America and West Indies
January 1699, 1-14


Institute of Historical Research



Cecil Headlam (editor)

Year published





Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'America and West Indies: January 1699, 1-14', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 17: 1699 and Addenda 1621-1698 (1908), pp. 1-19. URL: Date accessed: 27 November 2014.


(Min 3 characters)


January 1699

Jan. 1.
1. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Order that, as several vestries have refused to levy the poor-rate ordered (Nov. 22), notice be given them that, if any of the poor of their parishes suffer for want of such assistance, they must expect to be prosecuted for contempt. Order to publish Mr. Robert Yard's letter and the order about French soldiers. Order for the £60 allowed his Excellency for the Council Chamber to be paid out of the 3d. for arms. He will allow the balance to lie in Col. Blakiston's hands. Mr. George Tubman's appeal for mercy considered and as "he has lived very private and pensive and seems to be heartily sorry for his error" (Cal. 1698, Oct. 28), his suspension remitted. Letter from Lord Bellomont, Nov. 12, read. Order to send home accounts of the 3d. for arms.
Jan. 2.Letter from John Povey, Oct. 27, relating to Navigation Bonds read and the Attorney-General ordered to keep the judgment upon such bonds in force. To the complaint in the same letter that he had not sent home the public accounts, George Muschamp replied that he had received no particular orders therefor, but had transmitted the account until March last and would now transmit the rest as soon as possible. He and George Plater made oath to their several accounts. Collectors and Naval Officers who had not done so ordered to make oath to the nearest Councillor as to their accounts and lists of shipping.
Col. Blakiston produced his commission. Governor Francis Nicholson informed him that he had appointed Thomas Tench, a member of Council, Judge Advocate and Registrar, in the provinces of Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Jersey, and Col. Robert Quay to be Judge of the Court of Admiralty in Pennsylvania and West Jersey. He then delivered the Great Seal of the Province to His Excellency and acquainted him that he did appoint Col. Jowles to keep it. Reviewing the period of his government, he said that he had found the country in some distraction and in debt, which difficulties by the aid of the gentlemen of the Council he had waded through, as some others, such as suspending Attorneys and denying the oath of secrecy to the Clerk of the House of Delegates. He recommended all those persons whom he left in commission and warned his Excellency of the late commotions and disturbances set on foot by Clark, Slye, Cood and Mason. He delivered to him various letters, the balance of the account of the revenue raised for arms, and the communion plate given by his Majesty for the church at Annapolis (2 large flagons, a cup, two patens, and a receiver). Col. Blakiston took the oaths and subscribed the Test and Association. William Bladen was sworn Clerk of the Council. Several gentlemen present, Capt. Richard Hill, William Dent, Attorney-General, Samuel Young, one of the Masters in Chancery, Christopher Gregory, Peter Jennings, George Plater, Edward Balson, Richard Beard, High Sheriff, and Mr. Orlando Greenslade, took the oaths appointed. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 12. pp. 664–673.]
Jan. 2.
2. Secretary of the Customs to William Popple. Having communicated your letter of the 23rd past to the Commissioners touching the marginal note on the 13th Article of Instructions from the King to the Governors of the Plantations, I am commanded to acquaint you that, as that Article was intended for the Governors of his Majesty's Plantations in general, it was not so properly worded for the Governors of Proprieties and therefore thought fit to be omitted in the Instructions to them. But if it were so worded as to restrain those Governors themselves from making any alienations of their Proprieties contrary to the Act of Parliament as well as to require them to make their observations upon others, the Commissioners think it may be a proper instruction for them. The 15th Article relates only to the officers of the Court of Judicature in his Majesty's Plantations, the Commissioners therefore see no cause to omit it in the Instructions to the Governors of Proprieties.
As to your reference to a trade intended to be settled in the Island of Tobago, I can yet find no footsteps of any shipping or trade to that place, nor anything that may reasonably give suspicion of any such trade carrying on at present from hence, except three ships, which lately cleared from the Customs house bound to the Cape de Verd Island, whose names are here enclosed. But the Bench of Officers, being now made acquainted with the apprehensions the Lords Commissioners of the Council of Trade have of an intended settlement to be made in that island, will upon the clearing of all ships outward upon oath administer proper interrogatories to discover anything of that kind. Signed, Jno. Sansom. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. Read Jan. 3, 1698/9. Enclosed,
2. I. Ships cleared in December last for Cape de Verd:—John Maxwell, the John and James; Samuel White, the Johnson; Thomas Guinn, the Ann and Sarah. ¼ p. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. Nos. 74, 74 (I); and 44. pp. 236–238; and (first half of letter only), Plantations General 35. p. 2.]
3. Memorandum of above letter. ½ p. [Board of Trade, Plantations General 5. No. 3.]
Jan. 2.
4. Minutes of Council of New Hampshire. Petition of James Mountaes that he may not be obliged to trial at special Court appointed, the notice being too short, granted. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. p. 445.]
Jan. 2.
5. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Kick presented an account of English and Irish wool (981 bales) shipped out of Scotland and imported at Rotterdam in four months from July last.
Mr. Sansom's reply to a letter of Dec. 23 relating to Tobago read. Resolved to let the 13th article in the Instructions referred to stand (Cal. 1698, No. 1075) and omit Article 15 in the draft prepared for the Proprieties.
Additions to the letter to Lord Bellomont ordered.
Jan. 3.Orders of Council for repeal of Acts of Massachusetts Colony read and ordered to be signified to Mr. Stoughton.
Mr. Secretary Vernon's answer to letter of Dec. 29 and 30 about interruption to our fishery caused by the French of Accadie and about Col. Fletcher read. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 325–327; and 96. Nos. 1 and 2; and Trade Papers, 14. pp. 141–144.]
Jan. 3.
