THE TRINIDAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Publication No. 41.
Letter from the President and Council of Barbados to the Secretary of
the Council of Trade and Plantations.
14th August, 1673, from Barbados.
Source :-Public Record Office. State Papers Colonial, C.O. 30.
Published by courtesy of the Master of the Rolls and the
Deputy Keeper of the Public Records
MAY Ir PLEASE YOUR HONOURS :
On the 28th of May last we wrote unto you and therein
acquainted you with the then condition of His Majesty's
affairs within the limit of our government, the original went
by the hand of Captain William Poole, Commander of
His Majesty's ship St. David who went Admiral of the
convoy to a fleet of merchant ships bound hence for England.
The duplicate we sent by Charles Howard, master of one of
the merchant ships ; one of which letters we hope before this
time you have received ; yet in regard they both went in
one fleet and possibly may have miscarried we herewith send
a copy of that our letter unto Your Honours from whom we
have lately received a letter dated the i4th of March and
directed to His Excellency William Lord Willoughby of
Parham by which we find that you have not received another
from His Excellency of his successes at Tobago.
We therefore hereby acquaint Your Honour that the Dutch
on treaty surrendered that Island unto His Majesty on the
enclosed articles. The fort and buildings are destroyed, the
Christians or white men had liberty to depart whither
The blacks or negroes with all the goods was the soldiers
reward of which there were near 600 landsmen besides seamen.
Our forces leaving and laid all things waste, returned but
reported that several of the negroes betaking them to the
woods were left behind, whereupon His Excellency sent a
small vessel with a Commander and about 30 landsmen to
hunt for and bring them what they could take with some
remains of plunder. At least one third of which 30 men
were of the French nation that had lived at Tobago under the
Dutch and tendered themselves for guides as well as soldiers
to bring in the blacks but in little time after their arrival,
being armed and fitted to pursue these blacks, they betook
themselves to the woods and returned not again to their
Commander which made him return without getting in
At his return after he left them, many of the Caribbee
Indians who are enemies to the Dutch and came hither to
glean up such remains of plunder as the English had left
those Indians we are informed, have taken those blacks and
also slain those runagate French.
We presume that Island is so laid waste as will hinder all
settlement there during this time of war and if any nation
shall presume there to make any small beginnings without
His Majesty's commission we shall use our endeavours to
destroy such beginning and thereby preserve it for His Majesty.
In any other manner we are unable to keep it, for to leave a
small garrison there, had been to render them a prey to the
Dutch and therewith lose His Majesty's title, and to place
there such a garrison as should be able to hold it against the
Dutch, is more than we are able to maintain to keep it.
Therefore as a waste belonging to His Majesty for the use of
his subjects, we deem it the only way we have to preserve
His Majesty's right thereto.
We rest Your Honours most humble servants,
WILLOUGHBY. HENRY HAWLEY.
HARRY WALROND. HENRY DRAX.