Page images
[ocr errors]

being naturally subject to all casualties; we therefore "fee in all placer where it is freelt there is greatest, and those that take away the merchants hopes, cramp all their designs, for hope is as necessary for the barter of this world as for that which is to come; but need say no more, we agree in the end, which is to have negroes, and differ in the way to it; for, as you will chearfully humble to what the king orders, so thall I readily aflent to whatever you shall advise or propose to me in it. Your declaratory law, gentlemen, is suppressed, as you may see, by the orders that speak the thing, but do not give the reason of it; for my part, I cannot comprehend why some have so violently affected it, fince we are all English, and nobody has denied us any native right, and that the king's dominion is peitonal as well as local; so we. may, without offending his majeity, claim suitable laws and protections, which all the world must confels we now have. I suppose vone of you ever heard that any of the other colonies pretend to garble, and cull the laws of English war. Can you imagine the ministers would permit it, and pray would you take all the laws of England together? Would they not, like the Romans, fpoil, depress, and stifle, that filly criminal that coveted them? What if in dira orderly times, and under a weak ministry, any thing has been wreited from the king that impedes the exercise of his just authority; you are too prudent, too dutiful, to expect he should transfer the margin of it to ano. ther world; and, consider, does not reason tell us now what Aristotle long Since told the world, and he was born a Greck, bred a philosopher, that is, he was a wise man in the country of liberty, yet faid, bonus rer preJe endus optimus legibus, that a good king is preferable to the best laws, there being much more in the execution than in the precept. The Roman story seems to confirm this, for we read in it, the world was easy under Augustus, Titus, Trajan, and those other juft and wise princes, yet their wills were edicts. In facred story we read, the Israelites were miserable, and all utterly and eternally extinguished, under their ill kings, and yet they were or should have been under a divine law. I do not lay this to recommend what is arbitrary, but it is to advise that we esteem and bless God for our good prince, that, like a wise and tender parent in this matter, only denied us what would hurt us. Let us therefore delve ratherapt than many laws, and remember England had good laws under Henry VII.; yet fome too many then, much more now; for this is one hundred and seventy years ago, and then Empson Dudley, with other sapinous officers, putting fupernumerary penal laws into execution, so vext the people that, as my lord Bacon says, they turned law and justice Аа


into wormwood and rapine. 'Some consideration like this, made a difa creet Fienclimın say, je plus vault le code de que le pais conquejte, that ii, France was obliged to the king more for contracting their laws than for enlarging his dominions, which makes me fancy laws to young colonies are like physic to the body, wherein not only the quantity but the nature and due preparation of the medicine is considered, for that only which makes it fit makes it operate well; but because the best of kings must die, and good laws do remain, and fuch, if they are not strong barriers to bad governors, yet they are certain rules to good ones; you have therefore good reason to desire them, and I do comply with you in it, my fense as well as interest being bound up with yours in this and every thing that may be for your service and the common good, I therefore here tena der you the draft of another law that has fatisfied all I have thewn it to, as I suppose it will you, for its the same in substance though not in terms: If you like it, I doubt not but the king will graciously pass it as your, amendments, and as he has done all the rest. I. muit not end, gentlemen, before I tell you we have great obligations to our friends in England, who have ingenioully acted their parts, particularly fir Charles Lytileton and colonel Beeston. By their letter and accounts, which I here put into your hands, you will see how kind and solicitous they have been, I must therefore say, it you are desirous to express your gratitude for his majetty's. grace and his minister’s favour to us, (you must do it actually): I shall leave the method and confideration thereof wholly to you, for I would not by my advice or directions lessen your merits, or anticipate any act of your duty, but would have all arise from your own sense, that your honour may be the greater, and my fatisfaction will not be the less, for I have no ambition, not the least vanity. God has been pleased to put me under luch foi al circumstances : pains and diseases have taken away my health and limbs, and the unhappy voyage of my sons and their mother; what is there then under heaven that I have to desire, but to lee you happy, the. laws settled, and the island prosperous, which God Almighty grant!

Spoke, at St. Jago de la Vega, in Jamaica, the 5th September, 1683.






Inftruations for our trusty and well-beloved fir Phillip Howard, hnigh',

our captain-general and govei nor-in-chief in and over our isand of Jamaica, and other the territories depenuing thereon in Amożia: Girin at our court at Whitehall, the 25th of November, 1685, in the fusi year of our Jeign.

Ift.- W ITH these our instructions, you will receive our commission

V under our great feal of England, conftituting you our captain-general and governor-in-chief in and over our island of Jamaica, and other the territories depending thereon.

