THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF TRINIDAD
Publication No. 380.
From Gregorio Espinosa de los Monteros, Governor of Cumana to
Josef de la Quintana.
Source:-British Museum. Additional Mss. 36335.
Published by the courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum.
Translated from the Spanish.
4th January 1741.
In my letter of 3oth October 1740, among other things
I reported to Your Excellency that the English had landed
from two balandras and invaded Rio Caribe which is within
This landing was opposed and Don Franciso Montanes
de las Cuevas left this port with two armed balandras de
corso on 23rd November to look for these English.
Don Francisco searched the coast of Margarita and also
that of Ticrra Firma as far as the Bocas del Drago. He
could not find them nor any news of them so he went to
Cruzero de las Islas and there captured two English who
had come to that port, the first in a balandra with a cargo
of lemons and sugar and the second in a medium sized pink
looking for a lading.
To-day amongst others, I received two letters, one from
the Lieutenant of the Garrison of Guayana and the other
from the Prefect of the Capuchins of the Province of Cataluna.
In these are enclosed reports giving an account of the capture
by the English of the town and castillo of Guayana and the
burning of one of the Missions.
These reports show that there was a very weak force at
Guayana. This must have been the reason for the attack
by these English who will have learnt of this weakness when
sheltering in the Dutch Colony of Surinam.
The Governor then summoned an Assembly of Government
and War. To protect the Missions, 30 men and 200 Indians
were sent from Barcelona and Aragua overland to the River
Orinoco and the River Caroni. The Governor of Trinidad
was warned to remain under arms and to expect an attack
at any moment. A pirogue was sent there with 20 men at
arms and 30 Indians. Two lanchas with 30 men in each
were sent by water through the Gulf of Paria and up the
River Orinoco to attack the enemy in that River or to help
the Island of Trinidad if the enemy are there.
Just as I am writing this, Manuel de Nieris and Eusenio
Sanchez have arrived at this town and report that 17 days
ago they left the Island of Trinidad. At that Island a month
ago there arrived an English expedition in two balandras
and two boats. They landed three hundred men on the
north coast where they remained fishing. They took two
experienced Indians and set out to march to the town
overland. These Indians were able to escape and warned
the town, reporting that the English had been exhausted
by the mountains and had returned to their ships to embark.
All this was confirmed by the vecinos of that Island.
El Maestro de Abanil arrived from San Domingo and has
begun to erect the church here. He had been taken prisoner
by the English on the Island of Martinique and states that
the English had prepared to take Trinidad de Barlovento
and if this were not possible, to go to Guayana and thence
to Santa Fe. The English had expected to be joined by other
ships from Barbados.
There is a great diversity of rumours, amongst others
that the Island of Trinidad has been lost for lack of defence.
Alarms of enemy vessels in sight, occur by day and
Your Humble Servant kisses the hands of
GREGORIO ESPINOSA DE LOS MONTEROS.
4th January 1741,