America and West Indies
July 1695, 16-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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J. W. Fortescue (editor)

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1903

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541-556

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'America and West Indies: July 1695, 16-31', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 14: 1693-1696 (1903), pp. 541-556. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=70820 Date accessed: 19 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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July 1695

July 16.1,962. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. The King's warrant for John Cosby to be a Councillor was read, and he was sworn accordingly. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 77. pp. 309–310.]
July 16.1,963. Minutes of General Assembly of Montserrat. A negro found guilty of stealing a cow was condemned to be burned, and 3,500lbs. of sugar was adjudged to his owner for compensation. Two more negroes being accused of stealing a cow drew lots for their lives, and he that drew the losing lot was condemned to death, the other being condemned to be severely whipped. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVIII., p. 333.]
July 16.1,964. Memorial of the Lords Justices of England. On the question of the salary of the Earl of Bellomont as Governor of Massachusetts their Excellencies are of opinion that the Governors of His plantations in America should have their appointments immediately from the King and not be left to depend solely upon the benevolence of General Assemblies for their support, which would be to make their authorities precarious and engage them to compliances that might be prejudicial to the King's interest in those parts. Their Excellencies are of opinion that this is nowhere more necessary than in New England, where their constitutions have been so lately altered, since which time it can hardly be said that a Governor has been there of the King's appointing; since it was thought fit at their incorporation in 1691 to gratify them with a Governor of their own nomination, who was sent thither without any further provision than might be granted to him by the Assembly; the inconvenience whereof has appeared by the short allowance granted him by the Assembly from time, which may have brought him under the necessity of supporting himself by such methods as in part occasioned the complaints against him. Their Excellencies, however, do not think that the charge of the said Government should be laid on the King's revenue here, since it may be an ill precedent to other plantations and set them soliciting to be eased in the same manner. They therefore propose that the Governments of New York and New England may be united again, as they were not long since under Sir Edmund Andros, with the same allowance as was then given, part of which arising from a revenue that is already established at New York may be a foundation for the Governor to depend on till a further and more suitable provision be made for him by the consent of the Assemblies. Their Excellencies conceive that it will be no hardship for Mr. Fletcher to be recalled from New York since he will have enjoyed that Government four years; and the uniting of those Governments will be an advantage rather to each at this juncture, that they may assist each other in the best manner either for annoying the enemy or for mutual defence. Copy. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 24 Feb., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 3; and 36. pp. 132–134.]
July 16.1,965. Petition of Nicholas Trott, jun., on behalf of the Governor, Council and Assembly of Bermuda and of the Governor of the Bahamas, to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Having received copies of the evidence against Isaac Richier I beg you to fix a time to examine the charges against him. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 16 July, 1695; read and heard 4 Oct., 1695. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 2. No. 24.]
July 17.1,966. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. The Governor-in-Chief informed the Assembly of the strength and designs of the enemy at Martinique, and agreed to the proposal of the Assembly to hire men and arm a sloop, to be paid for by a tax of eighteen pence on all negroes in the Island. Order for payment for Captain Perry's house and land, sold by him to the public. On the proposal of the Assembly a warrant was issued for impressing a sloop. Petitions considered, and payments ordered. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 139–140.]
July 18.1,967. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. The appeal of William Sharpe heard, and postponed for further consideration.
Mr. Chidley Brooke's letter of 4 November as to the seizure of two vessels in New York was read, and referred to the Commissioners of Customs. [Board of Trade. Journal, 8. pp. 71–75.]
July 18.1,968. A collection of papers relating to the Appeal of William Sharpe against Hugh Dunn.
1,968. I. The Case of the Appellants. Printed. 3½ pp.
1,968. II. The Case of the Respondent. Printed. 1 p.
1,968. III. The Case of the Respondent. Manuscript.
1,968. IV. A list of the legal documents used in the case. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. Nos. 106I.–IV.]
July 19.1,969. Minutes of Council of Barbados. The Assembly returned the bill as to appointing a third Agent and payment of the Agents' salaries, declining to agree to the amendments therein. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. p. 59.]
July 21.
Jamaica.
1,970. Governor Sir William Beeston to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I send duplicates of my last, and pray for your favour to the merchants, who otherwise will lose their money. On the 15th inst. the Experiment arrived from the fleet with passengers and letters, and advice that they had taken and destroyed the ports of Cap François and Port au Paix, and that they thought they could not proceed further on attempting the enemy at Lugan and Petit Guavos till they had been here to recruit. I send the particulars to Sir John Trenchard and Mr. Blathwayt as I received them from Colonel Beckford (see No. 1,946) whom I sent up to St. Domingo to concert the design with the Governor and to meet the fleet. The Assembly are still sitting and have passed a law for £11,000 (though not without great difficulty and management) for payment of the debts contracted to preserve the country from the last invasion, and they are providing bills to raise money to fortify Port Morant, St. Andrew's and Carlisle Bay, because there is no income nor money in the Treasury this war-time, but all is miserably in debt and at least four or five thousand pounds behindhand. I shall therefore willingly consent to these bills, but then I think to prorogue them, for though the thinking party in the House have raised and carried a bill for the revenue to be indefinite, and though, since the income is always too low for the support of the country, I have persuaded them to make an addition of about £2,000 per annum, yet the greater part of the House will not do anything towards that nor towards settling and collecting the quit-rents after a better method. Therefore, since they will do nothing for the public good and the King's service, I think it unreasonable that they should do anything for themselves. Colonel Sutton and Mr. Blackmore disown the petition presented to the King in their names, and say that it was done in England without their knowledge. They own there is enough confessed in it, but ask for fourteen days to consider what to say for themselves, and when that is heard, the whole shall be sent to you, pursuant to your orders. But though against my will (for I have no prejudice against them) I must acquaint you that they have both procured election into this Assembly, where they have opposed the bill for the payment of debts, the revenue and the quit-rents, and indeed all things that tend to the public good. How that will commend them to your favour to mediate with the King for their restoration I must submit to you. Signed, Wm. Beeston. 1¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 17 Oct., 1695. Read, 28 January, 1695–6. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 7. No. 88; and 54. pp. 62–64.]
