America and West Indies
April 1703, 26-30


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'America and West Indies: April 1703, 26-30', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 21: 1702-1703 (1913), pp. 377-394. URL: Date accessed: 21 November 2014.


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April 1703, 26-30

April 26.617. Sir Gilbert and Josiah Heathcote to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Having lived about 15 years in the Island of Jamaica, and being not long since arrived from thence, my brother Sir Gilbert Heathcote has prayed me to give your Honours my thoughts concerning the Bill for preventing the resettling of Port Royall, which I shall humbly offer and submit all to your Lordships' great wisdome. As for the Bill, I am satisfyed the Councill and Assembly had very good reasons for the passing it there, having a personal acquaintance with the most of em and know em to be persons wholly disinteressed in this matter, and I am of their opinion, that it is for the general good and safety of the whole Island, and 'tis upon these reasons. The town of Port Royal near Jamaica is situated on a small sandy bay incompassed by the sea, which is so sunk by the dreadfull earthquake in 1692, that now the highest ground on the whole place is not above two or three foot to water; the whole bay may now contain between 25 to 28 acres, but above 1/3 part of that is made land out of the sea within the harbour since the said earthquake. Thus it lying so low and the east and trade wind blowing directly upon it is in my opinion in great danger of being washt away; to prevent this, it has cost the inhabitants very great sumes of money, first by pileing and planking, and that method proving ineffectuall (the sea breaking them up, almost as fast as they were drove and spiked down), they built a strong wall to oppose it, but neither will that, I doubt, prove a security, for it has undermined that wall severall times, and made large breaches, whereof I have been an eye witness, and am fully persuaded if a hurricane or strong south wind should happen near that Island, it would infallibly swallow up the whole bay in a moment. The place being so very small, there is not room upon it to build convenient dwelling and store houses for one half of the trading people, and to crowd all their buildings so close may expose it to a second destruction by fire, and the same mischeif that has lately happened by the carelessness of one servant may be done by one bomb from an enemy whenever our strength is inferior to theirs. The fortifications at Port Royall are esteemed by men of skill and knowledge in those matters to be of no security for the Island of Jamaica in generall, nor of itself in particular, as Admirall Benbow and others have told me, for an enemy's ship of warr may goe into the Harbour without being obliged to goe within a mile of that place. Besides, in case of an attack the communication between it and the mainland is very inconvenient, if not impossible, being above three miles distance from any convenient place of passage to it from the rest of Jamaica; so that they can neither be relieved, nor make their retreat in case they should be reduced by the enemy, and besides the loss of H.M. fortifications as also the inhabitants' houses, and merchants' effects, the greatest number and strength of the people of Jamaica would be cutt off at one blow; together with the loss of the shipping. The place produces no fresh water, nor is there room to make cisterns to hold any quantity of water in the Fort. When a sea breese has happened to blow hard for 8 or 10 days together, so that the canoes could not bring em over their water, which they fetch about seven miles off, I have known that by such an accident as that, they have been put to very great streights; how much more would it be if an enemy should come with a superior strength of shipping, who as I have hinted above may easily come into that Harbour in despight of the Fort and town and everything else in a very little time without the enemies having occasion to fire a gun at it. For these reasons in my opinion it is by no means advisable to resettle that place. There is indeed another consideration, but I'le only hint at it, for hope in God it's a very remote one, that is, if another earthquake should happen, I am afraid that a very little one would cover it and all the inhabitants and their riches with the sea, it being as I have said above made land and a sandy foundation and not above two or three foot from the water in any part of it, and ye sea only off from it by fencing. Kingston, which is now judged by the Governour, Councill and Assembly the most commodious place of that Island for the seat of trade, is situated in the strongest precinct near the seaside called Liguanée, and hath one of the best and largest harbours in the world adjoyning to it, and that harbour may be well secured by a fortification on Musket Point, or on a hard shoale called the Middle Ground on the south side of the Channell up into the harbour, and scarce covered with water, and large enough (as I have been credibly informed) to contain a sufficient fortification; and these or either of them will command the channell. This channell is about a mile and a half long and very narrow, yet room and depth of water enough for the largest ship in the world; ships that go through it must come to an anchor in the midst of it, and lye till the next morning for a land wind to carry them up or they must turn it through in the wind's eye, and but one ship can pass at once, which makes the passage for an enemy so difficult, that if it was secured by fortifications as above, it is impossible for any ship to get through; they must either sink or put her ashoar, and when that is done there will scarce be room for another to pass by her. At Kingston they have the weather gage of the enemy's ships to run upon them with fire ships, or it is but sinking a ship or two in the narrowest part of the channell and then their way is infalibly stop'd, nor can they there be surprized by a fleet, so will have time enough after they appear in sight to stop up their passage. To summ up all, Admirall Benbow has often told me that this harbour of Kingston might be made one of the safest in the world. At Port Royal it is otherways, for a Fleet with a strong gale of wind can be upon them within three or four houres after they first appear in sight of it. Kingston can securely be releived