Of the Administration of the Severall Governours of Jamaica. The Rise and Actions of the Buccaniers, And all other Remarkable Transactions, during Their Respective Governments.
(f. 89) King Charles the Second, upon His Restoration to His Dominions, not only approved of the Conquest of Jamaica, but confirmed the Possessions and Titles of His Subjects who were Setled there. And, on the 2. of February 1660, by Patent or Commision appointed Coll. Edward Doyley to be Governour of the Island as well as Commander in Chief of the Forces so that This Gentleman is looked upon, as indeed He was, the first Regular Governour, the others being only Commanders in Chief of the Forces, without the Title and other Advantages of a Governour.
By His Instructions He was impowered and directed with the advice of the Councill (who were to be fairly and indifferently Chosen, by the Officers of the Army, Planters, and other Inhabitants) or any five Them, to raise money for the use of the Goverment, and to perform all other Acts, (ff. 90) which might conduce to the Security and Good Government and Service of the Island.
Accordingly, the Civill power began to be Exercised soon after, though it was little more than nominall for there was a Necessity at that time of Governing by Martiall Laws, the Inhabitants being mostly Military Men; and nothing but the Strict hand of Discipline could keep Them in order and preserve the Peace and Lives of the Community, untill the Island became better setled, and Peopled by a different Class of Men. However, no Inconvenience of prejudice arose from that mixed kind of Goverment, through the mild and prudent Administration of the Governours; for I have often heard some of the first setlers speak of those times with great satisfaction, and highly commend the Justice, Moderation, and Discreet behaviour.
His Majesty was allso pleased to appoint by Patent, a Commissary of the Stores, who was allso to be secretary of the Island and one of the Councill. a Provost Marshall or High Sheriff, a Surveyour Generall and other Publick Offices.
And the Governour by Virtue of the Powers he was cloathed with, commissioned proper Police(?) in the severall Districts or Settlements, for the Conservation of the Peace to Administer Justice(?) and to decide matters of Debt not exceeding Forty shillings.
The Soldiers and Inhabitants in generall, being now convinced of the intentions of the Crown to maintain our right of possession were most assiduous in Planting and improving the Island; for many of Them had a Notion, that the Island would be returned to the Spaniards, upon a Peace with that Nation. And, for the better Security of the Island, and to induce all the Officers and Soldiers to become Setlers, He fixed the severall Regiments in different Parts of the Island in(?) the manners of Townships (IW) allotted to every man a portion(?) of land.
Coll. Wards (late(?) Venables) as the Angells.
The Regiment commanded by Major Wells (late Fortesems) at Guanaboa.
Coll. Barringtons at Caimanos.
Coll. Carter and Holdips in Ligunica.
Coll. Bland’s (late Braynes) at Morant.
His own Regiment at yallahs.
And, Coll. Moore’s Regiment, who were most or all Trick(?), and would not plant or work, He Quartered at St. Jago delavega, and in the Fortifications at Cagway, to do Military Duty.
In August 1661, A Proclamation was Published by the Governour signifying the order He had received from his Royall Highness James Duke of York Lord High Admirall &ca, strictly to charge and command all persons within His Goverment, (ff. 91) to forbear taking any Indians Prisoners or to do Them any Injury of Violence: But that They treat Them, with all kindness and Civility. And allso to give notice to such Indian or Spanish Prisoners who had been brought to the Island, that there was then a Ship ready in the Harbour, to receive Them aboard, and to Transport Them to the (IW) Continent.
The Fortifications at Cagway being now allmost established the largest at the S. E. Point, which was(?) called Fort Cromwell, was named Fort Charles and that at the N. E. end Fort Rupert.
The Fortifications at Cagway being now allmost established the largest at the S. E. Point, which was(?) called Fort Cromwell, was name Fort Charles and that at the N. E. end Fort Rupert.
Brother of King Charles II and king between 1685 to 1688.
[Knight uses an asterisk, to the following inserted page]
(f. 92) And, the Harbour which is not only commodious for Shiping but Conveniently situated for Trade, having drawn many merchantile Persons and Seamen hither, the Town which now Consists of 250 Houses and Storehouses, was called Port Royall, and began(?) to put on the face of buzyness, having severall small Vesells belonging to it, that were employed in Trade, beside those which came from England and other Parts.
But, Coll. Doyley who had surmounted so many difficultys and had the satisfactions of seeing the Island, in a prosperous condition, being desirous(?) of retiring from buzyness and of spending the remainder of his Days in his Native Country, recalled and embarqued for England in July 1662 at His own request. I shall therefore conclude His Administration, with the following observations, which(?) I think justly due to his merit and memory.
[End of asterisk]
(f. 91) [crossed out] Nothing further hapned that is Remarkable or worth Notice, during the Administration of this Gentleman, who being desirous of spending the remainder of His days in his Native Country was at his own request recalled, and embarqued for England in July 1662. But, the following observations are justly due to his Merit and memory. [crossed out]
It is Universally allowed that the preservation(?) and settlement of this Island, was owing to His Vigilance, Bravery, and prudent Conduct. in my opinion the Conquest of it, without prejudice of partiality may likewise be attributed to (f. 92) him. For though the Island, according to the Treaty which was made with the Spanish Governour, was delivered in Form to Generall Venables, yet it appears by the preceding Narrative; that the Inhabitants did not comply with that agreement, but afterwards disputed the possession. Nor, were They entirely disposed, till They were defeated at Rio Nova in June 1658, which was above three years after. It was likewise oweing to His conduct and management that the Spanish Negroes, who were extreamly mischivous and troublesome, submitted Themselves, and afterwards became usefull to the New setlers. And, to His Vigilance and Resolution, a dangerous Conspiracy and Mutiny (fomented and headed by officers of distinction who were men of Abilities and popular in the Army) was timely suppressed; or the whole Design would have been subverted.
Though He had an absolute Authority, unrestrained by any Civill Laws, yet he did not Exact any fees, nor extort Donatives from the People: But, Contented Himself with the Pay and Sallary, which was allowed Him by the Goverment, and lived on the income of His Plantation which afforded Him many Necessaries of Life. He appeared in Publick as a private Gentleman, without any State or Ceremony yet was carefull to preserve the Honour and Dignity of the Governour. He was firmly (ff. 93) attached to the Royall Cause, which was the Reason of Cromwells dislike to Him, and Removing Him twice from the Command of the Forces, which devolved to Him by Election as well as Succession. He encouraged and countenanced the loyall sufferers(?) who removed to this Island, during the troublesome(?) times in England: Nevertheless, He did not treat the Adverse Party before or after the Restoration with any Severity or Contempt nor did They Suffer any other difficultys or hardships, than what was common among(?) Them all, and often happens in all new Settlements. There cannot be a stronger Testimony of His merit and good Goverment than the Affections and Esteem of the People and the Honourable mention that is made(?) of Him by their Posterity. Happy would it be for our Colonies, if all Governours would copy after Him and make His conduct and behaviour the modell and Rule of Their Actions.
A reference to the English Civil War or Wars of the Three Kingdoms and their aftermath. The Civil War began in 1642 and ended in 1651 with the victory of Oliver Cromwell and the Roundheads. The English monarchy was restored in 1660.
He was descended of a very Antient Family in Oxfordshire, who were Barons of D’oyley or Doyley, in the Dutchy of Normandy, (IW) came over with William the Conqueror, And was bred(?) at one of our (IW) of Court in England, He had some Preferment in Ireland; which He Quitted upon the Revolutions that hapned in the Goverment though He was afterwards (IW) Death of the King prevailed upon to (IW) the (IW) and in a few years obtained the Command of a Regiment. But, Cromwell not having any Confidence in Him, and severall other Officers in His Service, whom He looked upon as Cavaliers in their Hearts, thought proper to send Them on the Expedition to America, where He could employ Them and not be under any apprehension of Their Swords being turned against Himself.
The 2nd of August 1661, Thomas Lord Windsor was appointed to succeed Coll. Doyley, and arrived at Jamaica, in His Majesties Ship the Centurion, the [blank space] of June 1662: with His Lordship came over Sir Charles Littleton Bart who was appointed by His Majesty, Chancellor of the Island.
And, many Persons flocking over to the Island upon the Encouragement which was given by the Crown, and the fair prospect of raising Their Fortunes, by the Fertility of the Soil and other Advantages, His Lordship was furnished with more ample Instructions than were given to his Predecessor.
He was by His Commission impowered and directed to choose a Councill of 12 Persons, (ff. 94)
To discipline and Command the Military Forces, To inforce Martiall Law in Case of Necessity and in imminent danger. To hold Court Martialls And to Encourage Trade.
And by His Instructions He was (inter alia) impowered with the advice of the Councill to settle such (IW) for Civill Affairs and for the Admiralty as will be proper to keep the peace of the Island, and to determine matters of Right and (IW). And, all Causes Civill, Criminall, Matrimoniall Intamentary(?) and (IW) yet so as no man (IW) life, or member be taken away or harmed by Established Laws not repugnant to the known Laws of England.
To appoint and Commissionate under the (IW) Seal of the Island, Judges, Justices, (IW) and other Officers, for the more orderly administering(?) of Justice &ca.
To grant commissions for subduing His Majestys Enemies by Sea or Land.
To appoint Markets and Fairs to be kept on such days, and in such places, for such (IW) or times as shall be thought convenient.
To call and Assemble together fit and able Persons, according to the Custome of other Plantations, to make laws and upon imminent Necessity to levy monies, as shall be most advisable for the Honour and Advantage of our Crown and the good and well fare of our Subject, provided they be not repugnant to any of our laws in England, and that such laws shall be in force two Years, and no longer.
And to satisfie and Confirm to all that Transport Themselves to the Island, 30 acres of land to Them and Their Heirs for ever.