22.- And you are thereupon to fit yourself with all convenient speed, and repair to our said isand.

[ocr errors]

3d.-And, being arrived there, you are to take upon you the execution of the place and trust reposed in you, and forthwith to call together fuch members of our council in that island as are not under suspension, viz. Hender Molesworth, efq. lieutenant-governor, fir Francis Watson, Thomas Freeman, John Cope, Thomas Ballard, Thomas Fuller, John White, efürs. fir Thomas Modyford, bart. Theodore Cary, John Burdin, and Sam muel Barry, esqrs.

4th. And forasmuch as the late governor, fir Thomas Lynch, has, with the advice of the council, suspended fir Henry Morgan and colonel Byndlofs from attending our council, and removed them from all other offices and commands, as also displaced Charles Morgan from being captain of the chief fort, for their misbehaviour in the government; and that upon their application to his late majesty, our most dearly beloved in council, there was sot then appear any cause to alter any thing the governor and A 22

council council had done therein; and colonel Williain Guy standing likewife fufpended by our prefent lieutenant-governor from our council there, you are not to restore any of them to their trust and employments until a turther examination of these proceedings, and a report th which you are to make with all convenient speed; you shall receive out pleasure therein..

5th. And you are, with a due solemnity, to cause our faid commife fion under our great seal of England, constituting you our captain-generad and governor-in-chief as aforesaid, to be published ať the faid meeting.

6th. Which, being done, you are to administer unto each of the said members as well the oaths of allegiance as an oath for the due execution of their place and trust.

7th. And to communicate such and so many of our instructions to the faid council, wherein their advice and consent are mentioned to be requifite, as likewise all such others as at any time you shall find convenient for our service to be imparted unto them.

8th. And also, as foon conveniently as may be after your arrival, you: are to cause proclamation to be made in the other parts of our said ifland of your being constituted by us our captain-general and governorin-chief as aforesaid.

9th.--And, that we may be always informed of the names of persons fit to fupply the vacancies which shall happen in our council of Jamaica, you are to transmit to us and our committee of trade and foreign plantations the names and characters of twelve perfons, inhabitants of our said island, whom you thall esteem the belt qualified for that trust; and so from time to time, when any of them shall die or depart out of our said ifand, or become otherwise incapable, you are to supply the first number of twelve persons, by nominating others in their fiead.

10th. And in the choice of members of our faid council, as also of the great officers, judges asliftants, and justices, you are always to take care that they be men of a good life and well affected to the government, of good eitates and abilities, and not neceflitous people or much in debt. . Ilh.-And you are neither to augment nor diminish the number of our faid council as it is hereby ettablished, nor to fufpend any of the piesertt. members thereot without good and sufficient cause; and, in case of sufpension of any of thein, vou are forthwith to transmit unto us, and to the Iords of our privy council appointed a committee for trade and plantations, the reason of your so doing, together with the charges and proofs againt the.faid persons, and their answers thereunto

· 12th.--And you are to

r pleasure unto our council of Jamaica, that if any of them shall hereafter absent themfelves without leave from our governor for the time being first obtained, or remain absent for the fpace of two years, or the greater part of them, without leave given under our royal signature, their place or places in our faid council thall immediately become void, and that we will torthwith take care others be appointed in their itead.

13th. And you are from time to time to send to us, and our said com‘mittee of trade and plantations, the names and qualities of any members by you put into the faid council by the first convenience after your so doing; you are to observe, in paffing laws, that the stile of enacting the fame by the governor, council, and assembly, be henceforward used, and no other.

And our express will and pleasure is, that you transmit authentic copies, under the public seal, of our laws, statutes, and ordinances, that are now made and in force, or which shall be made and enacted within the said itland, unto us and the lords of our privy council appointed a committee for trade and foreign plantations, within three months or fooner after their being enacted, togetlier with duplicates thereot, by the next conveyance, upon pain of our highest displeasure, and of the forfeiture of that year's salary wherein you thall at any time, or upon any pretence whatsoever, omit to fend over the laws and ordinances aforesaid within the time limited. And, forafmuch as that we have taken notice, in several làn's heretofore paffed within our said.island of Jamaica, tor levying mony and impofing fines and penalties, the said laws, fines, and penalties, have been raised and appropriated to several uses, without any mentiori made of us in the grant or application of the same; our will and pleasure is, that no act or order be patsed within that our illand, in any tale for levying money or impoting tines and penulties, whereby the same.


« PreviousContinue »