History of England, Part II From the Accession of Henry VIII to the Revolution of 1689

Tout, T. F. --Powell, F. York


CHAPTER VII. Foreign Trade and Colonies in the Seventeenth Century


1. The religious and political struggle which occupied the Stewart period still left England at leisure to continue in all directions the triumphal progress that had begun under . Between the accession [1]  of . and the deposition of his grandson, England became a great trading and colonising nation. In both of these movements the first impetus came from the age of , and in both subsequent progress was entirely on Elizabethan lines. Party strife affected it very little. Puritan and Anglican, Cavalier and Roundhead, Whig and Tory, each had their share in the work, and were all content to carry it on in the same way. Cromwell followed the policy of the king he supplanted, and . was content to tread in the footsteps of the Usurper. A marvellous continuity and harmony bound all classes and creeds of Englishmen together in the work of making their country great and feared.

2. Despite the vast growth of English commerce under , England was still far behind the United Provinces as regards trade and navigation. The [2]  Dutch were the common-carriers of Europe, supplying England with foreign wares of all sorts. They had the chief command of those . admirable schools for seamanship, the deep-sea fisheries off the British coasts. They snapped up the remnants of the decaying commerce of Portugal, when that land was conquered by . Their scanty population forbade extensive colonisation, but they planted numerous trading stations in the East, in Africa and in America, which became in some cases new homes for Dutchmen beyond the seas. They commanded the Indian and African markets, even supplying English colonies with negro slaves and England with Oriental produce. Small as was their territory, they excelled in manufactures, almost as much as in commerce; and England depended on them, or the French, for most of the finer sorts of manufactured wares. Yet there was no field in which the Dutch excelled which England had not already entered into for herself. Before long religious


and political friendship died away in the face of bitter commercial rivalry. The one thought of English traders was to imitate the Dutch, and, if possible, to excel them.

3. The fight was fiercest in the East. In gave a charter to the English East India Company, where-upon, [3]  in , the various Dutch societies trading in the Indies were consolidated into the Dutch East India Company. A few years later Batavia in Java was founded as a sort of Oriental Amsterdam. It soon became the commercial centre of the Hollanders' possessions in the archipelago of Further India, and the great centre of the lucrative spice trade, which the Dutch strove to keep in their own hands. This led to fierce struggles with the daring English adventurers who actively carried on a rival trade in the same district, and by the Dutch were forced to patch up an agreement which divided the Molucca islands between the Dutch and English companies, and gave the English interlopers a third of the produce. In accordance with this treaty some English planters settled down in the little island of Amboyna; but the Dutch settlers looked upon them with extraordinary hatred, and in , on the pretence that the English had conspired to take possession of the fortified posts, laid violent hands upon them, murdered some, and drove the rest from the island. This Amboyna [4] Massacre excited the strongest indignation in England, and from that moment the rivalry of the merchants began to be taken up by the nation at large. No sooner did the Treaty of Westphalia and the fall of . give both nations leisure to fight, than they eagerly went to war with each other. We have already traced the history of the Navigation [5]  Acts of and , and the three fierce .maritime wars of ,, and. [see pages 256, 280 and 285]. Though the Dutch held their own well in the actual fighting, they were, nevertheless, gradually overborne by the greater resources and enterprise of English traders. The Navigation Acts, despite some temporary inconveniences, did their work admirably by rearing up a great school of English seamen, and before the end of the century England had not only got the whole of its trade with its colonies and foreign customers in its own hands, but had won a good share in the deep-sea fisheries, and was becoming a successful rival for the general carrying-trade of the world. The triumph of


England was hastened by the Dutch needing English help against Louis XIV. When the Dutch stadtholder became King of England, the close union between the two countries meant the dependence of the Seven Provinces upon her successful rival. It was characteristic of the tendency of the age, that the century which began with wars of religion ended with wars between peoples of the same religion who differed in matters of trade.

4. As a result of this triumph over the Dutch, English factories were now set up all over Africa and Asia, and English merchants grew rich with eastern trade, especially in the prosperous times that [6]  succeeded the Restoration. In the East . India Company set up its first factory at Surat, near the mouth of the Tapti, one hundred and fifty miles north of Bombay, and a little later established another at Hoogly, as the depot for the rich trade of Bengal. Both these factories, being in Northern India, were closely under the eye of the Great Mogul, the Mohammedan potentate who ruled over the greater part of India all through the seventeenth century. Accordingly, in the Company set up a third station at Madras, on the Coromandel coast, where the Mogul's power was weak, [7]  and where they could set up for their protection a fortress, mounted with cannon, which they called Fort St. George. After , the revolt of Portugal from threatened to renew a power which had of old claimed the monopoly of Indian trade for itself, but even earlier than the Dutch the Portuguese were forced to barter trade and lands in distant continents for English support against overpowerful enemies at home. In they ceded their island of Bombay to . as part of the marriage portion of Catharine of Braganza, and in Charles [8]  handed it over to the East India Company. Its magnificent harbour, as well as the freedom from the Mogul secured by its insular position, made its acquisition a new starting-point in the history of the English power in India, though the deadly malaria that arose from its undrained swamps long made merchants prefer to live at Surat. Bombay and Madras were thus fortified territorial possessions as well as trading-factories. In , a friendly governor of Bengal permitted the English, who had been unable to thrive at Hoogly under the eye of the Mohammedan [9]  lords of India, to buy three villages lower down the


