed of horses; the English male children under 12 are 150. Montserrat has almost all Irish, and there are about 1,000 in the regiment of Col. Stapleton, Lt.-Governor; three files are entertained in pay for the guard of the platforms in Nevis. 6. No castles, a platform or two in Montserrat; one or two in Antigua, five in Nevis very bad, two in St. Christophers, one called Sandy Point Fort, about which he has laid out a little money. 7. No privateers frequent the coasts. 8. The strength of the French on St. Christopher's about 1,200, the same of Martinique and Guadaloupe; the Indians inconsiderable, and when they break the Peace he will drive them into the sea; nor has he any doubt of the French, if neither of their Majesty's send help from Europe; has no other neighbours. 9. Has little to do with Martinique and Guadaloupe. 10 and 11. Found 10 barrels of powder, and arms in the trained bands' hands of their own; stores none, nor any money paid on any consideration of Government; 30 pieces of bad cannon at Nevis of their own, at Montserrat and Antigua six or eight, some of which are of Lord Willoughby's sending. 12. Sends map of Nevis and St. Christopher's; Montserrat rock is not so big as either; Antigua as large as Barbadoes. 13. The commodities are sugar chiefly; tobacco in great quantity in Antigua, so much indigo and cotton that he hopes his Majesty will favour them in the prohibition of Cyprus cotton and East India indigo which rob England of money; no manufactures, nor shall be while he is Governor, unless he has further commands; no materials for shipping. 14. Saltpetre might be made in abundance in Antigua and possibly elsewhere, but it must be done at the King's charge are given to sugar and indigo. 15. No river or harbour in all his Government but in Antigua, concerning which he chooses to discourse apart, and therefore he is abandoned by all shipping about the hurricane season. 16. There may be 40 parishes in his Government, to supply which he found one drunken orthodox priest, one drunken sectary priest, and one drunken parson who had no orders. 17. No conjecture can be made of the English, Scotch and Irish that have come yearly to plant these seven years' past, but there have not been six since his arrival, though 40 ships have come and gone, nor has one black or slave been brought these five years, the injustice of which he will further discourse of. At St. Christopher's, Nevis, and Montserrat the air is so good that not six have died since he came. 19. About 40 ships come yearly, chiefly from Bristol, some few from London, Plymouth, and Liverpool, all inconsiderable in force and burden. 20 and 21. Nil. 22. The 4 1/2 per cent. is all the duty exported, manufacture or other trade they have none; nothing imported pays anything but wine, which defrays public expenses, and if that be touched upon by the Crown, they would presently drink none, which would endanger their healths. 23. The 4 1/2 per cent. Col. Strode farms and collects and pays 700l. per annum. To the Governor of Nevis is allowed by courtesy (as is pretended), and Sir Chas. Wheler takes it for granted they will allow it him at the year's end, as much by the poll as is valued at 600l. or 700l. per annum, and something the Lt.-Governor's have. 24. The course taken for instructing the people and paying the Ministry is the same as in Northumberland, and other remote parts of the North and Wales, where there be store of impropriations and men's livings of about 10l. a year, but ours proceeds from the want of ministers not for want of provision for paying them, and want of power in the bishops to send out; why should it be a breach on the liberty of an Englishman to be sent abroad by the King to preach, any more than to press a soldier or seaman, both being warfares, and the latter of 50 times the consequence to the Crown, for no good Christian was ever a bad subject; and because he serves for an University in Parliament is the more bold to affirm, that it would be for the good of the Universities if young men, instead of retiring to remote parts for 10l. a year, and into schools to be ushers, or to teach A B C to children, might be sent into the plantations for five years, to have their voyage defrayed and 100l. per annum allowed them, and his Majesty's countenance at their return; but because he thinks that will not be, has obtained from the Council and Assembly to dispose of the revenues of the Church according to his design, provided he supplies them with preaching ministers; and if he does not take very wrong measures, will in a year erect a college or two, out of which the Government shall be supplied with pious and able men. Will now give an account of the state of the islands under his government in one continued discourse. Has erected a Court of Admiralty, but will not exercise his office of Vice-Admiral without His Royal Highness's direction; his proposals concerning condemned ships and other seizures and rules for men-of-war in his roads, The two men-of-war which brought Sir Thos. Lynch governed in Sir Chas. Wheler's roads under his own cannon at that rate, that had it not been ridiculous for him to have a difference with those who came to countenance his demand of St. Christopher's, he should have put them to complain. Nevis is the most considerable of these islands, Antigua