July 22.
Jamaica.
1,971. Governor Sir William Beeston to Sir John Trenchard. The Experiment is arrived with passengers, letters and orders. There are various reports about our forces, but in the main it appears that they have not agreed, and that by an unconsidered march through the country from the Cape to Port au Paix they lost many soldiers drowned and starved and many of their tents and arms; but where the fault lay is to me still very uncertain. They have taken the Cape and the strong fortress at Port au Paix, which they are demolishing, but why (seeing that it is against the King's instructions) I know not, for they have kept their proceedings wholly from me, though (if I may give an opinion) any settlement of the English there would wholly ruin this Island, where we have more land than we can or could manage and secure, were there twenty thousand more people on it than there are. I transmit herewith the relation given me by Colonel Beckford, who was an eye-witness of all that passed, and did very good service, to which I would refer you. Colonel Lillingston writes me that he has not above forty well men in his regiment, and is very sick himself, so that he must come down hither and recruit before they can proceed on any further action; but the Commodore seems to be willing to receive advice from me and I have sent up to him thirty or forty privateers who have promised me to go to him. I have also written to him that if the fleet be in a condition to stay on that coast, and he will let me know, I will try to raise five or six hundred men and join him myself. For if they come away and leave Petit Guavos and Lugan untouched, they have done all things hitherto for the Spaniard and not for this Island, and I fear it will be hard, after they have once been down here, to get them up thither again. The transports will wish to be discharged, the mortars and many other things which cannot be repaired here will be out of order, which will create excuses; so I shall try my utmost to finish the work before they come here. Had they thought fit in all this long time to let me know where they were and what they wanted, I could have sent them assistance and recruits, but I suppose they were afraid lest I should have come myself and shared the purchase with them, though I find that the great disagreement among them is about sharing it themselves. They need not have feared me on that point, for though I thank the King for the large share which he has allotted to me if I should be present, yet for the good of the service I have promised to give it to be freely divided among them. Not that I have gained so much by this Government that I can spare it, for of the slender salary allowed to me (which I so call for the reputation and dearness of the place) a whole year is due to me. The reason is that in war-time nothing comes into the revenue, which runs back daily and is at least £5,000 in debt, the income bearing no proportion to the standing and contingent charges. When the fleet comes down I will call a Council of War, as directed. Signed, Wm. Beeston. Postscript. 23 July. The fleet is just arrived. Major Lillingston, Captain Peirce and others are dead. The Colonel is sick, and so are many of the soldiers and seamen. The Commodore thought not fit to salute the King's flag in the port, so no guns nor ceremony passed at their arrival. I will do my best to get the soldiers recruited, to do what service I can to the ships and seamen and to make all things fair, if possible, but I find there are and will be many disputes. Holograph. 2 pp. [America and West Indies. 540. No. 40.]
July 22.1,972. Minutes of Council of Nevis. Order for detention of a sloop seized by the Commissioners of Customs. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVIII., p. 299.]
July 24.1,973. Copies of a series of letters on the Hispaniola expedition from Charles Whittell. 30 June, 1695, Port de Paix. After a good passage to Madeira the ships were forced to put to sea from the roadstead, leaving all the land officers behind on the shore. The Ruby and Reserve picked them up, as well as myself. At the end of March we were all together again at St. Christophers, and thence we sailed to Hispaniola, part of the fleet to Samana Bay and the Commodore to St. Domingo, where the Spaniards agreed to join us at Manchaneel Bay with 1,500 men and 3 ships of war. We went to Cape FrançOis, where the French, after a short defence, blew up the fortifications and fled into the woods, though they might have defended it for much longer, had they expected relief, for they had thirty-five great guns and abundance of stores and plunder. Thence we came to the place where this is dated, Port de Paix, a fine large regular fortification, with near a hundred guns mounted on the walls. We have now besieged it fourteen days, but since the ground does not admit of regular approaches we have built four batteries, mounting some twenty guns in all, on some hills that overlook the town, so that they can hardly ply their guns, to say nothing of their want of water and men, and no hope of relief. So we may hope to be masters of it shortly, if our own differences do not hinder us.
