British Committees, Commissions, and Councils of Trade and Plantations , 1622-1675 Part 14

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_April 27._

Pet.i.tion of Ferdinando Gorges read. (_Cal._, -- 512; See _Cal._, _Dom._, 1671, April 27, Slingsby to Williamson.)

_May 22._

Robert Mason's first pet.i.tion to the Council; divers relations concerning New England, with observations of the commissioners lately employed there, read. (_Cal._, -- 512.)

_May 26._

"The Earl of Bristol's house in Queen's Street (Lincoln's Inn Fields) was taken for the Commissioners of Trade and Plantations, and furnished with rich hangings of the King's. It consisted of seven rooms on a floor, with a long gallery, gardens, etc. This day we met the Duke of Buckingham, Earl of Lauderdale, Lord Culpeper, Sir George Carteret, Vice Chamberlain, and myself, had the oaths given us by the Earl of Sandwich, our President. It was to advise and counsel his Majesty, to the best of our abilities, for the well-governing of his Foreign Plantations, etc., the form very little differing from that given to the Privy Council. We then took our places at the Board in the Council Chamber, a very large room furnished with atlases, maps, charts, globes, etc. Then came the Lord Keeper, Sir Orlando Bridgeman, Earl of Arlington, Secretary of State, Lord Ashley, Mr. Treasurer, Sir John Trevor, the other Secretary, Sir John Duncomb, Lord Allington, Mr. Grey, son to the Lord Grey, Mr.

Henry Broncher, Sir Humphrey Winch, Sir John Finch, Mr. Waller and Colonel t.i.tus of the Bed chamber, with Mr. Slingsby, Secretary to the Council, and two clerks of the Council, who had all been sworn some days before. Being all set, our Patent was read, and then the additional Patent, in which was recited this new establishment; then, was delivered to each a copy of the Patent, and of instructions; after which we proceeded to business.

The first thing we did was to settle the form of a circular letter to the Governors of all his Majesty's Plantations and Territories in the West Indies and Islands thereof, to give them notice to whom they should apply themselves on all occasions, and to render us an account of their present state and government; but what we most insisted on was, to know the condition of New England, which appearing to be very independent as to their regard to Old England or his Majesty, rich and strong as they now were, there were great debates in what style to write to them; for the condition of that Colony was such that they were able to contest with all other Plantations about them, and there was fear of their breaking from all dependence on this nation; his Majesty, therefore commended this affair more expressly. We, therefore, thought fit, in the first place, to acquaint ourselves as well as we could of the state of that place, by some whom we heard of that were newly come from thence; and to be informed of their present posture and condition; some of our Council were for sending them a menacing letter, which those who better understood the peevish and touchy humour of that Colony, were utterly against.

A letter was then read from Sir Thomas Modiford, Governor of Jamaica; and then the Council brake up." (Evelyn's _Diary_, II, pp. 63-64.)

_June 6._

"I went to Council where was produced a most exact and ample information of the state of Jamaica and of the best expedients as to New England, on which there was a long debate; but at length it was concluded that if any it should be only a conciliating paper at first, or civil letter, till we had better information of the present face of things, since we understood they were a people almost on the very brink of renouncing any dependence on the Crown." (Evelyn's _Diary_, II, p. 65.)

_June 16._

Colonel Cartwright's papers concerning the New England Colonies read.

(_Cal._, -- 512.)

_June 19._

Patent of Ma.s.sachusetts read. (_Cal._, -- 572; The _Journal_ says, "Cartwright's report"; but this seems to be wrong as both Evelyn and the _Calendar_ place Cartwright's report on the 21st.)

_June 20._

"To carry Colonel Middleton [Capt. Thomas Middleton of the former Council for Foreign Plantations] to Whitehall, to Lord Sandwich, our President, for some information which he was able to give of the Colony in New England." (Evelyn's _Diary_, II, p. 65.) Probably no regular meeting was held on this day.

_June 21._

Commission and instructions of the New England Commissioners read; Col. Cartwright heard (_Cal._, ---- 512, 566). "To Council again, when one Colonel Cartwright a Nottinghams.h.i.+re man (formerly in commission with Colonel Nicholls) gave us a considerable relation of that country; on which the Council concluded that in the first place a letter of amnesty should be despatched." (Evelyn's _Diary_, II, p. 65.)

_June 26._

Further consideration of the New England case. (_Cal._, ---- 512.)

"To Council, where Lord Arlington acquainted us that it was his Majesty's proposal we should, every one of us, contribute 20 toward building a Council Chamber and conveniences somewhere in Whitehall, that his Majesty might come and sit amongst us, and hear our debates; the money we laid out to be reimbursed out of the contingent monies already set apart for us, viz. 1000 yearly. To this we unanimously consented."

(Evelyn's _Diary_, II, p. 66.)

_June 29._

Sir Thomas Modyford, Panama. (_Journal_; _Cal._, ---- 209, 433, 504, 505, 577, 578.)

"To Council, where were letters from Sir Thomas Modiford, of the expedition and exploit of Colonel Morgan, and others of Jamaica, on the Spanish Continent at Panama." (Evelyn's _Diary_, II, p. 66.)

_July 4._

"To Council, where we agreed to and drew up a letter to be sent to New England, and made some proposal to Mr. Gorges, for his interest in a plantation there." (Evelyn's _Diary_, II, p. 66.)

_July 12._

Report on Gorges pet.i.tion, recommending the sending of commissioners to New England. (_Cal._, -- 439, I.)

_July 17._

New England, Ma.s.sachusetts. (_Journal._)

_July 24._

Robert Mason's second pet.i.tion to the Council read. (_Cal._, -- 512.)

"To Council. Mr. Surveyor brought us a plot for the building of our Council Chamber, to be erected at the end of the Privy-garden, in Whitehall." (Evelyn's _Diary_, p. 66.)

_August 3._

Agreement about Commissioners to New England. (_Cal._, -- 512.)

Address regarding sending two s.h.i.+ps to Surinam. (_Cal._, ---- 596, 850.)

"A full appearance at the Council. The matter in debate was whether we should send a deputy to New England, requiring them of the Ma.s.sachusetts to restore such to their limits and respective possessions, as had pet.i.tioned the Council; this to be the open commission only; but in truth, with secret instructions to inform us of the condition of those Colonies, and whether they were of such power, as to be able to resist his Majesty and declare for themselves as independent of the Crown, which we were told and which of late years made them refractory. Colonel Middleton being called in, a.s.sured us they might be curbed by a few of his Majesty's first-rate frigates, to spoil their trade with the islands; but, though my Lord President was not satisfied, the rest were, and we did resolve to advise his Majesty to send Commissioners with a formal Commission for adjusting boundaries, etc., with some other instructions." (Evelyn's _Diary_, II, p. 66.)

_August 12._

Report concerning New England, a representation of the present state of New England and the sending over of Commissioners. (_Cal._, ---- 512, 598, 850.)

_August 19._

"To Council. The letters of Sir Thomas Modiford were read, giving relation of the exploit at Panama, which was very brave." (Evelyn's _Diary_, II, pp. 66-67.)

_September 9._

Commissioners (names of) to be sent to New England. (_Journal._)

_September 15._

"In the afternoon at Council, where letters were read from Sir Charles Wheeler, concerning his resigning his government at St. Christopher's."

(Evelyn's _Diary_, II, p. 67.)

_September 19._

Council informed that the king had agreed to the sending commissioners and desiring instructions to be prepared against spring. (_Cal._, -- 512.)

_November 13._

British Committees, Commissions, and Councils of Trade and Plantations , 1622-1675 Part 14

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