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PERIOD FROM LORD WILLOUGHBY'S RESTORATION AS GOVERNOR TO HIS DEATH IN 1674.
UPON the return of the King after the restoration, Lord Willoughby, who had been instrumental in accelerating that event, applied to his Majesty for a renewal of his commission. Eight or nine years of the lease granted to him were still unexpired, and Charles the Second, to reward his services, restored him to the government of Barbados, with the title of Captain General and Governor-in-chief of the Island of Barbados and all other the Caribbee islands. Lord Willoughby meanwhile appointed Colonel Thomas Walrond, his friend and a faithful adherent of the royal cause (for which he had been banished from the island) his Deputy-Governor, and in order to strengthen this commission he obtained from the King a mandamus, nominating Walrond President of the Council'.
Numerous laws which tended to the prosperity of the island were passed during Walrond's administration. Agriculture was not overlooked, and in order to render the island independent of other countries, an act passed the Legislature for the encouragement of such "as shall plant or raise provisions to sell." The Court of Common Pleas was established, the ministers of the church were placed on a better footing, commissioners for highways were settled, the rights between master and servant were defined, and a special court was erected for the speedy adjustment of disputes in commercial transactions between merchants, mariners, &c.; the militia was not overlooked, and the fortifications were kept in repair. Indeed Colonel Walrond's administration gave general satisfaction.
The King, in order to reward the services of such of the inhabitants as had remained faithful to him during the revolution, raised (on the 18th of February 1661), seven gentlemen to baronets, and conferred the dignity of knighthood on six others of the island: Sir John Colleton, Sir Thomas Modyford, Sir James Drax, Sir Robert Davers, Sir Robert Hacket, Sir John Yeamans, and Sir Timothy Thornhill were created baronets; and upon Sir John Witham, Sir Robert Le Gard, Sir John Worsum, Sir John Rawdon, Sir Edwin Stede, and Sir Willoughby Chamberlayne the honour of knighthood was conferred?. This gracious measure was no doubt intended to cover the harsh proceedings which the
1 Colonel, (afterwards Sir Thomas) Modyford removed with his large property to Jamaica, where he introduced the cultivation of sugar. He succeeded Colonel Lynch as Governor of Jamaica in 1663.
2 Oldmixon's British Empire in America, vol. ii. p. 110.
government contemplated against the planters. Instead of removing the restrictions with which the Commonwealth had fettered the commerce of the colonies, Charles the Second not only adopted and confirmed the navigation laws, but rendered them still more stringent, by decreeing that the master and three-fourths of the mariners should be English subjects.
This however was not the only instance of an ungrateful return for their fidelity to the King which the Barbadians received. Lord Willoughby's application for a renewal of his commission made it evident to the planters that they were still regarded, under the patent of the Earl of Carlisle, as mere tenants-at-will; and although two acts had passed, one in the time of Governor Bell, and the other five years afterwards under Lord Willoughby-confirming their rights to their several estates, they considered that their validity might be sooner or later disputed. Lord Clarendon, in his defence attached to his autobiography', says,—
"All those men who had entered upon that plantation as a waste place, and had, with great charge brought it to that perfection, and with great trouble, began now to apprehend that they must depend upon the good will of the Earl of Carlisle and Lord Willoughby for the enjoyment of their estates there, which they had hitherto looked upon as their own. All these men joined together in an appeal to the king, and humbly prayed his protection, and that they might not be oppressed by these two lords. They pleaded that they were the king's subjects; that they had repaired thither as to a desolate place, and had by their industry obtained a livelihood there, when they could not with a good conscience stay in England. That if they should be now left to those lords to ransom themselves, and compound for their estates, they must leave the country, and the plantation would be destroyed, which yielded his Majesty so good a revenue. That they could defend themselves by law against the Earl of Carlisle's title, if his Majesty did not countenance it by a new grant of the government to the Lord Willoughby, and therefore they were suitors to his Majesty, that he would not destroy them by that countenance."