and Montserrat sending their freight there in shallops, and if the King has any interest in the sugar trade it is owing to the valour and vigilance of its inhabitants, which defended themselves against several attempts of the French fleet and has given the King a rise for the establishment of all that was lost in St. Christopher, Antigua, and Montserrat; hopes therefore for some assistance of cannon, powder, muskets, swords, &c., for there is nothing but of their own acquisition, nor have they ever received a shilling from the Crown, nor is it hardly known to the King that there is such a little island as Nevis, nor how loyal the inhabitants are, nor how unanimous in the Protestant religion, and the practice of the English Church, which cannot truly be said of many of his Majesty's colonies. Has proposed to raise a good fort on the high rocky promontory of Pelican's Point, and if the King would lay the foundation, negroes here will be spared to do much of it; his reasons for pitching upon this place rather than the old fort, it will be less expense, and the town which was called the Red Storehouse, but which he has honoured with the King's name, will shortly have 500 men able to bear arms, which will be secured under the fort; and it is possible to make a harbour for vessels of 70 or 80 tons. Nevis ships a great deal of sugar and indigo every year, which would all be sold for the growth and manufacture of England, if the English merchants would do their part, but great part is bartered for beef from Ireland and fish from New England; but salt salmon and other fish for the north of England would beat out the New England trade if quantity enough were brought for the negroes, and people would rather give 4 lb. sugar per lb. for good English beef than 2 lb. for Irish; and should the King oblige Barbadoes and these islands to take English beef, it would not much hurt them, provided English merchants were bound to furnish a quantity and quality at a standing rate; the great advantage this would bring the King in raising gentlemen's rents, which would facilitate his land tax. Complains of the manner in which English merchants trade at twice the profit the Dutch would and give no credit, while the Dutch give a year; neither will they take the poor man's tobacco, nor the worst sugar. Montserrat is a colony of Irish, and after Col. Stapleton's time his Majesty should take care that not only an English Governor be always constituted, but a small garrison of English kept in pay. Hopes the King will think of Antigua; 'tis as large as Barbadoes and the best land in the West Indies; Falmouth and English harbours, divided only by a neck of land, which may be cut through with inconsiderable charge, and are so landlocked as to be out of danger of hurricanes. The Dover Castle, which Col. Strode lets to the King for the use of Sir Chas. Wheler's Goverment, suffered no harm though the hurricane was as violent as ever was known which should persuade the improvement of English harbour and settling that quarter of the island. Has already moved that the Royal Company may bring negroes; at least 4,000 are wanted, for by negroes only can that island be planted till it be cleared of wood for more health for the English. Nevis is not half planted for want of negroes; they should have to furnish themselves; poverty cannot be objected; wishes Barbadoes were so near out of debt. St. Christopher's is otherwise; will not suffer a negro to be brought thither, but entreats his Majesty to send Englishmen out of prisons for small debts, &c., because it cannot defend itself but by English. Observations on the map and how the island is quartered. At the Old Road Fort between two rivers kinds of torrents between guts of rocks a foot deep, was Sir Thos. Warner's seat, which Lord Willoughby bought for the Governor. Reasons why he takes it not to be a proper seat for the Governor, he would have a stone house built for the Governor. Has begun to repair a fort in the English Leeward quarters near Sandy point, wherein are two companies of English foot, bordering on the French quarter. Suppose the French and English fall out, the former cannot march from Basseterre to Brimstone Hill through the English Leeward quarter. Remarks on the last war, and how Col. Reemes behaved with 300 musketeers; this house of the Governor's between these precipices will prevent the like folly; next time the English must think of a defensive war till they have help from Nevis. Another reason for having the Governor seated to windward, the English quarters would be joined and the French separated. Comes now to the difficult point of his Majesty's expense for keeping his sovereignty in St. Kitts. Values not the Governor's plantation at all, being confident it will not be let for 100l. per annum, but if the King would stock it with 100 negroes, and horses and cattle to the value of 500l. and build a house for the Governor and sugar and indigo works upon it, all which would amount to 4,000l., it might be reckoned a revenue of 1,000l. a year, which, with other perquisites, might invite a fit man out of England to be Governor; till then the King must either join the Government with that of Nevis with as at present a yearly addition out of the Exchequer, or make a planter Governor, and lose it again when the French