The pirate base of "Carolana" began an imperialistic endeavor to steal Spain's territory and wealth in 1629, but stalled because of the vagaries of aristocracy and politics. Still, it probably invigorated naturalist and author John Lawson to come to Carolina (especially to Bath County) and a group of French Huguenot refugees to land in Virginia that same fall of 1700. Finally, Carolana dissipated as an English attempt to settle Louisiana ahead of the French, both vying for more pieces of Spain's weakened and treasure-laden empire. "Carolina" took Carolana's place in 1663 and remains today. Bath County got a slow, but attentive, start and was eventually settled by the turn of the eighteenth century. Huguenot refugees had been intimately involved with Bath County's development long before most of us realized and with only a few years in Virginia. Some reset their sights upon Bath County, North Carolina.
|1651 map of Virginia by John Farrar; it includes the "Carolana" patent of Sir Robert Heath.|
Elizabeth I used Sir Francis Drake, Sir John Hawkins, and other of her "Sea Dogs" to pirate Spain's wealth in America. The Stuart King James I succeeded Elizabeth I upon her death and he resisted Elizabeth’s imperialist and pseudo-criminal policies against Spain. James’ son, King Charles I, however, rekindled England’s imperialistic ambitions. As King Charles saw it, the proprietary sister colonies that would be Carolina and the Bahamas were England’s best opportunity to raid Spain’s treasure fleets leaving from the Caribbean. They first needed to establish control over the ships entering and leaving the Caribbean.
In April, 1629, Charles granted the Caribbee Islands to his favorite, Sir James Hay, first earl of Carlisle. The Caribbees controlled traffic entering the Caribbean east to west from Europe and thus was certainly a strategic location. The Florida Straits, another important strategic location, allowed maritime traffic from the Caribbean to reach Europe by the northern trade winds that traveled west to east in higher latitudes. Spanish treasure galleons depended upon this channel to sail their bullion home to Seville from the New World. It was essentially the only way back to Spain and the only reasonable route for their flota and galeónes fleets to leave the Caribbean, brimming with treasure and greatly coveted by the English Crown.
Charles I also granted his chief justice Sir Robert Heath all the land in mainland America between the latitudes of 31 deg and 36 deg in the same year, land claimed at that time by his most Catholic Majesty, Phillip III of Spain. The king hoped to prevent Spain’s recovery of Virginia as well as gaining a foothold on their stolen territory. This grant of “Carolana,” then including the Bahamas, straddled the Florida Straits and gave England full control of traffic leaving the Caribbean. Spain mightily resisted this intrusion.
|1740 Charles Leslie map of the Bahamas-Caribbean - note the southern boundary for the more recent Carolina as opposed to the former Carolana. At included the already 100-year-old Spanish town of St. Augustine.|
Protestant Huguenots originally escaped Catholic France; they joined England against Catholic Spain. Monsieur de Belavene, the Huguenot refugee who had initially proposed Carolana to provide a colony for protestant French refugees, also proposed that the colony could serve as a base against Spain. Belavene used the strategic importance of Carolana to the English. He told the English that “if the Spaniard can hinder it, he will do it.” As historian Paul E. Kopperman writes:
On June 24 Belavene wrote an unnamed addressee, likely [Secretary of State Dudley Carleton, Lord] Dorchester, that it would be in England's best interests to establish a colony in "Florida," that is, in the land south of Virginia. Belavene's scheme was ambitious. At the outset, the plantation was to include 2,000 men. These settlers would soon come to prosper through agriculture and manufacture. Their main function, however, would be to prepare their colony to serve as a base for an offensive against Spain in the Caribbean. Within four years, Belavene predicted, the fleets based in the proposed plantation would be capable of sealing off the passage of the Spanish treasure convoys, a state of affairs that would promote England's prosperity and Spain's ruin. [Paul E. Kopperman, "Profile of Failure: The Carolana Project, 1629-1640," North Carolina Historical Review, Vol. 59, No. 1 (January, 1982), pp. 1-23.]
