THE TRINIDAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Publication No. 43.
An account of the fight between the French and Dutch at Tobago.
No Author. No date. No place.
Source :--British Museum. Egerton Mss. 2395. Fol. 567.
Published by the courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum.
Monsieur D'Estres Admiral of the French on the
2 st February, 1677, summons the Dutch to surrender
Tobago, with proffers of great kindness if they should yield
themselves, otherwise to expect nothing but the extremities of
a bloody war ; to which the Governor replied that he
received not his Commission to yield but to fight.
Whereupon the French Admiral whose fleet consisted of
13 men-of-war and one fireship, gives orders for the engage-
ment, Mons. Gabriet Vice-Admiral loosing his foretopsail,
being seconded by two frigates and a fireship, begins the
onset. The fourth ship was the Admiral and so the rest in
order. This was on the 21st February.
The Dutch being very weakly manned, fire their own ship
by which means Mons. Gabrict and the Admiral and those
ships that boarded the Dutch were all burned, the Admiral
himself very narrowly escaped with the loss of the forefinger
of his right hand and a wound in his breast by a splin ter.
The French fireship ran ashore without doing any
execution ; the rest of the French ships got off very lamely
by warping themselves off in the night, without the command
of the fort ; and having left the Dutch masters of many
brass pieces of ordnance with great stores of fuzees, pistols
and other small arms.
Whilst things were hurried in this confusion at sea, the
French soldiers assault the fort wherein the Dutch were
which was so valiantly defended by the defendants that at
first salute from the fort, there were at least 300 men slain
of the French on the place and on the retreat 200 men. It
is verily believed that in this conflict there were not less
than 2,500 of the French lost.
The French after a week's time with bare shift put out to
sea and were supposed to be bound for Martinico or the
The Dutch have lost and wounded about 2oo00 men by
sea and land, in a flyboat 250 women, blownupby the French.
There escaped but 54 men out of the French Admiral's
ship and most of them wounded ; out of Capt. Gabret's
but 32, the rest either burned or blown up.