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deposit, in the greffe of the tribunal of their parishes, duplicates of the registers of baptisms and marriages of slaves.


Soon after Count d'Estaing had been repulsed from St. Lucia, Admiral Byron arrived in the West Indies, with such reinforcements as made the English fleet assume the superiority over the French', and blockade them in Port Royal, Martinico. Admi

Annual Register, 1779, p. 199.

I “ Prince of Wales, in the Grand Cul

de Sac, in the Island of St. Lucia,

January the 6th “ You will herewith receive the duplicate of a letter I wrote to you the 23d and 24th of last month (No. 23), and dispatched to Governor Hay of Barbadoes, to be forwarded from thence to England by some fast-sailing vessel, that my Lords Commissioners of the Admi. ralty might have it in their power to refute any misrepresentation which Count d'Estaing may have transmitted to his court of the situation of his Majesty's forces in those seas.

“ From the state of inactivity in which the count continued for several days after, I began to conceive it was his intention to form a blockade, with a view of starving us into a surrender; but, to my utter astonishment, on the morning of the 29th (having re-embarked his troops during the preceding night), he retired with his whole force towards Martinico, and left us in quiet possession of the island, which capitulated whilst his fleet was yet in sight, upon the terms I have the honour to inclose.

“I should be much wanting, were I, on the present occasion, to omit acknow. ledging the assistance I received from Major-General Grant, and the forces under his command, as well as expressing my entire satisfaction with the conduct not only of Commodore Hotham, the several commanders, and the rest of the officers of the squadron, but also of the people in general, who never in the least repined at their precarious situation, and the difficulties they hourly encountered, but still performed their duty with alacrity and spirit.

“ Sensible of the additional fatigue the troops underwent, in occupying more ertensive posts for the squadron than there would otherwise have been occasion for, the seamen laboured with the utmost cheerfulness in conveying provisions, &e. for them through roads that were almost impassable.

“I likewise beg leave to mention to their lordships, the very great assistance I received from Captain Baker, the agent of transports, and the services of Lieutenant-Governor Stewart, of the island of Dominica, who has done me the favour of officiating as an honorary aid-de-camp between the general and myself. He accompanied me upon this expedition, in hopes that his Majesty's arms might afterwards be employed in recovering that island, where, from his perfect knowledge of it, he must be particularly useful, and therefore offered himself as a volunteer.

“ What has become of the enemy's fleet since its departure from hence I have not had it in my power to learn, but I hope Vice Admiral Byron, who, I have the pleasure to acquaint you, arrived here this morning with nine sail of the line, will very soon be able to give their lordships that information; and that Rear. Admiral Sir Peter Parker, and the go vernor of Jamaica, may be upon their guard in case of its appearance in those seas, I have sent the Ariadne to Antigua with letters, to be forwarded from thence by some fast-sailing vessel, which I have requested Governor Burt to dispatch for that purpose.

“I have great satisfaction in hearing since the capitulation, that when Count d'Estaing was directed hither by the

ral Rowley also arrived with reinforcements from Europe, about

the same time that M. de Grasse succeeded in getting safe, with - a large convoy, into Martinico. Both fleets were now nearly

equal, but nothing could induce M. d'Estaing to hazard a general engagement.

A very large convoy from the West India islands to Europe, being assembled at St. Christopher's, Admiral Byron (very unfortunately, as it proved) determined to convoy them part of the way with his whole fleet. The first consequence of his departure from the islands was the loss of the island of St. Vincent's.

High dissensions subsisted between Governor Morris and the inhabitants of St. Vincent's. The Assembly was dissolved by his orders, and the time allotted for the continuance of the militia act had just expired. The governor, therefore, issued a commission of array; but “ the principal proprietors became so far the devotees of resentment, as to give notice to those immediately in their employ, that, should they attend to any alarm during the present posture of affairs, they should assuredly be dismissed from their service.” This may not be considered treason in the West Indies, but it would be very like it every where else.

Lieutenant-Colonel Etherington, of the Royal Americans, arrived from Europe, with a number of raw recruits from England: these he kept employed in felling timber, upon an estate he had obtained from Chatoyer, a Carib chief, about eighteen miles from Kingston.

The Count d'Estaing and the Marquis de Bouille, then at Martinico, obtaining a knowledge of these circumstances,

Coke's West Indies, vol. ii. pp. 191, 192.

sloop I mentioned in my letter, he was bound first of all to Barbadoes, in ex. pectation of finding there only the Prince of Wales, the Boyne, and some frigates, of which he had received intelligence from a French flag-of-truce I had ordered away immediately on the arrival of the Venus.

“ I am sorry to add, that the Ceres, which was missing when I sent away that letter, appears by the Martinico Gazette to have been taken, after a chase of forty. eight hours, by the Iphigenie, a French frigate of thirty-six guns, but I have no account from Captain Dacres, or any of his officers.

