In previous volumes the Editor has endeavoured to
provide in his Preface a complete guide to the contents of the
documents calendared. But in order to hasten the process
of making these Colonial Papers accessible to the Public,
he will in future devote only a few pages to the
Preface, calling attention briefly to the main events recorded and to the General Reports of the Council of Trade.
The space so saved will be devoted to the printing of
further documents. Mere abstracts and memoranda will
henceforth not be calendared. And, with the beginning
of the year 1704, the Journal of the Council of Trade and
the Sessional Papers of the various Colonies will be omitted
from this series. Arrangements are being made for their
publication in separate form.
The war in the West Indies.; Guadeloupe.
The War which was being conducted with such brilliant
success by Marlborough at home, produced nothing but
inglorious failures in the West Indies. It had been
planned that an expedition under the leadership of the
Earl of Peterborough should destroy the French settlements on Martinique and Guadeloupe, possibly make
a descent upon the Spanish towns on the mainland, and
then deliver a blow against Placentia and the French
fishery in Newfoundland (125, 170, 192, 274). Hungry
eyes, too, were turned upon Havana (193). But the
expedition under Commodore Walker wasted over two
months at Barbados before sailing for the Leeward Islands,
where Codrington was eagerly waiting with a regiment
he had raised (164, 200). Sickness, desertion, and
the hospitality of the planters (362) had already
played havoc with the naval forces; to this fact and
to this delay, which gave the French time to prepare,
and to call in their privateers, as well as to the lack of
co-operation between the Army and Navy, Codrington
attributes the failure of the attempt upon Guadeloupe.
The ships, too, were crazy, frigates lacking, provisions
bad, and the personnel of the Navy reduced and sickly
(230, 289, 362, 1071, 1128). The point of view of
Commodore Walker, which is far from being that of
the General, Codrington, is given in an exceedingly
interesting journal (737).
The effect of the failure of this assault was seen in a
great increase in the French privateers commissioned
from Guadeloupe and Martinique (pp. 571, 617); the
coastwise trade and that of the islands suffered severely,
as Governors and the Council of Trade had foretold;
90 English prizes had been brought into Martinique by
September (p. 669); the Leeward Islands began to dread
invasion by the French (pp. 571, 750, 818).
After the fiasco at Guadeloupe, the expedition passed
in July to Jamaica, where much discontent was caused
by the pressing of inhabitants (p. 791); then proceeded
to Newfoundland. There the settlers were calling for
help and fortifications in dread of French aggression (156).
But when the fleet arrived off Placentia, the season of
the year was already far advanced, and the French had
already thrown reinforcements into the place (1191.i.).
After a Council of War held in St. Mary's Bay, ViceAdmiral Graydon, who, it is suggested, was "Kirby
inclineable," decided not to deliver an assault (1071, 1128,
Nor, on the mainland, did a daring, perhaps foolhardy,
attempt to secure the Southern frontier of Carolina by
capturing Fort St. Augustine in co-operation with the
Indians, prove, after a more successful beginning, more
profitable in the end. Spanish men-of-war from Havana
raised the siege of the Fort, and compelled the besiegers
to retreat after burning the town and their own vessels
(303). A raid on the Spanish mines of Sta. Crux d'Cana
had little effect except to annoy the Spaniards (22).
For a future expedition Col. Beckford recommends the
Panama Canal route (p. 24).
At the end of August a joint-expedition of French and
Spaniards landed in the Bahamas, destroyed the town
of Providence, put the male population to the sword,
and carried off the President (1098, 1150, 1181, 1223,
1383, p. 751).
Proximus ardet was then the cry upon the mainland.
Col. Quary sent home a comprehensive proposal for the
convoying of trade and the protection of the coasts, which
was soon to bear fruit (1389.ii., p. 734).
Problems arising from the war.
Loss and inconvenience were universally experienced
from the war. Although the correspondence here
calendared is sufficiently voluminous, it would have been
larger had not many letters been captured at sea (996 etc.).
