America and West Indies
August 1697, 2-13

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Institute of Historical Research

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J. W. Fortescue (editor)

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1904

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571-582

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'America and West Indies: August 1697, 2-13', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 15: 1696-1697 (1904), pp. 571-582. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=70903 Date accessed: 03 September 2014.


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Contents

August 1697

Aug. 2.1,218. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Nevis. The Assembly sent up proposals that the salary of the late Treasurer, John Perry, be paid for no longer than to 2 November, 1696, that power be given to the Committee which examines his books to strike off bad debts, that a charge made by him for sending prisoners to Guadeloupe be disallowed, having been sanctioned only by the Council, and another charge for victuals supplied to Holt's regiment also disallowed, having been sanctioned by neither Council nor Assembly. The Council deferred its reply hereto. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 424–425.]
Aug. 2.
Boston.
1,219. H. Newman to John Nelson. My dame and children are well, having all things ready to put on the Main when the French appear, whom we daily expect by the reports of prisoners. Two hundred men are ordered in pay at the Castle and four hundred more to repair there on alarm. Two flyboats are ready to be sunk in the channel, all small craft are hauled into Charles River, and ships of force lie in a line of battle before the town. Five craft are appointed as fire-ships if necessary. Two ships of force are ordered before Noddle's Island to prevent a landing there. Marblehead, Salem and Piscataqua are ready to be reinforced. All the men-of-war are cruising for intelligence and all seems to be well but the want of half-a-dozen men of conduct. What is done is due to the vehement instigation of the merchants. On Wednesday we had a general review of arms in Boston, in which 1,000 appeared as completely equipped as any of the King's soldiers. Justices of peace and deacons were not exempted. Lord Bellomont is hourly expected. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd., Read 15 Oct. 1697. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 120.]
Aug. 2.1,220. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Story brought up the order of the Lords Justices in Council of 29th ult. as to New Hampshire (No. 1,215). Orders for letters to be written to Mr. Usher accordingly (see Nos. 1,221–1,223) and to Lieutenant-Governor Stoughton.
Order for Lord Bellomont's commission and instructions to be compared with the copies thereof entered in the books.
Aug. 3.The letters to Mr. Usher and Mr. Stoughton signed.
The Duchess of Hamilton's case considered.
Aug. 4.Colonel Gibson's letter of 28 June last read (No. 1,115).
Aug. 5.Ralph Lane's petition of 29 April read (No. 979). Agreed to insert a clause thereupon in Governor Grey's instructions.
The order in Council of 29th ult. as to appeals of Custom-House officers read, and ordered to be communicated to Lord Bellomont (No. 1,214).
The Secretary laid before the Council Sir Thomas Lawrence's letter to him of 25 March last (No. 856) and a list of the papers sent therewith.
Aug. 6.Governor Nicholson's letter of 13 March read (No. 798). Agreed that the innovation of creating Solicitors-General in the Colonies is inadvisable. [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 178–187.]
Aug. 3.
Whitehall.
1,221. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lieutenant-Governor Usher. We have received several letters from you, including those of 16 and 18 February last. On one representation the Lords Justices have declared by Order in Council that until Mr. Partridge qualify himself, or Lord Bellomont arrive, or their Excellencies give further order, you retain the authority given you by your commission and may require all persons to yield you obedience. Signed, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, John Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. New England, 36. pp. 217–218.]
Aug. 3.
Whitehall.
1,222. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lieutenant-Governor Usher. Lord Bellomont's speedy intended departure makes it unnecessary to answer your letter in detail. Mr. Story, who bears this, has been a careful and diligent solicitor in your business. The Acts and Journals transmitted by you are so ill-written and ill-digested that they are neither legible or intelligible, which has hindered us and still hinders us from entering into detail. This neglect should not have been permitted. Signed, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, John Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. New England, 36. pp. 219–220.]
Aug. 3.
Whitehall.