and succoured from all or most parts of the rest of the Island with men and provisions, nor can it be bombarded from the sea, nor can it without a great deale of difficulty be attacked from the land, by reason of the narrow passes into the settlement of Liguanée, which may easily and with a small charge be secured, there being but three passes by which an enemy can pretend to attempt to enter, the cheif (which lyes about four miles to windward of Kingston and is the way Monsr. Du Cass in the year 1694 designed to have forced his way into Liguanée, but found it too difficult) is well secured by a small Fort of tenn guns and a strong wall up from the sea to the foot of the mountain. I had the honour to wait upon Brigadeer Selwyn when he went to view that pass, and I heard him then say that one hundred resolute men were enough to defend it against 5,000. Port Royal, if the enemy be masters at sea, may be taken or blown in peices by their shipping without their being obliged to land a man, but Kingston cannot be attacked by ships of warr if any care be taken to secure the channell. When the seate of trade is on the mainland the merchants and other trading people will each of them that are able keep one or more horses according to their abilities, which in a hott climate and where the enemy cannot bring any number of horse must be of excellent service and add very considerably to the strength and defence of the Island. That the channell that leads into Kingston Harbour is safe and commodious is demonstrable by Admirall Benbow's sending up all H.M. ships into that Harbour to careen, and ordering all the ships to goe and water at a place called the Rock Spring about three miles to windward of the town, where there is so very great plenty of good water that they could water their ships in a little time, and have offt heard the Admirall say it was extraordinary good. The town of Kingston is seated on a fine rising peice of gravelly land and is so well watr'd, that everyone may have a well of fresh water in his yard. The Settlement of Liguanée adjacent is reckoned the pleasantest, plentifullest and healthyest precinct in yt. Island. Admiral Benbow was so well satisfyed with the situation and healthfullness of Kingston that he ordered H.M. Hospitall to be erected in that parish. Thus may it please your Honrs. according to the best of my judgement and knowledge, I have truly represented the great hazards and inconveniences of the one Settlement, and the great safety and convenience of the other, but large maps or draughts before you, together with persons experienced in the navigation of those parts will best make appear to you the truth of my assertions. I know that some of my very good friends and acquaintance will say yt. my having a house and storehouses at Kingston has made me partial in favour of that place. I will hope that their ground rents has not made them partial to the other. But in truth my Lords that is not my case, my brothers and myself settled that factory at Kingston just after the earthquake at Jamaica in 1692. It was not a hasty act, but upon the best reflections and reasonings we were capable of; our trade has now been managed there these ten years, and thank God with no bad success, and if we live to trade 20 or 30 years longer we shall not remove. If we have the company of the Port Royall Merchants, we shall be well pleased with it, if not we can live as we doe, and be well contented without, nay, perhaps as to our private fortunes it may be better for us. That what I have said here is not with any designe to promote our perticular, but the general good and safety of us all, and in that general good and safety, I have a concern, and 'tis upon that account only that I have presumed to give your honours this trouble. Signed, Josiah Heathcote. Endorsed, Recd. Read April 26, 1703. 4½ pp. [C.O. 138, 10. pp. 439–450; and 137, 5. No. 103.]
April 26.618. Sir B. Gracedieu and others to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Whereas there hath been transmitted to your Lordships from Jamaica an Act to prevent the resettling Port Royal, and whereas your Lordships have desired the persons concerned in said Island to lay before you in writing there opinion thereof. We are humbly of opinion that if said Act pass the royal assent, it will highly endanger that H.M. Island, by exposing the fortifications of Port Royal to the surprize of the enemy, by causing the seafaring men to desert the Island, and laying trade under great inconveniencys and discouragements, for which opinion we pray leave to give these reasons. We are humbly of opinion that it is absolutely needfull for preserving that Island to support and maintain H.M. Forts at Port Royal, and that this cannot be done (with[out ?] a very great charge to H.M.) any other way but by suffering inhabitants to resettle on Port Royal, where they are at all times ready in a quarter of an hour to appear at arms and enter the Fort for the deffence of it and their own estates. Kingston, the place proposed for a Settlement exclusive of Port Royal, lyeth about five miles farther up in the same Harbour, but it usually requires two or three days for a ship to get thither and thence, and when there are so much exposed to the sea breezes, that they some days can't work at all, in dischargeing and lading, and at best but one half or one third of the day, whereas at Port Royal ships may commodiously load and unload any time of the day. And whereas after the late earthquake some persons (whose estates being contiguous to Kingston and therefore to persue their interest) did with utmost vigour promote a Settlement of inhabitants and trade at Kingston, and proceeded so far as to procure the building many large and good houses and convenient warehouses, wharfs etc., where many considerable traders being fixed never intended to return to Port Royal again, yet it soon appeared that the convenient situation and safety of the latter, and some inconveniences in the former prevailed on the people to desert or pull down their new houses and return to Port Royal, where they have with much satisfaction remain'd till the late fire, and very many of them in their letters to their friends complaine yt. they are prohibitted and debarr'd from resettling in their late habitations and places of aboad and trade. And that this is self evident, appears from their remaining on board ships in Port Royal Harbour, till they can get some little houses run upon Port Royal, for them