July 10, 1695, Port de Paix. On the 5th inst. at about one in the morning the French, to the number of four hundred, sallied out of the place, with intent to have surprised our army or fought their way through them to Petit Guavos; but by the warning of a deserter we were prepared for them, and the Spaniards gave no quarter, for the French give them none when they meet in this part of the world. So we have got this place, which was as much as we could do, it being a precipice to climb up to; and had they had a mind to defend it would have been a mighty difficulty to have stormed it. We found in the place over 100 cannon, with stores proportionable. I believe we shall demolish it and go to Petit Guavos if the land soldiers do not prevent it, being nearly all sick or dead, though the fleet continues in very good health.
July 24, 1695, Jamaica. Recapitulates the story of the taking of Port de Paix and continues. In this brush about a dozen Englishmen were killed and 100 French. What died by the hands of the Spaniard is uncertain. We also drove the French from Cap FrançOis, but at Petit Guavos and Leogane (from which we have had the greatest annoyance) nothing is done. The soldiers are reduced to a very small number, not by the enemy, but by an unnecessary march over mountains and rivers, when they might have been transported by sea, which I fear will put an end to this expedition. Our Governor has thoughts of going up with some forces from hence, but whether the people here will be willing is doubtful. This is certain, that unless the French be quite destroyed, it had been better for us that nothing had been done. The Admiralty have now ordered that the frigates shall no longer be under the Governor's orders, so we might expect a cessation of trade here. It will be impossible for the merchants either to load or carry home their ships if no bounds be put to the authority of the sea-officers in pressing men; nor will the civil magistrates be able to shelter people from the insolence of the frigates' men. I have already seen the ill - consequences of lessening the Governor's authority in this particular, and I shall be to have no consignation of ships till it be restored, for I despair of getting them again out of port. The present Commodore is a person of honour, but has lost many men and has many sick; and by the death of captains it often happens that the command of the King's ships falls into but indifferent hands. Pray give the Admiralty a hint of this. I hope they will use their interest to make us easy in this affair, or our trade will suffer much. 3½ pp. [America and West Indies. 540. No. 41.]
July 24.1,974. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. The Governor read the Royal Instructions as to the troops employed in the expedition which are now arrived at Jamaica. Resolved to quarter six companies at Kingston and two at St. Jago de la Vega. Resolved to call a Council of War on the 29th. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 77. pp. 310–311.]
July 24.1,975. Minutes of Council of Virginia. On a letter from the Governor of New York, ordered that a quota of 240 men be sent to New York, as he requests. On advice that strange Indians had lately done some mischief at the head of James River, it was ordered that some Indians be joined with the Rangers in pursuit of them, and that ammunition be furnished to them. Petition of William Fitzhugh and George Brent read, complaining that they could not obtain common process against Colonel Richard Lee of the Council. On consideration it appeared that the Sheriff was in fault, and orders were given for due process to be issued on any action entered. On further advice of French designs against America, it was ordered that an account of all shipping and small craft be made up for the Governor.
July 25.The Governor calling attention to the business of the Post Office the Council declared that the Postmaster had been wanting, not having settled the post-office in Virginia in pursuance of the Royal Patent nor the ferries which are vested in him. Order for the Secretary to write to Colonel Hamilton accordingly and to ask what his intentions are. The Governor was advised by the Council to attend at the laying of the foundation of the College. The Collectors and Naval Officers took the oaths of their office. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 53. pp. 3–5.]
July 25.1,976. Minutes of Council of New York. A letter from Rhode Island read, offering other assistance in lieu of their quota. The Governor said that owing to the desertion among the Grenadiers he could not accept any other assistance than the men; and the Council advised that he should write and demand that the men be at Albany on the 1st of October next. Colonel Ingoldsby's letter read, reporting the desertion of twelve grenadiers and asking that one might be put to death for an example. The Governor added that three of his own company also had deserted. The Council was of opinion that the man of his company who, being a native of the province, had enlisted for one year, taken levy-money and seduced two more men, ought to be put to death. Order for indentures for the utensils supplied to the soldiers to be returned to the Secretary's office. Orders for sundry payments. Petition of Major Anthony Brockholes's widow and others referred for examination. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 48–30.]
July 25.1,977. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. The merchants and companies attended, on the question of convoys.
The appeal of William Sharpe further heard and decision taken.
A memorial from Sir Thomas Laurence as to the trade and manufactures of Maryland was read and referred to the Treasury. [Board of Trade. Journal, 8. pp. 75–77.]
July 25.1,978. John Povey to the Earl of Romney. Forwarding extract from Governor Russell's letter of 28 March, with a request for certain ordnance stores, for his opinion as to compliance therewith. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. pp. 181–182.]
July 25.1,979. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Agreed to recommend that the appeals of William Sharpe and the executors of Barbara Newton be heard by the Lords Justices in Council. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. p. 195.]
July 26.
H.M.S.
Dunkirk, Port
Royal,
Jamaica.
