THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF TRINIDAD
Publication No. 372.
A Minute for the Council upon the state of the Pretensions of the
Duke of Courland to the Island of Tobago.
Source :-Public Record Office. State Papers Colonial. C.O. 53.
Published by the courtesy of the Master of the Rolls and the
Deputy Keeper of the Public Records.
December I ith, 1683.
In 1659 the Duke of Courland possessed a fort at the
mouth of the Gambia River which his Agent sold to the
Dutch West India Company.
In 1661 the King granted a charter to the Royal African
Company which sent a ship and demolished this fort.
The Duke of Courland complained to the King who in
1664 granted him Tobago as compensation.
Notwithstanding this, the Dutch West India Company
took this Island by agreement with the Duke until driven
out by the English in 1672.
The Dutch resettled the Island in 1676 when they were
driven out again by Estrees since which time it has remained
It would be very prejudicial if this Island were settled by
foreigners and it may be questioned whether the title of the
Duke of Courland is good now that the Island has changed
hands so often,