1,223. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lieutenant-Governor Stoughton. The departure of Lord Bellomont is so near that it is needless to write to you in detail upon affairs in Massachusetts, but the disorders in New Hampshire require speedy remedy. We have written to Mr. Usher that, for the present (see No. 1,221) he retains his authority, and we apprise you thereof that by your credit and countenance to him you may further the Lords Justices' intentions. Signed, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, John Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. New England, 36. pp. 220–221.]
Aug. 3.1,224. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Petitions of several masters of ships read; ordered that they sail on the 5th. Excise bill, as amended, sent down to the Assembly. The Assembly presented a memorial, without signature, setting forth their reasons for making the Agents wholly dependent on the Assembly, and requested the Council to rescind an old paper (which they called a bill) as to judges choosing their own clerks. The Council answered that they knew of no such Act. The Assembly then pressed the finishing of the Militia Bill, to which the Council answered that it was in Committee.
Aug. 4.The master of the sloop that cruised to Martinique appeared, and reported that he had seen few ships there or at Guadeloupe. The Assembly brought up the bill for freedom of elections and the bill for Excise, saying that they had agreed to most of the amendments to the latter. The President answered that after reading the memorial presented yesterday the Council saw no reason for altering its first resolutions, and desired them to take some speedy care for the more effectual quartering of the King's soldiers. The Assembly then went down and about sunset brought up a bill for furnishing seamen, with amendments, a bill for Habeas Corpus, and an address for their Clerk's and Marshal's salaries. The President answered that he could not make a Council, but would summon one to meet early to-morrow morning.
Aug. 5.Bill for freedom of elections, as amended by the Council, was returned by the Assembly read and passed. On the Excise bill the President desired a conference, on which the Assembly came, bringing with them the bill for new entrenchments, amended. At the conference on the Excise and Agents bills the Council proposed a compromise, but the Assembly refused to accept it. The bill of Excise was then returned to the Assembly with amendments, which the Assembly after debate declined to accept, the question of salary to the Agents arising out of this bill. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 231–236.]
Aug. 4.
Whitehall.
1,225. William Popple to Jeremiah Basse. Yours of 26th ult. has been laid before the Council of Trade. The Council again desires of you to state the most particular instances of matters of fact that you can give in the general things that you hint at, viz. as to the entertainment of pirates in Rhode Island, New York, Carolina and Providence. What are the names of the pirates and by whom have they been entertained? Who are the pirates that sailed from the Colonies enumerated by you? Who are concerned with them and what are their designs? Who was the pirate of whom you were informed by the mate of the Nassau? What is the mate's name and how may he be spoke withal? The Council aims at solid and particular information. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. p. 103.]
Aug. 5.1,226. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Advised that the General Court be further prorogued to 8 September, by which time the Governor may be expected to have arrived. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. p. 118.]
Aug. 7.1,227. James Vernon to Council of Trade and Plantations. The King has appointed Samuel Day to be Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Bermuda. You will give orders for the preparation of his commission and instructions. Signed, Ja. Vernon. ¼ p. Endorsed, Recd. 9th, Read 10th Aug., 1697. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 3. No. 15; and 29. p. 39.]
Aug. 7.
Whitehall.
1,228. James Vernon to Council of Trade and Plantations. The enclosed petition of Mr. Fullerton has been presented to the Lords Justices in the name of Colonel Russell's executors. Their Excellencies desire your report thereon. Signed, Ja. Vernon. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 10 Aug., 1697. Enclosed,
1,228. I. Petition of Thomas Fullerton, Attorney to the executors of the late Governor Russell, to the Lords Justices of England. A short time before Governor Russell's death a present of £300 was made to him by Act of the legislature of Barbados. There was no time before his death to obtain the King's leave to accept it, but since such leave has never been refused and the said Governor did his duty with zeal and fidelity, I beg for your order that this present of £300 may be paid to his executors. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 10 Aug., 1697. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. Nos. 37, 37I.; and 44. pp. 79–81.]
Aug. 9.1,229. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Orders for payment of £21 to Secretary Addington, of £6 to the attendant who accompanied the Commissioners to Connecticut and Rhode Island, of £122 to the Commissioners of War for sundry charges, and of £19 15s. to Bartholemew Green for printing the Acts of Assembly and other public orders. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 109–110.]