river, where they built another armed factory, styled Fort William, outside the walls of which grew up the native town of Calcutta. These three towns became the centres of the Company's work, each being ruled by a President and a Council, so that they got to be called the Three Presidency Towns. Other posts in the interior enabled the British merchants to extend their commerce all over India. They were able to leave the Dutch masters of Ceylon and the great islands of the Archipelago, and pursue their operations where Dutch rivalry was less dangerous. However, a new and more formidable foe now [10]  arose in the French East India Company, set up by Louis XIV. as part of his general scheme for making a foremost commercial power. Before the Revolution, fear of the French had begun to take the place of fear of the Dutch, and the Dutch, who shared fully in that fear, had in it another motive to keep on friendly terms with the English. But the struggle between and England in India, as in America, was not fought out until the next century.

5. Besides the East India Company other great chartered associations carried on English trade in distant lands. [11] . Among these were the Eastland Company, which competed with the Dutch for the trade of the Baltic; the Muscovy or Russia Company, which, following on the footsteps of Chancellor, pursued an active commerce with the great Russian monarchy which towards the end of the century was beginning to emerge from barbarism through the genius of its Czar, Peter the Great; and the Levant Company, which sought to continue such of the old Venetian trade with the East by the way of Egypt and Syria as the Turks still allowed. The Royal African [12]  Company, set up in its final form in by ., followed up the warfare which its three predecessors had waged against the Dutch. This struggle had been very fierce after the passing of the Navigation Act, when the English, after a desperate struggle, took the slave trade with our West Indian colonies out of the Dutch hands, after long disputes that were among the principal causes of the war of [see p. 280]. By the Peace of Breda the English acquired Cape Coast Castle, which long remained the chief of our settlements on the pestilential coast of West Africa. The African companies were not commercial successes, partly because the need of cheap negroes in the West Indies prevented


them from getting a monopoly of the trade, and partly because the constant state of war between the negro tribes, which was the condition of the slave trade, was an unsurmountable obstacle in the way of legitimate commerce. In Northern West Africa also, or Senegambia, the English had to sustain the constant rivalry of the French, and were not very fortunate. In the extreme south they were anticipated by the Dutch, who settled round the Cape of Good Hope, as a good halfway house to India. Feeling a similar need, the English India Company set up an intermediate station of its own in the remote island of St. Helena in . It was by chartered companies such as these that the first successful English colonies were planted. Trading and colonisation now went hand in hand. At nearly every point England had to fight her way to win trade and colonies.

6. In the African tropics and amidst the teeming populations and ancient civilisations of Asia, colonisation in the strict sense was almost impossible. A Colony, or, as the English of the seventeenth century [13]  called it, a Plantation, does not mean simply a dependency in a remote country. It suggests the actual settlement of a branch of the colonising people within it. Such colonies can only be established on a large scale when the population in the mother country no longer finds easy subsistence or easy outlet for its energies. This need of settling the surplus population in plantations began to be felt with us under , though, as we have seen, the projected Elizabethan colonies were in all cases failures, whether settled in distant lands, like Gilbert's Plantation of Newfoundland or Raleigh's Plantation of Virginia, or in regions so near home as Antrim or Munster. In the next generation, however, colonisation was taken up with more success. The desire for wealth and adventure inspired one class of settlers. The wish to worship God after a fashion not permitted at home led others to seek out new abodes beyond sea. Before Raleigh left the Tower for the scaffold, the first English colonies had become permanently established, not only in Ulster but in America.

7. While Spaniards and Portuguese had divided Southern and Central America, the inhospitable north still lay vacant for settlement. In two companies of merchants were incorporated by . for the purpose of colonising America. One of these was an association of west of England traders called the Plymouth Company, to which


was entrusted the settlement of the north. The other was the London Company, whose sphere was to be in the The Plymouth and London Virginia Conpanies . lands to the south of the projected Plymouth plantation. However, the western traders' ,attempt to settle in the lands afterwards called New England proved completely unsuccessful, and the London Company won the glory of establishing the first permanent English colony. The brave and strenuous Puritan clergyman, Richard Hakluyt, who had commemorated in his books the famous voyages of the last reign, and Sir George Somers, an old hero of the Spanish main, "a lamb on shore and a lion at sea," were the organisers of the enterprise, but neither went with the expedition.

On two ships and a pinnace, with a [14]  hundred and forty-three emigrants, bade adieu to England. The patriotic poet Drayton wishing them good luck in his lines:

"Cheerfully at sea, Success you still entice. To get the pearl and gold, And ours to hold Virginia, earth's only Paradise."