please; for a Knight of Malta is always their Governor, and there is a general commanding, which is odds against the conduct of a planter. Has begun the fort at Sandy Point, but it is a pitiful thing, only fit to keep off the populace, which he feared would have forced away the negroes, so hopes the King will think it necessary to send him some money to make it something, as also to make a little fort at Stones Point; where he has placed five guns upon the ruins of a pitiful platform, or else he must pull it down and make it a platform only against shipping. His Majesty thought of entertaining the two companies for one year only, but it is impossible to disband them, or to subsist without a third, for the French delays are so unjust that no Englishman who sold his estate has got possession, and the French refuse the oath to the King, and will, he fears, attempt something on him for the recovery of their negroes. There are never less than two French men-of-war sailing from island to island, and every moment 400 French soldiers are expected to be in garrison in St. Christopher's, nor will the English venture themselves and their estates on it unless they see their Governor very confident, and without another company the island is in danger. Hopes after two years that by the revenue of 4 1/2 per cent. the Government may keep itself. As to Eustatia and Saba, he demanded Eustatia of M. De Baas, but was worsted; could wish the King would purchase it, a particular Dutchman, Quirinson or some deriving from him, having the seignory of it, and plant it with 200 English, for it lies on the back of the French quarter at Sandy Point, within an hour's rowing. Saba is the King's by right and should be demanded of the Dutch Ambassador, for it was taken by the Dutch the same day the English retook Surinam; it is an inconsiderable little rock, and not worth asking, but that 50 musketeers inhabiting there would be a thorn in the side of the Sandy Point French quarter, and it is near enough to Nevis for a bigger number to be set down on fit occasion. The third company for St. Kitts should consist of 80 or 100 men; they should be young married men with their wives, some of whom would have encouragement to stay and plant. It is impossible to raise men here; when Lord Willoughby raised men in these islands upon their own expense, and by their valour took 48 cannon, he carried them to Barbadoes; hopes they may be restored. 21pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXVII., No. 52.]
Dec. 9 ? 681. (Sir Charles Wheler) to (Sec. Lord Arlington). Thought fit to put this paper into his hands apart from other business, concerning the prisoners paying the expense of their diet. Desires him to mind the King that these men were not loose men or dissolute privateers, for there is not one in his government but substantial inhabitants, who armed and victualled themselves, and their oficers were the very best of the country; will the King be kinder to his mercenary soldiers, of whose ordinary expense and ransom too be usually takes care? Desires his Majesty to consider the consequences if he should have occasion again to make any levies in these parts. Having done all he could in public treaty with the French to put off the payment from the King, hopes he shall have pardon in offering his sense in private. Endorsed, "R. 3 Mar. 167 1/2," about French prisoners. 1/2 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXVII, No. 53.]
Dec. 9.
St. Christopher's.
682. Sir Chas. Wheler to Joseph Williamson, Secretary to Sec. Lord Arlington. Has no business to trouble him with, but ventures to thank him for his civility at parting, and to ask whether that money was brought him, which he left unpaid at his coming away; and prays him to send word how his endeavours to serve the King in this affair of St. Christopher's are accepted; has very ill luck if they please not, for he never took so much pains in his life, and if the King would give him the inheritance of his part of St. Christopher's, would not have undertaken that affair, could he have foreseen the hazard he once thought himself in, not of his life, but of his credit in the conduct of it. Endorsed, "R. 3 Mar. 167 1/2," &c. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXVII., No. 54.]
[Dec. 11.] 683. The King to Sir Chas. Wheler, Governor of the Leeward Islands. On consideration of the ill accidents that have befallen ships returning from the Caribbee Islands from the want of their associating themselves in fleets, his Majesty by letters of this date (copy inclosed) to the Deputy Governor of Barbadoes has appointed three seasons for ships from Barbadoes to sail for England, viz., the last of March, June, and September, and not at any other time, and that said fleets touch at the Leeward Islands not staying at any above 48 hours, to gather ships bound for England. Requires him not to fail to have shipping ready against the time the Barbadoes fleet may be expected, and to signify this his Majesty's pleasure to the masters and merchants, preventing any from going before the time and punishing any contemners of this his Majesty's pleasure in such manner as may deter others. Draft, with corrections, in Williamson's hand. Endorsed, "Dec. 11, 167 1/2." 1 1/2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXVII., No. 55.]
