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service that his Majesty would be pleased to put those Provinces under such regularities that the publick peace may be restored and his Majesty's government of New York may have the assistance of the magistracy of the Jerseys to remand deserters and fellows that may shelter themselves there, which often happens, &, by the convulsion of that people, not in Coll. Hamilton's the Governour's power to remedy it. * * * * *
WM SMITH P
PE: SCHUYLER April 1701
Petition of Governor and Council of East Jersey to the
King, asking that the authority of Gov. Hamilton might be upheld.
[From P. R. O. B. T. Proprietors. Vol. 6, G 29.] PETITION OF ye Govi & Council of East New Jersey to his Maty abt y® Disorders there May 1701
TO THE KINGS MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY. THE HUMBLE PETITION of the Governour and Coun
cil of Your Majesties Province of East New
Jersey in America. Most Humbly Sheweth
That whereas in January 169: The Proprietors of Yo! Maties said Province did Petition yo? Mate to approve their Choice of Andrew Hamilton Esq? to be Governour thereof, Which Petition was read and referred by Yo! Main Council to the Right Honoble the Lords of Trade and Plantations to consider and to report to Y! Mate what they conceived proper for Yo? Mate to do therein
In obedience to which Order in Council, and to another of the Ninth of March thereafter, Upon a Petition of the said Proprietors concerning Their Right to a Port at Perth-Amboy, Their Lord’ps by a Representation to Yo? Mate in Council, most humbly offered to Yo! Male That a Tryal be had at Barr in Westminster Hall. Whereby the Proprietors claim to Ports and Right to Governm' of the said Province might receive a determination Which Representation Yo! Mate in Council was pleased to Approve, upon the 20th of April, and to Order that it be referred to Yo! Maties Attorney General, to consider and report, in what manner what was proposed by the said Representation might be best put in Execution.
Yo! Petitioner Hamilton waited upon the Council of Trade and Humbly moved, That seeing by the said Representation their Lordshipps seemed to Hesitate upon the Validity of the Powers of Governm' granted by King Charles the second to His Royall Highnesse, and by His Royal Highnesse to the Proprietors. He. might be directed by their Lordshipps, how to Guide himself being unwilling to Act, under any Commission, which their Lordshops should judge unwarrantable.
Their Lordships by SPhilip Meadows were pleased to signifie to said Hamilton, That tho' They questioned the Validity of the Powers of that Grant, and therefore thought it not fitt to Advise Yo? Majte to grant the Approbation Petitioned for being a Recognizeing the Prop Title, and thereby giveing away what they accounted Yo: Majties Right, Yet that they did not thereby intend to inhibitt the Propes of acting further in the Governm! But that if yo? petitioner Hamilton, Governed himself by the Laws of England; The Propas
would find wherewithall to Justifie themselves in Commissionating him, and yo! petitioner in acting under it, untill Their Right to Governm! were Vacated by a Judicial determination or that yo: Majtles Pleasure should be further knowne therein
Yo! Petitioner Hamilton arriveing in said Province in Decembp 1699 Published the Proprietors Commission, and after haveing taken the Oaths, appointed by Acts of Parliam. Entred upon the Administracion of the Governmt
But so it is. That neither the Approbation being granted, nor no Instrument sent over to Command the Inhabitants to continue in their obedience to the Governmt under the Administracion of the Prop? until their Right to it had received a Tryal at Barr Yo! Mate was pleased to Order, or until Yo! Maties Pleasure was further knowne, The Licentious part of the people, who look on all Governmě to be a Yoke, and being encouraged in their Seditious principles, by Letters from England, from their Agent, whom they have sent over to Extenuate their Crimes, That Yo". Petitioner Hamilton was rejected by Yo! Mate for Gov. erno! And that the Council of Trade had declared all Acts of Governm' by him done, or any under him to be Null & void, have gladly laid hold of this as colour enough to cutt in pieces the Reins of Governm! and run yo! people into Anarchy and confusion.
And as at several times before, They have assaulted Yo! Maties Justices, when in the Solemnity of yo! Courts of Judicature, and thereby stop't the Currt of Law, So upon the 25th of March last, At a Court of Sessions held in the Usuall place at Middletowne in the County of Monmouth and Province aforesaid, Where was present Yo? Petitioner Hamilton in Conjunction with yo: Maties Justices to take the Examination of a certain pirate belonging to Kidds-Crew, named Moses Butterworth, pursuant to Yo: Majes Strict Command;
And while the pirate was under Examination, Those Libertines on purpose to hinder the Courts proceeding in that Affair, sent in one of their Number to beat a Drumm and others of them Rushed into Rescue the Pirate, and accordingly carried him from the Barr.
To hinder the Rescue and suppress the Riotters, Yo! Matias Justices, believing it their duty, to assist the Sheriffe and Constables in the Execution of their Offices (in which one of the Rescuers was wounded) were Surrounded by the Riotters in great numbers in Arms, having (appearingly) on purpose appointed the same day to be a Training day, on which the Court was to sitt, and their destruction by them most insolently threatened, (which had been most certainly Executed had the Wounded died upon the Spott) and were confined by them ffour dayes, till they thought him past hazard, to the great dishonour of Yo: Majte in the abuse of yo! Ministers.
And as those people could have no manner of colourable Pretext for attempting the dissolution of the Governm! for want of sufficient Information, being often told, that the not obtaining the Approbation was from a Reason of State, and no Neglect of the Proprietors that it was Yo: Majte not that they that was Judge of the Validity of the Proprietors Commission and that as it is never to be supposed Yo: Majte the Common ffather of yo? people would for want of Governmt suffer them to run into disorder and Confusion, So it ought to be to them an invincible argument of Yo! Majtles allowing the Administration to be still in the Prop? untill the Tryal at Barr be issued, or Yo! Majties Pleasure therein further knowne
As yo? Majtles most humble Petitioners will never be wanting to do what in them lies to preserve yo" Majtes peace, and Order of Governm' among Yo? Subjects of this Province untill yo: Majte shall be pleased to committ that Trust to better hands, So least the necessary
means to effect it, may run the Province into blood, unlesse a Speedy remedy be applyed They most humbly pray
That Yo? Maj! would be graciously pleased to command the Inhabitants to yield their Obedience to the Proprietors commission until the Tryal at Barr be had, or yo: Maties pleasure thereupon be further knowne
And your Petitioners as in duty bound shall ever pray