1,980. Commodore Wilmot to William Blathwayt. I enclose copy of a letter to the Admiralty, which please lay before the Lords of Trade and Plantations. By next opportunity I hope to give a more ample account. Signed, Robt. Wilmot. ¼ p. Enclosed,
1,980. I. Commodore Wilmot to the Admiralty. My last was from St. Christophers when I reported my intention to sail to Savona Island, at the eastern end of Hispaniola in order to join the Swan, which I had sent forward to the Governor of St. Domingo. I duly met her and obtained from her a letter from the said Governor telling me that if I would come down to St. Domingo to treat with him, he would give me all necessary assistance to destroy the enemy on that coast. Accordingly I sailed to St. Domingo with three men-of-war and one fire-ship, and sent the remainder of the fleet with the transports to the Gulf of Samana on the north side of that Island, a very commodious place for shipping, with abundance of fish, water and wood. On my arrival at the port of St. Domingo the fort saluted me with eleven guns, which I returned. At my landing I was received by the Lieutenant-General of the Army and the Council of the Island, with about five hundred men in arms, with the compliment that the gates of St. Domingo were open and myself in command; and I must say that we were treated with much grandeur and respect. The President met me at the outward gate, from whence we walked to his house, where I delivered the letter that I had for him, and desired his immediate assistance to destroy the enemy on the coast of Hispaniola. To this he seemed to agree readily, but I found him very dilatory in raising abundance of insignificant scruples, which with much difficulty and in twelve days' time I reconciled; when he agreed that he should forthwith march to Manchaneel Bay, on the north side of the Island, where I was to meet him with the fleet. Accordingly we sailed to Cap François, the windwardmost settlement of the French, the Spaniards and 150 English proceeding by land. The remainder of the English soldiers I landed within three leagues of the Cape and sailed with the men-of-war within gunshot of the Fort of Cap François, that being Saturday, the 18th of May. They fired much upon us from the fort, and the Swan received much damage. It was concluded that as soon as the land-forces could march to one end of the town, we were to batter the fort with the ships, and we also intended to assault the back of the fort (which with its platforms mounted some forty guns) with the seamen, the ground being higher than the fort on the back-side. That evening we took out the boats to find a convenient landing-place, but going in too close we were fired upon very thickly by a party of men hidden under cover, though no one was killed. Next evening we went in greater strength, which the enemy perceiving and presuming that we were going to land, they blew up the fort and burned the town. I at once sent on shore and found the town and fort deserted, but they had laid trains of powder to blow us up in all the houses where there were goods or plunder, which had liked to have done our men much damage. Being there myself I beat all the men out, and in so doing, had liked to have been blown up myself, being just come out as a house blew up. Captain Launce, being behind me, received much damage but is now pretty well recovered. Next day, Monday, 21st May, Colonel Lillingston and the Spaniards marched into the town where he found the King of England's colours, which I had hoisted, flying on the fort. He took my colours down and suffered the Spaniards to put up theirs, on which I went on shore and asked Colonel Lillingston why he allowed that. He replied that he had spoken to the Spanish General, which was all he could do, and was so severe upon the seamen who had any fruit or provisions which they had got in the woods, that he gave orders to take these things from them or, if they would not give them up, to shoot them, swearing that all that was on Hispaniola was his. Next day I sent to the Spanish General to ask when we should prepare to go to Port a Pee [Port de Paix], and on consultation it was agreed that Major Lillingston with 300 English men should march thither with the Spaniards, the distance being, as they told me, fourteen leagues and five days' march. But Colonel Lillingston without any other consultation marched with all the English army in order to plunder the country, which fatigue (as I am informed) destroyed most of his men; but I was kept a stranger to his proceedings, for from this time he never came to any council of war, though often desired, but did as he pleased with his forces. On the 11th of June, not having heard from Colonel Lillingston since his march from Cape François, being sixteen days, I called a council of war and proposed to land four hundred seamen, which we forthwith did about five miles to east of Port de Paix. I received some little opposition from an ambuscade, but quickly forced them to retire, and burned and destroyed the enemy's plantations to the fort of Port de Paix, to which they all retired. Having no knowledge where our land-army was, we returned on board that evening. On the 15th of June having ascertained that the land-army was near Port de Paix I marched with four hundred seamen and met them, and next day I landed their mortars and cannon where they desired, but two or three days later found the cannon lying where they were landed and nothing done. I called a council of war as to the reduction of the fort, when it was resolved that Colonel Lillingston be requested to hasten the mounting of the mortars and cannon (and he had the assistance both of the Spaniards and seamen) and that the fleet should sail to westward of Port de Paix where there was a very commodious hill to annoy the enemy, almost as near again as Colonel Lillingston's batteries, where we should erect a battery of ten guns. This I very soon did, and in a very few days beat down part of the inward fort, which was the place of refuge, and killed a great many people by continued firing and throwing of hand bombs. On the 3rd of July between twelve and one at night the French sallied out in a body of 300 whites and 200 blacks, well armed; but we, having notice by a negro of their intentions, detached 150 men in readiness to receive them, while I lay ready to join them with the rest of my men, which accordingly we did upon the enemy's advance, killing many, including most of their commanding officers, and taking several prisoners. I then took possession of the fort, where I found eighty pieces of cannon mounted, with good store of ammunition. All this time Colonel Lillingston, though sent to and though he lay nearer the enemy than we did, gave me no assistance, but ordered all his men on board ship. I then called a council of war to direct him to send his sick men down to Jamaica and to keep the well men here for further service against Lugan and Petit Guavos, but he positively refused to do so. Moreover though the agreement with the Spanish General was that after the destruction of Cap François and Port de Paix the remainder of the force was to march to Petit Guavos and Lugan, he now refused to do so, pretending that his men were sick. Thus, being deserted by Colonel Lillingston and the Spaniards, we could in no probability hold the fort, and after the continual fatigue of the seamen were scarce able to demolish it, but by continual labour we got the guns and stores off, blew up the inward fort and demolished the outward. We then sailed for Jamaica where I now am, but the health of my men is very bad, by the greatness of the work that they have been compelled to do. The ship that carries this was just about to sail with the Governor's despatches, but I stopped her, at which the Governor seemed concerned, saying that the Admiralty had not used him kindly, though he gave no particulars. I have at least 500 men sick, but have not yet prevailed with the Governor to assign me four or five houses to put them in, though I offered to pay for them. His answer was that he had nothing to do with the Navy. The seamen have not deserved this from the Island. I have no time to send copies of the councils of war, which I hope to send later. Postscript. I have brought down to Jamaica about 150 French soldiers, and as near as we can guess there are 350 killed. 3½ pp. Unsigned.