Aug. 9.1,230. Proclamation proroguing the General Court of Massachusetts to 8 September. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New England, 48. p. 170.]
Aug. 9.
Whitehall.
1,231. James Vernon to Council of Trade. Transmitting by order of the Lords Justices, a memorial of Captain James Norton, for report thereon. Signed, Ja. Vernon. ¼ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 10 Aug., 1697. Enclosed,
1,231. I. Memorial of Captain James Norton to the Lords Justices of England. I have been a soldier from my youth, and have risen from Volunteer to Captain in eighteen years' service in England, Tangier, Flanders and the West Indies. At the revolution I entered the King's service with the first of the guards, and served in Flanders under the Duke of Ormond until November, 1692, when I received a company in Godfrey Lloyd's (now Henry Holt's) regiment. I went to the West Indies with Colonel Lloyd and served against the French in those parts. I was over three years in the Leeward Islands and was appointed by Governor Codrington to take his post at St. Christophers. In the absence of Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Hill I acted always as deputy-governor there. On 1 May, 1695, Holt's regiment was reduced from thirteen companies of sixty men to five companies of one hundred men, and I, as one of the reformed officers, was directed to be subsisted with the regiment and to await my turn for preferment to a vacancy; but since November, 1692, I have only received £5 15s. 6d. of all the subsistence and pay due to me, have spent all my little fortune and have run into debt to support myself, wife, and family. I lately came home on furlough for recovery of my health and am shortly returning to my post in the Leeward Islands. I am the oldest reformed Captain unprovided for in the regiment, and, according to the King's directions, should have the next vacancy. By the recent death of Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Hill the deputy-governorship of St. Christophers and the command of the independent company there are vacant, the company being the only support appointed to the Lieutenant-Governor of that Island. I am now well seasoned to the climate, I am familiar with the customs and inhabitants and I am in good esteem with Governor Codrington. I beg to be appointed Lieutenant-Governor of St. Christophers with command of the independent company there. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. Nos. 51, 51I.; and 45. pp. 88–92.]
Aug. 9.1,232. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. The answer of the law-officers to the queries as to the Scotch East India Company was read.
Draft representation upon the Duchess of Hamilton's claim approved.
Aug. 10.Order for the Barbados Agents to be reminded to give their answer as to Mr. Grey's instructions. Mr. Vernon's letter of 7th inst., with a petition from Governor Russell's executors, read (No. 1,228). Order for the Act of Barbados in question to be looked out.
Mr. Vernon's letter of 7th inst., ordering Mr. Day's commission and instructions to be prepared, was read, and directions were given accordingly.
Three representations signed, including that on the Duchess of Hamilton's claim.
The Orders of Council of 22nd July as to the salary of the Lieutenant-Governor of New York, and of 29 July as to New Hampshire, were received.
Mr. Vernon's letter of 9th inst. with Captain Norton's memorial was read (No. 1,231), and Captain Norton called in. He then gave the names of gentlemen who knew him, and said that his own advancement from private soldier in the Duke of Ormond's troop to captain was upon the battle of Steenkirk. Mr. Hutcheson, attending, confirmed what he had said, adding that the people of Christophers had subscribed £300 to enable him to subsist, of which Governor Codrington had given half; and that the only profit of the place of Deputy-Governor of St. Christophers was the command of a company. The Agents of the Leeward Islands and Captain Norton were summoned to attend again to-morrow.
Aug. 11.The Act for a present to the late Governor Russell being in the law-officers' hands, order was given that any that come to enquire upon that matter be so informed.
Two addresses from Maryland as to Governor Copley's estate and concerning the quota were laid before the Council, and consideration thereof deferred. Order for the law-officers to be directed to hasten the despatch of the Acts of Maryland.
The Agents of the Leeward Islands and others attended upon Captain Norton's business. Several gentlemen bore witness to his merit, and upon a difficulty raised as to his command of a company he declared himself ready to accept any company that the Governor might think fit. Order for a representation to be be prepared accordingly.