to subsist in where there were (as we are advised) about sixty houses built the 14th February before the Bristoll came away, and many more hastning up with utmost speed and expedition, and all this notwithstanding they are by this hasty law there prohibitted meat, drink and other necessarys of life, yet they hoping for speedy releif from H.M. more gracious and compassionate resolves in their favour here, are busily employed in rebuilding houses for their subsistence. The Act seems to suggest that H.M. Forts were in danger by the fire, which is true, and what all fortifications are lyable to in any other place as well as Port Royal; nor was the difficulty of quenching the fire at Port Royall so great as suggested, for that it was brought under, and almost extinguished with little damage done, when the cry of much powder in the warehouses (tho altogether false) terrifyed the people, and by that unhappy or ill designed accident ruined the town. It's objected by some gentlemen, friends to the Settlement at Kingston and desertion of Port Royall, that the latter is too small for the trade, but it hath by many years' experience been found large enough, and every way commodious for the Imports and Exports of the place, but if that objection hath any weight, lett it serve as far as 'twill, and let the traders be at least at liberty to build their houses and venture their lives and goods at such places as they think most conducive to the safety of their health and the security of their trade. It's further objected that the Forts may be removed to Musquito Point, which must be at a vast charge to H.M. if practicable, but a person now here, and once employed by the Government there to view and examine that place, found it all quick-sand and morass by running a pike up to the head, and therefore reported it not capable of a foundation, and we are of opinion that point of land being all very low and morass, will be unhealthy and destructive to the inhabitants, nor can a fortress at Musquito Point secure a major part of the harbour, but will leave the entry open for an enemy to land at Salt Pond Hill, and so ravish Spanish Town (the seat of Government) and usuall place of the Governours Residence, and all the parish of St. Katherines and St. Dorothys, without any possibility of releif from the Forts at Musquito Point or Kingston. Wherefore may it please your Honours we are for these and many other reasons humbly of opinion that it's highly for the interest and security of H.M. Island of Jamaica and Government there, and for the releif and support of many her distressed subjects, that such persons as are willing and able, may resettle on Port Royall with such immunities and priviledges as are common to the rest of their fellow subjects and they enjoyed before. Wherefore we do as well on our own behalfs as at the request and on the behalfs of many our distressed friends there, humbly pray your Honours so to represent the depending law to H.M. as that they and we may be speedily eased of the heavy inconveniences which will fall on us if H.M. be not graciously pleased as soon as to H.M. shall seem fitt to declare her royal dislike of that Act. Signed, Bartho. Gracedieu, William Cowad, Samuel Jones, John Baker, Robt. Wilsonn, Law. Prince, Hen. Cliffe, Joshua Smith (for John Smith and Habrishus Smith), John Rose, Edwd. Bradford, He. Mason, Francis Rogers, Phillip Rainy, Caleb Dickinson, Patt. Trehee, Gervase Brough, E. Hall, H. Smith, Hen. Sherwin, Benj. Way, Rd. Harris, Richd. Chitty, Seger Walter, Charles Kent, James Whitchurch, senr., David Jeffreys, Matthew Plowman, T. Wash, John Parke, Peter Paggen, Wm. Walty, Antho. Major. Endorsed, Recd, Read April 26, 1703. 2 pp. [C.O. 137, 5. No. 102; and 137, 45. No. 44; and 138, 10. pp. 451–457.]
April 26.
619. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Sir Bartholomew Gracedieu and Mr. Way, with divers other Gentlemen concerned in the Island and Trade of Jamaica, presented to the Board a Memorial setting forth reasons against the late Act to prevent the resetling of Port Royal, which was read. Memorial from Josiah Heathcote, containing reasons for the confirmation of the above Act, read. After which the Gentlemen now present offered some answers to Mr. Heathcote's allegations; they denied that Port Royal did sink by the Earthquake, and affirmed that more houses in proportion withstood the shock of the Earthquake at Port Royal than in any other part of the Island. They said that Kingston is a sickly place, adding the reason, because of the low ground and morasses that lye about it. They said that Port Royal is more commodious than Kingston for shipping and trade, and that if it were not resettled it might be apprehended that the seamen would desert the Island. In answer to Mr. Heathcote's saying that it contains but 25 acres of ground, they affirmed that it contains 40. And they further offer'd, if it were desired from them, to answer all his arguments particularly in writing. After which, these Gentlemen being withdrawn, their Lordships gave directions for preparing a Representation to be made to H.M. upon this matter, and a letter to the Earl of Nottingham, wherein to enclose the same; as likewise a letter to Col. Handasyd.
April 27.Above Representation and letter signed.
Order of Council, April 24, relating to Newfoundland, read. Directions thereupon given for preparing a letter to Governor Dudley.
Order of Council, April 17, upon Governor's salaries etc. read.
Order of Council, April 17, upon the wast lands of New Hampshire read.
April 28.Draughts of several letters to Governors of Plantations were agreed upon and ordered to be transcribed. [C.O. 391, 16. pp. 89–92; and 391, 97. pp. 325–333.]
April 26.620. Journal of House of Representatives of New York. Ordered that William Anderson, Clerk to the Commissioners appointed to examine the Public Accounts, do lay before this House the annual Customs that have been paid into H.M. Custom House for lead, powder and guns transported up Hudson's River for 1700, and 1701.
Leave given for bringing in a Bill for the punishment of officers extorting fees above what is provided in the late regulation of fees.
H.E.'s Speech further considered.
April 27.Petition of Johannes Van Vechta, Baarent Staats and others was read, complaining of the hardships on vessels that trade up Hudson's River to and from New York and Albany. Ordered that it lie on the table until the accounts of the customs ordered yesterday be laid before the House.