The voyage was long and tedious, and it was not until May that the little band planted their first settlement, which they called Jamestown, in honour of the English king, on a peninsula between Chesapeake Bay and the James river. Hakluyt had drawn up wise directions for the colonists, but their nominal leaders were incompetent. They wasted their energies in searching for gold instead of tilling the soil, and they suffered terribly from disease, famine, and the constant attacks of the Indian tribes. Nothing but the skill and resource of Captain John Smith, a boastful and reckless adventurer of great practical wisdom, saved the colony from annihilation. At last the incompetent leaders were deposed. Smith was made governor, and further shiploads of new colonists slowly increased the numbers and prosperity of the infant settlement. The most famous of these voyages was that of Sir George Somers, with a fleet of nine vessels, in , which was memorable by the wreck of Somers on the Bermudas, often called the Somers Islands after him. The company at home watched over the fortunes of the colony with anxious care, but with too great an anxiety for


immediate dividends. The severest discipline was found necessary to force the thriftless and idle settlers to work for their living, but gradually the first difficulties were overcome. As the colonists grew more self-reliant, the company allowed them more liberty. In the period of military rule was ended and a popular parliament was set up called the House of Burgesses, which much more closely represented the settlers than the House of [15]  Commons represented England. The executive power went to the Governor, who had a veto on legislation; and a Council, nominated by the Crown, in some wise represented the House of Lords, though its members sat with the Burgesses in a single house. Thus Virginia became governed by a constitution modelled on the English fashion. In . quashed the company's charter, and took the government of Virginia into his own hands. This step, which made the analogy with England more complete, allowed the colony to work out its own destinies unfettered by home direction. In religion as in politics, Virginia followed England. Its earlier settlers were churchmen of the Calvinistic, half-Puritan sort, that prevailed under , but they were intolerant of Independents and Sectaries, and insisted on the Prayer Book being used in all the churches of the colony. Gradually the settlement assumed a distinct economic type. The land became divided into large estates, owned by gentlemen proprietors, many of them younger sons of good English houses, who formed a governing aristocracy, living in rude plenty on their isolated plantations. Their chief crop was tobacco, of which they had a monopoly for supplying the English market, and which became so abundant that it was often used, instead of gold and silver, as currency. Repeated attempts were made to enforce by law the growth of corn and other food crops, as well as the breeding of cattle and pigs, lest the colony should become dependent on imported provisions, or suffer from periodical famines. The tobacco plantations were tilled partly by imported servants, bound by indenture to serve their masters for a term of years, and partly by white slaves, either transported criminals, vagrants, and political prisoners, or poor people, kidnapped in England by vile speculators who sold them to the planters. These were also bound to service for varying terms of years. The native Indians were found of little use as labourers, and from early times negro slaves were brought over from Africa, but before the


Restoration their number was very small. The white servants, when the term of service had expired, were not of the right sort to make good yeomen farmers, and the generous climate and the abundance of fertile land made it
easy for them to settle down in happy idleness and poverty, the ancestors of the " mean whites " of later history. There were few towns and little trade or manufactures, but every plantation had a navigable river at its door, whence its


tobacco was taken direct to Bristol or London. Despite some grave drawbacks, the colony grew prosperous, and the planter aristocracy, though infected with the laxity and pride of its class, produced high-spirited and gallant gentlemen, able to wage war in the House of Burgesses against an unpopular governor, or secure the direction of affairs on the lines of which they themselves approved. The Virginians had little interest in the struggle between . and his Parliaments, but in they indignantly refused to be ruled by an Independent Commonwealth, and proclaimed ., declaring that the "late most pious king" was "deserving of altars and monuments in the hearts of all good men." But they yielded at once to the two warships sent out by the Rump to enforce their surrender, though they gladly welcomed the Restoration.

8. The success of the Virginia Plantation made it the first of a long series. The most important of these was the result of very different motives from those which had inspired the adventurers that had peopled Virginia. The small and unpopular minority [16]  of Independent Separatists in England had hard work to make headway against the persecutions of Whitgift and . Despairing of England, the members of the Independent congregation at Scrooby in north Nottinghamshire, near the boundary, migrated in to Holland. After a few years their poor prospects in an overpopulated foreign land turned their attention to America, and they bargained with the Virginia Company for permission to settle in its territories. The Plymouth Company had now been revived. The indefatigable John Smith had explored its old sphere north of Virginia, had given the region the name of New England, and had strongly urged its importance as a fishing station, and as a possible centre for a new settlement. In the Pilgrim Fathers, as they were afterwards called, crossed over to Southampton, and, [17]  adding to their number a few English brethren, sailed from that port, a little more than a hundred in number, in the Mayflowerand another smaller craft. Chance drove them ashore far north of Virginia, but they determined to take up their settlement there. Landing near Cape Cod, they planted their first abodes on the mainland on the western side of Cape Cod Bay, which Smith had already called Plymouth. At first they had to contend with terrible difficulties, and more than half the little band


perished of cold and famine during the first severe New Eng land winter. But the Sectaries had perseverance and en thusiasm, and being already accustomed to act [18]  together, were easier to discipline and control than the scattered units who made up the first colonists of Virginia. At first they constituted but a single family, having the land and all their goods in common. In a few years, however, they gave up their socialism, and settled down each man in his own solid log-built homestead, with his little farm, and his own cattle pasturing in the common meadow. At first, too, the whole community met together to pass laws, but gradually the principle of representation prevailed and a local parliament grew up. The Plymouth settlement never became important, but the halo of poetry and legend, with which New England sentiment has surrounded its doings, will ever keep its memory green.