1,980. II. Another copy of No. I. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 7. Nos. 89, 89I., II.]
July 27.
Admiralty.
1,981. William Bridgeman to John Povey. On Governor Russell's proposal that an officer should reside in the West Indies, with provision of Naval and Ordnance stores for the King's ships, the Admiralty are of opinion that it will be better to relieve those ships as often as conveniently may be, whereby stores may be sent for supplying the ships there that are in want thereof; and orders will be given accordingly. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. No. 107; and 44. pp. 151–152.].
July 29.1,982. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. The merchants and Companies were heard on the question of convoys.
List of documents received on 1 August from Virginia and New York. [Board of Trade. Journal, 8. pp. 78–85.]
[July 31.]1,983. Commissary Murrey's Journal of the Expedition to Hispaniola. Jan. 22. Sailed at four in the afternoon with H.M.S. Reserve, fourteen transport ships, one store ship, one hospital ship, and three private merchant-ships. Jan. 23. Came up with our convoy before Falmouth, viz. H.M. ships Dunkirk, Commodore Wilmot; Winchester, Captain Butler; Ruby, Captain Hughes; Swan, Captain Moses; Terrible, Captain Fletcher; Firebrand, Capt. Soule; the two last being fire-ships. Jan. 25. The Ruby and the Reserve gave chase to two French ships in the Soundings and after exchanging some shot with them returned to the fleet. Jan. 28. Discovered eight sail in latitude 38° 50', which proved to be the homeward-bound Lisbon fleet. Feb. 3. Five sail of Sallee men-of-war were sighted and chased, but to no purpose. It falling a flat calm the men-of-war put out long-boats and pinnaces to tow. The store-ship has hindered us greatly, being the worst sailer (I believe) in the Thames. Feb. 4. A Council of War was held on the Dunkirk. I was called on by the land-officers to take the part of Judge-advocate in trying a soldier for mutiny; but as the Commodore had instructions and the Colonel none on that point, I withdrew. About three hours later there was a furious debate between the land and sea officers as to the admission of Captain-Lieutenant Warner to the Council of War. The sea-officers being a majority carried it against him. Being consulted I gave my opinion in his favour, and the Commodore ordered the former resolution to be rased. This day the Swan parted company to go forward with letters to the Governor of St. Domingo. Feb. 12. The whole fleet anchored in Funchal Road, Madeira. About a dozen soldiers have died since our departure. Feb. 13. The Colonel ordered the Captains of his regiment ashore to buy wine for the men. The shore in this bay is a great beach with large pebble-stones, which makes a very raging broken sea with the least wind to South, and so we found it. We found the sea high and landing difficult this morning owing to a South wind yesterday, and the wind rising again in the afternoon I found it impossible to go off to my ship in my boat, and was obliged (as we all were) to hire a Portuguese boat. Feb. 14. I found the Commodore very uneasy, having sent his boat for Colonel Lillingston and the Major, and being anxious as to his fleet in Southerly winds in this roadstead. He made signal for sailing about three, and above eight his boat came back without the Colonel and Major. In the evening there was a terrible storm of rain, thunder and lightning, and in this twenty-four hours the wind veered to every point of the compass. About 11 at night the Dunkirk got under weigh, but the bulk of the fleet could not weigh till noon next day. Feb. 15. This afternoon only nine ships out of twenty were in sight. Most of them that came out to-day and last night slipped their anchors and cables. Feb. 16. This morning we discovered six more of our ships, much scattered. Our captain wished to sail for Jamaica as we could not see the Commodore, but to this I would not consent. Feb. 17. The captain made up his mind to proceed on his voyage, but the captain of the Winchester was determined to beat back to Madeira. Feb. 18. Our Captain again resolved to proceed, but the men-of-war bore down and fired at us, so we brought to. Feb. 19. A council was held, and it was resolved to proceed to Savona, as the wind seemed settled against us, and beer and water might fail. Feb. 26. This day we entered the tropic of Cancer. Four soldiers have died since we started, and twenty more are sick. We are about 320 souls aboard, women and seamen included. March 7. Having been several times insulted by some of the officers about the issue of provisions, and it happening that one this evening gave me the lie and then hauled me by the cravat, I removed myself into H.M.S. Winchester to prevent the inconveniences which might arise from the mutinous disposition of the said officers. March 18. We made a sloop when becalmed about fifty leagues from the Leeward Islands. Manned boats and boarded her. She was bound from Bermuda to Barbados, and the master could give no information of any value. March 20. Made the land at four in the morning and lay to till daylight, when we found ourselves with Mariegalante about three leagues distant, and Dominica to south west. Steered towards Guadeloupe, hoisted French colours as we were among the French Islands, and at three in the afternoon opened Basseterre Bay, Guadeloupe, and sailed in after a ship that lay there, but finding her moored close under several batteries, stood off after firing a few shot. March 21. Made Montserrat. March 22. Made Nevis before day, and sending a boat ashore ascertained that Governor Codrington would be at St. Christophers next day. Proceeded accordingly and anchored