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leading position on the side of the enemy, establishes a line
of connection between these events and later ones of equal



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THE BB8TOBATIOK AND THB BOYAL COMMISSION 147

ment. For twenty years, as clerk, expert, or responsible CHAP.

official, Williamson's influence is traceable in every event of y '^

importance which affected the colonies. Among those who
at this time sought to influence the government upon the
issues which affected the northern colonies, none apparently
grasped the situation more fully or urged his views more
persistently than did Samuel Maverick, a man whom we have
already met and whose activity at this time will receive
further attention.

If we add to the individuals who have just been mentioned,
NicoUs, Werden, Randolph, Cranfield, Blathwayt, South-
well, Sawyer, and rise from them to courtiers and statesmen
of higher rank, — Berkeley, Culpeper, Arlington, Carteret,
Shaftesbury, Clarendon, and the Duke of York himself, — we
shall enumerate in part the group of leaders from whom pro-
ceeded the colonial policy of the Restoration. They be-
longed mainly to the Tory connection and were prominent in
the vigorous assertion of the powers of the executive which
distinguished the fifteen years and more that preceded the
Revolution. The policy which they applied to the colonies
was of the same general character as that which they sup-
ported at home. For their prominence and influence in
colonial affairs they are comparable with Raleigh, Gilbert,
and their associates in the Elizabethan age and with Gorges,
Smith, Sandys, and other colonizers of the early Stuart
reigns. ^

But whether or not the suggestions to which reference has
been made were precisely the ones that were adopted, they
fitted in perfectly with the tendencies of the times and re-
semble to a marked degree the plan which soon took form.
They also agreed well with the committee system, which to
a large extent was perpetuated after the Restoration. The
growth in the volume of business which occurred after 1660
promoted ihU tendency. By orders in council or by ^^i^kQaJe




148 IMPEBIAL COKTBOL

places. Thus, by a free adaptation of means to ends,
of which the gradual development of the cabinet furnishes
the classical example, the executive business of the English
government was done. During the years immediately
following the Restoration we hear of a committee for the plan-
tations or for the foreign plantations; and this was perpetu-
ated, though with changes from time to time in its personnel.
A standing committee for trade and commerce was appointed.
We also hear of a committee for Jamaica and Algiers, of one
for Jamaica alone, of one for the Guinea trade, of one for
the royal company of adventurers, of one for the Newfound-
land fisheries. Occasionally the entire council sat as a
committee of plantations.^

On July 4, 1660, a little more than a month after the
return of the king, under an order in council a committ^
was appointed to deliberate on petitions which had been
presented by various merchants who were trading to the
plantations in America. This committee was to receive
further petitions or proposals relating to the plantations
and report to the privy council. Among the members of
this body were the lord chamberlain (Earl of Manchester),
the lord treasurer (Earl of Southampton), Lord Say and
Sele, Denzill HoUis, Secretaries Nicholas and Morrice, and
Anthony Ashley Cooper. References appear to this group
during the next few months under the name of the commit-
tee for foreign plantations or for plantations in America.*

When it was desired to create a body somewhat more
permanent than a committee, but one which should work in
connection with the privy council and subordinate to it, a
formal commission was issued, accompanied, if thought
needful, by instructions; and by this means a standing
council or board of commissioners was brought into exist-
ence. But after the committee system developed, it is not

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THE BESTOBATION AlfD THE BOYAL COMMISSION 149

sioners, when they were created, supplanted the committees.
The evidence apparently warrants the conclusion that the
two continued to exist together and were used, the council
for the permanent and general work of administration, and
the committees for specific purposes. After the Restoration,
moreover, the domestic and foreign trade of England was,
so far as possible, administered separately from the trade
and other affairs of the plantations. The plantations were
treated as a group or unit by themselves. Still, all English
interests, however distinct in location or in character, were
superintended by the leading ministers and privy councillors,
aided by such experts as they called to their assistance.
Therefore all interests and policies came to a common clear-
ing-house in the end, and there was a similarity of procedure
among all the bodies concerned.

