America and West Indies
February 1697, 22-25


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J. W. Fortescue (editor)

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'America and West Indies: February 1697, 22-25', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 15: 1696-1697 (1904), pp. 380-386. URL: Date accessed: 29 November 2014.


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February 1697

Feb. 22.748. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Two accounts for hire of boats and of a sloop passed. Order for the New England ship, which was driven in by stress of weather, to be permitted to lade sugar or rum. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 193–194.]
Feb. 22.749. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. A letter from Governor Fletcher read, giving a complaint as to the Skachkook Indians lately killed in New Hampshire on suspicion of murder, and as to two more still confined there. Advised to refer the whole matter to Colonel William Pyncheon to report thereon, and shew that these Indians suffered justly. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. p. 74.]
Feb. 22.750. Commissioners for Sick and Wounded Seamen and for exchange of prisoners of war, to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In obedience to your orders we sent for the four Indians taken at the surrender of Fort Bourbon and brought into Plymouth. One of them died at Plymouth and another is fallen sick at Exeter. The other two were brought to town last Saturday, and pursuant to the Order in Council of 16th inst. have been kept from communication with any person. They pretend to be of better character than ordinary persons in their own country, and having formerly been formally arrested in France they require a suitable treatment from us here. Our allowance to the prisoners can be but 4d. per diem, and though these Indians have spent and will cost 20s. per diem, yet while they are under our care they look upon themselves as prisoners. We beg that they may be disposed into such proper hands as may answer your expectations and deserve the expense. Signed, Antho. Shephard, Chris. Kirkby, Da. Elder. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 22 Feb. 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 34; and 34. p. 106.]
Feb. 22.751. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Bridgeman's letter of the 19th inst. as to transport of soldiers to Newfoundland read (No. 745). Mr. Bale's letter of the 17th inst. read (No. 739). The Secretary was ordered to ascertain from Mr. Merret what answer he had received from the Admiralty on the same subject.
The Attorney-General's report of the 17th inst. on the Acts of the Leeward Islands read (No. 736). Agreed to draw up a representation accordingly.
Mr. Nicoll gave information as to the Indians who were brought from New York, and a representation from the Commissioners of Sick and Wounded, dated this day, was read (No. 750).
Sir Henry Ashurst begged for an early representation on the union of New England and New York, saying that Lord Bellomont would accept the joint government of both, with the regular salary allowed to the Governor of New York only, throwing himself upon Massachusetts for the rest.
The Secretary gave a list of documents sent to the Committees of the House of Lords.
Feb. 23.Mr. Merret, attending, reported that the Admiralty had ordered protection to be given to the seamen employed in the Newfoundland trade.
Feb. 24.Order for the Secretary to represent further to the Admiralty the necessity for protecting the seamen of the Newfoundland fleet from impressment, and inform the Mayor of Exeter that he has done so.
The Council, being moved by Sir William Trumbull, wrote to the Commissioners of Customs desiring as speedily as possible a list of persons fitted to be employed in the Admiralty Courts in the Colonies, and ordered Mr. Randolph to attend the Commissioners if required.
Letter to the Commissioners of Sick and Wounded respecting the Indians from New York written.
Feb. 25.Mr. Bridgeman's letter of yesterday as to the Newfoundland squadron read. The Newfoundland merchants, attending, complained of the backwardness of our preparations and the forwardness of the French, producing a letter from Rotterdam in confirmation of the letter. The Council advised them to lay this advice before the Admiralty.
Representations as to the union of New York and New England, and as to the Acts of the Leeward Islands signed.
Feb. 26.Letter from Mr. Bridgeman dated yesterday read relating to the protection of seamen in the Newfoundland fleet. Order for the substance to be communicated to Mr. Cole.
Letter from the Commissioners of Customs of 25th inst. received and read. The Council suspended a decision thereon until the list of officers recommended for the Admiralty Courts should be complete. [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 1–9.]
Feb. 23.
H.M. Yard
752. Henry Greenhill to William Popple. Forwarding a receipt for packets. ¼ p. Endorsed, Recd. 27 Feb., 1696–7. Enclosed,
752. I. Receipt of the captain of the ship Breda for three packets delivered to him for the President and Council of Barbados, the Governor of Jamaica and the Captain-General of the Leeward Islands. 24 Feb., 1696–7. Scrap. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. Nos. 35, 35I.]
Feb. 23.
753. William Popple to John Graves. The Council of Trade having perused your memorial of the 19th, and hearing that you are shortly about to reside in the Bahama Islands, desire you after your arrival to enquire diligently into all matters of piracy, as well past as that may occur in the future. Enquire particularly into the late scandalous reception of Every and his associates, and endeavour to discover any of the villains, or others involved in the like guilt, lurking about the Islands. Collect what proof you can against them, with a view to their punishment, and generally report whatever else may seem to you expedient for the suppression of piracy. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. pp. 107–108.]
Feb. 24.