Bill to enable the French Protestant Church etc. was read a third time, passed and sent up.
Bill to prohibit the distilling of rum and burning of oyster shells within New York, read with amendments and passed.
Bill to impower Justices of the Peace and a Freeholder to hold a plea of debt or trespass of small value read the first time.
April 28.Customs account ordered above and petition presented yesterday considered. Bill ordered to be brought in according to the said petition.
Bill for the laying out, regulating, clearing and preserving publick common highways thro'out this Colony, was read the first and second time. [C.O. 5, 1185. pp. 35–38.]
April 27.
621. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of Nottingham. Enclosing Representation (No. 623) concerning Port Royal to be laid before H.M., on which we conceive it necessary that Letters be writ by the packett-boat which is now departing. Signed, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Mat. Prior. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 45. No. 47; and 138, 10. p. 460.]
April 27.
Office of Ordnance.
622. Board of Ordnance to the Queen. Enclosing estimate (5,568l. 1s. 6d.) of stores proposed for New York (April 2); and we are of opinion that these stores may be very necessary, and have no other objection against supplying the same, but for such extraordinary charges no provision is made by Parliament, and it has always been thought that the Plantations were to provide themselves at their own expence with what stores they had occasion for. And we must take this opportunity to inform your Majesty that from Jan. 1700 this office has sent to the several Plantations stores amounting to 19,021l. 10s. 10¼d. without receiving any payment, which has very much exhausted the stores, and run this office into a considerable debt, which is of ill consequence to your Majesty's service. As to the list of accoutrements waiting for the four companies in New Yorke, we humbly conceive they ought to be provided by the respective commanders, as is practis'd in all regiments. Signed, Granville, Wm. Bridges, Ja. Lowther, C. Musgrave. 1 p. Annexed,
622. i. Estimate of stores referred to in preceding. 2 pp. The whole endorsed, Recd. Read May 3, 1703. [C.O. 5, 1048. Nos. 54, 54.i.; and 5, 1119. pp. 479–482.]
April 27.
623. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Queen. We have received an Act of Assembly from Collonel Handasyd, Your Majesties Lieutenant Governour of Jamaica, to prevent the resetling of Port Royal and for transferring the seat of Trade to Kingston, a place lying more within the land. We have likewise received the opinion of your Majesties Cheif Engineer in that Island for confirming the said Act; but the Act appearing to us to contain matter of the greatest consequence to your Majesties service, and the property and interest of your subjects in that Island, we have discoursed with the principle merchants and seafaring men concerned in that trade, most of whom declare their opinions against the said Act; and whereas on the other hand, we have not received a sufficient account from Collonel Handasyd of the motives which could oblige the Assembly to make so considerable a change, and of the manner in which this Act was past; we are humbly of opinion that your Majesty do not confirm the same, untill upon letters to be written to the Lieutenant Governour and Councill the whole matter may be reconsidered, and such alterations and amendments made in the Act, as shall be found requisite that it may be accordingly presented to your Majesty; the present Act being also lyable to objections, as being very imperfect and wanting form. Signed, Rob. Cecill, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Mat. Prior. 2 pp. [C.O. 137, 45. No. 48; and 138, 10. pp. 458, 459.]
April 27 [?]
(written XVII)
624. Minutes of Council in Assembly of Jamaica. Petitions of the owners of the Earl galley fireship and of Dr. Harding, with some proposals relating to the Bath, were recommended to the Assembly. [C.O. 140, 6. p. 462.]
April 27.625. Minutes of Council of the Massachusetts Bay. H.E. communicated to the Council a letter from Mr. Penhallow of Piscataqua containing a journal of his and Mr. Atkinson's voyage to Penobscot, being sent by H.E.'s Order to inform the Indians as to his proceedings in the Chadwell affair (see April 5), wherewith the Indians seemed to be well pleased.
H.E. communicated to the Council a letter from Lt. Col. Tyng wherein he informes that the scouts lately sent up to Pennicooke give an accompt that Watanuman, the Sagamore, and his men are withdrawn; that there is no preparation for planting there this year. And one Sam, an[d] Indian of that company, in discourse at the Trading house at Wataanack, says that Watanuman and his men are removed to Paquasset, a place within two or three days journey of Quebec, that several French Indians were among them, that they had a full supply of ammunition and were determined to continue and plant there; that George, the other Pennicooke Sagamore, was among the French at Quebeck; and that Sam exprest himself with insolence and inclination to excite the Indians to a war.
500l., voted March 10, paid to Thomas Brattle on account of the fortification of Castle Island.
23l. 12s. 1d. paid to Major Samuel Browne of Salem for the hire of his ketch etc. for transportation of soldiers to Salem and Casco Bay, Nov. last.
3l. 5s. paid to Thomas Dean of Salem for billeting soldiers in November last.
136l. paid to Thomas Fitch for 40 pair of large blankets and 40 beds and bolsters by him made for H.M. garrison at the Castle. [C.O. 5, 789. pp. 499–501.]
[April 29.]626. John Roope to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Enclosing account of further materials necessary for the boom for St. Johns Harbour. Total, 75l. 6s. I humbly desire that I may have an order to the Captain or Governor of the Forces at Newfoundland to give me 25 or 30 men according as I shall have occasion and as long as I shall need them for this service. Signed, John Roope. Endorsed, Recd. Read April 29. 1 p. [C.O. 194, 2. No. 117; and 195, 3. pp. 219, 220.]