Many questions arose to occupy the attention of ministers
and the Council of Trade—questions of Admiralty and
of Commissions for privateers, of the sharing of prizemoney, of embargos and convoys, of dates for the sailing
of merchant ships to suit their convoys and the conflicting
interests of merchants. These matters provide incidentally
a good deal of information as to the movements of ships
and the course of trade. Prolonged waiting for convoys
in tropical seas caused damage from the worm to unlined
timber hulks, whereby many vessels foundered on their
belated voyages home. Outward bound ships sometimes
lay for 6 months in the river. The irregular supply of
commodities from England involved great inconvenience
and high prices in the new countries, which depended
upon the old for manufactured goods and even provisions
(1270, 1275). The Report of the Council of Trade upon
the needed convoys is given (1389.ii.).
Complaints were frequent, both at home and in the
Colonies, as to the evil of pressing, the damage done
thereby to trade and its unsettling effect upon the
Colonists. The relations between Governors and
Commanders of men-of-war continued to give rise to
unpleasantness, as in Jamaica, New York, Virginia and
Maryland. The scarcity of seamen caused a Bill to be
brought into the House of Commons relaxing for the
time being the stringent protective legislation by which
the British Mercantile Marine was being built up (345).
Whilst the exchange of prisoners under flags of truce
gave rise to suspicion of collusive trade with the French
(298 etc.), the Dutch Colonists of Curaçoa etc., ignoring
the instructions of the States General, carried on an open
trade with the Spaniards (6, 472, p. 572). English traders,
who were strictly forbidden to traffic with Spain (March 20),
were naturally dissatisfied at seeing this profitable business
engrossed by the Dutch and Danes; but the change in
the political situation, when the Archduke of Austria was
declared King of Spain, gave them relief. In September
orders were despatched by the Secretary of State, Lord
Nottingham, directing Governors to open correspondence
and commerce with the Spaniards, with the object of
detaching them from the French (1088ff.).
Taking advantage of the war, the Swedes, as had been
foreseen, availed themselves of their practical monopoly
of naval stores to double the prices of pitch and tar (1185).
The necessity of developing the resources of England in
America became more imperative than ever, and methods
of nursing a trade in naval stores into life by a preferential
tariff for the Colonies were considered. In pursuance of
the policy of former years, many negotiations took place
with a view to forming a Chartered Company for the
supply of these commodities from New England and
Carolina, the Council of Trade insisting upon the insertion
of clauses characteristic of the age, intended to prevent
the possibility of "stock-jobbing" (165).
The Nelson cry for frigates, to protect the Islands and
the coast trade, and the demand for regiments of regulars,
to relieve the intolerable strain of the militia, were heard
from the Massachusetts Bay to the Leeward Islands, but the
Colonists did not prove themselves so ready to combine
for their own defence or to support H.M. forces when
they were sent to defend them.
Governors were ordered to put further pressure upon
the Assemblies to contribute their quotas towards the
defence of the frontiers of New York (540, 720ff.). Governor
Nicholson, on a visit to New York, tried to force the hand
of the Virginians by giving bills to Lord Cornbury for
900l., and Maryland voted, but did not pay, 300l.; the
other Provinces made no response to Cornbury's call for
money, nor was a demand for men likely to meet with
better success (860).
Reports upon the defences of the Colonies etc.
The reports of the Council of Trade upon the defences
of New York, the Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire,
with their recommendations, are given (533, 611), and
their general report upon the ships of war required for
the Plantations (1389). Their review of the year's work,
and of the trade and government of the Colonies, referred
to (1390), is printed in full in the Calendar of the MSS.
of the House of Lords.
