THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF TRINIDAD
Publication No. 283.
A Petition from Captain Poyntz to the Quieen of England.
Source:-Public Record Office. State Papers Colonial.
Published by the courtesy of the Master of the Rolls and the
Deputy Keeper of the Public Records.
July 8th, 1702.
To THE QUEEN'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.
The humble petition of Captain John Poyntz, Benjamin
Woodroffe Doctor of Divinity, Moses Stringer Physician and
Chymist, in behalf of themselves and Company sheweth
That the Islands of Tobago in America are of dangerous
consequence for harbouring Your Majesty's enemies and in
the late wars with France and Holland, most of the Caribbee
Islands were thereby much endangered, great numbers of
ships sailing to and from Barbados and the rest of the Islands
having been taken by ships harbouring there.
That Your Petitioners and Company have a joint right
with the natives to the said Island by a grant from James,
the late Duke of Courland, made in the year 1681 but by
reason of wars with France and other obstructions, have been
hitherto hindered from settling there.
That Captain Poyntz, one of Your Petitioners, hath been
eleven voyages to the said Islands of Tobago and Trinidado
and the seas thereabouts and thereby made several secret
discoveries of rich mines and lapis lazuli as also of pearls and
ambergris whence great and vast wealth (to the value of
several hundred thousand pounds) may yearly redound to
Your Majesty and your subjects if a fair trade be had with
the natives which the Emperor of the Caribbees is very
desirous of and accordingly treated favourably with
Captain Poyntz concerning the same.
That such ships, as well of war as trade, as Your
Petitioners with such merchants and others who are desirous
to join with them, are ready to fit out, Your Petitioners
would be enabled to carry on the said trade and oppose and
subdue Your Majesty's enemies.
That moreover Your Petitioners are desirous to devote
several thousand acres of land in Tobago as also the twentieth
part of such other purchases and acquisitions they shall make,
to such pious uses whereby ye Gospel may be propagated
among the Indians and others not only in the Islands of
Tobago and the adjacent Caribbees but in any other parts
of America where they shall have a free trade and ye poorer
sort of any of Your Majesty's subjects in your dominions
transporting themselves thither, may be provided for.
Wherefore Your Petitioners most humbly pray that
Your Majesty would be graciously pleased that not only the
Islands of Tobago but whatever other purchases or acquisitions
shall be made from the Indians may be annexed to Your
Majesty's Realm of England as also that Your Majesty would
be further pleased to accept the fourth part of such secret
discoveries of rich earth, mines, lapis lazuli, as also of pearls
and ambergris, &c., as Your Petitioners or any of them have
or shall make.
And that for the better encouragement of Your Petitioners,
Your Majesty would be pleased to incorporate Your
Petitioners and Company into one body corporate and
politic, with power to raise sufficient stock or stocks to set out
such ships of war and trade as shall be necessary without
any charge to Your Majesty.
And that Your Royal Consort, Prince George, would be
pleased to condescend to be the Governor of the said Company
And we shall ever pray, &c.