April 29.
627. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Dudley. We have lately received a letter from you dated Dec. 10. In answer to which, and to those already acknowledged, we send you here inclosed a copy of a representation which we have laid before H.M., with minutes of the orders that have been made thereupon for your information. As to New-Hampshire, Mr. Partridge's great trade (which is not consistant with the office of a Governour) and his neglect of sending home Acts and other publick Proceedings as required by his Instructions, have (amongst other objections against his conduct) obliged H.M. to remove him from that Government, and to constitute Mr. Usher Lieut. Governor in his stead. We have omitted to mention in our Representation the desire of the Councill of New Hampshire about extending the liberty of cutting trees for private uses from 24 to 32 inches diameter. For we think that desire very unreasonable, and tending to the ruin of the woods, and to the depriving H.M. of trees fit for the service of her Royal Navy. You have here inclosed H.M. letter, relating to your salary, by which you will see the utmost that we have been able to do for you here. You must endeavour to procure the effect thereof: which we wish may prove answerable to your own desires. As for the regulation about presents, the same has been signifyed in like manner to the Governors of all H.M. other Plantations. You have likewise herewith another letter from H.M., relating to Mr. Allen's title to the waste lands in New Hampshire, which you are punctually to observe. We desire you to have a particular regard to the other letters relating to the administration of justice etc. in both your Governments, which you will also find here inclosed, and to give us an account accordingly. We suppose we shall by the next opportunity be able to give you a further account of the effect of our representation, which we hope will be to your satisfaction. Signed, Weymouth, Robt. Cecill, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Mat. Prior. [C.O. 5, 911. pp. 18–20.]
April 29.
628. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Queen. We humbly take leave to represent to your Majesty that George Larkin, Esq., was sent by his late Majesty with commissions under the Great Seal of England to the respective Governments in your Majesty's Plantations, as one of the Commissioners for putting in execution the late Act of Parliament for the more effectual suppression of piracy and with particular instructions to direct and methodize the proceedings of the Courts that should be held in the Plantations, pursuant to the said Act. That the said Larkin having accordingly executed his Commission in several of your Majesty's Colonies and being arrived at Bermuda where he also did the same; it has happened that upon some differences between him and Captain Bennett, your Majesty's Lieutenant Governour of the Bermuda Islands, he has divers times writ to us complaining of the said Bennett's proceedings in many particulars, and more especially in imprisoning him and detaining him, by denying him a tickett for leave to depart those Islands, without showing any just cause for his so doing. Upon which we humbly report that whatever may have been the rise and progress of those difficulties (as to which we are not yet so fully instructed as might be requisite) we are however humbly of opinion that Captain Bennett ought not to have proceeded to that extremity of imprisoning a person imployed on so important a Commission unless for a capital crime or signal breach of the peace, but that he should have transmitted hither the cause of his dissatisfaction, to have been laid before your Majesty for your royal pleasure therein. And having accordingly wrote to Captain Bennett what we conceive to have been his duty, but being doubtfull whether our letters may have reached his hands, we humbly offer that your Majesty would be pleased to order him forthwith to discharge the said Larkin, and to permit him to repaire to Jamaica, where the further execution of his Commission may call him, or to the Leeward Islands, where your Majesty has been pleased to constitute him Secretary, or whereever else your Majesty's service may require his presence; as likewise to direct that the said Captain Bennett do transmit an account of his proceedings in relation to the said Larkin, to be laid before your Majesty in order to your Majesty's pleasure, and that for the future he abstains from such violent and arbitrary proceedings towards your Majesty's subjects, which directions in this case we humbly conceive to be of such importance as to deserve that some particular orders be given for the more certain conveyance thereof (by an advice boat or otherwise) to the Bermuda Islands. Signed, Weymouth, Dartmouth, Robt. Cecill, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Mat. Prior. [C.O. 38, 5. pp. 376–378.]
April 29.
629. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Lord Cornbury. We send your Lordship here inclosed a duplicate of our last dated the 7th instant, since when we have not received any from you. We have been directed to prepare the letters for H.M. royal signature, which are to be writ to several Plantations relating to the Quota to be furnished by them for the assistance of New Yorke, which will be transmitted to your Lordship by the next conveyance. We are expecting from your Lordship an answer upon our directions for your examining the several Acts of Assembly, the Titles whereof were transmitted to your Lordship by us Jan. 26 last, that we may thereby be fully enabled to determine our opinion to H.M. upon those Acts. You will observe that some of them require a very particular answer vizt. as to the Act for preventing vexatious Suits and settling and quieting the minds of H.M. peaceable subjects, etc. Your Lordship will please to inform us what cases there are which may require redress, and how circumstantiated, and what suits are commenced in New Yorke upon any cases whereunto this Act relates, since the passing of the repealing Act in November, 1702. And in relation to the Act for vacating, breaking and annulling several extravagant Grants made by Coll. Fletcher, etc., we desire to have the particular opinion of your Lordship and the Council upon each of the several Grants thereby intended to be vacated. You receive here inclosed H.M. letters for augmenting your Lordship's salary in New Yorke, and for settling a salary in New Jersey, as likewise for prohibiting presents to be made to Governours of Plantations by Assemblies; which regulation against presents has been signifyed in like manner to the Governours of all H.M. Plantations and is to be observed. We doubt not but your Lordship will have a particular regard to the letters relating to the administration of Justice etc. in both your Governments, which you will also find here inclosed, and return us an account of that matter accordingly. Signed, Weymouth, Robt. Cecill, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Mat. Prior. [C.O. 5, 1119. pp. 476–478.]