Two Orders in Council of 29th ult. confirming private Acts of Jamaica read.
Aug. 12.Mr. Richard Cary attended, and said that the Agents for the Leeward Islands were satisfied as to Captain Norton's fitness for the post which he desires; whereupon a representation in his favour was signed.
Order for a representation to be drawn recommending that a clause as to passing temporary laws be inserted in the instructions to all Governors in future.
On the Duchess of Hamilton's case, it was ordered that no copy of the representation thereupon be given out, until the Lords Justices shall have declared their opinion concerning it.
Aug. 13.A report of the Governor and Council of Jamaica on the case of Usher Tyrrell was read, and a copy ordered to be sent to Mr. James Tyrrell.
On notice given by Lord Bellomont of his speedy departure, heads of a letter to him as to Rhode Island, Connecticut and the Narragansett Country were agreed on.
Lord Bridgewater presented Sir Thomas Laurence's letter to him of 25 March last (No. 857). The heads of a reply to Governor Nicholson's letter of 27 March were considered. [Board of Trade. Journal, 10. pp. 187–198.]
Aug. 10.1,233. Petition of Merchants of Virginia and Maryland to the King. Praying him to give directions which may prevail with the Czar of Muscovy to remove the prohibition to import tobacco into his dominions. Signed, Micaiah Perry, and by fifty-two others. Large sheet, endorsed, Recd. from Mr. Perry, etc., 10 Aug., 1697. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 25.]
Aug. 10.
Whitehall.
1,234. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices of England. We have communicated the Duchess of Hamilton's petition as to her claim to the Narragansett Country to the Agents of Massachusetts and Connecticut and one of the principal proprietors of Rhode Island. All agree that the titles and deeds of the persons in possession are in New England, and ask for time for them to give an answer; but at the instance of the Earl of Arran we have drawn up the following report of the case. On 3 November, 1620, King James I. incorporated the then Duke of Lennox, Marquis of Hamilton and others by the name of the Council established at Plymouth in Devon for the governing of New England, and granted them the territory lying between the 40th and 48th degrees of latitude in America. There are few records of the proceedings of this Council, which on 3 February, 1634, surrendered its charter to King Charles I. and took out new grants by him. On 18 April, 1635, they made leases of 3,000 years to several persons in trust, and on the 22nd gave deeds of feoffment to several of their members for their respective shares. On this same 22 April, 1635, the Council of Plymouth executed such a deed of feoffment to James, Marquis of Hamilton, for his portion among others, and in this deed his portion is called the County of New Cambridge, a name which has since disappeared. On 25 April, 1635, the Council of Plymouth declared its intention to surrender the charter, which was duly done on 7 June, while on 1 May they had petitioned the King for confirmation of the particular grants of land aforesaid. In July, 1637, in consequence of disorders in New England, King Charles I. (who had resolved to take the Government to himself) appointed Sir Ferdinando Gorges to be Governor and forbade all persons to transport themselves to New England without licence, reserving only a liberty of that kind to those who had joined in the surrender of the old charter and had taken out new grants for their plantations directly from the King, though no such grant had as yet been taken out. On 3 April, 1639, King Charles I. confirmed to Sir Ferdinando Gorges the land formerly allotted to him by the Council of Plymouth, which is still called the County of Maine, and this is the only patent which was granted by King Charles I. to any member of the said Council in consequence of the surrender aforesaid. From that time till 1661 there are scarce any records of proceedings in respect of the forementioned grants, though some afterwards complained that Massachusetts had encroached on their rights. On 31 May, 1661, Henry, Earl of Stirling, in a petition to King Charles II. claimed the propriety of Long Island, as having been granted to his grandfather and improved by himself, father and grandfather, and prayed for confirmation of the said grant; but we do not find that he received it—on the contrary, in the instructions of the Commissioners sent to New England in 1664, Long Island is mentioned as vested in the Duke of York. On 6 May, 1664, the late Duke and Duchess of Hamilton set forth their grant of the land (now claimed by the Duchess) from the Council of Plymouth, adding that during the Civil War several persons had encroached on the land, and asking that the Commissioners might see to the restoration of their rights. The question was therefore referred to the same Commissioners for their report, who in a report of 20 March, 1664–5, set forth that they had taken over the land from the Sachems of the Narragansett Indians (who had shewed them a deed to the same effect of 19 April, 1664) into the King's immediate Government and protection, and had named it the King's Province. At the same time the Commissioners in another paper said that the said Colony had nothing to say against the Duke of Hamilton's patent, but that their writings were burnt, that they had bought their land of Lord Say and others, that the King had confirmed it to them, and that they knew nothing of the late Marquis of Hamilton's grant, who had never sent any to take possession or to inhabit upon it. In a further paper, apparently also from those same Commissioners, it is only expressed that the Marquis of Hamilton's patent takes in all Rhode Island and about half of Connecticut, but derives the original title to the Narragansett Country from the submission and surrender of the Indians aforesaid. They say further, in a particular report on the Duke's petition, that they could not find that the Marquis of Hamilton had sent any person to take possession of any part of his patent nor that anyone there had any knowledge of the grant, but that the land had been parcelled out to Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