9. After the success of the Plymouth plantation, many isolated and independent settlements gradually grew up [19] in New England. The small settlements of fishermen north of Piscataqua Bay became the nucleus of the later New Hampshire and Maine, and some traders from Dorchester set up in a small settlement at Cape Ann in Massachusetts Bay, between these plantations and Plymouth. The Dorchester Settlement proved a failure, but in a royal charter established a new colonising corporation called the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England. Under the auspices of this company a colony on a large scale was organised, under strict discipline and with a definitely Puritan tinge. It was backed by many men of wealth, influence, and position, and successfully carried out on a large scale the ideas which the Plymouth pilgrims had realised in their humbler way. From its efforts dates the real settlement of New England. In the government of the colony was transferred from England to America, and John Winthrop, a landowner of great wisdom and moderation, went out as its first resident governor. The first capital was Charlestown, on the north bank of the Charles River, named in honour of the new English king, but it was soon deserted for Boston, a healthier site on the south side of the same stream. Though the first emigrants were not all Separatists, they quickly drifted into Independency in their new home. In they passed a law that no man should have political rights, unless


he were a member of an Independent church. They ruthlessly expelled those who used the Prayer Book, along with "Antinomians and libertines." They escaped from the fetters of bishops and High Commission in England, only to forge still heavier chains for all who settled with them beyond the Atlantic.

10. In a young Welshman, Roger Williams, landed in Massachusetts Bay, and was soon made minister of the important town of Salem. He was a quickwitted, [21]  good-natured, pugnacious, self-centred, and restless enthusiast, without much perseverance, balance, or practical wisdom, and dominated by abstract theories, according to which he wished to reform his own life and that of his fellows. He was almost the first Englishman who joined to Separatist principles the doctrine that the State had nothing to do with the Church, and he soon revolted from the state-church of Massachusetts as vehemently as he had revolted from the state-church in England. After scandalising all parties he was expelled from the colony. In he made his way southward to the shores of Narragansett Bay to the west of the Plymouth plantation, where he bought land of the Indians and established a new colony called Providence, on the basis of absolute religious liberty and the complete withdrawal of the State from all ecclesiastical concerns. He now adopted Anabaptist views, and was baptized by immersion with many of his followers. In Providence united with three neighbouring townships to form the colony of Rhode Island, [22] which remained, however, a federation in which each of the four townships retained its local liberty. So strongly did Williams's principles prevail, that Rhode Island, alone of the colonies, refused to condemn men of any race to permanent slavery, and even the appearance of the Quakers did not cause it to depart from its horror of religious persecution. In the scattered settlements of emigrants from Massachusetts at Hartford, in the valley of the Connecticut river, were united in a new colony with a thoroughly democratic constitution that only imposed the test of church membership on its governor. In a separate colony [23] was established at Newhaven, more to the west, on the coast opposite Long Island Sound. Here as in Massachusetts the identity of Church and State was upheld by church membership being made the condition of citizen.


ship. Further progress westward was barred by the Dutch interlopers, who, reckless of English claims, had raised their settlement of the New Netherlands at the mouth of the Hudson, while to the north the French settlements of Canada and Acadie forbade progress in a region uninviting through its rigorous climate. The colonisation of New [24] England was now complete, and in Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and NewHaven united in a rude confederation, called the United Colonies of New England, from which, however, tolerant and rebel Rhode Island was excluded.

11. The New England colonies became a group by themselves, both by reason of their climate and soil, and through [25] the circumstances of their settlement. Nature made impossible the cultivation of tobacco, and the land was tilled not in great plantations, but in small farms, whose yeomen proprietors lived together in villages, cultivating their fields with little help outside their family. There was thus neither a wealthy aristocracy nor a depressed proletariat. The rude climate and soil required a fiercer struggle for existence than in the south, and stimulated the energy which the Puritan emigrants brought with them. The settlers traded with the Indians and with the southern and tropical colonies, whose wants they soon learned how to supply. They built ships and supplemented agriculture by fisheries. They lived a free and vigorous but quarrelsome and narrow life, prizing their practical independence of the mother country, and their democratic institutions, which in some cases allowed them even to appoint their own governor. The Church was the basis of the State, and the township or organised community grew naturally out of the ecclesiastical organisation. The settlers kept at arm's-length the unsatisfactory elements that will always flow into a new country, by the rule that confined citizenship to churchmembers, and by refusing to admit the criminal or the outcast within the sacred fold. If they made little use of penal servants from the old country, and less of negro slaves, it was not because they had (save the Rhode Islanders) any scruples in the matter, but because the economical circumstances of the country made such assistance of little use. They ruthlessly swept away the native Indians, regarding them as the children of Israel regarded the Canaanites. They were not, however, mere religious enthusiasts, but hard-headed men of business. Both the


