America and West Indies
January 1701, 11-14


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'America and West Indies: January 1701, 11-14', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 19: 1701 (1910), pp. 26-33. URL: Date accessed: 17 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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January 1701

Jan. 11.25. Attorney General to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I have considered of the Acts of Assembly of Maryland, April, 1700 (enumerated) and do find by the Act for the service of Almighty God and Establishmt of Religion in that Province according to the Church of England, it is enacted, "That the Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments with other rites and ceremonies of the Church according to the use of the Church of England the Psalter and Psalms of David and morning and evening prayer therein contained bee solemnly read and by all and every Minister or Reader in every Church or other place of public worship within that Province," in which clause those words "or other place of public worship," are so general that they may be liable to be construed to extend as well to the places where any Dissenters from the Church of England meet together for Divine Worship after their way, as to the Public Churches in that Province, and though I believe this was not intended by the makers of this Act, yet if such constructions should hereafter be made of those words, it may endanger liberty of conscience in that Province, and restrain all Dissenters from frequenting any public places of Divine Worship otherwise then according to the usage of the Church of England. And therefore I humbly submit it to your Lordships' consideration whether this clause should not be so far explained that it may not be lyable to any objection of taking from Dissenters Liberty of Conscience. As to the rest of the Laws I find nothing contrary to law or prejudicial to H.M. Royal Prerogative. Signed, Tho. Trevor. Endorsed, Recd. Read Jan. 14, 1700/1. 2½ pp. [C.O. 5, 715. No. 20; and 5, 726. pp. 15–18.]
Jan. 11.
26. Governor Codrington to the Council of Trade and Plantations. This is the first opportunity I have had of writing to yr Lordships, since I have visited all ye Islands under my command. At my first meeting ye several Assemblys, I indeavoured to satisfye them I was sincerely determined to doe them all ye real service I could within ye bounds of my Instructions, and ye Laws of Trade, that I aim'd at noe little advantages, nor expected any reward, but ye good opinion of my master, that I should pas noe Acts I did not heartily approve for any bribes or presents wt soever, and that I should not refuse my assent to any good laws for want of ye usual presents, that I would rigidly, according to my oath and my Instructions observe ye Acts of Trade in every particular and yt I should not have ye least partiality for any man on those occasions; that I thought the truest service I could do them was to recommend and pas good laws for ye encouraging English settlers and not foreigners, for well disciplining and providing our militia, and for establishing short and certain methods for ye distribution of Justice, and yt I should be willing to tye myself up as well as my successors from tedious, frivolous and arbitrary proceedings in Chancery, wch have been and still are ye scandall of and greatest grievance in every Government in ye Indies, and yt therefore I desired such laws might be past in ye beginning of my Government, and that I as well as ye Councell might be bound up by oaths in yt branch of our business wch relates to hearing causes in Equity. The Addresses I had on this occasion were too fulsome to please me or to be laid before Yr Lordships. However, I shall by ye first send you copies of several publick Papers with my observations on them, and they will, I believe, give you a very good light into the tempers of the people I have to deal with. They expected, it seems, I should have carried my complaisance as far as perjury itself, and several people of good condition, from whom I might have hopt better things, I hear are a little too free with me for causing the Acts of Trade to be rigorously put in execution. I am putting out a Declaration on this occasion, and shall continue to do my duty, whoever is pleased or displeased at it. I think myself so secure of my conduct, that I dare promise your Lordships in a great many more years than I intend to stay here I shall give noe cause for one single complaint against me.