“ I cannot help regretting the loss of this sloop, not only as she sailed well, but as Captain Dacres is an officer of infinite merit; I have, however, in order to replace the Ceres, as the Bunker Hill pri.

sailer (which her log-book confirms), commissioned her as a sloop in his Ma. jesty's service by the name of the Surprise (being expressive of the manner in which she came into our possession), and appointed Lieutenant James Brine, first lieutenant of the Prince of Wales, to be master and commander of her, with a complement of 125 men. She mounts eighteen carriage and eight swivel guns.

« For further particulars I beg leave to refer their lordships to Captain Ro. bertson, of the Weazel, who will have the honour of delivering these dispatches, and whose conduct as an officer merits their lordships' protection, as well as every favour they can possibly shew him,

“ I am, &c.


Naval Chronicle, vol. iv. p. 184.

adopted their measures accordingly. They sent M. du Percin la Roche to the Caribs: he found them anxious to give full vent to the indignation which still justly filled their hearts. A system of combined operations was determined upon between them.

A M. Gelfrier gave information to the governor, that the Caribs harboured improper persons among them, and a party were sent to Grand Sable to ascertain the fact. The Caribs received the visitors with great coldness - said that it was a particular season among the women — men were debarred the liberty of their apartments; and therefore they could not, without violating their customs, make their guests comfortable. In the interim, the emissaries from Martinico escaped from the sacred chambers unnoticed, until at too great a distance to be overtaken.

The French thought no time was to be lost. About nine o'clock in the morning of the 16th of June, three sloops of war appeared off Calliaqua, and anchored in Young's Bay, without shewing any colours. They had 450 men on board, under the command of M. de Canonge, but not one half of them were regulars. Many of the planters in that neighbourhood chose to think them merchant vessels from Antigua, come to take in sugar, and prevented the gunner of Hyde's Point battery from firing an alarm, though he repeatedly pronounced them enemies. One of the planters went on board, and was taken prisoner : he was told by the French, “ that they were well informed of the weakness of our situation, and of the dissensions which subsisted among us; that they were in no wise apprehensive of a repulse, as they knew, previously to their departure from Martinico, that the key belonging to the magazine at Wilkie's battery was lost, consequently, that they incurred no danger in running down for the harbour; and furthermore, that we had no militia, and that the principal part of the soldiery were employed by the colonel in the cultivation of his estate.”

During the disembarkation of these troops, La Roche, who had preconcerted the whole affair with the Caribs, landed in their country with a few men. They immediately joined his standard, and plunder, violence, and murder marked the beginning of the war. They overrun the windward part of the island, every Englishman flying before them; 300 troops, under M. Rumaine, marched from Young's Bay for Kingston.

Governor Morris proposed to defend Zion Hill with two pieces of ordnance, until the arrival of the troops; from to leeward, entrenchments were thrown up, and preparations made for so

Coke's West Indies, vol. ii. pp. 193, 194, 195. Edwards, vol. i. p. 425.
Annual Register, 1779, p. 201. Beatson's Memoirs, vol. iv. p. 460.

doing ; but Colonel Etherington no sooner saw the French advancing to attack him, than he ordered the position to be evacuated, retreated to the fort, sued to the enemy for conditions, and surrendered the island without firing a shot!

The capitulation was favourable to the inhabitants, and was signed by Governor Morris and the French lieutenant.'

Coke's West Indies, vol. ii. p. 195.

1 Articles of Capitulation between Le Che

valier de Trolong du Rumain, Lieutenant of His most Christian Majesty, Commander-in-Chief of the French Troops, and his Excellency Valentine Morris, Esquire, Captain-General and Governorin-Chief in and over His Majesty's Island of St. Vincent and its depend encies, Chancellor, Ordinary, and ViceAdmiral of the same, &c. &c.

“ ARTICLE 1. Governor Morris demands, in the first place, that the officer and drummer sent by him yesterday to the commander of the French troops be restored to him; the detaining these when sent as a flag of truce, and then continuing to march on, appearing to him to have been a great infringement of the laws of war.

“ ANSWER. Granted.

“ 2. The governor and staff officers, soldiers and artillerymen, to be carried to the island of Antigua, in good vessels, sufficiently victualled at the expence of His most Christian Majesty, and there to be at liberty to do duty. The governor engaging an equal number of equal qualities of French prisoners to be exchanged in their room, the same for one officer of engineers and an assistant engineer.

« Answ. The troops shall be exchanged at Antigua for an equal number of French prisoners.

" 4. The officers and others shall have liberty to carry their wives and families and domestic slaves to the English islands by the shortest route, and that they shall be furnished with good vessels and provisions for the passage.

“ Answ. Granted.

5. The inhabitants of the island shall march out of their posts with the honours of war, their baggage, arms, and colours, drums beating, and lighted matches.

