THE TRINIDAD HISTORICAL SOCI 1' .
Publication No. 46.
An account of the third visit of Marshal D'Estrees to the W4est Indies
and what occurred at Trinidad, 1680-1682.
Source :--Memoires de Marquis de Vilette public pour la SocietE
de l'histoire de France par M. Monmerque, 1844.
Translated from the French.
Marshal D'Estres was unwilling to remain idle ; in 1680
he obtained five vessels, a frigate and a brulot. The Marquis
commanded the ship Les Jeux of 36 guns.
They left on 25th May, 1680 going to Lisbon and thence
they landed at Martinique. They then visited the Islands
and the Main where lie was much impressed with the riches
and opulence displayed by the Spaniards at Cartagena.
They worked up to Windward and found a vessel from
New Spain (Mexico) careening at Cumana. The Marquis
de Vilette wanted to go in and take it and burn it. The
expedition was also claimed by the Chef d'Escadre Gabaret.
A jealous dispute arose as to who should do this and in the
end nothing was done.
We then went through the Bocca del Drago and we
anchored three leagues from la Trinite near the mouth of
the river Orenoque.
The Chevalier d'Ervaux and I had an experience from
which we escaped happily. He was carrying a letter from
the Marechal D'Estrees to the Governor of la Trinite and
they allowed our boat to come up to twenty paces of the
shore and as it was very shallow there, they shouted to us,
to make a landing further along. This was done to deceive
us and was a place where we must have grounded.
As our boat touched bottom, they fired 250 musket shots
at us and before we could get our boat afloat again which
was very rlitficult considering lthe surprise amongst our men.
Ilihy iga\r us a second discharge and soon after a third. At
last we got away. 'The st ady) courage of lie officers steadied
the men and we soon got out of nmsket shot and in time out
of cannon shot of w liich 11 he sent fi\e 1o six after us.
We were not free even then, because we were followed by
a pirogue with 40 well armed men. It gained on us visibly
and when they had come about a musket shot away, 1 ordered
the men to cease rowing, take up pistols and muskets and
await our enemy.
What I expected happened, they began to respect us
and although they were three to one, they turned and
abandoned the chase.
We returned to the fleet and reported to Mons. the
\Iarechal who sent the following night to place on a pike,
a placard in Spanish which ran somewhat as follows: People
in Europe will be surprised to learn of the churlishness and
barbarity of the Spaniards in America so greatly different
from that courtesy on which the Slpniard prides himself".
I did all I could to get IM. lthe Marechal to send a detach-
ment of scallops to inflict on these miserable people a
vengeance of another sort and urged tihat the sending of
tils placard would have little effect on people capable of
such an action as I ;have rcportcd.
From Trinidad they went to San Domingo where thec
saw a hurricane do iniiensie damage. The Marechal and
Mons. Gabaret thet. returned( to France while the fleet
continued in tlie Islalnds and later returned to ;'rance in 1682
The ships in this fleet were the Excellent, Hazardeux, Jeux,
the frigates Diligente, Marin, Tempeste and Belle, the brulot
Brutal and the flute Dromodaire.