In 1671 and 1672 Mr. Ferdinando Gorges and Mr. Robert Mason presented several petitions and had several hearings as to their titles to tracts of land in America, and in 1675 they produced the opinions of the Attorney and Solicitor-General that the title of Mason to New Hampshire and of Gorges to Maine were good and legal. In December, 1675, they petitioned again, but the disputes between them and Massachusetts on the subject were long undecided until the Committee of Trade and Plantations on 5 April, 1677, referred it to the Lords Chief Justices. On 17 July, 1677, the Chief Justices in their report said that they could not decide the title to lands without hearing the case of the terre-tenants and therefore recommended that this should be referred to the Courts of Justice on the spot; but they decided that Gorges had a right of government in the province of Maine in virtue of King Charles I.'s patent of 3 April, 1639. A dispute between Rhode Island and Connecticut as to the propriety and Government of the Narragansett Country was referred on 26 March, 1680, to the Attorney and Solicitor-General, who in their report recommended that the said country should remain as settled by the King's commission till the parties should be heard and the matter better explained. The differences still remained undecided, in spite of frequent applications from the parties concerned, until in 1682 a commission consisting of Edward Cranfield and others was appointed to enquire as to the various claims and to report. These Commissioners reported that the Government of the Narragansett Country belonged to Connecticut under letters patent of 23 April, 1662, and that the property of the soil belonged to Mr. Richard Wharton and others, heir and assigns of certain persons who derived their title from grants from and transactions with the Indian Sachems, dated 11 June and 4 July, 1659, and 13 October and 16 November, 1660. But after finishing this report they received from Mr. Randolph the claim of the Duke of Hamilton and sent copies of the deeds to the Colony of Connecticut, who returned an answer thereto, to which again a reply was returned in the name of the Duchess of Hamilton. Copies of these two last documents have been given to us by the Earl of Arran. On 23 December, 1684, the Committee of Trade recommended an instruction to Colonel Kirke, the intended Governor of Massachusetts, to confirm all titles of land quietly possessed, reserving a quit-rent of 2s. 6d. for every hundred acres, questions of disputed title being left to the Governor in Council. On 24 March, 1684–5, Thomas, Lord Culpeper, Richard Wharton and others set forth by petition their right to the soil of the Narragansett Country and, submitting to the quit-rent aforesaid, prayed for a confirmation of their right. On 3 April, 1685, the Earl of Arran also set forth the title of the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton, and prayed that it might be acknowledged. Both petitions were referred to the Attorney and Solicitor-General, but we can find no answer from them on the subject. Sir Edmund Andros (who was sent to Massachusetts instead of Colonel Kirke) received instructions to enquire as to the King's right to the soil of the Narragansett Country and the claims of others thereto. He reported in favour of the King's right, but said nothing of the Duchess of Hamilton's, adding that several of the pretended proprietors were sensible of the defects of their titles and had prayed for new grants, some of which he had granted, and that if the King would determine the said pretences the whole country might be patented and settled, with an income of quit-rents for the King. On 10 April, 1688, the Committee of Trade and Plantations examined another petition of Lord Culpeper and other proprietors of the Narragansett Country and at the same time Sir Edmund Andros's report, and recommended that Sir Edmund be instructed to make out grants to the said Lord Culpeper and others in equal parts of the unappropriated lands, for a quit-rent of 2s. 6d. per 100 acres, and reserving the rights of the King and his subjects. Upon the which matter we think, on the Duchess of Hamilton's petition, that the former decision of the two Chief Justices is the best, namely that the parties concerned have recourse to the Courts of Justice on the spot. The case is of the greatest importance, for the revival of all the dormant titles under the grants of the Council of Plymouth would lead to unspeakable disturbance and confusion. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Tankerville, Jno. Pollexfen, John Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. New England, 36. pp. 221–238.]