Plymouth and the Massachusetts settlers had enough of the wisdom of the serpent to keep in the background their separatist tendencies when seeking charters and favours of the English king, though, when once established in the New World, they exercised an iron discipline that might well have excited Laud's envy; and, at a time when the English Separatists were demanding freedom of worship and toleration as a right, most of the New England colonies zealously strove to root out all dissent from Puritanism and Independency. Their stern, strenuous, thrifty, unlovely character made them admirable colonists. In a quiet way they soon began to thrive exceedingly and multiply rapidly. Nor were brighter aspects of their character wanting. They showed from the first great care for education, and ordered that schools should be set up in every populous township. In Massachusetts established a college at a place near Boston, which they called Cambridge, [26]  while they soon gave the college the name of its liberal benefactorJohn Harvard. The printing press was early at work, and despite constant theological wrangles, and hideous persecutions of witches, Antinomians, Anabaptists, and Quakers, Massachusetts became the intellectual centre of New England. It was also politically the dominant partner in the federation, and its aggressions were anxiously watched by its weaker neighbours. It absorbed New Hampshire and Maine as its dependencies, and constantly threatened Rhode Island. Newhaven also united itself with Connecticut, thus reducing the number of separate colonies. The Great Rebellion called some of the fiercer spirits back to the old country; and it is characteristic of the temper of New England that Puritan extremists like Sir Harry Vane and Hugh Peters received part of their political training in that colony. By the middle of the century it was computed that there were eighty thousand Englishmen dwelling in New England.

12. At the time of .'s breach with , George Calvert, a disciple of Robert Cecil's, gave up his Secretaryship of State, became a Roman Catholic and Lord Baltimore, and devoted the remainder [27]  of his life to "that ancient, primitive, and heroic work of planting the world." His first project was to settle Gilbert's abandoned plantation of Newfoundland, and in he sent colonists thither, going there himself in . But the inclemency of the climate, and the hostility of the Puritan fishermen to a Papist lord,


induced Baltimore to remove with all his colonists to a more genial and less suspicious region. Repulsed from Jamestown by the Virginian settlers, because he would not take the Oath of Supremacy, Baltimore went back to England, where he died in . A few weeks after his death, . granted a charter to his son Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, which gave him absolute proprietary rights over a large territory north of the Potomac, on both shores of the upper part of Chesapeake Bay. The district was called Maryland, in honour of .'s queen, and two chief features marked out the enterprise. Maryland was the first Proprietary Colony, the lordship over which was exercised by a great landlord, who had complete royal rights within his estate after the feudal fashion, like the ancient Earls Palatine or the Lords Marcher in . It was, moreover, destined for the settlement of Roman Catholics, whose lot in England was not less hard than that of the Separatists. However, it was impossible for any English king to agree to set up a Catholic state, and in the Maryland charter tied Baltimore's hands by providing that all churches in the colony should be devoted to the service of the Church of England, which was thus made the official Church. Baltimore was able, however, to secure toleration for the Catholics, who largely composed the early population, though it was not till that legal provision was made for religious liberty. The northern neighbour of Virginia, Maryland resembled the older colony in its economic conditions, though there was deadly hostility between them, and the free planter aristocracy formed a very different sort of government from that of the lord of Maryland. To the north the new colony approached the New Netherlands, which centred round the Hudson valley and blocked the prospects of a continued series of English colonies along the east coast.

13. Besides the two great groups of colonies on the mainland, the first half of the seventeenth century saw the establishment of numerous [28] English settlements in the islands adjacent to America. Early among them was the Plantation of the Bermudas, first settled in , and ruled from to by the Governors and Company of the City of London for the Plantation of the Somer Islands. The colony flourished exceeedingly, and was famous for its beautiful climate, where, as Waller sang:

So sweet the air, so moderate the clime, None sickly lives, or dies before his time; Heaven sure has kept this spot of earth uncurst To show how all things were created first."


The colony received a representative assembly only one year later than Virginia, and, including negroes and white bondservants, had about three thousand inhabitants before .