While these proceedings were pending the second Earl of Carlisle died, and bequeathed his rights in the West Indies to the Earl of Kinnoul. The planters, in their petition to the King, insisted positively that the charter granted to the first Earl of Carlisle was void; and they proposed that either the King should grant them leave to institute in his name, but at their own cost, a process in the Exchequer for trying the validity of the Earl's patent, or that he should leave those who claimed under it to their legal remedy. They pretended that neither the late nor the first Earl of Carlisle had incurred the smallest expense in settling the island, and they had hitherto derived large profits from the island, which the inhabitants considered a sufficient reward for their adventure.
Every day arose new claimants on the revenue which might accrue 'Life of Edward Earl of Clarendon; written by himself, 3rd edition, vol. iii. p. 933 et seq.
from the Earl's possessions, and the King appointed several Lords of the Council to consider the whole matter, and to confer with the several parties, and if possible to make an end between them by their own consent; otherwise to report the several titles to his Majesty, with such expedients as in their judgement they thought most likely to give general satisfaction, without endangering the plantation, "the preservation whereof his Majesty took to heart." The contending parties, as well as the merchants and planters interested in Barbados then resident in England, were heard before the Committee. Mr. Kendall, the more readily to induce the King to take the sovereignty of the island into his own hands, offered in the name of the planters to consent to a tax on all produce of the island, which he confidently thought would "amount in the year to three thousand pounds at least, out of which his Majesty's Governor might be well supported, and his Majesty dispose of the overplus as he should think fit." This was too tempting a proposition to be resisted; and the King resolved in the first place to refer the consideration of the validity and legality of the patent of the Earl of Carlisle to his the legal advisers of the Crown, who upon full deliberation, and after hearing all parties, returned their opinion, "that the patent was void, and that his Majesty might take the same into his own power." This report was no sooner made than the King declared "he would not receive from hence any benefit or advantage to himself until all the claims of the creditors on the revenue had been satisfied, and therefore that Lord Willoughby should proceed on his voyage to Barbados, and should receive, according to his bargain, a moiety of the profits arising from the tax; and that the other part should be disposed of for the satisfaction of the debts and the other incumbrances of the Earl of Carlisle."
The same Committee of Lords were desired to meet again, for the purpose of making some computation of the yearly revenue which would arise from this impost, and to adjust the several proportions of the claims. But the planters, when called before the Committee to give information respecting the annual revenue, denied that Mr. Kendall possessed any authority to make such an offer as he had done before the King in council, and declared that the plantation could not bear the imposition he had mentioned: the utmost they could be brought to promise for themselves was, that they would endeavour to persuade their friends in the island, when Lord Willoughby should arrive there and summon an Assembly, to consent to as great an impost as the circumstances of the colony would admit.
The claimants on the revenue were the creditors of the Earl of Carlisle, who was indebted at his death in the sum of eighty thousand pounds. The heirs of the Earl of Marlborough put in a claim for the arrears of the annuity of three hundred pounds, which had been granted by the first Earl of Carlisle to the Lord Treasurer as a compromise for the
priority of his grant of Barbados, and which had never as yet been paid. Lord Willoughby insisted on receiving a moiety of whatever profits might arise during the remainder of the term of his lease yet unexpired: the other moiety was claimed by the Earl of Kinnoul, but neither he, nor the person under whom he claimed, should have any right to this moiety till all the debts were satisfied. Instead of trying the legality of the Earl's patent, the Lords advised a compromise of the matter, as they thought it an unseasonable time, "when the nation was so active and industrious in foreign plantations, to see a charter or patent questioned or avoided, after it had been so many years allowed and countenanced." Their Lordships proposed therefore, first, an honourable and immediate provision for the Earl of Kinnoul, who, it was alleged, had sacrificed his fortune in the King's cause, and who had consented to surrender the patent of the Earl of Carlisle if such a provision were made to him; secondly, a full discharge of the Earl of Marlborough's annuity; thirdly, it was stipulated that the net revenue should be equally divided between Lord Willoughby and the creditors of the Earl of Carlisle during the unexpired term of his Lordship's lease. On the expiration of that term, the remainder, after the reservation of so much as his Majesty should think fit for the support of his Governor, was ordered to be divided among the creditors until their just debts should be discharged. On the settlement of those several incumbrances, it was stipulated that the whole revenue subject to the charge of the Governor's maintenance should be at the disposal of the Crown. These were the terms on which it was proposed that the proprietary government should be dissolved, and the planters should consider themselves as legally confirmed in the possession of their estates.