Dudley Carleton, 1st Viscount Dorchester
Heath was one of the original members in the Council for New England. From 1619-1621, he had also been fairly active in the Virginia Company. Kopperman wrote "In 1620, on his petition, the company had granted him and several partners title to a tract of land in Virginia, and, although it appears that they had failed to settle it, he had throughout the 1620s retained an interest in the colony, so much so that crown officials in Virginia had looked to him as a prime advocate at court."
Heath had the support of several influential courtiers. "Perhaps most helpful of all was [the earl of] Carlisle, [James Hay,] Heath's patron, a director of the Virginia Company, and a man who, as a fellow proprietor, was to link Carolana closely to the Caribbees."
Even before 1629, Heath enfeoffed George, Lord Berkeley, with the northern half of Carolana. He also invested Sir Richard Grenville with the lower three degrees of his tract which may have included the Bahamas. On October 30, 1629, at Westminster, the official grant was issued:
Grant to Sir Robert Heath, Attorney-General of a territory in America betwixt 31 and 36 degrees of North Latitude, not inhabited by the subjects of any Christian King, but partly inhabited by barbarous men who have not any knowledge of the Divine Deity. Sir Robert Heath, being about to lead thither a large and plentiful colony of men professing the true religion, and applying themselves to the culture of said lands and to merchandising, the King grants to said Sir Robert all that river of St. Matthew on the south side, and of Passamagno (the Great Pass) on the north side, with all lands between the same to the ocean east and west, together with the Islands of Veajus and Bahamas, and all other islands lying southerly or near upon said continent, with all ports, creeks, rivers, lakes, fisheries, minerals, precious stones, &c.; and furthermore, the patronage of all churches there to be built, with as ample privileges as any Bishop of Durham ever had within his See, to said Sir Robert, his heirs and assigns, as absolute Lords and Proprietors, with the intention that said Sir Robert should plant the same according to certain instructions signed by his Majesty of the date of these presents and remaining with his Majesty's Principal Secretary... And further, his Majesty erects and incorporates said territories into a province to be called for all time Carolana and the Carolanean Islands....
Hugh Lamy, chief negotiator for the Huguenots, indicated a tract of land between the 34th and 35th parallels of Carolana, including the future Bath region of North Carolina (see map). By February 24, 1630, Carlisle had already secured an appointment for Lamy as receiver-general of Carolana and the Caribbees.
|34th to 35th parallels including the future Bath region of North Carolina|
|King Charles II of England|
… all that territory or tract of ground, scituate, lying and being within our dominions of America, extending from the north end of the island called Lucke island, which lieth in the southern Virginia seas, and within six and thirty degrees of the northern latitude, and to the west as far as the south seas, and so southerly as far as the river St Matthias, which bordereth upon the coast of Florida, and within one and thirty degrees of northern latitude, and so west in a direct line as far as the south seas aforesaid.
The Carolina Charter was extended two years later to the current Virginia-North Carolina state line in the north and to well-below St. Augustine, Florida, founded 100 years before by the Spanish in 1565. The Spanish had abandoned Pensacola two years earlier, but reoccupied it in response to this invasive charter.
|The Great Seal of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina was used on all official papers of the Lords Proprietors. The reverse side depicted the eight heraldic shields of the Proprietors surrounding a Cross of Saint George|
The North Carolina Manual describes in detail the Great Seal of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina. This seal represents clear imperial intent. The obverse side showed a “shield bearing on its face two cornucopias crossed, filled with products.” Two Native Americans support the shield, on the “sinister side,” carrying a spear and the opposite an “Indian squaw with a papoose by her side and one in her arms.” The unknown author of this sketch offered the note, “These natives, I imagine are supposed to be bringing tribute.”
Charles II bequeathed his royal approbation as “Magnum Sigillum Carolinœ Dominorum." The proprietors’ primary instructions read as Domitus cultoribus orbis, “to dominate and conquer the world,” to piratically take all. Again, the primary intent was to dominate Spain’s possessions, including the produce of their silver and gold mines. King Charles II proudly styled his aristocratic pirates as the “Corporation of the Barbadoes Adventurers,” alluding to the pirate-capitalist connection.