His Lordship before His departure from England. having Represented a Memoriall to His Majesty in Councill, That the French man, who commanded at Tortugas or Tortuga, was sent from England by the then Councill with order to Coll. Doyley Governor of Jamaica, to Commisionate the said French man to be Governour of the said Island. That in obedience there to Coll. Doyley gave the said French man a Commission which He accepted but hath since refused to obey his orders, whereupon Coll. Doyley appointed Coll. Arundell(?) Governour of the said Island, whom the French man imprisoned. And, in regard that the Inhabitants of the said Island, were chiefly English and the Place of great consequence to the security of Jamaica, His Lordship was thereupon ordered and impowered to use His (ff. 95) utmost Endeavours to reduce the said French man and other Inhabitants to the Obedience of the Crown of England.
Hence it appears that wee had an indubitable Right and Claim to the said Island, the possession of which would have been of great Advantage to the British Nation, because it would have prevented the settlements the French have Since made on the Island of Hispaniola, (2 IWs) it would be a curb and restraint on Them(?) By what means or for what Reason They were(?) permitted to Enjoy the same, (2 IWs), without any (IW); or Whether it has been specifically yielded to Them, by Treaty, I am not able to determine, though I (IW) worth an Enquiry.
The Lord Windsor upon His arrivall disbanded the Army, except 400 foot, and 150 Horse which he was directed to keep in pay. And(?) distributed the Royall Donative of £10 to Each man, which was involved in Cloathing, working Tools and Instruments for (IW), allso 300 Negroes, which were Contracted for, and delivered by the Royall African Company. He allso proceeded to Establish a Civill Goverment, according to the modell and form of other Colonies, as prescribed by His Majesties Instruction. But, an Assembly was not convened during His residence on the Island, which was not above ten months, for His Lordship finding Himself unable to go through the hardships and fatigues of an Infant Colony embarqued to England the [blank space] of [blank space] 1663.
Upon the departure of the Lord Windsor, the Councill met and assumed the Goverment by Virtue of a Clause in His Majesties Commission which impowered Them (in Case of His Lordships death or absence) or any Seven of Them, to take the Goverment upon Them and with in one week after, to Elect a fit Person to Execute the same Commission, and the severall Powers, Authorities, and Instructions untill His Majesties further pleasure was known. Accordingly They made choice of and Elected Sir Charles Littleton, who was Chancellor of the Island Lt. Governour.
This Gentleman convened the first Assembly who met at St. Jago delavega, the [blank space] day of [blank space] 1663, and passed severall Laws which were made to continue in force for two years, only. But, having His Majesties permission to return to (ff. 96) England if he thought fit, embarqued the [blank space] of [blank space] 1664, very much regretted by the Inhabitants who highly approved of His Conduct and behaviour, as Chancellor as well as Govenrour of the Island.
Upon his departure the Administration devolved on Coll. Thomas Lynch as President of the Councill.
During this period of time, nothing Remarkable hapned, further than that many of the Soldiers (who were disbanded and averse to planting) and others, went to Tortuga the inhabitants of which Place had now put themselves under the protection of the Crown of France where They obtained Commisions to act against the Spaniards.
Hence arose the Bucaniers, which became so Terrible to the Spaniards, and though their(?) President did not grant Them Commission, yet He was far from discouraging. This(?) was(?) Because some of Them acted under the Authority of the Crown of France, which was then at War with Spain, and He permitted Them, in Consideration of the Treasure They brought in, to(?) dispose of Their Prizes, which occationed more to abound, and brought over great Numbers of People, from all Parts to this Island.
The 15th of February 1663, Sir Thomas Modiford Bart, was appointed Governour; Coll. [blank space] Morgan Lt. Governour and Sir James Modiford major Generall. They arrived at Jamaica, the of May 1664, and with Them came many Families from Barbadoes, in order to Settle in this Island, upon the Encouragement which was given by the Crown; His Majesty having by His Instructions to Sir Thomas, Signified and declared His pleasure, That no Goods imported into or exported from the Island to any Parts should have any Duty laid on them for 21 years. Nor any Commodities brought from the Island, which were produced here should be burthened with any impost or Custome in England for five years.
And That what Duties shall be requisite for defraying the publick charge and expense of the Goverment, be laid on Strong Waters and other Spiritous liquors, imported and made use of there, to restrain the excessive and Vitious use thereof, having allowed £2500 per annum towards the publick expense of the Island.
Sir Thomas Modiford, upon His arrival, in pursuance of His Instruction (Sir Charles Littleton being gone to England) consigned the Seals to three of the Councill. (ff. 97) He allso convened the Assembly, (IW) the laws (which were allmost expired) though At this time the Settlements were so much increased(?) that there was upwards of 17000 Inhabitants upon the Island, men Women and children of which not more than a third were Negroes, as appears by the following Calculation, made in the Island and transmitted to England, by order of the Goverment.
[Crossed out] Sir Thomas Modiford set up Salt Works in St. Katharines, and instructed the young Planters not only how to cultivate and manage coco, but Sugar and other Commodities, which They were in a manner unacquainted with(?). [Crossed out]
These were all the Precincts into which the Island was at that time divided: and by this account it is Surprising to observe the sudden accession(?) of inhabitants in an Island lately conquered in ruinous Condition, in want of the common Necessaries of life, the Force mutinous and disposed to defend (IW) abandon the Design, yet in a few Years become a Rich Powerfull, and a Terror to the Spaniards in America. The increase of settlements was principally owing to the Example of Sir Thomas Modiford, who had resided severall years in Barbadoes, where He acquired a good Estate and the Art of making Sugar, which the Inhabitants of this Island were in a manner unacquainted with before He came among Them. He set up a Salt work in St. Katharines, and brought it to such perfection that salt was sold at the Barcadier or landing place at 15 per bushell. He allso setled a Cocoa Walk at Guanaboa (which is now known by the Name of the Angells) and a sugar Work at sixteen mile walk, which Estates are now Enjoyed. His Descendants in the Female line, the male (IW) and Title being Extinct. Indeed there could not have been a better choice made of a Governour for an Island Colony, for He not only put the People upon Industry and Planting (IW) was of Service to the (IW) Planters by His (IW) but promoted and Encouraged Trade.
But, the chief Reason of the accession(?) (ff. 98) of People may be attributed to the great Resort(?) of Privateers, commonly though called improperly Buccaniers, who made Port Royall Their Rendevous, and as Peace was not concluded between Great Brittain and Spain, though there was a suspension of Hostilities, in Europe, between the two Nation, yet, They were not only Encouraged, on account of the great Riches they brought but, the Governour even granted Commission until the Treaty was concluded in 1667.
I have now brought this History of this Island to the time of its greatest prosperity, when the Island was not only Populous and in flourishing circumstances, but mony so very plenty that Port Royall was reckoned the Richest Town in America. The (IW) of the first Planters, and the Wealth brought in by the Privateers, was nosooner spread & aboard, but People in low Circumstances and those who could not endure an (IW) Life in England transported Themselves hither; (IW) invited by the Fertility of the Soil and the advantageous Prospects in planting (IW) their thoughts that was, and others so assembling on the Seas and shores of (IW), in Search of Prizes and other (IW) Indeed the latter Executed Their Designes with such Intrepidity and Surprising Success, as will perhaps (2 IWs) Credit in the present much as in Succeeding Ages.
The Privateers of Jamaica, therefore, were improperly called Buccaniers as I observed and the Inhabitants of the Island in generall unjustly Stigmatised by the actions of those Persons (IW), whose crews (IW) a mixture of all Nations (mainly(?) French), because the former acted under Commissions from the Governour of Commander in Chief, who wee may reasonably Suppose was Authorised to grant such Commissions, since wee never heard of any of Them being punished, or were removed from the Goverment on that account, except Sir Thomas Modiford. But, as I shall occationally discuss that singular Instance in its proper place I shall suspend any further animadversions thereon.
[Crossed out] I must likewise in regard to Truth and Justice observe, that no Colony ever was more Assiduous and at a greater Experience, than this Island; to suppose those People, who acted without a legale Authority, as will appear in many Instances which will appear in the Course of this Treatise. [Crossed out]
Nevertheless it must be confessed that some of (IW) the reall(?) Buccaniers, by permission or Connivance, did dispose of their prizes, and squander away their mony at Port Royall, before the Treaty concluded between Great Brittain and Spain in 1667. How far that was justifiable or allowable, as there was not before that period of time any Peace or Friendships between Nations, I will not take upon me to determine. But, Supposing (ff. 99) it otherwise is reasonable that a whole Society or Country should be reproached for the actions of a part of Them only or in any City or Country Culpable for the Negligence or misbehaviour of their principall(?) magistrate, in conniving at any (IW) within Their District?
It will Evidently appear in many Instance in this History, that no Country or People, ever was more assiduous, or at a greater(?) Expence, than this Island has been at, to suppose those who acted without a (IW) authority.
But, before I proceed to give a Narative of Their Gallant Exploits, which have made so much Noise in the World, it will be Necessary to explain the difference between a Privateer & Bucanier who generally are blended together without any distinction.
A Privateer is one that acts under and by Virtue of a Commission, from any Prince or State, at Enmity or War with any other Nation or Country.
Buccanier is derived from the Spanish word Buccaniero, which in the English language is a Pyrate or Freebooter, one that acts without a Commission or legall Authority of their Sort was Peter Le Grand, Lolonois [François L’Olonnais], Bartholemew the Portoguese [Bartolomeu Português], Roche a Dutch man commonly called Brazillanio [Roche Braziliano] and others mentioned in the History of the Buccaniers of America, who setled out at Tortuga, and made that Island their Rendevous.
[crossed out] It must be confessed that some of Them who had not legall Commissions to bring their prizes into Port Royall, the produce in a Riotous and Extravagant manner; for They would spend 1000 or more in One Night, to Entertain their Friends (ff. 100) and at other times buy a pipe of Wind(?), set(?) it up on one end in the Street, and Oblidged every one that passed by to Drink.