6. Minutes of Council of Maryland. The Council gave their opinion that it would not be for His Majesty's service to dissolve the present Assembly and that it could not be convened before June 28, the day until which it stands prorogued. His Excellency read the opinion of the Attorney-General that it was within the Governor's power on great or emergent occasions to summon the Assembly sooner than the precedent adjournment. The Court of Chancery, the Court of Appeal and the Commissary's Court standing adjourned till Feb. 23, and it being feared that the suitors would be impeded by the hard weather from attending, they were further adjourned till March 15. His Excellency regretted that the Councillors lived so far from the seat of Government and, promising never to call them together needlessly, required them to attend when summoned. Bills for duty on tobacco on board ships in the Province before Dec. 10 ordered to be taken payable to H. E. Nathaniel Blakiston. An exact account of what tobacco they had on board before Dec. 10 ordered to be rendered by ships when clearing. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. 673–677.]
Jan. 3.7. Memorandum of letter from James Vernon to Council of Trade and Plantations, in answer to letter of Dec. 30th, enclosing heads of complaints (See Cal. 1698, 1,007) against Col. Fletcher, and requiring them to proceed in the matter. Endorsed, Recd. Read Jan. 3, 1698–9. [Board of Trade. New York, 8A. No. 1; and 53. p. 212.]
Jan. 3.8. Deposition of Capt. John Evans, late Commander of H.M. frigate Richmond. On May 7, 1698, I heard an affidavit read before the Governor and Council of New York wherein Edward Taylor stated that he and company had been roving in the Red Sea and taken much spoil from the subjects of the Mogul and returning with the ship Jacob had bargained with William Nicoll and Governor Fletcher to obtain protection for money. Afterwards he plainly owned to me that he had never changed a word with Col. Fletcher in his life, but what he had sworn was extorted from him by fear, threats and promises of favour. Copy. Endorsed, Recd. Read Jan. 5, 1698/9. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New York, 8A. No. 2; and 53. p. 212.]
Jan. 3.
9. James Vernon to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I have laid before His Majesty your letters of 29th and 30th past (Cal. 1698, Nos. 1,082 and 922). As to the first, relating to the interruption of the fishery about Nova Scotia, His Majesty would have you consider the American Treaty mentioned in the said papers, whether the pretentions of the French in this particular are thereby justified, or what else you observe in that treaty that is liable to be laid hold of to the disadvantage of His Majesty's subjects. As to what relates to Col. Fletcher, His Majesty would have you proceed in that enquiry in order to your making your report upon the whole matter. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. Read, Jan. 3, 1698/9. [Board of Trade. New England, 9. No. 49; and 37. p. 88.]
Jan. 4.
10. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letter from Mr. Nelson, Boston, Nov. 4, read.
Jan. 5.Col. Fletcher attended as desired, and presented a deposition by Captain Evance to invalidate that by Ed. Taylor.
Sir Henry Ashurst presented a copy of the submission of the Eastern Indians, 1693, and promised to bring an account of the boundaries between Accadie and New England.
Letter to Lord Bellomont signed.
Representation signed to present to His Majesty copies of instructions prepared by the Commissioners of Customs to the Governors of Barbadoes, Jamaica, and Proprietors of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Carolina and Bahama Islands.
Instructions for the Jersies ordered to be suspended till some resolution be taken about Perth Amboy, and for Leeward Islands till a Governor be appointed.
Memorial from the contractors with the Czar of Muscovy for the importation of tobacco into his dominions to obtain an easy admission into the Russia Company read. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 327–329; and 96. Nos. 3, 4, 5; and Plantations General, 35. p. 3; and Barbados, 44. p. 238.]
Jan. 5.11. Copy of the Treaty of Peace concluded by Sir Wm. Phipps, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay, and the Eastern Indians, Aug. 11, 1693 (ride Cal. 1693, 545). The Indians submit to the Crown of England; undertake to return all English captives without ransom; in case of disagreements with English subjects, agree to abide by the laws of England; and give hostages. Signed by many witnesses, interpreters, and Indians whose marks are reproduced. Endorsed, Presented to the Board by Sir Hen. Ashurst, Jan. 5th, 1698/9. 3 pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 9. No. 50; and 37. pp. 99–104.]
Jan. 5.12. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Nevis. The Council proposed that a gratuity should be given to the Clerk of the Council. The Assembly agreed to allow him 4,000 pounds of sugar for one year only, on condition that he read all petitions, endorsed the orders thereon and returned them to the petitioner gratis. Charles Williams, minister of St. Paul's. begged pardon for uttering scandalous words, saying the Council had done him high injustice. It was agreed to fine each member of the Council and Assembly who, without good reason, failed to appear in Charles Town by 9 a.m. each day they were summoned. The forfeiture to be spent by the respective members. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 485, 486.]
Jan. 5.
13. Two orders of King in Council. Six Acts passed in Jamaica 1695, 1696, approved and confirmed. Duplicate of one defaced required. Endorsed, Recd. Read May 17, 1699. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. Nos. 103, 104; and 56. pp. 313–315.]
Jan. 5.
Fort William
14. Minutes of Council of New York. Licence to collect charity granted to Samuel Terrell, of the County of Suffolk, on the island Nassau, yeoman, who has lately been burned out of his house. Petition of Joseph Langdon on behalf of a woman referred to the Justices of Peace of Queen's County on the island Nassau. Payment of certain officials ordered. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. p. 181.]
Jan. 5.