The long-considered question of making Governors
independent of the presents of the Assemblies was settled
by an Order of Council which fixed their salaries, to be
paid out of H.M. Revenue, except in the case of the
Proprietary and Charter Colonies. Maryland, the Massachusetts Bay, New Jersey and New Hampshire were
urged to grant a fixed and permanent allowance to
their Governors (536, 566).
Another matter which had long been under consideration
was the evil arising from the varying rates of foreign coins
in the several Plantations. It was now decided to fix
the value of all such money by royal Proclamation (892,
An interesting report upon the effect of the Wool
Acts upon Colonial industry is given (1453).
A considerable number of Acts were repealed. The
reasons are given in the reports of the Council of Trade
and the Attorney General, and are usually based on grounds
of incompetent drafting, infringement of the prerogative
of the Crown or interference with the liberty or rights of
the subject, actual or prospective (445). The Board insisted
strongly upon the sending over of Acts for confirmation
without delay, it having been found that Acts, which
were thought likely to be repealed, were held back from
their consideration (1175). This is indicated, also, by
the dates of some of the Acts reported upon in this
In view of the complaints which we have seen in former
volumes, a circular letter was addressed to Governors,
exhorting them to see to the prompt and impartial
administration of justice, and recommending the
establishment of Courts to determine small causes (578.i.).
Returns of causes heard in the Colonial Courts are
indicated and may provide a fruitful source of investigation
for searchers interested in genealogical matters (1420).
Sessional Papers not Gospels.
The same care was taken to insure the sending over
of the Minutes of Councils and Assemblies, but these,
when they did arrive, cannot always be treated as Gospel.
They were often faked by Governors or parties interested,
as the records of Virginia, Barbados and Jamaica in this
volume show, and, without the elucidation of other
correspondence, are frequently unintelligible, or
Mr. Dummer's new packet-boat service proved regular
and successful beyond expectation, and a further service
for the mainland was considered (376 ff., p. 238).
Thanksgivings were officially proclaimed all over the
Colonies for the successes of H.M. arms in Europe.
In Massachusetts a rising of the Eastern Indians was
expected in the spring. An Act was passed for listing
every fourth man to be ready to march within 24 hours
(Dec., '02) and scouts and reinforcements were sent upon
alarms to the frontiers (30). Thanks to such precautions
the Indians at first remained quiet beyond hope (315,
460, 739, 969, etc.).
When a small party of Frenchmen from Port Royal
and 200 Cape Sable Indians fell suddenly upon the frontiers
of Maine in August, the garrisons of Wells, Saco, Blackpoint
and Cascobay were able to hold their own till relief came
(1067, 1094). At the latter place the Province galley
arrived in the nick of time. Dudley's account of the
relief reminds one of a very similar scene in Masterman
An expedition against Port Royal had been contemplated
in the spring (500). Dudley was now anxious to carry the
war into the enemy's camp and to harass the Indians by
a winter campaign (1198). But the Representatives in
December asked him to abandon this project and even
to reduce the number of soldiers in pay (p. 853, No.
The Five Nations.
Livingstone, the Secretary for Indian Affairs, made a
report, in accordance with which the Society for
Propagating the Gospel undertook to send two Ministers
to live among the Five Nations, and asked for aid from
the Crown to send more (1018, 1395). Meantime Lord
Cornbury reported the presence of Jesuit priests at
Onnondage, and preparations by the French in Canada
for a raid (1078).
Connecticut.; Rhode Island.
From Connecticut Nicholas Hallam came to London to
seek redress for the grievances of the Mohicans (1353).
Other complaints against that Government and Rhode
Island for harbouring deserters, encouraging illegal trade
and refusing to help their neighbours, were repeated by
Cornbury and Dudley (673, p. 524), and efforts to revoke
their Charters were not relaxed. The Attorney General,
however, could not advise that the Government of
Rhode Island had, as was suggested, rendered void their
Charter by their Act for erecting a Court of Admiralty
in 1694 (1348, 1415).
Defences of Massachusetts.