Thus they squandered what they acquired in an unlawfull manner, until poverty and Necessity compelled Them to go to Sea, in pursuit(?) of more plunder or booty. However, [crossed out] Coll. Lynch who was then President and Commander in Chief of the Island, was very much Censured for Conniving at those who acted without any legal Authority, although He alledged in His Defence, that(?) there was not any Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Great Brittain and Spain. But John Davis, Marshall, Morgan (IW) and many others who are ranked among the Buccaniers, acted under legall Authority and by Virtue of Commisions from the Governour of Jamaica, or Petis Guavis. For Sir Thomas Modiford soon after His arrival, granted Commisions (untill He was acquainted with the Treaty in 1667) by(?) Virtue of the 7. ar. of his Instructions, which impowered Him, so, to do, as should seem requisite for subduing His Majesties Enemies(?) by Sea and Land, within and upon our Colonies(?) of America. But, that it should be deemed Pyracy, for any ship to lay wait(?) for, pursue(?) or take any of the Enemies Ships or Goods without Commission from the Lord High (IW) or Authority from Him.
I hope I have Explained myself in such a manner, as to be understood not to intend or mean any thing more than to set Things in a just and True light, as an impartiall Writer, without attempting to Clear the Guilty or to (IW) for nothing justifies (IW) Atrocious Crimes which(?) some of Them were Culpable of. For it is an indubitable Fact, that the Buccaniers properly so called, and even some of the Privateers, committed great cruelties; But, as they were a mixture of all Nations, the Commanders who were not at all times able to keep Them in strict order and discipline, were not answerable for what some of Their men had done, without Their Order or Privity. Though at the same time wee must likewise distinguish Davis, Morgan, Coxon and some others from Peter LeGrande, Lolonois and Brazillanio, who were undoubtedly the most cruell and Inhuman Villains that ever Appeared in the World.
The Spaniards, in America were so miserably harassed by those People, that They resolved to diminish the Number of Their Trading Vesells; in hopes, by that means, the Privateers would give over, when They found They could not get good prizes. But, this method proved ineffectuall, for when the Privateers had searched the Seas and Coasts of America, with little or no Success, They determined to land and Ravage the Country. Louis (ff. 101) Scot was the first who undertook an Enterprise of that kind; and His first attempt was on the Town of Campeachy, which He not only took and plundered, but received a Considerable sum of money for the Ransome of the Town, About the same time Capt Marshall took and plundered the Island of St. Katharines and received likewise a sum of money for the Ransome of the Prisoners.
John Davis was a Native of the Windward Islands and came an Infant to Jamaica, with His Parents. This man entered among the Privateers(?) at the age of 16, and before he was 20, was so much Esteemed and distinguished that He Obtained the Command of a small Party, of 80 men, with whom He made a Successful attempt at Nicaragua, in the following manner. He left Ten men to take care of his Vessell, and with the many Party embarqued in Cannoes and rowed up the River in the Night, to prevent being discovered. When They came near the Town, the (IW), who kept the post of the River, and imagined Them to be Fishermen, permitted Them to land, with out chalenge, They were no sooner ashore, but They(?) (IW) and dispatched Him. Animated(?) with their Successful beginning; They boldly entered the Town, knocked at the doors of the Inhabitants, who not suspecting any danger let Them in. By those means They soon ransacked the Town, and retreated to their Ship, before the Inhabitants had time to assemble and endeavour to resist or repute Them by force of Arms. And, by this Expedition They gained no less than 5000 £ with which They sailed to Jamaica.
This Exploit increased His Fame for Courage and Conduct, insomuch that He obtained the Chief command of seven small Vessells, and 250 men, who were filled out to intercept a Fleet of ships, which were expected from New Spain; but missing of Them, They directed Their Course to St. Augustin on Florida, when They landed plundered, and burnt the Town, though then was in it, a Garrison of 200 men.
Beside them, there were others who made very bold and desperate attempts where in They succeeded, and acquired great wealth, which They spent at Port Royall, in a Riotous and profuse manner; for They would spend 1000 £ 8/8 or more in a Night, to Entertain their Family. At other times They would buy a pipe(?) of wine, set it up on one end in the street and oblidge every one that passed by to Drink.
By such means They idly squandered away what They acquired with great fatigues, and (ff. 102) imminent danger of Their lives; nor would many of Them go to Sea again, untill They had spent all Their Stock, and poverty and Necessity compelled Them to go upon other Adventures.
Englishmen of the later seventeenth century. Most notable for his raids on the Spanish city of Campeche.
John Davis was the alias for Robert Searle, one of the English buccaneers.
But, the most Famous of Them all was Henry(?) Morgan (who some years after was knighted by King Charles the Second). He was the son of a yeoman in Wales, and not liking His Fathers Employment being of a Rambling disposition left Him privately and went to Bristoll, where He engaged Himself to a Planter of Barbadoes whom He served four years, according to (IW), with great Fidelity. He then went down to Jamaica, and entered Himself (IW) the Privateers, with whom He had such success that in 2 or 3 years, He laid upon a Considerable sum of money; for having great Designs in View. He lived in a more prudent(?) manner than the rest of His Comrades and saved most of what he had acquired on those Expeditions, with which He purchased and filled out a sloop(?) and took the command on Himself. The first Voyages, He cruised off the Town of Compeachy, and took severall considerable(?) prices which He carried into Jamaica. He then joined Capt. Mansvelt, and (IW) (as His Second) at the taking of the Island of St. Katharines, where He (IW) His Courage and Conduct; insomuch that upon the demise of Capt. Mansvelt, He was chosen Commander in Chief of the Privateers, or as They called Him, Admirall.
The first Expedition, after He was chose chief by their unanimous(?) suffrage, He in Conjunction with (IW) a Fleet of 12 sail of sloop, and 700 men, English and French, with an intention of attacking the Havanna. But, on a consultation, They were of Opinion Their Strength was not sufficient, and therefore concluded to attack Puerto Principe on Cuba. The Governour of that place having got some information of Their Design, got together 800 men, to oppose Them and made a Gallant Defense for some hours; But, being slain among the other, the Spaniards quitted the Town and retreated into the woods. in this Expedition, the plunder amounted to 5000 (IW) 8/8. and a Difference afterwards arising between the English and French, They parted and the former returned to Jamaica.
In his Second Expedition He got together nine sloops and 460 men and sailed for Costa Rica (IW) He imparted His intention(?) of attacking Porto Bello; but when His officers and men understood that was his Design They endeavoured to dissuade Him from such an attempt, suggesting that They had not a sufficient Number of Men, for such an Endeavour, To which He Replied, If our Numbers (ff. 103) are small our Hearts are great, and the fewer we are the better shares wee shall have in the spoil. His word infused such spirits into His men, that They overcame all Difficulties, and resolved to follow Him.
Capt. Morgan was acquainted with all the (IW) to that Town, and His attempting it without Artillery and a greater number of men, is a manifest proof not only of His Courage, but His being capable of the great undertaking. It was(?) allmost Night when He came to Porto de (IW) which is about to leagues West of Porto Bello. He landed in the Night and marched towards the Town and began the assault at Day break, and before the Day was spent, They were Masters of the Town and Castle (where They hoisted English Collours) notwithstanding the Governour made a gallant Resistance. He continued in (IW) of the plan 15 days, and oblidged the Spaniards to pay him 100 000 (IW) for the Ransome of the Town, which with the plunder They met with, amount to 250 000 (IW) 8/8.
The President of Panama, when He had (IW) of this action, being amazed to head that 400 men, had taken a Town strongly fortified and without Cannon to raise Batteries, sent to Capt. Morgan for appetence of the Arms, with which He had performed to gallant an Exploit. He received the Messenger.
Welsh privateer, plantation owner, and Governor of Jamaica (1635-1688). Most renowned for his raid on Panama in 1671.
The 5th of January 1670, His Majesty was pleased to revoke the (IW) granted to Sir Thomas Modiford, and appoint Coll. Thomas Lynch (on whom he (IW) confessed the Honour of a Knighthood) L. Governour and Commander in Chief, Sir Thomas arrived at Jamaica the 24th of June following, and took upon Him the Administration, pursuant to His Commision.
His generall Instructions were the same as those which were given to Sir Thomas Modyford, and by His Additionale Instructions He was directed to cause the late Treaty between the Crown of Great Brittain & Spain for Composing of differences, restraining of depredations, and Establishing of Peace in America; concluded at Madrid the 18th July 1670, to be published and(?) within 8 months to be (IW) from the 20th of (IW) 1670, or sooner if He(?) could agree with the Spanish(?) Governours in (IW) Parts, upon a day of(?) publication(?) thereof. To revoke the commisiones and letters of Reprisall or Mart, whether the same were given and granted to any of our Subjects or to strangers; and to declare them to be void and of no force.
And, for the Encouragement of all Captains Offices, and seamen belonging to any of the Privateer ships in America, to come in and apply Themselves to planting or Merchantining(?), He was impowered and directed (immediately after the publication of the said Peace) to Proclaim a generall pardon, and Indemnity to such of Them, as shall come in and submit Themselves (within Such Reasonable time, as He shall with the advice of His Councill limit) for all
(ff. 104) Crimes and offences committed by Them (IW) the month of June 1660, and before the publication of the said Peace. That they who shall come in, and enter Their Submission(?) within the time prescribed, and Settle as aforesaid(?), shall greatly enjoy all such Goods as They shall be possessed of (except the (IW) or (IW) part, which was left to His discretion, to ascertain or Relinquish, according to Circumstances expressly mentioned) and that those who were disposed(?) to planting have and Enjoy 30 acres of and each man, to them and their Heirs for ever. And, in Case He found the Encouragement beforementioned, had not the desired Effect, He was to use all other means Necessary, by force or persuasion, to (IW) with them to Submit and Continue under obedience to His Majestys Goverment.