15. Council of Trade and Plantations to Gov. the Earl of Bellomont. Since our letter of Oct. 25 we have been making what progress we can. We have received yours of Sept. 14, 21, Oct. 21, 24, and Nov. 7, 8, 12. We observe and highly commend your very great application in reforming the many abuses and taking measures to improve the Province of New York, and are no less sensible of your Lordship's exact and clear method in all your dispatches. But in regard to Mr. Brooks' collection of the revenue we should have been glad to know what information you gave the Lords of the Treasury. You will have received the letter of the Lords Justices of Oct. 28 wherein are such instructions as will enable you, we hope, to settle the affairs of the Province. As to your going to New England or staying at New York, we leave that to your own prudence. Besides the general representation upon which their Excellencies' foresaid letter was grounded, we laid before them another offering our opinion that Col. Romar might stay longer for the repair of the fortifications, with which they were pleased to concur, though we understand their orders will come too late. We also proposed that two hundred recruits might be sent for the forces, but upon that no determination has yet been taken. But we are not unmindful of the necessity of recruits and of provision for the pay of the forces, which matters in all proper occasions we shall promote to the utmost of our power. What you have advised us about the Governor of Canada insisting upon the French King's right of soverainty over our Five Nations of Indians has been laid before the King, as also what Mr. Stoughton has informed us about the encroachments made by the French of Accadie upon the territories of New England and their pretence to the sole right of fishing upon the banks in the high sea which lie off that coast, all which matters will come properly under consideration when the French Commissioners, that are to be sent hither to treat about the bounds of territories in America, do arrive. You will easily conceive that our representation upon the state of the Province could not be made without a long deduction of many matters of fact, as we received them from your Lordship, relating to Col. Fletcher. We have been ordered to hear him upon those matters and report our opinion. We shall hear both him and Mr. Weaver and your Lordship shall be duly informed. We have not had time to digest your letters of November for any report, but, upon reading that of the 8th, we cannot but think it highly necessary you should proceed to cause an exact account and thorough audit to be made of the accounts, as you propose, that any corruption may be detected and the guilty made to refund or suffer as justice shall require. With regard to your desire that a soldier may be pardoned for killing an Indian Sachem (See Cal. 1698, No. 988), we must answer that the Indians are known to be of so vindictive a temper, that the pardoning of any who has done them so capital an injury is a matter of very nice consideration; lest their resentment of such an offence should tend to alienate their affections. Though some of them have interceded for this man's life, you ought to be very well assured of their general inclination before he be absolutely pardoned; we leave him therefore in the meantime under suspension. We hope Col. Cortland's and Mr. Graham's testimony will prevent any inconvenience arising from the Clerk's error (Cal. 1698, 988). However, if you send us a copy of the commission of oyer and terminer, that may perhaps enable us to judge better. Besides the papers which you have transmitted to us relating to Col. Fletcher, there has one thing come occasionally from Maryland, referred from the Commissioners of Customs to the Commissioners of the Treasury, from them to the Lords Justices and from them to us. Certain letters of denization bearing date Nov. 5, 1697, granted by Col. Fletcher to Arnauld Nodine, a French man, in such extensive terms that upon the seizure and trial of a vessel, whereof he was Master, in Maryland, he was adjudged there to be qualified to trade as an Englishman, which being of evil consequence to England and directly contrary to all the Acts of Trade made here, we offered our opinion accordingly and sent you a copy for guidance on like occasions. We have received from Mr. Randolph (New York, Aug. 25) a list of vessels cleared out in the Custom House there for Curasso and Madagascar, March 25–Aug. 17, and as you have already been very watchful upon the Trade with Madagascar and we have sent you a late Act of Parliament for your further conduct therein (for settling the Trade to the East Indies), so we cannot but advise you to be watchful upon the return of those vessels, that they be not allowed in anything contrary to the Acts of Trade. Upon this mention of Madagascar, which has been the great rendezvous of pirates, it may be proper to acquaint your Lordship, that preparations have some while been making here for sending a squadron of ships of war to suppress them there and at St. Maria, or wherever else in those seas they can be met with, and that in order to the reducing of them, either by offers of pardon or otherwise, directions were given for a proclamation proper for that service, in which, upon news of Captain Kidd's having committed some notorious Acts of Piracy, his name was ordered to be joined with Every's as persons to be exempted from pardon, which we suppose hath been or will accordingly be done. We approve of your conduct at your meeting with the Indians at Albany. It is most necessary to endeavour by all means possible to retain them in their subjection to the Crown of England. We should be glad to have been told what became of those Indians that were here, and returned to New York under the care of Mr. Brook and Mr. Nicoll, for we doubt much of their sincerity and suspect their inclination biassed in favour of the French may incline them to do us more harm than good. Your proposal (July 1st) that part of the stock of the Corporation for evangelising the Indians should be employed towards the Instructions of the Five Nations in the neighbourhood of New York seemed to us very reasonable, and we moved it to Sir Henry Ashurst, but he answered that their stock was by charter appropriated to New England. We intend to enquire further and invoke your assistance in the matter. What you have advised us about the obstinacy of the Jerseys in the business of Perth Amboy is a matter of great weight; we should not have neglected one hour in putting some order to it, but as they found their claim chiefly on certain orders from the Commissioners of Customs, we have been obliged to seek some information from them and have not yet received an answer. In the meantime we advise you strictly to pursue His Majesty's instructions. We are very sensible of the inconvenience that happened upon the recalling of the Fowey frigate by particular directions to the Captain without any advice to your Lordship or deference to your authority, which we suppose you have represented to the Lords of the Admiralty and hope they will in future take care to prevent. As to the want of a man-of-war thereby occasioned, as there is the like want also in some others, we are preparing a representation upon the whole. We will be mindful of your desire that one of those to be sent may transport you to New England, but cannot promise it will be so soon ready as that you ought to neglect any other opportunity of repairing thither if necessary. Your suggestions about the forts and that Col. Fletcher's debt would be found to be more than sufficient to build the two forts at Albany and Schenectady if a strict audit of the public accounts and survey of the buildings were made, is a matter that requires further inquiry. The map of the Province you sent us seems to be very exact and will be of good use upon all occasions, but the printed collection of laws is not so perfect as it ought to be. Leaves are wanting and Acts misplaced in order of time. We entreat your Lordship to let another collection be made with more exact care and transmitted to us. As to your desire (Sept. 21) about the mustering of servants, we are not able to give any directions at all. Only we send you here enclosed a copy of His Majesty's orders about that matter. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. "Sent to Mr. Weaver." [Board of Trade. New York, 53. pp. 213–224; and (rough draft), 44 A. No. 26.]