The great expense of keeping the Province upon a war
footing, and of completing the "good and honorable"
work of the fort on Castle Island (543), gave the Representatives of the Massachusetts Bay reasonable excuse
for not contributing their quota to New York, or rebuilding
the fort at Pemaquid, to which they were otherwise little
inclined on account of commercial considerations (518,
p. 409), in spite of repeated pressure from Whitehall (687.i.).
The Governor's application for help from the neighbouring
Governments of Rhode Island and Connecticut in this
crisis met with no response (p. 651, etc.). The Representatives of Massachusetts were equally unready to allow
their own Government the usual discretion as to sending
help to New York (p. 602). Nor would they contribute to
the repair of the Fort at Piscataway, which New Hampshire
had again been ordered to complete (687.i.).
The Representatives and Government Salaries.
No persuasion from Dudley could induce the Representatives to obey the Queen's commands and to fix the
Government salaries (597). Clinging obstinately to the
right of controlling supplies, like their brethren in Jamaica,
they declared that an establishment would be prejudicial
to the people, and contented themselves with voting
utterly inadequate annual allowances to the Governor
and the Judges (940, 953, 1201, pp. 40, 41, 602, 814).
Dudley denounced his Council, coopted by the Representatives, as "Commonwealth men." "Till the Queen will
name her own Council," he says, "the best men in the
Province can have no share in the Government" (p. 691).
Usher also declares the country to be "for setting up
Commonwealth Government" (p. 919).
New York.; The Leislerites.; Some Acts.
Atwood and Weaver arriving from New York made
their defence before the Council of Trade (100, 101, 160,
194), but their removal from the Council, as well as that
of Staats, Depeyster and Walters, was confirmed. The
sentences on Bayard and Hutchins were reversed, and
the Acts, which had been rushed through before Lord
Cornbury's arrival, repealed (100, 102, 224, 249). In
New York, a Bill declaring the illegality of the proceedings
against Bayard and Hutchins was introduced in May (709).
Lord Cornbury's Partisanship.
Other Bills, to forbid the distilling of rum and burning
of oyster shells within the city, as being the cause of the
recent outbreak of sickness, reflect the state of medical
knowledge at the time (p. 352). The adjustment of Lord
Bellomont's accounts gave rise to much correspondence
and to a display of partisanship by Cornbury, who also
found means to detain Capt. Nanfan in gaol, in connection
with the payment of the Four Companies (290, 295, 383).
The Council of Trade exhorted Lord Cornbury to pursue
a policy of moderation, and expressed their surprise at
his having reappointed Honan Secretary of the Province
Defences.; Vote for Batteries.
Cornbury took in hand the repair of the fortifications
on the frontiers, and the regulation of the Militia (861),
and persuaded the Assembly to vote 1,500l. for the building
of two batteries to protect the Narrows of the harbour
against a threatened attack by the French (571, 726).
The Assembly insisted that the money should be devoted
exclusively to this purpose, and at the same time petitioned
the Crown for aid (748, 822).
Lord Cornbury visited the newly constituted Province
of Nova Cæsaria, or New Jersey, in the spring, and
proceeded to settle the Courts, and also the Militia, much
to the annoyance of the Quakers, who were, however, he
declared, in the minority. The land-owning qualification
of the electorate and Assembly, said to be a contrivance
of the Scotch party, also gave rise to dissatisfaction
(pp. 301, 644). When the new Assembly met, the result
of what Col. Quary describes as an unjust election was that
the Scotch of East Jersey and the Quakers of West Jersey
were found to be in a majority (1400). The major part
were Proprietors, and a Bill was passed to secure the
territorial rights of the Proprietors; it affirmed their
title not only to New Jersey, but also to Staten
Island, which had been declared to belong to New
All royalties were assigned to the Proprietors, whilst
the claims of those who held under grants from Col.
Nicholls were denied. Unimproved lands—the estates of
the "topping" Proprietors—were exempted from taxation,
and thus the whole burden was thrown upon small farmers
and freeholders of a few acres.