Sir Thomas Lynch was allso impowered and(?) directed by a private Instruction to send Sir Thomas Modiford and Capt Morgan Prisoners to England, and(?) upon the Complaint of the Spanish Embassador, and to answer the Charge Exhibited(?) against Them. But, perceiving the Execution of that order would be (IW) with some difficulty, by the Reason of the Popularity of those Gentlemen, who were(?) extreamly beloved in the Island, He took care to conceal that part of His Instructions, untill the ship of War which brought Him over was ready to Sail, And then (having concerted measures with the Captain) an Invitation was given to the Governour, Sir Thomas Modifrod, Capt Morgan and some other Gentlemen to dine aboard the Man of War. When They came aboard the Governour took Them two aside, in the Great Cabbin, and showed Them His Instructions relating to Themselves, Exercised His manner of doing it, assigned His Reasons and among others, that it was to prevent a disturbance which He was apprehensive of, had it been known when They were ashore. He thereupon called the Captain, and gave charge of them. However, He detained the Man or War in Port, untill they had setled Their private Affairs, and admitted not only Their particular Friends, but any of the Gentlemen of the Island, to go on board and Visit Them.
Sir Thomas Modiford, who was thought the most [crossed out] culpable [crossed out] (the other having acted by Virtue of His commission and Instructions) appeared under no other Concern than for the disgrace and the damage His affairs, might sustain by his Absence; for He assured His Friends that He had sufficient Authority to(?) grant Commisions against(?) the Spaniard, and could jutifie His Conduct in all Respects.
Upon Their Arrivall in England, They were both Sent to the Tower, where They remained (ff. 105) about 18 months, at a great Expense and to the prejudice of their Healths, without being able to obtain a hearing, although a confidant application was made by their Friends. And, the Reason is obvious, the Ministers of that Reign, were sensible, (IW) he had private Instructions which would justifie those proceeding, and therefore delayed the Triall, least the disclosing of that matter, should give Offence to His Chatolick Majesty with whom the Crown of England, was then upon good Terms. (IW) At length came an order to discharge Them both, without a hearing, and Capt Morgan was introduced to His Majesty, who not only conferred on Him the honour of Knighthood, but, (IW) time after, granted Him a Dormant Commision to be D. Governour of Jamaica, in case of the Death or absence of the Governour.
These Circumstance which are not generally known, and have been (IW) to the World are sufficient to Expunge(?) that load of Infamy and Reproach which the Island of Jamaica has laid under, of having been a Nest of Buccaniers or Pyrates, where it is Evident from the Instance I have given that Sir Henry Morgan and others had legall commissions; and though the Goods or Effects of some, who had not commissions, were privately brought into the Country, and could not Easily be prevented in an Island of so large an Extent; yet it is an indubitable Fact, that none were admitted in Power, with Their Prizes(?) Encouraged, or connived at; by the Governour, but those who had acted under His Commision or the Governour of Petit Guavis.
Sir Thomas Lynch sent Major Bufton(?) to Carthagena with the Instruments of the Treaty between Great Brittain and Spain, and to cultivate a good understanding with the Spanish Nation. He allso sent to all the Coasts of Cuba, and Terra Firma, to acquaint all seafaring men(?) with the Proclamation (IW) True(?) and generall (IW), and that His Majesty, intended to observe Religiously, the Treaties he had made with His Catholick Majesty, and commanded all His Subjects, not to commit any further (ff. 106) Hostilities on the Spaniards, many of the Privateers came in upon this Notice, though others, who could not take to any other way of living, continued their practice and not being permitted to bring their Prizes or Booty to Jamaica, carried Them to Petit Guavis.
Sir Thomas Lynch in February 1671, called an Assembly, who passed severall Laws particularly an Act, ascertaining the Number of the Assembly; and another (IW) settling the Boundaries of the severall Parishes in the Island. They allso altered and enlarged the Laws, which were made under the Administration of Sir Thomas Modyford and passed an Act for Raising a Revenue(?) Indefinite for the Support of the Government of this Island(?), But, those Laws not being approved of by His Majority, they were Rejected, and others with proper amendments were enacted by the Assembly in 1673, and made to come(?) in force for two years, and no longer.
But, notwithstanding all his Endeavours, Sir Thomas Lynch could not Effectually restrain the English Privateers, for many of Them ventured(?) out, and (IW) They could not (IW) commisions or Encouragement (IW) Jamaica, went to Petit Guavis and applied to the Governour of that Colony, who granted Them, the French being still at enmity with the Spanirds. The Spanish Ambassador, not being well informed of those Circumstances, made strong Representations to our Court of the Depredations committed by the Subjects of England in America, and suggested that they were Encouraged and Countenanced by Governour of Jamaica, which had such Influence and Effect, that to pacifie Him Sir Thomas Lynch was recalled, to answer the Complaints which were made of His Conduct, and the Right Honourable Lord Vaughan (IW) noble order of the (IW), was appointed to Succeed him in the Government.
[lots of crossings out over next few pages]
(f. 107) The Lord Vaughn immediately on his arrival (IW) out a Proclamation commanding all His (IW) to Cease and forbear all manner of Violence and Injury or to Commit any Hostilities against the Spaniards; nevertheless some of them ventured(?) to land on Cuba, where they (IW) great depredations, but being taken and brought to Jamaica, were put upon Their Triall before Sir Henry Morgan, Robert (IW) and William Bufton (who were appointed Judges of the Admiralty) and not producing a Commision from any Prince or State, They were, according to their Sentence, Executed at Port Royall.
[Knight inserts an asterisk presumably leading to the following]
(f. 107) His Excellency in April 1675 called an Assembly, and the severall Laws which were Enacted in Sir Thomas Lynches Goverment (IW) were to continue in force for two years, and no more, were revived(?) for(?) two years longer, except the Revenue Bill, which was rejected; so that(?) the Island remained without any Revenue, allmost (IW) Year: But, upon Their mutinty the next Session, the (IW) being removed, His Excellency gave His Approval to that Bill.
[Another asterisk on f. 107 leading to the following]
(f. 108) The Lord Vaughan was allso suspected not only of Encouraging the Separate Trades, but employing a sloop of his own to import Negroes, without permission or licence, and being (IW) with others, particularly Sir Thomas Modiford; for which He was severally reprimanded, without any proof of the Facts, and although, He employed His Majesties(?) Ships (according to the His Order) in searching after and seeing(?) all such as traded to Guinea and were decreed(?) Interlopwers. (But, the Inhabitants of this Island, on this Occasion(?) behaved with a good deal of spirit, and would not tamely submit to all the Impositions, that were attempted to be laid on them for Samuell Barnard (IW)
And, the Lord Vaughan, it was said gave great offence in not encouraging(?) (IW) Royall Affrica
(f. 107) At this time the Island laboured under many(?) difficulties and hardships, by (IW) of the Royall Affircan Company, who had(?) obtained a Charter to Trade to Guinea (IW extension(?) of all others; (IW) upon and condemned all ships which (f. 109) They met with, and had traded to any of those places, without their licence.
This monopoly gave great uneasyness to the Planters, and Obstructed the improvement of all the British Colonies, particularly this Island; for having but one market to go to; and being now under the necessity of dealing with Them only, They were very (IW) supplied with Negroes and oblidged to pay Extravagant rates, for such as they wanted(?). many Complaints were made of the arbitrary proceedings of that Company and their Ajents abroad, who were not only countenanced and supported by the Duke of York, but (IW) Royall Highness who was(?) Governour of the (IW), entered so far into their measures & Interests as to threaten Sir Jonathan Atkins Governour of Barbadoes, to have Him removed, upon a supposition of His conniving at the separate Traders, who were stigmatised with the name of Interlopers.
Samuel Barnard prosecuted(?) the Companies Ajents, for an unjust seizure and Detainer(?) of the ship St George, which was consigned to Him and only Cast the Company but (IW) near £1000, for Costs and Damages. In 1676, Cranfield(?) Duckinfeld(?) (ff. 110) and (IW); who were appointed Commissioners(?) for removing the English from Surinam, according to the Treaty between King Charles the 2. and the States(?) Generall(?) arrived in this Island, with Coll. (IW) who were Governour of that Colony (IW) of their Principall Magistrates, with 1200 men(?), Women and Children, including Negroes.
They were received with great Humanity and Complacency by the Lord Vaughan, who (IW) to His Instructions allotted them a tract of land in St. Elizabeths which They made (IW) on account of the pleasant(?) situation, and being desirous of settling contiguously(?). From them that part of the Country, obtained the name of Surinam(?) Quarters, which it still retains. But, (IW) a few years after, they removed about (IW) Westward of that place (finding the soil thereabouts much better) except Coll. (IW) who setled in St. Dorothys. Those People from (IW) in time chose to intermarry(?) among Themselves and being very abstemious and Frugall as well as Industrious, They Succeeded (IW) better than any of the other Colonies that(?) removed to this Island, except some (IW) of the Barbadians. Their Descendants now enjoy the fruits of their Labour, being possessed of some of the finest Plantations in that or any other part of the Island.
The Assembly met again the 9th of Aprill 1677, and a third time during this (IW) the 6. of Sept 1677. when They proceeded upon such buzyness, as was recommended to Them, without any disputes or Controversies, there being not only a good harmony and agreement amongst Themselves but with the Governour.
The Lord Vaughan after having been three years in this Island, returned to, England the day of 1677, leaving Sir Henry Morgan in the Administration, who had a commission to (IW) as Lt. Governour in Case of His Lordships Death or absence. Nevertheless, He was very much blamed and received a severe Reprimand at Court, for returning Home without His Majesties spetiall(?) (IW) or prescription.
Sir Henry Morgan, on the departure of Lord Vaughan, took on Him the Administration as Lt. Governour, by virtue of a dormant Commision, dated the 6. of October 1674.
The Gentleman’s first fare was to compleat the Fortifications at Port Royall in which He was very assiduous for at this time, Fort Rupert, and Fort Carlisle were finished, and a new(?) line(?) brick(?) at Fort (ff. 111) James.