Jan. 5.
16. Order of King in Council approving the representation of the Council of Trade and Plantations about instructions relating to trade to the respective Governors. Endorsed, Recd. Read Jan. 16, 1698/9. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 5. No. 1; and 35. pp. 8, 9.]
Jan. 5.
17. Order of King in Council. The Council of Trade is to prepare drafts of a Commission to Lord Bellomont for an enquiry into the irregularities at Rhode Island as proposed in their representation of Dec. 21. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. Endorsed, Recd. Read Jan. 16, 1698/9. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 2. No. 42; and 25. pp. 302, 303.]
Jan. 5.
18. Order of King in Council referring annexed petition to the Council of Trade. Signed, William Bridgeman. Endorsed, Recd. Jan. 9, Read Jan. 17, 1698/9. Enclosed,
18. I. Proprietors of East New Jersey to the King. Andrew Hamilton, Esq., by appointment of the petitioners has been Governor of East New Jersey for many years past, and behaved himself with so much zeal and affection to your Majesty's service during the late war against the French of Canada and with so much justice and prudence towards your Majesty's subjects the inhabitants of that colony, that your petitioners at the general request of the people have again nominated him to be Governor and beseech your approval. Signed, Wm. Dockwra, one of the Proprietors and Secr. and Regr. of the Province. Endorsed, Recd. Dec. 23, Read Jan. 5, 1698. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 2, Nos. 43. 43 I.; and 25. pp. 299–301.]
Jan. 5.19. Minutes of Council and Assembly of New Hampshire. The Representatives were sworn and chose Capt. John Pickring their Speaker. Governor Saml. Allen addressed them.
Jan. 6.An Act for continuing the Customs and Excise voted. It was decided that John Usher was a member of Council.
Jan. 7.The Assembly addressed the Governor, declaring that his conduct had been grievous in interrupting the collection and payment of the last Province rate, in substituting ill qualified for well qualified persons in office, and in admitting John Usher to be a member of Council, though all powers relating to him had been made null by the King's Commission to Lt.-Gov. Partridge. Unless these grievances were redressed, the House were determined to make a second application to Lord Bellomont for relief. The Governor replied, and dissolved them as finding their aim was "to strike at the King's honour and prerogative." [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 447–454.]
Jan. 7.
20. Col. Fletcher to Mr. Popple. I thank their Lordships that I am allowed to bring a Counsel on Thursday next, but know not on what points I should instruct him, unless by their Lordships' order I may be informed. Signed, Ben. Fletcher. Endorsed, Recd. Jan. 7, Read Jan. 9, 1698/9. [Board of Trade. New York, 8A. No. 3.]
Jan. 7.
21. Josiah Burchett to the Lords of the Council for Trade. My Lords of the Admiralty send the enclosed letter for your information. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. Jan. 9, Read Feb. 2, 1698/9. Enclosed,
21. I. Mr. Bridger to the Commissioners of H.M. Navy. I have delivered your instructions to Mr. Thomas Holland to join me. I have only drawn bills for 400l. since my arrival, and only wished to prepare you against surprise by intimating that I intended to draw 500l. more on you, part of which I shall expend on a guard and workmen while they are cutting of timber this winter. The guard I had before served only to view, they were seventy horse I had from the Government of Piscataqua, four days out of their Government, for which I was forced to pay six shillings per diem a man and horse and find them provisions besides. The rest the same as No. 22 I. Copy. 4 pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 9. Nos. 51, 51 (I); and 37. pp. 113–121.]
Jan. 9.
22. James Vernon to Council of Trade and Plantations. I enclose copies of letters the Lords of the Admiralty have received from their agent employed at New England to enquire what Naval stores may be had from those parts. His Majesty would have you consider these papers and the other matters referred to you concerning the encroachments of the French as relating to the fishery. His Majesty would likewise have an account from your Lordships what are the known bounds of the English Colonies that border upon the French in North America, and what you are informed of the pretensions of the French for extending themselves within those bounds to the prejudice of His Majesty's right. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. Read Jan. 9, 1698/9. Enclosed,
Nov. 16.
22. I. Mr. Bridger to the Commissioners of H.M. Navy. I have barbed a great many pitch-pine trees, in order to make tar. I have been a progress to the southward from Cape Codd to Road Island, all through the woods for near 200 miles out right, where I found little or no good timber, being a barren sandy land; then came back through Taunton woods, there I found some good timber, but none being equal with the East parts, makes me fix there; in this place the specimens were cut, which Sir Henry Ashurst procured the viewing of, which has cost me a great deal of the money I have drawn on you, with the best management I was capable of. I have last week been to the westward forty miles, where they plant hemp, to encourage the people; have put in execution an experiment which I have made for the manuring of their land, which of itself will produce but small hemp, and if by this means it will produce larger and good, then I doubt not but everything will answer your expectation. I did design to the East where everything except hemp is better than 'tis at Piscataqua by all the informations I can learn, but the men-of-war being ordered home prevented my going, sloop-hire being so very chargeable, men's wages and victuals so dear, that I did not go this fall, but design in the spring as soon as ever the rivers are open to hire men and vessels if I have no frigate from you by March, which would be much cheaper; I computed the charges of two sloops with a guard, which will be £200 per month besides the workmen's wages, so that if you would prevail with the Admiralty to send a small frigate, 'twould save most part of the charges, for the workmen might have their victuals on board, the sailors might be as labourers with a small addition of their pay, as six pence per diem, which otherwise will cost three shillings per diem, so that we should only want a sloop to carry the specimens, they to load and unload. If your answer comes before March 'twill prevent this charge, else I shall proceed according to your letter. 'Twas impossible to have sent this summer for the season of the year was over before I came. The trees that I have prepared to make tar must stand till next winter before they are fit to use, but for timber I have men now at work, and design to send you a quantity in the spring, and rozin with it. If you would permit me to send turpentine, 'twould be much cheaper, for those that make the rozin save the oil, which is a great profit, and the rozin at a much easier price, the oil being worth sixpence a quart, if not more.