754. William Bridgeman to William Popple. The Monk, Lion, Portland and Guernsey, part of the squadron going to Newfoundland, are ordered to be immediately victualled to proceed thither. They will take on board 500 soldiers at Portsmouth, or as many as they conveniently can without being pestered. The remainder of the forces will be embarked in the other ships of the squadron, which will proceed very suddenly after them. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 25 Feb., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 50; and 25. p. 90.]
Feb. 24.
755. William Popple to the Secretaries of the Admiralty. Complaints have been made from several of the Western ports of the impressment of seamen and carpenters employed in preparing their ships for Newfoundland. Protections for men on board ship only are of no service, since the men's work lies in great measure ashore. It is requested that the Admiralty will give the orders necessary to remedy this. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 25. pp. 89–90.]
Feb. 24.
756. William Popple to the Commissioners for Sick and Wounded and Prisoners. In reply to yours of 22nd inst., relating to the Indians lately brought to town, the Council of Trade does not think it proper to meddle with what you propose thereon; but supposing that the matter will to-morrow be moved to the King in Council they leave it to you to make application thereupon, when you judge necessary. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. p. 108.]
Feb. 24.
757. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Commissioners of Customs. The King having required us to submit the names of persons to be employed in the Admiralty Courts to be erected in the Plantations, we desire you to give us a list of such names as you think fit for those offices. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Tankerville, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. p. 109.]
Feb. 25.
758. William Bridgeman to William Popple. In reply to yours of yesterday, the Admiralty have not for some time past granted protections because of the many abuses that attended them, but they have sent orders to the Western ports that no men shall be impressed who are employed in fitting out and are in the service of the ships bound to Newfoundland. They doubt not that this will answer the purpose desired. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 26 Feb., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. No. 51; and 25. p. 91.]
Feb. 25.
759. Commissioners of Customs to Couuncil of Trade and Plantations. In reply to yours of 24th, we have summoned before us Mr. Randolph, Surveyor General of the Plantations on the North Coast of America, and received from him a list, which he laid before the Admiralty, of persons fitted to be officers of the Admiralty Courts in these Plantations. On further enquiry he has altered the names of the persons in South Carolina and the Bahamas, and we enclose the list with those alterations. Our best means of judging of their fitness is from the character that Mr. Randolph gives of them. Signed, Robt. Clayton, Walter Yonge, Sam. Clarke, Ben. Overton. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 26 Feb., 1696–7. Enclosed
759. I. Names of persons to be appointed Judges, Registers and Marshals in the Courts of Admiralty.
Bermuda - -Gilbert NelsonSam. SpoforthSamuel Dafrey
South CarolinaJoseph NortonThomas CareyRichard Bollinger
Virginia and North Carolina}Edward HillMiles Cary -Michael Sherman
Maryland- -Sir Tho. LaurenceHenry DentonTho. Collier
Pennsylvania West Jersey}Robert QuarryWm. RodeneyRobt. Webb
New York, East Jersey, Connecticut}William SmithJohn Tudor -Jarvis Marshall
Rhode Island -Peleg SanfordNathl. CoddingtonWm. Allen
Massachusetts, New Hampshire}Nathl. ByfieldLawrence HammondHy. Franklin
Bahamas - -John LeightonTho. WaldockJoseph Harwood
[Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. Nos. 36, 36 I; and 35. pp. 111–112.]
Feb. 25.760. The Privy Council to the King. On the complaint of Mons. de la Forest of the breach of the articles with Captain Allen in the surrender of York Fort in Hudson's Bay, we report as follows. Mons. de la Forest has shewn us the articles of capitulation, also a list of the furs shipped on board Captain Allen's ship, H.M.S. Bonaventure, with a valuation thereof amounting to £14,430. By the articles the goods should have been delivered at Placentia, Newfoundland, but were intercepted by the Hudson's Bay Company. The Company pleads on the other hand that Captain Allen had no authority by his instructions to make any articles for the surrender; to which Mons de la Forest answers that he knew of no authority but the force which Captain Allen brought with him. On the letters exchanged between Captain Allen and Mons. de la Forest, however, the Company insists (as indeed appears in one of Captain Allen's letters) that he did break his instructions, and that therefore the articles need not be performed. Secondly, the Company insists that even if Captain Allen had been duly authorised, yet the infraction by the French of the capitulation of York Fort in 1694 justifies the detention of the goods now in question by way of reprisal. The said capitulation was laid before us, as also several depositions, testifying to the hardships inflicted on the English garrison by the French, in detail. To this Mons. de la Forest replies that these injuries were of a private nature, and offers depositions to shew that the capitulation was observed, and that Mons. d'Iberville always gave redress on any complaints of the prisoners. The witness, Thomas Jacobs, who was tortured, admits this, and declares that the reason why he was so treated was because the French alleged that they had suspicion of a conspiracy, but he also admitted that the French examined him as to the Company's affairs, and the Company's witnesses deny that there was any plot. The Company then produced three more witnesses to invalidate the evidence adduced by Mons. de la Forest. A letter from the witness Parsons was then adduced on behalf of Mons. de la Forest (see No. 561), but the deposition reasserts the truth of his former evidence. The Company then argued that the goods in question were either those taken from them in 1694 or gained by the merchandise taken from them in that year, and claim the goods by your royal grant, also pleading that their value is small compared to what the French have taken from them. Mons. de la Forest answers to this that the previous losses of the Company are beside the question, that there were no furs in York Fort at the time of the invasion of 1694, and that there was no breach of the capitulation made in that year. The question seems to be (1) Had Captain Allen authority to treat in the two main articles insisted on, and can M. de la Forest expect any benefit from them if he had not, especially since Captain Allen writes to him that he acts contrary to his orders? (2) Was the capitulation of 1694 so broken as to justify reprisals? 10½ pp. Endorsed, Read in Council 25 Feb., 1696–7. Recd. 13 May, 1698. [Board of Trade. Hudson's Bay, 2. No. 14; and 3. pp. 55–64.]