And, being Sensible of the (2 IWs) laid under of having been a Buccanier(?) or Pyrate, He was likewise assiduous in his (IW) to surprise or reclaim those who acted against the Spaniard under French Commisions, or with out any legal Authority, and used every (IW) mean in His power of convincing the (IW) that He was unjustly Stigmatised on that(?) account. But, all His Efforts were, fruitless and in Effectuall, for many of Them still continued out, and committed great (IW) particularly Sawkins, Sharp, Coxen, who Commanded a body of men, landed at Darien, and with the assistance of the Indian chief or Princes took the Town and mine(?) of St. Alaria, and marched over land to the South Seas, where they (IW) near two years, took Severall other Towns and prizes, the plunder of which, amounted to a very Considerable sum(?) of money. a more particular account of their Transaction can(?) be seen in (IW) Ringroses account of Cap. (IW) Expedition into the South seas, and Cap. Dampier Voyage around the World.
It is Remarkable of all those severall (French as well as English) that They (IW) interrupted or molested the Trader of any other Nation except the Spaniards, but then to (IW) permitted the Sea (IW) on their Occasions, and paying of them the full (IW) of such Necessaries (IW) they (IW), and other could conveniently Spare them, without taking any thing (IR) or Violence.
Sawkins was killed, in the Assault of a Town in the South Sea. Capt. Sharp on His arrivall in England, was taken up on the Complaint of the Spanish Embassador, and tried for Pyracy, but acquitted on His producing a Commision from the Princes of Darien, who were then at War, and never were perfectly reconciled, or at Peace with the Spaniards. Cap. Coxen returned to Jamaica, where He was likewise taken up on the Complaint of the Spaniards, and tried for Pyracy, but acquitted on His producing a Commision from the Governour of Petit Guavis.
This Coxon was one of the last Commanders of the Privateers of those times, who did wonders in Courage and Conduct, and for His mercy shown in Victory, His great Bravery and contempt of money, was deservedly applauded and distinguished. He was taken up and tried for Pyracy Seven times, but allways acquitted, on His producing fair and Regular Commisions from the Governour of (ff. 112) Petit Guavis. He despised, and had an implacable Enmity to the Spaniards, alledged that they were faithless(?), never to be trusted, and often declared, in a Solemn manner, (IW) war against them; for that He would at all times assist any Nation or People who were at Variance(?) with them. He proclaimed the Prince of Orange (King of England) at Port Royall, before they had advised(?) of His being declared King in England; he was very Servicable(?) in the War with France (particularly the Expedition against Hispaniola), but (IW) grown old and Infirm He retired after the(?) Peace of Reswich, and died at Kingston in the year 1701.
Sir Henry Morgan convened the Assembly but they did not pass any laws, nor was there any other materiall transaction, during His first Administration, for he was (IW) by the Right Honourable Charles Earl of Carlisle.
The Earl of Carlisle’s Commision was dated(?) the of March 1677, and His Lordship arrived at Port Royall, the day of following. In a few days after the Negroes belonging to Capt Ducks(?) Plantation, about(?) Cainianos, (which was about 4 miles from Spanish Town) (IW) most of them drunk, as they commonly are on Sundays, and other Festivalls, and Observing the River Cobre (which runs between that Plantation and the Town) to be greatly Swelled by the Rains, and as they thought impassable, set upon the Family killed their mistress and desperately wounded Capt. Duck(?), whom they left for dead, though he afterwards recovered, But, a Faithfull negro, at the imminent danger of his life, Swam over the River, and gave the Governour an account of this Disaster, upon which His Excellency immediately detached a Troop of Horse to quell Them. It was with great difficulty, they got over the River, but, after a small skirmish wherein Some of the Negroes were killed, and others taken Prisoners, the rest Submitted. the Ringleaders were tried according to the laws of the Country, and in pursuance of their Sentences were Executed in Terrorene(?).
But, the Inhabitants were at that time much alarmed at the Report of a new Scheme of Goverment being prepared by the Lords of the Committee, for Trade and Plantations(?) in England, That, the Earl of Carlisle was, by His Instructions directed to lay before the Assembly the Draught of a Bill for Establishing a perpetuall Revenue, with severall others, which (ff. 113) were prepared in England, and sent over to be Enacted by Them. And, that no Laws were to be enacted in Jamaica, for the (IW), but Such as being framed by the Governour (IW) Councill were first(?) transmitted(?) for His Majestys(?) approbation, and afterwards (IW) to Jamaica to be passed by the Assembly, without (IW) Deliberative power and Negative Voice or making(?) any alteration or amendment. so that the same method in legislative matters should be made use of there as in Ireland(?).
These suggestions appeared to be (IW) funded, for on the meeting of the Assembly on the 2. of Sept 1678, His Excellency confirmed the Same in his Speech, the Substance of which is as follows.
That he could not say the Bills, which He brought over with Him, to be enacted by them, were the same (IW) transmitted by the Lord Vaughan, to the Lords of the Committee of Councill for Trade and Plantations; and that those (IW) alteration was intended in the modell of their laws, which was for the future, to be after the forme and manner of Ireland.
That the Stile and title being changed as to the King and Assembly, they had reasons to be displeased with, it being a greater honour, than was done in any other Plantation.
That they were under great obligations to His Majesty for his Extraordinary Care. that He looked on this Island, as his darling Plantation, and had taken more pains to make them happy than any of His other Colonies. Therefore He hoped that those Considerations would oblidge them to make such returns as might be agreeable to His Majesty.
That among the Bills, which He should lay before them, and were necessary to be Enacted was an Act for raising a Revenue, which there was a necessity for being dispatched, in regard to the Officers of the Forts, and others who were employed in building them, and were in Arrears, and that they were greatly oblidged to Sir Henry Morgan, for his (IW) and Case, in Supervising and seing the Workes well performed.
That His Majesty was greatly displeased with them, for having passed some Acts, without mentioning his names, which never had been practiced or dine in any of His (ff. 114) Plantations or Dominions.
That in the militia Act, there was (IW) omitted, saving the Governours power, but He hoped none would attempt to derogate from the Authority which His Majesty, had been pleased to Cloath His Governours.
That He was Extreamly desirous of (IW) being Conducted in such a manner, (IW) the King might be fully satisfied; but (IW) the restraint they lay under, in respect to the new laws, He brought over, could not be(?) altered, for that He had not(?) the power to do it, which he wished he had.
That he had allways been deemed a man of Property, and was in nothing more (IW) than to do good to this Island, that He came over with that intention and Resolution, therefore would not by his power lead them into any Inconveniences.
The severall Bills prepared by the Laws of the Committee of Councill for Trade, and Plantations, were accordingly laid before the Assembly, who did not take up any time in deliberating there upon, but, (IW) rejected them and came to Severeall Resolutions in regard to their Rights, and privileges, in frameing their own Bills.
They at the same time, drew upon (IW) to his Excellency, where in they assigned the following motives and Reasons, of their proceedings.
That they were dissatisfied with the Clause in the Militia Bill, whereby it is provided that the Governour may upon all Occasions and Emergencies Act as Governour in Chief, according to and in pursuance of all the Power and Authorities given to Him by His Majesties Commision.
Apprehending they shall thereby make it legal to Execute all Instructions which are or shall be sent to His Majesties Governours.
They objected to the [crossed out] Revenue(?) [crossed out] Bill for raising a Publick Revenue, because it was made perpetuall and liable to be diverted.
That the Severall Bills contained (IW) and fundamentall Errors.
That they were not composed with and (IW) by the last laws sent over by the Lord Vaughan.
That the distance of place rendered that method of making laws impracticable.
That the Nature of all Colonies is changeable and consequently the Laws must be adapted to the Interest of the Place.
(ff. 115) That they are thereby deprived of the satisfaction(?) of a deliberative power in making of Laws.
That in the form of Goverment proposed were under the Governour absolute that by the former method His Majesties prerogative was better Served.
The Address (which contained the aforementioned Reasons) though no ways agreeable and Satisfactory, was transmitted by His Excellency to the Lords of the Committee of the Councill for Trade and Plantations; and in the mean time He sent from(?) Severall of the leading members, being (IW) hopes by fair and gentle means, to (IW) with them to come into the measures proposed, But all His Efforts proved ineffectuall, for He was not able to bring over one member, and the House provided to frame and bring in Bills as usuall, upon which the Governour dissolved that Assembly.
The Speaker (Samuell Long) in particular gave great offence, on this Occasion for in a private Conversation with the Governour, among other things said (IW) to His part He could Submit to wear (IW) Himself, but never would consent to (IW) them for Posterity; for which, (IW) other words of the like Nature, the Governour not only Convicted Him, but sent him to England a Prisoners in Irons.
Long upon His arrivall in England, presented a Petition, to the King and Councill seting forth His Case, and praying to be heard in Vindication of Himself. This favour was immediately granted, and upon His being called in before the Councill, the King being present, He pleaded his own Cause with such decency, Strength of Reasons and Argument, that He was not only honourably acquitted, but His Majesty was pleased to declare that He did not think that He had such a subject in that part of the World.
This is a further Instance of the Arbitrary proceedings of those times, especially in our Colonies abroad, But, though that Gentleman never had any recompense or Satisfaction made Him for the loss of His time fatigue and Expenses He was (IW) ably subject to, yet wee have now the pleasure of seing the Governours of the Plantations, restrained from acting with so high a hand, by good and Salutary laws; particularly an Act of Parliament made in the 7 & 8 of King William entitled an Act (ff. 116) The year following (IW) in (IW) 1679 the Inhabitants were likewise alarmed with the apprehensions of a French Invasion, The Count de Esher being in the American Seas, with a strong Squadron of men of War, and as there was, at that time a misunderstanding between the English and French Courts, it was conjected that their Designs were against the Island. Martiall was thereupon declared, and other measures taken for the Security and defence of the Island; but those (IW) and Fears soon blew over.
In July, His Excellency received such Instructions in regard to their Laws and what had passed upon (IW) [lots of crossed out words] were often out for choosing of a new Assembly.