I believe the French King is putting Monsieur Deny's project in execution (22. (II)), for the French are settling their East country and are encroaching into our lines, as 'tis reported here, twelve leagues, is as good as any of our lands for the production of naval stores; this offer I to you, that care may be taken to prevent their design before the Commissioners appointed for settling such affairs be called home. Copy. 3 pp.
22. II. Monsieur Denys to the French King. The splendour of Your Majesty, when I presented you with a fox more curious than beautiful, but which came from a country belonging to you, so dazzled me that I forgot to make the proposal I had intended. If there be spent on New France, from the mouth of the St. Lawrence up to the English (territory) one quarter of what has been spent on Quebec that country will produce in one year more revenue than Quebec can in forty. It is a very good country for wine, salt, corn, ships' timber, and the fish with which England and Holland now supply us. Signed, Denys. Copy. French. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 9. Nos. 52, 52 I., 52 II.; and 37. pp. 105–111.]
23. Memorandum of preceding letter. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 5. No. 2.]
Jan. 9.
24. James Vernon to Council of Trade and Plantations. I enclose a copy of the French Ambassador's memorial. complaining of the desolation made by the English in that part of St. Christopher's which, by the Treaty of Ryswick, was to be restored to the French, and demanding reparation, since the damage was done after they had notice of the conclusion of the peace. His Majesty would be informed whether you have any account from the said Island that such spoil hath been committed there, and, if so, what reasons are given for it and what your Lordships' opinions are as to the demand of reparation. Signed, James Vernon. Endorsed, Dated, Recd. Read Jan. 9, 1698/9. Enclosed,
24. I. Extract of the Memorial of the French Ambassador. The Governor and Intendant of the French Islands of America write that some of the inhabitants of the part of the Island of St. Christopher which by the Treaty of Ryswick was to be restored to the King my Master, having gone there, found their houses utterly destroyed and the forests and sugar canes burnt by the English since they received news of the conclusion of the Peace. It is demanded that orders be given to the superior officers to compel those who have wrought this ruin to repair it. French. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6. Nos. 1. 1 I.; and 45. pp. 319, 320.]
Jan. 9.25. Petition of John Lucas of Antigua to Council of Trade. The petitioner, a man of good estate, member and often Speaker of the General Assembly, hearing many complaints against persons greatly encouraged by Governor Codrington, endeavoured, with the Assembly, to lay their misdemeanours before the Governor in order to have them punished and removed from their places of trust, but to no purpose. On hearing that His Majesty had been graciously pleased to appoint a Committee of Trade with power to examine into the administration of the government and justice of Antegoa, amongst other places, the petitioner wrote, May 4, 1697, informing your Lordships of several great mismanagements, abuses, violences, oppressions and obstructions of justice and connivance at notorious offences committed by General Codrington in the administration of his government. All which he is ready to prove on oath, now the Governor is dead. Hearing of the petitioner's letter Governor Codrington conceived a mortal hatred against the petitioner and studied and contrived all ways of revenge, and by his warrant, April 23, 1698, reciting that the petitioner and his son-in-law, John Austin, being summoned had not appeared at the Council held April 14, he committed your petitioner to gaol to be kept there until he produced his own body and the body of his son-in-law, and having sworn two of his creatures into the Council above the number directed, procured an order of Council, May 5, 1698, that your petitioner should continue in custody until he gave security of £5,000 to appear at the next general sessions to answer all Bills, plaints, &c., against him. During which confinement your petitioner suffered very great hardships and lost in his affairs and had a child died in prison with him and was barbarously refused by the Governor to see him buried. At a Court of General Sessions, June 16, 1698, the Governor caused two indictments to be exhibited against the petitioner for words against him, which were brought in ignoramus by the Grand Jury, and then exhibited an information against him for writing a "scandalous libel," the letter of May 4. The petitioner was convicted of libel and fined £100. The Governor then claimed £5,000 damages for a scandalous libel against himself and, without any legal proof, was awarded £2,000 damages by a jury. Petitioner was forced to bring a writ of error before the General Council but could never procure a full Court. Your Lordships wrote to the Governor expressing your opinion of this prosecution and the excessive bail required and then the petitioner was permitted to come over, which before he had been denied. He now prays your Lordships to examine the matters of fact alleged herein, and, since the Letter of Information of May 4 does not make him liable to indictment and the prosecution by the Governor is an affront to your Lordship's power and a terror to the subject, whose right it is to complain to your Lordships, to remit the £100 and to have relief against the heirs and executors of the late Governor upon the judgment for £2,000. Signed, John Lucas. Endorsed, Recd. Jan. 9, Read Jan. 27, 1698/9. 1 large p. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6. No. 2; and 45. p. 322.]