Aug. 10.
Whitehall.
1,235. William Popple to Mr. Bulfinch. Asking for a copy of the Act passed twenty-five years since in Massachusetts, to which reference is made in the memorial of the subscribers for working copper-mines, etc., of 5 July. [Board of Trade. New England, 36. p. 239.]
Aug. 10.1,236. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. The Assembly sent up the Act for the Fort on Monk's Hill, also an address asking for the payment of an account due for the public service and for a platform to be built for protection of Parham harbour. Answer from the Council, sending down an Act for billeting soldiers, duly passed, and naming two members to assist in choosing a site for the platform at Parham. Several orders on petitions for grants of land. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 207–208.]
Aug. 11.1,237. Minutes of Council of Virginia. The Governor reported the arrival of Vice-Admiral Nevill in James River with a considerable squadron, who had sent orders to all the inhabitants to bring fresh provisions and sloops and shallops for watering. Resolved to impress what craft are adjacent for the latter service. Letters from Captain George Mason, Commander-in-Chief of the Militia of Stafford County, were read, reporting the scalping and maiming of the wife and three children of William Wiggington by some Indians. Four of the Council, with the Speaker of the House of Burgesses and nine others, were appointed a Commission to enquire into the matter. Auditor Byrd reported the shooting of a man by Indians in Appomattox, but that the said Indians had disappeared at the first shot fired at them, and that all was now quiet, whereupon the Council thought it unnecessary to give any orders.
Aug. 12.The question of the proceedings of the Council and Burgesses of Maryland were again considered, when the Council resolved that they did not yet understand the matter, since the two Houses had carried on the negotiations without the authority of the Governor. The Council of Virginia therefore prayed Sir Edmund Andros to request the Governor of Maryland to acquaint him first, before any negotiations are carried on with Indians within the Government of Virginia, and to order the militia and rangers of Stafford County to prevent any agents from Maryland treating with the said Indians without due notice and permission. Resolved that all encouragement be given to Peter Heyman, appointed by the Commissioners of Customs to be Collector of Lower James River district. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 53. pp. 85–87; and 93–95.]
Aug. 12.1,238. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. Order for an embargo on all shipping until 23 August, and for the vessels taken up for security of the harbour to be discharged. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 110–111.]
Aug. 12.1,239. Minutes of Council of Montserrat. Richard Molineux sworn of the Council. Patent for land granted to William Finch. The two Acts ordered on 14 June (No. 1,081) were read and assented to. Order for payment of 8,000lbs. of sugar to the eight men of the standing guards at Soldiers Gut and Bancombe Bay. Order for a negro convicted of stealing to be well whipped and to have his ears cut off. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. p. 525.]
Aug. 12.
Whitehall.
1,240. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices of England. With reference to Mr. Vernon's letter of 9th inst. (No. 1,231) we here made enquiry of several captains in the Earl of Oxford's regiment who knew Captain Norton in Flanders, and of some merchants and others who have either known or corresponded with him in the West Indies, and have received from all of them a very favourable character of him as an active, vigilant and careful officer, and a fair and honest man, well esteemed in the Leeward Islands. We find therefore nothing to object to his qualifications for the appointments for which he asks. The Agents for the Leeward Islands having suggested that the independent company might be more properly conferred on Governor Codrington, to whom it formerly belonged, Captain Norton has declared his free consent that Governor Codrington may either take this company and give him that which he now has, or keep his present company and give Captain Norton the other. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Tankerville, Ph. Meadows, John Pollexfen, Jo. Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 45. pp. 93–95.]