In order to induce the Governor to pass this measure
a money-bill was tacked to it providing a year's revenue
for the Government. A Bill for altering the qualification
of voters and representatives, so as to do away with the
landowners' monopoly, was also introduced (1285). Cornbury, seeing that the Assembly would settle no Revenue
unless the Proprietors' Bill was passed, adjourned them
till May, the sole fruit of the Session being a short
Act to forbid the purchasing of lands from the Indians
without a licence from the government (1386). Col.
Quary's account of these proceedings and of his own share
in them, and his pertinent criticisms of the Bill are given
(1400), but Lord Cornbury's own despatch on the subject
was not written till the January of next year (1704).
New Hampshire.; Lt. Governor Usher.
In spite of some opposition, of which Major Vaughan
was the mouthpiece, John Usher was re-appointed
Lieutenant Governor of New Hampshire in the room of
William Partridge, removed (300, 309, 614, 715, 789).
Upon his arrival in October, he reported that the defences
of the Province were in a miserable condition (1225), but
in response to pressure from Whitehall a sum, large in
proportion to the resources of the country, was voted
towards reconstructing the Fort at Piscataway (315, 611,
687.i., 1365). Usher naturally found himself in antagonism
to Partridge and Waldron, and he complains, in letters
written in a characteristically cryptic style, that his
reception "had the ceremony of a funeral posture," and
that Partridge and the party opposed to Crown government
really continued to hold the reins of power (1425 ff.). An
inquiry was instituted into the public accounts of past
years (1365), and the Governor, Dudley, on visiting the
Province, inquired into the cases of George Jeffrey and
Sampson Sheafe (996.i.). Orders were given for the
permanent fixing of the salaries of the Governor and
Lieutenant Governor (601). There was some friction
between Usher and Dudley as to granting Commissions
(1425ff.). The former dissolved the Assembly in December
and explains that he did so before the latter's instructions
to the contrary reached him (p. 917).
Claim of Samuel Allen.
The Attorney General stated his opinion that the title
of Samuel Allen to the "waste lands" was good (65, 66,
68, 257, 265, 501), and directions were given that, in the
event of a trial, the matters of fact should be specially
found (580). But two Acts passed there gave the claimant
cause to protest that they were intended to prevent the
vindication of his rights (1414).
William Penn at long last gave his answer to the four
queries which he had been deferring since May, 1702.
The Council of Trade were by no means satisfied, but
accepting it for the present, pressed him again, and this
time successfully, for the declaration required of him,
that H.M. approbation of Col. Hamilton as his Deputy
Governor of Pennsylvania should not be construed as
an acknowledgment of Penn's claim to the government
of the Three Lower Counties— "those dear bought countys"
as he calls them, signing the declaration with a groan still
audible, "that 20,000l. will not reprize me" (3, 9, 24.ii.).
By an Order of Council soon afterwards, all officials,
judges, etc., and "all persons who in England are obliged
and are willing to take an oath in any public or judicial
proceeding," were required to take the oath or the
affirmation allowed to Quakers (218, 219).
Penn offers to resign his Government.
The Council of Trade continued to press Penn upon
the subject of illegal trade and the Admiralty Courts in
Pennsylvania (256). At length he offered to surrender
the Government to the Crown "upon a reasonable
satisfaction … saving some few privileges" (677). But
these "few privileges," when they were formulated (837),
appeared to the Board to involve an increase of power
rather than a resignation (864).
Meantime the Government of Pennsylvania was being
thrown into chaos by the withdrawal of the Three Lower
Counties (950), by the delay in obtaining H.M. approval
of Col. Hamilton as Deputy Governor, by his death, and
by the charters which Penn was said to have granted in
his haste in order to embarrass his successors (16, 858). The
scruples of the Friends as to taking oaths or abjurations
(1150.iii.) led to frequent difficulties in the Courts. The
Church party were loud in their dissatisfaction with the
verdicts of unsworn juries. All these difficulties were
fomented and exaggerated for party purposes, as Penn
explains (1407), and served as an excuse for insisting upon
the government being resumed to the Crown.
