THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF TRINIDAD
Publication No. 364.
An account of the Naval Battle in Rockly Bay, Tobago.
Source :--Tobago or a Geographical Description with Natural and
Civil History. Anon. (?7750).
March qrd, 1677.
A large French man of war bearing down upon Admiral
Binks with all his sail set, the Dutchman had the address to
tack at the very instant she came down and giving her a
broadside as she passed, saw her at once on fire and ashore.
But his satisfaction was of very short duration for not believing
that the French would have attacked him in the port, he put
the women, children and slaves on board the two flutes that
were anchored in the rear of the fleet ; between these flutes
fell the French man of war and all three were consumed
As for the French troops on shore, they had orders from
the Count not to attack the fort till they saw him engaged
upon the presumption that Admiral Binks might find it
necessary to withdraw part of the garrison. However the
Officer commanding there advanced under cover of a wood
and believing that he had a fair opportunity of surprising
them, ventured to exceed his orders and began the attack
before the fleets were engaged.
The palisades before the fort taking up a good deal of
room, the Dutch were inclined to abandon them but the
French refugees who had taken shelter among them persuaded
the Dutch to drop that design. Thus the reception which the
French met was so very warm that they were soon glad to
retire leaving their scaling ladders, all their other utensils and
the best of their officers behind them so that here they failed
This action gave rise however to a very high act of justice.
There was one Captain Bont who forgot his duty so far as to
leave Admiral Binks when he was in the greatest danger for
which he was sentenced to lose his head. He was executed in
the Great Court before the College of Admiralty which
necessary severity for the preservation of naval discipline, a
thing of such high consequence to a Maratime Power, wsas
universally commended though the Dutch populace are
generally speaking, averse to such proceedings.