Jan. 9.26. T. Weaver to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Col. Fletcher's answers to the heads of complaints (See Cal. 1698, 1007 and 1077) against him are bare allegations directly contrary to positive depositions and other proofs. Minutes of Council and Taylor's deposition disprove his excuse that he did not know the ship Jacob was a pirate and that he protected the crew in compliance with the importunity of the Council. The Council was completely under his influence: two of them, Mr. Nicolls and Col Bayard, are now discovered to have received rewards for getting protection for pirates from Col. Fletcher. Taylor's deposition states the reward Fletcher agreed upon and received. The depositions of Doctor Staats and Alderman Lewis prove what reward he had through Bayard for protecting Rynderson and Lewis: the deposition of the Attorney-General about Coates shows that many other protections were given and that the common price was known to be one hundred dollars a man. Fletcher owns he received the ship as a gift, when, having been informed by Taylor that she was a pirate, it was his duty to seize her for the King. He confesses he ordered the £800 the ship was sold for to be paid into Ireland for his private use. He can produce no evidence of threats having been used to obtain depositions against him. When he complains of his misfortunes in Ireland and asks "What Governor under such circumstances would not do the like?" it may be answered, Lord Bellomont, though he has suffered far greater losses and personal prosecutions in Ireland, and yet has refused £5,000 offered him to protect some pirates who offered Mr. Weaver £1,000 for negotiating the same. The offer was made by one of Col. Fletcher's friends who subscribed to the certificate of his honourable deportment in that government. He confesses (5) that no securities for protected persons are to be found, and says that that is because the bonds were given up at the expiration of a year and a day. The Secretary of the Province who keeps the Records declares, however, that no such bonds were ever deposited with him. It is for Col. Fletcher to prove that they were ever given, or given by sufficient persons. He excuses the non-prosecution of the bonds, on the grounds that no complaints were brought before him whereon to ground a suit. When a Governor takes money so publicly he does not encourage the laying of such complaints. He says that he never had any reward for any Commission or Protection (4) and yet (6) admits that he gave a discharge for Reyner's treasure seized by the Sheriff and a protection for his person, and accepted a present of £50. Reyner had no occasion to make such a present if his treasure and person were not both in hazard on a due prosecution. No inquiries were made and no securities taken, so that this pirate escapes as others did under Colonel Fletcher's government, not one of them being ever convicted or prosecuted on their return whence they set out, of which they were assured, and made their public brags, as appears by the Memorial of the East India Company. (8) The opinion of the Council in favour of granting Tew and Hore and Glover commissions is an aggravation rather than an excuse, for Col. Fletcher well knew that most of the Council were trading merchants, and that Tew had been a pirate, and that both he and Hore were much given to drunkenness and swearing. Yet the latter commanded the Governor's cellar and servants, and committed debaucheries in his house and company. Lord Bellomont does not entertain pirates, hospitable though he is, and take rewards from them and then gild over the matter with the name of hospitality and the specious design of converting them. (10) If Col. Fletcher did not know the ship Fortune was an unfree bottom, he was the only person in New York ignorant of her being a Dutch privateer, commanded by Capt. Daniell, a Dutchman, under a Dutch commission, who hired her out. It is not strange that the Council should consent to grant her a commission, for on her return from Madagascar, laden with East India goods, taken out of Hore the pirate's ship, when she was seized by Lord Bellomont, he learned that two and twenty of the principal merchants of the town and several members with the Secretary and Clerk of the Council, were interested in the cargo. The seizure disgusted them to the last degree against Lord Bellomont and was a great motive for their certificate in favour of Col. Fletcher, whose government never gave them a disturbance of that sort. (11) The insufficiency of the securities was due to his carelessness in leaving the matter to his clerk Honan. If he had had a care to prevent those who had been pirates before from being pirates again, he would have seen to it himself. (12) The customs have decreased and yet the province was never so well supplied with East India and European goods from Curacao and Scotland, which were, by connivance, never seized except about £1,500 worth of Scotch goods in the Elizabeth, which the Governor and Council discharged. The Customs of New York for last Michaelmas quarter are two-fifths more than those of the corresponding quarter for three years before, yet the entries of ships inwards and outwards are far less, which may well be imputed to the greater care of the present governor. The prosperity of New York could not possibly have arisen from trade with the West Indies, as is suggested, for that is chiefly in flour, and owing to an Act passed by Col. Fletcher, called the bolting Act, which gave liberty to the whole Province, instead of the City of New York only, to bolt flour, and so increased the opportunities of adulterating it, the value of New York flour fell 5s. in the hundred below the price of Pennsylvania and other flour at Barbados and the sugar islands. Mr. Nicholls, one of his chief councillors, was paid a large sum to get that Act passed. Col. Fletcher also forgets what he says in his preface—that the Colony never had more trade than when he left the place, and yet explains the decrease in the Customs by the decrease in trade from Europe. More seizures of goods have been made in the first six months of Lord Bellomont's government than in nearly six years of Col. Fletcher's. (13) The plat of the Province and the list of lands granted by Col. Fletcher will prove it is untrue that almost all the valuable lands of New York were granted away before he was Governor. It is incredible he did not know the grant to Col. Heathcote was part of the King's Garden: the grant itself mentions that fact. The deceit used by Mr. Dellius in the grant of the Mohawks' land is discovered in the depositions of Henry and Joseph, Indians and interpreters, all Christians, and in the conference of the Indians with Lord Bellomont. The King's farm was leased by Col. Fletcher even when Lord Bellomont was known to be on his way out, to hinder him from the use of it for his family, and not to forward the building of churches. The church of New York was not built by him, but by a contribution of several, even of the French and Dutch churches as well as English, and an allowance of £100 per annum given to an English minister by an Act of the country which is levied, the greater part of it, on Dutch and French inhabitants. There was no necessity, therefore, to lease this farm to the churchwardens. Besides, Col. Fletcher accepted a considerable present of plate for granting a charter to the Dutch Church, as appears by their Church Book. Capt. Evans gave £100 for his grant and Lord Bellomont mentions others (Nov. 8). Col. Fletcher lays the blame on his Attorney-General; but he excluded him from attending the Council and reference was seldom made to him on petitions for grants of land. He had positive orders to draw up grants after the manner the Government ordered him. (15) The victuallers' lists which do not agree with the numbers in the muster-rolls prove a fraud of £1,496 of the King's money by defective men; and that Col. Fletcher only allowed 5d. a day for a soldier's subsistence, whilst obliging the victuallers to pay him 10s. yearly for each soldier, which made their subsistence so much the worse. There are lists which prove that he did not pay the bounty given him by this country for the soldiers to procure them clothes: they were driven to desert, and he would not pass the Act of Assembly against desertion, but took the advantage of the money due to them when they deserted. To hide the weakness of his defence he charges the Earl of Bellomont with having deferred the sending of the soldiers' clothes when he had received tallies of £1,500 to that end. Really Lord Bellomont was paid that sum in malt tickets, whereby he lost 25 per cent. and was forced to raise £700 on his own bond to carry clothes to the soldiers; which he did, and the best they ever had there, and he still pays interest on his £700. It is not true that 17 of his company recruits from England were disbanded by the Earl without the clothes they served for: the certificate of the Lieutenant of the Company shows that 7 only, and those such as had petitioned to be discharged for their lameness or age, were discharged. Those of them who remained at New York till the clothes arrived were allowed about four pounds per man as the value of their clothes. (16) This charge is undeniably demonstrated by the papers referred to in the letters of Sept. 14 and Nov. 12, 1698, and the reports on the condition of the forts and frontiers. (18) He admits this, but attempts to justify himself, yet his behaviour resulted in very serious consequences. It is with great reason expected that an Assembly in New York fairly chosen will examine the public accounts and make a charge against Col. Fletcher of many thousands of pounds converted by him to other uses than they were raised for. Signed, T. Weaver. Endorsed, Recd. Jan. 9, 1698/9. 20 pp. [Board of Trade. New York, 8A. No. 4; and 53. pp. 225–251.]