I took the liberty more than once to say to your Lordships, that Governors must be put upon a very different foot before these Colonies are made so serviceable to ye Trade of England as they may be. Whilst Governors are dependent on their Assemblies, the Acts of Trade will never be observ'd. What I say, I know to be true, tis left to your Lordships whether you will believe me. If you knew who were the leading men in the several Assemblys, you wd be convinced yt Governors ought to have better salarys, and not permitted to take any presents from the people. Whilst they doe, there will be illegal indulgences in point of trade, Justice will be bought and sold, Chancery suits protracted and the poor opprest. I cou'd be particular, but 'tis not my business. If yr Lordships think fit to represent this to the King, you will certainly doe a peice of great service to the General Trade of England. If not, I can live without any Government, and I shall soon desire to be relieved. However whilst I stay here I shall do my duty, though I loose by it. You have commanded me to give an account of our proceedings at Law in ye several Islands. Truly I have endeavoured to inform myself as well as I can, but I find such irregularity and confusion in all our Courts, that I can make noe report at present. I have recommended this very earnestly to the several Councils and Assemblies, and I hope to have some good laws past to establish regular proceedings by the Assistance of Mr. Brunsk[ele], a gentleman I believe well known to you by reputation, whom I perswaded to come over my Attorney General, and who is of great use to me in rooting out all ye corruptions I find here. I had some orders in relation to Mr. Bourck and Mr. Bolton for having traded with Pirates; the former is an inhabitant amongst ye French and so out of my reach, the latter was sent home a prisoner sometime since. I came too late to make any demands of ye Governor of St. Thomas. Signed, Chr. Codrington. Holograph. 5 pp. On the reverse side,
Jan. 12,
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26. i. Amongst the Acts sent over by Col. Fox, there is one that relates to ye encouragement of foreigners, and wch is perfectly inconsistent with ye Acts of Trade, and null and void itself. This had been before rejected by Col. Burt and ye Council of Nevis, but confirmed by Col. Fox for reasons best known to himself, though ye Receiver of ye Casual Revenues protested against it. If such an Act should pass, 'twould be extreamly pernicious to ye trade of England. For the French factors amongst us are those who manage ye sloop trade and run about ye French Islands to fetch claret and brandy, French linnen, stuffs, paper, etc. I think those who would buy land and settle amongst us ought to be encouraged, but the purchasers I think should not be permitted to stay one day upon ye island. Most of them I believe are French spys, but all of them are serviceable to ye French Trade, and hinder ye consumption of English commodities. I have seiz'd a great many French linnens amongst them yt were brought from the French Islands, and should have seized ten times as many, if they had not been shuffled away and concealed by some English wellwishers to ye smuggling trade. The French indeed are grown a little too busy amongst us. I ordered to be seized last weak a vessel from New York with a French Master, French mate, and but one pretended Berwick man in ye whole ship, who was in reality a Scotch man. The master had a certificate of his being a denizen, but there not being ¾ths. English amongst ye mariners, 'twas not necessary to settle ye point whether a denizen can be a legal master of a ship. The Acts of Trade say expressly ye Master shall be an Englishman. I humbly conceive nothing less than naturalisation can make an Englishman. One of the Acts indeed allows a denizen to be Master of a ship in ye creeks of England, Ireland and Guernsey, but all ye Acts say ye Masters of ships trading to ye Plantations shall be English. I beg you will send me ye opinion of ye Attorney and Solicitor Generall in this point, yt I may doe neither more nor less than my duty. Signed, Chr. Codrington. Holograph. 2¾ pp. Enclosed,
26 ii. Argument of the case referred to above, with a request for the opinion of the Attorney and Solicitor General. Signed, Chr. Codrington. Holograph. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 4. Nos. 11, 12, 12.i.; and 153, 7. pp. 156–159, 162, 163.]
Jan. 13.
27. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Vernon. Lord Bellomont complains that the beds he had received for the use of the soldiers had been ill pack't up, and were in a very ill condition. Whereupon he desires that 100 more bedds with coverings and sheets may be sent as soon as may be, and that better care be taken about them, which we desire you to lay before H.M. for his directions thereupon. Signed, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney, Mat. Prior. [C.O. 5, 1118. pp. 91, 92; and 5, 1079. No. 61.]
Jan. 1328. Affidavit of Richard Bate, Barbara Newton's Attorney in Barbados, testifying to the truth of the matters suggested in the petition of Isaac Hawkins (See Cal. A. and W. I. 1700, Dec. 12), "excepting what relates to the late frequent adjournments of the Court of Chancery, which I cannot speak to, not having bin in that island for five years past." Signed, Richd. Bate. ¾ p. [C.O. 28, 4. No. 73.]
[? Jan. 13.]29. Lieut. Governor Bennett to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The fortifications of Bermuda are in general in pretty good repair, but the guns are most of them defective by being honey-comb'd or their vents much blown. There are 55, and 10 whole culverins and 20 demy ones, to supply those that are defective, will make that Island in a good condition of defence. All manner of stores and ammunition is wanting, there being not above two barrells of powder in the place and few suitable shot. 100 firelocks would be of use, and a supply of flags for the five forts and castle is wanting. Signed, B. Bennett. Endorsed, Recd. Read Jan. 13, 1700/1. 1 p. [C.O. 37, 3. No. 48; and 38, 5. pp. 135, 136.]
Jan. 13
30. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Capt. Benet's memorial of the state of defence of the Bermuda Islands read. He was thereupon told that their Lordships would consider of it and represent as may be fit, but that in the meanwhile he would do well to acquaint the Board of Ordnance with the contents thereof.