When, therefore, on November 7, 1660, just two months
after the passage of the navigation act, a patent was issued
for the establishment of a council for trade,^ and on the first
of the following December another patent establishing a
council for foreign plantations, it did not imply that these
bodies superseded all existing committees within their field.
Their existence did not have this result, for evidence is \
abundant to the effect that many committees were later \
formed within the privy council to act or report on a great
variety of matters connected with trade and colonization.
The patents of November 7 and December 1 created standing
councils, consisting largely of ministers and privy council-
lors, but also containing merchants and other experts, whose
duty it was during a considerable period of time to con-
sider and promote English interests at large within the entire
field of trade and colonization. Committees in the meantime
dealt with a variety of special and temporary interests.

The membership of the council for trade and of the coun-

1 N. r. Col Do«s. in. 80 ; Colonial Papers, 1674-1660, 490, 492 ; I>o^QQle
Tupera, 1660-1361, 319, 868, 356, and succeeding entries. Possibly a O



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160 IMPERIAL CONTROL

cil for foreign plantations was much the same. Lord Chan-
cellor Hyde was at the head of both, and associated with him
were the principal officers of state, especially the lord treas-
urer and Sir Edward Nicholas, secretary of state. Among
the merchants whose names appear in both lists were Thomas
Povey and Martin Noell, while the name of John Lymbery
also appears on the council for foreign plantations. The coun-
cil of trade was empowered to consider how the navigation,
trade, and manufactures of the kingdom might be improved
and to report its views to the king. In the commission and
instructions to the council for foreign plantations the empha-
sis was laid on colonial trade, and the policy of the crown in
^ reference to the colonies was outlined. " We have judged it
V I meet and necessary,'* the commission states, " that so many
^ remote colonies and governments, so many ways considerable
^ to our crown and dignity . • ., should now no longer remain
\ in a loose and scattered condition, but should be collected
and brought under such a uniform inspection and conduct
that we may the better apply our royal councells to their
future regulation, securitie and improvement." In view of
the growing trade and population of the colonies, it was also
declared that, " in all treaties and leagues with foreign princes
and allies, the security and prosperity of trade and commerce
shall be tenderly considered and provided for." It was thus
clearly announced that the extension of trade and coloniza-
tion was thenceforth to be a leading object of English foreign
policy.

The new council was instructed to secure and keep copies
of all grants from the crown ; to obtain from the governors
all possible information concerning the way in which the
colonies were governed, their laws, and the state of their de-
fences. As often as necessary, the council was required to
inform the kinsr of the complaints of the colonists, of the



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THE BESTOBATIOK AND TELE BOYAL COBiMISSION 151

come from them. The idea was repeatedly enforced that the
administration of the colonies must be made more certain
and uniform, and that they should be treated as a whole
rather than singly. The Society for the Propagation of the
Gospel in New England was at this time rechartered,^ and
the council was instructed to care for the maintenance of
orthodox ministers in the colonies and for the extension of
Christianity among the natives. The instructions closed
with a clause of general import, requiring the council to
dispose of all matters relating to the good government and
improvement of the colonies, using its utmost skill and pru-
dence. In cases where its members should judge that fur-
ther powers were necessary, they should apply to the king or
the privy council.

Before the council for foreign plantations was formed the
affairs of the West Indies had been prominently before the
government. So had the conflicting claims of Elliot, Temple,
and Crown to Nova Scotia, while the former doings of the
Kirkes in Canada and other northern regions were an object
of inquiry. In Virginia Governor Samuel Mathews had
died, in January, 1660. The assembly, being already aware
that the kingship was likely to be restored, had turned at
once to Berkeley, who was still a resident of the province.
He was restored to the governorship in March, though as the
servant of the "grand assembly,** the supremacy of which
within the province was for the time being fully acknowl-
edged.* To the acts of the session which was held when Berke-
ley was elected, the assembly prefixed the declaration that,
because there was then in England "noe resident absolute and
generall confessed power," the assembly declared itself su-
preme and required that all writs should issue in its name.
But at the close of July the restored king issued a commis-
sion to Berkeley as royal governor.* In the autumn of

^ Robert Boyle, who was president of the society, was »lJ%*it|^®^^^^OQlc
the council for foreign plantations. ^ ^^ ^ o




152 OfPEBIAL COKTBOL

1660, when the fact of the Restoration was known and had
been duly announced, the assembly met in the king's name
and the forms of royal government were fully restored
within Virginia.