April 29.
630. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lt. Governor Bennett. We have not received any letter from you since our last of the 2d and 25th of March, whereof you have a duplicate here inclosed. You will herewith receive a letter from H.M. acquainting you with the directions she has been pleased to give for the augmentation of your salary, and the regulation she has thought fit to make (as in other Plantations) for preventing presents to Governours from Assemblies, which you are punctually to observe. You are likewise to have a particular regard to what we have writ you in the inclosed letter relating to the administration of justice etc. and to give us an account of that matter accordingly. We cannot conclude without further taking notice of your extraordinary and undue proceedings against Mr. Larkin, whom H.M. in pursuance of an Act of Parliament was pleased to intrust with Commissions to the severall Plantations for the better suppressing of pirates, and whom you ought not to have stopt for less than a capital crime or notorious practice against the Crown. And therefore we do exhort and admonish you to give him (if the same be not already done) not only leave to depart, but all necessary conveniences for his proceeding upon H.M. service; he being likewise a person of whom H.M. has so good an opinion as to have confer'd on him the office of Secretary of the Leeward Islands. And we will not doubt of your punctual compliance with this our direction, as you will answer the contrary. Signed, Weymouth, Robt. Cecill, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Mat. Prior. [C.O. 38, 5. pp. 374, 375.]
April 29.
631. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lt. Governor Handasyd. We have received your letter of the 9th of February, with an Act of Assembly to prevent the resetling of Port Royal. We take this to be a matter of the highest consequence, and had therefore reason to expect that the Act should have been accompanyed with a full account of the reasons upon which and the manner in which this Act passed, together with a full deduction of your own sense thereon. Whereas you only refer us to what Mr. Lilly had written to us upon that subject some time before. In relation to this matter we have been attended by the Merchants principally concerned in Jamaica, and send you here inclosed copies of the reasons by which they sustain their different opinions upon the Act, which we desire you to communicate to the Councill, that these arguments being impartially considered together with such reasons as may be alledged either for resettling at Port Royall or going over to Kingston, you may upon the whole propose to the Assembly the passing such an Act as may most conduce to H.M. service and the security and interest of the Island. As to the form of this Act we cannot but observe that it is notoriously imperfect. The first clause begins with, Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, whereas there is neither anything enacted before which might occasion the word further, nor is any authority mentioned which does enact what follows; so that it not appearing either where, by whom or by what authority that Act was past, it seems to be an insignificant writing of no value. The stile of the Act is broken and not intelligible, it bears no date marking either the day when it was past, or when the Assembly, wherein it past, was held, which last defect we have also some times observed in former Acts of Jamaica, and admonish you upon this occasion to direct the proper officer to take care that in all Acts for the future not only the date of the Session of Assembly, but also the time when each particular Act was past be exprest before you pass the same. We presums there were severall other Acts past in the same Assembly, which you ought to have sent over at the same time. And we are obliged further to observe to you that several considerable matters have been transacted in those parts of which we might reasonably have expected particular accounts from you. Here inclosed you have a letter from H.M. acquainting you with what she has been pleased to order for establishing the salaries of the Governour and Lieut. Governour of Jamaica, as likewise for prohibiting presents to be made to Governors of Plantations by Assemblys, which regulation against presents has been signifyed in like manner to the Governors of all H.M. other Plantations, and is to be observed. We desire you to have also a particular regard to what we have writ you in another inclosed letter relating to the administration of justice etc. and to give us an account accordingly. Signed, Weymouth, Robt. Cecill, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Mat. Prior. [C.O. 138, 10. pp. 461–464.]
April 29.
632. William Popple to Mr. Larkin. The Council of Trade and Plantations have received your letter of Nov. 9, upon which they have again this day wrote to Capt. Bennett in the terms you will find here inclosed, and are further taking such care for your discharge from the restraint laid upon you in the Bermuda Island as will certainly be effectual. [C.O. 38, 5. p. 376.]
April 29.
633. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Nicholson. We have not received any letter from you since our postscript of the 25th of [to No. 249]. Enclose H.M. Letter as to Governors' presents. We desire you to have a particular regard to what we have writ you in the enclosed letter relating to the administration of Justice, and to give us an account of that matter accordingly. Signed, Weymouth, Robt. Cecill, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Mat. Prior. [C.O. 5, 1360. p. 367.]
April 29.
634. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Sir Bevill Granville. We have not yet received any letter from you. Here inclosed we send you one from H.M. acquainting you with what she has been pleased to order for augmenting your salary, as likewise for prohibiting presents to be made to Governours of Plantations by Assemblies; which regulation against presents has been signified in the like manner to the Governours of all H.M. Plantations, and is to be punctually observed. We desire you to have a particular regard to what we have writ you in the inclosed letter relating to the administration of justice etc., and to give us an account of that matter accordingly. Signed, Weymouth, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Mat. Prior.
