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On the Eleventh day of May, he held ye Supream Court of yt Province, & there, one of ye Late Councill, did Publiquely demand of Him by what Authority He tooke on Him y? government of his Majesties Subjects? who replyed by the Kings, and ordered that Person to be Seiz'd, and ye Court, (Some of yo members of which; Are now Some of ye Petic'oners) find him fiftie Pounds, and comitted him to ye Sheriffs Custody.
On ye [ ] day of [ ] Capt. Peter Mathews, by order of ye Govern! of New Yorke, did seize in yo River, before ye citty of Perth Amboy, a ship called the Hester, about ye Vallue of £600-Pounds, upon w Some time after, M: Basse, Sumon'd an Assembly, & on ye 13th day of March 1698,' Pass'd Severall acts, among which Was one; for ye Raising ye sum of Six hundred Seaventie & five Pounds, Entitled, an Act for Redressing a force of Our Neighbour Province.
This act was so displeasing to y Greatest part of ye country; that they did in Severall Towns, resolve not to pay it, unlesse forc't to it, & ye Severall Towns, having met, (by Warrants from ye Justices of the Peace) did write to ye Proprietors, of East New Jersie which Letter N: (1) Lyes before your L’ps: ?
M" Basse and Councell, finding y the afforesaid Act, wanted Some Necessary Amendments, without which it was Judg'd Impracticable to raise the money, resolv'd to wait till ye next Session of Assembly; who met acording to Adjournment, and Aply'd themselves, to make those amendments requisite; but finding the country (on one side) to murmur, & resolve not to put the money, & M' Basses deputy Governour & councell (on ye other side) Insist Violently on it; the greatest part of the deputies left ye House, without a Quorum to act; & that Assembly dissolv'd of course, and Every thing was Quiet till ye Arivall of Collo Hamilton, who arriv'd in ye month of december 1699, & Product a commission from ye Proprietors of East Jersie, apointing him, to be their Governour of that Province. He also told us, your L'ps refus'd him an Aprobation, because it would be A recognising, yo Proprietors rights to Goverment, but did not thereby Intend to Inhibit him, from Governing, & provided he acted in y? Station, agreeably to ye Laws of England, and ye Laws of that Province, not repugnant unto them, He was Justifiable.
2 See pages 70-273 of this volume.--Ev.
M? Basses Councell did acknowledge y! he deriv'd His power, from ye Sanie persons y commissionated M. Basse that his comission was good; & promis't to pay an Obedience to it; and accordingly, all but foure continued their former stations, in ye Goverment, & three of those foure, Collo Hamilton by repeated solicitations, desired to continue in their former Stations allso, but they alleg'd they were ffatigued wth the toyles of publique businesse, and desired rest; so that Coll! Hamilton was forc't to comissionate others in their stead.
Those men of ye former Councell, with Some others of Lesse note (who during M! Bass's administra! did Sedulously Inculcate to ye People, y although M: Basse wanted an Aprobation, he was a Lawfull Governour; & on all occasions asserted his Authority, notwithstanding that defect) whether Vext at being disappointed, of raising the money they wanted, or displeas'd at ye Proprietors, for displacing MBasse, sooner than they Expected, did Stir up y? Same People, to Opose Collo Hamilton in his Adminis” because he wanted an Aprobation.
Their Endeavors, had y Effect they Propos'd, as apears by the severall records No (1, 2, 3, 4, 5,) now Laid before yor L’ps, and to Consumate ye Worke, so well begun, & Successfully carried on; they did on ye
25 of March 1701 Rescue a pyrat, one of Kids crue, from yê Barr; seise ye Govern! & Justices, as by Record NO: (6) do's more at Large appeare.'