14. The Lesser Antilles, as the more eastern West Indian Islands are called, had been among the first of Columbus' discoveries, but their small size and the absence of gold caused the Spaniards to pass them by. [29]  In the early part of the seventeenth century they gradually attracted settlers from all the chief maritime nations. The Dutch, who aimed only at trade, occupied some, though they preferred for their purpose the mainland of South America and the islands adjacent to it. The English and French, more intent on cultivating the soil, found the small size, fertility, and easiness of access of the West India islands exceedingly attractive to them. In some English sailors landed at Barbados, and claimed the island as English, though the first settlers came there in . Even before that the English had colonised St. Kitts, alongside [30]  with a French settlement, the two peoples agreeing to be at peace, even when and England were at war. From this partial settlement of one little island a constant stream of English colonists overflowed into the other northern or Leeward Islands; Nevis and Barbuda being settled in , and Antigua and Montserrat in , the latter two by Irish Catholics. In the larger Windward Islands, more to the south, the Carib natives were formidable foes, and there the French, who got on better with them, made more progress than the English. . granted all the " Caribbean Islands" to James Hay, Earl of Carlisle: and fierce disputes between the proprietor and other claimants checked their progress. After Carlisle's death his rights were sold to Lord Willoughby of Parham, who after fighting for the Parliament against ., went out to Barbados after , and upheld the cause of . so vigorously, that, alone of the royalist colonies, Barbados gave the ships of the Rump considerable trouble to reduce it. The tropical climate of the West Indies unfitted them for the products or the labour of temperate climes. At first the West India islands grew tobacco, but the climate was unsuited to it, and they gradually made the sugar cane, introduced from Brazil, their main crop. These islands were the first English colonies to make extensive use of negro slave-labour,


though white bond-slaves were also largely employed in the Barbados plantations all through the seventeenth century. Thousands of prisoners, especially Scots and Irish, were shipped off to this miserable fate by Cromwell and the Long Parliament after the later victories of the Civil War; while the Bristol merchants made a regular rade of kidnapping labourers, and thus were able to compete with the Dutch, in whose hands the trade in negroes then mainly resided. Before the Restoration Barbados had attained a dense population, great wealth, and prosperity, though even there the English settlers were the minority, and the mass of the population were black slaves. Other English settlements were made in the Bahamas and on the coast of Guiana, but they were not of much account. The capture of the great Spanish island of Jamaica in started a new period of development for the British West Indies. It was the first island won by conquest as opposed to settlement.

15. Despite the European settlements, the West Indies were still a lawless region, and the decline of the Spanish power made the first three-quarters of the seventeenth century the time of the prosperity of the Buccaneers. The name Buccancer [31]  comes from the boucan or wooden grid on which the sailors and adventurers in wild lands grilled or dried their meat, and is less specially appropriate to these desperadoes than that of Filibusters, which is derived from the Dutch flyboats, or swift-sailing vessels, in which they pursued their trade. The Buccaneers were men of all nations, English, Dutch, and French, and were bound together by a love of plunder and a common hatred of . The governments of the three trading states largely sympathised with them in their hatred of the monopolist and exclusive policy of , and some of the best of them retained a touch of the old crusading spirit of Drake or the "Water-beggars" of Holland. The extraordinary weakness and imbecility of the Spaniards gave them their best chance, and for many years the little island of Tortuga was a cosmopolitan corsair-state that played havoc with the Spanish settlements. The tale of the buccaneers is a story of hideous violence, cruelty, and greed, but their desperate bravery and fierce heroism surrounded these degenerate descendants of the Elizabethan marauders with a faint halo of romance. Henry Morgan (), the most famous British representative of them, was a poor Welsh boy from Glamorganshire, kidnapped by the Bristol merchants and sold as a white slave at Barbados. At the end of his term of service Morgan joined the buccaneers, and soon became so famous that they made him their admiral. After many and daring adventures, he crowned his career in by the capture of Panama, under circumstances every whit as bold and heroic as those of any exploit of Drake or Hawkins. Though England and were at peace, the English in Jamaica hailed the slayer of the Spaniards as a


hero; and a few years later he lecame a knight and governor of Jamaica. But Morgan was almost the last of his race. Frightened by his exploits, recognized the foreign settlers in her midst as she had never done before. Far from receiving support at home, later buccaneers fought for their own hands, and was free to hang as many as she could catch. The growing rivalry of England and broke up the honour among thieves that had made the union of pirates from different lands easy and possible. in her weakness struck up a friendship with England. The later buccaneers became mere pirates, the offscourings of humanity, with nothing heroic or noble to set against their greedy and businesslike pursuit of plunder and murder. Yet they had done their work in breaking down the last remnants of Spanish trade, and our greatest West Indian possession, Jamaica, owes more to the buccaneers than to Penn and Venables, or to Cromwell himself. The French buccaneers procured for a large share of Hispaniola. All alike were heralds of free trade, though they proclaimed its principles in characters of blood and fire.

16. The period between the Restoration and the Revolution marked a great advance of the older colonies and the establishment of several new ones. The Navigation Acts secured for English ships [32]  the monopoly of colonial trade, but the first effect of this was only to deprive the Dutch of a large share of business, and most of the English settlers cared so little about navigation that it was indifferent to them that they were deprived by the Acts of their best chance of developing a local navy. In a special Council for Foreign Plantations was set up, after the model of a similar colonial department established by Cromwell. The result of such measures was an increased interference on the part of the mother country that gave rise to a great deal of friction, despite the fact that . and his ministers intervened with intelligence and wisdom, besides protecting the colonies from the increasing danger of attacks from foreign enemies. This home supervision specially touched the West Indies and Virginia. In the former, the abolition of proprietary government in Barbados () and the other islands, the separation in of the Leeward Islands from Barbados and the Windward Caribbean islands in a separate government, and an attempt a little later at a systematic plan of federation, were so many marks of progress. New islands were now settled, as, for example, the Virgin Islands and more of the Bahamas. By the Treaty of Breda the English settlements in Guiana went to the Dutch; but the gradual settlement of log-cutters in Yucatan, the origin of