John Evans, Lieutenant Governor.
John Evans was appointed Lieutenant Governor in
place of Hamilton (884), and Mr. Mompesson Judge of the
Admiralty in place of Col. Quary, although his opinion
that Admiralty cases ought to be tried by juries (950)
was regarded at home as "entirely destructive of legal
trade" (1180). The conscientious objection of the Friends
to bearing arms left the Province in a parlous state of
Maryland.; New Governor.
Col. John Seymour was appointed to the Government
of Maryland in January (160). Before he arrived, that
Province was invaded by an "insolent Quaker" from
Pennsylvania who dared to preach down the doctrines of
the Church (1190).
Col. Quary, Surveyor General.
Col. Quary succeeded Edward Randolph as Surveyor
General of the Customs. His reports cover a wide field
and are full of information. Visiting Virginia, he reports
that it is in a high state of prosperity, to which lists
of tithables also bear witness (1176.xii.). He praises
the new Capitol, the Militia, and the Governor. He is,
however, a mere echo of Col. Nicholson, and his defence
of the Governor foreshadows the charges which were soon
to be brought against him by "some uneasy, factious
and turbulent spirits" (16, 1150, p. 732).
Revisal of the Laws.
The Revisal of the Laws was completed (481), and the
Secretary, Mr. Jennings, was sent home to give an account
of them and of the Province (1176).
Refusal of the Quota.
The Burgesses turned a deaf ear to the Governor's
repeated exhortations to contribute their quota towards
the defence of New York (481), for reasons given in an
Address to the Queen (557–559, etc.). The Assembly
plunged into a quarrel with the Council over the holding
of conferences between the two Houses (531, etc.).
Proposed attack on Canada.
On a visit to Lord Cornbury, Nicholson discussed a
proposed invasion of Canada (p. 568). The French were
rumoured to be settling in California (p. 849).
The new Governor did not arrive in Barbados till May.
In his absence the Assembly fell to squabbling with the
President and Council, a squabble which issued in wordy
warfare and left but little time for attending to the business
of quartering troops or fitting out vessels to protect
commerce (4, 83, 209, 248, 678). Malcontents, by
absenting themselves from the Assembly, paralysed public
business. Sir Bevil Granville found the fortifications
dilapidated and the Island very sickly (787, 831). The
list of Militia (1223.iii.) shows a serious decrease.
Governor Codrington superseded.
From the Leeward Islands, Codrington had made repeated
applications for furlough in past years. After his return,
invalided, from the unsuccessful attempt upon Martinique,
referred to above, his request was granted, and, much to
his chagrin, a new Governor, Sir W. Mathew, was appointed
in his stead (1160, 1421).
The quarrel between the Lieutenant Governor of
Bermuda and Commissioner Larkin reached a climax,
the latter's very questionable conduct giving Capt. Bennett
an excuse for clapping him into gaol (136). "Hurled
betwixt the disconsolate walls" of the prison, Larkin
wrote home his case against the Government of Bermuda
(237). The Lieutenant Governor replied with a dossier
which shows Larkin in no admirable light (1014). The
report of neither party is very complimentary to the
society of the Island. The Council of Trade gave Bennett a
rap on the knuckles for his treatment of H.M. Commissioner,
whom he was ordered to allow to go about his business
(398, 628, 630).
The Assembly was no more willing than that of Jamaica
or Massachusetts to pass a Revenue Act of indefinite
The project of settling Tobago was again mooted (p. 2.)
Jamaica.; Burning of Port Royal; The Kingston Act.