“ Answ. The inhabitants shall go freely to their homes.

“6. The inhabitants of the island

ment, their laws, usages, and ordinances. Justice shall be administered by the same persons that are now in office, and the interior police of the island shall be settled between His most Christian Majesty's governor and the inhabitants; and in case the island be ceded to the King of France at the peace, the inhabitants shall be at liberty either to preserve their political government, or to accept that which is established in Martinico and the French islands.

“ Answ. Granted.

7. The inhabitants, both secular and clergy, shall be maintained in the possession of their real and personal estates and property, of what nature soever, as well as in the enjoyment of their rights and privileges, honours and immunities, and the free Negroes and Mulattoes in their freedom.

“ Answ. Granted.

“8. That they shall pay no other duty to His most Christian Majesty than they paid to His Britannic Majesty, without any other tax or impost; the expence of the administration of justice, the salaries of ministers, and other ordinary charges, shall be paid out of the revenues of His most Christian Majesty, in like manner as under the government of His Britannic Majesty.

• Answ. Granted if it was granted at Dominica.

“9. That the slaves, baggage, vessels, merchandise, and every thing else taken since the landing of the French troops, and during the attack of the island, shall be restored.'

“ Answ. Granted as far as it possibly can be effected.

“ 10. The absent inhabitants, and those in the service of His Britannic Majesty, shall be maintained in the enjoyment and possession of their estates and effects, which shall be managed by their attornies.

“ Answ. Granted.

M. de la Motte, with a supply of troops and military stores, joined d'Estaing, who immediately proceeded to attack the island

Coke's West Indies, vol. ii. p. 195.

compelled to furnish quarters or any thing else for the troops, or slaves to work on the fortifications.

“ Answ. This article cannot be granted.

“ 12. The ships, vessels, and droghers belonging to the inhabitants of this island, shall remain their property.

“ Answ. Granted.

“ 13. The widows and other inhabitants, who from sickness or other obstacles cannot sign the capitulation, shall have a limited time to agree to it.

“ Answ. Granted.

“ 14. The inhabitants and merchants of the island comprehended in the present capitulation, shall enjoy all the privileges of trade on the same terms as are granted to the subjects of His most Christian Majesty throughout the extent of his dominions.

“ Answ. Granted.

“ 15. The inhabitants shall observe a strict neutrality, and not be forced to take up arms against His Britannic Majesty, or any other power.

“ Answ. Granted.

“ 16. The inhabitants shall enjoy the free exercise of their religion and the ministers their curacies.

“ Answ. Granted.

17. All the prisoners taken or persons detained since the landing of the French troops shall be reciprocally restored.

“ Answ. Granted.

“ 18. Merchants of the island may receive ships to their address without being confiscated, dispose of their mer. chandise, and carry on trade; and the port shall be entirely free on paying the sarae duties as in the French islands.

“ Answ. Agreed, provided they wear French colours after they arrive.

“ 19. The inhabitants shall keep their arms.

“ Answ. Rejected.

“ 20. No persons but those now resident on the island, or at present proprietors of lands and houses, shall hold any house or land by purchase, or otherwise, until the peace; but at the peace, if this island be ceded to the King of France, the inhabitants who decline living under the French government, may then be at liberty to sell their estates,

both real and personal, to whom they please, and to retire whenever they shall think proper, for which purpose a reasonable time shall be allowed them.

“ ANSW. Granted.

“ 21. The inhabitants of the island may send their children to be educated in England, as well as to send them back, and to make remittances for their maintenance while in England.

“ Answ. Granted.

“ 22. The inhabitants shall be at liberty to sell their estates and effects to whom they may think fit.

“ Answ. Granted.

“ 23. That the court of chancery shall be held by the members of the council, and the proceedings be the same as are now used in the island of Antigua, except that all writs and other process shall be granted by the president of the council ; and the great seal now used in the island shall be given into and remain in his custody for the purpose of sealing all writs, process, and decrees issuing out and made by the said court.

“ Answ. Granted if it was granted to Dominica.

24. That the wives of such officers and others as are not in the island may retire with their effects, and the number of domestics, according to their rank.

• Answ. Granted.

“ 25. There shall be delivered to the general of the French troops all the artillery and stores in the colony of St. Vincent's belonging to the King of England. All the batteries on the coast, and the respective posts, as well in the Carib country or elsewhere in the island, shall be surrendered in the same state they were in when the island Fas attacked, such injury as these may have received in any attack excepted. All the arms belonging to the King of England's troops shall be delivered in like condition, excepting those of the officers of the troops and militia. No powder shall be secreted or carried out of the magazines, which shall be delivered by the governor.

“ Answ. Granted.

“ 26. None of the Indians or Caribs shall on any account be permitted to garrison or be quartered in any of the

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