Dec. 11.
Whitehall.
684. The King to Sir Tho. Lynch, Knight, Lt.-Governor of Jamaica. Having taken into consideration the ill accidents that have befallen the ships of his Majesty's subjects on their return from the West Indies, chiefly through their coming scattering, his Majesty has thought fit to appoint three seasons at which only ships are to be permitted to return from Jamaica, viz., the 24th of March, June, and September. He is required for the preventing of any surprise upon any sudden change of affairs in Europe not to neglect to make provision for the safety of the island and the protection of the shipping there. 1 1/2 p. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. XXIV., pp. 43, 44.]
Dec. 11. 685. The King to Capt. Christopher Codrington, Lt.-Governor of Barbadoes. Having taken into consideration the ill accidents that have heretofore befallen the ships of his Majesty's subjects in their return from the Caribbee Islands for want of returning in fleets for mutual defence and at certain seasons whereby his Majesty might give order for their security by his own shipping, his Majesty appoints three seasons only for ships to sail from Barbadoes, viz., the last of March, June, and September, touching at the Leeward Islands for ships bound thence. To notify the arrival of these orders. The remainder of this letter is the same as the King wrote to Governor Lord Willoughby, Nov. 16, 1665 (see previous Vol. No. 1079), except those clauses referring to Surinam, Saba, Eustatia, and Tobago.
Mem.—This letter was sent to Mr. Bragg 25th December 1671, a like having been sent to the Lt.-Governor of the Leeward Islands at same time. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. XXIV., pp. 45–47.]
Dec. 11. 686. The King to Sir Charles Wheler or the Officer commanding in chief in the Leeward Isles. To the same effect as the preceding, to the Lt.-Governor of Barbadoes, which is enclosed, enjoining him not to fail to have the shipping of the Leeward Islands ready against the times when the Barbadoes fleet may be expected.
Mem.–This was sent with a duplicate of the letter of same date to Capt. Codrington to Mr. Lodge at Deal, Jan. 17, 167 1/2. 1 1/4 p. [Dom. Entry Bk., Chas. II., Vol. XXIV, pp. 55, 56.]
[Dec. 11.] 687. Account by Robert Mason of the commodities of New Hampshire. New Hampshire the best improved for land and most populated of any in those parts; abounds with corn, cattle, timber, fish; people generally live comfortably and happy, having a great trade to all parts. Store of shipping of their own, exporting and importing some thousands of tons of goods of their own growth and foreign, which pays no custom to the King, but some small duty to Massachusetts Bay, which if looked after would amount to at least 4,000l. per annum. Goods exported yearly; 20,000 tons of deal and pipe staves, 10,000 quintalls of fish, 10 ship loads of masts, several thousand beaver and otter skins. Imported: 300 tons of wine and brandy, 200 tons of goods from the Leeward Islands, 2,000 tons of salt. As regards land every person would be willing to take new leases and pay the Lord Proprietor a quitrent with a fine according to their capacity, provided they might have a final confirmation, which would mount up to a considerable sum. The income of the saw-mills at Newichewanock is considerable, they paying 200l. for privilege of common. Recd 11 Dec. 1671. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXVII., No. 56.]
Dec. 15.
Exeter House.
Shaftesbury
Papers.