If one is to judge from the records which it has left, the
activity of the council for foreign plantations was quite
marked for about a year after its creation; then it diminished
and wholly ceased with the year 1668. The chief activity of
the board preceded the Dutch war of 1665 to 1667, and
seems to have been lessened by that event. ^ Thomas Povey
was especially prominent in all its early transactions. The
business of the council began with an inquiry into the affairs
of Jamaica and of New England. This revealed the fact that
it was not so easy to secure information about New England
as it was about the island colonies, and delay ensued. The
affairs of Barbadoes also came prominently before it. It in-
quired into the conflicting claims respecting Nova Scotia.
The necessity of limiting the tobacco culture and of diversi-
fying the industry of Virginia came under consideration.
It deliberated on the method of supplying servants to the
plantations, and on the status of Jews in the colonies.
Through the petitions of various parties who had grievances
against Massachusetts it presently obtained some insight into
New England affairs, and those continued for some time to
occupy its attention. But in one report it expressed itself
as convinced that Jamaica was capable of being made '^ the
most eminent plantation of all his Majesty's distant domin-
ions."* In order to facilitate its efforts the council, which
was nearly as large as the privy council, created several sub-
ordinate committees. References appear to committees on
New England, on Maine, on Nova Scotia, on the Quakei*s, and
on Barbadoes. Its procedure was evidently an imitation of

1 Its records, under the title of Minutes of the Council for Foreign Planta-
tions, will be found in Colonial Papeis, 1661-1668. In these entries the term
committee, or committee of council, is frequently used, the title thus hidioat-



1 ▲L^ ^.iul.1— i^_



THE BESTOBATION AND THE BOYAL COMMISSION 153

that of the privy council, a fact which may be assumed to CHAP.
have been true of all the commissions of the period. , y

One of the first duties of the new plantation board was to
draft a letter which, with certain variations, could be sent
to Barbadoes, Virginia, and New England. . In this letter,
which was despatched to Virginia in the spring of 1661, the
fact of the appointment of the plantation council was an-
nounced, and the governors were directed to send to it an
account of their system of government, of their militia and
other means of defence, of their revenue and expenditures.
A statement of the population of their colonies, arranged
according to spcial classes, was also required, with an ac-
count of the products raised and full statistics as to trade.
They were particularly warned to enforce the act of trade,
to suppress immorality, and to maintain worship according
to the forms of the Church of England. Virginia was
told to send over a list of its parishes and to encourage the
settlemient of Anglican pastors. With the letters went the
king's declaration from Breda and the act of indemnity
which had recently been passed by parliament.^

In the case of Virginia, however, the information thus
called for was probably gfiven by the governor in person,
for, owing to rumors that an effort would be made to revive
the old company, the assembly, at its session of March, 1661,
resolved^ to send Berkeley to England as agent, and voted
to raise 200,000 pounds of tobacco to meet his expenses.
Berkeley was absent on this errand till the fall of 1662,
Francis Moryson serving in the interval as deputy gov-
ernor. Of the details of his doings as agent we have no
knowledge, but nothing more was heard of the proposal
for the reestablishment of the company. It is certain that
Berkeley, during his residence in England, was thrown into
connection with the group of merchants, officials, and court-
iers who, from various motives, were interested in scheme^^^^^Tp