Aug. 12.
Whitehall.
1,241. Order of the Lords Justices of England in Council. That commissions be prepared for Captain James Norton as Lieutenant-Governor of St. Christophers and captain of the company vacant by the death of Lieutenant-Colonel Hill. Copy. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 16 Aug., 1697. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 52; and 45. pp. 95–96.]
Aug. 12.1,242. Commission of Captain James Norton to be Lieutenant-Governor of St. Christophers. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 45. p. 149.]
Aug. 12.1,243. Memorandum of the receipt of the foregoing commission to Captain Norton. Recd. Read, 10 Jan., 1697–8. ¼ p. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 53.]
Aug. 12.1,244. William Popple to the Attorney and Solicitor General. Forwarding the laws passed by the Assembly of Maryland in 1696, for their opinion, and requesting dispatch of the business. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 9. p. 72.]
[Aug. 12.]1,245. List of the Laws of Maryland passed in 1696. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 28; and 9. pp. 72–73.]
Aug. 12.1,246. The Attorney General to the Council of Trade. I have considered the several temporary laws continued by an Act of Maryland and find nothing to object to in any of them except such as were mentioned in my previous report. Though several other laws passed in Maryland since 1692 were sent to me at the same time I have not considered them, conceiving that you desired an opinion only on such temporary laws as were not before me when I made my last report. Signed, Tho. Trevor. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read, 24 Sept., 1697. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 29; and 9. p. 111.]
Aug. 13.
Whitehall.
1,247. William Popple to John Sansom, Secretary of Customs. Asking if any ships have been sent to Maryland and Virginia, pursuant to the recommendations of the Commissioners of Customs, to suppress pirates and illegal traders. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 9. p. 88.]
Aug. 13.1,248. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. A special summons for a Council to be held on 17th inst. was ordered, to hear William Brodrick's complaint against Captain John Moses. Order for payment of rent for store-houses and of the store-keeper's wages. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 79. p. 17.]
[Aug. 13.]1,249. Report of the Governor and Council of Jamaica on the petition of Usher Tyrrell. We believe that petitioner was settled at St. Christophers and was driven thence by the French, but we cannot say what he lost thereby. We believe also that he served in the recapture of the island and from thence came down to Jamaica; but as to the rest of his allegations, the facts are as follows. Some time after his arrival in Jamaica an estate was escheated by due course of law, the value being returned by the jury at £515. Under the law of Jamaica it is lawful for the Governor to pass a grant of such escheated estates, provided a clause be inserted to save the rights of any rightful heir, should one appear, and secure that the price shall be paid to the Treasury within three years, after which time (if no heir establish his claim) an absolute grant of the estate is made, the money paid being kept to meet the claims of any heir in future. Such a conditional grant was made to Usher Tyrrell, and the three years being expired, the bond is become due; and this money by another Act is, if no rightful claimant appear, forfeited to the King and appropriated to the support of the Government. Hence we conceive that the sum of £515 mentioned in the petition cannot be applied nor diverted but as the Act directs. Mr. Tyrrell, removing his habitation from the said escheated estate to some of the remote settlements in the island, had the misfortune to lose a number of negroes, taken by the French. He then petitioned us to be discharged from his obligations, but was answered that the money being by law applied could not be diverted otherwise, but that in consideration of his loss the Receiver-General should have orders not to demand the money till he were in a better condition to pay it. Signed, Tho. Nicholls, Cl. Concil. 19 August, 1696. 3 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 24 Nov., 1696. Read, 13 Aug., 1697. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 69; and 56. pp. 124–128.]
Aug. 13.
Whitehall.
1,250. William Popple to James Tyrrell. Forwarding the report of the Governor and Council of Jamaica upon his brother's case (see preceding abstract). [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 56. p. 129.]