Carolina was divided into three largely self-governing legislative districts. Albemarle, where a loose settlement of runaway Virginians mixed with itinerant merchant mariners and Indian traders already existed and sat below Virginia on the northern extent of the Carolina grant. Clarendon, skipping the Bath region, was the next southward on the Cape Fear River where the first failed attempt to settle Charles Town was made by Puritans and Barbadians. Craven was the third, on the Cooper and Ashley Rivers, where the final settlement of Charles Town was made in 1671, also by Barbadians.
Carolana was forgotten for decades though the patent was passed from owner to owner. Carolina under the Proprietors began to grow, first in the Albemarle with its Virginian "runaway" settlers.
Interestingly, the Bath region as well as the Bahamas were ignored in this second attempt of "Carolina." The Bahamas were re-introduced in 1671, but not Bath. Soon, the idea of Bath County grew to fruition once again. In 1696, a new county formed south of Albemarle, first called “Bath” for Lord John Granville, earl of Bath. Bath Town, incorporated in 1705, became the major settlement and Port Bath the favored port of entry there because of its greater depth than Roanoke Inlet, the gradually closing entrance to the Albemarle Sound." This area became an important region in the new Carolina, probably first recognized by Huguenots. Also, again, Huguenots eyed the Pamlico and Neuse River basins as a possible new home.
|Thomas Howard, Lord Maltravers|
|William Howard, of Naworth Castle|
Andrew Lawson was probably the son of Robert and Isabella Lawson and the nephew of John Lawson, captain of the guard of horse for Charles I and owner of Brough Hall in County York. During the Interregnum, Capt. Lawson lost his estate for his Toryism and support of Charles I, then beheaded. Upon restoration, "In consideration of his great sufferings, he was created a Baronet by King Charles II., 6 July 1665." Sir John Lawson, now an admiral in the king's navy, married Catherine, daughter of Sir William Howard of Naworth (younger brother of Thomas Howard, duke of Norfolk and known as "Lord Maltravers," who bought Carolana from Sir Robert Heath's estate) and sister to Sir Charles Howard, the next earl of Carlisle after James Hay [John Bernard Burke, A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire].
|Naworth Castle, Cumberland, England. The seat of the Barons Dacre, currently occupied by Philip Howard, brother and heir presumptive of the 13th Earl of Carlisle.|
|Admiral Sir John Lawson|
The Worshipful Society of London Apothecaries reassigned Lawson to James Hayes (later Sir James Hayes of Bedgebury, Kent), another member of the Royal Society and son of James Hayes of Beckington, Somerset (what relationship he may have had, if any, to James Hay, earl of Carlisle is unknown). The younger Hayes attended St Paul's School of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, matriculated and joined Lincoln's Inn in 1649. Hayes was called to the Bar in 1656, became MP for Marlborough in 1659, a Recorder of Marlborough (1659), and Secretary to Prince Rupert (FRS 1665). By May 20, 1663, he had been elected a member of the Royal Society. [http://collections.royalsociety.org].
Founded in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, the Chelsea Physic Garden is, besides the Oxford Botanical Garden, founded in 1621, the oldest botanical garden in England. Its guide describes it as "at its peak, during the 1700s, the most important centre for plant exchange on the planet." [http://www.lawsontrek.com/along-the-path-blog]
Dr. Hans Sloane, whose collection founded the British Museum, was a physician who had apprenticed as an apothecary. Petiver, who had dozens of corresponding collectors and whose contribution made up more than a third of Sloane's final collection, was an apothecary, "at the White Cross, near Long Lane in Aldersgate Street." The apothecary was where people went for help with their health, for information on their world.... Sloane's own story makes the case. Well-enough known to enlightenment luminaries like philosopher John Locke and naturalist John Ray to be a member of the Royal Society in 1685, Sloane traveled to Jamaica as a court physician; while there he encountered a local combination of water and chocolate that he called "nauseaous." An apothecary doesn't leave poor enough alone. He allegedly discovered that by adding milk he made the beverage delightful and thereby created what we call hot chocolate, which took England by storm [http://www.lawsontrek.com/along-the-path-blog]. [Note: The actual origins of milk chocolate, however, are possibly much earlier.]