Lord Bellomont's letters Oct. 19, Oct. 24, Oct. 28 read. A letter was now writ to Mr. Secretary Vernon that 100 beds etc. be sent to New York according to his Lordship's desire. Ordered that a representation be prepared concerning the 30 per cent. Other directions given for reply to his Lordship.
Jan. 14Mr. Eyles desired their Lordships' favourable report upon an Act of Barbados for a present to the Governor, Oct. 1699, which is already in the office, fastened to other Acts under one Common Seal, and in order to remove any obstruction that might arise, he laid before the Board a single authentic copy thereof. Their Lordships told him it should be considered. He desired copies of complaints lately brought against the Governor, and their Lordships acquainted him that there are some papers of that kind before 'em, and more expected in a few days, after which they will let him have copies of the whole.
Letter from Mr. Attorney General, Jan. 2, read.
Order of Council, Dec. 19 last, upon Mr. Robert Chaplain's petition read.
Letter from Governor Grey, Oct. 29, read, and papers therewith transmitted laid before the Board. Acts enclosed ordered to be sent to Mr. Attorney General.
Letter from Col. Fox, Oct. 18 last, read.
Letter to the Bishop of London, with enclosures, signed and sent.
Acts of Barbados, Jan., Feb., March last, considered.
Mr. Attorney General's report on the Acts of Maryland, April 26 last, read and those Acts considered. Mr. Jno. Field and Mr. Theodore Egleston appearing, as they have done formerly, in opposition to the first of the said Acts, imposing a duty of 40 lb. of tobacco per poll upon all persons towards the maintenance of an established ministry, and saying they had something further to offer, they were directed to bring it in writing.
Jan. 15Letter to Mr. Secretary Vernon containing an abstract of several passages in the Earl of Bellomont's late letters was agreed upon and ordered to be transcribed.
Some directions were given in order to preparing a letter to Mr. Gray. [Board of Trade. Journal, 13. pp. 311–319; and 98. Nos. 7–9.]
Jan. 14
31. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Bishop of London. We enclose two extracts (See A. and W. I., Oct. 17 and 19, 1700) of what Lord Bellomont has lately signified to us concerning his suspending Mr. Smith, and as the character there given of him is so ill that it may probably be thought fit not only that he be suspended but removed, we refer it to your Lordship's consideration to recommend some more worthy person to that place. There is also a word relating to Lord Bellomont's reconciliation with Mr. Vesey. [C.O. 5, 1118. p. 104; and (rough draft) 5, 1079. No. 62.]
Jan. 14
32. William Popple to Sir Thomas Trevor. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire your opinion in point of Law upon an Act of Barbados, Sept., 1700, intituled an Act for Remission of Fines of the late Grand Sessions. [C. O. 29, 7. p. 216.]
Jan. 14
33. Governor Codrington to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I found myself under a necessity of enquiring into Col. Norton's conduct as soon as I arriv'd at St. Christopher's, so many complaints being made to me against him, and there being such evident effects of his folly, avarice and violence. I was convinced it could be impossible to put the poor ruined people of that island into any tolerable order whilst he continued at their head. Your Lordships I presume upon the Minutes I send you will be satisfied. He had a fair and impartial hearing. Mr. Cole's articles against him being fully proved, and one of them including no less than a breach of the Acts of Trade, it was needless to have a formal examination of other charges against him, tho' there were some of great importance, as his passing a law for raising of money (part a present to himself) wch he never sent to the then Governor in Chief to be confirmed and sent home; his seizing a shalop and taking her wholly to himselfe without condemnation in a Court of Admiralty, his barbarous usage of his soldiers by making them work whole weeks in his cane-peece for nothing whilst they were starving for bread and pay; his exercising the Deputy-Marshall office, or taking a deputation of it from the Marshall and makeing a fellow act under him without any power at all, who could not write or read and consequently could make no return of writts, his forcing a poor old decrepit soldier to give him a negro for his discharge. This will make your Lordships angry; some other passages would make you smile, for the noble Governor would condescend to plunder even for a pound of soap, as well as sho buckles. I humbly beg you will send me the King's orders in relation to the 500l. forfiture, wch Col. Norton must pay according to the Acts of Parliament before he be sett at liberty. Signed, Chris. Codrington. Endorsed (Letters of Jan. 11, 14, 15th (= 12th), Recd. 7th, Read 29th April, 1701. 2 pp. Enclosed.,