154 IMPERIAL CONTBOL

PART eight to receive the patent of Carolina, while two years later,
, ' , jointly with Sir George Carteret, he received from the Duke
of York the grant of New Jersey. For a time he was also
lord lieutenant of Ireland. At an earlier date, during the
period of the Stuart exile, he had also been interested in a
plan for the establishment of a proprietorship in Virginia.
He was a typical courtier of the early period of Charles II,
loose in morals, an autocrat in his notions of government, and
a high churchman in religion. In the last two qualities the
governor of Virginia fully shared, while for a period he too
was an active member of the board of proprietors of Carolina.
Berkeley returned to his province fully, sharing in its
spirit of loyalty and of Anglican orthodoxy, and entered
upon a second administration which was to continue for
more than fifteen years. The first half and more of this
term was, with a few exceptions, a period of quiet pros-
perity and growth in Virginia. Through the avenues of
trade and personal intercourse, as well as by the ordinary
process of administration, intimate connection with England
was maintained. The devotion of Virginia to the restored
monarchy was shown by an act passed in 1661 which pro-
vided that the anniversary of the execution of Charles I
should be perpetually kept as a fast, and the anniversary
of the restoration as a day of thanksgfiving. Probably in
no other colony would such legislation as this have been
possible. But the cavalier, Berkeley, was eminently fitted to
be the leader of a society which was animated by this spirit,
and for more than a decade he enjoyed in Virginia a degree
of respect amounting almost to reverence.^ In Maryland,
likewise, the proprietary regime was fully reestablished,
and for a considerable time it continued undisturbed by
internal strife or by conflict with any outside power.

So far, therefore, as the continental colonies were con-
cerned, the questions which demanded immediate attention
were the settlement of disoutes within New En&rland. the




THB RESTORATION AND THB ROYAL COMMISSION 155

tions as interdependent and treated them collectively, as dis-
tinct but not unconnected aspects of the same colonial policy.
The reoccupation of New Netherland was an incident of the
struggle with the Dutch for commercial supremacy, while at
the same time it involved a resumption of active administra-
tion in the southern part of the old territory of Northern
Virginia, or more exactly in the middle region which under
the grant of 1606 had been left free to the two companies
for joint settlement. The view systematically advocated
by the English government implied that, owing to the
failure of the Plymouth patentees, and later of the New
England council, to successfully prosecute their plans of
colonization, that region had been left open, and Dutch
adventurers had forced their way in and taken possession.
They had secured the best part of the beaver trade and had
become carriers of much of the tobacco and of other prod-
ucts of the English colonies, as well as of their European
imports, on the ocean. Their subjection or removal was
therefore regarded as an incident both of the territorial and
trade policy of England. Partisans even went so far as to
affirm that the Dutch government had never acknowledged
the work of these squatters or made itself responsible for
the defence of the territory which they had occupied.
Therefore should England resume possession of its own,
it would not be a casus belli. This view, of course, was
extreme and inconclusive, for it ignored a whole series of
facts which have been elsewhere set forth. But it suited
well the imperialistic ambitions of George Downing, of the
New England colonists, and of the English merchants and
officials. After the Restoration events both in England
and America tended steadily toward this consummation,
until, in March, 1664, the decisive step was taken by the
issue of the charter to the Duke of York. By that patent
the province of New Netherland, though still in the possegfQgle




156 DfPEBIAL CONTBOL

a special object of interest to the king and the English gov-
emment itself, but that on the accession of James it would
become a royal province. The grant, as originally made,
was vast in extent, and had the duke at the time been as
fully conscious of his opportunities in America as was
Nicolls, his governor, it would not have been diminished
by sub-grants. But even as it was, it set up an obstacle
to the westward expansion of New England, while Long
Island and the two dependencies which were joined with
it — Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket and the district
between Pemaquid and Nova Scotia — were suggestive of
the old grant of Northern Virginia, or of that of 1620 to the
New England council. It is possible, even in the Duke of
York's patent of 1664, to see the faint sketch of a vast royal
province which should envelop the New England colonies
and by its growth realize the dreams which Sir Ferdinando
Gorges had cherished throughout his life. The project
originated among those who were the political heirs of
Gorges and his supporters under the early Stuarts, and it was
the first stroke after the Restoration which had as its object
the revival of the ideals and policy which had led to the
resignation of the charter of the New England council. It
appears in history as a most important landmark in the
development of that type of colonization of which Gorges
was one of the earliest exponents.

