THE TRINIDAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Publication No. 202.
A Report of the Blockade of Mrs. Griffith in her Quieen Street House.
Source :- Public Record Office. State Papers Colonial,
Published by the courtesy of the Master of the Rolls and the
Deputy Keeper of the Public Recoids.
No AUTHOR, PROBABLY WRITTEN BY MRS. LILBURN.
No date? 1802.
In January, 1799, Mrs. Rebecca Griffith, Widow and
her daughter, Mrs. Grace Lilburn, Widow of Richard Lilburn,
Lieutenant of His Majesty's Royal Navy and Commander
of His Majesty's Cutter Expedi/ion and Miss Griffith, daughter.
all lived together at No. 62, Queen Street at the corner of
Abercromby Street whi h was the sole property of Mrs. Griffith,
At this time Rosette Smith called and offered to buy
the house for 300 joes but said that she would rather buy
the large house also in Queen Street owned by both
Mrs. Griffith and Mrs. Lilburn. She was told that the larger
house was not for sale but that the smaller one was available.
For this Rosette Smith offered 25 joes down and the rest
later. She was told that these terms were not acceptable.
Three or four days later Rosette Smith came to
Mrs. Griffith and offered 0oo joes cash down but Mrs. Griffith
refused to see her. She then went to Mr. Basanta and told
him that she had come to pay him ioo joes for Mrs. Griffith
(who had not seen him for some months).
That evening by chance Mrs. Lilburn and Miss Griffith
went to see their sister Mrs. Basanta who told them of this
transaction. Mrs. Griffith then wrote to Rosette Smith
repudiating any such transaction. Meanwhile Mr. Basanta
went to the Chief Justice, Mr. Nihell and reported this
and Mrs. Griffith sold the smaller house to Robert Bond
and removed into the larger one.
Upon this Rosette Smith then began an action for the
delivery of the large house. Mrs. Griflith refused to deal
with any documents brought to her, and maintained that
she would have no transactions with Rosette Smith.
On the 22nd of March, 18oo, Portel the Marshall and
Ardila the Escrib ano came and ordered them out by the decree
of the tribunal. They refused to move.
These two Oificers of the Court later returned with a
Sargeant and eight black soldiers of the i2th West India
Regiment in arms who blockaded the house and allowed no
communication with the three ladies.
Mrs. Griffith thereupon fell ill. Mr. Timbrell, the
Ordnance Surgeon, was very friendly with the family and
later the husband of Miss Griffith, but was denied entrance
by order of the Secretary of the Goxernor. Others were
refused entrance by the soldiers present while even the two
children, 2 and 4 cars old, of Mrs. Basanta were denied
entrance. During the whole time no victuals or drinkwas
allowed to enter nor any washing, &c., to leave.
On the 26th Mr. Timbrell came and conversed with
them from the street and threw a letter up to them on to the
gallery. For this Mr. Timbrell was arrested and taken to
the Governor by whom he was severely reprimanded.
On the 27th in the evening the three ladies were exhausted
and they left the house but claimed that they had not
renounced their property.