in Old Road, St. Christophers, in the afternoon, with intention to get water, which is much wanted. March 23. Made two sail of ships this morning, which proved to be the Commodore and the Terrible. They came in and anchored by us, and we found that like us they had been unable to get back to Madeira and had therefore borne away. I saw Captain Norton of the Duke of Bolton's Regiment, and showed him my instructions to muster it. March 24. The Commodore, myself and others went in our boats about seven miles to Basseterre, to dine with Governor Codrington. I showed him my authority to muster the soldiers. Nine of our missing fleet came in sight. March 25. The ships anchored, and this day the whole of our fleet was assembled with not one ship lost. March 27. A court-martial was held concerning the irregularities of the officers in the Jeffreys, transport, which was adjourned to next day. March 28. Signal made for sailing. Two lieutenants and an ensign of Monjoy's company were broke by sentence of Court Martial. We were obliged to wait for ships that could not get out of the roadstead. We have now about 700 men well, 400 sick, and 130 have died since we came out. April 3. Came up with Savona where the Swan had been appointed to meet us, whereupon the Commodore made signals for a council of war, but before it could meet two sail were seen, which proved to be the Swan, and the Hampshire from Jamaica with Colonel Beckford on board, bearing letters from the Governor of St. Domingo that he was ready to assist us. It was therefore decided that the fleet under convoy of the Reserve, Ruby, Winchester and Firebrand should make for Samana, while the Commodore with the Dunkirk, Hampshire, Swan and Terrible should go to St. Domingo, it being thought inadvisable that the merchant-ships should beat back for St. Domingo. I went with the Commodore's division. April 5. We came to an anchor in the roadstead, but the Swan went up the river to St. Domingo. This is the first colony made by the Spaniards in America and was founded by Bartholomew, brother of Christopher Columbus. It is a large city, well-walled, with ten parish churches, and well built with stately houses which are now for the most part decayed. The river makes a bar-harbour, with about fifteen feet of water in the bar. There are no tides. We rowed up the river three or four miles and found it so far a very noble river and very pleasant, the woods being always green and covering the banks on both sides. We continued here about ten days notwithstanding the great endeavours of the Commodore and Colonel Lillingston to despatch and ascertain the assistance they came about. After many conferences and papers they came to some agreement concerning (1) the church and ecclesiastics that might fall into our hands in the French plantations (2) the plunder (3) mutual assistance (4) prisoners (5) the confirmation of all agreements of the Spanish General with us by the Governor of the Island. The Governor thereupon promised to join us with 1,500 men at Manchaneel Bay on the second of May, old style. On the 13th a Spanish ship came in from Porto Rico with news that the Barlovento fleet was there but afraid to come to St. Domingo, taking our fleet to be the French. This fleet was impatiently expected by the Spanish Governor, as it carried money. We were very civilly treated by the Governor, clergy and people, the last being chiefly mulattos and blacks. On the 14th the Governor despatched a vessel to hasten the Barlovento fleet, and on the 15th we sailed from St. Domingo. April 23. We anchored at Samana, where we found the rest of our fleet. The country all round seems to be desert and uninhabited, being full of woods which are scarce penetrable. On the west side of the bay is good water, and safe riding for ships. We found our soldiers in pretty good condition, but five having died since we parted and the sickness being much abated. April 24. Advice came to Colonel Lillingston that five French soldiers deserted with their arms from the Rappahannock, merchantman, in the ship's boat last night. They were pursued but made their escape. There being many French and Irish in the Regiment, this gave occasion to consider them. April 27. A court-martial was held on a French soldier for trying to persuade a man to desert, but there being only one witness he could not be condemned to death, so was kept a prisoner in irons. There were produced before the court about thirteen French and Irish papists, who had been taken in privateers and enlisted from the gaol at Plymouth by Colonels Colt and Northcott. It is to be feared that there are many more of the same. These men were divided among the men-of-war, it being considered unsafe to suffer them to act ashore. Signal was made for unmooring this morning, but the wind being foul we remained at anchor for two days more. April 29. The fleet made sail, but could not get clear of the land. May 1. We were all at sea off Cape Caberoon, when the Commodore sent the Swan with a shallop to take soundings in Manchaneel Bay, and look for intelligence of the Spaniards, to-morrow being the day appointed to meet them. May 2. The Swan was sighted to West-ward before sunset. The store-ship drove on board one of the transports, tore her sails and rigging much, and brought down her mizzen-mast. May 4. The Swan came up, with three French prisoners in a canoe. She reported French ships at Cap François. The Commodore sent the Reserve, Hampshire and Terrible to block them in, and the rest of the fleet anchored off Monte Christo. We observed several great smokes on the Island, and sent boats ashore for information, but obtained none. May 5. The Commodore went in his barge at five this morning to coast the shore and