P.S.—We desire your care in sending forwards the inclosed letters to Bermuda by the first opportunity, etc. [C.O. 29, 8. pp. 302, 303.]
April 29.
635. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Codrington. We have not received any prior letter from you since ours of the 18th of the last month, whereof you have here enclosed a duplicate. We further herewith send you H.M. Order in Council of March 20th for repealing two Acts, vizt., one intituled An Act for the better observation of the Lord's Day and suppressing of prophane cursing and swearing, and another intituled an Act for the better and more certain support of Ministers, which Order you will take care may be published and registred accordingly. We likewise send you the copy of our Representation and of that part of Mr. Attorney General's Report to us upon the Acts of the General Assembly, which relates particularly to these two, that you may thereby perceive the reasons of their repeal. And we likewise send you a copy of the case of Daniel Mackenin, a Protestant inhabitant of the Island of Antego, in opposition to the said Act, which we desire you to examine that if the said Act be not injurious to his or other private property and if the forementioned defect or mistake be in the original (as it is in that which lies before us) you may endeavour to get the same rectifyed by a new Act whereby this may be repealed; and that the said new Act so rectifyed may be transmitted to us. Upon this occasion we think it necessary to direct that you (as the Governours of all H.M. other Plantations) in transmitting Acts of the Assemblies do constantly give us your own opinion upon each Act together with a short view of the opposition and objections made against it (if there were any) and the reasons which determined you to assent. You have here inclosed a letter from H.M. acquainting you with what she has been pleased to order for augmenting your salary and establishing salaries for the Lieutenant Governours of the several Islands under your Government as likewise for prohibiting presents to be made to Governours of Plantations by Assemblies, which regulation against presents has been signifyed in like manner to the Governours of all H.M. Plantations, and is to be punctually observed. We do not doubt but that you will also have a particular regard to what we have writ you in another inclosed letter relating to the administration of justice, and give us an account accordingly. Signed, Weymouth, Robt. Cecill, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Matt. Prior. [C.O. 153, 8. pp. 165–168.]
April 29.
636. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of Nottingham. We have proceeded in the further consideration of what is requisite for making and fixing the Boom cross the harbour of St. Johns in Newfoundland, which we judge to be of very great importance for the preservation of that country, and the shipping that have their retreat in that harbour. And do find it necessary for H.M. service that the person who has proposed the scheme for effecting this work (appearing to us to be very intelligent and capable) be sent thither by the present convoy for the more certain and speedy performance thereof. And whereas the additional charge of his attendance with the necessary materials he proposes to carry with him will amount to the summe of 75l. 6s., according to the memorial hereunto annexed, we pray your Lordship to receive H.M. directions therein, that the money requisite for this whole service may be advanced before the departure of the convoy. Signed, Weymouth, Rob. Cecill, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Matt. Prior. [C.O. 195, 3. pp. 220, 221.]
April 29.
637. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letters to several Governors signed.
Ordered that the Secretary write to Mr. Larkin, and send him an extract of their Lordships' letter to the Governor of Bermuda which concerns himself.
Memorial from John Roop read. Letter thereupon writ to the Earl of Nottingham inclosing a copy thereof.
Representation to H.M. relating to Mr. Larkin signed.
April 30.Ordered that the Secretary write to Mr. Champante for a state of all Bills drawn by Lord Bellomont and Capt. Nanfan etc.
Ordered that the Secretary acquaint Mr. Wharton that their Lordships desire to speak with the Undertakers for importing Naval Stores on Wednesday.
Order of Council, April 24, read. Draught of a Commission for Lieutenant-Governor Usher agreed upon accordingly, and a Representation signed wherewith to lay the same before H.M. [C.O. 391, 16. pp. 92–95; and 391, 97. pp. 337–344.]
April 29.638. Minutes of Council in Assembly of Jamaica. A Bill appointing Commissioners to enquire into the execution of several Acts made for raising money on the inhabitants of Port Royal; and a Bill for making good and valid the last will and testament of Anthony Wood, late of Port Royal, sent up.
Ordered that Col. Knight be sent for by the Clerk of the Council. [C.O. 140, 6. p. 462.]
April 29.639. Journal of House of Representatives of New York. Committee appointed to consider the Clause in the Militia Act referred to in the speech of H.E.
Petition of Jeremiah Tothill, John Corbet and John Theobalds in behalf of themselves and many of the inhabitants of this Province, complaining of sundry Dutch and foreign customs used in this Province in conveying estates of inheritance, and praying leave to bring in a bill for the quieting them in their estates of inheritance, was granted. The Bill was brought in and read a first time.
Bill for prohibiting the distilling of rum and burning of oystershells within New York etc. was read the third time, passed and sent up.
Committee on the Militia Act made their report, and a Bill was ordered to be brought in accordingly, providing that instead of the Captain's prosecuting a defaulter at a Court of Common Pleas, he have power to carry any person detacht for the frontiers out of the Militia before any three Justices of the Peace, who shall be empowered to fine the person or persons so convicted 6l. to be levied on his goods and chattels.
April 30.Bill to empower Justices of the Peace to hold pleas of debt and trespass of small value was read a second time.