To accomplish this object Lord Willoughby was urged to proceed without delay to Barbados, and endeavour to obtain from the Assembly such an impost on their native commodities as should be reasonable, in consideration of the great benefits they would enjoy in being continued in possession of their plantations, of which as yet they were but tenantsat-will. Lord Willoughby arrived in Barbados in August 1663, where he found the Assembly sitting. In his zeal to accomplish his mission, he neglected to call a new Assembly, but submitted the proposition to the one which he found sitting: it was opposed with loud murmurs, and every means of persuasion and even force was required to induce the representatives of the people to consent to such a heavy impost. Colonel Farmer, an extensive proprietor who headed the opposition, was arrested and sent prisoner to England, on charge of sedition and high-treason. On his arrival he was brought before the King in council, where, according to Lord Clarendon, he behaved in so indecorous a manner, that he was remanded to prison, nor did he obtain his liberty till after a tedious and severe confinement.
Lord Willoughby ultimately gained his object, and the Legislature,
in consideration of the great charges that there must be of necessity in maintaining the dignity and honour of His Majesty's authority here, and all other expenses incumbent on the Government in Barbados, passed an Act on the 12th of September 1663, for "settling the impost of fourand-half per cent. in specie upon all dead commodities of the growth or produce of this island that shall be shipped off the same."
This enormous duty fell heavily on the planters of Barbados for one hundred and seventy-five years; in spite of all endeavours during succeeding generations to relieve themselves of this heavy burden, it was only repealed in the reign of her present Majesty.
Charles the Second had declared war against the States-General. The Dutch fitted out an expedition, under the command of the celebrated Admiral De Ruyter, which was to be directed against the British posses sions. After destroying the English settlements on the coast of Africa, he arrived on the 29th of April 1665, with a fleet of twelve line-of-battle ships, two fire-ships and several small craft, and two thousand five hundred men. He met near the island about thirty merchant-vessels, under the escort of a man-of-war: he ran nearly all these on shore. On the 30th the squadron entered the bay; but on the news of its approach the vessels had been towed close to land between the two batteries; and when De Ruyter attempted to follow, he was received with such a brisk fire from the batteries, that his own vessel, the Mirror, was disabled, and after a fruitless attempt at landing he was obliged to withdraw with the loss of masts, ten men killed, and fifteen wounded'.
In the beginning of May 1666, Lord Willoughby sent his nephew Lieutenant-General Henry Willoughby, with eight hundred men to reinforce Colonel Wats at St. Christopher's; the island had however surrendered before the arrival of this assistance. Part of the troops were landed at Nevis and part at Antigua, and this commander sent to his uncle Lord Willoughby for further orders. The outrages committed by the French in conjunction with the Dutch upon the British Caribbee islands, determined Lord Willoughby to conduct an expedition himself in order to chastise the aggressors. It is stated by others that he received the King's orders for this purpose, and this is evident from the circumstance that his Majesty had appointed Henry Willoughby, Henry Hawley and Samuel Barwick, joint commissioners or deputy governors to conduct the administration during Lord Willoughby's absence. His Lordship sailed on the 28th of July 1666, with seventeen sail and nearly two thousand troops, and took possession of St. Lucia. On the 30th he was off St. Pierre under French colours, and on the 2nd of August off Guadaloupe. On the 4th he sent three frigates and some smaller vessels in the Saints to destroy some French ships which were lying there.
1 Life of Michel De Ruyter. Amsterdam, 1698,
' Warden, Chronol. Historique de l'Amérique, vol. viii. p.