688. Lord Ashley to Sir John Yeamans. Hopes he has received his commission to be Governor, and that he will endeavour to settle all things to the advantage and settlement of the plantation, one main point of which is the setting down together in towns. The Lords Proprietors have in favour of the first planters altered their minds about the port town on Ashley River, as he will find by their general letter, which through the little care taken to lay it out into convenient streets at their first coming it cannot be made so exactly regular and beautiful as they wish, yet he is desired to have the streets laid out as large, orderly, and convenient as possibly may be, and when it is done the houses which shall hereafter be built on each side those designed streets will, grow in beauty with the trade and riches of the town. To prevent the like inconveniences hereafter desires he would be early enough in choosing a place and laying out the model of an exact regular town on the next river, and to send the Lords Proprietors the draft of it. Intend Charles Town for the port town on Ashley River, where they will oblige all ships that come into that river to unlade and take in their lading, except timber and such like bulky commodities as cannot without great trouble be brought to the port town, and thus on all the navigable rivers they intend to have in the most convenient situations port towns. Looks upon him as his friend and therefore expects plain dealing from him, for though it was resolved to make him Governor, yet he was making himself by the people a little too quick. Beseeches him to trust Ashley when he assures him that a man of his abilities doth not need nor will find any other way successful but the direct one of serving the Lords Proprietors and endeavouring the good of the plantation. Is glad to hear so many considerable men come from Barbadoes, for the Lords Proprietors find by dear experience that no others are able to make a plantation but such as are in a condition to stock and furnish themselves, "the rest serve only to fill up numbers and live upon us, and therefore now we have a competent number until we are better stocked with provisions I am not very fond of more company unless they be substantial men." The first of his queries is answered by their appointment of Mr. Culpeper, a man of his own approbation, to be Surveyor-General. To the second concerning their Deputies, hopes he will not expect them to be named by any but ourselves; and to the third, if men sell their lands it is expected that the Governor and Council take care he pays any debt due to the Lords Proprietors, when they may dispose of themselves and their land as they think fit. Desires he will do the particular kindness to take with him Mr. Mathews, his deputy, Mr. Wet, and Captain Halstead, if there, and with them take up for Lord Ashley 12,000 acres in some convenient, healthy, fruitful place upon Ashley River. [Shaftesbury Papers, Section IX., Bundle 48, No. 55, pp. 100–101.]
Dec. 15.
Exeter House.
Shaftesbury
Papers.
689. Lord Ashley to Sir John Coming. Has received his letter and is well satisfied with his behaviour, ability, and service, and the Lords Proprietors are resolved to continue in their employment a man so diligent and successful in his business. Takes particular notice of his care to instruct others in the navigation of Ashley River and the directions he has spread abroad for those who may have occasion to sail thither. Promises him all the encouragement and kindness he can justly expect. [Shaftesbury Papers, Section IX., Bundle 48, No. 55, p. 98.]
Dec. 15.
Exeter House.
Shaftesbury
Papers.
690. Lord Ashley to his very affectionate friend Maurice Matthews. Besides the kindness he has for him upon his uncle's, the Challoners account, the industry he has employed in discovering the country, and the account he has given of it, hath made Ashley choose him his deputy, for which he sends him a commission, [see No. 698] and doubts not he will continue all that vigour and activity which has made Ashley take notice of him, and which he will be careful to encourage as he gives him reason to do it. Desires he will have an eye to his private and public concerns there, in particular to consult with Sir John Yeamans to lay out 12,000 acres of fruitful, healthy land in the most convenient place for a pleasant seat upon Ashley River. [Shaftesbury Papers, Section IX., Bundle 48, No., 55p. 102.]
Dec. 15.
Jamaica.
691. Sir Thos. Lynch to Joseph Williamson. His of 22nd September came to hand about 10 days ago. Is glad the King and Duke were satisfied with the manner of Lynch receiving the Government, and hopes that Sir T. M. will arrive safe, and that his other proceedings here will not make his Lordship ashamed of having recommended him. Has written to his Lordship at large, and not above three weeks since he and Mr. Slingesby had "a vast packet" from Lynch; and there is nothing left to make them understand this place, but the numbers of the people and a map of the island, which cannot possibly be had these three months. Begs for his Lordship's directions about cutting wood, and the Spanish and French seizing our vessels. Has suspended Mr. Ardrey (?), who has carried himself so sottishly and imprudently in the Assistance, but hopes he may learn better from a better Commander, for has turned out Wilgress. Is infinitely obliged for the packets of printed and written Gazettes, and hopes he will send more, for seldom a week passes but a ship is coming hither. This comes to Plymouth or Chester; a month hence will write by a Londoner. There is come to Barbadoes a vessel that parted with Sir Thos. Modyford in a storm in the lat. of Bermudas. Endorsed, R. 16 Apr., &c. 2 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XXVII., No. 57.]