Feb. 25.
761. Order of the King in Council. That two Indians who were made prisoners by Captain Allen at the surrender of York Fort in Hudson's Bay, be handed over to the New York Agents, who shall not permit Mons. de la Forest, the late Governor of that fort, nor any other person to speak to them without leave from Secretary Trumbull. The Agents will see that they and their interpreter are well treated here, and will take them with them on their return, making provision for their passage, etc. The Commissioners for Sick and Wounded will allow such sums as the Council of Trade shall approve for these services. Signed, John Nicholas. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 17 March, 1696–7. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 13; and 52. p. 88; and Plantations General, 4. p. 124.]
Feb. 25.
762. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. We have duly considered your order in Council of 10 December last, with a memorial from Massachusetts, as also other memorials from the Agent of that Colony and of the neighbouring Colonies as to a union among them for common defence. The importance and advantage of such union for mutual defence and common security is on all sides agreed on; the objections to the methods of executing it vary according to the interests of the parties by whom they are made. The proposition chiefly insisted on in the aforesaid memorials is that the Governor of Massachusetts may be also civil Governor of New York and New Hampshire and General of all the forces of those Colonies as also of Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. To this the Agent of Connecticut objects that the imposing even of a military governor with power to demand men, ammunition and provisions without consent of the Governor and Company, would be hard on the people and a breach of the charter. The Proprietor of New Hampshire, Mr. Allen, has also objected to the subjecting of that province to the Government of Massachusetts as tending to increase the charge on the inhabitants without addition to their security and without assurance of better administration by strangers, than by the Proprietor and inhabitants. The Agents for New York oppose the union of Massachusetts with New York on the ground that the two Colonies are far apart, that Boston and New York are rivals in trade, and that it would be hard for the inhabitants of New York to be compelled to repair to Boston, or for the Governor's salary, which is paid by the people, to be spent elsewhere than in New York. The Agents for Massachusetts on the other hand make light of these objections (see Nos. 691, 704). On our representation of 30 September last we expressed an opinion that the Colonies in North America could not be preserved unless some vigilant and able man were appointed Captain-General of all the forces there, and on 25 November last we proposed that the Governor of Massachusetts should have superior command over all New England during the war. We may add that we think the different forms of government in the various Colonies render all union, except under such a military head, impracticable, and that the regulations of 1694 have been so little complied with that it requires the exertion of a more vigorous power than has yet been practised to make them produce the desired effect. Nevertheless since the right of appointing Governors to Massachusetts, New York and New Hampshire lies in your Majesty, as also to appoint a military head over all the provinces in time of war, we recommend the appointment of a fit person to be Governor of Massachusetts, New York and New Hampshire, who shall be also Captain-General of all the forces in Connecticut, Rhode Island and the Jerseys, and that his chief residence during the war should be at New York, though with liberty to move from time to time to Boston, leaving a Lieutenant-Governor in either place during his absence. We think that hereby the General Assemblies of the Colonies may be made to understand their own interests and to enact such laws as will enable your Captain-General to execute his Commissions. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Tankerville, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. New England, 36. pp. 134–139.]
Feb. 25.
763. Order of the King in Council. Approving the representation of the Council of Trade concerning the union of New York with Massachusetts and the adjacent Colonies under one Governor or Captain-General. Copy. ¼p. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 72; and 36. p. 205.]
Feb. 25.
764. Order of the King in Council. That the Attorney-General inspect the charters of Connecticut and Rhode Island in relation to the Government and powers of constituting Governors of those Colonies, and report his opinion thereon. Copy. ¼p. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 73; and 36. p. 207.]
Feb. 25.
765. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Recommending the confirmation of two Acts of Antigua, one a Naturalisation Act, the other to oblige the Secretary and Marshal to give security. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Tankerville, Ph. Meadows, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 45. p. 63.]
Feb. 25.
766. Order of the King in Council. Confirming the two Acts of Antigua mentioned in the preceding abstract. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 9 June, 1697. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 40; and 45. pp. 68–69.]
Feb. 25.767. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Orders for sundry payments, as to the assessment of the Jews, for discharge of one of the hired sloops, for the sale of a captured ship, and for a recompense to the men who took her. Orders as to the distribution of matrosses. An enquiry was held as to the negro who fled on board the French flag of truce, and whom the French claimed as a free French subject.