When viewed in this light, it becomes evident that the
establishment of the English province of New York was an
event of profound significance, not only in itself, but in its
relations to New England. English statesmen of the period,
and those among their advisers who were most alive to
American issues, were aware of this, and events as they pro-
gressed brought out the fact in ever clearer relief.
J If we view colonial affairs chiefly in their political and

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THE BBSTOBATION AND THE BOYAL COMMISSION 157

to insist upon the necessity of a genuine recognition by the CHAP,
colonists of English sovereignty, would also be ready to join ^ ^

in the demand that some steps be taken to bring Massa-
chusetts into greater harmony with tendencies that were
operative in the colonies generally. A due regard also to
private rights would lead to a similar conclusion. Finally,
there was even less probability of obedience to the acts of
trade in New England than elsewhere. The attempt of
Gorges and his friends, in the reign of Charles I, to force
New England into the mould of the royal province had
failed. During the period of the Commonwealth and Pro-
tectorate that section had been left almost to itself. With
the restoration of the kingship, therefore, it was inevitable
that some steps should be taken to establish relations between
the English government and the New England colonies
which would better facilitate the exercise of imperial control.
Early in 1661 petitions in considerable number from those
who had grievances against Massachusetts were presented
before the English government. They came chiefly from
Edward Godfrey, Captain Thomas Breedon, Samuel Mav-
erick, Archibald Henderson, John Gifford and associates
who had been concerned in iron works, young Ferdinando
Gorges, Robert Mason, and last of all from the Quakers.^
The burden of Godfrey's complaint, and of that of Gorges,
was the encroachment of Massachusetts on Maine. Godfrey
in particular stated how for years he had vainly labored
both in the colonies and in England to secure justice, but had
failed. His defence of the rights of Gorges, which he claimed
were coincident with the rights of the king and the true lib-
erties of Englishmen, had occasioned the loss of much of his
property. He now demanded justice. He charged that
Massachusetts was aiming at independence, while as an in-
ducement tor interference in the interest of the crown he



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168 IMPERIAL CONTROL

which he had obtained from Charles I, and on the act of usur-
pation by which, when weakened through civil war at home,
he and his heirs had been robbed of that grant. Robert Mason
made similar representations concerning New Hampshire.

Captain Breedon submitted the book of laws of Massa-
chusetts, called attention to the religious test, to the failure
of the magistrates to take or administer the oath of alle-
giance. He found that many were opposed to acknowledging
the king or owning any dependence on England. Yet, ac-
cording to his exaggerated claim, two thirds of the soldiers
were non-freemen and would be glad to have officers who
bore the king's commission. Breedon dwelt with special
emphasis on the fact that the regicides, Whalley and Goffe,
had been sheltered in New England. Of this he was one of
the first to give information in England.

In 1653, or thereabouts, John Gifford, agent of William
Beck and other English undertakers in the iron works at
Lynn, had been sued in the county court by his principals ^
for the sum of £13,000, the loss of which they claimed to
have sustained because of errors and fraud in Gifford's
accounting. In 1654 the case came on appeal before the
general court, and several hearings were held. The case
had gone against Gifford, and he had been held for brief
periods as a prisoner and put under heavy bail. Maverick
and others had furnished bail for him. Beck and his English
associates now petitioned the home government for redress,
alleging that for supposed debts their estates in Massa-
chusetts had been seized, their agent had been imprisoned,
and they had not yet been able to find a remedy.

The petitioners to whom reference has been made, with
all their associates, joined in the request that a general gov-
ernor should be sent to New England. The petitions from
Quakers were siened bv Nicholas Upshall, Samuel Shattuck,

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THE RESTORATIOK AND THE BOYAL COMMISSION 169

the other petitions were committed, the Quakers of course
took no interest.

The only petition which was presented against any colony
except Massachusetts, was that of Giles Sylvester, of Shelter



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