Jan. 9.
27. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Representation upon Irish Bill agreed upon. Order of House of Commons for observations and papers relating to the encouragement of woollen manufacture of this kingdom and of the linen manufacture of Ireland read. Preparation of report and papers thereon ordered. Letter from Col. Fletcher (Jan. 7), read. Secretary ordered to inform him that the points on which he should instruct his Council are those delivered him some time since in writing.
Mr. Lucas presented a memorial relating to Col. Codrington's conduct in the Government of the Leeward Islands, and his own sufferings, which their Lordships promised to consider as soon as they possibly could.
Sir Thomas Lane presented an Order of Council upon a petition of the Proprietors of East New Jersey praying that Mr. Andrew Hamilton may be approved of for Governor.
Letters from Mr. Secretary Vernon, on the French Ambassador's memorial complaining of the desolation made by the English in the French part of St. Kitt's, and about the French bounds between the English and French territories in North America, and enclosing one about the Naval stores to New England, read and reply prepared.
Letter to the L.G. of St. Kitt's, requiring account of what spoils have been made there by the English, as complained of by the French, ordered.
Mr. Weaver presented an answer to Col. Fletcher's defence, and was permitted to instruct Mr. Attorney General as Council whom the Board requested the Treasury to pay the usual fee.
Jan. 10.Mr. Gilbert and Mr. Samuel Heathcote, Mr. Stratford and Mr. Hastwell, some of the contractors with the Czar of Muscovy for importing tobacco into his dominions, represented the difficulties they lie under for want of admission into the Russian Company. They now employ 400, and might employ 1,200 or 1,500 persons in preparing tobacco to send thither. The Board assured them of their good opinion and readiness to represent their affair accordingly.
Mr. Henry Baker, Solicitor of the Treasury, attended as desired and said that he had been appointed first by the Lords of the Treasury and afterwards by Order of Council to prevent the exportation of wool and importation of French silks. He promised to give in writing a short account of the proceedings he had taken.
Representation relating to ships of war necessary to attend the Plantations signed.
Letter to Mr. Secretary Vernon prepared yesterday signed.
Further directions given about the report to be made to the House of Commons upon their order,
Jan. 11.Further progress made in preparing answer to the order of the House of Commons. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 330–334; and 96. Nos. 6, 7, 8.]
Jan. 10.
28. Council of Trade and Plantations to James Vernon. We have not had any notice of spoils committed by the English in the French part of St. Christopher's, except from the late Governor Codrington by a letter whereof we enclose an extract. We shall write to the present L. G. to give us a true and perfect account. We have received your letters of Jan. 3rd and 9th, relating to the French pretensions from the American Treaty to the sole right of fishery upon the banks lying off the coast of Accadie and Eastern parts of New England, and to what else in that treaty is liable to be laid hold of by the French to the disadvantage of His Majesty's subjects, and also relating to the bounds of the English Colonies that border upon the French in North America. But the consideration of those matters requiring some time, and being now prest in preparing what has been demanded of us by the House of Commons, we entreat you would please to acquaint His Majesty therewith and that we will immediately after the dispatch of that matter give His Majesty an account of what you have required from us. Signed. J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 45. pp. 321, 322.]
Jan. 10.
29. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Having formerly upon the application of merchants concerned in the trade to Barbados, the Leeward Islands and Jamaica laid before their Excellencies the Lords Justices our opinion relating to the ships of war necessary to attend your Majesty's service in those islands in time of peace, and having lately received letters upon the like subject from the respective Governors of your Majesty's Plantations on the Continent of America, we now crave leave to represent that upon consideration of the occasions which frequently happen there for ships proper to suppress and pursue pirates, prevent illegal traders and hinder the encroachments of foreigners in our fishery and otherwise, we are humbly of opinion that it is very necessary that one man-of-war of the sixth rate be appointed for Virginia and one of the sixth rate for Maryland, to be made use of by the discretion of the respective Governors of those Plantations, either jointly or severally. Also one of the sixth rate for New York and one of the fifth rate for New England, under the direction of the Governor. All the said ships to be changed or relieved every year. In the appointment of these ships especial care to be taken that they be good sailers, which qualification we humbly conceive to be the more necessary because the strong currents in them seas do render any bad sailers altogether useless for the forementioned services. The Earl of Bellomont having writ us that the great distance between New York and Boston in New England and the unbroken ways and roads that lie between them make it very difficult for him to repair to his government of the Massachusetts Bay by land, and having desired that a ship of war may be appointed to transport him to and again by sea, we are humbly of opinion that either of those to be appointed for New York or Massachusetts Bay may transport him as there shall be occasion. His Lordship has likewise acquainted us that the Captains of the Richmond and Fowey frigates having been recalled from New York by direct orders to themselves without any communication thereof to him or deference to his authority, and it happening at the same time that his Lordship was applied to from Pennsylvania for assistance against a French pirate then riding in Delaware Bay, which had done much mischief ashore in that country and taken nine English vessels, but waited still for some one that might be more fit for his purpose of pirating in the East Indies, the captain of the Fowey upon pretence of his orders to return did refuse to sail thither in pursuit of the said pirate, by means whereof he escaped. In order to prevent the like inconvenience in the future we humbly offer our opinion that ships of war attending any of your Majesty's Plantations may not leave that service without the previous knowledge of the respective Governors. Signed, T. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 35. pp. 4–7.]
Jan. 12.
Fort William
30. Minutes of Council of New York. The Acts of Assembly establishing the several Courts of Judicature being expired, His Excellency read the clause of his commission empowering him to establish such Courts as are necessary with the advice and consent of the Council. The Council desired to take it into consideration for a few days. The memorial and accounts of George Sydenham, Escheator of the Province, were read and referred to a Committee. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. p. 182.]
Jan. 12.
31. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Papers presented by Mr. Kick, Dec. 29 and Jan. 2;—A proposal for preventing frauds in H.M. Customs and An Account of 981 bales of wool imported from Scotland into Rotterdam, read. The Bill now in the House of Commons to "encourage the woollen manufacture in England and restrain the exportation of wool, etc.," read.
Mr. Baker presented an account of his proceedings in suppressing the owling and smuggling trade upon the coast of Kent and Sussex, together with a clause he proposed to insert in some Act of Parliament for shortening the process against such offenders. Further directions given about the answer to the House of Commons.
Jan. 13.The answer finished and signed. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 335, 336; and 96. Nos. 9, 10.]
Jan. 13.32. Representation of the Council of Trade and Plantations to the House of Commons as to the encouragement of the woollen manufacture. After a surrey of the trade elsewhere concludes:—Notwithstanding it was the intent in settling our Plantations in America that the people there should be only employed in such things as are not the product of this kingdom, except for so much as should be wanting for their own maintenance and supply of provisions to their neighbours, yet New England and other Northern Colonies have applied themselves too much besides other things to the improvement of woollen manufactures amongst themselves, which in its proportion is as prejudicial to this kingdom as the working of those manufactures in Ireland, wherefore it is submitted that the like prohibition be made with relation to them.
The woollen manufacture will receive the greatest encouragement by a due consumption of it at home, the largest vent of it abroad, and the hindering as much as is possible the growth and increase of it elsewhere, and that therefore the exportation not only of wool from Ireland but also of their woollen manufacture of the English Plantations in America to other parts than England ought to be prohibited or discouraged by the most coercive and proper means, and the people of this kingdom skilled or employed in the woollen manufacture to be prohibited from going over into Ireland or other parts and such as have already been inticed thither to be encouraged to return. [Board of Trade. Trade Papers, 14. pp. 145–155.]
Jan. 13.33. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Nevis. The Assembly pressed for the passing of the laws they had laid before the Council and refused to billet the island's proportion of Col. Collingwood's regiment coming from England till this was done. Meantime, they agreed that 3 companies should be landed and
Jan. 16.provided for by the Treasurer for a week. The Council requested them to quarter four companies, which they refused to do and proposed that Col. Holt's men should be disbanded. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 486–488.]
Jan. 14.
New Hamp-
shire Province.
34. Proprietor of New Hampshire to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Nothing of moment has happened since my letter of Nov. 28. I send copies of the Minute Books, by which it appears that the malcontents of this province augment in their disobedience to your commands of Aug. 3 in favour of Mr. Usher, and that all the Council, except one, continues in their perverse and contemptible ways. And because a respect is continued to said Usher agreeable to your Lordships' commands until Mr. Partridge was qualified, they have withdrawn from sitting in Council with him, and rather make choice to gratify their humours than obey the King, and will ever do until the ringleaders are sent for home and made examples. Richard Waldron and William Vaughan and two or three more are them which animates the insensible and inconsiderate to run into many errors. Nothing will prevent them continuing so but the sending over 20 soldiers to be in our fort here, and to make them pay the charges of disciplining them and reducing them to obedience to the Crown and Laws of England. I have been honored by His Majesty to be Governor for this seven years past and Mr. Usher my Lieut.-Governor and because we will not consent to run with them in the contempt of all authority and admit them to break the Acts of Navigation, they do not only refuse to pay one penny all this 7 years toward our charges for the support of the honor of the Government, but do malign and make false complaints against us to my Lord Bellomont, who recompenceth me with a letter of reprimand in their favour. I foresee I shall be ill recompensed for all the money I have spent in supporting the honour of the Government, and settling the military and civil affairs of this province unless your Lordships interpose with His Majesty either to order them to recompense us or order us in the continuance of the Government. Signed, Samuel Allen. List of the present Council:—John Usher, L. G. Nathaniel Fryer, Major Joseph Smith, Capt. Kingsly Hall, Sampson Sheafe, Col. Thomas Packer, Lt. Peter Ware. I humbly pray Your Lordships to confirm the above Council. Endorsed, Recd. March, Read, April 3, 1699. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 9. No. 53; and 37. pp. 137, 138.]