The Inhabitants in generall who were greatly uneasy and inflamed(?) at the attempt to alter their Constitution(?) and form of Goverment, thought they could (IW) makde a better choice than of the same. (IW) Representations, who had so faithfully and Strenuously insisted on what they thought(?) their Naturall and undoubted Rights and privileges. so that upon the (IW) of the new Assembly, there was not more than 2 or 3 new Laws seen among them.
The 19th of August 1679 (the day after they met and chose(?) a Speaker) His Excellency made a speech as usuall, where in among other things He recommended the expediency of complying with His Majesties Instructions in passing the Bills which were framed in England, and sent over to be enacted Here, And, at the same time, laid before Them the report of the Lords of the Committee, for Trade and Plantations, to His Majesty in Councill, in the following words.
At the Court of White Hall, May the 28. 1676
The Kings Most Excellent Majesty
Lord Privy Seal
Duke of Lodderdale
Mar. of Worcester
Earl of Bath
Whereas this day was read at the Board a Report from the Right Honourable the lords of the Committee of Trade and Plantations, in the words following.
In Obedience of your Majesties Command (ff. 117) we have entered into the present state of your Majesties Island of Jamaica, in order to impose such means as may put an end to the great discouragement your Majesties good Subjects there under, by the unsetled condition thereof, Occasioned by the refusal of the laws which lately offered by (IW) Earl of Carlisle to the Assembly for their Consent. all which proceedings and dissatisfactions appear to arisen in the manner following.
By the Commisions granted by your Majesty to the Lord Vaughan, and other Governours it was your Royall pleasure to instruct the Assembly of Jamaica with a power to (IW) and enact laws, with the advice and confidence of the Governour and Councill, which later were to continue in force for the space of two(?) years no longer. But, so it hapned, (IW) you Majesty found the Inconveniences which did attend that power and making of the (IW) by Irregular, Violent, and unwarrantable proceedings of the Assembly, was pleased (IW) the advice of the Privy Councill, to provided the Earl of Carlisle’s commision, those laws should be Enacted in Jamaica, (IW) such as being framed by the Governour’s Councill, and being transmitted to your Majesty, for your Royall approbating were of towards remitted to Jamaica, and Consented to by the Assembly there. And the pursuance (IW) of, the Earl of Carlisle carried over a Body of Laws, under the great feat(?) of England, which laws at his Lordships arrivall there, were rejected by the Generall Assembly, upon Grounds and Reasons constrained in their Address to your Majesties Governour, and in (IW) letters from His Lordships retaking there to.
In the first place they are dissatisfied with a Clause in the Militia Bill.
This being the Objections and pretensions, on which the Assembly have with so much Animosity proceeded, to reject the Bills transmitted by your Majesty, wee cannot but Offer for your Majesties Information and Satisfaction, such a short answer, as may (IW) only give a Testimony of the unfavourableness of those proceedings, but furnish the Govenour, when occasion shall serve, with such arguments as may be fit to (IW) in justification of your Majesties Commision and Power granted to Him.
1. It is not without the greatest presumption that They go about to question your Majesties authority over their Militia in that Island Since it hath been allowed and declared by the Laws of this Your Kingdom, that the Sole (ff. 118) Supream Goverment of the Militia, and all(?) Forces by Sea and Land, and all Fort and places of Strength, (IW) in your Majesty within all your Realms and Dominions.
2. The Objection made against the Bill for raising a Publick Revenue, hath as little(?) grounds, since its being made perpetuall no more than what was formerly Offence(?) by Them to your Majesty, is the Goverment of St. Thomas Lynch, in the Same (IW) and proportion as is now proposed, and Cannot be diverted, (IW) provision Expressly made, that the same shall be (IW) the better Support of the Goverment, (IW) it Suitable to the Duty and Modesty of Subjects, to Suspend(?) your Majesties Justice and Care, for the Goverment of that Colony whose Settlement and preservation, shall be more particularly carried on, by your Majesties tender regard, and with the great Expense of your Treasure.
To the 3 & 4 Object. It may be answered that any thing had been found materiall of (IW) or importance in the last Body of laws, transmitted(?) by the Lord Vaughan, your Majesties tender Care of your Subjects will (IW) would have been such, as would not have(?) sent those Bills imperfect or defective (IW) any (IW) matter.
5. As to the distance of the place, which they Say, under the present method of making laws altogether impracticable, your Majesty having been pleased to regulate the same by the advice of your Privy Councill according to the (IW) of Ireland, such care was then taken that no law might be wanting which might conduce to the well being of that Plantation, and that nothing might be omitted which in all former Goverments had been thought necessary. nor is it likely that this Colony is liable to greater accidents, then your kingdom of Irelands, so as to require a more frequent or Sudden change, of Laws, in other Cases than such as are allready provided for upon Emergencies, or in any other manner that is directed by your Majesty, where by the Inhabitants have free to access to make Complaints, to your Governour and Councill of any defect in any old Law, or to give reasons for any new Ones, being modelled by the Governours and Councill into form of Laws and transmitted to your Majesty; and if your majesty and council thought reasonable may be transmitted back to be Enacted Accordingly.
6. It was sufficiently apparent to your Majesty, that Laws must alter with the (ff. 119) Interest of the place, when you was Graciously pleased to lodge such a power in that Goverment as might only from time to time with your Majesties approbation and by the advice of your Privy Councill here and of your Governour and Councill there Enable the Assembly to Enact new Laws answerable to their growing necessities but were upon urgent occasions to raise(?) mony for the Security of the Island, with according to your Majesties order and consent.
7. It is not to be doubted but the Assembly have endeavoured to grasp all power as (IW) as a deliberative Voice in making Laws how far they have (IW) on your Majesties prerogative, and exceeded the bounds(?) of Duty and Loyalty on this pretence, which(?) appear by their late Exorbiant and (IW) proceedings, during the Goverment of Lord Vaughan in ordering and Signning a Warrant(?) to the Marshall of the Island your Majesties Officer of Justice, for the stopping and preventing the Execution of Justice, passed according to the ordinary(?) form of Law, upon a Notorious Pirate or Disturber of your Majesties Peace, And have further taken upon them, by (IW) of your deliberative power, to make Laws contrary to those of England, (IW) your Majesties Subjects, Nor have they forbore to raise money by publick Acts and to dispose of the same according to their Will and pleasure, without any mention made of your Majesty, which never hath, in like cases, been practice in any of your Majesties Kingdoms, How far therefore it is (2 IWs) them, with a power which they have thus abused, and to which they have no (IW) of Right, was the Subject of your Royale Consideration, when you was pleased to put (IW) on those (IW) and to take the reigns of Goverment into your own hands, which they in Expressed words (against their Duty and allegiance) have challenged and (IW) to part (IW).
8. It cannot with truth by supported that by the present form of Goverment, the Govenour is rendered absolute, Since He is no become more accountable to your Majesty or all his more important deliberations and Actions; and is not warranted to do any thing but according to Law, and your Majesties Commision and Instructions, given by the advice of your Privy Councill.
9. And, whether your Majesties prerogative is prejudiced by the present constitution is more the (IW) of your Majesty and your (ff. 120) Subject, then of their Consideration.
And, lastly and in generall wee humbly conceive, that it would be a great satisfaction to your Subjects, then Inhabiting, and at Invitation to strangers, where they shall know, what Laws they are to be governed by; and great care to the Planters not to be continually attending the Assembly, to (IW) old Laws which his Majesty, hath now thought fit in a proper form to Ascertain and Establish, where the late power of making (IW) Laws, could be (IW) to be of no longer (IW) them (IW) such wholesome Laws founded upon some years Experience, should be agreed upon by People and finally enacted by your Majesty in such manner as hath been practice in other of your Majesties Dominions to (IW) your English Subjects have transplanted themselves, nor can they (IW) further privileges than have been granted them, either by Charter or by some (IW) Act under your great seal, so having from the beginning of that Plantation been governed by such Instruction as were by the power your Majesty had originally over them, (IW) you have by no Authentick Act, yet were part with; and having never had any other right to Assemble than by (IW) of the Governour, and (2 IWs) and by probation, it is to be wondered, how they should presume to provoke your Majesty by pretending to that which hath been allowed them, merely out of favour; and discourage your Majesties further favours of that kind, when what your Majesties further favours of that kind, when what your Majesty ordered for a Temporary Experiment, to see what form would suit best with the safety Interest of the Island, shall be construed to be a total Resignation of your power Inherent in your Majesty, and a deviation of it to themselves, and their wills, without which, neither the law nor Goverment, the Essential necessity of their Subsistence and well being may take place, among them. Seeing therefore it is Evident that the Assembly of Jamaica, have without any just grounds and with so much Animosity and unDutyfullness, proceeded to reject this (IW) Instance of your Majesties favour towards them; and that your Majesties Resolution in this care are not like to the measure of Respect and Obedience to your Royale Commands in other Colonies, wee can only offer for a Cure of Irregularities past, and a Remedy against all further Inconveniences, that your Majesty would please to Authorise and impower your Governour, to call another Assembly and to represent to them the great Conveniency (ff. 121) and expediency (IW) and consent to such Laws as your Majesty under your great seal has transmitted to them. And that in Case of refusal His Lordships be furnished with such power as were formely given to Coll. Doyley the first Governour of Jamaica, and since to other Governours whereby his Lordships may be (IW) govern according to the Laws of England where the different Nature of that Constitution (IW) colony may conveniently limit the (IW) And in other cases, to act with the advice(?) of the Councill, in such manner as be held necessary and proper, for the (IW) Goverment of that Plantation, until your Majesties further orders. And the (IW) opportunities of Conveyance, your Governour do give your Majesty, a (IW) and particular account of your Majesties Instructions(?) herein. All which is more humbly submitted.
Upon reasing which Report, and full (IW) thereupon, His Majesty was pleased to approve of the Same,; and the Right Honourable Secretary Coventry, is hereby directed to prepare such suitable (IW) and Instructions, as may answer (IW) severall parts and advices contained in this Report.