Sir Hans Sloane
Coxe became the first to successfully settle Carolana; however, with the Carolina patent already in place of the older Carolana one, the boundaries had to be reinterpreted. Coxe intended to settle French refugees on this patent, at first, west of Carolina on unplanted territories of its patent along the Gulf of Mexico. Carolinians hoped that the Mississippi region (then part of Carolina) may be peopled with Englishmen, in order to prevent the French from gaining control of the backcountry, or beyond the Appalachian Mountains. Lest we not forget that Spain still claimed this land, by then, for almost two centuries; they were, however, more accepting of a Catholic nation like France. In 1698, the French, learning of Dr. Coxe's plans to explore and people the Mississippi, sent an expedition to counter Coxe's plans:
Dr. Daniel Coxe sent two ships to Carolana/Florida in October 1698. As he tells it, there were "in both Vessels, besides Sailors and Common Men, above Thirty English and French Volunteers, some Noblemen, and all Gentlemen." Among the French Huguenot refugees were Olivier de la Muce and two sons of Charles de Sailly. The voyage from England to Charleston, their initial destination, lasted around three months. If the two ships had left England in October 1698 they would have arrived at Charleston in January 1699. The ships and passengers wintered at Charleston from January 1699-May 1699. One of the two ships on the Coxe expedition remained at Charleston. The other ship apparently was shipwrecked on its return to England. It is not clear why it returned early. Sometime during this winter interval, a locally-built vessel, the Carolina Galley [Capt. William Bond], was readied for the exploratory trip to find the Mississippi River...
A crucial segment of this entire voyage was the portion from Charleston to the Mississippi River. Commanded by Captain William Bond, the Carolina Galley set forth from Charleston in May 1699, rounded Florida, and proceeded westward along the Florida coast, and, after some confusion in finding the mouth of the river, arrived at the Mississippi on 29 August 1699. The English vessel commanded by Captain Bond (with French Protestants on board) met a French party (the Catholic ones, serving King Louis XIV) commanded by Bienville on the Mississippi River. The spot on the river where they met has since that time been called the English Turn. Evidence of this meeting is provided in the journal Of the ship Renornmée, in which overall French commander Iberville reported the results of the meeting his brother, Bienville, had with Bond on the Mississippi: "Those ships were sent out on behalf of a company formed at London by some Englishmen and French refugees. On this ship was a man [Olivier, Marquis de la Muce] representing the interests Of those two groups; the Frenchman was greatly distrusted by the English; he told my brother about it and testified that he wished with all his heart, as did every single one of the French refugees, that the king would permit them to settle in this country, under his rule, with liberty of conscience. He guaranteed that many would soon be here who were unhappy under English rule, which could not be sympathetic to the French temperament, and he begged my brother to ask me to bear their petition to the king; and he left for me his address in Carolina and in London, so that I can write them the king's will about it." [David E. Lambert, Studies in Church History, Volume 12 : Protestant International and the Huguenot Migration to Virginia].
|Daniel Coxe Jr.|
|A Map of Carolana and of the River Meschacebe [Mississippi] (1722) by Daniel Coxe, Junior.|
The settlement of the Huguenots in Virginia proceeded as planned and on April 23, 1700, 500 French refugees left in four ships from the Thames intending for Virginia. The Marquis de la Muce, interestingly styled as "Deputy Governor of Carolina," accompanied the fleet, leaving England the following day. The ships arrived in New York in late July and then made Lynhaven Bay of Virginia by July 23, 1700. There, Gov. Francis Nicholson wrote to the Board on August 1st that:
The 24th of the last moneth [travel time lag] I had the great honour to receive His Majesty's letter, March 18th, and your Lordships' letter, April 12th, concerning the French Protestant Refugees. As I have, so I will endeavour to obey his Majesty's commands about ym. They were on board the ship Mary and Anne of London, George Haws, commander, who had about 13 weeks' passage [left ca. mid-April], and the 23rd of the last moneth arrived at the mouth of this river. I immediately went down to Kikotan to give directions in order to their coming hither, some of which came on Sunday in the evening, the rest the next day [ships separated and arrived at different times]. I writ to Col. Byrd and Col. Harrison to meet ym here, which they did; and we concluded that there was no settling of ym in Norfolk nor thereabouts, because 'tis esteemed an unhealthfull place, and no vacant land except some yt is in dispute now betwixt us and North Carolina; so we thought it would be best for ym to go to a place about twenty miles above the Falls of James River, commonly called the Manikin Town.