take soundings, returning at nine at night. May 6. The Commodore sent word to Colonel Lillingston that he had seen some out-guards of the Spaniards and expected the General to dine with him that night; but his barge, which he had sent, returned without any of the Spaniards, but with a letter from one of their Generals desiring to speak with us ashore. May 7. The Commodore being not well, Colonel Lillingston and several officers went ashore to meet the Spaniards, when it was agreed that our fleet and their forces should meet at Bayaha near Manchaneel Bay, and that our soldiers should debark there. May 8. The whole fleet weighed and stood in for Manchaneel Bay. The Barlovento fleet joined us, three very indifferent ships but well manned, carrying together about one hundred guns. This bay lies close to Cape François, so we have no doubt that the French saw us. May 9. Anchored in the bay at evening. May 11. The barges of the fleet went into Bayaha to find the Spaniards, but without effect. May 12. The Colonel with some barges went again to find the Spaniards, but without effect, but in the evening three Spaniards from their army came off to the Commodore. May 13. We met with the Spanish Generals in Bayaha, when it was agreed that 150 of our forces should land and march with them to near Limonade, where the rest of our forces should join them on Friday or Saturday next. May 14. Major Lillingston landed with 150 men, also 100 Spanish sailors from the Barlovento fleet. May 16. Two frigates and the two fire-ships sailed for Cap François, and all our land-forces were put into four transports to go with the men-of-war within shot of the French forts. May 17. Both fleets sailed from Manchaneel Bay. May 18. It being calm weather the land-men were disembarked in boats at the place appointed by the Spaniards. The ships came to anchor, some of them within shot of the forts that cover Cap François. May 19. I was asked by the Commodore to arrange signals with Colonel Lillingston for a joint attack by land and sea. The Commodore having some thoughts to land seamen at a creek about a mile from the fort, and being jealous lest the enemy should fortify it, sent the Swan and two fire-ships to hinder them, and several shot were exchanged. The Swan's bolt-sprit was wounded, but our ships at length burned some houses that stood in this creek. The boats rounded the entrance to the port, and it seemed to be resolved that we should attack next day, but this evening the enemy blew up the fort, fired the town and abandoned the place. That night many of our boats went ashore, but the enemy had left trains of gun-powder in all the best houses, and Captain Launce and one of the sailors were blown up and desperately hurt. May 20. All this day and last night the Spanish boats were bringing off the plunder, while our sailors glutted themselves with wine and brandy. This evening Colonel Lillingston came in with the English vanguard and most of the Spanish forces. I could not go ashore for want of a boat; but the Commodore placed one at my disposal for to-morrow. May 21. I went to the town at seven in the morning, where I found things in some disorder, the English land forces being very much out of humour for want of wine, brandy and some other things which the place had afforded before to-day. It was agreed that the forts and works should be demolished, that the thirty-three captured guns should be divided between us and the Spaniards, and that after six days the Spaniards and 300 English should march to Port de Paix, forty-two miles by land. May 23. The Commodore went ashore to see the works demolished. The place is of no strength for defence, the largest fort mounting but ten guns, but the approaches both by sea and land were difficult owing to the rocky bottom at sea and some fortified passes by land. May 24. Two privateer ships joined our fleet from Jamaica, with letters from Sir William Beeston. May 27. A negro deserter brought news of the capture of an officer and eight or nine sailors by the enemy, that the commander of Cap François was not far off with about thirty men, and that the inhabitants had dispersed in the woods. The Commodore therefore landed 200 men under Colonel Beckford to pursue the enemy and recover the prisoners if possible. Three of the men-of-war were sent towards Port de Paix to examine the coast thereabout. May 28. Colonel Beckford returned, having marched thirty miles and taken but one French prisoner, who said that the French Commander had marched towards Manchaneel Bay. May 29. By Colonel Lillingston's direction I acquainted the Commodore that he was resolved to join the Spaniards and the English already ashore with the rest of the force and march by land to Port de Paix, and that he would be ready to march on the 31st. I supplied the land forces with ten days' biscuit for 780 men. Two of the captured guns were lost in eleven fathoms of water through the oversetting of a raft. May 30. Colonel Lillingston and the land forces marched to the Spanish camp about two leagues away. The Experiment, galley, joined us from Jamaica with letters from Sir William Beeston. May 31. The fleet weighed, having suffered much in its anchors and cables from the foul bottom, and anchored in a bay two leagues to westward, where we lay five days to await the land forces. June 5. The frigates having rejoined us we weighed and stood to westward. June 6. Anchored five leagues to eastward of Port de Paix, near a pleasant country. The frigates fired several shot at the inhabitants, who seemed to be preparing for defence. June 7. Some of the inhabitants set fire to their houses, and the Commodore landed without any resistance and burned and wasted the coast until the 10th. June 10. The