THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF TRINIDAD
Publication No. 407.
Sir John Vaughan to the Secretary of State.
Source:-Public Record Office. State Papers War Office
Published by the courtesy of the Master of the Rolls
and the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records.
1st August 1781.
I have the honour to transmit to Your Lordship sev-
eral letters and papers relative to the Island of Tob-
ago; to and from the Lieutenant Governor, the Command-
ing Officer of the troops, Brigadier General Totten-
ham,Skeen,etc, which I judge necessary to lay before
Your Lordship for the fullest information respecting
that place and by which Your Lordship will observe
that every early intimation was given to the Lieuten-
ant Governor and the Commanding Officer of the troops
of the enemy's views towards that Island and that in
consequence every reinforcement of troops that could
then be spared was sent there, vizt: a Company of the
Rutland Regiment together with an Engineer, some art-
illery,men,munitions and provisions, all of which ar-
rived before the enemy's approach.
On my receiving information at Barbados, the 27th
of May at ten in the morning, of the enemy appearing
off the Island,l directed Brigadier General Skeen with
the 69th Regiment and a Volunteer Company from Bar-
bados to embark instantly and to proceed to the relief
of the Island.
At the same time that we had intelligence of the
enemy appearing off Tobago,we had also an account of
their fleet consisting of upwards of twenty sail of the
line, cruising off St Lucia.
On the 28th of May in the evening Rear Admiral
Drake sailed with Brigadier General Skeen's detach.
ment on board for the Island of Tobago. On the Rear
Admiral advancing towards the Island with the squad.
ron,he perceived the whole fleet of the enemy approach-
ing the Island and which I presume occasioned his re.
turning to join Sir George Rodney and by that means
the troops under Brigadier General Skeen, destined to
reinforce the Island, were not landed.
On my receiving this intelligence, which was on
the 2nd of June,of the enemy in force investing the Is-
land,I went immediately myself on board the Fleet, tak-
ing Brigadier General Skeen and all the troops I could
muster, in order to relieve or retake Tobago.On the 3rd
of June at daybreak, the Admiral and myself sailed with
the whole Fleet for Tobago. On the 4th of June in the
evening,we saw the Island and on the 5th in the morn-
ing,viewed the French Fleet.
Having on the 4th dispatched Lieutenant Johnston
of the Marines on shore to gain some intelligence and
procure guides, etc,for landing the troops,he returned
on the 5th and informed us of the Island having capit-
ulated on the 2nd current.
I shall only beg leave,My Lord,to add that to the
Island of Tobago,as well as all the others belonging to
His Majesty,every care and attention on my part while
I was in that country, was shown towards the support
and preservation of the whole.
The Roebuck Packet from England arrived at Bar-
bados on the 15th of July but she does not bring any
dispatches from Your Lordship.
I have the honour to be,My Lord,Your Lordship's
Most humble and obedient servant
The Right Honourable
Lord George Germain.