(ff. 122) List of names.
(f. 123) The Assembly on taking this memoriall onto Consideration, drew up an Address in answer, which they presented to His Excellency, the substance of which I thought proper to abbreviate, in regard to some Circumstances that are unnecessary to transcribe and would make it tedious, if not tiresome to the Reader.
They set forth that with Infinite grief of mind, they had read and Considered the Report of the Lords of the Committee for Trade and Plantations, wherein they are Represented as a People full of animosity, Irregular, unreasonable, exceeding the bounds of Duty and Loyalty. The bitterness of which Expressions and the load of Infancy and Reproach, that is laid(?) on them, They were not Conscious of having in any degree deserved, of They should humble themselves, and like Job have said, Behold wee are vile, what shall wee (IW) wee will lay our hands on our mouths. But, least(?) silence should be deemed conviction of Guilt, wee shall with all humility, endeavour to convince His Majesty, that wee have allways (IW) our selves, like faithfull Subjects who are truly sensible of His Royall favours. The truth of which depending on Fact, the false colours wear of, and on a proper and (IW) Representation, wee hope to regain His Majesties most Gracious Opinions and Esteem.
(ff. 124) It is necessary on this occasion (They observed) to(?) to look so far back, as the Administration of Sir Charles Littleton and Sir Thomas Modiford, when the Island (IW) assumed a Civill, and laid aside the Military(?) Goverment. Assemblies were called, and the Goverment setled, according to the modele of the other British Plantations, and in such good form & manner(?) that untill His Excellencys being appoint Govenour it was not thought proper to make any (IW) the Increase of People and Settlements since that (IW) of time, Evinces the goodness and Reasonable necessitates(?) that Establishment, as well as the Encouragement and Satisfaction, it was to Themselves.
Their Lordships first charge is, That wee present(?) to question His Majesties power over the Military(?) in which They seem to be under some mistake or misinformation, though, Indeed wee did with Reason object to the following clause in the Militia Bill, (IW) provided allways and it is hereby Enacted & directed(?) by the Authority aforesaid, that nothing in (IW) Act, contained by Expounded, Construed, or (IW) to diminish, alter or abridge, the power of the Governour of Commander in Chief for the term(?), but, in all thing He may, upon all occasions or Emergencies, act as Captain Generall and Governour in Chief, according to and in pursuance(?) of all the powers and Authorities given, to Him by(?) His Majesties Commision, any thing in the(?) Act, or in any other notwithstanding.
Their Lordships, in this Respect, take no (IW) that the power in that Law(?), extend to the Governour, as well as Captain Generall, nor, of the words, anything in this Act or in any others notwithstanding which words being (IW) and express, need no Inference or Explanation. and being consented to by us, they would be no occasion, of making any other Laws, because that clase makes all the powers given by His Majesties commision (and by His Comision) all His Instructions, Law; though it be to the (IW) and (IW) to us ineffectuall, any beneficiall Laws, made in England or this Island by which wee are seemed in our lives, liberties and properties. the like of which never was done, or attempted, in any of His Majesties Dominions, and in Effect is to make, Will to be Law.
And, had Their Lordships considered the other Clauses of the Bill as it was transmitted from hence, They would not have suggested, that wee questioned His Majesties power, Over it since no Law gives His Majesty the like power in England, for upon any apprehension of Danger, the Generall with the advice and Consent of a Councill of War, has power to put the law martiall in force, any limited (IW) They think proper; and to command not only our Servants, Negores, and Cattle, between our Selves on the Publick Service and occasions.
That this has often been put in practice, and (ff. 125) willingly Submitted to, in severall Instances which They Enumerate, and Set forth at large. They add further, that They never have been (IW) in respect to His Majesties Governours, a Troop of Horse and a Company of the Militia allways attending Him to Church, and on all other Publick occasions and that no other Militia do, the like Duty (IW) this Island, which can be attested by all who have(?) been at Portt Royall, they cannot be distinguished from a Garrison, in Peace or War.
2. Their Lordships object to His Majesties (IW) being left out of the Revenue Bill. to this They answer, that on Enquiry of those who were members of the(?) former Assembly, They were (IW) that, (IW) was Sent down, with the amendments, from the Governour and Councill, as it then passed.
Should it have arisen with them, they think themselves very unfortunate, if they (IW) bear the censure of all mistakes, that may (IW) in the passing of Laws, Since the Councill as well as the Governour, has a Negative Voice, which neither of them made use of in this Case, would readily have been assented to by the Assembly as they had formerly done in the Goverment of Sir Thomas Lynch before which time it had been Custome to pass Laws, without mentioning His Majesties Name and without any checks, on a supposition(?) that the Governours name in the Enacting (IW) to be in Effect the same as His Majesties in England, since in that particular He seems rather to personate, than represent.
For which Reasons, and as the Act was consented to by His Majesties Governour, without any rebuke, and the monies raised thereby was applied to the payment of the contingence(?) of the Goverment and to no other use, they humbly hope it could(?) take off all impressions, to their disadvantage.
3 and 4. It is very time (they say) that the Bills contain many and great Errors, as Their Lordships will observe in the Journalls of the Assembly for above one half of the substance of Them, never can be reasonable, to pass or be enacted. As a proof of this assertion, They Instance the Ac for preventing damages by Fire, wherein a Single Justice of the Peace, has power of life & Death. The Militia Act, impowers the Governour and council, to levy a tax on the whole Island. And, in the Act, directing the Marshalls proceedings in a clause, which makes it Felony for a man to conceal His own Goods, left(?) in his possession after the Execution levied.
And though there Lordships are pleased to say, there is nothing imperfect or defective, in those Bills, yet wee humbly conceive, that no notice being taken how, or in what nature wee are to make use of the Laws of England, either as they have reference to the preservation, of His Majesties Prerogative, or on the Rights of His Subjects, wee ought not in Reason, therefore, to Consent to (ff. 126) those Bills; for nothing appearing to the (IW) the Governour in Life, ad libitum, to use or refuse(?) them as suits his occasions, there being no direction how to proceed, according to the Laws of England in causes criminall(?), Testamentary, or in other (IW) which concern the peace and quiet of the Subjects regard to life as well as Estate.
Wee like conceive notwithstanding their Lordships suggestions to the contrary in answer to the distance of (IW) under this method of passing Laws (IW) That this last Experiment is sufficient to Evince (IW), of that assertion; it being a year since the modele first came over, and was considered, before(?) their Lordships Report on our Objections was made & returned(?), although (IW) was sent by an Express. That wee (IW) more Subject to delays and accidents, is Evident because (IW may be had from thence in 14 days; And that (IW) being fully setled, where this Colony(?) may be said to be in its Infancy.
Nor can it be imagined that the Irish modell of Goverment was, in principio, ever intended for Englishmen; and being introduced by a Law made by Themselves, consequently broad thereby They had no Reason to repine, it being their Act, which was made for the preservation of the English, against the Irish faction. But, as there is not the same cause, so there is not the same reasons, for imposing the same on us; who are all His Majestices Naturall born subjects of England.
The Majesties derived power, on urgent Occasions to raise many (the old way only) secures the kings offices their sallaries, which they had otherwise been disappointed of, the Acts of Militia which were heretofore consented to, allways providing that on an Alarm or Invasion the Commander in Chief, shall have unlimited power over all Persons, Estates and things Necessary on such occasions.
They say- They never desired any power, but that They conceived (and His Majesties Goverment allowed) They had a Naturall Right to, and They supported was the intention and meaning of His Majesties most Gracious Proclamation to (IW) and Confirm. Beside, His Majesty was (ff. 127) pleased, by (IW), to (IW) the Governour Sir Thomas Lynch after the double Triall of one Peter (IW) to Signifie his disapprobation of anything that shall cause a doubt in his Subject, of not Enjoying all the Priviledges of His Subjects of the Kingdom of England or to that Effect. And, as to the (IW) of (IW) against (IW) a Pyrate, what This did (though not Strictly just (IW) in the manner) was on assurance that there was any law, which declared the power of the Chancellor here, equall to the Lord Chancellor in England, in granting Commisions, in pursuance of the statues of H. the 8, which His Majesty and Councill, seem to be of the same Opinion, by passing(?) an Act, among others, to supply that (IW), But, since They did not intermedle with the (IW) of the Cause, and only endeavoured to preserve forms of Justice, and were Justice itself, and deniall of several Petitions, in Conjunction with the Councill, were led beyond their Duty, for which They were severely reprimanded by the Governour (IW) humbly (IW), and hope for His Majesties pardon(?) The Act, on which He came in, did(?) not(?) take its rise(?) in the Assembly, but was framed and(?) sent down, by the Councill for their Consent, and(?) complied with at Their Request.
And, as to Their commitment of in Thomas (IW) one of the Members of their House, for taking (2 IWs) in Chancery, in His own private Councill against severall other members and one (IW) Councill, the Assembly then seting; and for (IW) misdemeanours, and breaches of the Rules of Their House, They hope it is Justifiable, cine they Conceive, They have the same power over Their own members, as the Hose of Commons in England have over Theirs.
That the Governour having Authority to remove a Member or Members of this Counsell, few if any of Them dare to advice or act Contrary to His will and pleasure. And, as He is likewise Chancellour Vice Admirall Ordinary and sole Judge for granting Administrations &ca(?), joined with Military Authority, He is vested with such Extraordinary powers that being united in, and Exercised by one and the same person, makes Him Fotune in Toto, it (IW) Equalibet Parte.
It is allowed by Them, that, by the new Modell of Goverment, it is Their power to consent to and perpetuate such Laws, as may be beneficiall to His Island and to reject such as They disapproved of. But, the old form, which was assimilated(?) as near as possible, to the Modell of Goverment as in England, must undoubtedly be more acceptable, and to be of great utility and Encouragement, not only to His Majesties Naturall born Subjects of England, but other to Remove and settle in this Island.
