THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF TRINIDAD
Publication No. 284.
A Petition from Edward Cowley to the Queen of England.
Source :--Public Record Office. State Papers Colonial.
Published by the courtesy of the Master of the Rolls and the
Deputy Keeper of the Public Records.
May IIth, 1710.
To the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty in Council
The humble petition of Captain Edward Cowley showeth
That Your Petitioner in the year 1698 and until the death
of His late Majesty, King William of glorious memory, was
engaged with several others for the carrying on and settling a
Colony on the Island of Tobago in America; of which
Your Petitioner was unanimously chosen Governor by all the
undertakers and that with His Majesty's Royal approval who
was pleased to declare that Your Petitioner's charges in the
carrying on that design, should be repaid with a consideration
for his time and trouble if it should not succeed.
His late Royal Highness, the Prince of Denmark, was a
great promoter and favourer of that undertaking as were
others of great quality which to pursue, he did his utmost
endeavour and disposed above 500 families besides masons,
carpenters and other handicraft men and a great number of
protestants to settle on the said Island, and with His late
Majesty's consent, officers commissioned for the Militia to be
there, were taken out of the half pay officers of the English
Army, they desiring it.
Which notwithstanding, the French Ambassador and the
Dutch, having put in their caveats, Your Petitioner found
himself obliged to make voyage into Holland to attend
His Majesty in that affair of which he conceived great hopes,
for the House of Commons had desired His Majesty to
encourage as many as would make acquisition in America.
Notwithstanding all the trouble, pains, &c., and care taken
by Your Petitioner and other expenses of six hundred pounds
with his being out of commission three years, the undertaking
fell by the death of His then Majesty whom Your Petitioner
had the honour to serve in the household for several years
till his death.
And besides that Your Petitioner was a great sufferer by
the violence of the Papists in Ireland and served all the last
war in the sea service in commission, was wounded in his
hand and leg in the Beachy Head engagement and also
served in the Army before the death of King Charles.
And the sum of two hundred and forty-eight pounds is
in arrear on the Civil List due to Your Petitioner from
His Majesty King William, payable from the Exchequer as
is certified by My Lord Halifax.
All of which Your Petitioner submits to Your Majesty's
consideration and in regard of the said undertaking afore-
mentioned was for the public good and Your Petitioner being
at the present destitute of employment, humbly begs such
equivalent or compensation by some employment either
within Britain or in foreign parts as Your Majesty in your
great goodness shall think fit.
And Your Petitioner, as in duty bound, shall ever pray, &c.
Statement by Joseph Blake.
May 25th, 1710.
Joseph Blake one of the proprietors of the Island of Tobago
and late Secretary to the undertakers for settling the same,
maketh oath that the book now produced and shown unto
him by Edward Cowley, Esq., wherein is entered the names
and places of abode of divers persons who were to go over in
the first expedition in order to begin a settlement on the said
Island of which Island, the said Edward Cowley was chosen
Governor, is part of it in the handwriting of the deponent and
the other part in the handwriting of one William Jacobs, the
deponent's late clerk and servant.