the later British Honduras, showed that England had not forgotten the mainland. In Virginia the even progress of the colony was only slightly disturbed by the revolt of Nathaniel Bacon, who burnt Jamestown to the ground, and dreamt of a union with Maryland and Carolina, and the assertion of the independence of the three colonies (). The increasing suspicion of Papists now caused the withdrawal of most of the rights of the house of Calvert over Maryland.

New England was more resentful than the southern colonies of home control. Yet home influence contributed to the wise reduction of the number of colonies. Newhaven was almost forcibly absorbed in Connecticut in ; and Plymouth, which had politically become a mere cypher, was incorporated with Massachusetts in . On the other hand jealousy of Massachusetts induced the establishment of a separate Government in the proprietary colony of New Hampshire in , though Maine, which the great Puritan colony had purchased, remained on her hands as a dependency. After a strong struggle with the colonists, the Tory reaction at the end of .'s reign issued a writ of quo warranto inquiring by what authority Massachusetts exercised its franchises; and in her charter was annulled, and the colony, thus reduced to comparative dependence, gladly welcomed the Revolution, which restored it to its former rights. Before the end of the century the exclusive Puritanism of New England began to break up, and the churches of Massachusetts gradually relaxed the conditions of the church membership that still remained the gate of citizenship. So little scrupulous were the New Englanders of their ways of getting rich, that they made a regular business of fitting out pirate craft to prey on the traders of the distant Indian Ocean.

17. More important than the development of the old colonies was the establishment of new ones. The English [33]  hold of the eastern coast of could never be regarded as secure, so long as the Dutch possessions in the Hudson Valley cut off New England from the Virginian group by a deep wedge of hostile territory. It was therefore of great future moment that, during the Dutch War of .'s reign, the New Netherlands were conquered and that their possession was confirmed to England by the Peace of Breda (). . granted the conquered district to his brother James; and in


honour of the proprietor the land and its capital received the name of New York; while New Orange, the up-country trading station on the Hudson, was called New Albany, after James's second title. James governed New York as a strict proprietary colony, and it was not until that he allowed the inhabitants the rights of choosing an Assembly, after the fashion of the other colonies. James disposed of the western parts of the New Netherlands to Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret, from whom they got the name of New Jersey, since Carteret was a Jersey man. Before long Berkeley sold his moiety to some Quaker proprietors, who in agreed with Carteret to divide the province, Carteret's share being called New East Jersey, while the Quakers' property took the name of New West Jersey. West Jersey was soon largely peopled by the persecuted " Friends," who laid down absolute religious liberty as the first principle of its constitution, and resolved that "all elections be not determined by the common and confused ways of cries and voices, but by putting balls into ballotingboxes."

18. In a charter was given to an influential body ot proprietors, among whom were Albemarle, Clarendon and Ashley, to set up a new colony, called after [34] . Carolina, in the southern lands between Virginia and the Spanish colony of Florida. The district was already partially settled by emigrants from New England, Virginia and Barbados. In the swampy forests of the north a scattered and spiritless population of squatters grew up, whose only wealth lay in their herds of swine. The northern settlers gradually drifted apart from the flourishing planters in the more fertile lands to the south, where Charlestown the capital was situated. South Carolina was the first colony to rely from the beginning on the labour of negro slaves, who could be the more readily imported now that the Navigation Act transferred the trade from Dutch to English ships. Its population was riotous and disorderly, and the absentee proprietors found great difficulty in enforcing obedience. This became more important when, in , the famous Whig philosopher John Locke drew up at his patron Ashley's request an elaborate scheme of government for Carolina called The Fundamental Constitutions.

This was the strange and fantastic scheme of an abstract theorist, which, though never fully adopted in the colony, is of much interest


in the history of political ideas. The government was to be put in the hands of a feudal aristocracy, the head of which, chosen from [35]  among the proprietors, was called the Palatine, under whom was a body of hereditary nobles, fantastically styled Landgraves and Caciques. The proprietors were to form the Palatine's Court, and the Parliament was to consist of proprietors, nobles and representatives of the freeholders, all sitting in one assembly. The proprietors held the executive and judicial power, and each received a sounding title, such as Chancellor, Admiral, Justice and Treasurer. No citizen of Carolina had full rights unless he was a member of a church, but any seven persons could found a church, which enjoyed full religious liberty, if it accepted the doctrines of the existence of God, the duty of public worship, and the necessity of oaths. The whole early history of Carolina is the record of the quarrels between the inhabitants and the proprietors, in the course of which Locke's Constitutions were gradually dropped. Later on, the colony was formally divided into North and South Carolina.

