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Affidavit of John Taylor concerning rebellion in Albemarle County
Taylor, John
January 31, 1680
Volume 01, Pages 276-277

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[B. P. R. O. Colonial Papers.]

The Affidavitt of John Taylor who deposed saith

That in Aprill 1678 this Deponent mett wth Mr Timo Biggs in London who upon some conference had wth him told me he lived in Albemarle in Carolina & from thence had then been forcd to break prison & make his escape, himselfe & ye rest of ye Lds Proprietrs Deputyes & his Matys Custome officers being there imprisoned particularly Mr Tho. Miller ye then Presidt & Commander in Cheife undr the Governr (Tho. Eastchurch Esqr since deceased) for ye Lords Proprietrs & alsoe Collectr for his Maty was clapt in irons & in shorte ye whole Government (wch had been near 5 monthes settled in good ordr by ye said Miller & Councell) ovrthrowne by a Rebellion wch in Decembr 1677 upon ye arrivall of Capt. Zach Gillam from London broak out wherein after ye publique Records first seized sundry lockes broak open in ye action all in authority or office were deposed seized & imprisoned & ye sd Rebellion contrived promoted & carried on by ye sd Gillam who was the first man that appeared in armes & wth ye majr parte of his rude sailers on ye shore & alsoe drew his sword at ye sd Biggs ye Earle of Cravens Deputy together wth Jno. Culpeper, Rich. Foster, Jno. Jenkins, Ja. Blunt, Wm. Crawford, Patt White, Geo. Durant, Geo. Willoughby wth sevrall others their Confederates & New England Tradrs wch Culpeper assuming ye title of his Matys Collectr by meanes and assistance of ye sd Gillam & ye rest of their accomplices tooke his Matys concernes violently out of ye sd Millers & his deptys hands wch were to a considrable value & for wch he ye sd Biggs told me yt Mr Miller had taken great care for freight for its transportation thence for England according to ordr And this Depont further saith he was an ear witness to ye information wch ye sd Biggs made in relation to ye premises in his Petitions both to ye Proprietrs & to ye Lord Treasurer when he was in England in ye yeare aforesd & alsoe yt ye sd Biggs was ordered by ye sd Ld. Treasurer to make affidavitt thereof & petition ye Kings Counsell wch ye sd Biggs was then intended to doe but in ye Intrim ye Proprietrs (sendeing away Seth Sothell Esqr who had purchased a Propriety to be Govrnr) they commanded Mr Biggs to desist and: now the sd Sothell being taken by ye Turkes is ye cause yt things to this day remain allmost in the same confusion as before.

And this depont saith further he went to Albemarle in Carolina wth ye sd Biggs & in Febry 1678-9 we both arrived at ye sd Biggs his house there & soone after or arrivall ye Rebellious Rabble mett att ye foresd Durants house ye usuall place of there Randezvouse & ye first salutation yt Mr

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Biggs had from them (notwithstanding his former declarations for peace & quietness) was a peremptory warrant to summon him before them chargeing him to bring wth him all papers both private & publique wch he had brought wth him from England and to answer such matters as they had to objecte against him wch sd warrant I both saw & read whereupon Mr Biggs asked this deponents advice wt to doe who told him yt as he was ye Earle of Cravens Representatives & Comptr & Surveyr Genrall of his Majts Customes ye best way was to goe up to them & publish his Commissions & ye sd Biggs did goe to them & publish ye same & this depont went wth him, where he saw all ye aforesd Ringleadrs (Willoughbie & White onely excepted) Captn Zack. Gillam being there also who seemed to carry ye greatest sway & superintendency ovr them, but could not perceive this fair proceeding of Mr Biggs took my effects wth them they being as resolute as before, then Mr Biggs put a paper up att ye Court doore signifieing yt he being ye onely officer for ye King that was arrived in yt Country aforesd he would offitiate in ye Kings affaires wch paper I saw & John Culpeper puld itt downe & soone after putt up another signed by himselfe as Collectr chargeing all persons to take noe Cognizance (as to ye Customes) of Mr Biggs wch paper is to be prduced, neither would ye sd Culpeper give ye sd Biggs any accot of ye Kings concernes in his hands wch to my certaine knowledge Biggs demanded accordingly as he was directed by his instructions from ye Commrs of ye Customes, but Culpeper told him he valued not his Commission or Instructions exepte he would joyne wth them saing likewise the Country had impowred him & he would keep wt tobacco he had of the Kings in his hands & dispose of itt as he thought fitt absolutely refuseing to give him any accott at all and more over the said Culpeper did threaten if Mr Biggs made sizers for ye King or meddled wth his Tobacco he would have him secured and clapt up againe & soe did all ye aforesd Gang threaten the said Biggs to reimprison him or do him a mischeife either on board or on shore if he acted wthout them wch insolent threats & surly behaviour of them caused the said Biggs wth ye helpe of his family & myne assistance alsoe wch he had desyred to be upon our guard night and day for fear of being sett upon by them & when we went to sleep to have our gunns ready charged by us least wee should be surprised in this miserable condition we lived till ye sd Biggs was forced (for his owne saifty) to quitt his home & goe into Virginia where this deponent lefte him & came for England.

JNO TAYLOR
Jurt 31 die Januar 1679
coram
Wm Mountagu