34. Copy of proceedings of Governor Codrington in Council at St. Xopher's against Lt. Gov. James Norton. Dec. 6, 1700. John Cole, Solicitor, proceeded to prove the petition he presented, setting forth that (1) Col. James Norton did illegally imprison Jedediah Hutcheson, now and late Speaker of the Assembly, and deny him bail, when the crime alleged for his commitment was bailable; (2) that he arrested Christopher Flemming and John Tomma, at the suit of men—Daniel Birchal and Lt. Bastian Branch—who knew nothing of it, neither was there any cause of action; (3) that he did most inhumanely beat and wound Richard Probe, a Planter and David Lloyd, John Parke, and others; (4) that he oppresses H.M. subjects by extortion, demanding money for licences of marriage, and clearing vessels which came in only to water. (Evidence given by Thomas Windar, Jos. Percivall and Capt. John Panton.) (5) That he called the gentlemen of the Assembly rascals, rebels and traitors, and when they demanded who were the persons he soe scandalously reproached, he suddenly dissolved them, July 31, 1699. Lieut. John Poyson declared that the Governor, being very much in drink, did say that those who had taken the oath were rogues, rascals and villains. Mr. Jedediah Hutchinson explained that they had taken an oath to keep secret their debates, some things which had past in their House having been revealed to the Governor. (6) That he did seize upon one of H.M. subjects, tho' a resident among the French, for piracy and force from him, before conviction or attainder, all his gold and money, even to the very buckles of his shirt and then left him at liberty, so that he made his escape. Confirmed by John Peteres, Dep. Secretary, and Robert Mullins, constable. Col. Norton said that he brought the man seized by him to the Old Road and delivered him into the custody of the Marshall without a Mittimus, to be detained until he ordered a Mittimus to be writ, to send him to the Fort, which he intended to do next day. (7) That, out of an avaricious desire to share the profits of the Testator's goods, he granted several of his creatures letters of administration, when there were wills in being, viz. to Tho. Bisse and John Morehouse in the case of Thomas Bisse sen. and one Palmer. Evidence of Christopher Flemming, Capt. James Brown, John Morehouse, Capt. John Panton, James Biskett, Mary Slowman, Thomas Bisse. (8) He illegally imprisoned petitioner, John Cole, on pretence of a breach of an Order of Council for not mending the Highwayes. Evidence of David Lloyd, Capt. John Perrie, Provost Marshall, Francis Kinsey, James Rawleigh. (9) That he permitted a foreigner of a Dutch or Danish vessel, not qualified as the Acts of Trade direct, to import on the English part of St. Xpher's divers negroes and merchandise etc. Evidence of Capt. Michael Lambert, William Mead, Commissioner of Customs, John Hutchinson, junr., William Willett.
Dec. 10. Old Road. Before H.E. and Council. George Leonard, Governor of Anguilla, and his brother Phillip. (Note in Codrington's hand:—There are about 100 men on Anguilla. This Leonard is an honest old Sloop man and being now retired to yt Island, and having ye best Cotton Plantation there, was made Governor by my Father. He is ye best Pilote in all ye Islands, and very useful by yt experience he has to ye King's ships in these parts.) Col. Norton bullied witness into signing indentures of servitude, after which he was forced to work in the fields as a slave, almost naked and half starved. Once or twice a week Col. Norton caused him to be whipt in the pillory and the pickle of beef brine to be put on his sores. George Leonard obtained his release on payment of 18l. On his coming to pay his respects to the Lieut. General, Col. Norton taxed him with having come to make complaints against him, swore at him, "gave this deponent a fulch on the syde with his cane and swore he would run him through, cut off his ears and send him home," etc. Col. Norton and his Counsel were heard, and Col. Jos. Crispe admitted that it was his opinion in Council that Mr. Cole should be apprehended for his contempt. The Council gave their opinion that Col. Norton had had a fair hearing and the articles alleged against him were sufficiently proved. Then H.E. in accordance with the advice of H.M. Attorney and Solicitor Generals suspended Col. Norton from the execution of his Government and ordered that he should enter into recognizances of 1500l. to answer the matters aforesaid. Note by Codrington. Upon his refusing, I committed him to the Provost Marshall, where he shall continue till your Lordships' directions. Endorsed, Recd. 7 April, 1701. Copy. 12 large pp. [C. O. 152, 4. Nos. 13, 13.i; and (without enclosure) 153, 7. pp. 160, 161.]
Jan. 1435. Abstract of preceeding and of Col. Codrington's Letters of Jan. 11 and 15 (See 12th). With marginal notes for reply. 2 pp. [C. O. 152, 4. No. 14.]
Jan. 1436. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. The House met according to adjournment, but, only 13 members appearing, adjourned for a week. [C. O. 31, 6. p. 423.]