On ye 7 of June 1701 Ariv'd a new comission, from part of the proprietors of East New Jersie, Impowering Capt Andrew Bowne, (one of the Petic'oners & one of ye Councell yt did not advise & assure ye Proprietors, y no Governour by them Comisionated world Satisfye ye People, without his Majesties Aprobation, as Apears by ye 24 paragraph of ye Petic'on.) to be Govern! of y Province
Collo Hamilton resolves, not to Surrender ye Goverment, unlesse Cap Bownes Com'ision, is signed by two thirds of y? Proprietors; as by their agreements among themselves, it ought to be If it be Enquired Into, I feare few of their comissions, has had that Sanction, for they are divided, & five of one party (wch is about one fifth ye whole) hatcht this last comission in A corner; & one of that Number, having the keeping of their Publique Seale, affixt it to it, and sent it into America; without yo knowledge, & consent, of most of the rest, Som of them being Ignorant of it, untill (to their great Surprise) they heard of it from America.
Att this rate my Lords, we may have new Governours, by Every Ship from England; and none of them, with y! Sanction Requisite, even by there owne Constitutions.
Government is prostituted in ye Hands of such people. I hope our Present, Unhappy Circumstances, & ye Illegality, & Ill consequences, of ye Proprietors Procedures, will move your L’ps to take such methods, as may be for His Majesties honour and our safety
In West Jersie M' Basse arriv'd, about ye same time he did in East, ye Assembly then Sitting, but M' Basse
I See page 362 of this volume.-ED.
not Producing, His Ma'ties Aprobation, ye Assembly Rejected him, & did refuse to act wth him, or recognise liim as Governour.
M" Basse made a Councell, and Some other Magistrates who made Some few Efforts, to assert his Authority, but ye Generality of ye Country being Against them they had no Effect, but setting ye People together by th' Ears. This was the State of that Country till Collo Hamilton ariv'd; the Assembly was then Sitting: Coll? Hamilton Produc't ye Proprietors Comission; acquainted them what steps had been made, to obtein his Ma'ties Aprobation, & yt it could not be Had, during ye Present cirrcumstances of things.
The Assembly, having Experimented ye Ill effects of Confusion, and Judging a Lame authority to be better than none, (though they thought Collo Hamiltons, not to be such) did recognise Collo Hamilton; and so did ye Country In Generall, till ye Assembly (to defray y necessary charges, of ył Goverment) Rais'd a Tax; wch so disoblig'd y Party, y! adher'd to M' Basse, ythey made use of y® Present ocasion; & arguments Against paying of money, meeting generally with favourable Auditors, they gain’d to themselves, a party conciderable enough, to disturb ye publique Peace; & are got to y Height, y' Sometime in March Last, about Eighty of them, Came into ye Towne of Burlington, & at noon day broke open the Prison, & tooke away, one Comitted (I supose) because he would not give security for His good behavior.
I Have Laid before your L’ps ye truth of Fact; & your L’ps by comparing ye names of ye Petic'oners of East Jersie, w ye Names in ye Records of the severall riots, comitted in y Province Will find, those riots to be made by those persons, who are now y® Petic'oners; Especially y Remarkable Ryot, or rather Rebellion, comitted on ye 25th of March, as by Record NO (6) apears which I Lay before your Lordships, as a complaint, & begg those persons may have, an Exemplary punishment.
The Peticioners complain of ye Hardships they Lye under; Which are no other, y? what theire unwarantable practises, have brought upon ymselves and Others; who had they Paid that Submission, was necessary to the Conservation of ye Peace, those Provinces had been Happy, and Your Lordships, not Troubled with Their Murmurs.
There is A necessity the Prayer of their Petic'on be Answerd, and I presume there is no Expedient, can Settle those goverments but giving A Formall aprobation, to ye Proprietors Governour, and Comanding yo Peoples obedience, till his Majesties pleasure be ffurther Knowne or comissionating Som person, (to be Governour of those Provinces) under ye broad Seale.
Our Present bleeding, and Unhappy circumstances, makes us fit objects of your L’ps Care, and pittie, I begg that our setlement; May by any means, Speedily be Acomplis't, & y' I may be Accounted:
And Faithful Servant & Friend