In the Year 1700, when People flock'd from all Parts of the Christian World, to see the Solemnity of the Grand Jubilee at Rome, my Intention, at that Time, being to travel, I accidentally met with a Gentleman, who had been Abroad, and was very well acquainted with the Ways of Living in both Indies; of whom, having made Enquiry concerning them, he assur'd me, that Carolina was the best Country I could go to; and, that there then lay a Ship in the Thames, in which I might have my Passage. I laid hold on this Opportunity, and was not long on Board, before we fell down the River, and sail'd to Cowes; where, having taken in some Passengers, we proceeded on our Voyage, 'till we sprung a-leak, and were forc'd into the Islands of Scilly. Here we spent about 10 Days in refitting; in which Time we had a great deal of Diversion in Fishing and Shooting on those rocky Islands... On the 1st Day of May, having a fair Wind at East, we put to Sea, and were on the Ocean (without speaking to any Vessel, except a Ketch bound from New England to Barbadoes, laden with Horses, Fish, and Provisions) 'till the latter End of July, when the Winds hung so much Southerly, that we could not get to our Port, but put into Sandyhook-bay, and went up to New York... After a Fort-night's Stay here, we put out from Sandyhook, and in 14 Days after, arriv'd at Charles-Town.
Huguenots from Mannakin Town who had originally arrived there when Lawson came to Carolina, left in only a few years to settle the new burgeoning port region of Bath. Carolana.com writes:
Into this vicinity [Bath] also, about 1704 or 1705, came a group of French Huguenots from Virginia where they had settled in 1699 [1700?] at a place known as Mannakin Town on James River. Discontented over economic conditions there, this group moved into Bath County, attracted by its fertile and plentiful lands. Here they proved an industrious people noted for the excellent linen cloth and thread which they made and exchanged “amongst the Neighborhood” for other commodities which they desired.Perhaps these Mannakin Town Huguenots were not so discontented with Virginia as much as they were eager to arrive in the Bath region, with the added opportunities afforded by the new port of entry. It was, after all, their originally-intended home for several decades. Another band of Huguenots led by their pastor Phillipe de Richelieu came to North Carolina about the same time; part of them also settled in Bath.
Indeed, Heath's early grant of Carolana and the durable attention of Huguenots invigorated Bath County, North Carolina's history far more than we have realized. The English effort to expel the Spanish from their own territory might simply have been an excuse for Huguenot refugees, desiring a home of their own. Moreover, Lawson's work is still very much with us today. No doubt that he had long planned and investigated the settlement of Bath County while still in England, like Surveyor-General of the Southern Colonies Robert Quarry, who owned a trading post in Bath County and with whom Lawson resided when in Philadelphia. The association of London merchant Micajah Perry also had a significant contribution to these same events and men through the Pennsylvania Company which involved many North Carolinians. Alas, however, we must leave this rather tantalizing prospect for another discussion.
"John Lawson's journey of 1700-1701 provided the first scientific descriptions of the Carolinas. His resulting book cataloged everything from flora and fauna to the native populations and their languages and practices. Considering "the Latitude and convenient Situation of Carolina," he wrote, "our Reason would inform us, that such a place lay fairly to be a delicious Country."
Come with us -- writer Scott Huler and a changing cast of scientists, historians, and anybody else who wants to join in -- as we retrace his trek through what is now a better known -- but still delicious -- country."
Blackbeard's family records discovered - press release: http://baylusbrooks.com/Press%20Release%208-19-2015.pdf
The journal copies are limited and running out, but NC Publications has re-released my article as a separate pamphlet titled Blackbeard Reconsidered: Mist's Piracy, Thache's Genealogy and it is available online as well as in various NC museums and historic sites.