The improvements made since the Goverment of the Lord Windsor, and the major part of the Planters who are setled here, was on the good likeing of the form & Constition(?) (ff. 128) being setled after this English manner, and on assurance of their Enjoying all the Native Rights and priviledges, which They humbly apprehend and(?) hope They have not lost by Their removal; of that(?) They have by any act or deed forfeited, or (IW) his Majesty, by attempting to lessen, or to (IW) Royall preprogatives(?); the violation of which (IW) wee deemed, the best means of preserving Their own priviledges and Estates.
[Transcription re-begins from ff. 136]
On the death of Sir Thomas Lynch the Administration devolved(?) on Coll. Hender Molesworth, who had a dormant commision, from King Charles the second, dates the 16. of November 1673(?), to Succeed as Lt. Governour. And, soon after He had advice of His Majesties death, and a new commision sent (IW) from King James the second dated the 22. of Sept. 1685.
This year the Negroes in St Johns commonly called Guanaboa, Rebelled and chose a negro named Cutfey, belonging to Mr. Grey to lead them. They were from Plantation to Plantation and seized all the Arms and ammunition they could meet with, killed (IW) Thorp and severall white (ff. 137) that could not timely join the other who with Coll. Cope, Coll. Ayemer, Major Price, had gotten together, and were only able to defend themselves and their Families, untill they had some assistance from the Town to repell them.
The Governour, on advice of this disaster, immediately sent(?) the Troop, to join those who had with great courage and Resolution defended themselves, against a much superior number of Negroes, who attacked(?) and attempted to destroy them; but the Rebells(?) perceiving(?) more Forces coming to their Relief retreated to the Woods. And, apprehending further mischief by this Rebellion becoming more generall; He, with the advice and consent of a Councill of war ordered Martiale law to be proclaimed throughout the Island. A strong Party of armed men (IW) were filled out and Sent after the Rebells and were so(?) fortunate as to meet with them; to kill severall and(?) and take others and disperse the rest, who were Reduced to so small a Number, that it was not thought worth while to follow them. Nevertheless, (IW) December following (soon after X masthe Rebelled) being joined by other Fugitives they came down and Surprised M. Coates Family in the same Parish, murdered 9 or 10 white People four of which were M. Coates children, but, His Lady and Brother made their Escape. They afterwards(?) burnt the House, workes, caned &ca; and would have destroyed all the Plantations in the Parish had they not been routed by the Militia, which was raised, a body (IW) any further mischief being done in that part of the Country. The Rebells thereupon retreated to Mount Diablo, and from thence to St James’s, destroying severall Families and Settlements in this way. Byt, being pursued some were killed, and taken the remained made their Escape into the remote Mountains, and their Descendants are part of the Rebellious Ganges, who lately submitted.
These disturbance being happily quited the Governour put an end to Martiall law, convened the Assembly; and on the 1st of June 1686 made the following speech.
Gentlemen of the Councill
Speaker and Gentlemen of the Assembly.
The chief occasion of my calling you together at this time, is to advise with you in a matter of the greatest importance, which is how to (IW), our Selves and Estates from the Treachery, Cruelty, and Raveges of our Negroes, and how to keep them in due order and Subjection. And, in case of any sudden Insurrection, to be provided with ready means of reducing reducing them;
It is well known, what trouble and Expence a dew of those desperate Villains have given us, beside the mischiefs they have done t severall poor Families, which though short of has been reported, yet might have been considerable more, had their Courage been Equall (ff. 138) to their Agility and the Opportunitys they had of being Injurious and Ruinous, to a much greater number of Inhabitants. But, God was pleased to restrain their designes, and Enable us to Suppress them.
I need not tell you what measures were taken by the Goverment on that occasion, under disadvantageous Circumstances namely, the want of money and the(?) cripled power over the Militia. But, must (IW) to your immediate care, the payment of the moneys borrowed and Expended, to gratifie those who were sent out on Parties(?); and others who behaved well in the Publick service; to give some relief to such as were driven from their Settlements; to enlarge the power of the offices of the Militia; and to provide a sum to answer all such Emergencies as may happen hereafter.
I am likewise to Recommend, by His Majesties command, that you prepare an Act ascertaining to the Servitude, of the Rebells lately sent from England, for Ten years, according to the condition(?) of their Pardon, and to prevent all Clandestine (IW), buying out their Time, The Act for the Goverment of ourselves not having had the Royall assent (though it is in force) and wee are permitted the (IW) because His Majesties Councill do not think the penalties (IW) for (IW) willfull effusion of Human blood is Sufficient, therefore it is power and necessary for you to consider of some expedient, and to remove that obstruction.
As to my self, I neither or Expect any thing from you. I have been known and resided among you, above Twenty years; my Interest is on the same foundation with your, and therefore can have no view or design, but what I shall equally be affected with in the consequence.
Gentlemen, you now have a fair opportunity of serving your selves, If you make a proper use of it, I shall have all the satisfaction of bearing a part with you in it. But, if you fall into wrong measures and frustrate my good intentions, the bad consequences attending it, will rise up in Judgment against you. For, you may Expect every thing from me that is consistent with my Duty to His Majesty, and His Royall Prerogative.
The Rebells mentioned in the Governours speech were those unfortunate Persons, concerned in the Duke of Monmouths Rebellion, and transported to this Island, (ff. 139)
pursuant to their Instance. They served their respective Masters with great Fidelity, and most of them remained on the Island, after the Expiration of their Servitude. Severall of them acquired good Plantations, by their Industry and, it is Remarkable that they annually meet(?) on the day of their Triall, and their first Toast after Dinner was to the memory of Judge Jeffreys who they declared was the best Friend they ever had, for by His means they lived happier & enjoyed more than they ever had, or could have (IW) in their Own Country.
[Transcription re-begins on f. 144]
(f. 144) Sir Francis Watson, who was a Planter in this Island, and a Gentleman of fair character did not long enjoy the Goverment, for the (ff. 145) Earl of Inchiquin whose comman was dated the 7. day of October 1689 arrived in the Island the day of June 1690, and took on Him the Administration.
He was vested with the same Powers, which had been granted to His Predecessor, and by His Addtionall Instruction, He was (inter alia) directed (IW)
To administer the Oathes appointed by Act of Parliament, instead of the Oath of Allegeance and Supremacy, the First &ca; and to permit liberty of conscience to all Persons, Papists only excepted.
To demand of the Govenrour of Mexico, (IW), and other Spanish Ports in America, the Subjects of England, who were kept in Slavery and Barbarously treated at those Places; and to use His utmost(?) endeavour that they be set at liberty.
And, whereas great prejudice may happen to (IW) service, by the absence of our Governour or Commander in Chief, without a sufficient cause (IW) spetiall have from us, for preservation thereof, yet are not upon any pretence whatever to come to England or leave your Goverment, without permission under our Signel or sign(?) manna(?) or by our order in Councill. But wee do Nevertheless permit you in Case of sickness to go another(?) of our Plantations in America for the (IW) of your health,
And, wee do likewise think fit that when any(?) complaint shall be intended against you, that notice be immediately given you thereof by the complainants, with the charge against you in writing to the end, that you may make timely preservation for your defence.
Lastly, if any thing should happen, that may be of advantage or of the security of the said Island, and other the Terratories thereon depending, which is not here in or by our Commision provided for, wee do hereby allow you, with the advice and consent of your councill to proceed there in, but with all, convenient speed to acquaint our Principall Secretary of State, and our Committee of Trade and Foreign Plantations of it, that so you may receive our Confirmation, if wee shall approve of the same. Provided allways that you do not by Collour of any power or Authority hereby given you, commence or declare War without our knowledge and particular commands therein.
At this time the Descendants of the Spanish Negroes, who never had submitted to the English and were united with the Fugitives from Lobby’s, Guy’s and other Plantations, began to make excursions, They came down in the Night and robbed the nearest settlements and committed great cruelties. They had such places of Retreat and Security that all endeavours to draw them from there were in Vain; nor, were the severall Parties who were sent out able to dislodge or drive them out. These (ff. 146) fruitless attempts to reduce Them, and the Success They met with in robing remote and (IW) Plantations, Encouraged others to grow turbulent and unruly, insomuch that a (IW) disposition appeared among the Negroes to(?) Rebell. However, such effectuall care was taken to prevent them getting arms and power, & other methods taken by keeping a Vigilant Eye and Strict(?) hand over Them, that a generall Insurrection was thereby prevented.
But, notwithstanding all the precaution that was taken on the 29. of July 1690, the Negroes belonging to Mr Thomas Suttons Plantation (called St. Jago in Clarendon Mountains) being 400 in Number broke out in Rebellion, murdered their Master and all the white Servants, Seized upon 50 musketts, some blunderbusses, 4 Field Pines, and a great quantity of powder. They marched from there to the next Plantation, killed the oversier & would have engaged the Negroes to join them, but they took an opportunity deserted Them.
The Alarm being given to the adjacent settlements, 50 horse and Foot were immediately raised and marched to attack them; by which means a Stop was made to their progress, and Their Design of joining the other Rebells in the Mountains, (which would have been of fatall Consequence had they accomplished); For all the Neighbouring Plantations were on their Guard, and as (IW) commonly attends Guilt(?), They had not (IW) courage and Resolution, notwithstanding Their vast superiority in Number; to dispute Their Passage; but returned to Mr Sutton’s dwelling House, and prepared to act Defensively. They had not been long there before They were attacked by a large Body of the Militia, on which, after some Resistance, they defended the House and fled doing all the mischief in their Power; for They fired all the Houses and Cane pieces in their Way. A Party of white men pursued and Came up with, and engaged Them. Many of them were killed in the Action, about 200 of them Submitted, the rest were afterwards killed or taken, except 30 or 40 who escaped, setled in the remote mountains, and Some years after were incorporated with the other Rebellious Gangs.
Those who submitted were pardoned, but most of the others who were taken Prisoners, and all the Heads or Ringleaders, met with the Fate which They deserved.