A motion being made, whether a clause be added to the Bill for the better regulating the payment of the Quit-Rents in the several towns, it was carried in the negative, and the Bill was ordered to be engrossed.
Ordered that a clause be inserted in the Bill to explain the Act for defraying the Public Charge, providing for the better regulating the payment of the Quit-rents in the several towns in this Colony.
Highway bill read a second time, and committed.
Bill concerning the vessels trading up Hudson's River was read the first time. [C.O. 5, 1185. pp. 38–41.]
April 30.
640. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Queen. Enclosing draught of Commission for John Usher to be Lieutenant Governor of New Hampshire. Signed, Weymouth, Dartmouth, Robt. Cecill, Wm. Blathwayt, Mat. Prior. Annexed.
640. i. Draught of Commission of Lieutenant-Governor Usher. "In case of the death or absence of Joseph Dudley, we do hereby authorize and empower you to execute and perform all and singular the powers and directions contained in our Commission to him" as Captain General and Governor in Chief, etc. [C.O. 5, 911. pp. 23–26.]
April 30.
Admiralty Office.
641. H.R.H. the Lord High Admiral to the Queen. Upon H.M. Order in Council of April 24, referring for my opinion the Representation of April 23, I report that the season of the year is now too far advanced to admit of the sending a fourth-rate ship so as to be timely at New England to enable her to doe service, for that the ships are of soe little use there in the winter, that there is always a necessity to send them to Saltatudoes. But I am of opinion that it may be for H.M. service to send such a ship thither, so as she may arrive by next spring. Signed, George. Endorsed, Recd. Read May 3, 1703. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 863. No. 25; and 5, 911. pp. 31, 32.]
April 30.
642. William Popple to John Champante. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire you to lay before them for their information a particular state of what Bills were drawn by the Lord Bellomont and Capt. Nanfan during their respective administration of the government of New York, expressing upon what persons and for what uses each of the said Bills were so drawn, and which of them have been paid and remain yet unpaid. [C.O. 5, 1119. pp. 478, 479.]
April [?].
643. Col. Quary to the Vice-Admiral of H.M. Fleet in Jamaica. Enclosing copy of H.M. order to him for providing provisions and shipping there to the Agent of the Victualling Office in Jamaica. I can supply you with what quantity of provision you please to order etc. Signed, Robt. Quary. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1233. No. 42.]
April [?].
644. Col. Quary to the Agent of the Victualling Office in Jamaica. Enclosing copy of H.M. Order to him for providing provisions as above etc. Signed, Robt. Quary. Copy. 3½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1233. No. 43.]
April [?].
645. Col. Quary to [? the Earl of Nottingham]. I have shipped all the provisions which I purchased here in pursuance of H.M. Orders. The vessels have stayed some time for the convoy H.M.S. Jersey, who sailed hence with the four vessels. His orders is to touch at South Carolina, and there take under convoy the provisions that I ordered to be bought there on H.M. account, wch. have been shipped near three months.… I hope H.M. stores [at Port Royal] have scaped, but for fear they should not I have writ to the Vice-Admiral and to the Agent of the Victualling Office that I can supply 2,000 hhd. of bread and other provisions on very short notice, provided that they do take care to send vessels for it, there being none to be had either here or in New Yorke. The bread and flower of this place exceeds any on the main and sells at any markett for 3 per cwt. more than any other. … For bread, flower, rice, porke and pease no part of England can afford better than can be furnished from these parts, but for beefe we cannot compare with England. It will do very well for present spending, so that it be not kept in the salt more than six months… etc. I am very willing to undertake the furnishing H.M. with all sorts of provisions upon more easy terms than any man in America etc. Signed, Robt. Quary. Endorsed, R. July. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 1233. No. 44.]
April 30.
May 10.
Fort Kijkoveral, Rio Essequebo
646. Commandant Samuel Beeckman to the Directors of the Dutch West India Company. Signed. Samuel Beeckman. Dutch. 8¼ pp. Enclosed,
646. i. Account of the disposal of the slaves arrived 5/16 April, 1703. Dutch. 3 pp.
646. ii. Bill of Lading of the Abrahams Ostergande homeward bound. Dutch. 1 p.
646. iii. Bill of lading of the De Jonge Jan homeward bound. Dutch. 3½ pp.
646. iv. Muster-roll of all the free men in the Colony of Essequebo. 2¾ pp.
646. v. Clearing of the Abrahams Ostergande from Essequebo to Middelburgh. Signed, Christian Brant, Master. Dutch. Printed form. 1 p.
646. vi. Demand from the Company's Plantations for sundry provisions, servants' pay, slaves and goods required. Dutch. 4 pp.
646. vii. Clearing of the De Jonge Jan from Rio Essequebo to Middelburgh. June 1/12, 1703. Dutch. Partly printed form. 1 p.
646. viii. List of the artisans and soldiers needed by the Colony of Essequebo. Dutch. 1 p.
646. ix. Copy of the Minutes of Council, Fort Kijkoveral, Oct. 2 (N.S.), 1702. Dutch. 2 pp.
646. x. Copy of the Minutes of Council, Jan. 1 (N.S.), 1703, Fort Kijkoveral. Dutch. 2½ pp.
646. xi. List of medicines needed for Rio Essequebo. Dutch. 2 pp. [C.O. 116, 19. Nos. 17, 17. i.–xi.]