Col. Handasyde assumed the government of Jamaica
in Dec., 1702 (22). A month later Port Royal was
destroyed by fire (128, 161, 280, 289). There is a rumour
of treachery or arson (p. 322). Bills were immediately
rushed through to prevent the re-settling of that ill-starred
town, and to repeat the former endeavour to make Kingston
on the mainland the Capital (228). But, it was urged
with much heat before the Council of Trade by those
interested, these Acts were passed improperly and
Kingston was utterly unsuitable as the seat of trade
and Government. Great mortality amongst the settlers
there lent force to the opposition (1326). Every sixth
man was reported to have died. Whilst the repeal of the
Bill was being clamoured for at home (1179), the Assembly
practically recanted by bringing in an Act to make Port
Royal a port of entry under the name of Port Charles
Act for quartering Soldiers.
When the Assembly met in January, the Lieutenant
Governor recommended to their consideration the passing
of a Revenue Act and an Act for quartering H.M. soldiers
(173). Parties were divided into English new-comers
and Creolians (p. 658), and whilst the House was refusing
to provide adequate quarters for the soldiers or to make
allowances to their officers for quarters and subsistence
(439, 469, 657), the unhappy men who had been sent
to defend them were left to perish in the open. This
state of affairs led the Council of Trade to suggest the
building of barracks etc. and to make other proposals for
their preservation (1149). When, after long delay, a new
Act was passed, the allowance made to officers was shown,
by the test of prices current, to be utterly inadequate (1100).
The Instructions prepared for Lord Peterborough
were now addressed to the Lieutenant Governor (367);
and Col. Handasyde, in spite of the "perverse tempers
and disunion of the people," had the satisfaction of doing
what none of his predecessors had been able to achieve.
The Revenue Act was not indeed made perpetual, but was
extended for 21 years—an alternative which by his private
Instructions Handasyde had been authorised to accept
Factions in the Assembly; Expulsion of Members.
Party feeling ran high in the Assembly. Mr. Totterdell
(Calendar, 1701) had returned, and made his influence felt
not only in constant squabbles with the Council, but also
in stormy scenes in the House over the Additional Duty
Bill. Several Members, who left the House under protest,
were taken into custody and expelled (998, p. 652). The
Assembly, thus reduced, was left without a quorum to
pass any Bills (1048), and refused to admit the same
Members when they were re-elected.
Pressing of Seamen.
Taking the occasion of the repeal of an Act of the Island
for encouraging privateers and preventing pressing, the
Council of Trade recommended the expression of H.M.
disapproval of these disorders, which was done (1179, 1253,
The grievance of the Island as to the pressing of seamen
was investigated by the Privy Council (1254, 1307, 1389.ii.).
Taxation of Jews.
The Home Government also interfered on behalf of
the Jews who had been subjected to unfair taxation (446).
In spite of alarmist rumours of a joint French and
Spanish invasion, Handasyde steadily asserted the ability
of the Island to defend itself. The Colonists, whilst
professing alarm, left the guns and arms sent over by
the Crown untouched and uncared for, to deteriorate in
the open (1347.i.).
From those concerned in Newfoundland came several
petitions for help against the French (156, 1332, 1338, 1381,
etc.). But the officer commanding at St. Johns discouraged
the idea of fortifying Trinity Harbour or Conception Bay
(783, 1342). The fishery and trade suffered very severely
from the war (1332). One result was that a small body
of settlers withdrew to an island in Trinity Bay and there
established themselves as a Community with a code of rules
for their guidance (1, 1339, 1342). Owing to a dispute
between the Ordnance and Navy Boards the boom for
St. John's Harbour, ordered last year, remained unfixed
(607). But after a brush with the Lord Treasurer (713),
the Ordnance Office at last despatched an officer to complete
the work (782). Complaints were once more heard of the
evil effects of trading by military officers (1381). Reference
has already been made to the abortive attempt by the
English fleet upon Placentia (p. 1). An account of the
Fishery is given (379.i.).