men-of-war weighed and anchored two leagues nearer to Port de Paix. The Commodore landed with 700 sailors and marched nearer to Port de Paix to gain intelligence of the land-forces, for whom we began to be much concerned. The enemy fled everywhere without resistance. June 11. The Commodore reimbarked his men, having done all possible damage up to the gates of Port de Paix. No news of the land-forces. June 13. Some of our prisoners returned with a message from the French commander of Cap François. June 14. Two of the privateer-commanders were sent to the said French commander. Advice came that our land-forces were approaching. June 15. The Commodore with several officers, including myself, went to the army and found the Spanish forces and a small party of ours encamped near Port de Paix. The English soldiers gave a very miserable account of their march, have left most of their associates behind them, many of whom they said would never come up. The fortress of Port de Paix was summoned to-day, and refused to surrender, so it was resolved to land artillery forthwith to attack it. June 16. Four cannon and a mortar with their stores were landed. The Commodore was always forwardest and readiest in exposing his person to all dangers, but for many reasons he feared to put his sailors under Colonel Lillingston, and therefore resolved to attack the enemy in a separate body. June 20 and 21. More guns were landed to westward of the fortress. The whole fleet weighed, and anchored about five miles to westward of Port de Paix. June 23. The Commodore began to build his batteries and mount his guns on a hill which commanded the fortress from the westward. About seven hundred seamen in all were landed. Colonel Lillingston with the help of the Spaniards (his own men being for the most part unserviceable) mounted two guns to westward, and two more with a mortar to southward. June 24–25. Two heavy guns, a sacker and a mortar were mounted. June 26. The Commodore had mounted on his side ten guns, while Colonel Lillingston had but five and one mortar, and the Commodore's batteries were nearer by one third to the place. June 30. Colonel Lillingston ordered his sick men on board the transports. The batteries opened a warm fire, the Commodore's doing much damage. July 4. A negro came out last night with news that the enemy was about to abandon the place, and the Commodore made his arrangements for meeting an attack. The enemy fell on them about two o'clock in the morning, and the fire continued very brisk until four, when the enemy dispersed into the woods, leaving seventy men in the place. The Spaniards met them in the woods and destroyed many more, being in these countries the bravest men in the world at murdering a routed enemy. We had advice that there were 500 whites and 300 armed blacks in the fort, or by the least account 350 whites and 300 blacks. It is scarce to be carried by assault, being a precipice on every side and either walled or palisaded in most places where the sea comes not. The precipice from the wall or palisade to the sea is at least 65 feet-high, with a strong castle in the middle of it. This was commanded from the adjacent hills, so that there was little cover for shot. I went ashore and found great quantities of stores, which I wished to claim for the King, but soldiers, sailors and Spaniards were all shifting for themselves under no command and in the greatest disorder imaginable. I secured some stores and put a sentry over them, and told over the captured cannon and shot. July 5. I found the stores secured yesterday had been broken open, and nothing left but what the soldiers were not pleased to take. July 6. We began to bring off the guns and stores. The state of our land forces is very low. Not an officer or man of them except myself assisted in bringing off the stores, so that but for the Commodore and sailors they might still have been in Hispaniola. July 10. We divided the guns with the Spaniards. July 11. The Experiment sailed for Jamaica and three ships bound for Jamaica with her. July 13. The poor remainder of Colonel Lillingston's regiment decamped. All that carried the name of being serviceable marched to the fortress, and the sick were sent to the ships. He and his brother the Major had been sent aboard sick some days before. July 15. The Spanish forces having 400 sick and being much charged with negroes and other plunder refused to go to Petit Guavos, and set out to march to St. Domingo. Major Lillington died this night. July 16. My assistant, Mr. Silvester, died. The palisades and walls were demolished as far as possible, and the Castle was blown up at five in the morning. Our land-forces that marched out of it did not exceed forty, the rest being all sick on board, and truly of the forty not ten were serviceable. The Admiral of the Barlovento fleet announced that he should sail next morning. July 17. The sailors having suffered much from their fatigues ashore it was resolved that no more could be done, and the fleet weighed for Jamaica. July 23. The fleet anchored in Port Royal. The Commodore, Colonel Lillingston and myself waited on the Governor. July 27. My second clerk died, the other being already dead. July 29. A council of war was held, when it was resolved to discharge the transports. July 31. I began to unload and discharge the ships.
Note.—It is difficult to ascertain the number of negroes taken from the French, owing to the secret and different practices of the Spaniards, the privateers and our soldiers and sailors, but by a flag of truce we learn that the French allow themselves to have lost 1,200. Mons. du Casse is said to have lost 200,000 crowns. 24 pp. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 7. No. 90.]