19. Towards the end of .'s reign the colony of Pennsylvania was founded. Its originator, William Penn, [36] the famous Quaker, was the son of Admiral Penn, the conqueror of Jamaica and a man of good education and high social position, who, to the amusement of the fashionable world, became a Quaker in costume, creed and conduct. His desire to help his persecuted co-religionists led him to become one of the trustees of West New Jersey, which through his influence was largely settled by " Friends." The success of this enterprise led Penn to embark in a wider scheme of colonisation, in which he followed and developed the principles already applied in the Jerseys. In he obtained from the Crown a grant of the country west of the Delaware, which in honour of his father he called Pennsylvania. He obtained as proprietor both the executive and legislative power, subject to the assent of the free settlers, and in , he drew up a democratic constitution for his colony.

By this constitution a Provincial Council and a General Assembly, both elected by ballot, were set up. In the courts of law all cases were to be tried by jury, and no oaths were imposed. [37]  All who believed in God and accepted the Christian moral code were allowed to hold religious worship after their own fashion. Harsh laws were passed by the Assembly against swearing, intemperance, play-going, card-playing, "and other evil sports and games."

In Penn went to America and founded the city of Philadelphia. Besides the Quakers, many Germans and


Dutch settled in the new colony, which at once began to flourish. Penn was a well-meaning enthusiast, with much zeal but no great practical wisdom. His constitution broke down almost from the beginning by reason of the conflicts of the Council and the General Assembly, to which latter body Penn was forced to make over the legislative power. With all his humanity and piety, he did not scruple to possess negro slaves, but it is remembered to his honour that he was the first American legislator who sought to give legal rights both to them and to the Indians, and it was a great sorrow to him that the opposition of the slaveholding General Assembly prevented him from giving effect to all his desire to improve the condition of the blacks.

20. In , at the instance of Prince Rupert, the Hudson's Bay Company was set up with a monopoly of trade and settlement in the regions surrounding Hudson's [38]  Bay, which were called Rupertsland in honour of the prince. The operations of this company first brought England into competition with the trappers and hunters of the French settlements of Canada.

21. Thus in the course of the seventeenth century England made itself a great commercial and colonising power. Its trading stations in India and Africa, its [39]  colonies in and the West Indies spread the fame of the English race all over the world. Though the English came late in this field, they had won their way by their superior strength, energy and ability, and not seldom by their utter recklessness and unscrupulous greed. They had outdistanced Portugal and beaten Holland after a severe contest. Their colonies were more important than those of any European state save , and they were infinitely superior to the Spaniards in all that makes successful settlers. They had still to fight out their struggle with France, but French colonisation and foreign trade were so little spontaneous that all the energies of Louis XIV. could do little to give them reality, and when the fight came, England had acquired so strong a position that her ultimate success was certain. The Englishmen of the Stewart period were never more like their modern descendants than when busily and successfully engaged in spreading our commerce and our race over distant continents. Despite the vices of a system that regarded colonies as existing for the good of the mother country, and the neglect and


carelessness of a later age that thought little of the New England beyond the sea, the impulse that began with the foundation of Virginia and Massachusetts and with the setting up of the East India Company has done more than anything else to give the British race the great position which it now holds.


[1] England becomes a gret commercial and colonising nation

[2] the foreigntrade of theSeven UnitedProvinces

[3] The rivalry of England and Holland in the East.

[4] The Amboyna Massacre, 1623.

[5] The NavigationAct and the struggle at sea

[6] The English factories in India

[7] Madras 1639

[8] Bombay 1663

[9] Calcutta 1690.

[10] The new rivlry ofFrance.

[11] Chartered Trading Companies

[12] West African Settlements.

[13] The need for English Colonies.

[14] The Plantation of Virginia, 1607.

[15] The constitution and early history of Virginia.

[16] The Separatist Church at Scrooby and its migration, 1608-1620

[17] The Pilgrim Fathers and the voyage of the Mayflower, 1620.

[18] The PlymouthSettlement,1620.

[19] The Massachusetts Company and the Massachusetts, 1629.

[21] Roger Williama and the settlement atProvidence, 1636

[22] Rhode Island established, 1647.

[23] Plantation ofConnecticut, 1638, and New Haven, 1639.

[24] The federation of the four colonies, 1643

[25] Characteristics of the New England settlements.

[26] Preponderance ofMassachusetts.

[27] Lord Baltimore and the Plantation of Maryland, 1632.

[28] The Bermudas 1612.

[29] The West Indies

[30] Barbadoes and St. Kitts, 1625.

[31] The Buccaneers of the WestIndies.

[32] Advance of the older Colonies,between 1660and 1689

[33] Conquest of New York and theNew Jerseys,1667.

[34] The Plantation of the Carolinas, 1663.

[35] John Locke's Fundamental Constitutions for Carolina, 1667.

[36] William Penn and the settlement of Pennsylvania, 1681.

[37] Penn's Constitution for Pennsylvania, 1682.

[38] Rupertsland.

[39] The first stage in the Expansionof England and its results.